Volume 4, Number 2 - April 8, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Mountain States Legal Foundation attorney Joseph Becker said in an interview that his organization is filing an amended complaint in district court over the Sublette County purchase-of-development-rights program. Mountain States represents Pinedale's Bob Harrower in the case that challenges the legality of the program.
Becker said the purpose of the amended complaint is to correct a typographical error that was included in the original complaint that was filed in early February. The county denied the existence of the statute cited in the complaint, Becker said, leading to the need for the amendment.
Once the amended complaint is filed, the county has 10 days to file its response. Then the court is expected to hold a scheduling conference, setting out the timeline for the case to be briefed, argued and considered.
So far in 2004, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has authorized the killing of four wolves in Sublette County, with the kills accomplished by animal damage control officials. Two wolves were killed near Cora in January after repeatedly preying on livestock. The wolves were part of a pack of four, with the two remaining animals continuing to be involved in conflicts. The two remaining wolves were killed late last month.
FWS has also authorized USDA Wildlife Services to kill two wolves in the Daniel region, although control actions so far have failed. Control action is called for because wolves attacked a yearling steer two weeks ago so badly it had to be destroyed.
FWS's Mike Jimenez said that in aerial flights early last week, the Daniel pack was not located. He said the animals appear to be moving around a lot and the pack now has 12 or 13 members. Two members of this pack are wearing functioning radio collars, Jimenez said.
Meanwhile, the Jackson Hole News and Guide reported that a series of dog poisonings in Idaho, the Buffalo Valley near Jackson and now possibly Daniel, may be related and may in fact be targeting wolves. Highly toxic poison-laced hot dogs were discovered in the Buffalo Valley poisoning.
The environmental impact statement examining the impact of continued infill development in the Jonah natural gas field is optimistically slated for release in late May or June, according to the Bureau of Land Management.
The Pinedale Resource Management Plan EIS is due to be released in June as well, after a delay of several months.
The EIS that will examine coalbed methane development in the South Piney drainage is set for release to the public in late April. BLM officials note that this is an optimistic schedule, and delays can occur, pushing the release dates into the future.
An organizational meeting for the Wyoming Conservation Alliance will be held in Pinedale on Thursday, April 15, at 8:30 a.m. in the Sublette County Library. Organized by executive directors Harriet Hageman and Kara Brighton of Cheyenne, the Wyoming Conservation Alliance is promoting Wyoming's participation in the federal regulatory process. The group wants to bring ranchers, business owners, local government entities and industry groups together to have one voice in federal government decisions related to natural resource issues in Wyoming. Anyone interested in joining the new organization is encouraged to attend.
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