Volume 4, Number 29 - October 14, 2004
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The Upper Green River Basin Sage Grouse Working Group is slated to hold its next meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 9 a.m. in the Sublette County Library in Pinedale.
The mission of this Wyoming Game and Fish Department-appointed citizens group is to use the statewide grouse plan as a guideline to develop and implement strategies that will improve or maintain sage-grouse populations and habitats at the local level in this basin.
Nuisance grizzly mauls hunter
A grizzly bear that was trapped and removed from the Upper Green River region in 2002 for killing domestic sheep mauled an elk hunter in the Togwotee Pass area a week ago and was then shot and killed by another hunter when the bear apparently began approaching that hunter.
After killing sheep in 2002, the adult male bear was trapped and relocated to an area near Cody. Federal law enforcement officials are investigating the killing of the bear.
Receipts totaling over $9 million were received for leasing rights on parcels offered by the Bureau of Land Management at the bi-monthly federal oil and gas lease oral auction held in Cheyenne on Oct. 5.
“Mineral resources on Wyoming public lands play a key role in meeting energy demands in the Rocky Mountain region. With one-third of the nation’s oil and gas production coming from the public lands, oil and gas leasing helps increase domestic production of clean-burning natural gas and other mineral resources,” said Wyoming BLM State Director Bob Bennett.
Oil and gas production in Wyoming contributes to meeting local and regional energy needs. Oil and gas operations on BLM-administered public lands and federal mineral estate in Wyoming generated $441,657,741 in federal oil and gas royalties in 2003. Half of the royalty payments were disbursed to the State of Wyoming. About 64 percent of the homes in Wyoming are heated with natural gas.
Bids ranged from the federally mandated minimum of $2 an acre to $1,025 an acre. The highest bonus bid of $1,121,640 was for a 2,156-acre parcel located in Natrona County. Successful bidders also pay a $75 per parcel administrative fee and yearly rental of $1.50 per acre.
Wolf kills multiply
As cattle are moved from the Upper Green River region, the number of confirmed wolf depredations has multiplied, with three kills confirmed Monday and two more on Tuesday.
Although U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wolf biologist Mike Jimenez said that since the cattle are being rounded up and moved, the kills are being discovered and confirmed, but added that it doesn’t mean the kills all occurred at the same time.
What it does mean is that wolves were continuing to kill cattle even as the cattle are moved off the mountain and returning to home ranches. One of the kills was found Tuesday in the stock driveway.
USDA Wildlife Services specialists killed two wolves in the Upper Green on Tuesday, Jimenez said. That included both a young male and young female. Control efforts in the Upper Green have ended, he said.
Jimenez said the control specialists killed three more wolves Wednesday, but this time in the Wyoming Range. The wolves have been responsible for killing at least six calves in the South Cottonwood area, Jimenez said, again cautioning that he doesn’t know the time sequence of the kills.
Thirteen wolves have been killed in Sublette County this year and the count is still being tallied for the number of cattle and sheep killed by these federally protected predators.
RMP delayed until spring
The Pinedale Resource Management environmental impact statement has been delayed until sometime next spring, according to Kellie Roadifer of the Bureau of Land Management. Roadifer said that the BLM is charged with formulating a reasonable range of alternatives that responsibly address all the issues.
“It became apparent to us that it was not complete,” Roadifer said. “There is a lot riding on this.”
Thus, the document will continue to be worked on and its release to the public has been delayed until next year.
Parsons out of race
Curt Parsons of Big Piney has taken a job transfer to Texas, so has withdrawn from the race for election to a seat on the board of trustees of Sublette County School District No. 9. The ballots for the Nov. 2 election are already printed with Parsons’ name on the ballot and absentee voters are already casting their ballots, so voters within the district are being advised they need not vote for Parsons. Notice that Parsons has withdrawn from the race will be posted at polling places as well, according to the Sublette County Clerk’s office.
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