From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 18 - July 28, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Reporter's Notes

Wolf protest

The Tour de France bicycle race in France was subject to protest last week by farmers suffering wolf attacks on their livestock in the Alps. According to reports by the Associated Press and Reuters, farmers staged at least three protests. The start of the 10th stage of the race was modified by moving it seven miles in response to the protests. Then the race was delayed 40 minutes to allow the farmers to demonstrate. This was a compromise by race officials who "wanted to show their solidarity with the rural world."

Highway 189

US Highway 189 was originally constructed in the late 1950s as a narrow, winding road. Today, the highway is subject to total reconstruction, with wider driving lanes, six-foot shoulders and gradual slopes. Reconstruction has been underway for several years, and the Wyoming Department of Transportation expects the entire corridor to be completed in 2010.

Lander Trail

An interagency group of history buffs has undertaken the task of mitigating oil and gas development along 30 miles of the Lander Trail. According to the Wyoming Trails Newsletter, published by the Wyoming Chapter of the Oregon-California Trails Association, the section of trail receiving the focus is from Buckskin Crossing to the New Fork River through the Pinedale Anticline gas field.

The committee will add to the existing signs at Buckskin Crossing and Sand Springs, as well as install a pullout at Highway 351 with more interpretation at the New Fork River crossing. The 351 sign will tell the story of the gas fields in the area and the Wagon Wheel project, while the New Fork River stop will discuss cattle drives from Oregon to Wyoming.

Roadless petition

As the state of Wyoming considers whether to participate in the new petition procedure under the federal roadless rule, Governor Dave Freudenthal is asking the secretary of agriculture to clarify how much weight those petitions would carry.

Under a recently announced rule change, state governors may petition the federal government as to the designation of roadless areas within their borders. However, final decisions do not rest with the states, as any petitions would still go through the forest planning process.

"The crux of the issue is whether to petition under the new rule or to enhance the state and local government participation in forest plan revisions," Freudenthal wrote to Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns. "Factors I must take into account are the comparative costs of the two options, in terms of both human resources and dollars, as well as their benefits."

Freudenthal's questions center on how much influence the state's petitions would have, how they would be judged and prioritized and who would pay for environmental analyses of the petitions' contents. The governor said his objective is to determine whether the state's participation in the petitioning process would add to Wyoming's influence over forest management within its borders.

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