From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 52 - March 23, 2006
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Reporter’s Notes

Green River BAG

The Green River Basin Advisory Group will meet on Tuesday, March 28 at 10 a.m. in the Green River/Rock Springs Joint Powers Water Board Office located at No. 3 Telephone Canyon Road in Green River. Among the items up for discussion are the Colorado River settlement agreement, an Upper Green River joint powers board update, and the framework plan report.

Big Sandy

The Pinedale Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest is proposing the Big Sandy Fuels Project. The agency plans mechanical fuels treatments and prescribed fire treatments on 30 acres around the Big Sandy Lodge, the Big Sandy trailhead parking areas and the Big Sandy campground. For more information about the project, contact Mark Randall at the Pinedale Ranger District at 307-367-4326.


The Sublette County School District No. 9 health services office is reporting an influenza epidemic is making its way through the community. With a sudden onset of fever, headache, chills, tiredness, body aches and a dry cough, other influenza symptoms include sore throat, cough and congestion as the disease progresses. Plenty of bed rest and fluids are advised, and No. 9 officials encourage parents to keep their ill students at home and seek medical care as needed.


Sublette County Public Health Officer Dr. J. Thomas Johnston is pleased that a town in California has banned smoking in all areas outside a designated smoking park, recommending a similar action in Sublette County’s communities. Johnston noted that lung cancer is the single largest killer of women and can be contracted from second-hand smoke.

Secretary Kempthorne

President George W. Bush has nominated Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne to be the 49th Secretary of the Interior to replace Secretary Gale Norton. Norton said: “President Bush made a great decision by nominating Governor Dirk Kempthorne to be the 49th Secretary of the Interior.”

Split estate

The Bureau of Land Management will hold two listening sessions in Casper on how best to implement the split estate provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Congress directed the BLM to review current policies and practices for managing so-called “split-estate” situations in consultation with affected private landowners, the oil and gas industry and other interested parties.

The Casper sessions will be held on Friday, March 24, at the Ramkota Inn, 800 North Poplar. There will be an afternoon session from 1 to 4 and an evening session from 7 to 10.

Comments may also be submitted by e-mail by April 1. Background information on split estate issues is available on the BLM Split Estate website:

Wolf delisting

Gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have recovered from the threat of extinction, prompting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to propose removing the wolves in this region from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. In addition to the delisting proposal announced last week, FWS also proposes to designate gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes region as a distinct population segment under the Endangered Species Act.

The delisting proposal applies to the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Within this area, the FWS is proposing to remove federal ESA regulation regarding the gray wolf and entrust wolf management responsibility with states and tribes.

The proposed DPS includes all the areas currently occupied by wolf packs in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin, as well as nearby areas in these states in which wolf packs may become established in the future. The DPS also includes surrounding areas into which wolves may disperse but are not likely to establish packs.

The gray wolf population in the western Great Lakes region now numbers close to 4,000 animals over the three-state area. The Minnesota population has steadily expanded; the latest estimate in 2003-2004 found about 3,020 animals. Wolves have become well-established in Michigan and Wisconsin, with numbers there of 405 and 425, respectively. Wolf numbers in those two states combined have exceeded 100 for the past 12 years, thereby exceeding the population criteria identified in the recovery plans.

Keyes resigns

John W. Keys III has resigned from his position as commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. After serving nearly 40 years with the bureau, Keys intends to spend time with his family. His resignation is effective April 15.

“As commissioner, John led the way in developing the Water 2025 Initiative that is helping to avoid future water crises in the West,” Secretary Norton said. “He and the rest of the interior water team were crucial in resolving a nearly 75-year dispute when California water users reached agreement with the federal government and six other states on a multi-decade agreement for sharing and using water in the Colorado River.

Among Keys’ accomplishments is development of the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, a coordinated, comprehensive, long-term multi-agency effort to conserve and work toward the recovery of endangered species and protect and maintain wildlife habitat on the Lower Colorado River.

Town of Pinedale Clarification

In an article published March 9, the Sublette Examiner incorrectly stated that Meghan Thoreau is the new Town of Pinedale Building Inspector. For select town projects Thoreau will be the Clerk of Works, she will also work with the planning and zoning board. While Thoreau had said that she could become hired as the inspector once the town draws up its new budget, the town is now awaiting the new mayor, to be elected in May, to make staffing decisions. Currently Pinedale does not have a building inspector to enforce building codes.

The Examiner regrets any confusion caused by the article.

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