From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 6, Number 46 - February 8, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Reporterís Notes

Water

The Pinedale Anticline Working Group Water Quality Task Group will meet from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, March 2, at the Pinedale BLM Office Conference Room. The Pinedale BLM office is located at 432 E. Mill Street.

The Water Quality Task Group agenda items include discussion of an aquifer characterization program and will discuss the need for channel characterization of perennial streams.

For information, contact Merry Gamper in the BLM Office at (307) 367-5313.


Grazing

The federal grazing fee for Western public lands managed by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management will be $1.35 per animal unit month in 2007, down from $1.56 in 2006. The newly adjusted fee, determined by a congressional formula and effective on March 1, applies to more than 8,000 permits administered by the Forest Service and nearly 18,000 grazing permits and leases administered by the BLM.

The formula used for calculating the grazing fee, established by Congress in the 1978 Public Rangelands Improvement Act, has continued under a presidential Executive Order issued in 1986. Under that order, the grazing fee cannot fall below $1.35 per AUM, and any increase or decrease cannot exceed 25 percent of the previous yearís level. An AUM is the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow and her calf, one horse, or five sheep or goats for a month.

The annually adjusted grazing fee is computed by using a 1966 base value of $1.23 per AUM for livestock grazing on public lands in Western states. The figure is then adjusted according to three factors ó current private grazing land lease rates, beef cattle prices, and the cost of livestock production.


Pinedale Natural Gas

There will be a public hearing on Pinedale Natural Gasí proposal to the Wyoming Public Service Commission for authority to establish a revised overall rate of return of 11.5 percent. Last year, the Office of Consumer Advocate staff indicated their belief that PNG was overearning in its general rates. The staff had calculated a rate of return for PNG for 2005 and 2006 of 13.75 percent while the companyís authorized rate is 8.8 percent.

The public hearing on the rate-of-return application is slated for Wednesday, March 21 at 9 a.m. in the Sublette County Courthouse.

For more information, contact the Public Service Commission at 307-777-7427 and mention docket number 30016-41-GR-06.


State grazing leases

In late November 2006, livestock grazing foes Western Watersheds Project applied for almost 20,000 acres of expiring Wyoming State School Trust Land grazing leases. The group is hoping to be the highest bidder in order to get livestock use off the leases. WWPís application is under consideration by the Wyoming Attorney Generalís office, since WWP wants a grazing lease with no intention of actually grazing.

Areas targeted by WWP include leases held by Wyoming Stock Growerís Association Executive Vice-President Jim Magagna. According to WWP, also included in the applications was over 6,000 acres of Wyoming school trust lands in critical Bonneville Cutthroat Trout habitat in the BLMís big Smiths Fork grazing allotment located near Cokeville. Other leases include ones in the south end of the Wind River Range near Farson and in the Green Mountain Common Allotment south of Jeffrey City.


Unclaimed Cash

There is $24 million available to the rightful owner and State Treasurer Joe Meyer wants to return it.

The State Treasurerís Wyoming Windfall phone banks are open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Feb. 9. After Feb. 9, phone banks will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday - Friday.

Wyoming currently returns approximately 48 percent to the rightful owner or heir. Unclaimed property includes, but is not limited to, wages, uncashed money orders, oil and gas royalties, stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

Search for unclaimed property at www.wywindfall.gov. if you donít see your name on the website, contact the Unclaimed Property Office at (307) 777-5590 or write to the Unclaimed Property Division, 2515 Warren Ave., Suite 502, Cheyenne, WY 82002.

The list contains names of money received the past calendar year only. Money from years prior to 2006 is still available waiting to be claimed.

See The Archives for past articles.


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