Due to a severe drought, forage conditions will be very poor this winter in the Green River Basin, and wintertime gas drilling makes matter much worse because it disturbs the wintering animals, reducing further their actual habitat.

Gregg Arthur, Game and Fish deputy director wrote to the BLM that because of poor forage growth, “[W]e can anticipate elevated winter mortality, even if climatic conditions are mild. If the winter is severe, significant population reductions from stress and starvation could result.” “Significant disturbance activities on big game crucial winter ranges this year could have catastrophic results on at least a local basis (such as the Pinedale Mesa), if not greater.”

In response the BLM said they will consider all comments received, which means, “we don’t give a damn what you think, but we will read the letter.”

Gov. Dave Freudenthal’s aide said the governor “will take everyone’s opinion into account as he continues to consider these sorts of proposals on a case-by-case basis,” and noted this is one agency’s opinion.”

This means he’s probably not on their side.

Freudenthal’s sure-to-lose opponent Republican Ray Hunkins, said the BLM has been a good steward of the land, and it should make decisions.

Of course, most folks in Sublette County now know that the BLM has become a subsidiary of BushCo and the gas industry.

So it looks like wildlife will lose out.

This information was taken from Whitney Royster’s story in the Casper Star Tribune and turned into commentary.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

2 Responses to WY Game and Fish takes a stand against winter gas drilling near Pinedale

  1. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    We are facing a similar situation in NW Colorado. Our BLM office is revising its resource management plan. On the table is winter drilling. The energy supporters and one rancher say yes. The cooperating agencies are saying yes and the enviros are saying no way.

    The problem facing the enviros is getting the word out to the public. The rancher (above) is a former county commissioner and is very vocal and has clout. Another former commissioner is an energy lobbyest. And she is very vocal. For the most part, she does not know what she is talking about.

    The draft of the RMP comes out in mid January. We will see what we can do in our public comments.

  2. avatar Max says:

    I’m looking for information about a major civil lawsuit against oil and gas companies in the Pinedale area.

    Specially, I am looking to identify the plaintiff(s) in the case, as my company may have information and other assets to assist with the plaintiff(s) in mounting and presenting their court case.

    I believe the case in question involves a junior oil and gas co that was recently acquired by Andarko (within the last year or so) and Andarko may, therefore be one of the defendants.

    We are uncertain as to the nature of the lawsuit, or what the claims are.

    The case maybe litigated in Gillette, if that it the location of the Federal District Court, but the lawsuit involves oil and gas companies operating in the Pinedale area, possibly extending up to Jackson.

    If anyone has information on the identity of the plaintiff’s and/or their legal representatives, please contact me at D r M a x H @ h o t m a i l . co m

    We may be able to assist the plaintiff(s) with this case.

    Thank you.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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