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

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.







  1. Rick Hammel Avatar
    Rick Hammel

    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. Max Avatar

    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.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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