Support still needed for non-leasing decision
Friday, April 8 brought a welcome announcement from the Bridger-Teton National Forest. After rescinding the no lease decision in 2011 for oil and gas development on 44,720 acres in the Wyoming Range, the forest has spent five years gathering additional data and responding to opposition. The Bridger-Teton released a draft environmental impact statement incorporating that additional data last Friday. The 2016 direction through the plan’s preferred alternative is again to not lease those parcels.
This is positive news to the dozens of organizations, and thousands of members, of the Sportsmen for the Wyoming Range. For more than a decade, hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation interests have been sounding the alarm about impacts of oil and gas development along the Range’s western gateway. Our favorite trout fishing spots, mule deer and elk habitat, and backcountry adventures would have been significantly and directly impacted. No leasing has been the only viable decision for the thousands of sportsmen and sportswomen who value this local landscape.
We still need your support. Please provide input by visiting the Bridger-Teton National Forest’s comments page and register your voice for no leasing in the Wyoming Range. Comments are due by May 23. In the words of Tricia O’Connor, Bridger-Teton National Forest Supervisor, all comments are welcome, “especially those that are specific to benefits or impacts of this project on natural resource or social issues important to you.” Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org when you’ve sent your comments in. We would like to keep track of sportsmen and sportswomen who have gone on the record to guard the Wyoming Range.
The Forest Service needs visible and ample support from our community to buffer their intent against interests that would prefer to lease these parcels. Your comments, however brief, can make a tangible difference in realizing lasting protection for this awesome mountain range. Your voice counts!
Thank you for your continued support,
Sportsmen for the Wyoming Range