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Bridger-Teton: Where deer, pronghorn and grizzlies roam
Update: We are awaiting an environmental impact statement (EIS) from the Bridger-Teton National Forest regarding the authorization of energy development on 44,720 acres near Big Piney, Wyo. GYC believes no development should occur in this important wildlife and recreation area. Thousands of people have repeatedly joined us in asking the BTNF to make the right decision. We anticipate the EIS will be available later this year and we'll work for a final decision that protects this landscape.
Overview: After the passing of the Wyoming Range Legacy Act in 2009, which protected most of the 1.2-million-acre Wyoming and Salt River ranges from leasing and development, some oil and gas leases must still be dealt with – most notably the 44,720 acres near Big Piney.
We also continue to work with the Bridger-Teton to help implement a motorized travel plan that better protects some 250,000-acres of wildlife habitat between Bondurant and Moran. GYC led a coalition of five organizations that mobilized the public to gain a balanced decision in 2008 that closed many miles of damaging motorized routes through streams and important habitats. Many of the former routes still require on-the-ground hard work to restore the abused soils and plants. We help put together teams that rehab some of these areas each summer.
GYC will soon engage in a lengthy process in the Gros Ventre River watershed to try to gain an outcome that will prevent damage of important wildlife habitats by livestock. We are finalizing an intern report that focuses on the conservation status of cutthroat trout in this watershed and that will inform our participation in the upcoming Gros Ventre grazing EIS. Some of our 2007 work resulted in the buyout of the 178,000-acre Bacon Creek-Fish Creek cattle allotment in the Gros Ventre Valley. These areas are important for predator and prey species and cutthroat trout, and contain critical big-game winter range.
Project Goals: We will continue to work with such stakeholders as hikers, anglers, mountain bikers, hunters, horse packers, motorized enthusiasts, and agency representatives to maintain the integrity of key wildlife habitat on the Bridger-Teton.
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