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.