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Pinedale Online!
Pinedale, Wyoming  •  www.PinedaleOnline.com
A "Slice of Life" view of Pinedale and Sublette County, Wyoming
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Lupine
Lupine Dave Bell has posted more pictures in his photo gallery of his recent hikes in early July. Here is lupine flowers growing in the Wyoming Range mountains. Click on this link to see more of his scenic photos: Dave Bell Photo Gallery Photo by Dave Bell.
Columbine
Columbine Wildflowers are in full bloom everywhere, one of the many joys of summer. Pictured above is a columbine. Click on this link to see more scenic photos of the area: Dave Bell Photo Gallery Photo by Dave Bell.
Gas Prices
July 20, 2014
Pinedale3.829
Big Piney3.759
Wyoming3.611
USA3.578
Regular unleaded average.
WY & US provided by AAA.
Diesel Prices
July 20, 2014
Pinedale4.179
Big Piney4.129
Wyoming3.973
USA3.865
WY & US provided by AAA.
Sublette County Fair July 26 & 27
Saturay Highlights:
8AM: 5K Fun Run
9AM: Sublette Co Bred & Raised Steer Show
11AM: Round Robin Showmanship
Noon: Buyers Appreciation Luncheon
1:30PM: Junior Livestock Sale
12:30 & 4:30PM: Jared Rogerson
8PM: Love and Theft Concert with J.T. Hodges as the opening act. Tickets $25.
Sunday, July 27:
Noon: Barrel Race
There is lots more going on at Fair,
www.sublettecountyfair.com click here for complete Fair schedule
Headlines:

Pinedale Local:

Senator Enzi Meet & Greet in Pinedale August 12
Ducks Unlimited Banquet & Auction August 23
Preliminary Hearing held for Brian McDonald
McDonald bound over for further court proceedings
Town of Pinedale launches new website
Grizzly Bear relocated from north of Pinedale
Republican Meet & Greets July 30 & 31st
Sublette County Fair Art Show & Sale July 19-26th
White Pine season lift passes on sale
BLM sets PAPA annual planning meeting for air, water and socioeconomics Aug. 5th
Muddy and clear

Front Page Story Archive

Visit our web site!

Pinedale DEQ Webcam Pinedale DEQ Web Cam
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WYDOT US 191
Trappers Point Webcam
Cora WYDOT Web Cam
Cora WYDOT Cam

Bondurant Webcam
Bondurant Ranch Web Cam
Dell Fork Ranch

WYDOT Web Cam on US 189 north of Marbleton at the junction with Hwy 351  - view looking south
US 189 north of Marbleton - View looking south

WYDOT Web Cam on US 191 at Sand Draw - view looking north
US 191 at Sand Draw - View looking north

I-80 Webcams
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Green River Classic Sled Dog Race

Wyoming Senior Winter Games

Pinedale Fine Arts Council


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Places to Go

Destinations-Fun Places to Go
Fremont Lake
Green River Lakes
New Fork Lakes
Gannett Peak
Bridger Wilderness
Soda Lake
Clear Creek Natural Bridge

Museum of the Mtn Man
Green River Valley Museum
Pinedale Aquatic Center

 

Pictures

Dave Bell Scenic Pictures
Scott Almdale Photos
Fred Pflughoft Photos
Ben Franklin Slide Show

Green River Lakes Photos
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Fremont Lake Photos
Half Moon Lake Photos
Bridger Wilderness Photos
Pictures of Pinedale

 

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Snow & Weather Data:
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Blind Bull Summit
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Big Sandy
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Pinedale Weather

Other Area Links

Events: Click for event information
July 19-26: Sublette County Fair - At the Sublette County Fairgounds, north of Big PIney/Marbleton. Great fun all week! www.sublettecountyfair.com

July 26: Sublette County Fire Training Facility Open House - In Marbleton, 1506 E 5th Street starting at 11AM. Hamburgers and hot dogs served until 1PM. Facility tours, fire truck rides, fire extinguisher demonstrations, fire prevention booth, raffles. Free-will donation. Come learn how you can help train a firefighter. Hosted by Sublette County firefighters. www.SubletteCountyFirefighters.com.
July 26: Concert: Love and Theft - Sublette County Fair, Featuring opening act JT Hodges. 8PM At the Sublette County Fairgrounds. In the Ag Center. Tickets $25 available online at www.sublettecountyfair.com, at the Fair Office, at Office Outlet stores in Pinedale and Big Piney, and at the door.
August 9: Kendall Valley Volunteer Fire Department BBQ -
August 15: SAFV Task Force 11th Annual Art Auction - Friday at 5:30 pm in the Lovatt Room of the Sublette County Library in Pinedale. All proceeds benefit victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.
Sept. 27: Pinedale Half Marathon - www.PinedaleHalfMarathon.com

Click here for more Events Year-round event calendar


National Weather Service
Call 5-1-1
SNOTELS (Wyoming snow depth info)
Pinedale Road, Travel & Webcam links

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Click here for a video about the many things Sublette County has to offer!
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GETTING HERE:

Wyoming Road Report:
Dial: 5-1-1
1-888-996-7623
http://www.wyoroad.info

VISITOR INFO:

Sublette County
Chamber of Commerce

Sublette County Visitor Center
19 E Pine St
1-888-285-7282
307-367-2242
sublettechamber@wyoming.com
www.sublettechamber.com

VisitPinedale.org
Pinedale tourism website

Sublette County
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What is Pinedale Online?

Pinedale Online is Pinedale, Wyoming on the web. We give our viewers, locals and out-of-area visitors, a "slice of life" snapshot window into our world view of what is happening in Pinedale. Visit us for current local news on what is happening, photos of local events, links to area businesses and services and more. We are long-time area residents and are happy to answer questions if you are planning a visit to our area.

_______________


Natural Gas Industry Info:

WyoPipeline.com

Sublette County Land Use Policy Process

Wolf Watch, by Cat Urbigkit

NEWS AND UPDATES    (Click here for archived news stories)
Feature Businesses:

Absentee voting available through August 18 (posted 7/24/14)
Wyoming will hold its 2014 Primary Election on Tuesday, August 19th. Any person who expects to be absent from his place of residence on Election Day, or who cannot be present at his precinct polling place on Election Day because of illness, injury, disability, old age or tenets of his religion, may apply for an absentee ballot in person, in writing, or by telephone, at the Office of the County Clerk, Sublette County Courthouse, P.O. Box 250, Pinedale, WY 82941, 307-367-4372 or 307-276-3827, or mary.lankford@sublettewyo.com. Absentee ballots may be requested through August 18, 2014, at the County Clerk's Office in the courthouse in Pinedale.


Wyoming school districts form coalition to reinstate annual inflation-adjusted funding (posted 7/23/14)
Superintendents meet with Governor Mead to discuss effect on students and to seek support
Sublette County School District #1 media release
PINEDALE – A coalition of seven Wyoming school districts have joined together to advocate for the reinstatement of an inflation adjustment to the school funding program, according to Dr. Boyd Brown, superintendent of Campbell County School District #1. The coalition includes Campbell County School District #1, Carbon County School District #1, Johnson County School District #1, Sheridan County School District #1, Sublette County School District #1, Sweetwater County School District #2, and Teton County School District #1 – a diverse group of small, medium and large districts throughout the state.

Together, Wyoming’s 48 school districts have not received cumulative inflation adjustments for the last four years, three of which account for approximately $151 million (FY 2011, 2012 and 2013), forcing many schools to eliminate, delay or not fully fund essential reading, foreign language, art, remediation, academic enrichment and technology programs, among others. New curriculum programs have also been delayed, and many schools have had to eliminate teaching and other professional positions.

"Inflation occurs whether we like it or not," said Brown. "School building heat and electricity, various types of required insurance, and many other fixed-budget line items continue to increase year over year – just as they do in Wyoming’s households. Without cumulative inflation adjustments to our annual funding we have been unable to cover the basic costs of running schools throughout the state. This lack of funding is resulting in increased class sizes and creating disparities in the quality of education being delivered to Wyoming’s students."

"Legislation regarding inflation-adjusted funding for Wyoming school districts is already in place," said Brown. "We’re respectfully requesting that the legislature bring forth a bill that will provide for an automatic, annual, cumulative inflation adjustment. This will allow school districts to plan ahead as student count grows, offer critical and increasingly challenging educational programming, and hire and retain the best teachers – all of which is essential to the very purpose of K-12 education in Wyoming: to prepare all Wyoming students for college and/or the rigors of the workplace in today’s skills-based, competitive economy."

Governor Mead met with several superintendents and business managers from the coalition on July 9 to discuss how the lack of cumulative inflation adjustments in annual school funding for the last four fiscal years is affecting students throughout Wyoming. The seven-district coalition is also working closely with its local legislators to discuss how Wyoming’s students are being adversely affected and to seek solutions.

"I appreciated the opportunity to meet with these superintendents and hear their proposal. Meeting with them showed me that we have strong leadership in our local school districts," Governor Matt Mead said.

During the coalition’s meeting with Governor Mead he requested additional information from school districts about how the loss of inflation adjustments is hurting Wyoming’s students. Specifically, he asked for further updates about the loss of technology support and readiness, and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programming. These are areas of focus for Governor Mead aimed at preparing students and diversifying and expanding Wyoming’s economy.

As a result of the lack of inflation-adjustments, Sheridan County School District #1 has lost a total of 23 staff members, which is a 12.5% workforce reduction, while student population increased from 919 in fiscal year 2011 to 957 in fiscal year 2014. "Our certified teaching staff losses have caused an increase in the state mandated K-3 16:1 class size to 17.4:1," said Marty Kobza, superintendent of Sheridan County School District #1. "We have also eliminated certain reading, science, art, technology and enrichment programs, and remainunable to launch our STEM programming in any substantial way.I believe Governor Mead, Senator Enzi and many of our legislators agree – STEM programming is essential to our student’s success in Wyoming and beyond."

"We appreciate Governor Mead’s interest and support of education in Wyoming," said Brown. "We look forward to working with him and our local legislators to identify and implement a timely solution."

Related Links:
www.pinedaleschools.org Sublette County School District #1


EPA decides to cancel wage garnishing rule (posted 7/16/14)
Comments from Wyoming legislators
EPA decides to cancel wage garnishing rule
Comments from Wyoming legislators

Senator Barrasso applauds EPA decision to cancel wage garnishing rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today (Wednesday, July 16, 2014), U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo) released the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to withdraw its rule to garnish Americans’ wages:

"In a rare moment of rationality, the EPA has decided to pull the plug on its outrageous attempt to bypass the courts and garnish Americans’ wages. I’m pleased that the Agency actually listened to Americans’ strong opposition and canceled this power grab.

"Now it’s time for the EPA to also pay attention to Americans who are speaking out against new regulations that will damage our economy and put more people out of work."

Background:

On July 10th, Senator Barrasso joined Senator David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) in sending a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy calling on the Agency to withdraw its direct final rule on administrative wage garnishment. (letter: http://www.epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=a16d239d-2a9d-4fa8-94e1-b3f81994702c)

Senator Mike Enzi’s comments:
EPA backs off on wage-garnishment proposal

Enzi calls for continued vigilance

Washington, D.C. - After receiving "adverse" comments from U.S. Senators Mike Enzi, John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., and David Vitter, R-La., the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided to withdraw its direct final rule on administrative wage garnishment, which would allow the EPA to collect money from private citizens without first obtaining a court order.

"This is good news for Wyoming and all those who believe in private property rights, but this is an agency driven by a relentless and extreme environmental agenda. I’m sure it’s already taking steps to get this rule finalized via a longer process," said Enzi.

Enzi, Barrasso, Senators Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., John Thune, R-S.D., and others were also in the process of introducing a Resolution of Disapproval on EPA wage garnishment rule. The House Appropriations Committee attached an amendment to an appropriations bill this week that would prohibit the EPA wage-garnishment rule.

"The outcry against this Independence Day weekend sneak attack was swift and loud from both sides of Capitol Hill, but we must stay active. The EPA will. It’s already in the process of trying to expand its control to state and private water and it’s seeking to kill coal and all the jobs and energy that go along with that industry. Right now the agency has almost 50 open proposed rules," Enzi said. "The public also has the ability to comment on proposed EPA rules. It’s important for people to let this agency know it’s not OK for it to take away their freedoms."

Related Links:
Senators: EPA grants itself excessive authority with new rule to garnish wages from private citizens July 14, 2014


Senators: EPA grants itself excessive authority with new rule to garnish wages from private citizens (posted 7/14/14)
Wyoming Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso
Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, July 10th, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, along with Sens. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) and John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In the letter, the senators request that the agency withdraw its direct final rule on administrative wage garnishment, which would allow the EPA to collect money from private citizens without first obtaining a court order.

"While we recognize the government’s legitimate interest in efficiently and effectively pursuing delinquent debt, EPA’s new wage garnishment procedures provide an agency prone to regulatory abuses with even more power over Americans. Individuals who face threats of ruinous fines from the agency may now have to think twice before challenging EPA over its regulatory jurisdiction," wrote the senators.

"It’s ironic that as we were preparing to celebrate Independence Day and our freedoms, the EPA was quietly seeking another way to take away some of those freedoms," said Enzi. "I appreciate Senator Vitter’s leadership in the effort to rein in this abuse."

"The EPA’s latest regulatory overreach is another one-two punch to responsible Americans who are trying to provide for their families. First, this out of control agency can fine you hundreds of thousands of dollars for simply building a pond on your own land. Now, the EPA is trying to bypass the courts and force your employers to garnish your wages to cover their expensive fines," said Barrasso. "Our letter makes it clear that the agency should not move forward with this rule. Americans across the country need to join us in contacting the EPA immediately and telling them that their rule is dead on arrival. We will work together to do everything possible to make sure this rule never takes effect."

In the letter, the senators note the case of a private landowner in Wyoming who received an EPA compliance order with terms threatening fines of up to $187,500 per day for building a pond on his property. The senators also note that case of a West Virginia poultry farmer whom EPA threatened with civil penalties of up to $37,500 per day because stormwater, which had flowed across her property, ended up in a "water of the United States." The senators note EPA’s new garnishment rule could chill challenges to similar regulatory abuses.


Rare 1826 William Ashley journal
A newly-discovered 1826 journal by William Ashley is on special loan and on display at the Museum of the Mountain Man. Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal 2014 author Jay Buckley will give a talk about this rare journal on Friday, July 11th at 2PM at the Museum.
Newly-discovered 1826 William Ashley Journal on display at the Museum of the Mountain Man (posted 7/10/11)
Talk about the journal on Friday, July 11th
The Museum of the Mountain Man is excited to have a very special exhibit on display this summer: A newly-discovered 1826 journal by William Ashley. The journal is on loan from the Campbell House Museum in Saint Louis, Missouri.

This unknown journal details Ashley’s journey starting at the mouth of the Kansas River on the Missouri River on March 27, 1826 and ending at Independence Rock and Devil’s Gate on the Sweetwater River in what is now Wyoming on June 2, 1826.

The trip was Ashley’s last trip to the Rocky Mountains on his way to the 1826 Cache Valley rendezvous in present day Utah where he would sell his fur trade company to Jedadiah Smith, David Jackson and William Sublette. The journal includes a narrative section of daily activities as well as various business and account records before and after the trip.

The journal was preserved by Ashley’s clerk Robert Campbell and later mistakenly thought to have been written by him. Having been lost since 1938, it was donated to the Robert Campbell House Museum in 2005 by Karl Deibel, the son of a secretary in the law firm that administered the Campbell estate in 1938.

The full journal has been reproduced in the 2014 Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal with a historical context by Jay Buckley. During research for publication, it became clear the journal was written by William Ashley filling a gap in the earliest records of the mountain fur trade.

Jay Buckley is a guest speaker at the Museum of the Mountain Man and will give a talk about the journal and his article on it at 2:00PM on Friday, July 11th at the Museum. Anyone who wishes to have this year’s authors autograph their copy of the Journal, and missed the booksigning on Friday evening, can meet the authors again between 2-4PM on Friday during the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal author presentations. Journals are available for $25 in the Museum gift shop. The talks are free.

Click here for a complete schedule of the talks and programs at the Museum of the Mountain Man during Green River Rendezvous Days: Museum Schedule of Events


Feds assess dog breeds to protect livestock herds from predator depredation (posted 7/8/14)
Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
Federal government researchers are testing a variety of larger livestock guardian dog breeds to learn if they can better protect livestock herds from wolf depredations.

Taking on an adult grizzly bear or a pack of wolves is a lot to ask of a livestock protection dog, but it’s a task they willingly take to protect their herds from predation. For centuries, livestock protection dogs have helped ranchers protect livestock from coyotes, feral dogs, foxes, and mountain lions. Without them, thousands of sheep, lambs, and calves would be killed or injured each year.

Livestock protection dogs grow up and live with their herd, patrolling the perimeters of grazing areas to ward of potential predators. Now, with the recovery and expansion of populations of grizzly bears and wolves, current breeds of livestock protection dogs— like the Great Pyrenees, Komondors, and Akbash— are losing many of the fights. They are no match for these larger predators.

To help producers in western States cope with the rising number of large carnivores on the landscape, USDA’s Wildlife Services (WS) program and its research arm the National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) are leading an effort to identify more suitable breeds of livestock protection dogs. In 2013, NWRC researchers began a multi-year study to determine the effectiveness of larger, more assertive European dog breeds at protecting livestock from grizzly bears and wolves in Idaho and Montana. WS Deputy Administrator William Clay recently directed that this project be expanded to Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

"Finding suitable dog breeds for use as livestock protection dogs against wolves and bears not only helps us safeguard livestock and the livelihoods of ranchers, but also enhances and encourages coexistence between people and large predators" states Deputy Administrator Clay.

Researchers and their partners are importing young Kangal, Karakachan, and Cão de Gado Transmontano dogs from Europe and placing them with producers to acclimate and bond to sheep. The dogs’ movements and behaviors are monitored using global position system (GPS) collars and direct observations. Care is taken to monitor for negative behaviors in the dogs, such as aggression towards other dogs, livestock, or humans or an inability to bond to livestock.

Data is also being gathered on wolf and grizzly bear activities and movements in the study areas. Researchers hope to learn whether the European breeds can protect livestock from wolves and bears while also exhibiting appropriate temperaments for living with livestock in pens and on open lands.


BLM schedules Riley Ridge to Natrona Pipeline public scoping meetings (posted 6/30/14)
BLM extends comment deadline to August 1
Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rock Springs Field Office has scheduled public scoping meetings for the proposed 243-mile hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide pipeline from Riley Ridge, 18 miles southwest of Big Piney, Wyoming, to the Natrona Hub, 30 miles west of Casper, Wyoming.

• July 14 - Holiday Inn, 1675 Sunset Dr., Rock Springs, Wyo.
• July 15 - Marbleton Town Hall, 10700 Highway 189, Marbleton
• July 16 - Rodeway Inn/Pronghorn Lodge, 150 E. Main St., Lander, Wyo.
• July 17 - Ramada Plaza Riverside, 300 W. F St., Casper

All meetings will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. BLM specialists and project representatives will be on hand to provide information, answer questions and collect public comments regarding the proposed pipeline route, identified issues and potential impacts and mitigation.

The BLM is extending the scoping period from July 9 to Aug. 1 to allow additional time for the submission of public comments following the scoping meetings. Written comments identifying specific issues, concerns, ideas or mitigation opportunities for consideration in the environmental impact statement should be emailed to BLM_WY_RRNP@blm.gov with "Public Comment" in the subject line; faxed to 307-352-0329; or mailed or delivered to the BLM, Attn: Stephanie Anderson, 280 Hwy. 191 N., Rock Springs WY 82901.

Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

Related documents can be reviewed at the Rock Springs Field Office, 280 Hwy. 191 N., Rock Springs, Wyoming, or online at www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/documents/rsfo/RRNP.html.

For more information, please contact Jim Stobaugh at 775-861-6478 or jstobaug@blm.gov.

Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the individual listed above during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the below individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.


Wild Horses an Endangered Species? (posted 6/20/14)
The Cloud Foundation press release
Friends of Animals (FoA) and The Cloud Foundation have filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list North American wild horses on public lands as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act (WHBA), which was passed in 1971, has failed to protect our wild horses. Six states have already lost their wild horse populations - Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

"Misclassification of wild horses as a non-native species is politically, not scientifically driven," said Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director of The Cloud Foundation. "Wild horses are severely endangered but without recognition of current scientific evidence of their native status, they could become extinct."

In the early 1900's, two to five million wild horses freely roamed across America, says Jenni Barnes, staff attorney, FoA's Wildlife Law Program.

"Now there are less than 35,000 on public lands, where they are supposed to be protected," Barnes said. "The petition states that these few remaining horses are divided into even smaller herds, whose populations are so low that they are susceptible to being wiped out completely by a chance event or change in the environment. Instead of protecting these horses, or just leaving them alone, a government agency, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), plans to remove even more horses from the range with expensive and cruel tactics, such as helicopter driving."

BLM is obligated, under WHBA, to protect wild free-roaming horses as an "integral part of the natural system of public lands." BLM claims that wild horses need to be removed from public lands to protect rangeland health. However the vast majority of public land is open to livestock grazing, which causes far more damage to the land.

"The tragedy of horse roundups exists because the BLM appears devoted to turning arid western public lands into feedlots for cows and sheep to appease cattle producers," said Priscilla Feral, President of FoA. "Friends of Animals finds this morally and ecologically reprehensible, as wild horses are driven off lands to leave the bulk of water, forage and space for two domestic animals owned by ranchers.

"We oppose the BLM's scheme of privatizing wild horses and insist all roundups end."

Most people do not realize that instead of protecting these horses, BLM has rounded up-forcibly driven off the land and put in holding facilities-more than 200,000 horses since the WHBA was passed. And this is not just an issue of importance to American's living out west.

"Everyone's tax dollars contribute to the animal abuse caused by roundups," Barnes said. "In the 2013 fiscal year, BLM spent $4.8 million on gathers and removals and spent $46.2 million on holding costs. A report by the National Academy of Science concluded 'the continuation of business-as-usual practices will be expensive and unproductive for BLM.'"

From the holding facilities, the horses are not supposed to be sent to slaughter. However, there have been reports that indicate that is what happens when some of them are "adopted." There is also mounting fear, Friends of Animals says, that the government will start to kill horses in holding facilities, yet another threat pushing wild horses toward extinction.

"Every time the government restricts their habitat or takes them away from the range, it disrupts horses' social bonds and damages the overall fitness of the herds," Barnes said. "However, saving wild horses in North America and letting them roam freely could bring balance back to our ecosystems. For example, wild horses can reduce fire risk by eating dry shrubs and help disperse and fertilize plant seeds through their droppings."

Related Links:
Read the petition to list here - The Cloud Foundation


FS seeks comment on Over-Snow Vehicles (posted 6/19/14)
USFS press release
The U.S. Forest Service is set to publish a Federal Register Notice seeking public comment on a proposal that would help standardize where and when over-snow vehicles, such as snowmobiles, are used on national forests and grasslands.

"Over-the-snow access and recreation is an appropriate use of public lands, and we strive to offer a variety of opportunities for that," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "We believe it is essential that the public be engaged in decisions regarding travel management on the forests and grasslands, and we encourage the public to review the proposal and provide comments to help improve the final rule."

Motor vehicle use on national forests and grasslands is governed by the Travel Management Rule which provides for a system of roads, trails and areas that are designated for motor vehicles. Over-snow vehicles—vehicles designed for use over snow and that run on a track and/or a ski or skis—are currently treated differently from other motor vehicles by giving forest and grassland supervisors the discretion to develop a similar system for over-snow vehicles. In 2013, a federal court ruled that this violates Executive Order 11644, "Use of off-road vehicles on public lands." The court ordered that the Forest Service must regulate over-snow use, but does have the discretion to determine where and when over-snow vehicle use can occur on agency lands.


In accordance with the court's ruling, the Federal Register notice proposes amending the existing Travel Management Rule to establish consistent guidance for how forests and grasslands decide the appropriate use for over-snow vehicles. Over-snow vehicles are used for recreational purposes as well as work tasks that include gathering firewood or subsistence hunting.

The Federal Register Notice for the proposal is scheduled to be published Wednesday, June 18, 2014. The public will have 45 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register to comment on the proposed revisions. The Forest Service intends to publish the final rule change by Sept. 9, 2014.

Nationally, the Forest Service manages over 200,000 miles of roads and 47,000 miles of trails that are open to motor vehicle use. The roads and trails vary greatly, from single-track trails used by motorcycles to roads designed for high-clearance vehicles such as logging trucks.

The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the U.S. Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency also has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

Related Links:
USFS Proposal - Frequently Asked Questions


WYO Wolf Harvest Tally Rises (posted 6/27/14)
Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
Since the start of 2014, seventeen wolves have been taken in Wyoming's predator zone (June 13), according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

In the 2103 wolf trophy hunting season, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department reports that a total of 24 wolves were taken in the fall 2013 trophy wolf hunt (of a total quota of 26). In addition, 39 wolves were harvested in the predator zone in 2013.

In 2012, 42 wolves were killed in Wyoming's trophy game areas (of a total quota of 52), while 25 were taken in the predator zone of the state.

Related Links:
Wolf Harvest Table - WG&F Harvest Summary
Wolf Watch - by Cat Urbigkit


WYO Landowners Sue Anti-Grazing Activists (posted 6/14/14)
Press release
On Friday, June 13, 2014, fifteen landowners in Fremont County, Wyoming and Lincoln County, Wyoming filed a civil trespass lawsuit in Wyoming District Court, Fremont County, against Western Watersheds Project, Inc. (WWP) and Jonathan Ratner, WWP Director for Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, and John Does 1-10 with the Western Watersheds Project, Inc. for intentionally and without landowner permission trespassing and entering private property. The Plaintiffs in the case are seeking a permanent injunction to stop further unauthorized trespass against their private property. The Plaintiffs are also seeking recovery of actual, nominal and punitive damages.

According to Western Watersheds Project, Inc.’s website, "Policy Memo Number 2" is "To Do: Get all cows and sheep off public lands ASAP!" In order to advance the agenda of WWP, the Defendants were willing to break laws by illegally trespassing on private property.

"In many areas in Wyoming, private land is interspersed with federal lands. We (Wyoming private landowners) have typically allowed public access through our private lands," said Anjie McConnell with Frank Ranches. "Allowing public access is a property owner’s choice."

"For instance, if you are not comfortable allowing someone into your home you are able to tell them "no" and close the door," She explained. "Landowners have the same rights and the ability to say "no" to groups and individuals that knowingly trespass; including those trying to advance an agenda against multiple-use of federal lands."

Trespasses by WWP occurred while collecting and submitting water quality samples to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Trespasses also occurred while collecting range monitoring data.

According to the lawsuit (Complaint), in June 2005 and May 2010, Ratner, on behalf of WWP, submitted to the DEQ a "Sampling and Analysis Plan" (SAP) for the collection of water quality data. "The signed 2005 SAP and the 2010 SAP
affirmatively state that all water quality monitoring will be in compliance with Wyoming’s Credible Data Act of 1999," wrote Attorney Karen Budd-Falen. "Additionally, the SAP’s state the sampling sites will be on public lands with legal public access."

According to the Complaint, when the latitude/longitude coordinates for the individual water quality site locations provided by Defendants were placed on a land ownership map, circumstantial evidence shows the Defendants trespassed upon the Plaintiff’s private property.

"Additionally, two of the water monitoring site locations were illegally located on the private lands belonging to two of the Plaintiffs," She continued. "Because the Defendants were required to use GPS equipment to note the locations of their water quality monitoring sites, Defendants knew or should have known that they were trespassing on private property to access these sites," Budd-Falen explained.

"Landowners are not comfortable having an extreme biased organization, that has not demonstrated the professional qualifications to collect credible data, trespassing their lands," Budd-Falen continued.

Additionally, the Defendant trespassed on State lands and was notified on April 1, 2014 by the Director of the Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments that collection of monitoring data on Wyoming State trust lands was prohibited by law and that any continued unauthorized data collections may constitute trespassing.

Punitive damages are being sought because of the continued and habitual trespass by the Defendants. The Complaint states: "Punitive damages are proper where there has been an aggravated disregard of another’s rights and where the imposition of punitive damages will tend to prevent this type of violation in the future. In this case, Defendants wilfully and wantonly acted, in reckless disregard for the consequences, and in complete and utter disregard for Plaintiffs’ property rights."

"It is of great concern to us when an individual or an organization habitually trespasses on our private lands," McConnell oncluded. "It should also be of great concern to all people who own, use and enjoy lands and value open spaces in Wyoming."

Accessing land without permission is against the law and a violation of the basic rights of property owners. For this reason, the Plaintiffs in this lawsuit have the support of the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts, Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, Wyoming Stock Growers Association and Wyoming Wool Growers Association.


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