Wildlife Biologist funded for Oil & Gas
Position funded by BLM and US Forest Service
February 22, 2005
Since Feb. 1, a wildlife biologist has been working to minimize the impacts to wildlife from energy development in the Pinedale area thanks to funding from the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. The federal agencies’ funding covers the salary and benefits for the special position, which is a Game and Fish Department employee. The G&F supplies the vehicle and other equipment needed.
"With the intense level of energy development, this position is a benefit for all parties involved," said Vern Stelter, G&F habitat protection coordinator. The position coordinates the G&F’s activities with respect to oil and gas drilling in the Pinedale area including being the liaison to the BLM, USFS and private industry.
Somewhat unique to traditional G&F structure, the oil and gas biologist is working with both terrestrial and aquatic wildlife. Big game winter range, sage grouse, cutthroat trout and sensitive species are expected to be the major focus of the position.
"We appreciate the federal agencies’ willingness to partner for this critical position," Stelter said. "With this position the Game and Fish looks forward to a more efficient and streamlined process to deal with the impacts of energy development."
Dan Stroud, who has served as a G&F habitat biologist for 22 years including the last 16 years in Pinedale, was selected to fill the position.