Bridger-Teton cancels Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Stanley Energy
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
May 27, 2008
Responding to public concerns, the Bridger-Teton Forest Supervisor made the decision Friday to cancel the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Stanley Energy and perform required environmental analysis on oil and gas leasing in the Wyoming Range in-house.
“Public trust and confidence are essential to our success as stewards of the Bridger-Teton National Forest,” said Forest Supervisor Kniffy Hamilton.
“Mistakes were made in administrating a proponent funded environmental analysis which has compromised that trust. It is critical we take immediate action to regain the public’s trust.”
To remedy the situation the Bridger-Teton National Forest will take two important steps:
1. Cancel the MOU between the Forest Service and Stanley Energy, who agreed to fund the environmental analysis. The Forest will complete the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement in-house using appropriated funds.
2. Post to the Forest’s website notes from planning meetings attended by representatives from Stanley Energy and the cooperating agencies involved in the project.
The notes will be available on the Bridger-Teton website in the near future. “We look forward to continuing to work closely with the public as we complete this important leasing analysis for portions of the Wyoming Range,” said Hamilton.
The Bridger-Teton National Forest is taking this extraordinary step, not only to restore public trust in this particular environmental analysis, but to ensure its ability to use proponent funded environmental analysis in the future. Proponent funded environmental analysis is an important and commonly used tool that promotes governmental efficiency and reduces the cost to taxpayers.
A draft of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) is expected to be completed by mid-September 2008. After a period of public comment, the final SEIS and record of decision will be complete by mid-December of this year.