BLM Pinedale Field Office implements Anticline Adaptive Management
For PAPA Wildlife Monitoring and Mitigation Matrix
by Bureau of Land Management
January 16, 2011
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Pinedale Field Office (PFO) reaffirmed the conclusions of the University of Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (COOP) and implemented adaptive management (AM) for the Pinedale Anticline Project Area (PAPA) Wildlife Monitoring and Mitigation Matrix (Matrix) on Jan. 11.
The AM changes to the Matrix were made in response to the COOP review and in consideration to of comments from the public and a review team comprised of BLM and Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologists.
Mule deer, pronghorn, and sage-grouse thresholds found in the 2008 PAPA Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) Record of Decision (ROD) Matrix are affected. For mule deer, avoidance distance criteria will be removed from the Matrix since changes in avoidance do not trigger any mitigation action by itself. For pronghorn, habitat fragment size will be removed since changes in habitat availability do not trigger any mitigation action by itself. For sage-grouse, nesting success and habitat selection monitoring will be removed since recent research indicates nesting success does not differ significantly between disturbed and undisturbed areas.
The removal of these monitoring triggers from the Matrix will not affect the BLMís ability to detect undesirable changes and take appropriate action. Monitoring data, including avoidance distance for mule deer, habitat fragment size for pronghorn and nesting success for sage-grouse, will continue to be collected.
The COOP review and complete administrative record for these AM changes can be found at http://www.wy.blm.gov/jio-papo/papo/wildlife.htm.
The original SEIS ROD Matrix can be found at
http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/pfodocs/anticline/seis.html under Appendix B.
The final AM Memos for mule deer, pronghorn, and sage-grouse can be found on the following pages in addition to the Pinedale Anticline Project Office wildlife page link provided above:
For more information, please contact Mark Thonhoff at 307-367-5357 or Shane DeForest at 307-367-5302.
Editorís Note: According to BLM Public Affairs spokesperson Shelley Gregory, the PAWG did not have a scheduled quarterly meeting during the public comment period on these adaptive management changes to the Anticline. "Given the necessity to react quickly to the COOP review, there was not enough time to publish a Federal Register notice for a new PAWG meeting; thus, the PAWG as a whole did not comment on the changes. However, the PAWG was informed of the COOP review and of the general public comment period (which closed on Dec. 20) and members were invited to make comments as individual publics," Gregory said. The BLM changed PAWG to quarterly meetings in 2010 to reduce board burn-out and the belief that longer, in-depth meetings combined with field trips would afford the PAWG and public enough time to understand and meaningfully discuss issues on the Anticline. BLM says the quarterly meetings will allow the BLM "to involve the PAWG in a more constructive way and give it time to formulate the questions on which it needs advice/recommendations."