BLM releases public meeting information for Proposed Public Lands Rule (posted 5/22/2023)
Promotes conservation efforts for all resources and considers impacts of climate change
Bureau of Land Management
WASHINGTON — The Bureau of Land Management has updated its schedule for five public meetings that will provide forums across the country for the public to learn more about the proposed Public Lands Rule )https://www.blm.gov/public-lands-rule and have questions answered.
The proposed Public Lands Rule, which was announced in late March, would provide tools for the BLM to protect healthy public lands in the face of increasing drought, wildfire and climate impacts; conserve important wildlife habitat and intact landscapes; better use science and data in decision-making; plan for thoughtful development; and better recognize unique cultural and natural resources on public lands.
The BLM intends to host two virtual and three in-person meetings to provide detailed information about the proposal. Members of the public will have an opportunity to ask questions that facilitate a deeper understanding of the proposal. The dates and cities of the meetings are:
Virtual meeting on Monday, May 15, 2023, from 5-7 p.m. MT
Register at https://swca.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_S4-EBLxqRHa-yikYQQUNQw)
Denver, Colorado, on Thursday, May 25, 2023, from 5-7 p.m. MT
Denver West Marriott, 1717 Denver West Blvd, Golden, Colorado
Albuquerque, New Mexico on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, from 5-7 p.m. MT
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, 2401 12th Street NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Reno, Nevada on Thursday, June 1, 2023, from 5-7 p.m. PT
Reno-Sparks Convention Center, 4950 S Virginia Street, Reno, Nevada
Virtual meeting on Monday, June 5, 2023, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. MT
Register at https://swca.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QwRH6XZeS6amUDI70FzriA
The proposal would help the BLM fulfill its mission, ensuring public lands and the resources they provide are available now and in the future. The proposed rule would build on the historic investments in public lands and waters, restoration and resilience, and clean energy deployment provided by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act. It would not prevent new or continuing recreational or commercial uses of our public lands, such as grazing, energy development, camping, climbing, and more.
"Our public lands are remarkable places that provide clean water, homes for wildlife, food, energy, and lifetime memories," said Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning. "We want to hear from our permittees as well as the millions of visitors who hunt, fish and recreate on our public lands on how to keep them healthy and available for generations to come."
In addition to these informational public meetings, the BLM wants to hear from the public on the proposed Public Lands Rule. To learn more about this proposed rule, or to provide comment, please visit the Conservation and Landscape Health rule on https://www.regulations.gov.
The public comment period is open until June 20, 2023.
Governor Mark Gordon launches inaugural podcast: The Morning Gather (posted 5/17/2023)
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon
CHEYENNE, WYOMING – Governor Mark Gordon is excited to announce the launch of his inaugural podcast, The Morning Gather.
In his first episode, host Governor Mark Gordon, director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department Brian Nesvik, and Muley Fanatic Foundation founder Joshua Coursey discuss how winter weather impacts wildlife and how different species are affected, as well as the efforts the Wyoming Game and Fish Department are currently taking to protect stressed wildlife. They also explore conservation efforts that are currently underway in Wyoming, from wildlife crossings and habitat treatments to stopover landscapes, invasive weeds, conservation easements, and habitat leasing.
Transparency and open communication with his constituents have always been cornerstones for Governor Gordon. The Morning Gather is a new platform for him to connect with citizens directly and share insightful conversations about Wyoming's future.
Join Governor Gordon as he gathers together with Wyoming leaders, experts, and everyday citizens to discuss the issues and topics that matter most to our communities. Every episode will explore the challenges and opportunities facing our state, from education to energy, healthcare to the economy.
Episode One of the podcast is available on the Governor’s website (https://governor.wyo.gov/podcast and will be streaming on Spotify soon.
SCSO launches Prepared Live (posted 5/15/2023)
SCSO launches Prepared Live Sublette County Sheriff’s Office
Sublette County Sheriff’s Office is excited to announce the launch of Prepared Live in our 9-1-1 Communication Center).
Developed by Prepared, the software enables our 9-1-1 Communication Center to livestream, receive multimedia, and location data from mobile callers in real-time. This addition to our technology suite will significantly improve our ability to effectively, and efficiently, respond to emergencies in the community.
First and foremost, the Prepared Live System is about saving lives. Prepared Live is another tool in our toolbox. Having live, real-time information from scenes will help to provide quicker and safer response services. We will be able to better respond to emergencies because we will have live real-time information from people who are on scene. Participation in video-chat during a call is completely voluntary and consent of the caller is required. If the caller consents, they will receive a livestream link via text from the dispatcher, enabling them to activate live video upon a click. It’s important to note that the video call function does not allow Sublette County 9-1-1 Communication Center access to the contents or settings of a caller’s phone.
This launch follows weeks of preparation and training to ensure that our Communication Officers and our team can properly utilize the software. Working side-by-side with the Prepared customer success team, we have created and adopted policies to ensure that Prepared Live is used effectively in various scenarios. Prepared, led by co-founders Mike, Dylan, and Neal, is a mission-driven organization with a passion for improving public safety. In creating an app to help mitigate school emergencies, the team discovered that valuable data is lost in existing 9-1-1 processes and set out to address the problem by inventing Prepared Live. Since public launch in October of 2021, the product has helped protect over 40 million people in 48 states. To learn more about Prepared and Prepared Live, visit Prepared911.com
USFS plans spring slash pile burns (posted 4/28/2023)
For Big Piney and Pinedale Ranger Districts
Bridger-Teton National Forest
The Bridger Teton National Forest will begin burning slash piles on the Big Piney and Pinedale Ranger Districts. Spring pile burning could begin as early as May 2, 2023, and continue through the end of May or early June, depending on weather, fuels conditions, and access.
These piles are located throughout both districts and are the product of the Forest Service hazardous fuels reduction program, which involves mechanical or hand thinning (removing trees to reduce forest density and improve forest health) and slash generated by timber sales, as well as other miscellaneous project work. Slash is the limbs, trucks, and other material that is piled by forest personnel or contractors and left to cure. Most of the wood is of small diameter and the piles are designed to burn efficiently so that all material is completely consumed.
Piles are only ignited when fire and fuels managers are confident that the project can be undertaken safely and successfully. Snow cover, fuel moisture, precipitation, wind, temperature, and available firefighter staffing are all taken into consideration before beginning a pile burn. Smoke, flames, and glowing embers are often visible, and are a normal part of pile burning operations. Snow and moist ground help contain the piles and firefighters patrol the area during and after the burn.
For more information, call the Big Piney Ranger District at 307-276-3375 or the Pinedale Ranger District at 307-367-4326.
Learn more about the Bridger-Teton National Forest and its fire and fuels programs on our website at https://www.usda.gov/btnf/ or http://www.tetonfires.com, https://www.facebook.com/BridgerTetonNF or Twitter https://twitter.com/BridgerTetonNF
Game and Fish Commission opens public comment on Chapter 44 (posted 4/21/2023)
Wyoming Game & Fish
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has opened a comment period and will be holding public meetings to gather input on proposed changes to Chapter 44, Regulation for Issuance of Licenses, Permits, Stamps, Tags, Preference Points and Competitive Raffle Chances.
Proposed changes to Chapter 44, include the following:
Establishment of three nonresident region general elk hunt areas.
Establishment of nonresident region general elk license quotas.
Written comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. on June 2, 2023.
In June 2022 the Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce recommended the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission establish nonresident general regions and nonresident general elk license quotas that takes into consideration: herd objectives, access to hunting opportunity and resident hunting experience and pressure.
How do these changes affect nonresidents and residents? Residents:
The proposal to establish nonresident general regions has no impact on the ability of resident hunters to purchase general licenses. Residents can purchase a general elk license over the counter if they do not already hold a type 1, 2, 3, 9, 0 or GEN elk license.
Residents will continue to be able to hunt in any general license area in the state.
Nonresident general license holders will be restricted to hunting in the nonresident region for which they drew a license.
While the proposed nonresident elk regions include limited quota hunt areas, nonresidents would only be permitted to hunt in areas designated as general and not within limited quota hunt areas.
Understanding the nonresident general elk license allocation proposal:
Game and Fish currently allocates 16 percent of the available limited quota, full-price elk licenses to nonresidents, plus the number of general elk licenses necessary to reach a total limit of 7,250 nonresident elk licenses in the initial drawing. The proposed regulation change will allow for more flexibility in the number of nonresident region general elk licenses issued. The 7,250 nonresident license limit was instituted in the 1980s and was based on the average number of nonresident license sales at the time. There was no biological purpose for this number. Since then the state elk population has increased significantly.
Written comments will be accepted through 5 p.m. June 2 at public meetings or by mailing: Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Regulations, 3030 Energy Lane, Casper, WY 82604 or online. Copies of the proposed regulation change are available on the department website and at the address above in accordance with Chapter 1 Regulation Governing Access to Public Records.
Written comments shall be presented to the Game and Fish Commission prior to their July 2023 meeting in Wheatland.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department supports the Americans with Disabilities Act. Every effort will be made for reasonable accommodations by contacting the nearest Game and Fish office.
Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approves 2023 hunting seasons (posted 4/21/2023)
Wyoming Game & Fish
The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission met in Casper April 17-18 to approve the annual hunting season regulations and quotas. After hearing season presentations and reviewing public comments, the Commission passed the 2023 hunting season regulations and quotas.
As a result of severe winter impacts, Game and Fish wildlife managers made significant adjustments to hunting season proposals in many areas of the state and proposed an overall decrease of 10,290 antelope licenses and 4,410 mule deer licenses. The finalized season information will be available on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website and Hunt Planner in May.
Game and Fish personnel provided the Commission with an update on the employee housing project in Jackson, the Game and Fish outreach program, and an overview of the large carnivore section’s current research, monitoring and management of large carnivores.
A full recording of the Commission meeting is available online.
The next Commission gathering is scheduled June 4-7 for a retreat at the Whiskey Mountain Conservation Camp in Dubois.
WYDOT to remove eight Twitter accounts (posted 4/19/2023)
Due to API policy changes, fees
Wyoming Department of Transportation
CHEYENNE, WYOMING – The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is removing eight of its Twitter accounts after the social media platform recently announced changes to its application programming interface platform.
The API platform allowed WYDOT to send automated tweets straight from the agency’s 511 tools, including travel alerts, crash alerts and road closure information. Twitter has recently announced changes to its API platform, including limiting the number of tweets per hour and implementing a fee system for those accounts.
"WYDOT’s accounts were created to give the public real-time updates on winter storms, crashes and other travel impacts," said Vince Garcia, WYDOT Geographic Information Systems/Intelligent Transportation System program manager. "So not only would the state have to pay a fee for each account, but we have concerns that the updates about rapidly changing conditions will be so limited that they will fail to reach the people who need them."
Fortunately, the same information is readily available to the public for free through WYDOT’s 511 Notify system and other 511 tools.
Users who follow the automated WYDOT accounts – @WYDOT_Central, @WYDOT_Northwest, @WYDOT_Southwest,
@WYDOT_Southeast, @WYDOT_Northeast, @WYDOT_I80, @WYDOT_I90,
@WYDOT_I25 – are encouraged to sign up for 511 Notify to continue to receive important road and weather condition information and alerts. The information will be the same, but it will be delivered as an email or text message rather than a tweet. The same information is also available via WYDOT’s 511 app, Wyoming 511, and the 511 travel information website, www.wyoroad.info.
WYDOT will continue to monitor Twitter’s API policy and will consider reinstating the accounts in the future.
"Statistically, WYDOT’s Twitter accounts are the least-used tool that we offer for road and travel information," Garcia said.
Accounts that are not automated, including @WYDOTNews, will remain active.
US Department of Health & Human Services to extend COVID-19 emergency medical countermeasures through 2024 (posted 4/19/2023)
Despite President Biden terminating the national emergency related to COVID-19 in early April, Secretary Becerra of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on April 19, 2023, he intends to issue an amendment to the declaration under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act for medical countermeasures against COVID-19 extending parts of their countermeasures for vaccines, tests and treatments until December, 2024. HHS intends to continue their efforts for another year and a half after the pandemic emergency has officially ended in order to "ensure an orderly transition" for Governors, state, local, Tribal, and territorial agencies, industry, and advocates. The amendment will also include measures and liability protections for administration of seasonal flu vaccines.
Changes that HHS plans to make include:
• Extending coverage for COVID-19 vaccines, seasonal influenza vaccines, and COVID-19 tests PREP Act immunity from liability will be extended through December 2024 to pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and pharmacy technicians to administer COVID-19 and seasonal influenza vaccines (to those individuals three and over, consistent with other requirements), and COVID-19 tests, regardless of any US Government agreement or emergency declaration.
Click on this link to read the entire statement and planned changes to PREP Act coverage: HHS Announces Intent to Amend the Declaration Under the PREP Act for Medical Countermeasures Against COVID-19 (April 14, 2023) US Department of Health and Human Services, www.hhs.gov media release
‘Can You Hear Me?’ Scam advisory (posted 4/12/2023)
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office is advising about a scam that has been circulating in our area recently and neighboring states. The victim receives a phone call and the first thing the caller asks is, "Can you hear me?" After the person says "Yes," the next thing the caller asks is "Is your name ‘insert name here’?". To which the victim usually says "Yes." At this point, the caller hangs up.
Since 2017, the Federal Trade Commission and other scam-alerting organizations have been warning about "Can You Hear Me?" scams. The point of the call is to get the victim to say "yes" during the call, and they will later use a recording of that answer to authorize unwanted charges on the victim’s accounts.
If you have already responded to this type of call, review all your statements such as from your bank, credit card lender, and telephone company for unauthorized charges. Anyone who believes they have been targeted by this scam should immediately report the incident to the FTC Report FraudCenter https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/.
Missing Person Scam
Another scam that has appeared locally such as on Sublette For Sale Facebook page and other groups is often a plea for help about a missing elderly person, child or pet in an emergency, but doesn’t have many details about when or where or contact information. If you are unsure if this is a real active case, check with the local Sheriff’s Office before repeating or sharing a post. Sharing the post might put your social media account in jeopardy.
Free Puppies to Forever Home Scam
Another scam targets media businesses that offer classified ad services as well as animal-lovers who see these scam ads. These are requests for ads about free puppies and other pets to give away. They say things such as ‘Free to forever homes’ and give a name, email and phone number, but no location information. Before posting those classifieds, do a quick Google search on the name and phone number and see if they come back as repeated ads in multiple other places. It will become quickly apparent if this is a local person or someone blasting ads all over the country. Often the ad has identical wording in ads placed years apart. These animals don’t stay puppies that long, so be wary. For animal lovers who see these ads and want to respond, note that the catch is they say the puppy is free, but the owner just wants a "rehoming" fee, which can amount to hundreds of dollars. They give some explanation like they are moving into an apartment that won’t allow pets, or they need the puppies gone by some certain date. Victims who respond and agree to the payment often pay through online apps. They never get the pet, or the owner says before they can get the animal to the victim, the dog owner asks for even more money for some reason. Don’t be fooled by the picture of the cute animal along with the ad. These photos are often stolen from legitimate pet source’s online pages. Before giving out any money, do a Google search on the person’s name, email, or phone number, or do a reverse image search on the picture to see if it has been lifted. Better yet, instead of responding to a classified ad, adopt a real pet you can meet in person and fall in love with at a local animal shelter.
Governor Gordon challenges EPA’s deferral of Wyoming’s Ozone Transport Plan (posted 4/8/2023)
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon
Yesterday, (Wednesday, April 5, 2023) Governor Mark Gordon, through the Attorney General’s office, submitted a petition for review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to defer action on the State of Wyoming’s state implementation plan (SIP) for ozone transport to the Tenth Circuit Court. This follows the March 14th petition by Wyoming to reconsider and stay the effect of the EPA’s deferral disapproval of the State’s plan.
The petition illustrates how the EPA arbitrarily deferred Wyoming’s SIP by overlooking their own ozone modeling data and applying it differently to Wyoming than in their decisions on other states.
"Wyoming is not a significant contributor to ozone pollution in our neighboring states. Data supports the work that went into our state plan," Governor Gordon stated. "This is yet another example of this Administration picking and choosing examples which are intended to punish fossil energy-producing states."
Governor Gordon previously discussed with EPA Administer Michael Regan that the current ozone transport rule violates the principles of cooperative federalism, does not accommodate all forms of energy development, and is disproportionately applied to western states.
Pneumonia believed to be cause of pronghorn deaths south of Pinedale (posted 3/11/2023)
Approximately 200 animals have died since mid-February
Wyoming Game & Fish
PINEDALE, WYOMING - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in collaboration with the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, is investigating a rare disease outbreak in pronghorn in western Wyoming. Game and Fish is estimating that approximately 200 animals have died since mid-February, centered around the southern end of the Mesa south of Pinedale. Preliminary lab results identify Mycoplasma bovis as the pathogen causing the mortalities.
Mycoplasma bovis should not be confused with Mycobacterium bovis that causes tuberculosis in cattle. They are two unrelated bacteria that cause very different diseases. The source of infection of the M.bovis and the ability to predict the duration and the geographic distribution of this outbreak in pronghorn is unknown at this time.
"While reported M. bovis outbreaks causing mortality in wildlife are rare, this is not the first occurrence of M. bovis being linked to pronghorn mortalities in Wyoming," said Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Disease Specialist Hank Edwards.
The first reported cases of pneumonia in pronghorn occurred during the winters of 2019 and 2020 near Gillette, involving at least 460 animals. Those outbreaks started at a similar time in mid-February and then tapered down by the beginning of April.
Game and Fish continues to monitor for this disease across the state. With the exception of the Gillette area, this bacteria has not been reported to be associated with significant mortality in other wildlife populations in Wyoming.
To date, this pathogen has not been shown to affect domestic pets such as horses, dogs or cats and is not considered a human health risk. Local Game and Fish personnel will periodically remove carcasses and euthanize dying pronghorn in relatively accessible areas when disturbance to other healthy wintering pronghorn is minimal to help reduce the prevalence of this pathogen on the landscape.