BLM seeks input on mule deer habitat

COURTESY PHOTO / Game and Fish

The Bureau of Land Management and  Wyoming Game and Fish will host public input meetings in Kemmerer and Cokeville to discuss mule deer habitat in Lincoln County.

KEMMERER — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Kemmerer Field Office, in cooperation with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, invites the public to provide input on a proposal to improve the quantity and quality of mule deer habitat. The plan calls for phased vegetation treatments on BLM lands within the southern portion of the Wyoming Range mule deer herd unit. The BLM is committed to supporting healthy habitat on public lands through shared conservation stewardship. The proposal includes vegetation treatments for three main habitat types: Aspen forest, mixed mountain shrub and sagebrush. This includes additional invasive plant species control. The BLM is identifying issues for consideration in the environmental analysis and potential alternatives to the proposed action. The map at the end of this article shows the proposed planning areas currently being considered for treatment. Potential project components identified include:

• Shrub treatments

• Reseeding

• Construction of exclosures to reduce browsing

• Aspen enhancements

• Noxious weed and cheatgrass control projects

  Grazing Management

Several public meetings are scheduled during the 30-day scoping period, which will close on April 26, 2019. This will ensure that submitted input is considered during the NEPA process of the analyses and that all participants will be added to the mailing list to be notified of the availability of the environmental analysis. Public meetings are scheduled to be held at the Kemmerer Field Office (430 North Highway 189, Kemmerer), on March 25, from 6-8 p.m. and at the Cokeville Town Hall (110 Pine Street, Cokeville), on March 26, from 6-8 p.m.

More specific information on the “Southern Wyoming Range Mule Deer Habitat Management Plan: Kemmerer-Cokeville” is available online at the BLM’s ePlanning site. From the ePlanning Project Search page, select NEPA under the Project Search heading. Then click on the Text Search tab. Next, select Advanced Search. Scroll down and enter DOI-BLM-WY-D090-2019-0026-EA in the NEPA# field and click Search. Use all caps when entering the NEPA number. After clicking Search, scroll to the very bottom of the page to see the search results and access the proposed project information.

Comments can be submitted by email to [email protected], with the subject line “Southern Wyoming Range Mule Deer Habitat EA;” by mail to BLM Kemmerer Field Office Attn: Phillip Lockwood, BLM Project Lead, 430 N. Highway 189, Kemmerer, WY 83101; or by fax to (307) 828-4539. While you may request that your personal identifying information (name, address, phone number or email) be withheld from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee it. For additional project-specific information, please contact Phil Lockwood at (307) 828-4549.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. Diverse activities authorized on these lands generated $96 billion in sales of goods and services throughout the American economy in fiscal year 2017. These activities supported more than 468,000 jobs.

An overview of the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed mule deer project area.