Forest Service prefers No Oil or Gas Leasing for the Wyoming Range
Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement released
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
December 16, 2016
JACKSON, WYOMING, December 16, 2016 Ė Today (Friday, Dec. 16, 2016), the Forest Service's Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (FSEIS) has been completed evaluating whether to withdraw consent to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to offer oil and gas leases on 39,490 acres on the eastern slope of the Wyoming Range within the boundary of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Sublette County, Wyoming. Based upon overwhelming public comment and significant recreation, wildlife and watershed values identified, no leasing remains the preferred alternative.
The FSEIS is available on the Bridger-Teton National Forest webpage, http://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=48737.
The Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) was released for public comment in April 2016, at which time the preferred alternative was the no leasing alternative. In April, the Forest Service identified the need to supplement the air quality analysis and the wildlife analysis, as well as consider new information on issues such as protection of threatened animals, impacts on local air quality, other energy projects underway in the area, and public comments. The FSEIS discloses this information and anticipated environmental consequences building from public comments received in the April Draft SEIS.
The Bridger-Teton National Forest is recognized nationally for its wild lands, recreation opportunities, wildlife, biodiversity, and watershed values. The Bridger-Teton contributes significantly to the Yellowstone regionís recreation and tourism.
Because of the projectís long history and the significant level of public interest and concern for the proposal, expressed in over 62,000 comments on the Draft SEIS, the Undersecretary of Agriculture, Robert Bonnie, has elected to retain his authority to sign the Record of Decision (ROD) for this project. This decision will be made 30-days after publication of the Notice of Availability of this FSEIS in the Federal Register on December 16, 2016. For additional information, contact the Bridger-Teton National Forest at (307) 739-5564.