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Most of the fences were built 30 years ago for livestock, she said, noting the fences accounted for six big game casualties last year.
750K to mitigate energy development impact on Wyoming wildlife
The fourth project, also approved for $100,000, helps fund required studies to approve projects in the area. It will also be used for surveys where projects might create ground disturbances, as well as check for indications of cultural resources, such as historic trails or areas with artifacts, Gregory said.
The chosen projects all dealt with mule deer and sage grouse. Mule deer and sage grouse are species described in the record of decision for the Anticline, Decker said.
The project, which received $100,000, will collect data on the effectiveness of sagebrush fertilization at two sites and also document if it allows for more invasive vegetation to take root.
The board is composed of representatives from such agencies as the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality and the BLM.
PINEDALE The Pinedale Anticline mesa is a sea of muted greens and browns, sagebrush and dirt, surrounded by a horizon dotted with natural gas rigs.
The Pinedale Anticline Project Office was established in 2008 as a result of the Bureau of Land Management's record of decision for management and monitoring of the Pinedale Anticline, BLM spokeswoman Shelley Gregory said.
Work on all four projects will start immediately. This summer, the fences on the mesa will be inventoried and modification will start. Game and Fish is close to selecting a contractor for the fertilization data project. The well project will go through an environmental assessment and could be finished in 2013.
The agency doesn't typically establish rigorous sampling for these types of projects, Stroud said.
A wildlife friendly fence has four strands, with the first starting 16 inches from the ground so antelope can move underneath. Additionally, it is no higher than 42 inches so deer can jump it, and it's 12 inches or fewer between the top two strands so animals' hooves don't get tangled. The fences also need reflectors so sage grouse can avoid collisions. Many fences are near leks.
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Late last week, the multiagency Pinedale Anticline Project Office board allocated more than $750,000 toward four projects designed to offset natural gas development effects on the wintering mule deer and year round sage grouse populations, according to Eric Decker, project manager.
One project will modify fences to make them "wildlife friendly," the board said. The board allocated $500,000 for the first phase of the Nike Hoodie Light Blue
"There just wasn't as much money," he said.
Major energy companies working on the anticline Ultra, Shell and QuestStar contribute $7,500 for each well to a mitigation fund, Gregory said. The board decides how to use the money. The fund has generated $7.4 million since 2008.
While sagebrush fertilization has been under way on the mesa, monitoring has not been statistically valid, said Dan Stroud with Game and Fish. Sagebrush fertilization is intended to offset habitat lost to energy development.
"It was all we could do to get the sampling done that we did," he said.
Projects not selected primarily dealt with conservation easements, Decker said. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters.
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38,000 being winter concentration areas for sage grouse. The mesa also has deer and antelope migration corridors, she said.
The board also allocated $51,500 for a water well, which will protect reclamation areas by redistributing livestock and wildlife grazing, said Windy Kelley with the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. Officials had considered reconstructing an existing reservoir, but it was near a power line and there was concern sage grouse would be at risk because of predation from raptors.
According to information provided at the public field trip, mule deer on the mesa declined by 20 percent from 2008 to 2010, exceeding the 15 percent threshold that triggers mitigation efforts under the record of decision.
The board evaluated 15 projects but unanimously picked only four to fund, Decker said.
In the spring, the area appears empty, save for a few antelope that dart across the landscape. Looks can be deceiving, however. The anticline is crucial mule deer winter range habitat and home to sage grouse.
The mesa encompasses 76,000 acres, she said. Of that, 73,000 acres are prime winter range for antelope, 60,000 acres are prime winter range for mule deer and 44,000 are sage grouse core habitat with Nike Purple Windrunner
Money was also allocated to collect data on a sagebrush fertilization project.
In the application, Stroud said that the studies, which fall under the National Environmental Policy Act, and the cultural clearances, which means sites with cultural resources have been evaluated and approved for projects, are required on federal lands for any type of wildlife enhancement work. Current staffing levels, however, are not sufficient to perform the work.
"If they hit a fence poof, it makes a mess," Gulbrandson said.
project, which will erect 30 miles of fence. The goal Nike Hoodie Black Men is to eventually modify 100 miles of fencing, said Theresa Gulbrandson of the BLM, who explained the project to board members on a field trip Wednesday morning.
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