Sportsmen Call on Federal Agency to Heed Leading Biologists, Stop Winter Drilling Near Pinedale, Wyoming

State Game and Fish Department Cites Drought, Drilling as Potentially Catastrophic Combination for Wildlife Populations PINEDALE, WYO. – A coalition of the nation’s leading hunting, fishing and conservation organizations today called on the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to accept the advice of a growing chorus of leading fish and wildlife biologists and sportsmen to stop permitting winter drilling on the critically sensitive wildlife habitat near here. “So far this year the BLM has granted an exception to the existing laws and regulations that prohibit winter drilling every time a company has requested one,” said Dr. Rollin Sparrowe, Chair of the Fish, Wildlife and Energy Working Group, a TRCP coalition that has been meeting for more than a year to find ways to promote a better balance between energy and wildlife needs. “Those who best know this landscape, including hunters, anglers and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, are now calling for an immediate end to this practice.” Pinedale lies at the intersection of habitat for important game species and the energy development boom currently emanating throughout the Intermountain West. Local declines in populations of species like mule deer and sage grouse caused by drilling and its associated activities already have been documented by federal wildlife monitors. State biologists are pointing to the extended drought suffered by the area as an additional factor that, when added to the stress of existing and planned drilling projects, could dramatically speed the rate of population disappearance. “The state is telling the BLM that if it continues to allow winter drilling, we’ll see less wildlife in the very near future,” said Dr. Sparrowe. “Essentially the state and sportsmen are drawing a line in the snow and saying enough is enough.” Sparrowe continued: “The BLM has said that it subscribes to the doctrine of adaptive management, meaning that it will change the way it handles energy development if those practices are found to harm wildlife populations. Here’s a chance for the agency to prove its commitment to this management practice, and to the conservation of wildlife.” *** The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is a coalition of leading hunting, fishing and conservation organizations and individual partners working together to guarantee access to places to hunt and fish, conserve fish and wildlife habitat, and increase funding for conservation. If you would for any reason like to stop receiving releases from the TRCP, kindly respond to this message with ‘REMOVE’ in the subject line. Tim Zink Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership Director of Communications 555 11th Street NW, 6th Floor Washington, DC 20004 202-654-4625 [email protected]