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Northern Rockies Office

The Latest On: Northern Rockies Office

February 3, 2020 | Report

Draft Step-Down Plan Bison and Elk Management: A Review

In 2007 the National Elk Refuge (NER) and Grand Teton National Park (GRTE, collectively the Refuge and Park) published their Bison and Elk Management Plan (BEMP) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), providing operational guidance for the management of these species in the southern Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) on Interior lands. That plan recognized that feeding wildlife (specifically elk) placed that resource at great risk of disease amplification and was antithesis to sound ecological management. As had been known for years before the BEMP (e.g. see Dunkley and Cattet, 2003), feeding wildlife has “significant [adverse] ecological effects …at the individual, population, and community levels”. The BEMP therefore included a goal of reducing and eventually eliminating reliance of wildlife on supplemental feed. However the Plan lacked methods, metrics, milestones, deadlines or criteria to assess progress or measure eventual success at reducing supplemental feeding. Now, nearly 13 years after BEMP implementation, the Refuge and Park have produced this Draft Step Down Plan (SDP) and associated Environmental Assessment (EA) from the BEMP as their vision of how reliance on supplemental feed might be reduced. While the ultimate goal of managing wildlife under a feed-free paradigm is ecologically sound, the SDP is too little, too late, with a poor chance of success.

February 3, 2020 | Legal Document

Complaint: U.S. Elk Feeding Program

Plaintiffs in this case challenge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s issuance on December 31, 2019 of an unlawful and inadequate Step-Down Plan for reducing the Service’s program for artificial feeding of wild elk wintering on the Jackson Hole National Elk Refuge, where feeding exposes the elk to a host of severe disease threats.

January 22, 2020 | In the News: Daily Inter Lake

Court Hears Arguments on Last Oil, Gas Lease

Timothy Preso, Managing Attorney, Northern Rockies Office, Earthjustice: “Oil and gas development on this lease would inflict such a severe blow to the Blackfeet Tribe’s cultural interests that their ability to practice their cultural traditions in this area would be lost.”

January 16, 2020 | Letter

60 Day Notice of Intent to Sue: Wolverine ESA Wolverine Protection

Conservation groups sent a notice of their intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to protect wolverines as required by the Endangered Species Act. There are fewer than 300 wolverines left in the lower-48, and they remain threatened by habitat loss and climate change.