Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wind Energy PEIS

Nancy Hilding
Prairie Hills Audubon Society

Upper Great Plains Wind Energy Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement
COMMENTS ARE DUE 5/21/13, if submitted on-line, deadline is Tuesday by midnight, Mountain Time.

 The Draft PEIS is available on the project Web site at:

Commenting on-line at

Or via postal mail to:

c/o John Hayse,
Argonne National Laboratory,
9700 S. Cass Avenue˜EVS/ 240,
Argonne, IL 60439.

 Federal register notice

 The official deadline to comment on this draft PEIS is Tuesday, May 21st,  midnight mountain time.

 American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is following this D - PEIS  and American Bird Conservancy has submitted exhaustive comments, which Nancy can e-mail  to interested folks. (Nancy – nhilshat @ rapidnet.comextra spaces are added to e-mail address or 605-787-6779) 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Various Deadlines for Mountain Lion Management Comments-  all ASAP attention needed

Interested Persons -- please contact Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks by Monday 5 pm Mountain Time 5/20/2013 on their proposed cougar season.  Also please contact Nebraska Game and Parks, who will be reviewing their season on Friday, 5/24/2013 at a hearing in Chadron, Nebraska.  And there are 4 public meetings folks can attend held by Wyoming Game and Fish in the next two weeks, with an June 7th written comment deadline for Wyoming's  cougar season.

Below we give the details on the state agencies/formal commenting and links to the Cougar Fund and Mountain Lion Foundation, which have more information on each state.  The Cougar Fund has specific talking points for communications with each state.  Both these cougar-focused organizations have web resources divided by states.  The Cougar Rewilding Foundation and the Cougar Network have generic references that are not divided by states.

There are also upcoming deadlines for communicating with the SD Governor-appointed Game Management Review Committee.  (The Wildlife Management Institute has been contracted for an independent review of SD big game management.)  The SD deadline is circa late summer/early fall, but early comments, sent in June will be most effective.  Thus SD cougars will be addressed in a subsequent  posting. Also check the Cougar Fund’s alerts for South Dakota. 

Please help our cougars and forward this e-mail to interested persons.

Item # 1 >> Info and links to Montana FWP and their cougar hunting season info
Item # 2 >> Info and Links to Nebraska GP and their cougar hunting season info.
Item # 3 >> Info and links to Wyoming F&G and their cougar hunting season info.
Item # 4 >> Link to Cougar Funds "take action" web site for specific states
Item # 5 >> Link to Mountain Lion Foundation  web site for info on specific states cougar programs
Item # 6 >>Links to Cougar Rewilding and Cougar Network.

 Please remember that cougar advocates have many viewpoints/opinions.  The various organizations for which,  we provide courtesy links, speak for themselves and not for all cougar advocates.  Prairie Hills Audubon Society will eventually write our own comment letters that reflect our viewpoint.  We can send our past newsletters with articles on cougar topic and/or our comment letters on request. 

Item # 1 >> Info and links to Montana FWP and their cougar hunting season info


The public comment period on this proposal will extend through 5 p.m., Monday, May 20, 2013. Final adoption on this item will be made at the June 6, 2013 FWP Commission meeting. 
For further clarification, you may call the Wildlife Bureau office at 406-444-2612. To submit comments electronically, a letter with the imbedded links below can be found under “Opportunity for Public Comment” on the Hunting home page at the fwp.mt.gov website. Comments on paper can be sent to: FWP – Wildlife Bureau, Attn: Public Comment, POB 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701. 
Imbedded Links to Submit Public Comment - 2013 Mountain Lion Quotas – Proposed 
The deadline for public comment on this item is 5:00 PM Monday, May 20, 2013. 

Item # 2 >> Info and Links to Nebraska Game & Parks and their proposed cougar hunting season.


The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission hearing at Chadron State College, Chadron, Nebraska, May 24th, 2013, begins at 8:00 am. Mountain lions will be considered at 8:45 am.  http://outdoornebraska.ne.gov/admin/commission/pdf/agenda.pdf
There is an informational meeting on the 23rd.
 For more info:
Agency Hearing Contact Email: The following e-mail address is altered – it has spaces added before and after the @ sign to protect e-mail address from web crawlers      patrick.cole @ nebraska.gov
Agency Hearing Contact Phone:   (402) 471-5523
(402) 471-5523
Public commenting may be done at the hearing in person, or it may be done in writing. We have never heard the deadline for written comments, but imagine all staff will be in Chadron on the 23rd at the public meeting and will have collected snail mail before travel and may or may not be reading/printing e-mails on 23rd, while in the public meeting or at night in hotels. 

You can also provide written comments by sending them to: 

Director Douglas
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
2200 N. 33rd St.
Lincoln, NE 68503
(402) 471-5539
The following e-mail address is altered – it has spaces  added before and after the @ sign to protect e-mail address from web crawlers. jim.douglas @ nebraska.gov

Or link to Cougar Fund “take action” web site for e-mails of specific Nebraska officials/agencies.

 The largest part of the proposed mountain lion regulations are here:

To discover how to  provide comments on any rule making in Nebraska, you may visit the SOS website for instructions/info

Item # 3 >> Info and Links to Wyoming Game and Fish and their proposed cougar hunting season info.


Public meetings on cougars still to be conducted:
May 21, 2013 7:00 p.m. Green River- Green River Regional Office
May 22, 2013* 7:00 p.m. Sheridan- Sheridan College, Whitney Building, CTel Room
May 29, 2013 7:00 p.m. Sundance- Crook County Courthouse
May 30, 2013 7:00 p.m. Casper- Casper Regional Office
Comment Deadline:
June 7 5:00PM
Commission Hearing:
July 9-10 - Saratoga

Emails to Wyoming Game and Fish Director and Commissioners:
Sheridan Todd
Executive Assistant/Office of the Director
The following e-mail address is altered – it has spaces  added before and after the @ sign to protect e-mail address from web crawlers. sheridan.todd @ wyo.gov
The subject line should read,
 "For Director and Commissioners: Comments on Draft Cougar Hunt Regulations."
WGFD Director Scott Talbott
5400 Bishop Blvd
Cheyenne, WY 82006
For a copy of draft regulations visit.

Item # 4 >> Link to Cougar Fund’s "take action" web site for specific states


Please visit Cougar Fund's web page at "Take Action" 

http://www.cougarfund.org/takeaction/ for instructions on how to comment and also some talking points suggested by Cougar Fund
 When you use the  CF Take Action web page, there are several states to click on. After selecting the state there are 4 menu "tags" to click on: Overview, Facts,  Speak Out, Resources.  You need to visit all 4 tags for each state to get the story for each state.

Item # 5 >>>> Link to Mountain Lion Foundation  web site for info on specific states cougar programs

Visit this web page and click on the flag for the state you wish to learn about. As compared to CF, the MLF provides more long term and in depth background and reference information on each state.  CF provides immediate and up-to-date action alerts, talking points & up dates

If you combine both CF & MLF web link sites for any state in question, you will learn a lot.  Once again the web sites of these organizations represent the opinions of each organization, and not necessarily those of all cougar advocates.
Item # 6 >>> Links to the Cougar Rewilding Foundation and Cougar Network, which provide generic info on cougars and less easily found & somewhat outdated information on individual states.


The Cougar Rewilding Foundation website has numerous news items on cougars in the relevant states here - http://cougarrewilding.org/CougarNews/ . The newsletters - http://www.cougarrewilding.org/pages/newltr.htm - contains many articles on affected states.  Use the NEWSLETTER INDEX to find them.


 The Cougar Networks confirmation Maps - http://www.cougarnet.org/cougarconfim.html - show individual confirmations for the states we are interested in between 1990 and early 2013, but to find what the dots pertain to, you must click on each one.  These confirmations are not complete, at least in SD -- there are many more confirmations outside the Black Hills that CN does not show). Their Breaking News section - http://www.cougarnet.org/cougarconfim.html - carries news items pertaining to confirmations outside the range of recognized breeding populations in the United States.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May 14th-16th  - Public Invited To Attend Comment Sessions For Independent Contractor's Review Of Game Fish and Parks Big Game Management

          Earlier this year, Gov. Dennis Daugaard called for an independent review of the state's policies amid growing complaints from hunters about declines in the Black Hills elk and deer populations.    

The public comment sessions on GFP management of elk, deer, antelope and mountain lions will be held as follows:

 Tuesday, May 14, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. CDT
Northern Plains Biostress Lab Building, Room 103; North Campus Drive, South Dakota State University, Brookings
 Wednesday, May 15, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. CDT
Joe Foss Building, Matthews Training Center (first floor); 523 East Capitol Ave., Pierre
Thursday, May 16, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. MDT
City School Administration Center Community Room; 300 Sixth Street, Rapid City

            Each comment session will consist of a short introduction by Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) staff and an overview of its review process.  WMI will facilitate the meeting and record comments for analysis.  Written comments may be emailed to: SDcomments@wildlifemgt.org or sent by standard mail to: Wildlife Management Institute, 1440 Upper Bermudian Road, Gardners, PA 17324.
The big-game management review should be completed by October 2013.

Visit this link for more info:   http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=14498



Monday, May 13, 2013

Endangered Species Day Celebration, Friday May 17th

Our 7th Annual
Endangered Species Day Celebration in
Rapid City SD

Friday May 17th, 2013

Meet and greet with snacks at 5:45 - 6:15 pm MDT
Presentations start at 6:15 pm MDT,
Where: Rapid City School Administration Bldg., Community Room
300 6th St., Rapid City
Room Access is only via the SE entrance,

Endangered Species Day is a celebration of our nation's wildlife and wild places. Started in 2006 by the United States Congress, Endangered Species Day is the third Friday of May.

First Speaker:

Jason Rylander, Attorney for Defenders of Wildlife
will speak on the grey wolf. The wolf has been listed as threatened and endangered, but two distinct populations segments (the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies populations) have already been delisted, with the delisting of the Northern Rockies population remaining controversial. The USFWS will soon propose to downlist most of the remaining wolves in the lower 48 states.

10 minute break,

Second Speaker:

Phil Delphey, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biologist
from Minnesota will discuss the Dakota Skipper and Poweshiek Skipperling: two butterflies from NE SD dependent on native plant communities in our prairies. Both butterflies are currently listed as candidate species. Phil will talk about their status, habitat and threats to survival.

Speakers will attend by by Skype with interactive Q & A from persons in room.

This event is sponsored by
'Prairie Hills Audubon Society, 
The Humane Society of the United States,
Prairie Dog Coalition, Black Hills Group - Sierra Club,
Biodiversity Conservation Alliance and Clean Water Alliance

For info contact Nancy Hilding, nhilding @ rapidnet.com,
 787-6466 or 6779