Thursday, June 27, 2013

June 28th Billings BLM RMP DEIS Comments Due

June 28, 2013 Deadline comment on Billings BLM & Pompey's Pillar NM, DRMP and DEIS

    The Billings and Pompeys Pillar National Monument Draft Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (DRMP/EIS) are available for public comment and comments are due on Friday June 28th, you can send by e-mail up to midnight and meet the deadline.  This is the third Montana BLM RMP released this spring, comment deadlines on Miles City (eastern edge) and Hi-line (above Charles M Russell NWRP) have passed earlier this June.
        This DRMP/EIS updates the 1984 Billings RMP, as amended and will provide the Billings Field Office and Pompeys Pillar National Monument with an updated framework in which to administer BLM public lands. This DRMP/EIS is a combined effort that addresses both the Billings Field Office and the Pompeys Pillar National Monument in a consolidated RMP and associated EIS and is titled (and referenced throughout) as the Billings and Pompeys Pillar National Monument DRMP/EIS. 

To download the documents visit:

Contact Information: Carolyn Sherve-Bybee, RMP Team Lead, BLM, Billings Field Office, 5001 Southgate Drive, Billings, Montana 59101, 406-896-5234
Or e-mail:


Other Pending Comment periods of Sept 11,   for SD BLM's RMP 
Please attend one of the public meetings in early and late July, 
 (7/8, 7/9, 7/11, 7/19, 7/23)

Expired Comment periods, but you can download the documents and maps (lots of information about areas in these DEISs):

Link to the Miles City BLM RMP DEIS (comment period expired June 5th) site visit.

Link to the HiLine BLM RMP DEIS (comment period expired June 20th) site is below:

Monday, June 24, 2013

USFWS E-mail Address for Comment BFF Recovery Plan

The USFWS web page on the Draft Black-Footed Ferret Recovery Plan does not provide an e-mail address to send comments in to. Here below is Pete Gober's e-mail address. If folks have been unable to get a copy of draft Plan from the USFWS, call Nancy Hilding at 605-787-6779 and  I will e-mail it.

Pete Gober, National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 190, Wellington, CO 80549-0190  Via email to:

Scroll down to next web site post for more information on Recovery Plan

Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 24th, deadline to comment on Black-footed Ferret Recovery Plan

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has  announced the availability of a draft recovery plan for the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). This species is federally listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The Service solicits review and comment from the public on this draft revised plan.
 Comments on the draft revised recovery plan must be received on or before June 24, 2013.

Copies of the draft revised recovery plan are available by request from the National Black-Footed Ferret Conservation Center, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 190, Wellington, CO 80549; telephone: 970-897-2730.

 On Sunday June 23rd, some of the links found at are not working. We assume they will be fixed on Monday June 24th. However the link to "Recovery Plan Information Search" found at this web page still works:

Postal mail address for comments follows:  Attn: Draft Recovery Plan, National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center, USFWS, P.O. Box 190, Wellington, CO 80549
 No e-mail address is provided in the Federal Register notice, so for e-mail address, you need to call the "for further contact info"  phone number  during working hours at: 970-897-2730.

For more info:

An electronic copy of the draft recovery plan is supposed to be available at

Alternately attempt to use:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Comments to Governor's review committee - SD Big Game Management

      There is an opportunity to send in comments to an independent review committee on SD GFP's management of mountain lions, elk and deer.  If you have already done so, thank you very much, if not please consider doing so.
More Info:
      IN March, SDGFP Commission accepted an offer for independent review, (a review required by the governor) and authorized $131,050 to pay an outside consultant, selected by the governor, to study South Dakota’s big-game management. The vendor is The Wildlife Management Institute, a Pennsylvania company.
       The Wildlife Management Institute has started its review and it held 3 public meetings in South Dakota to receive public comment orally and also accept written comment. The Institute said folks could send in written comments to them. 
        At meeting in mid May, the hired consultants (WMI) said written comments would be most effective, if received within a month of meeting (which would be quasi deadline of about Friday June 15th, 2013)  but  there is no fixed or absolute deadline. You may send anytime before October, as long as received before they actually submit report, however the longer you wait, the less likely your thoughts can actually be integrated into the review. Others may have already sent your comment in, and you may be adding weight or validity to a comment or view already sent in by other(s) or you may be offering a different view  to concerns sent in by folks with whom you disagree.
           If folks are concerned with the status quo in SD with respect to mountain lions and/or big game management (elk, deer) and/or or are upset with some administrative aspect/process of SDGFP, (you may talk about underlying cause of problem, rather than symptom) and/or you want to talk to Governor about your concerns/ideas, and/or are thinking "outside the box" with new idea,  then you may wish to write.  They did say you can make suggestions for legislative change to cure problems, they may recommend legislative change to Governor.
   Written comments may be emailed to:
 or sent by standard mail to:
           Wildlife Management Institute,
         1440 Upper Bermudian Road,
Gardners, PA 17324. 
 Still don't understand what is going on? Call up Nancy 605-787-6779/787-6466 or Helen 304-227-4166
 Here are links to articles about

 Here is a link to Wildlife Management Institute's bid 

Here is a link to the contract:

Here is link to GFP page about:

Monday, June 10, 2013

American Bird Conservancy Webinar: Wind/Eagles, 6/13/12

We provide this announcement from ABC

Webinar with Latest News on Eagles and Wind Energy

American Bird Conservancy invites all conservationists to a webinar on eagles and wind energy. Topics covered will include the proposed first Bald Eagle take permit for a wind farm. This permit is of concern to the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, and the Osage will make a presentation during the webinar. There will also be updates on proposed eagle take permits at other wind farms and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to change the maximum duration of eagle take permits, as well as time for your questions.

Webinar date and time:  June 13, 2013 from 2 to 3:30 pm, Eastern Time

You must register for this free webinar by going to this link: (registration ahead of time is highly recommended so that you receive update emails)

Audio portion will be by phone:
Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-650-479-3208
Access code: 668 744 518

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June 10th Deadline to comment on Black-backed Woodpecker listing petition

 Monday, June 10th, 2013 is the  deadline to comment on the petition before the USFWS to list, under the Endangered Species Act,
some  Distinct Population Segments  of the Black Backed Woodpecker (those in Black Hills & Oregon Cascades/California)  
as threatened or endangered 
Scroll down for link the USFWS press release on this, with information on how to comment and the sort of information they seek.


 Petition can be downloaded at:

More information on the issue can be found at:

One of Mark Rumble's research papers on the Woodpecker in Black Hills  can be downloaded here.
 Nancy Hilding, President of PHAS,  can send people a copy of Chris Rota's recent PhD Thesis on the woodpecker in the Black Hills on request. It is not available on the internet.  Nancy- 605-787-6779 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Comments on Wyoming's Mountain Lion Season due by 6/7/13

 Deadline for commenting on Wyoming's  Mountain lion seasons (a  3 year season for 2013-2016)  is 5:00 PM Mtn Time - Friday 6/7/13 
The deadline to comment on Wyoming's Wolf Season is June 12th

 Scroll down for instructions on how to comment.

Why should folks in Black Hills area, care about Wyoming's hunt
About 2/5 of the conifer covered area in the Black Hills/Bear Lodge area is in Wyoming.  In 2012-13 season half the lions killed (61 or 62 lions) were killed in Wyoming and half  (61 lions) in SD.  Last summer Wyoming had increased its quota from 40 to 61 for 2012-13 season. Wyoming sets its seasons normally for three years, thus hunters will be "harvesting" 61 lions out of the Black Hills/Bear Lodge for the next 3 years.  With addition of last year, this will be 4 years of a 61 lion harvest, that will take cumulatively 244 lions in 4 years. In 2012 SDGFP estimated the total population of lions in the SD side as 300 (all ages). SD hunters could not deliver the planned harvest of 100 lions, which was based on that population estimate.  Wyoming does not do population estimates, just trend estimates.  If we assume SD's 2012 lion estimate was correct and Wyoming had two thirds of the SD population in 2012 (we then assume 200 lions all ages existed in fall of 2012 in Wyoming before 2012 hunt and 14% new lions grow up per year), how will they support such an aggressive harvest for 4 years, except by bleeding lions from other source areas?  We provide you a link to You-tube video on Robert Wielgus' review of Washington States research which challenges traditional assumptions that sport hunting of lions reduces conflicts with people, livestock, pets, wildlife because it shifts the sex/age structure. (Scroll down for link to Wielgus)
        Wyoming starts its season in the fall before SD does. Lions have no clue of where the state boundaries are and have large territories and some may reside in both states.  Wyoming hunters beat SD hunters to some of the Black Hills lions. SD did not meet its 2013 quota of 100 lions. The two states cumulatively in 2011-2012 seasons "harvested" 115 lions in the Black Hills/Bear Lodge area of both states. In 2012-2013 the two states hunters cumulatively "harvested" 122 lions in Black Hills/Bear Lodge.  Wyomingalso provides for an aggressive hunt in the prairie west of the Black Hills, with an unlimited quota; 8 were killed in 2012-13. Both SD and Wyoming are managing the Black Hills as a "sink" and have unlimited kill zones in the prairie surrounding the Hills.  
 Focusing just on SD , is looking at half the picture for the Black Hills. It ignores the potential source population in Montana for Black Hills/Bear Lodge and Nebraska for  supply of lions to the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations.  As long as SD manages the Black Hills as sink and manages for obliteration of lions on the prairie, female migrants are less likely to migrate from the Black Hills to the Reservations. 
What if you don't live in Wyoming? 48.43 % of Wyoming is federally owned land.  You, as a federal tax payer, are a significant land owner in Wyoming.  The US Forest Service and BLM are multiple use agencies.  The Forest Service must manage for sustainable populations of wildlife.  If you live in the Black Hills, we suggest you object to the Black Hills Wyoming quota as excessive.
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 and/or sample letters for communications with each state.  Mountain Lion Foundation provides in depth background information as of 2012 (not updated yet in 2013). Both these cougar-focused organizations have web resources divided by states.  We recommend studying both resources, they provide complementary information.  Cougar Fund provides some sample letters and talking points. The Cougar Rewilding Foundation and the Cougar Network (other cougar organizations) have generic references on their web sites, that are not divided by states.
If you want copies of PHAS comments or more information on the issue contact me Nancy Hilding 605-787-6779 or Helen McGinnis at 304-227-4166,

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 subject line should read,
"For Director and Commissioners: Comments on Draft Cougar Hunt Regulations."
WGFD Director Scott Talbott
5400 Bishop Blvd

CheyenneWY 82006
For a copy of draft regulations visit.
Please visit Cougar Fund's web page at "Take Action"
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.
There are instructions on how to comment and also some talking points suggested by Cougar Fund and a sample letter, as well as links to references provided by state such as their recent report/update on the state's lion population, the proposed regulation itself and the 2006 mountain lion plan for the state.
 Visit this web page and click on the flag for the state you wish to learn about.
 MLF has not updated its Wyoming page since last year, but the season for the Black Hills Area has the same quota, except a clarification of rule text for second reduced license for area 24 (prairie unit  mostly between Big Horns and Black Hills), which includes Elk Mountain southeast of Newcastle.  You may need a modern web browser software to access pages (older browser may not work).
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.
Presented by Washington State University professor of wildlife ecology and Large Carnivore Lab director Dr. Rob Wielgus at the 2012 International Conference of the Wildlife Society. "This presentation offers 15 years of research in 15 minutes," says Dr. Wielgus. Watching this takes 22 minutes.  If you look at the video in the small print below many of the graphs, the PowerPoint lists the research sources, many of which are peer reviewed journals and include "The Journal of Wildlife Management,” "Ecological Applications,”  "Ecology,” "Conservation Biology,”  and "Canadian Journal Of Zoology"
At the end of the video he refers you to Large Carnivore Conservation Lab for more info. and the articles referenced in lecture -
Here is a list of publications by Wielgus and associates,

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Comments on BLM's Miles City RMP"s DEIS due June 5th

Comments on BLM's Miles City RMP's DEIS due June 5th.
To download the document visit.

The Miles City Draft Resource Management Plan (DRMP) is  available online.
The DRMP updates the 1996 Big Dry Resource Management Plan and the 1985 Powder River Resource Management Plan. The Miles City DRMP addresses changing resource conditions, changes in the use of public land, and new environmental concerns.
Currently, the BLM administers approximately 3 million surface acres and 12 million acres of federal minerals in Carter, Custer, Daniels, Dawson, Fallon, Garfield, McCone, Powder River, Prairie, Richland, Roosevelt, Rosebud, Sheridan, Treasure, Wibaux and portions of Big Horn and Valley counties.

For info Contact:
Mary Bloom, Project Leader
Miles City Field Office
111 Garryowen Road
Miles City, MT  59301
(406) 233-2852

Comments should be sent by midnight by Wednesday June 5, 2013 to:

This area of Montana abuts northwestern SD where our state's sage grouse live  & decisions to be made are important for the bird & wilderness proposals for the area. For more info or copies of sample comments and/or an alert  call Nancy Hilding, PHAS president
605-787-6779 or e-mail nhilshat @ rapid Extra spaces are inserted to Nancy's  e-mail address before & after @ to protect from web crawlers