A draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) to amend the resource and management plan for the Thunder Basin National Grassland (TBNG) was published today in the Federal Register, initiating a 90-day public comment period which runs through Jan. 9, 2020. A public meeting for the proposed amendment is scheduled for Nov. 20 in Douglas, as well as a webinar Nov. 21.
The USDA Forest Service proposed the amendment to address concerns raised earlier this year during the public scoping period. The goal is to balance conservation and control of black-tailed prairie dog colonies with other grassland uses.
After analyzing the current management practices, the DEIS would establish prairie-dog management zones along boundaries between National Forest lands and private and state lands to allow the broader application of tools for colony conservation and control. It also decreases the acreage of colonies managed for conservation and will continue to maintain habitat for at-risk species.
The DEIS and reference materials are all available for review online on the project website. Public comments can be submitted online or mailed to Thunder Basin National Grassland Supervisor’s Office, 2468 Jackson St., Laramie, WY 82070.