Please Act: MT Mule Deer HD300 At Risk of Development

joelweb

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Nov 20, 2012
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For those of you who care about Montana’s best mule deer units, it is in your interest to take a few moments to email the Dillon BLM and Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest about a proposed oil and gas drilling project on the best winter range in Hunting District 300. This is the Lima Peaks/White Pine Ridge Area, and is one of the better trophy deer units in the state of Montana. It is also an important area for bighorn sheep restoration and Westslope cutthroat trout.

Lima Exploration Co., a Denver based oil and gas company wants to drill a preliminary well on the White Pine Ridge area on the southern end of the Tendoy Mountains (just north of the Lima Peaks and right off of Big Sheep Creek). With 8 foot tall mountain-mahogany and sun exposed slopes, this is the best winter range in HD 300. The deer herd depends on it.

Lima Exploration leased out the entire winter range back in 2007, and the federal agencies did not included any real upfront protections for the deer range in the lease terms (National Forest surface acres with BLM managed minerals). If the BLM and Forest Service don’t hear from concerned sportsmen, and if Lima Exploration finds significant oil resources, this could be the beginning of the end for the productivity of this winter range. The area could become a frenzy of drill rigs, and a maze of roads and well pads.

I recommend that everyone email the BLM and Forest Service, and tell them that you are a sportsman or woman, and that you do not want to see the White Pine Ridge area of HD300 industrialized and developed for oil and gas. The only thing that will convince the agencies to get this right is public pressure.

The comment deadline is Dec. 2. I suggest that you email the Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF Supervisor, Dillon BLM Field Office Manager, and the project manager. Please be respectful, and direct about the values at stake. Their email addresses are as follows:

Beaverhead-Deerlodge NF Supervisor, Melany Glossa at [email protected]
Cornelia Hudson, Dillon BLM Field Office Manager, at [email protected]
Tessa Wallace, BLM Project Manager, at [email protected]

There isn't a lot of available info for the public, but you can read more here: http://mtstandard.com/news/local/pu...cle_5ed89f53-fc08-55b3-80d8-9c0241fe0cf1.html
 
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Randy11

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Jan 12, 2009
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I've gotten to spend the last two days on White Pine Ridge. It's a very cool piece of real estate, with a pretty unique herd of mule deer on it. As far as I can tell, it's one of, if not the only herd of mule deer in Montana that is thriving in a mountain mahogany/sage ecosystem. I glassed tons of deer in the mahogany jungles today, and even watched a herd of deer rutting above timberline, at probably 9500' ft. It would be a shame to have this area developed without this population of deer getting proper consideration.

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katqanna

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Jan 20, 2013
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Bozeman, MT
Joel, here is the link to the page Dillon BLM says to click on for more information on the Tendoy drilling EA

There was actually some good background information in the Sun Times this summer.

Thanks for the heads up, I will get a comment composed tomorrow morning. I just spent some time reviewing a previous proposal and the Dillon RMP for the wildlife and habitat aspects for that area.
 

joelweb

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Nov 20, 2012
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Big Sky Country
Thanks, guys. Deadline for comments is this Wednesday.

Even if you don't have the time to write detailed comments, it is important that sportsmen weigh-in with the BLM to let them know that this place matters to hunters and anglers, and that we expect no net-loss of quality habitat in the White Pine Ridge area. The agency needs to know that sportsmen are watching, otherwise they will be worrying about other interests.
 
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