On Thursday, July 17, 2014, WWA hosted an EcoFlight over the Palisades Wilderness Study Area - a truly amazing experience with stunning views of some of Wyoming's most beautiful wild lands! Currently, the Jackson Ranger District in the BTNF is proposing a Teton to Snake Fuels Reduction Management Project to manipulate more than 22,5000 acres to reduce wildfires withing and outside of the Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI). Much of this work is to occur in wild places within the Palisades WSA, possibly having a detrimental effect to this land. Click here to read more about the Palisades and why it is important to protect this region.
Bridger-Teton National Forest is planning a project that involves
thinning, burning, and logging on a project area of over 79,000 acres
including areas in the Palisades Wilderness Study Area and two
Inventoried Roadless Areas. This project will impact forest ecosystems, wildlife, air quality, and recreation opportunities in your precious wild areas.
Click here to read about the concerns of this project and its impact on the Palisades WSA.
ABOUT BRIDGER-TETON NATIONAL FOREST
BTNF is located in western Wyoming, United States and consists of a total of 3.4 million acres (13,800 km²), making it the second largest National Forest, second to Alaska. The BTNF stretches from Yellowstone National Park, along the eastern boundary of Grand Teton National Park
and continues to ride along the western slope of the Continental Divide
to the southern end of the Wind River Range. The forest also extends
southward encompassing the Salt River Range and Wyoming Range mountains
near the Idaho border. Located within the forest are the Gros Ventre, Bridger and TetonWilderness areas totaling 1.3 million acres (4,900 km²).
In 2008, the BTNF completed their “Evaluation of Areas with Wilderness Potential” and found that 87% of roadless areas contained both “high” and “very high” potential for wilderness recommendations.Over 1.5 million acres of the BTNF qualified as roadless areas, designating 458,030 acres with high potential and 880,395 acres with very high (or “highest”) potential.Citizen involvement is paramount to bringing the highest amount of these roadless acres to wilderness recommendations in the final forest plan revision process.
Other points of interest contained in the forest include Gannett Peak (13,804 ft/4,207 m), the tallest mountain in Wyoming, and the Gros Ventre landslide,
which is one of the largest readily visible landslides on earth. All of
the forest is in turn a part of the 20 million acre (81,000 km²)
Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
While Gannett Peak is the highest summit
in the forest, another 40 named mountains rise above 12,000 feet (3,658
m). The high altitudes and abundant snowfall - exceeding 600 inches (50
ft/15 m) at some locations - provide a constant supply of water for
streams and rivers. 1,500 lakes also help provide water for the
Yellowstone, Snake and Green Rivers, which all have their headwaters in
FOREST PLANNING AND NEW WILDERNESS
The Bridger-Teton National Forest in the Intermountain Region has suspended the Forest Plan revision process until court decisions on forest planning are finalized. As of April, 2012 a new timeline has not been announced.The BTNF holds the potential for the most NEW wilderness of any forest in Wyoming with 87% of roadless areas of high wilderness potential!
Roadless areas were identified during the Roadless Area Review and Evaluation II (RARE II) analysis conducted in 1978 and re-evaluated in 1983 to include all areas of at least 5,000 acres without developments and substantially natural in character. The RARE II and subsequent roadless area inventories and evaluations identified twenty roadless areas in the forest. In 1984 with the passage of the Wyoming Wilderness Act, most of the Gros Ventre roadless area became the Gros Ventre Wilderness and Shoal Creek Wilderness Study Area; another roadless area became the Palisades Wilderness Study Area.
Natural areas without roads or developments contribute to the BTNF‘s niche, character and sense of place; they possess attributes of public interest that do not necessarily have to do with their potential as wilderness; the state of “roadlessness” is valuable for recreation as well as its influence on clean water and healthy watersheds, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity, among other attributes. In 2008, the BTNF evaluated areas of potential wilderness which could be recommended to Congress for future designation. Areas not recommended may still be managed under forest plan direction as unroaded backcountry.
On February 8, 2012 ecologist and author George Wuerthner spoke to a packed Old Wilson Schoolhouse in Wilson, WY about the impacts of fire on forests and wildlife, fire ecology, pine bark beetles, and the value of dead trees in a forest ecosystem.
George holds degrees in botany, wildlife, biology and range science and has written and edited 33 books including Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy and Yellowstone: The Fires of Change. He has spent 30 years studying wildfires and forest ecosystems and has worked as a biologist/ranger for the National Park Service, BLM and Forest Service as well as a university instructor. He is the Ecological Projects Director for the Foundation for Deep Ecology.
WWA invited him to speak to coincide with the Bridger-Teton National Forest’s proposed "Teton to Snake Fuels Management" project in 83,000 acres of forest from Teton Village to Alpine, including the Palisades Wilderness Study Area and two designated roadless areas. The BTNF is scheduled to release an Environmental Assessment on the project this spring, followed by a 30 day public comment period. George was interviewed on Jackson Hole Community Radio. To listen to the interview, click below or click here for more Q&A with George.