Document Sample
					            Wyoming Wilderness Roundup
                                           Winter/Spring 2010 Newsletter

       Wilderness 101—Learning to Hike in Wyoming’s Wilderness
    I confess that I’m not an outdoorsy-girl, but I do        canceled at the last minute. I watched the rain pour
  aspire to be one! A visit to the plains of Wyoming          down all weekend from inside my brand-new tent
  convinced me that my outdoor adventures needed a            pitched in my living room.
  new location. So seven months ago, I packed up my             The next two hikes
  life in Los Angeles and moved to Buffalo, Wyoming.          through the Big Horn I’m grateful to WWA and its
                                                                                            volunteer guides who
    Shortly after my arrival, I read the Wyoming              Basin were a surprise.
                                                                                          introduced me and other
  Wilderness Association was sponsoring hikes                 Instead of mountains, hikers to hidden jewels that
                                   throughout          the    I found myself in an the general public never sees.
                                   summer. Perfect! I         eerie       moon-like
                                   signed up for all of       landscape. Erosion
                                   them – well, almost.       created wild rock formations and revealed bands of
                                   Some were already          color that reminded me of Arizona’s Painted Desert. At
                                   full,        making        the Bobcat Draw Wilderness Study Area, we enjoyed
                                   reservations ahead of      lunch perched above a sprawling Grand Canyon-esque
                                   time helps.                tableau.
                                   With the very first          The final hike of the season ventured deep into the
                                   hike, I quickly realized   forests along the Little Bighorn River. We followed the
                                   how much I didn’t          river up a beautiful canyon, then set out over rolling
                                   know. For instance, I      hilltops and . . . wish I could tell you the rest but I
                                   thought “wilderness”       didn’t make it. For some reason, this hike really kicked
                                   just meant pretty          my butt and halfway up I opted to sit beneath the shade
                                   scenery.         More      of a tree and wait for the others to return. That’s okay.
Francine Russell exploring the     precisely, it means “no    I’ll be back next year!
Sheep Mountain WSA. Sara         trail” and most of the         The more I explore Wyoming, the more giddy I am
Domek Photo.                     time it means “uphill.”      that this is my new home. I’m grateful to WWA and its
    I have spent my entire life at sea level. So, while       volunteer guides who introduced me and other hikers
  trekking across the Gardner Mountain Wilderness             to hidden jewels that the general public rarely sees. I’m
  Study Area, near Kaycee, I paused often to admire the       spending the winter dreaming of 2010 hikes. Hope to
  stunning aerial views of the Red Wall country – and         see you in the wilderness and sign up early! 
  catch my breath. I did better a couple of weeks later,                   Francine Russell, WWA Volunteer and hiker
  climbing steep switchbacks up the narrow canyon of
  Sayles Creek in the Bighorns, to eventually reach
  Firebox Park (silly me, I assumed “park” meant picnic
                                                                                                            Little Bighorn River Wild &

  tables and maybe a bathroom, but in the wilderness,
                                                                                                            Scenic area. 2009. Sara

  it’s just a word for “big meadow”).
    Unfortunately, I had to face reality and back out of
  the 4-day “Rock Creek Backpacking Adventure.” I was
                                                                                                            Domek Photo

  not yet ready for such a challenge.
    I DID commit to the overnight Rock Creek campout
  in mid-August. This would be my first real test as
  “outdoorsy girl” and I hastened to gather my survival
  gear. But the weather turned ominous and the trip was
     Notes from the President, In Memorium                                                              Page 2

     Greetings W.W.A. Members and Friends,                                                          2010 WWA
                       As the snow line           miss a chance to include our unique lands      Governing Council
                     slowly, but surely,          in the Wilderness Preservation System.
                     creeps farther down the        Where else can you go to find out the          Barry Reiswig, Cody,
                     slopes to the valley         Wilderness status of your favorite
                                                                                                  Al Sammons, Riverton,
                     bottom, many folks           backcountry area? Who else is working               Vice President
                     discard their outdoor        solely to protect the vulnerable lands        Benjamin Sinclair, Jackson,
                     pursuits for cozier          threatened by development? The Wyoming                 Secretary
                     ways to spend the            Wilderness Association is made up of          Judy Lund, Casper/Kaycee,
                     winter. Some of us just      people who are thrilled to know the beauty,            Treasurer
                     shift with the seasons.      challenge, and serenity that we experience     ———————————
  Wyoming’s wilderness lands allow us to          in our Wilderness Areas, and who support        Taylor Crosby, Big Horn
experience any season in some of the most         the effort to ensure we don’t lose any of       Laney Hicks, Crowheart
                                                                                                 Richard Inberg, Riverton
spectacular areas anywhere in the world.          those valuable lands.
                                                                                                   Bart Koehler, Alaska
We are very fortunate in Wyoming to have            This winter as you sit by the fire with a      Bryon Lee, Sheridan
the opportunities to hike, ski, hunt and fish     favorite book or make that long daunting         Deborah Patla, Moran
in landscapes whose protection as                 ascent of your favorite mountain,             Margi Schroth, Saddlestring
Wilderness enhances those values that draw        remember your connection to our                  Sean Sheehan, Cody
us into them. We are also fortunate to have       wilderness lands and think of how you can        ——————————
the Wyoming Wilderness Association                help keep them WILD!                               WWA Staff
around to make sure that Wyoming doesn’t          Louise Lasley, WWA President
                                                                                                    Sheridan Office
                                                                                                      PO Box 6588
                                                                                                   Sheridan WY 82801
                                                                                                  Phone (307) 672-2751
                                                                                                   Fax (307) 672-2752

                                                                                                        Liz Howell
                                                                                                    Executive Director

                                                                                                      Kat MacDonald
                                                                                                 Office/Finance Associate

                                                                                                      Sara Domek
                                                                                                   Wildlands Organizer
  Left to Right: Al Sammons, Aaron Bannon, Judy Lund, Nancy Shea, Liz Howell, Louise
  Lasley, Dianne Wyatt. Back Row: Tom Turiano, Richard Inberg and Barry Reiswig. Not                 Buffalo Office
  present: Bruce Hayse, Bart Koehler, Bryon Lee, Erik Molvar, Margi Schroth, Sean Sheehan,           218 S. Main St.
  Benjamin Sinclair, Mike Weber. WWA photo 2009.                                                   Buffalo, WY 82834
                                                                                                  Phone (307) 684-0519

                                    IN MEMORIUM                                                 Kendra Kallevig Childers
                                                                                                Communications Organizer
                   We are sorry to lose Dave Waggoner, who                                        kendra@wildwyo.org
                   served as a founding member and Treasurer of the
                   Governing Council. Dave passed suddenly last month in                             Jackson Office
                                                                                                       PO Box 848
                   Laramie of cancer. He was the owner of CCH Aliens                               Jackson, WY 83001
                   (Climbing equipment manufacturer), and helped guide WWA                        Phone (307) 733-2920
                   in protecting the Medicine Bow roadless areas from motorized                       Nancy Shea
                   abuse. His GC term ended in 2006. In addition to his wife, he                 Jackson Representative
                   leaves his father and stepmother, Joseph and Caroline Edwards                   nancy@wildwyo.org
                   Waggoner of Billings, Montana, and two older brothers.
Governing Council —Service for the Wild                                                      Page 3

    Welcome to Our Newly Elected to the 2010 Governing Council:
        Taylor Crosby. Taylor volunteered with WWA in 2009 as Master of Ceremonies for the Patagonia Wild
      and Scenic Environmental Film Festival. He is an involved Big Horn horseman, with amazing world vision
      and experience in implementation, planning and communication.

        Laney Hicks. Laney was known in the 70’s and 80’s for her contribution to the passage of the Wyoming
      Wilderness Act. As an artist and rancher in Crowheart, Laney can provide a bridge of diverse interests for
      WWA, understanding the vision and policies of protecting new wilderness. Her award winning wildlife art
      has been widely shown all over Wyoming and the West.

        Deborah Patla. Deb has been involved with WWA on issues in the Bridger-Teton National Forest, in
      particular helping us protect the Palisades WSA from excessive heli-skiing. She is amphibian biologist and
      wildlife expert residing in Moran, Deb will keep our minds on water and make us squirm.

   Departing Governing Council Members, whose service we will miss:
        Aaron Bannon. Aaron gave WWA a big                           Tom Turiano. Tom, a well-known
      boost as a volunteer in WWA’s first year of                  mountaineer and author, began his relationship
      existence in 2003. After returning to                        with WWA touring the state to spread the word
      Wyoming and becoming Wilderness Policy                       about wilderness with his new book, Select
      Staff for NOLS, Aaron officially joined the                  Peaks of the Greater Yellowstone. Tom
      Governing Council, serving three years, with                 advanced WWA’s prestige and wilderness
      gracious guidance as Vice President and                      ethic, kept our voice on Greater Yellowstone
      Secretary.                                                   issues, bringing success to the Palisades WSA
                                                                   protection. Tom served as Secretary of the GC
       Bruce Hayse. Bruce helped form the                          in 2009.
     WWA in 2003 and was a most enthusiastic
     founding member. He served as President in
     2005. His wilderness ethic helped guide the
     policies and efforts with outstanding purity                     Mike Weber. Betsy Weber, WWA staff
     and vision.                                                    (2004-05) brought in her dad, Mike, who as
                                                                    Governing Council member from 2006,
      Louise Lasley. Louise gave us her best,                       served as President in 2008. As an attorney
    helping found the Wyoming Wilderness                            and long involved Wyoming resident, Mike
    Association in 2003, serving two terms.                         had the vision and attention to details to
    Louise served as President in 2009, and                         wisely guide the organization though the
    Treasurer in 2005. In her tenure with the                       economic slump and tough times.
    Governing Council, Louise became program
    staff for the Jackson Hole Conservation
      Erik Molvar. Erik joined the GC in 2004                          Dianne Wyatt. Dianne’s artistic love of
    and closely guided the organization to widen                     wilderness inspired us all to acknowledge
    our efforts in the BLM deserts and prairies.                     and appreciate the beauty and elegance of
    He served as Vice President and President in                     light, and the purity of Wyoming’s
    his five years on the GC and is the director                     landscapes. She served as Secretary in her 3-
    of Biodiversity Conservation Alliance of                         year term.

                                                                                             Red Desert
                                                                                           Council Retreat
                                                                                          2007 WWA Photo
     Volunteers are our WILD Heroes                                                                 Page 4

  Why are volunteers so important?
The Wyoming Wilderness Association utilizes our
wonderful volunteers in nearly every aspect of our
outreach, organizing and advocacy work. From hours
spent tabling to helping at events, our volunteers have
proven their dedication and commitment to the wild
public lands of Wyoming. Volunteers help form a
stronger and smarter organization, and WWA is proud
of and grateful for all of our volunteers, across
Wyoming! WWA could not accomplish anything
without volunteerism!
  Tabling: This year, our volunteers and staff tabled at
eleven different events ranging from the Rock Creek                  WWA 2009 volunteer training. WWA photo.
Wild! Concert to the Bighorn Wild & Scenic Trail Run
to the Don King Days. Tabling is one of the most            many events this year!
important outreach tools we utilize for our campaign,         Patagonia Wild and Scenic Film Festival
because this is where direct conversations with the         The April ’09 film festival was a great and fun
public are held. Our tabling outreach has brought in        opportunity for WWA and community members to
hundreds of letters of support for the Rock Creek           pitch in and volunteer. Its schedule and structure
campaign as well as addressing the issues and concerns      allowed many people to offer their skills and available
of wilderness stakeholders. A big “Thank You!” goes         time to help make it a success. By March, committees
out to all of our great volunteers who have helped at so                                            (Continued on page 8)

        Working to get Wilderness                           July: Bighorn Mountain Festival booth, Johnson Cty
                                                            Fairground. Mores letters and lit given out! Hikers and
         Designation IN Wyoming                             horse-packers met up in Rock Creek for exploration.
 The Grassroots are hard at work in Wyoming. The            August: Congressional Field Tours held in Rock Creek
 Wyoming Wilderness Association is diligently working       with U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis. Media, ranchers,
 on our Rock Creek Wilderness effort in the Bighorn         outfitters and county commissioner (17 in all) along.
 National Forest. The Friends of Rock Creek, formed to      And later, Sen. Enzi’s D.C. staff, Chris Tomassi, and
 build grassroots support for wilderness designation of     NE Field Rep Deanna Bruski (7 in all). Casper Star
 this very special area, is cookin’ with endorsement        Tribune endorsed Rock Creek as Wilderness.
 gathering! Some of the Rockin’ Rock Creek highlights of
                                                            September: Buffalo community organizer for Rock
 2009 include:
                                                            Creek, Kendra Kallevig Childers begins.
 January: “Letter & A Movie” an evening of films at
 the Library with admission being a letter for Rock Creek   October: Liz attends Patagonia Tools Conference to
                                                            pick up techniques and tools for the Rock Creek
 showing Wild Ck Canyon & Rock Creek videos.
                                                            grassroots outreach. Doug Scott, Policy Director for
 February: “Rock Creek Wild!” Concert featuring             Campaign for America’s Wilderness is keynote speaker
 Jalan Crossland Band and Chad Lore Band at the             and guest of the Sheridan Mayor at Sheridan Rotary
 Parkway Plaza, Casper. 680 attended with 60 letters        Club luncheon; public presentation/book signing at
 signed and $9,000 raised for Rock Creek.                   Sheridan Stationery Books and Gallery. Volunteer
                                                            Training happens with 24 attending.
 April: Earth Day events AND Patagonia Wild and
 Scenic Environmental Film Festival at Sheridan’s           November: Four RC volunteers attend Open Office
 WYO Theater. 100 letters signed!                           with Enzi, Barrasso and Lummis staff. Rep. Lummis
                                                            holds Town Hall Meetings—Sheridan: WWA
 June: Bighorn Wild & Scenic Trail Run tabling
                                                            organized 21 people to attend and speak for RC. Very
 brought in 90 signed letters for Rock Creek.
                                                            successful and front page story. Buffalo: County
 Summer: Three Rock Creek outings into some                 Commissioners maintain neutrality during Lummis town
 beautiful country gaining three media articles and ~50     hall meeting.  by Sara Domek, Wildlands Organizer
 newly educated folks!
    Congressional Tours into Rock Creek                                                                  Page 5

  WWA worked for the last year trying to find a way to             On August 25th: We held another
bring our delegation into Rock Creek in 2009. We fished          Congressional Tour of Rock Creek for Chris
around for angles and creative invites to get some
                                                                 Tomassi, Senator Enzi’s Public Lands DC staff and DeAnna
commitments early on. But what it came down to was Rep.
                                                                 Bruski, NE Field Rep; Angela Jarvis, Buffalo Chamber of
Lummis upholding her promise and words to “want to see
                                                                 Commerce Director; Emily Nelson, volunteer and
Rock Creek herself”. We were also grateful to Senator
                                                                 Parkinson’s survivor; Bob Granstrom, owner of Buffalo
Enzi’s team to allow staff person, Chris Tomassi, to find
                                                                 Mountain Outfitters; HF Bar guide and myself. Chris
precious time to tour the area.                                  walked off at lunch with the binoculars and came back
                                                                 saying “WOW. The formations are much bigger than I
                                                                 realized”. He ended the event saying it was a serious place
                                                                 deserving of wilderness, he would discuss it with the
                                                                 Senator and take all comments very seriously.
                                                                   The ensuing media was surprisingly wonderful from the
                                                                 Lummis tour: K2-TV did a magnificent 4-minute special
                                                                 story the next day on the Lummis tour; Casper Star Tribune
                                                                 reporter did a front page Sunday (above the fold) full color
                                                                 picture and 2nd page story on Aug. 16; and Wyoming Public
                                                                 Radio did a short mention in the news the next morning and
                                                                 an eight-minute feature on Friday Aug. 21st Open Spaces
                                                                 edition. That weekend the Casper Star editorial board fully
                                                                 endorsed Rock Creek as Wilderness and more deserving
                                                                 areas for consideration!
Rep. Cynthia Lummis Congressional Tour 2009. WWA photo.
                                                                   These tours are especially rewarding when Lummis and
  After our July drop camp six-day trip into the wild heart      Enzi’s staff speak of their personal knowledge of Rock
of Rock Creek, we were amazed at what we actually found:         Creek to others. They recognize that Rock Creek is an issue
a hundred granite spires, formations, buttes and uplifts to      “done right”, i.e., that it is a locally supported conservation
inspire the artist in us all; canyons and rivers blooming with   measure with support building from local businesses and
red iris and bear sign; and thick mixed-age forests green        individuals. Rep. Lummis couldn’t have been more poetic
with health. We never saw anyone we didn’t plan to meet          in her Rock Creek memories of its special beauty in her
(like our cross-Rock Creek hiking group whom we fed              recent (November 12) Town Hall Meeting in Sheridan. She
dinner one night). We explored a dozen granite monoliths         was truly grateful to have seen it with her own eyes on
up close and personal, but later mapped out or flew over the     horseback. WWA could not have offered this wonderful
rest. Clean, clear spring water, forever drinkable right from    opportunity to bring our elected officials and their staff into
the creek, meadows green and colored with hundreds of            Rock Creek without the help of the HF Bar Ranch and
flowers and butterflies made us wonder why Rock Creek            Buffalo Mountain Outfitting. 
wasn’t designated wilderness in 1984!                                                           Liz Howell, Executive Director
  On August 13th: The first Congressional
Field Tour for Rock Creek, went off without a hitch. We
rode in on HF Bar horses (some brought their own horses
and/or saddles). We had county commissioners from
Johnson and Sheridan, ranchers Mark Gordon, Dave and
Andy Belus, outfitter Bob Granstrom, and media reps from
K2 TV (Matt Stafford), KUWR (Bob Beck) and Casper Star
Tribune (Sam Davidson and photographer). Cynthia
attended in person with her Chief of Staff, Tucker Fagan
and NE Field Staff, Matt Jones. The HF Bar provided sack
lunches, horses and a guide—CHEERS to the HF Bar for
the permission and a great day, and to Buffalo Mountain
Outfitters for my mule! It was a great day going up Stone
Mountain to Firebox Park with beautiful clear weather and
miraculous views of the Rock Creek proposed wilderness              Rock Creek Tour Chris Tomassi, Deanna Bruski. WWA Photo
all the way to the Cloud Peak Wilderness boundary.
   Bridger-Teton National Forest                                                                         Page 6

  WWA began the summer with another volunteer                     Later in September, Skinny Skis sponsored a benefit for
training at the Teton County Library. Former WWA staff,         WWA in Jackson, hosting Andrew Skurka for a
Forrest McCarthy (and now Winter Wildlands Alliance             slideshow. Skurka, 28, is an accomplished professional
staff), led attendees through the planning process on the       backpacker, well-known for his two monumental, long
Bridger-Teton National Forest (B-T) and provided basic          distance backpacking firsts: the 6,875 mile Great Western
training in GIS to help them participate in the Google          Loop and his 7,778 mile Sea to Sea Route, and a pioneer
Map logging system we have going on lands with                  in ultra-light packing. 
wilderness potential. Despite the slowdown in the
planning process on the B-T, we continue to recruit
volunteers so that we have an active viable group to
advocate for wild places once we present our new
wilderness proposals for the B-T. We did a follow up
training in mid-summer.
  At the end of the summer, we had a wonderful
gathering on The Murie Ranch to celebrate 25 years of
wilderness in Wyoming. It was organized by WWA, The
Murie Center and Bridger-Teton National Forest. Our
guest hosts for the evening were Steve Duerr, Nancy
Shea, Press Stevens and Barry Reiswig. They delivered
their combined knowledge of Wyoming wilderness
stories leading to the 1984 passage with humor and
insight. The assembled group included many old heroes
for wilderness including: Louise Murie Macleod, Leslie
and Hank Petersen, Loring Woodman, Cate Cabot, Linda
Merigliano, Susan Marsh, Liz Howell** and many others.                       BTNF sunset. Dave Malutich Photo.

Bridger-Teton National Forest Planning Process
  Since the new planning rule from DC is still not in place,      the B-T posted what used to be called a Comprehensive
the B-T continues to work on amendments to the current            Evaluation Report on their website. It is now called the 5-
plan. A successful amendment was the Pronghorn Migration          year Monitoring Report. It contains Trends and Conditions
Corridor. Currently, they are working on Standards and            on the forest, plus a sociological study and an economic
Guidelines for forest management which should come out in         report both done by outside parties. With no rule yet in
2010. There is no “Planner” on staff at this time, but the        place, action on new wilderness is still on hold. 
first round to recruit a replacement is underway. Recently,

Protecting the WSA’s in the B-T from Excessive Snowmobile Use
  WWA and a group of local activists have taken up the          primitive recreation and degrade an area’s naturalness,
issue of illegal snowmobiling use in the Palisades WSA,         adversely affecting an area’s undeveloped character. WSAs
after a very favorable ruling by a judge in Montana. A U.S.     must be managed in a way that protects their wilderness
District Court determined that the management of                character. Since the B-T has not completed a winter travel
recreation and travel activities in Montana’s Hyalite-          plan (there is work underway to force them to do so),
Porcupine-Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area did not            WWA will address the B-T and its regional forester with a
reach do its duty to preserve the wilderness character of the   letter to correct the current situation in which snowmobiling
Study Area as mandated in the Montana Wilderness Study          (particularly in the Palisades Wilderness Study Area) has
Act. The issue at stake is the fact that snowmobiling does      increased significantly beyond the 1984 levels in both
degrade wilderness qualities. The judge noted that              manner and degree. Nancy Shea, Jackson Rep
snowmobiles diminish opportunities for solitude and

  ** “Liz Howell spoke about petitioning for a hearing on Cloud Peak, going to D.C. as a citizen lobbyist in ‘84. Liz asked
all gathered around the fire to close their eyes and invoke Mardy Murie’s spirit to inspire action for new wilderness areas,
like Rock Creek in the Bighorns. Liz said she believes Mardy went to work in the hearts and minds of all in attendance,
stating that, ‘while it’s been 35 years, there is still time to protect those places that were left out of the 1984 Wyoming
Wilderness Act.” The Murie Center News (Autumn 2009).
     Bureau of Land Management Public Wildlands                                                                    Page 7

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is still informally accepting comments on their draft revisions of the Resource
Management Plan (RMP) that will guide the management of public lands and minerals across the entire Bighorn and Powder River
basins! Get involved by protecting our special places, minimizing the impacts of energy development, preserving wildlife habitat,
and promoting policies that protect human health.
Bighorn Basin
  The Bighorn Basin has 13 wilderness study areas and citizens proposed areas, nine Areas of Critical Concern, and 11 rivers eligible
for Wild and Scenic River protection. These wild and unique landscapes need your voice for balanced management!                 Bobcat
Draw Badlands Wilderness Study Area
  It was the morning after the September full moon, and the sunrise found a hardy group of hikers preparing for their adventure into
the 17,150 acre Bobcat Draw Badlands Wilderness Study Area (WSA). Bobcat Draw lies about 24 miles west/northwest of Worland
in the Fifteenmile Creek drainage. Our hike started on the upper reaches of the Badlands, and even though the morning was cool, we
were soon sweating as we wound our way over the red and pastel-white badlands. Mike Healy, our hike leader and local rancher
brought to life stories of growing up herding cattle here on the BLM allotments his family ranch leased. We learned of the delicacy of
this unique ecological landscape, and we experienced first-hand the remote peacefulness of this Wyoming desert badland.
                                           Our lunch break was atop a butte overlooking the WSA and the additional Citizens Proposed
                                           Wilderness Area. It provided us a beautiful vista which spread to the east and south a
                                           landscape of red-rimmed canyons; Wyoming’s harsh weather has carved and shaped this
                                           rugged terrain into mazes and hoodoos striped with red, orange, bright purple, blue, green
                                           and grey. Many unique fossils are found in the area, and it also provides home to pronghorn
                                           antelope, wild horses, mule deer, bobcats, fox, coyotes, and chukars. Burrowing owls, golden
                                           eagles, and sage grouse utilize the great variety of habitats found here, which range from mud
                                           caves and spires to broad, grassy plains along the streambeds in the east and north. Clearly,
                                           this landscape boasts an impressive list of wilderness qualities, and our outing provided us an
                                           opportunity to know first-hand why this area needs to be protected as wilderness for the long-
                                           Sheep Mountain Wilderness Study Area
                                             The Sheep Mountain Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is 23,250 acres of deeply cut
                                           badlands, highly eroded red-hued soils, and outcrops of colorful and rugged vistas about 18
                                           miles west of the town of Basin. In mid-September, WWA hosted an outing into this special
                                           area, with the hike led by Rex Myers and Susan Richards. We followed the Dorsey Creek
                                           drainage, passing through the deeply-carved washes of the creek and up to the top of a broad,
                                           sandstone overlook where we could see far to the north and up to the higher elevations of
                                           Sheep and Tatman Mountains.
  Bobcat Draw Badlands hike 2009.
             WWA photo.
                                           Some of the most striking and unspoiled badlands in Wyoming are found here, and according
                                        to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, it also provides crucial winter range for mule deer
and pronghorn antelope. Our little group of hikers saw hawks and falcons, and we noticed sign of coyotes, mule deer, and pronghorn.
  The day was highlighted by our return hike across the flat basin of Dorsey Creek where the group spread out and explored the
rugged wash. I discovered a young cottonwood; leaves still green, rooted up against the side of the dry creekbed—waiting for those
sudden Wyoming thundershowers. Like this young cottonwood, Wyoming’s special areas need protection, and the Sheep Mountain
WSA would be a great place for the BLM to start on expanding the boundaries of its
Wyoming wilderness protection.
Powder River Basin                                                                                 Wyoming’s Fortification Creek
  The Buffalo Field Office manages 780,291 acres of public lands and 4,731,140 acres             Area is a beautiful, vibrant treas-
of mineral estate within Campbell, Johnson, and Sheridan counties in north-central               ure in the northeastern corner of
Wyoming. These three counties are part of the Northern Great Plains and are rich in               the state. This area is far more
old west history. This area contains vast deposits of oil, gas and coal, in addition to          than a creek, it is a 120,000 acre
providing a variety of resources such as wildlife habitat and rangelands for livestock           stronghold for many area wildlife
grazing. The public lands and adjacent Bighorn National Forest provide many                       species including the declining
opportunities for recreational activities.                                                        sage-grouse and the important
  The BLM is currently in the alternative formulation process of their Resource                         Fortification elk herd.
Management Plan Revision, during which time the BLM will use comments received
from the public, the planning issues, and planning constraints to formulate a reasonable range of management alternatives for
evaluation in the Environmental Impact Statement. Each alternative will provide a different emphasis for managing the public lands
and resources within the planning area and represents a complete land use plan.
  The Buffalo Field Office will hold open houses for public involvement, which are opportunities for learning about issues— but
these meetings cannot compensate for being blocked from attending the secret meetings of the Government Cooperators Group.
Wake up BLM, the new administration is noted for “transparency in government”. 
     Volunteers are our WILD Heroes (cont.)                                                                      Page 8

(Continued from page 4)                                                       planning the films, matinee, speakers, music,
                                                                              refreshments, tabling and art show were busy making
                                                                              plans and getting ready. The day of the show a crew
                                                                              was at the theater early to set up while dozens of
                                                                              volunteer chefs dropped off an array of delicious
                                                                              snacks; many more returned late to take down and clean
                                                                              up. The volunteer roster also included educators,
                                                                              musicians, artists, the mayor, a county commissioner,
                                                                              film-makers, poster-hangers, Wyo Theater ushers and
                                                                              bartenders, high school students, and the landfill
                                                                              employees who took care of recycling. It was the
                                                                              Volunteers who made the Film Festival a fun and
                                                                              successful event; it wouldn’t have happened without
                                                                              them! Edith Heyward, WWA volunteer, hike leader
                                                                                WWA will host 2 film festival in 2010! Find more ways
                                                                              to be involved in protecting Wyoming’s WILD legacy on
Emily Nelson awarded the Wilderness Legacy Award for her devotion to the      page 9 of this newsletter.
Rock Creek cause at the Volunteer Picnic held at the Story Park. WWA photo.
                                                                                If you would like to volunteer, please contact Sara
                                                                              Domek at sara@wildwyo.org or call 307-672-2751.

      Rock Creek is a spectacular, rugged 34,000 acres nestled between the Bud Love Wildlife Habitat Management area to
the east and the Cloud Peak Wilderness to the west. Towering rock spires, healthy stands of lodgepole pine, and spectacular
canyons carve this landscape ranging from 6,000 feet to nearly 11,000 feet where elk, moose, and deer are found year-round.
Rock Creek was the last area to be left out of the Wyoming Wilderness Act of 1984, but was noted in Congressional
testimony to have extraordinary wilderness values that should be reconsidered in the next forest planning process. In 2005
the Bighorn National Forest recommended Rock Creek for wilderness in their revised Final Forest Plan.
      What it takes to get a Bill? A lot! It is a long, arduous trail for wilderness legislation to pass into law, but momentum
is gaining for Rock Creek to become the first new wilderness in the state of Wyoming since 1984! As the Forest Service has
already taken the step in recommending that Rock Creek become wilderness, the next step is for the local citizenry to
demonstrate outstanding support. That support must be large, vocal and bring in the local elected officials, businesses, and
community leadership. As Rep. Lummis has said, once the Johnson County Commissioners
ask for Rock Creek to become wilderness, then she will introduce the bill into
Congress. The Wyoming Wilderness Act of 1984 was killed in the two preceding years
before it was enacted because it simply did not include areas the Wyoming citizenry wanted.
It was a complex statewide initiative when finally passed added 1.1 million acres to
Wyoming’s Wilderness system. The trend in Congress today, especially in conservative
western states, is to pass small site specific wilderness bills.
      WWA has worked for years bringing Rock Creek to the forefront, first in the Wyoming
Wilderness Act, then in the Forest Planning process, and now as with local grassroots
support. Nonetheless, since only Congress can designate wilderness, honest and upfront
education and outreach must be part of any successful wilderness campaign. Listening and
addressing the concerns of the public and stakeholders, creating and distributing factual
materials, meeting and presenting to all kinds of community members will bring the success
we are all hopeful for. Understanding the basics of the legislative process and working with
Congress and the White House will be key to these efforts.
      The Legislative Process
      The Congress of the United States is divided into two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Both of
these chambers are responsible for the enactment of legislation. In order for a bill to be enacted, a compromise would have
to be approved by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. The bill would then pass both the House and Senate,
and be signed into law by the President. 
      What you can do! Give to WWA and write a letter!                                                  Page 9

                   Yes, I want to protect Wyoming’s wild public lands for future generations!
                                          Enclosed is my contribution of:

   $10,000       $5,000       $1,000       $500         $250        $100        $50        $30          Other

 Name ___________________________________________________________________

 Address _________________________________________________________________

 City ________________________________ St ____________________ Zip __________                         Thank You!
 Phone ______________________ Email ______________________________________

  Check enclosed, Payable to Wyoming Wilderness Association - PO Box 6588 - Sheridan, WY 82801
  Please charge my credit card ONCE
  Please charge my credit card MONTHLY for the amount checked through this date: _____   The Wyoming Wilderness
                                                                                        Association is a public nonprofit
 Card Type: _________________________________________________________________            501(c)(3) organization as no
                                                                                                goods or services are provided in
 Name on Card: _____________________________________ Exp. Date: _______________                  whole or part for any donation.
                                                                                                 All donations are tax deductible
 Card #: ____________________________________________ CSC #: _________________                   as provided by law. Our tax ID
                                                                                                      number is 38-3667856.
 Signature: _________________________________________________________________
                   You can also give online at www.wildwyo.org. Thank you so much!

 What you can do for Rock Creek!
 The most important thing you can do, is let our U.S. Senators and Representative, local officials, and Johnson County
 Commissioners know that you support Rock Creek wilderness designation. Write, email, or call them today!
                                  Alert the community to the importance of Rock Creek wilderness designation by
                                writing a letter to the editor of the Buffalo Bulletin, Johnson County’s weekly paper.
                                Email your letter (350 words or less) to editor@buffalobulletin.com or the Casper Star
                                editor@trib.com The Friends of Rock Creek (FORC) need your help!
                                Become a member of F.O.R.C.. We’re seeking volunteers to help with business
                                outreach and tabling events. Email sara@wildwyo.org for more information!
                                Business Endorsements:
                                Business support for Rock Creek wilderness designation is growing locally in Sheridan
                                and Johnson County. To date, over 40 Johnson and 40 Sheridan County businesses
Sara Domek, WWA Wildlands officially endorsed the Rock Creek Wilderness and the number is growing! Also on
Organizer, hunting in Area 36, board: Cloud Peak Chapter of Backcountry Horsemen, Cloud Peak Chapter of Wilderness
         Rock Creek.            Watch, Trout Unlimited, Bighorn Chapter, Wyoming Outdoor Council, Wyoming
                                Wildlife Federation. Several hotels, motels, downtown businesses, and both of Buffalo’s
 grocers have signed endorsements, which will hopefully impress our decision-makers. Several business owners went the
 extra mile and attended the Lummis Town Hall meeting in November. In the coming weeks, the FORC volunteers are
 hopeful of securing over 100 Johnson County business endorsements. We could use your help. Training available!
 Johnson County Commissioners Support Required!
 Representative Lummis has made it clear on several occasions that she is basing her decision regarding Rock Creek on
 the recommendation of the Johnson County Commissioners. She strongly believes that land management decisions
 should be made by local people that best know the land. If County
                                                                          WRITE: Johnson County Commissioners
 Commissioners Wildeman, Fink, and Eitel ask Lummis to carry a bill
                                                                          Gerald Fink — up for re-election
 in Washington, D.C. for Rock Creek wilderness designation Lummis
                                                                          Delbert Eitel — up for re-election
 said she will sponsor that bill at the November 12 town Hall meeting.
                                                                          Smokey Wildeman
 Growing support within the Buffalo community is letting the county
                                                                          76 North Main Street, Buffalo, WY 82834
 commissioners know that citizens and business owners support
                                                                          (307) 684-7555
 wilderness designation for the Rock Creek area, and understand the
                                                                          Email: commissioners@johnsoncowy.us
 economic, aesthetic, and recreational values that wilderness will bring
 to the area.
      Wyoming Wilderness Association                                                                  NON-PROFIT
    PO Box 6588                                                                                      ORGANIZATION
    Sheridan, WY 82801                                                                               U.S. POSTAGE
    Phone: (307) 672-2751
    Fax:   (307) 672-2752
    Email: liz@wildwyo.org                                                                           PERMIT NO. 23
                                                                                                  SHERIDAN, WY 82801

        Inside this Issue
Wilderness 101 .......................... 1
Greetings from the President ..... 2
Governing Council Transitions 2-3
Volunteers are Our Heroes ... 4&8
Making WILD Permanent ........... 3
Congressional Tours .................. 5
Bridger-Teton National Forest .... 6
Bureau of Land Mgmt Lands ...... 7
WHAT YOU CAN DO ................. 9
                                                                                                 Bradley Lee tabling Earth Day 2009
WILD Happenings .................... 10
                                                                                                   in Kendrick Park. WWA photo.

                                  Exciting WILD Happenings!! You’re Invited!
       Wyoming Wilderness Association Annual                        Rock Creek Miniature Art Auction for the Earth
       Holiday Christmas Party                                             When: April 12 - April 25
       When: December 18 - 3:00—6:30 pm                                    Where: Linda Davis Gallery, Sheridan
       Where: “Our House”, 325 E. Loucks, Sheridan                         We invite local artists to submit their miniature art
December 18: We would like to personally thank our friends                 pieces for a fun-filled Silent auction culminating
for their support. Please join us in celebrating this holiday       April 25 with final bidding and reception.
season. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served. So
come visit us for holiday cheer at “Our House”.
                                                                    Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
Winter Wildlands Alliance Backcountry Film Festival
                                                                                   When: April 16 - 7:00—9:00 pm
                     When: January 14 - 5:30—8:00 pm
                                                                                   Where: WYO Theater, Main St., Sheridan
                     Where: Buffalo Theater, 223 S. Main
                                                                                   The Wyoming Wilderness Association and
                     St., Buffalo
                                                                                   The WYO Theater present The Banff
                     Join Winter Wildlands Alliance and
                                                                                   Mountain Film Festival World Tour Sponsored
Wyoming Wilderness Association for a night of delightful
                                                                    by National Geographic and North Face. The Banff
films highlighting human powered outdoor fun and reverie
                                                                    Mountain Film Festival is an international film competition
by grassroots filmmakers and pre-film Pot Luck and Après
                                                                    featuring the world’s best footage on mountain subjects. The
Film Discussion led by Forrest McCarthy, Wyoming Rep for
                                                                    festival began in 1976 and is held annually on the first
The Alliance, Adventurer and Arctic Explorer. If you’re
                                                                    weekend in November in Banff, Alberta, Canada. The year
interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Liz at
                                                                    2009 marks the 34th anniversary of the festival. If you’re
                                                                    interested in sponsoring this event, please contact Liz at
                Winter Ski Trip into Rock Creek                     info@wildwyo.org
                When: January 15
                                                                    Please visit our website for more information or call us at
                Led by local volunteers. Visit our website for
                upcoming information on this event.

                                                        Printed on recycled paper