OPINION: The Crown Jewel of Southwest Wyoming

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A shot taken from the aerial tour of the Greater Little Mountain area hosted by the GLMC earlier this year.
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The following was written and submitted by the members of the Greater Little Mountain Coalition.

The Greater Little Mountain Area encompasses 522,236 acres of majestic views, native cutthroat trout streams, sage-brush ecosystems, red sandstone badlands, and stunning mountain vistas. The lands is intermixed with aspen-conifer forests utilized by a variety of critters that need this type of diversity to thrive.

This mosaic of quality habitat, springs, streams and sensitive recharge areas borders Flaming Gorge Reservoir to the west, a popular boating and sport fishing mecca that also provides more than 15 million acre/feet of water to seven state beneficiaries under the Colorado River Compact. Greater Little Mountain is a place that holds rich outdoor recreation opportunities, favored hunting camps and secret trout fishing holes.

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Locals love this place; so do thousands of others who have had the privilege to visit. For generations the Greater Little Mountain Area has been a favorite for sportsmen and sportswomen and worthy of our focused conservation.

With so much interest and engagement from the public, the Greater Little Mountain Coalition formed in 2008 in response to development leasing and applications to drill. With overwhelming gratitude from the Coalition, the Bureau of Land Management recently deferred oil and gas lease sales within the Greater Little Mountain Area until the resource management plan revision for the Rock Springs Field Office is complete. The deferral is consistent with the 2009 memorandum of understanding between the State of Wyoming and Wyoming BLM.

The Coalition has been actively engaged in the BLM’s plan revision process and has submitted a management alternative for the BLM’s Rock Springs Field Office to consider. Our management alternative includes opportunities for multiple-use, responsible mineral development, conservation and protection of priceless fish and wildlife resources.

When an area is loved as fiercely by the public as Greater Little Mountain, we would be remiss to not propose a management plan that preserves historical uses and recreation values and encourages a thorough, detailed landscape-scale planning effort for responsible oil and gas development that can balance all the ecosystem services this area affords.

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