From: Jonathan Proctor <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> (by way of Wild Rockies
Subject: National Grasslands Alert
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Sign our on-line petition at


On July 7, the U.S. Forest Service released a Draft Environmental Impact
Statement (DEIS) outlining ways to manage eight National Grasslands and two
National Forests in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Wyoming.
They are accepting public comments until JANUARY 13, 2000.  The final plan
will guide management on 2.9 million acres of public lands - an area larger
than Yellowstone National Park.

Predator Conservation Alliance has developed recommendations based on the
knowledge of biologists, advocates and policy analysts, which we believe
can restore our prairie grassland ecosystem on the northern National

Two ways to send your comments:

#1: Sign our on-line petition at asking the Forest Service
to restore prairie wildlife on our National Grasslands.  It only takes a
few seconds.

#2:  E-mail personal comments to mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED], or
mail to Northern Great Plains Planning Team, 125 North Main St., Chadron,
NE 69337, fax 308-432-0309 (keep in mind that mailed letters are better
than e-mailed letters).

Points to include in your personal letter:

        The Draft Environmental Impact Statement and proposed management
plans for the northern Great Plains National Grasslands do not go nearly
far enough to change the way these lands are managed.  The following
changes should be included in the final management plans:

*       The Forest Service should manage for a full complement of native
species on all National Grasslands. The Forest Service is required to
manage our public lands for the long-term conservation of all native
wildlife.  Priority should be given to adequately protect imperiled species
- such as the swift fox, mountain plover and ferruginous hawk - and to
restore native species such as the black-footed ferret and bison.

*       Management should give priority to conserving and restoring prairie
dog towns until they occupy a minimum of 10% of the suitable habitat on our
National Grasslands.   Prairie dogs are the engineers that create a unique
ecosystem used by dozens of prairie species.  The Forest Service should
eliminate prairie dog poisoning and shooting to allow for the natural
expansion of prairie dogs to reach this ten percent level.

*       One-third of National Grasslands should be rested from livestock
grazing annually.  This will allow adequate amounts of taller grasses
necessary for several wildlife species.  Livestock should also be kept away
from streams and wetlands.

*       Wild bison should be restored on our National Grasslands.  The
majority of public comment supports bison restoration.  Bison should be
reintroduced onto our public grasslands bordering Badlands National Park
and Theodore Roosevelt National Park to expand the size and range of the
National Parks' present herds.  Bison should also be restored to the
Soldier Creek Wilderness in the Nebraska National Forest.

*       Black-footed ferrets should be reintroduced wherever feasible, and
reintroduction sites should be as large as possible.   The U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service has identified nine ferret reintroduction sites on our
public grasslands in the northern Plains.  Considering that ferrets are one
of the most endangered mammals on the continent, the Forest Service should
reintroduce ferrets to all nine areas.

*       Oil and gas development should be prohibited where it is
incompatible with other uses.   The Forest Service should not allow oil and
gas development in proposed wilderness areas, and should deny placement of
fixed structures for all remaining roadless areas, special interest areas,
research natural areas and other important wildlife and recreation areas.

*       All remaining roadless grassland areas should be proposed for
wilderness designation.   These 45 areas (574,000 acres) account for only
20% of the total public land area, and only a tiny fraction of the entire
northern Great Plains region.  This is the best way to preserve the natural
character of these few remaining wild areas.

Please forward this e-mail to your friends so that they can sign our
on-line petition also!


For more information, please contact:
Jonathan Proctor
Predator Conservation Alliance
Prairie Dog Ecosystem Campaign
801 Sherwood, Suite B, Missoula, MT  59802
406-543-8424, Fax: 406-728-9432

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