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Full text of "Wilderness supplement to the draft resource management plan/environ0mental impact statement for the Medicine Bow Resource Area, Rawlins District, Wyoming"



WILDERNESS SUPPLEMENT 

to the 

DRAFT RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN/ 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 

for the 

MEDICINE BOW RESOURCE AREA 

RAWLINS DISTRICT, WYOMING 



Prepared by: 

U.S. Department of the Interior 

Bureau of Land Management 

1987 




Wyoming Statelwirector 



(Lfytiuu v-/3~<» 7 



Date 



°&l 






BLM LIBRARY 
SC-324A, BLDG. 50 

DENVER FEDERAL CENTER 

P. 0. BOX 25047 
DENVER, GO 80225-0047 



r 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



SUMMARY 1 

CHAPTER 1: PURPOSE AND NEED; ISSUES AND CRITERIA 5 

PART I - ENCAMPMENT RIVER CANYON WSA 

Chapter 2: Alternatives 13 

Chapter 3: Affected Environment 23 

Chapter 4: Environmental Consequences 35 

PART II - PROSPECT MOUNTAIN WSA 

Chapter 2: Alternatives 43 

Chapter 3: Affected Environment 51 

Chapter 4: Environmental Consequences 59 

PART III - BENNETT MOUNTAINS WSA 

Chapter 2: Alternatives 67 

Chapter 3: Affected Environment 73 

Chapter 4: Environmental Consequences 81 

CHAPTER 5: CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION 85 

GLOSSARY 91 

REFERENCES 97 



MAPS 

1 . Location of WSAs 10 

2. Livestock Exclosures in the Encampment River Canyon WSA 16 

3. Livestock Grazing Allotments in the Encampment River 

Canyon WSA 31 

4. Post-FLPMA Mining Claims in the Encampment River Canyon 

WSA 33 

5. Forest Management in Prospect Mountain WSA 56 

6. Post-FLPMA Mining Claims in the Prospect Mountain WSA 58 

7. Post-FLPMA Oil and Gas Leases - Bennett Mountains WSA 79 

TABLES 

1 . List of Wilderness Study Areas 9 

2. Summary of Impacts - Encampment River Canyon WSA 20 

3. Livestock Grazing Allotments in the Encampment River 

Canyon WSA 30 

4. Proposed Timber Sales in the Prospect Mountain WSA 47 

5. Summary of Impacts - Prospect Mountain WSA 48 

6. Summary of Impacts - Bennett Mountains WSA 71 

7. Bennett Mountains WSA Post-FLPMA Oil and G?s Lease 

Abstract 80 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



PHOTOGRAPHS 

1 . Encampment River Canyon WSA 26 

2. Encampment River Canyon WSA 26 

3. Prospect Mountain WSA 54 

4. Bennett Mountains WSA 76 

5. Bennett Mountains WSA 76 



ABBREVIATIONS 



[Note: Many of these terms are further defined in the Glossary.] 

ACEC Area of critical environmental concern 

BLM Bureau of Land Management 

CDNST Continental Divide National Scenic Trail 

CFR Code of Federal Regulations 

EIS Environmental Impact Statement 

FLPMA Federal Land Policy and Management Act 

HMP Habitat Management Plan 

NNL National Natural Landmark 

NWPS National Wilderness Preservation System 

ORV Off-Road Vehicle 

RAMP Recreation Area Management Plan 

RMP Resource Management Plan 

USDI United States Department of the Interior 

USFS United States Forest Service 

WGFD Wyoming Game and Fish Department 

WSA Wilderness Study Area 



in 



BLE OF COMTE^TS 



Introduction 3 

Major Issues and Concerns 3 

Alternatives Including the Proposed Action 3 

Encampment River Canyon WSO (WY-030-301) 3 

Proposed Action; No Action: No Wilderness 3 

All Wilderness Alternative 3 

Prospect Mountain WSO (WY-03Q-303) 4 

Proposed Action - All Wilderness 4 

No Action: No Wilderness 4 

Bennett Mountains WSO (WY-030-304) 4 

Proposed Action; No Action: No Wilderness 4 

All Wilderness Alternative 4 



SUMMARY 



Introduction 

This Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is 
an analysis of the effects of wilderness desig- 
nation or nondesignation alternatives on 11,695 
acres of public land in three wilderness study 
areas (WSAs). The study areas are all located in 
Carbon County. The Encampment River Canyon 
is in southern Carbon County, two miles south of 
Encampment; the Bennett Mountains WSA is in 
north central Carbon County east of Seminoe 
Dam; and the Prospect Mountain WSA is in 
southern Carbon County approximately 16 miles 
southeast of Encampment and 8 miles north of the 
Colorado-Wyoming border. This EIS was pre- 
pared in response to Section 603 of the Federal 
Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) which 
directs the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) 
to inventory, study, and report to Congress, 
through the Secretary of Interior and the 
President, those public lands suitable for 
preservation as wilderness. 



Major Issues and Concerns 

The wilderness review for the Medicine Bow 
Resource Area has involved many people. Based 
on contacts with industry, organizations, indi- 
viduals, federal, state and local agencies, the 
following areas of concern and controversy were 
identified for the three WSAs. 

1. Effects on wilderness values, including naturalness, 

solitude, and primitive and unconfined recreation. 

2. Effects on recreational opportunities, including the use 

of motorized vehicles and the quality of recreation. 

3. Effects on mineral exploration and development-oil and 

gas and locatable minerals. 

4. Effects on wildlife including elk, mule deer, bighorn 

sheep, and fish populations (Encampment River Canyon 
WSA only). 

5. Effects on livestock grazing and grazing management 

(Encampment River Canyon WSA only). 

6. Effects on forest resources and forest management 

(Prospect Mountain WSA only). 



7. Effects on wildlife including elk and mule deer (Prospect 
Mountain WSA only). 



Alternatives Including the 
Proposed Action 

This EIS deals with three v/ilderness study 
areas and examines two alternatives including the 
proposed action for each WSA. The alternatives 
analyzed include All Wilderness or No Action: No 
Wilderness. 



Encampment River Canyon WSA 
(WY-030-301) 

Unit Description - The Encampment River 
Canyon WSA consists of 4,547 acres of public 
land. No private or state inholdings, and no 
split-estate lands are located within the WSA 
boundary. The topography of the entire unit is 
mountainous with steep canyons and rocky 
slopes. Elevations range from 7,200 feet to 8,545 
feet. The dominant tree species within the unit are 
limber pine, lodgepole pine, cottonwood, and 
aspen. 



Proposed Action; No Action: No 
Wilderness 

Under this alternative, the Encampment River 
Canyon WSA would be recommended nonsuit- 
able for designation as wilderness. Resource 
management in the WSA would emphasize 
protection and enhancement of recreational, 
wildlife, fisheries, and scenic values. 



All Wilderness Alternative 

Under this alternative, the Encampment River 
Canyon WSA would be recommended suitable for 
designation as wilderness. The entire WSA would 



SUMMARY 



be closed to ORVs. Existing livestock manage- 
ment practices would be continued. 



Prospect Mountain WSA 
(WY-030-303) 

Unit Description -The Prospect Mountain WSA 
consists of 1,145 acres of public land. No private 
or state inholdings, and no split-estate lands are 
located within the WSA boundary. The topog- 
raphy of the entire unit is mountainous with dense 
forest cover and riparian areas. Elevations range 
from 7,400 feet to 8,430 feet. 



Proposed Action - All Wilderness 

Under this alternative, the Prospect Mountain 
WSA would be recommended suitable for 
designation as wilderness. Activities such as road 
building, timber harvesting, the use of motorized 
equipment and vehicles and mining would be 
prohibited. 



No Action: No Wilderness 

Under this alternative, the Prospect Mountain 
WSA would be recommended nonsuitable for 
designation as wilderness. The WSA would be 
managed for dispersed recreation, wildlife 
habitat, forest production, and mineral devel- 
opment. 



Bennett Mountains WSA 
(WY-030-304) 

Unit Description - The Bennett Mountains WSA 
consists of 6,003 acres of public land. No private 
or state inholdings, and no split-estate lands are 
located within the WSA boundary. There are three 
types of topography in the WSA: the mountain 
plateau/ridges; the steep rock ledges; and the 
many tributary draws. Elevations range from 
6,600 feet to 8,000 feet. 



Proposed Action 
Wilderness 



No Action: No 



Under this alternative, the Bennett Mountains 
WSA would be recommended nonsuitable for 
designation as wilderness. The WSA would be 
managed for dispersed recreation. 



All Wilderness Alternative 

Under this alternative, the Bennett Mountains 
WSA would be recommended suitable for 
designation as wilderness. Management would 
provide for protection and preservation of the 
area's natural conditions and wilderness char- 
acter. 



Chapter One 



Purpose and Need ; 
Issues and Criteria 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Purpose and Need for Action 7 

Planning Criteria and Quality Standards 7 

Criterion Number 1 , Evaluation of Wilderness Values 7 

Criterion Number 2, Manageability 8 

Standard Number 1 , Energy Mineral Resource Values 8 

Standard Number 2, Impacts on Other Resources 8 

Standard Number 3, Impact of Nondesignation on Wildernss Values. . 8 

Standard Number 4, Public Comment 8 

Standard Number 5, Local, Social, and Economic Effects 8 

Standard Number 6, Consistency with Other Plans 8 

Wilderness Study 8 

Major Issues and Concerns 9 

Issues for the Enacampment River Canyon WSA 9 

Issues for the Prospect Mountain WSA 9 

Issues for the Bennett Mountains WSA 9 

Concerns 9 

Interim Management Policy 11 

Wilderness Management Policy 11 



CHAPTER 1 



PURPOSE AND NEED; ISSUES AND CRITERIA 



PURPOSE AND NEED FOR 
ACTION 

The Medicine Bow Resource Area Wilderness 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is being 
prepared in response to Section 603 of the 
Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
(FLPMA), October 21, 1976. This law directs the 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to inventory, 
study, and report to Congress, through the 
Secretary of the Interior and the President, the 
public lands preliminarily suitable for inclusion in 
the National Wilderness Preservation System 
(NWPS). 

This EIS satisfies the study requirements for 
three of the 40 BLM wilderness study areas in 
Wyoming. According to FLPMA, the Secretary 
must report his recommendations to the Presi- 
dent by October21, 1991. The President has until 
October 21, 1993, to send his recommendations 
to Congress; only Congress has the authority to 
designate any of the study areas as wilderness or 
release them from study status as nonsuitable. 

The purpose of this EIS is to analyze the effects 
of present or potential resource uses in three 
WSAs in central Wyoming. The WSAs are 
Encampment River Canyon (WY-030-301), 
Prospect Mountain (WY-030-303), and Bennett 
Mountains (WY-030-304). 



PLANNING CRITERIA AND 
QUALITY STANDARDS 

BLM planning regulations provide guidance for 
the development of Resource Management Plans 
(RMPs). These RMPs establish the combinations 
of land uses and resource uses, related levels of 
investment and production or protection to be 
maintained, and general management practices 
and constraints for the various public land 
resources. Public participation is an integral part 
of the RMP process. The nine steps of the RMP 
process are listed below. A more complete 



description of the planning process is included in 
the Resource Management Plan/Environmental 
Impact Statement for the Medicine Bow and 
Divide Resource Areas (USDI, BLM forthcoming). 



: t-i 



Step 1. Identification of Issues 
Step 2. Development of Planning 



Criteria 



Step 3. Collection of Inventory Data 

Step 4. Analysis of the Management Situ- 
ation 

Step 5. Formulation of Alternatives 

Step 6. Estimation of Effects of Alternatives 

Step 7. Selection of the Preferred Alter- 
native 

Step 8. Selection of the Resource Man- 
agement Plan 

Step 9. Monitoring and Evaluation 

During the development of RMPs, criteria are 
developed for each resource element (such as 
wilderness values) that represents an issue in the 
planning effort. National planning criteria for the 
wilderness study process have been developed by 
BLM. All BLM wilderness recommendations, both 
suitable and nonsuitable for preservation as 
wilderness, are developed on the basis of the two 
planning criteria and six quality standards listed 
below. 



Criterion Number 1, Evaluation of 
Wilderness Values 

Consider the extent that each of the following 
contributes to the overall value of an area for 
wilderness purposes. 

1. Mandatory wilderness characteristics: size, naturalness 

and outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive, 
unconfined recreation. 

2. Special features: presence or absence and quality of 

ecological, geological or other features of scientific, 
educational, scenic, or historical value. 

3. Multiple-resource benefits: benefits to other multiple- 

resource values and uses that only wilderness 
designation of the area could ensure. 



J 

i 



.. 



PURPOSE AND NEED 



Diversity: the extent that wilderness designation of the 
area under study would contribute to expanding the 
diversity of the NWPS from the standpoint of the factors 
listed below: 

a. Expanding the diversity of natural systems and 
features, as represented by ecosystems and 
landforms. 

b. Assessing the opportunities for solitude or primitive 
recreation within a day's driving time of major 
population centers. 

c. Balancing the geographic distribution of wilderness 
areas. 



Criterion Number 2, Manageability 

The area must be capable of being effectively 
managed to preserve its wilderness character. 



Standard Number 1, Energy 
Mineral Resource Values 

Recommendations as to an area's suitability or 
nonsuitability for wilderness designation will 
reflect a thorough consideration of any identified 
or potential energy and mineral resource values. 

Standard Number 2, Impacts on 
Other Resources 

Consider the extent to which other resource 
values or uses of the area would be foregone or 
adversely affected as a result of wilderness 
designation. 



received from interested and affected public 
groups at all levels-local, state, regional, and 
national. BLM will develop its recommendations 
by considering public comment in conjunction 
with its analysis of a wilderness study area's 
multiple resource and social and economic values 
and uses. 



Standard Number 5, Local, 
Social, and Economic Effects 

In determining whether an area is suitable or 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation, BLM will 
give special attention to adverse or favorable 
social and economic effects, as identified through 
the wilderness study process, that wilderness 
designation will have on local areas. 

Standard Number 6, Consistency 
with Other Plans 

In determining whether an area is suitable or 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation, BLM will 
considertheextentto which the recommendation 
is consistent with officially approved and adopted 
resource-related plans of other federal agencies, 
state and local governments, and Indian tribes 
(and the policies and programs contained in such 
plans), as required by FLPMA and BLM planning 
regulations. 



WILDERNESS STUDY 



Standard Number 3, Impact of 
Nondesignation on Wilderness 
Values 

Consider the alternative use of land understudy 
if the area were not designated as wilderness, and 
the extent to which wilderness values of the area 
would be foregone or adversely affected as a 
result of this use. 



Standard Number 4, Public 
Comment 

In determining whether an area is suitable or 
nonsuitable for wilderness designation, the BLM 
wilderness study process will consider comments 



The three WSAs covered by this EIS were 
identified during BLM's intensive wilderness 
inventory, which was completed in November 
1980. The RMP process for the Medicine Bow 
Resource Area began in 1985. This EIS, in 
conjunction with congressional action, will 
complete the resource and land use guidance in 
the RMP. 

Detailed, site-specific management plans for 
the WSAs in the event they are designated as 
wilderness are not presented. Instead, a wil- 
derness management plan will be developed for 
any WSA that is designated, based on any special 
wilderness management considerations incor- 
porated by Congress. Areas not designated as 
wilderness and released by Congress will be 
returned to normal multiple-use management 
without the constraints of BLM's Wilderness 
Interim Management Policy. 



BLM LIBRARY 




MEDICINE BOW 



■ ■ x -. 



Wilderness Supplement 

Draft Resource Management Plan/EIS 



DRAFT WILDERNESS 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT 

FOR THE MEDICINE BOW RESOURCE AREA 

Carbon County, Wyoming 

Abstract 



This draft wilderness environmental impact statement considers the suitability 
or nonsuitability of three wilderness study areas (WSAs) in the Medicine Bow 
Resource Area for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System. 

The proposed action for each of the three study areas is: 

Bennett Mountains (WY-030-304) - No Wilderness Alternative 
Encampment River Canyon (WY-030-301) - No Wilderness Alternative 
Prospect Mountain WSA (WY-030-303) - All Wilderness Alternative 

To comment, or for further information, contact the following: 

John Husband, RMP Team Leader 

Bureau of Land Management 

P.O. Box 670 

Rawlins, Wyoming 82301 

(307) 324-7171 

Comments will be accepted for 90 days following the date that the 
Environmental Protection Agency publishes the notice of filing of this draft 
in the Federal Register. 



PURPOSE AND NEED 



As a result of a decision by the Secretary of 
Interior on December 30, 1982, changes were 
made in the wilderness study procedures 
(Instruction Memorandum WO-83-138). Two 
WSAs were dropped from further consideration 
because they contained fewer than 5,000 acres: 
Encampment River Canyon (4,547 acres) and 
Prospect Mountain (1,145 acres). In 1985, 
through a federal court action, these two areas 
were reinstated as WSAs and are being 
considered in this EIS for designation as 
wilderness (see map 1). 

The three areas being studied are located in 
Carbon County. The natural features in these 
areas are quite diverse, ranging from granite 
mountains nearly barren of vegetation to 
aspen/pine woodlands and deep, rugged can- 
yons. Elevations range from a low of 6,600 feet in 
the Bennett Mountains to 8,545 feet on the ridges 
in the Encampment River Canyon. 

These WSAs constitute approximately one-half 
of 1 percent of the public land in the Medicine 
Bow Resource Area and cover a total of 11,695 
acres. Table 1 lists the areas and acreages under 
wilderness study in the Medicine Bow Resource 
Area. 



TABLE 1 
LIST OF WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS 



Wilderness Study Area 



Acres 1 



Encampment River Canyon 
WY-030-301 

Prospect Mountain 
WY-030-303 

Bennett Mountains 
WY-030-304 

TOTAL 



4,547 

1,145 

6,003 

11,695 






1 All lands within the WSAs are public lands. 
All minerals underlying the WSAs are federally 
owned. 



MAJOR ISSUES AND 
CONCERNS 

A number of issues have been identified 
through public participation and by BLM 
personnel. The issues were used to guide 
formulation of management alternatives for each 



WSA and to guide the analysis in this EIS. The 
issues for each WSA are listed below. Each issue 
reflects concerns about the effects of wilderness 
designation or no wilderness designation. 



Issues for the Encampment River 
Canyon WSA 



1. Effects on wilderness values, including naturalness, 

solitude, and primitive and unconfined recreation. 

2. Effects on recreational opportunities, including the use 

of motorized vehicles and the quality of recreation. 

3. Effects on wildlife including elk, mule deer, bighorn 

sheep, and fish populations. 

4. Effects on livestock grazing and grazing management. 

5. Effects on mineral exploration and development-oil and 

gas and locatable minerals. 



Issues for the Prospect Mountain 
WSA 

1. Effects on wilderness values, including naturalness, 

solitude, and primitive and unconfined recreation. 

2. Effects on recreational opportunities, including the use 

of motorized vehicles and the quality of recreation. 

3. Effects on wildlife including elk and mule deer. 

4. Effects on forest resources and forest management. 

5. Effects on mineral exploration and development-oil and 

gas and locatable minerals. 



Issues for the Bennett Mountains 
WSA 



1. Effects on wilderness values, including naturalness, 

solitude, and primitive and unconfined recreation. 

2. Effects on recreational opportunities, including the use 

of motorized vehicles and the quality of recreation. 

3. Effects on mineral exploration and development-oil and 

gas and locatable minerals. 



Concerns 



The following concerns were raised during the 
scoping process for this EIS. 

1. Wilderness designation would eliminate vehicular access 
and would be detrimental to hunting and other 
recreation; elderly or handicapped individuals would not 
be able to use the wilderness areas. The effect of 
wilderness designation on recreational opportunities is 
addressed as an issue in this EIS. 




Scale I n Miles 



Map 1 
LOCATIONS OF WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS 

Medicine Bow Wilderness Supplement 



PURPOSE AND NEED 



2. Wilderness designation would result in use beyond the 

optimal level for the area, which would result in a 
decrease in the quality of the area. This concern is not 
addressed as an issue in this EIS. Wilderness designation 
would not be expected to result in an increase in use 
beyond optimal levels in any of the WSAs. If it did, 
specific management plans would be developed to 
prevent degradation of the quality of the areas. 

3. Wilderness designation would preserve the outstanding 

opportunities for primitive recreation and solitude and 
preserve high-quality scenic values and significant 
cultural resources. The effect of wilderness designation 
on opportunities for primitive recreation and solitude 
and high-quality scenic values is addressed in this EIS. 
The effect on significant cultural resources is not 
addressed since BLM has adequate authority to manage 
cultural resources regardless of the wilderness status of 
a given area. Effects on significant cultural resources are 
not expected regardless of the wilderness status of a 
given area. 

4. Wilderness designation might be the only way to ensure 

long-term protection for wildlife habitat and primitive 
recreational opportunities. The effect of wilderness 
designation on wildlife habitat and primitive recreation 
is addressed in this EIS. 

5. The Encampment River Canyon provides high-quality 

opportunities for recreation, particularly fishing and 
hunting. Wilderness designation would result in an 
increase in visitor use with a resultant decrease in quality 
of recreation activities. This concern is not addressed as 
an issue in this EIS. Wilderness designation would not 
be expected to result in an increase in use beyond 
optimal levels in the Encampment River Canyon. If it did, 
specific management plans would be developed to 
prevent degradation of the quality of recreational 
opportunities. 

6. Wilderness designation would ensure that water quality 

in the Encampment River would remain high, and there 
would be a positive impact on the trout fishery. This 
concern is not addressed as an issue in this EIS. 
Wilderness designation would not materially affect water 
quality in the Encampment River. 

7. Wilderness designation for the WSAs would add acreage 

in southeastern Wyoming to the NWPS, thereby 
providing wilderness in closer proximity to residents. 
Proximity of opportunities for solitude and primitive and 
unconfined recreation in relation to major population 
centers is a consideration in making suitability 
recommendations for WSAs. It is not an environmental 
issue addressed in this EIS. 

8. Wilderness designation for the WSAs would add 

ecosystems to the NWPS, thereby increasing diversity. 
Expanding the diversity of natural systems and features 
in the NWPS is a consideration in making suitability 
recommendations for WSAs. It is not an environmental 
issue addressed in this EIS. 

9. Wilderness designation for the Prospect Mountain and 

Encampment River Canyon WSAs would serve as logical 
extensions to existing USFS wilderness areas located 
adjacent to or near each WSA. This concern is addressed 
in this EIS. 

10. Wilderness designation would preclude major water 
development projects. This concern is not addressed in 
this EIS, because no major water projects are projected 
within any of the WSAs. 



Interim Management Policy 

During the wilderness review process and until 
Congress acts on the President's recommen- 
dations, the Secretary of the Interior is required 
to manage wilderness study areas so as not to 
impair their suitability for preservation as 
wilderness, subject to certain exceptions and 
conditions. The policy and guidelines under 
which BLM will manage the lands during the 
wilderness review process is known as the Interim 
Management Policy. 

There are two goals of the Interim Management 
Policy: 

1. To ensure that WSAs, which now satisfy the wilderness 

definition in Section 2(c) of the Wilderness Act, will 
satisfy that definition when the Secretary sends his 
wilderness recommendation to the President and until 
Congress acts on that recommendation; and 

2. To ensure that, by the time the Secretary sends his 

recommendation to the President, the area's wilderness 
values are not degraded, compared with the area's 
values for other purposes, as to significantly constrain 
the Secretary's recommendation with respect to the 
area's suitability or nonsuitability for preservation as 
wilderness. 

There are two exceptions to this policy. The first 
is that existing uses may continue in the same 
manner and degree as on the date that FLPMA 
was approved. Such uses are referred to as 
"grandfathered." 

The second exception involves mineral leases 
that were issued before October 21, 1976, the date 
FLPMA was passed. If an oil and gas lease was 
issued before the passage of FLPMA, it would be 
considered a valid existing right, and the owner 
of such a lease would be entitled to exercise his 
right to explore and produce oil and gas, even if 
that activity were to impair the area's wilderness 
values. For a further explanation of these rights, 
copies of the complete Interim Management 
Policy and Guidelines for Lands under Wilder- 
ness Review are available at any BLM office or 
may be obtained by writing or calling the Rawlins 
District office. 

When Congress decides which WSAs will be 
designated wilderness and included in the NWPS, 
those areas not designated wilderness will be 
released from interim management. 



Wilderness Management Policy 

BLM's Wilderness Management Policy (avail- 
able at any BLM office) was published in 
September 1981. It details BLM's policy on 



11 



PURPOSE AND NEED 



management of wilderness areas. The wilderness 
management policy regulates use of designated 
wilderness and contains information about 
specific programs, such as livestock grazing, and 
how they will be affected by a wilderness 
designation. 

The wilderness management policy stipulates 
that once an area has been designated as 
wilderness, the provisions of the Wilderness Act 
of 1964 shall direct its administration and use. 
According to the Wilderness Act, wilderness 
areas will be managed to provide for their 
protection and for the preservation of their natural 
conditions and wilderness character. It further 



provides that wilderness areas are to be devoted 
to the public purposes of recreational, scenic, 
scientific, educational, conservational, and his- 
torical use. 

Congress has provided for certain activities and 
existing uses to be excepted from the general 
management provisions of the Wilderness Act. 
Examples are: 

a. Valid existing rights 

b. Measures requiring emergencies involving the health and 

safety of persons 

c. Livestock grazing where already established 



12 



PARTI 

ENCAMPMENT RIVER CANYON WSA 



Chapter Two 



Alternatives 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Chapter 2: Alternatives 15 

Introduction 15 

Alternatives Elimated from Detailed Study 15 

Alternatives Considered in Detail 15 

Proposed Action - No Action: No Wilderness 15 

Wilderness Management 15 

Recreation Management 15 

Wildlife Habitat Management 17 

Fisheries Management 17 

Livestock Grazing Management 17 

Minerals Management - Oil and Gas Locatables 17 

All Wilderness Alternative 17 

Wilderness Management 18 

Recreation Management 18 

Wildlife Habitat Management 18 

Fisheries Management 18 

Livestock Grazing Management 18 

Minerals Management - Oil and Gas Locatables 19 



14 



PART I - ENCAMPMENT RIVER CANYON WSA 

(WY-030-301) 



CHAPTER 2 - ALTERNATIVES 



Introduction 

Since the pattern of future actions within the 
WSA cannot be predicted with certainty, 
assumptions were made to allow for the analysis 
of impacts under the alternatives. These 
assumptions are the basis of the impacts 
identified in this EIS. They are not management 
plans or proposals, but represent feasible 
patterns of activities that could occur under the 
alternatives analyzed. 



Alternatives Eliminated from 
Detailed Study 

An alternative to designate only part of the WSA 
as wilderness was considered. Partial wilderness 
designation would eliminate that area containing 
mining claims to avoid potential conflicts with 
other resource values. However, it was deter- 
mined that the WSA is too small in size to make 
any reductions. Also, there are no logical 
boundaries for partial wilderness. 

An alternative to enhance wilderness in the 
WSA by closing boundary roads and adding 
additional acreage was considered. However, this 
would not be feasible since the roads are 
designated county roads that provide the only 
vehicle access to public and private lands. 



Alternatives Considered in Detail 

Two alternatives were analyzed for the 
Encampment River Canyon WSA: (1) No 
Action: No Wilderness (the Proposed Action) 
and (2) All Wilderness. Descriptions of the 
management direction for the alternatives follow. 



Proposed Action - No Action: No 
Wilderness 

Under this alternative, the Encampment River 
Canyon WSA (4,547 acres) would be recom- 
mended as nonsuitable for designation as 
wilderness. Resource management in the WSA 
would emphasize protection and enhancement of 
recreational, wildlife, fisheries, and scenic values. 



Wilderness Management 

The WSA would not be recommended for 
wilderness designation and would be subject to 
actions that would enhance recreation, wildlife, 
fisheries, and scenic values. No special emphasis 
would be placed on preservation of wilderness 
values. 



Recreation Management 

The objective would be to enhance recreational 
values while protecting and enhancing wildlife, 
fisheries, and scenic values. 

Wooden -fence exclosures would be con- 
structed "at/key points along the Encampment 
River Trail to allow caTnpTng/without interference 

from livestock (see, map 2). y <e.*-*. u»^l<J ^* 
-T^^ti-e^- 1-eo-c.irS <s»^ SBBk^i •p^ini'i-f-i'e.s 

Off road vehicle (ORV) use would continue to 
be prohibited throughout the area in the winter 
(December 1 to April 30). During the remainder 
of the year ORV use would be limited to existing 
roads and trails with the exception of the 
Encampment River Trail. The Encampment River 
Trail would remain closed to motorized traffic at 
all times. 

A Recreation Area Management Plan (RAMP) 
would be developed for the area to guide 
development of recreation facilities and use 
management. 

Recreational use of the Encampment River Trail 
would be expected to increase from the present 



A^ 



15 



R 84 W 



R 83 W 




1/2 



SCALE IN MILES 



Encampment River Canyon WSA Boundary 

Location of Fences to Exclude 
Cattle from Camping Areas 



^ Rawlir 



~U] 



Map 2 

LIVESTOCK EXCLOSURES IN THE 

ENCAMPMENT RIVER CANYON WSA 

Medicine Bow Wilderness Supplement 



ALTERNATIVES 



level of between 4,000 and 5,000 visitor days to 
about 6,000 visitor days within the next five years 
and remain stable thereafter. 

Recreational use for the remainder of the area 
would remain stable at about 2,000 visitor .days^ 

Wildlife Habitat Management 

The objective would be to enhance habitat for 
bighorn sheep, mule deer, and elk.(l^ 

Tho ox i oti - 
-be -cx pa -n- d e 
w ou l d be - mo f i i to re d . 



Existing livestock management practices 
would be continued. Cattle use would be 
authorized and managed at existing levels. 
Rangeland monitoring studies would be con- 
tinued, and new studies would be implemented to 
determine what adjustments in cattle use are 
needed. 



^trea- 




ountain shrub/aspen&habitats would be 
treated through prescribed burning or cutting of 
200 acres to improve crucial big game range. T/h 

Mountain shrubs would be established in 
several areas that now have a low density of 
shrubs (approximately 200 acres 



Fisheries Management <f*e*.~y»*-2? <z*~q*>* 

The objective would be to improve the trout 
habitat on about 1 mile of heavily-used waters on 
the Encampment River and Miner Creek. In other 
areas, the objective would be to maintain the 
river's high quality. 



fetawes^ JJj is anticipated that the livestock 

operators in the area would propose projects to 

solve site-specific problems within the WSA. IjHjt 

anticipated that two or three 'spring'^ a net 1&& 

■ HMW i atruoHon—of - approximately five miles of 

allotment boundary fence would be required Xo*> 

^implement management systems on the four 

allotments. New range improvement projects 

would be designed to consider scenic, wildlife, 

and recreational values in the WSA. Design 

considerations would include the use of let-down 

fences to allow wildlife movement and careful 

location of developments and selection of 

*f /tfTX, ^M^materials to mitigate potential visual intrusions. / 

One and one-half miles of existing fence/within tc<^ 






the WSA would be maintained, fyce 



>*~^ j; 



\ 



Minerals Management 
Locatables 



Oil and Gas and 



T 
EncarrT 
determin 
occurring. I 
(for example 
banks and 
be used/to rehab 

-fefc|^& 50 boulders 
Encampment River to 
hiding cover for trout 



iner Creek and the 

would be monitored to 

etj/er habitat degradation is 

radation of habitat is detected 

e use were degrading stream 

temporary fencing would 

the area. 



New oil and gas leases would be issued subject 
to standard protection requirements for 
surface-disturbing activities (-available 'from any 
&WM-office-rn~Wyoming). No drilling is expected 
because of the low potential for oil and gas 
accumulation and the difficulty of access. 



tf&- 



would be placed in the 
create^ools and provide 
TSpSHpSSIfool structures 
would be placed in lower Miner Creek to improve 



The existing 17 post-FLPMA mining claims 
would be managed subject to the Surface 
Management Regulation of 43 CFR 3809 
governing surface management of public lands 
under U. S. mining laws. New mining claims 
would be allowed and would be managed the 
same as existing cJawga^Poj^cm^^pf tjj^^a/ga, t ^P 4£fc/?4/y 



pool and spawning habitat for trout. These 

actions would require the use of motorized heavy could undergo exploratory drilling or other-types 
equipment. e-texplor-ation. No mining is expected due to&fr-f&c ^JitLdz 

". ■ unfavorable economic outlook, thegeology of the 
Under this alternative, BLM would not rec- 
ommend a change in the management concept of 
basic yield where the fishery may be supported 
by stocking if necessary. 



and 



<fj^ty 



AM Wilderness Alternative 



Livestock Grazing Management 

The objective would be to maintain current 
grazing levels and management direction. 



a historical lack of ore shipments. 

Under this alternative, the Encampment River 
Canyon WSA (4,547 acres) would be recom- 
mended as suitable for designation as wilderness. 
Management of the area would be guided by 
BLM's Wilderness Management Policy, issued 



/Li 




17 



September 24, 1981. 
for protection and 



Management would provide 
preservation of the area's 




ALTERNATIVE^ £^ 



natural conditions and wilderness character. 

Management actions for recreation, wildlife 
and fisheries, livestock grazing and minerals 
would be constrained to ensure that wilderness 
values were not impaired. 



$r Actions would be undertaken if wildlife habitat 
problems were documented. For example, if 
crucial winter range were deteriorating because 
of cattle use, temporary fencing or change in 
season of use might be required. Any action taken 
would be consistent with BLM's Wilderness 
Management Policy. Thus, certain actions such 
as the alteration of vegetation using motorized 
equipment would be prohibited. 



Wilderness Management 

The objective would be to protect and preserve 
the area's natural conditions and wilderness 
character. 

Activities that would impair the wilderness 
character of the area such as construction of 
facilities and use of motorized vehicles, would be 
restricted. Specific restrictions are included in the 
following discussions. 

A wilderness management plan would be 
written for the area, outlining specific manage- 
ment guidance. The plan would be written 
according to the guidelines in BLM's Wilderness 
Management Policy and BLM Manual Section 
8561, Wilderness Management Plans, available at 
most BLM offices. 



Recreation Management 

The objective would be to provide opportunities 
for primitive forms of recreation including hiking, 
hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing. M>/i£&J^3 

J The entire WSA would be closed to ORVs. 
Approximately 5 miles of two-track trails 
presently available for ORV use would be 
affected. 

Recreational use of the Encampment River Trail 
would be expected to increase from the present 
level of between 4,000 and 5,000 visitor days to 
about 6,000 visitor days within the next five years 
and remain stable thereafter. 

Recreational use of the remainder of the area 
would decrease from 2,000 visitor days to 1,000 
visitor days as a result of the ORV closure. 



Wildlife Habitat Management 

The objective would be to maintain or enhance 
habitat for bighorn sheep, mule deer, and elk 
within the constraints of BLM's Wilderness 
Management Policy. 

Big game habitat and populations in the WSA 
would be assessed and monitored to determine 
the distribution and interaction of big game 
species. The extent of competition between cattle 
and big game would be determined for the area. 



Fisheries Management 

The objective would be to manage existing 
trout habitat and the naturally-reproducing trout 
populations to preserve the opportunity to catch 
wild trout in a wilderness setting. Trout habitat 
would be managed within nonimpairment 
guidelines toa^hance its quality and productivity. 

^^Wmjt'*ttft and populations would be 

■^i^fm^ed- }o- determine whether they are being 

/,^a|f^d!f^e^0y activities such as recreation or cattle 

/grazing. If problems were detected, actions would 

be undertaken to resolve the conflict within the 

constraints of BLM's Wilderness Management 

Policy. For example, if cattle use were degrading 

stream banks and vegetation, temporary fencing 

would be used to rehabilitate the area. 

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department 

would be requested to manage the Encampment 

River under its "wild trout" management concept 

to ensure continued opportunity to catch wild 

;T trout. 



Livestock Grazing Management 

The objective would be to maintain current 
grazing levels and management direction within 
the constraints of BLM's Wilderness Management 
Policy. 

Existing livestock management practices 
would be continued. Cattle use would be 
authorized and managed at existing levels. 
Rangeland monitoring studies would be con- 
tinued, and new studies would be implemented to 
determine what adjustments in cattle use are 
needed. 

No range improvement projects are planned; 
however, it is anticipated that livestock operators 
in the area would propose projects to solve 
site-specific problems within the WSA. It is 
anticipated that two or three springs and the 
construction of approximately five miles of 
allotment boundary fence would be required to 
implement management systems on the four 
allotments. New range improvement projects 
would be carefully designed and constructed to 
ensure wilderness characteristics are not 



18 



* ALTERNATIVES 



impaired. Design considerations would include 
the use of let-down fences to allow for wildlife 
movement and careful location of developments 
and selection of materials to mitigate potential 
visual intrusions. Use of motorized equipment for 
construction of new range improvement projects 
would be restricted. 

One and one-half miles of existing fence within 
the WSA would be maintained. 

Motor vehicle access would be limited to 
emergencies and when absolutely necessary to 
maintain range improvements. Routine activities 
such as feeding, herding, checking cattle, and 
placing salt blocks would be accomplished 
without the use of motor vehicles. 



Minerals Management - Oil and Gas and 
Locatables 

No new oil and gas leasing would be allowed. 



7*< 



ntil the WSA is designated wilderness/by 
Congress, the existing 17 post-FLPMA/mfning 
claims would-be subject to the ipterim man- 
agement policy^Ttiis policy allows only activities 
that do not impain-wikierness values. If a 
discovery is made using fndn-knpairing methods, 
then a claimanU/vould be entitleoMo a patent on 
those clajmsTThe area would continuelo-be open 
to mining location until designation as wrtder- 
ness. 

"After the WSA is designated wilderness, the 
existing 17 post-FLPMA mining claims would be 
subject to BLM's Wilderness Management Policy. 
No new mining claims would be allowed. Validity 
examinations would be required before allowing 
operations on claims. No mining is ex pected due 
to an unfavorable economic outlook, the geology 
of the WSA, and a historical lack of ore shipments. 







19 



TABLE 2 

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS 
Encampment River Canyon WSA 



Issues 



Effects on Wilderness 
Values 



Effects on Recreational 
Opportunities 



o 



Effects on Wildlife 



Proposed Action 
No Action: No Wilderness 



Solitude and naturalness would be somewhat 
impaired by continued ORV use and implementation 
of developments for recreation, wildlife, 
fisheries, and livestock grazing management. 
Opportunities for primitive recreation would be 
enhanced by construction of livestock exclosures 
along the Encampment River Trail. 

Types of recreational activities would remain 
unchanged and would be enhanced through 
elimination of cattle use in the camping areas 
along the trail and improved fishing and hunting 
opportunities. 



Stress and displacement of big game would be 
reduced as a result of the winter ORV closure. 
Usable trout habitat and numbers of trout would 
increase in the Encampment River and Miner Creek 
as a result of fisheries management actions. 
About 50 acres of riparian habitat along about 
one half mile of stream bank would be improved as 
a result of construction of livestock exclosures 
along the Encampment River. The quality and 
quantity of big game forage would increase as a 
result of vegetation manipulation on crucial 
winter range. 



All Wilderness 



Naturalness, opportunities for solitude, and 
opportunities for primitive and unconfined 
recreation would be protected in the Encampment 
River Canyon WSA. The scenic quality of the area 
would be preserved. Closing the area to ORV use 
would enhance opportunities for solitude and 
primitive recreation during the entire year. 

About 1 ,000 visitor days associated with ORV use 
would be eliminated. Within five years total 
recreational use would level off at about 500 
fewer visitor days than are projected under 
current management. There would be no increase 
in usable habitat and numbers of trout, and the 
number or size of trout creeled from the 
Encampment River might need to be regulated in 
the future. Conflicts between cattle and 
recreationists from concentrated use along the 
trail would remain. 

Stress and displacement of big game would be 
reduced year round as a result of the ORV 
closure. Usable trout habitat and numbers of 
trout would not increase in the Encampment River 
and Miner Creek since fisheries improvement 
actions are not proposed. 



m 

> 

m 
V) 



TABLE 2 (Continued) 

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS 
Encampment River Canyon WSA 



Issues 



Proposed Action 
No Action: No Wilderness 



All Wilderness 



Effects on Livestock 
Grazing and Grazing 
Management 



Effects on Mineral 
Exploration and 
Development 



Projected range improvement projects would 
improve distribution patterns, eliminate 
uncontrolled drift of cattle between allotments, 
and provide additional sources of water for 
cattle. Consideration of scenic, wildlife and 
recreational values in the design and 
construction of range improvement projects would 
raise their costs compared to standard 
construction. 



There would be no effect on exploration and 
development of oil and gas or locatable minerals. 



Compliance with BLM's Wilderness Management 
Policy would make routine management activities 
such as herding, checking cattle, or placing 
salt blocks more expensive and labor intensive 
as a result of motor vehicle restrictions. It 
also would make accomplishment of new range 
improvement projects more expensive and labor 
intensive. Projected range improvement projects 
would improve distribution patterns, eliminate 
uncontrolled drift of cattle between allotments, 
and provide additional sources of water for 
cattle. 

The availability of currently unrecognized oil 
and gas reserves would be forgone. Due to low 
potential for development the effect on oil and 
gas exploration and development would be minor. 
No new mining claims would be allowed, so the 
availability of currently unrecognized mineral 
deposits would be forgone. The requirements of 
BLM wilderness management policy would not 
prevent development of any of the existing 
claims, but would make development more 
expensive and labor intensive. 



H 
m 
n 

z 
> 

< 

m 
c/> 



PART I 

ENCAMPMENT RIVER CANYON WSA 



Chapter Three 



Affected Environment 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Chapter 3: Affected Environment 25 

Introduction 25 

General Description 25 

Wilderness Values 27 

Size 27 

Naturalness 27 

Outstanding Opportunities for Solitude and/or a Primitive 

Unconfined Type of Recreation 27 

Special Features 27 

Recreational Resources 28 

Wildlife Resources 28 

Fisheries Resources 29 

Livestock Grazing 30 

Mineral Resources 32 

Geologic Setting 32 

Oil and Gas 32 

Locatable Minerals 32 



24 



PART I - ENCAMPMENT RIVER CANYON WSA 

(WY-030-301) 



CHAPTER 3 - AFFECTED 
ENVIRONMENT 

Introduction 

There are many environmental components 
that would be unaffected by either of the 
alternatives for management of the Encampment 
River Canyon WSA. Since they would not be 
affected, they are not described in detail in this 
chapter. These environmental components are 
covered briefly in the following paragraphs. 

Many environmental components are not 
present in the WSA and therefore would not be 
affected. These components include areas of 
critical environmental concern (ACEC), coal 
resources, nonenergy leasable minerals, flood- 
plains, prime or unique farmlands, wetlands, wild 
horses, and wild or scenic rivers (designated or 
proposed). 

Other environmental components are present 
in the WSA, but none of the management actions 
proposed would affect them. These include air 
quality, climate, cultural resources, forestry, 
topography, and water yield. 

No lands and realty actions are proposed or 
projected for the WSA, so none would be affected. 

There are no permits for salable minerals in the 
WSA. Because of inaccessibility and the exis- 
tence of salable mineral deposits closer to areas 
where they are needed, salable mineral deposits 
in the WSA are not considered commercial. 
Development of salable minerals is not expected. 
Thus, availability of salable minerals would not be 
affected. 

Restricting ORV use can potentially reduce soil 
erosion. However, in this WSA, ORV use is 
relatively light and is dispersed so that effects on 
soil erosion would be negligible. 

Construction of pools in Miner Creek and 
placement of boulders in the Encampment River 
could potentially affect water quality during 
construction. However, these activities would be 
conducted in such a mannerthat effects would be 
minimal during construction and negligible in the 
long term. 



Threatened or endangered species would be 
unaffected by the management alternatives for 
the WSA. Endangered bald eagles and peregrine 
falcons may use the WSA on occasions when 
hunting or migrating through the area, but the 
WSA contains no breeding, nesting, or wintering 
habitat that would be essential to the recovery of 
either species. The area does not contain any 
prairie dogs, primary food of black-footed ferrets, 
so the existence of ferrets in the WSA is unlikely. 



General Description 



The Encampment River Canyon WSA is located 
in southern Carbon County, approximately 2 
miles south of Encampment, Wyoming and 1 mile 
north of the U.S. Forest Service Encampment 
River Wilderness. 

The topography of the entire unit is moun- 
tainous (see photographs 1 and 2). Steep canyons 
and rocky slopes dominate the vistas. The 
Encampment River and a major tributary, Miner 
Creek, add scenic features to the WSA. Elevations 
range from 7,200 feet along the Encampment 
River to 8,545 feet on the high ridges. 

Approximately 10 percent of the WSA is 
forested. Tree species present include limber 
pine, lodgepole pine, Douglas-fir, subalpine fir, 
Cottonwood and aspen. They occur in pure and 
mixed stands scattered throughout the WSA. 

Lower elevations and drainages are charac- 
terized by narrow belts of deciduous trees 
(cottonwoods, willows, alders), conifer trees 
(Douglas-fir, true firs), grasses, and forbs 
bordering the Encampment River. 

The middle elevations and rocky slopes are 
primarily composed of bunch grasses inter- 
spersed with small shrubs (sagebrush, mountain 
mahogany, bitterbrush, serviceberry) on steep 
canyon slopes, and small fingers of trees in the 
draws and gullies. 

The upper elevations and high ridges above the 
canyon rim generally include the same species as 
the middle zone, but with smaller proportions of 
shrubs and less dense stands of grass. 



25 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 




A stroll along the Encampment River Trail - Encampment River Canyon WSA. 




The Encampment River within the canyon - Encampment River Canyon WSA. 



26 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



Access to the WSA is very good as public 
roadsare available to most of the boundary. In 
winter the area can be reached by snowmobile or 
by cross country skis. 



Wilderness Values 



Size 

The Encampment River Canyon WSA contains 
4,547 acres of contiguous public land. The 
original reported acreage of 3,380 was in error 
and has been corrected to 4,547 acres. No private 
or state inholdings, and no split-estate lands are 
located within the WSA boundary. 



Naturalness 

Most of the WSA is in a natural state. A fence 
line crosses one half of the WSA, but its location 
is not intrusive. The area also has a few two-track 
trails, remains of two old cabins and a river dam, 
and several small prospect pits and tunnels, but 
these do not detract from the natural values. 
These intrusions blend into the overall view and 
are not noticeable from a distance. They do not 
impair the wilderness character of the WSA. 

The International Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) 
has developed a private parcel of land adjacent 
to the WSA along the river; however, due to 
screening provided by trees, rock outcrops, and 
steep canyon walls, the area is not noticeable 
from within the WSA. The development does not 
impair the wilderness character of the WSA. 

Upstream from the WSA, the USFS Encamp- 
ment River Wilderness encompasses a large 
portion of the Encampment River drainage. 
Further upstream, in Colorado, the river is 
proposed for wild and scenic river designation. 



Outstanding Opportunities for Solitude 
and/or a Primitive Unconfined Type of 
Recreation 

The WSA offers outstanding opportunities for 
solitude. The deep canyons and high rocky ridges 
provide topographic screening, and the vegeta- 
tion of the area contributes further screening. At 
current and projected levels of use visitors to the 
area would have ample opportunity to avoid the 
sights and sounds of other visitors to the WSA, 
with occasional encounters along the trail. 



Opportunities for primitive and unconfined 
recreation are outstanding. Many people cur- 
rently use the area for hiking, backpacking, 
horseback riding, hunting, fishing, rockhound- 
ing, wildlife viewing, photography, and sight- 
seeing. The section on "Recreation Resources" 
contains a discussion of current recreational use 
in the WSA. 

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department 
(WGFD) has classified the Encampment River as 
very good trout waters with statewide importance. 

The Encampment RiverTrail, which is managed 
by the U. S. Forest Service (USFS), parallels the 
river and provides access to the entire length of 
the river. The trail is closed to motorized vehicle 
use year round, and the entire WSA is closed to 
motorized traffic in the winter for big game 
protection. These restrictions enhance oppor- 
tunities for solitude and primitive recreation. 

The trail also has been mentioned as a potential 
connector trail to the Continental Divide National 
Scenic Trail (CDNST) to which it may intersect 
when the CDNST route is established. 

The trail provides access to the USFS 
Encampment River Wilderness, which is 
upstream. Conflicts between cattle and campers 
occur along the trail because cattle congregate in 
some of the best campsites (relatively flat areas 
near water). Vegetation in these areas has been 
reduced, and concentrations of cow manure have 
led to aesthetic, sanitation, and insect problems. 

In conjunction with the trail, the BLM has 
developed and maintains the Encampment River 
Trailhead just outside the WSA. This trailhead 
provides a restroom, parking, picnicking and 
primitive camping facilities. The trailhead en- 
hances opportunities for primitive recreation 
within the WSA by improving access. 



Special Features 

The Encampment River Canyon contains sites 
associated with early exploration and mining 
activities of regional historical importance. 

A one mile wide corridor along the Encamp- 
ment River is proposed for National Natural 
Landmark (NNL) designation. A portion of the 
proposed NNL lies within the WSA. 

The canyon is highly scenic. It contrasts 
sharply with the color and texture of the 
surrounding environment, the heavily forested 
areas to the south and the desert environment to 
the north. 



27 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



The area has a Class II Visual Resource 
Management rating. 



Recreational Resources 

The Encampment River Canyon WSA offers 
opportunities for a great variety of recreational 
activities, including fishing, hunting, backpack- 
ing, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and 
photography, camping, rock hounding, and 
sightseeing. The river canyon attracts recrea- 
tionistsfrom Wyoming and the neighboring states 
of Colorado, Nebraska, and Utah. 

Access to the WSA is very good either by 
vehicle, on foot or on horseback. The Encamp- 
ment River Trail provides access to the USFS 
Encampment River Wilderness, which lies 
upstream. Development of the Encampment River 
Trailhead, just outside the WSA, began in 1980. 
A bridge was constructed at the trailhead. Prior 
to that, the trail was accessible to foot traffic by 
wading the river. The trail is heavily used 
throughout the warmer months. According to 
counter readings, the trail's popularity has grown 
each summer since development of the trailhead. 
In 1983, the use was estimated at 2,000 visitor 
days. By 1984 this figure had doubled. Trail use 
is projected to level off at about 6,000 visitor days 
within the next five years. 

The trail is closed to motorized vehicle use year 
round, and the entire WSA is closed to motorized 
traffic in the winter (December 1 to April 30) under 
an emergency (temporary) ORV closure. 

Fishermen have excellent foot access upstream 
via the Encampment River Trail. All waters within 
the study area are open to yearlong fishing. There 
is a lack of data on exact fishing use and harvest. 
Available estimates indicate that there are 20 
fisherman days per mile, per year on the 
Encampment River and 5 fisherman days per mile, 
per year on Miner Creek. This equals 50 fisherman 
days per year on the Encampment River and 17.5 
fisherman days per year on Miner Creek within 
the WSA. These figures are probably low in light 
of the increased use of the Encampment River 
Trail since development of the trailhead. 
Approximately 1 6 percent of the visitor use on the 
trail is associated with fishing. 

Over the past few years, kayakers and tubers 
have begun to use the river during spring runoff, 
as it provides an exciting float trip. 

Hunting, especially for mule deer, is very 
popular within the WSA as, locally, it is 
considered a potential trophy area. Bighorn 
sheep hunting is limited by quota, but it is 
considered a premium area to hunt. 



Other recreational use of the WSA includes 
ORV use (during nonrestricted periods), horse- 
back riding, and sightseeing. 

Recreational use away from the Encampment 
River Trail is estimated at 2,000 visitor days per 
year. About half of this involves the use of ORVs. 



Wildlife Resources 

The Encampment River Canyon WSA provides 
habitat for a wide variety of game and nongame 
wildlife. A list of these species is available at the 
Rawlins BLM District Office. 

Portions of three big game herd units occur in 
the WSA. A variable number of animals from each 
herd use the WSA throughout the year. 

The entire Encampment River Canyon WSA is 
part of a larger crucial winter range for bighorn 
sheep. The Encampment bighorn sheep herd has 
generated a great deal of interest recently 
because of it's dramatic decrease in size. In 1976 
and 1977, 68 bighorn sheep were introduced into 
the Encampment River Canyon. The population 
increased to approximately 135 by the fall of 1983. 
During the winter of 1983-1984 the population 
sustained a 25 percent loss because of the severe 
winter weather. From 1984 to 1986 the population 
decreased from 102 to 40-60 animals (Rudd 1986). 
WGFD reports indicate that the reduction may 
have been due to disease, competition from elk, 
mule deer, antelope, and cattle; and harassment 
by off-road vehicles. 

Studies in different areas indicate that 
harassment by humans can play a significant role 
in such a reduction in bighorn sheep numbers, 
especially if the harassment occurs during the 
winter. The Encampment bighorn sheep herd has 
historically concentrated on crucial range in the 
WSA during the winter. Concern over the decline 
of the herd led to the authorization in 1986 of an 
emergency (temporary) ORV closure in the area 
from December 1 to April 30. The environmental 
assessment for the emergency closure (number 
WY-033-0213) contains a more detailed discus- 
sion of the effects of harassment on bighorn 
sheep. A copy may be obtained from the BLM's 
Rawlins District office. 

Ewes from this herd also use a lambing area in 
the WSA, where steep, rocky slopes provide 
security from predators. Forage availability and 
quality of the crucial winter range is essential to 
the viability of the population. 

The area is covered by a 1976 Habitat 
Management Plan (HMP) that is scheduled for 
revision. The annual coordination meeting in 
1982 identified the need for better data collection 



28 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



on herd dynamics by the WGFD and reliable 
estimates of range utilization and production by 
BLM and USFS. 

Competition occurs among bighorn sheep, elk 
and cattle due to season-long use by wildlife and 
summeruse by livestock (Haas 1979). Much of the 
generally more productive side slopes are 
unavailable to cattle (due to topography) and to 
wildlife (due to snow distribution patterns). As a 
result, use is concentrated on the generally less 
productive flat benches and the snow-free 
southwesterly exposures. 

While deer and elk will disperse as much as 
possible to utilize high quality available forage in 
adjacent areas, sheep are habitual by nature. 
They tend to congregate in well-defined areas 
and utilize all available forage before they 
disperse to other areas. Cattle also tend to 
congregate in well-defined areas, and their 
concentrations compound the problem of com- 
petition for forage. 

The WSA is also used throughout the year by 
mule deer. The northern half of the WSA 
encompasses a small portion of the crucial winter 
range required by the Platte Valley mule deer 
herd. Variable numbers of mule deer may be 
found yearlong throughout the WSA. Deer 
concentrate on the lower elevation crucial winter 
range (where forage availability is critical during 
winter) when summer range on the national forest 
is unavailable. Mule deer depend on the extensive 
aspen and riparian habitat sites for spring 
fawning. 

In addition, the WSA is used by 90 to 150 elk 
from the WGFD's Baggs Herd Unit. The northern 
half of the WSA is used by elk primarily during the 
winter months. The southern half is part of a much 
larger crucial winter-yearlong range considered 
to be essential to 10 to 15 percent of the Baggs 
elk herd (Moody 1985). 

The WSA contains high-value aspen, mountain 
shrub, and riparian habitat sites used by up to 165 
wildlife species. The aspen habitat sites are 
primarily scattered in small stands on slopes and 
exposures where snow concentrates and total 
about 140 acres. Aspen habitat is normally 
maintained by fire or other disturbances. In most 
areas of their occurrence within the WSA, aspen 
stands are rapidly being invaded by conifers 
because of a lack of fire or other disturbance. 
Much of the aspen is decadent and diseased and 
in need of habitat manipulation if it is to be 
maintained and/or improved. 

Mountain shrub habitat sites are found 
throughout the WSA and compose a large portion 
of the nonforest vegetative community. These 
mountain shrub sites are important to wintering 



big game by providing much of their wintering 
diet. They are presently in fair to poor condition 
and the potential exists to increase the quality and 
quantity of these sites for wildlife through 
prescribed burning and shrub plantings. 

Riparian habitat sites are present along the 
banks of the Encampment River and tributary 
drainages in the WSA and total about 110 acres. 
Riparian sites are highly productive in terms of 
plant and animal species diversity, vegetation 
structure and biomass, and they are important to 
wildlife because of their limited availability. Within 
the WSA, some riparian areas are heavily utilized 
by livestock and wildlife. As a result, plant vigor 
has decreased and species composition has been 
changed such that the sites are not producing at 
their full potential. 



Fisheries Resources 



The Encampment River is a popular trout 
fishery, attracting local and out-of-state fisher- 
men. Brown, rainbow, and brook trout occur in 
the Encampment River and Miner Creek, its 
tributary within the WSA. Catchable rainbows 
have been planted annually in the vicinity of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellow's Lodge 
(IOOF) north of the WSA boundary. Trout have 
not been planted upstream from this point since 
1952. 

The WGFD's stream fisheries classification for 
the Encampment River is Class II (very good trout 
waters, fisheries are of statewide importance). 
Miner Creek is a Class IV stream (low production 
waters, fisheries are of local importance). 

The Encampment River and Miner Creek 
provide a total of about 5.6 miles of habitat for 
populations of brown, rainbow, and brook trout 
within the WSA. The Encampment River runs 
through the WSA for about 2.5 miles from south 
to north, through a steep walled canyon. Miner 
Creek runs about 2.7 miles through the WSA and 
enters the Encampment River from the southwest 
at a point just south of the northern boundary of 
the WSA. The north fork and south fork of Miner 
Creek each run about 0.4 miles within the WSA. 

Riparian vegetation along the river and creek 
includes willow, alder, and cottonwood. Habitat 
along Miner Creek, including spawning and 
rearing areas, was found to be in good condition 
according to habitat surveys conducted in 1985 
by BLM. Small areas of livestock induced damage 
to the stream were noted. The Encampment River 
habitat also is in good condition with limited 
localized damage to the stream by cattle. The 
channel stability rating along the Encampment 
River is good. 



29 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



A self-sustaining brown trout population is the 
predominant species in the Encampment River, 
although rainbow and brook trout occur. 
Electro-shocking studies by the WGFD (Kanaly 
1977) have found up to 40 trout per 100 yard 
station (700 trout per mile) in the Encampment 
River upstream from the WSA. In the north fork 
of Miner Creek results indicated 58 trout (mostly 
brook trout) per 1 00 yard station (over 1 ,000 trout 
per mile). 

Opportunities exist to improve the already good 
fisheries in the WSA through placement of 
boulders in the Encampment River and con- 
struction of pools in Miner Creek. 

Nongame fish in the WSA include white and 
longnose suckers, and longnose dace. Creek 
chubs probably occur. 

In summary, the Encampment River and Miner 
Creek within the WSA provide good habitat for 
populations of brown, rainbow, and brook trout. 
Fish habitat appears to be in good condition, 
populations are apparently self-sustaining, and 
spawning takes place in both streams. 



Livestock Grazing 

Four operators graze livestock (cattle) within 
the boundary of the Encampment River Canyon 
WSA. The cattle tend to concentrate along the 
river bottoms and associated riparian zones. The 
upper reaches of the WSA are accessible but tend 
to be lightly grazed due to the steepness of the 
canyon walls and lack of available water away 



from the drainage bottoms. There are four grazing 
allotments in the area that are made up in part by 
lands in the Encampment River Canyon WSA. 

Only one fence exists within the WSA. This 
fence, which partially separates two allotments, 
does little to control drift of cattle. Due to the lack 
of effective barriers, cattle congregate and spend 
the majority of the grazing season (May through 
October) in the same localized areas. Utilization 
within the WSA, as a result of this concentrated 
use, varies considerably between the riparian 
zones and the side slopes and ridges. The 
operators place supplemental salt along the 
ridges and upper reaches of the WSA in an 
attempt to better distribute grazing use. 

Cattle within the WSA compete for forage with 
elk, deer, and bighorn sheep. Due to a lack of 
available data, it is unclear how this competition 
has affected the overall availability of forage. 
Recent utilization checks of the area have shown 
utilization levels within the riparian areas as high 
as 80 percent in some areas. 

Herding and checking of cattle is done by 
horseback and four-wheel drive vehicle on the 
existing two-track trails in the WSA. Conflicts 
exist between cattle and people using the 
Encampment River Trail for recreation (see 
"Recreation Resources"). 

Table 3 lists and describes the grazing 
allotments, including a breakdown of federal 
acres and animal unit months in the WSA, and in 
the allotments as a whole. 

Map 3 shows the four allotments as they lie 
within the WSA boundary. 



TABLE 3 
LIVESTOCK GRAZING ALLOTMENTS IN THE ENCAMPMENT RIVER CANYON WSA 













No. of 


Percent of 




No. of 


Percent of 










Total 


Federal 


Federal 


Total 


Federal 


Federal 




Allotment 


Season 


Kind of 


Federal 


Acres 


Acres 


Federal 


AUMs 


AUMs 


No. 


Name 


of Use 


Livestock 


Acres 


in WSA 


in WSA 


AUMs 


in WSA 


in WSA 


1008 


Finch Ranch 


Spring-Summer 


Cattle 


1,919 


1,101 


57 


138 


79 


57 


1010 


Herring 


Summer 


Cattle 


1,898 


1,425 


75 


165 


124 


75 


1029 


Saulcy 


Summer 


Cattle 


3,172 


1,236 


39 


291 


113 


39 


1017 


Cottonwood 


Summer-Fall 


Cattle 


1,966 


767 


39 


220 


86 


39 



30 



R 84 W 



R 83 W 




SCALE IN MILES 



GRAZING ALLOTMENTS: 

1008 Finch Ranch 
1010 Herring 
1017 Cottonwood 



jjjfKl 1029Saulcy 



Encampment River Canyon WSA Boundary 



Cheyenne 



Map 3 

LIVESTOCK GRAZING ALLOTMENTS IN 

THE ENCAMPMENT RIVER CANYON WSA 

Medicine Bow Wilderness Supplement 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



Mineral Resources 



Geologic Setting 

The Encampment study area is part of the 
Sierra Madre Range. The Sierra Madre Range is 
a northwest trending anticlinal uplift of Pre- 
cambrian rocks near the Colorado-Wyoming 
border. A shear zone divides the Sierra Madre 
Range into a complex of Archean granite and 
feldspathic gneisses north of this shear, with 
banded schists and gneisses of Proterozoic age 
south of the shear. The shear zone appears to be 
an extension of the Muller Creek Nash Fork Shear 
Zone of the Medicine Bow Mountains, which 
divides the Medicine Bow Range into an older 
Archean province in the north and a younger, 
Proterozoic province to the south. The older, 
northern province has been interpreted as 
Archean protocontinent with the shear and 
southern province representing a Precambrian 
continental margin. The Encampment River 
Canyon study area lies north of the shear in the 
Archean protocontinent province. The oldest unit 
in the Sierra Madre Range is a well foliated, 
medium grained quartz biotite gneiss (Divis 
1976). This unit is also the predominant rock type 
in the area. The quartz biotite gneiss is intruded 
by numerous mafic and pegmatitic sills and dikes. 
Two Kyanite bearing pegmatites were located in 
Section 20, T. 14 N., R. 84 W. 



Oil and Gas 

There are no existing oil and gas leases within 
the WSA. Due to the geologic environment, which 
has no to low potential for oil and gas 
accumulation, the difficulty of access, and the 
difficulty of conducting drilling operations in 
these types of geologic conditions, oil and gas 
exploration and development is not anticipated in 
the WSA. 



Locatable Minerals 

Based on a field examination of the 
Encampment River Canyon WSA and adjacent 
areas, the Mullen Creek Nash Forkshearzoneand 
associated shears appear to control mineraliza- 
tion in the general area, with the major shears 
trending south of the area. The WSA is located 
north of the Mullen Creek-Nash Fork shear zone 
in older Archean rocks. There are numerous 
prospect pits, shafts, and unnamed underground 
mines within the WSA. There was no known 
shipment of ore from any of the mines. There are 
17 post-FLPMA mining claims within or partially 
within the WSA (see map 4). The claims are 
located for copper, gold and silver. An expression 
of interest was submitted by a private company 
indicating the area has a high potential for 
copper, rare earths, lead, gold, and silver. 
However, due to an unfavorable economic 
outlook, the geology of the WSA, and the 
historical lack of ore shipments, development of 
the claims is not expected. 



32 



R 84 W 



R 83 W 




SCALE IN MILES 



Encampment River Canyon WSA Boundary 
Post-FLPMA Mining Claims 



U\ 



f Rawlii 



Cheyenne 



Map 4 
POST-FLPMA MINING CLAIMS IN THE 
ENCAMPMENT RIVER CANYON WSA 

Medicine Bow Wilderness Supplement 



PARTI 

ENCAMPMENT RIVER CANYON WSA 



Chapter Four 



Environmental Consequences 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Chapter 4: Environmental Consequences 37 

Proposed Action - No Action: No Wilderness 37 

Effects on Wilderness 37 

Effects on Recreational Opportunities 37 

Effects on Wildlife and Fisheries 37 

Effects on Livestock Grazing 38 

Effects on Mineral Exploration and Development 38 

All Wilderness Alternative 39 

Effects on Wilderness Values 39 

Effects on Recreational Opportunities 39 

Effects on Wildlife and Fisheries 39 

Effects on Livestock Grazing 40 

Effects on Mineral Exploration and Development 40 



36 



PART I - ENCAMPMENT RIVER CANYON WSA 

(WY-030-301) 



CHAPTER 4 - 

ENVIRONMENTAL 

CONSEQUENCES 

Proposed Action - No Action: No 
Wilderness 

Effects on Wilderness Values 

Continuation of the ORV closure on the 
Encampment River Trail and the WSA-wide 
winter ORV closure would enhance opportunities 
for solitude and primitive recreation during the 
restricted period. During the nonrestricted 
period, ORV use in the WSA would impair solitude 
slightly. 

Construction of livestock exclosures around 
potential campsites, placement of boulders and 
construction of pools to enhance fisheries, 
vegetation manipulation for wildlife habitat 
enhancement, and construction of range 
improvement projects decrease solitude during 
implementation. Once completed, these devel- 
opments would decrease naturalness slightly 
because of the presence of human influences that 
would be noticeable to visitors. 

The livestock exclosures would enhance 
primitive recreation opportunities from the 
standpoint that potential campsite areas would 
have improved vegetation cover and would be 
free of cattle manure. 

Expected locatable mineral exploration would 
be small-scale and would not materially affect 
wilderness values. 

Conclusion: Under this alternative, the wil- 
derness values of solitude and naturalness would 
be slightly impaired by continued ORV use and 
implementation of developments for recreation, 
wildlife, fisheries, and livestock grazing man- 
agement. Opportunities for primitive recreation 
would be enhanced by construction of livestock 
exclosures along the Encampment River Trail. 



Effects on Recreational Opportunities 

Under this alternative, all forms of recreation 
would remain basically unchanged. Activities 
would include those of a primitive nature such as 
hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and sight- 
seeing. 

Construction of livestock exclosures would 
enhance recreational opportunities from the 
standpoint that potential campsite areas would 
have improved vegetation cover and would be 
free of cattle manure. 

Placement of boulders and construction of 
pools to enhance fisheries would lead to 
enhanced fish production and better fishing. 
Vegetation manipulation for wildlife habitat 
enhancement would slightly enhance the op- 
portunity to view or hunt big game in the WSA. 

Projected range improvement projects would 
have no material effect on recreational oppor- 
tunities in the WSA. They could reduce conflicts 
with cattle through better grazing distribution. 

Mineral exploration would be small-scale and 
would have no material effect on recreation. 

Conclusion: Types of recreational activities 
would remain unchanged and would beenhanced 
through elimination of cattle use in the camping 
areas along the trail and improved fishing and 
hunting opportunities. 



Effects on Wildlife and Fisheries 

The winter ORV closure would continue to 
reduce harassment due to snowmobile use on 
crucial big game winter ranges. As a result there 
would be less stress and displacement of big 
game. 

On the Encampment River, boulder placement 
in more heavily fished sections would increase 
usable habitat and numbers of trout in these 
areas. On Miner Creek, spawning and year-round 
habitat would be modified with in-stream 
structures, thereby improving wild trout 
recruitment to the Encampment River and 
numbers of trout using the creek year-round. 



37 



ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 



Construction of livestock exclosures around 
potential campsites along the Encampment River 
would result in the improvement of about 50 acres 
of riparian habitat along about one-half mile of 
stream bank. This would benefit fisheries and 
wildlife species that utilize riparian habitats. 

Treatment of 200 acres of mountain shrub/ 
aspen habitats and establishment of mountain 
shrubs on an additional 200 acres would improve 
the quality of crucial winter habitat for bighorn 
sheep, elk, and mule deer. The quality and 
quantity of big game forage would increase. This 
would enhance the viability of the Encampment 
bighorn sheep herd and the elk and mule deer that 
use the area. 

Livestock grazing management would include 
monitoring to determine whether adjustments are 
needed. If studies show that additional forage is 
needed for wildlife, adjustments in livestock use 
would be made, which would improve wildlife 
forage availability. 

Projected range improvement projects would 
not materially affect wildlife since they would be 
designed to consider wildlife values. 

Expected locatable mineral exploration would 
be small-scale and would not materially affect 
wildlife or wildlife habitat. 

Conclusion: Stress and displacement of big 
game would be reduced as a result of the winter 
ORV closure. Usable trout habitat and numbers 
of trout would increase in the Encampment River 
and Miner Creek as a result of fisheries 
management actions. About 50 acres of riparian 
habitat along about one half mile of stream bank 
would be improved as a result of construction of 
livestock exclosures along the Encampment 
River. The quality and quantity of big game forage 
would increase as a result of vegetation 
manipulation on crucial winter range. 



Effects on Livestock Grazing 

No change in livestock use is proposed under 
this alternative. Existing data are insufficient to 
predict how future vegetation changes if any, 
would affect the availability of forage. Adjust- 
ments to livestock use would be made in the 
future if monitoring identified a need. 

Some areas would be lost to livestock use as 
a result of livestock exclosures around potential 
campsites. The loss of forage available to 
livestock would be negligible since such a small 
area would be involved. Livestock movement 



along the trail would not be restricted since 
livestock could move freely around the exclo- 
sures. 

Projected allotment boundary fences would 
improve distribution patterns and eliminate 
uncontrolled drift of cattle between allotments. 
New spring developments would improve dis- 
tribution and provide additional sources of water 
for cattle. Consideration of scenic, wildlife and 
recreation values in the design and construction 
of range improvement projects would cause 
greater implementation expense as compared to 
standard construction. This consideration would 
include use of let-down fences and location of 
projects to avoid visual intrusions. 

Proposed vegetation manipulation to improve 
big game crucial winter range would not improve 
forage availability for livestock to any great 
extent. 

Conclusion: Adjustments to livestock use 
would be made in the future if monitoring 
identified a need. The loss of forage available to 
livestock as a result of livestock exclosures 
around potential campsites would be negligible. 
Projected range improvement projects would 
improve distribution patterns, eliminate uncon- 
trolled drift of cattle between allotments, and 
provide additional sources of water for cattle. 
Consideration of scenic, wildlife and recreational 
values in the design and construction of range 
improvement projects would raise their costs 
compared to standard construction. Proposed 
vegetation manipulation to improve big game 
crucial winter range would not improve forage 
availability for livestock to any great extent. 

Effects on Mineral Exploration and 
Development 

Oil and gas leases would be issued subject to 
appropriate standard surface disturbance stip- 
ulations. There would be no impact on oil and gas 
exploration and development within the WSA. 

Locatable mineral exploration activity would be 
regulated by the 1872 Mining Law and the 43 CFR 
3809 regulations. ORV restrictions would not 
significantly affect mining activities since they 
would not preclude access to mining claims for 
assessment or exploration. There would be no 
impact to exploration and development of 
existing or future claims under this alternative. 

Conclusion: There would be no effect on 
exploration and development of oil and gas or 
locatable minerals. 



38 



ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 



All Wilderness Alternative 



Effects on Wilderness Values 

Under this alternative the Encampment River 
Canyon WSA would be recommended suitablefor 
wilderness designation. Upon designation, the 
area would be managed according to the 
guidelines of BLM's wilderness management 
policy. Activities that would impair the wilderness 
character of the area would be restricted. This 
would help ensure the long-term protection of the 
wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities 
for solitude, and opportunities for primitive and 
unconfined recreation. It would also help ensure 
the preservation of the scenic quality of the area. 

Closing the area to ORV use would enhance 
opportunities forsolitudeand primitive recreation 
during theentire year. Currently the area isclosed 
to ORVs only in the winter. 

Projected range improvement projects would 
decrease solitude during implementation, but 
would not impair wilderness values in the long 
term since they would be designed to comply with 
the wilderness management policy. 

Expected locatable mineral exploration would 
be small-scale and would not materially affect 
wilderness values. 

Conclusion: Under this alternative the wil- 
derness values of naturalness, opportunities for 
solitude, and opportunities for primitive and 
unconfined recreation would be protected in the 
Encampment River Canyon WSA . The scenic 
quality of the area would be preserved. Closing 
the area to ORV use would enhance opportunities 
for solitude and primitive recreation all year long. 
Other actions would not greatly affect wilderness 
values. 



Effects on Recreational Opportunities 

Recreational use of the Encampment RiverTrail 
would be largely unaffected. Activities would 
include those of a primitive nature such as 
hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and sight- 
seeing. Trail use is projected to level off at about 
6,000 visitor days within the next five years. 

Under this alternative, motorized forms of 
recreation would be prohibited. This would 
displace approximately half of the use that 
currently occurs away from the Encampment 
River Trail; about 1,000 visitor days associated 
with ORV use. Within five years, nonmotorized 
recreational use would increase and the total use 



would level off at about 1,500 visitor days in the 
area away from the trail. This is approximately 500 
visitor days fewer than is projected under current 
management. 

The ORV use displaced from the WSA could 
easily be shifted to other areas with virtually no 
effect on opportunities for motorized recreation 
in the region. 

Under this alternative there would be no 
increase in usable habitat and numbers of trout 
in the Encampment River and Miner Creek. As a 
result, the number or size of trout creeled from the 
Encampment River might need to be regulated in 
the future if fishing pressure and trout harvest 
resulted in a threat to the viability of the wild trout 
populations or a reduction in angler success 
rates. 

Conflicts between cattle and recreationists 
from concentrated use along the trail would 
remain. Some potential campsites would still have 
reduced vegetation and concentrations of cattle 
manure, because cattle would continue to use 
them for loafing areas. 

Projected range improvement projects would 
have only minor effects on recreational oppor- 
tunities in the WSA. They could reduce conflicts 
with cattle through better grazing distribution. 

Mineral exploration would be small-scale and 
would have no material effect on recreation. 

Conclusion: Recreational use of the 
Encampment River Trail would be largely 
unaffected. About 1,000 visitor days associated 
with ORV use would be displaced. The ORV use 
displaced from the WSA could easily be shifted 
to other areas with virtually no effect on 
opportunities for motorized recreation in the 
region. Within five years total recreational use 
would level off at about 500 fewer visitor days than 
are projected under current management. There 
would be no increase in usable habitat and 
numbers of trout, and the number or size of trout 
creeled from the Encampment River might need 
to be regulated in the future. Conflicts between 
cattle and recreationists from concentrated use 
along the trail would remain. 



Effects on Wildlife and Fisheries 

The ORV closure would benefit big game by 
reducing harassment due to snowmobile use on 
crucial big game winter ranges. It also would 
reduce big game encounters with ORVs within the 
WSA through the remainder of the year. As a 
result, there would be less stress and displace- 
ment of wildlife. Currently the area is closed to 
ORVs only in the winter. 



39 



ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 



Under this alternative, actions would be 
undertaken to improve wildlife habitat if problems 
were found during monitoring. Since any action 
taken would have to be consistent with BLM's 
Wilderness Management Policy, certain actions 
such as the alteration of vegetation using 
motorized equipment would be prohibited. Thus, 
the range of available techniques for improving 
wildlife habitat in the WSA would be somewhat 
limited. However, the policy is sufficiently flexible 
to allow for habitat rehabilitation when clearly 
needed, so the quality of big game habitat and it's 
ability to support animals would not be reduced 
under this alternative. 

Since no actions to enhance fisheries are 
proposed, there would be no increase in usable 
habitat and numbers of trout in the Encampment 
River and Miner Creek. 

Livestock grazing management would include 
monitoring to determine whether adjustments are 
needed. Adjustments in livestock use would be 
made if monitoring indicates a need. This could 
help improve wildlife habitat conditions. 

Projected range improvement projects would 
not materially affect wildlife since they would be 
designed to consider wildlife values. 

Expected locatable mineral exploration would 
be small-scale and would not materially affect 
wildlife or wildlife habitat. 

Conclusion: Stress and displacement of big 
game would be reduced year round as a result of 
the ORV closure. Usable trout habitat and 
numbers of trout would not increase in the 
Encampment River and Miner Creek since 
fisheries improvement actions are not proposed. 
The quality of big game habitat and its ability to 
support animals would not be reduced by the 
constraints on wildlife habitat improvement 
techniques imposed by BLM's Wilderness 
Management Policy. 



Effects on Livestock Grazing 

No change in livestock use is proposed under 
this alternative. Existing data are insufficient to 
predict how future vegetation changes if any, 
would affect the availability of forage. Adjust- 
ments to livestock use would be made in the 
future if monitoring identified a need. 

Compliance with BLM's Wilderness Manage- 
ment Policy would affect livestock grazing 
management in the WSA. In general, motor 
vehicle access would be allowed only in 
emergency situations and occasionally to 
maintain range improvements. Routine man- 



agement activities such as herding, checking 
cattle, or placing salt blocks would be more 
expensive and labor intensive as a result of motor 
vehicle restrictions. 

Projected allotment boundary fences would 
improve distribution patterns and eliminate 
uncontrolled drift of cattle between allotments. 
New spring developments would improve dis- 
tribution and provide additional sources of water 
for cattle. Compliance with the wilderness 
management policy would cause higher con- 
struction expenses as compared to standard 
construction. The increased construction costs 
would be the result of using let-down fences, 
locating projects to avoid visual intrusions and 
restricting the use of motorized equipment. 

Conclusion: Adjustments to livestock use 
would be made in the future if monitoring 
identified a need. Compliance with BLM's 
Wilderness Management Policy would make 
routine management activities such as herding, 
checking cattle, or placing salt blocks more 
expensive and labor intensive as a result of motor 
vehicle restrictions. It also would make 
accomplishment of new range improvement 
projects more expensive and labor intensive. 
Projected range improvement projects would 
improve distribution patterns, eliminate uncon- 
trolled drift of cattle between allotments, and 
provide additional sources of water for cattle. 



Effects on Mineral Exploration and 
Development 

No new leasing would be allowed, so the 
availability of currently unrecognized oil and gas 
reserves would be forgone. However, since oil 
and gas potential for the Encampment WSA is 
believed to be low to none and no development 
is projected, this effect is considered to be minor. 

No new mining claims would be allowed, so the 
availability of currently unrecognized mineral 
deposits would be forgone. There are 17 
post-FLPMA mining claims within or partially 
within the WSA. Activity on these existing claims 
or on any claims staked prior to wilderness 
designation would be subject to the nonim- 
pairment criteria. Upon designation, the area 
would be closed to new mineral entry, and validity 
examinations would be done on existing claims. 
The area would be unavailable for further 
exploration except for certain nonimpairing 
resource surveys. Wilderness designation would 
make exploration for and development of 
possible mineralized zones in the WSA very 
difficult due to restrictions on vehicles and 
equipment. The effect would basically be one of 



AQ 



ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 



added expense and labor to meet BLM wilderness 
management policy requirements of prevention 
of undue or unnecessary degradation of wil- 
derness character. Motorized equipment could be 
used and impairing activities could be carried out 
only if absolutely necessary for development of 
claims. Reclamation measures would be required 
to restore the surface of disturbed land as near 
to its former state as practicable after mining. 
These requirements would not prevent devel- 
opment of any of the existing claims. 



Conclusion: The availability of currently 
unrecognized oil and gas reserves would be 
forgone. Due to low potential for development the 
effect on oil and gas exploration and development 
would be minor. No new mining claims would be 
allowed, so the availability of currently unrec- 
ognized mineral deposits would be forgone. The 
requirements of BLM wilderness management 
policy would not prevent development of any of 
the existing claims, but would make development 
more expensive and labor intensive. 



41 



PART II 

PROSPECT MOUNTAIN WSA 



Chapter Two 



Alternatives 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Chapter 2: Alternatives 45 

Introduction 45 

Alternatives Eliminated from Detailed Study 45 

Alternatives Considered in Detail 45 

Proposed Action - All Wilderness 45 

Wilderness Management 45 

Recreation Management 45 

Wildlife Habitat Management 46 

Forest Management 46 

Minerals Management - Oil and Gas and Locatables 46 

No Action: No Wilderness 46 

Wilderness Management 46 

Recreation Management 46 

Wildlife Habitat Management 46 

Forest Management 47 

Minerals Management - Oil and Gas and Locatables 47 



44 



PART II - PROSPECT MOUNTAIN WSA 

(WY-030-303) 



CHAPTER 2 - ALTERNATIVES Proposed Action - All Wilderness 



Introduction 

Since the pattern of future actions within the 
WSA cannot be predicted with certainty, 
assumptions were made to allow for the analysis 
of impacts under the alternatives. These 
assumptions are the basis of the impacts 
identified in this EIS. They are not management 
plans or proposals, but represent feasible 
patterns of activities that could occur under the 
alternatives analyzed. 



Alternatives Eliminated from 
Detailed Study 

An alternative to designate only part of the WSA 
as wilderness was considered. Partial wilderness 
designation would eliminate that area containing 
mining claims to avoid potential conflicts with 
other resource values. However, it was deter- 
mined that the WSA is too small to make any 
reductions. Also, there are no logical boundaries 
for partial wilderness. 

An alternative to enhance wilderness in the 
WSA by closing boundary roads and adding 
additional acreage was considered. However, 
there is no feasible way to do this. The area 
outside of the WSA does not have the wilderness 
characteristic of naturalness because of existing 
intrusions which include old mine pits, roads and 
fences. 



Alternatives Considered in Detail 

Two alternatives were analyzed for the 
Prospect Mountain WSA; (1) All Wilderness (the 
Proposed Action) and (2) No Action: No 
Wilderness. Descriptions of the management 
direction for the alternatives follow. 



Under this alternative, the Prospect Mountain 
WSA (1,145 acres) would be recommended as 
suitable for designation as wilderness. Man- 
agement of the area would be guided by BLM's 
Wilderness Management Policy, issued Sep- 
tember 24, 1981. Management would provide for 
protection and preservation of the area's natural 
conditions and wilderness character. 

Management actions for recreation, wildlife 
and fisheries, livestock grazing and minerals 
would be constrained to ensure that wilderness 
values were not impaired. 



Wilderness Management 

The objective would be to protect and preserve 
the area's natural conditions and wilderness 
character. 

Activities such as construction of facilities that 
would impair the wilderness character of the area, 
road building, the use of motorized equipment 
and vehicles, timber harvesting, and mining 
would be restricted or prohibited. Specific 
restrictions are included in the following dis- 
cussions. 

A wilderness management plan would be 
written for the area outlining specific manage- 
ment guidance. The plan would be written 
according to the guidelines in BLM's Wilderness 
Management Policy and BLM Manual Section 
8561 , Wilderness Management Plans, available at 
most BLM offices. 



Recreation Management 

The objective is to provide for primitive forms 
of recreation such as hunting, camping^wildlife 
viewing^andbackpacking. a4 am^/uk AiMvto 

The entire WSA would be closed to ORVs. A 
little more than 1 mile of jeep trails presently 
available for ORV use would be affected. 



45 



ALTERNATIVES 






Recreational use in 1985 was estimated to be 
about 500 visitor days. This level of use is 
expected to remain constant in the future with 
nonmotorized forms of recreation replacing 
motorized recreation displaced by the ORV 
closure. 



Wildlife Habitat Management 

The objective would be to maintain or enhance 
habitat for elk and mule deer within the 
constraints of BLM's Wilderness Management 
Policy. 

Big garne habftat and populations in the WSA 
would be assessed and monitored to determine 
the condition^ of the habitat and the distribution 
and interac/iVi of big game species. The extent 
of competition! between cattle and big game 
would be determined for the area. 

Actions would be undertaken if wildlife habitat 
problems were documented. For example, if 
crucial winter range were determined to be 
deteriorating, temporary fencing or change in 
season of use might be required, or the number 
of big game animals could be reduced in 
cooperation with the WGFD. Any action taken 
would be consistent with BLM's Wilderness 
Management Policy. Thus, certain actions such 
as the alteration of vegetation using motorized 
equipment would be restricted or prohibited. 
;il 

Forest Management 

Under this alternative, there would be no forest 
management actions and no harvest of forest 
products. 



Minerals Management 
Locatables 



Oil and Gas and 



No new oil and gas leasing would be allowed. 

NJ-aiil the WSA was designated wildemejs-by 
CongressTHhe existing 13 post-FLPMA^ffiining 
claims would"~&e^sybject to thejnterim man- 
agement policy. This"pS>llcvaUows only activities 
that do not impair wilderness values. If a* 
discovery were ^made using\nonimpairing 
methods, then^a"c1aimant would bVeqtitled to a 
patent on those claims. The area woulchsontinue 
to be opren to mining location until designatTofkas 
wilderness. 

After the WSA was designated wilderness, the 
existing 13 post-FLPMA mining claims would be 
subject to BLM's Wilderness Management Policy. 



No new mining claims would be allowed. Validity 
examinations would be required before allowing 
operations on claims. Mining development would 
be carried out in a manner that prevents 
unnecessary or undue degradation of wilderness 
character. Smalh-scale-development'of severahof 
t ho olaims cou l d bo oxpootod with eae r rm f ne si te 
oX ' Gluoivo of - acoooo - foadc disturb i n g looo than fiv e 
ae res-of -t h e-WS A . 

No Action: No Wilderness 

Under this alternative, the Prospect Mountain 
WSA (1,145 acres) would be recommended as 
nonsuitable for designation as wilderness. The 
WSA would be managed for dispersed recreation, 
wildlife habitat, forest production, and mineral 
development. 



Wilderness Management 

The WSA would not be recommended for 
wilderness designation and would be subject to 
actions that would enhance dispersed recreation, 
wildlife habitat, forest production, and mineral 
development. No special emphasis would be 
placed on preservation of wilderness values. 



Recreation Management 

The objective is to provide for continuation of 
existing forms of recreation such as hunting, 
camping, wildlife viewing, and backpacking. A/% 
/i&eX&^r-ekn* /{**-* <J?t vitf a^'- fi tost^-*JJ, 

ORV use wduld be limited to existing roads and 

trails. A little more than 1 mile of jeep trails would 
remain available for ORV use. 

Recreational use in 1985 was estimated to be 
about 500 visitor days. This is expected to remain 
constant in the future. 



Wildlife Habitat Management 



r enhance 



The objective would be to maintain 
habitat for elk and mule deer. ° % 

Prescribed burningAor cutting! to increase 
perennial grass production and to stimulate 
important shrub communities would be accom- 
plished on 200 acres of crucial elk winter range. 

During severe winters the area would be closed 
to logging from December 1 to April 30. The area 
would be closed to logging May 10 to June 15 to 
protect calving elk. 



46 



ALTERNATIVES 



Forest Management 

Under this alternative the forest resource would 
be managed for the production of wood fiber 
within multiple-use constraints. Forest man- 
agement activities would include commercial 
sawlog timber sales, corral pole and fence post 
sales, individual fuelwood sales, and precom- 
mercial thinning. 

Approximately 300 acres would be harvested 
over the next 60 years through clearcuts ranging 
in size from about 10 to 25 acres. These clearcuts 
would be scattered throughout the area to 
eventually provide a mosaic of timber stands in 



four different age classes. Approximately 2.5 
million board feet would be harvested through 
four separate timber sales, 20 years apart. A 
harvest of 1 million board feet is recommended 
as soon as possible to control the current 
mountain pine beetle activity. 

Potential harvest from the WSA is about 60,000 
board feet per year of conifer on a sustained yield 
basis under intensive management. Small harvest 
volumes such as this are not feasible because of 
the economics of logging. Therefore, harvesting 
would take place periodically and would amount 
to larger volumes. The proposed schedule of 
harvest is detailed on table 4. 



TABLE 4 
Proposed Timber Sales in Prospect Mountain WSA 



Year 

from 

Present 


Estimated 
Volume 
(MMBF) 


Acres 

of 
Harvest 


Method 

of 
Logging 


Miles 

of Road 

Upgrading 


Miles of 
Temporary 

Road 
Construction 


As soon as 
possible 


1 


75 


Clearcut 


1-1/4 


1/2 


20 


1/2 


75 


Clearcut 





1-1/4 


40 


1/2 


75 


Clearcut 





1 


60 


1/2 


75 


Clearcut 





3/4 


Totals 


2.5 


300 




1-1/4 


3-1/2 



Timber harvesting would be prohibited from 
December 1st to April 30th of each year. This 
restriction could be waived during mild winters. 
In this event, a multiple resource evaluation would 
take place, including consultation with the 
Wyoming Game and Fish Department, to 
determine severity of impacts on the wintering elk 
population. 

Precommercial thinning would occur when the 
regenerated stands are about 25 years old. 
Another harvest of the stand through clearcutting 
would occur when the stand reaches 100 years of 
age. 



Minerals Management 
Locatables 



Oil and Gas and 



New oil and gas leases would be issued subject 
to standard protection requirements for sur- 



face-disturbing activities (available from any BLM 
office in Wyoming). No drilling is expected, 
because of the low potential for oil and gas 
accumulation and the difficulty of access. 

The existing 13 post-FLPMA mining claims 
would be managed subject to the Surface 
Management Regulation of 43 CFR 3809 
governing surface management of public lands 
under U. S. mining laws. New mining claims 
would be allowed and would be managed the 
same as existing claims. Staking of additional 
mining claims would be anticipated. Some minor 
exploratory activity would be^nfjciEiated within 
the WSA boundary'-: Small-scale development of 
several of the claims could be expected over the 
long term with each mine site exclusive of access 
roads disturbing less than five acres of the WSA. 






Al 



TABLE 5 

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS 
Prospect Mountain WSA 



Issues 



Proposed Action 
All Wilderness 



No Wilderness 



Effects on Wilderness 
Values 



& 



Effects on Recreational 
Opportunities 



Effects on Wildlife 



Naturalness, opportunities for solitude, and 
opportunities for primitive and unconfined 
recreation would be protected in the Prospect 
Mountain WSA. The scenic quality of the area 
would be preserved. Designation would expand an 
area where wilderness values are afforded 
protection, because of the proximity to the 
Platte River Wilderness. Closing the area to 
ORV use would enhance opportunities for solitude 
and primitive recreation. Expected locatable 
mineral exploration and development would 
degrade the wilderness values of solitude and 
naturalness. Reclamation requirements under the 
wilderness management policy would reduce the 
effect on naturalness to negligible levels in 
the long term. 

Primitive recreational values and opportunities 
would be protected and enhanced somewhat under 
this alternative, because there would be no 
motorized vehicle traffic. Recreation use would 
remain at about 500 visitor days. Wilderness 
designation would preserve primitive recreation 
opportunities adjacent to the Platte River 
Wilderness. 

Closing the area to ORV use would reduce big 
game encounters with ORVs within the WSA and 
associated stress and displacement of big game. 
Expected locatable mineral exploration and 
development would have virtually no effect on 
wildlife use or wildlife habitat. 



Continued ORV use would degrade opportunities 
for solitude and primitive recreation somewhat. 
Forest management activities would degrade 
naturalness and opportunities for solitude. 
Expected locatable mineral exploration and 
development would degrade the wilderness values 
of solitude and naturalness. Reclamation 
requirements under BLM's surface management 
regulations would reduce the effect on 
naturalness in the long term. 



m 

53 



< 

[-71 

m 



Recreational use and values would change only 
slightly. Forest management and mineral 
exploration and development could displace 
recreationists during development or management 
activities. 



Continued ORV use would not greatly affect big 
game. Prescribed burning or cutting would 
improve 200 acres of crucial elk winter range 
and high priority habitat types. Forest 
management would not greatly affect wildlife 
habitat and populations. Expected locatable 
mineral exploration and development would have 
virtually no effect on wildlife use or wildlife 
habitat. 



TABLE 5 (Continued) 

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS 
Prospect Mountain WSA 



Issues 



Proposed Action 
All Wilderness 



No Wilderness 



Effects on Forest 
Resources and Forest 
Management 






Effects on Mineral 
Exploration and 
Development 



Natural forest succession would continue with 
eventual conversion of the lodgepole pine stands 
to Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir. Fire 
hazard would increase. The productivity and 
health of the forest would be far less than 
optimal. Tree diversity, in terms of different 
species, sizes, and ages within any given stand 
would increase. Prohibiting timber harvest in 
the WSA would result in a loss of about 10 work 
years of potential employment and about $737,000 
in potential revenue generation in the near 
future and would make a potential winter logging 
area unavailable. 

The availability of currently unrecognized oil 
and gas reserves would be forgone. Due to low 
potential for development the effect on oil and 
gas exploration and development would be minor. 
No new mining claims would be allowed, so the 
availability of currently unrecognized mineral 
deposits would be forgone. The requirements of 
BLM wilderness management policy would not 
prevent development of any of the existing 
claims, but would make development more 
expensive and labor intensive. 



Timber harvesting would reduce fire hazard. The 
productivity and health of the forest would be 
enhanced by management activities. Tree 
diversity, in terms of different species, sizes, 
and ages within any given stand would be reduced 
in harvested areas, but increased in the 
un harvested areas. Timber harvest would 
contribute to the local economy for 1 or 2 
years. A 1 million-board-foot timber sale in 
the near future would provide about 10 work 
years of employment and generate about $737,000 
of revenue in the local economy. Availability 
of winter logging areas would be increased. 

There would be no effect on exploration and 
development of oil and cjas or locatable minerals. 



H 
m 

> 

< 

m 

m 



PART II 

PROSPECT MOUNTAIN WSA 



Chapter Three 



Affected Environment 




TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Chapter 3: Affected Environment 53 

Introduction 53 

General Description 53 

Wilderness Values 54 

Size 54 

Naturalness 54 

Outstanding Opportunities for Solitude and/or a Primitive 

Unconfined Type of Recreation 54 

Special Features 55 

Recreational Resources 55 

Wildlife Resources 55 

Forest Resources 55 

Mineral Resources 53 

Geologic Setting 57 

Oil and Gas 57 

Locatable Minerals 57 



52 



PART II - PROSPECT MOUNTAIN WSA 

(WY-030-303) 



CHAPTER 3 - AFFECTED 
ENVIRONMENT 

Introduction 

There are many environmental components 
that would be unaffected by either of the 
alternatives for management of the Prospect 
Mountain WSA. Since they would not be affected, 
they are not described in detail in this chapter. 
These environmental components are covered 
briefly in the following paragraphs. 

Many environmental components are not 
present in the WSA and therefore would not be 
affected. These include areas of critical envi- 
ronmental concern (ACEC), coal resources, 
nonenergy leasable minerals, floodplains, prime 
or unique farmlands, wetlands, wild horses, and 
wild or scenic rivers (designated or proposed). 

Other environmental components are present 
in the WSA, but none of the management actions 
proposed would affect them. These include air 
quality, climate, cultural resources, livestock 
grazing, topography, water quality, and water 
yield. 

No lands and realty actions are proposed or 
projected for the WSA, so none would be affected. 

There are no permits for salable minerals in the 
WSA. Known deposits of sand and gravel occur 
but are segregated from sale by a previous 
management decision. Access to the Prospect 
Mountain WSA is limited and rough, and the area 
is about 3 miles from the nearest paved road, 
making it an unlikely source of salable materials. 
In addition, adequate sources of material are 
available outside the WSA along the highway 
right-of-way and in adjacent areas. Thus, 
availability of salable minerals would not be 
affected. 

Restricting ORV use can potentially reduce soil 
erosion. However, in this WSA, ORV use is 
relatively light and is dispersed such that effects 
on soil erosion would be negligible. 



Mining activities can increase erosion rates. 
However, soil erosion rates due to mining 
activities would be similar under either alterna- 
tive. This is because mining would be managed 
under the surface management regulation of 43 
CFR 3809, BLM's interim management policy, or 
BLM's wilderness management policy under 
either alternative to keep effects on soils to a 
minimum. 

Timber harvesting activities can increase 
erosion rates. However, these actions would be 
implemented using standard mitigation measures 
that would minimize effects on soil erosion rates. 

Threatened or endangered species would be 
unaffected by the management alternatives for 
the WSA. The Prospect Mountain WSA is within 
the range of the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and 
black-footed ferret, which are protected by the 
Endangered Species Act (1964, as amended). 
However, no documented observations of these 
three species have been made in the WSA. Bald 
eagles may occasionally use the area during the 
winter for hunting. Peregrines are believed to 
migrate through the area in late fall and early 
spring. However, the WSA contains no breeding, 
nesting, or wintering habitat that would be 
essential to the recovery of either species. The 
area does not contain any prairie dogs, primary 
food of black-footed ferrets, so the existence of 
ferrets in the WSA is unlikely. 



General Description 



The Prospect Mountain WSA is located in 
southern Carbon County approximately 16 miles 
southeast of Encampment, Wyoming, and 8 miles 
north of the Colorado-Wyoming border, along the 
southwestern flank of the Snowy Range, 
Medicine Bow Mountains. Elevations range from 
7,400 feet along the North Platte River to 8,430 
feet on Prospect Mountain. The WSA is 70 percent 
forested (see photograph 3). 

Access is provided by a primitive public road 
that originates 3 miles west of the WSA boundary 
on State Highway 230. During most of the winter, 
the WSA is inaccessible except by snowmobile. 



53 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



■ ' ' 







•*^V»%r 



Prospect Mountain WSA looking east from near the western border. 



The Prospect Mountain WSA is adjacent to the 
U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Platte River Wilder- 
ness, which shares its eastern boundary. 



Wilderness Values 



Size 

The Prospect Mountain WSA contains 1,145 
acres of public land. No private or state in holdings 
and no split-estate lands are located within the 
WSA boundary. 



Naturalness 

Man's influence for the most part is unno- 
ticeable. Except for one old dilapidated cabin and 
two short jeep trails that dead end, the area is free 
of intrusions. These intrusions blend into the 
overall view and are not noticeable from a 
distance. They do not impair the wilderness 
character of the WSA. The vegetation and/or 
topography screen the primitive trails, providing 
a high degree of naturalness. 



Outstanding Opportunities for Solitude 
and/or a Primitive Unconfined Type of 
Recreation 

The mountain and drainage, coupled with 
dense forest cover and riparian areas, provide a 
high degree of solitude, while creating numerous 
secluded places for recreational activities. With 
70 percent of the area covered by trees, visitors 
are easily screened from one another. The Platte 
River Wilderness, which forms the eastern 
boundary of the WSA and contains 23,000 acres, 
enhances the opportunity for solitude in this WSA 
because of its undeveloped nature. 

There are no developed recreational sites in or 
adjacent to the WSA. The road that forms a 
portion of the northern boundary of the WSA 
provides access to the North Platte River. This 
road, however, is accessible only via four-wheel 
drive vehicles. 

The area offers opportunities for high-quality 
mule deer and elk hunting. It also offers hiking, 
camping, and rock hounding. The North Platte 
River offers high quality fishing and floatboating. 
Opportunities for sightseeing within the WSA are 
numerous as the area is exceptionally scenic, has 



54 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



abundant wildlife such as raptors, small mammals 
and other nongame wildlife and is very photo- 
genic. 



Special Features 

The Prospect Mountain WSA is highly scenic. 
Color and texture of the WSA contrast sharply 
with the adjacent high desert environment. Colors 
are many shades of green and blue in the warmer 
months and change to green, gold, and brown in 
the fall. The area has a Class II Visual Resource 
Management rating. 



Recreational Resources 

The Prospect Mountain area provides a variety 
of recreational activities, including fishing, 
hunting, sightseeing, hiking, camping, rock 
hounding, and wildlife viewing. The area is used 
by local residents and nonresidents alike. The 
North Platte River adjacent to the WSA offers high 
quality fishing and floatboating, and is a 
well-known national attraction. 

There are no developed recreational sites in or 
adjacent to the WSA. 

Public access to the area is available by vehicle, 
horseback, hiking, or boat. Estimated use is 500 
visitor days per year. 

About 20 special recreation use permits have 
been issued to area guides and outfitters who use 
the WSA in conjunction with adjacent areas for 
hunting operations and floatboating. 

Floatboaters access the WSA by way of the 
Prospect Creek access point on the North Platte 
River. This put-in and take-out point is reached 
via the road that forms a portion of the northern 
boundary of the WSA. Use varies according to 
water flow and weather conditions. Many river 
users camp along the river within the WSA or 
adjacent to it while on overnight float trips down 
the river. 

Other major recreational use is associated with 
mule deer and elk hunting. This area provides 
high-quality hunting and has regional signifi- 
cance. 



Wildlife Resources 

Elk from the Snowy Range elk herd may be 
found in the Prospect Mountain WSA year round. 
The northern half of the WSA is part of a large 
crucial winter range that is considered essential 
to the survival of the herd. The aspen and conifer 



habitat types in the WSA provide elk with thermal 
and hiding cover. Forage is available in the aspen, 
riparian, and open sagebrush-grassland habitat 
types. 

The WSA also provides yearlong habitat for 
variable numbers of mule deer from the extensive 
Platte Valley herd. More deer use the WSA during 
winter, when higher elevation habitat is made 
unavailable by deep snow. The extensive aspen 
and willow-riparian habitat sites on the WSA 
provide important fawning cover. 

The aspen and willow-riparian habitat types on 
the WSA are used by up to 135 wildlife species. 
Aspen are found on both upland and riparian sites 
in the WSA. Aspen habitat is normally maintained 
by fire or other disturbances. In most areas of 
their occurrence within the WSA, stands are being 
rapidly invaded by conifers because of a lack of 
fire or other disturbance. About 30 percent of the 
WSA (320 acres) contains aspen in nonriparian 
areas. 

Most of the riparian areas in the WSA are 
heavily utilized by livestock and wildlife and are 
not producing attheirfull potential. Riparian sites 
are highly productive in terms of plant and animal 
species diversity, vegetation structure, and 
biomass, and they are important to wildlife 
because of their limited availability. About 3 
percent of the WSA (32 acres) contains riparian 
habitat. 



Forest Resources 

Prospect Mountain WSA contains about 450 
acres of commercial forestland, primarily mature 
lodgepole pine. More than two-thirds of the 
forested land is suitable for timber harvesting 
without special logging techniques (see map 5). 
The remaining acreage has limited harvesting 
opportunity because of poor accessibility, 
streamside protection corridors, and a visual 
buffer along the North Platte River. 

The lodgepole pine is in several different 
even-aged stands that vary in age between 80 and 
130 years. An understory of subalpine fir and 
Engelmann spruce is scattered throughout these 
stands. If left unmanaged the pine would 
eventually die because of insects and disease, 
and would be replaced by the subalpine fir and 
Engelmann spruce through natural succession. 

The lodgepole pine is located on what is 
considered a good site (site index is 40 on a 
50-year base) and has the potential, under 
intensive management, of producing 20,000 
board feet per acre on a 100-year rotation. 
However, the current situation is a result of no 



55 



R 81 W 




SCALE IN MILES 



Prospect Mountain WSA Boundary 
Area Suitable for Forest Management 
Area Unsuitable for Forest Management 




~u\ 



f Rawlins 



Cheyenne 



****** Planned Two-track Upgrading 

sMKBuan* Planned Temporary Road Construction 

Map 5 

FOREST MANAGEMENT IN THE 

PROSPECT MOUNTAIN WSA 

Medicine Bow Wilderness Supplement 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



past management. Current volumes range from 
3,000 to 9,000 board feet per acre. The number of 
trees per acre varies from under 1 00 to over 1 ,000. 

Mountain pine beetle activity is currently 
confined to about six small pockets of infestation. 
A risk rating system was applied to the 
sawtimber-sized lodgepole pine stands in the 
WSA to determine their susceptibility to major 
mountain pine beetle infestations. The risk rating 
system used incorporates climatic suitability 
(specifically latitude and elevation), tree age and 
tree size (Cole and Amman 1980). The results of 
this procedure indicate that a major outbreak is 
anticipated because of the elevation of the WSA 
(8,300 feet), an average diameter breast height of 
around 9 inches, and an average age of over 80 
years. Mortality could reach one-half million 
board feet (over 5,000 trees) within the next 5 to 
10 years. 

The potential harvest from the WSA is about 
60,000 board feet per year of conifer on a 
sustained yield basis under intensive manage- 
ment. 

Demand for wood products exists from the 
sawmills located in Encampment and Saratoga. 
Over a period of 10 years or longer the potential 
wood supply from this WSA is insignificant 
toward meeting the needs of these mills. 
However, the wood that could be harvested 
becomes more important toward meeting their 
needs in a given year; particularly since this WSA 
has good winter logging potential, which is highly 
desirable for this region. 

Other forest product sales are relatively minor 
and include fuelwood cutting, corral pole cutting, 
and Christmas tree cutting. These types of sales 
result from individual requests from the public. 



Mineral Resources 



Geologic Setting 

The Prospect Mountain WSA contains rocks of 
Precambrian age. A pink, medium-to-coarse- 
grained granite and a foliated quartz monzonite 
are found in the southern half of sections 1 and 
2 and the northern half of section 12, T.13 N., R. 



81 W. The northern half of Sections 1 and 2 
consist of mafic igneous rocks ranging from 
orthoamphibolite to faintly foliated rocks with 
well developed igneous textures to massive, little 
altered igneous rocks. The degree of metamor- 
phism is variable within the unit. Sections 2, 11, 
12 and 13, T. 13 N., R. 81 W. also contain a 
complex unit made up chiefly of hornblende 
gneiss, but including biotite gneiss, sillimonite 
gneiss, and quartzo-feldspathic gneiss. 
Diopside-homblende-calcite gneiss, impure 
marble, calcite-garnet-epidote gneiss, amphib- 
olite and calc-biotite gneiss also occur. Pink to 
white granite pegmatites, chiefly potassium 
feldspar, and quartz, mostly unzoned, are found 
throughout the area. 



Oil and Gas 

There are no existing oil and gas leases within 
the WSA. Due to the geologic environment, which 
is not favorable for oil and gas accumulation, the 
difficulty of access, and the difficulty of 
conducting drilling operations in these types of 
geologic conditions, oil and gas exploration and 
development is not anticipated in the WSA. 



Locatable Minerals 

There have been several producing mines 
within 2.5 miles of the Prospect Mountain WSA. 
Copper, uranium, gold, and rare earth minerals 
reportedly were shipped from the mines as 
recently as the late 1950s. The pegmatites 
scattered throughout the area appear to contain 
the important mineralization as all the known 
mines were located on pegmatite bodies. Several 
pegmatites are reported to occur within the area. 
An abandoned mine lying 200 yards outside of the 
WSA boundary has magnetic minerals and what 
appears to be a possible nickel bloom. A traverse 
of Prospect Mountain in 1981 showed the 
presence of scattered magnetic minerals and 
several prospect pits. Based on this information, 
it is likely that further exploration work would 
occur in the area, with the possibility of 
small-scale mine development. Thirteen post- 
FLPMA mining claims are located in the WSA (see 
map 6). These claims are located for various 
minerals including copper, uranium and feldspar. 



57 



R 81 W 




SCALE IN MILES 



Prospect Mountain WSA Boundary 
Post-FLPMA Mining Claims 




~U] 



Cheyenne 



Map 6 
POST-FLPMA MINING CLAIMS IN 
THE PROSPECT MOUNTAIN WSA 

Medicine Bow Wilderness Supplement 









.' : ":: : ■. • 






' 



, ! " . *i 



, " , ' ;:■.' 



" ' ■ 



PART II 

PROSPECT MOUNTAIN WSA 



Chapter Four 



Environmental Consequences 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Chapter 4: Environmental Consequences 61 

Proposed Action - No Action: All Wilderness 61 

Effects on Wilderness Values 61 

Effects on Recreational Opportunities 61 

Effects on Wildlife 62 

Effects on Forest Resources and Forest Management 62 

Effects on Mineral Exploration and Development 63 

No Action: No Wilderness 63 

Effects on Wilderness Values 63 

Effects on Recreational Opportunities 63 

Effects on Wildlife 64 

Effects on Forest Resources and Forest Management 65 

Effects on Mineral Exploration and Development 65 



60 



PART II - PROSPECT MOUNTAIN WSA 

(WY-030-303) 



CHAPTER 4 - 

ENVIRONMENTAL 

CONSEQUENCES 

Proposed Action - All Wilderness 

Effects on Wilderness Values 

Under this alternative the Prospect Mountain 
WSA would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation. Upon designation, the 
area would be managed according to the 
guidelines of BLM's wilderness management 
policy. Activities that would impair the wilderness 
character of the area would be restricted. This 
would help ensure the long-term protection of the 
wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities 
for solitude, and opportunities for primitive and 
unconfined recreation. It would also help ensure 
the preservation of the scenic quality of the area. 
Designation would essentially expand an area 
where wilderness values are already afforded 
protection since the WSA is adjacent to the Platte 
River Wilderness. 

Closing the area to ORV use would enhance 
opportunities for solitude and primitive recre- 
ation. 

Expected locatable mineral exploration and 
development would be small-scale. Although 
development of several claims would disturb less 
than five acres each and would be in compliance 
with BLM's wilderness management policy, they 
would degrade the wilderness values of solitude 
and naturalness during development activities. 
Access roads would degrade naturalness over a 
larger area. Reclamation requirements under the 
wilderness management policy would reduce the 
effect on naturalness to negligible levels in the 
long term. 

Conclusion: Under this alternative the wil- 
derness values of naturalness, opportunities for 
solitude, and opportunities for primitive and 
unconfined recreation would be protected in the 
Prospect Mountain WSA. The scenic quality of 
the area would be preserved. Designation would 
expand an area where wilderness values are 
afforded protection, because of the proximity to 



the Platte River Wilderness. Closing the area to 
ORV use would enhance opportunities for 
solitude and primitive recreation. Expected 
locatable mineral exploration and development 
would degrade the wilderness values of solitude 
and naturalness. Reclamation requirements 
under the wilderness management policy would 
reduce the effect on naturalness to negligible 
levels in the long term. Other actions would not 
greatly affect wilderness values. 



Effects on Recreational Opportunities 

Primitive recreation values and opportunities 
would be protected and enhanced under this 
alternative, because there would be no motorized 
vehicle traffic. 

Motorized forms of recreation would be 
prohibited. Motorized recreation is a minor use of 
the area and is mostly associated with other 
activities such as hunting orsightseeing. ORV use 
displaced from the area could easily be shifted to 
other areas with virtually no effect on opportu- 
nities for motorized recreation in the region. 

Recreation use would remain at about 500 
visitor days. Recreational activities currently 
associated with ORV use such as hunting or 
sightseeing would continue without the use of 
motor vehicles. The WSA is small enough that 
recreationists could easily walk from the 
boundary road into the area for the activities. 

Wilderness designation would preserve prim- 
itive recreational opportunities adjacent to the 
Platte River Wilderness. 

Designation of wilderness would not affect 
f loatboaters' access to the Prospect Creek access 
point on the North Platte River. The boundary 
road would remain open to motor vehicle traffic. 

Conclusion: Primitive recreational values and 
opportunities would be protected and enhanced 
under this alternative, because there would be no 
motorized vehicle traffic. ORV use displaced from 
the area could easily be shifted to other areas with 
virtually no effect on opportunities for motorized 
recreation in the region. Recreation use would 
remain at about 500 visitor days. Wilderness 
designation would preserve primitive recreation 
opportunities adjacent to the Platte River 
Wilderness. Floatboaters' access to the Prospect 



61 



ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 



Creek access point on the North Platte River 
would not be affected. 



Effects on Wildlife 

Closing the area to ORV use would benefit big 
game by reducing big game encounters with 
ORVs within the WSA and associated stress and 
displacement of big game. This effect would be 
minor since ORV use in the area is low. 

Under this alternative, actions would be 
undertaken to improve wildlife habitat if problems 
were detected through monitoring. Since any 
action taken would have to be consistent with 
BLM's Wilderness Management Policy certain 
actions such as the alteration of vegetation using 
motorized equipment would be prohibited. Thus, 
the range of available techniques for improving 
wildlife habitat in the WSA would be somewhat 
limited. However, the policy is sufficiently flexible 
to allow for habitat rehabilitation when clearly 
needed, so the quality of big game habitat and it's 
ability to support animals would not be reduced 
under this alternative. 

Expected locatable mineral exploration and 
development would be small-scale. Development 
of several claims would disturb wildlife slightly 
during development activities, however, there 
would be virtually no effect on wildlife use in the 
area or wildlife habitat over the long term. 

Conclusion: Closing the area to ORV use 
would benefit big game by reducing big game 
encounters with ORVs within the WSA and 
associated stress and displacement of big game. 
The quality of big game habitat and its ability to 
support animals would not be reduced by the 
constraints on wildlife habitat improvement 
techniques imposed by BLM's Wilderness 
Management Policy. Expected locatable mineral 
exploration and development would have virtually 
no effect on wildlife use or wildlife habitat. 



Effects on Forest Resources and Forest 
Management 

There would be no forest management 
activities under this alternative. Natural forest 
succession would continue with eventual con- 
version of the lodgepole pine stands to Engel- 
mann spruce and subalpine fir. Chance fire 
occurrence would be the only disturbance that 
would revert stands back to young lodgepole pine 
and aspen. 



Increased mountain pine beetle activity would 
accelerate the decline of the lodgepole stands 
and consequently speed up the development of 
Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir stands. 
Lodgepole mortality caused by mountain pine 
beetle would increase fire hazard because of 
increased accumulations of dead wood. This 
would increase the chance of large wildfires in the 
long term. 

Productivity of the forest in terms of useable 
wood fiber growth would remain far below its 
potential. Incidence of tree mortality due to 
naturally occurring insects and disease would 
remain high. The productivity and health of the 
forest would be far less than optimal from the 
stand point of wood fiber growth. 

The gradual establishment of Engelmann 
spruce and subalpinefir would lead to an increase 
in tree diversity, in terms of different species, 
sizes, and ages within pny given stand. 

Wood products from the WSA would be 
unavailable to the sawmills located in Encamp- 
ment and Saratoga. A 1 million-board-foot timber 
sale that is needed in the near future to control 
current mountain pine beetle activity would be 
forgone. The elimination of this planned sale 
would result in a loss of about 10 work-years of 
potential employment and about $737,000 in 
potential revenue generation. Prohibiting timber 
harvest in the WSA would also mean that an area 
with winter logging potential would be unavail- 
able for logging. This factor is locally important 
because the Platte Valley has limited opportu- 
nities for winter harvesting. 

Over the next 60 years the amount of harvest 
forgone would be 2.5 million board feet. This 
amount is not very important to the local economy 
when considering the total timber harvest in the 
Platte Valley. 

Conclusion: Natural forest succession would 
continue with eventual conversion of the 
lodgepole pine stands to Engelmann spruce and 
subalpine fir. Fire hazard would increase. The 
productivity and health of the forest would be far 
less than optimal. Tree diversity, in terms of 
different species, sizes, and ages within any given 
stand would increase. Prohibiting timber harvest 
in the WSA would result in a loss of about 10 
work-years of potential employment and about 
$737,000 in potential revenue generation in the 
near future and would make a potential winter 
logging area unavailable. Over the next 60 years 
the amount of harvest forgone would not be very 
important to the local economy. 



62 



ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 



Effects on Mineral Exploration and 
Development 

No new leasing would be allowed, so the 
availability of currently unrecognized oil and gas 
reserves would be foregone. However, since oil 
and gas potential for the Prospect Mountain WSA 
is low and no development is projected this effect 
is considered to be minor. 

No new mining claims would be allowed, so the 
availability of currently unrecognized mineral 
deposits would be forgone. There are 13 
post-FLPMA mining claims within or partially 
within the WSA. These claims are located for 
various minerals, including copper, uranium, and 
feldspar. Activity on these existing claims or on 
any claims staked prior to wilderness designation 
would be subject to the nonimpairment criteria. 
Upon designation, the area would be closed to 
new mineral entry, and validity examinations 
would be done on existing claims. The area would 
be unavailable for further exploration except for 
certain nonimpairing resource surveys. Wilder- 
ness designation would make exploration for and 
development of possible mineralized zones in the 
WSA very difficult due to restrictions on vehicles 
and equipment. The effect would basically be one 
of added expense and labor to meet BLM 
wilderness management policy requirements of 
prevention of undue or unnecessary degradation 
of wilderness character. Motorized equipment 
could be used and impairing activities could be 
carried out only if absolutely necessary for 
development of claims. Reclamation measures 
would be required to restore the surface of 
disturbed land as near as practicable after mining. 
These requirements would not prevent devel- 
opment of any of the existing claims. 

Conclusion: The availability of currently 
unrecognized oil and gas reserves would be 
forgone. Due to low potential for development the 
effect on oil and gas exploration development 
would be minor. No new mining claims would be 
allowed, so the availability of currently unrec- 
ognized mineral deposits would be forgone. The 
requirements of BLM wilderness management 
policy would not prevent development of any of 
the existing claims, but would make development 
more expensive and labor intensive. 



No Action: No Wilderness 



Effects on Wilderness Values 

Under this alternative the Prospect Mountain 
WSA would be recommended nonsuitable for 



wilderness designation. Wilderness values would 
be impaired by continued ORV use, forest 
management activities, and mineral exploration 
and development. 

Continued ORV use would degrade opportu- 
nities for solitude and primitive recreation, but 
this effect would be minor because of the 
relatively small amount of ORV use in the area. 

Forest management activities would impair the 
wilderness values of naturalness and opportu- 
nities for solitude. Harvesting of approximately 
2.5 million board feet over the next 60 years would 
disturb solitude during harvesting operations. 
Precommercial thinning would also disturb 
solitude during operations. The roads and 
clearcuts would be obvious to visitors from many 
areas in the WSA and would degrade naturalness 
for many years following harvest. 

Expected locatable mineral exploration and 
development would be small-scale. Although 
development of several claims would disturb less 
than five acres each at the mine sites and would 
be in compliance with BLM's surface manage- 
ment regulations (43 CFR 3809), they would 
degrade the wilderness values of solitude and 
naturalness during development activities. Ac- 
cess roads would degrade naturalness over a 
larger area. Reclamation requirements under 
BLM's surface management regulations would 
reduce the effect on naturalness in the long term. 

Conclusion: Continued ORV use would 
degrade opportunities for solitude and primitive 
recreation. Forest management activities would 
degrade the wilderness values of naturalness and 
opportunities for solitude. Expected locatable 
mineral exploration and development would 
degrade the wilderness values of solitude and 
naturalness. Reclamation requirements under 
BLM's surface management regulations would 
reduce the effect on naturalness in the long term. 
Other actions would not greatly affect wilderness 
values. 



Effects on Recreational Opportunities 

Recreational use is not likely to change in the 
Prospect Mountain area and would remain at 
about 500 visitor days. 

Forest management and mineral exploration 
and development could displace recreationists 
during development or management activities. 
Since deer and elk would be displaced during 
activity, hunters would be affected. However, 
these activities would be limited to specific areas 
and the effect would be relatively minor. 



63 



ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 



Conclusion: Recreational use and values 
would change only slightly. Forest management 
and mineral exploration and development could 
displace recreationists during development or 
management activities. 



Effects on Wildlife 

ORV use would continue in the area, but use 
is low enough that effects on big game would be 
minimal. 

Prescribed burning or cutting on 200 acres 
would enhance perennial grass production and 
stimulate important shrub communities. These 
actions would improve crucial elk winter range 
and high priority habitat types in the area. 

Under this alternative, logging within the 
boundaries of the crucial elk winter range would 
occur during noncritical periods. Timber 
removed, as described in the alternatives, would 
neither benefit or adversely impact the crucial 
range. Disturbance of wintering and calving elk 
would be avoided by seasonal stipulations. There 
would be no significant effect on wildlife habitat 
and populations from forestry under this 
alternative. 

Expected locatable mineral exploration and 
development would be small-scale. Development 
of several claims would disturb wildlife slightly 
during development activities, however, there 
would be virtually no effect on wildlife use in the 
area or on wildlife habitat over the long term. 

Conclusion: Continued ORV use would not 
greatly affect big game. Prescribed burning or 
cutting would improve 200 acres of crucial elk 
winter range and high priority habitat types. 
Forest management would not greatly affect 
wildlife habitat and populations. Expected 
locatable mineral exploration and development 
would have virtually no effect on wildlife use or 
wildlife habitat. 



Effects on Forest Resources and Forest 
Management 

Forest management activities would occur 
under this alternative. These activities would 
include timber harvesting, along with associated 
road building, thinning, and fuelwood sales. Of 
the 450 acres of commercial forestland in the 
WSA, approximately 300 would receive intensive 
forest management. 



Harvesting of lodgepole pine that is being 
attacked by mountain pine beetles would reduce 
fire hazard that would otherwise result from a 
buildup of dead wood. 

Productivity of the forest in terms of useable 
wood fiber growth would be enhanced by timely 
removal of mature timber and the establishment 
of healthy regeneration. Incidence of tree 
mortality due to insect and disease activity would 
be reduced by forest management activities. The 
productivity and health of the forest would be 
enhanced from the standpoint of wood fiber 
growth. 

Forest diversity within harvested areas would 
be reduced. Clearcuts would be regenerated with 
lodgepole pine that would be all the same age. In 
the unharvested areas the gradual establishment 
of Engelmann spruceand subalpinefirwould lead 
to an increase in tree diversity, in terms of 
different species, sizes, and ages within any given 
stand. 

Wood products from the WSA would be 
available to the sawmills located in Encampment 
and Saratoga. A 1 million-board-foot timber sale 
that is needed in the near future to control current 
mountain pine beetle activity would contribute to 
the local economy fori or 2 years. This sale would 
provide about 10 work years of employment and 
generate about $737,000 of revenue in the local 
economy. The forest stands in the WSA are 
suitable for winter logging, and its availability for 
logging is locally important because the Platte 
Valley has limited opportunities for winter 
harvesting. 

Over the next 60 years the amount of harvest 
from the WSA would be 2.5 million board feet. 
This amount is not very important to the local 
economy when considering the total timber 
harvest in the Platte Valley. 

Conclusion: Timber harvesting would reduce 
fire hazard. The productivity and health of the 
forest would be enhanced by management 
activities. Tree diversity, in terms of different 
species, sizes, and ages within any given stand 
would be reduced in harvested areas, but 
increased in the unharvested areas. Timber 
harvest would contribute to the local economy for 
1 or 2 years. A 1 million-board-foot timber sale in 
the nearfuture would provideabout 10 work years 
of employment and generate about $737,000 of 
revenue in the local economy. Availability of 
winter logging areas would be increased. Overthe 
next 60 years the amount of harvest would not be 
very important to the local economy. 



64 



ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 



Effects on Mineral Exploration and 
Development 

Oil and gas leases would be issued subject to 
appropriate standard surface disturbance stip- 
ulations. There would be no impact on oil and gas 
within the WSA. 



Locatable mineral exploration activity would be 
regulated by the 1872 Mining Law and the 43 CFR 
3809 regulations. There would be no impact to 
exploration and development of existing or future 
claims under this alternative. 

Conclusion: There would be no effect on 
exploration and development of oil and gas or 
locatable minerals. 



65 



PART III 

BENNETT MOUNTAINS WSA 



Chapter Two 



Alternatives 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Chapter 2: Alternatives 69 

Introduction 69 

Alternatives Elimated from Detailed Study 69 

Alternatives Considered in Detail 69 

Proposed Action - No Action: No Wilderness 69 

Wilderness Management 69 

Recreation Management 69 

Minerals Management - Oil and Gas Locatables 69 

All Wilderness Alternative 70 

Wilderness Management 70 

Recreation Management 70 

Minerals Management - Oil and Gas Locatables 70 




68 



PART III - BENNETT MOUNTAINS WSA 

(WY-030-304) 



CHAPTER 2 - ALTERNATIVES 



Introduction 

Since the pattern of future actions within the 
WSA cannot be predicted with certainty, 
assumptions were made to allow for the analysis 
of impacts under the alternatives. These 
assumptions are the basis of the impacts 
identified in this EIS. They are not management 
plans or proposals, but represent feasible 
patterns of activities that could occur under the 
alternatives analyzed. 



Alternatives Eliminated from 
Detailed Study 

An alternative to designate only part of the WSA 
as wilderness was considered. However, it was 
determined that the WSA is too small in size to 
make any reductions. Also, there are no logical 
boundaries for partial wilderness. 

An alternative to enhance wilderness in the 
WSA by closing boundary roads and adding 
additional acreage was considered. However, 
there are no feasible opportunities to do this. The 
area outside of the WSA does not have the 
wilderness characteristic of naturalness because 
of existing intrusions which include powerlines 
and roads. 

An alternative to intensively manage the 
Bennett Mountains WSA for recreation, wildlife, 
and livestock grazing was considered, but it was 
determined that the potential benefits were low 
and the alternative was therefore not feasible. For 
example, the WSA contains no crucial winter 
range for big game and habitat conditions are 
good. Therefore, intensive management of 
wildlife habitat would not greatly improve habitat 
conditions or benefit wildlife populations. 



Alternatives Considered in Detail 

Two alternatives were analyzed for the Bennett 
Mountains WSA: (1) No Action: No Wilderness 
(the Proposed Action) and (2) All Wilder- 



ness. Descriptions of the management direction 
for the alternatives follow. 



Proposed Action 
Wilderness 



No Action: No 



Under this alternative, the Bennett Mountains 
WSA (6,003 acres) would be recommended as 
nonsuitable for designation as wilderness. The 
WSA would be managed for dispersed recreation. 



Wilderness Management 

The WSA would not be recommended for 
wilderness designation and would be subject to 
actions that would enhance dispersed recreation. 
No special emphasis would be placed on 
preservation of wilderness values. 



Recreation Management 

The objective is to provide for continuation of 
existing forms of recreation such as hunting, 
camping, wildlife viewing, and backpacking. 

Recreational objectives would be designed to 
promote dispersed activities such as hunting, 
hiking, and horseback riding. 

ORV use would be limited to existing roads and 
trails. Approximately 4 miles of two-track trails 
would remain available for ORV use. 

Recreational use is expected to remain stable 
at 1,000 visitor days per year. 



Minerals Management - Oil and Gas and 
Locatables 

There are no pre-FLPMA oil and gas leases. 
There are eight post-FLPMA oil and gas leases 
that are subject to the special and regular 
stipulations attached to each lease. New oil and 
gas leases would be issued subject to standard 
protection requirements for surface-disturbing 
activities (available from any— B=lrM— offree— in 
Wyoming^- ^^ ^cr^^^fi — 

No development is expected because of the low 
potential for oil and gas accumulation and the 
difficulty of access. However, it is expected that 



69 



ALTERNATIVES 



one exploratory well would be drilled in the 
southeastern portion of the WSA at some time in 
the future, since that is the only portion easily 
accessible to oil and gas exploration. The 
exploratory well would result in about 20 acres of 
surface disturbance. 

There are currently no pre- or post-FLPMA 
mining claims. New mining claims would be 
allowed, and they would be subject to the Surface 
Management Regulations of 43 CFR 3809 
governing surface management of public lands 
under U. S. mining laws. No mining claim activity 
is expected, since the overall potential for 
locatable minerals is low. 



All Wilderness Alternative 

Under this alternative, the Bennett Mountains 
WSA (6,003 acres) would be recommended as 
suitable for designation as wilderness. Man- 
agement of the area would be guided by BLM's 
Wilderness Management Policy, issued Sep- 
tember 24, 1981. Management would provide for 
protection and preservation of the area's natural 
conditions and wilderness character. 



Wilderness Management 

The objective would be to protect and preserve 
the area's natural conditions and wilderness 
character. 

Activities such as the use of motorized 
equipment and vehicles and mining would be 
restricted. Specific restrictions are included in the 
following discussions. 

A wilderness management plan would be 
written for the area outlining specific manage- 
ment guidance. The plan would be written 
according to the guidelines in BLM's Wilderness 
Management Policy and BLM Manual Section 
8561, Wilderness Management Plans, available at 
most BLM offices. 



Recreation Management 

The objective is to provide for primitive forms 
of recreation such as hunting, camping, and 
backpacking. 



The entire WSA would be closed to ORVs. 
Approximately 4 miles of seldom used two-track 
trails currently available for ORV use would be 
affected. 

Recreational use was estimated to be 1,000 
visitor days in 1985. This level of use is expected 
to remain constant in the future with nonmoto- 
rized forms of recreation replacing motorized 
recreation displaced by the ORV closure. 



Minerals Management 
Locatables 



Oil and Gas and 



There are no pre-FLPMA oil and gas leases. 
There are eight post-FLPMA oil and gas leases 
that are subject to the special and regular 
stipulations attached to each lease. In addition, all 
existing leases would be subject to nonimpair- 
ment criteria as described in the interim 
management policy and guidelines for lands 
under wilderness review. This policy states that 
only activities that do not degrade wilderness 
values would be permitted on post-FLPMA leases. 
No new oil and gas leasing would be allowed. 

,y Currently there are no mining claims in the 
c WSA. The-ar-ea-wou Id^be-operrtormi n i ng-loeatron 
untikdesignation as wilderness. Any mjpmg 
claims loca-tad prior to designation as wilderness 
would be sul^el;t^tQ_Jhe intenp-HTfanagement 
policy. This policy allowfconty activities that do 
not impair wildern.ess^alues. iflTdiscqvery were 
made usijig^lTonimpairing methodsT^t-hena 
claimawfwould be entitled to a patent on those' 
da-ims. 

~j> After.!a WSA is designated wilderness no new 
mining claims would be allowed. Validity 
examinations would be required before allowing 
operations on claims. Mining development would 
be carried out in a manner that prevents 
unnecessary or undue degradation of wilderness 
character. Nonimpairing mineral surveys or 
studies, such as surface exams subject to 
wilderness management constraints, would be 
allowed. No mining claim activity is expected, 
since the overall potential for locatable minerals 
is low. 



70 



TABLE 6 

SUMMARY OF IMPACTS 
Bennett Mountains WSA 



Issues 



Proposed Action 
No Action: No Wilderness 



All Wilderness 



Effects on Wilderness 
Values 



Effects on Recreational 
Opportunities 



Effects on Mineral 
Exploration and 
Development 



Continued ORV use would degrade opportunities 
for solitude and primitive recreation somewhat. 
Expected oil and gas exploration would degrade 
the wilderness values of solitude and 
naturalness during drilling. In the long term 
the effect on naturalness would become 
unnoticeable because of reclamation. 

Recreational use and values would be little 
changed. Oil and gas exploration could displace 
recreationists during drilling. 



There would be no effect on exploration and 
development of oil and gas or locatable minerals. 



Naturalness, opportunities for solitude, and 
opportunities for primitive and unconfined 
recreation would be protected in the Bennett 
Mountains WSA. The scenic quality of the area 
would be preserved. Closing the area to ORV use 
would enhance opportunities for solitude and 
primitive recreation somewhat. 

Recreational activities currently associated 
with ORV use such as hunting or sightseeing 
would continue without the use of motor 
vehicles. Primitive recreational values and 
opportunities would be protected and enhanced 
somewhat by the lack of motorized vehicle 
traffic. 

New oil and gas leasing and mining claims would 
be prohibited, so the availability of 
currently unrecognized oil and gas reserves and 
mineral deposits would be forgone. The 
nonimpairment criteria would effectively 
preclude drilling an exploratory well. Since 
the potential for these resources is low and no 
development is projected, the effects would be 
minor. 



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■.'.:.■.■■■.■■■' ■. ■. ■ .■■ 



PART 

BENNETT MOUNTAINS WSA 



Chapter Three 



Affected Environment 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Chapter 3: Affected Environment 75 

Introduction 75 

General Description 75 

Wilderness Values 77 

Size 77 

Naturalness 77 

Outstanding Opportunities for Solitude and/or a Primitive 

Unconfined Type of Recreation 77 

Special Features 77 

Recreational Resources 77 

Oil, Gas and Other Minerals 77 

Geologic Setting 77 

Oil and Gas 78 



74 



PART III - BENNETT MOUNTAINS WSA 

(WY-030-304) 



CHAPTER 3 - AFFECTED 
ENVIRONMENT 

Introduction 

There are many environmental components 
that would be unaffected by either of the 
alternatives for management of the Bennett 
Mountains WSA. Since they would not be 
affected, they are not described in detail in this 
chapter. These environmental components are 
covered briefly in the following paragraphs. 

Many environmental components are simply 
not present in the WSA and therefore would not 
be affected. This includes areas of critical 
environmental concern (ACEC), coal resources, 
nonenergy leasable minerals, fisheries, flood- 
plains, prime or unique farmlands, wetlands, wild 
horses, and wild or scenic rivers (designated or 
proposed). 

Other environmental components are present 
in the WSA, but none of the management actions 
proposed would affect them. These include air 
quality, climate, cultural resources, forest 
resources, livestock grazing, topography, water 
yield, and water quality. 

No lands and realty actions are proposed or 
projected for the WSA, so none would be affected. 

There are no permits for salable minerals in the 
WSA. Because of inaccessibility and the exis- 
tence of saleable mineral deposits closer to areas 
where they are needed, salable mineral deposits 
in the WSA are not considered commercial. 
Development of salable minerals is not expected. 
Thus, availability of salable minerals would not be 
affected. 

Restricting ORV use can potentially reduce soil 
erosion. However, in this WSA, ORV use is 
relatively light and is dispersed such that effects 
on soil erosion would be negligible. 

Wildlife habitat would not be materially affected 
undereither alternative. Mule deer and elk use the 
area, but there is no crucial winter range for 
either. No actions are proposed that would 
disturb wildlife habitat to any great degree. 

Threatened or endangered species would be 
unaffected by the management alternatives for 
the WSA. The Bennett Mountains WSA is within 



the range of the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and 
black-footed ferret which are protected by the 
Endangered Species Act (1964, as amended). 
However, no documented observations of these 
three species have been made in the WSA. Bald 
eagles may occasionally use the area during the 
winter for hunting. Peregrines are believed to 
migrate through the area in late fall and early 
spring. However, the WSA contains no breeding, 
nesting, or wintering habitat that would be 
essential to the recovery of either species. The 
area does not contain any prairie dogs, primary 
food of black-footed ferrets, so the existence of 
ferrets in the WSA is unlikely. 



General Description 



The Bennett Mountains are located in north 
central Carbon County east of Seminoe Dam. 

Vehicle access to the WSA during the warmer 
months is limited to unimproved two-track roads, 
trails, or ways. The only legal public vehicle 
access is by the Bennett Mountain/Dry Lake Road 
at the west end of the WSA. All other roads cross 
private land through which there is no legal 
access. Some visitors have crossed Seminoe 
Reservoir by boat and walked into the WSA in the 
summer, or crossed the ice by snowmobile in the 
winter. Other roads are the Hanna-Leo road 
which is approximately one mile east of the WSA, 
and the Kortes Dam road which is approximately 
one mile northwest of the WSA. Nonvehicle public 
access is available from both of these roads. 
During most of the winter, the WSA is 
inaccessible except by snowmobile. 

The WSA ranges in elevation from approxi- 
mately 6,600 to 8,000 feet. 

There are three basic types of topography in the 
WSA: (1) the mountain plateau/ridges, (2) the 
steep rock ledges and walls, and (3) the many 
tributary draws (see photographs 4 and 5). The 
mountain, which is approximately four miles long, 
has distinct rocky ledges and walls along the 
entire southern exposure, and the northern 
portion is traversed with numerous tree-filled 
drainages. In many places, the rocky walls are 
vertical outcrops that create a fortress type 
appearance. In most cases, all portions of the 
WSA are interspersed with grasses, sagebrush 
and othershrubs, and pockets of pine, aspen, and 
willows. The higher elevations have considerably 
less vegetation and more rugged rocky features. 



75 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



,y^ffidfewW 



3S& 










' ">'^ ' i V 






*A\ 



Bennett Mountains WSA looking east from the western border. 




Timber pine trees among massive granite outcrops in the Bennett Mountains WSA. 



76 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



Wilderness Values 



Recreational Resources 



Size 

The Bennett Mountains WSA contains 6,003 
acres of public land. No private or state in holdings 
and no split-estate lands are located within the 
WSA boundary. 



Naturalness 

Man's influence is, for the most part, unno- 
ticeable. The only intrusions are approximately 4 
miles of two-track trails. These are not noticeable 
from a distance and do not impair the wilderness 
character of the WSA. 



Outstanding Opportunities for Solitude 
and/or a Primitive, Unconfined Type of 
Recreation 

The high plateau, coupled with numerous 
draws and rocky outcrops, provides a high degree 
of solitude. The mountain offers numerous 
secluded places for recreational activities. These 
features, along with pockets of overstory 
vegetation, offer screening forvisitors throughout 
most of the WSA. 

There are no developed recreational sites in or 
adjacent to the WSA. The Bennett Mountains 
WSA provides opportunities for primitive recre- 
ational activities that primarily include hunting, 
hiking, trapping, camping, wildlife viewing, and 
sightseeing. 



Special Features 

The mountain conveys a feeling of uncluttered 
open space, isolation, and peacefulness. This is 
accentuated by the altitude difference between 
the WSA and thesurrounding low-lying plains. Its 
drainages and steep rock walls contrast sharply 
with adjoining landscapes. The topography and 
vegetation are quite different from the sur- 
rounding area. The contrast between the WSA 
and surrounding plains is very abrupt as the 
plains below are relatively low and rolling. 

The area has a Class II, Visual Resource 
Management rating. The Bennetts offer a 
spectacular view of Seminoe Reservoir, which 
adds significantly to the quality of the scenery. 



The Bennett Mountains WSA provides 
opportunities for primitive recreational activities 
that include hunting, hiking, trapping, camping, 
wildlife viewing, and sightseeing. Use is primarily 
by Wyoming residents for all types of recreation, 
but nonresident hunters frequent the mountain 
during hunting season. All activities are 
dispersed. 

Recreational use within the WSA was estimated 
to be approximately 1,000 visitor days in 1985. 
Most of the estimated visitor days are attributable 
to hunting or wildlife viewing activities. A limited 
amount of camping takes place during the 
hunting season. Use is concentrated primarily 
along the fringes of the WSA. Hiking and 
backpacking activities occur during the summer 
months but levels of use are low. Sightseeing and 
camping are largely associated with other 
recreational activities. 

Hunting is the primary recreational activity. 
Mule deer are hunted throughout the area, and elk 
hunting occurs but is not significant. Visitor use 
is relatively constant from year to year with most 
use occurring in September and October. 

Vehicle access points are available almost 
anywhere along the boundary of the WSA. 
However, all except one access point are 
accessible only by crossing private lands through 
which there currently is no legal public access. 
Until the early 1970s, public access across 
Seminoe Dam was permitted by the Bureau of 
Reclamation. After this route was closed, public 
use on the east side of Seminoe Reservoir and the 
south side of Bennett Mountains declined 
drastically. Access by boat across Seminoe 
Reservoir is available in the summer and by 
snowmobile when the lake is frozen in winter. The 
primary means of travel within the WSA are hiking 
and horseback riding for which access is 
available. ORV use occurs on the two-track trails 
within the WSA. There are approximately four 
miles of two-track trails in the WSA. 



Oil, Gas, and Other Minerals 



Geologic Setting 



The Precambrian rocks of the Bennett 
Mountains consist of a series of metasedimen- 
tary, metaigneous and metavolcanic rocks, 
potentially similarto the Western Seminoe Range. 



77 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks are 
found on the south side of the Bennett Mountains 
WSA. The Precambrian geology of the Bennett 
Mountains WSA is poorly known, and there is little 
published information available defining the 
variety of metamorphic rock types in the area. 

The Bennett Mountains WSA is geologically 
complex. Paleozoic and Mesozoic units crop out 
along the south side, while Tertiary (2 to 70 
m.y.B.P.) sedimentary rocks have been identified 
only on the north side. Surficial deposits in the 
WSA consist of pediment gravels that are found 
along the flanks of the range. 

The major bedrock unit that forms the core of 
the range is a series of Precambrian rocks. Rock 
types identified in the Bennetts include granite 
gneisses, amphibolites, alaskites, amphibolite 
gneisses and metadiabase dikes. 

Overlying the Precambrian rocks is a Paleozoic 
section exposed along the south flank of the 
Bennett Mountains. The formations exposed 
include the Flathead Sandstone, Madison 
Limestone, Amsden Formation, Tensleep Sand- 
stone, and Casper Formations. 

The Bennett Mountains are associated with the 
Sweetwater uplift and the north and south Granite 
Mountains fault system. During the Laramide 
orogeny (Cretaceous-Tertiary age), the uplift in 



this area caused considerable structural defor- 
mation in the adjacent Paleozoic and Mesozoic 
sedimentary rocks, considerable potassic alter- 
ation and metasomatic effects along the north 
and south Granite Mountain fault system. 



Oil and Gas 

Portions of eight post-FLPMA oil and gas leases 
exist in the WSA (see map 7). These leases are 
subject to the special and regular stipulations 
attached to each lease (see table 7). The potential 
for oil and gas is believed to be low to none. Due 
to geology that is unfavorable for the accumu- 
lation of oil and gas deposits, the difficulty of 
access, and the difficulty in conducting drilling 
operations in these types of geologic conditions, 
it is unlikely that oil and gas development would 
occur in the Bennett Mountains WSA. 

No mining claims are located in the WSA. Very 
little is known about possible mineralization. Jade 
and beryl gemstones are reported to occur in the 
vicinity but are unverified in the Bennett 
Mountains WSA. Gold, metallic sulfides, and iron 
mineralization are potential resources that may 
occur in the Precambrian rocks of the Bennett 
Mountains. The overall potential for locatable 
mineral development is low. 



78 




SCALE IN MILES 



R 83 W 

Bennett Mountains WSA Boundary 
Post-FLPMA Oil and Gas Leases 




TJ1 



Map 7 
POST-FLPMA OIL AND GAS LEASES 
IN THE BENNETT MOUNTAINS WSA 

Medicine Bow Wilderness Supplement 



AFFECTED ENVIRONMENT 



TABLE 7 

BENNETT MOUNTAINS WSA 
POST-FLPMA OIL AND GAS LEASE ABSTRACT 





Total 


Lease 






Lease 


Lease 


Acres 


Effective 




Number 


Acres 


in WSAi 


Date 


Stipulations 


W-59124 


2,320.00 


90 


July 1, 1977 


1,2,3 


W-73050 


4,044.39 


250 


April 1, 1981 


2,4 


W-62213 


1,600.72 


80 


May 1, 1978 


2,5 


W-63539 


1,282.32 


1,040 


July 1, 1978 


2,6,7 


W-64013 


2,515.82 


1,270 


December 1, 1978 


2,8,9.10 


W-64014 


642.07 


570 


September 1, 1979 


2,10,11 


W-6401 1 


1,753.25 


580 


November 1, 1978 


2,12,13,14, 
15,16 



1 Approximate acreages. 

1. No occupancy within 200 feet Red Springs Draw, Hurt Gulch and 1,000 feet high 
water line Seminoe Reservoir. 

2. No occupancy slopes greater than 25 percent without written permission. 

3. Drilling allowed only from April 15 to December 25. 

4. No drilling or storage facility allowed within 250 feet of unnamed tributary of Lost 
Creek, House Gulch Reservoir, Spencer Draw, and Hurt Gulch without written permission. 

5. No occupancy or surface disturbance within 200 feet of Sips Creek and tributaries, 
Cottonwood Creek, and unnamed creeks in Sections 20 and 21 without written permission. 

6. No occupancy or surface disturbance within 200 feet of Sips Creek, unnamed 
tributaries, and Cottonwood Creek without written permission. 

7. No drilling or storage facilities within 500 feet of Sips Spring without written 
permission. 

8. No occupancy or surface disturbance within 1,320 feet of the North Platte River 
(Seminoe Reservoir) without written permission. 

9. No drilling or storage facilities within 500 feet of live streams located in Section 
8, T. 25 N., R. 84 W. without written permission. 

10. Drilling and other exploration activity allowed only from April 15 to December 15 
unless written permission is given. 

11. No drilling or storage facilities within 500 feet of live streams of Cottonwood drainage 
located in Section 18, T. 25 N., R. 84 W. without written permission. 

12. No drilling or storage facilities within 500 feet of No. 1 and No. 2 Gulch and Kortes 
Reservoir without written permission. 

13. Exploration, drilling or other development prohibited during wet or muddy periods 
when notified by the District Manager, BLM. 

14. No occupancy or other surface disturbance allowed within 250 feet of live water 
Hurt Gulch, Spencer Draw, House Gulch, House Gulch Reservoir and the unnamed stream 
located in Section 11, T. 25 N., R. 83 W. without written permission. 

15. No surface occupancy, directional drilling from privately owned land allowed. 

16. No surface occupancy 75 feet each side of right-of-ways under administration of 
the Bureau of Reclamation. 



80 



'.'■■■ ■ ■■■■. 



\;y ."■■ ■..,,-.,■■/■ , ;■ y, , . .- /'-'■■■■■"V'V' ■ ;■''''■■'.■• ^'\ v , ■>:■■■'.■.:<' ■■"; 



PART III 

BENNETT MOUNTAINS WSA 



Chapter Four 



Environmental Consequences 



r 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Chapter 4: Environmental Consequences 83 

Proposed Action - No Action: No Wilderness 83 

Effects on Wilderness Values 83 

Effects on Recreational Opportunities 83 

Effects on Mineral Exploration and Development 83 

All Wilderness Alternative 83 

Effects on Wilderness Values 83 

Effects on Recreational Opportunities 84 

Effects on Mineral Exploration and Development 84 



82 



PART III - BENNETT MOUNTAINS WSA 

(WY-030-304) 



CHAPTER 4 - 

ENVIRONMENTAL 

CONSEQUENCES 



Proposed Action 
Wilderness 



No Action: No 



Effects on Wilderness Values 

Continued ORV use would degrade opportu- 
nities for solitude and primitive recreation. This 
effect would be primarily limited to the months of 
September and October when most of the visitor 
use occurs. 

Expected oil and gas exploration would disturb 
about 20 acres. The wilderness values of 
naturalness and solitude would be degraded over 
a much larger area during drilling activity. The 
effect on naturalness would become unnotice- 
able in the long term as a result of reclamation 
efforts. 

Conclusion: Continued ORV use would 
degrade opportunities for solitude and primitive 
recreation. Expected oil and gas exploration 
would degrade the wilderness values of solitude 
and naturalness during drilling. In the long term 
the effect on naturalness would become unno- 
ticeable because of reclamation. 



Effects on Recreational Opportunities 

Underthis alternative, recreation in the Bennett 
Mountains would remain largely unchanged in 
the long term. The volume of big game hunting 
would gradually increase somewhat, but the 
overall level of recreation use would remain at 
about 1,000 visitor days. 

Expected oil and gas exploration would not 
greatly affect recreational opportunities. Drilling 
an exploratory well would displace recreationists 
from the drilling site during drilling. This effect 
would be short-term, lasting only for the time 
drilling occurs, and would be limited to a small 
portion of the WSA. 



Conclusion: Recreational use and values 
would be little changed. Oil and gas exploration 
could displace recreationists during drilling. 



Effects on Mineral Exploration and 
Development 



There are eight existing oil and gas leases in the 
WSA. New oil and gas leases would be issued 
subject to appropriate standard surface dis- 
turbance stipulations. No development is antic- 
ipated, but one exploratory well would be 
expected in the southeastern portion of the WSA. 
There would be no impact to oil and gas leasing, 
exploration, or development. 

There are no mining claims in the WSA. 
Locatable mineral exploration activity would be 
regulated by the 1872 Mining Law and the 43 CFR 
3809 regulations. No mining claim activity is 
expected. There would be no impact to 
exploration and development of locatable min- 
erals. 

Conclusion: There would be no effect on 
exploration and development of oil and gas or 
locatable minerals. 



All Wilderness Alternative 



Effects on Wilderness Values 



Under this alternative the Bennett Mountains 
WSA would be recommended suitable for 
wilderness designation. Upon designation, the 
area would be managed according to the 
guidelines of BLM's wilderness management 
policy. Activities that would impair the wilderness 
character of the area would be restricted. This 
would help ensure the long-term protection of the 
wilderness values of naturalness, opportunities 
for solitude, and opportunities for primitive and 
unconfined recreation. It would also help ensure 
the preservation of the area's scenic qualities. 

Closing the area to ORV use would enhance 
opportunities for solitude and primitive recre- 
ation. This effect would be minor, since current 
ORV use is relatively low. 



83 



ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES 



Oil and gas exploration would not be expected 
to occur. The nonimpairment criteria would 
effectively prohibit drilling of an exploratory well. 
Thus, the wilderness values of naturalness and 
solitude would not be degraded by oil and gas 
exploration. 

Conclusion: Under this alternative, the wil- 
derness values of naturalness, opportunities for 
solitude, and opportunities for primitive and 
unconfined recreation would be protected in the 
Bennett Mountains WSA. The scenic quality of 
the area would be preserved. Closing the area to 
ORV use would enhance opportunities for 
solitude and primitive recreation. The wilderness 
values of naturalness and solitude would not be 
degraded by oil and gas exploration since an 
exploratory well would not be expected under the 
nonimpairment criteria. 



Effects on Recreational Opportunities 

Recreational use would remain largely 
unchanged. Wilderness designation would allow 
this area to be utilized for nonmotorized activities 
that are historically important and increasingly 
popular in this area. Recreational activities 
currently associated with ORV use, such as 
hunting or sightseeing, would continue without 
the use of motor vehicles. The WSA is small 
enough that recreation ists could easily walk from 
boundary access points into the area for these 
activities. The volume of big game hunting would 
gradually increase somewhat, but the overall level 
of recreation use would remain at about 1,000 
visitor days. 

Closing four miles of two-track trails in the WSA 
would not have a great effect on opportunities for 
motorized recreation in the region. The routes are 
deadend, and ORV use is incidental. 

Primitive recreational values and opportunities 
would be protected and enhanced under this 
alternative, because there would be no motorized 
vehicle traffic. 



Conclusion: Closing four miles of two-track 
trails in the WSA would not have a great effect on 
opportunities for motorized recreation in the 
region. Recreational activities currently asso- 
ciated with ORV use such as hunting or 
sightseeing would continue without the use of 
motor vehicles. Primitive recreational values and 
opportunities would be protected and enhanced 
by the lack of motorized vehicle traffic. 



Effects on Mineral Exploration and 
Development 

There are eight existing oil and gas leases in the 
WSA. No new leasing would be allowed, so the 
availability of currently unrecognized oil and gas 
reserves would be forgone. The nonimpairment 
criteria would effectively prohibit drilling of an 
exploratory well. Since oil and gas potential is low 
and no development is projected, the effects of 
wilderness designation on oil and gas exploration 
and development would be minor. 

There are no mining claims in the WSA. Upon 
designation, no new mining claims would be 
allowed, so the availability of currently unrec- 
ognized mineral deposits would be forgone. The 
area would be unavailable for further exploration 
except for certain nonimpairing resource surveys. 
The geology of the Bennett Mountains WSA 
appears to have low favorability for significant 
hardrock mineralization. No mining claim activity 
is expected, so these effects would be minor. 

Conclusion: New oil and gas leasing and 
mining claims would be prohibited, so the 
availability of currently unrecognized oil and gas 
reserves and mineral deposits would be forgone. 
The nonimpairment criteria would effectively 
prohibit drilling of an exploratory well. Since the 
potential for these resources is low and no 
development is projected, the effects would be 
minor. 



84 



Chapter Five 



Consultation and 
Coordination 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



Coordination and Public Involvement 87 

Introduction 87 

Consistencies 87 

Agencies and Organizations Consulted 87 

Required Reviewers 87 

Other Contacts 88 

State of Wyoming 88 

Indian Tribes 88 

Cities and Counties 88 

United State Legislators 88 

State Elected Officials 88 

EIS Team 88 

Technographics Supoort and Printing 89 

Coordination and Support 89 



86 



CHAPTER 5 



CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION 



COORDINATION AND 
PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT 

Introduction 

The Draft Wilderness Environmental Impact 
Statement for the Medicine Bow Resource Area 
has been prepared by specialists from the BLM's 
Medicine Bow Resource Area, with assistance 
from the Rawlins District Office. 

Public participation has been an ongoing 
process throughout the inventory and planning 
phases of the wilderness review required by 
FLPMA. The review process included inventories 
of resources, public participation, and coordi- 
nation with individuals, organizations, and other 
agencies. Care has been exercised to inform the 
public throughout the wilderness review process. 

A Federal Register notice and news release in 
February 1986 announced the initiation of the 
Medicine Bow RMP and wilderness EIS, inviting 
comments and soliciting suggestions and input 
on issues identified to be analyzed in the land use 
planning effort including wilderness. 

Wilderness has been a topic in formal and 
informal meetings involving many members of the 
ranching community and minerals industries and 
with other interest groups and agencies. Public 
opinion was elicited through mailings to an 
extensive list of groups and individuals; personal 
interviews; and public meetings in Rawlins, 
Saratoga, Laramie, Medicine Bow, Baggs, and 
Wheatland. A summary of the comments 
generated from those meetings is on file in the 
Medicine Bow Resource Area. 



Consistency 

Federal, state and local agencies, and orga- 
nizations were considered during the preparation 
of this EIS. Wilderness suitability recommenda- 
tions resulting from this EIS were analyzed in 
relationship to consistency with the plans of these 
agencies and organizations. No inconsistencies 



with any existing state or other government plans 
were identified. Frequent contacts have been 
made with state, county, and Forest Service 
officials. 



Agencies and Organizations 
Consulted 



The wilderness EIS team has consulted with 
and or received input from numerous organi- 
zations during the development of this document. 
The Rawlins District Office maintains a lengthy 
wilderness mailing list. At each point in the overall 
wilderness review/EIS process, when public input 
is necessary or when some tentative decision 
regarding a WSA is reached, materials and/or 
information are sent to all groups, organizations 
and individuals on the mailing list. 

The following list is representative of the 
agencies that have indicated an interest in the 
Medicine Bow Wilderness EIS and that have been 
contacted during the planning process. This list 
is not inclusive. A complete list is on file at the 
Medicine Bow Resource Area office. 



Required Reviewers 



U.S. Department of the Interior 

Bureau of Land Management (340), Washington, D.C. 
Bureau of Land Management (931), Cheyenne, WY 
Office of Environmental Project Review, Denver, CO 
National Park Service, Division, of Env. Compliance 
(WASO 762), Washington, D.C. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Chief, Division Envi- 
ronmental Coord., Washington, D.C. 
Minerals Management Service Offshore Environmental 
Assessment Division, Washington, D.C. 
Bureau of Reclamation, Division of Environmental 
Affairs, Washington, D.C. 

Bureau of Mines, Mineral Data Analysis (MS-5000), 
Washington, D.C. 

U.S. Geological Survey, National Center (423), Reston, 
VA 

Office of Surface Mining, Division of Environmental & 
Economic Analysis, Washington, D.C. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture 

Forest Service, Office of Environmental Coordination, 
Washington, D.C. 

U.S. Air Force 

HQ USAF/LEER, Washington, D.C. 



87 



CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION 



U.S. Air Force (Continued) 

HQ-US LEVX, Office of Environmental Planning, Boiling 
AFB, Washington, D.C. 

Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, Installation 
Environment and Safety, Pentagon, Admiralty, VA 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 

Chief, Planning Division, Omaha, NE 
Chief, Planning Division, Portland, OR 

Department of Energy (EP-36), Washington, D.C. 

Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Bethesda, MD 

Environmental Protection Agency, Denver, CO 

Environmental Review Coordinator, EPA Region VIII, 
Denver, CO 

State of Wyoming, Wyoming State Clearing House, 
Cheyenne, WY 



Other Contacts 



Federal Government 

U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Farmers Home Administration 
Soil Conservation Service 
U.S. Department of Transportation 



State of Wyoming 

Office of the Governor 

Archives, Museums, and Historical Department 

National Guard 

State Board of Land Commissioners 

University of Wyoming 

Conservation Commission 

Department of Agriculture 

Department of Environmental Quality 

Game and Fish Department 

Geological Survey 

Highway Department 

Recreation Commission 

State Engineer 

Water Development Commission 

Oil and Gas Conservation Commission 

Public Lands Commission 

Public Lands and Farm Loan District 

State Historic Preservation Officer 

State Planning Coordinator's Office 



Indian Tribes 

Arapahoe Business Council 
Shoshone Business Council 



Cities and Counties 



Cities and towns of Bairoil, Cheyenne, Encampment, Hanna, 
Laramie, Medicine Bow, Rawlins, Saratoga, and Wheatland. 

County commissioners, county planning commissions, and 
weed and pest control districts of Albany, Carbon, Laramie, 
and Sweetwater counties. 



United States Legislators 



The Honorable Richard Cheney 
The Honorable Alan K. Simpson 
The Honorable Malcolm Wallop 



State Elected Officials 

Wyoming Governor's Office 

State senators and state representatives from Albany, 
Carbon, Laramie, and Sweetwater counties. 

In addition to the agencies and offices listed 
above, notices, requests for comments and 
copies of this document have been sent to 
businesses, organizations, interest groups, and 
individuals. Copies of the wilderness EIS are 
available for review in the BLM offices at Rawlins, 
Lander, Worland, Rock Springs, Cheyenne, and 
Casper and in the county libraries in Albany, 
Carbon, Laramie, and Sweetwater counties. 



Preparers of Document 
EIS Team 

Shirley Bye-Jech, Outdoor Recreation Planner 

Qualifications: Bureau of Land Management, 6 
years,. B.S. Outdoor Recreation Planning, 
Oregon State University. 

Responsibility: Technical Coordination 

Tim Bottomley, Forester 

Qualifications: Bureau of Land Management, 7 
years. B.S. Forest Management, University of 
Illinois. 

Responsibility: Forestry 

John Husband, RMP/EIS Team Leader 

Qualifications: Bureau of Land Management, 9 
years. B.S. Forestry, Purdue University. 

Responsibility: Technical Coordination 

Robert Janssen, Planning Coordinator 

Qualifications: Bureau of Land Management, 10 
years. B.S. Earth Sciences, University of Wis- 
consin; M.S. Geology, Colorado State University. 

Responsibility: Minerals 

Vern Lovejoy, Outdoor Recreation Planner 

Qualifications: Bureau of Land Management, 10 
years; Corps of Engineers, 3 years. B.A. Physical 



88 



CONSULTATION AND COORDINATION 



Geography, University of Charleston; M.S. 
Outdoor Recreation and Park Administration, 
Eastern Kentucky University. 

Responsibility: Recreation 

Jan Macey, Clerk-Typist 

Qualifications: Bureau of Land Management, 2 
years; Bureau of Reclamation, 8 years. Business 
College. 

Responsibility: Word Processing 

Mark Newman, Geologist 

Qualifications: Bureau of Land Management, 8 
years; private industry, 4 years. B.S. Geology, 
University of Wisconsin. 

Responsibility: Minerals 

Tom Rinkes, Wildlife Biologist 

Qualifications: Bureau of Land Management, 8 
years. B.S. Wildlife Resources, University of 
Idaho. 

Responsibility: Wildlife 

John Spehar, Range Conservationist 

Qualifications: Bureau of Land Management, 8 
years. B.S. Forestry, University of California at 
Berkeley. 

Responsibility: Livestock Grazing 

Fred Stabler, Fisheries Biologist 

Qualifications: Bureau of Land Management, 6 
years; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1 year. B.S. 
Wildlife Biology, Washington State University; 
M.S. Fishery Resources, University of Idaho. 

Responsibility: Fisheries 

Bob Tigner, Regional Planner 

Qualifications: Bureau of Land Management, 6 
years; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 21 years. 
B.S., M.S. Wildlife Management. Colorado State 
University; Ph. D. Biology, University of Colo- 
rado. 



Responsibility: Wilderness EIS Team Leader 

Gordon Warren, Public Affairs Officer 

Qualifications: Bureau of Land Management, 1 
year; Air Force Reserve, 1 year; Newspaper 



Writer/Editor, 17 years. B.A. Technica 
ism, Colorado State University. 

Responsibility: Editing 



Journal- 



Technographics Support and 
Printing 



The following personnel from the Wyoming 
State Office, BLM, provided technographics and 
printing support in the preparation of this 
document. 

Shelley Peele, Supervisory Cartographic Tech- 
nician 
Richard Puis, Cartographic Technician 
Sue Roberts, Cartographic Technician 
Esther Simons, Cartographic Technician 
Doug Morrow, Photolithographer 
Carol Ross, Illustrator 

Jerry Carter, Printing Management Specialist 
Tina Warren, Printing Technician 
Sheri Esch, Editorial Assistant 



Coordination, Support, and Review 

Coordination, support, and review were pro- 
vided by the Division of Minerals, Division of 
Lands and Renewable Resources, and Division of 
Operations, Rawlins District. From the Wyoming 
State Office, coordination and review were 
provided by the Division of Lands and Renewable 
Resources, Branch of Biological Resources and 
Branch of Planning and Environmental Assis- 
tance. 

Printing arrangements were made by the 
Branch of Administrative Services, Wyoming 
State Office. 



89 



HflBHBBBnBHHHBRSEIBBimBHD 



Glossary 



GLOSSARY 



ALASKITE. A leucocratic (light colored) form of granite. 

ALLOTMENT. An area allocated for the use of the livestock 
of one or more qualified grazing lessees. It generally 
consists of BLM-managed lands but may include parcels 
of private or state-owned lands. The number and kind 
of livestock and period of use are stipulated for each 
allotment. An allotment may consist of several pastures 
or may be only one pasture. 

AMPHIBOLITE ROCKS. Metamorphic rock consisting 
essentially of amphiball, a group of minerals with 
essentially like crystal structures involving a silicate 
chain, OH (Si 4 0„). 

ANTICLINE. An upfold or arch of stratified rock in which 
the beds or layers bend downward in opposite directions 
from the crest or axis of the fold. 

ANIMAL UNIT. A standardized unit of measurement for 
range livestock or wildlife. Generally, one mature 
(1,000-pound) cow or its equivalent, based on an average 
daily forage consumption of 26 pounds of dry matter per 
day. 

ANIMAL UNIT MONTH. A standardized unit of measure- 
ment of the amount of forage necessary for the 
sustenance of one animal unit for one month; also, a unit 
of measurement that represents the privilege of grazing 
one animal unit for one month. 

ARCHEAN. The term meansancientand has generally been 
applied to the oldest rocks of the Precambrian. 

BOARD FOOT. 

thick. 



A unit of solid wood 1 foot square and 1 inch 



BROWSE. The tender shoots, twigs, and leaves of trees and 
shrubs often used as food by deer, antelope, livestock, 
and other animals; to feed on browse. 

CLOSED (ORV). Vehicle travel is prohibited yearlong with 
no exceptions other than for emergency vehicles in 
emergency situations. Access by means other than 
motorized vehicles is permitted. 

COMMERCIAL FORESTLAND. Forestland that is now 
producing or is capable of producing at least 20 cubic 
feet of wood fiber per acre per year from commercial 
coniferous tree species, and which has met certain 
economic, environmental, or multiple use criteria for 
inclusion in the commercial forestland base. 

COVER. Vegetation orterrain used by wildlife for protection 
from predators and adverse weather conditions. Cover 
is a major component of wildlife habitat. 

CRETACEOUS. A period in time extending from approx- 
imately 70 to 135 million years before present. 

CRUCIAL HABITAT. Habitat on which a species depends 
for survival because there are no alternative ranges or 
habitats available. 

CRUCIAL WINTER RANGE. The portion of the winter range 
to which a wildlife species is confined during periods of 
heaviest snow cover. 



CULTURAL RESOURCE. A fragile and nonrenewable 
remnant of human activity, occupation, or endeavor 
reflected in districts, sites, structures, building, objects, 
artifacts, ruins, works of art, architecture, and natural 
features. 

DIKE. A thin, sheet-like intrusion of igneous rock cutting 
across the bedding or foliation of the country rock. 

ENDANGERED SPECIES. Any plant or animal species that 
is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant 
portion of its range, as defined by the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service under the authority of the Endangered 
Species act of 1973. 

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT. A written 
analysis of the impacts of a proposed project and 
alternatives. 



Containing feldspar as a principal ingre- 



FELDSPATHIC. 

client. 

FOLIATED. The laminated structure resulting from seg- 
regation of different minerals into layers. 

FORAGE. All browse and herbaceous foods available to 
grazing animals. 

FORESTLAND. Land that is now, or is capable of becoming, 
at least 10% stocked with forest trees, which has not been 
developed for nontimber use. 

GNEISS. A foliated metamorphic rock of medium to coarse 
grain. As used in the text the mineral name(s) preceding 
the term gneiss describe the composition of the rock. 
Thus, a calcite-garnet-epidote gneiss is a gneiss 
consisting of the minerals calcite, garnet, and epidote. 

HABITAT MANAGEMENT PLAN. An officially approved 
activity play for a specific geographic area of public land. 
An HMP identifies wildlife habitat and related objectives, 
defines the sequence of actions to be implemented to 
achieve the objectives, and outlines procedures for 
evaluating accomplishments. 

IGNEOUS. Rock formed by solidification of a molten 
magma. 



INHOLDINGS. Private or State owned land inside 
boundary of a WSA, but excluded from the WSA. 



the 



JEEP TRAIL. A two-wheel track created only by the passage 
of vehicles. A trail is not a road. 

KYANITE. An aluminum silicate (AI 2 Si0 5 ) which commonly 
occurs as blue crystals. 

LEASABLE MINERALS. Minerals subject to lease by the 
federal government, such as coal, oil and gas, oil shale, 
potash, sodium, phosphate, and other minerals that may 
be acquired under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as 
amended. The major leasable minerals in the planning 
area are oil and gas and coal. 

LIMITED (ORV). Vehicle travel is restricted in some manner 
in the area. Restrictions could take many forms, but the 
most common are "limited to existing roads and trails," 
which allows vehicle travel only on roads that were in 
existence at the time of designation or as authorized for 
future uses; "limited to designated roads and trails," 



93 



GLOSSARY 



which allows vehicle travel only on roads that the BLM 
designates by signs; and "seasonal restrictions," which 
restricts vehicle travel in an area or on certain roads 
during some portion of the year (such as wintertime 
vehicle restrictions to protect big game on crucial winter 
range). 

Under limitations to existing or designated roads and 
trails, vehicle travel off roads is permitted only to 
accomplish necessary tasks and only if such travel would 
not result in resource damage. Necessary tasks are 
defined as work requiring the use of a motor vehicle. 
Examples include picking up big game kills, repairing 
range improvements, managing livestock, and mineral 
activities where surface disturbance does not total more 
than 5 acres, as described in the provisions of 43 CFR 
3809.1-3. 

LOCATABLE MINERALS. Generally, the metallic minerals 
subject to development specified in the Federal Mining 
Law of 1872. Examples are gold, silver, and copper. 

MAFIC. Containing abundant dark colored minerals such 
as amphibolis, pyroxenes, and certain feldspars. 

MESOZOIC. An era in time extending from approximately 
70 to 225 million years before present. 

METAIGNEOUS. An igneous rock which has been meta- 
morphosed. 

METAMORPHISM. The process by which consolidated 
rocks are altered in composition, texture, or internal 
structure by conditions and forces not resulting simply 
from burial and the weight of subsequently accumulated 
overburden. Pressure, heat, and the introduction of new 
chemical substances are the principal causes. 

METASEDIMENTS. A sedimentary rock which has been 
metamorphosed. 

METASOMATIC. Produced by metasomatism which is the 
replacement, partly or wholly, of one mineral by another. 

METAVOLCANIC. A volcanic rock which has been 
metamorphosed. 

NATURALNESS. Refers to an area which "generally 
appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of 
nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially 
unnoticeable." (From section 2 (C), Wilderness Act) 

NONIMPAIRMENT CRITERIA. A series of guidelines which 
govern surface disturbing activities on lands being 
studied by BLM for inclusion in the National Wilderness 
Preservation System. The guidelines require that lands 
be managed so as to not impair their suitability for 
designation as wilderness. Any authorized activities 
must be temporary in nature and not degrade the area's 
wilderness values. Disturbed areas must be capable of 
being reclaimed so that "they are substantially unno- 
ticeable by the time the Secretary of the Interior makes 
his recommendation on Wilderness Areas to the 
President. 

OFF-ROAD VEHICLE. Any motorized tracked or wheeled 
vehicle designed for cross-country travel over any type 
of natural terrain. Exclusions (from Executive Order 
11644, as amended by Executive Order 11989) are 
nonamphibious registered motorboats, any military, fire, 
emergency, or law enforcement vehicle while being used 
for emergency purposes, any vehicle whose use is 
expressly authorized by the authorizing officer or 
otherwise officially approved, vehicles in official use, and 
any combat support vehicle in times of national defense 
emergencies. 



OROGENY. The process of forming mountains particularly 
by folding and thrusting. 

ORTHOAMPHIBOLITE. A rock resulting from the 
metamorphism of igneous rocks such as diabase basalt. 

OUTSTANDING. Standing out among others of its kind; 
conspicuous; prominent; or, superior to others of its 
kind; distinguished; excellent. 

PALEOZOIC. An era in time extending from approximately 
225 to 570 million years before present. 

PEDIMENT. A gently sloping surface produced by the 
erosion of steep slopes. 

PEGMATITE. A very coarse-grained igneous rock with a 
composition similar to granite. It is usually found in veins 
or dikes. 

POTASSIC. Pertaining to or containing potassium. 

PRECAMBRIAN ROCKS. Igneous and metamorphic rocks 
formed during Precambrian time, which ended 
approximately 570 million years before present. 

PRIMITIVE UNCONFINED RECREATION. Nonmotorized 
and nondeveloped types of outdoor recreational 
activities. 

PROTEROZOIC. The entire Precambrain era. 

PROTOCONTINENT. A primitive continental nucleus. 

PUBLIC LAND. As used in this document, surface or 
mineral estate administered by the Bureau of Land 
Management. 

QUARTZ MONZONITE. A common rock in large intrusions. 

RANGE IMPROVEMENT. Any activity or program on or 
relating to rangelands that is designed to improve 
production of forage, change vegetation composition, 
control patterns of use, provide water, stabilize soil and 
water conditions, or provide habitat for livestock, wild 
and free-roaming horses and burros, or wildlife. Range 
improvement projects may be fences, reservoirs, brush 
control, or spring and well developments. 

RANGELAND MONITORING PROGRAM. A program 
designed to measure changes in plant composition, 
ground cover, animal populations, and climatic con- 
ditions on the public rangeland. Studies monitor 
changes in range condition and determine the reason for 
any changes. Studies also monitor actual use, forage 
utilization, trend, and climatic conditions. 

RIPARIAN. Situated on or pertaining to the bank of a river, 
stream, or other body of water. Normally used to refer 
to plants of all types that grow rooted in the water table 
of streams, ponds, and springs. 

ROAD. For the purpose of BLM's wilderness inventory, the 
following definition has been adopted from the 
legislative history of FLPMA: 

"The word 'roadless' refers to the absence of roads which 
have been improved and maintained by mechanical 
means to ensure relatively regular and continuous use. 
A trail maintained solely by the passage of vehicles does 
not constitute a road." 

To clarify this definition, the following subdefinitions also 
apply. 

Improved and Maintained - Physical human actions taken 
to keep a road open to vehicular traffic. A trail maintained 
solely by the passage of vehicles does not constitute a 
road. 



94 



GLOSSARY 



Mechanical Means - Use of hand or power machinery or 
tools. 

Relatively Regular and Continuous Use - Vehicular use 
which has occurred and will continue to occur on a 
relatively regular basis. Examples are access roads for 
equipment to maintain a stock water tank or other 
established water sources, access roads to maintained 
recreation sites or facilities, or access roads to mining 
claims. 

SALABLE MINERALS. Minerals that may be sold under the 
Material Sale Act of 1947, as amended. Included are 
sand, gravel, flagstone, scoria, and crushed rock such 
as limestone. 

SCHIST. A metamorphic rock consisting predominately of 
mica minerals with a parallel orientation of the mica 
plates. 

SHEAR. A tangential stress in which equal and opposite 
forces are imposed on either side of a plane and parallel 
to it. Shear stress tends to deform a body of rock by 
moving one part of it relative to another. 

SILL. An intrusive body of igneous rock of approximately 
uniform thickness and relatively thin compared to its 
lateral extent which is emplaced parallel to the bedding 
of the intruded rock. 

SOLITUDE. The State of being along or remote from 
habitations; isolation. A lonely, unfrequented, or 
secluded place. Factors contributing to opportunities for 
solitude are vegetative screening, topographic relief, 
vistas, and physiographic variety. 

SPLIT ESTATE. Surface and minerals of a given area in 
different ownerships. Frequently the surface will be 
privately owned and the minerals federally owned. 



THREATENED SPECIES. Any plant or animal species that 
is likely to become an endangered species throughout 
all or a significant portion of its range, as defined by the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the authority of the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973. 

TWO-TRACK TRAIL. See "Jeep Trail." 

WILDERNESS. The definition contained in Section 2(c) of 
the Wilderness Act of 1964 is as follows: "A wilderness, 
in contrast with those areas where man and his own 
works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as 
an area where the earth and its community of life are 
untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who 
does not remain." Wilderness is an area of undeveloped 
Federal land retaining its primeval character and 
influence, without permanent improvements or human 
habitation, which is protected and managed so as to 
preserve its natural conditions and which (1) generally 
appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of 
nature, with the imprint of man's work substantially 
unnoticeable; (2) has outstanding opportunities for 
solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation; 
(3) has at least 5,000 acres of land or is of sufficient size 
as to make practicable its preservation and use in an 
unimpaired condition; and (4) may also contain 
ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, 
educational, scenic, or historical value. 

WILDERNESS AREA. An area formally designated by 
Congress as part of the National Wilderness Preser- 
vation System. 

WILDERNESS STUDY AREA (WSA). A parcel of public land 
that through BLM's wilderness inventory process has 
been found to possess the basic wilderness charac- 
teristics of being at least 5,000 acres in size, being 
primarily natural, and having outstanding opportunities 
for solitude or primitive and unconfined types of 
recreation. 



95 



REFERENCES 



Cole, Walter E., and Amman, Gene D. 

1980 Mountain Pine Beetle Dynamics in Lodgepole Pine 
Forests, Part 

I: Course ol an Infestation. General Technical Report 
INT-89. Ogden, UT: Intermountain Forest and Range 
Experiment Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department 
of Agriculture. 

Divis, Allan F. 

1976 "Geology and Geochemistry of Sierra Madre 
Range, Wyoming." Quarterly of the Colorado School of 
Mines 71(3). 

Haas, Wendy L. 

1979 "Ecology of an Introduced Herd of Rocky Mountain 
Bighorn Sheep in South Central Wyoming." M.S. 
thesis, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. 

Houston, R. S. and others 

1 968 A Regional Study of Rocks of Precambhan Age in that 
Part of the Medicine Bow Mountains Lying in 
Southeastern Wyoming - with a Cahpter on the 
Relationship Between Precambhan and Laramide 
Structure'. Memoir No. 1. Laramie, WY: Geological 
Survey of Wyoming. Contributions by M. E. 
McCallum, J. S. King, B. B. Ruehr, W. G. Myers, C. 
J. Orback, J. R. King, M. 0. Childers, Irwin Matus, 
D. R. Currey, J. C. Gries, H. L. Stensrud, E. J. 
Catanzaro, M. N. Swetnam, D. D. Michalek, and D. 
L. Blackstone, Jr. Age determinations by F. Allan 
Hills, Paul W. Gast, and Ian Swainbank. 



Houston, Robert S. 

1961 The Big Creek Pegmatite Area, 
Wyoming. Preliminary Report No. 
Geological Survey of Wyoming. 



Carbon County, 
1. Laramie, WY: 



Kanaly, Jack 

1977 "A Fisheries Survey of the Encampment River 
Drainage, Tributary to the North Platte River, Carbon 
County, Wyoming." Completion Report prepared for 
Wyoming Game and Fish Department Project 
5074-01-7201. 

Moody, Dave 

1985 Personal communication with Carol Jorgenson of 
Medicine Bow Resource Area, Bureau of Land 
Management, regarding crucial winter range for the 
Baggs elk herd. Moody is with the Wyoming Game 
and Fish Department. 

Rudd, Bill 

1986 Personal communication with Tim Rinkes of 
Medicine Bow Resource Area, Bureau of Land 
Management, regarding the Encampment bighorn 
sheep herd. Rudd is with the Wyoming Game and 
Fish Department. 



99 



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BLM LIBRARY 
SC-324A, BLDG. 50 
DENVER FEDERAL CENTER 
P. 0. BOX 25047 
DENVER, CO 80225-0047 



BLM-WY-ES-87-009-4332 




U.S. Department of the Interior 

Bureau of Land Management 

Medicine Bow - Divide Resource Areas 

Wyoming 



1987