Published since 1946
Zinke Proposes Mineral Withdrawal in Wyoming Bighorn Sheep Winter Range
On April 26, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke recommended a 20-year renewal of a mineral withdrawal on important big game winter range in the Whiskey Mountains near Dubois, Wyoming. The area supports one of the largest wintering herds of bighorn sheep in the country. The proposal would extend a withdrawal of 1,431 acres of federal lands from location or entry, but not from leasing, under federal mining laws. The original withdrawal was made in 2000 under public land order 7434 and would have expired had the mineral withdrawal not been extended. Zinke’s decision follows the February signing of Secretarial Order 3362 calling for conservation of big game winter range and migration corridors. The proposal was published in the Federal Register on April 26 starting a 90-day public comment period.
“The Trump administration is serious about conservation, and we are backing up our words with action,” said Secretary Zinke in a statement. “I’ve always said there are places where it is appropriate to mine and places it is not. The Whiskey Mountain range is a good example. We need to manage the land using the best science to achieve the greatest good in the longest term. In the Whiskey Mountain Bighorn Sheep Winter Range, that means prioritizing sheep migration. We have a unique opportunity to position our nation for 100 years of conservation stewardship, and we can begin to do so with steps like the one we are taking today.”