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Lightning strike in the Thunder Basin National Grassland. Photo by Joe Riis/USFS.

Thunder Basin National Grassland

The Thunder Basin National Grassland spans 875 square miles in northeastern Wyoming's Powder River Basin between the Big Horn Mountains and the Black Hills. The semi-arid grassland ranges from 3,600 to 5,200 feet elevation, and provides recreation opportunities such as hiking, sightseeing, hunting, and fishing, as well as year-round wildlife habitat, livestock forage, and mineral resources including some of the nation's largest coal mines. Intermingled federal, state, and private lands create management complexities in the grassland.

Collaboration in the Grassland

In early 2015, the U.S. Forest Service, approached the University of Wyoming Ruckelshaus Institute to ask for assistance exploring stakeholder perspectives regarding prairie dog issues and the possibility for engaging in a collaborative process on the Thunder Basin National Grassland. The process revealed that stakeholders desired a collaborative process to address management questions in the grassland. The Forest Service has engaged the Ruckelshaus Institute in this ongoing collaborative work.

Click the following links for more information:


Cooperative Working Group

The Supervisor of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland is the convener of a Cooperative Working Group for the Thunder Basin National Grassland. The Cooperative Working Group is a discretionary group, comprised of state, local, federal, and tribal governments, which provides a collaborative venue for sharing information about issues affecting land and resource management in and around the TBNG.

The primary purposes of the Cooperative Working Group are to:

  1. Facilitate meaningful communications and interactions between governments to address specific topics of interest;
  2. Strengthen relations between governments that have authority and interest in matters involving lands and resources in and adjacent to the TBNG;
  3. Foster an atmosphere of cooperation, trust, creativity, and group unity; and
  4. Facilitate relations between participants and government entities.

The Cooperative Working Group is an information gathering process, a forum for the free flow of information, and an opportunity to learn about plans, procedures, goals, and objectives of the Forest Service and other governments and agencies represented. In a case-by-case basis, the group may inform management activities and inform the general type, location, and sequence of management activities within administrative and cooperative action areas, engage and inform or promote collaborative efforts, or be used solely as an information gathering process. 

 

Meetings

Meeting 1 February 27, 2017, Douglas, Wyoming

Meeting 2 April 13, 2017, Weston County Senior Center, Newcastle, Wyoming, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Meeting 3 June 7, 2017, Campbell County Fire Department Training Center, 701 Larch St, Gillette, Wyoming, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Meeting 4 Sept 7, 2017, Converse County Library, 300 E Walnut St, Douglas, Wyoming, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Meeting 5 October 11, 2017, Newcastle, Wyoming

Meeting 6 December 7, 2017, County Fire Training Center, 701 Larch St, Gillette, Wyoming

 

Documents

Resources for Landowners

Members

Primary

Alternate

Organization

Level

Matt Avery

Rusty Bell

Campbell County Commission

County

Jennifer Hinkhouse

Jay Quintanilla

Campbell County Conservation District

County

Quade Schmelzle

 

Campbell County Weed and Pest

County

Tony Lehner

Rick Grant

Converse County Commission

County

Michelle Huntingon

Stan Mitchem

Converse County Conservation District

County

Cheryl Schwartzkopf

Jesse Butler

Converse County Weed and Pest

County

Raesha Sell

Sarah Anderson

Crook County Natural Resource District

County

Andrew Litzel

 

Crook County Weed and Pest

County

Patrick Wade

 

Niobrara County Commission

County

Matt Dockery

Lisa Shaw

Niobrara County Conservation District

County

Gail Mahnke

 

Niobrara County Weed and Pest

County

Marty Ertman

Tony Barton

Weston County Commission

County

Bill Lambert

 

Weston County Commission

County

Lacey Sloan

David Tysdal

Weston County Natural Resource District

County

Hale Redding

 

Weston County Weed and Pest

County

Michael Valle

Rick Miller

Bureau of Land Management

Federal

Clayton Schmitz

John Hartung

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Federal

Mike Foster

Paul Kokes

Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service

Federal

Brad Rogers

Tyler Abbott

US Fish and Widlife Service

Federal

Shane Walker

Dennis Jaeger

US Forest Service

Federal

Jessica Crowder

Matthew Fry

Governor's Office

State

Ben Bump

William Rose

Office of State Lands

State

Joe Budd

Chris Wichmann

State Department of Agriculture

State

Slade Franklin

 

State Weed and Pest

State

Amanda Withroder

 

Wyoming Game and Fish: Habitat

State

Zack Walker

Nichole Bjornlie

Wyoming Game and Fish: Non-game

State

Aaron Voos

 

USFS

Staff

Sandy Henning

 

USFS

Staff

Jessica Western

 

Ruckelshaus Institute

Staff

Victoria Zero

 

Ruckelshaus Institute

Staff


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