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January 10, 2008

   Eric Keszler, WGFD, 307-777-4594
   Renee Dana, BLM, 307-352-0227

Public Meeting in Rock Springs to Discuss
 Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative

The officials involved in the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) will hold a public meeting from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15, at the Rock Springs Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Office. The Executive Committee meeting of the WLCI will be open for public participation.

"We want the public to see the progress we’ve made on this important initiative and be involved in future steps," said Terry Cleveland, Director of the Wyoming Game & Fish Department and one of eight WLCI Executive Committee members. The WLCI Executive Committee comprises representatives from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, Wyoming Game & Fish Department, Wyoming Department of Agriculture, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, county commissioners and conservation districts.

The WLCI is a long-term science-based effort to assess and enhance aquatic and terrestrial habitats at a landscape scale in Southwest Wyoming, while facilitating responsible energy development. More information on the WLCI, including a draft agenda for the meeting, can be found at: http://www.wlci.gov/.

"We’re continuing to make progress on the WLCI. The initiative is particularly unique since its vision is for science-based on-the-ground actions that cover a large area in southwest Wyoming. All of the partnering organizations are working to make the WLCI concept a reality," Cleveland added.

At the Jan. 15 meeting, the WLCI Executive Committee will discuss funding issues such as how to develop new funding sources and use of funds that Congress recently allocated to the WLCI. The concept for the WLCI began less than two years ago. To date, the committee has established a field Coordination Team led by WLCI Coordinator Renee Dana. The Coordination Team is currently working on developing a more detailed strategic plan for the WLCI, allocating funds for projects that will be implemented in Fiscal Year 2008, and developing work that will occur in future years. The coordination team is housed in the BLM Rock Springs Field Office. The WLCI has additional teams that will draw from federal, state and local agency resources and will be developing partnerships with local organizations and landowners to collaboratively meet the science and project implementation goals of the initiative.

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