Latest from Cat Urbigkit
Cat Urbigkit & Rod Miller: The Lookout At The Halfway Mark Of The Legislative Session
Columnists Cat Urbigkit and Rod Miller discuss the Wyoming budget session as they see it shortly after the halfway mark. Both agree there are too many non-budget bills introduced and too many peacocking gubernatorial hopefuls.
Cat Urbigkit & Rod MillerFebruary 28, 2024
Cat Urbigkit: Finding Beauty in Wyoming’s Capitol
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Good people will disagree. That’s not a failure but a fact of society. We can disagree and still put our best selves forward, giving the benefit of the doubt to others and realizing our political opponents are not our enemies but our neighbors."
Cat UrbigkitFebruary 28, 2024
Cat Urbigkit: Legislative Week One Celebration
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "I’m celebrating that half the bills that were filed are already dead, either voted down for introduction or simply not considered for introduction by the deadline."
Cat UrbigkitFebruary 20, 2024
Cat Urbigkit: Biden Administration Proposes More Rules Driven by Ideology, Not Science
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "A new Biden policy would ban agriculture, predator control, & mosquito control on National Wildlife Refuge lands, while allowing introduction of non-native species, seeks to expand federal authority outside refuge lands, and to acquire more water rights."
Cat UrbigkitFebruary 13, 2024
Cat Urbigkit: Legislation To Watch During The 2024 Budget Session
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "When the Wyoming Legislature convenes on Feb. 12, its major focus will be on the state budget and property tax relief, but I’ll be watching a few other important bills."
Cat UrbigkitFebruary 06, 2024
Cat Urbigkit: FWS Pushes Wolf Recovery Plan Even Though They Know They Aren't Endangered
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on Friday said listing gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act is not warranted. But, to soften the blow for its wolf advocate friends, will undertake a national wolf recovery plan for wolves anyway.
Cat UrbigkitFebruary 03, 2024
Cat Urbigkit: Endangered Species Protection For Pygmy Rabbits & Bumblebees In Wyoming?
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes: The feds have determined that two species that inhabit Wyoming -- the pygmy rabbit and the Southern Plains bumble bee -- may need to be granted protection under the Endangered Species Act.
Cat UrbigkitJanuary 30, 2024
Cat Urbigkit: Brain-Eating Amoeba, Migrating The Frost Wave, Wild Horse Knowledge
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "A new paper published in a scientific journal of the American Chemical Society documents the discovery of the "brain-eating amoeba" in protected hot springs located in Grand Teton National Park.
Cat UrbigkitJanuary 17, 2024
Cat Urbigkit: We’re Down to the Wire for Public Input on Rock Springs RMP
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "The last day for public comment on the draft plan guiding future management of the 3.6-million-acre Rock Springs District of the Bureau of Land Management is Tuesday, Jan. 16."
Cat UrbigkitJanuary 09, 2024
Cat Urbigkit: When Told All You Need to Know Is In A Government Press Release, Start Asking Questions
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "When the [wolf release] information became public and caused the predictable controversy, a resident of the governor’s mansion tried to discredit the reporter who revealed the details and then told the public that 'everything you need to know' was in the government press release."
Cat UrbigkitJanuary 02, 2024
Cat Urbigkit: The Botched Optics of Colorado’s Wolf Release
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Colorado completed the transfer of 10 wolves last week after the animals were captured in Oregon. For the people involved, it was framed as a success, a joyful occasion at an invitation-only event. For the rest of the public, the release details were kept secret..."
Cat UrbigkitDecember 26, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: BLM Should Issue Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement For Rock Springs District
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "I’ve spent hundreds of hours trying to understand the implications of the four alternatives in the draft Resource Management Plan and believe this draft is so poorly presented that the BLM should issue a supplemental environmental impact statement to address its deficiencies."
Cat UrbigkitDecember 20, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: We All Need To Better Communicate With Each Other
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Two years ago, I watched an ATV race through the grazing allotment where we were lambing. As they dashed past, they ran over and killed a newborn lamb – but they never saw the lamb and never knew they killed it."
Cat UrbigkitDecember 12, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: When A Lambing Pasture Is Featured As “Sacred” Ground
Cat Urbigkit writes, "As I sat down with my morning coffee to peruse online news one day last week, a Washington Post headline grabbed my attention: “In a ‘sacred’ desert, the U.S. turns away from drilling and mining.”
Cat UrbigkitDecember 05, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: BLM Proposes Increased Powers to Restrict Public Land Uses
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Under its proposal, the BLM would be given the power to determine what is a temporary closure – which could be just days or weeks, or perhaps months or years. The proposal attempts to grant BLM that much power."
Cat UrbigkitNovember 28, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: BLM Decision Will Impact Wyoming’s Economic Future
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Those who are willing and able to endure this challenging environment discover that it offers a high quality of life, and that is why we remain. We don’t live here because of our jobs: we live here because of the land. Indeed, the ruggedness and remoteness is part of its charm."
Cat UrbigkitNovember 22, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Wyoming Game And Fish Provides Input for Colorado Wolf Reintroduction
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Gov. Mark Gordon didn’t mince words last spring when he announced that Wyoming wouldn’t be supplying wolves for Colorado’s voter-initiated wolf reintroduction
Cat UrbigkitNovember 14, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Natural Pulses -- Falling and Trailing Toward Winter
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "The livestock guardian dogs have been working overtime during the migration, as the sheer number of wild predators on the landscape they share surges."
Cat UrbigkitNovember 10, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Wildlife Management Via Drone
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "In travels across Oregon last summer, I was able to participate in a field visit where I learned about how federal animal damage control specialists are using drones to haze wolves away from cattle."
Cat UrbigkitOctober 31, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Land Policy Impacts People, Private Lands
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "The BLM now proposes that nearly 375,000 acres of the area north of Highway 28 should become the South Wind River Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The plan ignores the ranch families who live and work within this area..."
Cat UrbigkitOctober 24, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Funding for Cities, Towns & Special Districts Suspended Until They Comply
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "The Wyoming Department of Audit has compiled a list of 370 counties, cities, towns and special districts in Wyoming that have failed to comply with state law requiring reporting of revenues received and expenditures made during fiscal year 2023."
Cat UrbigkitOctober 17, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: I Live In The Rock Springs District Of The BLM, Here's What I See
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "These sheep will journey 125 miles from north to south under their own hoof power, before turning north again next spring – an annual cycle practiced here for more than 100 years."
Cat UrbigkitOctober 13, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: It Doesn’t Matter What the BLM Says, What Counts Is What’s In Writing.
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Don’t give the BLM the benefit of the doubt – the agency doesn’t deserve it. What counts is not what agency officials say, or what it pledges it intends to do, but what is in writing in the official record."
Cat UrbigkitOctober 10, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: BLM Claims Any Use Of Natural Resources Likely To Cause Adverse Impacts
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Non-use is preferred by the BLM. That’s not hyperbole but truth. We’re not talking about wilderness areas here, but millions of acres of public lands from the foothills of the Wind River Mountains south to the Colorado border."
Cat UrbigkitOctober 03, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: BLM is Tired of Misinformation About Rock Springs Plan, But The Plan Itself Is Misinformation
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "While the BLM had previously claimed that its preferred alternative would not result in reduced vehicle access by imposing road closures, that claim is false, since the plan includes closing 4,505 miles of routes to all use and removes another 10,000 miles of routes from the transportation network."
Cat UrbigkitSeptember 28, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: BLM Misinforms The Public About Rock Springs Plan
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, “Of the four alternatives examined, Alternative D seems the most balanced approach to management, offering something for every public land user. So why did the BLM select the most stringent alternative as its preferred?”
Cat UrbigkitSeptember 26, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Colorado Preps for Wolf Reintroduction
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Although it appears there is no stopping Colorado’s voter-mandated gray wolf reintroduction program, a draft federal record of decision issued last Friday by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will make dealing with problem wolves a lot easier.
Cat UrbigkitSeptember 19, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Legislators to BLM -- Rock Springs Plan is a Community Killer
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Republican legislators attending Tuesday’s committee meeting in Pinedale thanked the Bureau of Land Management for attending the session and then let them know that the’s BLM’s preferred alternative in the draft plan for the Rock Springs district isn’t highly regarded."
Cat UrbigkitSeptember 12, 2023
Game & Fish Reports Compensation for Wildlife Damage to Crops Nearly Equal to Compensation for Damages to Livestock
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Although much attention is paid to livestock losses from large carnivore attacks in Wyoming, information prepared by state wildlife officials indicates that the state is paying out nearly an equal amount for wildlife damage to cultivated crops."
Cat UrbigkitSeptember 06, 2023
BLM Proposal Prefers People Not Be Able To Use Public Lands
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, “While most headlines about the Rock Springs Resource Management Plan note the agency’s preference to set aside 1.3 million acres … the BLM preference is ‘conservation of resource values with constraints on resource uses.’”
Cat UrbigkitAugust 29, 2023
Wolf Advocates Succeed in Getting FWS To Waste More Time On Gray Wolves
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "While the Center for Biological Diversity is expected to seek to expand wolf recovery efforts to other states, the court ruling doesn’t settle the matter, as the case is set to continue in the D.C. federal court. One thing is certain: we can expect more years of litigation."
Cat UrbigkitAugust 15, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Power Line Bird Deaths From Shooting: What Was Reported, What’s the Truth, What Was Omitted
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, 'The New York Times reported, “A survey of power lines in four Western states found bullet fragments and shotgun pellets in most of the dead birds that were collected” (not true) and 'Two-thirds of birds found dead beneath power lines had been shot' (also not true).
Cat UrbigkitAugust 08, 2023
Environmental Groups Lose Appeal Of Wyoming 3,500 Gas Well Project at Jonah Field
After five years of litigation, the federal 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected claims by environmental groups against a Wyoming 3,500-well natural gas project at Jonah Field.
Cat UrbigkitAugust 07, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Let Freedom Read
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "The Wyoming Freedom Caucus proposes to continue the push to criminalize librarians for what it views as obscene materials in public libraries, in essence using the coercive power of government to impose its set of values on all the state’s citizens."
Cat UrbigkitAugust 01, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: This is Bear Country
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Too many people still believe that bear country is the backcountry or wilderness. That needs to be called out and corrected because Wyoming is bear country."
Cat UrbigkitJuly 26, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Make No Mistake -- Elk Feedground Plan is WG&F’s Vision
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "This plan wasn’t ready for prime time. It’s sloppy, unorganized, inconsistent, and includes statements in contradiction with other statements, while neglecting other legitimate concerns."
Cat UrbigkitJuly 18, 2023
Huge Swath Of Wyoming ‘Checkerboard’ Land May Be Up For Sale Again
Gov. Mark Gordon says he’s “interested in learning more” about huge chunks of land across southern Wyoming the state tried — and failed — to buy in 2020 that are for sale again.
Cat UrbigkitJuly 11, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Wyo Game & Fish's Elk Feedground Plan Puts The Squeeze To Agriculture
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Wyoming Game and Fish isn’t known for its expertise in livestock management, and it’s way out of its realm on this one, alienating livestock producers in the process."
Cat UrbigkitJuly 11, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: The Needless Same-Sex Wedding Website Ruling And Wyoming’s Connection to the Case
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court granted permission for Lorie Smith, a Colorado website designer, to refuse to create wedding websites for gay couples in a case that never should have been heard by the nation’s highest court."
Cat UrbigkitJuly 04, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: ‘Going Old School,’ With The Addition Of Man’s Best Friend To Uphold The Farce
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "We’d simply ran out of options. Golden eagles and bald eagles were preying on newborn lambs in our lambing flock, and for the past few weeks we were finding at least one new eagle-killed lamb every day."
Cat UrbigkitJune 27, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Hey, Keyboard Coward, Here’s Your Invitation To Enter The Arena
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes: “With few exceptions, I’m too thick-skinned to be bruised by words, but when vulgar emails are combined with an illegal impersonator on a news site last month … my hackles are raised.”
Cat UrbigkitJune 20, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Firefighters Wanted In Wyoming
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Of 55 Wyoming fire departments responding to the recent survey, most reported experiencing challenges with recruiting new firefighters. All told, the responding fire departments reported the need for nearly 500 additional firefighters statewide to fill their rosters."
Cat UrbigkitJune 13, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Animal Damage Control Isn't A “War On Wildlife”
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "When Erik Molvar of the Western Watersheds Project tells the public that the livestock industry “still dreams of driving large carnivores extinct once and for all” and is working to “further their goals of accelerating predator extinctions,” how is anyone to know that he is telling a lie?"
Cat UrbigkitJune 06, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: The Adventures Of Harriet The Horrible
Harriet was raised with orphan lambs, and even at just a few months old, she was exceptionally grumpy about anyone messing with her lambs – even though it was our job to feed the lambs milk replacer numerous times a day.
Cat UrbigkitMay 31, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Oddities from the News -- Lions ‘Garden to Hunt’ & Bundy’s BBQ Standoff
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Ammon Bundy is having another standoff, dubbed the #BBQStandoff by one of his detractors, Devin Burghart of the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights."
Cat UrbigkitMay 23, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: BLM’s 'Conservation' Proposal Generates Form Letters in Support, While Opposition Calls For Withdrawal, & Threat of Congressional Action
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "The Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rules that would prioritize “conservation” and authorize conservation leasing on equal footing with other permitted uses such as mineral development and livestock grazing has generated enough controversy that western Republican Senators are asking the agency to withdraw the proposal."
Cat UrbigkitMay 17, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: Wyoming Wolf Population Remains Stable, But Costs $1.28 Million to Manage
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Although wolf advocates have petitioned the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for a relisting of gray wolves in Wyoming and other states in the Northern Rockies, Wyoming’s wolf population exceeded federal recovery criteria for the species for the 21st consecutive year in 2022."
Cat UrbigkitMay 09, 2023
Cat Urbigkit: WyoFile Allows Impersonator To Inflame Rhetoric About Public Lands
Columnist Cat Urbigkit writes, "Hell no, I didn’t write the comment. But WyoFile allowed someone to impersonate me to inflame the public about ranching and public lands."
Cat UrbigkitMay 07, 2023