A few weeks ago Ken’s Korner revealed that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (Renee Seidler and Gregg Serveen) were working on a grant to get funding for wildlife overpasses at Targhee Pass, between State Highway 87 and the Montana State line. (STRIKE 1) The Idaho Transportation Department (Karen Hiatt) told IDFG that they would not support this effort because they were in the NEPA process on the Targhee Pass Project and no decision had been made to build overpasses (pre-decisional). This was revealed via emails from a public records request. Why should you care? Because this proves that IDFG was not impartial in their support of wildlife overpasses at Targhee Pass.
Just two weeks ago it was revealed that IDFG (Renee Seidler, Gregg Servheen and others) participated on an obscure working group which is promoting wildlife overpasses at Targhee Pass. This group included Y2Y, the Forest Service, the Henry’s Fork Foundation, and private citizens. Again, this was revealed via a public records request to IDFG. (STRIKE 2) Why should you care? Because this proves again that IDFG was not impartial in their recommendations to ITD.
Last week it was revealed that IDFG (Renee Seidler) sent a document to Bio West, the ITD contractor doing the NEPA environmental assessment on the Targhee Pass Project. This document recommended building three overpasses at Targhee Pass. The editorial last week also revealed that IDFG was either not on the environmental assessment team or had been removed from the team. This information came from emails and a personal communication with Andrea Gumm from the Langdon Group (another contractor to ITD). Why should you care? Because if the IDFG had been removed from the environmental assessment team, they should not have been communicating with Bio West who is conducting the environmental assessment. (STRIKE 3! OUT!)
This week we find that Renee Seidler has been working with the conservation group Yellowstone to Yukon (main office in Canmore, Alberta, Canada), to develop talking points for residents of Island Park to communicate to the Fremont County Commissioners. This was revealed in emails between Kim Trotter, Y2Y, and Renee Seidler. Specifically the email from Kim Trotter stated that the talking points would be used by: “residents who will be speaking up at Monday’s county commissioners meeting against the advisory vote against overpasses”. Renee Seidler provided numerous comments and additions to Y2Y’s talking points. Why should you care? Because IDFG should not be influencing advisory votes in Fremont County or any other place. (STRIKE 4?)
The cooperative agreement between ITD and IDFG is for three years and $300,000 of your tax dollars. “The purpose of the cooperative agreement is to use the expertise of IDFG staff to inform and assist ITD project design and support ITD NEPA documents and permitting needed for ITD project development.” This purpose is no longer valid because IDFG has been removed from the environmental assessment process and their input is no longer being considered. Therefore the cooperative agreement should be terminated. Why should you care? Because your tax dollars are being wasted.
Reprinted with permission IP News
Making Sense of It All
This blog will help you make sense out of all the information on the website, how it affects IP, previous articles in the IP News, our history, and how efforts continue to put IP into various forms of conservation status.