Laramie, WY – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has decided to look more closely at whether the Wyoming pocket gopher warrants federal protection.
The Biodiversity Conservation Alliance in Laramie and the Center for Native Ecosystems in Denver have petitioned to protect the gopher under the Endangered Species Act.
The groups contend oil and gas development is threatening the gopher's habitat in a small area along the Carbon and Sweetwater county lines in southern Wyoming.
Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Diane Katzenberger said Thursday the agency's review of whether the gopher warrants protection will
take about a year and will include public comment. Any oil and gas
development can occur during the study.
If the agency determines the gopher is a candidate for listing,
the agency will undertake another round of analysis and study.