Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

August 10, 2010

Contacts:  Kevin Sloan 303-236-4404

                David McGillivary 303-236-4411

 

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration, Region 6 issues Record of Decision for Ruby Gas Pipeline Easements across the East Fork of the Little Bear River and Salt Creek Wildlife Management Areas

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration

(FWS-WSFR), Region 6, has issued a Record of Decision (ROD) in accordance with the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act 16 U.S.C. Sec. 669 et. Seq., the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 777-777k, 64 Stat. 430), as amended, and the procedures for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  FWS-WSFR adopted the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Ruby Pipeline Project, which can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/industries/gas/enviro/eis/2010/01-08-10.asp, was prepared pursuant to NEPA with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

 

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) proposes to amend Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Grant UT F-57-L to grant an easement on 15.5 acres of the East Fork of the Little Bear River Wildlife Management Area (East Fork WMA), and Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Grant UT W-88-L to grant an easement on 4.4 acres of the Salt Creek Wildlife Management Area (Salt Creek WMA), to Ruby Pipeline, LLC (Ruby).  The easements will provide the right-of-way (ROW) required by Ruby to construct a proposed natural gas pipeline under the East Fork WMA located in Cache County and the Salt Creek WMA located in Box Elder County, and will allow Ruby to maintain and operate the pipeline for a term of 30 years. 

 

FWS-WSFR staff coordinated and conducted a field inspection of the East Fork WMA with UDWR staff on June 10, 2010, to discuss mitigation strategies proposed by Ruby.   The Cooperative Mitigation Agreement between Ruby and UDWR, signed July 29, 2010, is in place to both reclaim the project areas as well as replace the habitat and recreational values affected during the term of the easement.

 

The Project proposed by Ruby is comprised of approximately 675.4 miles of 42-inch diameter natural gas pipeline, along with associated compression and measurement facilities, located between Opal, Wyoming, and Malin, Oregon.  The pipeline will cross four states: Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and Oregon.  Ruby has proposed initiating construction of the pipeline in 2010, with the intention of delivering natura1 gas to customers beginning in March 2011.

 

The East Fork WMA was purchased by the UDWR with Sport Fish Restoration Act funds administered by FWS-WSFR to provide access to fishing opportunities as well as to provide habitat for fish and wildlife.  The Salt Creek WMA was purchased by the UDWR with Wildlife Restoration Act funds administered also by FWS-WSFR to provide hunter access and waterfowl habitat.

 

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Act regulations require land acquisition grants be amended prior to the sale of real property rights, including easements.  FWS-WSFR approval of these amendments constitutes a federal action which requires NEPA compliance.

 

A copy of the ROD is available online at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/federalassistance/nepa/index.html.  Those without internet access may request copies by calling the Services’ WSFR Division at 303-236-5420 or writing to the WSFR Chief, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486, Denver, CO 80225.

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

 

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