The Upper Green is a gorgeous valley hanging on the western lip of the Wind River Range in west-central Wyoming through which the Green River runs and tumbles. To the east the jagged Wind River Range with its gray cathedrals of stone rises 13,000 feet and more, while the more muted, heavily treed Gros Ventre Range rolls to the west.
Between them runs the Green, gaining volume as the Roaring Fork, Red Creek, Teepee Creek and Eagle Creek and other tributaries toss in their snow- and icemelt. Willows crowd the streambanks, with the itinerant cottonwood giving height to the river bottom.
To the north lie Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, parks flush with elk, antelope and mule deer, many of which head south through the Upper Green in fall to head to their wintering grounds. Unfortunately, the Bush administration's energy policies stand in the animals' paths, particularly in the Upper Green.
This landscape might as well be on the other side of the world for folks who live on the East Coast. But in Connecticut, the editors of the Hartford Courant have taken notice of the picturesque valley and the value it holds for migrating herds.
Oil and gas development is a legitimate use of public lands. Yet a federal plan that would triple the number of gas wells in western Wyoming's Upper Green River Valley shows little restraint and even less regard for an area that comprises the largest population of mule deer and the longest big-game migration corridor in the continental United States, writes the paper's editorial board.
To read the rest of the editorial, click here.