No pipeline for grayling: Feds abandon project proposed for wilderness area east of Lima

The apparently well-intentioned proposal to help the diminishing population of Arctic grayling in the Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge east of Lima stirred controversy from the beginning.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it was withdrawing a proposal to install a pipeline from Shambow Pond to Upper Red Rock Lake, where grayling spend the winter in a comparatively shallow lake.

The Red Rocks National Wildlife Refuge hosts a dwindling population of Arctic grayling and wildlife officials are worried about the fish’s future viability in the refuge.  

George Jordan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The controversy focused in large part on objections that the pipeline project, designed to augment dissolved oxygen in the lake, would have required activities incompatible within a federally designated wilderness area. Additional objections to the project as proposed by the Fish and Wildlife Service suggested other conservation methods could help the grayling population survive.

The agency might go back to the drawing board to seek ways to boost the grayling population but it won’t propose another pipeline as the fix.

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