Laramie, WY – Even though mule deer numbers in a gas field near Pinedale have fallen to their lowest level in at least nine years federal officials are not yet resorting to reducing drilling.
Instead, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is looking at ways to improve winter habitat for mule deer on the Pinedale Anticline in western Wyoming.
A recent report estimates there were 60 percent fewer wintering mule deer on part of the anticline in 2009 compared to 2001, and 28 percent fewer mule deer in 2009 compared to 2005.
Shane DeForest with the BLM in Pinedale says the agency is studying a variety of ways to help mule deer short of slowing down industry activity.
The Pinedale Anticline is the nation's third-ranked gas field for proven reserves.