By Elsa Heidorn
Laramie, WY – According to the state geologist, about half of the land the Bureau of Land Management has identified as high-quality sage grouse habitat in the Powder River Basin could also be high-quality coal-bed methane territory. State geologist Ron Surdam analyzed a map the BLM released yesterday (Thursday) that shows territory where the BLM plans to delay energy permits in favor of sage grouse. Surdam says some of those areas are near the Upper Powder River. One of those thick beds is commonly known as the Big George area. But Surdam points out that the other half the land the BLM has identified as habitat is NOT likely to be valuable to energy producers. Those areas include the Crazy Woman drainage and the Clear Creek drainage.