BLM

A legal settlement between ranchers and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management would reduce wild horse numbers in southwest Wyoming by half or more.

Governor Matt Mead is urging the Bureau of Land Management to select a preferred alternative plan for oil and gas development in Carbon and Sweetwater Counties.

The BLM’s 900-page Draft Environmental Impact Statement focuses on the proposed Continental Divide-Creston Natural Gas Development, or CD-C Project. 

Governor Mead says the project could create thousands of jobs, but he wants to make sure it’s done right. 

Several environmental groups are urging the BLM to place environmental restrictions on a massive natural gas development that’s been proposed for south-central Wyoming.

The Continental Divide-Creston project would include about 9,000 new wells on public and private land near Wamsutter. That’s nearly three times as many wells as in the Jonah Field.

Bruce Pendery with the Wyoming Outdoor Council says air quality could suffer as a result.

The Bureau of Land Management has announced new restrictions on the sales of wild horses and burros.  

A recent ProPublica report alleged that thousands of wild horses bought from the BLM were sold to be slaughtered in Mexico.

Previously, buyers were permitted to buy an unlimited number of horses, but now a buyer can only purchase four horses or burros every six months. They must keep the animals for at least six months, describe where they’ll live, and provide safe transportation.

Peabody Energy has been awarded a coal lease sale by the Bureau of Land Management for roughly $793-million. The tract is located in the Powder River Basin, and Peabody paid about a $1.10 per ton of coal, of which 721 million tons are estimated to be mineable.

Governor Matt Mead says the sale will be good for the state.

“It’s just short of 800 million dollars, which means over a course of about five years, Wyoming will get a little less than 400 million dollars from that sale,” says Mead.

On Friday, the Bureau of Land Management released new proposals to regulate hydraulic fracturing on public and tribal lands.

Proponents have seen the rules as base-line protection for residents in all states, opponents see them as redundant and bad for business.

Governor Mead says he’s troubled by the rules because Wyoming’s Fracking standards are already more stringent than what the federal government is proposing.

Environmentalists have filed a lawsuit seeking to derail efforts by the federal government to lease an estimated 2 billion tons of coal near two major Wyoming mines.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. targets four recent and proposed coal lease sales in the Powder River Basin.

The Sierra Club and Wild Earth Guardians say mining and burning coal from the federal leases would release huge amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, exacerbating climate change.

 

The BLM has drafted an Environmental Impact Statement on a proposed uranium mine near Rawlins. The project would stretch over more than 4,000 acres of land and would use in-situ technology, where they inject fluid into the ground to extract the uranium and then bring it to the surface to process.

Dennis Carpenter, the BLM’s Rawlins Field Manager, says the project doesn’t raise many concerns.

“It’s a pretty small project by most of our standards,” Carpenter said, adding that the area has been mined in the past.

The Bureau of Land Management is proposing to keep hundreds of wild horses at a private ranch near Laramie. The BLM removes hundreds of horses from public lands each year to prevent the range from getting over-crowded, and they usually send the horses to long-term pastures in the mid-west.

Dennis Carpenter is the BLM’s Field Manager in Rawlins. He says keeping the horses here should be slightly cheaper, because the ranch will be open to tourists – for a fee.

The Bureau of Land Management has drastically cut the amount of land it plans to open up for oil shale and tar sands development in Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.

The BLM’s 2008 environmental impact statement would have allowed 2 million acres to be open for Oil Shale Research, Development, and Demonstration Leases.

Conservation groups joined to sue the BLM for endangering wilderness lands and core sage-grouse habitat, and reached a settlement last year. As a result of that settlement the BLM released a new plan Friday that would open up only 461,000 acres to RD&D leases.

    As the Bureau of Land Management begins to offer greater protections for Sage Grouse, those in the conservation community are welcoming the news.  Steve Holmer with the American Bird Conservancy says with the Sage Grouse listed as a candidate for Endangered Species Act Protection the new approach is overdue.  

Holmer-"You know, I think to their credit, BLM is trying to get ahead of this issue. We’re pleased to see the BLM adopt this strategy – they’re on the right track."

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is giving the public additional time to weigh in on a proposed wind power project near Rock Springs.

The BLM also is holding a public meeting on the Quaking Aspen wind project. That meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday at the Holiday Inn in Rock Springs.

The BLM announced Tuesday that a public comment period originally set to end Wednesday is now being extended until Dec. 27.

Evergreen Wind Power Partners proposes to put up to 100 wind turbines in an area 11 miles southeast of Rock Springs.

Garfield County commissioners are supporting a proposed Bureau of Land Management plan for oil shale
development in three states.

The commissioners got an early look at the BLM's alternative draft management proposal and voted unanimously to support it this week.

Commissioner Tom Jankovsky says the proposal would cut 421 square miles from the proposed 3,125 square miles
allocated for possible oil shale development in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah.

The biggest area removed would be the 182-square-mile Adobe Town area in Wyoming.

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments on a company's plans to drill up to 88 new wells in western Wyoming.

Chevron USA, Inc., is proposing to expand the Table Rock Field 40 miles east of Rock Springs with 33 shallow oil wells and 20 deep gas wells. As many as 35 water injection wells also would be drilled.

The BLM says just over 300 acres would be disturbed and the wells would have a lifespan of between 40 and 55 years.

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