Horse News

BLM removes Adobe Town wild horses, and now considers drilling

All over the West, while the BLM blames wild horses and burros for “degradation” to the range and removes them, BLM favors other uses that make money (in violation of FLPMA), and often gives those other uses Categorical Exclusions (CXs).  You can find out more about the BLM Rock Springs Field Office HERE, and Samson Resources HERE.  –  Debbie

SOURCE:  Casper Star Tribune

Critics blast plan for drilling near Adobe Town


54792a4dd5b9b.image Plates of rock line the rim of Adobe Town in the Red Desert of south-central Wyoming. Environmentalists are protesting an Oklahoma company’s plan to drill 17 wells in the region. (photo:  file/Star-Tribune)

Environmentalists are assailing a plan by an Oklahoma-based company to drill up to 17 natural gas wells near the colorful badlands of Adobe Town, in Wyoming’s southwestern desert.

Samson Resources’ plan calls for development of about 117 acres near the Adobe Town Wilderness Study Area, managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Much of the controversy centers on the development’s proximity to the wilderness study area. The project area is within two miles of Adobe Town, and the closest well is some 1,000 feet away from the study area’s boundaries. The company’s plans are subject to BLM approval.

“Adobe Town is one of the important crown jewel landscapes in the entire BLM system,” said Erik Molvar, of Wildearth Guardians, a conservation group. “It has national-park-quality landscapes that we should be protecting for not just this generation but all generations to come.”

This is not the first time Samson and environmentalists have squared off over drilling in the Adobe Town area. In 2011, the company withdrew a proposal to drill two wells in the area after an outcry from environmentalists.

Multiple attempts to reach the company for comment were unsuccessful.

Spencer Allred, a natural resource specialist at the BLM’s Rock Springs field office, said Samson’s plan calls for development of five well pads on BLM leases in the area.

The project falls inside the Monument Valley Management Area, where development is subject to a series of restrictions.

“It is supposed to blend in to the landscape,” Allred said.

The bureau has begun an environmental analysis to understand the effect of the proposed development. Scoping, the first step, in which the outlines of the study are set, was finished earlier this month.

There is no firm timeline for completion of the analysis, Allred said, noting that the last study of Samson’s plan took two years.

The company initially proposed drilling one well. It then proposed drilling two, he said.

The BLM pushed for the 17-well study, as that is the maximum amount of development the area can likely accommodate, Allred said. It is possible, he noted, the company could drill one exploratory well and give up on the plan altogether.

Julia Stuble, public lands advocate at the Wyoming Outdoor Council, said the proposed development’s proximity to the neighboring wilderness study area is a concern.

WSAs, as they are often called, are managed under tight conservation guidelines intended to preserve a parcel for potential designation as wilderness in the future.

The BLM should require Samson to submit the location of all five well pads before approving the plan, given the sensitive nature of the landscape, she said.

The bureau should seek to mitigate the impact of drilling. However, if mitigation measures fail to meet conservation goals spelled out in the region’s management plan, the BLM should reject the proposal, she said.

“It’s not an ideal place for a project,” Stuble said.

21 replies »

  1. “It is supposed to blend in to the landscape,” BLM’s Spencer Allred said.
    That statement makes me want to puke. Take a look at google earth for Wyoming and you will see hundreds, if not thousands of pock-marks on the landscape already and much of it is on OUR public land – those are well pads and not a single one “blends in to the landscape” and not a single one is healthy for the landscape – or people and animals.

    “The idea of wilderness needs no defense. It only needs more defenders.” – Edward Abbey


  2. American Atrocity: The Wild Horse Round-Ups
    by Capt. William E. Simpson

    It is time for Americans to stand up for the relatively few remaining Wild Horses.

    Bottom line, the Wild Horses are an easy target. OK, by now some readers might be thinking that I am an anti-rancher partisan when it comes to this issue, but that would be very far from the truth! In fact, I wrote an article several months ago where I stood firmly behind rancher Cliven Bundy’s position to uphold his Constitutional rights and his historical grazing rights. Nonetheless, this is whole different situation. And during my research for this article,
    I found information that suggests that corruption and greed has found its way into the industry and even within the BLM. But of course, when the little guy (in this case, the Wild Horses) is getting the shaft, it’s usually by moneyed people with political power that is used to support unreasonable positions in order to further enrich the greedy.


  3. Governor Takes Pride in Wyoming’s Leadership on Hydraulic Fracturing and Wants it Recognized
    Press Release
    By: Matt Mead
    Date: Aug. 23, 2013
    Location: Cheyenne, WY

    Governor Matt Mead expressed that he is proud of Wyoming’s record of effective regulation of the oil and gas industry in his comments on the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rule for hydraulic fracturing. Governor Mead wrote to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to say that the BLM should reject the duplicative regulation and defer to states like Wyoming.


  4. This will make your hair stand on end:

    Click to access RSFO_O&G.pdf

    The clumps of red dots are the ACTIVE wells and the little squares with a diagonal line in them are the current gas/oil leases.

    Now, compare that map with this one which shows you where the Rock Springs HMAs are located.

    Corruption and greed win over wild horses and a healthy ecosystem? You betcha!


  5. Gee!

    The “big bucks” over-shadow the needs of the wildlife AND the People’s reasonable expectations of a well-cared for environment yet once again!!!

    I’m sorry, but I fail to see HOW the Wild Horses and Burros have ANY serious adverse effects upon the land they live in. – Just more lies to cover up the fact that they are bought and paid for by the biggest of the big.


  6. Lest we forget, high dollars = high risks. Headlines from the past 12 months.

    Halliburton worker killed in Colorado fracking accident
    Nov. 13, 2014

    (Reuters) – “An accident at a fracking site in Colorado killed one Halliburton Co worker and seriously injured two on Thursday as they tried to thaw a high-pressure water line that had frozen in record-breaking cold conditions, the company said.”

    “The local fire department said one person was pronounced dead at the scene, while one was taken to hospital by helicopter and another by ambulance after the incident near the small town of Mead in Weld County, about 30 miles (50 km) north of Denver.”

    Report: Shale Gas Boom Driving Workplace Fatalities Higher in North Dakota
    May 12, 2014

    “AFL-CIO, which uses the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for its analysis, notes that North Dakota’s fatality rate more than doubled from a rate of seven deaths per 100,000 in 2007, and the number of workers killed on the job increased from 25 to 65.”

    “Wyoming had the second-highest fatality rate in the nation (12.2), followed by Alaska (8.9), Montana (7.3) and West Virginia (6.9). The lowest state fatality rate (1.4 per 100,000 workers) was reported in Massachusetts.”

    Four Fatalities Linked to Used Fracking Fluid Exposure During ‘Flowback,’ NIOSH Reports
    May 20, 2014

    “Dan Neal, director of Equality State Policy Center in Wyoming, said health hazards pose a particular risk to fracking workers—known as roughnecks—because the work is temporary, and the worksites are transient.”

    Craig resident dies in tank explosion
    Jan. 23, 2013

    “A tank battery explosion Thursday morning on Moffat County Road 103 about seven miles north of Craig has resulted in the death of a local male resident.”

    “According to a Sheriff’s Office news release, employees from Herod Industries were attempting to offload produced water from a fracking site elsewhere in Moffat County into a storage tank at Bulldog Rig 531.”

    “Employees were unable to offload the produced water due to frozen valves from the cold weather, said an Axia Energy supervisor in a statement to law enforcement officials.”

    “Jon Herod, 49, of Craig, was pronounced dead at the scene after a 300 barrel tank exploded.”

    “[though] they’re not exactly sure what caused the explosion, they believe residual oil in the tank could have sparked the fire and explosion. …when water from the fracking site is pumped into the tanks, the tanks are supposed to isolate the oil that’s in the water.”


  7. This was their GD plan all along. Corrupt government and corporate America destroying OUR LAND and killing everything in the way of their all mighty buck. First removing the horses which cost 18 wild ones their lives and the rest stripped away from their native homes and families and now rotting in BLM Hell holding facilities all paid for by US! There will be a reckoning and I would not want to be anything but a HORSE WARRIOR and especially a WILD HORSE WARRIOR when the whole facade gets stripped away. We need a Fergueson uprising against the Dept of Interior!


  8. THis is just another ploy of large corporations and the very rich “bitch” to buy what they want and the damn BLM is greedy to accept the monies from these vultures. This agency stinks and should be shut down and all employees fired. Why can’t we as U.S. citizens DEMAND its closure and we elect those to protect our land resources and those animals that call it home.


  9. EPA’s Abandoned Wyoming Fracking Study One Retreat of Many

    When the Environmental Protection Agency abruptly retreated on its multimillion-dollar investigation into water contamination in a central Wyoming natural gas field last month, it shocked environmentalists and energy industry supporters alike.
    In 2011, the agency had issued a blockbuster draft report saying that the controversial practice of fracking was to blame for the pollution of an aquifer deep below the town of Pavillion, Wy.–the first time such a claim had been based on a scientific analysis.

    The Pavillion study touched a particular nerve for Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the former ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee.
    According to correspondence obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Inhofe demanded repeated briefings from EPA officials on fracking initiatives and barraged the agency with questions on its expenditures in Pavillion, down to how many dollars it paid a lab to check water samples for a particular contaminant.

    He also wrote a letter to the EPA’s top administrator calling a draft report that concluded fracking likely helped pollute Pavillion’s drinking water “unsubstantiated” and pillorying it as part of an “Administration-wide effort to hinder and unnecessarily regulate hydraulic fracturing on the federal level.” He called for the EPA’s inspector general to open an investigation into the agency’s actions related to fracking.

    When the EPA announced it would end its research in Pavillion, Inhofe (whose office did not respond to questions from ProPublica) was quick to applaud


  10. Doesn’t the American public have a say in what is done with our public land? Our wildlife and public land are being destroyed in front of our eyes and only a few people are outraged. There should be a class action lawsuit against the BLM, Dept of the Interior and Federal Government for destroying the public trust.


  11. I just wrote this comment on the FB page where the Wyoming wild horse situation was being discussed. One gal posted, well, all the horses will be removed no matter what we do. Prompted me to write this: Don’t be negative. Doesn’t do any of the wildies any good and it doesn’t do any of the Wild Horse Warriors any good either. Just makes us come out spittin’ mad. Come Hell or High Water, Wild Horse Warriors (Advocates) like US (me) will continue to battle this atrocity at every level. Join one of the many wild horse advocacy groups and help us fight for mustang freedom. Every share, donation, vote, petition signed, friend, family member, grocery clerk, gas station attendant that becomes aware of the BLM’s “management to extinction program” may be so outraged they JOIN US. That’s what we need, the VOTING public to take a stand for the voiceless, innocent wild horses!


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