From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 31 - October 31, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Jonah Infill meeting slated

The Pinedale Bureau of Land Management field office will host an open house on Thursday, Nov. 13, to present the preliminary alternatives for the Jonah II Infill Drilling Project to the public.

The open house will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. in the Pinedale Fire Hall located at 130 South Fremont Street.

"The BLM will make a short presentation at approximately 3:30 p.m. and again approximately four hours later, to present and explain the alternatives and to provide general information about the infill project. Throughout the remainder of the open house, the public will have an opportunity to visit with BLM specialists about specific resource questions or concerns," said Jonah Drilling Project Interdisciplinary Team Leader Carol Kruse.

"We (BLM staff) will be happy to hear what the public tells us on this issue. Anyone's comments are welcomed. However, to be considered as official input, these comments must be in writing. Written comments may be submitted at the meeting. The comments are most useful if submitted by Nov. 21. Comment forms will be available at the meeting or from the Pinedale BLM office.

"Inviting public participation is an integral part of the National Environmental Policy Act process," said Kruse. "We are following federal regulations that call for us to look a reasonable range of alternatives to the operators' proposed action.

Because of the unexpected increase in pace of development in the Jonah Field in the last five years, we're trying to respond to past public comment that BLM not 'piecemeal' development analyses. Our preliminary alternatives are a little different than the public is used to seeing. We will help the public to better understand the rationale behind these preliminary alternatives," said Kruse, "and we would like the public's feedback on those preliminary alternatives before we make them final. Based on public comment, the preliminary alternatives may be modified or re-written."

The preliminary range of alternatives includes a continuation of the current pace of development. This alternative would demonstrate to the public and the BLM what the impacts would be if the current pace continues. The no action alternative will analyze no additional wells above those already approved for that area by past decisions.

The alternatives are being drafted by an interdisciplinary team. That team includes the BLM as lead agency and the State of Wyoming as a cooperating agency. The Environmental Impact Statement process and documentation is prepared by the Laramie consulting firm, TRC Mariah. TRC Mariah was selected by BLM to analyze the impacts of the alternatives and to write the EIS. This team consists of specialists from the BLM, state of Wyoming, and TRC Mariah.

"We encourage the public to attend, listen to what we're proposing for alternatives, and provide feedback so that our analysis reflects the communities' comments and concerns," said Kruse.

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