Volume 7, Number 11 - June 7, 2007
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Reminder: Draft RMP comment period deadline nears
June 18 is the last day for public comment on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Pinedale-area draft resource management plan/environmental impact statement (RMP/EIS).
“This RMP will provide future direction for managing 922,880 acres of BLM-administered surface land and 1.2 million acres of BLM-administered mineral estate in the planning area, including Wyoming’s Sublette and Lincoln counties,” BLM Spokesman Rey Adame said last month.
The deadline had been extended by one month to give agencies and the public more time to review the document and make specific comments, according to RMP Team Leader Kellie Roadifer of the BLM’s Pinedale District.
“There were a number of requests at the (April 11) public hearing in Pinedale and also a request from the governor,” Roadifer explained last month. “He has a lot of pull.”
Why a new RMP?
Adame said in April that the draft EIS/RMP was initiated because “BLM has decided to revise the current RMP due to the latest knowledge about natural gas reserves, technology for retrieving gas, wildlife species and increased demand for public lands resources.”
Proposed and Preferred
At issue are future levels of gas production and of environmental protection for wildlife and other BLM resources.
The four alternatives outlined in the draft EIS are:
• Alternative One: Continued management as is currently described in the 1988 RMP.
• Alternative Two: Maximum oil and gas resource production with an “adequate” level of environmental protection for other resources.
• Alternative Three: Maximum level of environmental protection for all competing resources while allowing oil and gas resource production.
• Alternative Four: This is the BLM’s preferred alternative: Optimize oil and gas resource production with an “appropriate” level of environmental protections for all competing resources.
Alternative Four, the preferred alternative, would open up about 1.025 million acres for oil and gas leasing and development.
“The total new wells will equal 8,383 (7,136 federal and 1,247 non-federal),” said Adame in the press release. “Approximately two-thirds of the projected wells would occur in the Jonah and Pinedale Anticline fields.”
Using current prices and technology, anticipated mineral production over the (draft) RMP’s 20-year life is 19.2 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas and 150 million barrels of oil, Adame wrote.
“Under the preferred alternative, regional income is expected to exceed $6.9 billion, employment is expected to average more than 10,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs a year. The present value of mineral tax revenues would be expected to be slightly more than $11.7 billion.
“Mitigation measures and performance-based management incorporated in the Preferred Alternative would limit impacts to wildlife habitat and populations, but would not eliminate impacts,” he wrote. “Some reductions in wildlife habitat, including greater sage-grouse, mule deer, elk and pronghorn antelope could occur.”
Review and comment
• The RMP/draft EIS is available for review on the Pinedale RMP Revision Web site at www.blm.gov/rmp/wy/pinedale/.
Those who submit comments on the RMP/EIS need to know that their names and addresses could become part of the public record.
• The website contains an electronic comment form so anyone can comment by resource subject.
• Comments can be uploaded in an electronic file directly to the above website.
• Emailed comments can be sent to PRMP_WYMail@blm.gov> with “RMP/EIS” written in the subject line.
• Written comments can be mailed or delivered to the BLM at:
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