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Even Wild Horses Can't Keep it Away - WYO Drilling Plan Comes Under Fire

July 30, 2007

Even wild horses can't keep the drilling pressure away for Wyoming. The Bureau of Land Management is clearing the way for a gas well and roads in the badlands in the Bighorn Basin. The area is home to wild horse herds and the site of a citizen-proposed wilderness area. Deb Thomas with the Clark Resource Council says there are plenty of more appropriate drilling sites nearby so zeroing in on proposed wilderness doesn't make sense.

"It's unbelievable. It's right in the middle of the wild horse habitat, and that area is so fragile; it's that high mountain desert badland country."

The BLM analysis says the drilling and road-building won't adversely affect the environment, and repairs will be made if there is damage. Thomas wants the BLM to take a closer look and consider placing new wells outside of proposed wilderness.

She believes the area proposed for drilling is the only potential wilderness area in over a million acres of land managed by the local BLM office.

"That McCullough Peaks area is getting its fair share of drilling, so I just think it's amazing that the area that this well is proposed to go in is even being considered."

More details are available at www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/info/NEPA/cyfodocs/westbranch.html.

Deborah Smith/Eric Mack, Public News Service - WY