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Adobe Town “Secret?” Drilling Set to Begin

November 3, 2008

Laramie, WY – The next drilling zone for gas in Wyoming may be in Adobe Town. Word is that the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is ready to approve four wells in the area. It's a move that surprised many who thought Adobe Town was off-limits for development.

Wildlife biologist Erik Molvar with the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance says the news is also a surprise because it was never made public, and the required environmental impact statement (EIS) was never completed.

"We are going to try to hold the BLM to doing a full-scale EIS with full public involvement, and look at all kinds of different alternatives that might minimize the impact of any drilling that they do approve on these leases."

He says approval of the wells also means approval of new roads, which he says can be the most damaging to wildlife corridors. The BLM has not released any public information about the project, but drilling approvals usually include plans to minimize environmental damage and make repairs.

Conservation groups, religious organizations, Native American groups and union workers are all objecting to the drilling, according to Molvar. He points out that even the state had taken measures to try to head off development for the area.

“The State of Wyoming has designated this area as 'very rare or uncommon' to protect its scenic, wildlife, and historical and cultural resources.”

Molvar says this isn't the first time the BLM has approved a well behind closed doors: a well drilled in the area a couple of years ago required nine miles of new roads, and the well turned out to be a dud.

Deborah Smith/Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY