Jonah DEIS public meeting on March 23
Draft EIS for Jonah Infill Drilling Project Proposal
by Bureau of Land Management
March 3, 2005
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Pinedale has scheduled two public meetings in late March to discuss its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Jonah Infill Drilling Project Proposal. Availability of the document was announced in the Federal Register on Feb. 11, 2005. That announcement opened a 60-day public review and comment period that concludes on April 12, 2005.
"These meetings will provide the public with a forum to gather information, ask clarifying questions, and provide substantive input in writing on the Jonah Infill Draft EIS," said project lead Carol Kruse.
The public meetings will be at the Rock Springs BLM Office on March 21st and at Rendezvous Pointe in Pinedale on March 23rd. Both meetings begin at 3:00 p.m. each day with an open house format. "We will have short presentations on the BLM Preferred Alternative at 4:00 p.m. and at 7:00 p.m." Kruse added.
"We need to hear from the citizens most affected by this project - the people of Sublette and surrounding areas," said Prill Mecham, field manager for the Pinedale BLM. The project proposes to expand natural gas drilling and development operations within the existing boundaries of the Jonah Field in south-central Sublette County, Wyo. Operations are proposed for that portion of the Jonah Field referred to as the Jonah Infill Drilling Project Area (JIDPA), located approximately 32 miles southeast of Pinedale and 28 miles northwest of Farson, Wyo.
"One of our biggest concerns is protection of air quality, greater sage-grouse habitats, and antelope migration routes within the public lands that we manage in the Jonah Field," Mecham said.
The Draft EIS identifies nine key issues for consideration:
• amount of surface disturbance
• socioeconomics and boom/bust avoidance
• regional visibility effects
• greater sage-grouse/greater sage-grouse habitat protection
• pronghorn antelope migration corridor protection
• direct and indirect habitat fragmentation and loss for all wildlife species
• maximizing natural gas recovery
• loss of livestock forage and
• BLM monitoring and enforcement capacity.
The document can be viewed or downloaded from the internet at www.wy.blm.gov/nepa/pfodocs/jonah/index.htm.
The JIDPA encompasses approximately 30,500 acres of mixed surface and mineral estate controlled by federal and state governments and private landowners.
The proposed project is in conformance with the BLM Pinedale and Green River Resource Area Resource Management Plans, the Sublette County Land Use Plan, and the State of Wyoming Land Use Plan. In those Plans, the BLM determined that JIDPA lands are available for natural gas leasing and development.
BLM can best use comments submitted by close of business on Monday, April 12, 2005. Comments should be mailed to: Jonah Infill Drilling Project, BLM-Pinedale Field Office, P.O. Box 768, Pinedale, WY 82941. E-mail comments may be submitted to: WYMail_Jonah_Infill@blm.gov