Supplemental Analysis on suspended 44,720 Acres expected in February, 2009
by Bridger-Teton National Forest
December 17, 2008
The Bridger-Teton National Forest has been working on the supplemental analysis for the 44,720 acres as identified in the Notice of Intent (NOI), published in the Federal Register on February 2, 2008. Since then, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the State of Wyoming, and Sublette County have joined in the effort as cooperating agencies. The draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) is expected to be released in February, 2009 for public review and comment.
During the scoping period the Forest received nearly 13,000 responses. The issues identified in the NOI remain the driving issues for the analysis, but have been modified slightly as a result of the comments received. The issues being addressed in the supplemental analysis include potential for impacts of oil and gas exploration and development on:
• Air quality and air quality related values
• Wildlife and fish habitats
• Backcountry recreation, outfitter guiding, scenery, and character of the area
• Social and economic conditions
• Ground and surface water
And, potential for impacts of not authorizing leases and/or applying additional constraints on:
•Potential for effective recovery of energy resources
The Forest, together with the Regional Environmental Protection Agency, Wyoming BLM, and Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, are working on how the issue of air quality analysis will be addressed. Specifically, the discussions revolve around what is the most meaningful level of detail for the air quality analysis given that there is no actual exploration or development proposal to analyze.
Most of the resource specialists, including biologists, recreation specialists, economists and geologists, have completed their initial reports and analysis. These reports are being reviewed by the project manager. Once this step is complete, the compiled document will be shared with the project cooperators for review and discussion before the draft SEIS is released for public review and comment.