New Q&A, Big Energy and Wild Horses

Today Wild Horse Education began a new feature “Questions and Answers.” In the menu bar we will add pages that answer questions we receive from the public. If you scroll over “Questions and Answers” in the menu bar a drop down should appear. We have begun this feature with “Big Energy and wild horses.” We will try to update the feature as time allows.

Today BLM sent out a press release (and appeared in Google) to remove the Piceance-East Douglas area this month. It was a glitch and the removal was scheduled for 2011 with no current action)

We were working on the piece it was noticed that the area was actually a good example to illustrate the question. So we added a section specific to that area. “Big Energy and wild horses” can be found by clicking on the text or going to the menu bar.

READ the entire feature

Big Energy and Wild horses

In addition BLM announced removals in Colorado:

Wild Horse areas included in the White River Field office (BLM map)

BLM press release:

Release Date: 09/17/12 (this is/was glitch in the BLM web system, the release date was in 2011. This “glitch” even caused the page to show up on google)

This is the Piceance Basin. This discussion is about natural gas, not other projects.

Please note there is an active oil and gas EIS for Piceance Basin, with comments due by 12/14/2012)

Maps of the area and other open comments, for other projects in that area, can be found here: http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/wrfo.html

Wild Horse areas included in the White River Field office (BLM map)


Here is an article Titled “Understanding the Geology of Piceance Basin Natural Gas

The first paragraph of the above linked piece by Richard Dayvault in July of 2011:

“We’ve all seen the large drilling rigs along the I-70 corridor from Parachute to Silt that have sprung up over the past eight years or so. Their presence is particularly striking when you’re driving at night. In case you didn’t already know, energy companies like EnCana, Williams Energy, Bill Barrett Corporation, ExxonMobil, and Chevron are drilling for natural gas — not oil. The existence of this large gas field has been known for more than 50 years, but the economics and technology that make this a viable resource are only recent developments. Demands for Rocky Mountain gas increased, in part, because of the brown-outs that California suffered in 2001.”

Map of oil and shale (geology.com)

Now let’s look at a page titled “BLM on the Right Track with Piceance plan.”

In the right hand column of the page is a series of videos. I am going to imbed the first couple in order so that you can see the connection between them as simply as possible.

The first video is of the Piceance Roundup that took place in 2011. It is a BLM produced video.

The next video in this series is titled “Melanie Haynes Narration Voiceover-Chevron Piceance Basin Project. It is a corporate produced piece but if you watch it you can see the area and understand the project scope for extraction of natural gas.

The next video listed: “Oil Shale Development in the Piceance Basin: Why Coloradans are at risk.” Although wild horses are not specifically discussed if uses that rely on the environment like hunter and human drinking water are at risk, so are horses.

For those of you that feel a bit more adventurous the next video is about the process of identifying nature fractures in the area to increase production. The map at 0:29 is of use to illustrate the actual scope of the basin.

The next video in the series is a “pre-gather” video of the Piceance herd. You can go to the link and watch the videos of  “BLM on the right track for Piceance Basin” for more “food for thought.”

Just yesterday, 9/16/2012, BLM announced approval for a 95 mile pipeline to remove the natural gas from the Piceance Basin: http://www.krextv.com/news/around-the-region/BLM-Approves-95-mile-Pipeline-in-Western-Colorado-Eastern-Utah-169977106.html

“The Bureau of Land Management recently approved a 95-mile pipeline in Western Colorado and eastern Utah. The natural gas pipeline will help move more natural gas liquids out of the Piceance Basin.”

Here is some information about the Piceance-East Douglas horses.

Release Date: 09/17/12 (DATE 9/11) Glitch in BLM system had the release dates 9/11)

contacts: David Boyd, Public Affairs Specialist, (970) 876-9008

Vanessa Delgado, Public Affairs Specialist, (303) 239-3681

BLM to gather Piceance-East Douglas wild horses in September

MEEKER, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management is planning a wild horse gather next month to return the wild horse population southwest of Meeker to an appropriate level that keeps the horses and the range healthy.

“We are committed to maintaining a thriving natural ecological balance, which includes managing for a healthy wild horse herd in the White River Field Office that’s in balance with other uses,” said BLM White River Field Manager Kent Walter.

Beginning Sept. 20, BLM will gather wild horses within the Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area, which is a 190,000-acre area optimal for wild horses which BLM manages for a healthy wild horse herd that is in balance with other resources and uses. The gather will be completed by Sept. 30.

“Wild horses are not native wildlife and have no effective natural predators, so these gathers are needed periodically to keep the wild horse herd at a level that the range can sustain,” Walter said. “Since 1980, we have gathered wild horses within this area more than a dozen times, which has kept this wild horse herd and the range healthy.”

The appropriate management level identified for the population in this Herd Management Area is a range of 135 to 235 wild horses. Wild horse populations grow about 20 percent annually, typically doubling in about four years if unchecked.

BLM signed a decision today to reduce the estimated population of 382 wild horses within the 190,000-acre Herd Management Area to 135. To help reduce the growth rate of the herd, mares released back on to the range will be given a treatment that delays fertility, and BLM will adjust sex ratios of the herd to 60 percent studs and 40 percent mares. This should help decrease the frequency the area needs to be gathered.

Additionally, the estimated 78 wild horses that have moved outside the boundaries of the Herd Management Area and are east of State Highway 139 will be gathered and removed. Last October BLM gathered and removed 73 wild horses from outside of the Herd Management Area. Wild horses to the west of State Highway 139 in an area called the West Douglas Herd Area will not be gathered this year.

Wild horses removed will be taken to BLM’s wild horse facility in Canon City. The majority will be available for adoption. The wild horses not adopted will be placed in long-term pastures.

More information is available at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/wrfo/wrfo_wild_horses.html, or by contacting the White River Field Office, (970) 878-3800.

Under the authority of the 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, BLM manages, protects, and controls wild horses and burros as part of its overall multiple-use mission.

BLM encourages those who are interested in providing good homes to wild horses or burros to visithttp://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro.html for information about adoptions or sales.

NOTE: ( A removal took place in 2011, see Final EA here)

If you can view public land management as a web the intricacies become easier to visualize. Each strand effects the next.

So the answer to the question “Does Big Energy effect wild horses?” is absolutely. But making keeping track of just what strand will break the next becomes difficult as the ability to simply track projects that are active is difficult.

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