By Lisa McGee
DEAR MEMBERS AND SUPPORTERS,
Yesterday we received a final decision from the Bureau of Land Management that ensures the Shoshone National Forest will remain free from oil and gas development for at least another year. This is great news.
More than a year ago, we filed a “request for state director review” of the BLM’s decision to allow a company to drill, near Dubois, what would have been the first new well on the Shoshone in more than 20 years.
In that request, we echoed the concerns of more than 75 Dubois residents who signed a petition asking the BLM for greater assurances that drilling wouldn’t pollute the town’s drinking water supply. In response, the BLM issued a stay, which halted surface disturbance that could have begun last summer.
The agency issued a final decision yesterday and affirmed our claims that citizens—especially the people of Dubois—deserve disclosure of the company’s subsurface drilling plans and a thorough analysis of the potential threats to drinking water supplies. The BLM told the Lander Field Office that it must supplement its analysis before drilling can be approved.
The area where the drilling would have taken place is a much-loved hunting and recreation area and important elk winter range and spring calving grounds, and is right in the middle of an elk migration route that links the forest to Yellowstone National Park.
We’ll keep you updated as this process continues to unfold. Thank you for your continued support of our national forests.