Biologist Worry that Future Drilling May Impair Natural Migration Corridors

By  | 

Wyoming is lush with wildlife and natural resources opportunities.

Two gargantuan influences for the Cowboy state could butt heads in western Wyoming counties.

BLM leaders are required by law to hold a quarterly oil and gas sale through a process that lasts about six months.

Through this process, nominations, or parcels, will be deferred or recommended through Wyoming Game and Fish and BLM.

The goal is not to limit the lease of parcels, but instead, limit the infrastructure developed within the corridor.

The areas in question are likely to influence a natural migration corridor that biologist are truly beginning to learn about thanks to research from the last five years.

"what we're asking is that they hit the pause button to temporarily stop leasing areas in these migration corridors until we can use the science to develop some specific stipulations that will assure that any activity would not disrupt the migration." Said Dustin Bleizeffer, the communications director for the Wyoming Outdoor Council.

By using tracking devices on animals within these herds, it is much easier to map out their natural routes.

"these animal movement patterns are really vital to their survival throughout the year, and so it's really important for us to acknowledge their importance and evaluate what kind of land use decisions are occurring on public land that may affect the ability of those animals to move and utilize resources during that critical time of the year." Explained Doug Brimeyer, the deputy chief of wildlife at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

There are quite a few steps needed to complete the approval of industrialization in these areas, but it is likely the science behind this argument presents a solid case.

"Wyoming is a landscape in which many of our herds migrate. you can't make a very good living in one place year round, so if you live in the sagebrush basins, that's a good place to be in the winter but they're not very productive and so you can't put on much fat during the summer. If you live in the mountains year round, that's a good place to be in the spring and summer because there is great forage there, but in the winter there is chest deep snow and they can't persist in that." Said Dr. Matt Kauffman, a professor of Zoology and Physiology.

Bleiziffer says he believes Game and Fish administrators could take the process a bit further and temporarily suspend selling leases in those corridors until legally blinding stipulations are put in place.