last day for Hoback drilling comments

Drilling rigs on the New Fork River near Pinedale.

Drilling rig on the New Fork River near Pinedale. Is the Hoback next?

Today is the day to speak up to preserve our future air and water quality.

The Bridger-Teton National Forest will accept comments until 5 p.m. on a proposal for natural gas drilling in Noble Basin, in the headwaters of the Hoback River near Bondurant.

Already three times this month — March 1, 2 and 5, according to AP reports — ozone pollution from the nearby Jonah and Pinedale Anticline gas fields was more poisonous than standing above the freeway in Los Angeles on that city’s worst smog day of the year.

Carnage near the Jonah Field.

Carnage near the Jonah Field.

Now Forest Supervisor Jacqueline Buchanan has the opportunity to protect us, or have the weight of more wild land decimation, and air and water pollution, on her shoulders.

The idea of the extraction industry co-existing with nature has been proven a hoax. We’re breathing it. Somehow, despite legislation to protect the Wyoming Range, we are still fighting this battle. Please step up and fight the battle collectively, as a community, from all sides of the political spectrum.

Copy and paste the e-mail address and subject line below:

Subject line: Eagle Prospect and Noble Basin MDP DEIS

For help in crafting a quick comment letter, click here.

The full draft environmental study can be found here.

Click on photos to enlarge. Use arrow keys to navigate slide show, and roll cursor over images for captions. (Photographs by David Stubbs)

A nest of burrowing owls less than 20 feet from a Jonah drilling road. Aerial view of Jonah Field, one of densest in America. Drilling pad works through the night, illuminating sky near Pinedale.

Let us be frank: Oil and gas drilling constitutes a total sacrifice of the targeted piece of land for resource extraction. The Jonah Field and Pinedale anticline are classic examples.

There is no question that we burn oil and gas at the moment and need to develop these resources on American soil, as long as we continue our addiction.

The hard question remains: “Which lands are we prepared to sacrifice?” I would argue that crucial habitat and headwaters of our rivers such as the Noble Basin area should be off limits.


Hoback headwaters could be fracked (Jan. 18, 2011)


Posted under Economy, Environment, Politics, Wyoming

17 Comments so far

  1. D March 11, 2011 1:11 pm

    I will keep it short because my views are already known. I hope this project does not go through; this is one of the most beautiful places in the state.

    On the flip side: the air quality issue has been an issue exactly 4 days out of the last 730, and it has more to do with weather topography snow level and wind then gas development or anything else.

  2. Jeff Stein March 11, 2011 1:40 pm

    Supervisor Jacqueline Buchanan
    Bridger-Teton National Forest
    PO Box 1888
    Jackson, WY 83001

    Dear Ms. Buchanan,

    I am writing you about the proposed drilling project called the Eagle Prospect and Noble Basin MDP in the Upper Hoback Basin of the Wyoming Range.

    I favor Alternative E the Buy-out Option for these leases. But because I understand that the Forest Service does not have authority to select this alternative, I urge you to do your job right and protect the Bridger-Teton. Your current DEIS fails to adequately protect the area’s wildlife, air and water quality.

    I urge you to fix this problem by requiring the strictest environmental standards and protections. Please supplement your draft EIS with a conservation alternative that requires:
    1) Baseline data for air, water and wildlife.
    2) Groundwater characterization study to develop a monitoring and aquifer pollution prevention plan.
    3) Phased development with permitting for only one well pad at a time.
    4) A scaled down project with fewer roads and pads, and consolidated facilities.
    5) Use of best available technology for emissions control, non-toxic fracking fluids and no waste disposal, pits or impoundments on site.
    6) Monitoring of air, water and wildlife throughout the life of the project with adequate bonding and immediate corrective action or shut down if resources are harmed.

    I deeply value this place and believe the Bridger-Teton National Forest should not allow drilling in such a critical wild land area. If the Forest Service lets this project move forward, then please re-do your DEIS with these important and necessary measures.


    Jeff Stein

  3. Nic March 11, 2011 2:17 pm

    @D: can you please provide a citation for your 4/730 air quality statistic? Thank you.

  4. joe March 11, 2011 3:57 pm

    supposedly the governor has jumped on the O3 pretty hard. the high readings were from near boulder and the wy. range. I have property in Pinedale, and the people in Sublette County aprreciate the support, for the Wy. range. But write and speak intelligently, because thinking like a ADD environgelic wack job, gives more ammo to the big boys.

  5. david stubbs March 11, 2011 5:49 pm

    Dear Joe,
    “ADD environgelic wack job?” Really? Give ‘er Joe . . .

    Seemed like a pretty straight forward article to me. Perhaps you and D are missing the point. The presence of air unsafe to breathe did not exist before the gas fields. The days with abnormally high, toxic air are not catastrophic news events, but undeniable wake-up calls that we need to change directions. Stopping additional drilling in the Hoback is a start.

  6. joe March 11, 2011 7:42 pm

    I,m not missing any point. I don’t think jeff stein is either, or d. who does that leave. can.t be easy being so undeniable.

  7. Rob W. March 11, 2011 8:07 pm

    Well, if you true Wyoming natives really want the rest of us transplants to leave…then keep supporting the systematic rape of this beautiful state. We will all leave soon enough.

  8. lawrence dloski March 12, 2011 6:28 am

    Stay away from this beutiful peice of land, we already have enough rigs in Wyoming, greedy f*cking people!

  9. Ollie March 12, 2011 6:31 am

    Drill that stuff local ! I like cheap gas & no state income tax plus keeps folks in Wyoming working instead of getting it from Yeamen, Libya, or Venezuela

  10. joe March 12, 2011 7:33 am

    which natives are supporting the systemic rape of the state? except in your media of your imagination.

  11. danno March 12, 2011 10:02 am

    no growth marxist environmentalists trying to stop economic development

    they seriously think that we are moving away from fossil fuels in their fantasy reality

  12. D March 12, 2011 12:05 pm
  13. David Stubbs March 12, 2011 2:13 pm

    D: true enough, no scientific monitoring before the gas fields. To clarify, I am speaking of the presence of this type of air pollution in the area surrounding Pinedale between the WyomIng Range and Wind River range. My statement about the absence of the air pollution comes from personal accounts of residents who grew up in the area and have lived there over multiple generations. While not scientific, first hand accounts are solid sources. My error is the lack of attribution.

  14. Hand March 12, 2011 8:03 pm

    If the gut wrenching documentation of road kill( something that could never happen in Teton County) isn’t enough to scare you, then just wait till you see Halliburton trucks and roughnecks roaming around town….the horror!

  15. joe March 13, 2011 10:44 am

    Your error is more of a bias ‘i.e.
    In social psychology, the fundamental attribution error (also known as correspondence bias or attribution effect) describes the tendency to over-value dispositional or personality-based explanations for the observed behaviors of others while under-valuing situational explanations for those behaviors.
    to make up for it as pennance you could do a photo expose of newspaper editors off the grid junk yards in the longest antelope migration route in the United States.

  16. joe March 14, 2011 7:47 pm

    our governor had sent a very thoughtful letter to the forest service. I,m surprised it hasn,t been added to this thread. but you can scroll up to read it at Cowboy State Press.

    (Ed. note — here is the link:)

  17. D March 16, 2011 2:07 pm

    I have lived here my whole life along with 3 generations before me. Great Grandpa purchased 20 acres for 176 bucks. So I would say mine and my family’s views are just as good.
    However, it would have been nice to know real data pre development. Trust me if there are facts, that prove this is mostly cause by development, I am all for getting the problem fixed. I just hate when people bend the truthiness to fit there agenda without facts. The reality is we need energy and lots of it, so let try and do it as smart as possible for,
    Environment, local economies, and local communities.

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