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July 20, 2006
Contact: Lorraine Keith 307-352-0368
Cindy Wertz 307-775-6014


BLM Issues Record of Decision for JMH CAP/Green River RMP Amendment

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today issued the Jack Morrow Hills (JMH) Coordinated Activity Plan (CAP) Record of Decision (ROD) and amendment to the Green River Resource Management Plan (Green River RMP).

The JMH CAP provides for energy development while protecting and conserving wildlife, wilderness, recreation, cultural and other resource values. Jack Morrow Hills contains important big game and greater sage-grouse habitat that will be protected under the JMH CAP. Seven wilderness study areas encompassing approximately 116,000 acres as well as five Areas of Critical Concern covering 135,000 acres provide important wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities.

Oil and gas development activities are expected to generate approximately $97.7 million in royalties over the next 10-20 years. These royalties will be split 50/50 with the State of Wyoming which earmarks these funds for various purposes, including capital construction for K-12 schools, community colleges and the University of Wyoming. Royalties also go to cities, towns and local governments for capital construction.

“This ROD is the result of a concerted effort from our cooperators, the public, and a dedicated and professional BLM staff. The cooperators represented a diverse composite of ideas, concerns and values of their respective communities,” said Mike Holbert, Rock Springs BLM Field Manager. The JMH CAP encompasses about 622,000 acres located in Sweetwater, Sublette, and Fremont counties in southwestern Wyoming and is part of the larger Green River RMP.

The National Energy Plan calls for renewed domestic oil and gas and other energy development. Jack Morrow Hills has been identified as a potential source. The JMH CAP opens areas with the potential to produce approximately 315 billion cubic feet (BCF) of natural gas over the next 10-20 years, which would heat approximately 4 million homes for a year. In comparison, this is only about 4% of the production potential of the Jonah Infill Drilling Plan released earlier this year.

Oil and gas extraction has been a part of the Jack Morrow Hills area for more than 50 years. New energy development technology allows for fluid mineral extraction with a smaller impact than in the past. The JMH CAP includes a comprehensive balanced approach to conservation and helping meet national energy demands.

Approximately 40 percent of the planning area includes habitat for greater sage-grouse, crucial winter range for elk, mule deer and antelope, and a connectivity area for elk and mule deer. One of the nation’s few desert elk herds lives in the area. Management of these critical areas includes appropriate mitigation for impacts to elk, mule deer and antelope through seasonal restrictions, habitat protection and avoidance.

The JMH CAP planning area includes five Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), seven Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs), and three Special Recreation Management Areas (SRMAs). The Jack Morrow Hills area also contains 70 miles of historic trails available for public to view and learn the history of the trails. In addition, the Killpecker Sand Dunes include 10,000 acres of special Off-Highway Vehicle use for the public to enjoy.

The Jack Morrow Hills CAP ROD is available at www.wy.blm.gov/jmhcap. For more information, contact Mike Holbert, Rock Springs BLM Field Manager, at 307-352-0256 or email at: rock_springs_wymail@blm.gov.

-BLM-