Reclamation Success Stories: Eastern States

The BLM Eastern States Office administers resources on public lands across the landscape of 31 states east of and bordering the Mississippi River. here are many historic wells that are orphaned or abandoned. BLM ES experts work with the surface owner or management agency to mitigate the potential risks the wells may pose to resources and public safety.

Featured Partnership

The BLM ES Northeastern States District office in Milwaukee worked with the Monongahela National Forest and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection to plug a well that its owner had plugged in 1962 in accordance with the regulations and standards of the early 1960s.

Photo shows heavy equipment in a rock filled stream surrounded by forest trees.
Heavy equipment sits on the edge of a rocky stream bank as part of BLM-Forest Service reclamation efforts. BLM photo.

The Randolph #106 well:

  • Originally created on dry land
  • 1985’s Hurricane Juan rose West Virginia’s rivers and streams to 100-500 year flood levels
  • Due to flood levels, Glady Fork River changed course, leaving Randolph #106 exposed.
  • During this time, Randolph #106 suffered exposure to flash flooding that compromised the original plugging.

BLM works with the surface management agency, such as the Forest Service, to mitigate the potential risks they may pose to resources and public safety. In this case, the BLM and Forest Service worked with skilled contractors to re-plug the Randolph #106 on the Monongahela, meeting the Best Management Practices in place today. This project required the temporary relocation of fish from a Class 1 Trout stream to the pre-1985 flood channel in order to enable plugging operations.