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Worland Field Office
Release Date: 03/21/11
Contacts: Sarah Beckwith    

BLM Seeks Information About Damage to Public Lands

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Worland Field Office is seeking information about damage to public lands near Basin and Manderson in the Torchlight and KCS oil fields.

A concerned citizen reported that on the night of March 10, several vehicles were driven off-road and became stuck on lands administered by the BLM within the Torchlight Oil Field east of Basin. The drivers then used a backhoe to free their vehicles, which disturbed almost an acre of public lands and created furrows more than a foot deep.

Driving off-road in wet and muddy conditions intensifies the impacts to public lands, including an increase in weeds and soil erosion. “Unfortunately, this occurred at the height of the spring melt off,” said BLM Law Enforcement Ranger Aaron Kania. “If they’d waited until morning when the ground was frozen, they could have driven out with very little damage to the landscape.”

In addition, important public safety/informational signs were removed and vandalized in both the Torchlight Oil Field and the KCS Oil Field near Manderson this past weekend. These signs are necessary to assist emergency service crews when responding to incidents such as leaks and medical situations, and they also warn the public about potential hydrogen sulfide gas hazards in the area.

In the interest of public safety and the health of public lands, the BLM is offering a $250 reward for information leading to the conviction of individuals responsible for this damage. Witnesses may remain anonymous and should call 1-888-358-2310 to provide information.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Worland Field Office   101 South 23rd      Worland, WY 82401  

Last updated: 03-21-2011