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Buffalo Field Office
Release Date: 07/26/13
Contacts: Lesley A. Elser    

Buffalo Field Office Seeks Information on Dumping of Hydrocarbons at Welch Ranch

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Buffalo Field Office is seeking information related to the dumping of hydrocarbon waste at the Welch Ranch Management area on Decker Highway (Highway 338).  An unauthorized discharge of a hydrocarbon substance was reported on the morning of Wednesday, July 24. Preliminary estimations are that approximately 100 gallons were dumped along the access road on the northeast side of the Tongue River bridge.

The BLM, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WYDEQ) and Sheridan County Fire Department installed emergency containment and diversion Wednesday morning, which prevented the spill from reaching the Tongue River. The contaminated area is confined to the road, borrow ditches and parking area. BLM is coordinating the cleanup. Samples from the spill have been sent for chemical analysis to ensure proper disposal of the unknown substances. Environmental mitigation is currently anticipated to be completed before Aug. 1.

The Welch Ranch Management Area is a 1,748-acre parcel approximately 10 miles north of Sheridan, Wyo.  The area offers nonmotorized dispersed recreation and is a popular river access point for Sheridan County recreationists.  Please use the parking area on the south side of the river while mitigation is in progress.

For more information contact Ken Lacko, BLM Law Enforcement Officer at the BLM Buffalo Field Office, 307-620-2885.  Anonymous reports may also be submitted to the Sheridan County Sheriff's Office at 307-672-3455, the crime stoppers hotline at 67-CRIME (672-7463) or email

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.

Buffalo Field Office   1425 Fort Street      Buffalo, WY 82834  

Last updated: 07-26-2013