Energy activity was allowed to trump smart wildlife management as ungulates and hunters alike were run off Battle Mountain by helicopters and ground crews.
Seismic crews working in the Niobrara shale oil play caused serious rutting and other surface damage earlier this year on 10 different ranch properties in southeast Wyoming, resulting in several state-issued citations for the operator and the seismic contractor.
A lot of Wyoming towns are pulling for a resurgence in drilling beginning this year, particularly Douglas, Gillette, Casper and Rock Springs where the mineral extraction service industry is well established. Chesapeake, for example, hopes to gradually work up to 30 to 40 active rigs in the Niobrara in southeast Wyoming by 2014, if the play pans out. Niobrara operators are telling local officials that each active rig supports about 50 jobs indirectly, plus just about as many “multiplier” jobs. But Chesapeake Energy’s John Dill admits that, initially, many of the jobs closely tied to drilling will be filled by out-of-state workers because each rig that comes back to the state brings with it its own crew.