Environmental Science and Sustainability
Bridger Teton National Forest
The Bridger Teton National Forest is located in Western Wyoming makes up more than 3.4 million acres land for public outdoor recreation use. It is made up of pristine watersheds, abundant wildlife and remote wild lands. The Bridger Teton National Forest makes up a large part of the Yellowstone Ecosystem and is the largest ecosystem in the United States. This is one of the few places left in the United States with thousands of miles of unspoiled rivers and streams and 1.2 million acres of designated Wilderness. This forest is managed by the United States Forest service. Because Bridger Teton National Forest is the third largest forest outside of Alaska it should be treated as a national treasure.
This pristine national forest may contain oil and mine-able ore that could help the United States to not really on foreign oil as much. As of 2008 there are 17 well pads and 136 wells on 22 square miles area near the Hoback River. With around 4,000 more wells proposed to extend the existing oil fields. So what are the long-term ramifications of drilling for oil in Bridger Teton National Forest?
First off there is the problem with Air pollution. In February, 2008 the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality issued a first-time-ever ozone alert near the Pinedale Anticline gas fields. Damage to the watershed is another problem that will come by expanding the existing oil fields. Waters produced from drilling have chemical and salt content. When released these waters would contaminate land and water including streams and the Hoback River affecting agriculture, wildlife, native trout and humans. Benzene and chemical contaminated water near the existing producing gas fields is already documented. Water contamination is a direct result of drilling. The wildlife in Bridger Teton National Forest will be affected the most by expanding the oil fields. The...