See more from this Session: General Soil and Environmental Quality Posters: I
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Hall C, Street Level
This project is designed to study past reclamation actions from energy exploration and development that occurred on BLM administered lands in Uintah Basin, Utah. There are many plugged and abandoned (P&A) oil and gas well pads in varying states of reclamation. Some well pads were P&A in the 1950’s or earlier and some were P&A “yesterday”. There currently isn’t any information on the success of the reclamation efforts, or even if any was attempted. This project provides an opportunity for Utah State University (USU) scientists, located on-campus (Logan, UT) and at the Unitah Basin Regional Campus (Vernal, UT), to work together and provide BLM scientists and land managers with scientifically-based data that will aid future Land Use Plan decision-making by enhancing the understanding of the soil and vegetation characteristics of abandoned oil and gas well pads. This information is valuable toward helping the BLM Vernal Field Office reach its Reclamation Guideline goals, which are to establish a desired self-perpetuating diverse plant community at the ground surface that will facilitate eventual ecosystem reconstruction by returning the land to a safe, stable, and proper functioning condition, and to develop Best Management Practices to stabilize disturbed areas and achieve successful reclamation of disturbed sites. Successful reclamation techniques and/or strategies are necessary to maintain critical habitats for a host of wildlife species, to reduce soil erosion and sedimentation, and to reduce the amount of invasive and noxious weeds.