As my second week at the Bureau of Land Management’s Buffalo field office draws to a close, I can begin to see what my time working with the well program will be. Though my federal ID access card is still being resolved (I cannot enter the building on my own yet), I have still made progress in understanding my job’s responsibilities and procedures. While not in the office, though, I will be travelling through the vast expanse of Wyoming’s high plains district, inspecting the reclamation of oil and gas wells that have been abandoned. The goal is to have an active site such as this:
look like nothing was ever there but the flat, waving grasslands that naturally occur here.
While driving between well sites there are plenty of opportunities to experience the striking landscape of Wyoming as well. From the well site seen above, the Pumpkin Buttes can be seen standing proudly in the distance.
While on my own time, I have begun to explore the beautiful Bighorn Mountains located just West of Buffalo. The Bighorns have a mesmerizing presence over the landscape, standing over 13,000 ft at their peak.
These mountains hold a huge amount of hiking and camping trails, which myself and my fellow CLM interns have begun to venture into. Many of the most scenic are inside the Cloud Peak Wilderness area, named after the highest point of the Bighorns. Within this wilderness area, we were able to encounter many beautiful scenes and creatures, including a serene mountain lake and a mother grouse protecting her chicks.
I’m very excited to see what hidden secrets these mountains are holding, and begin to explore the life cycle of fluid mineral extraction!