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Location The proposed Very Rare and Uncommon area encompasses

By Beatrice Barnes,2014-11-26 17:56
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Location The proposed Very Rare and Uncommon area encompasses

    A Petition to the Environmental Quality Council

    for Designation of an Area Known as Adobe Town

    as Very Rare or Uncommon

    Under the Authority of the Wyoming Environmental Quality Act,

    W.S. ?35-11-112

    and

    Chapter VII of the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality

    Rules of Practice and Procedure

    Submitted to the Chairman of the Environmental Quality Council

    on

    November 6, 2006

    Submitted by

    Biodiversity Conservation Alliance

    Erik Molvar, Executive Director rd215 South 3 Street, Suite 114/ P.O. Box 1512

    Laramie, WY 82073

    (307) 742-7978; Fax (307) 742-7989

    This Petition is Endorsed by the Following Organizations:

Wyoming Wilderness Association Wyoming Outdoor Council

    Liz Howell, Director Bruce Pendery, Program Director P.O. Box 6588 262 Lincoln

    Sheridan, WY 82801 Lander, WY 82520

    The Wilderness Society Center for Native Ecosystems Suzanne Jones, Regional Director Jacob Smith, Director

    1660 Wynkoop, Suite 850 1536 Wynkoop St., Suite 302 Denver, CO 80202 Denver, Colorado 80202

    Sierra Club, Wyoming Chapter Natural Resources Defense Council Kirk Koepsel, Regional Representative Amy Mall, Rock Mountain Representative 247 Coffeen Ave. 1809 Mariposa Avenue

    Sheridan, WY 82801 Boulder, Colorado 80302

Friends of the Red Desert

    Joy Owen, Statewide Coordinator

    P.O. Box 1611

    Lander, WY 82520

    A. Location

    The proposed Very Rare boundary encompasses 180,910 acres, as shown on the

    accompanying map, but this petition applies only to the state and federal holdings

    within this boundary. Because the boundaries follow pipelines and vehicle routes that

    were not surveyed in along section lines, but rather randomly aligned on the

    landscapes, legal descriptions at the Section level are approximate. The

    accompanying maps (Attachments 1 and 2) should be considered the primary

    authority in determining boundaries.

    T17N R 97W: Approximately the south half of Section 36, bounded to the north by a buried pipeline;

    T17N R96W: Bounded to the north by a buried pipeline, as follows: A portion of the southeastern third of Section 22; the southwestern third of Section 24; the southeast half (diagonally) of Section 28; the southern two-thirds of Section 30; and all of Sections 25, 26, 34, and 36.

    T17N R95W: Bounded to the north by a buried pipeline, the southwest diagonal halves of Sections 30 and 32.

    T16N R97W: Bounded to the northwest by a buried pipeline, the southeastern corner of Section 8; the southeastern third diagonally of Section 18; the southern Half of Section 25; the southeastern eighth of Section 23; the southeast ? of Section 33; and all of Sections 2, 10, 12, 14, 16, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 35, and 36.

    T16N R 95W: The southern ? of Section 29; the southeastern 7/8 of Section 27; and all of Section 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36.

    T16N R95W: Bounded to the east by a buried pipeline and a gas-field trunk road; the western 1/3 of Section 8; the western 1/3 of Section 20; the southeastern 5/8 of Section 19; the western 1/3 of section 29; and, bounded to the north by a gas-field trunk road, the southeastern 1/5 of Section 29 and southwestern 1/3 of Section 28; and bounded to the east by a gas-field trunk road, the western 2/3 of Section 33; and all of Sections 6, 18, 30, 31, and 32.

    T15N R98W: Bounded to the west by a buried pipeline, the eastern 5/8 of Section 1; the eastern roughly one-half of Section 12; the southeastern ? diagonally of Section 13; the northeastern roughly ? of Section 24; the eastern 1/3 of Section 25; and the eastern 1/3 of Section 36.

    T15N R95W: Bounded to the northeast by gas-field access roads, the southwest 7/8 of Section 4, the south half of section 3, the southwest 1/8 of Section 2, the southwest 2/3 of Section 11, the southwest ? of Section 13, the southeast corner and northwest ? of Section 14, the northwestern 7/8 of Section 15, the southwest 7/8 of Section 22, the southeast 2/3 of Section 23, the southwest 2/3 of Section 24, the southwest 15/16 of

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    Section 25, and all of Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 36.

    T15N R94W: Bounded to the northeast by a gas-field road, the southwest 1/8 of Section 30 and the western 1/3 of Section 31.

    T14N R94W: Bounded to the east by a gas-field trunk road, the northwest ? of Section 6.

    T14N R95W: Bounded to the southeast by improved gravel vehicle routes, the northwest 7/8 of Section 1, the northwest 2/3 of Section 10, the northern 1/3 of Section 11, the northwest 1/8 of Section 12, the northwest 1/3 of Section 16, the northwest 7/8 of Section 17, the northeast ? of Section 19, the northwest ? of Section 20, and all of Sections 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 18.

    T14N R96W: Bounded to the south and east by gas-field trunk roads, the northwest 1/3 of Section 24, the northwest 1/3 of Section 25, the northern 1/3 of Section 26, the northern 1/3 and southwestern corner of Section 27, the western ? (diagonally) of Section 34, and all of Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, and 33.

    T14N R97W: Bounded to the west by a buried pipeline and an improved gravel road, the northeast ? (diagonally) of Section 18, the northeast 1/16 of Section 19, the northeast 2/3 of Section 20, the northeast 1/3 of Section 29, the southern ? of Section 31, the southeast ? (diagonally) of Section 32, and all of Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 33, 34, 35, and 36.

    T14N R98W: Bounded to the west by a buried pipeline, the eastern 1/3 of Section 1, the eastern 2/3 of Section 12, the northeast 1/3 of Section 13, and the southeast 1/3 of Section 36.

    T13N R98W: Bounded to the west by an improved gravel road, the eastern 3/8 of Section 1 and the northeast 1/8 of Section 12.

    T13N R97W: Bounded to the west by an improved gravel road, the northeast 2/3 of Section 7, the eastern ? of Section 18, the northeast 1/8 of Section 19, the eastern ? of Section 29, the northeast 1/3 of Section 32, the northern 2/3 of Section 33, the northeast 15/16 of Section 34, and all of Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 35, and 36.

    T13N R96W: Bounded to the east by an improved gravel road and to the south by a well-worn two-track jeep trail, the western ? of Section 3, the northwest 2/3 of Section 10, the nborthwest ? of Section 15, the northern 2/3 of Section 16, the northwest 15/16 of Section 17, the western ? of Section 20, the western 1/3 of Section 29, the northeastern 7/8 of Section 31, the southwest 2/3 of Section 32, and all of Sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 18, 19, and 30.

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    T12N R96W: Bounded to the south by a well-worn two track jeep trail, the northern ? of Section 5 and the northeast 1/8 of Section 6.

    T12N R97W: Bounded to the south by a well-worn jeep trail, the northwest 1/8 of Section 1, the northern 1/3 of Section 2, and the northeast 1/6 of Section 3.

All of the following townships: T15N R97W; T15N R96W.

B. Names by which the area is known locally

    The area described is known generally as Adobe Town, with portions of the area known as the Adobe Town Rim, The Haystacks, Manuel Gap, Horseshoe Bend, Haystack Wash, Sand Creek, Monument Valley, Skull Creek, the Skull Creek Rim, East Fork Point, Willow Creek, the Willow Creek Rim, Salazar Butte, and the northwest corner of the Powder Rim.

    C. Distance to Nearest Town: The proposed Very Rare or Uncommon area is located in Sweetwater County, 20 miles south-southwest of Wamsutter, Wyoming.

D. Surface and Mineral Estate Owners:

Bureau of Land Management, owner of 167,517 acres within the boundary (including all

    lands not specifically listed by legal description below), about evenly split between the Rock Springs and Rawlins Field Offices:

    Rawlins Field Office, P.O. Box 2407, Rawlins, WY 82301;

    Rock Springs Field Office, 280 Highway 191 North, Rock Springs, WY 82901.

    Rock Springs Grazing Association, Rock Springs National Bank, P.O. Box 880, Rock Springs, Wyoming 82902.

    Owners of 11,105.51 acres private surface within the boundary. These lands include T17N R97W Section 35; T17N R96W Sections 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, and 35; T17N R 95W Sections 29, 31, and 33; T16N R98W Section 25; T16N R97W Sections 1, 3, 9, 11, 13, 15, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25 (N ? ), 27 (N ?, SW ?, SWSE, NWSE), 29, 31, and 33 (N ?, SW); T16N R96W Sections 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 27 (NWNW, SENW), 29 (N ?); T16N R96W Sections 5, 7, 17, and 19 (NW ?, NWNE, SWNE); T15N R98W Section 1; and T15N R97W Section 5 (N ?, NWSW, SWSW).

    Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, 1201 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, Texas 77380.

    Owners of 11,105.51 acres private minerals within the boundary. These private mineral interests include T17N R97W Section 35; T17N R96W Sections 23, 25, 27, 29, 31, 33, and 35; T17N R 95W Sections 29, 31, and 33; T16N R98W Section 25; T16N R97W Sections 1, 3, 9, 11, 13, 15, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 25 (N ? ), 27 (N ?, SW ?, SWSE, NWSE), 29, 31, and 33 (N ?, SW); T16N R96W Sections 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 27 (NWNW, SENW), 29 (N ?); T16N R96W Sections 5, 7, 17, and 19 (NW ?, NWNE, SWNE); T15N R98W Section 1; and T15N R97W Section 5 (N ?, NWSW, SWSW).

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    Raftopoulos Brothers Livestock Company, 893 Stout Street, Craig, CO 81625.

    Owners of 162.86 acres of private surface within the boundary. These lands include T14N R97W Section 31 NWSE and SESW; T13N R 97W Section 6 SESW; and T13N R98W Section 1 SENE and small portions of NWNE.

     th Street, State of Wyoming, Office of State Lands and Investments, 122 West 25rdHerschler Bldg., 3 Floor West, Cheyenne, WY 82002.

    Owners of 2,124.7 acres within the boundary, including T15N R97W Section 16; T15N R96W Section 16; T14N R98W Section 36; T13N R97W Section 6 SWNW, NWSW, SWSW and Section 7 SWNW, and Section 36; T13N R96W Section 19 SENE and Section 20 SESW.

    Federal mineral lease holders or part-holders (not required for Very Rare or Uncommon petitions), according to the Bureau of Land Management‟s LR 2000 database, are

    nonetheless listed in Appendix A of this petition.

E. Very Rare or Uncommon Features of Adobe Town

    The Adobe Town Area contains Very Rare or Uncommon Features including geological formations, abundant fossil resources, historical and prehistoric sites and features, rare and sensitive (including crucial) wildlife habitats, and scenic values comparable to or eclipsing existing national park units. All of these values are very rare nationwide and, if left unprotected, are at risk of elimination.

Historical, Prehistorical, and Archaeological Values

    Adobe Town has a number of historical, prehistorical and archaeological values that meet the criteria for Very Rare or Uncommon designation. It is mentioned prominently in the thjournals of the Geological Exploration of the 40 Parallel (circa 1869), and was used as a

    hideout for fresh horses by Butch Cassidy and his gang during the Tipton train robbery of 1900. The area has a high density of archaeological sites dating back 12,000 years, and is still used as an important religious site by Native Americans today.

    Adobe Town is mentioned prominently in the Report of the Geological Exploration of the th40 Parallel, a federal document authored by eminent geologist Clarence King in 1869. This area was identified by King as the most superlative geological landscape found along the survey route. King described the general landscapes as follows:

    “From twelve to fourteen miles southwest of the head of Bitter Creek are

    seen exposures of the soft green clays, marls, and whitish-gray ands of

    which the upper beds of the Bridger group are made. Passing eastward of

    Pine Bluffs [known today as Pine Butte], the country is covered with more

    or less drifting sand, which forms noticeable trains of dunes. The sand

    suddenly gives way to the soft Bridger beds which are intricately eroded

    into branching ravines [Adobe Town and Skull Rims]. This bad-land

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