Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI)
different rates of future oil/gas development in a
130 x 130 km area in SW Wyoming. Light to dark colors
is increasing surface disturbance. A - based on recent rate
of development; B - one half recent rate of development;
C - twice current rate of development; and D - twice current
rate of development and relaxed density restrictions.
A spatially explicit simulation model is being developed that simulates oil/gas pad development and related infrastructure (roads) in response to user-provided rates of development. The model relies on extensive geospatial data layers that identify landscape areas available for oil/gas development, state and federal restrictions on development (e.g., sage-grouse core areas), and the existing energy development footprint, among other data themes. The simulation model is designed to locate oil/gas pad development on the basis of spacing rules and annual developmental rates, supplied by the user. These can be varied to explore different efficiency options (e.g., no. wells per pad) and spacing rules. Re-vegetation of older pad scars also is possible. Assessments of wildlife habitat are based on published information on the effects of road and oil/gas pad density on species, and habitat configuration (e.g., fragmentation, patch size).
Objectives of this effort are: 1) Develop and use a spatially-explicit simulation model to forecast future oil/gas development to identify potential effects on native habitat conditions, and 2) using the simulation model, identify land uses (temporal and spatial patterns) that lead to tipping points (rapid decline) in native habitat properties (e.g., greater sage-grouse habitat). Results of this objective will provide land managers with examples of land-uses to avoid, and land-uses that may balance energy development and conservation management. In support of simulation scenarios, a third objective is the development of a contemporary oil/gas pad geospatial layer for SW Wyoming. Using 1-m NAIP imagery from 2009, ca. 16,000 pad scars have been extracted and are used to represent baseline conditions in the simulation scenarios.
Principal Investigator: Steven Garman, firstname.lastname@example.org, Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, Denver, CO