What Is Lost, What Remains
Photos tell story of the energy boom's threat to wild Wyoming.
The natural gas industry has boomed nowhere like it has in southwest Wyoming, in the Upper Green River Valley at the south end of the Yellowstone ecosystem. Hundreds of well pads have been scraped and an industrial web of facilities and roads have gone in to the Jonah Field and the Pinedale Anticline area.
Words can tell the story in terms of acres disturbed, wildlife displaced, a way of life upended. But there's something about seeing these places through the eyes of photographers that gives these stories life. Skytruth has used Landsat photos -- as well as a 10-minute video -- to show the spiderweb of facilities at the Jonah Field and at Pinedale.
Last week, a group of wildlife photographers turned their eyes on the region, convening in the Upper Green to take photos of the good, the bad, and the ugly. The group, organized by the International League of Conservation Photographers, spent three days in the region performing a "RAVE," or Rapid Assessment Visual Expedition. The initial results, published in a slideshow on the Rocky Mountain News website, show the beauty of what remains in undisturbed pockets - herons, beavers, bears, and forests - as well as the tremendous amount of landscape carved up to satisfy our demand for power, heat, and hot water.