Geothermal/Range Resources

From Open Energy Information

Geothermal Range Resources

Range Resources
Present, Potentially Affected

The Taylor Grazing Act (P.L. 73-482) was put in place to, “stop injury to the public grazing lands (excluding Alaska) by preventing overgrazing and soil deterioration; to provide for their orderly use, improvement, and development; (and) to stabilize the livestock industry dependent upon the public range."

Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) indicates grazing provisions and leasing guidelines for interested parties, while the Soil and Water Resources Conservation Act (16 U.S.C 2001 et. seq.) (SWRCA), “possess information, technical expertise, and a system for providing assistance to land users with respect to conservation and use of soils, plants, woodlands, watershed protection, and related resource uses.”

Bureau of Land Management-Taylor Grazing Act Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development-Laws Applicable to Geothermal Energy Development

Range Resources Impacts & Mitigation

Geothermal development can occur on or adjacent to lands that are leased for grazing. The impacts and mitigation measures to carry out conservation are indicated below:

Fencing: Enclosing well pads, construction site, reserve pits, transmission lines, the power plant, and all vehicles mitigates rogue cattle and infrastructure malfunctions.

Construction: To decrease wetland impacts, construct power plant and well pads during the dry season and when cattle are not grazing (mid February-end of July). To mitigate grazing loss, focus heavily on impacted sites close to each other to decrease widespread degradation. Post slow speeds onsite to mitigate vehicular cattle mortalities. Install earthen ramps and geothermal fluid pipelines underground to mitigate cattle’s access to water sources. Construct escape ramps around the sumps and put up fencing to discourage cattle from wandering on well pads or the construction site.

Soil erosion and grazing: To decrease soil erosion, grazing can be used as a mitigation tool. Grazing controls “forage demands and the land’s carrying capacity.” Grazing also mitigates invasive plant populations and wildfire fuel.

Forage loss: The degraded area will begin restoration after the project has concluded and the land has been reclaimed. The area will be monitored by the managing agency for five years. Grazing activities will resume if they were inhibited during the plant’s operation.