Chevron gets a go-ahead

  The Forest Service is going to let Chevron USA drill an exploratory well two miles north of the boundary of the High Uintas Wilderness in northern Utah. Wasatch-Cache Forest Supervisor Susan Giannettino's decision allows Chevron to construct a bridge, 2.8 miles of new road and improve 2.1 miles of an existing road, as well as construct a 3.43-acre drill pad. The Chevron well has been fought by environmental groups for years because it borders a heavily used existing wilderness and is in mostly unroaded terrain (HCN, 4/19/93). "This decision is tragic," says George Nickas of the Utah Wilderness Association. "We're not talking about hundreds of wells," says Chevron spokesman Walt McQuire. "We're excited about the opportunity to punch a hole in the ground and see if our exploration is successful." Chevron USA plans to begin road work this summer and expects its exploration to take about nine months. The Record of Decision of the Forest Service is open to appeal until Feb. 25. Appeals can be sent to District Ranger Stephen Ryberg, Evanston Ranger District, 103 Hwy 50 South, Suite A, Evanston, WY 82930.

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