Fortification Creek

The Fortification is a remote and wild area encompassing 100,000 acres in the middle of the Powder River Basin. It is bounded on the west by the Powder River and the east by Echeta Road. The area is recognized by the public and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for important resources that were documented in BLM planning decisions starting in the 1970s. The BLM designated the area as the Fortification Creek Special Management Area.

The special resource values identified include one of the last remaining prairie or plains elk herds and its habitat, high visual quality lands, a 12,000-acre Wilderness Study Area, and cultural, historical or paleontological sites. The area also contains a proposed Area of Critical Environmental Concern and is known for the fragile soils and rough and rugged country. It harbors peregrine falcons, sharp tail and sage grouse, bobcats, swift fox, bald and golden eagles and other important big game habitat for mule deer and antelope.

Powder River Basin Resource Council has organized the Fort Creek Coalition, a group of six local and two national groups to protect the area. We filed two appeals on BLM's approval of 6 Plans of Development (PODs) authorizing 109 CBM wells that would impact the Fortification Creek Special Management Area. The appeals challenge BLM on their failure to implement the protective requirements and stipulations they committed to in order to protect the wildlife and resources of the area. The groups argue that BLM's Finding of No Significant Impact in approving the developments are in serious error and motivated by industry's push for development.

We have hired wildlife biologists and reclamation experts are also working to help us push BLM to provide protections for the elk their habitat and the other important resources in the area. The public will have opportunities to help with this effort.
The Fortification Creek Special Management Area has resource values that exemplify what we cherish in the Powder River Basin, resources that are quickly disappearing in the headlong rush to development CBM. Fortification Creek is the last stand for the Powder River Basin, let's make sure BLM does it right.