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Birds in the Bakken: Oil Development Can Affect Critical Habitat

USGS Newsroom - Wed, 10/14/2015 - 14:00
Summary: Many grassland bird species in the Bakken shale region, including some seriously declining populations, are displaced from their habitats as a result of oil and gas development, according to new U.S. Geological Survey research

Contact Information:

Marisa Lubeck ( Phone: 303-526-6694 );



Many grassland bird species in the Bakken shale region, including some seriously declining populations, are displaced from their habitats as a result of oil and gas development, according to new U.S. Geological Survey research.

During 2012-2014, USGS and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists studied Bakken grassland sites in northern North Dakota containing oil well pads, which are the gravel surfaces that house all oil extraction infrastructures. Overall, grassland birds avoided areas within 150 meters, or about 492 feet of gravel roads, 267 meters (about 876 feet) of single-bore well pads and 150 meters of pads with more than one well. These results suggest that detrimental effects of oil extraction on habitat extend considerably beyond the immediate oil well sites.

"Quantifying environmental degradation caused by oil development is a critical step in understanding how to better mitigate harm to valuable wildlife populations," said USGS scientist Sarah Thompson, the lead author of the report. "Our findings can help managers and developers determine the best locations for future infrastructure." 

The study focused on sites developed with unconventional methods, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The most commonly detected species were the grasshopper sparrow, Savannah sparrow, clay-colored sparrow, bobolink, chestnut-collared longspur, western meadowlark, brown-headed cowbird, Baird's sparrow, Sprague's pipit and red-winged blackbird.

Specific findings include:

  • Individual species showed varying tolerance for oil wells.
  • Reduced population densities of the Baird’s sparrow, chestnut-collared longspur and grasshopper sparrow were observed as far as 550 meters from single-bore wells, which were the farthest distances surveyed.
  • Clay-colored sparrows and brown-headed cowbirds were tolerant of oil-related infrastructure.
  • Sprague’s pipit, which is a candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act, showed reduced density within 350 meters of single-bore wells.

"Our findings suggest that reducing new road construction, concentrating wells along developed corridors, combining numerous wells on multi-bore pads and placing wells near existing roads could help minimize loss of suitable habitat for birds," Thompson said.

The Bakken oil-producing regions of North Dakota, Montana and Canada are home to a particularly high density and diversity of grassland bird species that are declining across North America. For more information on USGS ecosystem research in the Bakken, please visit the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center website.

Survivors who are not U.S. Citizens may be eligible for FEMA Disaster Assistance

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 10/14/2015 - 11:23

SACRAMENTO– Residents in Lake County affected by the Valley Fire, including those who are not U.S. citizens, may be eligible through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for assistance. If you are unsure of your eligibility, FEMA will assist you through the process when you call 800-621-3362 and register.

The aid may be available to citizens, non-citizen nationals, and qualified aliens. Qualified aliens include those with legal permanent residence (shown by Green Cards). Their status will not be jeopardized by requesting disaster assistance.

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Categories: Federal News

CNMI gets chance to show Soudelor preparedness lessons learned

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 10/14/2015 - 03:00

Typhoons, as we witnessed with Soudelor, are a double threat. They can produce both dangerously high winds and widespread torrential rains.

Slow moving storms and tropical storms moving into mountainous regions tend to produce especially heavy rain. This not only damages or destroys homes directly with water and wind, but can also produce damages indirectly with landslides or mud slides. Flash flooding is also a possibility, and flooding near streams or low lying areas may persist for several days or more after a storm.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Rebuilding Experts to Provide Advice in Saipan

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 10/14/2015 - 01:23

SAIPAN, CNMI – Typhoon Soudelor survivors who want to build back better and stronger can learn how from experts for the next two weeks.

 

Federal Emergency Management Agency Mitigation specialists have been at Ace Hardware in Susupe, talking with customers and handing out free booklets and pamphlets. Their last day there is Sunday, October 18.

 

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Categories: Federal News

Small Business Administration is Important to ALL Disaster Survivors

FEMA Press Releases - Tue, 10/13/2015 - 14:28

SACRAMENTO – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) plays a unique role in helping all disaster survivors recover. It provides low-interest recovery loans to businesses and residents, if they can afford to repay. By registering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), most survivors are automatically referred to the SBA.

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Categories: Federal News

Disaster Recovery Centers in South Carolina Open in Florence and Kershaw Counties

FEMA Press Releases - Mon, 10/12/2015 - 18:03

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Two disaster recovery centers are open in Florence and Kershaw counties to help South Carolina flood survivors. The centers are open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Representatives from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and other agencies will be at the centers to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors apply for aid.

The disaster recovery centers are located at the following addresses:

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Categories: Federal News

What to Expect After South Carolina Survivors Call FEMA

FEMA Press Releases - Sun, 10/11/2015 - 14:58

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Registering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency is the first step to getting federal disaster assistance.

After you apply, FEMA will send you a copy of your application and a copy of “Help After a Disaster: Applicant’s Guide to the Individuals and Households Program,” which will answer many of your questions.

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Categories: Federal News

South Carolina Disaster Recovery Centers Open in Richland County

FEMA Press Releases - Sat, 10/10/2015 - 10:51

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Two disaster recovery centers are open in Richland County to help South Carolina flood survivors. The centers are open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Representatives from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration and other agencies will be at the centers to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors apply for aid.

The disaster recovery centers are located at the following addresses:

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Encourages Participation in Oct 15 Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 10/09/2015 - 18:52

Washington D.C. - More than 40 U.S. states have some potential for earthquakes. To increase earthquake preparedness, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages all Americans to participate in the Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drill happening on Thursday, October 15, at 10:15 a.m. local time.

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Categories: Federal News

Three South Carolina Counties Designated for Federal Assistance After Flooding

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 10/09/2015 - 18:45

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency has amended its disaster declaration for the recent flooding in order to make survivors in Bamberg, Colleton and Greenwood counties eligible for Individual Assistance.

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Categories: Federal News

South Carolina Disaster Recovery Centers Open in Columbia and Lexington

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 10/09/2015 - 18:41

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Two disaster recovery centers are open in Columbia and Lexington to help South Carolina flood survivors. The centers are open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Representatives from the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Small Business Administration and other agencies will be at the centers to explain disaster assistance programs and help survivors apply for aid.

The disaster recovery centers are located at the following addresses:

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Categories: Federal News

Public Assistance added to Disaster Declaration in California

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 10/09/2015 - 17:35

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Public Assistance program has been added to the presidential disaster declaration for Calaveras and Lake Counties.

Eligible applicants under FEMA’s Public Assistance program include state and local governments, tribal governments and certain private nonprofits.  Applicants may be eligible for reimbursement for debris removal, emergency protective measures, repairs to roads and bridges, water control facilities, city-and county-owned buildings and equipment, utilities, parks and recreational facilities.

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Categories: Federal News

Three Years after Sandy: Recovery and Resiliency at Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 10/09/2015 - 10:23

EATONTOWN, N.J. -- Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission’s Newark Bay Treatment Plant is New Jersey’s largest sewer treatment plant and the fifth largest sewage treatment facility in the nation.

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Categories: Federal News

Deadline to Request Sandy Flood Claims Review is a Week Away

FEMA Press Releases - Fri, 10/09/2015 - 09:48

The deadline for flood insurance policyholders to request a review of claims related to Hurricane Sandy is only a week away. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is reviewing claims for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders who file a request by the deadline, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015.

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Categories: Federal News

Federal Disaster Assistance Tops $6 Million: California Wildfire Recovery Is Underway

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 10/08/2015 - 20:15

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  – Recovery from the Butte Fire in Calaveras County and Valley Fire in Lake County is underway. More than $6.1 million in state and federal assistance grants to individuals and households has been approved.

Destruction of most dwellings in the fire paths, plus the small town and rural nature of the areas creates a difficult challenge for finding temporary housing for survivors while they rebuild.

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Categories: Federal News

Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma Agencies Receive More than $1.7 Million in FEMA Grants to Assist with Flood Mapping Activities

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 10/08/2015 - 15:08

DENTON, Texas — More than $1.7 million has been awarded to agencies in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma to maintain up-to-date flood hazard maps and other flood hazard information.

These grants are made possible by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP) program.

The cities and agencies that received the grants include:

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Categories: Federal News

Texas Cities and Agencies Receive More than $3.1 Million in FEMA Grants to Assist with Flood Mapping Activities

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 10/08/2015 - 14:55

DENTON, Texas — More than $3.1 million has been awarded to cities and agencies in Texas to maintain up-to-date flood hazard maps and other flood hazard information.

These grants are made possible by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Cooperating Technical Partners (CTP) program.

The cities and agencies that received the grants include:

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams Visiting Neighborhoods

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 10/08/2015 - 11:40

SACRAMENTO, Calif.  – People in California who have been affected by the recent wildfires may see Disaster Survivor Assistance (DSA) teams from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in their neighborhood, knocking on doors.

DSA teams can help connect homeowners, renters, business owners, faith-based and community organizations with the necessary resources to start the recovery process.

The teams offer survivors registration assistance; up-to-date information on their application status; on-the-spot needs assessment; and referrals to help fill outstanding needs.

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Categories: Federal News

FEMA help still just a phone call away

FEMA Press Releases - Thu, 10/08/2015 - 03:05

SAIPAN, CNMI – Although the Disaster Recovery Center is closing Friday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency remains just a phone call away.

Typhoon Soudelor survivors who have registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency can call the toll-free registration number to get help with their application process.

Issues such as status updates, appeals and other questions can be checked by calling 800-621-3362.

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Categories: Federal News

Disaster Recovery Center in Susupe Transitioning to SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Center

FEMA Press Releases - Wed, 10/07/2015 - 19:16

SAIPAN, CNMI – The joint Disaster Recovery Center will transition to a

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Outreach Center next week.

 

The DRC will close at 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9. Following Commonwealth Cultural Day, the DLOC will open in the same location Tuesday, Oct. 13.

 

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Categories: Federal News