CAVU and our partners are collaborating to turn the threats presented by lands degraded by oil and gas development into an opportunity for renewed regional resilience!
Oil and gas is unquestionably the dominant industry in the San Juan Basin, though its impacts are at odds with some of the other economic drivers in the area, including fishing, hunting, ranching and agriculture. The impact of dust, vented VOC’s, and animal traffic mortality, along with the aforementioned climate-exacerbated impacts, threatens to severely depress or eliminate these other industries. Presuming that national and global economies move increasingly away from oil and gas as the primary means of powering our lifestyles, the human communities of the San Juan Basin may find themselves without economic substitutes, should these impacts go unchecked.
CAVU is seeking formerly orphaned wellpads, or sites where the reclamation “just didn’t take”, in an effort to reclaim these sites and the surrounding land in a way that reflects what the climate will be like in 30 years, as opposed to what it’s like now.
The climate in the southwest has already warmed by a little over 1 degree celsius, and as this trend continues more and more land will succumb to desertification and species die-off as extreme events and warming temperatures disrupt existing ecosystems. By repairing the fragmented landscape of the San Juan Basin with pockets of climate-adapted land, we’re seeding resilience into the Basin at a landscape level.
Starting with 8 plugged and abandoned oil and gas wells, CAVU is reclaiming degraded sites in the San Juan Basin using a climate-adaptation approach, focusing on preserving the most resilient desert grassland and easing transition to desert shrubland where necessary.
Erosion control structures, improved soil quality, and more deliberate seeding and planting on sites will result in higher biomass, improved infiltration, reduced runoff, and lower downstream temperatures.
Involvement from community members and ranchers will ensure longevity and replicability.
CAVU hopes to create a model which state, tribal, and private land owners and managers can use to reclaim degraded lands and improve climate resilience basin-wide.
Let us know in which ways you would like to be part of Adapt-A-Well!