Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
KENAI- Seismic Program Looks for Bears Before Natural Gas
Alaska Region, April 13, 2005
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Marathon Oil Company has proposed to conduct a 3-D seismic operation within Kenai National Wildlife Refuge to look for natural gas reserves during the upcoming winter of 2005-2006, but first they are funding an exploration effort to look for denning bears in the area. The Refuge has a long history of oil and gas exploration and production and the area Marathon is interested in exploring is primarily Refuge lands where Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI) has subsurface rights to oil, gas, and coal. The 3-D seismic efforts can reduce overall impacts to the surface by reducing unsuccessful drilling of exploration wells. This reduces cost to industry and damage to wildlife habitat. The 3-D process, however, requires short intense use of heliportable drills and crews that can disturb denning bears. Marathon has funded the Refuge to do surveys this spring to look for denning sites and has also provided money to capture bears and fit them with radio transmitters so they can be tracked to their dens next winter. Any such areas will be avoided by the seismic crews.

Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov
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