The analysis notes that in the past three years, about 1.4 million acres of sagebrush steppe have burned in the cumulative project area.
"This is more than 28 times the amount that would be lost in the foreseeable future due to energy development and mining."
Ruby is required to provide up to $22.9 million in funding for restoration and habitat improvement projects as well as habitat studies in the vicinity of the pipeline.
The pipeline owner and operator, Kinder-Morgan, has spent $1.6 million in preventative, fire-rehabilitation costs and is spending a total of $22.9 million in 42 restoration and habitat improvement projects to benefit more than 90,300 acres — more than 10 times the footprint of its direct impact area, according to the BLM.
Ultimately, the BLM will determine if more is left to be done, said the agency's Mark Mackiewicz, the senior national project manager for the Ruby Pipeline.
"I think right now we are going to have to see what happens with the public comment on the analysis," he said.
Comments on the project are due Aug. 19. They may be submitted by mail at Ruby Pipeline, Bureau of Land Management, 125 S. 600 West, Price, UT, 84501, or via email at email@example.com.
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