Study: Antelope flourish in gas fields. By Whitney Royster. Casper Star-Tribune environmental reporter.
The headline is contradicted by the very first paragraph of the story. “JACKSON — Antelope do not appear to be unduly stressed so far on and around the Pinedale Anticline, but increased energy activity may change their use of the area, according to recent results of an ongoing study.”
“Unduly stressed so far” is not the same as “flourish.”
Nevertheless, this study raises hope that the gas developments might not wipe out the pronghorn in the area. Snow depth and the presence of fences seem to be more important than gas development so far.
While most readers are probably aware of the impact of fences on pronghorn, it should be reiterated that pronghorn and fences do not mix. Pronghorn, though very swift, do not jump fences over 3 feet high. They try to crawl under them. A relatively benign fence for pronghorn is a wire fence with no barbs on the bottom strand with that strand being at least 18 inches above the ground. Most of pronghorn killer fences are associated with sheep grazing, with coyote proof woven fences being the worst.
Additional info. Pronghorn Management Guide – 2006 (fences). Game and Fish Department of North Dakota. This has good illustrations.