Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wright WY it all starts here:

Spent the day with a Wyoming rancher.  His family homesteaded the ranch in 1918.  The Turnercrest Ranch is in the center of the Powder River Basin coal strip mines.
They have lost over 6,000 acres to the strip mines.  Cattle herds once numbering over 450 head have been reduced to less than 200.
Water drawn off by the mining has caused wells in the area to drop an average 600 feet.  Local streams and waterways have run dry.
The largest open pit coal mines in the world are here.  The mines cover an area 60 miles long by 10 miles wide.
Mined coal is transported via conveyor systems to silos for loading into rail cars.
Empty rail cars move through the silos at 5 miles per hour and are filled for transport.  135 trains with an average of 150 cars each leave the Powder River Basin daily carrying coal across the United States.

I'm heading west following the route to the Pacific Northwest.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

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