Photo of Jonah gas field from Google Earth

There is a lot of talk about the Jonah “in-fill.” I quickly found it on Google Earth — photos of the gas field before the in-fill.

This gives some idea of the degree to which this wipes out wildlife habitat. Search around on Google Earth and you will quickly see this is just a small portion of Jonah, and a little movement to the SW brings you to the older mess at the Riley Ridge gas field.

Part of the Jonah natural gas field. The filling in (“in-fill”) is yet to come! This is in the Green River Basin to the SW of Pinedale, Wyoming







  1. Alan Gregory Avatar

    Looks like the Allegheny NF here in PA minus the black cherry trees. A virtual pin-cushion of extractive industry.

  2. monty d wilson Avatar
    monty d wilson

    This aerial picture should be the touchstone of a telivision program–like National Geographic–of the final days of the Big Sky Western Landscapes. The degradation is even worse than I thought possible.

  3. Conor Avatar

    Hi All Experts,
    Does anyone use google earth images as ground image planes for use in aerial scenes. I know how to stitch them together but are there any tools or tricks to make sure that the images are at the same height, angle and such to make sure they stitch well. I know in the pro version you can get bigger images but im not going to pay for the pro version when i could stitch multiple images together…

  4. Matthew Erdman Avatar

    The picture gives an idea of the damage already done, but much more drilling is planned for the near future. SkyTruth has put together a mini-documentary on the area that explores the issues and impacts, as well as a tool that allows you to explore and learn about the area using Google Earth. Check it out at!

    This is very good. I have been looking for something like this. I’ll put it up as a full post. Ralph Maughan

  5. clyde jones Avatar

    you should see it after reclamation and now that all the well sites are padded locations and do not have a reserve pit you cant tell that there was ever a drilling rig at the site but stuff like this takes time if you all would ever go there in person you would know the the footprint shrinks by 10-20 acre a day


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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Ralph Maughan