A new partnership among the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Cody Field Office, Marathon Oil Corporation and Friends of a Legacy (FOAL) made great strides in 2012 toward improving water sources for the benefit of wild horses, wildlife, and livestock inside the McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Herd Management Area (HMA) east of Cody, Wyo.

For years, the McCullough Peaks wild horses, livestock operators, and wildlife have been dependent on produced water from Marathon’s Oregon Basin oil field that flows into Dry Creek. However, to comply with a Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality permit, Marathon is reducing the amount of produced water it releases into Dry Creek.

“This partnership is a proactive step towards looking at alternative ways to provide additional sources of water to the Dry Creek drainage,” said BLM Cody Field Manager Mike Stewart. “I am so pleased that Marathon came forward with this idea to benefit wild horses, wildlife, and livestock and comply with its permit at the same time.”

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed earlier in 2012 by the three parties. The purpose of the Dry Creek Water Augmentation MOU is to identify, evaluate, develop, and enhance water resources along the Dry Creek drainage. The partners will employ a phased approach over the next few years.