The Crow Reservation and Coalbed Methane

This page was written by Erin Klauk as part of the DLESE Community Services Project: Integrating Research in Education. Funding was provided in part by the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Seal from the Tribal Flag of the Crow. Details

The Powder River Basin, a major source of coalbed methane natural gas, is located in Montana and Wyoming covering much of the Crow Reservation. The Crow people are now faced with the issues surrounding coalbed methane development. On one hand, the development of coalbed methane appears to offer the communities of the Powder River Basin, including the Crow Nation, a long-awaited economic advantage, but the long-term impacts to global warming, water resources of the area, fish and wildlife, and agriculture must be considered (Coalbed Methane: Short-term Boom, Long-term Bust (more info) ).

To get started, view pages, or follow the links below to pages that have been developed to illustrate the issue of Coalbed Methane on the Crow Reservation:

  • Geology and Physiography - Explore the geology and physiography of the Crow Reservation including geologic maps, the tectonic setting, bedrock, major structures and landforms.
  • Hydrology - Explore the surface water and groundwater quality and quantity on the Crow Reservation.
  • Climate and Biota - Explore the climate, flora and fauna of the Crow Reservation.
  • Cultural Heritage - Explore the culture of the Crow tribe including the traditional land and lifestyle, history and mode of living.
  • Coalbed Methane - Explore resources about coalbed methane specific to the Crow Reservation.
  • Exploration and Development History - Explore the discovery history, extraction methods, and development and production history of coalbed methane on the Crow Reservation.
  • Impacts - Explore the impacts to the people, air, land and water due to coalbed methane on the Crow Reservation.
  • Policy - Explore political issues related to coalbed methane on the Crow Reservation.

For ideas on how to use these webpages in a classroom, a Study Guide is provided.


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