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Location map of Great Divide Basin, shown in pink

The Great Divide Basin is a 3,959 square miles (10,250 km2)[1] endorheic drainage basin in south central Wyoming, located between the Atlantic and Pacific drainage basins. North and south of it, the water divide is defined by the Continental Divide. The water divide bifurcates to the eastern and western perimeters of the Great Divide Basin. The Basin is formed by a geologic anticline.

Though not without some grasses, the occasional shrub, and even small trees in some ravines, the land is dominated by numerous sand dunes, bluffs and alkali flats due to a combination of low precipitation and a high evaporation rate. The average elevation is over 6,000 feet (1,800 m). The basin is a part of the larger Red Desert region which is under the supervision of the United States' Bureau of Land Management, an agency within the U.S. Department of the Interior which manages rangeland and other multiple-use lands that have not been designated as national parks or a national monuments.

Many birds are found in the basin, such as the sage grouse and pheasant. Mammals include pronghorn antelope, mule deer, wild or feral horses, and the occasional elk. No major towns or cities are located in the basin, which has a human population of less than 500. Wamsutter is the only incorporated settlement.

Bluffs in eastern section of the Great Divide Basin

The basin is considered one of the more promising locations for the mining of uranium and many oil and natural gas wells are found in the basin with more expected to be drilled.[2] There is an ongoing debate between those that wish to utilize the resources within the basin and those that wish to see the basin become either a National Monument or a designated U.S. Wilderness Area.

Interstate 80 bisects the basin east to west and U.S. Highway 287 heading north from Rawlins, Wyoming traverses the eastern regions of the area.

See also

External Links


Coordinates: 42°05′35″N 108°21′40″W / 42.0930°N 108.3610°W / 42.0930; -108.3610



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