There are an estimated 450 orphan oil and gas wells (well without a solvent owner) on National Wildlife Refuges (NWR) nationwide. The true number of orphaned wells is likely higher than estimated. More than 100 refuges may be affected and over half of orphan wells are found on five refuges: Upper Ouachita NWR, Tensas NWR, Delta NWR, and D'Arbonne NWR in Louisiana, and Deep Fork NWR in Oklahoma. In 2021, the NWRS piloted a study using high-resolution LiDAR data to create a 3D map of surface features on refuges, including potential well pads and reserve pits which are typically associated with oil and gas development. Field staff used maps created from these LiDAR data that indicated potential oil and gas well sites. When tested on Deep Fork NWR, the technique correctly predicted over 67%

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