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Research Services|American Heritage Center

Popular Research Topics: Project Wagon Wheel


The Wagon Wheel Information Committee was formed in July of 1971 after the Pinedale Roundup published a letter from the El Paso Natural Gas Company to Wyoming U.S. Congressman Teno Roncalio. The letter indicated that Congress would give twelve million dollars to El Paso Gas towards the eventual firing of underground nuclear devices twenty miles south of Pinedale, Wyoming. As time progressed, the committee learned (partly from similar tests in Colorado) that structural damage was certain to occur, that the air and ground water could be contaminated, and that major earthquakes and radiation poisoning could occur.

The Wagon Wheel Information Committee hosted public meetings and picnics, generated letters to the editor, conducted petitions and straw votes, sent out flyers, gave presentations, conducted school surveys, and established fund raising "blasts." One of its members, Floyd Bousman, appeared on the television show Today. By June 1975, the Atomic Energy Commission dropped Project Wagon Wheel for a number of practical and political reasons.

Gale W. McGee Papers

Gale W. McGee Papers

Gale McGee (1915-1992) was a Wyoming U.S. senator and Democrat who served from 1959 to 1977. Included in his congressional papers are letters from constituents regarding Project Wagon Wheel.


Teno Roncalio Papers

Teno Roncalio Papers

Roncalio was a lawyer and Democratic politician from Wyoming. In 1961, President Kennedy appointed him to the cabinet-level position of chairman of the International Joint Commission of the United States and Canada. Roncalio served five terms as a U.S. Representative for the State of Wyoming and was instrumental in blocking Project Wagon Wheel, in which the Atomic Energy Commission planned to detonate nuclear devices underground in southwestern Wyoming to free natural gas from rock formations.


Wagon Wheel Information Committee Records

Wagon Wheel Information Committee Records

The Wagon Wheel Information Committee was formed in July of 1971 after the Pinedale Roundup published a letter from the El Paso Natural Gas Company to Congressman Teno Roncalio that indicated Congress would give twelve million dollars to El Paso Gas towards the eventual firing of underground nuclear devices twenty miles south of Pinedale, Wyoming, from the 1970s-1980s. By June of 1975 the Atomic Energy Commission dropped Project Wagon Wheel for a number of practical and political reasons.


Project Wagon Wheel Records

Project Wagon Wheel Records

The Project Wagon Wheel records contain drill logs, shot effects, strip charts, a graph from U3CN-5, and reports.Two of the titles are "Preliminary Effects on Ground Water", and "Wyoming Atomic Simulation Report ", 1969-1971.


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