Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Agreement Reached for Wyoming Range Oil and Gas Buy-Out
LANDER, Wyo. - Trout Unlimited applauded Friday's announcement by The Trust for Public Land and Plains Exploration & Production Co. to enter into an agreement to retire 58,000 acres of oil and gas leases in Hoback River Basin.
Just three years ago, TU and a coalition of sportsmen's organizations and businesses dubbed the Sportsmen for the Wyoming Range, worked with U.S. Sen. John Barrasso to pass the Wyoming Range Legacy Act. This historic bill permanently protected 1.2 million acres of the Wyoming Range from future oil and gas development. The act also allowed individuals and organizations to buy and retire some 75,000 acres in the Bridger-Teton National Forest already leased for oil and gas development if the lease holders are willing sellers.
"This provision of the bill created a market-based solution to balancing conservation with oil and gas development," said Dave Glenn, TU's backcountry lands director based in Lander. "We are encouraged by Friday's announcement. This agreement is another milestone toward ensuring a strong sporting heritage for future generations of Wyoming hunters and anglers."
The Wyoming Range is home to elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, sage grouse, a trophy herd of mule deer, and other wildlife. The range also supports three separate subspecies of cutthroat trout and is home to the state's largest herd of moose.
Trout Unlimited is the nation's oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization. It has over 140,000 members dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America's trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds.
Dave Glenn (307) 349-1158
Steven Brutger (307) 438-2596