Environmental Group Asks Governor To Intervene In BLM Oil and Gas Lease Sale

Mar 1, 2019

An environmental group sent a letter to Governor Mark Gordon asking him to intervene in last week's lease sale of some parcels of land native to sage grouse.

The 31 parcels in the state's largest online oil and gas lease sale are in and around "Golden Triangle," an area where the sage grouse population has flourished.

The Wyoming Outdoor Council is concerned oil and gas development would harm sage grouse populations, said Dustin Bleizeffer with the Wyoming Outdoor Council.

The sage grouse is still protected if the land is leased, Brad Purdy with the Wyoming Bureau of Land Management said.

"If development is proposed on these parcels, there are stipulations that will protect the bird and its habitat."

On Friday morning, the governor said in a statement that he will not be intervening in the lease sale.

"I want to stay the course at this time and continue with the process and protections we have for core sage grouse areas - the stipulations," his statement said. "These were established with broad support including from Audubon and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's biologists, as well as the energy industry and ranchers."

Gordon also said he is reviewing the sage grouse executive order and that he looks forward to issuing his own.

According to the BLM, the parcels' leases were sold during the sale.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.