The U.S. Forest Service is analyzing how additional oil and gas development would affect a 44,000-acre parcel of land in the Wyoming Range. The study will help the agency decide whether to allow energy leasing in the area.
The Petroleum Association of Wyoming says that because it’s multiple use land, the Forest Service should continue to allow oil and gas development. But Steve Kilpatrick with the Wyoming Wildlife Federation says new development in the Wyoming Range would harm important wildlife habitat.
“We are not anti-energy development,” Kilpatrick said. “We’re middle-of-the-road. We just think there’s been a lot of development in the … area, and wildlife have already made some significant sacrifices.”
More than a million acres in the Wyoming Range were declared off limits to new oil and gas leasing several years ago, but the Forest Service is evaluating the 44,000 acres that remain in question. The agency expects to make a final decision in 2015.