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40 Yrs. of Watch-Dogging Fences, Drilling, Even Atomic Bombs in WYO

September 17, 2007

Lander, WY – Don't just get mad –- get donations, get organized and get something done. That kind of resolve led to the creation of the Wyoming Outdoor Council. Today, the group is celebrating 40 years of watch-dogging oil and gas drilling, private fencing of public lands, and destructive timber and mining operations. According to its founder, Tom Bell, the organization was born out of outrage over what was happening to the landscape.

"The air was becoming increasingly polluted, the rivers were being contaminated, and clear-cutting was destroying wildlife habitat. It was really a blight on Wyoming's beautiful countryside."

Bell says while naysayers worried that rules and regulations would stifle corporations and industry, Wyoming has thrived in the last four decades, becoming one of the most profitable states in which to run a business, according to the latest U.S. Census figures. And, even after 40 years, Bell adds environmental concerns continue to motivate the Council, including the recent atomic blasting for gas and oil near Pinedale.

"Some corporation somewhere came up with the idea to use small atomic bombs to loosen up the shales way down deep to extract gas deep within the earth. This is obviously a huge concern for the Wyoming Outdoor Council."

More information about the group and its the 40th anniversary celebration can be found online, at

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - WY