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WYO Range Celebrated as “Sacred Ground”

March 11, 2009

Rock Springs, WY – The Wyoming Range is being celebrated as "sacred ground" this week in Rock Springs. Union workers, faith leaders and outfitters are gathering there for a discussion about protecting the Range, and the Wyoming Range Legacy Act – which is before Congress in an omnibus public lands bill.

The Reverend Warren Murphy with the Wyoming Association of Churches is participating because his group sees protecting the range from over-development as a responsibility to maintain the state's heritage.

"It's one of the few last remaining open spaces and spiritual spaces. It's filled with Native American spiritual sites. It's a place where people can go for respite."

The U.S. Senate has already approved the public lands omnibus bill, which now must be acted on by the House. The Rev. Murphy says the timing is right for Wyoming.

"With the state presently undergoing tremendous energy development, we really need what's left to be preserved."

Opponents of the Wyoming Range Legacy Act are concerned about the ban included in it on new oil and gas drilling. Existing leases would be honored, or bought out.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY