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Adobe Town Protesters Hope for Attention in D.C.

March 24, 2009

Lander, WY – Conservation and labor groups have filed a protest with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over plans to auction oil and gas leases in Adobe Town and the McCullough Peaks areas next month. Both are citizen-proposed wilderness zones and, under new BLM rules, protested leases must be reviewed in Washington, D.C.

Wyoming Outdoor Council Executive Director Laurie Milford cites strong public support for the state's "rare and uncommon" designation for Adobe Town. While that label doesn't stop oil and gas development, she says, it shows why leasing should be reviewed.

"This is a special area and it does deserve a second look. There are intricate badlands, towering cliffs, spires and arches, like you'd think you might find in a national park."

According to Milford, most of the land already leased for oil and gas drilling in Wyoming has yet to be developed, so she believes potential domestic production would not be hurt by setting heritage lands aside.

"Some 13 million acres in Wyoming have already been leased for oil and gas. There are many areas in those current leases where oil and gas drilling is right, where it's appropriate."

The lease sale is promoted as important for domestic energy production. The Wyoming Outdoor Council is one of the groups that filed the protest; the Wyoming AFL-CIO also has joined the effort.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY