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Wyoming Range Legacy Act Gets Capitol Hill O-K


Friday, January 16, 2009   

Casper, WY – The U.S. Senate has voted to protect approximately one million acres on the Wyoming Range, placing them off-limits to future oil and gas development. The Wyoming Range Legacy Act has been approved as part of a package of public land, water and resource bills.

Outfitter Gary Amerine in Daniel is founder of Citizens Protecting the Wyoming Range, one of the Act's supporters. He says a diverse group of people were interested in seeing some of the Range set aside "as is" for future generations.

"We have environmental groups, outfitters, ranchers, even people who work oil and gas, who support leaving some of the Range untouched."

Amerine calls the proposal "fair" because oil and gas development already underway on the Wyoming Range would continue, and leases already issued would be bought back.

Wyoming Outdoor Council Executive Director Laurie Milford says they worked to protect the Wyoming Range because of its popularity for outdoor recreation, and its quality habitat for sage grouse, elk and cutthroat trout.

"It's just a remarkable accomplishment to have the bill pass the Senate, because the Wyoming Range means so much to so many people."

Opponents of the Wyoming Range plan don't think oil and gas development should be off-limits because they say the resources are needed to meet domestic demand. Last year, they delayed the package of bills, the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act, because of concerns about their affects on oil and gas development, the timber industry, and off-road vehicle recreation.

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