SARATOGA, Wyo. The U.S. of Bureau of Land Management decision to remove 28,500 acres from the December oil and gas lease sale had Wyoming conservationists cheering Friday.
The proposed sale of the land, located on 13 parcels in Carbon County, Wyo., sparked an outcry and opposition resolutions from city councils in Saratoga, Riverside and Encampment and the Carbon County commissioners, according to a news release from the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, based in Laramie, Wyo.
The release says that the BLM faced opposition because the area has never been studied for oil and gas development and the public had not had opportunity to comment on whether the area was appropriate for drilling at all.
"Surface property rights of Wyoming's farmers and ranchers were not addressed before leasing was to occur," the release says.
Josh Pollock, conservation director for the Center for Native Ecosystems, said, "BLM is finally realizing they can't ignore local communities and local wildlife habitats that will be negatively impacted by oil and gas."