Wyoming Range Legacy Act didn’t protect 77,000 acres of the Wyoming Range. New approach to be tried?

A lot of folks thought the tremendous victory of The Wyoming Range Legacy Act signed by President Obama last year stopping new oil or gas leasing on 1.2 million acres in the Wyoming Range and Salt River Ranges put the drilling to rest, but no.  77,000 acres in the wildlife rich NW corner of the Wyoming Range had already been leased.

Because the government creates private property rights (out of public land) when it leases, to stop drilling an oil company has to give up or sell the leases.  As a result a number of conservation interests are seeking to try a buy out.

Saving these mountain ranges from drilling has been an issue that generally unites conservationists of all types, including hunting groups. May this rare success continue!

Story: Groups consider drilling lease buyouts in Wyoming Range. By Mead Gruver. Associated Press.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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