Wyoming Range parcels will remain in O&G sale
19,000+ acres in Horse & Beaver Creek areas set for oil and gas leasing April 4th
March 24, 2006
The announcement Thursday of a new agreement between the State of Wyoming and the Forest Service to halt new oil and gas leasing in roadless areas on the Bridger-Teton and Shoshone National Forests will not change the status of 19,000+ acres in the Wyoming Range that are set to go up for BLM oil & gas lease auction on April 4th in Cheyenne.
"Forest Supervisor Hamilton sat down with environmental groups and industry and decided that of the 176,000 acres identified as available for leasing, that the Bridger-Teton would only process leases in the 44,000 acres that were outside of roadless areas. The 20,000 acres that BLM is selling on April 4th are not in roadless areas. The Bridger-Teton will look at all lands available for oil and gas leasing during the Forest Plan Revision, which should be completed in 2008," said Mary Cernicek, Public Affairs spokeswoman for the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
The parcels in question are in the northern portion of the Wyoming Range in the Beaver Ridge area including Horse Creek, Dry Beaver, South Beaver Creek and Buck Creek. These areas are located on Bridger-Teton National Forest, and are considered to have high importance for year-round wildlife, recreation and scenery values. New wells drilled in these areas would be exploratory wells, hoping to tap into new gas reserves that are believed to be underground, but are as yet unconfirmed.
The sale has been protested by a number of regional environmental organizations, sportsman groups and private businesses including Trout Unlimited, National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Wyoming Outdoor Council and the Wyoming Wildlife Federation. Other groups and several local area outfitters have signed on as part of the other protests.
Under the terms of the sale, a lease issued will have a primary term of 10 years. It will continue beyond its primary term as long as oil and gas is produced in paying quantities on or for the benefit of the lease. The BLM reserves the right to withdraw any or all parcels before the sale begins and will post a notice in the Wyoming State Office Public Room before the day of the sale if any are withdrawn.
Based on the official information we received from the Bridger-Teton National Forest on Friday, the April 4 Oil and Gas Lease Sale will go forward with these National Forest land parcels included. However, the leases will be flagged to let the buyer know that the parcels may ultimately be pulled and the buyer will have their money refunded.