By Mead Gruver, AP
Cheyenne, Wyo. – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is holding off on a decision whether to issue six oil and gas drilling leases in the scenic Adobe Town badlands of southwest Wyoming.
The reason is the area's potential wilderness characteristics, which the BLM plans to study in more detail under a December policy directive from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
Two other leases elsewhere in Wyoming will undergo similar wilderness review.
The BLM sold the eight leases last May and August. They were among more than 1,500 leases protested by environmentalists that the BLM auctioned off over more than two years.
Reviewing the protested leases contributed to a backlog the BLM just finished clearing this month.