Conservation group buys oil and gas leases to preserve public land

Jan 2, 2013

A deal to prevent drilling on 58-thousand acres of public land near the Hoback River has been finalized.

The Trust for Public Land, a national conservation group, purchased oil and gas leases from Plains Exploration and Production Company, making the land off-limits to energy development.

In November, the Trust was struggling to raise the nearly $ 9 million dollars necessary to complete the deal, but the group’s Chris Demming says a nearby resident made a large donation at the last minute. Demming says support from the community was overwhelming.

“From the steel workers to the conservationists to the ranchers and the outfitters, everybody came together behind this project and effort, unlike anything that the state has seen before.”

Demming says this is the first deal of its kind in Wyoming. He says the land will remain open for public recreational use.