More than two dozen outdoor advocacy groups wrote the US Forest Service this week, asking it to remove almost 45,000 acres-worth of land in the Wyoming Range from consideration for oil and gas leases.

The organizations, including Trout Unlimited and the Wyoming Wildlife Federation, said the land comprises vital habitat for mule deer, moose and cutthroat trout.

The Wyoming Board of Land Commissioners voted unanimously this/Thursday morning to approve a new lease form that will govern oil and gas extraction on state lands. Assistant Director of the Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments Harold Kemp says the new form puts in writing many longstanding state requirements. For example, he says, it clarifies what deductions industry may claim before making royalty payments to the state. Kemp says the changes have been a long time coming.