NRDC acts to protect the wildest lands in Wyoming from irresponsible oil and gas drilling

NRDC believes that some places are too sensitive to drill for oil or gas and should be completely protected from industrial development. We feel this way about wilderness quality public lands managed by the federal government on behalf of all Americans. Wilderness, under federal law, is “….an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain." Some public lands with these wilderness characteristics have been formally protected by Congress and are sure to be forever wild. Some lands, however, have not yet been protected by Congress. Yet they deserve to be, before they disappear.

Last week NRDC lawyers went to court to stop leasing of wilderness quality lands in Wyoming for oil and gas drilling. Among these wild yet unprotected lands, now for sale to the highest bidder, are parcels in Adobe Town -- the crown jewel of Wyoming's high desert wildlands. I’ve been to Adobe Town and camped among the spectacular desert landscapes and incredibly stunning badlands. Adobe Town is the site of critical wildlife migration corridors and one of North America’s most outstanding intact sagebrush ecosystems. In Wyoming’s Red Desert, it is home to all of the sensitive species that were originally there—one of the reasons why it has been nominated by local citizens for formal wilderness protection. It is part of NRDC’s Yellowstone/Greater Rockies BioGem. Oil and gas development would destroy wildlife habitat, pollute the air, and bring the risks that come with industrial use of toxic chemicals.

Unfortunately, despite the legitimate objections of NRDC and local partners, the U.S. Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management are going ahead with leasing these sensitive lands this week. We will keep you posted on what happens next as we fight to protect these stunning and sensitive wildlands. In the meantime, here is a video on Adobe Town; you can see for yourself what is now threatened: