CHEYENNE — UPDATED THURSDAY: The BLM has reversed course on five oil and gas leases auctioned a year ago in the Red Desert’s Adobe Town. Five leases have been pulled, totaling about 5,400 acreas.
The leases had been protested by the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance (BCA) and The Wilderness Society on the grounds that the area had wilderness qualities that should be protected. BCA’s wildlife biologist, Erik Molvar, praises the decision.
“It really shows that the administration in D.C. is listening to what the people of Wyoming have been saying for years and years – that Adobe Town is a special place. This is one of those places in the state that ought to be protected from oil and gas development.”
Most of the leases outside Adobe Town will go forward.
Adobe Town is a difficult-to-reach desert maze of spires and shallow canyons about 50 miles southeast of Rock Springs. Besides being home to antelope, mule deer and ferruginous hawks, Adobe Town holds a large amount of natural gas.
The BLM sold the six drilling leases at auction last May. They joined a large backlog of unissued leases in Wyoming while the BLM worked to address protests against the leases.