Background on the issues

What motivated so many Wyoming residents to act on behalf of a mountain range in the first place?

Our unprecedented citizens' movement began in 2005, when the Forest Service decided to lease 44,720 acres in the Wyoming Range for oil and gas development.

The image of drilling rigs, compressor stations, roads, pollution and noise in the middle of a beloved forest inspired people to take action. A single mission united us: the passage of the Wyoming Range Legacy Act to protect these wild mountains.

While the Legacy Act protected the Wyoming Range from future oil and gas leasing, the 44,720 acres of important wildlife and recreational lands within the Range remained under threat of development. But thanks to continued citizen pressure, the Forest Service postponed authorization of new leases until it conducted a thorough examination of the environmental impacts of oil and gas development in these unprotected areas.

The extra time and review paid off. Earlier this year, the Forest Service released a draft of its environmental analysis, recommending against leasing the 44,720 acres.

Citizens for the Wyoming Range - and citizens around the state - were delighted about the Forest Service's recommendation. We expect the agency to release a final decision later this summer, and hope it stays the course in protecting the Wyoming Range. Stay tuned!

Some letters and comments on the original Hoback drilling proposal: