Hoback / PXP Victory
You did it! The Hoback Basin has been saved. Plains Exploration and Production abandoned its plans to drill in the Upper Hoback Basin after the Trust for Public Land negotiated a historic agreement to purchase all of the company’s leases.
The leases on the forest have now been retired forever thanks to the Wyoming Range Legacy Act, thus protecting this area from future development for generations to come. The $8.75 million lease buyout is a win-win business deal and long-sought solution that respects the interests of the company and the interests of local sportsmen, labor groups, ranchers, and other private citizens.
It's the culmination of years of work by a truly diverse group of Wyoming citizens who came together to prevent the development of this major gas field -- a field that nearly everyone agreed would have been a bad idea for western Wyoming's wildlife, air quality, and one of its most special places.
During the public announcement of the deal on October 5, 2012, Susan Thomas, widow of Wyoming Sen. Craig Thomas, spoke about her husband who originally developed the framework for what would become the Wyoming Range Legacy Act, which passed in 2009, two years after his death.
"There is no doubt that Craig believed in energy development and exploration," Susan Thomas said. "He also believed in special places that help give the balance that Wyoming people wanted."
During the same event, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead also offered his support for the deal.
"This story represents a respect for the valid lease rights and a respect and recognition of the value of conservation," Gov. Matt Mead said. "What this is, is a local idea, a local passion, that created a Wyoming cure."
Thank you to all the citizens who stood up and spent time on this. We couldn’t have done this without you.