The Legacy Act
The Wyoming Range Legacy Act is one of Wyoming's signature achievements. Congress passed the Wyoming Range Legacy Act ("Legacy Act") in 2009, after a bipartisan effort led by Wyoming's Republican senators, the late Sen. Craig Thomas and Sen. John Barrasso.
The bill had broad support from
many Wyoming groups and individuals, including:
Former Governor Freudenthal, the Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association, Wyoming State AFL-CIO, Wyoming Tourism Bureau, Wyoming Game Wardens Association, and local landowners, ranchers, outfitters, sportsmen, business owners and conservation groups.
The Legacy Act was about a simple idea: Some places are too special to drill. The Act allows Wyoming to continue producing more than its share of energy resources, while protecting a special place that defines our state. It's been the foundation we have built on to preserve the irreplaceable hunting and fishing lands, wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities in the Wyoming Range.
The Legacy Act and Drilling:The Legacy Act did not affect currently producing gas fields in the southern portion of the Wyoming Range. It also did not prohibit development of leases that existed prior to passage of the Act. Companies holding existing leases are still allowed to apply for drilling permits.
But the Act also did encourage companies with existing leases to donate or sell those leases for "permanent retirement", to preserve the valuable wildlife and recreational resources of the Wyoming Range for future generations. That’s exactly what happened when a company recently sold their leases to safeguard the Hoback Basin, one of the most special places within the Wyoming Range.