Target: U.S. Forest Service Supervisor Tricia O’Connor
Goal: Implement plan to protect the Wyoming Range from predatory drilling.
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) published a proposal to deny leasing to oil and gas companies in a critical section of the Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. The 40,000-acre section of land is part of an expanse known as the Wyoming Range, which Sierra Club describes as “a real natural paradise.”
The Wyoming Range is home to the biggest population of moose in Wyoming, the rare Colorado River cutthroat trout, and large herds of elk and deer. It is also a destination for people with a passion for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, horseback riding, nature education and photography.
For years, oil and gas companies have been seeking to exploit the land for profit, soliciting drilling leases from the USFS. Because of these predatory efforts, and the strong public reaction they provoked, Congress passed the Wyoming Range Legacy Act in 2009, which officially protected 1.2 million acres of the Wyoming Range. The bill was a victory for animals and conservationists and a bitter defeat for Big Oil.
The USFS’s new “No leasing” proposal is an opportunity to consolidate and build upon the progress made in 2009. We can’t pass it up. Please sign the below petition, lending your support to the proposal and reminding the USFS that the public is committed to safeguarding our national forests from the pernicious influence of oil and gas companies.
Dear Ms. O’Connor,
I am writing to express my support for the U.S. Forest Service’s “No leasing” alternative for oil and gas leasing in a 40,000-acre section of the Wyoming Range in Bridger-Teton National Forest. The proposal is a perfect complement to the Wyoming Range Legacy Act that passed through Congress in 2009.
As you know, the Wyoming Range is home to the state of Wyoming’s largest population of moose, as well as the Colorado River cutthroat trout and large migratory herds of deer and elk. It is also a favorite destination of nature lovers, offering numerous recreational activities.
It is imperative that we do everything we can to conserve the integrity of not only the Wyoming Range, but every national forest in the U.S. This means blocking any and all attempts to drill for dirty energy resources in these critical environments.
I applaud the USFS for standing up to Big Oil and putting conservation ahead of corporate profit, and I respectfully urge you to include the “No Leasing” alternative in the final draft of your Environmental Impact Statement.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Daniel Mayer