Yellow field

Wyoming Wildlife Saved From Drilling in Upper Hoback!

It’s been almost a year since we heard about the U.S. Forest Service’s plan to allow oil and gas drilling in the Upper Hobackregion of the Wyoming Range, but the wait was well worth it. We learned on Friday that PXP, the oil company proposing to drill 136 new wells in a critical wildlife corridor, agreed to sell their leases and forego the project entirely!

This is a major victory for the broad coalition known as The Citizens for the Wyoming Range, which has been battling the environmentally damaging proposal for more than a year and a half. With the help of the Trust for Public Land, the coalition negotiated a buyout of all of PXP’s existing drilling leases throughout the entire Bridger-Teton National Forest, and the leases will be retired forever. That means the myriad species that use the forest–deer, elk, moose, bears, bobcats, pronghorn antelope, lynx and more–can finally breathe a sigh of relief.

Defenders played an important role in raising awareness of the disastrous drilling proposal. By sending out alerts to our members, we were able to help generate more than 60,000 comments in opposition to the proposal. Further, Defenders expert David Gaillard led an independent effort to document wildlife that travel through the Upper Hoback region. He set up remote cameras to photograph all the species that would be at risk of losing vital habitat if drilling was allowed to occur. See a photo slideshow of his trip to setup the cameras, as well as the video below summarizing what he found:

Tragically, Dave died at the end of last year in a ski accident, so it only feels right to dedicate this incredible win for wildlife to all his hard work. And thanks to all Defenders supporters for helping to make this a lasting part of Dave’s legacy!

Read more about Defenders efforts to protect wildlife in our national forests.

4 Responses to “Wyoming Wildlife Saved From Drilling in Upper Hoback!”

  1. Gertie

    Thanks for all your hard work and dedication,Dave!!
    Bless your heart!! Rest In Peace!

  2. Maggie Frazier

    Congratulations on overcoming the fracking situation in this area.
    A win for the wildlife!
    I am curious – does Defenders ever become involved in the wild horse situation? Regardless of the of the story bandied about that the wild horses are “feral” – these animals were here before we were – and were reintroduced once again. They are as much wildlife as the bobcats, elk, wolves & other animals. My feelings are that they have as much right to live in their herd management areas and to live free from the harassment of the BLM & other groups that are attempting to eradicate them. There are many many individuals or groups that have attempted to educate the DOI & BLM regarding the good that the horses do – as opposed to the tactics of the people who want to be rid of them.
    Would it be possible for Defenders to at least look into this situation before the horses are completely wiped out? You have done so much for other animals – the horses deserve better than they are getting.
    Thank you
    Maggie Frazier
    Windsor NY

  3. Maggie Frazier

    Just watched the pictures from the cameras set up & they were great!
    Thanks so much for what you all do!

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