Press Release

No Oil and Gas in Wyoming’s Threatened Northern Red Desert, Report

Northern Red Desert, Wyoming.

Northern Red Desert, WY

Kathy Lichtendahl

Report Shows No Oil and Gas in Wyoming’s Threatened Northern Red Desert

A new geological study by a prominent Wyoming geologist says significant new oil and gas deposits are not likely to be discovered in Wyoming’s Big Sandy Foothills and Northern Red Desert.

The report was commissioned by The Wilderness Society to understand what’s driving an unexpected surge in oil and gas leasing on public lands in the remote region in south central Wyoming. The Northern Red Desert has been identified by The Wilderness Society as a Too Wild to Drill location because of its world-class wildlife habitat, wild lands, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Julia Stuble, Wyoming Public Lands and Energy Associate for The Wilderness Society says the data clearly shows there are not enough oil and gas deposits to justify prioritizing energy development over wildlife habitat and the region’s diverse outdoor recreation potential:

“It doesn’t make sense to lease public land to private companies when the data shows there is not enough oil and gas to develop. It is our responsibility to our kids and grandkids to set aside areas like the Northern Red Desert and Big Sandy Foothills for traditional uses, like hunting, fishing, and camping, and to prioritize growing our outdoor recreation economy.”

“Now, more than ever, Wyoming needs to be smart about our economic recovery and how we use public lands. Lands with low oil and gas potential should not be leased for rock-bottom prices. Our future depends on prioritizing the best wildlife habitats and recreational hot-spots, not selling them off to the lowest bidder.”

A copy of the report will be sent to the Bureau of Land Management to help guide future oil and gas development away from this sensitive landscape. The BLM is currently updating the Rock Springs Resource Management Plan which will determine whether they will seek to develop the Northern Red Desert and Big Sandy Foothills in the future. A draft plan is expected later this year.