Oil and Gas Drilling: Basin and Range

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Oil and Gas Drilling: Basin and Range
Take action

Tyler Roemer

Too Wild to Drill

Eastern Nevada’s Basin and Range landscape is an icon of the American West, with rolling sagebrush, hot springs and geological wonders. Places like the Monitor and Little Fish Lake valleys, nestled between snow-capped mountain ranges in the heart of the Great Basin, provide critical habitat for the greater sage-grouse and are home to many other endemic and endangered species.

These spectacular valleys, and many others across Nevada, are threatened by the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) ill-conceived oil and gas leasing proposals.

Why this place matters

The Basin and Range landscape of Nevada hosts ancient bristlecone pines, a wide range of wildlife and great geologic diversity ranging from foothills to the 13,000-foot Wheeler Peak.

350 species of wildlife
could be impacted by drilling.
Greater sage-grouse
Drilling can affect greater sage-grouse breeding grounds up to 4 miles away.
Ancient petroglyphs
Petroglyphs found on rock outcrops at the edge of some foothills are up to 4,000 years old.

The threat

The BLM is putting hundreds of thousands of acres of extraordinary wildlands on the auction block for oil and gas companies to lease and drill.

Proposed leases in the Basin and Range area threaten unprotected wildlands, important habitat for the greater sage-grouse and habitat for endangered species.

Much of Nevada is already pockmarked with exploratory drilling damage. Yet the state has shown little potential for oil and gas production. Currently, only 3 percent of the 715,000  acres leased for drilling in Nevada produce any oil or gas. Speculative drilling has produced little but left long-lasting scars on the landscape. 

Today, leasing more wildlands will only lock up and degrade more of Nevada’s special places. Once land is tied up by oil and gas leases, the BLM typically will not manage it for wilderness conservation, recreation or other "multiple" uses. This is a problem because public lands are mandated to be multiple-use, and other populations—like people seeking recreation—will no longer be able to access them.

What we're doing

  1. Standing up to destructive drilling proposals

    We are fighting destructive oil and gas leasing and drilling proposals in sensitive wildlands and greater sage-grouse habitat.

  2. Promoting balanced land management plans

    We are working with the BLM and other stakeholders to develop land use plans that promote a balanced approach to energy development.

  3. Advancing renewable energy in the right places

    We are advocating for responsible development of renewable energy development in low-conflict areas in Nevada. 

What you can do
Urge your members of Congress to protect sensitive places from oil and gas drilling. Sign up for WildAlert emails to make your voice heard.