Wilderness group seeks land swap

Associated Press


GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) - The Wyoming Wilderness Association has asked the state to swap 640 acres of state land in the Fortification Creek Wilderness Study Area with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The association hopes to prevent oil and gas drilling in the wilderness study area straddling the Campbell-Johnson county line.
But state officials say at least one state parcel in the wilderness study area was leased to Yates Petroleum Corp. in 1998. The permit is set to expire in November and Yates recently applied for a permit to drill.

State Lands Director Harold Kemp said the state is considering the swap proposal. "We're going to try to get a dialogue going to see if we can trade out for a piece of federal land to accommodate those concerns for wildlife and other things," Kemp said.


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