Wilderness group seeks land swap
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
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.