Trump Selling Millions of Acres of Public Lands in American West to Oil And Gas Industry

Whitehorse Creek Wilderness Study Area in Wyoming’s Red Desert, threatened by fracking.

As we’ve just reported, the Trump Administration has proposed to auction more than 3.9 million acres of western public lands for fracking in 2018.

Of these lands, more than 1.3 million acres are located in Wyoming and most of these are located in southwest Wyoming’s Red Desert, an incredible expanse of wild high desert country that pretty much exemplifies what makes the state such an amazing natural wonder.

In fact, the Red Desert stands out because it contains some of the highest concentrations of unique and wilderness quality high desert lands in the American West. Unfortunately, if Trump’s Bureau of Land Management gets its way, many of these lands stand to be sold to the oil and gas industry this September and December.

Check out the map below or click here to see in full screen our latest story mapping series to see what’s going on in Wyoming’s Red Desert, what’s at risk, and what’s being done to push back against the Trump Administration’s assault on Wyoming’s wilderness.

Some of the areas threatened include renowned wild landscapes, including Adobe Town, Honeycomb Buttes, Boars Tusk-Sand Dunes, Kinney Rim, and more.

The Kinney Rim area includes more than 250,000 acres of public lands that citizen inventories have found qualify for wilderness protection. Unfortunately, the area lacks real protection and much of its landscape is on the auction block. 

These areas aren’t just vital public lands, they support extensive wildlife habitat, unique geologic features, and important history.


Imperiled sage grouse in the Honeycomb Buttes Wilderness Study Area.

A big thanks to Rocky Mountain Wild and the Wyoming Wilderness Association for sharing the GIS data we used in our map.

The Wyoming Wilderness Association actually has a great mapping tour of the Red Desert’s wild lands, click here to check it out and learn more about these lands.

In the meantime, WildEarth Guardians is pushing back against this alarming sell-off of our wild natural heritage. Earlier this month, we filed an appeal to overturn the Bureau of Land Management’s plans to auction away public lands for fracking in Wyoming this September. And we’re also gearing up to overturn the Agency’s plans to sell public lands this December.

You can stand with us by sending in your letter and joining a growing number of Americans who are resisting this relentless assault on our public lands. Click here and lend your voice in support of Wyoming’s wilderness and other western public lands that are on the chopping block.

And as always, help spread the word! Share this post and share our latest maps and help empower others to join us as we defend our legacy of American public lands.

About the Author

Jeremy Nichols | Former Climate and Energy Program Director, WildEarth Guardians

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