Conservationists to Buy Land to Prevent Gas Drilling

Conservationists to Buy Land to Prevent Gas Drilling

A land conservation group has reached a long-sought agreement to prevent a gas drilling project in northwest Wyoming by buying out a vast area of mineral leases inside Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The Trust for Public Land tells The Associated Press it plans to buy out 58,000 acres of oil and gas leases owned by Houston-based Plains Exploration and Production Co. for $8.75 million.

PXP confirms the agreement, to be formally announced Friday. The deal would end PXP's plans to drill 136 gas wells near the Hoback River headwaters inside the national forest.

The San Francisco-based trust is launching a fundraising effort to close the deal. Trust officials say they have secured $4.5 million but need to raise $4.25 million by Dec. 31.

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