CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Three conservation groups are suing the U.S. Interior Department over a plan to open the Fortification Creek area in northeast Wyoming to coal-bed methane development. The Bureau of Land Management has approved phased development starting this year.
The National Wildlife Federation joined in the lawsuit with two Wyoming groups - the Powder River Basin Resource Council and the Wyoming Outdoor Council. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. The Fortification Creek area consists of about 100,000 acres in Campbell, Johnson and Sheridan counties. It is home to a rare prairie elk herd and large areas of steep slopes and sensitive soils.