Agreement to Retire Wyoming Range Leases

Agreement to Retire Wyoming Range Leases

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Two groups have announced an agreement with a petroleum company to retire nearly half of its controversial gas drilling lease acreage in the Wyoming Range.

The deal announced Friday would still allow Houston-based Plains Exploration and Production Co. to drill 136 gas wells from 17 pads in the upper Hoback River drainage, as planned. But the company would retire about 28,000 of its 64,000 acres of leases within the area protected last year under the Wyoming Range Legacy Act. The company also would provide $6 million for purposes such as monitoring water and air quality.

The agreement with Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association and Wyoming Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife would need U.S. Forest Service approval. Bridger-Teton National Forest released a draft plan for the drilling project Thursday.

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