The tussle over Adobe Town continues. This spectacular chunk of Wyoming's Red Desert has been in the sights of energy companies for years (see our story The desert that breaks Annie Proulx's heart) . But the area has also been designated "Very Rare or Uncommon" by the state, in recognition of its unique geology, fossils, and habitat for sage grouse, pronghorn and other wildlife. Now, the BLM plans to lease 11,000 acres of the Red Desert for oil and gas drilling, including land adjoining the Adobe Town Wilderness Study Area.
Some of the Red Desert lands that BLM offered for leasing in early June are lands that the agency officially declared had wilderness qualities in 2003. They're also within the Monument Valley Special Management Area, which the BLM is considering designating an "area of critical environmental concern".
The BLM is accepting comments on the proposed drilling through June 15th.