If five environmental groups have their way in Wyoming, grizzly bears won't have their territory invaded by oil and gas exploration teams on 2,000 acres of Shoshone National Forest. The groups fear that the exploration will lead to road building and drilling.


The leases sought are in the Brent Creek and Lava Mountain/Sheridan Pass areas, where grizzly bears, lynx and gray wolves are known to live.


The groups, led by the Wyoming Outdoor Council, include the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Wyoming Wildlife Federation, Jackson Hole Alliance and the Dubois Wildlife Association. They say wildlife requires the highest protection possible, and that the agency has neglected environmental laws. They have filed an administrative appeal asking the agency to hold off on reviewing lease applications.


For more information, contact the Wyoming Outdoor Council at 307/332-7031 or the Lander Forest Service office at 307/332-5460.


* Emily Miller