WY Gov seeks drilling plan delay

CHEYENNE — Gov. Dave Freudenthal asked the U.S. Forest Service on Thursday to delay acting on a proposal to drill for natural gas in the Wyoming Range, a popular hunting and recreation area within the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Houston-based Plains Exploration and Production Co. wants to drill 136 gas wells on 17 well pads spread over about 10,000 acres on the northeast corner of the Wyoming Range. Some of the acreage is near a rural subdivision of expensive homes and cabins.

The Forest Service says the Plains Exploration plan would disturb about 400 acres and result in building about 15 miles of roads.

“In a historical context, such a proposal is quite modest,” Freudenthal said in a letter to the Forest Service. “In the Wyoming Range, this proposal is monumental, far reaching and fraught with controversy.”

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