Oil and Gas Watch

Oil and Gas Development on Federal Lands

The federal government owns rights to about 700 million acres of onshore mineral resources, including oil and natural gas in the United States. That is about 30% of the lands in the United States. As of the end of September 2020, over 26.6 million acres of these lands were leased to corporations and individuals for oil and gas development. Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Montana, and Nevada have the largest amount of land leased in the Continental United States*.

Rocky Mountain Wild works with a coalition of organizations across the Rocky Mountain West that monitors oil and gas leasing in those states. Oil and gas development compromises our public lands and waters, changes and fragments wildlife habitats, threatens irreplaceable cultural resources and sacred sites, and risks our health and outdoor legacy. We work to stop leasing that would harm wildlife and wild lands. We have been directly involved in the deferral of over 2 million acres of public land from oil and gas development.

Bureau of Land Management Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Rule

On April 12, 2024, the Bureau of Land Management (the Bureau) released a final rule to revise the Bureau’s oil and gas leasing regulations. Rocky Mountain Wild has been collaborating with many organizations over the years to modernize the process for leasing public lands for oil and gas leasing in a way that protects wildlife and wildlands. This rule goes into effect on June 22, 2024 Learn more:

Rocky Mountain Wild will work with our coalition partners to defend the rule against industry backed opposition (legal and legislative) and will continue to monitor oil and gas lease sales to make sure the Bureau is following this rule.

For state specific information about upcoming Federal oil and gas lease sales, visit our web pages for


*The Research Map doesn’t work in all web browsers. I was able to successfully access the map in the Firefox browser on a PC on 6/17/2024.