Press Release: Rocky Mountain Wild Reaches Milestone: Over 2 Million Acres of Habitat Removed from Oil and Gas Leases


Matt Sandler, Staff Attorney, Rocky Mountain Wild, 303-579-5162
Alison Gallesky, GIT & IT Director, Rocky Mountain Wild, 303-619-0509

Denver, Colorado – For the last 10 years, Rocky Mountain Wild has been watchdogging the oil and gas industry to ensure responsible development that does not detrimentally impact the health of our ecosystems and native species. Rocky Mountain Wild uses Geographical Information System mapping technology to analyze each parcel proposed for oil and gas development in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Rocky Mountain Wild’s screening tool compares the boundaries of each parcel with known habitat, breeding grounds, movement corridors, winter ranges, and other biological factors for over 600 species of animals and plants. If development of a parcel will negatively impact a rare or imperiled species, the organization engages in the system by submitting comments and protests to have the parcel deferred from the lease sale.

As of this week, Rocky Mountain Wild has successfully engaged in efforts to have over 2 million acres of public lands deferred from lease sales!

“Some of the largest impacts to our most imperiled species have come from energy development on our Federal public lands,” said Matt Sandler, Staff Attorney for Rocky Mountain Wild, “The goal of our Responsible Development program is to steer leasing away from the most sensitive areas while still allowing for the responsible development of resources.”

This work will only increase in importance under the new Trump Administration. During the presidential campaign, Trump promised to “cancel” the Paris Agreement on climate change, revoke the Obama Administration’s regulations to reduce carbon administrations, and lift the regulations on oil and gas production on public lands all in the first 100 days.

An anonymous donor has committed to help Rocky Mountain Wild reach the next milestone by offering to match, dollar for dollar, any new donors at this critical time. Concerned parties who would like to protect critical habitats and imperiled species on public lands from rampant development can make a donation on Rocky Mountain Wild’s Colorado Gives Day page at

For more information about Rocky Mountain Wild, please visit our Oil and Gas Watch page.


Background: Rocky Mountain Wild is actively building a diverse community of educators, students, activists, philanthropists, and citizen scientists to help us make our vision of a biologically healthy future – one that includes a diversity of species and ecosystems, thriving populations of wildlife, and a sustainable coexistence between people and nature – a reality. We work to protect, connect, and restore wildlife and wild lands in the southern Rocky Mountain region through cooperation with other organizations and agencies.

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