The Red Desert is home to the world's largest desert elk herd,
50,000 pronghorn antelope- comprising the largest migratory game
herd in the lower 48 states, several nationally important historic
trails and landmarks, Native American spiritual and rock art sites
and over 365,000 acres of land that qualify for wilderness designation.
Red Desert is like no other place on earth. The Greater Red
Desert encompasses approximately 8 million acres in central/southwestern
Wyoming, including the
Continental Divide Basin, which drains to neither the Pacific nor
the Atlantic. It encompasses one of the last great undeveloped tracts
of high elevation, cold desert in the United States.
During the winter of 2000, the Sierra Club's Wyoming Chapter posted
a billboard along Interstate 80 featuring the beautiful Red Desert
hills for motorists to see enroute to the Olympics. The chapter
continues to inspire citizens and activists through outreach efforts
such as spring and fall outings to the Red Desert.
When former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt visited the
Red Desert in 2000, he proclaimed the Jack Morrow Hills Study Area-the
wild heart of the desert-a conservation priority for the Bureau
of Land Management (BLM). Unfortunately, the new administration
is looking to fast-track a drilling proposal for the Jack Morrow
Hills. This 622,000-acre wildland sits squarely in the crosshairs
of the oil and gas industry. The BLM is in the final phases of developing
a plan that could protect -- or destroy -- the wild character of
this extraordinary landscape. The final decision is expected in
you can do: The public comment period for the BLM expired in
May 2003, but there is still an opportunity to weigh in with your
public comment. Contact Wyoming's Governor Dave Freudenthal and
let him know you care about Wyoming's Red Desert. Click
here to send comments. For more information on issues in the
area, contact Patricia Dowd at email@example.com,
or call (307) 635-1124.
Photo: Honycomb Buttesin the Red Desert, courtesy Kirk Koepsel.