Top places in America that are "Too Wild to Drill"

Jul 23, 2013, 13:00 ET from The Wilderness Society

New Wilderness Society report highlights places that should be protected from oil and gas drilling

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Too Wild to Drill," a new report from The Wilderness Society highlights twelve of the most unique landscapes in America threatened by oil and natural gas drilling. Covering eight states and ranging from the Alaskan Arctic to the forests of Virginia, the report showcases places that are too special – too wild – to open to oil and gas drilling.

According to recent poll from Hart Research, 76% of respondents agreed that there are places that are too special to open to drilling. These twelve areas represent some of the most special – and most threatened – places in America.

"There are many different qualities that make these places special, but they all have one thing in common: they are threatened by oil and gas drilling," said Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society. "Whether it's the cultural artifacts in Chaco Canyon, the endangered California condor habitat in the Los Padres forest, or the drinking water of the people in our nation's capital, all of these places are simply too wild to drill."

More than 38 million acres of federal lands are already leased for oil and gas drilling – an area the size of the state of Florida. Some of these leases are near already protected landscapes, like Arches National Park and Dinosaur National Monument, and their development would undermine the protections that those areas enjoy.

The report also provides suggestions for protecting these wild places – steps that Congress and the Obama administration can take to protect them from oil and gas drilling.

"Keeping these places safe from oil and gas drilling maintains the strong community and economic benefits that they currently offer, and provides a balance to the millions of acres of federal lands already open to oil and gas development," said Williams. "Protecting these special places would have strong local support, and support from Americans nationwide who want to protect places that are simply too wild to drill."

The full list of places too wild to drill are:

  • Arches National ParkUtah
  • Arctic National Wildlife Refuge – Alaska
  • Chaco Canyon – New Mexico
  • Desolation Canyon – Utah
  • Greater Dinosaur – Colorado
  • George Washington National Forest – Virginia
  • Los Padres National Forest – California
  • North Fork of the Flathead River – Montana
  • Otero MesaNew Mexico
  • The Red Desert – Wyoming
  • Thompson Divide – Colorado
  • Wyoming Range – Wyoming

Read the full report at

SOURCE The Wilderness Society