Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Drilling Proposal Protested.(Final)

Byline: Tania Soussan Journal Staff Writer

A federal plan that sets guidelines for almost 100 new oil and gas wells near Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge could harm sensitive wildlife, an environmental group has charged.

Forest Guardians recently appealed the Bureau of Land Management's conclusion that the oil and gas development would cause no "undue or unnecessary environmental degradation."

"We have an ecological oasis to protect here," said conservation biologist Hamilton Smith of Forest Guardians. "The refuge maintains the last remaining habitat for several incredibly rare species, and is also a resource which provides a unique educational experience for visitors. …

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