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Wyoming-based environmental group disbands

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 3, 2014 at 4:35 pm •  Published: March 3, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — One of Wyoming's oldest and most outspoken environmental groups, the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, is disbanding amid financial difficulties.

The board of the Laramie-based alliance voted Thursday to call it quits after more than 25 years. An office manager will stay on to help wrap up business but the group's other three staff members lost their jobs Friday, board President Ken Driese said.

"The basic situation is we've been struggling with funding issues and just reached a point where we needed to close the office in Laramie," Driese said Monday. "BCA has always been a thinly funded organization, but it's been a little more difficult over the last three months."

In recent years, the alliance has spoken out against gas drilling in the Red Desert and unsuccessfully opposed an in-situ uranium mine in northeastern Sweetwater County.

The group was a frequent objector to federal oil and gas leasing in Wyoming, sometimes opposing dozens of planned leases at a time before the U.S. Bureau of Land Management would offer them for auction.

The alliance will see through three pending legal cases, including federal litigation contesting U.S. Forest Service management of bighorn and domestic sheep herds in Medicine Bow National Forest, said an attorney for the alliance, John Pursell, of Portland, Ore.

The group's demise leaves the Lander-based Wyoming Outdoor Council as the only statewide environmental group based in Wyoming.

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