CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A land conservation group and two energy companies say they've bought and plan to retire oil and gas leases within an area of western Wyoming that's been the focus of other recent conservation efforts.

The Trust for Public Land, Stanley Energy and Mountain Energy announced the federal lease purchases Tuesday.

The leases cover some 40 square miles of the Wyoming Range Legacy Area.

Federal law prohibits new oil and gas leasing in the area though older leases could still be drilled. The lease purchases assisted with a grant from the Wyss Foundation helps ensure that won't happen on the land in question.

Gov. Matt Mead says in a statement the U.S. Bureau of Land Management worked with the companies to balance energy development with environmental considerations.