Wyoming Governor Freudenthal Not Running for Re-election

WYOMING GOV. DAVE FREUDENTHAL HAS ANNOUNCED he will not run for re-election in 2010.

“We are here today, in part, to confirm that I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2010,” Freudenthal said. “This decision is not made lightly but enjoys strong support from my family. I suspect this statement comes as no surprise to most observers of the Wyoming political scene.”

The Wyoming Outdoor Council would like to express its sincere gratitude for the governor’s service to this great state, and his work to find balance between energy production and the conservation of Wyoming’s outdoor heritage.

“We are disappointed that we won’t have the opportunity to work with the governor for an additional four years,” said Laurie Milford, the Council’s executive director. “While it’s true that our relationship has had its difficult turns from time to time, it’s also true that the governor has been a strong supporter of many of the values that we see as core to the Council’s interests.”

Freudenthal was a staunch supporter of the Wyoming Range Legacy Act, which removed 1.2 million acres of Wyoming’s namesake mountains from future oil and gas drilling. His support was crucial to that bill’s passage.

He also advocated and helped ensure the protection of critical big game migration corridors in the Upper Green River valley when the Bureau of Land Management recently revamped its management plan for public lands in the Pinedale region.

He has consistently told the BLM it must do a better job protecting open spaces.

The governor staffed the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality with many people who have a genuine commitment to protecting Wyoming’s environment.

PARALLEL PRIORITIES

DURING THE PRESS CONFERENCE this morning in which he made his announcement, the governor was asked about some of his priorities for the balance of his term. Most that he listed are also priorities for the Wyoming Outdoor Council including wind energy, pipelines and electricity transmission, hydraulic fracturing, carbon sequestration, and advanced coal technologies.

“Most of these are topics that we discussed with the governor last week,” Milford said. “It’s gratifying to know that he places an emphasis on addressing many of the same things that we believe can have a direct affect the future of Wyoming’s open spaces, its rivers and streams, recreational opportunities, air and wildlife.”

While the governor did not specifically mention the ongoing BLM management plan revisions throughout the state, the Council is confident that he will continue to exert a strong influence on these processes, she said. The governor’s office is a powerful voice and one that the BLM pays attention to, particularly since Governor Freudenthal enjoys a longtime friendship with Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

The Council will work hard to encourage the governor to leverage that relationship in ways that will best protect areas that are under BLM review.

Freudenthal acknowledged during the press conference that he waited to make this plans known until after the Legislature had largely finished its biennium budget, in order to avoid a lame-duck status and, he joked, to “give legislators something to worry about.”

Media Contact: Laurie Milford, Wyoming Outdoor Council, 307-721-7610; laurie@wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org.

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