The governor needs to hear your voice today

Please tell him you oppose House Bill 152

By Richard Garrett, Jr.
Your voice for conservation at the Wyoming State Legislature

ARE YOU ON FACEBOOK OR TWITTER? Please pass this message along to your friends and followers (see below).

Please let the governor hear your voice TODAY—Wyoming’s only environmentally friendly designation, Very Rare or Uncommon, is threatened by the passage of House Bill 152.

If you agree that the bill should be vetoed, please let Governor Matt Mead know:

  • Call the governor’s office at 307-777-7434
  • Or contact him through his website by clicking here.

You might choose one or more of the following points to share with the governor:

  • The Very Rare or Uncommon designation is simple and modest—it applies only to non-coal surface mining. In practical terms this has most often meant that gravel mining has been restricted. Going forward, it could restrict gold mining or the exploration for rare earth minerals though each of those outcomes is far from certain. Roads can still be used, accessed and built on land designated as Very Rare or Uncommon; oil and gas leases can still be developed. And surface coal mining is still allowed.
  • A Very Rare or Uncommon designation does not appear to have had any remarkable influence on federal land management decisions. In a meeting two years ago in Rock Springs, a Bureau of Land Management official said that a VRU designation is one of at least 20 values that the BLM evaluates. In particular, it does not seem to have affected land use decisions in Adobe Town—much of that area was already being evaluated under a wilderness study process; that is the process that more likely has affected possible oil and gas leases there.
  • An incredibly tiny fraction of the state—less than 220,000 acres—have been designated as Very Rare or Uncommon lands and most of that acreage is in Adobe Town (185,000 acres +/-). To help put this into perspective: there are 63 million acres of land in Wyoming. About 48 percent of that is federally owned and about 3 percent is state owned. Thus less than .4 percent of Wyoming’s land has been designated as Very Rare or Uncommon. None of the area designated VRU in Adobe Town is privately held.
  • The Very Rare or Uncommon designation has been in place since 1976. It appears that about as many applications have been rejected as have been accepted. The process has worked reasonably and can be expected to work even more reasonably by specifically excluding private land from the possibility of a VRU designation.
  • Many important historical places such as Fort McKinney and the Medicine Wheel have been designated as Very Rare or Uncommon. Culturally important places, such as Devil’s Tower, have been designated. Adobe Town has been designated as VRU largely because it has geological features that are found nowhere else in Wyoming (and perhaps nowhere else in the country, if not the world).

 

Facebook and Twitter users:

You can post this alert to your Facebook page or Twitter account.

For Twitter, you might post the following three messages:

  1. WY’s only environmentally friendly designation, Very Rare or Uncommon (it restricts only non-coal surface mining) is threatened by HB152
  2. If you agree that HB152, Very Rare or Uncommon, should be vetoed, let Governor Mead know at http://bit.ly/f5F9UL
  3. Casper Star-Tribune agrees: Gov. Mead should veto HB152, calling the designation “essential” http://bit.ly/ijBrzt

If you post to Facebook, here is a message that you can put on your board:

WY’s only environmentally friendly designation, Very Rare or Uncommon (which restricts only non-coal surface mining) is threatened by HB152. If you agree that the bill should be vetoed, let Governor Mead know at http://bit.ly/f5F9UL.

The Casper Star-Tribune agrees (http://bit.ly/evgMvK), Governor Mead should veto HB152!


Contact: Richard Garrett, Wyoming Outdoor Council legislative advocate, richard@wyomingoutdoorcouncil.org; 307-438-9516.

Posted in *All posts, Capitol blog, Public Lands & Wildlife Tagged with: , , , , , ,

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