Next week, the Wyoming State Legislature’s Federal Natural Resource committee will consider a constitutional amendment to pave the way for state takeover of public lands.
When: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 starting at 8:30 a.m.
Where: Central Wyoming College, Room SC103, Riverton.
Why: This is an attempted land grab. A small group of legislators are taking extreme measures to try to wrest control of our treasured public lands. As we have seen in other Western states, this leads to privatizing these lands, limiting public access and costing the state too much.
What Can You Do?
- SAY NO. Attend the meeting. You will have an opportunity to speak during the public comment period, if you choose. Having a crowd there will make a difference.
- E-mail the committee members by Tuesday, November 8th to let them know you oppose land grab legislation. Make your comments as unique as possible!
What Can You Say?
- Feel free to speak from your experience, background and values. Always be civil and respectful.
- A state takeover of our public lands would be a threat to our way of life and it would be too costly.
- Tell the committee to vote NO on the proposed constitutional amendment.
For more information, download a fact sheet on this amendment, read the text of the amendment itself, visit keepitpublicwyo.com or view our report on the history of public land grab efforts in Wyoming.
And here is the Legislature’s commissioned report “Study on Management of Public Lands in Wyoming” that concludes such a state takeover of management would be too costly and present major financial, administrative and legislative challenges without any real benefits to the Wyoming public.
The Case for Keeping Public Lands in Public Hands
- The state cannot afford to manage our national forests and other public lands and will be forced to sell them off to cover the high costs of management. The state would not be able to foot the bill for fighting forest fires, road and trail maintenance, and much more. The recent $75,000 Report on Management documented these many costs and other management challenges.
- Wyoming manages its state lands for profit and this same emphasis will drive newly acquired lands. The Legislature could seek to sell off these lands to gain quick fixes to budget woes.
- This effort will result in our public lands privatized and loss of public access. Under the guise of “transferring” ownership or management, it all leads to the same place—privatizing our public lands, control by special interests, and sales to the highest bidders.
- Our Wyoming public lands are fundamental to our character, our way of life, and the legacy we leave our kids. Our outdoor traditions make us who we are. We want our children and grandchildren to have this access too.
- We support our unique, democratic American birthright—envied by the rest of the world—of wildlife as a public resource and wild landscapes where the public is free to roam. Each of us is a part owner of the largest piece of public real estate in the world, and thus, every American is rich in opportunities to hunt, fish, hike and explore.