As you may know, Johnson County is home to two rugged, wild landscapes nestled in the southeastern flanks of the Bighorn Mountains: North Fork and Gardner Mountain. We’re sending this email to residents of Johnson and surrounding counties since you may hunt, fish, or recreate in these wild areas and be invested in keeping them that way.
Johnson County is one of 12 counties participating in the statewide Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI), which is a multi-year collaborative to recommend future management options for the BLM Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) in our state, like North Fork and Gardner Mountain.
The recommendations created through the WPLI could be included in a legislative package presented to Congress. Success in this process is contingent on win-win management recommendations developed through a fair and transparent public stakeholder process.
Johnson County has appointed a citizen advisory committee to study the North Fork and Gardner Mountain WSAs. This committee may be leaning towards a proposal to make decisions by a supermajority, instead of striving for consensus among all stakeholders. We believe a decision-making process that allows a majority or supermajority to advance recommendations over the objections of a minority will leave behind key stakeholders whose support is critical to the Initiative. To date, every other committee in the state that has finalized their process has adopted consensus-based decision-making.
Please help us advocate for a fair process for the Johnson County WSAs that includes consensus-based decision-making. The WPLI will only be successful if committees base their recommendations on common ground developed among all stakeholders. No one can be left behind for the future legislative package to be successful in Congress.
The next Johnson County WPLI citizen advisory committee meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday night in Kaycee.
Tuesday, April 18 at 6 p.m.
Powder River Fire Hall
538 Sussex Road (SR 192)
Please consider attending to advocate for consensus during the public comment period. If you can’t attend, please reach out individually to the committee members.
You can read more about the WPLI process and find committee member contact information at the Johnson County WPLI website, and for further talking points about the importance of consensus-based decisions in public lands collaboration, check out this fact sheet.
Thank you for your participation in this important public process! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.