For the first time in history, the federal government has proposed significant rollbacks to how the National Environmental Policy Act reviews the environmental impacts of development on public lands. The draft regulations would make major cuts to public participation, and in many cases, completely remove the public from the decision making process. The rollbacks would also prevent agencies from considering the broader impacts of projects to the region and the country.
What’s more, removing the public from the equation won’t speed up the review process — the stated intent of the rollbacks. In cases when the act requires detailed environmental reviews it’s typically federal agencies — not the public — that cause delays. In fact, there are multiple cases in recent years where Wyoming residents made the process more efficient by contributing their local expertise to projects.
The people of Wyoming share a strong connection to our public lands, and should have a seat at the table when decisions are being made. Join us in asking Gov. Mark Gordon to stand up for public participation in the management of our public lands. Read our letter to the governor for just a few examples of how public input has helped safeguard natural resources, outdoor recreation opportunities, and private property rights in Wyoming.
The governor will be submitting comments to the federal government regarding these changes on March 10. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as we hear more.
If you would like to read the proposed rule change in its entirety, or submit comments of your own to the federal Council on Environmental Quality, you can do so by following this link.