Half of Wyoming’s lands are federally managed as national parks, monuments, forests, recreation areas, wildlife refuges, or public land. These include some of the most iconic places in the nation and they help support healthy ecosystems and wildlife populations.
Wyoming’s public lands offer extraordinary opportunities like hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation, solitude in remote places, and abundant wildlife. At the Wyoming Outdoor Council, we advocate for balanced management of public lands that respects multiple use. And as we look ahead, we’re mindful of working against the backdrop of Wyoming’s changing economy. Our state relies heavily on oil, gas, and coal revenues to fund local government. But the boom-bust nature of resource extraction can create uncertainty and instability. Meanwhile, instead of taking the long view, some lawmakers push short-term agendas — seeking state management or even sale of our public lands. We’ve been successful in defeating these attempts by providing leadership within the Keep it Public, Wyoming coalition, and we continue to support keeping public lands in public hands, robust public participation in resource management, and transparency in decisionmaking.
Many of our public lands in Wyoming are leased or already developed for industrial uses such as oil and gas drilling, hard rock and coal mining, and industrial-scale wind generation. Where development is appropriate on public lands, we advocate for “doing it right,” developing in a way that avoids or minimizes impacts to other resources.
At the same time, there are places in Wyoming that are too special to drill. We advocate for conservation of important values like big game migration corridors, opportunities for back country recreation, and the highest Greater sage-grouse density areas on earth. The opportunity to access wild, open spaces on our public lands contributes to an unparalleled quality of life for Wyoming residents. Visited by millions of people each year, these lands also add significantly to our state’s economy.
HELP KEEP SOUTHWEST WYOMING A WORKING LANDSCAPE THAT ALLOWS FOR MULTIPLE USE
The Bureau of Land Management is poised to strip the hard-fought protections that allow for multiple use of public lands in southwest Wyoming in favor just one use: oil and gas development. Unfortunately, the BLM has largely ignored the public as it prepares to finalize the Rock Springs Resource Management Plan to set land use priorities for the next 20 years. But local entities in southwest Wyoming with a seat at the RMP revision table can help make a difference.
If you live in southwest Wyoming, please contact your city officials, your county commissioners, and your conservation districts. Tell them that Wyomingites care deeply about the special places in this corner of the state, and that your livelihoods and way of life here will be undermined by a major overhaul in favor of a single use. Ask them to let southwest Wyoming continue to be a working landscape that balances a full spectrum of uses. And wherever in Wyoming you live, send Gov. Mark Gordon the same message.
You can use our tool below to find contacts for your city officials in southwest Wyoming, as well as click here for a full listing of conservation districts and county commissioners.
LATEST BLOGS, NEWS, & ACTIONS
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.
But if similar plans around the West released under this administration’s “energy dominance” policy are any indication, we can expect the upcoming Rock Springs plan both to remove current protections and open even more lands to development.
Run the Red is Wyoming’s only ultramarathon designed to raise awareness and advocacy for the Red Desert. This year’s race was held on the state’s first Wyoming Public Lands Day on September 28, with a newly designed course that started and finished at historic South Pass City.
Comments, letters, and other documents
Letter re: comments on Converse County oil and gas project DEIS (March 12, 2018)
Comments on BLM’s proposed amendment to the Pinedale RMP (Oct. 9, 2017)
Letter to the Office of Governor Matt Mead and the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on orphan oil and gas wells (Jan. 15, 2014)
Comments on BLM’s proposed regulations for oil and gas hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands (Aug. 12, 2013)
Comments on Rock Springs RMP revision (April 4, 2011)