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Public Lands in Wyoming

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.

PUBLIC LANDS IN PUBLIC HANDS

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. The Wyoming Outdoor Council has successfully defeated these attempts by providing leadership within the Keep it Public, Wyoming coalition.

 

WILD, OPEN SPACES

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.

 

RESPONSIBLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT

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 these uses are not inappropriate in a particular landscape, and in response to existing or proposed development, the Wyoming Outdoor Council will advocate “doing it right.”

 

Help keep NUCLEAR WASTE OUT OF WYOMING

In July, the Wyoming State Legislature’s Management Council authorized funding to study “temporary” storage of nuclear waste in the state. There is historic and widespread agreement among state leaders and the public that the risks to our state are overwhelmingly high. And the reasons are conclusive: storing high-level radioactive waste threatens our public safety, our national image, our economic health, our political certainty, our resources, and our long-term prosperity. 

 

READ THIS FACT SHEET to learn more about the nuclear waste storage issue in the U.S.
and why it’s wrong for Wyoming, as well as browse the resources below.

T A K E  A C T I O N 

A legislative “Spent Fuel Rods Subcommittee” was appointed to study this topic and report to the Interim Joint Minerals Committee in November. The subcommittee is comprised of Senators Jim Anderson (Natrona), Hank Coe (Park), and Eli Bebout (Fremont); and Representatives Donald Burkhart (Carbon), Tom Crank (Lincoln, Sweetwater and Uinta), Shelly Duncan (Goshen), and Joe MacGuire (Natrona).

This subcommittee met on September 5 to hear testimony from experts about the legal and logistical roadblocks to bringing high-level radioactive waste to Wyoming from the nation’s nuclear reactors. These roadblocks are not unintentional, given the federal government’s long track record of failing to honor states’ rights in these matters, and the fact that Wyoming residents across the spectrum have fully vetted and roundly rejected the idea several times in the past.

We’ll continue to work with partners and residents across the state to oppose these efforts, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated on ways in which you can help ahead of the Interim Joint Minerals Committee meeting in November.

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.


T A K E  A C T I O N

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, please send Gov. Mark Gordon the same message.

You can use our search tool below to find contacts for your city officials in southwest Wyoming.
CLICK HERE for a full listing of conservation districts and county commissioners.

LATEST BLOGS, NEWS, & ACTIONS

Nuclear waste storage: STILL wrong for Wyoming

The idea of storing high-level radioactive waste in Wyoming has been fully vetted and roundly rejected several times over the years. Yet the Wyoming Legislature resurrected this bad idea last month when it formed a subcommittee — behind closed doors — to study the issue. The Wyoming Outdoor Council, our members, and our partners have stood together with neighbors from all over the state and across the political spectrum to oppose such proposals. And we will do so again.

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