We must reform federal land management and access

  • The federal government owns approximately 30,000,000 acres of land within the State of Wyoming, or 48.2% of our surface estate.
  • The decisions made by federal land management bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., have caused, among other things, the incidence of ever-increasing catastrophic wild fires, the pine beetle outbreak, destruction of our National Grasslands, the closure of roads and trails providing access to these lands, and reduced financial returns to the American public. The federal government has shown itself to be less than effective at managing these natural resources, causing substantial environmental degradation in the process.
  • There are many groups that will fight with every resource at their disposal (including in some cases federal funds) to prevent us from implementing new land-management techniques to address these problems – no matter how poorly managed those lands currently are. There are others who talk of Wyoming “taking” these lands through almost any means necessary. So long as we are debating this issue on the extremes – the two polar opposites – nothing will be done, and the status quo will prevail, to the long-term detriment of our environment, our local communities, our citizens, and our state.
  • Rather than working from the extremes, we must find a middle ground from which to move forward, such as identifying approximately 1,000,000 acres within the state (1/30th of the federal holdings), for alternative management and treatment, with the state taking control of – and being entitled to all income generated from – such lands to show that we are not only better at protecting their environmental attributes, but that we can do so at a lower cost than currently incurred by our federal agencies, while also improving access. It is only through an incremental approach that we will eventually succeed at addressing and resolving these land management issues.
  • Wyoming must be more aggressive in demanding more access, more use, and more income from federal lands and federal minerals within our borders.
  • Wyoming should work with the United States Forest Service to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, including implementing emergency forest management techniques to remove undergrowth and dead trees.
  • We must ensure that our state lands are properly managed.
  • We must find a solution to land-locked parcels to ensure that we are able to access, use, and generate income from our property.