Update: On 3/8/2021, HB 141 was NOT considered for introduction. Thank you to all who reached out to Senators and Representatives to keep Wyoming wild!
This legislative session, please STOP the wholesale transfer of federal lands to the state of Wyoming by defeating HB 141.
This bill requires the wholesale transfer of public lands, specifies the distribution of proceeds from the sale of public land, creates a joint committee to work on the transfer of public lands and allocates them $25k, and yet has no other fiscal note predicting costs to the state.
In 2016, the state spent $75K on a study that identified the values of these federal lands in the hands of the state. The result made it clear that managing these lands would cost much more than their added value, therefore forcing the sale of these lands and removing public access to them. We live in a time in which Wyoming’s State Parks are increasing fees to help manage the impacts of current recreational traffic. We are in a downturn with our number one revenue generator (oil and gas) suffering. This bill effectively removes our second revenue generator (tourism) and puts the nail in the coffin for long-term Wyoming economic growth.
Furthermore, the wholesale federal land transfers have a track record of being defeated handily. This year, Wyoming has a short legislative session with other important issues, like providing more hunting and fishing access.
As hunters and anglers, these lands are the lifeblood of our favorite recreational activities. They are places where we make memories with friends and family, run cattle and sheep, and overall connect to the wild places that make Wyoming special.
I ask you to defeat this bill. It is bad for hunting and angling. It is bad for those who make a living on public land. This bill is bad for Wyoming.
The bill will be brought to the House floor when the session begins March 1, 2021. Contact your senators and representatives and ask them to vote NO on HB 141.
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