Diverse groups form multiple use coalition
by Wild Lands Coalition media release
September 1, 2011
CHEYENNE - The effort of Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar in late 2010 to direct the designation of "Wild Lands" and his continuing effort to push for expanded wilderness on BLM lands has led to formation of the Wyoming Wild Lands Coalition. Members include organizations representing agriculture, conservation districts, county commissioners, renewable and non-renewable energy and sportsmen.
The Coalition evolved from a series of meetings commencing in January in response to Secretarial Order 3310. The primary focus of the group will be on strengthening multiple use of federal lands. The Coalition will monitor regulatory actions, provide information to the public and support litigation that defends the multiple use mission. The Coalition recently retained a Joint Venture of Agrimind LLC, Laramie, and Custom Ag Solutions, Cowley, to serve as coordinator of its efforts.
Wyoming Wild Lands Coalition is pleased with the support it has received from Wyoming public officials, including Governor Mead, who recently commented, "My interest is ensuring the Wild Lands Order is rescinded and as of yet it has not been rescinded. I wrote to Secretary Salazar in early January asking to withdraw the Order. Since that time my office has worked closely with our county commissioners, our business owners and our Congressional delegation to advise the Secretary that this Order would have had serious effects on Wyoming’s economy, which depends on the multiple-use of public lands."
Coalition members were actively involved in efforts that led to Wyoming’s involvement in Utah litigation challenging the Secretarial Order and in providing testimony before Congress on the potential effects of the Order. "We view formation of the Coalition as a first step in preserving natural resource multiple use, allowing us to better interact with other areas that have the same concerns with public lands, as we seek to preserve the customs and culture that are the basis of our local economies," said Joel Bousman, Sublette County Commissioner.