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Independent Notes: Thank you to Wyoming’s D.C. delegation for their opposition to the BLM plans in southwest Wyoming.

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I commend Wyoming’s D.C. Delegation for stepping out in front of a federal agency and throwing the penalty flag.

Dan Dockstader recently served as President of the Wyoming Senate (2021-22) and also served as the Senate Majority Floor Leader (2019-20).
He is currently a member of the 2023 Senate Labor, Health & Social Services Committee and Chairman of the 2023 Senate Minerals, Business & Economic Development Committee

A group of us in the Wyoming Senate will hold a steady hand and an expressionless face in similar times when we hear something that’s simply, not right!

It’s at those times that we throw the penalty flag. My cowboy friends call it X.X. flag. For this writing we’ll call it the penalty flag.

That’s what our D.C. Delegation had to do with the BLM’s proposed changes in southwest Wyoming recently; throw that specific flag.

U.S. Rep. Hageman, along with Senator’s Lummis and Barrasso called it for what it is, an “outrageous land grab,” and they called for immediate changes.

Here’s just a sampling of the problems it causes as summarized by Congresswoman Hageman, “This Rock Springs RMP will exclude, prohibit and bar all access, management and use of vast swaths of federal land…You exclude not only oil and gas development, but livestock grazing and recreation.”

Acknowledged in the hearing process, the BLM’s chosen alternative could result in significant financial loss for the state of Wyoming.

Also noted in the BLM document, some ranching operations may not be sustainable due to loss of grazing.

This is a significant loss to those living in Wyoming, in addition to the people that travel in from neighboring states.

Plus, the proposal avoids a Travel Management Plan.

Let me add the concerns of my Legislative colleague, Wyoming State Rep. Scott Heiner. On the Weekday Wake-Up program broadcast in Kemmerer, Bridger Valley and Star Valley, he offered the following warning,

“[This] is a big thing we are fighting on the BLM managed land. They have released a new policy proposal heavily weighed towards conservation and preservation.

“That is the elephant in the room right now.”

“It will reduce Wyoming’s GDP by $1 Billion, (that’s with a B) a year because it eliminates any coal leasing, it reduces oil and gas leasing by 75 percent.”

“It removes 7,600 cow-calf pairs from grazing in this resource area.”

“It closes half of the roads down here. And then the roads left open will be closed most of the year, similar to what is happening on the forest. They are only open from July to the first of September.”

“We’re finding that hard down here. This is a new BLM and this is a blue print for what will come in the future.”

“And, I have legislators from Idaho and Utah talking to me,  they are watching this very close  because they know this is what is coming to their area as well.”

Well spoken Rep. Heiner.

Less grazing, less mineral lease access and less motorized public access.

It’s a bad idea from the current administration in Washington.

This proposal for BLM land is simply a disaster waiting to happen and I commend our D.C. delegation, Hageman, Lummis and Barrasso for trying to shut it down in the early stages.

Let us know what you think!