“We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was...”
-Lyndon B. Johnson
Palisades Wilderness Study Area near Jackson | Photo courtesy EcoFlight
Wilderness Study Areas up for Debate
It was President Lyndon B. Johnson who said: "If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it."
We couldn't agree more. That is why we are involved in a statewide initiative that is discussing the future of Wyoming's 45 Wilderness Study Areas, 700,000 acres of BLM and Forest Service lands that are currently managed as de facto wilderness.
The goal of the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative, launched in November 2015 by the Wyoming County Commissioner's Association, is to forward a major lands package to U.S. Congress that delineates the status of WSAs, be it wilderness designation or release from protection, which could result in development and loss of wild lands.
Given the current political climate, we believe our state is lucky to have its WSAs. We are actively engaged in this collaborative process to ensure that there is no net loss of these critical wilderness-quality lands.
McCullogh Peaks WSA | LightAlive Photography
Eight counties have formed committees so far, deliberating over 21 of the 45 WSAs in the state.
For more information, meeting times and meeting minutes, maps, and additional resources, visit the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative website at: https://wcca.wygisc.org/wpli/hub/index.html.
Timeline of Events
to inventory roadless areas for wilderness characteristics in the Federal Land Policy & Management Act.
Inventory complete; state BLM delineates boundaries for 42 BLM Wilderness Study Areas.
Wyoming Wilderness Act sets aside Palisades, Shoal Creek & High Lakes WSAs to be managed by Forest Service.
U.S. Congress receives recommendation from Wyoming BLM that nearly half its 577,504 WSA acres become Wilderness. It has yet to act 25 years later.
WSAs managed as for wilderness characteristics.
Major land bill expected to be sent to U.S. Congress in 2019.