Palisades Wilderness Study Area
Protecting Wilderness Study Areas
Thursday, September 27th 2018 Congresswoman Cheney released a bill that would dismantle current and future wild land management of BLM and National Forest land across Wyoming. If enacted, the bill would release Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) in Lincoln, Sweetwater and Big Horn County. The bill would also remove Lands with Wilderness Characteristics on BLM lands and recommended Wilderness Areas on USFS lands statewide and prohibit agencies from inventorying lands for Wilderness character in the future.
Leaders of the Wyoming Wilderness Association (WWA) traveled to Washington D.C. in December 2018, expressing their concerns to leaders about Representative Cheney’s bill, H.R. 6939. WWA met with Congressional leaders from New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, New York, Virginia and Wyoming. WWA delivered over 100 personal stories from Wyoming residents about the value of these wildlands and a petition against the bill with over 2,600 signatures. Thankfully, this bill did not pass. WWA will continue to fight any anti-Wilderness bills that impacts wildlands in Wyoming.
The Wyoming Public Lands Initiative
For over two years public land stakeholders drafted management recommendations for Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) through the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI). This process sought consensus-based collaboration and was limited to counties containing WSAs. WWA sought to ensure that the intrinsic value of these wild places and their need for strong protection remained front and center while opposing weak conservation proposals throughout the process.
Currently, the Wyoming County Commissioners Association is drafting a bill with the recommendations created through the WPLI. Overall, the WPLI recommended very little Wilderness and eliminated wildand protections. WWA will continue to monitor any progress on this effort and ensure that the WSAs are protected. To see a brief description of the county recommendations, click the link below.