“In early 2016 the Wyoming County Commissioners Association (WCCA) organized the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI). The WPLI is a collaborative, county-led process intended to designate WSAs as wilderness, multiple use, or other management. The result will be one state-wide legislative lands package that is broadly supported by public lands stakeholders in Wyoming.”
It always makes me a little nervous when a local “collaborative” (or local government) feels empowered to dictate federal land policies (especially where, as in this case, there is a county plan that purports to “guide … the management of public lands” – implicitly federal lands). On the other hand, it’s always helpful to land managers if those with opposing views can work out and recommend something they all agree on. With wilderness designation decisions there is the added layer of Congress having to take a national look before approving a decision. In this case there are also national conservation groups represented in the collaborative, as well as local ones. But there is also a lawsuit by other conservation groups, and apparently someone on the other side ran to the local Congresswoman who is meddling, so the county commissioners are asking for a “time-out.” Here’s the latest.