At the recent meeting of the Joint Agriculture, State and Public Lands and Water Resources Committee in Pinedale, we heard testimony from the Bureau of Land Management regarding its proposal for the Rock Springs Resource Management Plan.
To sugar coat it, the plan is a complete disaster. They testified that four proposals were submitted — A, B, C and D. The one they selected was Plan B.
This plan not only violates federal land policy, but it goes against the stated mission of the BLM and is in complete disregard for any input by cooperating agencies.
Plan B removes 7,606 animal unit months (AUMs) from grazing on this portion of the BLM, restricts motorized vehicle travel, removes the ability to manage predators, adds 227,960 acres to wilderness study areas and increases Areas of Critical Environmental Concern by 1,319,190 acres, just to name a few.
After dissecting this proposal, I have yet to find anywhere in it that benefits the respective area, or the state of Wyoming for that matter. It removes the public from our public lands.
Why does this matter to a representative in the Bighorn Basin? This should matter to all of us no matter our respective area of representation. This is only the beginning of many of these proposals we will see as more RMPs expire around the state.
This issue will spread like a plague around our state, negatively affecting our way of life. We as the citizens of Wyoming must take a strong stance against this land grab and stop it in its tracks.
The Joint Agriculture Committee has requested a longer public comment period regarding this proposal, and I encourage everyone around the state to submit their comments. We as a committee also drafted a letter in strong opposition to Plan B and have requested it be withdrawn and reissued with a preferred alternative.
I see this as the single-most important attack on Wyoming we face presently, and I hope we can all join together against such disastrous plans.
Wyoming knows what’s best for Wyoming, not the federal government.
Rep. Dalton Banks
Wyoming House District 26