Chris Navarro: Gordon Doesn't Care About Casper

In an open letter to Gov. Gordon, Chris Navarro writes, "It is beyond me why you would take away our rights to have a say on how state property is managed next to our homes. I am sure you would feel different if a gravel pit was built 300 feet from your home."

March 22, 20243 min read

Casper sculptor Chris Navarro.
Casper sculptor Chris Navarro. (Photo Courtesy Chris Navarro)

Open letter to Gov. Mark Gordon:

Gov. Gordon I am writing you on your veto of bill 0044.

Gordon vetoes bill that would have required local input on Natrona County mine proposed for Casper Mountain.

The governor's reason for the veto of the bill was the adopted amendments would have required a 500-foot setback between an LMO and any occupied dwelling, home, school, etc. - but only on state lands.

Considering LMOs on private or federal lands only have to adhere to the existing 300-foot requirement, requiring an additional 200- foot setback for operations on state lands makes them uncompetitive.

"How do leases like this go through a consent list, where nobody even talks about them?" he asked. "Nobody gets to know about them. There is no public comment. And I think that is a real issue. "And so now, a bill that will give the public some comment on mining leases on state lands right next to their property — hey, sorry, you don't get any voice on that either. ... It is the board of land commissioners and the leaseholder. That is where this is at. And the public has been shut out."
After taking the oath of office for your second term, Gov. Mark Gordon you pledged to continue to fight for Wyoming values, and called on her citizens to work together to build the state’s future.

What Wyoming values and the state’s future are you fighting for when you know the overwhelming mass majority of Casper citizens do not want a gravel pit on Casper Mountain?

Yet you want to take away the voice of people living next to these mining pits. You want to put the values a few special interest’s groups in front of the opinions and values of Wyoming citizens living near the proposed mining sites.

We live in a democratic society. Why are the wants and demands of the public given a backseat to a few special interest groups.

It cannot be about making money for our schools. The destruction of the land as well as the drop in neighboring property values and property taxes(that fund our schools) will far exceed the lease of $1/acre and 60cents a ton for gravel.

This will only make the lease holder money at a tremendous cost to our state and our people. This decision to veto this bill is based on the value of making larger profits, being driven by money and greed, not the effects it will have on the surrounding environment, wildlife and health concerns or the values of the people who actually live in the area.

It is beyond me why you would take away our rights to have a say on how state property is managed next to our homes. I am sure you would feel different if a gravel pit was built 300’ from your home.

We have over 3000 Casper residents who have signed a petition not wanting a gravel pit placed on Casper Mountain.

Show us you care about our plight to protect our homes and families from having a gravel pit forced on us by our state government. I never received a response from my last email.

If I do not receive a response to this email, I will know you do not care about our situation and we will have to fight it on our own.

Chris Navarro, Casper

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