Editor:

Finally there is some positive news regarding our public lands! A bipartisan group of Wyoming legislators is sponsoring a bill (SF0067) to establish a public lands day in Wyoming. If the bill passes, the governor will declare a public lands day each year. We will be the third state to do so following Colorado and Nevada.

The Keep it Public Wyoming Coalition, consisting of more than 40 organizations, has been promoting the public lands day idea for many months. Rallies, attended by hundreds of people, were held in Laramie, Jackson and Sheridan. In addition, members of the Coalition have invested hundreds of hours of individual effort.

Recreation and tourism is the number two source of revenue for the State. With declining minerals revenue, it is important to promote our public lands which are the bedrock of this second source of revenue.

Perhaps more important than their economic value, public lands are the foundation of the Wyoming lifestyle. Almost everyone in the state uses them for hunting, fishing, camping, snowmobiling, four wheeling, and other forms of recreation.

Considering how important public lands are to the state's economy and to the lifestyle of the people who live here, they deserve this recognition. We offer a special thank you to the sponsors of the bill for doing so.

But this is far from a done deal, so we need your help. The bill must pass through the legislative process during a busy budget session. Please contact your legislators and ask them to support the bill. You can do so by visiting the Keep it Public Wyoming website and follow the easy to use directions or you can contact them through the Legislature's website.

EARL DeGROOT, Cheyenne

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