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Rep. Stan Blake

Rep. Stan Blake

CHEYENNE – An attempt to remove the money the state would spend to study managing federal lands failed Wednesday morning.

But Senate File 56 passed the House of Representatives on its third vote.

Since the Senate passed the bill with $100,000 to study the issue and the House decreased it to $75,000, the differences will have to be negotiated between representatives of the House and Senate.

Rep. Stan Blake, D-Green River, tried to amend the bill to remove all state money. The bill requires the state to hire a contractor to study issues surrounding the state managing federal lands. Without the state money, there would be no contractor, Blake said.

“I think we can do this internally within the Office of State Lands and Investments,” he said.

Another amendment Blake sponsored did pass, which he argued made the bill clearer.

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The original bill said the study should a proposed plan for management that pledges to maintain public access for hunting, fishing and recreation. Blake's amendment took out the word "pledge" because he said it was unclear who was making the pledge.

Rep. Ruth Ann Petroff, R-Jackson, sponsored an amendment that would have required, before any study could start, the state to first determine whether federal agencies have the statutory authority to enter into land management agreements with Wyoming.

That, too, failed.

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Reach political reporter Laura Hancock at 307-266-0581 or at laura.hancock@trib.com. Follow her on Twitter: @laurahancock.

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