The public lands in Wyoming do not belong to the federal government, they belong to the people, we the people. Federal agencies such as the Forest Service and the BLM are just the stewards of this land, not the owners. We are the owners.
But recently, an effort has started in the Wyoming Legislature which will in time take our land away from us.
A constitutional amendment is being fast tracked with limited public input by a few legislators to facilitate the transfer our lands to the State of Wyoming. The American Legislative Council (ALEC), funded by billionaires and big corporations, is behind this effort. They have but one goal; get our public lands into state ownership, and then sell it off to, yes, billionaires and big corporations. Oh, this amendment doesn’t say that, in fact the amendment is laced with phrases like “no net loss” and “public access for hunting and fishing.” And in the end there will in fact be hunting and fishing access (for billionaires and their cronies). This constitutional amendment is likely the first of several, the result will be to separate us from our land.
Interesting to note, some of our State legislators attend “seminars” hosted by ALEC where they can rub elbows with corporate lobbyists and big shots at posh resorts free of charge . . . where they are taught how to take our land away from us.
The Wyoming Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, an organization composed of average men and women scattered across the state, is steadfastly opposed to this amendment. Management of our public lands by the Feds is certainly not perfect, but at least we know where we stand, and we have a say in how these lands are managed.
Folks, beware of state legislators bearing amendments that promise a pot of gold at the end of the “state lands takeover” rainbow. This has happened before; ask any Native American.
BARRY REISWIG, Cody