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Posted on: October 15, 2018

Board to Continue WPLI Discussion

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Contact: Billy Kirk, Public Information Specialist

Email:     wkirk@tetoncountywy.gov      

Phone:   307-732-5786


The Board of Commissioners will continue discussion for consideration of the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI) Advisory Stakeholders Group Final Recommendation (Matters from Commission, Item #1, page 2) on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at 3:00pm in the County Commission chambers.


Commissioners considered the final recommendation at their Tuesday, October 9, 2018, meeting and voted to continue discussion on the item.


The official objective of the WPLI is as follows: “A voluntary, collaborative, county-led process intended to result in one, multi-county legislative lands package that is broadly supported by public lands stakeholders in Wyoming. The ultimate goal is a new federal law that governs the designation and management of Wyoming’s Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs); and, where possible, addresses and pursues other public land management issues and opportunities affecting Wyoming’s landscape.”


The Board of Commissioners has supported this process in hopes of providing clarity and certainty for management of the Palisades and Shoal Creek Wilderness Study Areas. If no formal proposal is recommended at the Board of County Commissioners level, a locally-driven recommendation for these study areas will not be included in any statewide recommendation to the United States Congress for formal designation as wilderness, multiple-use, or other management. These areas would remain Wilderness Study Areas until Congress designates the WSA as wilderness or directs the land management agency to manage the area for other multiple uses.


During discussion on Tuesday, October 9, Commissioners prioritized “common ground” elements of the proposal and moved to recognize as a resolution or as part of a WPLI recommendation that protection of wildlife is a priority, that there should be no new road building, no new commercial timber harvesting, no mineral extraction (excepting gravel), and no oil & gas exploration/development on Bridger-Teton National Forest lands within Teton County. In addition, the Board encouraged the Advisory Stakeholder Group to make one additional attempt at consensus based on recent discussions and public comment.


None of the Teton County commissioners made a motion to approve the Teton County Public Lands Initiative Proposal but the WPLI discussion will be continued to the BCC’s October 16th meeting at 3:00. Commissioners asked the 18 Member Teton County Advisory Committee to try to find a greater consensus and support for one WPLI recommendation.


More information is available at https://tetonwpli.org/, including all proposed maps from the September 6, 2018, WPLI Advisory Stakeholders Group meeting. It should be noted that none of the proposals, including the final recommendation discussed on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, propose to change currently allowed existing uses in the proposed Jackson Hole Conservation Area(s) (this includes snow machine access on Togwotee Pass).


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