Wyoming News Service Story

A half-million dollars in federal money is on its way to the Shoshone National Forest, and the “strings attached” mean locals need to pipe up about how the money is spent. That reliance on local input is unusual for such federal spending. Wind River District Ranger, Rick Metzger, says he expects to see proposals for road and trail improvements, campground maintenance, stream restoration, and wildlife habitat work.   "People typically have their favorite part of the forest. I’m curious as to what kind of response we will get. I suspect we’ll have more projects than dollars."

Metzger says besides letting those living near the forest have a say in how the money is spent, they also get to offer input on who should do the work - and promoting local jobs is encouraged.

"It could be a contractor, it could be a volunteer group, it could be something that maybe the forest service personnel actually do. It runs the gamut of who might actually implement that project."

The money comes from the Secure Rural Schools and Community Determination Act.  A resource advisory committee will review proposals and help forest managers make decisions.  Proposals need to be submitted before March first.  Proposals can be submitted through the Shoshone National Forest website.