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Wilderness Inventory Protests An Over Reaction

Karen Snyder, K2radio

Fearful of a “landgrab” Natrona County Commissioners want to contribute to efforts to stop an inventory by the Bureau of Land Management of lands with potential wilderness qualities.

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Wyoming Governor Matt Mead, Wyoming’s U.S. Congressional Delegation and the Wyoming County Commission Association are protesting the order from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

Bruce Pendry for the Wyoming Outdoor Council says the response is an over reaction to a practice that’s used in tracking how BLM lands are used; those uses include industrial, agricultural and recreational.

“BLM is required on an ongoing basis to maintain inventory of its lands for these different values, these different uses. In particular when BLM in engaged in land use planning or resource management plan RMP revisions, then they are definitely doing these kinds of inventories.”

Inventories, Pendry says, are one tool used to measured and insure multiple use.

Pendry suggests that only a small fraction of BLM lands would ever fall into a wilderness quality category.

Meantime Natrona County Commission Chair, Ed Opella, says they propose  making  a small contribution to help pay steps taken in protest.

“We’re scared that its a land grab,  that we won’t be able to, that there wont be  any oil leases or anything like that.  We’re just trying to figure out whats going, because we don’t want to put all public lands in Wyoming off limits and that’s what this thing sounds like on first blush.”

A 100 dollar contribution towards first steps in fighting Secretarial Order 3310 will be discussed at tonight’s County Commission meeting,  5:30,  at the Natrona County Courthouse.

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