The State Board of Land Commissioners (SBLC) met in Cheyenne Thursday for a regular meeting. Per their request, the board heard a 15 minute presentation from the attorney for the Casper Mountain Preservation Alliance group, Marcy Bramlet.

"Kyle True said these are not special lands worthy of protection," began Bramlet before showing the board pictures to demonstrate otherwise.

Bramlet's main point centered on notice, or "lack thereof" and due process, citing the Wyoming Constitution's Article 1, Section 6: "No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law" arguing that the Constitution requires notice and due process if the government permitted a lease or mining activity that could result in property depravation.

Bramlet says there is no evidence that there was adequate notice provided before leases were approved.

"Due processes declare life, liberty and land as our most sacred values" said Bramlet, who acknowledged that extractive industries are the foundation of Wyoming's economy, but believes failure to protect the lands from the people who depend on them is a failure of the care required Constitutionally. "Notice must be meaningful, which means full disclosure of the facts in a time where people can think, speak, be heard, and act if necessary."

The CMPA now has over 9,000 signatures, significant growth since the last SBLC/SLIB meeting held in Casper at the Thyra Thompson building.

"Kyle True admitted that Prism has been intentionally clandestine on the lease on state lands saying they wanted to 'dot all their I's and cross all their T's before telling residents.' This secrecy put Prism months if not a year ahead of the residents, stakeholders, and people of Natrona County" provided Bramlet.

The attorney claims Prism asked the CMPA to meet, which the group accepted on the condition that they be provided basic mine plan information ahead of time. Kyle True allegedly responded saying Prism would not make information available that wasn't already on their website, Facebook, and Youtube.

Bramlet believes this can only lead to one of two conclusions: either Prism won't release more information to the people because their plans vastly exceed current representations to the board and public; or, less likley, they haven't done their due diligence -- "a plan embarking on a project that will cost millions of dollars on a lark."

"If this were a board game, everyone should be able to play by the rules on the lid of the box. Not just the wealthy, the powerful, and the rich. That's what due process is and that's what we ask for today" concluded the attorney.

Bramlet told the State Lands Commissioners that the best and proactive option is to start the process over again, giving each stakeholder due process, meaning notice and a meaningful opportunity to be heard.

In the SBLC's last meeting, Secretary of State Chuck Gray wanted to proceed with this option, but the rest of the board was not in agreement.

"What I'm struggling with is that I don't think we can rescind the lease," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder on Thursday. "I haven't seen a material breach of contract that wasn't rectified in the terms of the leases."

Governor Gordon went back to Bramlet's Constitution reference, saying it has been an issue the state has wrestled with for years . How is it possible to notify everyone?

"Where dose the citizen's responsibility reside?" said the governor. "It seems to me they were properly notified according to law, and maybe that wasn't constitutional. So many of these matters come up on a regular basis, not just sand and gravel, also oil and gas leases that have been on that particular piece of land in the past."

Bramlet answered that it would be reasonable for commissioners to notify residents within a certain radius, like one mile, of the proposed gravel pit.

Engineer Jason Knopp's property is within 100 feet of the proposed gravel mine. He too addressed the board Thursday: "We did not receive any notice before we saw a backhoe on site. I would've been here and commented if I had been notified."

In respect to the water, he urged the board to consider the detrimental affects mining could have on people's water rights, an issue he says the Wyoming State Engineer's Office will not comment on publicly.

Gordon interjected that the board's reaction to the Casper Mountain Preservation Alliance's request will set a precedent, not just for a proposed gravel pit but for future uses of state land, continuing "And your point about notice is true, but how do we do that? It's an enormous task and not everybody looks at every notice. People used to get the local paper and say, 'Oh my God, look at this.'"

Knopp dug his heels in, pressing that residents of Squaw Creek's survival depends on the groundwater. He doesn't think it is fair that he may have to file a law suit when he has water rights. "I don't think residents of Squaw Creek want to go that route."

"We're going to be sued no matter what," said State Treasurer Curtis Meier, "Whether it's you, someone else, or Prism." Gordon later reiterated that belief.

"Our hands are essentially tied. I'm not going to pander to you and tell you we're going to fix this thing, and the law says we can't do it" said the treasurer.

Bramlet disagreed. "What I suggest to you is that you rewind the clock and we play this on a fair and even footing. That's fundamental fairness and that's what is required by the Constitution."

Members of the board were divided.

Gray said, "I want to be clear, I do not think the board does not have the authority to rescind a lease. I think there's also a lot here on the treasurer's point to say there's nothing here for the board to examine anymore, I disagree with that. One of the things is the permitting process. One of the things I was hoping you could get into is where this is. I've gotten a lot of emails and I went back and forth with DEQ a little bit because I think there was some different interpretation on where this is in the process."

Further the State Auditor Kristi Racines said she believes the board has the ability to rescind the lease, but that the aftermath is "pretty clear" and could put the state board and CMPA in worse off circumstances. "I ultimately think we end up in a lot worse situation there" and suggested coming to some balances to get through this.

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