"In a bid to bring Congress into the fray over the Bureau of Land Management’s controversial draft Rock Springs Management Plan, Rep. Harriet Hagman has introduced a bill to block it." Cowboy State Daily
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The Sweetwater GOP stands with the Sweetwater County Board of County Commissioners and staff for their strong stance on this issue.
Reacting to the news Friday, Sweetwater County Commissioner Taylor Jones told Cowboy State Daily that he appreciates Hageman’s support. Much of the land in the plan is in Sweetwater County in southwest Wyoming.
“I certainly appreciate and applaud any support we get from our delegation in Washington, D.C., and Representative Hageman for what she’s trying to do,” he said. “We need all the help we can get.”
He said that he agrees with the bill’s goal of starting the process over and encouraging the BLM to “sit down and have reasonable conversations with stakeholders” in Sweetwater County and the rest of Wyoming.
“Any help we can get is greatly appreciated. I don’t know whether or not her (Hageman’s) actions will bear fruit, but I certainly hope so,” Jones said.
He added that Sweetwater County Land Use Director Eric Bingham combed through the draft RMP and calculated its potential impacts on the county’s revenue.
The results don’t look good, Jones said.
The county’s annual total oil and gas tax revenues could shrink from $16.9 million to $4.3 million, he said. Revenue for local school districts could shrink from $8.5 million to about $2.9 million, and the county government’s share is estimated to drop from $2.9 million to $736,000.
Sweetwater GOP agrees with the comments by BLM Deputy State Director of Communications Brad Purdy regarding public comment and we encourage everyone to check out our website for links to comment.
Comments can make a huge difference, Purdy said.
“We are still in the draft phase. We are still right in the middle of public comments. I think a lot of people might roll their eyes and say, ‘The BLM isn’t going to pay attention to my comment,’ but we will,” Purdy said. “I just want to stress how important the public comment period is for the people of Sweetwater County and the Rock Springs area. This is the time to file comments.”
He added that while the draft’s Alternatives A and B have had the most attention, people filing comments shouldn’t hesitate to make their cases for Alternatives C and D.
Alternative A proposes leaving things as they are. Alternative B leans heavily toward conservation. Alternative C skews the other way toward as much energy development and other heavy uses as possible. Alternative D would strike a balance between the extremes.