From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 43 - January 23, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

PDR program moves forward

by Cat Urbigkit

The Sublette County Commission made a decision Tuesday to have its purchase of development rights working group move forward with the development of a pilot PDR program.

More than a dozen people who are interested, pro or con, in the idea of creating a PDR program attended Tuesday's commission meeting to hear the deliberations.

"Canning the whole idea would be one option," Commission Chairman Gordon Johnston said, but the other alternative would be to re-appoint the working group and have it move forward to gather more information and develop the structure of a pilot PDR program for the county.

The proposal involves having the county allocate about $20,000 to hire a Colorado consultant to assist the working group, as well as another $5,000 to be used for other items, such as hiring part-time clerical help for the effort. Working with the consultant, Marty Zeller of Conservation Partners Incorporated, the local working group would develop the structure of a pilot program for the county, and bring that proposed program back to the county commission for a vote at the commission's April 15 meeting. It's at that April meeting the commission would decide whether to spend local tax money to purchase development rights or conservation easements from local ranches in the county.

After about an hour of passionate discussion involving audience members, Johnston and Cramer both agreed to the proposal. Fear was absent from the meeting.

Tom Davenport, Jo Crandall, Bernie Holz and Nancy Espenscheid serve on the working group.

When both Holz and Davenport mentioned that the working group would like to have some meetings behind closed doors, the Examiner protested the idea as a violation of Wyoming's open meetings law.

The working group meetings don't have to allow for public participation, but the board does need to allow the public to be there, Cramer said, "as difficult as it may be."

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