From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 3 - April 17, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

PDR funding a no-no

by Cat Urbigkit

Wyoming Attorney General Pat Crank issued an opinion April 9 about whether the Sublette County Commission could provide funding to a non-profit land trust to assist the land trust in acquiring development rights. The land trust would hold the conservation easement for the benefit of the public, but the county would have no direct ownership of the rights.

According to Crank, if the question is, 'can the county legally do so?', the short answer is 'no.'

"At a minimum, it may be necessary for counties, cities and towns to seek either an amendment of the Constitution to allow exemptions for conservation easements or adoption of some type of legislation defining and authorizing conservation easements before funding of such land trusts may be permitted," the seven-page opinion concluded.

Today, Thursday, at 2 p.m. in the county annex in Marbleton, the Sublette County Commission is slated to hear the recommendations of the Sublette County Purchase of Development Rights Working Group, including its call for the allocation of $1 million for a pilot PDR program.

Commission Chairman Gordon Johnston said Tuesday afternoon that he hadn't yet spoken with fellow commissioners about the issue, but felt the commission could go ahead and hear the presentation from the PDR group "and file it for future reference.

It may not be dead permanently, Johnston said, but for the near future it is .

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