From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 41 - January 5, 2006
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Olsen's migration corridor bill

by Cat Urbigkit

State District 22 Representative Monte Olsen plans to introduce legislation that would officially recognize the pronghorn antelope migration corridor from the Jackson region through Sublette County, in order to promote tourism and signage along the route. The proposal drew the ire of Sublette County Commissioners Tuesday.

Commissioner John Linn said while the legislation has already been dubbed as "vanilla" (meaning it is a feel-good measure with little substance), he has a problem with the whole notion.

Linn noted the antelope migration is not broke, "so why the hell all this effort to fix it?"

Linn said he feared that labeling the corridor will only result in future efforts as well.

Once there's a name and a label on something, Commission Chair Betty Fear said, it would be hard to defend against future measures aimed at adding restrictions or requirements to further conservation or preservation efforts.

The commission expressed its dismay that a legislator would use one of the five available slots for bill sponsorship on the migration corridor issue when there are such pressing issues such as tax relief that should be dealt with instead.

House members are restricted to sponsorship of fiven on-budget bills during budget sessions while Senators are restricted to three.

"We would be opposed to that, budget session or not," Fear said.

"We want homestead exemption," Cramer said, instead of the naming of a migration corridor. The commission agreed that mineral taxation and property tax relief are the commission's priority issues.

State Senator Stan Cooper told commissioners Tuesday that he declined to co-sponsor Olsen's bill.

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