From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 6, Number 24 - September 7, 2006
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Public lands policy proposed

by Cat Urbigkit

What should be the Sublette County government’s official position on wild and scenic river or wilderness designations in the county? What policy should our county government put forth to federal officials for dealing with mineral extraction, grazing or predators?

Those are questions reviewers need to have in mind when perusing the final draft of the Sublette County Public Land Policy document currently available in the county planning and zoning office.

The draft calls for hunting to be the preferred method of population control for game species and opposes the “creation or expansion of grizzly bear, wolf, wolverine, lynx populations, habitats, protection, ranges or migration corridors.”

The county will favor “quickly and effectively adjusting wildlife population goals and population census numbers in response to variations in the amount of available forage caused by catastrophic events, drought, or other climatic adjustments.”

The county’s grazing policy for federal lands includes: “Forage allocated to livestock may not be reduced for allocation to other uses.” The county would oppose “the relinquishment or retirement of grazing animal unit months in favor of conservation, wildlife, horses and other uses.”

When it comes to water policy, the draft calls for the county position to “support all reasonable water conservation efforts. Water conserved should be allocated to those persons or entities whose efforts created the savings.”

The county policy, if adopted, addresses mineral development by calling for: “all public lands must remain open to the greatest extent possible for the exploration and development of energy and energy-related products.” It also states that “Any proposal or action taken by state or federal agencies may result in restrictions on reasonable and economical access to resources shall be opposed.”

Air quality in the county must be maintained “at its current level” according to the draft. “To maintain high air quality, the county must protect the area’s air from degradation from non-area sources,” the draft document states.

The plan addresses a variety of other topics, from off-road-vehicle use to habitat improvements. It calls for creation of a county-appointed public land committee to advise the county commission on public land issues.

Comments on the final draft policy document will be accepteduntil Sept. 25. Questions should be directed to P&Z’s Bart Myers at 307-367-4375 or

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