Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Cindy Glasson
Reporter Photographer 

WPLI committee forming to look at federal lands


The Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI) has been crafted by Governor Matt Mead’s Office and the Wyoming Association of Counties (WACO), in an attempt to resolve issues over federal lands that have been designated as possible wilderness areas for the next 25 to 30 years.

Each affected county in Wyoming is now forming their own WPLI committee to review the lands during 2017 to make recommendations on the lands within their boundaries.

The committees will have representatives from agricultural, environmental and energy areas, plus local conservation districts and county citizens.

Once all the recommendations have been gathered, they will be packaged together by the Wyoming Legislature for a final set of recommendations for our Congressional delegation in Washington, D.C.

It is hoped, then, that our representatives on the national level will either designate the specific areas as new federal wilderness or remove them completely from future consideration.

Two areas in Hot Springs County that have been designated wilderness in the past are Cedar Mountain and a small area near Anchor Dam.

The Hot Springs County Commissioners have indicated the Anchor Dam area will probably not warrant consideration.

The Cedar Mountain area is mostly in Washakie County, with just 15 percent falling within the borders of Hot Springs County, opening the possibility of a joint committee between the two counties.

If anyone is interested in serving on the WPLI committee for Hot Springs County, applications may be found online at

March 3 is the deadline to file your application, at which time the commissioners will schedule interviews and appoint the committee.

Depending on how many interested parties there are, the commissioners may place appointees on the Washakie County board or, if there are a number of folks wishing to help, they may form a separate committee for Hot Springs County.


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