Cheney Proposes to Eliminate WSAs
Written by Andrew-Rossi on September 28, 2018
Legislation has been introduced that would lift restrictions on areas designated as Wilderness Study Areas.
Yesterday, Congresswoman Liz Cheney introduced the Restoring Local Input and Access to Public Lands Act at the request of Big Horn, Lincoln, and Sweetwater County Commissioners. This legislation lifts the restrictive Wilderness Study Area designations, which Congress never intended to be permanent, in these counties.
While the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative is underway in some counties across Wyoming, those three counties opted not to participate in that process and instead have requested that Congress act to release their WSAs.
Cheney says recreation, ranching, and other economic activities have been negatively impacted by the 40-year-old WSA designation, which prevents access, locks up land and resources, restricts grazing rights, and hinders good rangeland and resource management. She adds that the bill she introduced yesterday will finally address this long-standing issue and provide citizens and local officials in Big Horn, Lincoln, and Sweetwater counties more authority to determine how best to manage the federal land within their counties.
In addition, Congresswoman Cheney’s legislation would formally remove the Land with Wilderness Characteristics designation from public lands within Wyoming.