Commissioners Make Wilderness Recommendations
Written by Andrew-Rossi on May 22, 2018
The Park County Commissioners last week were forced to make a decision that they thought they had handed off to a volunteer committee regarding designated wilderness study areas in the county.
At last Tuesday’s meeting, the Commissioners took back the decision-making power in the matter of whether or not to recommend that an area in the McCullough Peaks and a parcel in the High Lakes area in the Shoshone National Forest either be open for recreation use, or be designated a wilderness area.
Commissioner Tim French commended the local committee for their work, despite being unable to come to a consensus after 22 months of deliberations – but he pointed out that on the other hand, the public made their preferences clear.
Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney has already proposed a bill that would allow for recreational use in the High Lakes area. So the commissioners chose to send to Cheney their recommendations for the wilderness study areas in Park County, to be added to her legislation.
Their preferences are to allow all recreational use in the High Lakes area that was allowed before the enactment of the Wyoming Wilderness Act of 1984, including snowmobiling; and in the McCullough Peaks, all multiple use that was allowed prior to the 1984 acts be restored. However, the Commissioners recommended that no surface occupancy for mineral extraction be allowed in the McCullough Peaks area.
In both cases, Commissioners urged that no changes be allowed to the plan without Congressional action.