Area residents object to additional ag land purchase for Honor Farm

(Riverton, Wyo.) - Residents in the area around a proposed additional land purchase for the Wyoming Honor Farm will have another chance to comment this Thursday evening at a second public hearing. Not to be confused with the recent auction of 302 acres of Honor Farm Land north of Walmart, this 108-acre parcel is located adjacent to Delfelder and Haymaker roads northeast of the city ( ). Funds for the purchase of additional land for the honor farm were allocated by the last legislature to replace a hayfield that was auctioned last week. "It's a very big issue for us in this neighborhood, our community," said Brandan Hahn, whose family farm is adjacent to the land in question. "A lot of our concerns surround safety issues that haven't been addressed. There is no buffer between the proposed purchase and our properties." Another area resident, Colleen Forbis, also noted that if the sale goes through, property values will be negatively impacted. She also expressed concerns over safety now and in the future. "The Honor Farm itself, in 2014, said they did not want to have a separate piece of land away from their section because it would be harder to control," she said. "Most people out here didn't even know about this until the first public hearing had already been held." Forbis said the State Lands Office was lobbied so a second hearing could be held on the issue. She also said a Facebook page opposed to the sale had been created to promote the hearing and give the issue more visibility. "If I were to subdivide my property, I would have to notify my adjacent land owners. You would think if a correctional facility was to purchase land, they should also notify adjacent land owners, but this wasn't done," Hahn said. "Perhaps it is time for the Honor Farm to reevaluate their agriculture operation, they could diminish their cattle or wild horse herds if they don't have enough hay. Or they could buy the hay they need from their neighbors rather than expand." The public hearing will be held at 5:30 P.M. Thursday, April 21, 2016, at Central Wyoming College's Intertribal Center, Room 125. *Feature Photo: Entrance to the Wyoming Honor Farm north of Riverton