Copper Mountain next site visit for wilderness study area review

Fremont County's Advisory Committee for the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI) held its second meeting on June 20, 2016 with all members in attendance: Reg Phillips-Ag, Julia Stuble-Conservation, Nick Dobric-Sportsmen, Rick Mickleson-Energy, Josh Milek-Motorized Recreation, Andy Blair-Non-motorized Recreation, Ginger Bennett and Gary Horton-Public, and Travis Becker-Commission. Doug Thompson chairs the committee. They reviewed the committee's purpose which is to develop recommendations for congressional consideration of land use designations for Wyoming's wilderness study areas (WSAs). The six wilderness study areas in Fremont County are Sweetwater Rocks (actually a collection of small study areas), Sweetwater Canyon, Copper Mountain, Dubois Badlands, Whiskey Mountain and Honeycomb/Oregon Buttes. These are areas identified by the BLM in the early 1970's as potential wilderness and have since been awaiting congressional action. Two years ago with the encouragement of our congressional delegation, Wyoming's counties created the WPLI as a county-centered process to move the WSA issue forward, as well as address other land issues. In February Fremont County voted to participate in the WPLI and have since started to develop the process to create the recommendations. The committee is tasked with the job of visiting the various WSAs, gathering historical, current, and potential use information, analyzing it, and presenting a recommendation to the Commissioners for action. This is expected to be a 2 year process with a state-wide recommendation to Congress in 2018. The Committee's meetings and site visits are *open to the public* and all relevant information will be available for public review. The next meeting will be *July 11* at the commissioner chambers in the Courthouse in Lander. A site visit of Copper Mountain WSA is scheduled for *July 14* at 1 pm. *Featured photo: "Trailing cows up to summer pasture on Copper Mountain." h/t Kathy Sorensen / Pitchengine Communities* #county10 #news