Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon filed an appeal to challenge the Bureau of Land Management’s purchase of 35,000 acres south of Casper, Wyoming along the famed North Platte River. That appeal was granted and the sale has been red-lighted, for the time being.
Public land advocates were not happy to hear about this challenge and subsequent halting of the addition of so much acreage which would be open for hunting, fishing and recreation. I was disappointed as well but figured there had to be more to the story than the purchase being halted because BLM failed to “adequately consider impacts on the recreational setting and fishery along the North Platte River,”.
“Gordon said in the press release. “My concern has always been that the process was not followed. This gives BLM the opportunity to address that concern, and I am pleased they have agreed to complete a public comment period, do further environmental analysis and consult with state agencies.”
Okay, but what about the purchase putting more than 35K acres into publicly accessible land? Well, I did some digging with a few folks in the know, who’ve asked to remain anonymous, and it seems this is only a formality, the sale should indeed move forward and put that acreage into public use. I will endeavor to keep you abreast of any future happenings on this but given the amount of calls and texts I received regarding this issue, I thought it prudent to update all of you with the information I uncovered.
Personally, I think this 35K purchase will do wonders for the overcrowding that’s so prevalent in that part of Wyoming. Casper is a “big city” by our rural standards and recreating around it can be frustrating. The BLM purchase has the potential to help alleviate some of those issues and I hope it does indeed go through once the process has been completed.