Bill requires OSLI to seek development proposals for state trust lands.
Do you hunt on state trust land? What would hunting look like without state trust land? A proposed bill in the Wyoming legislature seeks development proposals for all state land, “including, but not limited to, commercial, retail, industrial, recreational, and residential development.”
How would a new residential or retail development impact hunting on your favorite state land?
During the 2019 legislative session, there was a similar bill introduced. It would have required development proposals to be solicited by the Office of State Lands and Investments (OSLI) for the “Kelly Parcel”, valuable state land located inside of Grand Teton National Park and other specific state land parcels. We successfully saw it’s defeat in the Senate Ag and State lands committee. Well, the bill is back and uglier than ever.
2019 – Kelly Bill
Last February, House Bill 294 (Kelly bill) was supported by 40 lawmakers in the House of Representatives.
2019 Vote Record & Bill
WYHAA lobbied against this bill in 2019. Representative Connolly and Burlingame heard our concerns and attempted to create an amendment to make this bill more favorable to sportsmen. With the amendment, the bill would require OSLI to “Identify the potential loss of public access for hunting, fishing, and other current recreational activities.”
This amendment appears to benefit sportsmen at first blush. All the amendment does is “identify” the potential loss of our recreational activities. It does very little to truly safeguard our hunting heritage.
2020 Bill seeks development proposals for 5.6% of the state.
The current 2020 version has the same language, offering no protection for our outdoor way of life.
Traditionally, the Ag/State lands committee would be the committee to hear this bill. Until recently this bill went unnoticed by WYHAA due to the sneaky committee assignment and we were unable to attend this meeting and voice our concern for sportsmen. The bill was voted on and passed the Select Committee on Capital Financing & Investments on November 12th with a 9-3 vote.
George Washington said, “Laws change; people die; the land remains.”
We are all responsible for the laws that change. The actions we take now will shape what our lands look like long after we are gone.
The bill we killed together last year only sought to develop a few parcels of state land, this new bill seeks development proposals for all state trust land, 5.6% of the state. We cannot afford to let this bill pass. There is no doubt, irresponsible development of this land would diminish our public access and hunting opportunities.
Reckless pursuit of revenue
Even without a proposal submitted this bill would require OSLI to “consider any other opportunities not included in submitted proposals but that would maximize the value of parcels to the greatest extent possible” Help WYHAA and fellow sportsmen put a stop to this bill.
Help us leave a legacy of undiminished hunting opportunities for future generations.