Trapper Canyon on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains. (Bob Wicks / BLM)

Representative Cheney recently introduced a bill that threatens our way of life in Wyoming.  

While the subtitle of Cheney’s bill would have us believe otherwise, “H.R. 6939: Restoring Local Input and Access to Public Lands” actually guts local input by unilaterally releasing Wyoming’s wilderness study areas without a single public meeting or town hall discussion. If Representative Cheney wants to restore local input on public lands issues, she should spend some time in Wyoming listening to her constituents.

The bill impacts wilderness study areas in Bighorn, Sweetwater, and Lincoln County and our roadless areas statewide — that’s over 4.4 million acres of public land. It would eliminate existing protections that have been in place for decades, impacting trophy elk habitat, roadless areas in the Bighorns and numerous blue ribbon trout streams. It would impact some of my favorite rugged and roadless country in Bighorn County: Trapper and Medicine Lodge Canyons.  

These protections safeguard valuable habitat, impressive scenery, cultural resources, and recreational opportunities. From the forests and big game habitat of the Bighorn mountains to the colorful desert hoodoos of the Bighorn Basin, these lands offer some of Wyoming’s best bird hunting,  hiking, camping, ice climbing, horseback riding and angling opportunities. These places also provide essential habitat for wildlife. Unfortunately, Cheney’s bill jeopardizes these invaluable resources by opening millions acres of Wyoming’s protected public lands to drilling, mining, road construction, and other forms of development.

Become a supporting member today and NewsMatch will double your donation

As a sportsman, I can tell you that I am disappointed. She did not consult the thousands of Wyoming ranchers, hunters, anglers, hikers, climbers or backcountry horsemen and women who use these lands. These lands are our heritage, our way of life; they have uses beyond drilling rigs and roads.

Cheney’s bill makes no attempt to balance diverse interests and disregards a long tradition of collaborative approaches to public lands. This bill is a Washington D.C.-based, one-size-fits-all approach that favors the special interests that fund her campaigns. Instead of bringing people together, H.R. 6939 picks winners and losers, favoring drilling and mining over the interests of average Wyoming residents.  

I strongly oppose this bill and any effort to rid our wild lands of necessary protections.

Join the Conversation


Want to join the discussion? Fantastic, here are the ground rules: * Provide your full name — no pseudonyms. WyoFile stands behind everything we publish and expects commenters to do the same. * No personal attacks, profanity, discriminatory language or threats. Keep it clean, civil and on topic. *WyoFile does not fact check every comment but, when noticed, submissions containing clear misinformation, demonstrably false statements of fact or links to sites trafficking in such will not be posted. *Individual commenters are limited to three comments per story, including replies.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Go Liz!

    Not everybody in Wyoming lives in the liberal echo chamber that sees the bill as the end of the world for wilderness or Wyoming.

    Keep up the good work and ignore the hate.

  2. The truth is really a combination of the responses above. The land is public Federal Land and as such belongs to all of is in this country. However, I would be the first to admit that there is a more vested interest and concern by local people living near these lands . After all, I feel a special stewardship towards our wilderness and the National Monument in my back yard. The ones I visit, know, and love. A little of both levels of interest need to be considered.
    We have representative Greg Walden here doing similar things regarding Oregon’s public lands, These are also your and my lands. Both legislators try to cut out public input, and try to speed up the process of declassification and destruction by the extracting industries. Both will try to evade the Environmental analysis, reports by experts, and will avoid public hearings in populated areas ,
    Let us not allow this to happen!

  3. I was born in Wyoming. I’ve watched my family hunt and hike these beautiful locations my entire life. Even though I now live in Idaho, I am concerned that this attempt to circumvent the wishes of the state’s citizens will reduce their opportunities and devalue the areas involved. I also see this attempt, if successful, as just the first barrage of attacks on the Western way of life which depends on wild, undeveloped land.

    I hope Wyoming citizens use their voice to convince her to withdraw this bill. I will be attempting to convince my elected officials to reject it if it comes to a vote!

  4. On the other hand, to give Mrs. Perry a lefthanded backslap compliment, the various federal public lands ( BLM , USFS etc) , especially wilderness areas and wilderness study areas, because they are federal belong to ALL Americans , with little forebearance to the state and countyr esidents living just across the fencelines. So in that context . Mrs. Perry should in fact project herself into the debate as our federal government representative. for the purposes of engaging Congress to do their jobs.

    That is as far as it goes without becoming a display of her corruption and political favoritism. The reason w e are even trying to force a resolution on languishing wilderness studya reas is that Congress and the federal agencies have done little to nothing in fifty years to makes the permanent designations. Lizzie’s dad as Congressmanwas also an opponent of wilderness, public lands, and basically anything remotely ” environmental” in thesis. He was an obstructor or Do Nothing in his 13 years in Congress on most public lands issues.

    What Mrs. Perry is doing instead is totally subverting the legislation and the intent for establishing AMERICAN public wilderness once and for all. It’s not Wyoming wilderness. it’s not county wilderness. it most definitely not a shopping bazaar for extractive industries and land maggots.

    So long was we make those distinctions and hold Mrs. Perry’s feet to the fires till she realizes she was elected tor epresent all of Wyoming on the American platforms—grassroots, ground up, Wyoming to Washington. NOT to be the federal provider to special interests from Washington to Wyoming by fiat.

    1. I must be missing something…The article names Liz Cheney as the bill’s sponsor. You keep saying Perry? Is this her married name? Thanks

  5. I’m astounded that the people of Wyoming have seen fit to elect Liz the Virginian carpet bagger. As an aside it would be great if you could link the actual language of the bill

  6. Here we go. This is who wanted Liz to run in Wyoming without ever living here. Outside interests. She wants to sell Wyoming to other rich people. I say “Hell NO!!!”. But this state seems not to care about the actual people who live here. We need to stop the Cheneys and their sell Wyoming stunt. …

  7. I absolutely oppose this MISLEADING bill brought forward by Representative Cheney. The public deserves to have input into what happens to the lands that are owned by all of us.

  8. This is developing into a way of doing business for Ms. Cheney. She listens to only a few select parties and then calls her efforts WY solutions. My letters to her on other issues and bills she is pushing have been shoved to the side and ignored. She does not represent the average public land user in WY. It is a shame that a name can get you and keep you elected in this state when you don’t have a clue what the people of WY want. The counties that have attempted to tackle the wilderness study issue should be outraged at the Federal overreach from Cheney’s office on this issue. Attempts at consensus based solutions are being thrown out in favor of her vision of rape and pillage. The work and efforts of dozens of volunteers working for a solution are being ignored. We don’t need her help to find a solution to this issue, We can do it neighbor to neighbor! She should keep the divisive politics of Washington out of WY. It will take some time and effort but a workable consensus can be reached if that is the goal of the parties involved.