High Plains Initiative releases final document

The High Plains Initiative [HPI] recently released its final document, making it available on the Building the Wyoming We Want website.

The document’s release concludes a 16-month regional planning process in Platte and Goshen counties. HPI’s final document is 48 pages long. It contains six chapters: Introduction, Public Process, Values, Population and Land Use Trends, Alternative Growth Scenarios, and Conclusions.

The mission of HPI is stated as: “Thinking together about what we want this region to be like for our children and grandchildren.”

On page three, HPI committee members expressed their hope that the document would be useful in helping elected officials maintain safe and friendly communities without resorting to intrusive regulations or diminishing property rights. Growth in Platte and Goshen counties has been static for decades. The authors of the document make a case that planning is needed in light of the region’s potential growth from wind and oil development.

Planning is also important if a boom does not come: “Even if our counties continue to experience flat or declining population, our communities still face hard decisions on how to pay for aging infrastructure with a limited revenue stream,” according to the document. (Page 3).

On page 15 the HPI Executive Committee acknowledged that the public strongly valued property rights, low taxes, and minimal regulation: “Although these values were not identified in the initial [summer 2010] survey, the HPI Steering Committee addressed these concerns in their discussions and they are noted in this report.” (Page 8).

The document also noted that public input: “changed the visioning process to better fit the region.” (Page 17.)

A listing of the financial supporters of BW3 and HPI, and a list of Platte and Goshen County residents who served on the steering committee can be found on pages 44-47.

Read the full report by downloading this PDF.

— Gregory Nickerson, WyoFile writer

Gregory Nickerson worked as government and policy reporter for WyoFile from 2012-2015. He studied history at the University of Wyoming. Follow Greg on Twitter at @GregNickersonWY and on www.facebook.com/GregoryNickersonWriter/

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