Wyoming Range. Photo by Jeff Fox.
We’re about to set foot in Wyoming where we’re going to see some beautiful countryside and talk about two of the things that make the Omnibus Public Land Management Act so important: The land this act would save is land you can explore, just like we’re about to do, and includes places that broad coalitions have come together to support. You’ll meet some of those folks up ahead.
By Jared White
Welcome to the Wyoming Range, where over a million acres of glacially carved valleys and snow crested peaks will make your heart soar. It’s a place where a setting sun will provide the perfect backdrop as you lose track of time fishing a meandering blue ribbon trout stream.
I could wax poetic all day, but I won’t have to. You can dust off your hiking shoes or hop on horseback to experience it for yourself.
The Wyoming Range is unique, but not only in its beauty. The fact we are so close to protecting over a million acres from encroaching oil and gas development is simply remarkable given its taking place in one of the most conservative states in the nation, where oil and gas is king, par excellence.
The story of protecting the Wyoming Range can best be told by the grassroots allies who are helping to make this Wyoming’s most significant conservation success story in decades. As a Wyoming rancher described so eloquently when thanking his representatives for supporting the Wyoming Range bill in the Senate:
“We believed from the beginning that this bill was about balance; balance for the oil and gas industry and balance for the citizens of Wyoming. A state deserves the right to protect and reserve its most valuable places – the Wyoming Range is such a place.”
I couldn’t have said it any better.
The most unique thing about this campaign is that it’s broadening the definition of what it means to be a conservationist and to care about wild places. The Wyoming ranchers, outfitters, and sportsmen who partnered with us on this campaign are not your typical environmentalists; in fact most of them are politically conservative and some don’t travel anywhere unless it’s on horseback. But thanks to their love of hunting and fishing in wild country, this unique coalition won the hearts of Wyoming’s senators who championed the bill.
Now we are so very close to ensuring that our grassroots allies and people around the nation can truly pass a special piece of Wyoming onto their grandchildren. It’s a beautiful story, and an equally beautiful place. I’ll hopefully see you out there, but just remember your fishing pole.
photo: Wyoming Range. Photo by Jeff Fox.
Jared White does communications for the Northern Rockies offices in Bozeman, Montana. When he’s not at work he’s skiing, hiking, fishing, or hunting wild places in no particular order.