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Just Voting Wasn’t Enough

Written by Dennis Sun

    In the last 10 days, all public lands permittees have received a letter from the presidents of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association and the Wyoming Wool Growers Association and the chairman of the State Grazing Board urging you, if you are a public lands rancher, to contribute to the National Public Lands Council (PLC).  

As most of you know, PLC is your voice in Washington, D.C. and in many court cases across the West. It also provides for full time lobbying on Capitol Hill. Accomplishing that entire role, as always, takes money. Executive Director Dustin Van Liew and Marci Schlup, a young Wyoming ranch native who is the manager of Legislative Affairs, are the full time staff who really do a great job.  They work hand-in-hand with our congressional staff in Washington, D.C. to work for you as public lands grazers.  

The letter states, “For most of its history, PLC has relied on contributions from the public lands ranchers as its only funding source. Wyoming, as the member state with the highest total number of federally-permitted animal unit months, has been the largest contributor each year.  Our current assessment is over $29,000.”

There are around 2,500 public land ranchers in Wyoming. If everyone gave $20, we would be at or above full funding, but that’s not going to happen. Historically, only about 12 percent contribute to PLC, and that’s shameful, giving all that PLC does for you, your family and your business – your ranch. As director of the Wyoming Public Lands Coalition and on behalf of the other representatives, we thank you greatly if you contribute or have contributed in the past.  

If you haven’t contributed, please visit the National Public Lands Council at publiclandscouncil.org and see all the good the organization is doing.  Or better yet, dig into your old mail pile and get the letter out with the envelope marked “Important Public Lands Information Enclosed” at the bottom. Read the enclosed material and then make up your mind about your voluntary contribution.  

If you ranch on the BLM, Forest Service or National Grasslands, PLC has helped you in the past and is helping you today to be able to ranch or do business on the public lands. This election has helped us, but it will not stop the radical environmental groups from suing to kick you off public lands.   

All the western states except the southern half of New Mexico are members of the PLC. To be successful, we have to hang together and that means a voluntary contribution from us all.

Coming up in the next couple of weeks are a lot of good meetings and conventions to attend, including the Wyoming Farm Bureau Annual Meeting from Nov.13-15 in Sheridan, the Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts Convention from Nov. 18-20 in Sheridan, the Wyoming Section of the Society of Range Management Annual Meeting on Nov. 18-20 in Evanston and the Wyoming Women’s Ag Symposium from Nov. 20-22 in Casper.

Attending any of these events will broaden your knowledge of the current issues and also give you an opportunity to visit with others in the business. So please contribute to PLC, and we’ll see you at one of the meetings.