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It’s Federal Lands Time

Written by Dennis Sun

“The issues are ruled by those who show up” is an old saying that has proved true over time, again and again. In today’s fast-paced world, it may be easier to write something for the record, but to be “in the know” on the issues and provide direction for organizations and agencies, one has to show up in person.

With the federal lands issues around the state, it is more important to show up, especially if they affect you and your ranch or business with the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service or National Grasslands. Even though the last few years’ litigation seems to be the norm as the White House appears to make all the decisions, showing up is important.

A great place to show up for information, conversation and assistance in making decisions on federal lands is Cody on Sept. 9-12 at the Holiday Inn for the 2015 Public Lands Council (PLC) Annual Meeting. It promises to be another informative meeting this year, with plenty of speakers from around the country and Washington, D.C.

As most of you know, PLC is an organization that was started years ago by ranchers from Wyoming to help those who graze on BLM-, Forest Service- or National Grasslands-managed lands. The organization has a director from each of the states represented along with state members. Wyoming is represented by myself as director and the Wyoming Public Lands Coalition, with Shaun Sims from Wyoming Wool Growers (WWGA), Rick Meyers from the Wyoming State Grazing Board (WSGB) and Jim Hellyer from Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA) as delegates. Also Jim Magagna, executive vice president of WSGA, Amy Hendrickson, executive director of WWGA, and Dick Loper, federal lands consultant of WSGB, are members of the Wyoming Coalition.

The Public Lands Council has three national officers, with Brenda Richards from Idaho as the president, and a staff of two – Dustin Van Liew as executive director and Marci Schlup as the Legislative Affairs manager. Marci is a young lady from Douglas who worked with Senator Barrasso for many years. They both do an excellent job working with members of Congress, their staffs and heads of federal agencies, a task that is not too easy these days.

The meeting starts with the Trust Board of Directors meeting at noon on Sept. 9, with a welcome BBQ that evening at the K3 Guest Ranch. On Sept. 10, the general meeting will be held all day, with dinner on your own. Sept 11 will start off with a Board of Directors meeting, followed by the business meeting with the full body and a banquet at the Buffalo Bill Museum that evening. The final day, Sept. 12, will be a range tour of the Two Dot Ranch, scheduled to end in the early afternoon.

Wyoming’s Congressional Delegation and Governor Matt Mead have been invited to speak at the conference. We hope they can attend, as they all are leaders in federal land issues.

If you are interested in attending, get on the PLC website, publiclandscouncil.org, for more information and to register for the meeting. There are room blocks available until Aug. 31 at the Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn and the Buffalo Bill Village cabins. You can register for only a single day or the entire event, and spouses are welcome. There is a lot to do in Cody with the museum and some great restaurants to dine at, so it’s a great chance to get out of town and get more information on the issues that are important today.

If you deal in public lands, we hope to see you there.