BLM to reorganize Wyoming officesWritten by Jennifer Womack
Wyoming High Desert District: The Rock Springs, Rawlins, Kemmerer and Pinedale Field Offices will be incorporated into one district. The district office will be co-located in Rock Springs with the Rock Springs Field Office.
Wind River/Bighorn Basin District: The Worland, Cody and Lander Field Offices will be incorporated into one district. The district office will be co-located in Worland with the Worland Field Office.
Wyoming High Plains District: The Casper, Buffalo and Newcastle Field Offices will be incorporated into this district. The district office will be co-located in Casper with the Casper Field Office.
“Our move to three-tier should be transparent and our constituents should not be adversely impacted or encounter any changes from how they currently conduct business with BLM Wyoming. They’ll still be dealing with the same on-the-ground employees that they are now at each field office,” said Wyoming State Director Bob Bennett.
Wyoming State Grazing Board Grazing Consultant Dick Loper says his group does have some concerns about the recently announced reorganization. “We think it will have an effect,” says Loper, “but we don’t know how much.” Lander, for example, will fall under the Worland office. Loper says that means the range and road improvement crews will be farther away, but he hopes they won’t be less responsive to area needs. He says the same concern exists in Kemmerer and Pinedale, which will be under the direction of a main office in Rock Springs. “It’s not a problem yet, but it’s a concern,” says Loper.
Loper applauds the fact that there won’t be any change in the way range improvement funds are distributed. “There was some concern the field offices would lose priority,” explains Loper, “but we’ve been assured by the state office that they’ll continue receiving their same portion.”
Adding another layer of bureaucracy is another concern Loper has. “Before the field managers were only answering to the state office so we had one less layer of bureaucracy in respect to the chain of command,” says Loper. “If we don’t like a field manager’s decision, now we’ll have to go to the district level and then on to the state level if needed. It may slow down some administrative functions. We hope not, but it is a concern.”
The changes, which Loper says resulted from a federal mandate, will take effect Oct. 1, 2008.