County Commissioners seek time to digest NPA


Previous to the final public meeting for the West Side Snowy Range Travel Management Notice of Proposed Action (NPA), the Carbon County Commissioners spent time reviewing the stance that they would like to take, as the deadline to submit their comments was Tuesday.

The meeting was held at 2 p.m., April 21 at the Platte Valley Community Center in Saratoga—previous to the third and final public meeting for the NPA.

Dan Runner, Vice President of Loans at Rawlins National Bank, made a comment to the Carbon County Commissioners regarding the NPA. “The general public needs assistance from the Carbon County Commissioners and to ensure that our voice is heard, that our input is evident in any final plan, and to protect our economic viability and our way life in this county.”

House District 47 State Representative Jerry Paxton added to the discussion by mentioning that in this situation, the Carbon County Commissioners have more power than the state of Wyoming has. There is a law Paxton referenced called the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA)—which according to Paxton, may give counties authority on Forest Service roads if established before 1976.

The commissioners as a whole agreed that they need more time to educate themselves on this complicated project.

Carbon County Commissioner John Johnson, whom attended the first two pubic meetings, said that “Given the tone of the first two meetings, there are a lot of issues that we have to digest and from what Representative Paxton just told us, I’m leaning really hard to push this off, at least a year in my opinion.”

Carbon County Commissioner Sue Jones asked a series of questions with intention of demonstrating the complexities within the scope of the Travel Management project. “It is simply not as simple as it was originally proposed to us,” said Jones.

Jones had been looking through the Wyoming State Off Road Vehicle (ORV) Program, and saw that they have a $1.6 million increase in funding, as well as a mission to expand trails within the state by providing grant funding. She asked Fullman how this fits in with the West Side Snowy Range Travel Management Project.

Previously, Fullman stated that ORV trails on the forest are not eligible for state funding. However, during the meeting, she divulged that after a conversation with Wyoming State Trail employees­­—it was clarified that the state would consider grant funding opportunities on ORV trails within the Travel Management Project region.

Jones felt this topic held significant meaning. “This brings to light, to me, that this is a whole other government agency that has a lot of influence on what happens in this National Forest… They rely on your agency [Forest Service] to ‘make your playground’ so to speak … We need to get all the players together.”

The next regular County Commission meeting will be held at 9 a.m., May 5 at the Carbon County Courthouse in Rawlins.


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