Bill To Take Back Federal Lands Moves Forward

Feb 13, 2014

A bill that would set up a committee to look into the possibility of the state transferring, acquiring, and managing federal lands has been given initial approval in the Wyoming Senate.

That's despite questions about the goal of the committee and whether the effort is worthwhile.   Senator John Schiffer wanted more clarification on what the committee is supposed to actually accomplish.

Senator Larry Hicks says it's important for the state to find ways to acquire federal lands, but opponents say that's a lost cause.  Devils Tower Senator Ogden Driskill says even if the state can manage federal land, it's worth it.

"We've got brown forests all the way across Wyoming.  They've done really a poor job overall of managing our federal ground in the state of Wyoming.  The state has shown great propensity to be able to manage on a much higher level than the federal government does."

The bill passed on a voice vote and will be debated by the Senate two more times.