Teton County officials ask Cheney to withdraw Wilderness bill

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Teton County Board of Commissioners agreed to sign off on a letter to Congressman Liz Cheney expressing the county’s views on her proposed legislation for the Wilderness Areas.

“As you know, Teton County is home to some of our nation’s most stunning and iconic natural resources, and these resources are a critical component of the quality of life in Teton County, as well as extremely important drivers of our local and regional economy,” the letter opens. “Aside from the incredible recreational value of these assets, they provide critical wildlife habitat and ecological value, as well.”

Commissioners became rankled after hearing of Cheney’s proposed bill (HR 4697) that would open Wilderness Study Areas like the Palisades and Shoal Creek to use by snowmobiles and heli-skiing. The county is in the middle of a study of Wilderness Areas called the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI).

Commissioners are concerned Cheney’s efforts do not take into account the work being done by the WPLI’s 18-member committee. In the letter, the BCC asks Cheney to withdraw her bill.

Efforts to quash HR 4697 have met with resistance. Advocates for Multi-Use of Public Lands commented on its website: “This week our Teton County Commissioners drafted a letter in response to Rep. Cheney’s Bill HR 4697.  This letter asks Cheney to withdraw the bill and blatantly disregards recreational supporters in our community who are in favor of this legislation, which would protect our current access to the Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs) in the Palisades and Shoal Creek.  This letter divides our community and ultimately does not represent the opinion of many Teton County residents.”

Read the full letter: Letter to Rep. Cheney


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