Our Issues

Tell Wyoming's Leaders to Protect Our Migrating Wildlife
Wyoming’s deer are in trouble. The Bureau of Land Management is planning to lease several thousand acres inside the Red Desert to Hoback mule deer migration corridor against the written requests of both Sweetwater and Teton Counties. Oil and gas development could be the death knell  for this iconic herd, by irreversibly disrupting the world’s longest mule deer migration. The decision would also ignore a wealth of new research about the importance of migration in sustaining our big game herds in Wyoming.

But it’s not too late. You can help by writing to members of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and Gov. Matt Mead. Western governors have the ear of this administration. In your message, urge commissioners to talk to Gov. Mead. Urge them and the governor to ask the BLM to stop all oil and gas leasing in the state’s migration corridors and crucial winter habitats, until effective and enforceable measures are in place to protect these habitats.
What to mention —
  • Research on Wyoming’s world-famous big game migrations has shown that animals avoid energy development. Oil and gas infrastructure poses risks to choking off the ancient migration routes that big game depend on for survival. The best way to assure continued functionality of these corridors is not to lease inside them. 
  • The BLM asserts that “lease notices” attached to these parcels ensure that operators will cooperate with wildlife officials to minimize negative impacts. But this assertion is incorrect. Only “lease stipulations” provide legal authority to halt or significantly modify operations if necessary to protect migrating wildlife. Wyoming’s leadership in mule deer migration research provides us the expertise to craft these important stipulations.
  • Deferring these leases (a small fraction of BLM Third and Fourth Quarter lease sales) will not harm Wyoming’s oil and gas industry. Let's have Wyoming lead the way: by protecting our wildlife by using the science developed here.
Tips –
  • Begin your message with personal details: where you live, and your connection to the issue. Be brief, and simply state the action you’d like them to take, for example: “Please ask the BLM to defer oil and gas leasing in wildlife migration corridors.” 
  • Speak from your experiences and values, about why it’s important to sustain Wyoming’s wildlife as part of our culture and quality of life here. Mention whether you hunt or photograph big game in Wyoming, or otherwise rely on Wyoming wildlife.
Ask the State Board of Land Commissioners not to develop the Northern Red Desert!
The state of Wyoming has received bids on 21 oil and gas leases for sale on isolated parcels of state lands in the midst of the fragile, beautiful Red Desert — the heart of the Wyoming’s wild west. These leases are slated for final sale authorization by the State Board of Land Commissioners on August 9. Tell the Board that you want these leases withdrawn and not developed.

Review our fact sheet for more background and talking points about the Red Desert and current leasing threats. 
 
WHAT TO MENTION:
  • Request the State Board withdraw all the leases for sale in the Northern Red Desert. It helps to cite all the parcel numbers, so please copy and use this list: 115, 118–123, 130, 132–135, 141–145, 148, 152, 154, 175
  • Point out that leasing remote parcels surrounded by protected federal lands simply doesn’t make sense. Most of the state parcels have no road or pipeline access — creating threats of future impacts where none exist today. That means successful bidders will encounter access and regulatory hurdles.
  • Speak to the importance of the Red Desert for economic diversification in Wyoming; public lands and wildlife play an important future role for bolstering tourism and outdoor recreation — our state’s second largest industry.
  • There is a better way! An exchange of these isolated state parcels for BLM lands elsewhere that are more conducive for development and access would provide a better guarantee of revenue while protecting this landscape for the future. This plan is already in process.
 
TIPS: Begin your message with personal details: where you live, and your connection to the issue. Be brief, and simply state the action you’d like them to take, for example: “Please withdraw the leases for sale in the Northern Red Desert.” Speak from your experiences and values, about why some places are too special to drill. Mention any of the special places or activities you love that may be at risk, including Honeycomb Buttes, Steamboat Mountain, the Sand Dunes, South Pass, or hunting, protection of cultural resources, wildlife viewing, hiking and opportunity for solitude and wilderness.
Tell the Bureau of Land Management to "honor the deal" struck in 2015 to protect the Greater sage-grouse
The BLM’s Wyoming State Office is accepting written comments from the public on its draft plan to amend a multi-year planning effort finalized in 2015 to conserve the species. The Trump administration wants to re-do the plans to give greater weight to state and industry concerns. This is unnecessary and risky. Although the draft plan for Wyoming contains many of the essential features of the 2015 plan, it also removes key elements that biologists believe are necessary to avoid the need for listing the species as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

TIPS: Begin your message with personal details: where you live, and your connection to the issue. Your letter will be given greater weight if it contains specific comments that relate to your experiences concerning sage-grouse.
Ask your representative to oppose HB 20, and not interfere with Wyoming's wildlife

House Bill 20, “Game and fish agreements with federal agencies,” would allow the Wyoming Legislature to meddle in and even cancel Memorandums of Understanding between Wyoming Game and Fish and federal agencies regarding the management of sensitive species.

 

This micromanagement of executive branch responsibilities is a violation of separation of powers, and puts the legislature in the place of wildlife experts. This is a blatant attempt to challenge the independence of the Game and Fish Commission.

 

Read this detailed Fact Sheet to learn more about HB 20. The bill will go before the House for votes this week. Please write to your representative and ask them to oppose this bill!


TIPS: Begin your message with personal details: where you live, and your connection to the issue. Be brief, and simply state the action you’d like them to take, for example: “Please vote No on HB 20 and don’t politicize wildlife management.”

Tell your senator to vote No on SF 74 and the violation of free speech

SF 74, “Crimes against critical infrastructure,” violates free speech and only serves to intimidate those who peacefully and legally organize and demonstrate. This bill is unnecessary because the crimes it seeks to penalize — trespass and destruction of property — are already illegal in Wyoming.

 

The bill impedes the right of an organization to take collective action to pursue the interests of its members. It would also create excessive penalties that are not commensurate with the extent of the crime, a violation of the Eighth Amendment.

 

Learn more about SF 74 by reading this Fact Sheet. Please write to your senator and ask them to oppose this unconstitutional bill!


TIPS: Begin your message with personal details: where you live, and your connection to the issue. Be brief, and simply state the action you’d like them to take, for example: “Please vote No on SF 74, and protect freedom of speech.”

Ask Your Legislators to Support SF 67 and Oppose HB 25
The 2018 Legislative Session begins this Monday, February 12, and the Outdoor Council needs your help before the session begins to send a strong message to our lawmakers regarding two key bills.

House Bill 25 would amend our state’s statutes guiding environmental regulations for gravel mining on private property and roll-back reclamation standards that operators have adhered to for decades, as well as limit the public’s opportunity for comment on these mines. We oppose this bill.
 
Senate File 67, the Wyoming Public Lands Day bill, establishes a Public Lands Day in Wyoming and draws attention to the conservation and recreation opportunities that public lands provide while providing an opportunity for broader public education about threats to public lands. We support this bill.
 
Early communication with your legislators can have a big impact. Here are some things to keep in mind—
  • Make a personal connection to the legislator to show that this is not a form email. Indicate that you are a constituent, tell them where you live, or add another personal touch about why you’re writing about the topic.
  • Clearly state the position(s) you want the legislator to take and speak in your own words.
  • Feel free to elaborate about your experience, personal values, or include a story to make your email unique.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Legislators review hundreds of emails during the session and concise emails have a better chance of getting read!
Ask Senators to Withdraw the ONSHORE Act
We need your help in asking Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi to withdraw the Senate version of a terrible bill (S. 2319) that already passed the House with amendments from Rep. Liz Cheney. 
 
The “Opportunities for the Nation and States to Harness Onshore Resources for Energy Act,” or the ONSHORE Act, would give states authority to issue drilling permits on our nation’s public lands. This is misconstrued as a way to speed up federal oil and gas permitting, but it is simply another way some lawmakers seek to give states more control over decisions on the public lands that belong to all Americans.
 
This top-down move is in line with the Trump administration’s plan for “energy dominance.” Prioritizing oil and gas drilling over all other uses—recreation, wildlife habitat, hunting, and fishing—runs contrary to the way Congress has charged the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service to manage our land to protect multiple uses.

Use the form below to create your own message to Sen. Barrasso and Sen. Enzi. Remember to use your own voice—the more unique messages we send, the more powerful our impact will be. Please also fill in your contact information, which we need to be able to send the message through the system. Thank you!
Help Uphold the Sage-Grouse Conservation Plans
The historic, West-wide effort to protect the imperiled Greater sage-grouse remains under threat. The U.S. Forest Service has joined the Bureau of Land Management in reopening its land-use plans regarding sage-grouse conservation. The agency is seeking public comment on how well plans are working, or where they may be improved, in order to consider amending some, all, or none of the plans.
 
The message we need to send the Forest Service is that the collaborative strategy to protect “core” sage-grouse habitat works, and it’s the only way we are going to find lasting solutions to our most complicated ecological challenges.

Please fill out the form below to email this message to John Shivik, the National Greater Sage-grouse Coordinator at the Forest Service, before January 5, 2018.
 
Remember to make your message unique and use your own voice to highlight why this issue is important to you. The more unique messages the Forest Service receives, the more powerful our impact will be.
Ask Management Council to Support Livestreaming of Committee Meetings
Ask Management Council to Support Livestreaming of Committee Meetings
Let the Sage-Grouse Conservation Plans Stand

A historic, West-wide effort to protect the imperiled Greater sage-grouse is under threat by the Trump administration.

 

The federal plan for protecting sage-grouse in the West, finalized during the previous presidential administration, was largely based on Wyoming’s home-grown and collaborative strategy to protect “core” sage-grouse habitat—the places the birds rely on to perform their iconic mating ritual and raise their young.

 

But Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has announced that his agency will re-open the plan in order to consider an unsound, population-based strategy rather than a habitat-based approach. By re-opening the plan, the Bureau of Land Management is given the power to amend some, all, or none of their land use plans regarding sage-grouse conservation.

 

The message we need to send the Bureau of Land Management is clear: collaborative conservation works, and it’s the only way we are going to find lasting solutions to our most complicated ecological challenges.

Let Rep. Liz Cheney Know You Oppose Prioritizing Fossil Fuels Above All Else
Last week, we wrote a letter to Representative Liz Cheney stating our opposition to the Opportunities for the Nation and State to Harness Onshore Resources Act (ONSHORE Act), which is now before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
 
The act, if adopted by Congress, would allow states to manage and issue oil and gas drilling permits on federal land, and would rescind the Bureau of Land Management’s responsibility to analyze the potential environmental impacts of these activities on our public lands. By transferring management authority to the states, the public would have no opportunity to participate in these decisions—no way to comment on or to object to the permits. Oil and gas development would be prioritized over all other uses.
 
In America and in Wyoming, we value our public lands for family outings, hunting, fishing, and camping, and we also value wildlife, clean air, and clean water. While oil and gas development is a valid use on our public lands, it should—in accordance with our most cherished values—not be prioritized above all others.
 
Please fill out the form below to email this message to Representative Cheney and tell her you oppose the ONSHORE Act.
 
Remember to make your message unique and speak from your personal experience!
Let Our Lawmakers Know That Regulations Protect Us--And We Want Them To Stay


On Thursday, March 2, House Speaker Paul Ryan said he is “very pleased with the progress” his party and Donald Trump are making to “block harmful regulations.”

Let’s be clear: Regulations are actually protections that keep people healthy and our air and water clean. Do these protections make it more expensive to do business? Sometimes, but that effect is almost always short-term. Rolling back protections won’t create jobs, certainly not in the long-term. The BLM's "Methane Waste Rule"—which Senators Enzi and Barrasso have targeted—is an example of a common sense regulation that is good for taxpayers, cost effective for companies and protects our air and health. In Wyoming, we know we can have jobs and a clean and healthy environment.

 

Fill out the form below to email this message to Sens. Enzi and Barrasso and Rep. Cheney.

Please remember to make your message unique and speak from your personal experience.

Compose Your Own Message