Last Wednesday, Congresswoman Liz Cheney held what amounted to a mini town hall meeting in Cheyenne. She spoke for about 15 minutes before taking questions for more than an hour from the approximately 40 people in attendance.
The congresswoman should be commended for meeting face to face with the public like she did. She and our two senators need to do that kind of thing more often, with those meetings being scheduled for some evening when it would be more convenient for people to attend.
One of the questions put to Congresswoman Cheney at the meeting related to our public lands. She was asked if she would ever approve of the federal government transferring the public lands within our boundaries to the state of Wyoming. Her response was that it depended upon the circumstances, thus apparently leaving open the possibility that she would favor a bill that would allow for the transfer of lands now managed by the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service.
If that were to occur, it is anyone’s guess as to what would happen to those lands once in the hands of our state Legislature. Would access to those lands be restricted, would the lands be developed, would they be sold to the highest bidder? And how well could the lands be managed, given the fact that the state is already struggling to balance its budget?
We need to keep our public lands public. Polls indicate that is what a majority of those living here in Wyoming want.
Next year, there is going to be a number of candidates running for the Senate seat now held by Sen. Mike Enzi, as well as the congressional seat held by Ms. Cheney. It is important that all of those candidates be asked what their positions are in regard to our public lands being kept public.
We know the position of one of those candidates.