Environmental assessment process still under way for Lander rodeo ground replacement

(File photo from a public meeting about the rodeo grounds replacement last year.)

(Lander, Wyo.) – The Lander City Council last September picked the Shearer property off of Highway 287 on the northwest end of Lander as the future site of the city’s rodeo grounds.

Since picking the location, an environmental assessment has been ongoing as required for the use of Federal Aviation Administration funds to later purchase the property.

“We were hoping to have it done by this summer,” Community Resource Coordinator Gary Michaud said in an interview on Friday.

Michaud said Armstrong Consultants completed the draft environmental assessment (EA) about two months ago and turned it into the FAA for review. However, Michaud said the the FAA’s area environmental specialist position has been vacant for a couple months and no review began. The position was recently filled, and they have begun to look at the EA.

“There’s nothing surprising in there,” he said of the EA. Michaud, who hasn’t had a chance to fully review the document, said the consultants have not made him aware of anything found during the creation of the EA that could create a road block in the future.

From here on out, the city must wait for the EA to be formally approved before it can move forward with the acquisition of the acreage. As far as he knew, the landowners had not changed their willingness to sell.

“We’re required to complete the EA before we take any more steps,” Michaud said.

When the FAA is done with the EA, the city will be able to look into the document more thoroughly. Michaud could not predict when the FAA would finish its review.