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    Talk in the 10: Defending Wyoming’s use of public lands

    Fremont County is large, diverse, and filled with opinions, or “talk in the 10.” “Talk in the 10” is an opportunity for you, our readers, to articulate and share your thoughts about what is happening in the community with the community. Letters may have been edited for clarity and length, but generally have been published exactly as received. The views expressed in the following are solely those of the author. Send your letters to our editors by emailing opi[email protected]

    If we want to keep using the land well into the future, for our livelihoods, and our recreation, we need to do it better, more responsibly now. We’re all doing the best we can, those of us who make our living from and recreate on these lands. We love them. They are home. They are our future. However, most of us come to these places with a myopic view, with tunnel vision centered on our form of use. We need someone to zoom out, to assess how all of us fit together on these landscapes, and how to do so in a way that ensures they are healthy enough that our great grandkids can enjoy them. The world is changing, and while that change may come slow to Wyoming, it is coming and in some ways it is already here. If we don’t make the health of the land a priority, then those changes could mean Wyoming’s way of life becomes something of the past. For thousands of years people have used these lands now managed by the BLM for their livelihoods and recreation. Because we, and those that came before us, have stewarded them so well, we are lucky enough in Wyoming to still have many intact, healthy lands and a solid shot at a healthy future. There are many lands within Wyoming that are nearing the end of their economic productivity that could be restored to health. If we don’t prioritize stewarding these lands in a way that is healthy, and be willing to take a hard look at how each of uses and interacts with these lands, then we will we lose them. Death by a thousand cuts. The BLMs new Public Lands Rule puts landscape health on equal footing with development as a multiple use…on equal footing. Not above. Not below. But equal. It allows for these lands to continue to be used to provide livelihoods for Wyomingites to provide security and resilience for Wyoming communities going forward. It opens the door for working with local communities to decide how best to steward them. If we work with the BLM, instead of against them, it can be a community effort guided by local input. Let’s do it. For our grandkids. For our land.

    Lauren Marsh
    Lander

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