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Wyoming Is Ready To Sue Over Rock Springs RMP, So Says U.S. Representative

Rock Springs Resource Management Plan

Congresswoman Harriet Hageman says that Wyoming is prepared to sue if the Biden Administration moves forward on it’s sweeping rule changes for the Rock Springs Resource Management plan. Back in August of 2023, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a draft of proposed changes to the plan.  It was not met with open arms by many people in the Cowboy State, including U.S. Representative Harriet Hageman (R-WY).

Appearing on “Mac In The Morning” on KODI, the Representative said that proposed changes to the Rock Springs Resource Management Plan would, “deny access, management, and use to 1.8 million acres of land in southwestern Wyoming. They’re trying to stop recreation, they’re trying to stop grazing, they’re trying to stop oil and gas development, this is part of the 30 by 30 [plan], the Green New Deal. This is part of [the Biden Administration’s] war on the west, their war on affordable energy.”

Hageman also brought up how, in her opinion, they rushed to judgement in creating this new rules that would adversely affect access to over a million acres outside of Rock Springs.

Yesterday, Representative Hageman and other House members met for a hearing before the Federal Lands Subcommittee of the Natural Resources Committee where she asked the head of that subcommittee if she read the Rock Springs RMP, and the director said she read “part of it,” and when the Department of the Interior, Deb Haaland, was asked two weeks ago if she had read the report, Haaland replied that she wasn’t even familiar with it.

“We know that [the Department of Interior], from six years of work, only spent one week on analyzing the impact of alternative B,” which is the plan that is most restrictive, so said Hageman.

Representative Hageman said that she knows they will go back to the drawing board and consider other options for the Rock Springs RMP, but she’s not optimistic.  And if need be, Wyoming will sue the Federal Government for implanting the strictest plan.

“I will predict that if [the BLM] goes forward with Alternative B, [the BLM] will be sued and they will lose,” Hageman pronounced emphatically.  “They are violating [the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976] in terms of this Rock Springs RMP and I am hoping the state of Wyoming is prepared to sue, because [the state of Wyoming] will win.”

Governor Gordon has also been vocal about how the proposed changes to the Rock Springs RMP will affect the state on many levels.

Back in January, the governor sent a letter to the Bureau of Land Management asking the agency to reconsider the heavy-handed restrictions proposed in the new Rock Springs RMP and design a more reasonable plan that would be a compromised approach to managing the land in the Rock Springs area.

“No other National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document in recent memory has sparked the type of scrutiny and fervor that this Rock Springs RMP has in our state, and rightfully so,” Gov. Gordon wrote. “People representing the full spectrum in Wyoming recognized the flawed nature of this draft RMP. [It] is too important to have its impacts go unexamined.”

Even Sweetwater County officials have weighed in on the controversy.

“If it’s ours first, then what happens in Sweetwater County is precedent, and it can go from there and spread from there,” County Commissioner Taylor Jones told Cowboy State Daily about how the county will respond to the BLM’s preferred plan.

The Sweetwater County Commission has sent letters to the BLM asking that the agency’s favored version of the Resource Management Plan (RMP), Alternative B, be outright dismissed.

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