Wyoming appeals federal government’s 35,000-acre land acquisition over transparency concerns Regional News
(The Center Square) – The state of Wyoming is appealing the federal government‘s recent purchase of over 35,000 acres of land in Natrona County, citing concerns about transparency and public oversight of the land acquisition.
The US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced Earlier this month, it acquired the country for a total of $21 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
BLM officials said the land acquisition, which improves access to nearly nine miles of the North Platte River, is “a major step forward in improving public access.”
Wyoming’s appeal alleges the agency did not allow public comments or contributions from state or local officials. It added that an environmental review did not address “potential impacts that the Marton Ranch acquisition will have on tax revenue, grazing, mineral development and other natural resources.”
Gov. Mark Gordon said in a statement Friday that while he values public access to land, acquisition requires public scrutiny.
“This action is not about restricting access for athletes or attacking the rights of private owners,” he said. “The issue is whether the federal government can increase their land holdings without public scrutiny or should they adhere to the same transparent process that private landowners are subject to when trying to buy or trade federal land.”
A spokesman for the BLM High Plains District did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday due to the observed June 16 holiday.
This story may be updated.