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Press Release: Wyoming Wants To Sell Off Federal Land To Avoid Federal Laws To Build A Dam

For Immediate Release
April 2, 1018
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310

Press Release: Wyoming Wants To Sell Off Federal Land To Avoid Federal Laws To Build A Dam

Colorado River Basin, USA: WyoFile, a Wyoming-based online news source, reports that the State of Wyoming is proposing buy federal land from the U.S. Forest Service so that the State can avoid federal permitting laws like the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, and Endangered Species Act as it builds a massive new dam in the Southwest area of the state.

The news article states:

Wyoming’s plan for developing the West Fork Dam calls for securing the land first, avoiding review under the National Environmental Policy Act, which governs projects on federal property. A NEPA review would outline the environmental impact of development, involve public input and allow advocates and opponents to weigh costs against benefits.

“What we’re looking for was a congressional land-transfer approach,” Wyoming Water Development Office Director Harry LaBonde told lawmakers last week.

The proposed dam, which would be 280 feet tall in the headwaters of the Yampa River, has been mired in controversy in the 2018 Wyoming legislative session, with its funding partly slashed and some legislators calling it a “boondoggle.” Wyoming is also trying to get the State of Colorado to “cost share” building the dam, which would be built just across the Wyoming border before the headwaters creek flows into Colorado. The cost-share plan has so far not gotten a response from the State of Colorado.  The news article states:

Not only is the project expensive and directly beneficial to few people, it would aid Colorado, which hasn’t agreed to share costs, a particular irritant to Cheyenne solons. An amendment cured that flaw, requiring a pro-rata share from that state and financial commitments before construction could begin.

“Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong with this ridiculous Wyoming dam plan,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Colorado. “They’re trying to sell off public land to openly subvert the laws of our nation to cause massive damage in the headwaters creeks of the Yampa River and further drain the already imperiled Colorado River system. We will do everything we can to stop this crazy idea.”


Gary Wockner, PhD, Director
Save the Colorado: Colorado River Waterkeeper Network
Author: “River Warrior: Fighting to Protect the World’s Rivers” (2016)
PO Box 1066, Fort Collins, CO 80522

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