Each year the Wyoming State Legislature has the opportunity to pass bills that reflect our state’s shared conservation, outdoor recreation, and good governance values — or threaten them.
That’s why, when the 2020 budget session opens on February 10, the Wyoming Outdoor Council will have two full-time staff (and a team of interns) at the Capitol. We’ll spend the month-long session holding our state lawmakers accountable and defending state laws and policies that protect our public lands, wildlife, and clean air and water. On top of that, we’ll work to help legislators understand the relationships between climate change, revenue, and quality of life for Wyomingites, by focusing on opportunities to diversify the state’s economy that don’t jeopardize the values that make living here so special.
There are many things to be optimistic about at this year’s session: Pieces of legislation under consideration this year would create an Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund, establish accounts to support projects that make highways safer for wildlife crossings, and create a mitigation credit system to help conserve sage-grouse habitat. And though it’s hard to say what bills will make it to the floor of the Legislature, there are also opportunities to improve public access to state lands, ensure the Department of Environmental Quality is able to field critical air quality inspectors in the natural gas fields of the Upper Green River Basin, and increase the transparency of government with better access to public records.
Other bills on the docket are more problematic, including a misguided attempt to derail the designation and protection of big game migration corridors (as we saw in the interim). There’s hope, though. In the past few months, we’ve seen Wyomingites help defeat two interim bills: one that would have effectively crippled rooftop solar power in the state, and another that sought to make Wyoming the new storage site for the nation’s nuclear waste.
We can do it again.
None of us are in this alone, and here’s what you can do to make your voice heard in Cheyenne:
SIGN UP FOR OUR EMAIL ALERTS
Through timely emails, we’ll let you know how and when you can take action and make a difference as a citizen. Our WOC lobby team in Cheyenne is strengthened by your participation! SIGN UP HERE.
ATTEND AN UPCOMING BEERS & BILLS EVENT
Join one of these lively discussions about conservation legislation in the 2020 session and we’ll provide tips on how to effectively communicate with your legislators. Plus we’ll buy you a beer! Our scheduled events this year include:
January 31 in Cody from 5–7 p.m.
February 7 in Green River from 5:30–7:30 p.m.
February 13 in Cheyenne from 5–7 p.m.
LEARN HOW TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS
Unsure who is representing you in the Legislature? Look them up on our website using just your home address. We’ll let you know in our email alerts when we need you to contact your lawmakers about a particular issue and give you talking points to assist in crafting your comments. FIND YOUR REPRESENTATIVES HERE.