Wyoming joins western states on list for protecting public lands

Published: Oct. 18, 2017 at 4:11 PM CDT
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Wyoming is ranked fourth among western states when it comes to protecting and enhancing its public lands.

It's part of Western Priorities annual conservation scorecard of eight Western states released on Tuesday (10/17/17). The Denver-based nonprofit conservation and advocacy group used 14 benchmarks to grade state’s policies governing outdoor recreation, energy development and access to public lands.

According to Western Priorities, states are in the unique position to help build a culture and economy that protects and enhances America’s public lands: state energy regulations safeguard air and water, state-level offices of outdoor recreation encourage the growth of outdoor business, and state wildlife conservation efforts protect wildlife from development.

Wyoming was graded alongside Colorado, Montana, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and Idaho. Colorado topped the list at number 1. In the report, the Cowboy State earns an average score for lands and access, outdoor recreation, and responsible energy development.

Although the federal government manages most public lands, state policies impact their health and accessibility.

“Westerners understand that public lands are at the heart and soul of what makes living in the Western states so special,” Jennifer Rokala, the center’s executive director said.

To see the full report, head to the Western Priorities