Governor Matt Mead told the Bureau of Land Management that it can spur energy development and protect land in the Bighorn Basin. The Governor's comments came in response to the BLM's proposed Resource Management Plan which will guide future management of federal lands and minerals in the Bighorn Basin.
"The BLM has a great opportunity to increase energy development in the Bighorn Basin and do it in a very responsible manner," Governor Mead said. "This is an opportunity to create jobs and keep the state and local economies moving forward while also balancing protection of our natural resources and wildlife."
Governor Mead's comments to the BLM reflect his response to the proposed alternatives, including the BLM's preferred alternative. The comments lay out his preference, which blends concepts from several alternatives and expresses the Governor's ideas for establishing a reasonable balance between conservation and other uses. Governor Mead also outlined proposals for how the BLM can support the use of enhanced oil recovery techniques as well as other methods of oil and gas development.
"There is an impressive amount of potential energy in existing wells in the Basin. With the right infrastructure and planning the BLM can support a significant development," Governor Mead said. "While providing needed energy for our nation and jobs for this part of our state the Resource Management Plan for the Bighorn Basin can also further protect some lands in the Absaroka Front. That is an area worthy of additional protection, opening up excellent opportunities for hunting and fishing."
In terms of access to public lands generally, Governor Mead wrote that he wants to see more BLM land opened for recreational and off-road use. "A lifelong Wyoming resident, I know how fortunate each of us is to live in this place of community, great outdoor recreation, abundant wildlife, western history and inspiring scenery. I am convinced that when people are afforded the opportunity to enjoy our open spaces they are inspired to protect the values of the land. This is not accomplished by restricting or closing access to BLM lands.