The message is clear. More than 90% of those recently attending a public comment forum gave a “thumbs down” on Forest Service plans for a 10-acre A-T-V parking lot on the Snowy Range Scenic Byway.
Laramie native Peggy La Point joined the majority in speaking out against the idea. Her family has camped, picnicked and skied the area since the 1960s, and has seen changes in recent years that she says would only get worse if more motorized off-road traffic is encouraged by providing a parking lot.
La Point says the parking lot would pave right over the area at the Green Rock Picnic Area where her family scattered her father's ashes. She admits a parking area might be needed for public safety, but suggests the the Forest Service consider putting it on Highway 230, instead of the Scenic Byway and near designated roadless areas.
The Wyoming Game and Fish has also weighed in on the project, saying it would negatively impact Sheep Mountain mule deer, elk, moose, blue grouse, and the pine marten, as well as other species sensitive to motorized traffic. The Forest Service parking lot plan is not yet final, and the recent public comments will be taken into consideration when making their decision.