Sheridan County Commission: Neutral on Rock Creek

Sheridan County Commission Chair Steve Maier
Sheridan County Commission Chair Steve Maier

Sheridan County Commissioners held a fairly brief, but comment-filled regular board meeting Tuesday morning. Action taken at the meeting found the board voting to approve acceptance of two grant awards with the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, one for Federal Emergency Management and one for a Citizen Corp Program.

Commissioners approved entering into a contract between the Wyoming Department of Health and Sheridan County Public Health through June 30, 2012 for conducting evaluations of medical necessity; they approved entering into an agreement with Vista West Engineering for services for County Road 56, Swaim Road; and they approved a Mortgage Lien on the VOA's Milestones Youth Home to assure that the facility is used for its intended purpose for at least six years.

The lion's share of the meeting involved Commission and public comment regarding whether the Commission should take an official position on the Rock Creek Wilderness Area. All five commissioners individually supported it, but as a Commission, they felt strongly that they must remain neutral, particularly because Rock Creek is in Johnson County. Commissioner Steve Maier.

Representing the many supporters in attendance who support Rock Creek being designated wilderness were people specifically with the Wyoming Wilderness Association, and those who just love the outdoors. Bradley Lee is the Community Organizer for the WWA in Sheridan and Campbell Counties. He talks about the discussion at Tuesday's meeting.

Now that the Sheridan County Commission has voted to remain neutral and not take a specific position, Lee tells us where they'll go from today's meeting.

Sheridan Media owner Kim Love wrote a commentary on this issue, which was published in the November 15, 2010 issue of the Casper Star Tribune that voices some opponents' concerns. Condensed, he wrote that trail use opportunities would diminish since chain saws would not be allowed to maintain trails in a wilderness area; also because chain saws and off-road vehicles would not be allowed in a wilderness, having all means possible to fight potential forest fires would be diminished. Other arguments against cite the need to also have all means available to address bark beetle issues; safety issues might come into play, as signage would not be allowed in a wilderness area; and a wilderness designation might impose unneeded regulations on users of Rock Creek.

You can read the article in its entirety via the link posted at

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