This page will be dedicated to discussing the importance of Wyoming’s environment and protecting Wyoming’s natural resources from being overdeveloped by businesses. One of Wyoming’s greatest assets are the natural resources we have been trusted to protect. We have the nation’s smallest population and we have the second lowest population density! Even with this small human footprint, though, we still have plenty of environmental issues to face on our own. Coal and other types of mining in Wyoming are controlled by large corporations. Something many small ranchers, and other Wyoming business owners, have taken to is forming land trusts. They receive a tax credit and can specify the land be left to its natural state after they pass away.
We have four primary concerns. They are about toxic chemicals, water, air and preserving land in general. To find out more about this important subject please visit the Wyoming Bureau of Land management’s website at http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Planning.html. They provide some great resources for understanding how public land is managed. They also have a section on land planning and giving your land away to be held in trust.
Toxic Chemicals: Strip mining is one of the most destructive forms of mining and it’s something Wyoming companies practice here. When companies don’t take care of these mines as planned, it becomes the state which has to foot the bill. For example, there is a tire fire that has been burning for over three decades. The corporation responsible has gone out of business, and now it’s left to the citizens of the USA to foot the bill. Beyond the soil degradation, the chemicals can link into our waterways.
Water: Our state has a LOT of water. And this is especially true if we look at our water to people ratio. Our snow pack and summer rains provide a lot of water not only for us, but for states downstream such as Colorado, Nevada, California, and Arizona. Our state also has a lot of septic systems. These systems can sometimes leech bacteria into the water; we cannot always trust them! We should strongly consider planning for the day when homes are required to be connected to city water systems.
Preserving Land: We have a lot of pristine land in Wyoming. We also have the first national parks and national monument. Part of upkeeping this heritage is ensuring it remains for future generations. While it can be tempting to give into businesses, we must remember the environment is here for everyone. As we mentioned above, preserving our natural assets is very important. We believe those who give away their land to be preserved by the state of Wyoming are doing a great service.
Air: I saved the best for last. When it comes to air quality, Wyoming does extremely well. This is because we have lots of open land and the mountains create turbulence which moves air quickly. (The wind does get a bit chilly!). Having these benefits, though, doesn’t mean we should abuse our luck. Having quality air is a luxury, not a privilege.
This photo was taken from near Buffalo:
Thanks for listening and we hope you share our passion for the environment. Look at the difference between the first and last pictures on this page and you tell me which you prefer for our great state of Wyoming. We should lead the USA, not trail it, when it comes to environmental laws. From Yellowstone to Devil’s Tower, let’s protect our state. Whether you’re in Cheyenne, Casper, or Jackson Hole, I think this is something we can all agree on.