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November 13, 2008 2:55 am

Comment on BLM land use today

Written by Tribune Staff

Every so often at a public meeting, enraged residents come to complain about a project occurring in their backyard — be it drilling, building or some other unwanted alteration. Many times, the drilling or construction company has followed necessary laws for the project, leaving public officials powerless to legally change anything.

In such cases, the adage, “better late than never,” is obsolete.

What matters is early comment — before plans are approved to alter a beloved landscape.

Residents have that chance today.

During a Bureau of Land Management open house event from 3-8 p.m. today (Thursday), residents are asked to weigh in on the future of roughly 3.2 million acres of federal land in the Big Horn Basin and 4.2 million acres of mineral estate.

The meeting takes place in the conference room of Americas Best Value Inn on Second Street in Powell.

The public is encouraged to comment and ask questions about the BLM resource-management plan, which will guide the use of federal land for the next 15-20 years.

The policy will affect the land residents use for hunting, grazing and four-wheeling. Access to these millions of acres of land will be considered in the policy, so folks who plan to use the land to hunt, graze cattle or drive ATVs need to voice their concerns to the BLM.

Comments will help identify issues and alternatives for the bureau to consider, but a BLM official said it's not a matter of counting votes for or against land use.

If you can't attend the meeting, comments may be submitted until Nov. 17 by mailing P.O. Box 119, Worland WY 82401-0119, e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or calling 307-347-5171.

Take the opportunity to comment today — before it's too late.