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Travis McNiven (center), who serves on U.S. Sen. John Barrasso's policy staff was among hundreds of people who attended a Friends of Coal rally this week in Casper. Thousands of people who rely on coal mining are impacted by layoffs as three of the nation's largest coal producers reorganize under bankruptcy and face the prospect of a prolonged downturn in the industry. (Tim Kupsick/WyoFile)

The State of Coal

The spectre of coal’s cracking foundation in Wyoming brought hundreds of miners and community leaders to Casper this week to testify before federal officials about the future of the federal coal leasing program.
The 22,245 acre Ferris Mountains Wilderness Study Area in Carbon County is currently managed as Wilderness by the BLM. Sen. Barrasso (R—Wyo.), who chairs an influential subcommittee on the topic, recently expressed concerns about designating new wilderness in the west. (Photo by Matthew Copeland)

Barrasso calls for ‘more balanced approach’ to transfers

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining, expressed concerns about adding public land to the federal Wilderness system. "This is troubling to me," he said, adding, "it could have far-reaching impacts for the management of our forests and public lands."
Sara Domek walks in the Oregon Buttes Wilderness Study Area in Sweetwater County. A new study looks at the economic impact of non-motorized activities like hiking, on BLM land. (Nick Dobric)

Quiet recreation has an economic roar

Quiet, non-motorized recreation such as climbing, hiking and biking on Bureau of Land Management land, supports more than 1,000 jobs and brings in more than $112 million annually to Wyoming.
Volunteer Josh McNary pulls a fence post from an abandoned corral in the BLM’s Raymond Mountain Wilderness Study area during a Public Lands day event in 2014. (Courtesy of Julia Stuble)

Volunteer or trespasser?

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners made public access to the 32,000 acre Raymond Mountain Wilderness Study area more difficult when it deeded three acres to a rancher, and then declined to reestablish a county road easement on the transferred property.