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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."