Director of Wyoming County Commissioners Association Testifies on Wyoming Public Lands Initiative

June 7, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), welcomed Mr. Jerimiah Rieman, executive director of the Wyoming County Commissioners Association (WCCA), to the committee.

Rieman testified before today’s subcommittee hearing in support of legislation introduced by Barrasso to resolve the management status of thousands of acres of federal lands in seven counties in Wyoming.  

Barrasso introduced Rieman to the committee prior to his testimony. “Thank you so much Madam Chair for allowing me to introduce Jerimiah Rieman, who is here from Wyoming. I am so pleased Jerimiah has joined us today.

“He is a fifth generation Wyoming native. He serves as the executive director of the Wyoming County Commissioners Association. Prior to that, Jerimiah served former Governor Matt Mead in a top advisory role on our natural resource and economic issues. He was the top advisor.

“He is so well-equipped to speak about Wyoming’s public lands. I’m delighted he’s here. It’s locally-driven work from Wyoming counties. This has resulted in the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative. Thanks so much for being here today, sharing your valuable experience,” said Barrasso.

Click here to watch Rieman’s testimony.

In his written testimony, Rieman pointed out the fact that wilderness study areas were originally designed to be temporary.

“The establishment of wilderness study areas (WSAs) was intended to be temporary. The BLM in Wyoming issued its report in 1991, recommending that, of the state’s 577,504 acres of WSAs, 240,364 acres be designated wilderness. Congress has not acted on the BLM’s recommendations and therefore Wyoming’s 42 WSAs have existed in limbo,” wrote Rieman

Rieman highlighted the transparency of the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative process.

“Thirty-one years have elapsed since the BLM began managing Wyoming’s WSAs as de facto wilderness. The WCCA launched the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI) as an open and transparent process following well-defined principles and guidelines. Our objective was a locally-produced, Wyoming-specific legislative lands package to address designation or provide management direction for WSAs in Wyoming and, where appropriate, consider and pursue other public land management issues and opportunities affecting Wyoming’s landscape,” said Rieman.

Rieman also emphasized the importance of local influence on S. 1750.

“S. 1750 – Wyoming Public Lands Initiative Act of 2021 (S. 1750) was written in Wyoming – NOT Washington, D.C. It is the result of years of stakeholder work that included communities, conservation organizations, outdoor recreation groups, mineral industries, ranching and agriculture, and wildlife associations,” stated Rieman.

For more information on Rieman’s testimony and the hearing, click here.