A new bill introduced in the Wyoming State Senate targets Public Lands PILT payments. SF 110 would require the Office of State Lands to conduct real estate appraisals of federal lands in Wyoming to assess their value if sold and estimated property tax values, contrasting this value with the amount generated by the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program, which is a congressionally-appropriated fund that compensates counties for federal lands within their jurisdiction. This attempt to reduce the value of our public lands to a dollar figure fundamentally ignores the benefits that our public lands provide to hunters, anglers and families across our state. Importantly, it also ignores the role that our public lands play in Wyoming's $5.6 billion outdoor recreation economy and the 50,000 direct jobs it supports.
Wyoming BHA Board Chair Buzz Hettick weighed in on the new legislation:
“This bill ignores the economic significance of federal public lands in Wyoming as well as Wyoming’s strong hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation values that we all share. Wyoming legislators need to be fiscally responsible and understand that thinly-veiled threats to federal public lands will not be tolerated. Our federal public lands provide economic value to the state in perpetuity and not for short term get-rich-quick schemes. Every hunter, angler, and outdoor recreationist needs to strongly oppose SF110.”
Take action now and send a message to your senator to let them know that you oppose this legislation. Then, make sure to call their office and reaffirm your support for the public lands targeted by this bill. Find your senator's contact information here, and then use our portal below to send your message.