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The Weekly News Source for Wyoming's Ranchers, Farmers and AgriBusiness Community

Opinion by WSGA

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Wyoming Stock Growers Association
New/Amended Policies and Directives ~ Adopted December 2011
Federal Lands
    1)  Whereas Biodiversity Conservation Alliance (BCA) has proposed that Rock Creek, Carbon County, in the Medicine Bow National Forest, be listed as Wilderness Area, and
    Whereas proper management of the resource for multiple use, and enforcement of illegal off road use by ATV’s, will better provide for the communities and the health of the land,
    Therefore Be It Resolved that Wyoming Stock Growers Association adamantly opposes the proposed Rock Creek Wilderness designation in Carbon County.
    Amend Policy #36 as Follows:
    Wyoming Stock Growers Association encourages local government officials, in protecting our agriculture industry, to take advantage of the offer of cooperating agency status that is mandated to be made available by all agencies under the Department of the Interior, and further encourages local government officials to develop Natural Resource Land Use Plans and to assert their right of coordination under federal law.
Private & State Lands
    1) Whereas railroads, transmission lines, pipeline companies, and other for-profit common carriers that have the ability to condemn most often operate as Limited Liability Companies as a means of limiting their risk to what they choose to venture, and
    Whereas a landowner that is threatened by condemnation is forced into the transaction, and has very little bargaining leverage,
    Therefore Be Resolved that Wyoming Stock Growers Association supports that for-profit common carriers with the ability to invoke eminent domain shall have at least two thirds of affected landowners willingly sign an easement before the common carrier can begin condemnation proceedings against the remaining effected landowners.
    2) Whereas currently when a landowner grants a pipeline easement there is no assurance to the landowner that at the time of decommissioning and/or abandonment of the project, the operating company will have the financial ability to abide by current government standards or the terms of the easement,
    Therefore Be It Resolved that Wyoming Stock Growers Association supports that for-profit common carriers and assignees shall be required to obtain a performance bond or pay into a fund similar to the Abandoned Mines Fund, to fulfill the obligations of the easement agreement, abandonment and reclamation following abandonment.
    3) Whereas, when for profit common carriers with the ability to condemn, including but not limited to railroads, transmission lines and pipelines, negotiate compensation, “fair market value” is used as a basis for compensation, and
    Whereas when “fair market value” is used as a basis for compensation, it allows a company to purchase an easement at agricultural value and benefit from using the land for an industrial purpose, and
    Whereas in such cases there is an unmitigated and uncompensated transfer of risk and expense from the entity seeking to make profits to the land owner who has no opportunity to share in the profits, and
    Whereas “fair market value” does not compensate a landowner for inconvenience, intrusion, disruption of business, loss of quality of life, or loss of property values and rights,
    Therefore Be It Resolved Wyoming Stock Growers Association supports legislation that would amend the definition of “fair market value” to consider the following:
    The compensation that a true willing seller would expect in exchange for willingly allowing a portion of his property to be impacted by an industrial use;
    The expenses, including legal costs, necessary to prepare the land owner to have meaningful participation regarding the relevant issues and compensation and to address the fact that, by the virtue of the land owner’s property being included in the project, the land owner incurs significant long term risk, the cost of which should be borne by the project proponent.
    Be It Further Resolved Wyoming Stock Growers Association supports legislation that requires for profit common carrier condemnors to pay all costs including but not limited to landowner liability, abandonment, indemnity, reclamation, and compensation.
    4) Whereas the State of Wyoming had a “Building the Wyoming We Want” program that has led to the “High Plains Initiative” involving planning for land and water in rural areas, and
    Whereas this is the type of planning evolves from the United Nations Agenda 21 brought to the U.S. from the Rio Summit in 1992, rejected by Congress, but implemented by administration agencies,  
    Therefore Be It Resolved Wyoming Stock Growers Association opposes any Agenda 21 programs and programs such as The “High Plains Initiative” and “Building the Wyoming We Want.”

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