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WSGA, WWGA and WACD pass joint policies at convention

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

This year, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA), Wyoming Wool Growers Association (WWGA) and Wyoming Association of Conservation Districts (WACD) hosted the Wyoming Natural Resource Rendezvous Convention and Trade Show, a collaborative meeting between the three associations, Dec. 5-8 at the Ramkota Hotel and Conference Center in Casper.

During this rendezvous meeting, WSGA, WWGA and WACD worked together to adopt several joint policies on critical natural resource issues faced by the trio.

Policies adopted by WWGA are deemed interim policies until approved at their next meeting in the summer of 2023. 

State leases

State leases were first on the list of adopted policies.

“Leased state lands are an integral part of many Wyoming farming and ranching enterprises. State trust land grazing and agricultural leases have often been held by the same farm or ranch for multiple generations, and the loss of these leases can significantly impact the continued viability of these agricultural operations,” note WSGA, WWGA and WACD. 

Therefore, the trio states strongly support efforts by the Wyoming Legislature and the Board of Land Commissioners to provide greater security to state leases through changes to the lease renewal process.

They are also in strong support of providing greater flexibility in livestock grazing and strengthening the requirement stating a lease has to possess actual and necessary use for the leased land for agricultural purposes.

Corner crossing

When it comes to corner crossing of private lands, the three associations adopted a resolution in support of all necessary judicial and legislative actions to defend against the issue. 

WSGA, WWGA and WACD adopted the corner crossing resolution on the grounds private property owners have the right to control access across their property, which includes access to the immediate airspace over their land, and trespassing across corners of adjoining private lands violate property owner rights, which can negatively impact the use of the land for grazing and other purposes. 

Additionally, WSGA, WWGA and WACD believe, “The Bureau of Land Management has recognized there is not a right to utilize unauthorized corner crossing as a means of access to public lands.” 

Federal land transfers

Policy surrounding federal land transfers were initially adopted by WSGA in June. WWGA and WACD recognized these policies and joined WSGA in their adoption during the December meeting. 

The trio notes, “Over 48 percent of the land surface in Wyoming is currently held by the federal government. Federal regulatory constraints and litigation increasingly restrict the multiple use of these lands, including their long-established historic use for livestock grazing. Further increases in federal land holdings in Wyoming threatens the viability of the ranching industry and the economy of the state.” 

Therefore, the organizations strongly object to any fee title land acquisitions in Wyoming by the federal government, unless an equal or greater acreage of federal land in the state is concurrently transferred to state or private ownership.

WSGA, WWGA and WACD also urge the Wyoming Legislature to pass legislation that will not recognize or record any transfer of fee titles to land to the federal government, either directly or through a third party, unless there is a concurrent transfer as specified above.

Additionally, they urge the Wyoming Congressional Delegation “to seek passage of legislation which would preclude the federal government from acquiring a net increase in fee title to lands in any state in which the federal government currently holds title to 20 percent or more of the surface land acreage”

Foreign resource ownership

Because ownership of land, water rights and minerals in the U.S. by unfriendly foreign governments poses a threat to national security and because the sources of this threat can evolve over time, WSGA and WWGA adopted a resolution urging Congress to pass legislation prohibiting the ownership of any land, water rights or minerals in the U.S. to any foreign governments deemed unfriendly.

According to WSGA and WWGA, these include China, Russia, Iran and North Korea.

In the adopted resolution, the two entities also urge the Wyoming Legislature to pass legislation prohibiting Wyoming state and local governments from recognizing such ownership.

Environment Social Governance

Lastly, WSGA adopted policy opposing the implementation of any Environment Social Governance (ESG) government mandated rules, guidelines and reports which will negatively impact the state of Wyoming.

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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