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GOP Gubernatorial Candidate In Wyoming Would Open Yellowstone National Park To Grazing, Mining


Wyoming long has had an independent streak in its right-leaning politics, but a position on federal lands staked out by a Republican gubernatorial candidate still might cause some in the state to catch their breath: Taylor Haynes would open Yellowstone National Park to mining and grazing.

Mr. Haynes, whose diverse background includes degrees in urology and mechanical engineering and time spent ranching, said if elected one of his first tasks would be to send letters to the federal land-management agencies telling them to turn their lands over to the state and get their operations out of Wyoming.

“Then, in whichever county they attempt to have any official activity, they will be arrested for impersonating a law enforcement officer in Wyoming,” he told the Casper Star-Tribune last week.

The 68-year-old Republican bases his plan on the grounds that the U.S. Constitution allows the federal government to own just 10 miles of land, in Washington, D.C., for offices and operations, and that the state could do a much better job of managing the federal lands.

How successful would Mr. Haynes' proposal be in terms of the state's tourism industry? Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks likely would fare well for their iconic status. But other park units in the state? Do you remember Shoshone Cavern National Monument? The site outside Cody, Wyoming, was designated in 1909 by presidential proclamation, and given to Cody in 1954. Have you heard of it?

Before Mr. Haynes can put his plan to work, he has to win the GOP gubernatorial nomination next month (current Gov. Matt Mead, a Republican, is seeking re-election), and then the general election in November.



These sort of Yosemite Sam politicians are a dime a dozen in places like Wyoming, Idaho and Utah, and they can dream of privitizing places like Yellowstone and putting it into the hands of their ranching constituents all they want, but in the end, it's just empty rhetoric.  Yellowstone is too globally significant for the wanton desires of a handful of blowhards.

Welcome to the wild insanity of the Sagebrushers.

Wyoming, like Utah, Idaho, Nevada and a host of other states (most of them bright red on the maps) are very heavily subsidized by Eastern taxpayers.  (To say nothing of donations to local economies by travelers.)

C'mon Eastern taxpayers.  Wise up and take back your tax dollars that support the silliness of politicians like this one.  What a rude shock it would be to the citizens of those states who actually vote for clowns if they suddenly had to support all their infrastructure and government operations without those Eastern dollars.

Well, to be fair, most of California, and large metro regions like Denver, Seattle, and Portland do put money into the federal coffers, so they are helping support public lands. Although, I believe places like Yellowstone and the Tetons are pretty much solvent and don't need too much additional federal funds to run, especially when they require ...ahem FEES to enter.  They are self-sustaining.  You never see this sort of rhetoric being yelled in the Washington Cascades or at the national parks in California.  Wyoming ranks 47th in GDP, even with all the mininig and ranching that goes on there, so obviously that's not the true golden ticket to economic prosperity, unless you're one of a handful of feudalists, which of course this guy sounds like he is one..


Do you have a source for where Haynes said he wants to open up Yellowstone to grazing and mining or is that your inference from his stated desire to turn federal lands over to the state?  (BTW - I disagree with his Constitutional argument)

Read the Casper Star-Tribune story that's linked to.

And of course that story says no such thing.   The closest you get is:

“It depends on the need and the national defense situation,” he said. “Those (parks) would be last on the list.”

That is a far cry from  "would open Yellowstone National Park to Grazing and Mining" which implies that is his primary intention. 

Its interesting that the assumption of Federal Lands isn't even an issue on his website's list of issues. 


The article clearly states all federal lands "would be up for lease for mining, drilling and grazing," so that would indicate Yellowstone would be included. Whether he would do it today or 10 years from now, Haynes did not say park lands would be off-limits.

Whether they're first on the list, or last, they would be open to mining.

And judging from the furor over fracking in the name of national defense and could be a short list.

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