Public Lands

As a lifelong outdoorsman, I know how important Wyoming's wildlife and public lands are to all those who live in our great state. We must manage them so they can be enjoyed not only by us, but by our children and their children. I am committed to keeping our public lands open to hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation, tourism, agricultural use, and, where appropriate, energy development. It is important to ensure that our public lands, national parks and recreational areas remain open and accessible to the public that pays for their management with their tax dollars.

Wyoming's private property owners are good managers of the land. Conservation efforts by property owners in Wyoming are a great way to ensure that our nation's wildlife populations and habitats remain healthy and strong. I will continue to promote sensible policies that support the rights of property owners to manage their own land.

We need to be good stewards of the land to ensure that we pass on clean water and clean air to our grandchildren. When energy development is appropriate on our public lands, I will demand that it be carried out responsibly and that it minimize environmental impacts. Technology like directional drilling and remote monitoring help reduce the footprint of energy development and mitigate the impact on the surrounding landscape.

A big part of my job in Washington has been to explain to the East what water means in the West. They try to figure out how to drain it in the East and in the West we try to figure out how to save every drop. I have been able to educate my colleagues from the East quite a bit about water rights. I am still working on educating them about the complexities of water compacts.

Our agricultural industry and our communities need reliable sources of clean water. The federal government should enact water policies that meet the needs of our state and ensure clean water is available to Wyoming's citizens for future generations, but the federal government should not have control over Wyoming's water. Mark Twain said that whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over. I will fight to protect Wyoming's water just as I have fought to protect Wyoming's ability to manage its wildlife.

We need to protect our environment, especially when it comes to our national parks. These areas are set aside because they are the most pristine examples of natural beauty in the nation. We need to be good stewards of these areas so that places like Yellowstone National Park are still just as magnificent for our grandchildren and future generations as they are now.

Managing Wyoming lands needs to be left to Wyoming hands. Federal lands within our borders should also be managed with the needs of the Wyoming people and communities most affected by any decisions about those lands in mind. They are the ones who are most directly affected by land management decisions, and so their needs should be at the forefront of federal decision-making.

I am concerned about protecting wildlife for future generations. It is because of that concern that I believe we must have sensible laws in place for protecting endangered species and promoting effective species recovery. That was the original intent of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). As the ESA is currently implemented, the law perpetually keeps species listed as endangered or threatened even after they have fully recovered. Because I am concerned that the ESA is not working as it was intended, I support updating the ESA so that it can have a real impact on supporting healthy animal populations and effectively prevent species from going extinct.

I have long supported the delisting of the gray wolf in Wyoming from the endangered species list. The state of Wyoming has been working on this issue with local stakeholders and the federal government for years and the courts should have never blocked the delisting in the first place. I trust Wyoming wildlife managers over litigation-focused environmental groups for how to best manage our state’s wildlife. 

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