County pulls public lands position

by karla pomeroy

The Big Horn County commissioners will not be considering the public lands position at this time.

Chairman Jerry Ewen announced Monday that they would not proceed with the position. “It’s become obvious it’s not going to work,” he said.

The commissioners had approved a six-month budget and a job description at the Dec. 2 meeting, with the intention of hiring outgoing commissioner Keith Grant to the position at the Jan. 6 meeting. The commissioners then set up a public comment period at that meeting.

Ewen said that public comment period has been cancelled since they will be pulling the item off the agenda. He said the new commission will take some time to consider how best to approach working with the various federal agencies the county deals with on a regular basis.

Grant had been the county’s liaison for the federal agencies, attending meetings as needed.

At the Dec. 4 meeting, Ewen said, “One of our primary interests is to retain Keith’s (Grant) knowledge and experience and to have him continue as an advisor to the county with federal lands.”

He said Grant has tremendous institutional knowledge that would be valuable, particularly as they finish the BLM’s Resource Management Plan.

The federal lands policy office is recommended in the county master plan adopted in 2010.