OPINION: Greater Little Mountain Coalition Wants Area to Remain Protected

OPINION: Greater Little Mountain Coalition Wants Area to Remain Protected

Colorado Cutthroat Trout in Trout Creek

This editorial was written and submitted by Amelia Howe, Trout Unlimited Wyoming Field Manager and Greater Little Mountain Coalition Member.


In August, members of the Greater Little Mountain Coalition (GLMC) joined the Wyoming Bureau of Land Management State Office’s Wildlife Biologist, and a few Sweetwater County Commissioners for a day of fishing at Trout Creek in the Greater Little Mountain area. In between moments of bliss brought about by catching Colorado Cutthroat Trout in a breathtaking landscape, the conversations surrounding the Rock Springs Resource Management Plan and the future of this special area were flowing.

A Greater Little Mountain Coalition Refresher

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As many Wyoming residents are aware, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Rock Springs Field Office has been working to revise the Resource Management Plan (RMP) for over a decade now. Currently, this area is being managed under the 1997 Green River Resource Management Plan. A lot has changed since the nineties, and a new plan is long overdue. The new plan will determine how the BLM manages 3.6 million acres of land and 3.5 million sub-surface mineral acres and includes the management of the Greater Little Mountain Area, a cherished landscape by so many here in Wyoming.

Trout Unlimited has been working in partnership with private landowners, land managers, and other key stakeholders on projects in the GLM area for the last 30 years to restore and protect the native Colorado River Cutthroat trout that call this area home.

While every member of the Coalition wishes there were more definitive and exciting updates to share, news on the draft RMP’s release date is still nebulous at best. The release of the draft will be the first step in a public process of land-use planning that will determine how the landscape is set up to be managed. Everyone who shares special ties to this area, or who wants to see populations of Colorado River Cutthroat protected, will need to weigh in to ensure that the BLM selects the plan that best represents the needs and interests of the sportsmen and conservation community.

Continued Partnership is the Path Forward

Sweetwater County Commissioner Lauren Schoenfeld, recently appointed to be Governor Gordon’s WY Innovation Partnership Executive Director, experienced a special moment that many can relate to during this field trip. She caught her first Colorado Cutthroat on a flyrod. The joy that comes from these shared experiences is what drives the Coalition’s work forward.

The Coalition has dedicated over a decade to offering place-based experiences to stakeholders and developing a common-sense proposal that all of Wyoming can get behind for the management of this area. From EcoFlights with the governor’s staff showcasing an aerial view of the landscape, to intimate on-the-ground experiences like fishing at Trout Creek, ensuring that decision-makers can see the ways in which this region is critical for sportsmen and residents of Wyoming in person is worth prioritizing.

“The Greater Little Mountain Coalition has dedicated over a decade to working towards a collaborative approach to management recommendations for this special place. Being a Sweetwater County Commissioner over the past several years, I have seen firsthand their commitment to finding creative solutions that work for all Wyoming residents. We must continue to work together to protect and appropriately utilize this gem within Sweetwater County.” Sweetwater County Commissioner Lauren Schoenfeld.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for updates from the Greater Little Mountain Coalition. As soon as the draft is released there will be opportunities for residents of Sweetwater County to engage in this important public process to protect the Greater Little Mountain area.