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Efforts continue to quell the backlash over President Donald Trump’s changing statements on the Russia summit. Also on the Thursday rundown: protestors are out for Mike Pence’s visit to Missouri; and nobody wants to go, but one option is green burials.

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Forest Service Told to “Park It” on Snowy Range A-T-V Parking Lot Plan

August 24, 2009

LARAMIE, Wyo. - The message is clear. More than 90 percent of those commenting say "thumbs down" on Forest Service plans for a 10-acre snowmobile and all-terrain vehicle (ATV) parking lot on the Snowy Range Scenic Byway. Laramie native Peggy La Point joined the majority in speaking out against the idea. Her family has camped, picnicked and skied the area since the 1960s, and she has seen changes in recent years that she says would only get worse if more motorized off-road use is encouraged by providing a parking lot.

"In the summer, we'll find our favorite meadows turned into mud pits by off-road vehicles. In the winter, there's only one place where we can cross-country ski now without dodging snow machines and smelling their gasoline."

Wyoming Game and Fish also has weighed in on the project, saying it would negatively affect Sheep Mountain mule deer, elk, moose, blue grouse and pine marten, as well as other species sensitive to motorized traffic. However, the Forest Service has indicated the parking lot is needed to meet demand and improve public safety.

She admits a parking area might be needed for public safety, but suggests it be located on Highway 230, instead of on the Scenic Byway and near designated roadless areas.

"I know there's a continuing demand for this, but there are some places where it just shouldn't be. In the high meadows and the northern end of the range, it's inappropriate."

The parking lot would pave right over the place at Green Rock Picnic Area where her family scattered her father's ashes, La Point adds.

The Forest Service parking lot plan is not yet final and the recent public comments will be considered in the decision-making process.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY