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BLM Calculates the Value of the View

July 19, 2010

SARATOGA, Wyo. - A view of nature and wide, open spaces add up to a premium price for most real estate, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is taking an inventory of those values on public lands in southern Wyoming. There are open houses today and Tuesday in Saratoga and Laramie so the public can outline what they like, and don't like, as part of the local scenery.

Barbara Dobos, a board member of the Alliance for Historic Wyoming, suggests what's valuable and worth keeping.

"That means historic and locally-cherished landscapes, and how can we keep them, with their scenic qualities and not being marred by development."

Dobos says no matter if you like to see development, or don't, it's significant that the BLM is asking how Wyomingites feel about it.

"This is a new approach in terms of awareness that the public has a point of view that should be included."

Oil and gas rigging, wind turbines, recreation facilities, livestock grazing, roads and transmission lines are examples of possible development that can change a view-shed. The BLM will use the "view value" information while putting together resource management plans.

The Saratoga open house is 4 to 7:30 p.m., Platte Valley Community Center, 210 Elm St. The Laramie open house is 4 to 7:30 p.m., Albany County Library, 310 South 8th St.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY