A Wilderness Study Area (WSA) is a special designation that applies to federal lands that are managed to protect wilderness characteristics until Congress designates the WSA as wilderness or directs the land management agency to manage the area for other multiple uses. There are 45 WSAs in Wyoming. Three are managed by the US Forest Service (two in Teton County) and 43 are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (none in Teton County).
In early 2016 the Wyoming County Commissioners Association (WCCA) organized the Wyoming Public Lands Initiative (WPLI). The WPLI is a collaborative, county-led process intended to designate WSAs as wilderness, multiple use, or other management. The result will be one state-wide legislative lands package that is broadly supported by public lands stakeholders in Wyoming.
Teton County WPLI Advisory Committee
The Teton County Board of Commissioners appointed the Teton County WPLI Advisory Committee in October 2016. The advisory committee is composed of representatives of a diversity of interests, and is mandated to develop recommendations for final designation of the county’s three WSAs — ranging from multiple use to designation as designated Wilderness to many options in between. While WSA designations will serve as the launching pad and anchor for the WPLI advisory committee, the committee is encouraged to look more broadly at long-standing land use challenges and opportunities where possible.