Advocacy: Get Involved – Make Your Voice Heard
Please add your voice to the advocacy efforts below. By providing your input, you can join with others who want to make a difference in the People-Powered Movement in Wyoming. To view past advocacy efforts, please see our archive.
Important Action Alert! – Support Recreation and Conservation at Belvoir Ranch.
Learn more below or go directly to the action form.
As soon as the next meeting on March 25th, the Cheyenne City Council may be voting on a resolution to that will impact future recreation and conservation at Belvoir Ranch, the 18,000+ acre property to the southwest of the Cheyenne, purchased by the city and the Bureau of Public Utilities in 2003. Although the overall vision of Belvoir Ranch Master Plan, adopted by the City in 2008, detailed a 15-year plan for the development of up to 35 miles of recreational trails and other recreation, education and public utilities facilities, the entire property has been leased to NextEra Energy, Inc. to become a wind energy farm for the next 30 years with up to 120 windmills.
That being the case, there is still an opportunity to preserve some of the stewardship, recreation and conservation vision for the property as was outlined in the Master Plan. The vision was stated as:
“Belvoir Ranch is a unique and significant piece of Cheyenne’s rich cultural heritage and regional open space system.
To be responsible stewards of the land, City of Cheyenne and the Board of Public Utilities are seeking to manage it as a sustainable “working landscape” that contributes to the area’s economy and its quality of life.
The ranch shall be managed as a community asset and legacy, balancing uses and resources in such a way as to sustain its unique landscape character and heritage, for generations to come.”
and the core design principles were stated as:
Principle 1: Minimize new disturbance to the site and landscape
Principle 2: Preserve and protect key natural features and habitat
Principle 3: Protect, enhance and interpret natural and cultural resources
Principle 4: Make education and interpretation a key component of Ranch activity
Principle 5: Provide for compatible public use, in both activities and intensity of use, that does not overwhelm the properties’ essential features and qualities
Principle 6: Design facilities using sustainable “green building” principles
Principle 7: Implement improvements that are economically sustainable.
To preserve part of the Master Plan vision, some of the windmills would need to be relocated and funds from the wind energy contract would need to be allocated to the development of recreation and education facilities and to conservation at Belvoir. Wyoming Pathways has joined with the Nature Conservancy, the Audubon Society, and local and regional citizen and outdoor recreation groups to advocate for these changes.
The best opportunity to make these changes lies with the Mayor and City Council working with NextEra on your behalf to relocate some of the windmills and allocate at least half of the contract proceeds to funding recreation and conservation at Belvoir. We need as many concerned citizens as possible to contact the Cheyenne Mayor and City Council and urge them to do that.
You can do so by clicking the link below, going to the action page and completing and submitting the form there. That will send your message directly to the Mayor and each Council Member. We have provided suggested language for your message, but we encourage you to personalize the message, so that it is in your own voice and expresses your own feelings about the matter. The main points to stress are:
- Relocating up to 11 windmills, circled on the map to the right, from the western and southwestern portion of the property to open a corridor for recreational access and to reduce the impact on wildlife migration.
- Allocating at least half of the proceeds from the wind energy contract to improving recreation opportunities and conservation at Belvoir Ranch.
If you would prefer to contact the Mayor and Council members directly here are their email addresses:
Mayor Marian Orr, [email protected]
We also encourage you to learn more about the original vision for Belvoir Ranch property at the Belvoir Ranch Master Plan website: http://www.belvoirranch.org/.
Thanks for your help with this important issue. Adding your voice to the discussion is one of the best ways to effect positive change.