Rep. Sommers honored as ‘Legislator of the Year’

Courtesy photo Rep. Albert Sommers makes remarks after accepting his 2019 WCCA Legislator of the Year award.

The Wyoming

County Commissioners Association

presented the 2019 WCCA Legislator of

the Year award to Rep. Albert Sommers,

HD No. 20, at its annual fall banquet.

Sommers serves as the House Speaker

Pro Tempore and on the Joint Appropriations

Committee, among many other assignments.

“There is a massive amount of information

to read and digest, the meetings are

long and arduous, and there are competing

visions and approaches,” according

to the WCCA nomination. “No one manages

the workload better or devotes more

time evaluating issues than Representative

Albert Sommers. Sublette County is wellrepresented

and should take pride in electing

someone of Albert’s caliber.”

“This past legislative session, state preemption

of local control dominated the

conversation. Throughout the debate – no

matter the venue – Representative Sommers

stood up for local control. He provided

valuable insight during the debate,

spurred action when necessary, and fought

on local governments’ behalf,” the nomination


“His work on our behalf is even greater

than all of that. The Sommers family lives

by a philosophy – ‘if you take care of the

land it will take care of you,’” said WCCA

President and Laramie County Commissioner

Troy Thompson. “That land ethic

WYOMING  – Gov. Mark Gordon announced

the launch of his sweeping statewide

initiative to battle land-based invasive

plants on Wednesday, Oct. 2, which will

have two teams of citizens and representatives

from levels of local, state and federal


“Wyoming is faced with threats from

multiple invasives species, both on land and

in our waters,” Gov. Gordon said. “I have

specifically asked these groups to address

terrestrial plants and provide recommendations

on how to take the first step towards

tackling some of the toughest questions. Our

best efforts should begin close to home.”

One team will address policy and the

other team will look at technical aspects.

Sublette County Weed and Pest Supervisor

Julie Kraft is on the Technical Team,

according to the Governor’s Office.

Michael Pearlman, communications director

for Gov. Gordon, said the initiative’s

discussions would not be limited to state

lands and both teams have “multiple federal

agency partners.”

Recently, Bridger-Teton National Forest

released its draft record of decision to

battle invasive weeds with the preferred Alternative

2 that calls for aerial, mechanical,

manual and other techniques to distribute

herbicides over wilderness, forest lands and

private property as approved.

This BTNF project is one that Gov. Gordon

and his teams can use for reference, according

to Pearlman.

“Projects such as that one may be an example

of something the teams could review

to inform what is working or not working in

terms of policy and technical measures,” he

said in an email. “The teams will determine

items that are reviewed and discussed.”

And although there are representatives

of federal agencies on the teams, he added,

“This is a state project convened by the governor.

It includes local, state, federal and

private organization members, but is not

under the authority of any federal agencies.”

The teams also include private citizens

representing industry and agriculture, as

well as scientists and practitioners, he said.

They will also guide how to proceed.

“The two teams will work cooperatively

to develop recommendations for the governor

in the context of a large-scale strategy

for invasive species management,” he said.

“Terrestrial invasive species represent a significant

threat to Wyoming’s forests, rangelands

and agricultural lands with varying

levels of impact.”

Pearlman said, “It is Gov. Gordon’s goal

to make Wyoming “a national leader on

combating invasive species.”

The two teams will have their first meetings

Thursday, Oct. 10, at 9:30 a.m. at the

NRCS Building, located at 100 East B. St.,

Room 3002 in Casper.

Policy Team members are Steve Meadows,

chairman, Wyatt Agar, Brian Boner,

Jacque Buchanan, Josh Coursey, Jessica

Crowder, John Elliot, Jack Engstrom, Colleen

Faber, Jamie Flitner, Slade Franklin,

Rob Hendry, Mark Hogan, Matt Hoobler,

Astrid Martinez and Tom Walters.

The Technical Team includes Justin

Derner, chairman, Bob Budd, Ben Bump,

Todd Caltrider, Justin Caudill, Scott Gamo,

Lindy Garner, Ken Henke, Brian Jensen,

Julie Kraft, Rod Litzel, Brian Mealor,

Dwayne Rice, Pete Stahl, Amanda Thimmayya

and Mahonri Williams.

Governor sets ‘invasive species’ initiative in motion

By Joy Ufford, [email protected]

Courtesy photo

Rep. Albert Sommers makes remarks

after accepting his 2019 WCCA Legislator

of the Year award.

Rep. Sommers honored as

‘Legislator of the Year’

is something Representative Sommers applies

to life and public policy and Sublette

County and the State of Wyoming are better

for it. Albert fights for the economic future

and safety of his community and ours.”

The WCCA Legislator of the Year

award is given to an exceptional member of

the Wyoming Legislature who goes above

and beyond for the benefit of all Wyoming



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