Pilot Hill Project Financing
- Pursuit of a state land swap continues as the most viable option to facilitate public acquisition of the 5,500-acre Pilot Hill Project (PHP). The Office of State Lands staff and completed 23 appraisals and continue to determine which properties best meet the project goals and engaging in discussions with interested purchasers. A 60-day public comment period on the Land Exchange proposal will most likely occur in late Fall 2019, with a State Land Investment Board vote in early 2020.
- Pledges and funds received to date total approx. $860,000 – approx. 50% of estimate needed for planning and initial infrastructure development.
- A Third amendment to the Purchase and Sale Agreement between the County and Owner extended the purchase option to March 2020 to accommodate the land swap process.
- PHP Oversight Committee is establishing a non-profit intended to intermediate the land management agreements and to facilitate ongoing fundraising efforts in support of long-term site management.
Land Management and Park Planning
- State Parks and Historic Sites staff have started due diligence to consider managing the recreation portions of PHP under a management agreement.
- WY Game and Fish Department is evaluating the potential to establish a Wildlife Habitat Management Area on a portion of the land potentially defraying some of the state lease fees and ensuring professional management of wildlife issues.
- A request for qualifications was approved by the Albany County Commissioners on April 23 and will be published this week. The scope of the work includes advising on a land use management plan and determining access sites, park amenities and trail system locations.
- Plans are being developed for hosted Pilot Hill public access days this summer/fall, per current landowner’s offer to support public awareness and input to land management planning. Community meetings facilitated by Haub School staff will also be held this fall to help inform the planning process.
- The Pole Mountain Unit of the Medicine Bow National Forest will focus one of their public input meetings on connectivity to PHP land during their non-motorized use plan update this summer/fall.
- Communications efforts continue to focus on web (Pilothill.org), social media, public event tabling, Boomerang letters to the editor, and other low-cost forums.