Dickinson appointed to committee

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Moffat County's voice on federal land issues just got stronger.

Moffat County Commissioner, T. Wright Dickinson, has been named vice chair of the Federal Land Management Subcommittee of the National Association of Counties' (NACo) Public Lands Steering Committee.

Jane Hague, NACo president, named Dickinson to the position.

Dickinson was pleased to be named to the position and said the appointment will give him a chance to bring federal land issues facing Moffat County and other Colorado counties to the forefront.

"It strengthens our voice," Dickinson said. "It denotes how active we have been and will allow me to voice concerns about issues affecting our county."

Dickinson said the appointment will also help Moffat County's position in an effort to stop the Vermillion National Monument designation in Moffat County.

"Clearly, we are going to use [NACo] as a forum," he said. "The Secretary [of the Interior Bruce Babbitt] is bound by NACo on monument designations and we are going to use the forum to get the word out that it is not the right way to go about it. We're using every tool available to do that."

NACo's 11 steering committees form the policy-making arm of the association. Each committee is comprised of 60 to 90 county officials who meet several times during the year to examine issues critical to local government.

The Public Lands Steering Committee focuses on federally-owned public lands including tax immunity problems, shared natural resource payments, Payments-In-Lieu-of-Taxes (PILT), and federal land management programs.

The steering committee's recommendations on legislative policies and goals are presented to NACo's membership during the association's annual conference. If approved, the recommendations become part of the American County Platform, which is the basis of NACo's efforts in representing counties before Congress and the White House.

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