Wyo4News Staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]
CHEYENNE, WYOMING — Governor Mark Gordon signed a bill creating the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Trust Fund, which will strengthen Wyoming’s outdoor recreation economy and help fund recreation infrastructure projects. The Governor also signed a bill codifying the federal Indian Child Welfare Act as state law, an important step in supporting tribal culture.
The Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Trust Fund was funded with $6 million. Additional work will take place in the interim to develop the structure for the fund and how funding will be awarded for potential projects. The Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation currently facilitates seven outdoor recreation collaboratives around the state, each focused on defining grassroots opportunities for the growth and enhancement of outdoor recreation in their region. The collaboratives include community members, recreation stakeholders, businesses, conservation groups, federal and state agencies, and elected officials.
“We have seen a hunger for visitors to experience Wyoming’s mountains, rivers and trails. This trust fund has the potential to create new opportunities for small businesses, focus visitation towards appropriate locations and enhance the quality of life for all Wyoming residents,” Governor Gordon said. “I’d like to thank the Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources Committee for their work on this bill, and the Legislature for their support of this fund.”
The Governor also signed Senate File 94 – Federal Indian Child Welfare Act codification. The bill codifies the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) as state law and specifies requirements and procedures for placing Native American children in shelter care or for adoption. Governor Gordon noted that both Wyoming Tribes have emphasized the importance of ICWA to tribal children and tribal culture. He is encouraged that Wyoming Tribes will have a seat at the table as the State continues to hone its ICWA law through the work of the newly created Indian Child Welfare Act Task Force. As ICWA has such a significant impact on tribal communities, the opportunity for participation by Wyoming Tribes in this process is essential to the success of this law moving forward.
“This bill celebrates the partnership between the tribes and the State of Wyoming, and our willingness to work together on these important issues that affect all of us,” Governor Gordon said.