Commissioners prepare for fire season

Brady Oltmans,
Posted 5/6/21

The county was awarded grant funds to update its Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

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Commissioners prepare for fire season


PINEDALE – Right up until the final agenda topic, the Sublette County Board of Commissioners were lively and full of zeal throughout its Tuesday meeting inside the Pinedale Library’s Lovatt Room.

Out of the first two-and-a-half hours of the meeting, items brought forth by Fire Warden Shad Cooper brought the most discussion. Cooper told the board Sublette County Unified Fire received grant funding for the wildfire protection plan. That grant gives the county $80,000 to update its Community Wildfire Protection Plan, with the county on the hook for a 20-percent match up to $20,000. Cooper said the county’s CWPP needs updating and suggested using that funding to hire a third-party consultant to weigh topography and talk with experts to best lay a path forward.

Commissioner Joel Bousman said the CWPP was one of the top priorities of the wildfire pact and it was his opinion the total cost – the grant money and the county’s match – of $100,000 would cover this. He said a comprehensive plan like that could limit damages in the event of another wildlife similar to the Roosevelt Fire.

Commissioner Doug Vickrey had an issue with that amount of money because, in his history as a commissioner, costs have risen more than they’ve dropped. When commissioner Tom Noble made a motion to seek a request for proposal, Vickrey said the CWPP idea had merit but he hoped to see the county cap its allotted amount at $20,000.

The board passed a motion to draft an RFP for the project. That motion did not commit the county to spending any certain amount.

Cooper also told the commissioners he’s drafted a strategic plan that involves his ideas of what would help SCUF be successful. He told the board he wanted its input, as well as other entities across the county. Commissioners told Cooper they had some feedback and would look forward to revisiting the plan following public feedback. 

Other meeting movements

  • Commissioners approved a right-of-way swap with the Town of Pinedale, which would give the county right of way on the lower boat ramp road on Fremont Lake Road once it’s complete. In return, the town would take right of way on South Tyler down to Granite Lane.
  • The board approved use of the courthouse lawn and the parking lot on the east side for food vendors for Main Street Pinedale’s Community Clean-Up Day scheduled for May 22. Tyler Swafford presented to the commissioners and said those spaces would be used from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., including set-up and teardown time.
  • Commissioners also approved splitting costs for a new fence along 4-H Property up to $4,900. It was brought up during discussion that state statute puts the county at risk regardless and it is statute to split costs.
  • Commissioners approved all three requests presented by Dennis Fronstrom while he spoke on behalf of the county’s Planning & Zoning. One was for a change of zoning district boundary to light industrial because the Bradley Family Trust proposed business use, which commissioners approved unanimously while Vickrey recused himself because he had family members involved in the matter. Commissioners also approved the variance for setbacks regarding gas pumps at the Rim Station gas station. And the board approved a boundary line adjustment in a subdivision by about 7 feet. The new boundary line runs accordingly with the existing fence between the two properties.
  • At the end of his allotted time, Fornstrom presented his revision of road regulations. The previous regulations were drafted in 1992 and the new planned regulations would only pertain to new construction. Commissioners approved the plan but required Fornstrom to return to the next board meeting so they could ratify the final plans.