Every ten years, the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office develops a new plan for preserving historic sites and structures. Public input plays an important role. Through Thursday, January 15, the public can answer a survey about what priorities the new plan should highlight.
“It sets our path forward,” says Wyoming State Preservation Officer Mary Hopkins. “It talks about the challenges we face in preservation in the state, so our last plan had seven challenges,” like increasing public education and strengthening heritage tourism. Hopkins says the survey is designed to assess which challenges from the previous plan remain.
The new preservation plan will be partly based on public input from the survey. After a draft is written, there will be another public comment period mid-year. The new plan then goes into effect next year.
Hopkins says preservation is about quality of life. She says it makes communities more attractive and historically interesting, and that in turn can bring in tourism dollars. “You know, some people think history is so dry and boring. But it really isn’t,” she says, “and that’s what makes preservation different. Because we’re about places and maintaining the integrity of those places, so there’s something for people to visit and see and enjoy.”