The Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce is hosting its first meeting in a series of public talks about open spaces in the county on Tuesday, Jan. 28.
The public meetings hope to promote conversations from community members about public and private lands, recreation, development and policy.
The events will be held once a month through April over lunch and will touch on topics like private land, recreation and land-use policies.
The first talk in the series will focus on the role of public lands, said Clarke McClung, chair of the Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee for the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce.
"There's a big piece of Sheridan County that's up on the [Bighorn National Forest], so there's a chunk of public land that plays a role in the overall look of public space," he said.
At the meetings, different representatives from stakeholder groups will be there to get the conversation going and to answer any specific questions about their role. McClung said representatives from Wyoming Stockgrowers Association, Sheridan Travel and Tourism and Antelope Butte Foundation will be there.
He said there isn't a planned result of the meetings, but he hopes the events foster more understanding about land-related issues, such as recreation and trail development.
"It's really about having those conversations, developing relationships, working together, seeing each other's views or aspirations, whatever for open spaces in the county," he said.
McClung added that the talks will hopefully bring together people on different sides of issues to better understand points of view.
"It's really to help people to have a better knowledge base, so when decisions are being made, they can be a part of that or know enough, that they can look at and go that's a good decision, or say, 'maybe I need to talk to someone about that,'" he said.
Dixie Johnson, CEO of the Sheridan County Chamber of Commerce said, the conversations could be helpful for some in understanding the role of land in the county's economy.
"Tourism and agriculture are two of the top three industries in our state. Our community is really fortunate to have such strong agricultural businesses and mindset, as well as be a draw for recreationists and tourism," she said.
The first talk will be held at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 28 at Luminous Brewhouse in Sheridan. Public is invited to bring their lunch along.
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