Thank you to all who attended, sponsored, supported, and planned the 2019 Fall Conference!
(conference materials will be posted soon)
2019 WYOPASS Conference Summary
WYOPASS held their annual Fall Conference October 9-11th in Gillette, WY. It was the second year of hosting the conference jointly with WYGEO, the state organization of GIS Professionals. Over 60 attendees spent the 3-day conference learning how GIS and planning can work together to create better communities. There were many great presentations on best-practices, planning challenges in Wyoming and interactive dialogue on issues the state faces in the coming years in terms of natural resource management.
Legislative issues have been a highlighted topic in many
exception. We were pleased to welcome Jeremiah Reiman of the Wyoming County Commissioners Association and Dave Fraser from the Wyoming Association of Municipalities. They joined a panel discussion with Sweetwater County Civil Attorney Jon Deleon and Planner Eric Bingham to discuss upcoming planning related legislation. The Panel also gave an update on where topics left off at the end of the last legislative session have gone with interim committees. WYOPASS will be sure to keep an
Natural Resource management was also a focus at this year’s conference. Many planners in the state are working on individual county Natural Resource Management Plans, as money has been allocated by the State to assist counties in development of their plans. GIS also plays a role in this, as natural resource database management, mapping and other technologies can aide counties in creating better plans.
Plenary speaker, Campbell County Commissioner Mark A. Christensen gave an excellent presentation about planning in Wyoming and the challenges he has faced as a policy maker. With increasing pushback from the public across the State and the new realm of social media, the struggle for public officials to combat and address false information has become a key issue. Mark discussed how municipalities and counties in Wyoming must work together to find the balance between private property rights and property values while simultaneously building an ecosystem that supports new businesses and economic diversification. Mark gave examples of how Gillette and Campbell County have addressed some of these issues, from public listening sessions to utilizing innovative zoning applications and streamlined permitting processes and regulations.
WYOPASS also presented their 2019 state planning awards at the conference. Planner of the Year went to Joy Hill of Park County. New Planner of the Year went to Sarah Hutchins of Carbon County. Planning Commissioner of the Year was awarded to two Planning Commissioners, Bob Jordan and Todd Hildebrand of the Campbell County Planning Commission. Finally, the City of Laramie’s North 4th Street Redevelopment Project was awarded the 2019 Wyoming Planning Project of the Year.
Overall, this year’s WYOPASS conference was full of learning and networking with fellow planners from around the state. We look forward to our Spring conference in Riverton, with dates to be announced soon!
Pictures (top to bottom):
Conference attendees enjoy the opening reception at The Railyard in historic Downtown Gillette.
WYOPASS President Sid Fox welcomes attendees at the opening session.
Campbell County Commissioner Mark A. Christensen gives the awards dinner plenary speech.
WYOPASS Treasurer Megan Nelms with two up-and-coming planners and conference helpers.