Terry Cleveland to lead ‘Building the Wyoming We Want’ Initiative
by Governor Freudenthal's office
February 13, 2009
(Cheyenne) – Terry Cleveland of Casper, the former director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, has been named to lead a statewide volunteer advisory committee that will guide the implementation of the "Building the Wyoming We Want" initiative.
Cleveland, who retired in 2008 after 39 years of service to the agency, will head up the non-profit organization that originated in the January 2008 "Building the Wyoming We Want" conference. The forum drew more than 500 people to a discussion focused on how to preserve the Wyoming that residents love while preparing for the changes associated with growth and development.
Gov. Dave Freudenthal noted that the downturn in the economy had impacted on the original plans for this initiative, but had not diminished its importance.
"Going forward, we are minimizing expenditures on staff, focusing on the work product and focusing on communicating that work product to the public. Terry Cleveland is well-equipped to help us communicate thismessage across the state of Wyoming," the Governor said. "The downturn has caused us to shift our focus, but it has not changed theimportance of this project for the future of the state and for our children and grandchildren."
Cleveland said he his honored to be involved in this effort.
"Like all people who live here, I have a great love for the state," he said. "I look forward to working with the 'Building the Wyoming We Want' Board, the Advisory Committee and all who want to have a discussion on the future of Wyoming."
The Governor said that Cleveland, a Rawlins native, has a long history of working with landowners, local officials, federal and state agencies in collaborative negotiations.
"Terry understands the importance that each of us place on being outdoors and experiencing Wyoming’s magnificent open spaces," Freudenthal said. "He also understands how critical it is that we balance energy development and community growth with the preservation of our wildlife habitat and agricultural lands."
Following last year’s conference, the initiative has:
- Been formally established as a non-profit organization.
- Named a statewide advisory board.
- Communicated with local initiatives already underway across Wyoming.
- Began building a tool box of planning tools for communities.
- Coordinated with state agencies that have the resources to help communities prepare for growth.
One of the organization’s first goals will be to begin a statewide study aimed at identifying the underlying values common to Wyoming residents. Results are expected later this spring.
"This is a conversation about the state’s future, it is not the state imposing some kind of a plan from the state level," the Governor said. "It is about empowering local communities and citizens to be aware of the tools that are at their disposal and to utilize them."
One problem with earlier statewide planning efforts in Wyoming was that they jumped too fast to the "end game," Freudenthal said, without allowing the process to work itself to its own conclusions.
"If you start this assuming an outcome, you’re being dishonest," he said. "What we are assuming is a capacity to create a process whose outcome is not entirely foreseen today. For us to make this work in Wyoming, what we need to do is create an appetite for a discussion that will generate a vision that will allow us to impact on local decisions. If we start out with the proposition that we know where we want to end up, I think we’re being disingenuous to people because we’re saying ‘We want to talk to you about the Wyoming that Dave Freudenthal wants, not the Wyoming that we want."