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Governor Gordon signs bills strengthening outdoor tourism economy, supporting Native American culture

Two major bills signed today will create the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Trust Fund and codify the federal Indian Child Welfare Act as state law.

(Photo by Stephanie Lam / Cap City News)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Gov. Mark Gordon signed a bill today creating the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Trust Fund, which will strengthen Wyoming’s outdoor recreation economy and help fund recreation infrastructure projects.

The governor also signed a bill codifying the federal Indian Child Welfare Act as state law, an important step in supporting tribal culture.

The Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Trust Fund was funded with $6 million. Additional work will take place in the interim to develop the structure for the fund and how funding will be awarded for potential projects.

The Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation currently facilitates seven outdoor recreation collaboratives around the state, each focused on defining grassroots opportunities for the growth and enhancement of outdoor recreation in its region. The collaboratives include community members, recreation stakeholders, businesses, conservation groups, federal and state agencies and elected officials.

“We have seen a hunger for visitors to experience Wyoming’s mountains, rivers and trails. This trust fund has the potential to create new opportunities for small businesses, focus visitation towards appropriate locations and enhance the quality of life for all Wyoming residents,” Gordon said. “I’d like to thank the Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee for their work on this bill, and the Legislature for their support of this fund.”

The governor also signed Senate File 94 – Federal Indian Child Welfare Act codification. The bill codifies the federal Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA, as state law and specifies requirements and procedures for placing Native American children in shelter care or for adoption.

Governor Gordon noted that both Wyoming Tribes have emphasized the importance of ICWA to tribal children and tribal culture. He is encouraged that Wyoming Tribes will have a seat at the table as the State continues to hone its ICWA law through the work of the newly created Indian Child Welfare Act Task Force.

As ICWA has such a significant impact on tribal communities, the opportunity for participation by Wyoming Tribes in this process is essential to the success of this law moving forward.

“This bill celebrates the partnership between the tribes and the State of Wyoming, and our willingness to work together on these important issues that affect all of us,” Gordon said.

The governor signed the following bills today:

  • HEA0078 HB0185 Local government distributions – revisions
  • HEA0079 HB0209 Hathaway scholarship accounts – transfer timing
  • HEA0080 HB0089 State investment returns – adequate reserve funding
  • HEA0081 HB0074 Wyoming outdoor recreation and tourism trust fund
  • HEA0082 HB0017 State lands – grazing of non-owned livestock
  • HEA0083 HB0022 State land lease deficiencies – cure process
  • HEA0087 HB0052 Revisor’s bill
  • HEA0089 HB0014 Civil case filing fees – amendments
  • HEA0090 HB0144 Senior citizen district programs and services
  • HEA0093 HB0076 Licensing boards amendments
  • HEA0094 HB0033 School finance – career technical education grants
  • HEA0095 HB0064 Legislative stabilization reserve account – obligations
  • SEA0077 SF0083 K–12 school facility leasing
  • SEA0079 SF0061 Legislator per diem
  • SEA0081 SF0167 Domestic violence protection hearings – remote appearance
  • SEA0082 SF0152 Occupational therapist criminal history
  • SEA0083 SF0099 Witnessing of wills – remote methods
  • SEA0086 SF0153 Election security
  • SEA0087 SF0164 Public improvement contract requirements – amendments
  • SEA0088 SF0147 Government contracts – labor organization
  • SEA0089 SF0094 Federal Indian Child Welfare Act codification
  • SEA0091 SF0137 Subdivisions – fencing requirements
  • SEA0095 SF0076 Wyoming digital asset registration act
  • SEA0096 SF0066 School capital construction funding
  • SEA0098 SF0042 Taxation of cigars

A list of bills the governor has previously taken action on during the 2023 Legislative Session can be found on the governor’s website.