Solid waste issues drive Allen to run for District 2 spotAug 10, 2012 By Martin Reed, Staff Writer
Resolving the county's solid waste woes is a key motivator behind Larry Allen's decision to run for the commission's District 2 seat.
"The solid waste is a travesty, the way they've treated the citizens," Allen said. "I'd like to get the solid waste straightened out where the citizens will be happy to use it, and the people will keep the transfer stations open.
"I just don't feel like the board members treated the citizens fairly, and I think maybe they need to reconsider their decisions," the 56-year-old said.
Providing convenient trash disposal for citizens in rural areas is critical, Allen said.
"My goals are to work with the solid waste board and make it so we can work out a fair, equitable (system)," he said.
"If we can't come to an agreement for what's good for the citizens and what's good for solid waste, maybe we need to go a different route and weigh our options and see what else we can do," he said.
Allen is seeking the Republican nomination for the commission's District 2 seat against Richard Denke, Tim Salazar and incumbent Dennis Christensen.
He has worked for the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for 28 years and operates a ranch near Lost Cabin, located in the northeast corner of District 2 that spans Fremont County's north side.
Rural public safety
Allen identified several concerns he wants to address in office, including public safety in the county's rural areas.
"I want to work with the law enforcement and the EMS people to get full and fair coverage, equal coverage, for the outlying areas in the county," he said.
"For instance, in District 2, which would be Shoshoni and Lysite, that generates 37 percent of the county's income. In the wintertime we get a sheriff one day a week," he said.
The number of people working in the Lysite area warrants additional law enforcement coverage, Allen said.
"We average now 350 people a day working in the oil field," he said. "When they do a turnaround at the gas plant, that's another 500 people. Those people are literally racing back and forth from Riverton or all points coming through Shoshoni and Lysite. ... The residents, we call it the Oil Field 500."
Pavillion also experiences scarce law enforcement presence, and ambulance services could improve in the county's north end, Allen said.
"I'm chief of the fire department in Lysite, and I'm also a first responder, so I deal with this stuff quite often," he said. "I tried to work with the sheriff's office to get some more coverage in the rural areas countywide. I know Jeffrey City is struggling with coverage, and they said Dubois is a hit-and-miss deal. You see them all the time around Riverton and Lander. I know there are other areas needed too. I just like to see more equal coverage and work with the sheriff's department and EMS."
Allen plans to work closely with federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, concerning the regulation of public lands in the county.
"The Legislature has deemed the county commissioners as experts talking to the BLM regarding grazing issues and leasee allotment issues," he said. "I feel that I'm more than qualified to add my points of view and concerns that concern me as well as the other landowners and leasees that have to deal with the BLM on a regular basis."
He cited the BLM's recently released grazing assessment known as the Bridger Mountain Landscape Standards and Guidelines, which studied more than 73,000 acres of public land.
"Working with the BLM, that's an ongoing deal," he said.
"I'd like to work with the weed and pest districts to have more control over the noxious weeds and the problems we have," Allen said. "Fremont County has the largest infestation of Russian knapweed in the state. We need to work more closely with the landowners and the operators to get better control of these noxious weeds."
Allen was born in Riverton and has lived in Powell, Montana and Casper before moving to the decades-old family ranch in Lost Cabin about seven years ago.
"We've lived there seven years, but I got the ranch from an uncle of mine, and I've helped him out for the last 35 years," Allen said.
He has been married to his wife, Vicki, for 33 years. They have two children who live in Casper and two grandchildren.
"I've lived in Wyoming all of my adult life. I've worked for a regulatory agency for the last 28 years," he said. "I've been involved in agriculture all of my life."
Allen was the president of an improvement and service district in Casper that secured grants and loans from the state and federal governments to provide safe drinking water for an area west of the city for 120 families, he said.
"I have the experience with regulatory, ranching and working with state and federal agencies to know my way around and feel comfortable doing so," he said.