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Commission appoints Herbst, Lanham to preservation board

Feb 10, 2013 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

Candidates say they are bringing their interest and "a lot of experience" to the positions.

The Fremont County Commission appointed Lois Herbst and Charles Lanham to fill two vacancies on the Fremont County Historic Preservation Board at its Feb. 5 meeting. Herbst's and Lanham's positions will expire June 30, 2014.

Herbst is a Shoshoni resident and former rancher and farmer.

In her interview, Herbst spoke of her long interest in local history. She said for 33 years she has been collecting historic items and interviews related to ranches in Fremont County and is now archiving her collection.

"I'm just steeped in history right now," Herbst said.

Fremont County Commission chairman Doug Thompson asked if Herbst would be able to draw on her archives to contribute information on discussions about designating local ranches as historic.

Herbst said she could.

When asked if she had ever worked on the federal historic designation process before, Herbst said she had not. She added she has worked with Wyoming's Centennial Farm and Ranch program, a program that honors farms and ranches that have been in the same family for 100 years.

"It's nice to look at you, Mr. Chairman and know your history, and Keja (Whiteman) I know your history and Larry (Allen) you history," Herbst concluded. "When I said I'm steeped in history that's what I mean."

Whiteman and Allen are County Commissioners.

Lanham is a Wyoming native who moved to Riverton after retiring from a career as Cheyenne's preservation planner and earlier as a defense contractor.

He said he has worked with the President's Advisory Council on Preservation, and has experience obtaining "historic" designations for three Cheyenne neighborhoods.

"So I've got a lot of experience in preservation," Lanham said.

He added he has been the president of the Wyoming State Historical Society, is the chairman of a nonprofit called Tracks Across Wyoming that works on heritage issues, and has worked with the preservation groups of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshoni tribes on pow wow grounds and language preservation, Lanham said.

"I volunteer a lot of my time and thought this would be a good way to fill up my hours and use my skills," he said.

Thompson asked Lanham how he could help the Historic Preservation Committee become better involved in the federal historic designations process.

Lanham said he could help, and it is most important to be proactive, become knowledgeable, and involve yourself.

"Just letting them know you're aware and are involved in those things (is important)," Lanham said.

Jim Smail also interviewed for a seat.

After all the interviews, the commissioners voted by ballot, and unanimously approved the two candidates who received the most votes, Herbst and Lanham.

Three more seats will be open on the Historic Preservation Committee after June 30.

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