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Free State Wyoming

Wyoming County Discussion & Analysis

Boston T. Party's Wyoming County discussion Common Law Copyright 2004. All rights reserved.

   

Hot Springs


Crook

Weston

Sublette

Johnson

Washakie
State of
Wyoming
 

No. of FSWers w/ 25% Support


1030


1266

1319

1347

1590

1681

n/a
Republican %
73%
74%
74%
82%
84%
73%
57%
 
% Reg. Voters
56%
57%
53%
61%
60%
54%
49%
 
% Private Land
49.2%
79.1%
71.0%
18.8%
59.7%
25.6%
42.8%
 

Private
Acres/Person

132.4
273.7
167.5
122.2
258.9
43.7
58.9
 
Median Age
38.6
33.4
34.4
35.4
37.6
34.6
32.0
 
Family Size
2.38
2.77
2.65
2.60
2.50
2.61
2.63
 
1995 Unemployed
4.7%
4.1%
4.9%
3.7%
3.8%
5.3%
4.8%
 
Gov. Employment
18.3%
21.0%
17.0%
16.7%
19.1%
17.9%
20.9%
 
High School Grads
76.1%
79.7%
83.2%
84.2%
79.8%
78.8%
83.0%
 
College Grads
14.3%
15.6%
12.7%
21.4%
17.9%
18.4%
18.8%
 
 

WHAT ABOUT NIOBRARA and ITS 2407 PEOPLE?

While the numbers of Niobrara give it a prima facie advantage over the other WY counties, Niobrara's blatant desolation will serve as a barrier to mass relocation. I have been through there three times, and completely understand why only 2,407 people live there. The county is dying, and many Wyomingites think that it should be absorbed into neigboring counties. I personally would not move there.

Yes, Niobrara has half the people of Hot Springs, Sublette, and Crook, but getting folks to move to Niobrara (vs. the other three counties would be much more than twice as difficult. All told, I think it would be easier to attract double the numbers for one of the other three counties. Quality of life must, at some point, override the numbers criterion (which was the point the NH/FSPers, though way overapplied in favor of NH).

If you're still stuck on Niobrara, go visit it and get back to me, eh?

COUNTY BY COUNTY COMPARISON, 4,500-5,800

HOT SPRINGS COUNTY

Pros: central location, world's largest hot springs, good tourism traffic, 40% alpine terrain, Big Horn River, moderate temps

Cons: 50% bleak topography, small, older population, high voter registration, rather dull, county revolves around Thermopolis, 2nd lowest education (only Niobrara is worse)

Summary: It's Niobrara with a nicer county seat and more hills and water. Same older, less educated population. Alluring because of the #s, but a false economy IMO. Younger FSWers would be pretty bored there until we revitalized it. Its moderate winters may make a difference in attracting some cold-averse FSWers.

SUBLETTE COUNTY

Pros: rugged alpine terrain, close to skiing in Tetons, much surface water (Green River and many lakes), low voter registration, low poverty

Cons: Pinedale area being absorbed by Jackson millionaire spillovers, higher real estate $, fairly isolated valley terrain, cold winters, little business activity, only 18.8% private land (122 acres/person), growing quickly from Jackson spillover (as is Dubois), high (61%) reg. voter % of pop.,

Summary: Cold, comp. little room for FSWers, though the economy is strong, and locals are well-educated and staunchly GOP. Not a bad choice for the rugged types. Its isolation is somewhat negated by being 1.5 hours from Jackson. An outdoorsman's paradise. Tied with Weston for BTP's 3rd choice.

WESTON COUNTY

Pros: Newcastle seat of good size/infrastructure for revitalization, borders SD (near Spearfish), alpine terrain on NE border, rail to Gillette/Billings, 71% private land (168 acres/person), 17% govt. employees, airport, low (53%) reg. voters.

Cons: 80% bleakish terrain (i.e., high plains and grassland), a bit windy, fairly isolated NE location

Summary: Tied with Sublette for BTP's 3rd choice. Neighbors BTP's first choice of Crook Co., so we'd have room to grow. Because of its low reg. voter %, it's easier to liberate than Sublette (which has 700 more citizens). Newcastle is ripe for economic renewal.

JOHNSON COUNTY

Pros: central location, I-90/I-25, lots of tourist/interstate traffic, lovely county seat of Buffalo (something for urbanites), borders Big Horn Mtn. range, has its own SD and HD, 59.7% private land (259 acres/person which is 3rd highest after Niob. and Crook), close to bigger cities of Sheridan and Casper.

Cons: Buffalo (a Durango wanna-be) a fast growing retirement area for federal retirees, we'd be behind the relocation power curve, the eastern county half is quite bleak, sparse road network.

Summary: BTP's 2nd choice. Everyone would like Buffalo, and there's lots of mountain property for the rural folks. It's growing pretty quickly, so we wouldn't have much time to jump on it.

CROOK COUNTY

Pros: borders MT (no sales tax) and SD, close to larger cities of Spearfish and Rapid City (SD), and Gilette, I-90, excellent hunting/survival alpine terrain, little wind, much tourism(Devil's Mtn./300,000 visitors, Sturgis rally/500,000+ visitors), strong eco., little oil/gas drilling inconvenience, 2nd highest private land (79.1%, and 274/acres per person), 3rd least FSWers required (after Niobrara and Hot Spr.), skiing, state reservoir

Cons: fairly cold winters, NE corner isolation, highly rural with less local attraction for urbanites, no airport, becoming more popular

Summary: Lots of room for FSWers and very nice country! Good economy with many young folks. Neighboring Weston also ripe for FSWers. Big city commuting + great outdoor living make Crook enjoyable for all relocators. Also, the NE corner of WY is rather unnoticed by the rest of the state. BTP's 1st choice, by far. If Wyoming is the undiscovered jewel of the lower 48, then Crook County is Wyoming's undiscovered jewel. With just 25% local voter support, you and I and 1264 other FSWers can liberate this county. With 33% local support, only 843 of us are needed.

 
                       
  Population County Comments      
<3,000 Niobrara Bleak, boring!    
4,500 Hot Springs Pretty dull; 5th    
5,800 Sublette
Crook

Tied for 3rd
BTP's 1st pick

   
6,500 Johnson
Weston

BTP's 2nd pick
Tied for 3rd

   
8,500 Platte
Washakie
Weak economy
It's all Worland
   
11-13,000

Big Horn
Converse
Goshen

11.8 acres/person; poor
Not bad; 4th choice
Flat, dull
   
14,000 Teton
Lincoln
$$$$$; 2 acres/person
Worst economy; LDS
   
       

GOOD CONTIGUOUS PAIRS (w/25% local support)

Platte and Converse

I-25, mountains, lots of water and good private land--a very nice area with central WY location, but we'd need about 4,000 folks. Converse is commuting distance to Casper, and Platte to Cheyenne and Laramie. Ft. Collins and Denver are 2.5-4 hours away. A pretty good pair choice if we could get the numbers.

Platte is a bit eco. depressed and 30% Dem, and Converse is just average (eco. and pol.). Higher numbers and more Democrats make this pair a lot more work for us.

Johnson and Big Horn

Great country, but little desirable private land. We'd need about 3,800 FSWers, and 82% of locals are Republicans. 136 private acres/person, though 80% of it is eastern Johnson grassland. Big Horn has the 2nd worst economy in the state, with many migrant workers and only 12 acres/person of private land.

Hot Springs and Washakie

2,700 folks would do it, but this pair is generally a bit on the bleak side (though there are some nice areas). Only 88 private acres/person on average.

Crook and Weston

This is really a no brainer. 2,500 FSWers is all we'd need, and 74% of locals are Republicans. The average 221 acres of private land/person makes this pair really shine, plus the border to SD and MT. Crook's advantages are becoming more and more obvious to tourists, so I recommend that we jump on it first and soon.

End of Report.

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