William "Bill" Barlow

Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008

William Barlow was born to Marion and Lewis Barlow on October 1, 1936 in Sheridan, Wyoming. He graduated from Campbell County High School in 1954 and went on to earn a degree in Agriculture at the University of Wyoming in 1958. After graduation he was a delegate for an International Farm Youth Exchange program and spent six months in Burma. In 1960, he joined the International Voluntary Services and spent the next two years in Cambodia, where he met his future wife, Bernadette, who was attending law school. When he returned to the US, Bill got his teaching certificate and taught Vocational Agriculture and Social Studies in high school before returning to the family ranch where he continued the tradition of conserving grassland for livestock and wildlife alike.

In the early 1970s, the huge coal deposits under the Powder River basin became a valuable commodity. He and his neighbors watched with growing concern as strip mines opened across the landscape, and proposals for coal-fired power plants emerged. In 1973, this group of landholders organized and began calling itself the Powder River Basin Resource Council.

Over the decades, Barlow and the council spoke upon spectrum of issues affecting land and landholders in the region. It pressed for passage of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, opposed the construction of coal-fired power plants in Wyoming, and was instrumental in passing the state's Industrial Siting Act. One of Bill's most significant contributions was his role in the Cow Creek-60 Bar Land Exchange with the BLM that eventually formed the 20,000-acre Burnt Hollow a rea for public use. The whole process took almost five years, and BLM has described it as one of the biggest, most complicated land exchanges in Wyoming. Bill didn't see this project come to fruition as it was dedicated in March, 2002 one year after his death in March, 2001.

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