South Pass Cultural Landscape
South Pass is synonymous with the opening up of the American West. Hundreds of thousands of pioneers traveling by wagon along the Oregon Trail passed through this region. They left little behind, except wagon wheel ruts, primitive roads, abandoned mines, and remnants of the short-lived South Pass City, which in 1867 became notable as the first place in the United States where women could vote. Because the South Pass landscape has escaped change and development, its vastness is a testament to what American pioneers encountered in the journey west. Multinational conglomerates want to resume mining in South Pass as well as build a massive pipeline through it. Pro-development attitudes in the region have strengthened their position. The federal government needs to stop issuing construction permits. Formal designation of South Pass as a National Historic Landscape and listing it on the National Register of Historic Places are crucial to the strategy of preservation.
Since the Watch
The proposed massive pipeline that would have been laid across South Pass was not constructed after the Bureau of Land Management did not grant a final approval. Currently, the Alliance for Historic Wyoming is pushing for the historic landscape to be permanently protected. January 2011