Rock Springs Grazing Association

2023 Landowner of the Year - Green River Region
Get Involved / Landowner of the Year / Rock Springs Grazing Association

Landowners: John W. Hay III and Don Schramm

The Green River Region is pleased to award John W. Hay, III and Don Schramm of the Rock Springs Grazing Association with the 2023 Landowner of the Year Award. In 2021, Rock Springs Grazing Association approached Game and Fish to enhance public access on almost 17,000 acres of their privately deeded lands located along the Green River in Sweetwater County. Given their proximity to the cities of Green River and Rock Springs, these lands have been a popular area for sportspeople desiring to recreate along the river. Although RSGA had concerns about some of the public use on these lands, they wanted to provide public access in a more constructive manner.

With RSGA’s enthusiasm and can-do attitude, Game and Fish partnered with them and developed an Access Yes Walk-in Hunting and Fishing area. It consists of more than 20,500 acres of private and now legally accessible public lands for hunting and more than 12 miles of river to fish year-round. This new management plan for these lands will not only allow public access but will also promote long term public use and conservation of our wildlife resources. RSGA’s approach has not only been to conserve these lands but to enhance public use for the future. In addition to their recent collaborations with Game and Fish to provide public access along the Green River corridor, RSGA has furthered Game and Fish’s mission to conserve wildlife through its winter grazing strategy. RSGA utilizes the BLM/Private land checkerboard in the area 80 miles east and west of Rock Springs, and 20 miles both north and south of the railroad for livestock grazing. Most of these lands are winter grazed by sheep or cattle between Dec. 15 and May 1 annually and also include some smaller operations of “in-holding” summertime livestock grazing use in the Rock Springs lease. The winter grazing strategy while vegetation is dormant and subsequent growing season rest from livestock grazing during the summer has promoted healthy rangeland conditions over most of the RSGA checkerboard area. This management strategy sustains productive livestock forage and has greatly benefited habitat for pronghorn, sage grouse, mule deer, elk and numerous other wildlife species.

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