Four landowners celebrated with 2021 Access Recognition Program award

The program honors Wyoming landowners who provide access to or through their lands to hunters and anglers.

1/3/2022 8:38:38 PM

Cheyenne - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is extending congratulations to four Wyoming landowners who were recipients of the 2021 Access Recognition Program award. The program honors Wyoming landowners who provide access to or through their lands to hunters and anglers.

Each year, the Wyoming Board of Agriculture and the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission partner to recognize landowners who contribute significantly to the hunting and fishing tradition of the Cowboy State. The 2021 recipients were recently honored and presented their awards at the Wyoming Stock Growers Association awards luncheon in Casper.

Landowners who received recognition for 2021 were: 

Noel Hall Company Ranch —  Managed by Maggie Peel, the Noel Hall Company Ranch is headquartered near Rock River, and consists of 29,500 acres in Albany County spanning into Laramie Peak. The ranch provides a variety of access opportunities, including 6,120 acres as part of the Pinto Creek Hunter Management Area for antlerless elk hunting. The access opens a large contiguous area to help reach elk harvest objectives. The ranch also enrolled a portion of the property into the Access Yes program to offer additional access and opportunities for pronghorn hunting. 

Two Creek Ranch Located south of Douglas, Two Creek Ranch is operated by Shawn and Lisa Daly. Its rivers and mountainous conifer forests in the Laramie Range offer habitat for nearly every big and trophy game animal in Wyoming. Known for their active and innovative role in wildlife management, agricultural techniques and public access, the Dalys worked in conjunction with Game and Fish to help meet wildlife management objectives, and their property served as a source population for wild turkey translocations. In the 1980s, the Two Creek Ranch opened two permanent public access areas along the North Platte River. The ranch was also one of the first members to the Access Yes program, and have provided white-tailed deer and turkey hunting to the general public since the late nineties. 

Guy and Jill Tharp The Tharp’s farm in the Bonanza area east of Manderson. Their property lies along the Lower Nowood River where the rich habitat attracts many game species including mule deer, whitetail deer, turkeys, pheasants and waterfowl. The Lower Nowood River also is  a good fishery for channel catfish and sauger. The Tharps were one of the original partners with the Access Yes program, and their property has been enrolled in the walk-in area program since 2002 for hunting and fishing. They allow access to hunt many species one would find on their property, including deer, antelope, turkey, pheasants, doves, partridge and rabbits. Hunters regularly comment on their appreciation for the access provided on this specific property in the Big Horn Basin.

PacifiCorp Since 2006, PacifiCorp has been a partner with Game and Fish on a public access area encompassing 4,100 acres at the Viva Naughton Reservoir on the Hams Fork River for boating, fishing, snowmobiling, hunting and other recreational activities. The access is valued greatly in Lincoln County as Viva Naughton Reservoir has become a premier location for fishing and hunting. The reservoir’s rich habitat consistently provides prized fishing opportunities for trout and hunting opportunities include antelope, deer, moose, waterfowl, sage grouse, sandhill crane and small game.

Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik said the Access Recognition Program is a way to show appreciation for landowners who allow sportsmen and women on their property to hunt or fish. 

“Thank you to these landowners who truly make a difference in Wyoming for wildlife. Because of their commitment, there are more places for individuals and families to get outside to enjoy wildlife and hunt and fish in Wyoming,” Nesvik said.

Access Yes is a program that facilitates the partnership between private landowners, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and hunters and anglers to create free public hunting and fishing access on private land and inaccessible public and state lands. These include walk-in fishing and hunting areas and hunter management areas. The program is supported through donations from the public and organizations. 

According to the most recent report, Access Yes opened access to more than 2.6 million acres of land for hunting as well as 4,005 lake acres and 87 stream miles for fishing on otherwise inaccessible private, state and landlocked public lands. 

Photo: Wyoming Game and Fish Department Casper Region Access Coordinator John Pokallus presents an award at the at the Wyoming Stock Growers Association awards luncheon in Casper.

(Sara DiRienzo, Public Information Officer - (

- WGFD -

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