Game and Fish Commission approves acquisition of Ellis Ranch


11/18/2022 3:15:58 PM

Cheyenne - The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission met this week in Rock Springs for its November meeting. The Commission approved the acquisition of the Ellis Ranch Property in Johnson and Washakie counties. The property consists of 2,680 deed acres with additional access to 1,280 acres of Bureau of Land Management land. The property will be managed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department as a wildlife habitat management area. 

“Maintaining and expanding access for hunting and fishing is a top priority for Game and Fish,” Brian Nesvik, Game and Fish director said. “This property not only provides the public with access to previously landlocked, federal land, but it also allows us to effectively manage big game in the area.” 

The Commission voted to approve two regulations after consideration of public input:

  • Chapter 44: Regulation for issuance of licenses, permits, stamps, tags, preference points and competitive raffle chances.
  • Chapter 60: Regulation governing greater sage-grouse raised on private game bird farms

Game and Fish presented a draft proposal identifying nonresident general elk license regions and quotas. The draft proposal is in response to the Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce's recommendation to the Commission regarding the issuance of nonresident elk licenses in Wyoming. The Department intends to take the draft proposal out for public review and comment in the coming months. 

The department provided updates regarding efforts to protect Keyhole and Glendo reservoirs following the discovery of invasive zebra mussels in neighboring states. In addition, the department also provided a presentation on fisheries management challenges regarding kokanee salmon and trophy lake trout in Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
The WYldlife Fund provided an update about recent developments. The fund has established the Judith A. Hosafros Memorial Fund, an annual endowment that will support educational efforts and the department’s youth summer camp. WYldlife Fund President Chris McBarnes also announced the funding of several new conservation projects including $25,000 each to Grand Teton National Park’s Kelly Hayfields Restoration Project, the South Park Wetlands Enhancement Project and the New Fork River Restoration Project. An additional $19,805 was allocated for a beaver holding facility at the new Cody Regional Office.  Lastly, McBarnes updated the Commission on new private donations that will be used to help landowners initiate wildlife conservation projects through a pilot program recently announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Game and Fish.

A full recording of the Commission meeting is available online. The next commission meeting is Jan. 11-12 in Cheyenne.

(Breanna Ball, statewide information specialist - (

- WGFD -

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