CASPER - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department wants sportsmen to be aware of changes to access of State-owned lands off Mormon Canyon Road south of Glenrock.
This area, which is owned by the State of Wyoming, has been converted to a Walk-In Access Area to address issues of abuse. In recent years there have been multiple incidents of people driving off road, mud bogging in livestock ponds, and hill climbing with 4-wheel-drive vehicles. Littering has also been a problem with people abandoning shooting targets, dumping large household appliances and furniture, disposing of rolls of used carpet, old computers, beer bottles, and other trash and rubbish.
As the enforcing entities for State-owned lands, personnel from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Converse County Sheriff’s Office have written numerous citations the past few years, but the problems persisted. “Abuse of state lands has been a chronic problem in this area,” said Gary Boyd, Glenrock game warden. So warden Boyd and two lessees who graze cattle on the land contacted the State Land Board to find a solution to the problem. The State Land Board elected to close several roads and signed the area up as a Walk-In area with the Game and Fish Department.
The area will remain open to public use, but several roads have been closed and people will have to “walk in” to access much of the land. Mormon Canyon Road will remain open to vehicle traffic. Other open roads will be marked with white arrows, as indicated in the map accompanying this news release. The changes should reduce the amount of litter and protect the lands from damage caused by improper vehicle use.
“Wildlife populations should benefit from these new travel restrictions,” said Matt Withroder, regional access coordinator for the Game and Fish Department. “There will be more wildlife available to the public if there are fewer vehicles on the landscape.” Restricting vehicle use will also allow damaged areas to recover and grow new vegetation, which will help control erosion.
For decades the public could not use State lands without the permission of the lessees. In 1988, the State Board of Land Commissioners adopted rules extending to the public the privilege of hunting, fishing, and general recreational use on much of the 3.5 million acres of State land.
That privilege comes with the responsibility of using the land in a proper manner so future generations will continue to enjoy the same privilege.
The public is encouraged to notify the Converse County Sheriff’s Office, the local game warden, or the State Lands Office of any observed violations on this new access area. Tips can be made to the Stop Poaching Tip Line at 1-877-WGFD-TIP or on the WGFD website at http://wgfd.wyo.gov.
(Contact: Robin Kepple (307) 473-3409)