Elk NetworkNew Wyoming Law Aims to Increase Hunting, Fishing Access

General | April 8, 2021

The phone rang at the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s headquarters in mid-March 2021. On the other end was Cyrus Western, an avid hunter, angler and member of the Wyoming legislature. He sponsored a bill to either open access or create easements that allow hunters and anglers to access previously inaccessible public land.

Basically, it was in the same context as the recent RMEF Raymond Mountain project in western Wyoming that created a public roadway greatly improving access to approximately 33,000 acres of public land on the west side of the Sublette Range.

RMEF chatted with Western, reached out to its staffers, volunteers, members and other constituents in Wyoming for more information, and came on board in support. Just a few weeks later, it passed through the legislature and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed it into law.

“This was a team effort of the highest order,” Western told County 10. “From industry leaders to local hunters and sportsmen groups, there was an authentic and organic push for this legislation by people who hold public access near and dear. Sportsmen and women made their voices heard by coming out to support this bill in big numbers.”

The new law adds nine dollars to the conservation stamp and designates 85 percent of the stamp amount be used specifically for access. It also directs a smaller portion of funding to make roadways safer for wildlife and drivers alike as well as to improve fish passage projects.

(Photo source: Wyoming Department of Fish and Game)