Raymond Mountain Wilderness Study Area
Looming large in Southwestern Wyoming is Raymond Mountain. Within its range lies a large block of landlocked public land, including a 33,000 acre Bureau of Land Management Wilderness Study Area--thats the equivalent of 33,000 football fields sports fans.
Historically, this unit of the BLM managed System of Conservation Lands was nearly inaccessible to its heir apparent--the public.
Thanks to a generous donation from Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation the Wyoming Game and Fish acquired a public access easement to the 33,000 acre Raymond Mountain Wilderness Study Area (WSA).
However, this easement through private lands had significant infrastructure costs before it could be available. Visitor services were necessary to ensure protection of adjacent private and public easement resources. Fences needed built, access roads needed graveled, and trailhead infrastructure was necessary to provide sustainable access to the WSA.
Knowing BHA members and supporters, we knew there was an untapped legion of backcountry badasses who value access to wild public land....and we were right! We couldn't have done this without you, our partners, or without a generous donation from Wyoming Game and Fish Commissioner Gay Lynn Byrd.
Thanks to you WY BHA raised and donated $47,000 to expand access to our public lands and participated in a work project to help develop the necessary infrastructure.
The 33,000 acre Raymond Mountain Wilderness Study Area (WSA) located within the Sublette Range has been identified by Wyoming Game and Fish Green River region personnel as the highest priority for acquiring hunter access in the region. This area is an important acquisition for public hunting access for elk, deer, moose, mountain lion, and bears for better population management. The Sublette Range is adjacent to the Idaho state line, and has been a special challenge managing local elk populations, due primarily to the limited public access. To help manage the expanding elk population, elk hunting has historically included late season elk hunts on the leased private ranch property, but additional hunter harvest is needed.
A private landowner has expressed an interest in allowing the WGFD to acquire a permanent public access easement and an associated parking area to the Groo Canyon trail, which would create the only public access to the southern half of the Raymond Mountain WSA. The basic idea described by the landowner would be the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission purchasing a fifteen (15) foot wide road easement along an existing two track as well as a parking area appropriately sized for trucks with horse trailers. This would provide back country horsemen and hikers a trail head to access the roughly thirty three thousand (33,000) acres of public land known as the Raymond Mountain WSA.