CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A donation by Backcountry Hunters & Anglers to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s popular “Access Yes” program will expand the acreage open to access for sportsmen who hunt and fish in the Cowboy State.
Access Yes is a funding mechanism that helps pay for Wyoming’s walk-in, hunter management areas and easements. Part of the Private Lands Public Wildlife program, the walk-in and hunter management areas are partnerships between landowners and hunters and anglers. Building these relationships supports existing and expanded sportsmen’s access to productive fish and wildlife habitat located on privately owned lands.
“The Wyoming chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is committed to supporting Game and Fish’s Access Yes program, which provides hunter access to nearly 3 million acres of private, state and federal lands,” said Buzz Hettick, who lives in Laramie and is co-chair of BHA’s Wyoming chapter. “The program also provides 98 stream miles and more than 3,700 acres of pond/reservoir access for anglers. Sportsmen have a vested interest in making certain this valuable program continues to thrive.”
“Wyoming Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, a sportsman’s voice for our public lands, wildlife and waterways, supports hunter access by donating locally generated funds to Wyoming Game and Fish’s Access Yes program. This represents an investment in a legacy – one prized by sportsmen in Wyoming and across the country,” said Jerry Egge, a Cheyenne resident and board member of BHA’s Wyoming chapter.
Access Yes donations go directly toward the access program, and every $1 donated provides access to approximately four acres of land. In 2014, the PLPW Access Program provided more than 2.8 million acres of access for hunters and anglers.
“This donation from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers makes a difference by opening up thousands of acres for sportsmen and sportswomen,” said Scott Talbott, director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “We are grateful for the support from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and thank all the landowners who give hunters and anglers access to their private property. The Access Yes program is a great way to enhance opportunities.”
Funding for Access Yes comes from several sources, primarily conservation stamp sales, donations and restitution payments. Hunters and anglers also have the option of donating to the program when they purchase or apply for licenses. Access Yes donations can be used only for purchasing easements for hunter management areas and walk-in areas.
The funds donated by the Wyoming BHA chapter were generated via 2014’s Hunting Film Tour event in Laramie. The Wyoming chapter is continuing to raise funds for conservation and public access in 2015 and will be hosting Hunting Film Tour events on Sept. 3 in Laramie and Sept. 10 in Cheyenne.