A 2022 survey of Wyoming BHA members shows there is strong support for improving public land access opportunities in the state as well as for respecting private property rights. Read more below.
Wyoming hunters and anglers strongly support public and private access rights and overwhelmingly cite access as the biggest barrier while hunting and fishing. Wyoming BHA members are likely to have extensive hunting experience in the state, with 67% having hunted for 10 years or more. Nearly 30% of survey respondents identified as land owners. One-hundred percent of respondents oppose legislation that would eliminate or diminish public access, while 98% support making corner crossing legal. Over 90% of respondents identified expanding public access to landlocked public lands as a top priority.
Do you support making corner crossing legal?
Survey responses highlighted a strong desire for a collaborative approach that would work for public and private landowners alike. When asked about possible policy solutions respondents overwhelmingly cited the need for practical solutions that will work for both private and public land owners.
Would you support legislation that eliminates or diminishes public access?
Many of our members cited personal experiences in the field that highlight the dynamics of access issues that exist today. Respondents who have hunted in Wyoming for decades underscored how relationships between hunters and landowners have changed as ranches have changed hands and as Western big game has become more popular. The experiences of our members in the field demonstrate the need to advance collaborative solutions that work for private and public land owners alike.
Navigating the public-private land interface requires all parties to respect each other's rights. There is a small minority of bad actors on both sides of the fence who don't do this, and they are jeopardizing important relationships and undermining our hunting heritage as a result. Hunters should be able to access public lands from public lands, and hunters should respect private property rights. These are not mutually exclusive and we should work together to identify solutions that work for everyone. There should be penalties for hunters who trespass on private and there should be penalties for individuals who falsely sign, fence out, or chase off the public from public lands.
Our hunting heritage and public lands are the embodiment of important American values. It doesn't matter how much money you have in your bank account, what your last name is, or where you come from - these public lands belong to you. Hunting is a right in the state of Wyoming, and access is critical to supporting our hunting heritage. With the most landlocked public lands in the country, it is a priority for Wyoming hunters and anglers to secure equitable access solutions that ensure public lands remain accessible to the public.
Take the corner crossing pledge and speak up on behalf of sportsmen and women for public access to your public lands.
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This survey went out to 976 BHA members with a response rate of 9%.