Welcome to the first 2022 edition of the Wyoming Roundup! The Wyoming BHA Chapter Leadership Team is renewing our efforts to keep our members more consistently and clearly updated about what’s happening in our state with this quarterly newsletter. Every 3 months, your edition of the Wyoming Roundup will have information about upcoming events throughout the state, policy updates and action items, and what we’ve been up to since the last edition was sent out. Be sure to keep your email address current and review your contact info the BHA Membership Portal so you don’t miss out, and encourage friends to do the same!
2021 was a busy year for our chapter. Thanks to a generous donation of a Commissioner’s tag from Commissioner Gay Lynn Byrd, we were able to raffle off the license to raise $47,000. 100% of those funds went directly to Wyoming Game and Fish to help pay for the necessary new infrastructure at the Raymond Mountain Public Access Area at Groo Canyon. Towards the end of the year, our focus shifted to supporting four non-resident hunters unfairly charged with criminal trespass in Carbon County. You can read more about our chapter’s accomplishments by checking out our 2021 Year-End Review here.
2022 is starting off with a bang: in addition to recent and upcoming events you can read about below, we are kicking off a Spring Membership Drive Sweepstakes! If you’re a Wyoming resident, and you join as a new member or renew your membership at any level, you’ll get entered to win a Weatherby Vanguard Talus rifle and a Stone Glacier Sky 7900 pack. Check out the sweepstakes page for more information.
We have lots of events coming up this spring and summer! Many events are still being planned, so be sure to check our events page regularly to get details as more become available and RSVP. If you have questions about events, please email us and we’ll connect you with the event lead(s).
Wyoming BHA has prioritized supporting the four non-resident hunters who were unfairly charged with trespass in Carbon County last fall while corner crossing between two diagonally adjacent parcels of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. We expect new updates to share in mid-April. In the interim, you can read our chapter’s position statement on this issue here. We also recommend reading articles from Sam Lungren (MeatEater) and Angus Thuermer (WyoFile), who have both closely followed this specific case, and listening to a recent pair of episodes of Randy Newberg’s Hunt Talk Radio that cover the topic of corner crossing more broadly.
On February 28, the 5-person public committee presented a counter-proposal to Columbus Peak Ranch, regarding the Columbus Peak land transfer our chapter has been actively engaged with (and opposed to) since its introduction. There have been several counter-proposals presented this quarter. Columbus Peak Ranch has until the end of March to respond: we will continue to keep you updated.
The 2022 Legislative Budget Session is coming to a close. Wyoming BHA pushed back against two bad bills: HB0103, which would have expanded language to prohibit travel through private property to hunt, fish, collect sheds, or trap without landowner permission (widely perceived to be a response to corner crossing issues); SF 61, to remove the “sunset” date of December 31, 2022, from privatized pen-raising of greater sage grouse. We’re pleased to share that HB0103 was not considered for introduction in the House. Unfortunately, despite widespread outcry from hunters and other conservationists, SF0061 passed its third reading in the House and the Senate concurred. However, amendments were adopted that set a new sunset date of December 31, 2027 (i.e. 5 additional years, rather than perpetual). Thank you to everyone who took the time to contact their elected officials!
Upcoming resident application deadlines: Bison, March 31; Antelope, Deer, Elk, Turkey (Fall), Sandhill Crane, Pheasant (Glendo/Springer), May 31.
Upcoming non-resident application deadlines: Bison, March 31; Antelope, Deer, Turkey (Fall), Sandhill Crane, Pheasant (Glendo/Spring), May 31.
Mark Crandall, the winner of our 2021 Commissioner License, shared the amazing story of how he used his tag: he had a classic Wyoming experience, complete with ornery griz and a big bull elk. Be sure to give it a read here.
Wyoming BHA has partnered up with Smile Outside, a small, USA-based, family-owned business that publishes children’s books about conservation themes. At least $0.50 from each book they sell goes to a conservation organization—and if you use the code WYBHA at checkout, that donation will go to our chapter, and you’ll get 10% off your order. Win/win!
Do you live in or near Park County? If so, Emily Reed is looking for community scientist support on research for the Absaroka Fence Initiative! The goal of the research is to better understand how fences impact wildlife in the area. Community scientists will walk fence lines to help map fences and record wildlife sign such as scat, hair, tracks, and crossings. If you're interested, please send Emily an email to learn more.
Co-chair Pete Kassab heard there was a backlog of students who needed to complete Hunter Education, so he stepped up to become a volunteer instructor. In January, the program got 36 students their Hunter Ed certification; in February, 32; in March, he’ll help with another group, as well as a junior high after-school program.
New Chapter Leadership Team member Matt Palazzolo hosted a meetup on March 5 at El Sol de Mexico in Lander. Matt and friends both new and old shared info about upcoming events, event ideas, and topics of interest, and raised some money to help our chapter invest in future stewardship projects and events.
Cody area Chapter Leadership Team members Megan McLean and Kayla Nagle had an ice fishing outing on February 26. With 8 adults, 2 kids, 4 dogs, and lots of fish, it was a great day! Megan and Kayla have lots of Cody area events planned for this year already, and we hope to see some of you at a few.
Erik Kramer and Liz Lynch, leaders from the Jackson area, have been engaged with local collaborative groups focused on addressing conservation topics. Erik has been participating in the Bridger-Teton National Forest’s Forest Plan Revision process; Liz has submitted questions and comments as a member of the NGO stakeholder group in the WGFD-led elk feedgrounds management planning.
In the Laramie/Cheyenne area, co-chair Buzz Hettick has been actively engaged with all things corner crossing. Tanner Belknap attended Camo at the Capitol, and will be leading the charge (with help from Luke Weddle) on the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) showing at the Gryphon Theater on Thursday, April 7th. It’s the first time F3T has been in Laramie in three years, and the raffle prizes are amazing, so don’t miss out!
We are always looking for event and project opportunities throughout the state. Want to make a pint night happen, or have a favorite place you hunt that needs some TLC? Please contact us and let’s make some WY BHA conservation magic happen!