Welcome to the Spring/Summer 2022 edition of the Wyoming Roundup! The Wyoming BHA Chapter Leadership Team (WLT) – along with you, our members – has been hard at work since our previous edition that was sent out in March. If you’re a new member or recently updated your contact information and missed the Winter/Spring 2022 edition, you can check it out here. Our next quarterly review will land in your inboxes in September, so be sure to also keep a close eye on our chapter website for upcoming events’ details.
With warmer weather upon us, our chapter has been busy with events! In April, Laramie/Cheyenne WLT members hosted a screening of the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T), and it was a smash hit. Our Cody area WLT members held a trail clearing event that represented the kind of camaraderie and sweat equity that’s been BHA’s bread-and-butter since the first campfire. The first weekend of June, our Jackson area WLT members (plus a bonus from Lander and a Laramie-to-Afton transplant) tabled at the JD High Country Outfitters 50th Birthday Party, handing out mule deer jerky, BHA stickers, Backcountry Journals, and good conversation to attendees. Read more about these events and more below.
Tom Chambers (plus Katie the Wonder Dog), Jared Oakleaf, and Liz Lynch also attended the BHA Rendezvous in Missoula. Jared and Liz sat down with Hal Herring and Ryan Callaghan to talk about corner crossing on the BHA Podcast & Blast, episode 132: both about the specific cases related to the GoFundMe we created to help defray the hunters’ legal representation fees – which, if you haven’t heard yet through the episode, still needs your continued support; in fighting the criminal charges, the hunters will likely have to use the entirety of what’s been raised so far, but the civil suit is still pending and we still hope to have some funds leftover to donate to Access Yes – and the broader history of landlocked federal acreage in Wyoming. Listen to it here. Liz also received the 2022 Aldo Leopold Award; you can read about that plus the other award recipients here.
Lastly, today is your LAST CHANCE TO ENTER our Spring Membership Drive Sweepstakes! There’s literally no better time to join as a new member, or renew your membership at any level: in addition to the usual awesome member benefits, you’ll also be entered to win a Weatherby Vanguard Talus rifle and a Stone Glacier Sky 7900 pack. Don’t delay: entries close June 15! That’s today! Get entered through the sweepstakes page and share the link with anyone who lives in Wyoming who might be interested.
Thanks for your continued support! Happy trails,
The Wyoming Chapter of BHA Leadership Team
‘tis the season to put some calluses on your hands and heels. We have some great events coming up soon: please check out the info below, and RSVP through the links when applicable if you’d like to join. If you have questions about upcoming events, please email us and we’ll connect you with the event lead(s).
- VOLUNTEERS WANTED! – Porcupine Ranger Station Kids Fishing Day – Cody/Sheridan – June 25th – 9 am to 2 pm – RSVP HERE.
- Flat Creek Cleanup – Jackson – June 25th – 9 am meet up at Bridger-Teton NF boundary – email us for more info.
- Sweetwater Watershed Riparian Habitat Restoration – Lander – July 23rd – Details TBA
- Trail Cleanup with the BLM & American Hiking Society – Cody – August 8th to 12th – Details TBA
- Big Willow Beaver Dam Analogs – August 8th to 17th – Details TBA
- Gear Consignment Sale – Jackson – August – Details TBA
- Ocean Lake Cleanup & Public Lands Month Kickoff – Lander/Riverton – August 27th – Details TBA
Wyoming BHA continues to prioritize 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 are pleased to share that all four hunters were acquitted on all criminal charges per the jury’s decision on April 29. The civil suit, however, is still pending, and the cost for continued legal representation is likely to exceed what our GoFundMe has raised thus far. The Plaintiffs’ request to move the civil suit back to a lower (i.e. state) court was denied on May 19, so it remains in the federal arena. We will keep you updated with further information as we receive it— in the interim, we recommend reviewing Angus Thuermer’s for WyoFile and listening to episode 132 of BHA Podcast & Blast with Cal, Hal, and two of our chapter’s board members that was recorded live at Rendezvous to get yourself up to speed.
The Joint Judiciary Committee declined to directly address the issue of corner crossing in Wyoming, due to the outcome of the civil case still pending in federal court. Wyoming BHA members sat in on the meeting last month. The Committee will focus on tangentially related issues, like trespass as it pertains to the use of drones. The Wyoming Leadership Team is tracking future meetings and policy moves related to the topic of trespass.
In some very positive news: the Bureau of Land Management has acquired 35,6770 in central Wyoming that opens access to 40,000 acres of previously landlocked public lands and waters! This is the BLM’s largest acquisition in the state of Wyoming to-date, and was made possible through Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) funding, as well as partnerships with The Conservation Fund and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Check out the piece by Christine Peterson for Outdoor Life to learn more about this exciting acquisition, as well as a similar acquisition in Colorado.
Upcoming application dates: Governor’s Bison Tag (residents only) – closes June 15. Preference Point Only purchases (resident and non-resident) available on July 1. Results: resident Deer, Elk, Antelope and non-resident Deer, Antelope – June 14; resident and non-resident Turkey (Fall), Sandhill Crane results – July 14; resident and non-resident Glendo & Springer Pheasant permits – August 4. Please note: all results dates are estimates; refer to the Wyoming Game & Fish Department website for official results and dates.
Many thanks to the donors of Wyoming-related lots for the Rendezvous auction: Big Horn Pack Llamas, for the llama-assisted day trip, and Cowboy Drifters, for 2 full days of guided fly fishing on the North Platte. Congratulations to the winning bidders! Thank you also to those who attended or tuned into the live podcast about corner crossing, and everyone who’s expressed support of our corner crossing work thus far. There’s power in numbers, and we feel fired up by the amazing community that’s building around this issue!
In the Lovell/Greybull (and Sheridan) area, co-chairman Pete Kassab is looking for more volunteers to join him on June 25 at the Porcupine Ranger Station, on the Bighorn National Forest’s Medicine Wheel Ranger District, for a Kids Fishing Day. Along with our friends at Trout Unlimited, we’re hoping to get some kids hooked for life (pun definitely intended) on fishing. Questions on volunteering and/or attending? Send us an email!
Cody area members joined chapter leaders Kayla Nagle and Megan McLean to help clear 4 miles’ worth of downed trees off the Little Sunlight Trail on May 21. The U.S. Forest Service added a sign at the trailhead to recognize the chapter’s commitment to helping maintain this trail for the past 3 years. This work helps keep the backcountry access point usable for hunters, hikers, horse riders, and other recreationists. Way to go! Megan also wrote us an extended “How-To Tuesday” blog post on rendering tallow, which you can check out here. Cervid tallow is great for skincare products; bison and bear tallow can be delicious for food… it’s a great way to truly make use of your whole harvest, snout to tail.
Jackson area board member Liz Lynch shared a status update and the letter submitted on behalf of WY BHA regarding feedgrounds after the Shared Learning phase. You can also see a WGFD provided summary of all stakeholder focus groups’ feedback here. A draft management plan is forthcoming; we’ll keep everyone in the loop about opportunities to engage further. Fellow Jackson area board member Erik Kramer spearheaded WY BHA being one of three Wyoming outdoors-focused nonprofits at the JD High Country Outfitters 50th anniversary celebration. Profits from the raffle ticket and drink purchase sales at the event were donated and split evenly between Wyoming BHA, Friends of the Bridger-Teton, and Wildlife Tourism for Tomorrow, resulting in $1300 for each participating group. We’re so grateful to JDHCO and all the community members who came out, said hi, and supported us!
Laramie/Cheyenne area leaders Tanner Belknap, Luke Weddle, and Buzz Hettick hosted a Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) screening in April and knocked it out of the park. With your help, we raised over $5000 for our chapter, and signed up 44 new members out of a crowd of 150. That’s amazing! Stay tuned for future events in the region.
Lander folks, keep an eye out for more details coming on a riparian habitat restoration and enhancement project on July 23rd, happening in the Sweetwater watershed in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management.
As a reminder: 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!
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!