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Wyoming looking to buy 1 million acres
Do any of you know any more about this? I looked a little to find where along I 80 this might be but didn't find much.
At least it's not some enviro-crazy organization bent on ending hunting opportinity.
Early speculation is it's some of the checkerboard areas along the I-80 corridor. If you look at a BLM map or OnX, you'll see it
Would be awesome to block that checkerboard in. Some great antelope hunting opportunities in there amongst other things.
From the article the land is in various areas including outside of Wyoming as in Colorado and others. And as stated in article Wyoming has no problem with ownership of and investing in other states. So more accessible lands everywhere. Hope they can find enough money and get access to it.
As article stress this isn’t sit around and talk about it forever kind of opportunity.
Yep. And BHA will either be pissed that it's going under the control of a conservative state, or try to take credit for somehow facilitating it.
Funny how some "conservatives" support larger government when it may improve their hunting opportunities. Be careful of what you wish for. Much of Colorado's state owned land has no public access.
Lou, you just de- legitimize yourself with your incessant BHA rants that are interjected into every topic regardless of its relevance. Pretty hard to take you serious at this point as you and several others on here suffer from a serious dose of being angry old men.
There is always a "Donny Downer", on the site...??????????
I have never seen any place online rivals bowsite in regards to BHA derangement syndrome. I get a laugh at it actually. The detractors are good bar to judge ourselves against as we obviously making a net positive impact, yet as always we all have room for improvement both as individuals and as organizations.
HAHA. Any place that rivals bow site? I have seen it everywhere... There is not doubt about it, BHA is a green decoy. It all honesty it is worst one I have ever seen. Sorry but BHA and its leadership once had great promise but as time goes on they show their true colors more and more... They need young misinformed individuals to support them...
Hell this is probably going to make uppers in BHA mad because they had envisioned huge developments of alternative energy on those hills... After all they supported massive installments of alternative energy on public lands just recently.
Now that bashing the BHA is out of the way... This could be a huge deal. There is a lot of interest in this purchase in WY. I have heard support from both sides and very few objections to the purchase. However it has a long ways to go. I have been in contact with my reps and have made it clear that there needs to be assurances in the purchase. A guide for what they can sell when. For example anything outside of WY can be sold without hesitation for a profit. Lands inside WY need specific vetting to be sold. No matter what we need to know what this will look like when done. How do they plan to use this land to benefit the state both fiscally and in other forms.
I'm a big fan of Conservative States buying land back and putting it in State Control. As long as it is not put in a Preservation Status.
DJT just undid that BO Monuments Exec Order. That was very key for Nevada and Utah. Utah should get with it and buy some of their state from Fed GVT.
It is amazing and fantastic that a state is looking to purchase more land. This can only benefit hunters, fishermen, hikers, birdwatchers, and anybody that enjoys time outdoors. I really wish that more states (especially Utah) would think along the lines of opening public opportunities.
State owned lands are NOT "public" lands like most federal lands. Even residents have no rights to use state-owned land unless the state says so. States own land to generate revenues, period. Those revenues can come by way of mineral development/extraction, subdivisions, logging, etc.. they don't have to include public recreation. And state residents have no say in how those lands are used, they just pay more taxes for managing those lands.
I would be leery of any major state land purchase that didn't include specific legal recreational rights to the public. As I mentioned, there are thousands of acres of state-owned land in Colorado that has no public access.
No bashing here, just pointing out facts. Seems that BHA fans have pretty thin skins. I like much of what BHA stands for. It's their leadership I don't like or trust. If Tawney would move on to lead Sierra Club or Earth Justice, I would consider joining.
Here's a scenario for you - if BHA leadership gets their way and Sanders or Warren are elected, they could immediately repay their enviro supporters by signing an EO to end hunting on all National Monuments and Federal Wildlife Refuges. Another quick EO could end all energy exploration on DOI land, including BLM. But they would have a hard time forcing WY to do anything to screw up hunting on state-owned land.
Wyoming does allow access to public lands, and part of the impetus for this effort is to provide access to thousands of acres of landlocked checkerboard. That's a great thing. Now, if CO was doing it without the guarantee of public access, that would be a different story.
Grey Ghost's Link
Lou, your post pointed out exactly zero facts. It's sole purpose (like many of your posts) was to bash BHA and it added nothing of value to the thread. For the record, I'm not currently a BHA member. I have been in the past and may join again in the future. Right now I have a few issues with some of their stances so I decided not to renew my membership.
To get back to the topic, I like seeing a state show interest in adding to its public lands. Whether its a smart financial move, if they do it, will remain to be seen. I have a hard time imagining our grandchildren would ever look back and say "gee, I sure wish they hadn't made that land public." My only wish was that this was in an area with more tags readily available so that, if it goes through, more hunters could enjoy it.
Can you point to information that confirms Wyoming's proposed land grab would include guarantees of public access? I read thru the House Bill 249, and it stated:
"A purchased made under this section shall: (iii) Not be considered a public purchase investment under W.S. 9-4-715 (n)
As usual, politicians talk a good game, but the actual wording of the legislation is where the rubber meets the road. This legislation looks like it's more about obtaining mineral interests, then it is about public recreational access.
Grey Ghost's Link
"Paired with House Bill 57 – which, if passed, would ease land swaps between the government and the public – the deal could also help improve access to hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands by giving the state greater flexibility to exchange public lands for private ones."
Adding something of value to a thread here is not a requirement, as we all know. Every honest discussion, whether about CBD, assist-bikes, broadheads, outfitted hunts, invariably becomes a bash fest for those who don't agree (or have no experience).
Again, it should be noted that state lands ARE NOT public lands. Far from it. They are managed solely at the discretion of the state government, and the public has no say in how they are managed. See link.
There is nothing in this bill that guarantees better access to public lands. That's all just lip service, unless it's written into the bill, IMO.
It's a Capt'n Obvious thought but it seems to me as with many things of interest to hunters, hikers, anglers, etc....instead of letting extreme environmental activist groups take the lead and concerned outdoors folks end up being reactive, concerned outdoors folks, clubs and organizations need to take the lead on crafting any proposed legislation of this nature. Posting a contact list of the WY legislators might be a good start. If any of the land is currently in Federal ownership....a contact list for those folks would be useful too. Making full public access and recreational usage a condition of the sale seems like a logical effort....at least to me.
State land in WY can be amazing. When GIS/GPS tech started developing we found a section surrounded by private in an amazing whitetail spot. A corner just barely overlapped a county road to get legal access. We had several great years with some great bucks taken.
Still good but more folks caught on.
This property if purchased, and that's a BIG IF, won't be managed as State Trust Land.
As a Wyoming resident, I have never had anyone come and run me off state land.... We know that you are not allowed to camp on state land.... But, I use state land, a LOT, every year. Am I at their discretion, absolutely. But, it has yet to happen to me and I know of no one that has it happen to them. Only my personal experience
If it's the area SE of Rawlins, it has great antelope and muleys. Not big numbers but BIG, In addition there are elk in some of the area. I guided the area in the early 2000's and its almost unloaded. Trails that you can 4W but not much else.
"State owned lands are NOT "public" lands like most federal lands."
Depends on the management plan...
Colorado has 3 million acres of state-owned lands. The public only has access to 585,000 acres of that land for wild-life related recreation. So, less than 20% of Colorado state lands has public hunting, fishing, or wildlife viewing access. The state can add to, or subtract from, that total at their sole discretion. They can also dictate any restrictions relating to public access that they deem necessary. For example, most state-owned lands with public access are only open from Sept. 1 through the end of February, and they are not accessible by vehicles, atvs, or snow mobiles.
Again, be careful of what you wish for. Wyoming's proposed land grab could easily reduce access to public lands, instead of improve it.
Or maybe it will be guided only for NR.
Our DNR in Wis put up a sign, by an area that provides great xcountry ski trails and horse trails, birding walk areas, and info maps to explain the areas. The sign states " This Recreational Area, provided by Wis Hunter trappers and fishermen, contributions ....
Grey Ghost's Link
From what I've read, State Trust land in Colorado is managed different than almost every other western state. Several articles about it, see attached.
"A valid state permit for hunting and fishing applies to state trust land as well as public land in Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. In Utah, Arizona and other states, trust lands are occasionally sold, with public parcels suddenly becoming private."
"According to the Land Board’s website, Colorado trust lands are not open to the public, except for specific parcels leased for recreation by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Currently, a little under 500,000 acres is publicly accessible."
"In July, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife commission voted unanimously for a 500,000-acre expansion—effectively double the previous amount—of public access for seasonal hunting and fishing on previously private state trust land parcels, mostly in the eastern part of the state."
Wyoming currently has 3,520,000 acres of state lands. Only 512,000 acres of that is managed by the WGFD. So, only 14.5% of Wyoming's state lands have wildlife-related recreational access. See link.
State lands are for generating revenues for the state. Public wildlife-related activities are very low on that totem pole on state-owned lands, in both Colorado and Wyoming . The vast majority of this Wyoming land grab will likely result in leases to private energy companies, and will not be accessible to the public, IMO.
Honestly, I'm surprised that self-proclaimed "conservative" hunters would support giving the government MORE control over anything, especially land. The conservatives I know want smaller government with less control. I guess socialism is OK to some here, IF it could result in more hunting opportunities for them. That's ironic.
I'm all for gubmint acquisition of public land IF hunting is allowed. Up where I live, thousands of acres of checketboard were bought by USFS and the State to open up a huge block of hunting, fishing, and other access that was previously denied.
Do we know for sure that this won't be managed by the State Land Board.
Matt, Just because the state land isn't managed by WGFD doesn't mean it's not legal to hunt and fish there. Quite the opposite in Wyoming. Basically, if you can access it, you can hunt and fish there.
Would you rather have Gvt sell it to public or for mining rights??
Every state is not CO.
If was state owned i would use well.
Midwest, I stand corrected.
Note, however, Wyoming refers to hunting and fishing on state land as a "privilege" granted to the public, not a right, and the state has the authority to close public access at their own discretion, or upon the request of the surface lessee. Residents have no say in how those lands are managed.
I simply don't trust the government to have more power over anything. There's nothing in this bill that guarantees more public hunting and fishing access. It mentions the public only once, and that was the quote I posted earlier, which states this land grab shall "Not be considered a public purchase investment ". That should raise a few eyebrows, IMO.
WapitiBob's link echos my concerns.
Wyoming MUST legalize corner crossing we already have LOTS of public land we can't use...we have the technology
Grey Ghost's Link
One thing we do know... if WY doesn't acquire this and open it up for hunting and fishing, etc..,etc.. (as stated in the press release), the public is guaranteed to be shut out.
The big checkerboard area acquired on the other side of my mountain was also part of the UPRR land grant. Since the acquisition tied everything together, it has been used for "multiple use", including hunting, fishing, hiking, grazing, some carefully managed logging, limited ATV and 4WD access into the interior. Pretty much the same as the stated purpose of the WY "land grab".
I think this map says a lot. Note, the purple is the surface ownership Wyoming would purchase, roughly a million acres. The blue represents the mineral ownership, roughly 4 million acres.
Why do you suppose the state has been so closed-lipped about the 4 million acres of mineral ownership? Hmmm......
I love these guys against mining rights. Earth to. Mars what do you think is needed to run your smart phone, your sat phone and this site. Get a grip.... Yes you can responsibly mine, it's called good business...Now for the BHA guys go have another pint, after bitching about mining a d getting into your electric powered vehicle, that needs mining to work...
You meet a lot of BHA guys who drive electric cars??
I love mining rights, especially when the government doesn't own them. Same goes for water, grazing, and timber rights. But then, I'm not a socialist.
If they purchase it, they will lease or sell the mineral rights when they acquire a buyer. And, that should be A OK with everyone here. Mining, drilling, timbering, etc.... is not a net negative for habitat. It is a net gain. I imagine the only time any of the surface land will be off limits, is if an area on the purchased surface was being used as a mine. Then, that would be a marginal loss.
I don't get the conspiracy about the hush hush on the purchase. It's common practice and sense that when negotiating money deals, to keep it quiet until you have signed a intent to purchase with the seller. And, often then it is required by contract not to discuss the terms. Its simply best to stay quiet until the deal is done. For both parties involved.
I understand apprehension to a state buying land. All we have now is politicians saying what they are going to do. And, we all know most politicians speak out of both ends. So, there re no guarantees the end results no matter what the bills say now. But, I imagine there is no state more capable of handling this for the best interest of outdoor activities then Wyoming.
Time will tell on it all.
Wow, there a flash of the obvious? How long you live out west GG?
Why I said : If state dont buy it it could be sold to private. See what rights state citizens have to use land then.
Gvt and states are not complete fools. They are not giving up mineral rights once they have land. They can give surface right use but they will keep mineral rights.
Look at Montana they own all that school land set up by the states constitution that was set in every county in state. Most of it is landlocked by private and NO you can not cross-wire jump it or corner jump. Its on all maps but it nut marked unless ranch marks the border it shares. Where USFS touches a border you can hunt it.
So, I would applaud WY buying and opening up some landlocked checkerboard even if it is labeled dual use land and they keep mineral rights options open.
Let's see, now. The largest government land grab since the feds purchased Alaska, adding a million acres to a state that is already majority-owned by the government. A potential BILLION dollar price tag. Closed door negotiations. No transparency. No guarantees of public access in the actual legislation, only lip service by a few politicians.
And you guys are OK with this? What happened to the conservative "small government" mantra? Capitalism over socialism? Free markets and private enterprise? You guys are willing to abandon those ideologies on this issue because it MIGHT result in more hunting opportunities? Wow.
Matt, how many threads have there been on here and every other forum complaining about checkerboard, lack of access, how the government needs to do "something" to open it up. So Wyoming is trying to do this, apparently investing in mineral rights for future revenue (in case Sanders or Warren get elected and shut down energy development on federal land). This is Wyoming's money from royalties since there is no state income tax, and if they want to do this and it does open up public access, I'm all for it. Even if it doesn't open up access, it's Wyoming's business.
This isn't an expansion of government in any way. It's simply a real estate transaction between a willing seller and a buyer, with potential public benefit.
Let's not make lemons out of lemonade.
Well, I don't practice selective conservatism. I view this as a huge expansion of government. If the feds were doing this, I suspect some of you would be howling like monkeys.
I guess we'll see how it all plays out. I'm sure some conservative Wyoming residents will have something to say about this when it becomes common knowledge.
Lost Arra's Link
Smart states buy tracs All The Time. If they they put in it a duel use trust. It works, has worked and will continue to work.
I’m thinkin you like what BO did with the overeach with Monuments Clause to grab federal lands?
Where were you when the congress wa shouting overeach and considering selling lands to Private with open trust and dual use? Difference here is WY is looking out for itself and its 550k residents. Very different than CO. If CO did not have federal lands the state woulda sold it off part and parcel like Texas. Then what would you have? So for CO trash talking GVT or control of these lands falls a tad short IMHO
I would prefer the state of Wyoming buy it to some of the alternatives.
I'm always leery of people meeting behind closed doors. In a state that has a powerful outfitter lobby, it might not work out so good.
Well, somebody like Ted Turner buys it and I can guarantee it isn't going to work out good for hunters, trappers, and anglers.
Wyoming has a pretty decent record of allowing public access to public land, and that access including hunting and fishing. Were this a "blue" state like Cali or Colo, I'd be way more worried about loss of fishing and (especially) hunting.
As stated in the article and noted by commentors, there will be commercial use of some of that land, and where that's occurring there isn't going to be public access.
Checkerboarding locks up public land where states (like Wyoming) don't allow folks to cross corners. Creating solid blocks of land will sigificantly improve overall access imo.
Ted Turner allows hunting and fishing on his ranches. Of course most of the time for a price. The one sheep unit in NM where one of his ranches is located as many as 3 public draw tags hunt have free access . Ted Turner hunts on occasion himself mostly for quail.
Of course Wyoming state ownership would have potential for greater public access.
Hahahaha Ted Turner only opened up some land use when there was outrage over landlock issues. Not until state gave him Tax breaks did he let some BIG $ elk hunters in.
Good Point how much land did TT buy in CO???? Purty sure he is not letting folks on those parcels.
TT dont allow shit for access, unless you pay for it. I stood next to a pair of NM directors a warden and county officals as we toured several gates that his ranch and two neighboring landowners welded shut, they all crossed county road and blocked access to state and federal lands. I will take my chances with the state of wy or the feds over the likes of TT and wilks brother and all.their ilk
If Occidental is selling then SOMEONE will be buying. I would take my chances on the state of Wyoming rather than someone like the Wilks brothers with their gate building crews.
Amen Brothers of the Bow.
You got GG types who'd sell CO in a heartbeat to highest bidder if he had access to to the land BHA would buy.
CO is headed for rough times. The only way to fix it is to Have serious change in CO GVT.
Hey, CO residents you can't run to Texas and think you can escape the tax man and have public access to lands for hunting! Better get the revolution started now.
So.. the alternatives are:
The State buys it and possibly opens up public access to a whole bunch of landlocked checkerboard.
Someone else buys it and keeps everyone locked out forever.
And the argument by hunters against WY buying it is what, again?
If you look at the map I posted earlier, and are familiar with the area, you know that the vast majority of this land is flat montane basin grasslands. It does not include the juniper forests further to the south, which have good elk habitat (Ie: unit 124). I wouldn't consider this prime hunting land, unless you are going after antelope or jack rabbits, which there are plenty of public opportunities, already. There are some nice riparian habitats along the Green and North Platte rivers in the area, that hold some game, but it's very limited compared to the overall scope of this land grab.
It seems clear to me, the mineral rights on this land is what the Wyoming government is truly after. This purchase will result in very little increased hunting opportunities, IMO.
Why call it a land grab? They ain’t grabbing it. They are going to pay what the market will bear.
"Why call it a land grab? They ain’t grabbing it. They are going to pay what the market will bear."
I guess it depends on your perspective. Would you rather have the majority of land and mineral rights owned by private enterprises, or the government? From my perspective, government usually screws up anything they touch. I'll take private enterprise any day. But then, I don't look at everything from a perspective that only benefits hunters. YMMV.
WOW That flows well out of both corners of the mouth.
So, why have state buy it because it has no value for hunting? Public land trusts are not based on the one pastime of hunting. Multi use land trusts are just that.
With that kind of reasoning the Fed GVT should have never placed CO's vast tracs into Wilderness Area's and USFS's. If US GVT had not done this you would now have a state in Rockies called Texorado. With next to zero public use lands. Yeah, GVT really left you CO residents holding the bag! Not..... But left to the current CO State GVT any lands they could buy now would surely be sold for the benefit of the Current Administrations desires of Social Justice.
Thank the heavens for forward thinking US Presidents and GVT that gave you residents of CO the gift of wild mountain country you have.
Wyoming is a little different ... we don’t have revenue streams to support or schools and university, let alone our uninsured. Leasing mineral rights is a source of income that works here where others don’t because we don’t the tax base. If the sale cash flows for that reason, I’m ok with it even without access. The alternative is we lose our future. Coal ain’t going to power Wyoming’s economy in 2030.
Boom. Deertick nailed it.
The millenals have to understand that all these whizz bang gadgets all require rare eaerth metals in large tonnages.
Pladium, Lithium, platinum, uranium, gold, silver, copper, etc
They must be mined somewhere! What would the SF's do without their Android 15X ? Stop mining and Apple will just buy land from states and open their own mining Ops.
As I understand,, there is good antelope in the area as well as rabbit, grouse and maybe mulies. no elk doesn't mean no hunting
I may drive down to give it a shot
Try speed goat hunting with a selfbow. See how ya do. That great lands to do it on.
Deertick...exactly! People that don’t live here haven’t a clue what it takes to keep a state fiscally solvent when there’s only 550,000 of us living in the whole dang state! This is especially true when our main source of revenue is based on what many politicians in the rest of the country are hell-bent on eliminating! They ain’t perfect, but I trust our state government to look out for our best interests, rather than the feds, any day! Look no further than the damn wolf fiasco if you want proof!
Ok. So I understand where you all are coming from with just because it’s state land don’t equate to public access.
However, what is it now?? It’s PRIVATE, so what’s the worst that can happen compared to what it already is?? Seems like NOTHING. Best case scenario a lot more hunting ground, worst case scenario it stays the same, just changes ownership?
Yeah, over half the state is owned by either the feds or the state. Mineral rights are even worse. Pffft...what's another million areas of surface and 4 million areas of mineral rights in the government's control, anyway. I'm sure they'll manage it better than private ownership ever could. Socialism is alive and well on the BS.
Yeah Matt, lets go the Texas route. oookkee dookee.
Never hunted NF I presume, it goes against your conservative ethos. Check.
Caged elk on private 40 acres, ok...check. Say hello to uncle Ted for me.
I hunt public land all the time, Kodiak, and appreciate the blessing. I also know public land is different than state-owned land. You should learn the difference.
For profit private enterprise has pretty much made a mess of anything involving lands and the environment. USFS and the BLM were created to save and or protect these valuable things to help feed our need of quality of life. I'll take my chances with the government yet with trepidation being that corporations/wealth is in bed with politicians and our governments. They may end the checkerboard ownership yet turn around and lease them with horrid results. They could and would sell them off to the highest bidder once the leases are valueless and the land is destroyed and water polluted.