Recreation

Photo Credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/15778088@N00/6144251104/">manyfires</a> via <a href="http://compfight.com">Compfight</a> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/help/general/#147">cc</a>

A new report by the Western Values Project shows that sagebrush lands create millions in recreation income for the state. The report looked at eleven Western states with large amounts of sage brush. 

Senior Economist Kristin Lee with ECONorthWest-- the firm that calculated the data--says Wyoming brought in the fourth highest revenues after Idaho, Montana and Nevada.

“What we found for Wyoming is that there were almost two million visitors to the sagebrush lands in 2013.  And those visitors spent approximately 87 million within 50 miles of those recreation sites.”

umt.edu

The Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife, and Cultural Resources Interim Committee is holding a meeting in Thermopolis tomorrow/Tuesday to discuss two bills that would strengthen state poaching laws. The first bill would make it illegal to knowingly sell, barter, trade, or buy such animals. The second would specify fines based on the economic value of the poached animal.

Bruce Burns is the Committee’s Senate Chair. He said the legislature didn’t come up with the new guidelines on their own, but received input from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

Wikipedia

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released a new plan for land use in the Wind River Basin today/Thursday, which supporters say balances the needs of industry, conservation, and recreation.

The new Resource Management Plan is the result of a cooperative process involving federal, state, and local agencies as well as land owners and recreation enthusiasts.

Wyoming representative for The Wilderness Society, Dan Smitherman, says that the plan’s release does not mean that the conversation about how best to use these lands is over.

USGS

The Sheridan Community Land Trust is partnering with the National Park Service to study and plan for increased water recreation in Sheridan County. The Land Trust has identified about 70 miles on the Tongue River and Little Goose and Big Goose Creeks with recreation potential. The group’s Executive Director, Colin Betzler, says there’s been interest in developing recreational opportunities in the past, but there hasn’t been an organized effort.

A host of recreation and conservation organizations from around the nation, including some local Wyoming groups, have asked Congress to address inadequate trail maintenance in the National Forest system. According to a 2013 study requested by Representative Cynthia Lummis the Forest Service’s trail maintenance backlog was $314 million in 2012. The study said poorly maintained trails inhibit trail use, could harm natural resources, and maintenance costs will only grow the longer the backlog remains unaddressed.

U.S. Dept of Agriculture

Fire danger rose to a “high” rating this week for both Bridger-Teton National Forest and Grand Teton National Park, due to a combination of warm weather, low humidity and strong winds.

Traci Weaver, a spokeswoman for Bridger-Teton, says that dry vegetation and a higher-than-usual number of lightning strikes already posed a fire risk… But campers have abandoned more than 100 campfires this season, compounding the danger. Weaver urges campers to be responsible forest stewards.

Later this month in Laramie, the “Parks, Trails, and Recreation Master Plan Ad Hoc Advisory Committee” will unveil its new 30-year master plan. The committee hopes to get public input about their proposed network of play lots, recreational facilities, and hike and bike paths.
 

Committee member and City Councilwoman Vicki Henry says that one of the main goals of the plan is to create a long-term vision for Laramie’s parks and trails. The committee hopes that a new multi-sport complex and the proposed trails plan will appeal to a variety of residents.
 

Campbell County Rec Center Climbing Tower

Apr 23, 2012

Built by Eldorado Wall Company of Boulder, Colorado the tower has a circumference of 74 feet and a height of 42 feet, replicating Wyoming's famous Devil's Tower National Monument. The Climbing Tower is the focal point for the entrance of the Recreation Center Lobby. Climbers of all ages and skill levels enjoy top rope climbing, lead climbing, bouldering and the use of the Trueblue auto belay system. To date, over 3,500 individuals have climbed the tower at least once with over 400 individuals becoming belay certified.