Below is a news release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided $15,000 in funding to the 2021 Access Yes program which equates to approximately 42,000 acres of access for hunting and fishing.
A Wyoming Game and Fish Department program that works with landowners to secure permission for the public to access private lands for hunting and fishing saw another year of success. In 2021 Access Yes opened access to more than 2.6 million acres of land for hunting as well as 4,005 lake acres and 82 stream miles for fishing on otherwise inaccessible private, state and landlocked public lands.
“Access to places to hunt and fish has never been more highly-valued than today,” said Rick King, chief of the Game and Fish’s wildlife division. “Maintaining and expanding access for hunting and fishing is a top priority for Game and Fish for recreation and to meet wildlife management objectives.”
Revenue for Access Yes comes from the sale of lifetime and annual conservation stamps, court-imposed restitution fees from individuals convicted of wildlife violations and Access Yes account interest. The program also benefits from donations from organizations and individual hunters and anglers, with 51% of all donations from residents. Combined, these sources generated $1.02 million for the program last year.
Access Yes coordinators collaborate with landowners to enroll them into one of the Game and Fish access programs: hunter management areas, walk-in hunting areas and/or walk-in fishing areas. Donations from hunters, anglers and conservation groups are used to make easement payments to landowners for hunting and fishing access.
“Thank you to landowners for their partnership to make these access opportunities possible,” King said. “We also extend our thanks to hunters and anglers for donating to Access Yes when buying a license and to our partners for their continued donations to support the program. Each dollar donated equates to about 2.8 acres of access.”
Currently there are 55 walk-in fishing areas, 343 walk-in hunting areas and 60 hunter management areas throughout Wyoming.
To learn more about Access Yes lands open to hunting and fishing, read the 2022 report and visit the Game and Fish Public Access page. Anyone can donate to Access Yes when buying and applying for their 2022 license to continue to support opening more places to hunt and fish in Wyoming.
(Photo credit: Wyoming Game and Fish Department)