The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is extending congratulations to three Wyoming landowners who were recipients of the 2020 Access Recognition Program award. The program honors Wyoming landowners who provide access to or through their lands to hunters and anglers.
Each year, the Wyoming Board of Agriculture and the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission partner to recognize landowners who contribute significantly to the hunting and fishing tradition of the Cowboy State. The 2020 recipients were recently honored and presented their awards at the Wyoming Stock Growers Association awards luncheon in Casper.
Landowners who received recognition for 2020 were:
The Heward 7E Ranch – Located 40 miles north of Medicine Bow, Todd and Malea Heward and their family run the 7E Ranch. The ranch consists of approximately 16,000 acres of deeded and public property in Shirley Basin. For generations, the Hewards have been the go-to landowners for antelope hunting access in Antelope Hunt Area 47. They truly enjoy the conversations and engagement they have with hunters. The ranch allows elk hunting through the Access Yes hunter management program, recognizing the importance of hunting for elk management on their land. The family also provides 5.5 miles of fishing access on the property as part of the Access Yes walk-in fishing program and have worked with Game and Fish habitat biologists to improve fish habitat and fishing opportunities on the ranch.
Chimney Butte Hunter Management Area – The Chimney Butte Hunter Management Area near Boulder is comprised of Eastfork Livestock, Jensen family, Richie Ranches, Jones family, Hittle family, Opler family and Baker family properties. Since its implementation in 2002, these landowners have collectively allowed public access on almost 10,000 deeded acres to hunt late season elk. Dedicated to access, they allow extra opportunities for hunters and anglers during the rest of the year for antelope and moose as well as enhanced youth hunting opportunities and fishing access on the East Fork River on private lands. The landowners also allow sportspersons to cross their private lands to access countless acres of public land.
Miles Land & Livestock Company – Miles Land & Livestock Company, operated by Jim and Peg Price and family, is located south of Casper. For more than 20 years, the Prices have taken an active role in wildlife management and habitat improvements in cooperation with Game and Fish and other conservation agencies and groups. The Prices were instrumental in the Bates Creek Watershed Restoration Project which helped reduce silt loading and restore riparian habitat along the North Platte River Drainage. Additionally, they implemented conifer encroachment treatments and aspen thinning projects that helped contribute to water table restoration. The Prices have allowed access to anglers and hunters through the Muddy Mountain Hunter Management Area for pronghorn, deer and elk hunting. The access they provide is imperative for the effective management of big game, particularly elk.
Funding for the Access Recognition Program is provided by the sale of commissioner licenses and donations made specifically in support of the award.
Game and Fish Commission President Pete Dube said the Access Recognition Program is a way to show appreciation for landowners who allow sportsmen and women on their property to hunt or fish.
“Thank you to these landowners who truly make a difference in Wyoming for wildlife. Because of their commitment, there are more places for individuals and families to get outside to enjoy wildlife and hunt and fish in Wyoming,” Dube said.
Access Yes is a program that facilitates the partnership between private landowners, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and hunters and anglers to create free public hunting and fishing access on private land and inaccessible public and state lands. These include walk-in fishing and hunting areas and hunter management areas. The program is supported through donations from the public and organizations. Each dollar donated to Access Yes equates to approximately 2.8 acres of public access.
In 2020, department funding and private donations provided more than 2.7 million acres of hunting access on otherwise inaccessible private, state and landlocked public lands and 4,005 lake acres and 87 stream miles were provided for fishing.
(Sara DiRienzo (307-777-4540))