Elk NetworkWyoming Access Program Opened Hunting to 2.6 Million Acres in 2020

General | March 9, 2021

Below is a news release from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation provided 2020 funding that opened hunter access to 46,500 acres.

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 2020, Access Yes opened access to more than 2.6 million acres of land for hunting as well as 4,005 lake acres and 87 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 — about 21% of the revenue is from donations. Combined, these sources generated $1.17 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 2.8 acres of access.”

To learn more about Access Yes lands open to hunting and fishing, read the 2020 report and visit the Game and Fish Public Access page. Anyone can donate to Access Yes when buying and applying for their 2021 license to continue to support opening more places to hunt and fish in Wyoming.

(Photo source:  Wyoming Game and Fish Department)