WYOMING — The Wyoming Game and Fish Department program, Access Yes, opened more than 2.6 million acres of land, 4,005 lake acres and 82 stream miles for hunting and fishing on otherwise inaccessible private, state and landlocked public lands in 2021.

The program works with landowners to secure permission for the public to access private lands for hunting and fishing.

“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.”

Funds for the program 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.

More information is available about the program in the 2021 report.

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.