TRCP map of ‘bread and butter’ hunting and fishing areas will help guide management decisions by the state
CODY, Wyo. – A detailed map showing the areas within Wyoming that are most valued by sportsmen was unveiled this week by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership at a meeting of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission, which officially endorsed the project last year.
Developed as part of the TRCP’s Sportsmen Values Mapping Project, the Wyoming map is the result of a multi-year, state-specific project conducted by the TRCP. The information used to create the map was drawn from more than 20 meetings held across the state with more than 1,000 participants.
The TRCP project works to ensure sportsmen across the Rocky Mountain West are represented in land management decisions by highlighting the areas they want to see managed for the future and continued use of hunting and fishing. TRCP Western Outreach Director Neil Thagard said that the map is designed to be used by decision makers as a tool to help identify trends in hunter or angler usage, further maintain or enhance access opportunities throughout the state, and detail areas needing additional public access or the implementation of special conservation strategies.
“These locations are literally the ‘bread and butter’ hunting and fishing areas of Wyoming. They were identified personally by individual hunters and anglers,” said Thagard.
In gathering data for the Wyoming map, Thagard observed that sportsmen tend to utilize public lands in proximity of the area they live and that sportsmen participation in the TRCP project was weaker in the eastern portion of the state, where the majority of land is privately owned, and much stronger in western Wyoming, which encompasses more public lands.
“Some sportsmen commented that if the areas they valued were no longer suitable, they were unsure of their future hunting and angling participation,” he said. “This reiterates the necessity of considering sportsmen’s values in decisions determining the management of our public lands if we want to see our hunting and angling traditions endure.”
While phase I of the Wyoming Sportsmen Values Mapping Project is complete, the Wyoming project will continue data collection in underrepresented areas of the state, such as eastern Wyoming. Phase II of the project will include TRCP staff members returning to communities that participated in phase I to present the map and gather additional data.
Launched in Montana in 2007, the TRCP’s Sportsmen Values Mapping Project captures input from local hunters and anglers to delineate rivers and habitat important to sportsmen.
Inspired by the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, the TRCP is a coalition of organizations and grassroots partners working together to preserve the traditions of hunting and fishing.
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