Wyoming Game and Fish closes to vehicles public access area with history of vandalism and dumping
A Wyoming Game and Fish managed public access area has been permanently closed to vehicles. The Willwood Public Access Area, directly south of Powell, has had a vandalism and trash dumping problem for years.
The public easement goes through three private landowners' properties.. Brad Sorensen, Game and Fish Cody Region Habitat and Access supervisor, said they were disgusted over the years by how their property was being treated.
"We came to the realization that maybe if we limit vehicular access, maybe we can do something about this to get better," said Sorensen. "And maybe that will discourage folks from dumping the trash, having bonfires, [and] shooting things."
Sorensen and his crew manages 47 public access areas in the Cody and Bighorn region. Tara Hodges, Game and Fish Cody region information and education specialist, said vandalism and dumping is not restricted just to this one public access area.
"The Game and Fish manages 200 public access areas, and 44 wildlife habitat management areas," said Hodges. "And vandalism and illegal dumping is far too commonplace in all of these public access areas."
The area has been changed to walk-in only. If the problem persists, Game and Fish said the private landowners could revert the area back to private land.