BLM completes largest land purchase in Wyoming to date
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has completed its largest land purchase in Wyoming, which the agency says will open up access to more land for the public.
The BLM purchased more than 35,670 acres of private land southwest of Casper, along the North Platte River, according to a Wednesday announcement.
The agency said this will open up access to 40,000 acres of previously inaccessible public land – an issue that is prevalent in Wyoming. A report from the hunting app, onX, indicated the state has more than 4.19 million acres of public land that is landlocked by private land.
Dan Schlager is the Wyoming state director of The Conservation Fund, which helped purchase the land and transfer it to the BLM.
“It's kind of frustrating both ways that for people who love public lands, that can't get to those public lands, and they're owned by the public. And for private landowners, there's been a lot of trespassing on their lands and trying to figure all that out,” Schlager said. “So the ownership itself should really help on both sides of that, in that you do not have the two crossing back and forth and causing frustration.”
He added that the purchase opens up conservation opportunities in several ways.
“Everything from outdoor recreation and public access to wildlife habitat to agriculture, continuing to the riparian corridor, which is a rare habitat in Wyoming, to helping out the local economy,” Schlager said. “The wildlife habitat includes the North Platte River. And it's a premier destination for catching trophy rainbow and brown trout.”
The BLM said the new land will be managed the same as the adjoining BLM lands; however, they are developing a management plan for the new land.