Outdoor Recreation

Pilot Hill Project

A small portion of the Pilot Hill parcel is now open to the public. The parcel, located on the eastern edge of Laramie, is part of a collaborative effort to protect nearly 4,344 acres for nonmotorized recreation and wildlife habitat.

Pilot Hill Project

The Wyoming Board of Land Commissioners closed a land exchange on Friday that secures 4,343 acres of land for the Pilot Hill Project. The exchange has been in the works for more than two years and traded 11,668 acres of isolated state trust land for the area now in Pilot Hill.

Kamila Kudelska

On a hot afternoon, a group of girls are going in circles playing musical chairs, except there are no chairs. Just orange cones. And they are all on mountain bikes.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is encouraging kids and their families to get outside and learn more about the state's wildlife with their "Inspire a Kid" program. The program kicked off in June with the release of the "Wyo-100" checklist which features 100 outdoor activities to do across the state.

Jacob W. Frank / NPS

President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed the Great American Outdoors Act, a bipartisan bill being hailed as the biggest public lands and conservation legislation in a generation.

As the pandemic wears on, leaders across the country are looking at how to economically recover after the COVID-19 pandemic. Some in the Mountain West are calling for more outdoor recreation spending.

Sublette County

After a heated and lengthy meeting last Tuesday, the Sublette County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 against the construction of a luxury resort in the small ranching community of Bondurant. The resort would have required a change in local zoning rules, with 43 acres of agricultural land reclassified as recreational.

Ivy Engel

The Pilot Hill Project started in 2017 when rancher Doug Samuelson approached Albany County with a proposition. They could have first dibs on his almost 5,500 acres of land just East of Laramie - it was already land where people liked to recreate in the past - but they had to raise the ten million dollars to purchase it within a year. Since then, it's blossomed into a community-wide project.

Most businesses in the outdoor recreation industry are seeing sales decline because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, and 88% are reporting that they’ve had to lay off or furlough employees.

A bill to permanently fund conservation efforts and reduce maintenance backlogs across public lands will soon be up for a vote in the U.S. Senate.

National Park Service

The National Park Service has partnered with Grand Teton National Park Foundation to improve access to the Snake River.

Everyone knows that living in the Rockies can get expensive. Headwaters Economics wanted to know why. The non-profit published new research this week that examines what causes housing to become so expensive in places where outdoor recreation is a main economic driver.

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brandon Valle

State Parks are opening this weekend to Wyoming residents only. To ensure that this is the case the Department of Outdoor Recreation and State Parks has instituted a reservation process that's only opened to Wyoming residents. Deputy Director Dave Glenn discusses the plan with Wyoming Public Radio's Bob Beck.

Yellowstone River
National Park Service

Wyoming state park campgrounds open to residents only on May 15. Antler hunting will begin on May 1 as usual. Fishing nonresident daily and five-day licenses are under temporary suspension till May 8. No planned date to reopen Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

Pilot Hill Land Purchase

A recent partnership between the Pilot Hill Project and Occidental Petroleum will help protect the 5,500 acre parcel of land east of Laramie from future mineral development. 

Maggie Mullen

Last weekend, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) sold 153 nonresident fishing licenses, about the same number it sold during the same period of time last year.

Wyoming Department of Transportation

The call for social distancing in the state is leading many people to the outdoors. But a high number of people are going to the Teton Pass west of Jackson, which is causing some public health concerns.

"With the current restrictions in certain places, we've got an extra amount of traffic that's going on up here. And generally speaking, we're okay with folks that are coming here as long as they're cooperative on our on our safety issues," said John Pistono, a Teton Pass ambassador.

Main Street, looking south toward Canyonlands National Park, in Moab, Utah
Hurricanehink via CC BY-SA 3.0

Recreation-based counties are seeing higher rates of COVID-19 than other rural counties, according to an analysis from the Daily Yonder, a non-profit publication that focuses on rural issues.

A new degree program in Colorado aims to train business leaders for the fast-growing outdoor recreation industry in the Mountain West.

Nancy Patterson, Outdoor Recreation Planner, BLM Wyoming

Girls who want to learn how to mountain bike in Cody will soon have the space to do that. This summer, Cody will be the first community in Wyoming to have a mountain biking organization dedicated to young women. Little Bellas is a national mountain biking organization with the goal to empower women through cycling.

Public Lands in Wyoming
Bob Wick, BLM / Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is looking to open access on public lands for more recreation opportunities.

A new survey by the philanthropic arm of the Outdoor Industry Association shows that more people are recreating outdoors, but fewer are doing so regularly. And nearly half of Americans surveyed didn’t participate in outdoor recreation at all in 2018.

 


Kamila Kudelska / Wyoming Public Media

This fall, the Wyoming Business Council hosted community review meetings in Cody. The goal was to target what residents wanted to improve in the community.

Taylar Stagner

Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone youth will soon have access to more parks and playgrounds, outdoor trips, and recreational facilities on the Wind River Reservation. 

Rock climbing is making its debut in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the U.S. national team is training in Salt Lake City. For the eight elite athletes who make up the team, the games will represent a high point in their career.

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

The total value of Wyoming's outdoor recreation economy was $1.6 billion in 2017. That's according to recently released numbers from the U.S Bureau of Economic Analysis.

After filing trademark protections last year, the Utah-based e-commerce giant Backcountry.com has filed several lawsuits against organizations with the word “backcountry” in their names.

A new analysis from the Bozeman-based non-profit Headwaters Economics shows that the outdoor recreation industry is growing more than twice as fast as the overall economy, and the industry has an especially outsized role in the Mountain West.

Steamboat Springs, like many of Colorado's high country resort communities, is grappling with how it wants to grow.

The city itself has more than doubled in population since 1990. Seasonal tourist booms formerly contained to summer and winter have bled over into spring and fall. With its increasingly sought after outdoor amenities, like hot springs, camping, hiking, mountain biking and skiing, the town swells with visitors most weekends out of the year.

Outdoor recreation offices in the West are spearheading a national network to promote the industry along with The National Governors Association.  

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