G&F Reminder: Contribute to Access Yes

G&F Reminder: Contribute to Access Yes

While its important to learn new regulations when renewing hunting and fishing licenses entering the New Year, Sheridan Game and Fish Information Specialist Warren Mischke tells us about something else that will help the Game and Fish provide better services for the upcoming year.

In an effort to increase access to public and private lands for hunters and anglers, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department works to build relationships with landowners and offer more land in

The program comes from a 2006 survey where hunters said their two biggest concerns were personal time and access to public lands to pursue their interests. The WGFD believes these programs accomplish that goal by granting more access that's closer to home, according to a report from 2010.

In 2010, the game and fish reported that hunters were granted more than 1 million acres of access through their Hunter Management Area program, almost 5,000 lake acres and nearly 100 stream miles through the Walk-in Area Fishing program, and nearly 700,000 acres through the Walk-in Area Hunting program.

The program has seen success, bettering the relationships between the WGFD, landowners and sportsmen, said the report.

The Game and Fish say that they benefit from the program through increased license sales, better management of wildlife objectives, spreading out hunters and better protection of agricultural resources.

However, the program's success has caused the access program to grow, and it will need increased funding to maintain contracts with landowners.

The majority of funds, $528,037 of the $909,072 that was intended for landowner easement payments in 2011, came from annual conservation stamp sales. The Game and Fish paid 850,000 in 2010 in landowner easements.

There are also detailed maps listed through an online database. Contact your local Game and Fish for more information on the program.

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