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22 November 2022

Wyoming State Parks Celebrating 50 years at Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site

Wyoming State Parks is commemorating the 50th anniversary of Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site with a series of events during 2023. 

Throughout the coming year several programs and special events have been planned with the main celebration event taking place on June 24, 2023.  Event details will be posted at wyoparks.org  and via social media.

In January 1973, what is now known as Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site became part of the Wyoming Recreation Commission (now Wyoming State Parks) through a cooperative agreement with the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission.  The Wyoming Recreation Commission was tasked with protecting the archaeological resources within the site and establishing a public recreation area for public enjoyment. 

Over the past 50 years, the park has developed campsites, installed restrooms, improved public horse corrals, and most recently constructed an addition to park headquarters that will become the Medicine Lodge Cultural Experience, opening summer 2023. 

Ongoing interpretation of the site’s cultural resources has helped the public appreciate the importance of protecting these resources for future generations. 

“As we celebrate 50 years of Medicine Lodge as a State Park it’s important to remember that people have been living here for more than 10,000 years”, says Park Superintendent Heather Jolley.  “Medicine Lodge continues to be committed to improving communities and enriching lives”, she adds.

In celebration of 50 years, Medicine Lodge will be hosting a photo contest throughout the year culminating in a 2024 site specific calendar.  Photo winners selected will receive a free copy of the calendar and receive photo credit.  Photographers of all levels are invited to participate in this contest.  Additional calendars will be printed and available for purchase at the park headquarters/gift shop (price TBD).

Photo Contest Rules:

·         The contest will run from December 2022 – November 2023 (to allow time for printing). 

·         Photos must be submitted by the 5th of each month.

·         Photos submitted should coincide with the month or season the photo is being submitted.

·         Photos should not contain any visible faces of people.

·         Top 3 finalists will be selected by park staff and posted on social media for public voting (open for 1 week).

·         Monthly winner announced by the 15th of each month.

·         Please submit high resolution photos via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

·         Disclaimer: By submitting a photo, you are agreeing that the photo may be used in the 2024 Medicine Lodge calendar and posted on social media (photo credit will be given).

*****Visitors are encouraged to visit the park throughout the seasons*****

For more information, please contact Park Superintendent Heather Jolley at 307.469.2234 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

09 November 2022

Outdoor Recreation Economy Plays Strong Role in Wyoming’s Economic Future

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Outdoor Recreation Economy Plays Strong Role in Wyoming’s Economic Future

The Outdoor Recreation Industry continued to thrive in 2021 as a strong economic driver across the nation and in Wyoming accounting for $1.5 billion or 3.6% of the state’s GDP according to the latest report from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. 

The total value added by outdoor recreation rose from $1.2 billion or 3.4% in 2020, representing a $3 million or .2% overall increase to the state’s GDP from 2020 to 2021. In 2021, Wyoming ranked 6th among all states in outdoor recreation value-added growth. Since 2020, outdoor recreation value added has grown 28.6% in Wyoming, compared with an increase of 24.7% for the United States.

Employment in the sector also saw an increase from 14,187 to 15,285 jobs accounting for 5.4% of the state’s total employment. Since 2020, outdoor recreation employment has grown 18.4% in Wyoming, compared with an increase of 13.1% for the United States.

“I think what we are seeing is the inherent value that the outdoor recreation economy has in a state like Wyoming,” said Patrick Harrington, Manager of the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Office. “People across the state are looking towards this industry as a means of economic diversification and vitality for our local and state economies.”

In 2020, Wyoming’s outdoors saw unprecedented visitation throughout the state and those high numbers have continued through 2021. Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks both celebrated record numbers and hosted a combined 8,745,787 recreation visits. Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites also hosted a combined 5,755,184 visitors in 2021, a 2% decrease from 2020, but 25% above the five-year average. 

With record visitation, many outdoor recreation activities also saw significant growth in 2021 with some surpassing pre-pandemic value added. Snow activities saw an increased value added of $108,258 jumping from the 13th to 12th ranked state in value added. RVing, motorcycling and ATVing, climbing, equestrian, bicycling and recreational flying also saw steady increases across the board contributing a combined $166,423 in value added or an 11% increase. 

In response to trending visitation growth and demand for new outdoor recreation opportunities and infrastructure across the state, Wyoming Outdoor Recreation has continued its efforts to help promote, enhance and expand responsible outdoor recreation in Wyoming through a variety of projects, programs, and partnerships at a local, state and national level.

“The work we do to bring in millions of visitors around the world to experience Wyoming's beauty and outdoor experiences would not be possible without our partnership with the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Office," said Diane Shober, Executive Director of the Wyoming Office of Tourism. "Their team continues to provide exceptional cultural and recreational opportunities that retains visitors longer and overall brings them back for many years to come."

In 2021, Wyoming Outdoor Recreation expanded its existing outdoor recreation collaboratives with the formation of 5 new initiatives for a total of 7 statewide. These initiatives bring together local community members, recreation stakeholders, businesses, conservation groups, federal and state agencies, and elected officials to identify and prioritize opportunities for the growth and enhancement of outdoor recreation in their region.

“It has been of the utmost importance in this collaborative process to incorporate and employ the perspectives and needs of local communities and its members to ensure these projects and enhancements will have positive, sustainable impacts and achieve their desired growth,” states Darin Westby, Director of Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources.

As participation in the outdoors continues to grow, strategic economic development will be crucial to improving the experience on public lands and taking the edge off overcrowding. New funding opportunities, investing in local recreation, and ensuring popular destinations have sufficient infrastructure will help reduce pressure and protect close-to-home recreation. 

On July 1, 2022, Wyoming Outdoor Recreation announced the launch of the first Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Grant Program that will award funding to public outdoor recreation projects throughout the state. The program received nearly $72 million in requests for $14 million in available funding. 

These projects and initiatives are part of a broader effort by Wyoming’s Office of Outdoor Recreation to diversify Wyoming’s economy and to have positive quality of life and economic impacts on local communities. 

For more information about Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, please visit wyorec.com. You may also view the full BEA Report at https://www.bea.gov/data/special-topics/outdoor-recreation or clicking here.

08 November 2022

Medicine Lodge Group Area Reservations Open - January 3

November 8, 2022

Tuesday, January 3, 2023 at 7:30am, park staff will begin taking reservations for the group area for year of 2023.  VIsitors who arrive in-person will be assisted first by order of arrival.  Visitors who phone in a reservation will be assisted after all in-person requests have been completed.  Those who call in, please leave a message with your name and contact phone number and we will return the calls by order recieved beginning at 7:30am of January 3.

We will not take any reservations via email or Facebook messenger.  

Group area reservation fees: $75 per day, plus each vehicle is required to pay daily camping fees upon arrival

For more information, please contact the park at 307-469-2234.  

07 November 2022

Wyoming State Parks waived day-use fees to veterans Nov. 11

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As part of the Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails “Parks for Patriots” programming which honors military veterans, day use/entrance fees will be waived on November 11, for military veterans.  

All veterans with proof of their veteran status can enter any Wyoming State Park and/or Historic Site free of charge. This applies to day-use fees only.   All other fees, such as overnight camping, must still be paid. 

Veterans eligible for the free entrance are defined as a person who served in active military, naval, or air service and was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. This does not include active-duty military personnel.

Also, disabled veterans are reminded about the State Parks Lifetime Veteran's Permits! These passes are good for free day-use and camping for life for any Wyoming resident veteran who has a 50% or more service-connected disability.

For more information, call 307-777-6323 or visit wyoparks.wyo.gov.

31 October 2022

Sinks Canyon State Park Updates

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As fall fades into winter in Sinks Canyon State Park, staff are busy keeping projects moving forward and looking towards the new year.  

The cultural surveys have been completed around the proposed site of the via ferrata project on the Sandstone Buttress, and staff are awaiting the results of those surveys. The next step will be to have an engineer conduct a structural analysis of the sandstone area to ensure the integrity of the structure and the safety of guests.  

Conversations have also been taking place this fall around the proposed Sunnyside Trail. This multi-use trail is proposed to begin at The Rise and run approximately two miles through the canyon, ending near the State Park/National Forest border. 

The trail would welcome hikers, as well as mountain bikers and provide a safe mode of pedestrian travel between The Rise, the Visitor Center and the Popo Agie Campground, as well as up to the climber’s parking lot in the National Forest.  

Some cultural surveys and wildlife impact assessments have been conducted and the trail route is being determined to provide safe pedestrian access and protection for critical wildlife habitats.  Because the trail will be near critical Mule Deer habitat, there will be a strict leash law enforced and potential winter closures to ensure Mule Deer are not diverted from their critical feeding grounds.  

In preparation for colder weather, the State Park campgrounds and trails have been winterized. This means water has been turned off and many interpretive graphics have been brought in until spring. Both Sawmill and Popo Agie Campgrounds will remain open all year with first-come, first-serve campsites available.  

Four all-weather yurts are also accessible year round and are available through the reservation system at https://wyomingstateparks.reserveamerica.com/camping.page or by calling 877-996-7275. Yurts sleep 5-10 guests and have electricity and heat, which make them a great winter getaway!  

Water levels have receded in the Boulder Choke Cave which allow for cave tours!  The cave system remains a constant 55 degrees year-round and is accessible all winter long.  Cave tours are currently limited to on-demand group requests, however plans are in the works to develop a weekly tour schedule to allow more frequent access to guests. Be watching for more information on tour times and reservations.  

Be sure to keep up with all Sinks Canyon State Park happenings by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  

26 October 2022

Buffalo Bill Reservoir and State Park Embarking on Planning Process

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Buffalo Bill Reservoir and State Park Embarking on Planning Process

Wyoming State Parks, in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), is embarking on a resource management planning process for Buffalo Bill Reservoir and State Park near Cody, Wyoming.  Ayres Associates has been selected to facilitate the planning process.

The Buffalo Bill Reservoir and State Park Resource Management Plan is intended to be a 20-year plan for the park, providing the foundation for decision-making to accommodate recreation and visitor amenities in balance with the preservation of recreation setting and natural and cultural resources.  The final Resource Management Plan will be subject to a federal Environmental Assessment.

Wyoming State Parks and Reclamation are interested in receiving input from the public on what they enjoy about the Park and improvements or changes they would like to see.  Over the next year, the team will be collecting information, feedback, and ideas about ways to both enhance the visitor experience at the park and preserve its resources for future generations to enjoy. The public is invited to complete an initial survey about the park and planning process, and to sign up to receive more information at https://wyoparks.wyo.gov/index.php/news-updates-buffalo

Buffalo Bill Dam, constructed on the Shoshone River six miles upstream from Cody, was completed in 1910, creating Buffalo Bill Reservoir.  Named for famous Wild West showman, promoter, and developer Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the dam is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.  Shoshone Power Plant is located near the base of Buffalo Bill Dam; the dam, power plant, and reservoir lands are owned by Reclamation, which maintains primary jurisdiction of the lands and associated resources within the reservoir area.  Much of the area was designated a State Park in 1957 with the last major overhaul of the park completed in the 1990s. 

The Park offers fishing, camping, picnicking, and a variety of water sports in settings which range from remote and primitive to moderately developed.  The park currently has three boat ramps, nine developed day use areas, two group shelters and eleven picnic shelters, and one hundred campsites in two campgrounds which can be reserved through the State Parks Reservation System.  Shreve Lodge, which hosts up to 200 and has a large kitchen, is also available to rent for day use. 

For more information and to stay up to date with events and amenities at Buffalo Bill State Park, please visit wyoparks.wyo.gov/index.php/places-to-go/buffalo-billor  or call Superintendent Dan Marty at 307-587-9227

Our first public meeting will be held November 14, 2022 in the Grizzly Room at the Park County Library in Cody, Wyoming from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm.

18 October 2022

Sinks Canyon State Park receives grant for bear-proof recycling stations

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The Sinks Canyon Natural Resource Council and Sinks Canyon State Park has received a total of $16,000 for three bear-proof recycling stations. The funds came from an $8,000 grant from Can’d Aid and an $8,000 match from the Wind River Visitor’s Council.

The three recycling stations were installed at locations throughout Sinks Canyon State Park this summer. Two bins are located at the Popo Agie Campground and the other at the Sawmill Campground.

The fully operational bins are available for the recycling of paper, #1 and #2 plastic, steel, aluminum and propane canisters. Through the use of these bins, recyclable products are diverted away from local landfills.

The Shoshone District Staff is grateful for the great collaboration between these organizations, all unified by the goals of keeping our canyon beautiful, protecting wildlife from human interactions, and doing our part in conservation.

Sinks Canyon State Park staff leads this effort and is seeking volunteers to help with collection, sorting and transport of recyclables. If interested in this volunteer opportunity, please contact angelina.stancampiano@wyo.gov or fill out this google form: https://forms.gle/UMbWQQcdgYdwFZsC6

12 October 2022

Otoño y Outdoors with Wyoming State Parks, Latino Outdoors, and Equality State Policy Center

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Otoño y Outdoors with Wyoming State Parks, Latino Outdoors, and Equality State Policy Center

¡El público está invitado a unirse a Latino Outdoors, Wyoming State Parks y Equality State Policy Center para un evento de otoño al aire libre! Esto será en la biblioteca de Rock Springs el domingo 23 de octubre de 4:00 a 6:00. 

Celebre el cambio de estaciones y la belleza de las tierras públicas aquí en Wyoming con la comunidad, alimentos ligeros y bebidas calientes. Todos son bienvenidos, este es un evento gratuito.

Reúnase con el personal del parque sobre primeros auxilios en la naturaleza, serpientes en la naturaleza y más. Wyoming Game and Fish estará allí hablando de murciélagos y Latino Outdoors tendrá actividades para toda la familia. 


The public is invited to join Latino Outdoors, Wyoming State Parks, and the Equality State Policy Center for an October in the Outdoors event!

This will be at the Rock Springs Library on Sunday October 23, from 4-6 p.m.. 

Celebrate the changing seasons and the beauty of public lands here in Wyoming with community and traditional snacks and drinks. All are welcome, this is a free event.

Meet with park staff about wilderness first aid, snakes in the wild, and more.

Wyoming Game and Fish will be there talking about bats and Latino Outdoors will have fun for the whole family. 

For questions contact angelina.stancampiano@wyo.gov 307-677-2461

12 October 2022

Buffalo Bill Reservoir and State Park Embarking on Planning Process

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Wyoming State Parks, in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), is embarking on a resource management planning process for Buffalo Bill Reservoir and State Park near Cody, Wyoming.  Ayres Associates has been selected to facilitate the planning process.

The Buffalo Bill Reservoir and State Park Resource Management Plan is intended to be a 20-year plan for the park, providing the foundation for decision-making to accommodate recreation and visitor amenities in balance with the preservation of recreation setting and natural and cultural resources.  The final Resource Management Plan will be subject to a federal Environmental Assessment. 

Wyoming State Parks and Reclamation are interested in receiving input from the public on what they enjoy about the Park and improvements or changes they would like to see.  Over the next year, the team will be collecting information, feedback, and ideas about ways to both enhance the visitor experience at the park and preserve its resources for future generations to enjoy. The public is invited to complete an initial survey about the park and planning process, and to sign up to receive more information, by following this link.  

Buffalo Bill Dam, constructed on the Shoshone River six miles upstream from Cody, was completed in 1910, creating Buffalo Bill Reservoir.  Named for famous Wild West showman, promoter, and developer Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the dam is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.  Shoshone Power Plant is located near the base of Buffalo Bill Dam; the dam, power plant, and reservoir lands are owned by Reclamation, which maintains primary jurisdiction of the lands and associated resources within the reservoir area.  Much of the area was designated a State Park in 1957 with the last major overhaul of the park completed in the 1990s.  

 The Park offers fishing, camping, picnicking, and a variety of water sports in settings which range from remote and primitive to moderately developed.  The park currently has three boat ramps, nine developed day use areas, two group shelters and eleven picnic shelters, and one hundred campsites in two campgrounds which can be reserved through the State Parks Reservation System.  Shreve Lodge, which hosts up to 200 and has a large kitchen, is also available to rent for day use.  

For more information and to stay up to date with events and amenities at Buffalo Bill State Park, please visit the park's website or call Deputy Director Nick Neylon at 307-431-4866.

Our first public meeting will be held November 14, 2022 in the Grizzly Room at the Park County Library in Cody, Wyoming from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm.

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