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28 February 2024

Monuments and Markers Advisory Committee to meet March 5

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February 27, 2024

The Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources Monuments and Markers Advisory Committee will meet virtually on Google Meet Tuesday, March 5, from 1 – 3 pm. 

 

Time zone: America/Denver

Google Meet joining info

Video call link: https://meet.google.com/mar-egmt-ssz

Or dial: (US) +1 573-559-1893 PIN: 350 854 825#

 

The objective of this meeting is to revisit prior matters, select new members for the advisory committee, and review ongoing projects. The advisory committee will review handbook edits and four new interpretive signs slated to be erected in the Riverton area. Themes include the western expansion, agriculture, boom and bust, expansion period, and communal growth. Additionally, the advisory committee will review text intended for the forthcoming Rawhide Butte sign.

The Wyoming Monuments and Markers Program is a cooperative effort of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources (SPCR), the Wyoming Department of Transportation, the Wyoming Office of Tourism, Tribal representatives, local governments, and private individuals and organizations. The Monuments and Markers Program installs new historical markers and maintains existing monuments, markers, and interpretive signage. The Monuments and Markers Advisory Committee (MMAC) reviews and approves all new signage and signage with revised text under the jurisdiction of SPCR. The MMAC may also be consulted for recommendations for the maintenance and replacement of markers.

For further information, please contact Dan Bach, Monuments and Markers Coordinator, at 307-777-6314 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  To learn more about the Wyoming Monuments and Markers Program, visit https://bit.ly/3E1xV2V.

14 February 2024

Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources Artist in Residence Program

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February 14, 2024

The Wyoming Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources announces a call for artists to apply for the 2024 Artist in Residence Program.

This program joins visual artists with the wonder and unexpected opportunities in Wyoming State Parks. This is a 10-day road trip residency in August 2024 where artists will have a choice of itinerary that includes visiting a minimum of four State Parks to be inspired by the beauty of the state. 

The Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources Artist in Residence program is open to visual artists. Both established and emerging artists are welcome to apply.

The selected artist will receive a $3500 stipend and waived camping and day-use fees. Camping is required, no gear will be provided although cabins, yurts, and/or dorm housing will be offered. The selected artist must have their own vehicle and must be a year-round resident of Wyoming and at least 18 years of age.

Selected artists will be required to document the residency through blog and social media posts. Artists must create a minimum of 10 pieces inspired by their experience for the Artist in Residence Show and Sale, hosted at the Wyoming State Museum, November - January.

This is a joint program through Wyoming State Parks and the Wyoming Arts Council.

The deadline to apply is Monday, April 15, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. MST. Applications must be submitted online through https://artist.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=13093

Additional information can be found on the State Parks https://wyoparks.wyo.gov/index.php/news-events/artist-in-residency. Complete eligibility requirements can be found on https://artist.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=13093.

For more information, contact Kimberly Mittelstadt, Creative Arts Specialist at the Wyoming Arts Council, 307-274-6673 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Caption: 2023 Wyoming State Parks & Cultural Resources Artist in Residence, Bria Hammock, at Keyhole State Park. 

09 February 2024

Bear River State Park Soapbox Sled Derby scheduled February 17

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February 9, 2024

Experience a new version of a classic event by participating in the Bear River State Park Soapbox Sled Derby on February 17, beginning at 11 a.m. at the sledding hill at the park.

Embrace your creative side by designing a special sled that’s not only artistic but fast! Teams can range from solo to up to six riders. Competition categories will be decided based on number of entrants. Sign up now at https://wyoparks.info/BRSPSledDerby or on site.

 

·  Sleds (snow boxes) can be constructed using only cardboard, paper, soft plastic, paint tape or glue, with no metal or hard plastic including staples, nails, and tacks can be used.

 

·  Snow boxes can be no bigger than 6-foot by 4-foot with four sides a minimum of six inches tall. Participants must fit entirely inside the sled. Helmets are recommended.

 

·  Before racing, snow boxes will be inspected by a judge.

 

Racers are allowed to have two pushers to give them a helpful shove at the starting line, but then riders are on their own. Racers must stay in their snow box but can use arms, legs or other means to propel themselves across the finish line.

Prizes will be awarded for the fastest to the finish line, best crash, and best thematic.

09 February 2024

Award-winning Trails Program provides state-wide recreational opportunities Summer and Winter

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February 9, 2024

Recently recognized by the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) for the eleventh time, the Wyoming Trails Program has long been established as providing some of the best non-motorized and motorized trails in the region.

For the avid snowmobile user, off-road vehicle enthusiast, mountain biker, hiker, and equestrian the Trails program’s efforts are evident, but for members of the general public, it may not be apparent the number of hours and labor put into providing such a lucrative and valued recreational opportunity.

According to CRT, the organization is an alliance of national and regional trail-related organizations across a broad spectrum of interests representing motorized and non-motorized communities. Its members work together to build awareness and understanding of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), which returns federal gasoline taxes paid by off-highway recreationists to the states for trail development.

Tax monies are distributed using a 30% motorized, 30% non-motorized, and 40% diversified equation to split up the state's allocated funding. A process that is overseen by the Wyoming State Trails Advisory Council, a 10-member board appointed by the Governor's office to represent a variety of trail uses 

The Wyoming Trails program has previously been recognized by CRT in the categories of Communication and Education, Maintenance and Rehabilitation, Public and Private Partnerships, Environmental and Wildlife Compatibility, Multiple Use Management and Corridor Sharing, and this year for Construction and Design.

But what is it exactly that the Wyoming Trails Program does? Based in Lander, The Wyoming Trails Program maintains recreational trails statewide which is no easy task considering the Cowboy State ranks tenth in the nation in land mass at 97,813 square miles. Funding for these efforts is generated by snowmobile and ORV permits and federally by gasoline excise tax.

Due to the majority of the revenue being generated by motorized registration sales and fuel tax, the program is limited to solely the non-motorized portion of federal funding provided through RTP to fund non-motorized projects throughout the state, leaving a significant backlog in maintenance on non-motorized trails which expresses the need for other non-motorized funding mechanisms.  

Beginning December 1, a staff of 26 employees – 12 full-time and 16 seasonal employees – began preparing for the upcoming snowmobile season by clearing deadfall and placing 44,000 temporary markers along 2,585 miles of snowmobile trails statewide along with maintaining them throughout the 4-month season. Those markers are then removed by April 15.

During the season, Wyoming Trails utilizes 29 Snowcats to groom eight major snowmobile systems encompassing 2,585 miles of trails. Grooming occurs overnight and involves a strategically choreographed schedule so trails are consistently and effectively maintained to provide the best user experience possible. All told, during the season 59,130 miles are groomed through private grooming contracts, while 33,000 miles are groomed utilizing internally owned equipment and seasonally hired operators. Those trails are 95 percent on Federal land involving mostly U.S. Forest Service and some Bureau of Land Management public lands. Although there is always a lot of work to be done, the program is dependent on the weather each year.

According to Wyoming Trails Program Manager Forrest Kamminga, there’s no such thing as too much snow, but being a 100% user funded program, a low snow season is the worst possible scenario

“If there’s a low snow season, we’re not generating enough revenue to cover the expenses,” he said.

And that doesn’t mean just for his program but also for Trailside Lodges and others involved in the snowmobile outdoor recreation industry.

The Summer season usually begins no later than mid-June depending on spring weather and involves maintaining the existing 840 miles of trail and the construction of new motorized trails. These trails heavily rely on federal land managing agency partnerships as 95% of the off-road vehicle (ORV) trails are on federal lands. On-the-ground work is completed by private contractors or by the 9 permanent trail crew members along with 16 seasonal employees. 

A true pay-to-play endeavor, The Wyoming Trails Program generates approximately $4 million annually which, along with additional federal partnership match majority of the revenue generated goes to funding the agency’s operations. These funds are closely managed by the program's admin and grants staff through several internal grant funding mechanisms made available to federal, state, and local government land managing agencies, along with nonprofits that assist with several tasks including trail maintenance, signage, education, enforcement, and public safety outreach.

Every snowmobile permit generates $62.75 ($34 permit sales, $28.75 state fuel tax) with an average of 34,500 permits sold seasonally; and every ORV permit sold generates $32.50 ($14 permit sales, $18.50 state fuel tax.) with an average of 58,200 permits sold annually. 

Like Wyoming’s State Park and Historic Sites, the state trail system is a major contributor to the state’s Tourism and Outdoor Recreation industries. Both motorized and non-motorized trail enthusiasts can agree these trails provide great recreational opportunities in the Cowboy State.

30 January 2024

Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Collaboratives to Meet in February

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January 30, 2024

The Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation facilitates eight outdoor recreation collaboratives convened throughout the state that 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.

 

Dates, times, and locations for upcoming meetings are as follows:

 

·  Natrona County Outdoor Recreation Collaborative (NCORC) - Mon., Feb. 5, 2024 5pm – 7pm. Location Platte River Trails At The Tate Pumphouse, 1775 W 1st St, Casper, WY 82604. Join virtually at meet.google.com/esp-vfwo-ycj or via phone (US) +1 513-818-1039 PIN: 556600600

·  Northeast Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Collaborative (NEWORC - Campbell, Crook, and Weston counties) - Tues., Feb. 6, 2024  5pm  7pm. Location Campbell County Public Library, 2101 S 4-J Rd, Gillette, WY 82718. Join virtually at meet.google.com/bgq-qbyc-eue or via phone (US) +1 650-597-3399 PIN: 937516560

·  Cloud Peak Outdoor Recreation Collaborative (CPORC - Johnson and Sheridan counties) - Wed., Feb. 7, 2024  5pm  7pm. Location Sheridan College Broadway Center, 243 Broadway St, Sheridan, WY 82801. Join virtually at meet.google.com/yvg-tbsm-drr or via phone ‪(US) +1 405-586-8089 PIN: ‪236 603 840#

·  Bighorn Basin Outdoor Recreation Collaborative (BBORC - Big Horn, Hot Springs and Washakie counties) - Mon., Feb. 12, 2024 5pm – 7pm. Location Big Horn Rural Electric Co, 415 South St, Basin, WY 82410. Join virtually at meet.google.com/gwm-fdbj-pxz or via phone (US) +1 651-571-1600 PIN: 841317886

·  Park County Outdoor Recreation Collaborative (PCORC) - Tues., Feb. 13, 2024 5pm – 7pm. Location Northwest College Center for Training and Development 1397 Fort Drum Drive, Powell, WY 82435. Join virtually at meet.google.com/xky-mnue-gur or via phone (US) +1 276-738-2661PIN: 582814986

 

Members of the public are welcome to attend collaborative meetings in-person or virtually when available. There will be a designated time for public comment near the end of each meeting.

Established by recommendation of the 2017 Governor’s Outdoor Recreation Task Force, the Office of Outdoor Recreation aims to diversify Wyoming’s economy by expanding, enhancing, and promoting responsible recreational opportunities through collaboration, outreach, and coordination with stakeholders, landowners, private industry, and public officials.

09 January 2024

Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Awards Additional ARPA Funding

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January 9, 2024

The Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation is pleased to announce two additional recipients of the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation ARPA Grant program accounting for an added $509,836 in allocated funding. To date, the grant program has awarded $2,612,359 for outdoor recreation projects across the state. 

Two additional Wyoming Outdoor Recreation ARPA Grant applications were approved in early January including $486,736 for the City of Cheyenne’s Belvoir Ranch Trailhead and $23,100 for the City of Kemmerer’s Youth Fishing Pond Rehabilitation. 

Made available through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds appropriated by the Wyoming Legislature and approved by Governor Mark Gordon, the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation ARPA Grant program was established to award funding to public outdoor recreation projects throughout the state. 

On November 1, the Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation announced the second round of the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation ARPA Grant program with an application deadline of January 26, 2024 at 5 pm.

Applicants are invited to join the Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation, the Wyoming State Budget Department, and CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) LLP for an hour-long overview and Q&A on the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation ARPA Grant program on January 17th, 2024 at 10:00 am. 

Applicants are encouraged to come prepared with any questions relating to the project they are seeking funding for. Meeting details are as follows:

 

WY OREC Grant Program- Applicant Q&A

Wednesday, January 17 · 10:00 – 11:00 am MST

Google Meet Video call link: https://meet.google.com/szv-isjk-jwk

Or dial: ‪(US) +1 314-649-9112 PIN: ‪824 097 849#

 

The meeting will be recorded and posted on the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation website following the meeting.

For more information about awarded projects, the program and/or to apply for the 2023-2024 Wyoming Outdoor Recreation ARPA Grant program, please visit wyorec.info/grantprogram.

09 January 2024

Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, and Trails seeking public input on management of the High Plains Arboretum as a State Historic Site

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January 9, 2024

Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, and Trails is seeking public input on the management of the High Plains Arboretum and surrounding resources as a State Historic Site. 

The public is invited to join State Parks and the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens for a talk on the history and proposed management of the High Plains Research Station and Arboretum on Tuesday, January 16 at 7 p.m. in the Wyoming State Museum classroom. 

Deputy Director Nick Neylon, Planning Manager Carly-Ann Carruthers, and District Manager Christina Bird with State Parks will be joined by Jessica Friis, a Horticulturalist with the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens.

Located off of Roundtop Road, the former Cheyenne Horticultural Field Station was founded in 1928 by the United States Department of Agriculture on 2,140 acres of land owned by the City of Cheyenne and leased to the USDA. Buildings on the Station were designed by prominent Cheyenne architect William Dubois, and the Civilian Conservation Corps developed many features of the station in the 1930s. 

The Station was essential for research and development of hardy trees, shrubs, fruits, and vegetables. Plant varieties and shelterbelt research from this time impacted communities and ranches locally, regionally, nationally, and even internationally.

In 1974, the mission of the Station changed from horticultural research to livestock grazing management, mined land reclamation, and water conservation research. Critical agricultural research at the site continues to have wide-reaching impacts. In the spring of 2023, the City of Cheyenne requested that Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, and Trails evaluate the potential to operate the site as a State Historic Site. 

Wyoming State Parks and the Wyoming Legislature will consider a bill at the upcoming session to manage 877 acres of the historic USDA Field Station footprint and City of Cheyenne property, including the water treatment plant resources on Round Top Hill, stone terraces and the Round Top camp built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, much of the footprint of the original USDA Horticultural Field Station including several historic buildings, and an arboretum and living collection of historic trees.

Operating the site as a State Historic Site would allow for continued use of the property by key partners like the City of Cheyenne, the USDA, the National Cemetery, and the Girl Scouts. 

For more information on the site or the upcoming talk, or to provide input on the project, please contact District Manager Christina Bird at 307-631-1110, Christina.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Planning Manager Carly-Ann Carruthers at 307-777-6968, CarlyAnn.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

08 January 2024

Wyoming State Trails, Forest Service project recognized by Coalition for Recreational Trails

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January 9, 2024

Contact: Forrest Kamminga, 307-335-2671

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

            A Wyoming Trails project involving the installation of the Hawks Rest Pack Stock Bridge in the Bridger-Teton National Forest has been recognized by the Coalition for Recreational Trails in the Construction and Design category.

            Representatives from the Wyoming State Trails program and the Forest Service will receive the award during a special awards ceremony on March 6, in Washington, D.C. followed by a reception on Capitol Hill.

“This is a fantastic example of how well State and Federal government partnerships can work to get projects to the ground in order to provide a much-needed recreational infrastructure” Forrest Kamminga, Wyoming State Trails Program manager.

            The Hawks Rest Pack Stock Bridge project was very unique and complicated and wouldn’t have been possible without the partnerships of several federal and state agencies along with several combined contracts that totaled more than $1 million. Funding for the project came from multiple funding sources that included a Recreational Trails Program non-motorized grant, a non-Federal match from the Wyoming State Parks agency, and the United States Forest Service non-federal outfitter and guides’ special use permit fees.

            This unique project consisted of the replacement of a remote bridge and concrete abutments that were originally constructed in 1959 and buried deep in the Thorofare area that spans the boundary of the northern Teton Wilderness and Yellowstone National Park on the upper Yellowstone River approximately 28 miles from any trailhead or road.

            The project was managed by the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Blackrock Ranger District staff and had very complex design and construction challenges due to the wilderness designation that restricted the use of mechanized equipment that limited the transportation of the new pre-fabricated bridge structure and pre-fab concrete abutments to solely a helicopter that was only allowed by obtaining special permission. All the remaining materials and crews to build the structure were hauled in by a Stock pack string which required a full day, one way to access the bridge location, and a working season of about 8 weeks a year.

“This will allow for easy and safe passage of wilderness travelers for many years into the future.”  Todd Stiles, Blackrock District Ranger said.

  This is the eleventh time the Wyoming Trails Program has been recognized by the CRT.

03 January 2024

Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites Hosts Record First Day Hikes

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January 3, 2024

On New Year’s Day 2024, Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites hosted a record number of participants during their annual First Day Hikes with 1,132 attendees hiking more than 2,000 miles. This reflects a 206% increase in participation from 2023. 

"Each year, our agency strives to enhance this annual event in ways that will continue to encourage both returning and first-time guests to join us outdoors for this special occasion, and we were, of course, ecstatic to see our First Day Hikes’ attendance more than triple this year,” states Laurel Stephens, Outreach Coordinator for the Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation. “We see these numbers as indicative of recent outdoor recreation trends and that more people are taking advantage of the endless outdoor recreation opportunities our state has to offer.”

Hosted annually by the Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation and Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails, First Day Hikes are part of a nationwide initiative led by America’s State Parks to encourage people to get outside and to promote the overall mental and physical health benefits recreating outdoors provides. 

This year, 17 Wyoming State Parks and Historic Sites hosted free guided hikes for participants of all ages and allowed hikers at each site to enter to win a Wyoming State Parks’ 2024 Annual Day Use Pass and a statewide Grand Prize. 

 

Participating sites and the number of hikers include: 

 

Bear River State Park, 30

Hot Springs State Park, 72

Boysen State Park, 24

Keyhole State Park, 48

Buffalo Bill State Park, 43

Medicine Lodge State Archaeological Site, 33

Curt Gowdy State Park, 308

Sinks Canyon State Park, 14

Edness Kimball Wilkins State Park, 149

South Pass City State Historic Site, 25

Fort Bridger State Historic Site, 72

Trail End State Historic Site, 68

Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site, 82

WY Pioneer Memorial Museum, 7

Glendo State Park, 42

WY Territorial Prison, 58

Guernsey State Park, 57

 

 

Not only do First Day Hikes aim to create a fun experience for all, but they also aim to create a comfortable and familiar environment, so that participants are inspired to take advantage of these local treasures throughout the year.

“I look forward to First Day Hikes each year,” says Interpretive Ranger Angelina Stancampiano, who has led First Day Hikes since 2019. “Not only does it quite literally start my year out on the right foot being active and outdoors, but it’s a wonderful way to greet visitors in the new year. We meet, highlight upcoming programs, and can enjoy the hike together. These hikers become regular program attendees and oftentimes friends! This year was great for updating attendees on the many programs our agency offers throughout the year as well as informing and answering questions on our new reservation system!”

In December of 2023, Wyoming State Parks announced a new reservation and permit sales system that includes improved campsite maps and descriptions, streamlined transactions for customers, and text and email reminders to make camping easier. 

Customers who create an account on the new site and opt-in for marketing emails will be entered to win a Yeti Cooler. Visit Reserve.Wyoming.gov to create your account and to make reservations. 

For more information on upcoming programs and events, follow us on Facebook at @WYOREC and @WyomingStateParks, or visit wyorec.info/events.

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