Through a special program organized by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the NWTF is helping open hunting access on private and public lands in Wyoming. The NWTF Wyoming State Chapter designates money from its Superfund to the program each year, and the donation of $7,500 will return over 24,000 acres of access to hunters and anglers.
The NWTF is a long-time supporter of the Wyoming Access YES program that works with landowners to provide free hunting and fishing opportunities on private and inaccessible public lands. The program, which has been in existence since 2008, was rebranded in 2016. It was previously known as the Private Lands Public Wildlife program.
Access Yes projects are comprised of Hunter Management Areas, Walk-In Hunting Areas, Walk-In Fishing Areas and the Hunter/Landowner Assistance Program. For every dollar donated to the program, nearly 3.5 acres of access, totaling nearly 2.8 million private acres, is gained for hunting and fishing opportunities.
The Access Yes program purchases easements for public access for sportsmen to hunt and fish, which increases the amount of accessible acres and provides access to various wildlife resources. This allows sportsmen the opportunity to utilize these private lands throughout Wyoming free of charge, without having to contact the landowner for permission. It also helps to build a relationship among sportsmen and landowners by enhancing and maintaining public access for the benefit of both.
The Access Yes program benefits wildlife, hunting heritage, hunter recruitment/retention and recreation in a number of ways. It often gets sportsmen directly involved with the management and conservation of all wildlife species, which in turn can provide a lifetime interest and commitment to wildlife conservation and our hunting heritage.
Game and Fish funds and other external funding sources cover Access Yes program costs. Revenue for the landowner easement payments is generated from the sale of lifetime and annual conservation stamps, donations from organizations, individual sportsmen, state restitution fees from court-imposed fines from wildlife violations and interest.