Hunting and Fishing News & Blog Articles
75,000 New Acres To Hunt!?
Access is king here in the West for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities. Most of us who live here don’t own larger parcels of property to hunt and fish, which means public land is where we spend our time. Many nonresidents come out West for adventures that they have saved and planned for for years because the hunting systems are so different from the places they call home. Public land has become a centerfold in both cases and because of that, access is king. Gains in public access are celebrated then because of the opportunities they present.
This week it was announced that through a joint partnership between the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation(RMEF) and the Bureau of Land Management(BLM) using RMEF grants and BLM access to funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund access was gained to 75,000 new acres for recreation. The acquisition only actually purchases 35,670 acres from the Marton family whose land will now be conserved for future generations to use through this process.
Front and center on this particular piece of public is the 8 mile stretch of blue ribbon fishing on the North Platte River. In year’s past the only way to access the fishing here would have been by boat coming in from upstream. Now access to shore fishing will be possible. This 8 mile stretch will also offer the opportunity for waterfowl hunters to enjoy more of the North Platte.
Many in the Eastmans’ audience are probably wondering if this will be land that they can burn an elk, deer or antelope tag on? The answer is yes, with a little bit of luck in the draw as all of the hunts there are part of the limited quota system, in particular for elk. This area is one of the more sought after tags in the Cowboy State by residents and non residents alike.
While many are talking about the now famous corner crossing case playing out, this type of action may be the answer to some of the conundrum posed by checkerboard public land or even 100% landlocked swaths of public. Acquisitions like this open up not just the land purchased but also the public land that has been inaccessible for years. This may be a strategy we see in the future to alleviate tensions between the public and private landowners who both have stakes in the discussion.
Be watching the BLM news resources for announcements related to the public commenting period on management plans for this new area and as always… What’s your take?