CASPER, Wyo. — The first ever Wyoming Public Lands Day is set for Saturday, Sept. 28.
Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed a bill into law in March establishing the holiday.
“In tribute to the importance of public lands in the state, to acknowledge the multiple use of public lands and in recognition of the value of public lands to the state’s economy, open spaces, diversity of mineral, grazing and forestry resources, wildlife and recreational opportunities, the fourth Saturday in September of each year is designated as ‘public lands day’ and appropriate observance may be held by the public and in all public schools of the state,” reads the bill.
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A coalition of citizens, hunting and angling groups, conservation organizations, and businesses pushed back against 2016 legislation that would have allowed some public land to be transferred to private hands.
That coalition calls itself “Keep it Public, Wyoming.”
“In 2016, the Keep it Public, Wyoming coalition…joined together to protect Wyoming’s most valuable asset: our public lands,” the coalition says. “We successfully pushed back on attempts to wrest control of public lands in Wyoming, and then we set our sights on some positive legislation — a bill that would create a state holiday, Wyoming Public Lands Day, to celebrate public lands and recognize their value to Wyoming’s economy and their positive impact on our quality of life.”
“It took us two years and two legislative sessions to accomplish that goal, but we can now recognize this success with the passage of Enrolled Act #109 from the 2019 legislative session. Wyoming is just the third state in the nation to recognize a state Public Lands Day.”
Day-use fees to Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and National Parks are waived on Saturday for the celebration.
At least two activities in Natrona County coincide with the celebration. The Keep it Public, Wyoming shares info about these and events throughout the state.
Here are the volunteer events they’ve listed for Natrona County:
N A T R O N A C O U N T Y
What: Platte River Revival
When: September 28, 2019 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Where: Casper Bureau of Land Management Field Office — Casper
Host: Bureau of Land Management
Details: Work will include restoration as well as trash and litter clean-up of the North Platte River that runs through the city of Casper.
Contact: Cullen Hardy at email@example.com
What: Edness Kimball Wilkins Park CleanupWyoming Outdoor Council
When: September 28, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Where: Meet at Mountain View Shelter, 8700 East US Hwy 20/26 — Evansville
Host: Wyoming State Parks
Details: Volunteers will cleanup where the trails stop. Bags and pick up sticks will be provided.
Contact: Gary Schoene at 307-777-7014
People can also sign Keep it Public, Wyoming’s petition to voice their support for keeping lands in the state public.