CASPER, Wyo. — A project to provide improved access to 32,900 acres of “difficult to reach public land in the Sublette Mountain Range of western Wyoming” has made progress thanks to the purchase of a new access agreement.

A new easement agreement set to take effect in summer 2021 “will create a permanent public roadway and a parking area linked to the Groo Canyon trail from Highway 30 north of Cokeville near the Wyoming-Idaho border,” the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) said on Tuesday.

The new access point will provide hunters, anglers and recreationists access across private lands in the Raymond Mountain Wilderness Study Area as well as other state and federal lands.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and other organizations are partnering on the project.

“Creating and improving public access is key to who we are as an organization and our mission,” said RMEF President and CEO Kyle Weaver. “There is currently limited access to the west side of the Sublette Range. This action will change that.”

In addition to providing new access to the public, the improved access will help Game and Fish in their wildlife management efforts in monitoring species like elk, deer, moose, mountain lions and black bears.

“As the Wyoming Game and Fish Department evaluates and pursues access projects, we look for opportunities that will have a substantial positive impact for our constituents and we feel the Raymond Mountain Public Access Area will provide that,” said Game and Fish Lands Branch Chief Sean Bibbey. “The department looks forward to developing this area for use by the public in the coming year and we want to thank RMEF and the other partners on this project for their hard work and support to make this opportunity happen.”

Other organizations helping fund the project include the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, onX and RMEF’s Torstenson Family Endowment.

“This collaborative public access project in the Sublette Range is a true win-win for conservation and all who love the outdoors,” said Bob Ziehmer, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s senior director of conservation.“When completed, the new entry point will be a game-changer in improving recreational opportunities and wildlife management in the region. We thank our generous customers for rounding up to the Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, providing funding for this key project.”

Lisa Nichols, onX access advocacy manager, added: “We applaud the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for working to secure improved access to public lands,” said “We also want to recognize the ranching family who prioritized the recreation potential on land that is dear to their heart. Increasing hunting and public access opportunities for everyone is core to onX’s mission, and we’re honored to be part of projects like these.”