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Trail Management Agencies
 

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Trail Management Agencies

United States Forest Service

The United States Forest Service (USFS), within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, administers approximately 8.8 million acres of land in Wyoming which represents 25% of the total public lands in the state. It is the largest single provider of trail opportunities in Wyoming. The 1998 Wyoming State Trails Inventory identified over 6,100 miles of designated trails on national forests within Wyoming, which represents 73.5% of all inventoried trails in the state. Additionally, there are thousands of miles of non-designated trails and primitive roads available for recreation on USFS lands in Wyoming. National Forests are managed for multiple uses and provide timber, minerals, range, recreation, water, fish and wildlife.

 

Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), within the U.S. Department of Interior, administers approximately 17.8 million acres of land in Wyoming, which is approximately one-third of the total state. The 1998 Wyoming State Trails Inventory identified only 32 miles of designated trails on BLM land, which represents 2.4% of trails in the state. However, tens of thousands of miles of non-designated trails and primitive roads also exist on BLM land which makes the BLM an extremely important provider of trail opportunities in Wyoming.

 

National Park Service

The National Park Service (NPS), within the U.S. Department of Interior, administers approximately 2.3 million acres of land in Wyoming that contain 261 miles of designated trails. These trails represent 19.2% of the trail opportunities in Wyoming and are significant for their historic, geologic and interpretive values.

 

Bureau of Reclamation

The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), within the U.S. Department of Interior administers approximately 62,000 acres of land in Wyoming. The BOR has played an active role in the economic development of Wyoming by providing facilities that generate irrigation and power. The day-to-day management of these lands is, for the most part, delegated to state or county government. Therefore, the discussion of trail opportunities on BOR lands is covered below in the discussion of the Wyoming Division of State Parks and Historic Sites and Local Agencies.

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), within the U.S. Department of Interior, administers approximately 81,000 acres of National Wildlife Refuge lands in Wyoming. However, public access to National Wildlife Refuges is very limited. Lands managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service are highly valued for their potential interpretive and wildlife viewing opportunities. The two primary USFWS areas within Wyoming with trail opportunities are the National Elk Refuge which has an accessible boardwalk behind the visitor center in Jackson and the Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge where there is a fully accessible interpretive trail at the Lombard Ferry Historical Site.

 

Wyoming Game & Fish Department

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGF) manages approximately 35,000 acres of land. The purpose of these lands is to provide fish and wildlife habitat. In some cases, these lands also provide access to other public lands. There are few designated trails on WGF lands, but a variety of paths and roads used as trails exist.

 

Office of State Lands and Investments

The Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments manages 3.6 million acres of state trust lands in Wyoming. It is the administrative and advisory arm of the Board of Land Commissioners and the State Loan and Investment Board and is responsible for implementing the policies and decisions of those boards.

These state lands are not “public” lands in the same sense as those properties managed by the federal government. These lands were granted to the state on its admission to the Union to produce income for the support of public schools and institutions. Generally, state lands, other than cultivated crop lands, are available for public hunting, fishing and recreational day use.

 

Wyoming Department of Transportation

The primary role of the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) is to provide a safe, reliable transportation system that serves the needs of the traveling public, commerce and industry. However, WYDOT also serves an important role in providing trail opportunities since it routinely considers bicycle and pedestrian needs when designing transportation facilities, particularly in urban areas.

 

Wyoming Division of State Parks & Historic Sites

The Wyoming Division of State Parks and Historic Sites (SPHS), within the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources, manages 46,455 acres of land in Wyoming. The majority of this land is managed as reservoir parks leased from the Bureau of Reclamation. The park system has about 35 miles of designated non-motorized trails. Additionally, about 60 miles of park roadways are open to ORV use.

The Wyoming State Trails Program (STP), a program within SPHS, serves as the lead in the state to coordinate the planning, development and implementation of a statewide trail system among federal, state and local agencies and the private sector.