Get outside and get involved on Public Lands Day

Each year millions of people visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park, bike and hike on Bureau of Land Management Land and adventure in Wyoming’s National Forests.

This weekend’s National Public Lands Day gives people a chance to give back to their favorite recreation areas by helping with service projects ranging from trail building to trash clean-up.

Kelsey Dayton

National Public Lands Day projects are taking place across the state this Saturday.

Last year more than 170,000 volunteers worked at 3,067 sites across the country, according to the National Public Lands Day website. Those volunteers collected about 500 tons of trash, removed about 23,000 pounds of invasive plants, built and maintained 1,500 miles of trails and planted about 100,000 trees, shrubs and native plants.

Work on mountain bike trails in Lander, help pronghorn in Grand Teton National Park or clean up waterways in Cheyenne. National Public Lands Day, which began in1994 with 700 participants, is a way to build ownership among the public with the land. It also helps finish projects faster by giving agencies needed man-power.

You can also enjoy waived entrance fees on National Forest Land in Grand Teton and Yellowstone and at the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center. It is the only time that entrance fees are waived on all public lands in the country.

It’s a chance for people to “pay back” and “pay it forward,” said Jackie Skaggs, spokeswoman in Grand Teton National Park.

While the annual public lands day activities attract visitors, it is often area residents who step up on the volunteer day to help improve the area they love enough to call home, she said.

“We’re thrilled when people are willing to step up, and work hand-in-hand with us,” she said. “… It’s the best synergy that can happen.”

For more information on public lands day visit http://www.publiclandsday.org/.

Worland

  • Project: Trail maintenance on hiking trail and invasive species removal
  • When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Where: Canyon Creek Trail area. Volunteers from Worland can meet at 101 South 23rd Street to caravan. Volunteers from the Ten Sleep area should meet at the Canyon Creek Trail parking area at 9 a.m. The trail is located on Rome Hill Road 3.5 miles south US Highway 16. Bring a lunch, water and gloves and wear sturdy shoes. Tools will be provided.
  • Agency: BLM
  • For more information: Contact Paul Rau paul_rau@blm.gov, 347-5133

Cheyenne

  • Project: Help local boy scouts remove trash from Dry creek, Crow Creek and around Sloan Lake at Lion’s Park.
  • When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Where: There will be four work sites. Dry Creek West, meet at Mylar Park Pavilion. Dry Creek East, meet at Cahill Park on the east side of the park lot. The Nature trail around Sloan Lake, meet at the parking lot outside the Kiwanis building. Crow Creek, MLK park to Morrie Ave.
  • Agency: Boy Scouts

Kemmerer

  • Project: Remove 16.1 miles of fence in sage grouse habitat
  • Where: Haul Road, meet at 312 Highway 189 North in Kemmerer
  • When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Agency: BLM
  • For more information: Contact Wally Mierzejewski at Wally_Mierzejewski@blm.gov or call 307-828-4508

Lander

  • Project: Maintain and improve trails at Johnny Behind the Rocks
  • Where: Meet at the Johnny Behind the Rocks parking area. Tools, gloves, flagging and vehicle shuttles will be provided. Bring water and snacks or lunch.
  • When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Agency: BLM
  • For more information: Contact Brandon Thielke at bthielke@blm.gov or 307-332-8420

*Casper

  • Project: Fence repair, trail work and minor maintenance projects
  • Where: Muddy Mountain Environmental Education Area, meet at 2987 Prospector Dr., Casper
  • When: 8 to 5 p.m.
  • Agency: BLM
  • For more information: Contact Eve Skillman at Eve_Skillman@blm.gov or 307-261-7517

*This event has been canceled due to the Sheep  Herder Hill Fire.

Green River

  • Project: Highway and entrance clean-up
  • Where: Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge
  • When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Agency: US Fish and Wildlife Services
  • For more information: Contact Tom Koerner at  tom_koerner@fws.gov or 307- 413-6149

Cody

  • Project: Trail maintenance
  • Where: Pahaska Tepee Shoshone National Forest. Meet at the Greater Yellowstone Coalition parking lot at 1285 Sheridan Ave. Suite 215 in Cody to carpool. Bring gloves, safety glasses, food, water, bear spray, warm clothing and tools like loppers and hand saws if possible.
  • When: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • For more information: Contact Charles Drimal at cdrimal@greateryellowstone.org or call 307-527-6290
  • Agency:  USDA and Greater Yellowstone Coalition

Rawlins

  • Project: Replace picnic tables, scrap and paint vault toilets, refurbish parking area and trash pick-up. Bring gloves and safety glasses. Lunch will be provided.
  • Where: Teton Reservoir Campground, meet at 1300 N. Third St in Rawlins
  • When: 8:30 to 4:30
  • Agency: BLM
  • For more information and to register: Contact David Hullum at dhullum@blm.gov or call 307-328-4310

Buffalo

  • Project: Trail and fence maintenance and litter removal
  • Where: Weston Hills Recreation Area
  • When: 9 a.m. to noon
  • Agency: BLM
  • For more information: Contact Allison Barnes at abarnes@blm.gov, or all 307-684-1116.

Rock Springs

  • Project: Remove debris and garbage.
  • Where: Sage School Parking Lot, 903 Summit Dr, Rock Springs
  • When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Agency: BLM
  • For more information: Contact Jo Foster at gfoster@blm.gov or call 307-352-0327

Jackson

  • Project: Fence improvement project to help pronghorn migration.
  • Where: Near the Eastern boundary of Grand Teton National Park. Wear pants, sturdy shoes and bring water, sunscreen and rain gear.
  • When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but help for even part of the day is appreciated.
  • For more information and to register: Visit  www.npca.org/gtevents.

Banner photo by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District/Flickr.

— “Peaks to Plains” is a blog focusing on Wyoming’s outdoors and communities. Kelsey Dayton is a freelance writer based in Lander. She has been a journalist in Wyoming for seven years, reporting for the Jackson Hole News & Guide, Casper Star-Tribune and the Gillette News-Record. Contact Kelsey at kelsey.dayton@gmail.com.

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Kelsey Dayton

Kelsey Dayton is a freelancer and the editor of Outdoors Unlimited, the magazine of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. She has worked as a reporter for the Gillette News-Record, Jackson Hole News&Guide...

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