Lawmakers on Monday filed a bill that would broaden the definition of hunter trespass as a closely watched court case involving corner crossing created new waves across the state.

HB0103 – Prohibit travel across private land for hunting purposes would amend existing hunter trespass laws that a Wyoming attorney general has stated may not apply to corner crossing.

Corner crossing involves stepping from one piece of public land to another where the public parcels share a four-way corner with two private parcels. Where such ownership patterns exist it is possible to step over the common corner without setting foot on private land.

Four hunters who were charged with criminal trespass — not hunter trespass — in Carbon County for corner crossing have pleaded not guilty and asked that their cases be dismissed. They claim they never touched private property when they used a fence ladder to move from one section of public land to another.

“Wyoming BHA believes the factual circumstances will show that the four hunters did not commit criminal trespass.”

Wyoming Backcountry Hunters and Anglers board.

Strict property-rights defenders say even passing through the airspace above private property — which is a physical requirement of corner crossing — amounts to trespass even if private ground is not touched.

The bill would bolster that position by amending the definition of hunter trespass, which now states only that “no person shall enter upon” private property. The amendment would add a clause so the statute reads “no person shall enter upon or travel through” private property without permission.

Rep. Barry Crago (R-Buffalo) is the lead sponsor. Reps. Eric Barlow (R-Gillette), Aaron Clausen (R-Douglas), Jamie Flitner (R-Greybull), Mike Greear (R-Worland), Chip Neiman (R-Hulett), Ember Oakley (R-Riverton) and Tom Walters (R-Casper) plus Sens. Brian Boner (R-Douglas), Ogden Driskill (R-Devils Tower) and Dave Kinskey (R-Sheridan) are co-sponsors.

Commissioner’s license

Crago filed his bill as another Buffalo resident, Game and Fish Commission President Peter Dube, acknowledged that he withdrew a promised big game license he had said would go to Wyoming Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. The hunters’ group had planned to auction it. Wyoming BHA said it will track the bill and review “its vast potential legal implications on public hunting and fishing access through private lands across Wyoming.”

Peter Dube (WG&F)

Dube’s change of heart came after he learned that the group had become involved in the Carbon County case.

Wyoming BHA launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for the defense of the four Missouri hunters charged with criminal trespass last fall. Backcountry Hunters and Anglers said money raised from the auction of a commissioner’s license would have been used for wildlife projects or hunter access, not on the trespassing case.

But Dube said he wanted to keep the issue at arm’s length.

“I just did not want to be possibly associated siding one way or another on that,” Dube said. “That’s the basis [on  which] I told them I wouldn’t do it.”

Dube’s action upset leadership of the hunters’ advocacy group, which last year raised $48,720 from the auction of a commissioner’s license to improve access to the Raymond Mountain area, site of a wildlife-rich 33,000-acre BLM wilderness study area near Cokeville.

“I’m disappointed,” said Buzz Hettick, chairman of the group’s Wyoming chapter. “We had projects that we were going to fund with that money that will no longer be funded this year.”

Wyoming BHA does not support trespass, board member Pete Kassab said.

“What we do support is due process,” Kassab said.

“When we spoke to the hunters, it became very clear this needed to be litigated,” Kassab said, “there needed to be exposure about corner crossing.” Corner crossing remains a “gray legal area” he said.

AG opinion

A Wyoming attorney general’s opinion from 2004 states that corner crossing may not be a game-law infraction. A hunting trespass violation requires a person “to hunt or intend to hunt on private property without permission,” the opinion states. “‘Corner crossing,’ however, may be a criminal trespass,” the opinion reads.

Criminal trespass carries a penalty of up to $750 and six months in jail upon conviction. Hunting trespass carries penalties of up to a $1,000 fine, six months imprisonment and up to three years suspension of license privileges.

“Wyoming BHA supports the prosecution of people who knowingly and willfully trespass and/or cause damage to private lands,” a position paper the group’s board adopted in January states.

A screenshot from OnX Maps of the mixed-ownership acreage traversed by the defendants. (Screenshot/OnX Maps)

In the case at issue, “Wyoming BHA believes the factual circumstances will show that the four hunters did not commit criminal trespass,” the paper states. Corner crossing “is neither explicitly legal nor explicitly illegal in the State of Wyoming.”

Wyoming BHA acknowledges private landowner rights, including rights “to grant or deny permission to access their property,” the paper states. But it opposes attempts to block access to public property, a key issue in corner crossing.

Corner crossing allows persons to access thousands of acres of public land in Wyoming and more than a million across the West. Prohibiting it landlocks those public lands and effectively makes them the exclusive reserve of neighboring landowners.

“You cannot block access to public ground” in corner-crossing and possibly other situations, Kassab said. Federal laws form the foundations of that position.

“Wyoming BHA supports the four hunters in their right to due process: a right so important and fundamental that it is the only command listed twice in the United States Constitution,” the group stated.

Wyoming BHA also opined on potential outcomes of the Carbon County case.

“We believe a ‘guilty’ determination in this case would have a direct negative impact to hunters’, anglers’, and trappers’ ability to access our public lands,” the paper states. “We believe a ‘not guilty’ determination will not set a precedent, i.e. have a legally binding effect, but will nonetheless add a decision to the legal record that supports the argument that corner crossing does not constitute criminal trespass.”

The hunters said they never set foot on or touched private property and were told by a Game and Fish officer and one Carbon County sheriff’s deputy that what they were doing was not illegal.

The just-introduced bill would change the hunter-trespass law, possibly enabling Game and Fish officers a basis on which to charge corner-crossing hunters. The bill proposes a penalty of up to $1,000 and six months in jail for a person found guilty.

In the Carbon County case, a second sheriff’s deputy cited the men who claimed he did so after the manager of the Elk Mountain Ranch made repeated complaints to authorities.

Coveted award

Dube, a former outfitter and a rancher and landowner in Johnson County, said he gets on the order of 100 requests for commissioner’s licenses a year. Each of the seven commissioners may award up to eight licenses, which must go to nonprofit organizations.

“It’s very popular,” Dube said of the program. “The very first phone call I got [upon becoming commissioner] was asking for a commissioner’s license.

“I try to give as many as possible to local organizations in the district I represent,” he said.

Wyoming BHA’s decision to become involved in the corner crossing case raised a new issue, Dube said.

“I struggled with what to do,” he said. “I want to remain neutral,” in what he sees as a legal case, he said.

“When this came up, it put me in a quandary,” Dube said. A license awarded to Wyoming BHA, “it could be misconstrued,” he said, possibly as support for corner crossing, trespass or the hunters themselves.

“I thought the game plan had changed on me,” Dube said. “I just did not want the appearance of supporting or not supporting this issue.”

Asked if he thinks corner crossing is legal, Dube said, “I remain neutral on that subject.”

Backcountry hunters stay course

Wyoming BHA said it will maintain its positions despite the loss of Dube’s license.

“Regardless of the outcome of this or other court cases, Wyoming BHA will not promote corner crossing to users until reasonable measures are taken to limit resource degradation and trespass,” the group’s position states. Wyoming BHA encourages hunters to build relationships with landowners and states that the group supports collaboration among stakeholders to solve the issue.

That collaboration does not mean a person or group should forgo the right to due process.

“[T]his all occurred because one private landowner decided to press charges against these hunters, who went out of their way to corner cross in a legally permissible manner,” the group’s position paper states. “The outcome of these legal proceedings can only stand to inform and thus improve statewide problem-solving on this issue, which is one of many reasons we feel it imperative to not limit the scope of the legal proceedings to the financial resources of the defendants.”

Wyoming BHA also weighed in on harassment allegations the four hunters made against the manager of the Elk Mountain Ranch who complained they were trespassing.

“Wyoming BHA supports prosecution of those who interfere with or impede the lawful use of public land, inclusive of hunter harassment,” the group said. Hunter harassment is an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 on the first offense. Aggrieved parties also can bring a civil suit against a person or group for harassment, which can claim punitive damages as well as actual costs.

Angus M. Thuermer Jr. is the natural resources reporter for WyoFile. He is a veteran Wyoming reporter and editor with more than 35 years experience in Wyoming. Contact him at or (307)...

Join the Conversation


Want to join the discussion? Fantastic, here are the ground rules: * Provide your full name — no pseudonyms. WyoFile stands behind everything we publish and expects commenters to do the same. * No personal attacks, profanity, discriminatory language or threats. Keep it clean, civil and on topic. *WyoFile does not fact check every comment but, when noticed, submissions containing clear misinformation, demonstrably false statements of fact or links to sites trafficking in such will not be posted. *Individual commenters are limited to three comments per story, including replies.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Is anyone else tired of being born into a world that you cannot walk on unless you’re on top of asphalt or cement. The Cattlemens Association and they are members want the state to use the funds generated by license holders to buy access to buy trespass fees, like HMAs, is why they are involved in my opinion. Another another question is, it’s not like these people were out there harassing cattle, so why do these cattleman association have to get involved with access to public lands for hunting? If the public has access to public lands, this will hinder their extortion from the public. The wild animals already have no place to go because of the power of this association and their ability to manipulate legislators with their political donations. They are allowed to graze down public land to nothing and then put out propaganda to tell everyone how well they manage the land to an unknowing public in the metropolitan areas, Just like the Wolf lovers have done to the rule areas of the country. They pay a dollar and change for a minimum rental fee of these public lands, so if section lines were open, like they are in North Dakota, they would not be able to Landlock some of these parcels and would have to compete with other livestock companies to rent this land. These agriculture/ rancher Political action groups are also the ones that grease the politicians that make the laws that force the poorest among us to pay income tax into the federal tax pools and then kick the money back out in farm welfare aid and drought disaster relief to millionaires, because you are a millionaire if you own 1000 acres, because they can’t manage their business And refused to cut their shirt size down and are running far too many cattle on the land and not managing their herd responsibly. 99% of us will never have enough money to own our own little acreage for our own hunting. These groups, along with the outfitters association are trying to force the do it yourself hunter into their cash cow. Just look at how the outfitters Association got the laws passed so that the non-resident could not hunt on the wilderness areas. How many people out there have heard a landowner say that they hate the GPS systems because they cannot block people and kick them off of Public lands anymore? Many residents probably have nice little sweetheart deals with existing landowners, but what will you do when the land changes hands and they have their own friends. You are out and now there is no access for you. The Ranch size gets bigger and bigger all the time, owned by people with millions if not billions of dollars, that are not in the community, their kids do not go to the school, and they are not appreciative of The local who might come out and offer to work for some access because they don’t need any help. In fact you are a nuisance to them, and their ranch manager like this fella that was harassing or perceived to be harassing these hunters. Can we is hunters , rent the BLM away from these Multi million dollar ranches? The outfitters associations also can rent the right to outfit on public lands. Is this true? I’ve heard that is only a dollar and some change also?

  2. If access to public land is blocked by adjacent landowners, then the land is not public and the offending landowners should be held responsible for all taxes, fire protection and road upkeep through any of their holdings within the checkerboard.

  3. Let me guess, a couple farmers who happen to be legislators are representing their own interests rather than the interests of the majority of people they represent. Chances are they did nothing but inherit everything they have anyway. Wyoming needs to get rid of those landowner gratis tags for people who are not residents of the state. And the gratis tag needs to be a female animal because of all the shady things landowners and outfitters are doing with multiple LLC owners on a property and able to transfer tags so people can bypass the point system. They should be passing a law that allows people to access on section lines like other states have.

  4. After reading through a lot of the comments I didn’t see anyone mention river floating. You do realize that if they get this passed that private land includes air space 200 yards above it then you will no longer be able to float a river that cuts through private land. As long as you do not put foot on private land and respect the private land then let people cross. These guys did everything by the book including casing/unloading firearms. Private land owners need to be held accountable for restricting public land.

  5. All blm and state and school trust land should have a acces deeded to it so everyone may use it and not just the adjoined land owners and the wildlife pimps (outfitters)!
    Everyone needs to realize we’re trying to take even the middle class out of the game for more profits .
    Same on our western states
    All hunters should boycott Wyoming till access is granted

  6. It’s wrong to accuse hunters of trespassing when they step over the corner. I disagree totally with the corner crossing bill. Who do the legislator’s think pay for game management?

  7. This is outrageous. Stepping from one piece of public land to another is not, nor should it be considered a crime. Land owners locking up public land is against the law. ” Unlawful Inclosure of Public Land Act 1885″. It has been discussed and ruled on by the federal government already. All the legislation in Wyoming has to do is make corner crossing legal for foot traffic only. That takes care of the issue of any trespassing issues, and prohibits motor vehicle traffic. It is that easy.

  8. !!! STOP !!!
    HB0103 – Prohibit travel across private land for hunting purposes

    Please contact all our Wyoming state senators and representatives and ask them to stop House Bill “HB0103 – Prohibit travel across private land for hunting purposes”. This Bill goes complete against the “Unlawful Inclosures of Public Lands Act of 1885”.

    The land owners have the right to use the public lands for grazing if they have paid for a grazing lease. However, they do not have the right to block public use of public lands and this is what some land owners are trying to do. Corner crossing from one piece of public land to another piece of public land should not be illegal and the land owners in question are trying to make it illegal which is a clear violation of the federal “Unlawful Inclosures of Public Lands Act of 1885”. Their argument that one is stepping over their private land means they own the air over their land, which is nonsense. If this is the case where does that end? Does a plane need permission to fly over private land? This needs to be stopped. The land owners in question are trying to lock up public lands for their own exclusive use. The land owners wish to deny access for sportsman and the general public to land they do not own. Their reason for doing this is to allow only their paying customers to have access to these public lands. They the land owners in question need to learn that public means public they do not own or control public lands.

    Recent Articles giving the history of the current court case that has prompted this bill.
    • Corner-crossing defendants move for dismissal of trespass charges – WyoFile
    • Hunters allege illegal harassment in corner-crossing case – WyoFile
    • Wildlife Taskforce looks at improving access to land | Wyoming News |
    • Corner-crossing bill emerges as G&F commissioner pulls license donation – WyoFile

    Link to State Senators Contact list:
    Link to State Representatives Contact list:

  9. The checkerboard landownership has been a problem. I want to thank the Wyoming Office of State Lands & Investments for their work over the past 30 years in freeing up 10’s of thousands of acres to the public through their land exchange, sale & purchase program. This has been a good effort in helping to eliminate many areas of the checkerboard ownership across Wyoming.

  10. How disappointing that commissioner Dube took the step of reneging on his offer of a commissioner’s tag to BHA. I have no affiliation with this group, but I applaud their efforts in this case. Coincidentally(?), Dube is a rancher. While saying he doesn’t want to “pick sides”, his actions show otherwise. And here I thought G&F commissioners( like any other politician) were supposed to remain neutral. How silly of me. One wonders if all those politicians co-sponsoring bill #HB0103 are ranchers too. Oh! How silly of me! Of course they are!!

  11. If you want legal acces to public lands instead of more public giveaways to private ranchers holding public lands captive, remember the names of those who favor the greedy few over the majority when you vote:

    Rep. Barry Crago (R-Buffalo)
    Reps. Eric Barlow (R-Gillette)
    Aaron Clausen (R-Douglas)
    Jamie Flitner (R-Greybull)
    Mike Greear (R-Worland)
    Chip Neiman (R-Hulett)
    Ember Oakley (R-Riverton)
    Tom Walters (R-Casper)
    Sens. Brian Boner (R-Douglas)
    Ogden Driskill (R-Devils Tower)
    Dave Kinskey (R-Sheridan)

  12. If a stand for hunters is not made the big money that does not work with biologists for harvest will privatize wildlife. The opponents of this stand are against public accessibility and let big money control. Sportsman should vote for their representatives when they buy a license. Not be hand picked by politicians.

  13. It’s very true in Wyoming that the top grade people don’t and won’t throw their hat in the ring to fill these house and senate seats, so voters are stuck to pick between the B and C graders, most of whom have the ‘big fish in a small pond’ mentality. How one can go to dancing on bar tops and beer swillin’-then delete all the silly facebook pics and videos-barely, just barely squeak by an obscure 3rd party candidate in a top heavy “R” state, then of course go to the Capitol building and side up with the entrenched lifers, also B and C choices. When you get lucky, the prudent thing to do is keep a low profile and be in constant contact with your constituents, earn their trust and represent them, not the inside elite of this state who are only there to promote the special interests. Fool us once, not twice. Viva November 8th, 2022

  14. I’m very interested in the outcome of this trial, I have wondered for years why it was not legal to cross the corners on BLM or federal land.

  15. Time for change!! Let the public have access to their lands! Why should only the wealthy benefit from these lands and freely have control over them. Its like this country as a whole, its time to take control and snub out the corrupt and greedy!

  16. Sec. 39. Opportunity to hunt, fish, and trap. The opportunity to
    fish, hunt, and trap wildlife is a heritage that shall forever be preserved to the
    individual citizens of the state, subject to regulation as prescribed by law,
    and does not create a right to trespass on private property, diminish other
    private rights or alter the duty of the state to manage wildlife. Read HB 103 then read this Article, seems just to protect the private section of specific people in Wyoming. Only one problem 2/3 of Wyoming is owned by the Federal land act of 1976 of which the BLM controls the surface of that Ground. The Law I question the fine $1000 dollar fine is beyond a misdemeanor, so that pushes the trespass to a Felony, might be wrong with 6month in Jail? Notice I listed my representation, it does not fit all the people only the elite, so there is Wyoming real problem Represent US all, not the few.

  17. Doesn’t want to take sides well pulling the tag show what side your on and it ok to fly over private land but not step over lol !! obviously what going on here is like most other places and it the private land owners want control of all the land

  18. Republicans are action when it comes to protecting rights, of the wealthy and privileged. When it comes to the rights of the everyday people they quickly hop the fence. They are all about restricting use of public lands to themselves. They see public land as being their land.

  19. When you can only beat a Libertarian candidate in a heavy GOP County by .8 of a %, then I doubt Ember Oakley really feels she doesn’t need to have the backs of her constituency and it’s much easier to just huddle up with her newfound cronies in Cheyenne. Shelter in place? Next election cycle and the voters of house district 55 will not forget and have their say.

  20. Does not want to take a side? The fact that you pulled the tag from the BHA shows exactly what side you took. FYI, the mission of the BHA has always been the same.

    Ember Oakley did not think this through at all. Awaiting a response from her, especially considering she barely won race.

    There is only one reason why corner crossing in this case is illegal. Wealthy land owners want to control the public. It is about money and power, nothing else.

  21. Equal ownership should mean equal access. This seems common sense. Would anyone be ok with owning half a vehicle with someone, but never getting to use that vehicle? No, of course not. Yet that is the situation with a big chunk of our public lands in the West and particularly here in Wyoming. This needs to change.

  22. These hunters are Fighting Big Pharmaceutical! Etchman does as he Pleases! He flies in maybe twice a Year in his Private Lear Jet ! He wants Elk Mountain as his own !!
    These Wyoming Republican Senators should be Voted out because they have personal Agendas to Fulfill!!
    You can float access private land bot not jump across there Private Hunting land ! It’s there State Land not Wyoming’s State Land!
    Etchman builds roads and fences across on Wyoming State Land that the public can’t drive on ! Who did he pay off for this Privilege?

  23. Seems like a simple problem to solve. When ever there is public property and private property creating the corner access situation, put a 4ftx4ft. public and private access at that corner. That way public access is available without any fences to climb etc.

  24. Regarding HB 0103, I fail to see how adding the “words or travel through” will change anything concerning corner crossing, although the higher fine and jail time may discourage it.

  25. **welfare ranchers=g & f commissioners=outfitters=state representatives=elitists** when will wyoming come out of the dark ages and expose these wolves in sheepskins for what they are? this battle represents far more than a simple trespass dispute, it should be a battle cry for the 97% of us that no longer want to live under these tyrannical rulers of public land

  26. “Representatives.” The only thing our politicians in Cheyenne represent are ranchers (themselves) and what’s best for their bottom line. Recreation is the bridge to get our economy out of the dark ages, but it’ll never happen until we get some change in Cheyenne. Thanks “Rep” Barlow for looking out for yourself and rancher buddies.

  27. The argument that landowners own the air space over their land doesn’t hold water. These landowners that oppose legal corner crossing are asking for an interpretation of the law that is detrimental to all Wyoming citizens. If this criminal trespass stands, what is next? Can I charge the kids waiting on my corner to get on the school bus criminal trespass for waiving their hands over my property? Where does this end?

  28. I see the argument that you can access public land by stepping over the corner or by using a ladder so you don’t touch private land, but how are you going to get your harvested elk across that corner without trespassing?

  29. Why is the landowner upset that someone did something that not harm their land or property in any way? It’s because they see these parcels of public land as their private domain. They need to be educated on this. Should I call the cops everytime someone walks by my house on the sidewalk and swings their arm over my lawn? Ridiculous.

  30. Consider this: If air space can be privatized I guess people in planes have been trespassing for years and could be liable. Land is surveyed in two dimensions, not three. this must imply that the air above land is not private. Go figure.

  31. Its all about $$$ folks. The Landowner and Outfitters want to retain their monopolies over public lands. They get the lucrative benefits at the taxpayers expense. This issue is only the tip of the iceberg. The general public sleeps through it all. I am ashamed to say I live in Johnson County.

  32. The bill that needs to be introduced is one that says land owners cannot graze their livestock on public ground behind their property line if they do not allow public access to it.

    1. I fully agree. No public access to public lands, no grazing permits. There are far too many livestock consuming the feed resources that should be reserved for wildlife.

  33. Hey HD55 Rep, Ember Oakley – did you confer with your constituents before throwing your hat into this attack against the public accessing “their” land? Let’s see, you barely beat an independent, 3rd party candidate (30 votes +/-) and you were not even endorsed by the previous Republican that held your post. Didn’t your campaign preach to the sportsman and and women of Wyoming? Do you represent all of House District 55, or just a few insider big landowners who block up next to public land? We know you read WyoFile, so come out of the shadows and address this

    1. I can hardly believe that the overwhelming majority of residents in Fremont County support big ag locking everybody out of the public domain. What is the reason the Rep for HD55 has fallen in with the cast of characters on this bill? Don’t hold your breath for a response. She spent 10 times as much campaign money to beat a third party libertarian candidate by only 32 votes (.8%…that’s eight/tenths of ONE percent margin of victory), the “R” for HD55 barely squeaked by with 50.4% of the vote. 50.4% does not decisively garner support for the majority of Fremont County so don’t expect a Rep that just barely got a seat into Cheyenne to represent the majority of his/her constituents

      1. It’s hard to believe that anyone that won an election by only 8/10’s of a Percent would have full constituent support of co-sponsoring of a bill. The “L” candidate would not of done this and I now regret my vote in 2020.

  34. Common sense says corner crossing should be legal as long as you don’t step on private lands…to clarify this whole mess would be to provide a 1rod right away at all corners where public lands touch. No motorized vehicles would be allowed, landowners could still fence to corner for livestock containment. Hunters, hikers etc. could still cross fence but would have to use some form of stiles to not damage fence. There’s millions of acres unavailable to the public across the western states, either we should be able to use it with our tax dollars or adjacent landowners should pay the taxes….

  35. “Travel through”? Presumably flying over at 10,000 feet would then be trespass? This kind of stupidity is only possible with a bought and paid for legislature, which Wyoming has repeatedly proven it has.

    1. Exactly, and if the landowners want to get pissy about it, there also should be added to the bill that outfitters who lease rights from these landowners, SHALL NOT enter into PUBLIC lands that the adjacent landowner has posted as No Trespassing to the PUBLIC..

  36. We’ve all seen the small signs that say “forest service land behind this sign”, yes? They are often used to demarcate boundaries between national forest and private lands. In those cases, anyone reading those signs must thrust their head into private property in order to do so. Should they be prosecuted for trespass? This is the flimsy logic that keeps millions of acres of public lands out of reach of the public.

  37. Sweet deal for absentee landlords. They get twice what they paid for and robbery grazing fees.
    How will this bill affect fishermen floating over private land and getting out to fish a section of BLM or school section land during their day. How high up does ones ownership go? A foot, ten feet, to the stars? I will call Sen. Bouchard, who never answers my questions and the co-sponsers that don’t give a damn either.

  38. Well, looks like the BHA *Backcountry Hunters and Anglers* stepped in to it this time. The Elk Mountain situation is near and dear to the hearts of a few Wyoming BHA insiders (the corner crossing case was a setup with four out of state hunters assigned to the task) and they’ve openly rejected fighting for access in other areas of the state. The flat brim, pint slurping crowd, with designated shills running their mouths on some of the hunting internet forums will be eating crow when the legislature supersedes this effort. Thanks a lot, you internet tough guys, you’ve probably screwed up access for the rest of us. As for G&F Commissioner Dube, “hey, Pete – take a stance, one way or the other. Neutrality and fence straddling is not a trait bestowed up strong leaders”

  39. There is only one reason that landowners oppose corner crossing and that’s to control the public land within their borders by keeping the public off, even though it’s adjacent to other public land.

    1. Jeff,
      Just one reason ?
      I would think Landowner rights, should be considered.
      If you’re a landowner who has Federal or State lands which is surrounded by your property, as a landowner you are not required to allow access through your property.
      Very similar if own property next to a City Park, you’re not required to allow people to walk across your yard, to gain access to the park.

  40. It’s no secret that the welfare ranchers (you know, the folks who have license to degrade the resources on public lands to the tune of $1.35/Month per Animal Unit), who make up a majority of the Wyoming Legislature, would love to choke off access to all public lands in Wyoming. And…in turn, “sell” these same lands to themselves for pennies to the dollar. For such a “staunch, Conservative state”, Wyoming sure has a bunch of inside carpetbaggers that want to take from everyone else and lock up the public domain as their own. It all starts with blocking access to Public Lands…

    1. We, across this State struggle with the ‘Good Ol Boys’ Club.. They’ve for too long had power in the State Legislature to promote their own whims.
      These landowners Lease these lands from the State FOR GRAZING PURPOSES, not for personal gain, aka, $$$$ basically sub leasing PUBLIC LANDS to hunting outfitters. I do understand this is a good stream of income to pay their property taxes, but if they are allowed to sublease these PUBLIC LANDS for profit, the STATE should by reimbursed as the STATE TRUST lands are to provide an income stream to the STATE.

  41. Every citizen should have equal access to public lands. The Unlawful Enclosures Act allowed access across the checkerboard. After Taylor Lawrence was told he couldn’t deny access to antelope to their winter range in the famous Red Rim case, a body of laws have been passed giving adjacent land owners total control of the land in the checkerboard. This inequity is outrageous.

  42. I have lived in Wyoming for over 30 years actively participating in outdoor activities including hunting and fishing. Never have I perceived that corner crossing was a legal way to access public land. I applaud and support financially the great work various organizations have done to open previously inaccessible public lands and encourage them to continue. The corner crossing issue seems to me more related to entitlement issues and the few who see greener pastures on the other side of the fence. I would support fair and equitable trades of lands between private landowners and the public lands stakeholders to remedy the issue which may only solve the large landowner conflict. I am thankful for the huge amount of public land we have available and support the private landowners rights I have respected and continue to respect. I believe there are more important battles to fight with regards to conservation and public/private rights. Save your powder!!!

    1. First things first. By constitution, state of Wyoming owned lands are in fact property of the state of Wyoming where public use is permitted. It is not “public land”. By the same note military bases are generally federal land, try hunting there at your own will and see what happens. Lastly, once the public jumps corners, the game and fish can hire professional surveyors to verify that the exact corners are in fact where they say they are. This should not be the responsibility of the adjacent landowners. And once the public chases all of the game of these new found hunting grounds, what’s next: INVASION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY?? That’s the next logical step. And also, when you shoot a critter and it runs on to adjacent private property and dies, are the landowners obligated to let you go retrieve it? I don’t think so. This whole thing opens a can of worms that will eventually cause a complete breakdown between private landowners who manage their resources and the public hunters who think they should be able to hunt the entire world, cost free. As for “welfare ranching”, how much money do public hunters pay to the actual landowners, be it state or federal? I’m pretty sure the grazing lessees pay considerable fees, much higher than quoted above.

      1. Keith Blow, is that you:? 🙂

        The grazing fee on BLM is currently $1.35 per cow & calf pair PER MONTH. Research this yourself, “Scott” and you’ll find this is hardly a “considerable fee”. And you ask “how much do public land hunter pay landowners”??? WHAT? I’m going to hunt, fish, rock hound or recreate on public land and PAY a private landowner? You’re still clueless….”Keith” but thanks for the laughs!

      2. Hmm, I believe you were on here under a different name a few weeks ago. Perhaps the shock of moving from Wheatland WY to Santa Maria CA has you a bit confused. Anyway, it is amusing to see where someone has the audacity to expect the public recreationalist to be beholden to and pay fees to the welfare rancher who just happens to have a grazing lease on public land. Let me repeat, Keith, PUBLIC land. Certainly your posts here have been in jest as nobody in their right mind, not even the welfare cowboy who can run his livestock for pennies vs. fair rates would dare to even approach a public land recreationalist and try to get a “fee” out of their pocket. But again, it’s all in jest, no?

      3. Ranchers get all kinds of subsidies from the federal government and you all know that, hence welfare ranchers. Be it state or federal, it’s not your land to land lock and call your own OR if it is, don’t expect the taxpayer to subsidize you anymore. You figure it out. And don’t expect the taxpayer to fund the all the wildfire suppression that happens on “your” land. Good luck with that too. You can’t have it both ways.

        In the case of Elk Mountain, the landowner knew exactly what he was doing when he landlocked the entirety of Elk Mountain which is all National Forrest. I can’t imagine there’s any constituent in this state who is OK with that other than him and the legislator’s pockets who he has lined and that’s the problem.