Brian Upesleja casts a fly July 16 across the Green River, one of many popular recreation sites across Wyoming. Gov. Matt Mead recently announced the formation of a task force that will seek to increase interest in recreation across the Equality State. (Angus M. Thuermer Jr./WyoFile)

At the recent SHIFT festival in Jackson, Gov. Matt Mead announced the creation of a task force that will examine ways to increase the interest in recreation in the Equality State. Other states with large tracts of public land have high-level recreation advisors in their governments. Wyoming’s task force will work under the State Parks Historic Sites and Trails agency. Applications are due today.

“How do we increase access to public lands,” Mead asked the SHIFT conference when announcing the task force. “Utilization is critical.” The gathering explored the confluence of recreation and conservation, among other things.

Much of Wyoming’s open space — some 48 percent or 30 million acres — is owned by the federal government and is the province of all Americans. That includes the Upper Green River where angler Brian Upesleja casts his fly in the photograph above. The river, which some consider the true headwaters of the Colorado River, originates in the Bridger Wilderness of the Bridger-Teton National Forest where there are many opportunities for river access.

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)...

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