U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
California

BLM California Virtual Visitor: Wyoming

Introduction and highlights of BLM in other states

Welcome to a new feature in News.Bytes, created to mark the 60th anniversary of BLM's creation as a national agency. In California, there are 15.2 million acres of BLM public lands for you to use, share, and appreciate. Nationwide, BLM is responsible for 261.8 million acres, mostly in the 12 western States, including Alaska, and for 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate. Over the next few months, we will feature another BLM state (or in some cases, a group of states), providing you with a sampling of a particular office's specialties and areas of concentration, and links to more information.

The Bureau of Land Management in Wyoming manages more than 18 million acres of surface land. These public lands are held in trust for the enjoyment of, and use by, the American people.

BLM California thanks Wyoming State Director Bob Bennett, Public Affairs Chief Steven Hall for their support with this new feature, and public affairs staffer Cindy Wertz for checking our information.

A visitor examines a wagon train display Devil's Gate oil-drilling rig BLM Wyoming's New Wild Horse Mascot “Ardie”. A firefighting helicopter scoops water from a pond wind turbines close-up of a transit

CULTURAL HERITAGE

Wyoming has more historic emigrant trails and transportation corridors than any other part of the country. These include:

  • the Congressionally designated National Historic Oregon-California-Mormon Pioneer-Pony Express Trails,
  • the Overland and Cherokee Trails,
  • the Bozeman and Bridger Trails,
  • and a portion of the National Nez Perce Trail,
  • as well as original remnants of the first transcontinental railroad and the first transcontinental highway.

Follow the links to "virtual tours" including the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer and Pony Express Trails, on this BLM Wyoming web page celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Antiquities Act of 1906.

Mail wagon at the National Historic Trails Interpretive CenterWyoming's prominence in both the history and current management of these trails made it the logical choice as the home of an interpretive center dedicated to this important chapter of American history. The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center features seven exhibit galleries:

  • Ways of the People (Native Americans)
  • The U.S. Looks West (mountain men & explorers)
  • The Oregon Trail
  • The Mormon Trail
  • The California Trail
  • The Pony Express Trail
  • The Trails Today

All of these galleries feature hands-on exhibits as well as informational panels which tell the story of those who lived, worked and traveled these national historic trails.

Learn more about BLM's cultural resource program in Wyoming or take a virtual tour of historic trails.

MINERALS

BLM Wyoming manages approximately 41 million acres of federal mineral estate, of which 11 million acres is split estate (federal subsurface/non-federal surface).

Wyoming routinely leads the nation in production of low-sulfur coal, producing 378 million tons in 2005. Midway through 2003, approximately 315 federal coal leases were in effect in the U.S. -- 91 of those were located in Wyoming.

Oil and gas operations on BLM-administered public lands and federal mineral estate in Wyoming produced 29,819,011 barrels of oil and 1,410,476,831 thousand cubic feet of gas generated $799,217,792 in Federal oil and gas royalties; half went to the State of Wyoming.

Something Wyoming has in common with California: it is one of the few sources in the world of the mineral material, trona. (Trona is used to produce soda ash, which is used in the production of glass, baking soda and laundry detergent.)

WIND ENERGY

The Foote Creek Rim wind project is Wyoming's first commercial facility to generate electricity from wind. It began commercial operation on Earth Day, April 22, 1999. The largest in the intermountain West, it is partially located on public lands managed by the BLM Rawlins Field Office. Foote Creek Rim is a remote, treeless plateau between Laramie and Rawlins in southeastern Wyoming. The flat rimrock is one of the windiest places in America, with average winds speeds of 25 mph -- 25 to 70 percent faster than other good wind sites. Strong, steady winds mean that the Wyoming Wind Energy Project can provide power more reliably than almost any other wind farm in the country, delivering an average of 43 percent of its peak power year-round. The turbines can generate power at wind speeds of 8-65 mph. At higher speeds the turbines automatically shut down--a feature which allows them to withstand Wyoming's 125-mph gusts. The turbines are also adapted to operate reliably in extremely cold conditions.

THE FOSSIL RECORD

The Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite is the largest tracksite in Wyoming and one of only a few worldwide from the Middle Jurassic Period (160 million to 180 million years old). Until these tracks were discovered in 1997 most scientists thought the entire Bighorn Basin, and most of Wyoming, was covered by an ancient ocean, the Sundance Sea. The tracks were made at the shoreline by two-legged dinosaurs around 167 million years ago.

RECREATION

BLM Wyoming focuses on providing undeveloped recreation opportunities such as fishing, four-wheeling, sightseeing, river floating, hiking and hunting. Unless otherwise posted, all public lands are available for recreation use. BLM Field Offices located throughout the state can provide you with maps and other detailed information to enhance your stay.

The 3,100-mile long Continental Divide National Scenic Trail runs from Canada to Mexico through the states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Crossing the spine of the North American continent numerous times, it traverses some of America's most spectacular and isolated scenery, offering views unlike any other trail in the world. In Wyoming, the trail passes through Yellowstone National Park; the Bridger/Teton, Shoshone, and Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests; and public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The vast majority of existing recreational fishing opportunities in Wyoming are cold water trout fisheries. These areas provide outstanding opportunities for a diversity of user experiences including walk-in fishing, four-wheel drive access only, and fully developed and accessible sites.

CADASTRAL SURVEY

In addition to conducting surveys to meet BLM land management needs, Wyoming Cadastral Survey completes surveys for all federal agencies and Indian Tribes in Wyoming and Nebraska. Growing demands placed on public lands and complex land ownership patterns make the importance of accurate boundaries more critical today than ever before. Clearly defined boundaries provide public land managers and the American people with essential information needed to identify rights and privileges and make the best land decisions.

WILD HORSES AND BURROS

Unbranded and unclaimed free-roaming horses on BLM-administered public lands are protected and managed in accordance with the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. Excess animals are offered to the general public for adoption. You can learn more about BLM Wyoming's wild horse and burro program.

A wild horse at an adoption in Afton Wyoming, June 9-10, 2006
A wild horse at an adoption in Afton Wyoming, June 9-10, 2006

Meet some of of the folks with BLM Wyoming:

State Office directory, with photos. Wyoming Management Team,

Below are several questions regarding public lands administered by Wyoming. You can follow the links to pages on the BLM Wyoming website that contain the answers plus related information.

What is the purpose of the blimp in this photo?

  1. scouting out possible oil drilling sites
  2. spotting wildfires before they flare up
  3. monitoring air pollution from nearby freeways
  4. measuring force and speed of wind gusts, for a potential airport site
  5. documenting the location of dinosaur tracks

Find out the answer on the BLM Wyoming website.

True or false: BLM manages off-highway vehicle areas with sand dunes, in both Wyoming and California?

Find the answer online at BLM Wyoming's website, and BLM California's.

What are the people doing in the photo above?

  1. recovering historical artifacts from the Pony Express Trail
  2. re-enacting an early mail delivery to Wyoming pioneers
  3. re-enacting handcart travel on the Mormon Pioneer Trail
  4. trying to plow the rocky soil, just as the Wyoming pioneer farmers did

Find the answer at the BLM Wyoming website.

Which of these factors are putting cultural sites in Wyoming (as in other BLM states) at risk?

  1. Artifact collecting and impacts from tourism
  2. Casual use from recreation
  3. Weathering and erosion
  4. Vandalism and theft
  5. Illegal excavations
  6. All of the above

Find the answer online.

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We hope you have enjoyed your "visit" to BLM in Wyoming. Watch for more BLM destinations in the coming months.

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