Fast Facts

The Cultural Resources Program in Wyoming

Castle Gardens

Because Wyoming's topography and environment sits in a transitional zone, which includes the northwestern Great Plains, Rocky Mountains, and Great Basin regions, the state displays a unique portrait of prehistoric cultural resources representing some of the earliest and most diverse hunting and gathering cultures in North America ranging from 13,000 years ago up to the historic period Indian horse cultures. Associated with the hunting/gathering cultures is a complete time span of Native American rock art ranging from dated Paleoindian petroglyphs and pictographs up through historic period horse culture iconography.

Wyoming has more 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.

Our state was also a focus of late 19th and early 20th century extractive industrial development and livestock commerce, as reflected by a landscape dotted with early mining (gold and coal) and oil field camps and town sites, timber and tie camps, and sheep and cattle ranches. These industries continue to be a major component of the state's income. The State of Wyoming also contains the nation's first National Park (Yellowstone) and the first National Monument (Devil's Tower).

Partnerships are the principle way in which Wyoming BLM fulfills its educational outreach. Cooperative agreements with the:

  • State Historic Preservation Office,
  • the University of Wyoming,
  • Western Wyoming Community College,
  • and the various chapters of the Wyoming Archaeological Society allow BLM to bring hands-on opportunities for archaeology education to the general public.

Wyoming Archaeology Awareness Month (WAAM), in which BLM is a primary participant and organizer, is a statewide, comprehensive public awareness program. Our WAAM posters have been first-place winners three out of four years in the Society for American Archaeology's national poster contest. In addition, the Wyoming Association of Professional Archaeologists assist BLM's efforts in Project Archaeology to promote the teaching of archaeology in the public schools.