Alkali Basin/East Sand Dunes WSA Location: Sweetwater County
Nearest Town: about 21 miles northeast of Point-of-Rocks
BLM Acreage: 12,800 acres
Recommended for Wilderness: 0 acres
Primitive & Unconfined Recreation:
This area is conducive to unconfined recreation such as horseback riding, hiking, backpacking, nature study and wildlife photography. Hunting in the Alkali Basin/East Sand Dunes WSA is mostly for pronghorn antelope and sage grouse.
The Alkali Basin/East Sand Dunes WSA encompasses 12,800 acres of BLM-administered land with no private or state inholdings. The study area includes a portion of the Killpecker Sand Dunes. The dunes present a rolling topography with the draws and ridges of Alkali Creek providing topographic relief. Sagebrush and bunchgrass are the principle vegetative species.
The study area is adjacent to the Red Lake area on the eastern boundary, accessed by County Road 4-21 on the east. The East Sand Dunes are part of the largest active sand dune region in Wyoming and contain beautiful scenery of the Killpecker Sand Dunes as well as lakes formed by ice-fed ponds.
The area has potential for natural gas production.
The Alkali Basin – East Sand Dunes WSA is essentially a natural condition. There are some minor intrusions including three abandoned well sites, a shut-in gas well and two two-track trails. At the time of the intensive inventory, the two-track trails, one of the abandoned well sites and the shut-in gas well were insignificant to the overall natural character. The other two abandoned well sites were temporary disturbances allowed under BLM Interim Management Policy.
There is opportunity for solitude in the southern portion of the WSA but it is not outstanding. Many large sand dunes, draws and ridges in this area provide natural screening from sights and sounds of others. Opportunities for solitude in other portions of the WSA are marginal since there is little natural screening provided by topography and vegetation.
The Killpecker Dunes, the largest active sand dune region in Wyoming, traverse the WSA. This WSA includes a remnant of the Red Desert area of the Great Divide Basin. The region may be of scientific value for the study of active sand dunes, their movements and how they are stabilized. Valuable pronghorn antelope habitat is found within the WSA, and the Sands elk herd occasionally inhabits the WSA during the winter months.