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Lander Field Office
Release Date: 07/26/12
Contacts: Sarah Beckwith    

Youth Group Enjoys Work and Play at BLM Lander Campgrounds

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lander Field Office and the Casper-based Conservation Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) youth group recently worked together to make needed improvements to two popular campgrounds south of Lander.

Student asks pre-work question.
A member of the CORE group has a question about the project before beginning work.
Students examine specimens from the area.
Science and discovery is an integral part of the CORE experience. Photo courtesy Frank Symington.
Sixteen young people and four adult leaders joined five BLM employees at the BLM Big Atlantic Gulch and Atlantic City campgrounds for five days of work projects with a little fun mixed in. The group helped replace twelve weathered picnic tables, mend a post and pole fence, install new campsite numbers and build piles with the vegetation they removed around the campsites to be burned by firefighters this winter.

“After five days we accomplished a ton of work that wouldn’t have been possible without the CORE kids, and now the public can enjoy these much-improved campgrounds,” said BLM Outdoor Recreation Technician Brandon Thielke.

The group used their free time to explore and learn about the area. One night, local astronomer Frank Symington brought high-powered telescopes, microscopes and discovery kits to the campground and led activities which included an environmental scavenger hunt and views of the sun and Saturn’s rings. The students also enjoyed the opportunity to find and collect samples of plants, insects, rocks and other specimens and then examine them under a microscope.

Victor Orr, Violence Prevention Coordinator for the Self Help Center of Casper, received funding 12 years ago to start CORE. CORE teaches young people how to have respect for all people and how to work together as a team. The 16 participants are from Casper and many of them come from disadvantaged homes.

“CORE provides these kids with experiences they wouldn’t normally have,” said Orr. “Many of them have never been in the mountains and have never camped.”

Orr has led several outings like this each summer since CORE’s inception. The groups do volunteer projects for the BLM, U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service, including an annual trip to Yellowstone National Park.

For more information contact Brandon Thielke at 307-332-8400 or

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Lander Field Office   1335 Main Street      Lander, WY 82520  

Last updated: 07-26-2012