BLM Reminds Public to Drive Only on Existing Roads

Smith's Fork/Dry Fork upper road.

ROCK SPRINGS — There are hundreds of miles of roads to use when exploring public land in Wyoming.

In support of the Department’s priority of conservation stewardship, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is reminding anyone planning to drive on public lands this spring that it is illegal to travel off existing roads in a motorized vehicle.

Wyoming’s shed antler law (Chapter 61 of the Wyoming Game and Fish Regulations) prohibits the collection of shed antlers and horns from January 1 through April 30 on public lands west of the Continental Divide, excluding the Great Divide Basin watershed, and up to May 15 on some habitat management areas.

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A citation for driving a motorized vehicle off existing roads or in a closed area, and harassing wildlife can result in fines.

BLM rangers will patrol popular shed hunting areas this spring in southern Wyoming to ensure compliance with travel management rules.

“Responsible shed-antler hunting is a great way to enjoy public land. Many people responsibly search for antlers on foot or horseback,” said High Desert District Manager Tim Wakefield. “However, those who leave roads on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or other motorized vehicles cause a serious amount of damage each spring.”

Off-Road Driving Damage

Off-road driving can cause significant damage anytime, but moist spring soils are especially susceptible. This year, road beds are unusually wet due to the heavy snowfall. The resulting damage can cause erosion and serious impacts to important wildlife habitat.

Another factor to consider is personal safety, e.g., not getting stranded on a muddy or washed out roads. Wyoming is well-known for its quality big game resources. Each spring, visitors travel from throughout the region, including Utah and Colorado, to search for shed antlers on BLM-administered land in southern Wyoming.

The safety of our visitors and the welfare of our wildlife are both high priorities for BLM. Please report anyone driving cross country off existing roads, by calling the BLM Ranger at 307-352-0214. A vehicle description, license plate number, time and location will help enforcement of travel regulations.

The location of road damage or impassable roads may be reported to the High Desert District Engineer, Joe Cantrell, at the High Desert District Office, 307-352-0256.