PINEDALE — Seven landowners from across the state were recently recognized by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department with the 2018 Landowner of the Year Awards.
These awards are for outstanding practices in wildlife management, habitat improvement, access for hunters and anglers and conservation techniques by these individuals and families.
Ranch manager Roy Wolaver and his family were selected as the Pinedale Region’s Landowner of the Year.
The Fayette Ranch borders both the Half Moon and Fall Creek Wildlife Habitat Management Areas (WHMAs) and provides public access through the Ranch to both WHMAs and adjacent BLM, U.S. Forest Service and state lands.
Public access to the Fall Creek WHMA and the west side of Boulder Lake also occurs through the Fayette Ranch which provides hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation at Meadow Lake, Burnt Lake, Boulder Lake and the Meadow Lake trailhead, a major backcountry access point into the popular Wind River Range.
The 14,000 acres Fayette Ranch also serves as part of the renowned Red Desert to Hoback mule deer migration, recently identified as the longest big game migration in the contiguous United States.
In addition to providing public access to adjacent public lands, Mr. Wolaver has also granted access to local Wyoming Game and Fish Department personnel for a number of fish and wildlife management activities, including sage grouse lek counts, mule deer and pronghorn surveys and wolf monitoring.
Mr. Wolaver also provides Department personnel a more direct access route through their irrigated lands to perform elk feeding operations at the Fall Creek Elk Feedground each winter.
Mr. Wolaver routinely allows Department law enforcement personnel to travel through the Ranch on restricted roads to more effectively and efficiently enforce wildlife laws on adjacent public lands and waters.
The Fayette Ranch has also allowed the Game and Fish Department to construct and maintain a permanent fish trap on their property at the inlet to Meadow Lake for grayling spawning operations for over 40 years.
Mr. Wolaver and the Ranch allow Department personnel to set up a base camp for several weeks each spring on their property which includes a boat, camper and equipment storage.
This annual grayling spawning operation provides eggs for the entire state of Wyoming as well as eggs that are traded with other surrounding states.
Wyoming Game and Fish Director Scott Talbott said the Landowner of the Year award is a way to say thanks to landowners.
“The landowners in our state contribute to wildlife management in many ways. Landowners preserve critical migration corridors, they improve habitat through costly enhancement projects, and they provide important access which allows for our hunting and fishing to continue into the future,” said Talbott.
“These landowners are more than ranchers or farmers, they are key partners with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in conserving wildlife for generations to come.”