Governor Gordon Visits Greater Little Mountain Area in Sweetwater County

Governor Gordon Visits Greater Little Mountain Area in Sweetwater County

Governor Mark Gordon speaks with Joshua Coursey, Muley Fanatics Foundation CEO, during a tour of the Greater Little Mountain Area. Courtesy photo

ROCK SPRINGS — Today Governor Mark Gordon visited the Greater Little Mountain Area south of Rock Springs, one of Wyoming’s treasured recreation destinations for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

The tour was coordinated by the Greater Little Mountain Coalition, a group made up of sportsmen’s organizations, union members, and local residents committed to conserving the area’s scenic, recreational, and wildlife values.

A forthcoming plan from the Bureau of Land Management will provide management direction for 3.6 million acres of public land across southwest Wyoming in the Rock Springs Field Office, which includes the Greater Little Mountain Area. The Governor’s office and the Coalition has been engaged in the new plan’s development since the revision process began in 2011.

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“It was a pleasure to see the area and its wildlife, and to hear from local sportsmen, a local rancher, and others about their passion for this place,” said Governor Gordon. “Wyoming takes pride in the responsible stewardship of our land and resources and I expect to see the BLM honor the local input they received.”

Spanning from desert badlands to high-mountain aspen and conifer groves, this area is home to productive trout streams and some of the most sought-after big game hunting opportunities in the state. Eastman’s Hunting Journal regularly includes the area’s deer and elk units in its top-five ranked Wyoming hunts. The deer unit consisting of the Greater Little Mountain Area receives the most resident hunting applications (3,120 in 2019) statewide for its limited quota of tags. Since 1990, conservation organizations and state and federal agencies have spent more than $9 million in on-the-ground projects to enhance and maintain these resources.  

Governor Gordon poses with members of the Greater Little Mountain Coalition. Courtesy photo

“We appreciate the Governor’s commitment to see the Little Mountain area and visit with local stakeholders, especially during these challenging times,” said Josh Coursey, with the Greater Little Mountain Coalition. “The forthcoming decision by the BLM is a critical one for the future of this incredible place, and we hope that the agency will take into account the strong local and state support for a balanced plan.”

The Greater Little Mountain Coalition has been actively engaged in the planning process since 2008. By convening a wide range of local interests and voices, the coalition developed a proposal, under consideration by the BLM, that would ensure the region’s fish and wildlife resources and open space are managed in a balanced way. Key among the proposal’s provisions include measures to conserve Sage Creek, Sugarloaf Basin and Pine Mountain, three areas of particular importance.

A film released in 2019 highlights the Greater Little Mountain Area and local support featuring seven Sweetwater County residents.

Josh Coursey and Governor Gordon pose for a photo during the tour of the Greater Little Mountain Area. Courtesy photo

The Greater Little Mountain Coalition is an assembly of sportsmen conservation organizations, union members, miners, and more than 2,500 hunters, anglers and recreationists who seek to find balanced solutions that ensures the regions great hunting, fishing, and open space is conserved for future generations while supporting responsible energy development. The Coalition partners include: Bowhunters of Wyoming, Muley Fanatic Foundation, Southwest Labor Council, Steelworkers Union 13214, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Trout Unlimited and Wyoming Wildlife Federation.