4 Ways to Love Our Public Lands
We love our state and federal parks, forests and recreation areas and hope you do too. Here’s how you can help us keep our precious natural landscapes beautiful and preserve the land for years to come.
1. Leave No Waste
It’s up to hikers, backpackers and all who enjoy these lands to follow the golden rule of outdoor recreation: leave no waste, the simple philosophy of leaving the places you visit as you found them. Respect all vegetation and animals, go to the bathroom at least 200 feet from bodies of water and leave only footprints behind. Take all food and trash with you when you go — also known as pack it in, pack it out.
2. Travel Responsibly
To avoid causing irreparable damage to terrain, always stay on designated trails and don’t cut across switchbacks. If you encounter puddles along the way, walk through instead of around them so you don’t create wider or multiple paths. Carrying a map and knowing where you’re headed also reduces the need to travel off trail. When it’s time to rest or set up camp, opt for durable surfaces like established campsites, rock, gravel or dry grasses.
3. Lend a Hand
Take a proactive approach with opportunities that combine volunteering with spending time in the great outdoors. The Division of Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails offers four trail volunteer days each year during the summer months. Every September, Wyoming Public Lands Day is an excellent way to give back to the community through coordinated projects.
Additionally, anyone can take the Yellowstone Pledge, a personal promise you make to yourself and the park to explore responsibly or encourage kids to develop a love and respect for public lands by participating in the Junior Ranger programs at Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.
4. Explore & Protect
Wyoming is home to the headwaters of four major river basins in the West: Missouri-Mississippi, Green-Colorado, Snake-Columbia and Great Salt Lake. Maintaining these precious resources is vital to stream environments and fisheries. The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 is a reminder of how important it is to protect these lands as you enjoy them for fishing, rafting and other amazing Wyoming water sports.
Find more ways to be a good land steward in Wyoming and wherever your travels take you.