Teach me public access
I will hopefully be a first time western hunter in 2013. I have 1 PP for antelope and will be trying to harvest a decent buck. I have recently purchased both a Delorme Gazetteer and a HuntingGPSMaps SD card for my Garmin. I am looking to hunt DIY on public land to avoid any extra trespass fees. I also don't want to be trespassing illegally because I don't know how the roads work in Wyoming. For discussion purposes only, I will use Unit 16 as an example for this post.
This picture shows a portion of the southern part of unit 16. North of I-90 and west of the Powder river.
Are the maroon roads public roads or private, or does it depend? Are these two tracks or hard surface roads?
According to the gazetteer, there is an exit to Dry Creek Rd at exit 82. Proceeding west or east will eventually hook up with BLM land. Is it legal to cross the private land on these roads without permission?
Also, the blue and purple routes show roads to access even more BLM land, but once again, these are crossing private land. Is it legal to cross these private parcels without permission?
Also, referring to the gazetteer again, some roads are named roads [Dry Creek Road], some are numbered roads [204, 195 etc] and some roads in other units are FS numbered roads. Are all of these considered public roads? Is there a rule of thumb for whats public and whats private?
Solid roads should be improved roads that are typically public roads. A paved or gravel road that is maintained by the State or County will be public. FS, I'm assuming is "Forest Service" road will be public. Trespassing typically occurs when people are driving on two-track roads. A two-track road on a map will look like this = = = = = = = . So if you are on a two-track driving on BLM (yellow on the map) and it crosses private land (white on the map), you will be tresspasing if you continue to drive.
My experience with this very confusing issue is that it's not really as tough as you initially think. The roads on the BLM maps that have numbers in little rectangles are county. Or that's how it seems when you're there. Travel on them as you would a US highway. The zinger for us was the road would have a number on the BLM map and a name on the DeLorme map and be marked totally different on site. The GPS map chip was of great help too. The gas and oil boys have their roads marked pretty well as to whether you're welcome to drive there or not.
The only legal public access roads across private lands are those with an easement or public right of way of some sort that are maintained by a government entity - BLM, USFS, state or county. Any other roads, including oil and gas roads, across or on private are NOT public access.
This is great information folks, exactly the discussion I was hoping to get started.
Originally Posted by SouthernWyo
State are usually hwys and interstates.
So county roads are numbers with boxes.
BLM are usually marked with a 4 digit number, like BLM 2305.
FS are marked FR or FT and then a number.
My concern is with a lot of these named roads. Using my Unit 16 example, Dry Creek Rd where it exits the interstate is also marked 204A boxed on the Delorme. Where i have outlined the blue and purple routes going north into BLM and crossing private parcels, the Delorme then shows ==== styled roads while the GPS are solid red lines. Am I to assume these are now 'two tracks'? From how I interpret SothernWyo members post, I can not use these roads because they cross private patches.
How else are we to access the BLM land then? I must say this is extremely frustrating. Large tracts of public land with no good way to get there. For many of us out of stater's, we don't have time to come to Wyoming and scout out places, and more often than not, we cant afford to come to Wyoming every year to become familiar with an area. We are dependent on maps, and that's why I am trying to understand how to decipher them and what the laws are.
This is what we call land locked. With your example,the only way to access all the BLM land in your map is by using your own two feet.
Originally Posted by cycloneshooter
You need to call the BLM district office directly to confirm whether that road has an easement for public access. Generally, BLM maps with BLM numbered roads have easements and are good for public travel whether they cross pvt or not. BLM can tell you in 60 seconds.
You definitely got to be careful. Some of the landlocked stuff you are just SOL on. If the road to it is not public, you can't just walk across the private land to get there either.
I believe the sportsman act of 2012 was going to address a lot of land locked land and create easements. It is very unfortunate that it did not pass.
update: The act was going to open up 32 million land locked acres
Sorry, I should have clarified myself. What I meant was you would have to walk around the private property, not cross it.
Originally Posted by jenbickel