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Best of Wyoming
Thu May 31, 2012
Wyoming Wilderness Association – Sheridan
The Wyoming Wilderness Association (WWA) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization first created in 1979 by a group of wilderness advocates and outdoors people who envisioned the Wyoming Wilderness Act. Headquartered in Sheridan, WWA has offices in Jackson, Dubois and Lander as well.
In 1984, the passage of the Wyoming Wilderness Act brought to all Americans the permanent protection of an additional 1.1 million acres of ecologically diverse, wild country.
The WWA worked hard in the 1970's and 80's to educate and train activists for the ultimate passage of the Wyoming Wilderness Act of 1984. Still today, the Wyoming Wilderness Association is working to protect the state’s public wild lands to ensure a future of wild places for people and wildlife.
In 2003, the WWA was reborn with a new opportunity to protect additional wild watersheds, intact ecosystems, old growth forests, important wildlife habitat, and wildlife migration corridors - wild landscapes that truly deserve lasting protection as Wilderness. As of 2012, WWA's membership has grown to over 700 members
Currently, the whole wilderness system in Wyoming is roughly three million acres. Five million acres of spectacular wild land still remain unprotected and vulnerable to development. Not one acre of new wilderness has been protected in Wyoming since 1984!
For more information visit www.wildwyo.orgor call 307-672-2751.
Wyoming Wilderness Association (WWA) is, once again, pleased to offer summer excursions into various roadless, wild and unique places throughout Wyoming this summer.
All outings are FREE and open to the public.
1. Saturday and Sunday, May 5-6
BLM Red Desert, Honeycomb Buttes Wilderness Study Area Overnight Hike (difficult)
Explore a magical area of badland mazes, canyons and hidden grottos in the largest Wilderness Study Area in the Red Desert with desert expert, John Mionczynski, on a backpacking trip into the Honeycomb Buttes WSA. Most hiking will be off-trail, across rocky escarpments, over badlands and through greasewood and sagebrush flats. The BLM aptly describes this area as “one of the best examples of multi-colored badlands topography in Wyoming.”
2. Friday and Saturday, May 25-26
Bighorn NF-Rock Creek recommended wilderness (moderate)
Kick off for the Hiking Season: Special lectures and hike with world renowned ultra-lite hiker and explorer, Andrew Skurka (http://andrewskurka.com). Also, named “Adventurer of the Year” by National Geographic!
Friday, May 25, 7:00pm, WYO Theater, “Circling Alaska & Yukon”, Andrew will tell the tale of his greatest adventure—a 4,700-mile 6-month journey by foot, skis and pack raft through the Big Wilderness. $10 per person.
Saturday, May 26, 9:00am, Free Hike, follow Andrew in a demo of his ultimate hiking gear, up Sayles Creek to the Rock Creek recommended wilderness area, at conversation pace. Bring a lunch and plenty of water for a distance of approximately 6 miles.
Saturday, May 26, 7:00pm, The Sports Lure in Buffalo. Join Andrew for his “Gear & Skills Clinic”, a free, informative workshop focused on making hiking more fun and less work; based on his new book, The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide.
3. Saturday, June 9
BLM, Bighorn Basin, Dry Medicine Lodge Canyon Wilderness Study Area (moderately difficult)
Edith Heyward & Don Crecelius, veteran hike leaders from Sheridan, will travel four miles up a creek bed of cottonwood, prickly roses, juniper and box elder, with a WSA on the east and a recently identified LWC (Land with Wilderness Characteristics) on the west. Rewards of an impressive limestone arch as a destination goal.
4. Saturday, June 16
Bighorn NF, Flowers and Photography in Rock Creek recommended wilderness (difficult)
Claire Leon, Botanist, and Ami Erickson, Sheridan College Biologist will lead this popular hike. They will split into two groups and hike steeply uphill and back for a 5-mile hike to photograph and learn about the spring flowers of the Rock Creek area, with amazing views and inspiring scenery. Be sure to pack your photo gear!
5. Saturday and Sunday, June 16-17
BLM Red Desert, Honeycomb Buttes Paint-Out(moderate)
Joan Hoffmann, (http://www.joanhoffmann.com) extraordinary oil and pastel artist from Colorado and Vermont, conservationist and teacher, will inspire painters of any medium or skill level, in a car campout near the Honeycomb Buttes WSA. Saturday morning the group will rendezvous to set up car camping near the Honeycombs, with short day hikes to paint, and campfire critiques and stories. Sunday morning they will paint the gorgeous Honeycomb Buttes.
6. Saturday and Sunday, June 23-24
Bridger-Teton NF, Shoal Creek Wilderness Study Area(difficult)
Howie Wolkeis a longtime wilderness advocate, author of two books, columnist, public speaker, university instructor and professional wilderness guide. Join Howie on a 14-mile roundtrip, overnight into the Shoal Creek WSA. This overnight backpacking trip will include significant elevation gain and campfire stories with Howie. Participants are required to provide their own backpacking gear and food.
7. Saturday, June 23
Shoshone NF, DuNoir Valley Absaroka Ranch(moderate)
Budd Betts, owner and head guide of the Absaroka Ranch & Outfitters and Sara Domek, (WWA Staff), will take the group on a tour of the ranch land and a five-mile round-trip hike to view the beautiful DuNoir Valley and the Special Management Unit. Participants may have the opportunity to spot wildlife, including elk, bighorn sheep or bear.
8. Sunday-Thursday, June 24-28
Shoshone NF, Trout Creek Fence Removal Project (hard work & difficult)
Join WWA for a 5-day stewardship project removing barbed wire fence in the Trout Creek roadless area northwest of Cody. This is a strenuous outing with a work purpose, so participants should be prepared to spend a full day backpacking into location, 3 days on site working, and a full day backpacking out. The spectacular views and fulfilling work will be worth the extra effort!
9. Saturday, July 7
Bridger-Teton NF, Gros Ventre Wilderness-Cougar and Wildfire Hike (moderately difficult)
Linda Merigliano, the BTNF’s Recreation/Wilderness Program Manager, Lesley Williams, the BTNF's fire education specialist, and Marilyn Cuthill, Teton Cougar Project biologist, will lead this wildfire and wildlife-oriented hike on Alkali Ridge in the Gros Ventre drainage. The hike is four miles each way and is moderately strenuous with a few steep sections. Participants will learn about the collared cougars in the areas as well as local geology, wilderness stewardship and fire ecology. Changes to this landscape will be striking after the wildfire that occurred in the area late last summer.
10. Sunday, July 8
BLM, East Face of the Bighorns Land with Wilderness Characteristics (difficult)
Join WWA for an exciting hike through a magical area that has just been inventoried for wilderness characteristics. Adventure hiker, Marie Lowe will guide participants through the wildflower wonderland that is the East Face of the Bighorns LWC. On this rigorous hike and rock scramble in the remote Poison Creek drainage, the group will learn about the recent inventory process, see first-hand examples of wildfire ecology and examine the biota that make the Face of the Bighorns so special. Sturdy foot gear required.
11. Saturday, July 21
Shoshone NF, Trout Creek Horseback Tour (difficult, intended for backcountry/experienced horses and riders only) Barry Reiswig, WWA Governing Council President, will lead riders on a horseback tour of the Trout Creek roadless area (northwest of Cody) on a full-day ride in prime grizzly bear country. Hikers can expect spectacular views of the North Fork drainage and immersion in this unique roadless area. Participants must provide their own horse that is experienced and well-trained for backcountry riding, or rent them for the day from a local outfitter.
12. Saturday, July 28
Bighorn NF, Rock Creek Ranch-to Ranch Picnic Outing (difficult)
Spend a full day with HF Bar Ranch owners, Margi Schroth, (also WWA board member) and Lily Bliss following a 10-mile FS trail from Paradise Guest Ranch to the HF Bar Ranch through wide alpine meadows overlooking the Ant Hill, Seven Brothers and Cloud Peak, taking time to view alpine wildflowers and mountain birds and some of the most intriguing Rock Creek scenery. The finish follows the South Fork of Rock Creek down through a deeply cut canyon that will take you through over 30 million years of geological uplift and lots of tempting swimming holes along the way.
13. Saturday, July 28
Bridger-Teton NF, Wolverine and Pika Hike in the Palisades WSA (difficult)
Join Jason Wilmot, wolverine expert, and Executive Director of the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, Susan Marsh, retired BTNF recreation and wilderness officer and Embere Hall, Research Director for the Conservation Research Center at Teton Science Schools, on this strenuous, high elevation hike into the Palisades WSA to learn the ecology and biology of two amazing wilderness-dependent species—the wolverine and pika.
14. Saturday and Sunday, July 28-29
BLM, Dubois Badlands WSA and Shoshone NF DuNoir SMU (easy)
Join artist, nature writer and former Dubois resident, Hannah Hinchman, for a weekend of learning the art and science of nature journaling. On Saturday, participants will hike and do some journaling in the nearby Dubois Badlands WSA including a special evening field trip. On Sunday, participants will head into the DuNoir SMU to finish up their journal experiences and close with a sharing of journal work.
15. Saturday, August 4
Shoshone NF, North Fork, Grizzly Bear Ecology Tour (difficult)
Join Chuck Neal, retired U.S. Dept. of the Interior ecologist on a five-mile hike into grizzly bear country and learn from Chuck, who calls himself “a student of grizzlies and their habitat for 30 years”. This popular, annual adventure fills fast and provides an amazing all-day expedition into a Shoshone roadless area. The first half of the trip is a steep uphill climb at Chuck’s monumentally fast pace, then be ready to learn about the ecology and biology of grizzlies.
16. Saturday August 11
Bridger-Teton NF, Whitebark Pine Family Hike (moderate)
WWA will team up with TreeFight on a six-mile roundtrip day hike to beautiful Goodwin Lake in the Gros Ventre Wilderness. David Gonzales is a local writer, photographer, filmmaker who founded TreeFight—an initiative to inform the public of the plight of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's whitebark pines and to search for solutions to prevent their extinction. David will lead this hike and talk about how whitebark pines in this area are infested by mountain pine beetles. WWA will also discuss Wilderness stewardship and minimizing visitors’ impacts on the landscape. (Not recommended for children under the age of 9).
17. Saturday August 11-12
Bighorn NF, Explore Rock Creek Overnight the Tom Allen Way(difficult)
In honor of Tom Allen, longtime Wilderness advocate who passed away in 2011. Join Allen family members on this off-trail adventure into the most primitive and inspiring parts of the Rock Creek recommended wilderness for an overnight camping trip to find locations of the amazing photographs taken by Tom in the early 1970’s.
18. Saturday and Sunday, August 11-12
Shoshone NF, Wood River Roadless Area, Kirwin and Amelia Earhart’s Wild Country Tour (difficult)
Explore still-standing buildings and relics of Kirwin with the annual Meeteetse Museum’s Kirwin tour lead by the Dunrud family. Hikers have the option of camping with the group Saturday night. On Sunday, hikers explore the middle fork of the Wood River located in the Wood River roadless area.
19. Saturday August 18
Bighorn NF, Rock Creek Recommended Wilderness Family Hike(easy)
This family (children welcome) and elder venture will introduce you to the Rock Creek area, walking over rolling hills along the base of Rock Creek and into the South Fork Canyon. Total distance is 2-3 miles round trip over unsteady earth. Children must be attended by adults. Slow pace assured and all ages welcome.
20. Saturday, August 25
BLM, Near Lander, Sweetwater Rocks Wilderness Study Area Archeological Hike (moderately difficult)
Join award-winning BLM archeologist Craig Bromley on a day long exploration of the Sweetwater Rocks WSA. This unique geologic region holds numerous archeological, cultural and historical treasures for participants to discover. Most of the travel will be off-trail through sagebrush, juniper and cedar woodlands. Some rock scrambling will be required as the Sweetwater Rocks complex is composed of large granite domes.
21. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, August 24-26
Bighorn NF, Rock Creek Recommended Wilderness Art and Writing Campout(difficult)
Spend the weekend in Rock Creek with this father/daughter team: writing with Emilene Ostlind, a native of Sheridan County and painting with Joel Ostlind, extraordinary landscape artist. Freelance writer, Emilene writes stories about communities and natural resources in the West, having published and presented the “Pronghorn Passage”. Joel shows his work in many galleries across the West including the Bradford Brinton Memorial and Museum and resides in Big Horn.
22. Saturday, September 8
Shoshone NF, DuNoir via Bonneville Pass(moderate)
Sara Domek and a special guest will lead this one-day, 6-mile, roundtrip hike, which will bring participants to the top of Bonneville Pass overlooking the DuNoir recommended wilderness area. With early autumn colors, hikers will see spectacular views of the volcanic cliffs and the meadows at the top of the pass.
Please do not sign up for outings if unsure of attendance.Some folks may miss an opportunity to participate. WWA completely understands health and weather cancellations.
For more information please call WWA at 307-672-2751 or email cschroth @wildwyo.org to sign up!!!
See you on the trail!