WY Office of State Lands & Investments Buys Ranch


The following is portion of an article from the Casper Star Tribune:

by Christine Peterson

It may not be easy to draw a license, but Jim Whalen is going to try.

After all, how could he pass up the chance to hunt another 13,000 acres? Especially when those acres include the coveted elk Hunt Area 7 that’s overflowing with elk but typically tied up by private land.

As soon as this fall, the Moriah Ranch in northern Albany County could be open to hunters and anglers.

The $11.15 million ranch is the second major ranch purchased by the Wyoming Office of State Lands & Investments. The office holds land in trust to raise money for public schools. Even though its primary use will most likely be agriculture, it could open another 13,000 acres of land to limited public access.

Whalen is willing to deal with some regulations, he said, because limited access is better than none at all.

The Office of State Lands & Investments has small and large tracts of land throughout Wyoming. In total it owns about 3.5 million surface acres and 3.9 million mineral acres. Most of the parcels were given to the state. In the western part of the state, the land often borders federal properties, but in eastern part of the state, most sections are surrounded by private land, limiting public access, said Ryan Lance, office director.

In 2005, the office purchased the Duncan Ranch near Glenrock for $5.94 million. It is being leased to a rancher and the state brings in about $22,000 each year for the public schools, Lance said.

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Source:  Casper Star Tribune

Posted by Haylie Shipp


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