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Bighorn Basin Outdoor Recreation Collaborative to Host Bighorn River Blueway Trail Public Meetings

During the last two weeks of March, the Bighorn Basin Outdoor Recreation Collaborative will host four public meetings to discuss the Bighorn River Blueway Trail project in north-central Wyoming.

Facilitated by Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, the Bighorn Basin Outdoor Recreation Collaborative (BBORC) was the first of seven outdoor recreation initiatives to be convened around the state by Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites, and Trails. These initiatives bring together local community members, recreation stakeholders, businesses, conservation groups, federal and state agencies, and elected officials to identify and prioritize opportunities for the growth and enhancement of outdoor recreation.

The Bighorn River Blueway Trail will start at the Wedding of the Waters south of Thermopolis, Wyoming and end at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area in Lovell, Wyoming covering a 95 mile stretch of the Bighorn River. This trail will offer recreationalists a wide variety of outdoor opportunities including wildlife watching, ever changing scenery, fishing, picnicking, boating, paddling, and camping, and it will contribute to the health of the Bighorn Basin's travel and outdoor recreation industries.

A blueway, or water trail, is a marked route on navigable waterways such as rivers, lakes, canals, and coastlines for recreational use. Blueway trails are organized by local volunteers with the help of public officials and private landowners, all of whom promote its proper use and maintenance.

Blueway trails have tremendous benefits for local communities. Not only do they connect towns with their rivers and surrounding lands, but they also enhance the local quality of life through positive impacts to health, the economy, and the environment.

The creation of this trail has the potential to bring significant recreation economic growth to the communities along the Bighorn River including Thermopolis, Worland, Manderson, Greybull, Basin and Lovell.

BBORC’s Bighorn River Blueway Trail Committee invites the public to come learn about this exciting project and to share their thoughts on challenges, ideas for new access points, and potential solutions to make this trail a reality. Meeting dates, times and locations can be found below:

·  March 22, 6-8PM at Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center, 20 U.S. 14, Lovell, WY 82431

·  March 24, 6-8PM at Basin Arts Center, 117 S 4th St, Basin, WY 82410

·  March 29, 6-8PM at Washakie County Library, 801 Big Horn Ave Suite 100, Worland, WY 82401

·  March 31, 6-8PM at Thermopolis Volunteer Fire Department, 400 S 14th St, Thermopolis, WY 82443

These will be open house meetings.  At 6 PM and 7 PM a short introduction to the project will be given.  There will be several stations set up at each meeting so that people can talk one-on-one or in small groups with members of the committee.  The public is invited to come when they are able. 

The Bighorn River Blueway Trail Committee also encourages members of the public to complete this 10 minute survey to provide additional information that will be of value to the project. The survey can be viewed here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/bighornblueway.

Established by recommendation of the 2017 Governor’s Outdoor Recreation Task Force, the Office of Outdoor Recreation aims to diversify Wyoming’s economy by expanding, enhancing, and promoting responsible recreational opportunities through collaboration, outreach, and coordination with stakeholders, landowners, private industry, and public officials. Learn more about Wyoming Outdoor Recreation’s collaboratives and recreational opportunities across the state by following us on social media or visiting www.wyorec.com.