Located about 30 miles southwest of Buffalo in Johnson County, the North Fork of the Powder River wilderness proposal area is surrounded by private land. Access to the area is virtually impossible by foot. The overflight provided a useful perspective for assessing the the North Fork Powder River Wilderness Study area, and additional 6,000 acre citizens' wilderness proposal area.
Plentiful rainbow, brown, and some brook trout offer unparalleled fishing in the area. The North Fork of the Powder River is managed by the Wyoming Game and Fish for wild trout and is rated as Class II trout stream - a red ribbon fishing stream of State importance. A Wyoming State Priority Species, Goldeye, is found in one of the tributaries of the Powder River - Crazy Woman Creek.
Canyon bottoms and lands above the rims provide crucial winter range for elk, an important antelope migration route, and habitat for black bear, blue grouse and a 250-350 strong mule deer herd. Mountain lion, North American lynx, also reside in the area.
BLM (1986) is planning to develop easier legal access efforts outside the area, whether or not the area is designated wilderness, however, landowners do not support this effort. The Citizens Coalition would support the access if it would be assured to be on foot. Appropriate signage, easements or land exchanges by the BLM should ease the trespass problem. Our aerial assessment of the area's wilderness characteristics will be compiled into a report and given to the BLM to be used in their Resource Management Plan.
Our Conservation Partners
Citizens for the Wyoming Range
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