23,000+ SQUARE MILES OF PUBLIC HUNTING LAND WE CAN NOT ACCESS
In today’s high-tech world, we have a much clearer perspective of the problem of land-locked public acreage in our western states. Today you can access phone apps such as onX to see exact property boundaries. With more than 49 million acres of state land technology has made planning your next hunting or fishing trip much easier. For those old enough to remember we would order printed maps and carry them in our backpacks and frequently refer to them to avoid straying onto private land. Today we just need to worry about keeping our smart phone charged.
A recent look identified 6.35 million acres of state land that are entirely landlocked scattered across 11 western states. The only access is by obtaining permission from an adjoining landowner. In the past private-land permissions were easily acquired, this was not a large obstacle to access. However, as land ownership patterns continue to shift, there are more and more no-trespassing signs and gated roads, and inaccessible public lands now present a major barrier to hunting and fishing.
Landlocked State Owned Acres
• California: 38,000 acres
• Colorado: 435,000 acres
• Idaho: 71,000 acres
• Montana: 1,560,000 acres
• Nevada: 1,000 acres
• New Mexico: 1,350,000 acres
• Oregon: 47,000 acres
• Utah: 116,000 acres
• Washington: 316,000 acres
• Wyoming: 1,110,000 acres
Keep in mind the above
numbers only reflect state owned land. There are an additional 9.52 million Federally
owned acres that are land locked as well or an additional 14875 square miles
with no public access. This
is an area greater than the size of New Hampshire and Connecticut combined.
If there is going to be anything done regarding this, it is important that we contact our elected officials and express our opinions! In addition, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is a great resource and a leader in defending critical habitat, productive hunting grounds and great fishing spots.