Wyoming BHA raised funds for hunters’ defense, says ‘justice has been served’
RAWLINS, Wyo. – In a major win for public lands access, four Missouri hunters were declared “not guilty” by a Wyoming court in a “corner crossing' case that garnered national attention.
The Wyoming chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers offered the following response:
“Today the court made its decision, and Wyoming BHA believes justice has been served. We are happy for these hunters, and we hope we can avoid future scenarios of criminal prosecution of the public for attempting to access their public lands and waters.
“This isn’t a precedent setting decision, but it is a step forward. We are committed to advancing this conversation and we hope we can find solutions that result in increased public access while respecting the property rights and concerns of all.”
In November 2021, Wyoming BHA was approached by the four hunters, who asked for help fighting a criminal citation for corner crossing between two parcels of public land. The chapter decided to support them. Chapter members reached out to hunters and anglers across the country and were overwhelmed by the response – and thank all who supported the chapter’s efforts thus far.
BHA Wyoming sponsored a fundraiser to support the four hunters. Together more than $70,000 was raised to cover the hunters’ legal expenses. Should there be a remaining balance after all legal matters are resolved, the chapter will donate the remainder of the funds to Wyoming’s Access Yes Program, which is widely recognized as a successful program to help hunters, trappers and anglers access privately held lands.
The story of these four hunters has become national news: It has increased awareness around concerns held by private and public land owners alike, and it has shed light on how complex the landscape has become, which underscores the need to develop access solutions that work for everyone.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is the voice for our wild public lands, waters and wildlife.