June 2021 - 43

and wildlife watchers use them as well. In fact,
some of the best chances to see rare wildlife in
candid moments are on Game and Fish land.
" But for us, we're not really in the camping
business, " Bredehoft said. " These lands are for
the important wildlife habitat. All we ask is
people to use the land responsibly. "
Campgrounds everywhere took hits from
last year's large crowds, which affected campgrounds
in Wyoming's state parks as well as
the dispersed areas, said Chris Floyd, manager
of the Wyoming Office of Outdoor Recreation
with Wyoming State Parks and Culture
Resources. Sometimes the strain makes things
worse for established campgrounds. State Parks,
in fact, moved to a 100-percent reservation
system to manage the increased traffic last year.
" People want them well maintained, and
they want as many amenities as possible, " Floyd
said. " There's an expectation from campers the
facilities will be up to par when you go there. "
Wyoming will return some state park campA
grizzly bear with a cigarette butt in its mouth brings home the point to keep camps clean. Trash at campsites can
attract bears and other wildlife, creating a dangerous situation for campers and animals. (Photo by Peter Mangolds)
ing areas to a first-come, first-serve basis, but
most will have the same reservation system this
season, Floyd said. State parks do not allow
dispersed camping.
" That allows us to have a little bit better
A dirty camp like this one can attract predators and other scavengers, and also damage wildlife habitat. (WGFD photo)
control as to how many people are coming in
at any one time, " Floyd said, " And it allows
people to plan their trips better. "
People should always clean up their trash
when camping, but some people don't always
respect their environment by cleaning up after
themselves. The advantage of established campsites
is there are people to help clean spots in
case irresponsible campers leave trash. That
usually isn't the case for dispersed camping.
Trashed campsites frustrate many campers
who use the land responsibly as well as those
forced to clean it up so their favorite spots
aren't ruined.
Franklin Crandall lives in the Denver area
and began camping more in Wyoming last year
because he was one of the many who found it
impossible to find a camping spot in Colorado.
He has young daughters, two under 7, who
sleep in a rooftop tent. His family enjoys long
camping trips, but he said his family is weekend
warriors because they spend 75 percent of their
summer weekends camping somewhere. Last
year, that somewhere tended to be Wyoming
as the summer went on.
" Our favorite spots were just overrun, "
Crandall said about camping in Colorado.
" Many of the places that don't have people
now do, and you're fighting traffic every time
on Sunday night. "
Wyoming Wildlife | 43

June 2021

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