Group Forms Around Muddy Mountain Access [AUDIO]
Big game hunters were the dominant presence at a meeting Saturday night designed to kick off an effort to help a Natrona County family sell off their 4500 acre ranch, while maintaining access for public use.
Owners of the Boston-Davis Ranch, Nancy and Doran Boston, know they're land rich.
"The only wealth we have is in our land. So actually, if we could afford to, we would donate all of that, but we can't afford to."
Nancy Davis-Boston and her husband were at a meeting that provided a look at options for a ranch sale that could let them cash out, while leaving a public access agreement in place. Nancy and her husband have a buyer in the wings who has offered them more than the appraised value of the land, (7.5 million) but that sale would likely end any public use of the land on the back side of Muddy Mountain. She says its a tough choice.
"We're tempted by our greed and our wishes so we just have to decide. My cousin is involved. He owns about a third of the land. His grandmother was my dad's sister and they all were together homesteading."
The Davis-Boston's story is not new and organizations like the 'Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust' have programs designed to help out in situations like this, but those take time and that's something the family does not have. The audience Saturday night heard from several such land trust entities who explained the ins and outs of setting up a plan that could lead to public acquisition of at least the recreational rights. J.R. Hunter is one such passionate outdoorsman who knows the piece of land well.
"This piece of property is really one of the last pieces of property that actually gives you a legitimate chance of harvesting an animal. It's one of the most scenic and beautiful places. There are old homesteads in there. You've got creeks flowing with fish. You've got elk running around. You've got deer all over the place; antelope. It's got everything that anybody could want, whether you are a mountain biker, somebody that just wants to recreational hike; there's bouldering. I mean, the possibilities with this piece of land are endless and if we pull together as a community we can, and we will, succeed at this and get this land purchased for the people of Wyoming."
The result of the meeting Saturday, pulled together by the group, Wyoming Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, was to gather energy and support for on-the-ground efforts and to kick off a pledge drive that might be used to leverage grant funds. It was just a start. Next meeting will likely be at the organizations annual dinner on June 11th.