Stop the Loss of our State Lands in Sheridan County

Background:  A proposed land exchange (Columbus Peak Ranch exchange)  in northern Sheridan County, proposed by one of the largest landowners in the nation, will result in loss of 560 acres of access for hunters and other recreationists. 

This proposal is slate to be decided by our top 5 state elected officials at the December 7 meeting of the State Land Board in Cheyenne. 

The proposal offers to swap 560 acres of excellent big game habitat and fishery along the face of the Bighorns for an inferior dry  parcel just east of Dayton.  The owners of Columbus Peak Ranch will get a sweetheart deal by adding this state land to their private holdings in Montana, Park County and Sheridan County, Wyoming.  We lose more public access to state land, and wildlife habitat can be compromised by the private landowner.

A group of local citizens have been trying to negotiate with the landowner in good faith but have been unable to reach a workable solution with the landowner.  They held a meeting last week to inform the greater public, as public pressure is the last resort.

Please take a moment to contact your 5 state officials to oppo that will cause Sheridan County citizens to forever lose an exceptional chunk of state land in exchange for a subpar piece of land that will most likely be sold for further high-end residential development in the Dayton area.     Talking points provided at end of message.


Jason Crowder – State Land Deputy Director – 307-777-3428. – 

(You can just write to Jason, who will get it to the rest of the land board, but you can also write to everyone.)

Mark Gordon-Governor – 307-777-7434 –
Chuck Gray – Sec’y of State – 307-777-7378 –
Kristi Racines – Auditor – 307-777-7831 –
Curt Meier-Wyoming State Treasurer – 307-777-7408 –

Megan Degenfelder – Supt. of Public Instruction – 307-777-7675 –

Jenifer Scoggin – Director 307-777-6629

Written letters can be mailed to:
Office of State Lands and Investments
Herschler Building, Suite W103
 122 W. 25th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002

Possible talking points:

·         The quality habitat of the state trust lands far exceeds the land east of Dayton offered for exchange by the landowner

·         The great fishery at Columbus Peak (largemouth bass)  in a large reservoir cannot compare to the ephemeral often dry stock pond on Dayton east exchange property

·         Wildlife habitat of the trust land area is superb— lots of cover in the contiguous state trust land area hosting elk, deer, antelope, bear, mountain lion, birds

·         Opportunity for walk-in that isn’t filled with people; not easy to get to which is a plus

·         Why would we trade away forever, lands that are prime for remote recreation and wildlife?

·         Water—the huge 265-acre feet reservoir should not be traded away by Wyoming

·         State tax dollars that helped develop the reservoir when the adjoining land was under previous ownership has not been considered in these negotiations

·         Appraisal offered by Columbus Peak Ranch is over 3 years old and hides the true value

·         Most comments so far have been against this swap—90%

·         Trading off additional quality state lands further stresses recreational use of the limited number of public and state lands

·         The only effect on the landowner if the land swap is not approved is that he will not be able to lock  out the public—he will still be able to graze and use the land.  Additionally, he and his family are among the largest landowners in the nation

·         As citizens of Wyoming, we need to have a more transparent process for Land Exchanges—many are just learning about this exchange now despite the fact it was proposed in 2019; it wasn’t until 2021 the public was first informed of the application

·         The short-term (potential) financial gain to the state is miniscule in relation to the loss of diverse wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities for current and future generations 

·         Increasingly lands that were once previously accessible to the public are being bought up and locked off from public use.  This increases stress and crowding on the remaining lands available to recreationists, while also increasing negative impacts on wildlife.  Moreover, the exponential increase in house and property sales as well as large swaths of lands being bought up by wealthy interests makes it even more imperative that open space, hunting, fishing, and healthy habitats must be preserved 

For more background on this land swap, and to stay updated, be sure to join the Columbus Peak State Land Swap Facebook page: