WYOGA News & Updates - August 2020

Sy Gilliland met Dave Costlow with Colorado River Outfitters Association (CROA) at the America Outdoors conference.  Earlier in December, CROA filed a lawsuit and is being represented by Pacific Legal Foundation.  Pacific Legal Foundation is a nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans’ liberties when threatened by government overreach and abuse. We sue the government when it violates Americans’ constitutional rights—and win!

In the summer, President Biden issued a EO to include a $15 dollar minimum wage. The department of labor implanted this in November and this goes into effect on January 30th.  Whenever you amend or renew or get a new lease with the federal land agency after the 30th, it will include specific language that you will follow the minimum wage rule. If you have guides or employees going out on long trips over 40 hours, they go into overtime, and you have to pay them overtime based on the $15.00 dollar an hour minimum wage. CROA got with Caleb who filed a lawsuit that states that the President does not have the right to apply this to our industry.  He does not have the power to do this is and this is our legal stance. We think that the President is doing this unlawfully and exercising his authority when he actually does not have the authority.  The $15.00 minimum hour is due to inflation and will continue to go up. This is economically devastating and does not fit with our model and does not make sense to calculate wages for a hunting trip.  

The WYOGA board of directors decided to join the lawsuit as interveners. The following motion was made:

#34-2021: I, Carl Sauerwein move to join the lawsuit as a Plaintiff. Seconded by Lee Livingston.  Motion carried unanimously.  

As this case progresses, Laurie will receive updates to keep our members up to speed. 

Thank you to Pacific Legal Foundation and Dave Costlow for taking this on. This will be devastating to our industry.  We need to get these executive orders done and hope that Pacific Legal Foundation and Caleb is successful and that this protects us in all future orders. With Pacific Legal Foundation being a non-profit, donations will be accepted at the end to assist with legal fees.  We will ask that our membership send a donation and WYOGA will donate as well. 

The WYOGA Board of Directors held a telephone conference with Brandon Jensen, WYOGA attorney on December 16th. The purpose of the call was to update the board on the elk feedgrounds lawsuit. Since our Zoom call at the general membership meeting on December 2nd, Brandon was advised that the federal government appealed Judge Freudenthal’s decision to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. On Monday, both the environmentalists and the State of Wyoming also filed appeals in the same case. At the conclusion of the meeting, the WYOGA Board of Directors decided to move forward with filing an appeal in the case to keep the feedgrounds open. 

America Outdoors Association, Fude Ranchers Association, Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association, Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association, Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, Ocoee River Outfitters Association, Oregon Outfitters and Guides Association, Utah Guides and Outfitters, Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Full Committee Hearing to Consider Legislation

December 15, 2021

Testimony by Affiliated Outfitter Associations

America’s outfitters and guides sincerely appreciate an opportunity to provide testimony on the bills under consideration by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee in its December 2, 2021 hearing on a first-of-its-kind recreation package. Affiliated Outfitter Associations (AOA), including America Outdoors Association, Dude Ranchers Association, Grand Canyon River Outfitters Association, Idaho Outfitters and Guides Association, Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, Ocoee River Outfitters Association, Oregon Outfitters and Guides Association, Utah Guides and Outfitters, and Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association, each of which has a stake in many of the bills under consideration, and each of which strives to simplify and engage more people with America’s great outdoors. As folks from every walk of life flocked outside this past season at record-breaking levels, there is no better time to engage in a discussion of a recreation package that seeks to increase and simplify access for all.

In the years to come, Americans will continue to escape cities and seek refuge in the outdoors, many for the first time. 80% of outfitters in a recent poll reported positive growth, with many reporting significant growth in 2021 over 2020. Facilitated outdoor experiences have been, and will continue to be, in high demand. As new visitors explore their public lands, outfitters and guides serve as early and accessible entry points who provide critical expertise, resources, and local knowledge for a particular outdoor experience. Whether renting kayaks, guiding horse-packing trips, running climbing camps, providing bike tours, or otherwise helping the public enjoy the myriad outdoor recreation opportunities available across the nation, outfitters are making things happen.

America’s outfitting and guiding industry offers the public lasting memories and invigorating, authentic outdoor recreation experiences. Outfitters strive to keep the experiences they provide affordable and accessible. They face challenges, however, which much of the legislation being considered by this committee seeks to alleviate. 

Of the bills under consideration, the AOA testimony will focus on the following:

•    S. 1229, to modify the procedures for issuing special recreation permits for certain public land units, and for other purposes (Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act).

•    S. 1269, to require the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to complete an interagency report on the effects of special recreation permits on environmental justice communities, and for other purposes (Environmental Justice in Recreation Permitting Act).

•    S. 1616, to provide exceptions from permitting and fee requirements for content creation, regardless of distribution platform, including digital or analog video and digital or analog audio recording activities, conducted on land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior (Federal Interior Land Media Act).

•    S. 1874, to promote innovative approaches to outdoor recreation on Federal land and to increase opportunities for collaboration with non-Federal partners, and for other purposes (Recreation Not Red Tape Act). 

•    S. 3266, to improve recreation opportunities on, and facilitate greater access to, Federal public land, and for other purposes (Outdoor Recreation Act).


The AOA would like to commend the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for taking up these bills and working to improve the outdoor recreational opportunity paradigm on public lands.

The Wyoming Wildlife Task Force held its last meeting for 2021 on December 3rd.  For information on the task force and to view the minutes from past meetings, please visit the website at  www.wyomingwildlifetaskforce.com.  The 2022 meeting schedule is:

January 25 in Casper

Skipped February due to the legislative session

March 22 & 23 in Casper

April 28 in Casper

The next WYOGA Board of Directors meeting will be held on January 26th at the Casper Ramkota from 8:30am-2:00pm. This meeting is in conjunction with the Wyoming Wildlife Task Force meeting on January 25th.

It’s that time of year for me to order the big game plaques for the big game awards banquet on April 9th. If you placed in the big game awards contest and would like to order your guide(s) a plaque, please let me know by the end of the month.  The order has to be placed by January 1st. Plaques are $54.00 each.

The WYOGA 2022 Annual Convention and Big Game Awards Banquet will be held, April 8-9 at the Ramkota in Casper. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend this great event!

Copyright © 2021 Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association, All rights reserved.

Contact us for more information:
Wyoming Outfitters & Guides Association
P.O. Box 2650, Casper, WY 82602


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