Dickinson Park road dispute continuing
This is a 3 day backpacking loop that starts/ends at Brooks Lake, just outside the Teton Wilderness in Wyoming's Shoshone National Forest. Route description. From Moccasin Lake, and a journey here wouldn’t be complete without a visit to nearby Shoshone National Forest. That right there is lots of cool things already but it goes on, the Wind River Range has it all. Moccasin Lake, Wyoming topographic map and nearby trails. Download the free, full-sheet USGS 7.5 Minute (1:24,000 scale) Moccasin Lake topo map as an Adobe PDF. Summary not available for this title. Record Details Catalog Search.
from The Ranger, a newspaper in Fremont county, Wyoming
By Walter Cook
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The fate of the road to Dickinson Park and Moccasin Lake is in limbo yet again, with one announcement earlier this month apparently trumped by another this week. An Aug. 16 memo from the Shoshone and Arapaho Joint Business Council to the tribal fish and game department said the heavily used road would be open to the public so long as non-Indian users purchased a tribal fishing license, which doubles as a trespassing permit in certain reservation areas.
“The road is now open for use,” that memo stated. “The council has decided that all non-Indians using the roadway will need to purchase a fishing permit from the tribal fish and game office, even if they are using the road to access the Shoshone National Forest. Your office will be responsible for enforcing this.” But amid reports of non-Indians being chased off the road by an unidentified man, The Ranger discovered that the Bureau of Indian Affairs had closed the road again due to pending negotiations with the family responsible for closing the road.
An Aug. 25 news release from George Gover, BIA superintendent of the Wind River Agency, stated: “The Moccasin Lake/Dickinson Park (road) is closed to the public. The Moccasin Lake/Dickinson Park right-of-way is currently being negotiated between the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes and current allotted trust landowners. There is not an approved right-of-way document with the (BIA) as required by federal statute. A tribal fishing permit and/or trespass license will not allow you on this road, until further notice by this agency. Anyone in this area will be cited for federal trespass and fined accordingly.”
The road originally was closed to non-Indian travelers in January by the 27 members of the Wesaw family who own property bisected by about a mile portion of the road. They cited concerns about litter, non-permitted cattle grazing, “partying” and the creation of illegal roads on their property, as well as the fact that no right-of-way existed for the road, as justification for closing it. “Just the other day I almost ran over a couple of beer bottles lying on the road,” family spokesman Bedeaux Wesaw told BIA representatives at an April 28 meeting.
The BIA (with the approval of the Shoshone and Arapaho business councils) is responsible for granting right-of-ways on the reservation. Neither Wesaw, the BIA nor tribal officials have disclosed any settlement figures, but Wesaw said in April “it will cost (the federal government) more money to build a new road” than to compensate allottees. Wesaw, who plans to build a house on his portion of the property, also said he was concerned about red clay being removed from his land without permission.
According to a letter Wesaw posted at Hines General Store in Fort Washakie early this year, current Shoshone Business Councilman Buddy McAdams was the first to close the road in the fall of 2003. McAdams’ land is bisected by a small stretch of the road below the Wesaw property. Wesaw said he later made an arrangement with McAdams and agreed to limit access on his portion of the road also. Wesaw said McAdams later opened his portion of the road to tribal members after he was elected to the business council following the death of former Councilman Ben O’Neal in November.
The road, which was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, was closed to both non-Indian and Indian travelers in May after the Wesaw family was unable to reach a right-of-way settlement with the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), which is responsible for right-of-ways on the reservation. The Wesaws have since placed a locked gate on the road.
Many think the road has an “implied right of way,” meaning it is now a public road since it has existed for so long, BIA Natural Resources Officer Ray Nation said in a January interview. “That’s not the case on tribal trust land,” he said. Nation said implied rights-of-way, or prescriptive rights, in Wyoming say a road becomes public property if it has been used as a public access corridor without the owner’s objection for more than 10 years. “This is very unique situation,” Nation said. “This is about the only case of its kind where you cross allotted land and tribal land to get to (U.S.) Forest Service land.”
McAdams said there’s a resolution to open the road before the Shoshone and Arapaho Joint Business Council. He said the next special JBC meeting has yet to be scheduled. He added that he abstains, and will continue to abstain, from voting on the issue due to a perceived conflict of interest.
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Moccasin Lake Topographic Map
|Topo Map Name:||Moccasin Lake|
|USGS Topo Quad ID:||42109h1|
|SE Coordinates:||42.875° N latitude / 109° W longitude|
|Source of Map Images:||U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)|
Adjacent Topo Quads
| Kirkland Park|| Bull Lake West|| Bull Lake East|| Argo Butte|| Morton|
| Paradise Basin|| Saint Lawrence Basin|| Wise Flat|| Fort Washakie|| Ethete|
| Roberts Mountain|| Washakie Park|| Moccasin Lake|| Wind River|| Ray Lake|
| Mount Bonneville|| Lizard Head Peak|| Dickinson Park|| Mount Arter|| Mount Arter Se|
| Big Sandy Opening|| Temple Peak|| Sweetwater Gap|| Cony Mountain|| Fossil Hill|
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