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Thousands kick off summer at Wyoming Outdoor Expo

Cheyenne – Kids and adults alike attended the Wyoming Outdoor Expo in Casper last weekend and tried their hand at shooting, biking, fish spawning and other wildlife or outdoor activities. Over 5,775 attendees marked a memorable return to the annual event meant to give Wyomingites new skills to explore outside.

“To see so many youth enjoying conservation and the outdoors with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and our partners shows that Wyoming is home to a strong passion for outdoor recreation with our families and friends,” said Scott Talbott, Game and Fish director. “Thank you to all who attended, volunteered and contributed to the Wyoming Outdoor Expo to support the outdoors and our state’s youth.”

Expo was hosted this year by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources – through the Office of Outdoor Recreation and Visit Casper. The event boasted 90 exhibits hosted by 285 volunteers and staff daily from Game and Fish, State Parks, businesses, partner organizations and the community to host activities and workshops. Over 2,150 students attended from 32 schools statewide to learn about conservation and try hands-on outdoor activities. Nearly 900 participants of the Trek into Summer Challenge, sponsored in part by North Platte Walleyes, went home with fishing rods to kick start their summer fishing.

Youth who complete the Trek into Summer challenge were entered to win hunting and fishing licenses as well. All youth under 18 who have lived in Wyoming for at least 10 consecutive years were eligible to win a lifetime combination small game/upland game bird/fishing license and conservation stamp, and a rifle. Licenses were sponsored by the Wyoming Outdoorsmen, Hunting with Heros, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Powder River Community Center, the
Lovell Wild Mustang Center, Lovell Mustang Legion Baseball and the Big Horn, Hot Springs, Park and Washakie County 4H Clubs.

Also last weekend Game and Fish partnered with Lander Economic Development Association to host the Wyoming Outdoor Weekend in Lander. That event drew over 2,500 participants, 1,000 of which were local students.

Both events support Governor Matt Mead’s recent outdoor recreation task force recommendation to promote participation in outdoor recreation, especially with youth. Wyoming has a strong recreation economy with one of the highest outdoor recreation participation rates in the country. The industry generates $5.6 billion in economic impact and creates 50,000 jobs in the state. There is also capacity to expand current businesses in the outdoor recreation space and attract new businesses that can help further diversify Wyoming’s economy.

The Wyoming Outdoor Expo is slated for next year in Casper on May 9-11. The Wyoming Outdoor Weekend in Lander is scheduled for May 17-18.