Boysen State Park Master Plan process started; Public input to be sought in upcoming meetings

A stakeholders meeting to kick-off the Boysen State Master Planning process was held June 27th in Riverton at the Wyoming Fire Academy. (Ernie Over photo) 

(Riverton, Wyo.) – A series of public workshops for the update of the Boysen State Park Master Plan will be held in several central Wyoming locations August 5-7.  The public is invited to attend and provide input.

At at stakeholders meeting held in Riverton June 27th, officials from DHM Design of Denver, the contractor for the master plan, introduced the project, its purpose and process and solicited input from the stakeholders present. The public meetings are the next step in the process.

The first workshop will be August 5 at the Central Wyoming College Little Theatre, Student Center Building, 2660 Peck Avenue, Riverton. The second workshop will take place August 6 in Thermopolis at Big Horn Federal Savings Bank, 643 Broadway Street, and the final workshop will be held in the Crawford Room at Natrona County Public Library, 307 E 2nd Street in Casper.  All workshops start at 6:30 p.m.

Attending the June stakeholders meeting were representatives from local and state government agencies, the Boysen Working Group , park users and the park’s concessionaire at the Boysen Marina.

Consultant Mike Gasper from DHM said the master plan process would result in a 20-year plan for the park. During the overview of the process, large scale photographs of each area of the park were displayed, and comments were sought on each of those areas.

Pam Peterson and Ben Freedman from the Boysen Working Group  suggested a second boat launch be created at Tough Creek, to account for changing wind conditions much like a crosswind runway at airports. They also suggested the realigned campground resulted in a loss of cross ventilation for RVs and beach access was lost due to cabling that was installed. He also said the new back in sites were oriented in the wrong direction.

Freedman said Boysen is a park used primarily by local and Wyoming residents, and did not need the extra measures such as the beach cabling that was done to control crowds at Glendo. “On the west side of Boysen there are no beach restrictions, but there are on the east side. It’s needs to be consistent.”

Peterson also asked that people who use the park annually be included on surveys conducted on visitors, and not just on random samples of people who happen to be there the day a surveyor is out in the field.

One problem ares that was mentioned by nearly everyone attending the meeting was the Lakeside area next to the causeway just off of Wyoming Highway 789 and US Highway 26. “People are treating that area like a waste site,” said Todd Thibodeau from the State Parks planning office in Cheyenne. “People don’t pay the park fee there and we’d kinda like to see it go away.” Most in the group thought turning the area into a WYDOT Rest Stop would be a good solution.

Workshop participants at the upcoming public meetings will see a presentation of the project and an overview of the work performed thus far. They will then have the opportunity to provide input regarding the future use and improvements to the park.

According to the public meeting announcement, Wyoming State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails “welcomes the insights and expertise of its residents and other stakeholders as it moves forward with the preparation of the Recreation Master Plan and Environmental Assessment. This document will provide the foundation for future decisions by State Parks and will help guide capital investments over the next twenty years.”

Public involvement and input was cited as being critical to the success and vision of a new master plan.  “You can help guide this process by telling us your vision for Boysen State Park,” the announcement read.

For more information or to provide comments online visit WWW.BOYSENSTATEPARKMASTERPLAN.COM.

Ben Freedman of Lander, a member of the Boysen Working Group, testified at the stakeholders meeting. (Ernie Over photo)

Ben Freedman of Lander, a member of the Boysen Working Group, testified at the stakeholders meeting. (Ernie Over photo)