Long-range planning for the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary year during 2016, along with summer events and projects expected in the Big Horn National Recreation Area were discussed on Monday, April 21 at the Lovell Visitor Center during a tea with the superintendent gathering entitled “Find Your Park.”
Leading the presentation for National Park Week, running from April 19-27, were Christy Fleming, chief interpretive ranger for BHNRA, and Kevin Tillman, acting superintendent. Tillman, who actually is the chief ranger, said that a permanent superintendent will be announced soon.
“Bighorn Canyon will be involved with the NPS public engagement campaign to reintroduce the national parks and the work of the National Park Service to a new generation of Americans, inviting them to visit and get involved,” said Fleming. “The two-year effort will begin in 2015 and run throughout 2016.” (Editor’s Note: Additional information about the campaign, including the 50th anniversary of BHNRA next year, will be provided in coming issues of the Chronicle).
For this year’s Big Horn summer season, Fleming and Tillman provided data indicating that a temporary concessionaire is being sought for the Ok-A-Beh Marina at Horseshoe Bend. It appears that the marina will be open for launches by mid-June or early May depending on the runoff situation. They also are planning a day camp in June at the visitor center for members of the Boy Scouts of America. Other activities this summer will include:
•A kayak program through the National Park Foundation, which works hand-in-hand with NPS by providing funding and assistance in many project areas.
•A Crow Youth Partnership Program that will involve 10-15 tribal members with a focus on potential employment opportunities.
•Installation of floating restrooms by May 1 at Dryhead, Dayboard 9 and Black Canyon. Fleming also noted that the docks are in at Barry’s Landing.
•Numerous projects in the recreation area by participants in the Wyoming, Montana and Youth Conservation Corps.
•Chip sealing and paving projects throughout the recreation area.
•Archaeological projects through field schools involving college and high school students.
•Annual events such as the Bighorn Lake Celebration, a bass fishing tournament and a fireworks show.
•Additionally, new roadside signs promoting the mustang area and the Pryor Mountain Mustang Center are to be installed this summer with new photos. Besides four existing 3-by-2-foot signs, two more will be added. The signs are just past the state line and along Crooked Creek.
Fleming stressed that many volunteer opportunities are available this summer and beyond in connection with summer events and the coming anniversary celebrations. For more information about volunteering, persons can go to the visitor center or phone 307-548-5406.
By Bob Rodriguez