Scenic USA - Wyoming

Killpecker Dunes

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Killpecker Dunes - Rock Springs, Wyoming

Photos by Cecil Whitt
Wilderness Spirit Photography

   Overshadowed by Yellowstone Park to the west and Devils Tower in the east, Wyoming's Killpecker Sand Dunes receive Killpecker Dunes - Rock Springs Wyoming little attention in comparison. Encompassing more than 100,000 acres, this dune field is the largest active dune region in North America. Surrounded by dormant dunes, this narrow band stretches across southwestern Wyoming for 150 miles.
   Designated as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern, the Greater Sand Dunes region is unique to the Wyoming Basin area. This site offers visitors raw scenery, a haven for ATVers and photographers, and a true off the grid experience. Here visitors also find a large numbers of elk, waterfowl, songbirds, wild horses making use of this crucial winter habitat. The rare swift fox, and pygmy rabbit, roundtail chub, flannelmouth sucker live among the Killpecker Dunes - Rock Springs Wyoming undulating hills and in dunal ponds that occur on the leeward side of large dunes. Snow, buried by blowing sand in the winter, slowly melts throughout the year, feeding these unique desert ponds.
   As you would expect, riparian area damage caused by ATVs and campers, present an ongoing problem for BLM managers. While oil and gas-wells compound the area’s usage plans. Livestock grazing on the Greater Sand Dunes cause some of the most damage, affecting the area’s water supplies. Balancing all these various environmental challenges, and retaining hopes to please area ranchers, Native American tribes and environmentalists, have kept planners busy over the last few decades. In-depth assessments of the Buffalo Hump and Sand Dunes Addition Wilderness Study Area may lead to alternative ways to protect these majestic dunes.

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