Belvoir Ranch – Untapped Potential for Outdoor Recreation in Southeast Wyoming
Did you know that just west of the City of Cheyenne, there is a nearly 19,000 acre piece of land, owned by the City that has the potential be be an outdoor recreation destination for the region with a hundred-plus miles of trails? Well, there is and it is called Belvoir Ranch/Big Hole. The land was originally purchased in 2003-2005 by the City of Cheyenne and funded by the City of Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities (BOPU) to expand to City’s water supply, and by the Department of Public Works for a possible landfill site. A working cattle ranch since 1874, the property was also seen as having recreation and green energy development potential. Although outdoor recreation development is just a component of the area’s potential, we see it a very important one that could positively impact the region, both economically and in terms of livability. A world-class trail system within easy reach of Cheyenne would be a magnet for tourism, as well as providing easily accessible outdoor recreation opportunities to the local community.
A “Belvoir Ranch Master Plan” was developed in 2007-2008 by City staff and a team of consultants to determine how to best use the land and move forward with that use. Unfortunately, since that time, funding to move forward with the plan has not been there. There have been recent attempts to obtain funding to move forward with the development, with the Belvoir Ranch-Big Hole Trail Development Project being included on the ballot as a 2017 Cheyenne Sixth-Penny tax project. If passed, it would have raised $2.5 million dollars for the development of recreational trails and infrastructure.
Unfortunately, the Cheyenne City Council amended the ballot to remove the Belvoir project and some others in favor of street repair projects. Currently, another attempt is being made to obtain funding for Belvoir development as part of a larger group of recreation related projects. The project is still on the radar screens of the city staff and numerous outdoor recreation advocate organizations, including Wyoming Pathways, support it, but the future development of Belvoir is still very much up in the air.
We wanted to make our supporters aware of this important issue and hope that developing Belvoir Ranch is something that you can get behind. We will do our best to keep you informed of any developments about this topic going forward. For additional information, visit the Belvoir Ranch Master Plan and the City of Cheyenne’s Belvoir Ranch/Big Hole website:
Belvoir Ranch Master Plan: http://www.belvoirranch.org/
City of Cheyenne’s Belvoir Ranch/Big Hole website: https://www.cheyennecity.org/656/Belvoir-RanchBig-Hole