(information last updated January 2019)

Ongoing Projects:

State Project(s):

The Western Asio Flammeus Landscape Study (“WAfLS”) is a citizen science project with support from multiple state agencies and universities, including the Wyoming Game & Fish Department and University of Wyoming Biodiversity Institute. See Short-Eared Owls, Avian Knowledge Northwest, http://www.avianknowledgenorthwest.net/citizen-science/short-eared-owls (last visited Feb. 7, 2019); see also Program Partners, Avian Knowledge Northwest, http://www.avianknowledgenorthwest.net/citizen-science/short-eared-owls/37-program-partners (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). The project uses volunteers to “assess the population status, trends, and threats against the Short-eared Owl, an enigmatic, open-country species.” WAfLS Project Overview, Avian Knowledge Northwest, http://www.avianknowledgenorthwest.net/citizen-science/short-eared-owls/53-wafl-project-overview (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).

Collection of Information:

Trespass Related to Resource Data Collection:

“A person is guilty of trespassing to unlawfully collect resource data from private land if he . . . [e]nters onto private land for the purpose of collecting resource data; and . . . [d]oes not have . . . [a]n ownership interest in the real property or, statutory, contractual or other legal authorization to enter the private land to collect the specified resource data; or . . . [w]ritten or verbal permission of the owner . . . to enter the private land to collect the specified resource data.”   Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-3-414(a). These offenses are punishable by up to one year imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $1,000.  Id. § 6-3-414(d)(i).


“Collect” means “to take a sample of material, acquire, gather, photograph or otherwise preserve information in any form and the recording of a legal description or geographical coordinates of the location of the collection.” Id. § 6-3-414(e)(i).


“[R]esource data” means “data relating to land or land use, including but not limited to data regarding agriculture, minerals, geology, history, cultural artifacts, archaeology, air, water, soil, conservation, habitat, vegetation or animal species.”  Id. § 6-3-414(e)(iv).


The conduct described above also gives rise to civil liability. See id. § 40-27-101.

Scientific Research Permit:

In order to conduct scientific studies that take wildlife, a person or institution must apply to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department for a permit. See Wyo. Admin. Code 040.0001.33 § 3; Issuance of Scientific Research Permits, Wyo. Game & Fish Dep’t, https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Regulations#Issuance-of-Scientific-Research-Permits (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).


Place of Collection:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

Yes. A person must have “[w]ritten or verbal permission of the owner . . . to enter . . . private land to collect . . . resource data,” regardless of whether or not notice against trespass has been given.  Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-3-414(a)(ii)(B).


Note: This permission was previously needed to cross private land to get to public land. Id. § 6-3-414(c). That is no longer the case as a district court found subsection (c) unconstitutional under the First Amendment. See W. Watersheds Project v. Michael, 353 F. Supp. 3d 1176 (D. Wyo. 2018). 

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No. “A person is guilty of criminal trespass if he enters or remains on or in the land or premises of another person, knowing he is not authorized to do so, or after being notified to depart or to not trespass. For purposes of this section, notice is given by:

(i) Personal communication to the person by the owner or occupant, or his agent, or by a peace officer; or

(ii) Posting of signs reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.” Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-3-303(a).

Collection/Place of Information:

See supra “Collection of Information” and “Place of Collection.”

Drone Laws:


“(a) Flight of aircraft, including unmanned aircraft or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, over the lands and waters of this state is lawful unless it is:

(i) At such a low altitude as to interfere with the existing use to which the land or water, or the space over the land or water, is put by the owner;

(ii) Conducted as to be imminently dangerous to persons or property lawfully on the land or water; or

(iii) In violation of the air commerce regulations promulgated by the department of transportation of the United States.

 (b) The landing of an aircraft, including an unmanned aircraft or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, on the lands or waters of another, without his consent, is unlawful, except in the case of a forced landing.” Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 10-4-303.

State Parks:

“The operation or use of aircraft on lands or waters [in state parks] other than at landing areas designated in special regulations is prohibited.” Wyo. Admin. Code SPCR SPHS Ch. 1 § 6(a).

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“Unless otherwise provided by law, a person commits the crime of stalking if … the person engages in a course of conduct reasonably likely to harass that person, including but not limited to any combination of the following:

(i) Communicating, anonymously or otherwise, or causing a communication with another person by verbal, electronic, mechanical, telegraphic, telephonic or written means in a manner that harasses;

(ii) Following a person, other than within the residence of the defendant;

(iii) Placing a person under surveillance by remaining present outside his or her school, place of employment, vehicle, other place occupied by the person, or residence other than the residence of the defendant; or

(iv) Otherwise engaging in a course of conduct that harasses another person. ” Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-2-506(b).

Civil Law:

“(a) A person who is the victim of stalking as … may maintain a civil action against an individual who engages in a course of conduct that is prohibited under W.S. 6-2-506 for damages incurred by the victim as a result of that conduct. The aggrieved party may also seek and be awarded exemplary damages, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of the action.

(b) A civil action may be maintained under this section whether or not the individual who is alleged to have engaged in a course of conduct prohibited under W.S. 6-2-506 has been charged or convicted under for the alleged crime.

(c) Neither the pendency nor the termination of a civil action under this section shall prevent the criminal prosecution of a person who violates W.S. 6-2-506.” 

Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-1-126.


Use of Information:

Although our research is incomplete, these provisions address the use of information collected by citizens.

Explicitly Allows:

“Any person at any time may petition the [the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality] or the [Environmental Quality Council] to change the classification, add or remove a designated use, or establish site-specific criteria on any surface water.”  Wyo. Admin. Code ENV WQ Ch. 1 § 33(a).


Explicitly Prohibits:

No resource data collected on private land in violation of [Wyoming’s Data Collection Trespass Laws, see supra “Collection of Information”] is admissible in evidence in any civil, criminal or administrative proceeding, other than a prosecution for violation of this section[.]”  Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 6-3-414(f); id. § 40-27-101(f). Additionally, “[r]esource data collected on private land in violation of [Wyoming’s Data Collection Trespass Laws] in the possession of any governmental entity . . . shall be expunged by the entity from all files and data bases, and shall not be considered in determining any agency action.”  Id. § 6-3-414(g); id. § 40-27-101(g).


Prohibitive by Effect:

[A]ll changes to use designations . . . shall include the consideration of credible data relevant to the decision.”  Wyo. Admin. Code ENV WQ Ch. 1 § 35(c).  Credible data shall “[c]onsist of data collection using accepted referenced laboratory and field methods employed by a person who has received specialized training and has field experience in developing a monitoring plan, a quality assurance plan, and employing the methods outlined in such plans or works under the supervision of a person who has these qualifications.  Specialized training includes a thorough knowledge of written sampling protocols and field methods such that the data collection and interpretation are reproducible, scientifically defensible and free from preconceived bias[.]”  Id. Ch. 1 § 35(a)(i).


Evidentiary Standards:

Pleading a Claim:

Requires certification that “the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery.”  Wyo. R. Civ. P. 11(b)(3).

Authentication or Chain of Custody:


“The requirement of authentication or identification as a condition precedent to admissibility is satisfied by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what its proponent claims.”  Wyo. R. Evid. 901(a).

Expert Testimony:

Wyoming Rule of Evidence 702 and Daubert standard.  See Bunting v. Jamieson, 984 P.2d 467, 471 (Wyo. 1999).


Please note that this discussion is not moderated by the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic.