Wagon Train Leader and BLM Dispute

by Taylor Viydo, tviydo@k2tv.com





A man leading a wagon train across the historic Oregon and Mormon trails is being forced to cut one segment of the trip short, due to a conflict with the Wyoming Bureau of Land Management. 

Each summer, Oregon Trail buff Danny Van Fleet has lead a wagon train through sections of the trails. Van Fleet started the trip in Nauvoo, Illinois in 2008 and ended last summer's segment in Casper. 

However, this summer's segment, which was scheduled to end in Farson, is being cut short. Since Van Fleet's Wagon Train is a commercial venture, a permit is required to travel on BLM land. According to the BLM, Van Fleet's application for a permit was denied because it was not submitted in time, and it was only 25% complete. 

Van Fleet says that the application required him to list the make and model of each vehicle that would be on the trip six months prior to the event. He says that request is "unreasonable" since some people join the wagon train for just a day at a time, sometimes without notice. 

The BLM says that they want to make sure that Van Fleet doesn't breech federal law. A ranger has been monitoring the group to make sure that the wagon train doesn't venture onto the BLM's land, which could result in arrest.  

So far, the wagon train has only traveled on private land or land owned by Natrona county.