Big Beautiful Wyoming

Growing up in the Midwest and loving the outdoors I couldn’t get enough information on the Rocky Mountains. It was a foreign place that I dreamed of hiking, hunting, and fishing in. Jagged snow-capped peaks, bugling bull elk, and rainbow trout on a fly, truly a place I wanted to explore.

My initial opportunity came while visiting with a friend in my high school physics class.  He was wanting to go to Jackson Hole, hike the Tetons, and was looking for a partner. The planning began, anticipation was palpable and culminated in a 2-week trip of roughly 100 miles backpacking up and down the Teton Range. My dream became reality and it did not disappoint! My mission from that trip forward was how do I get back to Wyoming?

I went to college at the University of North Dakota (Go Sioux!), studied groundwater geology and met my future wife. I made several trips west during college, mostly skiing parties, but attending geology field camp in Idaho and Montana re-energized my desire to move west.  Inberg-Miller Engineers happened to be looking for a hydrogeologist with a landfill background and gave me the opportunity to fulfill my dream. So, in 1989, I moved to Casper, got married 2 weeks later, raised a family, and have been living the dream ever since!

While the northwest corner of Wyoming draws a lot of attention, there is so much more to Wyoming than Yellowstone and Teton Parks. We have 8 different National Forests, a National Grassland, many mountain ranges including the Big Horns, Wind Rivers, Black Hills, Laramie, Snowy, Sierra Madres, Wyoming Range, and the Uinta Mountains to name a few, and countless miles of rivers and streams most teaming with wildlife and fish. Between federal and state property, approximately 50% of Wyoming is public land to roam in. World-class hunting exists state-wide and fishing is truly fantastic. Really, the outdoor opportunities here are endless.

My base of operation is Casper. Casper and the surrounding towns of Mills, Evansville and Bar Nunn is a thriving community located in central Wyoming. The population of Natrona County is roughly 75,000 in 2017. Our economy is primarily based on energy production and associated business that work in that sector. Because Casper is centrally located, we are a Wyoming-hub and have a largely service-based economy too. Casper’s historic ranching industry is still vibrant and is our sole and conscious of our community. We’ve seen some ups and downs that go with energy production and associated regulations that come with having a lot Federal surface and mineral ownership. But times seem to be changing and it looks like the trajectory of our economy is heading upward again.

Within a 1-hour drive from Casper, we have 3 large reservoirs on the North Platte River system that has fantastic trout and walleye fishing. Various tailwater fisheries that are teaming with trout and many, many, small streams that are often loaded with brookies, rainbows, and browns. The North Platte River runs through Casper and is a blue-ribbon trout water.  Twenty minutes from downtown on top of Casper Mountain we have a downhill ski slope, world-class cross-country skiing, a biathlon course, archery range and miles of mountain biking. In town, we have miles of paved trails, a white-water park, 4 golf courses, cultural centers and a host of restaurants and hotels that cater to locals and visitors.

I like to brag about my state and hometown of Casper. Feel free to look Inberg-Miller Engineers up when you’re in town and we’d be happy to share some tips and places to go and see. Go exploring. Wyoming has a lot to offer!

About Eric Graney

Eric Graney, PG, is a Senior Vice President, Director, and manages our Casper and Douglas Offices. He is responsible for corporate environmental operations. He is a groundwater geologist and specializes in site characterization and regulatory compliance work at landfills, petroleum sites, and various brownfield sites. His work also includes Phase I, II and III Environmental Site Assessments, water well design, assisting clients with permitting projects. He is an avid outdoorsman and spends his free time exploring Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain West fishing, hunting, and hiking.