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Why Wyoming Targets?

Within Wyoming, one of the least populated states in the lower 48, there is an abundance of energy resources, manufacturing capacity, and natural resources for other uses. One of the leading nuclear missile bases in the nation is on the western portion of Cheyenne, Wyoming, and extends up along the eastern border of the state. Cheyenne is the capital of the state, and several large infrastructure systems of major importance exist in the immediate area. Pipelines for fuel, oil, natural gas and other things cross this area. Interstates 25 and 80 intersect here, with 80 being one of the most heavily used truck routes in the nation between coasts. There are refineries, transportation hubs, and the Union Pacific railroad HQ and switch yard are major players in movement of goods across the nation. Being such a cross roads, Cheyenne also has the potential for terrorist nukes in trying to break the backbone of our transportation grid.


While Buffalo is not on the list, the areas between Sheridan and Gillette, from Buffalo to the northeast corner of the state, contain southern portions of nuclear missile silo systems on both sides of the borders, with Montana and South Dakota. In other words, not a good place to settle down to long term.


The following cities appeared in the original report as follows…


War­ren AFB (Min­ute­man mis­siles, area within a line con­nect­ing Cheyenne, Fed­eral, point 10 miles north­west of Wheat­land, Guernsey, and along the state line to Cheyenne again).






Please review the FEMA 196 “Risks and Hazards State by State” Wyoming Map in the TARGETS tab above. Note that there are two new targets painted on the state map by FEMA. One is the Rock Springs area, the other is the Jackson Hole area. Rock Springs contains BLM offices, some industrial areas, and is a cross roads with Interstate 80 as well as a recreational mecca, with the Green River passing through town, and Flaming Gorge to the south.


The BLM area is north of town, and is the main BLM Wild Horse and Burro facility for the state of Wyoming. Why a target?  Currently not sure why, since the BLM is the biggest federal presence in the area.


(For more information about the different levels of nuclear targeting, see the TARGETS tab for information and explanation of Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary targets)

State Map
Wyoming Federal Lands and Indian Reservations Map
(  Source:  NationalAtlas.gov  )

Wyoming Geologic Relief Features
(  Source:  NationalAtlas.gov  )


Wyoming County Lines and Cities
(  Source:  NationalAtlas.gov  )


Wyoming Climate – Precipitation Zones
(  Source:  NationalAtlas.gov  )

Gen­eral Wyoming Demographics –

Loca­tion and size

As spec­i­fied in the des­ig­nat­ing leg­is­la­tion for the Ter­ri­tory of Wyoming, Wyoming’s bor­ders are lines of lat­i­tude, 41°N and 45°N, and lon­gi­tude, 104°3′W and 111°3′W (27° W and 34° W of the Wash­ing­ton Merid­ian), mak­ing the shape of the state a latitude-longitude quad­ran­gle. Wyoming is one of only three states (along with Col­orado and Utah) to have bor­ders along only straight lat­i­tu­di­nal and lon­gi­tu­di­nal lines, rather than being defined by nat­ural land­marks. Due to sur­vey­ing inac­cu­ra­cies dur­ing the 19th cen­tury, Wyoming’s legal bor­der devi­ates from the true lat­i­tude and lon­gi­tude lines by up to half of a mile (.8 km) in some spots, espe­cially in the moun­tain­ous region along the 45th par­al­lel. Wyoming is bor­dered on the north by Mon­tana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Col­orado, on the south­west by Utah, and on the west by Idaho. It is the tenth largest state in the United States in total area, con­tain­ing 97,818 square miles (253,350 km2) and is made up of 23 coun­ties. From the north bor­der to the south bor­der it is 276 miles (444 km); and from the east to the west bor­der is 365 miles (587 km) at its south end and 342 miles (550 km) at the north end.

Moun­tain ranges

The Great Plains meet the Rocky Moun­tains in Wyoming. The state is a great plateau bro­ken by many moun­tain ranges. Sur­face ele­va­tions range from the sum­mit of Gan­nett Peak in the Wind River Moun­tain Range, at 13,804 feet (4,207 m), to the Belle Fourche River val­ley in the state’s north­east cor­ner, at 3,125 feet (953 m). In the north­west are the Absaroka, Owl Creek, Gros Ven­tre, Wind River and the Teton ranges. In the north cen­tral are the Big Horn Moun­tains; in the north­east, the Black Hills; and in the south­ern region the Laramie, Snowy and Sierra Madre ranges.The Snowy Range in the south cen­tral part of the state is an exten­sion of the Col­orado Rock­ies in both geol­ogy and appear­ance. The Wind River Range in the west cen­tral part of the state is remote and includes more than 40 moun­tain peaks in excess of 13,000 ft (4,000 m) tall in addi­tion to Gan­nett Peak, the high­est peak in the state. The Big Horn Moun­tains in the north cen­tral por­tion are some­what iso­lated from the bulk of the Rocky Mountains.The Teton Range in the north­west extends for 50 miles (80 km), part of which is included in Grand Teton National Park. The park includes the Grand Teton, the sec­ond high­est peak in Wyoming.The Con­ti­nen­tal Divide spans north-south across the cen­tral por­tion of the state. Rivers east of the divide drain into the Mis­souri River Basin and even­tu­ally the Gulf of Mex­ico. They are the North Platte, Wind, Big Horn and the Yel­low­stone rivers. The Snake River in north­west Wyoming even­tu­ally drains into the Colum­bia River and the Pacific Ocean, as does the Green River through the Col­orado River Basin.  The con­ti­nen­tal divide forks in the south cen­tral part of the state in an area known as the Great Divide Basin where the waters that flow or pre­cip­i­tate into this area remain there and can­not flow to any ocean. Instead, because of the over­all arid­ity of Wyoming, water in the Great Divide Basin sim­ply sinks into the soil or evap­o­rates.  Sev­eral rivers begin or flow through the state, includ­ing the Yel­low­stone River, Bighorn River, Green River, and the Snake River.

Pub­lic lands

More than 48% of the land in Wyoming is owned by the U.S. Gov­ern­ment, lead­ing Wyoming to rank sixth in the U.S. in total acres and fifth in per­cent­age of a state’s land owned by the Fed­eral gov­ern­ment. This amounts to about 30,099,430 acres (121,808.1 km2) owned and man­aged by the U.S. Gov­ern­ment. The state gov­ern­ment owns an addi­tional 6% of all Wyoming lands, or another 3,864,800 acres (15,640 km2).  The vast major­ity of this gov­ern­ment land is man­aged by the Bureau of Land Man­age­ment and U.S. For­est Ser­vice in numer­ous National Forests, a National Grass­land, and a num­ber of vast swaths of pub­lic land, in addi­tion to the F.E. War­ren Air Force Base near Cheyenne.  In addi­tion, Wyoming con­tains areas that are under the man­age­ment of the National Park Ser­vice and other agencies.


Wyoming’s cli­mate is gen­er­ally semi-arid and con­ti­nen­tal (Köp­pen cli­mate clas­si­fi­ca­tion BSk), and is drier and windier in com­par­i­son to most of the United States with greater tem­per­a­ture extremes. Much of this is due to the topog­ra­phy of the state. Sum­mers in Wyoming are warm with July high tem­per­a­tures aver­ag­ing between 85 °F (29 °C) and 95 °F (35 °C) in most of the state. With increas­ing ele­va­tion, how­ever, this aver­age drops rapidly with loca­tions above 9,000 feet (2,700 m) aver­ag­ing around 70 °F (21 °C). Sum­mer nights through­out the state are char­ac­ter­ized by a rapid cool-down with even the hottest loca­tions aver­ag­ing in the 50–60 °F (10–16 °C) range at night. In most of the state, most of the pre­cip­i­ta­tion tends to fall in the late spring and early sum­mer. Win­ters are cold, but are vari­able with peri­ods of some­times extreme cold inter­spersed between gen­er­ally mild peri­ods, with Chi­nook winds pro­vid­ing unusu­ally warm tem­per­a­tures in some loca­tions.Wyoming is a dry state with much of the land receiv­ing less than 10 inches (250 mm) of rain­fall per year. Pre­cip­i­ta­tion depends on ele­va­tion with lower areas in the Big Horn Basin aver­ag­ing 5–8 inches (130–200 mm) (mak­ing the area nearly a true desert). The lower areas in the North and on the east­ern plains typ­i­cally aver­age around 10–12 inches (250–300 mm), mak­ing the cli­mate there semi-arid.


Some moun­tain areas do receive a good amount of pre­cip­i­ta­tion, 20 inches (510 mm) or more, much of it as snow, some­times 200 inches (510 cm) or more annu­ally. The states high­est recorded tem­per­a­ture is 114 °F (46 °C) at Basin on July 12, 1900 and the low­est recorded tem­per­a­ture is −66 °F (−54 °C) at River­side on Feb­ru­ary 9, 1933.The cli­mate of any area in Wyoming is largely deter­mined by its lat­i­tude, alti­tude and local topog­ra­phy. When put together, these fac­tors have a lot to do with air­flow pat­terns, tem­per­a­ture vari­a­tions, pre­cip­i­ta­tion and humid­ity brought in by the weather sys­tems that migrate east­ward. In win­ter, Wyoming is often beneath the jet stream, or north of it, which accounts for its fre­quent strong winds, blasts of Arc­tic air and pre­cip­i­ta­tion, all the nec­es­sary ingre­di­ents for great snow con­di­tions at Wyoming’s north­west­ern ski areas. In sum­mer, the jet stream retreats north­ward to Canada, leav­ing the state’s weather mild and pleas­ant at a time when the major­ity of Wyoming’s vis­i­tors choose to arrive. Jack­son, located at 6,230 feet (1,900 m) above sea level and sur­rounded by moun­tains, can expect a high tem­per­a­ture in July of 80 °F (27 °C). The aver­age is more likely to be 65 °F (18 °C). The clos­est National Weather Sta­tion (in River­ton on the other side of the Wind River Moun­tains at 4,955 feet (1,510 m)) reports slightly warmer July weather.The num­ber of thun­der­storm days vary across the state with the south­east­ern plains of the state hav­ing the most days of thun­der­storm activ­ity. Thun­der­storm activ­ity in the state is high­est dur­ing the late spring and early sum­mer. The south­east­ern cor­ner of the state is the most vul­ner­a­ble part of the state to tor­nado activ­ity. Mov­ing away from that point and west­wards, the inci­dence of tor­na­does drops dra­mat­i­cally with the west part of the state show­ing lit­tle vul­ner­a­bil­ity. Tor­na­does, where they occur, tend to be small and brief, unlike some of those that occur a lit­tle fur­ther east.


The cen­ter of pop­u­la­tion of Wyoming is located in Natrona County.  As of 2005, Wyoming had an esti­mated pop­u­la­tion of 509,293, which was an increase of 3,407, or 0.7%, from the prior year and an increase of 15,512, or 3.1%, since the 2000 cen­sus. This includes a nat­ural increase since the last cen­sus of 12,165 peo­ple (that is 33,704 births minus 21,539 deaths) and an increase from net migra­tion of 4,035 peo­ple into the state. Immi­gra­tion from out­side the United States resulted in a net increase of 2,264 peo­ple, and migra­tion within the coun­try pro­duced a net increase of 1,771 peo­ple. In 2004, the foreign-born pop­u­la­tion was 11,000 (2.2%). In 2005, total births in Wyoming num­bered 7,231 (Birth Rate of 14.04).[18] Sparsely pop­u­lated, Wyoming is the least pop­u­lous (total num­ber of peo­ple) state of the United States, and has the sec­ond low­est pop­u­la­tion den­sity, behind Alaska.

Demo­graph­ics of Wyoming
By race White Black AIAN* Asian NHPI*
2000 (total population) 96.19% 1.01% 3.06% 0.84% 0.13%
2000 (His­panic only) 6.05% 0.11% 0.32% 0.06% 0.02%
2005 (total population) 96.01% 1.15% 3.06% 0.90% 0.12%
2005 (His­panic only) 6.38% 0.15% 0.27% 0.05% 0.01%
Growth 2000-05 (total population) 2.95% 17.26% 3.16% 10.32% –3.47%
Growth 2000-05 (non-Hispanic only) 2.57% 14.20% 4.95% 12.17% 0.18%
Growth 2000-05 (His­panic only) 8.66% 42.08% –12.31% –14.09% –28.40%
* AIAN is Amer­i­can Indian or Alaskan Native; NHPI is Native Hawai­ian or Pacific Islander

The largest ances­try groups in Wyoming are: Ger­man (25.9%), Eng­lish (15.9%), Irish (13.3%), “Amer­i­can” (6.5%), Nor­we­gian (4.3%), and Swedish (3.5%).

Tar­get Spe­cific Info


These are mostly mis­sile silos, bomber bases, sub­ma­rine bases, and com­mand and con­trol cen­ters. The enemy must neu­tral­ize these assets imme­di­ately to pre­vent or min­i­mize retaliation.


Major mil­i­tary, indus­trial, gov­ern­men­tal, and trans­porta­tion cen­ters. Also included are sea ports, locks and dams. These may be hit at once by the first mis­siles or struck by the bombers that will follow.


These are pop­u­la­tion and indus­trial cen­ters that prob­a­bly wouldn’t be hit in the first strikes but would be high on the lists for later destruc­tion to fur­ther crip­ple our abil­ity to fight a pro­longed war and/or recover and func­tion as a nation. Threats against these tar­gets could also be used fol­low­ing the ini­tial attacks to force our leader– ship to capit­u­late.


In the event of a dan­ger­ous rise in ten­sions, mil­i­tary forces would be widely dis­persed to make them less vul­ner­a­ble to a first strike. This would make some areas more likely to be hit. Heavy bombers and strato– tankers would be scat­tered to any civil­ian or mil­i­tary run­way long enough for them to oper­ate from. A B-52 needs about 7000 feet to take off fully loaded. An FB-111 needs about 5500 feet (the exact fig­ures are clas­si­fied). The B1 “Spirit” Stealth Bomber needs less run­way, but more sup­port­ing infra­struc­ture. This would make any run­way that length a poten­tial pri­mary tar­get.


Also, the fact that our war plan­ners, and the Strate­gic Air Com­mand, planned on con­tin­u­ing war efforts with nuke bombers once the first mush­room clouds were ris­ing, meant that any long stretch of inter­state high­way, county high­ways, or other straight and clear hard sur­faces could be used for land­ing, refu­el­ing, and reload­ing more war­heads on these air­craft after the first loads were dropped. There­fore, even OLD bases that have been shut down in recent years because of con­gres­sional deci­sions and decreased fund­ing, would still be tar­gets sim­ply because they would be the first refuel/rearm points to be used. The point is that a knowl­edge of your par­tic­u­lar area and it’s poten­tial use­ful­ness in a war sit­u­a­tion is crit­i­cal to your indi­vid­ual planning.

US Nuclear Tar­get Map

Wyoming Nuclear Tar­get Maps

FEMA 196 – Risks and Haz­ards – State by State – 1990

(Click on image for full size viewing)

Nuclear Attack Plan­ning Base 1986

Map goes here…Coming Soon

High Risk Areas – TR-82 –  1976

Map goes here…Coming Soon

Con­ti­nen­tal US Fall­out Pat­tern for Pre­vail­ing Winds (FEMA-196/September 1990)

(Click on image for full size viewing)

US Fall­out Wind Pat­terns – Based on Aver­age Pre­vail­ing Winds, after a first strike attack

Questions/Answers on Wyoming Targets.

As specific questions are received from you or others, I will answer them as succintly and completely as possible, and share the Q & A on this page.

Question #1 – Who will ask first?

Answer number 1

Question #2

Answer number 2

Question #3

Answer number 3






Rich is the founder of SurvivalRing, now in it’s 20th year, author of multimedia CDs and DVDs, loves the outdoors, his family, his geeky skill-set, and lives in urban Nashville. Always ready to help others, he shares what he learns on multiple blogs, social sites, and more. With a background in preparedness and survival skills, training with county, state, and national organizations, and skills in all areas of media and on air experience in live radio and television, Rich is always thinking about the “big picture”, when it comes to helping individuals and families prepare for life’s little surprises.

Since 1997, he has provided guidance, authentic government survival history, and commentary on why we all need to get ready for that fateful day in the future, when we have to get our hands dirty and step in to save the day. He is an award winning videographer (2005 Telly Award), has received state and national scholarly recognition (2006 New Century Scholar and All USA Academic Team), and is a natural with computers, technology, gadgets, small furry mammals, and anything on wheels.

Rich likes making friends, solving problems, and creating solutions to everyday issues. He doesn’t mind mixing things up, when there is a teaching moment ready to happen. As a constitutional conservative, he’s staying quite busy these days. Don’t forget to check out the new SurvivalRing Radio Show at www.survivalringradio.com

Rich.Fleetwood – who has written posts on USA Target List.

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