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Tue April 12, 2011
Governor says he is still working on a wolf deal with the feds
By Bob Beck
Casper, WY – While others debate legislative and legal issues surrounding wolves, Wyoming and the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service continue to try and reach a deal on a new wolf management plan. Currently under the state's management plan, northwest Wyoming is an area where wolves are given dual classification status where they could be managed by hunting, but would otherwise be protected, Wolves are declared predators in the rest of the state where they can be shot on sight. In recent talks with the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service, Governor Matt Mead says both sides are discussing changes in both of those key areas.
"I think they are willing to accept predator status in a vast majority of the state. As you know we have dual classification in the northwest corner. They want to move that southern border down to Big Piney. That's because they think that is critical winter migration territory."
Mead would also like the Fish and Wildlife Service to agree to allow the state to only manage ten breeding pairs and 100 wolves outside of Yellowstone. The current plan is for the state to manage 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves. The governor says talks are continuing and he is currently talking to a number of groups to get their thoughts on whether those changes could benefit Wyoming.