The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says that it’s wolf management plan would reduce wolves from around 350 down to about 200 in the first year.
Some of this would be done by hunting.
State Game Warden Brian Nesbit says the state needs to maintain ten breeding pairs and 100 wolves outside of Yellowstone National Park and he says the state will take a conservative approach in reducing the population to avoid risking wolves getting put back on the endangered species list.
Nesbit says wolf hunting will be strictly monitored to maintain the necessary population.
Next week the Wyoming Game and Fish Department will begin a series of public meetings. They’ll gather public input on the rules and regulations the department will use to manage wolves in the state. The rules will be finalized by the Game and Fish Commission in April. Chief Game Warden Brian Nesbit and the Department Director Scott Talbott talk with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.
Wyoming Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis will once again ask for congressional support to keep people from suing over Wyoming’s ability to manage wolves. Such legislation was approved on behalf of Montana and Idaho. Lummis failed in a previous attempt in December, but she is more optimistic following the Wyoming legislature’s passage of wolf management legislation. Lummis says she will also be watching closely to make sure that federal officials support the state.
Among the issues the Wyoming legislature dealt with this year is a wolf management plan. Lawmakers approved a compromise crafted between Governor Matt Mead and federal officials that allows Wyoming residents to shoot wolves on sight if they are not in protected areas of the state. While a judge may need to eventually sign off on the plan, many lawmakers believe they are closer than managing wolves than ever before. Senator Bruce Burns chairs the committee the oversees wildlife issues in the state. I spoke with him shortly after the bill passed.