Wyoming's governor is encouraged by the progress in the getting rid of federal protection of wolves in the state. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a plan Tuesday, which outlines the plan that Gov. Matt Mead has been wrangling over with the Interior Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife.

Verbal agreement to expedite:

"One of the commitments made by the secretary (Interior Secretary Ken Salazar) and the director of the Fish and Wildlife Service (Dan Ashe) is that they would keep this on a short time-frame. And I think that is because both the secretary and the director agree with me that we need to be committed to this. It's an opportunity for the state of Wyoming to take over the management of the wolves."

Gov. Mead said that he realized not everyone is in agreement with the plan, but he believes it's what's best for the state. The next step is to have the Wyoming Legislature match the state's hunting regulations that would allow for wolves to be managed as predators, in other words, shot on sight in areas not adjacent to Yellowstone National Park.

Resolution is at hand:

"I am hopeful that as we make this presentation to the Legislature that they too will adopt this plan and we can move forward on this, and we can get a reasonable amount of wolves in Wyoming and allow for hunting, both as a predator status and a trophy game status, and get this behind us and get on to other things."

The plan allows for wolves to also be hunted as game animals, and would require the state to maintain a certain number of wolves in designated areas around Yellowstone. The Legislature convenes in February next year. Wyoming is the only western state where wolves are still listed as an endangered species.