The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will hold a public meeting in Cheyenne on Aug. 2 to discuss their current financial situation and funding needs of the agency in future years. The meeting will be held at Game and Fish Headquarters, Elk Room, at 7p.m.

The meeting will also be broadcast to Game and Fish regional offices and the agency will be streaming the meeting over the Internet. This will allow people to participate from their computer at home, from Game and Fish regional offices, and the Cheyenne Game and Fish headquarters. The link to participate in the webcast is: http://bit.ly/Game-n-Fish. When prompted, people on home computers can enter their name and then log in to the meeting.

Game and Fish Director Scott Talbott joined us to talk about a number of issues confronting his department. To address short-term funding shortfalls, the Game and Fish Department cut their fiscal year 2013 budget, and is planning budget cuts for the next few fiscal years. In addition, the department is researching and will seek legislative approval of license fee adjustments in2013; the agency is also investigating new nontraditional funding sources.

Right now we're just asking the public to be engaged with this process and to give us their ideas.

According to the Director, new funding sources will be needed in addition to the traditional user fees (hunting and fishing licenses) to fund wildlife conservation in the long-term.

I don’t believe there has been a time in the history of our state when there has been a greater number and variety of challenges facing our wildlife,The single most important challenge facing the future management of wildlife is the lack of adequate funding for management and conservation.

Information on the WGFD’s financial status, funding needs, and changing economic environment is available on the Game and Fish website.

Our entire conversation with Director Talbott is available here.