Last Chance To Comment On Wyoming’s Wolf Plan
One week remains for public comment on the proposed wolf management plan for Wyoming.
Wyoming's current proposal for wolf management, unlike neighboring states Idaho and Montana, allows for unlicensed hunting of the animal in most of the state for all of the year.
Sophie Osborn, wildlife biologist and wildlife program director, for the Wyoming Outdoor Council, explains that this unregulated predator zone covers %88 of the state and was created by the Wyoming legislature in 2003 with dual status written into the law, "and its that duel status that has been the major impediment to delisting of wolves in the Rocky Mountain region for years now."
Trophy status in Wyoming is reserved for the northwest corner of the state.
That area includes a flex line that expands for about four months in winter to allow for movement of wolves in and out of Idaho. The flex line Osborn says is an improvement, but she says they'd like to see it made permanent.
"We think that that extended boundary, being seasonal, presents some serious enforcement challenges for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and we also have some concerns that if wolves do establish themselves in that area during the seasonal extension, that they will be especially vulnerable to persecution when the area reverts to a predator zone."
Another addition to the current proposal calls for mandatory reporting of all wolves killed.
"We feel this is very important, because the department will have better oversight over wolf numbers, but also it will be able to collect genetic samples from all of those wolves and determine that the population is healthy genetically."
She says they hope talk of a buffer number for management is honored.
Osborn says the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission meets to vote on the plan on September 14th.
Comments must be submitted to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department by mail before 5 o'clock Friday September 9th.
Send comments to,
Wolf Plan Comments , Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 5400 Bishop Blvd, Cheyenne, WY 82006