Wildlife, Hunting, and the 2018 Legislature
The 2018 WY Legislative Session:
The 2018 Wyoming Legislative Session will be a short one, only 20 working days. This is a Budget Session, so it is shorter. The session begins Feb. 12 and ends March 10th. Wyoming Wildlife Federation will be there the entire time on behalf of wildlife and sportsmen. On Feb 21st we will be holding our Camo At The Capital Day as well as helping host the WY Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Reception.
Camo At The Capital is a chance for people to spend a day at the Capital learning how the system works, meeting with decision makers and attending hearings. WWF will be hosting this event providing breakfast and lunch as well as hotel rooms to those who need them. This is an open invitation but you must register online.
Wyoming Wildlife Federation has reviewed the current bills listed for consideration in the session. You can view the full list of current bills by clicking HERE. The following bilsl are those we are either supporting, opposed to, or will provide input to potential language changes.
House Bill 0005: This bill would pass a law prohibiting the sale of wildlife location and identification information to aid in the taking of animals. This is a cut and dry Fair Chase bill. It seems there is a trend on the internet to post pictures of trophy animals with an offer to sell the location of the animal. WWF Supports this bill as written.
House Bill 0006: This bill would pass a law limiting public access to sensitive wildlife data, locations and ongoing research projects. Each year WYGF is hit up with questions like, “Can I have the data for every Grizzly bear den in the state.” Or “Can I see real time data on collared deer”. The process to say “no”, because of the potential for nafarious use of the data, can be a long legal issue, costing the WYGF a bunch of man hours and money. WWF believes HB 0006 is crucial to protecting wildlife and ongoing scientific research.
HB 0007: This bill amends an existing law that allows hunters to donate their pronghorn tag to a Disabled Veteran. The amendment would allow for the donation of your pronghorn tag to a new 12 year old hunter who has passed Hunters Safety. WWF supports this bill.
HB 0020: This bill would require legislative approval on any agreements regarding sensitive species between the Wyoming Game and Fish and the Federal government. This is an effort to place the politically motivated legislature in the middle of science based wildlife management. No other state agencies are placed under this level of legislative scrutiny. The WWF very much encourages you to send a letter OPPOSING this bill.
Click here to send a letter to your legislator
HB 0039: This bill will create a Wildlife Conservation License Plate. All funding from this plate will go to fund projects that make our highways safer for wildlife. This includes signs, underpasses, fencing and overpasses. WWF supports this bill.
SF0003: This bill increases the current number of tags allocated to the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt and the Wyoming One Shot Antelope Hunt from 80 tags to 160 tags to allow for growth of the Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt. The bill also sets any reductions of tags for herd management in those Hunt Areas that the One Shot and Wyoming Women’s Antelope Hunt take place start with these tags. WWF is watching this bill and currently is neutral.
SF0067: This bill would designate Wyoming Public Lands Day. It reads “In tribute to the importance of public lands in the state, the third Saturday in May of each year is designated as “public lands day” and appropriate observance may be held by the public and in all public schools of the state.”
WWF very much supports this bill and encourages you to contact your legislator and let them know you support a Wyoming Public Lands Day.
SF0058: This bill is an act relating to Game and Fish licenses and their expiration. This bill would allow for individuals to carry-over any unused limited quota big-game tag to be used in the hunting season immediately following the season in which the tag was originally drawn. WWF is watching this bill and is currently neutral.
HJ0005: This bill would apply an additional fee to Yellowstone Park entrance costs. This additional money would be ear-marked to be used for road and infrastructure maintenance specifically within the state of Wyoming. Additionally, this money would go towards wildlife conservation efforts, again, specifically to be used within the borders of Wyoming. We feel that this is a positive step in the direction of accruing additional funds from non-consumptive users of wildlife. We feel this would help provide funding for crucial wildlife conservation efforts around the state. WWF is watching this bill.
HB0094: This bill states that the acquisition of lands from the federal government to add to the net total of land held within the state trust. We feel that this bill is bad for public lands and public access, opening the door to the transfer of Federal Public Land to the state. We feel that this is a bad move and will only hinder public access to these lands. WWF does not support this bill.
HB0059: This bill would allow for the transfer of limited quota Bison tags to veterans and hunters with disabilities, or, to charitable non-profit organization. We are relying on help from the Game and Fish with this bill, but WWF is currently in support of this bill.
HB0058: This bill would effectively allow for Grizzly Bears to be managed in a similar fashion to wolves, with trophy regions, as well as regions devoted specifically to general/over-the-counter tags. Additionally, this bill would also effect wild Goats and there designations as trophy-game animals. We feel that this bill should focus specifically on the management of mountain goats and exclude Grizzlies. We are relying on the help of the Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation with this bill and we currently oppose this bill in its current form.