In 2020, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department teamed up with Wyoming Legislators to create the Wildlife Task Force. The mission of this task force? Come up with long-term solutions to improve the license system and other hot-button issues for hunters within the State of Wyoming.
The Wildlife Task Force public meetings begin June 16-17, 2021 in Casper, WY at the Hilton Garden Inn.
For the last few years, bills were brought forward to the Legislature that would have overregulated the Wyoming Game and Fish and attempted to bandaid complex issues for Wyoming hunters. The Wildlife Task Force will work up recommendations for long-term fixes to these complex issues for either the Game and Fish Commission or Wyoming Legislature based on the contributions from the members at these public meetings.
As with most Wyoming wildlife-related task forces, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation will continue to have a representative at every meeting to voice the concerns of Wyoming hunters and wildlife conservation. At the core, the Federation would like to see opportunities for hunters increased through more wildlife in the mountains and across the Wyoming sagebrush driven by conservation efforts. The way licenses are divvied out to hunters also needs to take into account political and social needs on the landscape. At the end of the day, Wyomingites via the State of Wyoming own the wildlife and should have priority over how they are managed. As a result, the Wildlife Task Force members and WWF staff are poised to take a very close look at the issues at hand and provide answers that do not add unnecessary legislative control to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, while ensuring hunting opportunities exist for today and tomorrow’s hunters in Wyoming.
Finding long-term solutions to the points and drawing system to make it easier for future generations to draw licenses for species like bighorn sheep and moose is one issue at the top of our list. Additionally, the Task Force will tackle other licensing issues, such as landowner tags, resident-nonresident allocation, and more.
In a WGFD press release, Director Nesvik said, “Demand for hunting opportunities is as high as it’s ever been in Wyoming. Now is an opportune time to continue our public engagement work that we prioritized in our five-year strategic plan to take on some challenging topics with high public interest alongside citizens and leaders from around our state.”
Most importantly, the public is encouraged to get involved throughout this process. The Wildlife Task Force’s monthly meetings are where hunters can voice their biggest concerns and all stakeholders can develop a plan to move forward. Without public hunter engagement, the Task Force will present solutions to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commissioner, as well as the legislature, based on the interests of the Task Force members alone. This is where you can make a difference.
The Wildlife Task Force includes four sportsmen, two Game and Fish Commissioners, the WGFD Director, the Director Office of State Lands and Investments, four legislators, and multiple tourism business-owners, landowners, outfitters, and County Commissioners. Find the full list of Task Force members here.
The issues discussed in these meetings are near and dear to Wyoming hunters, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation staff, and to the future of wildlife management here. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or would like to get involved.
Attend Virtually Here
June 16, 2021 Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BvIrctwORNmYBBTakoAzNQ
June 17, 2021 Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ItDvyFvkTz6Id5LQfO2dgQ