Wyoming Game and Fish Commission
On July 19 in Afton, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission recognized exemplary employees from each department. In honor of those employees and our appreciation for the work the Department and Commission does for Wyoming, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation hosted a lunch. “It was an opportunity for the Federation to show our gratitude for our state’s wildlife agency. They provide management of our wildlife, develop objectives for habitat carrying capacity, set hunting seasons, invest in habitat improvement projects for both terrestrial and aquatic species, and protect our wildlife from poachers and wrong-doers.
On this same day, the Commission discussed and sought public comment on their gray wolf regulation. The Federation’s Executive Director, Dwayne Meadows, spoke in favor of the regulation and praised the management of the species to be under state control once again.
That evening we attended the Land Owner of the Year Banquet. This is where a landowner in each of the 8 WGF regions is recognized for their good land stewardship. Some great land owners were recognized. It is always key to recognize that much of the private land in Wyoming provides crucial habitat throughout the year. Great work to all those recognized.
On the second day of the Commission meeting, the Federation’s Field Director, Joy Bannon gave an update to the Commission on a national effort called, Recovering America’s Wildlife (RAW). We have been working with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Senator Barrasso’s office on this effort. RAW would provide $19 million to the agency to implement their state wildlife action plans. This money would go to developing conservation plans for sensitive species. It would also proactively set the stage for proper management of sensitive species so that they do not become a candidate under the Endangered Species Act.
Next up with the Commission:
Aug. 23rd Casper, WY
The upcoming Commission meeting in Casper will also be a critical vote for wildlife. The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will be voting to approve regulations for captive rearing of sage-grouse. This was approved by the legislature last session. Basically it would allow private companies to harvest wild sage grouse eggs to captively raise them for profit. The captive bred sage grouse would be used for mitigation form loss of habitat form oil and gas development and for use in pay to play game bird farms. The WWF is opposed to this concept, read our comments here and read our op-ed in the Casper Star Tribune here.