G&F Commission Approves Wolf Plan
Although delisting the gray wolf and placing it under state management came a step closer with the recent approval of the Wyoming Gray Wolf Management Plan, the animal is still protected by federal law, reports the Game and Fish Department.
With the much discussed provision of the plan which classifies wolves as predators in most of the state, the G&F has received several inquiries from citizens ready to go wolf hunting. The G&F alerts prospective wolf hunters that the G&F Commission only approved a plan that will guide state management when wolves are formally delisted. A regulation that will permit hunting will be adopted after delisting occurs.
“The wolf is still a federally protected species,” said John Emmerich, G&F assistant Wildlife Division chief. “Although the plan and the associated legislation has received considerable attention and hopefully in time will shape Wyoming wolf regulations, for now they are just steps in the process to have wolves delisted.”
The plan stipulates if more than seven wolf packs occur outside Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway when delisting occurs, wolves would be classified as a trophy game animal in the parks and parkway and adjoining U.S. National Forest wilderness areas. Wolves would be classified as predators in the rest of Wyoming.
If the number of wolf packs outside the parks and parkway fall to seven or fewer, the trophy game animal classification will be expanded to a larger area to ensure wolf harvest is regulated sufficiently to maintain seven packs outside the parks and parkway.
The plan allows Wyoming to maintain at least 15 packs in the state, with a commitment to manage for seven packs outside the national parks and parkway.