Wyoming's Revised Wolf Management Plan Open for Public Comment

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The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission today authorized a 30-day public comment period on the state’s draft revised gray wolf management plan. The revised plan will be posted on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Web site on Monday, Sept. 10. The comment period will end Oct. 10.

The commission also authorized the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to conduct four public meetings the week of Sept. 17 in Pinedale, Lander, Casper and Cody. At each of the meetings, department personnel will discuss the draft revised plan and accept written comments. The meetings will run from 7 to 9 p.m. at the following locations:

Pinedale: Sept. 17 -- Public Library Meeting Room
Lander: Sept. 18 -- Lander Community Center
Casper: Sept. 19 -- Casper WGFD Office, Pronghorn Room
Cody: Sept. 20 -- Holiday Inn

Those interested in commenting on the draft revised plan must do so either in writing or electronically through the Game and Fish’s electronic commenting system at the department’s Web site from Sept. 10 to Oct. 10. The department will not be accepting verbal comments or e-mail comments. Written comments can be submitted at the public meetings or mailed to: Wolf Comments, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 5400 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82006.

The commission will review the public comments prior to its next meeting, Nov. 15-16 in Thermopolis. At that meeting, the commission will adopt a final revised Wyoming Gray Wolf Management Plan.

The latest draft of Wyoming’s wolf plan includes several changes submitted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. According to Game and Fish Director Terry Cleveland, the latest draft of Wyoming’s wolf plan, if approved by the commission, will likely be accepted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and lead to removal of wolves from the Endangered Species List in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

After delisting, the Game and Fish will assume management of wolves in that portion of the state where wolves will be classified as trophy game animals. In the remaining portions of the state, gray wolves will be classified as predatory animals. Wyoming’s original wolf plan was rejected by the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2004.

The new draft plan is consistent with the requirements of House Bill 0213, passed by the 2007 Wyoming Legislature. The department believes the plan is also consistent with US Fish and Wildlife Service requirements for acceptance of the plan.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that 15 breeding pairs of wolves will ensure Wyoming’s share of a fully recovered population. Wyoming’s draft plan commits the Game and Fish to maintaining at least seven breeding pairs of wolves located in the state and primarily outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway. The remaining breeding pairs will be located primarily within Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway. (contact: Eric Keszler (307) 777-4594)