February 7, 2023

Wyoming Wolf Management Bill Sent To House

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In an effort to come up with some kind of effective wolf management plan, Wyoming House Travel committee members sent a bill to the full House for discussion. In the morning session, the bill did not have enough votes to pass committee but after lunch, two members changed their mind.

Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, was one of two House Travel Committee members who switched their votes to approve the bill, saying that when it comes to wolf management, something is better than nothing.

“If this committee kills the bill, then we extinguish any mechanism to approve a wolf settlement in the House of Representatives, and I don’t want to do that,” Brown said.

Rep. Pat Childers (R) Cody, sponsored the bill seeking $2.4 million and authorization to use GPS collars on wolves and hunting them by aircraft. The bill would also permit landowners to kill any wolves causing damage to their livestock.

This is all pending should at anytime in our lifetimes, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state of Wyoming come up with an agreeable wolf management plan and the courts don’t continue to overrule any decisions made to de-list the wolf. Yesterday the Feds announced plans to begin the de-listing process which currently would include neighboring states, Montana and Idaho, but exclude Wyoming.

If all things went interrupted, the wolf could become de-listed within about a year but nobody expects that to happen as the animal rights groups and wolf advocates are lining up at the courthouses as we speak. This issue may take decades to resolve. In the meantime wolf populations are growing at an estimated 20% per year while other big game populations are shrinking due to predation.

It would be an understatement to say that this is ultimately going to come to a head.

Tom Remington