October 18, 2019

Feds Tell Wyoming To Change Their Wolf Management Plan

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In a move that is reminiscent of a bold chess strategy, Dale Hall, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director, told Wyoming’s legislature, in a letter, to change its wolf management plan. The USFWS and Wyoming cannot reach agreement on a plan so that the feds can go ahead with delisting the wolf in that state. They intend to begin the process for Idaho and Montana but most people don’t expect the delisting to be finalized for quite some time – perhaps several years as wolf lovers intend to take the issue to court again.

And court is where the issue between the USFWS and the state of Wyoming is going to end up. Wyoming has already filed suit and while both sides are awaiting the process to run its course, some thought talks, gestures and proposals might solve the problem making the lawsuit unnecessary.

The Governor of Wyoming, Dave Freudenthal, has expressed frustration in negotiating with the feds saying he doesn’t know who he can and can’t talk with and who has the authority to negotiate.

It now appears nearly certain that after this letter from Hall to Wyoming, the decision will have to run its course in the court system. Although time consuming and expensive, perhaps this is the best thing. Maybe Wyoming will even challenge whether or not the feds can actually dictate to the state how wolves will be managed.

This may take decades but in long run, maybe its all for the better. Pull up a chair, pour some hot coffee and get ready for a long-running feature presentation. The clock is ticking and the next move goes to the Wyoming Legislature.

Tom Remington

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