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EDITORIAL: Concerned about Wyoming wildlife? Now's your chance to make your voice heard

Many Wyomingites care deeply about our state’s natural beauty and rugged terrain. But we’re not just concerned about our state’s clean air, pure water, rural lifestyle, natural resources and wild landscape for ourselves — we care about the animals that roam our mountains, fly across this air and swim through local rivers.

When it comes to how to best manage Wyoming’s wildlife, the range of opinions could span across our wide open state. Grizzly bears and wolves often dominate the public spotlight, as management of these predators has been wrought with controversy for decades. Yet emotions also can run high when it comes to discussions about elk, deer, cutthroat trout and other species in Wyoming.

If you care about wildlife — as a hunter, angler, conservationist, outdoorsman, photographer, rancher or just a citizen of this state — you have the opportunity to share your thoughts about how Wyoming manages its fisheries, wildlife and public programs.

The Wyoming Game and Fish will host a meeting on Friday night from 6-9 p.m. at the Governor’s Room at the Irma Hotel in Cody. The public comments gathered there will help shape a new strategic plan for the department.

“This is your chance to drive the future of Wyoming’s wildlife,” said Scott Talbott, director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in a news release. “We want to offer as many opportunities to be involved so we hope you will attend a meeting or comment online.”

It’s been more than 20 years since this kind of project was done. The last time around, public input helped initiate the department’s Access Yes program, which has opened up private or previously inaccessible land for hunting and fishing.

The Game and Fish’s new strategic plan will influence our state’s wildlife and natural resources for years to come. That’s why it’s important for the department to hear from local residents. Yes, our state attracts tourists and outdoorsmen from around the world, but this plan should be built on input from the Wyomingites who live here and understand the complexities of our rural, wild state.

If you can’t make it to Friday’s meeting, you can share your feedback online at www.wildlifeforum.org. The comments posted on the online forums confirm the wide diversity in public views, especially when it comes to managing wolves and grizzlies.

It is not an easy task to manage Wyoming’s wildlife, nor will it be possible to please everyone. We appreciate the Game and Fish’s hard work, and that department leaders are involving the public in this important process. If you’re concerned about Wyoming’s wildlife, don’t miss out on a chance to help shape the future.

8 comments

  • posted by Melodie Watley

    February 13, 2018 9:04 pm

    If you could put yourself in the place of an animal such as a wolf or a bear. They do not ask to be what they are and they are trying to survive just as you would if you were an animal Where is the empathy for the wildlife?How can anybody think it is okay to trap a wolf and then come and
    kill it . I just dont understand how anybody can okay that
    cruel way I truly would hope you will think about my thought on the topic of wildlife.

  • posted by Dagmar Riddle

    February 09, 2018 4:35 pm

    No hunting grizzlies. 2000 or so grizzlies in the lower USA, is not enough of a population to even consider hunting them. They have a high mortality rate and a low birth rate.
    We need to stop hunting and trapping all predators....that includes wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, foxes, badgers, etc. We must save species, learn to co-exist, and not decide which animals we want to live and which ones we don't. All animals have the right to life, and we are not God, Creator. Only he has that right. We need to learn the value and magnificense of all life. Live and let live. Only kill what you will eat to sustain your and your family's own life.

  • posted by Susan Simone

    February 09, 2018 3:54 pm

    I treasure Wyoming's amazing natural beauty with the wildlife.
    Wolves are not just important icons,they are major asset to the ecosystem.
    I do not believe that the state's current management plan accounts for important ecological benefits.
    I also do Not believe that the current management plan provides sufficient assurance that Wolves will Not be hunted past the point of viability.
    For these reasons the majority of citizens in the U.S. want our travel,tourism & tax dollars to Support the Grey Wolves.

  • posted by sharon houser

    February 09, 2018 11:21 am

    I have waited all my life, since I was 7 years old to be able to hear a wolf howl or see one in the wild. Now I'm a senior & don't travel like I used to. I don't want future generations to grow up without the chance to see some of the most beautiful animals on earth. Save our parks and what few animals roam wild as you can. Please.

  • posted by Susan Zissman

    February 09, 2018 7:37 am

    The beauty of your state is not only it geological attributes, but it is one of the only states to have the wildlife that draws people from around the world. Do not destroy a richness that Wyoming possesses that no other state has..The population of wolves and grizzlies is a great attribute..Leave it flourish.

  • posted by Karol Miller

    February 09, 2018 5:39 am

    I don't live in Wyoming, but I do spend a great deal of time in the state viewing wildlife in Yellowstone and isupporting local economies in the process. With all the tourism dollars wildlife generates in Wyoming, the state should realize it is sitting on a gold mine. People come from all over the country and are happy to spend their money to see the wildlife the state of Wyoming is blessed with. It's such a valuable resource to the state and it should be considered as such as new ways to manage wildlife are developed. Without wildlife, our tourist dollars would be spent elsewhere. Wyoming is very fortunate to have a diversity of wildlife and the national parks in the state. As such, Wyoming is responsible for the many species and their populations. Please consider that wildlife is crucial to the ecosystem, to the state, and to the millions of people who travel to Wyoming and spend their tourism dollars just to see them in their natural habitat. Thank you for your efforts to involve the public with future management decisions. Respectfully, Karol Miller

  • posted by Mary Young

    February 09, 2018 1:13 am

    Please support wildlife in every species in Wyoming. Our country is inundated with people destroying our animals, natural resources, and beautiful wilderness areas. I am not opposed to hunting and utilizing the animal for food. I am opposed to trophy hunting, removing sanctions on our protected species, trapping, poisoning, poaching and other methods of destroying our beautiful wildlife. Please keep sanctions on our animals and protect our beautiful wilderness areas whenever possible. Initiate high fines for those that break laws and destroy our beautiful areas and wildlife. I am extremely concerned about our wolves, bears and other predators that help keep our ecosystem flowing the way nature intended. Disturbing this flow, will undoubtedly ruin our country's natural system of things and its beauty. This has been scientifically proven. Please help. Thank you for your consideration.

  • posted by Ed Davis

    February 08, 2018 11:23 pm

    All public land and the animals there in, are part of the American Heritage. This includes all lands that the BLM oversees, National Parks, Monuments and rivers that flow thru these lands. Are we willing to let the wildlife be devastated, so that future generations will not have the chance we now enjoy.

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