Governor Matt Mead and representatives from the US Fish and Wildlife Service have finalized the elements of a proposed plan that will ensure a stable and sustainable population of wolves in Wyoming. This plan is the culmination of many years of work between Wyoming stakeholders and federal officials.
"This is far from the end of this process, but I think we have come up with something that fits with Wyoming's values and economy," Governor Mead said. "For years ranchers and sheep producers have been asked to sacrifice and they have. We have lost significant numbers of elk and moose, and we have not had a say in the management of an animal inside Wyoming. It is time for that to change and I appreciate Secretary Salazar and the US Fish and Wildlife Service working with us. Wolves are recovered in Wyoming; let's get them off the Endangered Species List."
Under the proposed plan Wyoming will maintain at least 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs outside of Yellowstone National Park. The Trophy Game Management Area would extend about 50 miles to the south from its current location near the Wyoming/Idaho border. The expansion area would be managed as a Trophy Game Management Area from October 15th to the end of February. For all other months wolves would be managed as predators in the extension area.
The proposed plan requires approval of the State Legislature. Governor Mead has said he wants Congressional approval of this plan. "For too long wolf management has been run by the courts, we need Wyoming people to have a say in what happens in our state and a congressionally approved plan is the best way to ensure that we advance this effort.
"This is an important step towards removing wolves from the Endangered Species List, but there are many more steps to come. We appreciate the work of stakeholders in Wyoming, and we appreciate the work of Senator Barrasso, Congressman Lummis and Senator Enzi," Governor Mead said.