The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission has updated its rules for wolf management. This aligns the Game and Fish Department's rules with the law passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Matt Mead earlier this year.
Governor Mead said the next steps are further public comment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on its proposed delisting rule and then another peer review. Four of the five reviewers signed off on the state's plan already and Wyoming made some adjustments to address the concerns of the fifth scientist. Governor Mead said he has spoken with the Wyoming Congressional delegation, which will pursue federal legislation that will give Wyoming immunity from judicial review. "I do believe we have a scientifically sound plan. It has been reviewed by a number of people and we have worked very hard on it. I am hopeful that we can get Congress' approval," Governor Mead said at a news conference today.
Governor Mead said he expects the federal government will file a final delisting rule by September 1st. That would allow hunting of wolves this fall.
Wyoming was also recognized recently as having the 4th best economic outlook in the country in the Rich States, Poor States report. The report by the American Legislative Exchange Council analyzed policies in all 50 states and ranked them based on economic growth. Today, Governor Mead said that report was some good news during a time when there is much concern about declining revenue from natural gas. "This State, historically, has had a very strong Legislature, we have had very good Governors who make sure that we are in the place we are today. As a relatively new Governor, I thank those that came before me who put us in this position and it makes a difference. Today, we saw our unemployment again went down."
Unemployment in Wyoming is down to 5.3%. The national unemployment rate is 8.2% and Wyoming gained 5,532 positions over the last year.