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Wyoming Game and Fish to collect comments about plan to increase quota

According to Wyoming’s Fish and Game department, 179 wolves is just too many – a number which encompasses 15 distinct packs – which live in the “Wolf Trophy Game Management Area” (WTGMA).

After the 2013 wolf hunt in Wyoming ended, state officials were disappointed to learn that 179 wolves still lived (they were aiming for 160) and 15 mating pairs still called the Wyoming WTGMA home (one higher than they had hoped for).

To this end, the Game and Fish department has proposed raising the quota of wolf kills up to 43 for the 2014 hunting season. The quota in the WTGMA was 26, with 24 wolves dying, in 2013.

Officials for Wyoming G&F are accepting public comment about wolves and wolf hunting through May 30 – should you wish to make a comment, the link to the form can be found at the bottom of this article.

The science used to justify the 160 wolf goal is beyond difficult to find, and the biologists from WY G&F aren’t exactly forthcoming. They use ambiguous comments such as that they are determined to manage wolves as not to risk the delisting. This happens, in political minds, to be right above the 150 wolves and 10 breeding pairs for the state threshold – a number drawn by certain interests from interpretations of statements from the original reintroduction of wolves to the Northern Rocky Mountains.

Ed Bangs, the now retired director of the USFWS reintroduction program, was very clear in later statements and interviews that the number of 150/10 breeding pairs was taken up by various interests but didn’t have much foundation since he and his team always felt the number was going to be subject to constant revision as the science evolved and the impact of the wolves to all aspects of the environment was measured and evaluated.

They aren’t planning to change the hunting areas however, and also plan to overlap wolf hunting with big game hunting and also say they are looking to minimize the impact on breeding season.

Related links

Leave a comment: gf.state.wy.us/web2011/WGFD-1002003.aspx

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