From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 2, Number 10 - June 6, 2002
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Western counties: Throw out grizzly plan

by Cat Urbigkit

Sublette County Commissioners signed onto a resolution currently under consideration by five other counties, once again declaring that grizzly bears are "socially and economically unacceptable species within our counties" and requesting that specific actions be taken.

The resolution is proposed as a six-county pact involving Fremont, Lincoln, Sublette, Hot Springs, Washakie and Park counties.

It requests that the Governor of Jim Geringer and the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission re-evaluate the Wyoming Grizzly Bear Management Plan "and withdraw or rescind the plan" in the six affected counties.

"We, the elected officials in our counties are committed to protect the citizens and private property within our boundaries," the resolution stated. "Re-evaluation of grizzly bears should occur within the individual counties that are affected and should be coordinated through the individual county commissions."

The background portion of the resolution notes that federal agencies, through the Endangered Species Act, "have forced these large predators, and the resulting regulations, upon our counties."

"The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Governor of Wyoming seem reluctant to address our concerns about these species," the resolution noted, adding that the process for developing the grizzly plan provided for "virtually no voice" from the affected counties "in determining whether or where grizzlies should, or should not, exist within our counties, and the nuisance grizzly section provides no concrete protections to the citizens of our counties."

The resolution, drafted in large part by Sublette County Commissioner Betty Fear and Daniel-area rancher Albert Sommers, was considered by commissioners from the various counties at a special meeting held last week in Dubois. That meeting was called by the Fremont County Commission.

Fear said the counties agreed to have one commissioner from each county personally attend the July WG&F Commission meeting to present the resolution to that state commission. The county commissioners then plan to proceed on to Cheyenne to personally hand the resolution to Governor Jim Geringer.

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