Volume 3, Number 42 - January 15, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
Feds reject wolf plan
Governor Dave Freudenthal said Tuesday that he is disappointed in the federal government's decision to reject Wyoming's wolf management plan, but that he is prepared to work with the legislature and the state's congressional delegation to form a state response.
Freudenthal learned of the federal decision at approximately 10 a.m. Tuesday, during a telephone call with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Steve Williams. The governor said both he and the Attorney General's office are still evaluating the FWS position.
"Ultimately, this was a federal decision," Freudenthal said. "Therefore, we are looking to our federal representatives for what leadership and aid they can provide. We will work with them and the Wyoming Legislature to arrive at the state response."
The governor also requested that a FWS representative be present at Thursday's meeting of the Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Interim Committee in Laramie. Freudenthal said he believes it is incumbent upon the federal agency to explain its rejection of the plan.
"Given the fact that scientific reviews of the state's plan largely endorsed its biological soundness, I can only conclude that the federal decision was based on little more than Potomac politics," the governor said. "I am certainly disappointed in the Bush administration, but I believe that the executive and legislative branches of state government, working with our congressional delegation, can arrive at the appropriate steps to take in response."
In other wolf news, wolf control actions have been idled both in the Pinedale and Wamsutter areas where recent cattle depredations were confirmed.
According to FWS, the wolves did not return to the area where several cattle were killed near Wamsutter. No specific control is being conducted, but if a wolf is seen in that area USDA Wildlife Services is authorized to lethally take up to two wolves.
As for the Pinedale situation, FWS noted: "There are two (elk) feedgrounds in that area and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department does not want aircraft flying low near the elk so it is not being intensively searched by air. No other problems have been reported. The ranch still has an active shoot on site permit but no wolves have been taken."
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