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- THIS WEEK: March 5-12, 2014
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- FEATURE STORY: Sparking Inspiration
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Gingery Proposes Wolf Bill
Gingery Proposes Wolf Bill
The first part is the press release that went out yesterday that explains the bill. The second part is the actual bill.
State Representative Keith Gingery of Jackson Hole proposed a wolf bill today that will resolve the issues highlighted by Federal District Court Judge Molloy in his recent ruling against the State of Wyoming’s wolf management plan. The Wyoming wolf management plan allowed for a dual classification of wolves. A classification for trophy game (which allows for hunting in season as prescribed by Game and Fish) and a classification for Predator (shoot on sight) in other areas of the state. Judge Molloy voiced disapproval of the Predator Classification in the State of Wyoming. The Judge also expressed disapproval of Wyoming’s depredation control laws. Representative Gingery’s bill resolves both of Judge Molloy’s issues and paves the way toward a de-listing of the gray wolf and for state management of the gray wolf.
The proposed bill was drafted by Rep. Gingery and released today. The bill allows for only one classification, namely trophy game classification, and the bill re-writes the state’s depredation control law to be similar to the law in Idaho and Montana. The Judge expressed satisfaction with the depredation laws in Montana and Idaho.
Rep. Gingery represents the primary area in which gray wolves live in Wyoming. His district includes most of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park and stretches from Dubois to Jackson to Alta. And he has many constituents that have had livestock conflict with wolves. Gingery stated that “the removal of the predator status will not impact my constituents, especially those in Fremont County around Dubois, because we were already within the trophy game designated area. My constituents, especially in the Dubois area, want this issue resolved once and for all. They want state management of the wolves, as opposed to federal control. They know they already lost the battle to be in the predator status area, thus they simply want to move forward with getting the courts to agree to state management. And the only way to get to state management is to go to only one classification, namely trophy game, and to revise our depredation law. If we make those two changes, then we can move directly to state control.”
Gingery went on to say that “more litigation, as has been proposed by some, is not the answer. It is time to do what is needed to get state control and for the state to start managing wolves. Our citizens can not go on with this indecision and unknown. They need certainty as to how wolves are going to be managed.”
Gingery has been working closely with many concerned groups and citizens throughout the past month to find a bill that will work and move the state closer toward state management of the wolves. Gingery stated “I have been pleasantly surprised with the warm reception that the bill is getting from all sides in this argument. It appears that most everyone is in agreement that further litigation will not be successful for keeping the current Wyoming plan, and there appears to be a consensus that we need to make some changes in order to move toward state management. The people of Wyoming have a lot more trust in the Game and Fish Commission to make good management decisions, rather than a federal agency.”