The Mule Deer Foundation (MDF) came out in strong support today of Gov. Matt Mead and the Wyoming Legislature for decisive action Monday regarding Senate File 41, which will allow for state management of the gray wolf population in Wyoming.
There has been a long-fought battle by Wyoming lawmakers to delist the gray wolf, as was accomplished recently in neighboring states, Montana and Idaho. Working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Gov. Mead and the Wyoming Game and Fish Dept. were able to negotiate a compromise plan that involves removing wolves from endangered species status while allowing for protections in core habitat areas such as Yellowstone Park.
MDF President and CEO Miles Moretti said, “We want to congratulate Wyoming on passage of their wolf plan. Gov. Mead showed great leadership in negotiating with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Wyoming will now be able to manage wolves in their state. This is a huge step in getting wolves delisted nationwide.”
Monday’s 57-1 vote in the Wyoming House in favor of the plan was a critical step in returning wolf management to the state. The legislation now heads to Gov. Mead for his signature. The bill should be signed and wolves delisted by September.
It is the position of the Mule Deer Foundation that the gray wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains be delisted and managed by state fish and wildlife agencies. MDF believes states can more effectively balance the management of wolves with the management of other resident wildlife such as mule deer.