Wyoming state legislators form committee to study state response to the withdrawal of wolf delisting.

I never really thought that Wyoming wanted to manage its wolves (unlike Idaho and Montana). They sound like they don’t want to make any changes in their plan, and, therefore, federal oversight of state wolf management will continue, with no delisting of wolves ever forthcoming.

Sheep magnate Jim Magana’s opinion seems to support this. He seems to be the politically most influential rancher in the states. You can read it in the article.

Given that Mike Jimenez, who formerly managed the wolves for the federal government, took over the state wolf management job and is, and has been the manager of Wyoming wolves for a long time, the Wyoming ranchers seem pretty satisfied.

Over time Jimenez seemed to become more and more on the side of the ranchers, and so we have the situation today where Wyoming has the fewest wolves of the 3 states, a declining number of wolves, no indication that they are now being protected in what was the  “wolves are vermin zone”, even though they are now supposed to be protected statewide again. We also have no news. Wyoming doesn’t even publish a minimal newsletter like Idaho or Montana.

I think there is a lot of cause for worry.

Article in Billings Gazette.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

9 Responses to Wyoming lawmakers to huddle over wolf issue

  1. Since FWS has been in charge again, why haven’t they reverted back to publishing weekly updates? That seems to be the least they could do.

  2. avatar Jeff says:

    I mentioned to Ralph the other day on the different thread about filing a FOIA for Wolf Info from the Wyoming Game and Fish. They quit publishing info after Molloy’s ruling July 18th. Does anyone know that process? I’d love to force some info out of Wyoming because they are still running the day to day mgmt in the state.

  3. Wyoming might have a state law in that regard. FOIA itself is a fedeal statute.

    I wonder if US Fish and Wildlife could be FOIA’ed?

  4. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Ralph,

    Why would you expect the Wyo G&F to produce reports?

    Don’t get me wrong I also would like to see some reports regarding my state’s wolf population, but I would rather have the Feds footing the bill for the reports especially since they are the controlling interest at the current time, and most likely for quite awhile into the future.

  5. Wyo Native,

    When the wolf was delisted, Idaho F & G and Montana FWP believed that people still wanted information about what was going on.

    Wyoming said they would be doing regular reports, but they produced just one.

    Regardless, the federal government did better reports than Idaho or Montana, and I wish they would start them up again. As far as cost of doing a report and putting it on their website, it’s trivial.

  6. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Wyo Native,

    public oversight and transparency are important things – they ought be “expected” of any government/agency in a free country – or state. It is not reasonable to suggest that it is OK for a state to discard these fundamental principles if it doesn’t get what it wants. The fact that Wyoming does not anticipate appropriating the resource to let the public know how they are managing wolves on the ground — but will appropriate millions in “compensation” to private ranchers, including those exploiting public natural lands, demonstrates the extent to which Wyoming, and more generally, Western governments are operating without regard for the most fundamental democratic principles, instead – opting to cater to private interests.

  7. avatar Save bears says:

    A FOIA request or filing will do nothing to get Wyoming to disclose information about their management of wolves, FOIA is a Federal Law and does not extend to individual states, you can file FOIA with any Federal agency and they have to comply unless it concerns National Security, unless a state has a rule in effect to honor FOIA requests, they don’t have to do squat, when I worked for FWP we used to get hundreds of them a month, and never complied with any of them..not saying it is right, but am just telling you the way it is..

    Myself personally, think there is going to be a major showdown, between the Fed’s and the State of Wyoming before this is all over…JMHO

  8. avatar Jeff says:

    Wyoming does have some transparency laws as I know our local hospital board got in some trouble for not disclosing information to the public. Does this same sunshine law that applies to boards apply to state agencies?

  9. avatar Overlander says:

    Click my name for a link to a Wyoming Open Records page. Interestingly, this page says Wyoming ranks near the bottom of the 50 states on sunshine laws.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

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