WSGA applauds wolf delisting, urges responsible hunting
The Wyoming Stock Growers Association commends the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for removing wolves from the Endangered Species List and bringing wolf population management under state control effective Oct. 1.
"The Wyoming Stock Growers has worked for many years with the Governor's Office, the Wyoming Legislature and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to assure sound, science-based management of wolf populations at the state level," WSGA Executive Vice President Jim Magagna said. "We are pleased that our years of lobbying on behalf of Wyoming's livestock producers have resulted in a workable agreement for ranchers and wildlife interests."
WSGA and Wyoming ranchers view the wolf delisting as a victory for producers concerned with protecting their livestock and defending their private property.
"Wolf advocacy groups have falsely characterized Wyoming ranchers as blood-thirsty wolf killers," Magagna said. "This is entirely inaccurate. We are simply thankful that our right to protect our livestock has been restored in a significant way."
WSGA expressed gratitude to Gov. Mead and his staff and Wyoming's agricultural and sportsmen's organizations for standing together to secure a delisting on Wyoming's terms. This collaborative effort made possible a plan to maintain predator status of wolves in the greatest area possible with smaller trophy game and flex areas. Residents in the trophy game and flex areas are commended for agreeing to accept a heavier burden.
While WSGA celebrates the delisting, the Association also urges ranchers and citizens to consider their important role in responsible wolf management. WSGA reminds ranchers in the trophy game and flex areas to become informed regarding the complexities of property defense, take permits, reporting requirements and compensation criteria. Those who take a wolf in the predator area should meet the requirement of reporting that kill, including the location and the sex of the animal, to the Wyoming Game & Fish Department within 10 days. WSGA also urges compliance with a request that hunters in the predator area voluntarily submit hair or other samples for genetic testing.
"Our actions can demonstrate our true passion for the protection of our livestock," Magagna said. "The Wyoming rancher's response to this hard-fought victory should, like all else in our daily lives, reflect the Code of the West that we have worked to perfect throughout our history. We invite sportsmen to join with us in demonstrating that Wyoming people are responsible stewards of our natural resources -- even of a species that was brought into our state against the will of most Wyoming citizens."