Wyoming’s proposed wolf management plan, which could remove wolves from federal protections, continues to draw ire from conservationists. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hosted the state’s only public informational meeting about the plan in Riverton Tuesday night.
Daryle Murphy of the Sierra Club’s Wyoming chapter called it a “wolf killing plan, not a management plan.” He’s talking about the plan Gov. Matt Mead and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar agreed to this summer.
The plan in question would remove wolves from the list of endangered species and designate them as predators that could be shot on site in most areas of the state outside of Yellowstone National Park.
The plan has been well received by ranchers and the Wyoming Livestock Growers Association, who don’t want the rebounding wolf population to increase predation on their herds and flocks.
The Sierra Club says wolves are good for the state’s various ecosystems and attract tourists. The group objects to the plan’s creation of a “flex zone” surrounding the park that would allow managed hunting of wolves for a third of the year, but be an unrestricted “predator zone” the rest of the time.
The Endangered Species Act requires one public meeting or hearing, if requested, for plans lifting federal protections of an animal. There are no other meetings planned for this issue.
The 100-day public comment period on the plan will end January 13.