Governor defends Wyoming’s wolf management effort
Wyoming Governor Matt Mead defended the state’s wolf management plan this week, saying it’s been peer reviewed by scientists. He contends it won’t lead to a mass killing of wolves. Wolves will be classified as trophy game in 20 percent of the state, meaning that it will require a license to kill them. In the rest of the state, they can be shot on site. But Mead said that most wolves will be protected. “The predator zone, that is 80 percent of the state and only 14 percent of the wolves live in the predator zone. 86 percent live in 20 percent of the state, that is the trophy management area where they will have levels of protection.” Wyoming currently has over 320 wolves and the state is required to have 150. But Mead said that the Game and Fish Department has planned to reduce wolf populations slowly. Mead is losing patience with those who want to extend Endangered Species Protections because they oppose the killing of animals. “That is not what’s it is designed for. It’s designed to protect a species if it’s threatened or endangered and in this case when wolves have more than doubled what was anticipated that was needed in Wyoming, they certainly have recovered.” Mead adds that they will maintain a buffer to ensure that they don’t go back on the endangered species list.