Proposed Wildlife Trust Fund Should Be Big, Says G&F

Laramie, WY – A trust fund meant to ease the cost to the states of grizzly bear management would have to be $100-million strong, in order to fill the need. That's according to the director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Terry Cleveland. State and federal officials are now considering setting up a wildlife trust fund to help pay for grizzly bear and gray wolf management once the animals are delisted. And one proposal said the fund should reach the $100 million mark. Cleveland points out that Wyoming is already spending a million dollars a year on grizzly bears. "We're getting far less than 10 percent of our grizzly bear program reimbursed by the federal government," he said. "So they're not even paying 50 percent of the costs to get bears recovered in Wyoming, and certainly if they discontinue providing any federal funds to us, we'll pay the full 100 percent of it," he added. Cleveland says a $100 million trust fund would produce about 10 million dollars a year in revenue. He says that's how much Idaho, Montana and Wyoming will need to manage the bears and wolves.