State May Fight for Wolf Plan

Laramie, WY – The legislative committee that drafted Wyoming's wolf plan is apparently preparing to fight for its plan. The committee decided not to drop predator out of Wyoming's law or to manage 15 packs across the state, as suggested by the Fish and Wildlife service when it denied Wyoming's plan this week. After some heavy questioning, Fish and Wildlife official Paul Hoffman admitted their biggest concern over Wyoming's language had to do with the courts. He says this all hinges on what they believe is their ability to defend a rule to de-list wolves, if such a rule goes final. That statement prompted several Wyoming Ag groups to encourage the committee to fight the matter in court if necessary. But Senator Keith Goodenough worries that wolves could get out of control if the state can't get the animal de-listed. Hoffman told the committee that if the state makes the changes proposed by Fish and Wildlife, that wolves would be de-listed by the end of the year. Meanwhile Governor Freudenthal remains upset about the decision. He thinks the Bush Administration made this a matter of their national election policy, trying to get environmental support, while taking Wyoming's for granted.