Wyoming residents value access to fish and wildlife. A recent study by the national survey firm, Responsive Management, shows about half of the state's residents bought a hunting, fishing or trapping license in the last five years.
The study was commissioned by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in an effort to get a better idea of current attitudes toward fish and wildlife, the department and its management.
Mark Damian Duda, the Executive Director of Responsive Management, noted that the results differed from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife report that indicated a national decline of hunters.
“We found very high levels of participation,” said Duda. “Every single year, a quarter of Wyoming residents purchase a hunting, fishing or trapping license. Quite different than the national makeup of those activities.”
But people are concerned about how changing landscapes could impact the future of wildlife.
“Wyoming like the rest of the U.S. is getting more populated. There are more people moving in, there's more development and so there's definitely some concern about what the impacts of more people and more development could do to wildlife populations.”
Duda said residents are also concerned that the department won’t have enough money to address this and other issues. They said they want the legislature to create new ways to fund the department. Game and Fish says it will use the results to create a five-year action plan.