The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission held its September meeting at the Whiskey Mountain Conservation Camp. The recently renovated facility is a resource for advancing conservation education in the state. At its meeting the Commission thanked Richard Klouda, former Commissioner from Fremont County, for his work on behalf of the facility.
The Commission also approved six strategic goals. This is a significant step in Game and Fish’s efforts to complete a strategic plan for the next five to 10 years. Those goals are organized under the department’s mission of “Conserving Wildlife and Serving People.”
The goals are:
- Protect fish and wildlife by providing effective and efficient management and law enforcement
- Conserve and protect diverse and sustainable habitat for fish and wildlife
- Prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species in Wyoming
- Improve communications, outreach and education to foster appreciation, engagement and understanding of fish and wildlife conservation
- Encourage and promote diverse fish and wildlife-based experiences for all users
- Ensure the long-term effectiveness of the agency by inspiring and empowering a highly motivated workforce and securing sustainable funding
The public had many ways to participate in the formation of these goals including public meetings, an online forum, as well as a random telephone survey of 2,558 Wyoming citizens and focus groups. To review what the public said, please see the report online.
The Commission gave direction to implement the goals and report back annually on progress towards meeting them.
At the meeting the Commission then voted to have the department bring forward a draft regulation to move the non-resident elk hunting draw to May from January. The draft regulation will next go out the public for a formal comment period.
A significant discussion took place with the public about the best way to conserve a mule deer migration corridor in western Wyoming. Many citizens spoke about their desire to direct development outside of the corridor. The Commission then offered its support for the approach the department is taking for conserving the migration corridor.
There were also presentations on current work on chronic wasting disease (CWD) and the existing and upcoming efforts to better manage and communicate about CWD. These include trying to tackle carcass disposal processes and collaborating on future management.
Another presentation covered a public survey on the use of technologies for hunting. The Department is going to develop some recommended changes to regulations and bring those to the November Commission meeting. The recommendations will not include a prohibition on the use of crossbows during the special archery season as directed by the Commission.