More than 150 members of the public attended a Wyoming Game and Fish Department meeting in Cody on the future management of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The group broke out into ten discussion groups to address different areas of management and research.
Mainly, the public expressed concern on how to manage the increasing population of grizzly bears in the area and how to manage problem bears. A proposed solution throughout the groups was to allow the public to hunt problem grizzlies under the supervision of Game and Fish personnel.
Dan Thompson, the large carnivore section manager for the Game and Fish Department, said it makes sense that the Cody region sees hunting as a good tactic.
“The Absaroka front in Cody has seen a lot of expansion of grizzly bears into human-dominated landscapes,” said Thompson. “And that's come across throughout these discussions and obviously hunting has gained a lot of input and interest from the public.”
When grizzly bears were delisted in July, management of grizzly bears transferred from the federal level to the state. This is the first time in decades that the state has management authority of grizzlies. The meeting in Cody is part of a series of public meetings Game and Fish is holding throughout the state to update its grizzly bear management.