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Wyoming Game And Fish Commission Approves Grizzly Bear Plan

Denali National Park and Preserve

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission approved the newest draft of its Grizzly Bear Management Plan at a public meeting in Casper on Wednesday.

The approval by the commission was unanimous. The plan outlines how Wyoming would manage grizzly bears once they are removed from the endangered species list—perhaps later this year. While the plan addresses hunting as a potential management tool, Wyoming Game and Fish will still have to decide what a grizzly bear hunting season would look like, or if there would even be one.

Some of the public is concerned with the future of the bear if hunting is allowed. In a public comment period, Dawn Adams of Casper voiced these concerns.

“All my points were taken and all I have is the pictures, and I just want to say from my heart, that this is the year that I am going to make a trip to Yellowstone, so it might be my only chance to ever see a Grizzly, so, I thank you for letting me come up here and talk.”

The Wyoming Game and Fish will be asking for public input when the time comes to discuss a possible hunting season for grizzly bears.

Others like, Commissioner Patrick Crank, are more optimistic about the future of the animal.

“A unique, American, Western species was on the brink of extinction. And because of the literally hundreds of thousands of hours of work by dedicated, mostly Wyoming, Game and Fish Employees, an expenditure of 40-million-dollars, this species is recovered.”

The Wyoming Game and Fish say they will track grizzly deaths as they update management plans each year. 

Maggie Mullen is Wyoming Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. Her work has aired on NPR, Marketplace, Science Friday, and Here and Now. She was awarded a 2019 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her story on the Black 14.
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