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Natural Resources & Energy

Game And Fish Partners With National Conservation Company To Look At Benefits Of Wild Harvested Food

Wyoming Hunger Initiative

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has collaborated with the private company Conservation Vision on their new project: Wild Harvest Initiative. That initiative looks at the full benefits of sustainable wild animal harvests nationally.

Sara DiRienzo, public affairs officer with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said it is important for them to understand how wild harvested food contributes to the food system in Wyoming and what would happen if the amount of people harvesting food declined.

"One of the several effects of that would be less wild food available for people," said DiRienzo. "So, that's something that we'd like to learn more about and just about how wild food harvest fits in with a lot of food and security initiatives that were involved with."

DiRienzo said only about 25 percent of Wyoming's population fish and hunts.

"If someone harvests an elk, lots of times, they'll share that meat with a lot of people, their friends and family who don't hunt at all," said DiRienzo. "So that's what we're trying to really figure out is, how many people do harvest like that, feed or supplement their normal diets? And what's the place of wild game and our food system?"

DiRienzo said as they found out more information about the importance of wild game harvest as a food source in the state, they'll be able to reach people who never considered hunting and fishing as a food source. The department will be sending out surveys via email in the spring.

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