Wyoming understands what 21st century conservation planning should look like: a collaborative, science-based effort to conserve species without sacrificing economic development for the people of our great state. Unfortunately, the law has not caught up with this approach.
For over a decade the gray wolf has surpassed ESA goals, warranting a delisting to return management to the states. Finally, in 2013, the Fish and Wildlife Service agreed to let Wyoming manage wolves under our balanced plan. But now the wolf is back on the list because a federal judge in Washington overturned Wyoming’s plan on a technicality. Animal rights and other special interest groups fighting to keep ESA protections for the wolf fail to realize that a listing is not a management plan. It is a plan to not manage, at the expense of the livelihoods of ranchers and other citizens of our state.