CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Several leading sportsmen’s and wildlife groups have joined in support of legislation intended to support and continue Wyoming’s hunting and wildlife heritage.
The Wyoming Legislature will consider the two bills – SF0032 and HB0037 – in the session that started Tuesday. The Senate bill would amend game and fish license fees by repealing some, decreasing some and raising most by about 20 percent. The measure would also base annual fee increases on the consumer price index.
The House bill would authorize the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission to offer up to two licenses for each big trophy game species in a special license raffle. The sportsmen’s and wildlife groups have sent a letter supporting the two bills to the Legislature’s Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee. The bills are viewed as critical to ensuring adequate funding to maintain Wyoming wildlife, which generates roughly $2.9 billion yearly for the state’s economy.
“Our organizations acknowledge the proposed license fee adjustments as necessary and reasonable to help pay for fish and wildlife management programs. It’s a fact that the cost of managing our wildlife resource continues to rise, just as the cost of other goods and services,’’ said Steve Kilpatrick, executive director of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation.
Well-managed wildlife populations and habitat provide economic benefits and jobs as well as the high quality of life Wyoming residents enjoy, said Kim Floyd of the Wyoming Federation of Union Sportsmen.
``Investing in wildlife just seems like a good business practice for the state’s second largest and most stable industry – tourism,” Floyd added.
The groups that signed the letter are the Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation; Safari Club International (Central Wyoming); Audubon Rockies; Wyoming Trout Unlimited; National Wildlife Federation; North American Grouse Partnership; Wyoming Wildlife Federation; Muley Fanatic Foundation of Wyoming; Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership; Wyoming Federation of Union Sportsmen; Wyoming Falconers’
Association; and Wyoming Outdoor Council.
The support letter from sportsmen and women/wildlife organizations can be viewed at http://wyomingwildlife.org/ht/d/sp/i/131622/pid/131622.