Legislators are meeting on Tuesday, August 27, in Jackson, to discuss Game and Fish funding—tell your friends and please attend if you can!
By Richard Garrett, Jr.
Your voice for conservation at the Wyoming State Legislature
You can help make a difference for the future of Wyoming’s wildlife and wildlife management with a quick email to some key legislators in advance of an important meeting on Tuesday in Jackson.
And if you can attend the meeting in person, too, that’s even better!
What and Where:
The Joint Travel, Recreation, Wildlife, and Cultural Resources Interim Committee will meet to discuss Wyoming Game and Fish Department funding and revenues at 8:30 a.m., August 27th, at the Teton Mountain Lodge in Teton Village (Jackson Hole) in the Four Pines Room.
How You Can Help:
Can you attend? Great! If not, you can send an email message to committee members in support of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (see below for clickable names and email addresses for committee members).
Suggestions for Your Email Message:
Make the subject of your message something like: “Please support Wyoming wildlife and the Game & Fish Department.”
Tell the representatives who you are and why this is important to you. Brief messages are best, with bullet points if possible.
Some example bullets:
- Our state’s wildlife is essential to our economy, our natural heritage, and our way of life—our wildlife must continue to be professionally managed.
- The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has streamlined its operation, managed costs, and trimmed personnel.
- Because of inflation, the department has suffered a 13 percent reduction in funding over the last five years.
- Modest license fee increases are necessary. A broad range of hunters and anglers support these increases. As a legislator, your support is crucial.
- Other funding resources, including a contributor’s license, should also be considered. This would allow those who don’t hunt or fish to support our state’s wildlife management.
Who to Email:
Members of the Travel, Recreation, Wildlife, and Cultural Resources Interim Committee.
Background: Why We Support Better Funding for Game and Fish
Wyoming’s wildlife is an important and irreplaceable part of this state’s—and our nation’s—natural heritage. In order for it to persist and thrive, Wyoming’s wildlife must continue to be professionally and expertly managed.
The Game and Fish Department has worked hard to meet its obligation to conserve wildlife and serve people in a variety of ways. The Department has streamlined its workforce, implemented cost control measures on vehicle operations and purchases, and restructured to better manage workload and personnel placement.
The agency has also committed to cutting its 2013 budget by 3 percent.
And because of the way that the Legislature evaluates the Game and Fish Department’s resources and approves its license fees (once every five years on average) the Department’s operating fund has decreased by approximately 4 percent.
When adjusted for inflation this is a 13 percent reduction in funds to carry out programs essential to the department and Wyoming’s wildlife.
Without a funding increase, the Game and Fish Department’s budget shortfall will damage its programs and services.
The Wyoming Legislature must do its part and make sure that Wyoming’s wildlife and habitat persist, thrive, and remain world-class for future generations.