Legislative Watch 2016: Bicycles, mountain lions, and grizzlies

The 2016 Wyoming State legislative session began yesterday and is now in full swing! We have already seen a lot of action on conservation-related issues. Read on for a summary of today’s goings-on along with some late-breaking news.

WOC Legislative Session_350Senate Files:

SF 8 – Bicycle and pedestrian system task force passed the Senate Travel, Recreation, and Wildlife committee unanimously this morning, and will be coming up before the full Senate soon. We support this bill, which would create a task force to study the benefits and opportunities of bicycle pathways and natural surface trails in Wyoming. Bicycle pathways promote community health and connectivity while providing economic benefits throughout the state. Click here to thank the Senators on the Travel, Recreation and Wildlife committee for their affirmative votes.

SF 53 – 2016 Large project funding (projects identified for funding by the Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust to protect or enhance wildlife habitat). We support this bill and we’ll be looking for it to arrive in the Senate Agriculture committee this week.

House Bills:

HB 12 – Mountain lion trapping, has failed introduction. Its failure is good news. We opposed this ill-conceived bill. Thanks for all the public comments sent to legislators on this topic.

HB 18 – Wolves and grizzly bears-limited state action. This bill squeaked by introduction and will be considered by the House Travel, Recreation and Wildlife committee this Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. We oppose this bill. It would set a bad precedent by prohibiting Wyoming law enforcement from assisting in investigations of illegal kills of these endangered species. Passage of this bill could also jeopardize Wyoming’s future state management of these species.

Late-breaking news

Two bills have been introduced, SF 75 and SF 76, to amend the state’s trespass data laws that were passed last session. We opposed the bad trespass bills last year and we hope these current bills are an opportunity to drastically improve this troubling law. Stay tuned for further updates.

Please get in touch if you have any questions about participating in this year’s legislative session:

Stephanie Kessler, Director of External Relations
Amy Rathke, Community Engagement Director

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