The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has put out their annual gray wolf monitoring and management report.

They report 2023 marked the 22nd consecutive year wolf numbers in Wyoming have exceeded the criteria outlined for recovery of the species. Their newly published  research documents increased numbers of gray wolves in Wyoming, but also a decrease in wolf-related livestock attacks.

As of December 31 last year, the Cowboy State was home to 352 wolves and 43 packs, with at least 24 breeding pairs. Within the trophy game management area there were at least 192 wolves and 17 breeding pairs.

This comes after the United States Humane Society put out a statement on their blog urging Americans to call upon the Wyoming Office of Tourism to demand changes to what they've called "Wyoming's draconian, backward laws as well as state policies targeting wolves."

On April 8 this year, the organization sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision to not reinstate federal protections for wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains, including Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.

Wyoming senators, however, disagree. In March they sent a letter to the director of the U.S.  Fish and Wildlife Service expressing concern over the agency's decision to develop a National Recovery Plan under the Endangered Species Act for gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountain area.

Gray wolve are currently delisted in Wyoming and other states, and state officials posit that wolf populations are stable. Game and Fish, too, said in their recent findings that Wyoming's gray wolf population continues to achieve all management goals and wolf numbers are at healthy levels.

Only days ago, Senator John Barrasso, along with Colorado Congresswoman Lauren Boebert put forth legislation to get wolves delisted from federal protection in all the lower 48 states, despite being protected federally in Colorado today. The bill passed the House with Wyoming Congresswoman Harriet Hageman's vote. Now it awaits the Senate.

In 2020, the Trump administration handed down a final rule that removed gray wolves from the ESA, but in February of 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California vacated the rule. The U.S. Department of Justice is currently appealing the decision.

Wyoming's 10 Cutest Baby Animals

Check out some of Wyoming's cutest Spring animal babies!

Gallery Credit: Phylicia Peterson

Bighorn Sheep Out & About

Gallery Credit: Kolby Fedore, TSM

More From KGAB