According to the Wyoming Game and Fish, the Commission once again invested in wildlife crossings to help prevent vehicle collisions with big game, voting to put $500,000 toward the Kemmerer wildlife crossing project on U.S. Highway 189.

The project — consisting of underpasses, an overpass and game fencing — will help prevent collisions with mule deer and pronghorn and create a safer road for drivers.

“This is a good start from the Commission. I encourage others to step up with their contributions to support this important project for wildlife,” Commissioner Pete Dube said.

The Commission voted to approve four regulations after consideration of public input:

  • Chapter 28, Regulation Governing Big or Trophy Game Animal or Game Bird or Gray Wolf Damage Claims.
  • Chapter 34, Auxiliary Management Hunting Seasons.
  • Chapter 35, Hunting Permit Regulations for Persons with Disabilities.
  • Chapter 62, Regulation for Aquatic Invasive Species.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department presented a timeline for making changes to the way elk licenses are allocated in Wyoming, a recommendation from the Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce to the Commission. Beginning in November, Game and Fish will start the official public input process on draft regulation changes to Chapter 44 — Issuance of Licenses — to remove the 7,250 license limit for nonresident elk licenses in the initial draw and the development of nonresident regions and quotas. 

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The department also presented updates on two ongoing construction projects. The new Cody Regional Office is scheduled for completion in October and is within budget at $9.6 million. The department is planning to move into the office in October; an open house will be held Nov. 16. Work on employee housing in Jackson is ongoing. Game and Fish is in the process of hiring a construction manager at risk for the project.

The Commission approved an acquisition for a 120-acre inholding within the Spence and Moriarity Wildlife Management Area. The new land will enhance wildlife habitat within the WMA and offer more hunting access for the public. 

According to a written statement from them, Game and Fish remains highly concerned about aquatic invasive species — particularly zebra mussels — nearing Wyoming’s borders. With the identification of mussels in nearby Pactola Reservoir in South Dakota, the department presented an overview of the issues Wyoming now faces to keep mussels at bay.

“Zebra mussels are one of the biggest threats to our state and natural resources, and I am prepared to do everything possible to prevent the spread to Wyoming,” Brian Nesvik, Game and Fish director said. 

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation presented the department with a $15,000 donation to support a program that works with private landowners to offer public access for hunting and fishing. The donation will support 42,000 acres of access in Wyoming.  

The Commission’s next meeting is Nov. 14-15 in Rock Springs.

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