CHEYENNE - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will host a statewide public meeting to discuss its current proposals to provide additional funding for the department. The meeting will take place Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. and will originate from Cheyenne. Those interested in participating in this meeting can participate in person at the Cheyenne WGFD Headquarters or join by video conference at any WGFD office. The meeting will also be webcast. Those who wish to participate via a personal computer connected to the internet at their home or other outlet such as their local library can do so at: http://bit.ly/GameFish.
The department will be accepting comments on its proposals through Oct. 24. Written comments can be submitted at the public meeting or on the WGFD website at wgfd.wyo.gov.
“Obtaining additional funding for the department is one of the most important things we can do for our wildlife and their habitats,” said WGFD Director Scott Talbott. “Due to continuing inflation, increasing threats to our wildlife resources, decreasing revenue from our traditional funding sources, and other factors, we need to raise an additional 8 to 10 million dollars annually to maintain our current levels of service. If we don’t realize this additional funding, we may be forced to cut our operations by as much as 20 percent by the year 2015.”
“For the past several months, we have been engaging citizens throughout the state, as well as our partners in conservation and lawmakers, to discuss this issue,” said Talbott. “We are very interested in hearing perspectives from as many individuals as possible. Wyoming’s wildlife belongs to the people of Wyoming. I encourage everyone with an interest in wildlife to learn more about this issue, our proposals, and to let us know what they think.”
Working with the Travel, Recreation, Wildlife, and Cultural Resources Committee of the Wyoming Legislature, the department is proposing five options for raising additional revenue. These include a license fee adjustment, a big game license super raffle, separate white-tailed and mule deer licenses, annual or biennial license fee adjustments tied to inflation (indexing), and increased revenue from Wyoming Wildlife Magazine. The department will share public comments and present recommendations for consideration by the Travel, Recreation, Wildlife, and Cultural Resources Committee at its meeting Nov. 9 in Lander.
More details about each of the proposed options are available on the WGFD website at wgfd.wyo.gov.
(Contact: Eric Keszler (307) 777-4594)