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Wyoming Game and Fish studying future grizzly management

Wyoming Game and Fish is moving forward with plans for future management of grizzly bears in the state.

Hundreds of people turned out at statewide forums to provide input.

According to Game and Fish, the priorities revealed include monitoring grizzly bear populations, conflict mitigation, technology, and climate impacts.

The public asked for research to include accurate population counts, the impact of hunting on bear behavior, interactions with other animals, predation impacts on moth ecology, and body condition.

Other issues included conflict management and bear-wise outreach and education.

Hunting options were also discussed with emphasis on education requirements, regulations, draw requirements, the potential impacts on bear behavior, and tourism.

A summary of the public concerns is available here.

Bear managers presented public comments to the Game and Fish Commission in January. At that time, the commission directed the department to develop a draft regulation for grizzly bear hunting. A public comment period on that proposal will start in March.

Game and Fish Large Carnivore section supervisor Dr. Dan Thompson said, “Multiple protections continue to occur for grizzly bears, and any hunting program will ensure grizzly bear populations remain healthy and well above recovery standards while allowing for regulated hunting opportunity and management of this iconic species. While there is a lot of focus on this topic the other suggestions do not require Commission action so we can move ahead with those now.”

Thompson and Chief Game Warden Brian Nesvik will hold a discussion on Facebook Live next week to explain how the public input will be used.

That program is scheduled here at Noon Tuesday, February 27.

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