A Letter to the Editor and the General Public:
On a snowy Sunday, I decided to view the Federal Regulations web site (Regulations.gov) to get a feeling for how many and what the nature of the public comments are; in regard to the US Fish & Wildlife Services (USF&WS) proposed delisting rule for the gray wolf in Wyoming. For those here in NE Wyoming that have not kept up on such matters, the USF&WS has published a preliminary or proposed delisting rule or regulation in the Federal Register and is now in the middle of the “public comment” stage, which is open until January 13, 2012. Public comments are an important part of the delisting process. The goal is to remove the gray wolf from federal protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and allow the State of Wyoming to manage wolves through its own regulatory mechanisms, with the exception of national parks and the Wind River Indian Reservation.
The sampling I did of the public comments was not a surprise to me but none the less very alarming. In the 324 publishing comments, it was difficult to find comments that support the USF&WS “proposed rule”, which is to delist wolves from protection of the ESA in Wyoming, based on the Wyoming Game & Fish Commission approved Gray Wolf Management Plan and the pending legislative (law) changes which will be consistent with the already approved Wyoming Wolf Management Plan. It is even harder to find comments written by Wyoming residents. The folks who think they love wolves and what wolves do for a living are much more organized and willing to spend their time and money to accomplish their mission. Apparently much more so than the sportsmen, ranchers and other concerned citizens and their organizations. The mission for many wolf expansion advocates is to destroy the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and eliminate hunting as a part of wildlife management…just let nature take its course. Most of us understand that in the modern world we live, too much has been permanently altered for that management philosophy to be successful and beneficial to most wildlife.
I ask those of you who took the time to read this letter, to make your opinions known and to encourage your friends, families and organizations to do likewise.
Go to: www.regulations.gov, select submit comment, under agency documents – select “Proposed Rule” and “Public Submission”, check the “open for comment” box, and in the ID or Keyword Submission box type: FWS-R6-ES-2011-0039-0001 (this ID code takes you directly to the correct proposed rule and eliminates other possibilities) and then click – search. You should now be at the Proposed Rule – Wolf Delisting / Wyoming and under the action column, select “submit a comment”. The field selection should guide you the rest of the way in making you opinion known.
For your information, I offer you my own opinion and submittal:
Director Dan Ashe
Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan and the state statute changes to follow, will assure that the recovered Wyoming wolf population remains fully recovered and healthy in perpetuity. I have no reservation what so ever in turning the management of the gray wolf over to the extremely professional Wyoming Game & Fish Department.
80% of Wyoming is not considered good wolf habitat for a multitude of reasons. The NW corner of Wyoming or about 20% of the state contains over 70% of the un-fragmented and recognized good wolf habitat. To have a wolf plan that encourages wolf settlement state wide actually does the wolf a disservice by placing the animal in conflict situations where they in all likelihood will have to be removed.
The Wyoming Wolf Management Plan is good for Wyoming and best for the wolves of Wyoming. The plan assures adequate numbers of wolves and genetic exchange for a healthy and robust Wyoming wolf population. The plan provides for adaptive management and flexibility to assure the total wolf population remains high enough to stay safely above the re-listing criteria (ESA) even if the Yellowstone National Park and Wind River Reservation segments of the wolf population crashes.
Thank you for your confidence in the Wyoming Gray Wolf Management Plan and the management abilities of the Wyoming Game & Fish Department. Please continue with your present delisting strategy for the gray wolves of Wyoming. We in Wyoming look forward to managing our portion of the recovered gray wolf population. Our state wildlife professionals and citizens will work together to keep the gray wolf fully recovered. The states of WY, MT, & ID and the National Parks and the Wind River Reservation will cooperatively work together to keep the gray wolf a balanced part of the ecosystem for generations to come,
Please make the proposed delisting rule your final rule with few it any changes.
(End of my personal submittal)
I encourage your involvement in this Wyoming matter. Our voices are few in number but we can do a much better job in making our opinions heard in Washington, D.C. in regard to the proposed rule for wolf delisting in Wyoming.
Thank you for your time and support!
Sportsman and WY Game & Fish Commissioner, District 6
Winter is here and the city crews are busy plowing snow. When this letter goes to print, we should have the new Sundance Kid’s Daycare open. This has been a long process, but it turned out great! It was designed to the daycare codes of today and should last our community for a long time.
The next thing is not so much fun. Several years ago, we employed a man named Carl Brown to study our utility rates and we adopted his recommendations. I remember the council questioning the idea of cutting sewer rates by 25%. To make a long story short, there was a mistake made and we have lost money on sewer ever since. The state is very specific about keeping water revenue for the water system, your sewer revenue for the sewer system, garbage be used for collection and landfill, and that these enterprises must not lose money. What I am leading up to is that we must raise our sewer rates a little over 30% to make the sewer system self-sufficient. While this seems like a large increase, it should end up being only a few dollars per household.
The next item on our radar is the water tank. Wyoming Water Development and others around the state, including members of the Legislature, want someone to be held accountable for the tank failure. I am a firm believer in accountability, but it is not that simple. In the case of the water tank, there are several engineering firms involved in the failure so we are now in the process of hiring a separate firm to test the site and review the engineering and failure of the tank. Their review will tell us if it is an act of God, or if a mistake was made. This is not inexpensive, but we cannot afford to build another tank so this is a necessity.
My family and I wish all of you Happy Holidays!
Paul Brooks, Mayor