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  • Writer's pictureCat Urbigkit

State Wildlife Management

I support the existing Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WG&F) structure and processes because I believe that it is both effective and balanced. When citizens and stakeholders have issues with WG&F, we use those processes to address those issues.

I am concerned about increased efforts to force particular management outcomes through litigation or by undermining WG&F’s primacy over Wyoming’s wildlife and will resist such efforts. I will also resist attempts that I believe seek to harm WG&F and its autonomy.

Legislation impacting how WG&F operates should be thoughtfully crafted to ensure it maintains the integrity and purpose of the agency. Legislators must have a cooperative working relationship with the WG&F Director’s office.

I understand wildlife management involves complexities. I believe that relying on sound science serves as the foundation of wildlife management decision-making and WG&F is top-level in this regard. I do wish that WG&F would seek to have more of its research published in scientific journals instead of simply in-house, and I would support efforts to enable this to occur.

I also understand that science alone isn’t the determining factor in decisions, as the WG&F Commission must consider of a host of ecological, social, and economic factors. These factors serve as constraints, as does state and federal laws and a diverse set of stakeholders with differing values.

Key issues for WG&F moving forward include the challenge of managing wildlife species that occur across a variety of wildlife habitat land ownership, economic development and expansion, disease, human-wildlife conflict, funding mechanisms, and the challenges of balancing all the above.

I have been building a coalition of advisors from wildlife conservation and hunting interests to provide feedback on wildlife issues. And because I believe that a key to understanding today’s challenges is to look back at how we got here, I believe Wyoming should be the first state with a designated wildlife historian – that’s something I would like to explore and seek support for if elected to represent the people of House District 20.

I’d appreciate your support in the August 20 Republican Primary Election to represent Wyoming House District 20.


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