WY has own timeline for Wolf management
Governor Freudenthal responds to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
by Governor Freudenthal’s office
April 4, 2007
(Cheyenne) Wyoming will pursue its own time line when considering revisions to the state’s wolf management rules, Governor Dave Freudenthal said in a letter today to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Mitch King.
King had asked for a May 1 deadline for a new wolf management plan from Wyoming, but Freudenthal said, “Substantive barriers exist to the state’s adoption of a wolf management plan” by that early date.
Wyoming’s Administrative Procedure Act provides specific time lines for state agencies to adopt rules, the Governor said in his letter. “Even under the most aggressive timetable, a May 1 adoption date is virtually impossible,” he added.
The text of Governor Freudenthal’s letter:
Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Blvd.
Lakewood, CO 80228
Dear Mr. King:
On March 12, 2007, you wrote to request that the state of Wyoming submit a wolf management plan based on the recently passed HB 213 by May 1, 2007. While I appreciate your request, substantive barriers exist to the state’s adoption of a wolf management plan by May 1, 2007.
First, Wyoming’s wolf statutes have not changed from those that were adopted by the Legislature in 2003 and will not change until the FWS meets the rigors of HB 213. As such, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is only permitted to adopt rules that are consistent with existing state law and is thereby limited in what it can and cannot agree to in terms of changes to Wyoming’s wolf management plan.
Second, assuming certain changes are permissible under existing law, the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act sets forth specific timelines for state agencies to adopt rules. Even under the most aggressive timetable, a May 1 adoption date is virtually impossible.
Given the FWS’ position that Idaho and Montana could be de-listed, with Wyoming being added to the de-listing rule upon its adoption of an acceptable wolf management plan (reference the December 18, 2006 initial meeting with FWS and legislators and the January 27, 2007 letter from Mitch King to Ryan Lance, page 6, Question 1), and given your representations that the contingency arrangement set forth in HB 213 could work to achieve de-listing (post-February 9, 2007 press conference discussion with legislators and governor’s office representatives), I do not understand the need to adopt a wolf plan in the haste you suggest in your correspondence.
The Wyoming Legislature has set the ground rules for its willingness to entertain changes to Wyoming law and rules concerning wolf management. The Legislature’s passage of HB 213 and my agreement to sign the bill were predicated on the notion that we would not take any binding action unless and until the FWS had met the state’s specifically enunciated pre-conditions. I have included a copy of HB 213 for your review.
Thank you for your letter of March 12, 2007. If you would like to further discuss this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.