Governor comments on the economy, wolves, brucellosis
by Governor Freudenthal’s office
September 17, 2008
State officials are keeping a close eye on the State of Wyoming’s investments following the recent upheaval on Wall Street, Gov. Dave Freudenthal told reporters today at a news conference.
"I have daily discussions with the State Treasurer to make sure we have a handle on what the state’s risk and exposure is, and we’re actually in pretty good shape. We have a little bit of exposure in someof the funds we’re in with regard to some of the creative mortgage paper, but it’s not very much."
Freudenthal expressed his concern about bailing out large investment firms and said this only adds to the already huge national deficit. He said the federal government is "socializing the cost of bad risk decisions" and said the next president will enter the White House facing a massive federal deficit.
The Governor also commented about the status of the gray wolf in Wyoming and the region. This week federal wolf recovery coordinator Ed Bangs said the government would likely retreat from its attempt to take gray wolves off the endangered species list.
"It’s one of those things where you get into this and the federal government says ‘We’re right behind you,’ and you turn around and they may be behind us, but I can’t quite see them."
Freudenthal said it remains unclear how the Interior Department will manage gray wolves going forward.
"We’re in a position where, frankly, the stuff we saw in the paper this morning from Ed Bangs is the firmest statement we’ve seen from Interior thus far."
The Governor expressed frustration at how the federal agency continues to change directions without communicating with the states.
"It’s difficult to work in a partnership with a federal government that can change directions as quickly as these folks do. There’s clearly a signal that they’ve changed direction, but as for what the new direction is, we don’t know yet."
On the issue of brucellosis, the Governor said he planned to ask for funding this year from the Wyoming Legislature to begin working toward a better vaccine for the disease.
"Assuming things stay on track, we’re going to ask the Legislature for some funding for Dean Galey at the UW School of Agriculture to gather together the researchers to try and create a research agenda with regard to a vaccine – if we wait for the federal government to do it, it’s not going to happen."