It has come to our attention via our Lobbyist Bill Novotny, the reason the 90/10 bill being pushed by Rob Shaul of Mtn pursuits and sponsored by Senator Larry Hicks has not been introduced yet is the original bill dealt with two separate subjects in one bill which is against Legislative rules. The original bill dealt with changing the non-resident / resident quota split to a 90/10 across the board for all species and significant changes in license fees.
We still expect Senator Hicks to push a 90/10, but now he needs to introduce two separate bills. As this effort continues to unfold we will keep you informed.
Jeremy Clare with SCI reported that in the elk refuge case, the Defendant’s motions for summary judgment and a cross motion for summary judgment have been briefed along with the Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment. The hunter coalition has one brief to compile. All those address the merits of the case. On Tuesday, the court filed an order that said the parties should meet and confirm a joint status report by March 5th that tells the court that the case would not proceed. The court wants to know if the Biden administration would impact this case. We will know more the beginning of March if the Biden Administration is doing anything to this case. As far as we know, the Department of Justice will continue with the plan in its opening brief. We will continue to move forward with our brief. The judge will then schedule oral arguments from all the parties. That’s where we are now. At this time, we don’t think the Biden Administration will change anything at this time.
Brendon Jensen, Attorney for The Falen Law Offices updated on the state feedground lawsuit. There is not much at this time as the party is discussing settlement and have decided to stay the briefing. The forest service has offered to the plaintiff that they will do a NEPA that will take 3-5 years and the feeding will continue during this time. The Government is not taking a position that feeding should stop. Not a lot at this time. Basically, we are waiting for a settlement. It does appear that the government agrees that NEPA needs done on two of the feedgrounds. As long as they continue to feed, it may not matter. There is nothing that the outfitting industry needs to do at this time. As soon as there is a settlement offer, we will be notified.
Thank you to the members who have made generous donations towards the state and national lawsuits. WYOGA has currently raised $20,550.00 dollars. Every donation received is greatly appreciated.
Wyoming Wildlife Task Force: Eighteen Wyoming legislators, government leaders and citizens from across the state have been appointed to the new Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce. The group will study top-priority wildlife policy issues facing the state related to the allocation of hunting opportunity, sportsperson access and other issues identified by the Taskforce.
The Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce was formed, and members appointed jointly by, the Governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the president of the Senate, the president of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and the director of the Game and Fish Department. They include:
• Tony Lehner - Converse County Commissioner, landowner
• Duaine Hagen - Park County landowner
• Representative Jamie Flitner - Big Horn County
• Representative Albert Sommers - Sublette County
• Adam Teten - Johnson County sportsman
• Joe Schaffer - Laramie County sportsman, President of Laramie County Community College
• Rusty Bell - Campbell County Commissioner, Taxidermist, Sportsman
• Sy Gilliland - President of Wyoming Outfitter and Guides Association
• Elissa Ruckle - Owner of Elevate Wyoming
• Senator Ogden Driskill - Crook County
• Senator Larry Hicks - Carbon County
• Liisa Anselmi-Dalton - Sweetwater County hotel owner
• Jen Scoggin - Director Office of State Lands and Investments
• Lee Livingston - Park County Commissioner
• Josh Coursey - Sweetwater County, Executive Director of the Muley Fanatics Foundation
• Pat Crank - Laramie County sportsman, outgoing Wyoming Game and Fish Commissioner
• Pete Dube - Johnson County, President of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission
• Brian Nesvik - Director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department
“This group of individuals appointed to the Wyoming Wildlife Taskforce reflects a collective of perspectives and expertise from citizens and leaders that will be valuable to our work on licensing and public access and other issues identified by the committee. Topics will require ingenuity, research and deep discussions,” Commission President Pete Dube said. “We are grateful to have their commitment.”
For those of you that have not heard, for the first time in the history of the Deer, Elk and Antelope Regulations, the Wyldlife Fund is working with the Game and Fish Commission to sell advertising space in the 2021 Regs. This is a wonderful opportunity as 172,000 copies are printed with over 91,000 being directly mailed to license holders.
At the February 5th Board of Directors Meeting, the board voted unanimously for WYOGA to reserve the front inside cover of the regulations. This will be another great location to promote WYOGA, WYOGA’s mission and last and foremost, the members of WYOGA. This is another benefit of being a WYOGA member.
The WYOGA 2021 Annual Convention is presently scheduled for April 8-10, 2021 at the Ramkota in Casper. Invitations with a tentative agenda will be mailed towards the end of the month. Mark your calendar and plan to attend this 3 day event.
Big Game Awards Packets: The big game awards committee is finalizing the 2021 Big Game Awards packets. We anticipate mailing them the week of the 22nd. Entries will be due April 1st. Please note that the rules have an important addition and that is:
IMPORTANT NOTICE TO BIG GAME CONTEST RULES: Only paying clients of WYOGA members: Residents and Non-Residents are eligible. All entries will be confirmed with the Wyoming State Board of Outfitters & Professional Guides to make sure that they are listed on your outfitter record. If your hunter is not listed, the entry will be disqualified.