Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes, a free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes, visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.
(a) The commission shall by rule and regulation set seasons and bag limits within those areas where gray wolves are designated as trophy game animals pursuant to W.S. 23-1-101(a)(xii)(B)(I) and (II). The seasons and bag limits shall be set annually in a manner the commission determines, through rule and regulation, as necessary to reasonably ensure at least ten (10) breeding pairs of gray wolves and a total of at least one hundred (100) individual gray wolves are located in this state outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation at the end of the current calendar year.
(b) Repealed by Laws 2007, ch. 168, § 5.
(c) For purposes of this section “breeding pair” means an adult male and an adult female gray wolf raising at least two (2) pups of the year until December 31. The number of breeding pairs shall be certified by the department prior to January 31 of each year.
(d) The department shall institute and maintain an active program of population monitoring statewide subject to the following:
(i) Population monitoring shall include techniques that accurately determine the population and movement of gray wolves in areas of the state where gray wolves are designated as trophy game animals;
(ii) The commission is authorized to enter into memoranda of understanding with the United States fish and wildlife service or other federal agencies to ensure accurate and adequate monitoring of wolf population levels and movements;
(iii) In all areas of the state, except where otherwise provided, any person who takes a wolf shall notify the department where the take occurred within ten (10) days;
(iv) In areas of the state where gray wolves are designated as trophy game animals, any person who takes a wolf shall notify the department of the take and where the take occurred within a time period set by rule and regulation, which shall not exceed seventy-two (72) hours;
(v) In areas of the state where gray wolves are designated as trophy game animals, any person who takes a wolf shall submit the wolf or parts thereof, as defined by rule and regulation, to the department for inspection within a time period established by rule and regulation which will not exceed ten (10) days;
(vi) Any information regarding the number or nature of wolves legally taken within the state of Wyoming shall only be released in its aggregate form and no information of a private or confidential nature shall be released without the written consent of the person to whom the information may refer. Information identifying any person legally taking a wolf within this state is solely for the use of the department or appropriate law enforcement offices and is not a public record for purposes of W.S. 16-4-201 through 16-4-205.
(e) The department shall actively monitor big game animal herd populations statewide to determine whether and to what extent the gray wolf is negatively impacting big game animal herds, and thereby hunting opportunities. To the extent permitted by this title, and notwithstanding other provisions of this title by those means authorized by the commission, the department shall manage the gray wolf population as necessary to ensure the long-term health and viability of any big game animal herd that is being threatened in this state.
(f) This section shall apply from and after the date gray wolves are removed from the list of experimental nonessential population, endangered species or threatened species in Wyoming as provided by W.S. 23-1-108.
(g) The commission is authorized, through rule and regulation, to use management techniques including the use of aerial hunting and hazing by the department and issuance of permits to private landowners to take wolves to protect private property including, but not limited to, livestock and other domesticated animals from wolf depredation.
(h) Within forty-eight (48) hours of receiving notification from a landowner or his designee that any gray wolf in those areas of the state where gray wolves are designated as trophy game animals has harassed, injured, maimed or killed livestock or any domesticated animal, the department shall respond and initiate appropriate management actions. The department may use the management techniques authorized under subsection (g) of this section or any other management methods necessary, to minimize the harassing, injuring, maiming or killing of livestock and other domesticated animals in those areas of the state where gray wolves are designated as trophy game animals.
(j) At any time that there exists the number of breeding pairs of gray wolves and the number of individual gray wolves specified in subsection (a) of this section, the department is authorized to take any action necessary to reduce the effects of gray wolf predation on wild ungulate herds in areas of the state experiencing unacceptable impacts from gray wolf predation.
(k) The commission is authorized to enter into memoranda of understanding with any federal agency or other state's wildlife agency to carry out any provision of this section and Wyoming's wolf management plan, including the use of aerial hunting.
(m) The commission shall promulgate rules and regulations authorizing lethal control of wolves harassing, injuring, maiming or killing livestock or other domesticated animals and for wolves occupying geographic areas where chronic wolf predation occurs. The rules and regulations shall provide that nonlethal control actions will be used if lethal control could cause relisting of wolves under the endangered species act or if requested by the livestock or domesticated animal owner or agent.
(n) The commission shall promulgate rules and regulations providing for issuance of permits to landowners or livestock owners for removing wolves which are harassing, injuring, maiming or killing livestock or other domesticated animals and for wolves occupying geographic areas where chronic wolf predation occurs. Permits issued or renewed under this subsection shall be valid for not more than forty-five (45) days from issuance or renewal. The permits shall be issued as long as the removals authorized by such permits could not reduce the numbers of gray wolves below ten (10) breeding pairs or a total of one hundred (100) individual gray wolves within the state and outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation. The rules shall provide for suspending the issuance of permits or cancelling existing permits if further lethal control could cause the numbers of gray wolves to be reduced below ten (10) breeding pairs or a total of one hundred (100) individuals in the state outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation.
(o) The commission shall promulgate rules and regulations establishing a fair compensation program to compensate for wolf predation on livestock as provided in W.S. 23-1-901.
(p) Repealed by Laws 2008, ch. 44, § 2.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Wyoming Statutes Title 23. Game and Fish § 23-1-304. Classification of gray wolves - last updated December 01, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/wy/title-23-game-and-fish/wy-st-sect-23-1-304/
FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.