WY-WSF President's Message
As I sit in my travel trailer on the side of the Alaskan Highway, waiting for a tow truck, counting my blessings would not be the first thing that comes to mind. But that is exactly one of the ways I have been passing the time while I wait. Having the privilege to work with such a great group of board members and an energetic, involved membership is a privilege. Thank you all for your support and input in the running of this great organization.
2019 has been a good year for WY WSF. We had a successful June banquet and have seen progress on several of the projects we are funding. A request from you, the membership, to set policy for the Life Member Fund assets has been addressed. Please check out our recommendations and cast your vote.
The annual winter meeting is being held in Sheridan with the banquet at the beautiful Powder Horn golf course clubhouse. Plan on attending this important event and enjoy the scheduled tours of the new Weatherby firearms factory and museum. Registration details are available on our website.
Several board and regular members had a great meeting with the WY G&F, Forest Service, and BLM land managers at Burgess Junction in late June. If you are ever free to attend this meeting, it is a wonderful look into the complexities of managing this resource. We discussed the current reduction in core herd numbers and what we might do to support these herds. A long-term statewide herd objective document is in the works as a result of this meeting. Look for more on this in the future. We will be better able to direct funding to the needed projects if we all know where we are and where we are trying to go.
We have a serious issue developing on the edge of hunt area 5. A private rancher, whose ranch abuts wild sheep habitat in area 5, has decided to take the help we gave him with a water project, (to keep his domestics away from wild sheep), has instead used it to increase his herd by six-fold. There are now 3,000 domestic sheep grazing private and public land in occupied bighorn habitat. We have met with the ranch manager, G&F, and BLM working to find solutions to this very serious problem. A disease outbreak from the increased risk of contact could imperil most of the core of Wyoming’s bighorn sheep treasure. This is a threat that cannot be ignored, and we are looking at what options we have for protecting the wild sheep.
WY WSF will again have a booth in Reno during the sheep show. If you are planning to attend the Reno show, we could use some help covering a few shifts at the booth during the event. Please contact me, (307-673-4928), or Dean DiJenno, (307-213-0998), for details.
We have begun another great raffle to win a sheep hunt, and details are available on the web page. Griz and Ginger Turner have partnered with us in this effort to raise funds for wild sheep. This is the third year in a row they have made a major donation to our fundraising efforts. Please let them know how much we appreciate their efforts and commitment to Wyoming’s wild sheep resource. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Send them an email and thank them!
In closing, let me urge you to get out in Wyoming’s wonderful outdoors. Take a kid or a first-time hunter-fisherman out and show them what a true conservationist does. Join us in Sheridan, the first weekend in December, (Dec. 7th), to share a few stories, raise a few $’s, and plan for the future. Hopefully I will have a huge set of moose horns to show off and a great Alaskan story.
President & Life member #410
Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation