CHEYENNE - Wildlife and agriculture representatives hailed Gov. Jim Geringer signing into law Thursday afternoon a partnership to study diseases that vex both wildlife and livestock and a resolution urging the U.S. Congress to establish a trust fund to assist northern Rocky Mountain states with grizzly bear and wolf management.
In addition to Wyoming’s Game and Fish and Agriculture departments, both the bill and resolution had the support of many private wildlife and agricultural organizations and drew little dissent in the Legislature, said John Baughman, G&F director.
The Legislature appropriated $200,000 to found the disease partnership. When matched with private funds, the account will be used to finance Wyoming research of diseases such as brucellosis, chronic wasting disease and pasteurella that could infect both wildlife and livestock.
“With some of the most renowned animal disease researchers and excellent facilities here in Wyoming, the partnership is designed to stimulate research on these diseases that have national ramifications,” Baughman said.
The resolution urges Congress to establish a Northern Rocky Mountain Grizzly Bear and Gray Wolf Management Trust with a contribution of $40 million by 2003. The resolution also encourages private donations to the fund. Interest from the account would help Wyoming, Montana and Idaho conserve grizzly bears and wolves, which are species of high national interest and management costs.
The Montana and Idaho legislatures are considering similar resolutions.
“This new law and resolution accentuate the common ground that wildlife and agriculture have in Wyoming and how both entities can successfully work together,” Baughman said.