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CASPER * The draft plan which would govern Wyoming grizzly bear management outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks after the animal is removed from the threatened species list, is now available for public review and comment, the Game and Fish Commission announced Tuesday at its meeting in Casper. The draft Grizzly Bear Management Plan can be reviewed at the G&F^s internet website, Wyoming public libraries and G&F offices. Written and email comments about the plan will be accepted through July 20. The G&F will host four open houses around the state the first week in May to explain and answer questions about the plan. G&F employees involved with grizzly bear management will be on hand to discuss the plan from 6-9 p.m. in Casper * G&F Office (May 1), Riverton * Holiday Inn (May 2), Jackson * Ranch Inn (May 3) and Cody * Holiday Inn (May 7). Although the open houses are designed for attendees to have individual conversations with the grizzly bear personnel, written comments can also be submitted at the gatherings. Participants are welcome to visit the open houses any time between 6 and 9 p.m. as their schedule permits. "Everyone interested in grizzly bears is invited to review the plan and provide comments," said Bill Wichers, G&F deputy director of external operations. "We hope to get lots of constructive criticism that will help us improve the plan." He adds the plan will be revised based on the public comments received. The revised plan will be presented to the G&F Commission by Sept. 1 and final approval may be considered at the Commission^s Sept. 10 meeting in Riverton. The plan will then be submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who must approve it before it can be put into action. The 21-member Grizzly Bear Working Group representing conservation groups, agriculture and a variety of other interests associated with grizzly bears began construction of the plan in September and presented it to the G&F Commission at their Feb. 12 meeting. Revisions were made by commissioners and G&F personnel and the current version approved for release by the Commission on March 27.

Uploaded: 3/30/2001