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Jaggi Out of Touch on Wildlife

August 10-11 the interim Travel, Recreation, and Wildlife (TRW) committee met in Kemmerer. On the agenda were numerous items of importance, including a report by the Governor’s Task Force on Fish & Wildlife Resources. Tasked with coming up with ideas of how to better fund the Game and Fish Department, the chairman gave the TRW committee the group’s recommendations. These were met with comments of support for the Department and its many tasks, and acknowledgment of the importance of wildlife to our state’s economy, both by the members of the committee, and the public. However, noticeably unsupportive input was provided by former TRW member Representative Allen Jaggi, who argued that the Department is overfunded and needs to be cut in size. That Jaggi is no fan of Big Government is not news, but he doesn’t seem to grasp the very real (and expensive) threats facing our wildlife, or the important place it has in our state’s economy, let alone the value it holds in citizen’s quality of life. Habitat improvements, research, educational and outreach programs are among the many services the Department provides that have a positive impact for all species of wildlife, but Jaggi would rather advise the Department to increase sales of licenses to fund an every shrinking agency than consider alternatives to fully fund the management of this valuable resource. The Department needs to have a stable and reliable source of income, to weather booms and busts, seasonal cycles, weather and climate changes, increasing demands on habitat, and changing constituent demands for wildlife as a resource. The task force offered several potential solutions for members of the committee to consider. There is a reason Republican leadership removed Jaggi from the TRW Committee. That his personal agenda against the Game and Fish Department was counterproductive to the process of reaching consensus seems a likely enough one. Let’s hope the voters of House District 19 come to the same conclusion in 2016 and choose more responsible and reasonable representation for Southwest Wyoming.

#MicheleIrwin #AllenJaggi #WyomingLegislature #TRW #Wildlife

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