New Rule in Wyoming Seeks to Encourage Ferret Reintroduction


CHEYENNE — A new rule will seek to make Wyoming landowners less fearful about the legal implications of having endangered black-footed ferrets on their property, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Wyoming Game and Fish Department announced Thursday.

Under an Endangered Species Act provision to be applied to the entire state, landowners who allow reintroduction of black-footed ferrets on their property would not face legal liability if they ever inadvertently harmed a ferret on their land.

The goal of classifying ferrets statewide as an “experimental, non-essential” population is to encourage landowner participation in ferret reintroduction efforts.

“Private landowners are key to the success of the black-footed ferret recovery effort,” said Fish and Wildlife Mountain-Prairie Regional Director Noreen Walsh.

The rule is set to take effect Nov. 30. Though black-footed ferrets have been reintroduced in Wyoming's Shirley Basin in the past, there are no formal plans to reintroduce more in Wyoming yet.

“This new rule is a good fit for Wyoming because it builds on voluntary efforts by landowners and recognizes the role they play in species conservation,” Wyoming Game and Fish Department Director Scott Talbott said.




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Source:  Casper Star Tribune



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