Bozeman, Montana. October 13, 2021. Today, the Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) expressed its support for Senator John Barrasso's (R–WY) proposed bill that would ensure that even under a depopulation management action, no part of an animal will go to waste.
The bill is timely considering the current removal of Rocky Mountain goats in some parts of Wyoming. The goats are a non-native, introduced species to these regions and pose a disease transfer risk to native bighorn sheep. As part of this management action, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the National Park Service (NPS) are using sportsmen and women as qualified volunteers to carry out removal of mountain goats.
"It is our ethos as sportsmen and women to utilize every part of the game we harvest," said Gray N. Thornton, President, and CEO of the Wild Sheep Foundation. "Even game harvested as a wildlife management activity has value. We applaud Senator Barrasso for recognizing this fact and proposing this bill to make it legal to fully respect and utilize the animals taken."
The Cape and Antler Preservation Enhancement (CAPE) Act will allow the cape (hide), horns, or antlers from animals harvested by qualified volunteers to be donated and not discarded or wasted. Currently, only meat can be donated, but by NPS law, other valuable parts of animals cannot be removed from the field, thereby are left to waste.
Thornton added, "WSF’s focus is the health and vitality of wild sheep populations in North America and internationally. Removal of non-native mountain goats from native bighorn sheep ranges where the goats negatively impact wild sheep is the right thing to do. Making sure every useable part of the animals taken is used is also the right thing to do."
The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF), based in Bozeman, Mont., was founded in 1977 by wild sheep conservationists and enthusiasts. With a membership of more than 10,000 worldwide, WSF is the premier advocate for wild sheep and other mountain wildlife and their habitats. WSF has raised and expended more than $135 million on wild sheep habitat and population enhancements, education, and conservation advocacy programs in North America, Europe, and Asia to “Put and Keep Wild Sheep on the Mountain®.” These and other efforts have increased bighorn sheep populations in North America from historic lows in the 1950-60s of 25,000 to more than 90,000 today. www.wildsheepfoundation.org.
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