WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) asked Aurelia Skipwith, nominee to be director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, about key priorities for Wyoming. Barrasso asked Skipworth about the importance of delisting recovered species such as the gray wolf and the grizzly bear and prioritizing the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver (WILD) Act. Skipworth committed to making WILD Act implementation a priority. Barrasso questioned Skipworth during her nomination hearing to be director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).
Barrasso is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), which held the nomination hearing.
Barrasso Asks Fish and Wildlife Director Nominee Aurelia Skipwith About:
The Delisting of Recovered Species like the Gray Wolf and Grizzly Bear:
“Wyoming is no stranger to the challenges that states face when courts intervene in conservation decisions.
“Despite the Fish and Wildlife Service’s best efforts, it took years to delist the gray wolf in Wyoming and to return it to state management following a full recovery of the species.
“As you know, the courts have forced the grizzly bear to be relisted in spite of the efforts of Fish and Wildlife.
“In your opinion, does it hurt state and local recovery efforts if courts prevent or delay the delisting of species that Fish and Wildlife clearly says are recovered?”
Prioritizing the Implementation of the Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver Act:
“This committee led the enactment of the ‘WILD ACT,’ which stands for Wildlife Innovation and Longevity Driver Act.
“The WILD Act established the Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prizes, a series of cash prizes to be awarded each year for technological innovation in wildlife conservation and the management of invasive species.
“I believe technology and technological innovation can solve some of our most challenging wildlife problems, whether it is addressing the threat of invasive species, combating wildlife trafficking.
“If confirmed as Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, will you commit to prioritizing implementation of the Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prizes in order to stimulate technological innovation in both wildlife conservation and invasive species management?”