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Course Outline

The Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WGFD) manages all the wildlife within the state (not just the game animals) for the benefit of all the people of the state and for the generations of the people in the future. It takes many people with different talents to do this. The WGFD employs over 400 people throughout the state, including biologists, engineers, educators, game wardens, and many others.

At the present time, the WGFD is responsible for about 900 species of animals in the state. 

  • About 100 of these are aquatic wildlife species, including fish, amphibians, snakes, and mussels.
  • Over 800 of the species the WGFD is responsible for are terrestrial species.

By law, wildlife is owned by all the people in the state and not by any one person or group. This is called a “public trust.”

  • For example, if someone set up a trust fund at a bank for you, somebody other than you would manage the money in the best way possible for you. This person would be called a “trustee.” The trust fund money stays in the bank. You cannot spend that money, but you can spend all the interest the money earns.
  • Similarly, the WGFD and other agencies throughout the country take care of the wildlife for the public. The WGFD does not own the wildlife but is responsible for managing it for you and for future generations. Also, just like interest from the trust fund at the bank, the excess production is available for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, etc.

The WGFD also keeps you informed about wildlife and responds to the interests and needs of the public.

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