March 2021 - 2


Investing in the Basin for wildlife


By Brian Nesvik

n just a few months, the Wyoming Game
and Fish Department will break ground
on an essential project for the Big Horn
Basin. We are building a new regional office in Cody, finally replacing an old, failing facility with a new building of our own that will better
serve the public and meet the expectations you
have for Game and Fish services.
If you've visited the current office in Cody off Wyoming Highway
120, you know it's difficult to make the turn safely, particularly if
you are pulling a horse or utility trailer, as many of our customers do.
Traffic moves at a top speed of 60 mph, and the existing landscaping
and topography limits visibility at the entrance. Once at the office,
there's little space to park and turn around. Inside, there is limited room
to buy licenses and have conversations with employees. There are no
public meeting spaces, and the building doesn't accommodate customers
with disabilities. The building was designed for nine employees; now
we have upwards of 26 full and part-time employees spread out in
the existing building and modulars, and there is limited space to do
important and safe wildlife work with large carnivores.
Not to mention, the 42-year old building itself is failing. The roof
leaks, the plumbing is poor and there are significant drainage problems
on the exterior of the office and shop. The costs for repairs are high
and are expected to increase. The office sits on leased ground where
Park County has graciously allowed us as tenants for almost no cost,
but the opportunities for expansion are limited.
A new building is always a major investment and a big project, and
the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission takes that very seriously.
This need was identified over a decade ago and the Commission began
saving. It's important to have adequate facilities for us to serve you and
take care of the wildlife resource the way you've entrusted us to do.
The Commission is always judicious with our budget. Now, we are
finally able to make this purchase - free and clear. The Commission
bought land one mile north of Cody off the Belfry Highway for the
new building.
The building's overall cost, including land and construction, is
$9.2 million, and it's important for you to know that this is supported
100 percent by the Commission's budget. No State of Wyoming
funds are being used; the entire cost of the building comes from
sportsperson funds that have been stowed away until we could afford
this expenditure. It's good news that funding for certain elements of
2 | March 2021	

construction are eligible for a reimbursement from the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service through the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration
Program. Eligibility for that match is determined by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service. The use of PR funds for this project will not take
funding away for on-the-ground wildlife projects, and it is one of the
most efficient ways to use this available funding.
Over the past two years, we have worked closely with community
leaders and local citizens to gather input on this project. We have
coordinated with the architect contracted for the facility design to
ensure it is functional and aligned with public expectations for a
government building. It will have an attractive appearance, but was
designed to be usable and cost efficient. It will be a facility that local
citizens can be proud of and is welcoming to visitors from outside of
the Big Horn Basin.
The new Cody office will be our home in the Big Horn Basin for
the future, which is why we've taken great care to design a building
that will be flexible enough to meet expanding wildlife needs. When
the existing office was built, we didn't have large carnivore biologists,
AIS inspectors, hunting and fishing access personnel or information
and education personnel working in the region. The department will
own the new building and the land. We feel like this is very important,
especially given the increasing costs of property in Park County and
the ever-growing fish and wildlife needs.
The new office will be in a better location that is safer to access
with a turning lane, lower speed limits and better visibility. There will
be adequate parking and front-counter space and a large indoor area
for checking harvested animals, collecting biological samples, pulling
disease samples and plugging bighorn sheep. The office will have an
aquatic invasive species decontamination system that will help keep
zebra and quagga mussels out of waters like Buffalo Bill Reservoir.
The facility will have a dedicated, contained area for required work
on anesthetized large carnivore species, like grizzly bears, with the
ability to hold large carnivores in traps overnight safely. With increased
storage capabilities at the new facility, our equipment, such as boats and
ATVs, can be stored indoors out of the elements resulting in reduced
maintenance costs and equipment lasting longer. Moreover, the entire
building will be ADA compliant and will have a meeting space that
anyone can reserve.
Game and Fish is glad to invest in this office because it gives us the
ability to deliver top-notch services to you. That is important to us.
We're thankful for your support - hunters, anglers and trappers -
over the last several decades who have made investments like the Cody
Office possible. While the building will say the Wyoming Game and
Fish Department on the front, it belongs to you. For updates on the
construction of the office, visit

March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of March 2021

From the Director
In this issue
A couple pennies
Opening shot
Ask Game and Fish
Project profiles
Case files
In the field
Tracking the rarest carnivores
Seeking the slam
A family matter
Getting kids outside
Wild country dispatch
March 2021 - Cover
March 2021 - From the Director
March 2021 - In this issue
March 2021 - A couple pennies
March 2021 - Mailbag
March 2021 - Opening shot
March 2021 - 7
March 2021 - News
March 2021 - 9
March 2021 - 10
March 2021 - 11
March 2021 - Ask Game and Fish
March 2021 - Project profiles
March 2021 - Case files
March 2021 - 15
March 2021 - In the field
March 2021 - 17
March 2021 - Tracking the rarest carnivores
March 2021 - 19
March 2021 - 20
March 2021 - 21
March 2021 - 22
March 2021 - 23
March 2021 - 24
March 2021 - 25
March 2021 - Seeking the slam
March 2021 - 27
March 2021 - 28
March 2021 - 29
March 2021 - 30
March 2021 - 31
March 2021 - A family matter
March 2021 - 33
March 2021 - 34
March 2021 - 35
March 2021 - 36
March 2021 - 37
March 2021 - Getting kids outside
March 2021 - 39
March 2021 - 40
March 2021 - 41
March 2021 - 42
March 2021 - 43
March 2021 - 44
March 2021 - 45
March 2021 - Wild country dispatch
March 2021 - 47
March 2021 - Backpage