Wyoming has a rich hunting and angling culture that is important to sportsmen. License sales from sportsmen and sportswomen support wildlife conservation, while promoting access to our public lands and maintaining our outdoor heritage. Admired, cherished, and passed down from generation to generation, Wyoming’s great outdoors offers deep meaning to many people who live in Wyoming.

This important fabric in our Wyoming quilt is why the Wyoming Sportsmen’s Alliance (WYSA) developed the Sportsmen Q&A  (click to see candidates' responses) for U.S. House of Representative candidates running for election to replace Rep. Cynthia Lummis, who decided not to seek a 5th term in office. Twelve candidates have thrown their hat into the ring for this race, nine of which have answered our Q&A. The Sportsmen Q&A is a tool or guide for Wyoming voters as they determine who they want to represent them in Washington, D.C.

Public lands, access, forest management, energy development, funding for Wyoming natural conservation efforts, and their approach to land management agencies are topics discussed in the Sportsmen Q&A.

“As a hunter, a mom, a UW graduate and a Wyoming resident I want to know how the U.S. House of Representative candidates will represent me in Washington,” says Joy Bannon, field director of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation (WWF). What will they advocate for? What are their stances on hunting and angling? Is their position adversarial or collaborative, she adds. “I want to be informed when I vote and the Sportsmen Q&A aims to provide that knowledge,” says Bannon, who with WWF spearheaded the study with WYSA.  

The Wyoming Sportsmen’s Alliance (a combined eight groups) represents more than 30,000 hunters and anglers. Our Sportsmen Q&A was answered by nine candidates (in alphabetical order by last name: Liz Cheney, Leland Christensen, Ryan Greene, Charlie Hardy, Mike Konsmo, Paul Paad, Jason Senteney, Larry Struempf, and Tim Stubson) who share their positions and comments about Wyoming’s wildlife resources and outdoor recreational opportunities, as well as how they will represent us and our sporting culture in Washington.

Wyoming Sportsmen’s Alliance:
Wyoming Back Country Horsemen
Bowhunters of Wyoming
Muley Fanatic Foundation
Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation
Wyoming Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Wyoming Federation of Union Sportsmen
Yellowstone Country Bear Hunters Association
Wyoming Wildlife FederationType your paragraph here.

Liz Cheney

1.    How will you represent Wyoming sportsmen and sportswomen while in Washington?

The federal land and wildlife management agencies have failed the people of Wyoming, including our sportsmen and sportswomen.  Rather than managing for multiple use, under the Obama administration these agencies are attempting to prevent all human use of our lands.  I will lead the effort in Washington to guarantee access for our sportsmen and sportswomen and to rein in out of control federal agencies so unelected bureaucrats aren’t threatening our way of life.

2.    Are you in favor of state control and management of national public lands in Wyoming?

I believe that government that is closest to the people governs best.  I also know that we in Wyoming are the best stewards of our land.  The mismanagement of our public lands is doing damage across the board.  From Forest Service policies that exacerbate wildfires and damage the health of our forests, to BLM policies that prevent access and harm our rangelands, to EPA efforts to control private activities on private lands.  I believe we should work towards returning authority and control over our lands to our state.  In doing so, we need to ensure we are guaranteeing access to the land for sportsmen and sportswomen and ensuring our state has the resources necessary to effectively manage the lands.  The path we are on with overreaching federal authority cannot continue – we are risking the health of the lands and forests we hold dear.

3.    The Governor’s Task Force on Fish and Wildlife has recommended the creation of a dedicated fund that counties could utilize to financially and technically support placed-based collaboration on forest issues. Would you support such a dedicated fund and particularly if funds were identified that would not impact the state’s overall budget?

I would favor such a fund similar to the Federal Natural Resource Policy Account (FNRPA) that county commissioners utilize for natural resource issues and are currently utilizing to fund the Bighorn National Forest Roadless Collaborative.  Counties are dealing with significant drops in valuation yet the costs of essential services provided by counties continue to go up.  I would never wish to see a county forfeit its status as a cooperating agency under NEPA because it could not afford to participate.  This new funding mechanism could be that option.

4.    What will your office do to increase access to public lands for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

I am in favor of public and private efforts to increase access for hunting and fishing on public and private lands across Wyoming.  The Access Yes program administered by the Wyoming Game and Fish as well as efforts by Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and other groups need to continue.  We need to continue state driven efforts to access isolated or inholdings of public lands. The Forest Service and the BLM must continue to manage for multiple use which includes public access for hunters and fisherman.

5.    What will be your major conservation policy priorities?

Conservation of endangered species should be a state responsibility.  Increasingly we have seen the Endangered Species Act abused and used as a tool to end human use of the land, including restricting access for sportsmen, ranchers and our energy industry.  The ESA must be significantly reformed or repealed so we can establish common sense, state-based solutions.  We must also end Equal Access to Justice and Sue and Settle practices that allow radical environmentalists to file frivolous lawsuits and get U.S. taxpayer money to fund them.

6.    What will be your major conservation funding priorities?

In our current federal budget climate, we must begin to address the debt, cut spending, and evaluate all federal programs for effectiveness and redundancy.  Within federal conservation funding there is a level of concern over misguided and misspent funds.  I favor programs that leverage state and private partnerships to maximize effectiveness of the dollars on the ground.  I am concerned that Wyoming has been disproportionately hurt by cuts to recreation funding by the Forest Service.  I will also make it a priority to ensure adequate funding for Yellowstone and Grant Teton National Parks.

7.    How will your office balance the need to develop energy (both renewable and non-renewable) and the need to maintain wildlife habitat and access for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

We know, at the state and local level, that these activities do not need to be mutually exclusive. Today, too often, unelected bureaucrats in Washington, DC who have likely never been to Wyoming, are making decisions that restrict access based on faulty science and failed ideology.  I will lead the effort to ensure access to our lands for our energy industry and our sportsmen and sportswomen is guaranteed, while we also maintain wildlife habitat.

8.    A few Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) are being reviewed by county-led advisory committees through the Wyoming Public Land Initiative. What is your opinion on the WSAs and this process?

Today in the numerous WSA’s throughout Wyoming, we can agree that the BLM has failed to properly administer these areas and much of the land within their jurisdiction.  Since being designated as a WSA by the BLM, these lands are being treated as de facto wilderness without Congressional approval for such a designation.  I applaud the county commissioners for undertaking the WPLA and making the process as collaborative and inclusive as possible.  Many of the county led committees have just been formed or are forming now and I will monitor the process and look forward to being the House sponsor of the legislative recommendations from the county commissioners through the WPLI.

9.    Does your office intend to seek increased or decreased federal funding for our land management agencies?

Based on the current performance of our federal land management agencies and our crippling national debt I cannot support an increase in federal funding.  I believe we need to reduce the size, scope and authority of these agencies in order to stop the mismanagement of our public lands and return authority to the states.

10.    Will you support the new congressional measure for wildlife funding, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2016? This bipartisan legislation will help recover thousands of at-risk species, in Wyoming and across America, by providing $1.3 billion annually for on-the-ground wildlife conservation measures.

I would need to know more about the details of this effort, funding sources, and authorities, but as a general matter, I believe efforts of this type should be undertaken by the states.  I do not believe we should be expanding resources or authority at a federal level for activities that should be carried out by the states.

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[Christensen] Leland Christensen

1. How will you represent Wyoming sportsmen and sportswomen while in Washington?

As a lifelong sportsman, hunter and backcountry horseman, I believe we have a responsibility to protect and preserve access and multiple-use on public lands for not only our generation, but our children and our grandchildren. As Wyoming’s next representative, I will work to keep public lands in public hands; ensure access for sportsmen, hunters and recreationalists; and advocate for smart, responsible public land and wildlife policies that allow for good stewardship.

2. Are you in favor of state control and management of national public lands in Wyoming?

I believe public lands belong in public hands. My priority has long been maintaining and improving access for the public and multiple use. Public lands transfer is tricky and we would need to be very careful regarding unintended consequences. If there was a viable plan for transfer that maintained public use, I might be open to it, theoretically. However, at this point I have too many concerns about preserving public access under state management.

3. The Governor’s Task Force on Fish and Wildlife has recommended the creation of a dedicated fund that counties could utilize to financially and technically support placed-based collaboration on forest issues. Would you support such a dedicated fund and particularly if funds were identified that would not impact the state’s overall budget?

Being a responsible steward of taxpayer dollars and helping to move our nation out from the mountain of debt under which we find ourselves will be one of my top priorities should I be elected to serve the people of Wyoming. At the federal level, we must tackle this first and foremost.

Decisions about the use of state funds should obviously be made at the state level. As a State Senator, I am supportive of the Task Force’s concept so long as it doesn’t increase the state’s budget and is a reallocation of funds.

4. What will your office do to increase access to public lands for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

I would support full funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which was intended to provide more access to public lands and ample resources for sustaining Wyoming’s wildlife. Purchased access easements are an appropriate use for Land and Water Conservation monies. I would join the Sportsman’s Caucus and be active in it. Additionally, I would work with prominent sportsmen’s’ groups such as Safari Club International to advance public land access for hunting and fishing.

5. What will be your major conservation policy priorities?

I will work to make Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and USDA programs more flexible to the needs and conservation goals of Wyoming sportsmen, ranchers and farmers. By engaging Wyoming organizations with boots-on-the-ground expertise, like the Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust and the Wyoming affiliate of the Conservative Fund, I will push the USDA and NRCS to support state-management of sage grouse core areas and local monitoring of conservation easements.

6. What will be your major conservation funding priorities?

My number one priority would be funding healthy forest initiatives that allow us to divert money from fighting catastrophic forest fires to preventing catastrophic forest fires through conservation thinning. Secondly, as I mentioned above, I will support full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

7. How will your office balance the need to develop energy (both renewable and non-renewable) and the need to maintain wildlife habitat and access for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

I believe that getting more out of the energy resources we have already developed is our top priority. By maximizing existing oil, gas and coal fields we can limit new stresses on wildlife habitat and ensure continued access for recreational opportunities.

Multiple use is extremely important to Wyoming jobs, recreational opportunities, and tax base. As a member of Congress, I would support Department of Energy funding for research into clean coal technology, carbon sequestration, and University of Wyoming funding for more complete recovery of oil and gas from existing wells. As State Senator, I supported the University of Wyoming’s Integrated Testing Center to advance clean coal technology and assist with carbon capture and storage solutions.

8. A few Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) are being reviewed by county-led advisory committees through the Wyoming Public Land Initiative. What is your opinion on the WSAs and this process?

As a former county commissioner, I applaud the work of the Wyoming County Commissioners Association to address this issue. Wilderness is an important land use tool but is not appropriate in all cases under review. I believe WSAs should be reviewed in a timely fashion and if no decision is made to move forward with a wilderness designation, the WSA should revert back to multiple use management under the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA).

9. Does your office intend to seek increased or decreased federal funding for our land management agencies?

There is an $8 billion backlog in deferred maintenance at the National Park Service (NPS). I would prioritize retiring this backlog before making additional funding available for non-NPS land management agencies. I believe more federal land management needs to occur in Wyoming and less in Washington. I would push for the reallocation of personnel from Washington to Wyoming.

10. Will you support the new congressional measure for wildlife funding, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2016? This bipartisan legislation will help recover thousands of at-risk species, in Wyoming and across America, by providing $1.3 billion annually for on-the-ground wildlife conservation measures.

The Act was recently introduced in the U.S. House. I am in favor of its aims and hope, when elected, to work with the bill’s primary sponsor, Congressman Don Young of Alaska, to pass it or to develop a bill that can address its goals and reach the President’s desk for signature. The bill’s emphasis in providing federal funding to meet state wildlife agency objectives is compelling and showcases the ways in which conservation is a conservative value.

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[Greene] Ryan Greene

1.    How will you represent Wyoming sportsmen and sportswomen while in Washington?

As a hunter and a fisher, I regularly use Wyoming’s great outdoors, and I do not take
access to them for granted. These days there is a growing congressional movement to
have states take control of public lands, and I would fight that tooth and nail. As
Wyoming sportsmen know, you can’t camp overnight on state land, have a camp fire on
state land, ride ATVs on state land, etc.—and that’s when we have access to state
land—which half the time we don’t. Also, I’d work to ensure adequate funding for Federal Agencies that oversee wildlife and land management. Some years the U.S. Forest Service spends more money fighting
Wyoming wildfires than Wyoming puts into law enforcement—and it’s a costly effort to
keep invasive species out of our lakes and rivers. So we’ve got to ensure that those
agencies have the necessary resources to keep doing their job.

2.    Are you in favor of state control and management of national public lands in Wyoming?

No. I haven’t seen a single viable plan how states can fund wildfire suppression without
raising taxes, selling land, or raiding states’ budgets.

Under Federal Stewardship of public lands, Wyoming was able to become the top coal
state in the nation, and a leading natural gas state—and I’ve never been denied access
to my favorite hunting grounds. This arrangement has worked since Wyoming was
granted statehood, and I see no reason to change what works.

3.    The Governor’s Task Force on Fish and Wildlife has recommended the creation of a dedicated fund that counties could utilize to financially and technically support placed-based collaboration on forest issues. Would you support such a dedicated fund and particularly if funds were identified that would not impact the state’s overall budget?

It sounds good, but I’d have to see it to believe it. Where the funds are coming from—
particularly after Wyoming went through a $680 million dollar budget shortfall—is pretty
important to me. I’d have to reserve my judgment until I saw the fine print on this one.

4.    What will your office do to increase access to public lands for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

This comes down to ensuring appropriate funding and resources for federal agencies
tasked with managing lands. In addition to physically maintaining access through road
and trail maintenance and construction, these agencies need an adequate number of
staff members to meet the demands of addressing public access issues with private
land owners. Ultimately, it means working to get the right language and funding into the
House Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill—and I’d put the necessary time and
resources into that effort.

5.    What will be your major conservation policy priorities?

My foremost conservation priority would be ensuring that we maintain a multi-use policy
of public lands that recognizes the necessity of protection and preservation, and also
guarantees access and development where it is reasonable to do so. Additionally, I’d
leverage my background in the energy to build bridges and conversation at the national
level between conservation and industry. Also—I would be incredibly vocal about
fighting the rising effort to transfer public land management to states.

6.    What will be your major conservation funding priorities?

I would work with senior members of both parties to update/reauthorize the Land and
Water Conservation fund. I think the state grant program is a good place to start—and
I’d work towards getting more funds allocated toward wildlife grants (right now, that’s a
sliver of what’s put towards land acquisition).

Also, I would be a consistent vote in favor of providing adequate resources to the
agencies tasked with managing and preserving federal land and wildlife. Primarily – the
BLM, USFS, and Fish and Wildlife.

7.    How will your office balance the need to develop energy and the need to maintain wildlife habitat and access for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

As a sportsman that makes a living in the energy industry, I don’t take this subject
lightly. Governor Dave Freudenthal, along with our congressional delegation,
succeeded at this—increasing Wyoming’s natural gas production while protecting the
Wyoming Range. Our wild lands are what make our state unique. The folks who work in
the energy industry enjoy the opportunities for outdoor recreation that our state
provides. They should be partners in our efforts to balance the needs of development
and conservation. We all have a stake in the success of this endeavor.

8.    A few Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) are being reviewed by county-led advisory committees through the Wyoming Public Land Initiative. What is your opinion on the WSAs and this process?

I believe it’s important that we, as a state and nation, recognize and work to preserve
areas that have significant wilderness characteristics. That is accomplished in part by
WSAs.

County Commissioners all across the West have been vocal in their criticisms of WSAs.
While I support citizen reviews, I am concerned that the county-led advisory committees
lean too heavily on the side of those interested in releasing WSAs and promoting
development.

9.    Does your office intend to seek increased or decreased federal funding for our land management agencies?
Increased—over the last three decades, federal spending on wildfire suppression has
grown by over 400%. With the continued threat of climate change, we can expect this
number to continue to rise.

Additionally, federal agencies need to be adequately staffed to meet the needs of land
and wildlife management, addressing public access issues, and ensuring that federal
reviews of management/development plans and impact statements are conducted
efficiently.

10.    Will you support the new congressional measure for wildlife funding, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2016?
Yes.

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[Hardy] Charlie Hardy

1.    How will you represent Wyoming sportsmen and sportswomen while in Washington?

I recognize the importance of hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities.  They not only benefit the economy, they also enrich the soul.  I believe the responsibility of political leaders is to listen to their constituents and will do my best to listen to the advice of groups such as the Wyoming Sports Alliance.

2.    Are you in favor of state control and management of national public lands in Wyoming? 

Absolutely not.  This is a ploy by big money industries to gain control of public lands that we use for recreation and tourism.  These industries are already lining up to buy these lands from the states which will make them inaccessible to hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports

3.    The Governor’s Task Force on Fish and Wildlife has recommended the creation of a dedicated fund that counties could utilize to financially and technically support placed-based collaboration on forest issues. Would you support such a dedicated fund and particularly if funds were identified that would not impact the state’s overall budget? 

I like the idea, as long as it would not take funds away from schools and social programs that are very important in serving the people of Wyoming.  However, this does not appear to be a question for someone running for the U.S. Congress.

4.    What will your office do to increase access to public lands for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

My office will fight tooth and nail to keep public lands in public hands. As a candidate running without industry sponsors or other big money interests, my office will be free to work hard every day for the values of Wyomingites: clean air and water, beautiful landscape, and healthy flora and fauna for outdoor activities.

5.    What will be your major conservation policy priorities?

I would like to bring high tech jobs to Wyoming that take advantage of our geographic location. These jobs include the manufacturing and assembly of wind and solar for export. They include the building wind and solar farms, as well as the electrical infrastructure required for support. Finally, with this aggressive transition, Wyoming will require fewer acres of land that is devastated by coal, mining, and fracking.

6.    What will be your major conservation funding priorities?

Funding will require initial federal supplements to accomplish the buildup of industry in Question 5. Once established, the larger tax base of high-paying, non-cyclical jobs will continue to fund conservation priorities.

7.    How will your office balance the need to develop energy (both renewable and non-renewable) and the need to maintain wildlife habitat and access for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

I believe we need a unified national energy strategy that will make a Manhattan Project sized effort to transition to renewable energy.  I am aware that fossil fuels will remain important but will play a supporting role to our energy needs.  Wind and solar farms are not invasive, non-destructive energy solutions that preserve the environment.

8.    A few Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) are being reviewed by county-led advisory committees through the Wyoming Public Land Initiative. What is your opinion on the WSAs and this process?

I am skeptical of these reviews as money-in-politics ploys to wrestle valuable land from the people’s hands and into the hands of industry. We should take pride in our pristine lands, and protect them for our future generations.

9.    Does your office intend to seek increased or decreased federal funding for our land management agencies?

I believe we should provide increased federal funding for our land management agencies, but must do it in fiscally responsible ways. We must be willing to raise taxes on the most affluent in the country to maintain beauty, quality and accessibility of our Wyoming lands.

10.    Will you support the new congressional measure for wildlife funding, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2016? This bipartisan legislation will help recover thousands of at-risk species, in Wyoming and across America, by providing $1.3 billion annually for on-the-ground wildlife conservation measures.

Yes, I support acts like this, but maintain they must be paid for. Comprehensive tax reform requiring the wealthy to put money back in to the system is the only way to fund excellent programs like this, but only candidates like myself who have achieved their position without selling to big business will truly fight for them. [chart]

I am including a chart below which shows what has happened to the middle class (most Wyomingites) and where our money has gone over the past several decades, should you be able to include it in your publication.

 

 

 

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[Konsmo] Mike Konsmo

1.    How will you represent Wyoming sportsmen and sportswomen while in Washington?

I am a sportsman.  I am a hunter (deer, elk, antelope, grouse) and fisherman (flyfishing).  I also hike more than 100 days per year.  I hunt for shed antlers in the spring.  I live in Wyoming because I want to enjoy opportunities to participate in these outdoor activities.  Therefore, I am dedicated to representing sportsmen and sportswomen in our state.  Overall, we live in a state where the nature is central to our identity and central to our economy.  We need a conservative voice who will speak for our interests with an assertive, positive, powerful tone.  I will always have a seat at the table to lead the fight on any issue relating to our state’s natural resources.

2.    Are you in favor of state control and management of national public lands in Wyoming?

Our priority should be to keep public lands in public control.  I do not believe that we should transfer federal lands to state control.  That type of move would destroy access to public lands for hunters, recreationists, tourists, and others.   Keeping public lands in public hands is supported by most of the people in our state.  According to recent polls of Wyoming citizens (Colorado College, 2016), nearly 80% of those surveyed believe public lands in Wyoming should be used to help improve our state economy.  I will never seek to sell public lands into private hands.  Whenever possible, I will seek more locally-minded input and guidance from county commissioners, recreation groups, state wildlife officials, and other such groups and individuals who are invested in creating a positive future for our state’s public lands.

3.    The Governor’s Task Force on Fish and Wildlife has recommended the creation of a dedicated fund that counties could utilize to financially and technically support placed-based collaboration on forest issues. Would you support such a dedicated fund and particularly if funds were identified that would not impact the state’s overall budget?

I support the Wyoming Forest Action Plan and I support the creation of a dedicated fund that counties could utilize to financially and technically support placed-based collaboration on forest issues.  I like these initiatives because they are actively pursuing solutions with local input in mind.  Our forests are significant resources for our state.  Forests contribute to the growth of our economy, especially recreation and tourism.  We need healthy forests.  This is especially true when forests are at risk to bark beetles, white pine blister, mountain pine beetle, forest fires, climate issues, and other concerns.  Costs for dealing with these issues, especially fire-fighting costs, are rapidly increasing.  I will collaborate with local counties to enhance our care for our forests with more federal funding.  I will collaborate with local groups to expand our recreation and tourism industries.  I will collaborate with state officials to support state initiatives with federal support.

4.    What will your office do to increase access to public lands for hunting and fishing in Wyoming? NO RESPONSE


5.    What will be your major conservation policy priorities?
We have not had a representative who is out in front of conservation policies in our state.  It seems like we are always reacting when we should be leading.  There are a number of issues that we need to address quickly and aggressively.  We need to delist wolves and grizzly bears.  We need to study and prevent spread of diseases and invasive species like brucellosis, chronic wasting disease, pine bark beetles, aquatic invasive species, just to name a few priorities.  I am a big proponent of reworking the Endangered Species Act because it seems to be manipulated both parties and is not guided by science.  I am also a big proponent of strengthening our water rights to support ranchers and farmers in our state.  Furthermore, we can do more with estate taxes to make sure our ranchers and farmers are able to pass their family lands to heirs without having the land subdivided.  As I mentioned, we live in a state where the nature is central to our identity and central to our economy.  We need a conservative voice who will speak for our interests with an assertive, positive, powerful tone.  I will always have a seat at the table to lead the fight on any issue relating to our state’s natural resources.

6.    What will be your major conservation funding priorities?

Wyoming has one voice in the US House and it is important for that voice to fight for conservation funding for our state.  I will make sure I am on the Agriculture Committee to work on the next Farm Bill in order to include more money for our state’s water infrastructure (dams, irrigation, wetlands, etc.), make sure we keep the Payments in Lieu of Taxes( PILT) program, and seek additional funds for conservation projects that will impact our fish and wildlife.  I will make sure I serve on the Committee on Natural Resources to help the health of our forests, to be proactive with better fire suppression and fire-fighting and to better fund the fight against diseases and invasive species.  I also support the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2016 because we need more funding to support local conservation initiatives that will help our fish and wildlife.  I will also make sure to serve on the Subcommittee on Federal Lands to ensure our National Parks are fully funded. These National Parks are economic engines for tourism and recreation.  They are also vital resources for the health of our ecosystem, especially fish, wildlife, water, forests, and other natural features.  This directly affects our hunting and fishing opportunities.

7.    How will your office balance the need to develop energy (both renewable and non-renewable) and the need to maintain wildlife habitat and access for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

There is always a great need to balance energy development with healthy habitat and access for hunting and fishing and other uses in our state.  Energy development will always be important to our state.  In addition, we need to remember that habitat and access issues also affect our state economy, especially when tourism and recreation are the only industries that are growing.  We need to spend more money and time studying these issues so that we can base our policies on strong scientific knowledge.  I believe the federal government needs to make sure that all public lands are considered as multiple-use.  We need to make sure that leasing for energy is carefully considered in a context of other uses, such as wildlife habitat, hunting, fishing, access, and other uses.  I also think we can work collaboratively with energy companies.  Their long-term success hinges on minimizing their impact on habitat, access, and other issues.  We can work together to create new strategies for living together with energy development, the protection of habitat, and access for outdoor recreation.  If we work together, we can always find positive solutions.

8.    A few Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) are being reviewed by county-led advisory committees through the Wyoming Public Land Initiative. What is your opinion on the WSAs and this process?

I like this initiative because it seeks to listen to the people of our state.  There are 43 Wilderness Study Areas in our state.  My goal is to make sure local opinions on these study areas are heard.  We all hunt, fish, or recreate in areas that are important to us.  It is important for each individual in the state to voice their opinions about those areas to their county commissioners.  It is a great opportunity for your local voice to be heard.  We need to spread the word on this opportunity and we need to make sure people contribute their thoughts.  I will carefully monitor this process to embrace its strengths and fix its weaknesses.  This is an important moment to provide local input for the management of these important areas in our state.  We cannot let this opportunity pass.

9.    Does your office intend to seek increased or decreased federal funding for our land management agencies?

I intend to seek increased federal funding for our land management agencies.  The reason is simple for our state.  We rely heavily on federal money to maintain National Parks, BLM land, Forest Service land, and other federal land.  Access to these public lands boosts our state economy.  At this time, most of our state economy is failing.  However, tourism and outdoor recreation are industries that are growing.  We cannot cut federal spending to the only industries in our state that are growing.  If we are going to fix our state economy, we must support access to federal lands.

10.    Will you support the new congressional measure for wildlife funding, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2016? This bipartisan legislation will help recover thousands of at-risk species, in Wyoming and across America, by providing $1.3 billion annually for on-the-ground wildlife conservation measures.

I will support this bill.  My goal is to support the health of fish and wildlife species in our state.  We often do not have enough money to support conservation initiatives to support this goal.  The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2016 provides specific funds to accomplish the goal of helping fish and wildlife before they become endangered, threatened, or imperiled.  I like that strategy.  I also like that this bill proposes to dedicates about $1.3 Billion annually to this new fund.  Finally, I like that the bill allows each state the authority to make decisions for how to spend the money.  I think it’s a good bill.  It’s good for Wyoming.  My hope is that this bill will be passed and this fund will increase over time.

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[Paad] Paul Paad

1.    How will you represent Wyoming sportsmen and sportswomen while in Washington?

I will work to maintain access to public lands. I will also work to increase the involvement of state and local agencies in the development of land management plans.

2.    Are you in favor of state control and management of national public lands in Wyoming?

The FLPMA of 1976 mandates that states will be consulted if the management of federal lands within their borders. I feel this consultation and communication between state and federal agencies has been lacking, and a better line of communication should be established. States MUST be included in the land management decision making. I do not favor transferring title of federal lands to the states.

3.    The Governor’s Task Force on Fish and Wildlife has recommended the creation of a dedicated fund that counties could utilize to financially and technically support placed-based collaboration on forest issues. Would you support such a dedicated fund and particularly if funds were identified that would not impact the state’s overall budget?

I am in favor of the concept but would be concerned as to where the funding would come from in times of economic downturn such as we are experiencing now. The source of the funding would be a factor in my final decision.

4.    What will your office do to increase access to public lands for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

I will work to ensure the federal lands remain public lands with public access. This includes consulting with local authorities and agencies to determine the best land use plan possible.

5.    What will be your major conservation policy priorities?

I would like to see the state DEQ have more oversight of the conservation efforts and have the federal agencies allow more of the conservation decisions to be made by those that are actually closest to the lands in question.

6.    What will be your major conservation funding priorities?

My funding priorities would tend to lean towards mitigation fire risks. I feel that not enough is be done to clear deadfall and underbrush in high risk areas. We also need to ensure funding is available to halt any invasive threats. Such as was the case with the beetle kill. We need to fund the “health of the lands.” I also feel that maintaining proper access areas leads to lower land destruction. Another priority would be to ensure proper herd sizes.

7.    How will your office balance the need to develop energy (both renewable and non-renewable) and the need to maintain wildlife habitat and access for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

Each request for energy development must be looked at on its own merits. We cannot get caught up in the “one size fits all” mentality. Any development must have the reclamation funding or bonding in place prior to the development commencing. We must ensure the taxpayers will not be left holding the bill for reclamation.

8.    A few Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) are being reviewed by county-led advisory committees through the Wyoming Public Land Initiative. What is your opinion on the WSAs and this process?

9.    Does your office intend to seek increased or decreased federal funding for our land management agencies?

I would propose a zero based budgeting process to determine exactly what funding is needed.

10.    Will you support the new congressional measure for wildlife funding, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2016? This bipartisan legislation will help recover thousands of at-risk species, in Wyoming and across America, by providing $1.3 billion annually for on-the-ground wildlife conservation measures. NO RESPONSE


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[Senteney] Jason Adam Senteney

1.    How will you represent Wyoming sportsmen and sportswomen while in Washington?

I believe we all need our pastimes to get away from the daily grind. I support hunting, fishing, and various other outdoor activities. As your Representative, I will work to ensure we all keep our rights to public land for multi-use. I will also look at rolling back some of the regulations that are hindering the enjoyment of these lands.

2.    Are you in favor of state control and management of national public lands in Wyoming?

I do believe in transferring public lands in each sovereign state to that state. Those lands shall be managed by the state. The state, not the Federal Government will receive the funds from use of those lands. I do believe there does need to be a provision in place that states that the state government will not sell any public land to individuals, corporations, or any other entity, otherwise they will forfeit management rights back to the Federal Government. Public land will remain the people’s land for multi-use.

3.    The Governor’s Task Force on Fish and Wildlife has recommended the creation of a dedicated fund that counties could utilize to financially and technically support placed-based collaboration on forest issues. Would you support such a dedicated fund and particularly if funds were identified that would not impact the state’s overall budget?
Yes

4.    What will your office do to increase access to public lands for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

For those lands that might be landlocked by private land, I will work with landowners to ensure right of way for those who wish to use the public land. The landowner must be present for those to get right of way to the public tracts.

5.    What will be your major conservation policy priorities?

Much like President Teddy Roosevelt, I believe we need to be good stewards of our land. I will support any policies that improve public land and use. I will oppose any attempts to deny the public use of that land, as long as it is not be trashed.

6.    What will be your major conservation funding priorities?

The state will be responsible for funding of projects to improve the land for use.

7.    How will your office balance the need to develop energy (both renewable and non-renewable) and the need to maintain wildlife habitat and access for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

I believe we have enough land to balance the need for resource retrieval and recreation. I also believe those companies are solely responsible for reclamation cost on approved lands, the taxpayers should never be on the hook for reclamation.

8.    A few Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) are being reviewed by county-led advisory committees through the Wyoming Public Land Initiative. What is your opinion on the WSAs and this process?

I believe WSA’s are another attempt by the Federal Government to keep the public of of public land. I disagree with WSA’s because they restrict access to the public in many cases.

9.    Does your office intend to seek increased or decreased federal funding for our land management agencies?

I plan on downsizing the BLM by 75%. Those who will be cut from the Federal payroll, may go to work for the agency responsible at the state level. I will also work to strip the BLM from having any law enforcement authority. Those who will still be employed with the BLM will be liaisons between Washington DC and the state.

10.    Will you support the new congressional measure for wildlife funding, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2016? This bipartisan legislation will help recover thousands of at-risk species, in Wyoming and across America, by providing $1.3 billion annually for on-the-ground wildlife conservation measures.
Yes

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[struempf] Larry Struempf

1.      How will you represent Wyoming sportsmen and sportswomen while in Washington?

Growing up on a ranch in Wyoming, I am a lifelong hunter and fisherman. I will work to protect American’s rights to own and use firearms as well as ammunition and reloading supplies.  I will work to protect the public lands and hunters access to these lands.  I will also work to protect the fish and game and their ability to manage hunting areas and game populations at the state level.

2.      Are you in favor of state control and management of national public lands in Wyoming?

As a libertarian candidate, I am in favor of moving more control of state resources from the national level to the states. I believe it is important to protect public lands and US citizens’ access to them.

3.      The Governor’s Task Force on Fish and Wildlife has recommended the creation of a dedicated fund that counties could utilize to financially and technically support placed-based collaboration on forest issues. Would you support such a dedicated fund and particularly if funds were identified that would not impact the state’s overall budget?

As a US Congressman, I would not have influence over state laws or funds. Yet, as a Wyoming citizen, I am in favor a dedicated fund to support fish and wildlife as well as forest service needed to support the future of wildlife and game.

4.      What will your office do to increase access to public lands for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

As a US Congressman, I will have little influence over state laws and policies. At the national level, I can work with my fellow congressman to ensure access to all public lands, through land purchases and the purchases of easements.

5.      What will be your major conservation policy priorities? 

Priorities on conservation policies are a moving target and varies from state to state. I would address this issue in a project management format. I would work with the experts in this to find out the most accurate information and work with my constituents to come to a consensus that is best for the citizens of the United States. I would also work to push more control of local resource and conservation policies to the state level.

6.      What will be your major conservation funding priorities? 

I would work to ensure the nation’s public lands remain public and accessible to the citizens of the United States. I would also work to ensure the future of hunting.
7.      How will your office balance the need to develop energy (both renewable and non-renewable) and the need to maintain wildlife habitat and access for hunting and fishing in Wyoming? 

As the cheap and easy accessible coal, oil, and other minerals are used and we must dig and drill deeper to access energy sources and minerals, the demand for renewable resources will need to supplement the traditional resources.  While it is important to ensure our nation’s energy needs, it is also important to protect our waters and wildlife. I will work with my colleagues in Congress to ensure a better future for all Americans.

8.      A few Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) are being reviewed by county-led advisory committees through the Wyoming Public Land Initiative. What is your opinion on the WSAs and this process? 

Our nations Wilderness areas are important in order to protect and preserve natural areas for our children and their children as well as the wildlife that live there. I will work to protect these areas, working with those most knowledgeable in these areas.

9.      Does your office intend to seek increased or decreased federal funding for our land management agencies? 

As a Libertarian, I will work to shift more funding and control from the federal to the state level.

10.  Will you support the new congressional measure for wildlife funding, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2016? This bipartisan legislation will help recover thousands of at-risk species, in Wyoming and across America, by providing $1.3 billion annually for on-the-ground wildlife conservation measures.

As Wyoming’s next congressman, I will work hard to honor the policies and laws we have created and work with the most knowledgeable in specific areas to make decisions about future policies and laws.

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[Stubson] Tim Stubson

1.    How will you represent Wyoming sportsmen and sportswomen while in Washington?

I will protect open access to our great public lands.   I want to ensure that there is proactive management of our wildlife at the state level.  Also, it is essential that we protect our 2nd Amendment rights  so that our way of life in Wyoming isn’t adversely affected.

2.    Are you in favor of state control and management of national public lands in Wyoming?

First and foremost, it is essential that we keep our public lands public, and that we continue to have open access for sportsman and recreationalists.    With that being said, I Propose the creation of charter forests and charter rangeland similar to charter schools, where allotted forests and rangelands will be managed by state and local governments and are exempt from the many federal regulations that have been heavily responsible for the current national forest management crisis.  Charter forests provide flexibility to develop and implement new solutions to old problems, allowing for more responsive, region-centric, management plans. The charter forests and rangelands will:
•    Solve local problems with local solutions while keeping the lands in public hands
•    Keep public lands open and accessible to sportsman and recreationists
•    End the “analysis paralysis” resulting from laws and litigation
•    Keep the federal government on the hook for wildfire management costs
•    Have a 5 year sunset clause, allowing for rigorous analysis to determine the current state of management.

3.    The Governor’s Task Force on Fish and Wildlife has recommended the creation of a dedicated fund that counties could utilize to financially and technically support placed-based collaboration on forest issues. Would you support such a dedicated fund and particularly if funds were identified that would not impact the state’s overall budget?

This is a state issue.   With that being said, I support the Wyoming’s authority to allocate funds however they see fit when it comes to forest and wildlife management.

4.    What will your office do to increase access to public lands for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

I will work with the Fish and Wildlife, Game and Fish, and the Office of State Lands and Investment board to open up new areas for sportsman and recreationalists.  As a Member of Congress, I will be in a unique position to bring all of those agencies together to work for more open access.

5.    What will be your major conservation policy priorities?

Reforming the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and giving the state authority to manage our wildlife.   The ESA is long overdue for reform and the state of Wyoming needs control of our wildlife management.

6.    What will be your major conservation funding priorities?

My chief funding priority will be to work with the different management agencies and help them move away from their current abandonment management strategies.  We need to reallocate funds to actually management of our lands and move away from the administration side of the agencies.

7.    How will your office balance the need to develop energy (both renewable and non-renewable) and the need to maintain wildlife habitat and access for hunting and fishing in Wyoming?

I will work to make decision making with regards to permitting and other management decisions more timely, so that people are held in limbo for long periods of time, creating uncertainty about their proposed projects.

8.    A few Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) are being reviewed by county-led advisory committees through the Wyoming Public Land Initiative. What is your opinion on the WSAs and this process?

I support the initiative.  We must make sure that all interested parties are involved in collaboration so that we can determine whether or not the Wilderness Study Area is needed.   Whatever decision is reached, I will support.

9.    Does your office intend to seek increased or decreased federal funding for our land management agencies?

I won’t seek to increase the funding, but will seek to reprioritize current funds toward positive investment in our lands.

10.    Will you support the new congressional measure for wildlife funding, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2016? This bipartisan legislation will help recover thousands of at-risk species, in Wyoming and across America, by providing $1.3 billion annually for on-the-ground wildlife conservation measures.

I think it is very important that we reform the Endangered Species Act, because we can longer accept the status quo.  I believe that has to be one of our highest priorities. We need greater management of our species at the state level, and this bill will provide more funding for state wildlife offices, which is a positive.  One thing that concerns me is where the money is being reallocated from.   I will need more information on the budget details before I could endorse this particular bill, but it does provide our state wildlife offices with some much need funding, which is something I can support.Type your paragraph here.