Cheyenne, Wyo – The Mule Deer Foundation’s Wyoming regional director, Shawn Blajszczak, presented the Wyoming Game & Fish Commission’s new “WYldlife Fund” with a check for $5,000 at yesterday’s commission meeting in Cheyenne. The funds were earned through the sale of a 2019 Commissioner’s License Authorization given to MDF’s Wyoming chapters by Commissioner Richard Ladwig (District 6 – Crook, Niobrara and Weston counties). The funds are the first donation to the WYldlife Fund created by the commission as a new foundation to benefit wildlife and their habitat in the state. Commissioner Mike Schmid of LaBarge played a key role in the development of the new fund.
“We are proud to provide the first $5,000 to the Wyoming Fish & Game Commission’s new WYldlife Fund to help get it up and running,” Blajszczak commented. “This new Fund will provide a way for the people of Wyoming, and conservation organizations like MDF to support wildlife in our great state.”
Over the last decade, the Mule Deer Foundation has sold Governor’s and Commissioner’s tags that have generated over $1 million in funds for the conservation of mule deer in Wyoming. In addition, last year the organization secured a cooperative grant with the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission that will allocate nearly $870,000 for habitat improvement, invasive weed treatment, and wildlife-friendly fencing for two key migratory mule deer herds – the Sublette herd and the Platte Valley herd. The organization signed an agreement with the agency at the beginning of 2020 to initiate the on-the-ground project work.
“The Mule Deer Foundation has a long history of working with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and we are looking forward to implementing these habitat projects to improve important mule deer migration corridors,” commented Steve Belinda, MDF’s director of conservation programs. “With this ongoing relationship, we are happy that we can help the commission by providing some kick-off funding for their new WYldlife Fund.”
The WYldlife Fund is expected to be fully operational in the coming months as the commission hires a new executive director to oversee the foundation. The goal is to receive funding from hunting and non-hunting constituents who want to invest in the future of the state’s wildlife and their habitat.
The Mule Deer Foundation is the only conservation group in North America dedicated to restoring, improving and conserving mule deer and black-tailed deer and their habitat, with a focus on science and program efficiency. MDF is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. MDF acknowledges regulated hunting as a viable management component and is committed to recruitment and retention of men, women and youth into the shooting sports and conservation. Get involved in your state or become a member at www.muledeer.org or call 1-888-375-3337.