September 19, 2023 |

Photo – Outdoor Conservation Poster – Courtesy WY Game and Fish Dept

Wyoming Game and Fish is working on ways to introduce conservation themed programs into the state’s classrooms.

Yesterday, Wyoming Game and Fish Department Director Brian Nesvik held a press conference to announce three new outdoor education initiatives for schools. Governor Mark Gordon, Senator John Barrasso, and Department of Education Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder were also in attendance.

Speaking to Bigfoot99, Wyoming Game and Fish Public Information Officer Breanna Ball said state officials have announced the formation of three outdoor-oriented instructional programs for Wyoming students.

During the news conference announcing the three new education programs, Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik said wildlife is one of the most important aspects of life in Wyoming. Nesvik said enjoying the outdoors has had a positive effect on nearly every resident of the Cowboy State.

Nesvik discussed the three Game and Fish programs, beginning with Trout in the Classroom. The Game and Fish director said through a partnership with Wyoming Trout Unlimited, students will learn about trout and their habitat by raising fish in school.

Nesvik said 20 schools will participate in the pilot program for Trout in the Classroom later this school year. The Game and Fish director said his goal is to have every school in the state offer the trout education course.

The second program, Nesvik said, is the reintroduction of archery education into Wyoming schools. Nesvik said Game and Fish have teamed up with the National Archery in the School Program to provide bow hunting training to teachers.

Wyoming Game and Fish was associated with the National Archery in the Classroom Program in the past. Nesvik said budget cuts forced the state agency to end its partnership with the archery education program roughly twelve years ago.

The third announcement Game and Fish made yesterday was about a program to place a greater emphasis on hunter education courses in the state’s schools. Nesvik said hunter training relies on the work of 350 volunteers around the state. With the new Game and Fish initiative, Nesvik said teachers can gain accreditation to teach hunting safety in schools.

Nesvik said the school hunter education courses will satisfy the legal requirement needed to apply for a hunting license in Wyoming.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Degenfelder said the Wyoming Department of Education has teamed up with Game and Fish to ensure every young resident has access to the type of positive life changing outdoor experience that she is committed to offering.

Governor Gordon spoke about the benefits of incorporating outdoor education into the classroom experience. The governor said hunting and shooting teaches children real-world problem-solving skills.

Senator Barrasso said the Biden administration threatened to withhold federal funding from schools that promote hunting safety classes. The Wyoming senator said he is fighting against Washington DC’s closed-minded preconception about firearms.

Senator Barrasso said he has drafted a bill to secure federal education money for schools that teach hunting and firearm safety.

Game and Fish Director Nesvik said the majority of funding for the three programs will come from the Wyoming Department of Education.

Nesvik said the in-school hunter education classes should be available at the start of the next school year. Nesvik said the Trout in the Classroom and archery activities are planned to roll out later this school year.

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