SCI and the Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association Host the 2024 North American Outfitter and Guide Workshop

On June 10-12, 2024, the Wyoming Outfitters and Guides Association and SCI hosted the 2024 North American Outfitter and Guide Workshop at the Whiskey Mountain Conservation Camp near Dubois, Wyoming. The workshop was attended by outfitter association executives from nine different jurisdictions in the United States and Canada in person or via zoom.  Some intended attendees learned travel logistics in Wyoming are nearly as undependable as cellular phone coverage but their attempts to attend were greatly appreciated!

The workshop kicked off with a training session on the use of bear spray and a practical exercise of deploying bear spray on ‚ÄúRobo Bear‚ÄĚ.¬†This is a cooperative grizzly bear conflict mitigation program including the SCI Foundation and the state wildlife management agencies of both Wyoming and Montana. The program currently has two training simulators with plans to add one additional simulator in western Montana. The program utilizes an educational presentation combined with a practical training simulation to train and prepare participants to react properly and effectively deploy deterrent spray in the event of a bear encounter.¬†This training for back country visitors is designed to minimize conflicts, and injury to both bears and humans.¬†The presentation was expertly provided by Bear Wise/Conflict Mitigation Specialist Mark Aughton with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. The training was highly educational and applicable to all who participated.¬†¬†

A robust conversation was held regarding Executive Order (EO) 14026 and the requirements increasing the minimum wage and overtime provisions for contractors utilizing federal lands as a part of their guiding and outfitting operations. The financial implications of EO 14026 have resounding financial impacts on all outfitters utilizing federal lands. If the EO is implemented fully, hunters utilizing outfitters will see a significant increase in the cost of guided hunts or many operators no longer provide those services.

Chronic Wasting Disease updates and developments were shared by the group.  Recent research demonstrating a strong species barrier between humans and CWD was discussed. Those research findings will be shared with the attendees.  

Staff SCI attorney Regina Lennox provided a legal and legislative overview of current issues being addressed by SCI. Guide and Outfitter Liaison Scott Talbott provided an overview of the SCI convention and the G&O program update.  

Many other subjects of mutual interest such as management of large carnivores, political influences on boards and commissions, resident and nonresident license allocation and their affect on business opportunities, trapping and hunting bans, user day fee administration and use for BLM and USFS lands business opportunities for associations. 

The beautiful Wind River Mountain range provided an outstanding backdrop for the meeting and provided all a variety of hiking, fishing, and sight-seeing opportunities before and after the daily presentations. A sincere thanks to all who attended and helped make the conference a huge success!

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