Ed Bangs, the federal Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, commented on the possible deal on delisting Wyoming wolves. Wyoming’s official plan for state conservation of a recovered wolf population has been rejected by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wyoming has sued to get it accepted.

In his latest Gray Wolf Recovery Progress Report, Bangs wrote:

WY newspapers (Wyoming Livestock Roundup, Casper Start Tribune, Jackson Hole News) reported that the FWS & WY are beginning to discuss a possible option that would allow approve of Wyoming’s wolf management framework and could allow delisting to be proposed for the northern Rocky Mountains.

The concept included a permanent trophy game area in NW WY that is smaller than the larger one adopted in Wyoming’s 2003 wolf management plan. That area would be enough to assure that recovery would be maintained while also allowing predatory animal status for the rest of Wyoming.

WYGF would manage for 7 wolf packs in that trophy area. If adopted in Wyoming’s regulatory framework it would allow Wyoming to immediately take advantage of the new more flexible 2005 experimental population rule and for the FWS to propose delisting.

At this point these discussion are informal and are simply part of the FWS’s continuing search for resolution of a very complex and emotional issue. Meanwhile the FWS administrative record was filed with the Wyoming District Court on the 11th, regarding the Wyoming vs DOI lawsuit which is ongoing.

Bang’s comments about it actually sound worse to me than what I had read about it in the newspapers.

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Dec. 16 More in the Casper Star Tribune today. Feds intend to offer Wyoming compromise on wolf management. “Jim Magagna, spokesman for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, said his group objects to including private land between Meeteetse and Cody and elsewhere in the federal agency’s proposed permanent wolf area.”

If private land is excluded, this would be a truly awful proposal. Magagna, is a powerful livestock politician, so we have to speculate about his real aims.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

3 Responses to Ed Bangs comments on possible Wyoming wolf deal

  1. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Methinks big politics are a-brewing here. The FWS proposal is clearly illegal. The Final Rule for Reintroduction in 1994 clearly established the entire state of Wyoming as part of the wolf recovery area. This proposal significantly changes the recovery area, which is the major problem with the existing Wyoming plan that hitherto the FWS has refused to accept, and rightly so.

    In order to make this new proposal fly, the FWS would at a minimum have go through NEPA to change the rule to allow a reduction in the recovery area.

  2. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Note that the current Wyoming wolf plan excludes from the trophy game zone all lands in NW Wyoming, private and public, that are outside the national parks, the National Elk refuge, and wilderness areas directly contiguous to the parks. This means that all the winter ranges of elk, wolves’ primary prey, are within the “predatory animal” zone.

    According to the news reports, the FWS proposal bulges the trophy game zone ever so slightly, mostly in the Carter Mountain area between Cody and Meeeteetse, but not enough to include most elk winter ranges.

    We have not actually seen the details of the proposal itself.

    Jim Magagna, the Executive VP of the Wyoming Stockgrowers, in his comment is simply demanding that the State hold firm with the current wolf plan.

    Just to whet peoples’ interest toward the strategic situation, the Wind River Indian Reservation has not established a policy for either wolf or grizzly management.

  3. avatar Bob says:

    Ed Bangs is an idiot…he and his kind should be taken off the endangered list

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

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