Wolf tracks found in RMNP. By Pamela Dickman. Longmont Times-Call.

Recall that about a month ago there was a sighting of what was thought to be a wolf in the Park. These tracks are NOT really proof of a

 
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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.

11 Responses to Wolf tracks found in Rocky Mountain National Park

  1. avatar catbestland says:

    I have a question. If I am correct in my understanding that the Wyoming Wolf Management plan is supposed to provide some sort of migratory corridor to accomodate wolf dispersion, would it be biologically or ecologically unwise to encourage dispersion from Wyoming to Colorado by baiting wolves along this corridor with road kill deer or elk? If it is feasable, would it then be possible to get the State or Federal Wildlife Agencies to do it or is that something that one of the Wildlife orgs. would or could do. I ask this in hopes of finding some way to save at least some wolves before the Wyoming Wolf Slaughter Plan is implemented. I feel this would be a project that could be accomplished at little cost and one that people would be interested in volunteering for. I know I would. Any thoughts on this???

  2. Wyoming’s wolf plan doesn’t have any provision to facilitate wolf migration to Colorado or Utah, only Idaho and Montana.

    Come the adoption of the Wyoming state wolf management plan, the journey of any wolf southward will be very perilous once out of the portion of NW Wyoming where Wyoming will allow wolves to persist.

    The wolf will be a “predator,” and can be killed by almost any means, no matter how ugly.

    Baiting them southward would be counterproductive. They have been dispersing in that direction anyway for years, with almost all of them seeming to disappear.

  3. avatar vicki says:

    Ralph,
    I wonder why they disappear? Ay ideas? I know that they would go through a lot of cattle territory to cross into Colorado. I wonder if the ones that are seen are exterminated under the radar? I know there are numerous sightings reported each year, but the only confirmed wolf, (not tracks, but an animal) to my knowledge is the one killed on I-70.
    It’s hard to guess wether or not reporting a sighting would have a positive outcome. If you don’t report them, you can’t count the population, and they can be slaughtered without recourse. But if you do, then what? Then we have the chaos that you experience in WY/ID/MT. Management is great, when there are only a few…but when there are many, it gets sticky.
    I am still somewhat skeptical about this sighting. I am sure there is something there, but I would think they would have seen, or heard more by now. Especially in the area they are talking about. Have you been there? The area around Morraine Park isn’t as wide and expansive as the Lamar area. It is a narrower strip of meadow and shrubs. There are a lot of coyotes there. Would a wolf likely howl in that situation?
    If this wolf was fortunate enought to get into RMNP, lets hope it’s wise enough to stay there.

  4. Please see explosive new video that blasts the justification for Alaska’s current aerial wolf hunting program and rallies voters to end it. Using testimony from Alaska Department of Fish & Game staff, a master hunting guide, and Board of Game members, this video exposes the fallacy behind Governor Sarah Palin’s claim that predator control is based on sound science. Declarations that the program is for the benefit of subsistence hunters are shattered with documentation showing that sport and trophy hunters take up to 73% of prey in areas where aerial wolf hunting has taken place. End Aerial Wolf Hunting rallies support for H.R. 3663, legislation now being considered in the U.S. Congress which will close the loophole in the Federal Airborne Hunting Act that has been exploited to allow this practice to continue. Five years in the making, this video exposes the truth about the stranglehold the hunting lobby has on wildlife management in Alaska.

  5. avatar Jeff says:

    I bet most of those wolves live and wander miles and just live their life in obscurity. Some probably get shot, single wolves are vulnerable to lions, most can’t find a mate and simply disappear into the remoteness that is still the American West. What’s the chance you or anyone would see one of the 15-30 mostly single wolves somewhere between SLC and essentially Denver? Slim chances, but occassionally one gets snared (UT) or shot border of UT and WY, filmed (near Walden, CO, run over on I-70 west of Denver, run over in the Black Hills

  6. avatar vicki says:

    I can attest that they have been seen. I will take a slim chance over no chance. Hopefully those odds get better soon.

  7. avatar Jeff says:

    I think that we’ll see a pack or two form somewhere south of I-80 in the very near future. Maybe in the Uintas, maybe somewhere around Baggs, Dinosaur National Monument seems likely as the Green River is a dispersal corridor to the south. One a pack or two can develop in these areas the Bookcliffs in Utah and Flattops near Steamboat will provide a solid foothold for wolves in the Central Rockies. My friend reported seeing a wolf while deer hunting near Maybell, Colorado a few years ago.

  8. avatar Mike Post says:

    I don’t think you folks appreciate just how much “shoot, shovel & shut up” is going on out there involving wolves and mountain lions everywhere west of the Rocky’s.

  9. avatar Jeff says:

    I agree the 3Ss are occurring, but I think they occur more frequently in areas with denser concentrations of wolves then on the periphery of wolf range. It is very likely that there are wolves in UT and CO already, however it is tough to see let alone shoot a wolf in CO or UT, likewise it is nearly impossible for the few wolves down there to cross paths with another of the opposite sex…Single wolves probably have a better chance in UT or CO than one wandering through Lincoln, Sublette, Sweetwater or Carbon Counties in Wyoming.

  10. avatar bishr says:

    what a horrible shame on humanity this killing of wolves is! what drives people to such hate? i am so far away here in syria and yet reading about wolf hunting causes me to loose sleep. i have dedicated most of my time here to captive breeding of jackals and jungle cats in hope that the sub-species of these animals that exist here in Syria persist despite all the destruction. why can’t americans just continue to kill people in iraq instead of wolves? they should just issue hunting licenses for shooting iraqi or maybe in the near future syrian citizens instead of endangered animals.

  11. avatar Barb says:

    The wolves have proven, time after time, that they are smarter than most wolf haters.

    They seem to “get under the skin” of insecure, egotistical people, some of which are hunters. Not all hunters go after trophy animals though. Just the insecure ones.

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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."

~ Edward Abbey

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