For release. February 27, 2008

Contact:
Suzanne Asha Stone, Defenders of Wildlife, (208) 424-0932
Louisa Willcox, Natural Resources Defense Council, (406) 222-9561
Franz Camenzind, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, (307) 733-9417
Kristina Johnson, Sierra Club, (415) 977-5619
Michael Robinson, Center for Biological Diversity, (575) 534-0360
Jon Marvel, Western Watersheds Project, (208) 788-2290

Eleven Conservation Groups Challenge Federal Wolf Delisting.

Washington, D.C.— Eleven conservation groups are fighting to protect wolves in the northern Rockies. The groups notified the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today that it violated the Endangered Species Act by removing the northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf population from the list of endangered species despite the genetic inadequacy of the present population and the refusal of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana to make meaningful commitments to wolf conservation. The groups intend to challenge the Service’s decision in federal court. In an effort to overturn the Service’s delisting rule before hundreds of wolves can be killed in Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, the conservation groups served their letter within hours of the publication of the delisting rule in the Federal Register. Under the delisting rule, states will assume legal management authority of wolves in the northern Rockies on March 28, 2008.

In the past two decades, the wolves of the northern Rocky Mountains have made remarkable progress toward recovery. While this progress deserves celebration, it is not yet complete. At present, wolves in central Idaho, northwestern Montana, and the Greater Yellowstone area remain largely disconnected from each other and wolves in Canada. The wolves of the Greater Yellowstone area, in particular, have remained genetically isolated since 31 wolves were introduced into Yellowstone National Park more than a decade ago. Moreover, the region’s population of 1,500 wolves still falls short of the 2,000 to 5,000 wolves that independent scientists have determined to be necessary to secure the health of the species. Wolves in the northern Rockies are endangered due to genetic isolation, lack of interchange between wolves in Yellowstone, central Idaho, and northwestern Montana, and an insufficient number of wolves. With continued recovery efforts, legitimate wolf recovery in the region is readily attainable. Delisting would further endanger wolves because of increased wolf killing, reduced wolf numbers, and less genetic exchange between wolf populations.

The Fish and Wildlife Service’s premature decision to strip the protections of the Endangered Species Act from the northern Rocky Mountains’ wolves promises to undo the progress of recent years. The state plans that will guide wolf management in the wake of delisting betray the states’ continued hostility toward the presence of wolves in the region. While ensuring that wolves can and will be killed in defense of property or recreation, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana have refused to make enforceable commitments to maintaining viable wolf populations within their borders. The states have also neglected to secure funding for essential monitoring and conservation efforts, relying on continued federal financing of all wolf-related activities following delisting.

Earthjustice submitted the notice letter on behalf of Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands Project, and Western Watersheds Project.

Conservation Group Statements:

“Wolves in the northern Rockies are simply not ready to lose federal protections. America has come too far, and worked too hard, to throw away the successes of the past decade and see wolves in the Yellowstone region end up back where they started.” Suzanne Asha Stone, Defenders of Wildlife

“There is nothing in the state management schemes or delisting rule itself to prevent the killing of up to 80 percent of wolves in the northern Rockies. Attempts by the Fish and Wildlife Service to assure the public otherwise have no factual basis.” Louisa Willcox, Natural Resources Defense Council

“Wolves in the northern Rockies are just now on the cusp of biological recovery. State management after delisting will allow the current wolf population to dwindle to three tiny, isolated groups totaling only 300 wolves. No species, including wolves, can survive in those conditions.” Melanie Stein, Sierra Club

“Just as disturbing as the state management plans that permit killing of hundreds of wolves is the expected increase in federal predator control, including ramped up aerial gunning, leghold traps and even poisoning of wolves. Federal predator control on behalf of the livestock industry is what exterminated wolves in the first place, and that was before the era of helicopter sharpshooters pursuing radio-collared wolves. We will bring this alarming prospect to a court’s attention.” Michael Robinson, Center for Biological Diversity

“Idaho wins the prize for wanting to kill the most wolves. Wyoming wins for the most blatant hostility toward wolves enshrined in state law. And Montana wears the crown for killing the most wolves 8 of the last 10 years despite having the smallest wolf population of all three states.” John Grandy, Ph.D., senior vice president of The Humane Society of the United States

“We are concerned that Wyoming will strictly adhere to the language in the state legislation and aggressively eliminate wolves that now occupy Jackson Hole and parts of Grand Teton National Park. With Wyoming’s current plan, wolves two miles from Jackson’s Town Square could be killed by anyone at any time—this is reprehensible.” Franz Camenzind, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance

“As evidenced by the of State of Idaho’s proposals to aerial gun wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness and to kill up to 75% of the wolves on the Upper Lochsa while wolves remained protected, delisting at this time poses a great risk to the Northern Rockies wolf population, which is still recovering.” Will Boyd, Education Director, Friends of the Clearwater

“Legal action is necessary to prevent the states from implementing management schemes that have the primary purpose of eliminating, rather than conserving, wolves.” Michael Garrity, Alliance for the Wild Rockies

“Wolves are just starting to cross the Snake River and begin the process of recovery in the state of Oregon where wolves remain endangered. Prematurely removing the gray wolf from the federal Endangered Species list and allowing Idaho and Wyoming to dramatically reduce wolf populations will delay or even prevent the recovery of the wolf in Oregon.” Doug Heiken, Oregon Wild, formerly Oregon Natural Resources Council

“Wolves are not recovered in the west. There are still public lands with abundant elk and deer populations that can and should sustain these magnificent animals throughout the western states.” Jon Marvel, Western Watersheds Project

“Gray wolves in the northern Rockies are near biological recovery, but they aren’t there yet. Now, wolves are staring down the barrel at hostile state management schemes that would ensure the wolf population never achieves sustainable numbers and genetic connectivity.” Jenny Harbine, Earthjustice

NORTHERN ROCKIES GRAY WOLF DELISTING FACT SHEET
State Management Will Drive Wolf Numbers Down to the Bare Minimum


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has stated that a minimum population of merely 300 wolves—80 percent fewer than currently occupy the northern Rockies—is all that is necessary to keep wolves off the endangered species list. Nonetheless, Service officials assert that state management of northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves will likely result in a population of 900-1,250 wolves, rather than the 300 wolves that the final delisting rule allows. The Service has not cited any commitments by the states to maintain the population above the federally established minimum. In fact, as demonstrated below, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming have not committed to maintain the wolf population above the Service’s minimum number. Inadequate state protections coupled with enduring hostility toward wolves in this region may well cause 80 percent of the region’s approximately 1,500 wolves to be killed under state management.

Wyoming:

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that Wyoming, Idaho and Montana should each maintain 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves to ensure that the states’ populations do not drop below 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves. Wyoming’s management plan does not commit to maintaining 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves, or even 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves. Wyoming state law requires the Wyoming Fish and Game Commission to limit the killing of gray wolves “only as necessary to reasonably ensure at least seven (7) breeding pairs of gray wolves are located in [Wyoming] and primarily outside of [the national parks and parkway].” Wyo. Stat. § 23-1-304(a).


  • Wyoming state law contains no commitment, nor even a statement of intent, to manage for more than 7 breeding pairs (which could be as few as 28 wolves) outside of the national parks. Quite the opposite, Wyoming law does not permit state wildlife managers to manage for more than 7 breeding pairs.


  • Moreover, “[i]n areas of Wyoming where the wolf is classified as a predatory animal”—the vast majority of the state—“take will not be regulated.” Wyoming Plan (2007) at 15. This means anyone with or without a hunting license can shoot a wolf, or wolves, any time of year when encountered in this region.


  • Wyoming officials have stated publicly that they intend to eliminate all but the minimum number of wolves the Fish and Wildlife Service has stated is necessary to prevent re-listing the gray wolf as threatened or endangered. See The Associated Press, Wolf managers target low number (June 11, 2007) (“Wyoming aims to eventually reduce the number of wolves in the state to near the minimum the federal government will allow once the animal is removed from special protection status, a state Game and Fish Department official said.”); Whitney Royster, Feds plan another wolf concession, Casper Star-Tribune (March 31, 2007) (“Wyoming, now with an estimated 26 packs, has said it wants to manage for the minimum number of wolves.”)


Idaho:

  • The final delisting rule states that Idaho is currently home to 788 wolves. According to Idaho’s Wolf Population Management Plan (Oct. 2007), which sets forth specific population targets for Idaho wolf packs, the “minimum number of wolves objective” statewide is 104. See Idaho Fish and Game Department, Draft Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan 2008-2012, at 31 (October 2007). Nothing in the Idaho plan or state law commits Idaho to maintaining numbers above this “minimum number.”


  • On January 11, 2007, Idaho’s governor Butch Otter announced his support for a “gray wolf kill,” in which all but 100 of Idaho’s wolves would be eradicated after delisting. At the rally with about 300 hunters, Otter said, “I’m prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself.” See Associated Press, Idaho governor calls for gray wolf kill (Jan. 12, 2007) http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=12019 <http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=12019> ; Brad Knickerbocker, Gray wolves may lose US protected status, The Christian Science Monitor (Feb. 1, 2007).


  • Idaho’s wolf management plan makes clear that the state’s official position is that wolves should be managed according to House Joint Memorial No. 5, which resolved that “wolves be removed [from Idaho] by whatever means necessary.” See House Joint Memorial No. 5 (2001), at http://www3.state.id.us/oasis/2001/HJM005.html Idaho Plan at 4.


Montana:

  • Montana has not made enforceable commitments to maintain wolves above the minimum number established by FWS.


  • Gray wolves in Montana are classified “as a species in need of management.” Mont. Code Ann. § 87-5-131. As applied to wolves, “species in need of management” is not defined by Montana law, although “management” is broadly defined to include “the entire range of activities,” including “control,” “periodic protection of species or populations,” and “regulated taking.” See Mont. Code Ann. § 87-5-102(5). This broad definition of “management” would allow virtually any management regime. This discretion is illustrated by the State’s treatment of the only other species currently designated as a “species in need of management”—bison—which is met with persistent efforts to reduce its presence in Montana. See Mont. Code Ann. § 87-1-216 (authorizing public hunting and bison management to reduce any threats to “persons or property”).


  • Despite a smaller wolf population than both Wyoming and Idaho, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has ordered more wolves killed by federal Wildlife Services than either Wyoming or Idaho. See http://fwp.mt.gov/content/getItem.aspx?id=26915. Montana ordered an average of 38 wolves per year killed in 2002-2006, compared with 28 in Wyoming, and 22 in Idaho. Id. Montana ordered 53 wolves killed in 2006 in response to just 38 confirmed wolf predations on livestock. Id. 2007 numbers are not yet available.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has stated that a minimum population of merely 300 wolves—80 percent fewer than currently occupy the northern Rockies—is all that is necessary to keep wolves off the endangered species list. Nonetheless, Service officials assert that state management of northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves will likely result in a population of 900-1,250 wolves, rather than the 300 wolves that the final delisting rule allows. The Service has not cited any commitments by the states to maintain the population above the federally established minimum. In fact, as demonstrated below, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming have not committed to maintain the wolf population above the Service’s minimum number. Inadequate state protections coupled with enduring hostility toward wolves in this region may well cause 80 percent of the region’s approximately 1,500 wolves to be killed under state management.

Wyoming:

  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that Wyoming, Idaho and Montana should each maintain 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves to ensure that the states’ populations do not drop below 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves. Wyoming’s management plan does not commit to maintaining 15 breeding pairs and 150 wolves, or even 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves. Wyoming state law requires the Wyoming Fish and Game Commission to limit the killing of gray wolves “only as necessary to reasonably ensure at least seven (7) breeding pairs of gray wolves are located in [Wyoming] and primarily outside of [the national parks and parkway].” Wyo. Stat. § 23-1-304(a).


  • Wyoming state law contains no commitment, nor even a statement of intent, to manage for more than 7 breeding pairs (which could be as few as 28 wolves) outside of the national parks. Quite the opposite, Wyoming law does not permit state wildlife managers to manage for more than 7 breeding pairs.


  • Moreover, “[i]n areas of Wyoming where the wolf is classified as a predatory animal”—the vast majority of the state—“take will not be regulated.” Wyoming Plan (2007) at 15. This means anyone with or without a hunting license can shoot a wolf, or wolves, any time of year when encountered in this region.


  • Wyoming officials have stated publicly that they intend to eliminate all but the minimum number of wolves the Fish and Wildlife Service has stated is necessary to prevent re-listing the gray wolf as threatened or endangered. See The Associated Press, Wolf managers target low number (June 11, 2007) (“Wyoming aims to eventually reduce the number of wolves in the state to near the minimum the federal government will allow once the animal is removed from special protection status, a state Game and Fish Department official said.”); Whitney Royster, Feds plan another wolf concession, Casper Star-Tribune (March 31, 2007) (“Wyoming, now with an estimated 26 packs, has said it wants to manage for the minimum number of wolves.”)


Idaho:

  • The final delisting rule states that Idaho is currently home to 788 wolves. According to Idaho’s Wolf Population Management Plan (Oct. 2007), which sets forth specific population targets for Idaho wolf packs, the “minimum number of wolves objective” statewide is 104. See Idaho Fish and Game Department, Draft Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan 2008-2012, at 31 (October 2007). Nothing in the Idaho plan or state law commits Idaho to maintaining numbers above this “minimum number.”


  • On January 11, 2007, Idaho’s governor Butch Otter announced his support for a “gray wolf kill,” in which all but 100 of Idaho’s wolves would be eradicated after delisting. At the rally with about 300 hunters, Otter said, “I’m prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself.” See Associated Press, Idaho governor calls for gray wolf kill (Jan. 12, 2007) http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=12019 <http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=12019> ; Brad Knickerbocker, Gray wolves may lose US protected status, The Christian Science Monitor (Feb. 1, 2007).


  • Idaho’s wolf management plan makes clear that the state’s official position is that wolves should be managed according to House Joint Memorial No. 5, which resolved that “wolves be removed [from Idaho] by whatever means necessary.” See House Joint Memorial No. 5 (2001), at http://www3.state.id.us/oasis/2001/HJM005.html Idaho Plan at 4.


Montana:

  • Montana has not made enforceable commitments to maintain wolves above the minimum number established by FWS.


  • Gray wolves in Montana are classified “as a species in need of management.” Mont. Code Ann. § 87-5-131. As applied to wolves, “species in need of management” is not defined by Montana law, although “management” is broadly defined to include “the entire range of activities,” including “control,” “periodic protection of species or populations,” and “regulated taking.” See Mont. Code Ann. § 87-5-102(5). This broad definition of “management” would allow virtually any management regime. This discretion is illustrated by the State’s treatment of the only other species currently designated as a “species in need of management”—bison—which is met with persistent efforts to reduce its presence in Montana. See Mont. Code Ann. § 87-1-216 (authorizing public hunting and bison management to reduce any threats to “persons or property”).


  • Despite a smaller wolf population than both Wyoming and Idaho, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has ordered more wolves killed by federal Wildlife Services than either Wyoming or Idaho. See http://fwp.mt.gov/content/getItem.aspx?id=26915. Montana ordered an average of 38 wolves per year killed in 2002-2006, compared with 28 in Wyoming, and 22 in Idaho. Id. Montana ordered 53 wolves killed in 2006 in response to just 38 confirmed wolf predations on livestock. Id. 2007 numbers are not yet available.


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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.

26 Responses to Eleven Conservation Groups Challenge Federal Wolf Delisting (news release)

  1. avatar April Clauson says:

    I knew that was coming, they have very good legal points, no Judge can ignore this. I am thinking there is hope! It is good to see some of my money which I have donated to some of these groups over the last few months in preparation of this, is going to good use!

  2. avatar Robert Wiley says:

    I don’t think they have a leg to stand on. Scientifically and biologically they have no case.

    This wolf introduction has met and surpassed every previously agreed upon scenario and it’s time to delist and manage.
    End of story.

  3. avatar timz says:

    Robert, could you tell us where you got your law degree please.

  4. avatar Ronnie says:

    I agree with Robert. ALthough I wish it weren’t the case, all 3 states have enough established packs and breeding pairs. Plus, the Feds don’t want to deal with them anymore,They want to jump ship with a smile on their face.

  5. avatar JB says:

    Actually, I don’t any legal arguments made in the above statement–it’s a press release designed to influence the public.

    However, the conclusion that “they don’t have a leg to stand on” is totally unfounded. Specifically, I’m referring to FWS’s violation of the ESA’s mandate to list species in danger in all “or a significant portion” of their range. FWS ignores well-established precedent, instead relying on the legal opinion of the Solicitor, which is nothing more than a half-assessed attempt to limit listings for the remaining time the Bush administration is in office.

  6. avatar JB says:

    sorry, I meant, “I don’t see any legal arguments…”

  7. avatar Tim Z. says:

    Ronnie,
    The Feds well have to “deal with it” if the courts tell them so. It has nothing to do with what they want.

  8. avatar Don Riley says:

    Mr. Wiley,
    Actually, science and biology have very little to do with a case like this (unless the science upon which the case is based is proven to be so far out that it could be considered to be non-science, kinda like your “end of story” judgment). Agreements not in the form of contracts rarely carry sufficient weight to over rule the law as well. ( from my less than impartial perspective the agreements between the feds, ID, WY & to a lesser extent MT cannot pass a smell test, let alone the scrutiny of a court).

    It is a funny thing about courts. They tend to examine and issue, make a judgment on the facts as presented by the plaintiff and defendant and then apply the law. Judgment is the only area of possible subjectivity and I am sure that will be a serious consideration as the plaintiffs decide where to file their action. There are “activist judges” who do not necessarily follow the process, but for the most part Federal
    Judges are pretty sharp & strong supporters of the law as it is intended and written.

    More to the point, take the time to examine the attempted delisting (technically it was a rule to re-classify but had the same BASIC EFFECT as delisting) of the Grey Wolf begun in 2003 under Interior Secretary Gail Norton.

    Initially the plaintiffs were granted an injunction effectively halting the proposed delisting pending a trial. The injunction was critically important in the case. Without it, delisting proceeds and a trial comes later. The importance of an injunction in the current case is no less.

    January, 2007, a federal court made the injunction permanent and went a step furher by declaring the delisting rule non compliant with the law as written by Congress and therefore null & void.

    An item by item listing of the court’s reasoning is available on line, or possibly in your law library. Little of the facts of the case had to do with science and none with agreements, IT WAS THE LAW MAN!

    A couple of citations from the Court’s ruling:
    1. “a court need not accept an agency’s interpretation of
    its own regulations if that interpretation is inconsistent with the wording of the regulation or inconsistent with the statute under which the regulations were promulgated.” Mines v. Sullivan,..read- those drafting the rule were incompetent.
    2. “The desire to delist “the rest of the West,” is not an appropriate consideration. In addition, a co-author of the Final Rule stated, “I think this [reclassification] is
    the best and quickest way to get the policy and legal framework GREASED (emphasis mine) for delisting.” AR Doc.
    974 at 15,316.”….AMAZING !!!

    So you see, a whole lot more goes into a court case than science, biology and agreement. We can only hope FWS did not fire the 2003 authors, but gave them a chance to redeem themselves. Their demonstrated depth of incompetence is not easily exorcised from a federal bureaucrat.

    FINALLY (makes you happy, Huh?) JB’s point on the EIS is dead on. It was a major factor in the last case and is present in the current case.

    GO INJUNCTION !!!!!!!!!!
    Don

  9. avatar AJ says:

    I have a question to the ESA experts on this forum:

    If I visit idaho and go hiking in the backcountry and a wolf attacks my dog am I allowed to kill the wolf to protect my dog?

    If that is so where in the ESA does it state it can do that?

    Thanks

  10. avatar timz says:

    ESA would not allow that, however the relaxed 10j rule would I believe.

  11. avatar Robert Wiley says:

    No wolf is going to kill my dog in front of me 10J rules or not.

  12. avatar Barb says:

    Hey AJ,

    If I visit idaho and go hiking in the backcountry and YOUR DOG attacks me, (which is a much greater likelihood) am I allowed to kill the dog to protect myself?

    Domestic DOGS are more responsible for far many more injuries and fatalies to people than wolves and coyotes!

  13. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Barb,
    In most jurisdictions, a dog that attacks a person can and will be destroyed, especially if the victim wishes to press the case. If one of my dogs ever seriously hurt somebody — exept in the case of a person who was trying to hurt me or my children and the dog was protecting us — you wouldn’t even have to wait for the authorities to arrive. I’d kill the dog myself.

    At the same time, don’t you think it’s a little unfair to say people just have no right at all to take their dogs on public land, or protect them if they are threatened?

    I mean, it’s one thing if my dog runs off and gets killed by wolves. That’s my fault, I wasn’t keeping proper tabs on my dog. But if a wolf attacts my dog right in front of me… you’re saying I just have to stand there and take it?

    That’s wrong, IMO.

  14. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    In Wyoming, according to statutes, sheep are afforded a greater degree of protection from dogs than are humans.

    To paraphrase: “If a dog attacks a sheep, the the dog SHALL be destroyed.”

    “If a dog attacks a human, the dog MAY be destroyed.”

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  15. The issue of a wolf attacking a pet dog in the backcountry is a rare thing (has it even happened?) that raises heat and no light.
    – – – – –

    Thanks Mack for pointing out the priority of things in Wyoming.

  16. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    Ralph, the backcountry scenerio might not be all that common, except for hunting hounds. And I would think that would just be part of the acceptable risk in a huntin’ hound dawg’s rough and rugged life. I think there have been problems with wolves attacking pets in communties on the edge of the wild in Canada and Alaska. As both the wolf range and human “range” (subdivisions) expand, it will, no doubt, start to happen here too. I would much rather see wolves strongly discouraged from attacking pets. Because from there, it could be a short leap to an attack on people. And we all know that would be an answer to strident anti-wolfers prayers. An attack by wolves on Suzie Homemaker trying to defend the family poodle from wolves in the Sunny Vale Subdivision would give them just the propoganda vehicle they’ve been hoping for. In short, I don’t think you should poo-poo dog-wolf encounters. The actual incidents might be insignifigant, but the political fallout could be huge.

    Mack, aren’t there still more sheep than people in Wyoming?

  17. avatar Jeff says:

    There was an incident with the Gros Ventre pack a few years ago. A couple was hiking up Flat Creek east of the Elk Refugee with their heeler and they came close to the den site. The wolves aggressively drove the couple and their dog out of the area, it was reported in the JH News and Guide at the time. The dog and couple were unhurt, but terrified. There have been a few undocumented reports from Game Creek Trail (popular Jackson recreation trailhead) of wolves acting aggressively towards people, but I think they were all hikers/nordic skiers with dogs, and they might have encountered the unusually bold coyote that I encountered a few winters back with my lab. On another note I did here of a pack of wolves near Harrison Ford’s place along the Snake River in the South Park area of Jackson Hole. A large herd of elk resides in this area year round in the river bottom because of the protection afforded by Ford’s no hunting policy. This is the Fall Creek Herd that is frequently over WY G & F objective and likely the source of brucellosis that forced the destruction of the Jackson Hole Hereford Ranch’s entire herd a few years back.

  18. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    HAL 9000 wrote: “Mack, aren’t there still more sheep than people in Wyoming?”

    HAL, unless I’m mistaken, yes, there’s more sheep than people in Wyoming and more cattle than people in Wyoming.

    How’s that for a sign of the influence livestock producers have on our legislature?

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  19. avatar Layton says:

    Ralph,

    There was an article in the Statesman last week about a dog that was killed by wolves (F&G verified it) in the Placerville/Centerville area last week. Right outside the people’s house.

    There were three pet dogs killed, evidently by a single, black wolf, in one night, in a subdivision up the Elk Lake road between New Meadows and Riggins. This happened last summer — July I think. It was also verified by FWS and reported in the local paper.

    Layton

  20. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Layton, thanks for the “wolf kills dog” news update.

    Layton, you can’t describe “The Deal” or the participants of “The Deal,” can you.

    Time to be a big boy and admit you cannot.

    But if you think you can, go ahead and do so.

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  21. avatar SAP says:

    On the sheep vs. Wyoming residents question . . .

    Go to this USDA site and pull up the numbers:

    http://www.nass.usda.gov/

    It says there were 460,000 sheep & lambs in Wyoming in 2007; about 20,000 fewer in 2008 (but that may be an artifact of their reporting schedules, so I’ll go with 2007).

    Census Bureau says there were 515,004 people in WY in 2006.

    Cattle are a different story: 1.43 million in 2007 in Wyoming, or 2.78 cattle for every person.

  22. avatar Layton says:

    Mack,

    I think I DID reply, I’ve already asked Ralph if the post got pulled.

    Layton

  23. avatar Layton says:

    Mack,
    By the way, aren’t you going to ask me for date, chapter and verse to verify the stories that I referenced??

    How unlike you to not ask questions that you already know the answers to!!

    Layton

  24. avatar JB says:

    I think Ralph is right; the wolf v. dog “issue” is overblown; it just doesn’t happen that frequently in the West. In the Midwest its a different story. In Wisconsin, for example, hunters that take their dogs out for training during the spring (when wolves are denning)–rather than abandon den/rendezvous sites, wolves stay and defend their pups. The result, dead dogs (but still only 10 in 2007). (read here: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/mammals/wolf/dogdepred.htm)

    Though I’m very much pro-hunting, I’ve always thought hunting bear or cougar with dogs is a cowardly act. The dog does all the work and takes all the risk, the “hunter” simply follows along and shoots the animal out of a tree. Not very sporting IMO.

  25. avatar timz says:

    “On the sheep vs. Wyoming residents question . . ”

    Are the men still men and the sheep still nervous?

  26. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    LOL, Timz! Well, the shortage of women in Wyoming isn’t quite as bad as what I hear about Alaska (what is it, like 10-15 single guys for every single woman up there?), but even so… I had to go to Utah to find my girlfriend… so draw your own conclusions.

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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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