Wolves may be delisted in Idaho and Montana without waiting for Wyoming
Although wolves are probably biologically recovered in Idaho and Montana, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming are tied together. None of the states can have the wolf delisted until all three states have federally approved wolf conservation plans. Idaho and Montana have theirs approved and are managing the wolves with minor federal oversight.
Wyoming’s governor and state Game and Fish Commission have said from the start that it was their defective wolf plan that lets people shoot or otherwise kill wolves for any reason anywhere in the state outside the national parks and a few Forest Service Wilderness areas, or nothing. So the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service keeps managing Wyoming wolves outside of Yellowstone Park. Idaho and Montana are chomping at the bit. They want a two state delisting. Many people disagree because under current rules Idaho cannot have deliberate wolf reduction unless it is scientifically justified. Idaho Fish and Game Commission wants to kill some of its wolves, but it can’t justify it except politically.
Todd Adams writes about it in the Challis Messenger. Read the article.
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
5 Responses to Wolves may be delisted in Idaho and Montana without waiting for Wyoming
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Is anyone naive enough to believe the wolves would ever be delisted whther it is one state or three? What was the point of having the states spend hundreds of thousands of dollars developing a plan that would work for their state only to find that they were supposed to write exactly what the feds dictated?
Wolf caused problems are only going to increase over the years so it seems like a pretty good idea to leave the feds paying the bill. They wanted them.
Ralphy, doesn’t it defeat the whole purpose of commentary when you delete the ones that don’t stroke your ego?? The day will come, mother nature will get her belly full and right what’s being done to her!
Erin, I won’t be deleting commentary unless it is spam, libelous, uses too much profanity, advocates violence or illegal methods. Stuff like that. I see you own an elk farm, so will we probably disagree on things. Ralph
The 1994 rule under which wolves were reintroduced made it clear that as long as Wyoming classified wolves as predatory animals, delisting woudn’t occur. All the state of Wyoming had to do to move delisting along was change the legal status of wolves to trophy game statewide. By refusing to take this simple act, Wyoming is chosing to gum up the works of wolf delisting for what are purely political reasons.
The other comment I want to make is to point out that the state of Wyoming’s constant claim that the scientific peer reviews commissioned by the FWS on the adequacy of the three state wolf plans supported Wyoming’s plan is absolutely false. The reviews did not bless Wyoming’s dual status plan, which is quite clear if you take the time to read the reviews, which probably only 10 people in the entire state of Wyoming have done. Quite a number of the reviews criticized the Wyoming plan strongly because of its negative impacts on the wolf metapopulation. At the same time, the reviews collectively were a good example of science asleep at the wheel by agreeing that all three state plans in conjuction would conserve wolves, which quite simply is not a given. Further, David Mech’s comment was only a page and a half long; Warren Ballard’s only a page, Rolf Peterson’s barely longer. It’s clear that the big three wolf biologists merely skimmed the plans, doing a disservice to the wolf program. Nor was there any comment from a conservation biologist included in the reviews, Paul Paquet’s handwritten comments from a camp in the Arctic apparently never reaching the FWS.
It’s clear that a much broader perspective on the three state wolf plans is necessary for delisting. Idaho’s implementation of its plan is showing great weaknesses already by jumping to scientifically unjustified conclusions about wolf impacts on elk, for example.
At the same time, Wyoming’s intransigence on the dual status plan is making it easier for wolves to get to the Bighorns, the Laramie Range, the Uintas, possibly the Black Hills, and to Colorado. Politics has its own consequences, in which foolish ideology trumps rational self-interest.
To Erin –
You’re right – there will come a day when Mother Nature does get a belly full and rebell – and at that time, native species like grizzlies, wolves, buffalo, bighorns, mountain goat, mountain lion, wolverine and all the rest will be restored and recognized as having a place on the land.
Not sure where pathetic captive elk living out a life of misery waiting to be shot like a stray dog fit in … maybe you could provide justification for that — if it is indeed true that you own an elk game farm.
I think that people who want wolves delisted are crule theydo not do anything but find food the same as we would if we could not go to the store!!!! I’m going to save the wolves at any cost!!!