Deal is reached with Wyoming on delisting wolves

So the USFWS caved in. Here is a brief story in the Idaho Statesman. 2:33 p.m. Wolves move closer to delisting status. Idaho Statesman

KIFI, Local News 8. Fish and Wildlife to move ahead on wolf delisting in Idaho, Montana




  1. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    I thought I’d post a link to Idaho’s wolf management plan and a relevant snippet taken from it. I think there is cause for concern but in order for Idaho to be in a position to start killing wolves, we’ve got to get past what I believe to be the inevitable court challenges. Anyway, here’s a link to the management plan:

    And the relevant part regarding population goals (note that the reference to the table on page 5 states that 15 packs is the threshold that Idaho considers a “recovered” population):

    Wolf Management Goals

    1. Manage wolves according to the chart on page 5 (Table 1) to ensure that wolves will not become re-listed under the Endangered Species Act. The wolf population will be managed at recovery levels that will ensure viable, self-sustaining populations until it can be established that wolves in increasing numbers will not adversely affect big game populations, the economic viability of IDFG, outfitters and guides, and others who depend on a viable population of big game animals. If the population falls below 15 packs, institute remedial management measures (note 1, p. 31).
    2. Assure that resident wolf populations are able to interchange with wolves in adjacent states and provinces, thereby making Idaho’s wolves part of a larger metapopulation. It is expected that adjacent states and provinces will also encourage this interchange.
    3. Manage wolves as part of the native resident wildlife resource. This species will be managed similar to other large mammalian carnivores resident in Idaho.
    4. Minimize wolf-human conflicts by coordinating with USDA Wildlife Services to achieve prompt response to notifications of wolf depredation and prompt resolution of conflicts.
    5. Establish a strong public education program that emphasizes wolf biology, management, and conservation and presents a balanced view of the societal impacts and costs of wolf reintroduction. Outreach should be professionally based and should address all issues concerning conservation and management and present a balanced view of the impacts of wolves on big game species, those sectors of the economy dependent upon sport hunting, livestock, domestic animals, and humans. It is expected that Idaho Fish & Game will solicit cooperation and advice from all vested interests in developing educational materials. The cost of wolf reintroduction will be presented as a part of any public education program including direct and indirect costs.

    Wolf Population Objectives

    Wolf numbers and distribution within the state will be managed per the chart on page 5 (Table 1) in order to prevent the wolf from being re-listed under the Endangered Species Act. Wolf population estimates are approximations, and establishment of specific population sizes to be maintained is not realistic. The resources required to determine population sizes across Idaho are prohibitively high. However, in specific areas of concern, wolf population sizes may be determined in order to more effectively manage the species in these areas.
    Wolf management programs will influence the size and distribution of the population, although it will fluctuate with the availability and vulnerability of native prey. Where wolves are causing depredations, their distribution and numbers will have to be altered. When circumstances cause Page 18 of 32
    declines in the natural prey that are demonstrated as being attributable to wolf predation, management may be needed to temporarily reduce populations. In most instances, wolves can be managed similarly to how other large native mammalian predators are traditionally managed However, sport hunting has not proven effective in the past to effectively manage wolf populations. The IDFG is authorized to evaluate and use sport hunting or any other means necessary to maintain wolf populations at recovery levels that will ensure a viable, self-sustaining population until such time as all impacts are known.
    In the unlikely event the population falls below 10 packs, depredations will be addressed with nonlethal control unless unusual circumstances absolutely necessitate the use of lethal control to end the depredation problem. Except for the lethal control measures, wolf management will revert to the same provisions that were in effect to recover the wolf population prior to delisting (50 CFR Part 17, page 80270).

    Thanks for posting this, Matt. RM

  2. Alan Gregory Avatar
    Alan Gregory

    I don’t have a lot to add, except to say that it’s pretty damn sad that there are so few critters out there now that we humans haven’t felt obliged to somehow “manage” to fit our own very selfish and very personal beliefs on how things ought to be.

  3. Jerry Black Avatar
    Jerry Black

    This may be the catalyst to get people’s attention and to organize them into an effective political force . Hopefully, it will awaken the large non-profits also.
    This is absolutely outrageous!

  4. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    It may be what is needed. This Administration creates outrage after outrage, but maybe people began to wake up last November.

    I don’t expect great things in Montana immediately despite all the hype about Schweizeter and Tester, men of the people, but the Montanan Republicans have clearly gone off end of branch by appointing an idiot who doesn’t believe in education as the chair of the House education committee. That is really being noticed. His name is Jore.

    Montana does have a pretty good wolf and grizzly plan so there is hope for them there.

    Idaho and Montana say they are going to manage wolves now like the do bears and cougars. That sounds good to the media, but bears and cougars aren’t gunned down from the air to reduce their populations, nor are elk or deer. So we will see if Idaho really does treat wolves like other big game. I think Montana is more likely to keep the spirit of its word.

    What happened in Idaho in the last election was interesting. The influence of urban areas in Idaho has been growing in the state legislature, and many newcomers are unhappy with Idaho’s lack of planning to contain sprawl, lack of education funding, and lack of social services for senior citizens, and they elected 7 new Democrats to the overwhelmingly Republican state House of Representatives. A number of these were from Boise, and these Democrats replaced moderate Republicans. This gave control of the House Republicans back to the rural interests, who are using their majority make sure the Democrats get no extra committee seats from their enlarged minority. They are also talking payback to the cities. This may result in things like raising the sales tax to bail out the ground water irrigators who have overappropriated the ground water in Southern Idaho (talk about a losing issue for 2008). I wish I had million dollars to run an ad campaign.

  5. Alan Gregory Avatar

    Not too many years ago, the Friends of the Swan Valley (I think that’s the conservation group’s name) put a few billboards up around Billings and Missoula regarding the killing of Yellowstone bison outside the park. If I recall, the billboard said: “Grown in Yellowstone, slaughtered in Montana.” These billboards were pretty effective, I believe. But it would certainly take a pretty big infusion of cash to buy ad space and keep the campaign going for any length of time.

  6. Dana Avatar

    not sure if this is the right place, but wondering if you have read the article in the winter issue of Range Magazine. the article entitled Fatal Encounter written by Laura Schneberger. about a young man killed by wolves in Nov, 2005 in Canada. the article left me somewhat confused and not sure what point the writer was trying to make, please if you get a chance to read it and comment would like to get your take on it.
    the website is


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.

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Ralph Maughan