Interior Department Announces Delisting of Western Great Lakes Wolves and Proposed Delisting of Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves

As expected, today the Department of Interior announced the proposed delisting of wolves in Idaho and Montana, but not Wyoming because of their failure to come up with an adequate wolf conservation plan.

Flat-out delisting of wolves in the Great Lakes States was announced.

Here is the news release wolfnrs012907.pdf

Update 1-30-2007. Feds to delist wolves. Jackson Hole News and Guide.


  1. kt Avatar

    This just in about a media session at IDFG at 3:30 pm today on this:

    Idaho Fish and Game

    Media Advisory

    Contact: Niels Nokkentved 208-334-3746

    For Immediate Release

    Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director Cal Groen will be available to answer media questions at 3:30 p.m. today in the Trophy Room at Fish and Game headquarters at 600 South Walnut in Boise, regarding today’s announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its proposal to remove wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains from the endangered species list. This proposal includes gray wolves in Idaho.

    Reporters may participate in a conference call by calling 1-888-422-7128. Enter participant code 976785.



  2. chris Avatar

    USFWS’s website has the press release and lots of info on the populations. Check out

  3. Mike S. Avatar
    Mike S.

    “Flat-out delisting of wolves in the Great Lakes States was announced.”

    Great News and only 37 years too late. Hopefully the Rocky Mtn. population will soon follow.

  4. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    Not likely, if science has any influence at all on delisting wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

    Wyoming’s plan is clearly, and deliberately, inadequate to wolf conservation, and Idaho’s announcement today that delisting means 100 wolves, which also is the absolute minimum number of wolves the FWS says it will accept in the state (a number that is itself highly questionable biologically), is impossible to achieve operationally. No management agency can manage a wildlife population to precise numbers. Even livestock producers can’t do that with livestock.

    I’m sure the biologists in the IDFG know that, but apparently its new Director doesn’t, and Mike S. clearly doesn’t. I think it’s time that people start learning something about wildlife management, about what is possible, and what isn’t possible.

    The lawsuits are going to be interesting.

  5. Mike S. Avatar
    Mike S.

    Robert H.
    I’m sure you could teach all of us about Wildlife Management because your such an expert.

    Apparently you know more than the USFWS about Wildlife management. It’s very apparent that you think you’re smarter than IDF&G too.

    We’ll be watching the Wolves in the great Lakes region being thinned out while we are in court.
    Should be interesting for sure.

  6. Rob-S Avatar

    This is good news for Idahoans, sportsmen and livestock owners. Now wolves can be managed like all other wildlife and yet still have a viable and self-sustaining population. Their is an estimated 650+ wolves in Idaho and by the time delisting occurs there will probably be another 150 wolf pups born this spring. Even the conservationists should be proud of these types of numbers. Now they can go to other places than Yellowstone to watch wolves if they can find time to quit complaining about how they will be managed. You guys can enjoy Idaho’s wildlife as much as Yellowstone!

    Rob, I am proud that Idaho has the prey base and great backcountry to sustain over 700 wolves and yet now have depletion of the elk herds, and if the Governor wasn’t talking of reducing the 700 to 100 wolves, there would be no problem. The remaining 100 wolves would not be seen. If folks want to see wolves in Idaho, it’s not all that difficult, and from now until the hunt, whenever that is, will be the glory days for wolf watching and listening to howling in Idaho.
    Ralph Maughan

  7. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    Anyone can learn how wildlife management works. You just have to be more curious than ideological.

    Talk to any biologist privately, whether in IDFG or the Wyoming Game & Fish Department or the FWS. I’m not saying anything that they aren’t–privately. It’s just that I can say it in public and they can’t.

    It’s the same for Idaho Fish and Game. What many tell you privately they would never say in public. I think that Mike doesn’t understand the politics of wildlife management. Ralph Maughan

  8. kt Avatar

    Robert points out the farce and sham that is carried out daily in anything to do with public lands or wildlife – especially in the Republican West. “Management” (I detest that word) can’t be based on science, because science overwhelmingly shows that the myths promoted by the livestock industry, trophy game industry, whatever – are dead wrong.

    There are some notes on the Idaho Fish and Game Department Wolf Press conference today at Looks like we can expect annihilation of wolf packs in McCall, Cascade, Salmon, Danskin, Smokies, and Copper Basin. All because of SHEEP and COWS and GREED. That’s not science-based management based on the ability of the habitat to support wolves. It’s manangement based on where ranchers squeal the loudest. Quite the spectacle today of the Idaho Carnivore Biologist talking about – essentially – using hunting to placate cow and sheep men.

  9. Rob-S Avatar

    I do not base all my views and opinions from the voice of politicians. Otter has said he wants to be the first to shoot a wolf and wants to have them removed so that only 100 remain. However, what comes from politicians mouths is mostly not true or going to happen. I do not put all my apples in one bag. What I do know is that Otter has responded to my email from a couple weeks ago and he assured me that the wolf population would be maintained well above the minimum of 10 packs to account for wolf mortality from natural death which, in turn, would prevent them from being placed back on the endangeres species list. So, even though he speaks irrationally at times at least his personal mail to me that he does think somewhat rationally.

  10. Rob-S Avatar

    I also do not base all my opinions, information and judgement on solely conservation articles such as the one listed in comment #8 by WWP. WWP states that public lands livestock industry dominate wolf management in Idaho. This is not true and there is no basis behind this claim. These statements are much like Robert Hoskins who also states everything bad about the livestock industry and everything fine and rosy with the wolves and wolf restoration. For one thing, WWP is definitely for the removal of ALL livestock from public lands and so they will say whatever needs to be said to make the livestock industry be the bad apple when it comes to public lands management and wolf restoration. Kind of reminds me of politicians. They say what ever is necessary to get the majority of the votes. I think many of the things Mr. Hoskins, WWP, and other conservation sites state are as far from the truth as the politician is who lies about his agenda. It appears to me that Mr. Hoskins or someone from these conservation sites would make a good politican right up there with the ranks of Mr. Otter.

  11. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    Rob – I think you are on to something in your posts #9 and #10. Thank you for writing it. There’s a lot of posturing on both sides right now. It is important for the conservation community to make our voices heard, even if we are all not in agreement over the final result or even about how we go about making our voices heard. People can complain all they want about the process being unfair, etc, but it is what we’ve got right now, so while we should work to change it to get all of our voices heard and on equal footing, we can also work within it to do what we can for the values we want to see represented in statewide policies…

  12. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    Most interesting to hear from the so-called moderates who want to perceive the best in the livestock industry. Having watched the Wyoming livestock industry take full control of wildlife management in this State, paricularly where wolves, bears, and elk feedgrounds are concerned, I find this ignorance amusing. It doesn’t take much time to read through the wildlife statutes and see exactly where the livestock industry has sunk its claws into the G&F fund for one subsidy or another.

    As far back as 1952, Dr. Ira Gabrielson of the Wildlife Management Institute wrote in an audit of the Wyoming G&F Commission:

    “In previous studies of the fish and game laws of many states, no instance has been found in which the laws give so much special consideration to livestock operators at the expense of the fish and game resources as is found in Wyoming. The combined effects of the laws governing damage by game and beaver, the special antelope tags, and various other sections of the laws is to place a heavy, continuing, annual, fixed charge upon Fish and Game funds. These laws give consideration to a minority group far beyond that found necessary or desirable in any other state studied … It is obvious that in some cases the earmarking of Fish and Game funds for these purposes by legislative action has so many undesirable features that it is difficult to believe that any legislature having any knowledge of or interest in the valuable fish and game resources of the state will continue it.”

    The State has continued it. I estimate that between 5 and 10% of the G&F budget is dedicated to subsidizing the livestock industry. The worst subsidy, from the standpoint of wildlife, is the elk feedgrounds, which exist at the insistence of ranchers and the livestock industry that elk be kept away from forage on both private and public lands. The direct cost to Wyoming’s hunters is approximately $1.5 million a year to operate the feedgrounds. Ranchers pay not one dime for their upkeep. The indirect cost is disease, brucellosis, which ranchers claim is a serious threat to the industry, and CWD, which when it arrives on the feedgrounds will turn both wildlife and cattle management upside down. All because of the greed and selfishness of the livestock industry. It hasn’t changed in a hundred years.

  13. kt Avatar

    Robert: Is there a Fish and Game Commission, too, in Wyoming that is appointed by the Governor that oversees this all?

  14. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    Yes, the Wyoming Game & Fish Commission is appointed by the Governor. In the old days, to remove a commissioner, the Governor had to show cause. With State reorganization in the late 80s, commissioners became “at will” appointees. This put quite a damper in the willingness of commissioners to take a stand contrary to what the Governor and his constituents in the various industries demands from G&F. These days, the Commission toes the livestock industry line–something anyone familiar with Wyoming wildlife and land use politics can discern.

  15. Rob-S Avatar

    Robert, since you claim to see all and know all with respect to wildlife management and the livestock industries abuse of public lands why don’t you run for political office in your state of wyoming and change things. Your whining does not help by any means. Too bad that you can not look around and also see that public lands have improved over the years. They use to be worse but a person who is always negative in thought and deed becomes exactly that. A negative person indeed.


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