13 years on, wolves [in Idaho] have changed friends and foes alike

This is a great story, emphasizing the positive changes for wolves in Idaho since they were reintroduced, but of particular interest it tells about one of our regular posters, Lynne Stone, a women who really does run with wolves, or at least after them — her efforts to keep them alive by keeping them out of livestock.

Rocky Baker’s story tells what she has been up to in the Stanley Basin, Sawtooth Valley, and Marsh Creek area the last several years.

I’d say Lynne’s incredible dedication has saved at least 3 wolf packs from “lethal control,” and also kept a large number of sheep and cattle alive. Her example and interaction with local folks have also played an important part in changing the opinions about wolves in the Stanley area from one of mostly hostility to neutrality and favorability.

Barker also writes about the changes in attitude of two other people. Curt Hurless, in particular, is well known, and I wrote many stories about him when he was trying to raise cattle a few miles downstream from Clayton, on the Salmon River.

Barker believes the changes reflected by the three people he writes about, Stone, Hurless, and Branson, bodes well for delisting. I hope so.

13 years on, wolves have changed friends and foes alike. Hunters, ranchers and wolf advocates look ahead to delisting. By Rocky Barker. Idaho Statesman.



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  1. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    It’s great to see Lynne on the front page of the Statesman this morning. Lynne – you deserve it! Rocky did a good job with this article. I have one of Curt Hurless’s plaster casts that I bought at his store in 03 or 04. It sits prominently on our mantle. I remember watching a documentary a few years back that featured him prominently talking very negatively about wolves. It is great to read of his tolerance and transformation. I have the most respect for people who adapt their outlook and attitude as so many of us resist personal change of that magnitude. We should not underestimate how difficult that type of a transformation might have been, especially considering the social conditions in which it arose. Here’s hoping these kinds of transformations continue and that Lynne and others are able to continue their good work.

  2. Lynne Stone Avatar
    Lynne Stone

    Matt – thanks for the compliment. A clarification re. Curt Hurless that’s mentioned in Rocky Barker’s story. Curt’s family business is Old Sawmill Station, located about 30 minutes down the Salmon River from Stanley. I urge wolf supporters to stop there, buy gas, chew the fat, have a great meal, and buy some of Curt’s plaster casts of the Buffalo Ridge wolves.

    Eight years ago when the Twin Peaks Pack fiasco was going on, I never would have dreamed that I one day I would consider Curt a strong advocate for wolves and that I would make a point to stop and chat with him at Old Sawmill Station. Defenders of Wildlife and Suzanne Stone deserve a thanks for their role in giving Curt a chance to speak at the Chico Wolf Conference and to become involved in proactive/non-lethal methods of keeping wolves and livestock apart.

  3. Jim Avatar

    Curt has come a long way from the days when he thought that either ravens or eagles poked the eyes out of cows so that they would be easier to kill for wolves.

  4. Catbestland Avatar

    Great story! You do a great service for the Natural World. Is there some way to get in touch with Curt. I would like to purchase some of his tracks. I have a collection and would love to add some wolves that have a history to them.

  5. Chuck Avatar

    Its funny before I even read the story I recognized Lynn. Way to go Lynn, thank you for all the long hours you put in for such a worth while cause. Also much thanks to Suzanne for all her work.

  6. Lynne Stone Avatar
    Lynne Stone

    Cat – I have a phone number at the Old Sawmill Station … Give a call on weekdays but not during breakfast/lunch hours! 208.838.2400.

    Am not sure, but it’s likely that the paw print on the USFWS website: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/ is that of a Buffalo Ridge wolf — the algae mixed with the mud leads me to believe that.

  7. Lynne Stone Avatar
    Lynne Stone

    Jim – as I was quoted in Rocky Barker’s story, sometimes we have to let go and let bygones be bygones. It was a bit awkward for me when I walked into Old Sawmill Station for the first time with three friends, but I was determined to do it. Another little tidbit is that when NPR wanted to interview me about wolves a couple of years ago, it was a stormy September day. Raining so hard we could not do the interview outside. So, we went to the closest indoor place available — Sawmill Station — and the Hurless’ even turned off the country music so the reporter and I could talk. Onward!

    P.S. And am also now on congenial speaking terms with JH in the Sawtooth Valley – you’ll know who I mean!

  8. Brian Ertz Avatar

    Wolves “are a clear and present danger to the Idaho rural economy and the big game herds that Idahoans love,” then-Congressman and now Gov. Butch Otter once wrote for an Idaho Anti-Wolf Coalition banquet program.

    i handed rocky the banquet program that he mentions here. the following transformation of otter’s rhetoric immediately prior to delisting is certainly interesting. the congenial interactions among all are good for wolves on the ground and hopefully will be fruitful in the long term.

    i just wish we’d see some of it reflected/codified in the management plan instead of being left to hope … we should be grateful for that room to hope …

  9. Lynne Stone Avatar
    Lynne Stone

    Brian – Excellent, dedicated lawyers are working on behalf of keeping wolves alive in the Northern Rockies. Successful litigation will force changes in the various management plans. I don’t see any other way it will happen. Otter is a politician. He shifted gears. Toned down the rhetoric.

  10. Tim Z. Avatar
    Tim Z.

    I stopped in the Hurless store when it first opened on my way to Salmon. He told me his whole story, was there for over an hour listening. Great stuff.

  11. Brian Ertz Avatar

    let’s hope that the plans fall and that your work is better respected in the plan Lynne

  12. Linda Hunter Avatar
    Linda Hunter

    Lynn thank you for your work. . it is an inspiration for the rest of us. . if I could only do the same for bears. . maybe soon. There are wolves where I live but they are not really here. . scientists have looked for them but I have personally seen them and their tracks for about 10 years. . I have learned not to report them as the first pack I reported to the forest service in about 1995 mysteriously vanished shortly after. I see wolves when I go out for an extended period by myself and look where there haven’t been any people for a while. They are very very good at living under the radar, unless you are a highly trained tracker, at least here. When I took part, as a tracker, in a back country predator survey with cameras and track traps we found not much. . after it was over and everyone went home I saw a wolf and a lynx where they weren’t supposed to be. I don’t have much confidence in the studies.


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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