First wolf pack in Utah!

This is posted as a comment by Joe (thanks!!), and was mentioned earlier by another comment (and Ed Bang’s included it in his latest report).

This Utah wolf pack is near Colorado, and also near Wyoming where they will get to kill every wolf outside a small area in the NW corner of the state come March 28. There could be a flashpoint on this pretty quick.

Wolf pack sighted in Utah for the first time in almost 80 years. KSL News.

– – – –

Added at bedtime. 3-20-2008. Wolf pack may be trotting around Flaming Gorge. By Melinda Rogers. The Salt Lake Tribune







  1. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    This is great news. I hope this pack thrives.

    Last fall, in the flats of Grand Teton National Park, I saw 3 grays and 2 blacks; makes me wonder if it’s the same small pack.

    It will be interesting to see what Some Sportsmen for Some Fish and All The Big Game and Predators We Can Legally Kill of Utah has to say, er, ah, spew about this news. What did Bob Wharf say, “We’re not anti-predator; we’re pro-hunters.”

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

  2. vicki Avatar

    I think this is good news, but I am really trying not to be too excited. They could easily head back to Wyoming, adn that would be ugly.
    I find the fact that they are dispersing in packs now much more encouraging than the single wolf spotted in RMNP last fall. Though that was exciting, it would have been better had a pack been established there.
    I wish there was more of an indication of how this pack got there, and what their journey was like. It might hep us to know how to keep packs moving, and how to keep them out of trouble.
    Have the studied any packs that have migrated very far away? Have any of the migrating packs had tracking devices or observation? I know they’d be hard to monitor without tracking/location devices, but I think the information would be hugely valuable. We might see what prey they followed, what route they took, how far away from humans they stayed, if there is a specific coridor they use, or if they follow scent from others, etc.
    I’ll remain cautiously hopeful. I also hope that this gets the media hype it deserves to call attention to the plight of the wolf in states where they have a clean slate. Maybe then the future of the wolf could be more bright.

  3. Catbestland Avatar

    According to the news clip video of this story that was posted on another thread, (I can’t remeber by whom) the wolves have moved back into Wyoming. UDOW has set out road kill in hopes of finding them in Utah and none were touched. But they’ll be back, and maybe they or their cousins will make it into Western Colorado.

  4. Linda Hunter Avatar

    It is still very heartening because I believe for every wolf pack that humans notice there are more that go “under the wire”. . someday, when I don’t have to make a living, I would love to just track packs the old fashioned way and go to predation events with other volunteer trackers and read the truth on the ground. For those of you who live near yellowstone, Jim Halfpenny has excellent classes on tracking and all you need to add to it is a good trailing class. Wolves can be tracked that way. . in Alaska we never heard wolves in summer, but they still came close as I found out when I found their tracks in the vegetation. They don’t need to step in mud with those big feet to be found. It is a good thing most hunters can only track deer and elk, that is, except for the good ones. It is usually the modern techno hunters who can’t track. There I have “stepped in it” enough for one day.

  5. Steve C Avatar
    Steve C

    The first good news I have read in months!

  6. Izabelam Avatar

    I am so happy but also very sad..
    Most Utahns hate wolves. A good wolf is a dead wolf.
    Going back to Wyoming is bad, staying in Utah is bad.
    I live in Utah.
    Utah issued black bear tags this year, after the accident wiht stupid campers who left food on the camping tables and little boy got killed..
    I hike a lot and I have never seen a bear in Utah.

    My husband talked to some guys at work and thier opinions is kil lkil kill…
    one guy was so proud of himself when he told a sotry of killing a cayote and smiling when sad..looks like she was pregnant…my God…what a barbarian….
    The guys at work would not even listen anything about wolves. So, my husband brought a big picture of a wolf and posted it in his cubicle..

    I think, we should not not even annouce any new wolf sightings..

  7. vicki Avatar

    It wouldn’t matter. If good people report them, then people know they are there. If they don’t and bad people find them, then good people will be the only people talking about them disappearing. They’ll have no evidence to support that someone did anything illegal.
    Unless laws and people who vote start protecting wolves and our resources, neither we, nor wolves have much hope of a happy future.

  8. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Here’s what I’d say about reporting wolf sightings to officials.

    Montana – no
    Idaho – no
    Wyoming – no
    Oregon – yes
    Washington – yes if in western 2/3 of state
    Northern Utah – ??; Utah south of I-70 yes
    Colorado – yes
    Nevada – ??

  9. Concerned Avatar

    Myself personally, don’t think they should be reported in any of the states, leave the damn things alone, if they cause problems, then take care of the problems, but for the most part, we don’t run around reporting any other wildlife…and I don’t feel we should run around reporting wolves…they are wild animals…

  10. SmalltownID Avatar

    In certain instances it is ok to report sightings. But point well taken. I try to inform but stay vague at the same time when I see them. And I am definately not broadcasting it elsewhere on the web or in public.

  11. jerry b Avatar
    jerry b

    . At the end of almost article about wolves here in Montana, we have a comment from our state wolf Coordinator/”executioner” about the importance of reporting wolf sightings.. The consequences of reporting are not good for the wolves, hence we’ve been educating people not to report wolf sightings and I’m beginning to see results.

  12. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    How did you like the way the Moccasin Lake pack was finished off a couple days ago for those “awful depredations” they did?

  13. JB Avatar

    “Most Utahns hate wolves. A good wolf is a dead wolf.”

    Actually, research suggests otherwise. Two studies, conducted in 1994 and 2003 have looked at Utah residents attitudes toward wolves, and both found attitudes are generally positive. Note, this includes rural residents and big game hunters; in 2003 74% of residents overall reported positive attitudes while 62% of rural residents and 56% of big game hunters reported positive attitudes. Unlike the Wyoming and Idaho studies recently conducted, this study actually weighted the data to accurately reflect Utah’s population.

    This is a great example of how the extreme attitudes often expressed in the media simply are not representative of the broader population.

    Cited: Bruskotter, Schmidt, & Teel. 2003. Are attitudes toward wolves change? A case study in Utah. Biological Conservation, 139:211-218.

  14. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Thanks for reporting these important data, JB.

    Public opinion is one component of politics. The political organization and disposition of political groups (interest groups and political parties) directs and modifies the influence of public opinion.

    In Wyoming a recent survey showed more support for wolves than generally thought to be the case, but the network of old-line interest groups in the state, puts wolf supporters at a big disadvantage.

    To use a well known example, public opinion has been over 60% against the war in Iraq for some time now, but the 25-30% who support continuation of current policies are tapped into a political structure that keeps it going.

  15. Izabelam Avatar

    my statement was not based on the media opinion or any survey.
    My statement was formulated based on talking to people.It happen that I work in a big company with lots of hunters ( I dont’ oppose hunting).
    I modify my statement that most of northern utah residents do not like and would kill a wolf.
    My husband works for Flying J and believe me, hunters and people who had or have still anything to do with ranching dont’ want even hear the word wolf.
    So, if we exclude northern utah, I agree with the numbers you posted BUT..still the best is to talk to people to learn what they think..

  16. Dan Avatar

    Unfortunately, Utah’s wolf management policy isn’t much friendlier than other states, it just didn’t get the same attention as Wyoming and Idaho because there were no known wolves here. It allows for killing wolves “harassing” livestock without any real burden of proof, training, or non-lethal measures required first. It will allow the state to have wolf hunts, the same way they do with cougars and bears today.

    And while the Utah public is friendly towards wolves, the DWR and its Regional Advisory Councils are almost exclusive made up of famers and hunters. Parts of their wolf management plan was language written DIRECTLY BY THE UTAH FARM BUREAU so you can guess how fair and balanced it is.

  17. SmalltownID Avatar

    Great point JB.

  18. Trever Avatar

    Hey Izzy, Utah has been issuing bear tags for quite a while now!! They didnt just start this year after the attack! Wolves are awesome animals and Im not against them but we need to understand that yes this might be their native land but that was before we (yes all of us) ruined it for them.


    The fact that wolves have done so well in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming is pretty good indication the land isn’t ruined for them. Now if they can’t find deer and elk to eat in Utah maybe it has been ruined, but I spent much of my early life in Utah as well as Idaho and visit Utah frequently, including visiting some close to me who work for the Division of Wildlife, and the elk population is great.

    Mule deer have been having a bit of trouble in some places.

    You might be right, but I don’t think will prove so based on my experience. RM

  19. Ronnie Avatar

    I think percentage wise, most Utahn’s support wolves, unfortunately, a VERY large percentage of people who carry guns while in the mountains of Utah HATE wolves. I agree, for their safety, reports (or at least detailed reports) should be kept at a minimum.

  20. Izabelam Avatar

    I read the bear news on KSL few months ago. Man..I have been hiking in Uintas and around for 12 years, since I moved to Utah..I have never seen a bear… now you are telling me we had tags on them before…
    I am so behind..:)
    As to wolves..I am glad that you think they are awasome..they are awsome..!!! I have seen them in Yellowstone,heard them howling..seen them running and want more of it….and ..they are just amazing animals..
    I know… they have to eat…but I think mother nature takes care of bad times they dont’ breed that much..less wolves
    in abundance of food they have good years for breeding..
    Average life span of a wolves is 4 years or so…
    I have read the book by Mr. Halfpenny. Lots of good info.

    I don’t like the fact that we humas have to kill, have urge to kill and want to show the dominance by killing..
    Maybe I am just an emotional female..I just dont’ believe in sensless killing.

  21. Izabelam Avatar

    you are saying:
    VERY large percentage of people who carry guns while in the mountains of Utah HATE wolves

    I absolutely agree with you.
    Sometimes, I think, my husband and I are only people who love wolves …Of course not true but conversing with some Utahns is like talking to the wall…Logan,Ogden, Unitas ( not that far from Wyoming) all people there just have predetermined opinion ..bad wolf…

  22. jerry b Avatar
    jerry b

    Ralph….in regards to the Moccasin Lake Pack that was just wiped out on orders from our “executioner” here in Montana.
    I remember an old Dirty Harry quote….”She’s a legend in her own mind”.

  23. JB Avatar

    Great point, Dan! You can thank Don Peay of “Sportsmen” for Fish & Wildlife and the ranching interests that largely dominated Utah’s plan. The RACs are a joke; and will almost certainly be extremely negative toward wolves.

    Izabelem: The point I was trying to make is that hunters and rural residents (and yes, those in the south of Utah too!) are actually quite diverse in their views about wolves. It is unfair to say that hunters or rural residents oppose wolves–this is an overly broad generalization, and repeating it simply reinforces the stereotype that many already have. I agree 100% on the ranching side; the vast majority of these folks are flat out opposed to wolves, though there are a few “enlightened” individuals.

    On the upside, there are many who think wolves have been in Northern Utah for some time–wolf #253 was caught in a coyote trap in Utah in 2002 and subsequently returned to YNP. Much of the land is extremely rugged and remote…who knows?

  24. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    A friend sent me a photo of a likely wolf in Northern Utah taken yesterday.

  25. vicki Avatar

    That is inspiring. Do you think that wolves stand much of a chance in Utah? What do you think will need to be changed for them to make a substantial foot hold there?

  26. vicki Avatar

    Utah and Colorado are not too far from New Mexico. How do the wolves reintroduced there differ genetically from the wolves migrating to these states? Does anyone think there would be any chance of them coming across one another? I know it is definitely not impossible, but what would be the probable outcome? Ranchers killing them both? Inbreeding?
    Just curious.

  27. Maska Avatar


    The distance from the area where this wolf pack was seen and the Mexican wolf Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico is about 500 miles as the raven flies–undoubtedly a bit more as the wolf trots. Assuming that wolves are able to disperse through Utah and/or Colorado without all getting shot, there is certainly a potential for inbreeding at some time in the future.

    The Mexican wolf is a subspecies of the gray wolf–Canis lupus baileyi–which is generally smaller than more northern wolves, with some unique characteristics. Coat color, for example, is always multi-colored. Solid black or solid white animals are unknown. Mexican wolves average between about 50 and 80 pounds. It appears that pack sizes may have been smaller than up north. Territories may have been large, due to lower prey densities. One has to treat descriptions of wild lobo behavior, pack size, etc., with caution, however, as the subspecies was pretty much wiped out before anyone really studied it in depth.

    Many conservationists hope for an eventual connected population of gray wolves from the Arctic to Mexico, with some interbreeding between sub-populations. Presumably, the eventual outcome would be some intergradation along a north-south axis. For more info on this concept, check the website of the Rewilding Institute, at

  28. Trever Avatar

    Izabelam, Explain senseless killing!! Mankind has been killing to eat for thousands of years! Yah I can go buy meat at the store or I can go harvest my own (healthier) meat. I would rather pay to hunt and have my money go back into wildlife than make some slaughter house rich!!People dont understand management,I think it would be cool to see wolves but to let them just inhabit the state uncontrolled or managed would be crazy.

  29. Izabelam Avatar

    Mankind was killing for food and fur to survive and there is nothing wrong with it.
    I do not oppose hunting. I like venison and I had wild boar (from Europe) and some other wild things.
    The problem starts when you hunt NOT for food and leave the carcass to rot in the forest.
    The problem is when you kill female cayote and are so proud of yourself because she was pregnant..
    The problem is when you kill a young black bear sitting on the tree in Island Park and you happen to be right under the tree. So you excersie your tag…
    This is what I call sensless.
    Ah..add to it killing wolves, bisons and bighorns because they dont’ mix with interest of ranchers.

    I hope the wolves will survive in Utah and we will see how much residents of Utah like or dislike them. 🙂

  30. Trever Avatar

    Iz, I agree there are some scum that leave animals to rot but them are criminals and poachers not true sportsmen.

  31. vicki Avatar

    That is kind of what I thought. I recently read that wolves were tested for genetic purity (not the YNP wolves or their descendants). They were found to be a cross breed with coyotes in some places. I think that shows evolutionary fortitude. I would hope tha the wolves in New Mexico and Arizona will make it long enough fo rthese wolves to have a chance to get there.

  32. TallTrent Avatar

    When I first read about these wolves in Utah, I was very excited. I was hoping wolves would get through Wyoming to other states before Wyoming starts gunning them down as predators. Of course, looking at the map of where this pack is at, I lost all that excitement. Certainly their territory is partially in Wyoming and that means in five days (!) they are goners. Delisting is set to happen on the 28th and they are in the wolves-legally-classified-predators death zone of Wyoming.

  33. TallTrent Avatar

    Oh, and it should say in the title of the thread:

    “First wolf pack *returns* to Utah!”

    because we, of course, know that Utah had lots of wolves until they were wiped out in the last couple of centuries. Just wanted to point that out.

  34. Izabelam Avatar

    I have such a hard time to understand that nothing can be done to stop the delisting until more research and more numbers are avaible.

    Are there any legal ways to stop the upcoming gunning, poisoning and just plain murdering of wolves?
    I know Defeneders were planning to do some legal actions.
    But it all too slow.
    I can visualize some people already counting days.
    I can see the 3/28/2008 coming up – it is Friday – and see the pregnant mothers to be wolves and youngsters being shot.
    It stresses me so much knowing that I can not help.
    I stopped eating beef. Not a joke. Really, no beef for me.
    And I if all decide to stop eating beef, maybe it will help.
    And it hit me few days ago that I am gulity of supporting Montana cattle industry.
    Last fall I went to Glacier national Park and there is a little place called Babb.
    There is restaurant there named Cattle Barons.
    Few people from my phot club stopped there and we had great beef dinner.
    NEVER AGAIN I will support cattle industry.

    🙂 Happy easter to all.

  35. Trever Avatar

    izzy, So you think they should just roam free with no control whatsoever? It doesnt matter what wild animal it is U have to manage them!I dont see why people dont understand that.

  36. vicki Avatar

    Most people do know that, they just question how and when.

  37. Izabelam Avatar

    Trever..I am with Vicki on this. Do you think I do not understand reason for control.
    Control yes..of course..YES
    how?…is the question? HOW IS THE QUESTION?
    I dont’ mind culling the aggressive growth..
    lets be honest..we need to..we can’t allow wild animals control our lives…BUT.. we need to be sensitive HOW and WHEN..
    Ethical hunting possible when the time is right..I fully approve and support…
    Now, not attacking you.
    You know…I may sound like just emotional female who just wants to save all animals..:) regardless of reason..
    well..let me tell you …for me coming from Poland 22 years ago this was the promissed land…BUT I never expect to see what I saw here in this promissed land…killing for no reason!!!!! Polluting and destroying envoronemnt like in communist being the reason for eveything…
    BUT…this is now my land…I am a citizen and will fight for what I came for..the land of truth and protection..for all..
    even the animals..even ther wolves!! more than ever wolves got my heart!
    Now, talking about controlling…do you think we should controll ranchers?
    They roam free with thier cattle thruour is my land too.
    Since I became a is MY land..and I dont’ want them to polute MY land, shit on MY land…and piss in MY stream for the buck something a cow a month..
    that’s the polish hot blood in me…boiling to protect American wolf and bison..
    I hope you are smiling…:) and forgive me being so honest about me feelings…

  38. vicki Avatar

    You don’t need to apologize for feeling.
    I am also sure Trevor feels very strongly about his thoughts.
    That is what makes this country, and this blog wonderful. We have a right to our opinion, and people here can express that , hopefully with the intention of changing something for the better.
    Keep being passionate. Trevor, you too. I respect you both for being honest and outspoken.

  39. Trever Avatar

    No apology needed,I too respect your honesty and your views.

  40. Trever Avatar

    Really,I hope you dont take my comments as insults. I see you believe in management and say youre not against hunting etc. If thats the case then how can you call it senseless killing? You cant blame ranchers for whats going on,all theyre trying to do is protect what they and their fathers and grandfathers and so on have worked generations for.And I for one dont want them wiping out our deer and elk herds.

  41. Izabelam Avatar

    I am not going to argue with you, just because, you dont understand what I am saying. Must be the way I write…:)
    Hunting for food is not senless killing. Take your buck and go. Make some good jerky , put the antlers on wall and life is great.
    So if not for is sensless.
    Killing wolves will resolve anything. It will just make some people more mad and they will be buying less beef and ..ranchers are going to blame that on….hmmmmmmmmmmm

    As to ” You cant blame ranchers for whats going on,all theyre trying to do is protect what they and their fathers and grandfathers and so on have worked generations for.”

    You sound like the killings by wolves is ephidemic. Cholera wiping out all cattle.

    Elk population changes due to the winter conditions, summer heat and other conditions I may not be aware.
    Deer overgraze aspens, willows, other trees. Same elk. They love winter bark of trees.
    Less deer more moose, more birds and other species.
    Wolves control coyotes also.

    Wolves presence is necessary for healthy ecosystem.
    How healthy ecosystem do you have by having cow pies in the PUBLIC fields and piss in the PUBLIC streams.

    Trever, with all the respect, you and I are not going to resolve the issue. All what can we do is to work together to have a good solution.
    I believe killing wolves because some of the cattle paid the price is not right.
    And if ranchers are affected by the killings , how come some ranchers can find a solution?
    Even if they loose some cows from time to time.
    They don’t go on killing spree..they work together with wildlife protectors to find a good solution. is more like..I am DA BIG rancher and I will not work with you.
    Bad wolf..kill da wolf…

  42. Trever Avatar

    So how do you control the wolves,cougars,bears and other animals that arent eaten?For example …Calif. outlaws cougar hunting,now twenty?? years later they are killing twice as many cougars as they were then due to depredation,etc.So now instead of getting money from hunters to hunt them they have to pay the hunters…hmmm makes no sense… The only way to control them logically is by hunting them..but we cant do that cuz we dont eat them so???????? Again Im not against the wolves if they are kept at a reasonable population that utahs habitat, big game can handle but I see no other way of controlling them.

  43. JB Avatar

    “It doesnt matter what wild animal it is U have to manage them!I dont see why people dont understand that.”

    I take exception with this statement. The number of species that we *CHOOSE* to actively manage is much smaller than the number we don’t manage. Management is brought about by some perceived need on the part of citizens (e.g. reduce conflicts with Cougars, increase opportunities for hunting/viewing). Species only “need” to me managed in so much as their management meets some group of citizens goals. In the case of wolves in the West, I would contend that ranchers goals often conflict with the goals of wolf-advocates or wildlife-watchers. I don’t see there being any conflict with hunters–at least not yet. Wolf populations are far too low.

    PS. We have often argued here about how many wolves should be recovered in the NRM population before delisting occurs. Here’s a fun fact I’d forgotten: in 1884 Montana instituted a bounty on wolves. That year there were over 5,000 wolves turned in for $1 a head. How many wolves are in Montana now? Less than 1/10 the number that were killed in 1884. Still think wolves have recovered?

  44. Layton Avatar


    How many people were in Montana in 1884??

    Do you really think that the same numbers of wild animals can exist in the state today that did in 1884??


  45. SAP Avatar

    JB – I’d go back to “Of Wolves & Men” again and look at the rampant fraud that plagued those wolf bounty programs — individual wolves turned in multiple times; parts of coyotes, dogs, badgers turned in as “wolves.”

    Eighteen eighty four . . . bison herds were in pretty poor shape by then, and we had two decades of rampant exploitation of wildlife and habitat in western Montana by then, too (consequence of the gold rushes and other mining booms) . . . I’m skeptical that there were 5,000 wolves in the state in 1884.

    Looking at wolf numbers that YNP seems to support with very little human-caused mortality and abundant prey would give us something of an idea of how many wolves pre-Euro-American Montana could have supported. It would be interesting to find out (or has someone already done that?)

  46. Linda Hunter Avatar

    “It doesnt matter what wild animal it is U have to manage them!I dont see why people dont understand that.”

    JB I was going to take exception to that statement as well . . whenever anyone says something like this my first response is to say “Why?” It usually comes from someone who really hasn’t thought about it much and is sort of like saying no matter what the weather does we need to manage it.

  47. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Any animal that is managed tends to be less wild than one that isn’t. At one extreme is livestock, and as I wrote before the livestock industry has no interest in any large animal that is not or cannot be made into livestock.

    When you say that animals need to be managed you are rhetorically (and often unconsciously) buying into a philosophy. That’s one reason they repeat the mantra: “we have to manage wolves, we have to manage bison, we have to manage elk,” etc.

    The perceived need to manage animals and support for wildness are fundamentally at odds with each other. There is a strong value conflict here. I’m bringing it out in the open.

    It took me a long time to see why the livestock organizations always opposed the designation of wilderness areas no matter how many concession they got — much more difficult to deal with on this issue than the timber industry or even the mining industry.

    They have the wrong values (from my value perspective).

  48. Izabelam Avatar

    Does anyone knows if the newly found Utah wolves are still alive?

  49. Trever Avatar

    1884….Here it is 2008 and you want to compare to 1884. Were all guilty for whats happening.You talk about the timber industry but dont mention what your house is built of.How about the gas you put in your car then complain about drilling for oil.You propably curse the rancher while eating a cheeseburger too.

  50. JB Avatar

    Layton asked: “How many people were in Montana in 1884??”

    According to the Census Bureau, there were ~240,000 people in Montana in 1900 (there’s no data for 1884) and roughly 940,000 people in 2006 (or about 3.9 times as many people).

    And: “Do you really think that the same numbers of wild animals can exist in the state today that did in 1884??”

    That depends on a whole host of factors! A couple that come easily to mind are: (1) public tolerance, (2) the ratio of livestock to wild ungulates available as prey.

    Generally speaking, people in Montana inhabit the same places today as they did in the late 19th century. Although there are more people today, we might ask if newcomers’ occupations are more or less likely to put them into conflict with wolves today? I would guess that few people hold jobs that put them into direct conflict with wolves.

    I think the more important question, is what were livestock populations in 1884, as compared with today? (Anyone know the answer?) I would think the carrying capacity for wolves should be largely determined by the amount of available prey; and more importantly, what percent of this prey is wild vs. domestic.

    SAP: I agree about the fraud, but let’s do a bit of math. Let’s assume more than half…no let’s say 70% of those claims were fradulent (I believe the actual number cited was around 5,400?). By my math that’s still 1,620 legitimate wolves killed (without the use of helicopters) in one year. Now, assume they were able to kill 70% of all wolves in Montana. That gives us a conservative estimate of a wolf population of more than 2,100–just in Montana.


  51. JB Avatar

    Trever asks:
    “1884….Here it is 2008 and you want to compare to 1884.”
    Response: I don’t “want to” I did.

    “Were all guilty for whats happening.”
    Response: I agree 100%.

    “You talk about the timber industry but dont mention what your house is built of.”
    Response: Huh? Did I talk about the timber industry? My house is 970 sq ft., built in 1909.

    “How about the gas you put in your car then complain about drilling for oil.”
    Response: I live less than 3 miles from work. I ride a bike in the summer (or take the bus). I’m praying for $5/gallon oil to force the car companies to make changes. Okay with you?

    “You propably curse the rancher while eating a cheeseburger too.”
    Response: I often curse ranchers, but only eat beef at public events when there aren’t other choices.

    Anymore stereotypes you want to fling my way?

  52. SmalltownID Avatar

    Just because someone says that wolves need to be managed does not make them ignorant. So we shouldn’t say anything needs to be managed then, right? If you can’t say that wolves need to be managed, I don’t think you can say anything needs to be managed. As a predator, a keystone species high on the food chain capaple of causing a number of cascade effects and does not need management, then nothing does.

    You have a point there. I agree that nature has a profound way of balancing itself and it would be nice if it could take its course, but I don’t think you can say a person is buying into a philisophy by saying wolves need to be managed if that philosophy is anything more then wildlife and their habitat require some degree of intervention on our part.

    That is what is great about Yellowstone. We can try to let these systems operate independent (as much as possible) of human interference (ranching, hunting, developing, etc.).

  53. Izabelam Avatar

    You said:
    ‘That is what is great about Yellowstone. We can try to let these systems operate independent (as much as possible) of human interference (ranching, hunting, developing, etc.).’
    So, how would you classified a buffalo slaughter – not human interference – as ranching is not human inteference?
    So who killed 1000+ Yellowstone American Buffalo?

  54. SmalltownID Avatar

    I am not sure I get your point izabelam. My remarks were in regards to Ralph’s statement and not justifying the culling of Buffalo. I thought this blog was about Utah’s wolf pack but maybe I am in the wrong place.

  55. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    This thread is getting kind of scattered as they tend to after a while.

    No I didn’t say anything about people who believe in management being ignorant.

    I don’t think there needs to be no management. I was just pointing out that the concept of wild animals and management don’t mix, and the livestock industry has no interest in any animal unmanaged — wild.

    Those are not my values. This is a value conflict that can’t be resolved by science or technology. At best value conflicts can be adjusted and kept in bounds.

  56. JB Avatar


    If you go up the thread a bit, you’ll see the original statement that Ralph and I reacted to was that, “It doesnt matter what wild animal it is U have to manage them!”

    I can’t speak for Ralph, but my comments were directed at questioning this assumption. You noted that wolves are a keystone species, a predator, and “high on the food chain”–I would not disagree. However, these are absolutely NOT the reasons that we manage wolves. As with every other species, we manage them to meet some perceived need of some group(s) of people.

    Wild populations do not “need” to be managed–they are only managed to meet the goal of some interested group(s).

    Leopold (1933:3) defined game management: “the art of making land produce sustained annual crops of wild game for recreational use.” Under this early definition, the perceived need was “sustained annual crops” and the interested groups were hunters. In my view, the only difference today is that we have a diverse set groups with conflicting needs.

  57. savage Avatar


    you mentioned receiving a pic of a northern utah wolf.. do you have that posted anywhere??


  58. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    It turns out it wasn’t a wolf. There was a wolflike animal in Sardine Canyon. It impressed enough people that the Highway Patrol was out on the busy highway directing traffic.

    I received a photo snapped on a cell phone. It was hard to tell in the photo, but it was apparently a large dog out in the mountains.

    When wolves start moving into new areas, there are usually a flurry of reports like this, with most not wolves but some are.

  59. Trever Avatar

    JB, Lets let wolves run wild without management.Then well watch the livestock industry go down the drain along with big game herds and so on.Now theyve killed everything on the mountain and start coming closer and closer to civilization and pretty soon they are right in town eatin your poodle and anything else they can scrounge up. Yah thats bright

  60. vicki Avatar

    Oh my, how misinformed you are Trevor.
    Maybe you should research some more about wolves. they don’t mulitply like rabbits, so to speak.
    And most of (97)% livestock raised in the USA is on provate land. I live a few miles from a feed lot, if you think wolves are going through those fences and riders and eating all 20 k head of cattle… well, I would say you have even higher expetations for wolf numbers than wolf lovers do.

  61. vicki Avatar

    Swift and Company is the second largest beef manufacturer in the world.. employing of 20,000 people world wide. These cattle are raised in feed lots, and doubtfully ever see a national forest.
    This company makes over 10 billion dollars a year. They process of 2 million cattle per year. 2 million, not 2 hundred, or two thousand, or even two hundred thousand…2 million.

    I doubt they’ll be bankrupt due to the wolves any time soon.
    but don’t take my word for it…

    Just some “food for thought.”

  62. vicki Avatar

    I had no idea what they put cows in… couch stuffing and worse. yuck.

  63. savage Avatar

    thanks for the update Ralph!


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