Officials hunt for pair of wolves south of Casper

Let’s hope they don’t find them and the wolves make it to the legal safety of Colorado-

Officials hunt for pair of wolves south of Casper. Casper Star Tribune.



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  1. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    “We allow wolves to go anywhere in the state,” Jimenez said. “All wolves are protected under the endangered species act, but when wolves kill livestock, we stop it pretty quickly.”

    Which means the black pair of wolves will be captured and killed.

    From the article:

    The fish and wildlife service decides to destroy wolves that begin to catch and kill livestock on an individual basis, Jimenez said. Wildlife officials look at a variety of factors including “HOW FAR EAST” the animals are and how much livestock is in the area.

    My Comment:

    So much for putting a radio collar on this pair, monitoring them, and attempting non-lethal methods to deter them from taking cattle.

    Jiminez’s quote concerning wolves being allowed to roam anywhere in the state is false. Sure they can roam anywhere but if WY Game and Fish find them outside the GYC they may as well have a bullseye on their backs. Total bullshit.

  2. Mike Avatar

    So everyone in Wyoming has health care and access to food in these tough times? Why is a state that is *consistently* in the red in terms of budget wasting their government dollars on childish activities such as this?

  3. Wyo Native Avatar
    Wyo Native


    This is the USFWS trying to find these wolves, not the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, so this falls on Obama’s Interior Department wasting OUR tax dollars.

  4. TC Avatar

    Not to quibble (OK, to quibble), but Wyoming is consistently in the black – one of the very few states so blessed (or cursed, depending upon your view of the income source – energy). This coming budget session is the first time in a long time when the state will have to consider a budget deficit instead of a budget surplus. Time, money, and effort are being expended to kill these wolves because cattle ranchers still rule the roost. Too bad the wolves couldn’t read a map and head a bit further south than Glenrock – they might have had a chance in the Laramie Range or Snowy Range if they could have avoided cattle and sheep.

  5. Mike Avatar

    What a complete waste of money for everyone.

  6. Ryan Avatar

    “What a complete waste of money for everyone.”

    Except for the ranchers who had their cattle killed on there own private land.

  7. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I have read numerous articles (which I don’t have citations for) that have stated that all the available habitat in the state of Wyoming is filled. I certainly beg to differ as places like the Laramies, Medicine Bows, Wind Rivers, Bighorns, etc. can support wolves. Even the Black Hills could probably support a small population which would need managing. I agree that as long as ranchers rule the roost, as TC put it, we will continue to see this. Until a politician has the cajones to stand up to these groups we will continue to see exactly what is happening near Casper as well as grizzlies being restricted to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

  8. Steve C Avatar
    Steve C

    The money spent on helicopters etc. to track and kill these wolves most likely dwarfs the cost of the livestock killed.

  9. Steve C Avatar
    Steve C

    I doubt it was even private land…

  10. vickif Avatar

    I don’t know that I would be so quick to call Colorado “safe”. I’d hope they stay hidden from view, period.
    The monies spent do cause concern.

  11. Mike Avatar

    ++Except for the ranchers who had their cattle killed on there own private land.

    The guys who got laid off at GM, Lucent, Verizon and various newspapers across the country had no gaurantees. Why should the cattle rancher? When you work in wolf habitat, that is a risk you take.

  12. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    The money spent on helicopters etc. to track and kill these wolves most likely dwarfs the cost of the livestock killed.

    I would be willing to bet that it is comparable in cost. I also agree with what you say Mike. That is a risk you take.

  13. Elkchaser Avatar

    Anyone who thinks the area around Casper is suitable wolf habitat needs to take a little trip there and a reality check.

  14. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Casper Mountain could hold a few. I have been up in that area a little bit. It would probably just be a token population that could disperse from there. Still, that doesn’t mean that wolves should just be killed for being there.

  15. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Wolves can wander through marginal habitat like that for many miles — it’s called “a corridor,” not a territory. But that is how new territories are found and filled.

    Remember the Yellowstone area wolf that migrated all the way to Rapid City, SD and past it, before he was hit on the road. He might have made it to Minnesota with a little more luck.

  16. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I just looked at the Casper Mountain area on Google Earth. I am not familiar with the country, but it looks to me that there is a lot of broken and rugged country from Casper Mountain southward, all the way to Colorado!

    I can’t help but think Wyoming’s illegal state plan is being enforced.

    Take a look for yourselves.

  17. Sam Avatar

    I have spent a decent amount of time in the area south of casper and I would definitely say there is suitable wolf habitat there. Even more so in the snowies, the bighorns, west of wheatland, the sierra madres, even the pole mountain area.

  18. Gerry Miner Avatar
    Gerry Miner

    “Casper Mountain could hold a few”–if only we could fence them in there and tell them to stay off the nearby ranches.

    “Still, that doesn’t mean that wolves should just be killed for being there.”
    They weren’t killed for just being there–they killed a calf. And if they are a pair, possibly male female pair, the female is likely denning now and the male will be providing for her which likely means more calves killed. If you look at the statistics, wolves in areas with lots of livestock end up chronic depredators. And non-lethal methods are not very successful with cattle.
    Just because there is open country doesn’t mean it is a good idea for wolves to be there. People mention there is plenty of open suitable habitat, but in my understanding, “suitable habitat” does not mean just the actual habitat as in mountains, forest etc. It also means suitable for wolves to live there–as in lack of conflict with humans–for the benefit of both species.

  19. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Thank you Gerry.

    I didn’t suggest that the Casper Mountain area south was a good territory for wolves, but it does look like a suitable corridor for them to travel from Wyoming into what clearly is good habitat — the densely populated and not very healthy elk and deer country of the Colorado Mountains.

    If they have denned, that is bad news; but if they have not, they should not be killed. What is a calf anyway? Not much, IMO.

  20. jdubya Avatar

    Ralph you said: Remember the Yellowstone area wolf that migrated all the way to Rapid City, SD and past it, before he was hit on the road. He might have made it to Minnesota with a little more luck.””

    So isn’t it amazing that the wolves in Canada respected the international border such that they never came down to the states in the past 200 years and mingled with the wolves of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Oh those tricky Canadian wolves…..

  21. Ryan Avatar

    The guys who got laid off at GM, Lucent, Verizon and various newspapers across the country had no gaurantees. Why should the cattle rancher? When you work in wolf habitat, that is a risk you take.


    They do have gurantees of unemployment benefits etc, something ranchers dont have.. And when the ranchers started they weren’t in used wolf havbitat, now they are.

  22. Jeff Avatar

    Casper Mountain is the northern most part of the Laramie Range. Further south towards Laramie Peak a few wolves could eek out a living, most importantly as Ralph says this range serves as a corridor down to the Snowy Range which is part of the Medicine Bows that run straight south right to Rocky Mounatin National Park…Last winter it was reported that someone flying the North Platte River corridor south of Saratoga reported several wolves traveling together, this drainage too provides a corridor into the North Park Region (where the black wolf was filmed a few years ago near Walden, CO) which is immediately west of RMNP.

  23. Virginia Avatar

    Can anyone comment on the story I just heard from a colleague telling me that she got a letter from the state of Wyoming that the wolves are now de-listed in Wyoming and the governor has thrown up his hands saying that the state will not pay for the management? I was incredulous when I heard it and told her she was wrong. Does anyone know what on earth is going on with the de-listing??

  24. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Wyoming doesn’t manage the wolves, the federal government does in Wyoming. So the state has never had to pay for wolf management in Wyoming.

    Wolves aren’t delisted until May 4, and then only in Idaho and Montana. Wyoming was judged to have failed to create an acceptable state wolf management plan, so they are not part of the delisting. The federal government will continue to manage them much as in the past.

  25. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I agree that the wolves should not be killed if they have denned. If it was just one calf I think that they should not be killed for that reason. If it was chronic I could see that being justifiable. Otherwise, it would be great to see these wolves use this corridor.

  26. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Wolves have not been de-listed in Wyoming, your friend is mistaken, current schedule to to de-list on the 4th of May in Montana and Idaho and the Great Lakes and then the Lawsuits will begin again, but currently they are not de-listed anywhere in the lower 48 until then

  27. Virginia Avatar

    Ralph and Save Bears – As I said, I told her she was wrong and she was very offended. I am very curious about this letter she received from the state and would love to read it. However, I am sure she probably won’t feel inclined to let me read it since I accused her of not know what she was talking about. I was POSITIVE that wolves cannot be delisted in Wyoming by the governor – no matter how powerful he thinks he is. More disinformation and hopeful thinking on her part, I guess. Thanks for letting me know that I am right on this!

  28. vickif Avatar

    My son tells me wolves, like bears, were once plains dwelling as well as mountain dwelling. Obviously we had more bison and ungulates back then, but I just wanted to ask someone with a bit more knowledge than myself.

    I spend about four months a year in the North Park area of Colorado. It happens to be an area where moose are thriving now (after having been reintroduced.) It also holds a lot of deer and elk.. Sadly, it has taken a huge pine beetle hit, and habitat is declining.

    It is also an area where there could be wolves, and some have been reported (Like the black one filmed by Walden). The area connects to Wyoming on a large front. I personally drive through the areas in question often, and a wolf travelling under cover of night could easily sneak through unnoticed.

    It also connects Wyoming and Colorado in the area near Saratoga. So wolves traveling the drainage could be easily feasible. I have to say though, there are some enormous coyotes in the area as well. Maybe the pilot saw wolves, but I’d almost hope not. (Dare I say?) The area where North Park and Wyoming meet is big rancher country. Though the economy (based on ranching) has rendered the majority of the towns economically destitude or tourist traps, the ranchers are hard core. If there were wolves, SSS may have seen to their demise.

    Perhaps a wolf friendly campaign could create new economy, who knows?

    It is worth mentioning that Colorado has been officially grizzly free for decades. However, I have spoken with a ranger who says he knows that there are some in the area in question. No one has officially come forward or made reports because they fear the bears would be gone once made public notice.

    I guess anything is possible?

  29. vickif Avatar

    Maybe, if people know wolves are headed in, Colorado would afford more enforcement to assure their survival? But I doubt it…budget squeezes abound.

  30. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Vickif, the last grizzly in Colorado was killed in 1979 and when they did the necropsy they found that she had given birth so it is probable that they could have persisted longer. If you read Wilderness Predators of the Rockies by Mike Lapinski there is a good article on this. There were reports in 2006 of a sighting.

    I think that a friendly wolf campaign is definitely in order in Colorado and Utah as they probably will get more wolves. From what I have read about the Division of Wildlife in Colorado, it would be a tough sell as well as with ranchers in those areas. I still think reintroduction to Colorado would be good. While I am not sure about Defenders of Wildlife, there are some good sites that they have identified as potential wolf recovery areas.

  31. nmeyer Avatar

    I’ve fly fished, hiked and camped in the North Platte Valley from Casper, WY south through North Park, CO for 15 years and can attest to the abundance of wolf habitat and available food—but I can also attest to the fact that local communities will support SSS for all they’re worth.

    Be patient—they can’t kill every wolf. There will soon be wolf packs living in Northern Colorado—the majority of Coloradans will then support their right to live in our state.


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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