Latest wolf news from USFWS [Ed Bangs]
The interesting part is this — data on wolf control in Wyoming for the year to date: “Based on preliminary reports through September 2009, a total of 17 cattle and 177 sheep were recorded as confirmed wolf kills, and 28 wolves were killed in subsequent control actions in Wyoming.”
– – – – –
WYOMING WOLF PROGRAM
To: Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, Colorado
From: USFWS Wyoming Wolf Recovery Project Leader, Jackson, WY
Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Management in Wyoming and the NRM
WYOMING WOLF WEEKLY- Sept 21 through Sept 25, 2009
Web Address – USFWS reports (past weekly and annual reports) can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov . Weekly reports for Montana and Idaho are produced by those States and can be viewed on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website http://fwp.mt.gov/wildthings/wolf/default.html and Idaho Department of Fish and Game website http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves. All weekly and annual reports are government property and can be used for any purpose. Please distribute as you see fit.
The Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2008 Annual Report is available at: http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov .
Delisting Litigation Status
A hearing of the preliminary injunction request was held in Federal Court in Missoula, MT on August 31. Oral arguments were heard from the plaintiffs, U.S. Department of Interior, Montana, and Idaho. On September 8, the Federal Court denied the preliminary injunction motion filed by Defenders of Wildlife and others to stop the 2009 regulated gray wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana. However, in issuing his order, the judge indicated that his preliminary review of the overall delisting case raised questions about Service’s approach of conferring ESA protections to a “significant portion of the range” of a species, as opposed to designating the entire species as a threatened or endangered species. The Service will carefully evaluate the court’s order and confer with the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice to determine any appropriate next steps.
Idaho: Wolf hunting season is open in parts of Idaho with a statewide quota of 220 wolves. The IDFG website that summarizes wolf hunting in Idaho can be viewed at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/wolf/quota.cfm
Montana: Wolf hunting season opened in parts of Montana on September 15 with a total quota of 75 wolves. FWP’s website that tracks wolf hunting in Montana can be viewed at http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/planahunt/wolfStatus.html
On 9/22/09, WY Wildlife Services confirmed a calf was killed by wolves on private property west of Cody, WY. Control was completed on 9/23/09 when Wildlife Services removed 3 wolves from the Carter Mountain Pack. [my comment: one calf killed; for that 3 wolves!]
Based on preliminary reports through September 2009, a total of 17 cattle and 177 sheep were recorded as confirmed wolf kills, and 28 wolves were killed in subsequent control actions in Wyoming. These depredations occurred in the following areas:
# of Wolves Killed
Location # of Sheep Lost in Control Actions
Rock Creek (N. of Pinedale) 37 sheep 6
Big Horn Mountains 93 sheep 1
Dog Creek (Snake River) 45 sheep 5
Big Piney 2 sheep 0_____
177 sheep 12 wolves
Location # of Cattle Lost in Control Actions
Rock Creek (N. of Pinedale) 1 yrlg steer 0
Upper Green River 5 cattle 4
Prospect Mtns./Sweetwater 1 calf 2
Daniel 1 calf 0
West of Cody 5 cattle 8
Deer Creek (Casper) 1 calf 0
Dubois 3 cattle 2_____
17 cattle 16 wolves
Producers who lost livestock to wolves in Rock Creek, Upper Green River, West of Cody, and Dubois may apply for compensation from the WGFD. Producers who lost livestock to wolves in the Big Horn Mountains, Dog Creek, Big Piney, Deer Creek, Prospect Mountains/Sweetwater, and Daniel may submit compensation claims to the Defenders of Wildlife.
Law Enforcement and Related Activities
Nothing to report at this time.
Outreach and Education
Bangs gave a presentation on ‘Management of wolf/livestock conflict in the northwestern United States’ at the annual meeting of The Wildlife Society in Monterey, CA on September 21st. The talk was part of a panel on ‘Predator management for threatened and endangered species’ hosted by USDA Wildlife Services. About 200 people attended.
To request an investigation of livestock injured or killed by wolves, please contact the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Wildlife Services at (307)261-5336.
For additional information, please contact:
Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 x204 or Ed_Bangs@FWS.GOV
Mike Jimenez (307)733-7096 or (307)330-5631 or Mike_Jimenez@FWS.GOV
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.
39 Responses to Latest wolf news from USFWS [Ed Bangs]
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I heard yesterday, that 101 Idaho wolves have been killed by Wildlife Services, and 99 in Montana, for depredations on livestock. That’s 200 wolves plus those in Wyoming.
It’s way past time to write the Ten (20, 30?) Commandments of sheep and cattle grazing on public land and insist that agencies put specific directions into Allotment Operating Plans, that must be followed. Local land mgt agencies say it’s going to have to come from regional offices.
Went to listen to the elk bugle in the meadows at the base of GTNP on Friday night. My folks are in town and have never had the experience, not too long after arriving I spotted two black wolves lounging not to far from the old White Grass Ranch Homestead buildings. Needless to say we didn’t see or hear any elk but we did get to watch two black wolves for 15 minutes. Even my 3 year old was able to see them with the naked eye.
Argh, I just figured out. That’s just a weekly count of killed wolves! Wonder what the ytd is.
From an article I read, it seems like WY has no interest in trying to delist because the politicians are real happy with the feds system of control, meaning shooting wolves for any depredation. That way the feds can foot the bill as well.
You hit the nail on the head, Wyoming has always been pissed off, because they would have to foot the bill once delisted…
Yet WY is swimming in money with oil/gas revenues
Sure. They have a gigantic ‘rainy day’ fund. But when the rainy day finally came, the recession, they cut services instead. One representative even had the gall to say that ‘poor people are poor because they can’t manage their money’. When compassion lacks for even their own species, how can we expect it to cross-species.
I don’t think Wyoming wants to really manage wolves. They are unlike Idaho or Wyoming. I think governor Freudenthal, a Democrat, likes to have wolves as a convenient symbol to show he hates the federal government. Why give that up?
“One representative even had the gall to say that ‘poor people are poor because they can’t manage their money.”
Then why are they poor? I would say with 95% sureity that most are poor because the have made poor life choices. I can see his frustration, I have zero urge to foot the bill for some one elses bad decision making skills.
Oh Ryan – I’m taking the bait, I’m not sure why. GET REAL! You actually believe 95% of poor people are poor because of bad decisions? I can’t even fathom such an ignorant comment. Do you actually believe those pesky ole’ poor folks are out withering away their money?? You may consider doing some research on the word “oppression”. I hate to tell you but its alive and kicking in the U.S. of A. and even out here in the West!
And yes Leslie, how can we get my fellow Wyomingites to even consider sound wolf management when you’re treated inhumanly just for being poor. Unbelievable, sad and really embarrasing.
And Jeff thank you! I may go poke around White Grass and see if I can hear some Wolf Howling!
Cindy I would not go as far as Ryan and say 95 percent, but I bet it is pretty high. I get sick of people playing the victim card. I came from a family that my dad was a mechanic and my mom was a waitress. And I have been making over 100K a year for the last 5 years. Its about good choices, and hard work. Oppression happens, but not as much as people blaming others for their failures.. JMO
Oh one other thing, I am pursuing a job in WY, what is Cheyenne like? Or Casper, those are the two places I am looking at living. Thanks
Just an observation. Ryan said that he was “95% sure” that poor choices led to being poor, not that 95% of poor people were poor because of poor choices. A small difference maybe but see what becomes of not understanding what your reading?
“I would say with 95% sureity that most are poor because the have made poor life choices.”
In my experience, people are generally poor because (1) they were born into poverty, (2) being impoverished they have less access to things like quality health care and education, and yes (3) they tend to make poorer (less informed) choices. It is a vicious cycle that benefits the haves and punishes the have-nots.
However, all of this is largely irrelevant. What you should really be asking is at what point does punishing people for making “poor life choices” negatively impact society as a whole?
Poverty is not always brought about the decisions an individual makes there are many causes: unexpected payments, sudden deaths in the family, no jobs available (many people can relate with the recession), the company you work for going bust and so on.
One way to get real poor real fast is, apparently, to own livestock because your livelihood is always under threat from everything under and including the sun.
Hi Josh – You will never convince me that the majority of people living in poverty are lazy asses who need to find a job. Maybe you should go into “that” part of town sometime and talk to folks and find out their stories. This can be very enlightening and engaging. I’ve done it myself and it can open your eyes (if you’re willing) to look at people with compassion and empathy instead of wondering all the time if they’re trying to take something from you. And so what if they are. Study the life of St. Francis sometime, you may just find that helping people instead of judging them can change the world.
And then—I live up in Jackson and really don’t get to those parts of the state too much.
And talk about lazy – let’s get those sheep and cows off my public lands and watch our beautiful and wild wolf population grow and prosper..
People are poor or destitute for many reasons. Try getting very very sick and having your health care not pay for a lot of your treatment…or no health care at all. In urban areas in states like CA where I come from, when education cuts are deep as they’ve been over the last 10+ years, wealthier or middle class neighborhoods can raise money to keep programs like P.E., art, etc. going, whereas poor areas don’t even have school supplies and I mean chalk and pencils for the teacher let alone the students. I know this first hand.
But this is way off subject and I agree that where its on subject is that the rich get richer because they have the influence and they get the tax breaks for all that cattle (when they don’t even need cattle they put it on their land for the tax break) and they still get their fat handout on our public lands because yes they have the power.
So when the representative of WY legislature makes a statement like that, she’s pandering to the wealthy and influential here.
Ryan, I don’t care how middle class or hard working you are, you have very little influence. And you are being exploited by the system whether you see it or not.
Watch the PBS special on the Parks tonight by Ken Burns. What he describes about the Parks over the last 100 years is still alive and well–exploitation by people who are greedy, constant debate about privatizing public lands, laissez faire attitudes relative to our Parks resources.
First off, I never said they were “lazy asses” that could not find a job.. How did you ever get to that assumption?? But sitting around talking about how you are oppressed is one way to stay unemployed….
I served an LDS mission in Boston. I lived in those neighboorhoods for 2 years, a helluva lot worse than any neighborhood in WY!! Talked with them everyday. Some of the biggest projects in the country were in my area, I would talk with the young kids about school etc, they would say “college and homework is for white kids”… ? It is a vicious cycle for people, they make bad decisions and it not only effects them but their kids, and thier kids.. I would find 2nd and 3rd generation poverty families living in the projects, and have been for 15-20 years. Young teen girls with 2 kids, teenagers selling drugs and dropping out of school and joining gangs, once again all bad decisions.. The state had multiple programs to help them get scholarships and all sorts of support. The problem is they dont want it, its always someone elses fault. Like I mentioned, they play the victim card, success is always there for those that truly want it… Its amazing what hard work will do.. and I mean HARD WORK.
Josh, one thing I always keep in mind, especially when I see someone homeless, on the streets. There is only a very fine line between myself and that homeless person. Any one of us could be homeless in our lifetime, no matter how wealthy. I think this recent recession shows that just a bit. But try other things like war, plague, sickness…
“The problem is they dont want it, its always someone elses fault.”
That’s a pretty broad generalization, don’t you think? What does your church teach you about helping those in need? WWJD?
I have met people with next to nothing that “don’t want” help; usually they are working hard but finding that hard work does little to help their cause. Still, they don’t want a handout so they keep at it. Some blame the government, some blame God, some blame lousy luck, and some don’t blame anyone at all.
Ralph and others are “spot on ” when they say that Wyoming does not want to manage wolves. The state Game & Fish feels wolves were foisted on them , with too little money from Fish & Wildlife for state management. It costs Wyoming over $ 2 million per year out of pocket to “manage” the Grizzly Bears already , and these newfangled wolves are just more work , pain , and expense for the Wyoming Game and Fish managers. The truth be told, Wyoming is in the game management business for money ..it’s almost “Put and Take” hunting for Big Game these days , disguised as conservation . Lots of pressure to provide lots of elk and deer , even though hunter numbers are decreasing. A sidebar is managing wildlife for money has had a detrimental effect on the balance of Wyoming’s big game herds, but the honest fault never finds its way there, sadly . It’s all about the license revenues, or used to be anyway . The contemporary fallacy of this is 2/3rds of Wyo G&F revenue comes from fishing licenses. Of all the Big Game species hunted in Wyoming, only Pronghorns pay for themselves with license revenues. All other species–Elk, Sheep. Deer (2), Moose, Black Bear, Cougar , etc. require outside subsidy beyond the license revenues. The license fees are still critical to G & F budget, but in a real watershed moment Game & Fish reluctantly began accepting direct appropriation fom the state Legislature to help it along, about 12-15 years ago. They caved and gave up their autonomy. And guess what ? —that state appropriation calls the tune and pays the fiddler…Wyo G & F now answers to the state Legislator more than ever. Back a couple decades when I still had some respect for Wyo G & F, it was primarily because they were that integral autonomous agency that seemed to care for and properly manage Big Game as wildlife. I lost my respect for G & F when political appointees on the Commission started making some bad policy, and G & F hunting regs and programs began to sway to the Legislative directives—which when you stripped the hide off turns out were proxies for the ranching and sport hunting lobbies. They lost their way.
Now, let me tell you a quick tale about Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal and his history with wolves. When Freudenthal was still a US Attorney , he was the first to prosecute a Wolf Poacher, a guy named Chad McKittrick of Red Lodge MT who illegally killed the alpha male of the Rose Creek pack when they dispersed out of Yellowstone and denned near Red Lodge Montana in the spring of 96 (?) , the first of the transplanted wolves to leave the sanctum of Yellowstone and set off on their own. Freudenthal successfully convicted McKittrick, begrudgingly , but only asked the magistrate to fine the poacher $ 500 in this very high profile case. Five hundred bucks. About the same as recklessly poaching a fawn deer or something. Ten times that fine adn some puntives would’ve een about right, but. Freudenthal hated wolves then but still had enough integrity to do his casework and follow the law . By this almost outrageous prosecutorial precedent , it was obvious from the outset that Dave Freudenthal is no friend to wolves. I like the guy , campaigned for him, voted for him , have his ear on occasion , and truth be told used to date his future wife and her sister back in high school even . But we very definitely disagree on wolf management. He’s bad for wolves.
But Wyoming is bad for wolves…all the way from top to bottom..Governor, Legislature, state game agency , hunting and sportsmen lobby…they all hate wolves and use very over-the-top and underhanded means to advance their anti-wolf agenda on all fronts. Wolves have zero biological/ecological value and no positive dollar value to them whatsoever, and in their eyes are only a financial drain and management burden. They cannot see the wolf for what it is. Freudenthal and his ilk only see a bloodthirsty freeranging carnivorous marauder poaching ” their ” elk 24/7/365 … and they are completely wrongheaded about all that. Ad absurdum, ad nauseum.
To put it as succinctly as I possibly can , if Wyoming took their existing regulations and seasons for hunting Cougars and replaced every instance of the word “Cougar” with ” Grey Wolf ” and set the hunting quotas accordingly without once mentioning “shoot on sight” or ” predator” , then almost all the contention and bile would sublimate away , and we could get on with reasonable defensible wolf management in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho separately and together. It really IS that simple….
Leslie, you said “Argh, I just figured out. That’s just a weekly count of killed wolves! Wonder what the ytd is.”
If you read the report, it says through Sept 2009–that is a Year to Date total–not a total for the week.
“but only asked the magistrate to fine the poacher $ 500”
He was originally sentenced to 6 months,a $10,000 fine and a year of probation. He ended up serving three months.
“Freudenthal and his ilk only see a bloodthirsty freeranging carnivorous marauder poaching ” their ” elk 24/7/365 … and they are completely wrongheaded about all that. Ad absurdum, ad nauseum.”
Goldie Locks disagrees with you!
Comon…wolves are bloodthirtsy freeranging carnivorous marauders. It is why I like them. Did you know that agriculture is as old in Sumatra, Borneo, Java, and New Guinea as it is in the Middle East. The modern world grew out of the Middle East, however, while other parts of the world hardly changed in the same 10,000 year period. Anthropologist say western civilization flourished and spread from the Middle East to Europe, America, and similar temperate latitudes in South Africa and South America not because of our genes nor our metals nor our culture nor our technology as much as because of the “big five.” The big five are sheep, goats, cattle, horses, and pigs. All but pigs evolved and were domesticated in the Middle East. Other parts of the world had pigs, turkeys, and different species of camels but not the other four of the big five animals available for domestication. They were only spread to other parts of the world by Western Civilization after domestication and after the technology and culture had developed around them (along with wheat and barley and a few other smaller domesticated animals).
Wolves will kill and eat any of the big five and are a threat to them. It shows in our culture because wolf hate is at the very root. We have metaphors in the Bible such as, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” and wolves symbolize a threat to the “flock” or to society itself that the Sheppard must guard against. In fact, these wolf metaphors are in the very oldest books of the bible and are in cultures that predate the Hebrews. Wolves were exterminated from wherever Western Civilization went…Europe, Central Asia, North Africa, and finally in America. Your statements inferring that there is some uninformed “ilk” in this country that has some monstrous and misinformed notion about wolves can sound pretty silly.
Without exciting a riot, I think everyone should be informed that wolves and Western Civilization will never fully integrate. They never have and never will. I think wolves should be preserved but I believe it can only be done by preserving areas for wolves where there is no ranching and where wolves are given priority over normal Western Civilization human activities. The idea that wolves are going to continue to multiply and reoccupy their former range because we now are somehow more enlightened about them is a childish dream at best.
Gerry, that is what I had thought but here is what confused me…I went onto the WF&G webpage and looked back on many weeks worth of reports. In Aug. it was reported that two wolves from the Absaroka pack (my area) were shot for killing 2 adult cattle. BUT, in that total figure, I do not see those 2 wolves taken into account. This pack is in WY yet not included in the totals. Please enlighten me.
Pointswest says “wolves and Western Civilization will never fully integrate….the idea that wolves are going to continue to multiply and reoccupy their former range…is a childish dream at best.”
Well, maybe its western civilization that needs to change, or abandon its adolescent dreams of control and dominance, and begin to grow up. Somehow, for thousands and thousands of years, there were people in the Americas living side by side with wolves, revering them, considering them as their ‘brothers’.
Maybe its time to learn from these peoples instead of the reverse. Western Civilization has, at its root, succeeded in alienating us from our Earth roots and blanketing us with the illusion we can control nature and our destiny. In the end, we are all subject to nature and its circle of life.
Besides, what is a culture without its dreamers! Only pedestrian.
I agree; it’s high time we begin to question “civilization” as a paradigm for what’s good and virtuous. We use the word “civilized” as a positive without thinking of what that means.
The “radical” idea that we can live good lives without leading civilized lives is alien. It’s so much so that our ideas of “wilderness” are simply seen in contrast to the paradigm reality of civilization.
And, yet, as you notice, people managed and have managed in some other parts of the world to live uncivilized lives that were meaningful for as long as human history. Imagine that.
Is that really what passes for dreaming in America, to live as others now live elsewhere? It seems we should think of the ways we can dismantle our “adolescent dreams of control and dominance.”
PS Keep writing; I enjoy your Web site immensely.
“Besides, what is a culture without its dreamers!”
I love to dream. I would love to live in the GYE with my brothers, the wolves, and make my living hunting buffalo and elk and catching salmon at the base of Shoshone Falls in spring and harvesting camas on the Great Camas Prairie in summer.
I think the tri-state area of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming once sustained about 25,000 people in their stoneage culture prior to the coming of wester civilization and its material culture. Today, there are about 3 million people in the area (including more native americans than in 1800) with a couple of million visitors every year. So I think it is about time for 2,975,000 of you people to L E A V E so me and my fellow dreamers can have our dream.
Don’t bug me about my dream!
But, doesn’t that just make Leslie’s point stronger about civilization? Why are there 2,975,000 people more in the area than what it actually supports?
Isn’t it the agricultural revolution and the industrial revolution that made it possible for the human population to explode to a point that all our efforts seem inevitably for nothing?
And, aren’t those revolutions simply outgrowths of the basics that gave rise to any and all civilizations (western or otherwise)?
So, if we are just dreaming, then we can continue to do so while living in the state of coma that modernization has given us, or we can try and do something about it. Ridding GYE of all the people won’t change the underlying problem. You change that underlying problem, and gradually the population will decline, though not in our lifetimes.
In the meantime, identifying the problem is a good first step.
We need to end this thread before we start talking about when time began and what was around before time…and when will it end and then what happens.
But with true ego in hand, I will respond.
Yes…I believe in birth control. I believe we are over populating the planet. Yes…I would like to see other species saved. But you’re not going to just ask everyone to die or otherwise leave the planet. The places that had the most wildlife are under cultivation now. In Idaho, the place that probably had the most wildlife were the Forks Country (west of Rexburg) also known as Jarvis Market and later Market Lake or maybe the Fort Hall Bottoms a few miles northwest of Pocatello. These buffalo and elk meadows were some of the first cultivated areas in Idaho. What we are trying to save now are areas that no one wanted…the high country or steep rocky country or the deserts that do not have water for crops. Should we move everyone out of Madison County or Bannock Country since they are intruding upon such great wildlife habitat?
Western Civ just happened. Who is going to pay the price…you? You cannot blame anyone living today for overpopulation. So I think we should preserve what we have left, we should strive to stabilize the population but in this effort, we need to stop making the “others” pay. It is no ones fault.
Someone can always make a cynical comment like: If you really want to do wildlife a favor, then go into the wilderness and kill yourself so there is one less human on the planet and so the wildlife can eat you. Better yet, just wound yourself so when they find you, your meat is still fresh.
I did not say that we should kill anyone; you are the one who mockingly suggested it.
Outside the statement that civilization just happened (it didn’t, but that’s another discussion) … we all should own up to the fact that we continue to use it as a paradigm for all that’s good and right and seem to make our moral decisions based on it.
That doesn’t seem to be the way to go about things at all, and yet we keep making the same mistakes – talking about what needs to be managed, how land should be divided, and on and on ad nauseum. But, what difference does any of that make if the basic underlying premise remains the same?
I think it’s all essentially for our self amusement until we get serious about connecting our present with our past and facing up to it and dealing with problems in a much more holistic manner than we currently do (and I don’t mean mystical; I mean something far more earthy).
I would never advocate removing millions of people; I would advocate that people stop doing things out of a sense of entitlement and a need for control. When people start consciously doing that in a meaningful and collective way, then things will change.
That was my point, but I can no more control that you get it than we should a wolf. And, until that point, you are ultimately right that we’ll never have any brotherhood between civilization and wolves. But, that can change if we begin to question and challenge the basis of civilized living.
I get it.
We can have “brotherhood” with wolves; I don’t believe we can have full integration over their former range, however. We are going to need to set aside some wolf-priority areas…hopefully several large wolf-priority areas. But they will never have all of America, Europe, and Central Asia back. It will never happen. Wolves will kill our horses, our cattle, our dogs, our chickes and our kids. They are a real problem for our civilization. Do you really believe people are going to change their way of life around the world to accomodate wolves in every corner of their vast former range? Why should they? How many wolves does the world need to be a valid world in your estimation?
“The idea that wolves are going to continue to multiply and reoccupy their former range because we now are somehow more enlightened about them is a childish dream at best.”
And yet, with our protection that is exactly what wolves have done. Of course wolves will never occupy ALL of their former range–which includes Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Minneapolis, and nearly every metropolitan area in the U.S.–but no one has suggested that they should!
“LEWISTON, Idaho — A hunter from Worley says four hound dogs were killed by a pack of wolves near Elk River.
Bill Greenlee says he was bear hunting with Joseph Nelson of Elk River last week when their dogs ran into a pack of wolves. Greenlee said three of his Walker hounds and one of Nelson’s red bone hounds were killed, the Lewiston Tribune reported.
He reported the incident to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Dave Cadwallader, Clearwater Region supervisor, says the Chesima wolf pack is known to use the area where the hounds were killed. In August, two members of that pack were killed for preying on livestock.
This year marks the first wolf hunting season in Idaho and Montana since the animals were taken off the Endangered Species list. Wolves are still under federal protection in Wyoming.”
You say you “…went onto the WF&G webpage…”. If you are looking on the Wyoming Game and Fish website, who knows what they are saying–they aren’t the ones who manage wolves–you need to go to the USFWS website: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/
I assume when you say: :This pack is in WY yet not included in the totals.” you are referring to Absaroka? My guess is they are included in the “West of Cody” totals.
Yes, that was the website and I misspoke. I was looking at the 8/21 and the 8/28/09 report. They do say in their “Near Sunlight Basin, west of Cody”. I live in Sunlight and you are probably right about the ‘west of Cody’ inclusion. Is there a place where they do updates of how many wolves are remaining in each pack and where? Sunlight used to have a pack of 12 or more. Then 2 years ago they reduced it to 9. Then the pack moved around a bit but last summer they took out about 4 or 5. Last winter there were 5 wolves traveling back and forth across the Sunlight valley near the campground. I made an assumption that they denned there again but, only assumed that. The Idaho wolf traveled last winter north of here to the Crandall area, they’d call that the Absaroka pack, and mated with a local female who I had heard denned up near there. That was a very very good thing for genetic diversity. So, in that case, who did G&F kill? And I am wondering if there is still even a Sunlight Pack left.
I also wonder how these guys locate these wolves so efficiently. I know last summer when they were doing wolf studies here through UofW, when there was a cattle depredation Wildlife Services would conveniently kill the collared wolf(ves). I know that both the mating pair, including the Idaho wolf had collars, and were even recollared last winter. Yikes, so much for studying the wolves.
Anyway, I am wondering if there are public statistics available somewhere that lists who’s ALIVE, rather than dead, and in what packs?
Last year there was a pack called the Crandall Pack that was killed in control actions–and there was also an Absaroka Pack. If you look in past annual reports (available on the same USFWS website), the Absaroka Pack has been around for years. I think they are further east than you are saying–not in the Crandall area. The Beartooth Pack has also been north of Sunlight.
So my guess is that they (USFWS, not G&F) actually killed Absaroka wolves–they have a history of many depredations for many years if you read the annual reports. I would also venture to say they locate the wolves efficiently because of radio collars! If they kill the radio collar, that would actually not be a good thing for Wildlife Services (but a good thing for the wolves–although not the one killed) since then they can’t find the rest of the pack to do more control. If they kill the radio collar, it is probably a mistake, or the last wolf killed in the pack, or potentially it was the wolf depredating? What kind of collars are they using? If they are GPS collars, in theory they could tell if that wolf was the one at the kills–an argument against GPS collars in my opinion.
As for public statistics for who is alive, USFWS usually publishes a mid summer report that includes summer counts, but I don’t know if they have done that this summer. Then the annual report comes out for 2009, but not until sometime in Feb or March 2010. Your best bet is the annual report for 2008 which would give you a general idea of pre-pup counts.
The report by Ed Bangs did have a depredation and wolf kill count for the year up until September. Someone commented that these figures were just for one week, but I don’t read it that way.
Planes are again buzzing overhead in Driggs, with the reopening of the Driggs-Reed Memorial Airport. The runway was ready for take-offs and landings again on Friday at noon. The runway has been closed since August for construction on the upgrade. The most substantial imporvement is the size of the runway’s safety area, which expanded from 250 feet to 400 feet. The new runway is longer by 100 feet and wider by 75 feet. Total cost for the runway was around $6 million with $3.7 million coming from stimulus funding. Travis Eva was the first person to land on the new runway, while Jim Jackson was the first to take-off. There are about 125 aircrafts based at the Driggs Airport. The runway’s lifespan is expected to last 40 to 50 years if properly maintained. The landing strip has been upgraded from the B-II to a C-II runway, meaning it’s safer for larger aircraft to land and takeoff. The airport was already seeing about 300 to 400 of the C-II aircrafts landing annually.
The new runway has also eliminated a big hump in the middle of the landing strip, which prevented pilots from being able to see from one end of the runway to the other. The old runway was originally a grass landing strip, which was later upgraded to gravel, and when it was finally paved many years ago, contractors simply poured two inches of asphalt over the gravel and called it good.