Wildlife Services wants your comments.

Wolf management plan examines killing of pups and sterilization of wolves.

Wildlife Services has issued a draft Environmental Analysis which examines a myriad of ways to kill wolves. Comments on the plan are accepted until August 31, 2010.

Idaho Wolf EA

“Management strategies would be developed for individual situations by applying the WS Decision Model (Slate et al. 1992). When appropriate, farm management practices (animal husbandry), frightening devices and livestock guarding animals would be recommended and utilized to reduce wolf damage to livestock. In other situations, WS might potentially utilize foothold traps, snares, ground shooting, chemical immobilization and euthanasia, and aerial shooting to remove individual problem wolves. An additional potential management method under the Proposed Action would be the infrequent taking of pups in or near the den, in those cases where removal of adult wolves due to chronic depredations on livestock might leave the pups defenseless and subject to starvation. Another potential management method under the Proposed Action, as an alternative to total removal of some chronic depredating wolf packs, would be removal of most or all wolves except the alpha pair from a chronic depredating pack. One (or both if possible) of the alpha animals would concurrently be live-captured, surgically sterilized, radio-collared, and released to maintain and defend their territory against other wolf packs which might be more likely to prey on livestock. This approach would only be considered on a case-by-case basis, and only with the concurrence of IDFG and potentially affected livestock producers.”

Wildlife Damage Management

NOTICE OF AVAILABILITY: Idaho The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Wildlife Services (WS) has issued an environmental assessment (EA) which evaluates issues and alternatives related to conducting gray wolf damage management in Idaho. The EA analyzes potential environmental effects of a proposed program to protect livestock and other domestic animals, wild ungulates, and human safety using a variety of approved methods in an integrated, adaptive management approach.

A copy of the EA can be obtained at the following website:

Idaho Wolf EA

The EA is also available on CD or printed copy and can be obtained by contacting:

Idaho WS State Office
9134 W. Blackeagle Drive
Boise, Idaho 83709
telephone: (208) 378-5077
fax: (208) 378-5349


Written public comments will be accepted through
August 31, 2010
and can be submitted via e-mail to:


or by mail or fax to the Idaho WS State Office
(address and fax listed above).

To be most useful, comments should be as specific as possible, and include factual information or refer to credible information which supports the comments.

For questions or requests for additional information, please contact the Idaho WS State Office (contact information listed above).


  1. Nancy Avatar

    Millions and millions of acres of wilderness and public lands still out here in the west for all kinds of wildlife (even wolves) to exist on and this is what they want to resort to??

    1. MJ Avatar

      Millions and millions of acres of wilderness and public lands = cheap places for grazing by private entities. The ranching lobby holds nearly the same sway on government agencies as does oil, coal, chem and industrial agriculture – part of the “Big Five” institutions dictating legislation and public policy. And they all come under the scrutiny of DOI and/or USDA, who’ve served up the Gulf Oil debacle and the “we eat only corn, rice, soy and wheat” Farm Bill.

  2. JimT Avatar

    I smell lawsuit…

    Get those comments going, folks, especially wildlife biologists.

  3. jon Avatar

    God, what kind of people work for wildlife services? How do these people sleep at night knowing how much wildlife they kill and some of the inhumane methods they kill with. These people who do the killing are inhuman imo.

  4. JimT Avatar

    Drones…get a paycheck, go home.

    I wonder if they do psych profiles for the WS employees…would be interesting to find out.

  5. JimT Avatar

    I thought APA required a 30 day comment period at minimum…this doesn’t meet the requirement.

  6. JimT Avatar

    Just says August on the Draft EA…I wonder when they published it in the Federal Register.

  7. Ken Cole Avatar

    The website says it was last updated on August 1st. I don’t think they publish EA’s in the Federal Register.

    The first thing that sticks out to me is that the introductory language talks about the delisting. That changed since they published this.

    1. JimT Avatar

      I thought anything remotely APA related was published..but I could be wrong. Talked with my wife, who is a hell of alot more experienced in ESA work, and she says she doesn’t see how they can conduct any hunts, even given 10J, while the wolves are listed.

    2. jon Avatar

      JimT, JerryBlack (thanks for the info!) has said that Montana fwp are trying to circumvent the esa to somehow allow hunting of wolves. This was actually said a few months ago at a meeting in Montana. They (Montana fwp) basically said if wolves are relisted, they will try to find ways about the esa to allow the killing of wolves. I think these 2 wolf hating states have had enough of the feds. So much that they are willing to find other ways to have hunts and have wolves killed regardless of what a federal judge says.

  8. Deborah Deatherage Avatar

    This article is horrible! How can anyone talk of such actions as though it is nothing to them? These are inhumane actions and should not be allowed to happen! Shame on those who does this and accept it as day to day work!

  9. Angela Avatar

    How long can a neutered *alpha* wolf defend a territory without a pack?

    1. SEAK Mossback Avatar
      SEAK Mossback

      I think sterilization has been tried in both the Yukon and Alaska. In Alaska, it was done as an alternative to aerial shooting to try to increase the Fortymile caribou herd.

      “Average territory size declined after the domininat wolves were sterilized and remaining wolves were translocated. Reduced territory size was expected because, in previous studies, pairs of wolves had reduced territory size compared with larger packs. Dominant pairs of sterilized wolves retained territories for several years. Sterile wolves accepted <= 1 wolf into territories and lived longer than than non-sterile wolves.”

      I’m sure there are more better references but here’s the one the quote was taken from.

      It appeared to work to some extent, because the dominant wolves kept to themselves, held territory and did not accept many others. However, their territories shrank some and other research indicates that per capita prey consumption tends to increase as pack size declines, so I’m not sure how much of the intended effect it had on the prey population. It was hardly much more popular with the public that was opposed aerial shooting. Things appeared to work out fine for the dominant wolves – they became DINKS (double income, no kids) that lived easier and longer and were able to hold their territories for years but the most of the subdominants that were translocated a couple hundred miles were likely killed by other wolves (many dispersing wolves are killed anyway of course, I don’t think they were radio collared), although one that was ear tagged filled a position in a pack hundreds of miles away in Denali Park that was vacated when an NPS research wolf was killed by overdose. I’m not sure how they quickly determined which were the alpha wolves.

  10. nabeki Avatar

    The key sentence is:

    “The IDFG’s Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (ILWOC 2002) and Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan 2008-2012 (IDFG 2008a) will be used as the principal guidance documents in managing wolves during the 5-year post-delisting period.”

    As Ken mentioned, this is directed at delisted wolves, whole new ball game now Wildlife (Dis)Services.

    Also, I wonder if any of these people have had psych evals?

  11. Joby Avatar

    These people have a cruel frontier mentality based on an irrational fear and hatred of wolves, handed down to them by the same arrogant folks who wanted to exterminate Native Americans. Hunters want to kill wolves because they selfishly want all of the elk for themselves, and ranchers just want to kill everything that moves. Top predators like wolves keep ecosystems balanced, and keep wildlife populations healthy by preying on weak and diseased animals. Wolves follow their instincts and kill what they need to survive. Compare all of this to many humans, who hunt the strongest for trophies, often waste what they kill, and destroy wolves for pleasure. Wolves were here long before man — we are not God, and it is therefore not our place to decide which species should live or die. All beings evolved for a reason, and thus have a right to be here.

  12. Mette Reiersen Avatar
    Mette Reiersen

    I can hardly belive what I read here. Is the name of the organisation Wildlife Services or Serial Killing Services!!!!
    Really – SHAME on you!

    1. Maska Avatar

      The name “Wildlife Services” is a euphemistic substitute for an earlier name, Animal Damage Control.

  13. jd Avatar

    What alien breed are the people of Idaho? They talk a language that is years out of date. They are like beings from a long ago era in European history where the wolf was accorded the name of the devil. They have no concept of the land they live in, nor of the realities of the native American people. They should be ashamed of themselves. They are uncivilised and backward.

  14. R.W. Batiz Avatar
    R.W. Batiz

    It is in my opinion that the wolfes have more of a right to be there than the livestock but we have to find a happy medium here to function on. So relocation to other areas or placements of the offending wolves in a humanly run wolf sanctuary would be a viable alternative. Killing them is just simply out of the question. Unfortunatly killing them is the least costly thing to do. But it isn’t the right thing to do. We need these animals.

    1. jon Avatar

      You’re right, wolves and other native wildlife should always trump livestock. Livestock shouldn’t be there, native wildlife should. Why is native wildlife being killed when they are the ones that belong there and non-native livestock don’t?

    2. Elk275 Avatar


      ++Why is native wildlife being killed when they are the ones that belong there and non-native livestock don’t?++

      Because I and the rest of the world like’s to eat — be it hoofed animals or row crops that displaced native wildlife on the lands that native wildlife grazing and preyed on for thousands of years.

  15. raincatcherwolf Avatar

    I like my wolves alive, thanks.

  16. Petticoat Rebellion Avatar
    Petticoat Rebellion

    Um, the wolf is still listed. So, I don’t see how this federal agency can propose any actions that may adversely affect a listed species without conducting Formal Section 7 Consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Services -USFWS (not to be confused with the USDA Wildlife (dis)Services). And the state agencies must either develop a Habitat Conservation Plan for wolf management that would have to be approved by the USFWS or idenitify a federal nexus agency who could initate Formal Section 7 Consultation with USFWS on their behalf. The Rocky Mtn region USFWS needs to step up here and insure that ESA laws and mandates are not circmvented by these arcane USDA hooligans and their state cronies.

    1. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears

      The wolves south of I-90 are managed as a Non-Essential Experimental Species, in other words 10(j) designation, which is different than a fully listed species, hence there are different rules that apply to this population segment..

    2. Cobra Avatar

      It’s funny how they can use the south of I-90 regulation for the 10j ruling. We’ve watched the wolves move north from where they were introduced for years. Most of the wolves north of I-90 have come from the south not from Canada. There has been several hit by cars crossing I-90 north bound and south bound. Doesn’t seem to be much of barrier to them.

    3. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears


      I think there is a good chance the 10(j) rule will be thrown out in this next round and they will all be awarded full protection as define by the ESA

  17. khodges2007 Avatar

    No way does that even come close to sounding like a good plan of action. I am speechless!

  18. Daniel Berg Avatar
    Daniel Berg

    I read a good portion of the EA, and I can’t help but to feel like all roads lead back to 100 wolves with these guys. 10 breeding pairs, and they would prefer to kick the door open to that in none other than the hotly debated Lolo-Selway areas.

    1. jon Avatar

      Hopefully, the feds won’t allow that to happen. This is why states can’t manage predators like wolves. If they did, you would see very few wolves in those states.

    2. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears


      States can manage predators, just like any other game species, it just happens some people don’t like the way they are managing them. Of course the recent ruling was not about the way the two states that had authority to manage them did it, it was about the way the USFWS de-listed them.

  19. Nancy Avatar

    Elk275 Says:
    August 9, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    ++Why is native wildlife being killed when they are the ones that belong there and non-native livestock don’t?++

    Because I and the rest of the world like’s to eat — be it hoofed animals or row crops that displaced native wildlife on the lands that native wildlife grazing and preyed on for thousands of years.

    Elk, come on, how long is that kind of mentality gonna be the acceptable norm as mankind plows thru whats left of wilderness areas???

    Mankind has the ability now to construct homes out of what use to be considered very wasteful materals – and now are recycled – instead of destroying forests. Mankind has the ability now, to grow not only greens but meat, fish, etc. in an enviornment that doesn’t damage or pollute the rest of the land.
    And Mankind has the ability to understand its not all about us, yet too many still want to deny other species their right to exist……….. because we can.

    1. Elk275 Avatar


      What is your definitinon of wilderness areas? Wilderness areas have been set aside by congress to be preserved for ever. There are millions of acres of de facto wilderness that need congressional protection now.

      I know the general where abouts of where you live and I think that you are upset with what the private landowners have done with there fee simple title. There is no one who would have loved to see the Big Hole Valley at the time of Lewis and Clark than both us, but things have changed and there is no way back.

  20. Susan Heath Avatar
    Susan Heath

    I have a great idea. Have the employees of Wildlife Services ‘take a child to work’ day. EVERY employee must do this….if they don’t have a child of their own, a nephew, niece, neighbor, friend….but they must take a child to work with them. Explain to the children what they are doing to these beautiful creatures & why. Be sure to take them with you when you aerial shoot, euthanize….and the best one….let them watch as the pups are poisoned & take their last breath. Or watch them starve to death. LEAVE THE WOLVES ALONE!!!!!!!!!!! Shame on all of you.

  21. Nancy Avatar

    Elk, wilderness areas to me are areas that are not fenced off and beaten down by livestock or subdivided and manicured.

    I’m aware that areas have been set aside as designated wilderness areas but how many of those areas have been set aside simply because they have little or no value to mankind, at this moment in time?

    And I’m not upset about the fees as much as I’m upset about the slow, ongoing destruction of public lands and wildlife habit in the name of just a few private land owners.

  22. Elk275 Avatar


    ++And I’m not upset about the fees as much as I’m upset about the slow, ongoing destruction of public lands and wildlife habit in the name of just a few private land owners.++

    I am upset with ATV’s and snowmobiles and mountain bikes, they are doing damage that was unheard of 35 years ago.

    I am bother my landowners and there control of access to millions and millions of acres of public lands that that the public can not access due to private lands and closed roads.


  23. Nancy Avatar

    So pretty much on the same page Elk?

  24. Alexandria Smith Avatar
    Alexandria Smith

    Wolves are a part of this ecosystem. We didn’t bring them back to slaughter them, brutally, later. If we look at the way we are managing our resources, perhaps we would find that the amount of hunting people do needs to be cut back to share the elk and deer populations with the wolves. A surprising number of cattle died this year outside of Yellowstone National Park due to eating a native plant that was toxic to them. Perhaps we should recognize that native animal populations can survive better than domestic emigrants. Wolves are a vital part of encouraging the strength of the elk and deer populations to survive. Please reconsider slaughtering them, sterilizing them, and stealing their pups. That such actions are being considered by the government agency in charge of wildlife management is extremely disconcerting!


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

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Ken Cole