Lastest WY wolf news from USFWS

August 20, 2010 update

Here is the latest wolf news latest wolf news from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for Wyoming where the feds still officially manage wolves. There are links to other resources.

I converted their news from .doc to a pdf file in an effort to make it readable here. Unfortunately the table giving livestock depredations in Wyoming did not convert (it is blank). That is too bad because the numbers are so trivial — 17 cattle (mostly calves); 32 sheep.

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Hysteria about wolves in Idaho and Montana continues to grow, fanned by politicians and long time anti-government activists. I predict that 20 years from now this controversy will be studied as a classic case of how rumor fans social hysteria. For those interested there is a vast literature on this in social psychology under the sub-discipline of collective behavior.

I think the rise of the Internet has made this development easier in that people can spend so much of their time “talking” with those who share their views, while ignoring outside information and trading rumor. Fifty years ago it would be much more difficult for this kind of thingwyom-to spread,




  1. Cody Coyote Avatar
    Cody Coyote

    Ralph—how do you get those Wyoming wolf status reports days before they are posted on FWS own website?

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      Cody Coyote,

      A friend emails them to me and some others as a favor.

  2. Nancy Avatar

    Appeared in the little, narrow minded rag, The Dillonite Daily today – just in case this information wasn’t already linked somewhere on this site recently:

    Statement Montana Wool Growers

    Today, August 20, 2010, the Montana Wool Growers Association participated in the meeting called and organized by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in Helena on forming a wolf management coalition.

    Given the damage done by reintroduction of the gray wolf to the sheep industry, MWGA feels it is necessary for the Association to participate in such a coalition.

    MWGA supports the quickest means of delisting wolves – this is because the longer wolves are listed, the more wolves will be on the landscape and the more damage wolves will do to our sheep operations.

    MWGA is not convinced that appealing Judge Molloy’s ruling is the quickest way avenue to get wolves in Montana delisted.MWGA is concerned that a lengthy appeals process will just draw out the delisting process – and may not be successful.This is because we are only appealing the Wyoming issue – a win on that issue may result in remanding the case back to Judge Molloy for disposition of the other claims brought by the Plaintiffs in the case.However, should the decision be made for the State of Montana to appeal, MWGA will support the position of the State that wolves located in Montana are no longer in need of protection under the Endangered Species Act.

    MWGA supports also sending a joint letter to the congressional delegation in support of congressional delisting of the northern rocky mountain wolf population. believes a congressional fix is needed because the delisting debate has become more about legal maneuvering and game playing than it has become a question of survival of this species.There is no question that the gray wolf population in Montana is in no danger of extinction.It has become clear to the Montana Wool Growers Association that the wolf delisting issue has become nothing more than fundraising tool for environmental groups and a means of controlling state land and game decisions; as opposed to what the question should be – which is ensuring the health of the species and proper state management of that species.MWGA has seen nothing from the plaintiffs beyond endless litigation. There is no responsibility or accountability on the part of the environmental plaintiffs.They do not want to pay for wolf management programs, do not want to pay for damages caused to agriculture and to other forms of game by reintroduction of the wolf, and do not want to the State of Montana to assume management of the gray wolf — though such state management would ensure balance is maintained between the gray wolf and prey populations and help minimize conflict with humans and livestock.

    MWGA supports asking US Fish and Wildlife Services to request that the 10(j) rules be extended to wolves north of Interstate-90 and that the more flexible kill rules promulgated under Montana’s state management plan be allowed by US FWS during the period of relisting.In addition, while the Wool Growers support a wolf hunting season, the Association also believes that whole pack elimination by government agencies must also be a part of the management equation.A hunting season alone is not enough to control the exploding growth of Montana’s gray wolf population.

    MWGA strongly, strongly opposes cutting a deal with the plaintiffs on the minimum number of wolves; 300 and 30 was the standard for recovery; and that’s the standard the government and the plaintiffs, who pushed for the reintroduction of the gray wolf in Montana, should be held to.A deal is a deal.The MWGA also encourages FWP to quit playing it safe, and to aggressively push the federal government to grant it authority to cull wolves during this period in which they have been relisted.

    In addition, MWGA believes that the livestock compensation board should be given a general appropriation amount — in other words, be state funded.In addition, MWGA believes the coalition should go to the congressional delegation and request that Senator Jon Tester’s authorization of federal monies for wolf depredation compensation and mitigation be made a permanent authorization with a permanent, set funding amount.

    Finally, the MWGA should follow what Wyoming is doing and to once again classify the gray wolf as a predator.Gray wolves were reintroduced into Montana in 1995 as an experimental nonessential population.We were told that the State of Montana would take over management of the gray wolf when the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s recovery goal of having 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves in the recovery areas for a period of three consecutive years.That criteria was met in 2002.MWGA has watched the Courts, the federal government, and so-called environmental organizations engage in game playing for 15 years.Trusting in those entities to properly manage wolves has gotten the State of Montana and agriculture in Montana nowhere.It is time for the State of Montana, including the Governor and its congressional representation, to be more active and more aggressive in turning management over the gray wolf to the State of Montana.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Jim Brown, MWGA Director of Public Affairs at (406) 925-1745 or MWGA President Dave Hinnaland at (406) 974-3690 or Immediate Past President John Helle at 406-660-0990

    ++Interesting choice of words ” and so-called environmental organizations engage in game playing for 15 years, Trusting in those entities to properly manage wolves has gotten the State of Montana and agriculture in Montana nowhere++

    Again, almost 20 years in one of the “premier hot spot” areas and I’ve yet to see (or hear about) huge packs (or hordes) of wolves, ranging over the landscape, devastating livestock, taking out pets or depleting wildlife BUT, I have noticed a subtle change in how wild ungulates have started to move around the valley recently – elk, deer, antelope – instead of the movement I normally see when hunting season rolls around.

  3. BCJournal Avatar

    I agree you with you 100% on the wolf hysteria that seems to run rampant through the Western States.
    I live in Utah and with loner wolves periodically entering the state first in 2002 and most recently in June of this year, some state law makers are already using their old prejudices and hatred of wolves to push legislation that would exterminate any wolf that comes into the state. Most of this hatred comes from unfair and even ludicrous old perceptions of wolves and their impact on game herds and humans.
    Most of these false idea comes from pure ignorance and a failure to understand both sides of the story which is only compounded by the lies spread by those who share their same point of view.
    Thank you Ralph for providing a valuable resource(this blog) to those who care about this issue and where both parties can discuss their views on such a hotbed issue.


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