All #StopWolfHunts and #KeepWolvesListed Petitions:

January 9. 2014

Reposted from:
Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online! 
(posted 1/3/14)
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reports that as of Dec. 31, 2013 at 5 p.m., Wyoming's 2013 wolf hunting season has closed. A total of 24 wolves were taken in this fall's trophy wolf hunt (of a total quota of 26).

In addition, 37 wolves were harvested in the predator zone in 2013.
In 2013, 42 wolves were killed in Wyoming's trophy game areas (of a total quota of 52), while 25 were taken in the predator zone of the state.

In Montana, 115 wolves have been killed in this year's hunting season thusfar, and 24 have been taken through trapping. General season rifle is open until March 15, 2014, and the trapping season runs from Dec. 15 to Feb. 28, 2014. The year prior, hunters harvested 128 wolves, while trappers took 97.

In Idaho, 146 wolves have been harvested by hunters, with the season open until the end of March 2014 in most areas. In addition, 41 wolves have been taken in the current trapping season.

In last year's seasons, Idaho hunters harvested 199 wolves, while trappers took another 120. The year prior, hunters took 255, while trappers took 124.

For the Great Lakes-area wolf hunting seasons (all of which are now closed:
Minnesota - 217 wolves were taken (17 more than the quota) Michigan - 23 wolves were taken (of a quota of 43); and Wisconsin - 257 wolves were taken (over the quota of 251).

Related Links: 
Wyoming Game & Fish Department Wolf harvest data here: 

Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks - Wolf harvest data here: 

Idaho Fish & Game 
Wolf harvest data here: 

Wolf Watch - by Cat Urbigkit


The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned the Obama administration today to reform the federal wildlife-killing agency known as “Wildlife Services,” which kills nearly 1.5 million coyotes, bears, otters, foxes, birds and other animals each year without any requirement to disclose its activities to the public.


5 U.S.C. § 553(e) 



December 2, 2013 



For Immediate Release, December 3, 2013
Amy Atwood, Center for Biological Diversity, (503) 504-5660
Camilla Fox, Project Coyote, (415) 690-0338
Carson Barylak, Animal Welfare Institute, (202) 446-2140

Petition Seeks to Reform Secretive Federal Agency That Kills Millions of Wild Animals
'Wildlife Services' Shoots, Traps, Poisons Animals With Little Regulation, Public Accountability
WASHINGTON— The Center for Biological Diversity and allies petitioned the Obama administration today to reform the federal wildlife-killing agency known as “Wildlife Services,” which kills nearly 1.5 million coyotes, bears, otters, foxes, birds and other animals each year without any requirement to disclose its activities to the public. The secretive killing — which includes aerial gunning, traps and exploding poison caps — has gone on for decades with little public oversight or rules requiring the use of the best available science or techniques to reduce the deaths of nontarget animals.
Today’s petition was filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees Wildlife Services.
“Wildlife Services is an out-of-control, rogue agency that shoots, snares and poisons more than a million native animals every year, many unintentionally — including at least 13 endangered species,” said Amy Atwood, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity and the primary author of the petition. “Despite calls for reform by members of Congress, scientists and the public, Wildlife Services is still operating without the kind of legally binding regulations that ensure transparency and accountability to the taxpaying American public, creating a free-for-all that should have been ended decades ago.”
The petition calls for the agency to:
Develop regulations to ensure use of the best science when determining whether action should be taken against animals;
Avoid killing nontarget animals, including endangered species;
Ensure ethical treatment of targeted animals and exhaustion of nonlethal means; and
Require release of reliable information to the public about the animals it kills.
A response to the petition is required by law; any decision is subject to review by the courts. 
“For far too long Wildlife Services has run roughshod over America’s wildlife,” said Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote. “We call on the USDA to clean house and bring Wildlife Services into the modern era of predator conservation and stewardship by adopting rules that justify their actions and that allow for public input and the integration of ethics, economics and science-based ecology.”
Under various names, Wildlife Services has killed millions of animals since the early part of the 20th century, targeting native carnivores like coyotes and foxes, prairie dogs, birds and many other species at the behest of agribusiness interests. The agency contributed to the decline of gray wolves, Mexican wolves, black-footed ferrets, prairie dogs, and other species during the first half of the 1900s, and continues to impede their recovery today.
“Wildlife Services has long ignored sound science in establishing its priorities, instead taking its cues from ranchers and other ‘cooperators,’ ” noted Carson Barylak, federal policy advisor at the Animal Welfare Institute. “The influence of these private interests has taken precedence over the ecological principles that should be guiding the agency’s decisions, and wildlife is suffering as a result.”  
According to the agency’s own figures, which likely underestimate the total death toll, the agency has killed more than 22 million native animals since 1996, representing 476 different species. The past five years have been some of the most active for the agency, with more than 1.5 million native animals killed per year. The agency reports that it kills an average of nearly 4,000 nontarget native animals annually, including at least 13 endangered species, such as Louisiana black bears, Mexican gray wolves, wood storks, Hawaiian stilts, island foxes and roseate terns.   
“Wildlife Services has contributed to the endangerment of several species, such as wolves and grizzly bears, that play pivotal roles in the food chain and have been the subject of extensive recovery efforts,” said Atwood. “The agency is a major threat to North American wildlife and must be reined in and held accountable.” 
Wildlife Services employees routinely engage in unlawful or inhumane activities, refusing to fire or discipline agency employees who are known to break the law or cause animal suffering. The agency is also notoriously secretive, shielding most of its activities from scrutiny, and routinely covering up a substantial portion of its animal killings. 
Lead petitioners include Center for Biological Diversity, Project Coyote and the Animal Welfare Institute. The Animal Legal Defense Fund signed on as a supporting petitioner. 
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 625,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.
Project Coyote ( is a national, nonprofit organization promoting compassionate conservation and coexistence between people and wildlife through education, science and advocacy.
The Animal Welfare Institute ( is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere — in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild.

by Exposing the Big Game

By Marybeth Holleman 
December 2, 2013
The recent news that wolf sightings by visitors to Denali National Park this past summer were the lowest on record is disheartening but not surprising. This is precisely what many scientists warned would happen in 2010, when the Alaska Board of Game eliminated the small no-take wolf buffer on state lands east of the national park.

And it is precisely what Gordon Haber, whose research on Denali's wolves spanned 43 years, concluded: hunting and trapping of park wolves on these state lands often kills the alphas of the family group,1453351_1488724231352782_186999841_n thus causing the entire group to fragment and disintegrate--resulting in fewer park wolves, and fewer park visitors seeing wolves.

Along with Yellowstone National Park, Denali had been known as one of the best places in the world to view wild wolves, but no longer. Over 400,000 visitors come to Denali each summer--many of them Alaskans--contributing over $140 million to our state's economy. Many cite their desire to see wolves as a primary reason for visiting the park. As Denali superintendent Don Striker says, seeing wolves in the wild is an "amazing, oftentimes transformative experience" for park visitors.

But when park wolves range across the park's eastern boundary following the winter migration of prey, they're killed by hunters and trappers. The three most-often-seen wolf family groups in Denali have been decimated by losses here, and visitor viewing success has consequently suffered.

Recognizing the economic value of wolf viewing in Denali, from 2000-2010 the state closed some of these lands to wolf take. But, as Haber warned, this small buffer wasn't sufficient; in some winters, as many as nineteen park wolves were killed east of the buffer - 15 percent of the total park wolf population.

This prompted many organizations, including the Park Service, to propose at the 2010 meeting of the Alaska Board of Game--just a few months after Haber's untimely death in a research flight crash--that the inadequate buffer be expanded. Instead, the Board eliminated the buffer and passed a moratorium on considering the issue again until 2016. Many predicted this would accelerate the already precipitous decline in park wolf numbers and viewing success--and it has.

Today, the numbers of wolves within the six-million-acre national park and preserve has declined from 143 in fall 2007 to just 55 in spring 2013 - a drop of more than half in six years. And, since the state removed the buffer in 2010, wolf-viewing success for the park's 400,000 annual visitors has plummeted: from 44 percent in 2010 to just 4 percent in 2013. This downward spiral in wildlife viewing success may be unprecedented in the history of the entire national park system.

As Gordon Haber concluded, it's not how many wolves killed, it's which wolves are killed. In 2012, the last breeding Grant Creek female, from the park's most-viewed family group, was trapped in the former buffer. The death of this one wolf left the survivors with no pups that spring, whereupon they abandoned their den site and fragmented, shrinking from fifteen to three wolves. Rather than visitors witnessing the fifteen-member family group attending new pups at the den site, they saw nearly none. Viewing success dropped by 50 percent that summer alone--all from the loss of one wolf.

Last week, in a letter to U.S. Secretary of Interior Jewell and Gov. Parnell, a coalition of Alaska citizens and organizations proposed a "win-win" solution: that the state transfer a permanent no-take wildlife buffer conservation easement east of the national park, in exchange for the federal government transferring a like-valued easement, or purchase value, to the State of Alaska.

This would fix the problem. It would allow Alaskans and visitors a better chance of seeing wild wolves, and would sustain and grow Denali's valuable wildlife viewing economy for generations of Alaskans to come. Let's hope the Governor and Interior Secretary can get together and solve this issue once and for all.


Alaska writer Marybeth Holleman is co-author with the late Gordon Haber of "Among Wolves: Gordon Haber's insights into Alaska's most misunderstood animal." She can be reached at:

Compass: Denali wolves need a buffer of state land

Exposing the Big Game | December 3, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Tags: Alaska, trapping, wildlife watching, wolf hunt, wolves | Categories: Wolves | URL:



Wolf population across the 6 million acre park and preserve declined from 143 in fall 2007 to just 55 in spring 2013 

Wolves on the Denali Park Road. Photo courtesy NPS/Nathan Kostegian.
Posted on November 27, 2013 by Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — An arbitrary decision by the Alaska Board of Game to allow wolf hunting and trapping near Denali National Park has cut the regional wolf population by nearly two-thirds and significantly reduced opportunities for park visitors to see wolves in the wild — one of the main reasons people go to Denali in the first place.

This year, fewer than 5 percent of park visitors were able to see wolves, down from about 45 percent back in 2000, according to National Park Service 
statistics obtained by a federal government watchdog group.
“This precipitous decline in wildlife viewing success appears to be unprecedented in the history of the national park system,” said Rick Steiner, a retired University of Alaska professor and a Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility board member.
The wolves of Denali have historically been one of the world’s most viewed populations in part because they can be seen inside one of the planet’s few remaining intact functioning ecosystems, near the park’s main road. About 400,000 visitors come to Denali each year, spending more than $150 million on lodging, travel and other purchases.

In recognition of the economic value of wolf viewing in Denali, state officials in 2000 created a 122-square mile no-take buffer zone on the park’s eastern boundary. But in 2010, the Alaska Board of Game, comprised of hunters and trappers, eliminated the buffer.  

The wolf population across the 6 million acre park and preserve declined from 143 in fall 2007 to just 55 in spring 2013 – a drop by more than half in just six years.

Even with the buffer, Denali wolves were under pressure from hunting and trapping. In some years, a significant percentage of the total Denali wolf population was killed in the area. And biologists point out that it’s not just about sheer numbers — the hunting and trapping in the buffer zone has disrupted family and pack dynamics in the area.

According to Steiner there was no good biological reason to get rid of the buffer. It may be true that killing wolves in that area won’t have a big impact on the statewide wolf population, but that misses the point, Steiner said, explaining that the wildlife viewing opportunity in the park is a key economic issue.

It’s not clear exactly why the Board of Game eliminated the buffer, and board members did not respond to questions about the decision. But Steiner said it may have done at least partly out of spite, based on state antipathy to the federal government in general, and the National Park Service specifically.

“The State of Alaska should understand the simple economics of this,” Steiner said in a PEER press release. “In places like Denali, wolves are worth far more alive than dead. Removing the buffer benefits two or three trappers, but costs thousands of park visitors the opportunity to watch wolves in the wild, and thus costs the Alaskan economy.”

According to park service statistics, wolf-viewing success for the park’s 400,000 visitors declined to 22 percent in 2011, 12 percent in 2012, and is estimated to have dipped below 5 percent in 2013.  This drop is associated with the lowest  Denali wolf population in 26 years.

The Game Board rejected a petition from Alaska conservation groups in October 2012 to restore the buffer due to effects on the wolf population and viewing opportunities. Its original 2010 action came over the objections of the National Park Service, which expressed concern over effects on packs within Denali.

The State of Alaska has a long-standing Memorandum of Understanding to work cooperatively with the federal government on wildlife issues. That cooperative spirit has been strained but has broken down completely during the Parnell administration as state-federal conflicts have multiplied and escalated.
“Why would tourists shell out hundreds of dollars to travel long distances to a crown jewel nature park where the most iconic wildlife is missing?” said PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. Alaska loses big time if its incomparable national parks cease to remain robust tourist magnets.”

Steiner said a coalition of conservation and wildlife advocacy groups will ask Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to get involved by working out a land swap of sorts that would establish a permanent wildlife conservation easement east of the park in exchange for the conveyance of some federal lands of equal value.


November 26. 2013
Thank you to to Ole Vikshaaland for bringing us this good news from Angel Protectors Animals & Wildlife
.... It is a good day for the fur-bearing animals of Nanaimo, British Columbia. Earlier this week, Council passed both first and second readings of a motion that would see a ban on trapping in the municipality.


Victory in Nanaimo
Published on Thursday, 21 November 2013 17:34
It is a good day for the fur-bearing animals of Nanaimo, British Columbia. Earlier this week, Council passed both first and second readings of a motion that would see a ban on trapping in the municipality.2013-11-21 Fred Regular
“Most of us, certainly myself included, were under the false impression that leg-hold traps had been banned,” said Councillor Fred Pattje in a yet-to-be-aired interview with Defender Radio. “That turned out to be a ban on the teethed traps.”
Nanaimo residents began an uproar when they discovered active trapping occurring on a property in Linley Valley, an area popular for hikers, families and dog walkers.
“When someone found out that the owner of a few parcels of land was using leg-hold traps, they got quite excited – and angry – even though the landowner was, according to the law, doing everything by the book,” Pattje explained. “But it started a conversation.”
That conversation did not take long in locating APFA, who brought Executive Director Lesley Fox to a meeting with Pattje and his fellow councillor Bill Bestwick.
“It didn’t take us long to get educated on the inhumaneness and lack of necessity in doing things this way,” Pattje said. “We learned there are humane ways of dealing with beavers – like the flow devices. Lesley was very good at explaining in a very short time what could be done. The offer of APFA to help educate municipalities – and landowners – hit home with us pretty quick.”
Within days of that meeting several weeks ago, Pattje and Bestwick introduced a notice of motion at Nanaimo Council, which would see an end to the use of traps in the community. On Monday, November 18, the motion passed first, second and third readings without any significant opposition.
“It’s just one stop short of adoption,” Pattje noted. “As you are aware, trapping falls under the Wildlife Act in British Columbia, so we’re a little stymied. But we know there are two, maybe four, other municipalities with by-laws on the books.”
Nanaimo, along with other municipalities in British Columbia, are anxiously awaiting word from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, as to whether or not the by-law will be acceptable under provincial terms.
“We are strictly interested in Nanaimo of having a by-law on the books that cannot be challenged by the Ministry in Victoria or the Trappers’ Association,” Pattje said. “It needs to be solid. What we achieved is something really important: we are sending yet another message to the government in Victoria…that in our municipality we look at traps as a tremendously inhumane way of dealing with animals and as a danger to other species and people.
“We’ve sent that message,” Pattje concluded, adding “and we hope more municipalities will do the same, to get us the action we sadly still need in this day and age.”
APFA wants to congratulate the residents of Nanaimo, Councillor Fred Pattje and the rest of the Nanaimo Council for standing up for what they believe and working to protect the fur-bearing animals of their community.


Posted November 21, 2013 
from Save Our Wolves


MISSOULA — Missoula County sheriff’s officers will lead the investigation into who shot and killed a Missoula man’s dog while he was cross-country skiing in the Lee Creek area on Sunday.

Layne Spence told the Missoulian he was skiing near Lolo Pass with three of his malamute dogs when someone dressed in camouflage shot his 2-year-old dog “Little Dave” six times with what Spence described as an assault rifle from 15 yards away.

“My dog is lying there, dead and I shouted ‘What are you doing?’ and the guy said, ‘I thought it was a wolf,’ ” Spence said. The man then walked away. Spence filed a report with the sheriff’s office on Sunday afternoon.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game wardens are not involved in the investigation, department spokeswoman Vivica Crowser said Monday. Because the dog killed was a domestic pet, the incident would not be considered a poaching violation, Crowser said. It would fall under the taking of personal property, which is a county criminal matter.

But the initial description of the event raises concerns about proper hunting behavior.(No really ? They just figured that .. now ?) 

“Until we know the identity of the person, or something that turns up out of the investigation, we can’t say anything for certain,” Crowser said. “But it appears to violate lots of the basic tenets of hunter education and the safety and ethics we want to instill.”

Wolf hunting is legal in Montana for any qualified hunter with an over-the-counter license. But anyone hunting wolves with a firearm during the Oct. 19-Dec. 1 big-game season must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter-orange clothing above the waist. Wolf hunters may disregard the hunter-orange requirement before and after big-game season, but not during. There is no rule prohibiting the use of military-style rifles in hunting, as long as they are legal for civilian ownership.

“For someone to have done that, make multiple shots, kill the wrong non-target animal, and then leave the scene, that violates the basic rules of firearms safety,” Crowser said. “Taking responsibility for a mistake and staying to help with the situation is one of the key things we stress in hunter ed classes.”

The U.S. Forest Service maintains the Lee Creek Campground for non-motorized winter use. Lolo National Forest recreation manager Al Hilshey said the area is popular with cross-country skiers who like to bring their dogs. Forest Service officials are cooperating with the sheriff’s office in the investigation, Hilshey said.


New Article by Exposing the Big Game
November 21. 2013


Photo: Layne Spence's pet malamute, Little Dave.

Here are some excerpts from a new four-page article in the Great Falls Tribune. Check out the full story and vote Yes on the poll on the left hand column here:

HELENA –  Layne Spence went out into the woods west of Missoula on a Sunday afternoon to do what he loves to do best: recreate in Montana’s outdoors with his three beloved malamutes.

Spence, an avid outdoorsman, drove to the Lolo National Forest’s Lee Creek campground, an area the agency touts on its website for its “winter recreation opportunities such as cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.”

The area also is popular with hunters and trappers.

Spence parked his truck, turned on his dogs’ lighted collars, clipped into his cross-country skis and set off down the snow-covered forest road.
Within minutes of starting out on his trek with his dogs Rex, Frank and Little Dave, Spence said he heard a gunshot from up ahead. Spence said he looked up from road just as Little Dave’s hind leg was struck by a bullet. Spence said a man, dressed mostly in camouflage, was standing on the road approximately 30 yards ahead of him and was aiming a semiautomatic assault rifle in his direction.

Merriam-Webster defines an assault rifle as “any of various automatic or semiautomatic rifles with large capacity magazines designed for military use.”
“I started screaming at the top of my lungs, ‘No! No! Stop! Stop! You’re shooting my dog!,” Spence recalled, his voice still hoarse from yelling three days after the alleged incident.

Spence, a licensed emergency medical responder, said even though his dog was gravely wounded, he thought he had a chance to save him after the first shot. Even with a missing leg, Little Dave could live a full and happy life, Spence said later.

“I started running toward Little Dave, screaming the whole time and then I heard this ‘tat, tat, tat’ five or six more times,” Spence said. “Then Little Dave’s head just tilted over and he was dead.”

As Spence huddled over the body of his dead pet, the unidentified shooter approached him and told Spence he thought the dog was a wolf. According to Spence, the man asked if there was anything he could do. Spence he was distraught and screamed at the man to leave him alone.

Debate ignites
Although authorities say no laws were broken, widespread news of the incident has outraged many outdoor enthusiasts and sparked debate over who is responsible for the safety of the nonhunting public and their pets on public lands during open hunting seasons.

Wolf hunting and trapping is legal in Montana, and so far 85 wolves have been killed during Montana’s 2013-2014 hunting and trapping season.

Hunters can hunt wolves with guns from Sept. 15 to March 15, and trapping runs from Dec. 15 to Feb. 28. Wolf hunters are only required to wear “hunter orange” during the five-week general rifle season. After Dec. 1, they can hunt until mid-March without wearing orange. ...

Koehler said state wildlife and law enforcement officials appear to be applying a different set of rules for wolf hunters than other big-game hunters.

“The first rule for any ethical hunter is to know your target,” Koehler said. “If FWP or law enforcement found out a hunter mistakenly shot a bull elk when the regulations only allowed the taking of antlerless elk, they would fine the hunter and perhaps even take away his license. It blows me away that in this case, authorities are apparently saying it’s OK for wolf hunters to shoot people’s pets on public lands and there are no consequences for those actions.”

Jerry Black is an anti-wolf hunting advocate who said Montana’s liberal wolf hunting laws put unreasonable onus on unarmed citizens to protect themselves and their pets from injury or death while recreating on public lands.

“What’s screwed up is this tragic incident shows that we as citizens out walking with our dogs, or out there hiking, fishing or skiing on public lands, it’s now our responsibility to not get shot,” Black said. “For six months out of the year, we’re under siege by wolf hunters who say it’s our responsibility to wear blaze orange.”

Changes coming?

Spence said he believes the man who shot Little Dave should lose his hunting privileges and have his guns taken away.
Spence said the hunter violated hunting regulations, including shooting from a public roadway.

According to the 2013-2014 Montana wolf-hunting regulations, “it is illegal for anyone to hunt or attempt to hunt any wolf from, on or across any public highway or the shoulder, berm, barrow pit or right-of-way of any public highway …”
“I don’t want anything bad to happen to the guy. I just want an apology,” Spence said. “He has to be held accountable. I’m lucky to be alive. He was shooting right at me.”

Spence said he believes there needs to be stiff penalties on the books for hunters who endanger nonhunters or their pets through irresponsible actions. He said he hopes if anything good comes from the death of Little Dave, it will prevent future incidents like this from occurring.

“It could have happened to anyone. I could have had a child out there with me,” Spence said. “People need to be aware. I don’t want this to happen to anybody else.”

One state lawmaker is already talking about taking action in the 2015 Legislature.

Rep. Ellie Boldman Hill, D-Missoula, said on her Facebook page that she is considering proposing legislation making what happened on Sunday a crime. Hill is up for re-election in 2014.

Spence said he’s not opposed to hunting and has hunted in the past. However, Spence said he believes the use of a semiautomatic rifles should not be allowed for hunting.

Semiautomatic rifles are legal in Montana and no special permit is required to own them or hunt with them.
“Everybody has their Second Amendment right to bear arms, but irresponsibility and those kinds of weapons that allow you to fire off a bunch of rounds with a few quick squeezes of the trigger should be banned,” Spence said. “Assault weapons are not hunting rifles.”

Exposing the Big Game | November 21, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Tags: dogs, hunting accidents, Montana, poachers, wolf hunt | Categories: Poaching | URL:


Former USFWS Whistleblower Says Wolves Illegally Introduced
by Exposing the Big Game
Just FYI, so you know this is out there...

Non Native Wolves Illegally
Introduced, Says Whistleblower
Former USFWS Official Speaks of Malfeasance, Misappropriated Funds, and Transplanting Wrong Subspecies to Yellowstone



Half a century after the last native Northern Rocky Mountain Timber Wolf, Canis lupus irremotus, was said to be hunted to extinction locally by public and private efforts, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, in 1995, under then Director Mollie Beattie, presided over the introduction of the Canadian Gray Wolf, Canis lupus occidentalis, into the Northern Rocky Mountain eco-system.

According to whistleblower Jim Beers (former USFWS Chief of National Wildlife Refuge Operations), after Congress denied funding for his agency to carry out the Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project, the agency acted illegally as it brought the Canadian wolves into the Yellowstone ecosystem.

Speaking in Bozeman in May 2010, at the Gran Tree Inn, before Congress on wolf recovery issues in 1998 and 1999, and in October 2013 to the Montana Pioneer, Beers insisted that, after Congress denied USFWS funding for wolf recovery, the agency illegally expropriated Pitman-Robertson funds (federal excise taxes required by law to be distributed to the states as reimburse-ments), helping themselves to tens of millions of dollars.

When contacted by the Montana Pioneer for this article, Beers further stated, "The General Accoun-ting Office verified that at least $45 to $60 million was taken, diverted, by USFWS from P-R funds."

Beers went on to say that the Pittman-Robertson excise taxes, by law, could only be used by State wildlife agencies for their wildlife restoration projects. “These funds were then used primarily…to pay bonuses to top USFWS managers that had no right to such funds [and] to trap wolves in Canada, import them, and release them into Yellowstone National Park.”

Beers, a 32-year veteran USFWS biologist, whose job included overseeing the Pitman-Robertson funds, alleges that the agency misapprori-ated monies for the trapping and transportation of Canadian wolves into the U.S. To conceal its misuse of the funds spent on the project, the true number of wolves imported, and the subspecies brought in, USFWS intentionally did not file mandatory paperwork, according to Beers, that would have established a paper trail. Or, he speculates, somehow that paperwork mysteriously disappeared.

Beers also alleges USFWS failed to file an appropriate and accurate Environmental Impact Statement. In recent comments to the Montana Pioneer, he elaborated, saying, “The EIS was and remains a document of lies, misinformation and woefully incomplete coverage of the matter.”

In print and in public speaking engagements, Beers has claimed the Wolf Recovery Project deliberately dismissed established wolf science and research, including known wolf depredation impacts on livestock and wildlife, and ignored the dangers parasites and diseases carried by wolves present to wildlife, livestock, pets, and humans.

The Canadian Gray Wolf, introduced into Yellowstone Park by USFWS 18 years ago, is widely described in scientific literature as thirty to fifty percent larger than the said-to-be extinct local native timber wolf. The initial 14 and subsequent transplanted wolves were captured in Canada, although wolves that were more genetically similar were available from surplus populations in Minnesota, as reveal-ed by the Smithsonian Institution, in a scholarly work titled: Physiological Basis for Establishing a Northern Rocky Mountain DPS [Distinct Population Segment Area].

The importation of Canadian Gray Wolves was criticized at the time by American biologists who believed the larger wolves would kill more elk, a position many now say has proved correct, and that the introduction of a non-native sub-species was of questionable legality when the smaller-sized native populations were beginning to recover naturally, on their own, positions similar to those advanced by the Farm Bureau's of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.

Although the official position of the government is that native wolves were locally extinct, according to Dr. Ralph Maughan, professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University, with specialties in natural resource politics and public opinion, USFWS reported 48 native wild wolves in Montana in 1994, the year before the controversial introduction of the Canadian Gray Wolf into Yellowstone National Park—mostly timber wolves traveling down from Canada.

On his website, The Wildlife News, Maughan writes: “It's reasonable to assume that without reintroduction, wolves would have naturally reestablished themselves in most of Montana [under the protection of the Endangered Species Act], but migration would have been slow with a lot of wolves up north before they made it to Yellowstone and Wyoming. Because these wolves were fully ‘endangered,’ rules governing them would have been a lot more strict than with those finally reintroduced in 1995.”

However, the larger and more aggressive central and northern Alberta, Canada wolves USFWS introduced here eliminated any survival chance of native wolves [as a result of competition or elimination], as USFWS knowingly violated the Endangered Species Act, according to Maughnan.
It was and is common scientific knowledge that the native male wolf (Canis lupus irremotus) of the Northern Rockies averaged 90 to 95 pounds at maturity. The wolf USFWS brought in as a replace-ment was a noticeably larger wolf (Canis lupus occidentalis) from north-central Alberta, with mature males topping 140 pounds, and some specimens weighing up to 175 pounds.

According to the Smithsonian study, the native wolf, which local residents claimed existed in small pockets in wilderness areas in the 1990s, generally roamed an area of about 100 square miles, hunting alone or in small groups of 4 or 5 at most. The non-native Canadian gray wolves USFWS introduced to the region typically hunted 300 or more square miles back in their home range, with packs often numbering 20 or more.

Under the direction of Mollie Beattie, USFWS developed the Environmental Impact Statement for the reintroduction of wolves. That EIS made a number of assumptions about bringing wolves back to Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies. Almost none of those assumptions has proven to be correct, according to Toby Bridges of the Montana Chapter of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. Writing in 2010, on the group's website, Bridges says: “Instead of getting just the 150 wolves Montanans agreed to back in the mid 1990s, the state is now home to likely 1,000 to 1,200 wolves… This year a minimum of 43,500 elk will be eaten alive or killed and left behind by wolves in the Northern Rockies...”

Bridges also states that “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manipulated science, and replaced the native wolf of this region with a totally non-native...larger...and more aggressive wolf, and has consistently underestimated wolf numbers by half or one third of actual numbers.”

According to USFWS, “As of December 31, 2012, the most recent minimum wolf population size determined for Montana was 625 wolves in 147 packs, 37 of which were confirmed breeding pairs.”

Those numbers are inaccurate, says Bridges, because for the annual wolf count USFWS typically ignores wolf sightings by anyone except agency biologists, who are understaffed. Also, wolves typically are active in timbered areas where they are impossible to count from the air, says Bridges. Thus, the deceptive wording of the report: “minimum wolf population size determined.”

Norm Colbert, a veteran wildlife tracker who lives near Nye, Mont., in the area of the Rosebud wolf pack, told the Pioneer in February 2012 that at least several wolves comprised the nearby local pack, based on his repeated sightings of tracks and wolf related activity, while the official count listed the Rosebud pack as having consisted of only two wolves, a discrepancy, accoridng to Colbert’s estimates, that may fall 300 percent short of the actual number of wolves in the pack.
According to Bridges, writing on LoboWatch, in an article titled Voodoo Math Still Haunts Montana Wolf Control: “Other well respected wolf biologists have claimed that ‘real wolf biology’ and ‘real wolf reproductive rates,’ and allowing for natural and man induced mortality, puts the current wolf population somewhere much closer to the 2,000 mark. The sportsmen of this state, based on the degree of damage done to elk and other big game populations, say it's even higher—perhaps as many as 3,000 wolves.”

One thing is clear to local ranchers losing livestock, and to local big game guides losing elk-hunting clients—the northern Yellowstone elk herd has declined by 80 percent from the 19,000 elk of 1995 (according to a Feb. 2013 aerial survey by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the National Park Service), that 1995 number of elk having been part of the justification for bringing wolves to Yellowstone in the first place.

What was not made clear at the time of the Canadian Wolf introduction, according to wolf critic Bridges, writing on Lobo Watch, was that “The reality of living with wolves is that wolves are extremely non-discriminating predators, killing just about anything that gets in front of them—the young, the healthy, the pregnant and the prime…the sick and weak.”
Bridges charges that “agenda driven biologists” within wildlife agencies avoid acknowledging that each “average” wolf accounts for the loss of some 25, or so, big game animals (or head of livestock) annually, just for sustenance, that each “average” wolf also kills just about as much game, known as “surplus killing,” without eating the kill, and that wolves are the primary carrier of the Echinococcus granulosus tapeworm, a parasite that infects game, pets, and humans with Hydatid cysts “that in turn makes these living things sick and weak.”

In the recent documentary film Crying Wolf, Exposing the Wolf Reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park, David Allen, President of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, takes the issue a step further, stating, “The Northern Yellowstone elk herd was the showcase herd in the world…I believe that the reintroduction of wolves is, in many ways, an assault on the sportsmen and hunting culture. The North American model of wildlife conservation is built around the sportsman, since the days of Teddy Roosevelt. We have the most bountiful, successful wildlife resources in the world.”

With Crying Wolf, filmmaker Jeffrey King depicts the introduction of non-native Canadian gray wolves into the Northern Rockies ecosystem as destroying the livelihood of back-country residents by deva-stating free range ranching. According to the ranchers interviewed in the documentary, it is fast becoming uneconomical to raise livestock in areas where wolf packs range, and big game hunting and guiding opportunities and occupations are quickly disappearing from the rural Northern Rockies.

Veteran wolf biologist, John Gunson, formerly with the Alberta Fish and Wildlife Division, and also featured in Crying Wolf, echoed the concerns of sportsmen regarding elk hunting, saying, pointedly, "Really, there isn't any room for harvest by man if you have a healthy wolf population."

Regarding the introduction of wolves to the Northern Rockies, Ed Bangs, former Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is quoted as saying the following on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website, separating wolf science from wolf ideology: “Wolves and wolf management have nothing to do with wolves. I think the folks who didn't like them still don't like them, and the folks who did like them still do. Wolves are mainly a symbolic issue that relates to core human values…I think the only reason wolf reintroduction finally happened was that people with different values moved to Montana and diluted the strong agricultural influence. Plus, the economy changed from straight agriculture and natural resource consumption to areas such as tourism.”

Exposing the Big Game | November 16, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Tags: anti-wolf, Canada, Montana, trophy, wolf, wolf hunt | Categories: Anti-wolf | URL:


For USA Residents only. 
I'm sorry about that.


Please send an email to the four senators listed below. Thank you for taking action, as this affects public grazing by ranching interests, which directly affects the mortality rate of our wolves:
There is an email you can use here:


As a voting member of The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, you have the power to stop Grazing Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 258). 

If you sign off on this bill, it will result in devastating consequences for imperiled species across the Western U.S.A. and eradicate very necessary environmental protections set in place to address the greater good for widespread land use. 

The public view of grazing decisions will be curtailed by exclusion of permit renewals from the National Environmental Policy Act review. These lands are publicly owned, tax payer funded, and should be the domain of "public" review and commentary. 

For the public to be excluded from reviewing future expansion of grazing allotment permits, and relegation of that authority to agencies on when to review permit requests, is a distinct violation of the right of the public to comment on the use of federal public lands. 

Please do NOT sign off on this bill. 

The Grazing Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 258) is not in the best interest of federal publicly owned lands. It carries dangerous implications that would undermine environmental protections that are necessary in order to halt further deterioration of the environment in the Western U.S.A. 

Thank you.

by Ken Cole on November 8, 2013  

Two-hundred and fifty million acres of public lands need your help. 

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources is poised to move the so-calledGrazing Improvement Act of 2013 (S. 258) out to the floor, legitimizing this bad idea that is nothing more than an attempt to exclude conservation interests from public lands grazing management.

If enacted, this law would:

Limit public review of grazing decisions by excluding nearly all permit renewals from National Environmental Policy Act review.
Double the term-length on grazing permits to twenty years!
Grant agencies unchecked authority on whether and when to review grazing permits.
The Grazing “Improvement” Act would create a perfect storm that would exclude the public from grazing decision-making while perpetuating grazing impacts on thousands of grazing allotments across the West, resulting in a major increase in the deterioration of our federal public lands.

Energy and Natural Resources Committee members need to hear from you that this is an unacceptable piece of legislation that must not move forward.

Key contacts:

Let them know that signing off on the bill has implications for imperiled species across the West and would undermine basic environmental protections affecting the most widespread land use.

Call or email today!

Travis Bruner Sig
Travis Bruner
Public Lands Director
Western Watersheds Project


Thank you W.H.Cash for editing work!


OCTOBER 31, 2013


Do people not understand the ” Endangered Specie” meaning ? Like… near extinct ? 


Two endangered red wolves were found shot to death this week.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a $2,500 reward for each individual. One wolf was found dead near Roper on Monday, and the second was found Wednesday. The location of the second dead wolf was not immediately reported.

The wolves make six killed by gunshot since January, said Tom MacKenzie, spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Three others were struck by vehicles and another from a non-management related cause, he said. Maximum penalties for illegally killing a red wolf are a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission authorized day and night coyote hunting in July. Environmental groups have filed suit against the state saying those who hunt coyotes are killing the slightly larger, endangered red wolves either by accident or on purpose. The state maintains shooting and trapping coyotes helps control an invasive species that kills livestock and carries disease.

Map of the Southeast Region
Reward Offered for Information Regarding Red Wolf Death
October 30, 2013


David Rabon - USFWS,  phone: (252) 473-1132, email:
Tom MacKenzie - USFWS,  phone: (404) 679-7291, email:

Photo credit: USFWS
A red wolf checking you out.
Red Wolf at Virginia Living Museum.

The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service is requesting assistance with an investigation involving the suspected illegal take of a radio-collared red wolf that was recently found dead. The federally protected wolf was found with a suspected gunshot wound on October 28, 2013, south of Roper and west of Lake Phelps, in Washington County, North Carolina.

Anyone with information that directly leads to an arrest, a criminal conviction, a civil penalty assessment, or forfeiture of property on the subject or subjects responsible for the suspected unlawful take of this red wolf may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,500.

A total of nine (9) red wolves have died since January 1, 2013. Of those nine, three were struck and killed by vehicles, one died as a result of non-management related actions, and five were confirmed or suspected gunshot deaths.

The red wolf is protected under The Endangered Species Act. The maximum criminal penalties for the unlawful taking of a red wolf are one year imprisonment and $100,000 fine per individual. Anyone with information on the death of this red wolf or any others, past or future, is urged to contact Resident Agent in Charge John Elofson at (404) 763-7959, Refuge Officer Frank Simms at (252) 216-7504, or North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Officer Robert Wayne at (252) 216-8225.

The red wolf is one of the world’s most endangered wild canids. Once common throughout the southeastern United States, red wolf populations were decimated due to intensive predator control programs and loss of habitat. A remnant population of red wolves was found along the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana. After being declared an endangered species in 1967, efforts were initiated to locate and capture as many wild red wolves as possible. Of the 17 remaining wolves captured by biologists, 14 became the founders of a successful zoo-based breeding program. Consequently, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service declared red wolves extinct in the wild in 1980.

The first litter of red wolves born in captivity occurred in 1977. By 1987, enough red wolves were bred in captivity to begin a restoration program on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern North Carolina. Since then, the experimental population area has expanded to include three national wildlife refuges, a Department of Defense bombing range, state-owned lands, and private property, spanning a total of 1.7 million acres.

About 100 red wolves roam their native habitats in five northeastern North Carolina counties. Additionally, nearly 200 red wolves comprise the Species Survival Plan managed breeding program in sites across the United States, still an essential element of red wolf recovery.

The red wolf is one of two species of wolves in North America, the other being the gray wolf, (Canis lupus). As their name suggests, red wolves are known for the characteristic reddish color of their fur most apparent behind the ears and along the neck and legs, but are mostly brown and buff colored with some black along their backs. Intermediate in size to gray wolves and coyotes, the average adult red wolf weighs 45-80 pounds, stands about 26 inches at the shoulder and is about 4 feet long from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail.

Red wolves are social animals that live in packs consisting of a breeding pair and their offspring of different years, typically five to eight animals. Red wolves prey on a variety of wild mammals such as raccoon, rabbit, white-tailed deer, nutria, and other rodents. Most active at dusk and dawn, red wolves are elusive and generally avoid humans and human activity.

To learn more about red wolves and the Service’s efforts to recover them, please visit

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit  Connect with us on Facebook at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at, and download photos from our Flickr page at



Denver, CO ~ November 19. 2013
Albuquerque, NM ~ November 20. 2013
Sacremento, CA ~ November 22. 2013
Pinetop, AZ  ~ December 3. 2013

Hearing Information
In addition to the public hearing held in Washington, D.C. 
on September 30, we will hold additional hearings as follows:

November 19, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, Denver, CO 80202; (303) 405–1245.

November 20, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Embassy Suites, Sandia Room, 1000 Woodward Place NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102; (505) 245–7100.

November 22, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. the Marriot Courtyard Sacramento Cal Expo, Golden State Ballroom, 1782 Tribute Road, Sacramento, CA 95815; (916) 929–7900. 

December 3, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Hon-Dah Conference Center, 777 Highway 260, Pinetop, AZ 85935 (3 miles outside of Pinetop at the Junction of Hwy 260 and Hwy 73); (928) 369–7625.

Thank you Angel Protectors Animals Wildlife


Re Posted from Exposing The Big Game
Posted on October 23, 2013

Wisconsin Hunters Apparently Shot at by "Animal Lover"

By: Beth McDonough, KSTP

Hunters looking for ducks, find trouble. The harrowing hunting story happened in Barron County in Western Wisconsin.
Two men were shot at, numerous times, while hunting legally in Cameron. The man who opened fire, is only facing minor charges.

Both sides are telling their stories to Eyewitness News.

It’s the heart of duck hunting season. On Sunday, a marsh looked like it does, perfect, for outdoorsman, “we knew it was going to be a great day, it started out good.”

Yet within minutes of shooting two mallards, the hunters became the hunted.
A stranger lurking in the nearby woods, got mouthy, “he went off on a rant about how we shouldn’t be here, we should be in Afghanistan if we were gonna shooting something,” says Levi Johnston.

Then, that stranger, Van Hawkinson, got a gun, “for a moment there, I got angry and was hurt, I jumped in the vehicle took a .410 with me, what’s that gonna do? I shot out at the corn field up in the air, I had my weapon like so.”

We asked duck hunter David Reichenberger if he felt targeted, “oh absolutely, if he had a .22 or any other lethal weapon he could’ve killed us.”

Reichenberger and Johnston were in a canoe. No way to escape. The shots were close enough to scare them. And that’s the point, “I’m an animal lover and bird lover. I don’t like to see things die, especially for the sport of killing,” says Hawkinson.

Although the hunters were on private land, they had permission from the owner to be there. Authorities arrested and charged the 64-year-old with dangerous use of a weapon and disorderly conduct, which are misdemeanors and considered minor crimes by the law.

We asked Hawkinson if he was sorry, “yes, why? Because I went to jail for it.” He was there for one night, then he was free on $1,000 bond.

“That’s it?” That’s what David Reichenberger and Levi Johnston want to know, “he got nothing for basically trying to kill us, how is it you can shoot somebody and the next day get out of jail?”

11 October 2013
Posted by: John Motsinger     

OCTOBER 12. 2013
Reposted from Canis Lupus 101

Wolf tracks. Photo courtesy of 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Good news, bad news in Washington – The good news is, long-time friend of Defenders Carter Niemeyer was recently hired by Washington State University (WSU) to teach nonlethal wolf-livestock conflict prevention techniques. Carter spent many years as a government trapper and as wolf recovery coordinator in Idaho, so he has a wealth of experience to draw from. He’s worked extensively with both ranchers and environmentalists to develop ways to reduce the risk of losing livestock to wolves. WSU has also set up a graduate student program for examining and evaluating nonlethal wolf deterrents and livestock management strategies.  This is exactly what we hoped to see happen – a state taking the lead on demonstrating how nonlethal approaches can be applied at a much larger scale.  This is greatly encouraging and will hopefully keep the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on a path toward a more constructive role in conflict prevention.  It should also help increase the scientific evaluation of the range of tools being used in the field today.  We helped lawmakers develop funding for these programs and discouraged researchers from only studying cattle weight loss issues (which would have consumed and likely wasted the grant). The bad news is that the state wildlife commission did approve several minor changes to its wolf management plan last week that will make it easier to kill wolves without a permit. Read more from The Wenatchee World. We’ll consider that two steps forward and one step back.

Lobo rally runs 300 strong – The Save the Lobo rally in Albuquerque last Friday was our best one yet! Some 300 people turned out, even though the official public hearing had been postponed indefinitely by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service due to the federal government shutdown. Wolf supporters arrived from as far as Utah, Colorado and New York, and comments were collected during a “Citizen’s Hearing” to urge FWS to come up with a stronger plan to protect Mexican gray wolves.  The event was sponsored by Defenders and our partner groups working on Mexican wolf recovery in the Southwest. Our Southwest Program Director Eva Sargent was one of the featured speakers, and Defenders’ outreach team led a training session to teach our activists how to hone their skills and deliver effective public testimony. Now they will all be ready and raring to go when the Fish and Wildlife Service’s public hearing gets rescheduled. Thanks to all our supporters who showed up to help save our lobos!

Not surprisingly, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced this week that it is also postponing its public hearing in Denver. However, Defenders and our conservation allies are putting on a Colorado Citizens’ Hearing in Denver on Oct. 16 to make sure that local citizens have the chance to voice their opinions as well. See flyer for details.

First 50 wolves fall – Wolf hunting seasons are now open in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana and nearly 70 wolves have been killed in just a month and a half. In addition, 28 wolves have been killed in Wyoming’s predator zone since the beginning of this year, and more have been removed in all three states in response to livestock conflicts. These numbers are likely to rise sharply over the next couple months as winter sets in and trapping seasons begin to open. Fortunately, Wyoming cut its hunting quota in half this year to make sure at least 100 wolves are maintained outside of Yellowstone National Park – a low bar indeed, but far better than the “open season” declared across over 80%percent of the state.

Oregon perspectives – Aimee Lynn Eaton was busy this week promoting her new book on wolves in Oregon titled, Collared: Politics and Personalities in Oregon’s Wolf Country. Eaton spent time traveling the state capturing Oregonians’ stories about the return of wolves and how it affects their attitude and livelihood. If you have a chance to read it, let us know what you think.



Petitioning Tom Vilsack :

Friday, October 4, 2013 


Three coyotes are caught in leg-hold traps in this photo from a Wildlife Services trapper. Leg-hold traps are used by the agency to capture and kill 10,000 to 14,000 animals a year. Roughly half are coyotes, but many other species are targeted, too, including bobcats, muskrats and wild pigs. The agency's traps, which are banned in many countries, have also captured and killed 4,000 non-target animals since 2006, including great-blue herons, mule deer and black bears.

Contact: Wendy Keefover 303 819-5229
Additional Contact:
Ashley Wilmes | Staff Attorney | WildEarth Guardians | 859-312-4162

Las Vegas, NV. WildEarth Guardians continued its legal campaign to reign in the federal government’s wildlife killing agency yesterday when it filed an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The group asked the court to overturn a flawed lower court decision and reinstate the organization’s challenge against the ironically-named federal “Wildlife Services.” Wildlife Services is a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that kills millions of wild animals each year.

In April 2012, Guardians sued Wildlife Services for its failure to update its outdated national programmatic environmental review, which primarily relies on outdated scientific studies from the 1970s and 1980s, and for its failure to conduct the required environmental analysis of its wildlife-killing activities in Nevada. The Nevada federal district court did not reach the question of whether Wildlife Services’ stagnant, 18-year-old environmental review violated the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”), instead finding that Guardians lacked “standing” to object to the government’s massive wildlife cull.

“The lower court erred in its decision to allow Wildlife Services to continue its expensive, barbaric, and biologically unsound practices without giving citizens and taxpayers the ability to scrutinize its questionable conduct,” said Wendy Keefover, Carnivore Protection Director for WildEarth Guardians. “We are asking the appeals court to take a fresh look at these issues, and to grant relief to wild animals, wildlife watchers, and taxpayers.”

The federal government spends well over $100 million annually to kill wildlife nationwide. Wildlife Services plants restricted-use pesticides such as sodium cyanide and the avicide DRC-1339 in wild places. Absent Wildlife Services’ participation and support, states would neither have the authority, nor the funding to continue the cruel business of culling massive numbers of wild animals, including coyotes, mountain lions, black bears, ravens, and bobcats.   

“NEPA guarantees the public a say in federal programs that effect our environment,” said Keefover.  
“Our suit seeks to ensure Wildlife Services is using the best available science to ensure its activities are not negatively impacting the environment.”

The legal brief filed yesterday is the first in a series of legal documents that will be filed before the Ninth Circuit by WildEarth Guardians, the federal government, and others over the next four months. Once the case is fully briefed a panel of judges on the Ninth Circuit will rule on the matter.

Review the Case History:

Read Guardians’ Report:



Comments must be received within 30 days, on or before October 24, 2013
The Service will post all comments on

Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. [FWS-HQ-NWRS-2013-0074]; or
U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [FWS-HQ-NWRS-2013-0074]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – In advance of National Hunting and Fishing Day on September 28th, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to expand fishing and hunting opportunities throughout the National Wildlife Refuge System, opening up new hunting programs on six refuges and expanding existing hunting and fishing programs on another 20 refuges. The proposed rule also modifies existing refuge-specific regulations for more than 75 additional refuges and wetland management districts.

“Sportsmen and women were a major driving force behind the creation and expansion of the National Wildlife Refuge System more than a century ago and continue to be some of its strongest supporters, especially through their volunteer work and financial contributions,” Jewell said. “Keeping our hunting and angling heritage strong by providing more opportunities on our refuges will not only help raise up a new generation of conservationists, but also support local businesses and create jobs in local communities.”

Under the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, the Service can permit hunting and fishing along with four other types of wildlife-dependent recreation where they are compatible with the refuge’s purpose and mission. Hunting, within specified limits, is permitted on more than 329 wildlife refuges. Fishing is permitted on more than 271 wildlife refuges. 

“Hunting and fishing are healthy, traditional outdoor pastimes deeply rooted in America’s heritage and have long been enjoyed on hundreds of national wildlife refuges under the supervision of our biologists and wildlife managers,” said Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Dan Ashe. “After careful consideration and review from the Service, this proposal represents one of the largest expansions of hunting and fishing opportunities on wildlife refuges in recent years.”

National wildlife refuges generate important benefits from the conservation of wildlife and habitat through spending and employment for local economies. According to the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published every five years by the Service, more than 90 million Americans, or 41 percent of the United States’ population age 16 and older, pursued wildlife-related recreation in 2011. They spent more than $144 billion that year on those activities. Nearly 72 million people observed wildlife, while more than 33 million fished and more than 13 million hunted.

The Service manages its hunting and fishing programs on refuges to ensure sustainable wildlife populations, while offering historical wildlife-dependent recreation on public lands. 

Other wildlife-dependent recreation on national wildlife refuges includes wildlife photography, environmental education, wildlife observation and interpretation. 

The Service proposes opening the following refuges to hunting for the first time:

New York
Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge: Open to big game hunting.

Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge: Open to migratory bird hunting.
Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Open to migratory bird hunting.
Siletz Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Open to migratory bird hunting.

Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge: Open to migratory bird, upland game and big game hunting.

Cokeville Meadows National Wildlife Refuge: Open to migratory bird, upland game and big game hunting.

Meanwhile, under the proposal, the Service would expand hunting and sport fishing on the following refuges:

Colusa National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory bird and upland game hunting.

Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge: Add big game hunting. The refuge is already open to migratory bird hunting.
St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting.

Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge: Expand upland game hunting. The refuge is already open to migratory bird hunting and big game hunting.

Cypress Creek National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting.
Middle Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting.

Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area: Expand migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting.

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting.
Northern Tallgrass Prairie National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting.
Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting, big game hunting and sport fishing.

Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting.

Mingo National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting.

New Mexico
San Andres National Wildlife Refuge: Expand big game hunting.

Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, OR and WA: Expand migratory bird hunting. The refuge is also already open to sport fishing.
Julia Butler Hanson Refuge for the Columbian White-Tailed Deer, OR and WA: Expand migratory bird hunting. The refuge is already open to big game hunting.
Malheur National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory bird hunting and sport fishing. The refuge is already open to upland game hunting and big game hunting.

Aransas National Wildlife Refuge: Add migratory bird hunting. The refuge is already open to big game hunting.
Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge: Expand hunting for migratory birds, upland game and big game.

Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory bird hunting, upland game hunting and big game hunting.

Willapa National Wildlife Refuge: Expand migratory bird hunting and big game hunting. The refuge is already open to upland game hunting.

Notice of the 2013-2014 proposed Refuge-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations will publish in the Federal Register September 24, 2013. Written comments and information can be submitted by one of the following methods:

Follow the instructions for submitting comments to Docket No. [FWS-HQ-NWRS-2013-0074]; or
U.S. mail or hand-delivery: Public Comments Processing, Attn: [FWS-HQ-NWRS-2013-0074]; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203.

Comments must be received within 30 days, on or before October 24, 2013. The Service will post all comments on The Service is not able to accept email or faxes.

Comments and materials, as well as supporting documentation, will also be available for public inspection at under the above docket number. In addition, more details on the kinds of information the Service is seeking is available in the notice.

To view a complete list of all hunting/sport fishing opportunities on refuges, click here.



Posted: 17 Sep 2013 10:38 AM PDT

Mexican Wolf (captive) 
Photo credit: Arizona Zoological Society

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is currently proposing to remove all gray wolves (Canis lupus), except the Mexican gray wolf subspecies (Canis lupus baileyi), from the endangered species list.  At the same time they are revising the rules that guide recovery of the only wild population of Mexican wolves residing in the Gila and Apache National Forests in New Mexico and Arizona.  The proposed revisions will likely increase the chances of that population eventually going extinct and will obstruct future recovery of this critically endangered subspecies over the long haul.

Dave Parsons, TRI’s Carnivore Conservation Biologist, explains why in the “scoping” comments he has submitted for TRI on the current proposal. 

The scoping comment period for providing input on the content of a draft Environmental Impact Statement is open until September 19 and the US Fish and Wildlife Service is holding a public hearing on related proposals in Albuquerque at the Embassy Suites Hotel at 6PM on October 4.  This hearing will cover proposals to remove gray wolves from the endangered species list nationwide, add the Mexican gray wolf subspecies to the list, and the revised proposal for managing the wild population of Mexican gray wolves.  

Additional comments on these proposals will be accepted through October 28.  

For additional information on how to submit comments see

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Please submit your comments today, while there is still time to save the wolves.

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Good news. Federal wildlife officials have given the public an extra six weeks to comment on its proposal to open wolf hunting across the US -- which means we have more time to get more Americans to tell the US Fish and Wildlife Service to save the wolves, not send them to slaughter.

The FWS also announced three public hearings on the issue: Sept. 20 in Washington, Oct. 2 in Sacramento, and Oct. 4 in Albuquerque. 

The bad news is that the feds seem intent on passing this proposal, despite the heavy opposition from wildlife biologists, environmental groups and the public in general. In its release on extending the public comment period until Oct. 28, the FWS wrote: "The proposed rule is based on the best science available and incorporates new information about the gray wolf’s current and historical distribution in the contiguous United States and Mexico."

The feds believe that, thanks to almost four decades of protection as an endangered species, there are more than enough gray wolves now, and hunters can return to killing them. Of course, hunters are the ones who had driven the gray wolf nearly into extinction, leading to Congress' decision in 1978 to add them to the Endangered Species List. 

Wolves are already being hunted in numerous states, thanks to Congress' 2011 decision to remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List and subsequent FWS decisions to allow wolf hunting in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes regions. Already, more than a thousand wolves have been killed, often maimed and left to suffer and die in steel traps only to be shot point blank. 

Masked as tradition, recreation and protection of livestock, hunting wolves has now been revealed as a sadistic exploitation of this majestic animal. The threat to livestock has been grossly exaggerated by state officials who would rather kowtow to hunting lobbyists than protect a species that until last year was considered endangered.

We didn't spend the past four decades saving the wolves just so we can kill them again. Wolves are not a commodity to be managed by bean counters -- they're beautiful, engaging creatures that live in large, multi-generational families (called packs), and they have every right to be here that we do.

Today is September 4, 2013.
It appears that we have more than 45 more days before a vote and a decision is made on permanent delisting of our wolves from the Federal Endangered Species List. So, instead of September 11th, 2013, as we were told, it will NOW be pushed back until October 28th, 2013.

 We should probably spend that time wisely by leaving comments to the USFWS. Here are the links. Both have the comment page.

Here is the official news from USFWS:

Service Extends Comment Period for Gray Wolf Proposals, Announces Public Hearings to Solicit Additional Stakeholder Input

September 4, 2013


Gavin Shire
(703) 358-2649

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today extended the public comment period until October 28 on two proposed rules to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) from the List of Threatened and Endangered Species, while maintaining protection and expanding recovery efforts for the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) in the Southwest, where it remains endangered. The Service also announced a series of public hearings to ensure all stakeholders have an opportunity to comment.

The first public hearing will be held in Washington, DC, on September 30, followed closely by hearings in Sacramento, CA, on October 2, and Albuquerque, NM, on October 4. Each public hearing will include a short informational presentation. The Albuquerque hearing will be a combined hearing on the gray wolf delisting proposal and the proposal to revise the existing nonessential experimental population designation of the Mexican wolf. The hearings are part of the Service’s continuing efforts to provide an open and comprehensive public process for the two wolf rules and will afford members of the public a forum by which to register their views.

To learn more about the proposed rules, the details of the public hearings, and for links to submit comments to the public record, visit
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

Connect with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page at

Thank you. 

Thank you Olaf Janssen.
For Our Wolves.
Stop Wolf Hunts Team

Ok, Wolves. 
The news is the news. We don't post it to freak folks out. We post it so that you are aware that we cannot be complacent about continuing to fight for wolf protections. 

The ten things you can do to help save wolves are listed below this very disturbing news. We CAN NOT let wolf management go back to state policies. This is what will continue to happen. 
PLEASE leave a comment to the USFWS. We need Federal protection to keep wolves protected under the Endangered Species Act, so that any recovery they make is not threatened by hunters and ranchers who reach for lethal wolf controls first.



ALTHOUGH THERE´S A YEAR-ROUND SEASON FOR WOLVES ON private lands in the Idaho Panhandle, the 2013-2014 wolf hunting season for the rest of the state opens on Friday.

THE SEASON RUNS THROUGH MARCH 31, EXCEPT IN THE LOLO, Selway and Middle Fork zones and in that portion of Unit 16 in the Dworshak-Elk City Zone north of the Selway River where the season closes June 30.

a calendar year, but hunters may use only two wolf tags in some parts of the state in a calendar year.

NO MORE THAN TWO GRAY WOLF HUNTING TAGS MAY BE USED in the Salmon, McCall Weiser, Sawtooth, Southern Mountains, Beaverhead, Island Park and Southern Idaho zone.
No more than five tags may be used in the Panhandle, Palouse-Hells Canyon, Lolo, Dworshak-Elk City, Selway and Middle Fork zones.

45 in the Salmon Zone, 60 in the Sawtooth Zone, 40 in the Southern Mountains, 10 in the Beaverhead and 30 in the Island Park Zone.There is no statewide harvest limit.

THE WOLF TRAPPING SEASON OPENS NOV. 15 IN ALL BUT FOUR wolf zones, and Unit 10A of the Dworshak-Elk City Zone opens to trapping Feb. 1.


We need peace for our Wolves.

Thank you for using your voice for our Wolves.
~Stop Wolf Hunts

1. #StandforWolves by submitting your public comment 

Thank you to Janet Hoben and Olaf Janssen

The Obama Administration and USFWS announced its plan to remove the gray wolf from the federal protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act in the lower 48 states because they say it is a 'recovered species.'

Based on the evidence, we believe wolves need continued protection to expand into much of their historic range before they are removed from the Endangered Species List.

If you agree, visit our website (above) to find out how you can contribute to the national dialog by submitting a quick/easy public comment.

Then, let's 'educate, advocate, and participate' by sharing and urging our family and friends to do the same...thank you!

(Resource: LA Times:


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10. Tell everyone you know about what is happening to our wolves and ask them to save wolves too !

Thank you from STOP WOLF HUNTS :)

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 By Richard Cockle for The Oregonian
August 30, 2013

Two wolf attacks on cattle in Wallowa County could trigger a wolf “kill order” by Oregon wildlife officials for the first time in more than two years.

Earlier this month, wolves from the Imnaha pack injured a rancher’s cow on Upper Griffith Creek.

Last week, a horseback rider checking cattlefound the partially eaten carcass of a calf killed by a wolf along Upper Threebuck Creek.A radio-collar check showed OR-4, an Imnaha pack wolf, was in the area where the calf was discovered.

Meanwhile, the Umatilla River wolf pack northeast of Pendleton killed a goat that had been penned overnight close to the owner’s house with guard dogs nearby, said Michelle Dennehy, spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Wallowa County attacks raised the tally of livestock deaths by the Imnaha pack to four within the past six months, enough for state wildlife biologists to begin considering “lethal controls,” Dennehy said.

Killing one or more wolves could be ordered under terms of a settlement last spring, but no decisions have been made, Dennehy said.

“I haven’t heard any discussion yet of what animals we might target, or how many,” she said.

The agreement grew out of 17 months of negotiations involving Gov. John Kitzhaber, the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and two major conservation groups after the Oregon Court of Appeals halted the killing of Oregon wolves by government hunters.

Oregon currently is home to at least 46 wolves in seven known packs — the Imnaha, Minam, Mount Emily, Snake River, Umatilla River, Walla Walla and Wenaha packs.

For the state to authorize killing a problem wolf, the affected rancher must have used at least one preventive measure to keep wolves away from livestock at least seven days before the incident.

Those can include flaggery, or strips of fabric tied to fences to frighten away wolves; burial of bone piles when cattle die naturally; guard dogs; and an increase in the presence of humans where cattle graze and wolves are known to range.

Nick Cady, spokesman for the Cascadia Wildlands environmental group, said lethal controls under the settlement are a “last resort” to deal with wolves and can occur only when livestock kills become chronic. His group helped negotiate the agreement.

If a wolf or wolves must be killed, it should be a “targeted removal” of specific animals preying on livestock, he said. Nevertheless, Cady doesn’t believe lethal controls are the best option.

Since Washington wiped out the cattle-killing Wedge pack of wolves north of Kettle Falls near the Canadian border last year, new wolves have moved in, and “they’ve been depredating again,” Cady noted.

Wolves were active this summer in northeastern Oregon. An injured calf was found July 2 in Wallowa County’s Upper Threebuck Creek drainage and was listed as a probable wolf attack, state biologists said. Calves were attacked by wolves in the same area April 22, May 10 and May 15, they said.

A calf carcass found in the Hayden Lake area of Wallowa County also suggests a possible wolf attack, they said. They also confirmed the death of a ewe sheep in the Weston Mountain area northeast of Pendleton around June 3 as a wolf kill.


MN DNR Press Release, 08/29/2013
A gray wolf that wildlife experts suspect bit a 16-year-old boy during the early hours of Aug. 24 at the U.S. Forest Service West Winnie Campground at Lake Winnibigoshish has tested negative for rabies.

The confirmation was made Wednesday, Aug. 28 by the Minnesota Department of Health laboratory, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The wolf that was tested had been trapped Monday at the campground and sent to the lab for rabies testing.

The agency also reported:

It is premature to say with 100 percent confidence that the wolf that tested negative for rabies is the wolf that inflicted the bites. That won’t be known – or may never be known - until DNA testing is complete. The youth’s shirt (a potential source of wolf saliva DNA) and wolf muscle tissue have been sent to a laboratory at the University of California – Davis for forensic analysis. The analysis expected to take several weeks. The DNR will release the results when they are available.

The U.S. Forest Service has reopened the West Winnie Campground, which had been closed since Saturday.
The University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has conducted an initial examination of the wolf. The results of additional tests will take several weeks at which time a final necropsy report will be issued. 

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A wolf--maybe--has bitten 
a teenaged camper in Minnesota, 
in what could be the first wolf attack ever recorded in the lower 48 states.

Gray Wolf in Minnesota Wikimedia Commons

By Dan Nosowitz
08.28.2013 at 2:01 pm22 

This week, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that "a canine believed to be a wolf" attacked a 16-year-old boy on a camping trip in northern Minnesota. If confirmed, it would be the first recorded wild wolf attack in the lower 48 states, ever. A wolf found nearby was caught and shot, under the assumption it was the wolf responsible. No effort was made to perform any testing to discover if the wolf was rabid or if it was responsible for the attack before it was shot. This is the way wolves are dealt with in this country.
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According to the DNR, the boy was sleeping on Saturday night when the alleged wolf came into his campground and bit several items, including an air mattress, before biting the boy on the head. 

The boy fought the wolf off and was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for a few puncture wounds and a 4-inch laceration on his head. None of his injuries were life-threatening, according to local reports.

Later, just after authorities interviewed other people at the campsite, a DNR officer saw a wolf, and shot his gun at it. He missed. 

On Monday morning, according to the DNR's press release, "an average-sized male wolf of about 75 pounds, matching the description of the wolf in the attack, was trapped and killed in the campground." 
(The boy told reporters that he was unsure what the animal was, at first, saying "I thought it was a big coyote, but I guess it's a wolf.") 

Tom Provost, of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, told me that the trapping was carried out by "a subgroup of the Department of Agriculture called Wildlife Services--what people refer to as 'federal trappers.'" Mostly they track and trap wolves that kill local livestock.

The trap used was a leg-hold trap, what most people think of as a "bear trap"--a spring-loaded metal trap with two jaws. When the animal steps in the middle of the trap, the jaws spring up and clamp the animal in place. There is a debate about whether these traps are humane or not; the actual traps usually do not harm the animal (some newer traps are padded or laminated to avoid even breaking the skin) but in some animal species, the animal will attempt to chew its own leg off to escape from the trap. 

Some states have banned all or some of this type of trap. Steel-jawed traps, which can break bones or introduce infections, are banned outright in New Jersey and California, for example. Leg-hold traps are sometimes used for catch and release, as well. 

"Yep, there have been cases where wolves have been trapped with leg-hold traps and then released," says Provost. "It is probably one of the best traps to use for catch and release." 

Animal welfare organizations like Born Free disagree, citing studies that claim the steel-jawed leg-hold traps are inhumane. 

"Leghold traps can cause severe swelling, lacerations, joint dislocations, fractures, damage to teeth and gums, self-mutilation, limb amputation, and even death," writes Born Free on its site.

When trapped, the wolf in question was shot, as a means of euthanasia. The wolf was not tranquilized, moved, or examined; it stepped into a trap, which clamped its leg, and then was shot in the body with a handgun. 

"When you're going to euthanize a large carnivore in a trap, this is one of the most common ways to do it," says Provost. The animal was shot in the body "because we needed to preserve the head for rabies testing." 

When I asked if a handgun shot to the body was considered a painless way to euthanize an animal, Provost said "I can't comment on that."

This specific campground, within the Chippewa National Forest, is "in the heart of wolf habitat," says Provost. "There are established wolf packs throughout that region."

This captured and killed wolf appeared healthy and of average size, about 75 pounds, but has a slightly deformed jaw which may have impeded the wolf's ability to catch larger prey, like elk. "We're working under the assumption that a normal, healthy wolf would not have done what happened here," says Provost. 

"The animal that was euthanized does have some physical malformities that likely caused it to be a scavenger and an opportunistic feeder rather than an outright predator."

The killed wolf was sent to the University of Minnesota for testing, both DNA testing to see if it was the same wolf that attacked the teen camper, and rabies testing. (Wolves are not reservoirs of rabies, meaning they can't pass it on, but they do sometimes catch it from other animals, like foxes.)

'A normal, healthy wolf would not have done what happened here.'

The gray wolf was taken off the endangered species list in 2012, over the objections of groups like the Center for Biological Diversity, which claimed that surveys of the gray wolf's population and health were inadequate and that the decision was not made with public input. 

Immediately following the wolf's removal from the endangered species list, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources legalized hunting the wolf. According to the DNR, there are an estimated 2,200 wolves in Minnesota. 

The minimum number for a safe population of wolves in Minnesota is considered 1,600 (by the DNR; the Center for Biological Diversity would disagree). 

Below that number, the species is considered unable to sustain long-term survival; wolves become isolated from each other, biological diversity begins to suffer. In 2012, 413 wolves were harvested, which means the DNR is allowing the wolf population to dip very near to its own declared absolute minimum population goal.

It immediately struck me as problematic that this wolf was shot at, then trapped, then killed, even before any DNA test was done to find out if the wolf was indeed the specimen that attacked the teen, and before knowing if the wolf was rabid. 

Rabies is difficult to detect; Provost told me that to test reliably for rabies, "there is not a live animal test for rabies that is a valid test." This is mostly true; a new procedure has indicated that a sample of skin from a living animal could be reliable, but it's not proven, and tests for blood, urine, and DNA are inconclusive. 

The method the DNR uses, and indeed the method almost every other organization uses, is by taking a sample of brain tissue after the animal has been killed.

That said, while this animal's behavior was certainly unusual, it's not necessarily indicative of a rabies infection. 

The DNR's typical strategy is to shoot wolves suspected of doing things that Minnesotans don't like, whether that's biting a teenage camper or attacking livestock. 

Provost insists this is preventative, not punitive. 
"We surely aren't going to allow this wolf to run around and potentially do this same behavior in the future," he says.

Minnesota's stance on wolves is much the same as governments worldwide; wolves are tolerated so long as they don't affect humans in any way. 

Yes, this wolf attacked a person, but also remember that this person was sleeping outside, on the ground, in the middle of wolf territory, in a place known to be highly trafficked by wolf packs. 

It's really more surprising that nobody has ever been attacked before now. And when the animal in question is as at risk as the gray wolf, perhaps a change in attitude is called for. 

Perhaps we should test first, and kill second. If we need to kill at all.


By Dave Orrick
POSTED:   08/26/2013 12:01:00 AM CDT | UPDATED:   30 MIN. AGO

Early Monday morning, an average-sized male wolf of about 75 pounds, matching the description of the wolf in the attack, was trapped and killed in the campground. The wolf is being taken to the University of Minnesota veterinary diagnostic lab to be tested for rabies. Also, the lab will collect samples for DNA analyses and complete a thorough medical examination to determine the health of the animal. (Courtesy Department of Natural Resources)
Wildlife officials on Monday were investigating a reported wolf attack on a 16-year-old boy camping last weekend in northern Minnesota

The attack reportedly occurred early Saturday in a campground along the shore of Lake Winnibigoshish in the Chippewa National Forest.

The teen, who was sleeping at the time, suffered nonlife-threatening cuts to his head and puncture wounds to his face.

If confirmed, it would be the first documented wolf attack of such severity in Minnesota and likely in the continental U.S.

A wolf believed responsible for the attack was trapped overnight Sunday and destroyed Monday morning.

Tom Provost, regional manager for enforcement for the state Department of Natural Resources in Grand Rapids, described the attack as a "freak deal" and "incredibly abnormal behavior."

There are two documented cases of fatal wolf attacks in North America, one in Alaska and the other in Canada, according to the DNR and a review of scientific literature.

"It's the first one that I'm aware of where there was actual physical damage to the victim," Provost said when asked about whether any nonfatal attacks in Minnesota measured up to this one.

Investigators, including University of Minnesota veterinarians, were looking into whether rabies, human habituation or a possibly debilitating jaw condition could explain the attack.

Here's what happened, according to Provost:

On Friday evening, an animal that several campers said was a wolf caused trouble in the West Winnie Campground, which is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. The animal tore through at least two tents, puncturing an air mattress in one.

The 16-year-old victim, who was camping with family and friends, was sleeping alone outside the tents, along the lakeshore. Between 4 and 4:30 a.m. Saturday, a large "dog-like animal" approached the boy from the rear without being detected, Provost said.

"Before he knew it, it had bitten him in the back of the head," Provost said.

The DNR declined to identify the boy but said he lives in northern Minnesota.

The boy freed himself and kicked the animal to force it to retreat, Provost said.

The boy's friends and family gave him first aid. He was taken to the Bemidji hospital, where a 4-inch head wound was treated.

Officials from the Forest Service, DNR and Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe tried unsuccessfully to capture a wolf near the scene.

Later, a wolf approached a DNR officer a quarter-mile away. The officer fired at the wolf, but missed, and the wolf ran off.

U.S. Department of Agriculture trappers eventually caught the wolf that was destroyed Monday.

Authorities planned DNA tests in hopes of determining whether the 75-pound male wolf was the animal that attacked the boy.

While the wolf appeared to be of average weight for its size, Provost said an initial examination by a veterinarian revealed a jaw defect that prevented the animal's jaws from aligning properly, as well as a missing tooth.

"It was preliminarily thought that it could have been struggling to feed itself in a normal wolf manner," Provost said.

Perhaps the wolf was unable to take down a deer, and perhaps it knew the campground might be a source of food, Provost said, emphasizing that he was speculating.

Rabies test results on the dead wolf were expected by Wednesday.

Until a few years ago, the number of documented wolf killings of people in the history of North America was zero, according to the most authoritative research on the topic, "A Case History of Wolf-Human Encounters in Alaska and Canada," published in 2002 by Mark E. McNay of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

In his examination of 80 instances where wolves showed a lack of fear around people -- and in some cases did attack -- McKay found three cases where wolves appeared to see humans as prey. All involved small children, and two involved wolves that had been habituated to people.

Since his report was published, two adults -- one in Canada and one in Alaska -- have been killed by wolves.

The West Winnie Campground remained closed Monday. Traps were being set for another night to make sure there are no other wolves in the area.

The DNR offers the following tips for an encounter with an aggressive wolf:

In the rare event that you do have an encounter with an aggressive wolf, wildlife officials say:

-- Don't run. Act aggressively, stepping toward the wolf and yelling or clapping your hands if it tries to approach.

-- Do not turn your back toward an aggressive wolf. Continue to stare directly at it. If you are with a companion and more than one wolf is present, place yourselves back to back and slowly move away from the wolves.

-- Retreat slowly while facing the wolf and act aggressively.

-- Stand your ground if a wolf attacks and fight with any means possible (use sticks, rocks, ski poles, fishing rods or whatever you can find).

-- Use air horns or other noisemakers.

-- Use bear spray or firearms if necessary.

-- Climb a tree if necessary; wolves cannot climb trees.

Dave Orrick can be reached at 651-228-5512. Follow him at


DEER RIVER, Minn. - A 16-year-old boy was the victim of an apparent wolf attack at a campground on Lake Winnibigoshish near Deer River, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced Monday. The boy sustained non-life-threatening injuries, according to a DNR news release.
By: Justin Glawe, Forum News Service, INFORUM

BEMIDJI, Minn. - Noah Graham, after waking up to find his skull in the jaws of a wolf, fought off the animal and lived to tell the tale.

Graham, 16, has a story to tell the rest of his life; a story about an incident that Chris Niskanen of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources called "extremely rare and unusual."

Despite an 11-centimeter wide gash on his scalp, 17 staples to close the wound and "the worst pain of his life," the Solway teen was nonchalant about the attack, which occurred Saturday morning at a campground along Lake Winnibigoshish, between Bemidji and Grand Rapids.

"I had to reach behind me and jerk my head out of its mouth," he said after being treated at a Bemidji hospital. "After I got up, I was kicking at it and screaming at it and it wouldn't leave. But then after awhile I got it to run away."

Graham was camping at the West Winnie Campground with five of his friends that night. The attack, and subsequent defeat, of the wolf came just before 4 a.m. Saturday.

The wolf suspected of carrying out the attack was captured and killed Monday, said Tom Provost, DNR regional enforcement supervisor at Grand Rapids. A necropsy and DNA testing should prove whether the 75-pound animal authorities have in their possession is the same one that took a bite out of Graham's scalp.

The campground is closed until further notice, and traps will remain set up in the area Monday night.

When DNR staff and officers with Leech Lake Tribal Police arrived after the attack, they set up a perimeter in an attempt to capture the creature. At one point, a DNR officer blasted a pistol shot at the wolf, but missed. Traps were set and in one, Graham's alleged attacker was found.

There are a few possible explanations for the wolf's attack on a human: It occurred at a campground, where wild animals may be used to retrieving food from lazy campers; the wolf had a misaligned jaw and was missing a canine tooth, making it harder to go after larger prey, Provost said; and finally, Graham's head, with his straight auburn hair, may have resembled smaller prey.

"I won't be sleeping outside again any time soon," he said.

Graham was talking with his girlfriend just before the wolf chomped. The bite came without warning.

"There was no sound at all. Didn't hear it. It was just all of a sudden there," he said.

Graham defeated the wolf alone. His girlfriend fled -- "she ran and got in her Jeep right away," he said -- and two members of the camping party "slept through" the screaming, kicking and fighting.

Then, the 16-year-old called his dad, Scott Graham. All parents dread the 4 a.m. phone call, but very seldom does a conversation go like it did Saturday morning.

"Dad, I just got attacked by a wolf."

"Are you alright?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"Just make sure you call 911 cause you need to alert the authorities."

Graham is tall and thin, and didn't seemed phased by his encounter with the animal. Nor did he seem shaken by the needle that pierced his wound to deliver a rabies shot after the attack.

"I thought it was a big coyote, but I guess it's a wolf,” he said.

There have been two wolf attack fatalities in North America in the last decade, according to the DNR. One was in northern Canada and another was in Alaska.

According to the Dr. L. David Mech, writing on the website of the International Wolf Center in Ely: “Two interesting wolf-human encounters in northeastern Minnesota add further to the mix of ways in which wolves have interacted with humans, without the humans coming out seriously injured.

“The first incident involved a logger who saw two wolves attacking a deer nearby. The logger picked up his dog, which had become extremely frightened by the deer attack. One of the wolves charged toward the man and dog, catching a lower fang on the logger’s black-and-red checkered wool shirt and slicing a six-inch gash in the material. As the wolf tried to yank free from the logger's clothes, its jaws opened wide and the logger looked right down the animal’s throat.

“ ‘It wasn't me the wolf was attacking,’ ” the logger said. “ ‘He was trying to get the dog who just happened to be in my arms.’ ”

The second Minnesota incident, according to Mech, left a 19-year-old hunter with a long scratch from a wolf's claws. The man had been hunting snowshoe hares deep in a thick swamp north of Duluth during a snowstorm, Mech wrote.

“He was wearing his deer-hunting jacket, which was well anointed with buck scent,” Mech wrote. “Suddenly a wolf hit him from behind and knocked him over onto his back. As the wolf stood over him, the startled hunter managed to fire his .22-caliber rifle. The wolf appeared to come to its senses and fled, leaving the hunter with a long scratch.”

Reporter Sam Cook contributed to this article.

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Image courtesy MysticWolfie :




Thank you for your article, “Wolves suspected of killing 8 sheep in Wyoming” (Missoulian, Aug. 30). Does anyone else find it awfully strange that sheep at yet another ranch owned by Idaho state Sen. Jeff Siddoway have allegedly been killed by wolves? Has a nationwide wolf alert gone out to attack all things Siddoway? Or could something else be going on here?

Jeff Siddoway hates wolves. That is no secret to anyone in the country at this point. When the sheep died at his Idaho ranch after trampling on each other (and not from being killed by wolves), Wildlife Services, a federal agency constantly in the news due to their widespread slaughter of wildlife, came in and 13 wolves lost their lives. Nine of these were pups, who clearly were not attacking sheep. And the sheep were left there for days to rot and and send out a smelly message to wolves and other predators that there was a free meal to be had. Trying to attract more wolves to kill, perhaps? It was certainly irresponsible, at the very least.

So forgive me if I am not willing to condemn wolves in this latest incident. Because something really stinks here. Is it the smell of rotting sheep? Whatever it is, it’s enough to keep me, and others who come to the Rocky Mountain states to see wolves, from visiting. I, and my hard-earned money, can find other places to visit.

Janet Hoben,
Burbank, Calif.

Here is the news from the Missoulian about Mr. Siddoway's report of sheep deaths by wolves.


August 30, 2013 3:24 pm  •  Associated Press
JACKSON, Wyo. — Officials with an Idaho company say wolves are suspected of killing eight of its sheep on a public land grazing allotment in Wyoming during the past 10 days.

The sheep are owned by the Siddoway Sheep Co., which is based in Terreton, Idaho. It is the same company that reported losing 176 sheep nearby in Idaho two weeks ago after wolves caused the herd to stampede and crush each other.

The eight sheep killed in Wyoming were located on a grazing allotment in the Bridger-Teton National Forest south of Hoback Junction.

J.C. Siddoway says that the company has had wolf problems there for about five years.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department officials are investigating.

Wolf, Wyoming Wolves, Wolf Depredation, Sheep Kills, Siddoway Sheep Company, Terreton, Idaho, Hoback Junction, Wyoming Wolf Kills

Photo credit: Wolves suspected in 8 sheep deaths in Wyoming | News - Home 

by RALPH MAUGHAN on AUGUST 25, 2013 

We now know the true story of the recently deceased 176 sheep near Fogg Hill in Eastern Idaho — frightened into stampede, but not killed by wolves.  

We have to ask ourselves, have past wolf “massacre of sheep” stories been similarly misreported?

Back in 2009 near Dillon, Montana, there was much outrage, but few facts ever established when 120 ”purebred Rambouillet bucks” all turned up dead on a private pasture. They were  thought  to have been killed by the Centennial wolf pack which previously had no record of livestock depredations, although there had been previous depredations by other wolves in the area.

The exact location of the pasture was not given, nor its topography. We know that topography is critical when sheep panic.  We do know the sheep were left alone in the Blacktail Mountains, though they were reported to have been checked on every couple days. All the information the public received came from an article by Nick Gevock in the Montana Standard and another by Eve Byron in the Helena Independent Record.

When the “federal trapper” arrived to investigate, he found the “total included 82 confirmed kills and 40 carcasses that were classified as probable kills, including some that had been eaten by bears.”  Given what we have learned about Wildlife Services in the years since, there is an open question how accurate this determination was.

The wolves indeed might have gone into a frenzy and killed and killed for some reason. We even editorialized that that wolf pack had to be terminated, and a bunch of wolves were killed.

On the other hand, additional facts were impossible to come by. We were especially interested in the exact location. Now hard experience tells us to be open-minded about what really happened.  Other sporadic large kills of sheep ought to be reconsidered as well.

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Idaho Senator Jeff Siddoway 
is in the spotlight again.
Maybe he will do the right thing here?
He IS a Senator in Idaho.
Isn't that what Senators in Idaho do?

From WolfWatcher:

"Don’t train wolves to eat sheep" -
~Dr. Chris Albert, Letter-to-the-Editor committee participant

For those who would like some background and the issue of grazing livestock on public lands, we suggest reading The Wildlife News's article -

Again, many orgs are doing fabulous work to foster peaceful coexistence with wolves and wildlife. We reported about them on Aug. 23rd (

Kudos to conservationists and ranchers who are working together to save stock and save wolves. Isn't it time some farmers and ranchers who are stuck in the past join the rest of modern America? We say yes...what say you?

The letter from Chris Albert, DVM ~ Lebanon Junction, KY:

As we learn to live with predators, the first and most important rule is not to feed them. It's the reason we don't feed bears National Parks - and now they leave us along.
What does the Siddoway sheep farm do when 175 sheep are killed in a stampede? They blame the wolves and then leave those 175 carcasses in place so the predators will come and eat them. They claim that "wolves are devastating to sheep ranching" and will incur even more sheep loss to wolves, since, in effect, the wolves are being trained to eat his sheep.
Mr.Siddoway, you are an Idaho senator. Please show some responsibility and remove those carcasses. The wolf recovery was welcomed by the nation and funded with all of our tax dollars. Many Americans feel vested in this venture and want to see it succeed.
Chris Albert. DVM
Lebanon Junction, KY

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A Big Sheep Pile Up in Idaho  
and Some Wolves in Idaho 
and A Senator in Idaho 
and A Family in Idaho 
that Raises Sheep


Juniper Mountain Ranch
"A Great Place to Sit Back, Relax and Kill Everything."

Senator Jeff C. Siddoway's Biography & Contact info:

1. Idaho State Senator Jeff Siddoway owns Siddoway Sheep Company.

2. Senator Jeff Siddoway authors bill to kill wolves by any means possible.

3. The United States Congress shoots it down.

4. Senator Jeff Siddoway leaks story of 176 sheep killed. By two wolves.
Results in the Fed hunters killing 13 members of Idaho wolf pack. 

Hey, the sheep here belong to Senator Jeff Siddoway.
But here is another Siddoway, look at that. 
Cindy Siddoway. Wonder if she is related to Senator Jeff Siddoway? Oh, wait, she IS!
He is her husband!!!
And they both deal with raising sheep for money, both live in Idaho, and both have a connection to the "freak incident" that saw two lone wolves responsible for killing 176 sheep. 
"Freak incident". The words used in the news report, not mine.
Crazy, eh?

5. U.S. Forest Service prohibits public from site of sheep massacre.
Claims danger to public.

6. And ALL of this comes on the heels of the news of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service catches it for meddling with the wolf delisting peer review processUSFWS

Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Art credit: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, Gustave Dore art print www~dot~artsycraftsy~dot~com - 

SO. What is that Senator in Idaho REALLY doing with those sheep?



Senator Jeff Siddoway also pushes amendment to turn Land Owner Appreciation bill into a no access gravy train-
Idaho rancher and State Senator Jeff Siddoway has introduced a bill (S1305) in the Idaho statehouse that would authorize the slaughter of wolves involved in molesting or killing livestock by any number of creative ways.

Idaho State Senator Siddoway
Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2012 4:48 PM


BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- A bill that would allow Idaho ranchers to use powered parachutes, helicopters and live-bait traps to hunt problem wolves has died in the Senate.
Senators agreed Tuesday to send the controversial legislation back to the Resources and Environment Committee -- a move that likely ends the bill's chances this year.
Republican Sen. Jeff Siddoway of Terreton is a sheep rancher and the bill's lead sponsor. Siddoway gave an impassioned speech defending his legislation and decrying the impact wolves are causing on livestock producers statewide.
But he also acknowledged how his bill could risk putting wolves back on the federal Endangered Species List, and he urged his colleagues to send it back to committee.
The legislation would let ranchers track and kill wolves for 36 hours after an attack.
Copyright 2012 The AP.

Senator Siddoway seems to have some sort of fetish for killing wolves via extravagant means.  You may remember back in 2009 when Siddoway apparently authorized the private aerial gunning with – if I remember correctly a motorized parachute, to kill a wolf on his property in violation of the Airborne Hunting Act of 1956.  Idaho authorities refused to cite the senator for the incident. ed. note. Idaho’s prisons are overflowing with the less well connected.

Of the proposed legislation Siddoway says:

“You can basically go after them [wolves] by any means available,” Siddoway said. “And when I say ‘get ‘em’ I mean kill ‘em.”

The bill would allow aerial hunting, use of any weapon, including artificial light night scopes on rifles. Live bait also would be permitted to lure wolves to traps. In Siddoway’s case, the bait would be several of his sheep, corralled behind a temporary fence. Others might use dogs as bait, he said.

The bill does not require a livestock owner with a permit to protect his live bait, or limit what it could be.  It would allow use of a child (though other laws would prevent that).

The Siddoway Sheep Company Incorporated, which is partially owned by the Senator, received $865,952 in agricultural subsidies between the years 1995-2006. Siddoway has been president of the Idaho Woolgrowers, an Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner, but never a friend of wildlife or hunters, except the rich ones.

A few years back, Siddoway also fenced off 8 of his private square miles of his huge landholdings, which also include public land grazing permits. and carved out the “Juniper Mountain Ranch,” an elk farm where anyone can hunt elk behind a fence without a license or tag if they have a big wallet.  A 231-285 size bull will cost-$4,4954, however a big 400″ is $12,000.  Even larger bulls ares available . . .  prices on request.  So he has a sagebrush and juniper covered elk hunting farm, but he has more private property than that.  For that,  and presumably for other big Idaho land barons, he has introduced another piece of legislation that has already passed the Senate Committee — senate bill 1283.

If passed into law, Senator Siddoway’s proposal would amend fish and game code 36-104: 4-B 24-26 to read:

“any landowner issued a landowner appreciation program (LAP) controlled hunt tag may sell the tag to another person at any price upon which the parties mutually agree”.

According to the Idaho Wildlife Federation the purpose of the LAP program was to create a preferred  tag draw for landowners to ensure a tag to those whose property lay in controlled hunt units in deference for them providing wildlife habitat and sportsmen’s access. These tags were designed for use by the landowner and family members only, not for selling the tags for personal profit. Senate Bill S1283 destroys the original intent of the LAP program and allows landowners to sell hunting tags off to the highest bidder and keep the proceeds, and its appears without providing access.

This is so typical of Idaho’s land barons, and it shows why the Idaho Fish and Game Commission with its tradition of land baron, or kin of baron representation, doesn’t represent the public interest or the more narrow interest of hunters.

Back to bill s. 1305, the wolf baiting bill.  Every year the governor’s wolf compensation committee meets  and hands out “reimbursement” for “wolf-killed” livestock for which there is no hard proof.  Siddoway had some claims, and this year he complained there was not enough money in the fund. After the meeting ended he introduced the bill.

While Siddoway is doing all this, he is also sponsoring a constitutional amendment to guarantee the “right to hunt and trap.”
Folks ought to be able to see a diversion here.  If there are few to no tags for you and public land is blocked off, what use is a right to hunt?
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August 19, 2013 
By Angela Montana

The first sentence of an article posted today on read “U.S. Forest Service officials are asking people to stay out of an area where a large sheep kill was reported over the weekend.”  Wolves have been confirmed responsible for the death of 176 sheep, approximately 5 1/2 hours from Missoula.

If you are a Montana wolf hunter/trapper, and you want to hunt/trap in Idaho, out-of-state tags can be picked up over the counter.  You can get more information on their wolf season dates and quotas by clicking HERE.

Check out the article:

Billie Siddoway, whose brother, J.C. Siddoway, runs sheep near Fogg Hill, posted this warning about the wolf kill Saturday at the trailheads of Pole Canyon and Fourth of July trails.

U.S. Forest Service officials are asking people to stay out of an area where a large sheep kill was reported over the weekend.

Jay Pence, Teton Basin District ranger, said the sheep kill could attract a lot of people hoping to see predators coming to feed on the carcasses.

Ranchers and others are trying to deal with the situation, and visitors can hamper their activities.

“There are a lot more fun things to look at than dead sheep,” said Pence.

Idaho Wildlife Services confirmed Monday that 176 sheep were killed during a wolf attack near Fogg Hill and the Pole Canyon area early Saturday morning.

The animals belonged to the Siddoway Sheep Company and were grazing in the area about six miles south of Victor, according to a release from Siddoway. The attack, they said, occurred around 1 a.m.

Todd Grimm, director of the Wildlife Services Program, said his office confirmed the depredation Sunday. Many of the animals died from suffocation, since some apparently fell in front of the rest, resulting in a large pile-up.

“This was a rather unique situation,” said Grimm. “Most of the time they don’t pile up like this, but the wolves got them running.”

Only one animal seems to have been eaten in the attack, according to the Siddoway release.

“The sheep are not fenced,” said Billie Siddoway, in an email interview. “They move every few days to a new pasture within a designated area. The sheep are herded and monitored by two full-time herders, four herding dogs and at least four guard dogs.”

Grimm said there is already a “control action” in the area. Since July 3, 12 wolves have been lethally trapped, including nine pups. The goal is to take them all, he said.

“We expect that bears and other scavengers will soon locate the kill site,” said Billie Siddoway.

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Credit: Idaho Wildlife Services
by Associated Press
Posted on August 20, 2013 at 10:48 AM
Updated yesterday at 3:59 PM

176 sheep killed by wolves in 'freak' incident

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho -- A southeastern Idaho ranch lost 176 sheep as the animals ran in fear from two wolves that chased through a herd of about 2,400 animals south of Victor.
Sheepherders for the Siddoway Sheep Co. heard the wolves at about 1 a.m. Saturday, but didn't know the extent of the damage until they saw the sheep piled up on each other at daybreak.
J.C. Siddoway of Terreton says almost all of the sheep died from asphyxiation. About 10 died of bite wounds and one was partially consumed.
Idaho Wildlife Services State Director Todd Grimm says it's the greatest loss by wolves ever recorded in one instance in the state. About nine years ago, wolves killed 105 sheep on one night.
Grimm says a dozen wolves have been removed from the Pine Creek area this year.
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by Matt Standal
Follow: @KTVBMatt
Posted on August 21, 2013 at 3:31 PM
Updated yesterday at 4:22 PM

VICTOR, Idaho -- Cindy Siddoway's family has raised sheep on the western slope of the Teton Mountains for more than 100 years.
In that time, the Siddoway Ranch has dealt with a variety of predators, including grizzlies and black bears, secretive mountain lions, and more recently -- wolves.
Siddoway says it's the reintroduction of wolves to the Tetons that has resulted in the largest mass sheep kill recorded in Idaho. The deaths happened early Friday morning.
That's when 176 of the family's sheep -- mostly lambs -- died in a frightened mass on a notch in a rocky ridge line south of Victor, Idaho. The animals were grazing on public land in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
Officials with the USDA say most of the sheep suffocated, while others were trampled to death as they piled on each other while trying to escape the wolves. Less than 10 were bitten. Only one was partially consumed.
Two gray wolves spotted by Peruvian shepherds the next day are the suspected culprits.
"We're putting out thousands of animals that are just sitting ducks," Siddoway told KTVB, as she tallied up the wolf kills from the 2013 season.
The numbers are startling for the Siddoways.
With more than 19,000 sheep, the family's livestock operation is big business. So far, they've had hundreds of sheep, several Great Pyrenees guard dogs, and even a horse killed by wolves in the last few months.

Each sheep is roughly valued at $200 a head, when it comes to USDA loss compensation. That means the Siddoways loss is on the scale of $35,000.
For Cindy -- whose husband is an Idaho senator and whose son manages the operation -- the killings are a continued financial drain.

"My husband and I have been fighting this whole issue our entire lives," she told KTVB


Todd Grimm is the director of Wildlife Services for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Boise. He's charged with investigating wolf depredation in Idaho and documenting the findings. 
Grimm says the mass sheep kill isn't anything he's seen before.

"I would consider this a freak incident," Grimm said. "We have had some pile ups from time-to-time, and most of those are because of black bears, and even [mountain] lions" Grimm said.
The reason: Grimm says wolves typically attack in packs, and tend to scatter sheep, not cause them to pile up and suffocate.

Grimm says he's absolutely confident that wolves were responsible for the Siddoway's loss. His reasoning: "We had an eyewitness account -- which is rare -- we had evidence at the scene, tracks and scat, bite marks on the sheep."
"The big question is, how many did they actually bite?" Grimm told KTVB.

Another big question: Will the Siddoway ranch get any compensation for the claims?
Grimm says he's not certain.
No herders have been compensated for wolf losses through Idaho's state-run distribution program in the last two years.
Grimm says although money is made available through the Department of the Interior, it's not always immediately distributed to the state, and has been lately delayed by the sequestration.

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At the scene of the sheep stampede, bodies were piled where the animals were crushed or suffocated after being chased by the wolves. COURTESY PHOTO

By Mike Koshmrl, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
August 21, 2013

A wolf pack that roams the south end of Teton Valley, Idaho, has been all but wiped out after a bizarre sheep stampede that’s been blamed on the wild canines.

U.S. Department of Agriculture officials have killed 13 wolves from the Pine Creek Pack, which occasionally ventures into western Wyoming in the area of Teton Pass, said Todd Grimm, Idaho director of the federal Wildlife Services program, which kills predators that cause damage.

“We had already removed 12 by the time this incident had taken place,” Grimm said. “And we’ve got another one since then.”

“I can’t believe how many wolves we’ve got in there,” he said.

Of the 13 trapped and euthanized wolves, four were adults or sub-adults, Grimm said. Nine of the wolves killed were pups, he said.

The pack’s demise was already underway when two wolves thought to be Pine Creek members ventured into a 2,400-head sheep herd early Saturday morning. The herd, owned by the Siddoway Sheep Company of St. Anthony, Idaho, was bedding down on Caribou-Targhee National Forest land between Pole Canyon and Fogg Hill, about 5 miles south of Victor.

Running downhill in a panic, about 165 sheep from the Siddoway herd were  killed, trampled and smothered in their terror. Two wolves, which were witnessed by a herder at the scene, killed about another dozen sheep. The final tally: 119 lambs and 57 ewes dead. Price tag: $20,000.

In the weeks leading to the sheep pileup, the Pine Creek Pack had been actively preying on the Siddoway sheep, Grimm said.

“We’ve confirmed 10 other kills in that area this year,” Grimm said.

“They’ve had a huge amount of problems over the years,” he said of the Siddoway Sheep Company. “It looks like about 15 to 20 depredations since 2006 that are confirmed.”

A press release sent out by company following last weekend’s fatal wolf encounter alleges much higher losses to predators.

“Siddoway Sheep Company has lost about 250 head of livestock to wolf, bear and coyote depredation since June,” the release said, adding that Great Pyrenees guard dogs and horses also have been killed.

At least one Idaho conservation group argues that the Siddoway Sheep Company should not be grazing in the Caribou-Targhee in such a predator-dense area.

“The problem is not the wolves, but subsidized domestic sheep grazing,” said Travis Bruner, public lands director for the Western Watersheds Project.

“It costs less than one penny per sheep per day to graze public land,” Bruner said.

The Caribou-Targhee’s Burbank allotment, where the sheep crush occurred, cost the Siddoway Sheep Company $866.70 for a three-month grazing permit, for example.

Ranchers are more willing to take risks with predators, Bruner said, because the government is “almost giving away public forage to wealthy ranchers.”

The loss of federal Endangered Species Act protections also indirectly helps ranchers graze livestock on predator-heavy public allotments, he said. Suspected livestock eaters now can be removed with a phone call.

“Given the de-listing of wolves, [public lands grazing] poses more of a threat to wolves today because there’s much less regulation over when wolves can be killed in response to depredation,” Bruner said.

According to the latest Idaho Wolf Monitoring Progress report, 73 wolves were killed in Idaho last year either by “agency removal” or from livestock producers who held legal take permits. Those wolves were suspected of killing 73 cattle, 312 sheep and two dogs.

Depredation and removal numbers are lower in Wyoming, where the wolf population is about half of Idaho’s.

Last year, 43 Equality State wolves were killed in response to killing 44 cattle, 112 sheep, three dogs and a horse. So far in 2013 another 14 wolves have been killed in response to the loss of 33 livestock.

The extreme loss of sheep last weekend was the largest livestock loss from one incident in Grimm’s 22 years on the job.

The “pileup” phenomenon is not a new one to sheep ranchers, said Stan Boyd, executive director of the Idaho Woolgrowers Association.

“It’s the first time I’ve heard of wolves causing it,” Boyd said. “Every two, three, four years, it’ll happen from black bears.”

The answer to controlling livestock depredation on public lands grazing allotments, he said, is managing the predators.

“The wolves are here to stay,” Boyd said. “What we hope is that we can manage these populations.

“When you get severe depredation like that, the wolves need to be removed,” he said, “and by removed, I mean killed. You got to take them out.”

In the case of the Pine Creek pack, wildlife officials did just that.

The Pine Creek Pack numbered six adult animals at the end of 2012, according to Idaho’s wolf monitoring report.

With nine pups and four of the six Pine Creek adults eliminated, the pack’s future is in question. That leaves two adult wolves — potentially enough to form a new pack — still standing.

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Apparently abandoning its attempt to purge key wolf experts from a scientific peer review of a proposal to remove protections from gray wolves, a Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman acknowledged that the “optics of the situation” were a problem for the agency. In Washington, DC, parlance, you have an optics problem when it appears there is something wrong with what you’re doing. [UPDATE from our post earlier today: Top wolf science expert critics purged from Fish & Wildlife Service peer review panel]

From the Los Angeles Times, August 12, Plan to remove wolves from endangered species list on hold

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday took the unusual step of suspending the scientific peer review of its proposal to remove wolves from the endangered species list, saying the process did not meet the agency’s standards.

The problem arose when the service reviewed the list of scientists proposed by a contractor and was able to determine who the experts were by looking at their resumes, even though the names were redacted. …

The peer review of the delisting proposal has been put on hold for an indefinite time, [Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Gavin] Shire said. …

Shire said the “optics of the situation” require the service to proceed carefully.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that it will put on hold the scientific peer review of its proposal to remove protections for gray wolves across the country while it reviews its own actions leading to the disqualification of three scientists from the review panel.

Last week it was revealed that three scientists were excluded from the peer review because they signed a letter calling into question some of the science behind the proposal to delist the gray wolf. While the Service initially claimed that it had not asked for the three scientists to be removed, emails between the contractor supervising the peer review process and the scientists themselves confirmed that the Service had in fact done exactly that.

“We’re glad to see the Fish and Wildlife Service admit this mistake and hope this means there will be a true independent review of this deeply flawed proposal to remove protections for gray wolves,” said Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director with the Center for Biological Diversity. …

“The Service should take a moment to reflect on why it felt it was necessary to go to such lengths to control the peer review process of this proposal,” said Hartl. “Perhaps it’s because the decision to delist the gray wolf is based on politics, not solely on the best available science.”

via fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd~dot~net
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By Julie Cart
August 12, 2013, 3:11 p.m.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday took the unusual step of suspending the scientific peer review of its proposal to remove wolves from the endangered species list, saying the process did not meet the agency’s standards.

The problem arose when the service reviewed the list of scientists proposed by a contractor and was able to determine who the experts were by looking at their resumes, even though the names were redacted.

The intent of the independent review process is for specialists to remain anonymous to the agency, according to Gavin Shire, a Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman.

The peer review of the delisting proposal has been put on hold for an indefinite time, Shire said, adding that he was unsure how or if the delay would affect the delisting timeline.

Last week the peer review process came under fire when the Fish and Wildlife Service sent an email to the outside contractor it had hired to conduct the review, asking if three scientists who signed on to a May letter objecting to the delisting proposal were sufficiently impartial to sit on the review panel.

The three wolf experts were removed.

Shire said the “optics of the situation” require the service to proceed carefully. “The result of this process led to some of the  potential selectees feeling that they have been excluded from the process.”

Twitter: @julie_cart

photo via animals-gallery~dot~com

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August 12, 2013 by Steve Wilent
An update from Greenwire:
Phil Taylor, E&E reporter
Published: Monday, August 12, 2013

The Interior Department is putting the brakes on a scientific peer review of its proposal to remove Endangered Species Act protections for wolves after discovering it had improper knowledge of the scientists who would be participating in the review.
The Fish and Wildlife Service was able to deduce which scientists its contractor AMEC was proposing to review the delisting proposal, a fact that runs afoul of the agency’s peer review standards, an FWS spokesman said.

The peer review selection process has been put on hold pending further review, said the spokesman, Gavin Shire.

“We’ve decided that [it] doesn’t meet the standard for independent peer review selections,” he said.

The decision is likely to come as a relief to wolf advocates who had criticized the agency for suggesting that AMEC exclude from the peer review three scientists who had signed a May 21 letter raising scientific objections to a leaked wolf delisting proposal (Greenwire, Aug. 8).

Today, one of those three scientists said the agency was wrong to recommend he be excluded from the peer review team.

John Vucetich, a professor at Michigan Technological University who has conducted extensive research on wolves at Isle Royale National Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, said his past criticism of the agency’s delisting proposal should not disqualify him from the peer review team.

Vucetich, Roland Kays of North Carolina State University and Robert Wayne of the University of California, Los Angeles, were among 16 scientists who signed the letter. AMEC proposed that all three be included in the peer review.

But Fish and Wildlife in a recent email to the firm — which had been selected to lead the peer review — said signatories to that letter would not be appropriate for the peer review, though it is not entirely clear why. The agency has not provided a copy of that email.

“Everyone who signed that letter was qualified and knowledgeable,” Vucetich said in an interview with E&ENews PM today. “People should be more concerned with the qualifications of a person rather than their final judgment.”

The opinions expressed in the May 21 letter are exactly what’s expected of peer reviewers, Vucetich added.

“If you pass judgment but don’t offer any reasons or if you pass judgment and simply aren’t qualified to, that’s inappropriate,” he said in a separate interview with the California Wolf Center that was posted to YouTube. “I and several others passed judgment, but we passed judgment after becoming familiar with the materials and based on our qualified knowledge of the topic. I don’t think that’s advocacy.”

Vucetich said FWS easily knew that he was among the scientists AMEC was proposing to take part in the review.

The firm had submitted the resumes of the scientists it was proposing for the review with the names removed. However, any reasonable observer could have identified Vucetich’s resume given that his name is cited about 100 times in the resume for the publications he has helped author, Vucetich said.

Wayne’s resume would have also been readily apparent, Vucetich said.

“It’s simply a lie,” he said, to suggest the agency didn’t know who was on the peer review list.

Vucetich was also picked to participate in the peer review by Atkins Global, another environmental consulting firm, which bid for the FWS contract but lost.

The agency’s handling of the peer review last week drew complaints from critics who argued it was trying to stifle scientific dissent.

“It seems like reviewers are being cherry-picked,” said Dan Thornhill, a scientist for Defenders of Wildlife who holds a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of Georgia and has been involved in peer reviews for more than 15 years. “It’s not like a jury. You really want things to be vetted by the best and brightest scientists.”

Defenders and other environmental groups have opposed the delisting proposal, arguing that wolves should be allowed to occupy more of their former habitat in the southern Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast.

Vucetich said the Endangered Species Act suggests that to be recovered, a species has to be “somewhat well distributed throughout its former range.” Currently, wolves occupy about 15 percent of their former range, he said.

The FWS solicitation for the peer review sought experts with backgrounds in wolf ecology who are sufficiently independent from FWS and who have not been engaged in advocacy.

“Peer reviewers will be advised that they are not to provide advice on policy,” the FWS solicitation stated. “Rather, they should focus their review on identifying and characterizing scientific uncertainties.”

FWS said it did not order the removal of any particular scientists from the peer review panel, though it did send an email to AMEC raising concerns over whether the signatories to the letter would be sufficiently independent and objective.

“Objective and credible peer review is critical to the success of threatened and endangered species recovery and delisting efforts,” agency spokesman Chris Tollefson said last week. “For this reason, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service takes every step possible to work with our independent peer review contractors to ensure that selected scientific experts have not prejudged the proposals they will review.”

The FWS delisting decision was hailed by Western states, livestock groups and hunters who agreed with the agency that wolves are no longer in danger of extinction after being nearly eradicated from the lower 48 states (Greenwire, June 7).

More than 6,000 wolves roam the western Great Lakes states and Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, up from nearly zero when they were listed in the 1970s.

photo courtesy whitewolfpack~dot~com

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This video contains some graphic images -- but it's MESSAGE must be seen -- because those graphic images are occurring in real life and will continue to occur --- we, the people, must DEMAND MORE of our Department of Agriculture and Wildlife Services..

Folks, you have to view the video from the link above. Thank you for watching and caring.

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Wildlife Services Trapper Allows Animal Torture
November 2, 2012 by wolfpreservation

“Federal employee allows dogs to savagely attack a trapped coyote and more …

Published on November 2, 2012 by Marc Bekoff, Ph.D. in Animal Emotions
Wildlife Services, a branch of the USDA, is constantly being criticized for the wanton slaughter and abuse of millions of animals every single year.

A summary of some of Wildlife Services egregious activities include, but is not limited to, the following:

With steel traps, wire snares and poison, agency employees have accidentally killed more than 50,000 animals since 2000 that were not problems, including federally protected golden and bald eagles; more than 1,100 dogs, including family pets; and several species considered rare or imperiled by wildlife biologists.

A growing body of science has found the agency’s war against predators, waged to protect livestock and big game, is altering ecosystems in ways that diminish biodiversity, degrade habitat and invite disease.

In all, more than 150 species have been killed by mistake by Wildlife Services traps, snares and cyanide poison since 2000, records show. A list could fill a field guide. Here are some examples: Armadillos, badgers, great-horned owls, hog-nosed skunks, javelina, pronghorn antelope, porcupines, great blue herons, ruddy ducks, snapping turtles, turkey vultures, long-tailed weasels, marmots, mourning doves, red-tailed hawks, sandhill cranes and ringtails.

The body count includes more than 25,000 red and gray foxes, 10,700 bobcats, 2,800 black bears, 2,300 timber wolves and 2,100 mountain lions. But the vast majority—about 512,500—were coyotes.

Aerial gunning is the agency’s most popular predator-killing tool. Since 2001, more than 340,000 coyotes have been gunned down from planes and helicopters across 16 Western states, including California—an average of 600 a week, agency records show.

Between 2004 and 2010, Wildlife Services killed over 22.5 million animals to protect agribusiness. The agency spends $100 million each year, and Wildlife Services’ job is to “eradicate” and “bring down” wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, bears, prairie dogs, and other wild animals.

In 2010, Wildlife Services killed 5 million animals (this number does not include the thousands birds the Service has since admitted to poisoning in 2010), including 112,781 mammalian carnivores such as coyotes, wolves, bobcats, cougars, badgers and bears.

New evidence of reprehensible animal abuse: What follows is not easy reading

And, just this week, we’ve learned that an employee of Wildlife Services, Jamie Olson, who works as a trapper in Wyoming, has been caught, and is being held responsible for, promoting extreme acts of cruelty and torture. A summary of these heinous acts can be found here. The photos on Mr. Olson’s Facebook page and elsewhere include: ” …two dogs savagely attacking a coyote in a leg-hold trap and the employee posing with the tattered carcass of a coyote. They also show other trapped animals – dead and alive. … [another] shows the trapper’s brownish-black Airedale approaching a coyote in a leg-hold trap, unable to defend itself. The coyote is snarling and trying to pull away. A caption says: ‘My Airedale Bear with a sheep killing female.’ … Another photo on Twitter showed a partly disemboweled coyote on a log. The caption reads: ‘Eagles got to this adult female before I did.’”

This sort of abuse is “very common”

Is this sort of abuse rare? No, according to a former Wildlife Services trapper. “Gary Strader, a former Wildlife Services trapper in Nevada, was not surprised to learn about the controversial photos. ‘That is very common,’ Strader wrote in an email. ‘It always was and always will be controversial. It has never been addressed by the higher-ups. They know it happens on a regular basis.’”

I’m sorry to post this story but it’s essential to get the word out about these sorts of heinous activities. And, more important, you can do something about these thoroughly repugnant and unacceptable behaviors that uses our tax dollars.

Please contact Mr. Rod Krischke, State Director, Wyoming Wildlife Services, P.O. Box 67, Casper, Wyoming 82602;; William Clay, Deputy Administrator for Wildlife Services;; Jeffrey S.Green, Western Regional Director for Wildlife Services;; and Congressman Peter DeFazio at and Congressman John Campbell at

Cruelty can’t stand the spotlight and these heinous activities must be stopped now.”

*Special thanks to “Psychology Today,” for providing this information!

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by RALPH MAUGHAN on AUGUST 8, 2013  

Washington D.C. At the federal level, there appears to be more crude, heavy-handed politics in the delisting of the gray wolf.

Three prominent scientists, experts on wolves, were just cut from the committee at the insistence of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service because they signed a letter with 13 other wolf scientists expressing concern about the scientific basis for the federal plan.

USFWS has had a hard time finding experts who have not made public statements on wolves. The actions of these three signing the critical letter seems to have reduced the pool of experts still further. The ten member committee is now down to seven experts who seem to have been silent over the many year period the controversy has raged.

According the P.E.E.R. (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) “The FWS disqualification of scientists appears at odds with White House Office of Management & Budget guidance which states that selection of peer reviewers should be primarily driven by expertise of the reviewer, followed by a need for balance to reflect competing scientific viewpoints followed by their independence from the agency. — independent from FWS.

The federal wolf de-listing plan is under accelerated peer review. The review is being done by consulting firm, AMEC, chosen by FWS. The cuts were made over the objections of AMEC. According to P.E.E.R. one of the three scientists cut was told by AMEC, “I apologize for telling you that you were on the project and then having to give you this news. I understand how frustrating it must be, but we have to go with what the service [sic] wants.”

The three now excluded scientists are Dr. Roland Kays of North Carolina State University, Dr. Jon Vucetich of Michigan Technological University and Dr. Robert Wayne of the University of California, Los Angeles.

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A Mexican gray wolf runs inside a holding pen at the Sevilleta Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. 
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times / June 10, 2009)

By Julie Cart
August 6, 2013, 2:39 p.m.
The Interior Department this week opened to public comment and review its proposal to expand the range of federally protected Mexican wolves.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been attempting to reintroduce wolves into parts of Arizona and New Mexico with little success. A small population of about 75 wolves is restricted to a recovery area,  and when an animal roams beyond those borders, it must be recaptured and returned.

Allowing wolves more room will increase their numbers and genetic diversity, biologists say. Livestock growers and others oppose any expansion of wolf territory.

Federal officials earlier this year proposed delisting gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes but preserved the endangered species status of Mexican wolves.

The agency is considering five alternatives, and the public has until Sept. 19 to comment.

* * * * * 
Dated: May 29, 2013. 
Daniel M. Ashe, 
Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 
[FR Doc. 2013–13982 Filed 6–12–13; 8:45 am] 
Fish and Wildlife Service 
50 CFR Part 17 
[Docket No. FWS–R2–ES–2013–0056; 
RIN 1018–AY46 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife 
and Plants; Proposed Revision To the 
Nonessential Experimental Population 
of the Mexican Wolf 
AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, 
ACTION: Proposed rule. 
SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (Service), propose to 
revise the existing nonessential 
experimental population designation of 
the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) 
under section 10(j) of the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended. This 
action is being taken in coordination 
with our proposed rule in today’s 
Federal Register to list the Mexican 
wolf as an endangered subspecies and 
delist the gray wolf (Canis lupus). The 
proposal to list the Mexican wolf as an 
endangered subspecies and delist the 
gray wolf species necessitates that we 
revise the nonessential experimental 
population designation of Mexican 
wolves in order to correctly associate 
this designation with the properly listed 
entity. In addition, we are proposing 
several revisions to the section 10(j) 
rule. We are seeking comment from the 
public on the proposed revisions and on 
additional possible modifications that 
we may analyze and incorporate into 
our final determination. 
DATES: We will accept comments 
received on or before September 11, 
2013. Comments submitted 
electronically using the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal (see ADDRESSES
section) must be received by 11:59 p.m. 
Eastern Time on the closing date. We 
must receive requests for public 
hearings, in writing, at the address 
CONTACT by July 29, 2013. We will 
schedule public hearings on this 
proposal, if any are requested, and 
announce the dates, times, and places of 
those hearings, as well as how to obtain 
reasonable accommodations, in the 
Federal Register and local newspapers 
at least 15 days before any such hearing. 
ADDRESSES: You may submit written 
comments by one of the following 
(1) Electronically: Go to the Federal 
eRulemaking Portal: http:// Search for FWS– 
R2–ES–2013–0056, which is the docket 
number for this rulemaking. You may 
submit a comment by clicking on 
‘‘Comment Now!’’ 
(2) By hard copy: Submit by U.S. mail 
or hand-delivery to: Public Comments 
Processing, Attn: FWS–R2–ES–2013– 
0056; Division of Policy and Directives 
Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service; 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, MS 
2042–PDM; Arlington, VA 22203. 
We request that you send comments 
only by the methods described above. 
We will post all comments on This generally 
means that we will post any personal 
information you provide us (see the 
Information Requested section below for 
more information). To increase our 
efficiency in downloading comments, 
groups providing mass submissions 
should submit their comments in an 
Excel file. 
Mexican Wolf Recovery Program, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, New Mexico 
Ecological Services Field Office, 2105 
Osuna Road NE., Albuquerque, NM 
87113; by telephone 505–761–4704; or 
by facsimile 505–346–2542. If you use a 
telecommunications device for the deaf 
(TDD), call the Federal Information 
Relay Service (FIRS) at 800–877–8339. 


Wolf Investigations Questioned 
& WSPC Grant Funding
Program: Washington Ag Today 
Date: July 23, 13
I’m Lacy Gray with Washington Ag Today.

Wolf activity in the Wedge area seems to be on the rise again as cattle rancher Len McIrvin, owner of the Diamond M Ranch, reports that wolves killed a three day old calf on his ranch this month. The Diamond M is where Fish and Wildlife officials killed six wolves from the Wedge Pack last September after the wolves had attacked and killed more than sixteen cattle there. Although fresh wolf tracks were found nearby, the WDFW says the case is unconfirmed as the calf was 95% consumed and that the department hasn’t found anything that merits setting a trap to try to collar wolves. Washington Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Jack Field.

FIELD: By increasing the human presence there may be an opportunity to mitigate and prevent some wolf depredations. Without having collars on the wolves though it’s very difficult to have a high level of success because you really don’t know where the wolves are in relation to the cattle and it makes it difficult to effectively really get in and be that buffer between the cattle and the wolves.

Now Rancher McIrvin Wants Washington Wolves Poisoned
Capital Press

A northeast Washington cattle rancher says wolves killed a three-day-old calf from his operation last week.

Len McIrvin is owner of the Diamond M Ranch in Laurier, Wash. That’s the ranch where Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife officials in September 2012 killed six wolves from the Wedge Pack. The wolves had killed at least 17 cattle from the ranch.

The killed calf was dragged from a barbed wire calving enclosure 200 yards from human presence, McIrvin said. There were fresh wolf tracks nearby in the river, he said.

“We know it was a wolf, but they can’t confirm it because the calf was 95 percent eaten up,” he said, noting coyote tracks were also found in the area.

Stephanie Simek, WDFW wildlife conflict section manager, said the case was unconfirmed as a wolf kill because there were signs of coyotes in the area. The six-strand barbed wire fence did not show signs of a larger carnivore entering the area, she said.

“The issue was the carcass was so far gone, you really couldn’t get a lot of those measurements,” said Dave Ware, WDFW game program manager. “You just couldn’t tell for sure what killed it.”

The department has been monitoring wolf activity, but didn’t find anything that would merit setting a trap to try to collar wolves.

“We’re certain there are wolves in the Wedge area again,” Ware said. “We’re seeing plenty of activity.”

McIrvin said his cattle are on the range, so he hasn’t found other kills or injuries.

“We know the wolves have been harassing them,” he said. “We know they’re there, we hear them howling, they’ve got the cows all chased off the range again. We put them back weekly, but the wolves are running them daily.”

The Stevens County Cattlemen’s Association believes the department’s unconfirmed ruling on the calf shows a “troubling trend” in which the department does not confirm wolf kills, a determination that could lead to killing the predators.

Association spokesperson Jamie Henneman said WDFW needs to clearly outline how they will deal with wolves.

“Right now we are seeing the department buckle under pressure from environmental groups who have absolutely no skin in the game,” she said. “There is no impact to their finances or livelihood if wolf management is done in a poor, watery or slipshod fashion. Band-aid payments of compensation will not solve this problem.”

Ware believes the department’s history proves it is willing to kill wolves, but said it will not always completely be on the same page as ranchers.

“Second-guessing what our field staff does seems to be a popular sport for both sides,” he said. “In their hearts, most (ranchers) feel, ‘Wolves are the things different from the landscape — it must be wolves that caused this.’ In some cases, we can verify that, in some cases, we just can’t.”

McIrvin says killing the wolves is the only solution. He believes the calf carcass should have been laced with poison to get the “culprits.”

“Until somebody gets serious about opening season on these wolves, I don’t know that there is any answer,” he said.

Just as he did last year, McIrvin plans to continue to refuse compensation from the state.

“We are not in the business of raising cattle to feed wolves. We’re in the business of raising cattle to be a cow ranch,” he said.


Washington Department Fish and Wildlife:

Stevens County Cattlemen Association:

Wolf kill fails to placate Washington rancher
'You can't see them, but you can hear them all the time'
Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012 1:58 pm
By Matthew Weaver East Oregonian Publishing Group 

The decision by state wildlife officials to kill a wolf that had been attacking livestock in northeastern Washington is too little, too late, says the rancher who has suffered losses there since 2007.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife this week killed a nonbreeding female wolf from the so-called Wedge Wolf Pack, officials said. They were unsuccessful in an attempt to kill a second wolf.
HOUSE: e-Edition Apple apps ROS - In Article 1 and 2
Nate Pamplin, assistant director with the department, said at least four adults and several pups make up the pack.
The department took action after a series of wolf attacks on the Diamond M herd dating back to two calves that were killed in 2007. Department officials also cited higher-than-normal calf losses and documented wolf activity around the calving operation. An adjacent ranch had wolf problems at its calving operation this spring, Pamplin said.
Diamond M ranch owner Len McIrvin, of Laurier, Wash., said he remains skeptical of the department's actions and would only believe it when he saw a dead wolf.
"They distort facts so much, they've lied to us continually on this thing," he said. "First they said there was no wolves in the area. We showed them that there was. Then they said there might be wolves, but they'll never eat a cow. We showed them that they did."
McIrvin said wolf activity has been escalating. Last year 11 calves and five bulls were killed, he said. He will tally how many have been killed this year in the fall.
"We know we've had two kills. We know we've had four other calves attacked and severely wounded," he said.
McIrvin said there's no way to protect against wolves on the rough, big timber country range, where he runs roughly 300 pairs of cattle.
McIrvin owns a lot of the area and has state Department of Natural Resources leases and U.S. Forest Service grazing permits in the area.
McIrvin said he's seen wolves in the area. Cowboys coming in after dark with horses have wolves following within several hundred yards, howling.
"You can't see them, but you can hear them all the time," McIrvin said. He has a kill permit for depredation if wolves are caught in the act, but said there's little chance of meeting that requirement.
The environmental organization Conservation Northwest released a statement questioning whether McIrvin made a "good faith effort" to reduce the risk of conflict between wolves and his livestock.
"It's unclear in this case whether the right livestock stewardship steps have first been tried to reduce conflict potential," Mitch Friedman, Conservation Northwest executive director, said in the statement. "If we expect wolves to behave, ranchers need to meet them halfway."
According to the department, state efforts include specialized electric fencing, attaching a radio collar to the pack's alpha male and maintaining a regular human presence in the area.
The ranch employs five cowboys to frequently check on the herd.
Pamplin said the state is implementing its wolf conservation and management plan and committed to working with livestock operators to protect their livestock and minimize impacts.
The department will evaluate its options and continue to monitor the wolf pack's movement and any further depredations.
Under the state's wolf plan, ranchers receive compensation for two animals for a confirmed wolf kill and compensation for one cow for a probable wolf kill, Pamplin said.
McIrvin said his losses are so heavy, including lower weight gain and a lower conception rate, that the only compensation he's interested in is a dead wolf for every dead calf.
"This isn't a wolf problem, we always could take care of our own problems," he said. "It's an agency regulatory problem (with) threats of imprisonment and fines."
McIrvin expects the wolves to spread.
"This is our problem today, but in three years it's going to be every cattleman's problem," he said.
Matthew Weaver is a writer for the Salem-based Capital Press.
© 2013 Blue Mountain Eagle. 
via www.adventurejournal ~dot~com

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday, July 12, 2013, adopted provisions of a lawsuit settlement that will make Oregon the only state where ranchers must show they have used non-lethal measures to protect their herds before the state will send out to kill wolves preying on livestock. 
Gov. John Kitzhaber has signed a bill allowing the state to resume killing wolves that make a habit of attacking livestock.

The governor signed the measure Friday, making Oregon the only state in the West where killing wolves that attack livestock is a last resort.

The measure puts into law provisions of a settlement between conservation groups and ranchers. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted other provisions of the settlement a week ago.

Ranchers will get new rights to shoot wolves that they see attacking their herd, but only if the attacks have become chronic and the ranchers can show they've taken nonlethal steps to try and stop them.

The Oregon Court of Appeals has blocked the state from killing wolves for more than a year.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Neither Big Nor Bad, 
the Wolf Returns to Western Europe
by Kristina Chew July 16, 2013 7:00 am

1869: That was the last time a wolf was seen in the Netherlands. Widespread throughout much of Europe in the 18th century, wolves were for all intents and purposes exterminated from there in the 19th century. By the end of World War II, they had disappeared altogether. The “last wolf” in Germany was said to have been shot in 1904.

Large populations of wolves have continued to exist in eastern Europe, in Romania, Poland and the Balkans. As a result of conservationist policies and world politics, the number of wolves has been gradually rising in Germany, France, Sweden and Norway. Earlier in July, the body of an animal that biologists believe is “almost certainly a wolf” was found. The animal had been run over by a vehicle in Luttelgeest in the Netherlands, just about 30 miles from the country’s densely populated North Sea coast.

News reports like this one in the Daily Mail are suggesting that the “big bad wolf” is knocking on western Europe’s door and that it is time to call in the hunters. With wolves now also turning up in Belgium, northern Denmark and off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, there has also been talk, and fear, of wolves coming to Britain. But environmentalists and foresters point out that the return of the wolf is a welcome development.

As the Independent notes, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 changed things significantly for wolves in Europe. The reunification of Germany led to a “radical policy switch,” with the wolf becoming a protected species throughout the country, including its formerly communist east. Under the 1979 Berne Convention (which most European countries have signed), hunting wolves is prohibited.

The wolf is “at the top of the predatory chain” in Europe, says Vanessa Ludwig, a biologist who monitors the growing wolf population in Germany’s Lausitz region, which is near its border with Poland. In the 1990s, wolves began to migrate via Lausitz. The region — “vast, uninhabited and largely road and path-less wilderness, covered with half-grown pine and birch trees” — had once been used for military training exercises by the occupying Soviet army; German troops now use the area much less frequently.

In 2000, a night-vision video camera filmed a pair of wolves with their cub, a sign that the wolf has returned. An estimated 40 wolves now lives in the region. Roe deer, red deer and wild boar account for the majority of the wolves’ diet. Environmentalists and foresters have welcomed the wolves’ return as they help to restore an “environmental imbalance” by controlling the numbers of deer: an overpopulation of these has meant that deciduous trees have been stripped of their bark and that saplings have been eaten.

Sheep farmers, having kept flocks for decades without fear of predators, have been highly concerned about the wolves’ return to say the least. Last year, some 50 animals were attacked. Farmers have been installing electric fences and are keeping Pyrenean sheepdogs to guard their flocks.

There are now an estimated 250 wolves in France, which has raised the limit on the number of wolves that can be killed per year from 11 to 22. Last year, farmers reported almost 6,000 cases of attacks on other animals including pigs and goats as well as sheep and there has been talk of recruiting “specialist hunters” from the U.S. and Eastern Europe to “keep the number of wolves stable.”

As Ludwig notes, wolves fear humans and usually run on encountering a person. No one in Germany, she says, has been harmed by a wolf.

The return of the wolf represents a triumph of conservationist policies. A species can make a comeback even after being altogether eliminated from a region.  The next step should be to figure out how wolves and humans –  modern-day Little Red Riding Hoods, their grandmothers and woodsmen — can live together.

Story By Becky Kramer for The Spokesman Review
photo image via fuckyeahwolves.tumblr~dot~com
LAMAR VALLEY, Wyo. – Seeing wolves for the first time left Jimmy Jones awestruck.

Wolves were mythic, larger-than-life creatures to the 59-year-old Los Angeles resident. Yet there they were, two of them, chasing bison at Yellowstone National Park in 2005.

Watching wolves run through a meadow is a sight to behold, agrees Karla Gitlitz, a 35-year-old rancher from Meeteetse, Wyo. Beyond that, she has no kind words for wolves, which she considers ruthless killers.

Wolves have spent the night howling within 200 feet of the house she shares with her husband and 15-year-old son. She’s watched them hamstring cows, and she was heartbroken and furious the day she saw two wolves tugging on a yearling’s intestines.

Two Westerners who cherish the outdoors. Two starkly different views of wolves.

For Jones, who lives in a metro area of 18 million, wolves are a symbol of the nation’s remaining wild lands. “Just the mention of wolves can send a shiver up people’s spines,” says the auto shop foreman, who returns to Yellowstone twice a year to photograph the packs.

For Gitlitz, who lives in one of America’s least populated states, wolves represent an urban agenda thrust upon ranchers and a threat to rural livelihoods.

Nearly 20 years after gray wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone and central Idaho, deep fault lines remain in public opinion on wolves’ presence and the appropriate limits of their range. The divide often separates the horse-trailer crowd from Subaru-driving suburbanites. It was spotlighted last month when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it was ready to get out of the wolf business.

Agency officials have proposed ending federal protections for the 6,100 wolves in the Lower 48 states by the end of the year, with the exception of the Southwest’s Mexican gray wolves. Management would be turned over to the states, which would have more leeway to kill wolves through public hunts, trapping and other actions.

Wolves are already off the endangered species list in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, parts of Eastern Washington and Oregon, and the Upper Midwest. Some environmental groups want federal protections to remain until wolves recolonize other areas, including the Pacific Northwest, Utah and Colorado.

Ultimately, however, “the future is really about state management,” says Martin Nie, a professor of natural resource policy at the University of Montana. “There’s always going to be some conflict over wolves, but I think we can deal with the conflicts in a much smarter way than we have in the past.”

Doing that will require more attention to values, Nie says.

Wolves symbolize “this greater, ongoing struggle in the American West over how resources will be used, how lives will be lived and who gets to decide,” says Susan G. Clark, a Yale University professor of wildlife ecology and policy, in her 2005 book, “Co-existing with Large Carnivores.”

She anticipates more conflicts in rural communities as wolf populations expand. Dispersing wolves will venture into more developed areas where they’ll encounter more cattle, more sheep and more people whose narrative is “My grandparents killed the wolves off … and we don’t want them back,” she says.

There are lessons here for Washington state, where dispersing wolves from Idaho and Canada are re-establishing packs in parts of Eastern Washington and the Cascades.

As wolves become more numerous, public support for them typically wanes, according to a study published in Wildlife Society Bulletin.

The study analyzed three decades of U.S. and European public opinion polls. It found that people with the most positive attitudes toward wolves had the least direct experience with them. People living near wolves had the most negative views.

“Wolves are going to live in the same landscape as local people,” Clark says.

If stakeholders don’t feel like their voices are heard and their concerns acknowledged, it will be difficult to manage wolves in a way that supports the national interest, she says.

Ranchers pitted against tourists in Wyoming
Wyoming epitomizes the clash of values over wolves.

Since their reintroduction to Yellowstone in the mid-1990s, wolves have developed celebrity status in America’s oldest national park. Tourists get up before dawn to set up spotting scopes in the Lamar Valley at the park’s northeastern edge, where a broad floodplain makes it easy to watch wolves, bison and elk.

Most park visitors support the wolves’ return. After grizzly bears, wolves are the wildlife species that park visitors most want to see, according to a 2006 University of Montana study.

But those views aren’t shared by most Wyoming residents. In a 2012 poll, more than half of those surveyed thought wolf reintroduction has been mostly negative for the Cowboy State.

Wyoming is the most rural of the Lower 48 states, with fewer than 600,000 residents scattered across nearly 100,000 square miles. Cattle outnumber people about 2 to 1. Elk, a favorite food for wolves in the Northern Rockies, are also abundant. The state’s 112,000 elk make Wyoming a destination for hunters, who support a $90 million outfitting-and-guide industry.

Gov. Matt Mead brokered the plan that allowed Wyoming wolves to come off the endangered species list last October.

A fourth-generation rancher, Mead’s conference room is dominated by a painting of cows that once hung in the former Cheyenne Club, a watering hole for cattle barons during Wyoming’s territorial days. The painting is a tribute to the industry’s long legacy and deep influence in Wyoming.

“I think if you looked outside the state in urban areas, most people would say there’s never a justification for hunting or killing wolves,” says Mead, 51.

But that doesn’t jibe with the views of the state’s 11,000 ranchers or its outfitting industry. Mead says Wyoming’s plan was crafted with knowledge that not every place wolves roam will be suitable habitat.

Under Wyoming’s management, wolves are classified as predators in most of the state, which means they can be shot on sight. In the state’s northwest corner, which has the best wolf habitat, wolves can be hunted outside of Yellowstone and other protected areas, but those hunts are subject to seasons and quotas.

The state has committed to maintaining at least 100 wolves in areas outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation, including 10 breeding pairs.

Wyoming’s wolf plan is currently the subject of federal litigation from environmental groups, who say it’s not protective enough – particularly when the federal government has pumped more than $100 million nationally into wolf restoration.

December estimates put Wyoming’s wolf population at a minimum of 277, including those inside Yellowstone.

Urban dwellers sometimes have romanticized expectations of the rural West, Mead says. They don’t understand that the people who live there have to earn a living.

Take ranching: “People love the open space, the clean water, the beautiful meadows that are provided by ranching; they just don’t want any cows,” he says.

Mead also says most Wyoming residents think wolves should be under state control.

Dave Vaughan, a 74-year-old rancher from Lander, Wyo., is one of them. “You can’t have people in Washington, D.C., managing wolves in Wyoming,” he says.

Vaughan says he got out of the cattle business several years ago, when four wolves appeared on the 5,000-acre ranch he manages. That year, he said an unusually high number of cows aborted their fetuses. And six calves turned out to pasture vanished. While he can’t tie either event directly to wolves, Vaughan said he lost 20 percent of his calves and most of the year’s profits.

He’s been working to raise $5,000 for the Wyoming Wolf Coalition, a group of outfitters, counties and agricultural interests that supports keeping Wyoming wolves under state management. The coalition is an intervener in the lawsuits challenging the plan.

“Back 100 years ago, we have room for wolves. They had a place,” Vaughan says. When 30 million bison migrated across the Great Plains, wolves played an important role as scavengers, he says. That was probably true even during the big cattle drives, when a certain percentage of animals were routinely lost to old age, injuries or disease, he says.

But the Wyoming of today is not the Wyoming of 1880, when the state had 21,000 people, Vaughan says.

“These are things that we need to get across to people who live outside the state,” he says.

Advocate: Politics trumps science
Duane Short is a wolf advocate in an anti-predator state. It’s sometimes a lonely job, says Short, 58, who works for the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance in Laramie, Wyo.

The organization is one of the environmental groups that filed a lawsuit challenging Wyoming’s management plan for wolves. At this point, however, the alliance has petitioned to withdraw the suit in favor of another, similar lawsuit that’s moving through the courts.

“We know that wolf numbers are far, far below historic numbers,” Short says. “Their range has been diminished to a few isolated areas in a few isolated states.”

Wolves play invaluable roles in ecosystems, Short says. They keep deer and elk numbers in check and improve the herds’ gene pool by culling diseased animals. Wolves kill coyotes, which benefits ranchers. And their presence also improves fish habitat by keeping deer and elk on the move, preventing them from overgrazing streamside willows and aspens.

In Yellowstone, healthier willow and aspen stands have led to increases in songbird and beaver populations.

That’s all well-documented through scientific research, Short says. As a biologist, “it’s very difficult for me to see the benefits of upsetting a balance that nature pretty well manages on its own.”

Short says politics has trumped science in setting wolf policy. He blames ranchers, a small but powerful lobby in the West. Short says he’s been at public meetings where livestock producers make it sound like wolf attacks result in regular bloodbaths in their herds. “It becomes almost an end-of-the-industry rhetoric, when it’s really a small percentage of losses,” he says.

Confirmed wolf kills represent less than 2 percent of all cattle losses and less than 1 percent of all sheep losses, according to Wyoming agricultural statistics. The big killers are harsh weather, illness and birthing complications.

“There’s maybe a total of 300 wolves in the state,” Short says. “This is tongue-in-cheek, but you have to wonder: If every one of those wolves had a beef steak a day, or a lamb chop, how big of a true economic impact could that possibly be?”

Wolf-kill numbers don’t tell whole story
Smudges under Karla Gitlitz’s eyes in early May indicate that it’s the end of calving season. For 72 straight days, she’s worked the night shift in the calving barn, acting as a midwife to pregnant cows. She’s babied, coaxed and lectured peaky newborn calves until they stand up and nurse.

Though ranchers raise cattle for beef, they forge bonds with their animals that outsiders don’t always appreciate, she says.

Dismissive stereotypes of ranchers irk Gitlitz, who graduated from the University of Wyoming at age 20 with a triple major in accounting, agribusiness and pre-veterinary science. Most of her colleagues also have college degrees, but “people think we’re a bunch of dumb ranchers,” she says.

At the century-old ranch where Gitlitz works, lights are set up at night to deter predators. Ranch hands ride daily to check on the herd’s welfare. Dead animals are buried promptly to discourage scavengers.

She still gets second-guessed. When Gitlitz applied for compensation for a confirmed wolf kill from a Defenders of Wildlife program, she says she got a letter back questioning whether the ranch was “purposefully enticing the wolves.”

While environmental groups cite low numbers of documented wolf kills, ranchers say those statistics don’t tell the whole story.

Gene Jordan, of Riverton, Wyo., started noticing wolves on his ranch about seven years ago. He typically lost a handful of calves every year to pneumonia or black bears. Now, he usually loses about 25 calves. He doesn’t find all the carcasses in the sagebrush and timbered draws. And when he does find them, they’re sometimes too badly decayed to determine the cause of death.

Each calf is worth about $800. If wolves take 20, “that’s $16,000,” he says.

Animals lost to predators also represent reductions in future earnings, Gitlitz says.

Several years ago, she and her husband and dad were moving pregnant cows when they saw a wolf attacking. The cow was so badly mauled that Gitlitz could stick her hand into a cavity in its hindquarters. She nursed the cow back to health, and it had twins she named “Wolf” and “Bite.” But that was the last pregnancy for the cow, which was sold that fall.

Under normal conditions, the cow would have stayed in the herd for 10 years, producing a calf each year. “That’s a decade worth of profits,” she says.

Gitlitz’s dad fired at the wolf but missed it. Government trappers couldn’t catch it, either.

Despite Wyoming’s shoot-on-sight policy, wolves are hard to kill, Gitlitz says.

Elk numbers down sharply
Tim Hockhalter, 58, runs an outfitter service on the northwest edge of Yellowstone National Park. He says he’s lost most of his income since the wolves returned.

He and his wife, Geri, once grossed about $150,000 a year taking out-of-state clients on eight-day elk hunting trips.

But over the last two decades, the North Yellowstone elk herd has plunged from about 19,000 animals to 4,000, and the Hockhalters’ company, Timber Creek Outfitters, now brings in about $40,000 annually. Biologists say multiple factors besides wolves are at work, including harsh winters and predation from other carnivores. They also say the smaller elk herds are more consistent with historic populations.

The end result for Hockhalter and other outfitters, however, is fewer elk tags for out-of-state hunters. The loss of each of those tags represents an $8,000 to $10,000 hit to the local economy, he says.

He’s miffed that people who want wolves back on the Western landscape don’t pay more. In Wyoming, wildlife management is financed primarily through sales of hunting and fishing licenses, though state appropriations pay for wolf management.

“These environmental groups are using their money to drag us back to court,” Hockhalter says. “They don’t put their money where their mouth is.”

‘Social shifts take time’
Environmentalists should put money into wolf recovery, says Barbara Cozzens, a director for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, a nonprofit conservation group in Cody, Wyo. It would give them “skin in the game,” she says.

Cozzens, 43, moved to Cody two years ago. She’s an avid horsewoman and works a second job as a bartender, both of which help her credibility in this town of 10,000 located about an hour’s drive from Yellowstone’s east entrance. Cozzens says people are more likely to listen to a bartender than her alter ego – a Ph.D. who has spent 22 years in conservation work, mostly in Washington, D.C.

During her time in Cody, Cozzens has worked to find common ground with local politicians, ranchers and other residents. She learned the importance of rural communities’ buy-in when she worked for an arm of the World Bank, monitoring the social and environmental impacts of overseas development projects.

Without rural residents’ support, wolves won’t thrive in the long run, she says.

“For a long time, scientists didn’t really understand that,” Cozzens says. And based on the disparaging remarks in their email alerts, some national environmental groups still don’t, she says.

“I get really offended by the big organizations painting Wyoming as a redneck, bloodthirsty state,” Cozzens says.

Joe Tilden, a local county commissioner, praises Cozzens’ willingness to listen. Their views on wolves couldn’t be more different, but they’ve developed a mutual respect, Tilden says.

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition still has a number of problems with Wyoming’s wolf management plan, says Chris Colligan, the coalition’s wildlife program manager.

Still, the coalition opted not to become part of litigation. “We’re trying to change Wyoming’s plan from the inside out,” Colligan says.

It’s a long-term view, he acknowledges. But he says the kind of comments he hears from ranchers, outfitters and rural residents is gradually changing.

“They say, ‘Wolves are here to stay. We just need to learn how to manage them,’ ” Colligan says. Their version of management includes killing more wolves than his does, Colligan says, but it’s still a shift from all-out opposition to having wolves back on the landscape.

Could environmentalists, ranchers and outfitters ever find common ground on wolves?

“I hope so,” he says. “Wolves have been back for less than one (human) generation. These kinds of social shifts take time and they are hard to measure.”


With a particular focus on wolves in Washington State, a brief timeline of the often tumultuous history of gray wolf protection as an endangered species in the West.

1973: Following decades of ongoing and near total extermination, gray wolves are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the lower 48.

March 1995: In what became a successful attempt to recover wolves, several dozen gray wolves were captured in Canada and reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park.

April 2003: Gray wolves throughout the eastern and western United States are downlisted from endangered to threatened . The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that it established three Distinct Population Segments (DPS) for the gray wolf, including "Northern Rocky Mountain" wolves.

Feb 2007: US Fish & Wildlife Service proposes to delist (and remove from ESA protection) the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population, which includes Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and parts of northeastern Washington. If delisted, management of wolf populations would fall to the individual states.

July 6, 2007: The agency opens its original public comment period on the proposal to delist gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains.

Feb 21, 2008: A final rule by US Fish & Wildlife Service delists Northern Rockies wolves, citing that “the wolf population in the Northern Rockies has far exceeded its recovery goal.”

Sept 15 - Dec 31, 2008: The state of Montana proposes a “wolf season” (a fall hunting season, followed by a December trapping season). Wyoming and Idaho propose similar wolf seasons.

April 2008: The Natural Resource Defense Council and eleven other wolf advocacy groups challenge the federal government’s decision to delist the wolf by filing for an injunction against the delisting.

June 2008: The Lookout Pack is documented by Conservation Northwest east of the North Cascades, the return of the first documented wolf pack in 70 years to Washington.

July 18, 2008: US District Judge Donald Malloy grants a preliminary injunction to place gray wolves under federal protection until the final ruling. His reasoning agrees with wolf biologists  that genetic exchange among subpopulations of wolves is an unmet requirement and that the state management plans set to take over with delisting are inadequate. For example, people would be allowed to shoot wolves on sight in 88% of the state of Wyoming.

Oct 13, 2008: US Fish and Wildlife Service repeals the delisting because it is now obvious that they will lose in court. The litigation is rendered moot.

Oct 28, 2008: US Fish and Wildlife Service re-opens public comment, slated to last 30 days, until November 28. Defenders of Wildlife is successful in increasing the public comment period to 60 days.

Nov 28, 2008: The public comment period for wolf protection closes. A final rule on the delisting of Northern Rocky Mountain wolves is expected by mid-January 2009.

Jan 14, 2009: The Bush administration proposes to strip Northern Rockies wolves of their Endangered Species Act protections.

March 6, 2009: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announces that the US Fish and Wildlife Service follow the lead of the Bush administration and remove wolves in the Northern Rockies and Greater Yellowstone region from endangered species protections. Management now moves to individual states. What it means

Sept 2009: Idaho initiates a wolf hunt and season in its central and northern mountains.

Sept 9, 2009: A federal judge rules that gray wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho may continue, denying a request by conservationists and animal welfare groups to stop the first legal hunts in the lower 48 states in decades. Conservationists may still challenge the decision, on the grounds that the agency violated the Endangered Species Act by making its decision based on political boundaries.

Aug 2010: A court ruling reinstates Northern Rockies’ wolf protections, returning them to the Endangered Species list. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy rules that the government's 2009 decision to delist wolves in Idaho and Montana was politically, not science, based.

2009: The state of Montana and others appeal Malloy's ruling.

Feb 2011: Legislators introduce Congressional bills that would reduce or strip protections from gray wolves.

March 18, 2011: Wildlife advocates and US Dept of Interior reach an agreement to lift protections in Idaho and Montana allowing hunting of wolves to resume there.

March 24, 2011: 10 conservation groups and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) ask Judge Malloy to accept a settlement that would lift protections from wolves in Idaho and Montana, but maintain protections for wolves in Washington, Oregon, Wyoming and Utah, where populations are more vulnerable.

April 2011: The agreement falls through. Congress passed a legislative budget rider removing Northern Rockies wolves from Endangered Species Act protections. Included are wolves in Pend Oreille County and elsewhere in the eastern third of Washington State. A state recovery plan for wolves becomes more important than ever.

USFWS delists wolves in the northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment, except in Wyoming. Wolf management is returned to the states of Idaho, Montana, the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon, and a small portion of northcentral Utah.

July 2011: Two new packs are confirmed in Washington: in the Teanaway (Cascades) and nearSmackout (northeast Washington).

December 2011: The state Fish and Wildlife Commission approves a state plan for Washington's wolves.

Summer-fall 2012: A pilot range rider program begins on a ranch in northeast Washington, with funding support from Conservation Northwest.

July 2012: There are as many as 9 official packs of wolves in Washington, including the latest, the Wedge Pack.

August 2012: The Wedge Pack are removed entirely for livestock depredations on another ranch.

August 2012: Service declares Wyoming gray wolf recovered under the Endangered Species Act and returns management authority to the state

April 2013: US Fish and Wildlife Service considers eliminating protections for most wolves across the lower 48 states, including Cascades wolves.

June 2013: USFWS proposed to delist from federal protections all wolves in the lower 48. Comment deadline is September 11, 2013.

image via tumblr~dot~com

MAP: Which States Hunt Wolves?

Hunting of Canis lupus is making a major comeback.
—By Jaeah Lee and Kiera Butler | Mon Oct. 1, 2012 3:00 AM PDT

June 6~2013 by WolfPreservation

“A friend of Footloose Montana, a hunter, rancher and 7th generation Montanan speaks out about trapping and ethics in hunting!

I grew up as a member of a 7 generation pioneer Montana ranching family. We were and still are outdoorsmen and spend every opportunity hiking, fishing and hunting in the Montana outdoors. Hunting was not done to acquire trophies to hang on the wall, or a rug to lay upon the floor, it was an opportunity to help supplement the family’s food larder through the winter Months. My grandfather, with whom I spent uncountable hours with in the forests taught me hunting ethics from the time I could fill a pair of boots and had the strength to keep up with him. As hunters, we followed strict personal rules when it came to taking an animal. Take no more than what was legal and no more than what our family could eat. We relied on our expertise in stalking and getting a close to the animal as possible, and if we could not take an animal cleanly, we passed it by. By cleanly, I mean as close as possible to an instant kill. Watching or having an animal suffer due to our poor hunting ability was unthinkable.

It is my belief that most hunters today still maintain those kinds of ethics as it applies to hunting. But there are a few that display conduct that shames the rest of us. These are what I refer to as Slob hunters, and these are the ones that portray the rest of us with a horrible image to the non-hunting population. The slob hunters are the ones that post stickers all over their trucks with slogans such as “Wolves, smoke a pack a day, or the only good wolf is a dead wolf, etc”. The slob hunters are the same type that knowingly put traps out where the contraption is more likely to capture a domestic animal or pet than it is likely to capture the trapper’s intended victim. These are the same guys that post their rantings and pictures of tortured, suffering animals all over Facebook for all to see. These are the same guys who show their lack of upbringing by waving their arms, making faces at Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks commissioner’s meetings while muttering loudly as someone with an opposing view presents their testimony. These are the same guys that who verbally attack others at meetings, within newspapers, or write sick comments on other people’s facebook pages trying to intimidate, all because someone may have a different outlook than their own.

The Slob hunters and trappers are the people that are the biggest threat to hunting in North America. It’s not the non-hunting communities, nor is it the Anti-hunters who threaten the future of hunting. The biggest threat to hunting over all is and will continue to be the slob hunters within the hunting community itself. The Slob hunters are the ones that tear down fences on private land, use Forest service signs and out houses for target practice. These are the guys that run their ATVs off designated roads and trails, tearing up the terrain, these are the guys that gut shoot a rancher’s cow, or horse that happens to be standing out in the middle of a field. These are the guys that feel they need to take semi-automatic rifles into the field with 30 round magazines, along with a few 12 packs of beer in the back seat. These are guys that leave their empty beer cans alongside road ways, or in camping areas for someone else to pick up.

So often I have heard, “Trapping is part of Montana’s heritage and tradition” and to that I must reply, “It may have been a part of our state’s history, but that does NOT mean it needs to be a part of our future!” I detest trapping in all forms, and those that utilize trapping for sport or profit. Sport? What Sport? Trapping, no matter how you look at it is nothing more than blatant cruelty that inflicts needless suffering upon an animal.

The hunting communities should best begin to realize that it’s NOT the non-hunting population or even the Anti-hunting communities that are the biggest threat to hunting in North America. It’s the Slob hunters and trappers within the hunting community itself that is the biggest threat to the hunting tradition.

I strongly believe the majority of the hunters today do care about and maintaining strong conservation values for the land as well as wildlife in general. They believe and follow certain ethics while hunting and the principle of “Fair Chase” is an example.

The Boone and Crocket club defined “Fair Chase” as the ethical, sportsman like, lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over such game. Use of any of the following in the taking of game is considered UNFAIR chase:

* Spotting or herding game from the air, then landing, pursuing and shooting those animals

* Herding, pursuing or shooting game from a motor boat or motor vehicle
* Use of illegal electronic devices attracting, locating, or observing game, or for guiding hunters to such game
* Hunting game confined by fences, enclosures, or game transplanted solely for the purpose of commercial shooting
* Taking game illegally or using illegal methods against regulations of the Federal government or any state, province, territory, or tribal lands.
Personally I would add two more to Boone and Crocket’s list and that would be:
* Hunting and shooting of an animal over bait
* Hunting and killing of pregnant animals. What is ETHICAL about that??

We can thank the hunting communities, through their efforts, for the millions of acres of wilderness and wild lands set aside for wildlife. But the hunting community must realize that times are changing and the hunting communities alone can no longer fully support conservation. Our wild lands are constantly under attack by big money organizations, the oil, and livestock industries for example. America is losing its open lands and as the land goes, so does its wildlife. It is IMPERATIVE that both the hunting communities and the non-hunting communities work together and get politics as well as special interests out of our forests. There is absolutely no reason that either side should not be willing to sit down and work together to accomplish our basic mutual goal of preserving wild lands and wildlife for future generations to enjoy.

As I have attended many Fish, Wildlife and Park public and commissioner meetings, I note that the majority of speakers pushing for unethical practices come from the Trophy hunters, the Outfitter association, or domestic livestock associations. We cannot afford to allow these people to continue to dictate policy that will affect the future of our wildlife and wild lands. Its way past the time that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks puts aside political agendas and begins to manage, and preserve ALL our wildlife as that department was originally tasked to do. Our future and hunting depends on it.

I support Footloose Montana and applaud this organization’s efforts to eliminate trapping upon public lands.

Thank you!

Steve Clevidence”

via wolveswolves.tumblr~dot~com

Plan aims to raise $700,000 for wolf control efforts
Capital Press

McCALL, Idaho -- Sheep and cattle producers and Idaho sportsmen are working on a plan to raise as much as $700,000 annually to help fund wolf control efforts.

Wildlife Services, a USDA agency that solves animal-human conflicts in Idaho, has seen its federal funding cut significantly in recent years.
Three bills that would have raised money to help fund Wildlife Services' predator control efforts failed in the 2013 Idaho Legislature.
Todd Grimm, the agency's state director, told Idaho Cattle Association members June 27 during their annual summer roundup that Wildlife Services' Idaho budget has been reduced from $2.64 million in 2010 to $1.9 million now "and it's headed the wrong way."
He said that reduction has resulted in his office reducing the number of field employees from 28 to 18 and airplane pilots from three to two. In addition, "I've got no money to fly helicopters," he added.
Cascade, Idaho, rancher Phil Davis told fellow ICA members that Wildlife Services plays a critical role in helping livestock producers limit wolf damage.
"As an industry, we have to have Wildlife Services funded," he said. "We are going to have to fund this ourselves because the money isn't going to come from anywhere else."
Gov. Butch Otter, a rancher, vetoed one of the three bills that would have raised money for predator control efforts because it dipped into a Fish and Game account and he feared it could divide livestock owners and sportsmen. But he tasked an Idaho Fish and Game advisory committee with finding a solution.
Dar Olberding, chairman of the committee, said sportsmen have agreed to match the livestock industry dollar for dollar on any additional funding they provide for Wildlife Services.
The group also plans to ask the Idaho Legislature for $400,000 in general fund money. The goal is to raise about $700,000, which would bump Wildlife Services' funding level back to where it was in 2010.
Idaho Wool Growers Association President Harry Soulen told ICA members that his group's board has recommended assessing wool growers an additional 2 cents for every pound of wool shorn, which would amount to about 50 cents for every sheep shorn and would raise about $24,000 toward the effort. Idaho's wool assessment is currently 3 cents.
Soulen, a member of the advisory committee, said industry would have a much easier time convincing legislators to provide general fund money for Wildlife Services "if you show them you have a lot of skin in the game and you put your own dollars in. This is a really good opportunity ... to parlay your money into some additional dollars."
ICA member Carl Ellsworth told fellow ranchers the association needs to hear their ideas on the issue so the group's general membership can decide on a proposal during their annual November meeting.
"We need to step up ... and we need to put some money in the game," he said. "We need to get a feeling about ... how much we are willing to spend.


72 Members of Congress Urge U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Delist the Gray Wolf From the Endangered Species Act

image via funnywildlife.tumblr~dot~com
Mar 25 2013

A bipartisan group of 72 Members of Congress have written to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to urge that the Agency delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the Continental United States. The letter was spearheaded by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and John Barrasso (R-WY), and Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) and Doc Hastings (R-WA), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.

In the letter, the Members of Congress write that “[w]olves are not an endangered species and do not merit federal protections. The full delisting of the species and the return of the management of wolf populations to State governments is long overdue. As you know, State governments are fully qualified to responsibly manage wolf populations and are able to meet both the needs of local communities and wildlife populations.”

The lawmakers added that an unmanaged wolf population poses a threat to the communities and surrounding livestock and indigenous wildlife, but that “currently State wildlife officials have their hands tied any time wolves are involved.” They add that State wildlife managers “need to be able to respond to the needs of their native wildlife without being burdened by the impediments of the federal bureaucracy created by the ESA.”

In addition to Hatch and Barrasso, Senators signing the letter were Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Dean Heller (R-NV), Mike Lee (R-UT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), James Risch (R-ID), John Thune (R-ND), and David Vitter (R-LA).

Members of the House signing the letter in addition to Lummis and Hastings were Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Dan Benishek (R-MI), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Howard Coble (R-NC), Tom Cole (R-OK), Mike Conaway (R-TX), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Steven Daines (R-MT), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Stephen Fincher (R-TN), Bob Gibbs (R-OH), Sam Graves (R-MO), Bill Huizenga (R-MI), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), Steve King (R-IA), John Kline (R-MN), Doug Lamalfa (R-CA), Bob Latta (R-OH), Blayne Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Kenny Marchant (R-TX), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Candice Miller (R-MI), Jeff Miller (R-FL), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), Kristi Noem (R-SD), Alan Nunnelee (R-MS), Steve Palazzo (R-MS), Collin Peterson (D-MN), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Jim Renacci (R-OH), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Dennis Ross (R-FL), Paul Ryan (R-WI), Steve Scalise (R-LA), David Schweikert (R-AZ), Austin Scott (R-GA), Pete Sessions (R-TX), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Steve Southerland (R-FL), Chris Stewart (R-UT), Steve Stivers (R-OH), Steve Stockman (R-TX), Marlin Stutzman (R-TX), Glenn Thompson (R-PA), Tim Walz (D-MN), Randy Weber (R-TX), Lynn Westmoreland (GA), Rob Wittman (R-VA), Don Young (R-AK).

To view a signed copy of the letter, click HERE. The full text of the letter is below:

The Honorable Dan Ashe

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
1849 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240

Dear Director Ashe:

We understand the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is in the process of reviewing the Endangered Species Act (ESA) recovery status of the gray wolf in the lower 48 States and is preparing to announce the delisting of the species. We support the nationwide delisting of wolves and urge you to move as quickly as possible on making this a reality. We were supportive of the USFWS decision in 2009 when most wolves were delisted in the Northern Rocky Mountains, again in 2011 when wolves in the Great Lake States were delisted, and the 2012 delisting in Wyoming. It is unfortunate that these decisions were met with lawsuits from environmental activists.

Wolves are not an endangered species and do not merit federal protections. The full delisting of the species and the return of the management of wolf populations to State governments is long overdue. As you know, State governments are fully qualified to responsibly manage wolf populations and are able to meet both the needs of local communities and wildlife populations.

Unmanaged wolves are devastating to livestock and indigenous wildlife. Currently State wildlife officials have their hands tied any time wolves are involved. They need to be able to respond to the needs of their native wildlife without being burdened by the impediments of the federal bureaucracy created by the ESA. During the four decades that wolves have had ESA protections, there has been an uncontrolled and unmanaged growth of wolf populations resulting in devastating impacts on hunting and ranching in America as well as tragic damages to historically strong and healthy herds of moose, elk, big horn sheep, and mule deer.

As you consider these much needed changes to federal protections with regard to the gray wolf, we urge you to expand the delisting of the species to all of the lower 48 states. It is critical that the states be given the ability to properly manage all of the species within their boundaries.



Courtesy Freda Dominy ~Friends of Wolves


How close is close enough for gray wolf recovery? 
It's Interior's call

Phil Taylor, E&E reporter

Greenwire: Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Obama administration is expected to decide soon whether to maintain federal protection for wolves in the lower 48 states, a decision it says will be based on science but which depends largely on how much recovery is enough for the iconic species -- a question science is loath to answer.

In a draft rule leaked months ago, the Interior Department proposed removing Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves everywhere except a small pocket in New Mexico and Arizona, arguing that wolves have mounted a successful recovery in the northern Rockies and western Great Lakes, where they had been nearly extirpated in the early 1900s.

In the past two years, the species was removed from the endangered species list in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, where wolves number nearly 1,700, and Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, where there are more than 4,000 of the animals.

But removing protections in the remaining 42 states has sparked a backlash from environmental groups and some biologists, who argue that the carnivore has yet to return to many parts of the country where it still belongs.

The male wolf known as "OR7" in December 2011 became the first in nearly a century to enter California. Wildlife advocates say wolves could recolonize parts of the state if federal protections are maintained, but livestock groups and hunters say the species' recovery is complete. Photo courtesy of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Amid the blowback, the administration told a federal court in late May that its decision had been indefinitely delayed, a move that raised hope among environmentalists that newly confirmed Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was considering shelving the rule.

But that optimism has faded, according to Don Barry, executive vice president at Defenders of Wildlife, who said yesterday he believes the White House has given Interior the green light to officially propose the delisting.

An announcement could come as soon as this week, he said.

Delisting wolves would turn over management to the states, relieving the agency of much of the political burden of balancing wolves with people. It would effectively end two decades of federal recovery efforts, save for a small recovery program in the Southwest.

"The Fish and Wildlife Service is just tired of this thing and ready to wash their hands of it," said Barry, a former FWS attorney who served as assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks in the Clinton administration. "From our perspective, this is declaring victory prematurely."

While wolves have made a swift comeback in the United States since their reintroduction in the 1990s into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho, wildlife advocates say wolves still need federal protection to recolonize suitable habitat in the southern Rockies, the Pacific Northwest, California and the Northeast.

Barry said environmental groups were hopeful that Jewell would chart a new course from her predecessor, Ken Salazar, whose hand was forced by Congress to delist wolves in Montana and Idaho.

Instead, Jewell appears to have backed the plan, having met with Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) in late May to lobby for his support, Barry said.

Hunters, ranching groups and states are backing the delisting plan, arguing that wolves are fully recovered and that state wildlife agencies are best equipped to prevent the animals from preying on livestock or big-game species like elk and moose.

"The delisting would give state agents more flexibility to deal with problem wolves," said Jack Field, executive vice president of the Washington Cattlemen's Association. As wolves expand farther west into the state, "we're going to have more conflict. There is no doubt about that."

There's no question that wolves have exceeded recovery plans where they exist -- by more than threefold in the case of the northern Rockies. While disagreement remains over what levels of wolf hunts are sustainable, few believe the species is anywhere near risk of extinction.

The Fish and Wildlife Service must now decide how much wolf recovery is enough, a decision that carries high political stakes.

Scores of lawmakers from both parties have tried to sway the agency in recent months, with Democrats pushing continued federal protections and Republicans favoring state control.

How much of the species' historic range -- which includes Maine and New Hampshire, Colorado's Rocky Mountains, and the Coast and Cascade ranges of the Pacific Northwest -- must be inhabited before the wolf can be considered fully recovered?

Science can't easily answer that question, said Keith Rizzardi, an Endangered Species Act attorney who served in the Department of Justice during the George W. Bush administration.

"This is a values contest, not a science contest," he said.

Protections 'far more expansive' than necessary -- FWS

Once common across the West, wolves were hunted nearly to extinction.

From 1827 to 1859, more than 7,700 wolf pelts were traded in the Cascades of Washington state and British Columbia. Provisional governments in the region authorized bounty hunters, known as "wolfers," to poison large numbers of wolves using strychnine, and Congress in 1915 authorized the extirpation of wolves and other animals that threatened domestic livestock.

While wolf recovery in the northern Rockies was relatively swift, the species has grabbed only a toehold in Washington, Oregon and California and barely sniffed potential habitat in Colorado and Utah.

Still, federal biologists never intended for wolves to reoccupy all of their historic range, FWS said in its draft plan. With the exception of the Southwest, recovery goals have been met.

Wolves were granted blanket protections in 1978 "as an approach of convenience ... rather than an indication of where gray wolves existed or where gray wolf recovery would occur," the draft said.

For example, the gray wolf never lived in parts of the mid-Atlantic and Southeast where it is currently protected, and large parts of the Midwest and Great Plains lack suitable habitat for recovery, it said. In addition, wolves in the Northeast are a distinct population from gray wolves that has long been extirpated and therefore doesn't qualify for federal protections, the agency said.

"The current amorphous listing does not reflect what is necessary or appropriate for wolf recovery under the Act," the draft reads. "It is far more expansive than what we envision for wolf recovery, what is necessary for wolf recovery, and even what is possible for wolf recovery in the contiguous United States and Mexico."

While the draft delisting rule acknowledged that wolves are quickly dispersing into Washington and Oregon, it said those wolves are neither "discrete" from their kin in the northern Rockies and British Columbia nor "significant" enough to warrant protection.

"Rather they constitute the expanding front of large, robust, and recovered wolf populations to the north and east," the agency said. "We are confident that wolves will continue to recolonize the Pacific Northwest regardless of federal protection."

Wolves are currently protected by state endangered species laws in Washington, Oregon and California, the agency noted.

Interior officials have declined to discuss the draft, but they have not denied its authenticity.

"I really have nothing to report at this point on wolves," Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe told Greenwire last week, adding that there is no time frame for a decision.

"There's been no decision to pull back on any proposal," he said. "There has been no such decision."

FWS spokesman Chris Tollefson said yesterday that the robust populations of northern Rockies and Great Lakes wolves reflect "a recovery that is one of the world's great conservation successes."

"Building upon this success, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues to evaluate the appropriate management status of the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act outside of these recovered population areas, using the latest scientific and taxonomic information," he said. "The draft proposal is clearly a matter that is still under internal review and discussion, and therefore, it is inappropriate for the service to comment at this time."

'Museum approach to conservation'

State protections for wolves can fall victim to the whims of state politics, Barry warned.

He pointed to the example of Montana, where lawmakers in Helena this year passed a bill prohibiting the state's Fish, Wildlife and Parks agency from establishing buffer zones for hunting wolves along the border of Yellowstone National Park, which is home to valuable research packs.

Hunting and trapping in the northern Rockies led to a 7 percent decline in wolf populations in 2012, a drop that did not concern federal officials (Greenwire, April 15).

"All of a sudden, you have this rush by conservative politicians at the state level to show who's more anti-wolf than the next guy," he said.

Moreover, Barry said federal scientists in the past have waited much longer to delist other endangered species, including the bald eagle and American alligator, so that they could inhabit a larger portion of their historic range.

"You've got excellent habitat throughout the West," he said, pointing to places like Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, where he argued wolves would help restore balance to prey species like elk, which currently lack predators.

In the Yellowstone area, wolves have prevented elk herds from overgrazing native plants, leading to regrowth of tree species and songbirds. They are also a prime tourist attraction at the park, generating an estimated $35 million in annual tourism revenue, Defenders of Wildlife said.

Daniel Rohlf, a professor at the Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, called FWS's decision to recover wolves only in a small portion of their historic range "a museum approach to conservation."

"Buy a ticket, get a passport," if you want to see an endangered species, he said. "As long as Fish and Wildlife Service says the wolf is here and unlikely to become extinct in the foreseeable future, we can call it good."

Without federal protection in the Pacific Northwest, wolves would only exist under "the good graces of the states of Oregon and Washington," he said.

Rohlf noted that the first purpose of ESA was "to provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved." But he said FWS has not considered wolves' contribution to the landscape.

Jewell 'not tone-deaf'

Noah Greenwald, endangered species director for the Center for Biological Diversity, said he believes the Obama administration is taking a second look at the delisting plan.

He said the Department of Justice, which is litigating a related lawsuit involving Mexican wolves, is "totally befuddled" over the administration's next move.

He said Interior has received hundreds of thousands of comments opposing the delisting since it was first proposed.

"I think Secretary Salazar was tone-deaf," Greenwald said. "It seems that Secretary Jewell may not be tone-deaf."

In a message to supporters last week, CBD said the agency had "yanked" its plan to delist wolves and urged readers to "mobilize as many people as possible, as fast as possible to convince the new Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, to do the right thing."

"We're reading between the lines a bit here," Greenwald said. "All signals point to this being Jewell listening to all of the opposition to this rule and pulling the plug. We've heard as much from at least one inside source, but true that we don't have official confirmation of such."

But those who support the wolf delisting are calling on Jewell to quickly issue the draft rule.

We "encourage Secretary Jewell to act without delay to remove federal 'protection' of gray wolves nationwide under the Endangered Species Act," said Dustin Van Liew, executive director of the Public Lands Council and director of federal lands for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. "It remains well-documented that the states and on-the-ground managers are the most successful at managing wildlife -- not the federal government."

Anna Seidman, director of litigation for Safari Club International, whose members hunt wolves, said wolves have recovered where there is viable habitat.

"The endangered species list was not designed to be a forever place," she said.

The Fish and Wildlife Service said there are an estimated 10,000 wolves in Alaska and about 160,000 wolves globally, including populations in Russia, Europe and portions of North Africa. The International Union for Conservation of Nature calls wolves a species of "least concern" globally.

Barry said that's no reason not to protect wolves in the United States. If it were, the United States never would have protected grizzlies or bald eagles, which are prevalent elsewhere, he said.

Field, of the Washington cattlemen's group, said a delisting in his state would give the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife the flexibility it needs to manage wolves consistently throughout the state.

Federal protection was lifted in the eastern third of the state -- which contains two wolf packs -- but not in the western two-thirds, where only straggler wolves have been reported.

Washington state in April passed an emergency rule allowing ranchers, farmers and other pet and livestock owners to kill wolves they see attacking their animals. But "right now, we're only able to remove problem wolves in the eastern third of the state," he said.

Moreover, Washington state has adopted a bold recovery plan for wolves -- it must maintain 15 breeding pairs for at least three years to lift state protections -- meaning protections will remain when, and if, the federal government delists the wolf, he said.

The state's plan compares favorably to the federal government's recovery goals in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, which called for 10 breeding pairs in each state.

No packs have been observed in the federally listed areas of Oregon or California, FWS said.

Reporter John McArdle contributed.

Readers howling mad at wolf-hunting bill

Senate Bill 0288 (2013)

Wisconsin Action! Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin has alerted us that Senator Fred Risser has formally requested that SB93, banning dogs from the WI wolf hunt, get hearing a before the Senate Natural Resources Committee. Please call your WI Senators and urge their support of SB93. Please sign this important petition:

Bill S. 170: Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act

Sponsored by Lisa Murkowski - R, AK

Just today, on 23 April 2013

Senator John Thune - R, SD; was added as another Cosponsor to see this Bill get passed.

To recognize the heritage of recreational fishing, hunting, and recreational shooting on Federal public land and ensure continued opportunities for those activities.


(A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term ‘hunting’ means use of a firearm, bow, or other authorized means in the lawful--
(i) pursuit, shooting, capture, collection, trapping, or killing of wildlife; or
(ii) attempt to pursue, shoot, capture, collect, trap, or kill wildlife.

Basically, here, they are trying to expand where and when they can hunt, and have it written that this is their "heritage" 

All of these Senators are members of the Political Hunters group

the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation

Full Text here:


  1. May the Great Spirit watch over mother wolves as they have to go way beyond the natural behaviors of feeding, teaching and nurturing their pups --- they now must be on constant guard against a ruthless enemy. They have had to desert dens and move to higher ground and even watch helplessly as whole packs, including pups are wiped out by a predator without a purpose or a soul.
    (courtesy of Bonnie Marris)


    Letters: Readers howling mad at wolf-hunting bill...

    As an anthrozoologist, I am well aware of the powerful link between animal abuse and human cruelty. The horrendous assault on Michiganders’ voting rights evident by the proposition of Senate Bill 288 is just the latest example.

    Introduced on April 9 by state Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, Senate Bill 288 seeks to allow unelected members of the Natural Resources Commission — and not the voters of Michigan — to determine whether wolves and other animals should be hunted and trapped for trophies after decades of protection. This is an egregious attack not only on Michigan wildlife but also on the fundamental rights of Michigan voters.

    As important as the wolf issue is, this debate has now spiraled into one even greater. No longer is this just about wildlife. This is now about voting rights. Do not let this blatant display of political bullying go by unnoticed. Call your representative now and urge him or her to oppose SB 288. (John Di Leonardo-Berkley)

    Why would legislators voluntarily give up authority? Under current law, only the Legislature can add an animal to the list of species to be hunted. Senate Bill 288 would give seven unelected members of the Natural Resources Commission that same right to designate animals as game species. Proponents claim that, if the bill passes, the decision of which animals are hunted would be based on only “sound science” and not on politics. Is it just a coincidence that this bill was introduced less than two weeks after the Keep Wolves Protected campaign, a coalition of Michigan citizens and organizations, turned in more than a quarter million signatures in a referendum to let voters decide whether to hunt wolves? If SB 288 is signed into law, public oversight of the process would be marginalized if not curtailed. This bill is bad for legislators, bad for people and, ultimately, bad for wildlife. (Beatrice M. Friedlander-Canton)

  3. WI Action! Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin has alerted us that Senator Fred Risser has formally requested that SB93, banning dogs from the WI wolf hunt, get hearing a before the Senate Natural Resources Committee. Please call your WI Senators and urge their support of SB93. Please sign this important petition:

  4. Bill S. 170: Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act
    Sponsored by Lisa Murkowski - R, AK

    Just today, on 23 April 2013
    Senator John Thune - R, SD; was added as another Cosponsor to see this Bill get passed.

    To recognize the heritage of recreational fishing, hunting, and recreational shooting on Federal public land and ensure continued opportunities for those activities.

    (2) HUNTING-
    (A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term ‘hunting’ means use of a firearm, bow, or other authorized means in the lawful--
    (i) pursuit, shooting, capture, collection, trapping, or killing of wildlife; or
    (ii) attempt to pursue, shoot, capture, collect, trap, or kill wildlife.

    Basically, here, they are trying to expand where and when they can hunt, and have it written that this is their "heritage"

    All of these Senators are members of the Political Hunters group
    the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation

    Full Text here:


    ENDANGERED SPECIES — A request to allow landowners to protect people, pets and livestock by killing an attacking wolf without a permit will be considered Friday in a urgently scheduled special meeting of the Washington Fish and Wildlife commission.

    Ten state lawmakers — from both parties and both chambers — signed a letter Tuesday requesting the commission to enact provisions of two wolf-control bills that are stalling in the 2013 Washington Legislature.

    The bills, which have been endorsed by Washington Fish and Wildlife Department biologists, would people to shoot wolves caught in the act of attacking their animals. They also address funding for non-lethal deterrents to wolf depredation.

    The measures would apply to the eastern third of Washington where the federal government has delisted gray wolves from federal endangered species protections, but where state protections still apply.

    State wildlife managers have testified at legislative committee hearings that the measures would likely result in few wolves killed.

    They said the measures would improve social tolerance for the rapidly growing wolf population in northeastern Washington by giving rural dwellers a tool to protect their property if needed.

    Idaho and Wyoming enacted similar provisions in the early years of wolf reintroduction and only three wolves were taken, WDFW biologists testified.

    However, pressure by animal rights activists in Western Washington apparently kept lawmakers from moving the measures to final consideration....

    Using Idaho and Wyoming as examples ???? Why not use the Oregon model ???

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Sorry, I'm not awake yet. You wrote the line at end, true O? That's what I meant to ask. Those people are Bubbas. Dumb, dumb Bubbas.

    3. that was how it was posted yes


    Is it the wolf in the wilderness, or is it the cow in the wilderness?

    Ranchers often use the term "invasive species" to describe wolves in the North, and even the South West. True, wolves were 're-introduced' to those areas ---key word is "reintroduced"--were 're-introduced' to those areas ---key word is "reintroduced"--- out of necessity, as the original wolf packs were systematically eliminated by ranchers and trophy hunters. This elimination created an ecological disaster that could be easily be highlighted and observed using Yellowstone National Park as the example. Without wolves, Yellowstone was literally dying. Elk, and all pronghorns, without any wolves around were over-eating certain vegetation because they didn't have to roam or move around. Other vegetation was ignored and overgrown causing severe problems with waterways. Those problems caused beavers to leave and many bird species. Wolves were also not there to spread the carrion that would feed and sustain many other animals, like crows, foxes, coyotes, eagles, and thousands of species of beetle necessary to have a balanced ecology.

    Without wolves, diseased elk were not eliminated by depredation, therefore diseases became more widespread. Dead and dying from disease, bloated and rotting elk carcasses could be seen littering the landscape.Scientists realizing that the balance of nature in a region is not achievable without natural predators, made recommendations to bring back the wolf. Politicians cooperated and about $105 MILLION tax dollars later - we had wolves back in Yellowstone. The wolves did earn their keep -- they, once again, brought the park back to it's original splendor with healthier herds, balanced foliage, other wildlife returning, clear running waterways--everything more lush and better than it was without wolves. No real surprise there -- it is simple ecology/ biology 101 -- the predator/prey ratio -- the balance!

    Fast forward to today -- legislation is on the table to de-list all wolves in the lower 48 states because ranchers never stopped whining. Generations of wolf resentment and an attitude of "we feed the country - so we rule!", has continued to wear away at federal wolf protections. Ranchers want to continue and even increase grazing their cash cows on public lands -- wolf territory! Again, what seems more like an "invasive species" to you--- a wolf running freely through the wilderness, balancing nature and enriching the ecology----OR domesticated cows, and sheep walking around the wilderness, constantly grazing and defecating? When you think of a trip into the wilderness, do you think of seeing cows or do you hope to see the wolf which symbolizes the free spirit of the wild? Remember the overlooked facts too-- trees are cut down, wildlife is cleared out, so that grazing can be possible. Seems that we have to decide what kind of world we want. Cultivating steaks at all costs? Or valuing wilderness -- once it's gone -- it's gone. Where your house sits today, was yesterday's wilderness. Ultimately, the invasive species is us.....

    Linda C/Good Wolf

  7. Recently a wildlife services employee shot one of the 75 Mexican Gray Wolves (claiming he had mistaken it for a coyote) and the FWS and Wildlife Services tried to cover it up, omitting it from the mortality report they release each month. It took public pressure and a FOIA request to get them to admit the killing. The effort to reintroduce the wolves in New Mexico and Arizona has stumbled due to legal battles, illegal shootings and other problems...

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Officials confirmed Wednesday that an animal killed by a federal employee in southwestern New Mexico in January was a Mexican gray wolf. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said genetic tests confirmed it was a small, uncollared female. More tests are under way to determine which pack the wolf was associated with. The Mexican gray wolf was added to the federal endangered species list in 1976.

    In January, an employee with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services shot what officials described at the time as a "canine." The employee reported the shooting because the animal looked like a Mexican wolf after closer inspection. The wolf was shot from about 250 yards away, officials said. "Our specialist, at the time, was upset and that's why he reported it. Still, we're disappointed that it occurred," said Carol Bannerman, a spokeswoman at Wildlife Services headquarters.

    Federal officials have been tight lipped about the January shooting. They have not said what prompted the employee to shoot but implied that he may have thought it was a coyote. The employee was in the Mangas area investigating cattle deaths when the shooting occurred. Bannerman said the employee remains on the job and the agency is cooperating with the Fish and Wildlife Service. The case has been turned over to the U.S. attorney's office for review.

    Story Source


    Feds release wolf pairs in New Mexico, Arizona....

    SILVER CITY, N.M. (AP) — Federal wildlife managers are releasing two pairs of Mexican gray wolves in Arizona and New Mexico in hopes of bolstering the population of the endangered predators.

    The first pair was transported this week from a captive breeding facility in New Mexico to a holding pen in the Apache National Forest in southeastern Arizona. The male and female will be released once they acclimate to the area.

    The other pair is being released at a remote site within the Gila Wilderness in southwestern New Mexico. The wolves were crated and packed into the backcountry Saturday on the backs of specially trained mules.

    Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said the wolves would be placed in a temporary enclosure at a release site about a dozen miles from the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument. The wolves will be able to chew their way out of the enclosure.

    "We continue to be committed to strategic releases that improve genetic diversity, increase the number of breeding wolves and offset illegal mortalities in the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area," Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle said in a statement.

    Tuggle said he expects the releases to help the agency reach its goal of a self-sustaining wild wolf population.

    Environmentalists said the releases were a positive step. They have long criticized the agency for not releasing more wolves. Still, disdain for the animals continues to pulse through rural communities, where ranchers feel their livelihoods are at risk.

    A subspecies of the gray wolf found in the Northern Rockies, the Mexican wolf was added to the federal endangered species list in 1976. The 15-year effort to reintroduce them in New Mexico and Arizona has stumbled due to legal battles, illegal shootings, politics and other problems.

    Officials with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department said much consideration went into choosing which wolves would be released and where they would be let go. Factors included their genetics and whether they had formed a breeding bond as well as the absence of livestock, the distance from homes and whether there were enough elk and other prey.

    Members of the wolf recovery team plan on putting out supplemental feed for the wolves while they learn to catch and kill native prey. Officials say that will also help anchor the wolves to the area.

    We sincerely hope that all the controversy and set backs surrounding the Mexican Wolf Recovery have motivated the team to set plans in motion to protect these wolves and keep them under constant surveillance...

  9. Please stop cruelty ways for wolf , this is wrong and not fair. end this inhumane trapping or killing , respect and responsible animals alive, they have right and feeling. give them love and peace to the world. don't let more bloody and terrible trap , hunt ,kill , ban this trap thank you.

  10. Thank you for sharing this information this is very nice blog thank you for giving this info