Please take three actions 
to protect the E.S.A.
Two here:
One here at the bottom of the article>






Christmas Day for Wolves, 2013 OP-ED

More than a million voices told Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, USFWS Director Dan Ashe, and the staff of USFWS that we want, we need, and we expect them to do the only right thing; to keep and reinstate E.S.A. protections for our Gray Wolves. 

(Sadly, our Wolves in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin have already been stripped of Federal protections.)

And it is very clear to see what these states have chosen for their Wolf management policies: Death for Gray Wolves by rifle, trap, and in the case of Wisconsin, hounding.

Wisconsin DNR closed their wolf hunt season on Monday, December 23, 2013.
They claim to have "managed" 251 Gray Wolves, with plans to prepare for next year's season to kill even more, with the goal being 501 more dead Gray Wolves. 

From the Timber Wolf Information Network, Posted December 23, 2013:

DNR pleased with 2nd Wolf hunting season

"For the second year in a row the state’s Wolf hunting season will close more than two months early, and the DNR is starting to prepare for the next one.

Wolf hunting ended in most of the state a month-and-a-half ago, but the final zone will close this afternoon. DNR wildlife management director Tom Hauge says the first year’s quota was 116 Wolves, and that was bumped up to 251 this year.

The DNR estimated that there were about 851 Wolves in the state at the end of last winter. The goal is to eventually drop that number to 350. Hauge says officials are happy with the pace of this year’s hunt."

More Wisconsin Wolf news:
Wisconsin's Wolf hunting and trapping season comes to an end 2 months early.
Wisconsin hunts Wolves by "hounding"

Slated to occur on December 28 and 29, 2013 and January 9, 2014 are two Coyote and Wolf killing "Derbies" in Salmon, Idaho and Twin Falls, Idaho.

According to one organizer Idaho for Wildlife the derby is "Dedicated to the Preservation of Idaho's Wildlife"

Apparently there are three motivations for the competitive slaughter:

1) “to fight against all legal and legislative attempts by the animal rights and anti-gun organizations” 

2) "to keep wolves in check" 

3) "raise awareness about diseases"

The group will be awarding trophies and prize money for killing the largest Wolf and most Coyotes, among other things, and is offering special prizes for a youth category for children between the ages of 10 and 14.

The group states on its website that its mission is to protect the state’s hunting heritage and... well, please read it for yourself: 

More info from an article at care2:

So, we await news of Wolf hunt season closure five more times...

Does this strike anyone else as insanity?

We are witnessing a coldly calculated annihilation of an endangered species by Wolf-hating state management policies. The Gray Wolves are still under the E.S.A. protections, and we need for USFWS to really look at this and see what their "state wildlife management partners" are proposing.

It appears to me that they are proposing to further reduce our Gray Wolves by bloody management policies. So much so, that these Wolf populations stand an excellent chance at not recovering.

How much Wolf blood must be spilled, how much recovery money and time must be wasted before USFWS can see that we are heading for the cliff of Gray Wolf extinction? AGAIN!

Please, don't quit on our Wolves. They need us to be their voice more than ever.

Read the Wolf news, send emails to politicians, legislators, your local newspapers, and the folks that head up the Board of Tourism in the Wolf hunting states, telling them you will not be traveling there to spend your tourism dollars until the Wolf hunts stop. 

An email sample to use for Idaho Board of Tourism here : 
(add your thoughts and send, please!)

Also, please sign the relevant petitions for Wolves, and share them on Twitter, Facebook, and Google plus.
Thank you Wolves.
Stop Wolf Hunts Community

Wolf photo courtesy Robert Romahn


Reposted from Cascadia Wildlands


by Bob Ferris

I am angry.  Maybe it is the weather and looming winter darkness, but I suspect it is something else entirely or maybe two things.  Oh yes, now I know. I am upset that the US has slipped below average in science, math and reading.
This is incredibly tragic and makes the job of getting people to understand the value of predators and the complexity of ecological interactions even harder. Our national tendency to think of ourselves as exceptional and right really works so much more effectively, if we are exceptional and right.  We are compromised and gullible when we lose our edge, which brings me to the second thing.

Wolves Kill Female Hikers, Liberals Cover It Up

The above headline is making the internet rounds and is being pushed by a group called the Western Center for Journalism.
Who, you might ask?  Well, this is a group run by Floyd Brown who was the founding chairman of a little organization called Citizens United 
—as in that little Supreme Court decision that changed the face of American politics.  He is also notable—according to his biography—for his role in producing the infamous “Willie Horton Ad” and a TV campaign in support of Clarence Thomas’ candidacy as supreme court justice (a connection perhaps?).

And now he resurfaces heading up this group that claims that it is "the place to go to read news exposing media bias and learn the truth."  (Please pardon any typos at this point, because I am shaking uncontrollably.)

So back to the story about the female hikers and the liberal cover-up, is there any “truth” to that?  Yes, two women went missing in the Craters of the Moon National Monument near Boise, Idaho. One was found in September and officials believe that she died of hyperthermia and exposure. The second woman was just found and they are doing toxicology studies to pin down cause of death.  But nowhere in the legitimate press is there any mention of wolves.  

This appears for all intents and purposes to be a case where two good friends hiked too far and died as result (see article here).   
Our condolences go out to their families and loved ones. 

“Retired US Fish & Wildlife Biologist Jim Beers ( and other area citizens fear that a marauding wolf pack or other predators like a bear or a cougar may have attacked, killed and eaten the women.  “Distortions of the evidence to exonerate the wolves” may serve the larger aim of the feds who want the Gray Wolf to remain listed on the Endangered Species registry.”  

Wolves Kill Female Hikers, Liberals Cover It Up by Suzanne Eovaldi December 2, 2013 

OK, so now I get it.  This is what would be considered an “anti-Onion” story: One that is so bad, so fact-challenged and so poorly reported that it actually seems like a parody, but it is really someone’s lame attempt at journalism. 

This factual travesty would be almost funny were it not for the fact that this bitter, hate filled “journalist” teamed up with a bitter and discredited wildlife biologist with the express purpose of dropping a myth bomb right on the tail end of the comment period for federal gray wolf delisting. And they used this awful, awful tragedy for this misguided political purpose.  It is extremely hard to imagine what could possibly motivate Ms. Eovaldi and Mr. Beers to employ this unspeakable and underhanded tactic.  

"US citizens nationwide are being urged by Western residents to comment at this address:!docketDetail;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073 by the December 17, 2013 deadline for public comments.  Two talking points include the fact that the Gray Wolf is not in danger of extinction. In fact,populations now far exceed the numbers originally proposed for the recovery effort.  Beers warns that wolf populations have inundated the states of MT, ID, OR, and WA.  AZ and NM are slated to receive more wolf populations, courtesy of the feds, and CA, CO, UT, & TX are facing forcible injections of wolves.  Very dangerous wolf-hybrids are being sighted from IL, MO, and the Dakotas into OH & PA!"  Wolves Kill Female Hikers, Liberals Cover It Up by Suzanne Eovaldi December 2, 2013

Some say that the ends justify the means, but I do not really buy that.  
The Citizen’s United decision in a big way and this piece in its own small way are killing America.  When someone is so driven by their political and philosophical beliefs that the truth and methods mean nothing, then freedom becomes meaningless.  

Art credit: little red riding hood. (by Martina Bovinelli)



Hunting virtually eliminated gray wolves from the western U.S. by the 1930s. 
The Endangered Species Act offered Canis lupus federal protection in 1973, and wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park more than 20 years later.

Folks, if you care for Wolves, or Horses, or Birds, or Fish, or any other animal in this country?
Read this and take action. Please.
This is truly horrifying. Do NOT allow this to pass.
All links to your state Congress are are on this page.
Write them. Call them. Fax them.
Tell them NO NO NO !
to H.R. 3533 and S. 1731

Full Text of H.R. 3533:

Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act

And here's the really good part:
"Any action by the Governor of a State under this subsection shall not be subject to judicial review in any court of the United States or in any State court."

Tell your Senators and Representatives:
DO NOT PASS The Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act known as Bill S.1731 in the Senate and as Bill H.R.3533 in the House

Find your United States Senators here:

Find your United States House of Representatives here:
NO to Endangered Species Management
Self-Determination Act

The Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act known as Bill S.1731 in the Senate and as Bill H.R.3533 in the House is a new dangerous bill meant to give state governments more sway over land use decisions and would allow states to regulate endangered species. Sadly, we know all too well what state management of wildlife, especially of wolves, life looks like - cruelty and slaughter.

This bill was introduced by Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky) and Dean Heller (R-Nev), along with Rep Mark Amodei (R-Nev). Take note if you are a resident of these states and these are your Representatives.

The following quote from Rep. Amodei says it all:

“Bureaucrats in Washington should not be able to lock-up millions of acres of land and devastate entire local economies simply to avoid lawsuits from environmental organizations,” Amodei wrote. “Local governments should determine how best to manage their lands and have the ability to choose recovery plans that work for their state.”

Demand Congress opposes this bill

We need to flood our representatives with demands that they oppose this bill.

Contact the members of the House Committee on Natural Resources and let them know you oppose the bill
We are each represented by 2 Senators for our state and 1 Representative for our district. You can find out who your representatives are here .
Watch this bill's progress

You can watch the status of this bill by clicking here :
to watch its progress in the Senate and here in the House. See who opposes and who supports it and who you should be putting pressure on to stop this act.

This news will have a direct impact on the protection of our wolves. 
Please contact your Congresspeople , and tell them:
DO NOT PASS Senate Bill 1731 !!!

Find your United States Senators here:

Find your United States House of Representatives here:


PLEASE READ --- there is a disastrous bill pending that would allow individual states to have much more control of the ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT -- we all know what happens when the STATES get control of animals and habitat --- THE ESA must strictly remain Federally governed. Just look what the states have done to the wolves, when they were taken off of the federal list --- we know all too well, that all of the wildlife would suffer and the natural habitat too if every state in the union has their hands in the ESA. 
Please take a moment to snail mail, call, or email your representatives in Washington!

Thank you Oliver Starr with Good Wolf

Tea Party Bill Would Eviscerate Endangered Species Act

As America Celebrates 40th Anniversary of Landmark Law, Right-wing Senators Seek to Tear It Apart

WASHINGTON— Tea Party senators introduced a bill this week that would effectively end the protection of most endangered species in the United States and gut some of the most important provisions of the Endangered Species Act. Senate Bill 1731, introduced by Tea Party Sens. Rand Paul, Mike Lee and Dean Heller, would end protections for most of the species that are currently protected by the Act and make it virtually impossible to protect new species under the law. It would also eliminate protection for habitat that’s critical to the survival of rare and struggling animals and plants around the country.

“Here we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act this year, and the Tea Party wants to tear it limb from limb,” said Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s really a sad testament to how out of touch the Tea Party has become with the American people, and how beholden they are to industry special interests that are more interested in profits than saving wildlife, wild places and a livable future for the next generation.”

In its 40-year history, the Endangered Species Act has been more than 99 percent successful at preventing extinction for wildlife under its protection and has put hundreds of plants and animals on the path to recovery, including bald eagles, grizzly bears, whales and sea turtles.

Despite this successful track record, the bill’s most extreme provision would require that every five years all protected species be removed from the list of threatened and endangered species, eliminating all legal protections. No matter how close to extinction they might be, every listed species would then have to wait until Congress passed a joint resolution renewing their protections under the Act for another five years. Five years later, this process would start over again, eliminating all protections until Congress passed another joint resolution.

“The strength of the Endangered Species Act — in fact all of our nation’s environmental laws — comes from the requirement that science, not politics, guide the protection of our wildlife, air and water,” said Hartl. “This bill would allow extreme ideologues in Congress to veto environmental protections for any protected species they wanted, just so they could appease their special-interest benefactors.”

The bill would eliminate all protections for the critical habitat of endangered species and allow state governments to effectively veto any conservation measures designed to protect an imperiled species within their respective state. Meanwhile federal wildlife agencies would need to complete onerous accounting reports to estimate the costs of protecting endangered species rather than completing tangible, on-the-ground conservation activities to protect species and the places they live.

“This bill would devastate species protections and open the door to log, mine and pave some of the last places on Earth where these animals survive,” Hartl said. “It’s a boon for profiteers like the Koch Brothers but will rob every American who values wildlife and wild places.”

Thank you to Center for Biological Diversity

Artwork by Susan Seddon Boulet

Date: 00-00-00
Zachary Aronow
Legislative Correspondent
Office of U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (NM)
702 Hart Office Building, Washington, DC 20510

Greetings Zachary,

Thank you for your reply regarding the USFWS public hearing in Albuquerque Nov. 20th.

I understand that field representative Alex Eubanks from Senator Heinrich's office was scheduled to attend. We didn't get a chance to meet Alex (it was well attended and quite crowded- about 500 folks), but I hope that Alex's experience was informative for the Senator and staff.

I am writing today to bring your attention to Senate Bill 1731 and also House Bill 3533. Relevant links are below.

As far as I can tell these are identical, brought to the Senate and House of Representatives at the same time by Senator Paul Rand and Rep. Mark Amodei.

Both Bills are titled "Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act". The title is a misleading ploy, intended to cast aside the important science that preserves our fragile eco-systems and instead, plays to the emotions of a vocal minority of anti-federalists that believe any regulatory action by the U.S. government is an encroachment on their "individual sovereignty". Add a little money from the Koch brothers and the Bills read as nothing more than scorched earth policies that will only benefit destructive large-scale extraction and livestock companies.

I have read & researched these Bills to the best of my ability; I am stunned, shocked and outraged by what they propose. If passed they would totally dismantle the ESA, hog-tie and bankrupt the DOI and effectively grant state Governors impunity in any and all decisions regarding wildlife, public and private land. 

Just one of the alarming paragraphs:
Sec. 4.9.3.C
"Any action by the Governor of a State under this subsection shall not be subject to judicial review in any court of the United States or in any State court."

There are many more increasingly sinister boondoggles, diversions and handicaps, even intentions to bury the Electric Power Administrations and the Bureau of Reclamation in unnecessary administrative and financial accounting, all intended to make any ESA procedure an inefficient and confusing mess.

Another key component of the Bills is to completely de-list each animal and plant every five years and then require a joint resolution to have each of them re-listed. This is simply ludicrous.

The only hopeful take-away for me was that the authors of the Bills seemed to completely ignore the fact that The ESA is administered by two federal agencies; USFWS and NOAA. Granted, it is obvious they are primarily interested pillaging the public and private land in the western and southwestern states (those that have or will possibly have Republican Governors), but perhaps the NOAA may have a push-back, even just a bit could help. Hopefully this is an oversight by the authors' and will work to their disadvantage.

Should it ever get past committee, I urge Senator Heinrich to vote against Senate Bill 1731.

Thank you,



This is from U.S.Fish & Wildlife Service

Wolves are highly social animals that live in groups, called packs, which typically include a breeding pair, their offspring, and other non-breeding adults. Wolves are capable of mating by age one or two and sometimes form a lifetime bond. On average, four to five pups are born in early spring and are cared for by the entire pack. For the first six weeks, pups are reared in dens. Dens are often used year after year, but wolves may also dig new ones or use some other type of shelter, such as a cave.

Pups depend on their mother's milk for the first month, then are gradually weaned and fed regurgitated meat brought by pack members. By the time pups are five to six months old they are big enough to begin traveling with the adults. After a year or two, young wolves often leave their packs to try to find a mate and form a pack or join other existing packs. In the Northern Rocky Mountains, lone dispersing wolves travel on average 60-70 miles, but have traveled as far as 600 miles in search of a mate or territory.

Wolf packs live within territories, which they defend from other wolves. Their territories range in size from less than 50 square miles to more than 1,000 square miles, depending on habitat and seasonal movements of available prey. Wolves travel over large areas to hunt, as far as 30 miles in a day. Although they usually trot along at five miles per hour, wolves can run as fast as 40 miles per hour for short distances.

Wolves play an important role as top predators in the ecosystem they inhabit. Studies at Yellowstone National Park found that reintroducing wolves back into their historic ecosystem cascaded throughout the landscape. Ravens, foxes, wolverines, coyotes, bald eagles, and even bears benefit because they feed on carcasses of animals killed by wolves. Coyote density in some areas has declined because wolves view them as competitors and often kill them within their territories; which may be responsible, in part, for and an increase in small rodents in some areas. Declines in the elk population have allowed willow, aspen, and cottonwood regrowth. This, in turn, provided food for beavers and habitat for songbirds.

Wolves use their distinctive howl to communicate. Biologists have identified a few of the reasons wolves howl: to reinforce social bonds within the pack, to announce the beginning or end of a hunt, sound an alarm, locate members of the pack, or warn other wolves to stay out of their territory. Wolves howl more frequently during winter breeding season and at rendezvous sites used in pup-rearing.


Before the arrival of European settlers, gray wolves in the lower 48 states once ranged throughout the central and western United States.

Settlers moving westward depleted most populations of bison, deer, elk, and moose - animals that were important prey for the wolves. Wolves then turned to sheep and cattle as a replacement for their natural prey. To protect livestock, ranchers and government agencies began an eradication campaign. Bounty programs initiated in the 19th century continued as late as 1965, offering $20 to $50 per wolf. Wolves were trapped, shot, dug from their dens, and hunted with dogs. Poisoned animal carcasses were left out for wolves, a practice that also killed eagles, ravens, foxes, bears, and other animals that fed on tainted carrion. By the middle of the 20th century, wolves were hunted nearly to extinction in the 48 states.

When wolves were protected by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, only a few hundred remained in extreme northeastern Minnesota and a small number on Isle Royale, Michigan. Gray wolves were listed as endangered in the contiguous 48 States and in Mexico. In 1978, wolves in Minnesota were reclassified as threatened. Alaska wolf populations number 7,000 to 11,00 and were never considered endangered or threatened.


The wolf's comeback nationwide is due to its listing under the Endangered Species Act, which provided protection from unregulated killing and resulted in increased scientific research, along with reintroduction and management programs, and education efforts that increased public understanding of wolf biology and behavior.

Thanks to Endangered Species Act protection and recovery programs, more than 5000 gray wolves now live in the lower 48 States. Partners such as State and Tribal wildlife agencies, universities, and conservation organizations have worked for decades to restore the species to a secure status in the wild as a functioning member of its ecosystem.

Today about 2,211 wolves live in Minnesota, 8 on Lake Superior's Isle Royale, about 658 in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and at least 809 in Wisconsin.

Probably the best known wolf recovery effort was the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in 1995 and 1996. After and absence of more than 50 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and our partners brought wild gray wolve from Canada to the park and the reintroduction program was extremely successful. By December 2012 there were at least 625 wolves in Montana, 683 in Idaho, 227 in Wyoming, 46 in Oregon, and 53 in Washington.

Special features of the Endangered Species Act have been used in parts of the wolf range to allow the removal of wolves that prey on livestock. There are programs to compensate for the loss of livestock and pets in most of the recovery areas.


The Mexican wolf, a subspecies of gray wolf, Canis lupus baileyi, has also been reintroduced into Arizona and New Mexico. Native to the Southwest, the wolves existed only in zoos until 1998, when 13 of the animals were released into Arizona. By the end of 2012, there were a minimum of 75 Mexican wolves in the wild in Arizona and New Mexico and close to 300 Mexican wolves in zoos and other facilities. These Mexican wolves are designated as non-essential, experimental populations under the Endangered Species Act. This designation allows more management flexibility while contributing to recovery.


As red wolf numbers continued to decline during the 20th Century, the remaining animals in the wild were removed to zoos and other captive facilities in an effort to save the species.
By 1980, the red wolf existed only in captivity, with a founder population of 14 animals. Captive breeding efforts proved to be successful, allowing the Service to restore the red wolf to the wild in 1987 on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina. Today, about 100 wild red wolves roam more than 1.5 million acres in five counties in northeastern North Carolina. Captive management efforts at about 40 zoos and nature centers throughout the United States house nearly 200 wolves. The captive management program remains vital to maximizing the genetic diversity of the species. Recovery goals are 550 red wolves, including at least 220 in the wild.

Wolf recovery efforts have restored a top predator to its ecosystem, and improved our understanding of the complex interactions among species in their natural environments.

U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service
Endangered Species
4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Room 420
Arlington, VA 22203

September 2013


November 18


Latest posted 2013 #WolfTrophyHunt Kill totals:

* IDAHO – 124
* WYOMING – 51

* Total: 548

You can help to stop this #wolfslaughter.
Please leave your comment and share this. Thank you.

DELISTING COMMENT LINK HERE:!submitComment;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073-30560

Thank you to Save the Wolves


Mitch Friedman, executive director of Conservation Northwest, a Washington-based group that has championed wolf recovery, scoffed at the letter’s assertions.

“It’s surprising Little Red Riding Hood isn’t mentioned,” said Friedman.

by Exposing the Big Game

Friday, November 15, 2013 by: Joel Connelly
Seventy-five members of Congress are demanding that the Obama administration end all protection of the gray wolf as “endangered” or “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act, in an effort organized by Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Washington.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has already de-listed wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains — leading to big, officially encouraged wolf kills, particularly in Idaho — and in the Great Lakes States.

The gray wolf has moved south from protected lands on the U.S.-Canada border to repopulate the Washington Cascades, including the Teanaway Valley. (Photo courtesy of Conservation Northwest).

In Washington, wolves are still under federal protection in the Cascades, but not in the Kettle Range and Selkirk Mountains of Northeast Washington. There, they receive state protection, which is under attack by conservative state legislators.

The lawmakers’ letter uses age-old arguments for removing protection so that wolves can be killed.

“Since wolves were first provided protection under the ESA, uncontrolled and unmanaged growth of wolf populations has resulted in devastating impacts on hunting and ranching and tragic damages to historically strong and healthy herds of moose, elk, bighorn sheep and mule deer,” they wrote in the letter to Dan Ashe, director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Mitch Friedman, executive director of Conservation Northwest, a Washington-based group that has championed wolf recovery, scoffed at the letter’s assertions.

“It’s surprising Little Red Riding Hood isn’t mentioned,” said Friedman.

“The letter acknowledges that ‘federal policy must be based on best available science,’ then goes on to make the false and hyperbolic claim about ‘devastating impacts’ on fishing and ranching,” Friedman added. “Throughout wolf territory, game populations are generally at or above levels desired by state managers.

“These Tea Party legislators have so proven Congress that they’ve resorted to attempting policy by press release. Their letter is off enough on matters of law, science and facts.”

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash.: Bipartisan legislation to expand the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and protect the Middle Fork-Snoqualmie River, in eastern King County, can't get the time of day in his committee..
Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash.: He is lead on a letter, signed by 75 members of Congress, demanding an end to all federal protection of wolves under the Endangered Species Act.
Hastings is chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.  Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, R-Wash., who also signed the letter, is a member of the House Republican Leadership.

The gray wolf has returned to Washington’s mountains in recent year.  A killing spree by three Okanogan County residents — who were caught and prosecuted under federal law — nearly destroyed one pack that had established itself in the upper Methow Valley of the North Cascades.
Other packs have located in the upper Teanaway Valley, in the Cascades north of Cle Elum, as well as in northeast Washington.  A majority of the state’s wolf population has the misfortune to live in congressional districts represented by Hastings and McMorris Rodgers.

The letter asking for de-listing of wolves is signed by a who’s-who of Tea Party members in Congress, including such luminaries as Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas and Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho.

A pair of conservative House Democrats, Reps. Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jim Matheson of Utah, signed the letter.

The letter also opposes a proposal to list the rare Mexican wolf, found in the Southwest, as a subspecies under the Endangered Species Act. Such a listing would have a “Severe impact on private landowners, including ranchers” in Arizona and New Mexico, the lawmakers claim.

“We believe that state governments are fully qualified to responsibly manage wolf populations and are better able to meet the needs of local communities and wildlife populations,” said the letter.

Friedman argued the reverse, saying that Hastings and his allies are grandstanding and doing nothing to encourage cooperation between local communities and conservation groups.

“Real ranchers and communities — including in Eastern Washington — are stepping up to work with groups like ours on practices that allow wolves and livestock to share the land,” he said.

“There are ways that Doc Hastings and Cathy McMorris Rodgers could help, but I’m still waiting for their call.”

Exposing the Big Game | November 17, 2013 at 2:53 am | Tags: anti-wolf, Washington wolves, wolf | Categories: Anti-wolf | URL:


There's always two sides to a story, true? 
A conversation between a few wolf lovers and one wolf hater from Idaho. 
Thank you, Emily!

Adelheid Adelliam
Shared publicly  -  5:57 PM

2 comments from  folks responding to this news from +Ena Silva 

GloWenatchee 22 hours, 4 minutes ago
This is half baked and non scientific. Do any of you remember how many Mom's, Dad's, and families died hitting all the deer and elk that were overpopulating before we listed the gray wolf as an endangered species? I do, and there were deaths all year round. The gray wolf has kept those populations in check. The livestock problems have happened since hunting has been allowed and we've ended up killing the older members of these packs so that juveniles who don't have hunting experience have gone to find food in the wrong places. The number of gray wolves in the lower 48 is less than the population of Tigers in the world and they are on the endangered species list. This is all being funded by the Koch Brothers via the NRA and it's garbage. States are not managing the wolf population well at all. Look at some of these trophy hunting web pages... they post pictures of men in white sheet hoods, posing with their rifles and a poor mangled wolf they've shot. They're baiting throughout the year to make it easier to kill them, they're using poison, they even want to use dogs to hunt them. The alpha male and female mate for life. When the pack becomes too populated they kick out those members and handle their own overpopulation. When you destroy a pack/family like this, you take with it valuable genetic information from that pack. The equivalent of taking out an aunt, uncle, and a couple of brothers or sisters out of your family. These are not hunters, these are killers. They kill for killing sake. I hunt for food for my family. I don't just shoot deer to kill them, nor do I fish when my freezer is full of fish. Doc, I disagree with about 75% of what you propose, and same with your female counterpart up here... you guys are so awfully wrong. Why not get a book and actually do some real research on wolves like I have, and like many have and quit listening to those "lobbyists" who fund your campaigns!

katewk 9 hours, 3 minutes ago

There is absolutely no reason or excuse to willfully kill and decimate another species. Humanity seems to have grown very little through history and continues along the same path of destruction and hate that has created our lack of respect for the Earth, animals and other human beings. Only when we can become aware enough to see that each creature is able to be free and we learn to respect their habitats as well as our own, will be able to say that we are evolving and growing as a species. The wolf is of utmost import to the balance of the natural world. Unlike humans, the wolf takes down those that are infirm or unable to care for themselves. This is the natural order of our planet. We cannot create what we think is a utopia without regard for will not work. Soon, we will begin to go the way of all of these creatures whose lives we take so casually.

617Kurt Lampe's profile photoAdelheid Adelliam's profile photoFillin Faye's profile photoAngela Adams's profile photo

Lizania Soares6:10 PM+2

Omg my fave animal

Ena Silva6:33 PM+3

We need to get those politicians out of office ... all they care about is cattle and hunting. Have no regard for wolves or any wildlife

Adelheid Adelliam6:47 PM

I could not agree more +Ena Silva .
Thank you so much for posting that news, and the link to the letter. 
When we mentioned the 75 back in May, no one paid attention to us Ena.
I'm including it here, instead of sending the link, because it is on the page with all of the photos of wolf hunter photos, and you don't need to see those.

And the fact that Orrin Hatch spearheaded this from Utah, where there ARE NO wolves to speak of? What is he afraid of?
Wolves pose NO risk whatsoever to that man, because they are NOT there.
And if they were?
They would still pose no risk to him.

Thank you Ena, it makes us all better advocates with you with us in Stop Wolf Hunts.

List of Members of the Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation by State

This is the Politicians Non-profit Hunters Organization
To Lobby & Pressure the Rest of our Politicians to All be on the same Page as they are!
List of Senators who Belong to Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation

3 States out of 50 Have NO Members.  Hawaii, Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Contact your Senator
Contact  your Congressman
Contact your Governor
Contact your State Legislators
Select your State, then Select "Legislators", click "Get Legislator Links"

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

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)
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.



Angela Adams7:09 PM+1

Thanks for sharing.

Fillin Faye7:12 PM+1

+Adelheid Adelliam do you know a person called saz Lou?



Adelheid Adelliam7:18 PM

Very welcome +Angela Adams !

Adelheid Adelliam7:18 PM

Sounds very familiar +Fillin Faye , but I can't remember from where.
Do they know me?

Isis Stellwagen7:24 PM

Wolves :3 my 2nd favorite animal


NICE  Isis

Shane Hubble7:31 PM+1

I'm a grey wolf! Don't delist me. :-(

W.H. Cash7:32 PM+1

This is NOT cool. Not cool at all.
I am off tomorrow. I thinkI shall spend my morning blasting these guys for using erroneous information to try and get wolves delisted.

Adelheid Adelliam7:40 PM+1

Oooo, will you share your work with us after you are finished, please? +W.H. Cash 
We need another level of approach.
The only plan I have now is to take a short talking point, paste it onto an image, and ask folks to send the entire thing to USFWS as a file attachment.
They are not writing their own comments, would it really hurt to just treat this as a glorified petition at this point?

Ena Silva7:41 PM+1

Thank you Heidi, Its a pleasure to be part of the pack  and contribute for the safety of wolves. I will never give up!

GalaxyPaw Blaze7:44 PM+1

.+Adelheid Adelliam
I agree that he shouldn't be against it cause there aren't any wolves here

Adelheid Adelliam7:45 PM

Oh, so happy to hear that +Ena Silva !
There are a few that would cause me to sob if they were to leave.
You are of them.
Thank you for bringing us your intelligent and informed voice.

W.H. Cash7:47 PM+1

+Adelheid Adelliam No, not as a glorified petition. People need to get in there and get their frigging hands dirty.
 If we have to, then yes, set up a petition immediately nand pump that sucker with as many legit signatures as we can get. 

Michael Wader8:10 PM

Save the wolf.

Emily Sandstrom8:14 PM

Inform yourself before you pass air over your tongue.  90% or more of wildlife in Idaho is gone.  The foreign diseased imported wolves killed the native ones, are spreading a disease that kills humans (not a bad thing, sometimes) by putting cysts on liver and lungs that only combinations of chemotherapy and surgery can remove IF it is found soon enough.  Spread from scat (poop) by wind and water.  Wolves only host the disease, unfortunately.  Your lovely wolves wait for elk to give birth and rip the newborn out of mama and then eat her belly while she screams.  When she quits scraming she is no more fun.  They leave to find another victim.  200 elk were killed in one spree in Idaho by these giant diseased numerous packs of your lovely wolves.
I wish we could feed wolf lovers to the wolves because the elk herds that pass by my elk sanctuary used to be two herds of 100 individuals, and now they are one herd of 7 individuals, none of whom are of age to reproduce.
Fish and Game (FaG) resisted importing elk to bring their numbers up enough to replenish without inbreeding.  We managed to get it done over FaG objections.  They openly want to obliterate elk.  They released these diseased wolves illegally before they could legally.
Instead of working, they would like to get their mitts into the general treasury, using the excuse that hunting tags from out of state (expensive) fell from 16,000 to 913 this year.
So YES, it's time to lower the number of the wolves that are so numerous only underfed bears are left (underfed because the wolves ate their prey).  I have had a hungry bear at my ranch.
So don't tell me about how you love wolves, urbanite.

Scarlet Dragon8:15 PM+1

Noooo! Not the wolves, they're my most favorite of all times animals, o(≧o≦)o how dare they kill them, I'll just take all the wolves has my petsㄟ( ̄▽ ̄ㄟ) if only I could

Tully Whittington-Werry8:16 PM+1

I LOVE WOLVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michael Wader8:21 PM+1

I read our propaganda. Do not believe it. "SAVE THE WOLVES"

Jamie Knox8:22 PM+1

Show Respect because that all wolves have ever done to our undeserving asses!

GalaxyPaw Blaze8:23 PM+1

+Emily Sandstrom
Why do you hate the normal? Pigs spread swine flu so lets kill off all the pigs! And research shows that wooves eat mice from December until the Caribou and elk come then go back to eating mice.
And your precious elk spread mire diases then wolves like Johne's Diasese and Mad Deer

Michael Wader8:26 PM

No. Save the pigs. We need them to fight the Muslim.

Adelheid Adelliam8:28 PM+1

" I wish we could feed wolf lovers to the wolves because the elk herds that pass by my elk sanctuary used to be two herds of 100 individuals, and now they are one herd of 7 individuals, none of whom are of age to reproduce."  +Emily Sandstrom 
This is one deranged statement, Emily.
I was tracking with you before this, but not now.

Cmdr. Humphrey M. Dimitrov9:11 PM+1

I'm a werewolf who will not stand for any of this shit.
I will fight alongside anybody who will help our wolves brothers.

+Adelheid Adelliam and I are the leaders and Alpha Wolves of a wolf community called Wolf Defenders Quest where there are lots of petitions posted to save our wolves.
Here's the link for Wolf Defenders Quest: Please join:

These are communities like ours that will help you guys find the petitions.


Wonderful Wolves link is:

We wolf lovers have done so much to fight for our wolves.
I sure as hell ain't going to see all our hard work go down the fucking drain.
All who are ready to take on the responsibility, Click on the links below.
There are 100's of petitions to help our wolves.


And those who love dolphins:


Thank you +Adelheid Adelliam for sticking with me.
This should make the difference.

Adelheid Adelliam9:19 PM

No way these wolves are going to lose with you in their corner +Cmdr. Humphrey M. Dimitrov !

Now that is being the #voiceforourwolves  . ( And our dolphins too :)
Thank you, Humphrey.
Impressive indeed there, Brother Wolf.

November 11. 2013

This comment off of USFWS Director Dan Ashe's blog is from a former employee of #USFWS . 

There is still time for us to leave a comment of our own and tell Dan Ashe that he is SERIOUSLY MISGUIDED and to Keep our Gray Wolves listed as endangered under the #EndangeredSpeciesAct .

Please #Wolves, keep up the pressure on these folks. 

Wildlife Service Sees its Job is to Work for Ranchers

By George Wuerthner 
On November 6, 2013

This memo shows that Wildlife Service not only sees that its job is to work for ranchers, not the general public, but that they view public oversight to be a major problem.

Download and read this actual memo for the blistering state of affairs:  

USDA wolf depredation investigation memo pdf file

I've included screensnaps of the entire PDF document here. The last two pages overlap.

Reposted from Canis Lupus 101


Save the Wolves. 
"Anyone who has accustomed himself 
to regard the life of any living creature as worthless 
is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives." 
~ Dr. Albert Schweitzer via Wild for Wildlife and nature, FB


Everything in red is my responsibility.

All wolf fact information is 
provided by Predator Defense and Lobos of the Southwest.
Everything in pink is from 
Wolves leaving comments.
Everything in gray is Mr. Ashe's opinion. 


Dan Ashe Director of USFWS 
Open Spaces: A Blog of the Director's Corner of US Fish and Wildlife Services

Gray Wolves are Recovered; Next Up, the Mexican Wolf
Posted At : June 7, 2013 10:06 AM | Posted By : Trott, Matthew E
Related Categories: Gray_wolf, Endangered Species Act, plains bison, director_blog, Mexican wolf, Wolves wolf

We are proposing to remove gray wolves from the list of threatened and endangered species throughout the United States and Mexico. Photo by Gary Kramer/USFWS

As many of you probably know, my dad had a great, 37-year career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and he describes the outfit as a collection of people who get things done -- doers.  Nowhere is that trait more proudly displayed than in our four decade effort to restore the gray wolf to the American landscape, bringing the species back from extirpation and exile from the contiguous United States.

I'm the 16th Director of the Service. It was the 10th, John Turner, a Wyoming rancher and outfitter, appointed by a Republican President, who signed the record of decision that set in motion this miraculous reintroduction and recovery. It's never been easy. We've had critics, fair and unfair. We've had great partners. Sometimes they have been one in the same. But this organization and its people have been constant. Steadfast. Committed. Professional. Determined. Now add successful!

More information on the wolf recovery
This great predator again roams the range, ridges and remote spaces of the Northern Rocky Mountains and the Western Great Lakes in one of the spectacular successes of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  These recovered populations are not just being tolerated, but are expanding under professional management by our state partners.

Ok, here is what we find for "professional management by our state partners" , Mr. Ashe:

Removal from Federal Endangered Species List Spells Doom for American Wolves

On April 15, 2011, when President Obama signed the federal budget into law, he also signed the death warrants for hundreds of wolves. Montana Senator Jon Tester had added a last-minute wolf-killing rider to the budget bill that removed wolves from the federal Endangered Species Act and prohibited further judicial review. As a result, conservation interests are no longer able to legally intervene.

Never in the history of the Endangered Species Act has a species been delisted because of politics. Wildlife management and politics have hit a new low and established a dangerous precedent. Now management of wolves is left to states, and already state managers are opening hunting seasons on wolves who have just managed to gain a toe hold and reoccupy territory from which they were extirpated by ranching and agricultural interests just a few decades ago.

Wolf management has swung full circle in 50 years from extermination to recovery, and now back again. Free roaming packs of wolves in America will be lucky to survive, much less thrive, anywhere outside of the national parks, where they are protected.  Hunters and trappers are gaining access to those wolves as well, by lying in wait for them when they cross the park boundaries, as has happened in Montana.

Please read the following for more details:

Groups Lay Out Opposition to Proposed Wolf Settlement - Billings Gazette, March 23, 2011
True Cost of Budget Deal Will Be Paid in Blood...of Gray Wolves - Christian Science Monitor, April 19, 2011
'Famous' Wolf Is Killed Outside Yellowstone - New York Times, Dec. 8, 2012
Montana Officials Shut Down Wolf Hunting, Trapping near Yellowstone - Missoulian, December 10, 2012
Montana: Wolf Hunts Are Banned in Areas Bordering Yellowstone - New York Times, Dec. 10, 2012
Mourning an Alpha Female - New York Times, Dec. 10, 2012
Judge Keeps Wolf Hunting Season Going outside Yellowstone National Park -, Jan. 18, 2013
Letter against "delisting" wolves, sent by 16 of nation's top scientists to Sally Jewell, Secretary, Department of the Interior - May 21, 2013
After Years of Progress, A Setback in Saving the Wolf - New York Times, June 1, 2013
In Wake of Delisting, Wolf Slaughter Continues Relentlessly; States Nationwide Getting Set for 2013–14 Hunting and Trapping Seasons
All links can be found here:

The "war on wolves" is rapidly spreading across America.  More aggressive hunting and trapping seasons are slated in states where wolves are already delisted.   In anticipation of nationwide delisting, other states are amping up anti-wolf actions in preparation for killing seasons. Please act now to stop this travesty

Each state is using both of their two wildlife decision-making bodies—the state legislature and the fish and wildlife commission—to put wolf-killing laws and regulations into place.  Ranching and hunting interests historically dominate state commissions and legislatures, so the playing field is not level.  It is therefore no surprise that state wildlife management decisions are based on political special interests, as opposed to science.

Utah and South Dakota Prepared to Set Wolf Seasons, Even without Established Populations 
Utah and South Dakota do not have established wolf populations, but that has not stopped state lawmakers from moving bills in preparation for killing seasons.  South Dakota has reclassified wolves from "protected" to "varmint" status, meaning they will have no protections and will be treated like rodents.  Part of the state's population was included under the Great Lakes wolf delisting, the remainder will lose protection when/if the feds delist the entire species nationally. 

Like South Dakota, Utah is racing to get ready to kill wolves in anticipation of national delisting, but the sought after status there is "game animal." In the small northern corner of South Dakota where wolves lost protection when Northern Rockies wolves were delisted, no wolves are permitted to become established.

Two Years of No Protection is Killing Northern Rockies Wolves

IDAHO - Before delisting, Idaho had the largest wolf population in the Rockies, at approximately 1,000. It also kills more wolves than any other state in the Rockies.  By May 28, 2013, the end of the second year of trophy hunting and trapping seasons, a grand total of 697 Idaho wolves had been killed.  Keep in mind these figures do not include hundreds killed for damage control by government and private sources.  Read more

Idaho's 2013-14 wolf season was the first to get underway.  As of August 20, 2013, three wolves have been killed by hunters on private land in one unit already open to hunting.

Idaho wolf tags sell for a bargain at just $11.50, with 5 hunting and 5 trapping tags allowed per hunter, no quotas in much of the state, and very few hunting restrictions.  For more details, visit Idaho Fish and Game. 

MONTANA - Montana is fast becoming the most wolf-aggressive state in the nation. Both their legislature and their wildlife commission have actively worked at liberalizing wolf killing by increasing the length of the kill season, allowing the first wolf trapping season (which permits up to three wolves to be killed per trapper), and no longer imposing a statewide kill limit.  By the season's end on February 28, 2013, 391 Montana wolves had been killed by hunters since delisting. 

Hunters and trappers even waited outside the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park to kill protected wolves, including some wearing GPS collars being studied by scientists within the park.  Among those wolves killed was the alpha female of the famous Lamar Canyon pack who was well known to and photographed by tourists.  The outcry resulted in a temporary hunting/trapping closure which was quickly overturned by the courts, and finally a law was passed making boundary areas officially open to hunting and trapping.  More legislation is moving rapidly to reduce restrictions to all predator hunting and to allow extreme wolf killing practices, such as the use of snares, electronic calls, and even the skinned carcasses of pack members as bait. For more details, read these articles:

Montana fast-tracks bill to expand wolf hunting - The Spokesman Review, Feb. 8, 2013
Judge keeps wolf hunting season going outside Yellowstone National Park -, Jan. 18, 2013
Montana officials shut down wolf hunting, trapping near Yellowstone - Missoulian, December 10, 2012
Montana: Wolf Hunts Are Banned in Areas Bordering Yellowstone - New York Times, Dec. 10, 2012
Mourning an Alpha Female - New York Times, Dec. 10, 2012
'Famous' Wolf Is Killed Outside Yellowstone - New York Times, Dec. 8, 2012

Learn more about how Montana has ignored science to support bad wolf management decisions and sign the petition to Montana's governor to help their wolves. Details on Montana wolf hunting policies are available on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website. 

WYOMING - Wolves lost federal protection in Wyoming in September 2012, thanks to the urging of the Obama administration, which is courting the wrong group of voters. In spite of the fact that Wyoming ranchers lost only 26 cows to wolves (out of a total of 1.3 million head of cattle in the state), agriculture special interests are controlling wolf management decisions. 

The status of wolves in Wyoming has plummeted from endangered to "predator," meaning in the majority of the state wolves can be shot on sight. Shooting, aerial gunning, trapping and just about any other kill method is permitted  on the 330 estimated wolves in the state. Even females and pups are fair game. 

As of August 16, 2013, hunters have killed 92 wolves, including as many as 10 wolves who strayed from the protected boundaries of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) where they were being studied.

Yellowstone Park Research Wolves Killed by Hunters - Science Magazine, Nov. 26, 2012
'Famous' Wolf Is Killed Outside Yellowstone - New York Times, Dec. 8, 2012
Mourning an Alpha Female - New York Times, Dec. 10, 2012

For further information visit the Wyoming Fish & Game Department website.

Midwest Gray Wolves Also Under the Gun

In January 2012, wolves in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin were placed under the control of state managers, with frightening results. You can see the true "sporting" nature of wildlife decision-makers at work in Michigan, but wolf advocates are fighting back and have taken up the gauntlet to prevent or mitigate wolf-killing seasons in the Great Lakes.

MINNESOTA - Minnesota's 3,000 wolves form the largest population in the lower 48 states.  By the end of the barely three-month hunting and trapping seasons in early 2013—which include traps, snares, baiting and electronic calling—413 wolves were killed, exceeding the kill quota of 400. Read more on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website. 

Because the wolf population has declined 25 percent since 2009, wolf hunting has been scaled back for the 2013-14 season.  The kill quota has been reduced to 220 (about half of last year), and approximately half the number of tags will be issued this year. 

Activists are rallying for Minnesota wolves. Last year a bill was introduced that would have established a 5 year moratorium on the wolf hunt.  Maybe it will pass both houses this year.  Howling for Wolves, a Minnesota advocacy organization, is largely responsible for this remarkable effort.  KEEP UP THE PRESSURE! 

WISCONSIN - Wisconsin's aggressive hunting and trapping seasons have taken a toll on their wolf population, estimated at 850 before delisting.  By the close of the 2012-13 season, Wisconsin hunters and trappers had killed 117 wolves (the entire quota of 116, plus one more).  Half again as many wolves would have been killed, but the Ojibwe tribe did not open a wolf season or fill their kill quota. Way to go Ojibwe tribe!

Wisconsin is the only state where wolves are hunted with packs of dogs.  A bill to prohibit the use of dogs to hunt wolves was introduced and supported by advocacy groups in 2012.  A legal battle around the extreme practice of pitting dogs against their wild ancestors has waged since the wolf hunt began, and we suspect it will continue this legislative session.

Additional information is available on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website.

MICHIGAN - Dirty politics is keeping wolf killing going in Michigan in spite of public opposition, but it is being challenged by a dedicated group of activists.  In 2012, after 40 years of federal Endangered Species Act protection, the wolf population of Michigan was estimated at 700, with only four verified depredations on livestock by wolves in the state that year.  But the Michigan legislature passed a bill declaring wolves a "game animal" in preparation for establishing killing seasons. A coalition of activists quickly organized to launch a ballot measure to kill the wolf season and miraculously managed to collect 255,000 signatures to qualify the  referendum in a matter of weeks. 

Sadly, their efforts were undermined by anti-wolf legislators who quickly fast-tracked a bill that undercut the advocates' tireless work.  In May 2013 the governor happily signed the bill into law before the signatures could even be verified. The law allows the Department of Natural Resources to establish game animal status, thus nullifying the voters' ability to challenge the hunt because decisions made by the governor-appointed commission cannot be addressed or changed by citizens' initiatives.

Michigan’s dedicated activists have met this challenge by launching a second referendum to repeal this law and restore citizens’ ability to have a voice in what species are hunted and trapped in Michigan.  Signatures are being collected to qualify this measure for the 2014 ballot.  WAY TO GO MICHIGOANS! 

Information provided by Predator Defense:

Today, for one reason, and one reason only, we are proposing to remove the gray wolf from the list of threatened and endangered species throughout the United States and Mexico -- they are no longer in danger of extinction now or in the foreseeable future.

Due to our steadfast commitment, gray wolves in the Lower 48 now represent a 400-mile southern range extension of a vast contiguous wolf population that numbers more than 12,000 wolves in western Canada and about 65,000 wolves across all of Canada and Alaska. Canadian and U.S. wolves interact and move freely between the two nations.

Of course, the gray wolf is not everywhere it once was, nor can it be; think Denver, or Minneapolis, or Salt Lake City, or even the now grain- and livestock-dominated American Plains. It's not everywhere it can be, but our work has created the potential that it may be one day. 

One thing, though, is certain: It is no longer endangered or threatened with extinction.  The ESA has done its job. Broader restoration of wolves is now possible. Indeed, it is likely. As we propose to remove ESA protections, states like Washington and Oregon are managing expanding populations under protective state laws.

And as in almost every aspect of our work, there is vigorous debate.  Can a species be considered “recovered” if it exists in only a portion of its former range, or if significant habitat is yet unoccupied?  Our answer is “yes” and we don’t need to look far for other examples.

Consider the plains bison, another magnificent, iconic animal that once roamed and ruled North American plains, coast to coast. We aren’t certain how many, but possibly 75 million. Today, there are about half a million, and they inhabit a fraction of their historical range.

But are they threatened or endangered?  No.  And in 2011, we denied a petition to give the bison Endangered Species Act protection. Wild populations are secure and growing. It doesn’t mean we don’t care about bison; it means they do not need the protections of the ESA.

Like the bison, the gray wolf no longer needs those protections.

Some say we’re abandoning wolf recovery before it is complete. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, we’re proposing to hand over the management of these keystone predators to the professionals at the state and tribal wildlife agencies. We’ve been working hand-in-glove with these folks to recover the gray wolf. Their skill helped bring gray wolves back, and now they’ll work to keep wolves as a part of the landscape for future generations.

Here are the Wolf hunt tallies since 2011, this is what the "professionals at the state and tribal wildlife agencies" have accomplished for Gray Wolf Recovery :

Wolf Sport Kills Since 2011 Delisting
GRAND TOTAL reported kills: 1,705 wolves and counting (as of 8/21/13). 1,158 of these wolves were killed during the 2012-13 season alone.

NORTHERN ROCKIES reported kills: 1,173 wolves

- Idaho: 698 wolves (454 hunter kills + 244 trapper kills). Season closed 3/31/13. The 2013-14 season is already open with 3 kills as of 8/20/13.
- Montana: 391 wolves (294 hunter kills + 97 trapper kills). Season closed 2/28/13. 
- Wyoming: 92 wolves as of 8/16/13.
GREAT LAKES kills: 529 wolves
- Minnesota: 412 wolves (213 hunter kills + 199 trapper kills). Season closed. 
- Wisconsin: 117 wolves (55 hunter kills + 62 trapper kills). Season closed.

NOTE: This kill tally does not include the scores of wolves slaughtered by federal and state predator control programs. USDA Wildlife Services data for fiscal year 2011 showed a total of 353 wolves killed in the states, with 200 in Minnesota alone.

I’ve always liked the analogy of the ESA as biodiversity’s emergency room.  We are given patient species that need intensive care.  We stabilize them; we get them through recovery.  Then we hand them to other providers who will ensure they get the long-term care that they need and deserve.

We have brought back this great icon of the American wilderness. And as we face today's seemingly insurmountable challenges, today's critical voices, today's political minefields, let this success be a reminder of what we can accomplish.  We can work conservation miracles, because we have.  The gray wolf is proof.

Now it’s time for us to focus our limited resources on Mexican wolf recovery and on other species that are immediately threatened with extinction.  
That is why we also proposed today to continue federal protection and expand recovery efforts for the Mexican wolf, by designating it as an endangered subspecies under the ESA and proposing modifications to the regulations governing the existing nonessential experimental population.

We have received good news on the Mexican wolf recently – the 2012 population count showed a record high number of Mexican wolves in the wild.  We have a long way to go, but we are seeing success, and we will apply the same steadfast commitment, the same dedication and the same professionalism that has been the hallmark of our gray wolf success.

By employing the full protections of the ESA for the Mexican wolf, I am confident that one day we’ll be celebrating their full recovery just like we are, today, with the gray wolf.

I don't know, Mr.Ashe, doesn't look to me that 75 Mexican Gray Wolves in the wild is full recovery.
Especially given the fact that FWS just captured and removed 3 of them from the wilderness where you are sure that their "full recovery" will be met with success. 
Press Release: With Government Shutdown Over, Feds, Arizona Resume Taking Endangered Mexican Gray Wolves Out of Wild 
Three Wild-born Wolves in Arizona, New Mexico Targeted to Live Out Lives in Captivity October 21, 2013

Comments Comments (83)  | Send Send   |  2898 Views

margaret's Gravatar I question the description by F&W as wolf restoration being "successful." Unless successful means that ranchers are once again complaining about wolves and want to be able to shoot them on site--which delisting will most certainly allow them to do. So, here we go again. Ranchers shooting wolves is exactly what led to the near extinction in the first place. I guess that we'll see the predictably sharp decline in wolves in the next few years as a justification of F&W to suggest their inclusion on the endangered species list. 

How ridiculous.

# Posted By margaret | 6/7/13 1:51 PM
Dave Schmitt's Gravatar Can you really look yourself in the mirror and believe that the "wildlife professionals" in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho have the best interests and long term survival of the wolves at heart? The public statements by many of their elected officials would say otherwise.

# Posted By Dave Schmitt | 6/7/13 2:51 PM
emmief's Gravatar This is a travesty pure an simple. You are setting the gray wolves up for certain annihilation if you remove them from the endangered species list and federal protections. The ranchers have had their way once again and it will be open season on the gray wolf. Rescind this disgusting, scientifically flawed plan now.

# Posted By emmief | 6/7/13 4:45 PM
Very disappointed.'s Gravatar Kind of disgusted about your recommending removal of the wolves from the endangered species act. I wonder how long it will take for them to be near extinction again? Probably not long. Too many people view wildlife as nothing. It's a shame. Also the methods used to "hunt" them are not hunting. Traps, poisoning, gassing. Pretty brutal. Who do you work for?

# Posted By Very disappointed. | 6/7/13 7:04 PM
Rick Meier's Gravatar You have got to be kidding this article is so full of false info its almost funny ,when republicans stop using the wolf as a pawn for their actions against the Obama Admin. it will be time to delist, until then keep them protected,Wis wants to increase their killing quota to 375 this year, MT wants more,WY is a shoot on sight,you want to delist,really???????

# Posted By Rick Meier | 6/7/13 7:04 PM
Steven Rollner's Gravatar I'm sorry, this decision is in error of sound science. If you think the gray wolf is going to maintain sustainable numbers, unprotected from hunters, you have CLEARLY not learned from the past.
It is outrageous that the gray wolf is being delisted just at a time when we have been able to bring them back. 

How can ANY animals survive without federal protection when the human population is so out of control and in the billions! Pushing all other animals out of their habitats. I don't think any species left on this planet out numbers humans unless you are Ant.

You are making a big mistake here.

- Steven Rollner

# Posted By Steven Rollner | 6/7/13 9:15 PM
Shawn's Gravatar Ranchers have undue influence over State legislatures and it will be open season on wolves.All the funds and effort to bring back the wolf will be wasted.This action is shameful.

# Posted By Shawn | 6/7/13 9:26 PM
Mike Palaima's Gravatar Without the protection afforded by the endangered species act, wolves will once again become, almost instant targets for the most egregious forms of leg trapping, baiting, den kills, poisoning. Not to mention a good old bullet to the head. Than gov will react again, in its ponderous fashion taking to much time to do the population any good. Meanwhile self congratulatory bureaucrats will put out politically neutral comments like the one here, falling and fawning all over themselves. We citizens know that without federal oversight, sharp declines in populations will occur, so why do it? Manage the wolves, USFWS, do not abrogate your responsibilities, as you have just done.

# Posted By Mike Palaima | 6/7/13 9:35 PM
Nicky's Gravatar Do you seriously believe that once these beautiful animals are delisted that each state will successfully protect them? No, once they are off the list there will be people lining up to hunt them. They need to stay on the endangered species list because they are just that.

# Posted By Nicky | 6/7/13 10:34 PM
Tom Proett's Gravatar I think Gray Wolves and the Mexican Wolf are still too rare to delist from the endangered status.

# Posted By Tom Proett | 6/7/13 11:28 PM
Kim Frohlinger's Gravatar It is an absolute travesty to state that the wolf recovery has been successful. The partial delisting two years ago led to 1700 wolf killing by ranchers and government officials who believe the only good wolf is a dead one. This latest turn will result in the decimation of small, stabilizing populations which still have a long way to go. Their social structure is threatened, as is the species very existence. Shameful.

# Posted By Kim Frohlinger | 6/7/13 11:41 PM
's Gravatar Now it's open season on one of God's majestic creatures.....shame on you~

# Posted By | 6/8/13 3:05 AM
Warren Miller's Gravatar What a shame. One of the few animals I can think of to be brought back from near extinction (by the hand of man) to face the same fate again from greedy ranchers and so called sportsman, hunting to kill something for fun. Unlike the wolf killing for food.

# Posted By Warren Miller | 6/8/13 11:25 AM
Brian Cole's Gravatar I have great respect for your organization, but I have some serious doubts about the plan to delist the Grey Wolf. From numbers that I could find on the internet, around 500 wolves were killed last year in the previously delisted areas. That's nearly 10% of the entire population and much larger fraction of the population in the delisted areas. I don't see how such large yearly hunting losses never mind the numbers killed for other reasons can be considered sustainable. Especially when there can be potential natural pressures on the populations due to disease, climate, and collapse of their ecosystem. 

If the states were to establish reasonable hunting limits and were to truly embrace the the establishment of robust populations, I would agree with the plan to delist. But, there's every evidence that the states plan to keep the populations as low as they can without triggering a re-listing of the wolf.

# Posted By Brian Cole | 6/8/13 12:21 PM
William huard's Gravatar The American people are not stupid. I know several career USFWS people with longer time in with the USFWS. When I ask one of a dozen questions there is SILENCE.. Your own people can't defend this 81 of your own draft rule states that 2/3 of wolf poaching goes unreported. Mech and others say this is a major threat to wolf recovery and more importantly to wolves regaining former habitat. Read your own draft rule....we have the same enemies of biodiversity- ranchers and trophy sport hunters spreading the hysteria. Meanwhile- the very job that you occupy was the result of a political arrangement between two ranchers....mead and Salazar.... Nice science based wolf plan in Wyoming....wolves shot or killed by any means any reason in 85% of the state...bottlenecked in one small corner of the state- and we can't even protect our famous Yellowstone collared wolves from the wildlife killers. Resign mr ashe

# Posted By William huard | 6/8/13 12:22 PM
Bonnie Wilson's Gravatar I believe we should still protect the wolves.
They are very important to out enviroment.

# Posted By Bonnie Wilson | 6/8/13 12:25 PM
pj's Gravatar "we’re proposing to hand over the management of these keystone predators to the professionals at the state and tribal wildlife agencies".

Wow. The history of this litigation is not something that gives me confidence. I feel that turning the fate of these magnificent hunters, key elements of nature's balance, over to humans - again - who have their own agenda about wolves is wrong-headed Pollyannism at best, and self-serving political drivel at worst. Comparing 65,000 wolves to 500,000 bison is comparing apples to oranges. Bison are not predatory and do not control a food chain hierarchy. No one is killing off bison these days. But neither species can survive "modern" civilization without appropriate, enlightened supervision. Abandoning wolves to ranchers is not enlightened policy. 

Just my 2c.
# Posted By pj | 6/8/13 1:07 PM
Jeanne Rasmussen's Gravatar Turning "management" of wolves over to the states has been disastrous. They aren't managing they are slaughtering without considering how its done(torturing by gut shooting, trapping and snaring), when its done (breeding and denning seasons when pups are born,) and not providing buffer zones outside National Parks. If a wolf travels to a neighboring state it is endangered in that state and should not be killed. It's within its former range and habitat. The Federal Agency that you oversee is also accountable to what the public wants, not just hunters, trappers, and special interest groups with big money. We pay taxes on public lands and in National Parks and it is only right and just that we, the people, have some say in the delisting and killing of wolves. An agency that calls itself steadfast, intelligent, and professional is not collectively using information gathered by scientists and biologists with their scientific facts that the recovery of wolves is not complete.

# Posted By Jeanne Rasmussen | 6/8/13 1:10 PM
Kerry's Gravatar This is beyond sad and disgusting, you have sold out our heritage and our land to ranchers, shame on you. As a taxpayer and person who grew up in the west I can't believe my government is doing this and giving the states the greenlight to exterminate them, I will be donating all I can to the coming lawsuits to stop this.
# Posted By Kerry | 6/8/13 5:32 PM
Mary's Gravatar Please note that this is a terrible idea. Do not take the wolves off the Endangered Species List.

While this is open to public comment for 90 days, I hope that many US citizens will write in to express their disagreement with this measure.

# Posted By Mary | 6/8/13 5:48 PM
Dianna Posner's Gravatar The supposed intent was state management, which has turn into horrific atrocities against the wolves, with millions of unintended victims. This is due to out of control hunters, trappers and the USFWD setting traps and M-44's filled with cyanide in State, National, and Municipal Parks. Also setting traps on private land. They've made it unsafe for our children to play in their own back yards, go camping, or play in parks that are maintained with tax dollars. Not to mention the numerous domestic pets that have died due to traps. So why are they being allowed to continue this barbaric behavior? The only conclusion I can come to, is they want to exterminate all wolves.

# Posted By Dianna Posner | 6/8/13 6:57 PM
John Colgrove's Gravatar I was very disheartened to hear that this was going to be considered. I agree that much of the data you have gathered has been skewed by the fact that it has only been attributed to those agencies that have a stake in the de-listing of wolves rather than those that desire the continued protections. The numbers simply are not realistic and you know that if they are de-listed there will be an outright massacre by the states that have been tasked with "managing" their numbers. Just take one look at the comments on your Facebook page and read the sick and disturbed comments being posted by de-listing supporters. It's enough to make any caring human sick. I want the USFWS to provide substantial independent research data that argues that de-listing is an inappropriate move at this time. It is your responsibility to look at all the angles and, by the listing of contributors to your studies, you have failed miserably at that. You must continue and expand the protections, not eliminate them.

# Posted By John Colgrove | 6/8/13 7:35 PM
william huard's Gravatar The truth hurts mr ashe....I didn't expect you to publish my first post.....the american people are not fooled.....Look at your USFWS facebook page- there are thousands of pro=wolf posts...people that support biodiversity. You and President Obama are frauds
# Posted By william huard | 6/8/13 8:37 PM
Rick Meier's Gravatar Just another reason to boycott federal parks this administration and the people they appoint are not friendly to animals

# Posted By Rick Meier | 6/8/13 8:53 PM
's Gravatar how can you say they are in rcovery?you want to delist them and continue to slaughter them!you are wrong this decision is wrong and you will face a backlash and opposition to from the public.their protection needs to be extended to all the states includeing montana,idaho and minnesota.this drive to make them extinct needs to stop and the federal govt. needs to step in to help and protect these all will be held accountable for your actions by the people.

# Posted By | 6/10/13 11:15 AM
Rae's Gravatar Dropping federal protection now is gutting 40 years of hard work to bring back wolves from the brink of exinction. Since the delisting in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes region about 1500 wolves have been hunted down in the name of management, which means open season on wolves. In my area the Northwest we have a very small population. If they are killed off we may never see them again.

# Posted By Rae | 6/10/13 11:28 AM
Jeff's Gravatar How can an animal that once numbered well into the hundreds of thousands be considered as "recovered" with a population now at a miniscule 6,100? The gray wolf once roamed EVERY state in North America and until that is accomplished again, protections MUST still be given! No changes should or need to occur in the protection of the gray wolf at this time.

# Posted By Jeff | 6/10/13 1:14 PM
Pam Kistler's Gravatar Please reconsider this most ill-advised delist the wolf. I am also concerned about the "people" that hunt and torture our wolves. We have spent too much time and money to stop now! I sent you a letter today expressing my feelings. If there are too many wolves...provide birth control...not death!

# Posted By Pam Kistler | 6/10/13 3:31 PM
KC DeWinter's Gravatar Excuse me, but how is it good policy to hunt a species (wolves) to near extinction before you protect them, and then once, the species has recovered a bit, canceling their protection so they can be hunted to near extinction yet again? If we all managed our businesses and organizations the way you are running this program, we'd all be out of jobs. And that's exactly where all of you should be: fired for this mismanagement.

# Posted By KC DeWinter | 6/10/13 4:43 PM
KC DeWinter's Gravatar If you really want a proper dialogue, you should just post what people have to say. Instead, I posted a comment, and now it has to be "approved" before you will post it? Are you kidding me? This Comment function is a joke, and so is the management of this department. You are all supposed to be STEWARDS of the land, water and wildlife, not destroyers of it.

# Posted By KC DeWinter | 6/10/13 4:45 PM
Matt M's Gravatar When they Say populations have reached "record" amounts what is their comparison? Everything we have on record is from when they were endangered. Therefore, all we know is that they are around endangered levels, but slightly above from what we recorded and once thought endangered. Its based on no reality other then the fact that we don't have the budget or will power to keep up the good fight. Citizens are willing to chip in to save the wolves, so therefore, the government is responsible for doing so!

# Posted By Matt M | 6/10/13 5:28 PM
Joanne Favazza's Gravatar States have proven to be entirely incapable of “managing” wolves. The livestock and hunting industries are influencing state wolf policies, while science is ignored. And, the usual Big Bad Wolf fairy tales are being trotted out to justify the wolf slaughter. How is it sound or ethical “management” to kill wolves during breeding season, or kill pregant wolves, or hunt wolves with dogs? How is it sound or ethical “management” to allow the killing of wolves without a license in 80% of Wyoming? Politics, not science, has been driving this issue from the start. Biologists warned against Tester’s delisting rider. 16 of the nation’s top biologists have warned against delisting in the lower 48. Yet you continue to ignore these credible voices and pander to politicians and special interests. You and this administration are doing unprecedented damage to the ESA and to wildlife. It’s well past time for you to resign.

# Posted By Joanne Favazza | 6/10/13 6:06 PM
J Adams's Gravatar I am very concerned with your decision to delist Gray wolves. Turning the future of this species over to state legislatures will almost certainly guarantee that they will be hunted to near extinction again. Recent history in my own state indicates that this is the future, as they are already under pressure. If you look at population numbers present in the wild versus the number killed in the past few years in the name of "management", there is no way the population can sustain this kind of hit once the floodgates are opened. What science supports your conclusion?

# Posted By J Adams | 6/10/13 8:17 PM
leona firewolf's Gravatar this is wrong! you should not delisted the gray wolf from federal protection, it will be open season for the ranchers and trophy, sport hunters will have states plan to keep the populations as low as they can without triggering a re-listing of the wolf. please don't let this happen!.

# Posted By leona firewolf | 6/11/13 8:07 AM
Julie Long Gallegos's Gravatar I commented yesterday and subscribed to this but strangely, my commented hasn't posted, although I'm getting updates. So, I will try again. "Cowboy Ken" Salazar and his rancher buddies are now exposed for the cheats they are. Ranchers are gaming the Federal system of compensation for livestock loss to predators by grazing irresponsibly - not sheltering newborns in sheds, and not keeping adequate watch over herds. Even so, wolf predation accounts for less than 1 percent of livestock loss. And there have been only 2 cases of wolf-on-human attack in the lower 48 states in the last 50 years. We hear an awful lot about ranchers' rights, and hunters' rights - but what about my rights as a citizen and taxpayer to a protected wilderness and its inhabitants?

# Posted By Julie Long Gallegos | 6/11/13 12:20 PM
Dori Aravis's Gravatar This delisting is wrong and you know it. It is only being done to cater to a small special interest group (cattlemen & ranchers). The American public does not want to see wolves slaughtered. DO NOT DO THIS!!

# Posted By Dori Aravis | 6/11/13 1:52 PM
Ron Fitzpatrick's Gravatar The States management plans for the Gray Wolf are to kill it. Wyoming has a shoot on sight policy, Wisconsin wants to use dogs to hunt wolves and is planning on doubling their "quota" for their second wolf hunt. Why are all the conservation scientists being ignored? Delisting makes NO sense when they aren't even present in more than half the states.Us non-hunters would like to see the wolves run in the wild. Recall there is a Public Trust Doctrine that gives every citizen the right to enjoy the wildlife of this country. Frankly the people who want to see wolves thrive are far more numerous than those who want to Delist the Gray Wolf. You are betraying the Public Trust when mislead them into thinking the Gray Wolf is in no danger.

# Posted By Ron Fitzpatrick | 6/11/13 4:46 PM
Pam Kistler's Gravatar I agree with Julie Gallegoes...Where does the responsibility of the rancher come in ...they have been allowed to get away with this criminal behavior for too long! They need to take care of their animals...not on the backs of taxpayers and especially the wolves!

# Posted By Pam Kistler | 6/11/13 7:00 PM
lib's Gravatar Sad that USFWS think they can justify an ill-thought recommendation to delist wolves. Do you seriously think that the states who are already anti-wolf will "manage" the wolf population correctly?? Absolutely not! They will hunt them until they are all gone, and your idiotic recommendation will show just how well that worked out. Numbers and studies for each state are bought and paid for by the anti-wolf fish and game commissions--and Idaho's is the most corrupt by far. THey manipulate the numbers to satisfy the USFWS and then get their way. Maybe someday livestock and hunting interests will not be allowed to have their way and federal agencies will actually LISTEN to the majority of the folks who pay their salary. I pray that someone in the administration steps up ad sees this delisting proposal as the tragedy it will become.

# Posted By lib | 6/11/13 7:02 PM
's Gravatar Decision to remove the grey wolf from endangered list is a good decision. Many comments I have read on this site are based on emotion and not very well thought out or are based on not knowing the general environment the wolf survives in and where "sheltering newborns in sheds" is not possible. Keeping them protected until "they roam freely in all states", I guess we need to tear up all the Interstates and go back to "horse and buggy day", I believe the department has done an outstanding job in a difficult situation. Probably could have been delisted earlier, but that is only an opinion, I respect their hard work and open minded approach.

# Posted By | 6/12/13 9:50 AM
Dori Aravis's Gravatar So we brought grey wolves back so we could shoot them? Well, knowing our totally screwed up government, that makes perfect sense.
# Posted By Dori Aravis | 6/12/13 12:36 PM
Disgusted's Gravatar This is a complete travesty. The wolves are not recovered, and this allow a full blown slaughter of the few remaining wolves. Wolves are part of the balance of nature. Large corporate farmers and ranchers are not. I see nothing truthful in your blog. Constantly and needlessly killing the wolves reeks of political strong arming. Brutal, cruelty is the result.

# Posted By Disgusted | 6/12/13 7:37 PM
Kate's Gravatar There are no so called "professionals" waiting to take over the care of the grey wolf. You compare the ESA to an emergency room and yet you're kicking out your patient while he's still on life support. And you're kicking him right into an angry mob. The officials in charge of wildlife management in the states such as Wyoming, Montana and Idaho have no interest in seeing the wolf spread out into the rest of its former range. Their idea of conservation is shoot on site. Putting wolves back into the hands of these people will see them decline drastically and we'll be right back where we started again. This animal will be back on the ESA faster than you can say genocide.

# Posted By Kate | 6/12/13 10:48 PM
Carol's Gravatar As someone who lives outside of the US, I am appalled to keep reading the (in my view) justified criticisms of the Fish & Wildlife Service. The US has some of the most magnificent wildlife in the world and I despair at the minority who seem to have all the power to decide the fate of these magnificent creatures in the face of overwhelming public opinion against attempts yet again to exterminate them. They are sentient beings who deserve to be left alone. FWS is not fit for purpose.

# Posted By Carol | 6/13/13 3:47 AM
Pearl Rosenstein's Gravatar A recent artical in the Science section of the New York Times on Tuesday, June 11th, stated that more Pumas,(mountain lions), than ever before are migrating to the Rockies and west. If they used their collective heads, Republicans and ranchers would realize that wolves are not the only predatory animals responcible for ranchers problems. Apart from being beautiful animals, wolves are among the most intelligent of animals. They take only what they need to survive. They have the most tightly knit social order, And unlike humans, have as many young as they can feed, comfortably. Wolves are afraid of humans. They hide from us. They must be protected, not slaughtered. Ranchers can't blame the wolf for all their problems. But that seems to be their easy way out..There are other things they can do to protect their herds. One more thing, prey animals forage on grasses, less wolves, more prey animals, less foraging land.

# Posted By Pearl Rosenstein | 6/13/13 8:32 AM
Gerald Schuth's Gravatar Wildlife as animals are akin to the poorest people in our society. They need the government to protect them from the majority and the powerful. The previous comments listed express my concerns about this unnecessary action. If the federal government caretakers of wildlife can be cowed by the landowners, what chance would a respectable state wildlife professional have in the states which disparage the wolf.

# Posted By Gerald Schuth | 6/13/13 12:44 PM
Kim Frohlinger's Gravatar Wandering packs of feral dogs kill more livestock than wolves do, this is a proven fact. Perhaps these predators should be removed first. Wolves can be managed with guard dogs, ropes with fabric attached which scares them, and besides, it is not the rancher's land, it is the American Public's land and most of us want the wolves to recover their traditional ranges. Let the ranchers buy their own land, not lease it from us at ridiculously low rates; let them electrify their fences on their own private property. The ranchers think that the only good wolf is a dead one, and once delisted, the wolves are DOA.

# Posted By Kim Frohlinger | 6/13/13 1:06 PM
Julie Long Gallegos's Gravatar I'm responding to the person who opted to post entirely anonymously on 6/12, who questioned my posting of 6/11/13 and quoted me re: shedding of newborns. Thank you for reading my comment. I must have hit a nerve! You did not address my larger points - these facts (not emotion, but facts): 1. wolf predation accounts for less than 1 percent of all livestock losses in 2012 and 2. there have been only 2 cases of wolf-on-human attacks in the last 50 years. Re: shedding of newborn livestock - if the rancher can't afford to shed newborns, the rancher shouldn't be in the ranching business. 
My response to "anonymous" is that emotions are good things, they make thinking people want to analyze the emotional response. Here is a link to further that discourse.

# Posted By Julie Long Gallegos | 6/13/13 1:07 PM
C. Stinson's Gravatar I have noticed far too many wolves with collars being killed in the photos being posted all over. The taking away of wolves from the endangered list, and the mass killings with no order or sense, is really pointing to an agenda. The agenda is to kill ALL wolves, with no regard to the environmental impact. I have read the so called reasons for "management"...and this goes to all predatory wildlife...and it boils down to the short term money of hunting tags, with no care in the world of future problems killing ALL of natures predators will cause. I see a tiny group of over moneyed 'hunters', killing off a majority of wildlife for a mere moment of thrill. I would like to enjoy living wildlife, not ugly dead 'trophys' in someones' house. Federal Wildlife Managements are really failing the majority of the population, catering to the microscopic minority. As for predation of cattle on those horrible ranches, who cares? I eat local meat from organic farms, its way better by far!

# Posted By C. Stinson | 6/13/13 4:06 PM
pj's Gravatar I am responding to the June 13, 2013 / 6:20 AM Comment made by: (anonymous) IP that a "Decision to remove the grey wolf from endangered list is a good decision." I disagree. Vehemently. Many comments are based on a thorough reading of the FWS analysis. I, for one, note that its proposed delisting the grey wolf is based on its conclusion (canis lupus) is not a "species". 
The preface says, "best available scientific and commercial information indicates that the currently listed entity (Canis lupus) is not a valid species under the Act". What a crock. 

I agree that we cannot reverse engineer the climate in which wolves originally existed, but we can certainly do something other than acquiesce to one-dimensional conclusions like this. In a nutshell, unless other experts can point out that FWS's redefining "species" as applied in the Act is incorrect or unsubstantiated, I fear the worst.
# Posted By pj | 6/13/13 4:11 PM
Dori's Gravatar I've been reading the comments - not one approves this stupid plan to delist wolves. Do you think we are ignorant and can't see where this decision is coming from? Special interest groups - cattlemen & trophy hunters. There is absolutely no scientific reason to hunt and kill these magnificant animals. This is greed and stupidity plain and simple. These wolves belong to the American people, not to the states and certainly not to the people who only want to kill them. Haven't wolves been tormented enough over history? In God's name, give them a break!!!!

# Posted By Dori | 6/13/13 5:14 PM
Michael J.G.'s Gravatar I don't believe this is the right choice for F&W to choose. After seeing photo's of "very satisfied hunters holding up their killed wolf's (most of them wearing radio tracking collars yet dead)because keeping track it's as important as getting to kill one of these great animals with a gun! So it's easy prey for the so called humans who take pride. This is a shame & it goes against what the F&W cite as their "mission statement,continuing the benefit of the American people". Also stating both a leader & trusted partner". The wolf represents what America once was, to be free & roam where ever it wanted. Now their bound by borders of states & ranchers who use our public lands as their own back yard for their cattle or other live stock. So for them the wolf is the bad guy because of these small number of citizens enforcing their right to carry arms & hunt & kill an animal that your agency predicts will continue to survive? As a former military combat veteran I resent the F&W position.

# Posted By Michael J.G. | 6/13/13 9:07 PM
's Gravatar When the wolves are taken off the list for protection, a BloodBath will ensue !! For whatever reason, many in this country would like to TORTURE the wolf and Why is this?? 
Where I grew up in the mts. Of NY (60s) we had some appearances of wild wolves. My friend & I were with our dogs. We would stand still, but I will tell you, there was NO occurances of attack!! They would sniff, stand with us but they wrre not angry. I say this because they abide by the Rules of Nature. Sit with thesecow/steer owners & figure out the Laws of Nature!!!!!! Don't kill the poor things....find other ways to keep them off the property.
And PLEASE don't let the helicopter cowboys run them into the ground & shoot them!!!!!!! That's totally cruel!!! Please consider what I say...they are nice red blooded creatures...the Lord will love you 4 it ;-)

# Posted By | 6/14/13 3:13 AM
nancy shinn's Gravatar Please reverse the proposed plan by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that would remove federal Endangered Species Act protections from wolves across most of the Lower 48 states. This plan would slam the door on gray wolf recovery before the job is done.The return of gray wolves to areas like the Northern Rockies and the western Great Lakes is one of the greatest conservation success stories of our time. But there are still few -- if any -- wolves in large portions of their former range, where scientists have determined suitable habitat exists. Wolf recovery in those places will depend on federal protections.Wolves are just beginning to make a comeback in Oregon and Washington, and a wolf recently made its way to California -- the first wolf in the state in more than 80 years. Lone wolves have also crossed into Utah, Colorado and multiple states in the Northeast. With federal protections removed, wolf recovery in these places is not likely to ever happen.

# Posted By nancy shinn | 6/14/13 1:55 PM
DoAZIDo27's Gravatar The ill-timed and reckless proposed action by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves would be a conservation nightmare. Delisting this iconic species would completely reverse decades of hard work to re-introduce the wolves to sustainable habitat. Rabid anti-wolf politics must NOT be allowed to overrule scientific facts and wildlife management principles and could lead to the extinction of this iconic species.

Already, more than 1,700 wolves have been brutally killed since Congress took away ESA protections in 2011. I urge you in the strongest possible terms to protect America’s gray wolves that are just coming back from the brink of eradication.

# Posted By DoAZIDo27 | 6/22/13 4:58 PM
Jessie Matheny's Gravatar The US congress has done something terrible to the face of the American Wildlife, specifically, to the Grey Wolves of the Rocky Mountains.For the first time in history, an animal has been removed from the Endangered Species List. This animal is the grey wolf. These animals have not been removed because they have bounced back in population.They have been removed because of the anti-wolf politics being pushed by local politicians in the Rocky Mountain Area including Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. People are living in the dark ages with their ideas. They are living in fear of the less than 5,000 wolves that inhabit our entire country (as of 2008, before anti-wolf politics).They have hatred towards animals that are necessary to keep the balance in the forest lands and national parks. They kill the wolves for sport, something that is socially acceptable. Other corrupt, more wealthy people pay for the hides or pay large amount of money to go on "wolf hunts".

# Posted By Jessie Matheny | 6/24/13 9:46 PM
Aaron's Gravatar our countries government has approved the ability to shoot and kill the animals without being punished by taking them off the Endangered Species List. Will we as humans with a population of almost 7 billion, think we have the right to kill a species to already almost at extinction? This, when we were responsible for killing them and bringing their numbers down in the first place just over 100 years ago.When I was a child growing up in Montana, the wolves reached a dangerously low population. I was proud when the local Fish and Wildlife Admin stepped in and made protected areas for the wolves while they bred, and brought in wolves from other areas to ensure their thriving numbers. This was the ethical right decision.The most famous of all the Wolves in Yellowstone National park has even been recently killed. She was the Alpha Female of the famous Lamar Canyon wolf pack. Her pack now being without a strong female alpha will have trouble defending themselves without her strength.

# Posted By Aaron | 6/24/13 9:48 PM
Ayenjay's Gravatar Join 12,000 people and sign the petition against taking wolves off of the endangered species list.

# Posted By Ayenjay | 6/24/13 10:04 PM
S. Forsman's Gravatar The people of the USA nearly destroyed the native wolf population in the past. NOW, thanks to your proposal, they have yet another chance to do so. PLEASE do NOT remove the wolf from the endangered species list. Ranchers don't need to shoot on sight anything which COULD endanger their livestock. They NEED TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF their livestock! i.e. place humans next to the cattle. OR take their chances with nature.

# Posted By S. Forsman | 7/9/13 11:45 AM
's Gravatar I am writing to request that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hold public hearings regarding the proposal to remove federal protections for gray wolves across much of the lower 48 states and that the current public comment period for the wolf-delisting proposal be extended by 30 days. This is of national significance: it will influence the recovery of an iconic native species that once ranged widely across the US. If enacted, the rule would remove federal protections for wolves in states they once inhabited and where suitable wolf habitat still exists without any attempt at federal recovery planning for wolves there. The proposal will also result in addressing habitat for the Mexican gray wolf subspecies in the Southwest. I recommend that hearings be held in the following five cities: Portland, Ore.; Sacramento, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Tucson, Ariz. and Portland, Maine.

# Posted By | 7/9/13 3:17 PM
Dorianne Rena Dantowitz's Gravatar As a follow-up to my previous comment (which I forgot to add my name to): I recommend that hearings be held in the following five cities: Portland, Ore.; Sacramento, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Tucson, Ariz. and Portland, Maine because they are located in a region where scientists have identified thousands of acres of habitat that is suitable for wolves. The Fish and Wildlife Service is aware of the studies documenting this habitat. Wolves could be restored to these regions only through continued federal protections for wolves and the development of federal recovery programs. The public cares deeply about wolves and their conservation. They are an important part of our national heritage and play a key role as apex predator. Federal recovery efforts to date have been widely publicized, and state management of wolves where federal protections have already been lifted has been extremely controversial. It is essential that there be adequate opportunity for public input.

# Posted By Dorianne Rena Dantowitz | 7/9/13 3:22 PM
Dorianne Dantowitz's Gravatar Please don't take any wolves off the endangered species list. If you delist wolves, your success would effectively be nothing more than "breeding" wolves for hunters who can then hunt them to extinction again. Then you can relist them and breed them back only to let them be hunted to extinction again. How sad.

# Posted By Dorianne Dantowitz | 7/9/13 3:32 PM
Bev's Gravatar Don't you find it very interesting that nobody is writing to applaud the Fish & Wildlife Division's deeply flawed decision to de-list wolves? Does that tell you something? Maybe that the American people don't want wolves delisted? I also guess that means that you will go right ahead with this wrong-headed decision since a government of the people seems to have disappeared from the face of the earth.

# Posted By Bev | 7/10/13 5:21 PM
Linda's Gravatar I,too, believe this is a travesty. We have not learned from the past. Hunters are lined up, and it is only a matter of time before the numbers decline again. These predators are still necessary for nature's balance. When will we learn? Shame on those responsible for delisting this species.

# Posted By Linda | 7/11/13 9:58 AM
Concerned American Citizen's Gravatar Unless people are educated on the importance and true nature of the wolf, removing protections from it is a ridiculous notion. With the reputation that the wolf has, it has little hope of further recovery without the protections of the federal government. Removing protections in states such as Wyoming has resulted in hundreds of wolves being killed and wolf populations are actually decreasing rather than increasing and strangely, livestock kills have actually increased as well. Experienced adult wolves being killed, leaving pups without parents and adolescent wolves without teachers. Because of the lack of guidance, younger wolves are more likely turn to taking livestock instead of hunting, which is furthering their bad reputation and spurring even more wolf killing.

# Posted By Concerned American Citizen | 7/25/13 6:00 PM
Martha Hall's Gravatar In my state, Washington, wolves are returning but far from established. Yet our local F & W has already killed one entire pack which violated our state wolf recovery plan. Don't count on the states.

# Posted By Martha Hall | 7/28/13 11:57 PM
Matt Mezinze's Gravatar I think training wolves to avoid livestock by using a shock collar on wolves, that is activated by another collar on livestock, or in the area of livestock, like an invisible fence used to train dogs to not roam out of an area, would be an easy fix to some of these problems. GPS tracking would also add volumes to the research of the needed size of territories for a sustainable population.

# Posted By Matt Mezinze | 7/29/13 12:47 PM
Justin Patterson's Gravatar Why did we release gray wolves if we are going to turn around and kill them all? I understand why ranchers dislike wolves. But research shows that the cattle deaths have been way below what scientist have estimated. And that whole elk thing is ridiculous, mountain lions and bears (bears mainly take calves) take more elk then wolves anyway. God put wolves in the Rockies for a reason. They are a keystone species. They help out other wildlife like beavers and moose. If you can wolves out of the Rockies you take the wildness right out of them as well. In yellowstone national park wolf watching has dramatically increase the local economy because of wolves. People want to see wolves, they are willing to spend money to watch them! Keep wolves free and protected!

# Posted By Justin Patterson | 7/29/13 6:43 PM
Wildlife Supporter's Gravatar As evidenced by the comments above the wolf reintroduction was an abysmal failure. I understand Bangs and Rappaport and Babbitt left the issue for you to deal with while taking pot shots from the peanut gallery, but that is the nature of wolf reintroduction. There is a certain amount of public education that was missing from the very beginning, and until that most vital component is fulfilled the job of FWS is not complete. I read your statement with care, and I’m positive you understand the issue in all it’s complexity. To complete the job somehow that segment of the public such as has responded in comments here, needs to arrive at an understanding of the issue too.

# Posted By Wildlife Supporter | 7/30/13 9:47 AM
Jim Ganyon's Gravatar Gray wolves are still endangered and ned to be protected. I think the F&W Service is making a big mistake handing it over to the states. They want to get rid of them.

# Posted By Jim Ganyon | 7/30/13 3:20 PM
Sam Booher's Gravatar Over the years I have twice visited Yellowstone. First time there a large number of Bison. Second time there were a lot less. I asked where they had gone. I found out that Montana was killing all that left the Park to the North looking for winter food in our National Forests (inside Montana). USDA and DOI need to talk.

Also , I was shown how the wolves kept the bison, moose and elk moving and not allowing them to stay and eat all the willow and other vegetation on the stream banks. This resulted in natural streams with returning otters, beaver, fish and other aquation life that before the return of wolves had long ago left Yellowstone.It is obvious to myself and other Naturalists that wolves are a top predator that are needed on all Public Lands. I am intersted in knowing what US Fish and Wildlife is doing to ensure all National Public land retain Wolves or Mountain Lions as top predators? For without a top predator America's public lands and no more than cattle ranches.

# Posted By Sam Booher | 8/13/13 9:45 PM
Michael Klein's Gravatar When deciding whether or not to delist a species as an endangered species, does the Fish and Wildlife Service use mathematical modeling?

# Posted By Michael Klein | 8/26/13 6:32 PM
Dennis Pluth's Gravatar I wonder if any of these pro wolf supporters have ever had to make their living off the land and then to have a cash asset like a calf or lamb eaten by a hungry pack. When one of them or their peers are attacked, it may change their concrete jungle attitude.

# Posted By Dennis Pluth | 8/27/13 2:50 PM
Michael Klein's Gravatar When deciding policy on managing the gray wolf, does the Fish and Wildlife Service rely on mathematical modeling of wolf populations? If yes, where would some of those models be described?

# Posted By Michael Klein | 8/27/13 6:39 PM
Michael Klein's Gravatar Response to Dennis Pluth: Of course wolf attacks on humans are unacceptable, but they are rare, usually by those few wolves that are rabid or are habituated to humans. And of course we want to minimize wolf predation on livestock. Question is, can we do so without minimizing wolf populations? Wyoming is trying to keep wolves and livestock separate by protecting wolves in the wild northwest part of the state while allowing any wolf to be killed anywhere else in the state. It remains to be seen if this approach is successful. Another way is to make sure that there is enough wolf habitat stocked with enough wild game so that wolves do not feel the need to wander into human territory. There should be enough room in this world for both humans and wildlife, and a good wildlife environment needs a top predator like the wolf.

# Posted By Michael Klein | 8/28/13 11:14 PM
Rick Meier's Gravatar The gray wolf is nothing but a political pawn played by both sides and pimped by a shill of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Sevice that tries to act legit .....shameful

# Posted By Rick Meier | 9/2/13 2:27 AM
Randy Comeleo's Gravatar No public hearing in the Pacific Northwest? Those of us in Oregon and Washington have a completely different view of the proposed delisting than people in the states where hearings are currently scheduled.

# Posted By Randy Comeleo | 9/5/13 3:05 PM
Cristy Murray's Gravatar What are you in such a freaking big rush to delist wolves? As a member of both the Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife, I tend to let them speak for me because they are much better at remaining polite. It isn't polite to destroy something that took decades to restore. With programs in place to compensate for predation I don't understand the blood lust against wolves.

# Posted By Cristy Murray | 9/5/13 3:10 PM
Dennis Pluth's Gravatar In the past few years the elk herd in Yellowstone has been nearly wiped out by the wolves. Only elk left are those living close by the inhabited areas. Let's face it the wolf population is growing way too fast.
They need control.

# Posted By Dennis Pluth | 9/5/13 3:56 PM
Mtn Mamma's Gravatar Could you please have a Public Comment Hearing in Colorado? Many people in this state would like to have their voice heard on this issue. Wolves need continued Federal protection in suitable habitat/historic range where they have not yet reestablished populations. Colorado could have wolves migrating in from both the North and South.

# Posted By Mtn Mamma | 9/5/13 8:48 PM
's Gravatar I live in Colorado and would love to see wolves reestablish a healthy population here. Colorado has excellent wolf habitat and is part of the Gray Wolves historical range. We could see Grays disperse from the North or Mexican Grays disperse from the South. I have closely followed the saga of wolf recovery in both science and political realms. I do feel that the USFWS's delisting proposal is premature. I would like the opportunity to voice my opinion on the matter. Would you please consider hosting an additional Public Hearing in Colorado?

# Posted By | 9/6/13 10:29 AM
Gordon Holm's Gravatar To put the survival of the Gray Wolf back in the hands of the very people that led to their total eradication in the 1980's is beyond recklessness.The past 40 years the Fish and Wildlife Service has spent countless time and effort in the reintroduction of the species.This regulation would once again give control to the hunting and ranching interests who are not and will never be in favor of the wolf's survival in the lower 48 states. In good conscience no other decision can be made but to keep the Gray Wolf under Federal protection.

# Posted By Gordon Holm | 9/10/13 1:32 PM
Shirley Smith's Gravatar Our iconic wolves are an integral part of wilderness ecosystems. They are magnificent, iconic animals and will, once again, be put in harms way by ranchers and thrill-of-the-kill hunters who want to see them "exterminated!" There is no truth or logic in their supposed "recovery" and handing their lives over to individual states is surely signing their death warrant! Where is compassion and respect for life when these decisions are made?

# Posted By Shirley Smith | 9/10/13 8:38 PM

October 26, 2013


Reposted from Save Our Wolves

Very intense and good article.

I was prone on my stomach on a small knoll above the Lamar River, peering through my field glasses toward a stand of tall cottonwoods, their leaves a shimmering bronze in the autumn light. The morning air was crisp, hinting at an early snow in the dark, distant peaks of the Absaroka Range. The summer tourists had evaporated; I felt alone in the Big Empty.

I had ventured to this remote Northeast quadrant of Yellowstone National Park looking for wolves. One particular wolf, in fact, a female called 832F, the grand-daughter of one of the original pairs of wolves reintroduced into the park in 1996. She was the unrivaled leader of her pack, a gregarious and inquisitive creature, graceful and athletic, capable of taking down a mature elk by herself. She was also, by all accounts, a dutiful mother, caring, doting, fiercely protective.

I had seen her once before, a fleeting glimpse, two years earlier, a few miles from the Lamar Valley in the green meanders of Slough Creek, with two pups, a few months old, nipping playfully at her heels. Instead of merely watching them, I stumbled clumsily for my camera. Her ears pricked, she turned to me, gave a stern growl, as if to say “you blew it, buddy,” and vanished with her brood into a thicket of willows.

This was to be my shot at redemption and I left my Canon, with its intrusive lens, locked in the car. I had chosen a spot about 200 yards downwind from the fresh corpse of a bison, which was being picked at by a grouchy group of ravens. I had been settled in for two hours or so, crouched low in the tall grasses, when they came, silent as shadows, down through the cottonwoods, to the decaying body by the river. Even the ravens, those caustic critics of authority, quelled in the presence of the pack.

The two pups had grown. They raced each other to gnaw at the flank of the bison. Six other wolves, followed casually, waded into the river, lapped water and then began to feed on the carcass. After twenty minutes or so, the satiated wolves curled up near each other and napped in the sunshine. But Wolf 832F didn’t join the feast. She sat on a ledge above the river, her head held high, surveying the valley as the fall winds bristled across her shining coat.

Two months later, two of these wolves would be killed, shot by hunters in Wyoming, who were gunning for “radio-collared wolves,” which identified them as originating in Yellowstone. One of the wolves was 832F, the other was her mate.

Arguably the most famous wolf in the world, 832F had the misfortune of slipping across the invisible boundary of Yellowstone Park into the state of Wyoming, a free-fire zone. There she encountered an anonymous hunter, who had been camped out in the forest for 20 consecutive days, just waiting for one of the Yellowstone wolves to cross the sights of his rifle. There is compelling evidence that anti-wolf hunters in Wyoming had been honing in on the telemetry frequencies from the radio collars to track and kill the wolves as they crossed the boundary of the park.

In May of this year on the northern border of Yellowstone, a wolf-hating rancher lured another pack of Yellowstone wolves out of the park to his ranch. He baited the wolves by setting out sheep carcasses on his property. The rancher waited until park wolves showed up and opened fire, killing a black two-year old female, who had been born and reared in Yellowstone’s Hayden Valley.

In the past two years, since the Obama administration shamefully gave the green light to legal wolf hunting in the Yellowstone region, fourteen of the Park’s wolves (about 12 percent of the total population) have been shot or trapped outside the park’s boundaries.

The decision was shameful because we now know the decision to delist the wolf was motivated solely by politics, not science. The review panel met in secret with Democrats from the state of Montana who vigorously pushed for the delisting, which they argued would be a crucial factor in tight senate and gubernatorial races. Meanwhile, ecologists who objected to the plan were ignored and three scientists on the review panel who were viewed as “pro wolf” were summarily removed.

The consequences for wolves and the integrity of the Endangered Species Act itself have been grim. In Yellowstone itself, the wolf population is in free-fall. Ironically, wolf populations in the park hit their high point during the Bush administration, with a count of 174 wolves in 2003. When Obama took office in the winter of 2009, there were an estimated 146 wolves in Yellowstone. That number has declined sharply each year. This year the park’s population has fallen to 70 wolves, marking a more than 50 percent reduction in Obama’s four years in office.

Even wolves in Oregon, where wolf hunting is outlawed, are not safe. OR-16 was a young black male, a little over a year old, born along the upper Walla Walla River. He had been radio-collared and photographed to great fanfare by Oregon wolf biologists in November 2012. Three months later, a wolf hunter shot the black pup near Lowman, Idaho. There is speculation that Oregon ranchers may have deliberately chased the wolf across the Snake River into Idaho during the height of the state’s wolf hunt. A posting by a Bill K. on an anti-wolf email group bragged: “If us pushing that wolf back over to be shot in Idaho works, we will continue to push many more back for the shooters, hell we will even pay for the ammo. ha ha ha ha.”

OR-16 was just one of more than 500 wolves legally killed in Idaho in the last two years. And the slaughter is just getting started.

All this blood sacrificed for what?

By : Jeffrey St. Clair / CounterPunch / October 26, 2013


14 October 2013


First Posted by: John Motsinger  

Wolves were rescued from the brink of extinction over 35 years ago when they gained federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. Today the American wolf is again in grave danger. Since President Obama removed the gray wolf from the endangered species list in April 2011 and turned management of these majestic animals over to state wildlife agencies, 1,703 wolves have been senselessly slaughtered by sport hunters and trappers alone in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota and Wisconsin.



By Exposing the Big Game

DULUTH, Minn. — Wolf experts from 19 nations will meet in Duluth for a major symposium this weekend focused on the future of the animal and its interactions with people.

The International Wolf Center global event, which is the first since 2005, will feature wolf advocates, researchers and wildlife managers who represent opposing viewpoints on how humans should treat wolves, the Wolf Center's Nancy Gibson told the Duluth News Tribune ( ). A debate on hunting, trapping and wolf protection is set for Saturday.

"Global interest in wolves, both wolf research and just a general public interest, just seems to be growing," said Gibson, a wolf center co-founder and board member.

Wolves face many issues throughout the world. Their prey and habitat is under threat in places such as Russia. Farmers are pressing for more wolf killing in France. And closer to home, wolf hunts have been held in Minnesota and Wisconsin and soon will be Michigan.

Minnesota has an estimated 2,200 wolves, which is down from nearly 3,000 a decade ago. Wisconsin has about 800 wolves and Michigan about 500.

Gibson said wolves seem doomed to a constant state of conflict with people.

"With the human population ever increasing, and more people living where wolves live, wolves will usually come out on the short among these two species that historically haven't gotten along very well," she said.

Exposing the Big Game | October 10, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Tags: Minnesota, wolves | Categories: Wolves | URL:


Please sign and share 
Center for Biological Diversity's petition about this here. 
Thank you!



E&E News, October 1, 2013
By Laura Petersen

Wolf advocates yesterday welcomed the Fish and Wildlife Service's move to relaunch an independent peer review of its proposal to remove most gray wolves from the endangered species list.
Many advocates, including Oregon Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio, say peer review is key to ensuring the agency does not delist the wolves.
"That is the beginning of a victory," DeFazio said yesterday afternoon at a wolf rally outside the Interior Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. "I believe if we get a peer review panel on wolves that follows the science, they will not make a recommendation to remove wolves from Endangered Species Act protections."
FWS in June proposed delisting the gray wolf with the exception of a small population in Arizona and New Mexico (Greenwire, June 7). A peer review of the proposal became mired in controversy this summer after FWS suggested several critics be removed from the review panel (E&ENews PM, Aug. 12). The new review process will be run by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis without any FWS involvement (Greenwire, Sept. 30).
More than 80 people attended the rally organized by Defenders of Wildlife and other conservation groups. They howled loudly to express their opposition to delisting. Several people wore homemade wolf masks, and many held signs that read "Too Soon," "Finish the Job" and "What would Babbitt do?" in reference to former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, who led the department when wolves were first reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995.
"Gone is the biological optimism and bold conservation vision that has been the hallmark of past recovery efforts under the Endangered Species Act," said Jamie Rappaport Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife and former FWS director under President Clinton.
Advocates argued that removing protections will inhibit wolves' ability to safely disperse to suitable habitat in other states like Colorado, California and beyond.
Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity, described the proposal as "cynical and defeatist" during a public hearing at the Interior offices last night.
More than 70 people signed up to speak for two minutes each. Representatives from Washington state, Safari Club International and Big Game Forever expressed support for the proposal. The rest were strongly opposed.
When FWS Director Dan Ashe took the stage for opening remarks, the audience softly howled and then loudly scoffed when Ashe spoke of responsible, state-based management.
In a meeting with reporters yesterday morning, Ashe defended the proposal as scientifically and legally sound.
"The goal of the Endangered Species Act is not and cannot be to recreate the past, but to protect species from extinction," Ashe said.
He noted that wolves are the "poster child" of the positive effects of the Endangered Species Act and that dedicated FWS employees led the recovery effort with state partners.
"The idea that the Fish and Wildlife Service has a desire to wring our hands and walk away from wolves could not be further from the truth," he said. "But the time has come for us to focus our efforts where they are needed most. Wolves are recovered in the Great Lakes. Wolves are recovered in the Northern Rocky Mountains."
More than 5,000 wolves roam the northern Rocky Mountains and western Great Lakes, up from a remnant population of a few hundred in Minnesota and Michigan in the 1970s. Wolves in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan were taken off the list in 2011 and 2012.
The service has received more than 95,000 comments on its delisting proposal so far. Public hearings that were scheduled in Sacramento, Calif., and Albuquerque, N.M., this week were canceled due to the government shutdown. Ashe said they will be rescheduled, and an additional meeting was added in Denver on Oct. 17.
Ashe thanked the wolf advocates at the public hearing last night for their engagement and passion on wolf conservation. He urged them to direct some of that energy toward Congress, which failed to reach a budget deal to keep the government open, forcing Ashe to shut down today his organization of 9,500 employees. He also reminded the audience that House Republicans had proposed cutting the FWS fiscal 2014 budget by 27 percent.
"I would urge you, after you are done here tonight ..." he said, "that you commit yourself to helping us in the context of this larger battle of which we are a part and in which we all have a stake."

Copyright © 2013 E&E Publishing, LLC.
This article originally appeared here:

We have our work cut out for us , Wolves. Please keep speaking up and leave comments. Thank you.


September 30, 2013 (AP)
AP Environmental Writer
Associated Press

Federal officials offered a staunch defense Monday of their proposal to drop legal protections for the gray wolf in most of the country, as opponents rallied in the nation's capital before the first in a series of public hearings on the plan.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service called for removing the wolf from the endangered species list for the lower 48 states in June, except for a subspecies called the Mexican wolf in the Southwest, which is struggling to survive. Ranching and hunting groups have praised the proposal, while environmentalists have said it is premature.

A final decision will be made within a year, following a scientific analysis of the agency's proposal and three public hearings, the first of which was being held Monday in Washington. The others are scheduled for Wednesday in Sacramento, Calif., and Friday in Albuquerque, N.M., although officials said they will be postponed if the government partially shuts down because of the fight in Congress over the health care overhaul.

Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe acknowledged the fierce opposition to the wolf plan from many advocacy groups, scientists and members of Congress. They say the predator remains in a tenuous position despite bouncing back from the last century, when trapping, shooting and poisoning encouraged by federal bounties left just a few hundred survivors in Minnesota by the time they were placed on the protected list in 1974.

"There's certainly no more polarizing issue than wolves," Ashe said.

But he said the agency's mission is not to restore an endangered species in every place it once lived. Rather, it is to ensure that a species is established and thriving in enough places that it won't die out.

"Recovery of the wolf is one of the greatest conservation success stories in the history of our nation ... a poster child of what we can achieve through the protections of the Endangered Species Act even for our most imperiled species," Ashe said.

More than 5,000 gray wolves roam the land, primarily in the western Great Lakes states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin and the northern Rockies states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Minnesota officials said in July their population has dropped in the past five years by more than 700 animals — to about 2,200 — with the resumption of hunting and a decline in deer on which they prey.

Wolves also have spread to the Pacific Northwest. In Washington state, the population is estimated to be 50 to 100 wolves.

"We continue to believe that wolves are healthy, well distributed, genetically connected and continuing to prosper," Ashe said.

Brett Hartl, of the Center for Biological Diversity, was among the proposal's critics who planned to testify at the Washington hearing.

"The Fish and Wildlife Service is walking away from recovery even though wolves occupy just a fraction of their former range and face continued persecution," Hartl said. "Large swaths of the American landscape would benefit from the presence of these top carnivores."

In a study published this month, the Klamath Center for Conservation Research said the wolves' chances in the West may depend on whether they can stake out new territory, instead of being bottled up in a few areas.

Ashe said the wolf still could return to states such as Colorado, Utah and Nevada, but that protecting them would be up to state governments.

By dropping the species from the endangered list in most places, the Fish and Wildlife Service could devote more time and resources to the Mexican wolf, he said. While the wolf has enjoyed a "miraculous" jump in public acceptance elsewhere, strong resistance persists in Arizona and New Mexico, where only about 75 Mexican wolves remain. The agency wants to substantially widen the area where they would be released and given legal protection.

Ashe also said the agency is renewing the independent analysis of its plan that was put on hold in August amid criticism of the way members of the review panel were being selected. A contractor hired by the agency notified three scientists who were under consideration that they couldn't serve. They had signed a letter in May that challenged a draft of the gray wolf plan.

A different organization, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, will select the scientists for the peer review.


Follow John Flesher on Twitter at




Posted by Katie Mast on September 26.2013 at 11:02 AM

Montana’s wolf hunters hung up their bows last Saturday as archery season closed and rifle season began. Five years after the federal government dropped Montana’s wolves from the Endangered Species List and the state took over management, officials are still trying to trim the state's growing wolf population. This year, each hunter can bag five wolves, up from last year’s maximum of three. In addition, out-of-state hunters can get a wolf license for $50, down from the $350 fee at this time last year. Plus, hunters will have an additional month to stake out these clever, adaptable predators. Montana’s changes come amidst a contentious national conversation about whether gray wolves everywhere should come off the Endangered Species List.

This map from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows the 2012 distribution of the Northern Rockies gray wolf packs.
This map from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows the 2012 distribution of the Northern Rockies gray wolf packs.
Public comments on the proposed federal delisting were supposed to wrap up last week, but because of the overwhelming response, the comment period has been extended to late October. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) says that the proposal to delist is scientifically sound, and that the Endangered Species Act (ESA) does not require full restoration across a species' previous range. With populations already returned to state management in the Northern Rockies (Montana, Idaho and Wyoming) and the Western Great Lakes (Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan), the agency says it has fulfilled recovery requirements. The proposal would also allow the agency to focus on a southwestern sub-species, the Mexican wolf, which would still be listed as endangered. Gary Frazer, the agency's assistant director for endangered species, told Nature journal, “That was the plan from the beginning: to declare recovery, to delist the species, and to move on to other species that need our attention.”
However, opponents argue that, while wolf populations have indeed improved since the mid-20th century, their range and numbers are still not big enough to maintain healthy genetic diversity. And states managing wolves plan to reduce current populations even further through hunting, trapping and agency culls (although they can't let numbers drop below a federally required minimum). Conservationists say the delisting proposal sets a dangerous precedent for the ESA by calling it good on wolves when they may still need federal protection. “The Fish and Wildlife Service is essentially saying that this is the best that wolves can do, and it’s not even close,” John Vucetich, a forest scientist at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, told Nature. 
In Montana, the minimum federally required number is 150 individuals, including 15 breeding pairs. Since the state took over wolf management, it has increased the access for wolf hunters through a longer season and larger bag counts. And each year, the numbers of hunters and the reported kills have also increased. Still, wolf populations are growing faster than state managers would like. The most recent count in Montana, conducted at the end of 2012, estimated at least 625.

As wolf populations in the state have increased in recent decades, so have wolf conflicts with humans and livestock. For the 2011 hunting season, Montana FWP set a state-wide maximum of 220 wolf kills, a number that managers thought would strike a balance between maintaining a healthy population and reducing those conflicts. But by the end of the season, which had already been extended by a month and a half, hunters and trappers had taken 166 wolves — only 75 percent of the total managers had hoped to remove. For the 2012-2013 season, hunters and trappers reported 225 wolf kills.

With wolf counts continuing to grow in the Northern Rockies, the FWS says its work with the gray wolf is done. “Of course, the gray wolf is not everywhere it once was, nor can it be; think Denver, or Minneapolis, or Salt Lake City, or even the now grain- and livestock-dominated American Plains,” FWS Director Dan Ashe wrote in a blog post in June. Ashe sees current wolf populations as a mark of success and reason enough to delist in all states: “We can work conservation miracles, because we have. The gray wolf is proof.”

Cross-posted from High Country News, The author is solely responsible for the content.

Cross-posted from High Country News, The author is solely responsible for the content.


Why would you want to kill off necessary predators? Why would you want to encourage hunting for sport? There are more tourists and wildlife watchers that pay for protecting wildlife than there will ever be trophy hunters. Hunting for food is one thing but hunting to kill a magnificent predator that keeps a balance in the ecosystem so that you can brag about it to other trophy hunters doesn't bode well of that group of people. Play golf or something but leave the apex predators alone and stop trying to kill them off. We won't allow it this time around.
report   like  dislike
Posted by why on 09/28/2013 at 1:46 PM

Killing a problem animal isn't murder as some suggest. To me, killing a wolf is no different than killing a mouse/rat. Wolves are far removed from the ecosystem and humans filled the void. The deer/elk populations cant handle 2 apex predators, only 1...and I do believe the winner is the species that takes up responsible game management. Sorry wolf, being outside the Park wasn't part of the reintroduction deal.
report 4 likes, 5 dislikes   like  dislike
Posted by Bert Gill on 09/27/2013 at 4:53 PM

For anyone who is confused or concerned about the wolf situation look up recent comments made by L. David Mech. He is one of the leading wolf researchers in the country and has 30+ years. And is also one of the key members that has been researching wolves on Isle Royale.
report 1 like, 0 dislikes   like  dislike
Posted by Buck Brown on 09/27/2013 at 1:23 PM

Hunting should be allowed, for animals that can be eaten. Wolves are not hunted for food, they are hunted for "sport." My question is what kind of sport is murder? Scientists do not support the national delisting of wolves. Wolves are complex pack animals that pass down knowledge from generation to generation. Killing key pack members only causes more problems with livestock predation. The knowledge to hunt elk and other native ungulates is passed from the alpha wolves to the younger wolves. When alpha pack members are killed it leaves these young teenagers to try and figure out what to eat on their own. It's like letting a bunch of teenagers to their own devices. Also, wolves are essential keystone predators that directly affect the health of the ecosystem. By affecting the behavior of the elk and deer they allow for more trees to grow to maturity and cut down on erosion by overgrazing. Nature has designed the world to work in certain ways and it is not up to us to destroy that system. In the end not only are we harming a magnificent species we are harming ourselves. The arrogance of the hunters and politicians is astounding. We are not above nature we are part of it.
report 8 likes, 11 dislikes   like  dislike
Posted by Eva Hernandez on 09/27/2013 at 10:04 AM  

Let's do the math....

There are 625 wolves left in Montana. The state of Montana has just issued 6,000 permits to hunters, who are allowed to shoot up to 5 wolves.

Count me as one of the backcountry elk/deer hunter who is absolutely disgusted at the way wolves are being "managed" in Montana. Why in the world don't some of these self-professed "Sportsmen's" groups such as Montana Wildlife Federation, the dark monied Montana Hunters and Anglers or Backcountry Hunters & Anglers speak out? 

Can you image what these "sportsmen's" groups would say if we 625 elk left in Montana and the state would issued 6,000 permits to hunters allowing each to kill up to 5 elk?
report 11 likes, 7 dislikes   like  dislike
Posted by Matthew Koehler on 09/27/2013 at 9:10 AM

It is the same story as the native americans - we invade their native land and then kill them for hunting in their own territory... Can't eat a wolf... look just like my Nutmeg in the eyes... I like the Hopi corn planting for the raven, one for the coyote, one for the wind and one for my family...
report 7 likes, 5 dislikes   like  dislike
Posted by Liza Marron on 09/27/2013 at 8:37 AM

Hunting is conservation and if it wasn't for hunters pushing to protect more open spaces, wolves would never have a place to exist. The human population continues to grow making it even more difficult for all wildlife to sustain and without hunters ensuring wildlife has freedom to roam no species is safe. Wolves should not be treated any differently than all other wildlife and provide hunters opportunities to harvest animals within reasonable quotas.
report 8 likes, 8 dislikes   like  dislike
Posted by tylerhouston on 09/27/2013 at 6:55 AM  

This is disgusting hunters just want a fkn excuse to kill something and this is scary to think that there's s I many people interested in killing
report 10 likes, 13 dislikes   like  dislike

Posted by Sarah Booth on 09/27/2013 at 3:28 AM  



The Wolves belong to us and we need to #takebackourwolves !
You have that power. 
Leave a comment to the USWFW:



Posted on September 26, 2013
  (The following is part of a report by Wild Earth Guardians)…

1.  Which two user groups caused Northern Rockies wolves to lose their Endangered Species Act protections and why? 

The livestock industry and some sportsmen’s organizations, each separately opposed to wolf conservation, convinced Congress in April 2011 to delist Northern Rockies wolves from the Endangered Species Act. Their contentions about resource competition are unsupported by data, as described below.
A.  Do wolves kill vast numbers of livestock?  

No. This constant complaint by the livestock industry is without merit. Wolves have killed less than one percent of the cattle or sheep inventories in the Northern Rockies. Even in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming where most wolves live (and before the commencement of wolf hunting in 2011-2012) and even using unverified livestock loss data (that is, numbers that are based upon livestock growers’ uninvestigated complaints), wolves killed less than one percent of the cattle (0.07 percent) and sheep (0.22 percent) inventories in those states. Verified livestock losses are even lower.
These livestock loss numbers mirror the national average where all other carnivores (i.e., coyotes, cougars, bears and domestic dogs) killed less than 0.5 percent of the (2010) cattle and (2009) sheep inventory in the entire United States. The biggest source of mortality to livestock actually comes from disease, illness, birthing problems and weather, but not from native carnivores such as wolves.
B.  Do wolves kill too many elk? 

No, despite the claims of some sportsmen’s organizations. Human hunters have much greater negative effects on elk populations than wolves, according to a host of biologists, who published their findings in peer-reviewed science journals.
In fact, the level of human off-take of elk populations is considered “super additive” – that is, humanhunting pressures on elk far exceed the levels of mortality that would otherwise occur naturally. Further, human hunters generally kill prime-age, breeding animals, whereas wolves prey upon older, non-breeding elk. Wolves do hold elk populations at levels that mediate starvation, weather, and other stochastic events.
C. Does sport hunting of wolves increase hunters’ tolerance of them?

No. Two peer-reviewed studies show that hunting wolves does not increase hunters’ tolerance for them, and especially in the case of wolf and bear hunters.
2. Is wolf management by Idaho and Montana sufficient to conserve the species?

No. These states have set hunting quotas that are too high to be sustainable and are based upon uncertain population data. Both states have estimated populations to be higher than estimates by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Montana’s population censuses, in particular, are criticized by experts as inadequate and inaccurate. Idaho and Montana both offered overlong hunting seasons on wolves for the 2011-2012 season. In fact, Idaho’s 10-month season extends until June when wolves have dependent young.
Hunters and trappers killed more than 540 wolves in 2011-2012. Biologists, in peer-reviewed literature, have written that wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains have not yet recovered and that hunting them could put their populations at risk.
Other researchers have warned that hunting could reduce wolves beyond their ability to recover. Killing wolves not only causes direct mortality to individuals, but also creates social disruption in wolf packs, which can cause packs to disband, leading to the loss of yearling animals and pups.
3.  To whom do Northern Rockies wolves belong?

The public trust doctrine, affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court, asserts that all wildlife, including wolves, belong to all Americans. Indeed, all Americans contributed to the restoration of wolves in the Northern Rockies, spending approximately $40 million over 17 years to reintroduce wolves in the region. Unfortunately, with the assumption of management by western states (following delisting of the population under the Endangered Species Act), wolves are now primarily managed for the interests of the livestock industry and some sportsmen’s organizations. The interests of these tiny minority groups do not comport with values shared by the broad American public that supports continued recovery of wolves in the West.
4.  How has the news media influenced people’s values about wolves?

The news media can affect people’s values about wolves, and studies show the media is increasingly publishing negative stories about wolves. At the same time, surveys on people’s attitudes have shown that most still value wolf and habitat conservation. We note that the media often broadcasts inaccurate or exaggerated statements by the livestock industry or sportsmen’s groups about the supposed negative effects of wolves on livestock or native ungulate populations.
5.  How many wolf-hunting or trapping licenses have been sold in Idaho and Montana and how many wolves live in those states?

Idaho and Montana have sold over 62,000 tags for the 2011-2012 wolf-hunting/trapping season. At the end of 2010, the Fish and Wildlife Service estimated the wolf population in those states stood at 1,271 individuals. License buyers are primarily residents of Idaho and Montana, 89 percent and 99 percent, respectively. Those states sell their wolf-hunting tags at prices far below market value. The high level of resident participation might indicate that citizens in these two states are less tolerant of wolves than other Americans.
6.  Are wolves important to ecosystems?

Wolves and other apex carnivores contribute significantly to increased biological diversity—from beetles to birds to grizzly bears—and to greater ecosystem function (such as indirectly protecting riparian habitats for a host of fauna and flora), staving off effects from global warming by providing carrion as food sources for other species, and facilitating beaver recovery in the West.
7.  How can we both restore wolves and find ways for people to coexist with them?

States have shown themselves incapable of managing wolves in a manner that supports the interests of the majority of Americans who love and appreciate wolves. The majority deserves input into how wolves are managed. Instead, decision makers cater to two vocal minority user groups, who base their anxieties about wolves on false claims about resource competition. Wolves have become political animals. They need to be shielded from mercurial political processes, especially since the American public has spent tens of millions of dollars on wolf restoration and research.
More protected refuges should be established to support wolf restoration, such as the designation of more national parks. Refuges promote persistence of rare native carnivores such as wolves and mountain lions. Refuges also serve as source areas to other subpopulations, which maximizes natality and minimizes mortality.
Livestock producers can produce “risk maps” to anticipate where conflicts may occur and prevent future problems. Producers can also employ a host of non-lethal livestock protections such as keeping sick or pregnant livestock close to humans, housing livestock in buildings or pens (especially to protect small or young livestock), using guard animals and electronic scaring devices, properly disposing of livestock carcasses and more.
On public lands, another approach is to retire livestock grazing through voluntary grazing permit buyout. This practice allows the government or third parties to compensate ranchers to permanently retire their grazing permits on public lands, leaving the landscape to wolves and other wildlife and saving taxpayers millions of dollars in grazing subsidies over time.
Finally, wolf policy should privilege wildlife watchers. Wolf watchers in the Northern Rocky Mountains spend millions of dollars each year to view wolves, as compared to the $1 million dollars that hunters and trappers spent to buy wolf tags in Idaho and Montana.





Comments needed on proposed Rule changes regarding reintroduction into the wild of the Mexican Gray Wolf (updated 09/15/13)

Recently the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) proposed changes to the rules governing the Mexican wolf reintroduction. The proposal, with one very good and many very bad changes, is very important to the future of Mexican wolves. 

Please comment on the proposed changes and include the following key points:

1. The good change is to allow direct releases of Mexican wolves throughout the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area.  The USFWS should put the rest of their proposed rule on hold and speed up approval for more direct releases in expanded areas.

This change has been recommended by experts for over 10 years and can be made faster and with less bureaucratic delay than any other part of the proposed rule.

2. The proposed rule effectively prevents wolves returning to the Grand Canyon region, including northern Arizona and southern Utah, or to northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. The USFWS should eliminate boundaries to the wolves’ movement.

Scientists say some of the last best places for wolves are in these areas, but currently wolves who set up territories outside the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area are recaptured and moved back. Under the proposed change, the USFWS will recapture Mexican wolves just for going outside of the Mexican Wolf Experimental Population Area whether they establish territories or not. Additional populations of Mexican wolves are necessary to their recovery and genetic health, as is the ability for wolves to move between populations.

Capturing and moving wolves is always a risky business that can result in death or trauma to the wolf. And a bigger box is still a box. 

3. The USFWS should not re-designate Mexican gray wolves as experimental, non-essential. By labeling all of the wild wolves as “nonessential” the USFWS ignores science and the reality of 15 years of experience with reintroducing wolves. 

The USFWS claims that even if all of the 75 wolves in the wild are wiped out this is not “likely to appreciably reduce the likelihood” of recovery of Mexican wolves in the wild. When the current rule declared wolves in the wild “nonessential” there were only 11 wolves, recently released from a captive breeding program, and they made up only 7% of all Mexican wolves in the world.

Now the 75 wolves in the wild have up to four generations of experience in establishing packs and raising pups and are over 22% of all of the Mexican wolves in the world. And after four generations of captive breeding with few releases, scientists warn that there may be serious genetic problems making captive wolves less able to thrive in the wild.

The fourth generation wild lobos are not expendable and are essential to recovering this unique subspecies of wolf. 

4. The USFWS needs to quit stalling and complete a comprehensive recovery plan – and let the public see it – at the same time as or before changing the current rule (except for allowing wolves to be reintroduced into additional suitable places). 

USFWS admits that their present, typewritten, 1982 recovery plan is not scientifically sound and does not meet current legal requirements – yet in its proposed rule USFWS continues to emphasize a woefully inadequate population of only 100 wolves in the wild.

When USFWS published the current rule in 1998 they said they expected to put out a new recovery plan for the public to comment on later that year; 15 years later, there still is no scientific or legally adequate recovery plan! 

The proposed rule puts the cart before the horse and should come with or after – not before – an updated recovery plan

USFWS’s decisions on the proposed rule can help Mexican wolves finally thrive or can push them closer to extinction.   Please comment today, and ask others to do the same. 

You can submit your comments online here:!docketDetail;D=FWS-R2-ES-2013-0056

Or by mail addressed 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

If you live in New Mexico, you can also help by calling NM Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich:

Udall: ABQ: (505) 346-6791   ~   Santa Fe: (505) 988-6511
Heinrich: ABQ:  (505) 346-6601 ~ Santa Fe: (505) 988-6647

Sample phone script:

Hello, my name is ___________________, and I am a constituent from _________________ and a supporter of Mexican wolf recovery. 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed rule changes that affect the future of endangered Mexican gray wolves. I want Senator Udall (Or Heinrich) to use his influence to persuade the US Fish and Wildlife Service to:
* Expedite a rule change that allows new Mexican wolves to be released directly into New Mexico and throughout the recovery area;
* Do all in its power to improve the wild population’s genetic health; and
* Increase protections for these important native animals.

Thank you.
Thank you for giving these special wolves a voice in their future!

Click here to join our email list for Mexican gray wolf updates and action alerts. 

Visit us on Facebook here


Save the Lobo Event in Albuquerque October 4, 2013
Rally and Testify at a Public Hearing to Save the Lobo from Extinction

Friends of lobos,

Fifteen years after they were reintroduced, fewer than 75 Mexican gray wolves remain in the wild. 

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is now proposing to delist gray wolves and implement changes that threaten the continued existence of Mexican wolves. Only one hearing will be held on both dangerous proposals - on October 4 in Albuquerque, NM.

Because this is so important, science and conservation groups throughout the four corners states and beyond are organizing a Save the Lobo event on the day of the hearing. 

You and other supporters of the Mexican wolf are all that will stand between extinction and survival for these critically endangered, beautiful and intelligent animals.  Please stand up and speak up for the lobo on October 4.

Embassy Suites 
1000 Woodward Place NE
Albuquerque, NM 87102

3:30 p.m.  Tabling, free refreshments, sign-making, children’s art activities
4:00 p.m.  Training by Defenders of Wildlife 
5:00 p.m.  Save the Lobo Rally
6:00 p.m.  US Fish and Wildlife Service Hearing

We know that special interests are organizing to call for an end to wolves at the hearing in Albuquerque. Your voice, joined with many others, is needed at the hearing if America’s wolves are to survive the attacks against them. 

This is a historic opportunity. A critical mass of supporters in Albuquerque on October 4 can turn the tide for wolves. So please save the date and spread the word. 

Join the event on Facebook.

For more information, or to help with the event, email

Event to Save the Lobo Sponsored By:

Defenders of Wildlife   
Sierra Club-Rio Grande Chapter   
WildEarth Guardians
Center for Biological Diversity   
New Mexico Chapter of ConservAmerica
Sierra Club-Grand Canyon Chapter  
Animal Protection of New Mexico  
The Wildlands Network
Southwest Environmental Center   Wilburforce Foundation   
Conservation Voters New Mexico  
White Mountain Conservation League   Grand Canyon Wildlands Council 
Western Wildlife Conservancy   
NM Wilderness Alliance

For information on how to submit comments to the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the proposed changes to the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction rule and on how to encourage NM members of Congress to stand for wolves, click here.

Photo credit: Nestled by Scott Denny on Fivehundredpx


Wolf Delisting Premature: Wuerthner

Posted by: George Wuerthner  June 14, 2013 in Environment, FrontPage 

Recently the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced it would strip protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for gray wolves in the lower 48 states. As a result management for wolves will now largely be a state agency responsibility. The one exception is the Mexican wolf, a subspecies found in Arizona and New Mexico that will remain listed.

The wolf delisting is already a reality in states where 97 percent of all wolves currently reside. The USFWS had already transferred management of the wolves back to Montana, Idaho and Wyoming as well as Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan in the Upper Midwest. So wolf delisting would primarily affect wolves that may colonize or already reside in other adjacent states like Oregon, Colorado, Utah, and Washington. Since wolf delisting more than 1,175 wolves have been killed in the West.

I, as well as many other ecologists, and activists believe delisting is premature for several reasons.

Wolves only occupy a fraction of their former habitat. Recognizing that much of its former habitat is no longer suitable for wolf restoration (we are not going to have wolves cruising through the corn fields of the Midwest or chasing prey in urban areas), there is, nevertheless, still plenty of unoccupied but good habitat in states like Colorado and Utah, parts of Oregon, Washington and California, as well as in the Northeast, particularly Maine.

There is a fear that aggressive wolf killing in core states like Montana, Idaho and Wyoming will slow and reduce wolf recovery in these adjacent states.

It’s important to recognize that Minnesota had at least 1,600 wolves when they were listed under the ESA. In other words, when wolves were listed, even 1,600 animals was considered an insufficient number to ensure their long-term survival. Yet that total number of wolves found today in the three Rocky Mountain States of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. One is left wondering why 1,600 wolves is now considered sufficient to delist wolves in the Rockies much less in states like Oregon and Washington, which currently only have a few dozen wolves each, while this clearly was not enough to preclude listing earlier in Minnesota.

A number of carnivore specialists have written their technical objections to the proposed delisting, in particular, the USFWS proposes a new species of wolf C. lycon in the eastern US, but offers no protection for it.

Additionally, they argue that some of the wolves now colonizing parts of the Pacific Northwest originate from coastal British Columbia populations and are genetically distinct from wolves in the Rockies, thus warrant continued protection as a distinct population unit.

Beyond these genetic issues, there is reason to believe that the state wildlife agencies are not capable of managing wolves as a valued member of the national heritage. For instance, in the Rockies, once wolf management was turned over to the states, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho have all embarked on a rampage of persecution. Wolves are indiscriminately killed and trapped. State wildlife officials bemoan the fact that more wolves have not been killed.

I am not worried that hunting and trapping will cause wolves to be extirpated again in these states. I do not think that is the issue for most wolf proponents. Rather, I feel, as many do, that persecution is not a valid justification for managing any wildlife species.

Unfortunately all state wildlife agencies get the bulk of their income from the sale of licenses, so have a vested financial interest in persecution of wolves.

Ironically in the Rocky Mountain States with wolves, big game numbers have largely increased with wolves. For instance in Montana since 1992, three years before wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone and Idaho (there were already wolves near Glacier in northern Montana) , elk numbers have grown from 89,000 to an estimated 140,000-150,000 animals. Similar increases have been noted in Idaho and Wyoming as well.

The other major justification for wolf killing has to do with livestock depredation. But like the myth that wolves are destroying elk herds, the wolf related losses to the livestock industry are minuscule.  For instance in 2012 in Montana less than 100 cattle were verified killed by wolves out of a total number of more than 2.5 million animals.  That Is not to suggest that the losses to individual ranchers might not represent a financial strain, but the industry as a whole is not threatened. What’s more, there are numerous non-lethal measures that could be adopted to further reduce even these low numbers of losses.

In any case, offending wolves can be surgically removed on a case by case basis without the need for widespread indiscriminate hunting/trapping.

Nevertheless, the perception among hunters as well as ranchers in Montana and adjacent states is that wolves are destroying hunting opportunity and severely impacting the livestock industry. Because of this perception, the state wildlife agencies in all three states, instead of actively countering these flawed opinions with solid numbers and records, have instead chosen to ignore reality and adopted aggressive wolf reduction hunting and trapping policies.

I have to admit that politically it is very difficult for state agencies to appear as if they are promoting wolves given the attitude of many hunters. Still their job is to be advocates for all wildlife, not just the species that are of interest to hunters. And if hunters viewpoints are based upon fallacious ideas than state agencies have a responsibility to respond aggressively to counter those falsehoods, not aggressively seek to kill predators.

This persecution also violates ethical codes which state agencies promote against “wanton waste” of wildlife. (Of course, they also permit the indiscriminate killing of ground squirrels, prairie dogs, and coyotes to name a few species that apparently fall outside the prohibition on “wanton waste.”)
There is growing evidence that state wildlife agencies are ignoring a host of scientific research that suggests indiscriminate killing (hunting and trapping) can exacerbate conflicts. Hunted/trapped wolf populations are often skewed towards younger animals that are less experienced and skillful hunters. Packs are fragmented into smaller unit, reducing hunting efficiency and the ability to hold good habitat against other predators. In the end, this can result in greater livestock depredation, which, of course, in turn leads to more calls for predator reductions.

The other problem with state agency management is that none—so far—appear willing to recognize the important role of predators in ecosystem function. Predators can remove sick animals from the population. They can selectively take older and younger animals, leaving behind a healthier and more robust population of elk, deer, or moose.

Although there is some controversy over whether wolves can radically alter habitat use by prey like elk, there is abundant evidence from the study of other species as well as other regions that the presence of wolves can alter habitat use. For instance, it is theorized that the mere presence of wolves forces elk to be more alert, and to avoid areas of high predation risk (if there are other alternative foraging areas available).
Wolves can also provide carrion for other wildlife from ravens to grizzly bears.
In any event, the overall effect of wolf delisting is to turn back management to state agencies who clearly are unwilling to fully evaluate the benefits of wolves to ecosystem function, nor willing to counter inaccurate perceptions among hunters and livestock owners.
Until state wildlife agencies demonstrate to me that they will be responsible wolf advocates, I cannot support turning management decisions to them.  Why give them the keys to the car, if they continue to demonstrate they have not matured sufficiently to warrant a driver’s license?

Black & grey female wolf from the Druid Pack in Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Jim Peaco, courtesy National Park Service.



Ink wolf portrait -  study on paper
Cathy Taibbi

Stop the Wolf Hunts (All art by Cathy Taibbi)
Cathy TaibbiWildlife Conservation Examiner

September 21, 2013  
A barely-recovering endangered species being deliberately driven back towards extinction, all for political gain.

Is that the legacy we want to leave as Americans?

It's obvious the intent now is to exterminate wolves across the United States, all to appease greedy special interests, welfare ranchers and so-called 'sportsmen' - although no true, ethical hunter I know endorses any of the highly questionable, morally reprehensible methods being used now, including poison, traps, snares, baiting (sometimes with the corpses of beloved pups or family members), hounding and the gassing or crushing of PUPPIES in their dens.

In a short time, this important top-tier carnivore, one who shapes and invigorates the ecosystems in which he reigns, has gone from iconic, beloved, Federally protected species, (although still struggling to recover from human attempts to eradicate him from the face of the Earth), to being treated like vermin.

Unlike vermin, however, wolves reproduce neither as quickly nor as effectively as, say, rats, nor have they been able to withstand our zeal to eradicate them. Hence, unlike rats, American wolves were on the verge of extinction then, virtually extirpated from the continental US, and even now, after decades of effort to restore them, have barely regained even a fraction of their former range.

Also, unlike 'vermin', they are crucial and beneficial top-down modelers of the wilderness systems they inhabit; Systems which not only co-evolved WITH and DUE TO wolves as a primary driving agent, but only thrive in full vigor and diversity when wolves remain in place to fulfill their age-old role as nature's original, supreme game managers.

Genetic viability of wolves was already being questioned before the unbridled killing resumed two years ago.

Now, we have placed the future of wolves even more gravely at risk. This time, it will be worse for them because wolves are losing what little genetic diversity they had. This time we are unraveling decades of restoration work and investment.

Please don't send America back to the dark, ignorant and brutal era of assuming it is our place to dominate and control every facet of Nature. Science, religion and fundamental philosophy have learned too much to justify such an anthropocentric and foolishly self-defeating mistake.

Wolves, along with elephants, apes, cetaceans (whale and dolphins), many birds such as parrots and ravens, as well as (perhaps surprising) animals such as prairie dogs, with their complex social systems and communication (language) have been proven to think, feel and bond with friends and family, just like humans do.

They have all been been proven to be inextricably bound with, and influential on, the places they live, effecting not just other animals, but plant communities, watersheds, soil structure and more.

In other words, everything was working beautifully and correctly long before humans entered the scene, and humans risk catastrophe when we dare to meddle with systems complex beyond our comprehension.

We think it's OK, our prerogative, even our responsibility, to 'tame' and 'manage' the grand Creation.

Yet - Again and again, it backfires on us.

More, there are the ethical considerations. Like with all those 'pesky' or inconvenient species that humans loves to hate.

Slaughtering them, any of them, is crass, but especially, in this case, when we go out of our way to find truly innocent wolves (minding their own business out in the wilderness where they evolved and where they belong), with the intent of massacring entire packs (in reality, close-knit families) for 'sport', it becomes increasingly unconscionable.

It makes the way Americans treat wildlife no better than the way dolphins and whales are currently slaughtered in other countries.

Do we want to be like that?

Some (erroneously) claim wolves interfere with their livelihood. Well, some people have always had to find someone or something else to blame for their bad fortunes. If not wolves, it's the weather. If not weather, the government. If not government - Well, you get the idea.

That's the crux of this entire issue. Slaughtering every creature on Earth that someone can (mistakenly, fearfully,angrily, wrongly) scapegoat, every perceived and paranoid phobia that something 'out there' is going to make life hard for us, personally and as a society, will leave us with an empty, lonely and ultimately dead planet.

And, I dare say, a lonely and empty people.

And, it won't solve our underlying problems.

Killing wolves will not make the government stop repressing you or make your income go up or save your marriage.

Killing all the wolves, all the coyotes, all the whales, all the otters, all the prairie dogs, all the badgers and eagles and snakes and sharks and foxes and bobcats and mountain lions and African lions and elephants - You get the idea - Killing all those and more will not make human life more prosperous, more meaningful, easy or safe.

It will make life on Earth emptier, more difficult, pervasively dull, shallow, and precarious.

Instead, Nature, humans and the planet will ultimately thrive well into the future, complete with Her full compliment of species, if we learn to respect, appreciate and cooperate with the great, intricately interconnected and glorious tapestry of life we were GRACED with. And our salvation, both personally and as a civilization, will be realized if and when we can learn to live in true harmony, with tolerance, appreciation and respect for all our fellow life forms.

Especially our intrinsic, emotionally igniting, dynamically wild and awe-inspiring wolves.

Imagine that: The Earth, complete and vibrant, teeming with wonder and life, with wild, free-roaming wolves expertly fulfilling their historic, custodial roles of caretakers of our precious countryside.

Comment period for an expanded and deadlier wolf season is ending soon. Here are some talking points:

Strongly OPPOSE removing further protections from Gray Wolves in the US, SUPPORT maintaining and increasing protections for Mexican Wolves as well as reinstating further protections for all wolves in the US.

Not only are wolves far from fully recovered, with large portions of appropriate habitat still unoccupied, but the current, bloodthirsty and unethical killing spree is just the tip of the iceberg of what wolves would face if remaining protections are removed. The political climate of this country is not conducive to protecting wolves or many other integral and irreplaceable species, even though science and reason indicate that the world needs robust biological diversity, top-tier predators and large areas of unabashed, unexploited and uncompromised wilderness and open spaces. The vast majority of voters support continuing wolf recovery and wish to see thriving populations of free-roaming wolves exist in available wolf habitat.

Let the US lead the way of enlightened and far-seeing thinking when it comes to stewardship of our precious, living Earth, rather than catering to small-minded and unsustainable planet-sabotaging actions with long term (or forever) consequences.

We are not equipped to see all the ramifications of our actions, especially when it comes to removing any of the complex, interwoven, interconnected and interdependent threads of the tapestry of life.

Leave your comment against removing further protections from wolves, here:!docketDetail;D=FWS-HQ-ES-2013-0073

Another place to leave your input. Sign this letter (just one of many ways to speak out for wolves): them



 Older statistics pertaining to the predator livestock relationship reality, shared in order to dispel the wolf myths that wolves are ruining the ranching industry. 
Especially on publicly owned lands that are leased to ranching interests. 
These stats are from 1999, I am only sharing so you can see how much money was spent way back then.



Federal funds spent by USDA-Wildlife Services to kill 94,502 predators in seventeen western states (FY 1999): $10.8 million

Percent of USDA-Wildlife Services predator control budget spent to protect livestock on public lands: 75 percent

Percent of predator control budget paid by ranchers: 1 percent

Percent of cattle and calf losses attributed to predation (1995): 2.7 percent

Percent of cattle and calf losses attributed to digestive problems, respiratory difficulties, calving complications, weather and other causes (1995): 97.3 percent

Art credit: Wolves in a winter landscape. Norbertine Von Bresslern-Roth.
Visit haji-b~dot~blogspot~dot~com



November 10, 2008 
By Daniel Glick

On March 28, 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared that the 13-year-old reintroduction of gray wolves to the Northern Rockies had been a success. "Recovery goals" for numbers of wolf packs and breeding pairs had been met and exceeded: The 66 original transplants from Canada had spawned more than 1,500 U.S.-born descendants. With great fanfare, the feds removed the wolf from the federal endangered species list and handed over its management to the three states where the wolves now denned, howled and hunted: Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

Each state produced a plan intended to protect the wolf while allowing for "management" of human-wolf conflicts. Montana's approach, which seemed to satisfy most people in the state, allowed citizens to kill wolves that ate livestock and also instituted a modest hunting season. Idaho, which has more wolves than the other two states, announced a similar plan with a somewhat different attitude: The confrontational governor, C.L. "Butch" Otter, vowed to bid on the first wolf tag. Wyoming's approach –– the most controversial –– defined wolves as "trophy" animals that could be hunted by permit where they were most populous, in the northwestern part of the state. In the rest of the state, however, they were now considered "predators" and could be shot on sight for any reason whatsoever.

A few days after delisting, hunters legally shot three wolves in Sublette County, part of Wyoming's "predator zone." Over the next weeks, ranchers, hunters and state wildlife agents dispatched dozens more. All told, more than 100 wolves were killed in the months following the delisting.

Conservationists were suddenly afraid that wolf-haters with "Smoke a Pack a Day" bumper stickers pasted on their Ford F-250s might undo the most successful carnivore reintroduction in history. They sued to reverse the delisting, arguing that the state plans would wipe out any wolves that left prescribed zones in Yellowstone, central Idaho and Glacier National Park in Montana. If that happened, the suit argued, each state's wolf population would be cut off from the others, endangering the wolves' long-term genetic viability.

On July 18, 2008, a federal judge ruled that the delisting had been premature, and agreed that the genetic viability argument likely had merit. He ordered the wolf's return to endangered species status until the court could review the entire case. Then, on Sept. 22, the Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it would back away from its delisting proposal until the states' plans were reconsidered. With the judge's decision and subsequent federal action, Canis lupus became, once again, a federally protected species in the Northern Rockies.

Which might not be the best thing in the long run. The recent whipsaw of federal, state, judicial and federal control of wolves has damaged the delicate alliances that greens, ranchers and Teddy Roosevelt Republicans forged during the last decade or so. After finding common ground in battling the impacts of the energy boom, greens are again finding themselves vilified by anti-wolf Westerners — constituencies they need to prevail in the still largely conservative West. It may be a case of winning the lawsuit and prolonging the war.

Even some environmentalists winced at the lawsuit that returned the wolves to federal control, predicting that even semi-peaceful coexistence with wolves in a state like Wyoming "is never going to happen unless they're Wyoming's wolves, and not ‘the-feds-shoved-them-down-our-throats wolves,' " says Stephanie Kessler, Wyoming representative for The Wilderness Society.

You could have seen this happening from more than a decade away.

On a sub-zero January day near Hinton, Alberta, in 1995, I lost the feeling in my toes while reporting on the wolf reintroduction. As the anesthetized wolves arrived into holding pens, their fierce green fire dulled by drugs, I wondered how they would fare in one of the country's fastest-growing regions. From Coeur d'Alene to Silver City, an influx of modem cowboys posed new challenges to the West's traditional agricultural base. Into this volatile mix, the feds were now bringing a critter that had been hunted, trapped and poisoned to the brink of extinction before the Great Depression.

The remote location of the wolves' new homes in central Idaho and Yellowstone would enable them to go forth and multiply, dispersing into a much larger area. But how would the people respond? Could the old-timers adapt to yet another change? Would Westerners nursing an enduring grudge against Washington ever accept the government-protected varmints? Would the new lifestyle refugees be able to live with Canis lupus chomping down on their bichons frisés?

It was hard to find a rural Westerner who thought wolf reintroduction was a good idea. States' rights were a hot topic that year, and Wyoming and Idaho wanted wolves about as much as they wanted Bill Clinton as president. At the same time, a growing tourism and recreation economy was bringing people to a region still wild enough for large predators. Depending on your point of view, the wolf represented unfettered federal intrusion, a carnivorous devil, or all that is noble and pure in the notion of wildness.

I wondered: Was the West changing fast enough — or perhaps too much — to accommodate a new predator?

Nearly 14 years later, I took a weeklong trip through the wolf's southern range, mostly in Sublette County, Wyo., right after the federal judge's ruling reclaimed wolf management from the states. I sought an answer to a simple question: After living with wolves for more than a decade, had anybody actually changed their mind about them?

The obvious response can be found in a terse one-word reply from Mike Jimenez, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist who has been at ground zero for the entire wolf program: "Nope."

In some ways, little has changed since those first Canadian wolves set paw on U.S. territory. Most ranchers still feel that it made as much sense to bring wolves back as it does to feed locoweed to your own cattle, and many hunters and outfitters believe the wolves are decimating trophy animal herds. Environmentalists still hail the beneficial ecological effects of the wolf in the Northern Rockies – and promote the New West economic boom from wolf-inspired tourism.

But in visits with ranchers, sheepherders, outfitters, hunters, biologists, environmentalists and Native Americans, a more nuanced answer emerged. Despite all the hot rhetoric, the truth is that since wolves were released, a lot has been done to accommodate people who live with predators. Government and private programs have eased tensions by paying ranchers when wolves kill their animals. Ranchers and sheepherders adapted to the wolves' presence with more intensive range management, putting up better fencing and hiring more riders, and government wildlife managers are quicker to kill wolf packs that repeatedly prey on livestock.

No matter where you stand on the issue, it's clear that the wolves have had a profound impact. Beneficial biological effects are cascading through the wolves' expanding range. Political alliances have been formed and broken because of wolves, and some people have lost money even as others have made it.

But the West of 2008 is not the same as the West of 1995, much less the 1930s. It's a stretch to say that human attitudes have changed just as profoundly. Still, even as wolves spread to more heavily populated areas, there is now broad acceptance that wolves are here to stay, and that Westerners must, however grudgingly, get used to living with them.

That's not to say that everyone's happy. Take Albert Sommers, a third-generation Wyoming cattleman whose grandfather was a charter member of the Upper Green River Cattle Association, which includes about a dozen ranchers who run cattle during summer months on U.S. Forest Service land near the Green River's headwaters. It's wild country, with grizzlies, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and, as of about eight years ago, wolves.

I meet Sommers on a late July day, and he tells me I'm in luck because his rider just witnessed a wolf kill up the valley on the allotment.

As we bounce up to the scene in his truck, Sommers says his dad was probably about 12 in 1927 when the last wolf was killed in the area. The big predators virtually disappeared. Then, in about 1993, the first grizzly kill happened not far from here. As the protected grizzlies recovered, they killed more cattle, and by 1997, says Sommers, it was "horrendous." (Yellowstone grizzlies were delisted in March 2007.)

Meanwhile, dispersing wolves formed new packs and crossed the Gros Ventre range. In 2000, they made their first cattle kill in the Upper Green about 130 miles south of Yellowstone. The dual whammy hit Sommers hard. Prior to the first grizzly kill, he says, the cattle association averaged about a 2 percent calf loss. By 2005 or so, it had jumped to 7 percent. "I don't have anything against the wolf except the wolf eats my cattle," he says. "The difference between grizzly bears and wolves is that bears sleep six months out of the year and a wolf doesn't."

We arrive at the kill site, where the rider, Leif Videen, and Rod Merrill from the federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service stand over the fly-ridden corpse of a calf. Examining the wounds and tracks, Merrill confirms it's a wolf kill. The 28-year-old Videen says he thought the animal lurking around the cattle was a coyote at first. He glassed it with his binoculars, saw a wolf hamstring a Hereford, and drove the predator away.

Videen is a hired hand, so he didn't suffer a financial loss from the kill. Still, he surprises me when I ask him about wolves. "To me, it's just part of the deal, I guess, that there are predators here," he says from his saddle. "I guess I like this country because it's wild country, and that's one of the things that makes it wild is bears and wolves." He adds, perhaps suddenly recalling who signs his paycheck, "I don't like seein' 'em kill livestock. It definitely makes a lot of work for a person."

Sommers says it's important that ranchers like him stay on the land, staving off subdivisions and providing some cultural continuity. Like many locals, he understands that wolves will remain in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, but believes they should be killed when they stray too far. As Sommers sees it, wolves simply can't run free up and down the spine of the Rockies anymore. "Wolves were reintroduced into a landscape that is not what they left. The wolf is now in a landscape that is dominated by man."

Sommers is less angry than he is practical when it comes to wolves. There are compensation programs; Defenders of Wildlife, for example, has paid more than $900,000 to ranchers who have lost cattle to wolves. But they're barely a start, Sommers says. He explains that he loses 3.5 head for every confirmed grizzly kill, and seven head for every confirmed wolf kill. That's because a cow carcass doesn't last long here, between the wolves, grizzlies, coyotes and ravens, and not all wolf predation could possibly be documented.

And not everyone agrees that ranchers should be compensated. Gretel Ehrlich, a former ranch hand, sheepherder and an author best known for her Western elegy The Solace of Open Spaces, says that the country does not owe ranchers that much. "If you raise livestock in a country where there are fierce predators, as there are here, then in a way you make a pact with the possibility of those deaths," she told me at a Pinedale picnic.

Cat Urbikit, a sheep rancher who operates near Big Piney, is a member of the Sublette County Predator Board. She thinks the compensation program is the least that governments can do for ranchers. Her county, awash in gas money, has dedicated funds for compensating ranchers, as has the Wyoming Legislature. But she's not just sitting around waiting to be paid for losses. She's long used Akbash guard dogs against coyotes, but the smallish dogs don't stand a chance against wolves. So she started raising Central Asian Aziats that run to 160-180 pounds. She adopted a pair of wild burros named Bill and Hillary, and trained them to protect her flock. When wolves do show up, she doesn't hesitate to call on wildlife officials to get rid of them by any means necessary. "Wolves are absolutely not welcome on our ranch," she says.

For his part, Sommers seems resigned. "The wolf is reintroduced now," he says. "Things do change, and you have to move forward."

Then he points out one unfortunate, and certainly unintended, consequence of the recent wolf ruling. Sommers' ranch, like much of Sublette County, has been hugely impacted by energy development. He has considered placing a conservation easement on his private land, and has reluctantly found himself in agreement with environmentalists who want to slow the gas-drilling binge of the past decade. But he says that being at odds with the same people over wolves makes it almost impossible for them to work together against the energy companies. "You want to kinda win the hearts and minds of those who live, work and recreate in predator country," he says. By suing to put the wolf back in the feds' hands, he says, the environmentalists burned a tenuous bridge.

Sommers isn't alone in that belief.

B.J. Hill is an outfitter who takes clients out to hunt big game. Across the three-state Western wolf region, a debate rages about how much wolves have affected the populations of elk (and moose and deer and bison). Hill blames every client's unfilled elk tag on wolves, and he says the recent lawsuit to reverse the delisting was an affront. "I'm anti-wolf now," he sputters at The Place, a bar and restaurant he recently bought near Cora. "I'm done with them and I'm done with environmentalists. I'm done with all of them."

That's partly because, among Wyoming sportsmen, elk is king. The state feeds wild elk in winter feedgrounds because ranches, subdivisions, and more recently, gas fields have gobbled up much of the animal's traditional winter range. (Controversy broils over the feedgrounds, which some say are incubators for brucellosis, a disease that causes cows to abort.) Hunters and outfitters believe wolves treat elk feedgrounds like an all-you-can-eat buffet. 

"Game and Fish knows that these (elk) calf numbers are plummeting," Hill says with conviction. "They know it."

Mike Stevie, another local outfitter, recounts how when he was working at a feedground, he saw a wolf pack move in and tear up the elk. "Everybody says a wolf will just come kill the sick and the weak — that's totally off the wall." Stevie says he watched a pack kill 30 healthy elk that winter, using the feedground to teach the young wolves how to hunt. "They were just hamstringing them and lettin' them go," he says. "They're definitely a killing machine."

But even here, there's another side to the story. John Fandek, a ranch hand who lives near Cora, also works at elk feedgrounds during the winter. "One lone wolf showed up four years ago, a big black male," he recalls from his yard on the border of the trophy/predator wolf zone in the Upper Green River Valley. "He killed essentially every crippled elk on the feed ground. I know that some people say they kill indiscriminately, but it was very obvious to me that this particular wolf and other wolves I've seen there will take the cripples first, simply because it's easier."

Scott Werbelow, the game warden coordinator for the Wyoming Department of Game and Fish in Pinedale, offers yet another perspective. Werbelow says elk numbers are strong and relatively stable in his area. "Many hunters think the wolves have killed all the elk," he says. "What we're seeing is that the elk have been moved from small groups into larger groups, and the larger groups of elk have been redistributed."

In other words, the elk in these parts at least have responded to the presence of predators by behaving more like … elk. Mike Stevie, the outfitter who witnessed the multiple wolf kills at the elk feedground, surprises me again by agreeing. "The elk population seems to be doing pretty well, really," he says. "It's just making it a lot harder to find the animals. And they're dispersing into places where we've never had to hunt before. And it's just making it tougher on our clientele and on our help."

I provoke him a little by asking if the wolf is just making it so hunters have to actually hunt again, rather than going shooting, and he nods his head in total agreement. "Back in the old times, the old good hunters, they'd have loved every minute of it," he says with a smile. "But now it's just such a fast-paced world that our clients they just want to get in, fill their tag and move on. And the wolves are not helping them much."

The wolves have been very good, however, to David Watson, a New Western outfitter. Watson, who runs Wildlife Expeditions for the nonprofit Teton Science School in Jackson Hole, leads multi-day wolf- and bear-watching tours as well as nine weeks of winter wolf-watching. He says that about a third of his business is wolf-related. "Wolves have really helped our business grow exponentially," he says. "You know, there's not too many places in the world where you can see wolves, or see wolves and bears at the same time."

Many observers are excited by the ecological response to the return of this top predator. Franz Camenzind, a wildlife biologist and executive director of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, says that researchers have documented important changes, from a decline in coyote populations to an increase in willows, beavers and songbirds. "We take this one large animal, this significant predator in the ecosystem, put it back, and all of a sudden the impacts trickle down," he says.

Camenzind's group was party to the lawsuit, and he understands that people like B.J. Hill, whom he knows and has worked with, are not happy with the turn of events. "We get accused of moving the goal line or lifting the bar," he says. Still, Camenzind defends the decision to force the states to deal with the question of genetic viability, not just the numbers of wolves above minimum recovery goals. "That's written right in the recovery plan, and that never got the headlines," he says. "The numbers did."

But now it was Camenzind's turn to surprise me. "I guess the reality that we all have to face — and certainly people of my mindset — is that there will be wolf control," he says. "There will be wolves that will be hunted, they'll be trapped, they'll be shot. Because there's going to be a place where wolves will not be welcome."

That kind of middle-ground approach — allowing wolves to successfully repopulate some parts of the rural West but lethally evicting them from others — appears to be the only path through this biological and legal wrangling. With a little more commitment from their respective governors, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana ought to be able to redo their wolf plans in a way that appeases their agricultural constituencies and still ensures the continued health of wolf populations. The feds, in turn, have an abiding need to prove that the Endangered Species Act actually works — and will do whatever they can to convince the states to act in good faith. Ultimately, the goal is to delist the wolf again — and make it stick. 

Camenzind hopes that the judge's ruling and its consequences don't permanently sour the relationship between environmentalists, local sportsmen and ranchers. There are too many issues where everybody needs to stand together, he says, from creating migration corridors to regulating energy development. "One of the things I've learned is that you find the issues that you agree on and you trust to agree on that. If a segment of the ranching community feels that greens have betrayed them, I would hope that all of us would step back and say, maybe there's an issue that we don't agree on, but there's a larger context that we do."

The last leg of my journey takes me to the Wind River Indian Reservation, where the Shoshone and Arapahoe tribes have created their own wolf-management plan, one that actually welcomes wolves. I sit down with Richard Baldes, a Shoshone and former Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, to see what the tribes have to say about the wolves' southern march.

The tribes' management plans are pretty simple. "The Wind River Reservation is somewhat of a sanctuary," Baldes tells me from his porch at the foot of the Wind River Mountains. Much as they do with the Nez Perce Tribe in Idaho, which was instrumental in the original reintroduction, wolves play an important role in the lore and religion of Shoshone and Arapahoe people. Wolves represent a social role model, for starters: "They take care of the family," Baldes says. "The aunts and uncles take care of the young, and they also take care of the old."

The obvious parallels between government efforts to eradicate wolves and past efforts to eradicate Indians aren't lost on Baldes. In fact, the resurgence of wolves is a powerful metaphor on the rez. "The Creator put them here for a reason," Baldes says. He chuckles to himself about the raging controversy. "People have made the issue with wolves much more complicated than it needs to be," he says. "It's just a nice feeling to know that these animals are back and that they're going to be here to stay. I don't see any reason why they won't be here forever."

Photo credit: fbcdn-sphotos-e-a~dot~akamaihd~dot~net


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Come on guys.
    Post your ideas.
    The more comments the better.

    You want to help our wolves right?
    We need your support..

    SCS (Sign Comment Save)
    Do this for the wolves.

  3. I cannot truly enable but admire your weblog, your weblog is so adorable and great.It has given me courage to try scarier things. I tend to steer clear of them but not anymore.Packers And Movers Hyderabadis recognized as a business manager providing wide-ranging and differentiate service appearance as well as Relocation Shifting, Logistics and Transportation, Facilities managing, strategy & Designing services.
    Packers And Movers kondapur,
    Packers And Movers Hitech City,
    Packers And Movers amaravathi-guntur

  4. I can not but admire truly enable your weblog, your weblog is so adorable and great.It have to try me courage Given scarier things. I Tend to steer clear of them but not anymore.Packers And Movers Bangalore

  5. Lovely Website, Maintain the fantastic work. Thank you so much!
    Local Packers and Movers Ahmedabad list, Cheap Packers Movers Ahmedabad Charges, Affordable, Best Household Shifting Ahmedabad @ Packers and Movers Ahmedabad


  6. I cannot truly enable but admire your weblog, your weblog is so adorable and great.It has given me courage to try scarier things. I tend to steer clear of them but not anymore.
    Packers And Movers Hyderabad

    Packers And Movers Kondapur Hyderabad

  7. I appreciate this post and its seems looking so informative Thanks for sharing with us..
    Packers And Movers Mumbai