Tag Archives: gray wolves

State asks judge to reconsider Wyoming wolf ruling

A federal judge kicked Wyoming’s wolf management plan to the curb a few days ago. After making a few legal tweaks to the plan, the state is asking her to reconsider . . .

Conservation groups are urging a federal judge not to allow the state of Wyoming to regain control of wolves.

The groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2012. They’re challenging the agency’s acceptance of Wyoming’s wolf management plan, which classifies wolves as predators that can be shot on sight in most areas.

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Judge places Wyoming wolves back under federal control

The saga of Wyoming wolf management continues . . .

Wyoming wolves are back under federal projection after a ruling Tuesday by a federal judge in Washington, D.C.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson on Tuesday rejected a Wyoming wolf-management plan that had declared wolves unprotected predators that could be shot on sight in most of the state. Her ruling sided with national environmental groups that had argued Wyoming’s management plan afforded insufficient protection for wolves…

Berman ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was wrong to trust nonbinding promises from the state of Wyoming to maintain at least 100 wolves, including 10 breeding pairs, outside of Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation.

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Montana FWP considering new way to model wolf population

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is considering a new statistical model for estimating the state’s wolf population . . .

Researchers from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the University of Montana estimate the state’s wolf population at more than 800 using a new statistical technique.

Researchers conducted a study of the new technique from 2007 to 2012. The new method, called patch occupancy modeling, uses deer and elk hunter observations coupled with information from radio-collared wolves. The statistical approach is a less expensive alternative to the old method of minimum wolf counts, which were performed by biologists and wildlife technicians. The results of the study estimate that for the five-year period, wolf populations were 25-35 percent higher than the minimum counts for each year.

“The study’s primary objective was to find a less-expensive approach to wolf monitoring that would yield statistically reliable estimates of the number of wolves and packs in Montana,” said Justin Gude, FWP’s chief of research for the wildlife division in Helena.

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Montana FWP wants public comment on proposed wolf and sage grouse regulations

Here’s a chance to make yourself heard regarding wolf and sage grouse management . . .

The Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission is seeking comment though June 23 on some upcoming hunting seasons and additional proposals related to sage grouse and wolves.

For sage grouse, the commission is seeking comment on a proposal that would either maintain the same 30-day season and two-bird daily bag and four bird possession limit as last season; adopt shorter seasons and reduced bag and possession limits; impose region-specific hunting opportunities or closures; or close the sage grouse hunting season statewide.

The sage grouse proposal comes in response to surveys on sage grouse breeding grounds called “leks” that show a continued population decline of the state’s largest native upland game bird. Montana’s 2004 management plan identifies a season closure when lek counts are significantly reduced from historical observations.

The commission also seeks comment on the following wolf-related proposals:

  • the 2014-15 wolf season, which includes adjustments that would close the hunting and trapping season in Wolf Management Units 313 and 316 within 12 hours of the harvests quotas there being reached. These WMUs border Yellowstone National Park. The proposal also includes reducing the harvest quota in WMU 313 from four to three wolves.
  • to offer the opportunity to trap wolves via a drawing on three western Montana wildlife management areas, including the Blackfoot-Clearwater, Fish Creek and Mount Haggin WMAs.
  • a statewide annual quota of 100 wolves taken under a new state law that provides for landowners to take wolves without a license that are a potential threat to human safety, livestock or pets.

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FWP approves rule allowing landowner take of up to 100 wolves

The Montana FWP Commission approved a new regulation allowing landowners to kill wolves is they pose a “potential threat” . . .

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission last week approved a measure that would allow private landowners, even if they don’t hold a wolf license, to kill up to 100 wolves per year if they pose a “potential threat to human safety, livestock or domestic dogs.”

The wolf take is separate and in addition to any quota or general harvest associated with the wolf hunting and trapping season.

The commission also made few changes to the wolf season for next year, including reducing the wolf harvest in a management unit near Yellowstone National Park from the current quota of four to three.

How much impact the new regulation will have in Northwest Montana remains to be seen…

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100-wolf quota for Montana landowners in the works

The rules allowing Montana landowners to shoot wolves posing a “potential threat” are loosening up . . .

Montana landowners could kill a combined 100 gray wolves annually if the predators are perceived to pose a threat to humans or domestic animals, according to a rule that received initial backing from state wildlife commissioners Thursday.

The proposal significantly expands the circumstances under which wolves can be killed without a hunting license.

The Montana Legislature passed a measure last year requiring the change. The legislation didn’t define what qualifies as a “potential threat” so the Fish and Wildlife Commission didn’t detail it either, spokesman Ron Aasheim said.

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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service wolf recovery information online

For those of you who like to dig into source materials, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a web site with news, information and recovery status reports on gray wolves on the Northern Rockies. You’ll find it here: http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov.

The agency’s “Office of External Affairs” also maintains a page with links to wolf-related press releases, public notices, hearing transcripts, articles and studies at http://www.fws.gov/home/wolfrecovery/.

Group of lawmakers wants wolf protections preserved

More blow-back from that rejected federal wolf study . . .

Federal lawmakers pressed Interior Secretary Sally Jewell on Wednesday to drop the administration’s plan to end federal protections for gray wolves across most of the Lower 48 states.

Seventy-four House members signed onto a Wednesday letter to Jewell that cited a peer-review panel’s recent conclusion the government relied on unsettled science to make its case that the wolves have sufficiently recovered.

Gray wolves were added to the endangered-species list in 1975 after being widely exterminated in the last century. Protections already have been lifted for rebounding populations of the predators in the northern Rockies and Great Lakes regions.

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New FWP rules allow landowners to kill wolves

Landowners can now kill wolves without a license under certain circumstances . . .

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted new administrative rules for killing wolves that pose a threat to landowners’ safety on Thursday.

The rule change stemmed from a bill the Legislature passed in the 2013 session allowing landowners to kill wolves without first getting a license if they threaten human safety, livestock or dogs. But it also gave the agency a chance to clear up some confusing parts of the state administrative law book, according to FWP wildlife management section chief Quentin Kujala.

“It’s not the easiest thing to read,” Kujala said. “We took more than 1,300 public comments on this.”

The new rules also change the definition of a breeding pair of wolves – a crucial part of the federal oversight of sustainable wolf populations…

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Panel says assumption of ‘eastern wolf’ species not justified

One of the assumptions basic to the federal government’s wolf recovery plan may be in error . . .

A proposal to lift federal protections for gray wolves across most of the U.S. suffered a significant setback Friday as an independent review panel said the government is relying on unsettled science to make its case.

Federal wildlife officials want to remove the animals from the endangered species list across the Lower 48 states, except for a small population in the Southwest.

The five-member U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service peer-review panel was tasked with reviewing the government’s claim that the Northeast and Midwest were home to a separate species, the eastern wolf.

If the government were right, that would make gray wolf recovery unnecessary in those areas.

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