Tag Archives: wolf management

Montana wolf population declines

Hunting pressure decreased the number of wolves in Montana . . .

The number of gray wolves in Montana continues to decline under the state’s management efforts but remains above federal recovery goals, according to the Fish, Wildlife and Parks department.

State officials released an annual report detailing the status of the controversial animal, which remains the subject of scrutiny and debate throughout the West.

Read more . . .

See also: FWP Releases Minimum Wolf Count For 2014

Legal battles put some Wyoming wolf research on-hold

Lawsuits over wolf management in Wyoming are hampering some research efforts . . .

Fur piled in a mess under a fallen tree. A jawbone lay nearby. The spine was farther down the hill by some ribs. Part of a shoulder was 50 yards in another direction. They were the first signs of a female moose killed months before by a pack of wolves. Little remained of her body. But her bones told a story…

She was sick, and that may have lowered her defenses, which is what matters to wolves, said Ken Mills, wolf biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department…

Mills, 35, was gathering information in late July on how many moose, deer and elk wolves have killed in the Gros Ventre Range in northwestern Wyoming.

Read more . . .

Bill would take wolves off endangered list in 4 states

A bill is in the early stages that would take gray wolves off the endangered species list in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming . . .

Several members of Congress are preparing legislation to take gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Wyoming off the endangered list in an attempt to undo court decisions that have blocked the states from allowing wolf hunting and trapping for sport and predator control.

U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble, R-Wis., is leading the effort, his office confirmed Tuesday. Co-sponsors include U.S. Reps. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., Dan Benishek, R-Mich., and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.

Read more . . .

Oregon’s wandering wolf hard to collar

“OR7,” the wolf that created a stir when it wandered into Northern California a couple of years ago and then found a mate and settled down in Oregon, is back in the news again. It’s proving very difficult to get a new tracking collar on him . . .

Oregon’s wandering wolf, OR-7, has so far eluded attempts to put a new GPS tracking collar on him.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist John Stephenson tells The Oregonian (http://bit.ly/1E5QRZY) that he and another biologist backpacked into the wilds of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in the southern Cascades and set out traps to catch OR-7. But neither OR-7, nor his mate, nor any of their pups stepped into one.

The biologists plan to try again after hunting season ends Nov. 7.

Read more . . .

Judge denies quick fix to Wyoming wolf management plan

As expected, the federal judge who invalidated Wyoming’s wolf management plan won’t allow it to go back in force with just a few minor tweaks . . .

A federal judge on Tuesday denied requests from the state of Wyoming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service and pro-hunting groups to change last week’s decision that reinstated federal protections for wolves in the state.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C., leaves Wyoming and the Fish and Wildlife Service with the choice of either appealing or to developing a revised management plan. The planning process can take years and require more public comment, during which time Wyoming wolves would remain protected under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Read more . . .

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.

Read more . . .

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.

Read more . . .

Montana’s wolves not ‘transplants’

Steve Gniadek recently submitted the following letter to the Flathead Beacon . . .

The article on the proposed wolf management stamp (Beacon, Aug 20) was succinct and generally accurate.  However, one important omission contributed to what I referred to in my comments at the hearing as a raging ignorance among some segments of the public.  The article states correctly that “wolves were introduced back into Yellowstone National Park and the central Idaho wilderness in 1995 and 1996 . . .”.   By omitting the fact that wolves naturally recolonized Northwest Montana, readers may conclude that wolves in this area are from those reintroductions.  In reality, after an absence of 50 years, wolves from Canadian populations began expanding into Northwest Montana more than 30 years ago.  They were not relocated here.

Right before the 2010 election I attended a forum on wolves at Flathead Valley Community College sponsored by Montanans for Multiple Use.  A biologist from the Fish, Wildlife & Parks Department was scheduled to appear on the panel, but was prohibited from participating due to legal wrangling over the wolf hunt.  Thus, there was no one on the panel who could provide an objective view of wolf biology and management, and ignorance ran rampant.  Panelists and audience members repeatedly complained that wolves were transplanted to Montana by the feds, ignoring the fact that wolves in our area came in on their own and were not transplanted.  This was only one of numerous distortions bandied about at the forum.

Present at the forum were most if not all the local Republican candidates, who tried to outdo one another in their support for the misinformation dispensed by the crowd.  In a democracy, we should expect our political representatives to help educate their constituents rather than reinforce ignorance and prejudice.  We should expect the same from our media sources.

Steve Gniadek

Idaho suspends use of hired wolf hunter in Frank Church Wilderness

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has declared a temporary truce over its practice of using a hired hunter to kill wolves in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. Yep, that’s right: A state-sponsored wolf hunt in a big “W” wilderness area. You just can’t make this stuff up . . .

Idaho Fish and Game officials say they’re suspending a plan to use a hired hunter to kill wolves in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness until at least November 2015.

Jeff Gould, wildlife bureau chief for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, made the declaration in a document filed with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week.

A coalition of wildlife advocacy groups sued the state and federal officials in federal court earlier this year, asking a judge to stop a state-hired hunter from using the U.S. Forest Service’s backcountry airstrips to reach and kill wolves in the Frank Church River of No Return wilderness. A federal judge rejected their request for a temporary restraining order, but state officials pulled the hunter out of the region after he killed nine wolves.

Read more . . .

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.

Read more . . .