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Wolves: Fight to keep gray wolf from being gunned down in Idaho & Montana

I never thought I’d see the day when the Obama administration AND the National Rifle Association would both defend the killing of wolves.

That happened last week when the NRA sought to intervene against a lawsuit by 13 conservation organizations to put the northern Rockies gray wolf back on the endangered species list and save it from being gunned down in Idaho and Montana.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Humane Society of the United States, Center for Biological Diversity, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands, Western Watershed Project, Wildlands Network and Hells Canyon Preservation Network.
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Posted on Friday, October 16th, 2009
Under: Killing wolves, Wolves | 8 Comments »

Alaska aerial wolf kill means $$$ for the state

Aerial hunters have killed 124 wolves this winter in Alaska’s predator control program.

State wildlife officials believe that translates to more than 1,400 moose or almost 3,000 caribou being saved — or some combination thereof. The number of wolves killed, however, is far below the goal of 455 to 670 wolves, but it’s more than the 97 wolves taken last year.

The program, which is still ongoing, is an effort to boost moose and caribou numbers.
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Posted on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008
Under: Alaska, Hunting, Killing wolves, Wolves | No Comments »

And now the Wyoming gray wolf slaughter begins

Three wolves are killed in Wyoming within days of federal protection removal

As I said here on March 25 — After many years of federal protection that cost millions of tax dollars, gray wolves will be fair game for hunters and ranchers in most of Wyoming when the animals are removed from the endangered species list on March 28.

Guess what? I was right.

The information below was on Tuesday’s (April 1) Associated Press wire. It comes from a story in the Casper (Wyoming) Star-tribune. You can read the whole story at http://www.trib.com/articles/2008/04/01/news/wyoming/14df5a030a0d85438725741e00048afb.txt

LANDER, Wyo. — Wyoming hunters and ranchers killed at least three gray wolves within the first three days of the animals’ removal from the federal endangered species list, local and state wildlife officials said.

Wyoming, Montana and Idaho took over management of wolves within their borders on Friday as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ended protection of the animals under the Endangered Species Act.

Scott Talbott, the Game and Fish official overseeing Wyoming’s new wolf management program, said one of the wolves was wearing a tracking collar.

All three wolves were killed in Wyoming’s predator zone, where people are now allowed to kill wolves at any time and for any reason as long as they report the time, location and sex of each kill to the state within 10 days.

Wyoming is home to 25 wolf packs living outside of Yellowstone National Park, and seven of those live in the predator area. Wildlife officials have said that most of the 30 to 35 wolves living outside the trophy game zone live in adjoining Sublette County.

Terry Pollard, co-owner of Bald Mountain Outfitters in Pinedale, said he heard reports of many locals going wolf hunting over the weekend, but most didn’t make any kills. “I think they’re finding just what we figured,” Pollard said. “These wolves are an extremely tough animal to hunt. There was a significant amount of hunters out this weekend, and very few of them were taken.”

Mike Leahy, Rocky Mountain regional director of Defenders of Wildlife, said it’s hard to know how many wolves were killed over the weekend because hunters have 10 days to report kills within the predator zone.

“In a shoot-on-sight zone, a large number of the wolves could be killed before Wyoming Game and Fish or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service even knows about it,” Leahy said. “There could be big impacts to the wolf population that go underreported until it’s too late.”

Defenders of Wildlife is one of several groups that has filed notice of their intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service to retain Endangered Species Act protections for the wolves. Leahy said it’s too early to know whether the group will seek an emergency injunction against the federal delisting decision.

GARY’S RESPONSE:
So there you have it. Our tax dollars have been spent all these years so the federal government could keep the gray wolves from becoming extinct … just so Wyoming can sell hunting licenses to kill those very same  gray wolves at a very nice profit for the state.

Next … the wolf-killing fields of Idaho and Montana. Aren’t we clever? /Gary

Picture of gray wolf by Flickr user dobak under Creative Commons license

Posted on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
Under: Endangered species, Hunting, Killing wolves, wild predators, Wolves | 10 Comments »

Idaho Gov. wants to kill wolves in his state

"BOISE, Idaho (Associated Press) — Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says he’ll support public hunts to kill all but 100 gray wolves in the state once the federal government removes the animal from Endangered Species Act protections.

"The governor said he hopes to shoot a wolf himself."

It’s amazing what some people, even the governor of the state of Idaho, will do to raise a few bucks (while courting the votes of Idaho hunters!). But you have to admit, wiping out an entire species of wildlife in the state for political purposes is really over the edge. The Gov.’s rationalization for doing this ("wolves are rapidly killing elk and other animals essential to Idaho’s multimillion-dollar hunting industry") is also bad science. Most scientific research shows that wolves don’t cause major damage to elk herds.

This is the same bad argument Alaska has been using for the aerial hunting of wolves. Their motives are also the same. They don’t want any natural predators killing animals that paying hunters could be killing.

I wonder if it would help if wolves bought hunting licenses?

Here’s some more of the Idaho wolf-killing story by Associated Press writer Jesse Harlan Alderman:

The Idaho Office of Species Conservation estimates the state’s current wolf population at about 650, in roughly 60 packs. Governor Otter told The Associated Press after a rally of hunters on the Capitol steps that he wants hunters to gradually kill about 550 of the animals, leaving about 100 wolves or 10 packs, the minimum the federal government would allow before wolves again would be considered endangered.

"That management includes you," Otter told the approximately 300 hunters, many wearing camouflage clothing and blaze-orange caps. "I’m prepared to bid for that first ticket to shoot a wolf myself."

Idaho Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife bused in wolf opponents from as far as Twin Falls, 130 miles away, for Thursday’s rally with Otter and several state lawmakers. They urged the government to immediately remove wolves from endangered species protection.

Otter also signed a proclamation making Thursday "Idaho Sportsmen Day."

The crowd — including one hunter with a stuffed baby fox around his neck and a sign declaring "Wolves are illegal immigrants too" — stood for more than an hour in the midmorning snow. They applauded wildly as Otter amplified their position that wolves are rapidly killing elk and other animals essential to Idaho’s multimillion-dollar hunting industry. …

There’s more, but I think you get the point.

The Helena Independent Record (newspaper) in Montana printed the entire press release if you’d like to read the rest. It’s at http://www.helenair.com/articles/2007/01/12/montana_top/000wolves.txt

If you’d like to find out what you can do to help wolves, check out the Defenders of Wildlife Web site at http://www.defenders.org/

Posted on Friday, January 12th, 2007
Under: Killing wolves | No Comments »