Wolf Weekly Update

There was a lot of action last week out in the Northern Rockies with some good news and some bad news for the endangered gray wolf.

First, the good news…

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ petition for a “conservation hunt” was denied, which will prevent the state from killing nearly two hundred wolves that have been blamed for reduced elk numbers and ongoing livestock losses. At the same time, FWP said they were still willing to negotiate on a more reasonable solution for managing wolves within the state.

Anti-wolf activist Tony Mayer made his first court appearance in Blaine County, Idaho after illegally killing a bull elk last year. Mayer, the founder of the extreme anti-wolf group SaveElk.com (WARNING: graphic images), is facing felony charges that could result in a sentence of up to five years in prison, a $50,000 fine and lifetime suspension of his hunting license.

And the bad news…

This two-year-old male wolf of the Wenaha pack in northeast Oregon was killed on September 30. The picture was taken in August when he was fitted with a radio collar by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Unfortunately, Montana, Idaho and the U.S. Department of Justice announced late last week their intention to appeal the August 5 court decision that restored federal protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies. It’s unclear whether DOJ is serious about the effort, but the action serves as a placeholder for future legal action to remove federal protections.

Over in northeast Oregon, a two-year-old male wolf was illegally killed by an as-yet unidentified poacher. The wolf was one of four adults in the Wenaha pack—the smaller of Oregon’s two confirmed wolf packs—that had been collared in August by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (click here to see a photo taken at the time of collaring). FWS officials have not disclosed details about the killing and continue to investigate.

Defenders stands up for wolves in Montana

Finally, Defenders’ Rocky Mountain Regional Director Mike Leahy participated in a panel discussion on wolf recovery in Dillon, Montana on Tuesday. He was asked to join by Congressman Denny Rehberg who organized the hearings to solicit feedback about his proposed wolf legislation. The crowd was mostly unsympathetic hunters and ranchers and Mike the only wildlife conservation advocate on the panel amidst livestock and hunting representatives.

Mike encouraged Rep. Rehberg not to subvert the Endangered Species Act, but rather to support sustainable management objectives that ensure a healthy future for wolves. The following is a quote from a Montana Standard article about the meeting:

But Mike Leahy, regional director with Defenders of Wildlife, said the groups that filed to reinstate federal protection for wolves are not against hunting. However, they oppose the 300-wolf target to consider them recovered in the Northern Rockies.

“We haven’t seen any science behind that number,” he said. “We’re looking for some commitment to keep the numbers up and ensure that they remain healthy.”

Great job, Mike!

4 Responses to “Wolf Weekly Update”

  1. Roberto

    You guys will be very sorry when your beloved and overpopulated wolf reduces the number of hooved animals in the forest to the point of endangerment. Do you realize how out of balance things will be, just as they are now in the wolf’s favor? The “at all cost” arrogance you have is blinding you from sensability. Many of you werent even born in Montana or Idaho. You are from other places and preech from your ivory tower. Grow up and show some common sense.


    • alt

      yeah because the wolfs had killed off all the game before humans slaughtered them oh wait no the the wolf and the game population naturally balance out [humans think we are so important we have made ourselves into the biggest blight on the planet we’ve become a parasite taking what we want making nature into our own version and killing anything or anyone who gets in the way this planet would get along just fine without humans we are the ones that need to change how we live not force our surroundings to change to our liking

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