Wolf, © James Brandenburg / National Geographic Stock

Wolf Weekly Wrap-up

Expanded Idaho wolf hunt – Idaho’s 2011-12 wolf hunt ends in most of the state next week and it will have claimed at least 367 wolves (the current total) by hunting and trapping, plus dozens more that were removed by state and federal wildlife agents. In two units, the season continues through June – through denning season when packs and their pups are easy to find at their densites. Wolves will only get a short reprieve, however until the next season begins at the end of August.

At the Idaho Fish and Game Commission monthly meeting this week, there were more wolf supporters than wolf opponents. Between 30 and 40 attendees testified on behalf of wolves, yet the Commission ignored their concerns about escalating wolf killing in Idaho. They failed to address any of the concerns presented, including that:

  • using traps and snares on public land is unsafe for pets;
  • no areas are set aside for wolf-watching;
  • Idaho’s wildlife belongs to all citizens, not just hunters, trappers and fishermen, and
  • a 72-hour trap-check policy allows wolves to suffer for days.

Instead, commissioners approved even more aggressive wolf hunting and trapping plans for next year by increasing the number of wolves that individual hunters can kill in a season, allowing trapping in more areas, and extending the season later in the year (see full AP story).

Defenders’ wolf expert Suzanne Stone gave testimony about the success of the Wood River Wolf Project that was well received, but it wasn’t enough to talk the commission out of taking more aggressive action. Regardless, thanks to all our supporters who spoke out in support of wolves! We’ll need all the help we can get at every meeting to help turn the tide of anti-wolf sentiment in Idaho.

Idaho commissioner comes to DC – Blaine County Commissioner Larry Schoen is the liaison between the county and our Wood River Wolf Project, and his support has been instrumental in growing the project. Larry traveled to Washington in early March to help share the success of the project with the Idaho delegation and other agency stakeholders. Hearing directly from a respected Idahoan has helped strengthen our case that nonlethal tools are a valuable part of wolf management and deserve more support from the federal government. Read more about Larry’s trip in his hometown paper, the Idaho Mountain Express.

Wolf death under investigation in Oregon – According to state police, a dead wolf was found on private property in northeast Oregon last week. The cause of death had not been determined, but authorities planned to conduct an investigation to rule out any wrongdoing. At the end of 2011 there were an estimated 29 wolves in Oregon. Read more in the La Grande Observer.

5 Responses to “Wolf Weekly Wrap-up”

  1. Lesly

    I understand that US Fish & Wildlife refuses to get involved with state management of wolves unless the numbers fall below 100. Here is my question though. If ACCURATE wolf population numbers aren’t used, (*as in the case on March 21st in Idaho), what keeps wolves from becoming endangered or near extinct again?

    * On March 21st in Idaho, Idaho Fish & Game Commissioner McDermott stated there were 1200-1600 wolves in Idaho. There is no documentation of this number. The actual population as stated by there own reporting is in the 500’s.

    • Dr. Raven

      Just so you know, the Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners are determined to kill every wolf in Idaho. They picked that 1500 number out of the air–even their own biologist could not support that number when asked at the hearing. These men are appointed by a corrupt governor in a corrupt state. In a recent survey by a national think-tank, Idaho ranked in the top ten most corrupt states in the country. The corrupt cadre ruling Idaho refuse to listen to the people and routinely violate their rights. It is time that the Department of Justice looks into Idaho. And the feds must relist wolves in Idaho before these corrupt ——– kill all of them. I was there at that meeting and I also lobbied against Idaho Senator Siddoway’s “live bait” bill a couple of weeks earlier. The stench of corruption emanates from the Idaho Governor’s office, to the Idaho Legislature to the Idaho Fish and Game Commission and its Fish and Game personnel. It’s time for a major flush of the Idaho toilet.

    • Suzanne Stone

      That’s our question as well, Lesly. We are asking the US Fish and Wildlife Service to explain why there is such a large discrepancy between their numbers and Idaho’s estimates of the wolf population. If Idaho is going to manage wolves down to the minimum level permitted by the Service, the accuracy of their population estimates must be reliable.

    • jerry collins

      governor butch otter and the idaho fish and wildlife services are a joke. he is totally bought and owned by large commercial hunting services such as the one used by dick cheney.( you know, they tie an animal to a tree so you can drive up in your mercedes and shoot it from your air conditioned seat) truth of the matter is that the wolves have dispersed the elk into the wild where they belong so “hunters”have to walk a little. People like ron gillette want to turn our nations park land into pasture land for his own greed. until that whole bunch of idiots are cleaned out, there will never be any balance of nature. just look how well oregon and wash. are handling the matter.

  2. sharon randall

    Do we have anyone from “defenders of wildlife” in the state of Wisconsin? How come we jump from “endangered” to hunting wolves for months? Won’t wolves end up “endangered” after one year of this type of hunting? The law that just passed in Wisconsin is awful. I try to support the organizations that work.

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