Mexican gray wolf and pup, © Joel Sartore/ National Geographic Photo Ark

Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up

Rancher Says Coexistence is the Path Forward
After losing ewes and newborn lambs to wolves over the past four years, John Peavey of Flat Top Ranch in Idaho has moved his lambing operation 20 miles south away from core wolf range avoid conflict with wolves during this vulnerable time. In the past, the Flat Top Ranch has relied on killing wolves and other predators to try to prevent conflict with his lambs. The result until now? Lots of dead wolves and sheep, and a problem that repeats itself every year! This year, Mr. Peavey decided to break the cycle by moving his lambing methods to an area away from core wolf habitat.

Lambing, © Suzanne Stone/Defenders

Ewes lambing near the Flat Top Ranch in central Idaho’s Wood River Valley.

This relocation is working…. Peavey has lost zero lambs to wolves this year and no wolves have been killed this spring. This is a pivotal decision for Blaine County’s Wood River Wolf Project, which has been limited to expanding to a county wide level due to the lambing operation methods on the Flat Top Ranch.  Suzanne Stone, Defenders senior representative for Rockies and Plains and an Idaho resident said: “We’re very pleased that John’s been able to change his lambing practices. I think he deserves strong recognition for his willingness to address these conflicts.” As this move suggests, our work to promote these methods is beginning to take root in the ranching culture. Having the support of folks like John Peavey and Flat Top Ranch is critical as we continue to build social tolerance for wolves.

Tell Washington State that Wolves Should not be Treated as Game Species!
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is creating a new Game Management Plan for 2015-2021, the document that will set guidelines for hunting game in the state. Wolf pack, © Doug McLaughlinWDFW is currently accepting public comment on the draft plan. Gray wolves are still listed in Washington as endangered under both the state and federal endangered species acts and there are only about 50 known wolves in the entire state and it is unlikely that they will be fully recovered until the very end of this plan’s time period. So if you live in Washington, now is your chance to tell the WDFW that it is premature and inappropriate to include wolves in the 2015-2021 game management plan. The comment period ends on July 18.  In addition, WDFW is also soliciting proposals for hunting-related regulations for the 2015-2017 seasons.  One of the categories that they are seeking proposals on is wolves. Please tell the WDFW (make sure you choose wolves on the dropdown menu) that wolves are still recovering and protected in the state and should not be hunted.