Brisk Sales of Permits for Planned Idaho Wolf Hunts

courtesy of Reuters
by Laura Zuckerman

Permits for planned wolf hunts sold briskly in Idaho on Thursday, as most wolves in the Northern Rockies were officially removed from the endangered species list and conservationists sued over the unprecedented removal of protection by Congress.

The end of federal protection means that the roughly 1,200 wolves in Idaho and Montana will be managed by state wildlife agencies. The two states are seeking to kill hundreds of wolves, mostly through public hunting to begin in the fall.

Hunters were lining up in Idaho to purchase “tags” priced at $11.95 to help fill a hunting quota expected to be set at 220 of the state’s 700 wolves. Montana is likely to set the same quota for its 550 wolves.

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Big Bad Wolf – USA (short film)

Produced By ABC Australia
Distributed By Journeyman Pictures

Click here to watch the video on YouTube

Fragile species in need of protection or dangerous predator – the wolf is strongly dividing opinion in the USA. As the debate intensifies both sides are raising their hackles and squaring off for a fight.

“I think if the devil had an animal it would be the wolf.” With a license plate that simply states, ‘no wolves’, hunter Ron Gillette is on a mission. Since the reintroduction of Canadian wolves to the Rocky Mountains their numbers have grown rapidly and for Ron they are a menace growing out of control:”the wildlife terrorist”. Yet he faces strong opposition, with courts keeping the wolf on the endangered species list. For conservationist Nancy Taylor, the wolf has mystical qualities and she is equally hell-bent on protecting it.”If somebody threatened my wolves I would step in front of them and take the bullet.” Under threat or posing a threat, the question remains – how wild will the west become?

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Lawmakers to Keep Pressing Wolf Bills Despite Settlement Between Wolf Advocates and Government

courtesy of The Washington Post
by the Associated Press

Lawmakers in the West said Friday they will keep pushing to lift federal protections for gray wolves despite a proposed settlement between environmental groups and the Obama administration.

The settlement would end a decade of lawsuits over the animals. But it faces significant legal hurdles that leave uncertain whether court approval will come before lawmakers act.

Approval is being sought from a judge who has twice ruled against attempts to lift wolf protections. Also, the deal faces opposition from some wildlife advocates who say their prior court victories are being squandered in a political compromise.

Given the uncertainties, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, of Montana, told The Associated Press he won’t wait to push through his legislation taking wolves off the endangered list in Montana and Idaho.

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Wolf-Fearing Idaho Lawmakers Want Emergency Declared

courtesy of the Idaho Statesman
by the Associated Press

Wolf-fearing lawmakers want Idaho to declare a disaster emergency that could include enlisting local law enforcement officers to help eradicate packs of the predators.

Rep. Judy Boyle from west-central Idaho, one of Idaho’s most active wolf opponents, told a hastily organized meeting of the House Ways and Means Committee that residents feel physically and psychologically threatened.

Boyle wants a new law giving the governor authority to declare a disaster emergency that allows rapid steps to be taken against wolves until the species is delisted, or the emergency no longer exists.

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Why Isn’t the Wolverine Better Protected in the Northern Rockies?

courtesy of New West
by Dennis Higman

Late last spring I had the rare privilege of seeing a wolverine in the wild while out riding on our ranch in the high mountain desert of southwest Idaho. It was one of an estimated 250-300 that still survive in the lower 48 states according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, mostly in the North Cascades of Washington State and Northern Rockies. Of course, I didn’t know any of this at the time. In fact, the only wolverine I’d ever heard of was the mascot for the University of Michigan.

What I did know was that my steady old Paint, Keith Richards, got very tense when he saw a large, brown furry animal cross our path about 25 yards away at the edge of a steep avalanche chute. It was like nothing I’d ever seen in 15 years up here at 7,200 feet. It was about the size of a small bear (or a big cub) but it didn’t move like a bear—more like a raccoon or badger but a lot faster. And move it did, with all deliberate speed, so I only got one quick look at its long bushy tail, short legs, narrow face and funny little ears before it disappeared.

I didn’t have a camera, but the image stayed with me until I got back to the house and looked it up. He wasn’t hard to find or identify. “Gulo gulo luscus”, the North American wolverine, largest member of the weasel family. I had no idea these magnificent creatures lived in Idaho but I’m no native son, so I asked a couple of friends and neighbors who are.

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Jim Beers – “Wolves Have No Place in Endangered Species Act”

courtesy of The Boise Weekly
by Melissa Vera

The Idaho Freedom Foundation, which has recently advocated for nullification of what it calls Obamacare, has picked up another issue: the debate over wolves in Idaho. The organization teamed up with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Idaho Outfitters and Guides to bring its drive to repeal the Endangered Species Act to Boise State on Feb. 16.

“The wolves have no place in the Endangered Species Act,” said Jim Beers, retired special agent for U.S. Fish and Wildlife. “They’re nothing but dogs and don’t let anyone tell you different.”

Beers, a 30-year veteran of Fish and Wildlife, told a room of students and activists that his former employer “is dismal.”

“Fish and Wildlife doesn’t want to manage the land or the wildlife,” said Beers. “Once they started hiring women and minorities, the service went from managing the land and wildlife to saving all the animals and habitats.”

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Groups Fail to Stop USDA Wolf Kills

courtesy of Capital Press
by Mateusz Perkowski

Environmental groups have failed to convince a federal judge to prohibit the USDA’s Wildlife Services Division from killing wolves in Idaho.

The Wolf Recovery Foundation and the Western Watersheds Project filed a lawsuit in 2009, claiming Wildlife Services agents had unlawfully shot several wolves from a helicopter near Stanley, Idaho.

The division, part of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, is charged with controlling predator populations to reduce livestock predation and other conflicts with humans.

According to plaintiffs, hundreds of wolves had been “unnecessarily exterminated or dispersed” by Wildlife Services agents in recent years.

The complaint claimed that USDA had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by not conducting an environmental analysis of the activities.
“APHIS Wildlife Services seeks to avoid public disclosure, scrutiny or accountability for its actions,” the complaint said.

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Blaine County Wants to Expand Idaho Wolf Project

courtesy of Ag Weekly
by Deb Courson

While Idaho’s Congressional delegation is taking up wolf de-listing at the federal level, an on-the-ground project demonstrating effective, non-lethal methods of managing wolves to protect sheep in the Wood River Valley is receiving a new round of support.

Blaine County commissioners have issued a letter requesting that the Wood River Wolf Project continue, and they want to see it expand. Commissioner Larry Schoen says it’s just the kind of research that is needed to add to the toolbox in managing wolves.

“It has shown that non-lethal control can work. We still need to promote acceptance of that fact. What the project hasn’t done yet is demonstrate the economics of it.”

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Idaho Governor: Don’t Shoot Wolves

by the Associated Press

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter is warning Idaho hunters not to shoot wolves they see chasing elk, a reversal of his stance just a day ago.

On Monday, he announced Idaho was relinquishing wolf management duties in protest of the federal government’s refusal to allow a public hunt.

After a press conference in Boise, Otter told The Associated Press that federal laws allow hunters to shoot wolves they saw pursuing elk or moose. But he clarified his position Tuesday.

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Wolf Poacher Gets Slap on the Hand

An Eagle, Idaho man convicted of shooting a wolf out of season and firing from a public roadway has been fined $1,000 and barred from hunting for one year. He was also sentenced to six months in jail, but the judge suspended five months and 28 days and instead ordered him to do 40 hours of community service…

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