Saturday, August 13, 2011

Wolf Weekly Wrap-up

Posted: 12 Aug 2011

A federal wildlife agent demonstrates how to set up fladry to protect livestock from hungry wolves.
Wood River workshop – As word of Defenders of Wildlife's Wood River Wolf Project spreads across Idaho, more and more people are starting to take notice. Suzanne Stone led a workshop this week in partnership with the Blaine County Commission to demonstrate the tools that have made the project such a success. Carter Niemeyer, former federal trapper and wolf recovery coordinator for Idaho, and Rick

Williamson, retired field agent for Wildlife Services, joined the workshop to answer questions based on their combined decades of experience in the field managing conflicts between livestock and wolves. A small but savvy crowd of top state officials and local ranchers participated in the workshop, adding lively debate to what was otherwise a technical workshop. Stay tuned for video and additional photos from the workshop in coming weeks, plus forthcoming stories in the Idaho Mountain Express and Idaho Public Television.

Opting out of wolf litigation – Three environmental groups involved in a lawsuit over the wolf delisting rider announced that they will be appealing a Montana federal court’s decision to the Ninth Circuit. Mike Leahy was interviewed on Northwest News Networkthis week to explain why Defenders has steered clear of further litigation on the issue. Listen here:
Read more about the pending litigation in this blog.
Wyoming unveils worrisome wolf plan – Wyoming released its proposed wolf management plan this week, following successive announcements from the Interior Department in the preceding month that an agreement had been reached on the principles of the plan. As expected, the plan would allow wolves to be shot-on-sight across nearly 90 percent of the state for most of the year. The area surrounding Yellowstone National Park will be treated as a “Trophy Game Management Area” where wolves can be hunted with a license. Here’s what Defenders’ wolf expert Suzanne Stone had to say in a New West

Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife, also blasted
the plan.
“Sanctioning aerial gunning and the killing of pregnant females and newborn pups is not only a clear violation of fair-chase hunting ethics, but also a drastic and unwarranted step that could seriously harm the long-term viability of the population.” she said.
Stone said she was appalled that the Obama administration had done something that she would have expected from the Bush administration.
The plan also got a bad reception in Teton County, where local commissioners have been pushing the state to permanently expand the trophy management area for the entire year to avoid unnecessary killing.
Are hunters good stewards? – Not when it comes to wolves, according to a new study released by University of Wisconsin researchers. They found that surveyed hunters in the western Great Lakes and Northern Rockies were some of the least likely to support ongoing wolf recovery efforts.
“Hunters were some of the least tolerant of wolves among our respondents, and the closer you got to wolf range the less tolerant they were,” says Treves, a professor in the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.