Monday, May 16, 2011

Wolf News

Update, 5/17/11

A young Male wolf was killed in Wallowa County this morning (Press release below). Here is a comment from a friend about the situation:

The kill permits issued to ranchers allow killing of wolves on public [and private] land where they have grazing allotments. As far as known, NO depredations have occurred on land where fladry or RAG boxes were used. This whole shebang is rancher appeasement. The ranchers resent the wolves being on their property without having the right to kill them out of hand. The science is shaky on the effectiveness of killing wolves to "learn them a lesson." Better husbandry is the answer.

There are 40,000 cows in Wallowa County, four or five head have been killed by wolves, we only have two dozen wolves in the whole state, and ODFW decides that killing wolves is the answer?? All confirmed losses have been compensated at full market value, the losses are miniscule anyway, essentially insignificant compared to routine losses from disease, weather, accident, other predators. All or nearly all the non-lethal measures have been paid for by conservationists or the state, working sometimes through NGOs. It's not rancher pocketbooks that are hurting, it's their sense of entitlement.

See also, Some facts About Wolves and Dogs Killing Cattle below (After ODFW press releases).

Wolf killed in Wallowa County in effort to reduce livestock losses

Michelle Dennehy Tue, May 17, 2011 at 1:33 PM
This will be issued shortly out of ODFW News.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Contact: Michelle Dennehy (503) 947-6022
Fax: (503) 947-6009

For Immediate Release May 17, 2011

Wolf killed in Wallowa County in effort to reduce livestock losses

SALEM, Ore.—An uncollared young male wolf from the Imnaha pack was trapped and euthanized this morning by ODFW staff. The action occurred on private property with livestock operations, where wolves had killed livestock in late April 2011.

ODFW killed the wolf in an effort to reduce livestock depredation in the area. Despite non-lethal methods in place to prevent wolf-livestock conflict, wolves from the Imnaha pack have killed at least four domestic animals this year. The pack was also involved in livestock losses in the same area at about the same time last year.

“This action is not something that we take lightly, but it is consistent with the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan,” said Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. “This will reduce the food requirements of the pack and discourage further use of this area [livestock operations on private lands].”

Efforts to remove a second uncollared wolf from the pack will continue.

ODFW has also issued 12 “caught in the act” permits to livestock producers in the area of the Imnaha pack. With the permits, the livestock producers may shoot a wolf they “see in the act of biting, wounding or killing livestock.” All of the permit holders are using non-lethal methods to prevent wolf-livestock conflict.

The purpose of these permits is to provide livestock producers with additional tools to protect their property. Morgan noted that the opportunity to use these permits is rare. “Wolves tend to avoid humans, so seeing one in the act is unlikely. None of the livestock producers that have lost animals to wolves so far have seen a wolf actually attacking their livestock,” he said. “However, we want to give ranchers the ability to protect their private property should they see a wolf biting, wounding or killing their livestock.”

More information: and

From the first link just above:

ODFW to kill two wolves in response to repeated livestock losses

. . . .
Wolves throughout Oregon remain protected by the State Endangered Species Act.

Wolf management in Oregon is guided by the state’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, first adopted in 2005 after an extensive public process and updated last year. The plan seeks to conserve wolves while protecting the social and economic interests of Oregonians.

“Wolves have made Oregon their home,” said ODFW Wildlife Division Administrator Ron Anglin. “Oregon has a Wolf Plan that allows us to meet the conservation mandate required by state law and manage the inevitable conflict with livestock and other land uses.”

With ODFW now taking over responsibility of wolf management, ranchers and livestock producers need to work directly with ODFW when wolf/livestock conflicts occur east of Hwys 395-78-95. Ranchers that see wolves on their property or suspect wolves have attacked livestock should immediately call ODFW, USDA Wildlife Services or a county official.

Oregon currently has three wolf packs: the Imnaha (10 wolves at latest count), Wenaha (six wolves) and Walla Walla (three wolves). The Walla Walla pack is new and wildlife managers are still trying to determine their range, which could primarily be in Washington State.


Some facts About Wolves and Dogs Killing Cattle

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Government Report: Less Than 1% of Cattle Killed by Native Carnivores and Domestic Dogs
Taxpayers Fleeced by Federal, Predator-Control Program

Contact: Wendy Keefover | WildEarth Guardians | (303) 573-4898, Ext. 1162 |

Denver, CO—Less than a quarter of one percent, 0.23%, of the American cattle inventory was lost to native carnivores and dogs in 2010, according to a Department of Agricultural report released last week. WildEarth Guardians claims the findings should bring into question the tens of millions per year taxpayers and livestock growers spend on lethal and non-lethal control of native carnivores.

“The real killers of cattle are not a few endangered wolves or other wildlife – it’s illness and weather,” stated Wendy Keefover of WildEarth Guardians. “The predation myth has directly contributed to a federal, 100-year, paramilitary assault on millions of native animals and birds in America. Despite governmental evidence about miniscule livestock losses, ongoing covert federal wildlife-killing operations are conducted each year on our most treasured wildlands and forests,” she added.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), an arm of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), compiled the newest cattle inventory and loss numbers. In 2010, cattle inventory dipped to 94 million head, down from 104.5 million in 2005—the last time NASS issued its Cattle Death Loss report. According to the report:

• The top five killers of cattle are respiratory problems (over one million); digestive problems (505,000); complications while calving (494,000); weather (489,000); and “unknown” non-predator causes (435,000). Non-predator cattle losses totaled nearly four million cattle. Respiratory, digestive, and calving problems and weather issued caused 64% of all cattle mortality.

• In comparison, only 220,000 cattle losses stemmed from livestock predators or 0.23% of the total cattle production over the year. Cattle predators counted by NASS included: coyotes, cougars, bobcats, lynx, dogs, wolves, vultures, bears and “others.” Predation by native carnivores really only amounted to 170,800. That is because dogs killed more livestock (21,800) than any other species except coyotes (116,700). “Unknown” predators killed 27,300 cattle. Wolves reportedly killed 8,100 cattle, while felids (pumas, bobcats, and lynx) killed 18,900 cattle.

Meanwhile, federal agents associated with the USDA’s Wildlife Services program killed 114,522 mammalian carnivores (including 480 wolves; 82,097 coyotes; and 477 domestic dogs) in 2009. It spent $121 million that year.

Ironically, the USDA houses both Wildlife Services (a federal, wildlife-killing agency) and NASS (the statistics bureau).

“Wildlife Services has an unending arsenal of poisons, aerial-gunning crafts, and hidden explosive booby traps that have assaulted not only our native wildlife—including a terrible assault on wolves, but also people and their pets. American taxpayers unwittingly foot a portion of this $120 million annual bill – while its sister agency shows that few wildlife actually kill livestock.”

According to NASS, ranchers and farmers reported that they spent $185 million on non-lethal forms of wildlife control such as guard animals, exclusion fences, and removing calf carcasses.

“The livestock predation myth is a big lie imposed on the American public. While lethal predator control doesn’t even help the fat cats of agribusiness, it does ensure that the USDA-Wildlife Services stays in business. While the feds assault millions of our native wolves, bears, cougars, and coyotes, the true cattle killers are illness and weather. The Wildlife Services’ lethal predator control program must end, and the taxpayers, wildlife, and wildlands will reap the benefits,” stated Keefover.


Read the NASS report on Cattle Death Loss, May 12, 2011

View Cattle Death Loss Charts

Revisit numbers of wildlife killed by USDA’s Wildlife Services

See Mammalian Carnivores (i.e. Coyotes) Killed and by Method

Compare with sheep losses

Just a short & sweet relay of wolf related news tonight.

Fish & Wildlife Service Photo (above)

There have been a number of disturbing comments recently from people who, in my opinion, appear to be anti-wolf extremists in the western states. Here are a few comments, and all except the first, were forwarded in articles from North East Oregon Ecosystems.

All this since the Feds announced that they were removing federal protections for wolves in the Great Lakes and Northern Rockies and will review the status of endangered gray wolves in the Northwest. (Fact Sheet.) Shortly thereafter, Oregon announced they would kill 2 wolves.

From a poster, Wallowa County Chieftain reporter, Brian Addison, to my Facebook page:

"The killing of the two wolves is ridiculous. More appropropriate to trap and euthanize whomever brought this upon NE Oregon."


The following articles were found and forwarded to me by North East Oregon Ecosystems.

I try to delete the profanity. JH.

The display of so called control by the IDF&G is a joke. IDF&G simply stalled long enough to allow a doubling of the already massive wolf population. These criminals responsible for destroying the Nations greatest hunting should be fired. No more consensus, and no more trust for these b-------.They asked to have another chance, and they blew it.

Scott Rockholm
Save Western Wildlife Inc.
Rockholm Media Group

Date: Sat, 14 May 2011 13:31:19 -0600
Subject: Re: Fw: Wolf Harvest

Here's an idea. Collar 10 wolves with a $1,000 redeemable tag. Open the season on wolves until all ten tags are redeemed. At that point do it all over again. Offer bonus $$ for the longest tail, longest fangs, widest skull, largest paw, etc. With some incentives Idaho's outdoorsmen would solve the wolf overpopulation with-in two-three years. A similar program should be instituted on bears and cougars until the elk and deer herds are recovered to maximum carrying capacity.

On Sat, May 14, 2011 at 8:55 AM, wrote:


Five wolves shot in Lolo from helicopter post

May 13, 2011 By Rocky Barker - Idaho Statesman

Aerial gunners killed five wolves in the Lolo region of northcentral Idaho since Wednesday.

Shooters for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services quit Friday, saying weather conditions were no good for shooting wolves from a helicopter, Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials said.

Fish and Game biologists have recommended wolf numbers be reduced in the Lolo to help struggling elk populations. But the steep, heavily forested wild area is a hard place for shooters to locate wolves, even though some of the predators have radio collars.

Wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains were removed from the federal endangered species list more than a week ago and Idaho once again has authority to manage the animals. The Fish and Game Commission is expected to set its goal for the wolf population at somewhere below 500 next week.

Biologists estimate there are from 705 to 1,000 wolves in the state. But no one knows how many are in the Lolo area.

Fish and Game hopes to reduce wolf numbers to between 20 and 30 wolves in the two big game units that make up the Lolo zone.

What we send out is for information on the wildlife issues. We do not always agree with the position or statements of the articles. If you wish to be removed please send the word "remove".


"The ESA is the most Draconian law on Americas books"
Yellowstone is Dead ....75,000Youtube views ..... 12 minutes

Robert T Fanning Jr.Chairman & Founder
Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd, Inc
75 Bridger Meadow Lane
P.O. Box 7 Pray, Montana 59065
Phone 406-333-4121
----- Original Message -----
From: Toby Bridges
To: Will Graves
Cc: Governor Brian Schweitzer ; ID Governor Butch Otter ; MT FWP Director Joe Maurier ; IDFG Director Virgil Moore ; MT FWP - Liz Bradley ; IDFG Commission - Tony McDermott ; MT FWP Reg. Supervisor Mack Long ; MT FWP Reg. Supervisor Jim Satterfield ; MT FWP Reg. Supervisor Pat Flowers ; MT FWP Wildlife Manager Mike Thompson ; IDFG Brad Compton ; MT Rep Champ Edmunds ; MT Sen Greg Hinkle ; MT Sen Joe Balyeat ; MT Rep Mike Milburn ; MT Sen Debby Barrett ; Senator Jon Tester ; Senator Max Baucus ; Congressman Denny Rehberg
Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 10:05 AM
Subject: Re: wolves


I just published the e-mail and photos I sent out yesterday, detailing the close proximity wolves now have to Missoula...
and touched on the E. granulosus danger...and the fact that most all of the wolf sign I have found in this area has been
within 2 to 3 miles of MT FWP Region 2 Headquarters - and that they have never issued any kind of warning or precautionary alert to nearby residents.

I'm gone the rest of the week - hunting.



Other Articles & Comments from North East Oregon Ecosystems:

After using radio collars to track and kill wolves from helicopters, USDA admits aerial gunning of wolves ‘inefficient and expensive’.

Hunt halted after aerial gunners kill at least 5 wolves in Idaho

LEWISTON, Idaho - Aerial gunners in a helicopter have killed at least five wolves in north-central Idaho since Wednesday in an effort to protect elk herds, but the hunting has been halted because it hasn't been as successful as expected, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game official says.

Deputy Director Jim Unsworth said agents with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services suspended the hunt indefinitely Friday because it was inefficient and expensive. He said some wolf packs are being found by radio collars worn by individuals but the wolves are in thick timber making them difficult to shoot from the air.

"The elk and deer are on green-up down low and the wolves are there with them," he told the Lewiston Tribune. "They are in that lower-elevation, big-timber kind of stuff. We can find the packs, but you can't find the wolves to do anything from a control standpoint."

State officials want to kill up to 60 wolves in the region, leaving about 20 or 30, in the wake of the Obama Administration removing the predators from Endangered Species Act protections last month.

With the aerial gunning from a helicopter having less success than officials hoped, Unsworth said hunting outfitters and their guides in the Lolo Zone have been authorized to shoot wolves during the spring bear hunting season.

Estimates put Idaho's wolf population at 705, but officials with Fish and Game said the number after this year's litter of pups may exceed 1,000.

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission is expected to approve a fall wolf hunting season throughout the state, and Unsworth said the commission is also likely to approve trapping for wolves. He said officials might try aerial hunting again following the fall hunt.

"The reality is it's going to be a long-term effort and we are going to have to use a combination of methods including the control effort and trapping to meet the 20 to 30 goal," he said. "Some folks think you just show up and take whatever you want when using a helicopter and that is just not the case."

Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Karen Michael
Animal Defense League of Arizona

Boise, ID

Date: May 13, 2011
Contact: Ed Mitchell
(208) 334-3700

F&G Has Resumed Wolf Management

Since resuming wolf management earlier this month, Idaho Fish and Game already has initiated several actions across the state.

Six control actions have been authorized in response to livestock depredations.

Fish and Game has resumed the lead for resolving conflicts with wolves, and the agency will once again issue permits to control problem wolves. Fish and Game also has resumed responding to livestock depredation by wolves. Regional supervisors can authorize wolf control actions, which typically peak in the summer.

Most control actions would be carried out by Wildlife Services, but sport hunters may be used in future depredation hunts to help resolve wolf conflicts in localized areas, similar to the way deer and elk crop depredation hunts are conducted.

In 2010, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves killed 75 cattle, 148 sheep, two horses and one domestic bison. In addition, 14 cattle, 30 sheep and one livestock guard dog were considered probable wolf kills.

In the Lolo elk management zone in north-central Idaho, Fish and Game is putting into action a wolf control plan, outlined in an earlier plan submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act's section 10(j). The plan is a commitment and an incremental effort to manage for 20 to 30 wolves in the Lolo zone until elk herds recover.

Current research shows excessive elk mortality caused by wolf predation continues in the Lolo zone.

Control efforts were initiated immediately in the Lolo zone to reduce wolf numbers before the elk calving season, and it will help survival of last year's calves as well as adult cows.

Fish and Game has authorized licensed outfitters to take any wolves they encounter incidental to spring black bear hunts in units 10 and 12, which comprise the Lolo zone. The effort will continue through June 30.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services removed five wolves in the Lolo Zone by helicopter. The control action has been suspended indefinitely until conditions improve.

Wolves in the Lolo zone are currently at lower elevations where the snow is gone, and even with radio collars, they are hard to see under tree cover.

In addition, Fish and Game biologists are developing monitoring strategies to ensure the best possible population information is collected. Fish and Game will have the lead for monitoring wolves across most of Idaho, with the Nez Perce Tribe providing collaborative assistance in north-central Idaho.

Fish and Game will discuss plans for a fall hunting season with the Idaho Fish and Game Commission at the May 18 meeting in Lewiston. The commission is expected to set seasons at the July 28 meeting in Salmon.


Well, the killing has begun in the Lolo/Clearwater in Idaho under the authority of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Five wolves have been shot from a helicopter by Idaho Wildlife Services. Another 60-80 to go, but I bet they run out of money before they get the rest of the wolves. The anti-wolfers are ecstatic calling it "wonderful news".

News > Local News > Environment
Five wolves shot in Lolo from helicopter
By Rocky Barker -
Published: 05/13/11

Aerial gunners killed five wolves in the Lolo region of northcentral Idaho since Wednesday.

Shooters for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services quit Friday, saying weather conditions were no good for shooting wolves from a helicopter, Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials said.

Fish and Game biologists have recommended wolf numbers be reduced in the Lolo to help struggling elk populations. But the steep, heavily forested wild area is a hard place for shooters to locate wolves, even though some of the predators have radio collars.

Wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains were removed from the federal endangered species list more than a week ago and Idaho once again has authority to manage the animals. The Fish and Game Commission is expected to set its goal for the wolf population at somewhere below 500 next week.

Biologists estimate there are from 705 to 1,000 wolves in the state. But no one knows how many are in the Lolo area.

Fish and Game hopes to reduce wolf numbers to between 20 and 30 wolves in the two big game units that make up the Lolo zone.

Read more:


Wolf issues up close, personal in Troy

By Brian Addison
Wallowa County Chieftain | 0 comments

While the wolves from the Imnaha pack east of Joseph and Enterprise are grabbing headlines for their interactions with livestock, the Wenaha pack is becoming quite familiar to many of the residents in north Wallowa County near the town of Troy.

“I’ve seen the wolves on my property,” said retired logging company owner Erv Hafer. “Two big wolves trotted right past me the other day. I got on my three-wheeler to go look for them and saw three more.”
. . . .
While there have been no reports of wolf depredation on cattle in the area, Hafer said there have been three recent cases of wolves preying on elk on his property, which he said were confirmed by the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.
. . . .


From a Friend:

The permits to kill wolves who are attacking stock allow killing wolves on public land grazing allotments as well as private property - I think this is wrong. On the other hand, Carter Niemeyer told me last night that in the last 15 years only 56 wolves have been killed under these permits in the whole lower 48. Incidentally, the number of wolves killed overall exceed the number of cows killed by wolves - total wolves killed is about 1500.


If anybody encounters the cry, "They're eating all our elk!," these two stories should set them straight, if possible:

Hazers hired to run elk off prairie
East Oregonian
May 8, 2011

JOSEPH — Craig Nichols squints through his binoculars at a herd of 250 Rocky Mountain elk on a distant grassy ridgetop, framed against the snow-covered Eagle Cap Wilderness.

“Most of them are bedded down,” he says softly.

The elk are slug-a-beds this bright spring morning on Wallowa County’s rolling 150,000-acre Zumwalt Prairie. Unfortunately for them, Nichols’ job is hazing elk herds off the prairie toward the forested breaks of the Snake and Imnaha rivers to the north.

Related story:

Wolves bring howlin’ good time to High Desert Museum
KTVZ (Oregon)
May 8, 2011

BEND, Ore. -- A pack of wolves invaded Central Oregon this weekend --- but not to worry, they were here to entertain and enlighten.

Three wolves dazzled sold-out shows at the High Desert Museum south of Bend this weekend.

It's all part of a special exhibit called "Mission- Wolf" put on by the Colorado-based Mission Wolf Refuge Project.


Idaho wolf disaster continues, coyote attacks Connecticut man while he mows his lawn
May 8, 2011

Idaho has officially declared a "wolf disaster" and has just obtained an Endangered Species Act pass to allow for a controlled hunt. Ostensibly, the Idaho wolf hunt is about protecting sheep, because sheep ranchers experience the greatest wolf predation losses. Added incentive: tourist hunters are competing against locals to obtain a limited number of elk tags. Climate change, disease, or coal-bed methane impacts reducing elk numbers? Move along...nothing to see here.


Wolf delisting puts spotlight on the west
Idaho Mountain Express - Opinion
May 6, 2011

A major new chapter is beginning in the Northern Rockies wolf saga. By summer, the gray wolf will again be taken off the endangered species list in Montana and Idaho, the result of Congress' attaching a rider to budget legislation directing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to remove protections in these two states and parts of Utah, Oregon and Washington. This decision returns daily management to Montana and Idaho, meaning a great deal of work lies ahead for the states' wildlife agencies and governors.

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