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Posts tagged: wolves

Wolves kill 14 sheep in Stevens County

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has confirmed that one or more wolves from the Huckleberry Pack in southern Stevens County killed 12 sheep Aug. 11 and two more Aug. 12 on private property off the Springdale-Hunters Road.

The attack just north of Blue Mountain and about two miles north of the Spokane Indian Reservation is the first confirmed loss of livestock to wolves this year in Washington.

About 1,800 sheep are being grazed in the area under a lease with the Hancock Timber Company, which owns the land, said WDFW officials who verified the attacks. More here. Rich Landers, SR

Do folks get as worked about about sheep being killed as they do about wolves being hunted?

Gray wolf review stalls

In this April 18, 2008, photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife is a gray wolf, the species that would lose federal protection in most of the Lower 48 states under a proposal made by wildlife officials.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – A federal agency is delaying an independent analysis of a plan to drop legal protections for wolves across most of the nation because of concerns about the selection of experts to conduct the review, an official said Tuesday.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in June called for removing gray wolves across the Lower 48 states from the endangered species list, with an exception for the struggling Mexican wolf in the Southwest. Agency Director Dan Ashe said the wolf had recovered to the point that it could thrive and even enlarge its territory without federal oversight, although some advocates and members of Congress said the move was premature.

The law requires a team of scientists to evaluate the basis for such a proposal before a final decision is made. The agency hired a private contractor to select and oversee the peer review panel, which is standard procedure to make sure the analysis meets standards for quality and independence, spokesman Gavin Shire said. Full story.

Did politics or prudence stall this review?

Walk For Wolves Set In Lake City

A Walk for Wolves will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, beginning at the Kootenai County Courthouse Building. This walk is organized and led by citizens concerned about the plight of the wolves in the Northwest. The Following was information sent to us from “Adopt A Wolf Pack“:

  • As of April 3, 312 wolves have been killed in the wolf hunt, 124 of those by trapping, during the  current, ongoing 2012 -13 wolf hunt.
  • The Idaho Wolf hunt started on Aug. 30, 2012
  • During the 2011-12season 379 wolves were killed by hunting and trapping.
  • During the 2009-10 season 188 wolves were killed by hunting.
  • The hunting season for wolves has been extended in the Lolo, Selway, Middle Fork, and portions of the Dworshak-Elk City regions until June 30.  Right through the season when wolves give birth and start raising their pups.  Killing puppies is legal.

Question: Do you plan to walk in support of wolves?

Washington To Wipe Out Wedge Pack

One thing's for sure: Beef is not healthy for wolves. At a public meeting in Colville Thursday night, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department announced intentions to eliminate the entire Wedge Pack of wolves that have killed or injured at least 15 cattle in northern Stevens County since mid-July. This is a milestone in the controversial process of wolf recovery, the first time a wolf pack has been targeted in Washington since gray wolves were extirpated from the West with guns, traps and poison in the early 1900s. Eliminating wolf packs focused on livestock already has been employed in Montana and Idaho where the issues arose/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors blog. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you agree with the death sentence handed down to the Stevens County, Wash., wolf pack?

Wolf Hysteria Affects Both Extremes

Hunters and trappers can be their own worst enemies. The World Wide Web saw red this weekend as animal rights groups took great pleasure in spreading photos of hunters and trappers posing in bloody scenes with their wolves. The most offensive features a man keeling and smiling. In the background, in a circle of snow tinted with blood, is a wolf, its tongue hanging out, its foot clamped in a leg-hold trap. Men posing with dead wolves is sufferable. In this case, the guy is mugging for the camera while the wolf suffers in the background. Then the idiot posted the photo on the Internet/Rich Landers, SR Outdoors. More here.

Question: How is it possible to find accurate information about wolves, given the hysteria promoted by both extremes?

Idaho Wolf Number Cut In Half

Wolf hunting ended Saturday in most of Idaho. Hunters have bagged 372 animals since the season began in August,  cutting the state’s estimated wolf population roughly in half, according to the latest count. Idaho Fish and Game officials are pleased, while wolf advocates find the high total worrisome.  There was high interest in this year’s hunt. Idahoans and out-of-staters purchased more than 43,000 wolf tags. The individual success rate wasn’t great. But overall, Idaho wildlife manager Jon Rachael says the hunt met the state’s goals. … Idaho didn’t put a season limit on wolves killed except in select parts of the state. Conservationists worry about the effects of losing nearly 400 wolves to hunting/Jessica Robinson, Boise State Public Radio. More here. (US Fish & Wildlife photo)


Idaho Hikes Bag Limit On Wolves

The Idaho Fish and Game Commission raised the bag limit on wolves and set spring chinook fishing seasons at its meeting in Boise Thursday. Commissioners approved a department proposal to raise the wolf hunting bag limit to five per calendar year, and the trapping limit to five per season in the Panhandle and Clearwater regions. But the commission also decided to extend the higher bag limits to hunters and trappers in the Middle Fork Zone. Jeff Gould, chief of the Idaho Fish and Game Department's wildlife bureau said earlier this week, the goal of the higher bag limits is to allow skilled hunters and trappers to help the state achieve its goal of shrinking wolf numbers, reducing predation on elk herds and lessen conflicts with livestock. He said allowing more wolves to be killed will reduce the population but not put it in jeopardy. … There were more than 1,000 wolves in Idaho prior to the start of the 2011 hunting season. A population survey compiled by the Nez Perce Tribe and IDFG estimated there were at least 746 wolves in the state at the end of the year/Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Are you comfortable that Idaho is managing its wolf population well?

Marty Jeers Wolf Hater Siddoway

JEERS … to Idaho state Sen. Jeff Siddoway (pictured), R-Terreton. Along with using dogs and sheep as bait, Siddoway sought to give ranchers a free hand to kill wolves for 36 hours after an attack. After that, they'd need an Idaho Fish and Game permit. He also wanted to give ranchers authority to shoot wolves from an aircraft. Do that, his critics said, and you hand U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy an excuse to restore federal endangered species protection to Idaho's wolves. Molloy is no fan of the state program or the congressional rider U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., passed to bring it about.Countered Siddoway, “The argument that this would jeopardize delisting is wrong.” Siddoway should know better. He's a former Idaho Fish and Game Commission member and has six years in the Senate under his belt/Marty Trillhaase, Lewiston Tribune. Marty's full Cheers & Jeers column here.

Question: Would Idaho lawmakers be wise at this point to leave wolf legislation alone for awhile?

Otter Offers 150 Wolves To Oregon

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has offered to send Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber 150 wolves, saying his own state has a few of the predators to spare. Monday's offer came in a tongue-in-cheek letter where Otter sarcastically apologized to Kitzhaber after an Idaho hunter killed a wolf from an Oregon pack that strayed across Idaho's border to the east. On Feb. 2, the Idaho hunter killed a brother of an Oregon wolf that became a celebrity by wandering hundreds of miles into Northern California seeking a mate/AP. More here.

Question: Do you wish Idaho really could send Oregon 150 wolves?

‘The Grey’: Stalked By Wolves

Wolves are coming to the big screen today in “The Grey,” a man-versus-beast thriller starring Liam Neeson. When their plane crashes in Alaska’s frozen wilderness, a bunch of oil-field roughnecks fight for survival. Not only do the men combat cold and hunger, they’re stalked by a wolf pack. Film previews feature eerie howls and shots of feral eyes glinting in the darkness. When carnage ensues in this R-rated film, the wolves are usually the winners. But the movie’s portrayal of wolves as man-eaters dismays Gary Wiles. “My first reaction was, ‘Oh, no!’ ” said Wiles, a wildlife biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. “It looks totally like a Hollywood-contrived movie: something to strike at people’s basic fears”/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Will this movie affect the wolf debate?

Hysterics: Let’s Kill Us Some Wolves

Let's kill every wolf in Montana. Sounds like a popular idea these days among hunters. While we're at it, let's kill every grizzly bear, every black bear and every mountain lion. Throw in golden eagles, bald eagles, rattlesnakes and coyotes. We'd be left with a hunter's paradise - a state teeming with game animals and hunting opportunity, right? That's the sentiment I heard recently at a meeting on the hunting season setting proposals in Butte, where an oft-angry group of sportsmen called for large-scale killing of predators to increase the number of deer, elk and other game species. The suggestions ranged from having government trappers shoot wolves from helicopters to creating a season on eagles so they don't kill mountain goats/Nick Gevock, Montana Standard. More here.

Question: Who's more hysterical — certain hunters who want to kill all wolves or certain conservationists who want to spare all wolves?

Wolves Attack Dogs In Wallace Area

Correction: Wild dogs attack Rottweiler in Wallace/Mike Perry, KHQ

Domestic dogs were attacked by four wolves around 6 p.m. Wednesday night on the 600 block of Burke Road, just outside Wallace. One dog died and another sustained a facial bite, said Shoshone County Sheriff Mitch Alexander, and there were many wolf tracks in the area. A neighbor reported the dog that died was a Rottweiler. Idaho Fish and Game notified residents in the area and informed them that it is legal to shoot the wolf pack. Calls made to Idaho Fish and Game official Josh Stanley about the attack weren't returned. Mullan resident Barry Sadler didn't just have his dogs attacked by wolves a few years ago - they chased his daughter into the front door and came right up on his porch. Sadler shot and killed one of the offending wolves/Kelsey Saintz, Hagadone News Network. More here.

Question: Do you still think Br'er Wolf is harmless?

10 Turn Out In Support Of Wolves

Kathy Stewart calls her green van the “Wolfmobile.” She wears T-shirts and coats with pictures of wolves. She says the wolf is her guardian. So, the message she wanted to deliver to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game on Monday about wolves was not surprising. “Stop killing them.” “Get education about the wolf. Don't go out and kill it because you can,” she said before a candlelight vigil at Independence Point. Stewart, joined by husband Glen wearing his wolf T-shirt, was one of about 10 people who took part in the event organized by the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance/Bill Buley, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Do you consider the small turnout an indication that wolves don't have much support in North Idaho?

CdA Vigil Set For 337 ‘Fallen Wolves’

From a press release: The Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance (NIWA) will conduct a candlelight vigil to honor 337 fallen Idaho and Montana wolves, and protest the war against wolves, this evening starting at 4:30 - the night of “The Full Wolf Moon.” They will gather near the Independence Point parking lot in Coeur d'Alene and walk through downtown from there. NIWA is joining Howling for Justice and Wolf Warriors to make The Candlelight Vigil for Wolves under the Full Wolf Moon a “Howl Across America” event, encouraging wolf supporters to hold their own vigils across the country on this special night/Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Is it proper for Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance to referred to wolves killed during wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana as “fallen”?

Trib: Jeers To Hart For Wolf Claim

In his TGIF Cheers & Jeers column this week (full version here), Marty Trillhaase/Lewiston Tribune jeers state Rep. Phil Hart, R-Athol. “Not only is he a tax scofflaw and a timber bandit, he's now a certified blowhard. It will be a cold day in Athol before Hart's political grandstanding makes a difference in Boise, much less Washington, D.C. But that hasn't stopped him from trying. Hart claims Congress knuckled under and pulled wolves in Idaho and Montana from the federal Endangered Species Act protection because of his bill declaring a state emergency and authorizing the killing of wolves.

  • Rule No. 1 - Idaho can pass all the bills it wants. It can't trump a federal law.
  • Rule No. 2 - Get your facts straight, Phil. Two months earlier U.S. Rep Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, engineered a rider - and an alliance with Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana - to end federal wolf protection. ”

Question: Who would be a good candidate to challenge Rep. Phil Hart in the 2012 GOP primary?

Idaho Targets Lolo Zone Wolves

An Idaho Department of Fish and Game official said Thursday the state will use aerial gunning and professional and government trappers to kill wolves in the Lolo Zone, even as public hunting and trapping seasons continue. Dave Cadwallader, supervisor of the department's Clearwater Region, said he wants a multipronged approach to wolf control in the difficult-to-access area where elk herds are hurting. … Idaho's wolf hunting season opened in late August, but only six wolves have been harvested in the Lolo Zone … That is far fewer than the 50 to 60 wildlife managers want to remove from the area, where elk numbers have fallen from a high of about 16,000 in the late 1980s to about 2,000 today/Eric Barker, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: Is the state of Idaho acting properly in targetting Lolo Zone wolves for trapping and aerial kill?

Hart Takes Credit For Wolf De-Listing

It may be revisionist history or simply effective campaign rhetoric, but at least Rep. Phil Hart isn’t waiting long to correct the record – as he sees it. Hart, R-Athol, said yesterday that it was the Idaho Legislature’s passage of House Bill 343 that spurred Congress to remove Idaho and Montana wolves from the U.S. Endangered Species List in April and allow this year’s wolf hunt. Forget that U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, and other members of Congress and Gov. Butch Otter have worked the issue since before wolves were reintroduced in Idaho in 1995. “I was one of the main authors of the wolf emergency bill last session, which caused Congress to delist the wolves about three days after the (Idaho) Senate approved that bill,” Hart told me/Dan Popkey, Statesman. More here.

Question: Which critter above scares you most?

Wolves Spotted In St. Maries

A St. Maries woman is convinced she’s spotted wolves within city limits. Two others are sure they’ve heard them. While deer-watching one evening Brittany Odekirk caught a glimpse of more alarming wildlife. “We have a calico deer that is white from the mid-side back and I’ve been sitting and watching for it to take some pictures and I saw the wolves instead,” she said. “I’ve been watching them now for three weeks.” The wolves run through the field on the hill across from her home at Second Street and Dakota Avenue. “I’ve seen them twice on two different days and heard them twice on two other days,” she said. “We believe it is a mom and her pups, because several of the howls are more like yips”/Mary Orr, St. Maries Gazette-Record. More here. (St. Maries Gazette photo: Brittany Odekirk and her daughter Madison stand on their back porch.)

Question: How concerned would you be about wolves if they were this close to your home?

Wolf People Wolf On The Lam

When Mark Earls saw a shaggy, white wolf crossing a road in North Idaho’s Hoodoo Valley, he pulled out his cellphone to snap a picture of it. “What boggled him was that the wolf didn’t run away,” said his wife, Chelsea. “It didn’t appear to be afraid of him.” The wolf escaped from Wolf People, which operates a retail store on U.S. Highway 95 near Cocolalla, Idaho, and keeps captive wolves for viewing and filming, according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The wolf apparently got out by digging underneath the fence, said Chip Corsi, Fish and Game’s regional manager. By some neighbors’ accounts, it has been seen in the area since June, acting like a stray dog. A captive wolf on the lam is a concern because it’s used to being around people/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: What do you make of the story Wolf People workers originally told that the wolf had died?

Poll: Trapping Wolves OK

  • Thursday Poll: A near supermajority approves of the use of trapping to reduce the number of wolves in Idaho. 74 of 116 (65.18%) agree with the decision to trap troublesome Elk City area wolves. 40 of 116 (34.48%) oppose the use of trapping to kill wolves. 2 were undecided.
  • Weekend Question: How do you refer to the 5 northernmost counties: North Idaho or northern Idaho?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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