Outdoors

2013 outdoors: Wolf issues

A tourist snapped this photo of a wolf chasing Sandpoint teacher Mac Hollan as he pedaled his bike.
A tourist snapped this photo of a wolf chasing Sandpoint teacher Mac Hollan as he pedaled his bike.

The gray wolf, reintroduced to the Rockies in the mid-1990s, continued to leave its mark across the Northwest in 2013 and into the legislatures. Here are some highlights.

• Idaho and Montana report significantly lower numbers of wolves for the first time since reintroduction, owing to hunting, trapping and wildlife control. But wildlife officials say wolf numbers are still too high.

• Washington estimates up to 100 wolves in the state, double the estimate in 2012.

• The cost of managing wolves in Washington, where they are still protected, is likely to increase by more than 200 percent from the past two years to about $2.3 million in 2013-14, wildlife managers say.

• Wolf hunting and trapping become issues of national attention as a wolf hunter shoots and kills a malamute romping with its owner while cross country skiing near Lolo Pass; a Sandpoint woman’s dog is caught in a snare set along a closed forest road, and a central Idaho predator hunting derby becomes the first modern contest to target wolves in the lower 48.

• Hunting authorized outside of Yellowstone Park results in the killing of wolves popular with tourists as well as radio-collared wolves vital to research.

• The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to drop endangered species protections for the gray wolf in most of the country.

• Pro-wolf groups submit a million comments in December to the FWS favoring continued federal protection.

• Washington legislation makes it legal to kill wolves threatening pets and livestock, provides state wildlife managers more resources to prevent wolf-livestock conflict and expands criteria to compensate livestock owners for wolf-related losses.

• Idaho hires a hunter to eliminate two wolf packs in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness to take the pressure off collapsing elk herds.

• Michigan becomes sixth state with a wolf hunting season.

  • Idaho Farm Bureau members vote to raise the state brand renewal fee by $25 to compensate for federal cutbacks in wolf-control funding.

• Mac Hollan, 35, an elementary school teacher from Sandpoint, is in the Yukon, midway through his 2,750-mile Sandpoint to Prudhoe Bay fund-raising bicycle tour, when a gray wolf comes out of nowhere and chases him for miles, ripping at his panniers as the cyclist pedaled for his life. Minnesota tourists stop their RV on the Al-Can Highway to let Hollan jump in for refuge while the wolf continues to rip at the bike as it lay in the road.


Click here to comment on this story »


Rich Landers

Rich Landers

More Outdoors Columns »
More Outdoors Blog Posts »

Most recent column

Landers: Record run should give all anglers shot at a king

The curtain has opened on the last act in the Columbia River system’s “Year of the Salmon.” The performance began with good returns of spring chinook followed by this summer’s post-dams record returns of sockeye and a great showing of coho. Now the big stars …


Recent blog posts

Land Trust names new director; sets fall outing

CONSERVATION --  The Spokane-based Inland Northwest Land Trust has named a new executive director to oversee its private-land conservation efforts in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Garry Schalla has assumed ...


Fall chinook fishing picks up on Yakima River

FISHING -- Fall chinook have finally livened up the Yakima River, according to this report posted today by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife fisheries biologist Paul Hoffarth: This past ...


Outdoors Calendar

Submit Your Event »




Outdoors Photography

More SR Photo Galleries »
More Reader Photos »


Close

Sections


Profile

Close

Contact the Spokesman

Main switchboard:
(509) 459-5000
(800) 338-8801
Newsroom:
(509) 459-5400
(800) 789-0029
Customer service:
(800) 338-8801