From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 5 - April 1, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Wolves hit Farson

by Cat Urbigkit

Farson may not have been an area people immediately thought of when discussing wolf reintroduction into Yellowstone National Park, but perhaps it should have been, since at least one livestock producer in the sparsely populated agricultural valley has now been impacted by wolves.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a wolf got into a goat herd near Farson early last month, killing nine of the critters.

FWS reported: "On about March 4th, Wildlife Services confirmed that a lone wolf killed nine goats near Farson. USDA Wildlife Services was authorized to take a wolf if one was found in the vicinity of where the goats were killed.

FWS added: "These were the first goats known to be killed by wolves out West. This is more a reflection on the low numbers of goats rather than wolves choosing not to kill them."

Wolves sightings are still being reported sporadically throughout western Wyoming, and federal agencies have reportedly begun coordinating efforts to search for missing radio collars in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. About 40 wolves collared in the last five years are currently missing. Searches will reportedly concentrate on likely wolf habitat where no wolves are known to be radio-collared.

In state wolf management news, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has finalized its review of the comments made by Dave Moody at the North American Interagency Wolf Conference and has taken appropriate action, the state wildlife agency announced in a press release.

Contrary to media reports last week, Moody was never suspended from his position for his comments critical of state wolf-management planning, but he was placed on paid administrative leave for a short time and is now back at work.

"Moody is a valuable employee with our department," said WG&F Director Brent Manning in the press release. "He will continue to be involved in wildlife management. His expertise and experience are invaluable."

The department is reportedly moving forward with its wolf management plan and expects to have it out in a few months.

"There is probably not a more contentious issue in wildlife management today than wolves," said John Emmerich, assistant chief of the department's wildlife division. "The decision to reintroduce wolves to Wyoming was a national decision reflecting the diverse interests of the citizens of Wyoming and the entire country. Our goal is to get the wolf de-listed so the Wyoming Game and Fish Department can manage wolf populations and distribution to meet the desires of both Wyoming and national publics.

"We are going to work as a team to get the wolf de-listed. We are going to strive for excellence, not perfection. We may have different opinions on how to get to where we want to be, but we will get there," said Emmerich. "We have a responsibility to manage all wildlife, and that now includes wolves. We plan to do that while still maintaining our traditional Wyoming lifestyles, including hunting opportunities.

"We will strive to balance the interests of all folks in Wyoming to the best of our ability while ensuring viable wolf populations are maintained and there is no future need for re-listing," said Emmerich.

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