From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 26 - September 22, 2005
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Wolves head south

by Cat Urbigkit

There's plenty of wolf activity to report this week. An adult wolf and two pups were recently sighted in the Upper Green River country, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. No livestock depredations have been directly attributed to this Green River wolf pack, according to FWS's Mike Jimenez.

USDA Wildlife Services District Supervisor Merrill Nelson verified another calf killed on private land by the Daniel Pack on Elk Creek, FWS reported. The two black wolves and one gray wolf seen in the area are most likely remnants of the Daniel Pack, FWS reported. The pack had also entered the yard of a private ranch in the same vicinity.

Wildlife Services personnel also reportedly saw pups in the area, so the Daniel Pack remains. FWS reported that Wildlife Services was authorized to lethally remove more wolves because of livestock depredations, but FWS would prefer that wolves be collared and released onsite so that monitoring could occur.

Three wolves were also spotted by a sheepherder on the Hams Fork near Viva Naughton Reservoir just north of Kemmerer last week, FWS reported. This area has had several calves and sheep killed by an unknown group of wolves this summer, FWS reported. Wildlife Services has been authorized to collar and release any they catch and lethally remove any lone wolves seen during other control work in the area.

Moving further south, Wildlife Services Specialist Jed Edwards recently investigated a wolf complaint about 30-40 miles south of Rock Springs, according to FWS.

Although no damage was suspected, a black wolf was reportedly in the corral of a private ranch, and as the wolf was seen leaving, it was joined by two gray-colored wolves. They all headed south. FWS reported that the next morning Edwards was able to get a lone wolf to howl south of the ranch in the headwaters of Salt Wells Creek, about 20 miles north of the Utah border.

While some wolf advocates are hopeful that wolves may move into Colorado and Utah on their own, one wolf advocate with a website is advocating that the citizens of Colorado "should try to by-pass the legislature and governor and put up a ballot initiative setting up a wolf restoration program for Colorado."

Some Idahoans aren't happy that Wyoming has held up the delisting process for wolves in the tri-state Yellowstone region. Although Wyoming drafted a wolf management plan outlining how the state would manage wolves upon delisting, FWS rejected that wolf plan, so the issue is now being argued in the federal court system.

Unlike Wyoming, Idaho and Montana officials had their plans approved by FWS. But last week the Idaho Statesman editorialized: "Idaho and Montana have done their part, writing plans that the federal government endorses. Wyoming must follow - at Idaho and Montana's public urging, if need be. But if Wyoming continues to resist, states like Idaho shouldn't be left in limbo indefinitely. One state should not be the tail that wags wolf management."

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