From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 6, Number 4 - April 20, 2006
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

3 wolves killed

by Cat Urbigkit

Federal animal control officials killed three wolves near Boulder on Friday after the animals had repeatedly preyed on area cattle herds. Two females and a male were killed, bringing the total number of wolves killed in Sublette County so far this year to nine.

In other wolf news, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture recently sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service accusing the federal agency of pinning Wyoming “into a corner, using politics instead of science” as well as threats, in attempt to get the state to change its state management plan for wolves, which would take effect upon the removal of gray wolves from the list of federally protected species.

FWS is currently accepting public comments on its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, published in the Federal Register, that outlines the agency’s intent to remove gray wolves in the Northern Rockies from the federal list of threatened and endangered species. In announcing the rulemaking, FWS noted that delisting “is still contingent on the State of Wyoming implementing a Service-approved state law and wolf management plan.”

In the WDA’s letter signed by Director John Etchepare, he took FWS to task for its making “multiple condescending references to Wyoming’s plan,” and accused FWS of using the Federal Register as a political tool to pressure the state into changing its law and plan.

Etchepare wrote: “We will not support a Wyoming plan that eliminates the predator status. The livestock producers across our state deserve the right and ability to control wolves when depredation of live stockoccurs on their land. The trophy game status fails to provide economic security for our producers.”

Etchepare emphasized the enormous expense of managing wolves, and questioned: “Why would any state want to assume that immensefinancial commitment? It simply does not make sense.”

He continued: “The state of Wyoming is not only not willing to take on the financial risk, but also to tackle the legal, ecological, andenvironmental ramifications bound to occur. We fail to recognize the overall ‘benefit’ to our state by being gifted the ability to manage your wolves. The federal government is overwhelmed and looking for any opportunity to get out of the mess the wolves have created.”

Etchepare concluded: “The burden of managing the wolves is intensive and too expensive. We offer you our current plan, but will not change it based on political pressure.”

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