Re: Wyoming Wolf Meeting
I just got back. This was the only meeting concerning wolf delisting that will be held in Wyoming and it was not publicized. I found out two hours before it started and I was the first speaker. I had no time to prepare anything so I had to shoot from the hip. I did a ten minute interview with channel two abc news out of Casper afterwards. I do not know when excerpts from the interviews will run.
Basically the USFWS presented to the public their proposal for delisting the wolf in Wyoming. Their goal has been and continues to be handing over wolf management to the state of Wyoming however they have been blocked by federal judges on several occasions. The primary problem in Wyoming was their control plan was to aggressive, the protected area for controled trophy hunting was to small and there were questions about the states ability to permanantly maintain population objectives. Also the numbers of wolves and breeding pairs to be maintained were to low.
Their were a number of anti hunting groups well represented at the meeting basically stating it was illegal to delist wolves because they did not have viable populations throughout the entire state. They were very upset about the area outside the trophy mangement area where wolves can be hunted without restriction. The mangement area in a nutshell is the yellowstone ecosystem. Basically from the Idaho border through Hoback canyon continuing through Pinedale to include the southern wind river range to just south of Lander. Then North through just east of Dubois along the western border of the Wind river indian reservation following the southeastern edge of the national forest along to the wood river and then on into meteetse. Then up the hiway to cody and then up the clarks fork to montana. The NW corner of WY basically.
In this area tags will be issued to hunters to control wolf populations for 10 breeding pairs and 150 wolves outside of the park. Outside of this area wolf hunting is unlimited. Inside the management zone ranchers with problem wolves may take or authorize persons to take problem wolves on their property or lease. This would not count against the tag quota.
The main thing I got was that we as hunters need to support this delisting effort and support this proposal as to hunting of wolves. If we try for more we leave it open for a federal judge to relist them and put the control back in the hands of the USFWS which they do not want and we do not want. Right now we can not get to aggresive with wolf management or there will be a public outcry to stop wolf hunting again completely.
Right now best case is this plan being in place by October 2012 for legal wolf hunting in Wyoming. That is if no future political snags arise. Management models show they can issue tags for approximately 35-40% of total wolves in the area to maintain the population. That would be near 100 tags however they will not decide until at least next summer. The main thing for game and fish is to issue tag numbers to meet population objectives as described in the grey wolf management plan.
Predictions are difficult, especially when they involve the future