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Gray wolf delisting plan shot down by hunters

A wolf, seen in this undated photo, walks through the snow in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

The plan to remove the federal protection of gray wolves in some Northern Rockies states has raised the hackles of a group of hunters and ranchers.

Their ire, however, is not because hunting may be allowed, but because the state they reside in is not included in the plan.

The Wolf Coalition, a Wyoming-based group of hunters, farmers and livestock ranchers, is planning to file a lawsuit against the federal government based on the decision to keep packs in the state protected under the Endangered Species Act.

"We ought to be able to take them off the list and allow the state to manage this species as they do other wildlife," said Harriet Hageman, the group's attorney.

Federal officials say that Wyoming packs will continue to be protected under the act because of an inadequate wolf management plan in the state. However, wolves in the nearby states of Idaho and Montana are being delisted, which moves the responsibility of wolf management to state and tribal wildlife agencies instead of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In fact, Idaho Fish and Game commissioners have already adopted dates for the wolf hunting season and will set quotas once delisting takes effect on May 2.

Considering that animal welfare groups such as the Humane Society of the United States also have lawsuits filed (to halt the delisting), it seems as if the only ones benefiting from these actions thus far are the attorneys involved.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A wolf, seen in this undated photo, walks through the snow in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. Credit: Associated Press

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Comments (3)

I'm a 4th gen Wyoming citizen and lifelong resident there who wholly supports the reintroduction and establishment of the Grey Wolf in suitable habitat. You can imagine that's a somewhat unpopular stance. Truth be told, the Wolf should never have been exterminated in the first place , but even today there is plenty of room and plenty of ungulate herds ( Elk, Deer, etc) for everyone in Wyoming , including Canis Lupus. Wolves do not take a serious bite out of livestock producers. It's more the other way around. Wolves do not take away hunting opportunity for the sport hunter ( except the incompetent )---in fact, in time they will improve the herds and level the playing field. As for the comments of TLM above , the assertions are either factully wrong or not attributed. Typical of the rhetoric, hysteria, and disinformation about Wolves in the northern Rockies

TLM, why don't you protect your pets? There are things called fences that can be put up and if you are worried that your pet may be seriously injured or killed then keep it inside. I'm sorry but the wolves were there first and I suggest that if you don't like having this natural and wild animal near you then you should move to a country where they've already been shot, poisoned and trapped to extinction.

Wolves are affecting more than hunters and ranchers. We have been living with wolves in our town for the last few years here in central Idaho. A better way to phrase that is that we have been "living under siege" - as the wolves have become habituated to human activity, and will come right into our yards to kill our pets. No group compensates us, and we have to allow the wolf to have its teeth in our animal before we are allowed to defend our property. Hazing does not work, the wolves come back the next day.

I agree with the author of the story, only the lawyers are benefiting in this argument. There are more wolves than the habitat can support and folks outside of our state need to be educated and stop trying to block the delisting.


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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.