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BWCC & Wolves

Our website wolf information and photos are designed to educate residents and visitors alike about wolves. Also, to encourage more people to help keep wolf packs intact and enduring in the Boulders, White Clouds and all parts of their historic range.

Our main mission focuses on designating Wilderness in the Boulder-White Clouds. But, we have followed wolf restoration with keen interest since the early 1990's. We became more involved with the wolf issue in 2000, when the White Cloud Pack was killed because of conflicts with livestock.

Polls show that the majority of Idahoans support having wolves in our state. There are only a few places left in the world where wolves can exist.

Please join us in our efforts on behalf of this charismatic and incredible animal.


Please make a contribution to BWCC today.

Specify that you want your donation to be used to help wolves.



About how Anti-Wolf groups threaten wolves and other predators.

Anti-wolf decal seen in the Stanley Basin, June 23, 2008.

PHOTO: Anti-wolf decal seen in the Stanley Basin, June 23, 2008.

Ralph Maughan's essay on: Wolves as "wildlife terrorists."
A wolf terrorist? That's idiocy, but some people believe it. Why?





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Boulder-White Clouds Council
Post Office Box 6313
Ketchum, Idaho 83340

©2003 All rights reserved.

Current News & Issues: Wolves

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For some, wolf music is as deeply moving as Beethoven's Fifth Symphony reverberating in the chambers of a great concert hall. For others, it is a call to arms, stirring up mad hate, blind terror. It both symbolizes the modern movement to preserve some wilderness and mocks man that he hasn't conquered it all. ~ John B. Theberge A curious elk looks at a Basin Butte male wolf known as "Red" on an April Spring day.
> 2008 Update
> Basin Butte Pack
> Buffalo Ridge Pack
> Galena Pack
> Pass Creek Pack
> Phantom Hill Pack
> Action Timeline
> Wolf Field Trips
> Wolf Links
> Wolf Archives
Listen to the Basin Butte Pack howl.
A curious elk looks at a Basin Butte male wolf known as "Red" on an April Spring day.
A curious elk looks at a Basin Butte male wolf known as "Red" on an April Spring day. "Lassie Wolf" belongs to a Central Idaho pack. Phantom Hill wolf pup, May 2008. Sierra Club members from Boise watch the antics of some Basin Butte wolves.

"See me for what I am, not as you wish to use me," is the silent cry of wilderness, of wolf, whale, forest, and ocean alike." ~ Michael W. Fox, Soul of the Wolf


A curious elk looks at a Basin Butte male wolf known as "Red" on an April Spring day. The Basin Butte wolves, if they can survive and if they can be protected, could bring much-needed tourism dollars to the Stanley area in the winter and spring months. Now, the pack is at great risk of elimination because of conflicts with cattle during summer and fall; Sierra Club members from Boise watch the antics of some Basin Butte wolves; Phantom Hill wolf pup, May 2008; "Lassie Wolf" belongs to a Central Idaho pack.

All Wolves section photos by Lynne K. Stone, Boulder-White Clouds Council, copyright 2008 (unless otherwise noted). No photos may be reproduced or used in any way without written permission from BWCC.



Up-to-date news on wolves.

Understanding wolves through education.

Daily wildlife blog

Includes ranching in wolf country.

Earthjustice lawyers litigate to protect wolves.

>International Wolf Center
Wolf renowned education facility in Ely, Minnesota.

>USFWS Wolf Page
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website.

>IDFG Wolf Page
Idaho Dept. of Fish & Game website.


UPDATE 2009 through 2012

2012 - We are sorry to report that Idaho's war on wolves continues relentlessly. In 2011-12, 378 wolves were shot or trapped/snared by wolf hunters. Over a hundred more were killed by Wildlife Services, a misnamed federal agency that shoots predators on behalf of cattle and sheep ranchers. Half of the state's wolves were killed by Governor Butch Otter's hate campaign toward the majestic wolf from April 1, 2011 to April 1, 2012. Details here:

Many people are boycotting Idaho products and canceling their vacation plans to Idaho now that trapping and snaring have become the primary methods to kill wolves. It's simply not safe to be hiking, xc skiing or camping in many areas now, especially if you have dogs or small children.

2009-2010 - HEARTBREAKING YEARS FOR IDAHO'S WOLVES - once delisted from Federal protection, hunters shot 187 wolves in Idaho's first wolf hunt and over 100 wolves were killed by government agents because of the cattle and sheep industry. Included in the mortality was the entire Basin Butte Pack near Stanley, ordered killed by IDFG during Thanksgiving week 2009. The Phantom Pack near Ketchum was decimated in the 2009-10 wolf hunting season and no longer exists.

2011 - GOVERNOR OTTER'S WOLF SLAUGHTER IS UNDERWAY - On August 30th, Idaho launched a 7-month war on wolves, allowing wolf hunters to purchase FOUR wolf tags for the hunt (two in 2011 & two in 2012). Trapping & snaring seasons start in November & go through June in some zones. Trappers can kill up to TEN wolves. Wolves in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness and the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness are especially under attack because of pressure from big game outfitters and guides.

Idaho had about 1000 wolves as of June 1st, 300 of them were pups. Most of the wolves killed to date (Oct 1, 2011) have been four-month old wolf puppies or yearlings (subadults). This jihad on wolves is happening because politicians, ranchers & big game outfitters do not like wolves or want wolves in our state. The Idaho Wolf Management Plan calls for only 150 wolves or ten breeding pairs.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Call 208-334-2100, Idaho Governor Butch Otter's office and leave a message, protesting the wolf hunt and speaking up on behalf of wolves. Warning - the person answering the phone may be hostile if you like wolves.
Call 202-225-5531, Rep. Mike Simpson's office in D.C. and say you support wolves. Simpson added an anti-wolf rider to the 2011 House Budget Bill, a rider that stripped wolves of any protection. This opened the door for the killing of nearly all of Idaho's wolves down to a 150 animals.


Wolves in the Crosshairs

Wolves in the northern Rockies had a tumultuous year as they were delisted from the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and handed over to the control of the states (Idaho, Wyoming and Montana). A fall wolf hunting season was declared by the highly-politicized Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), that would allow "harvest" of up to 426 wolves by year’s end, or over half of the state’s 800 wolves.

Then, on July 18, wolves got a break. Federal Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula, Montana, issued a decision that said the delisting plan would harm wolves, and granted a temporary injunction to stop delisting. [Link to TIMELINE July 18] This halted IDFG's aggressive wolf hunt for the fall of 2008. In September, USFWS withdrew its delisting proposal, realizing that it would not stand up in court.

Phantom Hill pups.

PHOTO: Two Phantom Hill pups stare at a hiker that walked by them. These pups are lucky to be born next to the most pro-wolf communities in Idaho.

Then, in late October, USFWS repackaged its skewed plan, that's now on a fast track to be finalized before a new D.C. administration takes over in January 2009. Earthjustice, on behalf of 12 conservation groups, successfully sued to stop delisting in 2008, and will sue again in 2009, if necessary.

Wolves are not really safe though, and are being killed because of an ESA provision called the 10(j) Rule. In 2008, the 10(j) rule was modified to the extent that wolves have almost no protection at all. An example: a rancher does not have to try nonlethal methods to scare off wolves. A rancher can now shoot a wolf, and then claim it was chasing, molesting or harassing his cattle or sheep, or guard dogs. Agency control actions have been harsh in 2008. As of December 31st, 94 wolves had been killed in Idaho by order of the IDFG. This number does not include dozens of wolf pups that starved to death in April and May, after their mothers were shot. Earthjustice is also planning litigation to change the 10(j) Rule.

An adult male Galena wolf seen near Stanley.

PHOTO: An adult male Galena wolf seen near Stanley. Sometimes the territory of the Basin Butte Pack and Galena Pack overlaps. The wolves are related and get along as the Basin Butte's alpha female, B171, was a Galena Pack wolf.

Update on our local wolves: A difficult year for the Basin Butte and Galena Packs; a deadly year for Buffalo Ridge and East Pass Packs

For many Idaho wolves, 2008 was a bad year. One reason: At times, the IDFG and many livestock producers barely put forth any effort to deter or scare wolves away from cattle and sheep. The exception was the Phantom Hill Pack near Ketchum. Read more about the Phantoms.

Among the 94 wolves that have been killed in control actions ordered by IDFG in 2008, were up to eight Basin Butte wolves from the well-known pack around Stanley. Only a concerted hazing effort by wolf supporters kept the entire Basin Butte Pack from being killed. Read more about the Basin Butte wolves.

Galena Pack - The summer and fall was grim in the Sawtooth Valley for the Galena wolves. Two, maybe three Galena Pack wolves were shot, and six more would have been, but escaped. Unless ranchers try harder to learn to live with wolves, the Galena Pack will go the way of the Stanley Pack, which was lost in 2000. Read more about the Galena Pack.

Wolf watching near Ketchum, May 2008. Photo courtesy of John Robison, Copyright 2008.

PHOTO: Wolf watching near Ketchum, May 2008. Wolf eco-tourism could bring millions of dollars into rural Idaho communities, as it does to Yellowstone Park. Photo courtesy of John Robison, Copyright 2008.

More Wolf Field Trip Photos & Stories!
May 31, 2008 - Meet the Phantoms

 > May 2008 - Sierra Club Visits Lower Stanley

 > May 2008 - Wild Idaho Conference Trips

 > May 2008 - Sawtooth Mountain Field Trip

 > Mid-May 2006 - Wolf Field Trips

 > May 16, 2003 - Wolf Outing

SNRA and Wolves - For visitors, who were hiking, mountain biking, fishing and camping in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA), the sight and sound of aerial gunning of wolves from government airplanes and helicopters (paid for by taxpayers dollars), added a new, unpleasant, and twisted meaning to the word "recreation". Steel leg hold traps are also used to catch and kill wolves. On the SNRA, wildlife is supposed to have precedence over livestock, but obviously doesn't. The SNRA portion that's located in Custer County, such as the Sawtooth Valley and Stanley Basin, is a throwback to a 100 years ago when cattle barons ruled the West. In Custer County, cattlemen still do. They are aided by wealthy landowners, some who only spend a few weeks or months on their hobby "ranch", and lease land for cattle grazing so that their property taxes are greatly reduced.

Buffalo Ridge Pack - This was Idaho's most visible wolf pack for many years. They lived along the Salmon River area near Squaw Creek, and also at times in the northeastern White Clouds. The pack was killed in February 2008. This did not have to happen. Read a photo essay about the Buffalo Ridge wolves.

Pass Creek Pack & East Fork Salmon River - The Pass Creek Pack, named for one of the wildest drainages in the White Clouds, was also killed in 2008 because of conflicts with cattle in the East Fork of the Salmon River. The East Fork is a natural travel corridor in the White Cloud Mountains for wolves and many other wildlife species. It provides critical winter range for deer and elk. But at present, the private and public land is dominated by a few cattle ranchers. In addition to the Pass Creek Pack, the White Cloud (five wolves in Spring 2000) and Whitehawk Pack (10 wolves in Spring 2002) have also been destroyed in the East Fork Salmon River area. Read more about the Pass Creek wolves and view photos of the East Fork Salmon River area.


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