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Boulder-White Clouds Council
Post Office Box 6313
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
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Current News & Issues: Wolves

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Dec. 10, 2007
ALERT!

WOOD RIVER VALLEY FOLKS!
HAILEY WOLF MEETING ON THE
“IDAHO WOLF POPULATION PLAN” (Wolf Hunt)

MONDAY DEC. 17, 2007 - HAILEY COMMUNITY CAMPUS
 

5:30-7:00 p.m. IDFG Presentation on their wolf hunting plan

7:00-9:00 p.m. PUBLIC HEARING WITH BLAINE CO. COMMISSIONERS & STATE
REPRESENTATIVES. You will have 2-3 minutes to speak.

WE NEED A STRONG WOLF SHOWING! WE SUPPORT MAKING BLAINE COUNTY A
“WOLF SAFE ZONE”. BRING YOUR IDEAS.

EVERYONE - PLEASE COMMENT BY DEC. 31, 2007 on Idaho Fish & Game's terrible wolf hunting plan. The plan's most blatant problems are detailed below. Please use the information to write a letter, long or short. Pass this e-mail on to other wolf supporters.

THANK YOU from our wolves and Boulder-White Clouds Council! BWCC is a 501(c)3 Idaho Corporation. Our address is Box 6313, Ketchum, ID 83340.

[Idaho Governor] Otter sees [wolves] as a nuisance that must be culled. Over the past 10 years, Idaho’s wolves have shown a stunning capacity to recover. Over the next four years, their future rests with Otter -- a troubling prospect”. (Idaho Statesman 12.21.06)

ALERT - WOLVES NEED YOUR HELP!
Idaho Dept. of Fish & Game (IDFG) has released its Draft Idaho Wolf Population Mgt Plan. This is actually a hunting plan that needs serious revision. It's based on politics, rather than biology, ecology or science, and assumes most Idahoans would prefer wolves hunted with bullets rather than cameras.

PLEASE WRITE COMMENTS TO IDFG BY DECEMBER 31, 2007!
The plan is on line at http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/surveys/draftwolf/


The Phantom Hill alpha male feeds on a road-killed cow elk. Photo by Claudia Fiaschetti. Copyright 2007.
PHOTO: The Phantom Hill alpha male feeds on a road-killed cow elk
along Highway 75 near Phantom Hill, north of Ketchum in early June 2007.
The "Phantom" pack of six black wolves would be at great risk of
being killed if the proposed Idaho hunting plan is instigated. Photo
by Claudia Fiaschetti. Copyright 2007.

Background:
This is a HUNTING PLAN that could remove all but 15 breeding pairs (two adults and two pups = breeding pair) from Idaho. The plan’s minimum objective is 104 wolves. Currently there are between 700 and 800 wolves in the state. And despite what IDFG claims, there’s room for far more wolves to exist. Only 11 percent of Idahoans buy a hunting license annually. What about the other 89 percent who would likely rather “shoot” with a camera than a gun?

Are wolves really eating all the elk? Elk numbers are so high in many areas that IDFG holds elk “depredation” hunts because of rancher and farmer complaints. Elk seasons last from Labor Day to December. Idaho has over 125,000 elk and hunters killed 21,000 in 2005, the 8th largest number ever. Wolves move elk around, benefiting and healing overused foraging areas. Only two areas in Idaho are not meeting or exceeding IDFG elk number objectives and that’s due to habitat issues, not wolves.

Wolves are in for a tough and deadly time in Idaho, MT & WY if delisted from the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s delisting decision is expected in February 2008. Wolf advocacy groups will litigate on the grounds that Delisting as proposed at this time is illegal and jeopardizes gray wolf survival in the Northern Rockies. Successful litigation could buy wolves some time until the anti-wolf Bush and Butch Administrations ride off into the sunset.


POINTS TO MAKE ON THE PROPOSED IDAHO WOLF MGT PLAN:

The hunting plan robs Idahoans of opportunities to see wolves. Wolves are one of the main attractions in Yellowstone Park and wolf watching brings over $60 million into the Yellowstone area economy. Few Idahoans will ever see a wolf if IDFG’s faulty plan goes into effect. IDFG has thrown a bone to wolf supporters saying they might consider one or two “wolf viewing areas” as long as outfitters and ranchers agreed and were paid by non-government sources for any “losses” caused by wolves.

With that type of thinking, let’s ask IDFG for reimbursement for lost wildlife viewing because of livestock use or outfitter hunting. Why is Idaho rushing into a full-scale wolf hunt, while Minnesota with over 3000 wolves, has no wolf hunt? The answer: politics - pressure from public land livestock grazers, big game outfitters, anti-predator groups and the Governor, his appointed IDFG commissioners and the legislature..

The Plan fails to advocate for non-lethal methods of keeping wolves and livestock apart. Wolves can learn to stay away from sheep and cattle using proven pro-active, non-lethal methods. Because of powerful ranchers and their ties to Wildlife Services (formerly Animal Damage Control), wolves are now rarely given a second chance to learn to fear man or stock.

A few ranchers are willing to live with wolves. Others, turn their sheep and cattle out on top of wolf denning areas and as a result, entire wolf packs have been killed. There are 1700 ranchers who graze on Idaho’s public lands with 10% (170) controlling 80% of public land allotments. There are 1.4 million people who reside in the state. Why should a handful of ranchers dictate whether wolves live or die? IDFG is supposed to represent all Idahoans. Please remind them of this as they revise their wolf plan.

Wolf number objectives are absurdly low throughout the 14 state Data Analysis Units (DAUs) (See Table 6.2). Example: In the 2.3 million acre Frank Church - River of No Return Wilderness (larger than Yellowstone Park), IDFG’s objective is for ONE TO FOUR breeding pairs. Minimum wolf number objective is EIGHT. There are no cattle or sheep in the Frank. But IDFG cites “ungulate conflict” between wolves and elk. Why? We suspect it’s big game outfitters who don’t want wolves. Imagine if there was only one wolf pack in Yellowstone Pack and a total of eight wolves. That’s what IDFG is proposing for the Frank as their bottom line. Please ask IDFG to reconsider its wolf number objectives in the Frank and all the DAUs.

Southern Idaho Mountains wolf number objectives - this includes most of the White Clouds, Boulders, Pioneers, Smokeys and Lost Rivers, over four million acres. Breeding pair object: ZERO TO FOUR. Minimum wolf number objective: EIGHT. Why so low? Ranchers who run cows in places like Copper Basin and the White Clouds, or sheep in the Smokeys and Boulders. Protest this ridiculously low wolf number for some of the wildest land in America. Insist that IDFG’s revised plan spells out in detail a proactive, non-lethal livestock management approach.

Oppose the “harvest” of wolf families. IDFG proposes to sell wolf tags for $9.75 to anyone and the hunting season will go from Aug. 30 to March 31. Trapping would also be allowed. Imagine a wolf pack howling in sorrow as one of their members is tortured painfully in a trap for 72 hours until the trapper arrives to kill it. IDFG attempts to cover up the killing by calling it “harvest”. Don’t buy into this gibberish. Spuds are harvested. Wolves are shot.

IDFG’s plan will allow wolves of all ages to be killed without any regard to the social structure of a wolf pack. IDFG’s plan is being driven by ranchers, outfitters, trappers, trophy hunters and fossilized, 1880-thinking politicians who don’t want predators, period. They do not represent all Idahoans. If a hunting season is ever established, the least IDFG could do, is start slowly and issue a few tags -- not the wolf slaughter they are proposing.

WOLVES ARE HIGHLY SOCIALIZED PACK ANIMALS. IDFG says they will manage wolves and hunt wolves as big game just like mountain lions and black bears. Yet, there are 3000 lions and 20,000 black bears in Idaho alone. There’s far fewer wolves. We are not amused that IDFG doesn’t know the difference between the lives of wolves, bears and lions.

Killing alphas and other adults in a pack and leaving sub adults and pups on their own, will lead to more conflicts between wolves and livestock. Yet, the IDFG naively keeps saying their wolf killing plan will reduce conflict. The hunting season would stop just before denning season in April. By then, the alpha female may well have lost her entire pack at the time she needs them most. Then in late August, when pups are just starting to travel, the hunt begins again. IDFG should be ashamed for proposing this inhumane wolf hunting plan and needs to be told as much.


How you can help: Write by December 31, 2007 and protest IDFG’s hunting plan. Ask IDFG to start over with a plan that represents the interests of all Idahoans, rather than a minority of ranchers, outfitters and trophy hunters. Join with Boulder-White Clouds Council and the Wolf Recovery Foundation in our efforts on educating the public on the value of wolves to the natural landscape.

DONATE TO HELP WITH OUR EFFORTS TO
KEEP WOLVES ALIVE IN IDAHO.

WHERE TO WRITE
E-mail:
idfginfo@idfg.idaho.gov (Put “Wolf Plan Comments” in the
subject line). If you have trouble with this address, try sending again.

Mail: IDFG, Wolf Plan Comments, P.O. Box 25, Boise ID 83707

Fax: IDFG, Wolf Plan comments: 208-334-2148 or 208-334-2114

Read the Plan at: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/apps/surveys/draftwolf/
Or pick up a copy at IDFG regional offices. The on-line plan version
is much more detailed.
 

Keep the Heart of Idaho Wild