portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting united states

animal rights | environment

Speak out against Wyoming's War On Wolves

Tue, 13 Jul 2004

Wyoming's War On Wolves: The Killing Continues
Wolves in Wyoming are feeling the heat of the summer in a painful
way. During the first two weeks of July 2004, US Fish and Wildlife Services have killed 6 wolves directly south and east of the invisible boundary of Yellowstone National Park. Wolves are being gunned down in alarming numbers for depredations on livestock that have been released onto forest service
allotments and private land for summer grazing. Livestock operations are
intruding on den sites, ruining pup rendezvous areas and are
taking over the native habitats of wolves and other wildlife by forcing
side by side existence with cattle, an enemy that has proven
to be deadly.

July began with the death of an Owl Creek Threesome male just south
of Meeteetse, WY for depredations on a calf on private land. Wildlife
Services spared the alpha male because he is radio-collared and can
lead them back to the group if so desired.

The alpha male of the Carter Mountain pack (west of Meeteetse) wasn't
so lucky. On July 7th, he was chased down by a helicopter and shot
from the air, leaving only the alpha female to care for their four
young pups. USFWS has promised to end their lives too if depredations
continue. The alpha female now faces hunting on her own to support
her four young in an area where livestock is abundant and native prey
is not. She is under the watchful eye of the USFWS who promises to
authorize the removal of the remainder of the pack if they are
suspected of any more run-ins with area livestock.

The tragedy of the Green River pack is being repeated again this
summer. All within a few months of last summer, agents systematically
killed all three mates that female wolf, 237F paired with. In the
last lethal action Wildlife Services went a step further to seal her
demise by not only killing her mate, but also killing all four pups
that she had struggled to support by herself. In an area infested
with cattle, she was forced to compete with the area's thick grizzly
population for native prey. She managed to survive the winter and
once again found a mate in a dispersing Teton Pack male. However, on
July 8th Wildlife Services put an end to this union. They shot and
killed the male for depredations on a calf and have once again left
the female alone and struggling. If depredations continue, USFWS has
promised to authorize her death as well.

The Washakie pack is, once again, in the bulls eye of a rifle toting
fixed wing aircraft. Wildlife Services killed two pack members at the
beginning of the summer and continued their killing spree with a
yearling being gunned down on July 9th and the promise of taking the
entire pack with any additional depredations.

Please let USFWS know how you feel about this continued assault on
Wyoming's wolf packs. Wolves are fighting for their lives to survive
in their native lands, which have become riddled with livestock
operations stuffed in every corner of wilderness. These areas are
thick with grizzly bears competing for the native prey that is being
pushed out of the valleys by sprawling ranches and development.
Wyoming's wolves are facing an onslaught of deadly forces with Temik
poison lacing the woods, the promise of last year's illegal shootings
to continue and the planned lawsuit pushing for their status as
predators to be shot on sight within state boundaries.

Alliance for the Wild Rockies
PO Box 8731, Missoula, MT 59807 * 406-721-5420 *
 renee@wildrockiesalliance.org

In your letter/call, remind USFWS of the following:

1. This area is a wolf sink, similar to the Madison Valley in Montana
where 11 wolves (2 entire packs) were killed earlier this year, Avon,
Montana where 10 wolves (2 packs) were gunned down during the spring,
and the Sawtooth National Recreation Area in Idaho where three packs
have been killed in the past. All of these areas are now home to more
wolves, facing the same ill fate. Repeated killing of wolves in this
area will not solve the problem of livestock depredations. The livestock must either be controlled and protected or moved from this area.

2. Cattle are not a recovering endangered species. Last year USFWS
killed 59 wolves in the Northern Rockies for livestock depredations,
this year that number is already approaching 40 wolves killed. 5% of
the Northern Rockies wolf population has been destroyed this year
alone. Last year there were 5,750,000 cattle surviving in the Idaho,
Wyoming and Montana, out of 64 that were taken by wolves. Wolves
killed one out of every 90,000 cattle, however for every 12 wolves
surviving in the region, one is control killed. Cattle are not, and
have not ever been, on the Endangered Species list.

3. Wolves are only surviving in less than 5% of their native
territory in the lower 48 states. Cattle survive in nearly every
state in the country and public land ranchers west of the Mississippi
produce only 3% of America's beef. There are vast areas where wolves
do not exist and never will exist that are much more suited for
cattle production.

Who to contact:

Ed Bangs
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
100 North Park Avenue, Ste 320
Helena, MT 59601
406-449-5225 extension 204
 Ed_Bangs@fws.gov

Mike Jimenez
Wyoming Wolf Project Leader
US Fish & Wildlife Service
190 N. 1st Street
Lander, WY 82520
307 332-2159
 Mike_Jimenez@fws.gov

Ralph Morgenweck
Reg. Director
USFWS Mountain Prairie Region
(MT, WY, UT, CO, ND, SD, NE, KS)
PO Box 25486
Denver, Co 80225
303-236-7920

Renee Van Camp, Wolf Recovery Program Director
Membership Director/Office Manager
 renee@wildrockiesalliance.org
406-721-5420

"A lot of animals have adapted to humans, like coyotes, who've
expanded their range. Wolves haven't budged an inch, the price they
pay is their lives."
-Dr. Douglas Smith, Yellowstone Wolf Project
Leader


ALLIANCE FOR THE WILD ROCKIES
PO Box 8731
Missoula, MT 59807-8731
406-721-5420 fax: 406-721-9917
 http://www.wildrockiesalliance.org
mailto: awr@wildrockiesalliance.org
Securing the ecological integrity of the Wild Rockies bioregion
through citizen empowerment and the application of conservation
biology, sustainable economic models and environmental law.