Feds approve Wyo. wolf plan

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Feds approve Wyo. wolf plan

Post by pawnee » Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:36 pm

From staff and wire reports
December 15, 2007

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has given formal approval to a plan the agency helped write that spells out how wolves would be managed in Wyoming but conservationists continue to say the plan fails to protect the predators.

The Fish and Wildlife Service began drafting the plan early this year and presented it to state officials, who made changes.

Wyoming’s acceptance of the plan broke a deadlock that had threatened to leave the state out of the ongoing process of removing wolves from protections under the federal Threatened and Endangered Species Act in the northern Rocky Mountains. Both Montana and Idaho already have federally approved plans.

Delays in getting a federally approved plan in Wyoming had prevented removing federal protections from wolves in all three states.

The Fish and Wildlife Service has been holding public hearings about its proposal to remove the protections from the wolf. Final action could occur possibly in all three states as soon as early next year.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department announced Friday that the federal agency had given formal notification this week that it approved the Wyoming wolf management plan. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dale Hall informed Wyoming Game and Fish Department Director Terry Cleveland of his decision this week.

“After careful review and consideration, we determined that the 2007 Plan will provide adequate regulatory mechanisms for conserving a recovered wolf population in Wyoming after delisting and meets the requirements of the Endangered Species Act,” the state agency quoted Hall as writing.

Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal stated that the federal agency’s acceptance of the state plan is an encouraging sign that wolves in the state will soon be removed from the federal endangered species list.

“It has been a long and difficult road, and in our discussions we have achieved compromise on issues like the dual classification and the state’s ability to manage wolves in relation to their impact on elk and deer,” Freudenthal said.

Conservationists, who have long argued that the plan does not provide enough protection for wolves outside of the northwest corner of the state, say they expected the federal government’s action, but their opinion of the plan had not improved.

“It’s not a surprise,” said Craig Kenworthy, conservation director for Greater Yellowstone Coalition. “We worked on Montana’s plan and we continue to support Montana’s plan as balanced. Wyoming’s plan has the potential to manage wolves at a level that could undercut the recovery and the success that we’ve had.”

Franz Camenzind, executive director of the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, said his group has not ruled out taking the issue to court.
“[Wyoming’s wolf plan] is probably the worst plan of the three states,” he said. “They’ve caused the Fish and Wildlife Service to weaken their own mission, and that’s not the kind of outcome that I’m proud of.

“It clearly shows that politics not science is running this process,” he said. “It’s too bad that the only recourse that conservation has may very well be a lawsuit.”

The federal government rejected an earlier Wyoming plan that called for classifying wolves as predators that could be shot on sight in much of the state. Wyoming took the federal government to court over the issue in 2004 and that lawsuit remains pending.

The Wyoming management plan the federal agency approved this week commits the state to maintaining at least 15 breeding pairs of wolves, or about 100 animals. Seven breeding pairs would be located primarily outside of Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway. Another eight pairs would be located within the two parks and the parkway.

The wolves outside the parks and the parkway would be managed by the state Game and Fish Department as either trophy game that can be killed and hunted by state-issued permit or as predators that can be killed with little oversight.

Wolves would be trophy game in northwest Wyoming, which has thousands of acres of national forest and wilderness, and classified as predators in the remainder of the state.

http://www.jhnews.com/article.php?art_id=2528
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Re: Feds approve Wyo. wolf plan

Post by Firekeeper » Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:01 pm

I really don't approve of them getting hunted. I don't believe in hunting without intent to eat and very few people eat wolves. They should encourage them to spread out and extend their territories. Let the wolf return to their native lands. Yes, there would be some conflicts with that plan, but it might help in bringing down the cougar population some if they had competition.
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Re: Feds approve Wyo. wolf plan

Post by pawnee » Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:03 pm

I think if people who lived in wolf country were given the opppertunity to learn more about wolves and compensation programs, people would be more open to that idea of letting them run wild and free.
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Re: Feds approve Wyo. wolf plan

Post by Vida » Sun Dec 16, 2007 3:46 pm

I know. It's heartbreaking to see how many people want wolves dead. If only there was more efforts to educate people about them.
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Re: Feds approve Wyo. wolf plan

Post by Chenneoue » Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:57 am

This is so frusterating. They are going to put wolves back to square one. Not to mention costing the government a lot of money because of it. They are going to have legal battles all the way through this, and then when Wolves are endangered again, they are going to have to spend all the much more AGAIN to recover the population. It makes no sence.

Its like one step forward and two steps back...

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