Ed Bangs comments on possible Wyoming wolf deal

Ed Bangs, the federal Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, commented on the possible deal on delisting Wyoming wolves. Wyoming’s official plan for state conservation of a recovered wolf population has been rejected by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wyoming has sued to get it accepted.

In his latest Gray Wolf Recovery Progress Report, Bangs wrote:

WY newspapers (Wyoming Livestock Roundup, Casper Start Tribune, Jackson Hole News) reported that the FWS & WY are beginning to discuss a possible option that would allow approve of Wyoming’s wolf management framework and could allow delisting to be proposed for the northern Rocky Mountains.

The concept included a permanent trophy game area in NW WY that is smaller than the larger one adopted in Wyoming’s 2003 wolf management plan. That area would be enough to assure that recovery would be maintained while also allowing predatory animal status for the rest of Wyoming.

WYGF would manage for 7 wolf packs in that trophy area. If adopted in Wyoming’s regulatory framework it would allow Wyoming to immediately take advantage of the new more flexible 2005 experimental population rule and for the FWS to propose delisting.

At this point these discussion are informal and are simply part of the FWS’s continuing search for resolution of a very complex and emotional issue. Meanwhile the FWS administrative record was filed with the Wyoming District Court on the 11th, regarding the Wyoming vs DOI lawsuit which is ongoing.

Bang’s comments about it actually sound worse to me than what I had read about it in the newspapers.

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Dec. 16 More in the Casper Star Tribune today. Feds intend to offer Wyoming compromise on wolf management. “Jim Magagna, spokesman for the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, said his group objects to including private land between Meeteetse and Cody and elsewhere in the federal agency’s proposed permanent wolf area.”

If private land is excluded, this would be a truly awful proposal. Magagna, is a powerful livestock politician, so we have to speculate about his real aims.

Bacterial? infection fells 2000 mallards in southern Idaho

Grizzly bear payments were down in Montana for ’06 – record high in Wyoming

Only $9000 paid in Montana in 2006, but the State of Wyoming paid $110,000. The direct explanation for the difference is far fewer livestock killed in Montana than Wyoming. Indirectly, however, the Wyoming compensation formula for grizzly losses is so generous that there is no incentive to protect livestock from grizzlies. A grizzly loss can be a lucky event for the owner of the livestock in Wyoming.

Story in the Billing Gazette. By Mike Stark.

Posted in Bears. Comments Off on Grizzly bear payments were down in Montana for ’06 – record high in Wyoming

Judge orders new 3-state in dispute over grizzly habitat

This is a big victory for those trying to protect the imperiled grizzly bear populations in extreme NW Montana (the Cabinet-Yaak population) and in the Panhandle of Idaho and NE Washington State (the Selkirk grizzly population).

Story. By Perry Backus in the Missoulian

Yellowstone domes rising at ‘really pronounced’ pace

Parts of the Yellowstone Caldera are swelling rapidly. The Sour Creek Dome just east of Haden Valley is rising 6 centimeters a year as (likely) magma flows in under it.

Story in the Billings Gazette. By Mike Stark.

Posted in national parks, public lands. Comments Off on Yellowstone domes rising at ‘really pronounced’ pace

Feds propose wolf deal for Wyoming

Right now wolves are allowed to range throughout Wyoming, but almost all of them are in Northwest Wyoming. The deal would let Wyoming have its way with wolves . . . kill them all outside of NW Wyoming. Wolves would be managed to maintain the required population in NW Wyoming.

I have always believed Wyoming political and economic elites basically wanted to keep nature confined to NW Wyoming, and this is a clear example of that thinking.

Story in the Jackson Hole Daily. By Cory Hatch.

Note: the link was broken, now fixed. RM