The sudden aboutface by the federal government on Wyoming’s proposed (and yet to be formally revised) wolf management plan was not the product of Ed Bangs (as some had suggested).
It clearly came from the top, as this editorial in the Casper Star Tribune complains. Wolf conservation groups were not involved. Basically no one was involved except the stockgrowers and the highest levels of political leadership in Wyoming and in the USFWS (and my guess, higher than that).
Editorial. Let the public be part of the Wyoming wolf talks. Casper Star-Tribune Editorial Board
From the editorial (regarding Bangs)
“Another mistake by the state occurred when [Cody’s Wyoming’s state representative Pat] Childers asked top Fish and Wildlife officials to keep their wolf recovery coordinator, Ed Bangs, from speaking publicly about wolves.
Bangs is the expert who has been spearheading wolf reintroduction in the West since it occurred a decade ago. He has a reputation for openness that often irritates his detractors. Still, he shares Wyoming’s desire to see wolves removed from the endangered species list.
Childers indicated more public statements by Bangs could hinder efforts to resolve the conflict, or could inflame controversy and result in disruptive litigation.
‘Some duct tape on Mr. Bangs’ mouth would probably help,’ Childers said.
Mitch King, Fish and Wildlife’s regional director, indicated he would do his best to silence Bangs. If so, he’ll be muzzling one of the few players in the wolf saga who has shown the willingness and spine over the years to conduct an open discussion on this highly controversial issue with the public.”
I think such open indication of coercion of a public servant by the appointed political leadership argues strongly in favor of conservationists winning a lawsuit on the Wyoming wolf plan.
Added later. It’s from New West. “New Wolf Plan May Be Dead On Delivery.” By Brodie Farquhar