Recent official Idaho and Montana wolf news

Below are the most recent reports put out by Idaho Fish and Game and Montana, Fish, Wildlife and Parks.



To:                   Idaho Fish and Game Staff and Cooperators

From:               IDFG Wolf Program Coordinator, Steve Nadeau

Subject:           Status of Gray Wolf Management, Week of May 31 – June 14, 2008

Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains (NRM) were delisted on March 28, 2008.  The USFWS successfully recovered and delisted the population with the help of state, federal, tribal and non government partners.  Management of these wolves now resides with the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.  The 2002 legislatively approved Wolf Conservation and Management Plan along with the March 2008 Idaho Fish and Game Wolf Population Management Plan, as well as the laws and policies of the state now govern wolf management in Idaho.  Wolves are now listed as a big game animal in Idaho and protected under the laws and policies of the State of Idaho.

Once wolves were delisted, the USFWS decided to discontinue the publication of the NRM wolf weekly.  Instead, for the time being, Idaho will continue publishing the Idaho specific wolf weekly.  IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO PUBLISH A WEEKLY EVERY FRIDAY THEREFORE AT TIMES WE WILL BE PUBLISHING A BIWEEKLY THAT WILL BE POSTED ON THE WEBSITE.  Along with the USFWS, contributors to the weekly historically have included the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, the Nez Perce Tribe, and the states of Idaho and Montana.  Wyoming was reported on by the USFWS.  You may review past wolf weekly publications on our wolf webpage and links along with all pertinent and updated wolf information and publications at:


Isaac Babcock (NPT) verified a min. of 6 gray pups with the B315 group, making them a newly documented pack (Snake River pack).  He also has recorded 3 pups (2 black, 1 gray) with the B290 group (newly documented Hornet Ck. pack).  Finally, Blue Bunch pack has a min. of 4 gray pups.

Read the rest of this entry »

Photo of cattle on the Murphy burn

The land needs to rest from cattle grazing for several seasons after a range fire, but here they are on the tablelands above Jackpot, Nevada, grazing part of the Murphy burn.

The sagebrush area is unburned, the rest is obviously burned. Grazing a burn weakens the newly sprouted perennial grasses — the good grasses — in favor of the fire prone annuals. I did notice the cows left the lupines and death camas completely untouched. I had to wonder if the future of this draw will be pretty poisonous flowers?

Cattle grazing the Murphy burn
Grazing the Murphy burn the very next year. Photo Ralph Maughan. June 16, 2008

I saw quite a few pronghorn in the general area, and it is also obviously important deer and elk transitional and maybe winter range, but cows seem to come before everything else.
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Update. June 24. The BLM is going up to the area to get the cattle off the burn. They are not supposed to be there.

Pygmy Rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis)

Udder failure: The politics behind Montana’s brucellosis discovery

Some would say it was the massive bad karma from killing more than 1,600 of the nation’s last wild buffalo by state and federal agents—the largest bison slaughter since the white man’s extinction of the millions-strong herds that once roamed the Great Plains. Or maybe it was the on-going and vicious political struggle between Gov. Brian Schweitzer and the Montana Stockgrowers Association. But whatever or whomever one blames, the reality is that Montana will now lose its “brucellosis free” status with this week’s discovery of yet another herd infected with the disease that can cause cows to abort. Ironically, bison caused neither the latest nor the former infections.

Read the rest of this interesting article — Udder failure . . . by George Ochenski. Missoula Independent. I didn’t know about Schweitzer’s unsuccessful efforts to win support for change with the Montana Stockgrowers Association.