Project seeks peace among sheep and wolves. Diverse group says collaboration could be a model for other wolf-occupied areas. By Jason Kauffman. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer.
This high profile project is a semi-official attempt to keep both sheep and the very popular Phantom Hill wolf pack alive. The pack’s territory is mostly in the headwaters area of the Big Wood River inside the Sawtooth National Recreation area.
While I am usually very critical of Wildlife Services, Wildlife Services wolf management specialist Rick Williamson gets a lot of credit as one of the people setting this up. The same true with Carter Niemeyer, who so successfully managed wolves in Idaho when the federal government was running the show.
Credit goes to Defenders of Wildlife who is putting money on the ground and volunteers into this.
Last year this pack did get some short time help (the deterence in the midst of lots of sheep) both formally and informally.
In their official year end report, the Idaho division of Wildlife Services was very negative on this pack, saying it had gotten too many chances, but this project shows what local political support can do.
One reason there is public support for this pack is because, as in Yellowstone, it is visible.