Latest wolf news from USFWS [Ed Bangs]

The interesting part is this — data on wolf control in Wyoming for the year to date: “Based on preliminary reports through September 2009, a total of 17 cattle and 177 sheep were recorded as confirmed wolf kills, and 28 wolves were killed in subsequent control actions in Wyoming.”

– – – – –

FULL REPORT

WYOMING WOLF PROGRAM

WEEKLY REPORT

To:                   Regional Director, Region 6, Denver, Colorado

From:               USFWS Wyoming Wolf Recovery Project Leader, Jackson, WY

Subject:           Status of Gray Wolf Management in Wyoming and the NRM

WYOMING WOLF WEEKLY- Sept 21 through Sept 25, 2009

Web Address – USFWS reports (past weekly and annual reports) can be viewed at http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov . Weekly reports for Montana and Idaho are produced by those States and can be viewed on the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website http://fwp.mt.gov/wildthings/wolf/default.html and Idaho Department of Fish and Game website http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves. All weekly and annual reports are government property and can be used for any purpose.  Please distribute as you see fit.

Annual Reports

The Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery 2008 Annual Report is available at: http://westerngraywolf.fws.gov .

Delisting Litigation Status

A hearing of the preliminary injunction request was held in Federal Court in Missoula, MT on August 31. Oral arguments were heard from the plaintiffs, U.S. Department of Interior, Montana, and Idaho. On September 8, the Federal Court denied the preliminary injunction motion filed by Defenders of Wildlife and others to stop the 2009 regulated gray wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana.  However, in issuing his order, the judge indicated that his preliminary review of the overall delisting case raised questions about Service’s approach of conferring ESA protections to a “significant portion of the range” of a species, as opposed to designating the entire species as a threatened or endangered species. The Service will carefully evaluate the court’s order and confer with the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice to determine any appropriate next steps.

Monitoring

Idaho: Wolf hunting season is open in parts of Idaho with a statewide quota of 220 wolves. The IDFG website that summarizes wolf hunting in Idaho can be viewed at  http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/wolf/quota.cfm

Montana: Wolf hunting season opened in parts of Montana on September 15 with a total quota of 75 wolves. FWP’s website that tracks wolf hunting in Montana can be viewed at http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/planahunt/wolfStatus.html

Read the rest of this entry »

What will putting Yellowstone grizzlies back on “the list” mean?

Agency officials downplay impact-

Agencies to allow for bear status. By Matthew Brown. Associated Press

Judge Molloy put the Yellowstone area bears back on the threatened species list because all their food sources are jeopardized.  Brian Kelly, Fish and Wildlife Service Wyoming field supervisor was quoted in the article above, “The basic message is that federal agencies need to evaluate their actions with respect to what effect they may have on grizzly bears.” [emphasis mine]

“Jim Magagna with the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association said few changes were expected for the livestock industry.” Excuse me, but I don’t think so.  There are all kinds of conflict between grizzlies and livestock. Did Magagna already forget the sheep/grizzly/sheepherder incident in Tosi Creek and all the others in the upper Green River year after year?

Chris Servheen was quoted as defending the delisting decision. Well the judge didn’t think the defense was a good one, and so he ruled against Servheen and crew. What good is it to reassert it?

I just got back from 4 days of hiking, driving, checking on things in low swampy area between the Tetons and Yellowstone Park. During a good part of the year this is heavy grizzly country. In September the grizzlies have abandoned the meadows because they are dry, but they are down in the riparian areas and up on the Tetons where the food is. I found that many of the riparian areas were full of cows, with some allotments very close to Yellowstone Park. Where the cows didn’t tromp, bear scat full of berries was usually abundant.

If the grizzlies need more food, the solution is not more meetings and documents like Brian Kelley of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. Animals like livestock that eat the grass, forbs, sedges, that grizzlies eat; animals that tromp out the berry patches; livestock that eat what elk and deer could eat . . . these things have to stop. Furthermore the allowed range of the grizzly has got to increase because the area reserved for the grizzly under the delisting has become less productive due to many adverse changes.

The effects of the die-off of whitebark pine, whirling disease in trout, lake trout displacing cutthroat trout, the invasion of exotic species is not going to be solved by interagency cooperation meetings.

Incident page on Arnica Fire (Yellowstone Park)

From time to time, this only big fire of the year has cut off the remaining access to the north of Yellowstone Park-

Here is Arnica fire incident page. The fire grew from 4 to over 1600 acres in 4 days. When the fire blocks the road, due to the closure of the other road to the north of the Park — the closure between Madison Jct. and Norris, there is no easy access to the north of Yellowstone Park if you are to the south.

Next Tuesday could be a bad fire day but then also the end of the fire season as a strong and cold front with possible snow will blow in. Meanwhile warm weather.

Currently the southern half of Yellowstone and both sides of the Tetons and points south are filled with smoke. See my earlier post of Sept. 23 (and updated Sept. 26).

arnica-fire

Arnica fire on Sept. 24. Source. Mt. Washburn web cam. Public domain

– – – – –