Blue Bunch Pack near McCall and New Meadows hasn’t killed livestock since October and all other members have been killed
It has been nearly 8 months since any member of southwest Idaho’s Blue Bunch Pack killed any livestock yet, on March, 16, members of the Blue Bunch Pack were killed by Wildlife Services under an order that has apparently extended to persist to this day.
As far as anyone knows there is only the collared alpha female tending 7 wolf pups in the mountains to the west of McCall, Idaho and the Idaho Fish and Game wants them dead. This, even though there is a standing policy memo in place which extends “the effective period for take orders by USDA Wildlife Services (WS) and kill permits (livestock owners) from 45 to 60 days following the most recent depredation incident” which, in this case, was October 2009. There have been no depredations since. The memo also authorizes “additional WS wolf removals and extended kill permits based on recurring incidents or chronic history of the wolf pack involved”.
It appears that this is how the IDFG plans on managing wolves into the foreseeable future. They plan on carrying out heavy handed control even long after any depredations on livestock have occurred. This means that any pack that has been deemed a chronically depredating pack will be killed even if they haven’t preyed on livestock for a long period of time.
Information obtained by a wolf advocate through a state records request presents the following information about what occurred in March of this year.
An email from Gregg Hansen, (WS) to (IDFG)
Subject: wolves killed south of New Meadows ID
On 3/16, a WS fixed-wing crew shot and killed 2 gray uncollared wolves from the Blue Bunch pack. This control action took place on private property. GPS coordinates are N 44. 54′ 41″ W 116. 12′ 38″ and N 44. 53′ 04″ W 116. 13′ 00″ Carcasses were not retrieved. 1 black and 2 gray wolves were also seen, but the crew members were not able to take them at this time.
A chart supplied from IDFG (or WS) in the data shows:
On March 16, two gray Bluebunch wolves were shot by WS on private property but under the word “order” it says: “Unauthorized Removal”
On March 22, Cal Groen gave “Authorization to extend control action for 60 days for Blue Bunch”.
Both IDFG and WS have stonewalled any attempts by myself to get any information concerning this by claiming that since there is pending litigation they can’t talk about wolf issues. The wolf advocate was able to talk to Mark Collinge today who – when asked why there haven’t been any non-lethal, pro-active efforts to avoid this kind of conflict – responded that they have no money to conduct these kinds of operations. They certainly have money for planes and helicopters to gun wolves down but they also have funding, $70,000/year, “to assist livestock producers in undertaking proactive, non-lethal activities to reduce the risk of livestock loss due to predation by wolves”. Are they going to use any of this money for what it was intended for?