They don’t make ’em much crazier than this.

This one is from Utah

Department of Natural Resources Director Michael Styler told a legislative committee Tuesday that the return of the wolves is comparable to “the resurrection of the T. rex and turning him loose on the landscape.”

Natural Resources director compares wolf to ‘T. rex’ The Salt Lake Tribune.

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2/10/2011. A reflection on this. Upon reading the account of Styler’s testimony, I have to wonder if he wasn’t really protesting the fact that he was politically forced to take the policy position he did. Sometimes people will protest their coerced speech by giving a speech so bizarre that you wonder if they are sane, or not being serious. I don’t know of this man, but reading his comments it came to me that it was like reading something in The Onion.  Ralph Maughan

Later. No thinking about it and reading about him, he was serious. RM

Feds, States and others file appeal on wolf ruling

Federal Government appeals the wolf ruling-

I missed this one but it is important. Everyone knew that the states and many other groups would appeal Judge Molloy’s ruling on wolves but no one was sure whether the Federal Government would appeal the ruling too. Now that question has been answered.

State and others file appeal on wolf ruling.
By Eve Byron – Helena Independent Record

Victory ! Wolves Relisted in the Northern Rockies !

Victory !  Wolves Relisted in the Northern Rockies !

Judge Molloy rules in wolf advocates’ favor !

Federal judge puts gray wolves back on endangered species listAP

Read the Order

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Update:  Here is  the story in the Washington Post.
This story is pretty matter of fact {well facts on the wolf issue are good 😉 } What is interesting, however, is at the very end — the federal lawsuit by Wyoming to require the USFWS to accept their “flawed” wolf plan. There is speculation that Molloy’s vacation of the rule might make this suit (the one before federal judge Johnson) moot — might. Ralph Maughan

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Read the rest of this entry »

First wolf killed in SE Idaho

While the headline is not accurate, it is gratifying to see a wolf in Franklin Basin-

A sheepherder killed a wolf in the Bear River Range, east of Franklin, Idaho. This is right on the Idaho/Utah border and is certainly good news for wolves traveling south. I have had reports of wolves in the Franklin Basin area for ten years now. To avoid putting those killer radio collars on them, I have not reported them.

The headline in the story below (Idaho Statesman) is wrong. The body of the story below in fact indicates that. A wolf was shot by a Pocatello man back in 2003 in SE Idaho near Weston, Idaho, also right on the Utah border, but one mountain range to the west of this. That was in the foothills of the Bannock Range.

Wolf killed in Franklin Basin. Idaho Statesman. Note that there is a longer story in the Idaho State Journal (Pocatello), but it is not on line.

For those familiar with scenic Franklin Basin, they know it is overrun by domestic sheep.  I have been going there since I was a boy and the Logan (UT) Ranger District just lets it get worse and worse, harming recreation, scenery, and especially elk and deer habitat.  The Basin is mostly reduced to dust by mid-summer and inedible forbs like western coneflower and tall larkspur.  If folks would donate to the Western Watersheds Project, it should be known they have the goods on this disgusting situation and will sue their sorry butts.

Here is a photo of a nice spot in the Idaho portion of Franklin Basin.

Why must Utah be kept free of wolves?

Opinion by Kirk Robinson. Western Wildlife Conservancy in Salt Lake City-

Why must Utah be kept free of wolves? Salt Lake Tribune.

Alert on Utah wolves

What you can do if you oppose Utah state senator Allen Christensen’s wolf killing bill-

Note I made a serious error in the original headline. The sponsor is Allen Christensen, not Kirk Robinson. Dr. Kirk Robinson is Director of Western Wildlife Conservancy, an organization that advocates for the full range of wildlife not just a couple of big game animals. My apologies. Ralph Maughan

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Wolves urgently need your help.  Please send the following alert to as many people as you can.  Use your organization’s email list if you can!  Do it right away, then act on it yourself!

The organization Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife has a bill before the Utah legislature that would require the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to prevent wolf packs from becoming established in the Utah portion of the Rocky Mountain gray wolf recovery area.  This part of the recovery area is where dispersing wolves from the Yellowstone country have been entering Utah, some of them traveling on to Colorado.  If this bill passes, any wolves entering Utah in this area will be subject to capture and return or death. Read the rest of this entry »

Utah: Citing possible prison time, DWR boss speaks out against wolf-removal bill

Sen. Allen Christensen, R-North Ogden, doing the apparent bidding of Don Peay*  has sponsored SB36, a bill to kill any wolves that migrate to Utah.  The bill would be a violation of U.S. law. Defending it in court will just cost Utah taxpayers money. Except for northern Utah, wolves in the State are fully protected by the endangered species act.  The head of the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources told the truth. No doubt some legislators will threaten him . . . today’s politics!

Citing possible prison time, DWR boss speaks out against wolf-removal bill. By Patty Henetz. The Salt Lake Tribune

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*Peay is the founder of Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife. He pretty much sets Utah wildlife policy, according to some commentators.

Utah Senate Bill calls for removal of all wolves that may enter the state.

It appears that some Utah legislators are reactionary too.

One line of the bill states that “[t]he division shall capture or kill any wolf it discovers in the state, except for a wolf lawfully held in captivity.”

At the bottom of the bill is the Legislative Review, which is written by the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel, which states “This bill has a high probability of being held to be unconstitutional under the Supremacy Clause to the United States Constitution because federal law and regulations prohibit conduct allowed by this bill.”

Read it here: S.B. 36

Salazar’s Wolf Decision Upsets Administration Allies

Salazar’s failure to consult POTUS gives new Administration a headache (as it should)-

Salazar’s Wolf Decision Upsets Administration Allies
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post

It appears that Salazar wasn’t interested in consulting anyone but the Bush Administration personnel and some other agency folks for the “good science” they have already “produced”.
He only consulted governors with less than favorable attitudes on predators, wolves in particular. He had no intention of hearing anything other than what he wanted to hear to make this decision.

Fortunately, not everyone in our halls of governing agree with him. Perhaps due to the fact that they are not ranchers.  He didn’t seem to think that his boss needed to be consulted either, even directly following commitments by Obama himself to uphold the ESA and scientific integrity in speeches within 48 hours of announcing this “Friday night” ruling.

Perhaps the same comments on commitment to scientific integrity made by Obama on stem cell research should be applied to the ESA and wolves.

Kathie Lynch: Druid 253 – Rest in Peace

Druid 253, Rest in Peace

By © Kathie Lynch

It has been nearly a week since I returned from Yellowstone, and I still find it hard to muster my usual enthusiasm. The feelings of anger and despair caused by the cold-blooded murder of Druid wolf 253M, combined with the daily horror of watching bison march out of the Park’s north entrance in Gardiner to their deaths, were almost too much to bear.

I want to tell you the story of 253M, one of the finest wolves ever to walk Yellowstone’s soil. Born in the spring of 2000, he was the son of the great Druid alpha 21M and 106F. As a yearling, 253 injured his hind leg during a fight between the Druid and Nez Perce packs. Known affectionately ever after by his legions of fans as “Limpy,” 253 never let his disability get him down.

As an adventurous two-year-old, his travels took him almost 250 miles south to Morgan, Utah (just north of Salt Lake City), where he was caught in a coyote trap, injuring a front leg. The fact that he wore a Yellowstone collar undoubtedly saved his life. The US Fish and Wildlife Service arranged to retrieve him and return him to Yellowstone. But, with deep November snows and closed Park roads, he was released south of YNP, in Grand Teton National Park. Unbelievably, by December he had made it all the way across Yellowstone on only two good legs to rejoin his natal pack in Yellowstone’s Northern Range.

He spent the next year-and-a-half serving as favorite uncle to the pups and faithful Beta male to his father, 21M. Together they led the Druids with dignity and forestalled the advances of Leopold interloper 302M, who was bent on romancing the Druid females.

When 21M disappeared in June 2004 (and was found dead in July), we all hoped that his son and faithful lieutenant, 253, would step up to be the new alpha. But, 253 had other ideas. Although he fought with and beat 302M and 302’s Leopold brother (the future Druid alpha 480M), 253 chose to leave while he was still top dog.

A wolf with wanderlust, he once again headed south and made a new life for himself with the Flat Creek pack near the National Elk Refuge in Jackson, Wyoming. Over the next few years, we would hear bits of news, but he gradually slipped out of sight. The last I heard of him (last summer, I think), he was near Pinedale, Wyoming, the black hole of death for wolves. A member of the Daniel pack, he never got into trouble with livestock.

On March 28, 2008, the first day the Gray Wolf was delisted from the Endangered Species List in the Northern Rocky Mountains (“Opening Day,” as I have heard some Wyoming newspapers called it), a wolf-hating hunter’s bullet killed 253M in cold blood near Daniel, in Sublette County, Wyoming. He was gunned down in the Predator Zone, which makes up 87% of that state, where a wolf can be killed at any time and for no reason at all.

A favorite of all who knew him (I’ve had hundreds of park visitors tell me they wanted to see “The Wolf Who Went to Utah”, 253M lived an adventurous and exemplary life. He lived life to the fullest, made choices that pushed the limits, and didn’t take the easy way out. It is our responsibility to celebrate the life and legacy of 253M so his death will not be in vain. We must push the limits and not take the easy way out as we work ever harder to make the world a better place for wolves.

I am reminded of a poem I saw etched on a mountain climber’s gravestone in Zermatt, Switzerland:

“Let me go climb these virgin snows

Leave the dark stain of man behind

Let me adventure and Heaven knows

Grateful shall be my peaceful mind.”

Rest In Peace, Druid Wolf 253M.

Posted in Utah wolves, Wolves. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Kathie Lynch: Druid 253 – Rest in Peace

Wolf’s death stirs fears for species’ fate. Utahns mourn loss of 253M; advocates heat up criticism of delisting

Wolf’s death stirs fears for species’ fate. Utahns mourn loss of 253M; advocates heat up criticism of delisting. By Patty Henetz. The Salt Lake Tribune.

This is Patty Henetz’s second artice on 253.

I see she contacted a number of folks who post here.

Wolf 253M gunned down for fun near Daniel, Wyoming

For years people have been asked me whatever happened to famous wolf 253M, the wolf that went to Utah and later became the beta male of the Druid Pack in Yellowstone Park.

I thought by now this 3-legged wolf would have passed on, but it has now been confirmed that he was gunned down near an elk feedground in the vicinity of Daniel, Wyoming this weekend. He was not bothering livestock, but rather unknowingly protecting Wyoming’s elk from chronic wasting disease by chasing them away from the state’s system of disease breeding elk feedlots that turn elk into livestock for the winter. A female wolf was also shot at the same time.

Daniel is in Wyoming’s new you-can kill-any-wolf-you-see-by-any method zone.

Somehow I think some folks are going to very unhappy about this.

Note on April 2. The Salt Lake Tribune posted a story on this today, citing my blog. I put this up without a second source (kind of risky), but this morning I confirmed from a second source that it was indeed 253).

More on April 2. Beloved ‘Wolf 253′ killed in Wyoming. KSL News (Salt Lake City)

Wolf 253M on the right. Notice his small fourth leg. Wolf 21M (left) and 42F (front). Steve Justad furnished this photo of the Druid “big 3” taken back about 2004. Copyright © Steve Justad

Wyoming ranchers outside wolf zone say they’ll only target offending animals

Wyoming ranchers outside wolf zone say they’ll only target offending animals. By Chris Merrill. Casper Star Tribune.

The ranchers in article say the Wyoming wolves in their new “vermin” zone come Friday won’t be immediately indiscriminately killed. It would cost too much.

These predator control boards that have been set up are in fact rolling in money given to them by the Wyoming legislature. They got $6-million from the legislature. This is many times what federal Wildlife Services now spends in Wyoming “controlling” wolves, which they have done even in the state’s small to-be protected or “trophy game zone” with increasing severity.

Related. Wolves trapped by shift in status. Salt Lake Tribune. Decision to delist animals allows them to be killed in most of Wyoming, stirs confusion in Utah. By Patty Henetz

First wolf pack in Utah!

This is posted as a comment by Joe (thanks!!), and was mentioned earlier by another comment (and Ed Bang’s included it in his latest report).

This Utah wolf pack is near Colorado, and also near Wyoming where they will get to kill every wolf outside a small area in the NW corner of the state come March 28. There could be a flashpoint on this pretty quick.

Wolf pack sighted in Utah for the first time in almost 80 years. KSL News.

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Added at bedtime. 3-20-2008. Wolf pack may be trotting around Flaming Gorge. By Melinda Rogers. The Salt Lake Tribune

Utah wolves are in line to lose protection in the delisting

Technically there aren’t any wolves in Utah, although there really are probably a few in northern Utah. Nevertheless, Northern Utah was included in the Northern Rockies wolf delisting.

So was Eastern Oregon and Eastern Washington. All these places would highly likely to see wolf in-migration.

I can see only one reason for this — it’s to prevent the recolonization of any adjacent Western States by wolves.

Article in the Salt Lake Tribune. Utah wolves are in line to lose protection. But technically there aren’t any. By Joe Baird

Interior Department Announces Delisting of Western Great Lakes Wolves and Proposed Delisting of Northern Rocky Mountain Wolves

As expected, today the Department of Interior announced the proposed delisting of wolves in Idaho and Montana, but not Wyoming because of their failure to come up with an adequate wolf conservation plan.

Flat-out delisting of wolves in the Great Lakes States was announced.

Here is the news release wolfnrs012907.pdf

Update 1-30-2007. Feds to delist wolves. Jackson Hole News and Guide.