How ID-WY-MT lost their “coveted” wolf delisting

Wyoming’s wolf free-fire, “wolves-are-vermin” zone killed delisting-

We can’t say this for certainty, but Judge Molloy’s decision which caused the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to throw in the towel for the time being on wolf delisting, had its origins in orgy of wolf killing in Wyoming immediately after the wolf was delisted.

This is the argument made 9-28 in the poorly headlined article by Julie Cart in the LA TImes. Delisting Endangers Wolves.

My opinion is the tip-off that wolf 253M (“Limpy”) had been shot was event that led the media to cover the suddenly legal, lethal assualt on wolves near Daniel, Wyoming and vicinity. He truly was one of the most important wolves to live . . . and especially to die.

Rocky Barker: Judge appears to tip his hand in wolf lawsuit

Judge appears to tip his hand in wolf lawsuit. Letters from the West. Idaho Statesman.

Barker speculates that the death of wolf 253 could play a key role in the great delisting lawsuit. In way of correction or perhaps addition, there were many stories about 253 before and after the piece by Louisa Willcox. I think there may even be more to come.

Another essay on wolf 253. Video

The Delisting of wolf 253

Brian Connolly wrote “recently I sent out a few EarthDay e-cards with the statement: If enough of us speak up for the universe, It will tilt in our direction. I borrowed ‘speak up for the universe’ from Norman Maclean’s father.”

“Mike O’Connell and I and some wonderful photographers are doing just that in a podcast which has now been posted on YouTube.”

– – – – –

For folks who don’t know Brian Connolly, he is a best selling author of outdoor fiction about the wholeness of the natural world for young teenagers.

A Wolf Journal and Hawk are two of his best known works.

Special thanks to Steve Justad who provided all of the photos of  “Hoppy.” I see the other photographers are well known reliable folks who deserve credit too. Ralph Maughan

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