June 27, 2017

Reinstatement of Removal of Federal Protections for Gray Wolves in Wyoming

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), are issuing 
this final rule to comply with a court order that reinstates the 
removal of Federal protections for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in 
Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. Pursuant 
to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia 
Circuit order dated March 3, 2017, and mandate dated April 25, 2017, 
this rule again removes gray wolves in Wyoming from the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

DATES: This action is effective May 1, 2017. The United States Court of 
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit order dated March 3, 2017, 
and mandate dated April 25, 2017, removing Federal protections for the 
gray wolf in Wyoming had legal effect immediately upon filing of the 
mandate.

ADDRESSES: This final rule is available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-R6-ES-2017-0025. It will also be 
available for inspection, by appointment, during normal business hours 
at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Mountain-Prairie Regional Office, 
Ecological Services Division, 134 Union Blvd., Lakewood, CO 80228; 
telephone (303) 236-7400. Persons who use a telecommunications device 
for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on wolves in Wyoming, 
contact Tyler Abbott, Wyoming Field Office Supervisor, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, 5353 Yellowstone Rd., Suite 308A, Cheyenne, WY 82009; 
telephone (307) 772-2374. Individuals who are hearing impaired or 
speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8337 for 
TTY assistance.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List), 
which is authorized by the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended 
(ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), is located in title 50 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations in part 17 (50 CFR 17.11(h)). On September 10, 
2012, we published a final rule to remove the gray wolf in Wyoming from 
the List and remove this population's status as a nonessential 
experimental population under the ESA (77 FR 55530; ``2012 final 
rule''). Additional background information on the gray wolf in Wyoming 
and on this decision, including previous Federal actions, can be found 
in our 2012 final rule at http://www.regulations.gov in Docket No. FWS-
R6-ES-2011-0039, or at https://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/es/grayWolf.php.
    Various groups filed lawsuits challenging our 2012 final rule. On 
September 23, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of 
Columbia vacated and set aside our 2012 final rule (Defenders of 
Wildlife v. Jewell, 68 F. Supp. 3d 193 (D.D.C. 2014)) and reinstated 
our April 2, 2009 (74 FR 15123), final rule that protected gray wolves 
in Wyoming as a nonessential experimental population under the ESA. On 
December 1, 2014, the United States appealed the District Court's 
decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia 
Circuit. Pending the appeal, and consistent with the District Court's 
September 23, 2014, order, we published a final rule reinstating the 
April 2, 2009, final rule protecting the gray wolf in Wyoming (80 FR 
9218, February 20, 2015).
    On March 3, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals, in a unanimous 
opinion, reversed the ruling of the U.S. District Court Defenders of 
Wildlife v. Zinke, No. 14-5300 (D.C. Cir. March 3, 2017). On April 25, 
2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals issued its mandate consistent with its 
March 3, 2017, opinion reversing the U.S. District Court's vacatur of 
our 2012 final rule for gray wolves in Wyoming. The issuance of the 
mandate makes the delisting go into effect. To the extent that a 
regulatory change is required to effectuate the delisting, we are doing 
so now. Therefore, this rule amends the List of Endangered and 
Threatened Wildlife by removing gray wolves in Wyoming.

Administrative Procedure

    This rulemaking is necessary to comply with the March 3, 2017, 
court order and April 25, 2017, mandate. Therefore, under these 
circumstances, the Director has determined, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(3)(B), that prior notice and opportunity for public comment are 
impractical and unnecessary. The Director has further determined, 
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), that the court order and mandate 
constitute good cause to make this rule effective upon publication.

Effects of the Rule

    Per the March 3, 2017, court order and April 25, 2017, mandate, the 
protections of the ESA are removed for gray wolves in Wyoming. 
Additionally, the regulations under section 10(j) of the ESA at 50 CFR 
17.84(i) and (n) designating Wyoming as a nonessential experimental 
population area are also removed.

List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

Regulation Promulgation

    To comply with the court order and mandate discussed above, we 
amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the CFR, as set 
forth below:

PART 17--ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS

0
1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245, 
unless otherwise noted.


Sec.  17.11   [Amended]

0
2. Amend Sec.  17.11(h) by removing the entry for ``Wolf, gray 
[Northern Rocky Mountain DPS]'' under MAMMALS from the List of 
Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.

[[Page 20285]]

Sec.  17.84   [Amended]

0
3. Amend Sec.  17.84 by removing and reserving paragraphs (i) and (n).

    Dated: March 28, 2017.
James K. Kurth,
Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-08720 Filed 4-28-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
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Removal of Wyoming’s Gray Wolves from Endangered Species List Final Step in Historic Recovery Across Northern Rockies

Press Release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

Action by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Response to D.C. Appeals Court Ruling Upholding Previous Delisting Determination

April 26, 2017

 

Recovery of the gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains is one of our nation’s greatest conservation success stories. Today, that success was re-affirmed with the filing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of a notice again delisting the species in the state of Wyoming. Wolves have already been delisted throughout the rest of the Northern Rockies population.

“Our action today delisting the wolf in Wyoming puts the last puzzle piece of Northern Rocky Mountain wolf conservation back in place,” said Acting Service Director Jim Kurth. “The result is a complete picture of success in wolf conservation across the region, restoring management of this recovered population to the state’s wildlife professionals.”

The Service’s action was in response to a final decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturning an earlier U.S. District Court decision vacating the Service’s 2012 delisting rule for Wyoming wolves. The court’s decision recognizes the recovered status of gray wolves and affirms the Service’s determination that the state’s regulatory mechanisms are sufficient for conserving wolves under its authority.  The Service will continue to monitor the population for the next five years to ensure recovery criteria are met.

Noreen Walsh, Regional Director for the Service’s Mountain-Prairie Region credited the considerable dedication of many partners, particularly the state of Wyoming, in helping recover Northern Rockies wolves.

“It is deeply gratifying that we can officially recognize the strong and diverse partnerships that made the vision of wolf recovery a reality,” said Walsh. “We particularly applaud the efforts of the State of Wyoming in implementing their gray wolf management plan and we are confident that they will continue to execute this plan moving forward. Their continued commitment to managing wolves will ensure we maintain a robust, stable and self-sustaining population into the future.”

The Service will be working closely with the State of Wyoming to transition wolf management post delisting. Meanwhile, the state’s annual wolf numbers reveal an enduring healthy population, with approximately 377 wolves in 52 packs with 25 breeding pairs. The Northern Rocky Mountain population as a whole continues to be self-sustaining, with numbers well above federal management objectives. Wolves have continued to expand their range westward into Oregon, Washington, northern California and Nevada.

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D.C. Court of Appeals Overturns Wyoming Wolf Protection Ruling

On March 3, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, overturned a previous ruling that had placed wolves in Wyoming back under protection of the Endangered Species Act. Gray wolves in Wyoming are now under the management of the State and the 2012 Wolf Management Plan has been reinstated. Below is a copy of the Court of Appeals ruling:

Appeals Court on Wyoming Wolves 2017
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DC Court Rules in Favor of Wyoming Wolf Delisting

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Washington DC Court of Appeals issued a ruling in favor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), State of Wyoming, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and others regarding the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species List in Wyoming. This case, originally filed in November of 2012, involved a challenge to the FWS delisting of wolves in Wyoming.

“It’s great news. It’s especially great news for the state of Wyoming,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “States should have the ability to manage all wildlife within their borders. This is a great day for the fundamental issue of state-based management of wildlife.”

The plaintiffs challenged the FWS determination that wolves are no longer endangered in Wyoming based on three main arguments: insufficient genetic connectivity, wolves have not inhabited a significant portion of their former range, and Wyoming’s wolf management plan was not a sufficient “regulatory mechanism” to protect wolves. In District Court, the judge determined that there was sufficient genetic connectivity, that the FWS correctly interpreted “significant portion of range” but that Wyoming’s management plan was not a “regulatory mechanism” and so the rule was vacated, putting wolves back on the Endangered Species List.

The DC Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirmed the District Court on the issues of genetic connectivity and range, and reversed the District Court on the issue of Wyoming’s management plan. The Appeals Court ruled the FWS reasonably determined that Wyoming’s management plan, in conjunction with statutes and regulations, is sufficient to maintain the minimum number of wolves within the state. This effectively means that the Circuit Court of Appeals found that the FWS determination was lawful, and Wyoming wolves should be delisted.

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By Funding Trophy Wolf Hunts, We’re Destroying Real Game Hunts

wolfutah*Editor’s Note* – This post first appeared on this website on October 8, 2014. It was requested of me to republish it as a means of updating the importance of the article as a prediction of the future.

It seems just a short while ago that wolf (re)introduction happened – 1995 and 1996. A lot of water has passed under the bridge and as the water moved downstream, it has blended in with a lot of other water, not becoming lost but perhaps unrecognizable.

As most of you know, I’m writing a book about wolves. Actually it’s really not about wolves other than to point out the obvious behaviors of the animal. The book is more about the corruption. However, in working to put all this information together, I’ve come across some things that I had written about in which I had actually forgotten.

It really began in early 2009, when there was a glimmer of hope that wolves might come off the Endangered list and residents in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming could begin killing the animal to get it back down to 100 wolves as promised in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. What? Had you forgotten?

Around about that same time, I began reading about the plans Idaho was going to begin formulating in preparation for wolf hunts. I said then that utilizing a season for “trophy” wolf hunting would not work.

I wrote a five-part series that I know some of you have read, perhaps more than once, called “To Catch a Wolf” – an historical account of the extreme difficulty people had throughout history trying to control wolves to stop them from killing livestock and attacking people.

The real joke was when Idaho officials, in a fraudulent attempt to convince anyone who would blindly listen, that trophy hunting wolves, was going to protect the elk, deer and moose herds. This did not happen. As a matter of fact, it so much did not happen, that Idaho Fish and Game took to helicopters to gun down wolves in the Lolo Region because officials were willing to admit there was a wolf problem….or maybe they were just placating the sportsmen. They killed 5 wolves and yet somehow they want sportsmen to believe that a trophy hunting season will protect the game herds?

The myth here is that increasing or decreasing wolf tags will grow or shrink elk, deer and moose herds. Sorry, but controlling elk, deer and moose tags controls elk, deer and moose herds. Select-harvesting a handful of wolves does nothing to protect game herds.

Why, then, are Idaho sportsmen continuing to fund a fraudulent trophy wolf hunting season that may actually be causing the further destruction of the elk, deer and moose they so much wish to protect and grow?

On November 30, 2012, I wrote and published the following article. I took the liberty to embolden some statements I wish to now more fully draw your attention to.

Trophy Hunting Season on Wolves Destroying More Elk, Moose and Deer?

Recently I read a comment made by Bob Ream, chairman of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP) Commission, state that:

We [MFWP] have implemented more and more aggressive wolf harvests. We also increased lion harvests considerably this year.

The word aggressive is certainly an overused adjective used much in the same fashion as say a male peacock when he displays his tail feathers. In the context used in the quote above, I’m assuming Mr. Ream intended his use of the word aggressive to mean something to be proud of, a feat of accomplishment or something related. But when talking about wolves, killing, attacks, predation, hunting, trapping, disease and every aspect associated with gray wolves, “implementing[ed] more and more aggressive wolf harvests” kind of rings a bit hollow.

In its simplest form, wolves, at least under the existing conditions in most of Montana, Idaho and Wildlife, grow and expand at a rate of anywhere between 20% and 30%, I am told and have read as well. Estimates of wolf populations mean little except in political and emotional battles because nobody knows how many there are and they are lying if they tell you otherwise. For the sake of argument, I have read that the tri-state region of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming have at least 6,000 wolves. On the top end I’ve heard 15,000 but I’m going to guess that might be high but then again I don’t live there and spend time in the woods.

If there were 6,000 wolves then math tells us that 1200 – 1800 wolves should be killed each year just to sustain the population at 6,000; and states like Montana, who according to Bob Ream, are aggressively killing more wolves.

But now the question has been brought up that perhaps states offering hunting and trapping seasons, based on the principle of “trophy” and “big game” hunting and trapping, might be causing even more game animals, like elk, moose and deer, to be killed. Is this possible?

It was nearly 4 years ago that I wrote a series, “To Catch a Wolf“. Much of the purpose of that series and other related articles, was to explain how difficult it is to kill a wolf; historically and globally. It’s one of the hardest things to do over a prolonged period of time and that’s why I chuckle at comments like Bob Ream’s when he describes the MFWP actions toward killing wolves as aggressive. There is NOTHING aggressive about trophy hunting wolves.

The process was long and mostly wrought with illegal actions and corruption, but eventually, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming got the infamous and controversial gray wolf removed from protections of the Endangered Species Act and trophy hunting seasons commenced; after all, wasn’t that the target goals of each of the states’ fish and game departments?

And so how’s that “aggressive” hunting and trapping going to reduce wolf populations?

If any of this isn’t complicated and wrought with emotion and irrational thinking enough already, in an email exchange I received today, the idea was presented that hunting a token number of wolves, in other words, managing them as a game species and classified as a trophy animal, might actually be only amounting to breeding a healthier, less stressful wolf that will eat more elk, deer and moose and become an even larger creature than it already is, further capable of killing more and bigger prey.

This idea is based in science, although those who don’t like the science disregard it. The science is the topic of wolf size. Most people are of the thought that a wolf’s size is determined by the species or subspecies the wolf comes from. I’m not going to pretend I have a full grasp of this science but will pass on that the essence of wolf size is determined mostly by food supply.

Consider then this premise to manage wolves as a big game species, which is what is being done in Montana and Idaho. The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which includes managing game for surplus harvest, has worked marvelously well over the years, producing in places too many of certain game species. We certainly don’t want that for wolves as the proportion of wolves to prey/game species will soon get all out of whack. Our only hope then, is that the fish and game departments will fail as miserably managing wolves as they have elk, moose and mule/whitetail deer.

There is a reason why honest wildlife managers classify bona fide game animals as such and coyotes (and it should be also wolves) varmints to be shot and killed on site. It’s the only way to keep them at bay. This would be considered an aggressive move toward wolf control. Anything, short of an all out organized program to extirpate the wolf, would work just dandy and would never danger the future existence of this animal.
End

In the years that I have written about wolves, wolf “management” and the political nonsense that goes hand in hand with it, it certainly appears to me that there has become quite an effort among sportsmen to protect THEIR “trophy” wolf hunts. Is that in the best interest of actually regaining a vibrant elk, deer and moose population, that is supposed to be managed for surplus harvest, according to Idaho code?

In its most basic form, at least ask yourself how that “aggressive” trophy wolf hunting is effecting the elk, deer and moose herds? At the same time, what has become and continues to become of those elk tags? There just aren’t enough “trophy” wolf hunters to be effective and supporting the farce perpetuated by Idaho Fish and Game isn’t helping. It’s the same as buying a fifth of gin for a gin-soaked homeless fool.

As was relayed to me today, it seems the, “participants are in a race for the final bull elk or big buck in various units.” That’s the direction it seems we are headed.

Here’s a mini refresher course in promised wolf management. When the Final Environmental Impact Statement was approved, leading to the Final Rule on Wolf Reintroduction, the citizens of the Northern Rocky Mountain Region, where wolves were to be (re)introduced, were promised several things. First, we were promised that wolves would be “recovered,” a viable, self-sustaining population, when 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves existed in three separate wolf management zones for three consecutive years. Those numbers were achieved by 2003. What happened? Nothing but lawsuits and wolves didn’t finally get delisted until 2011 due to legislative action.

All promises made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were based on 30 breeding pairs and 300 wolves. They lied!

Second, citizens of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming were promised that wolves would have no measurable impact on wild game herds. The only thing that might possibly be needed was a slight 10% or less reduction in cow elk tags should the occasion arise for the need to boost elk production in exceptional cases.

So, I ask. How many elk tags have been lost since those promises were made? As a matter of fact, all promises made were reneged on. There is no reason to believe or support anything promised us by government. Stop giving government money to run their con game. At this rate game animals will all be gone soon enough and no hunting opportunities will prevail….except possibly trophy wolf tags.

What will it be. As the old saying goes, “Pay me now or pay me later.”

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Wyoming Project Secures Access to 47,000 Acres of Public Land

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—Hunters, anglers, hikers and those who enjoy other forms of outdoor recreation will benefit from a recent Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation project in Wyoming.

RMEF worked with a private landowner, Linda Zager, and several other partners to permanently protect and open access to 160 acres of prime elk and riparian habitat in southwest Wyoming.

“This small piece of property provides important habitat for elk and other wildlife but since we conveyed it to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), it is also now open to the public and improves additional access to approximately 47,000 acres of surrounding public land,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer.

The tract is nestled in the Wyoming Range at the confluence of Miller and La Barge Creeks which feature vital spawning and rearing habitat for the Colorado River cutthroat trout. In addition, it provides winter range for elk and is a key migration route for elk, moose, mule deer and other wildlife.

RMEF also worked with the BLM and a local contractor to repair what was an impassible road through the property.

The project links the Lake Mountain Wilderness Study Area, Miller Mountain Management Area, additional BLM lands and the Bridger-Teton National Forest while also providing public access and parking.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund’s Sportsmen Recreational Access and RMEF provided funding for this project.

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Small Wyoming Project Yields Big Public Access Benefits

MISSOULA, Mont.—Thousands of acres of previously difficult to access public land in western Wyoming are now accessible thanks to efforts by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its partners.

“Chalk this up as a win-win on several different fronts,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “This project provides public access for hunters and others who enjoy the outdoors but it also permanently protects important habitat for elk and other wildlife.”

RMEF, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) and private landowners teamed up to permanently protect a 44-acre tract in western Teton County that improves access to 6,400 acres of nearby Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Caribou-Targhee National Forest lands. The property also provides a contiguous public route from the lowlands of the Teton River Valley to the sprawling Jedediah Smith Wilderness Area and the Grand Teton National Park beyond that.

“Sportsmen and the public had a difficult time accessing BLM and National Forest land south of Teton Creek unless they knew a property owner in the area,” said Doug Brimeyer, wildlife management coordinator for the WGFD’s Jackson Regional Office. “The partnership that developed from this acquisition was spearheaded by several RMEF members and is a great example of how local members and sportsmen can get involved and make a difference. WGFD is excited about the newest access area in Wyoming and looks forward to working with RMEF in the future.”

The tract features riparian, mountain forest, meadow and foothills habitat beneficial to elk, moose, mule deer, grizzly and black bear, mountain lion, Canada lynx and other wildlife.

“This property was brought to our attention by father-daughter RMEF members Jeff and Lexi Daugherty. They helped us with key relationships and efforts along the way, and we are grateful for their involvement,” added Henning.

In addition to the generous contribution of the van Meerendonk family, funding contributions from WGFD, Jackson Hole Land Trust, Wyoming Wildlife Foundation, private donors and RMEF’s Torstenson Family Endowment helped complete the acquisition.

RMEF uses TFE funding solely to further its core mission programs of permanent land protection, habitat stewardship, elk restoration and hunting heritage.

WGFD takes over management of the property just in time for Wyoming’s big game general hunting season.

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Major Landscape Project to Benefit Wyoming Wildlife Habitat

Press Release from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation committed $365,000 toward a multi-year aspen and forest restoration project on Wyoming’s Shoshone National Forest.

“This is what the RMEF is all about,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “This collaborative landscape-scale partnership will implement a series of strategic projects using active vegetation management that will have a positive impact on elk populations, habitat and hunting opportunity.”

The two targeted areas within the Shoshone National Forest are in Long Creek west of Dubois and in the South Pass area south of Lander which is on the southern end of the Wind River Mountain Range.

“The Shoshone National Forest is very fortunate to have an outstanding partnership with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation,” said Joe Alexander, Shoshone National Forest supervisor. “We are working to leverage funds from additional partners in an attempt to better utilize the RMEF grants to perform landscape scale projects on previously identified elk migration corridors on the Shoshone National Forest. We would not be able to appropriately manage the Shoshone National Forest resources at this scale without this key partner.”

Habitat stewardship projects include aspen enhancement, prescribed fire, fence removal, timber harvest and thinning, and noxious weed control across a targeted landscape covering approximately 260,000 acres. The individual treatments begin in 2016 and, depending on the specific approach and acreage to be covered, will take place over the next five to ten years.

“It’s a big win for elk on the Shoshone National Forest because it’s a key migration route in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. And it’s a big win for the overall health of the forest which benefits moose, mule deer, ruffed grouse and many other non-game species that live there too,” said Blake Henning, RMEF vice president of Lands and Conservation. “The interagency cooperation to pull this all together has been somewhat rare and exemplary.”

In addition to RMEF, other project members include the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Wyoming Game and Fish, state forest personnel and other groups and organizations.

Planning for this landscape project has been in the works for about five years. It will benefit more than 12,000 elk and a wide variety of other species.

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Benevolent Wolves & Stubborn States

*Editor’s Note* – I have taken the liberty to highlight the paragraph that I think is the absolute best. It sums it all up.

By James Beers

The following is a response to two assertions about wolves in Wyoming and my recent article about the recent elk predation by wolves on 19 elk in one March night on an elk wintering ground.  These came to me from Utah by way of California.

1.)       They (i.e. wolves) only kill what they need to eat!!!!

2.)      As I understand the problem…the Feds have been after the state of Wyoming to write a “Wolf management Plan” that they can approve so management can be turned over to state F & G …..but WY refuses to take the word ‘Predator”  out and the general philosophy that:

          “WOLVES NEED KILLIN ANY TIME AND ANYPLACE”…..so the Feds won’t approve their plan,

As to Question #1; wolves by definition must kill to sustain themselves.  All sorts of things enter into what they kill and what they attempt to kill:

–       There is the difficulty of killing the prey.

–       There is the opportunity to kill the prey.

–       There is the energy-expended/calorie-reward ratio of potential prey.

–       There is the desirability of the prey (i.e. veal v. a rotting carcass).

–       There is the state of hunger of the wolf.

–       There is the need to feed young in a den.

–       There is anticipated danger from attacking certain prey.

–       There is the behavioral experience of the wolves.

–       There are the dangers associated with certain locations.

–       There is the anticipation of future food opportunities.

–       There is the physical condition of the wolf or wolves.

Wolves will kill and eat any mammal or bird at any given time.  They routinely kill and eat adult, young and unborn (evidently a preferred meal) of everything from big game and livestock to dogs and, yes, humans.  While they prefer live prey and freshly-killed meat; wolves scavenge freely when food is scarce as in winters or when pushed into unfamiliar territory.

History is full, yes full, of incidents of wolves attacking and killing joggers, hikers, shepherds, children, old ladies, soldiers, loggers (one even while operating a chain saw), Native Americans, Europeans, Russians, Christians, Moslems, etc. from Oregon to Massachusetts and Ireland to Kazakhstan and Kamchatka.  Some wolves had rabies, some were spreading Smallpox from feeding on the dying and many just dragged the carcass into nearby vegetation and ate their fill and went on.  Anyone with half an interest in history realizes that most such attacks were never reported or documented for centuries while those living with the wolves had no doubts about what was happening and accordingly invested enormous time, money and scarce resources to control and eliminate wolves from the time of Plato and before, to North American Colonists and Western Expansion settlers and ranchers.

When wolves, just like a pack of dogs running loose from some town, encounter a flock of sheep; or some deer in deep snow; or some kids at a rural bus stop; or elk near some fence or cliff; or some jogger on a lonely road running away from them; or some unfamiliar dogs; or some or a coyote; or some old lady walking to her mailbox; they quickly run down the items listed above and make a decision.  Whether we call it “fun” or “surplus killing” or a “behavioral response” is immaterial.  When the decision to chase or attack or simply to boldly investigate is made; the outcome, especially if it is a pack of wolves or a pack of dogs, is too often harmful to human life, human interests, human society and what the Founding Fathers called “domestic Tranquility” – A Primary and Stated Reason Why The States Drafted, Signed and Agreed To “this Constitution for the United States of America” that established a federal government.

Wolves and free-ranging dogs often attack flocks of sheep or llamas or a group of calves or a herd of wintering deer or a moose cow close to giving birth just like sharks attack a school of mullet or swordfish attack a school of young tuna or wintering striped bass attack a school of menhaden; that is to say they slash, bite, and stab as quickly as they can and then eat what is unable to escape or that has been made into pieces.  They do this until they are full or until they find nothing left to eat.  Wolves and dogs will do the same and when they are “done” chasing, biting, and killing they may eat some of the choicest parts like eating out a cow’s rear-end while she lives and pulling out and devouring the fetus.

Every one of you urban wolf-lovers knows this and fears it about dogs roaming free in your neighborhood as you quickly call 911 or “the Animal Warden” and demand big fines and even jail for persons that let their dog or dogs loose, or that fail to get them vaccinated or wormed or keep them leashed – YET you whinny about how wolves (wild, unvaccinated, undomesticated, big, hungry, etc.) are NOT like that!  It is so stupid it defies a sensible answer.

The most important part about this Romance Biology theorem that “They only kill what they need to eat!!!!” is that it is then inserted into Environmental Voodoo for the media as in, “A wolf only needs 1493 calories a day to sustain itself and an average cow moose weighs 857 lbs. that provides 60, 472 calories: therefore it only takes 8 moose to sustain 2,376 wolves so don’t believe this stuff about wolves having to kill livestock or elk or deer or dogs or certainly not humans when only a few big game animals lost are of no concern except to a few greedy and selfish hunters.” Just like it takes a whole lot more mullet and menhaden to sustain those sharks and swordfish and striped bass than what they eat and just like all those urban mothers fear dogs harming or attacking children; the ideas that wolves ”never” attack people, and that wolves have some magical brain brake that tells them to stop when they have killed, “what they need to eat!!!!”, and that wolves should stick around a carcass (a dangerous thing to do) until it is “all cleaned up” despite preferring fresh meat: these things are the “issue” of the marriage of Romance Biology and Environmental Voodoo ground into documentary fecal matter for the general public.

As to Question # 2; I must immediately dismiss the pejorative statement “WOLVES NEED KILLIN ANY TIME AND ANYPLACE”.  It is silly to request a serious answer when you treat those that do not agree with you like Presidential candidate Kerry applying for an Ohio Hunting License saying, “is this where I can get me one of those huntin’ licenses?”  If you are going to write “killing” I suggest you put a “g” on the end and, even though they are fictitious assertions, write ANY TIME and ANYPLACE as either one word or two words but not in two different preferences separated only by “and”.  More than a few of us advocates for local authority over what is or is not in OUR environment do not drag our knuckles as we walk nor do we have more tattoos than teeth; those are simply fund-raising ploys spread by those environmental/animal rights organizations behind much of this issue.
As to everything else in your question before the final 7 words, I agree with your statement.  It is those last 7 words, “so the Feds won’t approve their plan”, that are the crux of the problem not only in Wyoming but in virtually every Local Community in the Lower 48 States that has been forced and coerced into hosting and living with wolves and the uncounted harms they cause to those forced to live with them.  Believe it or not, many of us feel strongly that the federal (government, politicians, bureaucrats, agencies, Law – take your pick) has NO authority, right or business imposing wolves (or grizzlies or mountain lions for that matter) on ANY Community that is not willing to accept or tolerate them!

So, “so the Feds won’t approve their plan”, by what authority do “the Feds” “approve” any State’s wolf “plan”?  Wolves cause great and irresolvable harm to residents and those residents elect state and local officials with the demand that they call wolves “predators” and that they should control the numbers, densities and distribution of wolves.  They tell local officials that they want wolves kept out of their County and that any entering their County should be dispatched by ballistic vaccination or traps or snares or however.  Do citizens have this right?

Further, if the states continue taking their homework (i.e. Plans) to federal overseers for “approval” they will NEVER regain the authority and jurisdiction stolen from them by the un-Constitutional Endangered Species Act and the lawless and tyrannical bureaucratic behavior it has spawned to the great detriment of rural America.  The ESA needs either a severe rewrite or better yet complete repeal.  The ESA is a Law; that is a lesser matter than a Constitutional Amendment.  When the 18th Amendment (the Volstead Act, i.e. Prohibition) was similarly passed and then ratified as a Constitutional Amendment in a comparable orgy of do-goodism, it took only 14 years for Americans to see the corruption and death it manufactured such that they Repealed that Amendment.  The ESA is similarly creating corruption and destruction far beyond this narrow portion of its reach and should be Repealed and that sound goal is only shoved further down the road when a State like Wyoming (most others have behaved like ladies of the evening for the federal favors “getting along” brings) humbly begs federal bureaucrats to “approve” what they do or don’t do with a Resident Predator that does not belong in settled landscapes and is no more in short supply (i.e. “endangered”, “threatened” or “of special concern”) in the United States (Alaska, Montana and Minnesota were doing just fine before the ESA) than are sparrows or starlings.

Consider the irony of someone telling you that they will only let you manage (?) your (?) wolves if they “approve” what you will or will not do!  In other words your employees and your operational dollars will do what the feds tell you to do or not do or they will simply “step back in”.  Then we can all warble about how “getting along” is the Only way to go.  Otherwise you are a “what”?  There must be an “ist” or “phobe” word for anyone adhering to a Constitutional view of wolves and State’s Rights.

There is so much else swirling about these wolves than all the simplistic chatter about “only killing what they eat” and how ignorant some states are about their subservience to federal masters.  This attempted answer actually reveals the egregious violations of the Preamble to the Constitution birthed by the ESA and exposes the current idea that the one sentence comprising the 10th Amendment is being ignored as the final word in the relationship between the States and the federal government!

Now that we have come to this point; the question I have is “where do we all go from here?”

Jim Beers

28 March 2016

If you found this worthwhile, please share it with others.  Thanks.

Jim Beers is a retired US Fish & Wildlife Service Wildlife Biologist, Special Agent, Refuge Manager, Wetlands Biologist, and Congressional Fellow. He was stationed in North Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York City, and Washington DC.  He also served as a US Navy Line Officer in the western Pacific and on Adak, Alaska in the Aleutian Islands.  He has worked for the Utah Fish & Game, Minneapolis Police Department, and as a Security Supervisor in Washington, DC.  He testified three times before Congress; twice regarding the theft by the US Fish & Wildlife Service of $45 to 60 Million from State fish and wildlife funds and once in opposition to expanding Federal Invasive Species authority.  He resides in Eagan, Minnesota with his wife of many decades.

Jim Beers is available to speak or for consulting. 

You can receive future articles by sending a request with your e-mail address to:   jimbeers7@comcast.net

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Lies by Wildlife Experts Repeated by Ignorant Media

The Christian Science Monitor has an article about the 19 elk that were slaughtered by wolves at a feeding ground near Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It is full of lies and ignorant repetitions, all void of any sort of journalistic effort to find truth…as they claim is their “responsibility.” (Note: Odd isn’t it that when someone tries to shut the Media up, they scream First Amendment, citing their responsibility to seek out the truth and report it to the people. And yet, they seldom practice anything that resembles the reporting of truth. All they are interested in is protecting their free political platform disguised as The Press.)

Here’s a breakdown of some of the things written in that article:

First, was this: “If you like wolves, you call it surplus killing,” said US Fish and Wildlife Service Northern Rockies wolf coordinator Mike Jimenez to the Jackson Hole Daily. “If you don’t like wolves, you call it sport hunting.”

This just simply is not true. I am more inclined that the reason Jimenez opted to recite such nonsense is to perpetuate the divide and hatred between people in what most see as a wolf love/hate relationship. The existence of the false paradigm that people either hate wolves or loves wolves, is one of the reasons nothing constructive can be done, especially with dialogue to resolve negative wolf issues. But isn’t that just the way it is intended to be?

It matters not whether you like wolves, hate wolves, worship wolves or want to kill all wolves, wolves often kill far more prey than they ever intend to eat. For anyone to send up a huge distraction such as giving the event two names and pinning those names on one side of those who “like” wolves and those that “don’t like” wolves, is not only irresponsible but indicates a bent toward other sinister objectives.

Second, we read: “Wolves leaving such a large killing uneaten in a single night is unusual..” No, leaving a large kill scene without eating it is common and is an integral part of the existence, instincts and survival of wolves. It’s what they do. It is more than dishonest to attempt to cover up this reality and is irresponsible to print it in the Media in order to mislead or propagandize the masses.

Third, we observe this contradiction: “Mr. Jimenez said the spring snows may have weakened the elk herd, or perhaps the wolves were hungry at the end of winter and simply didn’t stop.”

If the wolves were “hungry” because it was the “end of winter” then that would be reason to understand that the wolves would have eaten their prey. They didn’t. They only killed! Get it? This is a typical tactic used as a way of convincing the public that the wolves did nothing wrong. Always protect the wolf. Always put down the man.

Fourth: “Since wolves usually kill only what they need to eat, the unusual hunt has spurred debate about wolf management.” 

This is yet another attempt to substantiate the criminal action of protecting a large predator that takes and threatens private property as well as the safety of the people. Wolves don’t “usually” only eat what they kill. That is established scientific evidence. They are opportunistic killers. Then when the Media echos the B.S. calling the wolf hunt “unusual,” followed by the lie that this “unusual hunt” is what spurs on debate about wolf management, we see the effort to protect the wolf. What spurs on debate about wolf management is corruption that existed at the time the wolves were illegally introduced into the Greater Yellowstone region, using money stolen from the excise taxes collected from outdoor sportsmen who thought that money was going to be used to enhance game, habit and opportunities, not on programs designed to end it all.

What spurs on the debate about wolf management is the continued lying, cheating and stealing that goes on with the Federal Government and their NGO partners in crime.

What spurs on the debate about wolf management is the endless onslaught of lawsuits that steals money from taxpayers and exposes the corrupt judicial system that crawls in bed with the environmentalists to carry out their large predator protection programs for the purpose of destroying private property rights and the right of people to grow food, be happy and eke out a living.

There are far, far bigger things that spur on wolf management debate than wanton, wasteful, mass-killing of prey by wolves. Surplus killing by wolves is no more unusual than the amount of disease that they spread and the cross-breeding with coyotes, domestic dogs and other hybrid canine animals.

Fifth, is this misleading statement: “Ranchers are gradually accepting that the wolves are there to stay…”

This is propaganda at its most obvious. If the media repeats this often enough, people actually begin to believe it to be truth. They want to believe. That’s what they have been programmed to want.

Are ranchers really accepting the wolf? I’ve not seen that. As a matter of fact, I see just the opposite. I see more and more ranchers organizing to fight against the protection and perpetuation of the destructive wolf – a creature that is a huge threat to the livestock industry. I see them demanding of their Congressional representatives to do something about controlling the numbers of large predators. I see them calling B.S. on the fake “compensation” programs that the public has been lied to about. Ranchers are NOT willing to accept the wolf and go away defeated by a bunch of perverted animal lovers, so ignorant they can’t recognize that they are destroying themselves.

During the process that led up to the illegal introduction of wolves, Ed Bangs, the government puppet who undertook the sales job of convincing the people wolves would be good and were necessary, said that the future of the wolves depended on the social acceptance of the nasty animal. If that is true, then why have the environmentalists done everything in their power to ensure and perpetuate a great divide between the wolf worshipers and everybody else?

When wolves, or any large predator, moves in and destroys livestock, there’s little good that can be said about the assailants. Nothing being done to stop the attacks (don’t be fooled to think that any stock grower is equitably compensated for any losses) is not a formula that will foment good public relations with the wolf.

The short of it is that for the environmentalist, it is never enough. If there were 100,000 wolves in the Lower 48, that wouldn’t be enough. If every livestock item was destroyed by wolves, that wouldn’t be enough. The bastards lied to us right from the beginning…and that includes the government liars. There was never any intention to stop protecting wolves when they reached 300. There is no intention to ever stop growing wolves, as there is never enough for them. Man must go. Wolves must grow. Wolves are one tool that destroys American heritage.

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