10 December 2010 Wolf Weekly Wrap-up Posted by: John Motsinger | 1 comment | Share: From bad to worse in Idaho: Idaho Gov. “Butch” Otter has made no secret of his desire to get rid of wolves, and this week the state Fish and Game Commission took another step toward making that happen. The Commission voted unanimously to suspend the 2008 state management plan that called for maintaining between 500 and 700 wolves on the ground. State wildlife managers will now revert to the 2002 management plan adopted by the Idaho Legislature that allows all but 150 wolves to be killed. Though wolves are currently still protected under the Endangered Species Act, it’s clear that Idaho intends to kill hundreds of wolves as soon as they get the chance. At the end of 2009, an estimated 835 wolves were in Idaho, leaving almost 700 of them at risk of being wiped out if management objectives are aggressively pursued by the state. Timber wolf pups play-fighting in Minnesota. Not so fast, Minnesota: Some bizarre fever must be sweeping across the nation. After hearing that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was meeting with Western governors to negotiate a legislative delisting for wolves, Sen. Amy Klobuchar wrote a letter to the Secretary requesting the same. The difference is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has already initiated the process of delisting for wolves in the Great Lakes based on the relatively sound management plans in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin. Apparently that’s not good enough for Klobuchar, as her letter announces her plans to introduce legislation that will short-circuit proper scientific review by the Fish and Wildlife Service in favor of an expedited political outcome. Coexistence in Montana: Don’t mind the scary picture, this story from the UK Guardian about Montana’s Blackfoot Challenge is still worth a read. These Montana ranchers are using guard dogs, electric fencing, cowboys and other nonlethal strategies to safeguard livestock and deter wolves. Defenders has been a leading partner in implementing similar projects across the West to promote coexistence between livestock and wolves. For more details, be sure to check out our Wolf Coexistence Partnership page. Wolves need a new PR agent: We all know there’s often a disconnect between reality and what we see in the media, and now we have some good evidence to support that claim. Jeremy Bruskotter at Ohio State University has done a comprehensive survey of media expressions about wolves over the past decade and found that bad attitudes have little to do with actual experience. As the Public News Service reported this week, Bruskotter’s study showed that regions with permanent populations and the most wolves have a better opinion of them than regions with new populations and fewer wolves. Bruskotter also argued in a BioScience Forum this week that this kind of social science research should be included by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as part of important decision-making regarding endangered species. A good steward in Michigan: In an letter to his local newspaper in Michigan, Mike Sagataw explains the importance of protecting wolves: “I am writing this letter on behalf of Ma’iingan (Wolf) for his protection from those who intend to harm and kill him. In the Indian world the wolf is known as Brother, Mentor, Guide, and Companion. This is the way Gichi-manidoo (God) intended. The wolf is a part of the balance of nature. Where wolves live you will find the surrounding environment is healthy and thriving. The wolves living here in the U.P. are protected by the Endangered Species Act. The Native American world view is quite different than the European in regards to Mother Earth and all living things. In the book of Genesis we are told that “God gave man dominion” over all other life. In fact, that is a mistranslation. The more accurate translation of the Hebrew would be “God made man to be a steward” over all other life. Quite a different focus! To be steward means to manage or administer the property of someone else. In other words the property does not belong to you, you are taking care of it for someone else whose property it is.” The wolf is a part of the balance of nature. Where wolves live you will find the surrounding environment is healthy and thriving. Slob hunters, not wolves, bad for elk: Nick Gevock reports that unethical hunters in Montana may be doing more damage to elk herds than any other predator, including wolves. He shares an anecdote from the field in which careless hunters spray a herd of elk with bullets and don’t bother to claim the fallen. Maybe it’s time for some hunters to stop blaming wolves and start cleaning up their act. They could have more elk to show for it. Ben Long had a similar story to tell about poaching in a post that originally appeared on the Writers on the Range blog at High Country News: “Each wolf that gets shot illegally and stuffed down a badger hole is one more setback for those who want wolves off the endangered species list. It’s also one more piece of evidence for those who say western states cannot be trusted to manage their wildlife.” “Wolfer” tells all: Carter Niemeyer, former wolf recovery coordinator for Idaho, dishes out the good, the bad and the ugly with the release of his memoir this week. Wolfer tells the story of a young man who leaves Iowa to trap animals out West and finds himself in the thick of wolf reintroduction for years to come. Niemeyer chronicles his transformation from wolf killer with USDA’s Animal Damage Control to wolf advocate in charge of maintaining Idaho’s wolves. Read a review here. One Response to “Wolf Weekly Wrap-up” Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in A Place in the Sun for Right Whales Endangered North Atlantic right whales can breathe a sigh of relief! NMFS has made their slow-speed zones permanent, granting much-needed protection from ship strikes to these vulnerable whales. Wild Holiday Gift Ideas Looking for the perfect gift for the wildlife-lover in your life? Here’s a collection of gift ideas perfect for you. Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Recap of Pinetop Hearing; Celebrating Sucesses: 700,000 comments from wolf supports in to USFWS regarding wolf delisting proposal; this week USDA annouces they plan to audit Wildlife Services Predator Program. Also- another call to action for our supporters: Tell your Congressman to sign Grijalva and Fitzpatrick’s letter endorsing continued protection of gray wolves!