Noble Wolf, © Larry Gambon

Wolf Weekly Wrap Up

Success for Arizona’s Mexican Gray Wolves: Arizona Governor Vetoes Bad Bills  

Last week, we updated you on the status of bad bills making their way through Arizona’s state legislature. But this week, we have some great news to report! Arizona’s Governor Brewer vetoed two anti-wolf bills.

Mexican gray wolf, © AZGFD

Mexican wolf, F511, in a holding pen before release into the wild.

The first would have given ranchers permission to kill endangered Mexican wolves on public land. If passed, this legislation would have put the recovery of endangered Mexican gray wolves at greater risk. The second bill called wolves “varmints” and aimed to end state participation in Mexican wolf recovery efforts unless the federal government coughed up funding for a vague laundry list of problems. We are thrilled that Governor Brewer has vetoed these senseless bills, which were more about making a statement about states’ rights than solving any important issues related to Mexican gray wolves. A third bill, which sought to establish a war chest of taxpayer money to fight federal efforts to recover the lobos, hasn’t made it out of the legislature.

Elk, © Michael Bazant

Record elk harvest in Wyoming proves there are still plenty to go around.

Poachers Kill More Elk in Idaho Than Do Wolves 

According to an article this week, poachers in Idaho killed more elk, moose and deer than wolves did in 2013. Officials reported 30 elk, four moose, 13 mule deer and 57 whitetail deer were killed by poachers in northern Idaho in 2013. They said that based on their estimates of undetected illegal killing,  poachers are actually killing as many as 600 elk, 80 moose, 260 mule deer and 1,000 whitetail deer annually in the region and thousands more statewide. Too often Idaho places the blame for declining elk hunting opportunities on wolves. This bit of news coverage sheds some light on a more significant threat to elk—illegal killing—instead of using wolves as a scapegoat.