The Cry for Wolf Management

There are many aspects to those who call for wolf management.  Amidst claims of savage "thrill" killings of elk by wolves, fears of residents for the safety of their children and pets, and outrage from ranchers over the loss of livestock there are is also scientific backing to the role of management in the overall health of the ecosystem and the coexistence of wolves and humans.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

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Upon the removal of the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf from the endangered species list, control over it's management went to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) as a game species.  Following years of monitoring in association with the Nez Perce Indian tribe, the decision to manage the population by instituting a controled hunting season was approved.

The file below is the Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan for 2008-2012 that was adopted March 6, 2008.
popmanageplan_idaho.pdf
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Below you will find the 2007 Progress Report on Wolf Conservation and Management in Idaho prepared majoratively by the Nez Perce Indian tribe.  From these reports, harvest limits were set for the 2008-2012 management plan.
nez_perce_progress_report.pdf
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File Type: pdf
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Upon the end of the 2009-2010 wolf hunting season the IDFG released this video summarizing what is deemed as a successful season.

"Organization" and Activist Involvement

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The National Rifle Association (NRA) has gotten into the fray supporting hunters rights and helping to defend them in a lawsuit aimed at preventing environmentalists from obtaining the names of hunters and harassing them.
Seen here, the NRA is advertising a "Wolf Impact Rally" which was organized to draw attention to the detrimental effect of wolves on the decline of popular ungulate (elk mostly) game species.
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Local protest in Jackson Hole Wyoming titled as a "Wolf Impact Rally".  Local hunting outfitters and concerned citzens attended to protest the status of Wyoming wolves as still being "endangered" (they are still on the ESA list in Wyoming).

 

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The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), an elk conservation group, has become involved in the controversy by coming out in opposition to environmental groups' "mischaracterizations of the real impacts of wolves in the northern Rockies".  The RMEF claims that "pro-wolf" groups have and are attempting to manipulate the endangered species act to meet their own misguided agendas.  Direct "back and forths" between the RMEF and the Defenders of Wildlife can be seen in links to letter from each to the other.

Call from huntsman "Barta" for the hunting of wolves.

 

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The organization "Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife" (SFW) are involved in returning the management of fish and game animals (namely wolves) back to the state and out of the federal governments jurisdiction (through de-listing from the endangered species act).  Most notebly the SFW sponsors annual predator derbies of which this years was the first to include wolves in its list of havestable predators.

 

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Save Elk.com claims to show the TRUTH about wolves and their savage and dangerous habits.  This site is graphic and depicts many of the popular claims against wolves including that the "wrong" wolf was re-introduced to the greater Yellowstone area, that they are spreading deadly diseases which are contratable by humans, and that big government is detrimentally interferring in the lives the everyday man.

First hand take on the wolf controversy by a local hunter who can trace his lineage back to the original extirpation of wolves from the lower 48 states.

"Local" News

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Report on the Lolo zone in Northern Idaho.  Here, dense vegetative cover has allowed wolves to thrive.  As a result it is reported that elk populations numbers have been reduced by over half in the last four years.  The author further reports on the impossibility of a natural balence and further effects of wolves on the ecosystem along with exploring different aspects of the total issue itself.

 

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Report in the Seattle Times about Idaho's management plan.  Interesting report that interviews premiere wolf biologist David Mech (of Isle Royale "fame") who supports Idaho's management plan which involves controlled hunting of wolves.  Mech suggests in the interview that without control wolf populations will continue to increase along with conflicts with humans.  

 

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Interesting article which depicts a conservation group, The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), who is pro-management.  Interesting interactions/arguments between the RMEF and the Defenders of Wildlife are depicted within the article.

 

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This article depicts the plight of many ranchers who face the consequences of wolf depredations to their livestock.  Here an astonishing 120 sheep are claimed to have been killed by a pack of wolves in Montana.  Ranchers call for a stop to wolf "management" and a start to wolf "control". 

Scientific/Technical Backing

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This open letter is cited by pro-management individuals as support from the scientific community (despite said study having been concerned with Canadian populations).  Here population biologist Arthur Bergerud calls for the management of predator species without which certain ungulate species could go extinct before our eyes.

The following article is used by pro-management advocates as proof of declining prey species as a result of increasing wolf populations.  This study showed that as wolf numbers increased, the recruitment four seperate prey species declined.  It was also shown that when packs size was reduced by 60-86% that recolonization was quick within the removed zones (proof that a harvest could be sustainable).
ungulatepopgrowth.pdf
File Size: 335 kb
File Type: pdf
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One of the worries of locals is the risk of an infectious tapeworm (Hydatid Disease) being transmitted from the introduced wolves to not only other animals but humans as well.  Canadian biologist Dr. Valerius Geist confirms the risk of infection with the presence of wolves.

Further editorials are included on the page describing the risk of this disease.