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Feds OK hunting of 60 wolves in north Idaho


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Feds OK hunting of 60 wolves in north Idaho
Author: Auntie P.
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Total Posts: 11361
Date Joined: 7/15/2006
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Posted:

Federal wildlife officials have signaled their preliminary approval for Idaho's petition [submitted last Aug. by IF&G] to kill up to 60 endangered gray wolves from packs that have been preying heavily on big game herds in the upper Clearwater River Basin.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a draft environmental review Thursday in which it proposed to approve a wolf hunt plan in the Lolo zone that had been submitted last August by Idaho Fish and Game. A similar petition from Montana - to remove 12 wolves in the Bitterroot Range - remains pending. (Study begins on survival of elk calves in Bitterroot)<-my insert]

Wolves in the Northern Rockies are listed as an endangered species under a federal court order, but state and federal officials have been looking for ways to curb their population.

The Idaho and Montana hunt proposals stem from a 2008 rule change by the Fish and Wildlife Service that allows states to remove wolves if they are harming deer or elk herds. Federal officials must sign off on the any proposed hunts following a scientific review.

The rule is under a court challenge by wildlife advocates. A hearing in the case is set for next month in Missoula, before U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials stressed Thursday that a final decision on Idaho's plan has not been made. But the federal agency's Idaho supervisor, Brian Kelly said state officials "seem to have provided pretty good data that wolves are a factor" behind declining elk populations in an area known as the Lolo zone.

"They've tried more liberal hunting seasons on other predators like black bears and mountain lions. They've tried habitat improvements, changes in the hunting framework for elk - and they're still not seeing a response" in terms of elk numbers rebounding, Kelly said.

The environmental review published Thursday opens a 30-day comment period. Kelly said it could be weeks or months before a decision is made.

source

The Idaho proposal, if approved, would allow the state to reduce the wolf population in the Lolo Zone to a minimum of 20 to 30 wolves in three to five packs from a current estimated level of 60 to 80 wolves. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game conducted a peer review and hosted a 14-day public comment period on the Lolo Zone proposal prior to submitting it to the Service.

source

USFWS News Release Feb 10, 2011

"The public is encouraged to review the draft EA of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game's request to manage wolves in the Lolo Management Zone in north central Idaho in response to impacts of wolf predation on elk and submit comments on site-specific effects of the proposed action. Written comments and information concerning this proposal can be submitted by one of the following methods:  click here

Comments must be received within 30 days, on or before March 14, 2011.

Protest

Pure politics.Mad  We've been following this for a long time.  The IDFG itself said the habitat was not sufficient to carry the amount of elk it did before!  10j states wolves must have a signficant impact not a compounding one.Frustrated  There are other methods but they have been "eliminated."Thumbs Down  Let's hope that Molloy rules that NRM wolves are no longer experimental non-essential.  



 

Author: Auntie P.
Avatar for Auntie P.
Total Posts: 11361
Date Joined: 7/15/2006
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Posted:

Two interesting articles regarding elk.

"An 80% decline in a major South Dakota elk herd in and around Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park, from 1200 animals down to <200.  They've started helicopter capture and tag study.Watching from the sidelines  It can't be wolves, cause there aren't any?  hmmmmmmIdea click here

"Wildlife officials report that blood test on 12 of 100 elk that were captured in southwestern Montana's Ruby Valley showed signs of exposure to the animal disease brucellosisIdea." click here



 

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