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Three more Idaho wolves killed after livestock depredation

Idaho wolves

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There are three fewer wolves near Stanley, Idaho, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services (USDA-WS) removed them after they killed six sheep. The USDA-WS killed the wolves earlier this month at the request of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG). Since June 30, due to continued livestock depredation in the area, a total of 49 wolves (including the most recent three) have been killed in Idaho by the USDA-WS after 61 confirmed wolf kills of livestock (nine adult cows, 29 calves, and 23 sheep), The Spokesman Review reports.

The decision to eliminate the most recent three has resulted in a vocal opposition by Western Watersheds Project. The group said that the lethal removal of the wolves within the Sawtooth National Forest’s Recreation Area was unnecessary as livestock grazing is only allowed “if it doesn’t ‘substantially impair’ wildlife conservation.”

“Wildlife Services, Idaho Fish and Game, and the Forest Service have time-and-time again shown that they care more about perpetuating economically marginal grazing operations than protecting native wildlife,” Scott Lake, Idaho director of Western Watersheds Project, said in a statement.

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Yet, according to The Spokesman Review, a 2008 analysis completed by the U.S. Forest Service—the agency that manages the land and controls the number of sheep grazing permits—“determined that sheep grazing would not substantially impair wildlife conservation” in that area. Thus, sheep grazing is permitted and wolves that attack livestock repeatedly in this area must be removed.

“In this case, it took killing several wolves before the rest of the pack backed off,” Tom Curet, IDFG supervisor for the Salmon Region where the wolves were killed, told The Spokesman Review. “They’re not causing any problems right now.”

Curet says that is the first wolf-livestock conflict in the basin this year. Wolves were removed from the Endangered Species List in Idaho in 2015. According to The Spokesman Review, IDFG currently estimates that 90 wolf packs roam the state.


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Josh S. - posted 8 months ago on 08-01-2018 12:03:00 pm
S.E. Idaho

Call me crazy but I partially agree with WWP on this. I'd much rather have wolves in our national forests than non-native sheep destroying the landscape and spreading pneumonia. I see the destruction livestock do to our public lands every year and it is pretty disheartening. To kill wolves for doing wolf things to a non-native species such as sheep doesn't sit well with me.

And I also agree with what Sean M. said and fully support wolf hunting so I am some sort of flip flopper.

Robert B. - posted 8 months ago on 07-29-2018 07:53:27 pm

I am sure what TD was referring to is the canadian gray wolf is not native. The wolves that were native to Idaho were timber wolves. Calling a canadian wolf the same would be like calling a silver salmon a king salmon.... same genus , different species

Sean M. - posted 8 months ago on 07-23-2018 09:30:01 pm

TD, to say these wolves were not native to Idaho is not exactly correct. There is documentation of wolves in Idaho, specifically eastern, of their presence in the early 1800's. While they do have an impact that us hunters don't like to see, they are native to Idaho just as Grizzly's once roamed what is present day Golden Gate Park (also well documented). Just for a quick reference, see the below link, specifically pages 22-24 of the document.

Guess we just need to get out and fill more wolf tags.

T D. - posted 8 months ago on 07-21-2018 09:05:15 pm

Only problem, these wolves were introduced and were not native to Idaho. They have also impacted deer and elk herds aside from the threat to livestock