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August 2009

August 21, 2009

Wolves are secretly destroying your life.....

A satirical article written by Chris Millspaugh of the Idaho Mountain Express which gives startling evidence that wolves are in fact responsible for all of your life's problems. That's right, compelling new revelations that everything from meteor showers to corporate espionage can be chalked up to wolves. Who knew that wolves had secretly been destroying our lives! ;)

August 20, 2009

Idaho National Public Radio

Check out these great Idaho NPR radio stories on the Wood River Wolf Project.  Featuring the voice of John Faulkner, one of the ranchers we have been working with in the project area to help reduce wolf and livestock interactions.

Part One
Part Two

August 17, 2009

Wolves running scared

Today, Idaho announced its plan to hunt 220 wolves this hunting season. This is a "conservative" start since their ultimate goal is to reduce the population currently estimated at around 1,000 - to 518. That's only the stated goal -- legally, they can get away with reducing the population down to 150 for three years before the federal goverment would be required to step-in.

It's incredibly heartbreaking and infuriating to see the decades of hard work and cooperation that went into restoring wolves to the region hanging by a thread because of a scientifically unsound federal delisting rule that allows the states' to yield to pressure from those interest groups most opposed to having wolves co-exist in the region. The result is a heavy-handed hunting season and an absurdly low population goal for a species that only just came off the endangered species list less than six months ago!

Wolves will be hunted in Idaho beginning on September 1st and we intend to file a preliminary injunction this week to prevent the hunt, and temporarily restore protections to wolves.

Wish us luck!

August 13, 2009

Big Wood River Wolf Project Continues....

The field team are instructed in the setting up of the turbofladry

The field team are instructed in the setting up of the turbofladry

Defenders' Big Wood River Wolf Project, in the beautiful Sawtooth Mountains of central Idaho, is approaching the end of phase one. In just a few days the last of the sheep bands that graze throughout this area will leave the Big Wood River Valley, and out of the designated project area. There will be a few weeks respite for our tireless fields crew until the sheep bands trail back through the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and into Ketchum for the annual 'Trailing of the Sheep'. To give you a taste of what it is involved working on this project, I will let the field team speak for themselves. Below are some excerpts from their field notes, be sure to check out photos from the project on Flickr.


I Drove to North Cherry Creek to find the herder’s camp. Eugenio told me about the big black wolf that Nedwin, the other herder, saw chasing one of their guard dogs this morning at 0930hrs. Nedwin hollered and the wolf broke off. Then Eugenio told me that some activity in yonder wet meadow heading up the canyon has some kind of wolf activity in it, that he smelled wolf in a couple of spots and that he saw wolf pup scat on both sides of the meadow in the timber. This is probably why he asked me if I brought the fladry fence! We walked the length of the bench adjacent to his camp looking for a good bedding area to enclose. After deciding on a spot, I put fladry along about 100 yards of the bottom, 100 yards uphill on the end and 150 yards across the top. This suited him and I made my camp outside the fence toward the open end. The sheep were herded in around 2100hrs and promptly laid down.

Next day: I packed up camp and waited for herder to arrive. The sheep started to move away and lower so I followed behind waiting for Eugenio to show up. At 0630hrs I saw a black object in a green meadow ¼ mile below me. I waited and it moved. Then the dogs saw it and the chase was on. It was a wolf and it ran down the canyon and across the path of Eugenio and his horse. They’re everywhere!

The field team practice with telemetry

The field team practice with telemetry


6PM: I parked my car on the side of the Forest Service road, and started to get my equipment ready for the night ahead. I heard some rustling in the bushes behind me, and when I turned around I was surprised to see a black bear coming into a clearing about 100 yards from me. It looked like he was curious to see who I was, and wanted to come in for a closer look. I grabbed my starter pistol, and started firing. The bear quickly turned tail and disappeared over the ridge.

7 PM: I spotted the male of the Phantom Hill above fladry fence, it appeared to be collared. I got a strong signal from PH1, the female of the pack. It left area upon my approach.

9 PM: The sheep band had been herded into and is fully contained in the fladry night corral. I detected the signal for PH1 below ridge-toward the highway.

10PM: Weak signals detected from both collared Phantom Hill wolves. I was coming from the direction across the canyon, near river. It was at a lower elevation than the sheep band.

11PM: Still detecting weak signals from both collared Phantom Hill wolves. They appear to have moved up the drainage to northeast, with the dogs barking in pursuit. I picked up weak signals for rest of night until the early morning. As you can see the Big Wood River Valley is home to a varied variety of predators, be they bears, coyotes or wolves.

This area is alsoused by hikers, fly-fishers and wildlife watchers in summer, and skiers and snowshoe-ers in the winter, and from June to October over 12,000 sheep graze this valley each year. Balancing all these different uses involves good communication and cooperation between the sheep producers, locals, wildlife biologists and the different state and federal agencies. By working together to reduce conflicts between the wolves and sheep, we can help make this a real working landscape, and possible for wildlife and people to peacefully coexist.

August 05, 2009

Idaho Commissioner thinks wolf hunts will happen no matter what....

Disturbing words from the Idaho Game Commissioner indicating that some hunters in Idaho may wind up continuing with wolf hunts this fall whatever the outcome of the lawsuit that has been filed over the delisting.

Killer fall for wolves....

Prices for licenses have been set and are ready to go. Despite elk numbers being higher than 20 years ago, wolves are still being blamed for depressing some herds so they can't recover. But what does that actually mean? Not all the elk in a state are considered one herd so in areas wolves are depressing the numbers so they can't rebound. However, while herds in some areas are unable to recover because of wolf predation most of the herds in the rest of the state are doing much better as the sick and weak are culled.

August 03, 2009

Weighing in on reintroduction of wolves

This is an article from Roger Phillip, a writer from the Idaho Statesman. He has been watching wolves since the reintroduction but has rarely weighed in on the issue.His article brushes emotions on both sides of the issue and touches on how complex it can be for some people.

Bored with Idaho, wolves head west

Good news wolf lovers.  There has been a second confirmed wolf pack in Washington this week which has been named "The Diamond Pack" - no relation to Neil Diamond, however the jury is still out on ties to Dustin Diamond of Saved by the Bell fame.

Thoughts on delisting????

As the delisting progresses more and more articles come in about wolves on both sides of the issue.  We'd like you to weigh in on this issue. 


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