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Doris Lin

Save Idaho Wolves

By September 30, 2010

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Gray Wolf

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services plans to kill 80% of the wolves living in central Idaho as part of a predator control program. Formerly known as Animal Damage Control, Wildlife Services is notorious for killing wolves, mountain lions, bears, and coyotes in their mission to "provide Federal leadership in managing problems caused by wildlife." Their lesser-known victims include skunks, feral pigs, mourning doves, blackbirds, starlings and pigeons. In 2009, the agency killed over 4 million animals.

While gray wolves in the Northern Rockies are protected under the Endangered Species Act, the population in central Idaho is listed as "experimental, non-essential." This means that gray wolves in central Idaho can be killed by Wildlife Services and can be killed by ranchers if they are seen attacking livestock. Yes, it's still about the livestock.

It's also about hunting. Another reason Idaho Fish and Game wants to kill wolves is because they claim the wolves are threatening the elk population. They want to kill 40-50 wolves in their Lolo zone, yet they are selling 1,492 elk hunting permits for that same zone this year. It doesn't seem like the wolves are to blame for any decline in the elk population.

Two groups have webforms that seek nonlethal solutions to wildlife conflicts. Defenders of Wildlife is asking USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to implement nonlethal solutions for wolves in central Idaho.

The Humane Society of the US webform asks Vilsack to end the use of two "predator poisons," which are not only cruel to the coyotes, mountain lions and foxes, but also kill non-target animals like dogs, bald eagles and California condors.

Take Action:

  • Speak out against killing wolves in central Idaho with this webform from Defenders of Wildlife.
  • Speak out against predator poisons with this webform from HSUS.

Alan and Sandy Carey / Getty Images.

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October 2, 2010 at 9:09 pm
(1) johnnyclay says:

the white man always has to shoot and destroy everything….its their fricking territory for decades…….

October 8, 2010 at 5:36 pm
(2) Jody says:

You guys are idiots just because they sell that many tags in an area does not mean there are that many animals if that was the case look how many wolf tags were sold. They are Killing the elk and the number are going down!!!If you don’t know go out into the woods and see how the numbers are going down. I’m not against wolves being in the woods but they must be managed and the federal government couldn’t manage a starbucks and make a dollar..!!!Get over yourselves you probably mostly live in big cities and the whole thought of leaving all your comforts of life and roughing it in the woods would probably kill you.

October 9, 2010 at 5:23 pm
(3) Dorislin says:

Thanks for your comment, Jody. If they are worried about the elk population, why are they hunting the elk at all?

October 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm
(4) Joey says:

This is ridiculous. Seriously. Wolves provide ZERO positive value to the Idaho ecological environment. As a matter of fact, if you personally spent an ample amount of time in the Idaho mountains over the last 10 years, you would wouldn’t post an article like this. You would realize there is no need for them to be here and it was a substantial mistake to re-introduce them in the first place.

October 16, 2010 at 3:02 pm
(5) Brit says:

While your article was well written, it lacks a lot of facts. Such as the wolf that was “re-intorduced” into Idaho was not native to this region. The Mackenzie Valley Wolf is bigger and more aggressive than the previous wolf. It weights 40-80 pounds more than any wolf in the US. Tell me, how do you fare against a pit bull? An American pitbull is about the preivous weight give or take 20 lbs, from the previous wolf. Now take the Mackenzie Valley Wolf. Average males weigh between 100 and 145 pounds with females weighing roughly 10 to 20 percent less. They measure 32 to 36 inches shoulder height and 5 to 7 feet in length, from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. Their long, powerful legs allow them to travel as far as 70 miles a day, and through rough terrain like deep snow. They can reach speeds of up to 40 miles an hour for short periods of time. Their skull measures about 12 inches long.

That wolf is the size of a Mastiff. Really?

Want a personal story about the poor Idaho wolves? They killed my dog and left my other dog shaken and bit up.

October 18, 2010 at 9:29 pm
(6) John in Star says:

If you do not live in Idaho you are more than welcome to come take a wolf home with you……no? Did not think so. I am all for wolves in the forest in New York or California or anywhere else the liberals who want them live. No one bothered to ask me if I wanted them in my backyard. These wolves belong in Canada where they are a natural part of the ecosystem.
They are without a doubt a beautiful animal and have every right to live in the wild where they belong; but that is not in Idaho.

November 8, 2010 at 7:06 pm
(7) Phil says:

John: Your comment shows nothing more than anger towards a species that competes with you for hunting privelages. They have the right to live in the Wild but not in Idaho? So, I guess you live in Idaho, right? Because they have changed the behaviors of ungulate to a more natural and alarming one, that makes your hunting expeditions more difficult, that means they do not have the right to live in Idaho, their former home territory before mankind? They belong in Canada only? Then, where did they live before mankind wiped them out in the early 20th century? Yes, they lived in Canada America, all the way down south to Texas. Why do you think a subspecies is called the Mexican Gray Wolf?

November 8, 2010 at 7:10 pm
(8) Phil says:

Brit: Yes they are the native species of Wolves. The Wolves taken from canada were taken from the Southwest portion of the country. The Wolves we use to have in the states were from the Northwest portion of the country. Both areas of the two countries have the same ecosystems in similar shrubs, bushes, trees, food sources for the Wolves, territories, etc, which means the Wolves in the states before they were eliminated and the Canada ones up until the reintroduction migrated back and forth between the two countries extending territories, finding food sources and mating purposes. Wolves did not see an imaginary line that seperated the two countries and say to themselves “We better not cross that line and into another country” like we humans have drawn up lines for country boundaries. These are the EXACT same subspecies of Wolves we use to have before ours were wiped out. Size is the same in both being 3 1/2-5 1/2 feet long, not counting the tail, and weighing about 50-160 lbs depeinding on food sources in territory, and sex of the Wolf, female and male. I do field research on carnivores like Wolves, and it is amazing how many of you view them negatively because of what you read on hunting organization sites and from other hunters. You hate Wolves because it would benefit your agenda to eliminate them.

November 8, 2010 at 7:13 pm
(9) Phil says:

Joey: ACtually, Wolves provide $34 million dollars to the three states most of their population occupies from tourism dollars. Idaho gets a bulk of the money because they have the most Wolves, 850 or so. Hunting provides about $15-$20 million yearly to the region, but in your agenda mind, which is fabricated for your beneficial view on Wolves, Wolves do not provide any economic stature to the states, right? Look it up! Go to the Yellowstone National PArk site for these details.

November 8, 2010 at 7:17 pm
(10) Phil says:

Jody: Elk numbers are not going down from overpredation of Wolves, Elk are more scarce then before due to Wolf presence. You are not seeing as many Elk because they are finding better hiding spots, or migrating out of areas where Wolves are at. When posed with a threat, animals have a stress factor that builds on them to find ways to overcome the threats. In Elk, they have become more intelligent to scarce themselves from all others, including humans, and human hunters, and predators such sas Wolves. This helps give them an advantage of survival as predators have in strength, planned hunts, packs, speed, etc. I live in the city, but have done a number of field research on Wolves in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Idaho, Canada, Alaska, Montana and Wyoming. It is you that needs to get over herself.

November 8, 2010 at 7:23 pm
(11) Phil says:

Actually, since the reintroduction of Wolves, Elk population overall have gone up. Wolves, due to consuming as much energy as possible to not sustain a vulnerable stage for survival, will mainly go after the weak, injured or sick in a herd. When eliminating the weak from a herd, mating occurs from the members with the strongest genetic components, which means future offspring and generations are born with the strongest of DNA. When these next generations are born, you have more and more that live longer due to their strong genetic components. Yes, you still have the ones that are predatred, but more are born with the stronger genetic make up. This is helping to increase the population of the Elk overall. In Wyoming and Montana, Elk populations have risen by 34%, and in Idaho by 5% since the Wolf reintroduction back in 1995-6.

November 9, 2010 at 1:26 pm
(12) Russell says:

Hunting provides millions of dollars to Idaho’s economy. What does the wolf provide? Nothing! There are thousands upon thousands of wolves in North America so they never should have been listed as endangered in the first place. Now the wolves have done and will continue to do severe harm to the elk and deer herds. For every wolf that was legally taken in Idaho’s wolf hunt I hope 20 more were gut shot so they could just die!

November 9, 2010 at 5:32 pm
(13) Russell says:

Phil, the notion that wolves only take the sick or the weak is absolutely not true. The are opportunists and they do kill for sport no matter what your sierra club buddies have told you.

December 12, 2010 at 11:35 am
(14) Harley says:

You sick sick SICK people. The wolves imported into Idaho were not native to Idaho. Not only that, they KILLED THE TRUE NATIVE WOLF AND HAVE CAUSED IT”S EXTINCTION. ARE YOU PEOPLE STUPID!!!! (edited to conform with About.com User Guidelines)

January 6, 2011 at 7:59 pm
(15) olive 10 says:

My great cousin is with the u.s. foresty law inforcement. and i know Idahos plan for CONTROLLED wolf hunts. And i know they are planing to kill only 35% of wolves on Idaho. And u make them out to sound like evil,crazy, triger happy, morons. and they are just striving to have all the wildlife populations prosper and be great. but in order to do that they need to CONTROL NOT eliminate preditors that dominate. And please befor u acuse people and groups, u need to know the facts and not just make stuff up. do some reserch for BOTH sides. and when u do that u will realize that they r doing what is best for even the wolf population.

January 26, 2011 at 9:18 pm
(16) Chris Clay says:

Olive, we are talking about Idaho, They want to kill all wolves, poison, shoot, whatever it take to get rid of them, because of the endangered species thing, idaho is getting pissed cause they cant shoot what they hate the most.

January 27, 2011 at 1:54 am
(17) jason says:

check out washington wolf info to learn what wolves are really like how they kill deer,elk,moose for sport just to let it rott in the sun. idaho brings in a lot of revenues from hunters and with the wolves killing off alot of game animals sportsman are choosing to hunt in states with bigger game populations and idaho is losing out not to mention wolves have attacked and killed people and livestalk on many occasions check out washington wolf info for the facts.

January 27, 2011 at 2:08 am
(18) JR says:

chris clay you sound like an uneducated child grow some balls no one is trying to kill off all the wolves just bring down the population to a sustainable level whats wrong with that keep the population of wolves in idaho to around 500 wolves i love wolves too but there are just to many,they have done alot of damage to the hurds in idaho especially i dont need them killing off all the deer and elk i hunt for my family to eat

January 27, 2011 at 2:14 am
(19) jason says:

google washington wolf info to get the facts

January 31, 2011 at 3:42 am
(20) Tanner says:

Dear Phil
As you stated above you live in the city you have no right to tell us whats happening. We dont care about your field research in whichever state. I live in Montana and just to let you know wolves are everywhere there is no mountain range, prairie, or outskirts of town that doesn’t have wolves. Seeing an elk calf nowadays that is more than a couple weeks old is like seeing a unicorn. Elk populations have not gone up i think we would know if they did and only 850 wolves in Idaho? There is double that number in Idaho and three times that number in Montana. They cant get an accurate count on the wolves because they are looking only in the places that they think they will be. All I have to say to my fellow Idahoans, Montanans, and Wyomingites is SSS

February 3, 2011 at 4:05 am
(21) Jaime says:

I’m an Idaho resident, a native californian and an animal lover. I am not a hunter or an activist. But i do believe in the control of wolves. Idaho is not claiming war on wolves. Just like any tag you can buy for elk,deer etc. Ive lives in Idaho 6 years now and have spent every season mostly out doors, and even i have witnessed the decline in elk and deer. They are not challenged in this terrain and are flourishing. They are known to kill a pregnant elk and just eat the fetus from her stomach and leave the rest. I see both sides but we screwed up bringin them here we need to maintain them for the sake of all the other animals that have to deal with them

February 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm
(22) IV says:

Please don’t call the wolf lovers, idiots…They aren’t dumb they are just misinformed. They are animal lovers just like the MAJORITY of hunters. We need to get them to see the truth and join our fight to keep a balance between the elk and wolves, not just save the wolves. They are being brainwashed by wolf extremists who prey on the misinformed people using their biggest weakness…their hearts! I live in LOLO on the Montana side. 3 years ago we had reached objective for cow elk harvest numbers, 150 tags. I had a meeting with my regions biologist in November and she says we will be lucky to get 5 tags this year. When I asked where the elk went she said it was many factors but the wolves moving in was the biggest by far. SO PLEASE DORIS LIN write an article to save our elk too! With elk hunting I can fill my freezer for a year only costing me a $20 elk tag if the wolves leave any for me to hunt. OR I could spend $750 at walmart to buy the same amount of ground beef that is full of horomones and God only knows what. I can’t afford to spend that much money on beef thats gunna give me cancer.

February 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm
(23) Trevor says:

Holy cow you wolf lovers are morons. Just cuz we have the same shrubs means they are the same wolves huh. They need to be controlled just like the elk and deer need to be. If we dont hunt the animals then they reproduce to fast and they eat all the food in the summer and die in the winter. Geez you people have no clue. And i hate to tell you but there is no way wolves brought 30 million dollars to idaho thats the dumbest thing I have heard. Idiots

February 17, 2011 at 11:10 pm
(24) G.M,.M. says:

I live outside of CDA, Idaho on a mountain with a varity of wildlife. I had a black wolf visit about six months ago eating on a dead deer, killed a few nights earlier by coyotes. Once it saw me it ran into the woods. Wasn’t comfortable around humans. This wolf was Black on top that turned to grey to light colors arount the leg area. I reported to the willd life local agency. Later found out this wolf was a loner wolf that had traveled from Wyoming. my neigbor just read about the wolf that was recently killed by a farmer and thinks it is the same wolf that was here. Would like to see a picture of it. Anyway just saw two very grey wolfs, two weeks ago, again feeding on another dead deer that was killed by coyotes. They seem to be scavengers. Haven’t bothered any local farm animals. Seem to not want to be around humans, as the recent ones ran off the second they knew I was watching them.

March 14, 2011 at 10:50 pm
(25) Karen says:

All you Hunters and Ranch owners listen up. The only reason you want the Grey wolf to be removed is because of your precious game. It amazes me on how no one learns from our past. I have for the last 3 weeks have been reaching Wolves in Idaho and ALL I hear is both sides spitting on each other and no one has the facts. I hear that wolves are the ones killing for sport but that is crap. Wild dog that dumb people let loss mix with coyotes and they kill for the sport and pleasure of it. If you look it up you will find that this is true. Now that I have stated that lets move on to the growing population of the Wolf.
Yes Wolves need to monitored as do game and wild dogs and all ether animal. The wolf that was reintroduced was the Grey wolf and only that. They were here before you dumb but was. I also feel that ranchers should be given funds to reinforce their property and that free rang should stop. We were put on this Earth by what ever means you may believe but we where put here to maintain and look after the animals not to kill them to extinction. We all need to find a way to co-exists.
O ya another thing to you hunters you talk about the wolves killing for the sport of it but what about you? I bet that just about all of you have a trophy hanging on your wall. So don’t give me or any one the sob story that they kill for sport because so do you.

March 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm
(26) SB says:

I think this article is a big crock of crap. The wolves that were here when they ‘reintroduced’ them were timber wolves. not grey wolves and were much smaller. And I hunt and yes there are a couple of racks hanging in the house but I hunt to provide food for my family. Also, a couple winters ago 2 wolves came into our horse pasture and stood and looked at my mom’s horses then went around the back side of the house and were only 30 feet from our shop. And there have been wolves in town.

March 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm
(27) SB says:

Another thing in this article is stupid. Feral hogs number in the millions and double in population every few years. They are NOT a victum. They cause lots of damage to lawns and crops.

May 18, 2011 at 6:40 pm
(28) cameron says:

dear Karen

most of us hunters like our horns but we eat every thing we can that we kill. un like wolves .and when we hear of people killing animals for their horns it tends to piss us off. so the the reintroduced wolves do somthing called surplus killing wich means they do it for fun so why should that tick us off any less? in idaho, county idaho, “its bigger than the state of rhode island”, had an elk population of more than 8 per SQ mile now after the wolves were released it has decreased to 1-2 per SQ mile. the wolf population sored over 400% of what the government thought it would. wolves are in my back yard, wolves are killing our cattle,sheep,dogs, when will it be enough? now that the power is back to the states for there own wolf managment, its ours. but you would have already known that right? since you did so much reserch what was it again? 3 weeks probly on the internet on stupid sites like this one!!! so here is a tip for ya, take a vacation from urbig city come out to idaho, to where i live and i will show you more in two hours in the woods than u found on the internet, dont mean to sound rude but unless u live here and and or it is afecting your lifestyle drasticly u dont have any room to talk
but for real research try this site” fishandgame.idaho.gov”
look under wolf managment u can also find how meny animals were killed by wolves in here. and that goes for any of u city slickers. mind your own damn state.oh and the funny part about this is most of the rack hunters come from big citys they pay guides to hold there hand and take them out hunting. but guides cant do that if there is nothing left to hunt. wich means there is another person out of a job

July 8, 2011 at 8:38 pm
(29) Brandon says:

All the eco hippies need to go back to their apartments and stay. Watch the documentary Grizzly Man. That’s what happens to city folk in the wild.

August 13, 2011 at 12:56 am
(30) Brian says:

Here is one boy born and raised in the country that isn’t afraid of wolves, or stupid enough to believe all the BS about their devastation of the elk population. As the article mentioned, this all about the livestock.

The rest of you guys need to stop acting like it’s all hippies that care about the forest.

September 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm
(31) Montana by Nature says:

For those of you who need ‘proof’ to back up how the wolves really are here in MT and ID, here is just a small handful of them given to me by the Fish & Wildlife Services and the Governor’s office in MT adn ID. Enjoy them, or not…whichever side you take, these were recommended by the people who know what they’re talking about, not what you anti hunters consider “blood thirsty, cruel, heartless hunters”. I hunt, but don’t think I would kill a wolf unless it directly endangered my family, but i do think they need managed. Part of conservation and reintroduction is management. Without either, our wildlife would seiz to exist.







September 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm
(32) Montana by Nature says:

Those of you who talk about a ‘healthy ecosystem’ and the ecosystmes that existed before humans came to America should just face the facts that that type of ecosystem cannot exist anymore because there are simply too many people. If you’re against humans, maybe you should act and reduce the population, starting with yourselves. All of you that complain of humans taking land and ruining the ecosyste…did you forget that you too are humans?? You’re just as guilty of invading the wolves territory as those of us who live in the country. Only difference is, you city folk are causing most of the pollution and garbage that ruining the Earth. Even you vegans are supporting agriculturists…your produce comes from somewhere…doesn’t it?? Unless, of course, you grow your own food, but that would also make you an agriculturist. It doesn’t matter how you slice and dice this subject, none of the ‘pro-wolf’ groups will be satisfied, and chances are, hunting of wolves will continue. Conservationalists, outdoorsmen, and hunters aren’t stupid. Why the hell would we destroy an ‘ecosystem’ that we have worked/paid so much for? WE WOULDN’T! Based on the pages i’ve been on (Even LOBO WATCH) nobody wants the wolves ALL gone, they simply want the numbers controled. I don’t see what the big deal is. If you live in New York and are conserned with us Montanians and Idahoians killing the wolves, then step away from your computer and come over here to see what your defending. until you do that, you can google all you want, but you will never truely understand our territory. Boycott beef all you want, i’m sure there are more then enough carnivores out there that support it enought to keep them going, not to mention the vegans supporting the agriculture side of the Beef ranchers pocket.

September 30, 2011 at 8:55 pm
(33) shawn thrasher says:

Are you tree huggers kidding me!!!!!! Look at how strong our herds were in the 80′s and 90′s and where they are now since the wolves were re-introduced,there was a reason they almost killed off years ago. Most of us hunt to feed our families. Tell you what the goverment made a huge mistake re-introducing them. Put them in your backyard see how you like it.

December 7, 2011 at 12:06 am
(34) Gabby says:

This article even admits that the wolves are NOT te only thing killing out the elk population. So really, there will ways be different opinions on what is going on with the wolves. Buuuut, on that note I LOVE WOLVES!

August 31, 2012 at 9:12 am
(35) Ken. says:

Why is it that people have such a hard understanding that wolves aren’t the whole problem. People have to take responsibility for their actions as well. If you move into a remote wooded and secluded region then you take the risk of an encounter with a WOLF. Are people so selfish that they have to have everything all for themselves? It sickens me to think that people think they are the only species that deserve to live wherever and however they want. I wonder if people were told where they could live and forced from the area that they lived how they would react. They would complain that it isn’t right and yet all that is happening to the Gray Wolf and all wolves. And they can’t fight against it themselves. Leave the WOLVES ALONE. Learn to live with them They are a beautiful and magnificent animal. They deserve to live in PEACE.

February 4, 2013 at 9:41 am
(36) Kaiya says:

i have a huge passion for wolves and have made my own website about them.

August 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm
(37) robert walters says:

Hi as i read these different opinions,I can see that There must be a balance between what there is now and what we hope to gain, If you look at Yellow Stone Nat’ park, You’ll see that there was this same type of problem when they first Interduced Wolves there,and yet now there eco. system is better now than when they first brought the wolves.So What needs to be done is Working on a way to solve this problem instead of pointing Fingers at one another there is a Balance to be found.? What did they do at Yellow Stone and why is it Working,? What can we do .pointing a gun and shooting a Wolf is so easy to do Butt.? Can we as humans go beyond what is simply the easy thing to do,I wish i were smarter than i am ,then i could just say that this will fix that problem and that will fix this problem,so has any one counted how many deer and elk the big bad coyotes have killed,It’s a proven fact that coyotes and mountain lions kill way more deer and elk than any wolf packs ever have,My step dad was a county trapper down in Oregon st,So I’ve seen what coyotes can do first hand,and I’ve also seen the mighty mountain lions doing there best to survive here in the western part of Washington state.And yet that still doesn’t solve the problem of what do we do to find a good solid balance of Wolves verses Elk and Deer ,I Do believe that God Did intend for the Wolves to be here for a reason ,We are the Keepers of our world ,And there is no one Else to blame if we screw it up! And why can’t they just be moved some where else that doesn’t have any wolves yet . I know this was long but would like to hear back from you Thanks

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