Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mother wolf didnít have to be killed

    Regarding your article “4 wolves killed after livestock deaths” published on June 21, B473 was a female wolf, who dispersed from the Wapati Pack near Grandjean and ended up in the Little Wood where she had pups in mid-April and then was trapped and shot by Wildlife Services on May 29 on the Flat Top Ranch. In my opinion, B473 was killed because Flat Top Ranch insists on “open range” lambing, where defenseless sheep are spread over the landscape, rather than using lambing sheds. Killing B473 meant that her pups, too young to be weaned, starved to death. Flat Top Ranch, Wildlife Services and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game had a choice—let B473 live or shoot her.
     When I called Todd Grimm at Wildlife Services in Boise, he told me that B473 wasn’t lactating. However, I had contacted Fish and Game and learned that the Big Game Mortality Report (BGMR) said she was lactating, meaning she had live pups. Their mother never came back to them. Grimm told me it’s legal to kill nursing female wolves—even wolf pups.
     The Express story also quoted Grimm as saying that Wildlife Services didn’t know that two of the wolves killed on Decker Flat in the Sawtooth Valley in late May were collared. He says this despite the fact that Wildlife Services agents have telemetry both on the ground and in their taxpayer-funded Super Cub airplanes used to aerial-gun wolves. Yearling wolves B592 and B593 were barely a year old when killed on Decker Flat just south of Stanley. These two brothers died along with another pack member because the death of one calf was blamed on them.
    Grimm says non-lethal methods don’t work well with cattle because “they are spread out at night.” Cattle on Decker Flat cannot spread out at night or day; they are in a tight, confined area where non-lethal methods could easily be applied. These young, collared wolves lived on the Sawtooth National Recreation Area which, like the Little Wood, has become a death zone for wolves.
    In the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone Park, people come from all over the world for a chance to see or hear wolves. Wolf ecotourism could bring in millions of dollars to Idaho. Instead, we use taxpayer dollars to kill wolves on behalf of a handful of sheep and cattle ranchers.  
Lynne Stone
Director, Boulder-White Clouds Council

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