USFWS trespasses, planting wolves on private land
From the Cody Enterprise;
Rancher: Wolf agent 'trespassed'
By BUZZY HASSRICK
A Meeteetse rancher says the federal official in charge of wolves in Wyoming illegally handled four wolves in his calving pasture recently.
Mike Jimenez of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not have permission to be on private land when he was discovered with four tranquilized wolves south of Meeteetse on Feb. 14, rancher Randy Kruger said.
Larsen Ranch Co. owners say they may ask Park County Attorney Bryan Skoric to file criminal trespass charges against the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Unclear is whether the federal official found the wolves on private land or transported them there.
F&WS officials could not be reached for comment, but agency representatives have called rancher Ralph Larsen to apologize, his son-in-law Randy Kruger said.
A ranch stockholder and employee, Kruger said Wednesday he was driving across a pasture off Gooseberry Creek at 3 p.m. Feb. 14 when he "caught two men hiding in the bushes." They were under a high bank by the road, out of sight.
"It seemed quite alarming to me," he added. "I stopped to see what they were up to."
They had four wolves laid out, tranquilized. Kruger identified the men as Jimenez and Wes Livingston of Cody.
"They acted guilty, in my view," Kruger said. "They said they were trying to get the wolves collared.
"They were on our deeded land and in our calving pasture."
Because about 350 bred cows are on nearby land and due to calve March 20, he told the men, "We don't need this sort of thing."
Kruger drove on to a shop about one mile away and later thought he heard a helicopter, figuring it had left the men to go get fuel. The two men apparently had no vehicle.
"It's aggravating and upsetting," Kruger said. "It's causing me loss of sleep. It's a matter of terrorism."
The men told Kruger they had trapped and collared the wolves "in the area." When Kruger drove off, the wolves were beginning to stir.
"They were nice, well-fed looking wolves, right in their prime," he said.
Kruger presented the information to Park County Commissioner Tim Morrison on Wednesday morning and said Morrison will turn over the details to the county attorney to decide about "prosecuting the Fish and Wildlife Service or letting it go."
"We're pushing them to file charges," said Joe Tilden of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, who thinks the men flew in with the wolves. "Where does the federal government have the right to land on private property?"
For two men to be hiding in the brush with wolves strikes him as odd.
"It's bizarre," Tilden said.
During his recent trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with F&WS officials about the wolf issue, he recalled them asking him to place their faith in them.
"They want us to trust them when they're doing this kind of stuff?" he asked. "I back Larsen and Kruger 100 percent. It's pretty blatant."
Okay, now it is time to kick the feds out!! This has gone beyond a joke. This is tyranny, pure and simple.
Wyoming, is this our state or a US Territory under territorial jurisdiction? Do we have property rights or don't we?!
Blaze this far and wide and let's get rid of Jiminez, Livingston, and any other Fish and Wildlife goons who have blatant disregard for the law. Evidently the wolves were allowed to recover and go free on this ranch which is just days away from calving time.
Who was the helicopter pilot? He should also be charged. He knows better than to land on private land.
The Legislature should make a statement to the feds. This happened on Feb 14, just two days before USFWS official Steve Williams appeared before the Wyoming House Travel/Recreation/Wildlife committee and promised cooperation to alleviate the problems. I have here in my grubby little fist an official letter written to Rep. Mike Baker signed by Steve Williams, Director, dated Feb 13, 2004. The last phrase of his letter says, "We truly regret past misunderstandings with the legislature, but I hope that we can agree that we have now reached a new level of mutual understanding." Yes, Mr. Williams. We understand loud and clear.
Action to take: This is so blatant an abuse of power that we must INSIST on immediate action!
First, contact Park County Attorney - Bryan Skoric , Ph. (307) 527-8660, Fax (307) 527-8668
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and urge him to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. We need to make an example of these agency representatives for their blatant disregard of the law and likely destruction of private property when those wolves prey on newborn calves.
Second. Contact US Fish & Wildlife officials and insist they fire Mr. Jiminez and Mr. Livingston. Not transferred, FIRED!
Don't let them sweep this thing under the rug!
"Let's hear no more of trust in man, but let the chains of the Constitution bind them down."