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Wolf feed Wyoming

 

On January 28, 2004 they counted the elk herd being fed on the National Elk Refuge at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Figures are;

 

Total Elk 5,876 100%
Cows 3,827 65%
Calves 717 12% Calf:Cow Ratio 18.7%
Mature Bulls 1,196 20% Bull:Cow Ratio 31.2%
Spikes 136 2% Spike:Cow Ration 3.5%

This is the scary part. In comparison with other years; in Jan 2003 there were 285 spikes, in Jan 2002 there were 342 spikes on feed on the NER. Those previous two years were extremely mild winters and fewer elk needed to be fed, so biologists would expect that a tougher winter, such as this one, would bring more elk to the feedground. That 3.5% represents the male calves that survived for 19 months (since birth in June 2002). So if you double that plus a little to add the female yearlings then less than 10% of the calf elk survived to adulthood. That is a guaranteed formula for the demise of our elk herds. We now have PROOF that the wolves are decimating our historical elk herds which make Jackson Hole so famous.

It is time for the Governor and the Legislature to declare that this "experimental, nonessential" non-native wolf is a bad idea that has gone awry, and if we wait to work it through the USFWS and the courts then our hunting heritage and our wildlife herds will be gone, perhaps forever. Pasted below is an open letter to Wyoming Legislators and the Governor.

Maury Jones "Jonesy" Grover, Wyoming

Dear Legislators and Governor, Your vote last year for HB 229, HB300, and SF 97 was a vote for Wyoming's wildlife, hunting, livestock industries, state's rights, and private property rights. It was a vote against Federal Government control of Wyoming.

What is at stake here is no less than the Constitution, both Wyoming's and US. Can a state determine its own destiny or must it forever dance to the federal tune? Today it is wolves, grizzly bears, and Prebles mouse, all of which are numerous, not endangered, and present a threat to Wyoming's economy and resources. Tomorrow the feds will "protect" something else.

Are you forgetting that last legislative session the Governor, Mike Baker, Delaine Roberts, and G&F Department all contacted USFWS and asked what we must have in our plan to delist the wolves? They refused to say. However, they did say "The dual classification should be all right, considering the other elements of the plan which protect 15 packs of wolves." Their actions now prove they are not interested in wolves, but are interested in usurping control over our rights and our wildlife. The result will be the destruction of our state rights, our hunting heritage, and our livestock industry.

Another thing that proves they are not interested in the wolf population is that the USFWS ignored 11 wolf experts who concluded that Wyoming's plan DOES protect an adequate number of wolves. Ten of the eleven endorsed our plan. The other one said it "probably" would protect wolves but he didn't like the predator status.

A vitally important thing for us to consider at this time: IF we accept the Feds demands right now and designate the wolf as a trophy statewide, the results will be:

1. It will bankrupt the Game and Fish Department.

a) Hunting license sales will continue to decline (moose populations are dropping rapidly, elk calf:cow ratios are low)

b) Damage claims from wolf predation will skyrocket and the G&F cannot possibly pay for them. G&F is liable for damages caused by any trophy game animal.

c) It will be an annual battle with the Wolf Worshippers, including lawsuits against G&F, as we attempt to set liberal bag limits which will control the population of wolves.

2. It will be impossible with sport hunting only, no matter how liberal the seasons and bag limits, to reduce the growth of the wolf populations. Alaska and Canada have proven that. They have gone back to aerial hunting of wolves because no other method works since poison was banned. Wyoming cannot legally kill trophy game animals from an airplane nor can we trap trophy animals. Therefore, trophy status statewide will protect even marauding wolves.

I urge you to carefully consider your position on this very important topic.

I propose a possible plan of action that will protect our wildlife, our livestock, our hunting, Wyoming's state rights, and our private property rights;

The Governor should immediately declare:

1. The USFWS has not dealt in good faith with Wyoming and has violated the Endangered Species Act which mandates that USFWS shall cooperate with state and local agencies.

2. The intent of the framers of the Constitution for the United States was to guarantee to each of the states sovereignty over all matters within its boundaries except for those powers specifically granted to the United States as agent of the states;. (WS 36-12-101 (a)(i) )

3. Pursuant to the Constitution for the United States Amendments IX and X, anything not enumerated therein is reserved to the states and to the people. Wildlife is not enumerated, therefore the rights over Wyoming wildlife is reserved to the State of Wyoming and to Wyoming's people. Wyoming has never by specific legislation granted the Federal Government any control over our wildlife, therefore we retain our rights over wildlife and reject USFWS jurisdiction. It is not up to the people or the state to prove that the federal government does not have bona fide jurisdiction over wildlife. Rather, it is up to the federal government to provide written documentation to Wyoming that it does indeed have jurisdiction over Wyoming's wildlife. ("The law requires proof of jurisdiction to appear on the record of the administrative agency and all administrative proceedings." Hagan v. Lavine, 415 U.S. Supreme Court 533)

4. The "experimental, nonessential" wolf introduction is a failure. The experiment has gone horribly awry and is destroying our wildlife, the economic base of northwest Wyoming.

5. All wildlife in Wyoming is the property of the state. (Wyoming Statutes WS 23-1-103)

6. The wolf is currently classified as a predator without protection. (WS 23-1-101 (a)(viii)(B) )

7. Therefore, as Governor I direct the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and the Wyoming Agriculture Department to immediately assume jurisdiction and control over any wildlife within the borders of Wyoming, in compliance with state statutes.

Legislators, if this course of action is followed we have a chance of saving our hunting and livestock heritage. If it is not, we have little hope.

Maury Jones, Grover, Wyoming (307)886-3356 mailto:jonesy@svwy.net