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Wyoming galvanizes position on "predator" classification of wolf

You bet Cros!
The best thing that ever happened to Montana and Idaho was the failure to delist the wolf last week.
 Our states are now rapidly realizing that we have rights under Sec.11 (h) of the ESA and U.S. Code 7 that asks the question;
"Why are we begging the USFWS for delisting when we can demand predator control?" 
 Both Montana and Idaho now have the opportunity to revert back to the legal definition of the wolf as "predator" and reclaim our rights under Sec. 11(h) of the ESA and Title 7 of the U.S.Code.
Robert T. Fanning, Jr. Chmn.
Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd,Inc.
 P.O. Box 142  Pray , Montana  59065

Dear Friends,
  I attended the Joint Travel, Recreation and Wildlife Committee legislative hearing last Thursday in Laramie on the feds rejection of Wyoming's Wolf Management Plan. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior Paul Hoffman, flanked by US Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director John Blankenship, spoke to the TRW Committee for an hour or more explaining why Wyoming's law and wolf plan are inadequate to begin the de-listing process.
  The highlights of their presentation were:
Non-negotiable federal demands were;
a.) Change definition of wolf pack from 5 to 6
b.) Change minimum wolf pack threshold from 7 to 15
c.) Change "dual" status to "trophy game" classification statewide, removing "predator" status.
Even if the feds had accepted our plan, the earliest they would de-list the wolf would be end of 2005!   (Remember, after 28 years of federal promises, the grizzly still isn't delisted.) 
The feds have a "problem" with the word predator. They say it does not insure that Wyoming's plan has an "adequate regulatory mechanism" to guarantee the wolves protection. (I disagree.)
They said that even though Wyoming's plan passed scientific muster, they were concerned with the "litigation risk management" potential from a "Conneticut housewife or an eastern judge."
They said if they had accepted Wyoming's plan, Idaho and Montana would ask for a predator status too.
They said they would not approve the other 2 states plans until Wyoming's plan was brought into line with their demands.
They admitted HB 229 was deemed acceptable when asked by  House TRW Committee Chairman Baker and the Governor during the 2003 Legislature.
  Wyoming never wanted wolves in the first place. They have killed so many elk that the Dubois Game Warden is considering recommending a ZERO cow elk harvest this fall and the elk harvest in the northern Yellowstone herd has diminished 75% in six years! 
  The "predator" status is the ONLY "adequate regulatory mechanism" that will protect Wyoming's people. Hunted wolves become nocturnal and elusive making hunting an ineffective tool. Poisoning is illegal, trapping is severely restricted and aerial gunning produces low harvest and high emotions leading to possible tourism boycotts or lawsuits. Wyoming will never effectively control wolf populations under any plan, but the predator status comes the closest. It is important to note that Wyoming Game and Fish Department, jealously guarding their autonomy,  prefers statewide "trophy game status" for wolves so G&F will be in total control of yet another species. The practical result of this scenario will be a political tug of war over wolf harvest quotas and season lengths, just as it is now with black bear and lions. Pro wolf outside interests will constantly lobby or sue for more wolves.
  I believe we must urge our state legislators to stand firm and not pass a bill meeting the latest federal demands. HB 300 appropriated $250,000 to litigate this type of issue, so let Governor Freudanthal put his money where his mouth is and ask a judge to determine if Wyoming's Wolf Plan meets Endangered Species Act criteria like the peer review scientists did. The danger however, is by signing any Wolf Plan, Wyoming enters into a contract guaranteeing wolves in perpetuity.
  Better yet, Wyoming, as a sovereign state, owns its wildlife and therefore controls its own destiny. SF 97, passed last session, reaffirms Wyoming's jurisdiction over wildlife implying federal wolf introduction to be illegal in the first place.  Wyoming should litigate federal usurpation of jurisdiction and ultimately rid the state of wolves. We must make a choice now whether to let the feds dictate our destiny or not. Our future is at stake.
Jim Allen, Lander
Allen's Diamond 4 Ranch

website  www.diamond4ranch.com

Wilderness Outfitter Since 1973