Packs in the Yellowstone, central Idaho, and NW Montana areas appear to be in the normal
home ranges. There are 6 wild dens in Yellowstone and 2 of those (Rose and Druid) are
believed to have two litters. There are 2 more females that still could den. The female
in the Nez Perce pen had 5 pups about May 1. That group will be released about June 1.
Only 5 of the 13 breeding pairs in central Idaho had denned, but others may still den.
The alpha pair of the Landmark pack (7 wolves that used a remote Wilderness area) are dead.
The male's signal was in the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and the female (who was
lactating) was found dead on a trail. It is assumed that any newborn pups died. A law
enforcement investigation is being conducted. The Bear Valley trio moved north and though
the Landmark pack's territory. Wolves in northwestern Montana are using their traditional
areas. Field crews have begun to search for trapping areas this week.
The Service's Interim Wolf Control Plan for the Northern Rocky Mountains is undergoing
formal peer and public review. A Notice of Availability was published in the Federal
Register on April 23, 1998. The review only addresses wolves listed as endangered in
northwestern Montana and northern Idaho. The document summarizes wolf control efforts
in northwestern Montana from 1987 through 1997 and recommends slight modifications.
Recommendations include scientific investigation on techniques to better resolve conflicts,
consistent and broader application of control procedures, far fewer relocations of problem
wolves, more monitoring, and better record keeping. Anyone interested in providing comments
can request a copy of the 32 page document by leaving their name and address with the
Service's Helena field office (406)449-5225 X202. Comments must be received by May 26, 1998.
The Annual Wolf Working Group Meeting was held April 28-30th at Chico Hot Springs, Emigrant,
MT. The meeting was attended by about 80 people and received generally good reviews for the
diversity of viewpoints and overview of wolf restoration and management programs from
throughout North America. USDA Wildlife Services wolf specialist Carter Niemeyer was
selected by his peers as the Conference's Alpha Award recipient for 1997. Congratulations
Carter!! the recognition was well deserved.
The May issue of National Geographic World, a children's magazine, has a great story on
The May issue of International Wolf has an article by Bangs on wolves of Mongolia and
another article by Bangs and Niemeyer on wolf control.
A meeting was held in Jackson, Wyoming on April 29 with ranchers within the territory of the
Washakie pack north of Dubois, WY. The Service's Director wanted to hear the concerns of
local livestock producers first hand. Partly as a result of this meeting there will be
increased monitoring of the wolves, wolf specialist Niemeyer visited the area (concluding
that the Washakie pack did kill the 3 dogs), and that a way to modify the special rules
will be investigated to see if administrative or regulatory changes can be made to address
the concerns that were expressed.
Also- !!JOBS!! Attempts to hire 2 field wolf biologists and station them in Wyoming are
being accelerated! If you or someone you know may be interested in these positions please
contact Ed Bangs. These positions will likely be filled at the GS-9 and GS-11 level.
Recruitment will be done over the next several months and may include experienced wolf or
large carnivore biologists in or outside of Government Service.
9th CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS RULING- The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling
(4/29/1998 )on an appeal by man who was convicted of illegally killed a wolf north of
Yellowstone National Park in 1995. The appeal was about very similar issues to the ones
raised by the Farm Bureau and Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund and Audubon and were ruled
on by Judge Downes in Wyoming. The appeals court opinion stated "We hold that the
regulations protecting the gray wolf experimental population are valid" and "We do
not agree with the Wyoming District Court's analysis". The court affirmed the man's
conviction. The appeal of the December 1997 Wyoming opinion will still be heard by the 10th
Circuit but the recent appeals decision is great news.