Wolves are back in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area

New wolves seen in the same places as the past ill-fated packs


Although the Whitehawk Pack is gone like the Stanley Basin Pack and the White Clouds Pack before them, wolves are back in the Sawtooth Valley of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA).

Three wolves were recently seen in Pole Creek at the south end of the Sawtooth Valley, the very place where the White Clouds Pack were first confronted by sheep back this time in 1998.

One wolf was also seen about 15 miles north, near Stanley.

The difference is this time, wildlife, including wolves, are to be given priority over secondary uses like livestock on the SNRA. Federal judge Lynn Winmill recently ruled that the SNRA "organic act" of 1972 is supposed to guarantee that. Moreover, the U.S. Forest Service is out of compliance with the 1998 Rescissions Act on these grazing allotments. They shall (not should) be redone and updated.

So everything is OK, this time? Not!!

The Forest Service has failed to impose any of these court requirements on the permittees who enjoy the privilege of grazing their livestock on the public lands of the SNRA - even those, such as the SNRA sheep permittee whose sheep have menaced the wolves the most in the past.

With political controversy burning as hot as the fires in the southwest, people wonder why the Forest Service is sued so often. This is a good example why. Expect more litigation.

Pole Creek. June 24, 2002. This is near the mouth of Pole Creek Canyon. Sawtooth NRA -- perfect wolf country.
Copyright Ralph Maughan

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Copyright 2002 Ralph Maughan
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