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Washakie Pack seems to have split for good

Dec. 2, 2002

On October 9, I wrote an article how the Washakie Pack had split into two groups. As the year winds down, it is more and more apparent that the split will probably result in two packs.

The somewhat larger group still primarily inhabits the DuNoir Valley NW of Dubois, Wyoming. The second group's territory is primarily the Wiggins fork area of the Washakie Wilderness and nearby country. This is NE of Dubois. Although earlier, only one group had radio collars, now both groups have a radio collar.

Occasionally the two groups still interact and exchange members. This is reminiscent of the gradual formation of several packs out of the Druid Peak Pack in Yellowstone Park. It will be interesting to see if the split results in more wolves in the area, or in about the same number of wolves as was the case after the Druid Pack's splitting.

The pack has for years occasionally killed livestock and some dogs in the area. It was almost wiped out once by control actions and has occasionally undergone them since, but often escapes by hiding in the timber. Lately, with the livestock gone for the winter, the pack has not been in any trouble.

The Washakie is be one of the many wolf packs that will be killed off as "predators" if the state of Wyoming gets its way during the delisting process. Currently there is no chance of Wyoming's plan being approved, but under the Bush Administration any kind of attack or insult to our nation's natural heritage seems to be in order.

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Copyright 2002 Ralph Maughan

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Ralph Maughan PO Box 8264, Pocatello, ID 83209