U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rejects Wyoming's plan for predator/trophy game animal status for delisted wolves.


Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Steve Williams sent a letter to the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission last Thursday rejecting their proposal to put wolves in Wyoming into a dual classification of predator/trophy game upon delisting. This proposal was for when Wyoming assumed wolf management responsibilities.

Williams told the Commission the proposal would not meet federal delisting standards. These standards require the states not let a recovered species slip back into a threatened or endangered condition.

The Commission had recently proposed the wolf be classified as a predator in all of Wyoming except Yellowstone Park and the designated wilderness areas in the state. Any animal classified as a predator (the current, but non-operative Wyoming classification for wolves) can be killed at will in Wyoming for any reason  Unfortunately for wolves, this proposal, which some saw as a compromise, had management area boundaries so that only 5 of the 13 wolf packs or groups currently in the state would not be in the predator zone. Even one usually deep Yellowstone Pack, Molly's Pack, wanders into the would-be predator zone early each winter -- they leave the Park and go east to the North Fork of the Shoshone River area.

Wyoming Game and Fish Acting Director Tom Thorne said Friday, "I guess we were kind of hoping he would say otherwise, but quite frankly I'm not surprised" by the opinion.

The intent of the Commission is unclear, but I earlier suggested it was an attempt to do what they have sought in the past -- limit wolves to Yellowstone Park.

9-16. Wyoming Game and Fish Commission tries to sneak proposal to kill all Wyoming Wolves Outside Yellowstone.

The Wolf Recovery Foundation joined with the Predator Conservation Alliance, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, and the Wyoming Chapter of the Sierra Club in a letter of strong opposition to the plan sent to Director Williams.

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