Temporary Victory for Idaho Wolves

by Rona Fried

If you follow our news, you know that we sometimes stray from  our green business focus to cover some of the crucial wildlife issues because we care so much and it’s all connected …

Today I have good news to share
– because wildlife groups never give up, a federal appeals court ordered Idaho’s Department of Fish and Game to immediately halt its state-sponsored extermination of two wolf packs deep in the wilderness.

"The announcement represents a stay of execution for the remaining wolves that constitute the Golden Creek and Monumental Creek wolf packs, which inhabit the Middle Fork region," says Earthjustice, the attorney representing conservation groups. At 2.4-million-acres it is the largest forested wilderness in the lower 48 states.

A member of the Golden Creek wolf pack:

Wolves Golden Idaho Pack

Nine wolves from the two packs have been killed by the state’s hired hunter-trapper, and it’s not known how many wolves remain alive. He has been living in the wilderness since mid-December, charged with eliminating every single wolf, including pups. The emergency court injunction stays in force for the state’s fiscal year, which ends June 30 – then they will have to fight again.

Why is this happening? Because wolves eat elk, which hunters enjoy killing for sport.

This region of the Frank Church Wilderness is remote. Even though it has one of the lightest densities of hunters in the state, the Department of Fish and Game wants to inflate the number of elk.  

The Forest Service, which is responsible for managing US wilderness areas, failed to object to the state’s plans and instead actively assisted them by authorizing use of its cabin and airstrip to support the hunting and trapping.

Does federal law matter? This is illegal! Once an area is designated as "Wilderness," the law requires that it be managed for wildlife – where wild processes, including predator-prey interactions, occur without man’s interference.

Monumental Wolf pack:

Wolves Monumental Idaho Pack

Wildlife groups, represented by Earthjustice, sued the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service earlier this month, arguing that the wolf extermination program would degrade the largest forested wilderness in the lower-48 states.

After an Idaho federal judge rejected their plea to stop the extermination program on January 17, they took their fight to the court of appeals, where they filed an emergency request for an injunction on January 23.

This is bittersweet news,” says Ken Cole with the Western Watersheds Project. “I am happy that Idaho Department of Fish and Game relented but it is unfortunate that so many wolves have been taken in this senseless plan to manhandle wildlife in an area that Congress recognized as a wilderness ‘where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man.’"

My heartfelt thanks for the relentless advocacy on the part of Earthjustice, Defenders of Wildlife, Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Wilderness Watch and long-time Idaho wilderness advocate Ralph Maughan.

They have their work cut out for them. Idaho is still hell-bent on reducing the wolf population to just 150 animals – the minimum allowed before they go back on the Endangered Species List. That means killing 500 more. The same is going on in Wyoming – altogether 2500 wolves have been killed in the past few years, since Congress turned back their management to the states.

Rep. Mike Simpson (R- ID) and Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)  inserted a rider into the 2011 Budget resolution that, for the first time in US history, removed a species from the
Endangered Species List based purely on political reasons, not science. They ended protection for the 1500 gray wolves in those two states with the stroke of a pen. 

It was a shameful day for this nation when both parties united behind the slaughter of an endangered species — without public hearing or debate. Since then, management of gray wolves has also been returned to Wyoming and the Great Lakes states. 

Wolves had just reached healthy populations in those states after decades of work of bringing them back from the brink of extinction. They covered just 5% of their original range.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service is working on removing protection across all the lower 48-states. In Alaska, they still hunt them by helicopter.


Rona Fried is CEO of SustainableBusiness.com

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Comments on “Temporary Victory for Idaho Wolves”

  1. wolvesarebeautiful

    When my Savior Jesus Christ returns there will be no more cruel killing of animals, trophy hunting and habitat destruction. I am looking forward to that day and I prayerfully hope it is very soon.

  2. Nanabedokw'môlsem

    For hundreds of thousands of years, wolves and mankind survived naturally enough in North America, with neither wolves nor men commonly threatened with starvation, and with sufficient elk and other game to feed both kinds of predators. It took the greed of the European invaders to change that scene.

  3. Atore Eak

    For hundreds of thousands of years, the Natives killed Wolves for their coats to act as decorations and costumes for their rituals. Now the European invaders threaten our rituals by trying to protect the Wolf from us. And it’s no fair that the European invaders would come to our land, and do exactly what our Native tribes were doing to each other. For hundreds of thousands of years, our Native brethren killed each other, raped and pillaged each others villages, stole each others land and people, then forced them to become part of our own tribes.. or killed them in rituals like the Incas did. And then the white man comes and over powers us?! It’s no fair that the European invaders would come to our land and do EXACTLY what we were doing to each other for years… except for less barbaric.. And then, when the white man has won the war, and we are almost completely wiped out, the European invaders has the NERVE to give us free money, free housing, free health care, free land, free dental, the religious freedom to practice how we so choose, and opportunity beyond any other race in America! The nerve of the European invaders to play in the game of land war, to win at said game and then to pay us instead of wiping us out like we did to whole villages of different tribes and Indian Nations?! How dare the white man, how dare he do what we were doing and be better at it!! And lets not forget that he came in peace, and we attacked the fort of Roanoke and left all dead, women and children… How dare the White man fear us, the horrible white man with his morals and medicines! And now we, with all the opportunity in the world choose to drink away our days and drag down society with comments like the one above that my native brethren left.

    Sorry Nanabedokw’molsem to use so much sarcasm, but our old Nation is dead, it is gone. This is a new Indian Nation, and until you have wowicala (faith) and stop acting like a victim we are going to slowly rot into time. It is time for our Indian Nation to become what it is, part of the United States of America. Cause I hate to break it to you Nanabedokw’molsem, but you will never achieve any kind of honor or remembrance to the old ones saying things like “European Invaders”. Were you alive when they came? Do you know anyone who was? Neither do I, neither does anybody. Remember, practice, do a sweat, gather with family, stop the drinking, start the healing, and use the help that the Government gives us to become something better than what we are letting ourselves remain as. Im sorry for being sarcastic, but when I hear other Natives being little victims, I realize that they are doing exactly what an enemy of them would like them to do, cower and decay. Stop breaking the law, stop punishing the world and each other for something that happened which we didn’t even experience, and start being something better. Do you think that the white man hasn’t had bad things happen in their culture?? You need to put yourself in someone else’s shoes before they will put their selves in ours. I grew up on the rez, it wasn’t pretty, but I had a brand new school building, good teachers, new football pads and new computers. The white kids we played in the neighboring towns off the rez had old uniforms and old pads. And honestly it didn’t matter, but I felt lucky. I watched the other native kids go off and do drugs, now I’m going to college for free. I’ve seen many ka-li i-ka-d nv-do pass, and the only thing that changes is what we decide to do with the future. That is unless we decide to die in the past. Let go Nanabedokw’molsem… that is when you will be truly free.

  4. Share the planet!

    Must man have it ALL? Mankind should be willing to share this earth/land with animals and yes wolves. He does not need or should not have it all just because he wants it. Wolves have a right to live freely and hunt their game and man should have respect for them instead of being so selfish and thinking about his self and his pocket book so much. Good luck leaving something for our children!!

  5. Share the wolves!

    Must nature not share her glorious bounty of booty? Nature should be sharing the love of this green land /earth with man, and yes wolves! There needs to be love making of trees to berries and acorns, from rabbits to twigs, and more importantly, why can’t man make love to wolves? Instead of just making money off of logging, and electricity and medical advances, why can’t man make money off of a good relationship and some tender mating with a wild K9? Good luck leaving some love to our children who should be mating with wolf puppies!!

  6. Tom Andersonu

    If only you only understood but u don’t.You are lead around by people who don’t want to believe the north american game management plan has saved big game animals all over this country.anti hunters will believe anything that suits their agenda..the wolf will be coming to your neighborhood soon.



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