Governor disappointed in response on wolves
Feds won't protect wildlife from wolf attacks
February 9, 2007
Governor Dave Freudenthal and top legislators expressed their disappointment in the federal governments denial of Wyoming's plea to protect big game herds from wolf depredation.
State officials today (Friday) received a letter from the US Fish and Wildlife Service saying that it will not protect wildlife from wolf attacks.
“…the FWS has shown that they are more concerned with protecting wolves than our fast-dwindling wildlife resources,” Freudenthal said.
The Governor said the federal agency is turning a blind eye toward the destruction of Wyoming's big game herds. Current rules in place in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming allow the FWS to kill wolves that prey on livestock. The same rules, however, provide no protection for wildlife herds that are being impacted by an overpopulation of wolves. Wyoming’s share of the recovered wolf population, pursuant to the 1994 recovery plan published by the FWS, was 10 breeding pairs and approximately 100 wolves statewide. Currently, Wyoming has 26 documented breeding pairs and approximately 350 wolves state-wide.
Senate President John Schiffer said the Legislature has been working on a pair of wolf-management bills in hopes that an agreement could be reached with the Fish and Wildlife Service.
House Speaker Roy Cohee expressed frustration over the lack of movement by the feds and said the most prudent action is for Wyoming to continue to move forward with its existing lawsuit.
The Governor said he doesn't understand why the Wildlife Service doesn't treat wolf depredation on wildlife the same as attacks on livestock. He said the basic goal should be to maintain a desired number of wolf packs.