FWS proposes wolf rule revisions
by Cat Urbigkit, Pinedale Online!
July 8, 2007
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comment on proposed revisions for the rule governing wolf management and control in the Northern Rockies.
FWS proposes to define "unacceptable impact" as a state-determined impact to a wild ungulate population or herd, with wolves as one of the major causes of the population or herd not meeting established population or herd management goals. The determination must be peer- reviewed and reviewed and commented on by the public prior to a final determination by FWS that an unacceptable impact has occurred and that wolf removal is not likely to impede wolf recovery.’
The rule also proposes to add a new provision for lethal take of wolves in states with approved post-delisting wolf management plans when in defense of "stock animals" (defined as "a horse, mule, donkey, or llama used to transport people or their possessions") or dogs. Specifically, the proposed modification states that ‘‘any legally present private citizen on private or public land may immediately take a wolf that is in the act of attacking the individuals’ legally present stock animal or dog, provided there is no evidence of intentional baiting, feeding, or deliberate attractants of wolves. The citizen must be able to provide evidence of stock animals or dogs recently (less than 24 hours) wounded, harassed, molested, or killed by wolves, and we or our designated agents must be able to confirm that the stock animals or dogs were wounded, harassed, molested, or killed by wolves.”
Comments will be accepted until Monday, Aug. 6. Public hearings will be held in the tri-state area this month, including one on Tuesday, July 17 at the Cody Auditorium in Cody. The session will begin with an open house from 12:30-1:30, followed by the hearing from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.