No shooting wolves (YET!)
Wolf Pack Map
Here's a map of the wolf packs in Wyoming during 2007.
Patience, patience, patience
by Cat Urbigkit
February 24, 2008
Many hunters are enthusiastically looking forward to hunting wolves, and with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision to delist wolves in the Northern Rockies, everyone seems ready to rock. But hold your horses folks, because wolves are still federally protected!
Although FWS announced it was issuing a rule delisting wolves, the rule won't be published until Feb. 27. The actual delisting won't go into effect until 30 days from then, so it looks like March 28 is the earliest the rule could take effect. But if a legal injunction or something else happens between now and then, the schedule could get screwed up, so we'll keep you posted.
Once wolves are officially delisted, then they will be trophy game animals within the trophy game area of western Wyoming, so there will be seasons and licenses required. Outside of that trophy game area, they will be predators, subject to take similar to that of coyotes, but with reporting required. We'll post more of those details again later, when they go into effect also.
Meanwhile, here's the details on FWS's final rule:
"In 2007, following a change in State law, Wyoming drafted and approved a revised wolf management plan (Wyoming 2007). We have determined that this plan meets the requirements of the Act as providing adequate regulatory protections to conserve Wyoming’s portion of a recovered wolf population into the foreseeable future. Our determination is conditional upon the 2007 Wyoming wolf management law (W.S. 11-6-302 et seq. and 23-1-101, et seq. in House Bill 0213) being fully in effect and the wolf management plan being legally authorized by Wyoming statutes. If the law is not in effect (discussed in more detail below) within 20 days from the date of this publication, we will withdraw this final rule and replace it with an alternate final rule that removes the Act’s protections throughout all of the DPS, except the significant portion of the gray wolf’s range in northwestern Wyoming outside the National Parks."
Here are the details, from page 145-146 of the Federal Register delisting rule: "Wyoming – In 2007, the Wyoming legislature passed a State statute that would permit designation of wolves as “trophy game” in an area totaling just over 12,000 square miles in northwestern Wyoming, including YNP, Grand Teton National Park, John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, adjacent USFS-designated Wilderness Areas, and adjacent public and private lands, once the wolf is delisted from the Act.
"Following the change in State law, Wyoming drafted a revised wolf management plan (Wyoming 2007). On November 16, 2007, the WGFC unanimously approved the 2007 Wyoming Plan (Cleveland 2007, p. 1). The Service has determined that this plan, if implemented, will provide adequate regulatory protections to conserve Wyoming’s portion of a recovery wolf population into the foreseeable future (Hall 2007, p. 1-3). The plan automatically goes into effect upon the Governor’s certification to the Wyoming Secretary of State that all of the provisions found in the 2007 Wyoming wolf management law have been met (Freudenthal 2007b, p. 1-3). Thus, our determination is conditional upon the 2007 Wyoming wolf management law being fully in effect within 20 days of publication of this rule and the wolf management plan being legally authorized by Wyoming statutes (Hall 2007).
"Implementation of that law and the trophy game area of northwestern Wyoming is premised on Wyoming’s Governor certifying to the Wyoming Secretary of State that (1) the Service published a delisting rule that includes the entire State of Wyoming prior to February 28, 2007; (2) the Service modified the 2005 special rule [(10(j)] for the experimental population that addressed Wyoming’s concerns about wolf management to maintain ungulate herds above State management objectives; and (3) settlement or resolution of the claims relating to the Service not approving Wyoming’s 2003 wolf management law and wolf plan. This action satisfies the first criterion above.
"The second criterion was satisfied on January 29, 2008 when the Wyoming Governor certified that the 10(j) rule modification satisfied Wyoming’s law (Freudenthal 2008).
"Wyoming has indicated that they will deem the claims in the pending litigation settled and will request that the court dismiss the litigation upon publication of this final rule by February 28, 2008 (Freudenthal 2007b). Dismissal of the case is not needed for the 2007 wolf management plan and law to become effective (Freudenthal 2007b).
"Additionally, on November 19, 2007, the Governor certified that the provisions in the Wyoming wolf management law, §11-6-302(b) and 23-1-101(b), relating to the trophy game area boundary had been changed. We anticipate final certification will be issued within 20 days of publication of this rule."
"If the provisions in the Wyoming wolf law are not fulfilled and the final certifications are not made within 20 days of publication of this rule, we will withdraw this final rule before its effective date. In that case, the 2003 Wyoming State law and wolf management plan will be the regulatory mechanisms in Wyoming. As previously determined, these mechanisms do not provide the necessary regulatory mechanisms to ensure that Wyoming’s numerical and distributional share of a recovered NRM wolf population will be conserved (Williams 2004; 71 FR 43410, August 1, 2006). In such situation, we will replace this final rule with an alternate final rule that retains the Act’s protections in much of northwestern Wyoming, outside the National Parks, while wolves would be delisted in all other portions of the NRM DPS (72 FR 6106, February 8, 2007)."