The 2014 report from department wildlife biologists says Oregon has a minimum of 77 wolves in nine packs. More importantly, eight of those packs contained breeding pairs, meaning they had at least two pups that survived to the end of the year. Continue reading
LYNNWOOD, Wash. — The east-west divide over how Washington should manage conflicts between ranchers and the state’s growing population of wolves was apparent Tuesday at a meeting in this Seattle suburb.
Speaker after speaker told state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials that game managers shouldn’t have OK’d the shooting of a wolf in August to deter a pack from preying on sheep in Stevens County in northeast Washington.
A week ago at the Stevens County Fairground in Colville, game officials were accused of being slow to stop livestock predation. At the Lynnwood Convention Center, they were charged with being quick to kill wolves at the bidding of ranchers. Continue reading
October 8, 2014
COLVILLE, Wash. – The Department of Fish and Wildlife discussed concerns over the growing wolf population with hundreds of residents of eastern Washington Tuesday night in Colville.
The department invited members of the public to share their views on wolf management after wolves killed livestock in Stevens and Ferry Counties. More than 200 people crammed into the Colville Ag Trade Center to share their opinions. While a few served as advocates for the wolves, most of the comments came from ranchers and others who are frustrated with how the state is managing the wolves. Continue reading
BOISE, Idaho — Republicans promoting Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter’s proposed $2 million taxpayer-financed fund to kill wolves hope the cash helps reduce Idaho’s population of these canine predators by more than 500 animals, to just 150 wolves in 15 packs.
Rep. Marc Gibbs of Grace and Sen. Bert Brackett of Rogerson on Monday told the House Resources and Conservation Committee the money set aside with Otter’s proposal, along with smaller contributions from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game and livestock producers, will bolster Idaho’s predator arsenal and help it reach a 150-wolf goal. Continue reading
Since wolves were reintroduced, some eastern Arizona ranchers claim the animals have destroyed their lives
Dean Warren has a story to tell about how Mexican Gray wolves stole one of the best parts of his life.
He was on horseback on a mountain trail south of Rose Peak, in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, when four wolves attacked him and his six blue tick hounds, setting off a ferocious struggle.
“Picture 10 animals in a dogfight under your horse, and you know what I’m talking about,” says Warren, then a rancher and range deputy for the Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office.
“I’m being attacked by wolves!” he hollered into his police radio. “I need help!” Continue reading
Citing the potential for recreational conflicts with sheep, the Ketchum Ranger District is making plans to cut more grazing on the Sawtooth National Forest.
It’s a disturbing trend. Every year it seems there is some new obtuse reason to cut grazing on public land. In this case, the Forest Service is concerned about fishermen, hikers, bikers and others out recreating coming into conflicts with the guard dogs sheep herders keep with their flocks to protect them from wolves. They’re also concerned that wolves might kill sheep and that will lead to government trappers and others, killing wolves. Continue reading
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 10:25 am | Updated: 11:20 am, Tue Aug 20, 2013.
U.S. Forest Service officials are asking people to stay out of an area where a large sheep kill was reported over the weekend.
Jay Pence, Teton Basin District ranger, said the sheep kill could attract a lot of people hoping to see predators coming to feed on the carcasses.
Ranchers and others are trying to deal with the situation, and visitors can hamper their activities.
“There are a lot more fun things to look at than dead sheep,” said Pence. Continue reading
BILLINGS, Mont.—Federal wildlife officials have drafted plans to lift protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 states, a move that could end a decades-long recovery effort that has restored the animals but only in parts of their historic range.
The draft U.S. Department of Interior rule obtained by The Associated Press contends the roughly 6,000 wolves now living in the Northern Rockies and Great Lakes are enough to prevent the species’ extinction. The agency says having gray wolves elsewhere—such as the West Coast, parts of New England and elsewhere in the Rockies—is unnecessary for their long-term survival. Continue reading
SPOKANE — Ranchers and critics alike say they mostly agree with a new rule permitting Eastern Washington livestock or pet owners to kill a wolf that is attacking their animals.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission directed the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to put the emergency rule into effect last week.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Len McIrvin, a rancher in Laurier, Wash. His Diamond M Ranch was a hub of wolf depredation last year. Wolves killed or injured at least 17 animals. As a result, the state killed six wolves in the Wedge Pack in September 2012. Continue reading
Monday, April 29, 2013
TWISP — A Twisp cattle rancher who admitted last year that he had earlier conspired to kill a wolf and ship its pelt to Canada reported finding a dead calf that he suspects might have been killed by a wolf on his property Wednesday.
But state Department of Fish and Wildlife officials say their preliminary finding is that Bill White’s calf was not killed by a wolf. Continue reading
SALEM — Wallowa County rancher Rod Childers told lawmakers in a House committee April 16 that ranchers’ patience is wearing thin as wolves continue to kill livestock and cause “irreparable damage” to some ranch families.
But, he said, ranchers haven’t resorted to killing wolves.
“Even though our patience is running thin out there — we’ve had depredations for over three years now — none of us have taken a wolf,” Childers said.
Childers testified before the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in support of a bill that would relax restrictions on a rancher’s ability to protect livestock from wolves. Continue reading
Posted April 17, 2013
WENATCHEE, Wash. — The Wenatchee Pack apparently operates closer to a city than any other wolf pack in Washington, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist says.
But Wenatchee is unique as “a front range community” for its size in proximity to mountains and rough country, said David Volsen, a Fish and Wildlife biologist stationed in Wenatchee.
The town, 780 feet above sea level, is bordered by the Columbia River on the east and foothills rising 2,000 to 3,000 feet to the west. Wenatchee’s population is 32,400. East Wenatchee, on the east side of the river, is another 13,375 people for a total of 45,775. Continue reading
WENATCHEE, Wash. — The Hurd brothers started seeing tracks on their ranch last year. They were from wolves or really large dogs, they weren’t sure.
Then last fall the Hurds held four miles of fire line during the Wenatchee wildfires, and Oregon hot shot fire crews told them they found wolf tracks on the ridge five to six miles southwest of Wenatchee. Continue reading
They are getting closer. Mike Garneau of the Warden area sent word of a wolf sighting south of Wenatchee. Apparently a rancher found a dead pregnant cow with wolf tracks and signs of a wolf feeding on the carcass.
Fish and Wildlife is investigating, but hasn’t determined if a wolf killed the cow. Garneau passed along the info about Fish and Wildlife spotting two wolves within a little over a quarter mile from the kill site.
Fish and Wildlife has reportedly deemed these two wolves to be a pack and named them the Wenatchee Pack.
Fish and Wildlife has a map of wolf sightings on their website. The map is poor as far as exact spot of the sighting or howling, but the description from the observer and the general area indicates we are surrounded by wolves. Continue reading
BOISE, ID — Two bills that would make more money available to control wolves and compensate producers in Idaho who have lost cattle to the predators are moving through the Idaho Legislature.
One is on the verge of passing while the other is under the gun with the session set to end March 29.
A bill introduced March 25 by Rep. Judy Boyle, a Republican rancher from Midvale, would increase the price of wolf tags in Idaho by $4 and use the money to create a fund that would compensate producers for losses suffered to wolf depredation. Continue reading
SALEM, OREGON — Wolf expert Carter Niemeyer told lawmakers here March 25 that once wolves start feeding on livestock, it is extremely difficult to break them of the habit.
“Generally when you have a wolf pack that develops this behavior, it is very, very difficult to break them of that,” Niemeyer said.
Niemeyer told lawmakers in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee that wolves generally recognize deer and elk as their principal prey. Continue reading
The policy cutoff is now behind us, and this week all eyes are on the fiscal committees that have until Friday, March 1, to move bills out of their committees. The one caveat is that this cutoff does not apply to bills that are considered NTIB – Necessary To Implement the Budget. Speaking of the budget, there are no visible signs that any serious discussions about the budget have yet occurred between the House and Senate. It is also still unclear what role the new governor will attempt to play in this year’s budget discussions.
The Legislature is still waiting for a ruling by the state Supreme Court on the constitutional challenge to the supermajority vote requirement on the Legislature to increase taxes. Rather than waiting for the court decision, the Senate Majority Coalition amended its operating rules to require a two-thirds vote for passage of tax bills. The House Democrat majority is not likely to act on this issue.
Two bills are moving through the Senate (SJR 8204 and SJR 8205) that would place the supermajority vote requirement in the Constitution. This constitutional requirement should easily pass If legislators vote how their individual districts voted on Initiative 1185. Farm Bureau supports both bills. Continue reading
Kretz: ‘It seems like most of the support for wolves is in areas where there are none’
A lawmaker from Eastern Washington says if wolves are so welcome on the west side of the state, they should be moved there.
Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, planned to propose legislation this week to move wolves into Western Washington where he says their supporters live.
“When there’s problems with wolves in one part of the state, they could be relocated to another part of the state that really should be able to share the benefits of wolves,” he said.
“Right now the brunt of the whole thing is being borne by my district, basically,” he said, noting there have been as many as eight wolf packs in his district. “It’s really easy for a senator in the San Juans to criticize dealing with wolf depredations in Eastern Washington.” Continue reading
By MATTHEW WEAVER
A lawmaker from Eastern Washington says if wolves are so welcome on the west side of the state, they should be moved there.
Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, plans to propose legislation this week to move wolves into Western Washington near their supporters.
“When there’s problems with wolves in one part of the state, they could be relocated to another part of the state that really should be able to share the benefits of wolves,” he said. Continue reading
Two Native American tribes in eastern Washington are moving ahead with plans to manage wolves on their reservations.
The Spokane Tribe of Indians is proceeding with an internal review of a proposed wolf management plan, said B.J. Kieffer, director of natural resources for the tribe in Wellpinit, Wash. The plan will be submitted to the tribal business council.
He declined to discuss the plan while it is under review.
A member of the tribe “incidentally” killed an 87-pound male gray wolf on Dec. 10, he said.
Kieffer said he is not sure how the wolf was killed. Continue reading
The goal of environmental groups should be to find ways that humans can coexist with carnivores. Endless lawsuits do the opposite.
October 12, 2012
Wyoming – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service this month handed over its wolf-management efforts to the state of Wyoming, leaving all three northern Rockies states, including Montana and Idaho, to manage wolves on their own. Environmental groups—including Earthjustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity—have vowed to sue Fish and Wildlife, arguing that its action has put wolves “back on the brink.” Continue reading
LAURIER, Wash. — On some evenings, Bill McIrvin will ride to the top of a ridge in the middle of his cattle range and let out a howl.
Most of the time, wolves answer back with their own howls.
“I’m just up there seeing if they’re into our cattle and which bunch of cattle they’re into,” he said.
It’s frustrating for the rancher, who raises 200 cow-calf pairs on 34,000 acres of private, state and federal land about a mile south of the Canadian border. Some of the livestock do not make it through the summer. The wolves attack and kill some and harass the others. Continue reading
Posted June 15, 2012
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife advocates say they decided not to appeal to the Supreme Court to keep wolves on the endangered list in Idaho and Montana after their arguments were rejected in lower court rulings.
Congress ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to take gray wolves off the endangered species list last spring. That triggered lawsuits from wildlife groups and environmentalists who argued state-sponsored hunts could again drive wolves towards extinction.
But after two lower courts sided with the government, the plaintiffs let the 90-day deadline for appeal to the Supreme Court pass this week without action.
Representatives of the groups involved in the case say they did not expect to prevail before the high court.
There were an estimated 1,774 wolves in the Northern Rockies at the end of last year.
Copyright 2012 The AP.
Sent: Monday, November 14, 2011 9:04 AM
Subject: From the Office of Senator Cantwell
Dear Mr. Coulson,
Thank you for contacting me about removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon Dams on the Olympic Peninsula. I appreciate hearing from you on this important matter and sincerely regret the delayed response.
As you know, the lower course of the Elwha River currently has two dams – the Elwha, completed in 1914, and the Glines Canyon, completed in 1927. Though they have a combined average generation output of 18.7 megawatts, neither project has fish passage facilities. The construction of the Elwha Dam blocked access to approximately 93 percent of the historical anadromous fish habitat on the Elwha River. Before the dams were built, the river produced an estimated 380,000 salmon and trout, while current, largely hatchery-based, fish runs in the Elwha River average around 10,000 annually.
In the 1970s and 80s, the licensing of the Elwha Dam and re-licensing of the Glines Canyon Dam through the Federal Power Commission (now the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) was subject to significant controversy and extensive delay due to a variety of factors, including the policy implications of licensing a project within a national park (Olympic National Park), conflicting federal, state, and tribal resource goals, and legal challenges from the environmental community.
As a result of the ongoing conflicts, on October 24, 1992, Congress passed the Elwha River Ecosystem and Fisheries Restoration Act (P.L. 102-495). This bill was a negotiated solution to avoid litigation, protect jobs at the paper mill that uses power generated by the dams, generate economic growth through fishing, tourism and recreation in the area, restore fisheries and the river ecosystem, and meet federal tribal trust responsibilities.
The Act directed the Secretary of the Interior to develop a report for Congress assessing alternatives that would lead to ecosystem restoration and fisheries recovery. A final “programmatic” Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) released in June 1995 recommended removal of both dams. An additional “implementation” EIS released in November 1996 recommended using natural erosion to dispose of accumulated sediment behind the dams.
In 2005, a final record of decision was issued to move forward with the restoration project, which includes removal of both dams, addressing erosion and sediment concerns, building new water and sewage treatment facilities, and other steps to mitigate economic and environmental impacts. For more information on this project, I’d encourage you to visit http://www.nps.gov/olym/naturescience/elwha-ecosystem-restoration.htm.
The Elwha River Restoration Project began on September 17, 2011, and will cost an estimated $351 million over three years. The first of its kind and scale in our country, this project has the potential to be a game-changer for salmon on the Olympic Peninsula. Once the dams are removed, migratory salmon will, for the first time in nearly 100 years, have full access to spawn the entire length of the Elwha River. The restored river will result in an estimated 2,000 local jobs related to the fishing industry. I am satisfied that decisions surrounding the Elwha River Restoration Project have been grounded in science, and that measures have been taken at every step of the way to ensure salmon are protected and that the dam removal is safe for communities downriver.
Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter, and I appreciate the opportunity to learn your views on the Elwha River dam removal. You may also be interested in signing up for periodic updates for Washington State residents. If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at http://cantwell.senate.gov. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.
United States SenatorFor future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at
RESPONSE BY MARV CHASTAIN:
Taking her diatribe in order:
1- The average electrical output: The Elwha dams had a capacity of well in excess of 30 megawatts. The equipment was a century old and could have been upgraded. The dams were operated on a strictly RUN OF THE RIVER basis – that is, unlike most hydropower dams, they maintained the outflow as nearly as possible to match the incoming water. They did not store extra water in winter and use it in summer, but they did spill water during low water periods to assist the salmon – and for various “tests” done by the Dam Busters trying to figure out how they were going to destroy the dams.
2- The dam did not block salmon – The environmentalists did. The Dam owners had an overall design done by a well known and highly experienced fisheries expert of a fish ladder for the lower dam (1990s price tag= $3.6 million) A fish ladder for the upper dam would have cost roughly twice that much. The Dam owners agreed to build same if the license was renewed. Environmentalists fought tooth and nail to prevent re-license and the consequent fish ladders. About 1997, REAL proposed the planting of egg boxes in the mid-river area. That would have produced salmon who would have returned in 3 -5 years. At that time, it did not look like congress was going to spend the money to remove the dams and we expected a ladder could be built and/or a temporary trap-and-haul operation could fill the time if it wasn’t. Every year, salmon milled around the pool below the lower dam so construction of any kind of transport facility would have had immediate use. We met with all three of our state reps in Hargrove’s office and drafted a bill. When the bill came up for hearing, the Sierra Club rep testified they were opposed because “It would take interest off the removal of the dams”.
In the end, we were sold out by a Republican state Rep, Jim Buck – then chairman of the natural resources committee.
3- The statement about 93 percent of fish habitat is very misleading. It’s not how many miles of river fish can swim in, it’s spawning habitat that determines production of fish. Salmon must have Slow and Clean water for spawning.. Most of the slow and clean water in the Elwha was in the lower five miles of river, below the dams. I believe the state fisheries people were aware of this and that is why they OKed Tom Aldwell’s proposal to furnish a hatchery in place of a fish ladder. The water below the dams was clean because the lakes acted as settling ponds, Allowing the rock dust and other detrius of the fast flowing river to settle to the bottom and provide crystal clear water for spawning which the river will never again see without those lakes.
4- Since we have no records of pre-dam fish in the river, the 380,000 is pure imagination on somebody’s part. But, clearly there were a lot of fish in the Elwha. And they did not seriously diminish in the Elwha until the same time they were diminishing in other Northwest rivers. I have video taken in the 1960s showing the state fish hatchery manager just wading out into a river full of fish with a gaff hook and gaffing the big ones he wanted for eggs. That video was taken 50 years after the dam was built. (furnished to me by the family of Ernie Brannon, Sr. – then hatchery manager)
5- Technically, the upper dam was not in the national park. The dam was in operation before the area around it because a park and the dam and immediately surrounding property did not become part of the park until the owners sold it to the gov’t in 1997 after being told it would not be relisenced.
6- The so-called “environmental impact statement” was a fraud. Important data (including some the gov’t paid for) was left out. The (then) secretary of the Interior had already expressed his determination to remove the dams, before it was even created. He even said in a public statement the he was “eager to push the plunger to blow up a major dam”. His decision was not exactly based on facts. Furthermore, the bill did not specify what the Elwha valley was to be “restored” to. If the pre-dam kind of fish runs were to be restored, radical changes would have to be made in salt water to eliminate the huge over-fishing there by both human effort and the protected population of fish eating animals. Nothing like that has been done or even contemplated so far as the public knows.
7- The statement about 2000 local jobs is pure fantasy. There is no reason to believe the Elwha salmon runs will even equal those of the past ten years. After total contamination of the spawning beds in the lower river. Even Brian Winter does not predict large salmon runs for 30 years. The 30 years covers his career. He will be retired by that time and not available to explain why his wild predictions did not come to pass. Somebody would have to hire those 2000 people. Who would and why?
I have video and still photos which show the rock dust that inhabits the river. During one of the lowerings of the water level on the upper dam, it shows workers covering their faces to protect them from the blowing rock dust that a week before was at the bottom of the lake. Now, much of that dust is flowing into the strait. However, the glacier that caused it has been gone for thousands of years and the river has not succeeded in completely eliminating it. How many more thousands of years will it take?
Cantwell does not even refer to the 20 species of water fowl that used the lakes or the endangered species of trout that was eliminated from Lake Mills, or the beaver that inhabited the upper reaches of Lake Aldwell.
Following is a copy of an article I copied out of a magazine two decades ago, as I was trying to fathom what was really behind the effort to destroy the Elwha Dams and lakes. It was written by a reporter who had interviewd Dave Foreman, founder of Earth First and currently director of the Sierra Club. At first glance, it appears to be just a crazy rant (which it is).
Only skillful use of funds mostly from individuals and well-heeled foundations who believe the fiction that their money will be used to “save the planet”, have created a substantial Cult, dedicated to destruction of civilization. That cult has been able to buy or intimidate a lot of politicians (including some Republicans)
They have gone a long way toward their goal of setting back the USA 500 years.
Their “Great Achievement” has been destruction of the Elwha dams and lakes. Not satisfied with that triumph, they are now actively working on destruction of vital dams in California which provide not only electical energy, but vital irrigation water essential to California food growers. (So, we can import our food from China?)
But, never fear, they are not thru with the Pacific Northwest. They have publicly stated they have the dams on the Snake and Columbia in their sights.
(Click on image for larger view)
Foreman rambles on for several pages, but the key is map of the USA showing black areas (including Clallam County) from which they propose to close humans out of and turn over strictly to animals, dominated by grizzly bears and wolves.
Where to start such a nightmare? How about a peninsula on the Northwest edge of the country, surrounded on three sides by water and already containing very large areas where no humans live.
To accomplish that, you must first shut down industry and agriculture to persuade residents to leave. (Sound familiar?)
By JEFF BARNARD
Feb. 1, 2012
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Frustrated that a judge has blocked a state kill order against two members of Oregon’s first wolf pack, the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association is pushing legislation to boost the state’s authority over the predators.
Conservation groups that sued the state to stop the kill order say the bill is an effort to circumvent their lawsuit and the state Endangered Species Act.
Bill Hoyt, legislative chairman of the Cattlemen’s Association, says the bill is not specifically aimed at the lawsuit. But he says the group would rather the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, not judges, make decisions about wolves. Continue reading
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