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National Wolf Awareness Week In Wyoming

via flickr user Fremlin

Learning how to howl like a wolf and how to identify wolf tracks are examples of educational events for this week’s National Wolf Awareness Week. In Wyoming, the state is on the cusp of finally taking over management of grey wolves.

John Spahr, with the Sierra Club’s Resilient Habitats Campaign in Wyoming, says while his group would like to see wolves remain a protected species, he sees that change is coming  and thinks the state could improve its management plan. He calls it unbalanced and says it puts wolves at risk of returning to the Endangered Species List.

“Right now, it’s like 12 percent of the state is trophy game, 88 percent is predator. If we could get some more for trophy game and give these wolves a little more area to spread out in, I think that’d be a lot better.”

The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service endorsed the state wolf management plan earlier this month, and the Legislature will finalize it early next year. The idea is to preserve 15 breeding wolf pairs, mostly in and around national parks. Spahr says changes could still be made, and he thinks it’s more than wolves that would benefit with an expanded trophy game zone.

“If the livestock depredation takes place inside the trophy game zone, they get compensated for that. If it’s in predator status, they don’t get compensated.”

Wolves would be permitted to be killed by any method in predator zones and licenses would be required in trophy game zones – mostly swaths of land around national parks. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department received just over 350 comments related to the plan and will publish them next week.



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