Interior Secretary Wants to Move Past Wyoming Wolf Litigation

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While the FWS is moving forward with a wolf delisting for Montana and Idaho, it appears that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar may want to settle the issue with Wyoming as well. According to, Mr. Salazar is optimistic on reaching an agreement that would turn over wolf management to the state of Wyoming.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Tuesday he's optimistic the federal government can come to agreement with the state of Wyoming on how to lift federal protections for wolves in the state — a dispute that has sparked years of bitter litigation. Speaking at a Cheyenne high school with Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, Salazar said he planned to continue talks with Mead on how to transfer wolf management responsibility to the state.


arrowflipper's picture

long overdue

This has been a long time coming.  It's about time they turn the issue back to those who deal with it directly.  This might be a great and novel idea for other issues that the feds have taken control of as well. 

Something that I have found over the years is that way too often, upper management, who are almost completely out of touch with what's happening on the ground level, make the decisions.  The superintendent of schools makes decisions for what is happening in the classroom and hasn't been in the classroom in years.  The superintendent of a construction company micro-manages his employees even though he hasn't done their job in 20 years.  The federal government regulates what happens on a state level when no one has ever been to that state.  And the state government tells the city mayor how to run his city when they are 400 miles away.

Way too much of our game management is done by those who have not been in the field and are totally out of touch with what's happening.  I think much of it is "political" rather than biological.  The feds don't have a clue how it feels to have half your calf population decimated by wolves.  They don't have a clue how many deer and elk fawns and calves are killed by a growing wolf population.  They only listen to who yells the loudest, and that is more often than not, people who don't know much of what is going on and really don't care.  How many of the animal activists are informed about the real issues?

I would love to see this wolf issue turned over to each individual state to handle as is best for them and their particular issues.  Washington State has a growing wolf population and will soon need legislation to take care of it.

hunter25's picture

I agree that the state should

I agree that the state should be the one managing them. I don't think the government will go with the current plan they have now though of shooting them on site everywhere but the one area. Since wolves can have a tendency to wander a lot they could still see a problem with too many getting killed. This is a monor issue though and I think Wyoming will be hunting them soon also.

With all the stories from Michigan, MInnesota, and Wisconsin about their wolves how come they don't have any talks about the management in those states?

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Well, I don't really get the

Well, I don't really get the impression that he is blowing them off.  I honestly think he's just happy that all the courtroom drama is behind them.

Now that they settled this, Idaho and Montana can move beyond the litigation, and start taking the wolf management into their own hands.

Of course, the interior secretary is speaking in Wyoming, which was not covered in the settlement, but I think it's only a matter of time until the government works with them also to come to an agreement.

As the Salazar guy said, the endangered species act was responsible for bringing the wolf back, and is a great success story.  However, now that they have officially recovered, it should be left up to the state to properly manage them.

jaybe's picture

That is so

That is so "politician-sounding" language: "We want to move past this and get on to that.". That usually means they want to ignore you and push on with their agenda.

I hope Wyoming sticks to its guns (pun intended) and doesn't allow the federal government to tell them what is good for their state. There is far too much of that going on - and it's not just this administration - it's been going on for a long time.

It seems to me that the "dual status" for wolves should work just fine; they are protected in Yellowstone and shot on sight anywhere else. It's sort of like that guy who likes to break into homes; he's safe on the street, but shot on sight inside someone's house.

Hang in there Wyoming!