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Thank you for reading these important updates. We appreciate your support as we educate, advocate and participate on behalf of wolves.
In This Issue
Montana Public Comment Needed
Wyoming Public Comment Needed
Nationwide Delisting on Temporary Hold
Wolfwatcher Advocates With Earthjustice
About Us
Public Comments Needed in Response to  
Wolf Hunt Proposals in Montana

Photo: Brad Orsted, Horsefeathers Photography
Montana officials estimated that at least 625 wolves, in 147 verified packs, and 37 breeding pairs inhabited the state at the end of 2012. During Montana's 2012/2013 wolf season, hunters and trappers killed 128 wolves and trappers took 97 wolves for a total of 225.  The actual numbers of wolves killed in the state, however, estimates more than 300 when factoring in wolves that were killed by depredation control (USDA's Wildlife Services killed 108 wolves), vehicular accidents, disease and other natural causes.


Montana Fish, Wildlife, Parks Commission proposed its 2013-14 wolf hunting and trapping season. Needless to say, we oppose this plan in its entirety, and we proved the plan violates four of the seven guiding principles of the North American Model of Conservation. We ask that you visit our website alert,   NWC Official Statement - Montana Wolf Hunting Proposal  to view our public comment, details about participating in the public comment period, talking points and addresses so that you can participate in the democratic process. Comments are due by June 24.

Final decisions will be made at a FWP Commission meeting on July 10th. 

Public Comments Needed in Response to
Wolf Hunt Proposals in Wyoming 

Photo: Mike Cavaroc, Free Roaming Photography

Wyoming Game and Fish officials reported that last season, hunters killed 42 wolves during the trophy and seasonal trophy hunting seasons from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31. Wolves can be shot without a license during any time of the year in about 85 percent of the rest of the state known as the predator zone, and thusfar this year, hunters have killed 16 wolves in this zone to date. Monthly updates are provided on the agency's website.

Recently, an article in the Jackson Hole Daily, "Wolf Group Targets Wolf Hunt," featured our 9-page public comment sent to Wyoming Game and Fish which demonstrated that the agency's proposals are unacceptable for a number of reasons.  Obviously on the defensive, the agency responded in a follow-up piece, "Game and Fish Rebuts Criticism of Wolf Hunt." In their rebuttal, Eric Ketszler of Wyoming Game and Fish stated, "It isn't our job to be a value of wildlife..."  


We believe that the Department's proposals already approach a dangerous slippery slope when it comes to state management of wolves in Wyoming. Thus we oppose all hunting and trapping in the state at this time. In fact, we feel the plan has the potential to recklessly unravel the recovery of wolves in the entire Northern Rockies region.


We hope you will take a moment to express your concerns about these proposals. Please visit our website update, "NWC Public Statement: 2013 Wyoming Wolf Hunt." to view our public statement and details about participating in the public comment period which ends on June 5.

It's Good News...But It's Not Over Yet 
You can help to ensure federal protections for wolves  in the lower 48 states. 

Mexican Gray Wolf, Sandy Sisti

The Obama Administration's plan to remove the gray wolf from the federal protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act in the lower 48 states is temporarily on hold. The reasons for the indefinite delay announced this week were not revealed nor were the records of closed-door meetings to craft this plan that began in August 2010.   


However, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, PEER, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to obtain all of the "Structured Decision Making" documents that led to the proposed "National Wolf Strategy" This 'strategy' called for striking the gray wolf from the federal list of threatened or endangered species in the lower 48 states.

The plan would keep endangered status for the Mexican gray wolf, although no protected habitat was delineated for this fragile population. Sixteen scientists whose research is referenced in the draft rule have stated in a letter to Interior Secretary Jewell that science does not support delisting. 

Although the draft plan has been delayed, it has NOT been stopped. It is important that we keep the pressure on. We ask that you send a quick email that urges the following government officials to maintain federal protections for wolves and wolf recovery:

Talking points may include the following.  

Please feel free to personalize these points with your own concerns, as well.

  1. Sixteen scientists expressed "serious concerns" with a recent draft rule to remove Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves across the Lower 48 States. They do not believe that the rule reflects the conclusions of their work or the best available science concerning the recovery of wolves. They also do not believe the rule reflects the fundamental purpose of the Endangered Species Act to conserve endangered species and the ecosystems upon which they depend. By law, Endangered Species Act decisions are supposed to be governed by the best available science.

  2. There is a growing body of scientific literature demonstrating that top predators play critical roles in maintaining a diversity of other wildlife species and healthy, balanced ecosystems.

  3. The gray wolf has barely begun to recover or is absent from significant portions of its former range where substantial suitable habitat remains. The Service's draft rule fails to consider extensive suitable habitat in the Pacific Northwest, California, the southern Rocky Mountains and the Northeast. It also fails to consider the importance of these areas to the long-term survival and recovery of wolves, or the importance of wolves to the ecosystems of these regions.



Wolfwatcher Advocates With Earthjustice
To Protect Yellowstone Wolves



Yellowstone Wolf 831F 
Photo: Brad Orsted, Horsefeathers Photography 


A Gardiner-area (Montana) landowner shot a research wolf, 831F, from Yellowstone National Park after losing more than a dozen sheep to wolves.  FWP issued 2 shoot-on-sight permits in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services. The permits were good for 45 days and did not allow ranchers to shoot wolves outside of the property where a livestock loss happened.


Upon hearing this news, Wolfwatcher immediately contacted Attorney Tim Preso at Earthjustice to assist in advocating for the revocation of Mr. Hoppe's second kill permit based on mounting complaints that Mr. Hoppe was allegedly luring wolves out of the park when carcasses remained on his land.


Although the loss of 831F was tragic, the resulting action based on this intervention hopefully saved the life of another wolf.     


Since their founding 40+ years ago, Earthjustice has fought to protect hundreds of special places and wildlife species. And while every victory that preserves a national park or saves an endangered species is a significant accomplishment, some animals they defend are iconic symbols of the wild - like our wolves. We look forward to future collaboration with Earthjustice, and we urge you to consider supporting their brave efforts on behalf of all wildlife and wild places. 


Educate, Advocate, Participate

National Wolfwatcher Coalition is a 501(c)(3)  

nonprofit, all volunteer organization  

on behalf of  

wolf education, conservation and advocacy.




We advocate for the long term recovery of wolves by informing the public about the challenges to their conservation, supporting measures that promote the acceptance of wolves on the landscape, and educating the public about ways it can participate as an effective voice for scientific decision making in their behalf.  All donations, no matter the amount, will help us to educate, advocate and participate via:

  • educational programs, materials and events
  • participation in conferences, seminars, and consultation with other professionals in the field of wolf biology, research, conservation and environmental law.
  • Wolfwatcher Legal Fund to address costs related to our potential engagement in litigation that challenges local, state and/or federal policies that affect wolf conservation.

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