"Now I know why you are the managing editor. Great job and I feel the article is very informative and truthful." - grant stumbough, southeast wyoming resource conservation and development coordinator, upon reading the article proof i sent him....
i wrote an article for this week's paper focusing on monday's jackson meeting of the wyoming infrastructure authority - the one i was supposed to go to but was scaredy and stayed home because of the roads. so, since i didn't go grant and another man named bob whitton from wheatland stopped by the office for a visit and i wrote the article from what they told me about the meeting. grant is well respected in the ag community, so i consider it a great compliment to gain his compliments on my work.
today was a long day working - i woke up at 4:45 to leave for cheyenne at 5:30. there was a hearing at 9 a.m. in federal district court regarding the case of state of wyoming and wyoming wolf coalition versus the department of the interior and the u.s. fish and wildlife service.
have you ever been to a hearing in a federal court? it's a good experience, to see how everything's conducted and how things work at that legal level.
wyoming is arguing their case for delisting of the gray wolf in the state, while maintaining a 'split status,' which means that part of the state, the northwest corner including yellowstone park, would be in trophy game status (and have a hunting season and limited take) while the remainder of the state, which is considered 'unsuitable habitat' for the wolf, would classify them as predators, which means they could be shot anytime, anywhere, on sight - just like a coyote.
that may sound brutal, but it is important for wyoming to maintain predator status elsewhere in the state.
it is imperative that ranchers be able to protect their livestock from marauding wolves.
fish and wildlife themselves have said that only 15 breeding pairs and 150 total wolves are needed in the state, which provides a 50 percent cushion above their absolutely necessary 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves.
wyoming has agreed to maintain those numbers. the fish and wildlife themselves have said it is more than possible to maintain those numbers in the park and wyoming's trophy game area.
but yet, fws refuses to delist in wyoming. for political reasons. because no enviros want their beloved, majestic wolves to be shot. how majestic are these wolves when they're raiding calving grounds, killing sheep and mauling guard dogs?
one of the wyoming attorneys pointed out that there are 1,600 gray wolves in wyoming, idaho and montana. recovery objective was 300, by the way. each of those 1,600 wolves kills two large animals a month. do the math. ranchers are sacrificing livestock and outfitters and hunting guides are losing elk, deer and moose to an out-of-control population of large predators.
and yet, fws wants more control. more wolves. more area.
one thing the wyoming attorneys pointed out today that i thought was very critical was that fws is in the business of managing wolves, and ensuring they don't go extinct. they have a very narrow focus on that goal. however, when recovery occurs, as it has, control is turned back over to the state - who owns all the wildlife in its borders to begin with. and the state is in the business of managing all the interests within its borders. that includes agriculture, hunting, recreation, energy production, etc. it's the state's responsibility to make sure everything works together. and that's why the wolf cannot be a trophy animal in the entire state. in order for those other interests to continue to operate, there has to be some control allowed. otherwise, the wolf rules the state, and everybody else's hands are tied while they're being run out of business.
it's a radical idea to think that wyoming would ever allow one species to put those kinds of controls over everybody within the state's borders.
rancher question: will you go to washington for us?
attorney harriet hageman: of course.
they're prepared to fight this in u.s. supreme court, folks.
wyoming isn't going to roll over and die just because the feds are pressuring for their way of management. and i say more power to them. it's about time somebody stood up for state's rights and told washington where to put it.
that's not even close to the 6,000 words of information i typed out in the two-hour hearing this morning, but those are a few of the key points i mulled over on the 2 1/2 hour drive back to casper this afternoon.
now i'm off to enjoy my weekend. tomorrow is the day i order my custom spurs that the him is buying me for my birthday!! it's very exciting. he's very good to me. i admit - i'm spoiled.