The slideshow above features nine wolf images.
Photos courtesy Rick Hobson.
Western Watersheds Project's involvement in the sound recovery of wolves in the West has helped save wolves. By tirelessly monitoring watersheds throughout the West and enforcing the rule of law, WWP's efforts remove abusive livestock grazing on federal public lands thereby removing the fundamental causes of wolf slaughter - the persistance of livestock on public wolf habitat.
With the delisting of Northern Rocky Mountain wolves in the Northwest, and WWP's expansion into Arizona extending our efforts into Mexican Gray Wolf recovery, keep abreast of WWP's efforts at restoring wolf habitat by signing up for WWP's On-line Messenger and consider supporting our critical efforts by joining WWP today.
Western Watersheds Project and the Idaho Conservation League won a major
victory in their efforts to protect Idaho's wolf populations when a
federal District Court judge ruled that the 1972 law which established the
Sawtooth National Recreation Area gives wolves and all other wildlife precedence
U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill also ruled that the U.S. Forest Service,
which manages the SNRA, is in violation of the federal Rescissions Act, passed
by Congress in 1995 to force the agency to establish a schedule to conduct
environmental analyses of every grazing allotment in the National Forest System.
Furthermore, Winmill ruled that the Forest Service violated the Organic Act
which created the SNRA by failing to consider whether livestock grazing is
"substantially impairing" wolf populations in the area. He also determined that
the Organic Act does not include grazing as a "historic" or "pastoral" value.
Winmill's ruling forces the Forest Service to complete National Environmental
Protection Act (NEPA) analyses of all SNRA allotments for which analyses have
not been conducted.
Even where NEPA analyses have been done, the judge ruled that the Forest
Service must revisit the allotments to conduct Organic Act analyses for
significant impairment of wildlife, fisheries and recreation.
"Under the law which created the SNRA and in the forest plan for the Sawtooth
National Forest, wildlife, fisheries and recreation must be protected and have
higher priorities for management than livestock grazing," said Jon Marvel,
executive director of WWP.
WWP and ICL sued the Forest Service for its failure to protect
The lawsuit followed the killing by government gunners on June 29, 2001 of
two radio-collared wolves from the Whitehawk pack in the SNRA, part of the
Sawtooth National Forest near Sun Valley, Idaho.
The lawsuit charged that the Forest Service failed in its duty to keep sheep
and cattle that graze on public lands away from known wolf pack denning and
At least 27 wolves in the past three years have been killed or removed from
areas in or near the SNRA due to conflicts with livestock.
In April 2002 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents killed the entire
Whitehawk pack of 11 wolves near the SNRA. Similarly, the White Cloud and
Stanley Basin wolf packs were eliminated in 2000 and 2001.
Despite the known presence of wolves in the SNRA, some 4,470 sheep and 2,500
cattle are allowed to graze on 28 Forest Service allotments in the area.
WWP and ICL have long contended that management of livestock in the SNRA has significantly impaired wolves and
other wildlife as well as fisheries and recreation.
"The law is clear. Wildlife takes precedence over livestock in the SNRA,"
said William Eddie of the Land and Water Fund of the Rockies, attorney for WWP
"The next time the government looks at shooting up a wolf pack in the SNRA,
as it did last year, it better consider the legality of such an action," said
ICL Conservation Director McCarthy.