Sage Creek Pack Wiped Out By Aerial Gunners in Montana

Aerial gunners wiped out the remaining four members of the Sage Creek Pack, which will serve to further genetically isolate Yellowstone’s wolves. The Center for Biological Diversity issued a statement concerning this outrageous event. This pack was originally targeted because it killed ONE SHEEP!!

“The initial cause for the destruction of the eight-member Sage Creek Pack was its predation on a single sheep on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sheep Experiment Station, which grazes thousands of sheep on more than 100,000 acres in Montana and Idaho”

It always comes back to grazing livestock on public lands and who pays the price? The Wolf!

Montana FWP recently closed the backcountry area WMU-3 (which encompasses the wilderness outside of Yellowstone) in part due to the loss of nine wolves in that area, including the Cottonwood Pack. This pack was part of ongoing research on Yellowstone’s famous wolves. The hunts eliminated the pack because buffer zones were not in place for the wolves, who can’t read boundary signs. Their only crime was leaving the protection of the park. So that’s two wolf packs gone in a matter of weeks. One lost to hunters and the other to FWP aerial gunners.

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aerial gunning of wolves

For Immediate Release, October 9, 2009

Aerial Gunning of Wolf Pack in Montana Isolates Yellowstone Wolves, Undermines Recovery

SILVER CITY, N.M.— This week’s aerial gunning of the last four members of the Sage Creek wolf pack in southwestern Montana contributes to the genetic isolation of wolves in Yellowstone National Park – even as, on Thursday, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks commission suspended the public wolf-hunting season near Yellowstone in order not to isolate the national park’s wolves.

Said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity: “We are saddened by the loss of the Sage Creek Pack. Suspending the permitted wolf-hunting season near Yellowstone will not be enough to save these animals as long as the U.S. Department of Agriculture continues to gun down entire packs from the air.”

The initial cause for the destruction of the eight-member Sage Creek Pack was its predation on a single sheep on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Sheep Experiment Station, which grazes thousands of sheep on more than 100,000 acres in Montana and Idaho.

In 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity and Western Watersheds Project sued the sheep station for its failure to disclose the impacts of, and analyze alternatives to, its operations, which has occurred in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. The sheep station settled the lawsuit with an agreement to disclose and analyze and to decide its future via a public process.

“The USDA Sheep Experiment Station is undermining gray-wolf recovery and should be shut down,” said Robinson.

Genetic isolation of the Yellowstone wolves, which may be exacerbated through the federal killing of the Sage Creek Pack, is at issue in a lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies seeking to place wolves back on the endangered species list after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed them from the list this spring. Such genetic isolation was part of what led a federal court, in July 2008, to order the relisting of wolves after a previous delisting action.

The Sage Creek Pack roamed the Centennial Mountains between Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho – precisely in the area that could alleviate genetic isolation through the influx of wolves from Idaho and the possibility (for now, lost with the pack’s demise) of yearlings making their way into Yellowstone.

A 1994 environmental impact statement on wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone and central Idaho identified genetic exchange between sub-populations as key to wolf recovery.

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2009/wolves-10-09-2009.html

Top photo: kewlwallpapersdotcom

Photo courtesy James Balog/www.goagro.org

Categories posted in: aerial gunning of wolves, biodiversity, Wolf Wars, Yellowstone Wolves

Tags: wolves or livestock, aerial gunning of wolves, wolf intolerance

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I don’t understand why the USDA Sheep Experiment station should have been allowed to have sheep there when they could have chosen other states or locations.Isn’t there enough cattle and sheep in the area?It’s rather sad that wild life services still can’t seem to manage anything without conflicts.Sad to see all the pack punished.

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    • The feds have an entire agency dedicated to killing animals that supposedly cause trouble. They killed 1.7 million animals in 2005 alone!

      The number of animals killed each year in the name of livestock protection is stunning. How can we hold life so cheaply? These statistics come from 2005 numbers. Looking at these stats I wonder how wolves have survived at all?

      “In just one year, your tax dollars helped kill 252 gray wolves, 72,816 coyotes, 1.2 million starlings, 6,832 skunks, 330 mountain lions, 2,172 red foxes, 33,469 beavers, 356 black bears, three bald eagles and two grizzly bears. Have you heard of Wildlife Services?”
      http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/the-exterminators/Content?oid=1137944

      The federal agency, Wildlife Services, responsible for all the killing, is mostly unknown to most people. We need real change in wildlife management. Ranchers and hunters have too much influence over government policy. Does the average American condone this? I don’t think so.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

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  2. It is sad to think of my Great-Grandfather’s participating in the eradication of wolves in the Big Hole Valley of Montana. They traded with and helped every Native American they came across and killed every wolf.
    Now the indians are working hard with the “tree-huggers” to bring the wolves back.
    Sad… to think my Great-Grandfathers made the wrong choice.

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    • Yes, they made the wrong choice in thinking they could keep the Native Americans stupid forever with whiskey and trinkets. The jig is up now, your great-grandfather didn’t help ONE Native American. They swindled and stole this land, and all the wildlife in it from them!

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