UTAH WOLF PLAN HEARINGS BEING HELD BY REGIONAL (WILDLIFE ) ADVISORY COUNCILS
As you know, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) has released its Draft WOLF CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT PLAN. (See HUPC email alert 3/25 and HUPC LYNX 4/05.) To read the 90 page plan, visit www.wildlife.utah.gov/wolf
The plan now goes before the Regional (Wildlife) Advisory Councils (RAC), a hostile and biased group focused only on recreational sport hunting and always adverse to any ecological or nonconsumptive values of wildlife. All RAC meetings start at 6:30 PM except the Northern RAC, which commences at 6:00.
- NORTHERN RAC - May 25 at 6 PM
Brigham City Community Center
24 N. 300 W..
- CENTRAL RAC -May 24
Springville Jr. High
165 S. 700 E
- NE RAC – May 19
Uinta Basin Applied Tech
1100E. Lagoon St.
- SE RAC- May 18
J. W. Powell Museum
885 E. Main
- S. RAC- May 17
Beaver High School
195 E. Center
Comments will be restricted to a mere 1-3 minutes. If you live along the Wasatch Front, we urge you to attend the Brigham City meeting!
At the very last meeting of the Wolf Working Group, which assisted UDWR in preparing the wolf plan, the Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (SFW), Utah’s most belligerent, bullying and powerful hunting organization, left the group and took up the cause for a NO WOLF option. They threaten to pack the RACs and take their intolerance to the legislature. Equally worrisome is that UDWR, often subservient to SFW, will back away from the wolf plan.
The High Uintas Preservation Council has been critical of the Utah Wolf Working Group (HUPC LYNX, 4/04, 4/05). Nonetheless, a wolf management plan finally exists (if adopted.) It will go into effect only after the wolf has been formally de-listed from the Endangered Species Act. Fortunately, only a couple of months ago a federal court prevented the Fish and Wildlife Service from even down-listing the wolf from endangered to threatened (HUPC LYNX 2/05).
The plan’s primary goal is to allow wolves to naturally disperse into Utah and establish themselves. Once established (“at least 2 breeding pairs of wild wolves successfully raising at least 2 young each… for 2 consecutive years”), its goal would be to assure there are no impacts to livestock or big game populations.
We all know that changing this plan to be a real wolf plan isn’t very likely, but it is important that you wild voice howl and bear witness with wolf!
A sample, 1-3 minute statement might look like this:
- Please accept these comments on the draft Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.
I support the natural recovery of gray wolf populations in Utah, not a plan hiding behind lethal control and a few scattered wolves.
- I oppose lethal control of wolves for livestock depredation on public lands. While wolves and domestic livestock can be compatible, the only long-term solution is to phase out livestock permits on these core wolf areas of public land over 10 years and then dedicate them to wildlife.
- I support the plan’s idea of a wolf compensation fund should be used to purchase public land grazing permits.
- If wolves actually depress big game populations in local areas, simply end sport hunting to ease the pressure and allow wolves and their prey to stabilize their populations.
- The plan must assure that large, unroaded habitats are protected and connected so that wolves may properly disperse to assure viable populations. This means protection of the Bear River Range anchored by the Mt. Naomi Wilderness, the Green River Corridor, and the Book Cliffs—all attached firmly to the nearly 800,000 acres of the High Uintas Wilderness and surrounding roadless lands.
- I support the plan’s aggressive educational strategies dealing with wolf ecology and behavior.
High Uintas Preservation Council
P.O. Box 72
Hyrum, UT 84319