WOLF GROUP OMITS HUPC
In a frustrating, but not so surprising move, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources did not select the High Uintas Preservation Council to be a member of the Utah Wolf Management Working group, choosing to select a group of conservationists with very similar ideas. While we understand the difficulty in selecting groups for these efforts and the inherent desire to have representatives who think uniformly, it is far wiser to include the broadest views possible, at least among those who have expressed a desire and wish to participate in this process.
Clearly we were omitted because HUPC's voice was far more vigorous in opposing sport hunting of wolves and pushing for large roadless landscapes where actions such as snowmobiling and off road vehicle use would be severely constrained to protect potential wolf habitat. Early on HUPC published a widely respected, broad-based contextual plan for welcoming wolf home (see LYNX of Feb. 2003) which dealt with the natural history of wolf, human interactions, hunting, grazing and land management.
After nearly three decades of working on wildlife issues, often times admittedly with great controversy, and pushing, pulling and howling for the return long before the Yellowstone wolf experiment was initiated, it is with sadness and disappointment that we are not part of this process.
A deep and strong voice has been ignored in the selection of this working group. While we have deep respect for the groups selected the Utah Wolf Forum, Utah Audubon Society and the Utah Wildlife Federation those organizations do not fully reflect the wide contingency of views held by many Utah conservationists. Our absent voice among many of those groups and friends will be noted and we think missed in this process.
Nonetheless, we have requested UDWR notify us of all meetings of the Utah Wolf Working Group. All such meetings are and must be fully public and disclosed so that we can attend as concerned listeners/observers.