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Current News & Issues: Wolves

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Basin Butte Pack ~ 2006
By Lynne K. Stone, BWCC Director
All photos are by Lynne K. Stone, Boulder-White Clouds Council, unless otherwise noted. No photos may be used without written permission.

During the winter of 2005-2006, Galena female wolf B171, had been seen from the air during IDFG monitoring flights. She was traveling with an uncollared gray male wolf. Not much attention was paid to B171 and her mate, until cattle arrived in June on the Stanley Basin Allotment, one of Idaho's most famous and controversial grazing allotments.

Before wolves were reintroduced into central Idaho in 1995 and 1996, Challis ranchers and the Sawtooth National Forest (SNF) had battled over cow-caused degradation of salmon streams on this allotment. Conflicts between people and cows, at places like Stanley Lake, were also a problem. Elk Meadow was referred to as "Hereford Ghetto".

In 1991, the SNF proposed to cut cattle numbers by two-thirds from over 900 cow/calf pairs to around 300 pairs. An uproar ensued from the state's powerful cattle industry. Forest officials received threats. They were warned to not travel alone. The SNF backed off its decision. Currently, 545 cow/calf pairs (nearly 1100 animals) are permitted to graze the allotment from June through October. Hard feelings and grumbling still exist today from livestock proponents over the Stanley Basin Allotment decision.

In 2006, this landscape was where wolf B171, had chosen to rear her five pups.

Now off-limits to livestock. Elk Creek, which flows out of Elk Meadow in the Sawtooth Mountains, is recovering from a century of sheep and cattle grazing.

PHOTO: Now off-limits to livestock. Elk Creek, which flows out of Elk Meadow in the Sawtooth Mountains, is recovering from a century of sheep and cattle grazing.
 


 


Basin Butte Story & Photos Continue...
Basin Butte Pack
 PART 1   PART 2  PART 3  PART 4>   PART 5>
PART 6>   PART 7>   PART 8  PART 9>

 

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