Boulder White Clouds CouncilWolf
The Place
About Wilderness
Current News & Issues
Outings & Events
How You Can HelpAbout Us
Home
 

SITE MAP

E-mail us

Boulder-White Clouds Council
Post Office Box 6313
Ketchum, Idaho 83340
www.wildwhiteclouds.org

2003 All rights reserved.
 

Current News & Issues: Wolves

Back to Wolves      Back to News & Issues


UPDATES: Tuesday, February 26 & Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008

Five Wolves are "Lethally Controlled"
By Lynne Stone

Copyright 2008. All photos are by Lynne Stone, Boulder-White Clouds Council, unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, February 26 2008
Today was sunny and clear. I expected that the predicted control action on Buffalo Ridge might take place and drove the 30 miles from Stanley toward Squaw Creek to wait around. Around 2 p.m., I was fueling my pick-up truck at a nearby gas station, when a gold-colored Wildlife Services spotter plane started circling Squaw Creek. I've seen this plane before in the Stanley Basin and the sight of it filled me with dread. It flew off, then later returned accompanied by a blue and white helicopter. From the Squaw Creek road, I watched the chopper go in and out of view near North Butte. I could see the armed Wildlife Service agent in an orange jumpsuit, standing in the door. I know now that one gray wolf was shot on this mission. Four other wolves escaped. But I'm sorry to say, not for long.

A Wildlife Services helicopter hovers where one gray wolf was shot near North Butte. Lynne Stone photo.
A Wildlife Services helicopter hovers where
one gray wolf was shot near North Butte.
ENLARGE PHOTO
An orange-clad Wildlife Services marksman searches for wolves. Lynne Stone photo.
An orange-clad Wildlife Services
marksman searches for wolves.
ENLARGE PHOTO

 

Buffalo Ridge wolf pup tracks head upward, February 28, 2008.
Buffalo Ridge wolf pup tracks head upward, February 28, 2008. Lynne Stone Photo.

Thursday, February 26 2008
No word about the fate of the wolves. This last Friday in February dawned sunny. Grabbing boots, snowshoes, gaitors and trekking poles, I headed out to North Butte on a pilgrimage of sorts ... feeling a need to walk in the final tracks of the Buffalo Ridge Pack. The climb to the butte is a couple thousand vertical feet up, with some tough going through snow and boulder fields. As I picked at my lunch and sat amid wolf tracks and wolf beds, I looked out over the domain of B95. A bittersweet time, remembering better times for Buffalo Ridge. And I thought of all the hundreds of wolves that the states of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana intend to kill if delisting occurs.

I pulled prayer flags from my pack and wrapped them on the prickly branches of a mountain mahogany tree. "These are for you, Buffalo Ridge. May there come a day when this wild land is a safer place." As I walked off the mountain, the morning's hard snow had turned to mush, the frozen bare ground to mud.

On late Friday, this came out in USFWS' weekly wolf report:

Control - On 2/26/08, ID WS lethally removed 1 gray wolf from the Buffalo Ridge pack in response to repeated confirmed depredations on cattle on private land in the vicinity of Clayton, Idaho. On the 28th, 4 more wolves (3 black, 1 gray) were removed from the Buffalo Ridge pack, and this control action has concluded for now.

The "concluded for now" means Wildlife Service is still looking for the pack's black alpha male B196, who was not with the rest of the wolves. His radio signal has not been picked up for some time according to authorities. Either he took off from his mate, B95, which seems unlikely. Or, he has been deep-sixed.

Buffalo Ridge Pack's tracks and domain, February 28, 2008. Lynne Stone photo.
Buffalo Ridge Pack's
tracks and domain,
February 28, 2008.
ENLARGE PHOTO
My mutt, Bo, sniffs a wolf bed that I suspect was vacated in a hurry two days before. Lynne Stone photo.
My mutt, Bo, sniffs a wolf bed
that I suspect was vacated in
a hurry two days before.
ENLARGE PHOTO
Prayer flags on North Butte for Buffalo Ridge and all the wolves under siege in the Northern Rockies. Lynne Stone photo.
Prayer flags on North Butte for
Buffalo Ridge and all the wolves
under siege in the Northern Rockies.
ENLARGE PHOTO


We are remembered by the tracks we leave behind.
We are remembered by the tracks we leave behind. The final tracks of a Buffalo Ridge wolf. February 28, 2008. Lynne Stone photo.
The final tracks of a Buffalo Ridge wolf. February 28, 2008.

 

Buffalo Ridge Wolves, Seen at Night. Ken Cole Photos.
Buffalo Ridge Wolves, Seen
at Night. Ken Cole Photos.

LOOK AT MORE PHOTOS

Find more information about Buffalo Ridge wolves on Ralph Maughan's blog
(Also, a search of Ralph's site will bring up older stories about the Buffalo Ridge Pack.)
 

We Are Remembered by the Tracks We Leave Behind

Boulder-White Clouds Council's
newspaper ad which ran
in the Challis Messenger,
March 13, 2008.

 

This site is best viewed
in Internet Explorer 6
or Netscape 7

Keep the Heart of Idaho Wild