UPDATES: Tuesday, February
26 & Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008
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.
marksman searches for wolves.
Buffalo Ridge wolf
pup tracks head upward, February 28, 2008.
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.
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.
Friday, this came out in USFWS' weekly wolf report:
- 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.
My mutt, Bo, sniffs a
that I suspect was vacated in
a hurry two days before.
Prayer flags on North
Buffalo Ridge and all the wolves
under siege in the Northern Rockies.
We are remembered by the tracks we leave behind.
final tracks of a Buffalo Ridge wolf. February 28, 2008.
Buffalo Ridge Wolves, Seen
at Night. Ken Cole Photos.
LOOK AT MORE PHOTOS
Find more information
about Buffalo Ridge wolves on
(Also, a search of Ralph's site will bring up older stories about the
Buffalo Ridge Pack.)
Boulder-White Clouds Council's
newspaper ad which ran
in the Challis Messenger,
March 13, 2008.