Can All Wolf Concerns Be Addressed At The Same Time?


By Jay Michaels

Hailey, Idaho (KMVT-TV) Four years after the Wood River Wolf Project got started, it's finally expanded to help more people, livestock, and wolves in the Wood River Valley.

Since 2008, the Defenders of Wildlife organization has provided staff members for the Wood River Wolf Project to help livestock producers using grazing allotments north of Ketchum. The US Forest Service and Idaho Fish and Game Department are also helping with the project.

Blaine County Commissioner Larry Schoen says, "Because frankly, if you can prevent depredation in the first place, that's the least costly alternative, and the safest alternative."

Schoen says the Wood River Wolf Project is an attempt to see if all of the different concerns about wolves can be addressed at the same time. He says part of the solution is keeping wolves away from sheep and other livestock by hazing the wolves.

Schoen says, "That means you need to have the tools for that, lights, noisemakers. It's good to have a good idea where the wolves are situated."

Other parts of the program include good communication between herders and range riders, removing livestock carcasses to keep from attracting wolves, and penning sheep at night, which is sometimes hard to do on the range if the terrain is steep and hilly.

Schoen says, "But many people certainly in my community believe that predators have a place on the landscape. And this program is a good fit for Blaine County, because we support agriculture, we support livestock producers, and we also support wildlife."

To find out more, you can contact the Wood River Wolf Project. The toll free number for the regional wolf hotline is 1 (855) 5-WOLVES.

July 30, 2012.

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