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Wolf Killing Probed

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  • Pat Morris
    Wolf killing probed By Theo Stein Denver Post Environment Writer Wednesday, August 01, 2001 - Federal law enforcement agents are investigating an apparent
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2001
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      Wolf killing probed

      By Theo Stein
      Denver Post Environment Writer

      Wednesday, August 01, 2001 - Federal law enforcement agents are
      investigating an apparent illegal poisoning campaign that has killed four
      wolves and possibly dozens more in central Idaho over the last two years.
      While the return of the wolf has transformed Yellowstone National Park and
      encouraged conservationists across the country, the Idaho poisonings show
      that pockets of the traditional hatreds toward predators persist in the new
      Old West.
      The Environmental Protection Agency has warned that the banned poison being
      used, Compound 1080, can also kill family dogs or hikers. Odorless and
      tasteless, the poison causes convulsions and organ failure. There is no
      antidote.
      The agency and the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife are offering a
      $20,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the poisoners. Defenders is
      also running an ad campaign alerting hikers and campers to the danger.
      So far, four poisoned wolves have been found in the Salmon Challis National
      Forest and the Sawtooth National Forest.
      "On the whole, I think most people are pretty disgusted at the idea that
      someone is putting this dangerous substance out in their backyards," said
      Paul Weyland, special agent with the Fish and Wildlife Service's Division
      of Law Enforcement. "I mean, this stuff can easily kill your dog."
      Weyland said that only radio-collared wolves have been found dead. He said
      it's reasonable to assume others have died without being located.
      Killing a wolf or another endangered species is punishable by a $100,000
      fine and a year in jail.
      Simple possession of Compound 1080, which was used indiscriminately until
      the 1980s, is not illegal, said Weyland.
      But it is illegal to distribute the poison for the purpose of killing
      wolves or other wildlife, he said. Penalties include a $50,000 fine and a
      year in jail.
      Federal biologists believe gray wolf populations in the Northern Rockies
      are healthy enough to warrant removing them from the endangered species
      list in two or three years.
      The delisting plan does not include returning the wolf to Colorado, which
      has become a priority for regional and national conservation groups.
      The wolf's comeback has been particularly strong in Idaho, where federal
      biologists partnered with the Nez Perce tribe to reintroduce wolves in 1996
      after state officials refused to cooperate.
      Biologists believe 24 packs now call the state home, seven more than in the
      greater Yellowstone ecosystem.
      But this year, Idaho politicians have delivered a message about the chilly
      political climate facing wolves and other predators.
      In March, the Idaho House of Representatives passed a symbolic resolution
      demanding the wolf's removal from the state "by whatever means necessary."
      Legislators also demanded the termination of the wolf recovery program and
      federal compensation for livestock, pets and wildlife killed by the predators.
      In July, Interior Secretary Gale Norton killed a citizen-supported plan to
      return grizzly bears to the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness after Gov. Dirk
      Kempthorne said Idaho was no place for "massive, flesh-eating carnivores."
      http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1002,53%257E84127,00.html


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      http://www.geocities.com/wlfskr
      http://forums.delphi.com/Wolfseeker
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      "On the ragged edge of the world
      I'll roam.
      And the home of the Wolf
      Will be my home."

      Robert Service

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