Wolf Management In The Northwestern United States

Scientific Disciplines
Biological Sciences - Terrestrial
Canis lupus
gray wolf
Volume 17, No. 1-4

Wolf management in the northwestern united states
Edward E. Bangs,* USDA Fish and Wildlife Service, 585 Shepard Way, Helena, Montana  59601, 
Mike Jimenez, USDI Fish and Wildlife Service, Jackson, Wyoming
Carolyn Sime, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Helena, Montana 59620
Jon Rachael, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Boise, Idaho
Curt Mack, Nez Perce Tribe, Lapwai, Idaho
Doug Smith, USDI National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 
Kenneth Mills, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Pinedale, Wyoming
Jeff Green, USDA APHIS, Wildlife Services, Denver, Colorado
Gray wolves (Canis lupus) were deliberately eliminated from the northern Rocky 
Mountains (NRM) by 1930. Restoration began in 1986. There are currently nearly 120 
breeding pair and 1800 wolves. Wolf restoration initially proceeded with more benefits and 
fewer problems than predicted. However, conflicts have steadily increased since 2002 when 
the population first met its minimum recovery goal. About $40 million has been spent since 
1974 and the management program currently costs >$4 million/yr. Wolves were delisted in 
2008 and 2009 but relisted by federal court order in 2009 and 2010. While the NRM wolf 
population is biologically recovered, public opinion remains divisive and the legal, political, 
and policy decisions will continue to be litigated by a diversity of interests. Science is a poor 
tool to resolve the differing human values that continue to be debated with great passion 
through wolf symbolism.