Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Leaburg Hatchery Family Fishing Event

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – A fun-filled morning of trout fishing and related activities is in store for youngsters on Saturday, June 11 when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife hosts the 12th annual family fishing event at Leaburg Hatchery.
This event has proven to be very popular from its inception, attracting hundreds of participants to the hatchery located on the banks of the McKenzie River approximately 21 miles east of Springfield.
The event will take place at Leaburg Hatchery from 9 a.m. until noon when two ponds full of rainbow trout will be open to fishing for children 13 and under. A third display pond full of trophy-size trout will be open to catch-and-release fly fishing lessons provided by members of the McKenzie Fly Anglers and Cascade Family Flyfishers.  Educational stations set up around the facility will provide additional information on aquatic insects, fish species, and water safety.
Each child will be fitted with a personal flotation device while fishing. ODFW will provide all equipment, including rods, reels and bait, and plenty of staff and volunteer instructors will be on hand to answer questions and offer assistance to participating youths. The hatchery will even clean the catch and provide a bag and ice for successful anglers.
“We work hard to make sure this is a positive experience for everyone involved,” said Seth Morgan, event coordinator.
The event is offered free of charge, but registration is required. Participants can sign up from 8:30 a.m. until noon at the Leaburg ball field, which is located near the fire station on Leaburg Drive, two miles west of the hatchery. A free shuttle running continuously throughout the morning will take participants from the registration area to and from the hatchery, since parking there is limited and will not be allowed at the hatchery or the nearby Lloyd Knox Park. Private fishing gear is not necessary and won’t be allowed on the shuttle.
Persons interested in helping out at this event are asked to contact the hatchery staff at (541) 896-3294 for more information.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

State Wolf Plan Revision

OLYMPIA —The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has revised a draft plan for state wolf recovery and management, and will conduct more public review later this year.
The draft state Wolf Conservation and Management Plan was revised after scientific peer review and an earlier public input process, which concluded last year.
The revised draft plan is available on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/. The website also contains information on the wolf plan development process, including past public input and scientific peer review. The public-comment process included 19 public meetings, three surveys and a comment period that drew nearly 65,000 responses.
The plan is intended to guide state wolf management while wolves naturally disperse and re-establish a sustainable breeding population in the state. The plan contains recovery objectives that would allow the state to eventually remove wolves from protection lists, as well as management strategies to address wolf-livestock conflicts.
The revised draft plan affirms 15 successful wolf breeding pairs as the goal for statewide wolf recovery. Among the revisions are proposals regarding lethal control of wolves observed attacking livestock and dogs, and WDFW management options if wolf predation limits at-risk populations of elk, deer or other ungulates.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission—the citizen panel that guides WDFW policy— will be briefed on the draft plan and review process during its June 4 meeting at the Natural Resource Building in Olympia.
The 17-member citizen Wolf Working Group, which helped draft the plan, will meet June 8-9 to review the proposed revisions. The meeting will be held at the Heritage Center of the Kittitas Valley Event Center, 512 N. Poplar St., in Ellensburg, and will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 8, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., June 9. As with past meetings of the advisory group, the working group’s meeting is open to the public but it is not a public-comment opportunity.
WDFW will consider guidance from the working group and may release further draft plan revisions, with an updated environmental impact statement, before the Fish and Wildlife Commission takes public comments on the draft plan during its Aug. 4-6 meeting in Olympia.
Two commission workshops on the draft wolf plan are scheduled in eastern and western Washington in September and October. Those workshops will be open to the public. The commission is scheduled to consider adoption of the plan during its Dec. 2-3 meeting in Olympia.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Oregon Family Fishing Events

Family Fishing Events*
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) invite you to introduce youth to the fun of fishing through Family Fishing Days.
Family Fishing Events offer a host of fishing opportunities at stocked ponds throughout the state. On-site ODFW staff and volunteers provide equipment, teach youth how to bait and cast, and help kids "reel in" their catch. Adults can get tips on basic rigging, fish identification and casting. The program provides a unique opportunity for families to learn how to fish together and discover just how much fun it can be! Licenses are required for anyone 14 years and older, and are not available at the events. If you need a fishing license you may purchase one online

 For Free Fishing Weekend Events Click:  http://www.dfw.state.or.us/odfw_outdoors/free_fishing.asp

* Some locations have special regulations,  for youth under 17 and disabled anglers only.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Washington fishing Reports / Jeff Mayor

There are good reports coming from area lakes, especially for bass anglers. It seems as if largemouth and smallmouth are becoming more active. River fishing has been on the slow side, with the Cowlitz being the exception.
Fly-fishing: The action has been good for sea-run cutthroat trout, said Anil Srivastava at Puget Sound Fly Co. Try brown-over-white and olive-over-white Clousers.
South Sound: Ling cod fishing has been slow to fair. On Sunday, 10 anglers were checked at Narrows Marina, and they had three fish. Salmon fishing south of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge has been slow.
Columbia: Last week, a state check of 1,348 anglers in the lower river showed 78 adult and 244 jack spring chinook and 21 steelhead. Boat and bank anglers are catching some legal sturgeon in The Dalles Pool. Shad counts at Bonneville Dam are reaching a few hundred fish a day, but no one is catching any.
Cowlitz: Fishing is starting to heat up, said Marshall Borsom at Fish Country. He said there are several reports of nice spring chinook being taken all the way up to Barrier Dam. Bank anglers are using big gobs of eggs and sand shrimp. The few people plunking with Spin-N-Glos also are doing well. He said some summer-run steelhead are being caught at Blue Creek.
Kalama: A few salmon are being caught. Just 11 adult spring chinook, including three unmarked fish, have returned to Kalama Falls Hatchery through Friday. The escapement goal is 400 fish for hatchery brood stock.
Lewis: There have been few people on the water and they have not been catching much, said a state report. The East Fork Lewis River from the mouth to 400 feet below Horseshoe Falls will open June 4.
Yakima: With flows above 8,000 cfs, only a few people are floating the river. If you want to try, consider the section around Cle Elum.
American: Smallmouth bass fishing has been fair to good on the north end. Work the docks with a tube bait, said an angler on Washingtonlakes.com.
Mayfield: Anglers were heading home with good catches of trout. PowerBait and worms fished off the bottom is working. Try near the Tilton River and near the hatchery.
Mineral: The fishing has been fair to good. Worms and Power Eggs are the bait of choice for dock anglers. Trolling has been best with black or olive green Woolly Buggers or flashers with green and tipped with a worm, said Mike Gordon of Mineral Lake Resort.
Riffe: The lake level is starting to rise a little bit. Borsom said some bass are being caught near the east end, and silvers still being caught near the dam.
McIntosh (Thurston): Anglers on Gamefishin.com report having success fishing for bass, including one lunker that weighed 8 pounds.
Rattlesnake: Trout fishing has been very good. Blood-red and olive leeches are the hot flies.
Tanwax: The best action has been for perch and catfish, said Don Marschall at Rainbow RV Resort. Trout fishing is still on the slow side. Most people are fishing worms under a bobber or PowerBait fished off the bottom.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Outdoor User Fee-Discover Pass

May 12, 2011
Contact: Margaret Ainscough, WDFW, (360) 902-2408
Virginia Painter, State Parks, (360) 902-8562
Bryan Flint, DNR, (360) 902-1023

Governor signs Discover Pass into law

Official logo and website launched; pass to take effect July 1, 2011
OLYMPIA – Flanked by recreation enthusiasts, Governor Chris Gregoire today signed legislation that will keep state park and recreation lands open with revenue from a vehicle access pass known as the Discover Pass.
“It is essential that we keep our recreation areas open to the public,” said Governor Gregoire. “I applaud the Legislature for coming together with a solution that allows us to help keep our state recreation lands open and accessible during the worst budget crisis in the state’s history.”
The Discover Pass will be required as of July 1 for vehicle access to recreation lands and water-access sites managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), and Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The pass—which will be available for sale in mid-June—will cost $30 a year per vehicle or $10 for a day-use pass. State recreation lands include state parks, boat launches, campgrounds, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, trails and trailheads.
Holders of certain types of fishing and hunting licenses, registered campers in state parks and other users are exempt from some Discover Pass requirements. For details, visit http://www.discoverpass.wa.gov/.
Once available, the Discover Pass can be purchased at one of nearly 600 sporting goods or other retail stores that sell hunting and fishing licenses. It will also be available for purchase online or by calling toll free 1-866-320-9933. Beginning next fall, the public will be able to purchase a pass when renewing a vehicle license through the Washington State Department of Licensing. The Discover Pass or day-use pass must be visibly displayed in the front windshield of any motor vehicle.
Revenue from the Discover Pass will fill budget gaps created by the loss of State General Fund support for parks and recreation on state lands. Revenue will be split among the three state agencies that provide recreational access to state lands in proportion to their need for general fund replacement: 84 percent to State Parks; 8 percent to WDFW; and 8 percent to DNR.
State Parks, WDFW, and DNR jointly requested legislation that led to the creation of the Discover Pass, intended to provide revenue to maintain recreation access to state lands and meet the increasing demand for outdoor recreation. The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-San Juan Islands, who conducted stakeholder work and coordinated with other legislators. In addition to providing a stable source of revenue, the legislation provides reciprocal authority for law enforcement staff from each agency, which will improve public safety and help protect state resources.
Discover Pass logoThe Discover Pass logo was jointly developed in-house by the three state agencies.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Calf Confirmed Killed by Wolves

Calf confirmed killed by wolves in Wallowa County
ODFW confirmed another livestock loss by a wolf in Wallowa County today.
A calf was killed by a wolf on Monday night (May 16) in the same area where a wolf was trapped (Monday evening) and killed by ODFW (Tuesday morning).
ODFW and USDA Wildlife Services jointly investigated the depredation, which occurred on private property. A calf was also killed on this same property by wolves last year. 
ODFW has now issued 24 “caught in the act” permits, which allows livestock producers to shoot a wolf they “see in the act of biting, wounding or killing livestock.” (See the news release below for more details.)
ODFW will continue with efforts to kill another uncollared wolf in the Imnaha pack to limit further livestock losses.

Encountering a Bear

With a little knowledge you can keep a bear encounter from becoming a conflict. Take time to rehearse various scenarios in your mind in advance. Sports trainers say, "If the mind has never been there before, the body does not know how to respond."
The following is a list of recommended responses to minimize the likelihood of attack or chances of human injury:
  • Make certain you have bear pepper spray at the ready and know how to use it.
  • Always maintain a safe distance from bears.
  • Stay calm.
  • Immediately pick up small children and stay in a group.
  • Behave in a non-threatening manner.
  • Speak softly.
  • Do NOT make eye contact.
  • Throw a backpack or other object (like a hat or gloves) on the ground as you move away to distract the animal's attention.
  • Slowly back away, if possible. Keep a distance of at least 100 yards.
  • Do not run from a bear. Running may trigger a natural predator-prey attack response and a grizzly can easily outrun the world's fastest human.
  • Don't climb a tree unless you are sure you can get at least 10' from the ground before the bear reaches you. Many experts recommend against climbing trees in most situations.
  • Do not attempt to frighten away or haze a grizzly bear that is near or feeding on a carcass.
  • If a grizzly bear charges your first option is to remain standing and direct your pepper spray at the charging bear. The bear may "bluff charge" or run past you. As a last resort, either curl up in a ball or lie face down (flat). Leave your pack on to provide protection, cover your neck and head with your arms and hands. Do not attempt to look at the bear until you are sure it's gone.
  • If a black or grizzly bear attacks, and if you have a firearm and know how to use it safely and effectively, Montana law allows you to kill a bear to defend yourself, another person or a domestic dog. If you do kill a bear in self defense you must report it to FWP within 72 hours.
  • If you are armed, using a weapon on a grizzly bear does not guarantee your safety. Wounding a grizzly bear will put you and others in danger.
  • If a grizzly bear attacks during the day, most experts recommend either curling up in a ball or laying face down (flat). Use your hands and arms to protect the back of your neck and face, and keep your backpack on for added protection. Do not move or make noise until you are sure the bear has left the area.
  • If a black or grizzly bear attacks at night while you're in a tent, fight back aggressively with whatever you have available to use as a defensive weapon or deterrent. The bear may be seeking food rather than trying to neutralize a threat, so fight back to show the bear you are dangerous.
  • Report all encounters to your local authorities. Your report can prevent someone else from being hurt.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Imnaha Alpha Male Collared

SALEM, Ore.—The Imnaha wolf pack’s alpha male was fitted with a new working GPS collar today.
Its GPS collar stopped working back in May 2010.
The alpha male was found in good condition in a trap set by ODFW on private land in Wallowa County, east of Joseph, Ore. He was tranquilized, fitted with a new collar, and released.
The trap was set as part of efforts to catch and kill two uncollared wolves from the Imnaha pack, to reduce livestock losses by wolves in the area.
As the two uncollared wolves have been killed, ODFW has now removed traps from Wallowa County.
“We hope the experience discourages the alpha male from returning to this area, which is private land with livestock operations,” noted Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator

Friday, May 13, 2011

Merriam's Turkey Rug

     Just completed stretching and drying the skin from the tom I shot this spring season.
I wanted to try and do something a little different than in past seasons. I usually end up tossing the skin and always hated seeing all those beautiful feathers go to waste. I'd always save a few feathers for tying flies or give them to anyone that wanted them. Since you can only fan so many tails and mounting can get pretty expensive, I was hoping for another option. I remembered seeing a photo of an interesting turkey mount in one of the outdoor magazines I subscribe to. So I began my search for the article but for the life of me I couldn't find it. I googled it but since I didn't recall what it was called, I found very little information on it, only that it is normally called a turkey rug. I then found many sites on Turkish Rugs! I took the information I could find for the "turkey rug" and decided to try and duplicate what I had seen.

     It basically required very carefully skinning the bird (the thin skin tears/cuts very easily) out and then removing ALL meat, fat and some wing bones from the skin and then stretching the skin, feather side down, then pinning it all to a sheet of plywood, cardboard or styrofoam. Pinning the wings and fanning the tail as you normally would to whatever shape you wanted it and then spread Powdered Borax on all the exposed areas of the skin and let it dry.

     After about 3 weeks in a heated workshop I vacuumed all the Borax from it, unpinned it, flipped it over, blew it off a little and this is how it turned out. It has kept its' shape reasonably well, maybe keeping it pinned another week or too would be better tho, but my impatience to see how it turned out got the best of me. I did pin it back down and trimmed it a little bit to the shape I was looking for.
     After that, you can then just hang it on a wall or mount it to piece of felt or build a shadow box to mount it in and then find a place to hang it. I like the shadow box with a glass cover idea for me to keep the dust etc. off of it. It requires about a 4'x4' box and about a 3"to 4" depth. I found on the internet that there are some taxidermists that will do these, they run about $400-$600 without a display box. This one cost me about $4.00 for a box of Powdered Borax, probably enough to do 3-4 rugs, and my time, maybe 3-4 hours. And I enjoyed doing it!

    Well I hope you enjoy this idea as another option to preserve that memory of your spring turkey hunt. Thanks for checking it out! Hope you can get out to enjoy the out of doors this weekend! Take care!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Conservation Groups Sue To Stop Wolf Killings

Four conservation groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday to stop federal wildlife managers from killing two wolves in northeast Oregon. OPB's Ecotrope blogger Cassandra Profita reports.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced plans Monday to kill two young wolves from the Imnaha Pack.
The agency confirmed Imnaha wolves killed a calf.  Its carcass was found Saturday near Joseph. The calf is one of several killed by wolves in the area over the past year.
Noah Greenwald is with the Center for Biological Diversity. His group's lawsuit says new environmental reviews are needed before the feds can kill any wolves in Oregon.
Noah Greenwald: "There's fewer than 25 wolves in eastern Oregon, so killing two wolves from that population is substantial. Until the wolf population in Oregon is more recovered, lethal controls should not be used and they should proceed with non-lethal measures."
Janet Lebson is a spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Service. She would not talk specifically about the lawsuit. But she says wolf attacks on livestock in Wallowa County have become chronic, and non-lethal controls aren't working.
Janet Lebson: "We made a commitment when this agency reintroduced wolves into the Rocky Mountain region that we would address the damage caused by wolves for cattle ranchers who are suffering livestock losses from it."
The agency has a policy that allows for lethal controls when a wolf pack kills at least two livestock.
The lawsuit could stall agency plans to capture and kill two juvenile wolves. A similar kill order was lifted last summer after conservation groups challenged it in court.

Monday, May 9, 2011

wolf tags go on sale

May 6, 2011

Idaho Fish and Game has started selling wolf tags - $11.50 for resident hunters and $186 for nonresidents, vendor fees included.
Tags are available at license vendors and Fish and Game offices. A valid 2011 Idaho hunting license is required to buy a tag.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Thursday, May 5, published the rule that removed wolves in Idaho from the endangered species list. The rule took effect upon publishing.
Gray wolves are now under state management and considered a big game animal.
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will set seasons, rules and limits later in the summer.
To buy a hunting license or tags online go to: https://id.outdoorcentral.us/

Idaho Wolf Management

After they were nearly wiped out in the lower 48 states, wolves in Idaho were declared endangered in 1974 under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 1987 recovery plan for wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains included reintroducing them in central Idaho in 1995 and 1996.
Since then, Idaho has been involved in wolf management as directed by the Legislature, which in 2002, adopted the Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan. Under the plan Idaho Fish and Game would be responsible for wolf management following delisting.
In February 2005, the Fish and Wildlife Service revised the rules that govern the experimental non-essential population of reintroduced wolves in Idaho south of Interstate 90. The change eased wolf management rules and gave Idaho a greater role in wolf management.
In January 2006, an agreement between Idaho and the U.S. Department of Interior designated the state as an agent for day-to-day wolf management for the Fish and Wildlife Service.
On October 18, 2010, Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter returned responsibility for wolf management to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Efforts to renew the 2006 agreement giving day-to-day management to Idaho Fish and Game have been unsuccessful.
On April 15, 2011, Congress passed the federal budget, which included a rider sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Sen. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) requiring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to republish the 2009 delisting rule within 60 days and remove wolves in Montana, Idaho, eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, and north-central Utah from the endangered species list and turn wolf management over to the states. Wolves would continue to be managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Wyoming until the state has a USFWS-approved regulatory framework for wolf management.
Wolves were removed from the endangered species list on May 5, 2011. Idaho Fish and Game has taken over management under the 2002 wolf management plan. Wolves will be managed as big game animals, similar to black bears and mountain lions. Hunting seasons will be set by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wolves Remain listed as "Endangered" in Washington State?!

WDFW NEWS RELEASE Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


May 6, 2011
Contact:  Harriet Allen, (360) 902-2694

Wolves remain protected in Washington state
OLYMPIA - Although wolves have been removed from federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection in the eastern third of Washington state, they remain protected as a state endangered species throughout Washington.
Under Congressional direction that prevents any judicial review, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has removed the northern Rocky Mountain population of gray wolves from federal endangered status. The action affects wolves in Montana, Idaho, the eastern third of Oregon and Washington and a small area of north central Utah.
The federal de-listing covers eastern Washington east of State Route 97 from the Canadian border to Highway 17, east of Highway 17 to State Route 395, and east of State Route 395 to the Oregon border. That federal de-listing boundary was based on the anticipated dispersal of wolves from recovered populations in the other states.
Wolves are still state-listed as endangered in Washington because their numbers are low and they do not inhabit most of their historic range, according to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) biologists.  The state population is estimated at two dozen wolves, with only a couple of successful breeding pairs or packs with pups documented to date.
Wolves remain federally listed as an endangered species in the western two-thirds of the state.
"The federal de-listing means that in the eastern third of Washington, the state is the lead for wolf management, including response to reports of suspected wolf depredation of livestock," said Harriet Allen, WDFW's manager of threatened and endangered species.
Under state law (RCW 17.15.120) it is illegal to kill, harm or harass endangered species, including the gray wolf.
WDFW has collaborated with USFWS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services to develop wolf response guidelines that address wolf/human conflict issues such as livestock depredation. The guidelines are posted on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/contacts.html#guidelines .
In the western portion of the state where wolves remain federally listed, USFWS has the lead for wolf management.
The recent federal delisting action does not impact the timeline of WDFW's Draft Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
The state plan has been under development with a 17-citizen Wolf Working Group since 2007. Plan development included public scoping and a public comment period on draft alternatives. WDFW staff members are currently incorporating public comments into the draft plan. The draft plan is scheduled to be reviewed with the Wolf Working Group in June, and is scheduled to be presented to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in August. Commission review and action on a final plan are anticipated by the end of this year.
Information about wolves, including wolf-livestock conflict prevention and suspected wolf depredation reporting, is available on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/gray_wolf/ . Reports of wolf sightings can be made on the wolf reporting hotline at 1(888)584-9038.
After being extirpated as a breeding species in the 1930's, wolves have been naturally returning to Washington over a period of years. The first documented breeding pair was confirmed in western Okanogan County in 2008. A second pair with pups was confirmed in Pend Oreille County in 2009. WDFW biologists continue field work to document the presence of other possible breeding pairs. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Washington Grouse Relocations

600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

April 28, 2011
Contact: Mike Atamian, (509) 892-1001, ext.327

Eastern Washington grouse populations
boosted with relocated birds

Picture of relocated grouse with radio-telemetry collar

Low populations of two bird species native to eastern Washington’s shrub-steppe habitat got a boost this spring with relocation efforts by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Greater sage grouse and Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, both listed by the state for protection as threatened species, were relocated to WDFW’s Swanson Lakes Wildlife Area in Lincoln County. Each relocated grouse is equipped with radio-telemetry that enables biologists to monitor their survival and movements.
Thirty-seven sage grouse captured from healthy populations near Vale, Ore., were released on the wildlife area in late March. It was the fifth such release since 2008 on the state wildlife area and adjacent U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) shrub-steppe habitat south of Creston.
Twenty sharp-tailed grouse captured from healthy populations near Burley, Idaho, were released on another part of the wildlife area in late April. It was the seventh such release since 2005.
WDFW Wildlife Biologist Mike Atamian of Spokane reported that some of the released male sage grouse almost immediately joined other resident males on a lek, a group mating dance ground where males vie to breed with females.
“We capture and relocate both these shrub-steppe species at this time of year to take advantage of their focus on mating,” Atamian said. “It increases the chance of them adapting to their new home.”
Sage grouse are the largest native grouse, at nearly two-feet long and about four pounds in weight. Sharp-tailed grouse are roughly half that size. Both species historically numbered in the tens of thousands and ranged throughout eastern Washington shrub-steppe and Palouse grasslands.
Grouse range and numbers have been greatly reduced by removal of native vegetation and other disturbances, leaving only remnant populations of sharp-tailed grouse in Douglas, Lincoln and Okanogan counties and sage grouse primarily in Yakima and Douglas counties. Both species were listed by the state as threatened in 1998 and have been federal species of concern since 2001.
The state population of sage grouse is estimated to be just under 1,200 birds; sharp-tailed grouse are estimated at just over 800 birds. WDFW recovery plans call for restoring habitat and continuing relocation efforts until populations of about 3,200 birds of each species can be sustained.
Cooperators in Washington grouse recovery include the BLM, the Oregon Department Fish and Wildlife, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Washington State University, Colville Confederated Tribes, and multiple volunteers. Relocation and monitoring efforts are funded by federal grants through BLM and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Gray Wolf Delisted

Gray Wolf Removed From Endangered Species List

The 1,300 gray wolves in the Rocky Mountain region are considered recovered and are losing federal protection.

Wed May 4, 2011 02:46 PM ET Content provided by AFP  Comments | Leave a Comment
  • Gray wolves in the Rocky Mountain region will no longer be protected under the endangered species act.
  • This means states will manage control of the animals and hunting will resume in some states.
  • Gray wolves in Wyoming will remain under federal management until the state has a management plan.
gray wolf The U.S. government said Wednesday it is formally removing about 1,300 gray wolves in the Rocky Mountain region from the endangered species list. Click to enlarge this image.
Getty Images
The U.S. government said Wednesday it is formally removing about 1,300 gray wolves in the Rocky Mountain region from the endangered species list, acting on the orders of Congress last month.
The Interior Department will also seek to remove thousands more wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered list because they have recovered to "healthy levels," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters.
The issuing of the final rule means that states will manage control of the animals, and that hunting will resume in Idaho, Montana, and parts of Utah, Oregon and Washington.
Gray wolves in Wyoming will remain under federal management until that state develops a suitable management plan, he said.
"The recovery of gray wolves in the United States is a tremendous success story of the Endangered Species Act," said Salazar.
"From a biological perspective, gray wolves have recovered. It is now time to return their management to states that are prepared to ensure the long-term health of the species."
The move caps a long political and legal battle that dates back to the George W. Bush administration.
Last month, an annex was added to the highly disputed budget bill, removing the wolves in that range from federal protection, marking the first time Congress ever removed an animal from the endangered species list.
Environmental groups opposed the move, but admitted defeat after years of fighting in court to preserve the endangered status of the gray wolves.
The wolves had all but disappeared from the region until they were reintroduced in the 1990s, and their protected status has allowed them to reach a total population of 1,651 across the entire Rocky Mountain region, including Wyoming, which is not affected by Wednesday's decision, said the Sierra Club.
But ranchers say wolves are a nuisance to livestock and could even threaten humans if their population grows too large.
Salazar said the government would accept public comments on its proposal to delist gray wolves in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin before acting further.
"To be sure, not everyone will be satisfied with today's announcement," Salazar said.
"Wolves have long been a highly charged issue but let us not lose sight of the fact that these delistings are possible because the species has recovered in these areas."