Audit Reveals Utah’s Anti-Wolf Contract Lacks Accountability
Although wolves have found the wild way between the northern and southern Rockies, UTAH has taken suspect measures from letting wolves recover in the “Beehive State.”
In 2009, a female gray wolf known as 314F crossed into the state of Utah. The 18-month-old wolf was a member of the Mill Creek pack in Montana and she was equipped with a GPS collar. The satellite data provided by her collar detailed her epic journey from Montana through Yellowstone National Park and the Bridger-Teton National Forest in western Wyoming. She then went through southwestern Wyoming, southeast Idaho and northeastern Utah before crossing into Colorado. Biologists believe that she dispersed from her pack in search of a mate. Unfortunately, the wolf that made a 1,000-mile trek from Montana to Colorado was found dead in April of 2009.
One of the most famous Yellowstone wolves to land in Utah was also the first confirmed wolf in that state in over 70 years. His name was 253M, also known as “Limpy” or “Hoppy”. As a young male 253M left the safety of his pack, the Druids, and traveled across southern Wyoming until he crossed into Utah. 253M was caught in a trap in November of 2002 and was released into the wild of Grand Teton National Park two days later. Wolf 253M continued to make headlines until he was shot in Montana on March 28, 2008 during a period of time when wolves of the northern Rockies were without federal protections.
The amazing journeys of 314F and 253M helped reveal the valuable connection between Colorado, Utah and the Northern Rockies wolf population. Will others have the opportunity to follow their lead? Not likely.
UTAH and wolves
In 2010, a number Utah lawmakers took steps to make war on wolves by introducing a bill that would require Utah to kill or capture any wolf that comes into the state. Utah has also awarded $800,000 during the past four years to anti-wolf lobby groups Big Game Forever (BGF) and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife to help strip the gray wolf of federal protections. A new audit leaves Legislative Auditor General John Schaff troubled. “The upfront payment, lack of accounting review and lack of a current-year plan lead us to believe that the contract lacks sufficient safeguards.”
Perhaps Utah should be less concerned with wolves and more alarmed at how their tax dollars are spent.
If U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) carries out their nationwide delisting proposal, they’ll be opening the door hunting in more states, definitely in Utah. If you have yet to submit comments to USFWS, please take action today. USFWS is accepting comments re: the proposals until October 28th.
- Voice your opposition to the Nationwide Delisting proposal HERE.
- Tell USFWS that Mexican Wolves are essential HERE