Council OKs Plan to Let Ranchers Kill Wolves
May 27, 2005
May 27, 2005 -- Following hours of public comments on the state wolf plan, all five Utah Regional Advisory Councils (RAC) voted in favor of allowing wolves to be shot on public and private land. This amendment provides livestock owners the guidelines needed to protect their investments.
On June 9, the state Wildlife Board is expected to make a binding vote on the plan. If adopted, the amendments would ?bring wolves closer to the legal status of bears and cougars,? said Mike Bodenchuk of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services. Bears and cougars are considered predators, and ranchers and farmers are allowed to shoot them if they feel the animals are threatening their livestock.
Passing a state plan is necessary in order to get the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to give management authority of wolves to the state, said Keven Bunnell, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
?We are pleased that each of the five regional councils passed the amendment to the wolf management plan that will allow ranchers, their families and employees to use lethal methods of control on wolves that chase, harass or kill livestock on private or public land,? commented Clark Willis, director for the Utah Wool Growers Association and wolf-plan working group task-force member. ?We had wonderful support from all aspects of the livestock industry who understand that we must be active in making the decisions that affect our industries.?