Gray Wolves Management Returned to States
More than 45 years after gray wolves were first listed under the Endangered Species Act, the Trump Administration and its many conservation partners announced yesterday the successful recovery of the gray wolf and its delisting from the ESA.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt was at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge to announce that state and tribal wildlife management agency professionals will resume responsibility for sustainable management and protection of delisted gray wolves in states with gray wolf populations, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service monitors the species for five years to ensure the continued success of the species.
USFWS based its final determination solely on the best scientific and commercial data available, a thorough analysis of threats and how they have been alleviated and the ongoing commitment and proven track record of states and tribes to continue managing for healthy wolf populations once delisted. This analysis includes the latest information about the wolf’s current and historical distribution in the contiguous United States.
“Today’s action reflects the Trump Administration’s continued commitment to species conservation based on the parameters of the law and the best scientific and commercial data available,” said Sec. Bernhardt. “After more than 45 years as a listed species, the gray wolf has exceeded all conservation goals for recovery. Today’s announcement simply reflects the determination that this species is neither a threatened nor endangered species based on the specific factors Congress has laid out in the law.”
In total, the gray wolf population in the lower 48 states is more than 6,000 wolves, greatly exceeding the combined recovery goals for the Northern Rocky Mountains and Western Great Lakes populations. By the early part of the 20th century, the gray wolf had become scarce across almost the entire landscape of the lower 48 states. But, the dedicated efforts of partners that included states, tribes, conservation organizations and private landowners working together under the auspices of the ESA, brought this great predator back to healthy, stable numbers. Gray wolves in the United States exist primarily as two large, genetically diverse, stable to growing populations broadly distributed across several contiguous U.S. states, with an additional large population in Alaska that was never listed.
Gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains – where a healthy and sustainable population roams across Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and eastern portions of Oregon and Washington – were previously delisted. These states have since managed this delisted population effectively and responsibly. Wolves have even expanded into western Oregon, western Washington, northern California and most recently in northwest Colorado.
This final rule excludes Mexican wolves as that species remains listed under the ESA. The final rule will be effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
“The American Sheep Industry Association commends the Department of the Interior for the successful recovery of the gray wolf population under the ESA and returning management of this species to the states. We are confident that this will ensure the continued sustainable population while also providing more tools to manage interactions between wolves, the public and domestic livestock,” said ASI President Benny Cox.
Wyoming Wool Growers Association President Vance Broadbent added, “For more than a decade, ranchers have worked with federal and state officials, as well as conservation and wildlife management groups to achieve lasting and meaningful recovery for the gray wolf. Wyoming has shown that delisting the wolf can be done responsibly and that states are well-equipped to manage their wildlife. We are grateful to Secretary Bernhardt, (USFWS) Director (Aurelia) Skipwith, and their teams for respecting the science that says the wolf has recovered and ensuring a strong future for wildlife across the country.”
Wool Added to Eligibility List for FSFL Loans
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue this week added wool to the list of eligible commodities for Farm Storage Facility Loans through the Farm Service Agency.
FSFL provides low-cost financing for producers to store, handle and transport eligible commodities. Eligible commodities currently include grain, oilseed and pulse crops, hemp, eligible perishable commodities, hay, renewable biomass, honey, floriculture, milk, butter, cheese, eggs, yogurt, meat and poultry, and aquaculture. The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 gave the secretary discretionary authority to add other commodities for FSFL eligibility. Using this authority, the secretary added wool as an eligible FSFL commodity.
Wool is an annual crop and takes about 365 days to produce and needs to be stored in a temperature-controlled environment to maintain the quality. The addition of wool as an eligible FSFL commodity will benefit wool producers nationwide.
Click Here for more information.
ASI Research Update Podcast: Lamb Weaning
Dr. Bruce Shanks of Lincoln University discusses Lamb Weaning Management in the October ASI Research Update Podcast.
Click Here to listen to the podcast.
Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium Moves Online
The Ohio Sheep Improvement Association invites shepherds of all ages, sectors and regions to attend the Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium on Dec. 4 to expand their knowledge of sheep nutrition and connect with their peers.
For the first time in the association’s 71-year history, the annual symposium will be entirely online. This year’s event will be offered in a condensed format, featuring multiple guest speakers presenting in various formats and styles about flock nutrition, with no fee to register.
Through partnerships with the Ohio Sheep and Wool Program and The Ohio State University, OSIA will offer an easily accessible and vast reaching event. The OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources program will serve as the virtual host for the symposium on Dec. 4 from 2 to 5 p.m. through an interactive webinar.
Anyone interested in attending the Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium, the OSIA Annual Meeting, or the Shepherd’s Social Hour later in the evening, can register online at their convenience by visiting and completing the submission form at https://go.osu.edu/ohiosheep to receive the meeting connection information.
Immediately following the symposium webinar, the floor will be opened for the 2020 OSIA Annual Meeting. All in attendance for the symposium are welcomed to join, although only dues paying members will have their votes counted on election items. Those who choose to attend the annual meeting exclusively may do so at the same registration page as the symposium (https://go.osu.edu/ohiosheep) and join the webinar from 5 to 5:30 p.m.
At the adjournment of the annual meeting, all are encouraged to enjoy a lamb dinner individually and gather again at 7:30 p.m. for the virtual Shepherd’s Social Hour. In similar fashion as the prior Young Shepherds Assembly gatherings, this opportunity will allow shepherds to meet in an informal space to continue networking and sharing ideas on how to support and improve the sheep industry for the current and future generations. All are welcome to join regardless of age or experience level.
The social hour will be hosted by Buckeye Shepherd’s Symposium Co-Chair Christine Gelley in a Zoom meeting room. To ensure cyber security, the Zoom link and password for this meeting room will be distributed during the symposium webinar or by special request.
Australian Market Softens After Strong Run
After three weeks of successive rises, the Australian wool market suffered losses this week. The softer tone evident at the end of last week’s series carried into this week. The falls on the final day of last week prompted many sellers to remove their wool from sale, which resulted in 13.9 percent of the original offering being withdrawn.
The market suffered the largest falls on the first day of selling. The individual Micron Price Guides in all three centers lost between 51 and 111 cents. On the back of these losses, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator lost 71 cents for the day – a 5.8 percent drop. On the second day of selling, the market settled and there were only minimal price movements. The MPGs across the country traded within 21 cents of the levels of the previous day (in both positive and negative territory).
The EMI fell by a further 10 cents, closing the week at 1,138 Australian cents. Overall, this was a loss of 81 cents – a 6.6 percent reduction. Worth noting, in a positive sign for the following week, the final day the Fremantle fleece market (selling last) recorded price rises. The Western MPGs rose by 9 to 21 cents. As a result of these rises, the Western MPGs recorded the lowest overall losses for the week.
After recording the largest rises in the previous week, this series the crossbreds suffered the largest losses (in percentage terms). The MPGs for 26.0 to 32.0 dropped by 36 to 80 cents. Due to a public holiday in Melbourne on Tuesday next week, wool sales have moved to Wednesday and Thursday selling for Week 19. This is to avoid any center selling in isolation. There are currently 36,666 bales on offer in Melbourne, Fremantle and Sydney (which is a designated superfine sale).
Saturday is Hug a Sheep Day
While the world enjoys Halloween on Saturday, those in the sheep industry might want to add Hug A Sheep Day to their spooky celebrations. Hug A Sheep Day was started to celebrate all the fantastic sheep that exist all across the world, from those in the wild to those domesticated and living a life-giving us the warmth and comfort of wool.
Click Here to learn more.
Video of the Week
If you weren’t able to join in the American Sheep Industry’s webinars early this week on producing and preparing wool for specialty markets, you can access archived versions of the webinars on ASI’s YouTube page.
Click Here to watch the videos.
- PRODUCER EDUCATION