Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains

From: Gray Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, MT 2/07/03

Subject: Status of Gray Wolf Recovery, Weeks of 2/01 to 2/07, 2003


NEW WEB ADDRESS- See  for maps of wolf pack locations and home ranges, tables of wolf numbers and depredations, and summaries of scientific studies.

On the 3rd, MT FW&P collared a gray pup #299, from the Taylor Peak pack while capturing elk for the cooperative MSU study on elk/wolf relationships. There were 6 gray wolves in the pack. Good job! The MT FW&P biologists were primarily collaring elk as part of their cooperative wolf/elk relationships study. Chief Joe pack was seen the next day but couldn’t be darted.

On the 5th, an uncollared wolf pup [now 10 months old] was killed by a vehicle on Highway 12 near Avon. It was likely a member of Castle Rock or Halfway packs.

WS reported a pair of wolf tracks near Clark Canyon Reservoir SE of Dillon, MT. They pulled M-44's in the immediate area. This is the same area where wolves killed a calf last fall.

Please report any sightings of wolf activity to the nearest U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state Fish and Game Agency, Forest Service, BLM, Tribal, or USDA Wildlife Services office. We thank everyone for their cooperation.


On the 3rd, Wildlife Services killed 3 members [2 gray and a black subadult] of the Halfway pack. Two other wolves were seen and they will be removed as weather permits. The Castle Rock pack moved south of the highway and were not in a suitable location for removal. On the morning of the 6th, 3 uncollared members, including the suspected alpha male, of the Castle Rock pack were shot. That afternoon WS killed dispersing Castle Rock- but now Halfway pack- wolf #979 and #342. Control is finished, unless more depredations are confirmed. The Halfway pack is gone and 3-4 wolves remain in the Castle Rock pack.


Tom Meier et al. are working on compiling and summarizing data for the 2002 annual interagency wolf report.

Dr. Dennis Murray, University of Idaho, was in Yellowstone National Park this week working with Doug Smith on analysis of radio-telemetry survival and mortality data from 403 wolves that were radio-collared and monitored in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming since the early 1980's. The multi-co-author paper will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal.

Information and education and law enforcement

Doug Smith traveled to Salt Lake City to give a presentation to the Conservation Alliance’s annual meeting [includes many large outdoor recreation businesses]. About 100 people attended the meeting.

Meier provided an update on wolf recovery to approximately 50 people at the North Fork Interlocal Agreement winter meeting on February 4.

Fontaine and Bart Smith [WS] spoke to two dozen Rock Creek grazing permittees from the Phillipsburg, MT area on the night of the 5th. There is a new pack of 3 wolves, Willow Pack, using that area and another pack near Skalkaho Pass, Sapphire Pack.

On the 5th, Bangs participated in a conference call with the states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming and Kathy Hollar, the Service’s delisting coordinator in Region 1. The status of the reclassification package, state wolf management plans, and future cooperation in preparing the delisting proposal were discussed.

On the 5th, Jimenez spoke to a group of 20 tourists, neighbors and friends of a rancher who owns a ranch adjacent to the WY G&F feed ground near Pinedale, WY. They met at the Flagg Ranch in Jackson, WY and were mainly just interested in the latest wolf update.

On the 6th, Bangs was on a conference call with the Elko Nevada County Commission. They are drafting a resolution stating that Elko County residents do not want wolves reintroduced in their county.

The CENTRAL ROCKIES WOLF PROJECT is pleased to announce that registration has begun for the WORLD WOLF CONGRESS 2003 - BRIDGING SCIENCE AND COMMUNITY, to be held at the Banff Centre (Banff, Canada) from September 25-28, 2003. Please visit for complete information.

Call for papers: Papers are now being accepted for the 2003 North American Interagency Wolf Conference, April 8 - 10, 2003 at Chico Hot Springs, Pray, MT. The theme this year is wolf/ungulate relationships. Please submit a one page single spaced abstract which includes your full contact information, affiliations, and authors, by email to Joseph Fontaine at Please submit a digital picture related to your research or topic to include in the agenda and on the website. We can also scan images sent by mail. Registration for the conference will begin November 1, 2002 and you may contact Suzanne Laverty at for details. The registration website is

The Service's weekly wolf report can now also be viewed at the Service's Region 6 web site at   This report is government public property and can be used for any purpose. Please distribute as you see fit.

Contact: Ed Bangs (406)449-5225 x204 or ED_BANGS@FWS.GOV





The Nez Perce Tribe is seeking volunteers to assist on the Idaho Gray Wolf Recovery Project for the 2003 field season. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable field experience while working in the rugged and beautiful backcountry of Idaho.

Work Environment: Work is conducted throughout the state of Idaho and SW Montana, including front-country (road accessible) and backcountry (remote and Wilderness) areas. This is a physically demanding position; extreme climate and terrain will be encountered. Volunteers may be required to carry up to 80 lbs. for varying distances over trail and cross-country conditions. Accommodations vary from cabins to backcountry houses to tent camping depending upon the locations of wolves and logistics. Travel is mostly by 4-wheel drive, ATV, fixed-wing aircraft, and foot.

Work Schedule: Typically 10 days on/4 days off, though work may extend beyond the 10 days depending upon conditions, Project needs, and logistics.

Duration: Expected approximately mid-May through September, but may be shorter depending upon workload, volunteer availability, and Project funding. Preference will be given to those able to commit for extended periods of time.

Compensation: Includes transportation and $15.00/day while on duty. Some housing (travel trailers, USFS accommodations, and bunkhouse-style quarters) is available for non-duty days. Volunteers are covered under the Tribal Workmen's Compensation program.

Primary Duties: 1) assist in locating, via ground and aerial telemetry, potential breeding packs/pairs of wolves to determine reproductive status, 2) assist in obtaining accurate counts of wolf pups at home sites, 3) assist in documenting locations of wolf home sites, 4) assist in collecting scientific data on the ecology of wolves in Idaho, 5) assist in capturing, processing/handling, and radio-collaring wolves, and 6) other duties as assigned.

Qualifications: 1) documented experience backpacking and camping for extended periods of time in remote settings, 2) proficiency with orienteering (use of map and compass for navigating) required, 3) good physical condition, 4) must hold valid driver's license and be insurable under the Tribe's insurance policy, 5) must be willing to comply with the Tribe's drug and alcohol policy, 6) possess the ability to get along with others in backcountry settings for 10-day + time periods, 7) possess the ability to communicate verbally with interested and affected publics, 8) enrollment in college/university Wildlife, or related, curriculum preferred, 9) radio-telemetry experience preferred, 10) capture, immobilizing, and handling/processing experience with wild animals preferred, and 11) experience flying in fixed-wing and helicopters preferred,

Application Period: Applications will be accepted from March 1, 2003 until March 31, 2003. Applications must be received at Gray Wolf Recovery Project office by March 31, 2003.

How to Apply: Submit a cover letter and resume detailing educational and employment backgrounds, along with the name and contact information of 3 work-related references. Send application materials to: Nez Perce Tribe

Gray Wolf Recovery Project
Attn: Volunteer
P.O. Box 1922
McCall, ID 83638
Telephone: (208) 634-1061