Wolf Management / Status Timeline

News Releases, Plans, Dates, Court Rulings, Management Direction / Policies / Reintroduction and Recovery

 

Wolf Monitoring Progress Reports

 

2013

 

2012

 

2011
  • 2011 - 2011 Wolf Monitoring Progress Report  -  pdf, 6.3 mb
  • December 2011 - Potential Wolf Control Actions in Lolo Zone  -  pdf, 84 kb
  • June 2011 - Idaho Wolves Are Back Under State Management  -  Idaho Fish and Game News, Vol. 23, Number 6 - pdf, 764 kb
  • May 19, 2011 - Commission Lays Out Framework For Idaho Wolf Management  -  IDFG News Release - pdf, 13 kb
  • May 5, 2011 - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published rule that removed wolves in Idaho from the endangered species list. Idaho Fish and Game has taken over management under state law and the 2002 wolf management plan. Wolf tags went on sale.
  • 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.
2011 Monthly Management Updates
November - pdf, 26 kb  |   October - pdf, 26 kb  |   September - pdf, 25 kb  |  August - pdf, 28 kb  |   July - pdf, 27 kb  |  June - pdf, 27 kb  |   May - pdf, 29 kb

 

2010
2010 Monthly Management Updates
Wolf Management Progress Reports - January-October, 2010  -  pdf, 164 kb

 

2009
  • 2009 - 2009 Wolf Conservation and Management Progress Report  -  pdf, 4.1 mb
  • November 2009 - Fish and Game Commission extends wolf season in zones not already closed to March 31, 2010.
  • September 8, 2009 - Motion for a preliminary injunction to block wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana denied.
  • September 1, 2009 - First regulated wolf hunt in Idaho opens.
  • August 17, 2009 - Fish and Game Commission sets harvest limit of 220 wolves statewide and individual harvest limits for each of 12 wolf management zones.
  • June 2009 - Legal challenge filed to wolf delisting.
  • May 4, 2009 - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule delisting gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and Western Great Lakes becomes official.
  • May 2009 - Wolves Delisted: Idaho Perspective  -  pdf, 318 kb
  • April 6, 2009 - Idaho Fish and Game Commission sets wolf season dates for 2009. The Commission is scheduled to set numbers of wolves that can be taken by hunters in 2009 at its August, 2009 meeting.
  • April 2, 2009 - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule delisting gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and Western Great Lakes published in the Federal Register. Rule would take effect May 4.
  • March 6, 2009 - Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announces that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will send the delisting rule to the Federal Register for publication. The rule would take effect days after publication, and includes wolves in Idaho and Montana; wolves in Wyoming would remain on the endangered species list.
  • February 27, 2009 - Idaho Sportsmen's Caucus Advisory Council urges Interior Secretary to proceed with delisting of the gray wolf in Idaho.
  • February 9, 2009 - Various groups support delisting of the gray wolf in Idaho.
  • February 2, 2009 - Idaho Congressionel Delegation requests timely reivew of the delisting rule.
  • January 28, 2009 - Idaho Attorney General requests proceeding with delisting of the gray wolf in Idaho.
  • January 23, 2009 - Nez Perce Tribe supports delisting of the gray wolf in Idaho.
  • January 20, 2009 - Proposed delisting rule covering Idaho and Montana suspended pending review by the new Obama administration.
  • January 14, 2009 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces the pending publication of a delisting rule for gray wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains and Western Great Lakes. The Northern Rockies rule, however, does not include Wyoming, where wolves will remain on the endangered species list.
  • January 12, 2009 - U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service submits to the Federal Register the text of the final rule to identify the northern rocky mountain population of gray wolf as a distinct population segment and to revise the list of endangered and threatened wildlife.
2009 Monthly Management Updates
Wolf Management Progress Reports - January-December, 2009  -  pdf, 353 kb

 

2008
  • 2008 - 2008 Wolf Conservation and Management Progress Report  -  pdf, 1.8 mb
  • November 24, 2008 - Letter From Governor Otter - Support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delising rule.  -  pdf, 348 kb | Comments by Idaho Fish & Game & the Idaho Office of Species Conservation - Support of removal of the Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf from the Endangered Species Act.  -  pdf, 954 kb
  • November 6, 2008 - Wolf Management Directives - Adopted by the Idaho Fish & Game Commission November 6, 2008.  -  pdf, 17 kb
  • October 24, 2008 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reopens the public comment period on its proposal to delist the gray wolf in the northern Rocky Mountains. In a notice published in the Federal Register October 28, Fish and Wildlife asks the public to comment and provide any additional information on the February 2007 proposal to delist wolves by November 28.
  • October 14, 2008 - U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy grants the United States' motion to remand the delisting rule to the Fish and Wildlife Service. He also dismisses the lawsuit that challenged the delisting.
  • July 18, 2008 - Federal district judge issues a preliminary injunction that returns wolves in Idaho to endangered species protection and puts hunting seasons on hold.
  • May 22, 2008 - Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopts proposed wolf hunting seasons and rules for fall 2008.
  • April 28, 2008 - Twelve conservation and animal rights groups file a lawsuit in federal court challenging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision to remove the gray wolf in Idaho and the Northern Rocky Mountains from the endangered species list, and request a preliminary injunction staying the delisting until the lawsuit is settled.
  • March 28, 2008 - Delisting rule becomes final and Idaho assumes full responsibility for wolves, which will be managed as a big game animal. Fish and Wildlife would continue to monitor wolf recovery for five years.
  • March 6, 2008 - Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopts Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan, which includes a framework for future wolf hunting seasons.

 

2007

 

2006

 

2005

 

2004
  • December 23, 2004 - Wolf 10(j) Final Rule - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Q&A  -  pdf, 27 kb
  • Summer 2004 - Fish and Game works with cooperators to transition into wolf management duties statewide.
  • March 2004 - Wolf management training of Idaho Fish and Game staff members across Idaho conducted with assistance of cooperating agency wolf specialists. About 300 staff members are trained to understand their roles and responsibilities in monitoring and management of wolves, coordination protocol and outreach, and other management responsibilities.
  • March 9, 2004 - The Fish and Wildlife Service publishes in the Federal Register its proposal to revise wolf management rules under section 10(j) of the Endangered Species Act. The proposed rules would allow more flexibility in managing wolves and would allow states with accepted wolf management plans to take over much of the wolf management roles and responsibilities. Fish and Wildlife to make a decision on the rule amendment following a 60-day public comment period.
  • February 2004 - Wyoming sues the Fish and Wildlife Service to accept their plan. Fish and Wildlife delays delisting until Wyoming plan is accepted.
  • January 2004 - The Fish and Wildlife Service deems Montana and Idaho plans are adequate, but the Wyoming plan is inadequate for delisting.

 

2003
  • November 2003 - The Fish and Wildlife Service requests 11 wolf experts to review the state plans of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and determine whether they are adequate for preservation of wolves once delisted.
  • July 11, 2003 - The Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopts a wolf policy.
  • April 1, 2003 - The Fish and Wildlife Service reclassified, or down-listed wolves from endangered to threatened in Idaho north of I-90, and northern Montana, and everywhere within the western Distinct Population Segment.
  • April 2003 - Legislature amends law 36-715 to allow Fish and Game to fully implement the Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan and work with the Office of Species Conservation prior to delisting in wolf management.

 

2002
  • 2002 - Fish and Game works with the Office of Species Conservation, the Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana and Wyoming to develop a wolf delisting package that would turn over wolf management authority to the states following delisting.
    • Increase efforts to record statewide wolf observation records and develop a procedure to document and monitor wolf recovery in conjunction with the Fish and Wildlife Service and Nez Perce Tribe.
  • April 2002 - Fish and Game begins working with the Office of Species Conservation in developing a memorandum of understanding with the Nez Perce Tribe, identifying the tribe's future involvement with wolves and developing a wolf harvest agreement following delisting.
  • March 2002 - Idaho Legislature passes a joint resolution to accept the Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan as written; identifies Fish and Game as the primary entity responsible for wolf management following delisting; identifies the Nez Perce Tribe as having a significant role following delisting.

 

2001
  • October 2001 - Gov. Dirk Kempthorne directs the Office of Species Conservation to work with the Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho Fish and Game, Nez Perce Tribe and others in the delisting of wolves in Idaho.
  • September 2001 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service documents 30 pairs of wolves in the three-state area of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, triggering the three-year countdown to delisting.
  • August 2001 - Draft of the management plan was sent out for professional review.
  • March 30, 2001 - The Idaho Legislature adopts HJM5, a memorial addressed to the president and Congress stating the intent of the Legislature, but without the force of law, calling on the federal government to immediately discontinue wolf recovery efforts in Idaho, and remove wolves by whatever means necessary.

 

2000
  • December 2000 - The Northwest Natural Resource Group submits a summary of the comments on the Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan to the governor's Office of Species Conservation and the Legislative Wolf Oversight Committee.
  • 2000 - Idaho Legislature approves state statute §67-818, creating in the office of the governor, the "Office of Species Conservation" to coordinate all state related activities involving federally listed threatened and endangered species.

 

1998
  • December 1998 - Twenty-four of the original 35 wolves are known to be alive and are still being monitored. The estimated population in Idaho is 115 wolves. This is the first year that one component of recovery (10 breeding pairs) is attained.
  • November 1998 - Idaho Wolf Oversight Committee begins working on a new Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.
  • 1998 - State Sen. Stan Hawkins ear-marks Fish and Game funds to study predator impacts on big game animals, focusing on wolves in the Salmon region.

 

1997
  • March 1997 - Legislature amends 36-715 to cut Fish and Game's authority to receive and use money from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Fish and Game's nongame management fund. It limits Fish and Game's authority to working with the Wolf Oversight Committee to develop and coordinate wolf management plans with state officials of Wyoming and Montana. It extends the life of its wolf oversight committee through December 1999 so that the committee can develop a management plan to enable the state to take over management of wolves upon delisting.

 

1996
  • 1996 - Governor Phil Batt recommends the State become more involved in the wolf recovery process.
  • 1996 - First pups produced in Idaho; 3 known packs identified.
  • January 1996 - An additional 20 wolves released near Dagger Falls at the edge of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in central Idaho.

 

1995
  • January 20, 1995 - Eleven wolves released at Indian Creek and Thomas Creek along the Middle Fork Salmon River in central Idaho.
  • January 17, 1995 - The Idaho Legislature rejects a Wolf Recovery and Management Plan produced by the Legislative Wolf Oversight Committee, which would have allowed Fish and Game to assume the lead role in wolf recovery in Idaho. Nez Perce Tribe eventually takes recovery effort lead.
  • January 14, 1995 - Four wolves released at Corn Creek on the edge of the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.

 

1994
  • December 2, 1994 - The Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopts a policy in support of wolf reintroduction in central Idaho as an experimental, nonessential population. The commission adopted the position to allow state control of wolf management.
  • November 1994 - Final Experimental Population Rules issued and published in the Federal Register.
    • Litigation filed by Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, Farm Bureau, and others regarding the release of wolves and the use of the Experimental Population designation.
    • Negotiations over Fish and Wildlife Service policy decision regarding involvement of Nez Perce Tribe.
    • Six public meetings around the state on state wolf management plan between November 7 and December 9; 62 written comments are received.
    • Experimental Population Rules   -  U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, pdf File
  • October 1994 - The Idaho wolf management plan nears completion.
  • October 17, 1994 - Public comment period on proposed Experimental Population Rules closes. Some members of the Idaho Wolf Oversight Committee submit comments on the final experimental population rules, noting that if the Fish and Wildlife Service does not change the final experimental rules to further reduce protection of wolves and increase protection of livestock interests, they would push the Legislature to ban all state involvement in wolf recovery and management.
  • October 14, 1994 - Interagency meeting to develop and prioritize a list of potential release sites.
  • October 6, 1994 - Wolf biologist Jon Rachael updates the Idaho Fish and Game Commission on wolf recovery activities, including the current reintroduction timeline.
  • September 27, 1994 - Fish and Game Director Jerry Conley submits a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expressing support for proposed experimental, nonessential population rules, which would give Idaho more management flexibility than if endangered gray wolves return naturally or are reintroduced in Idaho under the full protection of the Endangered Species Act. The letter says Fish and Game will work with the Fish and Wildlife Service, only to the extent allowed by Idaho law, to reintroduce wolves in Idaho under the experimental population rules.

    Wildlife manager Tom Reinecker issues a special permit to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service setting specific conditions under which wolves would be brought into Idaho as an experimental nonessential population. The permit is a courtesy by Idaho Fish and Game in accordance with state law, and with the Idaho wolf management plan currently being drafted by Idaho Fish and Game and the Legislative Wolf Oversight Committee.
  • September 27-29, 1994 - Public hearings on Proposed Experimental Rule held in Boise, Helena, Cheyenne, Seattle, Salt Lake City, and Washington D.C.
  • August 16, 1994 - Proposed Experimental Population Rules for Yellowstone and central Idaho published in the Federal Register, and 60-day comment period begins.
    • States and Tribe can enter cooperative agreements with the Fish and Wildlife Service to take lead if they develop suitable wolf management plans. State and tribal wolf management activities would be funded by the Fish and Wildlife Service until wolves are removed from the Endangered Species List.
    • Experimental population areas would be established for the central Idaho and Yellowstone areas. In northern Idaho, north of I-90, wolves will retain full protection of the Endangered Species Act.
    • 15 wolves to be reintroduced in central Idaho and 15 in Yellowstone National Park for three to five years or until at least two packs establish and reproduce successfully in two consecutive years.
    • Wolves are expected to reach the recovery level of at least 10 breeding pairs that breed successfully for three consecutive years by 2002.
  • August 10, 1994 - Record of Decision is published in Federal Register.
  • July 13, 1994 - Secretary of Agriculture signs a letter concurring with the Record of Decision. This assures the full cooperation of the U.S. Forest Service.
  • June 15, 1994 - Secretary of Interior signs the EIS Record of Decision supporting the Fish and Wildlife Service's proposed action and directed that it be implemented as soon as possible.
  • May 4, 1994 - EIS is completed. The Fish and Wildlife Service proposes to reintroduce wolves into central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park as a nonessential experimental population. If states and tribes develop acceptable wolf management plans, they could enter into a cooperative agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service to take lead in managing wolves.
  • April 7, 1994 - Legislature amends Idaho Code §36-715 to allow Fish and Game to work with the Wolf Oversight Committee to develop and implement an Idaho Wolf Management Plan to provide an opportunity for the state to take a lead role in wolf management, in anticipation that the EIS would recommend reintroduction of wolves into Idaho under a "nonessential, experimental" status.

    The change rescinds authority for Fish and Game to enter into agreements with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but it allows Fish and Game to receive funds from Fish and Wildlife in the development and implementation of the wolf management plan in conjunction with the Wolf Oversight Committee.

 

1993
  • July 1993 - Draft EIS released and results in 160,284 comments from public, agencies, and interest groups. It contains a Fish and Wildlife Service proposal to reintroduce gray wolves into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho if two naturally occurring wolf packs are not found in either area before October 1994.

 

1992
  • 1992 - The Legislature establishes a seven member Wolf Oversight Committee "to guide and advise the department in all aspects of their involvement in the EIS process." The committee would oversee the participation of Fish and Game in development of the EIS on wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone and Central Idaho. The wolf oversight committee includes the chairmen of the Legislature's Senate and House Resource Committees, a member appointed by the Idaho State Animal Damage Control Board, two citizens appointed by the state Department of Agriculture, and two citizen appointed by Fish and Game.
  • April 1992 - Legislature amends Idaho Code §36-715 to allow Fish and Game "to enter into cooperative agreements with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service" to prepare the environmental impact statement.

 

1991
  • November 1991 - Congress directs U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prepare an environmental impact statement on the plan to reintroduce wolves into central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park.
  • 1991 - The Wolf Management Committee submits its plan to Congress.

 

1990
  • November 1990 - Congress established a national Wolf Management Committee, directing the Secretary of the Interior to appoint a 10-member committee to develop a gray wolf reintroduction and management plan for Yellowstone National Park and the Central Idaho wilderness area. Fish and Game Director Jerry Conley is appointed a member of the committee.
  • May 1990 - U.S. Sen. James McClure, R-Idaho, introduces legislation mandating the return of the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park and creating protected recovery areas in Glacier National Park and in wilderness areas of central Idaho, where limited numbers of wolves would be reintroduced. Outside the recovery areas, wolves would be removed from the endangered species list and could be considered pests or game animals. The bill did not pass.

 

1980s - 1915
  • 1988 - State Legislature authorizes an Idaho Fish and Game representative to participate on the Northern Rocky Mountain Recovery Team, it restricts Fish and Game's authority to receive funds or transfer assets or enter agreements with any agency regarding wolf recovery activities unless expressly authorized by state statute, §36-715.
  • 1987 - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf Recovery Plan of 1980 is updated.
  • 1980s - Numerous field surveys conducted in Idaho to document the presence of wolves.
  • 1980 - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Recovery Plan is signed. It recommends reintroducing wolves in central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. Its goal is 30 breeding pairs for three successive years in three designated areas of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming before delisting wolves and turning management over to the states.
  • 1978 - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service relists the gray wolf as endangered at the species level throughout the conterminous 48 States and Mexico, except for Minnesota where it is reclassified as threatened.
  • 1974 - Four subspecies of gray wolves (Canis lupus) are listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act - the gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains, the eastern timber wolf in the northern Great Lakes region, the Mexican wolf in Mexico and the southwestern United States, and the Texas gray wolf of Texas and Mexico.
  • 1967 - Gray wolves listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966, which is repealed in 1973 and replaced by the Endangered Species Act.
  • 1915 - Congress appropriates $125,000 to remove wolves, coyotes and other predators from public land throughout the West. In Idaho, the last wolf is believed to have been killed in the 1930s.