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Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho

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A Sawtooth Valley wolf pack is in trouble again after a band of sheep was returned to their vicinity. Federal officials are trying to trap members of the Stanley pack after two ewes were killed the last weekend in August along Fourth of July Creek in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. "These wolves have used up all their 'get out of jail free' cards," U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Ted Koch said. Killing a problem wolf can raise public concerns, but it also can discourage other wolves from attacking livestock and it helps ease the anti-wolf sentiment among ranchers, Koch said. Nez Perce tribal wolf managers, who share oversight with Fish and Wildlife, are trying to arrange for wolf advocates to buy feed so the sheep can be moved to a safer location, he said. The pack got in trouble earlier when it tangled with the same band of sheep. Friction arose when the Forest Service closed Pole Creek Road during the trapping effort. A decision to kill problem wolves rests with Bob Ruesink, head of Fish and Wildlife's Boise field office. Despite chronic problems, biologists have no intention of killing the entire pack, Koch said.

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