Utah Farm Bureau officials Monday joined members of Farm Bureaus in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana in criticizing the makeup of the Wolf Management Committee appointed this week by the Secretary of the Interior.
Tom Bingham, UFB vice president of public policy, said the committee does not adequately represent agricultural interests and is predisposed toward releasing wolves."Out of the 10 members of the committee, only one is a livestock producer and represents agriculture," Bingham said. "When you look at the rest of the committee, it is evident just how the committee will end up voting - in favor of introducing the wolf into Yellowstone National Park and the Central Idaho Wilderness Area."
Bingham said introducing the gray wolf into the two areas threatens livestock and the viability of a number of farms and ranches in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.
"Utah ranchers sometimes put their livestock onto ranges in these areas and there is a real danger that Utah cattle and sheep could suffer deprivations from the wolf."
The plan to introduce the Rocky Mountain gray wolf must be submitted to the Secretary and the Congress by May 15, 1991, and must be a consensus agreement supported by at least six members of the Wolf Management Committee.
"Ranchers have learned that once a species is introduced, the government's interest in depredation problems end very soon," Bingham said.