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An expanded timeline of events in the history of wolves in the West.
  • 1800 -- Wolves are common throughout Montana.
  • 1884 -- Wolf-bounty law starts Montana's official eradication effort. Trappers receive $1 per wolf.
  • 1914 -- U.S. Biological Survey founded. Its initial tasks include eradicating wolves and prairie dogs. The survey is later renamed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • 1925 -- Wolves are eliminated from most of the West.
  • 1944 -- Aldo Leopold recommends returning wolves to Yellowstone.
  • 1966 -- Biologists recommend reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone.
  • 1974 -- Wolves are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973.
  • 1980 -- A lone wolf kills livestock near Big Sandy, Mont. It is killed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This is the first documented wolf kill in more than 50 years.
  • 1986 -- A wolf den is found near Glacier National Park. The Magic pack establishes its territory in the North Fork Flathead River valley in western Glacier National Park.
  • 1991 -- Congress directs the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to prepare a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on wolf recovery in Yellowstone and central Idaho.
  • 1994 -- An Environmental Impact Statement is completed for the reintroduction of wolves into central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. The chosen alternative reintroduces wolves as an experimental population, which allows for the killing of problem wolves outside park boundaries.
  • 1994 -- The federal Environmental Impact Statement on the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone and central Idaho is completed. Wolf recovery is defined as 30 breeding pairs -- an adult male and adult female raising two or more pups to Dec. 31 -- in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming for three years in a row.
  • Jan. 12, 1995 -- Eight wolves from Canada arrive in Yellowstone National Park.
  • Jan. 21, 1995 -- A second shipment of six wolves arrive at Yellowstone. The wolves were held in three acclimation pens built along Crystal, Rose and Soda Butte creeks. The pens were designed to attenuate the wolves' homing tendencies so they would say in the Yellowstone ecosystem after their release.
  • During acclimation, the wolves had minimal human contact. The wolves were fed Tuesdays and Fridays. They were fed 15 pounds of elk, bison and mule deer per wolf. During the 10-week period, the wolves were fed 15,000 pounds of meat. About 75 employees and 25 journalists watched the feedings from a vantage point 300 yards from the Crystal Creek pen.
  • March 21-22, 1995 -- The gates on the Crystal and Rose creek pens were opened. Most of the wolves did not leave by March 23, so biologists cut a hole in the Crystal pen's fence to give the wolves another exit.
  • March 31, 1995 -- All the wolves from the Crystal and Rose creek pens have departed into Yellowstone National Park.
  • 1996 -- Seventeen Canadian wolves are sent to Yellowstone, along with 10 pups from a depredating pack in northwestern Montana. Twenty wolves are released in central Idaho. The first pups are born in the wild.
  • January 1996 -- 37 wolves are captured in north-central British Columbia and reintroduced to Yellowstone and central Idaho. 17 wolves making up four packs were placed in acclimation pens in Yellowstone. 20 wolves were released into central Idaho and for the most part have been traveling in a northerly and northeasterly direction.
  • 2000 -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines that there are 30 breeding pairs in the three-state Rocky Mountain Recovery area, making 2000 the first year of the three-year countdown to meet wolf population recovery goals.
  • 2002 -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces that the gray wolf population has achieved biological recovery under the federal Endangered Species Act.
  • March - July, 2008 -- Wolves are officially delisted.¬†Twelve parties file suit. The U.S. District Court grants the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. The ruling places the gray wolf back under the Endangered Species Act. Preparations for a wolf-hunting season are suspended.
  • March 7, 2009 - The Obama administration delists gray wolf in Montana and Idaho. Wolves in Wyoming remain on the Endangered Species List. Another lawsuit is filed.
  • Sept. 9, 2009 - U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy denies plaintiffs an injunction to stop wolf hunts in Montana and Idaho.
  • Sept. 15, 2009 - The first ever fair chase wolf hunt begins in Montana. The first wolf was killed near Cooke City on Sept. 17. 74 wolves would be taken over the season.

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