Trumpeter swans for the taking

  • HUNTED: Trumpeter swans for the taking

    photo courtesy Trumpeter Swan Society


A struggling population of rare trumpeter swans may be the unintended victims of an ongoing tundra swan hunt in Utah. That's the word from some anonymous Fish and Wildlife Service biologists, who say their agency has ignored science and bowed to political pressure from Utah wildlife officials.

Federal biologists have worked for years to increase and disperse the so-called tri-state population of trumpeters, a group of about 400 swans in the greater Yellowstone area. In 1992, the Fish and Wildlife Service transplanted a small number of trumpeters from Yellowstone to the national Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah.

But the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources sells about 2,000 tundra swan hunting permits every year. Because tundra swans and trumpeter swans are hard to distinguish at a distance, the state agency worried that tundra swan hunters could be penalized for accidentally shooting trumpeters. In 1995, Fish and Wildlife Service officials discontinued the trumpeter transplants and approved a five-year experimental tundra swan hunt in Utah - one that allowed the taking of up to 10 trumpeter swans each year.

This year, when federal officials extended the experimental hunt in Utah for two years, a group of Fish and Wildlife Service biologists spoke out. In August, with the help of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the group published a report, Swan Dive, on the controversy.

The report accuses the agency of releasing a "heavily flawed" assessment of the hunt's impacts, and it claims that the latest hunt approval is simply a precursor to a permanent "takings" provision in the tundra swan hunt.

Bob Trost with the Fish and Wildlife Service's Office of Migratory Bird Management in Portland, Ore., takes issue with the PEER report. Though he declines to comment on specifics, he says: "This is a very complex issue, but we've made every effort to analyze it correctly."

Several environmental groups have challenged the Utah hunt's approval in district court.

Copyright © 2001 HCN and Tim Wagner

NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • in Southwest Colorado. $60K plus costs.
  • with six+ years of experience, broad knowledge of home and facilities maintenance. 207-805-4157,
  • Seeking full-time experienced farmer on 52-acre organic farm Union, OR. [email protected]
  • Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is seeking a Government Affairs Manager that is passionate about Western communities and the protection of the natural environment to support...
  • Metal roofing & siding, thru-fastened & seam profiles. Stronger, more attractive and longer lasting than any other panel on the market. 970-275-4070.
  • The Central Colorado Conservancy, a nationally accredited and state certified land trust, is seeking an innovative and dynamic Executive Director to guide the Conservancy into...
  • National conservation organization seeks a regular, full-time, Lake Tahoe West Senior Project Lead. Position is responsible for working with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) to...
  • Forever Our Rivers Foundation seeks a driven and creative individual to lead this national movement for river health. Deadline 6/14/19.
  • We are looking for an experienced campaigner to lead our work challenging the oil and fracked gas industry, specifically focused on fighting fossil fuel expansion...
  • 7/12-7/14/19 in Taos, NM. With over 21 workshops and keynote speaker, poet Arthur Sze.
  • Badlands Conservation Alliance is seeking an Executive Director. For job description visit
  • Everland Mountain Retreat includes 318 mountaintop acres with a 3,200 square foot lodge and two smaller homes. Endless vistas of the Appalachian mountains, open skies,...
  • Spectacular views of snowcapped Sierras. 15 miles from Kings Canyon/Sequoia Parks. 47 acres with 2 homes/75' pool/gym/patios/gardens. 1670 sq.ft. main home has 3 bdrm/1 bath....
  • Beautiful off-the-grid passive solar near the CDT. 9.4 acres, north of Silver City. Sam, 575.388.1921
  • at RCAC. See the full description at Apply at [email protected]
  • Newly refurbished and tuned. Older model, great condition. Gasoline engine. Chains on tires. Heavy duty for mountain snow. Call cellphone and leave message or email.
  • Camping, hiking, backpacking, R2R2R, Tarahumara Easter, Mushroom Festival,
  • Clean off, cool off & drink. Multiple spray patterns. Better than you imagine. Try it.
  • Actively introduce students to Experiential Education, Outdoor Recreation, and Sustainability while engaging and challenging them to learn and participate in these diverse opportunities. Room, board,...
  • 1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...