Deleted comments, etc.

I’m getting a lot of comments telling people to go back to wherever and don’t mess with Wyoming, or that people in Wyoming or Idaho, or wherever are idiots.

I live in Idaho and have for about 40 years, for those who are interested.

These unpleasant comments don’t advance any discussion, and starting today I won’t allow them through, or I will delete, these kind of comments.

I also want to add that I am not promoting a boycott of any state on my blog, although this is the opinion of some comments. Personally I avoid spending money in Wyoming except the two big national parks and Teton County (Jackson Hole).

Wyoming’s wolf management is of great interest because I think if a suit against the wolf delisting wins, it will be because of Wyoming’s wolf plan and the actions that follow its implementation.

Central Idaho elk and deer doing fine in presence of wolves

Dr. Jim Peek presented data at the Chico wolf conference showing that the elk and deer population is doing fine in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness. He examined population and hunter success trends in 4 key hunting units before and after wolf restoration.

Currently there are 105-119 wolves in the 4 units, which he believes is the maximum number that will naturally occur.

Overall, elk harvest is nearly stable with a slight upward trend in recent years. Mule deer harvest has increased more dramatically, perhaps the result of the many recent forest fires that have resulted in a proliferation of browse,

In the individual units, elk population is declining on one, increasing on one, with no trend in the other two.

Peek predicted a future decline in the most remote areas because of an overabundance of old, non-productive cow elk, and relatively few bull elk due to human hunting effects (few hunters will pack in 2 to 4 days to shoot an old cow elk, but they will for a bull elk). He speculated that the future elk decrease in the deep backcountry would be greater if wolf populations are reduced because old cows are what the wolves target — average age 13 years.

In the one front country unit (the Salmon Face, unit 28), the present and future seem bright because the cow elk are younger and the cow/calf ratio higher. Hunters there do go after cow elk because it does not take the time to get into that country.

Overall, the wolves have had little effect on elk or deer population size. The important factors are wildfires (57% of the area has burned since 1982), summer drought or adequate rainfall, and winter severity. Wolves can potentially suppress population rebound following a severe winter, especially in the frontcountry unit, although he presented no evidence that this has actually happened.

Spring chinook return at snail’s pace to Columbia River

After the unexplained virtual disappearce of the salmon run in the Sacremento River after the best run in many years, the slow return of chinoock salmon into the Columbia has folks on edge.

Rocky Barker writes about it today. Idaho Statesman.

Update added April 11. Sharp Curb on Salmon Season. By FELICITY BARRINGER. New York Times.

20th Annual North American Wolf Conference begins today

The annual wolf conference begins today at Chico Hot Springs Resort at Pray, Montana.

Story

The conference is sold out with the greatest attendance ever. It is sponsored by us (the Wolf Recovery Foundation), Defenders of Wildlife, and Yellowstone National Park.