Salazar’s Wolf Decision Upsets Administration Allies

Salazar’s failure to consult POTUS gives new Administration a headache (as it should)-

Salazar’s Wolf Decision Upsets Administration Allies
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post

It appears that Salazar wasn’t interested in consulting anyone but the Bush Administration personnel and some other agency folks for the “good science” they have already “produced”.
He only consulted governors with less than favorable attitudes on predators, wolves in particular. He had no intention of hearing anything other than what he wanted to hear to make this decision.

Fortunately, not everyone in our halls of governing agree with him. Perhaps due to the fact that they are not ranchers.  He didn’t seem to think that his boss needed to be consulted either, even directly following commitments by Obama himself to uphold the ESA and scientific integrity in speeches within 48 hours of announcing this “Friday night” ruling.

Perhaps the same comments on commitment to scientific integrity made by Obama on stem cell research should be applied to the ESA and wolves.

119 Responses to “Salazar’s Wolf Decision Upsets Administration Allies”

  1. Rick Hammel Says:

    From what have read, the rule to delist has not been published as yet. Can Salazar retract his decision to delist? If he can retract, wouldn’t he be prudent to go along with the lawmakers who have asked him to wait 60 days?


  2. jdubya Says:

    “”said John Foster, spokesman for Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho). “I can’t emphasize how important it is to have a Western rancher as secretary of the interior.” “”

    This IS the problem, that the politics of Interior have devolved to the degree that only a western rancher can be seen as having the appropriate credentials for the job. Obama is doing a lot of the right things, but on this choice, he really sucked. I hope Salazar continues to embarrass the administration but, in doing so, of course, he will be mismanaging the department. Quite the conundrum.

    • Salle Says:

      Indeed, jdubya. I knew you, or someone, would pick up on that comment. It’s the clarion call for the administration to listen up and get it right and make corrections quickly. I said so in a comment that I made on the website last weekend. (Go to the “contact” link and have at it for 5000 characters!)

      I stressed the fact that the “best available science” was completely ignored on this and that Salazar is just Kempthorne by another name. I said that I expected “correction” on this.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:


      You are right about this. While many ranchers have been secretary of Interior, it is not a requirement. Richard Nixon even had a Secretary of Interior who was from the East.

      Western Democrats are not going to persist in office as long as they think being a rancher is requirement for running for office. Ranchers are inherently unprogressive on most issues. Their natural home is the Republican Party.

  3. Salle Says:

    It would be prudent and probably should take pace. He’s in a bad starting place for his post and needs to be more compatible with the POTUS on his decision-making, which he has obviously failed to do. Hopefully, this will never make it into the federal register. It’s going right back into the court system and will likely be heard by the same judge in Missoula since he is still dealing with “related” suits and this one just goes right back as it is the same policy that was proposed by Kempthorne. Word has it that Salazar was in meetings with Idaho’s AG just prior to the announcement, and totally disregarded the court decision and a letter that was signed by the litigants and other parties asking him to consider the scientific work that shows why the delisting should not take place at this time.

    Salazar is as good for the environment as Kempthorne and Norton were. Not a good sign of things to come. Either he has to go or it’s going to be a long many years going forward. But then, if there’s an environmental crash in the near future, I wonder how that will play out and who will be there to answer for these continued bad choices.

  4. Ken Cole Says:


    “The delisting takes effect on April 5th, but conservation groups say they’ll again file suit”

    • Salle Says:

      But it has to be published in the FR first. then other things can happen. There’s a 30 waiting period, then another 30 days that have to go by after the notice of intent to file suit… a lot of bad things can take place in that stretch of time.

      • Jay Barr Says:

        Looks like IDFG and WS will possibly get their magical 30-day window (time between delisting taking effect and when litigants can get to court) to take out those 26 chronic depredating packs.

  5. Salle Says:

    I heard that the Lolo action might be suspended, can’t say where I heard it but it came from a reasonably reliable source…

    That might be a good thing, if it’s true.

  6. Don George Says:

    Oh my, are we blaming the Bush administration again! Salazar and Bush were miles apart. Being from Colorado and knowing a little about Salazars background I could have predicted this with more to come unless Obama does something about it! Once a rancher always a rancher doesn’t matter what party your affiliated with. This will make three poor Interior secretary’s in a row .

  7. Salle Says:

    Many came to the same conclusion upon the announcement of Salazar’s nomination for the Secretary position. And some thought that many were “out of line” when identifying the hat with his true calling and decision-making processes.

    Perhaps those who “called it” were right…

  8. Brian Ertz Says:

    Salazar’s a political liability. All he does is feed the shame of those Western Dems afraid of their own principle. Take Minnick, that guy is a sad, sad Democrat who makes anyone in Idaho who might have been proud to build the party either angry, alienated or both. The whole self-hating, battered-spouse-syndrome Western Democratic persona needs to be torn to the ground and rebuilt. Nothing good is built on such a hollow and self-deprecating self-identity.

    • Salle Says:

      I agree. I was all for Minnick in his first attempt at running for office in 1996 but I have no positive sense that he has anything good to offer the democrats in Idaho is his current philosophical stance or any of his personal anti-democrat platform. I’m glad I wasn’t in his district. But then, Solomon isn’t what he was promoting last time around in 2004 either. they both should be run out of the party with a pitchfork closely placed near their hindquarters! Last time I was in that segment of the state, as a resident, I was living in their district(s). Glad I can say that I didn’t support either of them. I did vote against Otter when I was over in that neck of the woods at least.

      All are hold-overs from the last regime, too bad. Seems like it takes at least a century for those portions of the country to get with the rest of the world with regard to reality and democratic processes.

  9. Barb Says:

    Maybe with Salazar being so closely aligned with ranching, it will bring the spotlight more so on the inherent conflict of interest? Trying to think positively…………….

  10. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Conflict of interest does not necessary lie with a lobbyist entering government service.

    Occupation (ranching) and “service” overseeing the public lands can be much worse.

    • Salle Says:

      A rancher in that office sure sounds like a conflict of interest to me. I sure hope it shines a big spotlight on the issue… So that citizens encumbered by the thought process can see what they need to consider… like the facts that are being ignored for the sake of political gain at the expense of the rest of the living creatures within the biosphere, including humans.

  11. Mike Says:

    wow, who could have predicted this? Just everyone here.

  12. Layton Says:

    So what’s “real” and what’s “memorex”?

    One persons says “I stressed the fact that the “best available science” was completely ignored on this and that Salazar is just Kempthorne by another name.”

    While another person (a spokesman for the person that’s getting beaten on here) says “Interior spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said Salazar had followed the unanimous recommendation of Fish and Wildlife Service scientists in setting the new policy, rather than letting political factors influence him. “This was a decision based on science,” she said. ”

    Then a newspaper quotes an affected person in a slaughter (yep, if the wolfies can use the word so can I) by wolves says “Personally, it’s a bad thing. I lost some of my family members. Professionally, I’m out of business”

    But another person, reading (I guess) the same article, sees only the last sentence of it. “The delisting takes effect on April 5th, but conservation groups say they’ll again file suit.” I guess he thinks that sentence is the important part.

    I reckon “real” and “memorex” mean different things to different people.

    • JEFF E Says:

      as far as Kendra Barkoff you can’t discern political spin when you see it??
      as for the rest of your post, huh??

    • Salle Says:

      Dare I ask, umm… what’s your point?

      These USFWS folks are the very same who were there a year ago under Kempthorne and nothing, not even their so-called science, has changed. Just because they call whatever they produce as data doesn’t mean it’s actually peer reviewed info… merely speculation written up by a politically motivated government employee who is “doing their job” at the pleasure of their bosses.

      Just because a “spokesperson” is speaking doesn’t make what they say true or valid. Just another talking head.

      Besides, what I included in my comment was merely an excerpt of my complaint. You seem to manage to take things out of context so your comment isn’t really very clear about what you meant or that you even had a grasp of what anyone else was saying and, therefore, it’s hard to tell if you actually had a point other than to try and discredit a commenter with random nonsense.

      • mikarooni Says:

        Salle, I’m not as down on all ranchers as you are (I’ve been collecting burned out ranches for while and I even have cattle on some of them to keep control of the grazing allotments); but, you’re very much correct in your assessment of the situation in Interior and throughout the Administration at this point. The new Administration has made some changes and hopefully will make more; but, as I have said before, there wasn’t a Democrat promoted in any of the agencies between January, 2001, and the last few weeks. Virtually everyone in FWS and throughout Interior is still an entrenched rightwinger holdover from Bush/Cheney. If they weren’t rightwing, they would never have made it past the mailroom in those agencies. Many of them have burrowed deep into the system and will be hard to dig out. If Salazar heard anything from his “scientists,” then, as you correctly stated, he heard “speculation written up by a politically motivated government employee who is ‘doing their job’ at the pleasure of their bosses” and Salazar, who had to play ball with the likes of the MSLF and Colorado Springs neo-Nazi gangs in order to even have his seat in the Senate, was certainly happy to accept it.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        I think Salle got to the essence when she wrote, “These USFWS folks are the very same who were there a year ago under Kempthorne and nothing, not even their so-called science, has changed. Just because they call whatever they produce as data doesn’t mean it’s actually peer reviewed info… merely speculation written up by a politically motivated government employee who is “doing their job” at the pleasure of their bosses.”
        – – – – –
        Scientific knowledge is peer reviewed and the papers so reviewed are built on observation, hypothesis-building, and observation of the results of the outcome of the hypotheses’ tests.

        Science cannot give us values; nor can values dictate the results of an observation.

        Much of the debate over wolves is value conflict with bits of scientific data drawn in to support or dismiss predetermined positions.

        There has been no change in the personnel or bureaucratic values on the government side, yet.

      • JB Says:

        RM said: “Much of the debate over wolves is value conflict with bits of scientific data drawn in to support or dismiss predetermined positions.”

        Precisely. Tell me if this sounds familiar:

        Ralph posts a link to a story that has implications for wolves. Immediately someone comments about the story. If the story supports more wolves/less killing of wolves it is heralded as factual by wolf-supporters and attacked as fictional by those who oppose wolves. The claims made in support or defense of the position(s) are almost universally prescriptive and value-laden; that is, they make assertions about what is “right” or “wrong”. These comments are, in turn, followed by an incomplete (and usually extremely biased) discussion of the scientific “facts” about wolves, which are used as a tool to defend/attack the poster’s position. Because neither side will acknowledge the other’s “facts”, the conservation (almost invariably) degrades into name-calling.

        Frankly, I think that all of the science on the behavioral ecology of wolves has become a distraction; rather than getting caught up in debates about the role of wolves, we (as a society) need to first address the question: for what purposes should our public lands be used?

    • Valeria Rogers Says:

      Read my post. I’ve read the USDA study, and I’ve seen a documentary by the rangers at Yellowstone that shows the benefit of the wolves. We have native species of trees and shrubs that were all but gone because the wolves have brought grazing deer, and elk populations under control in those areas. Plus I’ve looked up the current statistics for populations of deer, and elk in the states of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. They are either at limit or over! These statistics do not jive with the claims from USFWS. One of these states has had an ongoing out of season permitted hunt for quite awhile that never gets factored into decisions about predators either. This is just a wolf witch hunt.

      As far as attacking people and running over near towns, the average IQ in America is a dismal 98. People lump wild dog packs, coyotes, even little foxes, in with wolves. Unfortunately, these same people do not realize the rise in coyote populations if the wolf population decreases. Wolf territory rules. Coyotes are the nuisance most of the time.
      My husband and I protected two malamutes, while we waited for a neighbor-owner to come pick up his runaways. We never met, but first thing he said was thanks for keeping my dogs, someone would have shot them for sure. We live in the country. They look just like wolves.

  13. Valeria Rogers Says:

    I’ve written many blogs defending wolves and followed Dirk, Butch, and the good ole boys that for years were salivating to kill them before they reached their full potential as intended. I also know the great results of a study relative to wolves and cattle that was done by our own USDA using radio collared wolves living in packs around cattlefields. The wolves traversed those fields nightly. In 3 years time, only 8 cattle were killed, and I bet they were sickly.
    I have an unsettled feeling when I see Salazar in a cowboy hat. I’d like to know Salazar’s background regarding wolves. He may be fighting big oil, but will he also fight the huge hunting lobby in this country especially the ISC (International Safari Club)? How about the huge farm lobby?
    This is an unethical appt. in my opinion. Salazar is part of the good ole boy group from the west allowing states to decide the fate of an animal that can’t read boundary signs. I live in Michigan. We supposedly have 4-5 hundred wolves. I’ve heard nothing about trying to control the wolves relative to our deer population.
    I’m disgusted with this pick altogether and instead of signing petitions to just stop the wolf kill, I’d rather lobby to remove Salazar because of “conflict of interest” as a rancher relative to predatory animals.

    • Rick Hammel Says:

      When Richard Pombo introduced his ESA reform a few years ago, Rep. John Salazar signed onto this ill-fated peice of garbage. As I live on Colorado 3rd Cong District, I sent a letter of compaint to Rep. Salazar. I got back a hand written reply as to why the ESA, under its current form, caused hardships to ranchers and farmers. I sent a note back, suggesting that if the farmers and ranchers had been good stewards of the land (as they claim they are), there would be no need for the ESA.

      The point here is, the Salazar brothers think as one when it comes to the ESA, and other environmental issues. One of my concerns with Ken Salazar, is his appointments to the BLM. The Director of BLM is open, as are many other decision-making positions and I know there are a few ranchers in Colorado that are good friends woth Ken. One in particular is T. Wright Dickinson, a former Moffat County commissioner. T. Wright is as about as concervative as one can be. Altough he is very knowledgable on land use issues, he is very pro-use and pro-ag in his veiws. My concern is if he, or other ranchers are appointed to decision-making positions, the future of public land ranching will be expanded expotentially.


  14. Layton Says:

    Jeff E.

    The point is — when the “science” comes from whatever org. or published rag that supports unlimited numbers of wolves, it’s taken as gospel.

    However, if it comes from someone or something that doesn’t support unfettered breeding and slaughter (there’s that word again) by old Canis Whatever, it’s treated like trash.

    The article from the Montana paper spent all but one sentence telling about what the wolves were doing to domestic dogs, but what was quoted?? The last sentence, which just repeats something everyone even the least bit involved in the whole mess knows —- the greenies are going to go to court — again!!

  15. JEFF E Says:

    wolves have killed dogs for eons. Why is that even news more so than dogs killing cats, or chickens, or tangling with a porcupine? when was the last time you saw a news article about a dog getting its butt kicked by a badger? As far as going to court again you would think that the feds would eventually get it right and follow the law instead of continually trying to circumvent it. And yes their feet needs to be held to the fire til they, not to mention Wyo., do

  16. Ryan Says:

    “Plus I’ve looked up the current statistics for populations of deer, and elk in the states of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. They are either at limit or over!”


    Please back that claim up.

    • Valeria Rogers Says:

      I’m interested in the part that says PROVE. Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming should have a really hard time proving wolves have lowered the numbers of elk in those states since Idaho’s Fish and Game reported elk populations at all time highs, 20% above management objectives for 2006. Wyoming’s elk numbers were 9000 over the state’s objective in 2006. In 2004, Montana had an elk population of over 100,000. So if herds are down, who’s the culprit?

      On Ralph Maughn’s Wildlife News website, Bob Hoskins commented Sept. 4, 2006: “The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has been making a concerted effort to reduce elk numbers through late season, cow-calf hunts over the last decade to bring the herds down to objective. In most herds in western Wyoming, these targeted hunts have been successful. When you hear in the press that wolves are killing Wyoming elk by the score, recognize that the claim is absolutely false. Worse, Wyoming G&F knows that it’s false. The fact is Wyoming’s hunters have been killing elk by the score in these late season hunts, by design. Many late season hunts will continue this coming hunting season.

      He went on to say there is nothing wrong with the reduction program but quit blaming disappearing elk on the wolves. It’s a lie! This story is repeated in a USA article where biologist John Vucetich of Michigan Tech University in Houghton says wolves have been wrongfully blamed for a decline elk populations around Yellowstone in Montana.

      The links for the stats and quotes in my post are at the bottom of the post at:

      I don’t make statements on my blog that I don’t back up with appropriate links.

      • Ryan Says:


        Those are the sources your quoting, a post on a blog as one by Bob Hoskins, Friends of animals website, and a USA today article that doesn’t offer a proper explanation.

        Lets see if you read these it paints a different story.

        Feel free to read the Elk and moose population trends with a direct correlation to Wolve presence.

        Click to access FinalElkCCRatios3-23-07.pdf

        Wyomings info..

        From what I have read MT hasn’t done many population sureveys as of late.

        Why don’t you try backing up your claims with facts from scientists and biologists.. Not blog posters or onsided op-ed pieces.

      • Valeria Rogers Says:

        Are these good enough for ya–.gov sites for the individual states? How about Montana’s Missoulian News quoting their regional wildlife manager for Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Dept? Reading some of the newsletters and other info from these state govt. websites regarding hunting sheds a totally different light on the numbers of elk and deer. Figures.
        RE: Idaho’s elk population “Wolf predation on elk has not yet resulted in a statewide reduction in population numbers, though some localized areas show a decrease in elk. Population counts show statewide elk numbers running between 122,000 and 125,000 animals over the past five years. Though not as high as some years in the early-to-mid 1990s, elk harvest numbers have risen in the past three years, from 18,900 elk in 2003 to 21,520 elk in 2005.”

        RE: Idaho’s decline in mule deer population, there are many factors listed before predators which are 1) Habitat changes like fires, excessive cattle grazing, invasive plants, etc., 2) Climatic swings from drought to severe winter survival. 3) Fragmented habitat due to human sprawl and development. 4) Interactions with elk can negatively affect mule deer and may increase when habitat is poor or limited. It just stated they have a lot of elk.
        RE: Montana’s elk/deer populations: “Thompson is the Missoula-based regional wildlife manager for the state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, tracking critters across west-central Montana. He keeps a particularly close watch on elk, whose numbers coming into the 2008 hunting season “are very, very good, at or near modern-day highs.”
        RE: Wyoming elk/deer populations: “So, overall hunters are looking at pretty favorable 2007 hunting forecast – and the prospects could turn sharply better, particularly for elk. [] In the Yellowstone area, some elk herd units remain above population objectives. Hunting seasons are designed to further reduce elk numbers in specific portions of those herd units. [] Declining bull/cow ratios have necessitated shorter seasons and a spikes-excluded season in several hunt areas east of Jackson. But overall elk numbers are good throughout the Jackson Region.”

  17. Layton Says:

    Jeff E.,

    “wolves have killed dogs for eons. Why is that even news more so than dogs killing cats, or chickens, or tangling with a porcupine?”

    To me it’s news because first of all these incidents, a lot of the time at any rate, occur on private property. Why should people that have a home, property, and a way of life, have to change it and have guards on the animals that share that life? They had the property before somebody dumped an apex predator there. NO, please, don’t come with the “the wolves were there first” argument, that is just BS!!

    If it (one of these incidents) occurs on public land, why shouldn’t people be able to defend what belongs to them??

    Yes, I know, the current version of the 10j rule says that they can defend their own property, but isn’t that also in court with the “for” side trying to get it changed — again??

    By any way you can count the introduction of wolves into people’s lives was anything but unanimous. Yet some folks think it’s OK that THEIR favorite critters slaughter domestic livestock and pets. Doesn’t seem right to me.

  18. JEFF E Says:

    I have never used the “here first argument”. It’s moronic on the face of it and I don’t believe any one serious or knowledgeable about the situation does use it.
    As for shooting a wolf, or cougar, or badger or whatever that is killing something of mine on private property then the whatever gets shot if I can get to it soon enough just like a dog running loose and attackes me or mine will be shot. Out in the woods then I have a responsibility to keep my property safe whether it is from some ass stealing it or a wild animal getting into a scrape with it. That is what personal responsibility is.
    As for the bringing in an apex predator and who was and who wasn’t; that argument is made for any and all government actions on every level and and has never solved anything as far as I can tell.

  19. Layton Says:

    Well I’ll be damned there Jeff E.,

    I think you just posted a message that I could agree with 100%!! Naaaaah — couldn’t be — the Internet would fall down. 8)

    Seriously tho’ — as JB posted up above, one of the main problems — if not THE main problem with this whole discussion is the fact that neither side will give the other side enough credibility to count. I really don’t know how we get past that one.

    He asks the question “for what purpose should our public lands be used?”. I’m not sure that there is just one purpose, multiple use would seem to be the answer, but could we even agree on that??

    • JEFF E Says:

      nothing I haven’t said before here time to time.
      remember Layton I have had domestic wolves for about 37 years and have intensely studied wolves longer than that. I might know a thing or two to base an opinion on.

    • JB Says:

      Sorry, Layton! I meant so use the plural form: “purposes.” I agree that our public lands can serve multiple purposes– I think what we have been disagreeing about is what these purposes SHOULD be.

      • Barb Says:

        Any “purposes” should not include private individuals with business interests, that’s for sure. Read: livestock grazing.

        Purposes could be:

        1) letting native animals roam free
        2) letting some wild or feral horses roam free
        3) hiking
        4) horseback riding
        5) camping at your own risk

      • JB Says:

        That seems like a pretty short list, Barb! What about hunting, fishing, photography, scenic drives, backpacking, swimming, timber harvest, mining, oil & gas exploration etc.?

      • Ryan Says:

        Hmm.. So from what I can gather you only want a few user groups to have a say and feral range destroyers to have protection. And people wonder why no medium can ever be found.

  20. Ryan Says:

    “Out in the woods then I have a responsibility to keep my property safe whether it is from some ass stealing it or a wild animal getting into a scrape with it. That is what personal responsibility is.”

    Right now I can’t protect my personal property legally from what I understand. I have (what I consider to be ) first rate pointers that I have hundreds of hours invested and thousands of dollars invested in. If they ever do get into a run in with wolves, I’m going to protect them no matter what, I just like to be able to do it without risking a felony.

    • Ken Cole Says:

      “Right now I can’t protect my personal property legally from what I understand.”

      Uh, yes you can.

      Click to access FR%20pub%20-%2010j%20Revision%2002082008.pdf

      ‘‘any legally present person on private or public land except land administered by the National Park Service may immediately take a wolf that is in the act of attacking the individual’s stock animal or dog, provided there is no evidence of intentional baiting, feeding, or deliberate attractants of wolves. The person must be able to provide evidence that taken wolves were recently (less than 24 hours) in the act of attacking stock animals or dogs, and we or our designated agents must be able to confirm that the wolves were in the act of attacking stock animals or dogs. To preserve evidence that the take of a wolf was conducted according to this rule, the carcass of the wolf and the area surrounding should not be disturbed. The take of any wolf without such evidence of a direct and immediate threat may be referred to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.’’

    • Ken Cole Says:

      I would also add that using your dogs to chase wildlife on public lands is a choice made by you and putting them at risk in this fashion and knowing that wolves do kill dogs that enter their territory also means that you would be to blame if they were killed in this fashion.

      If you know that this is a possibility and you don’t want your dogs to be at risk then the best way to keep them safe is to secure them and not put them at risk yourself.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        It seems to me that chasing cougar with dogs in wolf country is like highsiding on snowmobiles. It’s legal; can be fun; deadly too.

      • Barb Says:

        Ken, I’m so glad you posted that legal language.

        One of the “excuses” of livestock interests in not allowing for the reintroduction of wolves is that they have been screaming that they ‘can’t protect their interests.’ That’s B.S. and they know it.

      • Ryan Says:

        My wirehairs are for hunting upland birds and waterfowl, I don’t personally run hounds although I do know quite a few houndsmen. Just like any group they range from upstanding to hill billy. Most dont run cats on snowmobiles as the terrain is to rough where they are at.

      • Ryan Says:


        There concerns are legitimate, for example if a rancher walked out into his feild and there were 30 dead sheep that were hamstrung and had their throats ripped out the night before and a pack of wolves sleeping in the corner of his pasture, he couldn’t legally shoot the wolves to protect his remaining sheep. Hell if there eating a dead calf or sheep in the pasture there still not legally allowed to be removed. Unless there actually in the act of killing or harassing livestock they cannot be removed.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:


        This simply is not true. The rancher could legally kill them all. The bit about wolves having to be in act of killing or harassing livestock was a rule abolished about 3 years ago.

        Wyoming is an exception, but they have to sleep in the bed they made.

      • Ryan Says:

        Thanks for the Clarification Ralph, I was still basing it off old rules. (I think many ranchers still are informed that way)

  21. Aaron Clausman Says:

    When it comes to defending your livestock, it is something that is being researched and new methods are trying to be found. Wolves are very territorial and will fight other canines for territorial control. But then again, wolf packs will also try to avoid each other to lessen conflict, the same may sometimes apply, that they will avoid dogs taking it as pack presence.

    As for the delisting, it is hard to figure out if it was a good decision or not. I would only want the best for the wolf and that people and wolves could cooperate in the same area. there is so much politics involved in this issue, for example, the Lolo elk zone which was declining in elk was used to represent the status of the whole state of Idaho when most zones were at population objectives and a few were above objectives. I am not sure whether a lot of wolves are going to be killed off after complete delisting, but if there is a lot like Ron Gillett, it might be bad.

    This place is a relief compared to the YouTube area on this issue, the objective there is to talk with as much trash as possible and find new ways to insult the opposing side. There are a few good places but not many.

  22. RE Chizmar Says:

    One could “correct” the spin or call it what it is (“same ole same ole”) by contacting the spinster — — got this from the DOI Website and I was quite struck by the number of “Salazar’s”‘ listed as contacts w/in the site – mere coincidence?.

  23. Layton Says:

    I asked this up above but nobody responded. I’ll ask again.

    The current (amended) 10j ruling allows private folks to kill wolves that are “in the act” of harming stock animals or dogs — true??

    And — I believe that conservation orgs. are currently suing to get that language taken back out of the 10j ruling so that it is no longer legal for a person to defend against wolves harrassing/killing that person’s dogs, as well as getting some language removed that currently makes it easier for state authorities to control depredating wolves — true or false??

    • Ken Cole Says:

      Here is the rule again:

      Click to access FR%20pub%20-%2010j%20Revision%2002082008.pdf

      Yes, the presently active 10j is being litigated.

      I’m not sure what portions are at issue other than the part about making it easier to kill wolves that are having “unacceptable” impacts on ungulate herds, whatever that means.

      I take issue with that change as it no longer requires the states to show that wolves are the primary cause.
      I would also oppose any change that would allow ranchers to take preemptive action to kill wolves that are not harming livestock.

      I prefer a naturally regulated game population with hunting only occurring on populations that can sustain it rather than the mass manipulations that are proposed under IDFG management.

  24. Layton Says:

    Jeff E.,

    “nothing I haven’t said before here time to time.
    remember Layton I have had domestic wolves for about 37 years and have intensely studied wolves longer than that. I might know a thing or two to base an opinion on.”

    OK Jeff, I’ll concede that if you have had domestic wolves for that long you should know a few things. No, I did NOT know that you had them.

    BUT, will you concede that my forty or fifty years of running around in the hills doing whatever, hunting, fishing, hiking, prospecting, etc, etc, would also give me a bit of a valid idea about what is going on out there??

    Isn’t this just what I was referring to above when I was talking about credibility??

    • Salle Says:

      “BUT, will you concede that my forty or fifty years of running around in the hills doing whatever, hunting, fishing, hiking, prospecting, etc, etc, would also give me a bit of a valid idea about what is going on out there??

      Isn’t this just what I was referring to above when I was talking about credibility??”

      Not really. If you were not collecting data in the manner of scientific inquiry, it’s simply anecdotal and not considered “credible” unless you have other individual(s) with credentials in scientific inquiry confirming what info you have to offer.

    • mikarooni Says:

      Running around in the hills doesn’t guarantee credibility on modern environmental science any more than being around the plague gave the people of the middle ages any knowledge of modern medical science. It made them believe in witchcraft and vampires and, in my experience, bragging about running around in the hills is most likely to only indicate that someone is an unemployed redneck. There has to be more to go on than “plays outdoors a lot” to warrant credibility.

      • SAP Says:

        Salle & mikarooni – you should both remember too that scientific credentials alone don’t necessarily guarantee credibility, reliability, or honesty either.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:


        You are certainly right. It is the process itself — the scientific method and peer review — that corrects things over time.

        Even scientists forget that. The Ph D after the name does not make you correct.

        Milkarooni certainly has a good point, however, that given an already implanted worldview such as belief in vampires, trolls under the forest bridges, and demons in the caves, time spent in the forest may never correct the false assumptions.

        Has anyone noticed that almost every “scary” wolf encounter story posted here or in the news comes from someone who already hated or at least worried about wolves?

    • JEFF E Says:

      only if you put your shoes on when you come in the house

  25. Layton Says:

    Sorry Jeff E.,

    According to your friends here you do NOT have any credibility with 37 years of having them.

    All you have to say is “anecdotal” — you don’t know spit!!

    Looks like I was right all along!! 8)

    You folks are a real hoot!!

    • JB Says:


      I’ve done quite a bit of work with mail surveys. You probably would laugh if I tried to convince you that I understood a phenomena based on the response of one person; yet, this is exactly what you get with anecdotes. Everyone who has ever seen an X, Y, or Z is an expert in that area. I’m not saying the information you get isn’t useful; on the contrary, anecdotes can be extremely helpful for getting an idea as to what MIGHT be happening. Thus, I wouldn’t discount either yours or Jeff’s comments.

      However, I’ve found that anecdotes aren’t all that useful for understanding a phenomena when the people relaying the information are extremely biased. The lens through which they interpret the phenomena of interest is too clouded by ideological reasoning. I think this is the case both with wolf opponents and, quite often, their supporters as well. Science–in some respects–is simply a process of inquiry that helps us reduce and minimize bias.

    • JEFF E Says:

      man, ya’alls been busy today. am I the only one that still has a job??

    • JEFF E Says:

      Anyway, I said “base an opinion on” didn’t say written in stone.
      now, if you could “ever” prove one of my opinions wrong…………… 8*)

  26. Bob Wharff Says:

    What about the 10 out of the 11 wolf experts which reviewed and approved all three state wolf management plans?

    That was a ‘peer reviewed’ document; yet, no one wants to admit it happened.

    It does seem that some selectively choose their science to support their beliefs or agendas.

    Could it possibly be that the Obama Administration simply believes that the science warrants delisting? Seems like recovery goals have been met, exceeded, and maintained even through a delisted period that saw what will ultimately happen once individual states assume (or resume) management responsibilties of wolves.

  27. Ralph Maughan Says:


    That’s not what “peer reviewed” means.

    I don’t think the Obama Administration, other than the office of the Secretary of Interior, has had any time to look at anything regarding wolves.

    This is a decision by Salazar and the entrenched bureaucracy from the past Administration. There has not been time for any reevaluation.

  28. Layton Says:


    Saint Obama flat has it made!! If he does what MOST of the folks here want him to do IE: to hell with everything and everyone as long as it’s a (what’s considered here to be) “green” decision — he’s wonderful!

    If he doesn’t, it’s the fault of the “entrenched bureaucracy” and the “bushies” that might still be around.

    I’m sorry, but that is REALLY getting to be a lame argument. Can’t the man pick someone that isn’t a part of the “entrenched bureaucracy” by now?? Hell, with the tax dodgers that he has picked in the past you would think that he would learn something about researching backgrounds.

  29. Bob Wharff Says:


    Please explain what is meant by ‘peer reviewed’?

    • Ralph Maughan Says:


      I see JB answered for me and correctly so. Let me just add that there is clearly a group of wolf biologists who work for the federal government, or need the favor of those in USFWS to get grant money, who are called on time after time to weigh in on the merit of the plans of the Service.

  30. kim kaiser Says:

    so lets see here,, hussein wasnt in on the actual decision making process, in the room, listening to the banter,, thus, he is not responsible for the delisting, its still bushes program implemented through his own secretary, is that right,, well,, funny how blame gets pushed around and assigned to presidents,

    if it were bush and iraq, he was blamed for every move that every soldier made, he was in on every meeting and decision,, at least that is what we are led to believe, but everyone knows out of practicallity he wasnt, BUT, he is blamed for every rape, or disservice each soldier made… and now, Hussein, he wasnt in the meetings, (although he said he would go over line by line), but in any event, wasnt in Salazars meetings, and yet hussein is given a free pass and its blamed on salazar and bush, adn hussein gets a free ride,!!! what, he doesnt know what his lackeys are up too!!! what a hippocracy in belief,, your still rationalizing a poor vote,

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      Kim, I think a lot of criticism of Obama has come from the four of us who write this blog, and his Administration is going to be sued just like the previous one was on the wolf.

      We were very hard on George W. Bush, but then this blog began in 2006. At the time, Bush was already in his second term. Obama is in his second month.

    • Brian Ertz Says:


      Ralph is right – it’s not legit to suggest the authors on this blog are giving a free pass to President Obama – Obama will never get a “free pass” on wildlife and public land issues from me.

      I can relate to where you’re coming from on that though – I do agree with you that the major groups are giving Obama a free pass, especially reading their fund-raising e-mails. It’s as if the decision just dropped out of the sky. GangGreen cuddling up to any political party is a surefire recipe to be politically irrelevant.

      • Barb Says:

        There are some conservationist-minded who will automatically without question, give any Democrat a free ride simply because he has the (D) behind his name.

        Many democrat politicians have been rather ignorant of conservation issues; some consistently vote down things to help the environment.

    • JB Says:

      “[Obama]….wasnt in on the actual decision making process, in the room, listening to the banter,, thus, he is not responsible for the delisting”

      “if it were bush and iraq, he was blamed for every move that every soldier made, he was in on every meeting and decision”

      Sorry, did you just suggest that President Obama’s alleged failure on the wolf delisting issue is comparable to President Bush’s leading this country into a 6-year (so far), trillion dollar war under false pretenses? Seriously?!

      I haven’t criticized Obama for the delisting because the criticism should be aimed at Salazar (Obama had only been in the office for a few weeks and has been focused on the economic crisis). Appointing Salazar (a “moderate” democrat) to head interior was Obama’s failure; one for which he has been greatly criticized on this blog, despite your assertions that Obama has been given a “free pass.” Moreover, I seem to recall you advocating strongly McCain (even referring to Obama as a “socialist”) during the recent campaign. You can’t possibly believe that we would’ve had a more sympathetic Interior Secretary under a McCain/Palin administration?

      • JB Says:

        red·neck – (rěd’něk’) n. Offensive Slang, (from

        1. Used as a disparaging term for a member of the white rural laboring class, especially in the southern United States.
        2. A white person regarded as having a provincial, conservative, often bigoted attitude.

        Although the two dictionary definitions are pretty derogatory, I like Jeff Foxworthy’s definition of a redneck (and I’m paraphrasing): someone who shows a glorious absence of sophistication. We’ve all been guilty of this from time to time. 😉

      • JB Says:

        Sorry, that reply was in reference to Layton’s post, below.

  31. JB Says:


    Peer review (or peer refereeing) is a process whereby a scientific inquiry is reviewed by a group of experts in the field. Depending on one’s discipline, peer review proceeds differently. For instance, in my field manuscripts go through double-blinded review; that is, the reviewers don’t know who wrote the manuscript and the author doesn’t know who the reviewers are (this is different in ecological journals, which often blind only the author). The two primary requirements of proper peer review are (1) lack of conflict of interest and (2) an impartial editor who assigns reviewers. The process used by FWS does not meet the threshold of peer review (IMO) because the people reviewing the work (i.e. the experts) are hand picked by those with a vested interest in its publication (i.e. FWS).

  32. Ken Cole Says:

    No, I don’t think “Saint” Obama has it made. I think he is just as accountable as Salazar for making this decision although I, like Ralph, don’t think he had anything to do with this decision.

    I’m perfectly happy in criticizing Obama even though I contributed to his campaign and voted for him. Unlike many conservatives I don’t think that there is any time when a president or other politician can’t be criticized. I also don’t think there is anything wrong with other people criticizing Obama either.

    It seems to me that Bush and company certainly did a lot of intimidation of its political opponents and we are still learning more and more about their unconstitutional spying on American citizens. That, to me, is a sign of great insecurity of their own policies. I have even been verbally attacked for my criticisms of Bush.

  33. RE Chizmar Says:

    While I do not usually agree much w/ Layton – although admittedly he makes some good points at times — I have to come to his defense on the suggestion that one does not have credibility if one spends many yrs in the field as Layton has claimed — I mean you have to give the guy a break sometimes … the redneck suggestion was unfair too. If you’re out in the field and accumulate real experience, your opinion can certainly carry credibility – whether scientifically-based/ supported or not.

    As an aside, one of the funniest points in quite some time that may have not been appreciated was the admission that Jeff E and Layton actually agreed on something! Debate is what makes this Web page great, so I’ll gladly take Layton’s comments, and the well-informed responses to same, rather than any attempts to silence him or dissuade his contributions to this site.

  34. Layton Says:

    “in my experience, bragging about running around in the hills is most likely to only indicate that someone is an unemployed redneck.”

    Hey Mickarooni,

    Gee, I hadn’t noticed the gratuitous “redneck” comment until it was pointed out — sorry, but I really don’t pay much attention to your posts.

    Seems to me that they come from one who is waaaaayy to much impressed with himself and who wears his hat much to tight —

    Redneck (proud, card carrying one) advice for free, take a chill pill, look at the blue sky, maybe even have a beer!! You’ll feel better.

  35. Valeria Rogers Says:

    I read an awful lot of stuff on Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana’s govt. websites and I don’t see how they can simply pin decreases in populations of deer/elk only in certain areas of those states on the wolf. One research report from Wyoming stated that they are just now trying to gather the data across the board. There are a variety of variables contributing to the difference in populations of deer/elk across those states. One of the biggest variables by their own admittance is Wyoming’s feed program where the animals are maintained in areas by the govt.
    The wolf is getting a bad rap and always has. Like Ralph eludes: “Voodoo, vampires, and wolves” mentality still abounds and it’s ignorant.

  36. Barb Says:

    All the wolf hysteria — it’s gets really old. It’s been perpetuated by the Good Ol’ Boys in the livestock industry with an agenda — to sell more beef and to keep consumers believing that the only thing between you and cheap hamburger is a wolf. Raising cattle in the West makes about as much sense as raising cactus in Michigan.

    Heck, I’m way more “afraid” of encountering a mountain lion on a hike than a wolf, or even a pack of wolves!

    • Valeria Rogers Says:

      You said it. Four to five hundred gray wolves live in Michigan. The state will soon list the gray wolf as a nongame species on April 22, and still protect the wolves–no hunting, or trapping.
      So all these wolves yet our deer population runneth over. Deer are everywhere, even in the cities.
      Pretty curious how the states differ. Gray wolves are predators. Deer are prey, yet Michigan has no problem with the wolves vs. deer populations.
      I’m with Barb about the Good Ole Boy mentality. There shouldn’t be this much disparity between states. Things don’t add up to be a wolf problem at all.

      • Barb Says:

        Gee, seems my birth state is more in line with my thinking on wolves……. maybe I should move back there…… nah…. 🙂

      • Ryan Says:


        There are more Whitetail deer in mighican than the mule deer in most of the west combined. The main reason for that is that there are much higher quality feed sources that the WT are living on. That being said its a completely different situation in the west. MD populations have been declining for the last 25 – 30 years across the west.

        “Raising cattle in the West makes about as much sense as raising cactus in Michigan.”


        I’ll give you this, you never cease to amaze me with the comments you post. What do you propose the west should be used for in LIEU of raising cattle?

      • Valeria Rogers Says:

        Understood about the difference in deer, but nevertheless, wolves kill deer, so your answer doesn’t account for the large population of deer vs wolves in Michigan. What it does show is that there must be some other dynamic at play besides the wolves out west relative to dwindling mule deer populations there. Reading a lot of western hunting websites, it appears the climate, droughts, fires, excessive winters, etc., are affecting mule deer a lot worse than wolves. Elk populations are up, so the poor mule deer is coping with a lot more problems outside of the wolves.

      • Brian Ertz Says:

        “What do you propose the west should be used for in LIEU of raising cattle?”

        mule deer, elk, moose, pronghorn, multiple bird species, beaver, bighorn sheep, wolves, sage grouse, steelhead, chinook, bull trouth, bison, aspen, numerous cutthroats, pygmy rabbits, bear, cougar, prairie dog, cottonwood, water filtration, water storage, carbon sequestration, … you get the picture…

        all of these things are compatible with humans, but are significantly depreciated – if not lost entirely, when cattle and sheep are allowed to run roughshod over our common interest on the landscapes

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        I’m not Valeria, but

        I suggest that the public land livestock should give way to something economically, environmentally and esthetically more valuable — wildlife, watershed, carbon sequestration, outdoor adventure.

      • Ryan Says:


        It does account for the large population differences, wolves, coyotes, and man are the only predators of Whitetail deer in Mi. The west has large populations of cougars that prefer deer to elk most of the year. There are several reasons the populations of Whitetail deer are high in the mid west.

        High quality feed (farms, corn etc)
        Relatively low predation rates, better range etc. All things that mule deer are lacking. I noted in my previous post that MD populations have been declining for 30+ years so to blame it on wolves would be a stretch.
        As for the elk population comment, they are up in places sans wolves, but in most cases declining in areas with very unhealthy herd age structures in areas where wolves have established themselves.

      • Ryan Says:

        Ralph and Brian,

        My comment was based on both private and public lands ranching. I’ve never been pro unmanaged public lands grazing but in certain situations its not the end all BLM in holdings in private ground etc. All the reasons you guys mentioned are all well and good, but aren’t exactly job providers.

      • Barb Says:

        Ryan, I’m so glad you find me entertaining. 🙂

        Your question is interesting as it sounds as if there is some kind of urgent need to “raise something in the West.”

        It just seems like common sense to “raise cattle” in the wetter parts of our nation if it “must” be done.

        The west is more suited to bison.

  37. Hoosier Says:


    I guess that you have to be on the side of the wolfies or else you are a “redneck” or even worse you certainly not of worthy credit!

    I respect your years of being an outdoorsman and time is currently my only hold back to such experience. Evedently bears don’t shit in the woods unless a “scientist” saw it or he just convinced his peers of it!

    The above is just me reading and keeping quite until someone has to say somthing stupid. Maybe those of you that don’t agree with some of Layton’s post should try learning from both sides of the isle. Instead of ruling out everything people say that is not in agreement with you!
    Many of you pretend or are just to hard headed to realize more is going on that just what the pro-wolf people are saying.

    The best way to beat the opponent is to learn them and beat them at their own game.

  38. Elkchaser Says:

    What really makes me scratch my head is when y’all run down your moderate western democrats. It’s like cutting off your nose to spite your face? They are moderates, because that is the only way to get elected in the west. If you think you could get a true liberal democrat elected in the west outside of Sun Valley and Jackon, you are smoking some good stuff. Anyone happen to remember what happened to Daschle when he let Cliton, Gore, and the liberals tell him what to do?

  39. Cobra Says:

    Like Layton, I also spend a great deal of my time in the woods. 30 -35 years and I still see things that are not in the books and just because you may find it in a book does not mean that it always applies. The outdoors is full of surprises, some good, some not so good. Even on the nastiest of days in the woods it’s still a treat just to be there. I do believe though that if biologists and scientists were to work with some of the outdoorsmen on certain issues they may be amazed at what they could learn from each other.

    • John d. Says:

      So ‘outdoorsmen’ only applies to the people who have a gun or bow in their hands?

      • Save bears Says:

        Where did that come from John, I didn’t see anyone say that? I know that most of my time outdoors is with a camera in hand…the only time I carry a gun or a bow is during hunting season..

      • Cord Says:


        John d. is just flashing his anti-hunting colors again.

      • John d. Says:

        I was referring to Cord’s comments regarding the ‘outdoors’ person and the associated experiences not being specific to people who hunt.

      • Cord Says:

        John d.

        I believe you mean Cobra’s comments. And as I re-read those comments, nowhere was carrying a gun associated with “outdoorsmen”. Looks like you just made the leap to gun toting outdoorsman on your own.

    • JB Says:

      “I do believe though that if biologists and scientists were to work with some of the outdoorsmen on certain issues they may be amazed at what they could learn from each other.”

      They do! Most of the scientists I work with became interested in the outdoors through hunting and fishing. Out of the dozen or so studies I’ve worked on, only one hasn’t involved outdoorsmen and women in some fashion.

  40. Bob Wharff Says:

    One of my greatest concerns is that I see more and more state wildlife biologists spending less time afield and more time working with computer and modeling programs. I have used both recorded, observation field data as well as population models to obtain population estimates. Frankly, I believe I have more confidence in field data collected and supported by observation than data simply spit out by a computer model.


    I still struggle to understand how you can say that the 10 out of the 11 wolf experts which ‘peer reviewed’ all three states wolf management plans doesn’t apply? Didn’t the USFWS refer to it as a ‘peer reviewed’ document?

    • Ralph Maughan Says:


      I have questions about population estimates too, but I don’t know what Wyoming biologists are doing with their computers.

      Gathering data about Wyoming wolves is much easier than Idaho because Wyoming doesn’t have as many, and they are easier to spot in Wyoming.

      The Wolf Recovery Foundation has been one of the funders of developing better methods of field collection of wolf population numbers (using DNA from fur samples).

      USFWS might have called the document “peer reviewed,” but they say lots of things that wolf supporters and other challengers in court say are not true.

      Federal Judge Molloy found that despite what these experts may have written, Wyoming’s state wolf plan would jeopardize genetic connectivity. We know that the federal delisting now on the table excludes Wyoming. There is little chance this will change because the legislature made no changes and has gone home for 2 years.

  41. jdubya Says:

    And our Senator is upset about Salazar’s “new” hire ’cause he didn’t let Bush sell the state off before Obama took over…

  42. Bob Wharff Says:


    Wyoming’s legislature actually meets annually. While next year is a ‘budget’ session the state legislature can hear any no budgetary bill as long as it receives 2/3 majority vote from each house.


    Thanks for responding to my post. That is kind of what I thought a ‘peer reviewed’ document meant. I realize that several different disciplines operate on differing standards but follow a similar track. I have always wondered why some are held out as experts (Valerius Geist, Dave Mech) until they cross an invisible line. Not knowing, but at the time how many ‘wolf experts’ existed that could have reviewed wolf management plans for the NRM DPS? Having read that document numerous times, I still struggle to see how anyone can argue that the ‘experts’ didn’t properly consider all factors. With Judge Malloy’s actions I now see more interest being directed at the genetic exchange argument but personnally believe it has more to do with the fact that he didn’t like Wyoming’s dual status management plan but he couldn’t find any legal arguement to counter its acceptance. That is my opinion and I am sure many on this site will disagree.
    Judge Malloy concluded that the only way to increase genetic exchange was to have more wolves. I believe that a biologist could successfully argue that hunting would likely increase genetic exchange in areas where packs are already established due to the nature of wolves agressively defending their territories from dispersing wolves. I am equally certain that many will disagree with this statement as well but I wanted to see what the ‘thinkers’ on this site thought.

    • JB Says:


      Your comments with respect to so-called “experts” are on the mark; but remember, it isn’t their knowledge of wolves that is being questioned, but rather, their objectivity–wolf advocates don’t trust experts that have been hand-selected by an agency that seems hell-bent on delisting ASAP.

      With respect to Molloy’s decision…Some folks on this blog have suggested wolves need to come off the list because population estimates have been met, and [I’m paraphrasing] “by God, we need some damn management and we need it now!” However, the issue is much more complicated. Delisting wolves without meeting ALL of the requirements of the ESA and the recovery plan sets a dangerous precedent that could lead to many more law suits for FWS. They need to get the wolf delisting right as their are a lot of people paying close attention.

      With respect to wolves in Wyoming and Idaho. I tend to agree with wolf advocates that these states ONLY want to kill wolves. These states could make huge inroads with the moderate crowd by zoning some areas for wolf viewing and other areas as corridors for dispersal (i.e. off limits to hunting). This would indicate to the public (and federal judges) that they were serious about managing for sustained populations. However, the agencies have made no such attempts; all we hear is calls to manage (i.e. kill) wolves and the claim that agencies need to do a LOT of management. It’s too bad really, because (in my estimation) the states could have their cake and eat it too; that is, you could have wolf hunting, wolf control, wolf viewing, and a sustainable population. Unfortunately the politicians can’t get beyond the “wolves-are-vermin” mentality.

    • Ryan Says:

      Depends on which party you come from. If your a republican you realize that the study has been on going for years and findings just came out, making in a joint party effort.. If your a Democrat, Bush killed all the birds leading to the decline and without Obama here to discover it his rampant bird hatred, the killing would have continued. If your a democrat on this site, Obama initiated the study and the findings but Salazar and his ranching buddies are going to sign a bill to kill all the birds because Obama is too busy to notice these kind of things with all the trouble the nation is having. 🙂

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      I’d never heard of this project, but I found the report.

      The 2009 Report

      and the news release

  43. Bob Wharff Says:


    It is refreshing to find someone on this blog which I can have a civil conversation about wolves.

    “These states could make huge inroads with the moderate crowd by zoning some areas for wolf viewing and other areas as corridors for dispersal (i.e. off limits to hunting). This would indicate to the public (and federal judges) that they were serious about managing for sustained populations.”

    (I copied your quote to make it clear what I was refering to)

    With Wyoming containing the lions share of Yellowstone National Park I believe that provides the things which you say the ‘moderates’ are looking for. Furthermore, I believe one of the complexities which exists in Wyoming is the fact that it can not obtain any kind of committment from YNP about the number of wolves they will commit to maintain. I believe Wyoming is being asked to provide a management plan for the entire state yet a significant portion of the suitable wolf habitat is located within the state exists within the park.

    The other thing which seems a bit hypercritical is the outrage over the few number of wolves killed under state management (the brief period of time when wolves were removed from the list) and the silence (comparatively) to the 264 wolves (and entire packs which were removed) under the USFWS’s resumed management authority. Everyone assumes that Idaho and Wyoming were going to wipeout their wolves. Personnally, I believe it was a mistake to halt state management so soon as I believe wolves are going to be far more resilient than people given them credit.

    One problem I see with the idea of having protected areas where wolves are managed simply for viewing is that ultimately you will create a situation as we saw with ‘limpy’ as most of those viewing these wolves grow attached to them. If one of their ‘chosen’ wolves were to move into an area where that wolf could be legally taken via hunting season, I could see a huge conflict with that animal being legally killed and the hunter getting all kinds of threatening letters, etc. That is something that no one would like to see happen; yet, something which would have a great probability of occurring. As I stated earlier, wolves inside the park would have complete protection; yet, the minute they walked out of the park into a trophy area the could be available under a structured hunting season. I am unsure how quickly wolves could discern the difference between humans simply seeking to observe them versus humans seeking to hunt and kill them. Those two concepts will continue to be at odds with no perceivable way to resolve either sides opposing view point.

  44. Virginia Says:

    No place to post this but Casper Star Tribune reports this morning that Thursday a federal judge overruled the action lifting the firearms ban in national parks. The issue will be litigated further in federal court.

  45. Barb Says:

    It sure doesn’t seem fair to have laws on “wildlife management” that the wolves themselves are incapable of understanding.

    It just doesn’t make any sense that wolves and other predators are considered “game animals.”

    Not much of a “game” to the animals getting shot.

    • Ryan Says:

      Your always good for a laugh Barb, what do you propose we do in leiu of laws?

    • Valeria Rogers Says:

      I’m with you Barb. From some of the stuff I’ve read, it’s the mismanagement of wildlife that is causing problems now. And by some of the replies here, it is admitted that climate, fires, other predators, and human factors play into the decline of deer and elk, yet the wolf is singled out to be destroyed for much of it. The old canary in the coal mine is a pretty good predictor of what lies ahead. One third of all 800 species of birds in this country are “are endangered, threatened or in decline due to climate change, habitat loss, and invasive species,” according to a new report I don’t think wildlife management anywhere is paying enough attention to the role of climate/habitat, but choose to eradicate predators first in an effort to stem the decline in game populations. We’re arguing here for the wolves in the west, yet Palin has just stepped up the kill in Alaska where they will soon be poisoning wolf pups in their dens in areas that were formerly protected. What a dirty game this is.

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