Have you run across any interesting news, February 11 to 19, 2010

If so, post the URL, name of the story and the newspaper, magazine, etc. it comes from and a few of your thoughts-

Note that this replaces the first edition. That edition can be found slowly moving down into the “bowels” of the blog.

243 Responses to “Have you run across any interesting news, February 11 to 19, 2010”

  1. Talks with Bears Says:

    This story was top of the front page in the Bozeman paper this a.m. Should we argue the “facts” again?

  2. JimT Says:

    Utah is at it again, now wanting to condemn FEDERAL lands for their own use and benefit. Just when I think I have seen it all…Maybe a Sarah Palin-Glenn Beck ticket really WILL happen in 2012…;*)

    http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_14377307

  3. Kropotkin Man Says:

    Arizona Game and Fish corrects inaccuracies in NPR jaguar story from Feb. 10, 2010

    Arizonans may have heard a story on National Public Radio this morning (Feb. 10) that includes some factual errors regarding a recent U.S. Department of the Interior Inspector General (IG) report about the capture and handling of the jaguar known as Macho B.

    “If you listened to this morning’s NPR report and you think you know the story of Macho B, you’ve been misled,” said Gary Hovatter, deputy director of the Arizona Game and Fish Department (Department).

    As part of a larger story about jaguar conservation, the reporter makes this inaccurate statement: “A recent congressional investigation concluded [the capture] wasn’t incidental at all, but a bungled intentional operation.”

    The Department would like to correct the factual errors in this statement by noting the following:

    The report NPR refers to was issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior Inspector General – it is not a “congressional report” at all.

    Nowhere in the IG report does it state that the capture was a “bungled intentional operation.”
    The Department believes the IG report is inaccurate and draws conclusions from unsubstantiated allegations and hearsay statements of unidentified persons. It is important (and disappointing) to note that the IG’s office never contacted the Arizona Game and Fish Department during the IG investigation. No Department employees were interviewed and no Department documentation was requested by IG investigators during the course of their investigation.

    The Department continues to cooperate in an ongoing Federal law enforcement investigation and is conducting its own internal administrative investigation. The Department stands by its previous statements that it did not direct any Department employee to capture a jaguar. Should the outcome of the ongoing Federal or Department investigations demonstrate that any employee acted contrary to the Department’s understanding of the facts, the Department will take appropriate disciplinary action.

  4. Save bears Says:

    Better watch out Jim, with all the goofy crazy rulings the last couple of years, they might be able to find a leg to stand on…and I have seen quite a few states that have secession movements going, in addition to the various 10th amendment cases popping up..

    There is indeed some weird stuff going on around the country!

  5. Talks with Bears Says:

    JimT – just goes to show, you enviro legal minds do not have the market cornered on gaming the legal system……

  6. Save bears Says:

    Steve,

    That is virtually the same story that JimT posted…?

  7. Steve C Says:

    I must have missed it…

  8. SAP Says:

    In today’s Missoulian, Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator Christopher Servheen makes his case that GYE grizzlies ought to remain delisted:

    http://www.missoulian.com/news/opinion/columnists/article_29879854-171f-11df-a271-001cc4c002e0.html

  9. Robert Hoskins Says:

    As usual, Chris Servheen can’t distinguish between his ego and science.

    RH

  10. Nathan Hobbs Says:

    Seems the Utah Legislature is busy,
    They passed the anti wolf law in both the Senate and The House. It is now headed to the ‘Guv’ according to the Salt Lake Tribune…
    http://www.sltrib.com/ci_14378560

    And a better article on the development from KSL
    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=9654591

  11. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Thanks Nathan,

    The article says, “Rural lawmakers in the state fear wolves pose significant threats to livestock and wildlife.”

    I grew up in Utah. I’m amazed to read this. Utah is one of the most urban states in America. Probably 90% live in towns larger than 2500.

    North Ogden where the sponsor of the bill lives is not a rural place. It is one of the many former separate towns that have all grown together in the continuous strip of humanity on the “Wasatch Front.”

  12. Ralph Maughan Says:

    I ran across a better article about the North Fork of the Flathead today. I posted it to the original post about actions taken to remove the area from coal and mineral development, and I want to put it here to for those who may not go back and check past posts for updates.

    British Columbia Bans Mining, Drilling in Flathead River Valley. Environment News Service.

  13. JimT Says:

    Ralph,

    I thought we were not supposed to comment here…~S~…just post stories?

  14. mikepost Says:

    JimT: Thats why I thought too. The comments dilute the story menu and discourage further scrolling. Ralph?

  15. JEFF E Says:

    here we go, dumbass move followed by dumbass move

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/newsupdates/story/1076740.html

  16. Tom Page Says:

    Here are two stories from the Idaho Mountain Express. The first is on Bull Trout, the second on Idaho state land policy.

    http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005130003

    http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005129987

  17. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Tom Page,

    On the state school lands then, this article indicates the changes the ICA got made in committee must not have been particularly negative.

    It is important to see the difference in school revenues from the timber program on state lands versus the grazing program, which, by the way, covers so many more acres of school endowment lands.

  18. JimT Says:

    Since Ralph has not “ruled” on commenting here..

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the eminent domain case. It is grandstanding, the latest iteration of Sagebrush and Wise Use. They went nowhere on this issue, and will continue to go nowhere unless they change the Constitution.

  19. Talks with Bears Says:

    Wolf impact continues in Montana – front page of the Bozeman Chronicle – citing the MTWF commission meeting yesterday in Helena – names wolves as a major reason for elk numbers declining in the Gravelly/Tobacco Root complex. For those that do not know, this is a large hunting area and the reduction in permits/numbers will impact a bunch of folks.

  20. Chris Harbin Says:

    I’m sure a lot of people know about this great source of info but just in case:
    http://www.carnivoreconservation.org

  21. Layton Says:

    Another viewpoint from Idaho. Of course I know that ALL of the viewpoints from the “redneck” state are suspect. 8)

    http://journalnet.com/news/local/article_639aacda-1232-11df-87ef-001cc4c03286.html

  22. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Thanks Chris Harbin,

    What a good source for papers! I used to frequent the site, but I seems like they shut it down. So now it is back up.

  23. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Layton,

    Tells more about our Fish and Game commissioners than about elk.

  24. Nathan Hobbs Says:

    Quick Summary of Legislation being discussed that has a potential impact on public land recreation in Idaho
    via Idaho Statesman.

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/idahopolitics/story/1077243.html

    Number Plates on mountain bikes? Guess ID tags for hiking shoes is next… Another Bill wants to collect 10 dollars to visit Idaho Wildlife Management Areas. I really do not like the direction all of this is headed.

  25. David Fogg Says:

    http://www.missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_27c4f8ae-176a-11df-bad4-001cc4c002e0.html

    Montana’s answer to the Flathead legislation in BC last week.

    Anybody got any thoughts? Is it too good to be true? Or is it just a political chess move?

  26. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Nathan Hobbs,

    We’ve discussed the matter of non-hunters having no influence over Idaho Fish and Game policy. A major reason is that in Idaho and most other places, they generate no revenue for the Department.

    This could begin to change things. What do you bet that narrow hunting groups (those only interested in one or two types of game) rise up to defend the “rubberneckers?”

  27. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Looks like the quake swarm is over.

    Feb. 10, 2010. Yellowstone earthquake swarm dwindles. Series of quakes is the largest in park since 1985. Jackson Hole News and Guide.

  28. Ryan Says:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-feinstein-delta12-2010feb12,0,7226396,print.story

    Looks like California salmon are getting Screwed again, by Feinstein. Democrats seem to Cow tow to the Farmers a ton.

  29. Cutthroat Says:

    I found this quite interesting from Bioscience (did not see that it had made it here yet, apologies if so). Lots of controversial issues on both sides for discussion on wolf recovery, i.e. control, tracking, effects on ecosystems, etc.

    http://www.aibs.org/bioscience-press-releases/resources/Licht.pdf

  30. Ryan Says:

    http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20100212/NEWS01/2120321/FWP-commissioners-ends-late-elk-hunts

    Here is another interesting article, the gardnier Late hunt has been cancelled due to declining Elk numbers.

  31. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Ryan,

    We should all remember that the Gardiner late hunt was started to control the elk numbers inside the Park.

    The Park Service had been shooting the elk, eventually getting their number down to 5000. There was great public opposition to this mass killing, but the Park Service believed this was the right number to stop the degradation of the northern range.

    In the face of public opposition, they finally give up on any in-Park controls and established the late hunt for those elk that migrated out of the Park.

    This was not very effective, as Alston Chase argued forcefully, but I think insincerely, in his book, “Playing God in Yellowstone.”

    Wolves were reintroduced in the Park just as the elk numbers hit a record high (over 20,000 on the Northern Range),

    Since then, as hoped, the numbers have fallen. Of course, the “one cause” folks say it is the just the wolves, but the elk numbers had peaked and fallen in the past too.

    One of the major factors was that Montana FWP continued the late elk hunt, and at a high level, grizzly bears multiplied and killed more elk and also stole elk kills from wolves, and wolves killed elk too. I think the interaction of all three brought the population down to the 5000 to 8000 that the Northern Range can support.

    Of course, those folks who were born yesterday thought the late elk hunt was some kind of ritual going back to prehistory I think, but its purpose is over.

    I do worry about the future of the grizzly bears who have become dependent on lots of elk carcasses.

  32. Mike Says:

    ++Wolf impact continues in Montana – front page of the Bozeman Chronicle – citing the MTWF commission meeting yesterday in Helena – names wolves as a major reason for elk numbers declining in the Gravelly/Tobacco Root complex. For those that do not know, this is a large hunting area and the reduction in permits/numbers will impact a bunch of folks.++

    Could the reduction in elk have anything to do with the fact this is a “high hunting” area?

    I’d like to see far more importance placed on the health of the herds and the population rather than whether Jimmy gets his elk tag. Seems like an endless circle of self defeating actions.

  33. Jeremy B. Says:

    Ralph, Ryan:

    Here in the Midwest whole generations of hunters have grown up with the expectation that deer will be everywhere. I am concerned that an entire generation of hunters has become “spoiled” (I don’t mean to use this term pejoratively, but honestly can’t think of a better substitute); they only know what it is like to hunt when deer are like locust. What happens when/if we bring them down to more reasonable levels?

    A week ago I was at a conference here in Ohio where the deer biologist noted that while 40 years ago you had a 1 in 18 probability of harvesting a deer, today it is better than 1 in 2.

  34. timz Says:

    TWB
    “This story was top of the front page in the Bozeman paper this a.m. Should we argue the “facts” again?”

    What would you know about facts. Like the ones you presented in the mange debate. “perhaps the native americans gave wolfs mange.” You presented no “facts” in that debate and in the end were made to look like a complete fool. Perhaps when it comes to argueing facts you should just stay away.

  35. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Here in the Midwest whole generations of hunters have grown up with the expectation that deer will be everywhere. I am concerned that an entire generation of hunters has become “spoiled” (I don’t mean to use this term pejoratively, but honestly can’t think of a better substitute); they only know what it is like to hunt when deer are like locust. What happens when/if we bring them down to more reasonable levels?

    Jeremy, that is not just in the Midwest you see this. People in the West were so accustomed to having elk that were like locusts and believe they should be like that. I would be willing to guess that is part of the reason Colorado has such opposition to wolves. Mike Lapinski described Colorado as “giant elk factory” in his book Wilderness Predators of the Rockies and I think that is the approach lots of people are taking in the West.

  36. Mike Says:

    Can you really be sincerely concered about the population of an animal and at the same time demand a tag for it?

    Strange behavior.

  37. SAP Says:

    The thing to keep in mind about the Gravelly Range (Madison & Beaverhead Counties, sw MT) is that it has had huge elk herds and quite a bit of landowner complaint in the last decade.

    There have been at least two season extensions in most of the Gravellies in the last five years. Hunters could kill cow elk with just a general elk license bought over the counter, and some hunters got an additional permit for anterless elk.

    So, we’ve had very liberal harvest and extended seasons in an attempt to get numbers down.

    If FWP is reducing harvest objectives for these districts for 2010, it’s probably because they accomplished what they set out to, and not because wolves have eaten up all the elk.

  38. Save bears Says:

    The area around Gardiner, has finally after all of these years attained the goal the FWP has tried to attain, the herd was over populated and not healthy, even with the lower numbers, we are seeing healthier animals come out of that herd. I for one, am glad to see the herd come back into some reasonable population numbers based on carry capacity in the area. So I have a different take on it impacting…

  39. Save bears Says:

    Talks with bears,

    Yes, we can argue facts, and the fact is, the FWP has been trying for many years to bring this population down, the hunters were not successful, even with very liberal quotas

  40. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Can you really be sincerely concered about the population of an animal and at the same time demand a tag for it?

    Strange behavior.

    If you want to shoot it you can be concerned. What I find strange is that people in organizations like saveelk and state senators like Joe Balyeat talk about how “cruel” wolves are to elk when they want to shoot elk so bad.

  41. Save bears Says:

    Prowolf, not to be contrary here, but it is a little different shooting an elk and a wolf killing an elk, quite a bit of difference in the way the process works..and I am not condemning or condoning either…

  42. Save bears Says:

    Just to add, I don’t think wolves are cruel at all, they work for a living and they use their skills to ensure they survive…but to many humans, watching wolves take down an animal is difficult..

  43. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Save bears, the method is different, but the fact is that killing is killing. When people like this act like they are doing elk a favor by killing wolves, when they themselves want to shoot an elk, it does not seem like it is for a concern of an animal’s well-being.

    Cruelty is a uniquely human trait. Like you mention, wolves kill for survival. I have seen footage of wolves killing a coyote and it is not pretty at all. However, I am not about to say that the wolves were being cruel; they were eliminating competition to their food supply and their survival.

  44. Jeremy B. Says:

    To many vegetarians, watching meat eaters gobble down a burger is difficult. (Just providing some perspective)

  45. Talks with Bears Says:

    Chicago Mike – this complex would be described as a “moderate hunting” area with a relatively stable elk herd. I attempted to get the details from FWP today but, they said those would be on the web by Tuesday – I will keep you informed. I am sure the FWP does in fact manage for the health of the herd – actually, I believe they are mandated by state law to do just that – Save Bears can probably speak to the specifics of that issue. Mike as you may or may not be aware of there in Chicago – “Jimmy” getting his elk tag has generally been a part of managing a healthy herd.

  46. Talks with Bears Says:

    Timz – I would know more about the facts than you, unless you were at the FWP meeting here in Bozeman back before Christmas – that is when the biologist Alt and Cunnigham spoke about the predator/prey relationship in this hunting district – FYI 310. As far as the mange debate goes did the native americans not have “scabies” – they certainly had “medicines” for it and they lived with wolves – no? Maybe you have done further research on mange and can enlighten me on the subject in an adult manner. The evening of mange talk, if I remember correctly is when your true personality came out – and I am being kind towards you in my assesment.

  47. Talks with Bears Says:

    SAP – did you read the article? It did not say nor did I quote that wolves had eaten all the elk. The article stated that wolves were a part of the decline in numbers – I contacted FWP and they stated to me that the details would be available online Tuesday. You are correct about the additional havest opportunities in some parts of this complex in the last five years.

  48. Talks with Bears Says:

    Save Bears – at the meeting for district 310 the biologist that spoke never indicated that they were interested in reducing the numbers in the herd in any substatial way. In fact, they claimed to have data going back to the 1960’s and they remaked about the stability of the numbers until the last few years when the numbers crashed from 1,500 to 300.

  49. Talks with Bears Says:

    Legal staff and Utah experts – does anyone have an opinion on how the 2 stream access bills are going to fare in the UT legislature?

  50. Mike Says:

    ++Chicago Mike – this complex would be described as a “moderate hunting” area with a relatively stable elk herd.++

    Please note that my tag here is “Mike”. Thanks.

    ++Mike as you may or may not be aware of there in Chicago – “Jimmy” getting his elk tag has generally been a part of managing a healthy herd.++

    Sounds like they are “managing” them right out of the woods.

  51. frank Says:

    I think that he believes if we don’t live in his area, we should not have an opinion about them killing off all of the animals.

  52. Talks with Bears Says:

    Mike – I meant no disrespect with “Chicago” – of course I do understand that as the Chicago Way is being exposed and coming unraveled there are now, well negative associations. If with the information you have on the Gravelly/Tobacco Root complex you believe “they” are managing them “right out of the woods” then get on over here and enlighten “them” with all of your knowledge.

  53. Talks with Bears Says:

    Frank – you are welcome to have any opinion you would like. It is still the USA my brother.

  54. frank Says:

    That’s great. I think that people who are arguing for one animal (elk), against one animal (wolves), are disingenuous.

  55. Talks with Bears Says:

    Frank – so, in your opinion how should the “animals” be managed by us humans? BTW – do you see us humans as the top animal?

  56. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Talks with Bears,

    I’d appreciate it if you did not refer to “Mike” as “Chicago Mike.” Once or twice might be sufficient to indicate his does not presently live in Montana, but I think you are using it to try to discredit his arguments by appealing to what you hope is latent prejudice against someone not living in your local area.

  57. frank Says:

    Bears, I could show you many of my hunting pictures. That really shouldn’t influence you, but it appears that it does. I am also FULLY aware that we are the top predator. That just shows that we (as the only sentient being) should be VERY responsible.

    PS I am also from Illinois. That must mean that I live in Chicago.

  58. Talks with Bears Says:

    Ralph – as I indicated above, I meant no disrespect. For the record, in the early stages of our relationship, Mike on several occasions made an issue out of the fact that he is from and or resides in Chicago.

  59. Barb Rupers Says:

    TWB
    I don’t see us as the top animal so therefore I don’t accept the idea that we should “control” other species.

  60. Talks with Bears Says:

    Frank – glad to have you aboard. I would agree, we as humans are and should be resposible in our stewardship of all resources. If you live in Chicago great, if you don’t great too.

  61. Talks with Bears Says:

    Barb – roger.

  62. Mike Says:

    Talks with Bears – My comments on the elk around the Tobacco Roots is based on simple common sense. If you are worried about declining elk, why are there still tags, and furthermore, why do people feel they have a right to obtain these tags? In the fishing world, streams get shut down when populations collapse. Fishermen deal with it. There is a section of the hunting world that feels they are owed a guaranteed hunt in the exaact place of their choosing.

    What’s exactly is so controversial? When a population declines, close the area. If you care at all about the population of elk both for the sake of the animal and future hunting, you go somewhere else or find something else to pass the time for a bit. I find these apparent stressful brow sweat scenarios of “well, we don’t know waht we’re going to do yet on hunting zone a because we don’t want a negative reaction” to be puzzling.

    Last year, Minnesota released a study indicating that moose were in a free fall. They still held the hunting season. They released the numbers in 2009 and it looks like about a 2,000 animal drop from 7,000 to 5,000 and now people are running around shouting about the sky falling.

    Why did they hold the hunt? Out of stupidity and pandering it seems. Personally I would like to see a little bit more proactive measures taken by hunters to *embrace* shutting down tags in an anreas where things begin to look sketchy. Instead, we see these long drawn out porcesses over years where finally something is done. The problem is it takes too long to get things going again from that point.

    Like I said before, this all just seems like a bizarre self defeating circle of actions in which we never really learn anything.

    We shouldn’t be afraid to hurt peoples feelings in the name of good science and doing what is best for the resource. When particiapting in a sport that involves fatal actions, only the best science and tools should be applied. There should be no politics or apprehension.

  63. Talks with Bears Says:

    Mike – I have very little information to formulate an opinion on whether or not the elk in and around the Tobacco Root mountains are going to decline to the point that people here will not have huntable numbers to in fact hunt. As I stated above, the Montana Department of Wildlife will post detailed information on Tuesday – today is nearing Saturday. I simply posted information regarding a story in a paper here in Montana. How about a news flash for you – hunting of elk is going on year round by wolves and roughly 6 months out of the year by bears. Humans, here in Montana the season is Sept. thru the end of Nov. Mike, you and I will not agree maybe on any issue however, please note that the repeated statements by pro-wolf advocates of “just go somewhere else and hunt” is really, really not the way to advance your cause. How about this, we get rid of all wolves – no more livestock loss issues, no more elk and deer herds decimated, no more ESA lawsuits regarding wolves, no more lawsuits regarding helicopters/wolves in the Frank and no more you telling people where to hunt. And then, if you want to see or hear a wolf then YOU can go to Canada or Alsaka.

  64. Talks with Bears Says:

    Just to be clear – unless it is a zero sum game I am not in favor of getting rid of all wolves.

  65. frank Says:

    Yet, you seem to believe that you have more right to game animals than predators do. Why?

  66. Mike Says:

    ++Mike – I have very little information to formulate an opinion on whether or not the elk in and around the Tobacco Root mountains are going to decline to the point that people here will not have huntable numbers to in fact hunt. As I stated above, the Montana Department of Wildlife will post detailed information on Tuesday – today is nearing Saturday. I simply posted information regarding a story in a paper here in Montana. How about a news flash for you – hunting of elk is going on year round by wolves and roughly 6 months out of the year by bears. Humans, here in Montana the season is Sept. thru the end of Nov++

    But the wolves and bears are not overpopulated.

    We are.

    And as a supposedly enlightened spcecies, we have to know when to pull back. We are the adults, we are the ones who know better. I think it’s sad that people feel they are owed something like this regardless of what the science says.

    ++ How about this, we get rid of all wolves – no more livestock loss issues, no more elk and deer herds decimated, ++

    What elk and deer herds were decimated by wolves?

    ++no more ESA lawsuits regarding wolves, no more lawsuits regarding helicopters/wolves in the Frank and no more you telling people where to hunt. And then, if you want to see or hear a wolf then YOU can go to Canada or Alsaka.++

    What you just listed are all people problems. There are 950,000 people in Montana, 532,000 in Wyoming and 1,500,000 people in Idaho. There are around a thousand wolves in those states combined.

    That’s not a wolf problem.

  67. Talks with Bears Says:

    Frank – elk in unit 310 upper gallatin canyon – whitetail on the upper ruby river – those I have reasonable information about – either first hand or thru the department of wildlife. You convinced me, I am pulling up stakes and headed to Illinois – I can make a people problem there with you.

  68. frank Says:

    “I can make a people problem there with you.”
    Please do. I love internet tough guys.

    As to what I asked though, why are your elk more important than wolves?

  69. Talks with Bears Says:

    They are not my elk – they are our (public trust) elk just like the wolves. Elk clearly have a higher resource value. Headed out the door – have a great day.

  70. Richie, Giallanzo,NJ Says:

    Why not tag all wildlife not just wolves, elk, coyotes, bears, lets tag all birds,cats, preditors, all animals then we can really call the west a real wilderness place, yea right.I hope people see how silly this is getting,our ancestors wanted to tame the wild place, named wilderness are we any better after many generations ? and be honest with yourself.

  71. Layton Says:

    Frank,

    “That’s great. I think that people who are arguing for one animal (elk), against one animal (wolves), are disingenuous.”

    Ahhhhh, what would that make you when you argue FOR the wolves, which, in fact, is arguing AGAINST the elk??

  72. Chris Harbin Says:

    I disagree strongly that humans are the only “sentient being(s)”.

  73. pro wolf and elk Says:

    I’m not sure anyone has posted the URL for the story in the MTN EXPRESS – Fish and Game Issue warning to Lynne Stone for illegal possession of wolf carcass.

    This is only political persecution of a known wolf advocate.

    With all the wolf hunting going on, I also wondered what you could do if you found a wolf that had been gutshot and got away and then you found it later, dead. I called the ID Dept of Fish and Game at the Boise office last December and they said they would check with a supervisor and call me back. When they called me back they said this would be legal, providing I had a wolf tag and was in an open zone and followed the normal reporting rules.

    THIS IS HARRASMENT pure and simple.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      pro wolf and elk,

      Lynne Stone’s troubles with Fish and Game story was posted earlier. There was discussion. Here is the more recent Idaho Mountain Express story, Fish & Game issues warning to conservationist. Stone in illegal possession of wolf carcass. I found ID F and G’s statement really irritating — ” ‘”If it was harvested in a control action, then it belongs to the state,’ Hompland said.” If any animal is killed in any kind of control action, rather than in a sustainable hunt, by definition it is not a “harvest.” Too many interests out there are getting away with verbal murder with their promiscuous use of the term “harvest.”

  74. Richie, Giallanzo,NJ Says:

    Here we go again tag all animals then we have a real wilderness.lol

  75. Layton Says:

    PW&E,

    I’d really like to talk about that one, but I thought this thread wasn’t for discussions??

  76. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Richie, Giallanzo,NJ,

    In Idaho Fish and Game’s most recent brief on the helicopter lawsuit, they are actually arguing before the federal court that by chasing wolves down and collaring them for their vague “management purposes,” they are actually enhancing the Wilderness experience, as if seeing a wolf with a collar on it gave a backcountry traveler some primeval thrill.

  77. Jeremy B. Says:

    “Ahhhhh, what would that make you when you argue FOR the wolves, which, in fact, is arguing AGAINST the elk??”

    I strongly disagree with this statement. As Ralph has pointed out MANY times, wolves reliance upon elk as their primary food source means wolf populations will be maximized when elk populations are maximized.

    Regardless, the first question state fish and game agencies–as trustees of a valued resource–must answer is, how to ensure the conservation status of both species.

  78. Jeremy B. Says:

    “…they are actually enhancing the Wilderness experience…”

    Ralph: Surely you’re kidding?!

  79. Layton Says:

    OK,

    I guess if the “boss” does it, it’s OK. 8)

    If ANYONE did the same thing that Lynn Stone did, and got caught – she didn’t get caught, she was looking to make a show – they would get the same result. Got a flash for you, ITS AGAINST THE LAW!!

    That DOES include folks that like wolves!!

    Why should she be any different?? The only gripe that I have about the whole thing is that they gave her ANOTHER tag — what’s up with that? You’re not supposed to have it both ways – enforce the law when it works for you and don’t enforce it when you don’t like it is NOT the way it’s supposed to be!!

    Probably anyone else that did the same thing would have been issued a citation — and the “wolfies” would have been crying to the heavens for a hanging!!

  80. Layton Says:

    Jeremy B,

    “Regardless, the first question state fish and game agencies–as trustees of a valued resource–must answer is, how to ensure the conservation status of both species.”

    I agree 100%, now if they could just find a way to get wolves to eat grass.

  81. Jeremy B. Says:

    “…now if they could just find a way to get wolves to eat grass.”

    Then livestock producers and SOME hunters would complain that wolves were eating all of the grass that was meant for their elk/cows/sheep.😉

  82. Elk275 Says:

    The best thing that happen to Lynn Stone is that the fish and game warned her and took the wolf away. She indicated that the wolf carcass was going to use it for education uses.

    Hypothetical scenario:

    It was against the laws of the State of Idaho to tag that wolf and take possession. Several days after she had acquired the carcass there is a pro wolf conference in Missoula which she had plan to attend. Lynn then decides to take the wolf to Missoula for educational and discussion proposes. She leaves her home on the Salmon River and crosses Lost Trail Pass heads down the Bitterroot arriving at the conference. What has she done? She has violated the Lancy Act. She has taken illegally acquired wildlife across state lines. The penalty is a felony with a fine up to $250,000 and five years imprisonment. She will be dealing with federal wildlife officers and the US Attorney office. This is not a joke.

  83. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Mike, I agree with what you were saying about animals’ numbers declining and still having just as many hunting licenses available as before. The only people to blame for that is fish and game.

    Ahhhhh, what would that make you when you argue FOR the wolves, which, in fact, is arguing AGAINST the elk??

    Layton, I hope I’m not taking this out of context, but a person can argue for (or against) both animals. My screen name may say ProWolf but I am ProElk as well. I happen to think both species have an equal right to be in an ecosystem.

  84. Mike Says:

    Prowolf –

    Isn’t it strange that people think you can’t have elk and wolves at the same time? They did just fine before our “management”. In fact, elk and wolves roamed across the prairie and numbered in the millions. Now elk are limited to the Rockies for the most part, and wolves limited to remote corners of the country. Yeah, our “management” has been awesome, lol.

  85. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Amen Mike!

  86. Layton Says:

    Prowolf,

    “Mike, I agree with what you were saying about animals’ numbers declining and still having just as many hunting licenses available as before. The only people to blame for that is fish and game.”

    The difference is that there are NOT near as many elk tags available (in Idaho anyway) as there were. Many tags and draw hunts have been curtailed because of the wolves taking the available elk. F&G is the messenger, not the problem.

  87. Layton Says:

    Mike,

    “Isn’t it strange that people think you can’t have elk and wolves at the same time? ”

    The problem is NOT whether or not we have wolves AND elk, it’s a problem of how many of each.

    If you are going to have one that there is no limit on – wolves – and another whose numbers are controlled – elk – the scenario will not work!!

    If the wolf supporters would settle for a reasonable number – no, I don’t pretend to know what that number is, but I do know that those same folks want it to be in the thousands in every state – there would be MUCH less hassle. And, as a result of the control/management (hell, call it what you want to) of the wolves there would be more elk!!

    Please, don’t come with the “genetic exchange” red herring. That was invented for Judge Malloy. Isle Royale is the an apples to oranges comparison as well.

  88. Barb Rupers Says:

    I have heard that Isle Royale wolves are having genetic problems.
    http://www.isleroyalewolf.org/overview/overview/rescue

  89. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Layton, I was agreeing with Mike’s scenario about Minnesota. The fish and game sold just as many tags for moose as they did before the decline. So it seems to me that if fish and game knew the moose population was down, they should have decreased the number of permits accordingly.
    I am also going to respond to what you said about the numbers of wolves and elk. I don’t think people want wolf numbers to be in the thousands necessarily, but 100 in each state is a small number. As far a genetic exchange, I know your opinion by now so I’m going to leave that one alone.😉

  90. Richie, Giallanzo,NJ Says:

    Hey I got a real crazy thought, leave everything alone for ten years or I mean another ten years and see what happens, then draw the science from their.Let the BLM and whoever it is get out of the way and lets see what happens. Let the big cattle men stay on their own land or we all stop paying taxes for what we do not want to happen. Ralph thanks for the reply it really stinks to me wilderness yea right. Just like when our for fathers came here, when they got a foothold and did not need the indians then they took the land and killed what they wanted. Same old story just a different time and place.

  91. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Richie, I like that idea!

  92. Virginia Says:

    After being accused of being intolerant of others’ views when it comes to wildlife and the environment (I am), I find it interesting that those who accuse me are themselves intolerant of others’ views – particularly when they are from states such as New Jersey, Illinois, California, New York, etc. Just because they are not lucky enough to live in Wyoming, Montana, or other states where wildlife is abundant, does not mean they are not entitled to their opinion about wildlife issues. These wildlife belong to all of us, not just those who live in these Western states. Once again, these open forums become a battle between the elk hunters and the non-hunters. And on that note, please watch “Valley of the Wolves” on PBS Sunday night.

  93. Richie, Giallanzo,NJ Says:

    Why thank you prowolf, ,ow does anybody know the wolfman started yesteday? Will this be a homework assignment by the teachers for the kids of Idaho, just enough to bring out the hatred against the wolves.

  94. Richie, Giallanzo,NJ Says:

    how sorry

  95. Richie, Giallanzo,NJ Says:

    sorry again going too fast wanted to get that cmment in, the word is does.

  96. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Richie, I think “Frozen” is the homework assignment. But it is for students in Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Arizona too.🙂

  97. Save bears Says:

    Well as 95% of my meat comes from wild game and I am not inclined to become a vegan, I really don’t like the idea of a 10 year halt to hunting..would not work out really good for me or my family and I really don’t want to eat the hormone laden crap that gets sold in the store…for the most part I can’t afford it and I really don’t like it..

  98. Kristin, Northern CA Says:

    Hola. I like reading this news blog and sometimes the discussions. I have never commented before and most likely will not again because I have no expertise in wildlife. It’s just that this comment irks me and it’s difficult to let fly:

    “After being accused of being intolerant of others’ views when it comes to wildlife and the environment (I am), I find it interesting that those who accuse me are themselves intolerant of others’ views – particularly when they are from states such as New Jersey, Illinois, California, New York, etc. Just because they are not lucky enough to live in Wyoming, Montana, or other states where wildlife is abundant, does not mean they are not entitled to their opinion about wildlife issues. These wildlife belong to all of us, not just those who live in these Western states.”

    I certainly agree with your argument. That aside, California is actually a western state, as west as it can be, and not near New York (check google earth if you don’t believe me). Despite the fact that it’s the most populous state I believe there to be wildlife still in California. All the wolves and Grizzlies have been killed, but here you can find some species lists: http://ceres.ca.gov/ceres/calweb/wildlife.html

    Also, I have found that some people in other states think that LA encompasses all of California or something (I really have). Not true. After Alaska and Texas it is the third largest state by area. CA also has national parks like Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Death Valley, and Mojave.

    Finally, since this is about wildlife news links here:
    http://greeninc.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/11/brightsource-alters-solar-plant-plan-to-address-concerns-over-desert-tortoise/story/1027037.html

  99. Talks with Bears Says:

    Ritchie – we are 5 nights a week wildgame – that’s a no go. BTW – we (wife, son and I) do not “kill what we want” – we harvest what we are legally allowed to, up to what we need for the upcoming year.

  100. Talks with Bears Says:

    Richie – sorry about the name.

  101. Barb Rupers Says:

    From Oregon Natural Desert Association
    It seem if proposed projects are over a certain size they get permitted by the state, under the limit and it can be done by the county. So it appears that this was broken into three small projects to get the less stringent county permitting.

    http://onda.org/wind-farms-on-steens

  102. Talks with Bears Says:

    Barb – are you over in Oregon?

  103. Barb Rupers Says:

    Raised in Idaho, have lived in Montana, Maine, Washington and now live in western of Oregon.

  104. Talks with Bears Says:

    Great – in your opinion, how does Oregon stack up for being able to get away from folks to hunt, fish, hike, wildlife watch etc ?

  105. Jeremy B. Says:

    “These wildlife belong to all of us, not just those who live in these Western states.”

    Virginia: Actually, ownership in wildlife is not nearly so clear. Many states claim propriety ownership of wildlife, others claim sovereign ownership (think management authority) under the public trust doctrine; this is the common law (judge-made law) notion that wildlife are held in trust by states for the benefit of the people. The problems, as I see them, are: (1) the people can’t agree on which benefits they want, and (2) nearly all of the places large carnivores (those species that we usually argue about here) occur are federal lands. The latter is problematic because states usually manage wildlife for their citizens, without a care to what people from other states think.

  106. Barb Rupers Says:

    TWB
    Since I live in the middle of 100 acreas of mostly wildlife habitat with two permanent creeks including their confluence, and several temporary winter ponds I usually stay here to do my wildlife watching.

    This part of the state is pretty civilized but the coast is close. There is more opportunity for those activities you mention in the east side. My favorite state, however, is Idaho. Best fishing I ever had was in the Bob Marshall in Montana and on the MF Flathead in Glacier National Park. But that was years ago when the limit was 10 (?).

  107. Talks with Bears Says:

    Jeremy B – well stated. It was interesting moving here (Montana) years ago when I would be visiting with people about the outdoors and I would state “it is great that we get to enjoy so much of this natural majesty with other people all over this country paying for it” – you should have seen some of the looks – there are some that think “all of this” is actually “just for them”. As if us Montanans could afford even the basic maintenance on all of the federal land we enjoy.

  108. Talks with Bears Says:

    Barb – thanks for your input – you should know, lots of great places on your outdoors resume.

  109. Salle Says:

    Here’s a interesting video from the PBS program, NOW. I have been waiting to see when/if they would pick up on this issue. I think they gave it a fair and balanced treatment. I know, personally, most of the interviewees and think this video captures the true essence of each individual.

    http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/609/index.html

    Also, there was a great full page+ article in Thursday’s Bozeman Daily Chronicle titled: “What good are wolves?” Another fair and reasonable treatment of the topic of wolves in the ecosystem.

    The interviewees are Norm Bishop and Rick McIntyre, a pair of long-time YNP park employees (Norm has retired) who have been paying attention to wolves and their role in the ecosystem long before they were put back in the park.

    I have a PDF copy but am not sure how to import it to the blog.

  110. Robin L. Says:

    Blog of the leader of the German wolf-watching group in Yellowstone reports Thin Female Wolf of the Druids has died. I used Google Translate which makes for a long web address and for some head-scratching on the meanings of things: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=http://yellowstone-wolf.blogspot.com/2009/05/update-wolfe-und-ankunft-yellowstone.html&ei=_OLMSt3HB5KAswPqx72LAQ&sa=X&oi=translate&resnum=1&ct=result&prev=/search%3Fq%3D527F%2B716F%2Byellowstone%2Bbozeman%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26hs%3DrNH

  111. Talks with Bears Says:

    Salle – thanks for the video, sure helped clear it up for me – radical enviromental lawyers wanting to “rewrite” the ESA – oh, is that the same ESA they agreed to 15 years ago when the wolves were reintroduced. Seems to me they care more about pocketing money for themselves, friends and families than anything else. What better than a never ending lawsuit. No wonder Utah wants nothing to do with this clown show. Funny how they have a new political figure to attack – the current duly elected President which I am sure eveyone of those “good liberals” voted for is now at the center of their “rage”. If only they could still blame Bush they would not seem so conflicted on video – oh wait they were not so conflicted because they are still making money hand over fist. Greed is a powerful thing.

  112. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Salle,

    Thanks for calling attention to this half hour long video. I thought it was a pretty good* treatment of the wolf and related ESA issues in the Northern Rockies — grizzlies and bison.

    I will put this up as a post.

    *Considering what is typical on television, I’d say this was one of best discussions of the issue on a national program.

  113. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Talks with Bears,

    The Endangered Species Act in its present form dates to 1978, not 15 years ago. I guess you have it confused with the use of section 8 of that act 15 years ago to guide the authorization of the effort to reintroduce the wolf.

    As President of the Wolf Recovery Foundation, I can tell you no conservationists or lawyers are getting rich off of these ESA lawsuits. In fact, conservationists would have more resources for suits of a different kind if they didn’t have to defend the wolf.

    The fact that Obama is now being blamed, as was Bush, tells me this is not a liberal versus conservative issue. It is more a rural versus urban issue, and I am speaking primarily of urban areas of the West like Missoula, Boise, and Salt Lake City — not the old canard about New York City.

    I don’t like you calling people like me greedy unless you mean greedy for a little more nature.

  114. Mike Says:

    ++Salle – thanks for the video, sure helped clear it up for me – radical enviromental lawyers wanting to “rewrite” the ESA – oh, is that the same ESA they agreed to 15 years ago when the wolves were reintroduced. Seems to me they care more about pocketing money for themselves, friends and families than anything else. ++

    Talks With Bears – You just stated that you depend on wild game for your family. How does that make you any different than lawyers looking for more work on public land issues? Couldn’t one reasonably argue that you and Saves Bears main interest in all of this is to preserve the meat you require for your families?

    Is that why the wolf irks you so, because it’s”competition” for what you feel is rightfully yours?

    ++Greed is a powerful thing++

    Yes it is; whether seeking more money or demanding the right to harvest as much meat as you want from the woods in a modern and crowded society.

  115. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Mike,

    To think of it, I suppose Talks with Bears was just repeating what he had heard about conservationists, not knowing that he has been discussing these issues with those very people for several months now.

  116. Cobra Says:

    Mike,
    Greed may be one thing but there are a lot of folks out here that wouldn’t get by without wildgame. It’s kind of funny when this wolf thing started some thought it was to shut down the hunting seasons. Now we hear talk from non-hunters about seasons after 10 years and if our hunting area is closed to just pick up and move to another area. If we all move to another area that puts a lot of stress on areas that may have had little pressure before. People that hunt for the meat do so because it’s cheaper and better than what you get in the store. For some of us hunting is more than just a way to pass the time and get in the woods. It’s still used as a way to survive till the next season, especially in this economy. Hunters have already given up quite a bit for wolves, what has the advocates given up?

  117. Richie, Giallanzo,NJ Says:

    To cobra;
    I never said stop the hunters from hunting for food,stop the government from killing predtors like wolves. Why such an out cry against wolves, and all preditors that get in the way of the ranchers. Its not so much the hunters,it’s the way the government manages wildlife. It is wildlife “correct” I hope so, do not get the message confused. Hunters need to hunt for food,fine I agree we are in a recession so go get the food the cheapest way you can. But don’t try to kill off the preditors just to make your life easier to find the kill. Again it is all about keeping in tune with nature, let nature take it’s course, not the the big ranchers that are controlling our government policies.

  118. Richie, Giallanzo,NJ Says:

    hey guys I am losing you frozen ? why I am slow to this one, and talk with bears sorry about what name ?

  119. Talks with Bears Says:

    Ralph – yes, as stated in the video the wolves were re introduced 15 years ago and these same lawyers in the video now state that their objective is to “re write” the ESA – the same one, all sections etc. that they agreed to 15 years ago. Ralph, I have been educated over the last several months on this site and I am thankful for that. My “education” has been leading me to formulate an opinion regarding the true intentions of some of the self identified legal minds in the pro wolf/bison/grizzly movement – these folks do not just want a species restored, they want to continue this continuous legal “game” of bar moving and non-peer reviewed science. And now for me I have seen and heard thanks to Salle a leading “legal scholar” in the prowolf movement state that the true intention is to “re write” the ESA – the truth at last. If they have their way, this country will have to pay generations of legal fees as all previous ESA decisions will have to be reviewed and who knows what the “re written” ESA would demand of the public. Ralph as far as the money goes, you may not be making a dime on any of these issues however, I will strongly disagree with you on what “others” in the enviromental movement may be “making” – not sure how you would “know”. With the numerous ways people can obtain income earned, passive, foreign tax shelters or otherwise (gifts) not sure how you can really know. I do know from living in Bozeman that the folks that work in the enviromental movement do not live in cardboard boxes behind the COOP. Maybe some in these movements should check on where all the big donations at the east and west coast fundraisers go? Follow the money.

  120. Richie, Giallanzo,NJ Says:

    I got it talk with bears that’s fine you do not have to apologize for that,that’s no big deal.

  121. Talks with Bears Says:

    Richie – I went Ritchie first.

  122. Talks with Bears Says:

    Richie – it is not just about “getting meat the cheapest way we can” it is about healty living or living green or eating close to home or just about how we function as a family. BTW – the numbers for my family for this past hunting season – $2.60 per lb. of boneless wild game meat; in this calculation I included everything except vehicle depreciation. Not sure if everyone knows just how many people here in Montana live off the land (deer and elk) but, it is a bunch of folks – those that dismiss these people are the ones out of touch.

  123. Talks with Bears Says:

    Mike – I would rather spar with Ralph than you and I had just a few minutes this morning – I will work you over when I return this evening from a ski about. Have a great day.

  124. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Talks With Bears-

    The discussion about rewriting the ESA, was about the Bush Administration trying to rewrite it by a new interpretation of what a “significant portion of range” means in section 8 of the Act. It wasn’t about conservationists trying to rewrite it.

    Jeremy B. has a recent journal article about this. He might post the reference to it.

    Conservationists litigate because the federal government doesn’t obey the law. If they didn’t win, they wouldn’t litigate. You don’t win very often unless you have a good case. Many of these cases are won on summary judgments. That is a case where the facts are not even in contest between the plaintiff and the defendent.

    If the Obama Administration had cleaned house, as we expected, the number of lawsuits by conservationists would have gone down. Of course, those by the livestock industry would probably go up.

  125. Salle Says:

    TWB,
    I suggest you watch that video again. Honnold did NOT say that he, or any conservation group for that matter, was intending to rewrite the ESA. He said that failure in the current litigation would rewrite the ESA. Which is exactly what losing this case would imply. (19 min. into the video.)
    And as many in Congress have desired for some time now including all of the Bush crowd who tried to do just that in the first years of the Bu$h regime. I was in school then and was enrolled in legal seminars scrutinizing this very aspect of the “current war on nature” situation.

    This “new” interpretation of the ESA is what the feds have been using in their arguments ever since.

    And what justifies your impression that conservationists should, or have vowed to, live in poverty? At least they are trying to preserve the natural environment rather than the rich a*$holes who are tearing it up and giving nothing back in return and cashing in without having to pay taxes for the public resources they ravage or the profits gained. These attorneys are not millionaires either, I know some of them.

    Get a grip on your biases, if need be, take an English class or two so you can understand what you are hearing and reading, please. That whole tirade was based on a gross misinterpretation of what was presented in the video. What you are claiming was tainted with what you wanted to hear not what was said.

  126. Richie, Giallanzo,NJ Says:

    TWB;
    Again I do not care if you hunt out of money issues or health issues that is not my point. As JB said if you want less preditors because of competition with you in hunting, that is a selfish act period. Our for fathers did the exact same thing,I repeat after they had the numbers and knew how to deal with the land thanks to the Indians,then they imposed their laws on these same Indians that helped them survive. You went to west point correct, I was reading somewhere that some of the Nez Perce tactics in warfare was incorporated in west point. Look at the battle of salmon river they got a surprise attact and still got away with camping in a v shape, to peel away for the army. Please I am tired of the European mentality,we control the land and make it do what we want, tame the land. Besides who cares if earthjustice is making money on this issue, they try and stop the government in many H.R. bills. I have been with them for years, and as far as I know they helped the environment in many ways. You forget I work for the largest water system in the country,and I have seen many bad actions, like losing fifty MGD for years because of no planning. Just go along and collect a paycheck,do not rock the boat.

  127. Save bears Says:

    Richie,

    I think you are getting your bears mixed up, I am the one that was in the military…now I don’t know if TWB was as well, but I don’t remember him mentioning it

  128. Jeremy B. Says:

    Ralph:

    I’ll see if I can have them post a link to the article on the School’s website tomorrow. In the meantime, folks might want to check out Noah Greenwald’s (much shorter) article in Conservation Biology: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/cleaning_up_the_bush_legacy/pdfs/Greenwald_In_Press.pdf. It describes how the Solicitor’s memorandum has affected listings.

    – – – – – –
    TWB:

    Conservation groups are NOT trying to re-interpret the ESA; the Bush Administration lawyers did that. The administration was losing case after case and, rather than modify their practices to be consistent with the law, they reinterpreted the statute. Essentially, conservation groups are suing in an attempt to return things to the status quo (i.e. to the way FWS/NMFS historically interpreted this language).

  129. Mike Says:

    Talks With Bears – You seem to be under the belief that it’s your right to always have the levels of wild game that you currently have. I understand that wild game is healthier and greener(if you are not using lead bullets, that is).

    However, I think it’s clear that in a modern and crowded society, the amount of meat yo ucan harvest form the lands will decline. And if people are having trouble paying for food, that’s what food stamps are for. You should not expect to always harvest meat for your family at the same levels you do in peak years. There are other animals in the woods that need to eat too. They can’t go to the supermarket or get food stamps. They need that elk or that deer too.

    I see now where you are coming from with your hate of wolves. Just remember that your own actions put you in that situation, not the wolf.

  130. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Richie, Frozen is the movie about the three people trapped on a chair lift while a pack of hungry wolves lurks below them. Perfect fodder for anti-wolf people.

  131. Salle Says:

    ProWolf in WY,

    Thanks for clearing that up. I had no idea what they were talking about. I’m not much of a movie watcher, I’d rather be outside watching that.

    True, the movie-making machinery seems to find that falsities work in their favor in getting people to watch their products, the reality or facts don’t really matter much to them as long as they get the box office benefit. Unfortunately, there is a large portion of their audience who can’t distinguish the facts from the fiction and tend to believe what they see on TV and in movies.

  132. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Salle, that is the sad truth. How many movies are there that still depict the big, bad wolf (or his pack) or the evil grizzly or mountain lion. Large predators are always depicted negatively because that is what sells. I have had two scary run-ins with moose but I don’t think that would sell to well. People would just think it was Bullwinkle.

  133. JEFF E Says:

    And here I thought wolves were the only thing that did not eat everything they kill(sarcasm intended)
    http://www.idahostatesman.com/newsupdates/story/1079806.html

  134. JEFF E Says:

    State of Idaho Department of Fish and Game Boise, Idaho

    February 10, 2010

    MEMORANDUM

    TO: Regional Supervisors FROM: Cal Groen, Director SUBJECT: Response to wolf depredations on livestock C: Fish and Game Commissioners, Jim Unsworth, Virgil Moore, Mark Collinge, Nate Fisher, Bonnie Butler

    Despite our increased response to controlling wolves depredating on livestock in recent years, wolf depredation complaints continued to increase. In November 2008 the Idaho Fish and Game Commission directed IDFG “To develop and aggressively utilize all available tools and methods to control wolf caused depredation of domestic livestock.” Responding to that directive, our control efforts have progressed as follows: • Decentralized decision-making to Regional Supervisors when authorizing removal of depredating wolves. • Extended the effective period for take orders by USDA Wildlife Services (WS) and kill permits (livestock owners) from 45 to 60 days following the most recent depredation incident. • Authorized additional WS wolf removals and extended kill permits based on recurring incidents or chronic history of the wolf pack involved. • Allowed kill permit designees to include all members of a grazing association during their entire grazing season. • Increased authorization to remove most or all of the members of wolf packs involved in chronic depredations where there has been a history of depredations from previous years. • Developed area-specific harvest objectives for the 2009-2010 wolf hunting season to address livestock conflicts. • Authorized take orders during open hunting season when hunting proved ineffective to remedy chronic depredations. • Increased coordination between Montana and Idaho WS. IDFG authorized WS control actions in response to 160 confirmed and 43 probable wolf depredations on livestock during federal FY2009. These control actions resulted in removal of 107 wolves including complete, or nearly complete removal of 6 entire packs (Middle Creek, Snake River, Applejack, Falls Creek, Sage Creek, Blue Bunch) as authorized by IDFG. Fish and Game authorized the removal of the Blue Bunch pack but complete removal was not achieved during the federal FY2009 period. Since the end of the federal FY in September 2009, IDFG has authorized the complete removal of all, or nearly all, members of 3 additional packs (Basin Butte, Steel Mountain, Sweet-Ola) in response to repeated depredations caused by these packs. Although the Department has documented nearly 300 wolf mortalities in 2009, livestock losses continue at an unacceptable level. As a result, we need to renew our commitment to meeting the Commission’s directive to reduce livestock depredations.

    With due consideration to maintaining linkage corridors, we will recommend to the Commission increasing harvest limits in 2010 and expanding season dates in wolf zones with chronic depredations. Further, in high conflict areas where a history of depredations exists, we will respond to a confirmed depredation incident more aggressively by authorizing WS to remove all involved depredating wolves. Additionally, I am committing staff to work cooperatively with WS to evaluate the effectiveness of alternative methods, such as sterilization or other nonlethal measures, to alleviate wolf damage. We would like to keep all options available to manage wolf depredations in the future.

  135. Salle Says:

    Ha! I wonder how many of these subsistence hunters will actually admit to this? (Especially the ones who want the world to be rid of predators.)

    I like the advice at the end… though I am disturbed about how many people need to be told that.

  136. Save bears Says:

    What Salle? That meat does sometimes go bad in a freezer? At least the guy asked, so he could find the most feasible way to dispose of it…

    It amazes me, how some try to make so much about so little, it seems as if both sides, cruise the net, just looking for something to pounce on!

    Unfortunately, one year I lost almost a whole freeze full of elk, the damn thing quit working while I was out of town.. Of course, over the years, I have lost Milk, bread, eggs, lunch meat and a host of other products that have spoiled..

  137. Save bears Says:

    Jeff E.

    Out of the whole article you just posted the link to, this is the statement that concerns me the most:

    “I think there’s a pretty good chance we’re going to see a ruling in the next few months that may find further flaws with the delisting, and we may be turning it back over to the federal government,” he said. “My fear is if the plaintiffs succeed in getting the wolves back on the Endangered Species list, we’re going to see a relatively high level of intolerance from Idaho sportsmen who will then begin to ignore the law and have a ‘hunting season’ anyway, just an illegal one rather than a legal one.”

    Which has been a major concern of mine since the whole listing, de-listing re-listing chapter has begun..I hope he as well as I am wrong…

  138. Salle Says:

    Jeff E,

    Than you for posting those last three news items. With the two concerning the IDF&G, I am appalled at the brazen “Dick Cheney” treatment of the commissioners. Kind of blows big craters in any propaganda spewn by that schill, Gamblin.

    I hope that the judge is looking into how irresponsible these “officials” are with regard to wildlife. I am really pissed at them, have been for years but, suddenly, I’m back into war-mode. (Randy Budge is a member of an organization that forbids its member from questioning anything their upper echelon claim.) It is with knowledge of this power that he makes such statements in public and feeds them misinformation like that.

    Just like state school districts and cities that can’t function responsibly, the State of Idaho should be put in to a “receivership” federally controlled, and operated for the next few years to get these vermin out of office/power from the governor on down the line and perhaps even the congressional members who seem to think they are Imperial lords. And folks talk about the supposed “war lords” of other countries…

  139. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Thanks for this memo Jeff E. It says everything why Idaho should not be managing wolves, and everything about the powerful livestock interests who hold us as their subjects.

    I’ll put this up as a post.

    Where did you find it?

  140. Virginia Says:

    I guess I need to qualify all of my statements made above. First of all, I am quite aware that California is geographically west. I have been there several times and when I go there, I do not consider myself going to “the west.” My friends and family who live there do not consider that they live in “the west.” When people speak of going west to watch wildlife, etc., I don’t believe they are speaking about California, even though it is “west.” This is all my opinion, you see. I was merely using various states to make a point that all people of all states have rights to their opinions about the wolf issue, no matter where they live. Also, philosophically speaking, I guess we all assume that wildlife/environments belong to all of us. Next time I will be sure to quote the statutes of each state as to whether or not the wildlife belongs to the citizens in that particular state. The elk on the hill belongs to me, in my opinion, as much as it does to the person who wants to kill it. After they kill it, then I guess it belongs to them. Today, I followed “my wolves” up the ski trail and watched “my Big Horn Sheep” as they grazed along the road. By the way, when I was in California, I couldn’t tell where one city ended and another began. It is not like that here in “the west” where I live.

  141. Salle Says:

    Virginia,

    Well put. I can help justify the California mind-set; last time I was there, several years ago (I’ve vowed to never return for any reason other than my mother’s funeral) and I saw many bumper stickers that read: “There is no life east of I-5”. So they seem to believe that there is the coastal area and that’s all so maybe they don’t even think they are “the west” like we do in the interior or intermountain west.

  142. Jeremy B. Says:

    “Next time I will be sure to quote the statutes of each state as to whether or not the wildlife belongs to the citizens in that particular state”

    Virginia: My post wasn’t meant as a criticism, but a point of clarification.

  143. jburnham Says:

    Clash, Encounters of Bears and Wolves

    No news or politics, just some fantastic video.

  144. JEFF E Says:

    Ralph,
    sent an e-mail

  145. Salle Says:

    jburnham,

    Thanks for putting that up. I tried to watch it a few weeks ago at a friend’s house but the broadcasting outlet was having really bad problems and I couldn’t watch it as it was intended to be seen. I’m glad I can watch the whole program online now. It’s a great work of cinematography by Bob Landis, again.

  146. JEFF E Says:

    Salle,
    You’re welcome. the sad part is that I think the situation in my first post is the rule rather than the exception. While I applaud any who use all of what is taken, whether fish or game, my personal observation over the last 4 decades or so is that what is wasted/not consumed is far more than what is “wasted”(none) by wolves.
    By the way I am considering going that direction in a month or so, any chance of having lunch?

  147. Talks with Bears Says:

    Salle – let me be clear, in the video at 8:40 Douglas Honnold managing attorney for earthjustice states that 2,000 to 3,000 wolves are needed in the MT, ID and WY for the wolves to be recovered. The agreement reintroducing wolves states the species would be deemed recovered when the number reached roughly 450. Salle, earthjustice has filed a lawsuit to reflect changing the 450 number to a number between 2,000 and 3,000 correct? Is this not a clear attempt by earthjustice to REWRITE the original agreement?????? Please respond quick, I have signed up for two online english classes – I can get my money back it I cancel before Tuesday.

  148. Talks with Bears Says:

    Mike – so now you call me a hater, in this case a wolf hater. First, hate is in the heart and you my brother know nothing about what is in my heart. Second, as I have said until I am exhausted, wolves have a place in the western landscape and in appropriate numbers just like any other animal will be welcomed by me. And lastly Mike, I do disagree with you on many subjects and I reckon that we probably could not even enjoy an elk burger together without giving each other heartburn but, I do not hate you.

  149. JEFF E Says:

    TWB,
    The number you cite (which is quoted variously between 300 ((IDFG)) and upwards), which is proceeded by the word MINIMUM, is only one of the various TRIGGERS in which delisting will be CONSIDERED.
    Take your courses.

  150. Talks with Bears Says:

    Jeff E – OK, guess I should call Doug and he and I can take the courses together being he is the one that made the point. In addition, I have been counseled by the legal staff here on the many different triggers and I am aware – guess Doug and those that put together the video missed that class. Have a great day.

  151. Mike Says:

    Talks With Bears –

    I think humans are going to have to learn to share with the wild animals. Part of the reason you live there andpart of the reason I visit is because of the wildlife. Tags will have to be adjusted sooner or alter, and sustenance hunters are going to have to accept that. It’s part of living in places that are more wild, right? I like to fish. When streams get closed because of problems I don’t complain. Protecting the resource is the most important aspect of this. You and I can eat carrots. I don’t think wolves or mountion lions have that option.

  152. Robert Hoskins Says:

    TWB

    I highly recommend you read Appendix 9 of the Final Gray Wolf EIS (1994), which discusses the issue of numbers and minimum viable populations in the context of what the criteria for delisting would be. The 300 number was merely a trigger for delisting–not a ceiling, as claimed by the anti-wolfers. You’ll note in that appendix, which appears to have been written by Ed Bangs, that the 300 number was placed in the context of a functioning metapopulation–that is, in the context of different populations of wolves communicating with each other genetically. You’ll also see a discussion of uncertainty whether 300 was adequate, so the appendix recommended another 5 packs per state as a buffer.

    The critical aspect of delisting is a functioning metapopulation; or wolves moving around on the landscape. The problem is that neither Wyoming nor Idaho have any interest in wolves moving around, and have structured their plans to prevent wolves from moving around (onesies and twosies don’t count). Until the state plans actually allow wolves into all suitable habitat–and suitable habitat is much more extensive in the West than the anti-wolfers want to admit–then wolves shouldn’t be delisted.

    I personally think the focus on wolf numbers obscures the need to restore wolves to their historical range. If wolves are widespread, eventually the numbers will take care of themselves.

    A number of us have explained the problem with the 300 number time after time and to tell you the truth I get a little irritated having to do it time and time again. Once should be enough.

    RH

  153. Salle Says:

    “By the way I am considering going that direction in a month or so, any chance of having lunch?”

    Well, maybe. I’m not sure which direction to which you’re referring. Maybe we can have Ralph give us each other’s email addresses so we can communicate off the blog.

  154. Cobra Says:

    Mike,
    Food stamps? Get real, I would eat wolf or coyote stew before I would apply for food stamps. I’ve actually found recipes fo both. Why do you all think we automatically want to get rid of all predators? That’s simply not the case. I could of shot a bear almost everytime I went out archery hunting this year. My place was crazy with them. I did not shoot one and my son wanted to but I told him no bears. We’ve finally had a big cat on our place just last week, first time in 3 years since seeing wolf sign up there. Hopefully he’s big enough to get rid of some of the wolves. I kind of miss having the cats around. It’s not that we want to get rid of all the predators, but when you add another predator on top of an already good population of predators somethings got to give and it seems like no matter what it’s the hunters that should give everything up according to you and some of the others which is b.s.. Hunters have funded the lions share of the wolf recovery and management, I think it’s high time for some others to help foot the bill if they want any say in the matter. The wolf hunting season this year has helped quite a bit. The wolves for the most part are staying away from town to some degree and more likely to run away when they see humans. They seem to be a lot more shy towards humans this year than in the past without a season. Wolves are acting like wild animals, just as they should.
    Old meat in the freezer? First, if you double wrap and keep your freezer at the coldest setting wild game will last a long time. If there’s any doubt we make jerky. It’s great snack and everytime I make some it goes quickly. My wife, kids and myself all take it daily for snacks at school or work.

  155. Salle Says:

    And, if you heard what Dr. Doug Smith of YNP said, he indicated that a viable population would be more like a few thousand individual wolves.

  156. Talks with Bears Says:

    RH – I have received counsel from you on a few occasions -thanks for that, for the most part. Seems that the Doug Honnold and the folks that put together the video should take a class from you regarding just throwing the minimum number out there. With that being said, requiring that the minimum number be changed from 300-450 to 2,000-3,000 be deemed re writing?

  157. Salle Says:

    Hunters have funded the lions share of the wolf recovery and management, I think it’s high time for some others to help foot the bill if they want any say in the matter.

    Really. How so? Please explain this claim’s validity.

  158. Talks with Bears Says:

    Salle – and if you heard, at the beginnin of the video the wolf re introduction and recovery has been a huge success – just what I and others have been saying for a long time.

  159. Talks with Bears Says:

    Cobra – who started some issue about old meat in the freezer? We had our last pack of ground deer meat from 2008 last week for tacos – it was great. Double wrap and what is the problem??

  160. Talks with Bears Says:

    Mike – just for the record, how much sharing are YOU doing with the wolves?

  161. Mike Says:

    ++Mike,
    Food stamps? Get real, I would eat wolf or coyote stew before I would apply for food stamps. I’ve actually found recipes fo both. Why do you all think we automatically want to get rid of all predators? That’s simply not the case.++

    Your comments right there explain quite a bit. You would rather eat as many coyotes as you could before getting a balanced meal via food stamps.

    I’m sorry Cobra, but you are not guaranteed a right to eat whatever wildlife you want. In an increasingly crowded and developed world, you have to understand that.

    If I couldn’t afford to feed myself, I would be on food stamps rather than trying to kill off wolves that take “my” game. Either that or I would combine a balanced wild game harvest with the food stamps. This isn’t the Alaskan outback, or the 1800’s anymore.

    ++ I could of shot a bear almost everytime I went out archery hunting this year. My place was crazy with them. I did not shoot one and my son wanted to but I told him no bears. We’ve finally had a big cat on our place just last week, first time in 3 years since seeing wolf sign up there. Hopefully he’s big enough to get rid of some of the wolves. I kind of miss having the cats around. It’s not that we want to get rid of all the predators, but when you add another predator on top of an already good population of predators somethings got to give and it seems like no matter what it’s the hunters that should give everything up according to you and some of the others which is b.s.. ++

    It’s called being a sportsman. When the stream no longer produces fish, it’s time to find another stream or something else to do until the population recovers.

    Wildlife is not there just to serve you. It has other functions. I don’t think you see it that way.

  162. Salle Says:

    TWB

    Seems like you have a problem; your superiority complex. “know-it-allism” isn’t a positive trait to have in a discussion. Your authoritarianspeak doesn’t impress nor does it intimidate me as you seem to intend. I can see that, in your case, a condescending attitude is your best shot in an argument, might help if you actually did a little more reading… don’t miss your English lesson,. it just might do you some good. It’s ever too late to educate… yourself.

  163. Talks with Bears Says:

    Salle – superiority complex – that would be you my brother/sister telling me I needed to go to school in english because of my misunderstanding and as it turns out YOU are the one being “schooled” – never did answer the question about that REWRITE now did ya. Hey look, no hard feelings I am appreciative of you providing the video. And look, you even have a lunch date out of this whole thing so you go person – just not sure on your gender so trying to be PC.

  164. mikarooni Says:

    This string is getting so slimy, “my brothers and sisters,” that it’s making me feel like I need a bath, but doubt that the stench will completely wash off.

  165. JEFF E Says:

    twb,
    in re-reading your post it seems that you are confusing the Endangered Species Act with the reintroduction of one endangered species, wolves.
    It is true that the Act it self has been under attack from such notables as Bush, Kempthorne, and Craig, and apparently not much more support from the current cast of politicians, but if there is ever to be any constructive conversation it would seem that we should at least be talking about the same subject. No?

  166. Talks with Bears Says:

    Jeff E – yes, the wolf recovery is as I understand it being rewritten by the federal govt on the basis of some states (MT&ID) being allowed to delist without WY and rewritten by the “wolf lawyers” on the minimum numbers. In the video it states or tries to make the point that decisions in this case may have an impact on all ESA decisions.

  167. Barb Rupers Says:

    The present format seems to end up being heavy on comment and low on content. But there is a lot of dialog.

    Robert Hoskins, thanks, for all you say so well.

  168. JEFF E Says:

    Ahhh twb there is the crux of the matter;”rewritten by the federal govt” (Dept of Interior to be exact), without any congressional oversight, only a flawed Dept. of Interior bums rush,(Dick Kempthorne), and interestingly enough is at the heart of the lawsuit filed by the state of Wyoming which is challenging the latest Dept. of Interior sidestep.

  169. jon Says:

    “Beyond the general hostility towards predators that many hunters hold, state wildlife agencies are not the objective, scientific, wildlife managers that they claim to be. Wolves, mountain lions, bears, and other predators are a direct threat to state wildlife budgets because top predators eat the very animals that hunters want to kill. Because state wildlife agencies rely upon license sales to fund their operations, maintaining huntable numbers of elk, deer, moose, and caribou is in the agencies’ self interest.” by George Wurthner

  170. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Says:

    Robert Hoskins –
    “The critical aspect of delisting is a functioning metapopulation; or wolves moving around on the landscape. The problem is that neither Wyoming nor Idaho have any interest in wolves moving around, and have structured their plans to prevent wolves from moving around (onesies and twosies don’t count).”

    Could you be more specific? By onesies and twosies are you referring to genetic exchange within the metapopulation or something else – expanding the metapopulation?

  171. Cobra Says:

    Salle,
    For more than 80 years the money from the 1937 Pittman-Robertson Act taxes on forearms and ammunition has paid for the restoration of the big game herds of the U.S. after their near-extinction in the late 19th century. Without those herds to serve as prey, there could have never been a wolf reintroduction. It is huntig license money that now pays for the state wildlife biologists to study wolves, and for the habitat and winter range purchases that support them and their prey. Hal Herring wrote this in the Sept.- Oct. 2009 issue of Bugle magazine.
    TWB, Read the entire post, S.B. and salle mentioned wasting old meat in the freezer by taking it to land fills etc.
    Mike, Rather than waiting for your fishing hole to fix itself, why not do something to help it out.
    Obviously we’ll never see these issues the same way. I’ve grown up in the country and woods my entire life and your used to the sidewalk jungle of the city. I could never live there and won’t. I can’t stand being in the city for more than a day. We have different backgrounds and different lives and our views are bound to be different. I still don’t like the idea of having to go on food stamps, but would do whatever is necessary to survive. We also can and freeze veg. from the garden so even without stamps we would have a balanced meal. We take 1 elk and 1 deer a year for our family, that shouldn’t hurt the predators to much.

  172. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Jon,

    Yes I know George Wuerthner. He’s a fine person and has knowledge about most things outdoors, from hunting and fishing to the details of the laws and all the efforts by the government to sidestep them.

    He is a great outdoors photographer and must have written and photographed 20 or more books.

    Over the years he convinced me that subsidizing livestock operations in no way slowed home site development in scenic places or prime wildlife habitat.

    He is a real expert on livestock grazing the role of fire and tree killing insects in the forest.

    His book on Welfare Ranching was delivered to every member of Congress.

  173. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Cobra,

    I agree with you that hunters should not have been paying for wolf management.

    First of all, wolves are overmanaged. This means hunters’ money is being wasted.

    Second, the overmanagement is on behalf of the livestock industry.

    Third, wolves disappeared not because of hunters but because of the livestock industry and the forerunner agencies of Wildlife Services that spread poison all over the land.

    To me that means less money should be spent, and the money should come by direct appropriation from Congress and the state legislatures. It should also be paid by the livestock industry.

    Hunters have reason to be angry about wolf management, but I think too many are focused on the wrong thing. They are being taken advantage of. This happens all too often.

  174. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Idaho wolf hunt doesn’t find many large wolves.

    We’ve all heard about the “200 pound Canadian wolf” monsters that were introduced to Idaho, but hunters sure haven’t found them in Idaho.

    The largest wolf shot in the Idaho hunt so far was only 109 pounds!

  175. Richie, Giallanzo,NJ Says:

    To sb yes your correct their are two bers on this blog and to pro wolf I never seen that picture how old is it ?

  176. jon Says:

    I was reading on a website that a rancher from Wyoming claiming he has a picture of a 217 pound wolf Ralph. Where did you get that 109 number though? Is there an article on the weights of the wolves taken by hunters? I knew for a while those claims of the 200 pound monster wolves were nothing more than rubbish. Thanks for clarifying that once again Ralph!

  177. izabelam Says:

    I have been sitting quiet lately. Too much bad going on …I just want to add couple of things.
    We need to manage humans not wildlife.
    Ralph’s comment about hunters being taken advantage of…true..when 2 sites fight..the third wins.
    And here the third party are cry babies ranchers and their cows and sheep.
    It is all about money..and propaganda..the scare tactics.
    Being raised in eastern Europe, I do remember the propaganda scare tactics of showing everthing in the black colors to cover the reality.

  178. Wilderness Muse Says:

    Ralph,

    Wasn’t George Wuerthner at one time an Earth First leader/anarchist in the late 1990’s? His 2002 book, “Welfare Ranching,” in reviews on Amazon.com seem to suggest you are either with his views or against them. There is no middle ground, as the book is an advocacy platform, and maybe that is a good purpose.

    There is also a role for scholarly presentation which gives a more balanced expose’ which is extremely critical of federal grazing, but gives credence to both sides of the story. One such example, although a little dated is “Crossing the Next Meridian” by Charles Wilkinson (public lands/water/Indian law professor at the University of Colorado).

    He refers to the now archaic laws that settled the West as the “Lords of Yesterday.” He is most critical of the grazing laws, hard rock mining and water laws, warts and all. His approach is tempered by advocating for realistic solutions that have chances for implementation.

    Wuerthner, on the other hand, comes across like a sarcastic complainer, with not the least hint of solutions for the real world. Has he tempered his views any in the last twenty years, since his Earth First days?

  179. Richie, Giallanzo,NJ Says:

    To JBurnham;
    Thanks great flick makes me whole again,can’t tell you how it brings so much joy to my heart thanks again.

  180. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Jeff E, that article you cited about getting rid of game meat sure gives some hunters a bad name. Those are the ones who really don’t have any right to complain about wolves eating all their food then.

    Idaho wolf hunt doesn’t find many large wolves.

    We’ve all heard about the “200 pound Canadian wolf” monsters that were introduced to Idaho, but hunters sure haven’t found them in Idaho.

    The largest wolf shot in the Idaho hunt so far was only 109 pounds!

    The 200 pound wolves have eluded everyone! I guess they are under chair lifts now.

  181. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Jon asked where I got the information about the size of the largest Idaho wolf killed in the hunt.

    It came from a conservationist who attended the last Idaho Fish and Game Commission meeting — from his notes.

  182. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Ralph, this information needs to go to saveelk.com and lobowatch.com. It would be neat to see them conveniently ignore it.

  183. Ralph Maughan Says:

    ProWolf,

    Let them know. It’s a funny thing that people say I don’t let some folks comment here, but I’m not allowed to on most of these anti web sites.

  184. jon Says:

    Pro wolf, you are right. Somehow hunters are seeing these 200 pound monsters, but no one else apparently is. Anyone that is anti-wolf can look at a wolf and come to whatever conclusion he or she wants as to how much that wolf weighs. Anything to try and paint a bad picture of a wolf.

  185. ProWolf in WY Says:

    This site is on the same level as saveelk. Ralph, when yous aid let them know, do you want me to let them know about your site?

  186. Ralph Maughan Says:

    ProWolf in WY,

    All these anti sites are aware of this blog.

  187. Chris Harbin Says:

    Wilderness Muse (and anyone else interested),
    “The Western Range Revisited” by Debra Donahue is another good tome on public lands ranching. I’m not sure if she is still on the faculty at the University of Wyoming.
    I tend to agree with George Wuerthner. It’s hard to defend subsidizing public lands ranching when it provides so little return as a percentage of the american diet coupled with the enormous environmental damage that goes with it.

  188. Wilderness Muse Says:

    Chris,

    Thanks, I had been intending to get Donahue’s book for sometime, but just forgot. I believe she was a student of Professor Wilkinson at U of Colorado, and is still at WY. What a deal, used, on Amazon for less than $8 shipped.

  189. Mike Says:

    I have a question for some of you. How do you feel about bear spray for conditioning( or to prevent) coyotes from getting too close to pets or people?

  190. Talks with Bears Says:

    Mike – could work. What is used now? Something more long range I would guess?

  191. Ralph Maughan Says:

    If you read Donahue’s book, you will know more about public lands grazing than from any other source.

    I learned as much from reading her book as I had picked up on my own active efforts in the previous 5 or 10 years.

    The Western Range Revisited. By Debra L. Donahue. University of Oklahoma Press. 1999.

  192. RBD Says:

    I didn’t read through all 196 comments, so my apologies if this has been posted already:

    What Do Wolves Mean for Colorado

    There have been dead wolves found in Colorado previously, I believe twice. The establishment of a pack would be welcome, by me at least.

  193. Jeff Says:

    Mike-my neighbor has an out of control dog. I carry bear spray at times walking my dogs around our neighborhood. I have also come across a few bold coyotes at a few local trailheads that I wouldn’t hesitate to spray if they were close enough and in need of a lesson.

  194. Save bears Says:

    I have no problem with using bear spray being used on virtually any animal for conditioning…

    Why do you ask Mike?

  195. JEFF E Says:

    Jon says,”…….a picture of a 217 pound wolf…….”
    Jon the source of this Grimm’s fairy tale springs(in my considered opinion) from the fact that the biggest wolf taken in the Montana hunt was 117 pounds. do a bit of rancher math and, voila’, a 217 pound monster.

  196. JEFF E Says:

    This years political grandstanding
    http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/boise/2010/feb/15/resolution-seeks-emergency-reduction-wolves-state/
    Now they will go home and find their freezer mysteriously full of beef

  197. Salle Says:

    Like I said somewhere earlier, the State of Idaho is out of control and needs to be put into some kind of oversight, ~ like a receivership status ~ until all incumbents are removed from office with no option of returning to elected or other governing positions. Perhaps even removed from the state physically and restricted from doing any kind of business with or within the state due to their continued harm to the public good and public trust. I’m serious, these vermin are dangerous in more ways than I can count.

  198. Robert Hoskins Says:

    I did a very long review of The Western Range Revisited in 2000 right after the book was published. In it, Deb Donahue argues that there is conservation content to the Taylor Grazing Act and that we should investigate using the TGA to go after livestock grazing on BLM lands. When I get around to it, I’ll retype the review onto the hard drive and send it out if anyone’s interested.

    RH

  199. Cobra Says:

    Thanks for the acknowledgement Ralph.
    In town bear spray for coyotes sounds good to me.
    I think the reason some people think there are 200# wolves roaming around the Mountains of Idaho is because of the size of the wolf tracks themselves and because their coats are so thick, especially in the winter. I’ve got a 120# 1 year old bull mastiff puppy and if you put a big coat on him he would look like he weighed 250 lbs. He’s also got huge feet but still not as big as a mature wolf track. So, people know the size of their dogs and their feet and then they see a wolf and try to compare the size and I believe, anyway, that’s how we come up with 200 # wolves.
    Kind of like the bull elk whose rack goes past his rump,possible maybe, but highly unlikely.

  200. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Cobra,

    I think you are spot on. Also, an 85-pound gray wolf from a distance often looks like a deer too because of the long legs. Folks who like to photograph a wolf trophy, specimen, “livestock killer,” or whatever have learned to hold the wolf up by the legs.

    The stretch makes it look enormous.

  201. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Cobra, the 200 pound wolf is like a fish story. A twelve inch fish turns into a 24 inch fish pretty fast.

  202. Mike Says:

    Thanks for the feedback on the coyote/bear spray. I’ve been asked to speak a t a contentious town meeting on the issue. I believe bear spray is the solution(mostly to calm peopel’s paranoid fears).

  203. Virginia Says:

    Someone asked about George Weurthner. He has updated his book about “Cows, Condos and All the Rest” on a website I read regularly: counterpunch.org/weurthner02162010.html. He once again nails the livestock/land situation.

  204. Jeremy B. Says:

    Someone broke into the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake, MN and “feed” three Mexican gray wolves: http://wcco.com/pets/wolf.loose.wildlife.2.1498342.html

  205. Jeremy B. Says:

    Sorry, I’m full of typos today: I meant to say they “freed” three Mexican gray wolves. Sheesh!

  206. Patrick Says:

    I know it’s outside the region, but this is a very nice video clip of how well forested streamside buffers can improve water quality of streams in agricultural areas. I think this might be of interest to those in Western watersheds as well.

  207. Virginia Says:

    Please go to Daileykos website and read RLMiller’s “Hike on, Why Wolves in Yellowstone Matter.” He does a great job of summarizing what is going on in WY, MT, ID, WA, CO with the wolf situation.

  208. Virginia Says:

    Dailykos – sorry.

  209. Chris Harbin Says:

    Jeremy B. Thanks for the article. I can see where someone might do that of good intention but really an action like that iis pretty stupid – not good for the wolves at all.’
    KM – That is a beautiful jaguar.

  210. Maska Says:

    Chris, I’m in total agreement with your comment. Whether the people turning these wolves loose were common vandals or misguided animal “rights” advocates, the resulting danger to these rare, genetically valuable animals is the same. It would be gratifying if law enforcement caught up with them.

    I don’t know if these are the same three female littermates this facility held in mid-2008, but if so, they were born at the Wild Canid Center in Missouri, the daughters of M520 (Picaron) and F547 (Tanamara). It’s good they retrieved two of them. Let’s hope they find the third alive.

  211. Nathan Hobbs Says:

    “Scientists say Teton Range bighorn near extinction”
    local news 8
    http://www.localnews8.com/Global/story.asp?S=11997861

    Yet more bad news for the Bighorn. Using the term extinction is a bit misleading in this context of a local range of animals in trouble…But still bad news.

  212. Nathan Hobbs Says:

    Article regarding a recent deal between IDFG and private property owners to protect the sage grouse. Several groups feel it is not enough

    Quoting Todd Tucci, attorney for Advocates for the West,
    “The problem with these agreements is they are seen through a lens of what is the minimum amount that needs to be done to say we’re protecting the species,” said Tucci.

    Meanwhile Sage Grouse Endangered species act decision is due on Feb. 26th.
    Link to the article:
    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/6420ap_id_sage_grouse_
    private_conservation.html?source=mypi

  213. jdubya Says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/02/17/us/politics/AP-US-Tongass-Logging.html?_r=1

    step in the right direction.

    now they need to kick out the pebble mine….

  214. Barb Rupers Says:

    Not good news.

    HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 43

    http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/legislation/2010/HCR043.pdf

  215. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Barb Rupers,

    Thanks I posted a story on the resolution.

    Now go hide before you are eaten by the 500 pound wolf.🙂

  216. Barb Rupers Says:

    I keep wanting one of those larger wolves to move west of the Cascades.
    Did I read it right that the largest wolf taken during the hunting season in Idaho was 109 pounds and 115 pounds in Montana? Where are those monster north of the border wolves? Myths.

  217. Salle Says:

    article quotes Ralph…

    has this been posted already?

    Possibilities: Expanded harvest season, limits
    F&G to get tough on wolves

    http://www.magicvalley.com/news/local/article_790f64eb-54b9-5dfd-bfe4-b8e454a26f83.html

    Salle. Yes. I made it a regular post. Ralph Maughan

  218. jon Says:

    February 17, 2010 in Outdoors, Idaho
    Actual wolf weights often skimpier than hunters estimate

    Becky Kramer The Spokesman-Review

    Idaho’s wolf hunt leaves many tags, hopes unfulfilledFebruary 17, 2010
    Rumors of 150-pound wolves abound in the Idaho Panhandle, but most of the wolves taken by hunters are much smaller.

    Adult females averaged 86 pounds, according to Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials, who also included the weights of wolves struck by vehicles in the survey. For adult males, 101 pounds was the average.

    The exception was a 130-pound adult male killed in Boundary County that was weighed after its stomach had been removed.

    It’s not surprising that wolf weights get exaggerated, said Jim Hayden, Fish and Game’s regional wildlife manager in Coeur d’Alene.

    “They look huge,” he said. “They’ve got long legs, big heads and lots of fur.”

    Wolves have 2- to 4-inch-long guard hairs around their necks, reinforcing the impression of a bulky body, said Jason Husseman, a Fish and Game wolf biologist in Salmon, Idaho. People see wolves, compare them to their dogs, and estimate that the wolves weigh 150 pounds.

    “It’s a human tendency to overestimate. You see the same thing with bear sightings,” Husseman said.

    In actuality, wolves have the lean, rangy build of distance runners – an adaption that helps them chase down prey, he said.

    Some opponents of wolf reintroduction claim that the Canadian gray wolves released in Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in the mid-1990s are a larger, more aggressive subspecies than native wolves, which were extinct by the 1930s. Biologists say there’s little or no evidence to back up that assertion.

    “I’m curious that they throw out those numbers – that the Canadian wolves are 50 to 100 pounds bigger than the native Idaho wolves,” Husseman said. “I don’t know where those numbers come from.”

    Hayden said the most authoritative research on wolf subspecies comes from a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service zoologist, Ronald Nowak, who studied 580 historic skulls of full-grown male wolves. Nowak concluded that North America had five subspecies of gray wolves. Two subspecies had historic ranges in Idaho – the Rocky Mountain wolf and the Great Plains wolf.

    The Rocky Mountain subspecies outweighed the Great Plains wolf by about 20 pounds, Hayden said. But their ranges overlapped in the Idaho Panhandle, according to Nowak’s research.

    “Realistically, there’s no difference between the subspecies. They interbreed,” Hayden said.

    In addition, “we’ve got wolves that are walking here from Canada,” he said. “They’re the same species that would have been here in the past.”

  219. Nathan Hobbs Says:

    Proposal to expand federal protections for the Bull trout in Montana:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-23615-Billings-Outdoor-Recreation-Examiner~y2010m2d17-Federal-Fish-and-Wildife-propose-expanding-bull-trout-protection-in-Montana-Northwest

    And a leaked document from the BLM This was on the presidents desk about proposed areas to receive national monument status. The list has been described as a brainstorming exercise but it would be nice to see them become a reality.

    http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/021810_monumentlist.pdf

    And the article that refers to the pdf file..yeah consider the source on this one, not my favorite outlet for information.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/18/obama-eyeing-millions-wild-acres-national-monuments/

  220. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Thanks Nathan,

    Well I hope Fox News is right. The President badly needs to do something to hold his base if he wants avoid a slaughter this fall. The Republicans will just hate this, but they couldn’t hate him any more than they already do.

    Mid-term elections are battles of each party’s base. They are not Presidential elections. Independents are important, of course, but not like a Presidential election.

    If you can’t hold your base in a mid-term, you have no chance of doing well.

  221. Maska Says:

    RE: the story on the release of three Mexican wolves from the Wildlife Science Center in Minnesota—the third wolf was caught via darting this morning and taken home to her sisters. The part about animal rights terrorists appears to be speculation on the part of Ms. Callahan.

    Here’s the link to the Star-Tribune’s updated story and video:
    http://www.startribune.com/local/84694292.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUnciatkEP7DhUsl

  222. Wilderness Muse Says:

    Maska,

    ++ The part about animal rights terrorists appears to be speculation on the part of Ms. Callahan.++

    Care to speculate on who else would enter a federal facility (breaking a federal trespass law), break the lock on the cage (destruction of federal property) and release the animal to the outside (theft of federal property)?

  223. Wilderness Muse Says:

    Sorry. I read the article too quickly. The Wildlife Sciences Center is a private non-profit. The Mexican wolves, however, are apparently federal property. So, whoever did it apears to have broken both state and federal law.

  224. timz Says:

    It wouldn’t make any sense for an animal rights activist to free captive wolves that have never lived in the wild. It puts them at tremendous risk. If it were an animal rights activist they no little about the animals they’re trying to help.

  225. Maska Says:

    WM, you are correct. Like almost all the SSP (Species Survival Plan) Mexican wolf captive breeding facilities, the WSC is a private institution. Some others are municipal zoos, or the like. The only Federal facility is the pre-release facility at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, near Socorro, NM. Also, the Smithsonian National Zoo used to hold several lobos, but they were moved recently to avoid stress to the animals from construction going on near their enclosure.

    All the lobos in the U. S. are U. S. government property. The ones in Mexican SSP facilities are Mexican government property. For more info on all this rather arcane stuff, go to http://www.mexicanwolves.org and poke around. Among other things, there’s a list of the SSP facilities under Kid Zone, in the section entitled Wolf Spot.

  226. Maska Says:

    Oh, and with regard to speculating on who did this—I generally don’t like to speculate on this kind of thing. Hopefully, law enforcement will figure it out eventually.

  227. Taz Alago Says:

    Here’s something from the Swiss. This most rational of societies is voting on publicly-funded attorneys to represent the animals, wild and domestic. I like the idea since I think animals should be granted some “rights.” How it would work out in jurisprudence is a question.

    Story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100218/ap_on_re_eu/eu_switzerland_animal_lawyers

  228. JimT Says:

    Steven Wise has written several books on the subject of the legal status of animals as property, and how that needs to be the first principle changed if more humane treatment of animals is to be established in a meaningful, broad based manner. Steven is regarded as the most prominent lawyer in this area of law.

    One thought. Since 9-11, and the constant barrage of the word “terrorist” was used by both conservative militarists and the conservative media, it has been expanded by the pundits way beyond its legal and traditional meaning. That is, deliberate targeting of non combatants and civilians to cause harm and death in order to accomplish a military or some other goal. AR activists can be accurately considered as arsonists, thieves, B and Entering folks, and even stupid for letting animals go who have no clue how to survive in the wild…ie, the release of the minks/ermines in England a few years back, and now the wolves. But to casually label them terrorists is, in my opinion, inaccurate. Morever, it dilutes the true horrors of terrorism in places like Africa, the Mid East, and the 9-11 attacks.

  229. Taz Alago Says:

    Yeah, the label of “terrorist” doesn’t fit AR activists unless they were to intentionally harm innocents civilians. Here’s a recent story on a Washington state legislator who’s introducing a bill to label AR activists or simple protesters as terrorists: http://www.greenisthenewred.com/blog/washington-eco-terrorism-law-free-speech/2514/

  230. Chris Harbin Says:

    Ralph,
    Iwanted to send this direct to you because I thought that you may not want 2 post for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately I am having some e-mail problems so I will put it in here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/19/opinion/19shriver.html?ref=opinion
    I can’t help but think how ridiculous it is that some think the work of predators on prey is in any way more civilized than what we do.

  231. Talks with Bears Says:

    Ralph – do you have any informantion on the speculation regarding the proposed Federal Monuments? Might make a good post.

  232. Chris Harbin Says:

    Correction on my post above: I meant to say ” the work of predators on prey is any less civilized than what we do.”

  233. Salle Says:

    ” the work of predators on prey is any less civilized than what we do.”

    What we do is not civilized in any way, the way we justify this erroneous claim is that we keep it hidden from public view. Look at the inner workings of a slaughter house sometime… And even when hunting, we still carve up, grind and all those other actions precipitated upon the bodies of animals after killing them in a hunt. No different in my view.


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