Petition seeks to have wolves howl across US

Petition calls for reintroduction to all suitable habitat – a national recovery plan.

A petition filed by the Center for Biological Diversity asks that wolves be returned to suitable habitat in New England, California, the desert West and the Great Plains.

The Introduction of the petition reads:

Gray wolves are one of the most adaptable mammals on Earth. They previously inhabited most of North America – excluding only portions of the driest deserts and today’s southeastern United States, which is the historic range of a separate species, the red wolf (Canis rufus). Wolves are incredibly important to the ecosystems they inhabit; studies of wolves in Yellowstone National Park and elsewhere demonstrate that the wolf is a keystone species that profoundly shapes ecosystems. Wolves limit elk herbivory of saplings in sensitive riparian areas and thereby aid beavers, songbirds and fish whose habitat is enhanced through growth of riparian trees (Ripple and Beschta 2003). Wolves have also been found to aid fox (vulpes ssp.) and pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) populations by controlling coyotes (Canis latrans), which are intolerant of foxes and disproportionately prey on pronghorn fawns (Berger and Gese 2007; Smith et al. 2003, Berger et al 2008). These results indicate that broader recovery of wolves would benefit many species and overall ecosystem integrity.

The Service’s 36-year recovery efforts for gray wolves to date have brought them back from the brink of extinction in certain regions of the U.S., including the Southwest, northern Rocky Mountains and the upper Midwest or Great Lakes region. These efforts, however, have failed to fully recover wolves in most of their historic range. Wolves are still absent from roughly 95 percent or more of their historic range in the U.S., including extensive areas of currently suitable habitat (Mladenoff and Sickley 1998, Carroll et al. 2006). This reflects the fact that the Service has never prepared a national recovery plan for wolves, but has instead developed region-specific recovery plans that have limited recovery to the northern Rocky Mountains, Great Lakes, and Southwest (Service 1978, 1982, and 1987, 1992).

Achieving full recovery of wolves in the U.S. represents our society’s ability to learn from and correct past policy mistakes that have persecuted wolves and caused ecological devastation. In the past, county, state and federal agencies – including the Service and its predecessor agencies – targeted wolves for extermination (Robinson, 2005). By fully recovering wolves now, the Service would finally fulfill a fundamental purpose of one of our nation’s foremost conservation laws, the Endangered Species Act, and chart a new course toward balance with the natural world.

Thus, with substantial gains toward wolf recovery made in certain regions, the time has come to recover wolves throughout all significant portions of their historic range. To accomplish this, the Center hereby formally petitions the Service to develop a national gray wolf recovery plan, excluding the Southwest, that ensures that wolves are recovered to ecosystems within their former range that still contain suitable habitat or can be restored to sustain them, including existing wolf recovery areas as well as the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, southern Rocky Mountains, California, and Great Plains regions.1 Within these regions, the Plan should establish recovery goals that provide for connected and resilient wolf populations that have sufficient regulatory protections to achieve and maintain long-term recovery. Downlisting might be appropriate when wolf populations have met these criteria in fewer than all of these regions and have achieved interim benchmarks in the remaining regions. Delisting could occur when wolves have fulfilled recovery criteria in all regions.

Petition seeks to have wolves howl across US.
By MATTHEW BROWN – Associated Press Writer

Posted in Wolves. Tags: . 92 Comments »

92 Responses to “Petition seeks to have wolves howl across US”

  1. John Glowa Says:

    According to a 6/9/10 letter from Marvin Moriarty, USFWS Acting Regional Director in the northeast, “The Service…has initiated an analysis of the currently listed gray wolf entity. As part of this analysis, we are examining its taxonomic identity or identities, population structure(s) and range(s).” “This analysis of the currently listed gray wolf entity is necessary to determine the need and appropriate scale(s) for recovery planning which will, in turn, help us determine whether restoration of a wolf population in the northeastern United States would be necessary for recovery of the listed entity. Because we have not yet determined whether restoration of a wolf population in the Northeast is necessary for recovery of the listed entity, it is premature to consider what actions might be effective, practicable, necessary, and advisable to achieve that objective.” This USFWS report is supposedly being issued this summer. Our experience with USFWS DNA analyses of wolves killed in the northeast is that their reference DNA specimens are sorely lacking and, therefore, some of their analyses are suspect, at best. They simply don’t (or didn’t) have the reference wolf specimens necessary for properly identifying some of these animals. This is a real problem when you’re dealing with hybrid animals that are both gray and eastern wolf. I wish CBD luck with their petition but I suspect that the USFWS response will be the same one that we received-that it is premature.

  2. Patrick Says:

    You know, the critical questions are (1) have gray wolves historically inhabited the area in question; and (2) is there suitable habitat for the wolves to successfully repopulate. In my humble opinion, the questions about the DNA analysis of wolves in the northeast and elsewhere are an attempt to skirt these critical questions to reframe the question to the following: is the current population in states with wolves sufficient to be self-sustaining and therefore not endangered. The reframing of these questions overlooks the historical role that wolves played in the ecosystem. Thus, the issue of whether the wolves in the northeast are genetically distinct from those elsewhere is not as important as whether wolves played an important keystone role in the ecosystem in the northeast, which I think would be easier to demonstrate simply to determining whether they existed there in the past.

    • JB Says:

      Patrick:

      For the most part I agree with you; however, related to your second point: the phrase “suitable habitat” does not appear anywhere within the ESA, though it has recently been read into the law by the FWS. The body of research suggests that, in general, large carnivores need only human tolerance and adequate prey base to survive (for example, black bears and cougars have been expanding their range within the conterminous US). Some people would like to reframe the ESA to focus on ecosystems rather than species. While I see this as a laudable goal, I think it would be a nightmare from a legal perspective. In fact, it could create more ambiguity leading to even more law suits (and less protections for imperiled species).

  3. ProWolf in WY Says:

    I wish they would restore wolves to more of their former habitat. There are plenty of places that can support them. Defenders of Wildlife has come up with areas wolves can live in. I’m not sure how much I trust Defenders (I have had someone working for them tell me they were not anti-hunting, just against things like aerial gunning). Here is a link for it:
    http://www.defenders.org/resources/publications/programs_and_policy/wildlife_conservation/imperiled_species/wolf/places_for_wolves_2006.pdf

    I would like to see the same for grizzlies.

    • JimT Says:

      Defenders is not anti hunting per se, as its critics claim. It is pro species restoration and maintenance of habitat to get species populations healthy. Dealing with the whole hunting issue is premature in my mind so long as we don’t have healthy, diverse, sustainable populations and sufficient critical habitat.

  4. WM Says:

    So, the upshot of this national plan request (petition) is that all gray wolves remain as ESA listed until there are resilent recovered populations throughout the recommended regions (nevermind the huge genetic reserve in Canada). The folks in MN, WI, MI, MT, ID and WY are going to love that. UT does not want them at all (which means Orin Hatch doesn’t want them either). WA, in its draft plann, does not contemplate wolves on the Olympic Peninsula, and only wants about 150 total. OR is struggling with how to deal with its new eastern population; CO is not exactly putting out the welcome mat, and will seek to manage numbers quickly. And, the Mexican wolf is having its problems in AZ and NM. TX livestock interests will weigh in predictably. PA and NY (Adirondack state Park?) don’t have alot of places to put many, and the rest of New England that may have habitat will likely be a reluctant partner.

    Michael Robinson and CBD may have just amped up the politics of wolf reintroduction, that could produce less rather than more – as in changes to the ESA.

    • JimT Says:

      ESA revision won’t happen…a third rail of politics in DC at this point. If Pombo couldn’t get it done..and indeed, the campaign run by The Action Fund was largely based on his wanting to gut the ESA and got him defeated..I doubt there is much stomach for changing the ESA on either side of the aisle. You could see regulatory changes if we get a Republican President in 2012…Palin? God forbid….

      The ESA could use revision…ecosystem based decision making instead of species by species has been an idea tossed around for awhile, including by Michael Bean, regarded as the Godfather of the ESA. But I don’t see it anytime soon. It would mean that science would be the basis of legislation..and politics would take a back seat. Probably not in my lifetime.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Jim T

      If a ESA revision won’t happen, then do you think that the western senators and the NRA could put a rider in a bill such as guns in national parks that would give the states the right to manage wolves, etc. I think that this is going to be tried sooner than later. It was done with guns in the national parks and allowing western states the right to charge what they want for hunting and fishing licences (senate bill 331).

    • JB Says:

      “UT does not want them at all…”

      Utah’s politicians may not want wolves, but at least two surveys indicate that the state’s residents do want them. Moreover, existing survey research suggests residents from other states are also generally supportive of having wolves; however, they are pragmatic about wolf management (i.e. they tend to support hunting as well as the removal of wolves that cause damages to livestock). The politicians in the West are not sensitive to the nuances of the issue, so they pass silly legislation demanding wolves’ removal. This legislation, ironically, is the biggest hurdle for delisitng wolves because states have made it abundantly clear that they can and likely will pass legislation that could negatively implact wolf populations and wolf recovery. Thus, it has become clear that the agreements signed by the NRM states are not worth the paper they are printed on.

    • JB Says:

      Elk:

      I don’t think the scenario you describe is likely given the current makeup of Congress. Pombo had a much more favorable environment for such legislation and they still couldn’t get it done.

      An alternative (compromise?) to what you and Jon Way are proposing would be federal legislation that protect large carnivores by setting firm minimum populations (which would remove the problem of inadequate regulatory mechanisms) and restricting the types of actions states could use to control these animals (e.g. aerial gunning) while simultaneously calling for the removal of wolves from the ESA. Of course, you would have to find co-sponsors that would agree to such a compromise and then find ways of “sweetening” such legislation to make it worth others’ while to expend political capital with their constituents (so I wouldn’t hold my breath).

  5. Kit Stevens Says:

    At the rate the government & ranchers are killing off the wolves we have, I think we need to be careful reintroducing them elsewhere. Until we can & do protect the wolves better, it will just mean more of these beautiful animals will be wiped out.

  6. David Says:

    WM – Yellowstone is 2.2 million acres. Adirondack State park is about 6 million acres. Yellowstone has lots of wild lands around it, but in the northeast we have corridors through Vermont/New Hampshire to another 3-5 million acres in the Main woods… Where don’t they have room to put them?

    Bigger issue is they don’t count as a distinct population segment. Anybody understand how that works? Canis Lycaon gets its own name, but no respect as a DPS??

    • WM Says:

      David,

      I won’t argue with you about total acreage. However, only about 40% is owned by the state. The remainder is in private ownership and there is a fair amount of water – lakes, mostly. The permanant population is about 170,000 -200,000, with alot more summer homes, and some land is in timber production and industrial use. There are a bunch of small towns/hamlets that are likely to weigh in on how much they want wolves – maybe some do, but there is a pro-development element that will want to keep things “flexible.”

      Perhaps some preliminary wolf reintroduction planning has already been done. Dr. Ross Whaley and some of the other Park visionaries may have already thought about this.

    • pointswest Says:

      That would be a three ring circus: wolves in the Adirondacks. As it is now, people think Idahoans, Montanans, or Wyomingites are redneck. Wait until wolves are introduced into the Adirondacks.

      There are two very big differences between the forests of the Northeast and those of the West. The first big difference is that very little of the Northeast’s forest is public land as where nearly all of it is in the West. Even Adirondack Park is less than half public land.

      The second big difference is that there are many people who live in the forested areas of the Northeast as where very few do in the West. In fact, there are millions people that live in the forests of the Northeast. Many of the Northeast’s cities are in or are surrounded by forest. If you want to test the wolves-won’t-hurt-humans theory, let’s reintroduce them in Adirondack Park.

      I can imagine it now. If left unfettered, they would multiply like rats living on cats, dogs, goats, chickens, domesticated ducks, domesticated geese, domesticated turkeys, and deer both inside and outside of the Park. They would quickly move east into populated states like Connecticut and Massachusetts and soon be in the suburbs of Hartford, CT (pop 1,188,841), and Springfield, MA (pop 682,657), and even into the Boston metro area (pop 7.5 million). In fact, they would soon be on the northwester edge of what is called the Northeaster Megopolis with a population of 22.2 million people.

      Dimmit that sounds exciting. You could pass laws that if an evil human so much as looks at a wolf wrong, he could be jailed, without trial, for up to nine years. With so many people and domesticated animals around, the populations might soar into the hundreds of thousands. It would be wolf heaven! When can we get it started? I think we can assume no women or kids will be harmed by wolves. All the rumors that say they do this are just conjured up by evil lying wolf-haters.

    • pointswest Says:

      Actually, I think wolves might be nice to have in Adirondack Park if they could contain them in the Park and get residents who already live their to accept them. It would be a big sacrafice to people who have pets, livestock, and other domesticated animals. Many may have chosen to live there so they could have these animals.

    • WM Says:

      David,

      It would appear the state of NY has already spoken regarding wolf reintroduction:

      “The wolf and eastern cougar are considered to be extirpated from New York State.
      Periodic sightings of cougars are reported from the Adirondacks, but these are believed to
      be released captive individuals. Because sufficient cougar habitat is not available in New
      York, the Department does not intend to pursue their reintroduction. The eastern timber
      wolves occasionally reported are generally considered to be misidentified coyotes,
      although there is some evidence to suggest that the eastern coyote found in the
      Adirondacks may be a hybrid between the red wolf and coyote. It is not clear that a wolf
      population could survive in New York, given the abundance of highways and our large
      human population. Nor is it clear that a population of wolves in the forests of the
      Adirondacks would be compatible with the interests of residents or the farmers that live
      on the periphery of the Adirondack region. For these reasons, the Department is not
      considering wolf restoration at this time.

      – Blue Ridge Wilderness and Wakely Mountain Primitive Area FINAL DRAFT Unit Management Plan – June 2006. NY State Department of Conservation.

      So, assuming their policy position has not changed in the last four years, but keeping some objectivity, let’s put them in the indifferent column, for now.

      What is your take on reintroduction, or anyone else’s, on the receptiveness of the other Northeastern states, and specifically PA, with its attractive deer populations?

    • JB Says:

      The FWS already looked at the Adirondacks as a potential reintroduction location for wolves. I’m not sure what they concluded biologically, but local support was split (though, if memory serves, there was substantial support statewide). The same is true for Colorado, which was investigated as a potential reintroduction site in the late 1990s. (I am traveling at the moment and don’t have access to my EndNote file, or I would post citations).

      Again, research suggests that wolves could exist in many parts of the US given reasonable protection (i.e. policy) and human tolerance.

  7. Kropotkin Man Says:

    I give credit to CBD for rocking the boat. It will be interesting to see the many responses that surface. If nothing else, this will align the players.

    Any thoughts on red wolf issues? I hear they’re suffering from “accidental” shootings as people mistake them for coyotes. Yet, there seems to have been successful small scale reintroductions.

    Also, what are the thoughts on historical ranges of the reds and interactions with the easterns?

    Thanks!

  8. Jon Way Says:

    Kropotkin Man,
    it is likely that the red and eastern wolf are one and the same species and that red/easterns ranged all the way up through New England and at some point in Northern New England and/or southern Canada, they met up with Gray Wolves. The wolf in the Great Lakes is now believed to be eastern/gray wolf hybrids and not pure gray wolves.

    It is likely that most of New England had easterns or eastern/gray hybrids historically. However, with all of the moose in New England now, certainly gray and/or eastern/gray hybrids could prey on them and survive.

    We currently call the canid living here a coyote but the eastern coyote in New England and NY is really a coyote/eastern wolf hybrid. I think that coywolf is a better term, personally, yet state agencies treat them like wolves out west – unlimited takes, partaking to a minority of people that want to slaughter them, with no scientific evidence to support their claims. I personnally think there should be a Wild Canid Protection act similar to the Marine Mammal act b.c the conflict of interest of state fish and game agencies that George Wuerthner talks about in his articles is real from Massachusetts to Montana… That would allow natural recovery throughout the country and to realize that predators should be treated differently from deer/rabbits and other game.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Jon Way

      ++I personnally think there should be a Wild Canid Protection act similar to the Marine Mammal act b.c the conflict of interest of state fish and game agencies that George Wuerthner talks about in his articles is real from Massachusetts to Montana…++

      So Jon you want the federal government to be able to tell a rancher who owns his property in fee simple that he can not shoot a coyote or a fox on his property. I have lived with coyotes and foxes all of my life and I have never ever seen a shortage of them. Some years there are more and some years there are less. And some people want the federal government to run every aspect of our lifes, it is so sad the way some people in America want the federal government to take more control of the everyday life of an American and his property. In 1979 and 1980 Coyotes were worth about $100 a skin and in today’s dollars that would be around $300. They were hunted very heavy and ranchers who welcomed coyote hunters before wanted to hunt them for there selves. I never saw any shortage of coyotes.

      I would like to see a Wild Canid Protection Act get throught the congress in today’s political environment.

    • jon Says:

      Those foxes and coyotes are WILDLIFE and people are getting sick of welfare ranchers and all of the wildlife that has to die to benefit them.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      Jon Way,

      Regardless of how people feel about them, it seems to me that the emergence of the coywolf is a near perfect adaptation of the need for a large canid in the East.

      Best yet, despite the killing of them, there really isn’t a damn thing predator haters can do about it given the coywolf’s fit to a large and partially vacant ecological niche.

      Am I correct?

    • Elk275 Says:

      Not all ranchers are welfare ranchers, some of them have more money than all of us put together on this forum. Each and everyone of us is supported by the government in a small or larger way, all of us are piggy’s at the troth somewhere, someplace. The twenty dollar entrance fee to Yellowstone National Park does not cover the cost of that person entering Yellowstone, so all visitors to the park are subsidized — welfare wildlife watchers. National Parks are one of the best things about this country along with the Smithsonian in DC which is free.

      Foxes and coyotes are wildlife and should be managed by the states not the federal government. They are NOT ENDANGERED and never have been. It is people like you who dislike the idea that anyone with a gun can shot them when they want. It is about control. There are those who feel they have no say in state wildlife regulations and want the federal government to control it so there agenda can have a say.

    • Ken Cole Says:

      Elk275 says,
      “There are those who feel they have no say in state wildlife regulations and want the federal government to control it so there agenda can have a say.”

      Yes, there are those who feel they have no say in state wildlife regulations and I am one of them. I submit the reason is not only because non-hunters don’t have a way to contribute financially to wildlife management but also because there is a strong push by hunters to keep non-hunters out of the decision making process. Why else do you think there are so many lawsuits in Federal Court over wildlife management? It is the only way to have a voice in wildlife issues because the legislature and game commissions don’t listen to those who don’t have a hunting or fishing license.

      I haven’t formulated an opinion one way or the other about Jon Way’s idea of a Wild Canid Protection Act but the issue shouldn’t be entirely controlled by hunters.

    • Kropotkin Man Says:

      Jon,
      Thanks for your response. When I studied wildlife biology some years back, we went into great detail about canine hybrids. Evolution hasn’t really teased those critters too far apart.

      I also remember concerns on the genetics of the red wolf prior to its release years back. Concerns that they somehow weren’t pure and therefore didn’t qualify as endangered. The same claim was made about the panthers in south Florida prior to the release of the girls from Texas.

      I worked in Vermont one summer and was pleased to hear and see coyotes not far from my cabin in the heart of dairy country. A real treat I must say.

      I’ve seen maps linking government owned properties through out the east. I was taken back by how much is owned by the public.

      The Marine Mammal Act has not really slowed down the slaughter of many of the pinnipeds off our NW coast. The states seem to get their blood one way or another.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Ken Cole

      I have to get to the title company before five, but.

      You can buy a hunting licence. Every Montana wildlife meeting that I have attended all have been allow to talk and there opinions were recorded; there has always been a game warden or two to protect those who feel threaten. If anyone felt that they were in danger the game warden would escort them to their car. If a enough people who felt like you do would show up and voice your opinion the commission would have to listen, but you do not show up in large numbers. The wolf meeting in Great Falls, Montana had 100 people there and only 3 strong wolf supporters. I am finding that most outfitters and hunters including me feel that wolves are a part of the eco system but in limited numbers. Numbers not great enough to limit any hunting seasons or bag limits. I have to go.

  9. John Glowa Says:

    In response to Pointswest’s comment that “there are millions of people that live in the forests of the northeast.” I wonder how familiar he is with Maine? Maine’s north woods contains some 15-16 million acres, most of which is commercial timberland with few human inhabitants and virtually no agriculture or livestock production. The potential for wolf recovery is exceptional given the very low human population and large prey base.

    • JB Says:

      Moreover, both wolf and human densities are higher in many parts of eastern Europe though, because of poor trash removal and inadequate rabies control, attacks are higher as well.

    • pointswest Says:

      Yes…I know Maine is more remote and wild. I have flown over most of the eastern states and have visited many of them.

    • WM Says:

      John G,

      As I understand it neither New Brunswick nor Quebec have wolves south of the St. Lawrence River. They did away with their wolves long before Americans did, so I am told. If wolves are reintroduced to Maine, assuming a reliable prey base, they will undoubtedly head north to Canada over time. Do you know what their view is on rehabitation of wolves there, and in other eastern Province areas which are conspicuously absent wolves?

  10. MJ Says:

    Just an note of interest on the genealogy of Eastern wolves. In Algonquin (about 3 hours by car north of Toronto) much research has been done on their smaller wolves, which traditionally have been assumed to be descendants of the Gray. Not so much, I guess. Since these wolves could potentially one day migrate across the border into the Northeastern U.S., it might need to be considered in any re-introduction efforts, should they actually pan out. http://www.algonquinpark.on.ca/nature/mammals/whatr_wolves.html

  11. Jon Way Says:

    Elk,
    I am talking more about public land and regulation. It is poor wildlife management to allow a slaughter of social, intelligent species like canids. People shouldn’t be allowed to shoot them for fun. Rather there should be bag limits like most other game.
    Ranchers protecting their livestock on private property would be an exception.
    Ralph, I believe you are correct with your comments…

    • jon Says:

      It doesn’t surprise me that some people ( I won’t name names) that have a complete lack of regard for some animal’s lives. Only a disturbed person would shoot coyotes for fun or for sport. They justify the killing of animals for sport because that animal isn’t endangered.

    • jon Says:

      coyote killing tournaments should not be allowed and they should be banned. These animal killing tournaments or contests that gives prizes and money to the hunter that kills the most coyotes are disgusting. Seeing the smiling hunter while he stands next to or holds up the dead coyotes he just shot to death would make anyone disgusted.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Jon

      I have only shot one coyote in my life and it was a quarter mile from Chico Hot Springs. I have missed more than a few in my younger days. Nothing disgust me more than finding a dead badger bloating in the sun as a bonus for a gopher hunter. I do shoot gophers and would never shoot a badger which I see almost everytime. Each of us has limits.

      There have been a well known wildlife/Canid reseacher mentioned on this forum several times who used to trap coyotes in his youth for pocket money.

    • jon Says:

      Elk, just curious, why gophers, but not badgers? I believe farmers see badgers as pests as well. What is the difference between a badger and a goper to a fellow like you? Y

    • pointswest Says:

      I believe humans have a preditory instinct. I have had several dogs that loved to hunt and to kill…I mean they loved it. I had never seen them so excited as to chase down and kill a rabbit. This excitement I belive is instinctual in dogs. I also think such excitement it is similar in humans and also in wolves for that matter.

      I do believe humans should act with compassion and with ethics, however.

      The excitement of the chase or the feeling of power over a prey, I believe is instinctual and is no differnt in humans than in wolves. I watch video of wolves during the stock and the chase and the kill and I can pretty well understand what the wolves are feeling by watching their body movements and their excitment and intensity level. I thought most people could.

      Again, I think humans should act in an ethical mannor, however. These natural impulses need to be controlled by humans, but the enjoyment is very understandable to me.

      I am surprised by people who cannot understand the excitemet a wolf, a dog, or a man can feels when overpowering killing prey.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Pointswest

      ++Again, I think humans should act in an ethical manner, however. These natural impulses need to be controlled by humans, but the enjoyment is very understandable to me. ++

      Are we talking about sex or hunting or both

      Jon

      Ranchers want you to shoot gophers. I have done a very unprofessional study of gophers behind the Costco store in Bozeman for the last 3 years. One vacant field is infested with gophers; most of the grass has been eaten down by them. Gophers are not going to go extinct or become endangered. I know they said the buffalo, passenger pigeon and wolf would never disappear but gopher will not. What is the difference between gophers and badgers? We each have are ethics and limits.

    • pointswest Says:

      Interestingly, sex and hunting instincts are related at least in the sense that both are associated with a part of the brain called the hypothalumus. The hypothalamus plays a major role in the regulation of basic drives related to survival, including the so-called “four F’s” …fighting, fleeing, feeding, and sex.

  12. Jon Way Says:

    Elk,
    and one more thing… You were probably talking with jon and not me on your last post…
    But many people have an agenda. What most of us on this blog complain about is the only agenda that state fish and game agencies seem to listen to are hunting and livestock interests. So I guess for you it is OK for them to have their agenda catered to but not other interests b.c those would be too Environmental, hippie, animal rights, or whatever.
    A protection act for canids might not eliminate hunting but it would establish humane standards unlike what is practiced today (shooting over bait, snaring, no bag limits, year-round hunts on our public lands). One job of the federal gov’t is to intervene to allow all folks in all states to have a say in affairs…

  13. Elk275 Says:

    Jon Way

    I have been on this forum for almost one year. I have learned is some people are very upset with the policies of state fish and wildlife agencies because they or their group/agenda is not able to be a member of the state fish and wildlife commission, only residents. This is the only situation that I am aware of that out of state people want be on a state commission. Maybe I am wrong. I have never heard that out of state people wanted be appointed to the state commission for: morticians, barbers, highway, board of regents, realtors, surveyors etc. it is only the state fish and wildlife and I would wager that states like Rode Island, Connecticut, Maryland and Delaware that out of state membership in the state fish and wildlife commissions has little demand. It is the Northern Rocky Mountain states that has the interest.

    JB

    I am NOT a fan of “pond scum” Pombo, he needs to be gone forever.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      Elk275,

      The reason why this is so is because wildlife do not respect political boundaries. Neither do mountains, rivers, forests and other parts of nature.

      I just got back from five days in Wyoming. Though I am an Idaho resident, I was very pleased to see so much wildlife there (no I wasn’t in a national park).

    • JB Says:

      Elk:

      I never assumed you were; just pointing out that ESA revisions are notoriously hard to pass and any legislation with the word “wolf” will be held under a microscope.

      To follow up with your statement about non-residents wanting to sit on F&G commissions…

      I think this greatly oversimplifies the controversy over how wildlife should be managed in the West. Recall the the majority of lands that fall within the boundaries of the state of Idaho are owned by the citizens of the United States and managed for those citizens by Federal agencies. The history of wildlife management in the U.S. predates, in large part, the federal agencies that now control these lands. Thus, F&G agencies have always maintained a high degree of control over wildlife on federal lands (though their influence is lessened in National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges). Also recall that nearly all of the places that wolves exist in the NRMs are federal lands (note: in the most recent Final Rule, the FWS didn’t even consider eastern Montana “suitable” for wolves). Finally, recall that F&G commissions are historically dominated by two interest groups: hunters and livestock producers. Thus, traditionally, much of our federal public lands in the West have been managed for these groups. Yet, livestock production and hunting are both in decline, meaning the people that have the strongest voice in wildlife management are fewer and fewer, while the US population continues to grow. Thus, the federal lands of the West are managed disproportionately for a shrinking constituency.

      The ESA changes the balance of management for protected species by giving a voice to people outside of the borders of these states–and especially–by giving a voice to non-hunters.

    • Jon Way Says:

      Elk,
      JB summarizes my feelings nicely. As he says, many of the western states are federal public lands meaning that someone from the east owns those lands as someone whose backyard that is. It is obvious that most locals don’t feel that way.
      However, my above posts weren’t really talking about that. I was talking about how all state agencies throughout the country cater to a very declining base (hunters and ranchers) while other user groups greatly outnumber them and outspend them in those states. However, these other groups literally have no voice b.c in wildlife mgmt of the current method of hunters funding state wildlife agencies despite things like wildlife watching bringing in significantly more money to state economies (but not to fish and game agencies). This is what needs to change and/or laws enacted to make predator management more responsible.

    • Jon Way Says:

      Elk said:
      “I have learned is some people are very upset with the policies of state fish and wildlife agencies because they or their group/agenda is not able to be a member of the state fish and wildlife commission, only residents.”

      To further my above post. This is not entirely true. Many groups are locales of a given state but they aren’t hunters or ranchers and won’t get appointed to a wildlife board b.c it is hand selected to be dominated by those 2 interest groups and exclude others. Thing of WWP as on western group. These groups own their state’s wildlife too…

    • Jon Way Says:

      Sorry, 2nd to last line should say (sorry about poor grammar):

      Think of WWP as a western group with interest in managing wildlife. Aka “Western Watersheds Project” – why can’t they have a voice without having to sue states and feds to get them to change?

  14. Nancy Says:

    Elk275 said:
    Not all ranchers are welfare ranchers, some of them have more money than all of us put together on this forum.

    You are probably correct about the wealth Elk and the site below takes you to all those wealthy ranchers and farmers with their hands out year after year, because they have no problem taking advantage of disfunctional ag programs that have doled out payments for years, regardless of wealth:

    http://farm.ewg.org/region.php?fips=30000

    Been looking around my neck of the woods the last couple of months and just about every rancher has a huge surplus of hay, more than enough to get thru next winter, because this past winter was mild. But do you think any of these ranchers sat back and discussed keeping their cattle off public lands, forgoing haying this year, rotating their cattle on their own land, so wildlife and public lands could take a breather for once?

    Hell no!! Like clockwork, they all pushed a few thousand head of cattle up to public lands for the summer, first week in July.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Nancy

      Very interesting from a personal viewpoint. I see my sister and brother-in-law and his family collected almost between $800,000 and $1,200,000 between 1995 and 2009. I can tell you one that they are not rich. Times have difficult for them in those years. Nuff said.

    • Elk275 Says:

      My Christmas present from them gets smaller every year!

  15. Alan Gregory Says:

    There was talk, while I lived in the Adirondacks of New York State of reintroducing wolves to the 6-million-acre park, of which the public now owns more than half.

  16. John Glowa Says:

    Response to WM-No one should assume that there are no wolves in New Brunswick and in Quebec south of the St. Lawrence. The Quebec government a couple of years ago publicly acknowledged the first killing of a wolf south of the St. Lawrence in some 100 years. A couple of years ago I was forwarded an email from a reliable source reporting the killing of a 90-100 lb. wolf in Quebec south of the St. Lawrence. When I forwarded this email to the Quebec government for comment (minus the email address and name of the sender) the government rep. told me that the email was confidential and wanted to know who had sent it to me. The Quebec government does not want wolves south of the St. Lawrence River-period. Reports of wolves south of the St. Lawrence continue, but I suspect that the Quebec government is doing whatever it can to keep them from recolonizing the area. The quality and quantity of wolf habitat in Maine far surpasses that in Quebec’s eastern townships. Wolves that make it to Maine will think they died and went to heaven. Some wolves that recolonize Maine would likely travel back into Quebec, but the habitat is very limited and wolves can be killed there legally. I think the New Brunswick government is playing the same game that the northeast states are playing by simply denying their presence and making no effort whatsoever to even publicly discuss them.

    Response to MJ-Recent research indicates that the eastern wolf population and range south of Algonquin Park are expanding due to increased protection outside the park in recent years. If wolves are unable to find vacant territories in and around the park, they will have to disperse greater distances and some will undoubtedly bump into the St. Lawrence River and a few will likely cross it.

    • WM Says:

      John G,

      Not to sound ignorant, but I am not familiar with that area of the country. What land uses or activities occur there that causes the Quebec and NB government objection to wolves south of the St. Lawrence?

    • Jon Way Says:

      WM,
      agricultural and a hatred for wolves…. Sounds like part of the west.

    • MJ Says:

      Thanks, John. My point exactly. My concern is that if re-intros are done in the NE US, the possibility that Algonquin wolf may be present needs to be taken into account. Considering their small size, they must have the ability to defend/compete with the re-introduced species. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Algonquin wolves considering they’ve managed to survive despite being in the most populated Canadian province and in an area that historically has seen lots of human activity (albeit, lots of devoted folks have helped them along the way).

  17. ProWolf in WY Says:

    From what I understand, it seems like all of the states with wolves and with suitable wolf habitat should be looking at Romania. That country has a large population of wolves, brown bears, and people. I have seen specials on Animal Planet where wolves and bears have roamed into Bucharest. (Not ideal, I know). While I am sure there are conflicts with livestock, the fact is humans and wolves have coexisted since the times of the Roman Empire. Why should the US which is so much bigger be so much different?

    • pointswest Says:

      The Carpathian Alps cover a vast area. They are in a sort of in big backward “C” shape and curve from Romania north and east up into Ukrain and Slovakia…something like 900 miles. Bucharest is out on the Danubian plain only about 40 miles from the foot hills of the southern Carpathians.

      I point this out because I think it takes a fairly large area to sustain populations of large preditors.

    • pointswest Says:

      Here is a nice satellite sort of image of the Carpathian Alps. Notice that the Southern Carpantian Alps are also called the Transylvanian Alps. Notice too that there is a lot of hill country that is largely forested just north of the Southern Carpathians.

    • pointswest Says:

      The image link:

    • Erin Barca Says:

      This article seems to fit nicely into the current discussions here as it attempts to compare viable wolf habitat in Romania to the Northeast US:

      http://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/wolves_as_neighbors_a_lesson_from_transylvania/

  18. SEAK Mossback Says:

    Jon Way’s mention of a Wild Canid Act like the Marine Mammal Protection Act reminds me of what an enigma the MMPA has turned out to be (in Alaska anyway) in terms of public and governmental reaction over the past 4 decades. I remember hearing a fair number of people who were very angry when Congress seized management from the state in 1972. One couple made part of their living commercially hunting harbor seals, one guy had just bought a new 22-250 seal rifle. Fishermen who were used to keeping a 30-30 handy in the wheelhouse to keep seals and sea lions from robbing their nets and trolling lines were definitely not happy. Seals and sea lions, and even beluga whales had been considered competitors much like wolves and coyotes. Part of a Prince William Sound fishery manager’s duty before statehood was to fly over the Copper River Delta in a super cub and drop sticks of dynamite to kill large numbers of seals by concussion.

    A bunch of young biologists, mostly from the states, were hired in the 1960s, and they pretty much pulled the plug on all government-run predator control on land and sea, but seals and sea lions were still treated like vermin by the public except for their material value. Walrus’s had considerable value for their ivory. I remember visiting Kotzebue in April 1964 and seeing a row of ski planes on the ice waiting for the weather to clear so guides could fly their clients out on the ice pack to track down a polar bear and land and shoot it.

    Then the damn feds moved in, grabbed management, set up restrictive regulations and gave exclusive and liberal hunting rights to Alaska natives. Guided polar bear and walrus hunting – gone, seal hunting – finished, lethal deterrence from fishing gear – history. The only thing that seemed to make it bearable was the fact that it was not supposed to be permanent, just immediate protection until the feds could determine the status of each species and the return authority to the state.

    Fast-forward to the mid-1980s. The feds inform the Bill Sheffield administration that they are ready to return pacific walrus management to the State of Alaska. The governor says . . . . . thanks, but not thanks! Natives liked the way things were and made their sentiment known. The funny thing is I don’t remember a single person standing up on the other side and saying “Wait a minute, what are you doing you traitor to state’s rights – of course we want it back!” Since then, I haven’t heard another peep in the news from the feds about returning authority for any of the species. Nor have I seen a single editorial suggesting that it should be done.

    What on earth has changed? Well governors Sheffield, Knowles, etc. were Democrats who pandered to the native vote. But Murkowski and Palin sure weren’t! And where was the Alaska Outdoor Council who has opposed natives tooth and nail over rural or native priority access to wildlife?

    It seems that public sentiment has changed over time. A number of marine mammal populations declined despite the MMPA and fishermen went from trying to kill sea lions on sight to trying to demonstrate they were having no harmful (let alone lethal) effect in the course of their normal fishing operations. Salmon runs increased far more than did seals. Most non-natives never had much taste for seal meat anyway. I would have thought at least that someone would have been interested in reopening guided polar bear hunting, by dog team rather than airplane – but it’s a little late for that now with a recent ESA listing. The one possible unfinished story is the sea otter, at least in Southeast where they were reintroduced around 1970 after the Russians and Aleuts exterminated them in the 1800s. Cute as the dickens, they are quietly but steadily increasing, rafting up and vacuuming valuable shellfish resources off the bottom and expanding into new areas. Having no insulating layer except their incredible fur, they consume 25% of their body weight daily in exactly the same order of preference as humans. Like wolves, they have ecological benefits in controlling sea urchins that consume the kelp forests that are excellent fish habitat, but like elk hunters those benefits don’t look all that impressive to dungeness crabbers or urchin or abalone divers. Still, you hear the concern and discouragement but never really the anger (one problem is they were reintroduced cooperatively by ADF&G and USFWS, so it’s impossible to solely demonize the feds).

    Anyway, it’s an interesting case study in federal and state regulation and public attitudes, but I’m not sure it has any application to canids that are not endangered and are subject to more widespread extreme sentiment. I imagine similar acceptance of wolves will come only if, when and where their impact on huntable ungulate populations and other things people value is better understood and determined to be minor, like in the north central states (for the most part).

  19. Jon Way Says:

    Seak Mossback,
    Your description of seal slaughters b.c of competition and sounds like hatred of seals competing with local fisherman is a good analogy to why, in my opinion, there should be some federal controls on killing coyotes (and other carnivores) for hate (again except on private lands where they are legitimately killing livestock). There is not much (or any) scientific evidence to show that these slaughters need to take place. And most of the public (and probably) hunters wouldn’t agree with it. However, allowing coyote hunters to have a bag limit of 1 to 2 and respect the animals they kill (sorry “harvest”) would be much different than the current strategy of managing for hate. No wonder why wolf recovery has become so socially polarizing. Hate of local carnivores was never considered in the plan to restore wolves…

  20. John Glowa Says:

    WM-
    To add to Jon Way’s comments regarding Canadian government attitudes toward wolves in New Brunswick and in Quebec south of the St. Lawrence…
    My sense is that the only reason wolves live in much of Canada is because the landscape is so large and much of the area is so remote. I think wolves are tolerated rather than accepted. The mindset in areas of eastern Canada where wolves have been extirpated for decades is much the same as it is in most of the U.S. “They don’t belong here and we don’t want them here.” South of the St. lawrence, Quebec is much more urbanized (the eastern townships in particular) with the primary exception being the Gaspe Peninsula where a relict population of a couple hundred woodland caribou still roam the mountains as they have for milennia. Both Quebec south of the St. lawrence and the province of New Brunswick have very significant and important agricultural sectors. Predators are not very highly thought of-to say the least. Quebec south of the St. Lawrence has some potential wolf habitat while New Brunswick has large areas of potential wolf habitat. Certainly there are corridors for wolves to travel from occupied wolf range north of the St. Lawrence to the northeast U.S. and the Maritimes. The primary issue is how many wolves will survive in Canada to disperse south into the U.S. and how many will survive after they arrive here. We know some have been killed here, but we don’t know how many have survived, if they have reproduced, or where they or their descendants are living.

    • WM Says:

      Thanks John,

      I appreciate the background. A couple more questions, if you don’t mind answering them. For a NE wolf reintroduction, would the candidate wolves be /eastern/red wolves or gray wolves, and what would likely be the area of donation/origin for whatever wolves might be chosen?

      Are you aware of whether USFWS has done much preliminary planning for a reintroduction for the NE states (ME, NH, VT, NY, PA)? JB suggested something had been done regarding Adirondack SP, but could not specifically recall the result.

  21. JB Says:

    WM:

    Here is a feasibility study conducted by the Conservation Biology Institute in the late 1990s (see below). Also, I know there was a book written about wolves several years back that had several chapters dedicated to the idea of wolf restoration in the Adirondacks.

    http://consbio.org/what-we-do/wolf-reintroduction-feasibility-in-the-adirondack

    • JB Says:

      The paper assessing potential habitat is:

      Mladenoff & Sickley (1998). Journal of Wildlife Management, 62(1): 1-10.

      I think you’ll find the abstract interesting:

      Abstract
      The northeastern United States was previously identified under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) as a potential location for restoration of a population of the endangered eastern timber wolf or gray wolf (Canis lupus). The gray wolf has been protected under the ESA since 1974. We used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and a logistic regression model based on regional road abundance to estimate that the Northeastern states from Upstate New York to Maine contain >77,000 km2 of habitat suitable for wolves. Using current habitat distribution and available ungulate prey (deer and moose), we estimate the area is capable of sustaining a population of approximately 1,312 wolves (90% CI = 816-1,809). This estimate is equivalent to new, much higher potentials estimated for northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, where wolves are rapidly recovering in the U.S. Midwest. Potential wolf densities vary from a low of 53,500 km2) is capable of supporting approximately 1,070 wolves (90% CI = 702-1,439). Such large areas are increasingly rare and important for wolf recovery if populations large enough to have long-term evolutionary viability are to be maintained within the United States. However, large-scale restoration of a top carnivore like the wolf has other consequences for overall forest biodiversity in eastern forests because wolf recovery is dependent on high levels of ungulate prey, which in turn have other negative effects on the ecosystem. In the United States, planning for wolf restoration in the Northeast should take advantage of experience elsewhere, especially the upper Midwest.

    • JB Says:

      And here’s the citation and abstract for the human dimensions study:

      Enck & Brown (2002). New Yorkers’ attitudes toward restoring wolves to the Adirondack Park. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 30 (1): 16-28.

      In recent years, management agencies and various other stakeholder groups have focused attention on the possibility of restoring wolves (Canis lupus) to the Adirondack Park (AP) in northern New York state. We assessed public attitudes toward wolf restoration and determined factors affecting those attitudes as part of an assessment of social feasibility. Forty-two percent of AP residents approved of restoration, 41% disapproved, and 17% were neutral. More statewide residents held positive attitudes (60%), but 34% were neither positive nor negative. As expected, attitudes toward restoration were predicted by a broad set of factors, including attitudes toward wolves, general attitudes toward wildlife and its interactions with humans, knowledge of wolves, evaluative beliefs about possible impacts of wolf restoration, desired changes in local wildlife populations, amount of media coverage about the issue, and sociodemographic variables. Different sets of specific independent variables representing these factors explained restoration attitudes for residents, depending on level of importance they assigned to the issue. We discuss several implications relating to application of our findings to a decision about whether wolf restoration in the AP should be dropped or promoted as part of a recovery plan for the Northeast.

    • WM Says:

      JB,

      Thanks. I read a bit of what you provided, and will read more as I have time. The following from the independent study done by the Conservation Biology Institute in Corvallis, OR (hired by the Adirondack Park Agency) seemed to sum up the situation in 1999:

      ++Because of the new genetic evidence, the lack of favorable inter-regional connectivity for wolves, and level of uncertainty about increased development and human use of the Adirondacks, we recommend an active gray wolf reintroduction program for the Adirondack Park not be pursued at this time. That does not mean that summit predators like wolves are not important to natural ecosystems — predators serve critically important regulatory functions in nature as well as having their own inherent value. However, the situation in the Adirondacks is a complex one on many levels — more so than at most other potential wolf reintroduction sites in other parts of the U.S.

      It may be that the coyote-red wolf hybrid living in the Adirondacks today (if the new genetic evidence is proven to be correct) serves the same ecological role of a pure wolf population — that is still unclear. So much more needs to be learned about the ecology and status of these animals to make that determination. There is merit to wanting wolves back in the Adirondacks on ecological and ethical grounds; however, we do not feel the conditions favor transplanting wolves from other regions to face what in our estimation would be a very fragile future both for the transplanted animals and for their potential offspring.++

      Doesn’t sound like things have changed significantly in the last 11 years. By the way, one of my former graduate school professors was Chairman of the Adirondack Park Agency from 2003-07. Small world.
      ———
      I am off on a backpacking trip for the next 10 days or so.

  22. ProWolf in WY Says:

    I think it would be interesting to see a Carnivore Protection Act or some other act that calls for restoring all species to areas where suitable habitat exists. It would be great if someone had the cojones to introduce this in Congress.

  23. Elk275 Says:

    ++I think it would be interesting to see a Carnivore Protection Act or some other act that calls for restoring all species to areas where suitable habitat exists. It would be great if someone had the cojones to introduce this in Congress.++

    Do really want to federal government to have control over carnivores on federal, state and private land. Mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats and foxes (except Swift Fox) are NOT ENDANGED. YOU AND MANY OTHERS DO. I doubt that a Carnivores Act would ever get by the western senators.

    I have been offered a mountain lion hunt at wages and expenses this winter because the outfitter in the area is seeing a rapid decline in mule deer with increased mountain lion sighting even in the summer months. This is area is west of Missoula, Montana and is considered a trophy mule deer area with permits draw only. The mountain lion numbers are up and the deer population is down.

    I have never been interested in lion hunting, but if I draw a tag then I guess its a new adventure. Once there is federal control there are those who will never want any carnivore hunting again. Montana is going to have a long fight on there hands to ever hunt grizzly again. It would not hurt the bear population on the Rocky Mountain Front to have an early spring hunt targeting male bears. But there are the cry babies.

    It just makes me mad that there are those who want more federal control, the states are doing a very good job managing all wildlife. There are those who have different interest but the maintenance of a healthy ungulate population is the most important the local people and with a prey base there can be carnivores, but the days of a complete eco system in the western states is not going to happen.

  24. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Elk, I meant to say carnivore restoration act. I am not against hunting of carnivores, I just don’t like this kill, kill, kill mentality, especially when it is because people think they are eating all of the game. They will not eat all of the game and drive themselves to extinction. No, it would not go over in western states because most are still living in the 1800s. It still wouldn’t hurt for people to try. No, there will not be a complete ecosystem anywhere in the continental United States, but there is no reason we can’t get close to one nor is there any reason carnivores can’t live in other places.

    • jon Says:

      Elk is entitled to his own opinions and views, but I don’t think he will ever truly understand that some people who love wildlife value each individual animal’s life. Elk, do you think it’s alright to kill mt. lions and wolves that just had kittens and wolf pups?

    • Elk275 Says:

      Prowolf

      I grew up in Billings, Montana below the Rim Rocks and one block from Rocky Mountain College. When I was in 4th grade hunting rabbits after school with my slingshot on the Rimrocks, I looked up and there was Great Dane walking in front of me. I have never liked dogs or have been dog friendly and I was frighten. The Great Dane jumped up on some rocks and was gone, I was so scared that I never told anyone. I still remember that animal walking in front of me.

      Years later, I realized that it was a mountain lion. I can still see the front shoulders moving the same as a house cat. There has always been more predators than we know about. My real trouble with carnivores is when they reduce the number of hunting permits. Montana has lost 1000 either sex elk tags in the Snow Crest and Gravelly Mountains because of wolves. There is and needs to be a place for wolves and cats but some people can not say enough is enough.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Jon

      That is stupid, very stupid. Hunting season is in the fall and early winter months when the young of the year have been weaned and are on there own. It is illegal to kill a lion with kittens anyway.

      I value the species.

    • jon Says:

      There have been cases elk, I don’t know if it has happened in MT, but there have been instances where hunters have killed mt. lions and their kittens orphaned. Whether or not they knew that the mt. lion they just killed had kittens is a whole other thing. Do you remember a case in Idaho back in 2008 where 3 mt. lion kittens had to be euthanized because hound hunters had kept going after the mother and couldn’t feed her 3 kittens? A lot of controversy about this case. You probably read about it. Do not act like this hasn’t happened before.

    • Elk275 Says:

      It has happen. What if wolves had killed the mother?

    • jon Says:

      Elk, don’t mountain lion kittens stay with their mom for 1 to 2 years and don’t they depend on their mother for food? What is there to stop a sport hunter from shooting a mountain lion that is on the hunt looking for food to bring back to her kittens that depend on her for food? the answer, NOTHING.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Female lions typically are not targeted. Once the lion is treed the guide or houndsman checks the sex. A very good lion hunter can detirmine the sex of a lion by the tracks. African PH’s and their trackers can detirmine the sex of a leopard by the tracks.

    • jon Says:

      Elk, isn’t it also true that it is hard to distinguish between a male and female mt. lion? If a hound hunter has a mt. lion trapped all the way up in a tree, how is he actually going to tell if it is indeed a male or female?

    • Elk275 Says:

      The is a detailed description in the Montana hunting regulations, if you need an anatomy class then your local 2 year collage should have classes starting this fall.

      Use your binoculars and look below the base of the tail, it may take some time but it is fool proof if you have got a passing grade in anatomy 101.

    • jon Says:

      I don’t know about that. Is that how it is in MT elk because female mt. lions can be killed in other states like SD just to name one.

      The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks (SDGF&P) has submitted its 2010-2015 Mountain Lion Management Plan for public review. The new plan calls for reducing the state’s mountain lion population by about 80 to 100 cats in order to bring their estimated population total down from an approximated 251 lions to only 150 to 170 mountain lions. The current 251 estimate includes kittens. Since mountain lion kittens may not legally be hunted, and South Dakota fails to recognize that killing a mother lion often results in her orphaned kittens starving to death, their mountain lion management plan ultimately calls for the removal of 80 to 100 adult lions
      http://www.mountainlion.org/

      The fact is some kittens might become orphans and ultimately die because their mother was shot by sport hunters elk.

      Some might say well, we can tell a male mt. lion from a female because males are usually bigger, but what if a male mt. lion is underweight and looks like a female mt. lion and is shot? If you were looking at a mt. lion way up trapped in a tree, I would reckon it would be a little hard to say how big the lion was for sure or to tell it it was female or male.

    • jon Says:

      Care to explain this than elk?

      http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/79405777.html

      It if it easy to tell the difference, than why have female mt. lions been shot in the past elk? The article I just posted talks about a moutain lion that was killed that was thought to be a female, but turns out it was a male. How do you explain this elk?

    • Elk275 Says:

      Everyone makes mistakes including me. It is Thursday in Bozeman; its summer, its music on Main Street, barbeque , lemonade, cold beer, good music and good times, until later.

    • jon Says:

      Have fun elk!

  25. jon Says:

    Elk, you are not alone. That reason you just gave is why most hunters despise wolves and other predators. I guess if I were to put myself in your shoes, I could and would understand where you’re coming from.

    • jon Says:

      Although, my attitude about predators is very different than yours, but even if I did hunt elk and did hunt in a state with a lot of wolves inhabit, I would feel the same about predators as I do now. TO ME, it really comes down on who needs the food more and that is a easy question for me to answer. Yours will clearly be different I am sure.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Jon

      I have been told that when I was young boy that our family dog bite me very bad and had to be put down. Dogs are like art. Only 1 out of a 100 do I like. That one dog I love; I have never had a dog and never will. But I have a horse and am looking to buy several mules. Are you scared of mules and could you handle them in the Rockies? I doubt it.

  26. John Glowa Says:

    WM:
    Your questions regarding source populations for reintroducing wolves to the northeast U.S. are good and ones that have been raised ever since the concept of northeast wolf reintroduction was first promoted by Defenders of Wildlife in the mid 90’s. I would note that Defenders came to the northeast and left a long time ago after a study came out showing that establishment of a wolf population in the Adirondacks was not feasible. I do not believe the findings of the study and without the Adirondacks is playing and will continue to play an important role in natural wolf recolonization in the northeast. No one-and I mean no one, is now even talking about northeast wolf reintroduction, not to mention actively promoting it. The organization I started in 1994, the Maine Wolf Coalition, has always advocated natural wolf recolonization through research, education and protection. No one has yet demonstrated that wolves won’t naturally recolonize the northeast if they are simply allowed to live. We believe the wolf that should live here is the one (or ones) best able to survive here. The northeast has areas that hold primarily moose and areas that hold primarily deer. Certainly both the gray wolf and the eastern wolf could live very comfortably here. We believe that reintroduction should only be considered as a last resort-after all attempts have failed to get the Canadian and U.S. governments to give wolves the protection needed to allow them to disperse south to the northeast U.S. in sufficient numbers. We’re not there yet. That’s exactly the same kind of cooperation that enabled canadian wolves to begin their recolonization of Montana. And for those who don’t know, eastern wolves in Quebec’s Papineau-Labelle Reserve live only sixty miles from New York. We have no doubt that wolves are already here. I encourage folks to google Maine Wolf Coalition and look at our new website at http://www.mainewolfcoalition.org We will be formally announcing it in the next couple of weeks. Here in the Maine a survey we developed and funded more than ten years ago showed far more public support for natural wolf recovery as opposed to bringing in wolves. It’s generally accepted that the coywolf is descended from wolves and western coyotes that interbred in Canada and some of their offspring crossed the St. Lawrence and today occupy virtually all available habitat from Pennsylvania to Labrador. If the coywolf can do it, and if moose, lynx and fisher can cross the St. Lawrence from south to north, then wolves can certainly do the same thing from north to south. We are really trying to get people to stop thinking reintroduction here in the northeast. With wolves in Canada living only a 2-3 day walk from millions of acres of excellent potential wolf habitat in the northeast, we believe the potential for natural recolonization far exceeds the likelihood that the state and federal governments in the U.S. will ever release wolves into the northeast forest.

  27. John Glowa Says:

    correction:
    It should read”…without a doubt, the Adirondacks is playing and will continue to play an important role in natural wolf recolonization….”

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      What is the likelihood of wolves colonizing the Adirondacks? Also, nobody here has mentioned anything about southern Oregon and northern California. What are the locals’ take on wolves in those regions?

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      ProWolf in WY,

      It’s probably like other places, with opposition coming from the more rural areas. Even having said that, however, the rural wolf haters of Idaho, New Mexico and Montana are a special case.

  28. John Glowa Says:

    I believe that the chances for wolf recolonization in the Adirondacks are excellent… if the feds enforce the ESA and if people stop killing them. The Adirondack region is the closest large area of potential wolf habitat that wolves dispersing from Ontario would encounter. The USFWS says it is “considering options for a (wolf) recovery strategy” in the northeast and the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation says it “will be participating in the recently announced USFWS initiative to address future management of wolf populations in the United States….” It appears that the NYDEC is finally beginning to take the wolf issue seriously, given the killing of several wolves in recent decades, the extent of potential wolf habitat, and the state’s proximity to known wolf range in Canada (sixty miles).


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