Have you come across some interesting Wildlife News? Aug. 5, 2010

This replaces the 13th edition. That edition has now gone down into the depths of the archives-

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So are people getting tired of this format? Does something new need to be done?
Any comments on this  will be welcome.
Webmaster

422 Responses to “Have you come across some interesting Wildlife News? Aug. 5, 2010”

  1. JimT Says:

    WOLVES WIN!! WOLVES WIN!!!

    Federal protections restored for Northern Rockies’ wolves

    Defenders wins lawsuit; future of wolf recovery still uncertain

    · U.S. district court overturns Interior Secretary Salazar’s action that removed wolves in the Northern Rockies from the endangered species list

    · Ruling makes it clear that subdividing a wild population based on political boundaries rather than science violates the Endangered Species Act

    · Defenders calls for update of science and regional stakeholder collaboration to ensure continued wolf recovery and proper removal of federal protections

    MISSOULA, MT (August 5, 2010)—A U.S. District court today overturned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) decision to remove gray wolves in the Northern Rockies from the endangered species list. The court sided with Defenders of Wildlife and other conservation organizations that sued to restore federal protections.

    The following is a statement by Rodger Schlickeisen, president of Defenders of Wildlife:

    “This decision is a significant victory for wolves, for the integrity of the Endangered Species Act, and for all Americans who care deeply about conservation. The court’s ruling makes it clear that decisions under the Endangered Species Act should be based on science, not politics.

    “We all need to work together to craft responsible state management plans for wolves that allow for healthy, interconnected wolf populations now and in the future. For that to happen, regional recovery goals will need to be updated based on the best available peer reviewed science.

    “Secretary Salazar’s support of the Bush administration’s proposal to remove protections for wolves was premature and clearly inconsistent with the law. Had the federal government prevailed in the lawsuit, real wolf recovery would have been set back for perhaps decades. Worse, the precedent of the federal government making listing and delisting decisions for endangered species based upon political boundaries rather than science would have crippled the Interior Department’s future management of the Endangered Species Act to the detriment of many species. The faulty effort by the administration to delist has set back legitimate delisting by some time.

    “We are eager to work cooperatively with all stakeholders to find a way forward to ensure continued recovery of wolves in the Northern Rockies and their eventual delisting.”

    The following is a statement by Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies representative with Defenders of Wildlife:

    “While we are pleased by the restoration of federal protection for wolves, the court’s decision demonstrates the problems inherent in the federal government’s current delisting scheme. We need a new approach. We need a federal delisting plan that establishes a healthy, interconnected wolf population and adopts stakeholder-driven solutions to the current conflicts. It’s time to move beyond the gridlock over wolves. We are, as always, willing to work with the other stakeholders to seek solutions and a more rational, science based wolf delisting plan.

    “Defenders of Wildlife has a long record of being responsive to the livestock community’s concerns, and we plan to continue that and to expand our ongoing proactive conservation work to minimize conflict between wolves and livestock owners, so there can be a place for wolves and livestock to co-exist on the landscape. Our work to date has shown that collaboration is possible when parties meet each other halfway. And we are willing to work with the states and other stakeholders to ensure that wolves and other imperiled wildlife are managed based on sound scientific principles.”

    Background:

    Wolves were eradicated from the region by the 1930s as part of an overall campaign to eliminate many of the native predators. With the adoption of the Endangered Species Act in 1973, efforts began to restore the Northern Rockies wolf population. Wolves dispersing across the Canadian border into northern Montana in the 1970s and 1980s were the first to return to their historic habitat in the region. By 1995, that population had grown to 60 – 70 wolves. To expedite wolf recovery, in 1995 and 1996 the US Fish and Wildlife Service captured 66 wolves from Canada and released them in central Idaho and Yellowstone National Park. Since that time, wolf numbers have increased to approximately 2,000 wolves in 2009, the same number that many biologists have estimated would be necessary for maintaining a recovered wolf population. However, that same year, Idaho and Montana initiated hunting seasons which reduced the wolf population down to 1650 wolves by the end of 2009. One immediate effect of today’s court ruling will be to cancel a second wolf hunting season in Montana and Idaho, which was set to begin this fall and would have decreased the population to even lower levels. State agencies will still be able to manage wolves, including removing problem wolves implicated in livestock conflicts or causing unnatural declines in game species.

    ###

    Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit http://www.defenders.org.

    10-08-05 Doc.163 SJ Order.pdf

    • Elk275 Says:

      What is going to kept the western states senators from enacting a rider on a bill, such as the guns in the national parks, that would override the ESA. If the NRA gets involved then the pro wolf people are going up against the most powerful lobby in the world.

  2. JimT Says:

    Give it a rest..you make the NRA out to be a deity for pete’s sake. It won’t happen….as I have said before, if Pombo couldn’t make it happen….

  3. JimT Says:

    BTW, most powerful lobby? Oil and Gas, by far….

  4. JimT Says:

    I sent the order to Ralph, who hopefully will post a link to it here so all can read what it says, and not rely on the inevitable spin by the anti wolf folks.

  5. JimT Says:

    Time will tell. You thought the states would win this case too. So far, the pro wolf folks have the better record in court. Now, we will see what the extreme nutcases in the states affected come up with..I can just imagine.

  6. Peter Kiermeir Says:

    To the webmasters:
    I do not think people are tired of this format. After all, these threads always raise a few hundred news items and comments. That´s something ! Maybe presently it is only a summer lull.
    One thing to consider: The “have you seen threads” become easily overloaded with all kind of links, subjects and information. An additional structuring element in front of each comment (e.g. a category headline, kind of meta tag maybe) would be nice to make the browser search function work. The search function from the website works on thread level only. Don´t know if the blog software provides something like that but I think otherwise a lot of valuable info is lost “in the depth of the archives” never to be found again.

  7. jon Says:

    Idaho congressional delegation, governor respond to decision to restore wolf protections

    http://www.idahostatejournal.com/news/local/article_65f2e5a0-a0f9-11df-b23b-001cc4c002e0.html

  8. jon Says:

    Who’s afraid of the big, bad wolves? Ranchers

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50052761-76/wolves-wolf-killed-utah.html.csp

    Where are all the elk?

    http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005132633

    Elk populations are falling—but don’t just blame the wolves, say Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials.

    But falling numbers doesn’t always mean increased predator impact. Regan Berkley, wildlife biologist for the department’s Magic Valley Region, said the reasons for the elk decline are varied and far from simple.

    Berkley described the effects of wolves on elk as “mixed,” especially in the Southern Mountains wolf management zone, which encompasses much of the Wood River Valley and central Idaho east to the Montana border.
    “In portions of the Magic Valley Region, wolves may be [a threat],” she said. “But in others, they may not be. It really varies.”

  9. Layton Says:

    Just an interesting thought.

    From Malloy’s decision.

    III Factual background

    The gray wolf is the largest wild member of the dog family. 74 Fed. Reg. 15, 123, 15,123, (April 2, 2009).

    From Idaho Big Game regs.

    Any dog found running at large and actively tracking, pursuing, harassing, attacking or killing any big game animal, except black bear and mountain lion, may be destroyed without criminal or civil liability by the director of Fish and Game, any peace officer, or other persons authorized to enforce Idaho wildlife laws.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      I guess this is like humans being the dumbest member of the ape family 😉

    • Save bears Says:

      I don’t think this would ever fly, but it sure could make a mess in a courtroom if some young lawyer got a hold of it and tried to make a name for himself/herself..

    • WM Says:

      As Bryan reminded us last night on the “Victory” thread, for now, the 10(j) rule still gives both ID and MT great flexibility in dealing with problem wolves and those impacting ungulate populations.

      So, in a practical sense, Molloy’s ruling really just stops the hunter harvests, adds a bit bureaucratic delay to lethal control decisions, and changes the penalties for persons illegally killing wolves from a state to a federal crime and penalty schedule.

      Two suits involving 10(j) actions by ID are the subject of suits, one before Molloy in MT, and one before Judge Winmill in ID. They would now be active since wolves are back on the list and prescribed 10(j) remedies can be implemented. The question is, for how long?

      Ralph or Bryan,

      Any chance of putting up the links for both complaints, and any briefing, motions, etc. from both sides?

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      WM,

      On the before Winmill, the helicopter part is settled. He finally ruled it mute the other day in an interesting hearing where ID Fish and Game was directly asked by the judge if they were planning to come back to him again and request an another exception? They said they had no plans to do so . . . right now? 😉

      The part of suit against Wildlife Services in the SNRA is still on, and I don’t think the decision of yesterday has any bearing on that.

      I will try and find the text of the complaint.

  10. Elk275 Says:

    SB

    ++I don’t think this would ever fly, but it sure could make a mess in a courtroom if some young lawyer got a hold of it and tried to make a name for himself/herself..++

    What are you talking about? This. ++I guess this is like humans being the dumbest member of the ape family.++

    Here we go with another Scope’s monkey trial

    • Save bears Says:

      Hmmm,

      I was thinking of it in the sense that I was posting about yesterday, it would make a perfect test case on who’s rights trump who’s, with all of the other cases being filed concerning this very issue, it could be a real mess..long expensive and very news worthy..

    • Layton Says:

      Hell, if the wolfies can win on a technicality what would be wrong with the “against” side winning on one??

  11. jon Says:

    Grizzly In Mont. Maulings Was Light, Not Starving

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128825639

    A wildlife biologist from Alaska, the state with the most grizzly bears, said figuring out why bears attack humans is sometimes impossible. Most grizzlies only attack when threatened or surprised, but every once in a while, one hunts down humans for no discernible reason, said Jessica Coltrain with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

    “They are large predators that have the capacity to do damage,” she said.

    • Salle Says:

      Ummm, Maybe that’s because they are omnivores with no predators other than we humans? It may be a very traumatic experience for the wounded/killed and their loved ones but in nature it’s probably something that the bears haven’t figured out or have the capacity to, nor should they. Life itself assures us that there is risk and loss as well as elevation from obscurity.

      It may sound callous but I have a little feeling inside that I get when I hear about a snowmobiler crashing into a tree and dying in the process that secretly cheers on the trees… kind of like biting the human species back for all its self-interested damage foisted upon all other living things in the biosphere. I think that maybe humans ought to figure out that when they camp out in bear country the odds aren’t necessarily in their favor and that this factor and the outcome of venturing into the wild is based entirely on their knowledge/ability to recognize it. Like the tree-crashing snowmobiilers fail to recognize that; if you go crashing through the trees, one of them might get you. (This is based on the reality quip my mother used to say to my brother and I when we were getting wild and playing rough, “…if you’re going to play rough like that, you have to expect that you might get hurt.” Thus absolving herself from coddling us when we did get hurt and went crying to her for comfort. She was not crude or unloving, just realistic with the hope of helping us learn that lesson for ourselves.) Just because you’re a human doesn’t mean that you are automatically excused from the facts of life/death. We, as a society have become so conditioned to the idea that we are invincible, above all other life forms, and entitled to escape harm and death that we get mad at whatever it is that we fail to overwhelm with our sense of entitlement and accuse it of denying us our rights.

      Trying to manipulate nature is always a no-win solution for our species and those we try to control for our own gain.

    • jon Says:

      Well said Salle!

    • Angela Says:

      I agree, well said.

    • Linda Hunter Says:

      That was an interesting story Jon. The part where they say

      Residents around Cooke City, half a mile from the campground, reported seeing the grizzly family around the small tourist town in recent weeks. State wildlife agents said they received no complaints of any run-ins between the animals and humans.

      really makes me wonder what kind of treatment the bears had by someone who would NOT report it. Not to excuse them but bears are sensitive and Charlie Russell who raised grizzly bear orphan cubs in Russia and returned them to the wild did a movie called the Edge of Eden where he shows several times how bears held what appeared to be actual grudges for a while when they thought they were being attacked. Unfortunately the movie is not widely available because there was a lot of interesting stuff on bear behavior and Charlie used common sense, not letting sentiment take over in his experiments. He was able to successfully release quite a few cubs he rescued from zoos. Of course, everyone watches the horribly distorted movie Grizzly Man, but no one seems to have seen this one which was honestly done.

  12. Virginia Says:

    Ralph – it seems to me that if anyone was having a problem with the way your blog is set up, they would let you know! People should not be lazy! If they are interested enough, they will find a way to read it all.

  13. jon Says:

    A wolf hunt isn’t even needed sb. Wildlife services will still continue to kill wolves that kill livestock unless I am missing something here.

    • Save bears Says:

      Of course they will, which is what Ralph, I and others have been saying all along, in fact, I think WS will step up their efforts..

      But from my understanding, if they figure out a way to hunt them, it will be in addition to any killing done by wildlife services..

    • jon Says:

      So what exactly is the problem or purpose of Idaho fish and game trying to find other ways to control wolves? Clearly they must know that wolves will be killed by wildlife services. Wolves going after livestock is going to happen unfortunately. To think that wolves will go unmanaged just because they are protected is stupid. You will have ws doing their usual disgusting killing of wolves and maybe some hunters turned poachers illegally killing wolves.

    • jon Says:

      sb, as much as I want wolves protected and believe me, I do, protecting them is not going to stop them from being killed by ws and hunters turned poachers. Why Idaho fish and game is trying to find ways to hunt them is beyond me given the fact that Molloy ruled to have wolves protected. If they are protected, why are Idaho fish and game trying to find ways to hunt them still? Does’t make sense to me.

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      A lot of this issue has not made much sense to me, since the first day as I stood there and watched them be released in Yellowstone…and I can report, I have not been disappointed in either side so far..This has completely polarized both sides, and I don’t expect to see it solved in my lifetime…

      But I will say, I am not surprised that Idaho is trying to figure out how to appease and continue the hunts, Wildlife services, will never satisfy those who want to hunt a wolf..

    • Robert Hoskins Says:

      Any loophole that would allow hunting would have to come in through the 10j rule. That’s why a challenge to the 10j rule is so important.

      RH

    • jon Says:

      Thanks RH, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to not have a hunt and have the 10j rule in effect.

  14. pointwest Says:

    Another bear was killed in Yellowstone Park on

    In mid-July, the bear entered an occupied backcountry campsite in the Slough Creek drainage. Attempts to chase the bear away failed, and the bear ate the dinner the camper had prepared for himself.

    Last Sunday, a group of five people set up camp at the site, only the second set of campers to do so after a two-week closure. The bear returned to the occupied site. The campers left all their gear and food and hiked to the trailhead, reporting the incident to park staff, according to a news release.

    Park bear management staff hiked into the area the next day. The bear again returned to the backcountry campsite and would not leave. The animal had damaged the tent and eaten most of the food that had been left behind the day before.

    Since the bear had learned to associate people with food, it posed a threat to the safety of park visitors. Relocation of habituated, food-conditioned bears has generally proven unsuccessful.

    Due to the Slough Creek drainages’ popularity with anglers, hikers, campers and outfitters, the risks to public safety of trying to trap and capture the bear were unacceptable. Killing the bear was considered the safest method. Park staff members traveled by horseback into the area Tuesday and put down the bear.

  15. pointwest Says:

    Crash kills wolf in Grand Teton Park

    http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=6310

  16. jon Says:

    Idaho study confirms wolves wiping out elk near Mineral County

    http://www.clarkforkchronicle.com/article.php/20100806165933445

    Derek Goldman of the Endangered Species Coalition in Missoula acknowledged that there are a few packs in Mineral County and that wolves may be impacting elk populations in specific areas, but pointed to the increased elk populations in 10 of the Idaho elk management zones.

    “I do think wolves often get the blame whenever we fail to fill our freezer with meat, without regard for any other factor influencing hunter success or elk,” Derek said. He pointed out that elk populations have been historically high, and at 14 percent above Montana management objectives, may even have been too high. Hunter success rates remain high, even with more hunters in the field.

    “I don’t buy into the extreme rhetoric I hear lately about wolves being the ‘end of big game hunting,’ ‘decimating big game herds,’ ” Derek said.

    • jon Says:

      he study showed that the effects of the wolves are not uniform throughout all areas of Idaho, and that in some parts, elk populations are healthy and have even increased. Ten of Idaho’s 29 elk zones are above management objectives for female elk.

      But that is not true for the Lolo Zone along U.S. Highway 12, where deteriorating habitat and other factors contributed to a long population decline. The study said elk numbers in the Lolo Zone dropped from about 16,000 in 1988 to fewer than 8,000 elk by 1998. Since 1998, the numbers have dropped to about 2,000 – a decline of more than 70 percent. Survival of the radio-collared six-month-old calves was just 52 percent.

      During the three-year study, biologists found that wolves in the Lolo zone killed 20 percent of the collared elk. Three-quarters of the collared elk survived, less than Fish and Game’s survival goal of 88 percent. To maintain the population, the study explained, typically about 88 percent of the breeding female elk must survive, and enough calves must survive to replace the adult animals that die each year.

      That’s funny because some would have you believe the wolves have wiped out just about all of the elk herds. Good to know there are studies that say otherwise.

    • Layton Says:

      jon,

      While you are so busily searching the internet for what you want to find, why don’t you try a bit of a different tack.

      Try to find out what kind of “management objectives” that these current studies are talking about. Note the numbers that were the management objective pre and then post wolf. Note the number of tags that are NOT issued any more because of the decreased objectives.

      Maybe it will be a little more difficult to find these numbers, but they are out there. For instance, there has been a decrease in the number of controlled elk hunts in the Salmon River region by over 3500 tags. Several elk hunting zones have been “capped” in the Clearwater.

      The information is out there if you really want to find it.

      If, as a lot of people think, one of the main objectives to bringing the wolves into the country is to end sport hunting, it seems to be working well.

    • jon Says:

      Wanna you post them instead of being concerned with what I am posting. I post RECENT AND NEW wolf articles.

    • jon Says:

      Maybe so, maybe not, but I doubt many would be sad if sport hunting ended. Sport hunting is disgusting to a lot of people. I am sure someone like you will probably defend it.

  17. SEAK Mossback Says:

    Here’s another recent (today) legal decision on wolves. The Alaska Supreme Court upheld intensive management programs in Alaska as not violating the state constitution. Defenders of Wildlife and the Alaska Wildlife Alliance had argued that creation of temporary predator free areas to improve moose and caribou survival violated the “sustained yield” provision in the state constitution.
    http://alaskadispatch.com/voices/medred/6294-predator-control-is-constitutional-says-states-high-court

  18. Nathan Hobbs Says:

    Genetically modified plants growing in the wild far from roads and farm fields.
    http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2010/08/02/daily67.html

  19. RLMiller Says:

    Most hysterical headline of the day:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/nature/french-farmers-lose-the-battle-to-keep-wolves-from-their-door-2044821.html

    I like the “interesting news” format. My only suggestion would be to post a new one every day or 2 so that people don’t get completely lost.

  20. mikepost Says:

    Ralph, is there a way to prevent people from putting 1000 word posts followed by 500 word replys in this section? Thats the only problem I see.

  21. Richard Giallanzo,nj Says:

    Just a simple point,have not been around for a while, taking care of bussiness. A friend of mine just got back from yellowstone with his family,he hike near manmouth springs, and ran into a bear with her cubs. He stayed in Yellowstone and to my surprise,did not see one wolf,can Raplh or somebody who knows comment on this? Is their behavior changing because of the hunting? I realize this is inside Yellowstone, but is the behavior changing of the entire wolf population. And did this influence the decision in any way? With wolves gone from site, this must hurt tourism correct?

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      Richard Giallanzo,

      Kathie Lynch’s latest update gives the info on wolves. During mid-summer they were more visible than expected.

      August is almost always a bad time to look for wolves because they are up high following the elk and deer.

      The wolf numbers in the Park have dropped a lot, but might have stabilized. I haven’t talked with the wolf team.

    • mikepost Says:

      Yellowstone tourism is up over last year by over 5%. The simple folk still love waiting in long lines of traffic to see bison and elk and getting a chance to get gored….

    • WM Says:

      Richie,

      ++He {my friend}stayed in Yellowstone and to my surprise,did not see one wolf,can Raplh or somebody who knows comment on this?++

      Wolf viewing opportunities are much higher in winter than dead of summer.

      Also, you might also give some thought the fact that the wolf population within the bounds of Yellowstone peaked two years ago (?), and has started downward. The wolves had gone through the “excess” elk in the Park (read as prey base was reduced). They have since started to migrate outward to adjacent areas outside the Park with higher elk populations, in search of more plentiful and easier prey. Also recall wolves don’t really know whether they are in the park or not, as they can’ t read the boundary signs. So some were also killed in the harvest MT hunting season. Don’t recall the exact number, but maybe less than a dozen.

      If I recall correctly, the “official count” of the wolf population in Yellowstone is estimated now at just less than 100 animals.

      With fewer wolves actually in the Park, and potentially fewer viewing opportunities, could that mean the $35 million revenue projection from the economists addressing benefits of wolf tourism was …….overly optimisitc?
      ___

      Regarding the increase in visitation – $25 for a week of access to both Yellowstone and Teton, for as many people as you can crowd in the car, needs to be increased. Doubling the admission, for a short term or even the annual pass fee would not substantially decrease the admissions numbers, but it would raise more revenues (if they could be exclusively dedicated to fixing the long list of Park needs) may just enough to increase the value of the experience to those who do come. Aaaahhh, but those national corporate in-Park vendors wouldn’t make as many big bucks on food service and lodging.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Richard Giallanzo

      ++++He {my friend}stayed in Yellowstone and to my surprise,did not see one wolf,can Raplh or somebody who knows comment on this?++

      There are those who spend a week elk hunting and never see an elk, Ralph or somebody who knows comment on this.

      My first question is this: what type of optics does that person have — they make a difference. Does that person know where to look? Did that person hire a guide service or try to do it on they own? Many questions.

      Remember 90% of the fish caught in Yellowstone National Park are caught by the residents of the tri-state area — knowledge counts. It could and is the same for wolf watching.

  22. RLMiller Says:

    Wolf question for people on this website: Is anyone here from the northern Great Lakes (MN/WI/MI) area? I ask because I post occasional wolf pieces on DailyKos, where I get occasional comments from Great Lakes folks to the effect that they’ve learned to live with wolves, shrug, sigh, no big deal. It’s a sharp contrast to the comments from the Rocky Mtn folk, who seem polarized and emotional. I’d like to hear from people outside the DailyKos crowd whether the attitude is so different and, if so, why.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      RLMiller,

      I can’t answer you directly, but there is an excellent video out, Lords of Nature, that looks at the difference between the Great Lakes and the interior West.

      http://www.lordsofnature.org/action.html

    • timz Says:

      I grew up in MN and worked in wolf country most summers. You will and always will have real wolf haters there also but for the most part it is as you say “no big deal.” I hear more bitching about the destruction of crops, etc. by their hugh deer population than bitching about wolves.

    • NW Says:

      Wolves have been in the Midwest a lot longer, and recolonized naturally (although there were lots of rumors to the contrary 30 years ago when they were spreading). Wildlife Services control and state compensation programs have been pretty successful there. A much higher proportion of the population is urban. There is little public-lands grazing. That being said, you can find the same range of opinions on wolves in any state that has them; it just depends who has the center stage and the biggest political clout, who gets publicized.

  23. pointwest Says:

    I posted this a couple of weeks ago but want to post again because I think it is proof that people are beginning to accept wolves as any other American wildlife.

    There is an animated 3D movie opening on Sept 17 named ‘Alapha & Omega” about wolves captured in Canaca and relocated to Idaho. If this movie is popular it will do more for wolves than all of the pro-wolf organization combined. It was done by the same people who did ‘Open Season’ that was a popular movie. Where is has an opening in Sept, it may be on DVD for xmas along with wolf oriented mechandise such stuffed toy wolves and wolf clad lunch boxes.

    The pro-wolfers are winning the battle. If fact, I’d say this movie, if popular, will be the proverbial nail in the coffin for the ant-wolfers.

    The official movie link (different from the one I posted two weeks ago).

    http://alphaandomega3d.com/

  24. pointwest Says:

    COULD GRIZZLY BEARS AGAIN BE DELISTED
    NO CONNECTION REVEALED
    Multi-agency team weighs in on whitebark pine effect
    JOYCE EDLEFSEN
    Rexburg Standard Journal

    Last month the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it would study the merits of a petition to place the whitebark pine on the list of endangered species. The pine is besieged by disease and pests, and because of its value as a food for another threatened species — the grizzly bear — the National Resources Defense Council sued the federal agency to consider listing it.

    This week a multiagency grizzly study group said it’s research shows the grizzly and whitebark pine may not be as closely linked as many think. The USFWS announced last month that based on its review, the petition by the group “presents substantial scientific or commercial information” indicating that listing the whitebark pine may be warranted.

    […]

    It was written by the team’s biologists, who conclude — based on their 24-year databases — there’s not a direct impact on the grizzly bear population by the loss of mature whitebark pine in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

    “Our understanding of the relationship between whitebark seed production and the ecology and demographics of grizzly bears comes from a time series of the past 24 years with 12 good and 12 poor whitebark seed production years,” the position paper says. “We have not detected an impact of the loss of mature whitebark pine on the grizzly bear population. Rates of reproduction and survival remain high and the population is still growing.”

    The team says what it has found to be true in the past may not be true in the future, so it will continue to monitor grizzlies and their habitat needs and relationships in an effort to help detect any change in the vital rates of the Yellowstone grizzly population, should they occur. “If detrimental impacts are detected in future monitoring, the agencies are committed to adaptive management responses to address these changes as necessary to assure the long-term health of the Yellowstone grizzly population,” the statement says. It’s signed by Dave Brittell, chairman; and Harv Forsgren, vice chairman, of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee.

  25. jon Says:

    Bloodlust: Meet the ‘twisted’ teenage sisters who love shooting rare wild animals

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1299569/Pictured-The-teenage-sisters-hunt-animals-fun.html#ixzz0vxpEKNXI

    • pointwest Says:

      I am glad I have sons.

    • Layton Says:

      For crying out loud — now you’re resorting to other countries for sensational headlines against hunting.

      Try the National Enquirer or, better yet Rocky Mountain News.

  26. Elk275 Says:

    Jon, please think before you post. None of the animals pictured that she had kill are either rare or endangered. I have shot most of the animals pictured: mountain sheep, antelope, whitetail deer, zebra and gemsbok. Unfortunately the trophy fee for an eland is approximately $1600, but that is on my list for my next safari, if and when.

    The article has several inaccuracies. The only thing that I do not like is that her father is paying for the trips which diminishes the value. Maybe, I am a little jealous. I wish her the luck and success.

    • Save bears Says:

      Man,

      That a darn nice gemsbuck!

      As Elk said, they are all legally taken animals and they stated they took the meat, an on the African hunts, I am sure the natives got the meat.

      But I am sure, would like to see them in front of the computer playing games, or hanging out on the corner in trouble..then in the wilds with their family hunting.

    • jon Says:

      I never said anything elk. You are putting words in my mouth. Wanna you read some of the comments. Judging by most of the comments, many people find it offensive. I posted a link and the headline to the story. These were trophy hunts. That is what happens when you have a rich daddy. I personally find it disturbing that they are smiling and one of the girls rubbed blood from the dead animal she killed on her face. I guess some actually get off on this stuff. I don’t find it normal for someone to have a room filled with dead animals. I guess you do. Did you see that polar bear trophy that guy had? I guess that is normal too.

    • Angela Says:

      I think what is such a “turn off” for me is that their trophy hunting is entirely dependent on their parents having lots of money, enough money to fly to Africa and stay in a high-end lodge where they can drive into a game farm and point at an eland with a gun their daddy bought them. Even if other teens wanted to go trophy hunting in Africa, most families can’t drop a hundred grand to bring the family for a week. And how much grit and talent does it take for them to point a high-powered rifle at a zebra? It’s like being proud of them for wearing a Gucci handbag to school. Their “accomplishment” has been desensitization to the beauty of living animals and acquiring a consumerist attitude towards nature. It’s conspicuous consumption and it is tacky and disgusting.

    • Save bears Says:

      Angela,

      Have you ever been to any of the so called “Game Farms” in Africa?

      They are not what you might think, they cover 10’s of thousands of square miles, its not like your sitting on the porch of the local lodge and shooting them in the back yard…

      Normally it involves a whole bunch of walking, tracking and stalking of the animals. It is really a shame, that so many people have such skewed knowledge of hunting in Africa

  27. pointwest Says:

    It was probably the father who smeared the blood on his daughter’s face. That is an old initiation rite for a hunter’s first kill. It is very old and might go back hundreds of thousands of years.

    • pointwest Says:

      BTW how can you condem something human beings have been doing for hundreds of thousands of years?

    • Salle Says:

      “It was probably the father who smeared the blood on his daughter’s face. That is an old initiation rite for a hunter’s first kill. It is very old and might go back hundreds of thousands of years.”

      Pardon me for being a spoilsport but sport hunting is not a thousands of years old tradition. Smearing of blood from a hunting success may be but sport hunting is only a couple hundred years old as a tradition so to speak. Before that hunting was a survival activity either for food, clothing, tool/utensil acquisition, sport was certainly not a part of it until humans found ways around the awful, grotesque acquisition of food and whatever resources the animals may have offered. Then hunting became a “sport” when it was no longer a necessity of survival. If you want to chastise others for their “getting the facts straight”, you have to do the same.

    • Save bears Says:

      Actually Salle,

      There is evidence that many cultures practiced so called sport hunting, including the Egyptians as well as the various Roman occupation areas.

      There is ancient texts & tablets depicting the Egyptians hunting lions, not for food, but for sport before Christ was born, the English have practiced sport hunting during the Roman occupations.

      In China the practice of sport hunting also occurred in the time of Confucius.

      Of course, I would consider it Trophy hunting, in which the primary goal is the trophy.

    • Save bears Says:

      Even the Native Americans practice the act of sport hunting, they did not kill coyotes and wolves for food, they killed them for adornment, which often depicted what class the resided in with the tribe, this about the medicine men, who wore skull caps made from wolf and coyote, the animals were not eaten, which of course again would by most be considered trophy hunting now a days..

    • Salle Says:

      Okay SB, I’ll but into the “trophy” explanation but “Even the Native Americans practice the act of sport hunting, they did not kill coyotes and wolves for food, they killed them for adornment” was just that within specific spiritual belief system. Not exactly a sport.

      Knowing quite a bit about Native Americans, past and present, I don’t think they perceive(d) the activity as a sport. The essence of sport is based on competition and ego/superiority confirmation. The Native American activity was based on asking the spirit of the animal to help them in survival. I think that is what sets them apart from the generalization on this topic. I don’t see modern hunters even considering the possibility that their prey have anything relative to spirit.

    • Save bears Says:

      Well Salle,

      I guess it all comes down to how we define sport in the context of hunting, I know in ancient times, many cultures sport hunted to show status, the bigger the animal the better the hunter, in Egypt, Leopards are a prime example, the royalty hunted them for adornment, the larger the pelt, the better the hunter..and the higher the status..

      Have definitions changed? of course they have, has the goals changed, I am not so sure, often in modern times, the hunter that takes the biggest is rewarded with the higher status..

      Even in this day, there are several hunters that believe if you don’t show the animal respect, then you will be cursed with bad hunting trips in the future, hence a spiritual or mythical connection.

      In reality, I don’t think the ancients showed any less pride in their successes than those in the modern times do. And in the English tradition or even the German tradition it was quite a competition..even in the past..

    • Save bears Says:

      And Salle,

      I hope you don’t think this is an argument, just presenting a different point of view, I actually enjoy these types of conversations..

    • pointsewst Says:

      +++Salle writes: Smearing of blood from a hunting success may be but sport hunting is only a couple hundred years old as a tradition so to speak. Before that hunting was a survival activity either for food, clothing, tool/utensil acquisition, sport was certainly not a part of it until humans found ways around the awful, grotesque acquisition of food and whatever resources the animals may have offered.+++

      If, “before that hunting was a survival activity,” then why was hunting a favorite “sport” for the middle age nobility, the Roman aristocrats, the Greek military elites, and Egyptian royalty? We have Egyptian tomb paintings depicting royalty hunting that are several thousand years old. Would royals be hunting for survival? Until the past century or so in Europe, hunting was almost exclusively a privilege of the nobility. Peasants could be hanged for hunting on the Lord’s or the King’s land. Were nobles hunting for survival?

      As far hunting being done for sport in prehistoric times, we have to look at aboriginal societies that we still have today. We still have aboriginal societies in the Amazon, in the Congo, and in New Guinea. Several decades ago, there were many other aboriginal societies in other parts of the world that were studied by anthropologists. It is clear that they too hunted for sport sometimes. For example, children, particularly boys, would play hunt. They would often have a small bows and arrows or small spears and, beginning at the age of three or four, would hunt and kill small animals near the camp or village. That is, they would play hunt. Were these small boys hunting for survival?

      As with most mammals, humans too perfect hunting skills with play. Play and sport are nearly synonymous. I’ve seen documentaries of aboriginal hunters and the hunting often seems like play. For example, I can remember watching a hunt for monkeys conducted by an older hunter and his grandson. The hunter allowed his grandson to blow darts at the monkey and since his skills with the blowgun were not great, it extended the hunt and they lost several monkeys. Was allowing the grandson to extend the hunt for survival?

      We also have stories about American Indians hunting for fun or sport. Someone on this blog mentioned that Indians would run down an antelope on horseback by relay. Was this for survival? I read a story in, My Life As An Indian by Schultz that a report came back to the Blackfoot camp that there was an albino buffalo spotted nearby. There was a race by all of the hunters to gather their horses and ride out to find the white buffalo. 20 or 30 hunters began a mad chase when one hunter finally rode beside it and put an arrow into its chest. This hunter was in a daze and trembled as the other 20 or so men began dressing the white buffalo to return it to camp. Was this for survival?

    • pointswest Says:

      +++Salle writes: Smearing of blood from a hunting success may be but sport hunting is only a couple hundred years old as a tradition so to speak. Before that hunting was a survival activity either for food, clothing, tool/utensil acquisition, sport was certainly not a part of it until humans found ways around the awful, grotesque acquisition of food and whatever resources the animals may have offered.+++

      If, “before that hunting was a survival activity,” then why was hunting a favorite “sport” for the middle age nobility, the Roman aristocrats, the Greek military elites, and Egyptian royalty? We have Egyptian tomb paintings depicting royalty hunting that are several thousand years old. Would royals be hunting for survival? Until the past century or so in Europe, hunting was almost exclusively a privilege of the nobility. Peasants could be hanged for hunting on the Lord’s or the King’s land. Were nobles hunting for survival?

      As far hunting being done for sport in prehistoric times, we have to look at aboriginal societies that we still have today. We still have aboriginal societies in the Amazon, in the Congo, and in New Guinea. Several decades ago, there were many other aboriginal societies in other parts of the world that were studied by anthropologists. It is clear that they too hunted for sport sometimes. For example, children, particularly boys, would play hunt. They would often have a small bows and arrows or small spears and, beginning at the age of three or four, would hunt and kill small animals near the camp or village. That is, they would play hunt. Were these small boys hunting for survival?

      I watched a documentary about a hunter who took his grandson hunting for monkeys. He allowed the grandson to blow darts at the monkey that extended the hunt since the grandson was not very skilled at the blowgun. Was this done for survival? All mammal play to hone hunting skills and humans are no different. Play is nearly synonymous with sport.

      We also have stories about American Indians hunting for fun or sport. Someone on this blog mentioned that Indians would run down an antelope on horseback by relay. Was this for survival? I read a story in, My Life As An Indian by Schultz that a report came back to the Blackfoot camp that there was an albino buffalo spotted nearby. There was a race by all of the hunters to gather their horses and ride out to find the white buffalo. 20 or 30 hunters began a mad chase when one hunter finally rode beside it and put an arrow into its chest. This hunter was in a daze and trebled as his many companions dressed and packed the white buffalo to return it to camp.

      Hunting is natural, it is naturally fun, and people have always enjoyed it, sometimes for sport. I do not understand how anyone can possibly deny this fact.

  28. Elk275 Says:

    That polar bear was shot in 2006 and polar bear hunting is legal in Canada.

    ++I guess some actually get off on this stuff. I don’t find it normal for someone to have a room filled with dead animals++ each to there own. I have a dall sheep, bighorn sheep and mountain goat in my home — I am normal. If I had a rich daddy he would not have paid for my hunts; he would said if you want to going hunting, then get a job. There is nothing wrong with going hunting and having the trophy mounted and hung on the walls.

    Actually, it is me who is taking his father hunting this fall for the last time. He is 86 and this will be his last year hunting; we both have antelope tags, they is nothing more than I cherish than hunting with my father. You should try it.

  29. pointwest Says:

    SEATTLE METRO SUBURBAN BLACKTAILS

    Here is an interesting story about the “Backyard Blacktails” in the Seatle metro area. WM proclaims that there are very few deer in the Seattle metro. He claims there are so few that the area could not sustain a wolf pack. This story seems to indicate, as I believe, that there are many deer in the farms, open feilds and woodland of the Seattle metro area.

    http://www.wogameandfish.com/hunting/mule-deer-blacktail-deer-hunting/WO_0708_01/

    • WM Says:

      PW,

      The term “Seattle metro area” is not used in the title or the text. The article refers to the much larger Puget Sound (inclusive of the large area further east, and runs way north and south of metro Seattle), and specifically a number of the specific GMU’s mentioned are in the transition lowland/timber areas that run to the Cascade Divide. The Skagit Valley, for example, (good bald eagle viewing by the way), is quite a ways north, say 40 miles.

      Again, this “disagreement” came up with your earlier assertion wolves would do well in the “Seattle metro area” (later broadly defined as to include the Puget Sound Trough which is much larger). The State of WA apparently disagrees with your assertion (me too), and the reason is lack of SUSTAINED prey base. This hook and bullet magazine writer is paid to write this stuff. It’s novel and unexpected. This is not nearly the same as the kinds of deer density needed for wolves for the long term.

      The deer are increasing in these areas since nobody is hunting them (or wants to) because its private suburban/even house subdivision transition land requiring permission, and would require use of a shotgun, archery or muzzleloader. This story is played out in many suburban across America (the species is more likely whitetail, but some include mule deer, like Boulder, CO). But, here the logged over areas are now beginning to mature and will over time become even age stand trees (where new development does not occur), first getting brushy then as overstory grows, virtually wipe out browse upon which deer rely. As the article states, some of these unhunted deer are already in the gardens munching on roses and other desirable plants, as well as farmer fields, and nobody is bothering them. I said that before. The numbers of deer are not not many in the fringe Seattle area, though not mentioned in the article. And, for some who might hunt them, there is the stigma suggested by the title of the article “Backyard Blacktails,” just a little different title than your in-your-face caption, of “SEATTLE METRO SUBURBAN BLACKTAILS.”

      I swear you and jon must be related. I’m pretty sure you like to bait a fight – this one with me for the moment. I did find the article interesting, and thanks for providing it. We can agree to disagree. Let’s move on.

    • pointswest Says:

      The article is about suburban areas of the Puget Sound. I would say that includes the Seattle metro.

      I found and read the draft Washington Wolf Management Plan. It says conflicting things about lowlands of the Puget Sound being suitable wolf habitat. It says, for example, that some modelers believed the Puget Sound would be suitable habitat and that other simply excluded it from study. It also says that we do not really know what will be and will not be suitable habitat until wolves occupy areas and they can be collared and studied.

      You wrote as if researches rejected it completely. That is not true.

    • pointswest Says:

      Below is a comment from aother group from a guy who seems pretty familiar with wildlife issues who lives in the Seattle metro.

      In regards t wolves in WA, he writes: “It’s the Methow Valley, a very beautiful area. While parts of the Methow Valley are accessible the part where the pack is located is fairly inaccessible. You are quite correct there are significant numbers of small Black tail deer in the Seattle metropolitan area. however wolves are are by nature shy creatures who don’t seem to adapt well to human habitation, at least not in this time period. ”

      So here is someone who is in the area and who is familiar with wildlife and he says there are “signigicant numbers of small Black tail deer in the Seattle metropolitan area.” He is implying that he believes the Seattle metro could support wolves but that wolves are to shy. (another topic altogether). So he agrees with me that there are enough deer to support wolves in the Seattle metro area.

    • Save bears Says:

      PW,

      I think I am going to have to say, that I find it a low probability that wolves would have much success in surviving in the Seattle Metro area, fo course in any urban environment, there is a possibility, but the odds are very long.

      In addition, the genetic exchange issue will come into play in these areas, which I have noted in the past when talking about the Olympic efforts to re-introduce wolves, This particular area I am familier with, I did some of my field work in this area of Washington, and have a far different opinion than most on how successful it will be.

      There are several areas in Washington, that could and do support small wolf populations, but I think the Puget Sound area is going to be a bust..

      We really need to look at the areas that are classified as Metro, Suburban and Urban, because in this geographic area, they are very well defined…

    • WM Says:

      PW,

      I told you in a Footnote comment on another thread, that I talked to the Region 4 mammal biologist about all of this. He confirms, few elk with certain noted exceptions; no whitetails (except current range of the Columbia whitetail way down south along the Columbia); blacktail deer in fair numbers (but not alot), but qualifies this by saying is not the best of habitat and they are crowding the suburban/transition zones as reforestation occurs in once good habitat created by logging. And, as I just said above, nobody seems to be bothering these deer. That happens alot in urban/suburban areas where it is difficult to gain access/politically incorrect/shotgun-archery-etc., take methods.

      Ask the folks around Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula about the little elk problem that was solved. Nobody wanted them shot; they tried a limited bow season that was politically incorrect (elk running around with arrows sticking out). The result was the elk were tranquilized and sent to the Quilliayute Indian Reservation out near Forks.

      The bigger issue in the WA Draft Plan, one addressed by a couple of the modelers, was that it was not a good place for wolves because of road systems and people. So, in effect there was maybe a built in bias against defining it as possible habitat.

      In the end, it is highly unlikely for a myriad of reasons wolves will ever be a part of the Puget Sound Trough (or even more restrictively defined metro Seattle area).

    • Layton Says:

      Hey Muse,

      You said “Ask the folks around Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula about the little elk problem that was solved. Nobody wanted them shot; they tried a limited bow season that was politically incorrect (elk running around with arrows sticking out). The result was the elk were tranquilized and sent to the Quilliayute Indian Reservation out near Forks.”

      Just two little questions (I promise — I won’t even argue about the answers) 8)

      When was this bow season tried, do you know of anywhere I could read about it??

      Isn’t Forks considered to be on the Olympic Peninsula (not quibbling, just asking)? I camped there for a week and thought that’s where I was — maybe it was those mushrooms??????

    • pointswest Says:

      SB…I do not think wolves would survive in the Seattle metro area either. I never said they would.

      What happened was that we were discussing the issue of people accepting wolves in the Seattle metro when WM jumped in with both feet and made some not so kind comments that I was ignorant for even discussing the issue because there no prey species in the Seattle metro for wolves to survive on. I begged to differ.

      I believe wolves could thrive in the Seattle metro if humans allowed them to (which I do not believe they would do). Wolves would have plenty of deer, some elk, and a horn-o-plenty of domesticated animals. I do not, however, believe this will happen. People will not accept them. People will be afraid of them and people will not be happy about their pets and animals disappearing. People will shoot or poison them.

      As mentioned above, I read the draft Washington Wolf Management Plan that WM used as supporting his claims and this document states, “the Carroll et al. (2006) model results were highest because they projected the Puget Sound lowlands as potential habitat.” It also states, “It is not possible at this time to predict the eventual distribution of wolves in Washington or the carrying capacity of landscapes to support them.”

      So I guess some researchers believe the Puget Sound lowlands, including the Seattle metro, is potential wolf habitat indicating that the issue is open for debate. WM stated that, “there are no elk (well, maybe a couple), the deer are few (they are nearly all visible and raiding gardens) and the habitat is extremely limiting for any type of sustained and large populations of natural prey.” I take issue not only with his baseless assertions but also in the arrogant, misleading, disingenuous, and dishonest manor in which he made them.

      Please understand what I am and what I am not saying because WM is pretty good about putting on airs, arguing with phantoms, and twisting things around.

      I don’t believe wolves will survive in the Seattle metro but it will only be because people will not allow them to. If pro-wolfers made harming a wolf punishable by death or if they drugged the drinking water to make people not care about their kids and pets, wolves would thrive in the Seattle metro.

    • WM Says:

      Layton,

      I hope you take the next round with PW. It’s kind of like that kids amusement game – whack a mole. They just keep coming back. LOL

      The Sequim incident, if I recall, happened in about 2003-05. A friend had one of the archery permits like those referenced in the first article below. He told of some pretty ugly situations that arose around the agricultural lands around Sequim. He passed up a couple of shots at good bulls, because he didn’t want to create a spectacle with motorists watching. It is fairly open habitat right into town and there are many homes on the hillsides to the south. But, the elk persist here 100-200+ depending on how much habitat one includes in describing the area.

      This local herd migrates in and out of the area at will. The herd will be typically found in mini-groups of up to twenty animals or less. They are loved by some, and hated by others (usually getting into the gardens) and there is alot of commercial organic vegetable farming on some of the larger tracts of land (conservation easements keep them in production instead of developed for housing). There are even caution lights on Hiway 101 that alert motorists when elk are in the area (collared elk trip the sensors).

      A little geography – habitat background, too. This area is in a rain shadow and gets something like 17 inches precipitation per year, in contrast to twice that precipitation up the road about 15 miles in Port Angeles, and up to 6 times that amount in areas less than sixty miles west in Forks (out near the mouth of the Quilliyaute River). It is a highly productive agricultrual area, albiet not very large. Great elk habitat, both natural and human made. There would be alot more elk there if the people were not. There is river not far out of town called the Grey Wolf River.

      WA Wildlife Dept. has tried hazing and all kinds of efforts to keep these elk at higher elevations and out of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley. They have done grass plantings on DNR lands that had been logged rather than replanting confir trees.

      Anyway, there got to be too many elk. Complaints were increasing, and harvest scenarios not a good for WA Dept. of Wildlife, so they worked a deal with the tribe and tranquilized a few, a couple years back. I am sorry, but cannot locate any writings, and I don’t know how much they publicized the translocation. I don’t know how well the newspapers covered it, but that has been 5 years ago now. The problem is generally described in the WA Olympic Herd Elk Plan below. The discussion is about p.30 or so. Look for the terms Bell Hill and Sequim, then read between the lines, as Bob Jackson suggests we often do.

      http://www.citizenreviewonline.org/july_2003/pdn_news.htm

      http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/game/elk/olympic.pdf

      Note how things have changed from 2005 to 2008 as noted in this newspaper article:

      http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20080115/NEWS/801150303

    • pointswest Says:

      You’re back peddling again WM. You went from, decrying that “the deer are few” in the Seattle metro to admitting that there are, “blacktail deer in fair numbers”.

      It is untrue that you wrote, “in a Footnote comment on another thread, that I talked to the Region 4 mammal biologist about […], “ blacktail deer in fair numbers.”

      I will quote the footnote in its entirety:

      You wrote” “[FOOTNOTE: I just heard from a Regional WA Wildlife large mammal biologist who confirmed: No known whitetail deer in Western WA. Columbian white-tail deer population is confined to the range in their 2004 report, which, in WA, is the lower Columbia River riparian zone. No elk further west of the Cascade Range Crest than North Bend, Puyallup and Black Diamond and Maple Valley. Effectively, none/very few in the “metro Seattle” area. Habitat keeps deer and elk numbers low, which makes wolves in the Puget Trough unlikely. Updated range maps for the Nooksack (600) and North Rainier (+/- 2,000) herds available in a week or so.]”

      There is not a word about any blacktail in fair numbers let alone deer in fair numbers.

      I love it when I can make people who insult me with comments such as, “you are good at blowing sunshine up the butts of the gullible,” back peddle. You are crafty in your back peddling WM but I made you back peddle all the same.

    • WM Says:

      PW,

      I am not back peddling at all. First, once I lived in the area you speak of, not four miles from Maple Valley, just off what is called Petrovitsky Road that leads there. I have ridden my bicycle on the back roads all along the east side of the foothills a fair amount, ten years ago, but nonetheless very familiar with the area.

      Second, I still personally would say “the deer are few” in the context of encroaching habitat and relative to other populations thought to be necessary to many support wolves – afterall that is how this discussion got started in the first place, your blatently false assertions about large numbers of elk and deer (including whitetail that I had to debunk). Geez.

      I went the next step, as I said I would, and talked with a knowledgeable WA Dept. of Wildlife Regional biologist about all your rather goofy assertions, most of which were just not accurate. I addressed that in the Footnote language you quoted above. In my last post I actually typed “few deer” then changed it to “fair (but not alot)” to diffuse continuing this incredibly exhausting and nonsensical nit-picking dialog that you can’t seem to abandon.

      As I have said at least twice, your real disagreement is with the State of WA, if you think there is suitable wolf habitat, first as you described it in and near the city, then the “Seattle metro”, then the equivalent of the Seattle-Tacoma SMSA, and then to give you the benefit of the doubt, I broadened further it to the entire Puget Trough, because the issues are nearly the same throughout. You need to remember a wolf pack needs 200+ square miles for its territory, so we are told. Wolf numbers do not remain static; the populations grow as we discuss here all the time. Carrying capacity is an issue, on shear land area, suitable portions of it and human factors like roads, vegetation to support prey and the reportedly inherent “shy” behavior of wolves.

      If you feel some “victory” in the discussion, by all means take it. I have no further desire to engage you. I’d rather try my hand at “whack-a-mole,” if the game is still around, at ChuckECheese. It would certainly be fitting for this discussion.

    • pointswest Says:

      WM…I respectfully reserve the right to take exception to comments you make in above post.

    • Angela Says:

      Layton, here are a few links to the elk-hunting fiasco that occurred in 2009 here in Washington.
      http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2009/12/elk_killings_prompt_washington.html
      some photos and video here:
      http://www.king5.com/news/local/Bow-hunters-shoot-elk-in-Wash-pasture-80308087.html
      http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=515151400&blogId=526239823
      Note: I did not read the material at this latter site–I just did a quick search to find the info.

    • pointswest Says:

      Concrete, WA, where all of these elk are located, is only 16 miles from the Snohomish County line. Snohomish County, according to wikipedia, is part of the Seattle Metropolitain Area.

      The elk in this story are only 16 miles north of the Seattle Metropolitain Area. Wolves living in the Seattle Metropolitain Area could prey upon these elk. It is also likely that there are at least some elk to the south in the Seattle Metropolitain Area. WM said that there are, “no elk,” in the Seattle Metropolitain Area.

      It makes you wonder what other lies WM has told us.

    • WM Says:

      PW,

      ++WM said that there are, “no elk,” in the Seattle Metropolitain Area…. It makes you wonder what other lies WM has told us.++

      No doubt, people are getting tired of this tet-a -tet, but I want to put the facts straight.

      You are once again taking misrepresenting what I said – accusation of lies and all. I will discuss the Skagit elk further below.

      I try to give good facts, and provide references. This “metro Seattle” thing is not exactly a line call like a tennis match. You and retired tennis pro Jimmy Conners could have a great time with – is this in or out of “metro Seattle,” and of course you keep expanding it. Let’s just agree to disagree.

      From post from early in this dialog (“IDFG: wolves not …” thread):

      This was when you were still talking about the “Seattle burbs” and before you came across a broader “metro” definition, which is fine, as I am comfortable with either in the conclusions the State reaches.
      o August 4, 2010 at 3:21 PM
      “PW,
      Forgive me for the candor here, but I think you are playing a bit fast and loose with your prognostications about wolves being successful bascially, under any circumstances, east of the Puget Sound metro area. There are not alot of elk in this area. The largest population from what I understand from WA Div of Wildlife is GMU 460 which is north of I-90 to its northern boundary at Hiway 2. It extends west to the foothills and east to the Cascade Divide. It has a total of about 500 elk, yes TOTAL, and the hunting opportunities are very limited, including a 3 pt min. for bulls in the general rifle season (also very limited for archery and muzzleloader). The other GMU 400 and 500 series numbered units on the west side of the Cascades similarly have comparatively low elk populations (exceptions would be as you get closer to Mt. Rainier in the Green and White River drainages many miles away from the metro area). Deer populations in the Metro area are really not that high either, once again limited by vegetation type. The big herds of elk and larger populations of deer are East of the Cascades -……”
      —————————-

      I didn’t believe it was necessary to deal with the Skagit River, way up north, but since you brought it up, I will. The unfortunate archery situation was in very late December, so the elk were down in what winter range exists for them along the river.

      The 120 elk in the Skagit valley (yes, that is all) are part of the N. Cascade/Nooksack herd (600 animals total), by far the smallest state elk herd in the state, according to the Wildlife Dept. This herd was identified by me previously on the earlier thread, and acknowledged above in your repeat of my “Footnote:” Like so many in Western WA, this was logged over thirty years ago or so, the habitat is changing, which means the elk population is on the decline as even age stand trees block out much of the grazing and browse sending the elk into agricultural land the riparian zones.

      If you are ever in that part of WA, drive up Hiway 20 (aka the North Cascades Hiway to the south flank of heavily glaciated Mt. Baker) the full 30+ miles from I-5 to Concrete, and tell us all here with a straight face it is metro Seattle suburbs. It is very rural, and discontinuous for a metro area. And, by the way, it is actually closer to Canada, 30 miles north, than Seattle, 60+ miles south as the crow flies. The Skagit River valley (again great Bald eagle viewing in winter, especially if you float the river in the fog), is not metro as defined by a federal statistical or Wikipedia definition zone, human density, or physiography, however liberal.

    • pointswest Says:

      WM…I respectfully take exception to many comments made above.

  30. jon Says:

    Let’s craft new plan to manage wolves in Wyo

    http://trib.com/news/opinion/mailbag/article_d7ac9d0f-b275-5a9d-8091-bd3fad22c23f.html

    And what of elk populations, which provide the wolves’ primary prey base? Wolves undeniably have changed the habits of some elk herds, moving them from traditional territories. Elk are not stupid; when wolves appear they head for safer grounds.
    But overall, elk populations continue to grow even in the presence of wolves. A study released last week by Idaho Fish & Game shows wolves have had minimal impacts on elk. This is reassuring news for outfitters, motel and restaurant owners, sporting-goods stores, state game commissions and others who derive significant revenue from elk hunting. It is also reassuring for families who rely on elk as a high-quality source of food.

    • Layton Says:

      Gosh jon, did you forget to include this quote from the same article??

      “Third, once a better overall framework is established to ensure wolves remain recovered, hunting can then be a viable tool for controlling populations. Regulated, fair-chase hunting will not decimate wolves. Last year, Montana created hunting quotas and limits that Idaho and Wyoming could follow to secure a reasonable and stable population base.

      Just trying to help you out with the oversight.

  31. Maska Says:

    Chris Roberts does some original reporting on the Mexican gray wolf reintroduction. See the article in the El Paso Times.

    http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_15706746

  32. Bryanto Says:

    WOLVES IN UTAH: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/49989755-78/utah-wolf-wolves-killed.html.csp
    Stumbled across this the other day. Haven’t heard anything here about it. I don’t know the statues of Utah wolves legally now that they have been re-listed. As a Utahn, I disagree with our states rigthwing nutjob government, and think there is plenty of great backcountry where wolves can thrive. The north slope of the Uintas especially comes to mind. Tons of Elk,and a lot of Moose too that might keep the wolves higher up in the winter and away from trouble. I suspect they are already on the north slope. One of the sightings was from there.

    • pointswest Says:

      I think Europe will need to designate some areas for the large predators too. It will make even more sense for them since areas in the Alps or the Pyrenees are already oriented toward tourism to the point where some of the grazing is only done to have cows around for the tourist to see. They actually herd cows through the village to give tourists that genuine Alpine experience. The herder will herd them through town only to turn them around and herd them back again. Some cows, of course, have the famed Swiss cowbell and flowered garland. Grazing cattle for meat or milk is of a secondary concern to tourism in many areas of the Alps.

      The wild animals will open up the latest craze sweeping Europe, ecotourism.

  33. Peter Kiermeir Says:

    Yellowstone National Park: Arizona escapees may be in Yellowstone area
    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/08/08/arizona.prison.escapees/index.html?wom=false#fbid=0jM21Lx4mkB
    “They show strong white supremacist leanings and are looking for people sympathetic to their cause”. Where do you find these? In Idaho and Montana! Hmmmmm!

    • pointswest Says:

      They’d probably have some luck right here in this blog. We have big-headed conceited pompous blowhards here who compare the “Mexican problems” of the Southwest to wolf problems of Idaho and Montana. 🙂

    • Angela Says:

      Why not open a special bow hunting season?

    • Save bears Says:

      60K in this day and age, is not that much money…

    • Kropotkin Man Says:

      It takes me just over 3 years to earn that much cash.

      Take a look at the average yearly wages for the residents in the area where the wolves are being slaughtered.

      60K is still big bucks.

  34. jon Says:

    Tell that to someone who lost their job due to the economy. i am sure there would be many families who would need 60k right about now sb.

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      I have not worked steady for just about 4 years now, and still 60K is not that much money in this day and age and by the way, I have been only getting a limited amount of my retirement due to some bullshit pulled by someone who has been discussed at great length on this blog! which is one of the reasons for my lawsuit….

    • Save bears Says:

      Also, I just a pretty big hit, with investments, when the markets crashed and still don’t think 60K is hat much money…that was simply a one day loss on the market..

    • Save bears Says:

      That was I “Took” a pretty big hit..

    • Save bears Says:

      An Jon, don’t bother arguing, it will only lead us down the same road as we have been down for a long time now..

    • jon Says:

      Not a lot of money compared to what sb? It ain’t a lot of money to a millionaire, but to an average joe or family stuggling, shit yeah, 60000 is a lot. As I said, I am sure just about all that lost their jobs and have bills to pay and a family to support would happily take the 60000 dollars no questions asked. sb, I hope when your situation is settled, you can name the dirtball who forced you out of Montana fwp. I would like to know about the slimeball who told you to lie about studies you were conducting!

  35. Virginia Says:

    I, for one, am very tired of reading about where the elk are or are not.
    One of the fugitives was caught yesterday in Meeteetse, WY, someone saw him walking down the street with a hitchhiking sign labeled CASPER. We were camping/hiking up above Meeteetse on the Woodriver and came home yesterday, drove right by the church where he had been hiding. Creepy! By the way, we saw one of the biggest bull moose I have ever seen up there. It was good to see him.

    • jon Says:

      Wolf haters will continue to insist that all of the elk or most of them are dead due to wolves. The madness will continue I guess.

  36. jon Says:

    Alright, no arguing, I am just telling you what i think. you may not think 60000 is that much, but I am certain any family struggling would be happy to take the money no questions asked. people have to pay bills and put food on the table for their family, you know? 60000 is nothing to a rich person, but middle class people who are struggling would be more than happy to get 60000 dollars.

  37. Cobra Says:

    Jon,
    I don’t think I’ve ever agreed with a single word you’ve ever written. Till now that is. Right now $ 60,000.00 would go along ways for us and many others in this country. Hanging by a thread is really getting old.

    • Save bears Says:

      I guess it is all a matter of perspective, I have seen cases of murder with 1/4 of a million in reward money that have never been solved.. And please guys don’t take me wrong, if they offered me 60K I would sure take it, but I don’t find it to be that much money in this modern age.. I do however find it to be a lot of money for a wolf…especially in this time of economic uncertainties and rampant government spending!

    • Save bears Says:

      And to add, if I had information, I would sure call it in, even without the reward being offered..

    • WM Says:

      Actually, a $60K reward is closer to a net of $40K, since it is considered Income, subject to federal (and state) income tax.

  38. grdnrmt Says:

    Another bear and cubs removed from a fragile population…bummer!

    http://www.kpax.com/news/ronan-bear-family-heading-to-captivity/

  39. ProWolf in WY Says:

    It probably won’t be too long and we’ll hear about grizzlies doing the same thing in the GYE. I would think the Bighorn Mountains could support a few.

    • pointswest Says:

      The Teton River (MT) area is where the Ear Mountain Game Reserve is that has grizzlies. Ear Mountain is basically a fen that is out on the plain. So the grizzlies there are habituated to the plains and know where/how to feed there.

      My guess is that the grizzlies mentioned in the article come from Ear Mountain Game Reserve since they are already comfortable on the plains and know how to make a living there. They just start wandering down the river or streams following their nose and feeding along the way and before they know it, they’ve travelled a hundred miles.

      Grizzlies in the GYE may have a harder time feeding in the lower valleys and deserts around the GYE…in general.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      Pointswest, I think the areas immediately south of Pinedale will probably be the southern limit for grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem due to the Red Desert being close. I don’t see why they wouldn’t be able to cross much of the Bighorn Basin though. The Wind Rivers could support more bears as well.

    • pointswest Says:

      Yeah…it looks like it is about 70 miles across the valley to the Big Horn Mountains. Some could follow some stream bottom east down to the Big Horn River and then east up another stream bottom up into the Big Horn Mountains. I think you would need some grizzlies who know how to survive in a creek bottom…who frequent them. The elevation at the bottom of the valley is getting quite low, below 5000 feet, so it would be very warm in the summers.

      I’m assuming grizzlies will eventually move down the Wyoming Range to its southern end. There is high country along the Wyoming/Utah border. From the very southern tail of the Wyoming Range hills to the Uintahs also about 70 miles. Some might make it across there too. Most of that country is about 7000 feet and might support wandering bears for awhile. There is the Bear River and other streams comming off the Uintahs too they might follow up (if they could avoid the ranchers guns).

      Maybe some grizzly advocates could drop carrion along the way to lead them accross…sort of like leaving a trail of bread crumbs. Would that be illegal? 🙂

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      Pointswest, while they are at it why don’t they drop some carrion to the Bitterroots? I’m actually surprised bears haven’t made it into more of Idaho or into Utah. It’s just too bad there really isn’t a route to disperse into the San Juans in Colorado.

    • pointswest Says:

      Grizzlies are on their way to the Bitterroots. They are in the Cenntenial Moutains along the Montana/Idaho Border and I am sure they are moving west along the Centennials. The Centennials continue west and then begin curving north to where they turn into the Beaverhead Moutains that are considered the southern end of the Bitterroot Range. They will be in the Bitterroots. They not very far away now. It is just a question of time for that.

      I know they are in the Centennials because the same reasearchers who trapped the bear-turned-killer at Kitty Creek were trapping grizzlies near Keg Springs in the Centennials just a few weeks later. There was some news story about it in the local paper…about how the posted signs all over the place this time.

      I do not believe grizzlies have been in the Centennials for very long. Reading this story may have been the first I had heard of it from a reliable source. I’m sure someone like Ralph might fill us in. I doubt grizzlies have been in the Centennials more than about five or maybe, at most, 10 years.

      The Centennials, by the way, will probably be preserved to serve as a wildlife corridor between the GYE and the Central Idaho wildnerness areas.

    • pointswest Says:

      I think if grizzlies make it to the Uintahs, the jump into Colorado and south to the San Juans would be easy providing they could avoid the gun barrels of ranchers guns politician’s agendas against them.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Pointswest

      In November of 1980, I was hunting guiding up O’Dell Creek outside of Lakeview, Montana. We needed to find some elk; I left camp by myself and rode to the top of the continental divide, Montana to the north and Idaho to the south. There is a well beaten trail on top of the divide, after riding sometime I notice old bear tracks in the snow. I got off of my horse and studied them, they were grizzly. In August and September I had been hunting guiding in Alaska; I know the difference between grizzly and black bear tracks.

      Last spring a friend of mind was up the West Fork of the Madison in May hunting black bear and saw three grizzlies and about 20 blacks. There are and have been grizzly in the Centennial Mountains for a long time. The problem for both black and grizzly bears is the country west of Interstate 15 around Monida Pass is very poor bear country with very little fed and it is still a distance to the Bitterroot Mountains and the wilderness areas of Idaho.

    • pointswest Says:

      The West Fork of the Madison is in the Gravely Range and not the Centennial Range. The Centennial Valley separates the Centennial Range from the Gravely Range that is to the north. I do not know how long grizzlies have been in the Gravelys. The Gravelys are just across the valley from the Madison Range that are further north still. There have always been grizzlies in the southeastern end of the Madison Range. They never left there.

      I know the Centennial Range quite well. I’ve hunted there quite a bit and killed one elk there on the north side of Sawtell. We also used to go into Blair Lake fishing about every other summer. We also go into the Centennial Valley quite a bit. I was there last summer. If there were grizzles there before about 2000, I am unaware of it.

      I’ve also been fishing up the West Fork of the Madison and over the Gravelys by way of Black Butte.

      I do not know about the quality of the habitat west of I-15. It certainly dries out when you get away from the SRP Moisture Channel. But the country is quite high and grizzlies could wander through it without much trouble. I think some could live there. Scott Peak (11,393) is there in the Italian Peaks and is one of Idaho’s highest peaks. Ralph has been up there, I’ve seen his photos. There are lots of high rolling hills on the north side of the Centennials west of I-15. I think grizzlies will eventually move in into the Bitterroots. It is a long way…it will take time.

    • pointswest Says:

      The below link is to Peakbagger and will show the extent of the Gravely Range. If you zoom in far enough to the southeastern (lower right) of the map, you will find the West Fork of the Madison River within the bounds of the Gravely Range. The Centennials are to the south (down) on this map.

      http://www.peakbagger.com/range.aspx?rid=14254

    • pointswest Says:

      Read this story about bear 346…

      http://www.idahostatesman.com/2007/03/23/76763/the-life-of-grizzly-bear-346.html

      The article does not say it explicitly but implies she and her cubs were the first grizzlies into the Centennials in recent years. She came in 2002.

      I wonder how many are there now. You read about how far 346 has wandered in her life and it can’t be long before a grizzly wanders over the the south end of the Bitterroots.

      I have the feeling people are really watching to see if it happens. The Idaho Legislature forbade grizzlies in the Centennials but there is nothing they can do about it as long as they are listed. I’m sure they will be listed for another five or ten years.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Pointswest

      I realize that the West Fork of the Madison is in the Gravelly’s, but it would take a determined grizzly less than one hour to make it across the valley to the Cenntenial Mountains. I have an aquaintance who has a winter yurt back country ski camp in the Cenntenials and he has dealt with grizzlies in the fall and spring when putting up and taking down the camp.

    • Cody Coyote Says:

      The problem with the potential for Grizzly dispersal in Wyoming is the Wyomig Game & Fish won’t let them. The have almost zero tolerance for any bears outside the Primary Conservation Area surrounding Yellowstone, and the boundaries of that PCA have already been drawn back to appease certain interests…

      The PCA is a political boundary , not a biological -ecological -logical range and domain boundary. Of course there is great habitat for bears in the Big Horns ( and Pryor Mountains) , and a few bears may in fact already be there , a least parttime. The same is true for the southern Wind Rivers, and off limits habitat in the Wyoming Range and Salt River etc on the west side of the state. There is no defensible reason for keeping bears out of the Unitas except that Wyoming won’t let them go there.

      Yet with increasing human-bear conflicts and more frequent mixups between bears and cattle in the Upper Green River etc, and a couple of high profile human mortalities this summer, you would think that wildlife managers would reconsider allowing grizzly to expand ‘legally’ where they are already ‘illegally’ heading anyway and let off some intra-bear pressure.

      I personally think it’s past time for ” excess” Absaroka Range grizzlies to be relocated to the Absaroka sister mountains to the south …Colorado’s San Juans. They are very similar mountain ranges, both having formed at the same time, and have very similar habitat.

      None of this is going to happen. It is a gross failing of the state’s management of wildlife, to so constrain the natural dispersal of a recovering species to suitable and available habitat. It emrely reaffirms tha the states will NEVER manage wildlife for ecological goals, only money driven economics and hunting yields, ad absurdum.

      Exhibit A: Wolves. Right there in the witness list with grizzlies..

    • WM Says:

      Cody,

      The grizzly “human safety factors,” whether just perceived or real may very well color the tolerance for natural repopulation or translocation efforts. So, in that sense, it is just not hunters and livestock stakeholders that are factored into wildlife management agency decisions on where they want to see grizzly populations grow.

      This rash of maulings, fatalities and temporary campground closings in MT and WY have no doubt focused agency thinking even more about it, even though they are small probability risks in a given area.

      And, isn’t there some research and comment here about bears that have been trapped potentially having a “bad attitude” toward humans, for awhile at least? Last thing they need is a pi$$ed off newly translocated bear going after a hiker.

    • pointswest Says:

      Elk275…I just re-read your first post and realized that you were talking about Lakeview near Redrock Lake. I misunderstood your post. I’m sorry. So you saw grizzly tracks in the Centennial Range above Lakeview in 1980.

      That is interesting news to me.

      There have always been grizzlies on the east side of Henry’s Lake Flats. We used to know the Ingets who ran a big ranch there in the late 60’s and 70’s. They shot two or three grizzlies every summer. They used their hides as cattle guards rather than use gates.

      The Inget Ranch is just accross the flats from Mt. Sawtell…maybe six miles. A grizzly could wander across the flats to Sawtell overnight and be in the Centennials.

      I have hunted the Idaho portions of the Centennials a lot, however, and never saw grizzly tracks or sign. I have hunted there dozzens of days. Most of the hunting was in the snow too. I have never heard of grizzlies there until, as mentioned, after about 2000.

      I believe you if you say you saw grizzly tracks but it may have been a single grizzly that wandered the area one season. Now, however, they are trapping grizzlies in the Centennials…the implication being that there are several that breed and den there now. So maybe you could say grizzlies have moved into the Centennials in serious numbers and this is fairly recent.

      I found this document on the internet. It says that there are reports of grizzlies in the Cenntenials west of I-15 (and further west still in the Beaverheads).

      http://www.reeis.usda.gov/web/crisprojectpages/222049.html

  40. Save bears Says:

    Depending on who’s map you look at, some organizations and scientists consider this area part of the GYE

  41. WM Says:

    I have posted before here about a friend who does research associated with dust deposits on snowfields and glaciers, which increases melt rates (due to heat absorption from the darker dust particles). The article below gives warnings of possible impacts of smoke particulates from the Russia wildlfires being deposited on Arctic snow.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38641685/ns/world_news-europe/

  42. jon Says:

    Wolf predator mythology dispelled by wildlife biologists

    http://www.examiner.com/x-37619-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2010m7d8-Wolf-predator-mythology-dispelled-by-wildlife-biologists

    According to a recent report by Defenders of Wildlife, Some hunters report that it is more difficult to find elk since wolves have returned to the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, which leads some people to mistakenly assume that elk numbers have significantly dropped from wolf predation.

    Instead, as documented by scientists and researchers, the wolf’s hunting behavior of testing their prey for weakness can cause elk to avoid open areas, move to higher altitudes, seek out more areas with heavy foliage for cover, or instinctually move toward human dominated landscapes where landowners may offer less hunter access.

    • jon Says:

      http://www.examiner.com/x-37619-Environmental-Policy-Examiner~y2010m8d10-District-court-blocks-gray-wolf-hunt-and-relists-species-for-ESA-protection

      Ranchers and landowners mistakenly believe that wolves present the greatest threat to their livestock, but statistics from the National Agriculture Statistics Service, shows that only 1% of lost livestock, including unconfirmed losses, is due to wolves. The biggest threat remains to be disease, birthing issues, extreme weather, and other predators, including wild dogs.
      “Defenders of Wildlife, has had a long record of being responsive to the livestock community’s concerns,” said Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies representative. “We plan to continue that and to expand our ongoing proactive conservation work to minimize conflict between wolves and livestock owners, so there can be a place for wolves and livestock to co-exist on the landscape. Our work to date has shown that collaboration is possible when parties meet each other halfway. And we are willing to work with the states and other stakeholders to

    • bob jackson Says:

      Jon,

    • bob jackson Says:

      jon,

      Why don’t you ask those supposed expert biologists why elk now seek out cover when wolves are around, but in Lewis and Clark days …. with thousands of wolves around…why there were so many recordings of the plains being full of elk.

      May I suggest the elk of yesterday had support systems in place to warn them and protect them from wolves.

      I suggest folks look beyond the “science” words of today for answers. Behavioral science has a LONG ways to go when it comes to seeing behavior and then making declarations…without having a clue as to why this behavior is happening.

    • Moose Says:

      “Ranchers and landowners mistakenly believe that wolves present the greatest threat to their livestock”

      From what I am hearing alot of them think of wolves as a threat they didn’t ask for,wasn’t really necessary, and one they have little control over.

      “but statistics from the National Agriculture Statistics Service, shows that only 1% of lost livestock, including unconfirmed losses, is due to wolves”

      Woody Hayes once said if you believe statistics, then alot of 6ft. men are drowning in less than 3 feet of water. What % of the above livestock are considered at risk for wolf predation? I would bet that total included all the livestock in stockyards in Neb/Kansas, etc…

      I generally support wolf recovery, but I can also relate to the feeling of helplessness and anxiety some of these folks are feeling.

    • Moose Says:

      Bob,
      “why there were so many recordings of the plains being full of elk.
      May I suggest the elk of yesterday had support systems in place to warn them and protect them from wolves.”

      I would venture to guess that safety in numbers came into play as well. Were herd dynamics of elk in those days in any way like that of present day gnus?

      Very old joke:

      Prey1: What if a cheetah shows up? We’re not faster than a cheetah.
      Prey2: I don’t have to be faster than the cheetah. I just have to be faster than you.

    • pointswest Says:

      The elk may not have always been abundant on the plains.

      I have a little quiz for the wildlife biologists in this blog.

      The top speed of the pronghorn is 60 mph. The top speed of thier only serious predator (the wolf) is under 40 mph. Why did pronghors evolve to run 60 mph when they could easily outrun a wolf at just over 40 mph?

    • JB Says:

      Pointswest:

      I’m no biologist, but I’ll take your quiz. Pronghorn evolved alongside a whole array of large carnivores that went extinct near the end of the Pleistocene and beginning of the Holocene–including the extinct American cheetah (depicted here chasing a pronghorn: http://therealoutdoors.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/north-american-cheetah.jpg). Insomuch as we are capable of attributing the speed of a pronghorn to co-evolution with another species, the American cheetah seems a good culprit.😉

      As an aside: I may be mistaken, but my understanding is that coyotes currently kill more pronghorn than wolves?

    • pointswest Says:

      Wow JB…I’m impressed. My confidence in Ralph’s blog shot up 100%. Yes…we had a species called the American Cheetah on the great plains as the last ice sheet retreated but it went extinct.

      They have actually identified at least two species but still do not know very much about them because the findings are fragmentary.

      Anyway, if these cats were large enough, they may have kept deer and elk off the great plains so that these ungulates did evolve in hills and woodlands where swift running cats were not so effective…it’s fun to speculate.

    • bob jackson Says:

      Pointsweet,

      The number one danger of settlers crossing what is now Iowa? All those elk antlers hidden in the tall grass that teams of oxen and horses walked over…and then those antlers poking holes in the bellies of those individuals not able to stop because the rest of the team kept them going forward.

      Explorers of Iowa said after prairie fires the hills and swales would look just about white from all those elk antlers being shed.

      Remember, the amount of wildlife is directly dependent on the fertility of the soil. What is now iowa was described as “bountiful lands” in early explorer maps …. and elk were a major part of that much higher population than any African sarengetti.

      Actually tall grass works much better for elk than trees….for lots of their needs.

      Moose,

      The Indians on the plains did surrounds on elk the same as bison . The most elk in one bunch known to be killed in these surrounds? 300. That is because they were in extended family groups and the max for interactive recognition, whether, humans, chimps, bison, elephants or partidges in a pear tree is 300.

      Thus the plains were full of multiple familes…all keeping distance between each other and this is what Idians and wolves hunted. thus protection from predators had to do with a lot more inhouse adaptations than whole mass defenses.

      Now migration or stampedes are different than family movements. The “schools” of gnues or other migrators such as the African bat (Monty Python here) take on different characteristics. Bison did move enmass but most of this was because of major hunter-gatherer disruptions once these natives got the horse. Thus one had more of a refuge camp situation in bison as seen by early settlers. Bison had no reason to “migrate” or mass up on the Plains otherwise.

      there is more but enough for now.

    • pointswest Says:

      Bob…yes, I have also read that there were many elk on the plains before cultivation. My only point was that they were probably more of a hill and woodland animal during most of their evolution as big cats may have kept them off the open steppes and plains.

      I also agree that, as you say, they have a social intinct that helps them deal with predators in the open. They tend to stay in herds or small bands especially when they venture into open country.

      I can remember being in a hunting camp in New Mexico one night when we started hearing a chorus of “cow calls.” We finally figured out that it was a band of about 24 elk that were moving down onto some open farm fields for the night to feed. They had stumbled into our camp and became spooked and then separated. The were all calling each other to reform the band. I could see it from their tracks. We saw them the next morning on opening day from the top of a large escarmpent down on the farmland. Some trucks were following them. They all stayed in their band and ran off the open country and back into the forest at the base of the escarpment. Once in the cover of the trees, the band began to break up. I have always noticed that about them. They band up to enter open country.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      Jon, it’s interesting you say moving to higher altitudes. My dad (who would kill me if he knew I was this pro-wolf) says that elk are always at lower altitudes in the open. I have yet to see this in the part of Montana that he is in, but it is something I have heard.

    • jon Says:

      Pro wolf in WY, I did not say that. I posted some of the article from the link I posted.

  43. jon Says:

    Remove livestock from our public lands

    http://westernwatersheds.org/blog/?p=571

  44. jon Says:

    IDFG Wolf Relisting Response Jim unsworth and Virgil Moore

    One person asks them about wildlife services using 1080 to kill wolves

  45. Bryanto Says:

    More Utah wolf activity on the north slope of the Uintas: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50051018-76/wolf-killed-lewis-officials.html.csp , These are just the ones getting in to trouble down low,maybe more up high feeding on Elk and Moose that no one knows about?

  46. Nancy Says:

    Hey Jon!
    At the risk of sounding offensive (and I’m sure there are others on this site that might agree) you can not change a way of life or lifestyle, overnight.

    Wolves were re-introduced in the middle 90’s around the Yellowstone area, but their impact wasn’t felt (in my neck of the woods) until maybe 7 to 10 years later when they started establishing new pack territory outside the park which got WS very busy ( happily billing those hours!) addressing complaints about livestock depredations, whether wolves had anything to do with them or not.

    Its a game Jon…………. in this part of the country, proping up the livestock industry, subsidies, etc. and taking out anything that interferes with their product, only happens because of that huge influence (as in powerful lobbyists representing the cattle industry) back there in Washington, who get paid well to represent a lifestyle thats gone on for a 100 years and more.

    And I think I’ve posted this before, I’ve had the rare priviledge of hearing wolves howl in an area that is still considered somewhat wilderness, although they get hunted down and shot, just about everytime they make an appearence because its “cattle”country” I also enjoy hearing coyotes howl and they rank way up there, far above wolf depredations, when it comes to cattle losses……….

    • Save bears Says:

      Amazing, it might take a few generations to actually effect change! Who would have thought!

  47. Linda Hunter Says:

    Bob Jackson I have a friend who has a ranch open to wildlife who was telling me that she has several flocks of wild turkeys there and has been observing them for a year or so. She was surprised to learn that they have a social structure similar to wolves and that when one of the key players gets shot there is social unrest for a while until the group reforms itself. She has not read your posts. I asked to to keep notes on this behavior. She wants to remain anonymous because she doesn’t want local hunter to zoom in on her ranch. I thought you might be interested in her findings though.

    • bob jackson Says:

      Linda,

      All herds, flocks and tribes have social order. It has to be this way for species to ‘improve” themselves.

      It is just humans, having what they think is superior intellect, that are too ignorant to see this. Thus the academic community and all exploiters (hunters, farmers, ranchers, miners…you name it…. have to minimize this in other species in order to continue on the way they are.

      Even in the ornithology world researchers who see this very easily have to keep it to themselves…or else risk being austrasized by their peers.

      Thus it is up to lay people, like your friend, to carry on…and forget the so called academic and wildlife management community for real answers to species composition.

      Thank you for relaying what your friend sees.

  48. jon Says:

    Letters to the Editor
    Grizzly mauling: Hope researchers find the reason

    http://missoulian.com/news/opinion/mailbag/article_e0952568-a485-11df-ab51-001cc4c002e0.html

    I was so sad to read of the recent killing and maulings of people at Soda Butte Campground by a mother grizzly bear and her three cubs. I have no credentials as a bear researcher – only an active reader on grizzly behavior. My continued thought as I read the tragic article was: Was there a home or commercial dump site that this grizzly family might have been feeding at – when suddenly the feeding area became unavailable for some reason?
    I have been reading everything there is to read on grizzlies since coming to Montana in 1980. “The Night of the Grizzlies” describes how bears had been feeding at the dump at Granite Park Chalet in Glacier National Park for many years prior to 1967. Hikers regularly slept outside the chalet for years with no grizzly problems. Then, one night in 1967, two people – one at Granite Park Chalet and one on the other side of the park sleeping in a tent – were dragged away in their sleeping bags, killed and eaten. From a bear’s perspective, might it be so strange to consider people in sleeping bags as similar to garbage bags thrown into a Dumpster?
    Initial theories suggested attacks were prompted by the smell of women with their menstrual periods, organ damage to the bears from eating at the dumps for so long, the weather and increased loss of habitat. Since then, many excellent books have been written to assist people in avoiding bears and learning how to respond to bear encounters.
    I truly hope the bear researchers find the reason for this behavior so that family of the man who died and the others who were mauled can find some peace in this tragic event, and so others can be better informed, and fewer bears and people have to die.
    Susan Green, Potomac

    • pointswest Says:

      Instead of spending hours and hours of writing and reading rationalization, theories, and explanations, pouring over every detail and every possible cause or fault of stupid humans and their evil agenda, why don’t we just all agree that this grizzly attack did NOT happen. Grizzly bears will not hurt you. 🙂

  49. jon Says:

    Elk will be gone in Idaho by 2012

    http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php?action=printpage;topic=48084.0

    My question is do these nuts SERIOUSLY believe this?

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      I am sure they do, or they would not be talking about it, just as you have your position and believe it, and I am pretty sure, they say just about the same thing about pro-wolf people as well.

    • pointswest Says:

      Fortunately, the wolf-hating nuts tend to offset the wolf-loving nuts. The trick will always be to keep either of the two extremes from having their way.

    • Cody Coyote Says:

      I see where the poster of this drivel is our old friend Rockholm.

      To which I can only say ” consider the source”. He’s a creature of the fringe.

      Be forewarned that he is armed and dangerous…he has a video camera but only half a brain.

    • jon Says:

      He has a video camera, but only half a brain.

      Good one Cody. lol

      I wonder if there have been any biologists out there that support these anti wolf nuts claims that the wolves are going to wipe out the whole wolf population.

    • WM Says:

      Rocko has started on the WA hunter crowd, which is a new forum for him, and affected stakeholders.

      The WA Draft Wolf Management Plan contemplated a wolf population of about 150, if I recall. Even that population would require translocation, because they were careful to say they wanted them moved around the discontinuous habitat of the state, and before densities got to tipping points that resulted in livestock or ungulate problems. That along with generous compensation for lost livestock were big selling points to the cowboy/sheep crowd.

      The state is very protective of its Eastern WA elk herds, and there is an acknowledement that is where the wolves would want to be as their population expands, so again translocation was the selling point.

      The Draft was aired late last year, and the finalization is taking much longer than anticipated, so I am told.

      Even since December alot has happened: the successful wolf hunts in ID and MT; reports of increased effects on ungulates; the problem wolves in Eastern OR that could not be “lethally controlled” under threat of suit that OR Wildlife was not following its plan; and then there is the latest round in the delisting/listing tug-o-war that WA is no doubt watching closely.

      The WA Wildlife Commission will, no doubt, have their hands full with their Final plan approval.

    • jon Says:

      My mistake, I meant the whole elk population.

    • JB Says:

      Really? By 2012? Sixteen months from now? Reminds me of the Senator that famously predicting that there will “be a dead child within a year” of wolf reintroduction. And one can’t forget Bob Fanning’s famous prediction.

      If you’re going to make dire predictions about disasters, you’ll find you are far more effective if you’re vague about the time time frame in which said events will occur. You especially don’t want to trap yourself by making a prediction that can be easily falsified only a short time later. Sort of hurts your credibility.🙂 Then again, seeing as the “Rock” has no credibility, I suppose it doesn’t matter much!

    • jon Says:

      Actually, rockhead may be right. Afterall, 2012 is supposed to be the year that the world ends.🙂

    • Elk275 Says:

      JB

      Do you know why some feel that the world will end in 2012? That is the end of the Maya calendner.

    • JB Says:

      Elk: Are you suggesting Rocko is a Mayan?😉

  50. jon Says:

    wolves and the wyoming effect

    http://111degreeswest.blogspot.com/2010/08/wolves-and-wyoming-effect.html

    I am an angler, a hunter and a conservationist. These interests are derived from a deep love and respect for the natural world. I’m best described as a sustenance hunter, not a trophy hunter. I have no desire to kill a wolf, and I hope that I’m never in a situation which necessitates such a measure. Regardless of my personal choice to abstain from hunting wolves, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the time for sound, state level, wolf management is upon us.

    The respective fish and wildlife management agencies for the states of Montana and Idaho have displayed a good deal of aptitude for managing gray wolves at the state level; the same can not be said of Wyoming. As is the case with The Cowboy State, a fierce independence and belief in individual state’s rights is all well and good, until it isn’t.

    For those of you not following the recent ruling by District Judge Donald Molloy in Missoula, Montana – Wyoming is to blame (or thank depending on your viewpoint) for the recent re-listing of the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf population under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

    Idaho and Montana implemented biologically sound, federally approved, wolf management plans. Meanwhile Wyoming has its head stuck in the sand with a 19th century-esque wolf management policy essentially calling for an unlimited number of wolves to be shot on sight throughout wide scale “predator zones”. Wyoming has failed to improve upon their ill conceived wolf management plan, a fact that is now impeding state level management of wolf populations in Montana and Idaho.

    The reason that Wyoming’s wolf management policy is such a problem is that Molloy is interpreting the protection provided to wolves under the ESA to be a blanket protection for the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf population as a whole. He doesn’t interpret this protection as such to allow for the de-listing of the population in segments (states). Molloy said that, “The whole Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population must be protected, not just those in Wyoming, where state law is considered hostile to the species survival.”

    You can point your fingers at Molloy, and his singular interpretation of the ESA, all you want, but this decision truly is the result of Wyoming’s ineptitude. Unless something changes in regard to Wyoming’s wolf management plan, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals may very well make the same ruling that Molloy did.

    Perpetual federal protection of the gray wolf in the Northern Rockies has the potential to curb big game hunting opportunities, and therefore the revenue generated by hunting license sales and a significant source of funding for state fish and wildlife agencies. The reverberations of such a fall out could have substantial negative implications for wildlife (non-game species included) and fish throughout the region.

  51. jon Says:

    Alaska Kills Wolves!

    http://www.etalkinghead.com/archives/alaska-kills-wolves-2010-08-03.html

    Here’s a quick ecology lesson: in natural conditions (like Alaska), top-food chain predators such as wolves self-regulate their populations. It hits a threshold and levels off. Through some sheer miracle of biological intuition the wolves themselves are not conscious of, their breeding and birthing cycles are dependent upon availability of food, the amount of territory they have, and the harshness of the season, among other factors. A female wolf’s body will literally self-abort fertilized eggs under strained conditions. Also, with wolves, it is usually only the alpha pair in a given pack that has puppies, further restricting population growth. Prey species on the other hand, do not self-regulate, and in the absence of top-chain predators will grow unrestrained, overbrowsing their territory and eventually committing a collective suicide.
    Now, here’s what happens in Alaska: wolves are blamed for killing off moose populations–nevermind that most studies on the subject show that wolves actually have a relatively low success rate in killing an adult moose (Have you ever seen a moose up close? They are mighty big MF’ers; one quick kick of their hind legs to a wolf’s head will crack its skull open).

  52. pointswest Says:

    Here is an article about the Centennial Range and “sensitive grizzly habitat.”

    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_3459166c-512c-11df-9cef-001cc4c002e0.html

    Am I correct in assuming that grizzlies cannot be killed anywhere as long as they remain listed?

  53. Nancy Says:

    ==The respective fish and wildlife management agencies for the states of Montana and Idaho have displayed a good deal of aptitude for managing gray wolves at the state level==

    I run across that statement alot but don’t have the energy to pull up the many sites that state something similar to this, so often. Do know, that over the past 15 years, many wolves have died because of that kind of management, because they were just being wolves.

    So my question is, how will wolves learn to avoid ranches (livestock) when a.) its alot easier to “cry wolf” (to WS) instead of ranchers making sure their livestock (product) is safe and secure – b.) when they are hunted down and killed hours or days later, miles from depredations or c.) they are trapped and killed when they come back to the site of the depredation? (BAD CANINE! Bang, bang!!) What can a dead wolf learn or pass on from that kind of experience?

    Was it Bob Jackson that said behavior might be worth investigating?

    Ran into a bottleneck of cattle on a highway a couple of months ago and I was bitching to myself (because I had a job to get to) why these cowboys and cowgirls, couldn’t let their cattle fan out on both sides while moving them up the road (which was, fenced off on both sides) instead of bunching them up in the middle of the road. Then a young bull ran right in front of my rig, it had 5 cow dogs, nipping and biting at it’s heels, and I thought, is it any wonder why cattle are conditioned, from birth, to run from canines instead of defending themselves or their herd?

    • pointswest Says:

      Wow…that is the most interestng wildlife video I have ever seen. How would you like to have to go through that every time you were hungry and wanted to eat.

      I’ll be the lion that was thown in the air was gored pretty well and might die.

    • jon Says:

      Nancy, thanks for that video. I have seen it many times before, but it’s always good to see it again. Nature at its finest. Have you seen christian the lion video Nancy?

  54. pointswest Says:

    I will share some interesting information I’ve learn about Centennial Range lately. It is a fairly new theory so do not be surprised if you find some publication that in contradicts it.

    Both the Teton Range, along the Idaho/Wyoming border, and the Centennial Range, at a right angle to the Tetons and along the Idaho/Montana border, where formed as the Yellowstone hotspot slid beneath the lithosphere (the earths crust) nearby both of these ranges. Both ranges underwent rapid uplift and are well known to be the youngest mountain ranges in North America. The Tetons were believed to be only 6 million years old. That is very,very young in geological terms. That was the old date, however.

    More recent theories are putting the Tetons at more like 3 million years old…incredibly young. When Lucy (Australopithecus) was waking the earth, the Teton Range was a plateau. It is the reason they appear so jagged and so different from other mountains. They are different. Very different. They flew up in a geological sense. Geologists never really understood the tectonics that uplifted the Tetons and Centennial ranges but only knew that they were related to the Yellowstone hotspot since they are related by age. They attributed the uplift to “special tectonics” of the Yellowstone area but these “special tectonics” were not well understood.

    The emerging theory is called mantel delamination. It goes like this. When tectonic plates move, there might be instances where the mantel gets compressed as is snow before a snowplow. The compression happens where plates collide, especially subduction zones like California. In the case of Yellowstone, that mantel the plume (that happens to be responsible for the hotspot) creates a drag on the plate and the mantle is compressed before it like the bow wave before a boat. This bow wave forms a right angle before the bow similar to how the Tetons and Centennials are at a right angle to each other with Yellowstone at the apex. When you have a compressed mantel, in some cases, it becomes dense enough to begin to sinking in the uncompressed and lighter mantel below it. The lighter lithosphere (the crust at the surface) will not sink but delaminates from the sinking mantel and bobs upward like a cork in water. So if the theory is correct, the Teton and Centennial Ranges literally broke free of the mantel and popped out of the ground as the Yellowstone hotspot went by in an unbelievably short 3 millions year. Think about next time you see either one of these ranges.

    The old date for the Tetons of 6 million years is going by the wayside because they do know for certain that the northern Teton Range was not a significant topographical feature 2.1 million years ago because the distribution of the Huckleberry Tuff that came from eruption of the Island Park Caldera at that time. That eruption is well dated. They can tell from the distribution of the ash that formed the tuff around region that the northern Teton Range was not there at that time of erruption. If the northern Teton Range was not there, it is likely that neither the southern Teton Range nor the Centennial Range were there either. If these theories are valid, these are some of the youngest and most rapidly uplifted mountains in the world.

    pic of Centennial Range from Centennial Valley…

    http://www.panoramio.com/photo/3228447

  55. Nancy Says:

    I’ve seen that video Jon. Have you seen the Discovery Channel video Wolves At Our Door? (1997)

    • jon Says:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/11/AR2010081105671.html

      APNewsBreak: ‘Research hunts’ weighed for wolves

      Hunting wolves in the name of research? yeah right I guess anything to still have a hunting season even when a federal judge says otherwise
      By MATTHEW BROWN
      The Associated Press
      Wednesday, August 11, 2010; 7:33 PM
      BILLINGS, Mont. — Wildlife officials in the Northern Rockies say they’re considering hunting wolves in the name of research.

      Environmentalists have derided the proposal, comparing it to Japanese whale hunts carried out under the guise of scientific research.

      An Aug. 5 court ruling that restored federal protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana means the likely cancellation of hunts in those states this fall. The ruling has left state officials scrambling for new ways to control a predator responsible for increasing attacks on livestock and big game herds.

      Montana wolf program coordinator Carolyn Sime said Wednesday that one option is a “research hunt” to test the impact of public hunting on wolf populations. Officials say they also are considering killing off packs of the animals to protect elk herds.

    • jon Says:

      What are ranchers doing to help prevent attacks on their livestock by wolves and other predators? It seems as if these people are not even trying. They need to stop killing wolves just because they kill livestock. There has to be ways to stop predators from getting to livestock without resorting to have packs of wolves killed just for being wolves.

  56. jon Says:

    Bill Hoyt is president of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/08/taking_the_bite_out_of_wolf_re.html

    http://pubrecord.org/commentary/8162/drama-obama-needs-strong-second/

    First, the Cattle Industry lobby wanted wolves removed, although federal subsidies reimburse ranchers for any livestock killed by wolves. The second issue is that wolves are competition for hunters, a majority of whom tend to be conservatives or supporters of Republican philosophies. While wolves kill for food or to protect their pack, human hunters may claim they hunt for food, but go to extraordinary lengths and expense to stuff and display their “trophy kills,” and often will kill animals, such as bears, prairie dogs, and coyotes that have no food value. Unlike their human competitors, wolves usually don’t use guns with telescopic sights, buy all kinds of whistles and electronic calls that mimic the cries of other animals, use elevated shooting stands, send out decoys, or even create elaborate steel-jaw traps. They never take their prey back to a cabin, consume 6-packs, and tell stories with other wolves. A federal court this week ruled that gray wolves in the Rockies were not only an endangered species, but stopped state-supported wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana.

    Guest Editorial: Who’s to Blame for Wolf Reinstatement (and What You Can Do About It)

    http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/hunting/2010/08/guest-editorial-who%E2%80%99s-blame-wolf-reinstatement-and-what-you-can-do-about-it

    • jon Says:

      In the face of what they perceive as a stacked deck — an accurate assessment in my opinion — many hunters are talking about taking measures into their own hands. The policy they propose to resurrect is “Shoot, Shovel and Shut Up,” or SSS as they bandy the term about on Internet hunting forums. As one thread responder wrote last week, “At what point do we stop doing the legal thing and start doing the RIGHT thing?” Another put his policy more succinctly: “BANG! BANG! BANG! RELOAD, BANG! BANG! BANG!”

      Really? Undoubtedly, some hunters will shoot wolves on sight this fall, as they have since their reintroduction. But the vast majority of us take pride in being law-abiding citizens. It is one thing to vent frustration in Internet chatrooms or over a beer in a bar. It is another to pull the trigger and break a federal law. And what difference would it make, anyway? Remember: Last year, 26,000 licensed Idaho wolf hunters couldn’t meet the quota for wolves in the mountainous backcountry area where they were inflicting the most damage on elk herds.

    • pointswest Says:

      He’s a “medical scientist”? …what does that mean? …he used to play doctor with his sister?

    • WM Says:

      I am no fan of this guy, but it appears he has scientific training in the medical field. From his website “About” bio:

      “……he earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Montana State University (1987). He did his medical internship at Duke University School of Medicine (1989). He currently enjoys employment at Clark Fork Valley Hospital in Plains, as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist.”

      Duke, by the way, is one of the best med schools in the country. So, regardless of his politics or moral leanings, he appears to be bright guy from an academic perspective.

    • pointswest Says:

      He is basicly a lab tech who runs basic tests on blood, tissue, urine, and stool samples. More sophisticated tests are done by shipping samples, over night, to large medical laboratories that have expensive equipment and a medical staff to operate them.

  57. Peter Kiermeir Says:

    I´d like to draw you attention to a book:
    RARE, Portraits of America’s Endangered Species, by Joel Satore. Excellent pics of what the ESA (should) protect, from tiny plant to mighty griz! Some pictures and text send you thinking. I obtained it from the Yellowstone Association online shop.

  58. WM Says:

    Why would a Texas Congressman from the metro Fort Worth area join forces with MT’s Denny Rehberg (the only Rep. MT has) to introduce a bill to remove gray wolves from the ESA?

    Here is the text of the bill:

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-6028

    Will it even make it out of Committee?

    • JB Says:

      Not likely.

    • jon Says:

      http://www.clarkforkchronicle.com/article.php/20100811155557438

      Rehberg to back Texan’s bill delisting gray wolf

      Wednesday, August 11 2010 @ 03:55 PM MDT
      Contributed by: Admin
      Views: 160
      by Tom Schultz

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      If this gets passed that could set a dangerous precedent. Then any inconvenient species will be put on there. All of the Sarah Palins and George W Bushes will have a field day.

    • Save bears Says:

      I was under the impression, we are not suppose to post complete articles, due to copyright issues?

    • jon Says:

      oh, if that is true sb, Ralph or one of the other mods just delete the article and leave the link up, thanks.

    • Save bears Says:

      Prowolf, all you have to do, it look at the actual gate number since wolves have been re-introduced and do a bit of math, based on population increases as well and visitor numbers, things are pretty much the same or even less in some years…then take into account the error factors on how the park service counts, and we are not seeing the increases that some would like us to believe being a person that has a degree in wildlife management and biology, I can pretty much manipulate just about any number you can think of…and it is not hard to do it.

      I have a disabled pass to get in the parks, and I get counted every single time I go in a gate, that means in a Yellowstone trip, I might be counted over 25 times because I need to leave the park to get cell phone access, I have to go to a gateway community, in Gardiner, I have to leave the gate, head into town, make my call, then I come back through the gate, and they swipe my card, so I get counted every single time I enter, it is a very inaccurate way to count total visitor numbers…

  59. Save bears Says:

    Bitterroot sportmen’s group cites Endangered Species Act rule in effort to manage wolves:

    http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_d851a12c-a5cc-11df-b750-001cc4c002e0.html?mode=story

  60. pointswest Says:

    Road Improvements for Fish.

    I wonder who is funding this. Is this just coming from the USFS general funds. Is it simply USFS policy or some bill or stimulous money.

    ==========================

    ISLAND PARK — Road work scheduled to start on the Red Rock Road No. 053

    Aug. 15 has been delayed at least a month due to contractor supply issues.

    The construction start date is at least a month away, about Sept. 15, if the contractor can get the bridge components by then.

    The work to upgrade culverts and bridges is anticipated to last up to six weeks, according to a Forest Service news release.

    The work will facilitate fish passage for spawning Yellowstone cutthroat from Henry’s Lake in Duck Creek.

    The first culvert to be replaced is located before the junction with the Henry’s Lake Road No. 55, which will cut off direct access from U.S. Highway 20 toward Montana. But the second bridge to be installed farther up the Red Rock Road will have a bypass installed around the construction site so travel to Montana will remain.

    Those wishing to use the Red Rock Road to access Montana will need to use the Henry’s Lake Road off of Highway 87. Access to Montana via Highway 87 and the Red Rock Road will be maintained throughout the construction period, the news release says.

    But access from Highway 20 will be closed. Caution is encouraged around the construction zones.

    For more information regarding this project you may contact Lee Mabey at (208) 557-5780 or the Ashton/Island Park Ranger District at 652-7442 or 558-7301.

  61. jon Says:

    Yellowstone draws crowd, despite bad-news summer

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/travel/2012605346_webyellowstone12.html

    Arizona Tribe Offers Tours to See the Endangered Mexican Gray Wolves Ranchers Are Poaching

    http://animaltourism.com/news/2010/07/19/graywol

    • pointswest Says:

      That is about the smartest thing I have seen DW do…promote ecotourism of the Mexican Wolf. My respect for them just went up by 55 brownie points.

      I think ecotourism is the wave of the future. I can imagine large viewing stands in Yellowstone where the only access is via a cut-and-cover tunnel with electric shuttles carrying tourist to and fro from a distant parking lot.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      Ecotourism could be very viable if states would allow it to be and get over the kill, kill, kill mentality.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Prowolf

      The states may have a kill, kill, kill mentality. But, there is all the wildlife one wants to see with the current kill, kill, kill situation. I see as much wildlife driving around the the Bozeman area as I see in Yellowstone these days except the buffalo, there is a reason for that and it’s called farms and ranches. If I want to see Buffalo there is always Truner’s ranches. The eco tourist does not have a hunter’s eyo or ability to find game without help.

    • jon Says:

      I agree pro wolf. Every wolf that is killed by a sport hunter, that is one less wolf a wildlife watcher gets to see. Also, let’s not forget that yellowstone wolf tourism brings in 35 million dollars annually.

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      Despite the one study that has been done on eco-tourism bringing in 35mil a year, I seriously have my doubts about the direct impact on the region..now I know some like to believe the wolves are impacting the region in a positive way, but when I don’t see the growth that should be associated with that type of financial injection into the local economies. It makes me wonder, where is the money going?

    • Ryan Says:

      SB,

      If you printed off that study and took it with you to the woods, it would have its best use done for it. The fact is that Yellowstone tourism hasn’t gone up in number of visitors since wolves have been there. If they truly made a 35 million dollar difference, then you’d expect to see a few more tourist than in the pre wolf era, which the stats do not show.

    • jon Says:

      http://www.defenders.org/programs_and_policy/wildlife_conservation/imperiled_species/wolves/wolf_recovery_efforts/northern_rockies_wolves/background_and_recovery/

      Financial Benefits of Wolf Recovery
      In addition to having profound ecological effects, wolf restoration has benefited local economies in the Northern Rockies (read Wolves and People in Yellowstone: Impacts on the Regional Economy).

      Gateway communities near Yellowstone National Park have reported an economic boon from the return of the wolf. In fact, more than 150,000 people visit Yellowstone each year specifically because of wolves, bringing $35 million in annual tourist revenue to Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. The economic impact of this figure effectively doubles once money filters through local communities.

      And of course, the recreational, spiritual, and aesthetic benefits of wolf recovery to the American people—whose support and commitment brought wolves back to their rightful place on the Northern Rocky landscape—are invaluable.

    • Ryan Says:

      Jon,

      Do you have anything from an unbiased souce? I think its bullshit personally, the overall gate totals are directly linked to the econmy, not wolves and are not even trending up enough to keep up with population growth. Per capita, yellowstone visitors have actually dropped since the 80’s.

      But I’m sure you have some other google cut and paste on its way.

    • jon Says:

      Ryan, do you have any sorta proof that wolf tourism doesn’t bring in 35 million dollars annually? You cannot DENY that a lot of people specifically go to yellowstone national park to see wolves. I don’t think of dow as liars, do you?

    • jon Says:

      http://www.idahostatesman.com/2010/04/20/1160675/could-idahos-wolves-be-a-tourist.html

      IS THERE MONEY IN THIS FOR IDAHO’S ECONOMY?
      St. Onge tries to keep the customer count around eight, although an April 10 group was larger. She had a waiting list of 15 this year for the two programs and is considering adding a third next year.
      John Robison, public lands director of the Idaho Conservation League, participated in the program and thinks wolf tourism has “tremendous potential.”
      He wishes that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game would do more to educate people about wolves, and promote them as an animal to be viewed, and not just hunted.
      A University of Montana study shows how lucrative that can be.
      “If you look just across the border at Yellowstone, (wolf tourism) is a $35 million industry,” Robison said.
      He note that Fish and Game’s own wolf management plan calls for it to “identify wolf viewing areas and opportunities.”
      Fish and Game wildlife manager John Rachael, who himself participated in Sun Valley Trekking’s program on April 3, said keeping wolves out of livestock and facilitating the wolf hunt is keeping his department plenty busy at this point.
      Still, he says, he is receptive to proposals and opportunities to promote wolf-viewing.
      “I think there is tremendous value in that education,” said Rachael.

      Read more: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2010/04/20/1160675/could-idahos-wolves-be-a-tourist.html#ixzz0wRMulycD

    • pointswest Says:

      Real Estate values in the GYE have gone through the roof since wolf reintroduction and since grzzly protection. The GYE is considered the only area of the Old West that is still genuine. My home town of Ashton certainly has many more tourist than it did. Most locals believe it has been ruined by the increase in tourism…especially fly fishermen. There are dozens where there used to be one.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      Per capita, yellowstone visitors have actually dropped since the 80′s.

      Ryan, do you have a source for this? After having lived near the north entrance and visiting it numerous times, it seems to me Yellowstone has more people in it every time I go there. I know this is just anecdotal evidence but it seems that way.

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      I am not sorry to say, as a Political organization, Yes, I do consider Defenders of Wildlife to be an organization the publishes half truths and on occasion to lie..Now remember I dealt with them directly when I worked for Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks and we found several instances that they were not above board..

    • pointswest Says:

      Apparently the Park hit maximum attendance in 1995. This record will probably be broken this year, however. My theory on this is that it is related to the cost of air travel. Air travel went way down in the 90’s and has now gone back up.

      Discount airline, such as Southwest Airlines, really changed the travel and tourism business beginning in the mid-80. They were able to sell cheap airline tickets by filling short-hop flights. They did this by only flying into cities of a certain size…Boise being about the smallest city they flew into. This killed the small airports like that at Idaho Falls or Jackson Hole since they stole so much business away from the airlines that do fly into the smaller airports. There were bright hopes for the West Yellowstone Airport when the runway was enlarged for passenger jets in the mid 70’s but it fizzled and died. For me to traveling home to Ashton from LA, I always fly Southwest to Salt Lake City and rent a car. It costs about half as much as flying Delta or American into Idaho Falls (even with the car) and I can always get a better schedule. Yellowstone is not close to any large cities and is very hard to get to. Compare this to Las Vegas where you fly in on Friday night and your hotel has a shuttle that picks you up at the airport. To get to Yellowstone, you need either tons of money or loads of time.

      The places that boomed in tourism with the discount airlines were places that already had busy airports where the discount airlines already went. Las Vegas boomed. Miami boomed. Orlando boomed. Tampa boomed. New Orleans boomed. Charleston boomed. Honolulu boomed. San Francisco boomed, and I think places like Boston, DC, LA, Seattle, Phoenix, and Denver did OK in tourism the past couple of decades.

      That is all changing now. Flights to Hawaii are twice or three times what they were a few years ago. I was going twice a year. Everyone in LA would vacation in Hawaii. Not anymore.

      The thing is, I doubt air travel will ever be as cheap again. Those days are over. I think in a few more years, we will have electric cars and they will be cheap.

    • jon Says:

      sb, there was a study done in 2006 by the university of Montana and they found in the study that yellowstone wolf tourism brings in 35 million dollars annually. If you don’t believe this, that is ok and you are entitled to your opinion.

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      I am well aware, there was a study done, and no, I don’t believe it, there study methods were flawed, way out of bounds of what a realistic study would be, I even participated in that study, and I don’t believe it..and only because the economic growth is not happening, there are certain factors that happen when influx of money happens, problem is, it has not happened in this case, the growth is not happening, they screwed their numbers to fit a certain outcome..and that is not my opinion, it is based on my knowledge..

      When they handed the study and asked if I visited Yellowstone for the wolves and I said NO, they took the study papers back and did not allow me to fill out the questioner…they only wanted those who visit Yellowstone for the wolves to fill out the paperwork, if you said no, then they didn’t allow you to fill out the paperwork..

      It was simply a one sided study, that had a predictable outcome..

    • jon Says:

      http://myyellowstonewolves.typepad.com/myw/2010/02/what-good-are-wolves.html

      According to a two year study issued by John Duffield of the Department of Economics at The University of Montana in 2006, wolf watching in Yellowstone generates around $35 million for the local economy.

      “It certainly has become a major factor, especially during the winter season,” McIntyre said. “It is a great thing for the local communities, because otherwise it might be a time of year when they are not getting a lot of business.” McIntyre, who spends hundreds of hours in Lamar Valley each season, has seen wolves everyday for more than eight years. He said the last time that no wolf sightings were reported in the park for an entire day was Feb. 8, 2001.

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      You can post all you want, I have read it before, and I don’t believe it based on the study techniques I was taught in College, these a skewed studies that have a known outcome before they are ever started..

    • pointswest Says:

      I think in 2007, we got tickets to Honolulu from LA on Hawaiian Airlines for about $350 each. The last time I checked, the same tickets were going for over $1,100. That is a vaction killer for a family of four.

    • Save bears Says:

      By the way Jon,

      Are you ever going to answer the question I sent you in an email the other day?

    • jon Says:

      Whether the study was flawed or not sb, no one can deny that there are some who come to yellowstone mainly to see wolves. I would like to hear from others if they think this study was flawed as you claim sb and to get people’s opinions on this 35 million dollars that wolf tourism brings.

    • pointswest Says:

      SB…I read some other Yellowstone newsgroups and I get the impession many come to Yellowstone to see wolves nowdays. I do think wolves have helped the economy. $35 million is a small number really when you are talking about an economy over such a wide area as the GYE.

      I think wolves have raised real estate prices in the area too.

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      I don’t deny that some do come for the wolves, and I never said that, what I said, is if you don’t allow a good cross section to answer the question, then your never going to get a fair result.

      If you only allow those to answer your question that believe the way you do, then outcome is expected and predictable..

    • Save bears Says:

      PW,

      Heck I got chastised the other day because I said $60k was not that much, now your saying 35mil is not that much…

      Go figure!

    • WM Says:

      I doubt it will hold much traction with this crew, but the Duffield study was done when wolf population was at near peak as they were going through the surplus elk in the Park. Wolf population in the Park was about 170+ then. Now the elk are much fewer, there was a bout of parvo and now the wolf population hovers below 100, in 5-7 packs, or so.

      Query whether the novelty will fade on wolf tourism in YNP, with fewer wolves there, or will it be a sustainable activity over time? And, will that $35M, real or fictitious projection, help local economies or go to big corporate interests back East?

    • Elk275 Says:

      Pointswest

      ++I think wolves have raised real estate prices in the area too.++

      That is Bullshit

      For the last 20 years, I have been a certified real estate appraiser (I am very tried of it). I have tracted the price of real estate in ParK, Gallatin and Madison for those 20 years. I have never ever any indication that the price of real estate has risen because of wolves. Elk hunting and fly fishing do and have driven the price of rural property up, but not wolves. There my have been an individual who purchased property because of wolves but that has not diven property prices upward. There is a ranch north of Livingston, Montana, 36 square miles, called the Great Southern Plantation and one of the goals of the ower is to shoot a 350 bull, therefore, no one including his manager gets to hunt. I am sure that he would be none to happy if a wolf killed a 350 bull.

    • Save bears Says:

      I can honestly say, my property on the North Fork of the Flathead has been pretty stagnant for the last 10 years, even with wolves moving into the area, I see wolves pretty regularly when I am up there, but it has now been listed for 3 years and we have lowered the price three times in the last two years.

      So I can honestly say, wolves have not increased my property value…but still it is a great spot, remote, looks into Glacier National Park, not far from great fly fishing, good hunting and just solitude and quiet, but it is not increasing in price, I pretty much think it has topped out, fortunately, I will never loose money on it, but it will take a certain type of buyer to appreciate it..

    • pointswest Says:

      Real estate prices in Island Park, around Ashton, around Driggs, and in Jackson hole have at least doubled since 1995.

      I assumed prices were booming on the northern and eastern sides of the Park too, but I guess I don’t really know.

      Actually, I did here Big Sky was booming too.

      They have dropped in this recession but are still much higher than in 1995.

      I did find some stats on the internet:

      Jackson Hole
      Median home value (2000) – $365,400
      Median home value (2010) – $895,000

      Driggs
      Median home value (2000) – $63,300
      Median home value (2010) – $220,000

      Island Park
      Median home value (2000) – $90,000
      Median home value (2008) – $173,445

    • Elk275 Says:

      ++Actually, I did here Big Sky was booming too.++

      A Moonlight Mountain Home sold at the top of the market for 2.2 million, they are selling now for around $650,000 to $700,000. I even heard of one short sale for $450,000. Big Sky double and tripled in value then the price did the opposite. What went up, went down. Big Sky is foreclosure city.

    • Save bears Says:

      PW,

      What would lead you to believe wolves had anything to do with the rise in prices, those numbers you posted, are just about normal, with or without wolves, those numbers are pretty much in line with many areas of the country, due to fact, that many people have made enough money to escape the city, trying to tie it to wolves is a bit of a stretch…

      Those properties out of the main population centers of the US have always gained in value simply because so many are tired of the big city rat race..

      When I bought my property in Montana, I paid $42K for it, and now it is worth about $250K, which based on what has happened in the last 15 years I figure is about normal, but I can tell you honestly, it is not because of wolves, it is because it is not located in a crowded area, and it will take a special person to want to buy it, that understands and appreciates what it takes to live in the country..during the Summer it is great, during the winter, it is a real bitch…but again, wolves have nothing to do with it…

      I have had nobody ask me about wolves when they look at my property..

    • pointswest Says:

      ++SB writes: What would lead you to believe wolves had anything to do with the rise in prices, those numbers you posted, are just about normal, with or without wolves, those numbers are pretty much in line with many areas of the country++

      I do not believe it is just wolves but I do believe it is wolves, grizzlies, elk, and the general preservation of the “old West” in the area. It is simply more genuine than other areas. During the same period, Teton County, WY displaced Pitkin County, CO (Aspen) as the wealthiest county in the nation. Jackson Hole has become a billionaires residence along with Barbados, Monaco, East Hampton, and St. Moritz.

      Nationwide, the media price for homes:
      (2000) – $119,600
      (2009 3rd Qtr) $177,900

      This is only about a 50% increase as where in Jackson Hole there was a 140% increase in the same period. They increase almost three times as much as they did nationwide.

      I believe Montana real estate did well during the decade too…much better than the nation overall.

      ++SB writes: I have had nobody ask me about wolves when they look at my property.++

      No, but these ESA listings make national news and there are many documentaries about the wolves and grizzlies in Yellowstone. There have been four or five first class documentaries made about Yellowstone in just the past couple of years and they all feature if not star wolves and grizzlies. There are a lot. I do a key-word search with my DVR for “Yellowstone” and I always get hits.

      The latest is this kid’s movies opening Sept 17 about the wolves translocated from Canada to Idaho.

    • pointswest Says:

      ++Elk275 write: Big Sky double and tripled in value then the price did the opposite. What went up, went down. Big Sky is foreclosure city.++

      Wow…that’s sad. Tamarack over near McCall in western Idaho took it on the chin pretty hard. They shut the lifts down last winter. I co-own some property over there. Some are trying to have them operate the lifts this winter but may not succeed. It is possible the whole resort will be scraped off the mountain.

    • pointswest Says:

      Tamarack may have what Wall Street calls a white knight…someone who rescues an enterprise from bankruptcy. I don’t know about this guy. He is only 32 and has already been bankrupted. He sounds like a Gen-Y’r who has lived only during the boom times and has a sense of entitlement. Even if he does persuade financers to back him, he will probably fail and only complete the bankruptcy at Tamarack. If he was bankrupted in 2009, he couldn’t be investing very much of his own money.

      http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5inCm03-YEKfMNcSHKXssjw4a2Z5AD9HIA3800

    • JB Says:

      On the subject of home values…

      They have not risen everywhere the way they have risen in the West. I would attribute the rise in prices more to the typography (i.e. beautiful mountain views), and the budgets of the type of people that can afford to purchase a second home in another state (new builds cater to the rich).

      If mass urban flight were the cause, we should expect prices to rise in rural places with natural amenities all over the US, but this is not happening. I looked up two small towns in my home state of Michigan, both of which border National Forests and one of which is also on Lake Huron. Prices increased substantially, but nowhere near what you all have seen out West.

      median household value:

      Newago, MI
      2000= $76,600
      2008=$89,600

      Alpena, MI
      2000=$78,100
      2008=$109,600

      – – – –

      The West has many natural amenities that other places don’t have.

    • WM Says:

      RE: home values

      Consider the fact that lots of new construction of $400,000+ homes in these small communities with existing homes of less than $100,000 over the last ten years would dramatically raise the median (half above and half below the median point) home value. Throw in a couple of mega-mansions for $2-3 million and it increases it even more.

      It is not the possibility of seeing wolves that are increasing median home values in these Western gateway recreational communities. It is alot of things, and wildlife generally, is but one. Geez.

    • Ryan Says:

      Jon,

      http://www.nature.nps.gov/stats/viewReport.cfm

      Here is a per year yellowstone visits.

      http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004986.html#axzz0wUysDdRa

      Us population trends

      And yes Jon, DOW is a bunch of liars just like the NRA, PETA, and SFW. Its the nature of the beast. Most studies are done to prove a theory and the data is tweaked to reach a pre determined result.

      PRO,

      Per capita means per section of the population, not total visitors. Look at the graphs above , less people per capita are visiting Yellowstone today, than were 15 years ago and the total # of visitors is not up that much either.

    • JB Says:

      Ryan:

      You’re dead wrong about studies being done to “prove a theory”. The scientific method can only be used to disprove hypotheses, else we would have long sense resolved this whole global climate change debate.😉 In my experience, research results that conflict with a theory/hypothesis are more interesting, and if the theory is well-established, can garner more attention.

      That said, there are certainly too many examples of people abusing science for personal/political gain.

    • Ryan Says:

      JB,

      The scientific method can be used to prove a Hypothesis, it can also be tweaked, espicially when dealing with “marketing” type studies done by activist groups.

    • Save bears Says:

      And like I said earlier, it is nearly impossible to gauge if wolves have had any impact on the real estate markets in the affected areas. One the whole, yes, I could say perhaps that wildlife has a draw to a particular area, but I still think it would be a very low priority portion of a buying decision…but perhaps someone should do a study on it…

    • JB Says:

      Ryan:

      No, in fact the scientific method is a process for DISPROVING a hypothesis. A hypothesis is nothing more than a statement that is believed to be factually correct (e.g. A causes B). To test the hypothesis you might (ideally) manipulate A and then measure B. However, even in tightly controlled experiments you cannot rule out the possibility that some unmeasured variable caused the response. Thus, hypotheses tests result in one of two outcomes: outright rejection (i.e. disproof), or failure to reject (i.e. failure to disprove). Failure to disprove a hypotheses is not proof of that hypotheses.

      Sometimes, when enough studies have shown the same result, a hypotheses may be said to be “proven”, but scientists (especially ecologists) rarely adopt this language.

  62. WM Says:

    Wisconsin is starting to weigh in on Molloy’s decision. They want their wolves delisted, and have been involved in their own little on – off- on listing fight, which is the product of HSUS litigation. Recall HSUS is animal rights group, which many believe is against hunting.

    Here is an editorial piece from this newspaper editorial board in Madison (the state capitol and a pretty liberal college town), suggesting the ESA be changed:

    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/opinion/editorial/article_8f523046-a620-11df-8a8d-001cc4c03286.html?mode=story

  63. WM Says:

    Bellingham Herald (western WA college town newspaper) columnist saying the ESA needs an overhaul – his gripe is the need for common sense rules for wolves and salmon.

    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2010/08/11/1566954/its-time-rewrite-the-rules-for.html

    • Moose Says:

      Neither paper would by any stretch be considered part of the “liberal media”..Bellingham guy is one of the outdoor writers…I mention the above just to note that while located in what would be considered “college towns” neither publication is by any means left-leaning…with that said, I totally agree that WI, MN, and MI have had adequate plans in place for years and are more than ready and willing to maintain wolves at sufficient numbers. Does the ESA need tweaking? I think it does, but man that would be one contentious process!

  64. jon Says:

    People giving it to Idaho fish and game on their facebook page.

    http://www.facebook.com/IdahoFishGame#!/IdahoFishGame?v=wall

    • JEFF E Says:

      Why is not following the rule of Law a”technicality”?

    • WM Says:

      Jeff,

      I think I understand what you are saying, but think about this. How many times have you seen in the news or on your favorite (ugh) TV cop show, that a defendant (who has enough evidence against him to be convicted) got away with it “because of a legal techicality.” Sometimes it is an illegal Constitutionally prohibited search done by law enforcement.

      There are disputes over what laws mean across this country all the time. Legal “technicalities” and interpretations of what intricate provisions of a statute and case law mean and don’t mean are the bread and butter of litigation attorneys. The ESA has been the subject of many suits over interpretation of “technical” provisions. So is the federal Tax Code.

      If you have read Judge Molloy’s recent opinion, you will see one and only one technical argument made by one side and lost by the other. You will also see language to the effect that the judge acknowledges, and may even be sympathetic to, the problem that the law is not suited to solving a political issue standing against his view of what the law says. It takes him about 32 of his 50 page opinion to work through the “technical” provisions of the law. Apparently the next question is whether the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will agree with him.

    • JEFF E Says:

      WM,
      I also feel that the judge wishes that he could have come to a different conclusion. He only ruled on the one argument because it made all the others moot. however he also left the door open for those arguments at some point in the future. Stay tuned.
      As far as a “technicality” , could that rational not be applied to any legal process.
      for example the law in Idaho Say’s that a turn signal must be activated for at least 5 seconds when changing lanes. If it is only for 2-3 seconds then it is a violation of law, at ticket is issued. Was it a violation or a technicality?
      (Don’t ask how I know this)

  65. jon Says:

    I think 35 million dollars is a decent chunk of change to the economy. I also think that 60k is a lot of money to those that are struggling and have bills to pay and a family to feed.

  66. pointswest Says:

    I just made up a new joke. See if you like it:

    Have you heard that there is now a religion infecting computers? It is like a computer virus but instead of attacking individual computers, it divides computers into faiths, sects, and creeds and they attack each other.

  67. Peter Kiermeir Says:

    Legendary frontier woman Cougar Annie’s 5-acre B.C. garden up for sale
    http://www.theprovince.com/health/Legendary+frontier+woman+Cougar+Annie+acre+garden+sale/3387171/story.html#ixzz0wTA9YOcu
    Look at Wikipedia for Cougar Annie. What a life, selling bulbs and killing cougars and bears!

  68. Layton Says:

    Holy Shit,

    Wolves are now confirmed to be responsible for AT LEAST a 10% rise in the GNP!! (jon knows this but he’s saving it for later) They are responsible for ANY gains in housing values since 1995.

    They are singularly responsible for anything good that has happened and they NEVER do anything bad.

    This was reported in the Daily Greenie Gazette so we KNOW that it’s the truth.

    Now if they can just invent a cure for the common cold, I’m sure there is some way to give the wolves credit for that too —– right jon??

    What an absolute crock!! I’ve GOTTA go back to the woods, the BS around here is getting completely out of hand!!

    • JEFF E Says:

      Layton,
      do you s@#$ in the woods.
      8*))

    • pointswest Says:

      I would not expect an anti-wolfer to admit it in a thousand years but I believe the $35 million figure in added economic activity in the Yellowstone Park area and I also believe wolves contributed to the 140% increase in Jackson Hole real estate values.

    • pointswest Says:

      OK…I have ATT U-Verse as my television service and I just ran a search on the DVR using the keyword “Yellowstone.” There are two documentaries on Yellowstone coming up. I have seen them both. One is, ‘Yellowstone: America’s First National Park.’ It is mostly about the geysers and it is the only documentary about Yellowstone I’ve seen recently that does not feature the wolves. The other documentary coming up on U-Verse is, ‘Yellowstone Bison,’ and it is largely about wolves since wolves are the bison’s main preditor.

      Wolves add significant interest to Yellowstone and the GYE to the general public. You cannot deny this.

    • Ryan Says:

      “I also believe wolves contributed to the 140% increase in Jackson Hole real estate values.”

      PW,
      Are you sure itn’t not the world reknown ski resort, celebrities moving there, or Big price housing increases across the west?

      I would expect a pro wolfer to have atleast half a brain.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      Layton, I think the point here is that wolf tourism could work if the three state involved would actually give it a chance. I also can say with certainty that I have lots of relatives in Iowa who hope to see wolves when they come to Yellowstone and visit us. I have heard tourists in the park hoping to see wolves. I think those who can afford it will buy property in an area where they can see wolves.

    • Save bears Says:

      I honestly don’t know anyone who does not want to see wolves when they go to the park, I know with my family and I, we have some species we want to see more than others, but I have never heard anyone that didn’t want to see all of the species the park has to offer.

      As far as the out of porportion rise in prices in Jackson Hole, it has more to do with the high end clients that purchase in the area, look at a list of who’s who and you will find many high profile personalities that purchase there. Large rises in property values in these types of areas have been going on long before wolves arrived, just as they have in Aspen, Sunvalley and many other areas where rich people congregate…

    • Save bears Says:

      As the first National Park, it does not surprise me that you can find shows on TV about it, of course a lot of that has to do with the fact, that there is a hell of a lot more stations now on TV that are devoted to showing programs about wilderness and wild places, also with so many good video and photography people out there now a days and the lower and lower cost of production also adds to the proliferation of nature shows.

      I also won’t dispute that perhaps there is 35 million a year being spent on tourism, but it is not the economic boom that some think it is, the people on the ground are seeing very little of it, you have to remember where most of the money gets spent is in those hotels and gift shops that are run by out of state companies, just because it is spent there, does not mean it is used there…

    • Elk275 Says:

      One of the biggest reasons or the biggest reason people buy property in the tri state area is the lack of laws and regulations, the wide open spaces, wildlife, fishing and the lack of people. After dealing with and talking to many people who have purchased property in Montana there are a number of them who believes that they will be safe if intercity conflict becomes a reality.

      A DIRTY SECERT: This will not be popular with the liberal members of this forum, but it is true. A number of property buyers will confess, once you know them, that they want to be away from immigrants, non english speaking people, non white people and crime. This is not all people but I have heard this repeated over and over — very softly.

      They may profess being liberal but want and find security in ownership of firearms and owning a hide away. The million dollar homes being build in the “new west” according to various contractors have hidden floor safes and no one knows how much or what is being kept in those safes.

    • jon Says:

      Elk, that is very much true, but it has nothing to do with being a liberal. Liberal or not, some people don’t like the cities given the fact that cities have much more crimes and immigrants than rural places. Some prefer the peace and quiet.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Thanks Jon

      I took some guts for me to write what I have known to be true for a long time. I do believe it is wider wide than anyone will acknowledge.

    • Save bears Says:

      Maybe they should start a community information program and ask the residents of Jackson, why they chose to move and build there? and include wolves on the questioner…

    • pointswest Says:

      ++SB writes: Large rises in property values in these types of areas have been going on long before wolves arrived, just as they have in Aspen, Sunvalley and many other areas where rich people congregate…++

      I am or was an avid skier and know the skiing business pretty well. I have been to most of the great ski resorts of the West. When Jean Claude Killy raced in the World Cup at Teton Village (now Jackson Hole) in 1967, my family drove over to watch. Jackson Hole was a second tier resort when compared to Sun Valley or Aspen or Vail. This changed. Actually, Aspen displaced Sun Valley as the movie star Mecca. Sun Valley was not doing well in the 70’s, the 80’s and the early 90’s until Earl Holding bought it and installed the massive snow-making system and installed all the high-speed quad chairs in the early 90’s. All the rage in skiing in the 70’s and 80’s was in Colorado. Aspen was home to the rich and famous.

      As the ecology movement blossomed, however, people began learning more about the geography of the West and realized the Tetons were much more impressive mountains than any in Colorado and learned that the GYE had five times the wildlife as Colorado. I think grizzlies being put on the endangered list in 1975 drew interest to the GYE. The fires in Yellowstone in 1988 drew a lot of interest. Teton Village had changed its chic name to its authentic and rustic name of Jackson Hole and the area began to take off as an authentic representation of the old West. …and it really is. The ball was rolling when the wolf reintroductions came in 1995 but they certainly added interest in the area. It was a big national news story and there has been national interest in Yellowstone ever since the wolves. Jackson Hole displaced Aspen as the home of the rich and famous and is now in league with the great billionaire enclaves of the world such as Barbados, St. Moritz, and Monaco. Some of the most expensive real estate in the world is now in Jackson Hole.

    • Save bears Says:

      Thanks for the history lesson PW, not that I needed it, while on leave from the Military I spent a lot of time in Jackson, skiing an partying…My wife’s family is born and bread Montana, they moved here in the 1870’s and homesteaded just outside Great Falls in a little hamlet called Lincoln.

      I have also skied most of the great ski areas of the west, and learned to ski on Mt. Hood in Oregon, made the rounds, drank more beer than I would care to remember in many of the resorts, spent a heck of a lot of time in the Lake Tahoe area…as one of my uncles ran the casinos for Harold’s club in both Reno and Tahoe…

      So am pretty familier with the area and the history and well as evolution.

      Now of course, not my specialty when I got my biology degree, we did do quite a bit of studies on wolves and geography, my specialty is predator/prey relationships.

      You and others may not agree with my opinions, but rest assured based on my studies as well as my time with FWP, I have a pretty good handle on things..

    • pointswest Says:

      ++Elk275 writes: A DIRTY SECERT: This will not be popular with the liberal members of this forum, but it is true. A number of property buyers will confess, once you know them, that they want to be away from immigrants, non english speaking people, non white people and crime.++

      That is hardly a secret. Whenever people here in LA learn that I am from Idaho, I have to reassure them that I am not racist and not a member of the Arian Nations. While Idaho certainly attracts racists, I believe its reputation as a racist state hurts it economically.

      A few dentists and accountants buying a $500,000 trophy home at Big Sky might be doing so out of racism but the racism theory does not explain rich and famous buying $10 million homes in Jackson Hole. These are the same people who buy homes on Barbados where there are lots of blacks.

    • Save bears Says:

      Might take a look at the tax benefits or negatives in Wyoming PW, could be enlightening..

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      Elk, I don’t think the reasons you listed for moving are that much of a dirty little secret. People I’ve known in Montana and Wyoming are pretty open with that. Sometimes it takes just a little truth serum (beer) and they will freely admit it.

      Jon, I think your reason is probably just as valid. I live in Wyoming because I like not being in a city.

    • pointswest Says:

      ++Might take a look at the tax benefits or negatives in Wyoming PW, could be enlightening..++

      Yes…I believe low state taxes in Wyoming help, but many of the billionaires moving into Jackson Hole may have residency in an even more favorable state, such as Neveda, or may not be Americans.

    • Save bears Says:

      PW,

      Rich people get rich, because they look at the tax and income advantages most of all when they choose a location to reside, even if it is part time…my sister in law, just purchased a condo in Vancouver, WA, because it was going to save her over 60K a year in taxes since the new law was voted in the last election cycle in OR, she didn’t sell her two houses in OR, but she did change her residence to WA to avoid the new taxes…Unless they are donating heavily to the cause, there is not much of a tax advantage with or because of wolves..

      You really seem to have this stuck in your craw pretty deeply?

    • Save bears Says:

      And being honest with you, I think we are basically debating an issue that is neither provable for the positive or the negative, that is unless we take the time, effort and money to actually poll those who have chosen to purchase property in the Jackson Hole area..

    • Save bears Says:

      Crap,

      This thread has become so long, I have lost my place…!!!

  69. pointswest Says:

    ++Ryan writes: Are you sure itn’t not the world reknown ski resort, celebrities moving there, or Big price housing increases across the west?

    I would expect a pro wolfer to have atleast half a brain.++

    You need to fully engage your quarter brain. As pointed out above, increases in Jackson Hole real estate values have exceeded other ski resort areas like Aspen. Teton County, WY displaced Pitkin County, CO (Aspen) as the nation’s richest country since 1995.

    • Ryan Says:

      PW,

      It couldn’t be that people who couldn’t afford Aspen (well known long standing resort community) just bought into Jackson Hole instead driving the prices up.

      http://www.city-data.com/city/Jackson-Hole-Wyoming.html

      http://www.city-data.com/city/Aspen-Colorado.html

      Your wolf asertation is absurd at best.

      SB,

      I’d like to see wolves in Yellowstone, but it isn’t what would drive my trip there as it is for the vast majority of Yellowstone visitors.

    • Save bears Says:

      Ryan,

      Many find me weird but in order of preference, the reason I go to Yellowstone is Bison, Elk, then Bears..and one of my favorite residents of the park are the Pika!

    • WM Says:

      PW,

      Actually I know quite a bit about Aspen and Pitkin County. Aspen is a true destination community, 42 miles up a side road off I 70 at Glenwood Springs, along the Colorado River. It is an old mining commuity in a narrow valley at the town site. Great ski mountains there and about five miles or so to the nw at Snowmass. Nonetheless it has limited opportunity for expansion and once there the options for recreation are more limited. It was for a long time “THE” destination for the rich to rub shoulders, and some great institutes for music, summer festivals and think tank conferences. There are air pollution problems, restrictive natural resource zoning and infrastucture constraints prevent new development. The airport runway cannot be expanded in length because of its location relative to town. No places for golf courses, either (if I recall). And, elected officials who even want block the road and have visitors ride a train from Carbondale or Glenwood to Aspen. Old money, as well.

      Jackson, on the other hand, is not the same kind of restrictive destination resort town. Lax development guidelines in the county and WY have allowed for a number of expensive spec and custom homes. The proximity to the NP’s and the landscape and roads allow for more flexibility of recreational pursuits. It has also become THE place more recently, and these elite recreational communities kind of hit a “critical mass” before they take off and housing prices shoot through the roof. I don’t think there are limitations on the airport, and heck, they even got a polo field in about 2000. The rich like to be seen with the rich at the same spots, and there are alot of Wall St. types here, including company purchased “retreats” and “training” facilities, so they can write them off. Not so concerned about how much they spend either. Jackson would develop anyway. Wolves are just a minor footnote, if a factor at all.

      By the way, I see your sunshine pump is working overtime today.

    • pointswest Says:

      WM…I lived in Denver for a year and have been to Aspen many times going back to 1975. My company has an office in Denver and has built several resort hotels in Aspen and Snowmass. My boss spends every Xmas in Aspen.

      Your sunshine suction tube is going to collapse again.

    • WM Says:

      PW,

      Exactly what part of my statement regarding Aspen or Jackson is untrue?

    • pointswest Says:

      Ryan…your city data helps prove my point. In 2000, real estate in the town of Aspen was substantially higher than Jackson Hole. In 2008, they are nearly the same.

      I believe this data was for the towns. To really compare, you need to compare Teton County with Pitkin County. I cannot find data on these except I know that Teton County, WY has a higher per captica income than Pitkin County, CO.

    • Ryan Says:

      PW,

      How does it prove your point, it seems that prices in Jackson Hole just caught up to Aspen.

      Do you have one ounce of proof to back up your claim that prices in Jackson Hole rose because of Wolves?

      http://www.jacksonhole.com/summer/mountain-info/summer-history.html

      Geeze, It seems like all of the improvements at the resort seem to have happened about the times wolves were reintroduced. Lets see newly upgraded ski resort and village attracting rich and famous people driving up prices or wolves. If what your saying was true, then the prices should be up everywhere in the GYE where wolves are present, which its not.

    • pointswest Says:

      ++Ryan writes: Do you have one ounce of proof to back up your claim that prices in Jackson Hole rose because of Wolves?”

      No. I do not have proof. Also, I do not believe it was just wolves but (repeating myself now) I believe wolves contributed to the interest in the area. There is little doubt in my mind.

      You can believe whatever you want.

      Have you heard about Huntsman Springs outside of Driggs. They have a world class golf course along side a priviate wildlife refuge with buffalo.

      http://www.huntsmansprings.com

      What does a world class golf course along side a private wildlife refuge with buffalo tell you about why people are interested in the area?

    • Save bears Says:

      PW Said: “You can believe what you want”

      I can say with 100% conviction, we will!

      LOL

    • Ryan Says:

      PW,

      Just admit it you lost and your wrong, Huntsmans springs is a little more than 30 minutes from Jackson. Thats proably the attraction, like close to jackson for less than the absorbanent prices in Jackson.

      I’m Confused now though, First you said:

      “Real Estate values in the GYE have gone through the roof since wolf reintroduction and since grzzly protection.”

      Then

      “I think wolves have raised real estate prices in the area too.”

      You back tracked a little here

      “I do not believe it is just wolves but I do believe it is wolves, grizzlies, elk, and the general preservation of the “old West” in the area”

      Kinda getting closer, then back to the origional theory..

      “I also believe wolves contributed to the 140% increase in Jackson Hole real estate values.”

      You can believe whatever you want, but what you have said and now are saying modifiying your story is pretty weak IMHO.

      “What does a world class golf course along side a private wildlife refuge with buffalo tell you about why people are interested in the area?”

      It tells me people want to golf and Ski in a nice area and then possibly talk to people about how they see buffalo from their SUV to go skiing.

    • pointswest Says:

      Ryan…I do not see where anything I said conflicts. I believe wolves do raise prices. So do grizzlies. Colorado has neither. Jackson Hole prices have caught and are now surpassing those in Aspen.

      What is your explanation for this again?

      Aspen/Snowmass has many, many more lifts and amenities.

    • pointswest Says:

      …and I know where Huntsman Springs is and the relative values of real estate between it and development in Jackson Hole. The only point about Huntsman Springs is its emphasis on wildlife.

    • pointswest Says:

      If you don’t like Huntman Springs, try this 3 Creek Ranck in Jackson Hole.

      http://www.3creekranch-jh.com/index.html

      It has a world class golf course along side a Nature Center. What does that tell you about why people are interested in the area?

    • WM Says:

      PW,
      ++What does that tell you about why people are interested in the area?++

      It tells you people want broad multiple use options in the places they recreate. They are not satisified with just ski vacations. They want golf, trails, restaurants, shopping, a good wine store, culture, nature trails, music and all kinds of quality experiences, along with the scenery and wildlife (it helps a great deal that there is a NP nearby, … with wolves and grizzly, and that is ok). They also want quality medical and dental services. A good friend of mine from college was an orthopedic surgeon in Jackson until his untimely death a couple years back. Still makes me sad to think of it.

    • WM Says:

      ….in places they recreate AND LIVE…..

    • Ryan Says:

      What is your explanation for this again?

      Lets see increased development of the Ski area, Increased development of the infastructure (fine dining etc). It just caught up to Aspen. Look at the history of development. (BTW there has always been grizzlys there, so thats really not a factor) Kinda like sun valley, it just became the latest hip spot.

      “The only point about Huntsman Springs is its emphasis on wildlife.”

      Really the webpage seemed to empahsize golf, skiiing, fly fishing, hiking, rock climbing, etc. Wildlife was way down on their marketing list. Also its had buffalo pre wolf, so it really also is a non issue in your straw mans argument.

      You can stick to your theory, just don’t preach it like its gospel with out a single fact or study to back it up.

      PW Said: “You can believe what you want”

      I believe PW is full of it and desperately grasping at straws fighting an un winnable argument.

    • Ryan Says:

      PW,

      Once again, there interested in it because they want to ski and golf. The other stuff is nice, but not a real factor. If it was as important as you are trying to make it seem, then Talkeetna AK would be a thriving community. But its not, want to know why.. Because there is no fuckin golf, Skiing, or 5 star dining establishments. Lots of wolves and grizzlies though.

    • WM Says:

      PW,

      ++ but many of the billionaires moving into Jackson Hole may have residency in an even more favorable state, such as Neveda, or may not be Americans.++

      That is one reason why per capita income, alone, is not a reliable indicator to use as a head to head comparison for some of these high end recreational communities. Their human demographics are different, and very complicated. Also, if low pay service personnel live in that county or another adjacent one that throws things off too, because they are residents. Lots of service staff for Aspen/Snowmass live in the county, while others are forced to live further away from their work just across the line in Carbondale or Glenwood in Garfield County, where housing is more affordable. Those folks are typically not property owners either. I think the same might be true to some extent with Jackson and Driggs, ID, and although even crossing state lines I think the federal statistical linkage has been acknowledged.

      Some of the Jackson properties are second homes in which the owner has residency in another state, or the home is owned by a corporation (as an exec. perk) or a trust. Some homes and conds also are jointly owned by individuals in some kind of ownership group like a limited partnership. These non-owner occupier properties have been fairly common in recent years. I don’t know how Census accounts for them, but that is where most of the data comes from that we are all talking about. I know for a fact several places in and outside Jackson don’t get three or four months of owner use out of the entire year – a resident caretaker, house sitter or property management company keeps the places up, and maybe rents them out.

      And, one other point worth mentioning is that recreational property supply-demand relationships are complicated too. They are fickle. Not enough supply and it drives prices skyward if there is cheap money, as there was the last ten years. As we have seen there are some that are on the fringe of bankruptcy in some locations. I don’t know whether that is a problem in Teton County/Jackson ….yet. It certainly has been in other developments, and some folks with second homes and condos will likely walk away at some point, too. Where these areas are, I am not qualified to say.

      What I am trying to say is that comparisons of these types are difficult, and full of speculation on our respective parts. I am still not buying into your wolf and grizzly increasing property values in a material way, separate from alot of other factors. Are they a nominal factor? Sure.

    • pointswest Says:

      Ryan…I’ve never waivered from my theory. Maybe I have not been clear but my theory is still the same. Jackson Hole has became the most exclusive mountain resort area in the USA because it has more than any other. It notably has wildlife, wolves and grizzlies, that others, particulary in Colorado, do not have.

      As far as the new Tram and new facilities in Jackson Hole, I do not know which came first, the real estate developments or the new facilities. It seems like both are symptoms of wide spread interest in the area.

      And I will repeat that Jackson Hole does not have a fraction of the lifts that the Aspen/Snowmass area has. It does not have a fraction of the fine dining. It has a long, long way to go to catch up to Aspen in these catagories. There must be something else causing the interest beside the new facilities.

      You are just popping fart balloons at the birthday party! 🙂

    • WM Says:

      PW,

      The lure to Jackson is “cachet.” They are marketing a dream of the West, with all the amenities that are important to “civilized” society that are now easier to get than ever. It the marriage of these elements against an incredible visual backdrop that brings them in. The Tetons are alot more dramatic than the CO Rockies, even the view of Mt. Sopris as you head up Hiway 82 to ski Ajax. Ever ski Ajax, PW?

      What some of these turkeys don’t realize is that living through the winter in Jackson is very cold, and why I didn’t enjoy downhill skiing there as much as Colorado.

    • pointswest Says:

      WM…I agree with your points and especially that it is complicated to determine why real estate is more valuable here rather than there.

      However, Jackson Hole was far behind many resorts in Colorado including Aspen, Vail, Telluride, Crested Butte, Winter Park, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Steamboat Springs. In about 15 years, it has far exceeded all but Aspen. Breckenridge is only about 90 minutes from Denver International and has a lot of private land. Why did Jackson Hole pull so far a head of it? Vail is confined, has 14 high speed quads and a gondola and about 50 fine dining restaurants (I’ve stayed in the most expensive hotel in Vail). Why did Jackson Hole pull so far ahead of it?

      The real estate at Jackson Hole has not inched ahead: it lurched ahead and you need not a detailed technical analysis to see it. It has surpassed even Aspen and is not looking back.

    • pointswest Says:

      ++Jackson is very cold, and why I didn’t enjoy downhill skiing there as much as Colorado.++

      …Jackson Hole gets an inversion layer and is often colder in the valley than up on the mountain.

      Colorado does net get enough snow. I was very disappointed with the skiing there. I do not like skiing on ice and rocks.

    • Ryan Says:

      PW,

      There are a whole list Ski boom towns Jackson hole is just next in line

    • Save bears Says:

      PW,

      Wealth moves around the country, depending on the trend, I have also seen homes in the Jackson area that are in the tank right now, homes that were worth close 25 million a couple of years ago, now selling for 3-5 million, so this market is changing a lot of things, I have watched a few of the Montana Markets as well and an area that was going crazy is now stagnant and declining in value, and that is the Big Mountain/Whitefish resort area, what was selling for 4-5 million a couple of years ago are selling for a million or less…

      Jackson Hole, just happen to be a trendy place the last few years, and the prices reflect it, now with the economy in the tank, things are getting back to what it should be…

    • pointswest Says:

      ++Ryan sez: There are a whole list Ski boom towns Jackson hole is just next in line.++

      That’s not right. It is now in front of the line. Jackson Hole has become the most expensive and the most exclusive of them all and it did so in just 15 years.

    • WM Says:

      PW,

      Aaahh, but Jackson doesn’t have a rustic county courthouse from which Ted Bundy escaped, nor a Starwood subdivision where Claudine Longet shot Spider Sabich, and John Denver wrote a career of memorable songs. And, most of all, it won’t have a Little Annie’s, that has the best rueben sandwich and coldest beer in the Rockies.

  70. jon Says:

    Mark French talks about wolves. These wolves get over up over 200 pounds.-Mark French

    What is everyone’s thoughts on this guy?

    • Save bears Says:

      That he probably failed public relations and biology class when he went to school.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      I’ll leave the 200 pound comment or the Canadian comment alone because that has been discussed ad nauseum on this site, but can somebody tell me where this disease obsession comes from? I find it so interesting since elk are more likely to carry brucellosis and since so many of these wolf haters like to hunt elk they are much more likely to get infected with that.

    • Elk275 Says:

      When they first trapped the man eating grizzly in Cooke City the estimated weight was between 300 and 400 pounds. This was by people who handle bears everyday. On the autopsy table the bear weight 221 pounds. I think there may be a correlation between 200 pound wolves and the original estimate of the bears weight — people see things bigger than they really are.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      Elk, people do see things bigger than they are, but 300 to 400 pounds is about right and this came from people who are experts. When politicians, outfitters, and ranchers who don’t handle wolves every day make these claims it is less credible. Couple this with the other outlandish claims and you just can’t take them seriously most of the time.

    • jon Says:

      Yeah pro wolf, the disease obsession comes from those who mainly dislike wolves and are trying to find a silver bullet that gets rid of wolves from their states. All wild animals carry diseases, so the question has to be asked why are these people singling out wolves and not other animals that carry diseases? Can anyone tell me if there has been any cases of humans getting brucellosis from elk and how does it compare against the disease wolves carry. ecocagranolosis or however you spell it? I would take their claim more seriously if there have actually been cases where humans have got the disease from wolves in WY, MT, and ID, but based on what I found, there have been no cases of humans contacting this supposed deadly tapeworm. I believe it is getting overhyped to scare the public.

    • jon Says:

      I believe it is really easy and common and human nature to overestimate the weight and size of an animal you are viewing from a distance. It happens all the time I am sure. Someone sees a bear the claims it’s 1000 pounds when it turns out to be really 700 pounds. The only people who truly know the weights of the animals are the people who handle them and weigh them.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      Jon, aside from attacks by rabid wolves I would be surprised if people have gotten much of anything from wolves. I remember reading once in a newspaper about someone who did get brucellosis but I can’t remember how he got it. Chronic wasting disease is something that is far scarier and last I read, deer and elk, probably the most popular big game in the lower 48, are the biggest carriers. It is also relatively common in a lot of places. Mark French mentions the disease wolves supposedly carry is spread from ingesting it. So I guess if you’re not eating wolf or dog meat you’re okay? Does this mean coyote meat is safe? Maybe I’m being too much of a smart ass but I just can’t stand scare tactics or the sheep who fall for them.

    • jon Says:

      Pro wolf, I am certain you know who Jim Beers is. Anyways, here is lists the “dangerous” diseases to humans that wolves carry.

      1. Rabies (H) (OA)
      2. Brucellosis (H) (OA) Hydatid Disease:
      3. Echinococcus granulosis (H) (OA)
      4. Echinococcus multilocularis (H) (OA)
      5. Anthrax (H) (OA)
      6. Encephalitis (H) (OA)
      7. Great Lakes Fish Tapeworm (H) (OA)
      8. Smallpox (H) (OA)
      9. Mad Cow (BSE) (OA) (H)
      10. Chronic Wasting Disease (OA) From Ticks Carried by wolves:
      11. Anemia (H)
      12. Dermatosis (H)
      13. Tick paralysis (H)
      14. Babesiosis (H)
      15. Anaplasmosis (H)
      16. Erlichia (H)
      17. E. Coast Fever (H)
      18. Relapsing Fever (H)
      19. Rocky Mtn. Spotted Fever (H)
      20. Lyme Disease (H) From Fleas:
      21. Plague (H)
      22. Bubonic Plague (H)
      23. Pneumonic Plague (H)
      24. Flea-Borne Typhus (H)
      25. Distemper (OA)
      26. Neospora caninum (OA)
      27. 2 Types of Mange (H) (OA)
      28. GID (a disease of wild and dome
      stic sheep) (OA)
      29. Foot-and -Mouth (OA)

      http://mainehuntingtoday.com/bbb/2010/06/14/jim-beers-testimony-before-oregon-state-legislative-committee/

      I am sure some other animals carry some of these diseases, but you hardly ever hear about them being a threat to people with the diseases they carry. I also bet my bottom dollar that very few people actually died from any of these supposed diseases that were wolf caused with the exception of rabies. You are more likely to die from a domestic dog with rabies than a wild wolf with rabies.

    • jon Says:

      sorry meant to say raccoon with rabies.

    • JEFF E Says:

      I think that the estimate on the bear was just repeating what is the knowen average weight for sow’s. The same ting was done with the cubs. No one ever considered that they were just naturally smaller, and within the knowen range of berar size and weight.
      http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.bearbiology.com/fileadmin/tpl/Downloads/URSUS/Vol_7/Blanchard_Vol_7.pdf

      As for wolf size….. sigh

    • JEFF E Says:

      spell check is a good thing

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      I never had heard of Jim Beers but I have been to this site. Even if wolves do carry those diseases there are plenty of other animals that carry those and other diseases. To be honest I think the disease carrying animals I would worry the most about would be mice and rats. They get into your house and all you have to do is inhale dust with their urine and feces in it and you can get hantavirus.

    • Save bears Says:

      Pro,

      With the conversations we have had on this blog, you have not heard of Jim Beers!!!!!!!???????

      All I can say is wow, if your still a virgin to that conversation, I would say, make sure you stay that way!

    • jon Says:

      Pro, I don’t think many on here have met Jim Beers in real life, but sb is one of the few thathas and he has admitted on here he doesn’t like wolves. Jim Beers is another Toby Bridges I guess you can say. He goes around speaking to people about how bad wolves are. He got fired I believe from the us fish and game and I believe he was an animal control officer for them. sB probably knows more about what he did for us fish and wildlife. Let’s just say he doesn’t like wolves very much.

    • jon Says:

      my mistake, I meant to say sb is one of the few on here that has personally met Jim Beers and said he didn’t like him. I guess you can put Beers in the same category as a Ron Gillet and Toby Bridges and even include rockhead in there.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      Save bears, I did not remember the name Jim Beers. I have been to that site, I guess I just didn’t remember the name of anyone on there.

      And what do you mean a virgin to a conversation? What are you talking about?

    • jon Says:

      sb, Bob Ream said that 60% of Montana’s wolf population came down from Canada naturally on their own. Do you believe this to be true? What are your thoughts on this?

    • Save bears Says:

      Pro,

      It was not met in a bad way, I have dealt with this man since I worked at Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, and any conversation you can avoid with or about him, is a blessing, that was all I meant…noting bad about you..

    • Save bears Says:

      Jon,

      There is a good strong population of naturally migrated wolves in Northern Montana, NW Montana, which is the Flathead and Lincoln Counties has no problem with wolf populations, do they comprise 60% of the state population, I really don’t know.. But I can honestly say, they are having an impact on wildlife herds. And don’t take that wrong, I do think with the correct management, things will balance out a bit better than they are right now..

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      Save bears, I just didn’t understand what you meant. I didn’t take anything personal from it.

  71. Angela Says:

    This story should bring a smile, as well as provide you with a new technique to try on too-curious bears.
    http://www.canadaeast.com/rss/article/1174986

    If only I could find a copy of a movie I saw long ago at a film festival called “Vision/Man.” It basically consisted of an old Inuit man recounting his younger days as a hunter, as well as footage of his son hunting in recent time. The old man told a story of being out on the ice with his dog team, being attacked by a polar bear, and killing it with a knife. Not the safest way to get your polar bear skin pants…but what a great story to tell around the campfire!

  72. WM Says:

    OUCH! Looks like it is not just the 3 wacko NRM states and the 3 northen midwest states that want wolves delisted.

    “Administrators from the natural resource agencies in 13 Midwestern states and three Canadian provinces have signed a joint resolution urging the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list.”

    http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/100644004.html

    • Save bears Says:

      Depending on which side of the issue you are on, this could be good or it could be bad, and after Canada gave in on the mining issue in the Canadian Flathead area, they could exert some strong pressure, the old “this is what we did for you, Now what are you going to do for us?”

  73. Nancy Says:

    From the article jsonline: ++With the growth of the wolf population in Wisconsin and Michigan, there have been some problems with wolves killing livestock, pets and hunting dogs, according to the DNR++

    Okay, just trying to relate – do those areas not have coyote problems as in killing livestock, pets (and that other catagory dogs fall under other than pets – herding or hunting)

    I mean I had no idea, til wolves suddenly made the top of the s**tlist, that losses were a heck of alot higher, and had been for years (and still are in Idaho, Montana & Wyoming) due to the little “song dog’s” appetite (for young livestock and pets) not to mention their ability to make a fast comeback (population wise) after WS and any body with a gun, popped them off, left and right.

    • jon Says:

      Thanks Jeff for that article. I want to apologize for that little argument we had few weeks back. I tried emailing you, but your email doesn’t appear to work anymore.

    • JEFF E Says:

      Life goes on

  74. jon Says:

    http://news.opb.org/article/11042-idaho-game-commission-consider-wolf-reduction-proposal/

    Conservationists like Jesse Timberlake say the state is making wolves a scapegoat.

    Timberlake works for the group Defenders of Wildlife in Boise. He says the elk population has been dying off there for years, even before wolves were reintroduced in Idaho.

    Jesse Timberlake: “They had some large fires there back in the day and the forests are growing back. The canopy is covering the area and that means less food for the elk. They’ve had some severe winters; that has seriously brought down the populations of elk.”

  75. Nathan Hobbs Says:

    “Agricultures role in greenhouse gas emissions & capture”
    American society of Agronomy -August 2010
    https://www.agronomy.org/files/science-policy/ghg-report-august-2010.pdf

  76. Linda Hunter Says:

    Here is a thoughtful article on the recent bear attack in Yellowstone. I tried to post this on my husband’s computer and it didn’t work. So here it is again:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/casey-anderson/yellowstone-grizzly-bear_b_679249.html

  77. Marcel Verwoerd Says:

    A nice site about Bears, here the latest news !

    Grizzlies spotted on Vancouver Island
    http://www.bearsmart.com/media/875

    Mine’s grizzly study suggests higher population numbers
    http://www.bearsmart.com/media/880

    Young grizzly bears pop up near Brady
    http://www.bearsmart.com/media/877

    Bear researchers keep eyes out for Washington state grizzly
    http://www.bearsmart.com/media/873

  78. Virginia Says:

    I must correct PW in his statement that Teton Village became Jackson Hole. Teton Village is still Teton Village and is outside the town of Jackson. The “real” natives of that town still call it Jackson, not Jackson Hole. The “Hole” part is considered derogatory. If you have been to Jackson in the last 10+ years, you know that it definitely does not represent the “real West.”

    • Save bears Says:

      The only way that Jackson represents the “real west” is if you think the real west was populated with Rhine stone “cowboys” My personally dislike the glitz and glamor of Jackson….

    • pointswest Says:

      Viginia…grew up only 60 miles from Jackson Hole and am a skiier. It is true that they still call the development at the base of the tram Teton Village. It is also true that the name of the town where the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar and the Elk antler arches are is called the town of Jackson or just “Jackson.” The valley on the east side of the Tetons was named by trappers as Jackson Hole…a hole having a similar meaning to fishing hole only in the case of trappers it meant it was a good area for beaver trapping. Teton Basin to the west of the Teton Range was called Pierre’s Hole. Near the Uintah’s is Brown’s Hole and there were other “holes.”

      When the ski area on Rendezvous Mountain first opened up in 1967 (I was there) it was given the chic name of Teton Village. At the time, we had other chic places in pop-culture with similar names, specifically Grenwich Village in New York and Westwood Village in LA. Anything to do with a village was “cool” in the late 60. The architectural motive of Teton Village was Swiss Challet and the tram terminal building had a Swiss style clocktower with a “Teton Village” sign on the side of the building. This Swiss style bulding with clocktower was the logo used for the Teton Village resort. It was on all the pamphets and adverts for Teton Village. Everyone called the ski resort Teton Village. The theme was Swill chalet with waiters and servents dress in Swiss style uniforms. Their was even some yodaling and one of those big Swill alpine horns they would pull out every once in a while.

      Sometime in the late 70’s or early 80’s the name of the resort changed to Jackson Hole. The sign on the tram building was changed from “Teton Village” to “Jackson Hole”. The logo was changed from the Swiss chalet to the bucking bronco with the words Jackson Hole. Pamphlets and adverts refered to it as Jackson Hole. I am not sure about any official names but the marking name for the ski resort at Rendezvous Mountain definitly changed from Teton Village to Jackson Hole and the motif changed from Swill chalet to wild west. In fact when you go to the actual village at the base of the tram, they original swill style tram building is still there but all the newer construction is of the western log home style. It is kind of screwy and I am sure architects and marketers wished they could change it.

    • Daniel Berg Says:

      PS

      I bet Jackson Hole was awesome to ski back in the day. Cheaper and less crowded? My mom skiied there as a kid and said it was amazing and talks about how much it has changed.

      I want to get down there and ski Grand Targhee one of these days.

  79. Virginia Says:

    Well, I am not sure if that was a history lesson or a “Virginia you are full of sh_t!”

    • pointswest Says:

      Virginia…it was only a history lesson. I consider the area my home and know the history pretty well.

  80. pointswest Says:

    If you drive a gas powered car you should take care of it since it may soon be in the museum. The EV (electric vehicles) are hitting the market this fall. Some are all-electric, some have a gas motor backup and have estimated gas mileages of 230 mpg.

    I believe will EV’s soon be sweeping the gas powered car market aside. There are too many nice things about electric motors over gas motors I will list a few of the advantages I know of.

    –Torque. You will read that an EV has 150 horsepower but hp is rated differently in electric motors. For one thing, electric motors have a much wider power band (in RPM) and will deliver high torque at low RPM as well as at high RPM. Gas motors only deliver high torque in a very narrow band of RPM. The hp ratings usually quoted in gas engines is breaking horsepower at optimum RPM. There is more to it but, in short, a 150 hp electric motor will run circles around a 150 hp gas motor. Don’t be fooled by horsepower ratings.

    –Weight. A modern automotive electric motor weighs a fraction of a similar powered gas motor.

    –Fluids. An electric motor does not need an elaborate water cooling system nor an elaborate oil lubrication system. Both oil and water systems are prone to complete failure. A single leak from either system can destroy a gas motor.

    –Exhaust. Electric motors do not require a muffled exhaust system, saving complexity, cost, and overall weight of the vehicle.

    –Durability. An electric motor has a small fraction of the moving parts of a gas motor with many, many fewer wearing surfaces. There are electric motors that have been known to run non-stop for over 40 years with only yearly lubrication of the two bearings.

    –Reliability. With many fewer systems and parts to fail, the electric motor is much, much more reliable.

    –Cost. Electric motors cost much less to manufacture. If an electric motor is damaged or fails, replacement will not be a major cost.

    –Transmissions. Electric motors have a wide power band and to not require a elaborate transmission. Transmissions for gas powered motors are generally an automatic four speed and are very expensive and very heavy. They have hundreds of parts, they wear out, they use fluids, and they are prone to failure.

    Operation Cost—Electricity is a fraction of the cost of gas and there is much less overall maintenance of an electric motor. EV use regenerative breaking and store power when breaking the vehicle or when going down hill.

    I do not know what kind of backup motor is in the Chevy Volt but hopfully it is air cooled and will not need a water cooling system. It will certain be designed to run at its most efficient RPM and this will give it added efficiency. Since the car is powered by its electric motor (the gas motor only charges the battery), it will not require a heavy transmision.

    These cars coming out in 2010 will seem crude to those that will be manufactured in 2020. I think we will get some breakthroughs in ultra capacitors and in other battery technology and the range and power of EV’s will greatly increase and will be free of the gas motor altogether. We will still need oil for certain products such as plastics but the demand is going to go way down. We will not need to sacrifice very much in order to extract oil.

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/autos/chevy-volt-mpg-rating/19574322/

    • Daniel Berg Says:

      I just want battery technology that will catch up with the market. Longer batteries that keep these computer type phones going for more than 3.5 hours of use, keep a car going for at least a couple of hundred miles, keep a laptop alive for more than 3 or 4 hours. It’s obvious that tehnology has outstripped a battery’s ability to keep it up and running for any length of time.

  81. Nancy Says:

    Its all gonna come down to the price PW. I think most people want to get away from the dependancy on oil. Isn’t India producing a compact car for under $10 grand?

    • pointswest Says:

      EV’s will become much less expensive for all the reasons mentioned: fewer systems, many fewer parts, less weight.

      Give it about 10 years.

  82. Cody Coyote Says:

    August 16.
    It’s Primary Election Day in Wyoming tomorrow.
    Wolves are disenfranchised.

    Gov. Dave still wants the Feds to pay for and do all wolf management ‘ chores’.

    http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=6345

    • Save bears Says:

      Not that I agree with Wyoming’s position on wolves, I understand taking a position on the payment for management, if the Fed’s are in charge, then they should be paying the bill.

    • Daniel Berg Says:

      Yeah, the feds should pay the bill for wolf management as long as they are holding the reins.

  83. JEFF E Says:

    ““I don’t want to spend any state money on it,” he said of wolf management. “Let the feds do it. Why should I pay state money to be a toady to the federal government?”
    Okay. lets stop all federal money going to Wyoming above what is paid by that state. Make it 1:1, if we’re not wanting to be beholden..

    • JEFF E Says:

      oops, this is in reference to Cody Coyotes’ post above…

    • Save bears Says:

      Actually Jeff,

      I have heard statements by all three of the governors of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana saying they would not mind that…and the Governor of Montana has said, fine cut the payments off and we will stop paying into the Federal Government, and there has been movements in Texas to leave the Union, not that Texas has a point in this particular issue, but it does go to show, how unhappy the states are now with the Fed’s

    • Daniel Berg Says:

      SB, if you are referring to Governor Perry’s comment about secession, it wasn’t made in any kind of realistic manner. I remember liberal blogs trying to blow out of proportion something that was an off-handed comment. Pretty much a non-event, especially considering Texan bravado.

      I don’t know how much resident’s in the states you’ve mentioned would actually support being cut-off from the federal government, especially when entitlements like SS checks and medicare coverage disappear. The AARP would have seniors in those states so whipped up into a frenzy. Sure the states could claim they could take care of that, but the fear of the unknown for people reliant on the federal government is enough to scare away most, and that’s enough to keep senators and congressman in check.

    • Save bears Says:

      Daniel,

      No where did I say I support it, but I have been reading it on a lot of blogs, the governor of Montana has even stated at times, he will just start the programs up and fund them with the money they are not sending to the Fed’s..I know Brian, quite well and he is pretty serious when he makes statements, and not, I don’t always agree with him…

    • JB Says:

      Personally, I’d be happy to let Texas go. In fact, I was thinking of having some t-shirts printed:

      “Another non-Texan for Texas Secession”

      But then I thought maybe we could just sell Texas to Mexico?😉

    • Daniel Berg Says:

      SB – I wasn’t making any assumptions about how you personally feel about the issue.

      I fully believe you when you say he’s serious, but convincing even an independent minded constituency that the state will pick up the reins for all the entitlements that so many people have become accustomed and even dependant on would be an almost insurmountable task. It would be hard to drum up support from enough of the voter base to get that kind of traction, people would just be to frightened when confronted with the reality of cutting ties to the feds. I think there are a lot of people who like the IDEA of the independence more than anything and it’s smart for a politician to appeal to those people in a state like Montana, Texas, Idaho, etc…

      The caveat to that statement is that there are obviously some people out there who are dead serious about the issue and would take it all the way. In my opinion there just aren’t enough of them in that category to make it happen in the near-term.

    • JEFF E Says:

      SB, political posturing by governors is nothing new.

    • JEFF E Says:

      However the reality is, for example,
      http://www.idahostatesman.com/2010/08/16/1304993/idaho-to-apply-for-federal-education.html

      http://www.idahostatesman.com/2010/08/16/1304982/idaho-to-receive-126-million-to.html
      some of this being that evil stimulus money that Clem said Idaho would never dirty their hands with.

  84. WM Says:

    Recall last week there was a news article stating Midwest wildlife agencies in 13 states and 3 Canadian provinces had adopted (unanimously) a resolution supporting delisting of Great Lakes wolves. Here is the MAFWA (Midwest Association of Wildlife Agencies) resolution.

    RESOLUTION # 2010-1

    DELIST THE GRAY WOLF AND RESTORE MANAGEMENT TO THE STATES

    WHEREAS, the “Recovery Plan for the Eastern Timber Wolf” identified population goals of 1,250 – 1,400 animals for Minnesota and 100 animals for Wisconsin/Michigan; and

    WHEREAS, population estimates as of 2008 include 2,922 animals in Minnesota; 549 animals in Wisconsin; and 520 animals in Michigan; and

    WHEREAS, as acknowledged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Minnesota’s wolf population has met the federal recovery goal since the late 1970’s and Wisconsin / Michigan have met the federal recovery goal since the winter of 1993 – 1994; and

    WHEREAS, a primary purpose of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is to “provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved, to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered species and threatened species, and to take such steps as may be appropriate to achieve the purposes of the treaties and conventions set forth in subsection (a) of this section.”; and

    WHEREAS, the primary purpose of the ESA has clearly been achieved for the gray wolf, and gray wolves have recovered in the Midwest, formally known as the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment; and

    WHEREAS, a lack of delisting, given the species has met recovery goals, can result in an erosion of public acceptance of wolves and the ESA; and

    WHEREAS, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have each developed state management plans for the gray wolf that include population levels that will assure long-term sustainability and avoid the need for future state or federal endangered species listing; and

    WHEREAS, State wildlife agencies are the competent authorities to manage resident species for their sustained use and enjoyment; and

    WHEREAS, the overall aim of the ESA is to recover species such that the species can be managed by the appropriate entity. State wildlife agencies are the appropriate entities to assume management of the gray wolf as a resident species.

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies supports and endorses efforts to delist gray wolves in the Midwest (formally known as the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment) from the Endangered Species Act as a recovered species, and recommends the management of this species by state agencies, including public taking, for the multiple values and benefits associated with their recovery.

    • pointswest Says:

      It’s what a vegitarian diet will do to you. 🙂

      Actually, I wonder if the parasites are normal. Were they an invasive species of worms or are have they been around for thousands of years. Why did this bear have so many. I wished the article would have explored this a little.

    • jon Says:

      “The reality is grizzly bears are predators,” said Warden Capt. Sam Sheppard with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, who helped produce the report. “You never know when they’re going to revert to a predatory response.”

  85. bob jackson Says:

    As the mule skinner in “Dances With Wolves”…upon seeing the bones of a person with arrows sticking out of him….. joked, “now why don’t he write?” so it is the folks doing the “investigation” on the sow griz are the mothers of all those missing sons on the frontier…naive as hell ..or have a cloud of fog hanging on them.

    Of course, the only other reason is worse…that the G&F guys in this investigation know what bears do to enter floorless wall tents to get at elk quarters and horse feed left there by lazy hunters.

    Yes, they report said the bear would stick its head under the tent fly and then bite the person. And these “investigators” can’t figure out why that behavior is consistent with all those cubes and horse feed most all lazy sons of a bitc…. horse hunters and camp wranglers leave on the ground in the tents all the time?

    If there is a tack tent the outfitter leaves the cubes and pellets (both contain high protein alfalfa and or grain…. especially the pellets) just to one side and near the door. The grain is always just a bit further back (so a horse won’t reach in and get its bar stool Bruce Springstein “fill”.

    In riding up I saw way too many outfitter tack tents and feed tents (if they were big enough camp for both) looking like a bomb inside exploded everything out about fifty yards. And wouldn’t you think they’d say to themselves, “from now on I’m going to put this feed up in a platform tent!!!’ Well no, because they start feeding horses in the dark every morning and after dark when guides and hunters ride in next evening.

    Of course one of my best “stories” was an outfitter camp on Open Creek 35 miles from Cody in the wilderness ….. being watched for ten days by a 17 year old kid from Texas (the outfitter had said he’d be back in three….fat chance.).

    I rode in and first thing to be seen near the hitching rack and 50 yards from the feed tent was punched gallon cans of food. A quick visual saw a lot more stuff strung in a radiating path from under the cook tent. By then the guns are out …. and when there is no sound what so ever from any of our “greetings” we start thinking parts of bodies. Then it was the picture of the feed tent with 30 or more bags of cubes and pellets up to 50-75 yards in all directions. most partly gone…and BIG Griz scat in amoungst the feed. This meant the bear(s) were staying right there and eating and laying around.

    Where would the human body be? The Easter Egg hunt was on and the two of us spread out 50 yards apart with rifles at our waist. Then a ccouple hundred yards out we hear wood being split. A live soul. Deranged or what?

    30 yards behind this kid I yell out. didn’t want to spook him and get shot. No response. Snow on the ground and griz tracks mixed in with his. Louder yells and the back is still to us. So we flank from both sides and wave our arms. Finally! ….the kid jerks up and we both move quick behind trees.

    Then we see it…the worst red and swollen eyes ever. The kid runs to me…so desperate to see someone. We set him down so he doesn’t shake so much and he tells us the story. He tells how for over a week every night he hears the bears going into the cook tent and then hears them huffing out with cans clanging in their mouth. He can’t take it any longer after two nights so he moves from the cooks help tent to the one furtherst away. He holes up there only to go out to split the wood the outfitter snaked in.

    He said each night it got worse….and then comes the other foreign wilderness danger. The kid said all kinds of wildlife were coming in at night . Even elk were coming into the feed tent and then dragging out the cubes, he says. Of course it was the bears but with all that horror anything becomes logical.

    The moral of the story?…..and any game warden should know why that griz in Cooke was probably doing what it was doing..first putting its head under the “wall of all those canvas tents every fall….that is unless the wardens “patrolled” to the outfitter camp mid morning or mid afternoon and time for pie….which it always was.

    Maybe the interagency can be excused, they don’t know what happens in outfitter camps…but folks like the Forest Service should…if they ever got of their offices.

    Zeroes, everyone of those investigating and then wondering, “Why don’t he write?”

  86. Salle Says:

    And what will we do when we’ve used it all up?

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/08/16

    • WM Says:

      Salle,

      One in four people on the earth is from China; one in three from China or India. All are becoming more “consumer” oriented and want more than a survival existence. Put it all together and it gets pretty scary.

  87. jon Says:

    Idaho fish and game commissioner Tony Mcdermott insults sportsmen who sent letter to Gov. Otter demanding the resignation of Randy Budge.

    http://mainehuntingtoday.com/bbb/2010/08/17/the-wolf-wars-turning-ugly-ugly-ugly/

    Here is what mcdermott said,

    Jim, Kevin, Scott–From where I sit it is patiently obvious to me that you are the enemy of most sportsman with absolutely no interest in solving the problem. I returned home from Alaska on the 5th of August and have been tied up with the wolf issue ever since. Rockholm is an idiot, Kemp is not far behind and Hagadorn is a lost cause. I will be home Saturday night and if Kevin and Scott would like a dose of the truth I will make my self available if you guys aren’t afraid to come out of your rabbit hole? Kevin/Scott–You name the time and place. The bottom line is I have had enough! From a concerned sportsman who is attempting to do what’s right. Please feel free to send this to your e-mail list. Cheers–T McD

    • JEFF E Says:

      What is hilarious is that Budge is probably the most anti-wolf member of the commission. I have looked directly into his eyes while talking about the subject, and it is more than apparent. However he is also a lawyer……
      Don’t ya love it when they eat there young.
      and saying rockholm is an idiot is……generous

  88. jdubya Says:

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50125909-76/magnesium-court-appeals-lake.html.csp

    This magnesium plant is cancerous sore on the butt of the state. Glad to see the EPA gets to run the show instead of state regulators or no regulation at all.

  89. SEAK Mossback Says:

    Bob Jackson –

    One good bear story deserves another, and yours about the 17 year old kid from Texas reminds me of one from a couple of summers ago with a few similarities. My assistant, Kent, was the witness, so I’m speaking 3rd hand. He went down to help with a field construction project on a mainland river east of Ketchikan. It’s pretty untraveled, there being only a few dilapidated cabins at the mouth, one of which he was trying to stabilize for a few more years of life. He was dropped off by float plane near the mouth and picked up by boat and taken to a temporary salmon research camp upriver. On the way, he noticed a dome tent on the bank, and was filled in by the crewleader. It was a guy from Florida, a burger chain manager, who had just arrived earlier that day on his first trip to Alaska, ready for adventure. He’d asked where he should go while riding from the Ketchikan airport and the cab driver said “The word is . . . ” this particular river was the place, so he went right over and chartered a flight directly there, with a pickup scheduled in 2 weeks. All without pausing so much as to pick up a can of pepper spray.

    After spending the night upriver at the field camp, Kent returned to the cabins by boat and stopped on the way to offer a can of pepper spray. But, the tent was gone. He looked around and discoverd a ground cloth jammed back in the brush about 50 yards and then a duffle bag, ripped full length by big claws. There was a trail of debris including a survival kit, etc. leading off downstream out of the area.

    He jumped back in the boat and went down to the post. The first cabin had a note on it “My name is so and so, from such and such Florida and I’ve been followed by a bear all night. Help!” In the second cabin, he found the guy sitting with his head on his arms on the table, sleeping like a baby. When awakened, he professed unspeakable relief. After an intensive but futile search of the campsite for his money and other valuables, he was transported up to the field camp where he called for a plane that day. He then gave a fuller accounting of his story.

    He had been in his tent having trouble sleeping around 3 a.m. and went outside to look around. Across the sizable glacial river, he spotted a brown bear that spotted him at the same time. “He locked right on me.” The bear began pacing back and forth looking down the bank and then “fell” into the river and then started swimming . . . . oddly, he thought, it angled across toward his shore but was swept out of sight around a bend before reaching it. He briefly pondered the potential significance of a bear crossing to his side and then turned in and fell asleep.

    At full daybreak, he was getting hungry so emerged and wandered back to where he had hung his food bag in a tree. He untied the rope and let it down. At the precise second it hit the ground, he was startled by a growl – and only at that point noticed a bear standing among the alder trunks hardly 30 feet away. Full of panic, he turned and ran directly to his tent, pulled out his cell phone and dialed 911. After that futile gesture, he began to consider his fate with 2 weeks to go in the Alaskan wilderness and only 2 granola bars outside his food bag. Eventually, he began to fret enough over that prospect that he ventured back toward the scene. Nothing. No trace. He spent a few minutes searching around the area, but nothing.

    Full of conflicting fears and impulses, he wandered back to his tent, but on arrival – horrors, the bag he’d left lying in the entrance minutes before containing his camera, wallet, several $100 cash, and those last 2 granola bars was gone! Evaporated!

    Major, major panic!

    He quickly wadded up his tent and whatever else was in front of him into his pack and started off downriver, peeking back just once during his flight across the mud with knife in one hand, hatchet in the other. There was the bear sniffing around his trail . . . . starting down the bank. Afterburners! Finally . . . . . the cabin.

    When the crew suggested that he not abandon his Alaskan dream just yet and “Go rent a nice, secure Forest Service cabin on a lake”, he thought it over briefly but shook his head firmly and replied “No, I just wanna to go back to Florida and lay out on the beach!”

  90. bob jackson Says:

    Seak,

    Great story….oneI can relate with of those similar to this Florida guy.

    The best, most sit on the edge of your chair suspense buiding bear story I (and also the best ever for my best friend, the number 1 bear trapper Interagency had) I ever heard…a first hand experience by one of the Parks “water quality engineers” didn’t even involve an actual bear…but the bear in the mind was awsome. But maybe another night…..

    • SEAK Mossback Says:

      Bob –
      Can’t wait. My stepfather (now 2 years deceased) worked as both water treatment and sewer operator, at both Madison and Canyon. I don’t think he was officially an “engineer” but grizzlies or even the thought of them really gave him the hives. He imagined every way they could get at him and told me he even went into man holes in the fenced Canyon compound wearing a .45 automatic.

  91. Linda Hunter Says:

    I love bear stories . . thanks Seak and Bob. I do have a question for you though. . they keep saying in the articles that this was a predatory attack and yet I wonder if it actually was. . did the bear kill the man to eat him or did the bear kill the man by accident and then decided that here was a piece of meat by the way. . . I think that distinction has not been made or have you read something that makes you think the bear attacked this man with the purpose of him being food.

    • Elk275 Says:

      What came first the chicken or the egg? I doubt that we will ever know, being that animals are animals.

    • pointswest Says:

      I think it is easy to split hairs when it comes to the difference between aggression and “an intent to eat.” That is, these two classifications of behaviors are so closely linked that they can be viewed as the same behavior in several instances.

      All living organisms have basic genetic programming to survive or, at least, to ensure that their genes survive. In more complex organisms, particularly animals, lack of food nearly always stimulates aggression, and since animal life evolved from fish, aggression is usually linked to the mouth. Fish, when aggressive, use their mouth to bite things. Fishermen who use artificial lures, such as spinners, will talk about how aggressive fish are, not about how hungry they are. When conditions are right, fish will bite almost anything that moves. I have caught native cutthroat trout in remote and rarely fished streams by dangling a bare hook above the water. The cutthroat will jump as much as a foot out of the water to bite a bare hook. They can be very aggressive.

      Most mammals are aggressive when they are hungry or thirsty. I can see it in our hamster. When his food dish is empty, he will climb the sides of the cage and stick his nose between the bars trying to find or smell food. I’ve had pet rabbits that behaved the same. Moose are known to be much more irritable and dangerous in the winter when they are hungry. So are deer and elk. All will come into towns to find food when starving. Predators become more irritable and dangerous when hungry. Dogs are well known to, “bite the hand that feeds it,” especially when hungry. I’m sure most of us have been growled at by our own hungry dog or cat when we interfered with their eating.

      Human being are irritable and can be aggressive when hungry and will on occasion resort to cannibalism…when hungry or even when very vengeful and aggressive.

      I watched an episode of Grizzly Diaries a few weeks back about a sow grizzly and triplet cubs in Alaska. Similar to the Cooke City sow, this mother was not doing well. One of the three cubs was cannibalized, presumably, by the other two. Treadwell had video of the triplet cubs leading up to cannibalization. The cannibalized cub had hurt her foot and became seriously lame. You could see in the video that the two siblings of the lame cub became more and more antagonistic towards their lame sister. The antagonism then began turning into aggression. Then, one morning, Timothy Treadwell found the lame cub dead in a creek with most her flesh eaten. The aggression towards the lame cub apparently had been raised to a lethal level. I doubt the cubs consciously thought of eating their sister before they killed her. They were simply food stressed and aggressive and after they killed their sister, the two cubs could smell the blood and and flesh and were stimulated to eat her. The group, as a whole, was not doing well. The mother abandoned the two surviving cubs only a few days later. They probably also died. The Cooke City cubs may have died also had they not saved by the zoos.

      The Cooke City bears entered the campground from the west so they probably came down the valley from nearby Cooke City. My guess is that the sow was food stressed and the smell of food (probably sugars from cakes, candies, and sodas) lured the sow into Cooke City. She could not find food in Cooke City or was scared away. She began snooping around the area and meandered down the valley to the campground where she could also smell food. She probably snooped around the tents and could hear people breathing inside of their tents. Her hunger and the constant smell of food increased her aggression level. She could smell the humans inside of the tent and could probably smell traces of food on their hands, feet, and on their breath. She could also smell their flesh. She began clawing at Ronald Singer’s tent and when she sensed movement, she probably pinned his leg down with her front paws and bit into it. The screams of Ron’s girlfriend and Ron’s punching startled the bear and she ran off. Although startled, the commotion probably only increased her aggression level. After calming down, she went to another campsite down the valley and to another tent.

      Deb Freele said she screamed for awhile after realizing a bear was biting her but then played dead and the bear walked away. My guess is that her screams woke other campers and when she stopped screaming, it did calm the bear’s aggressive impulses and the bear dropped her. The bear may have then heard the sound of nearby campers roused from their sleep by Deb’s screams or maybe one of her cubs was spooked and she went to attend to the cub. For whatever reason, she became spooked and moved off.

      Then the sow moves down the valley again and comes to Kevin Ronald’s tent. The smells inside the tent stimulates her to claw her way in. Kevin moves and the bear pins and bites him. He does not scream but does not play dead either. The bear continues the attack until Kevin is dead. Then she sniffs the body and smells blood and flesh. She has certainly never eaten human flesh before but as hungry as the sow is, she give it a try. The sow likes it. She then drags his body away from the tent and her and her cubs begin eating the dead man. I doubt they thought very much about it. Aggression and eating are just simply tied together and one can stimulate the other in a bear.

    • SEAK Mossback Says:

      Linda –
      I’m not sure. There have been relatively few brown/grizzly predation incidents that I can remember and a few at least seemed to be unconditioned bears. I can only recall two here in Southeast off hand and I think both were in the late 1970s or 1980s. One was a lone remote camper in Glacier Bay who was killed by a fairly small brown bear I think and consumed right down to leg bones sticking out of boots. In that case, there had been another party of a few people recently in the same area who had a rather desperate encounter with what was assumed to be same bear. They banded together and managed to fend it off with a prolonged barrage of large rocks and felt fortunate to escape without losing anybody — there were no firearms allowed in the area and it was before pepper spray. That seemed to be a case of determined, deliberate and direct predation in a location where much prior habituation seemed unlikely.

      The other was a Juneau hunter on south Baranof Island, also pretty remote. He was sitting on a log blowing a deer call (fawn distress) in late evening when a large male bear apparently came on him very fast from behind, judging by his rifle being imbedded to the hilt in muskeg. His partners were close by and heard the screams but decided it was futile and backed out in quickly descending darkness. The next day, 5 Sitka search & rescue guys followed drag sign far up the mountainside to a location where he had stopped and was feeding. They were in a tight group coming up a little ridge but split up just before he peered over the edge of a little bench and charged down on the three directly below. They panicked and proved completely ineffective at trying to stop him – fortunately one who had split over to the other slope made a good running shot and put him down almost on top of the three whose brains were freewheeling. At that point I would guess he was defending a kill rather than attempting further predation. He was determined to be in good condition with no apparent issues. I suppose that case could have some similarity in the fact that he was coming to an expected meal opportunity he likely perceived based on the sound of a common prey animal, similar to Bob’s suggestion that the Cooke City bear may have already had reason to associate tents with food (horse or human). Then it’s not quite such a leap in behavior to quickly settle for the easy alternative that appears in exactly the expected location.

      But that’s just speculating.

      Almost all actual physical attacks I’m aware of in Southeast were either likely defensive or were bears taking a deer off of somebody dragging it out of the woods. One Juneau guy on Admiralty had a bear come up on his drag trail. He dropped the deer hoping that would settle it, but she came right over the deer and mauled him before turning her attention back to the deer. He crawled aways off and made a call on his VHF radio that was widely heard on air, land and sea but it was too close and the bear came and worked him over again. He crawled further and was finally able to communicate without a further visit.

      My assistant and a technician did experience what had all the markings of an attempted predatory attack, but we will never know absolutely for sure. Late June, no fish in the creek, very large male, thin, horrendous old spinal injury, quills in one foot, spotted them from well back in cover before they saw him, zeroed on the small guy, had dinner plans written all over his face and in his stride (no ears back, streamlined rush). We’ll never know for sure because he was stopped at 8 to 10 feet. It was interesting that a month earlier and just down the valley the spring crew went up a slough in a jet boat to check a smolt trap and returned by the same route a half hour later to find a cow moose laying half way in the slough with steam belching out a big hole in her side (they briefly discussed carving off a couple of moose steaks but thought better of it). Anyway, just because these bears have access to fish part of the year doesn’t mean they don’t take a strong interest in sampling other things at other times. Like you said in an earlier post, bears have no sense of humor when it comes to food . . . .

  92. RE Chizmar Says:

    I see that great egomaniac and superior “ethical” hunter, Ted Nugent, pled guilty to killing an immature deer and illegally baiting same in CA — do not know what protocol is for attaching links so maybe someone can insert same hereafter. Amazingly, this genius got caught b/c wildlife officials saw the footage via his televised show. Another day another narcissistic hypocrite exposed.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      The man who makes a big deal about hunting gets busted doing something illegal. The real justice would be if one of the Palins got busted for something illegal.

    • jon Says:

      Ted Nugent is an arrogant idiot. Few comments he made caught my eye.

      Nobody hunts just to put meat on the table because it’s too expensive, time consuming and extremely inconsistent. – Ted Nugent’s World Bowhunters Magazine , Volume 1/ Number 3, March/April 1990, p.7

      “… My deer were put here on the earth. God even said, ‘Hey Ted, whack ’em.’ He said this, right in the bible, Genesis, ‘Dear Ted, whack me a buck …'” – WRIF-FM, Detroit, Ted Nugent as guest D.J., Sept. 24, 1991

      “I contribute to the dead of winter and the moans of silence, blood trails are music to my ears … I’m a gut pile addict … The pig didn’t know I was there … it’s my kick … I love shafting animals … it’s rock ‘n’ roll power.” – Ted Nugent’s World Bowhunters Magazine , Volume 1/Number 4, May 1990, p.12

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      I love to hunt but I don’t get that kind of a thrill from it. That’s so extreme. I hate when people make such a big deal about it, especially when they are millionaire celebrities of politicians who are not doing it to sustain themselves.

    • jon Says:

      Ted Nugent also supports canned hunting.

      “… First thing I slayed…I was nine years old. It was a squirrel, these ladies were feeding it, you know, and I said, ‘excuse me, bam.’ No it wasn’t a pet squirrel. I had it stuffed and petted it for years after that.” – WRIF-FM, Detroit, Ted Nugent as guest D.J., September 26, 1991

      The comments Ted makes, you have to wonder if there is something wrong in this guy’s head.

    • jon Says:

      Even fellow hunters don’t like him.

      These are quotes from Ted Nugent himself:

      “unethical,” says Mr. Caires, who was angered after he took Nugent out on a hunt in April. “He shoots at anything,” Mr. Cairnes claims. “You should kill what you can use. He just likes to kill a lot of animals.” (Cairnes is a hunting guide who takes people out to stab wild pigs in Hawaii) – The Wall Street Journal , July 25, 1995, ‘Why Sit on the Beach When You Could Stab a Wild Pig?

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      In my mind anyone who supports canned hunting is not a true hunter. Any ethical hunter supports the idea of fair chase. I think it’s safe to say I can even agree with most anti-wolf folks on that one.

  93. Nancy Says:

    Linda Hunter Says:
    August 18, 2010 at 9:41 AM
    I love bear stories . . thanks Seak and Bob. I do have a question for you though. . they keep saying in the articles that this was a predatory attack and yet I wonder if it actually was. . did the bear kill the man to eat him or did the bear kill the man by accident and then decided that here was a piece of meat by the way. . . I think that distinction has not been made or have you read something that makes you think the bear attacked this man with the purpose of him being food.

    Wondering the same thing Linda.

    If outfitters and sloppy campsites are to blame for this mama bear taking it a step too far, what if anything is being done to address human negligence, in what’s left of wildlife’s neighborhood?

    • JEFF E Says:

      maybe read the official report of this incident posted here. Does not look like this bear ever became human habituated or food conditioned. In fact she was pretty much an unknown even thought she was ~10 years old

  94. Nancy Says:

    Begs the question though Jeff E – unknown to whom?

    Unless you’re a biologist in the field or a local wildlife official, how would anyone know, given the range, this bear had not had encounters before that might have gone un-noticed til this incident?

    • Save bears Says:

      Nancy,

      I know many of the agents that investigated this situation as well as worked for one of the investigative agencies in the past, this particular bear had no history, at least none that had been reported or documented..

      It is also a given, that she ranged in the park as well and there is no documentation with the park service of any bear of this description having a “Record”

      Over the last 20 + years, the majority of human/bear interaction has been reported by someone as well as investigated by the agency with jurisdiction, if this bear had had problems, it would have been most likely collared and tracked…

    • JEFF E Says:

      Nancy,
      To add to what SB said it is my understanding that female grizzly have fairly well defined and relatively small territories. Add to that that this bear was ~10 years old and in an area that many types and professions of people purposely go looking for grizzly for whatever reason it is remarkable that she was not known about. In the report it was even noted that there was evidence of a fifth bear that was related to this sow, probably from a previous litter, so I would say that she was well within her territory and for 10 years caused no problems and flew under the radar. Too bad.

  95. Barb Rupers Says:

    Save Bears
    You have property in the North Fork of the Flathead. I was so impressed by the head mount of this wolf which I saw in the mid 1950s that I recently asked the GNP about it. Did you ever see or know about it? Here is the response

    Dear Barb–

    Your email inquiry about a mounted wolf head here at Glacier was forwarded
    to my office. I knew instantly the item you were referring to and I asked
    my student intern to retrieve the details:

    The black female wolf was shot in late May 1950 by a Glacier National Park
    Ranger stationed in Polebridge named David Stimson. The ranger was called
    to the J.S. McFarland Ranch by the owner because the wolf had continued to
    harass Mr. McFarland’s cattle despite repeated attempts to drive it away.
    Approximately fifteen minutes after receiving the call from the ranch,
    Ranger Stimson arrived on the scene and helped the ranchers in their
    attempts to chase off the wolf. After repeated attempts it became apparent
    that the wolf was not interested in leaving, continuing to try and get
    around the men and the ranger’s Jeep. Finally Ranger Stimson made a
    judgement call and decided that the animal must be put down for livestock
    and human safety, shooting what was later referred to by the park
    superintendent as a “gaunt and mangy” specimen. Two other wolves were seen
    in the area and could be heard all night but neither were aggressive or
    persistent, leaving quickly after being chased off and never returning.
    Stimson then took the wolf back to Polebridge where he informed the chief
    ranger in the morning, who in turn notified the Glacier Superintendent, who
    notified the regional director. The female wolf was taken to taxidermist
    where the head was mounted. The specimen was eventually removed from
    display in a park office and was transferred to the museum collection where
    we continue to keep it to this day.

    The following measurements were taken from the wolf:

    Height at shoulders – 34 inches

    Overall length – 70 inches

    Length of tail – 22 inches

    Tip of toe to heel on the front paw – 6 inches

    Chest – 34 inches

    Weight – 130 pounds

    I hope this information has addressed your questions. If we can be of
    further assistance, please let us know.

    Deirdre Shaw, Museum Curator
    Glacier National Park
    West Glacier, MT 59936
    Phone: (406) 888-7936
    Fax: (406) 888-7937

    • Save bears Says:

      Barb,

      I know of it, but have never seen it, based on the meaurements provided, it does not sound to gaunt or mangy, it sounds like a very healthy wolf..

      I have seen quite a few wolves over the years in the NF, but not any that I would judge to be in that type of condition, or that size.

      I might contact the museum and see if it is possible to view the mount, it sounds like an interesting piece of history from the area, but as I said, I have only heard of it told around campfire stories, but never seen it, or knew the official background..

      Thanks for posting this.

      SB

  96. Nancy Says:

    This year the moment we start eating into nature’s capital or ‘Earth Overshoot Day’ will fall on 21st August, a full month earlier than last year, when resources were used up by 23rd September.

    Good article Salle.

    More insight as to why we humans aren’t able to play fair with nature or, our own kind:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com:80/id/38730223/ns/msnbc_tv-countdown_with_keith_olbermann/

  97. David Says:

    Here’s a rare combination of hunting news and rock and roll. Ted Nugent busted for violating CA Regs. on his hunting show Spirit of the Wild.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2010/08/18/2965953/rocker-nugent-pleads-no-contest.html


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