Wyoming officials not inclined to act on wolves

Delisting depends on Wyoming

Well, if anyone was uncertain about Wyoming’s comfort with Federal management of wolves in Wyoming then they need to look no farther. Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal isn’t going to budge on the State’s management plan and it is unlikely that a new governor or legislature will either.

EarthJustice attorney Doug Honnold makes it pretty clear.

“The law says that if a species is endangered in any significant portion, then the species, or the population in this case, needs to be listed. So somehow, Wyoming has to be part of the picture.”


On its face, Wyoming’s plan is faulty because it is unlikely to maintain even the minimum number of wolves if it is implemented. Wolves in Yellowstone have been in decline due to disease, mange, and inter-pack rivalry. It is an inadequate regulatory mechanism that renders wolves endangered in a significant portion of their range.

Wyoming officials not inclined to act on wolves.
Associated Press

56 Responses to “Wyoming officials not inclined to act on wolves”

  1. Bob Of Wyoming Says:

    So Emperor Frudenberg, like his processors of old, “HAS NO CLOTHES”! (Ah Dave, I hate to tell ya, but you’re nekid as a jay bird!)

    Yo, Gov, and who ever takes your place, keep on thinking you’ll wait out the Feds! By the time they cave in there will be more wolves in Wyoming than coyotes! All because you are too bind to see that almost ANY ‘reasonable management” is all that is necessary. But then “reasonable never did describe the Wyoming stockmen or their flunkies.

    At least by holding your “position” you’ll always be able to claim you fought the fight. Never did win, but still you held off the Feds. Gad, is Wyoming always gonna be THAT stupid

  2. Virginia Says:

    I love it – keep up the good work Dave and WY legislature. You are assuring at least some recovery of wolves and pissing off all of those people who want to kill as many as possible in Idaho and Montana. Isn’t that too bad!

  3. WM Says:

    Just playing devil’s advocate here, what if one or more of the three states say they have enough wolves (even if listed) and engage in a removal program outside 10(j) or other unapproved control and/or removal efforts?

    What would likely be the federal response that could make a difference to make them stop? I am serious. What would the federal government really do – cite the state for each wolf removed and fine them? Stop the flow of federal highway funds? Exactly what? And, would WY, for example, take a chance believing the federal options to be limited?

    • Save bears Says:

      WM,

      There really is nothing they can do..period end of story, that is unless they want to declare a civil action to bring the state back in line…we did that once, in about 1861, lots of people died and we pretty much ended up right back where we started(albeit, the slaves were declared free, and of course we know how that helped!). But in all reality, there is nothing the Fed’s can really do, it is a relationship that both the states as well as the Fed’s need.

    • JimT Says:

      There are provisions for civil and criminal actions in Section 11 of the ESA that would cover this kind of insanity. I am sure it is not the only statute that would apply.

      As far as cajones, do you really think the Feds could NOT respond to what amounts as a deliberate act of direct, knowing violations of Federal law? If they didn’t respond…you might find the South figuring anti discrimination laws are just as much a violation of so called States Rights. Most people would see such an action as a step way too far.

    • Save bears Says:

      JimT,

      If you know what most people would do, then I have to admit, you are a far more informed person than I..

    • WM Says:

      JimT,

      I was just emphasizing the “property” element that sometimes gets foggy on this forum. And, how likely would you predict federal criminal and civil charges against an entire legislature, governor, agency heads and field staff engaged in carrying out a mandate to thin wolves to protect other state wildlife populations and management objectives, (or livestock)?

      Seriously, if WY or another state wanted to openly defy federal ESA law it might not go as predicted. Heck the feds can’t even seem to do very well with fining corporate polluters under the Clean Water Act. What makes you believe this will be any different with defiant states that think the ESA is not working. This gives them a stage – front and center to have this play out.

    • JimT Says:

      CWA violations and deliberate, very public stands by a governor and legislature to blatantly violate a binding Federal court decision, and existing Federal law….apples and orange. CWA permit violations are essentially bloodless…reams and reams of self monitoring reports to go through…Been there, done that. Totally different dynamics, politically and legally.

    • Alan Says:

      Unfortunately I don’t think there be any response (other than verbal) from the feds. Marajuana is illegal according to the feds, yet it is sold openly in several states for medical use, and California is thinking about making it completely legal. Where is the Federal response?
      I think with wolves the response would come from the courts. The same groups that file lawsuits now would certainly file in the case of a “removal program” clearly outside of federal law. An immediate injuction would seem highly likely. The question then would be: would Wyoming (Montana, Idaho) officials be willing to openly violate a federal court order.

    • Save bears Says:

      Alan,

      I think they would, and have no qualms about it..

    • Alan Says:

      You may be right, especially in Wyoming. Wouldn’t it be nice if the fine folks (and they are fine folks) of these three states could just elect some adults to public office? Right wing, left wing, Republican, Democrat; doesn’t matter, just adult!

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      For a number of reasons, after the elections this November, there is likely to be widespread violence and turmoil across the country

      The issue of wolves will go to its rightful place — unimportant.

  4. timz Says:

    They could arrest and charge the state officials who ordered such actions. Drag them into court on those charges and then start looking into their tax returns, etc. Make an example out of them and their lives hell. If you think they can’t and won’t do that guess again, I’ve seen it first hand.

    • Save bears Says:

      Timz,

      The world is a different place now a days, I agree, they could, but they won’t..things have just become to damn complicated, the Fed’s only exist because of the states, and when the states start pushing back, the Fed’s will crumble..this is not the day of wine and roses any longer, when the states push back, I just don’t see the Fed’s doing much anymore! The Republic that we grew up with is a far different place now a days….

    • WM Says:

      If it is an appointed state official there would be no basis to look into a personal federal tax return. Sorry, I just cannot agree with that assertion.

      If it is an elected official, or better yet, the entire legislature, that would be a stretch too. Think of it, if a two house legislature passes a law that says something to the effect that wolf numbers are to be trimmed in certain areas, etc., then the law is signed by a governor, that would bring alot of federal resources to bear on an animal control problem. Now, if you really want to talk about a waste of federal tax dollars that is a poster child example.

      One thing people on this forum keep forgetting is that wolves are “property” – under the law. Nothing more and nothing less.

      And the question before the court right now is whose property are these wolves depending on whether they are listed or not – how do you manage your “property” or property that has been entrusted to you to manage (if you assume they remain federal property for some reason). A corollary, or statement that follows, is, what do you do with your property or the federal government’s property (ie, the wolves) if it is eating a disproportionate amount of your other property (elk or deer) and a federal law (the ESA) is keeping you from protecting/managing your property within the objectives you have set (ie. elk management plans).

      An equitable argument is that you initiate a little self-help, and take your chances in court. Does anyone here really, I mean REALLY, believe President Obama or his Attorney General Eric Holder wants to start a political “war” in the West, even during mid-term of a 4 year Presidency that is tetering because of real problems the United States faces?

    • JimT Says:

      Actually, property with Supreme Court established protections, and subject to the laws of the public trust and the responsibilities of the states to exercise that responsibility according to the laws. There is always a gap between the law and enforcement in any field of concern, criminal or civil, but wolves are not “lawnmowers” in the sense of private property status, WM. You know better than that.

    • WM Says:

      JimT,

      Sorry. See my posted reply on comment above this first original post by timz re: property and possible state acts of defiance.

    • MJ Says:

      In my very humble opinion, so long as Salazar is at the helm at DOI, all bets are off when it comes to the Federal response on threats to any large predators. In fact, this Administration seems woefully slow to respond on anything related to the environment. Can anyone say “climate change?”

  5. timz Says:

    It would take an administration with some gnads thats for sure, so we can exclude the current one.

  6. timz Says:

    “If it is an appointed state official there would be no basis to look into a personal federal tax return. Sorry, I just cannot agree with that assertion.”

    I worked at the IRS for ## years, I’ll leave it at that. Look up the word “naive” in the dictionary.

  7. ProWolf in WY Says:

    If Wyoming keeps this up there will certainly be wolves in Colorado and Utah in no time. Maybe even in the Black Hills.

    • timz Says:

      Pro (or anyone) do you know anything about the Badlands? I’ve only have driven thru, didn’t see much of it, any suitable wolf habitat there?

  8. Cody Coyote Says:

    Keep in mind the Zen of it: Inaction is also an action.

  9. JimT Says:

    CC..

    OHMMMMMMMMMMM….:*)

  10. ProWolf in WY Says:

    The Badlands wouldn’t be suitable habitat. It’s pretty dry and barren. The Black Hills could be but not very many wolves would be able to live there. I know there are some elk but most of the prey would be deer, maybe buffalo if they went to Wind Cave National Park or Custer State Park.

  11. Robert Hoskins Says:

    I’ve commented on this on another thread, the soda butte grizzly thread. Suffice it to say that Wyoming’s policy on wolves is a rational, coldly calculated power play vis a vis the federal government to expand state power, which itself is the power of the existing oligarchies, primarily the Stockgrowers, which mostly represents the large landowners in Wyoming, but also the minerals industry.

    What most people don’t understand is that two oligarchies are tightly intertwined and are often the same people (e.g., Wyoming’s True oil industry family, also one of the largest landowners in the US, although behind in acreage to that other feudal lord, Ted Turner). Defiance of the federal government strengthens the oligarchies. That’s what it’s about.

    Eisenhour called out federal troops to protect African American students in Little Rock in 1957. Does anyone really think Obama’s going to call out troops to protect wolves or attempt to force Wyoming to change its wolf policy? Wake up folks.

    RH

    • WM Says:

      RH,

      Heck this administration (and failed efforts of the last admin.) can’t even timely deploy 1,600 national guard troops to reduce illegal immigration from Mexico. Do people here understand that 11% of Mexican nationals are living in the US now?

      Yeah, I know, some here will claim those are racist comments. Actually, they are a frustration with how selective the US government is in enforcing its laws.

      What makes anyone here believe the ESA – wolf reintrodution with implied state management- will be stringently enforced against states if they don’t meet statutory standards, when those same states have felt compelled to take into their own hands enforcment of federal laws which seem to be contrary to the interests of individual state citizens (compare here the immigration issue involving AZ and other states which are complaining).

      The composition of the United States is still, based on its origins, its defining constitution, and operation of governmental structure a group of states united. Now, mor than ever, at least in recent memory, federal – state relations seem to be more strained.

    • Robert Hoskins Says:

      WM

      Those of us who grew up during the civil rights era in the feudal South have a different perspective on federal-state relations. States rights was the code word for enforcing postbellum Jim Crow serfdom among African Americans. I know this intimately because my grandfather was the largest landowners in the county I grew up in and we had several African-American serfs living in cabins on our properties. We were a tobacco and timber operation. This was the 1950s and early 1960s. Those cabins had no electricity, no plumbing, no roads to them. The men worked their asses off in the fields and supplemented their meager income–whatever my grandfather paid them–with moonshining, selling the stuff to backwoods black clubs. Believe me, the moonshine was rotgut that would sicken a raccoon.

      Things were lovely for them and their families. States rights indeed.

      There was no “constitutional” purity or principled commitment to federalism involved in the defense of segregation, although we are starting to hear that nonsense again from the whacko right. Defense of states rights was defense of oligarchy and oppression, nothing more. Without imposition of federal authority to enforce civil rights, Jim Crow would never have been defeated. There’s no doubt in my mind of the truth of that. Conservation is no different.

      As a former military officer, I can see it doesn’t take much tactical and strategic thinking to understand that no amount of troops on the border will put an end to “illegal immigration.” We are seeing a fundamental shift in human demographics in North America driven by political, economic, and ecological factors beyond our control, which will never be under our control. Sending troops, putting surveillance drones in the air, building fences are merely pissing in a strong demographic wind. Arizona’s SB 1070 is just one big pissing across the border, and we’re watching the blowback in progress. Glad I’m here in Wyoming and not Arizona so as to miss the golden shower.

      This is not racism? No thinking person can believe it. It’s either racism or ignorance of history. Take your pick.

      I agree that this administration is pissing in the wind too regarding immigration and practically everything else. I’m not voting for Obama in 2012.

      I am simply suggestion that what Wyoming is doing re: wolves has nothing to do with principle or legitimate “frustration” with existing policy, but with the conflict over the exercise of power.

      RH

    • WM Says:

      RH,

      ++We are seeing a fundamental shift in human demographics in North America driven by political, economic, and ecological factors beyond our control, which will never be under our control.++

      You will get no argument from me regarding the factors which are driving these changes. However, I am more inclined to believe change, or at least rate of change, is possible to manage more responsibly. Eisenhower returned over 1 million ILLEGAL immigrants to Mexico in 1954. He used local law enforcement and about a thousand INS agents to accomplish the task. Many illegals were also returned during the Great Depression beginning in 1929 and extending for nearly 10 years thereafter. We should not be proud of the manner in which it was done, because there were civil rights inequities (before statutes and case law which prevents certain of these practices now). It is kind of surprising to know that today over forty percent of all immigrants in our country are from Latin America and are here illegally, and the demographic shift is of such magnitude it will affect this country in a major way in less than 10 years (it already has). It is also frightening to see what is happening at the borders as drug lords have taken over, and almost made irrelevant the Mexican federal government. Illegal drug revenues and remittances are the two top economic drivers of the Mexican economy, only behind state owned petroleum sales.

      I think many people in the Western states or other states would feel the same whether these immigrants in such large numbers were from neighboring Canada or Europe. It is not about race; it is about cultural change, and turning America into a third world country. Geez, man, 40% – it is far greater in percentage and absolute numbers than this country has taken from any geographic region, in the last century plus. In absolute numbers – never have we taken more people from any one country, and never so close!

      Sorry for the diversion from wildlife, but I thought it was worth mentioning, because affected states look to our federal government for help but see none in sight. The states of the West, including the border states, and OK are feeling the pain, and are taking matters into their own hands. They have the moral right to do this, even if the courts say they don’t because the federal government is incompetent and impotent.

      I only mention this because there is growing frustation that the federal government is not doing much to help states manage their problems, and in fact federal laws are hampering them from doing so. So if you live in NH, NJ, or CT, and don’t see the effects of whatever it is that needs federal attention, you really don’t give a rat’s a$$, and neither do your federal legislators.

      So, I empathize with Western states, and even the Great Lakes states who want their wolves managed a little closer to the people who are affected by them on a daily basis. The fact that the Midwest Association of Wildlife Agencies which includes 17 states and three Canadian provinces think GL wolves should be delisted is a pretty good indication of what they think about the ESA as it is being implemented for wolves. I would expect it won’t be long before the Western Association (WAFWA) similarly weighs in regarding the NRM wolves. Molloy’s ruling clearly suggests the ESA needs some tweaking.

      I would not be a bit surprised to see acts of defiance by certain states, and just maybe they have earned the right on several fronts, because the federal government is broken.

      [And, I just love the words and phrases that get tossed in. Let’s see, what have I counted in the last few exchanges? Jim Crow, white supremacists, civil rights, bigotry and hatred. Yep, all the hot button trigger words, rather than discussing the topic at arm’s length, with states having the right to exercise powers for the benefit of their citizens. They want to manage wolves.]

    • JB Says:

      WM:

      A few points for consideration:

      (1) Our birth rate is at an all time low; without immigration (legal and otherwise) our population would be stable or dropping (http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005067.html).

      (2) Hispanic women have among the highest fertility and birth rates of any ethnic group (http://www.childtrendsdatabank.org/pdf/79_PDF.pdf).

      (3) Because of the spike in population growth during the “baby-boom” and modern medicine, a huge segment of our population is about to (a) retire, (b) demand health care, and (c) live longer (see: http://notapundit.wordpress.com/2007/01/17/aging-us-baby-boomers-to-have-major-economic-effect-fed-paper/).

      (4) Economists predict a major decline in consumption related to the retirement of baby boomers. One reason is that nearly a quarter have failed to accumulate the wealth they will need in order to provide for themselves in retirement.

      So to summarize: the economy is bad, a huge segment of our population is going to retire and demand social security and health care (and put a big strain on our federal government’s resources), and the only way to get resources is through the hard work on young people, who are not being “produced” at the same levels they have been historically. [Note: Eisenhower might have sent 1 million “illegals” packing, but his presidency happened to correspond with the highest birth rates since before the Great Depression; that is, he could afford to send them home.]

      So to be blunt, I am not surprised in the least that no administration wants to deal with the illegal immigration “problem” because [and I’m guessing here] in their assessment the problems caused by getting rid of illegals outweigh the problems associated with keeping them around.

    • WM Says:

      JB,

      Yes, the birthrate of illegals is the highest in the country, first because of age. Second, because of historic religious and cultural roots (Catholic + a belief that large families are a desireable thing are huge in the hispanic community). Third, and this is a kicker, an anchor baby or four which are each a citizen by right of birth on US soil makes it very hard legally, morally and practically to break up a family by requiring an illegal (in many cases both parents) to return to their country of of origin. The Pew Hispanic Trust just released a study on this latter point, particularly the new population added by illegals each year. It is something like about 340,000 new babies, born in the US each year, whose parents (one or both) are illegal, I believe. I will see if I can find the study.

      As for the economic decline in consumption, that has been a key factor nobody, especially big business, wants to speak of. Who are Wal-mart and K-mart’s biggest customers? Also who is buying Pampers, Gerber’s and other baby products from the local Safeway? Step inside a store in a geographic area where illegals are tending to settle. Look and listen to the language spoken, and you will soon know who is ensuring the corporate bottom line is healthy. Guess who those businesses lobby?

      My elderly father was recently in the hospital (we thought he would die from pneumonia), in Yakima, WA, where I grew up. Because of his critical condition we were visiting in morning and late evening, having to use the Emergency hospital entrance as the main entrance was closed. I won’t go into the details, but let’s say English was not the majority language in the ER, nor were the reasons people were there truly emergency related – like home and auto accidents, or heart attacks. Many of these visitors were using this like a doctor’s office for routine care because of a sick child – likely flu or other acute illness which required diagnosis. I had heard of this phenomenon, but never witnessed it. Now I am a believer. Who pays for that unnecessary ER care- the most costly there is, and which is the financial responsiblity of the parents? The rest of the paying hospital patients and their insurance companies, because ER’s cannot turn people away.

      One of my hunting partners is a young fellow, 31, and has been police officer for about nine years. He has been in two communities in Eastern WA, and is on a drug interdiction and a SWAT team that is a part of a co-op multi-jurisdictional drug task force taking down illegal marijuana grow operations, meth labs and drug distribution networks. Guess who is at the heart of these activities- tending fields, ferrying drug making materials and finished products. ILLEGALS, and often affiliated with international gangs out of Mexico.

      ++One reason is that nearly a quarter have failed to accumulate the wealth they will need in order to provide for themselves in retirement.++

      If you think the number of people needing financial assistance, because of poor planning or simply not having the capacity to save, is bad now, just wait 10-20 years when those who are here illegally will require assistance. The cost of having these illegals here will escalate dramatically as they also require care – and our federal government will not turn them on the streets. Your kids (and theirs) will be paying in arrears for the supposedly cheap labor some businesses reap today. Yours is a bullshit argument, JB, because you choose not to understand the problem becasue it is socially and morally uncomfortable, and the time horizon over which it will build.

      Our federal legislators do not act until a problem hits crisis proportion, which is why Social Security is still not fixed even after decades of advance time and debate. Congress does not tend to be proactive, unfortunately. Which is one reason why the immigration issue keeps getting pushed aside, and becomes an even greater issue to deal with as there are more anchor babies, and those who are here illegally become more entrenched in the communities and fabric of society. This makes solutions more expensive and more complicatated each month or year we wait for a fix.

      Some states (and communities) are figuring this out, and that is why they are engaging in self-help. In that sense the complexities of wolf reintroduction are no different – the federal government leaves them frustrated and with little choice.

      JB, I respect you knowledge about wildlife and social implications, but my friend you have not a clue about what is going on in the illegal immigration community and what it is doing to this country. Nor do many who post here. And, I do apologize for getting off the topic, but this needed to be said.

    • MJ Says:

      I usually don’t get into conversations on immigration (since ancestrally most “Americans” come from immigrants), however there are a couple of considerations that are rarely brought up when speaking of immigrants from Mexico (or other Central American countries). These are important points because, in my estimation, the United States is in large part responsible for the influx of these people.

      1. The vast majority of the drug trade in Mexico is in response to demand from the United States for these drugs.

      2. The political, social and economic conditions in many Central American countries which leads to people leaving is a result of US foreign policy (which generally is to the benefit of some corporate entity with enormous political influence). For example, the death toll and problems of recovery in Haiti following the quake can be traced directly to US policy recommending people leave their rural/agricultural lives to move into cities to work for low wages in factories. The death toll would have been much lower and the people more able to feed themselves post-quake had Haitians been leading their traditional lifestyles. There are lots of other examples (Cuba, Nicaragua, etc.) of US political interference in this region.

    • WM Says:

      JB,

      Pew Center study on illegal immigrant births:
      http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1696/unauthorized-immigrants-babies-born-united-states-citizens

      From the study:

      ++The new Pew Hispanic analysis finds that nearly four-in-five (79%) of the 5.1 million children (younger than age 18) of unauthorized immigrants were born in this country and therefore are U.S. citizens.++

      The Pew Center is a slightly left leaning think tank that does very good research.

    • Robert Hoskins Says:

      WM

      I’d advise you start learning Spanish. And maybe the history of human migrations around the planet too. That history starts about 90,000 years ago. Longer if you count Homo erectus.

      RH

    • JB Says:

      “Yours is a bullshit argument, JB, because you choose not to understand the problem becasue it is socially and morally uncomfortable, and the time horizon over which it will build.”

      Wow, really? Why don’t you take a second to re-read my post and then tell me where I’ve made an argument? I have laid out several facts that seem pretty damn relevant that you had completely left out of the conversation. In fact, I am trying to do exactly what you accuse me of avoiding–I am trying to truly understand the problem.

      But what the hell, I like a good argument. Homeland security estimates there are 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. (down recently, by the way). The baby-boomer generation, in contrast, contains 76 million people, who started to retire around 2007. [Note: several theorists predicted an economic slow down that would correspond with the beginning of baby-boomer retirements. Ta-da! ]

      So who will be a bigger draw on the federal system: (a) 76 million baby-boomers, a generation of people that grew up with great (and usually free) health care that they now feel entitled to–a generation that is about to quit contributing and start drawing on the federal system, or (b) 11 million young people who grew up (comparatively) poor and have learned to expect little from government; people who work their asses off and expect little in return?

      More to the point, why do you think both an extremely conservative administration and a moderate-liberal administration want to provide a “pathway to citizenship” for these illegals…? Could it be because they are already contributing to the economy, many are already paying taxes, they are already counted in the Census; and more to the point, they are young and therefore will contribute to our social welfare systems into the future, helping to pay for the 29% of entitled Americans that stand poised to retire? Could it be that their economic advisers are telling them that getting rid of illegal immigrants may be akin to taking fuel out of an aging economic engine?

      No, I think you are the one who is unwilling to see both sides of this issue. I suppose I’ll have to start calling you Lou?

    • WM Says:

      RH,

      Actually, I do speak Spanish, and have been to Mexico nearly a dozen times (deep into the interior, where the economy is virtually all agrarian, and quite a bit of time in Mexico City, Puebla, Vera Cruz, Cuernvaca, and towns at the base of El Pico de Orizaba and Popo.).

      And, certainly you will know, since you advocate the study of history regarding migration, that it has only been in pretty much the last couple thousand years or so, that human migration has much to do with availablity of “jobs.”

      Many people do not realize that people are not starving in Mexico (except maybe those who have moved to the city). It is an abundant land of food. What is different today is that even where people live life styles around an agrarian existence, they have electricity, and when you have electricity you have television, maybe even cable. That sets up interesting expectations in life there as it does elsewhere. Then there is the rumor mill – the streets of America are paved with gold and it is the land of milk and honey and opportunity. Those rumors persist, for those in search of a better life. Why would they not come for those reasons alone. Then there truly are instances of refugees fleeing areas of violence. We don’t do a very good job of sorting out who needs to be here of necessity, or who just wants to come, but does not want to wait in line, as others do and have done in the past.

      My problem with Mexico is that nearly 11 percent of its population are now living in the US now. Many are their young. Mexico has a very small middle class, with lots of super rich and a growing population of super poor. Mexico needs to step up and fix its own problems, with some US help. Its own people need to be a part of that effort, other than just sending money back – upward of $25-30 billion for Mexico, alone.

      ____

      MJ,

      As for the US demand for drugs you are absolutely right. But the real question is how to fix it? Which is easier – controlling supply or demand? You also seem to imply that the US should feel guilt for the demand, but how does a government address the demand side of the equation? Does it ignore an illegal workforce making much of drug production and distribution possible?

      And, as for Haiti, I am not sure who could help them. It is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. That is a residual problem of French and Spanish slave trade and high birth rate on an island that has few resources, and no way to effectively educate or feed its population. US involvement has, to my knowledge, been humanitarian, with not too much assistance from Europe or South America.

      Cuba, Central and South America all have strategic socio-political, military and natural resource implications that are complex and in the long term vital to US national interests. Do you have a plan to fix this (I don’t, and like you I am also a severe critic of what we sometimes do), or should it be left to those with expertise, even though they don’t get it right some/most of the time?

    • WM Says:

      JB,

      I did reread you first post. Indeed you were laying out more facts, than making an argument. I expect I implicitly read in some earlier comments, that I should not have. For that I apologize.

      The entitlement issue for baby boomers – which I have acknolwedged in the past , needs to be fixed as was suggested in the Fed paper from 2006 that you linked. The interesting thing is that entitlement to social security and medicare have been consistently represented as being available as one very strong guaranteed leg of the tripod for retirees (the other being savings and pensions for those lucky enough to have employers offering them). Here we are another four years out and we have done little to reduce expectations of social security and medicare, except addressed the healthcare issue. Still not sure how that will play out over time. And then, we have another whole group of workers who never contributed to social security because they have their own system – state and federal workers/military specifically. Nobody ever talks about the fact that the most stable and consistent employees in our workforce (1 of 5 or 6 people work for government) don’t even contribute to Social Security! Absolutely freaking amazing!

      To suggest that an unskilled low wage workforce will be the future safety net for Social Security or Medicare, especially when many are not even reflected in the system because no SS tax is assessed is a bit of a stretch in my view (and yes some are, but will never see the benefit because the ss number they use was illegally procured).

      Where we need immigrants to fill an impending labor shortage is in some of the skilled fields, and those folks are not coming from Latin America, nor will they ever. They are coming from India, China and Europe. They are standing in line and waiting – following the rules. Increasing those quotas would not be a bad thing. It has little to do with race in my mind, but what they as skilled workers bring to America that is of economic importance.

      And, I recognize some immigrants from Mexico or other latin countries are hard workers. I have worked along side some very good, highly productive people picking fruit, thinning apples, pruning and bucking hay as a young man. Some are my friends. It is not a race thing for me. Nor is it for some of my hispanic friends, who also see illegal immigration as a huge problem in their communities (especially the previously described drugs, crime and extraction of public benefits parts, and a cultural overload).

    • JB Says:

      Thanks, WM. I too, have strong feelings about the issue, but they are very much mixed. My brother-in-law, a Mexican who became a U.S. citizen, works for Microsoft as a software engineer (so much for stereotypes). I felt his pain when it took him 3 years to become a citizen despite (a) being married to a U.S. citizen for 5 years, (b) having a child, (c) having full-time employment in the high-tech sector, and (d) having no criminal record and all of his paperwork. On the other hand, I lost a good friend (a park ranger in Arizona) to an illegal Mexican drug smuggler.

      I agree that it is way too easy for illegal immigrants to “make it” here; but it is also way too hard for legitimate immigrants to gain citizenship. I have heard a lot of arguments regarding illegal immigrants, but I suspect a rational accounting of the costs and benefits will be hard to come by. Too many economic levers being pulled simultaneously–kind of like ecology, really.

  12. Cody Coyote Says:

    Hoskins’ analogy of Jim Crow laws in the Old South as a states’ rights analogy concerning wolves in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana is a pretty good one. The umbrella of Jim Crow was really the preponderance of the bigotry , hatred, and racism of a critical mass of the states’ residents. I see very nearly the same thing in the Northern Rockies today… might I call it a ” Joe Wolf” mindset ?

    After 15 years of trying to explain why we needed to bring back the wolf, I have an overwhelming preponderance of anecdotal evidence that a critical mass of WY-MT-ID residents have deep personal hatred and bigotry towards wolves…so much so that they have no input jacks or open channels to allow any factual, scientific, or any other narrative supportive of wolves past their moats and walls. There is no convincing them if they won’t hear a word of it. There are no teachable moments.

    Hatred and bigotry are strong words, but in Wyoming today they define the bulk of anti-wolf sentiment. It’s really not about economic losses of livestock or huntable elk to them at all, no matter how much they claim otherwise. It really is Joe Wolf spewing wolf hate and wolf bigotry.

    And that is sad.

    • timz Says:

      I have difficulty understanding how one could hate something that wasn’t even around for 65 years or so. All the old wolf haters should be dead.

    • jon Says:

      The old time wolf haters pass their wolf hatred down from generation to generation Tim.

    • Elk275 Says:

      This is what I just read on a hunting forum, these are long time posters for Western Montana :

      ++Molloy is a puke. He is making such a simple topic into an absolute cluster*uck. But that’s what you do when you have your hand in the enviros pocket. They needed another mouth to feed apparently. I also blame the rwj’s that want wolves taken off the map completely. I will be taking a wolf or two this year either way. There isn’t a game warden in 1,000 miles that will do anything to stop it either. They will all look the other way.

      This basically saves me a taxidermy bill and another tag weighing me down so thanks judge. It will also save on shells because I don’t need to be quite as accurate if you know what I mean.

      The season opens today and no limits. ++

      ++The wolf thing has finally exploded here where I am at. I know guys that normally won’t even cross the street out of a crosswalk that are going to pile up any wolf they can, whenever where ever. The patience and understanding are GONE. ++

      It will be interesting.

    • JB Says:

      I don’t think it is necessarily accurate to describe these folks as “wolf haters”; rather, they are people who dislike the federal government, so-called “East coast liberals”, and the progressive movement. Their “hatred” or opposition to wolves is symbolic–that is, wolves have become a symbol of all of the things they dislike about the government and especially, “outsiders”.

    • jon Says:

      JB, maybe some, but not all. Some do infact hate wolves just because of the fact that they kill elk and livestock. What was the reasoning behind despising wolves back in the 30s when they were supposedly wiped out with the help of the feds? Me personally, I think it boils down to competition. You ask a good # of hunters in Montana or Idaho why they hate wolves, my bet is most of them will say because they are destroying the elk herds. Even if the feds didn’t reintroduce wolves, wolves would still be a much hated animal simply because they kill elk and deer and moose. I sometimes find it hard to imagine where all of this anti wolf hatred comes from. Even if I was a hunter living in Montana and wolves were making it harder for me to get my elk, I wouldn’t hate them because of a foolish reason like that. I definitely would not want them exterminated like some simply because they are killing elk and making it harder for human hunters to get their elk.

    • JB Says:

      Jon:

      Certainly there are people who are simply concerned with their interests and, quite rationally, feel like wolves will negatively impact either their hunting opportunity or their livestock production. I think a number of hunters that post here fall into this group. However, I don’t believe that rational people hate an animal for out-competing them; rather, the develop a begrudging respect for that animal and seek to minimize its effects on their own interests (thus, you see very well-reasoned responses from many of the hunters that post here). This type of behavior is rational–it is not hate.

      I think those who exhibit the extreme animosity toward wolves that rises to the level of hatred are not rational. They have allowed their attitude toward wolves to become conflated with their dislike of the government, liberals, outsiders, city-slickers, etc. Such reasoning is ideological and dogmatic, as opposed to pragmatic. In the extreme, their reasoning becomes completely irrational. That is what we see out of people like Rockholm.

    • Wyo Native Says:

      Cody Coyote,

      What would you call your comments that you made in an editoral to the CST a few years back, hate or bigotry?

      “”Putting the beautiful landscape of Wyoming on the big screen as a setting for real Western sodomy seems a bit skewed to me,” “I am no homophobe. But I do question why my state film office would not consider the ramifications of their own desires. We should be relieved that Keep Your Head Productions are filming 700 miles north in a foreign country. Image is everything, and we ain’t talking Marlboro Country or ‘Shane’ here.”

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      Jon,

      I agree with JB. Extreme wolf hatred has another origin than perceived hunting competition and its continuation is one form of expressing resentment by some rural folks.

      If there were no wolves, and in fact before there were wolves reintroduced, this same class of people were shouting about other outdoors and wildlife issues (and non-conservation issues as well).

  13. Virginia Says:

    “States rights” was always the catch phrase for denying rights to minorities and seems to be having a resurgence by the tea party. In my opinion, it is a veiled way to show intolerance for Obama, Democrats, grizzly bears, wolves and any other being that is not acceptable to the (as RH explains so well) ranchers and corporations that wish to control the rest of us.

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      I think the phrase states rights gets thrown around too much. Sometimes it is out of paranoia, sometimes it is fashionable, and sometimes it is justified. I think the phrase has been proven to be dangerous. The Civil War could be thought of that way.

  14. timz Says:

    “It will be interesting”
    I myself would not find openly flaunting breaking the law to the point of near anarchy “interesting”. I think digusting and sad are more appropriate words here.

  15. Cody Coyote Says:

    WyoNative…short answer is None of the Above.

    A question asked is not necessarily a reinforcing statement of the belief behind it. It’s just a question. I just didn’t see how Wyoming -at-large could possibly reconcile this one.

    FYI—I have a lot of friends who are gay , actually.

  16. SEAK Mossback Says:

    I have to agree with JB and Ralph. There are areas in Alaska where people can point to how their hunting culture has suffered mightily from wolves. Take Petersburg (Unit 3) where deer tumbled from very high densities in the 1950s and 1960s, beginning in the winter of 1968-1969 followed by another bad one in 1971-1972. In annual reports, wildlife biologists expressed astonishment when deer continued to decline through subsequent mild winters (while deer on wolfless Admiralty Island across Frederick Sound fell just as hard initially but rebounded very quickly, and in fact there was an effort to supplement Kupreanof Island by restocking with deer from Admiralty). And of course there were efforts to control wolves. All to no avail.

    Finally, the deer season around Petersburg was entirely closed for 18 years! During 1975-1992, an entire generation of kids grew up with no chance to hunt deer locally. Contrast that to most elk herds in the northern Rockies said to be at or above goals with substantial hunting opportunity every year in most units.

    Hate? I know a number of hunters from Petersburg, and people there certainly shoot and trap wolves when the opportunity is presented, more so because of their history, but in many conversations I’ve never seen hunters get emotional or express hate toward them. I think they are if anything largely resigned, after all of those efforts including decades of severe hunting restrictions that were locally supported. It would be like growing angry at the waves and the tide. And some show interest and respect for wolves while acknowledging other problems including substantial clear-cut forest areas entering the long-term stem-exclusion phase (i.e. cellulose cemetery) and migration of moose onto the islands which is heavily impacting some of the winter browse for deer (while presenting a substantial new hunting opportunity).

    I should mention that there are some interesting circumstances to the deer decline. In about 1949, the feds got serious about eradicating wolves wherever possible in Alaska and they made a major attempt to clear them entirely off the islands in southern Southeast by dispersing seal baits (laced with strychnine) from aircraft. This continued through the 1950s until statehood. Deer densities on those islands reached very high levels, higher than on the wolfless islands to the north, and were impacting browse to the point that the deer biologists (including Sig Olson Jr., a late friend and son of the well-known naturalist from Wisconsin) were strongly urging cessation of predator control and more liberal hunting. Still the federal poison rained down on frozen lakes. Kuiu Island, which today is known to have a very low deer density, became a destination for hunters from as far away as Ketchikan and Juneau.

    When statehood came, government predator control was stopped and the wolves had 8 or 9 years to grow into that incredibly dense deer population until the bottom fell out in 1968-1969 with snow up to the rafters in Petersburg. While wolves also declined substantially (a friend who was part of the control effort in 1975 says they were few and smart), the recent high equilibrium went far out of whack for an extended period — apparently enough wolves managed to hang on to hold the deer down. Only later was it understood that black bears, which average up to 4 to 5 per square mile on Kuiu and western Kupreanof, are also a major factor. The bear population is thought to have increased, having gotten major new fuel from resurgent salmon runs starting in the early 1980s.

    • Elk275 Says:

      The above is well written and I was aware of the situation when I lived in Alaska during the pipeline years.


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