Otter sets one-month deadline for Idaho’s participation in wolf management

Will Otter’s tantrum backfire?

If there is a faster way of getting the State of Idaho out of wolf management I can’t think of one. It appears likely that Idaho will no longer have management authority over wolves beginning October 7 if all goes well. I can’t think of a worse way to regain management authority in the future if this comes to pass.

Butch’s impatience and political grandstanding could really backfire.

Butch says:

“We will keep working with the Interior Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the coming weeks to craft an agreement outlining the State’s role in wolf management, providing additional flexibility for addressing depredation, and committing enough federal funding to cover wolf management. But if we don’t reach an agreement within a reasonable time – we’ve set October 7th as a deadline – the State will no longer participate as a designated agent for monitoring, providing law enforcement support or investigating wolf deaths in Idaho.”

The USFWS cannot simply rubber stamp something like this without public input, and if it does, there will certainly be challenges in court that stand a high chance of prevailing.

What happens if Idaho gives up wolf management is anyone’s guess but during the period when Idaho didn’t have management authority the Nez Perce Tribe, under the direction of Carter Niemeyer of the USFWS, were managers. The decisions they made were rational and fair, especially when you compare it to current management by the IDFG and Wildlife Services in which more livestock and wolves die and there is no accountability to the public.

Current management of wolves is rabidly hidden from the public and when people who care about wolf management try to get information they have to go through all kinds of hoops to get it. I’ve submitted Freedom of Information Requests to Wildlife Services that have gone unfilled for months and months. I’ve also submitted public records requests to the IDFG which have met the same fate. I’ve also called the IDFG and Wildlife Services to ask about wolf management and have been told they can’t speak to me.

Wolves are a public resource, and yes, – like it or not – they are different from other animals on many levels. They are managed differently, and public perception is different. That is not going to change.

Otter sets one-month deadline for Idaho’s participation in wolf management.
Idaho Reporter

101 Responses to “Otter sets one-month deadline for Idaho’s participation in wolf management”

  1. JEFF E Says:

    I get the feeling that Clem was just told by Wasden that Judge Malloy’s ruling has as much chance of being overturned as Clem does of being a good Gov…..zilch. So he is going to stomp his feet and hold his breath…..

  2. jon Says:

    It seems to me Idaho is wasting a lot of time on this wolf issue when there are many more issues to worry about in Idaho.

    • Ken Cole Says:

      This is all about grandstanding but there may be some strategy that isn’t quite apparent to me yet. If there is a strategy other than grandstanding I don’t know what it is.

      I read another piece about this and it indicated that he thinks that since Idaho’s wolf management plan has been approved by the USFWS then it should be good enough to manage a listed population if it is resubmitted. I’m not to sure about that and I’m sure that if it comes to that then there will be a court challenge.

      The current plan by the legislature really only calls for maintaining only 10 breeding pairs. I don’t see how that will pass muster in court.

      • salle Says:

        Actually, this sounds all too familiar when it comes from the mouths of Idaho legislators…

        Reminds me of the call to arms from Larry Craig years ago. He was addressing a hearing over a long distance call where his voice was broadcast over the sound system in the room. He was coaching from a distance, the folks who were going to testify in favor of his opinion which was against the presence of wolves in Idaho.

        This clown, ButcherOtter, is living in his own private Idaho, he was a bad joke when he was a state representative, he’s a complete disgrace to any Idaho citizen who has the intellect to see what he’s about.

      • Save bears Says:

        Ya,

        But they elected him and from what I hear, he is leading in the polls by a pretty good margin..go figure!

    • ProWolf in WY Says:

      Thank-you Jon! I’ve been saying that for a while.

  3. Ralph Maughan Says:

    I don’t know what to think about this.

    Is this some high stakes bluff? Is he going to break the law? Hard to say.

    I used to think and say that these Idaho politicians who work to maintain the state’s feudal political structure were lairs who simple drove a hard bargain, but I was proven wrong too many times because they often really believed the things they were saying.

    • Craig Says:

      I think this has got so far outta hand with law suits ect, that the laws are going to get changed. And the “Governing Body” being ranchers are going to get there way! They have to much to say about what happens here in Idaho and they run our politicians! I think it would have been a lot better just left as it was, now shit is gonna hit the fan! You can’t have your cake and eat it too! Two sides divided are not gonna make for any good outcome!

    • Save bears Says:

      Ralph,

      I don’t think there are any bluffs going on anymore, both sides are firm and convince they are on the right side of this issue, unfortunately, I think it is going to blow up in both sides faces before it all done..

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      Save Bears,

      I don’t think it is a bluff. My point is that these people actually believe and have believed the crap they have pumped out for years.

      Wolves aside (let’s pretend the animal doesn’t exist), these folks never compromise. It’s always their way or the highway. They are willing to take a big loss so that someone they don’t like won’t get something they want. I learned this early on the Wilderness issue.

      • Save bears Says:

        Ralph,

        I agree, I know for a fact it is not a bluff and in the West it is always “My way or the Highway” as you well know, I wish I could forget the wolf existed, but that is not possible and it never has been, these are the issues that threaten to tear our republic apart, I just think the wolf issue is what is going to bring it to a very sore head..

      • Save bears Says:

        And I will add, I saw it coming when the wolves were released in Yellowstone, I was amazed as some of the statements that day, as I stood there watching them leave the pens, I am actually surprised it took this long, and now it seems we are going to have to ride that wave, whether it is a wipe out or a good ride..

        As they say…”Shit has hit the fan”

        I am just glad I have an opportunity to get the “hell out of dodge”

        LOL

      • JimT Says:

        Couldn’t agree more, Ralph. The only folks that have been compromising the past 20 years are the environmentalists on all of the issues, and it has gotten the movement exactly nowhere except further behind the eight ball. Interestingly, I heard an interview with McKibben the other day on NPR, and even he was saying it was time to stand up, and confront the opposition. If someone like him..a moderate if there ever was one…is fed up, maybe the major groups will finally learn that compromise and consensus are useless when the other side just wants the whole pie, and will do virtually anything to get it.

  4. Craig Says:

    Now you are going to have every single Hunting,ranching ect orginazation gather and do everything they can to make the State have control! I thought they set fair hunting limits, and things were good for the most part on both sides! Now it’s just all out war and people are feed up and sick of screwing with it!

  5. Ralph Maughan Says:

    Craig,

    Thank you for the news release.

    It is a rationale on why Idaho might give wolf management back to the federal government.
    – – – – – –
    Here it is expanded.
    – – – – – –

    Fish and game Commission: open letter to hunters and idahoans

    Wildlife managers and biologists agree that the wolf population in Idaho recovered years ago, and that wolf numbers now need to be controlled to reduce conflicts with people and wildlife.

    The recent court decision bypassed science and put Idaho wolves back under the protection of the Endangered Species Act based on a legal technicality. Now we must deal with a difficult situation.

    The Endangered Species Act severely limits Idaho’s abilities to manage wolves, and it is tempting to turn wolf management over to the federal government until wolves can be delisted again. But U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials have told us they wouldn’t manage wolves to protect Idaho elk herds, and they don’t share our motivation to protect the interests of our ranchers, pet owners, hunters and rural communities.

    We looked carefully at our options and potential consequences. We decided that as long as we are making a difference, we must stay engaged in wolf management to protect Idaho’s interests and rights. Only as a last resort will we leave the fate of Idaho residents and wildlife entirely in the hands of the federal government.

    Part of the reason we feel that way is because of how we got to where we are.

    With the court decision to relist wolves for the second time, the federal system has failed us. Defenders of Wildlife and other special interest groups are using a parade of lawsuits to tie the federal government in knots, and the result is against common sense, responsible wildlife management, and the stated intent of the Endangered Species Act. While we will work within the rule of law; we will use all of our influence and authority to make this right and put wolf management back in Idaho’s hands where it belongs.

    Idaho’s lawyers will ask a court of appeals to overturn U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy’s ruling, but we believe the best solution is to change the law directly. We will work with Idaho’s congressional delegation, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and other states to resolve this problem through federal legislation. Solutions will probably not be easy or quick. We will need all of the support we can get to make this happen, and we will keep you posted as to how you can best help these efforts.

    While we are pursuing change in the courts and in Congress, we will make the most of the authorities available to us. We support Gov. Otter’s efforts to reach a new agreement with U.S. Fish and Wildlife to ensure as much flexibility as possible in managing wolves. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission recommended that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service be in charge of Endangered Species Act enforcement while Idaho focuses on protecting its elk herds and reducing wolf conflicts. It should also be the federal government’s role to fund wolf management, and we support restricting the use of hunters’ license dollars for wolf management as long as wolves are federally protected.

    We will continue to insist on population control, particularly in areas where wolf predation is hurting our wildlife. The processes for getting federal agency approvals involve considerable paperwork and time and impose requirements that are an additional source of frustration. For example, because of federal legal requirements, Idaho Fish and Game managers have to use wolf population estimates that are “minimum,” so we know we are underestimating the number of wolves in Idaho.

    Likewise, to control wolves to protect elk herds under the “10(j)” provision of the Endangered Species Act, Idaho must demonstrate wolf predation impacts based on data that takes time to collect. We must also have our proposals reviewed by at least five scientists outside our agencies. That means we end up a year or more behind the times, using data that often doesn’t match up with what you see in the woods today. We have gotten to the point where we will soon submit a “10(j)” proposal to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for wolf control actions in the Lolo Zone, and other proposals are being developed. When delisting occurred previously, we were poised with a proposal then, too.

    As you can tell, we are in a tough struggle to regain state management, with scientific and legal battles on many fronts. We are concerned that some matters are dividing our community when we need to be united. For example, there are some who want to argue about what happened in Idaho politics when wolves were introduced in 1994. While we commit to learning from history, we do not want to waste our energy trying to attack, defend, or change the past.

    We are fighting a national battle of perception. It is easy to paint an ideal world of nature from a desk far away from rural Idaho. We need your help to explain why it is important to manage Idaho’s wolf population, just like we manage other wildlife. Someone who wouldn’t think twice about calling animal control to pick up stray dogs in the city may not think about how wolves are affecting the lives of Idahoans in similar ways – unless we tell them.

    National activist groups try to portray the average Idahoan as a wolf exterminator, lazy hunter or crazy extremist. We need your help to prove them wrong, just as Idahoans did when we participated responsibly in the first wolf hunting season in the lower 48 states. We need your help to support change through social networks across the country.

    If state authorities are further undermined by court decisions or inaction at the federal level, there may come a time where we decide the best thing to do is to surrender and leave wolf management up to the federal government until wolves are delisted. But for now we believe the best place to fix the system and protect Idaho’s interests is by staying involved in management. We appreciate your support.

    Idaho Fish and Game Commission

    • JB Says:

      “…but we believe the best solution is to change the law directly.”

      I think IDF&G just declared war.

      • Craig Says:

        Don’t just think it, they did it and not only them!

      • Save bears Says:

        Depending on which side you are on JB, it could be good or bad, but I believe in their own way all three states are declaring war…and I don’t think it will be long before the Great Lakes follow suit, I have also heard rumors that the states are saying any Federal agent found on State Lands, trying to enforce Federal Law, will be incarcerated for trespassing..

        As I said many times in the past, this is not going to be nice and things are going to get real nasty before they get any better..

        I really hope nobody gets killed!

  6. Craig Says:

    Why do you guys think the RMEF and others did a 180 after the ruling? Like I said things were fine and settled down then this happened and stirred the Hornets nest again. This law suit is going to do more harm than any good it could have ever done! Mark my words!

    • JB Says:

      Your words are marked. Now settle down, relax, take a deep breath.

      • Craig Says:

        No deep breath needed here! I’m just getting ready for my 12 day Elk Hunt up above Challis! Just telling you guys what’s going on! Can’t wait to here the ranchers up there on these issues! I’ll be hunting private”big ranch” land and staying with an anti wolf guy! Should be fun”!

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        Craig wrote

        “Hunting private party, big ranch” [emphasis mine]. Well now that tells us something.

  7. Mike Says:

    Lots of angry, unhappy people using the wolf for venting.

    People really, really need to find a hobby or something constructive to do. I guess if I bought trucks and motor toys which were worth more than my house and had no skills to speak of, I’d be pissed off too.

    • Save bears Says:

      How was you trip West this year Mike, any adventures to report?

      • Mike Says:

        Lots. 🙂 It was a great trip. I spent a good amount of time in Idaho, specifically Craters of the Moon and the Sawtooth National Forest. Also spent time in California, Oregon, Wyoming and of course Montana. I saved Glacier for last which is always the right way to go. It never fails to be the best park IMHO.

      • Save bears Says:

        I look forward to the pictures

      • jon Says:

        Mike, did you see any wolves and did you discuss the subject of wolves with any locals? Post some pictures when you get the chance. It will be much appreciated. Glad you had a good trip.

  8. Ken Cole Says:

    It appears that Craig’s has been put in to moderation. No name calling.

    • Save bears Says:

      Unfortunately Ken,

      At times name calling seems to be the norm around here. I have been called quite a few names over the years by people and they have never been put into moderation..

      • Ken Cole Says:

        Well, I try to keep those kinds of comments off of here but I can’t read them all. You have my email. Feel free to notify me.

      • Save bears Says:

        Ken,

        I have been accused of being a whiner, and it is really not worth the trouble, because nothing ever changes, every single argument, name calling session and obviously differing opinions have happened before and I am a smart enough person to understand they will happen again..so I will just continue to go with the flow..

        SB

    • JimT Says:

      SB,

      It has always been my impression on this list that personal attacks were the baseline for action by the moderators, especially if obscenities were the medium for that attack.

      Perhaps my skin is a bit thicker because of all of the lawyer insults and biased remarks I have heard over the years, and continue to hear from a certain non-fan on this list…~S~. Oh well..So long as no one resorts to libel…I guess I agree that they have a right to say it..civilly, of course..;*)

  9. WM Says:

    This crap was avoidable and I think Defenders and other plaintiff groups need to take a close look at what they have created politically, and potentially on the ground.

    Again – be careful what you wish for.

    • JimT Says:

      Again with the tacit condemnation of folks playing by the rules, doing what the law requires them to do to have their point of view heard.

      So, your assumption is that when contentious issues arise, politics, not law, should carry the day? Think about it before you answer, WM. Think of all of the issues that are and have been contentious over the years in this country, and how different the world would be if politics were allowed to trump the rule of law, as imperfect of a system as it can be.

      I actually support civil disobedience; non violent protest. This extremism in the name of state’s rights, or private property rights, or whatever the current rationalization is for lawless behavior is as far from that concept as one can get, and should be condemned.

      • WM Says:

        JimT,

        ++So, your assumption is that when contentious issues arise, politics, not law, should carry the day++

        Not at all. I have even said on this forum I believed the judge ruled correctly on the law.

        The question is whether to challenge the law at all, and see what flows from doing so. Defenders and other plaintiffs made their decision, and it appears this has kicked the dialog up a notch. Whether this is good or bad for either side is evolving now. Regardless of how it turns out somebeody is going to be pissed. I am doing a mental tally of which states, acting through their duly elected governments, are not so happy.

        This isn’t some obscure provision of the tax code or whether federal hiways are the right width. At its heart, it is about how the federal government and states do business with each other (or don’t) in pursuit of national environmental goals and local will, values and ultimately, destiny.

        Let’s face it, politics is about making laws and modifying them over time. Congress, these days, is not so much about making and changing laws to reflect changing values, as it is about 2 parties keeping power and indivual members keeping their own cushy jobs.

      • JimT Says:

        In saying that DOW should have considered not challenging the rule..not law…you seem to be implying that the status quo in which states were increasing efforts to kill more wolves using ever more controversial methods such as gassing and trapping was acceptable, both from a scientific standpoint as well as a legal standpoint. It wasn’t.

        The fact that DOW and the other plaintiffs won on the law should speak volumes to you and others who question that strategy. The fact that the state andwolf haters of all stripes have chosen to fan the flames of hysteria with talk of changing the ESA to reflect arbitrarily drawn political boundaries as opposed to ecosystem based territories shows how far they are willing to pervert the law and science to accomplish greed-driven goals and placate those industries like the grazing folks who give so much to their campaigns. . To imply somehow the DOW and the rest of the environmental community are responsible for the current choices of the anti wolf community to threaten illegal actions is severely misplaced.

        Sometimes, WM, enough is enough, and you take a stand and you fight for what you believe in. I think the environmental community has largely forgotten that, and their roots. It may be time to consult with Foreman and Peacock and other veterans of that time to see what advice they would give…

  10. Ralph Maughan Says:

    WM,

    I don’t know what “crap” you are writing about or how it was avoidable.

    • WM Says:

      The predictable outcome of the lawsuits based on the technical legal arguments over the law which does not (in my opinion) seem so ideally suited to dealing with wolves as an ESA protected species, when their numbers, range and resilience seems pretty obvious – and the vicious blowback that is just starting on both sides.

      I was naively hoping for a little more middle ground.

      • JEFF E Says:

        But Judge, isn’t coming too a full stop at a STOP sign just a technicality….

        Morning JB. You’re up early

      • JB Says:

        Morning, Jeff. I play hockey before the crack of dawn a couple of times a week. I often get up early to check email and–occasionally–Ralph’s blog.

    • JB Says:

      When you say it was avoidable, what do you mean? Defenders could have closed up the legal shop and let the interests of their members fall by the wayside?

      To say plaintiffs won on a “technicality” (which I have seen posted in other places), inappropriately dismisses the validity of their arguments–that is with an “s”. Recall that plaintiffs made 9 different claims (see below); true, the judge only ruled on one of the claims, but he also quite specifically noted that, “[b]ecause the Rule does not comply with the ESA, it is unnecessary to resolve all of the issues raised by the parties.” Just because these claims were not addressed by the judge in this case, does not mean they are not valid. Moreover, and disregarding the whole issue of wolves for the moment, I would point out that Molloy’s analysis of the SPR phrase within the Act is extremely important and could affect the listing [and delisting] of numerous other species.

      I also object to the implicit notion in many posts that this is all about keeping wolves listed. The two sides in this case have fundamentally different views of what the ESA demands concerning the recovery of species. [Note: Vucetich et al. (2006) discussed the notion of recovery at length in a recent article in Conservation Biology; see reference]. FWS has continuously conflated the notion of viability with recovery, which has only fed the rhetoric that wolves are “biologically recovered”. From a biological perspective, the population of wolves in the NRs is [according to most scientists anyway] VIABLE; however, that does not mean they are RECOVERED. Recovery has to do with more than just the viability or resiliency of the wolf population, it has to do with their representation across their range (legally, it simply means they no longer meet the definition of a threatened or endangered species).

      The technical and scientific debates that are part and parcel to every discussion about wolves obscure and often overshadow the more fundamental issue here–our society is trying to determine what constitutes “recovery” for an endangered species.

      – – – –

      The nine claims made by plaintiffs: “(1) the decision violates the statute by partially protecting a listed species; (2) the decision is based on outdated and unscientific recovery targets; (3) there is a lack of genetic connectivity to support the decision; (4) there are inadequate regulatory mechanisms to protect wolves without protections of the ESA; (5) the Service failed to consider loss of historic range when determining whether the wolves are recovered; (6) the Service disregarded the status of gray wolves throughout the lower-48 states in conducting its analysis; (7) the decision violates the ESA by delisting a previously unlisted population of wolves; (8) the Service defined the DPS boundaries contrary to the ESA and the Service’s own policy; and (9) the decision impermissibly designates wolves in Wyoming as a “non-essential, experimental” population.”

      – – – – –

      Vucetich, J. A., Nelson, M. P., & Phillips, M. K. (2006). The normative dimension and legal meaning of endangered and recovery in the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Conservation Biology, 20(5), 1383-1390.

      • WM Says:

        There is a difference between a highly technical legal argument, and the short-hand and slightly condescending “technicality” term some like to use.

        What I am speaking of is esoteric, but necessary, interpretations of a very complex law drafted over forty years ago, that may not have contemplated the subtlties of the world (US) as we see it today and tomorrow. Sorry, if that doesn’t sit well with some.

        If you don’t believe me, read the last thirty-two pages of Molloy’s 50 page opinion. There will be a quiz to measure your comprehension – you will probably need a couple pots of coffee, a quiet room for two or three days, and have to pull out about a dozen federal regulations and a few of the cited cases, and some Congressional hearing testimony to get the full context. Or, you can wait until the 9th Circuit rules and publishes its opinion, which will surely have a bunch more of this stuff, in which case you can set aside a week or so to read and comprehend (or not).

        If you go back to my earlier posts I predicted this outcome – the case at this juncture would turn solely on the DPS issue, and the judge would not get to the rest of the case if he could dispose of it cleanly and quickly on that alone. Surely he did exactly that.

        Maybe a quick fix to the DPS policy regulations will help some of this, but I won’t hold my breath very long for that possibility (I could be wrong, if JB, you, have outlined the issue correctly and how to fix it).

        The very institutional – management issue involving WY and their refusal to play, and how it has jeopardized the entire delisting, is another prime example of why the ESA deserves a closer look. Then there is that question of how do you enforce a state’s plan and keep them on task (valid issue you and both agree on, JB).

        The fact that the other claims – and that is all they are at this point, unproven claims- have not gotten a closer look at this stage of the litigation is also unfortunate. Maybe some claims would prevail, in fact, I suspect several would. But I also suspect it would sharpen criticism of parts of the ESA and how it just doesn’t neatly fit wolves and the prey upon which they feed. Do recall the Central ID and WY transplant wolves are a “non-essential experimental population” which is supposedly accorded different treatment under the law, and that is how it was VERY CLEARLY represented to the states, and the program was sold in the early 1990’s. I still think a fraud and misrepresentation claim against FWS by the states would be an effective PR campaign for them to show just how screwed up this reintroduction is, and should be aired as far as it can go.

        And, as for Vucetich, my recollection was his declaration testimony on the Isle Royale studies (what a sick observational study on closed ecosystem in-breeding that is) unduly influenced a judge who, now is much more knowledgeable and knows a bit more about genetics than in the first suit. This genetic connectivity argument in the NRM is just pure scare bullshit because of the ability to move wolves around, or add new blood at will. In fact, this is a contemplated central element of the Draft WA Plan. If you look closely at the NRM proposal and its EIS moving wolves was a part of the deal (not sure what happened to not fulfill that, other than maybe they felt they didn’t need to). I fully expect Judge Molloy would not be so easily swayed this round on the connectivity, had the issue been addressed.

        Then there is my favorite issue – significant portion of range. Indeed, range should be expanded and excess wolves from the NRM should be offered, if not by the state, then the federal government, to every other state which does not yet have its own and has habitat to support them. Then the historic range issue is minimized. Will that happen? I think not without extensive prodding. That truly is an issue wolf advocates and their spokesperson national organizations should champion (CBD is the only one right now), and it is a very cheap fix. More wolves on the ground in far more places away from the NRM for more people to see and otherwise interact with them as they profess they want. In the short term that would mean that some of these NRM wolves would not be killed, just transferred to new homes. That is a win – win for everyone, or is the ESA only to apply to the NRM? My next question is to NV’s Harry Reid, CA’s Barbra Boxer, OR’s Ron Wyden, WA’s Patty Murray, CO’s Mike Bennett and a few others – how many excess wolves will your state be willing to take from the NRM surplus in the next six months? Any takers?

      • SEAK Mossback Says:

        WM –
        Your suggestion about restoring the wolf’s historic range by transplanting wolves including into now marginally suitable habitats in the former range (and thereby fulfilling at least one of the plaintiff’s nine issues) likely would dampen tension somewhat within the current recovery area. Certainly, since wolves were reintroduced into the northern Rockies the conflict over predator management in Alaska has declined tremendously to the point where we are seldom making headlines anymore (much to the chagrin of local opponents who feel as though they have lost all traction and are sliding down long icy slopes and over small cliffs). Why would Alaska make the national news anymore with all the venom in the NRM and practically weekly stories about Wildlife Services wiping out this or that entire pack for killing a calf here or a sheep there?

        If in fact the plaintiffs succeed on more of those 9 legal points and gain a more or less permanent block on delisting, transplantation of wolves to the other corners of their former range may be the only way without changing the law to address those concerns and achieve delisting while at the same time diffusing or at least redistributing the political equation away from NRM, which would no longer be the frontier for wolf issues. It would also address a point made by Robert Hoskins some time back that we don’t necessarily want large total numbers of predators but want them well distributed. I’m not sure the Obama administration is up to it though, as there are some definite political risks — it is possible that rather than lance the political boil in the NRM it would simply spread infection.

      • JB Says:

        WM:

        I’ve read Molloy’s opinion–twice. If you know the law it is relatively easy to follow, though I would agree that for someone just coming to this issue it would seem extremely “technical”. I suppose that is what you get from 35 years of mixing science and law.🙂

        I disagree with many posters here regarding DPS policy and the extent to which political boundaries are relevant. The central piece in any species listing is the “threats assessment”, and in the case of wolves, the threats posed by inadequate regulatory mechanisms clearly make the population distinct (using the very same logic that is used in delineating DPS’s by the political boundaries of nations). However, while this represents a “quick fix” to the problem at hand, it does not address the other issues raised by plaintiffs.

        I have no idea what you are talking about regarding Vucetich’s testimony, but I’ll take your word for it. Regardless, I can assure you that this particular paper is worth reading, especially if you truly want to understand the thinking of conservation biologists regarding what constitutes wolf recovery. If you don’t have access to it, have Ralph send me your email address and I’ll send it to you.

        I disagree that the genetic connectivity issue is “bullshit”, especially if you rely upon the “we can always transplant more wolves” logic. If that logic were to apply, wolves could have been delisted 5 minutes after they were reintroduced because we can always get more from Canada if anything were to jeopardize the species/DPS. The question, from the court’s point of view, should be: does the lack of genetic diversity/connectivity potentially threaten wolves (the existing population) in the DPS–if so, the species should be listed as threatened or endangered. Hypothetical transplantation is a whole shit load of “maybe” that should not even be considered.

        Regardless, I would agree that the population is probably viable as is; however, as I said (above) this is not the fundamental issue. What is being contested is what constitutes recovery.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      WM,

      In Idaho the nastiness about the wolf issue at a high political level, came the day Butch Otter was inaugurated.

      I had hoped the issue would just simmer down, and the number of wolves would level out and drop as they have in Yellowstone Park. As far as the side I’m on (supporting all wildlife, not just a few game species), the fear and resistance is all due to Butch Otter.

      • WM Says:

        Ralph, JB,

        I know little of the of the initial role of the Nez Perce as an interim ID state-wide “manager” of wolves during the early days of re-introduction, other than it was during the time the ID Legislature was chewing on the bitter pill of ESA protected wolves on the landscape.

        I Came across a pretty decent article giving some historical perspective, and was intrigued by the “institutional” reluctance of ID to play, as set out by this author, PATRICK IMPERO WILSON “Wolves, Politics, and the Nez Perce: Wolf Recovery in Central Idaho and the Role of Native Tribes” in the Natural Resoures Journal [Summer 1999]

        http://lawlibrary.unm.edu/nrj/39/3/05_wilson_wolves.pdf

        JB, this says two things to me. First your summary dismissal of my assertion that this a “hard sell” to the states was not correct. Second, the need for contingencies if a state chose not to “play’ was very real, and imperative to address, but apparently ignored by FWS twenty years ago, even though it is rearing its ugly head again in 2010 (if Otter’s threat is to be believed in ID, and WY refuses to move off its position).

        It also raises a third, issue and that is whether the Nez Perce, or FWS for that matter, has all the necessary authority/tools to assume a role as a state-wide or beyond manager (since they were also in WA, OR and MT, but I don’t know the treaty/ceded lands implications), in all phases of wolf management including delisted status, which it appears would/could include hunting, as we know from this past year.

        As Ken suggests in his introductory comments, just where is this headed from an institutional perspective, in at least two of the three states?

      • JB Says:

        WM:

        I didn’t dismiss your assertion that it was a “hard sell”, I objected to the idea that they SHOULD have had to do any “selling” at all. The law says the species is endangered and they had the power under the law to reintroduce. They should have reintroduced the species and left any “selling” to the politicians.

      • WM Says:

        JB,

        ++They should have reintroduced the species and left any “selling” to the politicians.++

        Like that would work…..or is working today. Exactly how do politicians (instead of bureaucrats on the ground explaining details and getting committments to carry out certain tasks) “sell” a program that seems from their perspective to have very little “up” side?

      • JB Says:

        Let me make this as clear as I can:

        (1) Wolves were listed as an endangered species under the ESA.
        (2) The ESA gives the FWS the authority to reintroduce species (actually the term used in the act is “transplant[ation]”). See below.
        (3) I don’t see where the act says anything about “selling” the conservation of a listed species?
        (4) Therefore, the FWS has no business “selling” reintroductions to states, counties or other municipalities. Leave the selling to salesman and politicians.

        “The terms ‘‘conserve,’’ ‘‘conserving,’’ and ‘‘conservation’’
        mean to use and the use of all methods and procedures which are necessary to bring any endangered species or threatened species to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to this Act are no longer necessary. Such methods and procedures include, but are not limited to, all activities associated with scientific resources
        management such as research, census, law enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, propagation, live trapping, and transplantation…”

      • WM Says:

        JB,

        ++They should have reintroduced the species and left any “selling” to the politicians.++
        ++…Let me make this as clear as I can:++

        I think you know very well that Congress has passed hundreds of laws with provisions that are never fully implemented (lack of appropriation, science has not caught up with the mandate, lack of political will and the list goes on and on). Politicians don’t do the “selling” once the laws are passed, in my experience, and rarely will.

        It has been said Washington DC is 26 square miles surrounded by reality, and that is ever so true when laws get passed and then the implementation of “ideas” under the law get implemented. The law typically says…the Secretary of whatever Department, like Interior, [or Administrator in the Case of EPA] “is authorized to _____.”

        Let’s just be honest, JB. The selling always is done by the bureacrats. That is where the rubber meets the road. Regulations are written to implement the law – sometimes the bureaucrats get it right and sometimes not. The hard part about many environmental laws is the implementation is done at the state or lower level (tribe, local governemt). The ESA has such provisions, too, which is why the states were chosen as “wolf managers” + that pesky “all wildife belongs to the state ” issue that keeps popping up over and over again (unless the feds regulate, which trumps state law) and seems to unduly irritate many who comment here.

        Maybe you should switch jobs with Ed Bangs for about two years, and let’s see how smug you are about “selling” a program, then. Or you could become one of those politicians who has the cajones to “sell” a law. Bet in most states you wouldn’t last until next election. LOL.

        By the way, the 1972 Clean Water Act had a goal of zero discharge of pollutants by 1985. Best management practices are really just starting for urban stormwater runoff, and most municipal wastewater facilities are at secondary treatment levels, dumping millions of gallons of effluent into streams and lakes, with TMDL’s under incredibly liberal mizing zones still not met, and many non-point source discharges are still not addressed – 40 years later. Guess individual members of Congress should have been out there “selling” the program instead of the bureaucrats.

      • JB Says:

        WM:

        I really don’t care to argue with you about something so mundane–in fact, I’m having trouble figure out what it is we disagree on? Certainly, I agree that Congress passes laws all the time that require agencies to implement them, AND I agree that selling the subsequent rules and regulations that result are often left to agency bureaucrats. To speak in the language of lawyers, I have no factual dispute with you. Rather, [again] what I object to is this notion that agency biologists SHOULD have to sell species reintroductions. Why? (1) Because it isn’t their job to sell the law, it is their job to implement it; (2) because the biologists who often occupy high level positions are not salesman/policymakers and asking them to take on this role compromises both their objectivity as scientists, and their credibility when they get something wrong [like, shall we say, misinterpreting the law], and (3) because the law clearly provides them the power to reintroduce species [even if states don’t like it].

        You suggested: “…you could become one of those politicians who has the cajones to “sell” a law. Bet in most states you wouldn’t last until next election. LOL.”

        Exactly! You’ve nailed the problem! Politicians too often wash their hands of the laws they pass and then undercut the very agencies they have put in place to implement these laws. In my view, it is an abdication of duty. Your example of the failure of the Clean Water Act only emphasizes how ineffective agencies can be without the support of Congress.

        Perhaps I’m being idealistic; perhaps even a little naive; but I don’t see where I have been smug? I don’t fault Ed Bangs for doing what he was asked to do. I fault the politicians for putting him in the situation where he was forced to do it.

  11. pointswest Says:

    I’ll make three optimistic predictions.

    1) The Republicans will not win the House or the Chamber in November.

    2) The rule of law will prevail regarding ESA. The states will lose the appeal. The federal law will not be changed. The Fed will impose its will on the states…maybe with some compromise. All the posturing will go away after the election.

    3) eestor will soon demonstrate their new battery soon and America’s dependence on foreign oil will come to an end within five to ten years. Without oil money, the Middle East will return to a poverty stricken region of ignorance and indolence that will, once again, be largely ignored by the industrialized world.

    Sorry for being so positive.

    • Daniel Berg Says:

      I think the Dems have a pretty good shot at losing the House, they probably will keep the Senate. There seem to be just too many House seats in play held by Democrat incumbents.

      • JB Says:

        Sorry I don’t see the Republicans picking up 42 seats. It has been widely reported that they need 39, but those 39 are in addition to 3 that pretty much everyone believes they will lose.

      • Save bears Says:

        Time will tell JB!

      • Daniel Berg Says:

        JB –
        I know there are multiple projections, but there are legitimate pollsters and analysts that are predicting as much as a 47 seat gain for republicans in the House based on current data.

      • jon Says:

        JB, there seems to be a backlash against democrats. Although I dislike republicans as much as democrats, I see the republicans picking up a lot of seats.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        Here is my view.

        I see an enthusiasm gap for the Democrats.

        Mid-term elections are always battles between the two parties’ bases. The party with the best turnout of its partisans wins (assuming about an equal number of people identify with each party).

        A disproportion among the independents is important, but not nearly so much as base turnout.

        Democrats will save themselves only by turning out, and so the President needs to inspire his base if he wants to avoid disaster. Democrats in competitive districts need to do the same.

        In midterms, reaching out to the other party is a recipe for losing.

        Republicans are already angrily enthusiastic. The Tea Party might help them, but the more the tea party scares Democrats, the better Democrats will do. Third party challengers from the right (such as Colorado governor’s race) will help Democrats.

        In states like Idaho, Democrats have little chance except running as though they were moderately conservative Republicans, e.g., Representative Walt Minnick. I think the Tea Party scares the Idaho Republican establishment.

        Idahoans will need another 2 to 4 years of economic privation to look to another party. Even then it won’t necessarily be the Democrats.

        Idaho once had a left-wing populist tradition that could sometimes be mobilized, but with the destruction of the state’s labor unions that is gone.

    • jon Says:

      Just looking at some of the people that might run for president in 2012 scares the hell outta me. Palin, Gingrich, Romney, etc. We are doomed! I can tell you one thing, there is no way in hell Obama is winning another term!

      • JB Says:

        Jon:

        Palin has virtually no chance of winning the republican nomination and if she did, she would virtually guarantee and Obama victory–she would do exactly what the Republicans don’t want–mobilize the Democrats political base.

      • Save bears Says:

        Palin is nothing but a distraction, and if she runs, she won’t make it out of the primary season..

    • pointswest Says:

      There is something very unusual about these 2010 elections…something we have not seen for awhile. That something is that the Democrats have a lot more money than the Republicans. The influence of that money will not start showing up in the polls until October when the campaign ads start. Further, many of the Rep candidates are radical, have said radical things, or have a checkered past. Many will be vulnerable to Dem attack ads and will simply not have the money to respond.

      It will be a long shot that the Republicans take back the house or the chamber.

      • Save bears Says:

        Time will tell PW, it will be an interesting election year..with many surprises..

      • pointswest Says:

        I think this New York Times political map is more telling. The Republicans have come up in the polls in recent weeks but one can see from the way the Times breaks the election down that Democrats have many more certains wins and that the Republicans must win nearly all of the tight races in both the Senate and Congress.

        http://www.nytimes.com/pages/politics/

        Remember the Dems have almost twice the money that the GOP has and many GOP candidates are pretty far out there in their politcal rhetoric. Also remember that the GOP was in control when the financial system collapsed. These things will haunt them when the attack ads start.

        Some event such as another large terrorist attack or terrible economic news could throw the election to the GOP but it is a long shot.

    • Craig Says:

      3 stikes and you are out!

  12. JEFF E Says:

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2010/09/10/1334194/no-wolf-standoff-in-idaho-yet.html

    it looks like someone saw the need to throw cold water in Clem’s face.

    Breathe Clem Breathe. The livestock industry is still going to fill your bank-account and freezer.

  13. Layton Says:

    Maybe some of the legal expertise that seems to be present on this thread right now can help me out here.

    What would/could happen if Idaho – thru Otter or however – simply told the feds to go to hell and TOTALLY took over the management of wolves? I mean took it over to the point of establishing seasons, quotas, methods of take, etc., etc..

    To me, a couple of things would be obvious. First, there are NOT enough federal game wardens to effectively enforce federal laws against hunting wolves. Second, if the state stood behind people that the feds DID arrest it seems to me that it would mightily conflict any court trying the case (and maybe even tie up the courts worse than the current greenie suits 8) ).

    The current population of wolves, in most of Idaho anyway, is legally defined as “experimental and non-essential”. It seems to me that the state could just take over some of the control/use of this population.

    Yep, I know that I’m just one of those “ignorant rednecks” that a lot of people on this blog refer to as living in Idaho, but I’d really like to hear the theories on what would happen.

    (by the way, I will run this comment thru a spell checker so as not to offend the sensibilities of those who think all non wolf lovers are ignorant — you’ll just have to get along with the bad grammar)

    • JimT Says:

      We talked about this on another thread. See if the archives are any help on the matter.

      • Ken Cole Says:

        Federal law still trumps state law. There is nothing to stop the Feds from enforcing the ESA and prosecuting someone who willingly violates it by hunting. There is nothing to stop someone from reporting a violation either.

      • Save bears Says:

        With the way things are going around the country Ken, I don’t know that the argument that Fed trumps State will always hold up..

      • Ken Cole Says:

        Why do you say that? If someone poaches an endangered species then they could be prosecuted under Federal law. Whether it would be hard to catch people is another story but that doesn’t change the fact that the Feds could prosecute.

        I would think twice before poaching a wolf if I knew I could be prosecuted under the ESA.

      • Layton Says:

        I don’t disagree with the fact that the federal law would still be enforced —– that said I don’t know how effective they could be.

        Then — if the state said it was legal—- it just seems that it would be kind of a different deal.

      • Save bears Says:

        Ken,

        I agree that you can be prosecuted under Federal law, but with all the various lawsuits going on around the country aimed directly at state sovereignty, I don’t know how long that is going to last.

        I also think if the states involved tell the Fed’s to shove it and you take all control, that they don’t have the manpower or the inclination to actually follow through with it.

        As I have said in the past, the wildlife and land issues are big to the few of us that actually pay attention to it.

        Unfortunately, I don’t think they are that big of an issue to the majority of people in the US, most are interested in Economy, Health Care and Jobs! I know for a fact, right now these issues are pretty far down the totem pole to the current admin, and depending on what happens in Nov, they could be pushed farther down…

        I guess, I am just not that optimistic, and I don’t know how willing people in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming would be to report suspected incidents…let alone convict them if they are brought to trial..

      • WM Says:

        Ken,

        You are right, but who do you see actually doing the -on the ground, day after day- enforcement of destruction of ESA protected property?

        If one thinks this through, do you honestly believe the federal government/taxpayer will want to pony up costly federal resources for investigation (FBI, FWS), prosecution (government lawyers) and tie up the federal judiciary (judges/magistrates/clerks/administrators/courtrooms) to deal what are in effect in the same catagory as “state game” violations? I can see it now the defendant wants a jury trial (more cost). What, this defendant can’t afford a lawyer and needs public defender? (more cost).

        One does not even have to look very far to see how effective “federal protection” (even with help from the states under their coop MOU’s) has been with the Mexican wolf in AZ and NM.

        At one time, with fewer NRM wolves and fewer people wanting to lethally remove them (for whatever reason), that would not have been a case volume issue. Now, I am afraid it is. Importantly, it adds a new political dimension, and it continues to add tension to state-federal relations, something I don’t think Obama wants even after the mid-term election is over.

        We are still paying for two wars, economy still in the toilet and will be for awhile, social/health services on the rise as a result of the economy and retiring boomers – and now somebody wants to spend lots of money (even though it really isn’t that much) investigating, and prosecuting wolf killers in the West (or maybe the Midwest if they don’t get theirs delisted soon). Like that will sell in this administration or Congress, especially with terrorism threats, maybe, just around the corner.

        Do you seriously think Secy. Salazar or any other Interior leader at any time in our recent history would want to carry that message to the Oval office or the Hill in this political environment? The message from Rahm will be fix this thing with the states and their wolves – “just f***’n do it!”

      • Elk275 Says:

        If someone in Southwest Montana shot a wolf and was prosecuted in Federal Court, the venue would be Butte, Montana. Try finding a jury who would convict a wolf poacher; I don’t think that a jury could be found or if found there would be several who would vote non guilty regardless.

      • JB Says:

        SB:

        According to the peer-reviewed literature, wolves can withstand an annual over-winter mortality in excess of 35% (meaning more than 1/3 of the population can die yearly with no effect to the population size). If illegal killing increases, this will put pressure on FWS to end or at least reduce lethal control actions–and remember, no regulated hunting season. Do you believe that the number of people that are currently willing to break the law in order to eliminate wolves is capable of killing upwards of 30% of wolves in the NRs. Remember, these are the same people who (theoretically) were chomping at the bit to hunt wolves last year and couldn’t seem to find any.

        I just don’t see it.

      • Elk275 Says:

        ++Remember, these are the same people who (theoretically) were chomping at the bit to hunt wolves last year and couldn’t seem to find any. ++

        It depends on where a hunter was hunting. In Idaho they had trouble killing wolves partly because of heavy timber and brush. In Montana with more open spaces the quotas filled fast.

        (Of course Montana hunters are the best🙂

      • Save bears Says:

        JB,

        If only 25% of the people I have talked to, actually follows through with their threat, then yes, I think they could have a very large impact. These people are not the ones you see quoted in news stories. You may not be seeing it happen, and I fear for what will happen. That is the problem with people who don’t work in the field, boots on the ground, they only hear what the news wants to report.

        And just so nobody gets the wrong idea, I report every single incident of suspect poaching to the proper authorities, unfortunately, I know many personally that don’t..

      • Save bears Says:

        Another thing, people seem to forget, the people that will poach wildlife are not the typical hunter, they are a criminal and many of them have been poaching for years, many have been turned in, and they still find someway to wiggle out of it..

        I have been in many areas in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, that I could have shot wolves, and no one would have ever known that it was done..and the likely hood of anyone reporting it, would have been very slight..

        But believe me, there are some very savvy woodsmen out there that would have no problem at all shooting them and leaving them lay, without ever approaching the body…and really I am sorry to say that in this day and age..

      • WM Says:

        I am afraid whatever might happen will not be confined to rifle killing as someone mentioned a few weeks back. It may some kind of poison, which is placed on the landscape and left there to be consumed by whatever happens by. So that will likely mean not only wolves but collateral damage, depending on the poison. Anyone know if a bear’s system can tolerate sorbitol, or is it selective to canids?

      • jon Says:

        sb, I doubt hunters turned poachers are going to kill very many wolves. The wolves that are illegally killed won’t even put a small dent in the wolf population. Numerous people have said that controlled and managed hunts do not manage nor control the wolf populations. The only way to truly manage or control the wolf populations would be to have hunting seasons all year round and shoot on sight and trapping. Jim Beers and Toby Bridges, 2 anti wolf extremists have admitted this. Even if hunters do illegally kill wolves, what does it accomplish? Nothing.

      • JB Says:

        SB:

        I suppose all I can do is send your comment back your way:

        Time will tell, SB!

      • Save bears Says:

        Jon,

        You didn’t read what I wrote, I did not say hunters turned poachers, I said Criminals that are going to kill wolves and believe me, they know there way around the woods…JIm and Toby, are big blow hard types with no moxy behind them, I know of 4 guys in Montana, that served in Iraq, there specialty was sniper, they just want to kill, they didn’t fulfill their desire to kill when in the war, and now wolves just happen to be a target of opportunity..

        You know, I have been posting this for a long time now, and many here, just don’t seem to get it, the people that are going to make a dent in the wolf population, don’t talk to the news, they don’t run their mouths in mixed company, they don’t brag at the bar, in fact most of them I know, don’t drink, don’t smoke and would rather kill than have sex!

      • Save bears Says:

        Yes,

        JB,

        Time will tell, I just happen to have less faith than many..

      • jon Says:

        sb, I know Toby and Jim Beers are not going to kill any wolves themselves. I just brought them up because they have said that controlled managed wolf hunts DO NOT CONTROL OR MANAGE the wolf populations. Even if poachers kill some wolves, I doubt it will have an effect on the wolf population as a whole. They would be killing for nothing. Killing a wolf illegally is not going to make elk magically reappear like some of them may think.

      • bob jackson Says:

        Save bears,

        During the height of the salt baiting episode in the late 90’s and early 2000’s I rode up to the Wyoming G&F cabin in the Thorofare. In this cabin were two seasoned red neck game wardens, one from north of Cody and the other from Cody.

        This dude noth of Cody was rigged out in his black chaps, packers and Wyoming game warden kerchef around the neck. While leaning against the open door of this cabin he told me, “I could pack all the salt I wanted, drop it off at any salt site, and no one would ever catch me. This his said while being surrounded by 4 illegal salts in a quarter mile… two visible from the cabin in the evening light.

        So like you said no one would ever know you shot a wolf….. and all these war vets of the silent types are out there with cold hatred of authority who don’t care a hoot to tell anyone…just giving that surly look when questioned.

        Just remember I was surrounded by multiples of these types in Thorofare…and all but one outfitter and guide cried when the gig was up. Broken, with their heads hanging down and tears coming down their face I would pull that Forest Service notebook from my ranger shirt pocket and gently hand it to them with the govt. black ball point (one time a 44 lead bullet because my pen was gone) and say, “just write it down.” Then the bawling and big sobs would start and many confessions ended up with copious amounts of tears on that paper.

        Ya, these are the strong silent types I tell you, and just let me at them anytime….anytime.

      • Ryan Says:

        Ken,

        Federal law doesn’t trump state law in practice, look no farther than medical Marijuana, which is still illegal by fed standards and the shops owners could be sent to jail but there not. If grass gets a pass wolf killing surely will too.

    • JEFF E Says:

      It would be the same as the states that have tried to decriminalize Marijuana. The Feds said no. Then it gets to a point of will the law be “actively” enforced or not.

    • Save bears Says:

      Okay Jon!

    • Save bears Says:

      Bob,

      Interesting.

      Now of course, you did catch the part in one of my messages that stated, I turn in every suspected poaching incident I see..

      I didn’t say I would shoot a wolf, I said I could shoot a wolf and not one would ever know…

      I have not hate for the Government, heck I have worked in one way or another for them since 1979, but I am very critical of them as you are, and of course, I will not hesitate to voice my displeasure with them, when I feel it is warranted…

      • Save bears Says:

        Sorry,

        The not was suppose to be “no”

      • bob jackson Says:

        No intent to think you would do so. What you said just reminded me of what a red neck game warden said. And those war vets…it is mostly just a myth of who they are.

        The big disadvantage the “cold silent types” have, whether vets or “cowboy” guides, is they end up with no skills in conflict resolution…or for that matter any discussions.

        Thus the blubbering and bawling.

      • Save bears Says:

        Bob,

        If they are cold silent types, then why do they need skills in conflict resolution or good skills in discussions, they choose their path..

      • bob jackson Says:

        SB

        If the “cold, silent types” want the embarassment of bawling and blubbering BECAUSE THEY DON”T KNOW HOW TO COMMUNICATE so be it. Because of their deficencies I got some duzzy of wet papered confessions…such as … “I knew I was hunting in the Park because I was also hunting in the Park the week before. I ran from you because I knew the best way to get out of the Park.” And , “I can’t answer your earlier question because I don’t know which poached elk you are talking about” (all I knew of was one).

        Ya, the wild west quiet role fakeo types are about as sorry sack of shits human beings can be. I had a lot better success breaking them than “normal” people….rather they broke themselves.

      • Save bears Says:

        Ok Bob,

        You won’t find any argument from me on this issue..

  14. Linda Hunter Says:

    Humm interesting points but I am afraid it will be neither the state or the feds who will eventually have the final say. Every since I came to the northwest the feds have been cutting the salaries and jobs in the forest service to the point where there are not enough law enforcement, rangers or biologists to take care of our public lands and who shoots what, who stomps on what and who takes commercial products out of the forest. . soon, very soon I imagine that the government will point to the forest service and say they just haven’t been doing the job so we have this great idea. Lets let private companies do it. Already in Oregon state parks are appealing to corporations for funding in return for letting them put up advertisements. I think that if this becomes a trend that all the wolf haters and wolf lovers will unite and fight a new threat. . that of a Disney park world.

  15. Craig Says:

    Ralph Maughan Says:
    September 10, 2010 at 9:53 AM
    Craig wrote

    “Hunting private party, big ranch” [emphasis mine]. Well now that tells us something.
    You know as well as I do the big ranches don’t have Wolves and have lots of big Elk! I lucked out this year and drew a tag in a premo area! It is on a biiiiiig ranch and I got luckly and got permision to hunt it! If you go general in Challis your screwed, non of the ranchers will let you hunt! I learned that last year! Whatched a lot of Elk on Welfare ranchers property that we couldn’t hunt!

    • Craig Says:

      Ralph, it’s not anyone I know just got permission through friends! I’ll be curious to see the damage this operation has done on these 10,000s of acres we get to hunt. It’s also in a primative area, but cattle can roam free! I have hunted it 2 times but just to call Elk in for my friends!


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