Conoco hires big Idaho lobbyist to speed their use of Highway 12

This is important, and there is a story.  Usually we don’t hear (read of) the really important stuff, and this is.

Idaho lobbyist to lead campaign for Conoco. AP in Magicvalley.com

Judge sides with Wyoming in wolf case

U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson Rules that USFWS was not justified in rejecting Wyoming’s woefully inadequate wolf management plan.

Recall that Judge Molloy ruled in 2008 that the USFWS arbitrarily accepted Wyoming’s wolf management plan without justification after initially rejecting it. Specifically Molloy said that the USFWS “acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it approved Wyoming’s 2007 plan despite the State’s failure to commit to managing for 15 breeding pairs and the plan’s malleable trophy game area”.

Updated: Judge sides with Wyoming in wolf case.
By JEREMY PELZER Casper Star-Tribune capital bureau

More on close wolf encounters

What does wolves close up mean?

If a wolf approaches you, you should certainly not assume it wants to eat you.  On the other hand, watch it closely, it isn’t necessary benign.

Some people can “read” dogs, cats, horses, and other animals.  People who can’t fill in the blanks with their hopes, fears, and generalizations from other animals.

This last month we witnessed the fearful reaction of two Montana hunters to a pack of wolves nearby. Flathead Valley hunters shoot wolf, say they were surrounded. By Tristan Scott of the Missoulian. Over the years, we have posted a number of other accounts where people had “scary,” close wolf encounters.  Some folks will recall the humorous story of the Forest Service employees (from Utah) who encountered howling wolves in the middle of the Sawtooth Wilderness in Idaho (I don’t recall if they even saw one of the wolves), but they were so frightened by the howls they had a Forest Service helicopter fly into the designated Wilderness area to be evacuated.

I have heard no “scary” stories from people except from those already hateful or frightened of wolves, and who had a close encounter.

I’ve had two close encounters.  With the first (1997) I was so overconfident, I was just stupid. We (five of us) repeatedly approached the Rose Creek Pack on Specimen Ridge in Yellowstone when they had about 18 members.  The wolves kept trotting 50 to 100 yards ahead, stopping and bark howling. At the time I didn’t know a bark howl is a much different message than a howl.

I have posted the story how being circled by wolves was thought to be a wonderful experience.

Here is another interesting close encounter. Ken Cole posted this story today too.  It ended just fine, but it’s hard to know what the wolf was doing. Calm of the wild. Living with wolves takes some practice by Tim Lydon. Writers on the Range in the  Missoula IndependentKen also posts his own experiences.

I think if people have a scary wolf experience it is probably because they interpret most wolf behavior as something to be frightened of.  To take it step farther, a frightened person might look like prey to an otherwise uninterested wolf.

Maybe some people are natural prey.

Calm of the wild

A wolf encounter

Tim Lydon, who works in Alaska, writes of an encounter he had with a wolf there during the late summer that was very calm and seemed motivated out of curiosity more than anything.

Calm of the wild.
by Tim Lydon – Missoula Independent

This is similar to all of the “close encounters” I have had with wolves over the years in Idaho. On a number of occasions, while working near Clayton, Idaho, I actively sought out wolf encounters with the Buffalo Ridge Pack. On at least 4 occasions I encountered wolves, while on foot during the late evening or at night, and the wolves only expressed mild interest when they mistook me for other wolves after I howled.

On one of those occasions I surprised the whole pack that had come down to the steelhead pond that I was tending for the Idaho Fish and Game so that they could eat the smolts that hadn’t left the pond yet. I had been given a radio receiver so that I could monitor the wolves while they interacted with the turbo-fladry which was being tested around the pond after several consecutive years where they came to feed there.

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