The Tester/Baucus wolf bill is revealed.

Could be introduced and voted on tonight

Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf Recovery and Sustainability Act of 2010

Title: To remove the Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment of the gray wolf from the list of threatened species or the list of endangered species published under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Northern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf Recovery and Sustainability Act of 2010”.

SEC. 2. STATUS OF THE NORTHERN ROCKY MOUNTAIN DISTINCT POPULATION SEGMENT OF THE GRAY WOLF AS ENDANGERED OR THREATENED SPECIES.

(a) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) Final rule.—The term “final rule” means the final rule entitled “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Rule To Identify the Northern Rocky Mountain Population of Gray Wolf as a Distinct Population Segment and To Revise the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife” (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 (April 2, 2009)).

(2) Northern rocky mountain distinct population segment of the gray wolf.—The term “Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment of the gray wolf” means the distinct population segment of the gray wolf described in the final rule.

(3) Secretary.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior.

(b) Status of Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segment of the Gray Wolf.—

(1) In general.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, effective on the date of enactment of this Act, the final rule shall have the full force and effect of law.

(2) State management plan for state of wyoming.—

(A) In general.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), until the date on which the Secretary approves a State plan for the management of gray wolves in the State of Wyoming, gray wolves located in the State of Wyoming shall remain subject to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

(B) Authority of secretary.—The Secretary may permit the lethal and nonlethal taking of gray wolves if the Secretary determines that a taking would be appropriate for any reason relating to gray wolves, including—

(i) to defend private property, including livestock and pets; and

(ii) to address unacceptable impacts to wild, ungulate populations.

(3) Entire distinct population segment delisted.—On the date described in paragraph (2)(A), if the Secretary has not carried out any action under subsection (c), the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a notice to remove the Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment of the gray wolf from the list of endangered or threatened species published under section 4(c)(1) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(c)(1)).

(c) Monitoring and Subsequent Status of Species.—

(1) Duty of secretary.—Consistent with section 4(g) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(g)), the Secretary shall cooperate with each State to monitor the status of the Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment of the gray wolf.

(2) Inclusion of the gray wolf with respect to states of montana and idaho.—

(A) Determination of secretary.—

(i) State of montana.—During the 5-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, if the Secretary determines that the population of gray wolves located in the State of Montana does not meet the minimum threshold described in subparagraph (B)(i), the Secretary shall include the population of gray wolves on the list of endangered or threatened species published under section 4(c)(1) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(c)(1)).

(ii) State of idaho.—During the 5-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, if the Secretary determines that the population of gray wolves located in the State of Idaho does not meet the minimum threshold described in subparagraph (B)(ii), the Secretary shall include the population of gray wolves on the list of endangered or threatened species published under section 4(c)(1) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(c)(1)).

(B) Minimum thresholds.—

(i) State of montana.—With respect to the State of Montana, the minimum threshold shall be considered to be a population of gray wolves that is within or above the population range established in the Montana 2003 management plan for gray wolves described in the final rule.

(ii) State of idaho.—With respect to the State of Idaho, the minimum threshold shall be considered to be a population of gray wolves that is within or above the population range established in the Idaho March 2008 management plan for gray wolves described in the final rule.

(d) Termination; Effect.—

(1) Termination.—Effective on the date that is 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act, section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533) shall apply, without limitation, to any determination of the listing status of any gray wolf located within the Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment of the gray wolf.

(2) Effect.—Nothing in this section—

(A) applies to any species, or distinct population segment of any species, other than the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf; or

(B) may be considered to be—

(i) any precedent for the management of any species, or distinct population segment of any species, other than the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf; or

(ii) the intent of Congress with respect to any interpretation of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

(e) Authorization of Appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out subsection (c) $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 through 2015.

143 Responses to “The Tester/Baucus wolf bill is revealed.”

  1. Dude, the bagman Says:

    So, back in time to 2009?

    It actually doesn’t sound that horrible as long as it’s implemented like it’s written. At least Wyoming wouldn’t get rewarded for its tantrums. I guess we’ll have to see how FWS deals with Wyoming v. U.S. Dept. of Interior.

    But I still don’t like the precedent that it sets (making exceptions for political convenience). I’d prefer the ESA remained toothy.

    • Maska Says:

      Absolutely! As noted in another article, some Western govs already have prairie dogs in their sights. What’s next?

      • ProWolf in WY Says:

        This could set a very bad precedence for the ESA. This is one law that should not be changed.

  2. JimT Says:

    Time to call your Senators and urge them to vote NO on this atrocious pandering.

  3. william huard Says:

    Nabeki
    The CR to fund the government has not been passed in either body. If someone tries to add language in the Senate for instance it would have to go back to the hous efor approval. Raul Grihalva’s office told me they are looking out for it. This nice girl said she would look into this issue she has the tester Baucus wolf leg number and et back to me as soon as she hears something

    • SoCalWolfGal Says:

      OMG, I cannot get through to Boxer’s office in Washington; option 3 to speak to a person just gives a busy signal. I called the San Francisco office but they don’t open until 8:30 am. I will call back then. I know they can’t do this legally, as William pointed out if changes are made it would have to go back to the House BUT I do not trust them. they will do anything to wipe out every wolf. I cannot believe this total insanity.

  4. JimT Says:

    Thanks WH for your persistence in the House…RG is a good guy. I just think how much different Interior(hopefully) would have been under his leadership.

    • william huard Says:

      These idiots like Rob Bishop in Utah with their partisan anti-environmental rhetoric really piss me off. I have called Sen Reid everyday to remind him how much people hate this shit of politicians politically pandering to these minority special interest groups.

    • somsai Says:

      Obama ran on the promise to base decisions on science, and he has.

      He also ran on the promise to appoint a sportsman to Sec Int and he has.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        somsai,

        I guess you could look at that on a meter from zero to 100. Instead of yes or no, give each a score, like 66 or 92.

      • somsai Says:

        Ralph, took me a second to figure out what you meant.

        I’d guess fairly near 100 on science, they’ve pretty much deferred to the scientists to sort fact from fiction, but haven’t always followed the best route from an ecological perspective. Mountain top removal stands out, I’m afraid to look even into “clean coal” much. But I don’t think they’ve disputed things much on a factual basis. I think he hasn’t even looked into many issues like wolves personally but just let the scientists call the shots.

        Maybe a 75 on Salazar being a hunter. I’ve heard he’s a workaholic even when senator. Grew up hunting but not for a long time.

  5. Cody Coyote Says:

    …it doesn’t mention Wyoming at all.

    ????

  6. somsai Says:

    I’m not familiar with minimum threshold numbers established in 03 and 08 for MT ID, anyone know offhand?

    That’s my main concern that there aren’t too many wolves as currently. I just wish they’d limit them to Yellowstone National Park, it would make things easier. Mostly concerned about populations spreading to Colorado, I’d assume Utah and others don’t want to become some kind of experiment.

    • Mtn Mama Says:

      +”I just wish they’d limit them to Yellowstone National Park, it would make things easier. Mostly concerned about populations spreading to Colorado,..” +

      I cant tell from your posting if you are pro or anti wolf, but If I am reading this correctly, It seems like you are saying that you dont think wolves should have the chance to migrate south to Colorado (which by the way is their historic range). I live in Colorado and am not a fan of the bright orange plastic fences around the aspen trees in the meadows of Rocky Mtn National Park, nor do I think that it is “natural” to have sharpshooters in the park to cull the elk herds. We have 300,00+ elk and zero chance of wolves being reintroduced- we need them to migrate here on their own and that means trekking through anti wolf Wyoming- so it seems to me that the longer they are on the ES list the better.
      p.s. you may want to study up on connectivity/wildlife corridors.

      • somsai Says:

        I’m neither pro nor anti any animal. That would be like being pro or anti mountain, river, or fish.

        Historically wolves roamed over Rhode Island and bison grazed on what is now Denver and there were “sharpshooters” in RMNP for some tens of thousands of years.

        We live in the current age. Wolves occupy half their historic range worldwide and are far from being an endangered species, in fact they are a “species of least concern”.
        http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/3746/0

        The wolf reintroduction experiment has been either a stunning success or an abject failure depending on which way you look at the same set of facts. They’ve created a lot of tensions and wasted millions of dollars and at the end of the day all we got out of it was a control on the ungulate population in YNP without having to bring in hunters.

        I know a lot of folks go ga ga over wolves but to tell you the truth all canines bore the heck out of me, I just don’t find them interesting. Dhole, coyote, fox, they all just start eating from the ass, or carrion.

        To get a viable wolf population all you have to do is crate a couple score of them up in Canada, flat bed them down here, and let em go. They’ll do the rest. It’s not like they’re condors or orchids.

        I’d rather leave all animal management to the state divisions of wildlife, they have a great track record and it’s their job. There’s always something else for dilettantes, whales or tigers or something.

      • mikarooni Says:

        What a weasel we have here.

    • Bryanto Says:

      Well I guess you can sit on your arm chair from RH and complain all you want,but many of us who live in the area actually effected by wolves are quite glad to have them return to their historic range. I heard my first wolf at me cabin in Utah this fall,and it was a sound I had waited a long time to hear. Glad they’re back. No one ever expected them to stay in yellowstone,they’re a wild animal and will go as they please,as they should.

      • Ryan Says:

        Bryanto,

        Speak for yourself, Im not particullary happy to have them back in Oregon.. Not because I dislike them, because I think there will be no management.

      • Daniel Berg Says:

        Ryan,

        It will be interesting to see how wolf management plays out in Oregon and Washington over the next few years.

  7. Mike Koeppen Says:

    What is the minimum threshold mentioned for Idaho in the March 2008 Management Plan?

  8. AGNES DELANIS,LOUPINETTE Says:

    PLEASE…I BEG FOR THAT:JUST LET LIVE IN PEACE AMERICAN GRAY WOLVES IN PEACE…JUST LET LIVE IN PEACE AMERICAN WOLVES IN PEACE! WOLF IS THE SYMBOL OF USA… AND THE PRIDE OF THE USA !!! MY GOD WHAT HAPPENING NOW IN USA???? WE ARE IN 2010…NOT IN 1810…. FOR GOD’S SAKE! LET LIVE IN PEACE AMERICAN GRAY WOLVES!!!

  9. Nabeki Says:

    @William..
    Thanks for clarifying and thanks for being so pro-active for wolves.

    I knew there was no way they can pass anything without both houses. Although Conrad Burns attached a rider to an appropriations bill around Christmas 2005 to gut the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act. These people are so sneaky, you have to watch them like a hawk.

  10. Ken Cole Says:

    Okay, I’ve reformatted the text so that it is easier to read and understand how it is put together.

    What I think we have here is a bill which would legislatively mandate that the 2009 final delisting rule is law. This would leave out Wyoming.

    It leaves open the possibility that Wyoming could write a plan that is accepted by the USFWS but it does not delist wolves there until they have done so.

    However, it appears that there is one significant change to the rule in the case of the state plans. This would set minimum thresholds at those identified in the management plans written by the IDFG and MTFWP instead of the objectives laid out in the management plans approved by the legislatures.

    In the case of the IDFG wolf management plan it says: “The goal of the IDFG plan is to ensure that populations are maintained at 2005-2007 population levels (518-732 wolves) during the 5-year post-delisting period through adaptive management
    under the guidelines of the 2002 State Plan.

    The Idaho Legislatures plan only commits to maintaining 10 packs but restricts control and harvest if the population drops below 15 packs. Something like 109-150 wolves.

    Someone else needs to weigh in here on whether there is a different FWP and Legislature plan in Montana.

    • JB Says:

      “However, it appears that there is one significant change to the rule in the case of the state plans. This would set minimum thresholds at those identified in the management plans written by the IDFG and MTFWP instead of the objectives laid out in the management plans approved by the legislatures.”

      While this bill sidesteps the more fundamental issue of what constitutes recovery from a geographic perspective, setting the minimum population at ~500 would be a win for wildlife advocates. Unfortunately, this minimum disappears after 5 years, which again raises the question as to whether state regulatory mechanisms are sufficient to prevent wolves from once again becoming threatened or endangered. If this legislation were to set a permanent minimum of 500, it would solve this problem.

      • Dude, the bagman Says:

        “Unfortunately, this minimum disappears after 5 years, which again raises the question as to whether state regulatory mechanisms are sufficient to prevent wolves from once again becoming threatened or endangered.”

        I thought the act only required 5 years of post-delisting monitoring anyway. It seems like this bill just says the same thing as the ESA: that monitoring will go on for 5 years, and if the population drops below the plan minimums, the species goes back on the list. After 5 years, this bill terminates, and the ESA listing criteria applies again.

        It seems just like the 2009 delisting rule to me.

      • WM Says:

        Dude,

        It is a short-term fix for the unanticipated problem of what happens when a state, like WY, won’t meet its obligations while the other state management agencies do.

        In other words, it is legislative band-aid for the technical DPS ruling Molloy made which derailed the delisting, with the addition of a larger number of wolves on the ground for ID and MT, and maybe a little money thrown in to continue the monitoring.

        And, in all candor, this is no big compromise of the ESA as some would have us believe. If this obstructionist bullshit goes forward as some wolf advocate groups would like the alternative may likely be exactly what they don’t want to see, as it could play into the hands of the anti-wolf crowd. Those are the stakes, and I hope those who seek much more realize what they risk.

        So, I’d say the smarter play is to call your Representative or Senator and support this bill, even if you have to swallow hard, turn your head and hold your nose to do it.

        And JB is right, it would be nice to have some numbers permanant as a floor. This five year interim may give the time necessary to analyze that possiblity.

    • Ken Cole Says:

      The Montana FWP plan uses these numbers:
      http://fwpiis.mt.gov/content/getItem.aspx?id=31250

      Number of Wolves in 2015
      LOW: 328 wolves or 27 breeding pairs; liberal tools start in 2006
      HIGH: 657 wolves or 54 breeding pairs; liberal tools start in 2004

      The whole management plan is here:
      http://fwp.mt.gov/wildthings/management/wolf/management.html

      It still only commits to maintain a minimum of 15 packs though.

  11. nabeki Says:

    JB says: If this legislation were to set a permanent minimum of 500, it would solve this problem.
    =======
    I don’t see that a permanent minimum of 500 wolves is “a victory for wildlife advocates”. It’s not based on anything but politics. Where is the science that says 500 wolves is a viable population? Why are wolves in the Northern Rockies second class citizens? There are at least 700 wolves each in Michigan and Wisconsin and over 4000 in Minnesota, areas with larger human populations and a smaller land mass”

    None of the anti-wolf bills are acceptable. We should not cave on this and make any of these bills “the new normal.”

    • JB Says:

      Nabeki:

      Actually, n~500 is often used as the minimum viable population (MVP) for terrestrial vertebrates; and remember, the population estimation techniques used are conservative and so likely to underestimate the total number of wolves. Also, recall that this is one state of three. If Montana maintained an estimated population of ~350 and Wyoming about the same, you could count on 1,200 to 1,500 wolves in the three state area.

      The Great Lakes states have a considerably larger prey base for wolves–not to oversimplify things, but: more food = more wolves.

      – – – –

      Again, this would do nothing to address the issue of “recovery” and the problem of inadequate regulatory mechanisms would rear its ugly head after 5 years; thus, it is not an “ideal” solution by any stretch of the imagination.

      • Save bears Says:

        With the ever changing nature of thing JB, we can’t honest say, what it is going to be like in 5 years, heck we don’t even know if the sitting president will get the party nomination to run for a second term! Based on the past two years events I have my doubts. We could end up with an administration that actually does care about environmental issues and wildlife issues…

        No, it is not a perfect solution, but it is a bigger step than any of the states have taken so far…and if Montana and Idaho play the game right, then Wyoming is going to have to do something, They need to shit or get off the pot…

    • WM Says:

      Nabeki,

      The “normal” was established in 1994 with the implementation of the 1987 NRM recovery plan. It was always contemplated numbers would be “managed” in concert with ungulate populations, and to reduce human-wolf conflicts. You really should read the EIS, if you have not already done so.

      http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/EIS_1994.pdf

      Generally, this bill more or less carries forward the delisting proposal that Molloy put on hold with the DPS ruling.

      It seems your advocacy is the one which seeks change to a “new normal.”

      • nabeki Says:

        WM says: “The “normal” was established in 1994 with the implementation of the 1987 NRM recovery plan.”

        =======
        Oh, now you’re bringing out the big guns…lol? The totally obsolete “1994 Concession To Ranchers and Hunters, USFWS, EIS? Even Ed Bangs admits it’s obsolescence. At that time in history they would have said 5 wolves and one breeding pair was a viable population, to get wolves reintroduced. I hope you have something better then that dead horse?

        Again, there is no science that states wolves are viable at 500. In fact I would argue the opposite. 500 is a number and like much of everything else having to do with wolves, it’s an unscientific number.

        Wolves are not deer or elk. They are highly socialized animals with a complex hierarchy. Killing off large numbers of them every year to please the ranching and hunting lobbies is not acceptable.

        Please read:
        Hunting Wolves In Montana – Where Is The Data?
        by Jay Mallonee
        http://www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com/downloads/huntingwolvesinmontana.pdf

        Jay is an independent wolf biologist, who’s been studying the Fishtrap Pack in Northwest Montana, since 2001. His website is:
        Wolf and Wildlife Studies
        http://www.wolfandwildlifestudies.com/index.php

        On another note, Dr. Creel just got raked over the coals for daring to say the Montana hunts could have cut the wolf population in half in just one hunting season. FWP is actually strong-arming MSU over it. If you think that’s the type of agency we can trust to look out for wolves and their welfare….then good luck on that one.

        Wolves, setting numbers aside, cannot survive in this toxic climate without the protection of the ESA. If all the hand wringing by the anti-wolfers and their seventy nine wolf de-listing bills hasn’t convinced you of that, I’m not sure what will. That’s all the reason we need at the moment to keep wolves listed.

        The states don’t like predators because most of the people they cater too, ranchers and hunters, don’t like predators. There is now talk the Montana legislature wants to reclassify lions as predators, very similar to Wyoming’s policy on wolves. I wonder how that will turn out for mountain lions?

        Fish and game agencies should not be managing predators, there is a clear conflict of interest. George Wuerthner has written about this subject many times.

        I’m backing the Center for Biological Diversity “National Wolf Recovery Plan”. Wolves only inhabit 5% of their historic range, hardly any recovery at all.

        It’s all politics, all the time in the West, when it comes to wolves. And from what I’ve seen this year, it’s only getting worse. End of story.

      • WM Says:

        JimT,

        I can see you in your Chicken Little outfit, yelling out “The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Ya look kind of cute, too. LOL.

        Beside you stands Henny Penny (Nabeki) and Cocky Locky (howl), all repeating the same phrase on the way to the King’s house.

        And JimT, you post of the bill language is exactly what FWS (and WY can make a request to FWS) is doing now. So that part is a wash. It is ID and MT who can move forward now as contemplated in the recovery plan, the EIS prepared for that plan and what the ESA envisioned.

        If you are worried about the whole ESA being opened up continue your strident views and wait to see what happens with this new bunch of loonies in the House.

      • WM Says:

        Nabeki,

        ++At that time in history they would have said 5 wolves and one breeding pair was a viable population, to get wolves reintroduced. ++

        If what you suggest is true, then FWS lied and the whole nonessential experimental NRM reintroduction was a fraud. Personally I don’t think they did.

        Please tell me you have actually read and comprehended the selected alternative of a “nonessential experimantal wolf population” introduction as stated in the 494 page EIS. If you haven’t, you are just blowing smoke, as usual. You simply do not care what agreements were made with the states and the tribes for this program, and which are the boundaries of the reintroduction, even in the courts.

        This entire reintroduction was couched as an experiment under the ESA. That is the way it was represented, the way it was implemented, and the way it is being administered under the regulations and interpreted in the courts. It is still an experiment until these wolves are delisted and for at least five years or more after.

        By the way, the roughly 500 number refers to ID’s share. MT would maintain 328-600, and WY (including the 100 in YNP) would probably add a minium of 300, or so more. Then there are the dispersers to WA, OR, UT and maybe south to CO, so the total population is likely growing in numbers and range, and thus “viability.”
        ———–
        Nabeki, on another thread here (Wolf Politics…), JB and I have a conversation going about overlap and exclusivity of wolf advocacy groups and animal rights groups. Which are you (I guess you represent an organization, yes?) – wolf advocate or animal rights?

      • JB Says:

        “Again, there is no science that states wolves are viable at 500.”

        Hmm… I thought we covered this already. In fact, there IS science that suggests 500 is a good minimum number for terrestrial vertebrates. Here, even Wikipedia has a discussion of what constitutes a MVP: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_viable_population.

        Those who frame this bill as an unreasonable compromise fail to grasp the alternative–you might win in court today, but eventually wolf management WILL belong to states; this bill would ensure that states maintain well over the 10 BP/100 wolves number originally specified for recovery in the ’94 EIS. Folks should evaluate this bill in light of the alternatives, not “pie in the sky” continual protection.

        Again, I think there are reasons to be skeptical. Personally, I think that if each state wants to manage wolves separately, they should each be required to maintain what geneticists feel as a minimum viable population (i.e. ~500 wolves); however, given connectivity of populations, this bill represents a tantalizing compromise, IMO.

  12. WM Says:

    This is no wild hair piece of legislation. There may be some nuances to this proposal which some could criticize, but for the most part it seems like a reasoned approach for a fairly good number of wolves on the ground in ID and MT. The fact that it carries forward for the five year delisting period with these minimum management number floors is a whole lot better than where ID seems to be headed with their “suspension” of the 2008 plan. Who knows what MT is prepared to do? The funding portion of the plan eliminates the states administration cost $$ argument for this 5 year period, and seems to allow the state wildlife agencies to continue on with their monitoring work and assess continuing impacts. There will undoubtedly be hunts, and while that is a bitter pill for some, that was ALWAYS a part of the recovery plan, so objectors need to get used to that.

    In an imperfect world, I think it is a damn reasonable solution. Nobody is getting all they want, and that is a pretty good sign of a compromise.

    • JimT Says:

      (2) State management plan for state of wyoming.—

      (A) In general.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), until the date on which the Secretary approves a State plan for the management of gray wolves in the State of Wyoming, gray wolves located in the State of Wyoming shall remain subject to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

      (B) Authority of secretary.—The Secretary may permit the lethal and nonlethal taking of gray wolves if the Secretary determines that a taking would be appropriate for any reason relating to gray wolves, including—

      (i) to defend private property, including livestock and pets; and

      (ii) to address unacceptable impacts to wild, ungulate populations.

      (3) Entire distinct population segment delisted.—On the date described in paragraph (2)(A), if the Secretary has not carried out any action under subsection (c), the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a notice to remove the Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment of the gray wolf from the list of endangered or threatened species published under section 4(c)(1) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(c)(1)).

    • JimT Says:

      Sets a very BAD precedent for the future; it will encourage more deals for vested interests and other species..think logging and mining and what they will do with this if it is allowed to go forward. And the idea that it is limited to wolf populations in RM area is just another way to make it palatable this time. In this kind of climate in DC, think of this as a trial balloon. If the enviros don’t muster support to defeat this notion, it will signal to others that it can work. It would eventually gut the Act and science based decisions.

      • JB Says:

        “It would eventually gut the Act and science based decisions.”

        Hmm… I think that’s a bit overly-dramatic.

      • JimT Says:

        Hmm… I think that’s a bit overly-dramatic.

        Really? When you have spent some 23 years fighting this kind of nonsense, only to see the issue come back time and time again, you understand the agenda of the anti environmental vested interests in the West is to have a James Watt atmosphere that the only good regulation is no regulation. No, it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen, bit by bit, until there are more state by state exceptions based on politics than science based decisions for major species of concern.

    • WM Says:

      Sorry reposting in the right spot:

      JimT,

      I can see you in your Chicken Little outfit, yelling out “The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Ya look kind of cute, too. LOL.

      Beside you stands Henny Penny (Nabeki) and Cocky Locky (howl), all repeating the same phrase on the way to the King’s house.

      And JimT, your post of the bill language is exactly what FWS (and WY can make a request to FWS) is doing now. So that part is a wash. It is ID and MT who can move forward now as contemplated in the recovery plan, the EIS prepared for that plan and what the ESA envisioned.

      If you are worried about the whole ESA being opened up continue your strident views and wait to see what happens with this new bunch of loonies in the House.

      • JimT Says:

        Must have struck a nerve for you to get so worked up…LOL.

        One, someone asked about Wyoming, so I posted it. Period. You want to speculate about motive, talk to Baucus.

        Since when is fighting to protect what is a very important piece of environmental law from the loonies, and the sportmens groups like RMEF “strident?” Your views always seem to be suggesting capitulation no matter what the wolf issue is. Are you blind to the history of past 20 years in the West and that every time the enviromental folks came away from the table compromising, the other side immediately began plotting how to take the half they got, and get more of it. It is absolutely amazing to me that you could consider yourself an environmentalist and not see the the danger to the ESA. So, your advice is not to fight it, but swallow hard, and bend over, and hope it doesn’t happen again on some other species.

        What in the world in all of this has led you to believe the other side is interested in compromise on this issue? Do you really believe that if this abortion of a bill goes onto to be passed, this will be the end of it, and ranchers and RMEF folks will play nice.? You continue to be an apologist for the anti wolf extremists and couch your views as some sort of pragmatic approach to hide those motives.

      • Mtn Mama Says:

        WM,
        Is the EIS the only wolf literature you have ever read? Or maybe you wrote it – since you are always trying to push it down everyone’s throat. May I suggest you read Michael J. Robinson’s “Predatory Bureaucracy” to refresh your thinking. Or better yet log off the computer and go for a hike instead.

      • Ken Cole Says:

        I’m with you Jim.

      • Rita K.Sharpe Says:

        I,too,agree with Jim T.

    • Phil Maker Says:

      WM,

      But since ID’s 2008 “Wolf Population Mgmt. Plan” is now supended that state can claim it isn’t valid and so they could argue the Tester-Baucus language referring to it is moot. And their fall back will be the 150 wolves of the Legislature- (and FWS-) approved 2002 “Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.” At every conceivable turn ID has shown that they should not be trusted to conserve wolves.

      • WM Says:

        Phil,

        Federal law trumps state law, or whatever the IDFG Commission did to “suspend” its 2008 plan. If the Tester bill passes and ID doesn’t follow the higher number of wolves, the worst that could happen is that wolves in ID go back on the list. MT would still be able to go forward as long as it was in good faith. Pretty simple, actually. Am I missing something?
        ___________

        Mtn Mama,

        I am sorry you do not like my references to the EIS. However, the plan chosen and discussed there in detail is the blueprint for the NRM ” reintroduction, and has been since 1994 when Bruce Babbit as Secretary of Interior approved it under the Clinton Administration. That is a fact that is lost on many.

        If those who post here read that document and understood the plan, they would know more about how and why things are as they are today. That is the foundation upon which each state developed its own plan, the FWS drafted its delisting and 10(j) regulations, and ultimately it serves as a cornerstone for some of the legal disputes and court opinions which are at the center of the matter right now.

        You don’t have to agree with it, but that is what was done by the federal government after due deliberation and public input as required in the EIS process. It also serves as the basis for addressing the legislation which is the subject of this thread. That was my point.

        As for Michael Robinson, his book, ego riddled press releases and CBD, don’t get me going.

      • Phil Maker Says:

        WM,
        Yes, you are missing something. Your contention that fed law supercedes state law is a circular argument. The ONLY binding document in ID is the one that states that 150 is the number; ie. “state law” as you put it. And since that was approved by the FWS, that is the number that is legally defensible. Whatever the Tester-Baucus bill says about the 2008 plan and its number is invalid. Pretty tough to for the feds to hold ID to a document/plan that doesn’t exist. In this sense ID pulled a shrewd move.

      • WM Says:

        Phil,

        As I said earlier if the Tester bill passes, the NEW FEDERAL LAW (the binding law to use your words) for ID will be:

        ++(ii) State of idaho.—With respect to the State of Idaho, the minimum threshold shall be considered to be a population of gray wolves that is within or above the population range established in the Idaho March 2008 management plan for gray wolves described in the final rule.++

        It supercedes the 150 number of the 2002 plan (based on the EIS), and it makes no difference whether the IDFG Commission suspended the 2008 plan, as they did a couple days ago. If I understand correctly, and I believe I do, the 2008 plan says they will manage for roughly 500+ wolves.

        Here is the exact wording from the Summary of the 2008 Plan at page 1 [See also p. 19] :

        ++Consistent with the delisting rule, the state goal is to ensure the long-term viability of the gray wolf population. The metric for the term of this plan will be to sustain the wolf population at 2005 to 2007 levels (518-732).++

        Here is a link to the 2008 Plan:

        http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/ID_wolf_plan_2008.pdf

        What part of this do you not understand, or do you believe I have stated incorrectly?

        This recovery level would be maintained for 5 years, until the law expires. That raises the question, what happens after 5 years?

      • JB Says:

        Phil Maker:

        WM is correct. Federal law supersedes state law and the federal clearly law sets the minimum number at that established in the 2008 plan. It does not matter in the least that Idaho’s F&G commission voted to suspend the plan. This bill would set the minimum at the ~500 and if wolves fell below that number they would be re-listed.

      • Phil Maker Says:

        How can the feds ask ID to manage the wolf pop. based on a state plan that does not, in essence, exist?

      • jon Says:

        JB, I understand federal trumps state law, but are you really certain about this? Can the feds tell Idaho they have to have a minimum population of atleast 500 wolves even though the Idaho legislature wants only under 200 wolves in their state? If they go back to the 2002 plan, potentially over 800 wolves will be killed as there is over 1000 wolves in Idaho.

      • JB Says:

        You will note that the language of the bill specifies that the minimum population for Idaho be “…within or above the population range established in the Idaho March 2008 management plan for gray wolves described in the final rule.” It does not say “the current management plan”; rather, it specifies a population objective that was detailed in the “March 2008 management plan” and “described in the [2009] final rule.”

        Moreover, the bill specifies exactly what will unfold should the minimum population not be met:

        “…if the Secretary determines that the population of gray wolves located in the State of Idaho does not meet the minimum threshold described in subparagraph (B)(ii), the Secretary shall include the population of gray wolves on the list of endangered or threatened species…”

        It does not matter that the plan is no longer in effect. The minimum population is still set at the level described in the march 2008 plan.

        Jon: This law sets a population minimum for 5 years–something the ESA does NOT do. The feds cannot tell Idaho what type of management plan to put into effect; however, if Idaho fails to keep the population above the minimum established, then this bill specifies that wolves will be relisted pursuant to the ESA.

  13. Save bears Says:

    Where is the science that says 500 is not a viable population? They have already shown that genetic exchange is going on, which was a basis for one of the lawsuits.

    This my way or the highway stance on both sides is not going to accomplish anything and neither side is going to be happy with what is implemented.

    If the stalemate continues everybody is going to loose and most of all the wolves are going to loose. The Tester Bill is the best of the bunch based on reading all of the various bills introduced, if a compromise is not reached, I can only see the introduction of more radical bills in the future..

  14. Ken Cole Says:

    I think this explains why the IDFG Commission suspended their wolf plan.

    • jon Says:

      I want Idaho to come out now and say their 2002 plan is based on science which we know is a complete lie. It’s all about politics and like most on here already knew, Idaho wants to eradicate the wolf or bring it down to extremely small #s which is unacceptable.

  15. Mike Koeppen Says:

    Ralph Maughan,

    I read the arguments on the Testor / Baucus bill. What is your opinion? Should we take what we can get, or risk something worse down the road? Do you support this bill?

  16. somsai Says:

    Well after re reading the proposal and the comments so far I should probably mention a few things.

    1. This is just one of many many plans on the legislative table.

    2. This is probably the most wolf friendly plan by a country mile and will no doubt see changes and compromise in the legislative process.

    3. Some sort of legislative fix will come, it’s inevitable as long as the western states enjoy representative democracy. Any senator and most congresspeople who don’t work to fix the wolf problem would find themselves out of work.

    • SEAK Mossback Says:

      I won’t argue whether or not it would set a dangerous precedent — but I believe the ESA itself, if it is to remain completely unaltered, will eventually have to set some precedent in successfully delisting a recovered population of wolves (although the Great Lakes DPS would be most appropriate to analyze first for unreasonable hurdles).

      I can’t offer any informed conjecture about the chances of the bill passing. However, I do agree with the practical merits of delisting with a requirement for a somewhat higher floor for each state (like the 500 minimum mentioned for Idaho) than the bare-bones minimum specified in the introduction plan. Higher required minimums would limit the range of action forced by political pressure to broadly and unnecessarily roll back wolf numbers while at the same time leaving the states with enough flexibility to reduce numbers where wolves (in a addition to the overall predator community, including hunters) are having identifiable top-down impacts that substantially reduce prey populations. How much and where that flexibility might be needed is yet to be determined. In the Midwest, it is apparently not needed much of anywhere but the story will develop over more decades in the west with its very different predator-prey complex. Also, the effectiveness of hunting wolves in reducing predation and livestock depredation has been questioned but not really determined. There are a still a lot of questions, aside from political ones, about how things will turn out in the coming decades, so a plan under state management that protects a larger overall base population (over the longer term) but not so large as to limit flexibility in addressing identified problems would I think be a reasonable compromise, if compromise is possible. It would offset some of the social risk that JB has reasonably argued should be considered in ESA listings and which is arguably the only short to medium-term threat to NRM wolves.

      • mikarooni Says:

        I think it’s naive to think that, given the politics of the NRM states, this is just about delisting a species, anymore than preaching “abundance management” is just about wildlife issues, than Warren Jeffs was let go by the state courts on just a technicality, or than there is no underlying reason why the Smart kidnapping couldn’t be settled in state court and eventually had to be resolved in a federal court while the poor woman had to wait years and years for justice. The issue of wolves in the NRM is just of a whole host of “stuff” being trotted out in support of a larger and, as far as I’m concerned, far more sinister agenda.

  17. Wolf Advocate Says:

    It’s not even just the ESA that’s under attack by making such laws, it’s ALL federal legislation. When states can go around everything federal just because they don’t like it, lobby it with bad management plans, god save us all. The reason we have federal legislation is to at least offer some protection from the stupidity of the states.

  18. Cliff Says:

    I like how they call it a “Wolf Recovery and Sustainability Act,” when it’s obviously a wolf-thinning act. That shows what they think of the public’s intelligence.

    To the extent it doesn’t look that bad on its face, it seems a whole lot worse when you replace every “the Secretary” with “Ken Salazar.” Then you get “Ken Salazar may permit the lethal and nonlethal taking of gray wolves if Ken Salazar determines that a taking would be appropriate for any reason relating to gray wolves . . . .”

    • Cliff Says:

      . . . . I know that part is just in Wyoming, but he still has some discretion, or the ability to be rubber stamp in MT and ID.

      • Dude, the bagman Says:

        I don’t think the effect of that will be much different than the 10(j) experimental/non-essential status they enjoy now, or the extent to which they will be hunted after delisting. It does give him more discretion, but this bill doesn’t seem to remove FWS recovery plan population minimums.

        There’s going to be a minimum population number as part of any delisting rule. Maybe a larger population is better, but above some objective population size that is biologically “recovered,” it’s just a matter of preference.

        Personally, I don’t care if they ever come off the list. I don’t care if they do, as long as they are managed reasonably. The science suggests they’re biologically recovered, but Wyoming stubbornly wants to manage for less/bare minimum. I enjoy watching the anti-wolf crowd squirm when they don’t get their way (for reasons not completely related to wolves).

        If Salazar wants to act arbitrarily, he’s already in the position to do that. But in court, he’s still beholden to laws/regulations/recovery plan. He already tried to bend the rules once, and the wolves were relisted in August.

        But it is funny/frightening to read his name into it.

  19. Craig Says:

    I said way back and “mark my words” this would happen and I was right. Maybe not as bad as I thought, but it went down to this all the same! Everyone gave me shit but look what happened! Don’t shit in the wishing well!

  20. JB Says:

    Required reading on NewWest:

    http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/why_the_baucus_tester_wolf_delisting_bill_is_the_better_choice/C41/L41/

    “One proponent of amending the ESA has stated that this is the beginning of attempts to gut the ESA. Good luck with that; seriously. We can always use a good modern day rendition of Don Quixote in the wildlife world, like the frivolous petition to get USFWS to reintroduce wolves outside of Omaha and Topeka.

    These attempts show just how far toward the fringe the two opposing sides have traveled. A few hunting groups, pushing for amending the ESA, are willing to sacrifice the good standing and reputation of hunters in a largely non-hunting nation in order to limit wolf numbers to the absolute bare minimum. I believe they have no eye toward biological sustainability and diversity. They want to strip one animal of their protections “permanently” for conveniences sake. This makes hunters look selfish and petty.

    Meanwhile, the environmental crowd doesn’t seem to think that true wolf recovery is anything less than complete saturation of wolves in the continental U.S. They disregard the impacts to cattle producers and the prevailing sentiment that enough is enough. This makes wolf lovers look selfish and petty, and it provides fertile ground for those who truly would love to gut the ESA.

    That’s why I got excited when I saw that Montana’s two Senators actually introduced a bill that would get us beyond all the blathering and idiocy…”

    • JB Says:

      I would agree that this bill appears to be a very reasonable compromise and, rather than promote the “gutting” of the ESA as some contend, it could actually serve to reduce resentment and lessen the effectiveness of those who wish to gut the ESA.

      The Bill is far from perfect, primarily because the minimum numbers disappear after 5 years and you can be damn sure that pressure to reduce wolf populations won’t disappear. Another issue is that it delists wolves throughout the DPS while only providing population minimums for Idaho and Montana, meaning Utah could carry out its “kill-em-all” plan.

  21. Salle Says:

    This week I had the opportunity to talk to a pair of “listener” reps from the offices of Tester and Baucus who came to my little town to do their “listening”. I had plenty to tell them and I started with this re-vamping of the status of wolves.

    Interestingly, they took to writing down several key points that I made and oddly, both appeared to be interested in my topic, one getting near to tears at one point – which surprised me.

    The gist of my conversation with the two was that 1) The ESA is all we’ve got for the protection of keystones species and in this part of the planet, what wildlife we have is close to all we have left… leave the ESA alone, it’s a good law and it is only under attack when those who despise it resort to the sort of tactics in play at present, including the exclusion of individual species for the sake of appeasing the bully faction.

    2) In this case, the knee-jerk response to the bully faction is encouraging them to become more rude and lawless shouting down anyone who disagrees and threatening them and others with violence if they don’t shut up and let the bullies have their way. This is what I see in this bill, not much else.

    I went on to describe how some of my pro-ESA/wolf companions have been receiving threats and have even called to ask me if I had protection. This point made them take more notes.

    While I was at it I included the need to 3) disband the WS wildlife hit squads who are there wasting even more of the taxpayers’ dollars for the sake of overly subsidized ranching interests; they have no other purpose. They need to stop killing our wildlife.

    4) I also explained that The ranching practices in use are far from being adequate for protecting these ranchers’ precious livestock from nature, if these livestock producers actually did their jobs, there would be less depredation and they know it. So they should be compelled to do their damned job and stop filching taxpayers’ money from the general fund for their laziness and release their death-grip on longtime-bygone-romantic myths of western lifestyles. There are too many people on the landscape for those myths to be sought after and obtained. We all live under one flag and those who can’t get over the past and look forward to what they need to do to be inclusive as a social component like the rest of the public does would do well to accept that they are chasing after pipe dreams.

    I said that these politicians are supposed to be representing me too and as far as I can tell, they are falling far short of doing so.

    There was a lot more but I let them know what I thought, they wrote it down and maybe the senators will even read what I said, maybe, though I have little faith that what I had to say will make any difference in what they actually do for those who pay for their elections. If nothing else, I felt that the meeting was a tad more meaningful than a phone call or letter, though I feel those are tools to use as well. This was just an unexpected opportunity to make my appeal to both senators at once.

    • Nancy Says:

      Glad you had that rare opportunity for a one on one Salle and were able to express the thoughts and concerns, alot of us on this site and elsewhere share.

    • Izabela Hadd Says:

      wow…let’s hope that you representing all of us will be heard..I have called my senators (Utah) and sent e-mail to white house..no response…figure it out..

    • Salle Says:

      I have been through this activity before and you just have to walk away knowing you said your piece and hope that it impressed them enough to ponder it a while… it’s pretty much the most you can honestly hope for. I have actually seen some of my language make it into legislative and other policies but I was not given any credit for it, not that I was looking for that – my intent was to be heard and my concerns be considered.

      You have to keep trying to call, e-mail, go to their office if possible. For something really important I’ll drive for hours if I know I have the chance, or an appointment, to visit with whomever it is I need to talk to. As the “listeners” said to me, We are glad to hear from someone from your side of the issue, we don’t hear much from that side and we know there are folks like you out there.” I told them that many are intimidated by the bully factor and that speaking up is getting dangerous for quite a few folks lately. That part, the bullying and threats from anti-wolf/anti-wildlife/anti-science gang really got their attention. I told them I don’t feel too safe even in a place where I know most everyone.

      So I would advise that all of us should endeavor to inform our legislative and Congressional representatives of such conditions and your concerns about whatever given legislation with which you take issue. Don’t give up.

      I make a point of letting those who think they are doing me a favor know that they work for me and they had better make sure they don’t forget… as in public servant – me public, you servant. When they get upset over such claims, like some in Idaho have in the past, I ask them how they justify their income because as a taxpayer, I feel they aren’t worth a dime of it. They then lose it rapidly and the conversation ends only after they have asked me if that is all I have to say. Only when I have finished I then tell them I am done with the conversation. I don’t care if they don’t like being reminded of their fiduciary responsibilities, which they seem to forget all too often, especially those clowns in Idaho.

      They need to hear from constituents more often, so do tell them what your concerns are.

  22. Mike Says:

    The wolf “controversy” is fake, and nothing more than species racism.

    This bill, and all the fear mongering by unhappy people is a waste of time.

    • Salle Says:

      Actually, I think it goes beyond that, though I agree that you have a point. I call it “species-centrism”: the concept that only one dominant species is of value in the grand scheme of life and that all other species are allowed to exist at the pleasure of the self proclaimed dominant species – that being homo sapiens.

      This wolf issue has everything to do with dominance and control of land and resources by those who have little interest in how the governing entities are supposed to function and their agreement to function within the rule of law that governs all member of this social group – Americans – by remaining in the US. Unfortunately they seem to think that their ignorance of science and law – usually ignorance by choice – is some sort of badge of honor or bad-assness. They operate through brute force and ignorance under the assumption that they used to get away with it and that they still can. In reality this could qualify as a form of terrorism, plain and simple. With their threats of violence against those who disagree with them or speak out against their ignorance or try to educate them, (often for their own well being), acts of violence and bullying are employed to “silence” their opponents… terrorism American style. I suspect that these folks could be the true eco-terrorists. And I’m only taking their treatment of other humans into consideration here, which is far more restricted than the abuse they deliver to the other animals they are in close proximity to. What they do to wildlife and livestock is absolutely horrid and less regulated so they do get away with their brutality… like those slob-hunters or the SSS gangs for example.

      • william huard Says:

        I agree Salle, and you have the two forces working against the environment. The know it all politicians who think they are smarter then everyone else and the SSS crowd who know less than nothing. They are the true eco- terrorists. I wish every Republican, the Koch Bros and the rest of the people that have their own reality would see the video put out by the Center for Biological Diversity (Thanks Peter K). Polar Bears are starving right in front of our eyes, cubs having seizures and being cannibalized and the science is still being questioned?

      • jon Says:

        Ofcourse they are. They call us real conservationists eco-nazis as well which we aren’t. The nazis wanted to wipe out the jews for being what they were just like the wolf haters want to wipe out the wolves all over again for being what they are. I really believe that they want a predator free environment with just tons and tons of game animals to shoot like deer and elk. I like others have received a few death threats in the past bu wolf hating hunters, not many, but a few and I am sure others have as well. When you reveal that you’re pro wolf and that you like wolves, that is when they start to come out. It isn’t safe to be a pro wolf advocate these days. I think this is the main reason why wolf advocates don’t really show up at anti-wolf gatherings and meetings to voice their thoughts. They are afraid that they might be attacked or even killed by the wolf hating extremists.

      • Salle Says:

        Those “listeners” and I spent some time on that topic and they were keen to let these two senators know that I was speaking on behalf of many who would be at many events if it weren’t for this bully factor. I also made it quite clear that by presenting any alteration of the ESA is just encouraging these know-nothings who are proud of their ignorance and terrorist ideas… encouraging them to go further with the threats and enactment of such threats. I then pointed out that the senators were also feeding the science nay-sayers by awarding their ignorance and brutality. A few names come to mind but in the spirit of not giving them air-time I will not mention their names lest they get more unwarranted attention for their ignorance and fauxfacts they drum into the heads of their followers… Seems like this ignorance by choice thing is becoming a religion or cult of sorts… (only the true believers will be saved (from whatever it is they oppose). The “listeners” got it, I hope their senators do too.

  23. Mike Koeppen Says:

    Salle,

    I agree with you about the intimidation used by the wolf-hating side. How many bumper stickers have you seen such as, “Smoke a Pack a Day,” “Save 100 Elk, Kill a Wolf,” etc. Try putting a pro-wolf bumper sticker on your car and see what happens. Better have your insurance paid up.

    • Salle Says:

      That’s why I don’t do bumper stickers… I do own a few, they all still have the paper on the back. The BEST one was given to me by a friend from Wyoming that simply states: Real Men Aren’t Afraid Of Wolves.

      • jon Says:

        The rest of that sticker should say save 100 elk kill a wolf so we hunters can kill the elk. Let’s be honest here, that is the only reason why they want to kill wolves, so they can kill the elk themselves. Some of them anyways.

      • Nancy Says:

        Sheldon had my only bumper sticker plastered across his t-shirt on the lastest episode of the Big Bang Theory🙂

        And for those who don’t know what I’m refering to, wander thru a few of the episodes here:

        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0898266/episodes

      • Salle Says:

        I think they want to kill the wolves out of some deep-seated ignorance and hatred they probably don’t even understand… and that they like to kill things they hate. They hate wolves because they think they are supposed to based on some mythological relic from European lore… the reasons for the European lore has been discussed here in the past.

  24. Craig Says:

    Jon, have you ever seen a Wild Wolf? You post things others say and see but you yourself know nothing! It’s scary! You read and copy shit, you read and post it here but really have know knowledge! You are what’s wrong with Wolf advocates and you make them look bad! Do you realize that? You look like a nut job ranting on every topic you can copy and paste.

    • jon Says:

      Craig, you cannot accept the truth or the reality of what is going on. Some hunters want to kill wolves so they can kill the elk themselves. This is a fact and any pro wolf advocate knows this is true. Wanna you look a good hard look at yourself as you are the one that has to resort to name calling on occasions.

      • jon Says:

        you take*

      • somsai Says:

        Well you’re about 100% correct in my case Jon. To add accuracy I’d just say because I want to eat elk. Killing things is a lot of work, and I certainly don’t want to run around chasing a bunch of wolves. I’m glad there are people in this world who enjoy hunting mountain lion, coyote, and black bear. If the wolves come I sure hope there are enough people willing to hunt wolves.

      • mikarooni Says:

        Better hope few are interested in hunting weasels.

      • Ryan Says:

        Jon,
        You have no clue what reality on the ground is. Reading articles in Maine that agree with your position doesn’t do shit to bring understanding to the issue. Meeting the locals and seeing that it is actual people involved in this, not “evil ranchers or outfitters” and seeing the gray area instead of strictly black and white would surely help to give you some perspective.

    • mikarooni Says:

      Gosh, Craig, I’ve seen wild wolves, plenty of them, probably a whole lot more and a whole lot closer than you have. Jon may be a bit more sentimental about wildlife than I am; but, I don’t see that he is any further off the mark than you. In fact, I think he’s got a bit better character than you. I see you as more the ranting nut job here and I believe you make humans look bad in general. But, you run along and e-mail save bears. Kissy, kissy, you two mischievous boys.

  25. Save bears Says:

    Craig, you need to email me, if Ralph won’t give you my email, post a note and I will put my email on the blog

  26. Nancy Says:

    I think there is also some deep seated hatred for a government that could allow this to happen to them. As in hunters (outfitters) not doing the job of “managing” elk herds so science was called in. And the rancher mentality of “we got rid of them once” all the while realizing that coyotes are the #1 problem (besides disease and weather)

    Wolves back have brought the spot light onto a industry that has been pampered (and papered $$ as in tax dollars) for years as in subsidies and WS.

    • somsai Says:

      I hope you realize that in any areas that allowed hunting there was no elk population problem. It was exactly because hunters weren’t allowed in Yellowstone National Park that elk over populated their habitat.

      Every state division of wildlife is able to accurately cull for age, sex, and total number, at any time. There isn’t an elk problem. There’s a National Park problem and a political problem with bunny huggers, and now a wolf problem.

      • Brian Ertz Says:

        seems like you’ve got some kinda pent up angst about wolves somsai … like if you could just git in there and … and … manage ’em ! things’d be a lot more calm … a lot more to your liking ? …

        mmm … nothing worse than a completely outta control wild, ya know ?

        did you fill your freezer this year somsai ? didja get’im ? … what time of year didja git’im ? any particular unit ? or did the wolves get’em all first ?

        are you sure it was open season somsai ? sure you were in the right unit ? you guys seems to be having a hell-of-a-time, one might even say a ‘problem’ with that this season … course, i suppose the only “problem” is gettin’ caught, right ? heh heh heh …

        here’s hopin’ you got’im … that yer freezer’s full and that you and your buddies are feelin’ perty good about your contribution to a calm and well MANaged … one might even suggest “MANicured” landscape/domesticated ungulate population .. ?

      • Nancy Says:

        Bunny hugger? Does that title fall into the same catagory as a tree hugger Somsai?

      • somsai Says:

        To Nancy, I first heard the term used by biologists in a zoo, it refers to the people, including biologists, with an anthropomorphic view of animals. Using baby talk, calling them by name, all the usual.

        Brian if you are trying to characterize me or hunters as being dumb by writing that way you are doing yourself a disservice. Talking down to any one is never a good idea.

        Freezer is fairly full thank you.

        No desire to manage anything, I’ve already paid people to do just that via Pittman/Robertson. They’ve been doing a tremendous job for three quarters of a century.

      • mikarooni Says:

        Yeah, Brian, weasels are good hunters.

      • william huard Says:

        “There’s a national Park problem and a political problem with bunny huggers, and now a wolf problem”
        Wrong! The problem is ranchers that are way too full of themselves, and hunters that don’t like competition. Just because you buy a hunting tag doesn’t mean you OWN these game herds. The other problem is idiotic politicians that pander to this small minority of people, the sense of entitlement is facinating!

      • Daniel Berg Says:

        Somsai,
        It’s too bad that we don’t have the ability to view alternate realities. I would very much like to be able to see how things would have turned out in the mountain west if “environmentalists” were always shouted down and defeated by individuals such as yourself over the last 120 years.

      • somsai Says:

        William if you want to get all technical and legal and stuff, the wildlife belongs to the people of the state. I know that pains some who might think White Fang runs free but that’s just how it is.

        Howwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwling for justice. 😉

      • mikarooni Says:

        Careful; someone might mistake you for a ranch mink.

  27. Brian Ertz Says:

    i’ve attended several IDFG Commission meetings, and attended several subcommittee hearings in the Idaho legislature in the past years.

    I’ve heard, in person, IDFG Commissioner Wayne Wright proclaim his authority and desire to cull wolves on a grand scale as he believes granted him by God.

    I’ve listened, in person, to IDFG Commissioner Tony McDermott conspire to usurp federal statute (NEPA) with his fellow commissioners, so they could extend the human influence of the state into federally designated wilderness.

    I’ve listened to high-ranking Idaho legislators, in committee-hearings, commit to find state dollars to kill wolves, in a budgetary crisis that is robbing school-children opportunity at those same dollars.

    I’ve been on the ground, seen the way these good ol’ boys pour their livestock across denning wolves on our land – unattended for as long as I’ve been there (weeks) and seen the way Wildlife Services is deployed and how they operate.

    I’ve been threatened, reported to the FBI and otherwise intimidated personally for no more than holding a camera.

    Nobody likes rules that limit the reach of their influence. Nobody likes having to jump through the hoops as determined by our federal democratic process. But the fact of the matter as I see it is that this vile controversy has been fomented by ideology and all these shameful pieces of legislation are shameless, accommodationist attempts to douse the fire that these lawless blow-hards have started. ironically demonstrating point blank the inability of the states to follow the clear path that the law already provides to grant them authority to manage wolves as they say they wish to do.

    They can’t do it.

    “Path to delisting” ??? Here you go guys ! <—- your guide … no need to move a mountain or prompt another act of Congress – that path's already been pounded ! All you gotta do is demonstrate restraint and reasonable assurances (via regulatory mechanisms) that you won't wipe them out again.

    They can't do it.

    Why can't they do it ? Hmmm … well, there are many reasons … corruption, total lack of political insulation via agencies, nepotism, etc. etc. etc. but probably the main reason that I’ve noticed when I’ve sat in on their governing practices these past few years seems to have a common theme :

    They don’t want to …

    The problem is not that the ESA doesn’t work … it’s that it works very well for the species it’s charged to protect …

  28. Dave Says:

    Did you ever think, that the very reason Idaho is so hearedly against the wolves, is because they have been denied the opportunity manage them? Remember, please remember the original agreement and intent was for only 150 wolves in this state. The millions spent on litigating this issue would have been money well spent on habitat improvement. Why should Idaho be punished for what Wyoming is doing?

    • Bob Says:

      Go Dave go plan said less than 10 breeding pair federal managed greater than 10 state managed. Wolf groups want federal control give them what they ask for less than 10 breeding pair want more wolves let the states manage. Problem is as long as wolves are listed fund raising is great call them recovered most that money goes away. Also the more time we send on wolves less time is spent on things that need to be done.

      • Save bears Says:

        See this is where people are interpreting things based on their own biases, there was not agreement for a maximum number of wolves anywhere, there was simply a number that was to be a target to start a delisting process…there has never been an agreed upon maximum number….

    • jon Says:

      Hi Dave, I asked Ralph about this and he said that the “agreement” that there would only be 150 wolves in the state never happened. Maybe Ralph can delve into this a little more. Idaho has been managing them so to speak. Wildlife services kills a few hundred wolves for livestock depredations and Idaho had a 2009 hunting season that lasted 7 months which killed nearly 200 wolves.

      • Bob Says:

        Saying there was no maximum number agreed upon is like saying we never agree on a maximum national dept. Minimums were agreed upon by most so now we put the wolf above all else. The goals were set just because the one judge rules about lines on a map we now have little management just control action. Its like fighting fire a little preventive management goes a long way.

      • Save bears Says:

        Bob, I can honestly say, I am on the out’s with most posters on this blog, but there was never a maximum number agreed to by any party…I am not sorry to say, the truth is the truth..

      • timz Says:

        It’s awfully frustrating to debate the wolf issue with folks who know nothing about their ethology, but the frustration is compounded when they try to argue the simple historical facts of the re-introduction, (e.g. they always want to talk about the “agreement”) which can easily be obtained by doing a little reading. Go back and look at the you-tube video that was posted here several days ago with Otter arguing with the pro-wolf guy, he even mentions the “agreement”.

      • Bob Says:

        Saves bears, I agree, my point was the states put together their plans Montana and Idahos plans were ok. We’ve worked hard to get to the minimums, now we’re past and still no state management. If we,re going to have long term federal management then lets lower the population to federal management numbers. And yes I’am bias. Also I have no problem with passing new law the ESA was once just legislation. We have state minimum management numbers, why do we need to answer the maximum question.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        I know that Bob and Dave believe the 100 or 150 wolves was agreed on at some time in the past by some wolf group as the number of wolves.

        I have read Dave’s postings in other forums, and he often brings this up, but no, these were always regarded as floor populations, not ceilings. Wolf conservation groups never signed onto any number. They weren’t asked to sign and it isn’t likely the government would have listened if they had said, “hey, let’s negotiate.” I met with Ed Bangs in Nov. 1993 about these things and he just told me how things were going to be, and that’s how they were.

        The federal government stipulated all of the delisting requirements.

        I think if the government had been willing to negotiate on these things, there would have been few lawsuits, especially successful ones.

      • JEFF E Says:

        Dave and Bob,
        1. there was never an “agreement” concerning wolf re-introduction. there was however a “plan” to re-introduce and recover grey wolves under the law entailed in the ESA and so directed by President Reagan.
        2. Part of that “plan” called for a “MINUMUM” of 150 wolves per state within the recovery zone.
        3. Another provision of the “plan” was for each state within the recovery zone to craft an “acceptable” management plan. Something that Wyoming has not done, Dick Kempthorne’s end around attempt not withstanding.
        4.There are some other provisions that also need to be meant in the “plan” which in total will satisfy the requirements of the “plan” to delist wolves.
        5. Why is this so hard to understand?

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        jon and Dave,

        Idaho managed wolves for about 4 years. Carter Niemeyer, whose book is just out, was the last federal wolf manager in Idaho. Idaho was restricted only in that they never got approval to have a big wolf reduction in the Lolo. Idaho did have a wolf hunt. So did Montana. Both states planned much bigger hunts in 2010, but before that happened the wolf was relisted because Wyoming kept refusing to create a state wolf management plan minimally acceptable to the federal government.

      • Bob Says:

        Jeff E, your right there was no agreement, thus the plan the compromise call it what you want, but you had your chance to voice your opinion thus the federal plan. It’s not to hard to understand you don’t want to live by the plan. Question I have now is how many wolves live in say 5 miles of you house?

      • Bob Says:

        Ralph, I know all that I live in western Montana. Idaho never even made the 2009 quota would have been much smarter wolves in 2010. You just need some faith in your wolves.

      • JEFF E Says:

        Slow down Bob, you’re not making any sense now. What part of the plan have I ever said I did not want to live by? not that I personally could effect it one way or the other
        Where have I given any personal opinion on the content of the plan?
        All I have ever done is point out the provisions within that plan.
        time after time after time after time………

      • Bob Says:

        JEFFE Point taken, question was number of wolves living close to you? Just curious cause, I am, I got to go soon enjoy.

  29. Bob Says:

    So we’re saying you didn’t get want you wanted so use donald to get what you want. I know a whole valley who didn’t get what they wanted, now we live with them and mostly on private land, so the answer is more lawsuits. We have the floor population you had a comment period to voice your population ceilings. Why can’t you live with the proposed plan. The federal plan has work as is, so let it continue it’s not like we’re dealing with a animal on the brink of extinction. The point is not everyone gets what they want.

    • timz Says:

      Next to the phantom “agreement” the “liberal judge” card is my second favorite.

      • jon Says:

        About the illegal introduction of the non native oversized canadian wolf Timz? about millions of dollars supposedly being stolen to fund the “illegal wolf introduction” even though no evidence has been put out there to prove it? I see this “only 100 wolves in each state agreement” as just another one of those myths you constantly hear from the anti-wolf folks imo.

      • Bob Says:

        What agreement where did you see that I know both side didn’t agree. May never but the judge, what kind of judge at the end of a trail ask the lawyer “what should I do”, leaves me with question to his merit and intent.

      • timz Says:

        Huh??

      • jon Says:

        Bob, what if Molloy was a conservative judge?

      • Bob Says:

        jon, you can only know my feelings, for donald after being in his courtroom see if you can make a hearing so time, do so, doesn’t feel like balanced law to more than a few.

      • timz Says:

        Bob I’d be interested in your explaination of balanced law and why Judge Malloy’s is not. Also tell us where you got your law degree.

    • Bob Says:

      Timz you had to be there donald asking grizzle coalition how he should rule on yellowstone grizzle delisting. It was all one sided tends to make you question wolf trail.

    • SAP Says:

      Bob – we all have to live with things we don’t support or didn’t choose. I don’t have children, yet I pay for schools and playground equipment and all kinds of stuff for other people’s offspring. I thought invading Iraq was a really bad idea, but I have to live with that decision too.

      As for taking complaints to the federal judiciary, that’s all part of that checks-and-balances thing we all learned about in school. It’s not just a nice idea, it’s the Constitution.

      Specifically, it’s in the First Amendment, which gives us the right to “petition the government for redress of grievances.” It’s the American Way, Bob, and sometimes the American Way is not going to go YOUR way, and sometimes it’s not going to go mine. But it beats the alternatives.

  30. Nancy Says:

    Oh come on SB!

    I’m new to this blog but I’ve got to say, there are more than a few here that contribute and share, volumes of good information, and you’re one of them.

    I have a hell of alot of respect for your thoughts, opinions and for the fact that you always seem to present it in a straight forward sort of way.
    You have the ability to call on years of experience when making comments. while some of us (like you’ve reminded me in the past) tend to just get emotional and impatient about how things ought to be.

    But having said that – I’m thinking Bob needs to spend some time in the archives. I’m not sure what “fire” he’s refering to other than the fire being created and fueled, in all those little minds out there, incapable of relating to just how vast this part of the country is when it comes to wildlife, predators and their little impact on it.

  31. JEFF E Says:

    Bob,
    I would estimate that there are 6-7 packs within a twenty mile radius of where I am sitting.About half of them closer than that.

  32. JB Says:

    “Did you ever think, that the very reason Idaho is so hearedly against the wolves, is because they have been denied the opportunity manage them?”

    Bob: Idaho opposed wolves and wolf reintroduction from the start. In fact they complained about “unfunded mandates” to manage wolves and refused to play along at all; thus, wolf reintroduction was handled by the Nez Perce tribe. Finally, if you examine the statistics on wolf mortality in the NRMS, you’ll find that, in recent years, the majority of wolf mortality is attributed to Wildlife Services’ “control” actions–i.e. management.

    My point: There is a substantial amount of wolf management going on and the costs are paid by the federal government–not Idaho. So I have to ask: what would wolf management look like under Bob’s preferred plan?

    • timz Says:

      ” Idaho opposed wolves and wolf reintroduction from the start.”

      Not totally true. A BSU poll conducted (I think it was in 2002) found 42% in favor, 38% against and the rest didn’t care.

      If you mean the powers that be in Idaho you are correct.

    • JB Says:

      I should also reiterate that with a few modifications this should be a bill that nearly everyone can get behind. Specifically, adding a provision that sets permanent minimum populations would “fix” the issue of inadequate regulatory mechanisms and ensure the agency can manage wolves without undue interference from the state government or the wildlife commission.

  33. WM Says:

    Running parallel to the NRM wolf legislation is the effort to remove the Great Lakes wolves from listed status. Because of the attention this matter is getting, including support from at least one MN Senator, the topic of wolves is indeed on the radar of Congress.

    The efforts of the state to seek delisting in the face of lawsuit after lawsuit by wolf advocates has now, in my opinion, gained sufficient traction in the Midwest for delisting to occur. If it is not successful, and anther round of suits occurs by folks like HSUS, using highly technical legal arguments under the ESA (like the DPS concept), one can expect greater sympathy from Midwest legislators for what is happening in the NRM, and bills like the Testor/Baucus proposal.

    http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/event/article/id/100024337/group/Opinion/


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