Judge’s ruling could threaten state’s ability to kill wolves

This is a very important case

Judge Molloy has issued a order asking the defendants and plaintiffs why the 10(j) lawsuit “should not be dismissed as moot due to the absence of a population meeting the statutory requirements for 10(j) status.”

If the lawsuit is dismissed wolves in all of the Northern Rockies could lose their status as an experimental, non-essential population or 10(j) status and receive full protection under the Endangered Species Act.  This would be because wolves from the Central Idaho and Greater Yellowstone populations have bred with those in the Northern Idaho/Northwest Montana population which came from Canada on their own and enjoy full protection of the ESA because they are not part of the 10(j) population.  To receive 10(j) status, a population must be “wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species.”.

This would surely heat up the debate about wolves and would make it much more difficult to kill wolves for protection of ungulates and livestock in all areas where wolves exist in the Northern Rockies. This would also change the whole dynamic at play with Wyoming’s intransigence. If wolves remain listed in Wyoming and this lawsuit is dismissed then wolves there would be much more difficult to kill. This would provide ample motivation for Wyoming to come up with a management plan that is acceptable to the USFWS.

As soon as we get a copy of the order we will post it.

Judge’s ruling could threaten state’s ability to kill wolves
Lewiston Morning Tribune.

Judge’s ruling could put new limits on wolf hunts
Associated Press

155 Responses to “Judge’s ruling could threaten state’s ability to kill wolves”

  1. Dude, the bagman Says:

    I’m not sure how that’s going to work. It seems to violate U.S. v. McKittrick 142 F.3d 1170. That case seems to be controlling precedent as a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals case and says:

    “gray wolves are protected by the ESA based on where they are found, not where they originate. Canadian gray wolves that migrate into the northern United States, for example, assume protected status when they cross the border.” McKittrick, at 1173.

    FWS defines a “population” as “a group of fish or wildlife in the same taxon below the subspecific level, in common spatial arrangement that interbreed when mature.” 50 CFR § 17.3

    FWS defines a gray wolf “population” as “at least two breeding pairs of gray wolves that each successfully raise at least two young to December 31 of their birth year for 2 consecutive years”. 59 Fed.Reg. at 60,256

    As I understand it, the more specific (second) definition controls.

    As Ralph said, to receive 10(j) status, a POPULATION must be ”wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental POPULATIONS of the same species.”

    Therefore, because individual wolves are not populations, and wolves are protected based on where they are found, wolves that cross I-90 magically go from being fully protected under the ESA to non-essential experimental, and vice versa. So what you have is an endangered wolf that becomes a non-essential experimental wolf, and then breeds with other non-essential experimental wolves.

    I’m not saying that’s rational, but that seems to be what the law currently is in the 9th Circuit.. I could be missing something.

    • Ken Cole Says:

      Ralph didn’t write this post. I did.

      There are many implications that I don’t fully understand yet but, after discussion with Ralph, I don’t think that the stories in the press really portray what this really means.

      This could go the opposite way too.

      • Dude, the bagman Says:

        Oh, sorry Ken.

        It could theoretically go to prove that genetic exchange is occurring, which means that that is one less arrow in conservation groups’ quivers.

        However, I don’t think that will have much effect because the states’ management plans could reduce the wolf population below a level where genetic exchange is likely to occur again. Especially Wyoming’s plan.

        If nothing else, it seems like it would set the population threshold to whatever it was the year when genetic exchange was found.

        I haven’t read the order yet either. I have read some of DOW’s affidavit supporting their motion for SJ. DOW argued the the 2008 10(j) rule does not conserve wolves, and may inhibit genetic exchange. DOW noted that the wolf populations were interbreeding, which may be where this is coming from.

        “This problem is compounded by the 2008 10(j) regulation’s allowance for the northern Rockies wolf population to drop below the size necessary for natural wolf dispersal and genetic connectivity. As this Court observed, “[g]enetic exchange that did not occur [with 1,513 wolves in 106 breeding pairs] is not likely to occur with fewer wolves and fewer breeding pairs.” Defenders of Wildlife, 565 F. Supp. 2d at 1172; see also id. at 1171 (“fewer wolves means less opportunity for dispersal and hence less chance for genetic exchange”).[FN2]

        FN2. A year after FWS published the 2008 10(j) regulation, FWS stated that it had new evidence that “4 radio-collared non-GYA wolves have bred and reproduced offspring in the GYA in the past 12 years.” See 74 Fed. Reg. 15,123, 15,176 (April 2, 2009). This evidence does not appear in the 2008 10(j) rule record and thus cannot be a basis for affirmance. Two of the four wolves were artificially relocated to the Yellowstone region, see Ex. 1, and cannot demonstrate FWS’ asserted natural connectivity. The other two wolves were apparently natural dispersals that occurred in 2002 and 2008, see id., when wolf population levels exceeded the 600-wolf standard embodied in the 2008 10(j) rule.”

        2010 WL 5623499

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      As Ken says, we don’t really know what this means. It think the AP reporter (who was ?? name) might have just guessed.

      I’m sure Judge Molloy understands the confusion there is over this issue. It’s both real and deliberately created confusion.

      The entire 10j reintroduction was controversial. Seems like there should have been a better way because the wolves north of I-90 were generally in the endangered class due to their original origin as migrants from the north. This “migrated-in” population grew, erratically, but over time just as well as those “experimental” wolves to the south.

      Maybe Molloy is trying to straighten out the confusion and lead to a way the wolves can be delisted and managed by the states but with some decent standards and protections.

      • Dude, the bagman Says:

        Could have let them walk south on their own. Then we wouldn’t have to deal with all the different categories, definitions, and artificial boundaries.

      • Save bears Says:

        Dude,

        Many people would have accepted that with no problem..and we would not be where we are if they had..

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        Dude, the bagman,

        We could have done as you say, and yes we would not have had to deal with all these artificial categories.

        The biggest downside of that is that the “founder population” size would have been very low and the genetic quality of the recovered wolves very poor instead of excellent as it is today.

        Secondly, the recovery period would have been even longer than it has been and the rules protecting the wolves much more stringent.

        It is possible that the social antagonism would be just as great with natural dispersion from north. I am convinced that opposition to wolves is almost entirely cultural. As a result, the actual behavior of the wolves doesn’t really matter. People will support wolves or oppose them to the same degree whether they kill 5 head of livestock or 500 hundred.

      • Dude, the bagman Says:

        Yeah, I guess I didn’t account for genetic diversity when I said that. On the other hand, the population would still stretch north into Canada, which would provide opportunities for natural genetic exchange and migration, even if it took longer. But I’m no geneticist and it’s a moot point now.

        I don’t know if the rules would have been any more stringent than they are N. of I-90 already. It would mean no 10(j) classification, which means more ranchers might be more inclined to SSS when FWS or Wildlife Services didn’t help them out.

        I bet people would have still raised hell about it. Either way they would have been protected under the ESA, and this area isn’t friendly to federal regulations of any color.
        There’s also the cultural mythology surrounding wolves.

        I had a guy tell me with a straight face that there’s a pack of 1000 wolves just east of Coeur d’Alene. He’s a nice enough guy and not an idiot, but not the most critical thinker. The wolves in that area are probably natural dispersers, as it’s a lot closer to Canada than Stanley. Didn’t make any difference to him. How do you reason and compromise with that kind of belief system?

        People love to repeating their own cultural narratives regardless of contradicting evidence. No one’s really immune to this, but some are worse or more dangerous than others. “Them Canadian wolves will eat your babies and weigh 200 lbs – it’s common knowledge. I won’t even go into the woods unarmed.” Personally, I think people are much more dangerous and unpredictable than wildlife.

      • jon Says:

        Dude, I have to ask, what do you tell these people when they bring up things like there are 200 pound wolves in idaho and there is a pack filled with 1000 wolves?

        I posted this article a while back.

        http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2010/12/30/outdoors/how_big_are_wolves_not_big_you_might_think_they_can_pack_down_gr

        Some guy who runs the hay rides where they feed the deer down there in Idaho was telling people there was a vicious packs of wolves ravaging the countryside. He said they were 250 pound monsters. I don’t it would have made a big difference if all of the wolves walked there on their own. You have to remember that 60% of Montana’s wolf population came from Canada and they are hated as much as the wolves that were brought here by humans. It makes very little difference. Do you think a hunter would spare a wolf that came here on its own over a wolf that was brought here by the feds? I doubt it. They would both be fair game and hated the same equally. I don’t think there should be anymore wolf reintroductions. I think now we should let wolves migrate naturally and than protect them.

      • jon Says:

        Dude, some people will just make shit up and believe it. A few days ago, Ralph posted a story about a wolf pack in Siberia being 400 large and the anti wolf folks ate it up as the truth.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        jon,

        Some person with a fake email address wrote a really nasty comment about how the 400 wolves in Russia was pretty much true.

    • WM Says:

      Surely we do need to see the Judge’s Order for any clues to where he is headed with this next round of yet another “technical” perversion of the ESA.

      And let me say, I think Judge Molloy is compelled to ask these questions because of what appears to be wrong with the ESA as applied to the wolf issue. It is not a neat and clean fit. All the more reason to revisit the statute.

      • Ken Cole Says:

        I don’t see how you can say that there is something wrong with the ESA in this case. There is, and always has been, a clear path towards delisting. Wyoming does not want to follow it to make sure that there are adequate regulatory mechanisms, and IMHO the feds and states aren’t using the best available science to make sure that wolves won’t again face eradication or genetic inbreeding over the long term.

        You can’t honestly say that the states cannot meet the requirement of the ESA in regard to wolves. They just refuse to do it. The path is there, it’s an obvious one. Take it.

      • WM Says:

        Ken,

        Support Tester’s bill and this should all pretty much go away. It has all the right parts, and the whole program doesn’t get wrapped around the axle if any state decides not to play. Pretty simple solution in my view.

      • WM Says:

        Ken,

        I am not trying to bait you. What part of the Tester bill does not accomplish what most main-stream wolf advocates want, and gives a 5 year window to test drive the results?

      • Jay Barr Says:

        As Ken points out, if the 3 states, and specifically WY, had adopted “adequate regulatory mechanisms” wolves would in all likelihood already be delisted and there would be no need for a Tester bill to circumvent the ESA. There is no need to make an end run on the ESA just because WY won’t back away from its line in the sand. I’m sure there are politicians that can find a way to induce them into an acceptable plan; there’s a new governor who is not beholden to stand behind the chest-thumping of his predecessor. It would not take much for WY to alter its plan to make it acceptable to the FWS.

      • WM Says:

        Jay Barr,

        That is precisely the problem, according to Judge Molloy’s ruling (subject to 9th Circuit review). If one state refuses to play, it jeopardizes the delisting status in the entire NRM. It is too much temptation and much leverage for any one state to have. Recall we have the recent temper tantrum of Butch and the ID retreat to the lower number of wolves in the 100 range, rather than the management plan that seeks a floor of 500, or so, along with the most recent indignation to turn back the entire program.

        The Tester bill says ID and MT manage for the larger numbers and WY is under the protection of FWS (until they come up with an approved plan with acceptable numbers and range) and would authorize the the funding to do it, including telemetry monitoring for numbers (range) to ensure genetic connectivity.

        Again, I pose the question to Ken – what can’t you live with in the Tester/Baucus senate bill?

      • Ken Cole Says:

        I have a problem with the precedent that it sets, especially since there is a way to get to the same place. Do I think that any of the bills will pass? I don’t know, but I’m not ready to give my support to circumventing the ESA because of a tantrum.

        You said:
        “Recall we have the recent temper tantrum of Butch and the ID retreat to the lower number of wolves in the 100 range, rather than the management plan that seeks a floor of 500, or so, along with the most recent indignation to turn back the entire program.”

        I don’t think they ever planned to follow that plan anyway and we’ve been saying as much for many years.

      • JB Says:

        WM, Ken:

        There is a reasonable compromise available: federal legislation that requires each state to maintain a minimum viable population of wolves, but allows states to manage them however they see fit, as long as an MVP is maintained. Such a requirement essentially re-affirms the states’ obligations as trustee anyway (that is, to sustainably manage the population), and it would prevent the state legislature from intervening to dramatically reduce the wolf population. Moreover, such a bill could be “sold” as wolf protection, as opposed to an ESA end-around.

      • Salle Says:

        JB,

        I wish you could have been to some of the hearings… it’s always something with these guys, it’s not that they want compromise ~ we keep giving them ground and they use it to take a step backward and find another excuse for “refudiating” any sort of settlement. Every time a compromise starts looking viable, this is what happens, then they stand there and claim that it is the “environmental” groups who keep moving the goalposts.

        They don’t want any endangered species in the state, period. the claim is that it costs the state money and it is robbing their children of their futures.. of killing wildlife I suoppose… alnog with other hard to justify claims and accusations.

        It would be nice if such a thing could happen but i think it will take some drastic series of events for the states to agree to a compromise that doesn’t give them all the control with nothing for the rest of us to accept.

        Come to think of it, here’s the reply that I got from Max Baucus after he heard from the “listeners” whom I spoke with last month which I consider a confession to “drinking the Kool-aid”:

        Dear Salle:

        Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about Montana’s gray wolf population. I appreciate hearing from you on this important topic.

        In May 2009, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed Montana’s gray wolf from Endangered Species Act protections. On August 5, 2010, a federal court decision reinstated these protections, arguing that all states in which the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf exists must have federally-approved wolf management plans in place before the wolf can be removed from the endangered species list in any state. In effect, under the court’s ruling, Montanans will have to wait for Wyoming to develop an acceptable wolf management plan before wolves in Montana can return to state management.

        I am extremely disappointed in this decision because it continues to hold Montana’s excellent wolf management plan and wolf hunting season hostage to the decisions of another state. That’s why I introduced legislation in the 111th Congress that would return Montana’s gray wolves to state management regardless of action in Wyoming. I plan to introduce similar legislation in this 112th Congress. Montana’s wildlife managers have done their job, and our ranchers and big game hunters have waited long enough for this matter to be settled. No one knows how to manage wolves better than Montanans, especially not the federal government.

        Thanks again for getting in touch. Please feel free to contact me with any additional questions or concerns. You can also visit my website at http://baucus.senate.gov for more information on current issues that affect Montanans.

        Sincerely,
        Signature

      • JB Says:

        Salle:

        Something we haven’t yet discussed on this blog (imagine that!) is the legal options available to wildlife advocates post delisting. I was serious when I said that under the public trust doctrine states need to maintain a viable population of the species in question; however, to my knowledge, no one has ever put this to the test in the courts. All of this is to say that there may be legal remedies available to wildlife advocates at the state level should things turn ugly post-delisting.

      • Salle Says:

        Umm, I think that topic warrants its own thread, no/yes?

      • WM Says:

        JB,

        We have touched on the “public trust” concept before, here. However, to my knowledge, it is usually applied to water, and only to wildlife when specifically stated as a “public trust” duty as set forth in a state Constitution. Are you thinking of something newlly created under federal law, or expansion of some existing theory/statutory base?

      • JB Says:

        WM:

        The concept of wildlife is a public trust resource arose somewhat independently from water law, though the basic tenets are the same (some have called it the “wildlife trust” to differentiate the two)–that is, wildlife is a resource that is owned collectively by the citizens of the state in which it resides and managed by the state (trustee) on behalf of citizen-beneficiaries. This doctrine has been fleshed out in a number of supreme court cases (e.g. Martin v. Waddell, Geer v. Connecticut), and is considered by wildlife managers to be a “pillar” of the NA Model.

      • WM Says:

        JB,

        I am familiar with these cases. I found a rather intesting law review article and was intrigued by this from the author:

        ++After a brief orientation to the key principles behind the doctrine’s operation, a survey in six key states— California, Idaho, Michigan, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Washington— will show that for practically every case expressing sympathy with this extension, there has been an equal and opposite reaction against the extension. At present, the public trust in wildlife is an intriguing notion,
        often with far-reaching and fascinating implications. But it is far from a reality, even where the public trust doctrine’s basic principles have been embraced.++

        -Patrick Redmond, “The Public Trust in Wildlife: Two
        Steps Forward, Two Steps Back,” Natural Resources Jnl. 49 (250-312) [Winter 2009]. See also, author’s updating notes to Ctr. for Biological Diversity, Inc. v. FPL Group, Inc., 83 Cal. Rptr. 3d 588 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008).

        link: http://lawlibrary.unm.edu/nrj/49/1/249-312_Redmond.pdf

        I certainly do not know as much about the “public trust” doctrine applied to wildlife as I would like, and it is on my to do list.

      • WM Says:

        Sorry: cite should read ……49 Natural Resource Jnl. (249-312)[Winter 2009]

      • JB Says:

        Thanks. That should be an interesting read. My understanding is that the doctrine is much less “developed” in wildlife than water law; still, it is hard for me to envision any other scenario that would be consistent with existing precedent. Moreover, the wildlife profession already functions as if the doctrine were firmly in place. In fact, a recent issue of the Wildlife Professional (the Society’s member magazine) was dedicated to discussion of the NA Model and public trust doctrine.

        See: http://training.fws.gov/bart/Resources/wetland_reg/Related_References/Overview_of_Public_Trust_Doctrine.pdf

      • WM Says:

        JB,

        Curiously the Buffalo Fields Campaign suit against MT for the disease free bison entrusted under state contract to Ted Turner (in exchange for some genetically pure offspring instead of a monetary fee) focuses solely on a “public trust” duty not to privatize wildlife. I was intrigued by this one count complaint. The motive seems to be to advance the ball for a “public trust” doctrine in MT.

        Personally, I would have thought the core case legal there would focus on deviation from state procurement procedures, and prejudice against other vendor competitors who weren’t told the rules up front, would have been more compelling (but, the real parties in interest would have been the aggrieved tribes, rather than BFC who likely would not have standing to sue).

        It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Frankly I wouldn’t hold my breath.

  2. jburnham Says:

    If all the wolves in the northern Rockies are part of a single distinct population segment, that would seem to deal with Malloy’s previous ruling forbidding the government from splitting the dps and de-listing separately.

    Without the burden of defending their questionable de-listing scheme, the government would only have to prove that the dps is recovered. Could this move the issue towards a hearing on the actual merits of de-listing wolves?

    • Dude, the bagman Says:

      I order to show that the DPS is recovered, the government has to demonstrate that the delisting scheme provides “adequate regulatory mechanisms” that will control threats to the wolves’ continued existence. That goes beyond population numbers and genetic exchange.

      What comprises an “adequate regulatory mechanism” is very subjective and complicated, and will probably result in more litigation.

      • WM Says:

        Dude,

        A thought. It may result in litigation, but it is doubtful the law requires more than a properly worded state statute + designated agent + approved plan (numbers/range/management structure/funding) FOR ALL THREE STATES = NRM delisting.

        The only hammer is to relistall the NRM DPS if any part of the formula above fails in any of the three states (unless the 9th Circuit disagrees with Molloy).

        Just curious, Dude? Do you have legal training or are you a lawyer?

      • Dude, the bagman Says:

        It’s all of those technicalities where the fine points are hashed out. There’s a lot of room to debate terms like “adequate regulatory mechanism” and “best available science.” These are the actual language of the ESA’s requirements.

        It’s easy to make a checklist of what has to happen for delisting, but it’s harder to get everyone to agree on how that should be done. Wyoming could keep the appropriate number of wolves in chemically induced comas on display at Cabela’s, but DOW would never accept that as a recovered population. It’s obviously a struggle for control over resources and meaning, that’s why it gets so heated.

        I agree with you that the wolves could be relisted if the states don’t get it right. However, the ESA is about more than just extinction prevention. It’s also about “recovery” and preserving ecosystems. If there’s a government-mandated slaughter as soon as the wolves are delisted, there’s no point in deilsting. I don’t have a problem with a hunt, I just want it done responsibly and without palpable government malice.

        “Do you have legal training or are you a lawyer?”

        Yes.

      • Salle Says:

        The only hammer is to relistall the NRM DPS if any part of the formula above fails in any of the three states

        And the three states hate that part, they don’t really get it, if they did, there wouldn’t be a problem. What it is about is that the landed gentry are losing their death grip on natural resources in their neck of the woods and will fight to their own destruction to maintain that sense of entitlement they once freely enjoyed.

        The ESA is about recovery, as Dude points out… the specifics of what “recovery” means can be summed up this way… as one example of summary; The ESA calls for recovery in historic range ~ in the case of wolves would actually be the whole continent ~ but that even in a significant portion of that range is a good thing for the species. The opposing parties see recovery as unnecessary and an affront to their ambitions, which may not take environmental health into consideration (after all the major argument made from that corner of the ring is that they know best how to treat the land and its inhabitants in accordance with their ambitions). As far as they can see any form of compromise would be to make the wolves stay in YNP/GNP and keep them there as if they were in a zoo with no options for dispersal. They also now seem to think that the idea of inbreeding being the demise of the wolf population as a good idea if they can make that happen… it would fix the problem for them since there will likely be no more reintroductions.

      • Salle Says:

        Wyoming could keep the appropriate number of wolves in chemically induced comas on display at Cabela’s…

        Except Cabella’s isn’t acceptable habitat even according to the ESA. That is the definition of zoo and does not meet the requirements of the critical habitat portion of the ESA’s mandate. It also doesn’t meet with a number of other stipulations under the ESA. ( I just re-read the entire Act, as of January 24, 2004 publcation.)

      • WM Says:

        Dude,

        I tend to agree with you, except to be accurate the term “recovery” is not in the text of the ESA. Judge Molloy struggled with that deficiency in his August 5, 2010 ruling, relying on the language of implementing regulations which equate to “no longer in need of the Act’s protections.” Obviously, “recovery” is a valid concept subject to different interpretations, and the concept lives without use of the actual word.

        And, of course, ” preserving ecosystems” is in the Act, but for practical purposes it seems ancillary to the objective of reproduction and “recovery” of wolves as they (somewhat like coyotes) are very adaptable and able to survive in altered ecosystems in the presence of humans and their activities, thus reluctantly requiring control of their numbers, and maybe range. It is this resilience in the face of changing conditions that is ironic. It is what caused the eradiction of wolves in the first place. Wolves are opportunistic (eat the cow/sheep because it is an easier meal than chasing an elk or deer). That adaptability, as I have stated before, is why New York doesn’t want them in the Adirondacks and WA is prepared to manage with translocation efforts once wolves show up there in numbers sufficient to require them to be moved (they naively don’t address the genetic issues that result from having isolated populations, however). These are highly important aspects or distinctions that some more strident wolf advocates summarily ignore. This provides the context of my earlier comment that the ESA as currently written is not a particularly good fit for wolf reintroduction and long term management.

        Consequently it makes for one esoteric legal argument after another in numerous and costly law suits, as we have seen play out over the last couple of years, leaving the decisions to the judiciary to interpret a law and regulations that seem inapplicable in this limited circumstance, and doesn’t even get to the biology of wolf “recovery” in the NRM or elsewhere, for that matter. I still shake my head when I think of the contorted and litigation littered path delisting has taken in the Great Lakes, particularly MN. They are still not delisted in the GL, with nearly 4,000 wolves. There is no “recovery” issue there.

        “Obstructionism” is a concept (tactic) that comes to mind. It has little to do with “best available science” in the GL, and it is becoming the same as the NRM saga continues to play out. The Mexican gray wolf issue in AZ and NM is more problematic. I am sympathetic to that cause.

      • Salle Says:

        But the Act clearly states, in many places, that litigation in District Courts will be the remedy for discrepancies in definition and other conflicts. It is one of the tools for remedy, period. It’s either that or just follow the letter of the law/Act without complaint, which is unlikely for reasons already commented on.

        You can have it either way but not both. Just do it or see you in court. Hey, it’s the American way after all. ;~)

  3. Jay Barr Says:

    Does anyone believe that WY’s plan has “adequate regulatory mechanisms” in place? The FWS currently doesn’t- and they’re the ones that count.

  4. mikarooni Says:

    It’s interesting, at least to me, that in the early Bush years, when the wolves really started expanding outside the Park, the shouting was all about the livestock kills. Over the years, the data came in and it was shown that livestock losses to wolves were actually lower than expected, low by comparison with other mortality factors. Ranchers also turned out to be less publicly sympathetic as victims as time wore on. Surprise, surprise, today the angst seems to have shifted away from livestock losses and now seems to be all about elk depredation, at least on the surface. Maybe this isn’t about what the wolves are doing at all.

    • Ken Cole Says:

      I think you’re right about that. It hasn’t been about wolves for quite some time now.

      I think back to when I lived in Cascade and worked for IDFG. Invariably, when in conversation with people about fish, the conversation would turn to wolves and I heard a lot of strange things. Even when I wasn’t part of the conversation it was a topic that I would hear people talking about often. It really seemed like a mass hysteria. During the time that I was there during the summers it was very rare to actually see or here a wolf. I saw lots of tracks but to actually see or here one wasn’t common and I was constantly looking for them.

      That isn’t to say that there weren’t a few people who saw them regularly but I sure as hell didn’t and I was out in the sticks quite a bit.

    • Salle Says:

      And to add to that, I remember at several meetings/hearings where presentations were made about wolves and other predators there was one biologist from Idaho, can’t recall the gentleman’s name, had some very interesting points.

      One point he brought up that stuck with me is the fact that before the wolves were reintroduced to the state, the big bugaboo was the cougar. In fact, he claimed that all the same arguments made against wolves were exactly the same as those made against cougars. Another point he made was that when cougars catch their prey, they have some distinct differences that may invite some of the rhetoric that comes forth. Differences like the fact that cougars are solitary predators and are rarely seen catching or eating their prey. Also, cougars cover up their catch when they are waiting to digest what they’ve already eaten, sometimes right next to a favorite hiking trail and nobody notices that there is half a dead deer within three feet of where someone was jogging.

      Wolves, on the other hand, hunt in packs, are very social and vocal, curious and highly visible during hunting and feeding events. Not only that, they don’t cover things up and the scene is usually messy.

      The biologist, a retired state of Idaho employee, suggested that these visuals might play a big role in the opposition to the presence of wolves due to the fact that their feeding areas are not tidy and folks don’t seem to like the sight of blood… which I find odd since a lot of these opposition folks are livestock producers – lots of blood there, and/or hunters – can’t avoid the blood there. Maybe it’s because they didn’t do the spilling of that blood as the almighty arbiters of the natural world, or so they believe themselves to be.

      I spoke with him a few times about this and we came to the conclusion, together, that those who oppose wolves in the woods will find any number of arguments, valid or not, in order to get what they want regardless of correctness or fairness. If they want something, they damned well better get it or they will throw endless temper tantrums until they get what they want, no matter how much it costs… Just like spoiled children.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        Salle,

        I think there is quite a bit to this. Most people don’t like to see blood. Maybe humans are a tender carnivore. The ant-wolf groups try to play on this by showing opened up carcasses, going so far as Photoshopping as in that recent photo on Lobo Watch.

        For those who have lived on a farm or hunted, I’d think the sight of a carcass would hardly bother them though. So I guess the intended target is an urban non-hunter.

      • WM Says:

        Ralph,

        To be fair, that tactic is identical to the ones used by Defenders and other advocacy groups, who have been doing it for a long time. For example, the dead harp seal, skull crushed in a pool of blood with the killer poised over it with a club (I have seen that one for over thirty years). Or, the classic one we all have seen recently, the dead wolf with matted blood on the carcass and hunter/WS employee kneeling next to or holding it.

        Target there is urban- non hunter, plus anyone turned off by blood, or maybe it is the human induced emotion of innocence. I respond to the harp seal visual, but not the wolf.

      • Salle Says:

        May I suggest actually reading the ACT? It’s mostly legalese but with determination, a dictionary and a about two hours one can get through it. As I re-read it just now ~ all 47 pages ~ I was reminded that it is hard to pick out just one facet or section or subsection of the Act without having knowledge of the other portions for the sake of criticism or litigation. There are so many interconnected points made in the text that it does take an educated person to decipher a lot of it. Of course, the biggest part is to continually go back to the referenced sections for each provision since they are hard to remember.

        I must confess though, that I have taken several graduate level courses on the Act in which each section was analyzed extensively. Given that, I find that re-reading it periodically helps keep things in perspective on the legal concerns many like to isolate for the sake of arguing their perceptions on the Act. Glad I took a few law classes too.

      • WM Says:

        Salle,

        I think you are absolutely right that folks should read the ESA as a starting point. I don’t think the law is that easy to comprehend without the hundreds of decisions that have interpreted it. So, there is alot more reading to do beyond the Act. Here is a link to the ESA text:

        http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/laws/esa/text.htm

        The most perplexing provision for me has always been Section 6. Cooperation with States.

        Apparently, nobody thought of what happens when a state won’t cooperate in a multi-state effort like the NRM wolf reintroduction. Judge Molloy’s relisting decision is now the posterchild for this issue.

        Then there is Section 10(j), which nobody seems to understand, and is the subject of the next chapter in the NRM saga, and for which Judge Molloy is now asking for input.

        The ESA is an ambiguous law in several respects, in my view.

  5. davej Says:

    Seems that since the late 90’s or early 2000’s, USFWS has usually adopted positions intended to acheive particular management goals, and then bent (or broke) the ESA and implementing regulations to fit their intentions. Short of a monumental legal defeat, when will FWS learn that their focus should be on complying with Federal law? I’d like to know more about the relationship between DOJ and FWS in this situation — who’s driving the bad decisions?

    • Ken Cole Says:

      Under the law the FWS, as a government agency, has deference before the court which takes a lot for the plaintiffs to overcome.

      • WM Says:

        …and it would appear FWS gets bad legal advice, or gets good legal advice and chooses to ignore it. I will say there is probably a bit of both with respect to the NRM wolf reintroduction.

      • Salle Says:

        Actually, it is a specified set of Cabinet members who ultimately make decisions within the Act and it is less a matter of who is at the helm of USFWS than who is Secretary of whichever Dept. is designated to make those decisions. Very much like the IDF&G being there at the pleasure of the governator who calls the shots. USFWS isn’t the arbitor of the decisions you don’t like, they are the reps and actuaries of the Cabinet level folks. Fortunately for all listed species, the courts are there for the citizens to take up grievances and for determination of enforcement actions.

        Yes, you too can use the legal system, if you have a valid argument to make.

        The bad decisions that I see are proposed by and for those who should be held to comply with the law rather than throw a temper tantrum and pretend that the state should have ultimate jurisdiction under any law, especially federal law. Like governator otter, for example.

        If you hate federal jurisdiction so much, maybe you should go find another country where I’m sure there will be welcoming arms to greet you with flowers for liberating them from the terrible government.

      • WM Says:

        Salle,

        ++If you hate federal jurisdiction so much, maybe you should go find another country where I’m sure there will be welcoming arms to greet you with flowers for liberating them from the terrible government.++

        Presuming you intended that comment for me, let me say that is rich. Actually I intend to exercise the same rights as you to see if there is sufficient political will to find a solution to the way wolves are being managed or not. It sure as hell is not working right now.

      • Salle Says:

        Not really, by that point I was generalizing meaning it was for anyone who fits that shoe.

  6. Ken Cole Says:

    The Missoulian has an article about this and it is so poorly written that the comments have turned into a big brawl. The article uses the term “Canadian wolves” and people have so bought in to the anti-wolfer meaning of that term they just don’t understand what the judge is saying.

    http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_5794df08-2b60-11e0-a805-001cc4c002e0.html

    • jon Says:

      I don’t like that they use “canadian” wolves, but it’s not really a surprise because most anti wolf folks think a timberwolf and a gray wolf are a different animal when infact they are the same animal. A lot of misinformation coming from the anti-wolf folk Ken. I’m sure you know better than most being there in Idaho.

  7. Cody Coyote Says:

    Refraining the quote from Ken above: ” This would provide ample motivation for Wyoming to come up with a management plan that is acceptable to the USFWS. ”

    Ain’t gonna happen. Wyoming is 500,000 against the World.

    These days, I am much more embarrassed to say I was born and raised in Wyoming, 3rd/4th generation , because it seems the calendar pages are turning backwards…our Legislature is a Conestoga Wagon full of Fools … and we are relatively well off only because of that most ancient of Black Arts, coal mining. There is a medieval Alchemists Stone in Wyoming, except it works its mojo in reverse…it turns the gold back into lead, or pig iron.

    Oh , how I wish Ed Abbey were reincarnated and came back to live and write in Wyoming of the 21st Century …
    *
    Keep us posted on the 10(j) ruling. This is tectonic.

    • IDhiker Says:

      I read a statistic once, that as I recall, said only 15% of Wyoming’s population is directly involved with the livestock and agricultural industries. But, that this group is very heavily represented in the legislature, far beyond their 15%.

      • jon Says:

        IDhiker, can I get your take on the wolf/elk situation in Idaho? Some talk as if elk in Idaho are going to end up on the esl with all of the elk that wolves are killing. What are your thoughts on the situation? Do you think it’s being overexaggerated a bit or do you think the elk in Idaho are in danger because of the wolves?

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Jon,

        I hunted about 30 miles west of Stanley Idaho. My hunting buddy saw 2 wolves and we heard them almost daily. I would guess that the pack had at a minimum of 10 members. The elk were not on “the flats” (w/in 1/2 mile from dirt access road) or meadows.

        On about the 4th day of bowhunting in early September, we finally located em’. They were everywhere! It was awesome. Unfortunately they were 7miles from the “trailhead”. They were way up this draw in some pretty rugged country at an elevation of 7800-8300 feet. In my opinion, the wolves “pushed” the elk out of the flat areas and meadows, into the higher country.

        Another observation from last year was the lack of bugling. I heard one spike elk bugle, then didn’t hear another bugle until September 30th (and I hunted about 15 days). On the last day I had 2 bulls going nuts! I don’t know what caused the bulls not to bugle…Could’ve been weather, wolves, or ? There was no hunting pressure. We were the only ones around (2 of us).

      • jon Says:

        You only saw 2 wolves and you thought there was 10 members in the pack. That makes a lot of sense.

      • jon Says:

        If you only saw 2 wolves, how do you know there was 10 wolves in the pack?

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        wolf moderate,

        Ron Gillet, the original loud anti-wolf person from Stanley, saw it just the other way. He explained the presence of large numbers of elk in the valley (Stanley Basin) as the result of wolves that had scared the elk out of the mountains! So, just the opposite of your opinion.

        Then too one of the people who comments here did very well this elk hunting season in the mountains you describe. He saw a very large number of elk, not just the one he shot.

        Anecdotes don’t really show anything, although humans are predisposed to accept them. That’s why the invention of the “scientific method” was so important. It helps correct a defect in the way we tend to evaluate evidence.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Jon,

        He saw 2, run through a meadow. You are probably right, that means that it is impossible for their to have been some that ran ahead or some that lagged behind…

        Yeah, I can guarantee the wolves we heard howling consisted of more than 2 wolves lol. It sounded like 400,🙂 but I’m sure it was only 10 or so…

        Yup, one experience doesn’t mean jack ralph. The scientific method is used for a reason. I was north of Mccall for 3.5 weeks and only saw one herd of elk! I couldn’t believe it. I was hiking many miles/day also. Then again, I’m sure there are others that saw elk north of Mccall during the same time period.

        Ron Gillette is a tool bag. If I see him I’m going to give him a fat lip for making hunters look like morons.

      • WM Says:

        The anecdotal evidence is all over the board. I hunted elk in north Central ID for ten days (2 scouting and 8 hunting). I saw three elk, and my hunting partners saw about a half dozen each, way down from past years in an area where elk do not migrate much and are usually in groups of five or so. Bulls were not vocal. We adjusted our tactics and hunted brush, steep slopes and higher elevation. We did see wolf poop – lots of it, very fresh, on old grades and trails once used by elk. Will it be the same next year? I could not say.

      • IDhiker Says:

        Jon,
        In answer to your question, all I have are personal observations, nothing scientific. I am fortunate to spend considerable time every year in the Frank Church Wilderness. In some areas, such as Chamberlain Basin and Big Creek, I have noticed there is less elk sign than when I first started going there 25 years ago. But, I have also noticed wolf sign decreasing also – perhaps they have followed the elk elsewhere. Another factor could be that much of Chamberlain Basin burned in the last 25 years and is jackstrawed with downed lodgepole.

        On the other hand, when I backpacked along the Middle Fork Salmon a couple years ago in late April, I counted 1000 (I stopped counting at that number) elk in 35 miles of trail. I also saw many elk higher up when flying in. One herd had around 150 animals, and several of 50 or so. In those nine days, I saw one wolf and heard another. There were more mule deer than I cared to count.

        This last March, my wife and I did our annual spring raft trip down the Salmon River and we saw more elk than usual, and saw one wolf the first day out.

        In the Lochsa River area, we used to see many more elk in the spring back in the 70’s than today. But, the river canyon was ideal winter range then, with brush and grass the predominant vegetation type. Now, however, it it getting heavily overgrown with conifers, which, of course, reduce the forage and also make elk harder to spot.

        So, I’m not sure. I would expect elk numbers to go down some with the reintroduction of wolves, but I don’t believe in general the the declines are catastrophic, at least in places I am familiar with.

      • Dude, the bagman Says:

        IDhiker, do you work on the Krassel District? I was a seasonal employee there for several years. Most recently at Cold Meadows.

      • Dude, the bagman Says:

        You don’t have to answer that if you’d rather not, but howdy.

    • Ken Cole Says:

      You may be right but if it is much harder to kill wolves in response to livestock depredations then I think that ranchers might clamor to get back the control/management ability that they have now. Without the 10(j) then they wouldn’t be able to kill wolves as readily as they do now. They would find that simply unacceptable.

      How else would they respond? I know they would remain intransigent for a period but over time, barring delisting, I think that they might reconsider.

  8. jon Says:

    You know, I keep thinking to myself none of this stuff would be here today, the reintroduction, the listing of wolves as experimental, etc if the wolf haters that came before us did not decide to play god and kill off all of the wolves. We as humans should have no right to wipe other species out just because they may cause us an inconvenience. The wolf haters today brought this wolf reintroduction on themselves. If their forefathers did not wipe out wolves, this wolf reintroduction wouldn’t have been needed. Blame the wolf haters themselves for reintroducing wolves. It is their fault for wolves having to be reintroduced in the first place, not the feds or the environmentalists. That same wipe out all of the wolves attitude is still going on today and it’s very much alive. It’s really sickening and disgusting and you have to wonder if another wolf extermination is on the way in the near future. I am seeing more and more people on different hunting forums advocating sss and poisoning. It’s very saddening because after 80 years, there are some still stuck in their forefather’s old ways and attitudes when it comes to the wolf.

    • wolf moderate Says:

      Unfortunately, wolf advocates have made the debate on wolves toxic, Jon. Even liberal/progressive states including Colorado, Oregon, and Washington are fighting the wolves natural migration over their borders. The reason for this is the lack of compromise. Afterall, how are these states going to manage the wolf population if they are not allowed to be hunted? Due to the fragmented state of our wild places, interspersed with human populated areas and private property, all wildlife needs to be “managed”. If you want to appreciate an intact wilderness experience, you better develop a time machine or possiby head to Russia’s Kamchatka region. I’ve spent much time in Alaska and even much of “the last fronier” is pretty tame.

      • jon Says:

        That is the ranchers/hunters. Most people from those states are in favor of wolves. Hunters/ranchers are a small minority. Ofcourse both of these groups don’t want wolves back. That is no secret. Are we going to listen to what the majority want or what 2 small special interest groups want? Majority wins.

      • jon Says:

        And wolves die from other reasons. Hunting is not the only thing that kills wolves.

      • jon Says:

        No, it’s the wolfhaters that have. We all know the deep hatred that wolf haters have for the wolf. remember, if the wolf haters didn’t wipe wolves out in the first place, there wouldn’t have been a need for a wolf reintroduction. The wolf reintroduction was a consequence of the past wolf hater’s actions.

      • Daniel Berg Says:

        I’ve heard the fishing is pretty good over on the Kamchatka peninsula.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Yeah. I want to go there bad! Really expensive though…

      • jon Says:

        I would love to go to Siberia and witness this supposed 400 strong wolf pack.🙂 I’m sure the people who believe that there is a pack of 400 wolves also believe that big foot and aliens exist as well.🙂

      • Kayla Says:

        Wolf Moderate, am seeing the same thing. How much is the big wilderness areas here in the NorthernRockies where lots of the wolves are like in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem just an island of wilderness in an overpopulated and overcivilized world. I personally think that the wolves will have to be eventuallu managed to some degree. Since there is no compromise willing to be done on the issue. Then just sit back and watch as the sparkes continue to fly on this issue. In My Opinion.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        Kayla has the right idea.

        There needs to be wolf management, but that word can mean so many different things.

        Wolf moderate, you’re new here so you might not be aware of the many discussions we had of wolf management.

        To the anti-wolf folks the word seems to mean killing wolves and nothing else. I think wolf management should be like the management of other kinds of wildlife — a variety of things.

        And we should realize that wolf management inside a national park would by its nature be different than outside. Even outside, wolf management in the forest might be different than in open grassland. Wolf management might be different where deer are the primary prey rather than elk, etc.

        Wolf management also involves influencing the behavior of people through education.

      • davej Says:

        Wolf Moderate,

        What do mean Colorado is fighting natural migration? Colorado has a management plan in place that specifically accomodates any wolves that wander into the state.

      • mikarooni Says:

        Yeah, davej, I’m still pondering his “wolf advocates have made the debate on wolves toxic” comment. That really doesn’t sound like a “wolf moderate” kind of opinion to me.

    • Salle Says:

      19th century mentality in the 21st century.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        It seems to me that when the 21st century arrived we regressed in time rather than moved forward.

        Ideas like social Darwinism, long discredited and dead, came back.

  9. jon Says:

    Sean Stevens from Oregon Wild said it best, “canadian wolves” is a code for wolves that don’t belong here by people who think they don’t belong here.

  10. Salle Says:

    Afterall, how are these states going to manage the wolf population if they are not allowed to be hunted?

    Let’s see… a little deconstruction of a narrative seems to be in order here.

    The above quote calls for evaluation of its underlying rationale. I’m going to insert, following the key terms, translation in real terms as defined in multiple arguments made using these same terms…

    “Afterall [sic], how are these states going to manage (kill) the wolf population if they are not allowed to be hunted (killed by the citizens who want to kill them)?”

    It appears that what all this festered argument is about is killing wolves… for whatever reasons, some think they need to be killed. It has been widely accepted that the term “manage” = “kill”. The term “hunting” always means “kill”.

    Biologically, wolves require no management as they are self-regulating based on available prey (multiple studies have shown evidence that this is so). When prey levels drop, the predator numbers follow, happens in nature all the time. But then, humans – especially American humans – feel they have some divine right to determine what is best for the natural world as we cloud our reasoning with “The Dream” based on destruction of most things natural (with the exception of what we determine to be “useful” to us in obtaining the seemingly tangible benefits of nature through exploitation or fashionable selection of properties of the concept of “natural” qualities of some selected resource or activity which ultimately results in the destruction of that natural thing.) It’s fascinating how convoluted this argument gets but my point being, the term “management” is used just like the term “Canadian wolf” is used for the sake of illuminating “otherness” of that which some feel is not belonging.

    So, your ancestors didn’t “belong” here either… are you willing to go back to where they came from based on that rationale? it was only by their definition of belonging that they decided to come and stay here, which is too bad in the long term – it didn’t take them long to trash the continent and other continents in pursuit of a “dream”. So is that right or justifiable? Think before responding…

    • wolf moderate Says:

      You forgot “harvest”. Instead of hunters “killing” wolves in order to manage the population, lets continue to spend millions to let WS do it instead…and ya wonder why there’s no money for education. Perhaps this is the reason I can’t spell. I hope you enjoyed proof reading my post and fixing the errors.

      Shoot, I forgot, I said I’m not speaking to you anymore. You are way too extreme.
      GL

      • Salle Says:

        I wasn’t proofreading, just adding a notation that I didn’t miss the space bar while typing, it’s what you actually entered.

        You’re correct though, “harvest” is another term for killing.

        I don’t wonder why there’s no funding for education… it’s pretty obvious.

        WS should be abolished as their mission is in direct violation of the ESA

        Sec2 (c) POLICY.–(1) It is further declared to be the policy of Congress that all Federal departments and agencies shall seek to conserve endangered species and threatened species and shall utilize their authorities in furtherance of the purposes of the ACT.”

        Shoot, I forgot, I said I’m not speaking to you anymore. You are way too extreme.
        LMAO, ;~}

      • jon Says:

        Wolf moderate, you are aware that wolves die from other reasons besides hunters killing them right? Not every wolf out there is just going to live outs its full life if they are not hunted. Some die from disease, being killed by other wolves, etc.

      • jon Says:

        i don’t like the word harvest being used. A hunter that kills a wolf is a killer plain and simple.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Since you were cordial, I’ll respond. Plus I liked your smiley face thingy…

        manage” = “kill”. The term “hunting” always means “kill”.
        Yes, when people hunt, they generally must kill. I thought that was obvious.

        Manage=gray area. There are many methods to “control” or “manage” animals. Hunting, thus killing/harvesting is one of the most cost effective methods. But also many other methods of “managing” animals that do not end in death. Here are a few: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/mammals/wolfman/altmeth.htm

        “Biologically, wolves require no management as they are self-regulating based on available prey (multiple studies have shown evidence that this is so). When prey levels drop, the predator numbers follow, happens in nature all the time”.

        I understand the that wolves are capable of self regulation if given time. Unfortunately, many people in the west (everywhere) make there living from natural resources. If wolves are allowed to self-regulate, the game populations will be in constant flux, leaving individuals that depend on game animals for substinence or revenue (guides/outfitters) never knowing what the next year will bring.

        Why not set a level at which the wolves (or any animal for that matter) shall be maintained at? Be it 500 wolves, 1000 wolves or 5 million. Then keep them at that level so there is 1) no danger of the species going extinct or becoming endangerer 2) People that depend on the “resource” can make a somewhat reliable living.

      • Immer Treue Says:

        Wolf Moderate,

        Whether you are correct, wrong or a little of both about wolf “management”, this is the statement that drives me utterly nuts, “and ya wonder why there’s no money for education.” Now we can blame this on the wolves. I’ve read this little tidbit before. How about before the wolves were introduced/migrated. The money was spent on coyotes and grizzly bears. States and the feds find many inventive ways to waste our money, and they have done it long before wolves returned. It’s just plain lame to hang this on wolves.

        I don’t know if Minnesota still does it, but at least for a while through the IWC a curriculum was put together for schools that included the basics about wolves, fact and fantasy. It explored the social and biological issues of wolves, including the effect on all stake holders in terms of wolves in MN, and included NRM states. It was fairly comprehensive stuff. Perhaps the NRM states would be better served rather than finding every reason imaginable and unimaginable to complain about wolves, and follow Minnesota’s lead on this and work toward consensus rather than controversy.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Immer,

        Good point, I didn’t make mine well at all. However, I was speaking in generalities, not just wolves. When something (wolf “management” in this instance) can be done cheaper, yet do to political wrangling is done at considerable more costs through WS (in this instance), then we lose that money that could’ve been better spent on education (in my example), better wolf habitat (?), foreign aid to Egypt, or pretty much anything. Hunters would pay money to hunt them, instead we pay some federal hunter to do it and give him/her health insurance, retirement, car allowance, etc… I camped for a few weeks next to a WS agent. Sick benefits…

      • Salle Says:

        Perhaps the NRM states would be better served rather than finding every reason imaginable and unimaginable to complain about wolves, and follow Minnesota’s lead on this and work toward consensus rather than controversy.

        I’m sorry but… are you kidding? Idaho’s stance on wolves, for one, is that they were foisted upon them without asking and must be removed ~ the official claim of the state.

        Second, in Idaho, for instance, education is the bane of the ruling class. It’s the first place that funding cuts take place, long before any other funding is considered.

        And these folks don’t want their kids to know anything that contradicts what they are ranting about, defeats their authority with their kids, no matter how stupid they may be.

        In Idaho, the governing bodies are all about maintaining what they see as manifest destiny and the right to pursue it to the living end of all things they deem inferior for their use… or anything that would keep them from getting there. Education is definitely not in their best interests and everyone should be contributing their share in the public trust to assist them in doing so because, after all, they are chosen by god. don’t you know… ;~}

      • Jerry Black Says:

        I like this idea of the wolf ecology program being sponsored by Wisconsin DNR. This idea was brought up to MFWP at a panel discussion and they were not interested in “education”.
        http://www.wbay.com/Global/story.asp?S=13917388

    • Immer Treue Says:

      Wolf Moderate,
      I agree. Hopefully some fair way to do “this” will come about in the not too distant future, then all this insanity might begin to find a pathway to conclusion. It is the long term survival for wolves as a species in the lower 48 that could serve as a model/example for the other countries of the world that harbor wolves.

      As an aside, it is refreshing to be able to disagree with someone, and not have it degrade to the point of the forum turning into the modern form of graffiti on the rest room wall.

      • jon Says:

        IT, wolves were wiped out before by the same people you see today with the same attitudes towards wolves. We must make sure wolves don’t go through this again. They deserve a rightful place on this earth despite what any rancher or hunter says.

        “If the wolf is to survive, the wolf haters must be outnumbered. They must be outshouted, out financed, and out voted. Their narrow and biased attitude must be outweighed by an attitude based on an understanding of natural processes.” -L. David Mech

        “The wolf is neither man’s competitor nor his enemy. He is a fellow creature with whom the earth must be shared.” -L. David Mech

      • jon Says:

        Here is another fanrtastic quote.

        “We humans fear the beast within the wolf because we do not understand the beast within ourselves” -Gerald Hausman

      • Immer Treue Says:

        jon,

        You will get absolutely no argument from me on your points. That being said, I’m sure you’re aware of the slam fests occurring on the news blogs. I’m not sure how the numbers work out, pro and con, but I fear the ones most heard are the loud and stupid.

        Your two quotes by Mech are quotes I have read before, and I wholeheartedly agree with them. However, Mech has also said,

        “I fear general public attitudes are reverting toward the negative…. This change was recently documented in an analysis of media pieces about wolves.”

        A Mech quote that the anti-wolfers like to use. However, they will avoid like the plague the two that you used.

        It’s one of the reasons I will still occasionally foray onto some of those sites, say my peace, try to back it up with fact or sound philosophy, avoid name calling, and get out. Interesting, but I have found part of one of my posts here quoted by one of the anti-wolfers on another site. Oh for the love of copy and paste. Perhaps it’s not Big Brother, but I would assume that everything that is posted here is viewed elsewhere.

      • jon Says:

        IT, the problem today is some people look at some animal species as a species and not individuals. Each animal is its own individual and that is something some ignore on purpose to justify their killing of a certain species. I think rather looking at a species as a species, we should look at them as individuals. Animals like Romeo (the black wolf illegally killed in Alaska), elsa the lion of Joy and George Adamson, christian the lion, etc shows that not all animals are the same and some have different personalities. Most people who love animals know this, but the people who kill animals don’t care about this.

      • JB Says:

        Immer Treue:

        Can you provide the source for the following quote:

        “I fear general public attitudes are reverting toward the negative…. This change was recently documented in an analysis of media pieces about wolves.”

        Is it available online?

      • jon Says:

        Hope you don’t mind me posting it it.

        Here ya go JB.

        http://www.wolf.org/wolves/news/live_news_detail.asp?id=5896

      • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Says:

        jon –
        It is important that society, as well as individuals, that considers wildlife at the population, or species level – appropriately. You do a fine job of articulating your personal preferences and values. The challenges of wildlife resource management will always be, must be centered at the population/species level because that is the most relevant perspective for human society. Of course hunting and other valid management of wildlife among the mix of social resource uses and values includes the death of individuals, just as it occurs between other species in the ecosystem we live together in. Recognizing that we are a part of the same ecosystem, playing our own role interacting with other species, albeit in a dominant role, provides a broader and more relevant perspective to work through these management challeges. Appreciation of individual animals is certainly an appropriate personal value that most of us share in different ways.

      • JB Says:

        Thank you, Jon.

    • wolf moderate Says:

      How far back should I return to? I’m part native american(even though they are an invasive species also), does that make it OK for me to stay here in good ol’ america? Should I go back to Europe where part of me came from? How about Africa? Afterall, you anthropologists say that’s where we evolved from?

      So where do I belong? Perhaps back to a single-celled organism? I’m so confused.
      http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100513-science-evolution-darwin-single-ancestor/

  11. Kayla Says:

    Personally am seeing as if all this continued wolf discussion as maybe being bad for the environmentalist community. At some point do think that both sides are gonna have to sit down and talk things over at the same table. This constant bickering does not do any good in my opinion. I do think rather people will like it or not, that the wolves will one day at sometime probably have to be managed to some degree. But do think that nothing will be done on the issue anytime – anytime soon whatsoever. So I say sit back and watch the show and see the sparks continue to fly in which they will with no doubt about it. And more I watch the sparks fly and how we Humans are such out of balance and harmony with everything, YES one day soon we will probably be the endangered species with the way it is going. Have a Great Day Everyone!

    • Brian Ertz Says:

      At some point do think that both sides are gonna have to sit down and talk things over at the same table.

      this criticism is often made. in my view, it is misdirected too often at wolf advocates – who, to my knowledge, have never refused an opportunity to talk negotiation, and have ventured down that path on several occasions before and throughout this process.

      the question is – if you respectfully sit down to a table to talk about something that you care about, and one of the other parties tugging on the other end of the rope looks at you square in the eye and says, “we want all the control to execute the vast majority of what you care about and we don’t want there to be any accountability to the public or the law and we’re not willing to budge from that because we think that you’re afraid of the heat and malfeasance we’re willing to bring down” – are you still principally obliged to take to the table because folk falsely perceive that you never sat down ?

      from what i understand and in my opinion of that experience – most of those “discussions” have been a waste of time, and that fact could have been largely established in the vast majority of cases before ever sitting down.

      but wolf advocates have sat down anyway – every time – donating that time to the dump.

      some things are worth fighting for – others are not. wolf advocates can only do their part to keep their side of the street clean and in good faith … i can assure you that they have done exactly that. the question becomes – if a less adversarial resolution is not possible, are you willing to stand up and give what you value your best shot despite all the noise ?

    • JB Says:

      “I do think rather people will like it or not, that the wolves will one day at sometime probably have to be managed to some degree.”

      Brian’s comment notwithstanding, I would argue that wolves have been fairly heavily “managed” from even before reintroduction. In fact, wolves’ 10(j) designation under the ESA was part of the “compromise” that allowed for more management flexibility.

      To give you an idea of what I mean by management, reintroduced wolves have been: (1) collared and re-collared so that scientists can better understand their movement and factors that influence mortality risk; (2) moved to prevent conflicts with cattle (as an aside, FWS stopped moving wolves in 2001 claiming that all suitable habitat was occupied however, the population has more than tripled since then); and (3) killed when they kill sheep or cattle (in fact, 1196 of 2627 documented wolf mortalities 2000-2009 were lethal control actions).

      I would suggest that people who claim wolves need to be “managed” mean two things: (1) they are expressing a preference for management authority to be turned over to the states, and (2) they are expressing a preference for fewer wolves.

      As long as wolves are federally listed, the primary goal of management will be conservation (as defined by the ESA); however, states have made it clear that the intend to reduce wolf numbers substantially. It all comes down to who controls the goals of wolf management.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        “I would suggest that people who claim wolves need to be “managed” mean two things: (1) they are expressing a preference for management authority to be turned over to the states, and (2) they are expressing a preference for fewer wolves. ”

        1) Yes. 2) Not necessarily. The wolves should be “managed” by the state and delisted. Prior to delisting however, there should be an agreement, which includes minimum populations, excluded “harvest” methods, and anything else that the anti/pro wolves would like to add. These agreed upon stipulations should be federal law so that the states can’t renege down the line (not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV-not sure how this happens).

  12. Salle Says:

    At some point do think that both sides are gonna have to sit down and talk things over at the same table.

    Tried that for years, it only goes so far before someone comes up with another argument that is often a red herring that gets in the way. It often, but not always, comes from politicians who think they can get more contributions for re-election, they are often the ones who take the most unreasonable argument and play it for all it’s worth – to them. Think GOV/Sen/Sec of Interior Kempthorne for an example. Otter is his political progeny with input from former Sen. wide-stance Craig on behalf of their benefactors, ie. the Koch brothers’ mining interests and forest leveling projects, among other imperialistic endeavors of theirs.

  13. Christopher Harbin Says:

    Why is hunting and/or trapping the only way to “manage”? I am not against hunting (trapping I AM against), but I don’t know if I can accept the premise that animal populations need to be managed or can only be managed by hunting. Actually, I would think most animal species in this country, or any country, are not managed by humans at all.

    • Save bears Says:

      Chris,

      Most animals species in the US are managed in one way or another, from insects to big mammals, there is some agency involved in their management..

      • Salle Says:

        And usually the animals/lifeform ends up dead… from management.

      • Save bears Says:

        Salle,

        I didn’t way one way or another, but realizing that most species in this country are managed, would come as a surprise to many people.

        There are very few species, even worldwide that are not managed, whether good or bad, right now it is a fact.

      • Save bears Says:

        But, Whitetail deer and Elk are two species that management has benefited, most people don’t realize, that in the early part of the 1900’s Whitetails would have qualified for what we now call the Endangered Species Act and so would have Elk…those are two large species that have benefited from management. So is the American Bald Eagle, the Turkey..in truth many species have benefited from management..

      • Salle Says:

        Mmmm, yes management, the all time fix-all. And it all depends on…? those species were “managed” when the term meant preservation of the species, today we see it usually means killing a species, like wolves as the prime example.

        When the definition of management returns to the preservation of wolves, then will I accept it as a rational term for dealing with an endangered species. As for the present, at least for the NRM DPS, it usually means “kill ’em”. And the same goes for most other species that are “managed”, they usually wind up dead as a result of said management.

        But you are right, mos people don’t realize this.

        So, everybody should read “Wolfer, A Memoir for reference.

      • PointsWest Says:

        In a sense, nature will manage wildlife if we humans do not. The result is still the same: dead animals.

        When I was young, I was told that deer and elk would overpopulate and starve to death if they were not harvested by hunters (managed) and I was told that starvation was a terrible and agonizing way for deer and elk to die. I think it was the absolute truth at the time. Wehave an important preditor back and it is not quite so simple now. Obviously, wolves prevent deer and elk from overpopulating in some areas for certain periods of time. But even with wolves, if wolves, elk, and deer are not “managed,” I believe there will still be starvation and agonizing deaths. Wolves will overpopulate, elk populations will collapse. Wolves will starve to death, elk will recover and overpopulate to the point of starvation again. Wolves will recover, elk populations will collapse again. On the cycle will go. We are never going to have a stituation where wolves and deer and elk do not die or do not starve. It is not Disney Land out there.

        So saying that managing animals with hunting or with death is more cruel to animals and is somehow unethical when compared to allowing nature to run its course is very naive, even childish, in my opinion.

        Further, I believe if these animals are not managed, we will see deer and elk population collapse every decade or so and will see starving wolves move into populated areas to survive on domesticated animal and maybe even people in a few cases. Since this will never be allowed, the result will be the same…management. …management by killing. Grow up. Accept it.

        Do you seriously believe we can just let deer, elk, and wolves roam and breed wherever and however they want? I would like to hear someone describe exactly how that is going to work when we know there will be population explosions and population collapses of wolves, deer, and elk. We are seeing an elk collpase now just after a few years of wolves.

        So please, please some of you so loving to Mother Nature’s little creatures, please explain exactly how the wolf, deer, and elk populations are going to work without “management.” If managment is ended this year, what will all the wolves do when the elk populations have widely collpased? Where are these wolves going to go? What will they do for survival? Please explain in detail.

  14. Nancy Says:

    http://www.hcn.org/issues/42.8/one-way-to-save-the-wolf-hunt-it/article_view?b_start:int=0&-C=

    An article from last year (and may have been posted here when it first came out) but its still an interesting read and covers alot of conjecture, opinion and fact.

    I have to wonder what the impact would be on local economies if big game hunting was required to “skip” a year? Allow prey animals to take a breather.
    It’s obvious the reintroduction of wolves have had an impact on elk and deer populations but is it because “they are eating all the elk” or is because there are now two predators (human & wolf) moving them around?

    I’ve witnessed first hand what an outfitter can do to migrating elk in the fall when private lands become even more private (block management out because they get a much better percentage from a local outfitter)

    Or, could there be other factors in play here like traffic in areas some always preceived as “remote” but have had a sudden boom in development? (could not believe all the dead deer along a stretch of I-15 around Helena last time I was thru there)

    Can’t recall who posted awhile back about the amount of dead elk littering a stretch of highway (believe it was somewhere in Idaho?) but do those numbers get factored in? Do the near misses (a bumper crash and the animal crawls off to die later) get counted in?

    My road was paved a few years back and the amount of deer hit, doubled.

    Fact is, wolves may be having an impact on “our” prey but who’s doing the most damage when you look at the big picture?

    • Salle Says:

      It seems to me, at least, that the promotion of a wolf hunt is less about a management tool as it is an appeasement of those who want to get their jollies from killing something they hate. If they can’t kill it, they hate it even more. Since I don’t see that wolves require the management some find necessary, I don’t feel that any hunting is warranted. Leave the wildlife alone, stop killing them. We wouldn’t need the ESA if we could just do that and protect their habitat. But humans can’t do that, especially those American dreamers. Maybe the F&G guys see a wolf hunt as a human management tool, let them get their rocks off by killing a few and then they will be happy. But then, they weren’t satisfied even when they got to hunt them.

      • PointsWest Says:

        Salle…I will remind you again that by 1900, elk had been extripated in Arizona and New Mexico and it was hunters who broght them back from Yellowstone Park. Hunters then petitioned these state to “manage” these elk and it is the only reason there are elk in Arizona and New Mexico today.

        Hunters may have done the same with bison. The problem with bison is, however, is that large bions walk through barbed wire fences and are too destructive to ranchers and farmers.

        There are actually many more deer and elk in Arizona and New Mexico today than before European migration to the Americas. The reason is the many windmills and stock tanks provide surface water for deer and elk and vastly expanded their range. Elimination of wolves helped too.

        The days of non-management of game animals is long gone. I’m sorry.

    • Immer Treue Says:

      About a 150 mile stretch highway between Eau Claire Wisconsin was like that in the late nineties early 2000’s. It was a slaughter, dead deer all over the highway. Since the mid 2000’s the wolf population in that neck of the woods has gone up, and deer auto collisions have gone down( Source Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Deer Salvage Records), I would think that is good, but the mantra repeats from “some” hunters that the wolves are killing all the deer. Even when they help, the wolves can’t win.

      • Immer Treue Says:

        Between Eau Claire Wisconsin and Superior, Wisconsin next to Duluth,MN.

        Sorry.

      • jon Says:

        The funny thing about that IT is Wisconsin hunters, Minnesota hunters, and Michigan hunters all kill many more deer than the wolves in their states and they are acting like the wolves are the ones responsible for lower deer #s. I thought people wanted the deer population controlled? it seems to me that hunters do not like the idea of wolves eating elk or deer. It seems like they want to be the only ones that control or manage deer populations. Wolves kill year round compared to hunting seasons for hunters and hunters still bag more elk than wolves. Wolves are and will always be a scapegoat for hunters when it comes to deer #s being lower than usual.

      • SEAK Mossback Says:

        It’s funny, in my limited time in Wisconsin about 5 years ago visiting relatives (in wolf country around Siren), the hunters I talked to didn’t want to be effective in reducing deer. They were suspicious that the auto insurance companies were behind the much hated earn-a-buck program, whereby they had to kill a doe and take it to a check station before being issued a tag to kill a buck. I suspect like in many states, the hunters thought the more deer on the landscape the healthier the herd is, whereas the biologists had different ideas. They view removing does as subtracting all the buck fawns those does will ever deliver from future hunting opportunity.

  15. Nancy Says:

    +No one knows how to manage wolves better than Montanans, especially not the federal government+

    Wow! That kind of statement from a politician should put us all in our places, right?

    • Salle Says:

      I think that is the one statement I will ride in on a broomstick in my reply. I am working on that right now. It’s one statement the really gets me on a roll… not a good place to be if you’re the one who gets to see me roll. [)~(

      I decided I wasn’t going to automatically give this guy the benefit of any doubt when I was researching the YNP bison fiasco several years ago. He has never been in favor of wildlife for any reason other than bragging rights in DC and for shooting with his buddies and lobbyists.

      • Nancy Says:

        It was a really ignorant statement Salle but its also a reflection of the attitudes around a good part of the west, run and ruled, by rancher and hunter interests.

      • Salle Says:

        Yeah, I know. I live in the NRM DPS area and have for a couple decades, including several years before the reintroduction. Never cared much for Baucus and the more I have to deal with him, the less I like him. He’s just another of the good ol’ boys in that special landed gentry club, even though he married into it.

        I never expected much from him. It does annoy me that the only point he chose to focus on was the bull about his Bill when the majority of my concern at that discussion with his “listeners” was the threats to pro-wolf friends who had asked me if i had protection… since we’ve all had some serious threats made by opposing factions. He didn’t seem to give a shit about that part. I’m calling him out on that one along with the other point.

  16. Larry Zuckerman Says:

    Does anyone have a pdf or url for the latest Judge Molloy Opinion? I’m not from Missouri… but Show Me

    I am not about to trust the interpretations by the Lewiston Tribune and AP- Billings.

    • Salle Says:

      I think it hasn’t been published or whatever yet. Everyone is waiting for it as we write. Maybe tomorrow or soon?

      • Larry Zuckerman Says:

        My point – if the wolf afficinados don’t have the Molloy Order, makes you wonder how AP-Billings wrote about it. Perhaps the reporter from the Lewiston paper happened to be in Molloy’s Missoula courtroom on Friday – but AP’s story… hmmmm… might explain why Missoulian did not have their own reporters write a story of such local and regional interests.

      • Larry Zuckerman Says:

        here is a link that has the Judge’s ruling:http://www.kpax.com/files/Experimental_Wolves_Molloy_order.pdf

        People should read his ruling instead of just shooting from the hip. Judge Malloy has done something that many might be considered unusual or brand him as an “Activist Judge”. He has a case in front of him now that depends on the 10(j) status of the ID-WY-MT wolves in the reintroduction zone (not those from north of I-90 in Idaho and MT). Judge Malloy has turned the tables on the FWS, Dept of Justice and the States and has used their scientific data and claims against them. Malloy feels that since the Feds and states are claiming all this genetic flow between populations including wild wolves from Canada and Northern Idaho and Western MT, then an isolated non-essential, experimental population no longer exists. Thus, even though FWS has deferred reviewing the 10(j) status, the judge has taken the opinion that these wolves no longer meet the statutory requriements, therefore there are no 10(j) wolves here, and the pending case in front of him is moot, since it depends on 10(j) wolves for its arguments. Wow

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        Larry Zuckerman,

        Yes it was an activist kind of decision. The great irony is that Molloy’s earlier decision relisting the wolves because of Wyoming’s insufficient plan under the 10j rules was a very cautious (restrained) decision, yet the militant anti-wolf folks are calling it an activist decision.

        Well, they don’t what the debate over activism versus judicial restraint is really about or when to identify one kind of decision compared to the other.

      • WM Says:

        Larry,

        I tend to agree with you, regarding what Molloy’s order says. If you think about it, notwithstanding the sound logic behind it, it results in a non-sensical outcome.

        Because the wolves dispersed as expected and increased in numbers and genetic connectivity the very terms under which they were reintroduced (for flexible management) has likely been undercut by the working of the law.

        Yet one more reason for the states to be pissed off as this continues to unfold.

  17. Craig Says:

    jon Says:
    January 30, 2011 at 6:31 PM
    The funny thing about that IT is Wisconsin hunters, Minnesota hunters, and Michigan hunters all kill many more deer than the wolves in their states and they are acting like the wolves are the ones responsible for lower deer #s. I thought people wanted the deer population controlled? it seems to me that hunters do not like the idea of wolves eating elk or deer. It seems like they want to be the only ones that control or manage deer populations. Wolves kill year round compared to hunting seasons for hunters and hunters still bag more elk than wolves. Wolves are and will always be a scapegoat for hunters when it comes to deer #s being lower than usual.

    The funny thing is you are to ignorant to understand that Hunters take a limit for a time period. Wolves kill all year and if other factors limit Deer numbers in the spring or fall it effects the overall numbers alot more than just hunting. It’s sad to see someone post shit on here who is so ignorant to all the facts. You are just an Idiot who makes all pro wolf people look like nut job weirdos! You define nutcase and are nothing more than a hindrance to the cause they seek! You do 100% more harm than good with your posts and your pathetic ramblings of the same boring shit over and over!

    • Salle Says:

      Really? I thought he was making a valid point. Speak for yourself and not for me thank you very much. You can have your opinion and eat it too, just don’t claim to speak for me.

      • Craig Says:

        You are just as big a nutcase as he is!

      • mikarooni Says:

        Golly, Craig, I like jon’s and Salle’s comments …and the proper grammar would be “you are TOO ignorant to understand…” Do you see the difference between the “TO” that you incorrectly used and the “TOO” that is the correct word in this case? You have posted comments many times here and they’re almost always very much the same, not very much content but lots of “You are just an Idiot who makes all pro wolf people look like nut job weirdos!” sorts of stuff, over and over. You really should try other websites; you don’t belong here.

      • jon Says:

        Poor Craig, all he does is insult others. I’m sure your helping your cause Craig.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Micarooni and Salle,

        All these extremist environmentalists are also extremist grammarists! I guess it’s that they didn’t need to get a job perhaps, instead they just spent years in school so they could talk chit to the people that made it possible for them to get financial aid and there excellent schoolin’. You stereo type much? Yes I do lol!

      • mikarooni Says:

        You mean “grammarians” don’t you?

    • jon Says:

      Yes and HUNTERS STILL KILL MORE DEER THAN WOLVES in MI, MN, AND WI. You don’t believe me, look at the numbers.

      • PointsWest Says:

        …jon, I don’t really know so don’t pounce on me if I am wrong but aren’t wolves only in one small part of these states. Most deer killed by hunters in these states are probably whitetail deer found in farm coutnry were there are no wolves. So for any meaningful statistic in this context, you have need to look at the number of wolf kills vs hunter kills only in the hunting units where wolves exist. You cannot look at the entire state since wolves only frequent a small fraction of any of these states.

    • wolf moderate Says:

      Yes, grammarians! That is catchy. I had to “google” grammarian cuz I didn’t know what it meant. I wanted to use grammar nazi, but w/ the whole tea party movement and all the nazi stuff has run it’s course….grammarian!🙂

      For others who aren’t as well read as macaroni and salad er mikarooni and Salle
      http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Grammarians

  18. Immer Treue Says:

    Here is something else put out there by Mech. It would be interesting to see if “wolf hunters” prove him right.

    http://www.wolf.org/wolves/news/live_news_detail.asp?id=5894

    Mech is a pretty straight shooter, no pun intended.

    • Immer Treue Says:

      Effectiveness of Wolf Harvest

      Given these biological realities, managers are faced with developing harvest regulations that satisfy 2 opposing main requirements: 1) they be liberal enough to allow the public a reasonable chance of taking the desired number of wolves to meet harvest objectives, and 2) they be conservative enough to maximize public acceptance. It is not clear which of these requirements will be more easily met.

      And this I believe will be the sticking point. Its a pretty good piece by Mech.

    • SEAK Mossback Says:

      It’s interesting that he seems pretty skeptical that hunting will even be effective enough to “manage” wolves down to some target level, particularly once the novelty wears off and those who want them have got a wolf pelt. That’s pretty much the case in Alaska where even liberal trapping seasons and limits don’t seem to limit wolf numbers more than seasonally. Many traplines radiate out onto the Tanana Flats around Fairbanks and there is even an annual wolf trapping class:
      http://www.creativenonfiction.org/thejournal/articles/issue07/07simpson_killingwolves.htm
      Still, it’s one of the highest density areas for wolves in interior Alaska because there is lots of prey (moose) and where there is prey there are wolves . . .

      The Rockies may be a little different in that elk and deer hunters radiate into mountain ranges from all directions whereas young dispersing wolves radiate from all directions onto the Tanana Flats. But still, it seems that given time the enthusiasm of wolf hunters is likely to wane as Mech forecasts while the experience of hunted wolves increases.

      • PointsWest Says:

        It seems to be the great misconception by anti-hunters…that hunting is so easy and is so effective. I think the evidence is clear that there were still wolves in Idaho prior to the reintoductions. They were never “hunted out” after decades of trying.

        I was thinking the same…that the novelty of wolf hunting will wear off and wolf hunts will have little effect on population in many or most areas. Everyone was so worried anti-wolfers were going too illegally shoot-shovel-and-shutup on all the wolves but unless there was coordinated hunting, trapping, and poisnoning, the wolves are fairly safe in the many wildernesses of Idaho and Montana. I said it many times.

        I also think the first wolf hunting seasone was a turkey shoot for wolves near roads. They were habituated to roads and had nothing to fear from roads. Hunters driving to their favorite deer hunting area could spot a wolf from the road, pull over, and pick it off. After a few years of this, however, you will not see wolves near roads during hunting season.

        I could never understand what all the hunting fuss was about. I too doubt hunters can control their populations. Hunters will lose interest in them. They are not really good to eat. A wolf pelt is not much of a trophey, and wolves are smart and will never be easy for hunters to kill.

      • Ken Cole Says:

        Yes, there were wolves here at the time of the reintroduction but not enough to really be considered a population. It is possible, based on anecdotal evidence that there was a breeding pair in the Bear Valley/Sulphur Creek/Landmark area during the early 90’s, in fact I heard one there in ’92, but I think they were probably poisoned.

        The wolves reintroduced to Idaho were introduced as individuals rather than in packs as in Yellowstone. It became evident that there were two uncollared males, one in the White Cloud Pack and one in the upper Big Creek area of the MF Salmon that were here on their own. There was another male in the Kelly Creek area of the NF Clearwater that had a collar and came from NW Montana. Three males, and possibly a couple more undetected wolves, does not make a population.

      • jon Says:

        We must also make clear that those wolves were more than likely migratory gray wolves from Canada. The wolves that came before were wiped out (most biologists agree on this), so hunting was indeed effective as they used any means (poison, bounties, etc) they could to wipe out wolves. Means that can’t be used today.

      • PointsWest Says:

        jon…I *think* it took a lot more than hunting from regular deer and elk hunter to rid most of Idaho and Montana of wolves. It also took trapping and poisoning and maybe even bounty hunting. And even then, I always heard that there were still wolves in Chamberlain Basin. I heard this many times from men who hunted there in the 50’s and 60’s.

    • wolf moderate Says:

      Good info Immer.
      http://www.wolf.org/wolves/news/live_news_detail.asp?id=5894

      “Given these biological realities, managers are faced with developing harvest regulations that satisfy 2 opposing main requirements: 1) they be liberal enough to allow the public a reasonable chance of taking the desired number of wolves to meet harvest objectives, and 2) they be conservative enough to maximize public acceptance. It is not clear which of these requirements will be more easily met.”

      1) Wolves will not be considered trophies after a few years of hunting. Most do not like to kill canines (reminds of man’s best friend?), but in the interest of conserving and expanding games species, many would/will harvest/kill wolves. I was set to buy a wolf tag, so while hunting for elk and deer, if I saw a wolf I would “do my d in 2010 so I could do my part in managing the population of wolves. Most hunters will kill wolves incidentally while hunting deer/elk. Same w/ bears and cougars. I never go out hunting for bears, but always have a tag incase I see one and therefore can do my part in managing the numbers. Oregon doesn’t allow hound hunting.

      2) The public is open to wolf hunting IMO. They are not open to poisoning and gassing pups though. Once pets begin to die or someone is attacked and killed, however, there views will change. Aerial gunning will be accepted and bounties implemented. Not to remove all wolves, but just to manage the population.

      • Immer Treue Says:

        wolf moderate,

        I’m more of a fisherman than a hunter, and all the wolf experiences and observations I have made, some actually pretty close (20-50 yards 3 times), have all been incidental to something else I was doing. I have never seen a wolf when I went out with the soul purpose of seeing a wolf other than one night in Denali, watching a wolf eat a caribou it had killed earlier in the day.

        I think most wolf “harvesting” will occur incidentally to Elk/deer hunting. Wherever you find wolves, you will find their prey and vice versa.

        I think SSS would have little impact on the population as a whole. I think the bigger problem with any hunt is, which wolves get killed. If mature adults get killed
        before their young are competent hunters, will the younger wolves be more prone to find easier prey such as sheep and cattle? There’s a lot of stuff that needs be studied, and folks who will hunt wolves might need to be selective before they pull the trigger rather than target the first wolf they see.

        I believe that poisoning and killing pups would create such an uproar in the general public, to all but assure it would not happen. I also think that snaring would meet with enourmous outrage in the lower 48.

        Another problem with trigger itch, what happens when someones dog is “mistaken” for a wolf? I think we can rest assured that this will happen.

  19. wolf moderate Says:

    I think it goes w/o saying (well, I guess not), that due to the viral state of information and news that the “old” methods of controlling wolves will not be tolerated. The public will not sit idly by while people gas pups and poison wolves. The majority doesn’t mind hunting, trapping, and contraception as management tools though. It would be near impossible IMO, to hunt wolves to extinction if only hunting was the only tool to get it done. Throw in trapping and it becomes possible, but improbable. Basically, wolves will not be going extinct again.

  20. Doryfun Says:

    Now I remember why I had reervations about first offering comments to this blog – that restroom grafitti Immer True refered to, was always a big negative factor for me. Why comment on anything when things evolve off topic into personal attacks and name calling.? Not much incentive to want to join in a discussion to raise awarenes or debate important things with distractions undermining it all.
    As for harvest, killing, management, etc. I too am a bow hunter, appreciate individuals, populations dydnamics, pred –prey relationships, American Dream Falacies, Manifest Desiny, one sided history by the victor hiding evidence of the Americas Holocaust (larger than Hitlers) etc.etc. but unless you are a perfect saint , do not eat meat, or use any animal product whatsoever, that comes from a dead animal, why should your opinion count for much when it comes from a postion of not taking responsibilty for the blood spilling of that which you use?
    Without game management, yes, big game outfitters would be hard pressed to run a viable business. As an outfitter myself, though more of a helment head than a cowboy hat, I supported wolf reintroduction from day one. We were one of the first, if not the first, to offer educational trips about wolves, and still offer them, including visiting the WERC as part of our river program – (theme trip centered around wolf ecology).
    During the reintroduction era as part of my sell to some of the big game outfitters (though not very successfully) was that when wolves could be established and delisted, they could offer hunts for them. Maybe a hunter would pay as much for a wolf pelt as an elk rack?? If killing animals is part of your business, why discriminate on which kind, as long as all can be managed at a level above listing status?
    I love hunting, but don’t relish killing, and had to learn how to engage in it. It took a lot of soul searching and self talk about what my personal responsilities are. But I came to accept that the animal is gifting me with its life and its spirit lives on through me in its transformation from life to death and life again. We are all one.
    I agree with Points West, it isn’t “Disneyland” out there, and the “bambi complex” is just as real today as back my college days of the early 70’s in the wildlife field. Once spilled blood is red and the symbolic color of mother natures transformation between life and death. No animal escapes that, one way or another, we all are part of that circle.

    • Bob Says:

      Good conversation, one tidbit a trapper friend told me the other day is trappers figure only a 30% take on a wolf pack at most before rest of the pack wises up, those the curious young ones.

    • IDhiker Says:

      Doryfun,

      Any chance you work for Oars-Dories out of Lewiston? I rowed for them for 5 summers back when they were Grand Canyon/Northwest Dories.

  21. Craig Says:

    Jon you are doing nothing to help the cause, except make pro wolf people look like Peta extremists. Don’t really need to explain further, your comments speak of your ignorance!

    • mikarooni Says:

      Yep, a lot of ignorance going around on this website. Maybe you ought to try other websites, Craig.

  22. IDhiker Says:

    Dude,

    No, I don’t work for the Krassel District, although I’ve been to Cold Meadows many times. That’s an isolated part of the world. My trips into the Frank have been private ones, however, I have been a volunteer and contractor for the Heritage Program out of the McCall Office the past two years in Big Creek.


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