They don’t make ’em much crazier than this.

This one is from Utah

Department of Natural Resources Director Michael Styler told a legislative committee Tuesday that the return of the wolves is comparable to “the resurrection of the T. rex and turning him loose on the landscape.”

Natural Resources director compares wolf to ‘T. rex’ The Salt Lake Tribune.

– – – – –

2/10/2011. A reflection on this. Upon reading the account of Styler’s testimony, I have to wonder if he wasn’t really protesting the fact that he was politically forced to take the policy position he did. Sometimes people will protest their coerced speech by giving a speech so bizarre that you wonder if they are sane, or not being serious. I don’t know of this man, but reading his comments it came to me that it was like reading something in The Onion.  Ralph Maughan

Later. No thinking about it and reading about him, he was serious. RM

102 Responses to “They don’t make ’em much crazier than this.”

  1. Immer Treue Says:

    One has to appreciate an official (satire) who yells fire, in the theater.

    • Numufu Says:

      (Because you can’t reply 3 times on the same topic for some reason)

      “Please tell us how, or what about this species is invasive.”
      Once again, the species isn’t, it’s the subspecies.

      “It is the same wolf that inhabited the area before extermination.”
      No, it’s not actually. Talk to any 5th generation Montanan, Idahoan etc and they will tell you the same thing… the wolves now are nothing like the wolves that used to roam the plains back in the 1800s.

      “The whole subspecies thing is based on small sampling numbers of the supposed wolf subspecies C. irremotus, I believe by Goldberg in the 1930′s ,that were running around at the time, that is the few that had not already been killed by man.”
      Small samplings? Hunting of wolves became illegal in Yellowstone Park by 1883, and reports of Canis lupus irremotus inside the Park escalated by 1960.

      “All the misinformation about larger, more aggressive wolves, that are different colors and run in larger packs… is just that.”
      Just what? Misinformation? LOL..

      “Hunting records from the 2009, and the people who actually handled the wolves support this.”
      As do any credible wolf biologist. Ronald Nowak proposed that the wolf populations in the US may have been isolated by the Pleistocene glaciers and these populations might have expanded their ranges northward as the ice receded. Wolves that occurred south of the ice in what is now the eastern US might have given rise to the wolves found historically in that region and eastern Canada. Nowak notes that the most distinct differences between wolves that occupied the western part of the continent historically occurred along a line that, from the Pacific Ocean eastward to about the Great Lakes, closely corresponded to the Canada-US border. The wolves north of this line were distinctly larger than those south of it. This means that the differences seen today in wolves across North America are not just minor differences, but are the result of thousands of years of divergent evolution.

      • Save bears Says:

        Well as a former employee of Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, who has been involved in genetic studies of wolves and other species, I will take the science over the opinions of any number of generations of Montanans(My wife’s family homesteaded in Lincoln in the 1880’s) The genetic information, is simply not showing any difference..you might want to do some research instead of at the local pub..

        No, I am not a wolf groupie, I am simply a scientist that hates to see either side distort the facts of what is really going on..

      • Immer Treue Says:

        Again, if you were to look at the hunting records from both Idaho and Montana, the size of the wolves taken fall within the size range of what one expects for a grey wolf.

        Due to the fact that wolves are great travellers, your glacial information is not very conclusive based upon when the glaciers retreated, thousands of years ago, the existence of ice free corridors through northwestern Canada, and even your source, Nowak, stating wolf populations in the U.S. ++may++ have been isolated… This is just not a very convincing argument upon which to base your conclusion.

  2. skyrim Says:

    Man, that just highlights how far we have to go in this state. I’d like to know some of this guy’s (supposed) credentials…………..

  3. jdubya Says:

    Worst of all, his boss completely agrees….

    Utah is the most un-democratic state in the nation.

  4. Numufu Says:

    Funny because those commenting that disagree don’t understand the damage invasive species/subspecies can do. That’d be like reading an article about Asian Carp and going “This guy is a loon!” when it’s common sense that Asian Carp are a destructive subspecies ruining the Mississippi River/Great Lakes.

    • Salle Says:

      Apples and oranges there, sport. Wolves are NOT an invasive species, they were there before you and your kind… European stock invaders… so maybe you guys are the T Rex on the landscape. Apparently you don’t understand that people, especially those still living in the 1700s mentality, are the problem. Stop killing our wildlife and taking their homes from them. This is the mentality of morons, and it seems that our legislative bodies are packed full of these mental midgets of late. (me, me, me, everything for me and only me… the new American mantra for everything.)

      We have not only too many climate change deniers and holocaust deniers, we have too many wildlife are necessary – even if it’s not bambi – deniers. Get over it, you’re not all there is and all that matters.

      • skyrim Says:

        Thanks for pointing that out Salle. I think a basic understanding of the word “invasive” would be useful here, don’t you?

      • Numufu Says:

        As I’ve said to Jon, below:

        Actually, the term “invasive species” is defined as “animals, plants or other organisms introduced by man into places out of their natural range of distribution, where they become established and disperse, generating a negative impact on the local ecosystem and species.”

        I would love to argue the semantics of the word with you considering “invasive” is a man-made notion, but stick to the topic at hand. The subspecies introduced is invasive.

        You said: “Stop killing our wildlife and taking their homes from them.”
        OUR wildlife? Wildlife belongs to no one. Google “Public Trust Doctine”. I also suggest you Google P-R and D-J funds as the hunters are the ones giving back to the wildlife more than you. Oh, and PS, wolves have no concept of private property, so you can’t take something that no one owns.

    • jon Says:

      Numufu, don’t forget that us humans are an invasive species. Wolves were in North America WAY BEFORE humans ever were.

      • Numufu Says:

        Actually, the term “invasive species” is defined as “animals, plants or other organisms introduced by man into places out of their natural range of distribution, where they become established and disperse, generating a negative impact on the local ecosystem and species.”

        I would love to argue the semantics of the word with you considering “invasive” is a man-made notion, but stick to the topic at hand. The subspecies introduced is invasive.

      • Immer Treue Says:

        Numufu,

        We can go tit for tat on this. Please tell us how, or what about this species is invasive. It is the same wolf that inhabited the area before extermination. The whole subspecies thing is based on small sampling numbers of the supposed wolf subspecies C. irremotus, I believe by Goldberg in the 1930’s ,that were running around at the time, that is the few that had not already been killed by man. Another small sampling number was used for the supposed C. occidentalis.

        All the misinformation about larger, more aggressive wolves, that are different colors and run in larger packs… is just that. Hunting records from the 2009, and the people who actually handled the wolves support this. Some natural recolonization had occured both in Montana, and Idaho. Same wolves, same species.

        If you want to talk about an invasive species that has done nothing for the habitat, feel free to write about cattle and sheep, that have also brought disease, and spread it to native species.

      • Save bears Says:

        Numufu,

        There was no “introduction” there was a “re-introduction” of an indigenous species that historically inhabited these areas.

        This IS their natural range of distribution.

        There is no genetic differences recorded in the species that currently inhabits this range than the historic populations..

      • Save bears Says:

        Although I disagree with Jon on his assertion that humans are the invasive species, I will agree with IT, that Cattle and Sheep are non-native and invasive..

      • jon Says:

        Num, I don’t consider any gray wolf to be invasive. I really find it unbelievable that any human can call a wolf invasive when gray wolves were in North America much longer before any humans.

      • jon Says:

        And it is very hypocritical of those who will constantly claim that gray wolves are an invasive species while ignoring the fact that livestock is.

      • jon Says:

        Num, if humans reintroduced elk and moose in your state, would you consider them invasive species as well? I bet there wouldn’t be a peep out of you.

    • Salle Says:

      Okay, so show me some documentation about this sub species that invaded Utah, please.

      Actually, the term “invasive species” is defined as “animals, plants or other organisms introduced by man into places out of their natural range of distribution, where they become established and disperse, generating a negative impact on the local ecosystem and species.’

      And please show me documentation that proves that wolves were reintroduced outside of their natural range of distribution, where they become established and disperse, generating a negative impact on the local ecosystem and species.

      These claims are myths that have been over-used that they have a rind on them. If you can get your mind out of your ideology and look at peer reviewed scientific studies, if you can, and realize that rhetoric is not yet an automatic stand-in for actual peer reviewed study and empirical observation made by knowledgeable researchers. Emotion does not equate to fact.

      By the way, most state and federal statutes refer to wildlife as belonging to the public… that would include those of us who prefer to not have our wildlife exterminated by the ranchers’ hit squad at our (taxpayer) expense.

  5. jon Says:

    I’m speechless.

    • Numufu Says:

      (Because I can’t respond to you on my topic for some reason)

      “Num, I don’t consider any gray wolf to be invasive. I really find it unbelievable that any human can call a wolf invasive when gray wolves were in North America much longer before any humans.”
      For the last time, I’m referring to SUBSPECIES, not SPECIES. Canis lupus occidentalis is invasive in that humans introduced them to an ecosystem they were not meant for.

      “And it is very hypocritical of those who will constantly claim that gray wolves are an invasive species while ignoring the fact that livestock is.”
      I never said livestock wasn’t invasive. Yet you continually try to turn the subject around (Red Herring Fallacy). Stick to the topic.

      “Num, if humans reintroduced elk and moose in your state, would you consider them invasive species as well? I bet there wouldn’t be a peep out of you.”
      Moose aren’t native to my state (historically speaking) so yes, they would be an invasive species. Elk are native, so no, I wouldn’t care. However, I would be interested to read the EIS to understand why they would want to plant them here when my state is currently overrun with enough deer as it is.

  6. william huard Says:

    They can’t help it- stupidity is in their DNA

  7. Kropotkin Man Says:

    I love T-Rex, who could forget: Get It On (Bang A Gong).

  8. Save bears Says:

    I am not surprised at all, we are coming up on an election year and the politicians are going to use the biggest hot button they can to get re-elected or elected. This is just politics 101, find the biggest hot buttons and keep pushing them.

    • Daniel Berg Says:

      Isn’t it not interesting that they could find no defects in the Toyota vehicles that could have caused stuck pedals/uncontrolled acceleration? After hundreds of people swore that they were victims of this malfunction.

      After all the uproar, indignation, news-stories, calls for investigantions, recalls, investigations, etc……..

      This Toyota issue has made me think of all the similarities with other issues out there today and how easily some people can be whipped up into a fervor and how that is exploited by the media and politicians.

      • Nancy Says:

        I have a 97 Toyota 4Runner (yes one of those dreaded, gas guzzling SUV’s) but in my line of work, I have to be able to get around in areas that may or may not be plowed and thats the case, 5 to 6 months out of the year in my neck fo the woods.

        Thought I had a braking problem the first time I pulled out of the “carport” in it, tried to stop and the brakes didn’t work and then I realized Hello? Its 20 below zero, there’s probably not much of anything working well other than the engine, when its that cold. I didn’t get hysterical (and its happened a few times since at 20 below!) but I can see how some might jump to conclusions, not to mention hysteria, after a few crashes (thankfully my driveway is rather long, could coast to a stop while trying to relate to the problem) that might of had to do with floormats, sticky pedals and that soon bloomed into a lawyer’s wet dream?

        The car industry has a history of malfunctions that have lead to deaths (Ford Pinto comes to mind) Google “fire under the hood” and a host of recalls pop up from a variety of car manufactors over the years.

        Competition might be what “drives” alot of industries to be the best but it may also lead to the type of hysteria associated with the host of problems Toyota’s had to deal with, especially when it came to the “guilty before proven innocent” verdict that seem to be so prevalent anymore in our society, that got rained down on them.

      • Virginia Says:

        I usually don’t like to comment on issues that are not wildlife related, but does anyone think there is a possibility that Toyota was singled out because it is a “foreign” company? No, I am sure that wasn’t the case, since GM was loaned a lot of money to bring itself back from the dead – and that was during the time frame in which Toyota was demonized. Just a further comment – we have owned six Toyotas and have never had any problems with any of them – best car I have ever driven. Also, most of them came from Kentucky plants.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Virginia,

        I had the same exact thoughts in regards to the Toyota/GM situation. I then remembered that Faux News says we have a “foreign leader”, so why not have “foreign” cars? ;*)

    • jdubya Says:

      We are? They just got elected 3 months ago….Besides Styler is appointed, not elected.

      • Save bears Says:

        jdubya,

        I am not surprised, who appoints these people? The elected people, 3 months ago, yup, the next election cycle is already started, heck most of the news stations are talking about who is going to be running in the 2012 cycle and we already have sitting elected officials declaring for their next run, you have to remember the reality is, the next election cycle starts on Wed, the day after they were elected….so yes,

        We are…

      • Save bears Says:

        You have to realize, that politics are nothing more than perpetual prostitution ring, They party on Tuesday, and Wake up Wed with their advisers in their face, saying, ok, you did good, now here is what you need to do to get elected AGAIN!

        The first 4 years of a Presidential Seat is figuring out how to get re-elected, the second 4 years is figuring out how to keep your party in power…

    • Numufu Says:

      (Because I can’t reply to you on my topic)

      “There was no ‘introduction’ there was a ‘re-introduction’ of an indigenous species that historically inhabited these areas.”
      Once again, we’re not talking about the species, we’re talking about the subspecies. The subspecies is not indigenous.

      “This IS their natural range of distribution.”
      The range for Canis lupus occidentalis is actually Alaska and western Canada, not the lower 48 states.

      “There is no genetic differences recorded in the species that currently inhabits this range than the historic populations..”
      Stop saying species. It’s SUBSPECIES. They’re both Gray wolves… however, two totally different subspecies — they are completely different. The original Yellowstone/Rockies population was Canis lupus irremotus which is now classified as Canis lupus nubilus. Canis lupus nubilus is distinct from Canis lupus occidentalis, which is found in Canada and Alaska as I’ve already stated. FWS avoided citing their own taxonomist’s (Ronald Nowak) work as evidence that they are two distinct subspecies. Doing so, FWS ignored the Endangered Species Act’s requirements that Distinct Population Segments, as well as subspecies, must be listed. Ronald spoke out against his own agency and said, “Every effort should be made to maintain its [the remaining population] purity and to avoid bringing in other wolves… In any case, the document [DEIS] improperly suggests that the original Yellowstone wolf is not substantially different from wolves that would be introduced. My own work indicates a subspecific distinction. There is a difference between that and other populations. Again, there is the misleading suggestion that the original Yellowstone wolf has affinity with the wolves that would be introduced, when in fact there is a pronounced subspecific distinction. It is wrong to state that the 1978 listing made subspecies irrelevant. A big part of the conservation of a full species is to ensure that its component subspecies and populations remain intact and in place, and that over-all diversity and evolutionary potential are maintained.”

      • Save bears Says:

        Well as a biologist, that has actually done some of the testing and worked on the studies, I am going to have to respectfully disagree..

      • Save bears Says:

        And No, I won’t stop saying Species, as there is no genetic differences being exhibited..if you have some credible information to bring to light, please present it..point me in the right direction and I will read it and evaluate as it should be..your claims are not anything, they are simply claims and your 5 generations statement, lends no strength to your argument.

      • Salle Says:

        My own work indicates a subspecific distinction. There is a difference between that and other populations. Again, there is the misleading suggestion that the original Yellowstone wolf has affinity with the wolves that would be introduced, when in fact there is a pronounced subspecific distinction.

        I’m trying to see what part of this statement is sensible… your own work… citation, please. What kind of work is/was that? Using what methodology and what was the hypothesis and just what were the actual results?

        Your comments are mere speculation without any backing, yet you address others in a condescending manner ~ doesn’t make you more credible just because you say so.

        Citations supporting your claims, please.

    • Numufu Says:

      “Well as a former employee of Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, who has been involved in genetic studies of wolves and other species, I will take the science over the opinions of any number of generations of Montanans(My wife’s family homesteaded in Lincoln in the 1880′s) The genetic information, is simply not showing any difference..you might want to do some research instead of at the local pub”
      That’s hilarious considering you have nothing to compare the DNA with. The native wolf has either been eradicated or been completely bred out by the new invasive subspecies. Therefore, your point holds no water.

      PS. Research at the local pub? LOL. My research is what Ronald Nowak does for a living. Nice try, though..

      • Save bears Says:

        I guess my comment about the local pub, was just about as well accepted as your comments about half a brain…tit for tat..

        By the way, I am not a pro or anti wolf person, I work on science and could care less where that science leads me, there are quite a number of people on this blog that strongly disagree with me as well as I have had threats of being banned quite a few times from this blog.

        There is still DNA material that has been tested from samples found in different areas of the NRM region that shows, virtually no differences in the current species and the historical species.

        Of course we can continue on this my biologist is better than your biologist theme, but it will accomplish nothing, it never has in the many times it has been discussed on this blog and I have no reason to believe it will…

      • jon Says:

        So you believe this gray wolf is an invasive species. What do you propose happen to these “invasive species of wolf” num??

      • Save bears Says:

        But Nowak’s holds water? and others that do the exact same thing for a living does not hold water, interesting.

        I would say that comes under the category of pick and choose those who support your particular position..unfortunately many do that

      • wolf moderate Says:

        It’s strange that when someone who appears to be knowledgable about wolves and can back it up with “facts” that the usual suspects do not chime in. I’m not a taxonomist so it’s above my “paygrade”, but I would think that some on here (Ken Cole, Micalooni, Sallie, etc) could refute these points. I look forward to reading more on these “new” ideas (to me) that Numufu has brought up…

        GL SB, this guy/girl seems to be very well educated on these matters🙂

      • Save bears Says:

        Wolf Moderate, it is not hard to become well educated with all of the varied information and studies floating around, you can find studies to back up virtually any point of view that you choose to support. Where the problem comes in, is if you choose to not research and read ALL of the studies available on both sides of an issue and then weigh all of the information.

        I can tell you for a fact, I can find studies that back up any point I wish to make, from very well respected and highly visible individuals..with a list of degree’s as long as your left leg, depending on who I choose to believe, I can support every single position, or refute every single position.

        The problem with most players in this situation is most of them also have other concerns…funding, favors and political alliances interferes far to much with pure science now a days.. Which is the reason I no longer work for an agency..

        I really don’t care what his position is, but I am very skeptical when it is based on one study or one biologist..

      • Save bears Says:

        By the way Wolf Moderate, he has presented no facts, he has simply presented information that supports his position..I have read the opinions of the person he is quoting, and happen to disagree with him..

      • wolf moderate Says:

        I feel this way in regards to global warming too. Anywho, it will be nice to see some other points of view from new sources. It gets old hearing the same stuff from the usual suspects. I always liked this quote a statistics professor always said…It can be said of biological studies too it sounds like. GL

        “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

        — Mark Twain

      • Save bears Says:

        I stay out of Global Warming Topics…

      • JB Says:

        Numufu writes: “I would love to argue the semantics of the word with you considering “invasive” is a man-made notion, but stick to the topic at hand. The subspecies introduced is invasive.”

        So if an invasive species is a “man-made notion” what is a “sub-species”? The reality is that taxonomists look at a continuum of physical and behavioral characteristics and then make decisions about where one species begins and another ends. In statistical parlance, they take what are often continuous data and use subjective criteria to arrive at nominal categories (Ta-da! A new sub-species). Then they spend years arguing about whose criteria and whose categories are most relevant. The bottom line: A sub-species is no less a “man-made notion” than an “invasive” species.

        “For the last time, I’m referring to SUBSPECIES, not SPECIES. Canis lupus occidentalis is invasive in that humans introduced them to an ecosystem they were not meant for.”

        Good grief. The undisputed fact is that the wolves that were reintroduced to YNP and central Idaho came a few hundred miles (as the crow flies) from their final destination–close enough that these wolves (or their descendants) could have, and likely would have eventually reached YNP and Idaho anyway (and they would have received the full protection of the ESA, as opposed to the 10(j) designation). It is also a fact that these RE-introduced animals were preying upon the very same species that they prey upon now (i.e., deer, elk, moose).

        Semantics, indeed.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        JB,

        I have to wonder what these people think is north of the Montana and Idaho border, but I’ve read of people from Sandpoint, ID (12 miles south of Canada) saying those wolves from Canada were different than the ones that were here.

        Is it a parochial mindset or simply repeating what they heard in the tavern?

      • JB Says:

        Ralph:

        This looks to me like someone found some legitimate science (Nowak is well-respected) that they could spin to suite their political agenda. A couple of these statements point to that conclusion. Specifically:

        “Ronald Nowak proposed that the wolf populations in the US may have been isolated by the Pleistocene glaciers and these populations might have expanded their ranges northward as the ice receded…The wolves north of this line were distinctly larger than those south of it. This means that the differences seen today in wolves across North America are not just minor differences, but are the result of thousands of years of divergent evolution.” (emphasis mine).

        Note how the post starts using vary appropriate “bounded” language, such as “Nowak proposed” and “populations might have”, but then makes a sharp turn in the conclusion: “This means that the differences seen today in wolves across North America are not just minor differences, but are the result of thousands of years of divergent evolution.” Huh?…what happened to “proposed”, “might”, and “maybe”?

        Having convinced his/herself that Nowak’s proposed differences were actual, meaningful differences, Numufu makes the cognitive leap from “might have been” to “is” and then runs right on to what “should be”:

        “Canis lupus occidentalis is invasive in that humans introduced them to an ecosystem they were not meant for.” (emphasis mine)

        Not meant for? Really? You mean that ecosystem that lies a few hundred miles to the South, is comprised of roughly the same set of species, and (assuming the theory is correct) was still contiguous gray wolf habitat for more than 10,000 years?

      • SAP Says:

        Ralph, Sand Point is about 50 straight line miles south of Canada, but your point is still a good one. There is no barrier (a canyon, an ocean, a Great Wall, an-impassable-to-the-taxa-in-question mountain range) along the 49th parallel.

      • JEFF E Says:

        IDFG has a wolf pelt of a wolf killed in Bear Valley in I believe 1986. I wonder if a DNA Analysis could be done on it?

      • Immer Treue Says:

        JB,

        This Numufu was posting all over. I replied to his glacial…

        Due to the fact that wolves are great travellers, your glacial information is not very conclusive based upon when the glaciers retreated, thousands of years ago, the existence of ice free corridors through northwestern Canada, and even your source, Nowak, stating wolf populations in the U.S. ++may++ have been isolated… This is just not a very convincing argument upon which to base your conclusion.

      • JEFF E Says:

        From Hinton Alberta on the Athabasca river, which is the area where most of the wolves were trapped, and coincidentally the Northern boundary of Young and Goldman’s Irremotus sub-species designation, it ~600 miles to Yellowstone, far less to Central Idaho. A week or so ramble for a dispersing wolf(ves).
        Also Goldman stated the obvious that there was no doubt that the wolves along the boundry regularly intergrade.

      • jon Says:

        http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2010/feb/17/actual-wolf-weights-often-skimpier-than-hunters/

        “Hayden said the most authoritative research on wolf subspecies comes from a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service zoologist, Ronald Nowak, who studied 580 historic skulls of full-grown male wolves. Nowak concluded that North America had five subspecies of gray wolves. Two subspecies had historic ranges in Idaho – the Rocky Mountain wolf and the Great Plains wolf.

        The Rocky Mountain subspecies outweighed the Great Plains wolf by about 20 pounds, Hayden said. But their ranges overlapped in the Idaho Panhandle, according to Nowak’s research.”

        “Realistically, there’s no difference between the subspecies. They interbreed,” Hayden said.

        In addition, “we’ve got wolves that are walking here from Canada,” he said. “They’re the same species that would have been here in the past.”

        The rocky mountain wolves Nowak is talking about are gray wolves from Canada. They are also known as canis lupis occidentalis.

      • jon Says:

        The great plains wolves are called canis lupis nubilus. Some believe they are the same wolf as canis lupis irremotus which some believe was the “native” wolf that used to be in Idaho before they were wiped out. The weight ranges for canis lupis nubilus is anywhere from 60 pounds to 110 pounds putting it around the same weight range as canis lupus occidentalis aka the rocky mountain wolf or as some call them the canadian gray wolf.

      • jon Says:

        Here is a very good article to read.

        http://www.cosmosmith.com/great_plains_wolves.asp

        I believe this wolf canis lupis nubilus was the native wolf that some talk about. They had the widest range of any wolf subspecies in North America before they were wiped out in most places. They were also called buffalo wolves because they apparently killed buffalo.

      • jon Says:

        According to Ed Bangs, the “native” wolf that some claim was much smaller than the reintroduced gray wolves were never really weighed when they were being killed off. I’m sure all of these people who were responsible for killing all of the wolves didn’t really care about weighing the wolves as long as they were dead. Dave Mech has also said there are very few good records left of the “native” wolves that lived in Idaho.

      • SAP Says:

        Numufu – if you’re still around, can you clarify this for me?

        “Small samplings? Hunting of wolves became illegal in Yellowstone Park by 1883, and reports of Canis lupus irremotus inside the Park escalated by 1960.”

        I have found references to Yellowstone protecting bears in the 1880s. I have never heard that Yellowstone protected wolves until long after they were presumed extirpated.

        Consult Schullery and Whittlesey, 1999, “Greater Yellowstone Carnivores: A History of Changing Attitudes,” Chapter 2 in Carnivores in Ecosystems: The Yellowstone Experience, ed. TW Clark et al., Yale Press.

        Schullery & Whittlesey have a table on p26 that states that 136 wolves were killed in YNP between 1904-35.

        They also mention that the first acting superintendent banned predator hunting by the public because “the free use of firearms and traps in the park would cause more harm to the preferred and protected game animals than the harm those animals might receive” from predators (p24).

  9. Steve C Says:

    Ill be he has been to the creationism museum.

  10. JB Says:

    jdubya’s point deserves some further discussion. The Director in Utah is a political appointee. Similarly, wildlife commissions/boards are (usually) political appointees, although their composition is often determined by statutes that specify they should be composed of X number of sportsmen and/or Y number of people who earn their living from agriculture. The decision-making of such political bodies is, of course, biased both by their composition and by the party affiliation of those that appointed them.

    Of course, government agencies need people to make the tough decisions. However, I would like to see policy making bodies that are more representative of states’ citizens as well as the removal of statutorily-defined composition requirements for boards/commissions. Such changes would help move agencies toward a more “balanced” approach to wildlife management.

    • Save bears Says:

      JB,

      You know as well as I do, what we would like to see as opposed to what we actually see, is entirely different..

      • Numufu Says:

        “Well as a biologist, that has actually done some of the testing and worked on the studies, I am going to have to respectfully disagree..”
        If you were a biologist that actually did “testing” you would know and wouldn’t be lying through your teeth.

        “And No, I won’t stop saying Species, as there is no genetic differences being exhibited..if you have some credible information to bring to light, please present it”
        ROFL. Ronald Nowak is a renowned canid taxonomist. I suggest you read what I wrote to Immer Truer up top. Anyone with half a brain would realize that subspecies are DISTINCT in their own ways, morphologically and ecologically. That’d be like placing the Mexican wolf in the Arctic and expecting it to fill the same niche.

      • jon Says:

        Num, you said subspecies are distinct in their own ways. Can you please be specific? Dave Mech has said in the past that all gray wolves are the same behavior wise. What would he know about wolves thought right.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      Actually these guys are not crazy. This has become a thought out effort by the Republican Party to divert attention from what they are doing to the schools, jobs, and a host of other things.

      • Immer Treue Says:

        Look what is happening to schools. We are entering the era of the industrio-complex way of educating children. Very little teach them how to think, but lock-step, do this today do that tomorrow in the name of the new educational god, standardized test scores.

        Think of organizations like ACT and how they are getting their mitts into testing middle school kids, so that if they perform poorly, mediation can be thrust upon them so they might be able to perform better on the ACT in HS. It’s all about the test, which then becomes a real estate barometer. Test scores up, must be a good school district… The cycle continues and wealthy districts continue to get good test scores, and poor districts…. The Republicans/Conservatives are happy with this.

        Folks, if ACT goes public, invest!

    • Elk275 Says:

      State fish and game commissions are but one of many state boards and commissions. Should this apply to all boards and commissions? I really could careless about who is on the state board of morticians.

      • JB Says:

        Elk:

        In my estimation, the fact that state F&G commissions/boards make policy decisions about a resources that belongs to all of the states’ citizens demands a representative decision making body. Of course, there are lots of state commissions/boards that don’t make decisions about public trust resources.

        – – – – – –

        SB:

        I am certainly aware of the difference between what is and what I would like to be. The first step in rectifying the difference is to make people aware of the problem–or I could just shut up and accept the status quo, but that would just make me part of the problem.

      • Elk275 Says:

        I have thought that electing the commission should be representative of the people’s wishes. The state’s public service commission is elected so why not the fish and game commissioner’s? Just a thought. What is your thinking about that?

      • Dude, the bagman Says:

        “I really could careless about who is on the state board of morticians.”

        I agree, but I think that factor could become just as problematic as the current system if we start electing our wildlife managers.

        Right now, these people are appointed by politicians who were democratically elected. Theoretically appointees will reflect the values of those who appoint them. If they’re doing a crappy job, they can be removed.

        Whereas if you hold elections for the state board of morticians and other largely obscure administrative positions, the only people who will be informed voters are interest groups and commercial insiders with an axe to grind. Everyone else will be swayed by slick ads and perceived political affiliations.

        In the case of wildlife management, I’m not sure I want only the most passionate voters to be electing these people. Nor do I want everyone else voting ignorantly depending on whether the candidate has a R or a D behind their name on the ballot. I just don’t see it being any better, but potentially worse after “the people have spoken”.

        I’d rather see qualified people who have experience and backgrounds in the science be appointed based on some sort of minimum qualification criteria set by statute. I don’t think I want wildlife management any more politicized than it already is.

      • Salle Says:

        Basically, at least in the NRM states, it all boils down to who is best buds with the elected folks who appoint them, if you’re not representing what they want then there’s no job opening for you. It’s a clique oriented popularity contest and little else anymore. Lest we forget how much undeclared corporate funds go into campaigns. It was happening before the Citizens United SC ruling, it’s just that now they don’t have to be so coy about it.

      • JB Says:

        Dude:

        I agree that electing wildlife commissions would make them more contentious; however, I don’t think this is necessarily bad. Rather, the conflict on the boards would then be representative of the conflict in society and, I would posit that decisions (and the logic behind them) would become more transparent with time.

        I also agree with setting some minimum standards for people who are appointed/elected (e.g., a college degree in biology, ecology, natural resources, or other related field).

    • jdubya Says:

      It has been a constant battle for the appointment of intelligent people for such posts in Utah. One common theme is that virtually any wildlife appointment of worth, whether it be for a full time position or citizen volunteer, is that they have to get the stamp of approval of Don Peay first. He is the dominant force of anything having to do with wildlife, conservation, environment, etc, and controls the process and the people involved. it makes for a very one sided, inbred mentality of low competence.

  11. ProWolf in WY Says:

    Statements like that make Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming look like Berkley.

  12. mikarooni Says:

    Aw, come on, look at in a positive light. His reference to T. rex implies that there is at least one Utah state official, him, who accepts, by implication at least, that the earth is more than 4,000 years old, that evolution might actually have taken place, and that, if Adam and Eve really were riding dinosaurs to church, they had to watch out for T. rex in the neighborhood. For Utah, this is a huge progressive step forward.

  13. Mooseboy Says:

    And Utahans wonder why the rest of the country thinks we’re crazy and just plain weird.
    Last time I checked and I live in Utah there are no packs of wolves documented in the state.
    If it makes you feel better Styler also believes that Bigfoot is a threat to our National Security.

  14. PointsWest Says:

    It took several several years and thousands of dollars in gifts to finally get Chief Washakie, Chief of the Eastern Shoshones to convert to Mormonism in 1880. He and his people remained Mormon for many years. Then in the late 1890’s, settlers (may or may not have been Mormon) were feuding with the Shoshones over something and killed a few including at least one woman, if my memory serves me correctly. Washakie and his warriors were preparing to go on a suicidal war against the US when two Episcopalian missionaries showed up at his door one night and offered to give their lives in exchange for the murdered Shoshones. They would give their lives provided that the Shoshones promised to keep the peace and not kill any whites. They ended up talking to Washakie all night. Washakie said they these Episcopalian missionaries were the first white men he’d known who had the bravery of an indian warrior. Washakie converted to the Episcopal Church that night and was baptized shortly afterward. He died a few years later as an Episcopalian.

  15. Izabela Hadd Says:

    When it comes to wolves, Utah is not different than Idaho, ‘Udaho’, Montana or Wyo. – same mentality. Same backwards thinking ..and same holly cow,sheep and elk position. I have called Hatch, Matheson, Bishop..their interns sitting ont he phones where kind of clueless as to what is the basis for the bills to change ESA. This is just example of supporting special interests and buddies in congress.

  16. MAD Says:

    If I may address a few issues our friend Numufu has raised:

    invasive species – his argument hinges on the idea that there are distinct differences between the 2 alleged subspecies and that each “do not belong” in the others natural environs. Wolves have been known to disperse over 500 miles. So since “wolves have no concept of private property” wolves from western Canada have been strolling back and forth across our borders for hundreds of years, mixing their nasty little genes into a virtual Canis Soupus with the US wolves.

    subspecies – 35 to 40 years ago, taxonomists like Nowak believed there were 40-50 subspecies of Gray Wolf based solely on physical APPEARANCES and external morphology. Genetic advances in the last 25 years have shown that many of these subspecies classifications are invalid and incorrect (similar to the debunking of the “science” of Phrenology and criminal behavior). Differences in size, shape and behavior is more of a result of current breeding habits, availability and type of prey, and location of the population. For proof of this take a look at the excellent genetic work being done by Paul J. Wilson (and crew) at Trent University regarding the Eastern Timber Wolf, the Eastern Coyote and the Red Wolf. They have conclusively shown that the Red Wolf and the Eastern Timber Wolf are distinct species and not subspecies of the Gray Wolf.

    the ESA – isn’t it grand when people who hate wolves for whatever reason, both despise the ESA (most of the time), but then try to “use” the ESA to prevent bringing in the wrong subspecies of Canadian wolf? Sorry, can’t have it both ways, either you follow the ESA, or not. In 1966 when the Endangered Species Preservation Act was passed, the 3rd and 4th mammals listed were the Timber Wolf-Canis lupus lycaon and Red Wolf-Canis niger. These were changed in 1969, overhauled with the ESA in ’73, changed again in ’78, and so on. The subsequent DPS classification created by the USFWS and National Marine Fisheries Service between 1990-96 was borne out of science, but then twisted in its use for political purposes.

    And anyway, haven’t you guys read the recent research in relation to the T.Rex? Paleontologists are pretty sure now that it was an opportunistic scavenger most of the time and not the terrible, savage killing machine that Hollywood and many others have portrayed. I guess Michael Styler is just an uninformed dolt.


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