Lawmakers try to lift wolf protection despite deal


I wish I could suggest this was a surprise:

Lawmakers try to lift wolf protection despite dealAssociated Press

Key lawmakers in the political skirmish over gray wolves in the West say they will continue their efforts to lift federal protections for the predators, despite a proposed settlement between environmentalists and the government.

When I watched the political process unfold in Idaho, I learned something:

A few conservationists’ attempted to appease the flagrant anti-wolf sentiment of the heavy-handed IDFG management plan by agreeing to sign off on everything in exchange for a sliver of a “wolf watching area” in the Wood River Valley.  One crumb was asked, where hunting would be off-limits.  Decision-makers scoffed and rejected the idea.

How did compensation work at increasing tolerance for wolves ?  It hasn’t.

Rational decision-making processes haven’t worked with anti-wolfers.  Political appeasement hasn’t worked.  In fact, it seems to be counterproductive, accomplishing little more than a demonstration of weakness – emboldening the anti-wolf effort.

Added 4/1/11 ~ a more lengthy rendition of the AP story :
Lawmakers to keep pressing wolf bills despite settlement between wolf advocates and government

~ be

34 Responses to “Lawmakers try to lift wolf protection despite deal”

  1. SBH CLAY Says:

    Oh, yes, anyone who stands firm for justice can see through the duplicious intentions and actions of those who only pretend to.

    We who are part of the movement to abolish animal agriculture — as opposed to appeasing industry by agreeing to bigger cages and crates (a perversion of the word “humane”) — could’ve foretold that this is what would happen with the wolf protections once the word “settlement” was introduced.

    Those who unjustly confine and kill or hunt and kill other living beings are all about dishonoring the lives of other beings. Once someone is comfortable selling out creatures who walk on four legs or use two wings to get about, it’s not a stretch to also dishonor one’s fellow humans — not as long as there is a buck to be made, power to be flaunted, or pleasure from bloodlust to be satiated.

    Whether the object of their attention (and false affection) is wolves or cattle, bears or geese, elk or chickens, bison or goats, bighorns or pigs, those who exploit and betray their neighbors of a different species can be counted on to betray their own species — and their own souls.

    • william huard Says:

      These Republican Conservative politicians have absolutely no empathy or conscience. They hate the unemployed, women, working people, minorities, and puppies. If they hate puppies where do you think wolves fit into the equation

      • timz Says:

        I agree WH and hate to nitpick but Tester is a Democrat. So is Hatch’s co-sponsor of similar legislation. I understand in this day and age however it is very difficult to tell the difference between the two parties.

      • timz Says:

        A bill has been introduced to the US House of Representatives by Representative Joe Baca of California which would declare a species extinct if it hasn’t increased in population during the 15 years

        So is this guy BTW, a Democrat.

      • jon Says:

        William, in today’s age, it’s very hard to tell the difference between a democrat and a republican.

  2. SBH CLAY Says:

    I meant “duplicitous” in the first sentence. 🙂

  3. Ken Cole Says:

    Gee, I never saw it coming…..

  4. Jon Way Says:

    Just like racism and bigotry in this country, one day these officials/lawmakers will be beaten (voted out) and sane laws will be put in place to make them socially acceptable to all but the vocal minority. Just as we are learning more about the social, intelligent nature and ecological importance of wolves (and other animals), these lawmakers go to the dark side.

    • Mike Says:

      This anti-wildlife thing is very similar to the civil rights movement, the difference being of course teeth and fur. Either way, one side is still caught up in bigotry and misinformation.

      • dude, the bagman Says:

        Comparing wildlife policy to racial segregation is only a half step above comparing anything you don’t like to the Nazis.

        I think making that argument is really just going to annoy and offend other people rather than convince them. It’s hyperbolic and makes us sound like kooks.

      • Brian Ertz Says:

        i don’t believe it to be an unfair analogy at all.

        in fact, when you study the different social movements in our country, you find that there are a lot of parallels, both in terms of the different interests’ general sentiment, hostility, and struggle as well as in how those interests are pursued politically and legally.

        for example, in many of these struggles – the courts have been at the leading edge, often handing down extremely politically controversial decisions which prompt visceral social response and political struggle.

        the underlying question regarding states/local rights versus federal supremacy is a commonality as well.

        additionally, it is entirely reasonable to suggest here that wolves are being persecuted – largely for politically projected reasons in which. perhaps you find it objectionable to analogize between human persecution and non-human persecution. perhaps you believe that doing so in some way trivializes the prior struggle. that’s a legitimate position.

        however – it is entirely legitimate to hold a differing position from that of your own, and to believe that the same moral and ethical standards ought be extended to non-human agents/values – but also that the people divvying out the persecution ought be understood to be doing so in some analogous way to previous social struggles.

        one might suggest that the rationale is illegitimate, irrational, bigoted, etc. and the behavior immoral or unethical, regardless of the identity of the target of their disdain.

        perhaps it makes us sound like kooks to consider the parallels of different social struggles when evaluating current events relating to wolves. minority abolitionists were once considered kooks by a majority comfortable with the status quo. activists – those seeking change – are always considered kooks by their counterparts and by the apathetic majority – and those people were always confronted with circumstance in which it was generally held to be impossible that they would ever reach that ‘turning point’ at which their minority would one day be appreciated and accepted as the majority.

        however – whether i agree with the analogy or not – i can certainly appreciate the common compassion and call for protection of non-human values.

        i think that such compassion held by so many now for wolves is analogous to the compassion held for non-whites, womyn, and other minorities persecuted in the past by those who eventually changed things … whether they were still around to realize it or not.

      • Wolf moderate Says:

        Oh my it’s gettin deeeep in here. Keep it up please. Mainstream america already considers you people loons. Start relating the plight of the wolf to nazis please…

        Rich spoiled kids loookin’ for a cause greater then themselves, imho.

      • Brian Ertz Says:

        hmmm …

        wolf moderate says:

        Mainstream america already considers you people loons

        it’s almost funny how you guys can try to just make stuff up as if speaking for “mainstream america”.

        when asked ~ Poll Finds Strong Public Support for ESA… and Wolves

        when you’re ready to talk about the points that i made – and substantiate your own – i’d be happy to honestly consider your perspective and have a conversation that the both of us might be enriched by …

        but when you sling baseless sentiments – you contribute nothing.

      • dude, the bagman Says:

        I’m not denying that there aren’t similarities in that analogy. I’m just saying that it might not be a productive analogy to make. There are connotations that will probably offend people.

        Racial minorities might not want to be compared to animals. I do think that it detracts from their experiences. It’s kind of like when people call anything with a hint of authoritarianism “Nazi.” It’s disrespectful to the experience of holocaust survivors even if there’s a hint of truth underlying the analogy.

        People who eat meat (which is almost everyone who can afford it) might feel threatened by the underlying suggestion that we should to grant civil rights to all sentient beings. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t treat animals (and nature generally) with more respect than we do. I just think that analogy takes things a little too far.

        Like it or not, when people are hungry and cold, nature becomes a means to an end. Those of us who are privileged enough to have the time to expend our energy debating wildlife policy probably do sound like kooks to those who don’t when we start implying that animals should have the same rights as humans.

        It’s kind of like when we try to convince third world countries that they shouldn’t develop their resources in environmentally damaging ways as we sit in our air conditioned mansions and sip coffee grown thousands of miles away. It wreaks of privilege. It doesn’t mean the argument is wrong, just that no one outside our little bubble is going to take it seriously.

        Of course there ARE parallels in that analogy because they are both examples of a similar social process. Certainly the way we think about nature has been undergoing a paradigm shift in the last 50 years. Like always, social conservatives try to cling to their old narratives. When things don’t go their way, they lash out and act bigoted and violent.

        However, a lot of people making this analogy reduce it into sound bite form and make repeated cries of “species racism.” I think this IS taking it too far. I know that posters on the BBB have actually mocked this idea. I know that most of us don’t really value most of their opinions over there, but I think making this argument gives them ammunition to use against pro-wildlife people that might appeal to a broader audience.

        Sounding like a kook when you are speaking an unpopular but meritorious idea is one thing. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone who sounds like a kook isn’t, in fact, espousing a genuinely kooky idea.

        There’s a pragmatic middle ground between the extremes of the kooky Biblical idea of complete dominion over nature and the equally kooky “meat is murder” crowd. We’re going to keep using resources, but we could do so more respectfully.

        I just think that people should be careful with the analogies they make if they want to be taken seriously.

      • dude, the bagman Says:

        “Oh my it’s gettin deeeep in here. Keep it up please. Mainstream america already considers you people loons. Start relating the plight of the wolf to nazis please…

        Rich spoiled kids loookin’ for a cause greater then themselves, imho.”

        See what I mean? I know they like old Wolf Moderate over at the BBB.

      • dude, the bagman Says:

        “it’s almost funny how you guys can try to just make stuff up as if speaking for “mainstream america”.”

        I agree completely. God must be on their side. It’s the effect of only communicating with people in your own little bubble.

      • william huard Says:

        Wolf Moderate-
        Is the picture next to your name an Ass?
        It’s you.
        Your Sh%^&bagger event in DC yesterday (all 200 of them) showed such racial diversity!
        Talk about Loons that’s a good one

      • Brian Ertz Says:

        i can appreciate your rationale concerning whether or not these analogies are effective at garnishing the support of folk on the fence. we’re going to disagree about the value and efficacy of garnishing that support – and that’s fine … that conversation is worth having.

        we disagree on whether currying favor with the fence-straddlers is more important than maintaining – even encouraging – galvanized advocacy from those willing to act. i don’t believe it to be a matter of either/or – there are many forums and many thoughts, and i’m not generally concerned with the BBB crowd.

        i do not approach the BBB as some kind of litmus test for the effectiveness of said communication – i think that’s a pretty absurd place to go if legitimacy has anything to do with the general population’s sentiment or even a more objective consideration of its exhibiting the least bit of intellectual prowess. i’m not suggesting you don’t agree – just saying that they’re going to belittle and make baseless accusations whether there’s fodder or not. that’s what they do – make stuff up.

        i think it much more important that people not be deterred from expression which might piss those on the other side off as often it is a legitimate expression of conviction which contributes positively to the effort – whereas concern with what other people think is less so.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        William, I admit I’m a loon. What’s scary is that you all do not realize that your views and outlook is loony and krazy as the “other side”. It’s quite interesting to me that you guys think of yourselves as martyrs or some chit. Basically it’s going to come down to money. Get over it, that’s what makes the world go round. We, as a country are on a downward slide and sooner than later we won’t have funding for these expensive programs. No need to argue about it because none of us are savants…Though of course we (including me) think we are.

        Soon our credit rating will lose its AAA rating and we will be F’d! I’m kinda “loony” and looking forward to it. Time to put the bigmacs and crappaccinos down and pick up a shovel or gun or something, anything else. Bunch of entitled babies are what Americans have become.

        Good day!

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Need to get an “edit” option on this site. Yes It’s a pic of an ass and I know I am. BUT you are too 🙂

      • Steve C Says:

        It is not really comparing minorities to animals. It is comparing the mindset of anti-wildlife (the same nuts think that coyotes will come into their houses and drag their children away) folks to people that don’t want to give minorities basic rights and buy into fears.

        Wolf moderate classifies all of us as rich spoiled babies because he does not agree with us. Classifying a whole group of people as something because you dont agree with them sounds a bit like bigotry and racism to me.

      • Mike Says:

        Steve nailed it. The analogy compares the mindset. In the civil rights movement, the racists were largely unhappy and uneducated (or poorly) and looking for a symbol to vent on. The wolf haters of the Rockies are no different.

        For whatever reason, progress has passed these people by.

        Idaho is such a beautiful state, but I have to say I’ve never met unfriendlier people, ever. They all seem so pissed off. I don’t know if this is how they are raised, or if the political system strikes fear into them to keep power, but it’s palpable. I also found the enforcement of wildlife rules at various campgrounds the worst I’ve ever seen (of which I’ll be documenting on my site with video). And to be honest, the worst campground experience I ever had was in Idaho at the Wyoming border.

      • Dude, the bagman Says:

        I know it’s not actually comparing people to animals. I know there are similarities in the analogy as well (social conservatives reacting to social change). I just think it’s a touchy subject to be drawing analogies to wildlife policy with.

        I’m not sure as many people have the same gut reaction to wildlife policy as they do the KKK. Those people might find the analogy to be an exaggeration. That’s all I’m saying.

        Brian had a good point about galvanizing the committed vs. appealing to a broader audience. I’m not sure what is more productive, but he may well be right.

  5. Mike Says:

    Gee….who didn’t see this coming?

    So now they weakened a ruling in their favor and still get the ESA gutted.


    Absolutely idiotic politics by the conservation groups who caved.

  6. JimT Says:

    Hoping Malloy is taking judicial notice of this kind of crap, and rules accordingly. I definitely would rather take my chances in court given this completely expected reaction from the craven Tester and others.

    • WM Says:

      certainly looks to me like there are different parties involved. FWS/Interior tries to do a deal with most of the plaintiffs in good faith (while trying to get WY to join the party which would actually make the technical DPS issue go away even if appealed). The non-settling parties continue the DPS appeal (to what end nobody really knows other than delay taking of wolves under state management plans). And, the politicos like Tester and others, try to change the law, removing protections from wolves.

      So, what kind of judicial notice would be in order for Judge Molloy? He has no control over the legislative branch of government. Don’t know if he would say, but he might conveniently delay his decision to see how the legislative thing plays out.

      • JimT Says:

        I cannot see a Federal judge who has worked as hard as Malloy has on these issues invalidating his own ruling for a settlement that, at the same time he is pondering his decision, is being actively undermined by legislative interests. Certainly within reason for him to keep his ruling in place, and let the other stuff go as it may.

        The key is to keep any kind of rider out of the budget bill. They don’t have the votes for an up down vote in the Senate;we know that.

  7. Nabeki Says:

    Excellent analysis of the situation Brian!!

  8. Bob Says:

    To steal a line used here all the time “we never agreed to no deal.” At this point its war and no rules. Changes to the ESA is as fair game as any use of judges, congress made the ESA congress can make changes to the ESA. As with war some victims are innocent.

  9. Ralph Maughan Says:

    From the beginning, when I learned the terms of this deal, my advice was not to enter into it because nothing was being promised by the other side. In fact, the other side could make no promises because the issue had entered the legislative arena.

    Tester wants to be reelected, Democratic leaders want him reelected far more than they care about wolves. They think his opponent Republican Rehberg can use the issue to defeat him. This may or may not be true, but senatorial Democrats and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee believe Tester. That is what matters, not that 9 conservation groups entered into a one-sided agreement to show their good faith.

  10. timz Says:

    Anyone who thinks these anti-wolf nut politicians are rational needs to read this. take spwcial note of the statement she makes “residents feel physically and psychologically threatened.”

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