Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Delisting Rider Unconstitutional

This is a space where we’ll post the various documents that wolf advocates will be filing in federal district court of their challenge of the recent wolf delisting rider that was attached to the 2011 budget bill.

Different parties raced to file, with Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians in one camp, the Center for Biological Diversity in another having already filed.  Western Watersheds Project has opted to file its own separate case as well.

It is likely that the cases will be consolidated in the Montana District Court.

We’ll post the filings as they become available.

Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians 

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Center for Biological Diversity

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

166 Responses to “Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Delisting Rider Unconstitutional”

  1. Steve C Says:

    I thought this couldn’t be challenged in court?

    • Salle Says:

      The order to de-list was restricted from judicial review, however, the fact that it may not be Constitutionally legal for Congress to legislate regarding a single species from protection without scientific backing is a violation of the Act in itself and is another issue altogether which was not restricted from judicial review. I don’t think you can forbid anyone from exercising their right to challenge the Constitutionality of a legislative action that is an attempt to circumvent the process required as it is specified with an Act like the ESA.

      • Maska Says:

        I believe what is actually at issue here is the fact that Congress has passed a measure that directs a specific outcome in a case that was still before the courts. The constitutional issue is whether Congress is treading on the turf, so to speak, of the judicial branch of government.

      • Salle Says:

        I think you’re right. But I think my premise is also a case for challenging this sleight of hand maneuver. It did cross my mind that there was another claim to be made that I was forgetting, momentarily… thanks for pointing that out.

      • Maska Says:

        Here’s a quotation from the complaint of the Center for Biological Diversity, putting the matter in a nutshell:

        “Congress, which is established under Article I of the U.S.
        Constitution, violates the separation of powers where it impermissibly directs certain findings in pending litigation without changing the underlying law.”

      • Salle Says:

        Gotta admit, I totally spaced out that point, read it early this morning and was off on another mental track when I responded to the first comment. (Getting older has a way of deleting things, even if temporarily, from one’s train of thought at times. I guess my brain is full and has to make room for additional info from time to time…)


      • mikarooni Says:

        Maska is correct. These ultra-rightwingers talk a lot about the Constitution; but, they fail to understand even the basic structure of the system created by that very Constitution and it’s that system, a self-balancing and ultimately self-correcting work of great elegance, that is the most valuable contribution of the Constitution. It’s the real reason we’re still here and still functioning after all these years and all these rednecks.

    • Mike Says:

      Great news. A big thanks to these fine conservation/wildlife groups for their hard work.

      It’s important to preserve the integrity of the endangered species act. This goes beyond wolves.

  2. Daniel Berg Says:


    ++Western Watersheds Project has opted to file its own separate case as well++

    What does WWP consider when deciding whether to go to court alone or in combination with other groups? If the legal argument is going to be the same, what difference does it make whether you go at it alone or in a group?

  3. JB Says:

    The AWR and CBD complaints seem to dare Congress to try and amend the ESA. This seems a dangerous game to play given politics in D.C. at the moment. Amending the ESA to specifically allow for listing/delisting by state would not be a bad change (in my opinion); however, you can bet that if Congress opens up the ESA to amendment there will be numerous attempts to weaken other provisions of the Act.

    Has anyone stopped to ask if the benefits of continued listing of wolves in the NRMs in parts of 5 western states outweighs the risks associated with this action?

    • Nancy Says:

      Good question JB. Too bad we can’t ask a wolf.

    • jburnham Says:

      “The AWR and CBD complaints seem to dare Congress to try and amend the ESA.”

      That was my first thought. But this type of legislation must be challenged. Policy making via riders and carving out special exemptions to the law is short-sighted and irresponsible. More importantly, the separation of powers argument is convincing and if it comes down to it, I’ll take adherence to core constitutional principles over re-listing wolves any day.

      The ESA is popular enough that it’s hard to imagine it being amended without hearings and public input. Any attempts to do otherwise will certainly lead to a big fight.

  4. Cody Coyote Says:

    What happens if the NRM Grey Wolf becomes a 2012 campaign poster child for the treachery of ” reforming” the ESA by fiat ?

    Would the heinous Tester-Simpson wolf rider debacle escalate into a platform wide campaign plank that indicts ( mostly ) Republicans on their vendetta to rewrite ESA against the wishes of America-at-large? Can we make the NRM Grey Wolf a substantial 2012 issue on behalf of all species endangered past present and future? I hope so , but….

    The political motivations of Jon Tester, D-MT, and the Obama administration’s lack of resistance to such a bad rider attached to the must-pass budget bill remain a mystery to me. But I’m thinking we should take the hand that was dealt us and make the most of it. The Grey Wolf is an effigy for the conservatives to gut ESA if the Tester-Simpson delisting cheat is allowed to stand. What species is next ? Will the Yelllowstone grizzly suddenly become a trophy class political prop ?

    There is a risk in using the Tester-Simpson wolf rider as a political tool. But how can it be allowed to stand? Short answer: It can’t

    [ The downside is even though he appeased his bipartisan constituents with the popular wolf rider, we are probably still losing Jon Tester as a western Dem Senator in Congress. No great loss so far as wildlife are concerned, but we need all the Dems west of the Mississippi we can muster , for other reasons, not the least of which a counterweight in Congress to the witless Tea Baggers . ]

    • Mike Says:

      It looks like Salazar is calling all the shots, unfortunately. I wonder how much Obama really has to do with it other than hiring the clown.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      The trouble with thinking there will be public hearings over attempts to gut the ESA is that this requires the assumption that a bill to do it will go through House and Senate Committees and get a separate up or down vote on the floor. This normal process, called regular order, is the one we learn about in school.

      In recent years, however, regular order has been the exception rather than the rule. A compelling example of abandoning regular order came recently when House Republicans actually took steps to abolish Medicare without taking a separate vote on it. Because of the huge unpopularity of that move they have backed off for now. They will try again if they think they can maneuver it through.

      They are going to try and gut the ESA wolf lawsuit or not, although it is a reasonable argument that these new lawsuits are asking them to try it sooner rather than later. We can’t count on the unpopularity of doing it to defeat their attempt.

      • Harley Says:

        Sorry Ralph, I couldn’t find a place to post this on the page but I was poking around and followed the link to the web cams. Wow… the pictures are stunning for a person who’s spent most of her life in the flatlands of Illinois, thank you for putting those up.

  5. WM Says:


    Should your title for this thread have a “?” behind it. There has been no finding that the rider is unconstitutional yet.

    This is one matter, however, for which I will not venture a prediction on outcome.

    One has to at least expect the drafters of the Tester/Simpson rider did some legal research on a “rider” as a vehicle for the change, and outside the text of the rider, boldly state in publicity pieces, that it does not amend the ESA. If you think about that, it is kind of a crafty move that suggests they think they know what they were doing.

    In addition, throwing down the gauntlet on no “judicial review” seems to have written all over it, a potential separation of powers issue. Again, an obvious area of conflict if applied in the manner plaintiffs believe.

    I will go so far as to venture a guess that there are a couple of legal memos done by Constitutional law specialists from a well connected DC law firms, researching these troubling aspects, sitting in Tester and Simpson’s staffers’ desk drawers, which were done before, or contemporaneously with the crafting of the language.

    If the outcome of the case is, as some here suspect, you will have one more piece of proof both Tester and Simpson are the country bumpkins you think they are. On the other hand, …….

    And, JB does make an excellent point about the risks of going this route with a legal challenge to a surgically precise and need specific means of removing NRM wolves from ESA protection by making the FWS (scientifically based in their view, by the way) rule a law of Congress.

    I will also suggest opening up the ESA to possible changes in ever so many areas (this states rights sore spot is but one), may be just the thing this growing body of tea-partiers, conservative rednecks and other yahoos currently in Congress or potentially elected in the next round of national elections, want. I would give odds the wheels are already turning.

    • Dave Messineo Says:

      Tester is thinking re-election….I doubt if he really cares much about the wolf debate…he has a tough row to hoe as a democrat …adding the rider and getting it passed may be all he cares about to give him the support he needs….If those nasty environmental groups overturn it, he will still be the hero ….so perhaps he didn’t have that much legal research done..

  6. Brian Ertz Says:

    Assaults on the ESA – particularly this delisting rider – has been underhanded. Let them pronounce their true intentions – and let us express ours in the light.

    Turning wolves into political chattel has always been the greater threat to both wolves and the ESA. It may seem wise, albeit cynically so, to avoid the risk of loss – to let them have their anti-democratic under-the-radar abuses of process and attacks with the hope that it will prevent the deterioration of the ESA above-board – which in the short term would be bad – but if we are to let them have these shadows (i.e. policy-riders on budget bills, etc.) as the policy playing field by which wolves and the ESA’s future are to be determined – then wolves and the ESA will always be always be at a significant disadvantage.

    I believe that in the light of transparent and true democratic practices – the crooks will ultimately lose – and that an atmosphere that benefits wolves and the ESA will prevail. So we push to have the decision made in the open, using legitimate democratic processes – on its merit – at the risk of the same decision being made.

    The risk is if that the light will illuminate an atmosphere in which the ESA is not politically resilient enough to maintain its current integrity. If that is the case – then at least we will have a clear picture of where the work needs to be.

  7. JB Says:


    I wish I had your gift with words–it would make responding to your post a whole lot easier. First, let me say that you don’t need to use wolves to test the political winds regarding the ESA–they are blowing in the wrong direction and they have been for a very long time. Congress has not yet been able to remove the legal “teeth” from the ESA, but they have found a way around those teeth by refusing to “feed the dog” (i.e., fund FWS/NMFS).

    I am with you regarding a fair and transparent process and democratic principles, and I acknowledge that the so-called conservatives in Congress will attack the ESA no matter what is done, but the relevant question that needs to be asked is: by taking this action will we be sending them allies in their attack?

    Frankly, the whole DPS issue plays into the hands of those who claim the ESA is being “misused”. (For me, a good “litmus test” is ‘can I explain this issue to a lay person’? If I can’t explain it without the use of legal or scientific jargon, I find most people are skeptical.) The DPS issue fails this test miserably. I would much rather see a debate on the adequacy of regulatory mechanisms–especially given the minimum numbers to which states have (reluctantly) committed to maintain. I find the people I speak with are generally aghast at the notion that 10/100 or even 15/150 packs/wolves is adequate to constitute recovery. However, the same people seem baffled by the whole DPS argument.

    Food for thought?

    • Dude, the bagman Says:

      It whetted my appetite.

      I think the ESA is perceived as being misused because of a basic lack of spin control. Conservatives are much better at taking complicated subjects and spinning them into arguments that appeal to people’s values in ways they understand. People think the ESA is being misused because they don’t really understand it. What they do understand is the simplistic version of it they have picked up from the wrong people.

      Why not just explain the DPS issue as simply as possible and acknowledge that it actually exists for a reason (rather than treating it as only a legal technicality)? Something like “a group of endangered animals that is separated from the larger population that deserves special protection because of its unique qualities or habitat.”

      What makes them unique/important? They are rare survivors adapted to a specific environment. Most of the other animals with their unique traits have been killed, and if we don’t protect these animals, those traits will be lost forever. It’s important to keep those traits because they make the species as a whole more resilient.
      They live in an area they have populated for thousands of years. They play an important role in that ecosystem by controlling the population of X species or providing food for Y species. If they go extinct, other animals starve to death, forest fires will rage, the streams will be ruined for fishing, or whatever.

      So why can’t they be delisted state by state? Because they are a single population that is part of the same ecosystem, so it doesn’t make sense to divide that population into fine pieces and treat them differently just because it’s politically convenient. Animals have no regard for our arbitrary boundaries.

      If we’re losing the battle of public opinion (and I’m not sure we are), it’s because we’re making arguments like “because the law says so,” or making arguments that are beyond the average non-biologist/laywer’s knowledge or attention span. We get lost in the details because we acknowledge and attempt to communicate the true complexity of the situation. That makes it seem like we’re hiding something. The other side’s arguments are direct and personal. They are all about our traditional American rights to baseball, sunshine, and how commie environmentalists want to take the apple pie off your family’s table because they hate your freedom.

      If we’re always on the defensive, trying to rebut simplistic propaganda with complicated facts, we’re not going to control the debate. I think it’s enough to just say “200 lb wolves? Bullshit. Show me your evidence. That’s a bunch of lies from people pushing their own selfish agenda. A lot of those people brag on the internet about their willingness to gut-shoot puppies just to demonstrate how much they hate the government and will only play by the rules that suit them. That’s undemocratic, unpatriotic, and juvenille. It borders on terrorism.”

      I think we’d be better off trying to redirect the political winds than to be at their mercy. Otherwise we’re always one step behind. I think that starts in our own communities by being willing to honestly and unapologetically give our own arguments backed by our own reasoning and values. I’ve got to agree with/paraphrase Brian here – it’s better that our arguments are tested on their merits rather than on mischaracterizations and purely defensive maneuvering.

      That being said, I don’t think that the argument in this latest suit is going to win many hearts and minds.

      • Immer Treue Says:


        I think you’ve hit the nail pretty squarely on the head. Conservatives have been doing this since Goldwater was defeated. They are very well practiced at taking complex issues, or parts of them, and spinning it to fit their conclusions.

        Another tactic is they prefer to reach a conclusion, and then scrounge for any facts that might support their conclusion. When presented with a counter argument, or solid factual rebuttal, they won’t buy it because it doesn’t confirm what they ***want*** to be true.

        Your last paragraph strikes the chord we all should follow, and I also sadly believe your last sentence is true.

    • Brian Ertz Says:

      Dude, the bagman’s got it right, it’s not about needing anyone to understand what a DPS is (other than the lawyer’s & biologists), it’s about explaining that whether wolves are recovered or not has more to do with their habitat than with state lines.

      as far as the political ramifications – I strongly believe that “messaging” has as much to do with how a party acts as with what it says.

      Playing defense and being afraid to act, no matter how simple or complex the talking point, communicates “I don’t really believe what I’m saying is worth fighting for” or “my value is only as important as its popularity” and why would someone who knows very little about the issue throw their ‘vote’ behind a person who is so afraid of their own value ? why would political leaders and media organizations at the national level be willing to even consider a deeper look at a controversy one side seems hell-bent on avoiding, seemingly above their own interest ? even if the apparently timid party has spent all his/her effort conjuring a seemingly brilliant treatise on the political expediency of their hesitation ~ capitulation ~ to convince him/herself that he/she isn’t just plain afraid.

      I’m sick of listening to NPR interviews on the issue with a Defender’s representative apologetically back-stepping into a factoid talking-point about how wolves don’t kill that many livestock – or haven’t taken your children from the bus-stop yet ~ then asking the public for donations to send “volunteers” to protect sheep from wolves – & to hand-out reparations for the damage wolves have done to welfare ranchers’ “custom & culture” “livelihood” on public lands. it’s a bogus position *unless you’re an establishment interest-group looking to avoid making waves in order to keep the establishment foundation dollars flowing. How effective does anyone believe this apologetic advocacy is going to be with Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming as judge, jury, and executioners of wolves ?

      i’m sick of reading communication consultants’ opinions about how reaching people that don’t care is more important than acting in the interests of members who want action for wolves and otherwise motivating the droves who are passionate and willing already. this ought be as much about granting those who care about wolves (and are willing/wanting to act) an effective advocacy as it is about obtaining more ‘undecideds’ to say they like wolves (but then do nothing).

      the ESA is popular across the country, wolves are popular across the country – if the issue was debated and voted on (in the open) at the national level – which it ought be – then the ESA & wolves win. but how many of those who answered for wolves in the last poll are willing to stand up and do something about it ? exactly how many ‘undecideds’ need to jump off the fence and check “I support wolves” before acting on their behalf becomes politically expedient ? exactly how many ‘undecideds’ need to jump off the fence and check “I support wolves” before acting on their behalf becomes right ?

      it’s because a minority of vociferous, passionate anti-wolf liars are willing to be belligerent enough to make a few spineless politicians wet themselves that this thing was handled in such a cowardly way. Senator Jon Tester is a spineless coward. locals have always been adversarial to the ESA, wolves, wilderness, environmental regulation (i.e. everything we care about), – if that’s the polling pool then the question of popularity becomes troubling for both the ESA & wolves – to say nothing of the question of what’s right. but these are national policies of national importance deserving of national debate in Congress.

      the way this issue was handled was shameful – Congress didn’t change the law. A rider on a budget bill directed an executive agency to take illegal action. The Supreme Court has held in the past that Congress has the authority to change the law, but to direct executive action that has been held by a court to be illegal without changing the underlying law is beyond its constitutional authority – doing so in effect infringes upon a power to adjudicate legality that resides exclusively with the Courts. This leaves a legitimate question as to the legality of the delisting rider.

      Protections of wolves were removed via this bastardization of process – challenging it is right for wolves, right for the ESA, right for our democratic process, and right for maintenance of our country’s constitutional integrity. it’s right – and should the anti-wolf zealots prove able to burn the ESA via legitimate means – in the open – then we’ll have our work cut out for us. I don’t think they can do it. I think the fact that they had to rely on this underhanded bastardization of process is among the most compelling indicators that they CAN’T do it legitimately – because if the ESA is as vulnerable as some claim – and if anti-ESA interests are as powerful as some claim, then they would have done it – they would have been able to seize this moment explicitly. They didn’t.

      otherwise, i’m not willing to stand by and watch these crooks violate what i care about, wolves – and violate the law (which is what this is, it’s a violation of our country’s founding document – Tester broke the law) at such a high-level of power without challenging it, no matter how creative one might be in matters of such speculative political economics.

      • WM Says:


        I would submit that wolves have already been voted on – state and nationally- with the election of national and state officials, and the officials they appoint to represent them- generally reflecting the public will. This is much, much different than the results of a couple of one dimensional polls (sometimes skewed to elicit a particular response by their very design), where it is not necessary to factor in other variables that politicians and bureaucrats must in order for governments to carry out their business, AND for those politicians to continue their own self-preservation.

      • WM Says:

        Here is an example from WI, where there is, according to the article title, “Momentum Building for Wolf Hunt,” and they are not even likely off the ESA for another 60 days, or so.

        To put this in context, WI has only had its wolves in larger numbers for just a few years as they migrated in from MN, and out/back in from MI. Sentiments there are apparently changing, according to the researcher quoted. Will they amend their management plan to account for changing conditions?

      • Elk275 Says:

        Brain and Dude

        Both of your above posts remind me of anti Vietnam war rhetoric in the late 1960’s. Regardless of how many and how hard one protested the war, the powers to be decided to when and how to end the war.

      • Dude, the bagman Says:

        what do you mean I sound like a Vietnam protester?

        “the powers to be decided to when and how to end the war.”

        Are those powers the North Vietnamese? It seems to me that the final decision that the war was over was made for us after we were kicked out of Saigon. We couldn’t get people out of there fast enough after than happened, hence the dumping helicopters over the side of aircraft carriers.

        The fact that the government didn’t listen to those protesters didn’t change the ultimate outcome – just delayed it. Diminishing support for the war is what ultimately caused our downfall over there. It just took a while for the larger society to align itself with the earlier protesters.

      • Elk275 Says:

        Dude, are you old enough to see or been a part of an Vietnam anti war protest?

      • Dude, the bagman Says:


        “I would submit that wolves have already been voted on – state and nationally- with the election of national and state officials, and the officials they appoint to represent them- generally reflecting the public will. ”

        I would submit that the continuing economic downturn combined with a moderately liberal president who happens to be black (terrifying socialist Kenyan Muslim – impeach him for something) is what the voting public is responding to.

        A lot of people who supported Obama in 2008 are disillusioned and probably didn’t make it to the polls to provide support for other Democrats. Their performance since the 2008 elections has been less than inspirational. Especially so since they had the presidency and both houses.

        The wolves are pretty far down on the list when people are worried about keeping their houses, jobs, etc. I would say that they don’t even register for most people. The people who care the most live in states that are most likely going to elect conservatives anyway (MT swings, ID and WY are going red for sure).

        Some of us live in Idaho where the outcome of statewide elections is almost inevitable. Most of the rest of us hold our noses and eat whatever shit we are fed. I’d really like to have more viable parties so we could actually vote on the issues rather than lesser-of-evils package deals.

      • Dude, the bagman Says:

        I am 175 years old. Therefore, the wisdom of my years and basic awareness of history still allows me to have an opinion on the matter.

        You didn’t answer my question.

      • mikarooni Says:

        I can vouch for Dude; I remember him from lacrosse team at the mission high school. We were both in that smallish graduating class of 1854.

  8. Cody Coyote Says:

    We all know that delisting the DRM Grey Wolves would not have happened as a standalone issue considered in committee and debated openly on the chamber floor before a vote.

    When the anti-wolfers claimed a great victory via the Tester-Simpson wolf rider, they were endorsing a legislative deceit at the least , or a constitutional cheat more likely. They could not have done this fair and square. Yet they gloat…

  9. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    They’re bitching about you right now on the BBB, Coyote.

    • william huard Says:

      Prophet Cody Coyote……. Everyone knows the wolf was reintroduced as a biological weapon to get both Ranching and Hunting banned. These aren’t just any wolves…..They are Canadian “Socialist” wolves. These wolves come from the land of misunderstood predators, employed by Van Jones when he was running the Kenyan Socialist Task Force who at that time was soliciting the help of wolves to overthrow dixiecratic holdovers from the Strom Thurmond era.(the modern day tea party)

    • jon Says:

      Yeah, they tend to do that a lot. A lot of those jokers are obsessed with this blog. One of them is still very bitter and butthurt he got banned from here.

      • JEFF E Says:

        The thing about perusing the ppp blog is that at first it is amusing, but after a while one realizes that it is like having a front row seat at a convention of village idiots. After some initial embarrassment about “enjoying the show” most people with any compassion look for ways to help but then after getting a better idea of who you are dealing with, you just have an overwhelming need to take a shower after spending any time there and make sure there are no rashes anywhere.

    • Cody Coyote Says:

      I’m honored.
      Any day you get THOSE poltroons invoking your name is a good day…

      We Irish have an old saying…a man is judged by the company he keeps.

      The modern correlation is he is also just as judged by the company he doesn’t keep. And since I don’t harangue and swagger at the BBB… it is still a good day.

      • JEFF E Says:

        I’ve come to the conclusion that the individuals at the ppp blog are analogous to an outbreak of pustules on the @$$hole of the Internet

  10. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Oh, LOL!!! You owe me a new keyboard, Mr. Huard. ; )

    • william huard Says:

      I see the BBB has a picture of the one and only Hank Parker. He’s just an advertising fool aint he? Remember the Cmere Deer Commercial-” You see I’m a working man and I don’t have time to hunt over 100 acres.. This Cmere deer evens the playin field for a workin man…… hell I usually go to the wildlife preserve were I can kill me a semi tame handfed fed monster….. It’s just as good as killin a real animal….. If the Cmere deer doesn’t work I just put it on my cereal in the morning it makes me go mighty regular….. Ye haw

  11. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Some of the WW2 tail-chasers actually believe there’s a CLF (Carnivore Liberation Front). It started as a silly made-up acronym by a blogger and the WW2 whiners took it literally! Snort! Anyway, I printed up a bunch of t-shirts with the CLF logo and a wolf howling under a full moon screened over with a red hammer and sickle on the front. They’re selling like crazy up here in CDA! I even saw some kids wearing them at the skate park!

  12. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    How lovely…..

  13. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Guess what! They pried the gun out a few years ago.

    This looks like child-endangerment to me, btw. Dumbass got it on film, too.

  14. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Not sure, but have you seen this one yet? It’s like Jim Jones, the Unibomber and David Koresh all inbred together.

    Listen to the strategically-placed violin music as it rises to a crescendo, like an orgazum in his head. Eeeewwwww!

    • WM Says:

      Rockhead’s eyes look so sad, it almost makes you think he is going to cry. Wonder if he has coyote trap on his big toe? Maybe he is a “method” actor.


      I don’t want to seem ignorant on this topic, but I haven’t got a clue – what are “WW2 tail-chasers?”

      • william huard Says:

        There is a rumor that Rockhead auditioned to play the part of “Billy” in the One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest sequel. There was no method acting he just needed to be himself

      • Salle Says:

        What a sorry simp.

      • jon Says:

        Good one wm.

      • jon Says:

        Rockhead made a comment not too long ago of how he felt there should be a 10,000 dollar bounty placed on those people who reintroduced wolves. Some sick individuals out there.

  15. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Wolf Watch 2. Scott’s group on Facebook. I think they only let you join if you can prove you shot a wolf illegally.

    • wolf moderate Says:

      Oh my! Key the violin. Man, this guy is a tool.

      • Salle Says:

        The scary part is that the FuxNews will pick up on this and run with it. The next “Joe the Plumber”.

  16. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Everybody needs a little humor on the Lord’s Day!

  17. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    If you view it in full screen you can see where he nicked the pimples on his neck with a razor (or his buck knife).

  18. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Somebody tell Barry it’s “UNGULATE” not “UNDULATE”. Derp.

  19. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Wassamatta? Somebody RATTLE yo cage, Rattla?

  20. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Don’t eat the custard!

  21. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Ooooooooohhhhh, He-wolf was a’howlin’ tonight…We caught a glimpz of him ’bout ninefortyfive near the meat locker @ highways 95 & 6. Last night he howled real close outside the camp-trailer but tonight I think he’s moved east somewhere over by Potluck. Lock yer doors and bring yer doggies & kitties inside, ya’ll.

  22. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Good thang handy-shandy is fixed. Lol! That dang Ralph’ll hump anythin’.

  23. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Hey Jeff, Old Faithful, aka “Handy Chandy”, is over on the bbq blog accusing you of poisoning her nature.

    • JEFF E Says:

      I don’t doubt that at all. Ol’ truck stop rises to the bait with out much thought at all. Another thing about that goup is they are like a two dollar fiddle.When bored, you can play them any time you want.

  24. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    But it’s fine if her people “the hill people” poison the woods with artificial sweetener intended to kill wolves…and subsequently take out house pets as well.

  25. Salle Says:

    Well, if the fed says they are
    “watching” they’d better get a small army of “watchers” employed all over Idaho to secure their end of the bargain.

    Federal government to continue monitoring gray wolves

  26. WM Says:

    Will we be seeing the WWP Complaint on the rider soon, and will there be any national organization (DOW, HSUS, NRDC, etc.) plaintiffs to join in the campaign? If not, why not?

  27. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    OMG, their nostrils are flarin’ up over there! It’s so fun to see them come unhinged. ; )

  28. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Anybody know of a good auto-body shop around CDA or Spokane? I hit a farkin’ huge mulie last night with my Volvo. Thought the damage was minimal until I just looked at it in the daylight.

    • Cody Coyote Says:

      Volvo repairman should also be on the endangered species list here in the interior West. ( I drive one of the last real Volvos…a 245 wagon ). Mainstream repairmen won’t work on them because they have to buy so many special tools for the fuel injection and suspension and other components. That legendary Volvo reliabiltiy will only take you so far.

    • wolf moderate Says:

      You were driving too fast for the conditions. Some on this site would condemn you to hell for what you have done. Did you at least take the meat?

      • NotafanofWW2 Says:

        He appeared to have survived it. Just caught the front right antler on my bumper and shook it off. I was only going about 15 out my folk’s driveway up by Nine Mile.

        There a cute scene in this wildlife documentary about taking road kill. My dad used to do it all the time. That’s how he fed us 8 kids.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Where is nine mile? Is that like one mile from where M n’ M grew up? You know, the great white rapper…

      • NotafanofWW2 Says:

        It’s about 10 miles north of Spokane.

      • Woody Says:

        I believe Nine Mile is a creek west of Missoula where one the original Montana wolf packs was located.

    • NotafanofWW2 Says:

      Nine Mile Falls in WA

  29. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Echoniccocus Granulosus sounds like a case of an old sandy vajayjay.

    • jon Says:

      ha! the anti-wolf extremists are going to try like hell to find a reason to have all of the wolves eradicated. I think even they know this is most likely not going to happen. I’m not surprised if you see a lot of anti-wolfers coming out of the woodwork claiming they have e. granulosis. These nuts will not stop until the wolf is eradicated all over again. I’d also like to see them prove that they got it from wolves, the ones that claim they are infected with it that is.

      • Harley Says:

        I really think most of the people you speak of at the BBB don’t want them eradicated, just managed. Most logical hunters agree that a healthy ecosystem must also contain predators.
        I could be wrong, but that’s what they’ve said.

      • jon Says:

        Nothing to do with bbb Harley. I’m talking in general. TobyBridges, rockhead, Ron Gillette, all of these extreme nuts have said they want wolves exterminated.

      • jon Says:

        You want to know how extreme some of these people are? Did you know rockhead said he wanted a 10,000 dollar bounty put on those people who legally reintroduced wolves?

  30. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    That’s not what Rockholm said, Harley.

  31. Harley Says:

    All of these people have gone on record as saying they want to completely eradicate the wolf? I just want to make that point clear is all. If you could point me to specific links that shows them saying that all wolves need to be eradicated, I’d like to look through them.

    • NotafanofWW2 Says:

      Who? The people jon mentioned?

    • NotafanofWW2 Says:

      Go back and listen to Rockhead’s interviews on Bruce Hemming’s internet radio programs. You’ll find it there, I believe.

    • Phil Says:

      Harley: All you have to do is go to their youtube videos and they post comments saying they want all wolves eradicated. Rockholm, Bruce and a few others. Bruce has traveled as far as Arizona and New Mexico to spread his propaganda on wolves (Mexican) down there saying that wolves have been stalking kids at playgrounds trying to get the people to voice their opinions on wolves. A publisher actually wrote an article in a newspaper in New Mexico warning the locals about Bruce. Rochkolm has videos showing his teachings about wolves to his kid perpetrating them as this evil creature being a destruction to this planet. These are two of many examples they have shown in proof of their beliefs of eliminating the wolves in this country

    • Woody Says:

      Harley, here is some of the history of this massive effort to have wolves reintroduced into the NRM;

      • Harley Says:

        Ty, lots of reading. Some I think Barb pointed me to a long time back but it’s worth another look see.

  32. Harley Says:

    Toby Bridges, Scot Rockholm, Ron Gillette

    • NotafanofWW2 Says:

      It would be better if you just outright ask them. Get back to us on that, okay?

  33. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    She could also try swallowing a Giant Palouse White Worm, but the tapes are so much smaller and easier.

  34. Harley Says:

    wow, interestingly enough, your original put down and my response was taken off, but you still see fit to put something else up like that. I’m just… not sure how to feel about this. Not that it really matters, this will probably be removed as well.

  35. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    You always rise for the bait, dontcha, Harlster. ; )

  36. Harley Says:

    Oh boy, you are a winner Nota! with comments and stunts like this, you do more damage to your cause than anything anyone else could do. Keep stooping to the playground bully level, it exposes what you are really like and what you stand for. have fun! 😉

    • NotafanofWW2 Says:

      Hey there. Don’t knock a giant white worm until you’ve tried one!

      • NotafanofWW2 Says:

        For someone looking for civility, perhaps you should go back and look at what RattleTattle wrote about Brian. He actually accused him of lying! That’s slander! I think Rattle’s comments are much more insulting than mine were ever intended to be, yet you allow him to just slide right on by.

      • jon Says:

        They been slandering the fine people over here for months. That is all they do over there especially rattler. Just ignore them man and they will scatter like cockroaches. If they want to talk about people on another blog all day long, we should be flattered they are thinking about us. Rattler love slandering people behind his keyboard, but I very much doubt he would do it if he was in front of Ralph’s or Brian’s face. Let them talk about us. We will just ignore them.

      • william huard Says:

        Face it, the people over at the BBB hate people that care about the environment. They don’t have a clue what we do in our own communities to help the environment. To them, hunters are the only people with any credibility on wildlife issues. People with such a high level of negativity say way more about themselves than the people they are always criticizing.

  37. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Looks like TR removed the potentially damaging words Rattle wrote about Ertz. Good for him.

  38. Immer Treue Says:


    If you want to play both sides, be truthful on both sides. You made a comment on BBB, (yeah, I go look occasionally, hoping to ***learn*** something, but at the same time try to avoid the impulse to gawk at the train wreck) that Barry’s comment was removed. I don’t know how many comments he made. but the one in reply to jon is still there. No censorship, and no righteous indignation.

    What is your “cause?”

    • NotafanofWW2 Says:

      She’s trying to act like a moderator over here, yet sides with them on nearly everything.

  39. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    Sorry to disappoint you, Harloty, but TR did not remove the slanderous comments as I thought. They’re here:

  40. Ken Cole Says:

    This discussion about the BBB is pointless and off topic. If you want to have it I ask that you take it someplace else. It’s like feeding trolls.

    Essentially this discussion has driven people away from the one we were having about the merits of the case at hand.

    • WM Says:


      Sadly you are correct about this playground diatribe. Do you feel a bit like a 6th grade teacher who got stuck being monitor? Actually, I was hoping to get some input on a couple questions I posed this morning. Will post again in hope of getting some thougts:

      Will we be seeing the WWP Complaint on the rider soon, and will there be any national organization (DOW, HSUS, NRDC, etc.) plaintiffs to join in the campaign? If not, why not?

      • Ken Cole Says:

        I don’t know the answers to your questions. I’ve been out of the loop because I’ve been spending all of my time working on the Jarbidge case.

        I don’t believe that DoW will be challenging the rider and I don’t know what the plans of WWP are.

    • Harley Says:

      Mr. Cole, I believe it is your artwork that I’ve admired, you take quite a few pictures that Ralph has put up here, correct? Very impressive! I’ve only been out west once and long very much to go back again someday.

  41. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    You’re right, Mr. Cole. I got a bit carried away entertaining myself with the trolls over there. Nighty, night, everybody. ‘ )

  42. Harley Says:

    I just think there are a lot of honest sincere people on both sides of the fence. I come over here to try and learn a few things too. I tend to side with the other people because after doing my own digging, I’ve found, for the most part, more sense in what they say. I guess the thing that finally convinced me is that there are a lot of them over there that do not want the wolves wiped out, contrary to what some think. I have yet to look more closely into the above mentioned people, but I’m in the process of doing so. It just makes me kinda sad when the issue degrades to what Chandie looks like on her Facebook page. what does that have to do with anything? how does that help anyone? It’s a childish immature thing to do and any kind of validity gets swallowed up in things like that.
    About Barry’s post, I didn’t see it last night and I rechecked a few times. If it’s there now, great but it wasn’t last night.
    I see a lot of passion on both sides of the argument. I see things to admire on both sides. I don’t always agree with what is said over there and I only voiced a dissenting opinion here when it degraded down to the kinds of things you find in an elementary school playground. And I believe I’ve said a few things on the other side when things started to get out of hand.
    I suppose when you get down to it, I really have no business on either side.I’m a suburbanite who’s never seen a wolf outside of a zoo. I have ties to Farmers and Ranchers, there are several in the family tree. I also have some insights to the research that’s been ongoing up at Isle Royale. Beyond that, maybe it’s just something I shouldn’t speak on since I don’t have the first hand knowledge.
    I dunno. *shrug*

    • Immer Treue Says:


      To try and direct the conversation back to the topic of this thread, welcome to the world of wolf reintroduction and recolonization. Pretty volatile topic, eh? It is more than obvious how passionate folks are on either side of the wolf “fence”, and in the same breath, ones wonders how one animal could become such a focal point. The wolf controversy has actually made it to the level of constitutional law.

      Yeah, I’m pro-wolf. If you ever have a chance to see wolves in the wild, take advantage of that chance. Out West, or in the GLS, I’m sure there are some on this site that would be more than glad to oblige you.

      • Harley Says:

        I would like to do that some day. I was very close to getting up to Isle Royale but.. that’s been put on hold for now I’m afraid. It’s one thing to be passionate and defend what you so firmly believe in. That is something to be admired and people will listen to that. It’s when the ‘discussions’ start to go down the cyber space toilet that people wander away. I take time off from the other site when things get to a level that’s simply name calling back and forth. I mean honestly, it’s a given you won’t like someone like Chandie or Rockholm, so I guess it’s kinda pointless to point out their physical attributes and comment on them negatively. What does that have to do with wolves, ya know?
        whew, ok, now I’ll let you get back to it and thank you for giving me a chance to try and explain my position.

  43. Immer Treue Says:


    Isle Royale is great, but your chances of seeing a wolf are pretty slim. Scat yes, and paw prints is about it. If you want to see moose, you’ll all but stumble on them. Feldtmann Lake is a great place for that.

    If you are midwest… the Boundary Waters in Winter is about as good a place as any in the country to see wolves. Strap on a pair of cross country skis, and if Winter camping is in your blood at all, your chances of seeing, and hearing them are pretty darn good.

    Go to the International Wolf Center site,, and access their radio telemetry data, for wolf data. A Superior National Forest center section map is needed to plot where the packs are.

    • Harley Says:


      Been following IWC for a long time! Saw the pups introduce. Grizzer and Shadow have always been my favorite and I love Aiden too. Checked out the link that was pretty cool, they have a lot of interesting things there. Would love to get up that way some day too. I hear Ely is gorgeous.

  44. Salle Says:

    Here’s the swill-laden response I finally received from Tester:

    Dear Salle,

    Thank you for contacting me about wolf management. I appreciate your concerns about my recent work on this issue.

    I support putting wolf management back in the hands of Montanans. The State of Montana responsibly managed this species for a year with a peer reviewed and science-based plan. Our plan worked for livestock, wildlife and wolves themselves — and it supported Montana jobs. Unfortunately, a court ruled that because Wyoming does not have a science-based plan for wolf management, Montana could not legally manage its own wolf population. I disagree with this ruling, which penalized Montana for another state’s failure to act.

    Wolf reintroduction and recovery in the Northern Rocky Mountains is a conservation success story. Since reintroduction in 1995, wolf populations have increased from a few dozen to 1,700. The original recovery goal of 300 wolves has been sustained in the region for almost a decade. That is why the U.S. Interior Department agreed to return wolf management to State of Montana wildlife biologists in 2003. The Interior Department re-affirmed that plan in 2009.

    Because Wyoming was standing in the way of a reasonable made-in-Montana plan, I passed a provision in Congress that allows Montana to manage its wolves. This provision has broad, bipartisan support from ranchers, sportsmen, conservationists, and the Department of the Interior. The plans in my legislation were approved by officials in the Bush administration and the Obama administration. It’s a responsible, balanced solution.

    Some members of Congress propose taking a drastic approach to wolf management. Their legislation would permanently remove wolves from the Endangered Species Act and eliminate the safety net that allows wolves to be returned to the list should their population ever significantly decline. It would delist all wolves across the entire country, not just areas where the science says the wolf population is thriving. I do not think such a plan is a responsible way to approach wildlife management.

    I know how important this issue is to Montanans. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can be of further assistance.


    Jon Tester
    United States Senator

    As with Baucus’ letter, it’s a crock of political gain oriented swill.

    • WM Says:


      Certainly not as good as the Tester/Baucus bill from last year, in which MT and ID wolves would have been managed for the higher respective management objectives as stated in their plans. ID, as I recall, was at the 500 plus level. That proposal came too late in the process.

      This one, adopted as the rider, while not what many of us wanted to see, does offer a “management solution” which was in effect promised in the idea of the ESA when it was passed in 1973 – that there would be cooperation with states as implementors of species management plans. It is important not to forget that feature.

      The WY situation that caused this, AND importantly the situation that redirected the emphasis of the litigation away from the science of recovery and to an unanticipated institutional flaw of the DPS concept – remember even if MT and ID had 10,000 wolves and agreed to manage for that ridiculously high number, as long as WY didn’t have an approved plan wolves (even while ESA protected under the guardianship of FWS) could not be delisted under Molloy’s apparently correct interpretation of the law. THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT AND REFLECTIVE OF THE TECHNICAL FLAW OF THE ESA.

      Wolf advocates need to take responsiblity for where this matter is now, and stop deflecting criticism away from themselves, where it is rightfully due. This litigation could still have been about the science of recovery, but plaintiffs screwed it up, and have nobody to blame but themselves.

      Political swill or not, it offered a way out of this litigation filled delay, delay, delay of delisting that has frustrated the entire process. And, it appears we are about to engage in another round of this foolishness with the two complaints (maybe three) that have just been filed.

      • IDhiker Says:


        I agree with you. If we could go back to the previous Tester/Baucus bill with the 500 number for Idaho, I’d be happy. I did write both Tester and Baucus numerous times urging them to set this number minimum in the rider, too, but they totally ignored this in their replies to me. Obviously, they weren’t interested in doing that again. Hindsight is always perfect, but, I guess we could have seen this coming with the last litigation.

        Of course, Idaho could show their “good faith” by going back to that 500 number on their own, but I doubt it.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        It’s sort of like going to a casino, dropping a few thousand, then asking for your money back. Why would they give you your money back, and why would Idaho pander to the very people that put “us” in this perdicament in the first place.

      • IDhiker Says:

        Ummm, simply because they are genuinely interested in responsible management of previously endangered species?? And want to show naysayers that they would have done a good job of management all along?? And that they could have been trusted to do this without the lawsuits??

      • JEFF E Says:

        Idaho is already talking about going back to the 500+ number. Some of the more realistic biologists are being listened too. the only reason is too ensure a “perfect storm of events” does not happen and knock the population below the mandated minimum # and trigger re- listing. Problem is who will be doing the official counting. the old fox guarding the hen house conundrum.

      • Wolf Moderate Says:

        I find it rather peculiar that most people from all over the United States come to the NRM to view wildlife and wilderness. If they were so piss poor at management, then how can this be? Why not stop with the damn lawsuits and SEE how the states do managing wolves.

        On a side note, I am beginning to see why some in Idaho never wanted the wolves. It appears that the environmentalists want the wolves forever listed under the flawed ESA. Well, it’s apparent that the abuse of the ESA will lead the Congress, led by the incredibly conservative House, to make major changes to the ESA.

      • JEFF E Says:

        The concern is that the “official” position of the Idaho legislature is too remove wolves by “any means necessary”.
        If you trust this bunch to act responsibly I would invite you to do some research in other “management ” of wildlife such as the big horn sheep in Idaho and Bison in Montana.

      • Brian Ertz Says:

        Jeff E,

        those who put their trust in the good faith of the crooks in charge in Idaho either haven’t been paying attention, are willingly ignorant, are grasping for a rational answer in an anti-rational environment, or – as I suspect the case most likely to be – they’re just in dire need of back-surgery.

        It’s the same tune over and over … deflect responsibility for the ill from the crooks at the helm onto those who act in order justify their comfy position in the armchair … why ? likely because they don’t really care that much … it’s fun sport … maybe not, maybe they do care, but are too engrossed with that good feeling that comes with sticking to the status quo and basking in the retrospective righteousness of how not rocking the boat keeps their feet dry, even when it’s drifting in the wrong direction for wildlife and wolves in the western United States.

        WM, your suggestion that the Motion on Summary Judgement with the DPS argument, and that the ESA is “flawed” was a mistake, is my favorite speculation. Your continued suggestion that this DPS question is not a biological one strikes at the heart of the issue of federalism, and your advocacy for localized management – which given the states at issue, ultimately renders your position anti-wolf.

        The ESA is a federal law and its administration being directed by species’ population habitat and range, rather than political boundaries, is at its very essence a question of biologically informed management trumping politicized management. Perhaps one might argue that it’d be better for individual states to manage populations of listed species – the ESA allows for that to a degree, and it has been administered as such to a great degree anyway – but to allow for piecemeal delisting is a BAD biological idea – in this case, it was a bad idea for biological reasons because the governing recovery document specifically described the necessity of adequate recovery of populations and connectivity in and between all states to ensure genetic connectivity of the population as a whole – AND the management plans in Idaho and Montana did not provide any assurances of such. That ‘guideline’ was always there – it was no surprise – and it was brought up by scientists reviewing the public process for delisting. We didn’t need to make those arguments – nor would it have been prudent to do so – because the law was violated so flagrantly as a matter of its clear reading – on its face – and the state plans being implemented at that time were so threatening to the very integrity of connectivity at issue.

        Whether or not we won on the DPS argument or other population metrics would have been of little consequence to the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing anti-wolf crowd, whose political charge would have been felt by all the same crooks in Congress anyway.

        The bottom line: There is no rational path by which those who hope to pursue a biologically sound recovery of wolves could have taken that would have avoided this controversy/confrontation with anti-wolf, anti-ESA, anti-wild factions that is taking place right now – it was always coming to a head. The principle question remains: Who and how many among wolf advocates will continue to weather the storm – and in doing so – maintain a principled articulation of the values that are so critical to the realization of a meaningful wild west when the dust settles.

      • IDhiker Says:

        If Idaho wastes this opportunity to “manage” wolves responsibly, and wolves would have to be re-listed, it destroys the argument that states should be being able to manage their own wildlife, and have the expertise to do so. If the politicians in Idaho don’t stay out of this, there’s also no argument that IDFG is using “biological management.”

        Rather than “getting even” with pro-wolf groups, Idaho government’s best interest is to show they can do the job well. Reducing wolf numbers to around 150 is not doing it right, and they may be sorry themselves down the road.

      • JB Says:

        Okay, the problem with the DPS argument is that we already use political boundaries to list species and we have been doing it from the very beginning. Wolves were listed as endangered in 47 of 48 conterminous U.S. states–but not in Canada or Alaska, and in Minnesota they were listed as threatened.

        Varying the listing status by state makes sense because threats vary by state–in fact, this is the primary argument for keeping wolves listed in the West. What people seem to fail to grasp is that the reason for having a three-state DPS/recovery zone was the very minimal population requirement for recovery (the infamous 10/100 per state requirement). Thus, in order to actually have ONE SINGLE VIABLE POPULATION all three states had to commit to maintain AT LEAST that many wolves. However, Idaho (at least) now arguably has a viable population of its own. In my mind, this negates the need for a “coordinated” approach. That is, if a state commits to maintain a viable population on its own, what is the point of coordinating management with other states?

        And I will reiterate–DPS policy is agency-made, it is the agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous phrase in the original act (i.e., the undefined “distinct population segment”). If one looks at the congressional record, it becomes readily apparent that Congress intended that listing status could vary by state. So claiming that DPS policy is a flaw in the ESA is bogus.

      • JB Says:

        And I wholeheartedly agree that using a congressional rider to “fix” this problem was just plain wrong. Moreover, I also see reasons to believe that wolves in western states may, in fact, be at least threatened–especially given the actions of prominent government officials and state legislatures. But I think this DPS issue is a distraction–it allows for rhetoric to be deflected away from states’ commitments (or lack thereof) and aimed at environmentalists and the ESA.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        WoMo here (lol),

        JB, I really like your writing style. It’s direct and concise. I also agree w/ your above point. Would you mind disclosing what your general field of study is in?

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Whoops. I agree with your 7:47 comment, but not the 8:00 comment, though I do respect your opinions…

      • JB Says:


        I guess I’m on target in my efforts to please half the people half the time! LOL 😉

        – – – – – – –
        Both my graduate degrees are from interdisciplinary programs in Natural Resources, though my research falls squarely in the fields of social and political psychology.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        Cool ty. I start at U of Idaho during the Spring 2012 semester. Looking forward to it.

        Good luck.

      • WM Says:


        ++So claiming that DPS policy is a flaw in the ESA is bogus.++

        Wait a minute. Not so fast. When you describe DPS policy and application, as you did prior to that statement, I tend to agree. But the real world for NRM wolf reintroduction was not so simple in creating a DPS that would work. Maybe you have given this some thought, so tell me where I get it wrong.

        When setting up the NRM DPS and doing the reintroduction, where at least two states didn’t want wolves to begin with, and finding it necessary to take advantage of the strategic importance of Yellowstone NP, and the GYA, that is where the institutional problem begins. Doing an introduction without the 3 core NRM states doesn’t make much biological or institutional sense. FWS had to define the NRM DPS broadly in geographical, and ecosystem terms. Of course, including including small portions of UT, OR and WA was superfluous, but likely done to get a bigger political buy in for a foothold of expanding populations as is now occurring (also getting and preserving those all important 10(j) non-essential experimental population safeguards in place.

        See, that is the complexity of the NRM DPS legal implications as we apparently now know after Judge Molloy’s trial court decision. On the other hand, a one state DPS apparently means one and only one problem institutionally – either a state has an approved plan or it doesn’t and thus it qualifies for delisting. Multiple states, and there is an institutional defect that affects all three. This situation begs for a statutory cure, based on Molloy’s ruling (and if upheld on appeal had it gone forward).

        Keeping part of the DPS in listed status is of no biological harm whatsoever, since keeping wolves at a higher protection level than those areas where delisted means they are PROTECTED AT A HIGHER LEVEL under the stewardship of FWS and penalties for killing/harassing are a federal crime. So it really is kind of a stupid outcome.

        I will stick with my view that it is an institutional flaw that begs for a cure, as can only be accomplished by changing the ESA.

        I am still perplexed why FWS couldn’t have delisted the entire DPS and acted as manager in WY, where no approved plan was present. There has been no explanation of whether that was legally permissible under the ESA, and if that were the case the law would not require a change (a good outcome regarding the ESA’s sanctity).

      • WM Says:

        wolf mod,

        Well, if the Spruce Tavern is still in Moscow, stop by and have a cold one for me. We used to make the Moscow run from Pullman (about an 8 mile drive) when I was an undergrad at WSU, years ago.

      • wolf moderate Says:

        I’ll be sure to stop by and check it out. Ah, to be able to run 8 miles again! 🙂

      • JB Says:


        I only have a minute or two, but it is instructive here to relive a few important events.

        1967-Wolves are listed under the predecessor to the ESA
        1973-ESA passes, wolves listed shortly thereafter
        1978-Wolves are reclassified throughout the conterminous US states–both the US/Canada border and MN/surrounding state borders are used to distinguish listing status.
        1978-US Congress amends the ESA to include listing for “distinct population segments”–the terminology is not defined.
        1994-EIS for NRM wolf recovery published.
        1995-Wolf reintroductions begin.
        1996-USFWS/NMFS publish an interpretation of DPS policy
        2003-The FWS first attempts to use DPS policy to delist/downlist wolves nationwide.

        It is instructive to read DPS policy to get an idea of what the Service was thinking at that time. DPS policy allows a DPS to be defined when a population is (a) discrete/distinct (i.e. “markedly separated”), and (b) significant. The discreteness test is what is relevant to this conversation:

        “Discreteness: A population segment of a vertebrate species may be considered discrete if it satisfies either one of the following conditions:

        1. It is markedly separated from other populations of the same taxon as a consequence of physical, physiological, ecological, or behavioral factors. Quantitative measures of genetic or morphological discontinuity may provide evidence of this separation.

        2. It is delimited by international governmental boundaries within which differences in control of exploitation, management of habitat, conservation status, or regulatory mechanisms exist that are significant in light of section 4(a)(1)(D) of the Act.”

        Here is the Service’s justification (in response to review) for including international boundaries in the test:

        “The Services recognize that the use of international boundaries as a measure of discreteness may introduce an artificial and non-biological element to the recognition of DPS’s. Nevertheless, it appears to be reasonable…to recognize units delimited by international boundaries when these coincide with differences in the management, status, or exploitation of a species.

        The FWS could just as easily written into their DPS policy the same rule for states, as we now see that political boundaries “coincide with differences in the management, status [and] exploitation” of wolves. The FWS chose not to go this path. It was, in my opinion, a poor decision and it (not the ESA) has put us where we are today.

      • Salle Says:


        Thanks for that rather detailed clarification. I would also suggest that others read Hank Fischer’s “Wolf Wars“. It’s chronicle of his negotiations with the government and the residents in all three DPS states during the years leading up to the reintroduction. It explains a lot. Ralph used it as required reading in one of his “Predators and Politics” courses. Very informative, regardless of one’s specific views on the matter from one of the proponents of reintroduction and his role in the process.

        As for those who claim that “…we didn’t want them here…” and all the bluster about that argument, I have to say that unless you understand the whole story, you don’t know much about it. For the casually curious, if you read Hank’s book, Gary Ferguson’s “Yellowstone Wolves; The First Year“; and Carter Niemeyer’s book, “Wolfer” you will get a well rounded picture of the story.

      • WM Says:


        My error on the sequencing of the development of DPS policy (seems alot happened 1994-96), and how it applies to the NRM. I will have to think some more on the intricacies of what it seems you suggest.

        In the interim, and thinking outloud here, the fact remains that the reintroduction as referenced in the 1994 EIS contemplated interconnectivity among and between the 3 core states with wolves (Appendix 9). So, if I understand your position, applying a different DPS concept (state lines) there been three DPS’s created along state lines before connectivity occurred: one for WY with its reintroduced 10(j) population in Yellowstone; ID with its reintroduced 10(j) wolves; and MT with its naturally repopulating wolves from Canada (international boundary we won’t consider for now), the DPS issue Molloy had to rule upon might have been avoided?

        We also have historic range element that adds another layer of complexity. And then, there is the manner in which the DPS concept was employed for the reintroduction in the first place. Because, if I recall correctly, the DPS concept was originally intended by Congress as a tool to protect an EXISTING population at risk, within its range, while the larger population of a species was not at risk. I think that point was addressed in one of the Great Lakes wolf suits filed in the DC Circuit. Sorry, I don’t have the cite, 2008, maybe?

        I still go back to the institutional weakness (flaw) of the ESA when it is contemplated that more than one state be involved in a cooperative role with the federal government as envisioned by Section 6, and where the states must cooperate among themselves. And, we know WY is not cooperating with ID and MT, as it goes its own direction at the legal peril of the other two, according to Molloy’s ruling on the law.

        Put differently, there is no way from a scientific perspective the NRM DPS could have been broken down into 3 (based on state lines) had DPS policy been developed around the theory as you suggest. Am I wrong on that, and if so, why?

      • WM Says:


        The DOI Solicitor’s legal opinion on the DPS usage in the GL wolf delisting, and subsequent suit/ruling by a DC Circuit judge, which confirms my earlier understanding of the litigation referenced above:

        Click to access M-37018.pdf

        It takes an unusually strong slap at the judge’s ruling by saying he didn’t understand the law or how to apply it to the FWS regulation. This is one more indication this DPS concept is complex to implement – even for judges.

      • JB Says:


        Wolf Wars is indeed a great book for understanding the events that led to the reintroduction. I also recommend Martin Nie’s, Beyond Wolves as a great read for people interested in the politics of wolf recovery.

        – – – – –

        WM: To be clear, I think FWS’s error was forcing biologists to create policy in a political vacuum–that is, they used biological and ecological principles (science) to fit a definition to an inherently political concept (DPS). The intent of the ESA is pretty simple–to preserve imperiled species and the ecosystems on which they depend. In the case of wolves (and other large carnivores) the threats to these species are almost entirely attributable to humans–and they vary substantially along political boundaries. In my view, those political boundaries are thus appropriate units for delineating “discreteness” for the same reasons that FWS noted in defending its use of international boundaries. Their mistake was trying to fit a “scientific” definition to an inherently political term–DPS.

        As to whether separate DPS’s could be used to delist wolf populations by state, I am not even sure you need to involve DPS’s assuming that states contain a viable population and the threats to that population do not rise to a level adequate for listing? If, for example, scientists determined that 400 wolves (I’m pulling that number out of a hat) constituted a viable population, and threats to wolves were adequate to justify keeping Wyoming wolves listed, but inadequate for listing Idaho and Montana wolves–then just remove wolves in Idaho and Montana from ESA protections and leave Wyoming listed (as a separate DPS). There would be no need to create a DPS for Idaho or Montana (again, assuming threats don’t rise to the required level), as these populations are connected to an unlisted Canadian population. Same goes for Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

        I think FWS’s interpretation of the phrase and subsequent court rulings (trying to parse science from politics) have led to this mess. Perhaps it does justify revising the ESA, if only to clarify the concept? Of course, FWS could also revise DPS policy, though that would likely lead to other legal battles.

      • JB Says:

        Well, looks like the administration is moving in exactly the wrong direction.

      • Salle Says:


        Funny you should mention Nie’s book, Beyond Wolves. I bought it last fall and got about halfway through it when I started working again, which cut into my skiing and reading time, and have yet to finish it. It is a very good reference book on this topic as well.

      • Salle Says:

        Not sure why but two comments from yesterday aren’t here.


        I bought Nie’s book last fall, haven’t finished it yet but I agree, it should be added to the list I mentioned. It digs into the “meat” of the policy argument and analyzes how the narratives from all sides play out with regard to their perceptions and how they fit into the policies or not.

    • IDhiker Says:


      I also got this same letter from Tester – twice.

  45. Doryfun Says:

    I pretty much agree with you about the situation created by well intended folks, but also still feel that we should be spending more time trying to eliminate “riders” and clean up our justice system. For you professional lawyer types, any ideas/input here?

    Since fish and game politics is so similar to broken treaties with Indian folks (with the anglo culture being the next version of disenfranchised Indians), are you familiar with the Cobell v. Kempthorne, a class-action suit involving three hundred thousand plaintiffs across western Indian country? Plaintiffs included descendants of those that attended the Great Smoke at Horse Creek. A Black feet woman , Elouise Cobell brought forth an accounting of mineral royalities on Indian lands.

    A conservative Judge from TX (Royce Lamberth ) presided over the case in a federal district court in DC. Three times he cited secretaries of the interior for contempt of court (due to foot-dragging, malfeasance, and bureaucratic double-talk). Here are his comments taken from a new book: Savages and Scoundrels – Paul Vandevelder:

    “Alas,” declared Judge Lamberth in words seldom heard from a federal bench, “our modern Interior Department has time and again demonstrated that it is a dinosaur – the morally and culturally oblivious hand-me-down of a disgracefully racist and imperialist government that should have been buried a century ago, the last pathetic outpost of the indifference and Anglocentrism we thought we had leff behind…For those harboring hope that the stories of murder, dispossession, forced marches, assimilationist policy programs, and other incidents of cultural genocide against Indians are merely echoes of a horrible, bigoted government-past that has been sanitized by the good deeds of more recent history, this case serves as an appalling reminder of the evils that result when large numbers of the politically powerless are placed at the mercy of institutions engendered and controlled by a politically powerful few.” In 2005, at the insistent urging of the White House and the Interior Department’s lawyers, who accused Judge Lamberth of being “too harsh or the government” in a twenty-three-page motion seeking his dismissal, Judge Lamberth was removed from the case. “

    Again, what can we do eliminate riders? And prevent future derailments of our legal system? Any other ideas about how to improve our system, from any of you legalese professionals? If we can’t be fair to people, how will we ever be fair to animals?

  46. Immer Treue Says:

    From the International Wolf Center publication:

    Should Wolves be Delisted from the Endangered Species List?

    Click to access pro_con_delisting.pdf

    • jon Says:

      Thanks for that link immer. It was a good read. I would like to see wolves in more states. Some states have a out of control deer population. Some might take a look at the #s of wolves in some states and say to themselves, wolves are doing good and are in no threat of going extinct, but like the article pointed out, there are a lot of threats facing wolves. Disease, poaching, humans killing wolves, etc are all serious threats to wolves.

  47. WM Says:

    A related on topic matter for this thread. Apparently a MI Republican House of Rep (and former MI Secretary of State) wants wolves delisted across the US – her reasoning in the short article “too many lawsuits from environmentalists.

    Don’t know anything about Rep. Candice Miller, but she is a 6 term representative from Lower Peninsula of MI (thumb of the mitten area), and was MI Secretary of State from 1994-2002, and her husband is a retired judge. So, on a first glance, she hardly seems a teabagger, and would appear to have some credibility with MI voters.

    • Salle Says:

      That’s the problem with assuming that because she’s a member of Congress that she has the knowledge to make such a claim. It seems to me that she is doing a “sheeple” thing with her bought and paid for House Members. If she comes from the “thumb” part of MI, she is a city-dweller and probably doesn’t know anything about the species, the ESA, and a host of other bodies of knowledge that makes her claim nothing less than uninformed blustering. Perhaps she’s trying to gain a “Michele ‘lame-brained’ Bachman” kind of fame and fortune. Two brief paragraphs of speculation and a quote that proves her ignorance of process doesn’t give me any info on her teabagger leanings. A lot of the MI legislature is absolutely antipublic and seems to have a strong desire to destroy the people’s rights in the interests of big bucks privatizers – look at what’s happening in Benton Habor for example. You don’t have to know anything to be a member of Congress these days, just be able to win a heavily laden with $$$ popularity contest… having a judge for a husband probably has it’s benefits in that matter as well. (Remember, a SCOTUS member’s wife is a high profile teabagger – he’s supposed to be unbiased but obviously isn’t.) This woman seems to be afflicted with a diploma from the “sarah palin school of non-thought”.

      • Salle Says:

        I found this a few minutes ago. It seems that the hunting orgs see themselves as the ONLY conservationists and I think that a new definition needs to be derived here. All I can see from this is that these so called conservationists are a little too selective in their “god squad” status when it comes to whom and what composes a healthy ecosystem and its what is needed to manage such.
        New Wolf Delisting Bill Introduced Today in Congress
        A new wolf bill was introduced today by Congresswoman Candice Miller (R) Michigan. Big Game Forever supports this new legislation as a significant next step in wolf delisting. The bill returns control of wolf populations to an expanded list of states in the West and Midwest, as well as providing the certainty of automatic delisting when objectives are met in Arizona and New Mexico. We continue to support H.R. 509 and S. 249 while also supporting the common sense effort represented by this new wolf delisting bill. We look forward to forwarding a copy of the official bill, once it is received, for your feedback and suggestion. Once a bill number is assigned, we will provide an update.
        Here is an official press release regarding the new wolf bill:

        Big Game Forever
        Dedicated to common sense conservation
        For Immediate Release: May 10, 2011

        Conservation groups voice support of new wolf delisting legislation

        Sportsmen and conservation groups applaud the introduction of new legislation in a bipartisan effort to address challenges presented by unmanaged wolf populations. The bipartisan bill introduced Tuesday May 10, 2011 by Congresswoman Miller (R)-Michigan returns wolves to state wildlife management protections in key Western and Midwestern states. Management of wolf populations under state wildlife protections is the best way to protect wolves while also permitting science based determination of what is best for wildlife resources within the states.

        Ryan Benson of Big Game Forever addresses the common sense approach of the legislation, “We are grateful for the leadership of Congresswoman Miller, Congressman Matheson and the other original cosponsors of this proactive legislation. Returning important decision making authority to state wildlife agencies in the West and Midwest ends years of wasteful litigation and provides certainty that America’s wolf populations can be managed responsibly and in balance with other wildlife populations.”

        Amy Trotter, Resource Policy Manager at Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), remarked, “Its unfortunate that, when it comes to wolves, the Endangered Species Act has been hijacked by an anti-sportsmen agenda. Science initially guided the development of recovery goals. But wolf populations still languish on the list despite the fact that populations are now 12 times beyond delisting objectives for the Michigan-Wisconsin population. Michigan residents are frustrated. We welcome Congressional action to allow the states to implement their scientifically based wolf management plans.”

        Recent announcements that US Fish and Wildlife Service will delist Mid-western wolf populations follow previous efforts to delist abundant wolf Mid-western wolf populations through administrative processes. Conservation organizations recognize that litigation and other delay tactics are likely to be used again to challenge new delisting proposals.

        Mark Johnson, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, “Midwestern sportsmen conservationists were disappointed that recent Congressional action failed to address the need to delist wolf populations in Minnesota and most other states. However, we are encouraged by the growing consensus that wolf delisting is long overdue, while also recognizing the need for Congressional action to make delisting decisions immune to another wave of needless litigation. The wolf has recovered. It is time to delist them and place them under state protections and management.”

        The impacts on wildlife populations in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and other states illustrate the need to be proactive in addressing unmanaged wolf populations. This is important not only to protect delicate wildlife populations but also the economic foundation of wildlife protection. Failures to properly manage wolf populations now present unnecessary risk to vibrant wildlife populations in the West and Midwest.

        Don Peay, founder of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, “With the need to trim billions from the federal budgets, returning management of wolves to all states ends redundant federal expenditures for a job states can do better. More importantly, abundant big game herds are an American treasure, a renewable resource that with proper management can sustain tens of millions of dollars in annual economic activity, tens of thousands of jobs, and the opportunity for hundreds of thousands of Americans to put food on the table.”

        Suzanne Gilstrap, Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife, “The new delisting proposal aligns wolf recovery objectives in Arizona and New Mexico with Congressional wolf delisting proposals and is consistent with recent Congressional action relative to the gray wolf. The sportsmen of the Southwest welcome the fact that this legislation assures that delisting will in fact follow ongoing investment by states, sportsmen and livestock producers in wolf recovery.
        Really? Sounds like a bunch of orchestrated sh*tbagger rhetorical whining.

      • WM Says:


        The “conservationist” label has surely changed. I recall the traditional definition from years ago as an undergraduate and graduate student, called forth in college classes, including text book references. It included hunters/fishers and multiple use resource users as “conservationists.” Advocacy groups like Sierra Club, Defenders, etc. and the National Park crowd were labeled more restrictively as “preservationists.”

        The world has gotten more complex and labels just don’t fit anymore. Brian Ertz has me lumped in with the “anti-wolfers” which I find troubling, since I continue to support an NRM population at about 1,500. So, I take crap from both sides.

  48. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    A few weeks ago, north of Tensed, Idaho, near the road to Sanders Christian Camp my friend and I saw what appeared to be a white wolf making his way along a berm of old snow. He was absolutely gorgeous. It was a true gift to be able to see this creature in his natural environment.

  49. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    On the subject of Hydatid disease, a veterinarian and cattle-vaccine researcher I know in Idaho told me this morning that he has only seen one case of it. It was in a feed-lot in Hamer and was traced to migrant Mexican workers defacating in a spud cellar. The spuds were turned into silage and fed to cattle. He has never seen a case of Hydatid transferred from wolves, coyotes or dogs to hooved animals.

  50. NotafanofWW2 Says:

    They just shot 5 wolves in Lolo from a helicopter. : (

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