Fish & Game Commission lays out framework for Idaho wolf management
IDFG News Release
May 19, 2011
The Idaho Fish and Game Commission Thursday, May 19, directed the Fish and Game Department to:
1. Manage wolves in a manner that will ensure wolves remain under responsible state management in conjunction with the rest of Idaho’s wildlife.
2. Manage wolves as big game animals consistent with the goals and objectives of the 2002 Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management plan approved by the Idaho Legislature and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to keep wolves off the Endangered Species List.
3. Control wolves where they depredate on livestock and other domestic animals or threaten human safety.
4. Control the population of wolves and other predators as needed to address areas where elk or other prey populations are below management objectives.
5. Develop wolf hunting season recommendations for consideration at the Commission’s July 2011 meeting and develop trapping recommendations.
6. Conduct additional species management planning as appropriate.
Commissioners also agreed to support the state the of Idaho’s legal defense of challenges to state management, such as those lawsuits challenging the 2011 congressional action for wolf delisting, and urge Congress to continue to provide funding for monitoring, control and depredation compensation related to the wolf population introduced by the federal government into Idaho.
May 20, 2011 at 7:02 PM
“urge Congress to continue to provide funding for monitoring, control and depredation compensation related to the wolf population introduced by the federal government into Idaho.”
We ALL pay for “management” (read killing) of wolves. Also, if the first five criteria do not cover some excuse to kill wolves, #6 is the fall-back position. Just great.
May 20, 2011 at 7:08 PM
Predictably enough, there is nothing here that mentions any higher principle of conservation, anything about doing the “right” thing because it is the “right” thing and not just a way to maintain state (cult) control, or, as usual, considering the views of anyone other than the bona fide members of the UT/ID predominant cult.
May 20, 2011 at 7:28 PM
Sounds good! Let them take over and see what happens with the population! They know they are under a microscope and have to be fair on all accounts. I think the Wolves have figured out to stay away from people and the Hunts will be even less successful than when they had the first Hunt. I was up in Elk City for 7 days Turkey Hunting and read all the BS and never saw 1 Wolf. Shit gets blown way outta propotion and I would bet that Wolves shot legally drop a lot from the first Hunt. And to mention, when there are legal tags, I’d say poaching would drop too.
May 21, 2011 at 4:26 AM
The 2002 plan is an interesting read. As far as I can ascertain, Idaho’s official position is that the USFWS should removal all wolves by any means necessary but since the FWS won’t, Idaho will maintain a viable, self-sustaining population. [Huh?] At some places in the text, this Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde-approach is readily apparent; for example:
“The State of Idaho is on the record asking the federal government to remove wolves from the state by the adoption in 2001 of House Joint Memorial No. 5. The position reflected in House Joint Memorial No. 5 continues to be the official position of the State of Idaho. However, in order to use every available option to mitigate the severe impacts on the residents of the State of Idaho, the state will seek delisting and manage wolves at recovery levels that will ensure viable, self-sustaining populations.”
–Unfortunately, the 2002 plan does not define what a viable wolf population is. This makes it hard to say what IDF&G is committing to…other than 15 packs.
–I found the following text particularly interesting in the context of the Lolo controversy:
“The wolf population will be managed at recovery levels that will ensure viable, self-sustaining populations until it can be established that wolves in increasing numbers will not adversely affect big game populations, the economic viability of IDFG, outfitters and guides, and others who depend on a viable population of big game animals.”
–This seems to suggest at least someone at IDF&G didn’t think wolves could adversely impact big game populations. What happens now that Idaho F&G has demonstrated an “adverse” impact on elk populations (at least in one area)? A glimpse of an answer is on the following pages…
“When circumstances cause declines in the natural prey that are demonstrated as being attributable to wolf predation, management may be needed to temporarily reduce populations. In most instances, wolves can be managed similarly to how other large native mammalian predators are traditionally managed. However, sport hunting has not proven effective in the past to effectively manage wolf populations. The IDFG is authorized to evaluate and use sport hunting or any other means necessary to maintain wolf populations at recovery levels that will ensure a viable, self-sustaining population until such time as all impacts are known.”
–Assuming “all impacts” are able to be known (that is quite an assumption)…what happens then?
In sum, the 2002 plan seems to vacillate between “Dr. Jekyll’s” desire to maintain a viable population of wolves, consistent with IDF&G’s public trust obligations and “Mr. Hyde’s” desire to rid Idaho of this symbol of federal oppression. By being especially vague about how management will be handled, the plan maximizes IDF&G’s management flexibility; unfortunately, it also leaves the skeptical reader wondering just what they’ve actually committed to?
May 21, 2011 at 10:26 AM
Recall that the IDFG did not write the 2002 plan. That was the Idaho legislature. Later, in 2008, the IDFG did write a plan which would have maintained 518-732 wolves, but once it became obvious that they would be held to account for it by the language contained in the 2010 Tester rider they quickly rescinded it and the fallback position became the much worse 2002 plan which begrudgingly commits to maintain 10-15 breeding pairs.
Now the IDFG is in the process of writing a new plan that will maintain a number “somewhere below 500” wolves to make sure that the number will never drop below the minimum. I predict that if they cme up with a plan which does this the legislature will step in and mandate that they reduce the population to the absolute minimum of 15 breeding pairs or 150 wolves.
The legislature has made it pretty clear that they don’t want more than the minimum and this, in my mind, was the main justification for fighting the delisting proposals. Idaho does not have adequate regulatory mechanisms for protection of a recovered population.
May 22, 2011 at 7:27 AM
My hope is that they will find it as hard to kill wolves as some have anticipated, and the lack of a “big government” control to rail against will help moderate the tone of their rhetoric (when they’re in charge, they will have no one to blame but themselves). Given the costs associated with radio/GPS collars and aerial gunning (the most effective means of killing wolves), eventually [hopefully] they will conclude heavy-handed control just isn’t worth it.
My fear is that they [politicians] will purposefully try and reduce wolves to close to the minimum population in an attempt to “dare” the federal government to intervene and keep the issue–which appears to be a political goldmine for some in the West–salient. I guess we’ll see.
May 21, 2011 at 5:42 AM
Well researched JB: and people wonder why groups are suing over the delisting process. I think most reasonable envir. groups would settle and accept Idaho and Montana (and ultimately WY) committing to around 500 wolves each, which would likely ensure or at least facilitate some connectivity between the states but instead you get these Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde-contradictions that JB describes.
I wonder if Mark G. can give us any useful comments on this?
May 22, 2011 at 5:27 PM
Only if he wants to risk his job. I am sure he and others are keeping a low profile to keep their jobs, and I don’t blame them for that at all…
May 21, 2011 at 9:02 AM
So much for turning the “management” over to the “professional” state agencies. Clearly, as we all have known for a long time, the IDFG is politically managed by the commissioners, who answer to Butch Otter. None of this is “science based.” It seems only people like Jon Tester seem to not realize this, at least not according to his responses in the media, but I suspect he really knows it, too.
Now, it remains to be seen whether the professional people in the IDFG will act professionally, or whether they will give in totally to their political masters and base all their recommendations on political concerns, rather than biological.
May 22, 2011 at 8:36 AM
Of course they will. They have no other manner in which to maintain control, fearmongering and hate-baiting is their game and so it shall ever be in Idaho. Too bad they weren’t “raptured”. I think that maybe the rapture might have taken place but those who were sure they had a ticket to heaven found out that they were “bumped” by muslims… (according to mant, heaven is only so big and can only support a given number of inhabitants… too bad they haven’t figured out that part they claim, “As above, so below” works on the planetary level and their concepts of some other, more inviting, place where only those who share their beliefs can go is little more than a pipedream.) You either accept what life on earth has to offer (along with all the other worthy* living beings) here or it isn’t going to happen ~ no matter where you go, there you are.
* Worthy – meaning valid life-forms, which is why they are here and should be respected and not to be determined by humans based on “usefulness” and convenience/entertainment for humans only.
May 22, 2011 at 6:56 AM
Policy means very little; it is the on-the ground implementation that matters. And there is no way the legislature is going to manage wolves any differently now than they have shown in the recent past with politics, hysteria and misinformation the main criteria for actions on the ground. Bottom line–ecosystem concerns and wolf sustainability matter little; the elk and the money their killing generates matter the most. Period.
May 22, 2011 at 10:54 AM
– guess it depends on your working definition of ” manage”.
I don’t see the words ” nonlethal control” rolling off these guys lips or fingertips.
Doesn’t anyone remember that early on in wolf recovery, dispersed wolves were “managed” outside Yellowstone under a “3 Strikes” plan…not eradicated till their third infraction ?
I rarely see the term Nonlethal used towards wolf management these days, and simply capturing and collaring for re-release, vis-a-vis Grizzly management , is the exception not the rule.
May 22, 2011 at 11:17 AM
You are not likely to see that terminology anytime soon from this crowd of self-righteous imbeciles. All they care about is killing off those “evil” wolves because… well, because that’s the only tool they think they have in their toolkit, killing. In america, it’s always the answer in these current times. “Kill” is the operative term, period. Like, what else can they do to preserve their “way o’ life”? It’s not like these animals have souls, well except those “evil” animals, you know, the predators…
“Non-lethal” is a cuss word for them because it means they can’t just kill for the sake of killing when they find something to kill… after all isn’t that the rule of the land for those who can’t tolerate toleration?
May 22, 2011 at 11:23 AM
In conservative ideology the ends justify the means. They don’t care how those goals are attained. The more you criticize the more they are empowered by their divine calling from God to “manage those predators”.
May 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM
Too bad they didn’t answer the “call” yesterday.
May 22, 2011 at 2:22 PM
Was it easier, the ‘3 strikes’ plan because there were less wolves to keep an eye on maybe? And re-release, I could be completely wrong here, but wolves are territorial, right? Wouldn’t they just go back to their old stomping grounds? What other non-lethal means are there? Would something like sterilization work maybe, like just for a few breeding periods if numbers get too high? Actually, I rather like a non-lethal approach. It admits there is a problem that needs to be taken care of and yet, doesn’t involve killing, yet on the same hand, still addresses the problem.
May 22, 2011 at 4:25 PM
I know that wolves were given vasectomies in Canada (Yukon). This was done under the leadership of Bob Hayes. It’s expensive, but it worked for the length of the study. I’m sure it can be found online somewhere, or you can read Bob Hayes book “Wolves of the Yukon”.
May 22, 2011 at 5:44 PM
I can imagine the cost, yikes!
Ok, I will admit, the one thing that frustrates me is that, in the midwest, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, they’ve been dealing with a lot of wolves for a while now. I don’t see them as ‘endangered’ at all in these states. Lately they have become a bit of a nuisance… Why has it worked so well having them around in these states and not so in the western states? People hunt in Minnesota and Wisconsin and such, it can’t be just that. People ranch and have dairy farms and such here as well. So what the heck is the difference? It does make some sense that perhaps out west there is a different type of wolf than what was there originally…. I don’t know, I can see arguments going up on all sides. I don’t even want to address the worm issue, that’s for another thread! There has got to be some medium ground somewhere! Gah, so frustrating. I sit on a fence so to speak and I see really good people on both sides that just can’t come to any agreement.
May 22, 2011 at 6:09 PM
That post was not comprehensible. What does that mean? You do realize that the country will shift hard right in the coming months and that all of these bleeding heart liberals will become irrelevent don’t you? Personally I can’t wait.
Harley, why not start building up “the compoud”, instead of letting the eco-terrorists know what is coming? I should have spent the weekend up in the mountains, but due to “global warming”, I can’t get up there w/o snow shoes. Last weekend I snowshoe’d in, and that sucked 🙂
May 22, 2011 at 6:23 PM
1. Biggest difference between NRM states and GL states is very little to no grazing on public lands. Livestock owners have closer watch on their animals on their own land in GL states.
2. Surplus of deer to a fault. 300,000 + deer taken in Wisconsin this year. This is up 9% from last year, with wolf numbers between 700 and 800. Still ~ 20,000 auto/deer collisions, and I emphasize state wide, not just in heavily populated areas. That said, these numbers are down from >40,000 about ten years ago. This is not all due to wolves, as “swat” team have been sent in to remove excess deer in populated areas. Farms = food, and deer do agricultural damage to the tune of > $1,000,000 per year, but this has also been coming down.
Michigan, over past 15 year has averaged 62,000 deer/auto collisions and 15 deaths. There are plenty of deer, thus plenty of food for wolves in GL states.
3. Wolves were never exterminated/extirpated…in MN. So people have grown up with them, at least in the NE portion of the state. Wis lost their last wolves in the 50’s I believe, and I’m not sure when the last one was killed in MI. So wolves were either current in the states, or not in the dim distant memory and forgotten as in the Western states.
4. Ranchers are a small but extremely powerful group in the West. When bison were all but extirpated and market hunters removed “everything else”, there was nothing remaining for wolves other than livestock, and livestock were easy pickings.
5. Worm issue????? MN has the same thing with ~ 3 times the wolves that are in the 3 NRM states. There is no issue.
6. If you want to get pulled into the different wolf than was there originally argument, well, thats up to you. It’s been debated to the point of redundancy. Wolves are wolves. If yo took wolves from MN and put them in the NRM states, they would do just fine. The wolves reintroduced, as well as the ones that were recolonizing on their own, do well on elk.
My advice, do some research. Go first to the dean of wolf biologists. The Wolf by David Mech. Read about the wolves and moose on Isle Royale. Read Barry Lopez Of Wolves and Men. Try: The Timber Wolf in Wisconsin; Wolves of Minnesota; Wolfer by Niemeyer; Wolf Wars; Read some stuff by RD Lawrence.
Hell, on the anti side give Wolves in Russia, and Urbigkit’s Yellowstone Wolves a read. Harley, there is so much literature out there. Don’t get your education on blog sites. Inform yourself so that you can sift through the chaffe on both sides of the fence. Dog ear the books, high light them, critique them.
Get out in wolf country and find out for yourself. You live in Illinois. Get up to MN in the Winter, it’s not that far away.
May 22, 2011 at 6:28 PM
I would love to make a trip to Ely and visit the International Wolf Center. I have.. part of my summer off. I think I’ll be spending it doing some reading. Thanks for the book tips. Even from the other side of the fence! I’ve read a lot about Isle Royale but beyond that, not too much else. Watched the documentary of the wolves that were introduced to Yellowstone. I have Wolfer downloaded to my Kindle for the computer, that may be the first one tackled. Thanks Immer for taking the time to give me such a detailed answer. Appreciate it.
May 22, 2011 at 7:03 PM
Harley, I don’t know what your opinion of wolves is, but I think it would change if you saw wolves up close and personal whether that be in a zoo or in the wild. Wolves are not these monsters that some make them out to be. They are simply wild animals just trying to survive. Whether they are endangered or not in some states is a matter of opinion.
May 22, 2011 at 7:08 PM
I’ve seen them very much upclose. My cousin, whom I roomed with when I first began teaching, owned a dog that had a lot of wolf in him. I’ve been to the zoos up here. I like all animals. I have a healthy respect for all wild animals. My concern is maintaining a balance. I don’t value wolves over any other animal or over people.
May 22, 2011 at 7:10 PM
I don’t think a balance can be reached that would satisfy all sides.
May 22, 2011 at 7:24 PM
That I can believe. There are extremists on both sides. It’s the wackos that I have a problem with. Wackos I’ve labeled lol not the ones each side has named the other mind you!
May 22, 2011 at 6:28 PM
+ I don’t see them as ‘endangered’ at all in these states. Lately they have become a bit of a nuisance+
Harley, so I guess the big question is ” just who have they become a nuisance to?”
May 22, 2011 at 6:40 PM
I can’t remember off hand where I read it but it was a newspaper from … Ah crap, I want to say Duluth but I could be wrong, where there were some pets attacked by wolves? Oh man, that was a couple of months ago. There’s been more of a heightened awareness of them lately. Due to the things happening out west maybe? Or possibly more people moving into the north woods? I’m not sure Nancy, like I said, it seems like more of a heightened awareness. I can see though what Immer says, how people in those states have been literally raised with the presence of wolves and seem to take it more in stride.
And with the numbers that I’ve seen, no, I don’t really see them as endangered in these states.
May 22, 2011 at 6:16 PM
I don’t have a compound! Just my basement, I guess that will have to do.
What I guess I’m wondering is why are things so different in the midwest as opposed to the western states? Is the difference due to an ‘imported’ wolf? Wolves didn’t need to be ‘re-introduced’ to Minnesota. Why? Is it because they migrated from Canada? Why wasn’t this phenomenon allowed to happen out west as well? Would it have taken too long?
Man, I hope that progression of thoughts made a bit more sense then the original post!
May 22, 2011 at 6:30 PM
It was happening out West, but the SSS folks took care of the wolves before they could become a viable population. It wasn’t until the Feds put the whole place under the microscope that wolves had a chance. That is one of the reasons there were little to no wolves. Prior to reintroduction, how in the world could you be convicted of killing something that wasn’t supposed to be there?
Another read is Playing God in Yellowstone by Alston Chase. Learn something about elk and habitat before you listen to the wolves are killing all our elk and Yellowstone is dead crowd.
May 22, 2011 at 6:45 PM
Well, see my initial thought when I first started glancing through these blogs was that maybe it was something similar to the moose crash on Isle Royale. Not enough food, a parasite like the tick contributing to the decline in the elk numbers, you know, that sort of thing. When I started looking into some of the statistics posted, there was a correlation to the re-introduction of the wolf and then the elk numbers going down. I think everyone has agreed that elk numbers are down in certain parts of western states. I guess the reason still remains in debate.
May 22, 2011 at 7:05 PM
With every person I talk to in person, the more anti-wolf I become. The anti-hunters and hardcore environmentalists have polarized this issue so much that I see wolves becoming extinct in the NRM again soon. Remember, the ESA was begun by the congress and it can/will be thrown out/revised by Congress. I suggest that the “wolf lovers” just” try to make friends w/ the majority of America and not polarize them. It doesn’t work. Nobody cares about wolves or the damn environment…at least the “typical american”, so long as they can go through a drive-thru and slam down a Big Mac and a Coke. It sucks that no one understands this.
There is a VERY small fraction of people who give a crap about the environment, and the ones get the bulk of favorable press are hunters. Global Warming has become a joke to the majority of the US populace.
People who watch Whale Wars get queezy while watching the disgusting white people on that show. How about getting some minorities on the show? Ohhhhh, no one other than a few rich, white, liberals care? Ok I see!
Sorry, but I can’t take it anymore. This country is going to hell and we are arguing about stupid stuff. Whale wars? What! Who cares, so long as there is a viable population? If you are acting on emotional feelings that is OK, but know that most people could care less about your feelings. Look around the world. People don’t even care about fellow human beings…You think they are going to care about Whales, Wolves, or Polar Bears?
Well Good luck with that! 🙂
May 22, 2011 at 7:08 PM
Why are they disgusting white people wolf mod? Because they try to save whales?
May 22, 2011 at 7:15 PM
You lost me with that post wlf moderate. Global warming has become a joke to the majority of US populace? It is a joke to people that are ignorant to what science has been saying about the issue for several decades, and perhaps the Kochsuckers. Generalize much?
May 22, 2011 at 7:20 PM
Sorry William…I like to speak in broad generalities, in case you haven’t noticed 🙂
“It is a joke to people that are ignorant to what science has been saying about the issue for several decades, and perhaps the Kochsuckers. Generalize much?”
What percentage of the voting public are scientists? This is my point, our country is going to hell and no one knows what the hell is going on. We have a few billionaires that control the conversation: Koch’s, Soros, and Buffet.
May 23, 2011 at 5:44 PM
Calm down and try to relax. First of all, everyone deals with emotions in their thought processes. Pro-wolf and anti-wolf alike. Wilderness advocates and cattle ranchers – we all are emotional creatures. There is no completely unemotional, scientific, unbiased aspect to the wolf issue, or for that matter, any issue. The anti-wolf side tries to paint the pro-wolfers as emotional, urban, bambi lovers, and themselves as rational, calm, and reasonable. But, the proof is in the pudding. Go to any fish and game meeting, or read the accounts in the newspaper, and one can see the emotions running rampant from the anti-wolfers, too, along with an unhealthy dose of hysteria. Why, if I was to listen to that crowd, I wouldn’t be planning all my summer and fall trips into the Idaho wilderness. It would be too dangerous with all those wolves lurking around.
You are right about one thing, though, most Americans don’t care about he environment. They are consumed with making money (which we all need some of), and just getting through the day. In my opinion, their lives are becoming more materialistic, and less “spiritual” with each passing day.
The hunters you praise will also have their day in the not too distant future. Do you think elk firearm hunting opportunities in Montana will still be available from September 15th through Thanksgiving in the future? I doubt it, there’s too many people moving in to the Idaho-Montana area. So, with or without wolves, the human population will change these opportunities down the road. Why, in Wisconsin where I lived as a child, the deer season is basically one week, and that’s it until next year. Many of the anti-wolf factions are also anti-wilderness, anti-roadless area, pro-development entities that are the hunters worst and long term enemy, far more than the wolf. I think you should reevaluate the side you have chosen to side with. It’s sort of like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Think long term instead of short term.
May 23, 2011 at 8:39 AM
You want to to expand on precisely how the country is going to hell in your opinion?
As for polarization…yeah, right. From the very beginning of wolf re-introduction, the only efforts made to accommodate the opposing sides’ concerns have been made by the pro wolf side…reimbursement funds, efforts to craft compromises repeatedly with state and industry groups…I can’t recall ONE effort by the anti wolf crowd to say…wolves belong..how can we meet you in the middle on this with mitigation efforts so we can stay in business, and the ecoystem gets back a badly needed piece of the puzzle?
Actually, according to data, more people CARE about the wolves, environment, etc. than the welfare cow folks or the elk killing trophy industry, or the nut cases in the legislature who are beholden to the previous groups. Let’s see a national poll on cows vs. wolves, and see how that turns out. It is only in these cow driven states that the public opinion runs anti wolf, and most of that is based on rumors and fear stoking. I am sick to death of folks saying it is the environmental protection folks who are the radicals here…Just is a gross distortion of the truth. But then, the anti wolf, anti environment, anti Feds (except for those welfare hand outs) are not concerned with facts or truth….
May 23, 2011 at 1:29 PM
You speak “ecosystem gets back a badly needed piece of the puzzle” as if an ecosystem is a static environment when in fact all history – fossil through observation has showed ecosystems are ever changing and anything but static. Another truth, the wolf in the Rockies is a fringe species. The wolf did not do
well in the Rockies before European settlement. They did well on the plains when it was a much different ecosystem.
As for you all your polls, they mean little. Have you read them or followed who was polled. The people that are polled know very little about the issue and when they are educated to the issue they usually change their opinions. Sure a gal walking down the street in L.A. is asked if she finds a “balanced ecosystem appealing” she says yes and even when she is told a wolf is included she says yes, but explain the economic and social ramifications and she will change her mind. Your polls are flawed and intelligent people like Obama know it and that is why he supported delisting!
May 23, 2011 at 2:44 PM
++The people that are polled know very little about the issue and when they are educated to the issue they usually change their opinions.++
Can you define “educated to the issue”? I currently live in a large city……..educate me.
May 23, 2011 at 4:17 PM
If you have never lived in the Bitterroots I can educate you on many things.
I can educated you in morels, huckleberries, westslope cutthroat, where the stars are in the sky and what direction north is. Where the Sisters, the Buttes, Ward Peak and Quarles peak are. I can educate you to the relationship between snow pack, run-off, night time temperature, rain fall and river flow. I can help you identify buttercups, trillium, serviceberry, syringa, and elderberry. I can show you holes of pileated woodpeckers and others. I can teach you the sounds of thrushes and song sparrows. I can show you Clark’s nutcrackers and harlequin ducks. I can help you instantly identify any tree in Northern Idaho. I can educate you in mayflies, stone flies and caddis flies. I can show you bear slopes, south slopes and north slopes. I can take you to spring burns, summers burns and fall burns and why it matters. I can show you where to find martens and minks, mountain goats and moose, whitetail and mule deer, and yes even wolves! The one thing I can not educate you on is why wolves are needed in the Bitterroots!
May 23, 2011 at 5:09 PM
Why are all those other “things” needed in the Bitteroots?
May 23, 2011 at 5:20 PM
What neither you, nor anyone else has been able to effectively explain is why there should NOT be wolves anywhere in the Northern Rocky Mountians. I’ve listened to and read many arguments from individuals and groups who are anti-wolf, and most of them can’t answer that question without eventually referring to “rural custom and culture”. I’ve never understood what that means. You know what I do understand though? Money and power.
You’ve had groups of people who have historically had a stranglehold on a resource and they do not want to alter that stranglehold in any way. I’m assuming “rural custom and culture” relates to that stranglehold. Not only have they had a stranglehold, but timber companies, ranchers, and miners have in many cases been subsidized with taxpayer money. It’s been a damn good deal for a long time and I understand why they don’t want to give it up. I’m assuming “rural custom and culture” also means you can disregard the environment whenever there is any kind of ecnomic benefit, then wax nostalgic about “Where the Sisters, the Buttes, Ward Peak and Quarles peak are” to all the ignorant urbanites.
Wolves will end up being managed to a certain level in the NRM. I support a certain level of management, but we both know folks like you will never be happy with compromise.
May 23, 2011 at 5:56 PM
Why do I think wolf should be out of the Bitterroots….I believe all organisms take advantage, manipulate, adapt, exploit and rigorously take part in their environment…whether it be big or small. Porcupines ring young trees, osprey love cutthroat, elk devour ceanothus. Every animal has an effect on it’s environment. Also, every animal competes with other animals. Sometimes the competition leads to minor changes sometimes extinction. I steadfastly believe humans belong in this equation. Simply put, I think the competition between wolves and humans in U.S. is to fierce for the wolf to be here. I think the competition between wolves and humans in Canada and Alaska allows for the wolf to survive there. That said, I believe the Endangered Specie Act is a great piece of legislation when used in the context from which it was born. Mass use of chemicals and mass degradation of the environment is that purpose. Actions such as reckless use of herbicides and pesticides is what ESA is for. Dangerous mining that includes leach fields etc. etc. But because the competition is to great for the wolf to live in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana does not constituent use of the ESA….Now if ID, WY and MT was the last place in the world for the wolf then I could see making compromises for the wolf.
Rural custom and culture is the PC way of saying we are in direct competition with the wolf and if we were unencumbered would out compete the wolf. I don’t believe that being in direct competition means disregard for the environment. All of my brethren has a profound respect for the natural environment but apathy or anxiety for wolves.
May 23, 2011 at 6:06 PM
Now you’ve peaked by curiosity; what, in your mind, are we in “direct competition” with wolves for?
May 23, 2011 at 6:27 PM
I’ve said many many times on here that I am an avid elk and deer hunter….it’s what I feed my family…I believe that puts me in direct competition.
May 23, 2011 at 6:28 PM
The wolves rely on deer and elk much more than you do. one simple question, if you don’t get an elk or deer, will you and your family starve to death?
May 23, 2011 at 6:40 PM
If you realize that corporate influence is the greatest threat to the environment and are willing to help keep it in check, it’s a start.
Wolves aren’t in competition with humans in a vast majority of circumstances, but someone else will have to pick up that mantle; I need to put this computer down and barbecue some dinner for my dad.
May 24, 2011 at 5:18 AM
So is it your position that any species that is in direct competition with some people be eliminated for the benefit of those individuals? Where I come from, deer, raccoon, and blackbirds compete directly with human beings by eating the corn and other crops we raise. Perhaps we should eliminate these species as well?
May 23, 2011 at 1:39 PM
“Sure a gal walking down the street in L.A. is asked if she finds a “balanced ecosystem ”
Yes I’m sure that “gal from LA” will be all broken up over the “economical and social ramifications” of having wolves in Idaho. (i.e. Ranchers and outfitters whining about their loses)
May 23, 2011 at 3:03 PM
point is; the polls that say “Americans support wolves” are Americans that are mainly urban and uneducated to rural life and culture…in realty they could give a flying flip!…I would like to see a poll of rural Americans…Wolves are not in the back yards of urban American…if they were the polls would be much different…that’s why I say if the pollees were educated first they would answer differently and politicians like Obama know it…
Second point…Americans care about the economy and it doesn’t matter how you shake it…elk, cattle, outfitting etc means more to the GDP than wolves
Third point…why should the antis meet half way when there is no gain for them to have wolves…wolves only mean symptoms of negative impacts..less yield, less clients, less opportunity…the only gain is on the pro sides because wolves are a great fund raiser
fourth point…wolves are the most widely distributed animal on the planet…they are not imperil and most importantly they are a BOREAL species and only marginally “belong” in the continental U.S…..coyotes and black bears are much better suited which is why there were never driven out of the lower 48
May 23, 2011 at 3:20 PM
Where do you get your facts? All 4 of your points are inaccurate. Wolves only marginally belong in the continental U.S? According to self-centered selfish outfitters, ranchers maybe. Maybe you didn’t get the memo- it’s not all about the outfitters. You are right about one thing- wolves are a great fund raiser. Misinformed people are also a great wolf fund raiser
May 23, 2011 at 3:27 PM
BS…in a phrase, Dan. What the hell do you think..America is this either or kind of place…cities or open spaces? Why is it that national polls about a Federal law dealing with existence on Federal lands is suspect, but the very very parochial polls based on blatant self interest…MONEY…are sacrosanct?
Point One. Wolves are NOT in your backyard, so cut the exaggeration. They are out, away from populated areas where MOST of the populations of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming live. Face it, this is a battle for an anachronistic lifestyle (small family rancher) that largely doesn’t exist any more due to corporate ownership. A lifestyle that is largely myth. It is the anti wolf folks who stir up the average citizen with images of wolves attacking their kids at bus stops. If we had a cost benefit analysis of cattle ranching…it would lose big time..little benefit to the land, big time costs, and a lot of public land ranchers couldn’t make a living without subsidies from the Feds. yeah, free market economy..my butt.
Point Two. The only people that care about this issue and its effect on “economy” are the very small number of ranchers who benefit from Federal subsidies to stay in their present jobs. How is it that folks from the right side get all incensed when it comes to welfare payments for poor families, elderly, and yet are so passionate in defending the payouts to ranchers? If all public land ranching ended tomorrow…less than 2% of the supply chain is interrupted. Add that to the increasing demand by American consumers for healthier sources of red meat..like bison…and it would make about as much impact as a flea on an elephant’s ass.
Point Three…Gee, I don’t know. Maybe because part of the myth is that these ranchers are great stewards of the lands when in fact the science and history shows that public lands ranching is incredibly destructive of the very environment it depends on for life and a living.Hypocrisy goes down about as easily as a 7 day old biscuit. As for meeting halfway, hell, the greedy bastards already have the lion’s share of the pie when it comes to public lands usage and exploitation; how about concepts of equity, fairness. compliance with the law? No, instead they threaten politicians to the point that Tester backdoors the process and essentially sets the table to gut the ESA. Yeah, but so long as they get their welfare checks; so long as they continue to pull the wool over the public’s eye that they lose more cattle to bad husbandry practices and disease than to wolves..they have no credibility.
Fourth. BS. Off the top of my head, rodents top the list for mammals. And so on. And if an argument was made by a pro wolf person relying on say, a foreign country’s approach to managing wolves in a positive fashion was raised here or in some legislature, the advocate would be quickly hooted down as these assertions being irrelevant to an American regional issue.
And wolves were not “driven” out of the lower 48; they were poisoned, shot, trapped and slaughtered..all in the name of the almighty COW..that doesn’t belong in an arid climate like the Mountain West; they belong in environments that get abundant rainfall like England where they came from.
Any more points. Dan?
May 23, 2011 at 3:35 PM
May 23, 2011 at 4:47 PM
First point – wolves made a kill 200 yards from my yard this winter…wanna come see? I will give you directions. 46946 St. Joe River Road come see me and we’ll talk about what I know about the woods and wolves.
Truth – most industries in the U.S. are subsidized…why single out ranchers? Name me an industry and most likely I can point out a subsidy…..and to carry that on why is this all about ranchers when I am not one and don’t speak for any. The people I know and live with are everything across the board from high tech engineers to loggers to professors. Point two – Obama signed off on the delisting which automatically signals most people are not passionate about having wolves. Point three – more anti ranching and no reason why we really need wolves. Point four wolves are a species of least concern, are found throughout the world and flourish in the boreal climate hmmm sounds like they are better suited there…face it the only reason they are flourishing in the Bitterroots right now is because we spent decades building up elk herds that historically weren’t there. We tried to eliminate coyotes here too…why where we not successful in that endeavor? better suited??? was the trapped, poisoned etc just for drama???
May 23, 2011 at 5:02 PM
++all in the name of the almighty COW..that doesn’t belong in an arid climate like the Mountain West++
Montana is 65% private land, 5% state land and 30% federal land. If a landowner wants cows on his/her private land then that is there rights; it is not your right to decide whether a person can or can not have cows on private lands. Wyoming and Idaho are approximately 50% federal, due to the size of Montana all three states have similar amounts of federal lands
Secondly, if you do not want cattle on federal lands then have the US congress to change the law. Only in your wildest dreams is the congress going to stop grazing on federal lands, at least in our lifetime. Definitely, cattle do not belong on all of the grazing allotments currently used.
Thirdly, of the 30% of federal lands in Montana approximately 1/3 or 10% of Montana are scattered federal acreage some with little or no public access. How is one going to eliminate cattle grazing on isolated lands. The only way is for the federal government to fence each isolated parcel and then how are they going to get access to these federal isolated federal parcels. I know of 3 or 4 isolated sections of forest service lands north of Bozeman that have no public access and the local forest service office has said that there is no way into those lands.
Jim, you are not going to remove the almighty COW from the arid west. Move on.
May 23, 2011 at 5:02 PM
Obama wanted to pass the budget bill. I doubt he cares about wolves one way or the other. You say Obama signed off on delisting because most people are not passionate about having wolves. You mean most hunters, ranchers, and outfitters. Do not speak for everyone. Obama signed off on delisting because he wanted to get the budget bill passed so a govt. shutdown wouldn’t happen.
May 23, 2011 at 5:14 PM
Obama signed off on the delisting which automatically signals most people are not passionate about having wolves.
I believe I wrote “signals most people” not “everyone”
Do really think the wolf rider was a deal breaker for the entire budget bill? I don’t think so…..
May 23, 2011 at 8:31 PM
No, the wolf rider was not a “deal breaker” for the budget bill…and that’s why Tester put it in there.
May 24, 2011 at 12:12 PM
“Montana is 65% private land, 5% state land and 30% federal land. If a landowner wants cows on his/her private land then that is there rights; it is not your right to decide whether a person can or can not have cows on private lands.”
That’s dangerous thinking, Elk. We have all kinds of laws that restrict the activities that can occur on both private and public land. These laws are in place because restricting the liberties of a few benefits the collective–which is the underlying logic for all limitations on “rights” or “freedoms”, whether they concern land or some other aspect of human activity.
May 24, 2011 at 12:56 PM
That is not dangerous thinking, your thinking is dangerous. People like you want to restrict the liberties of the American people. One more loss for the individual and a gain for the common good, this is not what America was founded on. Were does an individual rights give away to the common good? Are wolves common good?
There is no way any government is going to pass a law restricting whether an individual can or can not have cattle on his land in Montana. If the federal government passed a law removing cattle from private property in the Western United States, I would believe that would be the beginnings of another civil war.
I have a favorite gun store in Ennis, Montana that not only sells find hunting rifles and shotguns but black guns. I am no fan of black guns. About once a month, I visit the store on Sunday afternoon for hour or two. Within that time period on a good day I have seen 4 or 5 black guns sold and some purchasers buying several thousand rounds of ammunition per gun. I have no use for semi automatic weapons and there are so many of these guns in the hands of people with copious amounts of ammunition, that one day a small incident is going escalate and then escalate until the US becomes unrecognizable. I do not wish that any thing like this to ever happen. But as Save Bears said some time ago, someone is going to get killed and none of us want that.
Let this be clear, I love wildlife as much as anyone on this forum and spent Sunday in the hills looking at elk, deer, antelope and my favorite Sandhill Cranes.
May 24, 2011 at 4:46 PM
“That is not dangerous thinking, your thinking is dangerous. People like you want to restrict the liberties of the American people. One more loss for the individual and a gain for the common good, this is not what America was founded on. Were does an individual rights give away to the common good?”
All governments restrict the liberties of their citizens in some capacity. The ONLY justification for restricting individual rights is to promote the common good. The common good is why many states and municipalities ban smoking in public places; why we require licenses for driving; why restrict drinking to adults over 21; why we regulate the disposal of waste; and it is why we regulate the taking, pursuit, and ownership of wildlife. Ask any political scientist, or for that matter, anyone who teaches high school government.
“There is no way any government is going to pass a law restricting whether an individual can or can not have cattle on his land in Montana. If the federal government passed a law removing cattle from private property in the Western United States, I would believe that would be the beginnings of another civil war.”
Let me direct you to City of Missoula, Montana’s municipal code (Title 6, Ch. 12):
“Prohibitions concerning keeping of livestock and domestic fowl.
A. Except as otherwise provided in this section, it is unlawful for any person to keep or maintain any chicken, goose, duck, turkey, other domestic fowl, swine, horses, mules, donkeys, sheep, cattle, or any other livestock, exotic or domestic, or to keep or maintain any pen, yard or enclosure for such animals within the corporate limits of the city on a parcel of land that is one acre or less in size…”
The more people there are, the more we will need (NEED!) to restrict the liberties to promote the common good. This logic is plain as day to anyone who is paying attention. A man alone in the Alaskan wilderness can shit wherever he likes with little worry that he will impact anyone. But the impact becomes more apparent when 30,000 people are shitting up stream stream from you.
I am sorry Elk, but your “I-can-do-as-I-like-with-my-land” perspective simply isn’t realistic in our world; and the failure of this thinking has nothing to do with American democracy, political ideology, or right-and-wrong–it is simply won’t work with this many human beings running around. Waxing nostalgically about the way it used to be won’t change this.
May 24, 2011 at 6:50 PM
I do not disagree about what you just wrote, I agree partially. In the next 45 minutes I have to go to our homeowners association meeting to try to straight out the mess that was created by several very liberal members of the Bozeman City Commission in the mid 2000’s. There idea was to have neighborhoods that were inclusive and included $500,000 homes to Habitat for Humanity housing. Gridded streets, high density housing open to all incomes, condo’s instead of townhouses, large open space areas that are available to all city residents but paid for my the homeowners. Now the density issue is causing condos and townhouses to became student housing with a car for each bedroom and property that is not maintained the same as the owner occupied units. This is a partial contributory cause to our declining housing desirability which then reflects on values. Yes we need land planning but not by very liberal individuals whose values do not represent homeowners.
We are not talking about urban land planning and usage, but usage of large rural tracts. The basic concept of private ownership calls for unrestricted use so long as such use does not unreasonably harm the rights of others. Private property is guaranteed by the US Constitution but is subject to restrictions, known as the four powers of government: Taxation, Eminent Domain, Police Powers, and Escheat.
Now, what we were originally talking about was large landowners and cattle and the idea that cattle do not belong in the arid west. We have had the privilege of “Bob” posting here today. Bob has a 5,000 acre cattle ranch somewhere around the Rocky Mountain Front. Bob has a right to run his cattle on his 5,000 acres, his cattle do not unreasonably harm the rights of others. Bob has reasonable rights to protect his cattle from predators or undue financial burdens cause by those animals. Yet we have an individual who thinks that the arid west should not have cattle and if they could would remove all cattle from western lands.
Bob could put up an 8 foot game proof fence around his property boundaries and have Fish and Game remove ALL wildlife, under Montana law then what is left would be his private property (I think) but he could not sell any wildlife or hunting opportunities. What if others would do the same which is there right under state law; we would fragment habitat until there was little left. Bob and others have a right to their cattle and a right to protect their cattle, I would never want to try to restrict a reasonable man/women from making an honest living.
I have an lady friend who owns a band of sheep and trucks them from South Central Montana every years to private lands above Missoula. The sheep graze on Knapweed and other noxious weeds which are out of control. I wonder if her sheep infected the mountain sheep in the Clark’s Fork canyon and Rock Creek. I have use for only 150 wolves but would love to see mountain sheep abundantly in throughout their native ranges. So what does one do.
May 25, 2011 at 3:27 AM
What I objected to in your original post was your assertion that landowners both should have the right to do as they like with their land. I see it here again: “The basic concept of private ownership calls for unrestricted use so long as such use does not unreasonably harm the rights of others.” The context, of course, was your suggestion that the ownership and possession of livestock should not be regulated on private land.
My objection still stands. We already have all kinds of regulations that restrict private landowners so-called “rights” to possess and raise stock (I simply pointed out the most obvious restriction–city ordinance). At varying levels of government we (society) limit where livestock can be possessed, how many animals can be possessed, what kinds of animals can be possessed, what can/must be done with their waste, what diseases they need to be inoculated against, etc. We limit the freedoms of individuals to promote the common “good” or welfare of society.
If you go back and re-read what I wrote, you will note that I do not make any judgment regarding whether we as a society SHOULD restrict livestock on private lands. What I object to is the idea that landowners can and should have “unrestricted” use of their land. We clearly restrict the usages of land at ALL levels of government–and generally speaking this is a good thing!
– – – – – – –
Now, despite our disagreement, here’s a story I think you will appreciate:
A few years back, a landowner in the small town where I grew up wanted to put in a small development–a trailer park. However, his request was not consistent with local zoning (which called for agriculture) and the city did not want to change the zoning, as they felt the trailers would be an eye-sore. The landowner, being a bit of a curmudgeon (and known to hold a grudge), decided to beat them at their own game. He turned his acreage into a large hog farm and used hollowed-out single-wides as barns for the pigs.
May 23, 2011 at 2:23 PM
Back to the original IDFG Commission directives above:
# 6 seems kinda carte blanche to me —-” Conduct additional species management planning as appropriate. ”
Would somebody translate that or put it into context , please ? What definition of “management” and whose idea of ” appropriate” is being used ?
May 23, 2011 at 3:05 PM
Legalese for “kill as many as we think we can without triggering an ESA relisting law suit…in sum…
May 23, 2011 at 4:15 PM
what Jim said
May 23, 2011 at 5:08 PM
May 23, 2011 at 4:17 PM
If you have never lived in the Bitterroots I can educate you on many things.
I can educated you in morels, huckleberries, westslope cutthroat, where the stars are in the sky and what direction north is. Where the Sisters, the Buttes, Ward Peak and Quarles peak are. I can educate you to the relationship between snow pack, run-off, night time temperature, rain fall and river flow. I can help you identify buttercups, trillium, serviceberry, syringa, and elderberry. I can show you holes of pileated woodpeckers and others. I can teach you the sounds of thrushes and song sparrows. I can show you Clark’s nutcrackers and harlequin ducks. I can help you instantly identify any tree in Northern Idaho. I can educate you in mayflies, stone flies and caddis flies. I can show you bear slopes, south slopes and north slopes. I can take you to spring burns, summers burns and fall burns and why it matters. I can show you where to find martens and minks, mountain goats and moose, whitetail and mule deer, and yes even wolves! The one thing I can not educate you on is why wolves are needed in the Bitterroots+
My suggestion to you Dan is to get a life beyond what you think is acceptable when it comes to controlling other forms of (life) wildlife. I see a lot of what you listed and more, where I live. As it should be in whats left of wilderness areas.
Problem is way too much wildlife is trapped, shot, poisoned, herded and MANAGED to “death”…… in order to satisfy a few.
May 23, 2011 at 5:27 PM
“My suggestion to you Dan is to get a life beyond what you think is acceptable when it comes to controlling other forms of (life) wildlife.”
Not sure what this means but my life is just fine. I’m raising three girls with an understanding of the natural environment that very very few children get to experience these days. I am, however, teaching them that they as humans are part of environment contrary to what others say. Just like the elk browse the ceanothus and bears eat calf elk, humans eat huckberries and mule deer. Most of the time I think the green movement is more concerned about removing the human from the natural environment than issues that are a lot more detrimental to the environment like herbicides and pesticides.
May 23, 2011 at 5:36 PM
“I’m raising three girls with an understanding of the natural environment ”
How, by teaching them certain animals aren’t acceptable in the wilderness. Some education they are getting.
May 23, 2011 at 5:36 PM
Would you lump anyone who supports wolves in the NRM as part of what you call the “green movement”.
May 23, 2011 at 6:06 PM
+Most of the time I think the green movement is more concerned about removing the human from the natural environment than issues that are a lot more detrimental to the environment like herbicides and pesticides.+
Does the word encroach ever enter your mind Dan? Would herbicides and pesticides (or attempted genocide of many predators) even be a topic of discussion if mankind really gave a rat’s ass about the natural enviornment?
May 23, 2011 at 6:10 PM
Lumpers and splitters = trivial
Sometimes reality is a hard pill to swallow….aren’t acceptable is dangerous way of saying we out compete. If a company A makes a better widget than company B do we say company B makes an unacceptable product or do we say Company A out competed company B….I am saying to my girls that wolves are great competitors and are awesome forces in the wild but we don’t want them in Idaho so they flourish in Canada, Alaska, parts of Russia and Europe.
May 23, 2011 at 6:19 PM
Let me correct some of your inaccuracies. Jim T did a fine job so lets try this again.
“Obama signed off on the delisting which automatically signals most people are not passionate about having wolves.” Huh… The President signed the bill because it was a must pass budget bill. This had nothing to do with a lack of support for wolves by “most people”. Our politicians in all their cynicism knew the only way this rider would pass was to insert it through a lame backdoor method. This delisting would not have passed if it went through regular channels of lawmaking procedure. That proves that most people are passionate about wolves.
“The only reason they are flourishing in the Bitteroots right now is because we spent decades building up elk herds that historically weren’t there”
You made this statement and a comment about outfitters losing opportunities because of wolves. The sense of entitlement that some outfitters and ranchers have about our natural resorces is what gets many environmentalists really upset. Since when do these people have ownership over these natural resources? Especially on public land? Maybe you could teach your daughters that for one politicians have no business making envirinmental policy decisions to help special interest donors like hunters and livestock operators. You probably won’t because you sound like a predator hater, but you could also tell them that all animals including wolves and coyotes have a role in an ecosystem and that humans shouldn’t be making decisions as to what animals have the right to exist and what animals don’t because of their elevated sense of importance
May 23, 2011 at 6:22 PM
When I was a boy, I hiked a 3 mile trail several times a week with my dad. The wooded area contained thousands of creatures from deer and cougars to pine squirrels and garter snakes. One year, probably 15 years after I first hiked the trail barred owls moved in. In just a few years a pine squirrel couldn’t be found. Did the owls encroach on the squirrels? When elk and mule deer occupy the say area the mule deer typically suffer and their numbers dwindle….Do these elk encroach on the mule deer….Just because the numbers of one animal increase at the cost of another does that mean it encroached and doesn’t give a rat’s ass….Or, is this just nature taking place where one animal out competes another in an area….Sometimes humans out compete animals and it works…it doesn’t mean that animal has to go extinct world wide… I don’t believe the wolf will ever go extinct world wide but I do believe we have out competed them in the Bitterroots or at least Northern Idaho and they no longer should be here.
May 23, 2011 at 6:23 PM
William, you pretty much nailed it. Dan doesn’t believe predators should have a right to exist because they compete with humans for food sources like elk and deer.
May 23, 2011 at 6:26 PM
Outcompeted them? what exactly does that mean? The wolf haters have been claiming forever it seems that the wolves wiped out all of the elk in the bitterroot, so how did you hunters outcompete wolves when you blame them for killing off most of the elk in the bitterroot?
May 23, 2011 at 6:28 PM
It’s that big ego rearin it’s ugly head again. Add a little false sense of importance that humans have in relation to other species and you have a recipe for disaster, or extinction
May 23, 2011 at 6:35 PM
right to exist = give me a break
predator hater = really???? give me another break! are you not reading anything I write
ask a wolf if the coyote has the right to exist….??????? but the wolf will kill the coyote if given the opportunity…
I am just an active part of an ecosystem…saying I hate predators would pretty say I hate all animals!!! give me a break! Read what I write…I am a competitor just like the wold but in competition with the wolf…if the wolf doesn’t make it because I out compete him that nature…doesn’t make me a hater.
Do me a favor go interact in nature daily…leave the grocery store behind and then preach to me about being a hater!
May 23, 2011 at 6:44 PM
You don’t get it do you? Wolves, coyotes and other animals interact in nature and it’s called survival of the fittest. Wolves kill coyotes because they are wired to kill coyotes. It’s not a moral issue with animals. Humans impose a moral judgement of good and bad to animals they like and don’t like- and this is a disconnection to the natural world. Telling your children that wolves don’t belong in Idaho is just creating another generation of predator haters like you
May 23, 2011 at 6:27 PM
+Sometimes humans out compete animals and it works+
Some examples please Dan…….
May 23, 2011 at 6:40 PM
I can see this pointless…..tell you what…I’ll continue my daily living in the wilds of Idaho raising my girls and you people can continue ignoring that people are part of a natural ecosystem! Have fun in the city Daniel…it’s an awful place to live! OUT!
May 23, 2011 at 10:09 PM
Dan had to leave to go build his girls a bus stop sheleter to protect them from the big bad wolf.
May 23, 2011 at 7:45 PM
+ask a wolf if the coyote has the right to exist….??????? but the wolf will kill the coyote if given the opportunity+
The bigger question might be Dan – why are depredations by coyotes (the #! predator when it comes to livestock depredations) down in areas where wolves have settled in?
May 23, 2011 at 7:58 PM
Out of curiosity, depredations by Coyotes are down in areas that wolves have settled in but have the overall depredations gone down? Not a challenge! I have nothing to come back with on this one, this is a fact finding mission, nothing more, nothing less.
Is this due to the wolves killing off the coyote because it’s their main source of competition? Are there less coyotes in the area? Did they move on or get killed off?
Sorry, lots of questions popped into my head at once as I was thinking this through!
And what areas are you referring to? I’m assuming it’s out west, right?
May 23, 2011 at 9:11 PM
Harley – just a fraction of the many articles out there regarding the relationship between wolves and coyotes:
May 24, 2011 at 4:06 PM
Thanks Nancy, interesting read.
May 23, 2011 at 8:02 PM
For someone that claims to interact in nature daily I’m puzzled. “I don’t believe the wolf will ever go extinct world wide but I do believe we have out competed them in the Bitteroot or at least N Idaho and they no longer should be here.” Doesn’t make sense. Is this an Idaho phenomenon? This no longer should be here- because Dan says so?
May 23, 2011 at 8:31 PM
I agree William, doesn’t make sense.
May 23, 2011 at 8:49 PM
Dan has let a personal bias infect his thinking. Man can out compete any animal on earth. Dan just doesn’t like wolves and has a frontier mentality towards them. His statements about competing with wolves for the deer and elk he feeds his family are also bogus, in my opinion. Hunting today is more a recreation than a necessity. And, by saying that, I do not mean that hunting is not a valid activity for those that do it. But, if every human hunted wild animals in order for their family to survive, wildlife (elk, deer, etc.) would soon be endangered. Hunting is a privilege and it can’t be done for subsistence by everyone.
Our technology has removed us from competition with animals – we can beat all of them. So, we, as humans, need to use our intellect to make decisions that do not have the effect of driving many other creatures into extinction that do not have that technology. Saying we are in the same realm as other animals and compete with them (survival of the fittest) is naive at best, and dangerous at worst.
May 24, 2011 at 12:51 PM
The failed rationale here is everyone does not do everything…If everyone used wood to heat their homes there wouldn’t be enough wood…..back to Econ 101 and scarcity…let’s just say it’s a good thing we all don’t have a taste for elk or deer or even peaches! However, as an active member of my ecosystem, I believe I have the right to pursue elk and deer…and if that puts me in competition with the wolf then so be it….If my brethren and I in the Bitterroots out compete the wolf, as has happened before, then the wolf is going to have to find another niche elsewhere….I believe this has happened and the wolf has settled nicely in Canada, Alaska and elsewhere in the world…It DOES NOT make me a predator hater…e.g. the coyote.. The coyote and I do not compete directly and the coyote lives freely in the ecosystem that I live in! If you think hunting is a sport or a recreational activity then your social analysis of many residents of ID, MT & WY is grossly flawed! Once again, the wolf is far from extinction…it is distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere….and quit with the Chicken Little “the sky is falling,” attitude because 99.9% of the creatures in my ecosystem are not in competition with me and we coexist nicely…now if we could just get everyone to stop spraying herbicides on every lawn and every weed we could bring back a few of the fish populations that I enjoy eating as well….p.s. “naive at best, dangerous at worst” is mere cliche propaganda…
May 24, 2011 at 1:02 PM
Dan thanks for posting it will let them know we don’t all need more wolves, but remember they attack as a pack yet lack any real bite. Good luck.
May 24, 2011 at 1:07 PM
Good luck to you Bob, you rural folk don’t like it a bit when people point out your narrow 1919 way of thinking needs an upgrade into the 21st century
May 24, 2011 at 1:10 PM
Whats 1919 in my thinking william?
May 24, 2011 at 1:28 PM
Well William if you do not like the narrow 1919 Bob’s way of thinking that needs an upgrade then here is a deal for you and others on this forum:
Incredible find on the Rocky Mountain Front out of Augusta. Bordering the Sun River Game Range for over a mile, the 5540 acre Sawtooth Ranch is situated at the base of majestic mountain peaks & has panoramic views of the entire Front Range. The ranch is a mix of irrigated hay meadows & pasture withreservoirs, a lake, & several creeks flowing thru the property with accompanying water rights.
Only $12,000,000. If this is or a part of the original Sawtooth ranch then my great grandfather was one of the original owners. What is fiction and what is fact, I do not know, but that was his ranch. He passed away in 1933 and the ranch went back to the bank.
William here is your oportunity to bring in 2011 thinking in rural Montana. Go for it. This ranch should be a wildlife haven elk, wolves, grizzles, moose, deer, antelope and all of God’s other creatures large and small.
May 24, 2011 at 1:37 PM
Well Bob, unless there are other Bob’s that post on this blog, your previous posts indicated that you are in the ranching business right? Politicians cater to your every whim. You badmouth the Federal Government while taking advantage of every subsidy that you can. You have a Federal Goon squad providing predator control that you feel entitled to. The USDA falsifies facts and records to inflate your bogus predator kill claims. Your last comment to Dan said it all Bob- “thanks for posting it will let them know we don’t all need more wolves.” Face it Bob- Ranchers would poison the environment to get rid of all predators just like you did in 1919. Too bad the american publiuc isn’t on board with you this time
May 24, 2011 at 2:01 PM
Please let me know if anything that i said was inaccurate. I know ranchers feel misunderstood and picked on.
May 24, 2011 at 2:37 PM
Sorry took so long had a few chores.
Yes same Bob.
Yes some ranchers graze public lands at reduced cost but you get what you pay for. I have only private lands. There are no government subsidies for raising cattle I now you have been told different. There are land enhancement programs but ranching is one of the least subsidies industry.
If ranchers hate all predators how come on this small 5000 acres are right now 6-12 griz, 2packs of wolves calling it home range and a couple lion all private land again.
As for politicians Montana has 3 in DC I would guess less than your state.
The goon squad work very hard and they know a wolf kill from other kills I haven’t met one yet who would compromise his honor for any reason.
So I know this won’t change you mind any but your reality needs some work. Any time you want to spend some time in mine come to Montana and I’ll put you up and show you how life really works here.
May 24, 2011 at 3:50 PM
Where you are missing the point, is that humans are not competing with wildlife to survive here in Montana and Idaho. You stress you are an “active member of the ecosystem,” when in fact, man is at such a higher level, that we have to restrain ourselves. We are vastly superior predators with high population densities. Witness the game regulations, bag limits, and hunting seasons. Allow unrestricted elk hunting year round and see what happens. Your belief that you have the “right” to eliminate any creature that competes with you is the reason we have endangered species in the first place. Perhaps the trout fisherman should start shooting ospreys, because they compete for trout. Where does this line of thinking end? It ends with species extinction.
Regarding my comments about sport hunting / recreational activity being “grossly flawed,” I stand by my statement. I sincerely doubt if you, or anyone else will starve if they could not go hunting. I don’t know where I said anything about “the sky is falling,” but, I would definitely characterize the reaction to wolves by the hunting / livestock industry as just that.
We could debate endlessly whether your hunting is a “right,” or a “privilege.” What is not debatable is that it is done with the permission of the state. Because you hunt, that does not give you total say about wildlife on lands that are often public. The majority do not hunt, and their desires concerning wildlife regarding wildlife have importance, too. Wildlife are held in the public trust.
Your “active member of the ecosystem” statement is just a way to justify your beliefs towards wolves. By the way, the wolf did not “settle” in Canada and Alaska after being driven out of Idaho and Montana. They were there all along. What happens when, someday, the human population in those places increases to Idaho/Montana densities. Eventually, there’s no place left to “settle.” Personally, when I’ve hunted elk in Montana and Idaho, I was able to coexist with other competing predators. Speaking of “cliche propaganda,” your “member of the ecosystem” belief is just that. It’s been long used by groups whose primary concern is resource consumption.
May 24, 2011 at 8:50 PM
You give people far better marks than anyone I’ve heard….when in fact, if people had to rely on hunting many would starve…even with advanced techniques such as smokeless powder, about half the the holders of extra doe tags with liberal seasons (3 months) fail.
You are right, I might not starve without hunting but that is a bold statement. You are assuming that I have suitable employment and/or someone financially supporting me. It is fact, that roughly 18 million Americans face food shortages annually and roughly 50 million face inadequate nutrition. (USDA 2008)
Why are you bringing unwise conservation into the debate? I have never condoned unrestricted hunting of elk or deer. The only thing I have advocated is that wolves compete with me and my brethren for the elk we feed our families. If I get an elk every year, during season, it is adequate for my family. If I don’t get an elk (which is getting harder and harder) I need 2 deer (regular tag & extra doe tag) Competition with wolves greatly hinders my ability to harvest an elk. Take for instance last year when the cow season in archery was restricted greatly from pre-wolf days. (I choose the archery tag because there are less people in the woods pressuring the elk not because I enjoy it any more than a rifle) The shortened season cost me a shot at a cow elk. Saying that ospreys need to be eliminated because they eat fish is ridiculous. I believe herbicides, dams, siltation, etc. has hindered our fish far more than a few birds. You are jumping on the slippery slope of the sky is falling with the osprey remark.
The word settle was used as a verb to mean “reside” not move to.
In the end, I am part of the ecosystem, I am a hunter/predator, and I do compete with wolves for the food I put on my table for my family. I believe with large numbers of wolves I will have a greatly diminished ability to provide the food I provide for my family. I believe no other animal in my environment stands in my way to provide for my family greater than the wolf. What food you choose to provide for your family, how you define hunting rights and how you perceive to categorize the wolf is up to you. People have hunted and ate animals from the beginning of recorded time. Wanting the wolves to reside elsewhere does not constitute me wanting all creatures eliminated or even any other creature to reside elsewhere….
May 24, 2011 at 9:47 PM
You misunderstood me. I simply mentioned unrestricted hunting to illustrate that humans are such efficient predators, that without self-imposed restrictions, man would eliminate big game animals. Maybe, as you say, as individuals they aren’t efficient, but collectively, they kill more elk each year than any animal predator. I never said that you advocated that. Concerning my osprey comment, you have already stated numerous times that because wolves compete with your ability to harvest an elk, that you want them removed. You also commented that you fish, so it stands to reason, along the same lines, that since the osprey competes with you for the fish, you would want them eliminated , too. Apparently, from what you just wrote, you don’t consider a bird a competitor, just the wolf. It was your line of reasoning, if followed, that would remove ospreys, not mine.
Even though I disagree with some of your points, I will refrain from calling them “ridiculous.” We’ll just have to agree to disagree.
May 24, 2011 at 3:06 PM
Read Cody Coyote’s post on may 23 in the “have you heard any wildlife news section”. He comments on Carter’s “wolfer” book which paints a very different picture than what you just described. Kills that weren’t wolf caused were expected to be documented as such. Would Mr Neimeyer lie about his experiences? Why does the Stockgrowers exert so much influence over the way wildlife is managed? Do you dispute this pressure to delist the wolf in the NRM was caused by livestock interests? If you manage your private land to allow other animals to live without persecution then I commend you. No one expects ranchers to “suck it up” when predators kill your livestock. My comments were more directed at the “livestock industry” than you personally. No one wants to deny a person making a living.
May 24, 2011 at 3:26 PM
+There are land enhancement programs but ranching is one of the least subsidies industry+
Bob – this site was mentioned a few weeks ago. You might want to check it out and see if you recognize any neighbors, I certainly do:
The more you own, the more you get from the government in subsidies and it would appear the Hutterites figured that out awhile ago. Check out the Colonies listed in the top 200. Not only is everyone related, they don’t pay taxes because of religious beliefs!! Talk about welfare ranching!
May 24, 2011 at 3:49 PM
Nancy I will read when I get a chance But a first it seems you confuse ranching and farming.
William what a wolf cost me is more than what he kills. Also every group pressures WS and FWP Sorry you believe ranchers have more influence than other groups.
May 24, 2011 at 4:00 PM
++William what a wolf cost me is more than what he kills.++
Interesting and a very true statement, if only others would believe it.
May 24, 2011 at 4:02 PM
Bob, just curious – where do you ranch?
May 24, 2011 at 4:50 PM
+Nancy I will read when I get a chance But a first it seems you confuse ranching and farming+
No, don’t think so Bob. Will agree lots of farms (mega comes to mind) under that subsidy list, but when you look further,as in programs subsidised, its obvious livestock compensation comes up and often.
Its one thing to accept higher prices at the local grocery store because the price of fuel had gone up in the manufacturing of fresh produce, meat etc. but when fuel settled down to reasonable levels a couple of years ago, the cost of food didn’t. Nor did the subsidies being pumped out annually. There’s something else going on here. Find the Food Inc. video Bob and chew on that for awhile.
I’m all for contributing my dollars to local ranching and farming, would much rather buy local, but duped comes to mind when I think about what’s been going on over the last couple of decades when it comes to agriculture in this country.
May 24, 2011 at 4:11 PM
Jeez Nancy, I had no idea subsidies where this large! Although, a few years ago when I was floating the Missouri River, I remember the shuttle driver (a local teacher) telling me that some of the high school kids in his class were making more money off subsidies than he was getting for teaching school. He said it was the kid’s share from the farm/ranch total.
May 24, 2011 at 4:24 PM
My little sister has 20 sheep and gets less than $100 for the government. I am going to have to give her some dodo next time I see her.
May 24, 2011 at 5:03 PM
Elk – I’ve got 4 – 5 year old chickens. All still laying eggs. Orignially started out with 6. Weasel got one (although I didn’t bring WS into it) and one, a couple of years ago, died of crop complications. Should I be looking into compensation for livestock losses??
May 24, 2011 at 5:20 PM
May 24, 2011 at 4:00 PM
++William what a wolf cost me is more than what he kills.++
Interesting and a very true statement, if only others would believe it
Elk – what a wolf “costs” to the livestock industry might have a lot more to do with neglect of their “product” then anything else.
May 24, 2011 at 5:27 PM
Tip of the iceberg IDhiker. The site is worth looking around in if you really want to find some answers to some obscene government waste.
May 24, 2011 at 6:04 PM
Elk – what a wolf “costs” to the livestock industry might have a lot more to do with neglect of their “product” then anything else.
Forty five years ago, I was 14 and worked on a ranch not far from your cabin. The ranch was on the Rock Creek/Twin Lakes Road, one that I believe Hank Williams Jr. owns. The cattle were grazed in pastures not far from the ranch house. The product was protected. From what I have heard about wolves in the Big Hole Valley in the last several years they would not be 100% safe from wolves the way they were pastured in those days. Now why should a cattle rancher have to have added expense for introduced wolves to satisfy those who want wolves. What else can they do? Nothing that would not be cost effective.
I am reluctant to repeat this story; I have good friends and sources in Southwest Montana who I would not want to betray. This story happened this winter in Jackson, Montana, you know where that is, and was told to me my a very reliable source. A rancher had call wildlife authorities about wolves in his pastures, they arrive and wolves were spotted above the cattle. In a couple of minutes the cattle stampeded down the pasture slope heading to the corrals and barn. In front of the wildlife authorities they broke the fences corrals down and one cow trying to enter the barn broke her neck. One dead cow which was not killed by wolves.
Nancy, I have the greatest respect for you, you live your dreams, speak your feeling and have lived for 20 years in an area that is hostile to your beliefs unlike many others who post here and have never been here. Speak your feelings, I will listen but may not agree, after 20 years you are almost a Montana girl. Good Luck.
May 24, 2011 at 6:40 PM
“Now why should a cattle rancher have to have added expense for introduced wolves to satisfy those who want wolves…”
Indeed! And why should a cattle rancher have the added expense of allowing native elk and deer to graze “his” allotment? Why should the avid angler have to face competition from osprey, brown bear, river otter, egret, heron and loons? Why should the woodlot owner have to bear the added expense of the beaver that use his own trees to dam his stream and flood his land? Why should the Ohio corn farmer allow reintroduced white-tailed deer to live off the fruits of his labor? Why should the urban homeowner share his berries with the migrating song birds?
I know my answer, what’s yours Elk?
May 24, 2011 at 6:56 PM
I have to go to a homeowner’s meeting. Our condo complex had a hail storm last summer and insurance company paid $65,000 for damages and the management company said they would take care of everything. “Everything” was approximately $15,000 in poorly done repairs, inquiring minds want to know where the other $50,000 is.
May 24, 2011 at 7:22 PM
We feed the deer elk bear and beaver and can harvest them and if we want to harvest more we bring in others to help. Yet people want more wolves and no harvest. Most rural people believe in renewable resources and harvesting them. Wolves are very renewable. So up to a month ago I had to feed wolves with not being allowed to harvest.
For the record I lease my land.
Livestock in your report I would guess is dairy maybe all my neighbors and me are missing out but I haven’t found one being paid for raising beef cattle.
May 25, 2011 at 10:05 AM
One correction: SOME people want more wolves and no harvest. (Of course, many of these people don’t particularly care for harvest of the other species you mention either.) Personally, I support regulated public hunting of wolves, though I would like to see a more “surgical” design to hunts. Then again, I also support having a larger wolf population to ensure viability. With some folks you just can’t win! 😉
May 24, 2011 at 7:22 PM
Geez Elk, we’re about the same age!! – and thank you for those kind words. And while we don’t always agree, I look forward to your posts and respect your opinion because we both can relate (and have a certain history…….:) to an area that’s a hot bed of activity when it comes to wolves.
Been out brushing for a friend who ranches in the Big Hole for the past couple of weeks, me and the tractor and a glimpse into their daily lives.
May 24, 2011 at 7:44 PM
Livestock in your report I would guess is dairy maybe all my neighbors and me are missing out but I haven’t found one being paid for raising beef cattle+
Not a guess Bob. Some of the names I see in that report are ranchers, as in beef and sheep.
This name look familar?
Not trying to “point fingers” here Bob but that’s a nice chunk of change (subsidies) in the last 10 years and just one of the many ranches (farms) cashing in……….
May 24, 2011 at 7:56 PM
I was looking at the link you provided for Bob. It seems like in mot of the western states, less than 50% are collecting subsidies. Most of the states collecting subsidies, the biggest percentages anyway, are the mid-west states like Iowa and Illinois. Huh… what does that information mean to you? This is not sarcasm, I’m just really curious. The big collectors of the subsidies aren’t the ranchers in the western states over all.
May 24, 2011 at 8:41 PM
Huh…… I guess I’m questioning why Harley, my tax dollars are being spend subsidizing, regardless of the area, “rich” farmers and ranchers? Word has it, I’d be paying a lot more for food if they were not getting these handouts (subsidies) but is that really the case? Or has it been that way for so long, everyone thinks its just normal to toss tax dollars in that direction with little thought?
May 24, 2011 at 9:04 PM
I can’t claim to know every single farmer or rancher but most of the ones I do know aren’t really rich… They aren’t rolling in the dough. They struggle to make ends meet. I guess if I had a choice, I’d rather my tax dollars go to the farmers and the ranchers here than send money overseas to a foreign country but that’s just my way of thinking, I’m not at all knocking your way.
Now… would I be a little bit more ticked off if in fact my tax dollars were going to some rich fat cats? Probably. If they have the money, they don’t need the subsidies.
May 24, 2011 at 9:15 PM
+I’m not at all knocking your way+
Harely – what do you mean by “my way?”
May 24, 2011 at 9:17 PM
They way that you think about things, approach them, your opinion. Please don’t jump to the defensive Nancy, I’m not here to antagonize. Just to learn.
May 24, 2011 at 9:43 PM
Harely – not defensive, just curious as to what you ment by that comment.
May 24, 2011 at 9:45 PM
Whew! good! I really do want to try and understand here without trying to antagonize anyone.
Thanks for the info btw.
May 24, 2011 at 9:26 PM
May 24, 2011 at 9:33 PM
Yep, good old Rockholm puts himself between preditor and prey looking for trouble. What a God Damn idiot. Fine him.
May 24, 2011 at 9:34 PM
Did you get it on film, Rockholm? You endangered wildlife and should be fined.
May 24, 2011 at 9:37 PM
Having worked in Yellowstone Park, I know full well know not to approach a dead animal’s carcass. What the hell what Rockholm thinking trying to pry the ivory out of this animal. He’s lucky a griz didn’t kill him. Too bad the wolves didn’t.
May 24, 2011 at 9:39 PM
Is he saying he shot at the wolves?
May 24, 2011 at 9:42 PM
Yep. What a tard.
May 24, 2011 at 9:47 PM
The caller sounds drunk. Lol. A whiny, loser drunk.
May 24, 2011 at 9:51 PM
Was he in the park? I don’t have the bandwidth to actually listen to the story, would clog my computer connection up..
May 24, 2011 at 9:53 PM
No, he said he was in Montana but did not divulge where.
May 24, 2011 at 9:59 PM
One time I was fishing on the shore of Lake Yellowstone at Storm Point. I needed to relieve myself on a wooded hill above the shoreline. During my break, I noticed a putrid smell where I stopped. Then I recognized what it was. A griz had covered a dead bison carcass with underbrush, pine needles and dirt. It was less than 3 feet from me. I have never moved so fast in my life to get away from it. I would never intentionally approach a dead animal in the woods anywhere. You’re only asking for trouble.
May 24, 2011 at 10:02 PM
If he was not in Yellowstone Park he is allow to remove the ivories and take the horns. In years gone by I have never carried a gun in the mountains and never wanted to, now I have started to carry a 22 mag or .41 mag. I would not hesitate to use it if the situation required it.
May 24, 2011 at 10:06 PM
If he was not in the park, then he was doing nothing illegal, in Montana we are allowed to take the ivories as well as antlers from carcasses, with the exception of bighorn..we are also allowed to defend ourselves if something happens and there is a life threatening situation.
May 24, 2011 at 10:06 PM
I alway carry pepper spray and have no problem with people carrying guns to protect themselves. But to put himself in danger is just plain stupid. I think he’s always looking for a story. And his caller is a plant. Trying to sell Scott’s book for him as well! Scott is getting rich off his stories.
May 24, 2011 at 10:16 PM
He’s out there looking for wolves and gets surprised when he messes with their dinner.
May 24, 2011 at 10:23 PM
Everybody is getting money off of something..but with the authors I know, I am sure he is not getting rich! I have no problem condemning someone when they are doing something illegal, but based on the little bit of information provided by these posts, that was not the case this time..
May 24, 2011 at 10:32 PM
Save Bears are post are 4 minutes apart and we almost say the exact some thing. What does that mean?
May 24, 2011 at 10:42 PM
Sounds like you two should maybe get a room or something?
May 24, 2011 at 11:04 PM
Awe Shucky Darn, but of course normal comment for around this place….
May 24, 2011 at 11:08 PM
I meant so you could discuss similar interests, you perv!
May 24, 2011 at 11:15 PM
Why get a room, we already have a blog to discuss those types of things!
May 24, 2011 at 11:18 PM
Fine then. Do it out in the open. I’m not the one who implied you two have something special going on.
May 24, 2011 at 11:21 PM
Seriously, it’s like Elk275 is asking if it’s as good for you as it is for him.
May 24, 2011 at 9:39 PM
Rockholm the drama queen at his best. Lol.
May 24, 2011 at 10:49 PM
I love this place. Thanks, Granny!
May 24, 2011 at 11:52 PM
What up, Barry? Lol.
May 25, 2011 at 12:32 AM
We could meet at Cabelas for lunch tomorrow, Barry. I’ve been wanting to try that bison burger anyway. Thanks for the suggestion to get together in your e-mail!
May 26, 2011 at 11:09 PM
The stage is set for Scott’s loyal following. Reminds me of David Koresh….but maybe that’s just me.
May 26, 2011 at 11:29 PM
What the Hell happened here at this historic building smack dab in the middle of Idaho wolf country….and why haven’t we heard any more??? Local citizens deserve to know, especially since a body was found inside the wreckage.
May 26, 2011 at 11:38 PM
I guess the link could have helped. So sad to drive by here on my way to Spokane.