Niemeyer’s “Wolfer” wins prestigious book award

Carter Niemeyer’s memoir, Wolfer, has won the 2011 IPPY (Independent Publishers Book Awards) gold medal for regional nonfiction.

Since its release, I have run into quite a few folks who have read it. All of those I met commented on its evenhandedness. Many said their eyes were opened about the pressure that is applied to pin a “killed by a predator” report,  especially by a wolf, on a rancher’s dead livestock.

Scientists debate ‘magic number’ of wolves needed for species’ survival

Story fails to note the debate has become merely academic-

Story debates “magic number of wolves needed. By Rob Cheney. Missoulian.

Ok, so some scientists say 5000 wolves are needed to ensure the species’ survival in the Northern Rockies with good genetic diversity. Other say the delisting population of about 1700 was enough.

This article and far too many discussions ignore the plain fact that there are no longer 1700 wolves in the area and it is very unlikely the states will ever allow that number again. 1000 might be tops. It could be as low as 450.  To me, the debate has become academic; and writers and decision makers should acknowledge the fact.

Idaho Fish & Game Commission framework for wolf management

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.

Huffing and Puffing: The wolf’s strange journey on and off the endangered species list

A good blog on the delisting, relisting, and delisting of the wolf in the Northern  Rockies-

Huffing and Puffing. By Kevin Taylor. The Pacific Northwest Inlander.

Among other things, I like the discussion of the snail darter from back in the 1970s when Congress decided to build a real white elephant of a dam and doom this tiny fish.* Congress has interfered with the ESA before. People should remember that.

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* The snail darter inhabited only the area to be flooded by the Tellico Dam. If it was built, the darter was extinct (or so it was thought . . . more were found later elsewhere). This was the first time the cabinet level Endangered Species Committee or “God squad” was used. The God Squad, however, looked at the matter and decided the Tellico Dam was such a piece of rancid congressional pork that the country would be better off economically, not even to mention the snail darter, if the dam was never completed. This after the dam was 90% done!! Congress loved its pork though, and over-road the Committee and the ESA, and finished the damn dam, violating residents property rights in the process, in the opinion of many whose land was put permanently underwater.

Fish and Game authorizes deputies to kill wolves

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has delegated authority to kill wolves to county sheriff deputies in Idaho County.  It is unclear what training or methods deputies will have at their disposal when killing wolves.

Fish and Game authorizes deputies to kill wolves – AP

Cadwallader believes this is the first time his agency has delegated authority to local law enforcement agents to kill wolves.

Idaho F&G kills Lolo wolves from helicopter

Idaho politicians’ long hoped for campaign to kill Lolo wolves has begun with small “success”-

Idaho F&G kills Lolo wolves from helicopter. Lewiston Tribune.

“. . . the hunting has been halted because it hasn’t been as successful as expected, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game official says.”

After about decade, Idaho Fish and Game began their reduction of the number of wolves in the Lolo area in north central Idaho along the Montana border. They got five wolves. Their operation is already over for now.  Too expensive!!! They say they will rely on outfitters to kill wolves and a long and generous quota of wolves in the Lolo for the hunting season.

I have been writing about this plan, and it has been discussed on the blog for a long time. My position for a number of years has been that there are not as many wolves in the Lolo as commonly thought, and they are a minor reason at best why the elk herds in the area remain far below their previous numbers (prior to the 1990s).

Biologists, except one, who were part of the no longer required “peer review” by the ESA were very skeptical whether this action would increase elk numbers. This included a biologist who clearly did not like wolves. I suspect this will have little long term effect on wolves in the larger area because there are not many wolves, just like there are not many elk. Of course, the two logically go together, don’t they?

I see the wolf reduction  as a blood ritual with the intent to satisfy politicians in the local area and in Boise. Performance of ritual is vital to perpetuation of a myth — the myth being that wolves are holding back a return to halcyon elk hunting days of the 1950s.

Hunt quota likely 220 wolves this fall . . . Montana FWP Commission

Montana’s second hunt to be much larger than the 2009 hunt-

Montana’s wildlife commissioners have tentatively approved a wolf hunt this fall of 220 wolves, compared to their 2009 hunt of 79. There was no hunt in 210. At the end of 2010, the official wolf population estimate for Montana was 566 wolves.  This quota, if filled, is predicted to drop the state’s wolf population by 25% at the end of 2011, although there are competing computer models.

Idaho has an estimated 705 wolves, well down from its peak in 2009. Idaho’s Fish and Game Commission is expected to approve a big hunt quota, although their quota in 2009 was not reached.

Montana FWP tentatively approves 220-wolf quota for fall hunt. By Matt Volz. AP