Rammell trial delayed pending new investigation

I think that most people think that poaching should be punished. Rammell seems to think that most people feel just the opposite and that they might side with him. I doubt he’s right and I think that this will make thing much worse for him. He doesn’t seem to be getting much sympathy either.

Rammell trial delayed pending new investigation.
Associated Press

Skinned corpse of wolf discovered in Washington State

State won’t say from which pack

This is bad news for Washington’s small wolf population but it sounds like the the case of a previous poaching incident from 2009 is still open and progressing. We’ve heard rumors that charges may be filed soon in the poaching of wolves from the Lookout Pack in north central Washington. The Lookout Pack is very important genetically because it came on its own from southwestern British Columbia, far from where the wolves reintroduced to Central Idaho and Yellowstone came from. They are also fully protected under the Endangered Species Act and the sentence for anyone convicted of killing them could be pretty severe.

Skinned corpse of wolf discovered, but state won’t say from which pack.
Conservation Northwest

Idaho senators fail in bid to remove federal protection for wolves.

The wolf bills are probably dead

I’ve rewritten this post as it appears that there is still a chance for a bill to move in the Senate.

The bill that would have removed wolves from the Endangered Species Act has failed and the bill which would have removed protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana introduced by Max Baucus of Montana was not successfully attached to the appropriations bill.

With so much else going on in Washington DC it appears that none of the bills to remove protections from wolves will be successful this congress but there is still a slight chance that the Baucus/Tester bill could move during the lame duck session of congress.

There is another dynamic here to take into consideration, the Baucus/Tester bill, which would require that Idaho and Montana maintain a number of wolves higher than the minimum of 10-15 packs, is opposed by many sportsman’s groups including the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation because it gives wolves even some protection. If this bill is passed it would be considered by some as a win for Tester who is likely to face a very tough reelection battle in 2012. With that, it seems likely that Republicans will try to block it since their whole strategy of late has been to block anything that might benefit Democrats.

That being said, the Baucus/Tester Bill would still set a very bad precedent for the Endangered Species Act. It would set a precedent that would allow delisting of any species if it somehow becomes inconvenient for the powers that be or those who kick and scream the most.

Idaho senators fail in bid to remove federal protection for wolves.
Dan Popkey – Idaho Statesman

State of the species
Anti-wolf bills unlikely to pass before year’s end

By KATHERINE WUTZ – Idaho Mountain Express

Utah bill to delist wolves fails in Senate.
By Laura Lundquist – Magic Valley Times-News

Elk Baiting Poachers Fined, Lose Hunting Privileges.

Cumulatively they lost $9600 and 12 years of hunting privileges.

Another form of poaching that is probably more common than this one incident might indicate. This case shows how difficult it is to convict many poachers. It took two years to catch someone using the bait station after it was first discovered.

Is poaching becoming more commonplace because of the recession and could it be the reason for declines in elk? The recent study in Oregon indicates that the level of poaching is very high there. Could it be just as much of a problem in the neighboring states like Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming? What is going on here?

Elk Baiting Poachers Fined, Lose Hunting Privileges.
Idaho Fish and Game News Release

Nevada wildlife commissioners might make it legal to shoot a ‘lone wolf’ though federal fines would remain

Former Gov. candidate Rex Rammel could face charges for allegedly killing elk

Wow!! Who’s next?

Who knows? If there is a conviction in this case, it might solidify my theory that anti-wolf advocates are behind the decimation of elk herds 😉

Recall, Rex Rammel is the politician who joked about “Obama tags“. He also had a run in with then Governor and now Senator Jim Risch after his canned hunt elk escaped and were shot by Idaho Fish and Game agents.

We’ve written about him here before.

Rex Rammell vs. the Elk vs. the Law
Boise Weekly

Former Gov. candidate could face charges for allegedly killing elk .
KBOI 2 – Boise

– – – – –
Addition by Ralph Maughan. So this Karen Calisterio in North Idaho who just had a “scary,” but completely unverified encounter with wolves on her property was Rex Rammell’s campaign manager.

New story. Warden confiscates elk from Rex Rammell, plans to file poaching charges. By Rocky Barker – rbarker@idahostatesman.com

Idaho sheriff denies SSS raffle aims for wolves

And people wonder why wolf advocates are wary of state management of wolves…..

Idaho sheriff denies SSS raffle aims for wolves.
Washington Examiner