Ed Bangs to retire

Bangs oversaw the Northern Rockies wolf restoration program for 23 years-

Montana’s ‘wolf man’. By Eve Bryon. Helena Independent Record.

23 years dealing with conservationists, ranchers, scientists, nuts, cranks, and lying politicians.  Overall, I think he did a good job, especially considering the context. He kept a cool head, which was simply amazing given the policy he administered. RM

A different kind of wolf book: Niemeyer’s “Wolfer” has been published

A real page-turner is available now just before the holidays-

A lot of folks have waited for the publication of Carter Niemeyer’s autobiograpy, Wolfer. It is now available from a couple sources, but Amazon.com will get it to you before Christmas. I’ve checked that out. It is also available at Amazon as a download for your Kindle.

I understand autographed copies are available at www.carterniemeyer.com/ I’m not sure they will be ready for Dec. 25, however. The book also has a Facebook site — http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wolfer/103634586341350

I read the draft and the book grabs you from the first page. It seems like Niemeyer is good at just about everything, and that includes writing his story.  It certainly needs to be told because people just don’t know what being a “government trapper” is like.  They also don’t know what it takes to change your mind about the direction of your career.

I will post a full review after the holidays when I get my final copy.

Controversial wolf hunt over, Sweden now wants to import wolves

Purpose of import is not due to excessive wolf mortality during the hunt. It is lack of genetic diversity-

Sweden wants to import 20 genetically diverse wolves over the next five years.  Although the Swedish Parliament wants to limit the wolf population to about 200 wolves, and so had their first wolf hunt this year, apparently the population is based on too few founding wolves and suffers from inbreeding.

The ill effects of inbreeding do not go away when a population based on just a few animals grows in size. Therefore, the importation of new wolves and the hunt are not related. Regardless of one’s opinion about the wolf hunt, bringing in unrelated wolves will benefit the health of the 200 or so Swedish wolves.

The official number of wolves killed in the recent wolf hunt was 27.

Sweden to import wolves
. UPI.com

There is a lesson here for all those people who prefer a “natural” (unassisted recovery) of any animal — unless there is a large in-migration, the renewed population is not likely to be genetically healthy even if it becomes fairly large.

More on the problems with the recovery of the Mexican wolf

Benjamin Tuggle, the Southwest regional director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gets a letter from Jon Marvel-

An article and a link to Marvel’s full letter is in a post on Demarcated Landscapes. This is a good illustration why cowpersons and cow politicians don’t like Marvel . . . . he tells Tuggle legal truths like . . .

“Ranchers have no legal right to keep cattle or sheep on public lands, they have a license or permit to graze livestock under very specific conditions through their ten year term grazing permit from the Forest Service or the BLM. Those permits are revocable at any time for cause, and can have their terms and conditions changed annually should the federal agencies involved choose to do so.”

. . . . . .

“Some conditions that would be very helpful include:

1. Requiring ranchers to remove all dead or injured cattle or sheep from public lands within three days of receiving knowledge of their presence to prevent wolves becoming accustomed to eating livestock.

2. Disallowing grazing of domestic livestock within five miles of a wolf pack den or rendezvous site.

3. Requiring a rider or herder to be present 7 days a week 24 hours a day with all livestock (human presence is a major deterrent to wolf predation on livestock).

4. Requiring calves turned out on public land to weigh at least 250 pounds.

5. Requiring that all calving or lambing of domestic livestock be carried out on private lands.

6. Requiring protective guard animals like dogs, lamas and burros to be present with all livestock.

7. Requiring all livestock losses to be documented accurately to prevent mendacious claims that wolves are predating.

8. Requiring electric fencing of all domestic sheep bands every night.”