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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

57 Responses to Otter hopes to be among first to hunt the predator as it is removed from endangered list

  1. avatar kt says:

    Look at the caption of the photo where the wolf hating bully is attempting to cover up the sign of a wolf advocate! That image, and the quote says it all. This isn’t about wolves at all. It is about sick white men and the hatred of the wild, the dark, the swarthy …

    “We’ve got to do something about all the illegal immigrants coming into the forest,” Peterson said!!!!!

    No sooner has Idaho started creeping out from its image as the White Supremacist Hate State, to now caromming under Jocko Otter to a new Hate Theme. Which, as the photo caption shows, is really the Same Old Hate Theme.

    This will not be lost on the segments of the Idaho population that actually do the hard physical work in this state these days. Keeping the sugar beets hoed and hauled while Bubba is out dousing himself in eau de Doe in Heat essence and stalking the state’s big game herds on his ATV and Hummer.

    I had a friend who wrote stories about “This Plantation Idaho” a few years ago. If he were alive today, he’d have a field day writing about this … and the convergence of the Haters and Fundamentalists here to defend us from dark, evil, swarthy elements in our midst.

    Think back on the symbolism of Otter’s VERY first move as Governor – getting sworn in behind closed doors surrounded by cronies. To me, that sent out the clear message that there is an elite “in group” running this state and they care only about making their crony livestock, ag and other industry counterparts richer. The Sportsmen for Hatred and the Fundamentalists for Hatred are some of their Tools (or is it Fools) for fomenting trouble, distracting us from many other issues – while the Cattlemen, irrigators and others continue to reap havoc on the land, waters, fish and wildlife of this state.

    What I really want to know is: Was Brandi Swindell at the rally dressed as Little Red Riding Hood? These sick white men need some pure white woman’s virtue to defend from the swarthy and savage elements … Whoops, I forgot Butch Otter was there – can’t have the pure white women folk getting too close …

  2. avatar Rob-S says:

    Let the delisting begin so Otter can be the first one to kill his wolf then maybe he will get down to his ‘real’ business as Governor. Once delisted and hunting opportunities have been put in place for wolves then no one, not the livestock industry, SFW, or wolf advocates needs to complain anymore as both sides have had their wishes granted. SFW can hunt, livestock industry can kill wolves harrassing livestock, and wolf advocates are ensured that at least the minimum required by law will be maintained to keep a vibrant and healthy wolf population in Idaho. Maybe then, we can all remove ourselves from the gloom and doom of the negative posts on this website and really make a difference by contacting your local congressman to get the important bills surrounding wolves and wildlife issues on the floor instead of just voicing negative rhetoric on sites at this one.

  3. avatar matt bullard says:

    I think the biggest point of contention here, obviously, if that us wolf advocates do not think there is reason to reduce the wolf population down to the minimum levels. The reasons that the anti wolf folks give – that they are reducing hunting opportunities, decimating elk herds, and driving the livestock industry to ruin are, plainly and clearly, not born out in fact. Furthermore, while Idaho’s wolf management plan calls for a minimum number of packs and wolves, nowhere does it say that the state should manage down to that level! Of course, this is our biggest fear given the rhetoric of the current administration.

    From the Idaho Wolf Management Plan: “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.”

    Clearly, the strategy of SFW and the Governor is to say that current wolf numbers are affecting big game populations, etc, but as I said above, I’ve yet to see the proof.

  4. avatar Rob-S says:

    Unless you are really a hunter who has had to spend countless days or weeks hunting without seeing game animals to hunt on your tradition hunting area or are a livestock producer who has lost thousands of dollars to wolves then you would not agree that hunting opportunities have been reduced or that your livelihood by raising livestock is being ruined. I am a hunter and have known many livestock producers who have lost thousands of dollars to wolves. Why should proof have to be shown to the wolf advocates be favored over proof from those whose actually have experienced the loss of hunting opportunities and loss of livestock? The proof is there if you talk to the right people. If I want to know how to bake bread I go to a baker. If you want to know the impact of wolves have had on hunting opportunities then you approach the hunter, not the wolf advocates. If you want to know the impact wolves have had on the livestock industry then you approach the livestock owner who runs his cattle on public lands. It is that simle.

  5. avatar matt bullard says:

    Well, I just don’t believe that the hunters that showed up for the rally yesterday represent how most hunters feel about this subject. One thing that struck me yesterday as odd was when one speaker said that hunting opportunities were being lost because he spent 5 days in the mountains with his son and didn’t see any elk. I was thinking that 5 days in the mountains with my son sounds like a pretty good time to me! I just find that the focus on the end act, the killing, is so overemphasized that we loose sight of the real important aspect, that of being outside, pursuing our interests, and spending time with friends and family. I know plenty of people who hunt for which actually killing an animal is just one small part of the whole experience, and if that doesn’t happen, they still rave about the time they spent in the woods

    So to get back to answering your question, yes, I think we should ask hunters and ranchers, but I’m not going to rely on just asking a few, vocal critics! Would you??? But I will rely on studies that account for a large and representative group. Studies that show, for instance, that hunter success is not being affected, that elk and deer numbers are meeting population goals in the vast majority of the state, and that livestock mortality caused by wolves represents a small fraction of the total lost. Sure, there are isolated pockets where individuals are affected and we should address those issues on a case by case basis. But those few should not dictate policy for everyone.

    One other thing I want to bring up. I’ve noticed that when I look at web sites (SWF comes to mind) that allow people to post photos of their hunts, why to the vast majority of the hunters pictured not look all that happy? It just seems strange to me that if you’ve got your animal and if the hunt is all about the kill, wouldn’t you think to smile?

  6. avatar Layton says:

    “Look at the caption of the photo where the wolf hating bully is attempting to cover up the sign of a wolf advocate! That image, and the quote says it all. This isn’t about wolves at all. It is about sick white men and the hatred of the wild, the dark, the swarthy ”

    Oh….my…..God!!

    You have GOT to be kidding me!!

    I was personally standing about 30 feet from that photo. EVERYONE .. including the guy with the wolf sign … was laughing.

    This was no more the kind of “hatred of the wild, the dark, the swarthy ” than it was a dissertation on flying a rocket to Mars!!

    Crawl out of what ever sanctimonious cave you live in and get real!!!

    Trying to tie an anti-wolf rally by a bunch of people that believe Canadian Gray Wolves shouldn’t be here to some kind of a new hate theme is ridiculous at best and in reality just an attempt at sensationalism!!

    The rally was orderly, short, and (something the wolf advocates won’t like) made sense.

    All the time I was there I only saw two real morons on display. One was the lady that decided to walk some kind of a wolf hybrid dog through the crowd time after time and the other was some low foreheaded idiot that kicked it as she walked by. I think that both of them come from family trees with no branches! I told one of them that – guess which. Hint – he had a low forehead.

    “The reasons that the anti wolf folks give – that they are reducing hunting opportunities, decimating elk herds, and driving the livestock industry to ruin are, plainly and clearly, not born out in fact.”

    Seems to me that the only person with any sort of apparently meaningful credentials that says that is Mr. Peek – the pet biologist that DOW made available to the press after the rally.

    My personal opinion is that this guy should get off his academic posterior and get into the woods once in a while. Talk about not being “borne out in fact”.

    Face it, you folks have had your way with the ecosystem and the wild game —- if those nasty hunters were allowed to shoot wolves on sight (which, along with any sort of local control, will be tied up in the courts for years) the population would not suffer any drastic decline.

    You’ve won the day, why not be at least gracious about it?

    Layton

  7. avatar Chris L. says:

    If the elk population is down, it will balance out. Clearly wolves did not hunt elk to extinction in the past and they will not do it now. The levels will balance out, when elk are few, wolves will starve. Better hunting talent can always find prey. But on the other side, I am not opposed to wolves being delisted, as long as it is responsibly done. Reducing the species to the minimum level is ludicrous, as a disease outbreak could require reintroducing more wolves.

  8. avatar Rob-S says:

    It is true that wildlife populations may not have decreased by much since the reintroduction of the wolf. What has changed is wildlife behavior. Game animals are not found on their traditional hunting areas and if they are they remain wary so hunters have to spend more time hunting and maybe even hunt new areas. My observations have relied on talking with hundreds of hunters and since I am from a ranching community I can say that my observations are not from a few vocal critics but from a majority of the population within the hunting and ranching community which is more than likely a significant sample population of the livestock owners and hunters in the state of idaho. I would say almost as reliable as the statistics posed by the large representative groups you speak of.

  9. avatar Bob Hurst says:

    I live on a small ranch in wolf country. I am a lifelong hunter and fisherman. The only wolves that concern me are the two legged variety. That would be illegal immigrants, the Ranchers/Farmers who illegally hire them, the vote-whoring politicians who ignore them, and the clergy who want more boots in the pews. They are direct parallels to the supply and demand sides of the illegal drug trade. Using illegals is not only unfair competition, it is tantamount to using stolen parts to produce a product. Ranchers who so employ should be arrested, their ranches sold at auction to honest ranchers, and the proceeds given to fund the civilian patriots guarding our borders. It is a shame that some businessmen may be driven out of business by being too honest!. I am not against legal immigration, a desperation accusation made by those who benefit from the opium of illegal employment. My mother, wife, and niece are all immigrants. But don’t blame Butch, he is doing the bidding of those who financed his election and will have his rear if he doesn’t grovel on command. Butch hates pristine environment and laws protecting it. Lest we forget, a decade ago he was severely fined for knowingly modifying Boise River flow to suit his River mansion estate. He tried to pass a bill authorizing landing strips in Wilderness areas to provide, according to him, access to these areas for the handicapped. Right Butch. I know alot of handicapped folks who tool around in private planes. Could that have been another attempt to boot-lick your wealthy supporters? I am sure should wolf killing be authorized, Captain Butch will spearhead the first gaggle of Ada Anthropoids to my part of the State. These are the same mental giants who litter my road with Keystone Beer cans,and Twinkie wrappers, the brain food that fuels their “Kill one wolf, save 100 Elk” Bubba-Science. How about “Arrest 17 million illegals and their Employers, save our Country and State”?

  10. avatar Jordan says:

    Sounds like being anti-wolf is another name for poor, lazy hunter.
    I hike a lot and see elk constantly and have even advised hunters where they might have better luck in finding them.

    For one, elk are not going to be where cattle and sheep have been grazing since Spring and there’s nothing left for the elk to eat. Seems that most “sportsmen” would figure this out, but they don’t.

    Layton – wouldn’t you be happier posting on Idaho Sportsman against wolves and predators or having coffee with Ron Gillett?

  11. Do a little research and the picture becomes clearer. You no longer need to discuss elk population ups and downs: Safari Club International is a worldwide organisation, promoting wildlife conservation :-)) See their webpages, their statutes and make up your mind. By the way, Governor 0. is a lifetime member of this organisation (Source: his web bio). There is a branch of this SCI even here in Bavaria (S.Germany), therefore I´m quite familiar with the true intentions and the “quality” of their members. It´s worldwide Trophy Hunting on a (very) big scale – nothing else and as simple as that. O. now being in a political position to create a trophy hunting paradise for him and his friends in Iadaho. Sure, the whole SCI bunch already licking fingers about the forthcoming wolf shooting! O. is only a little peverting his goals (source: you guess it):
    “My goal as your Governor is to empower Idaho to be all that America was meant to be, and to empower Idahoans to be the architects of their own destiny. I hope you will join me in that endeavor.” At least we know now what America was meant to be :-))

  12. avatar Warren says:

    I have joined the protest against the killing of wolves. I am also getting other Idahoans involved in this issue.

    I even called the Governor’s office today to voice my outrage over his statements and his wish to see all wolf packs dead. I doubt they will stop at 100 individuals, or ten packs. I would have been in Boise to protest had I been able.

    The Governor’s office – 208-334-2100

    They will ask for your name and address.

  13. avatar Mike S. says:

    “I even called the Governor’s office today to voice my outrage over his statements and his wish to see all wolf packs dead. I doubt they will stop at 100 individuals, or ten packs. I would have been in Boise to protest had I been able.”
    Maybe if you could clear the tears out of your eyes you could read better. Show me a link to where Otter said he wanted to “see all wolf packs dead”

    He doesn’t want to kill them all just 500 or so.

    That’s a nice number for starters.

  14. avatar Layton says:

    “Layton – wouldn’t you be happier posting on Idaho Sportsman against wolves and predators or having coffee with Ron Gillett?”

    Nope, I like it here just being a discordant note to all the “singing to the choir”. 8^)

    Gillett is as far out on one side as a lot of the peope here on this site are on the other.

    Also like them, he has been known to twist, edit, and otherwise make the “facts” look as he wants them to.

    Oh, and he doesn’t always tell the truth.

    Funny, after writing that it got me to thinking that maybe HE ought to be over here. ;^)

    Layton

  15. avatar be says:

    i say let butch be the first to hunt a wolf. i can’t imagine a more demasculating episode than to have butchy boy come home empty-handed time and time again. that is, unless FWS decides to put its steak into the canned hunting business and round some of them up – or give folk the frequency info to the collars. sick…

    trapping and baiting should be off-limits.

    if people want to hunt a natural animal in its natural habitat then hunt elk. it may require hiking through more than one meadow and not killing an animal every time but it’s authentic and i have had fun with it.

    if folks want to hunt an animal that is stupidly consistent in its where-abouts and that stays in one general place then i suggest you pick up a map of cattle-grazing allotments from BLM or FS. these maps are almost as easy to read as the FWS maps for hunting zones. you’d even be doing our wildlife and habitat a favor. (ask first!)

    [complaining] about wolves running elk around is akin to canned-hunt advocacy.

  16. avatar JEFF E. says:

    post6: Layton, do you post on Bowsite.com?
    Rob, In most of your posts you make perfect sense; you are, IMHO, a little rabid about the the livestock industry and tend to minumize the overall negaitves therewith. So be it. But I have a simple question for you, Layton, and all who may be reading who lean to “we are better off without them”. I’ve been a wolf fan for over 30 years,(My first hands on was a c.l. arctos female. That was in eastren Idaho, early 70’s) have daily interactions with wolves(I mean hands on),(no I am not a hybred breeder and don’t really agree with it but thats another post.) interact with wolves in the wild, am a lifelong hunter,see as much game now (50) as I did when I was 12.In some cases more.(I live in Idaho). One half of my famliy is nothing but livestock.(They own SEVERAL SECTIONS of land in eastren Idaho. we get along great.)Okay, my question? What is it about a WOLF that causes so much: contoversy, loathing, fear, negative attitudes, etc. etc.?

  17. avatar huskyrunnr says:

    The harvest numbers just do not bear out the claim by so many the elk in Idaho have crashed. BTW, does anyone know what happened in the late 70’s, why the harvest was so low then?

    http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b24/huskyrunnr/elkreport.jpg

  18. avatar kt says:

    I just enlarged the second photo at the Statesman link. The Sportsmen for Hate and Death even have mass-produced signs portraying a Red Menace …..

  19. avatar Jordan says:

    Calling the Governor’s office as Warren suggests (#12) and expressing your support to keep wolves in Idaho is something each of us can do now. The number again: 208.334.2100.

    Monday is a holiday, but make the call whenever. We have to counter people like Mike S (#13) who thinks killing 500 wolves “is a good number for starters”.

    As for Butcher Otter getting his wolf, there is no doubt he would — with the aid telemetry, chopper and fixed wing aircraft, and guides who do everything but pull the trigger. He wouldn’t even have to get his hands bloody or mess his hair do.

    Otter’s proposed wolf slaughter is making news across the country and the world and once again, Idaho is associated as a place of backwardness and hatred.

  20. avatar Layton says:

    Jeff,

    In answer to your first question, yes, I do.

    As to your second (what is is about a wolf…..etc) To me, first and foremost it is what they do to my enjoyment of the woods.

    First, in spite of what all the “pet” biologists that the wolfers can line up say, they are raising hell with the ungulate population here in Idaho — don’t ask me for any credentials, you wouldn’t pay any attention to them anyway — go to the woods and look!! If you are, as you claim, seeing as much game now as you used to, you are either in an area where there are no wolves, or you are spending a lot more time.

    Second, I had an up close and personal encounter with a pack of nine wolves three years ago — well, I guess I can’t call them a pack, they didn’t have a radio collar — three other people in the same area had gorounds with the same “bunch” but they weren’t official at that time.

    I’m not a timid person and I’ve spent a lot of time in the woods and I will freely admit that it scared the hell out of me. To have that sort of a menace or hazard or whatever you want to call it is, I think, not right. If wolves were taught that they are NOT the top of the food chain this would not happen. It changed the way I spend time in the woods, I pack a .45 caliber friend now.

    Third, they were pushed on Idaho by a federal gov’t that chose to listen to the people in New Jersey, etc that MIGHT want to come out here someday and listen to one howl. They don’t have to live with them, they don’t want to!!

    Fourth, how about the fact that people that use their hounds or, for that matter walk their dogs in Idaho’s forests aren’t even allowed to protect them.

    Never mind that the debate still goes on about what kind of wolves were brought in, etc. etc.

    Just for grins, if you don’t throw in the old “bio diversity” line, name me ONE thing that wolves do on the plus side of the ledger. Do me a favor, forget the crap about sick, old and crippled — OK?

    On another note:

    ” Reducing the species to the minimum level is ludicrous, as a disease outbreak could require reintroducing more wolves.”

    Couldn’t you say the same thing for when the wolves drag the elk down to “minimum levels”? Or is that OK? Maybe even what you want, cuz then you could list elk and get those nasty hunters out of the woods.

    kt,

    Keep it up, you bring a needed comedy break to the proceedings.

    Layton

  21. avatar Rob-S says:

    Jeff, I am no more rabid about the livestock industry than you are about the beloved wolf. They have their place. I say that the livestock industry has done some damage to the habitat but not to the extent that you portray. And the ones that do are not the typical rancher. They do have a right to protect their interests as much as the wolf advocates cry wolf whenever a wolf is killed for killing livestock.

  22. avatar Bob H says:

    A P.S. to my previous mail. To restate, I am a lifelong hunter who lives on a small ranch in wolf country. I have no problem with wolves, but can I petition Butch or the anti-wolf hunting groups for the thousands of dollars in damage done by elk to my Orchard crops? Who will compensate me for worm damage to my apples? The worm hating lobby? Other critters attack my Cherries. If I whine loud enough, who will compensate for that? Ranchers must learn from other industries that the government is not always responsible for product loss. Does Bill Gates get a federal or state check if the Good Lord takes out his plant via an act of God. As the T-Shirt says, “S— Happens”. Elk eat fruit trees and we eat elk. So do wolves.

  23. avatar matt bullard says:

    So who do we listen to – the statistics of hunter harvest that show that we still seem to be able to kill a LOT of elk in this state, even in the presence of wolves, or the 300 or so chicken-littles who, for whatever reason, be it because they have not adjusted their tactics to account for changing elk behavior or believe a little too much in Red Riding Hood, seem to think that the wolves are killing all the elk? Which is it?

    I think you’d find a lot more support (or at least some sympathy) amongst wolf advocates if there was some actual data, as opposed to anecdotal stories. As of now, there just doesn’t appear to be any evidence to suggest that the number of wolves we have in this state, even though it far exceeds recovery objectives, is drastically affecting elk and deer. I also think that the wolf advocates who oppose delisting do so not because they don’t think it is biologically warranted but because there is a fear that the regulatory agencies that control the wolf’s fate are set up to persecute rather than manage, not just for hunting, but for other values as well.

  24. avatar Rob-S says:

    Bob H,

    Do you work on the ranch or own it?

  25. avatar Rob-S says:

    It appears to me that when the wolf issues were first discussed about returning them to the western states that those petitioning their return did not have very good wolf biologists or conservationist. Or did you all agree then that 10 breeding pairs was adequate. They all agreed upon 10 breeding pairs as being significant enough to maintain a vibrant healthy wolf population. The government would not proceed without significant research and studies by experts in the field. How come you all did not scream and yell then before all this became law? Because of your neglect to stand up to those issues a minimum of 10 breeding pairs was established. Now it is a little to late so if the wolf is delisted the wolf advocates must suffer the consequences from their lack of action when the laws regarding wolf reintroduction were being discussed. I’m appalled!

  26. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    Bob H,
    I can’t tell from your posting where you live. But I’d suggest you check with your state’s wildlife agency. It probably has a special hunting program to help farmers/rangers reduce damage from browsing animals, especially ungulates like elk and deer. In Pennsylvania, the state Game Commission has such a program. It’s called the Deer Management Assistance Program, or DMAP. Details are available at: http://www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/lib/pgc/digestpdfs/2006/dmap_cwd.pdf

  27. avatar Mike S. says:

    “It appears to me that when the wolf issues were first discussed about returning them to the western states that those petitioning their return did not have very good wolf biologists or conservationist. Or did you all agree then that 10 breeding pairs was adequate. They all agreed upon 10 breeding pairs as being significant enough to maintain a vibrant healthy wolf population. The government would not proceed without significant research and studies by experts in the field. How come you all did not scream and yell then before all this became law? Because of your neglect to stand up to those issues a minimum of 10 breeding pairs was established. Now it is a little to late so if the wolf is delisted the wolf advocates must suffer the consequences from their lack of action when the laws regarding wolf reintroduction were being discussed. I’m appalled!”

    Rob everyone knows that laws and rules only apply if they happen to coincide with the liberals beliefs.

    Hopefully Ralph will let us post some pictures of our Wolves on this site once we start killing them.

  28. avatar matt bullard says:

    I can tell you for certain there was a lot of screaming and yelling about Idaho’s wolf management plan when it came out regarding the low numbers. I’ve pasted the relevant section in above, but nowhere in the plan does it say that wolf numbers should be *reduced* to those numbers. Nowhere!

  29. avatar Eric T. says:

    True, harvest numbers are within range and it would seem that wolves aren’t having an impact. Looking at harvest numbers is only a snapshot because every hunter has only been required to submit harvest reports since 2000. All other harvest data prior was conducted by F&G calling approximately 10% of the licensed hunters and surveying them. These numbers were then extrapolated to approximate the total harvest statewide, GIGO data. So looking at harvest data in the ’90’s has little to no value when trying to compare years.

    Calf recruitment and age distribution are the real numbers that need to be assessed in elk and deer herds. Those are the studies I am interested in.

  30. avatar matt bullard says:

    If the 10% of hunters that were surveyed prior to 2000 was a random, representative sample, then statistically, those numbers are absolutely relevant.

  31. avatar Bob H says:

    Rob

    My wife and I own it. By the way, as I sat down to an elk roast I prepared (superbly I must say), I looked out my dining room window and saw two wolves cross the meadow. Elk hammer my crops each year. It is a fact of nature I accept. I just build more and higher fencing. They are just doing their Elk thing and I have to be a little smarter than them. After all my cussing, I still consider them majestic, and tasty. When I do forestry thinning, I pack a .45. I think I’ll be hit by a meteor or abducted by aliens before I ever have to use it to stop a wolf attack. I think wolves do their wolf thing. They are just better hunters than most of us. When we played sports in school, did we kill the other guy who was a better athlete?

  32. avatar Mike S. says:

    “I can tell you for certain there was a lot of screaming and yelling about Idaho’s wolf management plan when it came out regarding the low numbers. I’ve pasted the relevant section in above, but nowhere in the plan does it say that wolf numbers should be *reduced* to those numbers. Nowhere!”

    Yet nowhere in there does it say we should have well over 800 Wolves 80 packs and 50 breeding pairs either.

    Just how many Wolves do you want in Idaho 2000?

    I know it’s hard to face the fact that Wolves WILL be hunted/killed soon after they are delisted but that’s what’s going to happen

    What part of this successfull, completed recovery as stated by the ESA and all pertinent agencies don’t you understand?

  33. avatar matt bullard says:

    Mike S. – I understand it well. And technically speaking, the relevant rules that govern this species says that delisting will occur on TWO conditions – when the population met its targets (it did in 2000, I believe), AND when the 3 states had acceptable management plans. So tehcnically, we have 2 of the 3 states with acceptable plans. So it is a actually a great concession that wolf advocates are even willing to listed about delisting until Wyoming gets its act together.

    I have never said that they should not be hunted. I favor delisting and I actually do favor a fair chase hunt. I do not favor, nor do I interpret the management plan as a justification for a reduction to “recovery levels”. Just because it says recovery is achieved by those numbers doesn’t mean the minimum number needed is a cap on population! What about the term “minimum” don’t you understand???

  34. Everyone was unhappy about about the low figures in the Idaho wolf plan, but some groups argued that Idaho would manage wolves well above that number, so the 10 packs was well below what would be the case in the ground.

    Looks like they were wrong.

    Ten packs is not enough. I’m just glad the governor came out for ten packs publicly rather than doing it in a sneaky manner. Now everyone is at alert

  35. avatar Rob-S says:

    So where were the experts, the wolf biologists, conservationists and wolf advocates at the time. Sleeping! You mean to tell me that even the experts could not convince by research on wolves that 10 breeding pairs were not enough to sustain the population. As a government employee I can assure you that the feds do their research sufficiently to support their data and they probably would have listened to the so called experts had they established a minimum of 30 or 40 breeding pairs.


    They were not sleeping. They were fully aware that they were not invited to participate. RM

  36. avatar Jordan says:

    Ralph – the wolf haters have really come out in force today on this blog, flaunting Otter’s order to kill most of Idaho’s wolves.

    The latest is Mike S #27 wanting to post dead wolf photos here “once we start killing them”. A taunt that’s not funny and in my opinion should not be allowed in the only pro-wolf website many of us have access to.

    Mike S., Layton, Robb S — give ’em the boot. I can read all about the anti-wolfers in the newspapers, I don’t need to read it here.

  37. No. I won’t boot them because of their views.

    I have, however, asked the various Robs and Mikes posting to this blog to use a last name initial so their posts can be distinguished, one from the other. They have done as I suggested except for Rob-S. I have added the S because he has failed to grant this simple request. So he is on the bench for a while, but will be welcomed back if he agrees.

  38. avatar Blaine Houberg says:

    I agree with Ralph. They should be allowed to voice their views (as narrow minded as they may be). In my own view and as I read the opposition, I believe it will serve to energize the pro wolf folks. It’s worked for me since the early 90’s and I feel it workin’ again……….

  39. avatar Rob says:

    Ralph,

    I have not checked my email for several days and did not realize you asked to post the last name initial. Sorry about that. I had wondered how the S arrived on the last several posts of mine. I will comply.

    OK, the problem is fixed. Ralph

  40. avatar JEFF E says:

    #17;in the late seventies we had a series of harsh winters. The 38 below that Ralph refereed to happened at that time, along with heavy snows. That was the last of the “real Idaho winters”. Growing up in Eastern Idaho one knew that for at least a week or more in Jan. it would be 20 below at night. It was just the way it was. When was the last time we seen that Ralph?
    #20. Layton. I just wondered because in a earlier Tet-a-Tet you stated that you did not use an on line handle. Guess your credibility just took a hit. To the rest of your post’
    :Mosquitos, ticks, and slobs that litter and act like slobs degrade my enjoyment, and on and on.
    :I hunt primarily in the Bear Valley, White Hawk Basin, and Clear Creak drainage north of Lowman. Also spend time in Stanley Basin, Boulder-White Clouds. My Brother-in-law and nephew hunt exclusively in Island Park.(two years ago he was actively stalked by a cougar).(That same year I had a little growling contest with a wolf on the ridge line between the Bear Valley and White Hawk Basin. He was on a gut pile and took exception to me watching. It was kind of fun though.)I still see as much elk, deer, and other wild life as I ever did. My brother- in – law likewise.(My nephew bagged his elk 15 minutes out of the truck this year.)People that use hounds to hunt or walk there dogs run a risk, that’s true. I wonder about how many hounds are taken out by Bears and Cougar. It has to happen but is apparently acceptable. Why is that. As for dogs we are not in the city Park. Just an aside, did you ever wonder why so many cats and smaller dogs disappeared in urban environs. Answer, we have some very well fed fox and coyotes running around. What do wolves do on the positive side of the ledger Well if old, sick and lame is not acceptable even though valid how about at least as many people who co-own public lands along with you want to have wolves present. Or don’t there views count?

  41. avatar huskyrunnr says:

    #29 The report on game harvest says mandatory reporting started in ’98. So you’re approximately correct on that.

    Calf recruitment and age distribution studies are not based upon statistical sampling and are therefore more reliable? They locate every single critter? Or are you saying it is based upon statistical sampling, but a much larger one than 10%, and therefore more reliable?

  42. avatar Jordan says:

    Ralph – Am sorry that wolf haters will continue to get their stage on your site. Can hear them chuckling over the salt poured on wolf-advocates hearts during this sad time in Idaho.

    Rob – Ralph requested a last name initial and your posting on #39 doesn’t have it. Do you know your last name?

    Can’t find an elk (posting #4) ? If you could buy a pair of hiking boots and manage a mile or so of hiking away from your ATV, I could show you an elk – do you prefer bull, cow or spotted calf?

    If you wait until November to hunt you’ll be able to plug an elk floundering in snow and not even have to get off your ATV.

    You complain about the “gloom and doom” of this website (Posting #2) so why don’t you leave it and a lot less gloom will be present for those of us who like wolves and understand that Idaho is one of the last places in the universe they can exist.

    Now, about the elk hunt — what unit is is that you hunt in and what tag do you buy? Do I need to recruit some friends to help carry out the meat of your elk? If you kill a spotted calf elk I can probably carry it out for you. If you throw the head, hide and legs away like most Idaho great white hunters do.

  43. avatar Layton says:

    Jeff,

    ” Layton. I just wondered because in a earlier Tet-a-Tet you stated that you did not use an on line handle. Guess your credibility just took a hit.”

    Don’t think so bud. Your specific question in that tet a tet was something to the effect of “was I Voice Bugler on that website” I wasn’t then and I am not now — never have been.

    The remark about never using a handle was referring to this website — as I think you know full well.

    Maybe it’s your credibility in question???

    “Well if old, sick and lame is not acceptable even though valid how about at least as many people who co-own public lands along with you want to have wolves present. Or don’t there views count?”

    Read the question for content, if you read it slower maybe that will help.

    Here’s the quote, can you answer it yet?

    “Just for grins, if you don’t throw in the old “bio diversity” line, name me ONE thing that wolves do on the plus side of the ledger. Do me a favor, forget the crap about sick, old and crippled — OK?”

    Now – please explain to me – WHAT THE WOLVES CONTRIBUTE.

    Or are you trying to tell me that their contribution to the plus side/purpose in life is to fulfill the wants of a lot of people that don’t know any better?

    The sick, old and crippled line is just that, a line. Wolves kill the first thing that is available.

    By the way Ralph, thanks for the equal opportunity, it seems that some of your guests don’t like that.

    Layton

  44. avatar Rob says:

    Jordan, you are quick to attack. I’m somewhat impressed but less than impressed with your attacks as you do not even know me from Adam or Eve. You do not know that I am an avid hunter who does not use an ATV or SUV but hunts on foot or by horse and generally get my game every year. I am only speakig for others and not necessarily myself. And yes, listening to you and others who love wolves you would suspect the world is coming to an end much to all of your negativity.

  45. avatar Rob-S says:

    OOps! I forgot my last initial. Ralph and I have been in discussion about this by email throughout the day so Jordan you do not need to fly off the handle again on this one as I did forget and did not post comment 44 purposefully with out my last initial.

  46. avatar huskyrunnr says:

    “Now – please explain to me – WHAT THE WOLVES CONTRIBUTE.”

    Layton, big picture here:

    Science. 1997 Jun 13;276(5319):1687-9

    “Domestic species of plants and animals whose wild progenitors are extinct cannot be enriched through periodic interbreeding, and change under artificial selection may be more limited. Consequently, the preservation of wild progenitors may be a critical issue in the continued evolution of domestic plants and animals.”

  47. avatar JEFF E says:

    Layton, No, sorry, I didn’t know you were differentiating between web sites; can’t read minds yet although in your case that would only be a short walk down a dark street. Well lets see,”One positive thing” How about keeping the coyote population in check,somthing not even humans are able to do. Do a little checking into how many sheep, calves, antolpe,fawns,ground nesting birds etc. are killed by coyotes and think how nice it would be if there was an effective way to control that population. Look into the fact that when wolves were being eradicated the coyote population spread to now across the entire continent and all the problems that has caused in places that never had them historically or otherwise. Just my private opinion but I believe the same disruption of natures checks and balances is why raccoons are thick as fleas everywhere you go.

  48. avatar kt says:

    Now that the ice crystals have settled for a day or two following C. L. Butcher Otter’s remarks, it seems to me that his statement, the holy alliance between the Sportsmen for Hate, the wolf-hating Christian Fundamentalists that Ralph posted a link to a few days ago, and now the Immigrant-Hating message from signs at the rally — provide a great opportunity for wolf and other wildlife advocates.

    Otter, in one way or the other, just had a “macaca” moment of sorts that perfectly sets the stage for casting all future actions during his tenure as Governor – and I wonder, does Idaho have a recall process like California and if not, how do we get one???? – as the actions of a hooligan.

    So take heart! Otter and the Sportsmen for Death and the livestock industry behind them have just gven us a great opportunity …

  49. avatar mike says:

    I say that we should all calm down and just stay politely on track for a while. My experience has been that the rightwingers always overreach and always hang themselves in short order once they gain any power at all. The record is pretty clear; power tends to corrupt us all, but not nearly like it gets to them. They always just go right (no pun intended) off the deep end. Their hungers are insatiable; their perversions always so much more twisted; and their hypocrisy neverending. They can never be satisfied and always end up eating even their own young. Over in Montana, one bunch of them are claiming that the wolves have killed all the elk and, twenty miles away and well within the range of the very same wolf packs, another bunch is clamoring to open up more forest roads to enable them to kill the “tremendous surplus” of elk. They are self-destructive trash; just keep harrassing them a bit to keep them moving, let them pull out enough of the rope they need, and they will hang themselves as surely as the neocons hanged themselves with their twisted foreign policy. By the time these buffoons get through, conservativism will be the dirtiest word in the dictionary. Unfortunately, on the global front, the only ones that this pack of morons will have made stronger or safer will be our enemies.

  50. I disargee a bit about the “rightwingers” part of your comment, although in Idaho they seem to be related. I also agree with the fact that those hunters who are anti-wolf fail to explain contradictions like too many elk but wolves have killed all the elk.

    Check out what Wyoming’s Democratic Party governor has to say about wolves most recently.

    He admits elk populations are above goals. He still hates wolves

    “[Governor] Freudenthal backed away from earlier assertions that wolves are causing “real damage” to wildlife. He used those words last fall to describe the effect wolves are having on big game, calling for aggressive action to kill wolves, which remain protected by the federal government.

    He also admits that elk populations in areas with wolves are above the state Game and Fish Department’s goals.

    He says, however, he wants the hunters to kill the extra elk, not wolves.

    He fails to mention that for years Game and Fish has been trying to get hunters to kill the extra elk.

    He retreats to the position that wolves make it hard for hunters to kill the extra elk because it makes it harder for them to hunk elk (the elk have become smart to wolves and don’t stand around in the open).

    He is totally contradictory, but not a far rightwinger, just an apologist for the energy industry and the livestock industry (which may be about to go to war with each other in Wyoming)

    See Gov: Wolves hurt hunting From the Jackson Hole News and Guide.

  51. avatar JEFF E says:

    Layton, Would you be so good as to provide any sources or documentation as to your earlier post on another thread that wolves are responsible for 2/3 reduction in the Yellowstone elk population.
    In never ending amazement, Jeff

  52. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Our illustrious Governor Dave Freudenthal has fallen into the trap of telling everyone what they want to hear so much that he is continually contradicting himself. He’s an ersatz Democrat, and I don’t claim him. I didn’t vote for him either in the last election; I wrote in a long-dead Democrat named Ed Herschler.

    We need to keep our eyes on the ball of all the contradictions in what the anti-wolfers are saying. A year ago, the “loudly shouted in public” word was in Wyoming that elk were wasting away underneath the onslaught of wolves, as indicated by declining cow-calf ratios. That was the precise claim in Wyoming’s “Petition to Delist,” which included the same lie about my local elk herd, the Wiggins Fork Elk Herd, in which cow-calf ratios were low because of the draught and an extensive herd reduction program that removed over 1000 cows and calves from the herd from 1998-2003. Wolves had little to do with it. Even the FWS caught up to that lie in rejecting the Petition to Delist.

    Now, that lie about elk being destroyed by wolves has come home to roost, with a public admission that elk aren’t wasting away, but are still over objective in wolf territory. Now Gov Dave has to complain about how he doesn’t know how big game populations objectives in Wyoming are set, which is a quite simple thing that his toady G&F Director Terry Cleveland can explain to him in five minutes.

    Here’s how herd objectives are set in Wyoming: there’s some science to it, with an assessment of habitat carrying capacity, but the dominating factor is what landowners will tolerate.

    In every elk herd in western Wyoming that I’m familiar with, elk numbers could be much higher than they are now were it not for the high number of AUMs alloted to cattle.

    All the lies told by the State of Wyoming about big game and wolves–which are easy enough to demonstrate from the State’s own public documents and statements–can only hurt the State position. Good.

    Robert, this is such important information. So Wyoming elk herds are not generally limited by predators or habitat, but by the wishes of politically influential landowners!

  53. Robert,

    I would be interested in learning, how Democrat Freudenthal, tool of the big interests as he is, got elected in such a Republican state. I mean, why not elect a Republican to represent the Wyoming Stockgrowers Assn and the energy companies?

  54. avatar be says:

    kt is right on about the opportunity afforded given these recent experiences. more people, not less, are gaining sympathy for the plight of the wolves and conservation in general – in large part due to exposure to knowledge proliferating sites and blogs like this one. this combined with the anti-wolf & anti-immigrant crowd blasting away full-on in complete ignorance of the shifting awareness. the picture of rick with his sign and the rabid cowboy trying to cover up rick’s with his own is a great example of such. the anti-wolf folks are becoming more and more marginalized even as politicians such as butcher mcsimplot blow their horns. the political machinery is always beholden to a lengthy lag time to catch up to the mindset of its constituency.

  55. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Ralph

    Excellent question. Freudenthal had the good fortune in his first gubanatorial race to be opposed by a Republican that everyone hated, Eli Bebout, former Speaker of the Wyoming House. Bebout is from Riverton in Fremont County, where I live, and I heard from Republicans downcountry that, for example, “I played basketball against Eli Bebout in high school. He was a SOB then and he’s a SOB now. I’m not voting for him.” Bebout has a strong reputation as a big bully, and it cost him big in the election. Bebout lost Fremont County.

    People also remembered him as one of the backers of the Monitored Retrievable Storage proposal in the early 90s, and quite frankly, a lot of Ag folks didn’t want nuclear waste here any more than conservationists did.

    Since that first election, Freudenthal has turned what it means to be a Democrat, even in this state, on its head and has been more beholden to industry than any Republican ever would be. He has been a bit of a moderate on social issues, willing to spend a little more here and there than a Republican would on those things (not strange, given billion dollar surpluses from the rape of SW Wyoming) but his fervent adoption and pursuit of the policies demanded by both the Ag and Minerals industries has made him the “bird in the hand” rather than the “two in the bush” for Ag and Minerals.

    Ray Hunkins, the Republican challenger in the last election, recognized this problem (from the Republican standpoint) in his campaign slogan, “Ray Hunkins: A Real Republican,” but it didn’t fly with the voters. Gov Dave took 70% of the vote, thus demonstrating that this Republican state sees him as more willing to deliver the goods than a “real Republican” could.

    Finally, going with Freudenthal is an example of the independent character of this state, which is far more libertarian in character than conservative, unlike other Western states. People take pride in being ornery and contrary, especially when it doesn’t cost them anything.

    Perhaps that’s how I can get away in this state with being both a card-carrying hunter and a pro-carnivore conservationist. After all, I also believe the only valid gun control is calling your shots and that a vegetarian is a hunter who can’t call his shots.

    Robert

  56. Idaho has always had a libertarian streak, and Butch Otter represents that in a way, although he has paid so many dues to the big corporate interests that it is pretty well obscured.

    In recent years lots of traditional social conservatives have migrated to Idaho because of its reputation as conservative and White. Idaho’s replacement for Otter in Congress, Bill Sali, represents that faction.

    Eastern Idaho is Mormon Country, except Pocatello. Latter Day Saints (Mormons) are social conservatives too, but there is increasing tension between LDS and the Protestant fundamentalists who keep flocking in because the fundamentalists are intolerant of Mormon theological beliefs.

    I think this well become clear as the presidential candidacy of Mormon Mitt Romney advances. Romney will not be brought down by “secular humanists” but religious fundamentalists.

  57. Ok, so I am closing this thread to more comments.

Calendar

Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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