Wildlife services has killed five wolves in the past 2 days in Montana. The language of the article is interesting to note . 5 wolves for 2 calves, four were gunned down from a helicopter.

– – – –

Update from RM Sept. 29. Ed Bangs has sent out the Grey Wolf Recovery Weekly Progress Report from USFWS, and there are more new “controls” in Montana. Bangs writes:

On the 20th, MT WS and CSKT confirmed that wolves had killed a steer calf near Ravalli, MT. Wolves were heard howling immediately above kill site and on the 21st the collared female was located immediately above kill site within a 1/2 mile. Control to remove the remainder of this pack is ongoing. On the 25th, MT WS shot 4 of 5 members of the Hewolf Mountain Pack from a helicopter. Three animals were recovered but the fourth wasn’t found. The remaining radio-collared female will be removed at a later date.

On Sept. 24th, MT WS used a helicopter to shoot 4 wolves from the Sapphire pack southwest of Philipsburg, MT in response to a confirmed calf depredation on the 21st. An adult female and 3 female pups were removed near the ranch where the depredation occurred. Up to 11 wolves remain in the pack. Control is now finished.

On Sept 24th, MT WS killed the collared adult female in the Fleecer Mtn pack, completing the removal of this pack. A 4th uncollared gray wolf either dispersed or was killed unknowingly last week during control operations. The SOS permit issued to the affected landowner was cancelled.

On Sept. 25th, MT WS used a helicopter to shoot the collared alpha female of the depredating Bearmouth pack, completing the removal of the pack.

A yellow lab was reported killed on private land in the Ninemile Valley, MT on the 26th. MFWP investigated and confirmed wolves had killed the dog. The incident occurred around 8 am in a small field about 80 yards from the house. The Ninemile pack consists of at least 4 adult wolves and 2 pups and is currently uncollared.

– – – –

I should add that the Ninemile Pack isn’t just any old wolf pack, but the oldest pack in the Northern Rockies, originated from native wolves that migrated down from Canada into NW Montana and eventually the Ninemile Valley. RM

 
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Brian Ertz

48 Responses to Officials have killed 5 wolves in 2 days

  1. avatar Angie says:

    I have only seen this small blurb regarding 5 wolves for 2 calves, but I am curious if there has been an educational push for ranchers to have a better understanding of the need for predator/prey relationships. And it would certainly be more cost effective to compensate the rancher the cost of the 2 calves than to pay for the hunting party that occured here.

  2. avatar skyrim says:

    How in the world did we allow these stinkin’ damn cows to become such a power in the west? 5 wolves for 2 calves. Bet the cattle owner had some political connections……What a waste of resources for 2 calves

  3. avatar mike says:

    and the ranchers probably got compensated for the two calves…

  4. avatar Gina O. says:

    They also killed an entire pack of wolves this past week on Fleecer Mt. outside of Butte. The only ‘confirmed’ wolves left in the area are here in the Mt. Haggin Management Area. But, we have seen more than just those two, hopefully these wolves won’t be killed. Although, I don’t know what they expect when they let the cattle roam the supposed WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA. Just sick!

  5. Montana is really rough on wolves. Despite their fine-sounding plan and the moaning and groaning from Wyoming and Idaho, it’s Montana that kills more wolves per so-called “livestock depredation” than Idaho or the feds running Wyoming’s program.

  6. avatar Wolfy says:

    Can we really expect the States to act any different under their “new” wolf plans? The new plans are just a glossy, coffee table book version of the old plans. The old plans were what put the wolf on the endangered species list in the first place. With a totally impotent US Fish and Wildlife Service, the states are feeling the freedom to go back to the way they used to do it – Run and Gun! A rancher squawks about losing a couple $25 feeder calves and the states respond with an aerial armed assault.

    This is not limited to the west; Michigan recently killed three wolves for the loss of one newborn calf. What a waste! Yes, the cattle barons are the kings and the states bounce to their ever whim. The politicos in the state capitals will do anything to placate the cowboys; even spend outrageous amounts of the taxpayers dollars to revenge the death of a few cows. And for what end? A rich rancher that is too lazy to take care of his non-native invasive species (cows) can get a couple bucks and a cozy feeling from the states?

    In most cases, the livestock owner is compensated for having wolves killed. What kind of screwed up incentive plan is that? The compensation for lost livestock and the systematic slaughter of natural predators needs to stop. This practice flies in the face of sound wildlife and livestock management. Its wrong, its sad and it needs to end.

  7. avatar SAP says:

    Wolfy – good point about incentives. I have not tracked any of the discussion about compensation programs in the last few years, but I think other folks have recognized (for decades, maybe) that such a system doesn’t “incentivize” the rancher to try to prevent predation.

    There used to be a lot of discussion about ‘insurance’ type programs instead, with the producer paying into a common pool so that he would have some incentive to avoid conflicts and would also have a reason to pressure his neighbors too. I don’t know anything more than that — anybody have more information?

    Where are these $25 feeder calves?

  8. Folks should realize, and many do, that aerial predator control has a cost benefit ratio of less than 1:1, usually far less; but that is not the point. In the minds of many, these are revenge killings.

    “Those damn wolves killed my calf, now you git out there and may them pay!”

  9. avatar Jerry says:

    Once again, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks capitulates to the livestock industry.
    I can assure you that this “control action” has cost that agency”big time” in terms of public support for their so-called “wolf management” plan. There’s alot of anger over these killing here in the Missoula area.
    I’m quite familiar with both packs, having biked, hiked and fished in the areas they occupied.
    The Bearmouth Pack was usually found on a remote forest service grazing allotment which is in extremely rugged terrain…a place where one wouldn’t expect to find cows.
    This is an emotional loss for those of us that looked forward to an occasional sighting and like Wolfy said…”It’s wrong, sad and needs to end.

  10. avatar Mike Wolf says:

    Ralph makes an excellent point above. I was just thinking about how our buddy elkhunter and others bitch and whine about how much money is spent on wolf recovery. Well guess what, the overwhelming majority, by far, is spent satisfying whining ranchers bent on seeking revenge.

    So, Mr. elkhunter, and others – stick that in your pipe and smoke it. It isn’t us pro-wolf fanatics, as you call us, that is costing YOU and other taxpayers money, its a minority of people with their heads up their ….

  11. avatar Jerry says:

    Any speculation as to why “Defenders of Wildlife” is so very quiet about what’s happening to the wolves here in Montana??
    I’m a member and yet my emails concerning this go unanswered.

  12. avatar elkhunter says:

    Mike Wolf, Maybe you could go out and shoot them with your scientific 1500 yard elk rifle! 🙂 I am sure there are obviously more cost effective means of dealing with depredating wolves. And yes pro-wolf advocates did cost US taxpayers millions and millions of dollars. You know that and I know that, and it will be millions more to come when delisting gets near. As de-listing gets near and DOW and Sierra Club and all the other “conservation” groups start thier trademark litigation that tab will shoot through the roof. So yes I do agree that they could find more cost effective means to deal with depredating wolves, but dont act like this wolf issue has not cost the US tens of millions of dollars. So put that in your pipe and smoke it!! JK
    Elkhunter

  13. avatar Jerry says:

    Elkhunter….I’m sure that you could spend unlimited time in the backcountry observing elk and I respect the fact that you’re a bow hunter(I actually had a small archery shop growing up in Northern New Mexico).
    Can you possibly understand where we’re coming from and the fact that many of us here get the same thrill watching wolves as you do watching elk? Wildlife belongs to all of us. Please try to look at this from our perspective…I can see yours.

  14. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Jon Marvel of Western Watersheds Project – http://www.westernwatersheds.org/ – is making history by litigating to end privately owned cattle grazing on AMERICA’S public lands. We need to get the stinkin’ cows off our public lands. Period.

  15. Outside of Yellowstone Park, almost all wolf management money is spent killing wolves.

    That’s the only thing that makes wolves expensive, although they could spend money on education of livestock growers, reducing conflicts with strategic land purchases, and education of the public; but that gets left to the conservation groups.

  16. Oh, and as Mark Bray writes (his comment came in while I was writing mine), removing livestock. That would benefit all wildlife.

  17. avatar SAP says:

    Ralph is right. It’s sad. Look at this line in the article:

    “It’s one of the largest of the 30 packs she manages from Dillon to western Mineral County.”

    Both quantities there are INSANE: 30 packs?! Beaverhead County (itself bigger than Connecticut!!) all the way to Mineral County?

    These FWP wolf specialists are good people and they’re not in the business to kill kill kill. But that’s about all they end up working on: trapping and collaring basically ends up being the first step in WS’s control actions, even if it starts out for “monitoring.” Why? Because, as Ralph and others point out, there’s not much in the way of proactive, minimally-lethal work going on to minimize predation on cattle. Radioed wolves COULD be a key component of some practical work to reduce predation on livestock, but that has to be taken seriously and made a priority. As it stands now, that doesn’t happen, so the radio collars just end up being used in control actions.

    Don’t you think this is a recipe for burnout amongst the wolf specialists?

    The other angle on this is WS behaving as political actors instead of just being dis-interested “technicians” who swoop in to carry out someone else’s directives. Spend some time on the ground and you’ll learn that some WS specialists “stir the pot,” working the phones to generate political pressure for killing, killing, and more killing. They tell producers that non-lethal means will never work, and that they’ll just have to wait until there’s trouble and then let WS fly in to save the day (by killing wolves, of course). Some of them are outright anti-wolf zealots. They’re key behind-the-scenes players in all this.

    Lethal control will always be with us, no matter what. And we’ll need skilled technicians to carry that out efficiently and humanely. But these guys act way outside that role.

  18. There is a need for an agency that kills things like Wildlife Services, but what needs to be killed are the thousands of invasive species that were not brought in a controlled fashion, but simply hitched a ride in on a ship, vehicle, etc.

    The mission of Wildlife Services, which used to be more properly named “Animal Damage Control,” should be completely redirected.

  19. avatar Jon Way says:

    Elkhunter must forget the millions of dollars that wolves bring into local economies, far outsurpassing the expense they have caused.

  20. avatar elkhunter says:

    Jay, I know that sometimes I come off as not wanting any wolves, I dont mind the wolves, I just want some sort of measures to protect what I enjoy. I am actually planning a trip to YNP this winter to hopefully see some wolves. I agree that some of the decisions that the FWS makes seem very stupid, killing 5 wolves for 2 calves is pretty extreme.
    Jon Way,
    The majority of wolves in the Rockies live in ID. I asked Ralph about the economic benefits of wolves and this is what he told me:
    “To Elkhunter,

    Idaho wolves generate very little income and they generate very little cost too. Almost all of the cost is from minor livestock depredations and a much higher (and by that I mean probably unnecessary) high expenditure to kill the wolves by unduly high tech means (such as shooting them from helicopters instead of trapping them.

    In addition, most of the costs and benefits of wolves are of the difficult to quantify, non-market variety.”

    I can see stating YNP creates income from wolves, but I have been to the places that the wolves live in ID, miles on miles of wilderness areas untouched by roads. Not exactly like YNP with 60 people lined up on the side of the road watching a pack of wolves on a kill. I spoke to a DOW employee about their claim that wolves generated 45 Million dollars to the local economies, and the report he sent me was from an individual that interviewed people as they came into YNP (not exactly a good control group). He surveyed about 1800 and from those conversations he concluded that they generated near 45 million. I have the link and the email from the DOW employee if you want it. I thought it was entertaining.
    Elkhunter

  21. avatar be says:

    if there are livestock producers who are advocates of wolves – i’d say it’s about time for the to speak up and marginalizing the anti-wolf zealots.

    as this heats up with more killings given the states’ increased management position — people are going to increasingly see this for what it is – that ‘sociological intolerance’ thing.

    it seems to me that Mack P. Bray is correct. pulling out the public rug from beneath these private livestock is the most effective way at getting at the root.

  22. avatar elkhunter says:

    Who is in charge of the YNP discussion forum?

    Elkhunter

  23. avatar Mike Wolf says:

    Hey elkhunter…aren’t you tired of being a hypocrite, and shooting your mouth off?

    I NEVER supported wolf reintroduction, nor a penny of the money spent on it. Wolves were brought into a hostile situation without the basis they needed for proper survival. People with idiotic attitudes and beliefs like yours are living proof of that.

    How about you go do a cost-analysis, and find out just why the wolf recovery program has cost so much. You’ll find that I’m quite right: that whiny ranchers and hunting groups have caused more costs than any wolf backer ever has. You don’t see FWS or F&G out there responding to the calls of pro-wolfers, do you? No, they’re responding to whiney ranchers who can’t understand that they were the ones who caused wolves to be killed off in the first place, and as such, it is THEY who ought to bear the cost and blame for bringing them back.

    I’m really getting sick and tired of reading your rhetoric about wolves. You don’t know diddly squat about the issue; yet you present your ‘arguments’ as if they have some kind of basis in fact. I assure you, they do not.

    Why don’t you stick to opinions, and come to the table with something positive to say, rather than constantly coming on here and wasting everyone’s time with your rants and accusations. Yes, I’m being a bit hypocritical here; but sometimes, speaking your language is the only way to communicate with you, wouldn’t you agree?

    And as to this issue with Montana wolves, this is another in the continuing screwups. Montana wolves were NEVER supposed to be controlled; they were naturally occurring, and thus not subject to “experimental non-essential” rules. And as to why this has gone on, and why, to answer someone else, Defenders and other groups (ahem!) haven’t done anything; they’d really rather not get off their lazy asses and fight for a small group of wolves, and for what is right. They have a political agenda, just like almost everyone else. I so tire of seeing these rampant ethics violations that it sickens me. I do NOT support Defenders of Wildlife because they are hypocritical. Their Compensation program kills wolves, and they refuse to use science to prove otherwise. Implementing a program without using science is unethical; as is allowing it to be taken advantage of to kill wolves, to allow ranchers to get paid to seek revenge, and I witnessed FIRST HAND!!!

    I urge everyone to speak out to organizations that supposedly support wolves, such as Defenders, when their emails go unanswered, when wolves continue to be illegally killed, and unfairly treated; victims of an industry ruled by a few politicians – including the likes of Senator Craig, who is now changing his mind about admitting to soliciting unsafe gay sex in a mens room.

    There is change afoot; and it will not only upturn the way ranching is ruled by a few power-hungry holdovers from the “old west”, but it will also affect many organizations that supposedly support wolves. My suggestion to anyone from those organizations who might happen to read this is to get your heads out of the unethical filfth they are in, and step up to the movement that will run you over if you don’t jump aboard.

  24. avatar Mike Wolf says:

    Mack.

    John Marvel is wrong, period. I’m going to sit down with him and tell him this too one day, hopefully soon. I firmly believe that we need livestock on public lands. As I’ve said before, not only are they necessary to control the weeds we’ve allowed to alter the landscape; but if we don’t allow livestock on public lands; we’ll lose the ranchers and their land to developers bent on creating condos. And I can assure you, condo owners will NOT be better neighbors to wolves, period.

    Also, how much time have you spent on public grazing allotments, and how much time have you spent talking to ranchers, range managers, weed control experts, the forest service, developers, county planners, etc? Ever been to the range surrounding Boise? Ever seen the development pressure on those lands? How about places like Salmon, where ranchettes are already going in. How about Reno; where the same holds true?

    Yes, its quite easy to sit in your chair behind your monitor and think how bad cows are on public lands. But if you were to have an education on the matter, a firsthand look at the situation, you might just, like me, change your mind and realize that the true solution isn’t so easy.

    Think past your monitor. Think past your short-sighted vision of cows on the landscape and see the economic impact, the impact of losing ranches and ranchers; rather than having them on our side. Think of how the land will change, how weeds will take over, how fires will devestate the lands for wildlife, including wolves. And most importantly, just for a moment, think about how important ranchers are to the fate of wolves; as ironic as it sounds. Where it was once ranchers who killed wolves for the most part, it is now ranchers who have the best chance of saving them.

  25. avatar SAP says:

    Mike Wolf – not all the wolves in Montana fall under full ESA protection; I assume you know this but it’s worth pointing out for other readers who may not. The non-essential/experimental area covers the southern half of the state.

    As for the fully protected nw Montana wolves, you have a point — it’s hard to distinguish management there from management in ne/e area.

  26. avatar elkhunter says:

    Mike Wolf,
    Rants and accusations? Are you bein serious!! Your entertaining. Just because someone does not agree with you, you lose it. Just calm down.
    Elkhunter

  27. avatar Dante says:

    Wow! People are getting a bit irritated on this site so I will throw my two cents worth in. (1) Wolves are only a major revenue generator in Yellowstone; outside of Yellowstone income to the states is next to nothing. (2) Remove human population from Yellowstone then all wildlife will even benefit more, as Ralph suggests. (3) Before wolves were introduced to the states, your elected congressment along with FWS signed into law that wolves could be killed for livestock depredation. If you do not like it then complain to your congressmen just like the livestock owners who had a right to complain and voice their opinion about wolf reintroduction.

    What I am empasizing to Jon Way, Mack Bray, Be and the likes on the pro-wolfe side and to elkhunter and the likes on the con side is that you can all complain about the whole process now but all the whining and complaining, pro and con, should have been done before all this wolf reintroduction stuff was signed into law. I am actually more disgusted with our government and their red tape to actually get things done with regards to endangered species and global warming than I am about whining and complaining about wolves and wolf reintroduction. In the end, all species will lose to global warming, etc.

  28. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    I’m going to tell you something, Mr. Mike Wolf: it might “behoove” you to get your facts together before you start posting.

    Jon Marvel is 100% right, period. And you know what? History will tell and opinions won’t matter.

    You think livestock controls weeds? You’re not serious. Livestock are the MAIN cause of weed invasion.

    Wolf says “…if we don’t allow livestock on public lands; we’ll lose the ranchers and their land to developers bent on creating condos.” Ever heard of CONSERVATION EASEMENTS, Mr. Wolf?

    “…how much time have you spent on public grazing allotments…” PLENTY. And I’ve seen lots of damage to AMERICA’S public lands.

    “But if you were to have an education on the matter…” I AM fairly well “educated” on the matter. And who are you, an educator? If you consider yourself an educator, I suggest you get your facts straight.

    “Think past your short-sighted vision of cows on the landscape and see the economic impact, the impact of losing ranches and ranchers…” Here’s a little “economic education” for you, Mr. Wolf: business come and go. It’s time for today’s welfare rancher to GO. Wyoming, the “Cowboy State,” ranks 23rd in cattle production. What a joke. The grass ISN’T HERE – IT’S IN OKLAHOMA, TEXAS, LOUISIANA, MISSISSIPPI, ALABAMA, FLORIDA.

    “Think of how the land will change, how weeds will take over, how fires will devestate the lands for wildlife, including wolves.” Mr. Wolf, you’re not serious? If we get cattle off public land, the land will HEAL, weeds will be UNDER CONTROL – FYI, cheat grass is a FIRE-LOVING weed – and fires will once again be HEALTHY for the landscape.

    “Where it was once ranchers who killed wolves for the most part, it is now ranchers who have the best chance of saving them.” Unbelievable. Talk about convoluted thinking. Are you a front-man for ranchers or what?

  29. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Dante, you’re sadly mistaken when you say “Wolves are only a major revenue generator in Yellowstone; outside of Yellowstone income to the states is next to nothing.” Where did you get your information? State your source(s). If you don’t, I’ll assume you have none.

    Wolf watchers pay an entry fee and perhaps buy gas, food, whatever, of which YNP gets a % of net profits according to their concessions contracts.

    Guess what, Dante? Those wolf watchers have to GET to Yellowstone. And on the way, they’ll buy gas, food, rooms, gear, etc. Ever heard of private enterprise? Capitalism? Private business people OWN those businesses. Ever hear of sales tax? Ah, yes, SALES TAX. Yes, taxes that go to governments, i.e., STATES.

    If I were inclined, I’d get you some good sources for stats related to income to states, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you’re intelligent enough to look it up yourself. Report back with your results.

  30. It is very interesting that I have only seen the term “carrying capacity” when certain persons or groups do not want a particular species of wildlife. The two main ones being BISON and WOLVES. I have never seen “carrying capacity” mentioned when refering to livestock or invasive species. The real problem concerning our wildlife and public lands, parks etc. and keeping areas undeveloped, all goes back to the fact that no one has ever addressed the “carrying capacity” of humans. There just is not enough livable space left. It is a dicey topic, to say the least, and will probably never be discussed. A perfect example is India. Overpopulation has destroyed that countries environment. Another would be the African continent. Due to various groups of “missionaries”, the land cannot support the population that exploded because the “well meaning” visitors messed with the balance of nature {ie., vaccinations}, that was self-sustaining. Death is a fact of life. The birth rate was equal to the death rate and people were not starving and suffering. Tampering with nature{extermination of wildlife, to name one}, and short-sightedness can have very devastating consequences. And don’t forget selfishness. I realize that to some this is very harsh, but it is the cold, hard facts. And a very large portion of the population can,t think past their front door and have no intention of listening to or doing anything regarding global warming or any other issue. If people would take interest and work together there would be enough room for the things we care about, ie. bison, wolves, hunting, fishing…

    Those are my thoughts in brief, very briefly.

  31. avatar Dante says:

    Oh Mack! How foolish can you be at attacking everyones claims on this site. First, the majority of the milllions of people who visit Yellowstone is for the geysers, mud pots, bison, grizzlies elk, etc. Notice I did not mention wolves. That is because if you look at the Yellowstone National Park website you will see that before wolves were introduced to the park there were essentially the same amount of visitors per year as there are now. So the revenue that comes to Idaho and Montana from Park visitors is mostly generated from visitors who go to see the vast beauty and the geysers and wildlife. Wolves are just an added benefit. Did you know that the vast majority of the revenue that comes to Idaho, somewhere around 60%, to maintain our public lands is generated by revenue from hunters every year, not wolf watching. Oh, by the way, that is hunting for ungulates and not wolves. Where are your facts?????? I think you should prove to us that wolf watching is a major revenue generator for Idaho and I am 100% certain you cannot find it.

  32. avatar lee says:

    I cant wait for cloning tanks. Stick some meat in there, bathe it in nutrient fluids, cut off some every week or so.

    Problem fixed. No more ranchers. No more cows pigs or chickens to torture.

    It will be great, then the noble ranchers who stole the land from the indians will have to go and get real jobs in the east.

    Cleaning toilets for the educated folks they hate…Irony is great.

  33. avatar sal says:

    Dante,

    Perhaps the tourists are afraid of people like you who make their visiting experience less comfortable and “safe” feeling.

    When people go to West Yellowstone by car, they either drove all the way from far away and they had to come through Idaho to get there and buy stuff on the way.

    There is some animal farm thing in Rexberg that advertises wolves and bears on display, in case you didn’t happen to see any in the Park is how they advertise. When people rent rooms in hotels in West, one of the first things they either ask about or metion concerningtheir visit to the Park is wolves. They have several BIG bilboard signs along the highways, they must be making a little profit, don’t cha think?

    Most people, when asked about their Park experience either saw some or they want to. Even if that isn’t the objective upon arrival, it’s what made their visit the best.

    They spend most of their $$ outside the Park and furthermore, the GAO just announced that both YNP and Teton NP had 16% more visitors this year than last year at this time–and an overall increase of visits of 10-15% on a daily basis.

    You can’t actually point a finger to all the actual money that comes to Idaho from wolves being present, from airline tickets–lots of visitors fly in to IF and Pocatello, or even SLC–and car rentals, film and camera sales, phone cards and last minute items purchased on the way.

    Food for thought…

  34. avatar Craig H. says:

    When I read some of the replies that state that wolves do not generate income or that the numbers of folks that go to the park are there mostly for the thermal displays, I wonder if the persons writing have been to the park or Lamar Valley. I was there for the last 4 weeks and saw hundreds of people watching through scopes at wolves and Griz. each day. I have been wolf watching for the last 6 years (28-51 days per year)and know lots of wolf watchers like my self that spend thousands of dollars in the nearby Yellowstone area as well as the towns that we travel through to get there. Many of us wouldn’t have to travel all the way to Yellowstone if the surrounding States had some economic sense and protected the wolf resouce. What are these states going to do if cronic wasting disease total their elk populations.

  35. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    You know what, Dante, when you or anyone else make claims that are based on CRAP, your claims deserve to be attacked.

    You have unsuccessfully twisted stats and bent logic. To compare pre and post wolf introduction visitation numbers to Yellowstone and to say “Ah, HA. Because visitation is about the same, I can deduct that the visitors are there for geysers, mud pots, bison, grizzlies elk, etc. and not for wolves” is totally invalid. You might as well say “Because the number of teenage girls that visit their doctors with complaints of abdominal pain are about the same, I can deduct that pregnancy rates are up (or down, or even). You might as well say “Ah, HA. Because visitation is about the same, I can deduct that visitors prefer cheese with their burgers.” There’s no logic in your argument. You cannot necessarily take a set of data and make deductions about sub sets, which is what you are attempting to do. Take a poll of visitors; ask them why they came to Yellowstone; report back with the number that said “Nope. We did NOT come to Yellowstone to see wolves. We came to see geysers, mud pots, bison, grizzlies, elk, etc., but NOT wolves. Don’t wanna see those guys. Nope. Not us.”

    Dante wrote “I think you should prove to us that wolf watching is a major revenue generator for Idaho and I am 100% certain you cannot find it.” I NEVER claimed that wolf watching was a major revenue generator for Idaho. Show me where I said that. You can’t do it.

    If I put some effort into it, my money says I could find valid sources that prove TOURISM is a major revenue generator for Idaho. My money says a lot of those tourists wanna see wolves and not cows, cow crap, domestic sheep, gas wells, ATVs, clear-cuts or strip mines.

  36. avatar Mike Wolf says:

    I love reading these posts from all these “experts.”

    You know what, we have science. It doesn’t provide answers always, but it asks the right questions, and provides us with knowledge and insight.

    I’m very glad that we have science; but it does upset me that policies are sometimes made by idiots who get an idea in their head, assume its absolutely correct, and screw up this country by making it policy.

    Despite the attempts by the Bush administration to push us back into the dark ages, more and more policy decisions are being made based on sound science, rather than on the rantings of idiots; the likes of which are posting on this blog far too often…and making us believe they are somehow the authorities on the subjects they blab about.

  37. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Mike Wolf sez: “John Marvel is wrong, period.” Really? Did you make your statement based on science or is it just your opinion?

    Mike Wolf sez: “I firmly believe that we need livestock on public lands. As I’ve said before, not only are they necessary to control the weeds we’ve allowed to alter the landscape…” Really? Did you make your statement based on science or is it just your opinion? I never knew livestock controlled weeds. This is new science to me. What is your source?

    Regarding the impact of losing ranches and ranchers, Mike Wolf sez: “Think of how the land will change, how weeds will take over, how fires will devestate the lands for wildlife, including wolves.” Really? Did you make your statement based on science or is it just your opinion? I never knew livestock controlled weeds and fire. This is new science to me. What is your source?

  38. avatar SAP says:

    Wow – days are getting shorter so everyone’s getting cranky? The tone on this thread is just getting UGLY and isn’t leading to any productive exchange of views.

    Mack – google “weed sheep” or “spurge sheep” and see what comes up. Beyond the directed use of sheep to knock down invasive weeds, though, I haven’t heard any glowing reports that grazing generally reduces noxious weeds. Seems more typically the other way.

  39. avatar Jay says:

    Dante,

    60% of Forest Service and BLM dollars to “maintain our public lands” are from hunters? Wow! Hunting, is there anything it can’t do? I heard that money generated from hunting will soon result in a cure for cancer.

  40. avatar Vicki says:

    Geez gents, let’s calm down. First… hey Elkhunter, long time-no banter. I’m back! I never thought I’d be speaking up on your behalf, here goes.
    Let’s lighten up on Elkhunter. He’s lightened his approach a bit. When I first started reading this blog, he wouldn’t have openly acknowledged he’d be looking for wolves in The park. (He wanted them limited to anywhere but Utah, and even told me they were fine as long as they never left Yellowstone.) This is quite uplifting to hear. It says he is trying to see another side of things, and knowing him (or his posts)…he’ll have a suggestion or two when he is done. That, people, is progress. That shows that people who blog here can look for a middle ground. That is a huge step toward compromise, having an extreme elk hunting junkie go to observe a wolf. We might all take a lesson from that.
    So, I am no scientist, obviously. I am however, quite passionate about a few things…fishing/ hunting (grew up doing it), conservation, and wildlife. I know that cattle are detramental to the environment on many levels. I also know that we eat a whole lot of them. They aren’t predominantly raised in any state where there is a wolf management issue. So, why not reduce cattle in areas where they are causing most harm to PUBLIC lands. I am pretty sure that Texans who ranch do it from a larger percent of private lands thatn Wyoming’s ranchers do. And ranchers aren’t cowboys. Cowboys managed free ranging herds before there were fences. Barbed wire effectively “managed” to reduce their numbers.
    So why not eliminate the extermination of wolves who predate cattle who range on public lands? I could see it more logically if they were killed on private lands. But then, if they were given amnesty on public lands, we’d have to have land easements that would effectively create a corridor for them to migrate with herds.
    Eventually wolves will move into areas where there is an over-population of deer and antelope. But there are more cows there, and more private lands. Then what? Pro-wolf groups will have to come half way here too. Myself included in that category… I will have to adjust. So will ranchers, hunters, etc.
    I go to YNP every summer. When you are saying revenue is limited to Yellowstone, you abviously don’t count the gate communities. They thrive because of wildlife viewers, and I’ve never seen a shop with more geyser paraphinalia(sp?) than wolf/bear merchandise!!!!
    I personally spend the majority of my vacation budget on gas, food, lodging and souveniers. I spend it largely in Montana. I think it stands to reason that since Idaho encompasses the smallest amount of YNP that tourists can access , it would profit less than the other two states.
    I’d also reason that if you took away the other 40% of revenue (not generated by hunting) from Idaho, it would be a state in economical demise in no time.

  41. avatar Vicki says:

    And, one more thing! The wording in that article is a freakin’ joke! They aren’t just removing wolves, for goodness sake! They are killing them! Shouldnt it say that they exterminated and then removed the remains of wolves? Please!!!

  42. avatar Cordell says:

    Mike Wolf says:
    “based on sound science, rather than on the rantings of idiots; the likes of which are posting on this blog far too often…and making us believe they are somehow the authorities on the subjects they blab about.”

    Reminds me of a time, not long ago, when you were pontificating on the ethics of hunting elk or was it sniping (which you stated you had yet to do) Still waiting for that sniper rifle caliber.
    By the way, do you still get the evil eye from people in Idaho when you say your last name? (that was a hoot!almost as entertaining as your recent posts)

  43. avatar Mike Wolf says:

    It’s really easy to sling accusations, call names, and make fun of someone you don’t know from the comfort of your desk, isn’t it?

    Anyway, I’m done paying any kind of attention to the idiots here who continue to spout rhetoric as if it were some kind of fact. A few of you remind me a LOT of Ron Gillett.

    Hey, gonna show me pictures of abandoned wolf kills and call them proof of sport killing by wolves or something else as idiotic? (No, if you take a picture of a wolf kill, its not going to have wolves sitting there feasting while posing and smiling for the camera.)

    Reading this blog, I really very glad that many of you people aren’t the decision makers when it comes to wolf recovery, ranching, and especially the economics and social welfare of this country.

  44. avatar Cordell says:

    Mike Wolf says:

    “It’s really easy to sling accusations, call names, and make fun of someone you don’t know from the comfort of your desk, isn’t it?”
    Isn’t this exactly what you do to elkhunter(who is always very cordial), Layton or whoever disagrees with you?

    “Anyway, I’m done paying any kind of attention to the idiots here who continue to spout rhetoric as if it were some kind of fact. A few of you remind me a LOT of Ron Gillett.”
    Again, you sir, resemble this remark, even down to the reminder of Ron Gillett. There is extreme rhetoric on both sides of this issue as you have proven.

    “Hey, gonna show me pictures of abandoned wolf kills and call them proof of sport killing by wolves or something else as idiotic? (No, if you take a picture of a wolf kill, its not going to have wolves sitting there feasting while posing and smiling for the camera.)”
    Ah, no. I’ve spent quite a bit of time out in the woods tracking wolves, studying their behavior and know what a wolf kill looks like. I’ve seen abandoned kills. Usually only abandoned until the next night when they come to finish it off.

    “Reading this blog, I really very glad that many of you people aren’t the decision makers when it comes to wolf recovery, ranching, and especially the economics and social welfare of this country.”
    Again, I point this back to you and say “Amen brother.”

    Still waiting for your sniper rifle caliber.

  45. avatar Vicki says:

    Sniper rifle, huh? I must’ve been outta the loop longer than I thought. I thought this was a platform for discussion, not threats.
    I’ve went rounds with Elk Hunter on many occasions, and we get pretty intense. I’m glad that we have had the good sense not to throw threats around.
    My 15 year old is more mature than that.

  46. avatar Cordell says:

    Vicki,

    There was no threat with the sniper rifle remark. In a previous post Mike was telling us about the sniper rifle he uses, excuse me, would use if he went hunting elk. I’m just curious what caliber it is. It seems he doesn’t like to answer questions just give sound bytes.

  47. avatar Vicki says:

    Was it a threat? I really missed a lot. Maybe I am better off not having read the blog that lead to that comment. I’m sorry f it wasn’t a threat, to both of you. It just goes to show how a lack of appropriate info can lead folks to formulate incorrect ideas. I hope I am careful in the future not to assume too much, and to verify the info I get from any website.

  48. OK, seems like the time for this thread to end.

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‎"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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