Congressmen Nick Joe Rahall (D-WV), George Miller (D-CA), Norm Dix (D-WA), Wayne Gilcrest (R-MD), Jim Saxton (R-NJ) have written a fine letter to Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne opposing Northern Rockies wolf delisting.

Please thank them. It is rare when we have had political leaders to thank on this issue.

Here is the letter

rahill-kempthornewolves-delist.pdf

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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.

31 Responses to Key members of House Natural Resources committee rebuke Kempthone on wolf delisting

  1. avatar timz says:

    Does anyone know if congress has the power to stop the delisting?

  2. avatar kim kaiser says:

    do we have a reply?

  3. Certainly, it does.

  4. avatar April Clauson says:

    the Defenders of Wildlife sent me a package, and they too asked that all pro wolf write to Kempthone and congress. So it seems that yes, this could make a difference. They also are taking donations and have been for a year now, so that when needed they will file lawsuits to stop this massacre of our wolves. They stopped the airplane hunting in Alaska, and are very good wildlife protectors. So lets all write a letter, I already sent mine!!! I keep praying someone in our congress and government will help us, looks like some prayers got answered!!!

  5. avatar Chuck says:

    Wow I guess I need to get real busy on my letter campaign.

  6. avatar catbestland says:

    Here is contact email for the Dept. of Interior.

    http://www.doi.gov/contact.html

  7. avatar jerry b says:

    Let me echo what Ralph suggested, that we write these congressmen and thank them. Norm Dicks ranted at the congress a few months ago when they were trying to eliminate funding for Mexican Wolf Recovery and it was defeated. Let’s thank them all!

  8. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    What a great letter. Now let’s see if Kempthorne even answers it. I think this letter has relevence in court. It hits all of the key points. Now how do we get the Ag congress members to assist in this issue. My congreesman, John Salazar, voted for the Pombo ESA gutting bill. I complained to him, but he came back with two pages of excuses. I will contact him again and see what happens.

  9. avatar catbestland says:

    This is a bit off topic but I just stumbled upon this information. Ralph, you can put it where ever you think best. There has been recent debate on the possibility that wolves may pose some sort of threat to humans. I ran across this study recently which states that Cattle were responsible for 142 human deaths between the yrs of 1992 and 1997 in the US alone.

    http://www.wemjournal.org/wmsonline/?request=get-document&issn=1080-6032&volume=012&issue=03&page=0168#i1080-6032-012-03-0168-t01

    Correct me if I am wrong but wolves have been responsible for 0 human fatalities in North America EVER. Except of course for the recent debatable incident in Canada. Yet these murderous bovines are set free on our public lands and we are forced to expose ourselves to danger everytime we choose to go for a hike. The statistics speak for themselves. Cattle are a danger to humans. Wolves are not.

  10. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    I would like to know who drafted this letter for the Congressmen to sign. It is excellent and hits all the main points.

    It would not be politick for Kempthorne to ignore this letter.

    As long as Bush signed the bill, Congress most certainly could put a stop to delisting with a sentence or two.

  11. avatar Salle says:

    Well,

    Kempthorne has been known to ignore a lot of important pleadings in the past…

    He doesn’t think outside the little box he’s in very well. He does what he’s directed to do, that’s why he’s in Bush’s cabinet.

  12. avatar Kathryn says:

    Thank goodness some people on the Hill have the guts to stand up to this mess! I will write my letters of thanks to these guys! Like the rest of you, the letter was well written and made excellent points.

  13. avatar Kathryn says:

    The email address for Mr. Dix will not allow comments from anyone outside his district. Mr. Saxton does not seem to have an email address. If anyone else knows another way to email either of these gentlemen, please post. Thanks.

  14. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    more good news…

  15. avatar catbestland says:

    Kathryn,
    I found the same to be true about Dix and Saxton, so I just called the offices. I don’t have their numbers now but they are listed on their websites.

  16. avatar kt says:

    That is a great letter from Rahall, Miller, Dix, Giklcrest, Saxton!

    Another great step would be getting those Congressfolks to request, and introduce legislation to require, that the Forest Service and BLM immediately amend grazing permits on all public lands to minimize livestock conflicts with wolves. The amendments
    should include prohibiting grazing use of areas in or near wolf denning sites, strict requirements for removal of livestock carcasses from public lands, adjusting timing of grazing use to reduce conflicts, reductions in livestock numbers so that ranchers can actually keep track of the herds of animals they have, closure of pastures or portions of allotments where there have been continued conflicts with wolves, etc.

    ALL public lands ranchers should have a “hold harmless” provision as a Term on grazing permits – where any livestock killed by predators on public lands are a “cost of doing business” and predator control by the federal government will not occur.

  17. avatar jerry b says:

    Kathryn…..Norm Dicks
    Wash DC…202-225-5916
    1-800-947-6676

  18. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    kt, I disagree with all your suggestions.

    In my opinion, the grazing of private livestock on AMERICA’S public lands must end.

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  19. avatar catbestland says:

    I think that ranchers should be required to post a very large bond to insure against damages caused by cattle to public property, water sources, conflict with wildlife and possible injury or death to individuals who desire to take advantage of their public lands. This in itself would eliminate a large number of cattle from public lands.

  20. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    catbestland, I disagree with your suggestion – I doubt it would be difficult to obtain such bonds.

    In my opinion, the grazing of private livestock on AMERICA’S public lands must end.

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

    wildlifewatchers@bresnan.net
    http://wildlifewatchers.jottit.com/

  21. avatar catbestland says:

    Mack,
    I agree with you that grazing on public lands must end. But I think getting such legislation passed is going to be a tough row to hoe. In the meantime I am just trying to think of ways to work within current legal guidelines to discourage ranchers from the practice. Of course it could be that requiring the posting of bonds may be just as difficult as changing the laws on grazing. It may help that statistics show that cattle kill an average of 28 people per year. That is more than are killed by all forms of wildlife.

  22. avatar dee says:

    I have a question. I realize that your ultimate goal is to protect wolves and that one way to do so is to get rid of public lands ranchers. While it is true that only 2% (about?) of total ranchers are on public ground have you thought of the consequences to private ground? If it is no longer profitable to run on public ground they will have to go out of business. While many of you may be cheering as you read this, please tell me what will happen when they sell their private ground to developers? The public lands grazers in idaho alone control hundreds of thousands of private ground which is mingled with the public ground. How do you control the fragmentation of habitat?

  23. avatar catbestland says:

    A WOLF in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park!!!
    YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! http://www.eptrail.com/pages/02friday_d/fri01_d.html

  24. avatar kt says:

    indeed, Mack Bary public lands ranching must end. BUT between now and when it does, minimizing wolf conflicts by constraints on grzg permits is a way to save wolves.

  25. Dee,

    Let me quote your question because it has been buried by more recent comments.

    dee wrote
    December 22, 2007 at 3:29 pm

    I have a question. I realize that your ultimate goal is to protect wolves and that one way to do so is to get rid of public lands ranchers. While it is true that only 2% (about?) of total ranchers are on public ground have you thought of the consequences to private ground? If it is no longer profitable to run on public ground they will have to go out of business. While many of you may be cheering as you read this, please tell me what will happen when they sell their private ground to developers? The public lands grazers in idaho alone control hundreds of thousands of private ground which is mingled with the public ground. How do you control the fragmentation of habitat?
    – – – – – –

    My answer is the Wolf Recovery Foundation has no position on this issue.

    Personally I support the National Grazing Buyout which would, on a voluntary basis, pay ranchers a very generous amount per AUM and extinguish their grazing perimits on public land. The amount of money is so generous that they would not have to subdivide their base, a.k.a., deeded property. This makes the so-called “cows versus condos” issue no longer relevant. It also provides a retirement for ranchers, something many need because many ranches are sold when the owners before ill or too old to work the ranch.

    I think this is a win/win proposal. In case you haven’t heard of it, here are some links.

    A Political Solution to Public Lands Grazing: Voluntary Permit Buyout

    National Public Lands Grazing Campaign Information Packet

    I hope this may help change your perspective on this controversy which I see as kept going by politicians and livestock associations.

  26. avatar Buffaloed says:

    catbestland, that story is from last year and I haven’t heard anything more about it.

  27. avatar Buffaloed says:

    I take that back, it appears the story is dated Dec 21, 2007. Your celebration seems to be deserved.

  28. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    dee, your concern is certainly widespread ~ like ralph suggested, voluntary permit buyouts are the win/win solution that promotes everyone’s interest.

    i would further elaborate, or perhaps presumptuously contemplate the consequences of conservation efforts applied to private vs. public land…

    IMO, it is more wise for public/conservation to focus efforts on public lands. there is more leverage that the public has on these lands given our common ownership. the ecological ‘value’ of private lands producing livestock is hyped/inflated, and the idea that whatever inflated conservation value that there is would be able to withstand the economic and social currents running against livestock production in the arid West ~ is beyond wishful thinking. “open space” in de facto perpetuity, without stringent conservation easement etc., runs contrary to too many fundamental market, social, political, legal and environmental (think global warming & its promise of pressure upon all of our values) realities that continue to unfold.

    livestock production has been afloat for a very long time more as a consequence of its disproportionate hold on political institutions both at the local and federal levels that have afforded widespread subsidy. it has been afforded this hold more as a consequence of the undemocratic structural propensities of a “federalism” that does not live up to its name. i.e. one example would be the federal senate and the legislative obstructionism of executive agencies afforded senatorial letterhead.

    if public property were afforded anywhere near the same strength of property right to leverage toward the public interest as private property right is leveraged toward private interest ~ one wouldn’t see livestock production nor a host of other extractive incursions on public lands.

    until that changes ~ putting conservation efforts into private lands is a leap of faith that in all likelihood could be a wasteful use of resource/effort. private property protections are just too developed ~ in many cases even beyond the strength of contract. from a cost benefit perspective, and my relatively ignorant/naive point of view, why confront the monolith of private property case-law when one can better assure more conservation value by developing its very strength toward the public domain ?

    given the amount of private property vs. public land ~ the way it is used and where, and the often contrived and nuanced application of regulation/law dependent on an insurmountably confused political and legal body of patchwork ~ i say, let those more concerned with “culture” and fuzzy-feelings deal with private property.

    if the standard is conservation of wildlife and wild places ~ our public lands are the ground that conservationists have a rightful place to stand on.

    assure the robust protection and preservation of wild values in the public domain first ~ there’s more bang for the buck and it’s less tenuous. there’s just too much of it that’s being negatively ecologically affected that we already have law to prevent. shore it up so that we have contiguous tracts on legally sound ground.

    let producers do what they want with their private land ~ the bottom line is, they have the right to and will anyway ~ hell, even give them a generous check to keep it on their private land, so that they can afford to continue doing what they’re doing and won’t be forced off of their private land by economic and social realities that are undeniably ‘on the march’ …

    voluntary buy-outs are an extension of good faith and good will that uphold everyone’s values. they’re a real compromise.

    it will be interesting to see whether national voluntary buy-outs take hold ~ or whether more focused, perhaps to save wolves, regional voluntary buy-outs are preferable. ranchers in AZ have already signed on… i suppose it may take more pressure up north, but make no mistake ~ that pressure is coming whether producers or even enviros like it or not. greens don’t control the economy, the choices of producers’ children, the climate/drought, the price of feed. but it looks like they’re willing to promote a check such that producers can keep hold of their land, often that’s been in the family for generations, and keep their culture on their private land if that’s what they choose.

    voluntary buyouts have no strings attached to the money ~ take a trip to baja if you like…

  29. avatar Salle says:

    I wonder if the CO canid is a real wolf. That would be a nice surprise. Maybe that one is from the northern Rockies. Only, it would be good if they were coming into the northern Rockies from elsewhere.

  30. avatar Salle says:

    Good post, Brian. If only some would/could put such rationale into practice in more places…

  31. Brian——Thank you for taking the time to clarify the permit buyouts. It goes to show that the ones ‘crying wolf’, {sorry, i couldn’t pass it up….},are yelling the loudest and protesting so doggedly because the longer they keep it up, it prolongs the wait for the inevitable; a cowpie in the face.
    I can understand why so many knowledgable folks have given up.

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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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