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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.

86 Responses to Final wolf delisting rule

  1. avatar Concerned says:

    My goodness at 200 pages, that is going to take a while to read!

  2. avatar kt says:

    Idaho Fish and Game
    Media Advisory

    Contact: Niels Nokkentved 208-334-3746
    For Immediate Release

    The Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials will be available at 1:15
    p.m. Thursday, February 21, at Fish and Game headquarters, 600 S. Walnut in
    Boise, to answer questions about wolf management in Idaho after wolves are
    removed from the federal endangered species list.

    FYI. FG just now put this Media Advisory out. Likely in the Trophy Room at IDFG. Under big dead heads — bearskins splayed on the wall, dead pronghorn, dead caribou — sure to get the testosterone flowing …

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced that it has filed with
    the Federal Register the final rule that would remove gray wolves in the
    Northern Rocky Mountains from the endangered species list.

    Reporters outside the Boise area may participate via telephone by calling
    877-536-5793. The participant code is 213312. Reporter should identify
    themselves when on the line.

  3. avatar Izabelam says:

    It is very sad story. I hoped for the best knowing that it is difficult battle.
    What are the next steps?
    Defenders of Wildlife will file lawsuits, right?
    But…the real hunt will start as soon as the tags are issued. Or..can wolves be hunted without official tags?
    Like pullings pups from the den and baiting wolves with poisoned food?
    I guess we will drive them to death again and we will re-introduce them again like we did in 1995?
    Sad..very sad…

  4. Montana will allow no poison (legally), but we can’t be sure about Wyoming or Idaho.

    It is very important that we don’t make the mistakes of 80 years ago and have to begin all over again.

  5. avatar Concerned says:

    I for one, would like to see what is going to happen, especially with public pressure, I do have to say, I see a lot of posturing going on with both sides of this issue, I predict we will see more wolves killed than many will like, and I expect we will see less killed than some would like, but I don’t expect to see a mass killing of the wolves that some are saying, I know for 99% sure, that you will probably not see mass poisonings or pups being pulled out the den and clubbed, and with the upcoming elections….

  6. avatar Izabelam says:

    Concerned…good point with elections..BUT..I have not heard any candidate saying anything strong about protection of enviroment and our mother earth inlcuding wildlife.
    I worry that too many people will take hunt too far..and ..with a gov. of Idaho Mr. Otter…leading the kill with huntill for the the first wolf as he announced one time…we are going to loose a lot of them..
    It is terrible that Mr. Bush is able to do so much hurt during his last month at the helm…
    and as you probably know…as the polar bears were sleeping..the US goverment allowed Dutch Oil Shell to buy rights to drill in polar bears habitat…
    bad time for animals….

  7. avatar Nathan Hobbs says:

    This is so incredibly frustrating to me. When will the Fish and Game departments serve the needs of wildlife and not greedy demands of ranchers and farmers with a twisted idea of what theses animals really are.

    I had a lucky opportunity to photograph the Mollies last fall and whenever i try to show the photos I often get a very negative response about the animal resentment and hate towards it, why didnt you use a gun instead etc, is often what I hear.
    The public perception of the animal around here is SO negative that without any kid of federal protection there is nothing stopping there outright eradication..Again.

  8. avatar Concerned says:

    Saying that they will be eradicated again, is nothing but pure opinion and speculation, and I for one, don’t agree with it.

  9. Nathan

    Public perception is hardly uniformly negative. It depends on where you are the demographic.

    There is a hard core 25% of the population in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming that hates wolves, about the same percentage that really likes wolves and the rest is indiifferent, or could be swayed.

    Outside of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming sentiment toward wolves is much more positive, including the Great Lakes States which have just as many and more wolves (Minnesota) than Idaho, Montana, Wyoming.

    Older rural males are not likely to be fond of wolves in Idaho, but well educated younger women, for example, highly favorable.

  10. avatar Concerned says:

    Ralph,

    again 100% agreement with your statement, what a lot of people don’t realize, the generational changes happening in these states is in fact a true change in perception as well as what will happen in the future, this is indeed a frustrating time for everyone polarized on this issue, but I am of the firm belief that the future generations will provide the solutions that seems to evade both sides at this time.

  11. avatar Harmony says:

    The human “perspective” leaves the door open for so many interpretations of the term “endangered”. It appears that based upon the fact that the wolves are able to merely exist at all after eradication, is science enough that they need no further protection. I feel insulted by the Bush Administration yet again, by trying to mince words and legalities to create such a grey area when it comes to the future of a species. My interpretation of a thriving de-listed species is wolves sprawling just as they did before the 20th century. Anything other than that would be threatened in terms of the species historically as well as logically. What a shame that we have learned nothing from the past and press on with business as usual. Someday maybe Idaho can have a few good politicians that have the sense and morals to oppose bathroom “encounters” and public lies of saving a species by killing it, ridiculous.

  12. avatar Izabelam says:

    Here in Utah is not better. Our public opinion starts with negative 10 about wolves.
    And it is hard to convince people to be open and learn. My husband and I tried to show people the pictures, books and explain the beauty of preserving the predators because we need them for healthy eco system.
    They all think we are crazy.
    I have group of friedns – photographers. They all like to shoot animals and get excited about wolves but none of them is active in supporting the good cause.
    It is like talking to the wall.

    And as I just learned GYA approved the delisting…
    So, Ralph..what’s left?

  13. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    FYI – after overhearing comments made in state senate subcommittee hearing about poison being a tool in the toolkit (or whatever), WWP requested Otter’s response in writing — since that, i have received a letter from the governor that Idaho will not be poisoning wolves…

    the generational solutions must be fervently sought after right now. i understand that this analysis was not intended to engender apathy regarding waiting out solutions, but the tension of time between the next generation, the onset of climate change, widespread habitat alteration, etc. necessitates a level of urgency..

    the point of Nathan’s comment is apt in my view. whether or not wolves will be exterminated as in the past is speculation, whether or not the management regime affords the ability to do so is not speculation ~ it does. this is unacceptable given this generation now – given the value that wolves represent, etc… and it is generally representative of the inadequate – if not outright malicious – view that these politicians have regarding management of wildlife. this delisting, the standards for state plans, and the level of politicization is not worthy 21st century – let alone the broader public interest.

  14. I think the wolves will be much more adaptable and harder to hunt than most of you think. They are probably going to be delisted and hunted. Those of us that want a fair shake for wolves need to show up at meetings that set hunting seasons and rules for taking wolves, even if we have to sit in the trophy room to do it.
    Wolves have a tremendous reproductive capacity and will do well if they are hunted fairly. Trying to completely protect them outside of National Parks is just not realistic.

    There a lot of hunters and older males who like wolves. I just sold an older, Idaho male, photos of the Mollies and of the Haydens. He has always been sort of anti- wolf, but he liked my wolf photos. Most outdoorsmen and hunters enjoy all wild animals and they get just as big a thrill out of seeing or hearing wolves as anyone else. They are potentially the best allies that you have to protect wolves.
    The Otter appointed IDF&G commission does not represent hunters and fishermen anymore than they do wildlife watchers. The recent Bighorn/Domestic sheep agreement was slanted bigtime in favor of the woolgrowers.
    When you see Idaho wolves, get the news out, let more people see them. People protect what they know. The more wolf watchers you recruit, the more voices to speak in favor of wolves and to support protected wolf viewing areas.

    An older rural Idaho male who likes wolves.

  15. Larry,

    I just want to remind folks that when I spoke of a “demographic,” that means a statistical generalization, to which that are exceptions.

    My demographic category as a recently retired male who has spent his entire life except 4 years in Utah and Idaho (including Rexburg!!), LDS, would probably suggest I have an anti-wolf stance.

  16. avatar Viathen says:

    1500 wolves in three states isn’t too many. There’s a lot more people than that and we don’t issue licenses to kill them. Wolves are smarter than dogs and I’ve met wolves that were a lot smarter than some people I know. I think it is wrong to allow anyone, inexperienced city boys with guns AND bows to go out and shoot wolves who are shy, reclusive and just trying to survive. They are going to wound them which is cruelty to animals, these aren’t turkeys or deer that are stupid. They are smart, family oriented, monogomous animals, which is a lot more than I can say for some Americans.

    I hope the animal rights people win their lawsuit, if not I’m going to join the “lottery” to get a license so that I can save at least one life. I think everyone should do that, then we can save a lot of lives.

    This country is going down hill fast, it is so sad. I thought by now we’d more highly evolved than we are, but it seems our politicians are devolving. Maybe if we all try to make a difference, it’s a small step, but it’s a start…

  17. avatar J.A.Miller says:

    Delisting the Wolf is not like delisting other species, i.e. The Bald Eagle. With all the controversy, misunderstanding,fear,hate and greed involved with the Wolves and their possible future existance or extinction, why does a government dept (usfw) that was assigned to protect ALL endangered species on the ESA list, would even consider delisting this brillant and purposeful creature until all of the above difficulties were more toned down and “people” become more accepting of the wolf around them and learn to live beside them…no MATTER HOW MUCH TIME IT TOOK? Alot has been determined by head count….1500 wolves – yes is a success story -but is not a whole lot and as mentioned in other comments. If the wolf is slaughtered as some predict, how are we to expect Wolves to naturally migrate THROUGH OUT all the Rocky Mtn states?
    It angers me that what thought that has been put into this delisting decision did not involve wisdom or integrity.

  18. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Did I just read that GYC supports delisting?

  19. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    lynne,

    yes, the article is here

    http://www.jhguide.com/article.php?art_id=2774

    it baffles the mind …

  20. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Brian – I see the GYC board of directors’ chair is a “ranch manager”. Maybe delisting will make it easier for this “manager” to shoot pesky wolves on his “ranch”? He won’t have to put up with this “vermin” any more, and we can go back to the 1880’s when wolves were tortured and slaughtered?

    Delisting would allow wolves in Wyoming to be treated just like coyotes if they step outside of Yellowstone Park. Shot on sight. Entire packs could be gunned down. GYC supports delisting at this time? I can’t believe it. Tell me it’s not true.

    But then, Bison don’t seem to have it any better than wolves. I heard today that hundreds of bisons – mothers and calves included, are being gathered in Yellowstone Park to be trucked to slaughter. Where is GYC on this issue? Maybe the press has misrepresented the group’s view. A clarification would be helpful.

  21. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    This move by GYC simply goes to prove something I’ve been saying all along–that it serves mainly to provide conservation “cover” for the livestock industry. It certainly doesn’t deserve to be called a conservation group.

  22. I’d urge folks to hold their fire on the GYC on this, at least until more is in.

    Not everyone has to sign onto the delisting lawsuit. My organization didn’t, but then what could we even offer given its small size?

    It may be possible to salvage some of the Wyoming wolf packs using efforts similar to yours’ in Idaho, Lynne.

    We will see if the GYC can convert some of their methods into results on the ground patching together local wolf supporters or at least not opponents who are local landowners, residents, etc.

  23. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Here’s GYC’s press release:

    http://www.greateryellowstone.org/press/article.php?article_id=1835

    Note GYC chair Todd Graham is a “ranching consultant” from Bozeman. What is a “ranching consultant” and why is he the chair of GYC? Someone told me Graham is or was the manager of the Sun ranch where a ranch hand ran repeatedly over a wolf with a ORV to kill it? Anyone know if he was the manager in charge?

    I think GYC’s decision to endorse the premature delisting is a huge mistake. I suspect many of their members are extremely disappointed.

    GYC is essentially endorsing Wyoming’s dual-status classification, in effect approving killing wolves outside the trophy game areas by any means whatsoever, by anybody, at any time. It’s going to be really nasty but you know what? There won’t be any witnesses. Well, there won’t be any human witnesses, anyway. The Creator will know.

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

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

  24. avatar Buffaloed says:

    Haven’t I made comments about how despicable I think GYC is with regard to the Yellowstone buffalo issue? It seems to me that maybe GYC should change their name to GNOLIYC or Greater Numbers of Livestock in Yellowstone Coalition. I’m sorry if I sound like I don’t trust them but with their history with the buffalo issue I don’t see that they will be much different on this. I hope I am wrong but as Britney Spears sings “what have you done for me lately?”

    These moves regarding Defenders’ gift to MDoL and GYC seeming to endorse Wyoming’s idiotic plan burn me.

    I doubt that the highly paid GYC folks would want to leave the comfort of their offices and actually do the work required to acheive what Lynne has.

    Again, I hope I’m wrong.

    Does anyone know what GYC does? Are they doing anything other than raising funds, supporting the buffalo hunt, or endorsing Wyoming’s wolf plan? Please tell me. Am I wrong here?

  25. avatar Elizabeth Parker says:

    Viathen made an interesting point about entering the “lottery” for a wolf tag in order to theoretically save a wolf from being shot. I know nothing about hunting in the “wolf” states, so I am asking the knowlegdeable posters if this is indeed an option?

    Sure sounds good, but sounds too good to be true!!!

  26. avatar Buffaloed says:

    I might have been a little too rough on GYC and Defenders on this but I really think that each group should really evaluate whether or not they are truly fighting for wildlife or not. On these issues I think that everyone needs to be thinking of the wildlife and I think that some of the groups have compromised certain species in ways that bother me.

    I will withhold judgement on GYC’s position and hope that they can accomplish something through it. I will also withhold judgement of Defenders to see if MDoL can do a decent job with the money that they were given. I remain skeptical.

    Elizabeth:

    I doubt that entering a lottery for wolf tags would make much difference. If the agency sees that their targets are not being met they will adapt accordingly like they did with the buffalo hunt this year. Last year many people didn’t have the opportunity to kill a buffalo because they released too many tags and not many buffalo left the Park during the hunting period. This year they released fewer tags but bumped up the number once buffalo started to leave the Park so that wouldn’t happen again.

  27. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    i’ve thought about this idea regarding entering the “lottery”, but it seems like it’d be a short term thing. they’d just dole out more and more tags the next years. i think mack p. bray and others are working on potential solutions that will allow those of us who value wolves and other wildlife to contribute in a ways that enable alternative leverage at the state level. then there’s the hard work of folk like lynne and others on the ground.

    hopefully the lawsuits prevail ~ from what i understand, there are actually a few really important questions that could be answered in such a way as to advance conservation on that front ~

    i forget who it was the stressed the importance of showing up at these F&G hearings regarding tag fees, numbers, etc…

  28. avatar Catbestland says:

    Elizabeth,

    Apparently it is not an option as they will keep issuing tags until the appropriate (in their view) number of wolves has been harvested. I had the same thought but was disappointed to learn that wolves could not be saved in this manner.

  29. avatar Buffaloed says:

    I’m having a hard week because of all the death occurring and about to occur. Give me a break.

  30. avatar Buffaloed says:

    For my overzealousness that is.

  31. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    there’s a lot of ill-stuff mounting ~~ wolves, buffalo, bighorn …

    i think we all deserve a break 😉

  32. avatar April Clauson says:

    I was going to post that Defenders already has lawyers and lawsuits ready to go, as so with 4-5 other big name conservation groups, they have been asking for letters to be sent for months now, to prepare for this day. Defenders has had huge success in stopping our wildlife from destruction, and our public and park lands. They have also teamed up with another large group and they are all pooling resources to fight this. There is hope but the folks in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming also need to directly write letters to all their senators, governers, FWS etc…..the voice of the people really do weigh in on these matters. I pray that Defenders and all others can get the courts to see the errors in all these plans!!!!

  33. avatar Michael Scott says:

    Iwork for GYC and wanted to respond to a couple of comments. First, Todd Graham was not managing the Sun Ranch when an employee ran over the wolf. As manager previous to that he implemented ranch policies designed to reduce livestock and wolf conflicts.

    As to GYC’s position on wolves, we are strongly in support of maintaining and expanding healthy wolf populations in Greater Yellowstone. We believe there is room for more than one strategy for getting there. We have decided to engage the states and work with them and the people of the region to reduce conflicts and the attendant need to eliminate wolves, continue to partner to acquire grazing allotments that create problems for wolves and work on the ground with people to build greater social acceptance of wolves. That said, we will not stand by and allow the states to engage in wholesale slaughter of wolves. If the states act irresponsibly, we will take legal action and believe the case will be the stronger for it if/when we can cite actual mis-deeds by the states.

    As regards bison, GYC has been working hard over the last couple of years to eliminate conflicts with north and west of the park. On the west, a new couple purchased the last piece of land grazed on Horse Butte eliminating that conflict. We are now working to increase tolerance for wintering bison on the Butte since no cows are present.

  34. avatar Michael Scott says:

    The last part…

    On the north side, we have partnered with a number of groups to secure new lands through lease for bison to leave the park. So far we have not finished that work but are hopeful in the next year it will bear fruit.

    This year will be a tough one for bison because of the park numbers and the winter. It may be that, as awful as it will be for bison, their pushing out this winter will accelerate public scruitiny and change.

  35. avatar HAL 9000 says:

    I am a native of these parts, my family has been here for generations.
    I’m a middle-aged white male.
    I worked on a ranch when I was young to help pay my way through school.
    I’ve hunted all my life.
    And I like wolves.
    I recall reading a blog by another hunter — who has veiws and a background similar to mine. He said he just can’t see himself buying a wolf tag and going on a wolf hunt.. because it would be too much like, well, shooting the neighbor’s German Shepard.
    I’d say I’d have to agree. Plus, I was never very keen on killing something I can’t eat.

  36. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    I know Todd Graham from when I was doing a stream recovery project for Trout Unlimited. He was a consultant for the ranch who owned the stream that i was working on.He developed range monitoring plans and strategies for more effective grazing and recovery of forage.

    I, too, belonged to GYC. After some discussions with the GYC ED, Micheal Scott, I dropped out of membership. I found Scott to be very arrogant and self-serving. I am not surprised at the GYC position on delisting. And to think i was thinking of re-joining??!

  37. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    It appears to me that if Todd Graham, while managing the Sun Ranch, implemented policies designed to reduce livestock and wolf conflicts, that either his policies were insufficient and ineffective or this particular ranch hand that ran over and killed a wolf with an ORV ignored or was ignorant of the polices in place.

    “…we will not stand by and allow the states to engage in wholesale slaughter of wolves. If the states act irresponsibly, we will take legal action…”

    Michael Scott, what is GYC’s plan of action to prevent (if GYC intents to prevent) states from engaging in wholesale slaughter of wolves? And how does GYC intend to demonstrate/measure states irresponsible actions, given the fact that they will legally be able to substantially reduce the population?

    It seems to me that your actions would be taken “after the fact” – that is, after populations are severely reduced.

    Clarification of GYC’s intent/plan would be appreciated, as you can see.

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

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

  38. avatar Harmony says:

    The article linked below says that Idaho’s plan in hunting wolves is to have a quota filled regardless of the amount of tags sold. Either way, wolves will be killed. My guess is that the wolves “causing problems for livestock” will quickly meet that quota…..

    http://www.sltrib.com/themix/ci_8334707

  39. avatar Don Riley says:

    http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/lwillcox/wolf_storm_in_yellowstone.html

    Louisa Willcox’s blog makes it pretty clear NRDC is in the fight!

  40. avatar Don Riley says:

    http://www.lcv.org/scorecard/

    PS: It is a year to vote and the League of Conservation Voters has recently posted their 2007 scorecard.

  41. avatar Layton says:

    Harmony,

    Where does that Salt Lake Trib. article say Idaho has a plan to “have a quota filled regardless of the amount of tags sold”?? I don’t see that at all.

    It DOES say ” Idaho had an estimated 732 wolves at the end of 2007, said Steve Nadeau, large carnivore coordinator for the department. He predicted the population will increase about 15 percent to 20 percent by this fall.
    He said the department’s goal for the next five years is to keep the Idaho population between the 518 counted in 2005 and 732. ”

    I think you are reading something into the article that isn’t there.

    Layton

  42. avatar Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd says:

    Yo Ralph,
    The wolf was only delisted in the 3 recovery states in a brilliant move by the service to preempt the extreme left.

    Oregon , Utah, Washington , and Colorado plus the Mexican wolf are still protected.
    Based on ‘best available science ‘ — former historic range and Distinct Population Segments, how was Honnold, Wilcox, EarthJustice ,HSUSA and Defenders “harmed” by delisting in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming ?
    Whats your cause of action?

    See L.Dave Mech’s interview in National Geographic, he stated for the public record that wolves in the Northern Rockies had met recovery goals in 2002.

    The animal is still listed in the expanded DPS, how were you harmed and what’s your cause of action?
    Put a fork in it….it’s done.

  43. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Yo FOT NYEH – it ain’t over until the fat lady sings … and it’s a long way from being over. Better put your fork in one of those public land beeves grazing on our land for $1.35 a month.

  44. Robert,

    I’m sure the briefs of the suit will be on-line. The brief on 10J suit is already online.

    You are right about how the wolves were delisted in the 3 recovery states, but I don’t think that has anything to do with anyone’s legal standing.

  45. avatar Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd says:

    Google news on the day wolves were delisted never carried the story. The Matt Brown Pulitzer Prize winning environmental reporter 2 pm announcement on the A.P wire wasn’t on any major market front page.
    NewWest. net isn’t interested.
    No one but the emotionally intoxicated with nothing else to do on the extreme left even remotely cares.

    Well you old left-winger, Robert. It’s OK! 😉 Ralph

    The courts favor government scientists over private scientists on a 10 to one weighting.
    Answer the questions, don’t change the subject.
    How were you harmed ?
    What is your cause of action?
    How will EarthJustice decide wolf densities with ‘best available science’ in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming now that the animal is delisted only in those three recovery states leaving 4 new states in the DPS ?
    Wolf protection in the 3 experimental nonessential states is a boring topic except for those who want to use the animal as a bio- weapon against their neighbors, whose lifestyle and property they covet.

  46. avatar JB says:

    Robert:

    I can’t speak for Ralph, but I consider myself ‘harmed’ by the Federal Government’s turning over the management of wolves to States with plans that would allow them to be eliminated AGAIN over a significant portion of their range. I would say this conflicts with the expressed purpose of the endangered species act, and harms everyone who is interested in the re-establishment of endangered species.

    If you require a legal lesson in determining “standing” I’m more than happy to provide you with a couple of cases.

  47. avatar JB says:

    Oh, and as for the course of action. I’ll be writing another check to Defenders and/or NRDC who will challenge the delisting rule.

    Any other questions I can answer?

  48. avatar Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd says:

    It’s “cause of action ” JB.
    Everyone who watches “Oprah” and the ” View” considers themselves harmed, few of them ever get to file a case.

    Anyone who wrote a public comment about wolf delisting has ‘standing’ to file a suit, that doesn’t mean the federal courts will hear it; just ask the three million incarcerated in Americas’ prisons who file briefs and motions because they too have nothing else to do. You don’t just start following the procedural rules and administrative law 13 years into it and expect the federal courts will drop to their knees in awe of your emotional state.
    as for your checks to DOW et. al. …”a fool and his money……”
    The ‘service’ stuck it hard to the far left, fold up your tent and go home.

  49. avatar JB says:

    Robert,

    Please see the ESA section 11(g). Here, I’ll summarize:

    “(g) CITIZEN SUITS…any person may commence a civil suit on his own behalf—
    (A) to enjoin any person, including the United States and
    any other governmental instrumentality or agency …who is alleged to be in violation of any provision of this
    Act or regulation issued under the authority thereof; or
    (B) to compel the Secretary to apply, pursuant to section
    6(g)(2)(B)(ii) of this Act, the prohibitions set forth in or authorized pursuant to section 4(d) or section 9(a)(1)(B) of this Act with respect to the taking of any resident endangered species or threatened species within any State; or
    (C) against the Secretary where there is alleged a failure
    of the Secretary to perform any act or duty under section 4
    which is not discretionary with the Secretary.

  50. avatar JB says:

    I would say that failing to list a species that is endangered in a significant portion of its range (within its DPS) constitutes a failure on the part of the Secretary “to perform any act or duty under section 4…)”

    I have no doubts the courts will hear the case.

  51. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Michael Scott,

    working on the ground is fine ~ that’s not what Graham said ~ Question: Why did Graham publicly endorse the management plans ? this public endorsement of these management plans in the paper is damaging – it is not benign with regard to wolf conservation efforts. Why didn’t Graham keep his mouth shut – I don’t see how a shut mouth hurts with the Livestock donors ? In fact, that’s sort of a prerequisite of the whole arrangement anyway isn’t it – keeping the mouth shut about the way this industry rapes and pillages wildlife & habitat ?

    Question 2: why is it ok to wait and see ? why do NRM wolves not deserve adequate and specific safeguards against politicization, widespread killing, etc.. re: management ~ safeguards conspicuously absent these plans ? Why is that ok ?

    What happens in the future can only be speculation ~ but what is not speculation is that these plans allow for reducing wolf populations to 300 ~ that’s shameful. Wolves and wildlife deserve explicit and enforceable safeguards to ensure recovery on the front end. advocates shouldn’t have to trust – scratch that – it is directly contrary/negligent to the wildlife interest to trust state agencies and political institutions that have been under the thumb of interests directly adversarial to wolf recovery since the beginning.

    i’ll stand with buffaloed in the overzealous corner on this one.

  52. avatar Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd says:

    “Please see the ESA section 11(g).”
    thanks for the copy and paste of the ESA JB.
    We {FOTNYEH } read it in Sept. 1999, retained counsel at that moment and have worked with a battery of environmental attorneys and Montana Legislative attorneys as well as Montana Legislators ever since.
    FOTNYEH filed a valid and accepted petition to delist wolves on October 5, 2001 please refer to the Federal Register for confirmation.

    As for the subjective term “trust” of state wildlife administrators that Brian Ertz raised; the courts deal only in ‘best available science’ .

    The administrative record confirms that the states are prepared to manage wolves as they do any other animal now that recovery goals have been exponentially exceeded.

    The issue of genitic diversity was swept off the table with incremental delisting, the far left has no case.

    Any attempt to file one by the far left was carefully considered by state legislatures and governors thus resulting in an incremental delisting based on “best available science’.

    You’ve been had.

  53. avatar JB says:

    Robert:

    Fortunately, the courts (or the majority of them anyway) make their decisions irrespective of you, your attorneys, and the governors–which is why Defenders has won case after case after case just like this one. You might recall a recent case regarding wolves, where the court held:

    “Instead of drawing a line around the distinct populations in the Western Great Lakes and the Northern Rockies, FWS extended the boundaries from these core areas to encompass the wolf’s entire historic range.”

    FWS has made the same mistake again. Using the relative success of healthy, but extremely isolated populations to justify delisting over vast areas. Worse; the state management plans further restrict wolves to a fraction of their historic distribution within the DPS. The courts will see the delisting for what it is, a political act to appease the interest of properties rights advocates. We will have to wait and see if I’ve been “had” as you claim, but I suspect we won’t need to wait long.

  54. avatar JEFF E says:

    After a cursory review of the final rule there are a number of soft spots and /or questionable conclusions of the service( think of whenever the statement “in our opinion” is uttered), not the least of which is guilt by association with the present administrations penchant for editing real science and claiming that it is the best available science. Let the lawsuits begin.

  55. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Friends of N.Y.Elk Herd—

    The surrounding states in which the wolves will be protected doesn’t mean much when their numbers are reduced, because they will no longer have a need to migrate. I really doubt the wolves will continue their migration into WA, OR, and CO.
    It is a shameful waste of animal lives.
    BTW—I am a gun owner, i have hunted, I eat meat, and i own my own business.

  56. avatar Bear Creek says:

    Seems that GYC has lost its way yet again.

  57. avatar Buffaloed says:

    Michael Scott,

    It is my understanding that the Galanis’ are not too happy with GYC. I think that BFC has raised the awareness of the public about buffalo with a little more than twice your own personal salary than GYC has in its entire history. It is also my understanding that Mike Mease came to you with a vast amount of information about what was going on with regard to buffalo and GYC refused to do anything so BFC was created.

    Looking at your website it appears that you support the hunt with no qualification and that you seek donations for work being done on the issue but there is no news about the current and imminent mass slaughter of Yellowstone buffalo. There have been no press releases. There have been no calls to action from your membership. Is that advocacy? You have much greater funding for your activities than BFC will ever have but you seem to be more worried about your image and not offending the livestock industry than you are for buffalo or wolves which are very important part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

    From: http://greateryellowstone.org/issues/issue.php?threatID=23 (which hasn’t been updated since 2006)

    You support the hunt and call it a “conservation tool”. Kill them to save them? Sounds like the argument for Iraq and Vietnam to me. The North American Model doesn’t apply here, the hunt is just another way to kill every buffalo that leaves the Park and it gives them NO new habitat.

    http://greateryellowstone.org/about/accountability.html

    You have a great amount of money on hand ($3,123,778 raised in 2006). Why don’t you spend some of that money making life miserable for the MDoL? I think that it would be money well spent. I’m sure that BFC would appreciate some help with this issue, if not financially, at least in legal actions. Give them a call but don’t sabotage their efforts in the process.

    With regards to your support of the delisting of wolves, it is my understanding that your position is not too popular either. I imagine that you are feeling rather defensive right now about the criticism you are receiving. If I were you I might be reversing my stance because by endorsing delisting you are also endorsing Wyoming’s despicable plan. I have also heard that the other groups have determined that you should not be part of the coalition regarding wolves. It’s okay to change your mind, we won’t call you flip-floppers.

    Next Post: Defenders of Wildlife, same thing with regards to buffalo but better on wolf issues.

  58. avatar Bear Creek says:

    The real problem with GYC and wolves seems to be that working to sustain wolves in the wildlands of the Greater Yellowstone area might upset some of the locals. Let’s face it, the reason that wolves were eliminated from the West in the first place was that the locals wanted them gone. Maybe over the next 20-30 years locals might be convinced that wolves are okay, but in the intervening years hundreds-thousands of wolves will be killed off to appease the locals. Maybe GYC should change its name to the Greater Yellowstone Cowboy Coalition.

  59. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Michael Scott and the GYC board have abandoned wildlife for the benefits of a multi-million dollar budget.

    It’s time for us to abandon Michael Scott and GYC.

  60. avatar vicki says:

    Save the money from entering lotteries and buying tickets. It would be wasted, and would also aid in supporting the enforcement of these hunts taking place.
    Put your money to better use, buy land, lease land, support organizations that fight this type of injustice.

  61. avatar vicki says:

    i meant buying licenses

  62. avatar Common sense says:

    “Save the money from entering lotteries and buying tickets. It would be wasted, and would also aid in supporting the enforcement of these hunts taking place.”

    Vicky, very accurate statement

    Now consider who the F&G are going to listen to most during their management meetings.

    It will be the hunters and sporstman buying tags and licenses.

  63. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Common sense wrote: “Now consider who the F&G are going to listen to most during their management meetings.

    It will be the hunters and sporstman buying tags and licenses.”

    This will change, Common sense. This will change.

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

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

  64. avatar Heather says:

    Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd :
    I think you should borrow a $1500 telescope and watch wolves play in Yellowstone for about 3 hours. Watch them play with pine cones. Watch them play with each other. I think it should be your ‘community service’ to them and me, as you are condoning their slaughter.

  65. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Common sense” :

    Now consider who the F&G are going to listen to most during their management meetings.

    It will be the hunters and sporstman buying tags and licenses. [Emphasis added]

    this is a measure of corruption – not a vindication of such.

    tags and licenses are a permit to partake of what is public ~ not a title belonging to a particular private interest.

  66. avatar JB says:

    “tags and licenses are a permit to partake of what is public ~ not a title belonging to a particular private interest.”

    I couldn’t agree more. However, I wouldn’t necessarily say that F&G agencies paying more attention to hunters is indicative of corruption. It’s a function of knowing what side their bread is buttered on. To change this, we (society) needs to change the current incentive structure–if wildlife management agencies funding came equally from everyone (e.g. via a tax, as in Missouri), then they would not have an incentive to put hunters and anglers first.

  67. avatar vicki says:

    I posted this reply in the wrong area earlier. But here goes…
    This may all be a blessing in the long run. I’m not aiming to offend, and openly acknowledge I’m not an expert. But here goes…
    1. If the wolf population declines, we’ll have gained factual data using the F&G’s data to prove the delisting was negligent or premature.
    2. If the numbers don’t decline, we may need to rethink our position.
    3. Wolves will likely adapt, they are smart and crafty. If they can’t sustain their numbers due to decreased pack size, or prey availability, they will move on. They police themselves, they fight out territorial ownership, and the losers either expire or go some place where they can survive. If there are too many hunters present, wolves will likely move more.
    4. If they disperse to out lying states, that would be a good thing. It’s harder to hunt an animal that is more thinly distributed. They are harder to find.
    5. Hunters and anglers are the largest contributors of funding for conservation. If they see that the numbers aren’t sustainable, they’d like further conservation.
    6. If numbers decline, we could ask that they be placed back on the Endangered Species list, couldn’t we?
    7. We may have to accept casualties now to prove more needs to be done. We can use this against those who wanted the wolves delsited later. Then you can effectively use their own failure to disprove the credibility of their actions.
    8. Most hunters would find no sport in shooting an animal that reminds them of their own best friend. I know I wouldn’t. But those that do hut them will likely do so with respect for the wolf. They won’t be the rancher next door who’d like them all gone, for the most part.
    9. If you hunt wolves and elk numbers are declining, there is some other reason… and it’ll stand to reason then that we need to look into maintaining habitat. Maybe then hunters will want more land for elk, and less for cows.
    10. If this doesn’t happen, we’ll still be fighting his out years from now. We need the other guys to fail, so we can succeed. It’d be a strategic loss… you give an inch to gain a foot.

    I know I am not saying the politically correct thing here… but maybe we need to explore more than one angle. We will inevitabley lose some wolves, but it’s better some now. then we can recover more later.

    Before you say this will lead to the total loss of all wolves, be reminded that the only monetary reason to kill a wolf now is to be paid for livestock predation. No bounties exist… and more people are aware of their plight and support them now. They are no longer the beast that they were once perceived to be. We now have laws to protect animals, and we have people willing to stand on the front line to do the same.

    Okay, I’m open to thoughts… I was just tossing around possibilities.

  68. avatar Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd says:

    Morning Vicky,
    Excellent and thoughtful post.
    One other consideration.

    What if , after protracted legal battle , the United States Supreme Court rules that the experimental non essential population of wolves that the Court approved in 1996 contingent upon the “Wolf Implementation Rules of November 18, 1994” being followed exceeded the USFWS ultra vires authority and thus made ALL the wolves outside YNP illegal ?
    In litigation, as in everything else in life, be careful what you pray for.
    The USSC is obliged to consider the 10th, 5th, and fourteenth amendments….an EarthJustice suit will force just that.

  69. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Well, Fanning, perhaps you can tell us just exactly where your lawsuit is these days. We haven’t heard that it is proceeding.

  70. avatar Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd says:

    It’s Mr. Fanning to you.
    And it’s suit (s)

  71. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Fanning, you’re assuming the Supreme Court will even agree to hear any related case. I hope it does; perhaps it would put some of your crap to bed for awhile.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service DOES have the authority you claim perhaps it’s overstepped. There’re no “what-if” except in your fantasies.

    As far as 5th, 10th and 14th ammendments:

    5th: “prohibits government from taking private property without “just compensation.” This hasn’t happened. There’s compensation available. Get YOUR private livestock off AMERICA’S public lands and you won’t lose any cows or sheep except on your own property. Put up a wolf/bear proof fence.

    10th: “provides that powers that the Constitution does not delegate to the United States and does not prohibit the states from exercising, are “reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Tell me how this applies. No fantasies allowed.

    14th: “prohibits states from abridging citizens’ privileges or immunities and rights to due process and the equal protection of the law” Again, tell me how this applies; no fantasies allowed.

    To reiterate what Mr. Hoskins said, what is the status of your lawsuits?

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

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

  72. avatar Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd says:

    On a need to know basis, only for those who funded the litigation in our camp.
    Legal strategies are crafted with professionals, not by bloggers.
    Fortunately, “My opinions are my own”, we seek legal opinions from licenced attorneys .

    Reprinted with permission of Agri-News, editor@imt.net, http://www.cattleplus.com.
    January 9, 2008

    Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd invite ranchers to fight for wolf delisting

    By Tami Arvik Blake, Agri-News editor

    Sidebar
    WILL RANCHERS UNITE TO FIGHT WOLVES?

    If it’s going to happen, it has to be before the end of February.
    Total cost of a lawsuit to force the federal government to immediately delist wolves will be $200,000.
    That’s 200 people contributing $1,000 each… 400 people contributing $500 each… you get the idea.
    Want more information? Call Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd president, Bill Hoppe, at 406.848.7651, or simply send donations to FOTNYEH, 172 Jardine Route, Gardiner MT 59030. Bob Fanning can be reached via email: rtfanning@att.net.

    Story Text
    It’s not too late: ranchers can still take the Rocky Mountain gray wolf to court.
    Though the federal government has promised to remove the wolf from the Endangered Species List in February of this year, experts agree that lawsuits brought by environmental groups will likely tie the issue up for some ten years.
    That means ten more years of wolf protection – and ranchers, livestock, and wildlife paying the price.
    There is one way to avoid that scenario, though. What if somebody can beat the environmentalists to the punch by suing the federal government to immediately delist wolves before the official announcement comes next month?
    The groundwork for just that sort of action is already finished.
    Of course, there’s a certain procedure that must be followed when taking legal action against the Endangered Species Act. Complaints must be filed before deadlines, and as far as wolves are concerned, those deadlines are long past.
    The state of Montana does not have legal standing right now to fight for immediate wolf delisting.
    But Bob Fanning does, and he’s hoping that ranchers will team up with him to remove federal protections from wolves.
    Fanning is the founder of Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd, a small organization based out of Fanning’s home deep in the mountains north of Yellowstone Park. FOTNYEH is the only entity in the states of Montan and Idaho that has legal standing to sue the federal government to delist wolves.
    The only thing missing is the money – and the public interest.
    Fanning hoped to gain both when state representative Diane Rice (R-Harrison) carried House Bill No. 343, “An Act appropriating money from the General Fund to the Legislative Services Division to fund state participation in a pending lawsuit against the federal government challenging the failure of the federal government to remove wolves from the Endangered Species List,” during the 2007 session.
    “Since this is the only entity that can litigate on behalf of the people of Montana, I believed that the state of Montana should appropriate money to help them file a lawsuit to encourage delisting,” Rice says.
    The bill asked for a $200,000 appropriation to pay for the lawsuit. It passed the Montana House by a margin of 63:37 but died in the Democrat-controlled Senate Finance & Claims Committee.
    Fanning says that the Governor’s Office and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks were both in opposition to the bill. “It’s a political issue because Fish, Wildlife & Parks wants to maintain control over the whole wolf thing,” he says. “They get a tremendous amount of money to implement and administrate their federally-approved/imposed wolf management plan, and they don’t want to jeopardize that money.”
    What FWP fails to realize, Fanning says, is that the wolf money comes at the expense of the state’s livestock and hunting industries.

    The state and wolves
    Serving her fourth term in the Montana legislature, Diane Rice knows a thing or two about livestock. She and her husband are partners in Rice Angus, and she previously served as chair of the House Ag Committee. She is currently chair of the House Judiciary Committee.
    Ranching in the Madison Valley northwest of Yellowstone, the Rices have had a few encounters with wolves. A pair of the predators, in fact, terrorized their heifers the night before the ranch’s annual production sale in November.
    Rice understands the issues because she’s rooted in the ag industry. And that’s why it’s been important for her to take wolf legislation to Helena. In 2003, HR32 – a resolution urging the US Congress to delist wolves – passed the Montana legislature.
    That same year, HB283 – directing Montana’s Attorney General to explore the state’s rights to all wolf-related legal options – also passed. According to Fanning, Attorney General Mike McGrath “defied” that order from the state legislators and never did pursue the issue. That’s why the state does not have legal standing today to proceed with wolf litigation.
    And in 2005 HJR29 made a strong statement: “… Clarifying to appropriate federal government officials that Montana reserves its applicable rights and remedies to request federal predator control and to exercise rights and remedies to prevent and control damage or conflict on federal, state, or other public or private land caused by predatory animals, and urging the Montana Congressional delegation to take appropriate measures to obtain meaningful funding and assistance for Montana citizens and communities that have been adversely affected by wolf reintroduction.”
    That resolution passed by a “super majority,” Rice says, but has not received much attention in Washington, DC.
    Not surprising behavior, Fanning says, from agencies that deceived Congress – which approved the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone Park in November of 1994 – into believing that the reintroduction would minimally impact people and wildlife. He says that in 1988 the Department of Interior commissioned a Delphi 15 study that concluded a reintroduced wolf population would grow to 100 animals at the most.
    “Their computer model said, if we reintroduce some wolves, in 10 to 20 years we’ll get to 70, 80, maybe 100 wolves,” Fanning says. “They knew all along that wolf packs reproduce at a 34 percent rate, but they deceived Congress into thinking it would be a little number.”
    Fanning guesses that there are about 1,600 wolves in Montana alone now. “They stopped counting these wolves years go. They don’t want you to know where they are or what they’re up to.”
    Fanning doesn’t doubt that the recent public comment period concerning wolf delisting – open to anybody across the nation – garnered a majority response in opposition to delisting. But he believes that’s all part of a master plan: “Come February, the US Fish & Wildlife Service will issue an administrative order to delist, in defiance of the emotional popularity contest,” he explains. “Then those people who have been allegedly ‘harmed’ will gain standing to file lawsuit because they’ve been ‘harmed’ by the delisting order. They will get to court before anybody else has a chance, and then it will be tied up for years.
    “The easiest thing to do in litigation is stall. The longer you stall, the more these wolf populations grow.”
    That’s why it’s important, Fanning says, for a lawsuit to be filed before the delisting order, expected February 28.
    Simply put, if ranchers and sportsmen don’t get their foot in the door soon, it will be too late.

    A biological desert
    It’s the sportsmen side of the equation that Fanning relates to.
    He’s a Notre Dame graduate who worked on Wall Street for 20 years and later became CEO of his own company. Through the normal course of his business, he says, he learned the ins and outs of the legal system. “So I’ve got the skills set to be involved in this mess,” he says.
    He came to Montana to hunt elk for many years and came to stay in 1996, settling on a small acreage 20 miles north of Yellowstone Park. When he first moved in, the Northern Yellowstone elk herd – one of the largest migratory herds in the nation – moved across his land on its way to and from winter grazing.
    “I had the chance to see 6,000 or 7,000 elk pass by my house every year. If that was too many, now we see zero.”
    Today, he calls the landscape around his property “sterilized.” By 1998, he says, there were almost no elk in the wilderness around his home. “All you saw was wolf tracks on the game trails, and you don’t hear bugles, you don’t see rubs, you don’t see fresh droppings.
    “In years gone by I could ride up to a wolf on the trail,” he says. “I’ve had them run by my house. But now that the game herd is so severely depleted in Yellowstone Park, they’re up in the Shields Valley, the places that people never imagined. Southern Park County is a biological desert. Buffalo give the impression that Yellowstone Park is teeming with wildlife. Well, wolves are opportunistic killers, and buffalo are tough characters.”
    Fanning says at one time it was easy to count elk as they trailed across his property. At one time, he says, there were nearly 20,000 in the Northern Yellowstone herd; now he guesses there are only 5,000 remaining.
    Fanning says FWP has refused to recognize the elk population decline. Because predators have driven the elk onto private land and into new areas of the state, the population is more noticeable to the general public. FWP even hosted an extended elk season this year.
    But Montana hunters no longer find elk where the animals once were. Rice notes that, because of that, out-of-state hunter numbers for Montana declined by 42% in the period between 1995 and 2005. In-state hunter numbers declined by 21% in the same. That leaves a gaping hole in the state’s economy, previously filled by what was over a $230 million industry.
    Rice blames increased hunting fees for some of that decline, but a displaced and deteriorating elk herd for a good part of it.
    When wolves follow wildlife onto private land, they become acquainted with livestock and habituated to settlements. That’s when they acquire a taste for beef and lamb, the meat carried by easy prey.
    “And once they get used to seeing people, children are not so difficult to take down,” Fanning warns.

    A day in court
    When he first moved to Montana, “I thought I’d be a hermit in the middle of nowhere,” Bob Fanning says. But his frustrations over the declining elk population in his backyard wilderness led to the beginnings of Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd, and now he’s in the fight perhaps deeper than he’d like to be.
    “This isn’t about me and I don’t ever want it to be about me,” he says. “I wish somebody would come and take it away. We passed laws where the state of Montana should have asserted its legal rights and delisted the wolf years ago. But the state didn’t, and now this is the only avenue to fight for delisting. Anybody can pay for the attorney fees and file the lawsuit. They just have to go through me, unfortunately, because I’m the only person in the states of Montana and Idaho with legal standing to do so.”
    Fanning envisions a coalition of ranchers and sportsmen taking this case to force wolf delisting to the highest court in the nation – and winning. “The case is a shoo-in because the reintroduction of wolves was actually illegal. There were wolves in Montana before the reintroduction. And now that they’re here, the situation will take care of itself and the damages will stop if we can just delist the animal. The most unnatural thing about the wolf is the fact that it’s being protected.
    “I neither love or hate wolves,” Fanning says. “I just hate bureaucrats that exploit anything for their own advancement. I’ll be the first to admit wolves are here to stay. But the protection has to come off the animal so the animal is given the opportunity to learn how to behave around people.
    “Here’s what the common guy in the state of Montana should ask himself: Why is the little guy systematically denied his day in court over wolves by politicians? As long as I breathe on this planet, I will be willing to take this to the Supreme Court… but I’m not paying the legal bill.”
    Diane Rice agrees that the case is something every Montanan should consider being a part of. First of all, the people of Montana own the state’s wildlife population and have a right to file for wolf-caused damages on the same.
    Second of all, wolves kill livestock, and that hurts ranchers’ bottom lines. Though ranchers close to the park have taken the brunt of the punishment thus far, she says, the wolves will soon spread all across the state, and into other states, in pursuit of elk and livestock.
    Rancher or sportsmen, Fanning envisions both coming together to battle for wolf delisting.
    “If you’re angry about the buffalo in Yellowstone Park, if you’re angry about the way the bully in Helena is treating you, if you’re angry that you didn’t get an elk this year, or if you’re angry that elk have been pushed down on your property by wolves, then I’m offering you the standing to have your day in court,” he says. “Consider it a chance to protect your livelihood, culture and heritage.”

    – Tami Blake, Agri-News editor

    Tami Jo Arvik Blake
    Agri-News editor
    PO Box 30755
    Billings, Montana 59107
    406.259.5406
    editor@imt.net
    Regards, Mr. Fanning

  73. avatar JB says:

    “The only thing missing is the money – and the public interest.”

    You forgot a chance in Hell of actually winning.

  74. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    Mr Fanning,
    Would you elaborate about being “… angry about the buffalo in Yellowstone…”?? I am just curious as it seems to be an afterthought not explained in the last paragraph, that does not seem to co-relate to the rest of your post.
    Thank you,
    Bailey

  75. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Fanning, thanks for sharing that revealing and fact-filled piece; I’ve skimmed it and hope to respond more fully in the very near future.

    In the meantime, why don’t you go pee up another tree?

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

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

  76. avatar vicki says:

    Mr. Fanning,
    Wyoming has a minimum of all the cattle in the U.S. I’d say if you were in Texas… you might have a snowball’s chance.
    ‘Be careful what I wish for’… well back at ya.
    You seem to under estimate the nmber of people who care what happens to ranchers is small, and mostly ranchers.
    Watch what happens when you wish for things. You could alienate those people who at present have no issue with cattlemen.
    What if everyone who wanted to oppose you decided to eat even three pounds less beef a week? Now, since you like math, multiply that by a family of four, and then their neighbors…you get the picture. Don’t count it out.
    Before you know it, low demand causes high prices. Then sales drop further, because chicken is cheaper, and we pay too much for gas, so who could afford beef? Then, fewer cattlemen can pay for leases, and people want to visit their public lands without walking through forty pounds of cow crap ( not including the manure you’re selling here), and they pass a law to revoke grazing leases. Wow, who should watch the wishing? With ever increasing costs of travel, maybe a vacation to the nearest National Forest would be cheaper? What if people filed a lw suit about the danger your cattle pose to their ability to enjoy public lands?
    There are a whole lot of what ifs, and you are underestimating the lengths that people would go to just to stop cattlemen from trying to control every aspect of public lands and conservation.
    I guarantee that it’ll cost you far greater than the quote you gave. That cost will go up, while the economy declines. The people who oppose your overly egotistical and misguided if not dishonest movement, are quite used to spending their cash philanthropically… something new to you and yours I am sure.
    See, you are a minority in a majority ruled country. You are out numbered and out willed.
    Kids these days grow up wanting to change the world, and save it. They will be the voters that end cattlemen’s grip on public lands. They don’t fantasize about galloping around roping cows…. they want to breathe clean air… free of the stench of your b.s.

  77. avatar SAP says:

    “If you’re angry about the buffalo in Yellowstone Park, if you’re angry about the way the bully in Helena is treating you, if you’re angry that you didn’t get an elk this year, or if you’re angry that elk have been pushed down on your property by wolves, then I’m offering you the standing to have your day in court,” he says. “Consider it a chance to protect your livelihood, culture and heritage.”

    dbailey – I think that statements says it all: it doesn’t MATTER what any particular wolf or pack of wolves is doing, or whether a particular person is actually affected by wolves.

    Wolves are just a symbol (for a lot of folks on either side of the fight); they are a “surrogate” or substitute target for “the bully in Helena” (who?), or the weird people in Subarus and Hummers who seem to have taken over your valley or your town.

    Our elk herds over here from US-191 to Lost Trail Pass are above objective. For a lot of these hunting districts, general elk licenses allow us to kill any elk besides spike bulls. FWP ended up extending the elk season by two weeks in 2007 to try to kill more.

    AND we have wolves in these mountains.

    So, maybe Mr. Fanning means “if you’re angry that you didn’t get an elk this year BECAUSE YOU’RE 40 lbs OVERWEIGHT AND CAN’T SHOOT AND CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO USE HORSES, BLAME WOLVES! IT FEELS BETTER THAN SAYING ‘I’M A FAT SLOB WHO THINKS THE ELK SHOULD LOAD THEMSELVES INTO THE PICKUP FOR ME, OR BETTER YET SHOULD BE CUT & WRAPPED AND WAITING IN A FREEZER AT THE TRAILHEAD.'”

    Oh, and Diane Rice — she’s always going on about making FWP do something about our elk overpopulation problem. Hmm . . . which is it? Too many or the wolves ate em all?

    By the way, I find no mention on any wolf reports of wolves terrorizing heifers near Harrison or anywhere in southwest Montana for November or December of ’07.

  78. avatar Salle says:

    Mr. Fanning seems to be a graduate of the senator wide-stance school of thought. We ranchers are the only ones that matter and everyone else can stuff it because we think we should be compensated by everyone and everything else because we can’t have it all ~ like watching elk walking through your property as you did when the ecosystem was in a lesser state of balance. (Interesting that the ads for the sale of your ranch don’t make claims of no wildlife and too many wolves. So what’s your asking price for that land based on the abundant wildlife presence claims you make?)

    Just because you want something, Bob, doesn’t mean that you are entitled to it or can have it by rights based on manifest destiny philosophies.

    This might be America but your interpretation of freedom and rights isn’t reasonable or fair for anyone. Fortunately it is an interpretation of only a FEW who imagine their self proclaimed importance, like you, is what makes the world go ’round.

  79. avatar vicki says:

    Why hasn’t anyone posed a tax on the beef or beef products sold from those cattle grazed on public lands? It seems to me like those cows eat a public foos sourc, so the public should have some kick back… and don’t say “they pay to lease the land”, because that’s a freakin’ joke. What they pay is less than Americans pay in taxes on the beef they sell. That doesn’t seem right.

  80. avatar vicki says:

    So sorry about the typos, I’m riding on a bus.

  81. avatar JB says:

    Vicki– Don’t apologize for the typos! Glad to hear you’re taking public transit!

  82. avatar Salle says:

    Mr. Scott,

    I once was a member of the GYC, when MikeClark was ED. Back then it was an organization I respected. Since you took over, you seem to have taken the path of self aggrandizement and claim that you are actually doing something worthwhile for the wild lands and wildlife in the GY ecosystem. I have no desire to reinstate my membershi.

    The last time I saw you was at the Defenders’ grand opening party in Bozeman. You made a point of avoiding me, even to say hello. I must really be a threat to your ego and your organizational “expertise”.

    I was also at several public hearings and “open to the public” meetings where your organization sent one meek representative who had little to say in representing the vast membership you espouse on your web site. In fact, she mostly read from a sheet of paper when presenting the GYC position. Gosh, with the million$ in donations from your membership and the numerous list of members on your register, that’s all you could come up with?

    I think the big problem here is that “corporatocracy” has taken over in some of the organizations that claim to be representing their members for the millions they acquire from membership donations but have little to show for all that cash. I think Defenders might fall in this column as well.

    “We’re working on it…” doesn’t cut it here. But don’t let me ruffle your multi-million dollar feathers with this critique. As for your representatives that I have encountered in my work of late, I’m sure that with what they are paid to represent the members you could do better.

    I recall the seething glare I got from Mr. Kenworthy when I recited my participation with the Wind River Indian Reservation council members that I met in Cody concerning their recently accepted (and signed) wolf management plan.

    Ever wonder why these folks won’t have anything to do with you and your kind? You don’t respect them or show any inclination that such a condition is possible. You’d rather hire some infiltrator to find out what they know, go ask for donations because you looked at them ~ not that you had any intention of helping them, then do what you do so well by claim that it was your org’s doing if anything happens to work in favor of those for whom you claim to be “working”.

    All my work concerning this issue has been pro bono, I don’t get paid for my time… but I do a much better job than your paid “reciters” with considerably more significantly positive results for those whom I represent.

  83. avatar SAP says:

    It looks like the Agri-News piece pasted in by Mr. Fanning has numerous inaccuracies.

    This in particular stood out:

    “But Montana hunters no longer find elk where the animals once were. Rice notes that, because of that, out-of-state hunter numbers for Montana declined by 42% in the period between 1995 and 2005. In-state hunter numbers declined by 21% in the same. That leaves a gaping hole in the state’s economy, previously filled by what was over a $230 million industry.”

    I’m not going to look up the trend data on out-of-state hunter numbers, but if they had declined 42% across the board, wouldn’t a lot of outfitters be out of business?

    A 2007 report by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation says that hunting in Montana — based on 2006 data — is worth about $405 million.

    So, Diane Rice may be correct that at some point hunting was a $230 million industry. Evidently it has kept right on growing — rather than leaving a “gaping hole.”

    http://www.nssf.org/07report/CompleteReport.pdf

    http://www.nssf.org/07report/factsheets/Montana.pdf

    If Representative Rice is that far off on the health of hunting as an economic activity, I am suspicious of her accuracy on hunter numbers, too.

  84. avatar Salle says:

    Not to mention her claims that there are too many or even enough wolves in the state.

    It seems that hunting as an industry is some kind of divine right of the believers in manifest destiny or some other wayward philosophy.

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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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