The state wolf plans have been enjoined by Montana federal district judge Molloy. The wolves are returned to the endangered species list.

We got the news by cell phone while up in central Idaho. It appears to be a giant victory.

Here is the brief AP story. Judge restores protection for N. Rockies wolves. By MATTHEW BROWN.

More . . . .

Update: For those interested ~ The Order ~ be

Quote from the decision :

Congress does not intend agency decision-making to be fickle. When it is, the line separating rationality from arbitrariness and capriciousness is crossed.

Important note:

Dear blog readers, this decison came when I was out of town and just barely had an Internet connection. I am back home now.

I see number of folks have said they will contact the judge and thank him. I appreciate the sentiment. However, it must be understood that under the law, any comments, arguments, or evidence can only be submitted by the parties to the lawsuit. This allows other parties to the lawsuit to contest any submissions. Any letters to a judge about a case from nonparties are inappropriate.

 
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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.

161 Responses to Giant victory on wolves!!

  1. avatar Wendy says:

    Amazing! I had no idea this could actually happen. I hope this will pave the way for appropriate changes to the management plans of all three states, especially Wyoming’s. Bravo Judge Malloy. And may I also say that it looks like Limpy did not die in vain.

  2. avatar Salle says:

    A sound decision!!

    Thank you, Your Honor!!!!!

    The wolves are safe for now, and the dusty rogues can take a deep breath, for a spell…

  3. avatar jerry b says:

    SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! Can’t stop crying I’m so happy.
    Way to go Don Molloy!!!!

  4. avatar Fox says:

    Finally justice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Don Molloy for PRESIDENT!!!

  5. avatar kt says:

    This is tremendous!

    The Judge’s Decision has an interesting and memorable beginning “This case, like a cloud larger than a man’s hand …” Does anyone know where this comes from? Sounds sort of like A. B. Guthrie, but I don’t know.

  6. avatar Terry says:

    God bless Judge Molloy. Someone heard our plea. I am just so happy I could cry. The thought of losing all those beautiful creatures to hunters was just too much to handle. Will be in the park in September and hope to see some of those new Druid pups that I’ve heard so much about. And I’ll also be there the end of January for two weeks and hope for a better viewing in the snow. I feel so much better now that they’ve regained protection. I hope it sticks.

  7. avatar Jason says:

    A cloud larger than a man’s hand is a biblical allusion — a portent now small and distant of turmoil to come. It’s from 1 Kings 18 44-45.

    Molloy rocks!

  8. avatar Wendy says:

    Hey kt, where can one go to read the actual ruling? Can you post it here or a link? I’m the world’s worst googler or I’d try to find it myself.

    Thanks in advance

  9. avatar Wendy says:

    Nevermind! I see it up there. LOL

  10. avatar jerry b says:

    A huge THANKYOU to Doug Honnold and all the staff at EarthJustice.

  11. avatar Zen says:

    Awesome!

  12. avatar Ebon says:

    I think the comment must refer to this passage from I Kings 18:44
    Then it came to pass the seventh time, that he said, “There is a cloud, as small as a man’s hand, rising out of the sea!” So he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot, and go down before the rain stops you.'”

    It’s about time our earth and her beautiful creatures won some small victory against the greed-riddled tyrants of ignorant wealth.

  13. avatar RE Chizmar says:

    Please do not hesitate to write this Judge and praise him for his courage to make a “right” decision. He could easily have punted and towed the line to a climate “out there” that advocates the elimination of this great animal. The lawyers who advocated and those who have sweated and teared on this issue obviously deserve credit, but this Judge actually did the “right thing” — an amazing feat in recent times under a political leadership and landscape that is anti-wolf. Hopefully this sticks on the predictable appeal. “The limited preliminary relief will reinstate ESA protections for the northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf to ensure the species is not imperiled during the pendency of this lawsuit.” The battle is not over.

  14. avatar Catbestland says:

    Hip Hip Hooray!!!!!!!!

    Can we celebrate now or should we expect some sort of challenge to the Injunction? I’m celebrating for now anyway!!!!

  15. avatar Catbestland says:

    I think we should all go out and howl at the moon!!!!!

  16. avatar JEFF E says:

    Very cool,
    Bob Fanning, paging Bob Fanning. Where are ya Bob?

  17. avatar Karen Waltermire says:

    The news travelled all the way to us beach dwellers at the Jersey shore!! You can probably hear our howls from here!
    I will be writing to the judge in praise a.s.a.p!
    Thanks to all the wonderful people who helped make this happen. Being in Yellowstone on several occassions with Nathan Varley, Hank Fischer, Carol Fischer, Doug Smith, Dan Hartman, and others was truly life changing for me.
    THIS ONE IS FOR LIMPY!

  18. avatar Zen says:

    I didn’t know what else to say. I was stunned. I didn’t think we could make a difference, it seemed we were losing. I’m glad I was wrong. I’m sending out tons of e-mail to my parters in wildlife. Indeed thanking Molloy sounds like a great idea.

  19. avatar RE Chizmar says:

    A few interesting points in the Opinion:

    The court buried the thought process/arguments of the Service — in the legal arena, rarely do you see an opinion stating that a party acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner. This is an extremely difficult burden to sustain.

    The Court unfortunately validated the broad-stroked language of ID law pertaining to under what circumstances wolves can be shot (a rather perplexing rationale in an otherwise sound opinion).

    More powerfully, however, the court held: “The reduction in the wolf population that will occur as a result of public wolf hunts and state depredation control laws in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming is more than likely to eliminate any chance for genetic exchange to occur between subpopulations.”

    This is an opinion every wolf advocate should study for to win this argument in the long run, we must understand the law governing wolf protection and intelligently and articulately influence others in accordance with same.

  20. avatar Bob Fanning says:

    right here jeff e

  21. avatar John says:

    Party time!
    Whoooooo!
    Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity Mr. Molly!

  22. avatar natehobbs says:

    The argument of maintaining genetic diversity is really awesome. especially how he stresses its importance on animals that are not even on the ESL.

    Hopefully this ruling can set a precedent help out the Bison in Yellowstone and stop Montana from thinning the herds down so much every winter.

  23. Congratulations friends!

  24. avatar Heather says:

    Thank Goodness…. God’s Dog… allowed protection again.

  25. avatar Heather says:

    Way to go EarthJustice hats off to you…

  26. avatar PC says:

    You also have to think if Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan can effectively manage their wolves with low fatalities regardless if they are Federally protected or not, then why can’t Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. If the states can’t get it right after a Federal law change then it’s up to a Federal Judge to set the situation on the correct path again. Makes sense to me.

    I love Heather’s response about God’s dog. The wolves sure are!!!

  27. avatar JB says:

    There are a couple tidbits in this order that will be useful in resolving a recent argument on this blog concerning wolf recovery goals. Some contend that the wolf should have been delisted years ago when the 30 breeding pair minimum was met. However, as many here have noted, there were other requirements in the EIS…

    “1994 EIS, the Fish & Wildlife Service identified specific recovery criteria of “[t]hirty or more breeding pairs comprising some 300+ wolves in a metapopulation (a population that exists as partially isolated sets of subpopulations) with genetic exchange between subpopulations.” 1994 EIS, App. 9, at 42; 73 Fed. Reg. at 10,521.”

    [and]

    “The 1994 EIS clearly requires “a metapopulation . . . with genetic exchange between subpopulations.” 1994 EIS, App. 9, at 42. The 1994 EIS does not define the term “genetic exchange” because the term can only mean one thing: exchange of genetic material between subpopulations.”

    [and finally]

    “…the Service continues to stand behind one component of the recovery criteria—30 breeding pairs and 300 wolves—but rejects another component—genetic exchange—as unnecessary. In doing so, the Service provides no new evidence or research that did not exist when the recovery criteria were established. The Service cannot change course without reason. ”

    I hope we can finally put to rest the “wolves should have been delisted years ago when the recovery criteria were met” argument. As the order explains, the recovery criteria have NEVER been met.

  28. avatar Keri Davis says:

    My prayers have been answered !!! What a glorious victory for our wolves ! My thanks to my friends at Defenders of Wildlife and all the others who have worked hard and tirelessly on getting this ruling reversed. Judge Molloy is absolutely my hero !! Does anyone know where to write him so I can give him my heartfelt thanks ?

  29. avatar tetonhiker says:

    Wow, Good things can happen!!! I am speechless, but so grateful! Thank you Judge for having the “cojones” to do the right thing!
    Hopefully, this will allow our wonderful wolf experts to continue their outstanding work and research.
    Have a heavy heart for Limpy……what a horrible cost.

  30. avatar timz says:

    Allow me to take a moment to thank Butch Otter for starting this by running his big mouth, the legislatures of Idaho and Wyoming for passing laws that accordinging to the judge would allow “unfettered wolf killing”, Idaho Fish & Game Commission, Idaho Fish $ Game for their openly anti-wolf rhetoric, the local prosecutor in Eastern Idaho that refused to prosecute a wolf killer and finally all those hayseeds who couldn’t wait to rush out and kill a wolf within days of de-listing. You have all made this ruling possible.

  31. avatar vicki says:

    Right on.
    There are no words to describe my elation. May the ruling be a door that opens!
    I have had my faith restored that we can impact great things.

  32. avatar TallTrent says:

    This is great news! We definitely needed this halt to the killing while things get sorted out.

    I am glad that Judge Malloy recognizes that genetic diversity and the lack of interconnectivity in these disparate populations of wolves are so important to long-term survival of this species in the Northern Rockies.

    The ESA requires that the “best available science” is used to determine the health of the populations of threatened and endangered species. Using genetics in wildlife biology is relatively new, but is a requirement of this law. The principles of conservation biology also need to be applied.

    It is clear that the US FWS was arbitrary in their determinations that wolves were recovered and thank goodness that Earthjustice and the rest pressed on these points and the Judge recognizes their legal weight.

    I hope that this, and the return of wolves to Washington, are two pieces of good news that start a trend.

  33. avatar Virginia says:

    What great news! It is so encouraging to see science trump politics – so rare in these last 8 years. It shames me to be from Wyoming – a state that has so flagrantly denied the importance of reintroduction of a predator that obviously needs to be at the top of this food chain. I can’t wait to read the editorials in the Cody Enterprise this next week!

  34. avatar Mariantonella says:

    Good news for my favourite animal

  35. avatar Dan Stebbins says:

    I really have to smile at all the folks whose blood pressure is skyrocketing over this.

    In reality this has way more to do with Wyoming’s ignorant refusal to just “play ball” when it comes to wolves.

    They will whine about the “feds”, “environmentalists” & “liberal judges” all they want, but mainly they should point their little fingers right back at themselves. Time to stand up & take some responsibility Wyoming.

    I can’t have any sympathy for folks that repeatedly run their heads into brick walls.

  36. avatar Jan says:

    I am stunned and speechless…and grateful to all those involved who helped to get this done…also pausing just for a few to remember the noble creatures we lost in recent months.
    But, overall– WOO HOO!

  37. avatar Terry says:

    Just read the entire court order, all 40 pages, from Judge Molloy, I am very impressed that he took this matter into consideration very seriously. With every word written in the order, you can see that much research was done on his part and his decision was based on these facts. These magnificent animals very well could have been exterminated again. Thanks, also, to all the animal rights organizations who interceded to restore ESA protection. It is a true memorial to “Limpy”…..I imagine the howls can be heard all over Yellowstone tonight….and hopefully for many more years to come.

  38. avatar Chuck says:

    Boy you should see all the negative spewing over on the Billings gazette write up on the wolves, including good ole Marion. Ok call me stupid, but what does the three S’s stand for (SSS) They are even advocating shooting us whacko enviro’s. Also they are wanting to recall Judge Molloy.

  39. avatar JB says:

    Thanks, Chuck. I would like to say that I got a kick out of reading those comments, but in truth it just saddens me. It is pretty clear that no one commenting over there actually took the time to read the order, they just jumped straight away to the conclusion that Molloy is a crazy liberal “activist” judge. The actual legal matter at hand is very simple: s/he has to decide whether the agency’s decision was arbitrary. Given that the decision conflicted with the 1994 EIS and conflicted with their previous determination that Wyoming’s plan was inadequate, I’d say this was pretty much a slam dunk.

  40. avatar John says:

    Chuck
    SSS means “Shoot Shovel Shut up”, people go out and shoot wolves then destroy the corpse.

  41. avatar Steve C says:

    This is great news. Some good news for a change! I have been checking the site daily for the past 1.5 months hoping to see this ruling. It is kind of fun seeing the wolf haters getting all emotional over at billings gazette. They are blaming environmentalists for everything including $4 a gallon gas. So pathetic…

  42. avatar Izabela says:

    Poor Ron Gillette!!. He is going to have nightmares..:)
    Wolves are going to eat him…

  43. avatar Ryan says:

    Great, exactly what I expected to happen =(. Activist judging at its best! WY kept the basic deal they started with when reintroduction was proposed. The last thing that the states wanted was for them to become endangered and give up all control like they have since reintroduction. The EIS tenants used of genetic material sharing is flawed at best and should have been ommitted in the origional plan. Although I found it funny that the core areas are all connected to Yellowstone, it makes little sense to me.

    This is the same quality off the bench that ended sea lion put an injunction on sea lion control at bonniville dam allowing thoousands of ESA listed salmon and steelhead to be consumed again this year.

  44. avatar Ryan says:

    I know I am just an inbred Cablea’s queen in many of your minds, but please explain to me how an animal that kills or runs off all strangers to their pack will share genetic diveristy with any amount of success?

  45. avatar Buffaloed says:

    You don’t read much do you Ryan.

  46. avatar Ryan says:

    Actually I read the whole judgement. It seemed the have a lot of “feeling” involved in it. I believe both of the issues judge Malloy brought up can be quickly solved and the states should get back control soon enough.

    Buffaloed,

    You going to answer my question or just keep up the smart ass remarks?

  47. avatar Ryan says:

    Sorry that was a bit out of line..
    Just citing the study.
    The gray wolf is the largest wild member of the dog family.
    72 Fed. Reg. 6106 (Feb. 8, 2007). Wolves generally live in packs
    of 2 to 12 animals and have strong social bonds. Id. at 6107.
    Wolf packs consist of a breeding pair (the alpha male and alpha
    female), their offspring from previous years, and an occasional
    unrelated wolf. Id. Generally, only the alpha male and alpha
    female of a pack breed. Id. Litters are born in April and
    average around 5 pups. Id. All pack members help feed and
    protect the pups as they grow. Pups are weaned at 5 to 6 weeks
    and then are mature enough to travel with the pack by around
    October. Packs typically occupy territories from 200 to 500
    square miles. Each pack will defend its territory against other
    wolves and wolf packs. Id.

  48. avatar natehobbs says:

    Can anyone fill me in on the details of what the prosecuting parties are pushing for in court as a final resolution to this issue? I havent read anything as to what an acceptable plan according to the plantiffs for the wolves would be.

    I am really glad we have the injunction though I was not looking forward to the hunting season this fall and hearing the grim news of the results.

  49. Ryan,

    Wyoming has retained the same position from the beginning. You are right about that.

    That impressed the judge very much.

    USFWS repeated rejected Wyoming’s position as not acceptable — not even close.

    Then suddenly it became acceptable after there were some changes in the political appointees who head the agencies. That impressed the judge as meaning that nothing had changed about the wolves or their relationship to anything. It meant that the regulations had been changed in a capricious manner. That kind of change is not acceptable to a court of law.

  50. avatar Sue RB says:

    WOW!

  51. avatar Sue RB says:

    I HOPE THIS IS PUB IN THE GOOD OLD ROUNDUP AND EXAMINER IN PINEDALE OR THEY WONT BELIEVE IT! MAYBE NOMORE PIC AS WE HAVE SEEN SPORTED ON THEIR FRONT PAGES (REMEMBER THE FOUR DEAD ONES). JUST AMAZING.

  52. avatar Wendy says:

    For Ryan:

    In the faint hope that you are sincerely asking, please allow me to respond to the question posed here:

    Quote: “I know I am just an inbred Cablea’s queen in many of your minds, but please explain to me how an animal that kills or runs off all strangers to their pack will share genetic diveristy with any amount of success?”

    Although wolf packs do indeed defend their territory from other packs, individual wolves instictively seek out non-related wolves to mate with. Sometimes individual wolves are successful in joining other packs. Although it is true that wolves are very social animals, they are also quite independent, especially when it comes to sex.

    The following cases have been observed in Yellowstone. I can’t address wolf behavior outside the Park but there is no reason to believe it would be any different.

    1. The Druid Peak Pack and the “next door” Slough Creek Pack have had at least 5 skirmishes over the last 4 years years when they came upon each other. Generally speaking, one pack member was killed in each skirmish. However, last fall, Druid Pack member 629, upon reaching sexual maturity, ventured into Slough Pack territory on his own and was accepted into the Slough Creek pack. He is currently the #2 male wolf in that pack.

    2. (going back several years) Wolf 302M was born into the Leopold Pack. Upon reaching sexual maturity he ventured over the mountain and began wooing several Druid females. He was chased countless times by Druid Alphas 21M & 42F, sometimes roughed up, but he always escaped with his life. He successfully mated with several Druid females. His brother, 480, also born into the Leopold Pack, subsequently travelled to Druid territory and, after the natural deaths of the Druid Alphas, 480 assumed leadership of the remaining Druid wolves. 480 is still the alpha male and 302 is the beta of that pack today.

    3. This fall, two unknowns gray male wolves appeared in Druid territory and were chased by 302 and 480 on a daily basis for nearly four months. Both were roughed up on occasion but escaped with their lives. Both remained in the area and successfully mated with Druid females, although one of the grays was later killed by the Druids when he ventured near the den area after mating season ended.
    To be clear, this gray did successfully mate but was not accepted into the pack.

    4. Two adult females of the Agate pack; the alpha male’s mother and the alpha male’s sister, left their home territory and sought out other males during mating season. They were both seen breeding with non-related males.

    5. 302M, who is now too closely related to the females of his own pack, is legendary for his travels during mating season. Once his job is done, he returns to his home pack.

    These are just just a few instances that show how easy it is to ensure genetic diversity in a wolf population, as long as wolves can find each other. It is extremely typical behavior for young males (and some females) to travel long distances to find a mate. It is most common for this to occur from fall to mid-winter.

  53. avatar JB says:

    Ryan,

    There is absolutely nothing that is “activist” about Molloy’s order. Look, I sympathize with your position, but the legal matter at hand was quite simple. He had to determine if the agency acted arbitrarily (unreasonably) in deciding to delist wolves.

    Molloy noted that the EIS was not legally “binding”; heck, he even went so far as to tell FWS what it needed to do: “While the Service is entitled to change its recovery criteria, it must provide a “reasoned analysis” for doing so.”

    FWS did not justify their decision with any scientific analysis, one day Wyoming’s plan was wholly inadequate, the next it was acceptable. This pretty much stands out as a perfect example of “arbitrary and capricious” decision-making.

    – – –
    P.S. I’m getting really tired of every judge who disagrees with a conservative being labeled an “activist” (see the comments over on the Billings Gazette, for instance). Invariably, the only justification given for these comments is that the judge reached a decision with which the individual disagreed. Perhaps conservatives need to be reminded that their presidents have appointed federal judges for 20 of the past 28 years.

  54. avatar Ryan says:

    JB,
    http://www.fjc.gov/servlet/tGetInfo?jid=1665
    Malloy was appointed by Clinton. In reading the Decision through, his mind was already made up, he just needed a means by which to give his judgement.

  55. avatar natehobbs says:

    Of course Ryan had Judge Malloy ruled in a way that you agreed with you would be telling us that he would have critically analyzed and thought through the decision.
    Lets not bring Clinton into this one..

  56. avatar Virginia says:

    I agree with JB regarding “activist” judges and that they are only “activist” if their ruling is not agreeable to the “conservative right.” I wonder if anyone considered Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia an “activist” judge in the decision to destroy the District of Columbia’s 32-year ban on handgun possession. He wrote to defend this ridiculous decision based on the fact that “the Constitution does not permit the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home.” Well, the Constitution says nothing about “self-defense in the home.” If that is not judicial activism, I don’t know what you would call it. As I see it, ideological judicial activism is becoming more and more a tool of the conservative right. Furthermore, if there was any emotion in Judge Molloy’s decision, perhaps it was his reaction to the three state’s blatant disregard of the Endangered Species Act – which I believe IS a law with specific requirements.

  57. avatar Salle says:

    So Ryan,

    What would be your response to us if Molloy had decided in favor of your views? Would it be something like: See, we were right and you tree huggers are stupid….?

    I would offer that the judge may have been able to see the obvious problems with the delisting and then was able to research it professionally when the issue came to his bench in the form of this lawsuit that clearly points to numerous problems with the delisting.

    There seems to be a disconnect with the public and the factual reality that when a policy becomes a problem its remedy is usually settled in the courtroom as that is where legislation is lawfully evaluated and reassessed. There are no dirty tricks about it, it’s the way things are done in a democratic society… It’s what the Constitution offers as the means for remedial address for heaven’s sake.

    People, like those in the current administration, like to demean the democratic process and cry about how they are vicitims of it when things don’t turn out in their favor.

    What a sad state of social decline we live in.

  58. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    the order clearly exercises restraint. the tests Molloy uses to determine whether the preliminary injunction are appropriate give due regard to the intent of law –

    This legal principal is a direct acknowledgment of congressional intent. Under the ESA, “Congress has spoken in the plainest of words, making it abundantly clear that the balance [of hardships] has been struck in favor of affording endangered species the highest of priorities,” and courts “may not use equity’s scales to strike a different balance.” Id. at 794. What this means is that if a plaintiff is likely to succeed on its ESA claim and irreparable injury is possible, then the court should issue an injunction when it is necessary to effectuate the purpose of the ESA.1

  59. avatar JB says:

    “Malloy was appointed by Clinton. In reading the Decision through, his mind was already made up, he just needed a means by which to give his judgement.”

    I see, so anyone appointed by a democrat is an “activist” judge. My mistake.

    Look, we all knew this was going to happen. FWS rejected the plan in 2004, explained why the plan was not scientifically sound, and then suddenly did an about-face with no explanation. Because the agency (1) never met the original recovery criteria, and (2) reversed its decision without any scientific explanation as to why (which is required under the ESA), Molloy made the only finding he could. It would have been much more of a stretch for him to defer to the agency given these facts.

    I understand that you don’t like the decision. Fine. But Wyoming could’ve put this whole thing to bed by adopting a reasonable management plan that managed for 15 packs and established wolves as trophy game. If you want to blame someone, blame Wyoming; or blame FWS for doing an about face without any real explanation as to why.

    Just as a note, I’m not entirely happy with the decision either as Molloy had no problem with Idaho’s “you can kill a wolf if it looks at you funny” law.

    – – – – – –
    FYI: Molloy’s actions are governed by the Administrative Procedures Act and subsequent case law. Essentially, the judge must grant an agency deference unless their decision/action is unreasonable or an action that “would not be sanctioned by Congress” (see Chevron vs. NRDC, 467 US 837 (1984)).

  60. avatar Salle says:

    And furthermore,

    The excelleration to ramrod the approval of Wyoming’s plan and not push for a better Idaho plan as well as the obvious rush to suddenly delist wolves in the northern Rockies came about right after none other than former governor Kempthorne was appointed sec. of interior which essentially gave him the upper hand in opposing wolves as he had vehemently done as governor of Idaho. Only now he’s Ed Bangs’ boss and he calls the shots forcing agency personnel to toe the line or beat it… Like in all the other agencies that are charged with protecting the public and our natural resources from corporatocracy.

    I won’t believe any press releases from any of these agencies until a new regime is in the white house.

  61. avatar JEFF E says:

    JB says,
    “and then suddenly did an about-face with no explanation.”
    Oh but there is an explanation.
    It’s called Dick Kempthorne.

  62. avatar JB says:

    Just a reality check:

    Facts:
    (1) The entire state of Wyoming is part of the wolf recovery area (the DPS).
    (2) Wyoming is roughly 98,000 sq. miles.
    (3) Wyoming’s plan committed it to manage for 8 breeding pairs outside of YNP and GTNP.
    (4) YNP and GTNP are together ~ 4,000 sq. miles.

    Assumptions:
    (1) Assuming every breeding pair actually equals 15 wolves (I think this is a VERY liberal estimate), then Wyoming has committed to managing for 8×15=120 wolves outside of the parks.

    Conclusions:
    Wyoming’s plan commits it to manage 120 wolves over 94,000 square miles or 1 WOLF PER 783.3 MILES SQUARE.

    Pick a species…pick ANY species…and convince me, or anyone else for that matter, that 1 animal per 783 miles is adequate for maintaining a viable population of that species. It’s simply absurd! Wyoming F&G knows it; the judge knows it; anyone who knows anything about wildlife knows it. So why is it so shocking that the judge rejected this plan?

  63. avatar Ryan says:

    JB,

    How much of Wyoming has been designated wolf habitat? By your logic, Desert sheep in Utah, New Mexico, and CA are managed nearly the same. Its all about availiable prime habitat. The interesting thing about WY is that in the origional plan sold to them Wolves were going to be in YNP and GTNP only. So I can see why they don’t want to play ball. If they change the langue from “or” to and in there plan it should meet the requirements. Its not a suprise at all.

    Will this go to the 9th circuit or the 10th circuit in appeals?

  64. avatar JB says:

    Ryan,

    Technically the whole state is part of the DPS. What actually constitutes suitable habitat for wolves is disputable. Clearly the urban areas are not suitable, though this represents a tiny fraction of Wyoming. USFWS has argued that much of the rest of the state is unsuitable because of the “social acceptability” of wolves; however, I don’t anticipate this will hold up in court, if its challenged (though I don’t think it will be). The two best predictors of wolf success are available food and road density (a proxy variable for human occupation or urbanization).

    I won’t comment on how the plan was originally “sold” except that I don’t believe the 1994 EIS confined wolves to YNP and GTNP. Anyone know?

    I believe the case would go to the 9th circuit, which would be good for supporters of federal protections. However, I think its more likely that FWS and Wyoming will alter a few things and try delisting again–assuming Molloy’s final decision on the case is consistent with this order. Frankly, I’d be happy with state management assuming that Wyoming were able to come up with an acceptable plan; to be specific, managing for a minimum of 15 breeding pairs with trophy game status in (at the very least) all suitable habitat in the state.

  65. avatar Salle says:

    Maybe this set of graphics will assist you in your argument, JB.

    http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/NationalRangeMap2.pdf

  66. avatar JEFF E says:

    even if one was to take the 783sqmi mentioned and argued that ~390sqmi per animal was an excessive amount of animals for the available habitat, how stupid would that argument be?
    Ryan?

  67. avatar JEFF E says:

    390sqmi is half the 783 mentioned (clarification)

  68. avatar Layton says:

    Well — I guess congratulations are in order — or are they really??

    30 breeding pairs is a FAR cry from what the current population of wolves are in Idaho alone. Call it a PART of the original plan — or spin it what ever you want to — facts are that the “wolfies” made a deal that they never intended to keep. That has been proven quite adequately.

    I just attended a statewide bow-hunter jamboree this weekend. At that seminar was a wolf biologist that presented some FACTS about Idaho’s current wolf population. Basically 47 breeding pairs and 83 packs — NOT COUNTING populations in the Selway and the Frank Church. A helluva lot more wolves than originally planned for or agreed to.

    Genetic diversity?? What a crock!! When the original INTRODUCTION of the sub-species of wolves we have here in Idaho was done, the SUPPOSED fact was that genetic exchange had been happening for many years with Canadian wolves, that got the “wolfies” thru the little detail of not introducing other species on top of natives.

    Now we are told that there is NO genetic exchange possible with these small populations!! What a crock of excrement!! You can’t have it both ways folks — evidently except when you search out the right judge!!

    Remember a few months back when I mentioned that I was afraid if the “wolfies” didn’t back off a bit and allow some control measures that I was afraid there could be some pretty significant “backlash” to the detriment of the wolf populations??

    I’ve got a flash for you. I’ve been to these gatherings before and, when the subject of wolves comes up, there has always been a certain number of folks that were willing to take the side of “they were here first” or “they add to the wilderness experience”, etc., etc. This time there was NOT ONE dissenting opinion!! “The wolves are to numerous and something has to be done” was the prevailing sentiment and NOBODY was arguing.

    You can try as you might to accuse all 500 people there of being some sort of ” big bellied, beer swilling, redneck, Cabela’s queens” that have a collective IQ of something less than 100, but I don’t think it will work!!

    Not one of my vehicles has had a gun rack in it for at least 20 years — those days are GONE!!

    CMIYC!!

  69. If there is significant illegal take of wolves, there will be a stronger backlash. This will be doubly true after guys fired up with anger and alcohol have also killed a significant number of dogs, livestock and each other.

    In fact, the temporarily legal shooting of “limpy” in Wyoming might have been a major influence in the favorable outcome in this case.

  70. avatar Salle says:

    My Layton,

    What ferocious sentiments you have….

  71. avatar Layton says:

    C’mon Ralph,

    You aren’t usually into the stereotype game.

    There are plenty of folks out there that will NOT be “fired up by anger and alcohol” and that damn sure will know what they are shooting at. What makes you think anything else??

  72. avatar Ryan says:

    “even if one was to take the 783sqmi mentioned and argued that ~390sqmi per animal was an excessive amount of animals for the available habitat, how stupid would that argument be?”
    Ryan?

    About equal with the genetic diversity argument pushed forth by Judge Malloy and the plaintiffs.

    The 9th circuit court is the most liberal court in the nation. Enjoy the reprieve there, when it hits the supreme court it will end up overtuned most likely.. 75% of the rulings the 9th put out last year were over turned that went to the supreme court. (50% by a unamious vote most of any appelate court).

    Wolves will get a couple more years in legal proceedings until the supreme court ends this nonsense.

  73. avatar Ryan says:

    “In fact, the temporarily legal shooting of “limpy” in Wyoming might have been a major influence in the favorable outcome in this case.’

    Ralph,

    If that is true then it proves the point that this ruling was made more on emotion than sound science and law. Violating a basic tenet of the court system, typical of many federal judges in the west.

  74. avatar JEFF E says:

    Layton,
    What part of “minimum” of 30/300 do you still not understand?

  75. avatar Salle says:

    The administration was caught acting with its bad attitude politics hanging out and was also caught blatantly playing a “punishing game” with the agencies that once had the authority to over-rule them before they had a common nature-hating facilitator in the top seat in the government stacking the cabinet and supreme court with cronies.

    THAT is what will change this next election.

  76. avatar Mike says:

    Ryan, did you vote Bush?

  77. avatar JB says:

    Layton,

    I’m not sure if you saw my original post, but since you’re challenging the genetic exchange component, I’ll reiterate (these are quotes from the case and 1994 EIS):

    “1994 EIS, the Fish & Wildlife Service identified specific recovery criteria of “[t]hirty or more breeding pairs comprising some 300+ wolves in a metapopulation (a population that exists as partially isolated sets of subpopulations) with genetic exchange between subpopulations.” 1994 EIS, App. 9, at 42; 73 Fed. Reg. at 10,521.”

    [and]

    “The 1994 EIS clearly requires “a metapopulation . . . with genetic exchange between subpopulations.” 1994 EIS, App. 9, at 42. The 1994 EIS does not define the term “genetic exchange” because the term can only mean one thing: exchange of genetic material between subpopulations.”

    [and finally]

    “…the Service continues to stand behind one component of the recovery criteria—30 breeding pairs and 300 wolves—but rejects another component—genetic exchange—as unnecessary. In doing so, the Service provides no new evidence or research that did not exist when the recovery criteria were established. The Service cannot change course without reason. ”

    I’m not sure how this is “spin” or a “crock.” You seem upset because FWS is not holding to the original bargain. Well, here’s the original EIS and it clearly requires the “genetic exchange between subpopulations.” I agree with you, FWS changed the rules, and Molloy called them on it.

    By the way, the genetic exchange you mention was between one of the subpopulations and the Montana wolves. The EIS clearly specifies the exchange of genetic material “between subpopulations.” Presumably, this means that there is at least some exchange of genes between all of the groups.

    Again, let’s maintain some perspective. According to the 2007 wolf report there were an estimated 188 wolves in Wyoming outside of Yellowstone National Park. Everyone expected this outcome; the sky is not falling. All the S-S-S talk is not making Wyoming look any more hospitable and would only serve to prolong federal management.

  78. avatar Layton says:

    Jeffy,

    I understand it —- I always have — methinks it is you that plays with words.

    You KNOW what the original agreement was — you choose to be a “spin doctor” I’m not going there anymore.

    JB,

    “The EIS clearly specifies the exchange of genetic material “between subpopulations.” Presumably, this means that there is at least some exchange of genes between all of the groups.”

    You are usually one of the more logical folk here. Sometimes we even manage to have a semi-civil discussion. However this word “presumably” seems to fail you in this case.

    If the EIS would have MEANT “all subpopulations”, PRESUMABLY it would have said “between ALL subpopulations. But I guess that’s just a presumption on my part and I don’t usually deal with those.

  79. avatar timz says:

    “facts are that the “wolfies” made a deal that they never intended to keep. That has been proven quite adequately.”

    Another lame reference to the “deal”. Layton please provide the information as to what “wolfies” made this deal.

  80. avatar JB says:

    Layton, as you well know the purpose of genetic exchange is to ensure a viable META-POPULATION (a group of interbreeding subpopulations). If one subpopulation is not breeding with the others (i.e. isolated) than it isn’t part of the meta-population and no protection (from inbreeding depression) is conferred, as there is no genetic exchange between the groups. My use of the word presumably was sarcasm, as I thought the above was obvious.

  81. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Attempts made by anti-wolf factions to delegitimize the court are no different than any attempts to do the same in the past with other issues. These attempts are as irresponsible as they are ignorant. The “deal” made – the law – called for “genetic exchange” – There was no “deal” premised on numbers being the unique condition for delisting. This decision vindicates that assessment as likely to be a correct interpretation of law.

    Those with no respect for the law are most likely to be ignorant of its sound interpretation and belligerent in its administration.

    What a disgraceful thing to see how unabashedly the anti-wolf crowd is – how willing these folk are to project illegitimacy onto the court – like a school-child throwing a tantrum at the revocation of his bullying behavior. The legitimacy of the courts is an important thing – whether we get what we want or not – and holding reverence for that, whether we get what we want or not, is extremely important to the country as a whole.

    How often do we hear enviros spiting the court or attempting to draw decisions into the political mud-slinging ?

    Layton says :

    Remember a few months back when I mentioned that I was afraid if the “wolfies” didn’t back off a bit and allow some control measures that I was afraid there could be some pretty significant “backlash” to the detriment of the wolf populations??

    What a shameful consideration ! To hold that the proper enforcement of law and preservation of a species ought be blackmailed by visceral belligerence and threats of lawless reprisal ? This is disgraceful Layton.

    What is similarly ridiculous your comment :

    This time there was NOT ONE dissenting opinion!!

    An anecdotal account of the universal solidarity you claim can now be found among “these gatherings” followed by Ralph’s response and then your accusation that he is “stereotyping” ? Do you not see the absurdity of your claim at universality and then criticism of a response, holding to your claim of universality, as being “stereotyping” ?

    Ryan says :

    If that is true then it proves the point that this ruling was made more on emotion than sound science and law.

    Read the decision. If you’ve already read the decision. Read the decision again. What happened to “limpy” is illustration of the threat of “irrevocable harm,” prescribed by law, as a necessary hurdle to enjoin an agency decision.

  82. avatar JEFF E says:

    Layton,
    It is in the original plan and every revision of the plan, and in Judge Malloy’s decision. A “minimum” population. You just can’t get around that so you choose to try to ignore it. Pathetic.

  83. avatar Layton says:

    What a huge bunch of pseudo intellectual twaddle!!

    “Another lame reference to the “deal”. Layton please provide the information as to what “wolfies” made this deal.”

    “Another” reference?? So you do admit we have been thru this before!! I’m not wasting my time on that one anymore — you know who “made the deal”, if you don’t YOU look it up!!

    Brian,

    “What a shameful consideration ! To hold that the proper enforcement of law and preservation of a species ought be blackmailed by visceral belligerence and threats of lawless reprisal ? This is disgraceful Layton.”

    Where was it that I “held that the proper enforcement etc. etc. etc.? All I did was refer to something that had been previously stated.

    Disgraceful?? Disgraceful is sitting on your butt and filing lawsuit after lawsuit to plug up the courts in an effort to allow the puppies to reproduce and wreak MORE havoc than they already have. No, it’s not just disgraceful, it’s absolutely disgusting!!

    The only missing parts of this whole “singing to the choir” exhibition of total glee are a little dissertation on how the whole thing is caused by cows grazing on public ground and a long dissertation on the evils of the present administration using the word oligarchy at least three times!! Oh yes, and then we should have some sort of a lecture by Mr. BLAA is he ill or something??

    CMIYC

  84. avatar JEFF E says:

    Awww Layton, don’t go away mad, just go away

  85. avatar Layton says:

    Ah heck Jeffy, I don’t want to get in a duel of wits with you —- you’re only half armed!!

    CMIYC

  86. avatar JEFF E says:

    which is twice over enough to deal with you

  87. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    The only missing parts of this whole “singing to the choir” exhibition of total glee are a little dissertation on how the whole thing is caused by cows grazing on public ground

    this is the first rational thing i’ve read from you Layton…

  88. avatar bob jackson says:

    In reading Ed Bangs defense of delisting I’d have to say he and other personnel who defended this delisting had sold their biologist souls. They laid with the political higher ups (federal job advancement?) and hoped everything would have been quiet after this….except the judge showed them for what they did. Now it is being rubbed in their faces because they have to be the mouth piece for the political hacks who bought them.

    What do they do? Become red necks and share earthy talk with the locals, reevaluate their career and start back to their purist beginnings professionally….or do they retire? For most, I’d say the latter. They will leave govt. service apathetic and or bitter. They justify knowing they were used but feel they don’t have the energy to better themselves as the dignified humans they want to be. I’d say a sad sack of ….. .

    I would hope a few of them will come to believe they have only one life to live, no matter what that duration is, and then start taking the aggressive actions of wolf preservation they all knew was needed from the beginning.

    What are these moves? First and easiest (as well as most effective) is to solicite a $100,000 reward to anyone turning in wolf poachers. In Thorofare country, where I worked, the poaching of bears went way down with the Audubon $30,000 reward for the turning in of griz poachers. Guides would get to fueding and turn the ole buddy in. It got them a new 4×4 also, by the way. The $100 thou today would also get them that aluminum horse trailer they always coveted and a couple lively horses to boot. It would also buy them some more grinding discs for the 4″grinder used to take off the outside heel of the White Packers.

    Second, these biologists have to become ethically strong for their own sake even if it means the chance of professionally dying. At least they will have their boots on. Too many govt. employees I knew in the 30 years I worked in Yellowstone would be real strong and puffed up …as long as their bosses thought the same. Change administration and views and they became experts on Chameleons. Just look at the snowmobile turn about by administration in YNP. The best example I had was to watch the second order pack horse I had in Thorofare. He’d squeal, charge, show his teeth and all sorts of stuff …as long as he was on the other side of the corral fence from the big boys.

    It is sickening to know my college trained peers, especially those in govt., who should be fighting tooth and nail for any and every endangered species, bow to politics. The Wyoming capitulation by these biologists was worse than sickening. Again, I say they sold their souls.

    How can they look their wives and girl friends in the eye when they, with the same person before them, originally admired them for that fire of conviction. But then again, maybe that is why so many of these biologists had significant others leave them. No, from what I saw in Yellowstone it wasn’t the over dedication to work, but the hung heads, dropped shoulders, shuffling feet and dull eyes that made spouses leave. I hope a few of these wolf boys can rise from the depths of shame and do what they know needs to be done to truly get wolves in shape for delisting.

    As far as the livestock community and public lands I hope these biologists put the ball back on these same cattlemen wanting to kill all wolves ….and demand these supposedly rugged cattlemen start raising cattle the way they view themselves. Give cattle the tools. Give them their sharp horns and their balls back. Manage for social order herds where the role of protection is a given by not only the mother but by all the males and rest of the extended matriarchal components. Cattle can defend themselves very well, thank you maam, if they are the team evolution gave them. It should be a condition of any public lands grazing lease that cattle are raised like the cattle of old.

    Biologists have been meek for way to long. What, afraid of losing your job??? Justify capitulation so you can get the GS grade advances to support a family that has no respect left for you? Come on wives, defend your husband to do right instead of attacking me or the greater me (“Dude here”) for knowing in your heart what your spouse is. Yes, he is a good father but why do you have that picture of him proudly on a horse in the mountains, a picture from 25 years ago and prominently displayed under the glass on your office desk or on the dresser next to the bed?? Why not a picture of him, as you know him today, shaking hands with the politican who made him defend a Judas position? I’d say it is not as good of a intimate fantasy, thats why.

    This court ruling shows the govt biologists for what they are….those who knew and didn’t speak up and those as decision makers that capitulated while knowing better. I ask biologists to take the shame due them and then start doing something about it.

  89. avatar Ryan says:

    Mike,
    I didn’t vote for either canidate. Not that it is any of your business. I do eat meat, own guns, get hard bound cabelas catalogs, and own a truck with oversive tires so you can probably make a reasonable assumption of my political views.

    Brian,
    I read the decision twice. Its typical leglislation from the bench. I found his decision a stretch to say the least seeing as how wolves from yellowstone have been seen all across the west and are dispersing and reproducing at an astounding rate. In Idaho the populations are over the entire EIS goal for the whole region right now. His decision was based on emotion and not sound science. The wyoming plan I would see his issue with the use of OR instead of and.

  90. avatar Ryan says:

    Bob,

    Why have both state and federal biologists all called for Delisting. Are they all wrong? Did president bush brainwash them all?

  91. avatar bob jackson says:

    Why did most Germans, being good people, follow the sadistic wishes of a few to justify the persecution of their Jewish neighbors? Sadly, most Homo sapiens are lemmings without the social order evolution gave them.

    If you are adhering to the views of either “party” without dissecting those views may I suggest you are following the pied piper to the sea. At its basic origins this is how we get mob behavior, prejudice, lynchings and human stampedes. You can do better. Loyalty in any other than evolutionary order is an dysfunctional emotion that will always find its Judas. Try “common cause” if you want to follow others,…. but of course this does not give quite the buzz of social order emotions. It will give you the confidence to question others views, however. You might even find some reading to suplement Cabella’s.

  92. avatar Bob Fanning says:

    As I follow this string of conversations I can’t help but notice how far from science and genetics this thing wandered in 48 hours .
    I hope Honnold puts Bob Jackson up as an expert.
    Here is how the “other side” sees Judge Don Molloy’s opinion that triggered a future trial.
    Eyeball rolling up in the back of your head rants and personal attacks will not be posted.

    Genetics Defective in Wolf Re-listing :Wildlife and People

    http://westinstenv.org/wildpeop/2008/07/19/genetics-defective-in-wolf-delisting/#comments

  93. avatar Ryan says:

    BJ,

    Enjoying your sterotyping and literary practice, but you have failed to answer my question. I am sure any biologist in there right mind can’t agree with every policy of this administration or vote down party lines, so why again are they for it, there has to be some merit.

  94. avatar Ryan says:

    BF,

    Can you poke some holes in that article for me. The logic seems sound as wolves in eastern states have been shown to be Hybrid with coyotes and domestic dogs.

  95. avatar cobra says:

    Ryan,
    Man your taking a beating on here. What i don’t understand is why should we in Idaho be penalized because Wyoming can’t get their sh** together. I live in North Idaho and we’re seeing more and more wolves all the time. Actually the police have been called out in a nearby town because of wolves coming right to the edge of town. Wolf numbers in Idaho are fine and I’m sure we make their packs per sqaure mile quotas and then some. I knew when certain people started displaying wolves that they had killed on the net that we would have problems. If you had to kill a wolf fine but don’t display it with all the blood and gore. Any animal deserves better respect than that. Plus all it does is make the people that are borderline pro or con instantly shift. Hopfully the judge will allow some control over our situation in Idaho. Oh yeah Ryan, if you need some other reading besides your Cabelas catalogue I have some Bass Pro Shops or Eastmans Outoors I can send you. Same goes for you Bob, maybe bring you back to earth for awhile.

  96. avatar Ryan says:

    Cobra,

    I get Eastmans bowhunting journal, Huntin Fool, but not a huge fan of bass pro. The picture posting was pretty stupid, although I believe they were taken by pro wolf people at check stations, none of the pics showed up on the hunting websites with a hunters story attached hence my guess that they were taken for propoganda. I wouldn’t hold your breath on the judge giving the states any control. This will go to the 9th circuit and end up like the columbia’s sea lion removal program. 🙁

  97. avatar JB says:

    “Disgraceful is sitting on your butt and filing lawsuit after lawsuit to plug up the courts in an effort to allow the puppies to reproduce and wreak MORE havoc than they already have.”

    Wreak more havoc? Seriously. No, I mean it…seriously? You are blowing things WAAAAY out of proportion. It is beyond reason to suggest that wolves in the West are wreaking havoc. C’mon Layton!

    I posted a similar response recently on another thread, but it deserves repeating: According to FWS, there are only ~200 wolves in Wyoming outside of YNP (188 from the 2007 wolf report). That’s 200, not 200,000; not 20,000, not even 2,000. Two fricking hundred.

    If people want to see what it looks like when wildlife “wreak havoc, I suggest a trip to my home state of Michigan where white-tailed deer number roughly 2 million (that’s MILLION or approximately 10,000 times as many wolves as you have in Wyoming outside YNP). White tail cause over 60,000 car accidents EVERY YEAR (compare that with a few hundred sheep and cattle); oh, and I should mention that these accidents result in roughly 5 human deaths a year (how many people have wolves killed?). Now, let’s talk about damages, shall we? Try HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS to cars, ornamental plants, and crops.

    And you know what the best part is? Nobody complains! Well, except for the insurance companies. My guess is everyone in the U.S. pays higher insurance premiums because of white-tailed deer and I can’t recall every hearing anyone complain. So forgive me if I don’t have any sympathy for people who continually complain about 1,500 wild critters in a three state region.

    Here’s my advice, take a lesson from Midwesterners: suck it up, maintain some perspective, and quit crying. Wyoming will modify its law, FWS will alter its delisting actions, and we can all go out for a beer together. There are more important things to worry about than a few hundred wolves.

  98. avatar Buffaloed says:

    FYI

    Here is an email that was sent to all IDFG employees by the director Cal Groen regarding the definition of worry. It seems that to “worry” does not mean what one might think it does. Is this a convenient “out” for the average Joe and prosecutors with regard to killing wolves that look at you funny? I think so.
    ——————————————
    There has been much discussion on the definition of “molesting” concerning the word “worrying” as it applies to wolves. Below is the legal intent. Thanks, Cal

    From: Strack, Steve
    Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2008 4:21 PM
    To: Groen,Cal
    Subject: Senate Bill 1371- meaning of “worry”

    Cal, as we discussed earlier today, the term “worry” has a definite and narrow meaning as applied to predators. The American Heritage Dictionary (4th ed.), defines worry to mean: “to pull or tear at something with or as if with the teeth.”

    Here’s the definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary:

    Worry: 2 a: to harass by tearing, biting, or snapping especially at the throat b: to shake or pull at with the teeth . Link: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worry

    I would assert that the Legislature, in adopting Senate Bill 1374, intended to use the term “worry” as defined above.

    The term “worry” was used in Senate Bill 1374 to describe the actions of a wolf that would constitute molestation. It was not intended to describe the effects of the wolf’s action on livestock. Therefore, the other common usage of “worry,” to “feel uneasy or concerned,” would be nonsensical. Courts will avoid nonsensical interpretations of statutes.

    Steven W. Strack
    Office of the Attorney General
    P.O. Box 83720
    Boise, ID 83720-0010
    Phone: 208-334-4143
    Fax: 208-854-8072

  99. Buffaloed,

    Thanks for posting that. I had heard about Strack’s memo, but I hadn’t seen it.

    The way Strack interprets “worry” actually makes Idaho’s law not as bad and not something a person who only thinks a wolf looks at them wrong could use as a defense for killing it.

  100. Bob Fanning wrote,

    Here is how the “other side” sees Judge Don Molloy’s opinion that triggered a future trial.
    Eyeball rolling up in the back of your head rants and personal attacks will not be posted.
    Genetics Defective in Wolf Re-listing :Wildlife and People
    http://westinstenv.org/wildpeop/2008/07/19/genetics-defective-in-wolf-delisting/#comments

    However, the purity of Yellowstone gray wolves genetics is almost certain. The controlling article is The genealogy and genetic viability of reintroduced Yellowstone grey wolves. Bridgett M. Vonholdt,* Daniel R . Stahler,*† Douglas W. Smith,† Dent A. Earl,* John P. Pollinger* And Robert K. Wayne*. Published in Molecurlar Ecology 2007.

    You can read the abstract at http://www.citeulike.org/user/skumagai/article/2151397

  101. avatar bob jackson says:

    Cobra, I stop at Sydney’s Cabella’s on interstate 80 everytime I head West. Been doing it for years.

    Ryan, Every govt biologist knows advancement entails networking. It doesn’t take much to be black balled in this profession. You go with the flow or you are relegated to a Indian Reservation, or some small park or refuge for the rest of your life. Those with different opinions end up leaving to become teachers.

    Since there are very few private or non profit jobs….and even these are filled from govt. ranks and its accoladed status …. the old saying in the govt. where “one goes along to get along” is appropriate to the wolf management.

    In wolf biologists defense I will have to say most likely capitulation came about because they knew there was no way they could carry on in the present manner. The attitude was, “ya, we will give them their wolves and then everyone will see their plan of protection didn’t work”. The only problem is the general consensus would be, “yes, it was an honorable idea but wolves just won’t work in the 21rst century”. Thus we have no wolves in the end.

    The problem with wolf recovery was the same as George Bush promoted with his “Mission Accomplished” banner. The solutions I listed in the previous post should have been in place from the beginning. The renewal needs to come from the grass roots. These biologists need to caucus on their own (forget perdiem),set down and start the procedures and enthusiasm again. Then they need to present their plan to the big boys. Of course those already sold out will not be there and thus it will be easy to identify them.

  102. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    cobra, Layton and Ryan: learn to read, reason and spell, then come back to debate/discuss.

    Bob Fanning: the fact that you follow and refer to Mike Dubrasich of the Western Institute for Study of the Environment speaks volumes about your character.

    From http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2008/02/27/news/local/news02.txt

    “It seems the Sierra Club is up to their old sick tricks of burning down America’s forests and all the neighboring private property, too,” Dubrasich wrote. “The raging arsonist commies at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals share the slime pit. If you know a Sierra Club member, please feel free to set their home on fire.”

    He calls the court “wacky commie judges hell-bent on destroying America,” and suggests “they should be spit upon whenever they go out in public.”

    “Look,” Dubrasich said, “you advocate burning my forest, I say feel free to burn your house.”

    How about a direct answer, Bob Fanning, to a direct question: do you think Sierra Club members should have their homes burned?

    BW ~ Bob Wharff ~ paging Bob Wharff, Executive Director for Some Sportsmen for Some Fish and All The Big Game and Predators We Can Legally Kill of Wyoming ~ where’s his spew about the injunction?

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  103. avatar Bob Fanning says:

    direct answer, to a direct question.

    NO. Demonization of your opponent and personal attacks are a waste of time in litigation ,detracts from your own advocacy and marginalizes your credibility.

    “The herd has declined from an estimated 4,100 animals to 600 in six years, in large part because wolves prey heavily on newborn calves.”

    http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/wildlife/wolves/story/469720.html

    Judge Molloy makes no mention of the fact that even if Yellowstone wolves would somehow remain isolated, any harm, genetically, is at least 60 years away but the harm they have caused to their prey base is profound and immediate.
    Does the prey base not also need genetic diversity for the long term health of wolves?

    I cant stand ANYONE who believes his stance is uniquely heroic, even though everyone else he knows agrees with him. When they run into someone who disagrees, well, he must be evil. It’s all about the self image {style} they dedicate their entire lives cultivating.

    When it becomes all about THEM , the whole world suffers.
    Pride is a sin , humility a virtue.

    Lets all stick to the facts and law.

  104. So, Bob, I’m curious as this relates to another issue. The U.S. Cattlemen Association has called for reducing elk herds because they claim there are too many elk in Greater Yellowstone. There has been saber-rattling against elk by regional stockmen and vets as well.

    Are you against the ongoing decimation of bison by the feds and Montana, the test and slaughter programs of elk in Wyoming, and the proposed reduction of elk herds by the three states?

    This is a sincere question. One of the groups working against stopping wolf delisting – the Safari Club – has quite ironically shown interest on stopping the slaughter of buffalo (in part because they would like to see real bison habitat in Montana so that they can hunt and kill them) and in part because they see elk under threat from the livestock industry.

    If wolves are decimating their prey herds (elk, chief among them), as you claim, will you at least join wildlife advocates in protecting them from the livestock industry – and with that, goes buffalo as well. We will never agree and will fight on wolves; I just wonder if there are any points of accidental convergence.

  105. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Bob Fanning Says: “Demonization of your opponent and personal attacks are a waste of time in litigation…”

    I’ve been in a few courtrooms myself, and “demonization of your opponent and personal attacks” are tactics frequently used by attorneys.

    Bob Fanning Says: “Judge Molloy makes no mention of the fact that even if Yellowstone wolves would somehow remain isolated, any harm, genetically, is at least 60 years away but the harm they have caused to their prey base is profound and immediate.”

    Support your claim that it will take at least 60 years for wolves to display any genetic harm if they remain isolated.

    Bob Fanning Says: “Lets all stick to the facts and law.”

    You’re such a hypocrite ~ you suggest we “stick to the fact and law” while referring to refer to Mike Dubrasich of the Western Institute for Study of the Environment ~ http://westinstenv.org/wildpeop/2008/07/19/genetics-defective-in-wolf-delisting/#comments ~ who spews:

    “There already are thousands of wolves in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho…”

    “They are decimating deer and elk herds and attacking sheep, cattle, horses, pets and other domestic animals.”

    “They are terrorizing rural residents.”

    “They kill for sport on killing sprees, not for food, evidenced by the fact that wolves take a bite or two from their dead (or almost dead) prey and move on.”

    AND: “It seems the Sierra Club is up to their old sick tricks of burning down America’s forests and all the neighboring private property, too,” Dubrasich wrote. “The raging arsonist commies at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals share the slime pit. If you know a Sierra Club member, please feel free to set their home on fire.”

    Bob Fanning, how about posting some verbiage from one of your early “Friends of the Northern Elk Herd” handouts.

    I should have saved some I picked up in Gardiner.

    They weren’t worth the paper they were printed on.

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  106. avatar JB says:

    Jim,

    On that topic, I wonder how many more elk, bison, and mule deer Montana, Wyoming, or Idaho could support if those animals weren’t competing with cattle for forage on public lands? It would be interesting to see an economic analysis of the benefits of using public lands for livestock production versus using them for habitat for native species (ungulates and otherwise).

    JB

  107. Bob Fanning,

    To reiterate what Mack Bray wrote, given your long-standing concern about the number of elk in the Northern Range elk herd, I am surprised that you haven’t been all over Montana DOL, APHIS, the Montana Stockgrowers Association, etc. for even hinting about culling or killing off the huge elk population in area in their effort to eliminate brucellosis.

    If you have been doing something on this that has escaped our attention, this is an opportunity to tell about it.

  108. avatar Bob Fanning says:

    Mack P. Bray says’
    You’re such a hypocrite ~ you suggest we “stick to the fact and law”

    Yea Mac, I’m in the case you’re not.

    ESA dictates the trial be held on “best available science”…divorce law is where you find the personal stuff. Honnolds case is on genetics. Stick to genetics. The case is exclusively to be decided on genetics.

    You want to discuss Mitochondrial DNA and my friend and our expert Dr. Matt Cronin Ph.D papers and works on the aforementioned, have at ‘er .

    You want to call names and place labels because you can’t control the fact that I’ve encroached on this turf and you have no substantive rebuttal; I’m busy .

    Yes Mr. Mc Donald, philosophically there are “points of accidental convergence.”that being said FOTNYEH has focused their exclusive attention on this wolf case at this time.
    Remember that Mac, as you pour your coffee, brush your teeth, eat your food…anytime, every time ,all the time…I’m in the case and you’re not. You can’t control a thing, nothing. Your sphere of influence stops here Mac and goes no further , ever.

  109. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Bob Fanning, you’re one egotistical hypocrite.

    Support your claim that it will take at least 60 years for wolves to display any genetic harm if they remain isolated.

    “ESA dictates the trial be held on “best available science…”

    Demonstrate that the Endangered Species Act dictates this trial be held on “best available science.”

    “…divorce law is where you find the personal stuff.”

    Bullshit. “Personal stuff” is found in far more courts than divorce courts.

    “The case is exclusively to be decided on genetics.”

    Wrong.

    “I’m in the case and you’re not. You can’t control a thing, nothing. Your sphere of influence stops here Mac and goes no further , ever.”

    Really? Fanning’s full of himself. This is the guy that wants to take the gray wolf issue to the United States Supreme Court. But he needs money to do so. If you’re a Fanning Follower, send him money. And lots of it.

    Remember, Bob, that as you pour your coffee, brush your teeth, eat your food ~ anytime, every time, all the time, you wolf opponents are losing this cultural war. In the end, those of use that value wildlife, all wildlife, including all predators, will prevail.

    How about posting some verbiage from one of your early “Friends of the Northern Elk Herd” handouts.

    I should have saved some I picked up in Gardiner.

    They weren’t worth the paper they were printed on.

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  110. So, Bob, I want you to be clear. You personally are against what the U.S. Cattlemen Association has called for in further culling bison and elk herds?

    You are against the test and slaughter program of elk by Wyoming?

    You would support real habitat for bison in Montana?

    You don’t agree with the state vets that elk numbers need to be reduced to prevent the spread of brucellosis?

    And, furthermore, if even you agree with some of that, would Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd – even if it continues to focus on the wolf issue – at least state a position that it is against the culling of elk herds (and bison herds) by the government? And, if not, why won’t it?

    Thanks,
    Jim

  111. avatar Jay says:

    I’m still wondering if Mr. Fanning manned up and made good on the bet put forth by the news writer about Bob’s assertion that the Northern Range elk herd would be extinct in 3 years (which he claimed back in ’03 or ’04)…seems there’s still elk on the Northern Range, so whaddya say Bobby? Did you pay up, or did you weasel?

  112. avatar Jay says:

    One other comment regarding Bobby Fanning: “…I’m in the case, and you’re not.” So how’s that going for you? Seems your participation didn’t quite have the effect you were hoping for, eh? Not something someone with a modicum of sense would be bragging about, being on the losing side, but you keep patting yourself on the back on that one.

  113. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Bob Fanning,

    I’m in the case and you’re not. You can’t control a thing, nothing.

    Mack P. Bray is as much “in” the case as anyone. All of us who care about the proper management of wolves are “in” ~ Bob, you have no idea what you’re talking about in this regard.

    As for the hypocrisy concerning the Cattleman’s/Stockgrower’s move to slaughter elk right alongside bison — Bob Fannining says :

    that being said FOTNYEH has focused their exclusive attention on this wolf case at this time.

    This just goes to show the lack of integrity these groups have at keeping it about the subject of their advocacy. SFW in Idaho is no different, when the state proposes slaughtering the premier big game animal, bighorn sheep, to placate Livestock – Nate Helm has nothing to say.

    I wonder – is it that they’re afraid of taking on Livestock ? That’d be pretty funny – a bunch of environmentalists (BFC, WWP, Buffalo Allies) with more backbone to take on Livestock than these so-called hunter groups. HA ! sorta runs against the whole idea these folk have been slinging about how enviros are wimpy.

    that being said FOTNYEH has focused their exclusive attention on this wolf case at this time.

    Mark this down folks ~ this is one for the record books.

    that being said FOTNYEH has focused their exclusive attention on this wolf case at this time.

    HA!

  114. avatar JB says:

    Brian, Jim:

    The actions (and inactions) of groups like SFW and FOTNYEH speak volumes about their fundamental purpose. If they were truly concerned with the advancement of wildlife interests, answers to Jim’s and Mack’s questions would be simple and quick. However, the truth is that they cannot divorce themselves from the anti-predator rhetoric and ideologies that have made for such good fund-raising. The result is both hypocritical and counter-productive: it indicates their primary interest is the destruction of predators, not the preservation of deer, elk, moose, etc. as they claim. It’s an ideological position, not an interest-based position.

  115. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Come on, JB ~ Bob Wharff, Executive Director for Some Sportsmen for Some Fish and All The Big Game and Predators We Can Legally Kill of Wyoming, insists his group is not anti-predator, but is pro-sportsman.

    Don’t you believe what he says?

    😉

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  116. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Here’s Todd Wilkinson’s followup on his challenge to Bob Fanning: http://www.headwatersnews.org/todd021204.html

    From the followup:

    In a recent letter to a newspaper, Fanning made these statements and assertions:

    “The Yellowstone ecosystem has become a biological desert.”

    “We predict that the largest migrating elk herd on Earth [the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd] will be completely extinct in three years.”

    “We predict that entire communities in Montana will vanish because no one spoke up for social justice for the people who were forced to live with wolves.”

    “We have correctly predicted everything that has occurred for the past five years. Will someone please prove us wrong?”

    Mr. Fanning insists that by 2008 — one year after he claims the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd is extinct—there will be 4,300 wolves in the interior West consuming 104,000 big game animals a year. He says the death and biological destruction already apparent in his own mind but invisible to most people will spread across all of Montana.

    Bob Fanning claims that ARCTIC wolves were introduced and that they have now mutated ~ where’s the science behind his statement found here ~ http://wolves.wordpress.com/2008/04/01/wolf-253m-brutally-gunned-down-for-fun-near-daniel-wyoming/

    Not to fear, Jay. Bob Fanning says that he’ll take this arctic wolf crap to the SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. That will put an end to this nonsense, eh? Finally. Whew.

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  117. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    JB ~ “interest-based” ? “interest-based” !!! HA ! dang – you must be from the mid-west or something !

    hippie 😉

  118. JB,

    Yes, “Enemies of the Northern Rockies Wolf” doesn’t do much for fundraising, but it’s obvious that if this were just a simple difference of opinion about wolves, then the “friends” and groups like them would be quick to criticize the livestock industry for going after elk.

    A lot of sportsmen understand that; I guess things like this separate sportsmen serious about their cause from those with other agendas.

    Jim

  119. avatar jerry b says:

    Some of you mentioned the Billings Gazette website and the comments made about SSS and some implied threats to Molloy.
    By chance, did anyone make copies of those comments before they were removed?
    If so, please get hold of me thru Ralph.
    Thanks

  120. avatar JB says:

    Mack, this is my personal favorite: ““We have correctly predicted everything that has occurred for the past five years. Will someone please prove us wrong?””

    If you correctly predict “everything that has occurred for the past five years” I think you could make a pretty good living regardless of wolves! 😉

    – – – –

    Brian, Ahh yes, you’ve caught me. We are simpleton’s in the Midwest. We expect people to make decisions based on a cup of their best interest, a half-cup of foresight, and at least a couple teaspoons of common sense–all of which seem to be lacking in the politics of the West.

    – – – –

    Jim said: “A lot of sportsmen understand that; I guess things like this separate sportsmen serious about their cause from those with other agendas.”

    Thanks, Jim. Much more simply and eloquently put than my rambling!

  121. avatar JEFF E says:

    Bob Fanning says
    “…Here is how the “other side” sees Judge Don Molloy’s opinion that triggered a future trial…”
    In reference to the preliminary injunction.

    Well Bob this did not trigger a future trial. There will be a trial to hear the lawsuit filed challenging the delisting rule and will/would happen regardless of how the ruling on this injunction panned out.
    You are part of the lawsuit (bob puffs up his chest) and you do not understand that these are two separate procedures. Hmmmmm

  122. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Jerry, someone commented on the Billings Gazette and made implied threats to U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy?

    Don’t those idiots realize that they can be identified through their IP address, down to their name and address and that the Billings Gazette has their IP addresses just as Ralph has our IP addresses?

    Today I talked to the editor of the Billings Gazette about the fact that they publish comments that advocate breaking the law, i.e., SSS – shoot, shovel and shut-up. He said he would bring up my thoughts to their comment review team and that they might reconsider their policies regarding such. Good.

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  123. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Very astute observation, JB…! Yes, if we could predict “everything that has occurred for the past five years” we’d be billionaires…!

    JEFF E, Bob Fanning may not be an attorney, but, by gosh, he’s going to take this arctic wolf crap to the SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    Actually, I predict that those of us that value wildlife, ALL WILDLIFE, INCLUDING PREDATORS, will prevail in this culture war we’re engaged in.

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  124. avatar JEFF E says:

    I believe threatening a Federal judge is a felony, any judge, and if the Montana Attorney General isn’t knocking on the gazette’s door with a search warrant then there is malfeasance happening.

  125. avatar JEFF E says:

    maybe we will hit the trifecta. Any word on Ron Gilletts assault trial.
    I’d say about six months-12months in Canyon county jail would be about right.

  126. avatar Catbestland says:

    It wasn’t just the judge that was threatened. One commenter by the name of “flowergirl” said that SSS thactics should be employed against wolves and enviros. I reported it as offensive and it was removed but I bet they still have some paper on it.

  127. avatar mikarooni says:

    Please, please, all of you, think about what you’re posting above! Please do not insult, bash, or otherwise cause Bob Fanning to have hurt feelings and go away. We need to do everything possible to make him feel comfortable, keep him engaged in the discussion, and keep him talking because he is just flat much too valuable a source when he’s foolishly spilling his guts about his side’s legal strategy. He’s a wonderful asset for wolf conservation everywhere. You just can’t get this kind of inside information on your opponents’ plans in any other legal tussle that I have ever seen. Yes, he’s an idiot, but what a wonderful resource for us.

  128. avatar Catbestland says:

    And in the Casper Star Tribune some degenerate said “it would be fun to watch a wolf rip the guts out of an enviro’s 10 year old daughter.” Pretty sick stuff!!!

  129. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Catbestland, you’re not serious… How’d I miss all this? Do you have a copy of the post or is it still up?

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  130. It has been taken down, Mack.

    I complained about it. Likely others did too

  131. avatar JB says:

    Sickening…and stupid. I can’t believe they don’t see that their actions only serve to support the claims made by conservationists that wolves need federal protection. As someone who would like to see state management–with reasonable plans–I find the actions of these people truly disheartening. Can there ever be peace for the wolf?

  132. avatar Catbestland says:

    Mack,

    I am very serious. And there-in lies the difference between the rest of the world and the anti-wolf sector. If the decision had come down in their favor, we would have complained and grumbled and possibly accused the judge of being in someone’s pocket, but I cannot imagine that any of us would have resorted to vile threats against the judge and others. To me, this proves more than anything that the rancor has little to do with any real threat posed by the presence of wolves but more to do with a deep hatred of anyONE who might interfere with thier control of all things western. Wolves have the mis-fortune of representing that interference to them.

  133. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    From the Powell Tribune ~ http://powelltribune.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=121&Itemid=1

    Wyoming Representative Pat Childers, R-Cody, on the wolf’s genetic viability: “There is nothing preventing the wolves moving around even if they are hunted.”

    Hmmm… I’ve seen photos of wolves killed in Wyoming’s predator zone and they weren’t moving at all.

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  134. avatar Layton says:

    “Hmmm… I’ve seen photos of wolves killed in Wyoming’s predator zone and they weren’t moving at all.”

    Priceless!!

    Mack,

    Please specify where and when you have seen photos of wolves killed ANYWHERE that WERE moving.

    Aren’t you the same dunderhead that suggested that several people posting on this board should ” learn to read, reason and spell, then come back to debate/discuss.”??

    Ain’t it a bitch to get caught 🙂 ?

    CMIYC

  135. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    Layton, you don’t have the good sense God gave you when you were born.

    If you’ve been learning how to read, reason and spell, then go back and read what I wrote and PUT IT IN CONTEXT.

    Then, and only then, will there be the slightest possibility you’ll understand.

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  136. avatar cobra says:

    Mack,
    Just go back through the posts and read carefully what you and the others arre saying and how you are saying it. Kind of looks like a feeding frenzy to me. Somewhat like a pack of wolves perhaps. I would also like to add tht I have read other posts from enviros hat talked about comingup here and killing us hillbilly rednecks, and hoping the wolves get so thick that that start dragging down our kids like they do an elk or deer. These ,were not on Ralphs of course, he’s a little classier than that but they are out there just the same. I know your a wildlife watcher as we all are but just how much do you actually see when your watching? Also how much trouble do you have going through a doorway with a head that big?. Just remember that those who laugh first are not always the ones laughing last

  137. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    cobra, what’s your full real name?

    If you want to see a “feeding frenzy,” go to the Billings Gazette or Casper Star-Tribune and read what wolf haters have to say.

    Where can I find these supposed posts from “enviros hat talked about comingup here and killing us hillbilly rednecks, and hoping the wolves get so thick that that start dragging down our kids like they do an elk or deer.”

    I don’t think these posts exist. If you’re not lying, prove it.

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  138. avatar cobra says:

    Mack<
    Some are on you tube which doesn’t really mean a lot but the others I’ve seen were on the net, can’t recall exactly what page but I will try to find it again and let you know so you can see for yourself. I don’t spend a lot of time on this thing, mainly now to check mail and read the latest on the wolf debate. These people that write these things are the same ones that say they wish all humans would die so the animals can have the earth back to themselves, hopfully no one on this site is that extreme, and for anyone to wish harm to a child doesn’t make sense to me. We may disagree about issues and by we I mean wolf lovers and wolf haters but to wish some of the things I’ve seen on different sites to either side is just plain nuts. I will not use my full name because I have my own business in a small town and things like that can be damaging to a small business. I’m not totally anti but not pro either, just for balance and some say in the matter like most others here.

  139. avatar JB says:

    cobra says: “These people that write these things are the same ones that say they wish all humans would die so the animals can have the earth back to themselves…”

    Cobra, this view point I’ve only ever heard expressed as sarcasm–perhaps you misinterpreted? While it wouldn’t surprise me to find out there are people who actually believe this, I assure you they are nowhere near the mainstream of environmentalism. Environmentalism is about improving (i.e. cleaning up, restoring, protecting) our natural resources from unbridled use so those resources will be available for future generations.

  140. avatar Catbestland says:

    Cobra,

    Provide one such example of threats to anti-wolfers by pro-wolfers. I check a lot of blogs and newspapers. I don’t believe they exist. If you wish to see the threats to pro-wolfers from antis, just go to the afore-mentioned newspapers. They abound there much in the same way that threats against Civil Rights workers did in the south just a few decades ago. And for that fact there has never been a case proven in the US where a wolf has injured or even threatened a human, so why all the hatred against them? And don’t say it is because of the threat to livestock. Domestic dogs kill more livestock than do wolves each year. Is it because of the percieved inteference in the lives of western stockmen by outsiders that the wolf represents?

  141. avatar Don Riley says:

    http://www.helenair.com/articles/2008/07/23/ap-state-mt/d9236e7o0.txt

    Isabella, I guess Gillett”s nightmare has turned into a day dream.

  142. avatar Catbestland says:

    “Now it is all out war.” Gillett says. This is my point exactly about the behavior of anti-wolfers. If Gillett’s actions before were not war, I would say this man is going to be very dangerous to anyone with even the slightest interest in seeing protecting wolves. Watch out all!!!

  143. avatar JB says:

    Cat said: “And for that fact there has never been a case proven in the US where a wolf has injured or even threatened a human, so why all the hatred against them?”

    Cat, this is one pro-wolf myth that needs to die. Wolves are large wild carnivores that will, under certain conditions, attack people–even in North America. McNay (2002) documented 80 cases of wolf aggression toward people in Alaska in Canada from 1900 to 2000. However, from 1969 to 2000, only 18 cases were classified as “unprovoked” and of these, only 7 involved wolves that were not habituated to people. Your point is valid, wolves are generally extremely weary of people, but exceptions to this rule do exist.

    CITE: McNay (2002) Wolf-Human Interactions in Alaska and Canada: A Review of the Case History. Wildlife Society Bulletin, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Autumn, 2002), pp. 831-843

  144. avatar JB says:

    Just to follow up on the comment, above. I’m not pointing this out to be a thorn in anyone’s side, or to give fuel to the arguments of those who oppose wolves. I’m pointing out that wolves do and have attacked people because I believe its better to be armed with facts than beliefs.

  145. avatar cobra says:

    Castleband,
    Just because you haven’t seen it it doesn’t exist? I have no reason to make anything up about what was said or written. Actually it doesn’t bother me that much because they don’t know me or people in Idaho that I know. Idaho is a great state and I love living here, there are other people here besides white supremists and meth heads. Those came off another blog that I recently read.
    I could care less what stockman do or think and open range doesn’t bother me in the least. I was around ranching for about 15 years when I was younger and even with cattle in the mountains I never saw the damage done that has been claimed to have been done. If we had problems with predators on cattle or sheep we took care of the problem. I do care about our elk,moose and deer populations and last winter being such a tough one helped the wolves have a hey day. One herd of elk numbering 18 and the other 12 gone and with several carcasses not touched other than the ass eaten out. That bothers me and bothers most sportsmen in the area. This is North Idaho by
    the way so we do not have the huge cattle ranches they do down south and in Montana. There are however a few pets that are making a snack here and there. I’m just curious, if say there was only one herd of elk left say 45 head and two packs of wolves each numbering 10 to 12 would you and the other enviromentalists then agree to some management on the wolves or would you let them eat all the elk and then start canabalism? I know it’s an extreme question and science and so forth says we would never have to make the decision but what if?

  146. avatar Catbestland says:

    Cobra,

    Your hypothetical scenario makes about as much sense as your assertion that just because I can’t find it and you can’t produce it, there are threats by environmentalists out there. The evidence that wolf haters have posted numerous threats against “enviros” is apparent in many local forums. I have seen no threats from “enviros”. The situation you hypothesize would not happen because that large a population of wolves would never develop in and area with so little prey and if some unforeseen occurance befell the prey base, i.e. some wildlife disease, that reduced the prey numbers, wolves would move on. Nature would properly control the situation. Please do yourself a favor and read the “Trophic Cascade” It is a fine article posted on another thread on this blog. You might gain a whole new appreciation for this important species.

  147. Nice discussion about the “quality” of the famous Billings Gazette online forum. Personally I don’t think that even the most explicit comments should be suppressed. After all, such comments only mirror the society out there. The picture would be awfully wrong without them. As hard to endure as they sometimes are. It does not matter if it´s a pro-wolfer versus an anti-wolfer or an enviro against a non-enviro or v.v. The underlying problem is that you have an over-proportionally large amount of very sick people out there! Or is it that these sick characters are proportionally more present on American blogs because a significantly larger proportion – compared to the rest of the world – has access to the web? You´ll find them all around the globe, agreed, but the mass you got is frightening. A friend of mine (from the UK) once said: “What do you expect? Over centuries Europe´s worst left to become Americas finest!”. Oops, what a bold statement (How to adjust font size to very very small)! I hasten to repeat however what I have already said here a few times: Over the years I have met many fine people all across the USA!

  148. Peter, you’ll never find a less patriotic American than me – I’m an anarchist – but isn’t the notion that America was founded by Europe’s worst – the elitist view by some Europeans, really hardly different than what has fueled American history at large – racism, imperialism, etc. (a belief that one group of people is better than another)?

    I have trouble seeing much difference between Europeans and Americans when it comes to basic attitudes of love and hate – just difference in circumstance and context. But, the same prejudices are there in abundance.

    As far as hatred on blogs, there’s truly a real segment of the population – a group that is only emboldened by the anonymity of the net. It’s like the white cloaks of the KKK. Behind a cloak, some people are able to say magnificently hurtful things. They let their true colors out – meet them in person, and they are usually harmless in public.

    I don’t think all speech is free speech and should be allowed to stay. There is speech which is used to intimidate and keep people who traditionally don’t speak from speaking. They use their speech as a weapon to intimidate (say, like a Klan rally or a neo-Nazi march). However much it mirrors society, it must be opposed because it keeps those who haven’t had a voice in society from being able to have that voice. It’s actually anti-free speech to allow it to stand.

    Secondly, there need to be many spaces. There is a strong value in having a space where people from all beliefs and manors of smartness and idiocy have a forum to try and communicate; however, there need to be spaces where people working together can explore the nuances of what they agree on in depth. It can often be far more productive to have a place where the choir can speak with the choir, to have a deeper conversation on their issues – Ralph’s site is a great example of that in practice (even if some of the other cast of characters occasionally make an appearance). In such places, free speech is a product of the discussion horizon of the space. As long as there are also public forums alongside them – where even there, there are limits on the sorts of intimidating speech I mentioned – they are fully appropriate.

    Otherwise, we are simply libertarian (laissez faire) about speech – it’s simply a marketplace of the loudest. Freedom is then vacuous. Instead, we have to recognize that individual speech always happens in a community context.

    If there is a difference of any kind between Europeans and Americans in terms of their speech, perhaps it is the mistaken view held by so many Americans that free speech is an anything goes market. While people are rightly suspicious of a government to regulate speech, that doesn’t mean that speech is so unlimited that abusiveness toward others is appropriate and shouldn’t be fought. We don’t have to give a voice to the sexists, racists, exploiters in our midst. If they are still around and must harbor their hate in silence, then so be it. No one should have to hear it. If Europe has figured out how to keep its Holocaust deniers and others like that from speaking out, then only to that extent is it better – not because we fall trap into thinking that there are inherently finer sorts of people.

  149. avatar JB says:

    Jim, you don’t sound at all like an anarchist to me! 😉

  150. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Jim,

    it ought not be the job of the vociferous to silence themselves for the sake of maintaining a space for those unwilling to raise their voice. this posture is far too permissive and prone the apathy that ails this country.

    if a hateful sentiment is expressed – even if it intimidates – it is illustrious of a condition. To be averse to the expression of that condition enough to regulate it – or disallow it – robs its respondents of speech (the potentially galvanized condition favorable to response) as well.

    I would rather see these existing (whether we see/hear it or not) tensions pounded out than regulate a public realm as if they not exist.

    Moderated forums like Ralph’s are nice – because I can visit the site knowing that there is a standard, and I value that standard of exchange – it’s why I am more apt to visit this site than read through the hogwash comments on forums like NewWest. But that self-regulation is all-together a different thing than a publicly enforced regulation of speech.

    The problem I have with “free speech” is that it is equated to money – money is seen as a function of speech in our democracy. That is not right.

    We (American society) do have to give the “sexists, racists, exploiters in our midst” the opportunity of their forums – because the benefit of a galvanized response to those voices is more valuable than a space that pretends to be free of them.

  151. No one should pretend to be free of such voices. They shouldn’t be allowed to intimidate the silence from others.

    There are those who would be willing to raise their voices if there weren’t material consequences in doing so. It is not the job of the vociferous to make the voiceless speak, but it is the job of everyone to make sure they have the opportunity to speak – and aren’t drowned out by intimidation or other forms of noise (like money – money is speech; the problem is that it is used to drown out the speech of others.)

    My keyboard is broken – so this is difficult to type. I did write about this, however. Please refer to an essay I wrote after protesting against a Klan rally at Harper’s Ferry a couple years ago.

    See Why KKK speech is not free speech.

  152. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    who will be the arbiters of “appropriate” speech ?

    “we” ?

    i have little faith in the systems in place now – the interests who have particular leverage nor the systemic predispositions of that “we” in the context of a centralized administrator – the faith is better left to the merit than the arbiter in a free society.

    let Ralph decide – let NewWest decide – let KKK, NRA, etc. etc. decide – and then let the folk who read decide what to read.

    Secondly, there need to be many spaces.[…]

    This and the following in its paragraph are right.

    There is speech which is used to intimidate and keep people who traditionally don’t speak from speaking. They use their speech as a weapon to intimidate (say, like a Klan rally or a neo-Nazi march). However much it mirrors society, it must be opposed because it keeps those who haven’t had a voice in society from being able to have that voice. It’s actually anti-free speech to allow it to stand.

    People who would made wide-sweeping statements about the need to keep ANY voice away from a right to express are more a threat to everyone’s speech than those who might use speech that we don’t like – “intimidating” or not. efforts are better spent helping along or emboldening those unable or unwilling to speak to do so than effort spent snuffing out the speech we don’t like.

  153. It’s not difficult to understand the distinction I talk about in my essay.

    Your dichotomy is also false. There is a direct relationship between the speech certain groups use as force and the oppression of those groups. To pretend otherwise is to assume an equality that simply doesn’t exist in practice in our society. There is no free speech without dealing with that reality at the same time.

    However, the speech that needs snuffing aren’t the people with bad ideas; it’s the people who use those bad ideas as a force of power. Speech which contradicts the ability for the opportunity for others to speak is oppressive noise. That is the speech that must be resisted if freedom is to be a meaningful concept.

    You speak with the oppressed in large part by resisting against the oppressor – and where speech is more than mere speech, where it is the force of oppression, then it must be resisted.

    This is all this keyboard will allow me to say for now, but the same blog has a lot of discussion on the theory of this, especially as it relates to the defense of home demonstrations we held in DC against some of the worst behaved and powerful people.

  154. avatar cobra says:

    Cat,
    I know it’s not possible to be like I said but what if. All I’m asking is what measues you would take to remedy the situation? Would you control the population of wolves so the elk herd could increase and actually help the remaining wolves or would you just let nature take it’s course hoping that the wolves would reduce their own population? In your last post you started to sound like a politition, talking around the question rather than answering straight. Also, are you always this arrogant or is it just reserved for posting purposes? Since according to you anyway that enviros would never make the comments I saw does that mean that all enviros are above the norm. I know I saw them, I can’t remember where but they were there just the same. I don’t spend hour upon hour on the computer, simply don’t have the time and there are more important things in my life. I might spend 2 hours a week at the very most, however when I find them I’ll be sure and let you know.

  155. avatar kim kaiser says:

    Cobra,

    According to the recent ranching information there are TOO MANY elk. (recent brucellosis infections in WY an MT) Infecting there cattle, etc. and you are saying we need more, now which one of you is right,,,there are either too many or not enough.,,i guess it depends on which industry you tend to back, but i dont see how it can be both.

  156. Cobra,

    You’re a North Idaho person? And concerned about the North Fork Clearwater/Lochsa area elk?

  157. avatar Catbestland says:

    Cobra,

    I didn’t answer the question because it is a nosensical hypothetical, never gonna happen in real life waste of brain cells.

    When you say “does that mean all enviros are above the norm.” Are you suggesting that it is NORMAL for everyone to make that sort of threats? I couldn’t dissagree with you more. I feel it is sick and depraved for anyone to make the kind of threats that have been seen recently in public papers. There is nothing arrogant about my comments. I simply defend vehemently, the position of conservationists on the wolf issue.

    I keep hoping that those apposed to the presence of wolves will do some research on the matter, because if they did, they too would begin to appreciate the important contributions to the ecosystems made by this keystone predator. If those without a complete understanding of the wolf’s role in nature realize how badly we need them, they will begin to accept their presence even when it means some reduction in deer and elk numbers. The only ones left who will remain adamantly apposed will be the ones who stand to proffit from the removal of wolves. Hopefully the majority of the public, including those who are newly educated will not allow the benefits of ballanced ecosystems to be stolen for the proffit of a few stockproducers. Did you read that article?

  158. avatar Travis says:

    Look at this board at the Bozeman Chronicle – unanimously anti-wolf. It would be great if somebody more educated than myself, who could site research, would post a rebuttal.

    http://bozemantalks.com/2008/07/16/gray-wolf-management

  159. Travis,

    I can’t find the editorial, just the comments.

  160. avatar cobra says:

    Ralph,
    Yes, I live in North Idaho and I don’t really remember saying I was concerned withthe clearwater herds. I hate to see any of the herds in poor shape no matter where they are. A freind of mine I fished with this weekend gave me some information about the clearwater that I haven’t seen posted anywhere. He use to hunt in that area for several years and said that many herds have actually gone through the ice on Dworshak res. over the years.
    Myself and other fellow sportsmen are concerned with our elk herds in the St. Joe river drainage and units 3 and 4.

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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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