Plan is out in the open-

Although they wanted to just do a quick kill, under the 10j rules Idaho can kill off wolves in an area if wolves are making it so that ID F and G objectives aren’t being meet. They have to perform a ritual first, however.  A delisted population could have just been killed.

Updated story (much longer). State seeks to kill N. Idaho wolves. AP

Idaho Fish and Game says they have done a study that proves this, but they haven’t released the study. There was an article about it in the Idaho Statesman where some figures were given. Ken Cole critiqued it, but if they have proof, let’s see it, or is it a secret?

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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.

30 Responses to State seeks to kill N. Idaho wolves

  1. avatar Maska says:

    It would be nice if the new emphasis on “transparency” trickled down to the state level.

  2. avatar Ken Cole says:

    Why are wolves not affecting other elk populations much? Could it be habitat?

  3. avatar Salle says:

    The state has misrepresented the public trust for some time now and was in “full scream ahead” mode the last eight years and particularly since wolf opponent #1 (kempthorne) got the top job at Interior.

    Hopefully this element of the president’s inaugural address, with regard to such 19th century mindsets, will come about soon: “…that time has surely passed.”

  4. avatar Ken Cole says:

    I remain skeptical that much will change in Idaho with regard to wolves. Well, I take that back. I think it will get worse, partly due to timing and partly due to just angry reaction by reactionary Republican idealists.

  5. avatar Salle says:

    I’m sure you’re right, for the present. I hope that things will change in near future. I am well aware of the potential havoc Idaho legislators and their handlers could muster. All the same, if they really blow it from the early stages, the results may be a lot less favorable for them later.

  6. avatar kt says:

    Maska

    I think many of the local people in charge of the federal agencies in Idaho (like FWS) are in cahoots with the state.

    Time to move out the Good Old Boys that have enabled this disaster, and get some fresh folks that have not been “broke to lead” by Craig, Otter, Crapo and the whole lot. Idaho has been the worst of the worst in federal land agency repression operating through the Interior Department – FWS and BLM under Norton and Kempthorne.

    And those agency folks that hung on here because of families, kids in school, etc. should be provided an avenue to detail what all has gone on, and actions taken to right wrongs.

    No more collusion between Butch Otter’s Office of Species Extinction and FWS (bull trout, slickspot peppergrass, wolves, sage grouse – BLM here too), APHIS (wolves), and FWS needs to divorce itself from investing much in the whole Local Sage Grouse Working group boondoogle, too.

  7. avatar kt says:

    The Lewiston paper article states

    “”The Obama administration is entitled to that review,” said Brad Hoaglun, a spokesman for Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho. “When the appropriate amount of time has gone by and they have had time to review the rule, Sen. Risch will probably talk with (Interior) Secretary (Ken) Salazar and make sure they understand what is going on in Idaho and how prepared we are to manage wolves.”

    Well – it looks like the Idaho Good Old boys think they are just going to get their way. THIS should be a litmus test for Salazar – and any Obama administration commitment to science and sanity.

    Butch Otter’s essentially Farm Bureau-run Governor’s office and Fish and Game now completely under the Gov’s boots can not be trusted to do anything other than kill as many wolves as possible ANYWHERE the Cattlemen and Woolgrowers whine, or the SFW trophy hunters cry about a conflict with elk. THAT is not science-based management, that is industry desires trumping all.

    If Salazar de-lists, there needs to be a national effort to get Obama to give him the boot.

  8. avatar Salle says:

    I heard a quick news blurb a little while ago that said Freshman Sen. Jim Risch was been placed on a long list of committees, mostly where Craig once held rank. That’s not sounding so good, especially when this is an incoming Senator… I’m looking for the info still.

  9. avatar Janice says:

    Are any of you gentlemen from Idaho, Wyoming or Montana?

  10. avatar Salle says:

    Here’s the article (short but scary) http://www.idahostatesman.com/531/story/641179.html:

  11. avatar Save bears says:

    Janice,

    I am currently living in Idaho doing a research project, and am a Native born Montanan, is there something you need?

  12. avatar Janice says:

    SB…
    Thanks for asking. Ralph answered my question.

  13. avatar kt says:

    Hey Ralph –

    I went back in your very good on-line archives, and found this kt (moi) Comment excerpt about the Idaho Fish and Game Wolf Kill arc that upon any de-listing will confine wolves to islands – AWAY from any welfare cattle and sheep. Don’t know if Bangs Powerpoint still works …

    The Clearwater /Lolo stuff has been planned all along, too, though. Makes ‘ya kinda wonder if the Fish and Game “research” was not politically pre-determined …

    This needs to be out there far and wide, pre-emptively, so when Risch whispers sweet nothings about De-Listing into Salazar’s ear at a Prayer Breakfast (though I must say I would have sat through a prayer breakfast to hear the Amazing Grace yesterday morning – the YouTube is fantastic) or Cattlemen’s Meeting (which is a more likely venue) – we can show clearly Otter’s Fish and Game is basing Idaho Wolf Eradication in Idaho on the sole basis of whining from Idaho’s public lands welfare ranchers.

    And you know, Risch might not even be able to whisper – he might have to talk oty loud – since Salazar’s cowboy hat will get in the way …

    ANYWAY:

    http://wolves.wordpress.com/2007/03/07/hearing-on-delisting-plan-draws-wolf-friends-foes/

    Here was a comment I had made about the Wolf Kill Arc following this public meeting – the Arc had been in a presentation at the quickly called Press Conference prior to this, too :

    There is the Wolf Kill arc or “u” from Salmon to Copper Basin to the Danskins to Cascade/McCall, where Fish and Game in Idaho has already expressed at its Press Conference a month ago that it was going to “knock them back”, due to livestock conflicts. It seems to me that a deal has already been struck with the livestock industry by IDFG and FWS.

    If you go to this FWS site, you can see the Powerpoint that Ed Bangs gave at the afternoon session. http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/delist2007_ppt.pdf

    If you look at the Gray area on the “NRM DPS” Map, you can see the extent of the DPS, and mentally sketch in the Knock Back area. Outside that Knock Back area is still a lot of country inside the gray area that FWS has defined as including their artificially defined Distinct Population Segment, where, once de-listing occurred, no protections would apply.

    In his discussion of the Powerpoint slide labeled “Pack Persistence Model”, Bangs said this was based on a study that had been done that examined several criteria in looking at where wolves had been sucessful. One of the primary criteria was Problems with Livestock. So, the outcome of this study isn’t based on science, really, but on politics. Conflicts= Unsuitable” …………

  14. avatar JB says:

    “Bangs said this was based on a study that had been done that examined several criteria in looking at where wolves had been sucessful. One of the primary criteria was Problems with Livestock. So, the outcome of this study isn’t based on science, really, but on politics. Conflicts= Unsuitable”

    kt: This has been my problem with habitat suitability models all along. They all use some proxy variable for “conflict” with livestock–often livestock densities–as a factor that essentially renders areas “unsuitable” for wolves. The reason is that they (FWS/WS) kill wolves where they come into “conflict” with livestock: thus, the presence of livestock is a good predictor of wolf mortality.

    On private land I don’t have a problem with this, but on public land a simple regulatory fix (i.e. no grazing of livestock) would prevent “conflicts” from occurring in these areas and presumably, reduce associated wolf moralities. The reason this annoys me is because these models are being used to determine whether wolves are in danger in a significant portion of their (suitable) range under the ESA. Take out the livestock/conflict variable and much more of the public land in the West becomes suitable habitat for wolves.

  15. avatar Ken Cole says:

    So Walt Minnick supports this plan too. No surprise there. I presume he is caucusing with the blue dogs. Does anyone know?

  16. avatar Brooke Funk says:

    I think these guys’ confidence is just horrible…. I hope the Obama administration deals them a surprise blow.

  17. avatar kt says:

    I think the fate of wolves in Idaho is tied up in Wilderness dealmaking in the Boulder White Clouds and then on to the Clearwater.

    And that Minnick wanting to throw Idaho’s wolves under the bus is related to that. Pander to Risch, Crapo, Butch Otter and the Farm Bureau. So they throw you a wilderness bone.

    Remember too – he ran with a campaign slogan that said “Right for Idaho”. So if Walt is going “right” of the illustrious cadre of current and recently departed ID lawmakers like Larry Craig – that puts him in the Blood Red Dogs – caucusing with Cornyn and Vitter or some such thing … Get with it, Minnick!

  18. avatar Jimt says:

    People that care need to be in the ears of their Senators and Reps, and their staffs now, politely but firmly. And in the ear of Ken Big Hat Salazar..let him know we are watching, we will be keeping track, and the pressure ON not to pander to the “extinction once again” mentality of the ranchers and trophy hunters. The tax paying public overwhelming wants wolves and bears on public lands…welfare ranchers need to stop their whining, and their false claim to an entitlement of a lifestyle at public tax payer expense.

    Salazar works for the public, not just the extractive industries. No time like the present to remind him of that fact. Speaking of which, I don’t know if any of you saw this memorandum but here it is..

    .Noelle Straub, E&E reporter

    Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced his top staffers today, including several fellow Coloradans for senior posts and David Hayes as deputy Interior secretary.

    Hayes held the same position during the Clinton administration and also oversaw the energy and natural resources transition for President Barack Obama. Obama has not officially nominated Hayes for the post, which requires Senate confirmation, but Salazar introduced him during an hourlong public meeting with Interior employees today.

    “He is a problem-fixer,” Salazar said of Hayes, noting his work on water issues and other Western matters.

    Hayes was confirmed by unanimous Senate vote to serve as second-in-command at Interior under former Secretary Bruce Babbitt. He has been partner and global chair of the Environment, Land and Resources Department at Latham & Watkins. He also served as chairman of the board of the Environmental Law Institute and as a senior fellow at the World Wildlife Fund and the Progressive Policy Institute.

    Hayes was mentioned as a candidate for Interior secretary, but some in the environmental community objected, noting that he has worked as a lobbyist for several groups, including Sempra Energy and the San Diego Gas & Electric Co., and that as a lawyer he represented the Chemical Manufacturers Association and Ford Motor Co.
    Coloradans dominate Salazar’s senior staff

    The senior staff at Interior will have a Colorado flair, as the new secretary is bringing along several former staff members and other residents of the Centennial State.

    Salazar introduced Tom Strickland as his new chief of staff. A former U.S. attorney in Colorado, Strickland unsuccessfully ran in Colorado as the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate in both 1996 and 2002.

    Steve Black will serve as Salazar’s counselor for energy. Black was formerly Colorado deputy attorney general for natural resources and the environment before becoming legislative counsel in Salazar’s Senate office. Salazar gave Black credit for working on the 2005 Energy Policy Act, the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards passed in 2007 and a measure designating wilderness area in Rocky Mountain National Park, among other legislation.

    Renee Stone will serve as Salazar’s deputy chief of staff. Stone was a counsel in the environment, land use and natural resources practice of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP. She served at Interior during the Clinton administration in various legal and management positions, including those of acting deputy solicitor, associate solicitor for parks and wildlife, associate solicitor for land and water, and chief of staff of the National Park Service.

    Stone could be making $500,000 in the private sector, but chose to work with the employees of Interior because she shares their passion, Salazar said.

    Laura Davis will become chief of staff for the deputy Interior secretary. She formerly served as deputy chief of staff for Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.). “She said there’s only one department she’d come back for, and that’s the Department of Interior,” Salazar said.

    Ray Rivera will serve as head of government affairs and external relations, working with governors, attorneys general and tribes, Salazar said. Rivera headed Obama’s Colorado state campaign.

    Brian Screnar will serve as Salazar’s White House liaison. Screnar previously worked for the Obama campaign. Before that, he was a co-national finance director for John Edwards’ presidential campaign and worked for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

    Ken Lane is working as Salazar’s counselor, having served as chief of staff and then as senior counsel to Salazar while in the Senate.

    Matt Lee-Ashley, who was communications director in Salazar’s Senate office, is now acting director of communications at Interior.

    Asked by reporters whether he has candidates in mind to head the Bureau of Land Management or the Minerals Management Service, Salazar said, “We have recommendations that we’re looking at, but I’m not near anywhere at this point in time in terms of making the decisions yet.”

    Minnick is really a Dem in name only, right? I wouldn’t expect anything from him in the way of supportive environmenal stances on any of the tough issues…

    KT..the best and only meaningful solutions to predator-bovine-sheep conflicts near or on public lands is to get the Sec. of Interior to basically condemn the leases and buy them out for market value, giving the rancher time to sell his or her herd, and find a new domicile. There should be permanent revocations of grazing permits on public lands for any verifiable evidence that ranchers are deliberately or negligently managing their animals so as to provide a “baiting” situation for predators. That evidence can be based on as little as patterns of behaviors; not necessarily a conversation or admission against interest standard. For those ranchers who are supportive, or understand the need to adapt to the public’s desire to see predators as a permanent part of the western ecosystems, let them graze bison only on public lands, returning to a native species approach to grazing.

  19. avatar Jimt says:

    David Hayes is a big firm lawyer first who dabbles in environmental issues, but never put any time in at the activist, grassroot levels. He is in the style of the Clintonite centrist,having served at Interior before, and I suspect he will be in charge of influencing Big Hat Salazar on the rest of his appointments. I also “hear” he has no small ego, and has a tendency to take things personally, so the opposition by the national groups to his appointment to the Secretary of Interior position because of his associations with some big polluters and dis-spoilers of the environment will probably result in his advice to Salazar to avoid the career environmental activist pool of candidates..Vic Sher, Karin Sheldon, Mike Sherwood, Gloria Flora, David Getches, Pat Parenteau, Bill Curtiss, Grove Burnett..these are only a few of the hundreds of folks who have spent their entire professional careers devoted to the protection of the environment at great personal and economic sacrifice…I think Mr. Hayes will be the real power at Interior, the man behind the curtain. It is a tragedy that it appears we will miss this historic time of Obama’s message for Change to substantively and permanently improve the prospects for a healthy future for the Western ecosystems.

  20. avatar Peter Bray says:

    Some of Hayes publications seem pretty compelling:

    http://209.85.173.132/search?q=cache:Q9E70PGYR0UJ:www.lw.com/attorneys.aspx%3Fpage%3Dattorneybio%26attno%3D00572+david+hayes&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=3&gl=us&client=firefox-a

    e.g.,
    “Digging a Deep Hole: the Bush Administration’s Assault on Natural Resources”, Progressive Policy Institute Report (August 2008).

    “Why the Endangered Species Act Is Becoming More Controversial: A Lack of Leadership on All Sides”, Environmental Forum (July-August 2004).

  21. avatar Peter Bray says:

    “Land Conservation and Restoration: Moving to the Landscape Level”, Virginia Environmental Law Journal (Vol. 2, 2002).

  22. About congressman Minnick,

    I’d say Minnick would be a moderate Republican in most states. Of course, Idaho is not like most states.

    Minnick is in no way like the Republican he defeated, Bill Sali, who came from the social conservative wing of the party. Nor is Minnick a hard core hater of conservationists like Larry Craig was. He sees himself as a conservationist. He indeed is one according to several definitions of the term.

    Minnick was on the Board of the the Wilderness Society. He was one of the first business leaders in Idaho to come out against below cost logging. He was one of those who made opposing money losing timber sales a respectable, mainstream policy stance.

    In addition, from the standpoint of non-wildlife issues, my personal view is Minnick is many times better than Bill Sali.

    However, inasmuch as Minnick takes a bad position on the conservation and wildlife issues, he can make difference, whereas Sali was a pathetic joke who had no influence at all. That was just fine in my view.

  23. avatar Frank Renn says:

    Would fish and game be willing to keep track of the cost of wolf removal? They could then put an equal amount into elk habitat improvement in the area. It might give them an idea where the best “bang for there buck” is.

  24. avatar kt says:

    Ralph

    I am so tired of hearing about western Dems that out-right the Repubs.

    Minnick will be much worse for the environment. Sali in a Dem. Congress would have been a big zero – good for an occasional chuckle.

    Minnick is danegrous as he will ask the Salazar’s and the Emanuel’s of the world to pull strings to try to pander to the livestock and logging industries. Counterpunch had a great article a few years back on how Minnick has an “image” of one kind – but his actions speak differently.

    Lest we not forget – it was the DNC that undercut a more solid candidate (Larry Grant) who was not part of the Andus-Bethine Church crowd -and who had some principles and solid ideas before the Dem primary in ID. The Rahm Emanuels of the world made it clear that they would not fund Grant but would pour $$$ into Minnick.

    Jim T – That is interesting. So Hayes is who will be really in charge?

    And this kind of confirms what we have heard that Obama doesn’t care about pulic lands – but sees them as a bargaining chit of sorts. Picking Salazar signaled that keeping uranium hedge funds, foreign-owned gold mines, “renewables” hedge funds and their speculation on public lands, etc. happy were of more interest to him.

  25. avatar Layton says:

    “Would fish and game be willing to keep track of the cost of wolf removal? They could then put an equal amount into elk habitat improvement in the area. It might give them an idea where the best “bang for there buck” is.”

    Why should they?? The Federal Govt. dumped the wolves onto the states — why should states have the burden of either supporting OR removing them?

    Idaho gets most of it’s F&G funds from license fees, then you think that it’s OK for them to spend those funds managing a critter that they didn’t really want in the first place??

    Put TWICE the money into elk habitat and let the feds handle THEIR problem. OOOOOORRRRR make a few $$$ by selling wolf tags.

  26. avatar kt says:

    Or Leave the trees, elk and wolves free to do their thing!

    They’ll sort it out just fine without us. Put your energy – and the federal tax $$$ great big veg “treatments” cost – into acquiring key private lands as habitat, and for connectivity.

  27. avatar Frank Renn says:

    To begin with wolves are not a state or federal issue. Before wolves were released there were hearings. A majority of the respondents favored reintroduction of wolves. This is referred to as the democratic process. Yes there should be a funding source separate from license fees to manage wolves. I find it interesting that Idaho wants to manage wolves but I do not know how they can afford it. I for one do not want any of my license money used for predator control.

  28. Layton,

    ID Fish and Game Commission clearly does not want to make money selling wolf tags. They might be able to, but they deliberately set them very cheap, probably to show how much they hate wolves.

    You would get a pat on the back on some blogs by saying the “wolves were dumped here,” but that has been thoroughly discredited. Have you read Hank Fischer’s book on the actually introduction, or the many others that give all the facts, dates, events etc.?

    Have you read my years of detailed posts on the events beginning in 1995.

    Sloppy mistatements of easily checked facts do not become real here by repeating them.

    Not a dime of ID Fish and Game should be spent managing wolves. I agree.

  29. avatar Save bears says:

    Frank….

    If they are not a “State” or a “Federal” Issue, then who does the issue fall to?

    As with most Issues in this country, your going to have two sides, and they only two sides we have in this issue is State or Federal..and how ever you feel, I think the Feds have more important things on their minds right now…

    As far as you not wanting your fees to go to management, why? If they are classified as wildlife, then your state will manage them..

    It is unfortunate that MOST wildlife departments don’t have the money to manage the wildlife they are responsible for..and that includes the US Fish and Wildlife Services…

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