The Idaho Fish and Game has issued a press release asking for information regarding the death of six wolves.

Is poison involved? Anyone who plans on visiting the area should be cautious about taking along their dogs.

Here is the press release:

Contact: Jon Heggen 208-334-3738

For Immediate Release

Fish and Game Seeks Information on Dead Wolves

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game is investigating the deaths of six juvenile wolves on national forest land north of Fairfield.

Fish and Game conservation officers found the partially decomposed wolves on Friday, August 21.

Preliminary necropsies have been performed. But the cause of death is still unknown. Additional test results are forthcoming.

Anyone with information is asked to the Citizens’ Against Poaching hotline at 1-800-632-5999, or Fish and Game’s Magic Valley regional office at 208-324-4359. Callers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward for information leading to a citation or conviction.

IDFG

08-25-09

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About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole, Western Watershed Project’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Coordinator, is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is also serves as a member of the board of directors for Buffalo Field Campaign and as a member of the Sierra Club Grazing Core Team.

78 Responses to Idaho Fish and Game Investigating the Death of Six Wolves

  1. avatar Ken Cole says:

    I hope that the IDFG has posted signs around the area warning people of the possible danger to pets and children who might come into contact with any suspected poisons.

    There are two poisons which have been implicated in previous poisonings and both are very deadly. This is a very, very serious issue.

  2. avatar timz says:

    From the statesman.
    BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Department of Fish and Game says six juvenile wolves were found decomposing on U.S. Forest Service land north of Fairfield.

    Officials at the state wildlife management agency Tuesday hadn’t determined what killed the 35-pound wolves, but they’ve sent tissue samples to an Oregon laboratory to be analyzed.

    Jon Heggen, head of Fish and Game enforcement, says it could be several days before test results are available.

    There were no outward signs of injuries or bullet wounds. Heggen, who wasn’t certain to which pack these animals belonged, says viruses like parvo have also been ruled out.

    The animals were found last Friday in various stages of decomposition.

  3. avatar kt says:

    Yeah – while IDFG was promoting all the media hoopla over the past few days about being “swamped” by demand for wolf killing permits – they were sitting on this.

    I wonder: If this hadn’t been shaken loose and through calls from reporters – would IDFG have kept quiet until after the Court Hearing date next week about de-listing?

    If there is a possibility of poison, then I as a pet owner would sure rather be wrongly forewarned – than go for a hike north of Fairfield – and have pets die.

    There are really dangerous substances that might be involved if it is poison.

  4. avatar jerryB says:

    “would IDFG have kept quiet until after the Court Hearing next week about de-listing?”
    Hell, I’m sure that if they didn’t think it would leak out, they’d have kept quiet forever. We’ll see where this “investigation” goes.
    Come on “Defenders”….HOW ABOUT A HEFTY REWARD!!!!!

  5. avatar Save bears says:

    I think it would be prudent to at least wait until such time as the cause of death is actually published…

  6. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    The area the pups were found was near Ditto Flat, up Little Smoky Creek Road. This is only a couple of airline miles from Willow Creek, where the Soldier Mountain Pack were from April through mid-summer. Two pups, a black and gray, had been seen by IDFG at the den site in May.

    It’s known if the dead pups are Soldier Mountain wolves, but since two adults in the pack were killed earlier this year, DNA should eventually confirm this, or not. One adult was killed illegally in Willow Creek in March. Another was shot by a rancher on the Camas Prairie.

    Very sad news. Come Tuesday, Sept. 1st, if the wolf hunt season opens, then all the wolf pups are in the Sawtooth Zone and Lolo zone are at risk at being shot by the frenzied hunters that lined up for wolf tags yesterday and today.

  7. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    My 2nd paragraph should read: It’s NOT known if the dead pups are Soldier Mountain wolves …

  8. avatar kt says:

    Do you know if they all appear to have died at the same time? Doesn’t the article read “various stages of decomposition”. Does this mean some had been dead longer than others?

    I think until a cause of death is established, and until poison is ruled out, posting prominent signs to alert the public with pets (or little kids) of possible hazards is the prudent and responsible thing for a state agency to do. But in Butch Otter’s state of “wolf management” … Where things like this are suppressed now until someone unearths them … irresponsibility rules.

  9. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Katie – yes, “various stages”, which would indicate they died at different times, although I was told that it was thought the pups had been dead “about a week” when discovered Friday, August 21. Talked to a lot of people today and the facts are not clear, yet.

  10. avatar kt says:

    Thanks, Lynne.

    What madness for Interior Secretary rancher Ken Salazar to let wolf de-listing stand. Idaho can’t be trusted to manage anything with the political chokehold on IDFG these days. Why can’t they tell the public what they have found?

    Here’s the another thing: Where previously it was pretty much shotgun dove and forest grouse season in early Sept. when all the leaves are on all the deciduous shrub thickets, aspen, etc. – now there are going to be amped-up yahoos firing away with rifles if they even suspect a wolf.

  11. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Has poisoning occurred with the Northern Rockies wolves before?

  12. avatar jerryB says:

    ProWolf in WY
    Google the name Tim Sundles. He now lives in Montana

  13. ProWolf,

    Yes it has. Do what JerryB suggests, but I doubt Sundles was all of it. A lot of dogs got sick; some died. An air of paranoia set in and some folks at Jackson, WY got pretty serious with a guy they thought was mixing poison up in the stream, if I remember correctly.

  14. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    There was a lot on him. Check this link out: http://www.mexicanwolf.0catch.com/Passing%20the%20hat/tim_sundles_legal_fund_info.htm
    They made him a martyr,

  15. I came through some of that area for the first time, a week and a half ago, on the road from Ketchum. I saw lots of people camping, but nothing suspicious. There were enough people camping and enjoying the outdoors, that someone had to see or hear something. Post a reward and somebody will collect it.

  16. avatar Ryan says:

    KT,
    Actually there is Fall bear, archery deer and elk, rifle big horn, some early rifle deer hunts, and a premium elk hunt or 2 going on in september.

  17. avatar kt says:

    Ryan: There was not a reign of rifle shot yahoo terror across the whole state.

  18. avatar Ryan says:

    KT,

    What are you talking about? Are you implying that there will be this year? I would be willing to bet with 90% + probability that there wont be.

  19. avatar timz says:

    I watched the local news last night hoping for more information but this story was never mentioned. Had they found six dead sheep or cows killed by wolves it would have been the lead story.

  20. avatar Brian Ellway says:

    KT, take off your tinfoil hat and calm down, lol. Everyone has been warned that this type of thing was coming if the lawsuits continued to interfere with the state managed hunts. Hunters and others who value of deer and elk herds are way more than fed up with all of it. I’m afraid these six are probably just the beginning should an injunction be granted next week.

  21. avatar timz says:

    “Everyone has been warned that this type of thing was coming if the lawsuits continued to interfere with the state managed hunts. ”
    At least lawsuits are legal. Shows the class of people we’re dealing with.

  22. avatar JB says:

    “Everyone has been warned that this type of thing was coming if the lawsuits continued to interfere with the state managed hunts….I’m afraid these six are probably just the beginning should an injunction be granted next week.”

    Warned? I wasn’t aware that simply warning people that you were going to break the law provided a justification for illegal activities. Hmm… You know, frankly I’m fed up with paying city property taxes to support suburban free-riders. I should write a letter to the editor publicly declaring that unless they change I won’t pay them; consider yourself warned Minneapolis!!! ;)

  23. avatar Brian Ellway says:

    Well Tim, I think people feel they have no choices left. Many people I’ve talked to bought a wolf tag not because they particulary ‘want’ to kill a wolf but because they feel they ‘need’ to do their part in managing the wolves, however small their part may be. The consensus seems to be, Legal or not, something must be done and it can’t be put off any longer.

  24. avatar Brian Ellway says:

    JB, it doesn’t justify the illegal killings, just saying you shouldn’t be surprised.

  25. avatar catbestland says:

    “Well Tim, I think people feel they have no choices left.”

    This is a crock of crap. People ALWAYS have a choice. They can choose to obey the law or they can choose to break it. They can choose to take an active part in legal and responsible ways of protecting their livestock with the many available options such as guard dogs, range riders, fladry etc. or they can take the lazy way out and expect the rest of us to pay for their irresponsible practice of running their livestock in country among the nations treasury of wildlife which includes predators.

    They have no right legal or otherwise to kill wolves they deem as a threat to “their way of life.”

  26. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Again, it’s not known what killed the six pups. Some are going to Ashland to have more tests run. Apparently, it’s fairly certain they are Soldier Mountain Pack wolves and this is a big loss. There were only three adults in the pack going into the summer.

    As for hunters who think they have to help manage wolves, I wonder why it is they can’t find their elk. I watched 50 head this morning, including bulls and a couple dozen calves. Been seeing larger herds than this all summer. Have to dodge cows and calves on the highway in the morning. And IDFG says there are almost no elk left in Unit 36. Baloney.

  27. Ha ha. We followed ProWolf’s link (http://www.mexicanwolf.0catch.com/Passing%20the%20hat/tim_sundles_legal_fund_info.htm)

    “The WTF sent Tim and his wife Diana an honorarium to visit Oregon and tell their story about living with wolves…”

    WTF indeed!

  28. avatar Save bears says:

    The legal right will be determined by the Judge, it will depend on what he says..

  29. avatar Brian Ellway says:

    Lynne, any pictures of the two dozen calves? That would be very encouraging to see.

  30. avatar otto says:

    Brian Ellway, you clearly are attempting to justify lawlessness and vigilantes: “Many people I’ve talked to bought a wolf tag not because they particulary ‘want’ to kill a wolf but because they feel they ‘need’ to do their part in managing the wolves, however small their part may be. The consensus seems to be, Legal or not, something must be done and it can’t be put off any longer.”

    Advocating for illegal actions and taking the law into one’s own hands in the height of irresponsibility. For example driving with cell phones is shown to be more dangerous than driving drunk. But politicians are slow to make this dangerous activity illegal. Do I now have the right to run these folks off the road? Or imagine your neighbor’s dog has been barking all night. Do you have the right to go over and shoot it?

    Following the rule of law, and basic common sense, is the foundation of civil society. But you seem to advocate for people to disregard both of these to carry out their own personal agenda. Seriously? And the environmentalist are the problem?

  31. avatar JB says:

    ” Many people I’ve talked to …feel they ‘need’ to do their part in managing the wolves…The consensus seems to be, Legal or not, something must be done and it can’t be put off any longer.”

    Brian, you need to talk with different people. :)

    – – – –
    So I guess this means the SSS crowd has given up on the “shovel” part. I suppose shoveling was too much work for them.

  32. avatar timz says:

    “So I guess this means the SSS crowd has given up on the “shovel” part. I suppose shoveling was too much work for them.”

    Actually for most of them the harder part is keeping their mouths shut.

  33. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Brian – it was at daybreak and I was watching the herd thru my binos and spotting scope. Not enough light for a good pix. But anyone driving hwy 21 early, is going to see elk, if you look.

  34. avatar Brian Ellway says:

    otto, please tell me where i was “clearly attempting to justify” lawlessness and vigilantes. I’m only passing on other’s comments that most readers here would not be privvy to. To make it crystal clear, I do not condone or advocate killing wolves illegally.

    As many others here have stated, this whole thing is about to get really ugly… (but for the record, hopefully I’m wrong) :)

  35. avatar timz says:

    I drive Hwy 21 daily and have also seen many elk this week, I had to stop for one this AM who was standing in the middle of the road. I saw a herd of at least 40 two weeks ago while riding a back road near my house. I also saw a lone wolf on that same ride standing on the side of the trail as I came around the corner.

  36. Mr. Ellway,

    “I do not condone or advocate killing wolves illegally,” isn’t enough. If you are privvy to others comments that involve illegally killing wolves, you have a responsibility to try to stop it. If you know of someone- or group of someones- threatening or planning to kill wolves, you should immediately contact law enforcement.

  37. avatar Brian Ellway says:

    DL, sorry, not privvy to any plans to illegally kill wolves and these comments are all over the worl-wide-web hunting forums for all to read. I would guess the people who brag about how they would support SSS and other illegal killing are all talk and would never actually follow through with it. The people who would actually do it would never say a word to anyone. A big enough reward could turn even your best friend against you.

  38. avatar Save bears says:

    Scuttle butt is all over the place on this issue, I have even heard people in Wyoming saying if the Montana and Idaho hunt goes on, they are going to conduct their own hunts, despite the wolf still being on the list and the lawsuit from Wyoming…go to virtually any bar or sit down restaurant in these three states and you will hear something about wolves…I agree with Brian, its not the ones talking I am worried about, its the ones listening and not saying anything…and with the current way the courts normally prosecute these types of crimes, many times people get off with a fine and a slap on the wrist..until such time as wildlife crimes are prosecuted with stiff penalties, people are not going to worry about it to much…

  39. avatar jerryB says:

    Demarcated Landscapes…
    You’re correct…It’s called “conspiracy to commit a crime”. The actual crime doesn’t necessarily have to be committed. In fact that’s what most terrorists are convicted of.

  40. avatar otto says:

    Brian,
    I appreciate your clarification that you do not condone the illegal killing of wolves. My impression you were justifying illegality lies in you stating “everyone has been warned”, people are “fed up”, and “the consensus seems to be” illegality is warranted. The entire tenor of your comment is that vigilantism is the inevitable result of efforts to protect wolves, efforts that are lawful. This line of reasoning is a justification.

    I still wonder though just what comments of others you are “passing on”. To me you write they are comments “most readers here would not be privvy to”. But to DL you write: “these comments are all over the worl-wide-web hunting forums for all to read.” Which is it, private comments we are not privy to, or public postings anyone can find?

  41. avatar Save bears says:

    Otto,

    All you have to do is hang out on some of the hunting or ranching forums which most of them are public and do some research and you will start finding them, its not hard to find them. Of course as I said, those are not the ones I worry about…

  42. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Actually for most of them the harder part is keeping their mouths shut.
    If someone wants to get wind of illegal wolf hunts they can just hang out in the bars in these towns around closing time. Or in a church that I used to go to.

  43. avatar Brian Ellway says:

    Yes Otto,
    my choice of words may not have been the best. You all are privvy to these comments, just not likely to read them as I’m assuming you don’t spend a lot of time on the hunting internet forums.

  44. avatar catbestland says:

    I’ll bet there is a lot of the same innuendo and veiled threats going on some of the right wingnut websites as well. It seems that those websites might well be popular with some (not all) the hunters and ranchers who make these kind of threats against wolves on hunting websites. If this is the case I hope the FBI will be monitoring them and will be prepared to do something to intervene BEFORE some of the ilk “feel the ‘need’ to do their part…legal or not” Hopefully the new administration considers these groups domestic terrorists and will act against them if they can catch them commiting the federal crime of illegally killing wildlife. We can only hope.

  45. avatar idahotojo says:

    I ran into a friend who works for a conservation group here in Boise and he told me that Idaho Fish and Game have known about these wolves for close to two weeks. He was under the impression that there was a high level effort to keep this under wraps until after Judge Malloy’s decision next week. I wouldn’t be surprised if ol’ Butchie Otter had something to do with this. Anyone else have any info or thoughts?

    • Well Brian Ertz and others were in the vicinity a couple weeks ago and the Wildlife Services “trapper” was there. I think he was up to something and got very irritated when he saw that folks had seen him.

  46. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    idahotojo – the pups were found last Friday by a USFS employee who immediately contacted IDFG. Not 2 weeks ago.

    On another note, I have learned from DOW, that IDFG has issued a major control for Wildlife Services to take out most, if not the entire Steel Mt Pack in the Trinity Lake area. This is also in the Smoky Mountains, not that far from the Soldier Mountain Pack’s home range. Am trying to confirm with the Nampa IDFG Regional Supervisor, Scott Reinecker.

    If the lethal control on Steel Mt is true, then on one hand, a major investigation is going on over 6 dead pups, while IDFG is preparing to kill a whole bunch of wolves nearby. Insanity. If anyone knows Scott and can contact him, please do. I’ve left a message and sent a State Records Request.

  47. avatar kt says:

    Is the Trinity Lakes area one of the umpteen Faulkner range maggot allotments?

    There sure seems to be some reason FG wants confusion and uncertainty over the Ditto Flat pup deaths.

  48. avatar Ken Cole says:

    Do you mean the wonderful benevolent Faulkner who saved the lives of the Phantom Hill Pack?

  49. avatar kt says:

    Yes, the grand savior of the “boutique” wolves – in contrast to all the other “disposable” packs he runs his sheep on top of.

  50. avatar kt says:

    In googling some things, I found this from 2001: A case of 1080 poisoning 20 miles north of Fairfield.

    http://www.fws.gov/pacific/news/2001/2001-55.html

    Was that ever solved? Ralph and Lynne wll likely know?

  51. Lynne-
    I am a little confused on the wolf kill orders. Is this done by each Regional Supervisor or is it done out of the Boise Office? Will the Steele Mtn. wolves and the 6 pups poached at Ditto Flat count toward the established hunting quotas?

  52. avatar SARA o says:

    A few years ago near Dubois Wy many dogs were poisoned down the popular Horse Creek Rd. No one was ever caught for the killings. Also last winter rumors of wolf kilings that never made the Fish and Game website. Of course I have no evidence but I believe ‘F&G looks the other way.

  53. None of 1080 cases have ever been solved.

  54. avatar kt says:

    The first 3 paragraphs appear to be Ralph’s Intro from long ago … It’s mostly the article that shows up in a FWS on-line link – but this Link states: THE INCIDENT WAS NOT REPORTED TO THE MEDIA …

    http://www.magicalliance.org/Wolf/Wolf%20Poisoning.htm

    and it took calls from the press to shake even the admission of 6 wolf deaths loose now.

  55. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    I’ll try and answer the questions as best I know.

    It’s my understanding that the Steel Mt wolves are on a John Faulkner sheep grazing allotment(s). There’s been on-going sheep-wolf conflicts north of Fairfield (and elsewhere) for years and this happens for many reasons that have been well documented on this blog. Namely, sheep are helpless animals and most have constant care and survelliance, be close to the herders, have guard dogs that can warn the herders of predators, and be nighted next to the wagon, not up some canyon or a mile or two away.

    The regional supervisor (there are eight IDFG regions) is now supposed to make the decision re. control. From the documents I’ve received via States Record Request (and before state control, FOIA requests), it’s Wildlife Services in Boise — namely Todd Grimm — who is constantly pushing hard to kill as many wolves as possible, inc. entire packs.

    Tonight I r/c’d clarification from IDFG that the 6 pups do not count as part part of the 10 wolf hunt quota in S. Idaho Mts. Nor do any wolves killed by WS or from other means.

  56. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Friends-please go kindly on the Phantoms. They lost their alpha male in June, run over by a car. Two yearlings have been run over on hwy 75 in the past year. One yearling female was shot in the Sawtooth Valley in June after a sheep depredation. Probably not the guilty wolf, but the sheep rancher (not Faulkner in this case) and Wildlife Services got revenge for three unattended sheep.

    If the Phantoms go over Galena Pass, and kill one sheep or a couple, several wolves could die. Tonight when I came from Stanley to Ketchum, there is a sheep wagon right in the Salmon River Headwaters canyon. The wolves sometimes go over Galena Pass. Now there is a GPS collared gray wolf with the Phantoms, and if there is a sheep depredation in the Sawtooth Valley, things could get ugly quick.

    I don’t know what the answer is but making fun of the Phantoms as “boutique” isn’t fair to the wolves, who struggled so hard to survive their 1st year in 07, had a good past winter, then lost its leader. I think only two pups survived this year’s litter.

    This will be the pack that is hunted the hardest in all the S Idaho Mt zone.

    If you are concerned about the Steel Mt wolves, then call IDFG in Boise tomorrow and register your protest.

  57. avatar Cobra says:

    How about we wait and see what they find out about the pups that were killed. Last I read it was not from a bullet. Seems like some kind of witch hunt going on here. If they were poisoned I hope they find who did it and nail his hide. Hunters are being blamed for this and nothing has been proven yet. Lets wait and see what they find before we start the hangin.

  58. avatar kt says:

    Well, if FG would be a little more forthcoming with info, from the start, people might not be as suspicious. Instead, these days, it’s a black hole.

    And I for one am not speculating on it being hunters … could be ranch manager types (who are often nastier even than the ranchers), Wildlife Services actions gone awry, or some sicko … who knows.

    If it is poison, which seems a good guess, not a sure thing, then one has to think of those of might have the only access to some of the worst substances.

  59. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Cobra, you are right there were no bullet wounds reported on the wolves. My guess would be poison for that many wolves dead int he same spot. I think I may have asked this before, but is 1080 legal?

  60. avatar kt says:

    Maybe 8 or so years ago, a horrid bill passed the ID Leg – after whining by sheepmen including Laird Noh – that allowed supposedly LIMITED use of 1080 under Wildlife Services control only on private lands in “enclosed” type pasture areas in stupid things called “bladder collars”. The idea (supposedly) is that only the BAD sheep-eating coyotes die, because they are the ones that bite the collars that are filled with I believe it is a liquid laced with 1080 …

    And domestic sheep are NEVER known to – like – have accidents, accidentally rupture one of these collars, etc. You know, like where there might be barbed wire or something.

    Of course this allows 1080 to potentially slip into the hands of those with all manner of ill intent, exposes the slave/indentured servant herders to potential poisoning, etc.

    I believe that it was done because the livestock industry just wanted to show that they could do it – resurrect the use of this horrid substance in some form. Likely supported by some trumped up Land Grant college “research” claiming it was oh-so-safe …

    The state should NEVER have been allowed to do this by the Feds.

    This needs to be changed.

  61. avatar kt says:

    Here it is in a nutshell:

    http://www.predatordefense.org/1080.htm

    This group is trying to get it eliminated — again.

  62. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Kt, I saw a blurb in National Geographic that showed those collars. It even mentioned coyotes in it. There was no consideration of mountain lions, grizzlies, or golden eagles that might get hold of it or if the sheep ruptured it out in their pastures full of pointy things.

  63. . . . and they store all their damn predator poisons in a rickety warehouse about a mile from where I live in Pocatello. It’s next to the big railroad hub where they never have any accidents. :-<

  64. avatar kt says:

    Here’s rancher Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s brother John just lovin’ dangerous poisons:

    http://www.peer.org/docs/epa/08_9_1_salazar_letter.pdf

    Disgusting!

    And Ralph – Sounds awful about the Army Corpse plans …

  65. avatar Gregg Losinski says:

    Basic Fact Correction – There are 7 official Fish & Games Regions in Idaho. The state headquarters is located in Boise and the McCall Office is a sub-region of the Southwest Region out of Nampa.

  66. kt
    If the users of 1080 have to be certified and registered, it seems that there should be a list of wolf poisoning suspects available.

  67. avatar kt says:

    If there is any list, Wildlife Services would have it, and it is very likely to include the name of several of the biggest sheep operators in Idaho. Perhaps that is why the poisonings were never solved back in 2001. A combination of rancher power in Idaho, and Bush in power in DC – with the Sheepmen’s guardian avenger angel Larry Craig pulling strings and threatening to cut the heart out of any bureaucrat who crossed the Sheepmen… would be my guess …

    Didn’t find the actual state Bill when 1080 all became allowed again in Googling last night, but it was late and I was tired. Don’t kow if there was any requirement there for any lists …

  68. avatar kt says:

    I just found the section of Idaho Code – but it looks like they only have to keep records for 3 years. And maybe I’m wrong in understanding this – but does it mean that an “Applicator” can get this from Wildlife Service, then go about “applying”?

    If you do a word search for 1080 in the PDF, 4 or 5 pages come up.

    SO:

    Does this mean that PRIVATE “applicators” and not just Wildlife Services can use 1080 in ID, if they go through WS to get it???

    http://www.adm.idaho.gov/adminrules/rules/idapa02/0303.pdf

  69. avatar jerryB says:

    I suggest that anyone with questions about 1080, go to
    http://www.predatordefense.org/. Brooks Fahy has been working on a ban for years. I’m sure he’ll be happy to answer questions.

  70. JerryB
    I just read some of the predator defense stuff. It is really distressing.
    To be able work for Wildlife Services would take a very special kind of person. Their mentality has to be similar to that of a serial killer. I wouldn’t want to raise a family near any of them.
    kt-
    I did some reading on the 1080 collars. They are attached by 2 or 3 velcro straps to the neck of a sheep. Each one contains enough poison to kill 6- 150 lb. men. It would only take one collar to provide enough 1080 to kill all of these wolves and have enough left over to kill a whole bunch more. The collars sell for $18-20.
    It seems that this stuff would be really tempting for terrorists. 1080 is odorless and tasteless. Buy some sheep, get certified to use 1080, buy 1000 1080 collars to protect your sheep and you could kill twice as many people as the 9-11 bunch. Where is homeland security.?

  71. avatar rick says:

    “I do not condone or advocate killing wolves illegally,” isn’t enough. If you are privvy to others comments that involve illegally killing wolves, you have a responsibility to try to stop it. If you know of someone- or group of someones- threatening or planning to kill wolves, you should immediately contact law enforcement.”

    I am again a little behind the times in my comments, but this comment caught my eye because I have seen comments on this website where people have promoted tampering with traps to make them inoperable and one person commented that they had pulled down snares that were on public lands. I know that most people on this website feel that those would be justified actions but it is also against the law. IT goes both ways.

  72. avatar kt says:

    Larry: The bizarre and SICK, SICK, SICK thing is that I think that Wildlife Services was made a part of Homeland Security in the mid-Bush years. Ostensibly because the APHIS part (and I always think of a rose bud doomed to browning petals with aphids sucking all the sap out of it whenever I even type the word APHIS) keeps foreign plants and brown tree snakes out of Boise — or something.

    Likely just a way to cover up the Killers that work for the WS part. Or perhaps more sinister purposes too … depending how tinfoily one wants to get.

    Calling Janet Napolitano …

  73. avatar rick says:

    “The bizarre and SICK, SICK, SICK thing is that I think that Wildlife Services was made a part of Homeland Security in the mid-Bush years. Ostensibly because the APHIS part keeps foreign plants and brown tree snakes out of Boise — or something.”

    I think that is a very “tinfoily” idea. APHIS is part of the USDA. However, they have homeland security branch that coordinates with Homeland Security to to “keep brown tree snakes out of Boise.” According to the APHIS website:

    “The Homeland Security Branch consists of three senior analysts tasked with coordinating and overseeing APHIS’ efforts to enhance Agency homeland security related activities and integrate into and comply with Federal homeland security initiatives.”

    That is not quite the same as being part of Homeland Security.

  74. avatar rick says:

    I know that this is completely off topic, but here is a little more information about APHIS’s role in homeland security, besides “keeping brown tree snakes out of Boise” and APHIS’s Plant Protection and Quarentine work that is done at ports. The majority of homeland security related work that APHIS does is related to emergency response. This information was taken from the APHIS website:

    “Under the National Response Framework, USDA is a primary agency for Emergency Support Function #11, Agriculture and Natural Resources. APHIS is expected to play a significant role in a wide variety of emergency incidents, including “all hazards” emergencies (i.e., those unrelated to outbreaks of pests and diseases threatening agricultural production.) ”

    “APHIS’ Veterinary Services (VS) program safeguards U.S. poultry and livestock from the introduction, establishment and spread of foreign animal diseases. VS’ National Center for Animal Health Emergency Management develops strategies and policies for effective incident management, and coordinates incident responses.”

    “Hurricane Katrina clearly demonstrated that enabling pet evacuation promotes citizen evacuation, thereby saving human lives, as well as pets. The Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act and the Post Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act created a requirement for the federal government and States to develop disaster management plans for household pets. APHIS is integral to providing for the well-being of household pets by working with States and Tribes to develop and implement emergency plans that include evacuation and sheltering of pets.”

    Clearly this is not “Likely just a way to cover up the Killers that work for the WS part.” In fact many of those “Killers” played a big part in rescuing pets that were stranded after hurricane Katrina.

  75. avatar kt says:

    Rick:

    APHIS/Wildlife Services is shrouded in secrecy about its killing – everything from its Mormon cricket killing to its aerial gunning of wolves to the poisons it handles/dispenses.

    WS is a rogue agency that: Refuses to provide FOIA info without a major battle over their release, actually has “agents” that PROMOTE the use of M-44s ( have heard this first hand), promotes all manner of other poisons including for birds, is joined by the hip to the deceits of the livestock industry – lobbying heavily for raven poisons to try to make up for ranchers stripping grass cover needed for grouse nesting, etc.

    NOLA: If we had had a President that was not constantly off vacationing and hamming it up with some CW star, that had not set about as his primary mission destroying any functioning bureaucracy in the country (like FEMA), that believed in science – like info that the levees were vulnerable, then there might have been much less of a catastrophe.

    I’m glad you rescued dogs, that is a much better thing than gunning wolves.

    Here’s the thing: WS does NOT have to kill wolves, coyotes all the time – but we know it’s the easy way out, the ranchers want them dead – so instead of insisting that the ranchers actually do some work – WHICH IT COULD VERY WELL DO -WS just accommodates them. Why doesn’t APHIS tell Faulkner/whoever: No – you don’t have enough herders to do their job – wolves aren’t dying until you take all reasonable measures to control the whereabouts of your sheep, and protect them. I’ve read the WS (and APHIS cricket killin’ EAs). Grand talk about Alternatives, fladry, etc. But in the end -Killing is the easy way out, the path of least resistance. It just enables more abuse by the abusers of public lands …

  76. avatar rick says:

    “I’m glad you rescued dogs, that is a much better thing than gunning wolves.”

    kt, I don’t have the relationship with WS that you seem to think I have, but I have worked with WS employees on several occasions.

    As far as WS being a secretive, rogue agency, what do you mean by rogue? That phrase seems to be recycled over and over every few years in different news releases by environmental groups.

    As for secretive, I don’t know what kind of information you have been requesting, but I have requested information from them them a few times and have received the information except for times when the information I requested contained personal identifiable information about the cooperators. This information cannot be released, by law.

    I believe there are situations in which wildlife needs to be managed. Because of individual variability within animals, there is not any one tool that will be effective in every situation. I think the best approach to dealing with human/wildlife conflicts is the use of multiple tools, and I think lethal removal should be one of the tools available. You said:

    “WS does NOT have to kill wolves, coyotes all the time – but we know it’s the easy way out, the ranchers want them dead – so instead of insisting that the ranchers actually do some work – WHICH IT COULD VERY WELL DO -WS just accommodates them. Why doesn’t APHIS tell Faulkner/whoever: No – you don’t have enough herders to do their job – wolves aren’t dying until you take all reasonable measures to control the whereabouts of your sheep, and protect them.

    I agree, WS does not always have to kill wolves and coyotes, and there have probably been situations that could have been handled differently. I agree with you that there are situations where livestock producer need to take more accountability for the care of there animals and, I have been working with a WS employee when he did tell the producer that he needed to get more guard dogs for a band of sheep (that is “range maggots” for readers of this blog that are not familiar with the term “sheep” :) ) that had experienced some predation by wolves. However, who would be responsible for deciding what is considered “all reasonable measures” for each situation. I have found some articles that say 83% of livestock producers use at least one non-lethal method to reduce livestock losses to predation, and spend up to $184 million annually on non-lethal predator control.

    You also mentioned “Grand talk about Alternatives, fladry, etc.” According to the National Wildlife Research Center (the research branch of WS), they spent 75% of their total funding on developing or improving nonlethal techniques. Perhaps their needs to be more effort in getting WS specialists and producers to try these new techniques, but as Brian Ertz pointed out with the Lava Lake situation, the things they are doing are probably not practical or economically feasible for most producers.

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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