So far 15 have been killed-

Here is the story with a local angle from the Idaho Mountain Express. By Jon Duval. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer.

With colder weather and more elk hunts open too, the pace of the wolf hunt will probably pick up.

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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.

36 Responses to Beginning today all of Idaho is open to wolf hunting

  1. Yes, it is wolf hunting opener in Salmon, Idaho today….and to avoid any bad days in Black Rock, my dog Sable is sporting her blaze orange outfit. We considered labeling each side “DOG,” but Sable said that would assume the blood-thirsty wolf haters are literate.

    see Sable in her blaze-orange glory at Picasa:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/WWPCentralIdahoSalmon/BadDayAtBlackRockWolfHuntOpenerSalmonIdaho101091203PM?pli=1#

    cheers

    Larry Zuckerman

  2. avatar Save bears says:

    Probably a smart move Larry, not because they can’t id a wolf over a dog, but it is always smart to make it obvious that it is a domestic dog, during any hunting season, my retrievers always wore blaze orange suits during hunting season, no matter what the species being hunted!

    And the put downs and name calling on both sides of the issue is really getting old!

  3. avatar kt says:

    Speaking of death … and wolves … and things supposed to be overseen by IDFG:

    Whatever happened to the Fish and Game investigation into the SIX poisoned wolf pups on Ditto Flat north of Fairfield???

    Shouldn’t that Lab in Ashland have some results by now? Or are they just going to bury it – like they did the 1080 wolf poisoning north of Fairfield several years ago?

  4. larry, you have a nice looking dog. Good idea to protect her from hunters, she looks like a wolf a little, and hunters as you know shoot first and ask questions later.

  5. We would agree with you William about Sable’s fine looks and wild spirit. That’s why we keep her leashed, while on public lands everyday, because we are responsible for her, as well as the invaluable Public Trust natural resources.

    cheers and be safe

    Larry Z

  6. avatar josh sutherland says:

    I would say the LARGE majority of hunters do not shoot first and ask questions later!!

  7. avatar Ken Cole says:

    Josh,
    You are probably right but enough of them do to make it worthwhile to protect your dog in this way. I have had enough encounters with hunters where shots were fired over my head that I am careful about where I go during hunting season.

  8. avatar Hilljack says:

    I think more coyotes are in trouble. I hope this issue slows down and goes away I can’t take much more on this issue lets manage them as big game and if something happens to significantly drop the population list them again. For now they are near capacity with good gene flow and colonization.

  9. avatar Cris Waller says:

    I was just coming in to post the same link!

    I can’t believe they are letting him off scot-free, even though he *admits* to shooting illegally at wolves, because he may not have killed one.

    Crazy.

  10. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    That statements about hunters shooting and asking questions later applies to a minority of hunters, even most of the rabid anti-wolf people. I think it is a good idea to have blaze orange on the dog because she does look like a wolf. I would have probably written dog on the side as well just to be clear.

    How many of you read the anti-wolf comments in the newspaper article? This is straight out of the 19th century. Amazing in this digital age that people who obviously have the means and knowledge to operate computers are writing that stuff.

  11. avatar josh sutherland says:

    My comment was direct at Mr. Huard, it was just an obvious uneducated jab at hunters.. Just makes me smile a little bit. I run into the anti’s all the time on the Wasatch Front hunting deer. I am carrying a bow and they wont stop talking about how I am going to shoot them, its kind of entertaining at times. As if from 40 yards I cant identify a lady in a purple jacket on a trail enought to tell if she is a deer or not…. ??

  12. avatar izabelam says:

    Hey Josh…
    🙂 Little lady in purple..me? 🙂

    I am hiking in Alpine Loop area tomorrow…will be wearing purple jacket. Please, dont’ shoot.

  13. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Dont worry, I can usually tell the difference!! 🙂

  14. avatar josh sutherland says:

    But let me know if you see anything big..:) Mule deer, no elk tag for me!

  15. avatar Cobra says:

    Josh,
    How come no elk tag for you this year? Just curious.

  16. avatar dewey says:

    I don;t have Ralph’s e-mail address , so I am going to post an interesting Wyoming newspaper article here in full . From yesterday’s Cody Enterprise , a front page above the fold a story about how a “unidentified” local hunter whose e-mail account of a wolf attacking cattle in front of him became hot cyber-grapevine news. The gist is he knew he couldn’t legally kill the attacking wolf , because Wyoming is still in the doghouse over wolves. He claims he shot pictures of the wolf instead, but all that was published in the newspaper article was a single image of a bleeding wounded cow that was later put down. No wolf photos. What is intersting is the entire spin on the incident, up to and including comments by Wyoming’s wolf control manager for USF&WS, Mike Jimenez. whose comments may or may not have been put in the best context here. The reporter is Richard Reeder, well known for lame vaccuous editorializing that plays to right wing anti-enviro sentimentalities religiously ( preaching to his percieved readership, I presume ). The Cody Enterprise is a decidedly Anti-Wolf newspaper…it has never to my knowledge printed anything but the doom and gloom and negatives of wolf actualities , like the early days of wolf reintroduction when they first began to disperse out of Yellowstone, and two lone wolves were spotted in the same week about fifty miles apart in rugged Park County WY near Cody . The headline the following week ” Wolves galore ! “. I kid you not…I clipped and saved that one.

    Read on, the latest in Wolf spin from Cody Wyoming:

    (headline) “Wolf kill could not be halted”

    By Richard Reeder

    Three wolves have been removed from a pack and killed after they killed two cows about 20 miles north of Cody.

    The incident occurred Sept. 14 on a Shoshone Forest grazing allotment belonging to Gerald Schneider of Clark and Bernard Bjornestad of Powell. It’s close to the Natural Corral area near Bald Ridge and adjacent to the Two Dot Ranch.

    The attack on the cows was witnessed by an unidentified hunter, who described the incident in a widely distributed e-mail. The hunter said:

    “I came upon a herd of cattle running around in a circle and making all sorts of sounds. The herd parted and two wolves popped out to look at me. Just beyond the two was another wolf on the hind end of a cow pulling a chunk of flesh from the cow that was still alive.

    “The two wolves ran to my right and stopped about 50 yards away.

    “The wolf on the cow jumped off and stood on the road. I charged him with the ATV and he ran to my right and stopped 25 yards away.

    “I had my .44 mag and could have popped him, but knowing the penalty for killing a wolf, I pulled out the camera instead and took a picture of him while he was running away.

    “I called 911 to get the local game warden, Chris Queen. He called back and was heading to the spot after he finished loading hay.”

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service state wolf manager Mike Jimenez said this pack has a history of creating problems.

    “This is the Carter Mountain Pack and it has an chronic history of attacking livestock,” he said. “The pack had three adults and five pups.

    “When a pack has a history of problems, we respond aggressively,” he added. “We removed three wolves and believe the pack has two adults and three pups left.”

    Jimenez said USFWS responds to the problems under strict guidelines.

    “In 1999 well-defined rules were written for us to handle problem wolves,” he said. “Last year we removed 46 wolves with a history of attacking livestock.

    “This year we have had fewer problems and removed fewer wolves,” he added. “We have had 17 confirmed cow kills and 177 sheep kills attributed to wolves.”

    Jimenez said the hunter acted properly when he encountered the attack.

    “In Montana and Idaho, which have approved management plans, he could have shot the wolf,” he said. “Those states have a 10-J amendment that allows for anyone to protect private property when they encounter a wolf attack.

    “But because Wyoming has no approved plan, there was nothing the hunter could do,” he added. “If he had shot the wolf, he would have faced federal charges similar to those faced by someone who shoots a grizzly bear.”

    Jimenez said situations like this are why the wolf needs to be delisted.

    “Right now we’re defending an Endangered Species policy that has been put in place,” he said. “But we support delisting so people can protect their private property.

    “This situation is exactly why Wyoming needs an approved management plan “ to give people the ability to take action,” he added. “We want to see this happen, but it is going to take time to get all the litigation sorted out.”

    Game and Fish grizzly and wolf manager Mark Bruscino responded to the incident, but his involvement was limited.

    “When I arrived I saw one cow was dead and the other was injured,” he said. “I finished off the injured cow after receiving permission from the owner.

    “Then I issued the paperwork for the reimbursement to the owner because we are required to reimburse them for the loss,” he added. “My action was a control action because once we saw wolves were involved, Fish and Wildlife took over.”

    ——— ###### end quote ##### ——–

    So there it is: the front page news from wolf-hating Cody WY . I would be bereft if I did not report a couple of things here. Firs , this attack occurred on public land. The Natural Corral- Bald Ridge area is both Forest Service and BLM , and loaded with black bear, Grizzly , and Cougars and abundant big game. It’s a fine elk calving ground. It’s one of those places where you don’t want to see any cattle at all competing for forage and the limited water . I know , because my family had the homestead there that s now Northwest College’s Mickelson Field Station and I spent the first 35 years of my life around there. I will add offhandedly that Shoshone Forest range supervision and grazing compliance checks are oxymorons thereabouts.

    Which brings me to the other point. I personally do not know the man listed as co-owner of the afflicted cattle, Gerald Schneider of nearby Clark WY. But the other guy , Bernie Bjornstad, has run tons of cows up there for summers on end. He’s had that grazing allotment since the Eisenhower administration for all I know, and he’s old school . Very old school. He has this nasty methodology of driving his cattle herds up to Bald ridge in late Spring and kicking them out on the mountain , and just leaving them be most of the summer without checking on them. They run all over the place. I don’t know how many times over the years I chased Bernie’s cows off our 55 acres of meadows and cold springs and Homestead Creek riparian . His cows kept busting the fence and helping themselves to our place, and there was never a cowboy to be seen for weeks on end , checking the herds. You have to ask if it was “put ’em out in the spring, gather ’em in the fall , and bill the government for the difference ” ranching.

    Until I hear otherwise about this latest incident, seeing as it happened in mid-September I’m going to presume it was Bernie’s cows that those wolves were preying on , and the cows were probably untended , therefore presenting a fine easy meal on the hoof for the wolfpack. No miles of tongue dragging fierce pursuit of the wily bovine here…

    Just a snapshot view from northwest Wyoming, the Lobophobia capital of the West.

    Am I alone in thinking that untended cattle grazing on public lands for well below market-value grazing fees on open allotments where apex predators reside should not be granted a whole lot of compensation for cattle thus lost ?

  17. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    You are not alone. I see “unattended” cattle & sheep all the time. Wolves and other predators pay the price. Bernie Bjornstad, seems to use the common Christopher Columbus method of grazing – turn ’em out in the Spring, and hope to find ’em in the fall.

    Wolves get no help at all from Wyoming’s USFWS wolf mgt, Mike Jimenez, who says wolves are the problem. No, ranchers are the problem. We don’t have problem wolves, we have problem ranchers.

  18. avatar pointswest says:

    Check this idiot out,
    http://www.idahostatesman.com/531/story/921480.html

    This is a case where I am a little sympathetic with the rancher…although this Sidoway is an unsavory redneck in my opinion. However, I know this area well. It is called the Egin-Hamer area west of St. Anthony, Idaho. Other than settlements on the Utah border, and a stage stop or two, Egin is the about oldest settlement in Eastern Idaho. My great, great, grandfather was the first settler there and the first homesteader north of the Snake River. My great grandmother was the first white child born north of the Snake River and could remember Beaver Dick and playing with his halfbreed kids.

    The area where these shootings took place was never good wolf habitat until settlers came and built irrigation canals on the Egin Bench and later built water wells in the Hamer area to the west. Other than the river bottoms at the Henry’s Fork or Camas Creek, this area was very, very dry desert with rainfall less than 10 or even 5 inches year. There was very little game there and, consequently, it was not good wolf habitat.

    So here you have a case of wolves moving into an area only because people have irrigated and developed it for farming and ranching. The irrigation brought more deer into the area and more rabbits, rodents, and birds that attracted the predators. The ranchers also brought their livestock that attracts predators. The Egin Hammer area is a mixture of BLM and private land today. It is private where it was possible to irrigate. Only an occasional wolf ever wandered though this area until the settlers developed it for farming and ranching. So now you are going to tell them they need to learn to live with their brothers, the wolves?

  19. avatar John d. says:

    When mankind changed the land into a place suitable for his use he moved in and forced wildlife out to make way for his own. So when all is said and done, the settlers are still the interlopers, not the wildlife.

  20. As many of you know, Lee Mercer and I wrote a book published in 2001, Hiking Wyoming’s Tetons and Washakie Wilderness. Hiking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness Areas.. Carter Mountain is an amazing finger of this Wilderness pointing toward Cody. It is over 12,000 feet high in many places. Some of Wyoming’s biggest grizzly bears live and have been taken on the mountain and the Carter Mountain wolf pack was one of the first thought to have been founded by an Idaho wolf (think Judge Molloy), although this wolf and offspring were illegally killed before its genetics was passed on.

    Even on the mountain’s less rugged north end, it is well over 10,000 feet. Because it is rainshadowed, it doesn’t have many trees. It has a great elk herd and they are not feedlot elk. There would be more elk if there were fewer cows. You can see a lot of photos of it in Google Earth/Panoramio. One of many, http://www.panoramio.com/photo/25188240, and especially this one, http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/25186981.jpg

    There is private land too on Carter Mountain, but I am amazed that cattle run unguarded and a big thing is made of a wolf attack on a few of them. This is not country for weak animals. I recall about 20 years allow lightning killed a couple hundred sheep on the mountain.

    I should add that the grizzly bears and wolves extend down into the valley of the South Fork of the Shoshone thousands of feet below and up on its other side, Wapiti Ridge.

    This is very irritating. Jimenez keeps his job by kowtowing to the local landed nobility.

  21. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Notwithstanding the issue of whether the cows should be on that public grazing land at all, the newspaper article seemed fairly objective. Reporter only summarized facts – all of which seem consistent with known wolf behavior while in pursuit of a cattle herd -did not run off when witness charged with ATV. Witness does the right thing by calling wildlife officials. USFWS guy (Jiminez) states law as it is, as he knows it, in WY because of no approved plan, with no delisting. One does not know what else he may have said, that the reporter did not print (always a risk when talking to reporters who sometimes don’t always get it right). My question, DEWEY, is how else should he have reported the incident?

    As for whether the cattle should be there, if this was public grazing land, did the lessee(s) violate terms of their permit? If no, then, regrettabley, no foul on the lessee, however careless his conduct. If there should be no grazing allotment on this land or the terms of the permit tightened up so “they can’t just turn them out in the Spring….,” that is grazing policy matter that needs to be addressed. If it was private land, improved at that as pointswest says, again no foul on the rancher.

    Just exactly what is the rancher supposed to do without incurring additional costs that were not present before wolf reintroduction, and upon which he/she relied as a part of cattle operations? Wolves are a newly imposed condition and unanticipated external cost to the rancher.

    Principles of equity for ranch operators implemented over time, as well as education, and good resource management by the feds (stop or reduce public grazing, or raise prices to market) are in order here.

    From Jiminez’ comment it doesn’t seem the Carter Mountain pack is getting the message from the lethal control effort, that cattle are not an acceptable food souce, either. And, that is sad.

  22. avatar dewey says:

    I’ll add some clarity to the last few comments. The wolf pack that attacked the cattle north of Cody is somewhat erroneously named the Carter Mountain Pack. Or as Shakespeare says “What’s in a name ? “. The have to call them something. The CM pack roams over a vast territory across the rivers’ watershed…Greybull River, both forks of the Shoshone, and apparently the Sunlight-Crandall area ( which was news to me!) since that puts the CM pack squarely on the turf of the Absaroka pack that lives with the unique non-migratory Elk herd along the BEeartooth front. A quick trip into Google Earth shows that from , say Sawmill Park on the eastern end of Carter Mountain as the Raven flies to the Natural Corral on Bald Ridge where the attack occurs is right at 30 miles. By making a logical path that avoids the most human occupied area…down off Carter across the South Fk of Shoshone, around Buffalo Bill Reservoir, up Rattlesnake Creek , across the highlands to Bald Ridge going north… a wolf pack would traverse about 44 miles of terrain across three big watersheds and two highways. It’s not the distance that is remarkabe to me ( it’s not …a day’s travel for a motivated wolf) but the terrain and human occupied territory that would need be covered. We have six named wolf packs “west” of Cody. They range all the way to Dubois south , the Yellowstone River valley north, and all the way back into central Yellowstone Park. Some dispersed over across the badlands and Big Horn Basin to populate the Big Horn Mountains , in small numbers and not as substantial pack-behaving units.

    This illustrates an issue I have a hard time convincing people of ( and something that is underreported , purposely slighted, or more often ignored in most local news coverage of wolf actualities)— that there are a hefty number of wolves and wolfpacks out there that are moving through the country all the time but are not doing any ” newsworthy” things. And we really don’t know where they are or what they are up to most of the time, radio collars aside. ( I’m opposed to collaring wolves , by the way ) When we do hear of an isolated incident or take a “snapshot” of a wolf event, it’s merely a point on a line and that line is long in distance and timespan. It says almost nothing about where those wolves are coming from or where they are going and their travel log and ledger of carcass kills, etc. The best analogy I can come up with is borrowed from quantum mechanics: the remarkably philosophical ” Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle” which I believe applies to almost everything, not just electrons and atomic nuclei. It says basically that when observing something like an electron or a roaming wolf, you cannot simultaneously know its position and its direction/momentum with certainty. One or the other with accuracy , but not both at once. Measuring one alters the other. And a lot of the reason for this has to do with the observer. Fascinating stuff that has as much relevance in biology as physics, IMHO.

    To address Wilderness Muse’s valid question about how this Bald Ridge cattle attack should’ve been reported , and to respond to another commentor’s statement that the Cody Enterprise article was objective, I would say that the reporter violated the journalistic equivalent of the Uncertainty Principle. It’s called Attribution. Specifically , using only a single uncorroborated unidentified source as the basis of a story…the anonymous hunter who witnessed the attack then later e-mailed the account to his circle of cronies. As a former journalist myself who still dips oars in those dark fetid waters on occasion , I have to call ” Bullshit” on this manner of reporting. If you cannot identify or define or otherwise qualify your source, you have no story. It’s indefensible. Even if the wildlife agents came along and confirmed the kills as being from wolves and did their bureaucratic chores and paperwork, it still builds the whole news account on a foundation of untrustworthy sand.

    What about those wolves…the Carter Mountain pack ? Where is their side of the story ? Surely Mike Jimenez can flesh that out for us—the packs history , travel and dining logs, etc— but he wasn’t asked. So we have Uncertainty. We know where the Carter pack was that day and they took down a couple cows. That’s just a aprticle sparking in a cloud chamber. Hard to make a case or prove a trend or show a dynamic from one instance . Especially when that instance has some extenuated circumstances that I alluded to…likely untended cows, foreknowledge of wolves ( and griz and cougar) in the immediate area, the history and patterns of predation on cattle thereabouts not being used for proactive presumptive LIVESTOCK management in the face of wolves. And my favorite—the ongoing inordinate and wholly disproportional eradication of substantial percentages of Wyoming’s roaming wolves because they were fingered for the taking of a microscopic number of Wyoming’s cattle and sheep …as in Wildlife Services taking out 40 percent of the wolves because they mixed it up with 0.01 percent of the livestock ? Wyoming has 1.4 million beef cows. Wolves took 47 of them last year. Do the math…. the ranchers cannot colelctive claim tha they are being ut out of busiess by wolves, but the Benie Bjornstad’s of the world are taking hits that may affect them eprsonally in the pocketbook.

    What about a ” Weekend with Bernie” news story here? What does HE have to say about all this, and what did he do–or more importantly NOT do — about wolves mixing it up with his cattle ? Did he have a man on the scene with a rifle and binoclars and some Border Collies or Australia Shephards to alert him? Was anyone looking in on these cows frequently and counting noses , and actually ” cowboying” the cattle ? If a beef cow is so darn valuable to Wyoming’s stockmen, why are they not more proactive or even attentive to the potentiality of wolves on the ground? Why do we always default to financial compensation on the one hand and Wildlife Services doing the wet work of eradicating problem wolves , no matter was management scenario we make rules for on the other? ( Side comment ehre: Even if Wyoming agreed to drop its sill alwsuits and adopt a trophy hunting system of managing wolves like Idaho and Montana, which is satisfactory to Fish and Wildife service, the assassins from Wildlife Services over int he Department of Agriculture will always be there to take out problem wolves regardless. We already HAVE wolf management in the Northern Rockies so long as Wildlife Services is just a phone call away.

    Wilderness Muse and you’all —if you REALLY want to know the story about managing wolves in Wyoming (and Montana and Idaho I presume, although I cannot speak to them specifically), get the agents of Wildlife Services to tell all. They are where the rubber meets the road. They are who Mike Jimenez calls. They are doing the wet work and hailing off the wolf carcasses.
    Ralph Maughan will echo what I am telling you hear and the Cody Enterprise never bothers to ask about—Wildlife Services don’t talk about their work. They don’t even respond to FOIA requests. They are shadowy. They are the Uncertainty for the rest of us. We never hear about them and their endeavours till afterwards, but ranchers have their direct line. By the way , were you aware that in one recent year it cost over $ 1000.00 in budget sums for every Coyote eradicated by Wildlife Services and various county animal control authorities in Wyoming. A thousand bucks a dog…$ 6 million to take less than 6,000 coyotes. I wonder what we taxpayers and beef eaters and wildlife adovocates are paying to “control” wolves, per capita?

    Stories like this Cody Enterprise article, while reasonably objective, are too narrow to be useful. The Richard Reeder article comes nowhere near to providing any context and direction to the incident. It left out too much. And it was all based on a circulating local e-mail account whose author was not identified.

    If all that people read or hear about wolves is based on incomplete or Uncertain journalism , or just plain bad journalism , the only thing that can come from that is skewed public opinion and bad public policy.

    Cody and Wyoming is overflowing with that…. no Uncertainty there!

  23. avatar dewey says:

    …and I apologize for my typing skills.
    Or rather the lack of them. Mamas don’t let your babies skip high school typing class ( or Home Economics, for that matter…)

  24. Dewey,

    I think you made an important point that there are many wolf packs in this huge swath of country.

    Whether they controlled the wolves responsible is an open question because of the time and the distance wolves can travel and the presence of other wolf packs.

    We know, however, they much wolf control is simply revenge killing. The psychological function is to satisfy the local gentry and their supporters.

  25. avatar dewey says:

    … and I doubt the outcome would have been much different, Ralph, regardless of who held the gun or the camera or came upon the scene.

    I love the term ” gentrification” of the West’s wild places. It isn’t just McMansions and subdivisions and boutiques. The cattle barons that opened the country 130 years ago were also majorly gentrifying. This episode is an echo of that.

    Cows died, but wolves were found guilty and executed under some manner of Napoleonic justice where the state presumes guilt from the outset and the defendant must prove innocence beyond all reasonable doubt…which is rare in the case of wolves. In this case, the ” guilty” parties were dealt with summarily. But how does the incidental wolf establish innocence , if indicted ? This incident north of Cody was just an incandescent blip in the cloud.

    I merely regret that back when I was learning the journalism craft, both in college and actually being a cub reporter for salty old editors while still in high school even, that newspapers of record were not supposed to have an agenda nor build stories towards presumptive allusions. Sometime a reporter has to tack into the wind, not drift with it. My point stands…this ” bleep” about the blip of the Cody Enterprise story is merely one instance of years of doing just that. Wolves never get a fair hearing where I live. Never. They aren’t even considered wildlife, just a nuisance, for the most part. The anti-Wolf firewall in Wyoming is monstrous. Much knowledge and good data don’t seem to make it thru.

    ( Sorry to take over this article. This incident and newspaper article were on my front burner at the time. Thanks for the venue )

  26. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Cobra,

    I have a late season muzzleloader spike tag for a different part of the state.. Though my friend killed a great bull last week on a unit near my home town. I semi-guided him. If you want I can send you some pics, my email is josh.sutherland@live.com

  27. avatar Virginia says:

    Dewey – would you please write a letter to the Cody Enterprise and call “bullshit” on Richard Reeder – he really gets me riled up! Also, thank you for presenting the facts to this venue as the readers need to know what is going on up here and I don’t have the writing skills or knowledge to write about it.

  28. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Dewey,

    Thanks for the background on the Cody Enterprise story. I know nothing of this reporter, but the fact that the writing comes from a newspaper in a community of less than 9,000 people suggests several things. No doubt reporting with more resources can often produce better researched stories. This guiy probably writes about a half dozen different topics during a week.

    Wildlife Services damage control efforts on a per animal basis is most likely shocking for nearly every species. I would have guessed coyotes at an even higher number than $1,000 per. Even with skunks, squirrels, rabbits, etc. it has to be pretty high per animal. Control, and the “wet work” as you describe it, is labor intensive work, with alot of time before a “result.”

    The wolf control cost numbers are separately called out in the WS fiscal cost summaries by state on their website. With the involvement of helicopters and all, the cost has to be well into 5 figures per wolf. Add that to the cost of reintroduction since start, including planning, EIS, capture – translocation etc. by all federal agencies including the pass thru for the state programs and the numbers get pretty big even for the entire population born, transferred or migrated into the US since 1987, with most expenditures from the mid-1990’s on. Tack on the regulatory efforts, litigation costs and judiciary expenses and we are talking real money.

  29. avatar dewey says:

    I have to tell you something, Gin. The Cody Enterprise editor-publisher pretty much censors anything that goes against the prevailing current on wildlife vs. ranching vs. hunting vs. “them frakking enviros” issues— that being anti-Wolf and enslave the Grizzlies rhetoric being the norm in Cody adn Park County. For instance, he has refused for years to print learned professional respectful Letters to the Editor ( not mine! obviously ) from folks who would support wolves and grizzly and have their facts in order. And I might add used to work for the same agencies involved in current affairs. So much so is this defacto censorship that those folks won’t even take pen to hand any longer. But the flaming rhetoric from the other side gets a lot of billboard space, regrettably. And the editor and his reporters kow-tow to them.

    At least the Powell Tribune took the hint when I suggested they interview a retired ecologist friend on the recent Grizzly relisting decision with respect to whitebark pine and other ancillary issues. A small bit of positive informed widefield reportage is better than none.

    I regret that journalism has become so aligned to special interests if and when those interests are sharing the same revenue streams as the newspaper’s bottom line and advertising constituency. In a more perfect world, businesses would be run as newspapers on a nonprofit pubic service model instead of what we are rapidly devolving to : newspapers run as for profit business. That model is imploding in its own debauchery. So much so that I am disgusted with journalism and rarely reveal I used to be one. Except on websites with great integrity and inclusiveness such as this one where real public discourse still thrives in a healthy ecosystem of the heart and mind.

  30. In the Oregonian, a new report was announced that indicates the top predators, such as wolves, keep down meso-predators like coyotes and skunks, and in turn could benefit livestock!

    http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2009/10/decline_in_big_predators_wreak.html

    I hope to read the professional peer-reviewed article soon.

    cheers

    Larry Zuckerman

  31. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Dewey, it is amazing how these wolf stories become the stuff of legends. I can believe people said wolves galore when they saw two. I think wolf sightings also become like Elvis sightings. That mentality was evident in Iowa with mountain lions. Some farmers wanted a bounty to protect kids and livestock because one measly mountain lion was hit by a car. I would be willing to bet there are people in Cody who are going to say the wolves attacked the rancher. I had a coworker last year tell me that a pack of wolves attacked a campsite in Yellowstone. She said they were shot by the campers. I asked if they got nailed for having guns in the park and she said you could have permits. Strange that the Billings Gazette, Casper Star-Tribune, and Idaho Statesmen did not report the story, nor did the Livingston or Cody Enterprises or Jackson’s paper. Hmmm!

  32. avatar Ken Cole says:

    The number of wolves killed is now up to 23 in Idaho and remains at 9 in Montana.

    http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/planahunt/wolfStatus.html

    http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/hunt/wolf/quota.cfm

  33. avatar Cris Waller says:

    One of the Phantom Hill wolves is dead.

    http://www.mtexpress.com/vu_breaking_story.php?bid=7879

    I wonder, from the description, if that was Jewel, so movingly described here- http://westernwatersheds.org/wolves/phantomwolves/B445-jewel as being a curious young wolf.

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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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