Some professed “hunters” at meeting fear they will be eaten-

Another state; same fairy tales. Yakima, of course, isn’t the same as on the west side of the Cascades.

Community voices wolf concerns at WDFW forum. Some residents say hunting animals might be necessary to preserve human safety. By Scott Sandsberry. Yakima Herald-Republic
Someone just commented that the link was broken. The link above is now fixed.  Sorry and thanks!

This is a meeting on Washington’s wolf management plan. This is not the federal government.

Once again, here is the link to the plan.

 
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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.

77 Responses to Anti-wolf dominates at Yakima Washington wolf plan meeting

  1. avatar nabeki says:

    I knew it. I’ve been to these meetings before. It happens everytime. Yakima…..not one of my fav places, I had my car stolen there many moons ago.

    Your right though, it will be a dfferent story when Seattle has it’s say.

    I just noticed they’re having a meeting in Sequiem (s’kwim)….I love the Olympics!!!! One of my favorite places on earth! I want to be a wolf living there…lol.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  2. avatar nabeki says:

    Spelled Sequim not Seguiem…duh to ms.

  3. avatar Cris Waller says:

    I am hoping the meetings in Seattle and Vancouver turn out a bit differently…

    I wish I could make one of the meetings- I’ll have to get cracking on my written testimony instead.

    The southern Cascades could use a few wolves; I was amazed how many elk I saw in the Toutle River Valley last year! And deer are everywhere.

  4. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Read the comments in there. You have the usual “Little Red Riding Hood” paranoia and then the one person is pissing and moaning that they are being reintroduced. Someone is not paying attentions considering that they are managing for wolves naturally recolonizing. I can’t believe that we are almost a decade into the 21st century and people have these fears that have been proven wrong probably about 50 years ago.

  5. avatar Save bears says:

    Pro,

    Unfortunately, it is still a fact of life that people think this way, and until such time as it is recognized, it is going to be a point of contention…

  6. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Unfortunately, it is still a fact of life that people think this way, and until such time as it is recognized, it is going to be a point of contention…

    Unfortunately, you’re right. I guess it just seems that there should be some more attempts to educate people about wolves. I don’t remember a whole lot in Montana when I was growing up. We did a report on wolves when I was in 4th grade three years before the wolf restoration but that was all I ever remember hearing about wolves. I remember the next three years not hearing very much about them (not counting people pissing and moaning) other than some people who had set up a kiosk at the Artist Point in Yellowstone.

  7. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    I was just looking at the link on Demarcated Landscapes about Wolf Awareness Week in Flagstaff. Something like that could be a start in Washington.
    (I hope this project has success.)

  8. avatar JW says:

    These people are using fear and hysteria to say these absurd things. Are they genuinely scared or just stupid?
    Saying they eat people immediately loses credibility with me and likely most others.

  9. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Saying they eat people makes me no longer take them seriously. Then I want to ask if they eat them by dressing up in Grandma’s pajamas and hiding in her bed.

  10. avatar josh sutherland says:

    This guy seems to have a pretty good idea of what he is in for….

    “Once the state finally decides to delist, Huckabay said, it would be followed by years of lawsuits and injunctions, “and the wolves will be at 500 before the smoke clears.”

    Now where would he get that idea??!!?? ……. 🙂

    But I agree that all the hysterical crap about wolves killing people is getting old.

  11. avatar Jeff N. says:

    “Unfortunately, you’re right. I guess it just seems that there should be some more attempts to educate people about wolves”

    These people do not want to be educated. There’s plenty of outreach and scientific evidence to refute 99.9% of the nonsense barfed up by these chicken – sh*ts.

    They simply refuse to accept reality concerning the “devil dog”. It offers them a scapegoat.

  12. avatar nabeki says:

    Jeff N. Says:
    “They simply refuse to accept reality concerning the “devil dog”. It offers them a scapegoat.”

    The wolf is a political football. It’s become a conduit for the anger anti-wolf people feel about life in general and specifically environmentalists.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  13. avatar jerryB says:

    It always amazes me when some of the worlds authorities on various subjects come to the university to lecture about anything from global warming to mental illness, social justice, politics, wildlife biology, parenting, etc and they’ll be 20 or 30 people in the audience.
    It’s the same story for PTSA meetings or any type of parental involvement in their kids school activities. More than 90% of the time it’s the moms that participate.
    BUT, announce a meeting where someone will speak about reducing lion, elk or deer quotas, or a talk about how wolves have decimated the elk herds, or in this case a wolf plan for Washington state and the the rooms are packed.
    Is this genetic, IQ or macho thing, cultural or what?

  14. avatar Save bears says:

    nabeki,

    Despite the best efforts of many people, the wolf is going to continue to be a political football for many generations to come, and until those who advocate for wolves understand, there will be very little progress..

  15. avatar josh sutherland says:

    jerryB,

    I honestly feel that hunters in general are pretty passionate about hunting. Thats why hunting groups and orgs are so effective, you have a membership that is passionate but most importantly is willing to work hard and put money into something. Thats why I dont think pro-wolf people in general are near as passionate as hunters, so the dedication is not there. Now you will have your Lynne Stones and others like her that are passionate, but in general when it comes to putting man hours on the ground you lose alot of the pro-wolf people, IMO.

  16. avatar Save bears says:

    As long as people tell people they are stupid, they are going to continue to be stupid, as long as you tell them they are wrong, guess what, they are going to continue to be wrong.

    Until each side, can respect and talk, without the innuendo, the put downs and the accusations, there will never be any progress on any of these problems, there is only two ways this will be solved..one by force, which is only going to be temporary. 2. Understanding, which as this point in time, seems a long ways off..

  17. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    It is amazing how people will show up to protest wolves but not to other meetings. This is evident with Rex Rammell. If you go to his web site you can check Twitter updates. On two of those he talks about riding in parades with a wolf pelt. I may not live in Idaho, but doesn’t the state have some more pressing social issues than wolves that a future governor should address? If that’s all the state has to worry about then maybe I need to relocate.
    I also think a lot of people in the Northern Rockies don’t speak up in favor of wolves because these hunting and ranching groups are so vocal and some are just plain loco.

  18. avatar JB says:

    “Once the state finally decides to delist, Huckabay said, it would be followed by years of lawsuits and injunctions, “and the wolves will be at 500 before the smoke clears.”

    Are we talking about the same critter? Wolves…of the genus Canis…about 80-100 lbs…looks like a big, long-legged dog? Sometimes I think you westerners have mistaken the wolf for the tyrannosaurus rex!

    Oh no! Five hundred wolves! All of Washington state is doomed! Call out the National Guard! Lock up your children! 😉

  19. avatar ID_Paul says:

    Save bears said:

    “As long as people tell people they are stupid, they are going to continue to be stupid, as long as you tell them they are wrong, guess what, they are going to continue to be wrong.

    Until each side, can respect and talk, without the innuendo, the put downs and the accusations, there will never be any progress on any of these problems,”

    You nailed it. I can’t improve on that.

  20. avatar Aaron M.C. says:

    Yup, that’s how it is JB. Everyone is afraid of 80 pound canines these days. The last time I know a human was killed by wolves in North America was 4 years ago in Canada, Saskatchewan; however, the pack was habituated to humans.

    But definitely what we need is coherence. The only problem is that some people don’t want anything to do with cohering. A lot of people just want to fight, pull, moan and do it all over again.

  21. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Reporters covering meetings like this go for the colorful and often polarized views of participants, whether they are reasonable or not. People like to read that stuff and it sells newspapers. There are always a bunch of yahoos that make incredibly uninformed statements on both sides of the issue.

    The folks in Yakima are very protective of the largest elk herd in the state which is located mostly on the Oak Creek Game Range to the west.

    Josh,

    Surely you jest in your last comment. I think you significantly underestimate the passion of wolf advocacy, the power of the digital age to communicate instantaneously, and the ability of advocacy groups to organize, package and sell issues (sometimes even distoring the issues beyond the bounds of truth). Hunting groups, to the extent that hunters join them, on the other hand, are far less effective, and less well funded. The livestock industry is yet another story – with political connections that go back decades, and the real ace in the hole, economic pull.

  22. avatar Elk275 says:

    Wildness Muse

    Hunting groups, to the extent that hunters join them, on the other hand, are far less effective, and less well funded.

    You must be kidding. Between 1/20/10 to 1/24/10. Be in Reno for the Safari Club International Convention, there is more money there than the entire environmental movement has total. After Safari Club there is the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Wild Sheep Foundation. I wonder about what happens to the money the Safari Club raises and so do a lot of members, but the elk foundation and wild sheep foundation put boots to the ground.

  23. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Wilderness Muse,

    Let me clarify my statement, I meant more locally where the wolf issues are taking place, ID and MT WY etc.. I doubt that hunting groups are ineffective Muse, take for instance SFW and RMEF and the MDF and most notably FNAWS are amazingly effective and productive.

  24. avatar JEFF E says:

    WM,
    I agree, The various hunting sites I read all have a common theme of not being able to organize on an issue for any length of time. There are of course a “few” exceptions, as always.

  25. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    ELK,

    You may be correct in some of your claims. I certainly have not any kind of organization by organization review. Most hunters I know do not belong to such organizations.

    RMEF (Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation) has historically been very careful in its policy position regarding wolves. The reason, I am told (aside from wanting good science to support any taken position), was not to alienate any of its diverse membership. Their Bugle magazine (Sept. -Oct. issue) contained a pretty balanced collection of essays on the RM wolf issue. They have walked a very delicate line for nearly 15 years, and only very recently taken a stronger formal stand. Whether this affects their membership base has yet to be seen.

    Groups like Defenders, Sierra Club and its legal arm Earthjustice, HSUSA, and local small non-profits who are parties to the current wolf suits, and a host of other organizations, have taken the 501(c) 3 non-profit organization concept to new levels. Anybody with a few bucks, a website and a few friends to create a board of directors can become an advocacy group of sorts. Even WWP and Ralph’s blog are good examples of this.

    I am afraid I know nothing of the Mule Deer Foundation, the sheep group and some of the others you identify, but they are more regional than national, and primarily focused on one issue- no home office in DC to lobby Congress on multiple issues, or to organize sophisticated email or mail in campaigns to comment on federal regulations, or even deluge specific legislators with a position. I do not know much about Safari Club either, but their focus in the 21st Century is enough to turn many interests off, and maybe even antagonize some to act in opposition to them.

    This whole area of environmental issue advocacy, regardless of which side one is on a particular matter, is very complicated. The internet and availability of news and the ability to distribute information or positions instantaneously makes it even moreso. All this makes our lives more complicated and frenetic, but I think it is a good thing overall.

  26. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    I think a big part of the problem is that the hunting groups and environmental groups often have very extreme views. Safari Club International for example, is the “shoot em all” crowd (shooting everything that is) and HSUS is the anti-hunting groups, for example. It seems like there are so few lobbying groups and organizations that do take a middle ground, that promotes real conservation which allows for hunting but follows actual science and not politics.

  27. avatar JB says:

    As always, this blog has a bit of a western bias. Here are a few hunting groups that have been very successful east of the Miss:

    (1) Ducks Unlimited
    (2) Wild Turkey Federation (I love their acronym) 😉
    (3) Pheasants Foreover
    (4) Whitetails Unlimited
    (5) U.S. Sportsmen Alliance

  28. avatar JB says:

    ProWolf:

    Your post might lead some people to think that HSUS is an environmental group. They are not. Advocating for animal rights/welfare has nothing to do with the environment or species conservation.

    I understand you didn’t intend this, but wanted to make sure people recognize the distinction.

  29. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    I just meant to illustrate their anti-hunting stand. I know they were not an environmental group though. I suppose that was a bad example. I do know that Defenders of Wildlife and Sierra Club have stated they are not anti-hunting in e-mails I have sent to them, and they are usually thought to be anti-hunting.

    JB, Ducks Unliminted is pretty active out west (my dad is a member) and Pheasants Forever does have some activity, although I am not sure how much in Wyoming. The other three I am not too familiar with. I agree, Wild Turkey Federation has a great acronym. 🙂

  30. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    JB,

    With respect to HSUS you raise, in effect, a distinction without a difference. From the complaint 6/2/09 complaint DOW, et al, v. Salazar filed in USDC (wolf delisting case currently before Judge Molloy), from page 5 othe complaint, listing plaintiffs and their standing as parties:

    11. Plaintiff The Humane Society of the United States (“The HSUS”) is a non-profit charitable organization incorporated in 1954 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with eight regional offices located throughout the country, including a Northern Rockies Regional Office. The HSUS is the largest animal protection organization in the world, with more than 11 million members and constituents. The HSUS’s mission is to promote the humane treatment of animals and to foster respect, understanding, and compassion for all creatures. The HSUS has been actively involved in the preservation of wildlife and endangered and threatened species and supports efforts aimed at the protection and recovery of such species and their habitats. In particular, the HSUS has been a long-standing advocate for wolf protection and recovery.

    If that is not the mantra of an “environmental group” I do not know what is

  31. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Sorry, JB, my mental lapse. I meant “mantle” (not mantra)

  32. avatar Elk275 says:

    In the west it has always been the local rod and gun clubs. It was the local rod and gun clubs in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s that help, raised funds and were interested in wildlife restoration when the rest of the USA was unaware or not interest. Groups like Defenders, Sierra Club and its legal arm Earthjustice, HSUSA, and local small non-profits who are parties to the current wolf suit were not there. It was the effort of these rod and gun clubs supporting the state fish and games that rebuild the game herds. On July 4th in Bozeman, Montana there was the tea party which is anti-tax organization but the members are also anti wolf. Most people on this board never saw a 60’s anti war demonstration but this has the making of a larger and more complex organization. I stayed on the sideline and left it is not something that I support — but do not underestimate what was going on there.

    The members of these groups were working class people. After the elk and deer herds were reestablished they was the talk of reintroduction of wolves. My feeling is that these pro wolf organizations never helped with the re-establishment of the prey base, once the prey base was established then they wanted to reintroduce predators.

    In 1981, my father and I were going elk hunting in the Southwest Montana and driving down US 191. At Big Sky which then was a wide spot in the road with a defunct ski area on Lone Peak, he looked up into the Porcupine drainage and told me a story. In 1938 he was a 14 old who worked on ranches in the summer and went to school in Billings, Montana. He made about $100 a summer. The Billings Rod and Gun Club in 1938 was soliciting funds to help purchase the Porcupine game range. The Porcupine game range is approximately 5 checker board sections across the Gallatin River. If that would not been purchased in the 30’s today that would have been subdivided in trophy homes. He donated $1.00, yes, one dollar. Where were the wolf lovers? There were not there.

    The last time I hunted the Porcupine there were wolf tracts everywhere and no elk. The Broken Hart Ranch has stopped hunting in there camp on the Porcupine due to the wolves. Wolves have a place but there are to many of them and there must control.

    Getting back to the wolves in Washington. This morning the Nov/Dec issue of Bugle arrived this morning (the publication of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation). There is an article on page 25 that says “another 2,600 acres saved for public hunting in Washington”. The funding came from various sources. Are the hunting groups acquiring land so that it can support wolves. Are the wolves going to reduce the number of permits issued. Plum Creek came to the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation not the defenders of wildlife.

    In the years 1997 to 2007, I budgeted approximately $1000 for environmental organization some that were very pro wolf. Due to economic climate I am limited to $200 to $300 a year. When my situation returns to normal (if that ever happens to any of us) I will continue to contribute. But will select organizations that support wilderness designation, restricted ATV use and wildlife linkages.

    There is a place for wolves but they have become to many. There is a place for hunting of Grizzly bears in Montana and I feel that the Bob Marshall complex can support the hunting of them. In 1964 there were over 100 grizzlies killed in Montana. Now I am leaving to go hunting.

  33. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    In 1964 there were over 100 grizzlies killed in Montana.

    Maybe that helped to get them on the threatened list…

  34. avatar Jean says:

    My husband is an elk and deer hunter in Washington state. I asked him how he would feel about seeing wolves in the elk heard he was hunting. His answer was he would love it. Not to hunt or kill them, but to watch and experience wolves in the wild again. We are thrilled and excited to see them in our woods once again. We live in Spokane, WA the east side of the state.

  35. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Jean, not to break up the fantasy, but wolves make deer and elk alot more wary, confining them to steeper ground, higher elevations and in heavier cover. Your hunter husband can be assured of lower success rates (probably even seeing fewer elk and deer) and it will be highly unlikely he will see wolves while hunting.

    This is a common experience shared by those who hunt in areas occupied by wolves.

  36. avatar JB says:

    WM:

    I see a pretty clear distinction. Environmental groups such as the Audubon Society, Sierra Club, and Defenders of Wildlife are interested in preserving wild things and wild places. In essence, their goals are habitat preservation and restoration; importantly (at least from my point of view) they share these goals with many hunting organizations.

    HSUS is interested in protecting animals, period. They make no distinction between wild and domestic animals nor native and non-native species. In this respect, they have a clearly different mission from any of the mainstream environmental groups, even Defenders of WILDlife. In fact, their stance on some issues (e.g. feral cats) directly conflicts with many environmental groups.

    In my opinion, the only reason HSUS is interested in wolves at all is because the see $$ in the issue.

  37. avatar JB says:

    “Your hunter husband can be assured of lower success rates…”

    I am loathe to get into another debate about the effect of wolves on hunting, but I think that’s a pretty bold prediction.

  38. avatar Save bears says:

    Not to be contrary JB, but in some areas, the success rates have gone down, and in some areas, the success rate has stayed the same, so depending on where this hunter hunts, he may well enjoy a lower success rate..

  39. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    JB, I concede to your distinction regarding the core mission of HSUS, when analyzed at that level. In effect, it still remains a distinction without a difference regarding the wolf issue, since it yields the same general outcome, in the legal proceedings. They seek no relief different from other plaintiffs. If I recall correctly they were also lead plaintiff on the Great Lakes wolf case in the DC circuit about a year a go challenging the DPS issue. Agree with you on what motivates them, and to their credit, along with others groups, they have a good string of successes in court.

    As for the effects of wolves on hunting, I am holding off on sharing the results of my two week North Central Idaho elk hunt, from which I just returned on Monday. Just waiting for the right opening in a thread, and the clarity of mind to write a quick summary, after I get over this nasty cold I caught upon returning to civilization.

  40. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Wilderness Muse, I would not go so far to as to say that Jean’s husband will be assured of lower success rates. If he can adapt then he will do just fine. Let’s also not forget that this plan is the number of wolves the state is allowing to re-establish themselves to an area. The situation in Washington is like the situation in northwest Montana. The wolves were not reintroduced but allowed to re-establish. Right now Washington has very few wolves that will probably probably not be making much of a dent in deer and elk populations. It will be interesting to see how Oregon responds to wolves reintroducing themselves as some have been there.
    In regards to the comments about ungulates being at higher elevations, I have heard people living around Yellowstone saying that elk are at lower elevations. Not the most reliable sources I might add, but food for thought.

  41. avatar Jean says:

    Wilderness Muse
    That may be the case, but I would rather know the wolves are in the wood then not. If the wolves are in the area go 20 miles down the road to hunt. They are not going to be enough wolves to cover all areas. Evan to hear them howling will be a dream come true.

  42. avatar Elk275 says:

    I got to go elk hunting, but I might go early in the morning and save the cost of a hotel room. Several years ago where I hunt elk on open morning, at the headwaters of the Ruby River, I was glassing everywhere. I looked to the tops of the Snowcrest Mountains, and there were 4 different single moose in mountain goat habitat at the edge of the rock slides. Is this natural for moose? I look for moose in the willows and pines. It thnk they were trying to stay away from the wolves.

  43. avatar Carl says:

    Josh,

    I think you hit the nail right on the head. It has bother me for years why the animal lovers are so cheap when it comes to supporting habitat through either their time or money. For several years I have volunteered at a birding festival that attracts 800+ people. Two years ago we tried to sell nice bird prints at these by silent aution to raise money for wetland work. We did not get a single bid. This past September I worked at a banquet to raise money for construction of a wildlife education facility. The event was attended by non hunters and hunters. The hunters spent alot more per person buying raffle tickets, playing the games, and buying things from both the live and silent aution. Many of the non hunters did not buy a single raffle ticket. I also worked at two Ducks unlimited events in September that brought in $411,400. It would be nice to see the non hunters start to support the wildlife resource with more than just words.

  44. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    It would be nice to see the non hunters start to support the wildlife resource with more than just words.

    Amen to that.

  45. avatar gline says:

    I am a non hunter and I donate money to Earth Justice, NRDC, Sierra Club. I also support my local farmers by buying local.

  46. avatar Cris Waller says:

    Carl-

    “The hunters spent alot more per person buying raffle tickets, playing the games, and buying things from both the live and silent aution. Many of the non hunters did not buy a single raffle ticket.”
    How do you know this? Did you know every person in attendance, whether or not that person hunted, and exactly how much they spent?

    “It would be nice to see the non hunters start to support the wildlife resource with more than just words.”
    The idea that they don’t is fallacious. They may not support hunting organizations or programs designed to increase hunting opportunities, but research has shown, for example, that the majority of contributors to state nongame tax checkoffs are nonhunters.

  47. avatar Elk275 says:

    Cris

    “They may not support hunting organizations or programs designed to increase hunting opportunities, but research has shown, for example, that the majority of contributors to state nongame tax checkoffs are nonhunters.”

    One hunter last winter paid $245,000 for a sheep tag in Montana and all the money will be used for wild sheep management. All of the action tags netted around $300,000 and then add the $300,000 dollars raised by the raffle tags for big game licenses and that is approximately $600,000 for wildlife management. I doubt that the tax checkoff’s in Montana for non wildlife management exceeds $600,000.

    What Carol says about Ducks Unlimited is right. There has been a long history of millions and millions of dollars raised in many years. This money has purchased millions of arces of wetlands that benefit’s waterfowl and non game wildlife. I have been to both types of fund raisers and the non hunters do not contribute or can raise the type of funds that hunting organizations do.

    “HABITAT WHAT PART DON’T GET” Hunter’s have purchase and arrange for millions of acres of habitat that are open to both hunters and non-hunters. All money, where ever it comes from is welcome and all are welcome to the enjoy the land and wildlife.

  48. avatar JB says:

    Save bears:

    I would agree that it is quite probable that wolves are affecting elk hunter success in SOME areas, I just don’t believe they’re affecting hunter success in ALL areas; thus, I don’t think its a forgone conclusion that Washington hunters should anticipate lower success rates. Too many moderating variables…

    WM:

    I agree with you that, from a legal standpoint (at least for the wolf issue) that the distinction is meaningless. But wolves are one of the less important issues that environmental groups are litigating at the moment and I don’t see HSUS steeping up where other issues are concerned. Again, I think they’re only interested in wolves as a potential fundraiser.

    Frankly, I think hunters and environmentalists share goals more often then not. As ELK275 said, it’s all about habitat. It’s too bad that this isn’t recognized more often.

  49. avatar Carl says:

    Chris, in answer to your question, yes I did know about 90% of the 120 people who attended the event. As an avid outdoors person I have worked at numerous events for both non hunting and hunting groups and there is no comparison. Overall the hunters spend more money supporting their passion. At the birding event that I volunteer for we have several field trips that we lead people on. Two of the trips are to six restored wetlands that were funded by Ducks Unlimited. Last years bird counts included 103 and 115 species at these sites. Far more than game species benefit from these projects including several rare species such as least bitterns, black terns, blanding’s turtles, wood turtles, and massasauga rattlesnakes.

  50. avatar Cris Waller says:

    “Overall the hunters spend more money supporting their passion.”

    Which leads to the tremendous disparity in most state F&G departments in nongame vs. game funding. Which also leads to many states being run as giant game farms for the benefits of hunters, not ecosystems.

  51. avatar gline says:

    “Again, I think they’re only interested in wolves as a potential fundraiser.”

    -I highly disagree with this statement. What a complete disregard for the many years of lawsuits and energy used by Earthjustice, Defenders of Wildlife and other groups for protecting the gray wolf. The wolf as purely a fundraiser? Do you really think these groups sit back and put all their donation money into stock funds for their own personal use? this type of comment really really angers me. These groups are the true conservationists to me. A voice in court for the always scapegoated wolf..

  52. avatar JB says:

    Gline,

    Please re-read my comment. I was referring specifically to HSUS–not conservation groups in general.

  53. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Gline & JB,

    I agree with JB on HSUS, but Defenders is a close second.

    Wolves are, in fact, the capstone featured mascot of Defenders, and they capitalize on this. Look at their logo. My wife is a member and we read all their stuff – wolves commonly and frequently featured. Some of their fund raising propaganda mailings, and telephone campaigns for funds borders on, and in some cases is, a gross distortion of the truth. Unlike NRDC, National Wildlife Federation, National Parks Conservation Association and other middle of the road groups (I would even reluctantly include Sierra Club in this group), the marketing folks at DOW and HSUS (not to mention PAWS, PETA etc.) have few scruples as long as it generates revenues for operations.

    Cris,

    I am curious to know what specific species (other than wolf reintroduction which is largely paid for by sportsman Pittman Robertson federal funds until states take over after delisting, and then are largely funded thru hunter license and tag revenues – I think. This could vary by state.) or ecosystems you believe are being ignored.

  54. avatar Cris Waller says:

    “Wolves are, in fact, the capstone featured mascot of Defenders, and they capitalize on this. Look at their logo”

    I think you might want to look into the history of Defenders a bit more. That animal is a coyote. The original logo was modeled after a picture taken by Dick Randall, former predator control agent turned predator advocate. The present logo is a modern-day redoing of that old logo.

  55. avatar Cris Waller says:

    “I am curious to know what specific species…or ecosystems you believe are being ignored.”

    I didn’t say they were being “ignored,” I said that there was a funding disparity. Game species get more time and attention than nongame ones do, often at the expense of the nongame species.

  56. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Cris,

    Thanks for the clarification and my apparent mistake. I did not know the history. I have been around alot of coyotes and a fair number of wolves. The profile is not so distinctly coyote in origin to my eyes. Anybody else have that problem?

    Is it possible some “rework” was done in the subequent renditions of the logo? In proportion to the body it is wolf like to me; the legs appear heavier and not delicate like a coyote, the paws larger, the snout more square, the chest heavier, and the tail….. well, I am not sure, but seems less bushy than an equivalent size coyote, and most coyote tails I have seen do not taper as this does.

    I think you can see where an honest mistake could be made. And, I know others have made it as well. I also know who Dick Randall was, but know more now.

    Again, my question regarding what you think is not being dealt with becasue of the “disparity” in funding “at the expense of nongame species.” It is a genuine question.

    Where would you direct funds if available? And before you answer, I would offer that much habitat work that has been done with hunter tax P-R funds, state license/tag revenues, etc. has been directed to and benefitted substantially habitat (ecosystem) restoration for non-game species.

  57. It’s kind of odd that on this sleepy Sunday afternoon I was glancing through George Wuerthner’s “Welfare Ranching,” where some of the photos graphically reminded me that while sportsmen’s funds purchase many wildlife areas, more often than not half or the forage, or more, is allocated to the cow. Tribute paid to the nobility!

    This brings us to matter of sportsman’s groups versus conservation groups.

    In the case of the conservation group, Western Watersheds Project, their initial attempts to outbid livestock interests for Idaho, and later Wyoming state grazing leases, lost (even though they often won the auction), Western Watersheds has become more successful with habitat by going to the field and documenting what is going on, learning the regulations (which are usually not obeyed), and then suing.

  58. avatar TimothyB says:

    I see posts that “people need to be educated (or re-educated) about” Issue X and developing a passion for Issue X.

    The best possible way to do this is by getting people physically involved in Issue X. They can read about things like land preservation and wolves until their eyes hurt. This education IMO must be hands on by getting people out into the wilds and semi-wilds first. Why are hunters so passionate? In part because they are out there each weekend. For the most part, the regular Joe and Jane 6Pack will never leave the paved roads. Take the above drivel any way you wish but until people get out to see and experience our natural environment, they will never be passionate nor care much about this issue.

  59. avatar bob jackson says:

    elk275

    Regarding your question on moose up high, I would see moose like you talk of in these high habitats long before wolves came on the scene in Yellowstone. There is a lot of wet meadows right below high mt. cliffs or shaded vegetation. When other veg. dries up the moose headed to this “high” country to utilize seeps etc. Can’t say if this fits the terrain you talk of but this is how it worked in Yell.

  60. avatar Cris Waller says:

    Wilderness Muse

    You ask “What disparity?” This is direct from the IDFG- http://www.fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/nongame/history.cfm

    “The total nongame budget amounts to about 2% of the Department’s overall budget.”

    But, from http://www.fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/nongame/

    “More than 80% of Idaho’s wild creatures are classified as “nongame wildlife” — 523 species including songbirds, waterbirds, raptors, small mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and threatened and endangered wildlife. Nongame wildlife are animals which are not normally hunted, fished, or trapped.”

    So 84% of the species receive 2% of the funding. How is that not a disparity?

  61. avatar gline says:

    timothy B: hunters make up part of those of us that get outside in the woods. Many of us are “wildlife watchers” – hikers that go to just watch, not kill. Others are doing various sports like biking, skiing, snowshoeing, hiking with dogs, etc.

  62. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Cris, I understand the perceived “disparity,” and but do not believe it is as drastic as you claim. Of course, there are exceptions for some definitely “at risk” species and their requirements. But, the real problem becomes exactly- and specifically- what does one do for the benefit of these various nongame species – in the form of protection, habitat improvement; land acquisition, on the ground habitat improvement, halting or slowing activities which are destructive to habitat. I know it does not give you much consolation, but the activities of a number the sportsman groups we have been discussing on this thread – several listed individually by JB have made huge on the ground improvements that benefit ALL wildlife whether game or nongame. It is mostly about habitat, and what is good for ducks is mostly good for frogs and marsh birds, and that sort of thing. What is good for deer and elk, is mostly good for many nongame species. Heck, the work of sportsman on habitat improvement in some states (along with no devastatingly bad winter kills) has contributed to is what has allowed wolf advocates to say wolves are not impacting elk populations (more elk because of more and better habitat coming into service in certain areas have offset some of the numbers).

    Is there alot to be done, that isn’t? You bet. Is Idaho (and are other Western states) well behind what they should be doing? Certainly. Do human economic interests, and human population expansion put sideboards on what is desireable and possible? Absolutely.

    The term “conservation” used to apply to nearly all groups interested in improving wildlife habitat, and I continue to include hunters under that umbrella, despite how the media and what were once called “preservation” groups have requisitioned the term “conservation” to refer to groups with narrower views that border on preservation.

    The disparity is less than what some believe, and that state wildlife managers as well as sports groups are doing alot to benefit nongame species as a direct or indirect effect of how game species funds are being spent.

    My biggest beef is that conservation groups that include hunters get painted with a negative reputation they do not deserve. They do one he__ of alot of good for habitat improvment, whether voluntary service involving hard work on the ground, payments of license and tag fees, P-R, or lobbying for $$$ to improve habitat that helps all wildlife. Hunters and hunting interests are on boards of conservancy and land trusts all ove the country, and they do not discriminate between game and non-game species in their tireless efforts.

    Last, I think that voluntary contribution check-offs on income tax forms is reflective of the general population (not just those of us concerned with wildlife) thinks of additional taxes poured into this area. And, that is sad.

  63. avatar jimbob says:

    I miss the old days. When I grew up hunters understood their connection to the natural world. They would have been embarrassed to be seen as “in competition” with predators. What happened to real outdoorsman and conservationists (or even to make a statement that “…these things eat you….” like the moron in the article? I believe it was the connection between politics and hunting that started it. If everybody just did what was right instead of what benefitted their own interest or pocketbook things would be better!

  64. avatar Carl says:

    Wilderness Muse,
    Well said and very accurate.

  65. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    The term “conservation” used to apply to nearly all groups interested in improving wildlife habitat, and I continue to include hunters under that umbrella

    Theodore Roosevelt, often thought of as one of the original conservationists, was an avid hunter. I don’t know his position on wolves, but he did understand a lot about the way nature works and helped to build a hunting model that does support conservation. The problem that has occurred in the 100+ years since he was in office, is that any group that promotes “conservation” is often automatically thought to be anti-hunting and is looked upon with paranoia. Hunting has become this industry that is not always conservation-minded so much as it is a huge moneymaker.

  66. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Theodore Roosevelt, wanted to protect the mule deer in the Kaibab Plateau, north of the Grand Canyon. Predators. were killed, hunting was stopped and the population exploded; thousands of deer starved to death over several winters.

  67. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Thanks for the info Barb.

  68. avatar josh sutherland says:

    I feel he did a pretty good job with the information and science that was available at the time.

  69. avatar Ryan says:

    “I miss the old days. When I grew up hunters understood their connection to the natural world. They would have been embarrassed to be seen as “in competition” with predators.”

    Jim,

    What are you talking about, these old time hunters you refer to, still believed in predator management to affect populations to benefit hunters overall.

    It seems that y’all have this romanticized view of the “tooth fairy” hunter which you can use as a justification for bashing all hunters but yet still not hating hunters.

  70. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Yes the Kaibab Plateau deer herd was truly a natural resource disaster of epic proportion covering several decades. Teddy Roosevelt’s initial effort was motivated by good intentions, but poorly executed by our federal government – new to the matter of ecosystem, game and livestock management (some of us might say that part has not changed much for the better).

    This was, however, 1906 when fledgling agencies like the Forest Service and later the Park Service had no trained resource managers, states were not really in the active wildlife management business as they are today, and complexities of managing a natural system were waaaaay beyond their capabilities. Of course, some would argue they still are.

    And, ironically, the National Park Service is no saviour in this story. Rather its efforts made the problem worse, adding more bureacratic weight leading to the collapse.

    Along with removal of predators, livestock grazing was stopped, resulting in even more available forage for the deer, for most of the year. Absence of predators AND no hunting allowed the population to expand beyond carrying capacity. There is also controversey as this story is retold. Some researchers contend that on top of these man induced factors, nature made its own contributions with unpredictable changes.

    A fairly objective detailed summary of the Kaibab deer is available on this link, be sure to follow the full story as instructed, including the text book excerpt at the end.
    http://depts.alverno.edu/nsmt/youngcc/research/kaibab/story1.html

  71. avatar gline says:

    “I guess it just seems that there should be some more attempts to educate people about wolves.”

    This brings back a memory of a conversation I had with Carolyn Sime re: wolf education, ie where was it? She said they didnt have the budget for it -600,000 per year wasnt enough for everything -education and management (lethal control). I think if we would have had more intense wolf education with the beginning of the “reintroduction” things would have been better now. or not, you cant shove education down people’s throats. The education of the goodness of wolves, (and the fact that they are Just a predator, like a bear) could have planted a seed, seedlings or at least be a consistent presence, even in grade schools etc. Lots of kids love wolves.

  72. avatar gline says:

    Just blows me away that the wolf, a powerful, intelligent animal is not revered in our society.

  73. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    WM
    Thanks for the link. I first read about the Kaibab in the 1950’s when I did a report on cougars.

  74. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    I miss the old days. When I grew up hunters understood their connection to the natural world. They would have been embarrassed to be seen as “in competition” with predators.

    I agree whole heartedly. I am an avid elk hunter and a wolf advocate. I am in the minority in that I can go out elk hunting and find in interesting when I see wolves and elk. Its sad. I respect all predators and feel there is much to be learned from them. Its too bad that so many hunters dont understand predator/prey relationships and overall ecosystems. I hunt north of the park, and manage to harvest elk almost every year. I chuckle when I read in major hunting publications that the area north of Yellowstone is shot because of all the wolves. Maybe for road hunting around Jardine it is….good riddance.

  75. avatar jimbob says:

    Ryan, you’re wrong about “all old-time hunters believing in predator management” just like we’re wrong when we lump all hunters together. Predator killing was done to appease the ranchers—pure and simple. Hunters would not and could not exert the political pressure in the old days to “get that done”. I know it’s all a generalization, but today’s hunter couldn’t describe an ecosystem if it bit him in the ass, and probably doesn’t care, either!

  76. avatar Save bears says:

    jimbob,

    I beg to differ, I am a hunter as well as a biologist, I am sure I can describe an ecosystem, and guess what I do care..

  77. avatar Olancho says:

    I was at the Yakima meeting. Essentially, the reporter took quotes from the most extreme comments (paticularly Joe Headley and David S.) in a group that represented rather hard views. Seems like a repeat of the same theatre that played before in Oregon and, before that, Idaho,Montana, Wyoming and Minnesota.

    I believe this is a classic example of why the public review process fails to accurately assess attitudes toward a given subject. Why go through the motions of this public process when only the hardliners on either side will attend. Gotta be a way to implement all the techniques employed by social science to survey for comments. Besides a failure of the public process, we have the perverse incentive for the journalist to hype the most conflictive viewpoints as a draw to the paper, further perpertuating false information and divisive viewpoints.

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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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