Game managers may make changes in hunting season for next year-

Wow! The stories about the shooting of the Park wolves who happened to be just north of the Park keep coming. This is another one.

This one today is by Brett French in the Billings Gazette.

Actually we don’t know that this hasn’t happened in Idaho too.  Idaho’s “Upper Snake” wolf hunting zone wraps around the SW corner of Yellowstone Park and almost touches Grand Teton NP where the wolf population seems to have been expanding a bit lately.

Idaho doesn’t report where the wolf kills took place  except by zone. Last week I called Idaho’s wolf manager for additional info, but he never returned my message. You have to wonder.

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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.

331 Responses to Shooting of collared wolves impacts research

  1. avatar jerryB says:

    Doesn’t surprise me that Bangs spends so much time defending Caroline Sime, Montana’s wolf manager and her policies. She and MFWP can do no wrong when it comes to wolf management……he’s the one that hand picked her for the job over some very qualified applicants.

  2. avatar Jay Barr says:

    I doubt the state of MT would allow the federal gov’t. any say in who they hire for any position, since the western states are very big on anti-gov’t./states rights.

  3. avatar jerryB says:

    Jay Barr……..I respect your “doubts”, but in this case I know better.

  4. avatar cc says:

    Bangs is defending himself and the USFWS’s approval of the state plans. Sime isn’t even mentioned until she is quoted at the end of the article.

  5. avatar jerryB says:

    cc……..seems you’ve missed many of the articles related to these research wolves being killed and Sime’s quotes.
    Do you think that she may have been one of the persons consulted by the researchers who questioned, ahead of time, the hunt along the northern border of the park? I would think that being the “wolf manager” she would have been involved in making the decision to go ahead with the hunt in this area regardless of the researchers concern.
    Here’s a quote from one news source referring to Science Magazine article:
    “The death of the wolves and loss of the pack are also a blow to a host of studies, from wolf behavior to elk management and ecology, say other scientists, several of whom REPEATEDLY asked Montana’s FWP department to establish a no-wolf-hunting zone around the park. ”
    I still maintain that Bangs is defending Sime and MFWP.

  6. avatar Save bears says:

    Jerry,

    I think one of the biggest problems going on right now, by asking, or even demanding Montana establish a buffer zone, you are asking a state to subject their lands to Federal Authority, and I just don’t think that is going to happen…by the way, if you actually look at FWP rules and regulations, there are quite a few areas, that hunting is not allowed outside of the park, hence creating a buffer zone of sorts…

    From MT F,W & P – fwp.mt.gov/content/getItem.aspx?id=37334

    Gallatin Special Management Area (formerly Gallatin Closed Area)

    Portion of HD310:
    Bacon Rind/Lodgepole Unit: Closed to all big game hunting except 310-20 elk.
    Those portions of Madison and Gallatin Counties lying within the following boundary
    description: Beginning at the confluence of Buffalo Horn Creek and the Gallatin River,
    then up said river to Snow Flake Springs and the toe of Snow Flake Ridge, then
    southerly along said ridge and the Sage Creek-Monument Creek Divide, then along
    Sage Creek-Snowslide Creek Divide and the Sage Creek-Bacon Rind Divide to the
    Gallatin Madison Rivers Divide at Redstreak Peak, then southeasterly along said divide
    to the Yellowstone National Park boundary, then northerly along said boundary to its
    northwestern most intersection with the Gallatin River, then down said river, to the point
    of beginning.

    Buffalo Horn/Lodgepole Unit: Closed to all big game hunting except 310-20 elk. Those
    portions of Gallatin County lying within the following described boundary: Beginning at
    the intersection of Highway 191 and the north boundary of Yellowstone National Park,
    then in a northerly direction along said boundary to USFS Trail 57 at Dailey Pass,
    then in a northwesterly direction along said trail to the headwaters of the South Fork
    of Buffalo Horn, then down said creek to a posted line that goes along the south side
    of Cow Flats to its intersection with Buffalo Horn Creek, then down said creek to the
    Gallatin River, then up said river to Snowflake Springs and the toe of Snowflake Ridge
    to its intersection with USFS Trail 151, then southeasterly along said trail to Lodgepole
    Creek-Monument Creek divide, then easterly along said divide to Yellowstone National
    Park boundary, then north along said boundary, to the point of beginning

  7. avatar kt says:

    Save Bears: Get real. It is states welfare – not rights. These states are sucking in all kinds of federal dollars to keep their wolf programs going. in fact, Brian Ertz posted video long ago of Jim Caswell and the IDFG Commission whining about sucking at the federal teat forever … to fund wolf activities. If the states don’t listen to the feds – cut off funding.

  8. avatar jerryB says:

    SB….it doesn’t sound like these scientists were “demanding” anything. It seems that they were appealing to common sense and their desire to protect their research projects.
    Do you really think that “states rights” was the reason FWP turned them down OR was it “how would we look in the eyes of the livestock and outfitting industries if we caved in to science.”
    For the 1st time (Ha!) I disagree with you.

    Off to the hills with my dogs…continued later.

  9. avatar Save bears says:

    KT,

    I am amazed, you actually addressed a message to me! Yikes..

    As far as cutting off funding, sure, that would be great, and the state could cut off payments to the fed, the road runs both ways…

  10. avatar Save bears says:

    Jerry have a great time,

    and your key statement was “THEIR research projects” I was really under the impression, that the research projects belong to the public…

  11. avatar Save bears says:

    Jerry, just to add, I don’t know why the FWP turned them down…

    I do know the Feds don’t exist without the states and the states don’t exist without the Feds..it is a parasitic relationship…

  12. avatar cc says:

    jerryb,
    It wasn’t my intent to downgrade Sime’s responsibilities, I’m just not willing to let the bullseye fall squarely on her. What struck me about this article was the differing opinions of Bangs and Smith. I would expect anyone in Sim’s position to ignore Smith’s concerns, but Bangs (who has more influence, has been in this situation longer, and works under the Interior Dept like Smith) really disapoints me.

  13. avatar Cris Waller says:

    I found it odd that the article didn’t mention how many *other* collared wolves have been killed. Someone who doesn’t know much about the issue might not realize that a very significant number of the dead wolves this year were collared- and I remember reading an estimate here that it costs something like $3000 to collar one wolf.

  14. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    kt

    If I understand it correctly, federal funding has been used nearly exclusively for the wolf programs in ID, WY and MT, and which funds things like monitoring, preparing the reports and doing the eduational outreach, such as it is. Don’t think the states had a choice not to participate, and if you have to participate, why not take the money. These complex relations between the federal and state governments cover alot of areas, and this wolf program is hardly a drop in the bucket, although highly politically charged.

    After delisting becomes final, and the states assume management responsiblities the bulk of the continuing funding obligation shifts to the states. There may still be some co-op money that is given to the states. WY has been moaning about this all along.

    Anybody out there, have better and more accurate information on this?

    THE PERSONALITIES quoted in this and other articles.

    Bangs – USFWS. His agency is the advocate for delisting, and he is the Rocky Mountain Wolf Project coordinator. He is a pretty objective guy by nearly all measures, but will minimize impact of collared wolf losses in efforts to continue the delisting and hand-off to the states. THAT IS HIS JOB.

    Smith – Yellowstone biologist. Dept. of Interior Park Service pays his salary. He is a scientist whose primary species is wolves, and he his study subjects are being killed off. He has a right as a scientist to be pissed off and to say something about it.

    Sime – Montana state Game and Fish employee (salary currently paid by federal wolf program dollars, and soon to be paid from state coffers, if I understand correctly). She has the tireless job of walking a tightrope as a technical/administrative person who is responsible for making the “management” program work. She doesn’t set the seasons. The Commission does that with the help of “game” management staff. Upon delisting wolves became a game species for which a season and quota was set. She probably has input, but not as much as some posting here think.

  15. avatar Jay Barr says:

    W Muse,

    I think you’ve summed it up pretty accurately- all involved, including D. Smith (who has stated repeatedly that hunting won’t hurt the wolf pop.- filed a declaration on behalf of FWS), are playing along with “party” politics. Despite jerryB’s assertion that somehow the FWS is able to manipulate MTFWP’s hiring (Bangs “hand picked her…”), the states want the federal gov’t. out of wolf management decision-making, but do want to continue taking their $$ (MT”s and ID’s plans are contingent upon federal funding, maybe WY’s too). Losing collared wolves probably impacts YNP moreso than either MT or ID because they are truly research oriented, whereas the states are, for the most part, just monitoring (though it still hurts to lose a collar for those purposes).

  16. avatar Layton says:

    I guess I must be missing something here.

    The FEDS put the wolves into the states. Why WOULDN’T the feds be required to fund the programs necessary to manage the critters??

    Isn’t there some sort of a law against unfunded mandates??

  17. avatar Jay Barr says:

    States manage and fund wildlife programs within their boundaries, except for those on the Endangered Species List. Wolves are no longer on the list, therefore states are responsible.

  18. avatar Layton says:

    So I guess it’s OK to put wolves here, make it against the law for anyone to do anything to control their numbers or location — and then when there is (what the feds consider) as many as you want — make the states responsible for the mess!!

    Oh yes, then let federal judges make decisions on lawsuits filed by supporters of the critters. AND if the numbers aren’t where the green necks want them, start the whole process again.

    Sounds like a pretty fair deal to me!!

  19. I have to agree with Ed Bangs. The wolf re-introduction has been a tremendous success. The intent of the re-introduction in Yellowstone was to put the wolves back into the park, not to provide Doug Smith with life time employment. After 14 years of intrusive research, It is time to call the Yellowstone wolf re-introduction a success and leave the wolves alone.

  20. avatar Jay Barr says:

    The states of ID and MT are actively managing their wolf populations (using WS during depredations, the current hunting season) in case you haven’t noticed, so the whining you do in your first paragraph is without merit. If the legal system determines that the delisting process was illegal, then that will be addressed and remedied. Poor Layton, has no one told you that life isn’t fair at times.

  21. avatar JB says:

    “So I guess it’s OK to put wolves here, make it against the law for anyone to do anything to control their numbers or location — and then when there is (what the feds consider) as many as you want — make the states responsible for the mess!!”

    Layton: Google “crocodile tears” and hit the “I’m feeling lucky” button.

    Many people would be happy to see continued management of wolves by the Federal government, but I suspect you wouldn’t be very happy with that approach? More importantly, the states are the ones howling for the chance to be responsible, but you already know that.

  22. I just went out to my truck and got my sheet on Northern Yellowstone Wolves 2009. I count 70 adult wolves on the sheet with 37 of them as numbered and radio-collared at the end of last winter. The main reason that COLLARED Yellowstone wolves get shot when they leave the park is that over 50% of them are radio-collared. The hunters don’t have much choice.
    The collars themselves are mostly donated by well-meaning but naive people who get a tax deduction for buying a collar.
    The Yellowstone Park Foundation http://www.ypf.org in Bozeman solicits donations for buying radio-collars for The Yellowstone Wolf Project. The buyer is promised that they will get the used collar back to hang on their wall if the wolf is killed or the collar wear out.

  23. avatar IzabelaM says:

    “The buyer is promised that they will get the used collar back to hang on their wall if the wolf is killed or the collar wear out.” crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    and can anyone track the collared wolf? If yes, then we are sentencing the wolves to death in the name of science and research

  24. avatar Save bears says:

    The only people that can legally track collared wildlife are those involved in the project….that does not mean, that normal civilians can’t get tracking information or frequencies, but it is not legal….

  25. avatar Jay Barr says:

    Scientific research, for the benefit of wildlife, should be abandoned because Mr. Thorngren says so! The opportunities to increase knowledge must stop. Fortunately humankind has not been dissuaded from scientific inquiry by those of Thorngren’s mindset or he would still be taking pictures with a daguerreotype. This tired argument about collaring and the evil motives of researchers puts you in the same category as Layton.

  26. Larry Thorngren,

    Radio collars are useful to do research on the wolves and to protect them. On the other hand, if Wildlife Services is doing the collaring, as they do in the states, the same collars are almost entirely useful to be to easily do harm to the wolves — locate and kill the whole pack.

    Your complaints about Yellowstone Park are, in my opinion, directed at the wrong radio-collaring entity.

  27. avatar kt says:

    And I wonder if Wildlife Services has the frequencies of all of these collars, and who all else may be privy to them … ???

    Like some of WS wolf-hatin’ friends???

  28. avatar Save bears says:

    kt,

    I am 100% sure WS has the tracking frequencies, when it comes to wolf management, they have one goal in mind, WS wolf management is simply killing, always has been and always will be…that is why, they are the number one threat to wolf recovery, not the hunters…it seems as if, quite often, the anger over the hunts is directed the wrong direction and even Defenders is focusing their movement in the wrong direction…a hunter can only legally kill one wolf, while WS can wipe out entire packs with any means available…

  29. avatar gline says:

    I take offense with this “green neck” term. How arrogant can you be? What exactly is a green neck? someone that likes clean water? Endangered species to live?

  30. avatar Layton says:

    Hey Jay Barr,

    “Poor Layton, has no one told you that life isn’t fair at times.”

    Yep, I’ve been told that, in fact it seems to me that the same thing was said when hunting seasons for wolves opened. Who was doing (and still is) the crying to the heavens about the unfairness of life then??

    JB,

    “Many people would be happy to see continued management of wolves by the Federal government, but I suspect you wouldn’t be very happy with that approach?”

    Nope, not happy at all. But I still say that if the feds want to manage them, the feds should do the paying.

    Just for giggles folks, how about answering just one question. IF the states assumed the management for wolves AND shouldered all the expenses associated with that management — would the “for” side be happy with that arrangement??

  31. avatar Layton says:

    gline,

    “I take offense with this “green neck” term”

    Gosh, to bad. Guess what I think when the term “redneck” gets applied to all of the residents of Idaho – and Montana, and Wyoming, and to anyone that isn’t rabidly in favor of a growing every day wolf population??

  32. avatar Connie says:

    I find the suggestion that wolf collars may assist hunters in locating wolves very disturbing. Can someone please determine if this practice is, in fact, going on?

  33. avatar Save bears says:

    gline,

    it hurts when the shoe is on the other foot, don’t it…

    LOL

  34. avatar Save bears says:

    Connie,

    NO, it is not going on, that I can tell you for a Fact, when the first collared wolves were shot, I contacted some of my friends at FWP to ask them if the frequencies have been made available, and 100% they told me no, it is illegal for normally licensed hunters to use electronic devices to hunt big game animals in the state of Montana!

  35. Ralph-
    People get all exited about the two collared Yellowstone wolves being killed by hunters. They seem to miss the wolves that are killed by researchers. In 1999 Doug Smith broke the leg of a wolf when he hit its’ leg with a dart. They had to kill it. Several of the wolves he captured have been killed by other wolves not long after being collared. Capture myopathy leaves wolves vulnerable to attack by competitors and vulnerable to kidney failure for months after being chased by helicopter and collared.
    All radio collared wolves that die or are killed by other wolves in Yellowstone should be autopsied by an independent veterinarian for evidence of damage from the collaring process. Dart wounds of dead wolves should be checked for abcesses, blood should be taken at the time of collaring and analyzed for muscle breakdown from stress and reactions to the drugs used.
    I think you would find that far more wolves die from the collaring process performed by researchers that those killed by hunters when they stray from the park.
    I am for protecting Yellowsone’s wolves, but that includes protecting them for over-zealous researchers that never seem to get enough information. After 14 years it is time to end this research project.

  36. Save Bears-
    Carter Neimeyer told me that anyone could buy and use a radio receiver for wolf collars in Idaho. He gave me the name of the place where I could buy one. but when I found the price was $800 plus the antenna, I lost interest. I think Lynne Stone owns one.

  37. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Larry Thorngren

    I, and probably a number of others, am/are on the opposite end of the spectrum from you on this. Continued wolf research, including collaring, is absolutely necessary. It has mortality risk, but seems minor compared to the potential gains. Because they are so mobile, reproduce so fast (but also subject reductions in individuals from both human and natural causes), and move into new areas it would be hard to keep track of numbers, condition and day to day whereabouts without tracking collars. Yellowstone wolves provide the best opportunity to see them in as near a pristine environment as possible from start of the reintroduction to some point in the future, say 20 years. What an incredible scientific opportunity!

    And, as wolves continue to expand their range just how do you propose their numbers be charted from year to year without being able to track some of them (a representative sample)? Without tracking and some verifiable sampling it would create huge uncertainty for both sides of the “management” and “harvest” debate – advocates saying not enough and anti’s saying too many. Unless you have some better way of tracking, I would say you are in a distinct minority, capable of being sniped from both camps.

  38. avatar Jay Barr says:

    “blood should be taken at the time of collaring and analyzed for muscle breakdown from stress and reactions to the drugs used…”- I presume you mean to compare an unhandled wolf’s blood parameters to one that has undergone capture; just how would you do that? In order to collect the blood of a wolf it almost certainly has to be captured in some form, thereby making your suggested comparison impossible.

    “I think you would find that far more wolves die from the collaring process performed by researchers that those killed by hunters when they stray from the park.” This is an absolutely ludicrous statement. Data would suggest that mortality of radiocollared wolves is representative of the entire wolf population and that causes of mortality of collared wolves is also representative of all causes.

    “Carter Neimeyer told me that anyone could buy and use a radio receiver for wolf collars in Idaho.”- Somebody else involved with wolf management also said that any individual buying a tracking unit would have something like 1,500 frequencies to try out in the hopes of hitting any particular wolf’s collar in a given area on a given day. If you think this would be easy Mr. Thorngren then you should start buying lottery tickets.

  39. avatar Save bears says:

    Larry,

    That may well be right in Idaho, I don’t know for a fact, what Idaho does, but I do know that anyone that takes big game animals in the state of Montana using electronic means is subject to a fine or jail time, it is not legal to use electronic means to hunt big game animals in Montana.

  40. avatar Save bears says:

    And the key is the price, as you found out, not many are willing to spend that much money…

  41. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    “Green Necks” – Perfect – Layton, great work.

  42. avatar jerryB says:

    Hey Layton… a bit off topic, but since you mentioned the word…..
    “Greenneck”….I like it!! I can’t imagine anything dishonorable or negative in being called a greenneck.
    Most of us know what qualifies someone to be characterized as a redneck.
    But, in your opinion what would qualify someone to be called a greenneck?

  43. avatar Save bears says:

    Jerry apparently, it is not universally accepted, gline took issue with it!

    LOL

  44. avatar jerryB says:

    Talks with Bears…I’ll pose the same question to you….
    What is a “greenneck”?

  45. avatar Save bears says:

    I know what qualifies, just take a look at my neck after ten days in a pack in elk camp, I can bet my neck looks pretty green after that!

  46. avatar jerryB says:

    Been a long day…..Good to see there’s a sense of humor here.
    I’ll check for Layton and “Talks with Bears ” definitions in the morning.

  47. avatar Save bears says:

    Jerry,

    I am sure they will be quite a bit different than mine, but man, I know I look and feel real green after packing in for ten days!

    LOL

  48. avatar JB says:

    “IF the states assumed the management for wolves AND shouldered all the expenses associated with that management — would the “for” side be happy with that arrangement??”

    The two are part and parcel, Layton. The States are already reaping the rewards associated with increased tourism. I can’t speak for the “for” group, but I have no problem at all with State management, in principle (though I do have a problem with the way Idaho has set its quotas).

    Regardless, since more than 60% of your state is Federal land, I have a stake in its management (i.e. my tax dollars). Thus, I am quite happy with the Feds telling Idaho that wolves need to persist.

  49. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    JB

    Can you be a bit more specific about your statement?
    “The States are already reaping the rewards associated with increased tourism.”

    I’ve only seen complaints by Idaho G&F that their deer and elk license revenues are down because of wolves. Don’t know what else either ID or MT are saying. WY, as we know, doesn’t like to play at any level.

    Professor Duffield at U of Montana (I think) did some studies related to the original EIS on the reintroduction and then a follow-up a couple of years ago that focused on Yellowstone NP – $25-34 million a year are numbers that stick in my mind. I am unaware of other data that looks at increased tourism for areas outside the national parks. And of those in Park dollars, how many stay in the two states, or are double counted (people who spend $$ exclusively to see a wolf, without considering they spent the same dollar to see a bison or an elk? Most $$ goes to the corporate big business vendors who sell services in and near the Park, and those profits do not tend to stay in state. They go to shareholders in NY or LA.

    Just what exactly are these tourism opportunities? Seems its pretty tough for even hunters to spot a wolf, and logic would dictate its not going to get better as wolves become more afraid of humans as a result of the hunting and as numbers are contained. Do you think there will be outside the park viewing areas? Gotta wonder if outfitters are involved how they would gaurantee a paying client a viewing without some illegal baiting.

  50. Killing collared wolves affects research outside the Parks more than in it, and there needs to be research outside the Parks.

  51. avatar cc says:

    Does anyone recall a similiar issue of hunters and trappers killing collared wolves right outside Denali NP? NPS wanted a buffer around the park but Alaska Game and Fish did not. I’m not sure of the final resolution, but I think Denali ended up with a mere token buffer that doesn’t adequately address the problem.

  52. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    Jerry B – here is my best shot. 1. Drive a Suby 2. Own a doodle – needed for detecting apex predators in the “wild” 3. You can find them most days exploring the “wilderness” at the “M” or sourdough trail head along with 100 of their closest green neck friends. 4. You can find them on websites devoted to wildlife and outdoor recreation commenting constantly on subjects which they have no experience or knowledge. 5. Cloaked in rugged outdoor wear from cloudveil. 6. Constantly discussing “going green” and “eat local” while telling everyone that will listen – how bad hunting is. Clearly I could continue and I feel inappropriate jumping in front of Layton but, I must head off to move the wheel.

  53. avatar JB says:

    Duffield, J. W., Neher, C. J., & Patterson, D. A. (2008). Wolf Recovery in Yellowstone: Park Visitor Attitudes, Expenditures, and Economic Impacts. George Wright Forum, 25(1), 13-19.

    Link: http://www.georgewright.org/251duffield.pdf

    “In total, it is estimated that visitors coming from outside the three-state region, who are coming specifically to see or hear wolves in the park, spend $35.5 million annually” (p. 17).

    Then you can add the $11.50 x (# of licenses sold) to the revenue wolves generated (though this is a trivial amount by comparison).

  54. avatar JB says:

    Talks with Bears:

    I wonder, do you think it is helpful to label people with such stereotypes?

  55. avatar jerryB says:

    Ralph…..I agree there needs to be more research outside the parks such as that being done by Cristina Eisenberg (she is working both inside and outside Glacier)
    One of the problems with many researchers(I’ve seen this first-hand from being involved in the trapping of wolverine, fisher etc in Montana) is that the scientists are biased toward the agency that provides funding and or permits for their work., which makes sense if they want to continue to work in the field. For instance very often they won’t testify at a game commission hearing on hunting or trapping quotas and when you speak to them one on one, it’s “off the record”. Many of their studies are funded by game and fish, forest service or other federal agencies.
    I believe it was Hoskins that referred to them as “biostitutes”.
    Even universities preach “the party line” because of where much of the alumni $$ comes from. Notice that even when you have a total clusterf–k like the research wolves being killed, the scientists at the universities in this area are quiet.
    There are exceptions involving other controversial issues……notably Steve Running, the Nobel climatologist here at the U. of Montana who continues to preach the facts of global warming despite being ostracized by many in Montana and even having talks at high schools cancelled because of parental concerns about their kids being brainwashed.
    Biologists I’ve talked to agree there needs to be more research on how biodiversity throughout an ecosystem responds when the top predators are removed and like one told me “the E.S.A. should be the Endangered Ecosystem Act, because too much emphasis is placed on one species and the “whole” is neglected.
    Sorry to ramble…had too much sleep last night and too much coffee this morning.
    Jerry (Green Neck)

  56. avatar jerryB says:

    Talks with Bears..
    Excellent! I actually agree on many…you seem quite familiar with Missoula.
    We’ll see what Layton comes up with…..in the meantime I’m headed out to collect some moose poop.

  57. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    JB – well, sure it is helpful, in a scientific sorta way. You know, like that kingdom, phylum, species thing.

  58. avatar JimT says:

    Layton,

    No, given the behaviors and history of the fish and game folks in the states impacted by the wolf reintroduction, no, I wouldn’t trust them to manage a population of slugs. They are basically toadies of the grazing and big game folks, plain and simple. And I don’t exactly endorse the USFWS, UFS, or BLM efforts either-same problem–too much bias and corruption in the support of the extractive industries as history shows. Science needs to be the number one guideline in these considerations–politically insulated, peer-reviewed science. I could live with that. I suspect the rancher and miners and loggers couldn’t.

    Let’s face it. Some of the wolf hostility is still about the resentment of the Feds owning alot of the land out West. What the Sagebrush folks don’t want to admit is that without the Feds and their money…and their willingness to turn a bliind eye to permit and lease violations and regulations…they wouldn’t be able to survive in the way those free handouts have enabled them to. Hypocrites.

    It is what it is. The Feds are not going to turn over these lands to the states so they can run amok “developing” the land for maximum profit. Get over it. All of us own the public lands, no matter where you live, or if you hunt, or if you are a redneck or a greenie. Greenneck? LOL….Too funny and too contrived. Stick to “tree hugging hippies”…VBG

  59. Lets call wolf radio collars what they really are: Mange Mite Motels. Anyone who observes the Druid wolf pack here in Yellowstone this fall will see the collared wolves constantly scratching on their necks around the collars trying to relieve the itching of the mites hidden under the collars.
    When 37 out of 70 adultwolves in the Northern range of Yellowstone are equipped with MMMs (Mange Mite Motels), it is obvous that the research is abusive and vastly overdone.
    It is time to stop looking at the Yellowstone wolves as a research opportunities and respect their right to exist in this NATIONAL PARK

  60. ( accidently hit the submit button)The 1999 Yellowstone Wolf Report states that one wolf suffered a compound fracture(bone sticking out of the wound) of a foreleg from a dart impact and had to be euthenized. It doesn’t say how long and how far this wolf was chased by helicopter on three legs with the bone sticking out of the unusable broken leg, before being darted a second time so he could be killed.
    Try this on a dog in any state in this country and you will be doing some jail time.
    Researchers should suffer the same penalties for killing an animal in a National Park as a poacher would for killing the animal.

  61. avatar Jeff says:

    Maybe if you truly care about wolves and there well being collared wolves are the ones to shoot. They are the Judas wolves used by wildlife services to aerial gun entire packs when a depradation occurs. Shooting the collared wolves might undermine research, but it makes wolves less visible, more stealthy, more wild, and less accessible to all men.

  62. avatar nabeki says:

    JerryB says:
    D. Smith (who has stated repeatedly that hunting won’t hurt the wolf pop.- filed a declaration on behalf of FWS), are playing along with “party” politics.
    ==========
    I just don’t get Smith’s attitude, it’s maddening. He’s the one that introduced those wolves to Yellowstone.. He’s studied them all these years and yet talking about 527F and lamenting her passing….in the next sentence, he states he supports the wolf hunts?

    He said some researchers want a buffer zone around the park but he just wants to change the dates of the hunt, pushing it back to a time when the backcountry isn’t so accessible and the wolves coats are thicker for better harvesting. WTF??? That was seriously depressing. I was reading through many of the collared wolf articles last night and came across that little gem.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  63. avatar steve c says:

    Larry, is it the collaring itself that bothers you or do you not want the collars ruining the photos that you sell?

  64. avatar Layton says:

    Gee whiz,

    Just barely starting the coffee and already so many demands on my time. Oh well, such is the price of fame (infamy?) 8)

    JB,

    “The two are part and parcel, Layton. The States are already reaping the rewards associated with increased tourism. I can’t speak for the “for” group, but I have no problem at all with State management, in principle (though I do have a problem with the way Idaho has set its quotas).

    Regardless, since more than 60% of your state is Federal land, I have a stake in its management (i.e. my tax dollars). Thus, I am quite happy with the Feds telling Idaho that wolves need to persist.”

    Two parts of this post disturb me JB. First of all, I live here and I don’t see tourists beating down any kind of doors or gates to come into the state to see wolves. NONE!.

    Maybe there are a few folks that like to go to the Stanley Basin and try to find the critters with Lynne Stone, but most of the people that I see looking for them are carrying flat shooting rifles!!

    The one sideline – good or bad – to this is the fact that I didn’t see near the number of non-resident hunters in the field this year. The selfish side of me likes it, but the realistic side can see that it does not bode well for F&G’s budget for 2010 with the decrease in out of state revenue.

    Next, this thing about Idaho being “60% federally owned”. I won’t even bother to check the numbers, I’ll take your word for it. It seems that this comes up all the time – especially from people that don’t live here but want to tell Idaho how to do things.

    The thing you seem to forget is that there are OTHER folks that also have a stake in this “federal” thing, both that live here and those that don’t — and it is by no means a foregone conclusion that they all feel the way the green necks do (we’ll get to that definition in a minute). Federal ownership does NOT necessarily mean a blanket approval of wolf policies that don’t include any sort of control.

  65. avatar Layton says:

    JimT,

    “No, given the behaviors and history of the fish and game folks in the states impacted by the wolf reintroduction, no, I wouldn’t trust them to manage a population of slugs. They are basically toadies of the grazing and big game folks, plain and simple. And I don’t exactly endorse the USFWS, UFS, or BLM efforts either-same problem–too much bias and corruption in the support of the extractive industries as history shows”

    Who WOULD you trust Jim, WWP, or maybe a coalition of PETA, HSUS, Friends of Animals and The Buffalo Field Campaign??

    I think you drink to much kool-aid.

    “It is what it is. The Feds are not going to turn over these lands to the states so they can run amok “developing” the land for maximum profit. Get over it.”

    How did you get on this kick?? Who in the hell said they wanted the feds to turn over ANY land??

  66. avatar Layton says:

    JerryB,

    “But, in your opinion what would qualify someone to be called a greenneck?”

    Jerry, I don’t think you would like the term the way I see it.

    You could substitute “tree hugger”, “greenie”, “naive hippie” or a number or combination of other terms.

    I do like some of the things that TWB came up with tho’, especially the ones that say “Drive a Suby” and ” You can find them most days exploring the “wilderness” at the “M” or sourdough trail head along with 100 of their closest green neck friends” and especially “You can find them on websites devoted to wildlife and outdoor recreation commenting constantly on subjects which they have no experience or knowledge”

    And, just to be sure it is understood, I mean it in a STRICTLY pejorative way.

  67. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    steve c says: “Larry, is it the collaring itself that bothers you or do you not want the collars ruining the photos that you sell?”

    Larry, You’re BUSTED! One more case of economic self-interest motivating a position, ahead of good science.

  68. avatar gline says:

    Its just too broad of a term Layton, much like “redneck”. I don’t use either by the way.

    lol save bears, now that I know you better I can LOL.

  69. avatar nabeki says:

    I don’t particularly like the collaring but it’s given researchers tremendous data that could help wolves in the long run. For instance, researcher Daniel MacNulty has discovered that wolves are basically geriatric when they’re four. Their hunting skills peak at two to three years of age.
    http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2009/1023/1?etoc

    Young wolves do most of the leg work durning the hunt. MacNulty actually observed two five year old alpha’s taking a rest during the hunt and then coming in at the end for the take down. So it shows the symbiosis of the pack structure. Younger wolves do most of the chasing and the older wolves, especially the big males, have the power to take down bigger prey. That also makes the pack more successful, which was documented in another study. Packs with at least one large male are the most successful of all packs and the only place you see that is in Yellowstone, since they’ve been pretty much unmolested by humans since their reintroduction, up until now.

    So those findings alone tell you the wolf hunts are a bad idea all the way around. Killing off the older wolves increases the likelihood of predation because younger wolves do more killing. More older wolves mean less elk predation in the park.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

    Kinds of indicates that wolf packs do have family solidarity that goes beyond a relationship held only together for cooperative hunting. Ralph Maughan

  70. avatar JB says:

    “It seems that this comes up all the time – especially from people that don’t live here but want to tell Idaho how to do things…The thing you seem to forget is that there are OTHER folks that also have a stake in this “federal” thing, both that live here and those that don’t — and it is by no means a foregone conclusion that they all feel the way the green necks do (we’ll get to that definition in a minute).”

    Layton, 308 million people live in the US, 1.5 million live in Idaho (you don’t have to take my word for it, go to the http://www.census.gov). Let’s to a little math: 1.5/308 = 0.0049 or about .5% of the US population. I’ll tell you what, I’m willing to give Idaho residents a disproportionate say in how Federal lands located within Idaho are managed…ten times (10x) your actually representation should be sufficient. You do the math.

    “And, just to be sure it is understood, I mean it in a STRICTLY pejorative way.”

    Nice to see your hypocrisy on full display. I’ll be sure to quote you the next time I catch you crying about redneck comments.

  71. avatar Layton says:

    JB,

    “Layton, 308 million people live in the US, 1.5 million live in Idaho (you don’t have to take my word for it, go to the http://www.census.gov). Let’s to a little math: 1.5/308 = 0.0049 or about .5% of the US population.”

    Maybe you’re to hung up on the opportunity to “do the math” — try reading for a little comprehension. I said:

    “both that live here and those that don’t”

    then you say:

    “Nice to see your hypocrisy on full display”

    Nothing hypocritical about it — when folks use “redneck” when referring to residents of my home state, they mean it as a derogatory term, when I use “greenneck” I mean it the same way. I get mad when they use one term, I hope they get mad when I use the other. Maybe some day both of us will stop the childish crap.

  72. avatar gline says:

    Nabeki, I dont think they really care that much. I agree with you, but Idaho doesn’t really seem to care! They just want them dead as I see it.

    Maybe the lawsuit will sort out the BS.

  73. avatar gline says:

    How would you stop the childish crap layton when you are still doing it?

  74. avatar nabeki says:

    gline…
    They absolutely don’t care. The “wolf managers” are interested in two things. The money the tags bring into state coffers, and fulfilling their quotas. Nobody is looking at the science because if they were we wouldn’t be having hunts at all.

    Just the fact that Sime didn’t adjust the quota downward when three wolves were poached in the North Fork, speak volumes.
    She blathered on about math models and how since humans kill 5 to 8% of wolves every year anyway, the losses of poached wolves can be absorbed. Uh-huh. These are the people we have running this “dog and pony show”

    I hope Molloy sorts all this out and SOON!

  75. avatar Layton says:

    Personally, I’d stop it when other people do.

    Face it gline, stereotypes aren’t good for anything -especially when it comes to name calling.

    That said, I just get so damn tired of seeing people that have a viewpoint that is not part of the way that the “choir” sees it getting put down because they are supposedly stupid, or backward or a lot of other things. Especially, because I am not always a part of that choir.

    I think there is just as much intellect in Idaho, or Montana, or Wyoming as there is anywhere else on a per capita basis. To say anything else is, in itself, just plain stupid.

    I’ve learned a lot on this blog in the last year or two (man, I hate to admit that 8) ) from several people, but a lot of it sure gets negated by the BS that comes from some others. I would imagine it works the other way too.

  76. avatar Layton says:

    And posts like that last one (from nabeki), even tho’ it’s pretty mild, go a long way to illustrate my point!!

  77. avatar gline says:

    Wow Layton you are almost over the fence….. I cant wait to see it come true!

  78. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    nabeki

    You make a great case for continued collaring in and outside the National Parks. Query whether the study you cite could have been done with out it. It appears not.

    I have a copy of this McNulty study (in which Mech, D. Smith, Stahler, Vecutich and Packer are co-authors), but cannot post because of copyright concerns. The article, “Predatory senescence in ageing wolves,” appears in Ecology Letters, (2009) 12: 1–10.

    It is very revealing, as your summary shows, and is beyond what is in the on the link you provided. It seems Yellowstone wolves, based largely on age (a marker for declining atheltic ability), assign predatory tasks – attacking (young athletic wolves), killing (young, but not as agile or fearless as the youngsters) selecting (smart older wolves). I am being a little oversimplistic here, but it is fascinating.

    By analogy (read with sarcasm, here) it seems alot like how we humans assign dangerous or warlike tasks. Give the risky ones to the youngsters who don’t know better.

  79. avatar Jay says:

    We don’t always see eye to eye Layton, but I have to agree that the post you refer to is loaded with hyperbole.

  80. avatar Save bears says:

    Science on both sides can be found to support your point of view.

    There are legitimate recognized scientists that have stated there will be harm done(although the judge didn’t agree) and there are legitimate recognized scientists that have stated that no harm will be done..

    Depending on your point of view, leads you in the direction of who you choose to believe.

  81. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    nabeki,

    I have to side with Layton on his last comment directed at you, which I presume was for your going after Sime personally for not adjusting the quota downward. Forgive my candor here, but yours is just a plain stupid comment. She is the wolf coordinator. She has no independent authority whatsoever to make such a decision. The game biologists and the director (sometimes in conjunction with the Commission) make the season and quota decisions. I also understand that the director (or his representative) said those poached wolves had already been factored into determining the quota, which was a different approach than what Idaho used.

  82. The states are not selling wolf tags to make money. They made that pretty clear. They kept the price of the tags deliberately low so that no one who wanted one would be deterred by the price.

    Then, of course, they seek federal dollars to fund their wolf management (which means tracking wolves and killing wolves for livestock interests).

  83. Further up the thread folks were talking about people outside of Idaho telling Idaho what to do. That’s fine with me. My interests would fare better here in Pocatello (eastern Idaho) if someone from the outside side-stepped governor Otter.

    Than too, folks need to realize that the development of the interior West has always been a socialist project (but don’t say that word), funded by taxes from the East and Mid-west redistributed to irrigration programs, timber management of sub-marginal timberlands, land grant unversities to develop methods of producing livestock and crops in country not naturally suitable for it, predator control, etc.

  84. avatar JB says:

    Layton says: “It seems that this comes up all the time – especially from people that don’t live here but want to tell Idaho how to do things…”

    Then: “Maybe you’re to hung up on the opportunity to “do the math” — try reading for a little comprehension. I said: ‘both that live here and those that don’t’.

    I’m not sure what I’m not comprehending? You state that you don’t like people from outside of Idaho “tell[ing] Idaho how to do things.” I stated that I would be happy with a scenario that gave Idaho residents 10 times the representation that would be proportional to their population. If you don’t like those terms simply say so, it is a hypothetical scenario after all.

    Regarding your hypocrisy… I refer, of course, to your tendency to complain whenever hunters or rural residents are stereotyped. I’ve defended you (and others) on this in the past (and will continue to do so). You lose all credibility when you complain about name-calling in one thread and then proceed to call names in another.

  85. avatar JimT says:

    Layton,

    I

  86. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    Ralph – Being new to this community group I am learning every day. I was not expecting the humor – great to see. So, is there like a year end keg floating/wildgame cookout type get together where we can put faces with names? Keep up the good work, this site is great.

  87. avatar JimT says:

    Layton,

    I might be willing to trust decision-makers who put the resource and its health first instead of the historical trend to despoil the resource for profit in the West. And, let’s see, the traditional state or fed manager system has done a pretty crappy job from the ecosystem’s health’s point of view, so maybe it is time to try a new model before we find a depleted landscape is our legacy to the future.

    If wanting to preserve the remainder of the Western landscape and its wild inhabitants from additional stress, risk of extinction, and declining numbers means I have drunk the Kool-Aid…green, of course…well yeah, count me in. Better that than continuing the status quo.

    I mention the Sagebrush history because it is so basic to the attitudes of the ranchers and miners and logging companies who make a living from the public lands, would not exist but for public lands and Federal welfare (Read Ralph’s posts again), and yet bitch and moan when the Feds and the rest of us who own these lands want the BS to stop. I could give a flying fig what people do on their private lands so long as it doesn’t impact the health of adjoining public land resources. But, that isn’t enough for the extractive industries and people who think just because you live next to public lands, they are yours to use for whatever purpose no matter the effects on the lands themselves. Wolves belong on these lands just as much as humans do; it is about tijme our laws and regulations and practices made that truth a regular part of the western lifestyle. Same for the other predator species who have been pushed back and out of traditional habitat.

  88. Talks with Bears,

    This is an odd group, and I’m glad. I’m also glad readership is so high. I know a lot of folks in conservation and other groups take a look each day because I am a native Western “greeneck” that doesn’t have to follow the party line of any group, party, or worry about my employment.

  89. avatar Layton says:

    JB,

    What I’m trying to say — and evidently not doing a good enough job of — is that there are people that do NOT live in Idaho that feel the sam as the people in Idaho do about wolves.

    When you talk about “part of that federal land belongs to people that do not live in Idaho” I have to agree. BUT part of those people that are interested in what goes on here, do NOT agree that the wolf population should be allowed to do whatever.

    Even if you did give people in Idaho this mathmatical advantage, there are still a LOT more people out there that are interested and don’t live here. Actually, I guess I’m really not sure that there are that many people out there that really give a rip either way.

    Does that make it more plain??

  90. avatar Elk275 says:

    JB

    ++I stated that I would be happy with a scenario that gave Idaho residents 10 times the representation that would be proportional to their population. ++

    I think that Idaho has the same representation as Ohio, each has two US Senators. This was called the great compromise when the constitution was written.

  91. avatar Layton says:

    gline,

    “Wow Layton you are almost over the fence….. I cant wait to see it come true!”

    If you are referring to the “fence” I think you are — you’ll get real blue in the face if you hold your breath. 8)

    Ralph,

    I like the idea that TWB has — I can wear a helmet!

  92. avatar gline says:

    we probably have a different idea of fences layton, I’m sure. But there is hope for you yet.

  93. avatar gline says:

    Talks with Bears: I think a place you may see many of these faces would be the Wolf conference held every year…

  94. avatar gline says:

    Speaking of the state fund Ralph, I was thinking about this this early am – Defenders used to compensate ranchers for their livestock loss due to wolves. Now that the states have “taken over” “management” , (and I am double quoting there on purpose) where is that fund? and why would they need it if they are controling each and every wolf with a collar, hunt then wildlife services? we won’t have many wolves left …

  95. avatar JB says:

    Elk:

    State F&G agencies are entrusted to manage wildlife based upon the views and desires of state citizens (under the so-called “public trust doctrine”. States have no incentive nor statutory obligation to examine, account for, or even consider the interests of nonresidents, despite the fact that the majority of wolf habitat occurs on Federal lands (i.e. lands belonging equally to all US citizens).

    Thus, those of us from outside of the NRM DPS states have every incentive to oppose state management until such time as management plans meet with our general approval. Why? Because in Federal management we have a (albeit limited) say, whereas under state management our views are completely discounted/ignored. Heck, under state management the views of non-hunters are completely discounted (except, of course, for livestock producers).

    As I see it, the Federal/State management dichotomy is responsible for much of the tension regarding the management of wolves at the moment.

    FYI: I am a supporter of state wildlife management agencies and (more generally) the NA model of wildlife management. However, at least where predators are concerned, the state legislatures in Idaho and Wyoming have proven incapable of keeping their hands out of the wildlife management issue.

  96. avatar gline says:

    What is the NA model of wildlife management?

  97. avatar nabeki says:

    Wilderness Muse….
    I’m completely aware of the decision making process concerning quotas and I’m also aware that Sime, as the Montana Wolf Coordinator, has input into whether or not quotas could be adjusted for poaching.

    Sime herself stated: “The quota system,” Sime said, “is very flexible and responsive.” The models that built it are constantly updated, “and we can make changes right up to the last minute, if something surprising happens.” She did say WE CAN MAKE CHANGES, not they can make changes. Doesn’t sound like she’s out of the loop on this.
    http://www.missoulian.com/news/local/article_15989c18-c6a1-11de-93ff-001cc4c002e0.html

    I don’t happen to agree with their model. If wolves are poached the numbers should be subtracted from the quota total. Otherwise what deterrent is their for hunters not to poach wolves?

    But then I’m totally against the wolf hunt in general, so the whole process is distasteful to me. And no, I don’t have much faith in Bangs or Sime.

    I’m sorry Layton and yourself don’t agree with what I had to say…but that’s life.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  98. avatar gline says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly Nabeki. I’ve seen Sime speak many times. She is not for the wolves. Several years ago I saw her speak to our Audubon club about the evilness of wolves, – to the Audubon? we had to defend wolves that night. I think they all just want to retire from this. As Bangs had said a year ago he just wanted to go soak up some sun and drink pina coladas…. they hate what they have been slated to reintroduce and protect.

  99. avatar nabeki says:

    Ralph says:
    The states are not selling wolf tags to make money. They made that pretty clear. They kept the price of the tags deliberately low so that no one who wanted one would be deterred by the price.
    ===================
    I have to disagree with you on this Ralph. I think they set the prices low true, to make it affordable but also knew the high demand would make it very profitable, considering all the pent up anger and emotion tied to the wolf issue for so many years. By keeping prices low they sold more tags. The last time I looked, over 25,000 tags had been sold in the two states to kill 295 wolves. So the numbers speak for themselves.
    http://www.missoulian.com/news/local/article_bffd2588-a276-11de-a7f8-001cc4c002e0.html

  100. avatar JEFF E says:

    Layton says
    “I’ve learned a lot on this blog in the last year or two (man, I hate to admit that 8) ) from several people, ……..”
    Layton,
    You haven’t had too many adult beverages have you??
    8*)

  101. avatar Elk275 says:

    I lost a long post but here is an article on the North American Wildlife Model.

    This may be copywrited and Ralph maybe unease about it. I am not an expert on copyright law.

    North American Wildlife Conservation Model – Eric Aldrich

    “North America’s WILDLIFE Conservation Model
    By Eric Aldrich

    There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world: a system that keeps wildlife as a public and sustainable resource, scientifically managed by professionals – thanks to hunters and hunting.”

    Here is the rest http://www.rmef.org/NewsandMedia/PubsTV/Bugle/2004/MayJune/Features/NAModel.htm Link is to shorten the comment. Thanks Elk276. Ralph Maughan

  102. avatar gline says:

    So money from the 25,000 tags goes into wolf management, what will they have left to manage? After poaching and hunting???

  103. avatar Elk275 says:

    gline

    They are not going to kill all of the wolves.

  104. avatar gline says:

    wait and see, maybe a few will be left. It has happened before remember.
    There are natural causes of death – disease, unnatural causes of death such as being electrocuted, poaching, or mange. There are just so many ways for a wolf to die… hope I am not one in my next life. the current “management” team just doesnt seem to be taking this reintoduction very seriously. Us Peasants are quite upset.

    This reintroduction was just an illusion. or I am becomming very cynical.

  105. avatar nabeki says:

    gline..
    I have the same opinion about Sime and even though I haven’t heard her speak personally, others have relayed the same opinion that you just shared. My puzzlement is with Bangs, he was one of the people directly involved with wolf reintroduction and spoke very favorably about wolves early on. I’ve noticed hardening of his thinking over the years. Maybe he needs to go drink a few pina coladas, like you said and sit on the beach and pass the torch.

  106. avatar Elk275 says:

    ++State F&G agencies are entrusted to manage wildlife based upon the views and desires of state citizens (under the so-called “public trust doctrine”. States have no incentive nor statutory obligation to examine, account for, or even consider the interests of nonresidents, despite the fact that the majority of wolf habitat occurs on Federal lands (i.e. lands belonging equally to all US citizens). ++

    States do not consider the interest of the nonresident and by the SCOTUS decision “Balwin vs The State of Montana, 1978” that states have a right to charge what the market will bare for a non – resident license and of all the privilages ones has elk hunting in Montana is not one of them.

  107. avatar Elk275 says:

    I met “non resident hunter”

  108. avatar Elk275 says:

    nabeki

    ++I think they set the prices low true, to make it affordable but also knew the high demand would make it very profitable, considering all the pent up anger and emotion tied to the wolf issue for so many years. By keeping prices low they sold more tags.++

    I have always maintained that resident hunting and fishing licenses are way to low. For $78 dollars I get a fishing and hunting license with bird, elk and deer. One ski lift ticket at Big Sky is $78 a day or from what I hear green fees are near that (I do not golf). But try to make people understand that the undervalue of a hunting license is can and is a negative. The cost of ticket to (University of Montana) grizzlies football game is near $50. That is ok, but do not raise the price of a hunting license. Strange.

  109. avatar nabeki says:

    Elk275…..
    If I may interject, it’s not about killing all the wolves. It’s about destroying pack structure by killing alphas and older wolves, puppies starving to death without parents, losing collared wolves that were contributing to wolf research and on and on.

    The mentality of “a wolf is a wolf is a wolf”, that they will just replace the dead ones, is totally flawed. If anyone thinks wolves will replace 295 of themselves this coming Spring, especially while the Idaho hunts go right through mating season, I’ve got a bridge to sell you in Arizona.

    If the hunts are allowed to continue into next year, with the same quotas or higher we could lose a total of 500 wolves or more. We can then just forget about them dispersing to other areas of their home range or genetic diversity. We’ll be left with a fragmented population of young wolves, who are more likely to prey on cattle.

    This was not why we had the reintroduction in the first place, to end right back up where we started. Shameful!

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  110. avatar gline says:

    wolf tags are really low considering the price you would get from a good “pelt”, or the fur that was needed by that individual.

  111. avatar nabeki says:

    Elk275 says:
    I have always maintained that resident hunting and fishing licenses are way to low.
    ==================
    You might be right but the out-of state people had to pay $350 for a wolf tag. That’s pretty hefty.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  112. avatar Save bears says:

    If as some say, so much jeopardy is being brought down on the current wolf population by the hunters, then why did the Judge rule, no, he did not think there would be harm to the population, apparently, the organizations that presented the request for injunction had pretty poor lawyers! With the way Malloy has ruled in the past, it would seem, he would have some insight into this issue based on all the information that has been presented before and any new information submitted with the request for injunction. I have met Malloy on several occasions over the years, and he does not strike me as a stupid Judge. I will say, often times I have disagreed with his rulings, but that is normal everyday business.

    You folks really need to look at the real threat to wolf populations and that is not the weekend hunter who can legally kill one wolf, it is the WS that can kill a whole pack at one time and not blink an eye!

    Hate the hunter, that is fine, most of us that hunt are used to it, but put your energy into actually fixing the problem and that is not the hunters…

  113. avatar Elk275 says:

    nabeki

    ++You might be right but the out-of state people had to pay $350 for a wolf tag. That’s pretty hefty.++

    I notice that was a little high, but remember that the SCOTUS said that states could charge what they wanted for a non resident license.

    ++This was not why we had the reintroduction in the first place, to end right back up where we started. Shameful!++

    My understanding was that the goal of the wolf transplant was 10 breed pair and 335 wolves. I was all for that, but now there are those who want more and more. The wolf is changing the number on elk available to hunters and his was evident when the FWP reduced the Bitteroot cow elk licences. If hunters and FWP had not rebuilt the elk herds then the reintroduction of wolves would not have been possible.

  114. avatar Save bears says:

    When will people get over this 10/300 equation???

    That was NOT the goal, that was a trigger point to start the delisting process, based on the reintroduction plan, there was never any maximum stated anywhere, it was simply a stated trigger point!

  115. avatar Elk275 says:

    ++it was simply a stated trigger point!++

    where is the target point?

  116. avatar Save bears says:

    Elk,

    There has never been a stated target point or maximum number…I worked for FWP at the time wolves were reintroduced and have read time and time again the reintroduction plan(s), I did not work on the wolf reintroduction, but I have a lot of friends at the FWP that did….

  117. avatar JEFF E says:

    ……and the 10/300 was only ONE FACTOR of the delisting criteria. But all that has been covered and linked ad nauseum on this blog. sometimes it gets a little tiring rehashing and rehashing

  118. avatar nabeki says:

    Save bears…
    I think Judge Molloy allowed the hunts because he wanted to observe how they would proceed, how hunters conducted themselves, would there be poaching, what would happen to park wolves? For all those reasons, I think he made that decision. I do believe they will be re-listed but for how long I don’t know. I’m sure the Safari Club will be fighting hard against it.

    But I completely agree with you that Wildlife Services is the biggest enemy of the wolf and not just the wolf but many more species. They have killed way over a half million coyotes in a four year period, the list goes on and on. I wrote a piece about them.
    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/the-exterminators/

  119. avatar gline says:

    We have way too much focus and energy on “management” lethal control of wolves and not enough pressure on the livestock industry….

    how do you stop a country from eating cheap hamburgers?

  120. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Save Bears,

    The plaintiffs in this latest wolf case presented Judge Malloy with a motion for an emergency injunction to stop the hunts. Neither party has to this point had the opportunity to present the facts of the case or to fully explore the legal aspects of delisting (lets just say it is kind of complex). The judge did not think an emergency injunction was justified under the law at that point, so he did not rule that way. He has complete oversight of the case and could stop the hunts in an instant if he chose. And, I think, that was an incredibly bright decision by an even handed judge to allow the hunt to go forward while the legal arguments are being reviewed.

    SB, for the record, the lawyers for Defenders of Wildlife and the other plaintiffs are VERY good and very experienced lawyers. They know the very complex Endangered Species Act, I dare say, a whole lot better than the DOJ lawyers representing the USFWS and the assistant attorney generals representing the states, which is why MT was represented by outside counsel at taxpayer expense.

  121. avatar Elk275 says:

    ++how do you stop a country from eating cheap hamburgers?++

    Have wildlife services put a bounty on RONALD MACDONALD

  122. avatar gline says:

    LOL elk275

  123. avatar Save bears says:

    WM,

    Time will tell.

    But I will say, based on my experience working for FWP and with various agencies, the wolf season has actually been quite a bit better than what we normally see with other big game animals, yes, there have been a few incidents of poaching, but far less than I have seen with any other big game animal in Montana, the only reason, they have numbers built into the quota is based on experience in the past with other species…

  124. avatar nabeki says:

    And LOL Again to Elk275….

  125. avatar Cindy says:

    And back to the question of “which hunter hunts what”, ie: man vs. wolf I’ve had 4 or 5 respectable folks come into my business here in Jackson in the past week, boasting of their great luck Elk hunting thus far. Of the 10 tags total (I got real specific in my scientific study) from these 3 groups, ALL TAGS were filled with a bull elk. Now, if you take 10 wolf hunts, where their target is an elk, I wonder if all 10 would end in the success of 10 bulls killed. We now have 10 less productive bulls in the Elk population around the Wyoming/Idaho border. When the counts are done next Spring/Summer/Fall, and the elk population is down, I wonder if the Wiley Wolf will be to blame.
    PS – another reminder of the mediation I’ll be doing on November 15 from 5:30 – 6:30 am mst, morning twilight. “Honoring the Hunted, a Quiet Meditation for Wolf”. Folks are welcome to join me from where ever they are. In a couple of days, Nabeki will have detailed information on the website: howlingforjustice.wordpress.com. I will also have Wolf Meditation Cards available again. One of the things I will have out during this time is a picture of me holding the pelt of Wolf #10. The beautiful and mighty “First Sacrificed Wolf”. I know his strong genes are running all over Montana and he will guide his clan into survival..

  126. avatar Save bears says:

    Cindy,

    Are you Native American by chance? Just curious…

  127. avatar Cindy says:

    No – Whitebread and raised as Christian as you can get..:):)

  128. avatar Save bears says:

    Ok,

    Just wondering…I think I saw one of your cards somewhere, but it escapes me right now where I might have seen it..

  129. avatar Cindy says:

    Save Bears – My husband and I traveled (in a horrendous snowstorm) up to the “Releasing of the Buffalo Spirits” with Chief Arvol, at the Stephens Creek Pen last Spring during the slaughter. The service is what inspired me to do this. I

  130. avatar Cindy says:

    Oh I hope you have a card. Again Nabeki has been kind enough to offer me a little real estate on her site. It will be a few days before my info pops up there.

  131. avatar jerryB says:

    Wilderness Muse
    ” which is why MT was represented by outside counsel at taxpayer expense.”
    I’m curious about this. To my recollection, Mt was represented by the legal staff at MFWP, specifically, Martha Williams who did an outstanding job as always.
    I’m quite surprised, if it’s true, that they would hire outside counsel.
    Who was this outside counsel and where were they from?

  132. avatar nabeki says:

    Cindy….
    I’m so looking forward to it. It’s been a tough few weeks for wolf people!! Yeha Noha!!

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  133. avatar Jay says:

    Of course first you have to trap and radiocollar Ronald McDonald, which would then throw Larry Thorngren into a tizzy about how our burger mascots are overstudied, and why can’t we just just Ronald, Grimace, and the Hamburglar run free in the Nat’l Parks to be photographed and unfettered by useless radiocollars…

  134. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    jerryB

    I may have spoken too soon on that one (to my own embarassment). It seems I read a pleading prepared lby outside counsel representing MT. I am nearly certain it was a Missoula firm with about 10 lawyers. That being said, my comment is definitely not a shot at any of the MT assistant AG’s, or whoever represented them in oral argument. I am sure they are very competent. It is just that AG’s are often spread pretty thin covering alot of areas for their state clients, and sometimes it is beneficial to bring in folks with specialty backgrounds, or who can do the legal research and necessary creative thinking often needed to successfully defend a case such as this. States and large corporations do this all the time, when the stakes are high and the areas of law complex, as this definitely is.

  135. avatar jerryB says:

    WM………unfortunately, I missed the second go-around with Judge Malloy, but was at last years and have to say, Martha Williams did an outstanding job and from people who were there in Sept, I heard she once again was very credible.
    They are very fortunate to have her in their legal department.
    And, this is coming from someone who is constantly at odds with many of MFWP’s policies.

  136. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    jerryB,

    I was mistaken, so just replace the word Idaho (instead of MT) in the post that is of concern.

    It was Idaho and Governor Otter who are represented by the Williams firm (Attorney: James Johnson) in Missoula, who I thought did a nice job on Idaho’s RESPONSE MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR
    PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION.

    Thanks for the catch. I am always worried about good facts (even my own) on Ralph’s blog.

  137. avatar JB says:

    Jay:

    I’m quite certain that the collaring of fast food mascots would have severe detrimental effects on those individuals unfortunate enough to be captured and tortured by the blood thirsty scientists.

    On the upside, I cant’ help but chuckle at the thought of Grimace being shot in the as_ with a dart. 🙂

  138. avatar Richie,NJ says:

    You don’t that is just the way it is, ranchers are very powerful lobby, and with politics the way it is we are behind the eight ball.

  139. avatar Richie,NJ says:

    Just a side note the first Ronald McDonald became a monk no more meat for him , this was on the news years ago. The lawyer for defenders made one error, he was from defenders or earth justice.When he stated a number of wolves I think he said two thousand would be a fair number in the wild, people gasped, he should never have given a number.Again Obama is losing his base as with the democratic party, over a couple of topics health care and wilderness, he better wake up fast for our wildlife is very important to me and many of you ladies and gentileman out their. SB, must be beautiful to see a pack of wolves in the distance, you have a great treasure don’t take it for granted.I only seen this a couple of times, don’t lose site of this treasure.

  140. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    They absolutely don’t care. The “wolf managers” are interested in two things. The money the tags bring into state coffers, and fulfilling their quotas. Nobody is looking at the science because if they were we wouldn’t be having hunts at all.

    Doug Smith agrees with the hunts. In my book he knows more about the Yellowstone wolves than anyone else really. He has been around since the beginning and has been involved in much of the research. He even carried many of the originals in on his own back. If he agrees with the hunt, I trust him. Who are we to argue with him, what makes you think you know more about it than him Nabecki

  141. avatar william huard says:

    Ralph- I wasn’t sure where to comment on this, but page A9 of today’s New York Times has a very striking full page ad about the gray wolf. The ad was paid for by the Natural Resources Defense Council. The ad targets salazar and states the plan to kill the gray wolf is promoted by a relatively few vocal ranchers and elk hunters. Does anyone know who these few vocal ranchers are?

  142. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    william huard,

    I have not seen the ad. However, it NRDC says its true, it must be. Just like their campaign to scare the public about “alar” a safe and proven chemical spray to keep apples on the tree longer. The scare was blatantly false, and, after exposure of the fraud, I think even organic farmers use it today. NRDC’s conduct temporarily killed the apple industry across the entire nation, and caused manufacturers of all kinds of apple products to stop buying apples. Meryl Streep was an unwitting spokesperson for the campaign, who later apologized for her conduct. The matter ended in litigation, after thousands of farmers went bankrupt, and apple product manufacturers lost hundreds of millions of dollars because of the fraud perpetrated by NRDC. Gotta wonder if they are at it again.

    .

  143. Wilderness Muse,

    You might not like the ad or NRDC, but NRDC’s campaign against alar’s use on applies (what was it 20 years ago?) has no bearing on the validity of the claims in their wolf ad.

  144. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    If you believe I am making this up, here is a link:

    http://www.heartland.org/policybot/results/20647/Alar_The_Great_Apple_Scare.html

    It appears (and I did not know this before) the tactic was used as a fund-raising campaign, that caused them to lose credibility and funding in the end.

  145. avatar william huard says:

    Wilderness muse-

    I think the point that the NRDC is trying to make is that during the bush admin there was an air of contempt for Endangered Species listings as evidenced by their lack of listings. We don’t need to go back to the Julie Mcdonald days but the resistance to the listing of certain species was more based on politics than science. Salazar is a rancher so he is more receptive to the concerns of ranchers. Everyone criticises the groups like HSUS for their fundraising, how else do you think they can pay for full page ads in the New York Times?

  146. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    william huard

    My concern is more for “truth in advertizing” and groups like HSUS, Defenders and now NRDC (who I for the most part respect) have taken to a higher degree of sensationalism to achieve funding objectives.

    Also taking a cheap shot at Salazar at the very start of his tunure, for allegedly purpetuating Bush policies, is a disingenuous. Without rehashing the whole delisiting matter, it was contemplated that the current path to delisting the Rocky Mountain wolves would occur at this time, as is currently being carried out (status of litigation is noted regarding DPS and other technical legal issues under the ESA).

    Salazar, although a rancher, is a good guy, and for the most part pure of heart, if one can say that of a politician. Remember, the RM wolf delisting was a Bruce Babbit era project, and I expect Salazar is just continuing to carry the torch in that context.

  147. Wilderness Muse,

    The alar controversy, whatever its merits, has no relationship to the wolf ad.

    I don’t know that Salazar is pure of heart. I don’t know that anyone is, except myself of course 😉

  148. avatar JimT says:

    I would love to have a cite to wherever it was you read that Doug Smith was in favor of the hunt.

  149. avatar JimT says:

    Salazar is carefully straddling the fence, giving and taking to both sides often in the same press conference. Sooner or later, that approach is hard on the cajones, though. He is at heart, a rancher, not a supporter of the ESA, and is supportive of mining interests…all based on his record.

    Some things require a stand, a “no more” approach. I don’t think he is the man for that kind of decision. Then again, it is reflective of what is now obviously apparent that Obama’s lands and animal’s policies were going to be middle of the road as well.

  150. avatar Save bears says:

    Jim,

    Doug has been quoted in numerous news articles as saying he didn’t feel it would cause any harm to the wolf population, in reality the only time he balked has been this last week when the issue of shooting collared wolves outside Yellowstone.

  151. avatar jerryB says:

    JimT….I read the same quote from Smith and was shocked.
    I’ll look for it.
    For anyone in Western Montana, The Society for Conservation Biology is sponsoring a program Thursday and Friday at the U. of Montana.
    Speakers include Sime, Bangs, Louisa Wilcox (NRDC) and others.
    http://www.conbio.org/chapters/Montana/

  152. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    Despite any effects on his research, Smith still supports the Montana wolf hunting season.

    Although some people have called for a buffer zone around Yellowstone’s borders to protect packs that roam over its edges, Smith doesn’t like that term. He said he’d rather see the season moved back to a time of the year that the more remote, mountainous terrain surrounding Yellowstone would be more difficult to access and when wolf pelts would be in better shape for harvest.

    From this very article

  153. avatar Cris Waller says:

    JimT-

    I haven’t seen a direct quote, but several articles have said he supports the hunt- here’s another one besides the one being discussed here-
    http://www.greateryellowstone.org/news/index.php?id=138

  154. avatar Cindy says:

    I participated in a course with Doug this June and he did indeed state that he is in favor of the hunt, BUT with some reservations on this hunt, at this year with these parameters. One of the items we spent a lot of time discussing was, a moratorium for say 5 years. This would be clocked from when they came off the list, to the first year of hunting. This model was used in the midwest with what I think were good results.

  155. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    JimT

    Here is a link to Doug Smith’s declaration under oath in the current delisting litigation. See p. 4, beginning with paragraph 5 and following paragraphs. He speaks more broadly of his opinion that turning management over to the states will not hurt wolf populations (read into statement hunting, which of course is included in each of the three state plans).

    Not to take Smith’s comments too far, I am not sure he as a scientist who wants to continue his work unfettered, would ever say “he was in favor of a hunt.” There is a difference.

    http://rliv.com/wolf/Smith%20Dec.pdf

  156. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    On Cindy’s first hand comment I stand corrected.

  157. This is not a comment about Smith, but folks should realize it is not a logical contradiction to support this wolf hunt or a wolf hunt in the abstract and still not like this delisting plan that is in effect.

    It don’t like the DPS boundaries, and I especially don’t like fact that the states are under no obligation to require livestock practices that don’t attract wolves.

  158. avatar Save bears says:

    Ralph,

    How would the states be obligated to do anything if the grazing leases are in fact administered under the feds? It would seem the feds would be the agencies charged with requiring different practices on their lands. Of course private lands as well as state lands would be a whole different can of worms…

  159. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    the states could implement a requirement that “Best Management Practices” be used as a prerequisite of states’ distribution of “compensation” funds for livestock depredations – as a matter of their respective management plans – as the states are now in charge of distribution of those dollars – even when depredations take place on federal public lands.

    that’s one way .

  160. avatar Save bears says:

    Brian,

    It seems that “Defenders” would have made this a prerequisite of their willingness to provide the seed funds to the State of Montana compensation program.

    I don’t remember seeing them do that, so if non-profit pro wolf organization does not require it, why would you expect the government to do this?

    And I am not trying to be argumentative, I am just posing questions..

  161. avatar Elk275 says:

    Brain

    ++the states could implement a requirement that “Best Management Practices” be used as a prerequisite of states’ distribution of “compensation” funds for livestock depredations – as a matter of their respective management plans – as the states are now in charge of distribution of those dollars – even when depredations take place on federal public lands.

    that’s one way .

    It is not going to happen in the State of Montana. Be it Republicans or Democrats running the legislator.

  162. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    SB,

    I’ve never been a proponent of any compensation program – let alone Defenders’, but I agree that it is unlikely that the states would implement such an idea — it’s just a mechanism of influence that’s out there that the states do have if they wanted such influence.

    The FS & BLM still have authority to implement such provisions into the Terms & Conditions of permits to use federal public land. Perhaps one day there will be agency direction ~ either administratively, or via legislation – that moves in that direction with regard to predators. It seems to me the appropriate place to do it.

  163. Does anyone know the last time that Ed Bangs conducted any original research (which does not include reviewing the work of research scientists like Doug Smith, Packard, etc. and affixing his name to the draft paper which I understand is a common practice)?

    One of the reasons I ask is that I find it very troubling that he appears to blithely dismiss the significance of the lost research data re: the Cottonwood Pack: He is quoted in The Gazette (11/01) as saying: “It’s not a big deal” and “[t]he loss of the wolves is biologically inconsequential since wolves die all the time and packs dissolve.”

    On the other hand his sentiment does not surprise me as he maintained that wolves are like any other wildlife and should be managed accordingly.

    Persistent subscription to the “wolf is a wolf” school of thought by Bangs with his seemingly limitless authority and others in his camp (e.g., Steve Nadeau) is even more disturbing given leading conservation biologist’s views (ones with doctorate and post-doctorate degrees) that wolves are far from being like any other wildlife in that for one they are cooperative breeders (which is documented by Linda Thurston and others to be exceedingly rare among mammals) and concomitantly have young which are more attuned to learning than our closest primate relatives (e.g., Doug Chadwick).

    So again I ask: does anyone know the last time that Ed Bangs did his own original research – particularly re: the behavioral and genetic implications of destroying pack structure?

  164. avatar Save bears says:

    Brian,

    The only way I have ever been in favor of a compensation program was, if it was a sliding scale program that eventually stops as the program gets farther into existence, that would give the ranchers time to learn and make modification to their ranching practices to ensure less conflict, I suggested this approach several years ago, and it was steadfastly vetoed…by all sides involved..

  165. avatar Save bears says:

    Valerie,

    Probably quite a long time ago, as that is not normal procedure once you are at the top rung of control in the federal agencies or even state agencies, once you attain the level that Bangs has, you work off the review of others work…and many really don’t attain that level, because in order to do so, you have to have a combination of scientific knowledge and understand the side step political game, which Bangs is good at, many biologists are either good at one or the other, but not a combination of both..

  166. Save Bears,

    As time went by, Defenders increasingly wanted the owners of livestock to be proactive, and they didn’t pay some claims.

    It was pretty clear that some owners were perfectly willing to sacrifice some bum cows if they could get a wolf pack killed in return by the government.

  167. Save Bears,

    Thanks so much for your valuable insight and confirmation. I surmised the “side step political game” to be the true modus operandi following Bang’s comment to the Billings Gazette last Fall that the reason he wanted the March 2008 delisting rule to be vacated was that the [USFWS] wouldn’t “win” before Judge Molloy’s November hearing. I have maintained that the vacation should have never taken place as it gave the authors of the delisting rule some additional juicy bites at the apple and had Judge Molloy ruled against the agency last November we wouldn’t be dealing with the current hunting travesty.

    Given that winning seems more important to the establishment than revealing and seeking the scientific truth I think it is about time that the fawning media re-read the fable “The Emperor Has No Clothes”.

  168. avatar Save bears says:

    Ralph,

    I agree, people in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming are very stubborn and many ranchers are 100% against the perception of anyone telling them what to do..which is why I have always been on the education side, starting out with the younger generations, until such time as we target education, I don’t see a whole lot of movement happening, and as you have said many times and I will reiterate, until the anger is focused where it should be, which is WS, this contention will continue..and depending on what Malloy does next time, could and probably will escalate.

  169. avatar jerryB says:

    Valerie Bittner
    “So again I ask: does anyone know the last time that Ed Bangs did his own original research – particularly re: the behavioral and genetic implications of destroying pack structure?”

    Thanks, Valerie………I’ll add that to my questions at his talk here in Missoula friday. In fact it will be #1!

    Did you ever receive an answer from Sime on your question of genetic diversity and the wolf killings near the Park?

  170. avatar JimT says:

    WM,,

    thanks for the link. I have met Doug several times informally, and I was surprised to read he was in favor of the hunt as you said. Now, given his exact words, he doesn’t say he favors a hunt; he favors state management, but I daresay, based on private conversations, he would still want to see Federal monitoring and a “quick kill” switch on the state’s ability to manage the wolves if it became apparent the state was ignoring science and poaching, and just killing wolves based on rancher’s wishes.

    You should go to one of his classes at Yellowstone…they are worth every penny…

  171. avatar jburnham says:

    jerryB.
    “Thanks, Valerie………I’ll add that to my questions at his talk here in Missoula friday. In fact it will be #1!”

    Forgive me if I missed it earlier in the thread, but do you have more info on this talk? What, where, where, when?

    Thanks.

  172. avatar jerryB says:

    jburnham
    Speakers include Sime, Bangs, Louisa Wilcox (NRDC) and others.
    http://www.conbio.org/chapters/Montana/

  173. avatar gline says:

    jerryB thanks for the link. I was looing at this the other day… see you there

  174. avatar JB says:

    Val:

    Ed has been lead or second author on a number of publications in recent years. Go to http://scholar.google.com and you can look for yourself.

    I disagree with Ed and Caroline about the delisting (mostly regarding how the DPS’ were constructed and their assessment of the threats wolves face), but I can tell you that–in my opinion–both of these people believe they are doing right by wolves. Attacks on their character have no place here and are nothing more than sour grapes.

  175. Greetings J.B.,

    Thanks for your feedback. I am not who likes to wield such harsh criticism in a public forum but I think it is justly deserved.

    Political expediency at the expense of scientific truth and hundreds of priceless sentient beings– especially when the stakes are are so high (vastly more relevant than my alleged case of “sour grapes”) — IS a valid attack on public character.

  176. J.B.,

    Addendum: Re: Carolyn Sime’s agenda: See this excerpt from Plaintiffs’ Reply Brief, pg. 16, filed 08/29/2009:

    FWS claims that Idaho and Montana’s wolf hunts will not impair genetic connectivity, reiterating the discussion of those hunts in the Delisting Rule. In its brief, FWS fails to address Plaintiff’s arguments that hunter-caused mortality will jeopardize future genetic exchange because hunting is permitted during wolves’ peak dispersal period and in key dispersal areas. See also Admin. Rec. 2009-005418 (email from Montana wolf program coordinator Caroyn Sime stating, “[i]f we were truly promoting [wolf dispersal], seasons would close by November and they don’t anywhere in the three states. And there are more things that we could have done to ‘promote’ connectivity relative to public harvest and we did not. Lipstick on a pig — well — it’ still a pig.”

  177. avatar jerryB says:

    JB…….Looking back at this forum, I don’t see what would be construed as”personal attacks” on either. Certainly nothing like poor Layton endures.
    There is information that would justify personal attacks that is not being brought up because this isn’t the forum for it.
    Next Wolf Conference I’ll take along my “FOI request, District Court referral and Bangs file” for you to have a look at.
    Till then you can continue to believe that their “heart’s in the right place”, they’re doing right by the wolves, or whatever.

  178. avatar gline says:

    JB
    It isnt personal attacks on their character that I see and that I myself have stated on this blog, but negative feedback on how they are “managing” wolves. they need to know …

    I have been extremely frustrated with the response or really lack of response I have received. From these wolf “experts”.

  179. avatar Save bears says:

    I don’t consider 10 years and older to be recent years.

    Ed has been playing the political game for the last few years, and this is not condemnation or criticism, it is fact, I have read quite a few of his papers over the years, and the last few things he has published has been pretty lean. When I was with FWP, he consulted on a few things we were doing, when it came to interactions between wolves and bison…I enjoyed his company as well as knowledge back then over what I see from him now..

  180. Thanks for your support Jerry B. It’s sometimes difficult to put oneself out there but I believe that the historic stakes here are just too high not to. As a famous author wrote (Wallace Stegner?) “sentiment without action is the death of the soul”.

    FYI: I have been preparing for and traveling extensively to conferences the last six weeks so did not have the time to contact Caroyn Sime via the e-mail link you sent to me (casime@mt.gov) about wiping out the entire pack in the critical genetics corridor through the Centennial Mts. near the notorious Dubois Sheep Station, but intend to try to do so tomorrow. Thanks for the reminder.

    P.S. I very much look forward to perusing your Bangs file at the next Wolf Conference.

  181. avatar timz says:

    IMHO they’re all sellouts and a disgrace to their profession.
    especially Nadeau.

  182. avatar JB says:

    Save bears:

    My google scholar search of Author: E Bangs + kewords: Wolf or wolves: turned up over 20 articles or conference presentations in the past 5 years.

    Val, Gline, Jerry:

    I probably have more cause to criticize Bangs and FWS than anyone here (and I’ll be happy to chat about why at the next wolf conference). Hopefully, I’ll be able to send you a journal article in short order. Regardless, I consider attacks on their (Simes and Bangs) scientific integrity personal. At least, I would consider them personal were I on the receiving end. The criticisms regarding genetic exchange/dispersal and hunting may be legitimate, but reasonable people could come to different conclusions on this issue (Ralph has opined here many times that hunting might actually promote genetic exchange by breaking up packs/increasing dispersal). The jury is still out on that matter and I’m not willing to condemn good people over it.

  183. avatar Save bears says:

    As I said JB,

    I have no condemnation at all for Ed or any of the others involved in the wolf reintroduction or management, I fully understand both sides of the spectrum, being a direct victim of it, I choose not to play the politics hence I now post on blogs and do independent studies for private organizations, and will probably die poor, without ever being published, at least not peer reviewed..

    I don’t consider them to be sellouts, but self preserving, often times taking the political high road over the scientific high road.

    Myself personally am looking forward to the fallout of the hunts as well as management that is happening right now, I feel it will give us far more insight in future management plans, I don’t know how anyone can have a complete picture of the current wolf dynamics without the human factor being present and considered, as we are part of the landscape.

  184. avatar JB says:

    “…I don’t know how anyone can have a complete picture of the current wolf dynamics without the human factor being present and considered, as we are part of the landscape.”

    I agree 100%.

  185. I agree with you Save Bears. They didn’t sell out. They are protecting themselves.

    You ought to look at Idaho universities right now (probably all around the country). Well, maybe listen to them. They are completely silent. No one dares say a thing in the current economic climate. If a professor speaks up, the Administration chops their head off. They are not selling out, but rather hanging on.

    No doubt this is going on in business and has been in government for a long time.

    If you want to find the bad people, look at the top in both the public and private sectors. Look at the leaders in the financial sector who legally stole maybe a trillion dollars. Look at members of the state legislatures and Congress and all the scandals. The Republicans created a cesspool of corruption, and Speaker Pelosi was going to drain it, but now lots of Democrats are being investigated by the House ethics committee.

    Look at real estate developers for a real nest of cockroaches.

    Look at the media elites on television.

    Look at organized medicine, especially the health insurance giants.

    Look at . . . . . on and on

  186. avatar Save bears says:

    Unfortunately, in this country, the prevalent theme is “Throw Mama Under the Train” and longtime friends are doing it everywhere..if we look across the spectrum in all fields, people have worked so long to get where they are, that there will be no winning if they don’t preserve themselves…and all fields are going to suffer for it…

  187. avatar bob jackson says:

    I don’t buy the argument of being quiet to “preserve yourself”. Any person can justify this at any stage of the game for whatever the reason. To me they are all cop outs.

    And what it does to ones character long term is very negative. In Yellowstone the result was employees ending up either bitter or apathetic. I saw it go on for 30 years….and most of them you could see the head hanging or shaking….for years before retirement.

    I say life is worth more than “self preserving”. It has to do with convictions, following your youthful ethics and ambitions to the end. And if you want it bad enough you can have both your honorable career and your honorable life….and nail a few bastards on the way.

    I say let them roll off the back of your hand. Let them duck into the closets and bathrooms as you walk by. Let the shaking ones look over their shoulders when they try to talk with you…giving the support they themselves can’t muster in themselves.

    If you are a biologist and your committment and lifes work is wolves then stick by them, I say. If you can’t, get out and let someone in there who will give it their all. “Just get him off the road” (quote from the “big guy” in the movie, Fargo).

  188. avatar Save bears says:

    Bob,

    I don’t really care what you think…seems to me somehow, you were kind of forced out, or am I mistaken?

  189. avatar Save bears says:

    Also,

    I will add, I lost my career with the agency, because I wouldn’t cave in or self preserve…now those at the top are making it difficult to get my military pension in addition to the benefits I earned by getting SHOT in combat…I am just happy that I have enough credibility that I can still get jobs and funding(there is that damn word again) from private organizations to keep moving forward.

  190. It’s hard to say what the best course is for self-preservation in face of pressure stand by and watch, participate yourself or fight it.

    As for myself, I fought against the public land rapers from the start despite warnings it would get me fired at the university. I figured, however, that if it came to that I would win a handsome lawsuit. They investigated for improper use of university resources several times, but I had been clued in early to not even use a university pen for something that goes against the natural resource extraction industry.

    So I documented things and survived 35 years. However, professors have been a somewhat protected class of people when it comes to freedom of speech at work. That is due to the institution of tenure and the expectation of academic freedom. It was easier for me to be brave than it is for other people.

  191. avatar bob jackson says:

    Save Bears,

    Wrong again, my man. I WON even when there was a
    LOT of political pressure coming from the VP White house to get me out. After I retained my job (…and at the same backcountry location I might add)….I was flown to Washington for pictures and hand shakes off the Senate floor. They even recessed for this “event”. Yes, I really got forced out, didn’t I.

    The ones actually “forced out’ were the Yellowstone administrative and field personnel who were the puppets for the Wash. political hacks. Forced transfers, where 20 year bitter admins didn’t even allow going away parties or presents, forced retirement where I was screamed at on the phone….and grade demotions. The boys of Washington did not like losing and the Yellowstone admins didn’t like the fall out.

    I stayed through all 3 years of that intrigue from above, leaving only when the magical age of 57 means you can no longer legally shoot bad guys for the federal govt..

    As for losing your job, I am sorry to hear it happened. They didn’t take your self respect. Part of what drove me on in my case was thinking it was going to be pay back time for all those very good field rangers the administration and careerists made life so miserable for.

    After I “won”, administration sent my papers to my district to fill out because they didn’t want to face it in Mammoth. This was different than all the years before. One always went to Mammoth for check in and law enforcement security updates.

    Thus, I went straight into that admin building, acting just as friendly and pleasant as before. It was so interesting to see those who lost most to scurry for cover. As I said before, one could figuratively roll any and all of them with the back of a hand sweep. I am not really proud of what happened, rather see what happened as an indicator of the abuse those in the govt. are a part of. The wolf biologists, I feel, should consider their own self esteem and honor as being most important at this time. They have done so much good in the past. This can mean so much more for them in their future lives, whether it is in the govt. or in a different career.

    Take care. I am heading to some islands in the SE Caribbean for the next month. Rum and Coke anyone? I’ll tip one your way SB.

  192. avatar Save bears says:

    Well Bob,

    I am glad you had such a joyous ride through the bullshit and head banging, don’t tip one to or for me, I don’t need your condemnation, your sympathy and least of all your bullshit..you have no place in your soul for anyone that has a different perspective, and you prove that here day in and day out.

    I am getting to the point, the respect I had, after following your career for over 2 decades I was aware of it are eroding…

  193. avatar nabeki says:

    bigbrowntrout Says:
    “Doug Smith agrees with the hunts. In my book he knows more about the Yellowstone wolves than anyone else really. He has been around since the beginning and has been involved in much of the research. He even carried many of the originals in on his own back. If he agrees with the hunt, I trust him. Who are we to argue with him, what makes you think you know more about it than him Nabecki”

    =======================
    Truthfully I was completely shocked Smith would make that statement. As you said, Smith was involved from the beginning of wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone. I had nothing but respect for Doug Smith but when I read the statement he made about pushing the hunts back to a time when the back country was less accessible and wolf pelts would be in better shape for harvesting, he lost me.

    Daniel MacNulty, an ecologist from Michigan Tech U, has done amazing work concerning wolves and aging in Yellowstone. He’s been around since 95 too and has been following collared Yellowstone wolves for thirteen years. He discovered wolves age rapidly in the wild and are old by age four. He actually observed two five year old alphas taking a break and resting during a hunt, while the younger wolves chased down the prey. The alphas came in at the end for the take down. Having the older wolves, especially the large males, use their size and weight to help take down elk, while the young wolves do all the leg work, makes for a very successful pack. So his conclusion is older wolves kill less prey because they don’t have the physical skills for the chase.. Basically to have a healthy wolf pack you need young and older wolves. So MacNulty’s research has direct implications concerning what effects the hunts will have on wolf packs, especially since all wolves are being targeted.

    Christopher Wilmers, an ecologist from UC, Santa Cruz put it fairly succinctly in an interview he gave to Science Now. He stated that “wolf managers” are wrong in their thinking that to increase elk and deer herds, all you have to do is kill wolves. He said that what you end up with is younger wolves who kill more prey. He goes on to state that when a wolf pack is weakened or disappears, younger wolves move into that territory. He believes the best thing to do is leave wolves alone!!

    Contrary to whether or not Doug Smith believes in wolf hunts or not, I’m going with Wilmers and MacNulty’s research. I think the hunts are completely unnecessary and a set back for wolf genetic diversity and dispersal and will only cause more problems for wolves!

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  194. avatar NW says:

    I’ve no idea what some of that stuff is about, but I do hate to see friends castigated for not taking a hard line to protect wolves, when they are the very people that have succeeded in returning wolves to the Rocky Mountains. Some people can handle the politics and ambiguity of working for the government, some can’t. If you are a no-compromise, take-no-prisoners advocate on any issue, you have no business taking tax dollars from a public that is wildly divided on the issue. There are valuable roles for radicals outside of government, but not in government. The logical outcome of wolf recovery is for wolves to be eventually managed like other wildlife species. In our time and place that means a controlled harvest. The word harvest is not an obfuscation but a time-honored term. Search and replace with slaughter if you feel the need but you won’t be talking the language of wildlife biology any more. Similarly, terms like genetic connectivity and best management practices have actual meanings, and shouldn’t be used to push for unrealistic goals. If wolves were so finely tuned for stable social structures that they can’t tolerate some killing by humans, they probably would have evolved a social system that featured less killing of their neighbors. There is far too little celebration of the fact that there are at least 10 times as many wolves in the contiguous United States as there were the first time I saw one, and 50 times as many as there were the first time I heard one.

  195. avatar nabeki says:

    Valerie….

    I completely agree with everything you said concerning Bangs!!!

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  196. avatar Save bears says:

    Nabeki,

    You are doing a very good job of proving exactly what I said the other night….

    You will always find research and science to support the position you believe in..

  197. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    NW

    Well said.

    JB

    You definitely have the higher moral ground in your recent posts in defense of those who are on the front line of the wolf reintroduction and recovery matter.

  198. avatar JB says:

    “Political expediency at the expense of scientific truth and hundreds of priceless sentient beings– especially when the stakes are are so high… IS a valid attack on public character.”

    Val,

    My point is that there is no “scientific truth” where this matter is concerned. The science concerning how wolves are affected by hunting is really in a nascent stage at this point. Thus, reasonable people can look at this situation and come to very different conclusions. As Save bears suggests, it isn’t all that surprising that those conclusions generally fall in step with their political views on this matter.

    My opposition to the hunt is not ideological in nature (though like you, I detest the idea of killing wolves for pleasure); rather, I see the current hunts as a failed opportunity to study how hunting wolves affects wolf AND ungulate populations. With some thought, IDF&G could have designed hunts and set harvest quotas that would’ve provided very good information on how hunting affects wolves and how wolf harvest affects elk. It is too bad that they squandered this opportunity IMO.

    WM:

    Thanks; though, to be honest, I am not certain that I have the moral high ground.

  199. avatar jerryB says:

    WM
    “You definitely have the higher moral ground in your recent posts in defense of those who are on the front line of the wolf reintroduction and recovery matter.”

    It’s easy to take the higher moral ground when you haven’t been lied to , deceived, or basically screwed over by someone or some agency that has the power to, because of who or what they are, not to have to answer to the public for their actions.

    Unless it’s happened to you, please spare us the “moral” bullshit.

  200. avatar bob jackson says:

    Save Bears,

    Sorry I don’t fit the identity you need. I was in the biggest “horse country” there was…with all the horse gear, stock experience and horse surroundings in my job possible but I never considered myself a horsey person.

    Those coming in or wanting to ride with me found it out. I didn’t talk the Walter Mitty life they needed. Other horseback back country rangers thought there wasn’t much difference in themselves and outfitters and other horse users….They were just on the protection side of the horse. They would say this and I would say bull shit…just because you both have cars doesn’t mean you are the same. The hell with dunns, bays and dapples.

    “they” got hurt on horses and I didn’t. They got hurt because they were a split second slower in reaction time because they were thinking horse not living it. They got hurt because image was most important. Leaving that off hand along the side like in the movies…. and not on the saddle horn ….means a wolf, bear or tree snapping means the horse goes sideways and you have lost control.

    I couldn’t afford a role in that country in order to survive and I can’t live one for others. I’m sorry for all those who wanted one and the identity modern civilization doesn’t allow but that is how it is. Our cabins were full of Louie Lamours and too many rangers read these at night instead of focusing on what needed to be done the next day.

    “Clearing leather” and “leaving at first light” too offend translated into horses being brought in during the dark and they stayed tied up at the hitching rack for hours. Then the ranger couldn’t understand why the horse and pack stock wanted to graze while heading down the trail.

    NW,

    I agree with a lot of what you say about not being radical in govt. but what is radical anyway. Anyone pro jew in Nazi govt. prior to WW11 would have been a “radical”. Anyone in Bush-Cheney era Washington govt. would have been seen as a radical if they didn’t show total loyalty to directives from above.

    Yes we need “even kneels” but the only thing that keeps this country from going to freaks and dictatorship are those that speak out. this includes those IN govt. If those in govt. “taking our tax dollars” are the experts and learned from these dollars to become the experts then they need to be the ones to communicate the knowledge they gained…. while being on the govt. rolls.

  201. avatar jerryB says:

    Bob Jackson
    “I don’t buy the argument of being quiet to “preserve yourself”. Any person can justify this at any stage of the game for whatever the reason. To me they are all cop outs.

    And what it does to ones character long term is very negative.”

    WELL SAID, BOB

    Too bad Robert Hoskins doesn’t comment here any longer. He had some great comments about “biostitutes” which I think Bob is referring to.

  202. avatar Layton says:

    JB,

    “With some thought, IDF&G could have designed hunts and set harvest quotas that would’ve provided very good information on how hunting affects wolves and how wolf harvest affects elk. It is too bad that they squandered this opportunity IMO.”

    Why do you say they “squandered the opportunity”?

    Don’t you think they will learn about these things with the current plan??

  203. avatar timz says:

    “Too bad Robert Hoskins doesn’t comment here any longer.”

    I was wondering where he went

  204. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    JerryB

    I suspect I have a little more time in the saddle than you., and been in a few more skirmishes of the nature you describe, some of which have left scars. One accomplishes little by shooting the messenger. Attack the agency with vigor, and specifically attack the statements of the messenger if you have a rational basis to do so with verifiable facts. Do not attack the messenger. There is a difference. The messenger for an agency may change, but the message likely will not, unless you direct the effort to changing policy contained in the message.

    I know that is a little deep for some who post here, but that was all I was trying to say. Integrity in a debate is an important virtue.

    On the other hand, if you post here, you consent to a certain amount of abuse – like poor Layton. Kind of like getting into the hockey rink, but at least you can defend yourself on the forum, if you choose.

  205. avatar Cris Waller says:

    “If you are a no-compromise, take-no-prisoners advocate on any issue, you have no business taking tax dollars from a public that is wildly divided on the issue.”

    I have to disagree. Sometimes, such people can be very effective, simply because they don’t automatically place human desires first and cave in to the ignorant majority on any particular issue. I think burnout is a much bigger problem for such folks, though.

  206. avatar Cris Waller says:

    Layton

    “Why do you say they “squandered the opportunity”?
    Don’t you think they will learn about these things with the current plan??”

    A basic requirement of ANY scientific study is a control group- a group that is treated the same as the experimental group but isn’t subjected to the experimental variable. You then compare the control group to the experimental group to see if there are significant differences between the two. Because wolves are hunted everywhere in Idaho, there is no control group.

  207. avatar Layton says:

    Chris,

    I think that over 20 years as an engineer in the computer industry kind of taught me about “control groups” but thanks anyway. 8)

    Yes, control groups are necessary, but how and where you get them also come into the equation.

    Idaho has a season, longer in some areas than others. Montana has a more limited season/quota. Control group? Wyoming doesn’t have a season. Another control group? How about Yellowstone? Wolves, no season, some of the affected subject groups move in and out of the area, seems like ample opportunities for yet another control group.

    Environments run from the same to drastically different. Most of the other parameters affecting the wolves can be found in some or all of the states.

    Just a possibility (some possibilities?) I’m curious about.

  208. avatar JB says:

    Well said, Cris, the lack of a control group was my primary concern. However, I would also add that a really good study design would have completely eliminated wolves in some areas as well.

    Layton: I said “squandered” because harvest quotas were set (roughly) in proportion to wolf populations in each region. If all regional populations are reduced by roughly the same percentage, then there isn’t much we can say about how the hunt affects these populations (i.e. because there is little variance in the wolf harvest between experimental units).

  209. avatar nabeki says:

    NW says…..
    The logical outcome of wolf recovery is for wolves to be eventually managed like other wildlife species. In our time and place that means a controlled harvest. The word harvest is not an obfuscation but a time-honored term.

    I certainly don’t ascribe to the thinking that the natural outcome is wolves will be “managed”. We’ve already had a glimpse of the great job the feds and states did with “wolf management” before, they completely exterminated them from the West. AND Wildlife Services is still up to their dirty tricks, not just with wolves but with so much of our wildlife. Almost 700,000 coyotes were killed between 2004-2008? Are those numbers acceptable to anyone? AND that’s just the tip of the iceburg.

    If a few people from Defenders or the NRDC had some input into running things over there at “wolf central” we probably wouldn’t be having these wolf hunts. The agencies that manage our wildlife are dominated by people that listen to ranchers and hunters. And just because that’s the way it’s always been doesn’t mean that’s the way it’s going to stay. There wasn’t a strong conservation movement when the government was helping ranchers exterminate wolves. But there is one now and lots and lots of people do not like these hunts one bit. It’s not a one sided conversation anymore

    Save Bears…
    Of course I’m going to back up what I say with research. This is cutting edge stuff. It needs to be considered but do you think the “managers” are looking at the science of this? When Bangs said that the hunts won’t hurt wolves biologically because packs turn over all the time? Come on.

    It’s true younger wolves kills more prey. The hunts will drive down the average age of wolves, producing more predation. Although wolf predation is a red herring because in fact wolves kill few livestock, you can look up the USDA numbers, Most cows die from weather, illness and reproductive issues. And if a predator kills them it’s the coyote or domestic dog that does most of it. Wolves are also not decimating elk, the RMEF reported on their 25th anniversary, that elk numbers are up and the population is stable. So why are we having these hunts again?

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  210. avatar nabeki says:

    NW says…..
    The logical outcome of wolf recovery is for wolves to be eventually managed like other wildlife species. In our time and place that means a controlled harvest. The word harvest is not an obfuscation but a time-honored term.
    ============
    I certainly don’t ascribe to the thinking that the natural outcome is wolves will be “managed”. We’ve already had a glimpse of the great job the feds and states did with “wolf management” before, they completely exterminated them from the West. AND Wildlife Services is still up to their dirty tricks, not just with wolves but with so much of our wildlife. Almost 700,000 coyotes were killed between 2004-2008? Are those numbers acceptable to anyone? AND that’s just the tip of the iceburg.

    If a few people from Defenders or the NRDC had some input into running things over there at “wolf central” we probably wouldn’t be having these wolf hunts. The agencies that manage our wildlife are dominated by people that listen to ranchers and hunters. And just because that’s the way it’s always been doesn’t mean that’s the way it’s going to stay. There wasn’t a strong conservation movement when the government was helping ranchers exterminate wolves. But there is one now and lots and lots of people do not like these hunts one bit. It’s not a one sided conversation anymore.

    Save Bears…
    Of course I’m going to back up what I say with research. This is cutting edge stuff. It needs to be considered but do you think the “managers” are looking at the science on this? When Bangs said that the hunts won’t hurt wolves biologically because packs turn over all the time? Come on.

    It’s true younger wolves kills more prey. The hunts will drive down the average age of wolves, producing more predation. Although wolf predation is a red herring because in fact wolves kill few livestock, you can look up the USDA numbers. Most cows die from weather, illness and reproductive issues. And if a predator kills them it’s the coyote or domestic dog that does most of it. Wolves are also not decimating elk, the RMEF reported on their 25th anniversary, that elk numbers are up and the population is stable. So why are we having these hunts again?

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  211. avatar Save bears says:

    Nabeki,

    I didn’t say you backed up what you said..

    I said, you found research to support what you believe, which is what both sides of any issue do..

    You talked about three different research scientists, and choose the two to go with, that have published the information you believe.

    The hunts are happening because the people that are paying for the wildlife management demanded them, I don’t believe it has anything to do with the science at all, simply political as well as public pressure. And I still believe, legal or not a hunt would have happened..especially when we see a criminal poach two wolves in Montana and only have to pay $1100, no mention of his name, no mention of if he lost his hunting rights, just paid the piper and went on his merry way…

  212. avatar Elk275 says:

    nabeki

    ++Almost 700,000 coyotes were killed between 2004-2008? Are those numbers acceptable to anyone? AND that’s just the tip of the iceburg.++

    Have you seen a shortage of coyotes? I have not. In 1980 when coyotes pelts were selling for $150 each and they were being trapped and hunted hard there was no shorage of coyotes. In 1980 a $150 purchased a lot more than it does today and many people made there living that winter hunting coyotes and that money bought food, gas and shelter. It was a good deal in those years. I went to Steamboat and taught skiing and was broke.

    ++The agencies that manage our wildlife are dominated by people that listen to ranchers and hunters. And just because that’s the way it’s always been doesn’t mean that’s the way it’s going to stay.++

    How do you plan to change the way wildlife is managed? Have the federal govenment take over.

  213. avatar nabeki says:

    Save Bears…
    Actually it wasn’t that I looked at three different research scientists and went with the two that backed up my beliefs. If you’re talking about leaving out Doug Smith, I didn’t leave him out purposely, I just couldn’t find any data on his reasoning on why he backs the hunts. I thought that was his personal opinion.

    “The hunts are happening because the people that are paying for the wildlife management demanded them”

    Are you talking about the money ranchers contribute to Wildlife Service’s budget? Or the money from hunting tags that flow into state coffers?

    I do agree with you the hunts are happening because of politics and pressure by certain interest groups. That’s the material point…ranching, hunting and outfitters have WAY TO MUCH INFLUENCE over management decisions concerning wildlife in Montana and Idaho and other western states. That’s what has to change.

    Good point about the no-name poachers, it speaks volumes. An acquaintance of mine poached a grizzly and lost his license for ten years, at least that’s what he told me.

  214. avatar Jay says:

    Nabeki, every major publication dealing with exploited wolf populations demonstrate they are robust to human take. Furthermore, just about every long-term researcher speaking out on wolf harvest (Mech, Smith, Peterson, etc.) has said that wolf hunting does not harm populations. Mech has said that hunting is necessary to maintain wolf populations. So I’m curious what you’re basing your opinion on? You’ve got nothing but a few lab-types with no practical experience researching wolves and wolf populations that have thrown out theoretical numbers.

  215. avatar Save bears says:

    nabeki,

    Your not going to stop hate, with lawsuits, and killing will continue, hate is a learned trait, not a inborn trait.

    I also don’t think your going to wrestle control of the Game Management Agencies from the hunters anytime soon, their goal and mandates are to manage wildlife for a sustained harvest of game animals, which at this time wolves are game animals in two of the three states.

    You have quite a few biologists out there that are saying, hunting them won’t harm their populations and as someone pointed out, might actually contribute to dispersal, which would of course enhance genetic exchange between different population segments.

    As far as personal opinions, most research is based on the personal opinion of the scientist that conducted the research, researchers get a baseline, then interpret the data and add their opinion of the data and come to a conclusion and then publish that opinion, which is why it is so controversial, depending on which side of the issue you are on. I will also say, Doug Smith’s opinion means much more to me, due to his long and well documented experience in the field, I have worked in the lab before, and I can tell field research is far better than lab research…

  216. Greetings Nabeki,

    First, thanks for your feedback.

    “I think the hunts are completely unnecessary and a set back for wolf genetic diversity and dispersal and will only cause more problems for wolves!”

    You’re comments are insightful and in line with the assertion of the litigation assertions put forth on behalf of the plaintiff’s coalition.

    In my view also, very dangerous fall-out from such wide-spread hunts would be gist for the opposition’s contention (supported by ranching conglomerates and other friends of the authors of the Delisting Rule) “that areas rendered ‘unsuitable’ for wolves by human activity and intolerance cannot form a ‘significant portion’ of the wolf’s northern Rockies range”.

    Bottom line: USFWS and its friends will continue to promote areas where local cultural intolerance of large predators and wolf behavioral characteristics that make them vulnerable to human-caused mortality, as areas which are “unsuitable” and/or “unoccupied” habitat as making “only a minor contribution to the resiliency, redundancy, and representation of the northern Rockies wolf population, and as result is not as significant portion of the population’s range that requires listing.” (74 Fed. Reg. at 15,183-84)/ Plaintiff’s Memorandum In Support of Motion For Summary Judgment (pg. 29).

    If the USFWS, et al. were to actually win on these points there conceivably could be justification for relegating wolves to bio-islands, leaving perfectly “suitable” habitat (comprising the wolves’ historic range) available for dividing up among the Rolex Rancher and other exploitive interests.

    Given the research conducted by Dr. Marco Musiani in Canada and others around the world where wolf populations have gone extinct I don’t it is scientifically defensible to experiment with the NRM population which is hanging on between the polestars of extinction (30/300) and recovery — defined by resiliency, redundancy, and representation.

  217. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Nabeki –
    “There wasn’t a strong conservation movement when the government was helping ranchers exterminate wolves. But there is one now…”

    The hunts that are being conducted in Montana and Idaho are founded in sound conservation science. In both states, the respective wolf management plans are committed to sound, viable, sustainable wolf populations and the ongoing hunts are entirely consistent with that committment. The harvest (kill) limits set by both states are conservative. It is very likely that wolf numbers in both states will continue to grow at the end of this hunting season.

    “It’s true younger wolves kills more prey. The hunts will drive down the average age of wolves, producing more predation.”

    Young inexperienced wolves consistently comprise the majority of hunter wolf kills. Hunting of wolves is very unlikely to reduce the average age of the wolf population.

    “Wolves are also not decimating elk, the RMEF reported on their 25th anniversary, that elk numbers are up and the population is stable. So why are we having these hunts again?”

    Wolves are having, now, variable impacts to elk populations in Idaho. In the Lolo and Sawtooth Zones, wolf predation IS the limiting factor for elk production and recruitment. Wolf predation is reducing the elk population below the level habitat is capable of sustaining. A blanket statement that wolves are not affecting elk numbers is incorrect and misleading from a public policy perpsective.

    Livestock depredations, protection of private property is another legitimate wildlife management issue the wolf hunts are designed to address. The desire by many of the public to hunt wolves is equally appropriate and legitimate as a wildlife management objective.

  218. avatar JB says:

    Jay:

    While I agree that the science indicates wolf populations are “robust to human take”, I would point out that the study she originally cited (McNulty et al.) includes many of these same people. FYI: McNulty and Craig Packer (for example) are hardly “lab-types with no practical experience…”

  219. Mr. Gamblin,

    Please define the parameters of a “sound, viable, and sustainable” wolf population.

    Thanks.

  220. avatar JB says:

    “Wolf predation is reducing the elk population below the level habitat is capable of sustaining.”

    This statement, which I believe is correct, is also very revealing. It suggests that the goal of Idaho is to keep elk populations at the maximum level that “habitat is capable of sustaining.” This makes sense from an economic perspective, as elk are the big money producer for IDF&G.

    Killing wolves to maximize elk populations/hunting opportunities sends a pretty clear message about where IDF&G’s priorities lie, and which species they consider valuable.

  221. avatar Alan says:

    “++Almost 700,000 coyotes were killed between 2004-2008? Are those numbers acceptable to anyone? AND that’s just the tip of the iceburg.++

    Have you seen a shortage of coyotes? I have not.”

    You know, you could kill 700,000 people and not see a shortage there, either. Doesn’t make it right. Killing to eat is one thing. Killing because the fox (or coyote) is in the “hen house” is one thing. But killing just for the sake of killing; or to appease a special interest group, is just plain wrong where I grew up. That’s going south when your moral compass is pointing north IMHO.
    If you are going to have these hunts, and we apparently are going to have them, tags should be issued for the front country only. Then, at very least, hunters are killing wolves that have the potential of being problem animals. (I compare this to throwing all teenagers in jail automattically, because they have the “potential” of getting into trouble; but the world is what it is!) Seems to me that the last wolves anyone would want to see dead are back country wilderness wolves (and easily counted collared wolves at that!) They count. They breed. They disperse and spread their genes. They keep wolves off of the ESL. If you are killing wolves in the back country during hunts, and those in the front country that get in trouble, before you know it you are right back to square one.

  222. avatar jerryB says:

    WM……….You speak of the moral high ground well, I believe we have a moral obligation to speak up when we see injustice perpetrated by the “messenger” or the agency directing the messenger.
    I’m not even sure where, in this discourse, I “attacked” a messenger, but if I did, I have more than enough verifiable facts.

    As far as “having more time in the saddle”. Geez!, grow up…we’re not comparing war stories here.

    Finally, your comment,”I know that is a little deep for some who post here”. What an ego-deflator it must be for you to have to stoop to the level of some of us to get your point across. Maybe Ralph should require some sort of test to comment so that people like you won’t be annoyed.

  223. avatar nabeki says:

    Elk275 Says:
    Have you seen a shortage of coyotes? I have not?
    ==============
    Just because you see a few coyotes doesn’t discount the slaughter that’s going on concerning our wildlife. Wildlife Services is outdated and their methods are cruel and archaic. It’s no coincidence they’re an arm of the USDA, they do their killing for agriculture. How about in 2006 they killed 278 gray wolves, 33,469 beavers, 72,000+ coyotes, 10,000 raccoons, 6800 skunks, 2100 red foxes, 2500 bobcats, 356 black bears, 330 mountain lions, 500 badgers, 1184 house cats, 512 dogs, three bald eagles and 1.2 million starlings. That’s one year! It goes on every year. They trap and poison with 1080 and M44s, gun from the air, kill wolf pups in their dens. If more light is shed on this, I don’t think the average American would be OK with this. But they’ve managed to keep a low profile, so most people that aren’t involved in environmental issues or agriculture, have no idea this killing is occurring.

    “How do you plan to change the way wildlife is managed? Have the federal govenment take over.”

    Demographics, it’s already happening. Montana is changing, more people have moved to the state that don’t believe in this type of wildlife management. Change will happen, count on it.

    Many people are working to stop Wildlife Services practices. There’s a bill in congress, HR 4775, to ban the deadly Compound 1080 and M44.
    http://www.predatordefense.org/docs/m44_press_EPA_investigation_1-17-08.pdf

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  224. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Valerie –
    “I think the hunts are completely unnecessary and a set back for wolf genetic diversity and dispersal and will only cause more problems for wolves!”

    The ongoing hunts pose no threat to the genetic diversity of wolves in the respective states or for the greater NRM wolf population. Recent research has demonstrated that the NRM population is genetically diverse and interconnected. Wolf migratory behavior, the requirements for genetic exchange within the population to maintain genetic diversity and long term genetic vigor, and the expected effects of hunting wolves in the NRM population strongly suggest that genetic exchange and vigor will be maintained.

  225. Mark Gamblin (IDFG),

    I remain very skeptical about wolves having a negative impact on elk in the Lolo zone.

    If there are so many wolves there, why is the take in the wolf hunt there so far below the quota? Only 5 out of 27 tags have been filled. Also low is the Selway where supposedly wolves are having a negative impact.

    There are several possible reasons why the tags aren’t being filled, but applying Occam’s razor the most simple hypothesis is that there aren’t as many wolves as IDFG thinks.

    I know there are not a lot of elk there. I was up there last in the 2008 hunting season. I saw no elk, very little elk sign, but I saw no wolf tracks or scat at all.

    I predicted in 1997 that wolves were going to be the “fall guy” for the decline of elk in the area. It sure is fun to be right. Well, sort of, anyway.

  226. avatar nabeki says:

    Jay Says:
    You’ve got nothing but a few lab-types with no practical experience researching wolves and wolf populations that have thrown out theoretical numbers.

    ==================
    Ummmmm Jay, I think you better do a little research of your own. Daniel MacNulty has been studying Yellowstone wolves since their reintroduction in 95 and specifically he’s been following 94 collared Yellowstone wolves for thirteen years. Hardly a “lab type with no practical experience”.
    http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2009/1023/1?etoc

    Christopher Wilmers was involved in several studies concerning gray wolves, specifically the impact Yellowstone wolves have on the ecosystem. He and his team radio tagged wolves in the park and observed them at their kills during the Winters and Springs of 1998 and 2001. He is a well respected scientist and was actually based in Yellowstone among other places.
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/12/1204_031204_yellowstonewolves.html

  227. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Nabeki

    Your comment: “Wolves are also not decimating elk, the RMEF reported on their 25th anniversary, that elk numbers are up and the population is stable. So why are we having these hunts again?”

    Where exactly did RMEF say and use the specific words “population is stable” and in what states?

    If I understand correctly, an RMEF contributing author (not RMEF as an organization) in Bugle magazine, wrote a state by state summary. He was probably paid to write the article from information given to him by state wildlife officials. By the way, these game management folks like to pimp their respective states to keep non-resident license sales up, regardless of what is going on – bird hunting, deer, elk – You rarely see bad reviews of coming seasons. Often the text includes qualifying comments about the effects of weather (and maybe wolves) on elk populations.

    These forecasts look back a year or more to see how past weather and possibly other factors affect “harvestable” animals (if I may use that term).

    Since wolf populations and distribution have increased dramatically in the last two years, and more wolves kill more calves or young elk of the year, the true effect of harvestable bulls may not show up until 2011 or 2012 for that variable alone. Tack on some bad weather (dry summers which we have had in some areas, or a high elk mortality winter) and the populations may not be in such good shape for two to three or more years.

    And then there is that recently released research from Scott Creel at Montana State U, showing that wolf harassment of ungulates causes them to spend less time eating and keeps them from better grazing feed resulting in stress and weight loss, thus causing lower calf survival (http://www.montana.edu/wwwbi/staff/creel/PNAS%20elk%20GC%20and%20risk.pdf).

  228. avatar nabeki says:

    Valerie Bittner Says:
    Greetings Nabeki,
    First, thanks for your feedback.
    =========================
    Your welcome. You and I are on the same page on this issue. I find it incredible that people are still grounded in the same dogma that caused wolves to be exterminated in the West the first go around.

    It’s the same tired arguments. Elk are being decimated and wolves are killing all the livestock. Both have been disproved. Non other then the RMEF itself has trumpeted their success on elk population’s rise. Montana’s elk population has risen 66% since 1984, Idaho’s 5%.

    “Bottom line: USFWS and its friends will continue to promote areas where local cultural intolerance of large predators and wolf behavioral characteristics that make them vulnerable to human-caused mortality”

    That pretty much sums it up.

  229. avatar Elk275 says:

    nabeki

    ++Demographics, it’s already happening. Montana is changing, more people have moved to the state that don’t believe in this type of wildlife management. Change will happen, count on it. ++

    That may be so. But the state has been, is, and will be run by the good old boys/gals. Montana sells the most hunting licenses of any state in the nation per capita. There are people moving here because of the hunting and fishing. I know more people who have move here to hunt than I know those that oppose it.

    I just can’t see in the next fifty years electing a governor or a govering body that is will oppose the hook and bullet voter.

    Compound 1080 should be banned and the first place it needs to be banned is New Zealand with the exception oppossum control.

  230. avatar JB says:

    Nabeki asks: “…why are we having these hunts again?”

    Now we’re getting to the root of the issue. Officially, we are having these hunts to “provide hunters with the opportunity to harvest a valued game species” (I’m paraphrasing, but I’m pretty close). Unofficially, state agencies are bowing to pressure from the livestock industry, hunting guides, and state legislators to “do something about those godda_n wolves” (again, paraphrasing).

  231. avatar Save bears says:

    JB,

    You have hit the nail on the head, and until such time as opponents of the hunts understand what is really happening, there will be no solution…

    Until people understand, the only way to solve this is starting with education at an early age, we are going to continue to have future generations to hate the wolves, lawsuits won’t stop hate, education will…

  232. avatar nabeki says:

    Wilderness Muse…

    I’ll have to be brief here because I’ve spent the morning on this and have other things to do but I’ll refer you to the RMEF’s news release on April 29, 2009:

    “Elk Population Reflects Success of RMEF’s First 25 Years
    Conservation Group Celebrates New Data on Milestone Anniversary”
    http://www.rmef.org/NewsandMedia/NewsReleases/2009/ElkPopulations.htm

    You can scroll down to the bottom of the press release and look at the elk numbers in each state and see their increases.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  233. Mr. Gamblin,

    Please tell me how this e-mail squares with the obligations of Idaho and Montana to facilitate genetic diversity under your Memorandum of Understanding:

    See also Admin. Rec. 2009-005418 (email from Montana wolf program coordinator Caroyn Sime states, “[i]f we were truly promoting [wolf dispersal], seasons would close by November and they don’t anywhere in the three states. And there are more things that we could have done to ‘promote’ connectivity relative to public harvest and we did not. Lipstick on a pig — well — it’ still a pig.

  234. avatar Elk275 says:

    nabeki

    ++During that same time span, Elk Foundation fundraisers have generated millions of dollars, which helped leverage millions more, for a conservation effort that has enhanced or protected nearly a square mile of habitat per day—now totaling over 5.5 million acres.++

    How many acres did the Defenders of Wildlife and NRDC protect in the last 25 years? Yes, some of the money was from other sources and I know that Montana has ten million from the general fund for purchase of land. There is no way that the wolf people could ever put together fund raisers like the RMEF, Wild sheep foundation or Safari Club International(I am suspect of the SCI). Ducks Unlimited even has fund raisers for “Drakes” only, so the spouse will not restrain them from bidding more.

    In the first years of the 70’s, I was a student in Missoula at the U and the estimated elk population was approximately 35,000 and today it is approximately 150,000. A large portion of that population increase is the elk moving eastward until they have spill over into North Dakota. The state of Montana has reduced cow elk permits in the Bitterroot. Is this from the wolf?

    It all comes down to habitat. I wish that the Defenders and NRDC would set a goal and try to protect a square mile of elk habitat a day. The more habitat, the more elk and then more wolves. I have drop two to three thousand a night at these fund raisers, but I can not do it in the present.

  235. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Thanks for the link Nabeki (and jerryB)

    I had not seen the news release. The context of your comment now makes more sense. My focus was on the year to year change, which is of most interest to hunters and wildlife managers, AND which is what creates the most political heat visa vis wolves.

    RMEF members have done alot for wildlife habitat as noted by the grass roots projects and acres conserved.

  236. avatar Save bears says:

    Valarie,

    Sounds like you are trying to pit, two different states agencies against each other, I would not expect Sims to be able say anything about Idaho’s wolf hunt and I don’t see why Gamblin should be expected to comment on Montana’s Wolf Hunt, you have two separate state enities here, who have different management plans.

    Once the wolves were delisted, none of the states involved had any obligation to another…

  237. avatar Save bears says:

    And to add, if you look at the border areas between the states, there is genetic diversity going on, and in light of some saying officially that dispersion will occur because of the hunts, I would expect the genetic exchange would become more prevalent, in addition, you have populations that are migration wolves from different areas than those that were introduced, I personally think, Montana and Idaho, have worked ok together…to ensure genetic exchange…

  238. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Ralph –
    “If there are so many wolves there, why is the take in the wolf hunt there so far below the quota? Only 5 out of 27 tags have been filled. Also low is the Selway where supposedly wolves are having a negative impact.”

    Two points: 1) the Lolo Zone is remote, rugged, back-country that is difficult to access and navigate (relative to the majority of wolf management zones), so one should not expect wolf hunting success to be as high there as in other more accessible management zones; 2) wolves in the Lolo Zone are clearly abundant enough and capable of significantly limiting elk production and survival because we have demonstrated with direct measurements of cow and calf elk mortality (via radio-telemetry monitoring) caused by wolf predation, that wolves are keeping elk numbers well below levels current elk habitat and prior levels of hunting are capable of sustaining.

  239. avatar JEFF E says:

    MG (IDFG) says,
    “….The hunts that are being conducted in Montana and Idaho are founded in sound conservation science……..”
    what exactly were those sound, science based conservation driven parameters that were used to come up with the 5 kill limit in Southern Idaho?
    and also
    “…….Wolf predation is reducing the elk population below the level habitat is capable of sustaining………”
    Once again, habitat is a condition of all involved factors, both flora and FAUNA, which would include wolves. Why not just simply say the state considers one animal to be intrinsically more valuable than another. That would be a statement much closer to reality.

  240. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    JB –
    “Killing wolves to maximize elk populations/hunting opportunities sends a pretty clear message about where IDF&G’s priorities lie, and which species they consider valuable.”

    Acknowledged skepticsm notwithstanding, both elk and wolves are valued big game species. Both are managed to achieve population management objectives and both are hunted. Those management objectives are designed to meet a variety of social and biological desired outcomes. That being so is not evidence that wolves are persecuted, disrespected, or undervalued. In some circumstances we manage elk to minimize or eliminate elk depredations on agricultural crops or other conflicts with public and private resources. In this regard, wolves are being managed as we do other wildlife species. Balancing wolf management objectives with elk management objectives is appropriate and sound wildlife management policy.

    “……state agencies are bowing to pressure from the livestock industry, hunting guides, and state legislators to “do something about those godda_n wolves””

    The IDFG and other state agencies are responsible to serve the Idaho public, with includes the livestock industry, hunters, non-hunters and others and to implement state policy set by state government leaders. That is an example of our democratic-republican system of government.
    I think you articulated a frustration and belief that the state wolf management plan and the subject wolf hunting season does not responsibly satisfy the obligations we have to the Idaho public and to our mission to steward the public wildlife resources. The implication being that this hunt is only intended to inappropriately reduce wolf numbers to achieve un-sound, non-conservation based management objectives. The Idaho wolf management plan is based on solid science and does serve the desires and interests of a diverse state constituency. The degree to which it satisfies any one segment of that diverse constituency, is certainly open to debate.

  241. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Jeff E –
    I responded to your Southern Idaho Zone harvest limit question in an earlier string. To paraphrase, the harvest/kill limit is a conservative limit to hunting opportunity that still addresses that reality that Southern Idaho has little suitable/appropriate habitat to support wolves without intractable conflicts with private property owners, the ranching-agricultural community and other social/natural resource conflicts.

    See my response to JB regarding relative value of wolves and elk to the Idaho public and agency priorities. Wolves and elk are being managed simultaneously to meet inter-related population objectives. That wolves are managed to increase elk numbers or achieve other resource management objectives is not counter to sound wildlife management principles.

  242. avatar JB says:

    “…Southern Idaho has little suitable/appropriate habitat to support wolves without intractable conflicts with private property owners…”

    Jeff E: That’s agency speak for: We’re killing wolves in order to pacify the livestock industry.

  243. avatar timz says:

    “Acknowledged skepticsm notwithstanding, both elk and wolves are valued big game species. Both are managed to achieve population management objectives and both are hunted. Those management objectives are designed to meet a variety of social and biological desired outcomes. That being so is not evidence that wolves are persecuted, disrespected, or undervalued. In some circumstances we manage elk to minimize or eliminate elk depredations on agricultural crops or other conflicts with public and private resources. In this regard, wolves are being managed as we do other wildlife species. Balancing wolf management objectives with elk management objectives is appropriate and sound wildlife management policy.”

    I don’t know whether to laugh or cry but in either case this statement goes down as the biggest crook of bullshit I’ve ever heard.

  244. avatar JB says:

    Mark: Your judging the suitability of habitat solely based upon the presence/absence of livestock. The EXPLICIT message is: livestock is more valuable than wolves in the southern 1/3 of Idaho. Spin it anyway you want. Everyone here is capable of reading between the lines.

  245. avatar JB says:

    “Both are managed to achieve population management objectives and both are hunted.”

    Very true! What you fail to mention is that the population management objective for one species is to maximize the population while the objective for the other species is to minimize the population. Thus, you (whether intentionally or not) make a clear statement about which species is valued more.

    “The Idaho wolf management plan is based on solid science and does serve the desires and interests of a diverse state constituency.”

    The extermination of wolves was also based upon “solid science.” Scientists at the time suggested elimination of wolves would maximize big game and poisons were an effective means of accomplishing that goal. Telling people you’ve based your management decisions on “solid science” is, to borrow Val’s expression, putting lipstick on a pig. We both know that the management goal is what is important, the science simply directs the best practices for achieving the goal. I can show you “solid science” that suggests poisons are quite effective for removing predators. But their use does not serve a “diverse state constituency.”

    Tell me, how does minimizing wolf populations across the entire state of Idaho serve those that wish only to view the species? Oh right, I forgot, they get to view them right before they shoot.

  246. avatar jerryB says:

    Mark Gamblin. If Jeff E’s statement about one animal being intrinsically more valuable than another was not true, would there be an elk or deer hunting season if their population were less than 1000?

  247. avatar Layton says:

    Mark G.

    You couldn’t satisfy this bunch in ANY way, shape or form except by completely calling off any sort of a wolf hunt AND importing at least 1000 more wolves from where ever AND letting them breed unmolested for at least 100 years.

    Oh, then of course you would have to remove all domestic livestock from all public land and make said livestock wear Pampers 24/7.

    Then completely ban hunting for anything, anytime, anywhere and you might possible pacify the more moderate ones in the group.

    I don’t know why you submit yourself to the ignorant heat, rants, and impossible requests for nebulous information that you do — you gotta be a candidate for sainthood or just have an incurable persecution complex!!

  248. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Layton, those views do not apply to everyone.

  249. avatar timz says:

    “I don’t know why you submit yourself to the ignorant heat, rants”
    Well said — A perfect description of your own post.

  250. avatar Richie,NJ says:

    To all;
    If the hunt goes into the early spring the wolves will have to keep out of site of the hunters and BLM, plus try to find food to eat, this does not sound right, will someone correct me if I am wrong. Won’t some die of trying to hide instead of hunting for food in winter? Now another thing, we all are foreigners to this country,our fathers, grand fathers, etc came from another country correct? At least most of us,except Indians I believe. Now Ralph used the term Noble’s, “landlords of the land”,didn’t the people from England want to tame the land,use it for farming. In fact wilderness meant to tame the wild correct? So here we are the lords want to manage the elk,deer,coyotes,wolves,bears, anything they can’t control sounds familiar. I myself am sick of this, like I said go to Wendy’s,McDonalds, Burger King all have dollar menu’s.P.S. I have my own rebel story I worked for New York City Dept. of Envir. Protection, all they protect is their paycheck and any body who thinks out of the box is a rebel. Another thought Rahm Emanuel is giving Barrach bad advice,and both parties must stop taking money from health insurance and the farming lobby groups and work for the people .

  251. avatar Layton says:

    Scuse me there timz,

    I don’t have time to get in a battle of wits with someone that is only half armed!!

  252. avatar JB says:

    Layton:

    With your aptitude for interpersonal communication you should consider a job in wildlife management.

  253. avatar timz says:

    Ralph, why do you allow lackey’s like Gamblin and lilliputians like Layton to post their drivel here only to insult our intelligence? This used to be a site where you could read wildlife news without such distractions IMHO.

  254. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) wrote:
    November 4, 2009 at 4:04 PM

    Ralph Maughan wrote:

    “If there are so many wolves there, why is the take in the wolf hunt there so far below the quota? Only 5 out of 27 tags have been filled. Also low is the Selway where supposedly wolves are having a negative impact.”

    Mark Gamblin (IDFG) replied to Ralph:

    “Two points: 1) the Lolo Zone is remote, rugged, back-country that is difficult to access and navigate (relative to the majority of wolf management zones), so one should not expect wolf hunting success to be as high there as in other more accessible management zones; 2) wolves in the Lolo Zone are clearly abundant enough and capable of significantly limiting elk production and survival because we have demonstrated with direct measurements of cow and calf elk mortality (via radio-telemetry monitoring) caused by wolf predation, that wolves are keeping elk numbers well below levels current elk habitat and prior levels of hunting are capable of sustaining.”

    Ralph then replied,

    Mark. I grant you that the Lolo hunting zone is rugged and hard to access because of lack of roads. However, so is the Middle Fork wolf hunting zone where 11 out of 17 tags have been filled. That is in the middle of the Frank Church Wilderness where there are no roads at all. The Lolo hunting zone does have access roads, even logging roads. It’s not all that tough.

    I know this to be true. My wife and I have written 4 editions of Hikers Guide to Idaho or “Hiking Idaho.” We hiked all over these places.

    Now as far as radio telemetry monitoring of elk mortality by cause, are these numbers available to the public? The data presented several years ago were so few cases that they were not statistically significant.

    Quite a few of us can do simple inferential statistics and make our own determination.

  255. avatar JEFF E says:

    “……That being so is not evidence that wolves are persecuted, disrespected, or undervalued…….”

    And what one of the ~15 rejected management plans prior to the current minimally acceptable one was this statement expanded in.

  256. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Layton –
    Thanks, but the heat goes with the territory. Government employees are public servants. I’m responsible to everyone that cares about wildlife management in Idaho.

    JB –
    “That’s agency speak for: We’re killing wolves in order to pacify the livestock industry.”

    JB, the livestock industry has been, continues to be a key component of the state economy and a means and way of life for many Idahoans. The state policy of Idaho that livestock owners have legitimate needs for protection of their private property on their own lands and on public lands is a fundamental policy that would be/is supported in every state of the nation. To suggest that predator depredation of livestock, under reasonable standards and guidelines, should not be a legitimate wildlife managment consideration is …….. silly. I don’t think you would disagree with that, but I’ll let you speak for yourself.

    “The EXPLICIT message is: livestock is more valuable than wolves in the southern 1/3 of Idaho. Spin it anyway you want. Everyone here is capable of reading between the lines.”

    I intended that my explicit message be: the opportunity to manage for the sustained, permanent presence of wolves in most of the Southern Idaho Zone without intractable conflicts with Idaho society is very limited. That being the reality, it makes little sense to set mangement objectives that cannot be reasonably achieved and sustained. I understand that you and others in this string strongly disagree with that assessment. Dialog is good.

    “We both know that the management goal is what is important, the science simply directs the best practices for achieving the goal.”

    I agree. Good point JB. I thought my point was clear that the management objectives are grounded in sound conservation science that meets the responsibilities of the IDFG as a public resource steward. The wolf hunting season addresses several valid resource management desires by the Idaho public and is consistent with the state’s committment to conserve and sustain a healthy wolf population in Idaho for future generations. This dialog is contrasting preferred management objectives. The plan and it’s implementation serves the diverse state constituency because it serves the desired public uses of the Idaho wolf population – for hunting, wolf viewing, simply knowing that wild wolves are abundant in the state AND the ecosystem benefits of an additional top predator on the landscape.
    Non-hunters are indeed served by this plan because it will provide abundant wolf viewing opportunity, with hunting opportunity and balancing the needs of other natural resources. The conservative harvest/kill limits in this hunting season are a demonstration of that committment.

  257. avatar JEFF E says:

    …. If you replied earlier to my southern Idaho question Mark I missed it. However there are many places in southern Idaho that has more than suitable Habitat, both flora and fauna, to support wolves. The simple fact is this is the livestock industry’s no mans land for wolves. I also wonder if Utah and Nevada had some small input here.

  258. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Ralph –
    I’m overdue to share the elk mortality monitoring results with this group. I will get it to you to share with this community ASAP.

  259. avatar Elk275 says:

    Ralph

    “Mark. I grant you that the Lolo hunting zone is rugged and hard to access because of lack of roads. However, so is the Middle Fork wolf hunting zone where 11 out of 17 tags have been filled. That is in the middle of the Frank Church Wilderness where there are no roads at all. The Lolo hunting zone does have access roads, even logging roads. It’s not all that tough.

    I know this to be true. My wife and I have written 4 editions of Hikers Guide to Idaho or “Hiking Idaho.” We hiked all over these places.”

    I have not hiked all over these places. In the Lolo zone my hiking has been restricted to Jerry Johnson and Weir Hot Springs. I have been in the cherry stem road out of Challis past the Twin Peaks. From what I have seen those two areas have very different vegetation. The Lolo zone is very thick with cedar trees and ferns — I love the grove of cedar before Powell. The Middle Fork appears to have lodge pole pine and more open country. As a hunter and a good hunter it would be easier to hunt elk or wolves in the Middle Fork than the LoLo Zone. I think there is a corrolation with hunter sucess for both elk and wolves and vegetation differences between the two areas. Just a thought

  260. avatar Layton says:

    Hey JB,

    Thanks for the career recommendation, I’ll think about it.

    But meanwhile, you said: (to Mark, but it makes me curious)

    “Very true! What you fail to mention is that the population management objective for one species is to maximize the population while the objective for the other species is to minimize the population. Thus, you (whether intentionally or not) make a clear statement about which species is valued more.”

    Where is it that you find “the objective for the other species is to minimize the population?

    It seems to me that an “objective” eliminating 220 critters of a population of what is pretty generally conceded to be over 1000 — especially with the canine’s innate ability to rapidly reproduce — isn’t exactly a goal of minimizing the population. Many pretty reputable biologists agree that the population can take that many mortalities per year without losing overall numbers.

    But —— maybe you could point out to me where the plan says that??

    Timz,

    Sorry about “insulting your intelligence”, it was an oversight on my part. I didn’t notice you exhibiting any.

  261. avatar gline says:

    God Layton you’re at it again. You remind me of a school kid …

    There are many many more Elk than wolves. 220 wolves is A LOT out of a population of 1000+. Who cares if they are predators? They are not decimating Elk populations.

  262. avatar JB says:

    From the very beginning of this conversation I have agreed that the wolf harvest quotas in Idaho are sustainable. That isn’t the issue; at least, it isn’t my issue.

    What upsets me are three half-truths that are perpetuated by IDF&G:

    (1) First is the fallacy that wolves are being managed “like any other game species.” This simply is not so. Wolf populations are being “managed” (i.e. killed), in order to MINIMIZE their impact on livestock, MINIMIZE their numbers, and to pacify the politically powerful interest groups in the state. Elk, mule deer, bighorn, moose, etc. are not being managed for the minimum population sustainable. It is more accurate to say that wolves are being managed like any other pest.

    (2) The second half-truth (who am I kidding, it is an outright lie) is that current wolf management objectives somehow serve non-consumptive interests (i.e. people who value wildlife for aesthetic purposes). You simply can not simultaneously manage both for viewing opportunities while minimizing wolf populations. Managing for viewing opportunities would require managers to maximize populations in some portion of the state (as they are doing with elk), rather than minimizing wolf populations everywhere.

    (3) Finally, the notion that wolves are being managed based upon “sound” or “solid” science is a purposeful distortion, designed to lull people into thinking that IDF&G has the wolf’s best interest at heart. Sure, wolf management can be spun as management “based upon sound science”, the same way the management/killing of coyotes is based upon sound science (check out the Proceedings of the Vertebrate Pest Conference for examples).

    Science provides a reasonably objective way of determining the efficacy of a management intervention. It does NOT provide any means for setting management goals or objectives (the important piece). The goal of IDF&G’s wolf management plan is CLEARLY to MINIMIZE wolf populations to the extent that is legal. That is not what most people have in mind when they think of “sound” science.

    When IDF&G invoke science they do so in an attempt to legitimize a plan that isn’t “based” in science at all, but simply based upon a desire to minimize wolf populations and make the “wolf problem” go away.

  263. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Layton, I think it is a safe bet that big game herds are managed to maximize their populations in every western state including Alaska. Wolves and grizzly bears are not managed like other big game as they are managed for smaller populations. People are very quick to shoot wolves that are preying on livestock, but not so fast to take care of overpopulated ungulates grazing on ranchers’ lands.

  264. avatar JB says:

    To follow up on Layton’s comment: 220 is simply the harvest quota. Idaho has made it clear that their real objective is ~500 wolves. I believe Brian Ertz posted a video where this was explicitly communicated by Idaho’s Fish & Game Commissioners.

    If Idaho meets its objective there will be 1 wolf per 168 square miles in the state. Apparently, in the view of Mark Gambling and IDF&G, this density provides “non-hunters …[with]….abundant wolf viewing opportunit[ies].” I’ll let others judge the legitimacy of this statement for themselves.

  265. avatar gline says:

    Amen JB

  266. avatar JB says:

    Just for comparison. If Yellowstone National Park were managed for 1 wolf per 168 square miles, there would be 21 wolves total in the park.

  267. avatar JEFF E says:

    JB,
    Now you are using facts. Does not go over well with the State.

  268. avatar Layton says:

    gline,

    “They are not decimating Elk populations”

    Let me just ask you here, and I’m not trying to do anything but have a decent conversation, what do you REALLY know about the elk population in Idaho, past and present?

    I’m not a biologist, haven’t ever claimed to be, wouldn’t ever do that. BUT, I do spend a lot of time in the woods. I hunt at least 30 or 40 days a year, a lot of the time just camping and looking around, but I’m in the woods.

    I work for the USFS in the summer, usually from early May until the middle of Sept. — it can be longer, depends on the fire season.

    During that time I’m in the woods at LEAST 30 hours a week, usually more. I’m everywhere from wilderness areas to campgrounds.

    While I spend this time, I’m looking and observing every kind of flora and fauna, critters and plants. I’m pretty good at recognizing both.

    I notice the distinct lack of some critters, especially elk. Nope, don’t even bring up the “they have just changed their habits” line. I’m all over the woods, I would see them if they were there.

    “Decimating” is quite a word, but pretty subjective. Decimating to one person might mean total annihilation, while to another it might mean something less. There are also lots of ways to “decimate” a population — killing them outright, harassing them away from food, harassing them during breeding time and killing the young will all “decimate” a population.

    To a person that spends time in the woods looking for elk I guess a population is “decimated” when you see less (a LOT less) or maybe when you don’t see any.

    Here in Idaho, we are losing hunting opportunities — many, because there are fewer elk. Local hunters notice this, and non-resident hunters too. It’s easier to recognize the non-resident portion because their $$ add up quicker in F&Gs coffers. That’s what has happened this year.

    The reason that a lot of them have cited (via an F&G survey) is pretty simple — no elk. Are the herds “decimated”?? Well, I don’t know if that is the applicable term, but I do know I don’t see near as many elk.

    You can read all the surveys you want to and you can decide that it’s all a big conspiracy between F&G and the “landed nobles” to kill all the wolves in the state, but the fact remains that I, and a lot of other people do NOT see or find the elk that we used to and the main dynamic that has changed is the wolf. We really didn’t need another apex predator.

  269. avatar Elk275 says:

    JB and ProWolf

    I agree with both of your last posts. But that is THE WAY IT IS in the Western States, if you do not like it then change it or live with it. Move west run for office, draft and pass bills, lots of luck. Ungulates are managed for the largest surplus population possible. Populations are limited by winter range and land owner tolerance. I have been in the past to many rod and gun club meetings and that was the state fish and game postion. Everyone was happy.

    Today with new environmental awareness there are other players in the game. For the most part positive and necessary. We need to conserve and protect are wildlands and wildlife corridors.

    Hunting is a billion dollar industry in Alaska, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho and its provides many days of recreation for many people. People move to these states for the over the counter tags.

    If one looks at rural real estate ads, the ads always have pictures and mention of the deer and elk on the land and near by fly fishing. Property with good elk hunting is bring top dollar in a down economy. I have never seen an ad that says something to the effect that “I lay in my bed at night with the windows open and hear the wolves howl”.

  270. In my view, and of course folks will disagree, JB has carried the day on this issue.

    To follow up about non-consumption interests being served, the Sawtooth Valley and Stanley Basin, Idaho are in minds of many the most scenic accessible place in Idaho. It is also the place that is the most like the northern range in Yellowstone, except it has better mountains than Yellowstone.

    Wolves could be seen from the roads. Most of the Idaho wolves I have seen have been there. This is a place where an exception could have been made to provide for non-consumptive enjoyment. In fact, Idaho Fish and Game determined that the Sawtooth hunting zone would have the highest wolf tag quota in the state, and with a hunt that goes clear to March.

    This says it all about non-consumptive enjoyment of wolves in Idaho, and I hope the well subsidized livestock producers that bring their sheep and cows into the area each summer from somewhere else end up paying a high price for their exercise in political clout.

  271. Elk275,

    None other than Robert Fanning of Paradise Valley, MT, one of the West’s best known wolf haters tried to move his “ranch” by saying it had wolves. I don’t know if he sold it or not.

    Back several years ago, Todd Wilkinson did an article about Fanning’s advertisement.

  272. avatar JB says:

    Elk:

    I don’t have a problem with the wolf harvest quota (well, the 220 anyway), but I’ve grown real tired of the bullsh_t sales pitch that accompanies the wolf management plan. Putting lipstick on a pig is an apt metaphor.

    I certainly understand the political realities of wildlife/public lands management in the West, especially the “capture” of agencies by extractive interest groups and their influence on predator management. In fact, I’ve tried to focus other discussions on the increasing tension between national and state interests regarding the management of predators. As I’ve said elsewhere, I support the NA model of wildlife management; however, if Western agencies keep at it like they have been, I believe they may find important decisions (such as how to manage predators; or at least, how to manage them on public lands) taken out of their hands.

  273. avatar gline says:

    “Today with new environmental awareness there are other players in the game.”

    President Richard Nixon declared current species conservation efforts to be inadequate and called on the 93rd United States Congress to pass comprehensive endangered species legislation. Congress responded with a completely rewritten law, the Endangered Species Act of 1973. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endangered_Species_Act#Act_of_1966

    -It has been 36 years since environmental “awareness” has entered Federal Law. As we know at the beginning of our manifest destiny of the US, Wolves were exterminated for ranchers’ supposed gain.

    Wolves were in the game before us whiteys came…

  274. avatar Elk275 says:

    JB

    I read yesterday in the New York Times that the 20 least populated states (9% of the nations population) with there 40 senators can control congress with a filibuster. Scary.

    Exactly, whose science should we use. There are those that want wolves and those that don’t want wolves. In Montana with 70% of the state either private of state land there has to be cooperation. The biggest mistake that ever could be made is that the federal goverment decides that the animals on federal land belong to them and will be managed by them.

    The private landowners would then say the animals on my land are mind and I will do with them as I please and the state can do what they want on there land. Well, it would be like South Africa and Namibia the game is sold to the highest bidder. I think that the wolf would have a worst time than the coyote. Most of the ranchers in Montana do not use federal land or a isolated 320 acres or so. That depends upon where the ranch is.

    Exactly how do you think that the management will be taken out of there hands, the courts or federal legislation. I do not think that in today political climate that the ESA would pass and it has been a good bill for the most part.

    Everyone is in this the same boat, but as I have said before the RMEF has conserve over 5 million acres with their fund raisers. Why can’t the predator people match that and we would be all in a better positon. The reason that they can not do this is that there is not the support. I have never been to a RMEF fund raiser as I attend safari club and wild sheep foundation. I think that there are to many fund raisers and the doners are being taken advantage of, but that is another story.

    I do support a limited population of wolves. But a wolf is a wolf

  275. avatar gline says:

    Elk275
    If you are comparing the popularity of hunting ungulates in this part of the country against the lack of popularity to have wolves, at this point wolves are very very popular- to hunt.

    RMEF built a HUGE elegant office building in Missoula a few years ago, they don’t seem to be hurtin for money.

  276. avatar JB says:

    “…as I have said before the RMEF has conserve over 5 million acres with their fund raisers. Why can’t the predator people match that and we would be all in a better positon.”

    Elk: I’m off to bed (it has been a long day). I hope to address more of your points tomorrow, but for now perhaps this will suffice:

    I recognize that hunters and hunting groups have played a vital–nay, an indispensable–role in protecting habitat. But to suggest that “predator people” are not doing their fair share is simply wrong. The Nature Conservancy (a group with which many non-hunters affiliate) boasts the protection of 119 million acres of land worldwide. We are giving and contributing; and we don’t get to harvest any game along with our donations.

    FYI: Hunting on many federal lands has already been prohibited/restricted (these include many National Parks and a number of National Wildlife Refuges). Support for subsistence hunting is extremely strong, but support for “sport” hunting is waning. Anything that makes sport hunters appear greedy (e.g. advocating the maximization of predator harvest) is not likely to play well with an urban population.

  277. avatar JEFF E says:

    let’s do away with Wildlife Services and re-allocate that money to enhance habitat. then raise the grazing fees by .15 cents and use that money to create a insurance fund to compensate livestock owners for losses. just a thought

  278. avatar Jay says:

    JB and Nabeki–my comment about “lab-types” was in reference to an earlier statement about 4 or 5000 wolves being necessary for the wolf population to be genetically “safe”. Those are computer-generated theoretical models that aren’t backed by anything other than the variables they subjectively program in. I realize MacNulty has wolf experience (Ph.D, I think? on wolf behavior), not so familiar with Wilmers, but I’ll take your word. While both of these guys may have experience studying wolves, Dave Mech has more cumulative years researching wolf populations than the two combined, you could probably throw D. Smith in there with them and still not add up to what he’s done. Bottom line–all the esteemed wolf researchers that look at population dynamics (Mech, Smith, Peterson, Adams, etc., etc.) have shown that regulated human take will NOT hurt wolf populations.

    I also agree that both states uses the “sound science” argument as a facade for having fewer wolves and more elk, but that’s a topic for another day…

  279. avatar Jay says:

    Jeff E.–that’s SOCIALISM!!! 🙂

    Actually, I remember reading a quote from Roy Heberger from way back where he said that grazing fees are priced so low to account for predator losses…or, in other words, the grazing fees have a built-in predator compensation aspect already.

  280. avatar nabeki says:

    Wow the debate rages on , 278 comments. Nothing flames people’s passions like the wolf.

    The states of Idaho and Montana are “managing” wolves for the livestock industry and elk hunters.. We could write about this until our fingers fell off and it wouldn’t change that paradigm.

    If Montana wild life managers put their thinking caps on they would realize there are many more people that want to see wolves living and breathing then a pelt on someones living room floor. Yellowstone wolves bring in 7-10 million dollars a year, they are by far the most popular animal that tourists want to see. They are the rock stars. They may even be more profitable for the state then hunting.
    http://www.yellowstonepark.com/MoreToKnow/ShowNewsDetails.aspx?newsid=132

    We can’t continue to kill our predators for agriculture, it’s bad science and it’s wrong. But until attitudes change in the west it’s going to be Wolf Wars 2. Save Bears hit the nail on the head when he said education is the key to changing hearts and minds concerning the wolf and Montana is doing a pretty pitiful job in that regard, IMO.
    http://www.newwest.net/city/article/wolf_wisdom_why_cant_montanans_learn_from_minnesota/C396/L396/

  281. avatar nabeki says:

    To clarify my statement that wolf watching may be more profitable then hunting, I’m talking about the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  282. avatar gline says:

    thanks nabeki I think my comment before was not helping in any way re: showing LIVE wolves bring in tourist money to the state.
    it was more sarcasm. I really should stop that!

  283. avatar gline says:

    Speaking of education, tomorrow is the Center for biological diversity symposium in Missoula- tomorrow night Wolf/Elk predation. Should be very good.

  284. avatar Save bears says:

    nabeki,

    Just a question, where did you come up with the figure of 7-10 million dollars? Just curious, I had heard it was quite a bit higher, somewhere around 30 million dollars..

    Also, I know at one time about 15 years ago, the estimated economic benefits of elk hunting alone in the tri state area was estimated at somewhere around 500 million dollars…I don’t think any current economic modeling has been done on the benefit of hunting.

  285. avatar nabeki says:

    gline…
    Did I steal your thunder…LOL? There were so many comments I didn’t get through them all. But hey great minds think alike!!

    I wish I could get to NRDC’s Wolf/Elk symposium but I have horses so I’m chained to my house…no just kidding. Let us know how it goes!!

    JB…
    Dr. MacNulty has been following Yellowstone’s wolves since they were reintroduced, so yes he has lots of experience. I read what Mech said and I’m actually a fan of Mech. But MacNulty’s reasearch is really very right on and not because I agree with it. He believes hunts are actually a bad way to manage wolves. Here’s a link, cause I’m too tired right now to sum it all up but the last few paragraphs of the article are crititcal to understanding his findings.
    http://www1.umn.edu/news/features/2009/UR_CONTENT_143264.html

  286. avatar nabeki says:

    OMG I was addressing my last post, third paragraph to Jay not JB….I’m starting to lose it…lol.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  287. avatar gline says:

    lol at least you are having fun tonight with all this dreary news…. look at the headline of this post for C sake!

    no you didn’t steal my thunder… i had said something about wolves being popular to elk275 by the hunt… being sarcastic and dry.

  288. avatar gline says:

    Where has Mech said he is in favor of a wolf hunt? perhaps in MN, but not in our scenario now I dont think.. i am reading one of his books now, but it is old data from the 60s. he reports of wolf personality- how they differ. he talks of wolf “families”. i dont see how he could recommend a hunt, unless he changed his mind over the years.

  289. gline,

    He’s changed, and in non-refereed statements and interviews he has started predicting dire happenings in Minnesota if wolf numbers are not controlled, but 3-4 years have passed and nothing dire has happened.

    The Minnesota state wolf plan, which I haven’t reviewed, does not have a wolf hunt planned until about 5 years from now.

  290. There was comment earlier about why don’t supporters of carnivores pitch in and help like the supporters of elk do.

    This is silly because the best way to have a strong population of carnivores, except very briefly, is to have a strong population of elk, deer, moose, etc. There are no wolves without that which wolves eat, and they eat meat 100%.

    No deer, elk, moose; no wolves.

    The only conflict should be between those who want to manage all wildlife like a crop — so much soybeans here, so much much wheat over there — versus those who are excited about what nature comes up with. I am with the latter group more than with the wildlife-as-livestock group. Winterkill, abundant precipitation, disease, drought, favorable temperatures — all these things have a strong effect on how much wildlife, and what kind, there will be from year to year. Those who want want wildlife to be a predictable crop are like the farmer who wants a predictable amount of corn or barley every year. Nature often steps in to scramble their calculations.

  291. avatar JB says:

    “The only conflict should be between those who want to manage all wildlife like a crop — so much soybeans here, so much much wheat over there — versus those who are excited about what nature comes up with.”

    In my view, F&G agencies provide an incredibly valuable service when they monitor wildlife populations, reintroduce native species, purchase and restore habitat, monitor and regulate the harvest of wild game, and enforce the laws meant to protect wildlife populations. That is wildlife management at its best!

    In contrast, the purposeful halving of a population hitherto considered endangered in order to pacify highly vocal and influential political interest groups is wildlife management at its worst–especially when agencies are disingenuous about whose interests are being served.

    Idaho residents need to decide if they want their state to be managed as an ungulate production facility, or if they want their wildlife to be manged like WILDlife.

  292. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    JB

    With all due respect, I want to challenge your “halving a population” comment, above. The explanation- not mine but Dr. Mech’s – is in the last two paragraphs below. Do you think he is a liar?

    gline,

    I think you will find that Dr. Mech’s views about current populations, genetic diversity and future in the hands of state management are particularly insightful. He has alot of interesting material on his website, including Technical Positions (articles, research, misc. publications) at: http://www.davemech.org/

    His declaration under oath from the 2008 delisting litigation is also instructive concerning his current views. It is available here:

    http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/esa/court/dMech.pdf

    Mech’s changing views leaning toward wolf harvests are based on his knowledge as a scientist. People should read the material for themselves and draw their own conclusions. There will be an additional declaration from Dr. Mech in the new delisting lawsuit, if one has not already been prepared and submitted to the court.

    The most striking information from the 2008 litigation, in addition to Mech’s very strong criticism of the VonHoldt/Wayne “worst case scenario”study results that Molloy relied up on for the injunction last summer, is that Mech believes the end of 2008 wolf population in WY, ID, MT would be closer to 3,000 wolves than the estimated 1,500. That means the population, even light of the harvests in MT and ID are entirely filled it would barely make a dent (also include in this the WS kills, poaching/disease and natural mortality.

    From Decl. paragraph 15

    “15.…….Starting with a base population of 1,545 wolves in late 2007 (Final Rule)
    and adding the average 24% annual increase shown from 1995 through 2006 yields 1,916
    wolves expected to be present in fall 2008. (Here I should note that the estimate of 1,545
    wolves is a minimum estimate, i.e. there were supposedly a minimum of 1,545 wolves.
    As wolf populations increase, it becomes increasingly harder to count them accurately
    and the minimal counts become increasingly lower than actual. Thus a better estimate of
    the actual population could be about 1,700, and thus the 2008 estimate would be 2,108.)
    Assuming the minimum figure and that ID actually takes 328 wolves which is its limit but which seems very unrealistic (Mech 2001) that would still be only 17% of the
    minimal population. Then if MT and WY together took another 210 wolves that still
    would not exceed a 28% reduction of the total minimum population. Wolves were
    originally exterminated by concerted, prolonged, year-round government efforts using
    every means possible, but mostly by widespread open-range poisoning, which is now
    illegal in most areas and highly regulated in the 2% of wolf range where it is not outright
    illegal. For these reasons, plaintiffs’ allegation that wolves will be harmed at the
    population level by state management post-delisting are not well founded.

    And,

    23. In any case, the number of wolves projected to be killed under state
    management should not jeopardize the viability of the NRM wolf population. Every
    year, most wolf populations almost double in the spring through the birth of pups (average = 6/litter [Mech 1970]; most packs produce a single litter, but several YNP packs produce 2 or 3 litters per pack). For example in May 2008, there will not be 1,500 but 3,000! (Wolf population estimates are usually made in the winter when the population is at the annual nadir. This approach serves to provide conservative estimates and further ensure that management remains conservative.) As indicated above, 28-50 % of a wolf population must be killed by humans per year (on top of natural mortality) to even hold a population stationary.”

  293. avatar Jay says:

    Nabeki, before I get to the meat of my comment, I will state outright that I don’t think Mr. Macnulty is a bad scientist, or biased, or any other slight you might read into it, nor am I putting him in the category of the folks I will mention. That said, you can latch on to any particular researcher or single paper to support the side you want to support. Case in point: the anti-wolf side has claimed “Delerius” Geist and C. Kay (both professors, and both outspoken against wolves), stating that they’re right and all these other guys are wrong. Well I choose to weight the bulk of the research, not hang my hat on on particular person whose opinion supports mine. If you look at the research, you will find that hunting does not wipe out wolves like you assert. That is a firmly established fact.

    Dan McNulty is currently doing advanced genetic research with Von Holt at UCLA as well as being number 2 on the Park’s wolf team. He is much more current than retired professors Geist or Mech. Ralph Maughan

  294. Wilderness Muse,

    Thanks for finding Mech’s web page. I’ll be looking closely at it.

    The last paragraph above, if indicative of his recent writing, shows Mech has gone over the edge.

    Above in the quote, he wrote:

    “Every year, most wolf populations almost double in the spring through the birth of pups (average = 6/litter [Mech 1970]; most packs produce a single litter, but several YNP packs produce 2 or 3 litters per pack). For example in May 2008, there will not be 1,500 but 3,000! (Wolf population estimates are usually made in the winter when the population is at the annual nadir. This approach serves to provide conservative estimates and further ensure that management remains conservative.) As indicated above, 28-50 % of a wolf population must be killed by humans per year (on top of natural mortality) to even hold a population stationary.”

    There is no hunting of wolves in Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin and much less lethal control by government. There the wolf populations are NOT growing 30% a year.

    Yellowstone Packs have had multiple litters of pups, and in recent years pup mortality has been very high. Two years ago the Leopold Pack had over 20 pups. Everyone of them died. I think it was the same year, or the previous, the Slough Creek Pack had 5 litters! All of them died.

    There is no human control of wolves in Yellowstone. Rather than the population doubling and doubling, it is decreasing by about 20 per cent a year.

    What this shows is that wolf populations are self-limiting. Population growth follows the well known “S-curve.” The wolf population may grow at very high rates when it is small, but it slows down at the point of inflection and then plateaus. Once the curve is drawn by nature, the population may well decline. It will almost surely bounce up and down.

    Population growth had clearly slowed down in Idaho by 2008.

    For those who haven’t followed Wisconsin, read this:

    2008. Wisconsin Wolf Population Remains Similar to Last Year. Moreover according to Michigan’s DNR the wolf population growth in 2008 was just slight.

    I also doubt that the population estimates are really minimums. It is true that the more wolves, the harder to get an exact count. This is no way makes the estimates the minimum. It just makes them inexact.

    It is argued that when there are more wolves, some packs are missed. Of course. It is also true that most of time wolves are not seen or heard as a full pack. The pack splits up into hunting or exploration groups much of the time. Those in field trying to count wolves by direct observation, howling, looking for tracks, etc. are highly likely to engage in double counting, especially in areas where the wolf population is dense.

    Of course, population estimates are made in mid-winter when populations are at their lowest. That was an obviously correct decision. Of course, the wolf population briefly doubles for a week or two at the time pups are born. Pups are transient. A lot of them die before they leave the den. Many, often most, don’t survive until mid-winter.

    You don’t need a Ph D in wildlife biology to figure this out. You just have to know the history of wolf restoration in the northern Rockies, and Great Lakes, have read the annual reports, and know a little bit how population estimates are made.

  295. avatar Jay says:

    You missed my point Ralph–basing your entire argument on one researcher’s opinion is like getting heart surgery without getting a second opinion. Doctors are wrong, as are wildlife researchers–that’s why you draw on the collective knowledge of your profession, not one individual. And genetics is not population dynamics per se.

  296. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Ralph –
    The NRM wolf population estimates are conservative, i.e. we know that we underestimate wolf numbers because of the factors you and Dr. Mech described and others. Characterizing those estimates as “minimums” may not be the best descriptor, but there are significantly more wolves on the ground than the estimates describe.
    I think I understand your point above to be that Dr. Mech is “over the edge” in the last quoted paragraph – regarding his point that hunting would have to take 28% – 50% of the wolf population each year, on top of natural mortality, to cap the growth of that population. Dr. Mech is correct, under current population parameters.
    I’m on the road and about to leave for the airport, so can’t go into more detail at this point. If there is still interest in this line of the dialog, I will come back tonight with a more detailed explanation of how and why Mech’s comments are correct and relevent to the question of biological impacts of hunting wolves in Montana and Idaho.
    This is a very good, productive discussion.

  297. avatar JEFF E says:

    “Actually, I remember reading a quote from Roy Heberger from way back where he said that grazing fees are priced so low to account for predator losses…or, in other words, the grazing fees have a built-in predator compensation aspect already.”
    Jay, I remember that comment too. Even more reason to scrap Wildlife Services and tell Livestock producers to pound sand.
    OOOPPS.

    That would not be politically correct would it Mark.

  298. avatar Layton says:

    Ralph,

    “What this shows is that wolf populations are self-limiting. Population growth follows the well known “S-curve.” The wolf population may grow at very high rates when it is small, but it slows down at the point of inflection and then plateaus. Once the curve is drawn by nature, the population may well decline. It will almost surely bounce up and down.

    Population growth had clearly slowed down in Idaho by 2008.”

    Two things — at what level do you think the Idaho population will “plateau”. Is there any estimates on this?

    And then, how do you come to the conclusion that the rate of population growth in Idaho has slowed?

    Not trying to be “snarky” — just asking. It seems to me that the “plateau” level is what the big concern is about from the “not so much in favor of” side. Just how many is enough??

  299. avatar Layton says:

    “pound sand??

    Jeff E., could you cite a scientific reference (peer reviewed of course) for the meaning of that remark?? 8)

  300. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Ralph,

    “Dan McNulty is currently doing advanced genetic research with Von Holt at UCLA as well as being number 2 on the Park’s wolf team. He is much more current than retired professors Geist or Mech. ”

    Dr. Mech is listed as a co-author on McNulty’s most recent publication (“Predatory senescence in ageing wolves,” which appears in Ecology Letters, (2009) 12: 1–10, which just came out a couple of weeks ago). That says he is still VERY active in continuing research. To my knowledge he is not retired, He is listed as an active faculty member at U of MN and remains as a chief scientist for the USGS Wildlife Research Center.

    Do you have more current information than what is posted on his website, and in recent publications?

    You may disagree with his conclusions as a 40 + year scientist as against your practical knowledge and opinion, but I would hardly call that grounds for saying Dr Mech, “is over the edge.”

  301. avatar JEFF E says:

    Layton,
    I am drinking some adult Beavrages so it means exactly what it means.
    (i am currently working Graves so it is actually 11:00 o’clock at night.)
    I was beginning to think you did not like me any more.

  302. avatar JB says:

    WM writes: “With all due respect, I want to challenge your “halving a population” comment, above. The explanation- not mine but Dr. Mech’s – is in the last two paragraphs below. Do you think he is a liar?”

    There are two components to this comment that deserve attention: (1) First is a challenge to my comment about IDF&G’s goal being a “halving” of the wolf population, and (2) second is the notion that my claim somehow is at odds with David Mech.

    Regarding the first. Idaho has made it clear that their goal is to reduce the population to ~500 wolves in the state. [Ralph, I could use some help finding the link to that video if you have a second?] While the end of year estimate for wolves in Idaho was ~850, Mark Gambling and others have asserted that the number is closer to 1,000. My comment used the latter figure, per IDF&G’s preference. However, your comment suggests that Mech believes there were more than twice as many wolves (~3,000) then the end of 2008 estimate. If we use Mech’s (very scientific) formula, this equates to ~1,700 wolves (850 x 2) in Idaho at the end of 2008 (not accounting, of course for the alleged 24% annual population growth). Thus, if Idaho attempts to manage for 500 wolves as they have publicly threatened, the result would be a 70.6% reduction in the number of wolves (i.e. 1700 – 1200 = 500). You have my sincere thanks for keeping me honest!

    Regarding my comments being at odds with Dave Mech’s… Now we have truly come full circle! Earlier in this post I was being praised for taking the moral high ground in defense of agency scientists, and now I’m being attacked for disagreeing with one. Two points: (1) Despite his experience, David Mech does NOT know everything about wolves. I don’t say this as a condemnation of Dave, personally nor his work. He was offering an OPINION; one–I might add–that was NOT peer reviewed. (2) More importantly, I don’t believe my comments are at odds with Mech’s opinion. He asserts there are more wolves in the NRM population than we think. How many more doesn’t really matter; whether you simply use the annual growth estimate of 24% (850 x 1.24 = 1054) or Dave Mech’s (in my opinion) overly optimistic estimate of twice the current population (850 x 2 = 1700), Idaho F&G still says it wants to manage for 500 wolves. IDF&G’s target is the same, no matter what Dave Mech says.

    Finally, I would add (yet again) that I do not question the sustainability of the harvest, but IDF&G’s repeated assertion that it serves the interests of nonconsumptive users. In a word: hogwash.

  303. avatar Richie,NJ says:

    To elk275;
    Thank you for that information,the more they kill the more they breed nature’s way of giving them a chance. Many people are selfish and will never have enough !!!

  304. avatar JEFF E says:

    JB,
    Idaho has said that the population will be “kept” at the 2005(?) levels-~500-700.
    What ever the population is now does not matter. that is what the State intends to do, so whether the kill is 220 or 1220, the State intends to keep the population at no more than 700 max. The livestock industry has given the state it’s marching orders.

  305. avatar JB says:

    Here we go: http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/cms/wildlife/wolves/news/resolution.pdf

    “On March 6, 2008 the Commission adopted the Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan… The 2008 Plan will ensure that wolf populations are maintained at 2005 levels (518 wolves, more than 5 times the minimum Federal recovery level) or higher….”

    Still looking for the video…

  306. avatar JB says:

    And in the same document, they formalized the >1,000 population estimate:

    “Idaho’s wolf population continues to grow and expand at an average annual rate of 20 percent. Based upon the best available science, the 2009 population is more than 1,000 wolves in Idaho, 10 times the minimum Federal recovery level.”

    Still looking for the video describing how IDF&G can use Wildlife Services to kill additional wolves in order to meet their population objectives.

  307. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    JB

    Cool your jets a bit. I merely wanted to call out what appeared to be an inference there were not enough wolves to satisfy non-consumptive users at the lower numbers – which appeared to be higher than most people posting here believe. Has to do with that conservative figure. Manage for 500+ likely means you will really have quite a few more.

    Also, bear in mind my quick comment to you was made in passing as the post was originally intended for gline who had a direct request for more information about Dr. Mech’s apparently changed views (admitted to reading stuff that was from the 60’s).

    The Declaration contents are his exact words under oath directed to a very specific purpose – no philosophical ramblings. I gave the cite with the EXPLICIT proviso that people should draw their own conclusions. He is in the eyes of the Court an EXPERT. Any peer review would likely take the form of some other wolf guy/gal the plantiffs offered. If there is a challenge to Mech’s opinon on numbers maybe somebody should offer it up for balance. I am all for that. In fact, I want to see it.

    Mech’s statements relate to the estimation of wolves in all three states, and not just ID.

    Just to be clear, I am not here to defend Idaho or Montana game management policies, or any estimates of wolf numbers by anyone.

    And yes, an accurate count of how many wolves are in the NRM does matter- it goes to the very heart of the facts in dispute about things like genetic connectivity (including proof thereof), how many deer and elk are eaten by this unknown conservative estimate and where. It also means there may be alot of wolves out there that are not collared or otherwise reliably tracked, and as time goes on (according to Mech) it will be harder to know, with underestimates more likely and widening.

    Last, I think it would be great if there were dedicated places in all states where non-consumptive users could view wolves, outside national parks. Maybe those should be part of a management plan. But do forgive me for not wanting many of them where I hunt elk.

  308. avatar nabeki says:

    Save Bears…
    Those wolf tourism numbers were from an old article. that I linked to that post. You’re right, it’s much closer to 35 million, in any case it’s a big number

    Jay…
    All MacNulty is saying is that wolf hunting will probably backfire, if what “managers” are aiming to do is reduce elk kills or livestock predation, which is a red herring because wolves are not killing all the elk or the livestock. But he states the hunts will dial down the ages of wolf pack members and since younger wolves are better hunters and kill more prey it would increase problems not the other way around.

    But I’m against hunting wolves, so it wouldn’t matter to me if twenty five scientists lined up in front of my house and shouted that we needed wolf hunts. I follow my gut on this one and I know, even more firmly then I did before, after reading Michael Robinson’s, Predatory Bureacracy: The Extermination of Wolves and the Transformaton of the West…that the states or feds can’t be trusted now to do what’s right for the wolves. The evidence is clear with the quick jump to hunts mere months after their delisting, which in NOT in the spirit of ESA and in contrast to Minnesota with their 3000 wolves, stating they wouldn’t even consider a hunt for five years, if their wolves were ever delisted. You can see the evidence in “wolf managers” quick trigger fingers, issuing kill orders to Wildlife Services, whenever wolves prey on a few livestock. It’s turned into a tit-for-tat type of management. Most cattle losses are attributed to weather, disease, calving, etc. Even when predators do prey on cattle it’s the coyote and even domestic dogs that do most of the killing, not the wolf. But it seems every wolf predation issue is given headlines and of course everyone can now point to Dillon, which was an extremely rare event but I digress.

    A wolf kills a couple of “walking picnic baskets”, as George Wuernether likes to call cows and there goes the pack of wolves. The Sage Creek Pack, which roamed the wildlife corridor between Montana and Idaho, who could have provided genetic exchange for Yellowstone wolves….wiped out by Wildlife Services. Initially they got into trouble for killing ONE SHEEP from that ridiculous government run Sheep Experiment Station, that needs to be closed. The Hog Heaven Pack with 27 members, two breeding females, which is extremely rare, gunned down. Fifteen of those pack members were pups barely six to seven months old……gone.

    The states have nothing but contempt for the wolf and the feds have a long history of doing the wrong thing concerning them. I truly don’t trust either of them to protect wolves interests because they will come down on the side of ranching and hunting every single time.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  309. avatar Jay Barr says:

    As JB pointed out a few posts above Dr. Mech is not infallible. Dr. Mech tried to contest the results of a research paper published in the Journal of Wildlife Management which had as co-authors Dr. Mike Mitchell, Dr. Doug Smith, Dr. Mike Jimenez, Ed Bangs, Carolyn Sime, Curt Mack et al. (some knowledgeable scientists among them despite the contentions of some commenting in this thread). This paper’s conclusion was that pack size can be used as an index of whether a pack is a breeding pair. For instance, for any given pack size, there is X chance of it being a breeding pair, with larger packs having higher probabilities (based on 20+ years of data from the NRM). For example: Group A of 6 wolves has X probability of being a breeding pair, whereas Group B of 11 has X probability (higher than Groups A’s). Again, remember there is lots of data to support this and intuitively it makes sense. Mech contended that every group of 4 wolves is a breeding pair without fail. Certainly there have been packs in the NRM, as Ralph pointed out above (YNP packs with multiple litters where all pups are known to have died) that have been >4 and not met the definition of a breeding pair. Mech’s intended rebuttal was rejected by the journal.

  310. WM,

    Dave Mech is obviously not retired (like I said), but the declaration of his you quoted from is an easily rebutted opinion unrelated to the publication you mention.

    I might be criticized for arguing with a professional biologist, yet in his declaration, part of which you posted he wrote of matters outside his field, e.g., at C 22 in his declaration he wrote: “The eastern Wyoming area is the region where wolf conflicts with humans would be greatest and where more wolves would be killed for livestock-depredation control anyway. Continued conflicts of this type foster a negativity towards wolves that can be minimized by allowing unregulated taking, thus helping further a more positive attitude toward wolves in general.”

    I am a social scientist, Ralph Maughan Ph D. I can say his statement below is backed by no evidence — “Continued conflicts of this type foster a negativity towards wolves that can be minimized by allowing unregulated taking, thus helping further a more positive attitude toward wolves in general.”

    There are no studies indicating the unregulated taking of wolves fosters positive attitudes toward wolves in general. There is little evidence that livestock – wolf conflicts foster a negativity toward wolves. It is the reporting of these minor events that fosters a public negativity. Furthermore, there is evidence from the field of producer indifference to the loss of livestock at the usual numbers taken by wolves. I would say “just ask kt,” who spends a massive amount of time in field looking at cattle.

    I hypothesize, meaning a study actually needs to done, that in many years producers leave as many sheep and cattle are left on range to die in the winter as wolves take from their herds. It is just too costly to look for them that thoroughly. I have sometimes called them to tell there 4 cows left up – – – – creek. They are hardly thankful.

  311. avatar JB says:

    I am a social scientist, Ralph Maughan Ph D. I can say his statement below is backed by no evidence — “Continued conflicts of this type foster a negativity towards wolves that can be minimized by allowing unregulated taking, thus helping further a more positive attitude toward wolves in general.”

    Ralph: I currently have a manuscript submitted that discusses a similar conclusion reached in the 2008/9 Wolf Final Rule. There is no evidence to support this view (even though more than 50 papers written on the topic), and no social scientists were consulted, despite the fact that the fundamental underlying premise of the Final Rule is that delisting would promote positive attitudes toward wolves.

  312. JB and all,

    Let’s hope that Judge Molloy understands that a professional biologist is not by training an expert on human behavior. Professionally that is for social psychologists, psychologists, political scientists, sociologists, etc.

  313. avatar JB says:

    WM:

    I’m trying not to get drawn into a debate about Dave Mech–whom I respect, but disagree with–but you’re making it hard.

    Mech also recently argued that wolves would need to be hunted in Minnesota (as Ralph pointed out above) or they would expand their range into the ag/suburban parts of the state and cause a lot of conflict. In a word, he can only be described as WRONG. Wolf populations trends in Minnesota are now flat DESPITE NO (I.E. ZERO) HUNTING AND ESSENTIALLY NO CONTROL. However, Dave continues to sing the same tune about the need for hunting. Suffice it to say, I disagree. Hunting of wolves is a luxury; there is no need for it outside of placating the livestock industry.

    Regarding an “accurate count” of wolves mattering… I did not mean to suggest that accurately estimating wolf populations is not important (it is); however, in the context of wolf viewing, the denominator is meaningless when we know the goal is ~500. My intent was to convey the absurdity of the claim that IDF&G is managing for “abundant” wolf viewing opportunities while they cut the wolf population in half and hunt wolves in every part of the state.

  314. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Ralph

    I agree with you.

    The purpose of a declaration is to get information in front of the judge for a decision, without having to call the declarant as a witness, as with disposing of matters on a motion. The last sentence in that paragraph- the one you quote- was not necessary. A curious mind night suspect it a DOJ lawyer inserted it, to put even more lipstick on that pig of a WY Plan. Any objection to the the content could be explained away by saying, indeed Dr. Mech has worn many hats in his tenure as a Department of Interior employee, as a program coordinator and darfer of plans for wolf reintroduction in the Great Lakes or elswhere and is thus qualified to make such a conclusion, based on his extensive experience in the US and consulting in other countries.

    Without knowing more details, the issue JB raises is more perplexing.

  315. avatar Richie,NJ says:

    I think I said this before but the second biggest illegal world trade is animals, first drugs,second animals . Which gives some insight how human beings regard animals, just a thought. Goodnight to all the wolf and nature lovers Ralph,gline,nabaki and to all others who share this common thought.

  316. Jerry B.,

    Caroyn Sime update:

    Re: my email questions to Carolyn Sime about how the wiping out of the Centennial Mountain pack in the critical genetic dispersal corridor linking central Idaho with YNP squares with the promises of tri-state wildlife mgnt. authorities under the Memorandum of Understanding to foster genetic diversity between the states and how much importance her department places on the promotion of genetic diversity, Ms. Sime said that given pending litigation, she referred my questions to her litigation team. She thanked me for my “note” and signed it “C”. Rather casual for a public official I’ve never communicated with before. Not sure what to make of that if anything. Not surprisingly I have not received a response back from her defense team.

  317. avatar jerryB says:

    Valerie Bittner….I just returned from the Conservation Biology conference at which she and Ed Bangs spoke briefly. I did get a chance to speak at length with her last night.
    Rather than having to deal with some of those that comment here, Ralph has my permission to send you my email and we can talk about it and follow up via phone.
    Jerry

  318. avatar JB says:

    Val, Jerry B, others:

    It appears that Defenders is pulling out of the NA Wolf Conference again this year. Not sue if either of you have ideas for new sponsors, but those that are interested in seeing it go forward may need to step up and do some organizing, else I fear this conference may be defunct.

  319. avatar jerryB says:

    JB…..let me think about it. Do you know if defenders paid travel expenses for the presenters? That could prevent the smaller non-profits from sponsorship.

  320. avatar Cindy says:

    There’s information on the meditation I’m conducting over at Nabeki’s place: howlingforjustice.wordpress.com. “Honoring the Hunted, a quiet meditation for wolf”.
    Thank you,
    Cindy

  321. avatar JB says:

    Jerry B:

    Not to my knowledge; at least, they never paid any expenses for me! I think man power is probably a bigger issue than money.

  322. Yes, we had to cancel the NA Wolf Conference again . Defenders has given it entirely to us (the Wolf Recovery Foundation), but at the last minute.

    I’m not happy about this, but don’t want to start a fight.

    I hope we can find a co-sponsor or two and have a meeting next fall or spring. We shouldn’t let this go because it was a great meeting ground for people, including some local folks who didn’t like wolves, but came to find out from people with experience managing wolves and studying them.

  323. JerryB,

    It’s not so much money as it is personnel to find a place to hold the meeting, reserve it, arrange for the meeting, etc.

  324. avatar jerryB says:

    I agree that we shouldn’t let this go. There’s plenty of orgs around and we all know people at the top , so my suggestion is to ask and get a feel for possible sponsorship.
    I think in many ways it might be better to have 4 or 5 small non-profit sponsors as opposed to 1 or 2 large ones..
    Let’s keep it alive.

  325. avatar Richie,NJ says:

    To all;
    For hunters and non-hunters, our dogs who we love with respect,who love us unconditionally no matter what mood we are in at the time. The dog came from where? wolves, so now we return our gratitude of this animal with hate,contempt,profit which could be called exploitation, so this is how we thank this animal for giving us the dog,”mans best friend”.
    Hunting for food food is one thing , but for a trophy to be stuffed and put in a game room in our house celebrates death not life. I was brought up with a great love of animals, dogs are special to me, and I always seen killing a living thing as sorrow, not joy. I take no joy in seeing something getting killed,yes their is food but I try not to eat too much meat just my thing,that’s all.In my opinion celebrating life on any scale is happyness, the opposite of that is death, killing. So some people rather celebrate death I find that distasteful, just one mans opinion.

  326. avatar Richie,NJ says:

    correction writing too fast “happiness”

  327. avatar gline says:

    Valerie: you are barking up the wrong tree with carolyn sime. you will get nothing

    Were you at the Molloy’s hearing for the injunction to stop the back in Aug? I think I sat next to you.

  328. avatar Salle says:

    Jerry B,

    I agree. We should try to keep the “meeting” alive AND I think that a few smaller orgs as sponsors would be key to achieving that end result.

    I see this new development as an opportunity to do a little retooling of the conference bringing back the atmosphere that existed for many years, one of mutual listening and communication between NGOs and agencies – fed and state – on neutral ground. That seems to be what was lost in the recent past and I, for one am sorry to have witnessed that.

    The conference is a major gathering for the sharing of recent information and presentations of the previous year’s research and updates on long-term studies as well as keeping many of us in touch and introductions of new participants in wolf reintroduction/retention interests… It is a community that needs to stay alive. Truly a learning forum that does not take place anywhere else in any form.

    The word needs to get out that we would like to keep it alive and that we are interested in finding some cosponsors who can offer some funding and some personnel to assist in its organizing tasks. It’s not the easiest thing to do but it can and should be done.

    There are so many interested groups and individuals that I can’t imagine that they would want it to go by the wayside.

    I suggest that any interested parties contact the Wolf Recovery Foundation so the discussion can begin.

  329. avatar jerryB says:

    Ralph……what are your thoughts on starting a forum here for those with suggestions, leads etc that might be beneficial in helping to “keep the conference alive”?

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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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