Commission votes to extend the hunt through all of the winter into the spring !!

Zones will have to reach quota before being closed. The three closed zones won’t be reopened.

Idaho Fish and Game extends wolf hunting season. Idaho Statesman staff.

Interestingly, not-wolf-friendly Magic Valley Times News just had an editorial asking them not to do this. Don’t fuel the fire: End wolf hunting season Dec. 31. The editorial says “Fish and Game should treat wolves the same as any other big game. Pursuing animals when they are stressed by winter is not the Idaho way.” It may not be the Idaho, but it is the way of this motley crew of political cronies of the governor.

This may be for the best. It should help Judge Molloy make his decision.

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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.

291 Responses to Idaho Fish and Game Commission votes to extend wolf hunt until March 31

  1. avatar jdubya says:

    Interesting reasoning, though, as to why the hunt should be ended. It has nothing to do with the animal or the biology of the ecosystem and everything to do with how the outside world perceives Idaho:

    “The last thing the state needs is video on the national news of a wolf slogging through deep snow and a snowmobiling hunter driving up and shooting it.”

    And I thought people in Utah were paranoid as the perception of how the rest of the country/world perceives them…

  2. avatar timz says:

    ” It has nothing to do with the animal or the biology of the ecosystem”

    And what did the hunt have to do with either of those things to begin with?

  3. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    What a disappointment. but not a surprise.

  4. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Where is the science?

  5. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Idaho is my favorite state for country but not for government.

  6. avatar timz says:

    Maybe another positive will come of this. The wolf haters will stop their constant whimpering about how it’s the “enviros” who are always trying to change the rules in the middle of the game.

  7. avatar April clauson says:

    I hope if someone does kill a wolf on a snowmobile off the road someone gets a video of it and post it every where they can! just sad…..Idaho powers to be must be real good friends with Palin…

  8. avatar nabeki says:

    This just shows exactly where their hearts and minds are. They’re going to get those 220 dead wolves if it takes extending the season throughout the state for seven long months. It was bad enough that Lolo and Sawtooth went through March 31. It looks like they were thinking this may be their last chance to hunt wolves if Molloy overturns the delisting.

    Just disturbing, especially with that predator derby looming.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  9. avatar william huard says:

    nabeki- is there information somewhere on this hunting derby? The butch otter wolf hatred is evident with this extention through the winter. Hate has a way of clouding sound judgement.

  10. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    When this is all said and done it will be interesting to see if Idaho is allowed to keep a hunting season. I see that Montana at least had enough sense to close theirs when they said they would.

  11. avatar william huard says:

    nabeki-found the info on your website. Idaho should feel very proud. challis all over again- pathetic!

  12. avatar Virginia says:

    I wonder if Mark Gamblin of the IDFG will post a comment on this wonderful decision.

  13. avatar Tilly says:

    Although I don’t agree with the Times News’s motivation, I really appreciate their raising the question of fair chase and ethics.

    The Commission’s decision throws ethics out the window, and is rude to other public lands users– such as those with dogs who cannot safely go out during wolf season– who had planned on a respite.

  14. avatar nabeki says:

    William….
    Glad you found the info on my site. I already received hate mail about it….which went directly to my spam folder.

    I got an comment a week ago that said: “KILL THEM ALL”!! That’s what we’re dealing with here.

    Can you even imagine what is going on out there with people hating wolves this way? This is so wrong in so many, many ways.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  15. avatar Ryan says:

    There are like 50+ predator derbies that I know of this year.. This is not new news with the exception of wolves being added to the point list on a couple.

  16. avatar william huard says:

    well nabeki- you guys certainly do things your own way in Idaho. Not you- you are one of the good guys. I feel sorry mostly for the wildlife that is exploited for sport.

  17. avatar william huard says:

    nabeki There is a good book on wolves written by Barry Lopez called of wolves and men. all predators have been persecuted by hunters for hundreds of years. Nothing has really changed- there are just more people like you and me that stand up to the hate by exposing people like butch otter. If you had bad hair like butch you would be mad at the world too!

  18. avatar Dusty Roads says:

    Merely for those who might be interested in the predator “calling”/killing derby:

    http://www.sfwidaho.org/SFW/Idaho_Predator_Derby.html

    Of course these clowns are friends of Palin, they love her… They gave her a degree in heaven knows what from their prized land-grant university several years ago after she couldn’t “cut it” at several other universities and colleges! She’s a graduate of University of Idaho and they named her “almnus of the year” or some garbage last year much to their national discredit.

    I hope this news gets out, far and wide, in a hurry. Idaho seems to be the “black eye state” where all of its citizens must bear the shame of the idiots who get national notice like the skin-heads for one example. Now they can be known as the “wolf-hater state” with their major competition being Wyoming and Alaska. But then, they don’t seem to like any wildlife, really. Seems the only kind they admit to liking are the animals they can kill and make money from-“domestic wildlife” they call it there; as per Larry Craig.

  19. avatar Mike says:

    ++Can you even imagine what is going on out there with people hating wolves this way? This is so wrong in so many, many ways.++

    It’s really sad. You can always tell a great deal about a person based on how they treat animals.

  20. avatar Mike says:

    ++Merely for those who might be interested in the predator “calling”/killing derby:

    http://www.sfwidaho.org/SFW/Idaho_Predator_Derby.html
    ++

    How sad. You can only hope that these people get the help they need. These are generally very unhappy people with little control in their daily lives exerting what they feels is control and power over the natural world. Thrill killing fills a security hole for them. What they really should be doing is investing in some therapy and probably some self help courses.

  21. avatar Leslie says:

    What is their rational here? Isn’t this unusual in general, just extending a hunting season out of the blue till quotas are filled. Seems kind of transparent to me.

  22. avatar Save bears says:

    Leslie,

    No it is not unusual to extend seasons on animals that have quotas, most states do this on various game animals…and please don’t take that as a condemnation or condoning what Idaho is doing, it is simply an answer to your question..

  23. avatar Leslie says:

    Save Bears, thanks for the clarification.

  24. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Virginia, and others:

    The basis for the Commission decision to extend the season is simply to ensure that management objectives, in this instance – harvest/kill limits, are achieved more completely than would be with a December 31 closure for those wolf management zones where limits have not been achieved. These are modest, conservative harvest/kill limits that are consistent with Idaho’s committment to a healthy and robust wolf population. This season will close before pregnant wolves begin whelping.

    Emotions on both sides of this wildlife management issue are strong and hot. Regardless of the range of those values and emotions the Idaho wolf management plan is not based on a desire for thrill killing or a prejudice, negative or positive, for wolves. It is a plan designed to balance the desires of and benefits for Idahoans by the management of wildlife resources and personal property protection. At the end of this hunting season the one management objective that will certainly be achieved will be a robust and healthy Idaho wolf population.

  25. avatar JEFF E says:

    Mark,
    You would never make it as a snake oil salesman.
    The townfolk would already be a-collectin some tar and feathers

  26. avatar Save bears says:

    And it is no wonder neither side can come to the middle…I admire your tenacity there Mark!

  27. avatar Chris H says:

    Thanks for the IDFG talking points.

  28. avatar timz says:

    Imagine that, the IDf&G toady shows up and spouts the “line”. I don’t know how a person like Gamblin sleeps at night.

  29. From what I heard from someone at the meeting, the Commission voted to only extend in a couple units and then there was a sudden revote, or something, to extend to all of them.

    That doesn’t sound like a reasoned bit of decision-making but one of a quick political coalition. Maybe that person who emailed me could describe how this vote actually happened.

  30. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Ralph, I think this is where the 500 objective is coming from.

  31. avatar Rich Hurry says:

    Ralph,

    I attended the IDFG Death Panel meeting this morning. Deputy Director Jim Unsworth presented the “Department’s” wolf hunt recommendation of extending the season in three zones (Panhandle, Selway, and Salmon) to March 31, 2010, while leaving the the remaining 6 zones to close on December 31, 2009. Death Panel member Budge rejected this and moved to extend the wolf hunting season to March 31, 2010 in all remaining zones. The motion was seconded and passed with NO discussion. The fix was in and Unsworth was either not in on the plan, or else he played his part very convincingly….

    Rich
    Ponderay, ID

  32. avatar Percy says:

    Mark, perhaps you could tell us what your biologists think might be the result of killing alpha pairs, and just breaking up packs in general like this? I do not think wolves should be managed as if they are ungulates, which seems to be what you are doing. In addition, shouldn’t the hunts focus on packs that are closer to human population centers and much less so in remote or core areas? The reasoning being that packs would be expected to be in balance with their prey in such areas and less likely to disturb livestock or humans. Last question. If you used “all available science and data” in your decision-making, would your management plan for wolves be any different? Numbers of individuals are not a good way to manage populations of a social predator that is distributed patchily across the landscape. Would you argue otherwise? The euphemism “harvest” when killing predators is ridiculous–who eats wolves? It’s “predator control,” let’s call it what it is.

  33. avatar Chuck says:

    This is the biggest load of BS I have heard. Last year unit 39 had 1200 doe tags issued and just barely over 400 deer were killed, did they extend that season. NO
    This clearly shows they are treating the wolves differently then the other big game. Not right at all. Heck I didn’t get my deer this year will they open it back up so I can go out and hunt for another month??? Here is a way Idaho can save money, fire butch otter and go to the zoo and get a monkey and all you have to pay it is bannas and then fire all the IDFG staff and outsource them. Why did it not surprise me that they were going to do this.

  34. avatar timz says:

    Gamblin, according to the Idaho freedom website makes nearly $40 per hour to come on here and spout his crap. There is where the state should look at saving money rather than cutting some poor teachers salary.

  35. Read Rich Hurry’s comment above. He is new to this blog and was at the meeting.

    People who are new need to be approved, so sometimes their first comment sort of gets lost. His is important.

  36. avatar jerryB says:

    Yo Mark………how are the “trophic cascade” studies going?
    Frankly, your dismissal and lack of knowledge of the role wolves play in the trophic cascades is pathetic, and shows the lack of scientific integrity associated with IDFG and their “wolf management”.
    Use that $40/hr for a science tutor.

  37. avatar Percy says:

    It’s hard for me to believe that long-term scientific studies examining the effects of wolves on prey populations, vegetative communities, and ecosystems were sacrificed merely to provide hunters with the opportunity to kill predators (dogs, essentially). Perhaps the study results were showing wolves in a little *too* positive a light to be allowed to continue? We just eliminated the best source of data for managing wolf populations that existed.

  38. avatar Cobra says:

    I’m not really pro or anti wolf. I’ve always thought it was neat to see them and hear them. I do wish that they would of kept the seasons as they were, it might of gone a long ways towards keeping a season. Now they may have added more fuel to a fire that should have been going out.

  39. It kind of ripped a scab off a healing wound.

  40. avatar william huard says:

    mark- is the Idaho fish and game supporting the thrill kill predator derby? do you think such sporting activity helps the image of your state?

  41. avatar JW says:

    Percy,
    I agree with your comments esp. your 1st one. Well put… To ignore the fact that wolves and coyotes are social, intelligent animals is underscored with the word harvest which Ralph nicely elaborated on in a recent post.
    Just say it like it is. The number of wolves killed to satisfy hunters interest in killing them. The fact that wilderness areas have extensive seasons is a sign that it isn’t done to merely protect property rights which most of us don’t object to…

  42. avatar JB says:

    Just returned from the Carnivores conference in Denver. One of the most provocative presentations was made by a Washington F&G biologist who had been studying cougars. He took state F&G agencies to task for managing cougars like deer. He specifically pointed out that states don’t even consider the behavioral ecology of large carnivores, and essentially ignore the fact that (unlike deer) they are density dependent species. He further argued that the structure of hunting in most states essentially creates conflicts by removing animals that aren’t causing problems, allowing them to be replaced by younger animals that often get into trouble.

    I’m not sure if you can say the same of wolves, but I appreciated the honesty and was surprised that it came from a state biologist.

  43. avatar Salle says:

    Gamblin says:

    ” The basis for the Commission decision to extend the season is simply to ensure that management objectives, in this instance – harvest/kill limits, are achieved more completely than would be with a December 31 closure for those wolf management zones where limits have not been achieved. These are modest, conservative harvest/kill limits that are consistent with Idaho’s committment to a healthy and robust wolf population.”

    Really? Modest? Well, I guess when you take into consideration that the real objective is 500-600 wolves killed it could be considered “modest”. And when you think about the long-time stance the state has taken of 0 wolves in the state, I suppose healthy and robust wolf population = 0 wolves.

    And this one really needs to be looked at more closely, with regard to strategic wording:

    “This season will close before pregnant wolves begin whelping.”

    Yes but, you ARE advocating the killing of pregnant wolves all the same. What wrong with that picture? Is there any other “game animal” that is hunted that close to the birthing time? There are many comments on how sick this concept is but I think most can figure out what they are… besides, I suspect that that $40.00/hour extends to your time on this blog.

    “Emotions on both sides of this wildlife management issue are strong and hot. Regardless of the range of those values and emotions the Idaho wolf management plan is not based on a desire for thrill killing or a prejudice…”

    GONG!!! I call you out on that one, it’s absolute BS. That IS the objective for the hunt in the first place! If you were actually interested in the best available science, you wouldn’t be hunting the subjects of the studies… I recall (in 2000) Mr. Scheidwacter’s (sp-?) commenting for Kempthorne looked me right in the eye and said there wasn’t any science available. I challenged him on that because I had seen many studies presented of studies having been conducted for over five years at that point. That same day I had reps from Crapo and Craig approach me to tell me that stating the truth, though they couldn’t admit that it was the truth, wasn’t very nice. Awww. Too bad if I hurt their feelings but they were lying, flat out.

    “It is a plan designed to balance the desires of and benefits for Idahoans by the management of wildlife resources and personal property protection. At the end of this hunting season the one management objective that will certainly be achieved will be a robust and healthy Idaho wolf population.”

    Can you spell E-R-A-D-I-C-A-T-I-O-N ??? Because that has been the “objective” of the state’s overpaid blowhards on wolves since 1995. I’ve been to enough hearings and meetings in Idaho for the majority of the time that this issue has been a burr in your bonnets and I have never heard anything different other than new words to say the same thing. “Eradication by any means possible” is the only acceptable position that any of you have had in mind regardless of what you SAY. Any strategy that makes it possible for you to pretend otherwise is the objective as long as it means that eradication takes place.

    And I agree with most of the comments above as well, except Gamblin’s.

  44. avatar jerryB says:

    JB….do you happen to have the name of the Wa. FG biologist that spoke about cougars?

  45. avatar gline says:

    “Emotions on both sides of this wildlife management issue are strong and hot” (re wolves)

    I think we should have a derby on Elk and see what the emotions are like…

  46. avatar gline says:

    SB you admire Mark’s tenacity??? you are stooping to lower levels every day for me.

  47. avatar Cutthroat says:

    “…hard for me to believe that long-term scientific studies examining the effects of wolves on prey populations, vegetative communities, and ecosystems were sacrificed merely to provide hunters with the opportunity to kill predators…”

    “…just eliminated the best source of data for managing wolf populations that existed…”

    I can only imagine the frustration the biologists must feel after studying a pack such as one of the Yellowstone’s for 5 plus years only to have it completely disrupted/wiped out. They must just throw their hands up and say “What the f— am I doing here, just to have to start over now!” Must be a hopeless feeling for those who genuinely care about their work (which I can’t imagine they don’t).

    Seems only logical that the science would lead us to a more natural model of wildlife conservation where predator prey relationships are used to balance ungulate populations, instead of hunter/harvest. May lead to smaller ungulate populations, which would of course would not be favorable to hunters, but then we don’t know this because the powers that be don’t seem to be willing to give the science nor the model a chance.

    Like Ralph has said before, it is probably going to take a generational change…and continued victories like Mr. Younger’s with regard to livestock.

  48. avatar Save bears says:

    gline,

    I am not worried about your opinion of me…

    That said, I admire his tenacity, I didn’t say I agreed with what the commissioners did, you and many others read far more in a statement than actually exists.

    When I was in the military, I admired the tenacity of my enemies, but it didn’t mean I liked them trying to kill us!

  49. avatar Save bears says:

    cutthroat

    I can tell you first hand, biologists always throw their hands in the air and say what the F***, the politics of wildlife management is a nightmare for biologists! It happened to me and I can tell you it takes the wind out of your sails!

  50. avatar Cris Waller says:

    jerryB

    I wasn’t there, but WSU has been putting out some great stuff on the bad effects of hunting on cougars- you can find a treasure trove here-

    http://nrs.wsu.edu/Research/Carnivore/

  51. avatar Cutthroat says:

    Bears,

    Again…I can only imagine…but as you say, I’m sure it has been so since inception.

    And for the record….I too admire Gamblin for coming on here and commenting and subjecting himself to the abuse/personal attacks…and Ralph for allowing him the opportunity. Even if I agree with/support little or nothing that he says. Hope he continues despite the attacks.

    Nice to have commentary from the agency aside from press releases and public statements…even though the majority is party line.

  52. Folks here are smart enough to evaluate what Mark Gamlin writes.

    I’d like to see an Idaho Fish and Game Commissioner respond.

  53. avatar Layton says:

    timmyz,

    “Gamblin, according to the Idaho freedom website makes nearly $40 per hour to come on here and spout his crap. There is where the state should look at saving money rather than cutting some poor teachers salary.”

    hey there braintrust — take off the blinders and look at the time the reply was entered. Does this freedom website tell you whether or not he was collecting overtime, or could he just possibly have been doing this on his OWN time because he is (gasp!) interested and/or dedicated?? Or does it somehow specifically say “Mark Gamblin is paid $40 per hour to reply to timmyz’s inflammatory, greenneck comments on Ralph Maughan’s blog”?

    By the way, I don’t know Mark. I’ve never even met him at one of the F&G meetings — it just seems to me that there are other possibilities for why he comes here.

  54. avatar Virginia says:

    I too appreciate any employee who is interested enough to inform those of us who are concerned about this wolf slaughter in Idaho. However, I feel that his posts are pretty similar to a press release and do not feel that we are getting the real story.

  55. avatar gline says:

    I dont care if you are worried or not SB.

  56. avatar Cutthroat says:

    Ralph,

    I would agree….for the most part.

    But intelligence aside, there’s something to be said for being respectful. Resorting to name calling “toady”, belittling and blaming the decisions of the IF&G on Mark Gamblin “don’t know how he can sleep at night”, IMHO, is not beneficial. Understanding that, as it has been said, emotions run “hot”, they often can get in the way of constructive dialogue.

  57. avatar gline says:

    I dont admire tenacity to purport the same old same old tired excuses. I’m glad most here are willing to read it and acknowledge/admire his presence. It is different for me, as visions of a “wolf derby” running in the background of my mind while reading his words makes me sick.

  58. avatar JB says:

    JerryB:

    Sorry, I’ve been looking for it, but they changed around the speakers at this session. The abstract says it is Gary Koehler, but I’m not sure if he actually gave the presentation?

  59. avatar gline says:

    All conversation aside, I have always wondered why does Mark bother?

  60. avatar gline says:

    or killing them SB? (your enemy in Iraq,- this is a wildlife blog isnt it? I dont think war expertise applies here or should apply here) Remember it is a 2-way street.

  61. avatar Save bears says:

    gline,

    it was purely and example, so you could understand my position, no claim of war expertise, as far as it being a two way street, I find that very difficult to believe based on your past postings…maybe a two lane road, with both lanes running the same direction!

    LOL

  62. avatar JEFF E says:

    Idaho fish and game members:
    [Tony McDermott, of Sagle……….a member of the Idaho Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife]
    can you say conflict of interest.

    [Randy Budge, of Pocatello………grew up on a cattle ranch near Soda Springs]
    hmmmm. I wonder what side of the issue he falls on.

    [Cameron Wheeler, of Ririe…….real estate broker dealing in farms and ranches.]
    and his stance would be?

    [Gary Power, of Salmon…..Since retiring, he has supervised and participated in a research project in game management unit 28, studying the relationship between predators and their big game prey as part of a masters program for U of I.]
    I wonder if he is friends with whats her name of sheep fame.

    [Wayne Wright, of Twin Falls……..Wright was in the minority that favored the higher harvest limit of 430 wolves.]
    from the original debate to set the kill limits. nuff said.

    [Bob Barowsky, of Fruitland……. retired sheriff]plays it pretty close to the vest. voted for lower kill #

    [Fred Trevey, of Lewiston…….natural resource management consultant ]
    voted for the lower kill # of 255 but also very vocal about supporting killing wolves in the clearwater region regardless of ESA listing or not. Can you say politician.

    Draw your own conclusions

  63. avatar gline says:

    SB: (hands covering ears) I CAN’T HEAR YOU!…

    your comments don’t hold much value to me anymore, as they are akin to going to Layton’s Muleys website.

  64. avatar gline says:

    thanks for the list Jeff E!!!!

  65. avatar gline says:

    “This may be for the best. It should help Judge Molloy make his decision.”

    let’s hope.

  66. avatar Save bears says:

    Real adult gline…as I said, your opinion of me really does not matter and will not alter my opinion of the issue..

    Whats Layton’s Muleys web site, I have never heard of that one…

  67. avatar gline says:

    And your comment wasn’t patronizing? Give me a break.

    and I’m done. going for hike maybe I will see a couple of wolves.

  68. avatar Save bears says:

    Have fun, hope you see a couple of wolves as well, if you do take pictures, so those of not able to go hiking can enjoy them as well

  69. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    jerryB

    While you await an answer from JB regarding the WA cougar biologist who spoke at the Denver conference, here is an article from last year, which addresses the topic JB raised – it could very well be the same biologist. This was also the article I mentioned, but did not have the cite for, on another thread regarding the cat that was shot outside Hays, MT. Some good stuff in it.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2004285453_cougar16m.html

  70. avatar Ryan says:

    ++How sad. You can only hope that these people get the help they need. These are generally very unhappy people with little control in their daily lives exerting what they feels is control and power over the natural world. Thrill killing fills a security hole for them. What they really should be doing is investing in some therapy and probably some self help courses.++

    Mike,

    Its oaky for you to sterotype individuals based on your perceptions but yet its not okay for me. You jumped my ass a couple of threads ago about a comments about illegal poaching and immigrants, but yet its okay to make the same suppositions about these guys. I’m so confused.

    Gline,

    I posted the monster muleys link, not Layton. Take a deep breath before you go into your next illogical emotion filled rant.

  71. avatar JEFF E says:

    re my last:
    these gentlemen serve at the pleasure of the gov. I believe that Clem’s stance on wolves is fairly well established and would not suffer one far different than his own.
    Oh well, so much for science based….

  72. avatar jerryB says:

    WM…..Thanks, and yes, that could be the guy. At a seminar about a year ago, I listened to Toni Ruth, a lion researcher from the Selway Institute talk about this in detail also. I’m trying to collect as much info as possible to once again challenge the cougar hunt in the Rattlesnake Wilderness which they continue to say “protects” hikers, bikers etc from cougar attacks.
    I’m aware of the hunt in NE Washington and spoke with a biologist who had nothing but negative things to say about it….unfortunately, it’s always “off the record” which doesn’t help.

  73. avatar JEFF E says:

    anyway I have a question for all the biologists that post here; why do predators (at least the vast majority)(excluding humans although I have seen it) have yellow eyes?
    I have never seen a definitive answer to this but have only recently really started to research it.

  74. avatar Layton says:

    gline,

    “your comments don’t hold much value to me anymore, as they are akin to going to Layton’s Muleys website.”

    I think the antennae on your tinfoil hat are crossed up — maybe if you turn it 90 degrees to the left?? 8)

    I don’t have the slightest idea what you are talking about.

  75. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    If you (we) can all bury the hatchet for a few moments, here is a really neat video clip of the new Imnaha Pack in Oregon, filmed at some distance in a snowy landscape by state biologists. As best I can tell the location is between the town of Joseph and Hells Canyon in the Wallawa-Whitman NF. I viewed it full screen, and although a little grainy, it is impressive.

    http://www.kval.com/news/local/70551332.html

    timmy, sorry for breaking the continuity of the thread.

  76. avatar Cris Waller says:

    “why do predators (at least the vast majority)(excluding humans although I have seen it) have yellow eyes?”

    Well, as to why humans don’t have it- we aren’t members of the order Carnivora.

    As for the carnivores- most don’t have yellow eyes. Bears don’t, mustelids don’t, skunks don’t, procyonids don’t, viverrids don’t, herpestids don’t, etc. Some cats and some dogs do.

    As far as why some carnivores do have yellow eyes- I’ve read some discussions that state that light eye color in social canids may serve as a communication facilitator- a lot of canine communication is through staring, and light eyes make for a more intense stare- think of how piercing the eyes of a wolf are compared to those of a dog.

    This doesn’t explain light eyes in cats. Because eye color is linked to coat color, which determines the deposition of pigments in the eye, I would think that light eye color in felines is related to the presence of light coat colors in most felines. As an example, jaguarundis occur in light and dark phases, and the light-phase cats have lighter eyes. It may also be related to the adaptations for light-gathering in dim environments that felines have.

  77. avatar cc says:

    Unlike quite a few of the folks posting here, Mark Gamblin (IDFG) is able to discuss the wolf issue without resorting to name-calling, insults, and stereotyping. Those incapable of such restraint offer nothing to the conservation nor to any eventual solution.

  78. I, like Rich, am a member of the Northern Idaho Wolf Alliance (NIWA) and testified at the Commissioner’s prelude to an auto da fe.

    For the first time in my experience, wolf advocates predominated at the Public Comment part of the meeting.

    I testified, & told the Commissioners that one of my concerns was that if the wolf hunt were extended into the winter, it would overlap the denning season. Some of the wolves killed would undoubtedly be lactating females and other key pack members, and this situation would condemn pups to slow death by starvation. The Commissioners did not reply to this concern.

    I also presented the Commissioners with petitions, signed by 489 Northern Idaho citizens, demanding a halt to the hunt. The petitions were accepted by the Commissioners without comment.

    Several anti-wolf speakers voiced concern that extending the season would be insufficient to kill enough wolves, and urged the Commission to use all the “tools” available to them. Their words were echoed by a Commissioner. For those of you who are not familiar with this code word, it refers to such things as traps, snares, poison, & shooting from helicopters, etc.

  79. avatar nabeki says:

    William….
    Here I am at 2:40am posting….Actually I live in Montana but I won’t hold that against you..LOL.

    I have read Of Wolves and Men but my fav persecution book is Predatory Bureaucracy: The Extermination of Wolves and the Transformation of the West by Michael Robinson. The feds teaming up with agriculture really did the wolves in. They were relentless. Kind of reminds of what’s happening now.

    As a side note I urge everyone to write to IDFG, The Gov, The Idaho newspapers, Idaho Tourism, The Potato People, etc…and stand up for wolves!! Those guys should feel some heat on this. Maybe the outrage will go national, who knows? Should the wolves just go quietly into that good night??
    “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  80. avatar JB says:

    “Because eye color is linked to coat color, which determines the deposition of pigments in the eye, I would think that light eye color in felines is related to the presence of light coat colors in most felines.”

    Mammalian carnivores living in the arctic generally have all white coats and dark brown eyes (i.e. arctic wolves, polar bears, arctic fox). However, big cats that live in cold climates (e.g. snow leopards, Siberian tigers) have light colored eyes. I’ve read that eye color in humans is related to skin color, and I know this is true for domestic dogs as well. Perhaps eye color is simply a side effect of selection for coat color?

  81. avatar william huard says:

    nabeki- I work as a nurse on a medical floor, and when my patient load is light I always try to work on environmental issues. The politics of the west is very difficult, for example I called Idaho fish and game yesterday to ask if they are supporting this thrill kill event, and I asked how these groups are able to kill wolves without individual permits for each wolf killed- do they purchase tags in advance?Unfortunately when you have people like wayne wright who are on the commission and are members of the sportsmen for fish and wildlife am I the only person that sees conflict of interest? By the way I think your website is very well put together with great wolf photography. I will buy the robinson book on Amazon thanks

  82. avatar jerryB says:

    Goodmorning All
    Heard some very disturbing news a few minutes ago from a reliable source within an “agency”.
    Seems IDFG is seriously considering killing wolf pups in their dens come springtime.
    This goes along with Ken Fischman’s comment regarding the Commission and using “all tools” available.
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)….WHAT SAY YOU???

  83. avatar Salle says:

    William,

    I see the conflict of interest in most of the commissioners and you are absolutely right. This is quite common in the Idaho way of governing. I am glad you called, what did they say?

    I was trying to look up info on the reflective eye color question and was not able to come up with laymans’ terms for this but I did browse a couple research articles from peer-reviewed publications and found that (a friend also eluded to this recently during a discussion of why wolves’ eyes reflect a certain color):

    It is due to the rod and cone configuration and number and type of which determines the reflective color we see when light is shining in the eyes of different animals in the night. These are adaptations via evolutionary processes based on their survival needs/activities and whether they are nocturnal or not. Thus, you will see this eye color type in, say nocturnal carnivores, because their eyes are configured to see shape and motion in the dark, humans seem to be less nocturnal and have evolved to see motion and shape in the daylight more clearly than in the dark. The colors of the retina (the color you see in daylight) was not addressed in the articles I browsed but having two cats in the house, one with with green eyes the other with gold eyes seems relative to coat color yet I know that Huskies and “sled dogs” that my friend has have blue eyes that helps them see in bright snow in daylight.)

    That’s the best explanation I could find in a quick search online. I live about 100 miles from the nearest reference library so that’s what I have available but I have been curious about that myself.

  84. avatar Salle says:

    Jerry B,

    …read my post above from early yesterday. The state has always and still maintains that eradication by any means is the official position regardless of the faux management plan approved by USFWS. It will require re-listing via ESA to make them stop this insanity because they have no intention of doing anything other than removing all the wolves from the state and making certain that no scientific studies can be conducted in Idaho.

    My hope is that the Honorable Judge Molloy will not only overturn the delisting but will eliminate the special 10(j) ruling as well. It hasn’t worked and keeps suffering changes that usurp the meaning of the ESA listing in the first place simply to placate the ranching nobility who ravage our public lands with impunity and their subjects who are the uneducated renegades who religiously conduct the SS&S protocol. If it weren’t for taxpayer subsidies, they would initiate ceding processes from the nation. They’re kind of like the Quebequois of the US.

  85. avatar william huard says:

    I called Mark Gambins office, where one of the secretaries was unaware of this thrill kill event. these “sportsmen” are a disgrace to real conservation minded hunters-how dumb can you be with a potential protection order from a judge looming?

  86. avatar gline says:

    “The state has always and still maintains that eradication by any means is the official position regardless of the faux management plan…” blah blah

    Why is this??? This just keeps getting more insane.

  87. avatar izabelam says:

    Can someone post links to some of the authorities to write letters. I will send them to all my friends, hoping for some letters. How is Sun Valley resort responding?

  88. avatar jerryB says:

    izabelam…
    go to Facebook and “wildwolf”
    I believe there’s info there.

  89. avatar william huard says:

    Mark- this is my second request for an answer on this thrill kill event-. Is the Idaho Fish and Game condoning and supporting this event? Why are commissioners in the state members of this sportsmen in name only fish and game club? How are wolf tags issued for this event that they are advertising- wolves are worth 3 points!!!!

  90. avatar Jay says:

    William, If I may chime in, once a “sportsman” buys his wolf tag, it’s his to do with what he wants. If he chooses to kill a wolf and enter it in one of these neanderthal contests, that’s perfectly legal. To the best of my knowledge, IDFG has no say or input on sanctioning these imbecile gatherings.

  91. avatar Jay says:

    I might add, if hunting ever gets banned, it won’t be for what the anti-hunting groups do, it will be for the conduct of these morons that are destroying the image of real hunters.

  92. avatar william huard says:

    Jay- I agree 100%.

  93. avatar Salle says:

    gline,

    It has everything to do with which interest groups control the state government. They have owned and operated the state for a very long time and always get what they want regardless of the needs and desires of anyone else who lives and votes there. The citizens of Idaho who oppose this nonsense are considered outsiders and marginalized accordingly. I was once called a communist for objecting to the status quo…

    When the feds come along and try to correct this oligarchic situation, all hell breaks loose among the “control party” and then it’s all about how the feds are foisting unconstitutional controls upon them. That’s when the extremists begin their calls to action… It’s pretty obvious if you live there for a couple years and certainly if you witness an election cycle or two.

  94. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    All –

    As I explained in one of my first posts, my participation in this blog is at my own initiative, with HQ approval, after following the blog for months. I see a benefit to the public and to my agency for participation in the dialog on wildlife conservation and management. I do not vet my responses ahead of time and generally, my posts are based on my assessment of Commission/Agency policies and positions, though I frequently consult with Department and academic wildlife biologists with more experience or expertise than I have on specific topics.

    OF COURSE, my comments reflect the programs, policies and positions of the Commission and Department. That’s the role I am serving – to help readers of this blog understand the where, why and how of IDFG programs and management actions. As a fish and wildlife scientist (B.S. Conservation, M.S. Zoology – Idaho State University) I will also comment on basic wildlife biology/ecology/management issues. The controversy I’ve generated with my posts is no different than other controversies my agency or any other natural resource agency deals with on a variety of other public resource management topics – on a routine basis. Passionate convictions by committed conservationists (hunters and anglers included) make controversy inevitable. The rancor that comes with the controversy is simply a part of that dynamic. I will continue to participate in these discussions until I conclude that my participation is no longer constructive or Ralph tells me to stop.

    Repeating myself again – I respect the passion and convictions of all who participate in this dialog and will try to respond to all constructive posts that are relevant to the role I’m trying to serve. This blog serves a valuable purpose. I’m thankful to Ralph for providing the forum for all who participate.

  95. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Percy –

    “perhaps you could tell us what your biologists think might be the result of killing alpha pairs, and just breaking up packs in general like this?”

    I spoke to this in several previous posts. Years of experience with wolf hunting in Canada and Alaska have documented that wolves killed by hunters are predominantly young, inexperienced pack members. The concern that hunting will disrupt the social integrity of packs on a broad scale, with consequences of starving pups and sub-adults or increased depredation of livestock is not supported by those years of data and observations.

    “If you used “all available science and data” in your decision-making, would your management plan for wolves be any different?”

    With management objectives that include sustaining a robust and viable Idaho wolf population at a level that also provides for desired hunting, wildlife viewing and private property protection, we do use the best available science and data in the wolf management plan and to accomplish the objectives of the plan. If you believe the IDFG is overlooking essential science or data (I assume you do) – explain and I will try to respond.

    “Numbers of individuals are not a good way to manage populations of a social predator that is distributed patchily across the landscape. Would you argue otherwise? The euphemism “harvest” when killing predators is ridiculous…”

    Sound wildlife management includes quantifiable objectives, typically including numerical population targets. Idaho wolf population objectives take into account variation in distributional densities – e.g. the wolf hunting season harvest/kill limits by wolf hunting management zones. If I understand you correctly, it seems that Idaho wolf management follows the principle you described.

    Euphemisms aside – descriptive adjectives like harvest, kill or take are used interchangeably to describe public and agency actions that remove individuals from managed populations. Wolf hunting is one appropriate, sustainable public beneficial use of wolves as a wildlife resource. I understand that the term “harvest” – to describe the human use of a wolf for the pelt as a trophy or clothing is disagreeable to many. Others adjectives – kill, population control, removal, take could also be used correctly if they accurately describe the intended action.

    “It’s hard for me to believe that long-term scientific studies examining the effects of wolves on prey populations, vegetative communities, and ecosystems were sacrificed….”

    There are no long-term scientific studies that I know of that have been sacrificed or that are at risk due to the Idaho wolf hunting season or the wolf management plan for that matter. If you have something specific in mind, please share it.

    Chuck –

    “Last year unit 39 had 1200 doe tags issued and just barely over 400 deer were killed, did they extend that season….. This clearly shows they are treating the wolves differently then the other big game.”

    Yes and no. The 1200 controlled hunt doe tags allowed in a portion of big game management unit 39 reflects the amount of doe hunting opportunity regional wildlife managers could provide to meet the population management objectives for deer in that geographical area. The total number of tags is NOT the number of deer managers intend to be harvested/killed during the hunt. Hunter success rates and the total number of tags (hunting opportunity) determine the number of deer harvested/killed/taken by hunters in a given season. This wolf season is guided by conservative harvest/kill limits for each wolf hunting zone. Because this is the first wolf hunting season in Idaho we intended that the implementation of the season be guided by adaptive management principles – i.e. we will learn as we manage and the management plan and management actions based on knowledge gained. Hunter success was a large unknown. Late in the season, it is clear that hunting will not achieve the management objective for this hunt of removing 220 wolves from the Idaho population – within the season framework the Commission set last summer.
    As a wildlife resource managed by modern standards and guidelines for all North American wildlife – wolves are being managed no differently than other species.

    jerryB –

    “your dismissal and lack of knowledge of the role wolves play in the trophic cascades is pathetic, and shows the lack of scientific integrity associated with IDFG and their “wolf management”.

    This is an important topic. I posted comments on trophic cascade theory in earlier threads also. Jerry, I did not/do not dismiss the role of wolves in regulating prey populations and subsequent cascading effects among other species and the landscape. My comments on trophic cascade theory are cautionary. The exuberant invocation of trophic cascade theory as proof of some inevitable benefit of wolves returning to all landscapes is simply not supported – yet – by research. My comments were/are directed to Idaho wolf populations and their unknown impact on broad ecological functions. To say that wolves in the Lolo Zone (e.g.) will inevitably result in landscape scale ecologic benefits by “releasing” aspen communities from elk over-browsing is not a sound thesis. Top predators – lions, bear and humans have exerted a profound and continuous impact on elk, deer and other ungulates in areas outside of the NP’s for centuries. Elk and other large ungulate behavior in the Lolo Zone does not now and has not in the last century resembled elk behavior in YNP or GNP. There are and will be ecological impacts of wolves on the landscapes they are recently returned to, but we have scant understanding of those effects and won’t without years of additional research. Idaho wolf management is not lacking scientific integrity with respect to potential ecological benefits that may be realized by the renewed presence of wolves on our landscape.
    If you see something concrete in a scientific weakness or fault, I’m eager to discuss it with you.

    William Huard –

    “…is the Idaho fish and game supporting the thrill kill predator derby? do you think such sporting activity helps the image of your state?”

    Predator derbies are legal organized events. Big buck contests and similar organized events for other game species are also legal in Idaho. Other than recognizing that the predator derby you reference is legal, I don’t know of an official Department position or any anticipated effect on the state image of Idaho.

    Salle –

    “Is there any other “game animal” that is hunted that close to the birthing time?”

    As noted in earlier posts by others and me, numerous game species (all ungulates, other predators and a wide variety of small game and fish) are hunted/pursued during mating and gestation periods. “Close to” birthing time is a relative question, but in my region we conduct last season elk hunts through the end of January when cows are carrying well formed fetuses – for the purpose of controlling elk depredations of hay stacks and other livestock conflicts, similar to our wolf depredation management objectives.

    “That IS the objective for the hunt in the first place! If you were actually interested in the best available science, you wouldn’t be hunting the subjects of the studies…”

    The wolf hunt serves several management objectives. Wolf population control, providing sustainable hunting opportunity for a fur-bearer game species are two. Nowhere in the plan or the hunt objectives is there an objective of “thrill killing”. Obviously, some posting in this blog have chosen to characterize any hunter who desires to harvest/kill/take/remove a wolf during the legal hunting season as indulging in “thrill killing”. Emphatic repetition of this misconception is not self-evidence that it is correct. I suggest caution with the use of the term “thrill killing” as a sociopathic pejorative to describe hunting of wolves or other species. I believe this is an example of the gulf between the hunting and non-hunting segments of our society that is based on ignorance. This requires more discussion and dialog that we can accomplish in one thread, but it’s central to much of the acrimony being exchanged in these charged discussions.
    Again, the Idaho wolf hunt is not interfering with ongoing studies that I’m aware of. If you know of specific on-going research that this hunt has interfered with please inform me.

    “Can you spell E-R-A-D-I-C-A-T-I-O-N ??? Because that has been the “objective” of the state’s overpaid blowhards on wolves since 1995.”

    Salle! – what a silly, albeit nonsensical accusation. Can you spell ESA? It is not in the interest of any state to see any species, especially one with the socio-political credentials of wolves. It is in Idaho’s and Montana’s best interests to manage for sustainable, healthy wolf populations in our respective state boundaries. The passionate controversy we’re experiencing on this blog alone has far more to do with the management objectives themselves than any conceivable risk that wolves will again be extirpated from the NRMR.

  96. avatar Nabeki says:

    William…
    Well, we have more in common then just conservation…I’m a nurse too. So you work in Med-Surg? That’s the toughest nursing job there is.

    Back to the wolves….the derby is giving hunters a bad name and I call on all hunters that are good stewards to speak out on this. Just horrific, I not only feel sorry for the wolves but the other animals as well.

    Michael’s book is so compelling and well researched. It may be hard to read at times but it’s history and so people should know what the feds and agriculture did to canis lupus. When you read it you realize those intolerant, arrogant attitudes haven’t changed in some places.

  97. avatar Nabeki says:

    William….
    Thanks for the props on the blog! I get most of my pics from Wikemedia Commons.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  98. avatar JEFF E says:

    a question is; can an animal classified as a game species, i.e. wolf, be part of a derby as opposed to one classified as non-game, i.e. coyote?
    Still having said that killing just to kill and to promote that such as “sportsmen for (some) fish and (some)wildlife” do is indicative of demented thought process.

  99. avatar Elk275 says:

    In Montana it is illegal to hold contest involving big game animals with the exception of the Boone and Crockett awards program. Therefore, a wolf could not be entered into a coyote hunting contest. Check the Idaho laws.

  100. avatar smoothiniron says:

    Thank you, Mark Gamblin for your reasonable comments on Idaho’s wolf management. My hope is that Washington’s wolf plan will be science based as well and take into account ALL species. we will see?

  101. avatar william huard says:

    Mr. Gamblin- I appreciate your attempt to answer at least part of my question. As an outsider I can only shake my head and wonder what you folks are thinking. You are OWNED like servants by the livestock industry, and your commissioners in your department participate in conflict of interest at every turn. Unfortunately the biggest losers in all this is the wildlife. Thats the sad part. I can tell you Idaho and Wyoming do not get high marks for their selfish and distorted view of wildlife management.

  102. avatar JEFF E says:

    “……It is in Idaho’s and Montana’s best interests to manage for sustainable, healthy wolf populations in our respective state boundaries……. ”
    Is that why Idaho had 15 rejected management plans, a house MOU to remove all wolves by any means necessary and commission members who belong to repugnant anti-predator clubs like sportsmen for (some)fish and (some) wildlife?

  103. “……It is in Idaho’s and Montana’s best interests to manage for sustainable, healthy wolf populations in our respective state boundaries……. ”

    I think it is, but my long Idaho experience is that the current political leaders view Idaho as a place where we are not all in the same boat.

    They have a special boat for themselves big business, e.g., Micron, and our livestock nobility. Looking at their health care cuts and budget cuts, I figure their view is, “we got ours and you might as well go die.” So I have a lot of anger toward these people unrelated to wildlife issues.

  104. avatar JEFF E says:

    the simple fact is Mark, you may be primarily concerned with the ethical management of wildlife, I feel you are even taking into account the “party line” posts.
    On the other hand the commissioners and the executive branch and a large portion of the legislative branch are not.

    That is supported by overwhelming empirical data.
    To claim otherwise is plain foolish

  105. avatar kt says:

    There is nothing “ethical” about Fish and Game’s current “management” of wildlife. When the Times-News editorializes against you as being brutish … Ya know ya got a problem.

    Gamblin is a propagandist. Period.

  106. avatar JEFF E says:

    kt
    LOL

    when the Times-News is cautioning restraint concerning wolves (the home of saveelk) then the commission has become a loose cannon.

  107. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    William Huard –
    I did get your telephone message regarding the predator derby. Thank you for taking the time to call and discuss this with me directly. Since you didn’t leave your phone number, I’ll offer to call you to discuss in more detail if you want. You can send me your phone number at:
    mark.gamblin@idfg.idaho.gov

    This is my Department email address. My office phone number is 208-232-4703. All are welcome to contact me directly if desired.

  108. avatar JB says:

    “To say that wolves in the Lolo Zone (e.g.) will inevitably result in landscape scale ecologic benefits by “releasing” aspen communities from elk over-browsing is not a sound thesis.”

    Actually, I would say it IS a sound thesis; it simply is unproven. Unfortunately, under Idaho’s current management regime we won’t be able to say much about trophic cascade theory. When the hand of harvest is applied equally (i.e. wolf densities are kept low everywhere), determining how wolves affect ecosystems becomes next to impossible.

    Idaho wolves are managed for elk hunters and agriculture, period.

  109. avatar Layton says:

    sorry Mark,

    Your attempt at trying to explain things logically to some of the greenneck folks here and their following attempts to denigrate anything and everything you say simply illustrates the futility of trying to use any sort of logic when so much unfounded emotion and so many “rampant rumors” involved.

    We poor, uninformed, ignorant, backward citizens of Idaho just can’t/don’t seem to realize that we are serfs to the Landed Nobility of the state of Idaho.

    Flee now or you WILL be assimilated!! 8)

  110. avatar JB says:

    Layton:

    I appreciate Mark’s reasoned approach, I simply disagree with his conclusion. If that makes me a “greenneck,” then so be it.

  111. avatar JB says:

    We all know IDF&G’s idea of wolf management is to reduce the population down to as few as they can without relisting; they have made that clear enough. Doing this benefits livestock producers and (ostensibly) elk hunters (the two most influential stakeholders where IDF&G is concerned). The assertion that IDF&G is providing viewing opportunities when their goal is to reduce wolves to fewer than 1 animal per 100 square miles is a joke. Good luck finding an animal to view! Moreover, the assertion that they manage wolves like any other game species is horse shit. Show me any other game animal that is managed at the densities they plan to keep wolves. If you value a game species you don’t manage it by attempting to minimize its population. Such management objectives send the opposite message.

    Wolves might be classified as a “game” animal, but they are managed like a “nuisance” species.

  112. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    JB –
    Good point, poor choice of words on my part. I would be more clear to say: “…. is not a sound conclusion.” I am skeptical of the (hypo)thesis (in my hypoothetical – for an area like the Lolo Zone), but it is a valid question that can be answered by research.
    Do you believe that Idaho wolves are being managed to “fail” – in the sense that this management plan intends to push wolves to extirpation again?

  113. avatar JB says:

    Some final comments on the efficacy of Idaho’s wolf management…

    -In 2001 the Idaho legislature passed HJM005, demanding the removal of wolves from Idaho “by whatever means necessary”.

    – In 2002, they reaffirmed this position when the Senate passed Concurrent Resolution 134.

    – In 2007, Idaho Governor Butch Otter stated that he would support the killing of all but 100 of the state’s wolves.

    – In 2009, the Idaho House passed HB138, which attempted to hold FWS liable should someone be killed or injured by wolves. The bill’s sponsor argued that “someone is going to get killed.”

    – In 2009, an Idaho F&G commissioner asserted that Idaho would have a wolf hunt whether it was legal or not.

    – In 2009, the Idaho legislature passed a law directing IDF&G to contact other state agencies and offer wolves to any state that wanted them.

    -In 2009, Idaho F&G issued a report estimating the NEGATIVE economic impacts of wolves on Idaho’s hunting revenues. Importantly, they assumed that (a) all mortality caused by wolves was additive (not compensatory), and (b) that reductions in elk populations were linearly related to reductions in elk hunting revenues. More importantly, they never even acknowledged that peer-reviewed research indicates that wolves provide ~35.5 million per year in benefits to MT, WY, and ID.

    *MY OPINION: Idaho will “manage” (i.e. kill) wolves back to the minimum population they can without management authority reverting to FWS.

  114. avatar JB says:

    “Do you believe that Idaho wolves are being managed to ‘fail’.”

    Mark: Sticking with your academic analogy, I believe wolves are being manged for a “D-” population; that is, a population that just barely passes.

  115. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Mark you just cant kill a wolf… thats what they are getting to, and unless IDFG says no wolf will be killed for any reason and the states big game herds are managed exclusively for wolves you wont find many friends here!!! Now if you guys can concentrate on getting the quality of the mule deer herds up in SW ID I would love to come back and do a little hunting!!! 🙂 And could you lower the cost a little for the tag, and also could you establish a point system? Just my wish list….

  116. avatar Dawn says:

    I am reading all the blogs and I gotta say some have facts that I thank you for and others are feeling harsh about what is happening, but are we looking at the problem the right way ? Alot of people including myself have moved out to the West to enjoy the wildlife but did this hurt the wildlife ? Of course it did , Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1994, do you really think that the surroundings areas would boom with human population ? Don’t think so but it did ! Is this happening in any other parts of the lower states ? No, it is called control and doller bill ya all ! I just live in the West where I do want the wildlife and wolves to be here and I do sign petitons and send emails to my senators to stop this what else can I do ?

  117. avatar Salle says:

    Mr. Mark Gamblin (IDFG),

    Please, I am insulted by your response to the facts that I have presented.

    “Close to” birthing time is a relative question, but in my region we conduct last season elk hunts through the end of January when cows are carrying well formed fetuses – for the purpose of controlling elk depredations of hay stacks and other livestock conflicts, similar to our wolf depredation management objectives.

    And this is all based on scientific evidence? Sounds like an emotive situation placated by the agency and governing bodies. The health of the specie be damned.

    [“That IS the objective for the hunt in the first place! If you were actually interested in the best available science, you wouldn’t be hunting the subjects of the studies…”]

    “The wolf hunt serves several management objectives. Wolf population control, providing sustainable hunting opportunity for a fur-bearer game species are two. Nowhere in the plan or the hunt objectives is there an objective of ‘thrill killing’. Obviously, some posting in this blog have chosen to characterize any hunter who desires to harvest/kill/take/remove a wolf during the legal hunting season as indulging in ‘thrill killing’. ”

    Excuse me for noticing but you have confused me with someone else here, I never used this term nor do I intend to. However, once again, the official position of the state still advocates the removal of all wolves within the state boundaries by any means. Show me where that has changed. The 17+ versions of the state wolf management plan never addressed that nasty MOU and I have yet to see any proof of this.

    “Emphatic repetition of this misconception is not self-evidence that it is correct. I suggest caution with the use of the term ‘thrill killing’ as a sociopathic pejorative to describe hunting of wolves or other species. I believe this is an example of the gulf between the hunting and non-hunting segments of our society that is based on ignorance. This requires more discussion and dialog that we can accomplish in one thread, but it’s central to much of the acrimony being exchanged in these charged discussions.”

    Actually, I think you deserve points for wordiness here but your misinterpretation of my feelings on this are truly beyond the pale. I am not emotional nor do I state anything other than fact and experienced knowledge in this debate. I’ve been dealing with this for so long, and hearing nothing but remanufactured, disingenuous arguments from your agency and other authorities in the state that I have become numbed to any emotive interests and only wish to promote honesty which seems to evade those who promote this propaganda you have offered.

    “Again, the Idaho wolf hunt is not interfering with ongoing studies that I’m aware of. If you know of specific on-going research that this hunt has interfered with please inform me.”

    How about every pack that has a collared member who lost one of their pack during the hunt or any who have been involved in any “chase” during the hunting season? I suspect that that would mean nearly every pack in the state. There are several ongoing studies, including that of the Phantom Hill pack near Ketchum that have suffered loss of members due to this hunt. And tell me this; just how has your agency educated the hunting public about which animals are alphas and which are not? And how is it that pack dynamics aren’t of interest to any of you biologists? Any studies that were in the planning stages, as are some that have been approved for funding but were awaiting the end of the hunt in December are now being negatively affected. I can think of at least three. What about those students who were anticipating and having worked on background research prior to going out into the field with their projects and now have to start all over again? What about their grants and tuition, that continues to increase each semester? All for the sake of fulfilling the “hunting desires” of hunters and Butch’s buddies? Sounds oligarchic to me, but I’m just a policy wonk who would like to see a more balanced playing field and who actually has an appreciation of the democratic process.

    [“Can you spell E-R-A-D-I-C-A-T-I-O-N ??? Because that has been the “objective” of the state’s overpaid blowhards on wolves since 1995.”] (my comment)

    “Salle! – what a silly, albeit nonsensical accusation. Can you spell ESA? It is not in the interest of any state to see any species, especially one with the socio-political credentials of wolves. It is in Idaho’s and Montana’s best interests to manage for sustainable, healthy wolf populations in our respective state boundaries. The passionate controversy we’re experiencing on this blog alone has far more to do with the management objectives themselves than any conceivable risk that wolves will again be extirpated from the NRMR.”

    Oh please, spare me the personal touch. How silly of me to anticipate that you would admit that this actually is the case! The state’s only interest is in retaining a bare minimum population of wolves is to avoid the feds’ either relisting or taking back management control from the state, nothing more. The ESA is one of the biggest boogey-man evils that Idaho has ever encountered and not one legislator in the state will be happy until the Act is rescinded once and for all. Kempthorne did his best to accomplish this while he was governor and then as Sec. of Interior.

    The hunt is all about placating the ranchers and wolf-hatemongers and trophy hunters. There is no other purpose in hunting this specie as they regulate their own numbers based on prey availability with their established range. MANY STUDIES conducted over the past fifteen+ years have shown strong evidence that this is the case, many of which were conducted in the state of Idaho, and fortunately sans any assistance from the agency you represent.

    Nice try, sir, but I’m not buying any of your claims for a second. The points I make concerning the state position have been repeated to me by legislators and agency wonks for over a decade now, you can’t convince me on a blog that you have anything new or more realistic to offer by your wordy admonishments.

  118. avatar Wendy says:

    Whoa! Go Salle! 8~)

  119. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Salle… Why would ID want them relisted?

    Here is your statement…

    “The state’s only interest is in retaining a bare minimum population of wolves is to avoid the feds’ either relisting or taking back management control from the state, nothing more.”

    Here is your previous statement…

    “Can you spell E-R-A-D-I-C-A-T-I-O-N ??? Because that has been the “objective” of the state’s overpaid blowhards on wolves since 1995.”

    So exactly what do you believe? That they are managing for a minimum of wolves or eradication? Cant have your pie and eat it to…. Once again a wolfie that feels there is no justification that a wolf should or can be killed for any reason.

  120. avatar Salle says:

    The point is that Mr. Gamblin said the state has no interest in removing all the wolves in the state. However, that isn’t the state’s official position yet they are using the language of “healthy and robust” population because it sounds good, makes them sound like they are sincere and holds the line at keeping the federal agency (USFWS) from taking control away by saying that they have no interest in eradicating the entire population within the state. The reality, as pointed out by JB, is that the state’s official position is that they would like to eradicate the entire population of wolves i the state. His comments are propaganda and perhaps that is part of his job description, required to keep his job. If he didn’t buy the snake oil, he wouldn’t have his pseudo public service job.

    Nytol…

  121. avatar timz says:

    sorry Mark,

    “Your attempt at trying to explain things logically to some of the greenneck folks here and their following attempts to denigrate anything and everything you say simply illustrates the futility of trying to use any sort of logic when so much unfounded emotion and so many “rampant rumors” involved.
    We poor, uninformed, ignorant, backward citizens of Idaho just can’t/don’t seem to realize that we are serfs to the Landed Nobility of the state of Idaho.
    Flee now or you WILL be assimilated”

    Another riveting post from the village idiot in support of the IDF&G flunkie.

  122. avatar JEFF E says:

    Mark,
    please respond point by point to JBs’ post of 8:46 pm squaring it with your “best interest” and “healthy and robust” claims that you continually make.

  123. avatar nabeki says:

    Mark says:
    Years of experience with wolf hunting in Canada and Alaska have documented that wolves killed by hunters are predominantly young, inexperienced pack members.
    ====
    Tell that to Cottonwood alpha 527F and her mate.

    =====
    Predator derbies are legal organized events. Big buck contests and similar organized events for other game species are also legal in Idaho. Other than recognizing that the predator derby you reference is legal, I don’t know of an official Department position or any anticipated effect on the state image of Idaho.
    ===================
    Could you take off your IDFG hat for just a moment? These are grown men, running around the woods, blowing away innocent animals for points and prizes. You don’t see anything about this that could be a negative for Idaho’s image?? Please tell me you’re kidding??

  124. avatar nabeki says:

    izabelam….
    I have the links up to all the contacts on the front page of my blog…. Please pass them around. Maybe we can get some push back on this.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com/

  125. avatar JB says:

    Just want to follow up on Salle’s post and explain in a bit more detail the apparent discrepancy pointed out by Josh…

    The Idaho legislature’s official position is that wolves are to be removed by any means. Of course, we all know this is not possible without relisting, which put’s IDF&G in a quandary. IDF&G’s “compromise” (I’m using that term very loosely) is to reduce the number of wolves to the bare minimum allowable in order to keep them from being relisted. To call the resulting population “healthy” or “robust” is a considerable stretch, in my opinion.

    – – – – –

    Josh says: “Mark you just cant kill a wolf…unless IDFG says no wolf will be killed for any reason and the states big game herds are managed exclusively for wolves you wont find many friends here!!! Now if you guys can concentrate on getting the quality of the mule deer herds up in SW ID I would love to come back and do a little hunting!”

    –Not sure if anyone else found this comment ironic? Josh berates people for advocating for a more substantial wolf population and then, in the next breath, advocates for a more substantial elk population.

    Josh: why is it that you think only your interests should be served? I submit that if Idaho managed elk like they are managing wolves we’d have a full scale hunter rebellion in the state.

    As Ralph has pointed out many times, there is no conflict between elk hunters and wolf advocates. Wolves need elk to thrive. It is in everyone’s best interest to have robust elk populations on the landscape.

    The conflict is over whether a density dependent carnivore should be managed as a nuisance for the benefit of the livestock industry.

  126. avatar JB says:

    Sorry, should’ve written:

    “Josh berates people for advocating for a more substantial wolf population and then, in the next breath, advocates for a more substantial mule deer population.”

    My apologies.

  127. avatar JB says:

    “These are grown men, running around the woods, blowing away innocent animals for points and prizes.”

    Nabeki: While I agree with you in principle regarding these predator killing contests, I would not use the term “innocent” to describe any animal; it implies that animals are also capable of being “guilty”. Wildlife are neither innocent nor guilty, they simply do what they have evolved to do.

  128. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    Mark

    I have a simple question. Has the Idaho Commission ordered IDFG to hunt wolves down to an absolute minimum, regardless of biological and ecological factors, to avoid relisting?

    RH

  129. avatar bambi says:

    I would be curious what the Idaho elk and deer hunting success is this year compared to past years. Is it changing or is it remaining the same? Mr. Gamblin if you would care to share?

  130. avatar Salle says:

    Robert,

    You may never find any official documentation on it but it is what they have said, repeatedly, at public hearings and other places right up until the Molloy decision last year. They have “toned it down a bit” just before the hunt took place because there is another lawsuit before Molloy that he is deliberating at present. It isn’t in their best interest to make such statements in public while the decision is pending. The judge may have allowed the hunt to take place in order to see what the state would actually do, I don’t expect that this extension will help the state’s argument any.

  131. Dear Ralph: I have carefully examined these comments & have noticed a pattern. Gamblin only replies to those comments he can refute, mostly with sophistry. Case in point: his claim that only naive, suborder wolves are killed by hunters. The fact is that all the YS wolves are naive, as shown by the hunters being able to virtually wipe out the Druids in a few days. In this, he is hewing to the pattern I saw at the Commissioner’s meeting, when seemingly reasonable men, ignored the testimony of wolf advocates, and did unreasonable things. I will not waste my time and energy on Gamblin.

    I am new to this list, so can you explain how I can get off this particular thread. I still want to read your articles because I find them quite informative. Thanks

  132. avatar Wendy says:

    Dear Ralph, Dr. Fischman,

    I believe you meant to write “the Cottonwoods” rather than “the Druids”. To my knowledge, none of the current Druid pack has been felled by a bullet.

  133. avatar william huard says:

    At least Mark Gamblin has taken the time to address some of our concerns, there are people that he answers to that are the bigger problem here. The whole structural makeup of these fish and wildlife commissioners and Board of game in Alaska are the ones responsible for these outdated anti-predator policies. I was struck how anti-wildlife Idaho is when the moose and calf were on the ice, the mother fell in, and people in Idaho had the feeling that to let nature take its course was the best solution to the problem. That told volumes about the states attitude toward wildlife

  134. avatar Save bears says:

    William,

    The National Park Service also has the same policies that were shown when the moose broke through the ice…I am not saying I agree with them…but I know the NPS has allowed bison, elk and other animals drown when this occurs…I know there is quite a divide, between the let it ride policy and human invention desire…

  135. avatar Layton says:

    timmyz,

    “Another riveting post from the village idiot in support of the IDF&G flunkie”

    Whazamatter?? Did your mommy lose your binky again??

    Another demonstration of the boost in bravery that a keyboard and monitor provide.

  136. avatar Layton says:

    bambi,

    “I would be curious what the Idaho elk and deer hunting success is this year compared to past years. Is it changing or is it remaining the same?”

    A lot of the kind of info is posted on the Idaho F&G website. There are several years of data there.

  137. avatar william huard says:

    save bears- it was just the attitude, it seemed very callous to me. Where I live firefighters or other rescue personnell are more than happy to help out wildlife. Idaho said they did not want to risk the well-being of their people. These people are trained for these events, are they not?

  138. avatar Save bears says:

    I don’t know if there people are trained for this type of rescue, which I imagine would be quite a bit different than rescuing a human that fell through the ice. Being honest with you, I don’t know if most of the rescue workers are actually trained to rescue wildlife from frozen waters, but I do know I have seen quite a few news stories from around the country on these people rescuing wildlife..

  139. avatar JEFF E says:

    Ken F,
    just go to top of page and click on the banner. will take you to home.

  140. avatar Nabeki says:

    JB…
    I do see animals as innnocent in the sense of unknowing, maybe a better word would be unsuspecting as in: unaware grown men are running around the woods trying to blow them away for points and prizes.

  141. avatar Tim says:

    Can someone tell me the difference between a predator derby and fishing derby? Is one considered ethical and the other not? I personally don’t care but obviously some really care. A lot of states have them its not just an Idaho thing.

  142. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    All –
    Lot’s of comments. I’ll try to be concise.

    JB – Here’s my summary of your previous points. I’m sure I will miss one or more points you want to make. Please clarify if I do:
    1) Setting management objectives and managing Idaho wildlife for select public segments at the expense of or ignoring others;

    The process of managing and allocating wildlife resource benefits is responsible to serve the desires of the public owners and users of the resource and those who are affected by those wildlife resources. The hunting public, non-hunting public and the public that depends of agriculture for a living are each stakeholders in this process. In this state, the hunting public and the agriculture community have been and continue to be very important stakeholders. The non-hunting public and wolf advocates are also stakeholders who participate in the wildlife management process and who do have a voice in management planning and implementation. HOW these diverse interests are served by the process is the challenge wildlife managers in every state struggle with. I believe most of the debate on this blog, and your points JB, are rooted in disagreement/dissatisfaction with the management objectives and management actions that do not adequately serve (accomodate) the preferences of non-hunters and those who prefer wolves to be managed without human intervention or at maximum population limits. Using wolf viewing areas as an example, the Commission considered a variety of options for wolf population objectives and public use benefits that include wolf viewing and the economic benefits that accrue from wolf viewing. The management plan, population objectives and this year’s hunting season are products of the public input the Commission received from the Idaho public, Commission deliberations and ultimately the Commission’s decisions. The Commission decided that at this time, capping and reducing the size of the Idaho wolf population is the highest priority in order to achieve other wildlife management objectives (elk especially), protect private property (livestock and pets e.g.) while maintaining wolf viewing opportunities although not at the level desired by wolf viewing advocates. Wildlife resource management unavoidably includes allocation of limited wildlife resource beneficial uses among diverse desires and demands. The process is dynamic and ongoing.

    2) The history of Idaho Legislative, Executive Branch and F&G Commission resolutions, statements and draft plans demonstrates determination to regain and retain state management authority for wolves by meeting ESA criteria for a healthy, sustainable population of wolves in the state;

    I agree.

    3) The state intends to manage the Idaho wolf population below the levels wolves would realize absent human intervention.

    I agree. The key issues, in my opinion, are: will the state manage the Idaho wolf population at responsible levels that ensure a healthy, viable and sustainable population of wolves for future generations (i.e. meet the requirements of ESA)?; and will wolf management reflect the desires of the Idaho public?

    I’ve had fits posting from my home computer. I’ll respond to Salle and others in separate posts.

  143. avatar bambi says:

    Layton, thanks I have looked at the numbers and without creating an in depth spreadsheet it is difficult to develop a trend. I was hoping for a response from those that likely have developed trends to analize harvest statistics and predator densities. Real numbers should give absolute results I would think. I dont have time or the know-how to create such a comparison.

  144. avatar JEFF E says:

    Mark,
    Please respond point by point to JBs’ post of 8:46 pm.and how that squares with your continual we have wolves best interests at heart claims

  145. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Salle –
    OK, not my intent to insult you – I’ll do my best not to. At the top, I apologize for mixing my responses to multiple comments – incorrectly with yours. My response the “thrill killing” comments in another post were not intended to imply anything about your emotions or positions on that topic. In the future, I’ll avoid replying to several comments with one post.

    I’m not clear on your scientific studies/scientific evidence/health of the species point. If you think the Idaho wolf hunting season is interfering with scientific wolf studies, the only potential interaction I know of might be YNP collared wolves being taken by Idaho hunters. I’m not aware of that being the case, but I could be uninformed there. Management actions to reduce/eliminate elk or wolf depredations on private property are not contrary to health of either species nor are those actions contrary to or without support of scientific evidence. That covers a lot of territory though, so please be more specific if I’ve missed your point.
    Wolf collars serve multiple purposes, one of the most important being to monitor the number and status of wolf packs in the state. The IDFG collaborates with others to place collars on wolves for those and other purposes. When collared wolves are taken by hunters additional wolves are collared to maintain or expand collared wolves. Hunting (and other wolf population management actions) and research are both important components of the wolf management plan. Both will continue and neither should preclude the other. I am unaware of any research that is being blocked or prevented by wolf hunting or has been significantly hindered. That doesn’t mean there are not conflicts. If there are, hunting will be one among many complications that are inherent to field research.
    To my knowledge the Department does not provide instruction or training to hunters to distinguish between dominant (alpha) and other members of a wolf pack. Is there are reason you believe that is needed? Dominant wolves have been proportionately rare in hunter wolf kills in Canada and Alaska. We have no reason to expect Idaho wolf harvest/kill/take to deviate from the years of experience in those geographies.
    It seems that we may agree that the state has no incentive to nor does desire to eradicate wolves from Idaho again. That would be a good starting point. Wolf population objectives in the state plan are designed to balance the need and desire for a healthy sustainable wolf population with other equally appropriate and legitimate desires to have elk and other species affected by wolf predation at densities higher than could be maintained at maximum wolf population densities.

  146. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Jeff E –
    My earlier post is my response to your request. By “wolves best interest” – I’m not sure what that means to you. We manage for healthy sustainable wildlife resources for the benefit of society. I suspect that isn’t what you mean by “best interest” of wolves or other species.

  147. avatar JEFF E says:

    -In 2001 the Idaho legislature passed HJM005, demanding the removal of wolves from Idaho “by whatever means necessary”.

    – In 2002, they reaffirmed this position when the Senate passed Concurrent Resolution 134.

    – In 2007, Idaho Governor Butch Otter stated that he would support the killing of all but 100 of the state’s wolves.

    Mark says”It seems that we may agree that the state has no incentive to nor does desire to eradicate wolves from Idaho again.”
    Good lord man, are you completely of touch. Who do you think you are bullshitting?

  148. avatar JEFF E says:

    Mark,
    It was a response but it was not a point by point to JB.

  149. avatar nabeki says:

    Mark,
    Even though you are spouting the party line I have to give you props for your polite demeanor while doing it.

    http://howlingforjustice.com

  150. avatar jerryB says:

    Mark Gamblin……awaiting your response to JB and Jeff E’s list of concern

    -In 2001 the Idaho legislature passed HJM005, demanding the removal of wolves from Idaho “by whatever means necessary”.

    – In 2002, they reaffirmed this position when the Senate passed Concurrent Resolution 134.

    – In 2007, Idaho Governor Butch Otter stated that he would support the killing of all but 100 of the state’s wolves.

    As well as JB’s

  151. avatar gline says:

    Mark:
    “We manage for healthy sustainable wildlife resources for the benefit of society”

    What parts of society Mark?

  152. avatar Salle says:

    I don’t care how careful and polite you are, it’s still misinformation at best and outright dishonest responses and generalizations at the worst. When you maintain that wildlife is a resource, there’s a big problem, period .

    Everybody wants insurance and they expect that someone will be there to protect them form nature, that would be IDF&G or Wildlife Services in this case. Most of the welfare stockmen and public property extraction interests have a stranglehold on the state powers and that is why this is such an ugly mess. As a state agency employee, you will only be able to regurgitate the propaganda until we are sick of you and you are blue in the face. None of the state or agency talking points make sense, nor are they intended to. I have heard nothing new from you, Mr. Gamblin, and I have no further interest in anything you have to offer here. As I said earlier: The state’s only interest is in Making it sound like they intend to retain a bare minimum population of wolves is to avoid the feds’ either relisting or taking back management control from the state, nothing more. You never addressed the state’s official position as JB and I have requested nor are you going to be able to because you and we all know what that is and it has nothing to do with the talking points and pretzel logic you present here as though there’s some honest statement of fact coming from you.

    Please just stop now, you’re not making sense to anyone who has any sense.

  153. avatar gline says:

    As well, that line I quoted above does not fit into your Idaho Fish and Game Mission statement,

    “All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed. It shall be only captured or taken at such times or places, under such conditions, or by such means, or in such manner,

    as will preserve, protect, and perpetuate such wildlife,

    and provide for the citizens of this state and, as by law permitted to others, continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping.”

    I think Idaho power holders do not see the Wolf as part of this mission statement…a population of 100 wolves is a token population and research shows genetic probs with that small of a size.

  154. avatar bambi says:

    Coming forward with a legitimate response to loaded questions here will only get you a barage of emotions, If the answer does not fit the opinion. I am starting to see where the lack of compromise exists. Wolf advocates want to kill the messenger when they dont like the message that differs from a predestined anticipated answer.

  155. avatar JEFF E says:

    bambi,
    can you give specific examples

  156. avatar bambi says:

    As I recall when the wolf hunt started the wolf people were concerned that the real number Fish and Game wanted to reduce wolves to were somewhere around 500. Now as the wolf hunt has evolved and over a hundred have been killed leaving over 700 at this point, all of a suden Fish and game want to reduce wolves to a bare minimum. I have not seen Gamblin change any numbers or waiver in his stance. Just more emotion. I want to know what is actually happening with the game species, not speculate on what hasnt happened yet.

  157. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Jeff E –
    I agree there doesn’t seem to be much hope that some in this blog community might agree with some aspect of Idaho wolf management policy but I try to be optimistic. I was speaking to a portion of Salle’s earlier post (and my comment was to Salle):
    “The state’s only interest is in retaining a bare minimum population of wolves is to avoid the feds’ either relisting or taking back management control from the state, nothing more.”
    The tone of the comment is not supportive but a literal interpretation of the comment includes acknowledgement that the state’s desire and intent is to mangage for sustainability of Idaho wolves, within the criteria of the ESA, and to avoid relisting of wolves. IF we could agree on that, I would consider that progress.

    My response to JB’s historical recitation was pont by point since there seems to be only one point. I have no reason to disagree with the events JB listed. The “point” I took from this history is that the state has consistently objected to the re-introduction of wolves and desires to regain and retain management authority for wolves. The remainder of my response emphasized the state’s committment and self interest in managing wolves within the requirements of the ESA.
    The reality, now, is that the state has one wolf management plan. The plan was written by IDFG professional staff, reviewed and commented on by the public, and approved by the Fish and Game Commission. The plan provides for the management of a sustained, healthy state wolf population. That is the state policy.

  158. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Jeff E. just read all the responses to Marks post and you should have a fairly good idea to what Bambi is talking about.

    JB… Read my post please, I said QUALITY not QUANTITY. I am sure you understand the difference.

  159. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Oh and who was the one preaching that the quota would be reached so fast and wolves were SO easy to kill?? Who was that? lol

  160. avatar Smitty says:

    Mark,

    Kudos to your civility. That seems all to often lost in discussions such as these.

  161. avatar JB says:

    Mark:

    #1) I think you have accurately captured the problem. It boils down to whose interests get served (i.e. elk hunters, livestock producers, or non-consumptive “users”). However, you did leave out one important aspect, and it is the first that I brought up: the Idaho F&G Commission is dominated by hunters and your legislature is dominated by livestock interests. Until non-consumptive users are represented, they have to rely upon the “good will” of people with conflicting interests.

    #2) Well, you have it mostly right. I think your use of the term “healthy” is pure spin. I would also say that while IDF&G have been focused on developing a plan for the sustainable (at least in the short term) management of wolves, the legislature seems Hell bent on undercutting your efforts. One look at the legislative history suggests that the Idaho government is really only interested in getting rid of as many wolves as they can (that is the point I was trying to make in the above post).

    #3) I would go a step further. I *believe* the state of Idaho will manage wolves for as few as they can legally get away with. My reasons are as follows:

    (a) IDF&G’s own surveys show that hunters and livestock producers (the two most important stakeholders) want them managed at the lowest numbers possible without relisting.

    (b) The Idaho F&G commission is composed entirely of hunters.

    (c) The Idaho Legislature’s official position is the removal of all wolves (see my earlier post).

    (d) The Idaho Legislature is full of ranchers.

    (e) Rather than promote wolves as a valued game species, IDF&G releases reports using questionable assumptions that document only the negative impact of wolves on hunting.

    — Mark: Believe it or not, I have a great deal of sympathy for you all; you’re caught between a rock and a hard place. But you seem to believe the solution is to tell us that the sky is orange when we can all see that it is, in fact, blue. Telling us that (a) IDF&G is committed to “healthy” or “robust” wolf populations, (b) hunters “value” wolves as a trophy game animal, and (c) IDF&G is attempting to provide non-consumptive users with viewing opportunities is, to be frank, an insult to our intelligence. The previous actions of this Legislature, the F&G commission, your Governor, and IDF&G itself, belie your assertions.

  162. Josh,

    No one really knew. There was speculation all over the place. In fact, Montana’s quota was reached very quickly. Idaho’s might not be reached even with extended seasons.

    The difference might be because Montana’s wolf country is more open and less rugged than Idaho’s. In addition, Idaho’s quota is also a higher percentage of the total wolf population than Montana’s.

    Finally, I remain very suspicious that there are all that many wolves in the Lolo hunting zone. I’m suggesting this might be mythology that is so well believed that it can’t be ignored. Likewise with the Salmon, and Sawtooth hunting zones.

  163. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Ralph,

    I remember someone saying that based on how many wolves were being per day they estimated that the quota would be reached quickly thats all. I knew they would be hard to kill, I have hunted coyotes for along time and I know how hard they are to hunt so I could just assume wolves would be even harder. Plus those wilderness areas up there are pretty brutal.

  164. avatar JEFF E says:

    Bambi,
    It is Idaho’s stated position to reduce wolves to ~500 and keep them there. That fact can be found any number of places with just a bare effort of research.
    It does not matter what the number is now, how many is killed or not during the open season or any other factor.
    In addition the only reason that it will be kept at 500 is that number provides a cushion so that the unforeseen such as an outbreak of parvo or distemper will still leave the population above the bare minimum which in essence is management for the least numbers possible. It has nothing whatsoever to do with viable or healthy and robust population or for the benefit of any stack holder than the livestock industry and by default the hunting community. One only has to follow the public statements of the legislative branch in addition to legislative action, as brought out in this thread , which Mark refuses to address point by point, and the executive to ascertain what the intent of the state is and who is calling the shots.

  165. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    Robert Haskins –
    “I have a simple question. Has the Idaho Commission ordered IDFG to hunt wolves down to an absolute minimum, regardless of biological and ecological factors, to avoid relisting?”

    A fair question. The wolf population management objectives are in the state management plan. The harvest/kill limits for individual management zones in this year’s hunt, that the Commission approved in July, are the first management action towards achieving the state population objective. All wildlife management policy and management plans (with objectives) are the responsibility of the Fish and Game Commission. In every case, those policies, plans and objectives are the result of public involvement input and professional staff recommendations. It’s the Commission’s responsibility to consider all factors biological/scientific, social and political in it’s deliberations and decisions.
    The state population objectives were not selected to be the absolute minimum. They were chosen to balance many desires for beneficial uses of the state’s wildlife resources, including wolves. So the direct answer is the Commission always gives the Department direction on wildlife management policy, planning and management, but in this case did not direct the Department to manage for an absolute minimum regardless of biological and ecological factors. The Commission certainly does desire to avoid a relisting of wolves.

  166. avatar william huard says:

    The state of Idaho fails to realize that wildlife was put on this earth not for the sole purpose of exploitation by humans through hunting, fishing, and trapping. I have never seen a state with such a disjointed and selfish view of animals. It’s very bizarre! It sucks to be wildlife in Idaho!

  167. avatar josh sutherland says:

    William thats how almost all states manage wildlife in their states, you need to get out more.. But I do remember God saying he gave us dominion over all animals… 🙂

  168. avatar bambi says:

    Seems like 500 is a pretty good cushion since 100 would be relisting status. However Jeff-e as I see it robust and thriving would better be suited at 5000 for most wolf people correct?

  169. avatar william huard says:

    Josh- don’t tell me to get out more. You think you know everything- you don’t know squat.

  170. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    All –
    There are several other comments I want to respond to but I need to give it a rest for a little bit. Thanks to all for your engagement – seriously. One request. Anyone – please be more specific about party line/propoganda/company line complaints. If my responses are simply unwelcome or positions that some cannot agree with, I don’t believe “propoganda” would be an appropriate adjective. If some truly believe that my responses are a deliberate attempt to dodge or distort the facts for fit a desired image or position by myself or my agency – then I will be concerned and want to to know specifically how so.

  171. avatar JEFF E says:

    bambi,
    500 is a pretty good cushion. I am not sure if 100 is still the base number or if so what other factors need to be present or not. In addition that 500 # has to sustain other negatives such as poaching and “control actions” , and all other conditions that would take numbers out of the population.
    So it is in essence managing for the minimum

  172. avatar josh sutherland says:

    William not trying to be rude, but thats how almost all states manage wildlife, not just ID. Thats what I was saying. You are trying to paint ID like they are the only ones who do it like that, as if they are backward and different from everyone else, I was pointing out that they are not alone at all. Almost all western states manage the same, not sure about the midwestern or eastern states, probably different since they are almost all private land.

  173. avatar JEFF E says:

    5000?
    won’t happen

  174. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Jeff E would you rather them manage then for a maximum? Serious question… what population number would you like to see? If you had to put a number on it based off of habitat, prey etc how many wolves do you think ID should have? I just want a number…

  175. avatar william huard says:

    Well Josh- Not all states have predator derby killing events. Not all states think they are superior to wildlife and most do not make determinations which wildlife is varmint and should be shot on sight. That dominion that you refer to is arrogance and ignorant, spewed forth by governors, wildlife commissioners etc. Idaho may not be the only state, but they are at the top of the list.

  176. avatar bambi says:

    Well Jeff, since I do like to hunt and I dont care if there are some wolves I desire to have a harvestable amount of deer and elk for hunters. I want to know what the trend is. Is Hunting suffering because of wolves or no effect or positive effect. I prefer to have predators managed along with deer and elk so that my children will have the opportunities to hunt also. Just as wolf people want answers so do I.

  177. avatar JB says:

    Josh:

    I (in a previous post) estimated total harvest based on the rate of harvest at that time. There are, of course, a number of factors that affect harvest that I could not account for. First and foremost is hunter effort. As many people noted, there was a big surge in harvest early in the season when lots of folks were in the field. What I didn’t/couldn’t know is how motivated hunters would be to return to the field in search of wolves after they harvested their elk. Of course, we also have know idea how many hunters shot wolves and did not report it (so as not to affect the quota), nor (b) how accurate current wolf estimates were/are on a per unit basis. It will be interesting to see what the official wolf count is next year.

  178. avatar Rita K.sharpe says:

    As God made us dominion over the all animals,we are,also the caretakers.

  179. avatar Rita K.sharpe says:

    Sorry,I meant all the animals.

  180. avatar JEFF E says:

    bambi
    I too like to hunt. have for a number of decades. This year I hunted in the (drumroll) dreaded Sawtooth zone. I saw and heard from other hunters of a very good population of elk and deer. Where I go specifically, a band of about ~100 head of elk live year round with hundreds more during the winter.
    I saw wolf sign, along with bear, cougar, deer, fox coyote and probably others that I did not see. The biggest single factor in the abundance of all wild life is the complete absence of livestock. In fact where the elk stay if one did not know better it looks as if cows are in there but it is just so many elk that the effect on vegetation is similar

  181. avatar bambi says:

    I live in western Montana Jeff, never have been much of an elk hunter other than success after drawing special permits. Tracking elk in deep snow is not my favorite thing to do as I am getting too old for it. Over the past few years I have seen fewer deer and more wolf tracks. I want to know why there are fewer deer and It is not harsh winters like fish and game claim here. I think they blow smoke screans and hope we close our eyes I just want the truth, I want to see actual numbers not opinion.

  182. avatar Layton says:

    JB,

    Just for curiosity’s sake — what would YOU define as a “healthy or robust” wolf population? Would it be 2000, 3000, 5000 or maybe the famous “self leveling” population?? OR, is the bottom line that to make the “wolfies” happy there should just not be ANY wolves killed??

    It seems to me that I have read your comments here that have said you DO favor some control, am I not remembering that correctly??

    As to your comment about the commission being “dominated” by hunters — why in the world would anyone that is a hunter want someone that is an ANTI hunter on that commission?? Antis raise enough hell right now WITHOUT any authority. If they were given a position with any sort of a way to “gum up” the works there would never be any sort of a resolution of anything.

    Courts and lawyers would be happy (lawyers would be happy AND rich), but I suspect no one else would be, even on the greenneck side.

  183. avatar JEFF E says:

    bambi,
    I don’t think that an “actual number” is feasible, All counts of wild animal are at best estimates.
    I here the “all I saw was wolf tracks all the time”.
    Two things to keep in mind is that if there are wolves present there are deer and elk present.
    Have wolves had an effect on deer and elk numbers is an oxymoron. the fact is that wolves are a component of the habitat and are a dynamic that will affect all other factors. Some of us see that as a positive, some of us see it as a negative, and some of us see it as something else.

  184. Layton,

    I want to jump in and give my view. I’ve stated it before, but that was a while ago.

    This is probably politically impossible in Idaho, but I’d like to see the wolves managed like they are in, Yellowstone Park (where by the way the population of wolves is dropping on its own).

    Let the wolf population in Idaho peak. I thought it was close to a peak this year. Then it will probably decline as in Yellowstone and fluctuate. A wolf hunt could be instituted slowly so that effects can be carefully judged.

    It seems to me that this is the way wolves have been managed in Minnesota for a long time. Problems there are not nearly at the flash point as Idaho.

  185. avatar josh sutherland says:

    How come no pro-wolf individual will ever say how many wolves they would like? They sure as hell will complain about low numbers of wolves, but no one on this blog that I am aware of has said a number of wolves they would be happy with and not compalin/sue. So what is that number?? Jeff E??? JB?? Anyone, whats the number of a healthy and robust wolf population? There are 700 now that we know of, and thats not enough.. is it 1400…..1600…..2000? Whats the number you want? Or is it as Layton says, “the self leveling number”?

    Josh. Read my comment below. Ralph Maughan

  186. avatar bambi says:

    I have not seen a single cow robbing habitat from the deer that I have been successful in hunting in the past. I listen and read how wolves will change hunting dynamics. But I cant figure how they become so stealth as to not leave tracks. I have hunted for 35 years here not to 100 percent success but I am watching it be less productive as years go by. It is not my imagination, so if fish and game can statistically prove me wrong I will keep my mouth shut.

  187. Josh,

    Read my comment above your question.

  188. avatar Layton says:

    Ralph,

    My understanding is that wolves are NOT managed in YNP, they are allowed to run wild and breed as they might. Isn’t that the case??

    I don’t think that kind of a management “philosophy” would ever work in an area where folks are used to hunting deer and elk — that isn’t the case in YNP.

    Look what has happened to to elk population in YNP. I’m sure someone is going to come on now and point out that there were MANY elk permits given for the “firing line” and that is why the population dropped. IMHO that is not the case, the population continued to drop well after the firing line was abolished.

    People on the greenneck side point to the trophic cascade as a benefit of the high wolf population causing a decline in elk numbers.

    Also, hasn’t parvo been pointed out as the main cause in the present decline of the wolf population?? Many “for” folks even subscribe to the conspiracy theory that it was intentionally introduced into the wolf population in the last few years.

    Aren’t we trying to compare apples and oranges here??

  189. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Thanks Ralph, it seems we posted at the same time. I dont feel that you could manage wolves like YNP and still have public hunting, someone posted a map of the density of wolves in YNP and they were crammed in there. You put hunting on top of that and I dont feel you could maintain those numbers of wolves and have hunting. I just wish that each side could agree on a specific number of wolves that the state would manage for and then stop the endless lawsuits and bickering. I would support wolves in UT if we had a specific number of wolves that we agreed on and managed accordingly.

  190. Layton,

    Yes, that’s how wolves are managed in Yellowstone. In Yellowstone management is not a euphemism for people killing the wolves.

    It is too bad we don’t have an second Yellowstone Park kind of area with wolves so we can compare. However, the northern range elk herd is not the only elk in the Park. The Jackson Hole elk herd lives inside and outside the Park almost entirely in wolf country. It is a very big herd, and it is not declining.

    Regarding conspiracy theories about introduction of wolf diseases into the Park. This is highly unlikely. Parvo and canine distemper (this is real killer of wolves) are endemic north of the Park, and I think visitors, the millions of them, keep the infection going. These are also spread by coyotes and dogs. People bring their dogs to the Park, although have to keep them under control. I think they are a likely source.

    Regarding the failure of the northern range elk population to recover after the severe winter of 96-97 and the elimination of the big elk hunt north of the Park, I have long thought that a heavy bear population plus wolves may do to elk what neither does on its own — hold the population down.

    If there really is a non-habitat problem with elk in the Lolo, I think it might be wolves plus bears.

    Trophic cascade seems a like a pretty well confirmed theory to me, but that doesn’t mean it applies everywhere. It will not apply to cattle country because the cascades are overwhelmed by cattle impacts. Now maybe if we let wolves freely hunt cattle . . . . ;-), but I don’t think wolves like cattle very much. Better just to remove cattle from public lands.

  191. Josh,

    I might well agree for a place like Utah. Lived there a long time, know the country and it is too populated where there is good wolf habitat expect the Book Cliffs.

    Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado, however do not have these problems . . . well maybe Colorado does, but the wolf population limit there should be high because of the huge number of elk, deer, and the presence of chronic wasting disease.

  192. avatar nabeki says:

    Josh….
    Jeff E would you rather them manage then for a maximum? Serious question… what population number would you like to see? If you had to put a number on it based off of habitat, prey etc how many wolves do you think ID should have? I just want a number…
    ==============
    Josh I can answer that for you. Wolves do not need a hunt, they are self regulating, they’re not going to kill all their prey. That’s so ridiculous. There is something called dispersal. Wolves will move to new areas in search of prey or their population will stabilize.

    The problem is ranchers and hunters complaining about wolves and having the state “manage” wolves for them because unfortunately their political clout dominates western politics. Hunters don’t want to share elk with wolves. Elk are on high alert now and harder to hunt, not like the complacent elk before wolves returned. Ranchers see wolves as pests and want the feds and states to be their very own extermination squad, even though wolves kill very few livestock. I wonder how many times any of this has to be repeated?

    Wolves are being hunted in Idaho for political reasons, pure and simple. Those of us who want to view wildlife unmolested are not even considered. We have to grovel and argue about wolf hunts and wolf numbers.

    Lords of Nature should be required viewing. The Minnesota ranchers and farmers in that movie are amazing. They live with wolves and take responsibility for their investment.. It’s shameful that three large states like Montana, Idaho and Wyoming can’t live with now 1300 wolves when Minnesota has 3000.

    AND Minnesota’s wolf population has STABILIZED. Amazing how nature works when you let it.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  193. nabeki
    I replied to Josh and Layton above. Yes folks should see Lords of Nature.

    However, Minnesota and Wisconsin are not backward states. I grew up and lived in Idaho and Utah, but when I moved to Wisconsin for four years, I was amazed at how progressive the people were. Idaho and Utah are backward states.

  194. avatar Layton says:

    Maybe we should not even have a wolf “season”.

    Instead we could just have a policy that says they are legal game 24/7 – 365. That way the wolves would be on “high alert” and not “complacent” like they are now. What’s good for the elk should be good for the wolves.

    Perhaps the wolf population would stabilize with their increased awareness. After all, just another predator in the mix. 8)

  195. avatar nabeki says:

    Ralph…
    I posted right after you…lol Good post!!

    Sadly you’re right. It’s all about tolerance..and there is very little of it here in the west. I feel like we’re living in the 1950’s.

  196. avatar nabeki says:

    Layton…
    So are you ready to “manage’ one fourth of the elk population? What’s good for wolves should be good for elk??

    I might remind you that elk and wolves have co-existed quite nicely together for thousands of years without “management plans”. Amazing isn’t it?

  197. avatar JB says:

    Josh:

    Unlike deer and elk, that will increase indefinitely given an unlimited food supply, wolves are a “density dependent” species (i.e. their populations are self-regulating). This is due to the fact that wolves hold and defend territory.

    One reason I haven’t provided the magic number is, like Ralph, I would like to see what the true carrying capacity of NRM states is before judging what the population “should” be. Another reason is because I believe ecosystems should be allowed to be dynamic; that is, we shouldn’t impose continuous artificial limits on species. Note, I’m not arguing that you should never have population objectives, but rather, that populations should be allowed to ebb and flow, at least for a time. That means, elk populations should be allowed to “crash” in some areas when conditions are particularly poor and then held low for a while so that vegetation has time to recover. While this is the ideal scenario, I’m not sure this type of management is even possible with so many livestock on the landscape.

    The truth is, I don’t really care about the number of wolves on the ground. Rather, what bothers me are the process used to reach decisions about these numbers and the assumption that wolves should be managed for minimum numbers in order to provide the maximum hunting opportunities and placate the interests of bitchy ranchers.

    Hunting used to be a tool to regulate populations to meet a management objective. Now hunting itself has become the objective.

    JB

    P.S. Utah State University faculty and graduate students in the college of natural resources estimated that Utah could support ~700 wolves (http://www.cnr.usu.edu/quinney/files/uploads/NREIX.pdf).

  198. avatar Cris Waller says:

    Layton-

    Not everyone believes in your god. Not everyone thinks wildlife management should be based on Biblical principles. Some of us actually think that animals have a value beyond their usefulness to man, and that their lives aren’t reducible to or measurable by their utility to us.

  199. avatar william huard says:

    very well said cris- I recommend the book “dominion” by Matthew Scully.

  200. avatar Layton says:

    What are you folks smoking tonite???

    nabeki says,

    ” Elk are on high alert now and harder to hunt, not like the complacent elk before wolves returned.”

    and then:

    “So are you ready to “manage’ one fourth of the elk population? What’s good for wolves should be good for elk??”

    Huh?? The only thing that I said about managing anything was when I said something to the effect of wolves NOT being managed in YNP. Then I pointed out to Ralph that I thought that type of management philosophy wouldn’t work outside a national park.

    Also, sure elk and wolves co-existed for “thousands of years” and they probably could again — IF you took a 100 million or so people – and their houses – and their farms – and their pollution our of the mix. Otherwise it’s just a pipe dream.

    Now here come Chris with HIS grand illusion.

    “Not everyone believes in your god. Not everyone thinks wildlife management should be based on Biblical principles”

    You have NO IDEA who (or what) “my god” is — I have mentioned NOTHING about God or biblical principles as they pertain to wildlife management — or as they pertain to anything else for that matter!!

    Wow, I catch enough heat around here WITHOUT folks inventing more things for me to defend or answer to!!

    “So are you ready to “manage’ one fourth of the elk population? What’s good for wolves should be good for elk??”

    Where did I say ANYTHING about managing

  201. avatar Layton says:

    What are you folks smoking tonite???

    nabeki says,

    ” Elk are on high alert now and harder to hunt, not like the complacent elk before wolves returned.”

    and then:

    “So are you ready to “manage’ one fourth of the elk population? What’s good for wolves should be good for elk??”

    Huh?? The only thing that I said about managing anything was when I said something to the effect of wolves NOT being managed in YNP. Then I pointed out to Ralph that I thought that type of management philosophy wouldn’t work outside a national park.

    I did refer to your line about “complacent” elk — I was saying that maybe wolves wouldn’t be as complacent if they were hunted all the time.

    Also, sure elk and wolves co-existed for “thousands of years” and they probably could again — IF you took a 100 million or so people – and their houses – and their farms – and their pollution our of the mix. Otherwise it’s just a pipe dream.

    Now here come Chris with HIS grand illusion.

    “Not everyone believes in your god. Not everyone thinks wildlife management should be based on Biblical principles”

    You have NO IDEA who (or what) “my god” is — I have mentioned NOTHING about God or biblical principles as they pertain to wildlife management — or as they pertain to anything else for that matter!!

    Wow, I catch enough heat around here WITHOUT folks inventing more things for me to defend or answer to!!

    I love it! 😉

  202. avatar JEFF E says:

    Layton,
    I always wondered just what weeds you were pullin up in the mountains.
    8*))

  203. avatar Layton says:

    Wow — I think my browser is smoking the same stuff!

  204. avatar gline says:

    glad you are lovin it, must be a strange existence!

  205. avatar gline says:

    “Seems like 500 is a pretty good cushion since 100 would be relisting status. However Jeff-e as I see it robust and thriving would better be suited at 5000 for most wolf people correct?”

    What? is this a guessing game? It should be based on wolf biologist’s perspective. ie, science. Plaintiffs said 5000, at the hearing, based on science, not a guess out of the blue! Not that it would ever reach that number and stay there. Look at Minnesota’s numbers. It is liberal number for a reason…

    Still a small number of wolves as compared to elk, deer and oh, millions upon millions of COWS.

  206. avatar nabeki says:

    Maybe we should not even have a wolf “season”.

    Instead we could just have a policy that says they are legal game 24/7 – 365. That way the wolves would be on “high alert” and not “complacent” like they are now. What’s good for the elk should be good for the wolves.
    ==============
    Layton I was responding to your flip comment with one of my own.

  207. avatar gline says:

    I agree with not having a wolf season. Like it was before.

  208. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    JB

    The Utah State link does not seem to work – does a redirect the College of NR. I could not get a search from there to produce anything. Any other ideas on how to access the document?

  209. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Nabeki so you feel that all prey animals ie; deer/elk/sheep should be managed according to wolves best interest? Is that correct? I know wolves wont kill all prey animals to extinction, but they will kill till they feel they need to move somewhere else where there is more prey and that scenario would repeat itself over and over. They obviously wont stop hunting because they feel its bad for the elk populations, they either hunt or starve to death, so once an area becomes unproductive because of lots of wolves they move to another area and repeat the same thing.. Is that correct? So in your scenario we just let wolves populate till prey base cant sustain that level of wolves, so the wolves either move or starve? Then they obviously repeat the same thing.. Am I right? That scenario obviously does not bode well for hunters like me. Thats why I hate when I hear the whole self regulating, they self regulate when there is no longer a prey base to support their current populations and then they start starving and dont have pups etc…. which obviously means elk/deer populations would fall way below levels that would sustain hunting.. Which would mean no hunting.. which I would not support at all… either would the other couple hundred thousand of hunters like me….

    JB your point is my whole point.. I dont want to see a “crash” just so wolves can move/disperse into another area till a “crash” happens there and so on and so on. 20 years ago in UT you could hardly see an elk, now the populations are strong mainly because of the organization people on here feel is the devil (SFW).. Should we bring wolves in so that we can see population crashes and wolves dispersing across the state of UT till hunting is no longer feasible? I dont like that..

  210. avatar Leslie says:

    Josh, you are making a lot of assumptions here…that leaving things in a natural flux means eventually prey will ‘crash’. True, the cycle tends to be good years for prey/predator and bad years. These cycles aren’t just due to overeating, but many things in nature i.e. drought, disease, etc. that lowers prey populations and then predators follow. And I agree with JB re: dynamic ecosystems. We are muddling middle managers of ecosystems; mostly ‘managing’ as a way to keep predators within a large zoo.

    As always, hunters seem to ‘freak’ out that they won’t get their deer/elk; and complain that the wolves or whatever, are making it just too hard for them. Most of the hunters I see shoot from the roads because they’re too lazy to walk and really hunt. Because the wolves have ‘herded’ the elk and the elk are more alert (skittish if you will, but are now acting more like wild animals) hunters complain its just too hard to find and kill them now. But isn’t that what hunting is all about…being in the natural world, one with the natural world, working with its limitations and challenges; or is it all about controlling the populations to give you the best advantage possible over the animal?

    Managing for a good hunt is definitely not the way to go.

  211. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Leslie just exactly where did you jump into the conversation? As has been pointed out thousands of times on this blog, “nature” as you put is far behind us, the millions of people now inhabiting North America are now playing a HUGE role in the “nature” scenario you are talking about. You validated my point though, I dont want to see large crashes in elk/deer populations just so wolves can do as they please.. srry

    As for the hunting tips you gave, first off have you ever hunted? The elk in my backyard on the Wasatch Front here is Salt Lake City maybe have not got your memo about being wild animals, since they dont sit around and let me shoot them. Crazy that they figured out they were wild animals without wolves telling em…. go figure. You are failing to see my whole point, as wolf populations spread and go throughout an area say like YNP it is very obvious that hunter opportunity would be SEVERLY decreased because of the presense of wolves. I said an OPPORTUNITY to hunt, not a guarantee to kill an elk/deer. It is common sense that if predators were allowed to increase at will and become one with “nature” as you put it, hunter opportunity would obviously decrease dramatically, there is no way around it.

    Managing all elk/deer/sheep/antelope in the best interest of wolves is also not the best way to go.

  212. avatar Leslie says:

    Well I don’t live in Utah but in the GYE and that is what I see in my valley where wolves do live. I see volumes of shells by the dirt back roads, and rarely do I find hunter kills very far from roads. And the story goes that the elk ‘used to almost come right over to you’; at least that is what I am told by long time residents in Sunlight. Hunters here like to wait for the ‘Park elk’ as they are not accustomed to hunters.

    Frankly, I don’t really care, as I said, about hunter opportunity and managing for that. You hunters have guns now that are more powerful than any in the history of hunting or mankind. I don’t have anything against hunting per se, but feel the argument that the wolves are taking away your opportunity is crying spilled milk.

    In addition, some of the hunters who I hear crying the most are the outfitters. If they just woke up, a little bit, and realized that they could be guiding tourists to ‘shoot’ pictures, of these animals, they could be making more money than they do guiding out of state hunters.

    In addition, the whole ‘sport’ of hunting has been severely degraded by all the drinking that seems to be the point of it, the trash they leave, the feeling of a lot of hunters that they ‘own’ our national forests. I’m forever picking up trash from their campsites, back and front country.

    So, you see, I don’t have much sympathy for your arguments of hunter opportunity. And, like I said, I am not against hunting per se. I like to eat deer or elk like you do.

    As far as ‘nature’…well, it is still with us and governing us. We are that too, you know, and in the end, nature will win out, individually, and I would make a bet with you, collectively as well.

  213. avatar Leslie says:

    Also, I am not implying we should be managing in the best interests of the wolves. I am saying that our present way of management, it appears to me, seems more to be in the self interests of those who hold the most sway and power, those with the bucks, be it hunters or ranchers. Keeping selective megafauna in a large invisible zoo is weird management practices. This applies not just to wolves, but grizzlies and Bison as well.

  214. avatar nabeki says:

    Josh…
    I’ll have to answer you tomorrow because I’m absolutely beat…but Leslie did a good job!!

  215. avatar JB says:

    WM:

    Sorry, not sure why that link isn’t working. Here’s how I got there…

    Go to the Quinney Library: http://www.cnr.usu.edu/quinney/

    Now click: Publications – NREI – Wolves in Utah

  216. avatar JB says:

    “Should we bring wolves in so that we can see population crashes and wolves dispersing across the state of UT till hunting is no longer feasible.”

    Josh: From my perspective–and I do not claim to represent anyone here other than myself–management for the maximum number of ungulates (wild and domestic) IS the problem. Populations are dynamic; they naturally ebb and flow with changing conditions on the landscape. The resulting changes in ungulate population density favor different grass and tree species and allow for the kind of effects witnessed in Lamar valley in YNP. Regardless, I’m doubtful that these effects are even possible with livestock on the landscape.

    Returning to your question…in lieu of removing livestock, I believe you can still manage wolves for relatively high numbers with minimal impacts to wild ungulate populations. Doing so would require managers to look at the conditions of the range and adapt their management strategy to those conditions. Specifically, we know that wolves only hold down ungulate populations under certain conditions. When/where these conditions are present, wolf control would be high; when/where they are not present, wolves would essentially go unmolested. Personally, I don’t think this scenario is ideal as I think both of our interests are better served by removing livestock from public lands. However, at least it exposes the myth that high wolf numbers necessitate low ungulate numbers.

    SFW in Utah is an abomination. They want public lands run like big game ranches–maximization of the species we like and to Hell with everything else (especially the predators). They could give two shits about the land; they just want to make damn sure that UDWR provides them with lots of things to kill.

  217. avatar Percy says:

    “management for the maximum number of ungulates (wild and domestic) IS the problem”

    bingo.

  218. avatar Layton says:

    JB,

    ” However, at least it exposes the myth that high wolf numbers necessitate low ungulate numbers. ”

    Could you explain this a bit?? I don’t understand what “high wolf numbers” are going to use for subsistence if it isn’t ungulates — wouldn’t that make the ungulate numbers go down??

  219. avatar Ryan says:

    “SFW in Utah is an abomination”

    JB,

    While I would agree that they do some things many sportsmen (hunters) dont like. They do some good things as well, they have bought out public land ranchers and private ranches, done habitat restoration work, and are working to get buffalo reintroduced to the unitahs. (something a green group could only dream about).

  220. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    The main reason the Jackson Elk Herd is large and in no danger of declining (yet) is because it is fed on the National Elk Refuge and on three feedgrounds in the Gros Ventre. This will probably change when CWD hits the feedgrounds.

  221. Ralph: You do have a second Yellowestone (sort of). I urge all of you to read John Theberge’s book,”Wolf Country. He is a biologist who studied wolves in Ontario’s Algonquin Park for 11 years. Wolves were constantly trapped & hunted there & on its periphery. It was a Fort Apache for wolves, & human actions badly damaged wolf pack biology & structure. “Wolf Country” is a gold mine of information on what can happen in the Northern Rockies.

  222. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Chris Waller,
    It was josh sutherland who made the comment about dominion over animals. I do, however, agree with your statement.

  223. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Ryan not to mention they have already put about 100 head of Buffalo on the ground in the Books… Not to mention JB, they also helped pass some changes in Mtn. Lion hunting that has not been popular at all here in UT. They are wanting to kill LESS lions if you can believe that. Some hunters are up in arms. As for the elk in UT, you can thanks SFW almost 100 percent for the elk we have today. 20 years ago they were nowhere to be found.

    Leslie, your whole post is the reason you wont ever have the backing of sportsman and hunters The attitude of “frankly I dont care how it affects your way of life…” is not going to get you many friends when it comes to getting support for wolves in other states or even management in your current state…. Because I do care about hunter opportunity and so do millions of other hunters… Also you should come talk to all your green friends here on the Front that litter endlessly on the trails around SLC.. They outnumber hunters 10-1… It gets old…. Oh wait I guess there are bad apples in every group.. Wow imagine that.

    As for your eco-tourism dollars, outside of YNP I call bullshit.. No offence. Do a little research on $$$$ generated in your state.. Now if people could be making money hand over fist because of wolves, your very own greenneck Lynne Stone should be a millionaire.. She knows the wolves in ID better than anyone I bet.. She could take people out and create revenue and show ID how important it is. The average guided backcountry elk hunt in ID will run you about 5K. How much money have you made guiding people to take pictures of wolves in your state? Do you know anyone wolfie that does guided picture trips that makes 100K plus? Wolves have been around for 15 years so someone by now has to making all this money the pro side keeps talking about. Who are they? Any business names?

    JB, I do not feel that ungulates should be managed for the maximum possible. As stated before I want a quality hunt, not a quantity hunt. I think predators should be a huge part of every ecosystem, but those crashes of populations because of different reasons.. drought/predators etc can take YEARS to recover, if they ever do. Like I said having some wolves would be fine, as long as the states ungulate populations are not managed to support the highest population of wolves possible, which seems what the majority of the pro side on this blog wants.

    Ken trapping will have alot more impact on wolves that hunting every would IMO. The wolves in ID are showing just how difficult legal hunting is in killing wolves. Pretty smart animals I would imagine.

  224. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Interesting recent news from Minnesota and its larger population of wolves – “Hunter shaken by recent encounter with wolves.” Minn. Star Tribune. FYI and draw your own conclusions.

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/70674092.html?elr=KArksi8cyaiUgOahccyiUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aULPQL7PQLanchO7DiUs

  225. avatar JB says:

    WM: Just wanted to clarify; I believe you used the phrase “larger population” to distinguish wolves in MN from wolves in the NRM states? The article you cited ends with this:

    “Dan Stark, a DNR wolf specialist, said he hasn’t received more calls about human-wolf encounters. Surveys done in 2007-2008 estimate the state’s wolf population at about 3,000. It’s unknown if that number has increased since then.”

    – – – –

    Josh: It is absolutely shocking to me that anyone from SFW would advocate for more Mt. Lions. I friend of mine was the former BG manager in Utah. One of the reasons he left was all the pressure from Don Peay and SFW to kill more cougars. Peay is a bully, and frankly, an asshole. He is largely responsible for gutting Utah’s wolf management plan.

    Sounds like we mostly agree on ungulate and wolf management. Just one point of clarification; you noted that, “having some wolves would be fine, as long as the states ungulate populations are not managed to support the highest population of wolves possible…” I would argue that the highest population of wolves would only be possible with the highest population of elk. The more elk, the more wolves. Wolf advocates and hunters alike need remember this. We are NOT working at cross purposes, despite what most people think.

    – – – –

    Ryan: The reason “green groups” can only dream about reintroducing bison is because F&G agencies are so captured by hunting and ranching interests that “green groups” have no voice. Heck, we can’t even get Montana to treat them like wildlife!

    I agree that SFW has done some good work in the area of habitat restoration, but, in my opinion, their net effect is negative. The views they espouse on predators are especially appalling. I could give several examples if you’d like. Don Peay is always good for a sound bite.

    – – – – –

    Layton:

    I believe I’m safe in asserting that under some conditions wolf-caused mortality will be primarily compensatory, under other conditions it will be largely additive. When it is compensatory wolves will essentially have no impact on elk. The trick is determining where wolves are likely to negatively impact elk (additive) and where they are likely not to have any effects (compensatory), and then adjust your management strategy accordingly.

  226. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    JB

    The “larger population” comment was intended, in this instance, only for a state to state comparison: ID=800+ ; MN=3,000. I was not trying to make any kind of point, but do see my comment below. MN is only doing an official estimate every 5 years, and the methodolgy seems crude, especially in light of earlier comments by Dr. Mech, who said the more you have over a larger land area makes them more difficult to count, and often results in undercounting (paraphrasing from his Declaration in the MT litigation from last summer).

    Nabeki

    “AND Minnesota’s wolf population has STABILIZED. Amazing how nature works when you let it.”

    I do not know whether it is stabilized or not. There are questions regarding negative impacts from disease, how well the population estimates accurately reflect numbers of wolves in MN, as well as the effects of out-migration that contribute to overall Great Lakes wolves population increases, but not specifically MN’s.

    To add a finer point on your comment, the wolf population in MN has recently been affected by an outburst of parvovirus, according to Dr. Mech in 2008, about half of the pups recently die from the disease. See(http://www.startribune.com/local/34718879.html?page=1&c=y)

    In addition, there has been recorded outmigration to WI and even back to Canada. So, it is really difficult to say, based on political boundaries how well the wolves are doing when that is factored in (it does speak to the density issue however). Wildlife Services in conjunction with MN Dept of Ag. continues to lethally control about 100-164 wolves a year, and there is no formal accounting for other wolves which may disappear as a result of human causes (like the 3S kills that may occur in livestock areas, nothwithstanding the feel good story in the “Lords of Nature” film).

    And, last, few of the packs are collared – something like only 32 out of 400+ packs (most of these are Mech research subjects). The estimates of population are done about every 5 years (used to be 10 years), relying heavily on a visual sighting surveys sent to agencies, and scent station analyes, augmented by a very few winter aerial surveys. The author of the study, John Erb, even acknowledges conservative undercounting based on the survey, because little data comes from private lands sitings, and other factors, like an assumed reduced pack size. See: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/fish_wildlife/wildlife/wolves/2008_survey.pdf

    [I made a more detailed comment on the modeling results in another thread here. Erb’s resulting work is by the way, peer reviewed.]

    Telemetry technology supported by federal funds for monitoring and research studies, for the near term, is allowing the NRM states more accurate counts (estimated numbers are nearly always quoted at the low end of the range) of the in MT, ID and WY. And, of course, those wolves migrating to OR and WA, and maybe even UT are coming from the source areas. Query how those few, but growing numbers of animals are treated in the counts.

  227. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    Sorry, the quickie news article on the parvovirus outbreak is contained here:
    http://www.startribune.com/local/34718879.html?page=1&c=y

    A little work should produce the study itself, and it may even be available on Mech’s personal website or maybe U of MN.

  228. avatar Cris Waller says:

    “Interesting recent news from Minnesota and its larger population of wolves – “Hunter shaken by recent encounter with wolves.” ”

    I read that a couple days ago. It sounds like they have some well-trained wolves in MN- gunshots=food.

  229. avatar JB says:

    WM: I agree that their methods are crude, but they do provide confidence intervals on their estimates and these are particularly telling:

    Year – Pop. Estimate – (90% CI)
    1988 – 1,521 – (1,338, 1,762)
    1997 – 2,445 – (1,995, 2,905)
    2003 – 3,020 – (2,301, 3,708)
    2007 – 2,921 – (2,192, 3,525)

    Note: Only the first (1988) and last (2007) don’t have substantial overlap.

  230. avatar Ryan says:

    “Ryan: The reason “green groups” can only dream about reintroducing bison is because F&G agencies are so captured by hunting and ranching interests that “green groups” have no voice. Heck, we can’t even get Montana to treat them like wildlife!”

    SFW, SCI, and or REMF could I bet. The reason is that the green groups represent what many rural westerners despise, big money from back east trying to tell them what to do.

  231. avatar Mike says:

    SCI is laughable.

  232. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    JB

    A Confidence Interval provides for a statistically signficant probable range of population. HOWEVER, an underestimate is still an underestimate. The entire range would shift to higher numbers of wolves because of the acknowledged consistently conservative variables (and there are a number of them) in the model. They also apparently do not make any downward adjustments for mortality (human caused, natural or survival rates for pups like the recent parvo effects), or in/out migration.

    It would be interesting to know if they did sensitivity analysis for the different variable inputs. The paper does not address this.

    It is also my understanding WI and MI use more sophisticated populations models, as well as have a larger number of collared wolves. Whether they achieve more accurate results is not known. It may be they did not care. Now that delisting remains in the crosshairs (DPS technical arguments aside) they may want more accurate population counts.

    Compare, of course, the NRM states who are very”number-centric” and have been since 1995.

  233. avatar Save bears says:

    “SCI Is laughable”

    Although I am not a member and would never be, I have to disagree with you Mike, as they are not laughable to many people around the world..

  234. avatar JB says:

    I agree, it would be interesting to know what the true values of these estimates are (and I don’t disagree that they are conservative). The point I was trying to make was that all of the data we have point to a relatively stable wolf population. Whether this population is 2,200 or 4,000 doesn’t matter, except that it the larger the number, the smaller the NRM population looks by comparison.

  235. avatar Elk275 says:

    Mike

    ++SCI is laughable.++

    I am a member of SCI and I like a number of members do have questions about the organization. Never under estimate them they have money, connections, membership and political power.

    They have been a godsend to international hunters and they do put a party on in Reno. If I have the finances I am going.

  236. avatar JB says:

    Also, I would add that (unless confidence intervals work differently in the natural as compared to the social sciences), the CI provides upper and lower bounds to your estimate of the “true” value. In the case of the 2007 estimate, there is a 90% probability that the true (i.e. population) value is contained within the lower 2,192, and upper 3,525 bound estimates. Indeed, better estimation techniques could increase the estimate upward but should also narrow the interval (the distance between upper and lower bounds).

    Do you think the actual value is greater than 3,500? If so, I would be interested in a more detailed explanation of why?

  237. avatar Mike says:

    SCI is anti-conservation and pro-ivory trade as well as pro canned hunts. They are a complete disgrace to anyone who cares about wildlands and wildlife.

  238. avatar Ryan says:

    ++SCI is laughable.++

    Really, their list of accomplishments with regards to protecting wildlife worldwide is pretty monumental. I would be willing to guess that you’d be hard pressed to find an organization that has done as much, espicially hands on field work, worldwide as SCI. That being said I do not agree with everything they stand for.

  239. avatar Mike says:

    Oh is it Ryan? Like working to keep the ivory trade going?

    http://huntinglife.blogspot.com/2007/06/victory-for-sustainable-use-of.html

    I seriously wonder what you are doing on a wildlife blog Ryan except to troll people who are actually sincere.

  240. avatar gline says:

    what is SCI Mike?

  241. avatar Save bears says:

    Safari Club International

  242. avatar Ryan says:

    Mike,

    Do you even know the back story, or where the money is going or that it is not from endangered Elephants.

    http://www.safariclubfoundation.org/content/index.cfm?action=view&Content_ID=230&Parent_Content_ID=227

    Here is a list of projects currently happening.

    Gline,

    SCI is a trophy hunting group, they do alot of lobbying and also do conservation work. Certain things they condone (i.e. high fence hunting) are distasteful to many (myself included) but they do alot of good work overseas and in the U.S. as well.

  243. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    gline
    I think it is Safari Club International

  244. avatar Save bears says:

    Barb,

    Yes, it is Safari Club International

  245. avatar Mike says:

    SCI supports releasing tame, declawed wildcats into a high fence area which are then blown away by guys with rifles sitting two feet from their trucks.

    There are some very sad and disturbed people out there, and they are deeply intertwined with the hunting community. Ethical hunters need to get together and roost out the garabge like SCI.

  246. avatar gline says:

    And what good work are they doing ryan?

  247. avatar gline says:

    there are many acronyms in the world so that is why I asked. but considering the name Safari club brings to mind Hemmingway, who was all about hunting. I don’t think they are doing anything good ryan. But aren’t you into trophy hunting?

  248. avatar gline says:

    I emailed Mark Gamblin about our own trophy hunt here in the NW part of the US, ie the predator derby, in particular the wolf derby. The wolf less than a year ago being a protected endangered species will now be gunned down in a derby… ?hmm go figure the rational of that. mark’s response was that it is not illegal as far as he knows….

    How can it not be illegal? With SCI, or the wolf derby it is all a matter of what illegal hunting is, the ones with the most ethics need to be more loud.

  249. avatar gline says:

    *a matter of perspective meant to say

  250. avatar Save bears says:

    I am not into trophy hunting, but the SCI does do good things, mostly internationally, there are many things I disagree with that they promote, but that does not diminish the good they do, most organizations, have good and bad in them, and SCI is no different, I know my Father In Law is a member and I was impressed that every single animal he has hunted and taken in Africa had to go to the local tribes for food and that is part of their mandates for hunters in Africa..

  251. avatar Ryan says:

    Gline,

    Here is a list..

    http://www.safariclubfoundation.org/content/index.cfm?action=view&Content_ID=230&Parent_Content_ID=227

    Other notable causes include..

    Funding poaching patrols in Africa, Wild sheep population studies/conservation in central asia, Giant Sable population studies/protection. A lot of good stuff.

    Mike,

    I seriously doubt that claim, do you have any proof, or are you continuing to say things because they sound true to you?

    BTW, if you did anymore research on the Elephant Ivory sale, it was put forth by the goverments trying to sell ivory from damage kills in Africa and it was for a one time sale.

  252. avatar Mike says:

    Folks, this is the kind of thing Ryan and Save Bears support:

    http://www.hsus.org/press_and_publications/press_releases/federal_court_blocks_canned_hunting_of_endangered_species_062209.html

    In a blow to trophy hunting groups like Safari Club International, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia today struck down a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule allowing sport-hunting of endangered antelopes at “canned” hunting facilities. Safari Club and other trophy hunting advocates intervened in the case, and argued in favor of legalizing the shooting of endangered animals trapped in enclosures.

  253. avatar Mike says:

    http://www.hsus.org/wildlife_abuse/news/safari_club_canned_hunt_endangered_species.html

    Safari Club Leading the Endangered Species Hunt

    Canned hunts are generally reviled by the national hunting community, but extremist hunting groups like the Safari Club International (which represents primarily wealthy trophy hunters) staunchly defend canned hunting, include exotic animals shot at canned hunts in their record books and support the canned hunting of endangered animals.

    Safari Club International has joined other litigation to defend unethical hunting and trapping practices. They recently filed papers to participate in another HSUS lawsuit that would stop the State of Minnesota from allowing leg-hold and other dangerous traps that catch endangered lynx. The group has also taken legal action to defend hunting on wildlife refuges without proper environmental review, and to promote the stocking of tame pheasants for sport hunting on Cape Cod National Seashore. Both efforts were soundly defeated by The HSUS.

  254. avatar Save bears says:

    Mike,

    I prefaced both of my messages with the fact, I DON”T BELONG TO THEM AND I WON”T BELONG to them, because I don’t support many of the things they do, so knock you crap off, you read what you want to and twist it to promote your bullshit anti-hunting agenda!

    Sorry, Ralph, but this is getting ridiculous!

  255. avatar Save bears says:

    I have stated many times, that I don’t support canned hunts, so has the other hunters on this blog, so your posting your links has nothing to do with what we are talking about, the majority of hunters DO NOT SUPPORT CANNED HUNTING! Which is one of the reason, Montana hunters stood up and outlawed in a few years ago, which I am proud to say, I support and voted for when I lived there!

  256. avatar Mike says:

    It has nothing to do with “anti-hunting”, but rather an ethical position toward wildlife from all outdoor enthusiasts – from the people who speed and run over animals in 25 MPH zones in national parks to hunters who support junk like SCI.

  257. avatar Save bears says:

    And Jay Called me a “World Class Jackass” Geeze!

  258. avatar Mike says:

    Save Bears – You always seem to jump right into personal comments.

    I won’t lower myself to that level, but rather explain that the goal here is education and self awareness in these various outdoor situations.

  259. avatar Ryan says:

    Mike,

    So you respond with links from HSUS, one of the biggest anti hunting groups in the nation.

    “It has nothing to do with “anti-hunting”, but rather an ethical position toward wildlife from all outdoor enthusiasts –”

    Bullshit, it has everything to do with anti-hunting as the vast majority of your posts do. Except for the ones where you call anyone who doesn’t agree with you a troll.

    SB,

    Oregon Hunters outlawed it as well, I was there for the hearings.

  260. avatar Save bears says:

    Right Mike, I agree with you a 100%, and will say Bullshit!

  261. avatar Save bears says:

    Ryan,

    Don’t forget the accusation of always resorting to personal attack, which Mike is pretty damn good at…and practices quite often here in this blog..

  262. avatar Cris Waller says:

    Ryan-

    “So you respond with links from HSUS, one of the biggest anti hunting groups in the nation.”

    That’s an ad hominem argument. The issue is whether or not SCI supports the hunting of captive wildlife. The truth is that they do. Where the links are from has nothing to do with this.

  263. avatar Mike says:

    Ryan – I’m not against hunting, I’m just against the unethical behavior that you participate in (killing prairie dogs to see blood spurts, kidnapping game rangers and assaulting them, etc).

  264. avatar Ryan says:

    SB,

    Here is how is goes, bait, bait, bait, little jab here, little jab there, cry foul when you get called on it and then pull the poor me I’m a vicitim of these evil trolls.

  265. avatar Save bears says:

    Ryan,

    Make sure and copy this last post by Mike, what he is accusing you of, could constitute libel…I don’t remember you ever saying you kidnapped a ranger or assaulting one..

  266. avatar Save bears says:

    Cris,

    and the majority of hunters don’t support their position on canned hunts!

  267. avatar Ryan says:

    (killing prairie dogs to see blood spurts, kidnapping game rangers and assaulting them, etc).

    Mike,

    Are you ever going to get over this? BTW, still love that telling me my motivations for what I do. Geesh, and people wonder why personal attacks like calling someone an “Arrogant Dick” are made..

  268. avatar JB says:

    SCI and HSUS are opposite sides of the same coin. SCI essentially opposes any and all endangered species listings. For example, the opposed (a) the listing of grizzly bears in YNP, (b) the listing of wolves in the NRM/Great Lakes, (c) the listing of polar bears, (d) the listing of Canada lynx in NM, (e) the listing of sage grouse, (I could go on, but why bother). HSUS on the other hand doesn’t think people should own pets nor kill animals for any purpose. In my view, anyone who belongs to either group is nuts!

    SCI is pro-kill. HSUS is anti-kill. I’d like to think that most of us here are somewhere in the middle of these extremes.

  269. avatar Ryan says:

    SB,

    I witnessed something, Mike has a hard on for it appearantly he was raised with kiddy gloves and never got to see any “rural justice” play out. He never punched anyone on the playground, instead was first in line to tattle.

  270. avatar Save bears says:

    Well said

    JB,

    very well said!

  271. avatar Mike says:

    Ryan, why didn’t you report the crime you saw?

    Go back and read his post, folks. He witnessed a game ranger being kidnapped and assaulted and never reported it. Those are his words, not mine.

  272. avatar Mike says:

    Ryan – your “rural justice” comment eloquently conveys your complete and total lack of ethics.

  273. avatar Ryan says:

    Ryan – your “rural justice” comment eloquently conveys your complete and total lack of ethics.”

    Mike,

    What should I have done in your opinion Mike? If I would have turned the guy in I would have been a total pariah on the river.

    BTW, I’ve also seen more than 1 car theif not get reported, but get roughed up instead same goes with women beaters, etc. Those are the general situations I think of with regards to “rural justice”.

  274. avatar Wilderness Muse says:

    JB

    I think we agree that if you change one or more variables in the wolf population model upward from the conservative values the author acknowledged (say going from average pack size of 4.9 (2007 only) to 5.3 or 5.6 (as in years prior), reduce the range size per pack, account for wolf sitings on private lands. which was, as a practical matter, not considered even though roughly 50 percent of MN is private land), the resulting population estimate would shift upward. The upper and lower boundary that the real population is within the range at a particular CI would also shift upward.

    Again, a sensitivity analysis would be useful, and who knows how one would calibrate a model of this type – the wolves just don’t stand still – stop breeding, dying or migrating – and wait for somebody to count them. Yes, the range in a particular CI would also narrow with the ability to calibrate. I have not seen any forecasting for maximum population.

    So, the MN wolf folks who did the report with the best technique they had, but acknowledged in preparing the report that the conservative variables could lead to underestimation of the “true” population.

    Thus, with some minor tweeks to the data, the upper boundary may be well over 3,500 at a 90% CI. By how much I am certainly not qualified to say. I do not have the time, but would also like to know more about how WI and MI do their estimates.

  275. avatar JB says:

    WM: I know many of the folks in MN (one of my alma maters), so I was merely interested to hear your logic. Yes, a revision to a conservative estimate would likely increase the upper bound of the CI, but an improvement should also “tighten” the interval. I suppose whether the upper bound actually increased would depend on how much the method improved and the CI narrowed?

    Honestly, I don’t really have a stake in this. I’m just fascinated by the means of deriving these estimates (which are so different from those employed by social scientists). Frankly, if the wolf population estimates were adjusted upward, I think this only strengthens my position as a supporter of wolves in the northern Rockies.

  276. avatar Ryan says:

    JB,

    You hit the nail on the head with your earlier post. The problem is that there is not a centrist sportmans organization. Your stuck with either groups that are way to radical on one side, or potentially lobbying against yourself. Kinda like voting for a president, its picking the pile of shit that smells the least.

  277. avatar gline says:

    Christ Ryan, do the right thing! Give up our peers who dont seem to amount to sh*@, and you could have called the cops. Perhaps your bad karma will come back to you somehow… that is like watching a rape happen and doing nothing about it.

  278. avatar bigbrowntrout says:

    I have never heard save bears or ryan ever mention anything about supporting high fence hunts or canned hunts….I’m not sure why you are trying to get so personal mike. Nothing will be gained by these kind of attacks

  279. avatar Mike says:

    gline – I agree, that says a lot about character, and also raises the question of poster sincerity.

  280. avatar josh sutherland says:

    Trout, its all he relies on… and posting HSUS links of all info to post.. they are credible and non-biased for sure… and Mike exactly where in his posts has Ryan ever been a supporter of killing prairie dogs for fun? He hasnt, that tin foil hat must be cutting off the circulation.

    Gline you follow Mike around like a puppy…

  281. avatar Mike says:

    Ryan has admitted here that he does kill them for fun. He also opposes the protection of roadless areas. I really have no idea why he posts here to be honest.

  282. avatar nabeki says:

    Josh….
    I share George Wuerthner’s view that state fish and game shouldn’t be managing predators.
    http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/why_state_fish_and_game_agencies_cant_manage_predators/C564/L564/

    Mike…
    I’m right with you on SCI. This is the kind of stuff they’re involved in.
    http://washingtontimes.com/news/2008/jun/27/groups-back-ban-on-polar-bear-hide-imports/

    They also have standing in the wolf delisting lawsuit.

    http://howlingforjustice.wordpress.com

  283. avatar gline says:

    Really, Josh? Was that a dig? Are we in the sandbox again? And what was that you were saying about sandboxes the other day?

    Mike and see eye to eye on a lot of things in my opinion, much like some others on this blog. but I ain’t no follower….

  284. avatar gline says:

    Yes, poster sincerity. Let us define that shall we? I like you Mike cuz you do get at the true heart of things! Causing some ruffles. Good job.

  285. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    All –
    Responding to important comments earlier in this thread:

    Salle –
    “..when you maintain that wildlife is a resource there’s a big problem. Period.”

    That’s an important assertion, fundamental to much of the dialog in this and previous threads. Rather than assume exactly what you mean by that, please be more specific. Wildlife is certainly a societal resource – for many uses. Consumptive (hunting), viewing, research, benefiting other ecological functions and values, the value to some of simply knowing wildlife thrive in areas they will never personally visit – each of those benefits are socially sanctioned benefits of wildlife to our society. To say that wildlife is not a resource is….. curious.

  286. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    William Huard, gline, and others:

    The predator derby is in fact a legal contest similar to big buck contests, fishing derbies and other wildlife oriented competitive contests. The IDFG recognizes the legality of the event and has no other position, pro or con, regarding the event. It’s understood that predator derbies are very cotroversial for many Idaho residents and non-residents. The Idaho legislature is the appropiate government body to change the legal status of predator derbies.

  287. avatar william huard says:

    MARK, considering several commission members are also members of this “sportsmen group” changes in favor of wildlife are not likely. I can only tell you that people outside your state are embarrassed for you- your legislature doesn’t even understand that this is egregious wildlife abuse. I missed all the good sci posts. Mike summarized the facts pretty well. Several chapter heads like sonny Milstead in Texas for example was filmed killing a tiger after it was released from a small enclosure, and he was charged by the USFWS for that. The list of SCI members doing illegal things would take me too long to post. The attitude of SCI can be summarized by the actions of Kenneth Behring. He was a self-made millionaire who killed a Tara Gau Argali sheep in a country near Russia with the population of that species hovering around 100 at the time. He then asked the Smithsonian to apply for a permit to the USFWS to import the animal into the country. Congressman George Miller questioned the request when everyone learned just how critically endangered the animal was. The smithsonian withdrew the request after outrage ensued. Go on the internet and put in Kenneth Behring kills endangered sheep.

  288. avatar jerryB says:

    Hopefully all of you that are against this PREDATOR DERBY have emailed Cabelas and Nikon and expressed your opposition.
    Does little good to comment here…..I don’t think their execs read this site.

  289. avatar william huard says:

    Sci is as hypocritical as they come. do some research the facts do not lie. They hate the HSUS because they have exposed them for years. The book Dominion by Matthew Scully has a chapter about SCI which is recommended reading.

  290. avatar william huard says:

    I think the argali is still at the canadian taxidermist. That ‘s promoting wildlife conservation worldwide. The killing is conservation model.

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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."

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