Here is a detailed report. Will Idaho do the same?

Montana FWP just released a detailed summary of their wolf hunt with a lot of numeric data — good.  I hope Idaho has a report with this much information, but it probably won’t come until June when it might be too late to be used to adjust the 2010 wolf hunt, if there is one.  It is my impression that it is easier to hunt wolves in Montana than in Idaho.

Here it is (pdf). 2009 Wolf Hunting Season Summary

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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.

70 Responses to Detailed summary of the Montana wolf hunt

  1. Hmmm, I find it a little bit disturbing that among those hunters are always minors, here a child aged 13! I accept that it is obviously an important part of your traditions, your heritage and your society to introduce juveniles into hunting early on. It seems to be kind of an inauguration rite. There is rarely a Hollywood soap where a grown man does not remember with tears in his eyes the place where he was introduced to “hunting” and “fishing” by his father (German TV bought them all over the years!). Nowhere a scene like: “Here I was, watching wolves with my Dad”. No such weakness! I also learn from hunting magazines that it is fairly common for (accompanied) minors to go out into the woods to shoot a bear, a cougar and of course the always surplus coyote (and have the unavoidable victory picture taken). Even on the “Moral Call of the Wild” (a fine thread here) the “call” is often only the echo of a “Shot at the Wild” . Your thoughts welcome.

  2. avatar Alan says:

    “Nowhere a scene like: “Here I was, watching wolves with my Dad”. No such weakness!”……
    Maybe not in the movies so much, but it certainly does happen in real life. I vividly recall the first bear I saw in a National Park with my parents; my first deer, elk. This is one reason why National Parks are so important. My parents were also avid bird watchers, and I very much remember the excitement of a new species. I still experience that. I certainly don’t consider it a weakness!
    Hunters and wildlife/bird watchers do share the thrill of the chase. The difference is that with wildlife watching there is a happier ending. Indeed, many of my hunting friends tell me that the real enjoyment for them is being able to spend time outdoors, the honing of tracking skills, the pursuit; the kill being anti-climactic. To which I always ask, “Why not carry a camera, then, instead of a gun?” I never get an answer.

  3. avatar william huard says:

    And you never will Alan. Unfortunately the wolf pack that was decimated just outside Yellowstone Park probably doesn’t feel the same way about the wolf hunt as Carolyn “We didn’t realize the wolves would be that sensitive to firearms harvest” Sime.

  4. avatar Save bears says:

    As a hunter Alan, who also does photography, I can tell why I carry a gun during hunting season.

    Because I depend on the meat for my family and the meat I get is healthier than anything I can purchase in a store, that is if I could afford it.

    I am not a hunter who travels a long way to hunt, so my costs to hunt are very reasonable, currently about 90-95% of our yearly meat intake is wild meat

  5. avatar JEFF E says:

    Alan,
    When it is not hunting season I carry a camera.
    When it is hunting season I carry a gun, and if i remember a camera.
    I like to eat elk, deer, pheasant, ducks, fish…..

  6. avatar JB says:

    In general, I think Montana has done a much better job than Idaho with people “management”, where wolves are concerned. Despite the heat that Carolyn has taken from some posting here, MT has been upfront and honest about their harvest and their efforts have resulted in some degree of tentative trust among a very diverse group of stakeholders.

    Only one thing about this report bothers me:

    “Most wolves (82%) were harvested on public lands: public lands: U.S. Forest Service n=57; Bureau of Land Management n=1; state land n=1· private: deeded land n=9; Plum Creek Timber Company n=4.”

    I find it extremely aggravating that the hunters and ranchers of MT and ID are dictating wildlife policy on OUR federal lands.

    Montana, as folks might recall, has substantially less public land than Idaho. I wonder what Idaho’s tally will be?

  7. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    “Nowhere a scene like: “Here I was, watching wolves with my Dad”. No such weakness!”……

    Peter, I’ve had both experiences (not wolf watching but other wildlife watching) with my family so I guess I must be in the minority.

  8. avatar JimT says:

    Save Bears,

    That statement about “depending on the meat for my family” is the first statement by a hunter I can recall that really captures the predator ethic…kill to eat, kill only what you need to survive. That ethic I can understand; your posture is no different from a wolf or bear or wolverine….

  9. avatar JEFF E says:

    It seems to me that Montana is getting close to the min recovery levels.
    The livestock industry should be patting them selves on the back.

  10. avatar JimT says:

    OK, fantasy time.

    If one had to devise a legal strategy to de-fang the ranchers and their power, how would one go about it? Regulatory reform? Re-organization of local oversight groups? Election targeting? Pressure on legislators to use money from the federal Conservation funds to condemn and buy out leases? Wildlife refuge establishments on federal lands that happen to have grazing allotments?

  11. avatar JEFF E says:

    In Montana and Idaho one would have to start in the legislature. Problem is that in the vast rural counties it is hard to find some one not connected/supporting the livestock industry.
    After that it would seem that buying out or retiring grazing leases would be the way to go.

  12. avatar JimT says:

    I think it is a battle on several fronts. Certainly addressing the strategically located public land ranching allotments and either revoking the permit for violations, or buying the leases out is part of it. I also think that yanking the ranching industry in general off of its pedestal in terms of legally-given powers..ie Grazing Advisory Boards and others… is also part of an overarching strategy. I think they should have the same and no more influence than we have under the laws and regs. If that happened, perhaps Western politicians would grow spines and feel freer to take pro conservation and preservation stances.

  13. avatar JB says:

    “If one had to devise a legal strategy to de-fang the ranchers and their power, how would one go about it?”

    JimT: The best way would be to reform NFMA and FLPMA and remove language that includes grazing as a legitimate use in National Forests and public lands.

  14. avatar Si'vet says:

    Alan I hunt and hunt alot, let me answer your question with regards to harvesting or killing an animal as I see it. I physical prepare to hunt and hunt hard, I work and save so I can have really good equipment. I hunt with a bow and occasionally with a rifle, I practice, practice, practice I “trophy” hunt so even though I don’t hunt for the meat, not a scrap goes to waste, to expensive.. Because I trophy hunt I want to harvest the biggest animal I can find or that I know of in an area, I do lots of glassing and prescouting and usually have watched the animal I’m after sometimes for years, and most of the time the animal lives on or is harvested by someone else or predator. Because of all the preperation for the shot, making that perfect shot on an animal that you have worked hard to have the opportunity at , is “an intense adrenaline rush”, a huge sense of self satisfaction, with it a certain sense of personal pride knowing all that prep paid off. I take tons of wildlife photo’s and most years that’s all I have but for me those few times everything comes together I can’t compare the feelings with just a photo. I know I have opened myself up to a bunch of shots, I can take it. But there you go, hope it answers the question. We all have our own. PS: my dad never owned a gun, or fishing pole, or hiking boots etc. so I must have been born with it.

  15. avatar JimT says:

    JB,

    If I were to want to go for the moon the first time out, I would agree. But there is no way this Congress will take on legislative reforms at this time. So…agency action becomes appealing..easier to do.

    For example, when Regan was President, someone there figured out the importance of the Paperwork Reduction Act to the rule making process. Now, how many folks here know this act even exists? Yet, by inserting a cost benefit analysis requirement into the Act, it slowed the process down immensely at the agency level, and rule making virtually ground to a halt, a deliberate goal of that President.

    This is the kind of background, under the radar stuff that needs to be done. Unfortunately, unlike the Regan years and other Republican presidents, we don’t have green zealots in key positions in the environmental agencies. I think this was the KEY mistake made by the Obama administration, deliberate or not.

    So, this is a think outside the box kind of thing. You never know when a new idea might come from discussions like these.

  16. avatar JimT says:

    Sivet,

    I think you hit the nail on the head…the thrill of the kill for you seems to be the apex moment for you. Me? I don’t see the magic of making the light go out of those eyes unless I NEED to eat the animal to survive. So far, not my situation. So, I chose to pursue a different path. And no shots being taken. Difference of opinions are going to happen here. So long as there is respect in the discussion, we can agree to disagree.

    It is interesting. The Apache had the reputation of being one of the most fierce tribes in the Southwest, and yet they disdained needless killing. In fact, they considered it to be a greater accomplishment to count coup on their enemies..a touch of a club or some other implement on their rival…without killing. I guess photography is that equivalent to me..the research, the preparation, the patience, and then that magic moment when you get the shot you want…and the animal continues on. Both of us got what we wanted…a photograph and life.

  17. avatar JB says:

    In my defense, you did say “fantasy time”! 😉

  18. avatar Si'vet says:

    JT, thanks I think you get it, when it comes to wildlife, some of us get it,,,,,,,, it’s about balance, G, hurad, jb, it’s not about how I cobra. Layton spell, or misspell or screw up the pronunciation. It’s about how much we care, about all wildlife, if we didn’t. why would we participate on this site. I can find a lot more high level venues to get my my butt kicked, in the over all skeem of things you are small potatoes, even big Bob. he consults on a N. American level. Some of us only deal internationally, if we make mistakes it’s because we try not to use assistants as much.

  19. avatar Si'vet says:

    Alan here is your response from a HUNTER, (KILLER) excuse me William Houard, (never will ), take it to the bank, I am proud of who I am, and what I do for all wildlife…… step up flat lander.

  20. avatar JB says:

    Si’vet:

    I don’t doubt that you care about wildlife, nor do I recall chastising you for misspelling. I have had many a civil dialogue with Layton, Josh, Ryan, Mark and others with whom I disagree with about wolves and their “management”. Ironically, while others have insisted that Ralph ban these folks from participating, I have consistently stood up for them (and will continue to do so).

    However, I do tend to get fired up where SFW is concerned (too many dealings with their “higher-ups”, I guess). To be clear, I don’t doubt that they do good things for protecting habitat, but that doesn’t excuse their clear and consistent anti-predator stance.

  21. avatar Elk275 says:

    Si’vet

    That was a very good long post, I agree with what you said. I have enjoy hunting ever since my father first took me hunting when I was 5 years old. When, I turned twenty one, I worked 12/7’s on road contruction in Yellowstone Park until August 17, 1972. Then I was off to Alaska hunting for 28 days, the best 28 days of my life. I have been able to hunt 4 or 5 countries since then. Four years ago I was in the New Zealand Southern Alps and twice I came very close to killing myself with a near fall and being caught in 10 inches of rain in 6 hours. Since then I have slow down. But I have always enjoyed hunting and watching wildlife. I have a small covey of Huns in my yard every once in while and they give me great joy. My next want is an Ibex.

  22. avatar JEFF E says:

    sounds like New year’s has started for some of us.
    And a Happy one to all

  23. avatar Si'vet says:

    To all: on this site. if you feel it and believe it be willing to go the extra mile for it. If I disagree, I need to be willing to fight for it. and go the extra mile. But in the end, ” please help keep wildlife on the front burner>>> happy new year

  24. avatar Si'vet says:

    JB- happy new year. in the real world we would drink too much and give each other a ton of (—-) grief. be true to your beliefs, we will fight like hell later…

  25. avatar JB says:

    Jeff, Si’vet, and anyone else “listening”:

    Anyone who is reading about wildlife this late on New Year’s Eve has my respect! Cheers, and happy new year!

  26. avatar izabelam says:

    JB and others ..I am here and I am fully dedicated to spread the word and educate people about wolves and their place in our eco system. I am a dreamer and I hope we all can get along…
    Now, if anyone comes to Utah and want to meet me..I will buy him/her a beer ….in case someone thinks I am just an emotional little girl…No..I am old enough and not so emotional but rather passionate about what I believe in and what I do ..regardless if it is a software program I desiged or a coyote or a wolf… of a bison.. I also have a life and a job and husband and dogs and I do enjoy ‘bambie’ from time to time…but I stand tall and scream..stop killing wolves…
    Blue moon time….howling for peace and wolves!
    Happy new year to all..Izabela

  27. avatar JEFF E says:

    JB,
    Happy New Year
    I have spent the last two hours or so reading the various management plans for the mid-west states, the various tribes, and of course our little neck of the woods. Started yesterday and just about done.
    Just a comparison/contrast exercise/

  28. avatar Si'vet says:

    Elk 275 “Ibex” in my dreams. have a great new years, you, I and WM, etc. minorities on this site,we just need be honest and git to gittin. The better our opponents, the stronger we are. Peace out to you and ALL …

  29. avatar izabelam says:

    Si’vet..I almost thought you were on my side of the fence..darn..:)

  30. avatar Si'vet says:

    Iz, as you know on certain issues were miles apart. Do I respect you for your beliefs hell yes. As far as I’m concerned do you have to justify your feelings HELL NO.. Would there be a chance my wife and I would take you up on a wasatch ale heck yes,.. go jazz have a great new year..

  31. avatar Save bears says:

    To all, Happy New Years…

    I think we are all passionate about wildlife and wild spaces.

    May 2010 bring us all the goal we are behind.

  32. avatar gline says:

    Happy New Year Iz- will be meeting you soon- how about that beer?

  33. avatar John d. says:

    I bid you all a happy new year,
    Though the day is almost over here
    To the folks who go where festivities thrive
    Please remember: don’t drink and drive.

  34. avatar izabelam says:

    Gline…I drink dark..how about you?

    Si’vet..if your wife is in for ASPCA..what in the heck are you doing on the other side of the fence.. jump on my side..:)
    let’s have that wasatch porter …
    Happy new year!

  35. avatar Save bears says:

    Heck izabelam,

    My wife and I have canceled each others votes out for the last 25 years, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

    Happy News to All!

  36. avatar JEFF E says:

    Izzy
    after years in Germany/euorpe I can’t drink anything but Alt.
    Mind if I join you?

  37. avatar JB says:

    Count me in for a Moose Drool! For some reason that beer always reminds me of the West?

  38. We spent the day at Lava Hot Springs, for those familiar with SE Idaho. Now I’m back.

    Happy New Year to you all and be careful!

  39. avatar JimT says:

    JB..

    You are right, I did say “fantasy”..VBG. And given the history of WS-grazing powers alliance, it may be fantasy to wish their powers be yanked. I think I have moved the demise of WS right up there with my number one fantasy in my life time…the permanent breaching of Glen Canyon Dam….

    Si’Vet….did I “hear” you use the term flatlander? Are you from the Northeast by any chance orginally? That term is a derogatory term used by some old time native New Englanders to describe folks from “foreign” places liike Massachusetts who “didn’t” get it about the New England lifestyle. Me, being one of those native New Englanders, and having lived so much of my life in the West, I find it amusing, especially since I now consider the Green Mountains as “hills”, and I live at a higher elevation than the highest point in New York State, Mount Marcy!

    I think living in different regions enriches what you can bring to the table in any problem solving situation; doesn’t mean you have the answers necessarily, but it also means you may have a perspective that will help break a long stalemate…of which New England towns have plenty…LOL.

    Happy second day of the New Year..whatever decade you think it is…Perhaps we could make up our own calendar and call this the Year of the Wolf…

  40. avatar Si'vet says:

    As long as everyone enjoys lot’s of beer, my kids will have shoes and the bills get paid, as for dark, my favorite is Guiness. Iz, I have one leg on each side of the BARBED wire fence, I don’t hate wolves, I prefer lot’s of deer and elk. Don’t tell anyone, especially JB, but I know there needs to be some wolves ” a lot of us do”, not sure on the numbers, WE are fearful of what the future holds for the sport we love, our passions run just as deep. Jim T, have always lived at or above 4600 ft. spend most of my spare time at 8000 – 9500. Around these “parts” we refer to anyone that’s not from these “parts” a Flatlander, You don’t even have to be from another state, you can just be an “out of county som bitch”. We are truly an odd bunch, but if you get stranded, hurt, or just need a hand, we’re there.

  41. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Si’vet, do you really think there is reason to fear for the sport you love? I guess I’m not seeing it in Wyoming. Just curious your thoughts on that.

  42. avatar Si'vet says:

    Pro – it’s already started, reduced opportunity’s in several area’s. These area’s I frequent a lot. Again just my observation. Since the spring of 2000, I have watched a herd of cow elk in their calving area, by the 12th of June they have regrouped. When they regrouped the cow, calf ratio is usually 63-76 per hundred. Weather and moisture “snow pack” I track with regards to my work, so I have a good idea of any significant changes. In 2005 a pack of 9 wolves became established in this range, ratio’s on the 12th have been 31,24,28,25.. Pro – I hunt bears in this area no real change there, that’s another reason I am there, the lion numbers are up a little, do to the wolf pack making hound hunting risky, but mule deer numbers are low, which has a greater impact on lion numbers. The F&G has noted these drops and have reduced hunting opportunity’s as well. I know there’s a lot of biologist on this site, I am sure they can confirm cow calf ratio’s this low this early in the year, means something has to go or lose the entire herd, guess who.. Last confirmed pack count 16. with several split off. Killing an adult elk will sustain a large pack for a day or so, and that’s 1 elk.. A 35 pound calf will sustain 1 wolf for a day or so, and that is also 1 elk..

  43. avatar izabelam says:

    Si’vet,
    I hope that barbed fence will poke you enough to jump on my site. 🙂 smiling here…You are close..look…elk, deer and other creatures lived together long time before the man drove the cattle from Texas up to Montana, Wyoming..
    I believe it is not about elk, deer and wolves..if it is about ranchers, cry babies who let the cows roam free on my land..yes..BLM land is my land and it is your land…they don’t want wolves..heck..I don’t want darn cows to piss and crap on my land and on my meadows where I may want to sit and have a picnic on the bank of the river..but..there are cow pies everywhere ..on my land…so..I would love to get them out of land…and they can take their darn sheep off my land also.
    Hunting ..another story. Do you think hunting animals (elk, deer) on a snowmobile or ATV is fair? Ethical hunting. Hunt for food or trophy.Ok. How many elk or deer do you need?
    We can discuss the hunting for a long time. And why do you think hunting will be lost? I have friends who hunt but also accept the wolves as part of our eco system. I believe that hunters and wolves can live together.
    What we need is hunters to stand up and protect the wolves from ranchers.

  44. avatar vickif says:

    Si’Vet
    Let’s not get into basketball,,,lol, that could make for all out war here! Nuggets! Oh yeah!
    I am wishing each of you a productive and happy new year.

    But on the subject:
    Si’Vet,
    Do you think any of the changes in opportunity could be caused by encroachment? Or by global climate changes? What other sources of dimenished elk counts could you think of? I am sure wolves have an impact, but I wonder what other factors could be figured into the entirety? Just asking.

  45. avatar gline says:

    While ago, I had said it was your choice Si’vet to blame wolves and seemingly you have not changed…

  46. avatar gline says:

    *Awhile

  47. avatar Save bears says:

    Watch Out Si’Vet!

    here it comes!

  48. avatar Si'vet says:

    Iz, guess who get’s caught in the middle?? The wolves are making a major impact on elk herds, grazing on public land isn’t going away anytime soon.. When I was a a young man in the 70’s just seeing fresh elk tracks was a big deal, I and many others spent time ,$$, on improving, and if you look at the numbers from 80 – 2003 we did a good job, now when it comes time to share that with my grandson in 7yrs. guess what? Will public land grazing be abolished sometime in the future, yes.. Will I be able to benefit from it with my grandkids probably not. Can wolf numbers be controlled to a point where they are still here but not as big an impact on big game until the other land use issues are resolved I think so. I have a different relationship with the IDFG, I have a trust and respect for many of them, and we’ve had our days, to many of those F&G people when they are charged with a big game species it’s a pride thing. Would I have made this statement 10 yrs ago, HELL NO, the guard is slowly changing.. Iz, your preaching to the choir on public grazing I’ve taken pictures with a polaroid SWINGER camera and submitted to the BLM. I know exactly what your talking about..

  49. avatar Si'vet says:

    I know SB… Vic, those are all big impactors for sure.. But not in this area. Had there been any significant changes I wouldn’t have brought it up… Have to run errand back in an hr.

  50. avatar gline says:

    SB, the placater of wolf advocates… in action I see! and, yes correct spelling.

  51. avatar gline says:

    Unfortunately, I have to go to work, pull a night shift so that I can pay my tax money to WS and environmental groups fighting this insane sacrifice.

  52. avatar Save bears says:

    Here we go again Gline…Same ole’ Same Ole’

  53. avatar gline says:

    And why exactly would that be do you think? Is this or is it not a Pro wolf blog SB? You are on the wrong blog- it isn’t about ego test, it is about wildlife. Try Monster Muleys.

  54. avatar gline says:

    Or was it Safari Club?? think so.

  55. avatar gline says:

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men [or women] to do nothing.” Edmund Burke 1770

  56. avatar Save bears says:

    gline,

    I won’t go there, I have already written Ralph, which he has requested I do,

    I am not a member of any organization, so your accusations are baseless as well as offensive.

    No, this is a pro wildlife and lands blog, which I feel many try and stay withing based on their beliefs, you however, are continually on the attack when there are people who disagree with your radical leanings.

  57. avatar vickif says:

    Well, I don’t know that there is a solution in the near future.
    I do know, in order for conservation and every other animal issue here to come together, hunters and anglers have to be a part of the picture.
    Simply put, you have to make the people with the cash happy. I know, and am out spoken in recognition, that not all monies come from hunters/anglers. But I also know that a tremendous amount does.
    We can all sit around singing Bless the Beasts and the Children, but at the end of the day, realistic ideals and goals have to be the common denominator.
    PETA and numerous other agencies, like the NRA, serve a purpose. I believe that purpose is to show the extremes to those who need to plant their support firmly in the middle.

    We can all see why people would sympathize with, and choose to never harm, animals. It is easy to find likeness with them, to see them as defenseless.
    But the cold hard truth is, animals are animals. They eat one another. We (humans) have canine incisors. We eat meat. (Anthropologically speaking.) Therefore, we have got to accept that animals will die….even by unnatural means. And even wolves.
    There is never going to be a solution that makes everyone happy. Bleeding hearts, or Soldier of Fortune subscribers are not the majority. So why do we let the extreme ideas speak for all of us?
    Most hunters know wolves have a place, most also know that cows do too-on feed lots. So we are not all for shooting all wolves.
    On that note, we cannot assume that wolves will just contain themselves entirely. We have placed them back into an ecosystem that has human boundaries. Eventually (I may be wrong) they would do exactly what coyotes, foxes and skunks have done…adapt to suburbia. Or, like cougars, learn to prey on animals they know are artificially maintained by human conditions. (Mule deer on well groomed lawns.)
    Case in point, elk being killed immediately outside of the Mammoth Cabins and Hotel. Eventually, a person would come between a wolf and it’s meal. Or wolves would become conditioned to humans. It would be a reason for wolf management. One way or another, until people or wolves are all gone, wolves will always be killed.
    So, why not have those who are ‘middle of the road’ be a more dominant force in deciding, how many? When? In what way? Why is it that it is right or left? Irritates the crap out of me.

  58. avatar Save bears says:

    Vicki,

    I would love to see us, that are in the middle become the dominant force, if so, perhaps we could accomplish something.

  59. avatar Si'vet says:

    Vic, think you hit it pretty dang close.

  60. avatar jerryB says:

    Vicki……..I believe your “middle of the road” philosophy is what “Defenders” has been pushing . Just look at their guide to “Livestock and Wolves” and their attempt at “consensus building that has been on going for many years.
    Also they seem to be in control of the “Western Wolf Coalition” http://www.westernwolves.org
    If you check out their website, you’ll see how they collaborate with both cow people and outfitters.
    Problem is, their theory has back-fired….there’s less tolerance of wolves and ranchers hate Defenders and have no respect for them.

  61. avatar vickif says:

    JerryB,
    All that may be true. But I also have a very strong belief that there is absolutely no place for cattle or sheep grazing on public lands.
    So, I feel very strongly that ranchers, after having no grazing leases left, will be a lot less capable of impact.
    Hunters, unlike ranchers, are often ambassadors and conservation savvy. But ranchers are more parasitic. They use land that they cannot and do not restore.
    Now, should ranchers only utilize their own land, and properly provide for limited access by both wolves, and the usual prey of wolves….then I am one of those people who say that” a wolf depredating on livestock that is contained to private lands, the rancher is within his/her right to exterminate the wolf.”
    That would require a rancher to be able to ranch what can be contained to their own acerage, and to actually shoot a wolf that was within it’s fenced boundary. It will be the vast exception to the rule.
    Unless such time would arise that wolves are relisted in all states. Then once that occurs, the people’s right to have a sustainable population of an endangered animal is profoundly more consequential.
    I won’t say cattle are less important than wolves. I do think they are, as domesticated livestock, a hell of a lot easier to raise (and belong) in a contained area designed for manufacturing.
    I see cattle as a luxury staple, like vegatables you buy in a can. You could grow your own, you could eat other wild meat….but you don’t see people running out to get a lease so they can grow tomatoes in the national forest. If they did, we wouldn’t shoot every slug or rabbit that came to eat one.
    We don’t need ranchers to fund healthy and sustainable populations of wild animals. But, we do need hunters for that.

    JerryB,
    I get a lot of heated comments when I say wolves will eventually need to be hunted.
    I am not your typical pro-wolf person. I am also not saying “unemploy ranchers everywhere, remove them from their historical and westernized romantic lifestyle.” I am saying that we should not accomodate the lifestyle of any person who uses resources without adequate retribution or accountability.
    I don’t believe I ever included ranchers in the middle ground. I did include hunters and wildlife advocates, because nobody hunts cows on public lands, and nobody I know of cares to go watch cows defacate on it either. Hunters and wildlife watchers both have a vested interest in a healthy environment. Cattle ranchers are only vested in cheap grazing. They give nothing back (as a general rule).

  62. avatar jerryB says:

    Vickif
    I’m sure that “Defenders of Wildlife” monitors this blog.
    I’d like them to clarify their position on “public lands grazing”.
    There must be someone from Defenders reading this that is willing to do that.
    Also….what is the “Western Wolf Coalition’s” position on public lands grazing? Anyone??

  63. avatar Salle says:

    jerryB,

    As an officer of a member organization of the WWC, in my reckoning, it isn’t a major topic of discussion. The reason being that we all understand that public lands grazing takes place and we are not really focused on that issue though we realize it isn’t the best manner of public land management, we are more interested in helping livestock interests understand nonlethal management techniques, (among other concerns I am not at liberty to discuss here). Conflict with them seems counterproductive.

    It is a coalition after all, with a specific purpose. There are many organizations involved in the coalition and the mission has to fit all of them ~ no simple task to put it bluntly. That being said, the organizations that are more focused on that issue continue to do their thing but with the mission of the coalition guiding the activities to where the coalition mission is not compromised by the individual member organizations’ activities.

    That is probably why you won’t see any comments/statements of the that sort by coalition members as representing the coalition on that topic.

    Besides, members of the plaintiffs’ group must be circumspect in their public comments while litigation is still in deliberation. Shouting on blogs doesn’t bode well in such cases. I think that Ms. Rappaport-Clarke’s oped in the NYT was a good move, she probably had to deliberate a great deal before publishing it. that’s the thing with groups, you agree to play by established rules when you join, otherwise, why join?

  64. avatar jerryB says:

    Sallee…
    At a recent Conservation Biology Conference, I listened to Ed Bangs say that “non-lethal management techniques” are a waste of time and money.
    He’s someone that the livestock industry listens to. Does your org find it difficult to convince ranchers otherwise? And what organizations that comprise the WWC are out there in the field working with ranchers? Do you have examples here in western Montana?
    Also, if WWC was active in removing cows from public lands, wouldn’t half or more of the battle be won?
    There’s a hell of a lot of wolves being killed around me, so I wonder if WWC is having any positive impact.

  65. jerryB,

    Salle said WWC is a coalition. The Wolf Recovery Foundation, of which I am President, is a member of WWC. WWC is doing all it can given the nature of a coalition.

    The Wolf Recovery Foundation has spent almost all of its money on scientific research for peer reviewed articles and to hold the annual Chico Conference, but I expect this year we will be more aggressive, given that only legal action seems to work.

  66. avatar Salle says:

    So, JerryB,

    Please look at the web site. This page describes the intentions of the coalition. The majority of the activity of this group is media exposure of the facts and public outreach – nonspecific in general.

    http://www.westernwolves.org/index.php/who-we-are

    The organizations that work to support nonlethal management that I know of are DoW with their Previous development of many of the techniques that are used and actually work for the ranchers who open-mindedly use them and Keystone who heads the Range Rider program that seems to work for those who use it. Nothing is 100% effective and that’s what many have to accept.

    The big problem is bad attitudes based on folklore, some will cling to it like it’s gospel and that’s all they ever will believe.

  67. avatar JimT says:

    JerryB,

    I know DOW folks are aware of Ralph’s blog because I have passed the link to a few management types and have encouraged them to check in for breaking news, especially on the wolf front. Whether someone is monitoring the blog daily…I doubt it. But, the DOW website is full of contact information for everyone from the CEO and President on down, so if you have questions to ask, or articles to forward, I would encourage you to do so.

    BTW, probably the most historically knowledgeable person on the issues of public land grazing is a woman named Johanna Wald in the SF office of NRDC. But, it is my understanding that NRDC dropped its ranching campaign. As Ralph has said a few times, the nationals seem to have abandoned ranching as a big time program. From what I read here, it is a combination of the public land ranching industry and Wildlife Services that is the most deadly in terms of wolf recovery being harmed.

  68. avatar izabelam says:

    Si’vet,
    you said:
    “When I was a a young man in the 70’s just seeing fresh elk tracks was a big deal, I……now when it comes time to share that with my grandson in 7yrs. guess what? …..Will I be able to benefit from it with my grandkids probably not”Well, if it goes as it is now, not only will you not be able to hunt with your grandkids but you grand kids and grand grand children will never see a predator in the wilderness.
    Zoo, maybe. Your grand grand kids will be able to see cows..lots of cows…no elk, deer or wolf. So, for the sake of your grandkids and their kids, we need to stand up to the ranchers, officials who ‘sleep’ with the ranchers, bad governors who have private interests in cattle industry, WS who kisses a$% of cows’ herders and wolf haters.
    Have you voted for Otter?
    Next time, don’t.

  69. avatar jerryB says:

    Jim T
    I can’t even imagine the number of emails I’ve sent to DOW over the past 4 years. I’m actually a member and the main reason for joining was because I assumed it would illicit a response from them if I had a membership in the organization. I’ve gone to the top with the emails and also phone calls.
    Having been the original co-founder of “FootlooseMontana”, I had questions not only with the wolf issue, but with their lack of support of the anti-trapping campaign here in Montana. Finally,after numerous attempts up the “chain of command” with emails and phone calls, we received a disrespectful and condescending email from Schlickeisen which we retained in our file.
    Basically, it’s been…..Don’t question us, even if you’re a member.
    So, Jim…I appreciate your suggestion, but been there ………..

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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