How many times did we say Idaho Fish and Game’s 500 wolves plan was meaningless in the face of the legislature?

House Concurrent Resolution 43, now before the Idaho Legislature says that “existing conditions relating to wolves define an emergency condition for all rural Idahoans and, in the face of this emergency, the Legislature encourages the Governor of the state of Idaho to declare that a state of emergency exists in Idaho and to authorize and require the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to use any means to reduce wolf numbers to those designated for recovery of the species [150, 100?] [emphasis added]

Text of Resolution.

A concurrent resolution does not have the force of law, but it clearly shows the ldaho Legislature can wash away Fish and Game’s commitment to maintaining a minimum of 500 wolves in an instant.

I don’t know who they intend the resolution for, but it, with its laughable emergency, should be hand delivered to Judge Molloy.

I can’t help be but irritated that the Fish and Game Department and Commission keeps saying, “no, we promise to maintain 500 wolves, which is more than the minimum.” How many times did we go through right here on this forum ? This also shows why they so want to radio collar wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness — for the token population.

Thanks to Barb Rupers for posting this resolution in the comments.

I’m pasting the text here too,
Ken

LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO
Sixtieth Legislature Second Regular Session 2010

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 43
BY RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION COMMITTEE

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
STATING FINDINGS OF THE LEGISLATURE THAT EXISTING CONDITIONS RELATING TO WOLVES DEFINE AN EMERGENCY CONDITION FOR ALL RURAL IDAHOANS AND, IN THE FACE OF THIS EMERGENCY, THE LEGISLATURE ENCOURAGES THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF IDAHO TO DECLARE THAT A STATE OF EMERGENCY EXISTS IN IDAHO AND TO AUTHORIZE AND REQUIRE THE IDAHO DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME TO USE ANY MEANS TO REDUCE WOLF NUMBERS TO THOSE DESIGNATED FOR RECOVERY OF THE SPECIES.

Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:

WHEREAS, wolf populations have grown to a level of over eight times the number designated for recovery of the species in Idaho and no effective management plan exists for reducing wolf populations to the number designated for recovery of the species; and

WHEREAS, growing and unacceptable levels of wolf predation against livestock and pets exist and many claims relating to losses by wolves are not fully compensated; and

WHEREAS, wolf packs have moved into densely populated areas and unnec essarily large numbers of wolves constitute a threat, not only to property, but to human life itself, with particular threat to children; and

WHEREAS, the time and costs expended in an effort to protect livestock against wolf attacks is never compensated; and

WHEREAS, people living in most rural parts of the state are threatened by wolves and must change their habits and lose the safe use of, and travel upon, their own property. Individuals must now arm themselves to face the threat of growing, unchecked numbers of wolves in many parts of the state; and

WHEREAS, unchecked numbers of wolves are destroying the culture and heritage of rural Idahoans including, but not limited to, their use of real estate, their use of hounds for legal hunting of big game, their livelihood in professional hunting, such as outfitting and guiding, and their choice of type and location of livestock animals for food production and recreation; and

WHEREAS, excessive wolf populations reduce livestock production through direct loss of life and loss of productivity, with higher costs to producers, which creates devaluation of established livestock businesses in areas of high wolf populations; and

WHEREAS, excessive numbers of wolves are hindering recovery of elk populations in parts of the state, are reducing the big game populations avail able to hunters in the state, and are preventing the Idaho Department of Fish and Game from exercising its mandate to manage big game for the benefit of hunters in the state; and

WHEREAS, in 2006, Governor Jim Risch issued Executive Order No. 2006 32, finding that there was an imminent threat to the health of wild elk herds, as well as to the public health and safety of the citizens of Idaho, due to escape of domestic elk from the Conant Creek Facility in eastern Idaho and ordered the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to “identify and shoot on site, any domestic elk that have escaped from the Conant Creek Facility.” The large number of wolves in the state presents a far greater threat.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the Second Regular Session of the Sixtieth Idaho Legislature, the House of Representatives and the Senate concurring therein, that the above described conditions define an emergency condition for all rural Idahoans and, in the face of this emergency, the Legislature hereby encourages the Governor of the State of Idaho to declare that a state of emergency exists in Idaho and to authorize and require the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to use any legal means to reduce wolf numbers to those designated for recovery of the species.

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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.

50 Responses to Idaho House Concurrent Resolution 43 . . . reduce wolves to 150

  1. avatar JimT says:

    They are a joke..a bad, vicious joke, but a joke nonetheless when it comes to credibility. If Malloy doesn’t rule soon, and basically lecture the Three States on the law, state-federal lands law….it will be a lost opportunity.

    It is all about confinement..that much is clear. Parks and Wilderness…defacto zoos.

  2. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    The bill talks about elk escaping from a facility. Is that Rammel’s? Strange how they even have to mention that in the bill. Like I had said before, if the state of Idaho put half the time and energy into their schools and trying to get jobs into the state that place would be pretty desirable to live in.

  3. avatar william huard says:

    Whereas this, Whereas that- these people need help. This really shows how very little things have changed concerning wolf tolerance in the west. How sad. Malloy better rule soon, and people need to email wildlife services and let them know we are on to their arrangement with Idaho Fish and Game, and that we will not tolerate our tax dollars supporting wolf extermination by these fools.

  4. JimT,

    You are right. These public officials believe in small prisons for nature.

    Tom Birch at the University of Montana wrote a good article about this back in 1990 in Environmental Ethics: “The Incarceration of Wildness: Wilderness as Prisons.”

  5. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Ralph, JimT, if you ever want to see a place that is a prison (too small to be a wilderness) for wildlife go to the National Bison Range in Montana. It is surrounded by high fences that keep deer, elk, antelope, bighorn sheep, and the bison out. Literally right up against the fence you see cattle ranches. It really is rather unsettling. I can only imagine that scenario becoming a reality.

  6. avatar Jeff says:

    I’ve never been to the National Bison Range—-having seen it on the map and read about it, I had higher hopes. Next your going to tell me in Wyoming they crowd elk onto slivers of crap covered land and feed them bales of hay off a sleigh…oh wait they already do that…I never thought how much the ag mindset permeates Wildlife Mgmt—both in state agencies and academia. I started out as a Zoology/Wildlife Mgmt student in Laramie 20+ years ago, but at 18 I wouldn’t have been capable of seeing that slant at that time in my life.

  7. avatar jon says:

    Ralph, do you think Ed Bangs is gonna step in?

  8. avatar Elk275 says:

    The National Bison Range is 18,500 acres and was created in 1908. The land for the range was purchased from the Flathead Indians. The land surrounding the range is fee or Indian land. There is really nothing else that could or can be done. to remove the fences. If I remember my history the Flathead Indians were removed from the Bitteroot Valley and resettled in the Flathead Valley.

  9. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Elk275, I am just using that as an example of a prison for wildlife. I think a scenario like that could happen with too much development around wilderness areas and national parks. This may not be actually fenced, but the result would be similar.

  10. avatar billybob says:

    Wow, glad they came up with this.I didn’t realize it’s not safe to go outside on my own property anymore.I’m not stepping outside my door anymore unless I have my trusty AK-47 or a few hand grenades.I’m not taking any chances.Perhaps wolves are the REAL reason the housing market in Idaho has dropped so bad people are afraid to move here now. It’s not even safe in densely populated areas either.

  11. avatar steve c says:

    Mark Gamblin, where are you?

  12. avatar Erin Barca says:

    This talk of wilderness prisons reminds me a little of Point Reyes National Seashore in California. A herd of Tule elk are isolated to the northern edge of land – the 2600 acre Tomales Point which juts out into the sea. They are further confined to this region by fence and cattle guard.

    For a hundred years the land was scarred through intensive grazing, and despite gathering National Seashore status, there is still much ranching there now. The ranches are considered “historic” and they have been allowed to continue their operations.

    The cattle brought with them Johne’s disease. The Cattlemen’s Association thinks it has been eradicated in cattle, but they are concerned the elk could give it back to them. Sound familiar?

    There is another herd of Tule Elk in Los Banos, CA. that is completely fenced in on only 780 acres. The wetlands refuge is a ghost of what it once was and is surrounded by agricultural fields.

    It is troubling that there are already working models of this in any form. And these desperate attempts to use helicopters to dart, collar and count wolves in the wilderness, and to up the quota and eliminate more and more packs elsewhere should be enough of a clue-by-four for some folks still in denial of any wrong-doing.

    Then there is this little flex. Oh my.

  13. avatar davej says:

    This resolution reminds me of the old saying “Stupidity is a force unto itself.”

  14. avatar spanglelakes says:

    So who is behind this resolution? Nate Helms/Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife? State Representative Lenore Barrett and her buddy, Ron Gillett – Custer County wolf-haters who have spent much of the last 15 years holding hands and trying to exterminate wolves in Idaho?

    Or, is it Idaho Cattlemen’s Association, Idaho Wool Growers, or the Idaho Outfitters & Guide Association and their the big game outfitters who also detest wolves? Gotta be a paper trail. My guess is ALL OF THE ABOVE. Add in Wildlife Services/Idaho – the killing machine funded by taxpayer dollars and with three airplanes and lease helicopters needing to be flying/killing wolves.

    Re outfitters, go on line and read IOGA outfitter websites – like Mile High Outfitters/Challis and Big Horn Outfitters/Camen ID, proudly showing dead wolves taken by their clients.

    Check out the photos on White Cloud Outfitters, Challis, website showing hounds barking at a cornered mountain lions. Big Game outfitters don’t want wolves around when they are running hounds, tormenting cats and bears running for their lives.

    Unless something changes, hundreds of wolves are going to die in the next months, including pups being gassed in their dens (“using all the tools in the toolbox” as IDFG likes to say).

  15. avatar Eric T says:

    The re-election posturing currently going on in the Idaho legislature isn’t really surprising. It is most definitely short sighted, but not surprising.

  16. avatar Salle says:

    Ignorance on steroids.

  17. avatar Mike says:

    This is good news. Look for the wolf to be back on the list very soon.

    Thanks Idaho!

  18. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Erin, I think those places like that are probably going to become more of a reality. Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt National Parks are like that. They are surrounded by grazing land. These kinds of places are almost like big zoos.

    Perhaps wolves are the REAL reason the housing market in Idaho has dropped so bad people are afraid to move here now. It’s not even safe in densely populated areas either.

    Billybob, the funny thing is, when people in Idaho keep pitching fits like this, there may be a decrease in people wanting to relocate. The outfitters have done a good job convincing hunters they should’t stay. I have read articles in Outdoor Life that have complained about wolves eating all the elk (exact wording). If I was somebody who was looking for a place to hunt I sure wouldn’t go to a state that advertised that. I was job hunting once and spoke to someone from Challis who told me and a group of about 50 other people that you needed pepper spray or a pistol because wolves were everywhere. This may cause the state some economic problems if it keeps up.

  19. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    Mike you may be right however, I see this more as action to move the bar back down from where the pro wolf side keeps pushing it up.

  20. avatar Salle says:

    I was job hunting once and spoke to someone from Challis who told me and a group of about 50 other people that you needed pepper spray or a pistol because wolves were everywhere. This may cause the state some economic problems if it keeps up.

    Perhaps this has a secondary intent, to keep people from moving to Idaho. There is a number of folks who are unhappy about “outsiders” moving in and wanting to change their traditional “hold” on the “way of life” there. A lifestyle that hangs on with a death grip to 19th or even 18th century ideals and knowledge.

    One would hope that an issue of this type would increase the possibility of increased funding for education.

  21. The sponsor of resolution is some guy named Harwood from St. Maries.

    That would mean he is not a livestock person himself.

  22. avatar Salle says:

    St Maries is where the loudest whining about how their children, waiting for the school bus, will be eaten by wolves takes place. It’s a long-time logging community and an old stronghold of the “wobblies”. Very much like Clayton, Idaho in their love of wolves and wildlife.

  23. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    Salle, I have seen that mentality of not liking outsiders as well. I have been some places that would be inbred if it weren’t for the outsiders that moved in. Like it or not, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho do need the outsiders vacationing and buying second homes. The agriculture industry only goes so far.

  24. avatar Eric T says:

    Salle<wobblies

  25. avatar JimT says:

    If I were Mark, I would be submitting my resignation….if I cared about government doing the right thing…It is getting to the point with these state agencies that to continue to work for them is a mark of personal shame…..

  26. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    To all – I believe the wolf issue is has become part of a much larger issue in this country – the polictics in the Northern Rockies is toxic towards the Federal Government. As the public has lost confidence in the ability of our leaders to improve the economic situation they are openly attempting to bring contol of their government closer to home. The wolf issue is seen as a never ending Federal Government imposed problem on the states, people and the wildlife as they have known it. In addition, in a country where the fabric is coming unwound and people are REALLY hurting the “wolf issue” is seen as a problem of the privileged class. Save Bears and others have mentioned the state’s rights movement and if you just read around this country there is certainly a push for that and I believe the timing is against the wolf in the short run.

  27. avatar Salle says:

    R. J. Harwood (R)
    District 2
    St. Maries
    Retired
    Capitol Contact (Session Only):
    Room – EW29 #17
    Phone – (208) 332-1070
    Committees:
    Environment, Energy, & Technology – Vice Chair
    Resources & Conservation
    Revenue & Taxation
    _________________________

    I didn’t include his home address or phone though it is online.

  28. Talks With Bears,

    I think you are right that is how many folks feel. It has been obvious to me that the wolf opposition has often really been bothered by something else entirely.

    I would like to write a long essay on the history of American populism and how it has usually gotten misdirected so that the populists end up attacking the wrong people.

    On the other hand, I don’t really want to launch the blog into the area of flat out, general political discussion.

  29. avatar Percy says:

    These people are pitiful. Their 18-year-old children are being dropped from helicopters into battle with the Taliban and they are afraid of wolves. I wonder how many people die from eating contaminated beef each year…

  30. avatar Jeremy B. says:

    All-

    Because we care about this issue and we talk with people who care about this issue we have an “inflated” sense of how important it is to most people. Honestly, I don’t think wolves are even on the radar of most people in Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and Utah.

    Ralph has emphasized in the past that these decisions are being made by political elites who represent powerful interest groups–groups like the so called Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, Livestock associations, and the Farm Bureau. Please keep this in mind when you condemn “these people” as ignorant, uneducated, and intellectually-crippled. Save your criticism for the political elites who, in many cases, are ignoring the will of the public with these types of actions.

    All the political posturing we are witnessing is about CONTROL–Local v. National, States v. Feds, Livestock v. Environmentalists. In essence, when votes are cast on asinine bills like this, each legislator is revealing where his/her allegiances lie–whose interests are truly being served. FWS’ and the states’ “containment” policy for wolves only serves the interests of the livestock industry; they are flexing their muscles in an attempt to show who really controls wildlife in the West.

  31. avatar Salle says:

    Jeremy B,

    I fully understand who these people are and their misguided perception of whom the represent. Many of them run for office but have little understanding of what their fiduciary responsibilities are nor are they concerned about what that might entail. At least in Idaho. I have seen this quite clearly when discussing the issues as an individual whom they are supposed to represent. Most of these politicians were truly unconcerned for my interests as a voter, all they cared about was whether I voted foor them and that was the extent of it. An education is not a prerequisite for holding office in Idaho, this is evident when election time comes around. Further, listen to them speak sometime, beyond forgiving sound-bytes. the first prerequisite is in regard to what their ideology might be, regardless of whether they graduated from high school. If they were raised on a farm or by lumber mill workers, then they are okay to go. If they have an education, it has to be one that is in favor of the special interests, thus they will have an introduction to the elected by the time they graduate and end up becoming the next generation of bad political bad actors.

    Too bad most folks on this blog don’t have the time or ability to go to some of the sessions and public hearings with these schills, it becomes obvious within the first ten minutes. Those who aren’t good public speakers have “spokespersons” to make them sound more intelligent… and pious. It’s not appropriate governing by any means in most cases. Special interests rule, period.

  32. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    Ralph – write the essay and close comments – please.

  33. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    Jeremy B – well said, especially the part about this group and the inflated sense of import of the wolf issue to us. Have to admit, glad you said it and not me – my plug may have been pulled over that comment.

    Salle – I would agree with your point regarding the education and or understanding of issues by politicians in Idaho or many other places. I would point out however, there are people who are “very well educated” in the highest offices in this country that have clearly demonstrated they “have little understanding of what their fiduciary responsibilities are nor are they concerned about what that might entail”.

  34. avatar Virginia says:

    What effect will these Idaho idiots have on the decision that needs to be made by Judge Molloy? I have been sending him my strongest mental vibes to rule on this horrible de-listing and what it has done to devastate the wolf population. This issue IS important for our wildlife/environment. Do we want to just give up on saving our wildlife and environment?

  35. avatar Layton says:

    “As the public has lost confidence in the ability of our leaders to improve the economic situation they are openly attempting to bring contol of their government closer to home.”

    As they should have!!

    The ONLY politician to exhibit ANY sort of a logical process is Evan Bayh — he quit the whole mess.

    When it gets to the point that “party” is more important than “pricipal”, it’s time to throw the whole lot out and start over.

  36. avatar JimT says:

    Ralph, you are wise not to officially unleash a political essay and have comments…so many issues on so many levels, and it will just end up with alot of angry people pointing fingers. If we are interested, we should go read some books on the misguided history of populist movements; there are plenty.

    I do have a book to recommend, along the lines of understanding the major economic mess and how we got here. It is a book called Firefall, by Joseph Stiglitz, a venerable, and very well respected economist. It is mostly written in plain English, and doesn’t pull any punches for any side. More importantly, it has solid suggestions for how to fix the system, the real priority, because if the system doesn’t get fixed, it will just happen again.

    Move to Vancouver, anyone? ;*)

  37. Yes. Let’s have no more direct political comments please because we have Republicans, Democrats, Independents, conservative and liberals here. We see how badly that discussion goes in the newspaper forums.

  38. avatar Talks with Bears says:

    Ralph – when you are done with your essay I would like you to email it to me. Thanks

  39. avatar jimbob says:

    Somebody explain to me again how our system of government is for the good of the people?! How is killing MY wolves, that I want kept alive, in my best interest/ what I want? How are these politicians governing in the best interest of the people? We all know what they are doing, but how do they get away with it? It is such blatant pandering (and even bribery) that I can’t believe it. There oughtta be a law……oops! Laws are only to protect livestock from Nature!

  40. avatar Elk275 says:

    ++How is killing MY wolves, that I want kept alive, in my best interest/ what I want?++

    How are your wolves killing my elk that I want to be plentiful for hunting season, is in my best interest/what I want?

    How are your wolves killing and chasing or stressing my livestock on my private land, yes Montana is 60% private land that I want to gain weight and sell for top dollar, is in my best interest/what I want?

    We all have our wants and the want that I want right I can not have.

    Well I have to go to Big Sky for business and will miss the women’s slalom run for the combined. Vonn is #1 and Mancuso is #3 in the shorten downhill. This will be the test of the 2 speed event racers switching to short tight turns. I want to follow the race but I can’t.

  41. avatar jon says:

    Does anyone know if this “plan” will go thru?

  42. avatar JEFF E says:

    Does anyone here with a lawyer background know if there is a legal definition of “chronic depredation” ?

  43. avatar jon says:

    Jeff E, email me when you get the chance. My email is jonwilson33@yahoo.com

  44. Jeff E

    There is no definition. We don’t know if it is one lamb every 5 years or 2 head of livestock every year, but right now I’d bet on the former. I think they decide it on the fly.

  45. avatar JEFF E says:

    Ralph,
    I would imagine that getting a court to assign(if that is even how it works) a legal definition would be like turning lead into gold.

  46. avatar JEFF E says:

    Or would it be the legislature now that I think of it….

  47. avatar JimT says:

    Usually, legal terms definitions can be included in legislation, but most often, the real crux of the issues lie with the implementing regs, and their definitions of the terms and concepts, which are then further refined in litigation, which can lead to new rule making….And then there is, of course, the judgment of the staff in the field, as Ralph says, made up on the spot, depending on the relationship between rancher and enforcement official.

    Too much information?

  48. avatar JEFF E says:

    JimT,
    So in essence the way to force a legal definition of “chronic depredation” would be to open a lawsuit that has that challenges how the state uses the term?

  49. avatar jimbob says:

    JimT—point is, the wolves are there and belong there. As a private landowner you can’t even kill ungulates without a depredation permit. Just because somebody wants something, does that mean they get it? I think you missed the irony in my post. Nobody gives a flying f*&^ what I want—-why should some rancher get to dictate what lives and what dies when he is getting the PRIVELEGE(!) of putting his stock on PUBLIC land. On the other hand, if you want artificially raised elk and deer numbers to hunt, get some land, fence it off, start raising some elk and deer, and start charging some morons to kill them.

  50. avatar vickif says:

    People seem to lose sight of a few very simple realities.
    1. Elk do not behave in a manner that is historically natural in many ecosystems. That is largely due to an artificially maintained and predator lacking environment.
    2. The vast majority of Americans (and from what I know hunters) do not survive off of elk or venison. That is not to say all, but most. So when we cry foul in the name of filling our freezers, we are not being scientifically honest.
    3. Public land or private land, is quite irrelevant, when it comes down to what is best for all, it is about what makes our natural environment balanced. That is what will prove to be most important in the long run. Pro elk or pro wolf, it doesn’t matter….neither will continue to thrive, nor will flora and other fawna, if we don’t let nature be handled without emotion or greed.

    Elk275,
    I agree that you have as much right to be concerned for your personal property as the rest of us have for ours. But this isn’t really about personal property, It is about control.

    However, your land, or public land all belonged to what was wild before we came along. It was a lot better off before then. Wolves are not going to make or break the average cattle operation (the majority are commercial feed lots which would adequately feed all of America). Wolves are not going to eat all the elk. Worst case scenario, we as hunters actually have to use some skill to succeed.

    All of the political maneuvering in the world isn’t going to change the real issue….human nature, and all that goes with that.

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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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