The groups that settled have not gained the assurance of anything-

Today’s announcement that a number of plaintiffs in the wolf delisting case are seeking a settlement with the Department of Interior they hope Judge Molloy will approve does represent a difference in strategy how to proceed in the current political environment.

Three groups, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Western Watersheds and Friends of the Clearwater are standing firm.

Western Watershed’s Executive Director, Jon Marvel, today told me the reasons for the group’s firm stance.

Western Watersheds stresses that this settlement is only with the Department of Interior.  No one, including Senator Jon Tester of Montana, has indicated that in response to the settlement they will withdraw or modify any legislation they have introduced to delist the wolves by law, nor do Secretary of Interior Salazar or President Obama make any promise or even say they oppose such legislation, much less veto it if it passes.

There is nothing in return from this settlement except the promise to keep the scant number of wolves in Utah, Oregon and Washington on the endangered species list.

Western Watersheds believes that having won the case in the first place, the groups should not then ask that the judge approve the violation of the law and his own decision (delisting the NRM wolf by state boundaries).

Jon Marvel said that part of the motivation of the groups that want to settle is to allow Idaho and Montana to have a hunting season for wolves, but that the settlement places no limits on the size of hunt, method of hunting, or even direct government killing of wolves including any method.  Perhaps even poison would be allowed.

Marvel said that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in particular was responsible for the situation today. After Judge Molloy overturned wolf delisting and President Obama took office, the Service, guided by the new Secretary of Interior, Ken Salazar, could have easily created a much different delisting plan that would have guaranteed protection of a recovered wolf population with ample opportunities for wolf management and protection of all species of wildlife. Instead, Salazar reissued the Bush/Kempthorne plan that did not provide any real protection for the wolf and illegally delisted them on state boundaries, leaving Wyoming in limbo.

- – - -

It is my view, and it was my advice, that once this issue had entered the legislative arena, absent any promise from Senator Tester or the Administration to veto, that any agreement with the Department of Interior was meaningless because is was too late and had no teeth.  Ralph Maughan

- – - -

Here are the  terms of the proposed settlement regarding Endangered Species Act (ESA) Protections for Gray Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Sent by email from USFWS today.

As part of the terms of the proposed settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the plaintiffs have agreed to take actions to clarify implementation of the ESA and to ensure that a recovered wolf population continues to be sustainably managed under approved state management plans. The settlement agreement becomes effective only after court approval. [boldface added]

The additional actions include: The parties will jointly ask the federal district court to stay its prior order so as to reinstate, in the states of Idaho and Montana, the 2009 rule removing wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountain Region from the protection of the Endangered Species Act.

The Service will withdraw a September 2007 Department of the Interior Solicitors M-Opinion interpreting the meaning of the phrase “significant portion of its range” under the ESA.

The Service will continue to work with the State of Wyoming to reach agreement on a wolf management plan that provides adequate protection for wolves should they be delisted within the state’s boundaries. Until such an agreement is reached, the Fish and Wildlife Service will continue to manage wolves in Wyoming.

Upon receipt from Wyoming of a mutually acceptable wolf management plan, the Service will publish a proposed rule to designate and delist a Northern Rocky Mountains Distinct Population Segment DPS) that replaces the 2009 rule.

The Service will base its proposed and final delisting determination on the ESA’s five statutory listing factors and on the basis of the best scientific and commercial data available. The Service may, prior to proposing delisting, consider reclassification of wolves that remain on the list within the Northern Rocky Mountains DPS.

The plaintiffs have agreed not to challenge any final rule designating and delisting any DPS prior to March 31, 2016. Further, they have agreed not to petition to list either the Northern Rocky Mountains DPS or any wolf population within the NRM DPS within the next three years.

The Service will continue to monitor the wolf population and gather population data for at least five years. Within four years of the date on which the court approves this agreement, the Service will seek an independent scientific assessment of whether wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains are being managed in a way that reasonably assures the continued presence of a sustainable, genetically connected population of wolves within the Northern Rocky Mountains DPS for the foreseeable future.

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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.

189 Responses to Western Watersheds Project stands firm. Does not join wolf settlement.

  1. avatar Tilly says:

    Ralph,
    What management plan would govern in Idaho if this settlement is approved? I seem to recall Idaho had a not-too-terrible plan from a few years back, but a few months ago, they gutted it, right? Would the gutted one govern? Thanks.

    • avatar jon says:

      Tilly, Idaho now wants only 100 wolves in their state. Maybe it has changed. Ralph can answer this. Suzanne Stone said there are 1000 wolves in Idaho, maybe more.

      • avatar Salle says:

        Actually I believe they want 0 wolves, as the gov and many legislators keep stating.

      • I know nothing about what Suzanne Stone said, but the official count at the end of 2010 was down in the 700s. Earlier it was well above 800.

      • avatar jon says:

        This is from 2009 Ralph.

        http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/aug2009/2009-08-20-094.html

        “The Idaho Department of Fish and Game, DFG, says its computer models indicate Idaho now has at least 1,000 wolves, adding that the population increases at a rate of about 20 percent a year, without hunting. ”

        “Idaho hosts the core of the Northern Rockies wolf population, with approximately 1,000 wolves,” said Suzanne Stone, Northern Rockies representative for Defenders of Wildlife. “By wiping out 220 wolves, the state will cripple the regional wolf population by isolating wolves into disconnected subgroups incapable of genetic or ecological sustainability.”

      • avatar jon says:

        This is more recent.

        http://www.ktvb.com/home/More-wolf-tags-could-be-sold-next-season-93212429.html

        What the feds need to do is step in and tell Idaho they have to have a certain amount of wolves. Having the wolves delisted so they can be killed off is totally unacceptable!!!

      • jon,

        The trouble is, has been since they gave up wolf management, the federal government just won’t enforce the law or pay attention to the facts.

        Salazar is no friend. Obama is weak and rudderless.

        Read about the actions of the Idaho and Montana legislatures for a couple weeks. The members are now so nutty, I’d want to move if they lived in my neighborhood. Here, I am not talking about wildlife issues, but just general government. When you negotiate you have to have some trust in the other side, not just that they will keep a bargain, but that they are in full control of their faculties.

    • Tilly,

      I think Salle’s answer is the more likely correct answer on the ground. Zero

      • avatar jon says:

        So, Ralph, how is this going to play out with Idaho and are the feds going to sit by and watch while Idaho kills off their 1000 wolves? What is going to happen here? Will the feds tell Idaho you have to have this certain amount of wolves in your state? What happens?

      • avatar jon says:

        Does anyone know if the feds know of Idaho’s extreme wolf managing plan? it does not make a lot of sense to have wolves delisted in Idaho only to be killed off by Idaho.

      • avatar Tilly says:

        This answers my question: yep, in Dec. 2010 the old plan was suspended; new plan will provide for 10-15 packs.

        http://wolves.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/breaking-idaho-fish-and-game-commission-suspends-2008-2012-wolf-management-plan/

      • avatar jon says:

        So the big question remains, are the feds going to let Idaho slaughter all but 100 wolves? Slaughtering 900 wolves is not a plan based on science. A science based plan and a slaughtering plan are two different plans. It’s clear what route Idaho wants to go.

      • avatar Cobra says:

        If Idaho only relies on a hunting season for wolves numbers will more than likely never drop below 400 or 500. To take out 8 or 900 wolves with only a hunting season will never happen, to much rough country, imho.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      Tilly,
      Idaho had two wolf management plans. One is the legislature’s plan which had no public input and calls for maintaining 10-15 breeding pairs. According to that plan there would be little protection for wolves if their population was above 15 breeding pairs. If below 15 breeding pairs then there would be more protections and lethal control would be suspended. If below 10 breeding pairs then wolves would be put back on the ESA.

      The other plan was the IDFG plan which received some public input, but was arbitrary and politically manipulated as well. That plan called for maintaining 518-732 wolves. We always argued that it was essentially political window dressing and that it had no force in law. We were right even though Mark Gamblin insisted that they would continue to manage wolves under that plan.

      I say we were right because last December, when it was revealed that Tester had introduced legislation which held Idaho to the IDFG plan, the IDFG commission quickly rescinded the plan. In one respect we were wrong though. We made a mistake by believing that the IDFG would be forced by the legislature to rescind the plan rather than enthusiastically doing it on their own.

  2. avatar Virginia says:

    Thank you to those who have the integrity to stand by what they believe. I knew there was a reason I was waiting to make my donation and did not donate to any of these traitors! I will be supporting Western Watersheds and the others with integrity.

  3. avatar jon says:

    Jon MARVEL AND wws are a fine group of people who are fighting for wildlife.

  4. avatar Ron Kearns says:

    I am astounded at the cowardice of the groups of which one I am a Life Member and two of which I relinquished my memberships last year.

    I trust that Judge Mollory is of sound legalistic integrity and that he has the legal precedence and foresight to quash this ill-conceived settlement.

    What personally must Mollory now think of those groups for whom he proffered a sound legal opinion only to have them backhandedly ‘renege’ on his ruling?

  5. avatar Phil says:

    Thank you Ralph for posting this.

  6. For the sake of the wolves, I hope the other groups are correct.

    We at Western Watersheds have been disappointed so many times, however, that we can’t give away a victory in a false hope of creating good will.

  7. avatar Ken Cole says:

    If we don’t prevail I can guarantee you that IDFG will proceed, without any public input, to start killing wolves in the four zones that they have publicly claimed are not meeting their elk objectives. The Lolo, Sawtooth, Smokey Mountains, and most recently the St. Joe. This means that they probably intend to kill 80% of the wolves in each of these areas but without ESA protection the toll might be higher. This will create at least 4 mortality sinks in the state where wolves will be killed and others will quickly inhabit.

    They are mobilized and ready to start at a moments notice once delisting is done.

    That’s my prediction.

  8. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    The 2010 “Wolf Conservation & Mgt in Idaho Progress Report” that came out a week ago, states an estimate of 704 wolves, a 19% decrease over 2009 (870 wolves). There were 87 documented wolf packs inc border packs with other states, 10 fewer packs than 2009.

    The 2002 Idaho Wolf Conservation & Mgt Plan, approved by the USFWS in 2004, calls for 15 breeding pairs. This could be as low as around 100 wolves. Governor Otter, the IDFG Commissioners, Idaho legislature, have made it clear they do NOT like wolves, and do NOT want them in Idaho.

    The 2008 Idaho Wolf Population Mgt Plan – which was constructed around hunting and killing wolves, called for between 500 and 700 wolves. This Plan was suspended by the “death squad”, that is the IDFG Commissioners in Dec 2010.

    Now that key groups have backed out of the lawsuit, and if Judge Molloy agrees, there would be no hammer to force Idaho to have more than 100 wolves.

    I heard that IDFG collared 15 wolves this winter in the Sawtooth Zone so they can go in and find entire packs & destroy them in the name of protecting the thousands of deer and elk that you see all over the countryside & on the hwy as you drive from Banks-Garden Valley & beyond.

    • avatar Phil says:

      Lynne or anyone else: Do you know if the border packs of Idaho are also counted in Montana and Wyoming?

      • avatar WM says:

        Phil,

        As I have said before you are lazy. Do yourself a favor and actually read the respective annual reports of each state. You might learn something.

        Here, I’ll even point you in the right direction so you won’t get lost:

        http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/

      • avatar Tim says:

        I believe they are counted for the state they spend the most time in. You also have to remember that IDFG took no part in monitoring the wolf population this winter which I believe played a part in the lower annual wolf count. Very few packs in the panhandle were surveyed by air including one of the largest packs. Last year the pond peak pack was counted at 11. No count on them this year and i know they are still there because I cut there tracks several times in December. Same with the bumblebee pack. They counted 46 breeding pairs in Idaho but if you read the report it tells you that they did not even survey 20 documented packs for reproductive status.

  9. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    OK, we have strong opinions, but this comment has been deleted and replaced by what you are reading. By the webmaster

    • avatar jon says:

      RH, I’m not sure why you stopped posting, but I hope all is well with you.

    • avatar WM says:

      RH,

      If you have a problem with the factual veracity of my posts, or the position I take on a topic, address them. Otherwise, I guess you just turned into another filthy mouth with a challenged vocabulary, not unlike the badbearblog boys.

      • avatar Phil says:

        wm: Where is your topic to the table? “factual”? Don’t you mean “prehistoric”?

      • avatar timz says:

        WM as smart as you may think you are most of us here realize your not in the same league as RH, so now may be a good time for you to back out gracefully just in case he decides to really make you look foolish, although you usually need no help with that.

      • avatar WM says:

        timz,

        I respect RH’s writing skills. He is a professional and makes his living at it, and if I recall has been doing it for a long time. He is also very good at feeding you all the stuff you want to hear, slant and all.

        I, on the other hand am not a professional writer, and have different views than some/most here. I have tried to offer balance where there often is none on this forum. You can choose to read my stuff or not, and even call BS on what I say, if you disagree. I accept that.

        The very topic of this thread was one I predicted – plaintiffs pushing the DPS technical issue to the point of a favorable ruling (I believe Molloy was right in his ruling on the law, and have said this repeatedly).

        The case before Judge Molloy was, by plaintiff’s actions, diverted away from addressing the scientific/legal sufficiency of recovery of the NRM wolf population to meet the ESA legal standard.

        Now it’s got everybody (pro wolf and those of us in the middle) boxed into a corner. The states are pissed and radical legislative solutions are being sought that could very well result in less protection for wolves and is focusing unwanted attention on the ESA with a wacko Rep./Teaparty Congress.

        The stakes are huge, and some of this was preventable in my view.

  10. avatar Phil says:

    wm: It is not being lazy. I am relying on others with expertize on here. I will tell you what, why don’t you challenge me on ANY intelligent issue and I GUARANTEE I will put you in your place. ANY intelligent issue you want bring it!!!!! But, then again, it is you that relies on these prehistoric methods used by biologists 50 years ago and beyond in research. Going back to a conflict we were having yesterday, I want to prove that your mindset is nothing more then to “kill” what you see as a problem. The group I volunteer for has worked with many farmers here in Michigan to keep their crops protected from rabbits. The methods were non-kill ones, but instead putting up mesh fences specially ordered from Home Depot. The cost was around $800 or so split by each farmer and the conservation group. The special ordered mesh fences were not your typical mesh fences because the spacings within each mesh were smaller then a typical mesh fence. There were two sets of mesh fencings put into place, one below the surface of the ground up to 8 feet deep, and another above the surface of the ground 10 feet high. The two had a distance apart of only 2 inches because they were not connected together. These fences were put in almost 2 years ago, and the farmer has not lost one crop/vegetation to any of the rabbits. There have been no rabbits shot or blown up and killed, and the farmer has protected his investment. These are modern ways of protecting wildlife and coinciding humans with species, not your “kill” mentality. You are nothing more then an ignorant fool wm, and you continue to show that. Please, please bring any topic to the table and I personally guarantee I will make you look like the elder mind you show to be.

    • avatar jon says:

      Phil, now you understand why pro wolf advocates and hunters will never get along. Anyone who thinks different is foolish I believe imho. There are a group of people who are trying their best to protect wildlife and than you have the other group of people whose only concern is getting the right to kill wildlife. This wolf war if you want to call it that will continue on for years and years to come. If you don’t believe me, take a look at as many hunting websites you want and pay attention to the comments made on wolf topics and what they think of those who try to protect wildlife. They call us tree huggers, bunny huggers, etc. We are the ones who are trying to save wildlife and they try to belittle us for that.

      • avatar Phil says:

        Exactly jon. My comments are not directed to wm, but he sees it upon himself to respond in a disrespectful manner. As you have stated before, no matter what the population will be it will be to many to many of these hunters. I wonder if they would belittle us if we tried to save their lives if they needed it? I use to search around these hunting websites, such as Bearblog (which I thought was located in Maine, but could be wrong) and read all these propagandas put out by these types of hunters and finally decided that it was nothing more then fictional opinions. I see it like this, I truly believe the pro-wolf side is trying to get along, but there are a certain group of hunters no matter what the proof says will never come to alliance because they would like ALL species on the list to be hunted.

      • avatar jon says:

        That bbb blog, the creator of that blog is from Maine, my home state. He believes that coyotes are killing off all of the deer in Maine and wants snaring brought back and wants coyotes eliminated.

      • avatar william huard says:

        Coyotes will be pissing on Remington’s grave long after the idiot kicks the bucket.

    • avatar WM says:

      Phil,

      The point I raised on the other thread about non-lethal methods for controlling burrowing animals had to do with the economics and motivation to solve the problem. If the economics would work it is highly likely you would see more of it. As for your penning out rabbits, great idea, but who pays for the labor to do what you did on a large scale for acres and acres of this technique? If you think it is sustainable find a sponsor and market the concept. Go to the land grant university in your state, MI, I think you said, and see if you can get it more widely adopted.

      Experiments with volunteers are one thing. Making methods or practices work for many farmers and ranchers is yet another. I don’t think you get that part.

      • avatar Phil says:

        Us volunteers did the labor wm. You do know there are volunteers for many organizations, right? Or, are you looking at more of the past methods of realism? What is better, a farmer to spend money to save their crops, or lose thousands yearly? If you kill it will not solve anything as more of the population will move in and continue the problem. If you solve it with intelligence, then you prohibit a severe loss (or even a $0 loss) for the long run. I do not have to find any sponsor as I do not run the conservation group. There have been many sponsors coming forward, Michigan Tech, Michigan State University, etc, that have come forth in sponsoring methods of reducing farmer’s loss that does not deal with killing as the only option.

        WM: The experiments with volunteers has NOTHING to do with the method. It was run and cordinated by biologists who work with the conservation group and have ALL had more then 20 years of experience (Dr. Berven being one of them). The volunteers are similar to interns achieving personal experience. The ideas come from biologists who survey the general public for input.

  11. avatar Phil says:

    By the way wm, the annual reports did not answer my question.

    • avatar WM says:

      Phil,

      You didn’t look hard enough. Go to the tables in the respective state reports. They are noted, and shared border packs are sometimes discussed in the narrative. Unless someone knows differently, they are only counted once in the totals. And, as we know, from previous knowledgeable professionals the total number of wolves is conservative by up to 20 percent (please don’t raise this again because it has been beaten to death). Did you have other questions about border packs that were not answered in the reports or by others?

  12. avatar Phil says:

    jon: He sounds like the typical “I want to kill everything and use campaign agendas in doing so” hunter. There are hunters then there are extreme hunters. He falls in the category of extreme hunter.

    • avatar jon says:

      People have already discovered the agenda of people like Tom Remington years ago Phil. It is to turn the wilderness into a big gigantic game farm that provides plenty of targets for hunters to shoot. Natural predators as I’m sure you are aware of put a very big dent in that plan. Shoot many predators, so there are more deer and elk for us hunters to shoot. It’s no big secret. people are smart and know what is going on.

  13. avatar Wyo Native says:

    Ralph,

    Do you know if any of this so called “settlement” was discussed with Molloy prior to finalizing this settlement?

    Or are these groups putting their reputations on the line (they are getting their asses kicked by their members today on the blogs) on the hope that Molloy will stay his 2009 ruling?

    I know there is some serious politics involved right now, however I am not sure how deep those politics go.

    • avatar timz says:

      To me it seems like they are asking Judge Molloy to magically now make something legal that he decided in his last ruling was blatantly illegal, with really nothing changeing in between. I just can’t imagine him doing that.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Timz,

        What has changed is the congressional actions, what some are saying is we were wrong, please stay your earlier ruling or we might completely loose the issue with a not subject to judicial review situation.

        It is a very dangerous chess game that is being played…this issue has become much larger than just wolves…

      • avatar Wyo Native says:

        That is the perplexing part that I am having difficulty understanding.

        Why do these groups along with the Interior Department, think they could persuade Molloy to stay his decision?

        Have these groups along with the Interior Department been working “behind the scenes” with Molloy to develop a so called settlement that he would support once all of the legal mumbo jumbo was completed.

        I also wonder how much of a strong arm (behind the scenes) the Obama admin actually has on Molloy to persuade him into accepting this settlement and stay his ruling.

        There are lots of unanswered questions, and hopefully time will answer some of them.

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, environmental groups are doing this because they don’t want the esa to be messed with imo. I think all here admit that wolves will eventually be delisted whether we like it or not as there is a lot of pressure from those who don’t like wolves. What do you believe will happen personally?

      • avatar Savebears says:

        I can almost guarantee you, that the back stage negotiations going on would make a used car salesman proud..if they loose this through congressional action, the whole scope of wildlife management in the US will change..and I can’t say for the better..

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jon,

        Frankly I am more worried about the repercussions of a congressional delisting and saying it can’t be reviewed, not because of my fear about wolves being wiped out, but more so on how it could affect all of the other wildlife that could be affected…

        As I have said in the past, I believe that wolves are recovered and keeping them listed is nothing more than a political power play, I am more concerned with wildlife that actually needs protection that either will not receive it, or will be permanently excluded because of an action of this nature.

        I can say again, the back room dealings and negotiations with the Judge would make a used car salesman proud, because both sides are pointing out what a action like this could mean in the future.

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, as I understand it, this is supposed to be a permanent solution in keeping gray wolves off the esl forever. What if forever reason wolf populations dip to dangerously low #s in states? This is a possibility that could very well happen as I’m sure you are aware of the people who just don’t like wolves and will kill them given the chance whether they have a tag or not.

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, if wolf #s drop to dangerously low #s in states once wolves are delisted, do states have the manpower to protect wolves from poachers?

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jon,

        With full exclusion clause in there and not subject to review, even if the wolves went extinct again in the lower 48 it would take another act of congress to repeal, you could petition the USFWS to your hearts content and they would not be relisted unless congress repealed this clause and ordered them relisted, which at this point in time, I don’t see happening..

      • avatar Bob says:

        You don’t have to worry about donald being pressured he has always said he is appointed for life for a reason. I doubt he will change his mind on past rulings. The box has been opened what comes out remains to be seen.

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, so basically states can kill off the wolf population and once they are delisted, the wolf cannot be put back on the esl unless congress intervenes?

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jon,

        No, they don’t, they don’t have the manpower now to control the poaching, I am a firm believer that all of the poaching we hear about, is not really the hard core, keep your mouth shut poacher…every once in a while a state game agency gets good intel and it actually able to bust a poaching ring, there are poaching rings out there that are just in it for profit. They are not like the typical poacher that gets caught for shooting an animal out of season or taking an extra animal. The true poaching rings are just as bad as the drug smugglers and are willing to kill to protect their criminal enterprise..

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, I don’t mean now, I mean when wolves are delisted in whatever state. Do you believes states will do a better job than the feds in trying to find poachers who illegally kill wildlife? The only thing I am worried about is the states that have very small wolf populations, if they aren’t protected by the feds, the states can kill those wolves if they see fit. Instead of killing wolves when the states are in control. I would see rather non-lethal solutions carried out. I am only talking about states that have a very low wolf population.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Bob,

        The biggest problem is Donald has already stated he is going to start stepping back into a semi-active position and a new judge will be appointed to handle the primary business of this judicial district..that could open up a whole nother can of worms, in addition to the appeals to higher courts, and no judge likes to have his ruling overturned..

        The major threat in this issue is not necessarily the wolves, but a complete change in the way the ESA is administered!

        Something is going to happen in the next few weeks and people are scrambling, because once Pandora is out of the box, it is very difficult to put her back in..

        As has been already shown, there are Senators out there that will not be satisfied with this deal and will continue to push the congressional action position..

        I believe wolves should be delisted, but I don’t want to see it done by congress..

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jon, they may try, but I don’t even believe the Fed’s are putting in a lot of effort to apprehend poachers, the majority of cases brought up now have been by state agencies. The Fed’s do a pretty good job at catching those importing illegal animals, but as far as their internal investigations, I can honestly say, I am, and have not been that impressed by their legal division.. With the current state of affairs with the Federal Government, I think that them doing much is not going to be a priority..

        If states regain control, I am not in fear that we will see the mass slaughter that many are..

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, is Wyoming’s shoot wolves on sight plan in most of the state based on science in your opinion? What do you think of this plan personally?

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jon,

        I was never in favor of the shoot on sight plan in Wyoming, I think they took the wrong approach, the wolves should have been classified as a trophy animal in the majority of the state.

    • Wyo Native,

      You can’t discuss this kind of thing with a judge. It isn’t legal (though I guess the law can be bent, e.g., Justice Clarence Thomas).

      They have no guarantee Molloy will go along. They are estimating that he will.

      I think any group would be concerned that their efforts on behalf of the wolves not backfire. This is risky for them to do.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Ralph,

        You are correct, they cannot directly, but as has been shown way to many times in the past, the legal community has found ways around this..

      • avatar timz says:

        Bottom line if it was illegal to segment the population then, it still is now as the ESA has not changed. I would think it would be very hard for Judge M. to reverse himself.

  14. avatar Bob says:

    SB I agree with you but, all but the congress solution, because the pro wolfer have proven they won’t leave well enough alone so a stop to the litigation is the only fix. The fed plan was working but the pro wolfers think they are smarter than everyone else. Now they are back peddling only because of a shift in power, let them have the power back and in court we will be.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Time will tell Bob, as I have stated, I believe wolves should be delisted and really they are not my major concern, it would set a bad precedent to have congress exclude any species from the list in this manner, and believe me, if they do it once, it will be done again, quite possibly with other much more sensitive animals. I could see this setting up in such a manner that if they deemed a animal non-recoverable,, then they just exclude it..not good for wildlife management.

      • avatar Bob says:

        SB It’s not good management and we have to hope most other animals won’t be such an emotional issue. It does show that we have a system of checks and balances. Also between the two of us, maybe we can convince jon and others that the wolf population is safe from mass slaughter. I don’t see hunting being a long term control method. As far as SSS the opportunties just are not there.

      • avatar jon says:

        Bob, that is not true. Now, Montana probably has the best wolf management plan there is, but Wyoming’s plan is a slaughter plan to me and incase you haven’t been aware of what is going on with Idaho, the state now only wants 100 wolves. Ralph said Idaho wants zero wolves. There are probably 1000 wolves in idaho. Maybe more, so please don’t tell me the wolf populations in Idaho and Wyoming are safe from slaughter when they obviously aren’t. Montana will get some credit from me as their plan is not as extreme as Idaho’s or Wyoming’s.

      • avatar jon says:

        One also has to remember that a lot of wolves are also killed by wildlife services. When you have a hunting season and ws killing wolves, you are looking at a lot of dead wolves.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jon,

        As with the hunting seasons that did happen and the addition of the WS actions, it still made very little dent in the wolf populations, both hunts were successfully held, with very few problems.

      • avatar jon says:

        It has to be. How else are you going to control the wolf population and get it down to 100 wolves like the state wants? idaho has said they want only 100 wolves now. Maybe that changed to none. Who knows as of now. How do you expect to get the wolf #s down to 100 without killing wolves with guns Bob? Bob, are you seriously going to tell me that Idaho wanting to kill off all but 100 out of their 1000 wolves is not a slaughter plan? What about Wyoming’s shoot wolves on sight plan in most of the state? this isn’t a slaughter plan?

      • avatar jon says:

        That is with a regulated hunting season. With Idaho only wanting 100 wolves, and Wyoming’s shoot wolves on sight plan in most of the state, things are very different sb. these two plans are very drastically and extremely different than say Montana’s regulated hunting season on wolves.

      • avatar Bob says:

        jon so tell me this if Idaho has a 1000 wolves and wants to manage for 100 how do they kill that many wolf. they may want to but the reality is how to do it, so tell me how?

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jon,

        I can run around, beat my chest and say anything I want to, which many people do, but when it comes down to reality, most people are doing just that, beating their chest, I don’t think Idaho will ever manage down to a population of 100, no matter what they say..

      • avatar jon says:

        Bob, the biggest concern is how many wolves they want, not how many hunters will be able to kill. You will hunting seasons with trapping and other tools. They want only 100 wolves and they will do whatever they can to reach that goal. I hope you’re right sb.

      • avatar timz says:

        “jon so tell me this if Idaho has a 1000 wolves and wants to manage for 100 how do they kill that many wolf. they may want to but the reality is how to do it, so tell me how?”

        So Bob sounds like you skipped history class,(probably most others as well) forgetting they managed to kill an estimated 80,000 wolves in the 1920′s and 30′s before things were even hi-tech. Killing them off in 2011 would probably be relatively easy.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Wrong BOB, “the FED plan was working but the pro-wolfers think they are smarter than everyone else”. Sorry, but a shoot on sight position is hardly ESA material and even less of a wildlife management plan. As far as being smarter than everyone else, with the ROCKHEADs and Don Peays of the world it isn’t that hard to be smarter than these people. Facts are unimportant- wolf numbers are already down in Idaho, due in large part I’m sure to “hunters” illegally killing wolves, unfortunately the law is unimportant too. You think the climate is right to turn management over to the states now?

      • avatar Savebears says:

        William, as some one else said, I think wolf numbers are down, due to them not being counted this year, not because of loss of wolves, there were many areas in both Idaho and Montana that did not get counted..without the cooperation of the state agencies, they are not going to get the best count possible…

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, I really believe that Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming don’t have a clue as to how many wolves there truly are in their state. They can make guesses, but those guesses may or may not be way off. You cannot count every single wolf in your state. I just don’t think it’s possible and it’s very time consuming I would imagine.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        When wildlife counts are published, they never include every animal, there are formulas that are applied to the actual count numbers, you are right, it is impossible to count all animals of anyone species, but in my time working in the field, I can almost say with 100% certainty, that counts are always lower than the actual number of animals out there..

      • avatar Bob says:

        Once again smarter is your claim. Yes some areas should have the option of shoot on sight. There are areas where that should be used as a tool. As for state management, YES way past time. As for Idaho numbers, hunter couldn’t kill 200 wolves in 6 months think illegal hunters did better than that? Don’t be claiming the intellect high ground with thoughts like that.

      • avatar jon says:

        Bob, Wyoming is still stuck back in the early 1900s. This is 2011. Shooting animals on sight shows a complete lack of regard for that animal.

      • avatar william huard says:

        There are some areas where shoot on sight should be used as a “tool”. What is that the “Scott Walker school of wildlife management?

      • avatar Salle says:

        there were many areas in both Idaho and Montana that did not get counted..without the cooperation of the state agencies, they are not going to get the best count possible…

        And I would add to that by saying that since, especially in Idaho, they discovered that for the sake of their arguments and given the severe lack of intellect on the part of the anti-wolf crowd, making up numbers works just as well without all the bother. As long as they keep screaming at the top of their lungs that they have done the homework and whatever they say is the gospel truth ~ even when it obviously isn’t ~ that’s all they have to do given the fuxnews mentality out there.

      • avatar Phil says:

        Bob: Killing 900 or so wolves will not occur in the first hunt. Eventually the numbers will get to these extreme lows with higher quotes and continous hunts.

  15. avatar Phil says:

    Bob: I don’t know what you mean “packpeddling”. Not all of the groups that are pro-wolf are backpeddling. I have stated this before and will state it again, I believe there is much more that we do not know about regarding this settlement. Maybe they will always hide it because it has many dirty political involvements in it, but this is just my opinion.

  16. avatar Phil says:

    WM: You have tried to offer balance? Are you kidding? What you are trying to do is persuade others that hunting is in many cases the ONLY option. You use nothing of modern logics in proving anything. You are using methods that were the only option decades and decades ago. Yes, you have different views then most on here, but you also attack ones that are on the complete opposite of the view spectrum of yours. You are contradicting yourself.

  17. avatar Phil says:

    SaveBears: Can you also say that about the elk population count? Would it b easier to count elk or wolves? How many areas of a smaller herd population of elk have not been counted?

    • avatar Tim says:

      I’m not SB but I think I can help. Elk and deer counts are made in only small areas then computer modeling is used to determine what the population MIGHT be. There is no way to know exactly how many animals there are. A lot of these areas are extremely rugged with dense vegetation. Lots of folks like to bring up elk numbers but its hard to know how many elk live in areas that have packs of wolves. They also only fly over an area every three years.

  18. avatar Phil says:

    wm: The main word is “sometimes”. That is completely different then counting them all of the time. It took you a few hours to even find that small significance related to my question.

  19. avatar Lynne Stone says:

    Idaho wolf hunters shot 187 wolves in the 7-month 2009-2010 wolf hunt, at least this is the number that they reported. How many wolves were gut shot (as advocated on anti-wolf internet websites) is unknown. The next Idaho wolf hunt will start with archery season on Labor Day weekend, and include trapping, snaring, electronic calls and whatever else the IDFG Commissioners, big game outfitters, and other anti-wolf entitites can come up with to get more wolves eliminated. Since wolves are pack animals – they are one of the easiest animals to kill according to the pros in the business of trapping/calling/shooting them.

    • avatar Bob says:

      Lynne everything is easy to kill with the right tool, but I know a few pro wolf hunters and trappers none say they’re easy. Anyone who hunts will tell you one animal is easier than a herd or pack. It maybe easy to kill one out of a pack maybe two but a whole pack no way, even WS has problems doing a whole pack. As for the 187, that was the first year each year will be much harder to match those numbers. Pro wolfers have little faith that a wolf is smart enough to survive.

      • avatar Phil says:

        Bob: There is no doubt that wolves are intelligent, as you have stated, but technology, especially when used by individuals who have a self-purpose agenda, will overcome intelligence in many cases.

      • avatar jon says:

        Wolves are smart, but when you have people firing at them with high powered rifles, intelligence doesn’t really matter does it Bob?

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Actually from on the ground experience to an intelligent being, it does matter Jon, intelligence matters a whole bunch, stupid beings get dead…intelligent beings get the hell out of harms way..of course my intelligence lacked at one time, so I got shot!

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        Question Jon

        What is a high powered rifle? Is a .223 a high powered rifle or do we go to the quarter bores, the 7mm’s or 7.62′s. Is a high powered rifle feet per second or foot pounds of energy? I do not know.

        Let’s see from the back bone to the brisket of a wolf is approximately 8 inches and the wolf is 432 yards away try hitting that wolf. Maybe the wolf is 168 yards away on the full run try hitting that wolf. It is not as easy as you think. I will bet you there will be over 20 missed shots before the typically shooter hit’s the target. Most people’s shooting is below average.

      • avatar timz says:

        This whole conversation is moot. If they want to kill wolves wholesale it isn’t going to be guys traipsing around the woods with rifles doing it.

      • avatar Bob says:

        Timz, my point exactly so whats the biggest concern, trappers aren’t the answer. So whats the problem with state management. Look at Canada’s regulation and harvest numbers, population trends up. So can anyone tell me what or who is going to kill off this population in the times we live in now.

      • avatar jon says:

        Bob, you are aware that Canada has a much bigger population of wolves than Idaho, MT, and WY right? The problem with state management is that, Wyoming wants to kill wolves in close to 90% of the state and Idaho as we know wants only 100 wolves. Wolves are family oriented animals.

      • avatar Bob says:

        jon, look at a map of Wyoming and where the wolf packs are located. No wolf packs in the shoot on sight zone, so one of two things it’s not good wolf habitat, which it’s not, or second the Wyoming plan has been in use for the last 16 years, which it has been from what I hear. Yes Canada has a larger population and larger harvest numbers, point being the population is increasing with all the harvest methods used there. Just tired of hearing the sky is falling.

      • avatar jon says:

        Yeah, but sooner or later wolf packs will move into a shoot on sight area. It’s not fair to compare Canada’s wolf population to the ones in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

      • avatar timz says:

        “Timz, my point exactly so whats the biggest concern, trappers aren’t the answer. ”

        God you are an ignoramous.

      • avatar Salle says:

        Actually, it isn’t just high powered rifles, it’s that they are transported with ATVs etc…

        Bob, in my many years of traversing the entirety of the state of Wyoming, I have seen with my very own eyes that there is a lot of good wolf habitat all over the state. If elk live there successfully, wolves can too. What about Elk Mountain/Sheridan Mt. or the Snowy Mtn. Range or Reno Jct. area or the Encampment/Riverside area?? Those are all good habitat for wolves… Wyoming doesn’t want them to exist and they are dead set on making sure they don’t get far from the YNP region, that’s all. It’s subjective reasoning at best, science based inquiry would be a good tactic on this…

  20. avatar Phil says:

    SaveBears: Maybe they won’t get to that number of 100 with one or even a couple hunts, but if hunts occur with increased quotas each year then that number is not very hard to achieve.

  21. avatar bret says:

    jon, you are aware that Canada has less human population than California and the similar land mass to the US?

  22. avatar JB says:

    Wow. Out a couple of days with a nasty case of the flu, and the game changes yet again. Question: Has anyone called Tester’s office to see if he will end his attempts to “fix” this issue via legislative action now that an agreement is in place?

    - – - – -

    It seems like one way or another, we are headed toward state-led management of wolves. It seems to me that there is a need to “revive” the NA Wolf Conference?

    • avatar Salle says:

      JB, I’m with you on the need to revive the NA Wolf conference, I’ve been trying to get that started up since the announcement of DoW’s dismissal of their sponsorship.
      It can happen, needs other parties to sponsor it, WRF can’t do it alone, too small an org to pull it off without help from the community of wolf management/research professionals…

      • avatar Salle says:

        I meant co-sponsor. It was a co-sponsorship, needs to keep that element at play. Of all the conferences I used to attend, the NAWC was THE one gathering of all stakeholders and was the most friendly group of adversaries I ever experienced then and since then. I think a lot of what made that possible was that the democratic process was in play from the beginning, a great accomplishment in these times. It was one of the things I noticed immediately, hope it’s still possible in that regard…

    • avatar JB says:

      I’m happy to help round up researchers, but I’m afraid I don’t have much to contribute in the way of funding. :(

  23. avatar Ron Kearns says:

    ‘Meet Donald Molloy, Missoula judge who presided over wolf case’

    http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_9f222a9a-c479-11df-a9cb-001cc4c002e0.html?mode=story
    _________________

    The preceding article might have been posted within this site last September; however, the Missoulian gives a very good biography of Judge Molloy and it is worth a review to gain a sense of the man, his work ethic, and his potential judicial integrity.

    Overview:

    Born in Butte, MT
    UM Football: running back
    Viet Nam Era F-4 Phantom fighter pilot/USS John F. Kennedy aircraft carrier
    UM School of Law
    Private practice: Billings, MT.

    Judge Molloy is a Montanan (not an outsider or carpetbagger lawyer); therefore, he is accustomed to all of the cultural aspects of the area reflecting the people on all sides of the wolf controversy.

    From what I read about the judge and the issues surrounding the gray wolf controversy, I expect that whatever his decision is regarding the settlement, it will be as judicially prudent as we can expect within the current climate of political v. legal v. wildlife conflicts.

  24. avatar MAD says:

    Rob Kearns…as much as you may praise Molloy, you do know he’s retiring in the Fall, right? Just got my State Bar newsletter in the mail and saw that an attorney from Kalispell is being pushed as Molloy’s successor by Baucus and others.

    I like Molloy, I think he’s a decent man of principles.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      Retirement does not mean that he won’t review cases. Charles Lovell, the judge who reviewed the buffalo litigation, is in his 80′s and on senior status too. He came out of retirement just to spite buffalo because he had dealt with the issue before.

      There is no way of telling what Molloy’s future holds for the wolf issue.

    • avatar Ron Kearns says:

      MAD,

      Thanks for your perspective. I did know Judge Molloy would enter Senior Status/retirement in August 2011, although I only learned that recently from my efforts to learn as much as possible about his judgeship and rulings. Again, the most informative source has been the ‘Missoulian’, which I have recently found to be an excellent online news resource.

      Here are some quotes from the linked article below about what other legal professionals predict will be Senior U. S. District Judge Molloy’s retirement caseload. Those comments seem to corroborate Ken Cole’s position that Molloy will likely remain engaged in the gray wolf litigation et al.
      ________________

      {Quote:

      “It’s his life,” Cebull said, predicting that Molloy on senior status will have as big a case load as ever. “Don always wanted to be a federal judge.”

      “I know he’ll take a full case load,” Shanstrom said. “It will just give Montana an extra judge.”

      “Cebull said it will be almost like getting a judge for free. Whether a judge retires altogether or takes senior status, the pay’s the same, he said.”

      End Quote}
      _________________

      Source:

      http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_54ee5e86-0e51-11e0-96d3-001cc4c03286.html?mode=story

  25. avatar william huard says:

    Gee I bet Baucus is “pushing” Molloy’s successor for his independent thinking skills and ability to separate politics from the ruling of law

  26. avatar JimT says:

    Savebears Says:
    March 19, 2011 at 12:21 PM

    Ralph,

    You are correct, they cannot directly, but as has been shown way to many times in the past, the legal community has found ways around this..

    You know, I am frankly tired of these broad brush paintings of the legal community as being mostly corrupt and without ethics. Provide some proof of environmental lawyers going outside the mandatory notice of judge meetings..your so called “many times in the past”, or keep your pejorative comments confined to your like minded friends. People here get roundly criticized for painting hunters, for example, as bloodthiirsty rednecks who only want to add another head to the trophy wall in the garage…don’t do it to other avocations either.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      JimT,

      I will state what I want as long as the owner of the blog allows it, when I was with FWP I saw many attempts by the legal community to circumvent the legal standards.

      I also get quite tired of many of the assumptions and accusations made by your side of this community.

      So, no, I will not keep them to myself and I could care less, what you think I should do.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        By the way Jim, I didn’t state environment lawyers, I made no distinction on what type of lawyers, both sides of an issue can be in the wrong..

  27. avatar JimT says:

    No, but assertions like yours merely point out a tremendous prejudice and an appalling lack of knowledge and facts to back up an opinion. As for hunters, I have always tried to make judgments based on individual cases, whether it be hunting for survival or hunting merely for the wall on the head.

    You made your statement in the context of backroom deals with a Federal judge, not the standard practice of law.You have no facts. I find your opinion on a subject that you clearly know little about offensive.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Jim,

      I am sorry you find my opinion on the subject, offensive, but the fact stands, it is still my opinion and it is based on what I have seen when working in an official capacity with a state agency.

      If I were to take all the comments that get made about wildlife biologists in the negative as offensive, then I would be living a very shallow life and consumed with frustration..

      I fully admit, I do have prejudices against some lawyers, just as you do against some biologists.

      But I don’t have prejudice against the law, I have at times actually entertained the idea of going to law school.

      • avatar WM says:

        SB (and I think JimT will agree with most of this),

        Two issues.

        1) Federal judges, from trial court to appellate, are appointed for life by the President (hence some bias in appointments from the party in power), with Senate confirmation. With very, very few exceptions in our history, federal judges are held to and have upheld the highest ethical standards of any country in the world. Lawyers representing parties before federal judges are held to very high standards. That means no back room deals or any of the crap you see on TV or John Grisham fiction novels. There are no buttonhole conversations between the judge and one party without the other present. There are very high ethics.

        2) State judges, depending on the state, may be appointed or are elected. Trial court judges are typically elected. Appellate court judges are usually appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. In some states appellate court judges need to stand for election, WA being one example. Elected trial court judges more likely represent the communities and current community values. Appointed state court judges give greater stability and are usually reflective of better legal credentials, which sometimes, but not always, results in better reasoned opinions.

        Judges are not susceptible to doing “back room” deals and the lawyers representing the parties stand to lose their license or other very severe discipline if they engage in that crap. I don’t know what goes on in MT, but in CO and WA the courts and the lawyers are very good at policing these high ethics in which there are allegations of anything going on outside a courtroom or the judges chambers with counsel from parties present. If somebody engages in unethical conduct, disciplinary action is taken.

        What you suggest as improper conduct is extremely rare. And, Molloy, for all the crap he takes from all sides, is a damn good judge of high moral character.

        As far as anyone knows, unless he has held negotiation sessions with counsel, he probably has little knowledge of what the settling and non-settling parties to this DPS issue are thinking, until he actually reads the papers that were just submitted by the parties. I have read nothing suggesting otherwise on the judge’s part.

        So, bottomline, this “settlement” would seem not to be a done deal as reported by some of the media and certain parties representing them, Keiran Suckling from CBD for example.

        Please, someone point out if you have verifiable information to the contrary.

      • avatar WM says:

        And, Ken is absolutely correct. A judge taking “senior status” is still a sitting judge and can take cases for many years. Judge Redden in Portland, OR, for example is into his 80′s and still rides herd over the Indian treaty settlement on fisheries of the entire Columbia River system, as he has for the last 30 years.

        I would not be a bit surprised if Judge Molloy (now in his 60′s) kept the wolf and griz cases well into the future. That actually might be a good thing – a judge who has been pragmatically schooled in the science while presiding over the cases.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        WM,

        You can have as many issues with my statements as you want to, I posted my opinion based on my experience, that is all, nothing more, nothing less.

        No where have I accused all lawyers, but I have witnessed select lawyers that have not been much above board. Especially when it comes to these types of issue.

        You two are making far more out of what I said, than it should be..

        I happen to know Judge Molloy, and I don’t have the same high opinion of him as you may, I knew him before he was a Judge.

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, why don’t you have a high opinion of him? It seems to me and this is only my opinion, but it seems to me that some people don’t like him because of his rulings. If he ruled to delist wolves, would these same people who dislike him now dislike him? Usually when someone rules the way you want them to, you think highly of that person and when he rules against something you believe, you don’t think highly of that person.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        What is so damn dumb about this part of the thread, is I am against the delisting my congress, and I think there is a lot going on behind the scenes to prevent it, I want them delisted within the law based on scientific information and not by some sweep of the pen attached to a bill that has nothing to do with the issue..

        I have my opinions which I have the right to..everybody else at times posts their opinions..no, I have no concrete evidence, it is simply my opinion. Sorry I ruffled feathers by doing the exact same thing that many others do on here..

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jon,

        I have my own reasons..

        And to set the record straight, I agreed with his last ruling, the USFWS did screw up with splitting the states…but I have other reasons I am not holding him in high esteem..

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, what do you make of rehberg’s past comment about putting Molloy on the endangered species list? Do you think this hate states have for the feds is acceptable? The feds give a lot of money to Montana.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jon,

        At this point in time, while there is an election run up going on, I really don’t care what any of them say, I will look at the issues, and I will look at their history, that is the only way to make a sound judgment on who to vote for..

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, who will you vote for when the time comes, rehberg or tester?

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jon,

        In 25 years of marriage, my wife does not know who I vote for, and neither will you. Voting is a private choice, I don’t ask others how they vote and I don’t expect to be asked how I vote, we are lucky in the US, we don’t die because we vote, but I have been in many countries that voting can be your last act on this planet..

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, it’s not a hard question to answer. I doubt anyone truly cares who you vote for. I think most people tell their wives who they are going to vote for. It’s not a big secret I don’t think, but you must be different.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        I am voting for Tester as I can not stand Rehberg.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jon,

        26 years in the Military, watching people getting killed because they chose to vote, yes has made me a different person.

        I didn’t say it was a hard question, I simply said it is none of your business, which is a right guaranteed to me, voting is a very personal act to me..and I will keep it that way..

      • avatar jon says:

        thanks elk. I was going to ask you next.

  28. avatar JimT says:

    head on the wall…apologies for inverting nouns.

  29. avatar rtobasco says:

    Interesting reading these last few days since the news of delisting was announced. Opinions run the gamut. What I see mostly is nervousness and unrest over what is to come next. For a long time it has been my observation that neither side is capable of offering a solution to the dilemma of how to effectively manage wolves. Most of you who post on here seem to all too capable in your abilities to criticize the opinions and science of the opposition and the vitriol you direct toward them is, for the most part, as hateful and as full of spite as what you accuse them of. And the position of those who adamantly oppose all wolves and the manner in which they do so is equally reprehensible.

    In the current proposed settlement we can only hope that the voice of reason, spoken somewhere from the middle ground, is being heard.

    I tend to agree with the notion that wolves are here for good, regardless of how we feel. Hunting alone will never eliliminate wolves and there is too much at stake for all concerned to allow that to happen. Those who oppose wolves need to reconcile with that fact. Those who favor more wolves need to accept that “management” will occur.

    The relationship between the extremists on either side of this issue will never be rosy. But as a guy who lives in the middle, who loves hunting and the wilds and as one who has some appreciation for how the presence of wolves contibrutes to wilderness at large, I am cautiously optimistic that there is a voice of reason among us. I’m confident in my belief that wolves will always have a presence in the west and my hope is that we are nearing the day when we will have in place effective tools to appropriately manage the population.

    I’d be willing to bet that my opinions represent the majority when I say that I am tired of this issue being driven by radical agendas from either side. Hopefully we are moving forward with this latest compromise on the issue of wolves. Lets get on with it.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      rtobasco,

      Very well stated..

    • avatar Phil says:

      I emailed Ralph a couple months ago regarding the local’s views on the wolf issue, and he stated basically the same that you did rtobasco, and that is that the majority don’t feel strongly one way or the other.

      • avatar rtobasco says:

        Phil.

        On the contrary, I do have strong opinions about this issue. I feel very strongly that we need to reach viable resolution. If I had my way they would have never been re-introduced. But they are here and I have to accept that. I have to admit that some of the places I haunt are a little more wild now due to the presence of wolves – that’s a good thing (as well as, perhaps, evolution on my part). In most places the impact of wolves has been tolerable. They need to be managed, as much as anything for the purposes of demonstrating that 1) we aren’t going to eradicate them and 2) so folks feel we have the proper tools available to address issues when they come up. When folks from both sides have seen how we can make this work – hopefully we can move forward. There won’t be a “perfect” solution, but I think it can be made workable.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      rtobasco,

      well said…

    • avatar Doryfun says:

      Thanks for bringing this to light. You don’t see my name on this post, until now, because I get thoroughly disgusted at the very things you state and refuse to get into shouting matches and put-downs. (almost to the point of not wanting to add my 2 cents or even log on here anymore) I already waste enough energy as it is.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Doryfun,

        Exercising an opinion is never a waste of time. Perhaps how one chooses to exercise the opinion is.

      • avatar Doryfun says:

        Good point Immer.

      • avatar Doryfun says:

        Immer,

        After this first post came out, I put together some similar thoughts pertaining to this issue, but later decided not to post it. After rtobasco, mentioned this same thing, and after your observation, what the heck….
        Since it is just an opinion, after all:
        while it seems it is the human proclivity to harbor some inner need to be a “right fighter”, in general, it also seems that the folks who advocate for or against conservation issues seem to demonstrate this trait to a much deeper level than most. So much so, that even similar groups on the same side of advocacy, sometimes are more worried about holding hard lines – being super right fighters. Which is better, to be right, or to be effective? Often, both are not necessarily the same.

        Is it better to me more on the non-collaborative side and stand your ground, despite the cost of alienating those you will again be battling on other issues in the future, (or could be your comrades on the same side down the road) when collaboration may be a compromise getting some gains, rather than “all or none” stances, that up the ante and create greater losses, when you are the loser, rather than the victor? Just a question. as I hate compromise too, because both sides lose something, though they each gain by losing less more slowly. But, it seems like collaborating over the details of compromise, still seems like a better plan, than the “all or nothing” risk battle strategy??

  30. avatar Phil says:

    Here is a question I hope someone can answer. Does any get the feeling that the 9-10 groups who agreed to the settlement did so for reasons as to what are occuring now? There are a great deal of articles talking about hunters and hunting groups splitting up on two different sides of this settlement. Did the conservation groups purposely accept this settlement because they knew issues like this arguing occuring between how to manage and where to manage would occur?

  31. avatar Phil says:

    I know when I vote reprsentatives from each party are outside giving out brochures and pamphlets promoting their candidates. As soon as I walk in I am told to put what I was given aside and proceed with giving them my information just before voting.

  32. avatar Savebears says:

    I don’t participate in entrance polls, exit polls and I always refuse the information they try to hand to me, I also do not put bumper stickers on my car and I have never place a candidates sign in my yard, no matter where I live..I understand and embrace the sacrifice that has been made by many so I can vote without fear of reprisal..

  33. avatar Phil says:

    Is there a better candidate then the other between Rehberg and Tester? As I have stated before, I am not a politician, but vote for the representative who I can trust the most with their ideas.

  34. avatar Savebears says:

    it really does not matter the majority of people on this blog can’t vote for either candidate..

  35. avatar Jerry Black says:

    Looks like Tester will continue to push for legislation..
    http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20110320/NEWS01/103200314

    • avatar JB says:

      Jerry: The language the article uses is that he will push for a “settlement”; that language suggests that he backs the efforts of Interior to settle with the 10 groups. Unfortunately, the article didn’t speak clearly to the issue of whether he would continue to push legislation.

      • avatar Salle says:

        Yeah, but Simpson (R-ID) does back legislation because he also doesn’t see the settlement promising what he wants.

  36. avatar Dan says:

    The three NGOs left are small regional NGOs looking for donations and a name. The large, well funded NGOs see the big picture and know the wolf game is played out. Wolves are on the landscape for the long run. State game agencies are going to see to the long term viability of the packs.

    • avatar Salle says:

      I disagree. I suspect that they are afraid of the NPR syndrome, not that they receive funding form the fed, but the “appearance” of whatever the attacks might point to is the problem. Mass media has a way, especially lately, of playing into the Teabagger mentality ~ which is a severe lack of independent cognitive functioning, period. It has a way of illuminating the negative without any consideration of any other factors, or facts at all as we have been shown in the recent past.

      Smaller, regional NGOs might have a better chance to bring out the facts in reality-based context since they are based in the “ground-zero” location(s). Smaller is often better… kind of discredits the “big bang, bucks” perception… one in which only deep pockets can win a just court case or bring a just decision making process to the fore. Sometimes the little guy actually wins.

  37. avatar jon says:

    Maybe someone can answer this for me. We know that a settlement deal was reached between the feds and environmental groups that will let Idaho and Montana kill their wolves. It was agreed upon I guess to keep wolves in Or, WA, AND ut protected. What would happen if the Rehberg bill or Hatch bill passes even when these settlement deal was agreed upon by the feds and the environmental groups?

    • avatar Savebears says:

      They will be fully delisted everywhere, this is not hard to understand, the Congress has the power to override the ESA or modify it.., right now they are working to modify it, to exclude wolves…

      So if passed, no more protection for wolves. I am sure that someone will try to challenge it, but as it is not a constitutional violation, the not subject to review could be a real problem…

      • avatar jon says:

        Then why was this deal made between the feds and the environmental groups sb if they knew about the Rehberg and Hatch bill?

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, when are these bills by Rehberg and Hatch going to pass? Have they been voted on? If not, then when>

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Because the Bills have not been passed yet! and they would prefer to delist this way over the Congressional way, it is kinda getting to be crunch time over the wolves, if they are delisted this way, there will still be some recourse, if delisted by Congress, the recourse becomes very limited, if at all.

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, I understand what would happen to wolves if the Rehberg or Hatch bill is passes. What I want to know is why the feds and environmental groups agreed on a settlement if they knew that the Rehberg and Hatch bills have a good chance of passing>?

      • avatar jon says:

        When are they going to pass sb?

      • avatar Savebears says:

        I am sure the deal came to pass in hopes of preventing the Congressional action on the issue, but with statements that have been made by Rehberg, it sounds like he is still pushing for Congressional action, and based on the map on his website, he has some pretty strong allies…

      • avatar Savebears says:

        I have no idea when or if they will pass, so far they none of the bills introduced and attached have passed, but that could change any day..

      • avatar jon says:

        sb, someone said that without this settlement between the feds and environmental groups, congress would have acted. What I don’t quite get is why the feds and environmental groups made a deal to delist wolves in Montana and Idaho and protect wolves in the other states where the populations are real low when you have these 2 bills by Hatch and Rehberg maybe on the verge of passing? The feds said they will keep the wolves in WA, OR, AND UT protected, but they must know that the Rehberg or the Hatch bill might pass and strip wolves of protection from all over. Why did the feds even make a deal in the first place when you have these 2 bills that might pass that would delist wolves all over the united states?

      • avatar Savebears says:

        I don’t know if anyone knows that they have a good chance or no chance at passing…

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Jon,

        It is called the last chance Olive branch, I think it was a bit of a desperation move, in hopes that the senators would back off, and they still might…that is the thing with politics, there are surprises around every single corner..

      • avatar JB says:

        jon:

        Consider that any legislative action designed to delist wolves still would have to pass both chambers, one (the Senate) led by Democrats, many of whom are hearing from their constituents that this “backdoor” attempt at delisting wolves is all wrong.

        A compromise “deal” weakens any assertion that legislative action to delist wolves is so essential that it needs to be attached (as a rider) to some other legislation. On a straight vote, I simply don’t see any bill to delist wolves passing in the Senate (assuming it could make it passed committee).

        Long story short, these groups have just made legislative delisting of wolves less likely, though certainly not impossible.

  38. avatar Phil says:

    Here is what DOF emailed me earlier today.

    “Make no mistake: absent this agreement, congressional legislation eroding the Endangered Species Act and eliminating all protections for wolves in the Northern Rockies – and perhaps elsewhere in the Lower 48 United States – was virtually assured.”

    My question is to Ralph and others who work with the Western Watersheds Project, is it true that it was 100% for sure that if the agreement was not made that eventually congress would delist and prohibit future listings of all sub-species of wolves in this country from the ESA? If this is the case, then I believe the agreement was necessary. I would email DOF back, but my trust in them currently is not very high.

    • avatar jon says:

      It might have been necessary, but Rehberg and Hatch are not going to stop until one of them gets their bill passed that would delist all wolves in the united states. Something must be going in we don’t know about.

    • avatar Brian Ertz says:

      no – it was not absolutely assured … one might argue that it was likely, but never assured.

      • avatar Phil says:

        Thank you Brian. That makes the situation even more confusing now. I would rather rely on what the Western Watershed Project says then what DOF says, but am even more curious now as to what truly went on that made the 9 groups to settle?

  39. avatar Steve C says:

    This settlement should not be an option. Do they think this will buy them good will with the morons in congress? Just like all of the good will livestock loss reimbursement bought defenders of wildlife…

    • avatar jon says:

      Steve, I’m against killing any wolves as I feel they all should have the right to live, not to have their life ended by some hunter with a gun, but, some people are trying to pass bills that would delist wolves all over the united states. Places like Oregon, NM, WA, etc don’t have a lot of wolves. If these wolves are not protected, there is a chance they can all be wiped out. The wolves inOR, WA, Nm, should all be protected in my opinion as their population is very small and very fragile.

      • avatar william huard says:

        Jon-
        I share your sentiments, but I really don’t think it’s time to give up on the Democratic senators whose offices have told me flat out they won’t support legislative fixes to the ESA. These extreme wolf bills by Hatch and rehberg have absolutely no chance of passing the Senate. We should keep our focus on making our politicians aware of our objection to legislative fixes to wildlife issues.

      • avatar jon says:

        William, if there weren’t bills like Rehberg’s or Hatch’s out there, I’d say to the environmental organizations don’t cave in or give up and keep fighting to keep wolves relisted, but there is a decent possibility that one of these bills that will strip wolves from all states of protection might pass. That is not really a chance I’d be willing to take. If we can’t protect all wolves, maybe we can protect some mainly the states that have the smallest populations like WA, OR, nm.

      • avatar jon says:

        William, what dems have you talked to? Did you tell them to vote no on hatch’s and rehberg’s bill hr 509 and s249? I imagine you did. I hope you are right about them not passing, but who can really say for certain.

      • avatar william huard says:

        Jon-
        There are thousands of people that don’t want what happened to the wolf in our history to be repeated. The idiots are still idiots, they can’t help it- with all this wolf cult nonsense- this biological weapon shit- these people in Idaho and other places are fringe people on the edge of their own reality. They actually believe this crap!
        There are more than a few Senators that have told me they will do whatever it takes to make sure these bills don’t pass. Like I said before- the farther we are from these CR bills the better it is for wolves

      • avatar william huard says:

        I still think people have the ability to voice their concerns and create healthy activism. Remember that the facts are on our side, and public opinion is as well. Sometimes when you think a situation is hopeless or overwhelming it is important to not give up. There will always be the Reality 22′s and Tony Mayers of the world. Just look at the hypocrisy how they stick together even after the poacher got nailed- that shows they have no principles

      • avatar jon says:

        As long as you hate wolves as much as I do, we are here and will defend you even when you break the law and kill one of the animals you supposedly care about. These degenerates make me sick William! later

      • avatar Phil says:

        jon: That is what’s giving me a headache on this topic. I would have found it very difficult even without the settlement that Congress would have delisted ALL wolves in this country and mandated that the species would never again be relisted as protected. It just seemed nearly impossible and would have a major outcry from many people, even the ones that are neutral on the side. But, when I read the email from DOF, I wanted to make sure incase something “surprisingly” changed.

      • avatar Steve C says:

        Jon, what seems to always end up happening lately is that the left offers extreme compromise and then get screwed by the republicans in the end anyways. What will happen here is environmental groups offer delisting, anti wolf forces will still try to push through legislation. If it fails they get what they wanted anyways (because of this ridiculous compromise) which is delisted wolves in their states.

  40. avatar Phil says:

    william: I believe that there are millions that don’t want history to repeat itself in relation to wolves.

  41. avatar Ron Kearns says:

    The following link contains a message and several FAQs regarding the settlement as expressed by the DOW’s president.
    ________________________________

    {Quote:

    Northern Rockies Wolf Settlement
    Message from the President of Defenders

    “We would expect that, if the settlement agreement is not approved, anti-wolf sentiment would continue to grow, making it nearly inevitable that Congress would adopt damaging delisting legislation.”

    End Quote}

    http://www.defenders.org/programs_and_policy/wildlife_conservation/imperiled_species/wolves/wolf_recovery_efforts/northern_rockies_wolves/northern_rockies_wolf_settlement.php
    _________________________________

    I think the paramount aspect that the 9 groups who commandeered the political and extralegal settlement choose to ignore is the ESA legal issue—that which the other 3 groups critically acknowledge and as expressed by WWP’s Jon Marvel in the recent WWP Online Messenger #201:

    {“Western Watersheds Project supports the laws of the United States. The proposed settlement asks a federal judge to authorize the breaking of federal law.”}

    Therefore, the politically besotted ‘Asinine Nine’—as I now disparagingly christen them—are intentionally obviating and dishonoring an extremely favorable federal district court ruling while unintelligently casting gray wolves’ fates into the muddled and predictably fickle ill winds of incompetent politics.

  42. avatar jon says:

    I hope a lot of wolf supporters show up tomorrow in Montana and make their presence known outside the courthouse. Don’t let these wolf hating people intimidate you.

    • avatar wolf moderate says:

      Jon,

      why don’t you fly out and support wolves in front of the courthouse too? It would be good to actually put forth some effort for the things that you feel passionate about. Posting the same ole’ stuff on this site is NOT furthering your cause. Just a little FYI for ya.

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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