This replaces the 29th edition. That edition will now move slowly into the depths of the blog-

Bighorn rams in Gardner Canyon. Yellowstone NP

Bighorn rams on the wall of Gardner Canyon. Yellowstone NP. Copyright Ralph Maughan

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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.

506 Responses to Have you come across any interesting wildlife news? May 29, 2011

  1. avatar JimT says:

    The latest issue of HCN has a story about wolves…sure to elicit some strong reactions. But, it is not available yet online. But keep a note in your head, or get a subscription…:*)

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      The HCN’s ” pink herring” story about how the enviros won some lawsuits and lost the war over Wolves is online ( http://www.hcn.org -subscribers only ). Written by Hal Herring of Augusta MT, it has a great many omissions that skew the entire thrust. In fact I consider it a heavily biased piece. Sad to see the HCN go down this road. I always considered HCn to be real journalism , not environmental journalism, just that they report on environmental and conservation issues. But this article is an abdication.

      I understand where Herring is coming from…he is surrounded by ranchers on three sides and the Blackfeet Nation on the fourth up there along the MT front range, so saying anything nice about wolves would be unhealthful. The guy writes for the mainstream outdoor slicks , and apprently is a correspondent for The Economist and The Atlantic. However, the 5,000 HCN words are his. I’m sure the editors had him rehash it a time or two, but it’s still a sellout.

      I hope it eventually becomes available to the general online reader. In the meantime, hunt up a hard copy. It’s in the May 30 issue and is entitled ” How the gray wolf lost its endangered status — and how enviros helped”.

      I’d like to hear what anyone else has to say about it. Myself, I am not pleased with its thinly veiled strong anti-wolf bias , but form your own opinion.

      • avatar JimT says:

        My opinion pretty much. By all means register your views with the editor in chief. I have found them very responsive over the 30 plus years we have been subscribing. I have noticed more of a “balanced” bias in their reporting over the last two years, meaning that somehow or another, there is ALWAYs validity to an opposing argument..say,, for example, reporting on climate change when the evidence clearly says it exists and threatens us all, despite the Republicans running from it as fast as they go. So, email them…register your view.

      • avatar JimT says:

        I think the public availability one runs 1 issue behind, so unfortunately, it will be another 3 weeks or so before anyone browsing the site will see it, which is too bad…

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        I have subscribed to HCN for a long time. They produce some very good journalism, but they have always had a weakness for cowboy stuff (crap) from their very beginning.

        That is one reason why various forums like this have emerged, and, of course we too are in the middle, the “golden mean,” the reasonable folks, full of truth and not “truthiness.” 😉

        • avatar somsai says:

          I thought the piece by Hal Herring one of the more balanced and well written I’ve read on the subject.

          Hal self identifies as a “pro wolf” type in that he was for reintroduction as was just about everyone. Many of us fell off along the way as we realized that reintroduction had many more agendas than reestablishing a predator.

          I vehemently disagree with the characterization of HCN being cowboy stuff and therefor “crap”. High Country News is a long running very successful outlet for articles for, about, and mostly by the West. Their support by such a broad base of Western environmentalist and conservationists speaks for itself.

          Perhaps the article deserves a re read.

  2. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Deep snowpack, more grizzlies mean more human-bear encounters
    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_7952657e-8a02-11e0-8a4b-001cc4c002e0.html
    The count is on: For Montana only, already six encounters this year, means four dead bears.

    • avatar WM says:

      the relationship seems clear:

      more griz in more places + more people in the woods during more of the year + changing climate = more dead griz

  3. avatar JimT says:

    Here in Boulder as well…black bears, of course. People in the mountains leaving windows open, bird feeders and garbage out, etc. And yet, no fines from DWS for having to come in and kill a bear that they effectively lured to its death. What the hell ever happened to accountability?

  4. avatar JEFF E says:

    http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/wild/shows-wild-case-files

    Really not the latest breaking news but interesting

  5. avatar timz says:

    This is a well written piece as to why Idaho remains at the bottom of the barrel. It some weird way it ties in to their way of thinking when it comes to wildlife as well.
    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/05/30/1668732/westviews-opinions-from-newspapers.html

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      I can remember back when some company proposed the Pioneer Coal Fired Plant near Boise about 30 years ago and several prominent Boisians banded together and killed it. Why? It was not due to the air pollution it might create. Boise is a very white collar town and it did not want dirty working class people the Pioneer might bring moving into their highly purified Republican society. It was such a trendy and socially elevating cause being against Pioneer. I can remember seeing the joy and elation in the faces of those who shouted it down. You revealed your purity and high class being against Pioneer. Boisians accepted Micron and HP building plants in their midst several years later because these were hi-tech and promised a higher class of people. Now, many microelectronic jobs are being shipped to Asia and most of the jobs that microelectronic plants create, due to competion from Asia, are low paying.

      It was Boise efforts to keep itself pure that stifled sound economic development and now it is a very low-rent town.

  6. avatar Cody Coyote says:

    The Number Two man at Wyoming Game and Fish is making up numbers about Yellowstone grizzly bear numbers again.

    http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/article_65f04793-6a02-536a-9865-5159ee3329d4.html

    Emmerich is bad news for genuine wildlife conservation and the clearest example I have of how corrupt my state game and fish managers have become in the past two decades. I used to have a lot of respect for Wyo G&F and supported them. But that was before both internal and external politics subsumed them , and wildlife began being managed nearly exclusively for and by financial criteria.

    Emmerich just waved his hand before a state legislative committee and ‘ whoosh! ‘ – nearly doubled the estimated number of bears. Grrrrrr…….

  7. Giving him the benefit of the doubt (which he might not deserve), because he said 1000 grizzlies, not 770 or 1150, shows that at best, this is just a guess.

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      Maybe there is an agenda behind that number pushing games? Delist wolves today, delist grizz tomorrow….

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        peter-

        I think , somewhat cynically, that Emmerich is after a $ 12 million budget gorge , not out of any professional desire to know more about Grizzlies , but to give his department more revenue that can be ” utilized” .

        Wyoming is one of the handful of states or federal agencies that actually has a surplus of money these days. Wyo G&F has routinely claimed they already spend $ 1-2 million per year of their own money ” managing” grizzly bears as is; that USFWS doesn’t grant them anywhere near the sums needs to fulfill the mandates to recover and sustain the species. Wyoming would not do any of that on their own. They would just kill bears and allow most anyone else to do it, too. The Feds frown on that. ( Exchange ” Wolf” for ” Grizzly” and you’ll understand Wyoming’s working concept or large predator management perfectly. )

        Emmerich should resign. There is a reason he was passed over twice as the agency’s Director in recent years. He is no friend to wildlife.

        • avatar Theo says:

          The fact is Wyoming has been doing that on their own for a number of years. You seem to contradict yourself several times in two paragraphs, one of only three sentences to boot.

  8. avatar JEFF E says:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110526064627.htm
    I use to have a book that said wolves eyesight ranged into the edge of UV wave length. wish I could find it again.

  9. avatar Nancy says:

    +I just did a quick Google search with the terms – wolves, Mongoia, horses, kill. The results showed wolves have been working on horses for a long time, and most recently in Mongolia have threatened populations of reintroduced Przewalski Horses in Hustai National Park+

    What’s interesting WM is the Prewalski horse was hunted almost to extinction by humans (for meat)

    A good read:
    http://www.coldsiberia.org/sibirwlf.htm

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      Nancy, have you ever eaten horse meat, drank fermented mares milk or had tea with yak butter? It has been offer but I politely refused. If the Prewalski horse was hunted almost to extinction it was by the Mongolians, the hunting was done by the local people not outsiders. It is there land and let them do what they want.

      Mongolians hate wolves more than anyone in the Northern Rockies. The Mongolians that I hunted, fished and stayed with wanted me to return in the winter with a modern rifle and a good scope for wolf hunting.
      Every year the these locals lost livestock and horse to wolf packs. Their firearms are poor quality with limited ammunition. Mongolian in the winter is not my idea of a vacation, I said no, and yes to Chile.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        One of the times I was in Germany we had just spent about 30 some days in the field and were on our way out when everyone voted to stop at the KFC in Munchen. Surprised too see ribs on the menu. Each rib was about 10 inches long and almost no fat. tasted good too.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Horse meat was common table fare in my family growing up, it was cheaper than beef and it was quite good, where I grew up we have 4 different horse meat specific markets and they sold horse meat in the local grocery stores.

      • avatar PointsWest says:

        It is so obvious to me what the answer is. In Mongolia, as elsewhere, areas need to be set aside as special preditor priority game reserves or parks where large preditors have prioirty over livestock, logging, farming, etc. Outside these areas, these large prediors can be killed. Inside they are protected. Some borders will need to be fenced.

        These areas might be very large, thousands of square miles, and contain farms and ranches and towns. But inside, the preditors have priority and people will need to learn to live with them.

        I do not see a better way to protect these large dangerous preditors.

      • avatar Harley says:

        Horse meat… yikes. I understand the why but I’m not sure I could do it unless starving! In the same token, could not eat dog or cat either unless there was nothing, absolutely nothing else.

        Of course, when I was younger I used to think that about venison, thank you Bambi! But once I did try it, I found I actually like it.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Harley,

        I was served what I was sure was dog when overseas, and to refuse would have been considered not so cool, in some of the places I have been, to share your food with others is considered one of the highest honors you can do. Mountain Lion prepared correctly is quite tasty, we have some misconceptions in the US about different types of foods, that are non-existent in other parts of the world, thanks to the mighty corporations!

        Can you imagine Wendy’s and McDonalds advertising their newest creations! Come on down for our new Horse Burger! How about some Cat Prime Rib on Friday night!

      • avatar Harley says:

        lol oh man, you made me laugh with that last bit! I suppose we would all be surprised at what we could stomach if there was no alternative. Oh! Btw, thank you SB for your service. Today is a good day to remember those who have served and continue to do so.

      • avatar jon says:

        Harley, if wolves can kill and take down moose, then they can probably take down and kill a horse. When you have a pack of wolves, they can take down just about any big animal you can think of. Look at lions. They take down giraffes. The question is whether wolves killed this horse or not. carter exposed what went on when he worked with ws. Ranchers livestock were killed by natural and other reasons and ranchers blame those deaths on predators such as wolves. It’s no surprise to me that some are questioning whether this horses death was really by wolves. My own persona belief is that ranchers specifically the ones that hate wolves and there are a lot of these will blame wolves for one when livestock or one of their domestic animals die from a natural death or from some other reason not being predator related. Often times livestock die of natural reasons like carter has said numerous times and predators come to feed on the dead animal and they just assumed that wolves killed that animal. I think this happens more often than we think.

      • avatar JB says:

        “…the hunting was done by the local people not outsiders. It is there land and let them do what they want.”

        It is this exact form of thinking that has led to many of our worst environmental problems. You must recognize this?

      • avatar JB says:

        “…areas need to be set aside as special preditor priority game reserves or parks where large preditors have prioirty over livestock, logging, farming, etc. Outside these areas, these large prediors can be killed. Inside they are protected.”

        Actually, this pretty much describes the system we have–at least in some places–in the United States. Wolves, cougars and bears (along with other wildlife) are protected in Yellowstone, but harvested in national forests and other public lands. Generally speaking, as landscapes become more urbanized, our management of predators becomes more aggressive.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        JB

        ++It is this exact form of thinking that has led to many of our worst environmental problems. You must recognize this++

        It is one thing for a national, state, or a local government to exercise restraint on the lands within their geopolitical boundaries, but another thing for a sovereign state/nation or citizens of a nation to demand environmental to regulations in a country that’s half way around the world. But then that has been the modus of operation of the United States since the end of World War Two not in environment affairs but political affairs.

        There is nothing wrong with developed nations to act in an advisory capacity, but it is another thing to get involved with their legislative bodies on domestic issues. It’s called the ugly American. Maybe the biggest issue now is the clearing of the rain forest in the Amazon Basin for agricultural uses. The destruction of the rain forest is going go beyond Brazil, affecting billions of people outside the Brazil’s boundaries but should another country try or be able to restrict the clearing of the rain forest? That is a question we all wish Brazil would find the answer for.

        Back to Mongolia. I was in Mongolia for over 3 weeks and in those years was able to afford a car, driver, guide, interpreter and cook, we travel over a thousand miles. Mongolia is the most over graze landscape’s that I have seen. A large part of the landscape looks like a golf green, one could hit a golf ball for miles and never lose sight of it. To the herder his animals are his wealth and it was my discretionary income that brought me to Mongolia. We all want the same and what we want is going to destroy why we came.

      • avatar JB says:

        True enough, but what happens when (say) pollution in one country has detrimental effect in another? Should we intervene or attempt to intervene then? What happens when we (Americans) are the polluter (read greenhouse gases)?

        “We all want the same and what we want is going to destroy why we came.”

        Have you read Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons”? If not, you should really take a look:

        http://dieoff.org/page95.htm

      • avatar JimT says:

        I have a hard time with the assumption that “local” means correct as a truism, especially when we are talking about ecosystems, and the impacts of human activities, no matter the location.

        As for hatred of wolves in the Rockies vs. the Mongolian populations, I daresay there is a danger that if too many wolves are in an area, if they were to take too many mares or foals, the lifestyle, indeed, their ability to survive might be impaired. I would love to see any rancher in the Rockies have that same vulnerability come forward. I know they can’t because their own laziness in managing their herds, the climate, and sickness are much more of a danger to them than livestock lost to wolves.

    • avatar Phil says:

      People like Mr. Niemeyer and the Dutchers are reliable sources on issues regarding wolves and other predators. They do not have a personal agenda in what they say and do with wolves, it comes from experience, knowledge through the experience and facts to conclude upon from their experiences. Congress should bring in these individuals (amongst many others) and get their perspectives on what should be done with wolves. Put aside the antis and advocates and get the truth from the mouths of the ones who have worked and still work with wolves.

  10. avatar Nancy says:

    Elk – never had a desire to try horse meat (did try yak meat once) and I wasn’t condemning the Mongolians for the near extinction of the Prewalski horse, we have our own sorry ass examples of history here when it comes to nearly wiping out species when certain aspects of society don’t want them around..

    A lot of parallels between the west here and Mongolia:
    http://www.mongoliatoday.com/issue/5/wolf_jasper.html

    and it would appear outfitters have a decent handle on hunting there, as here:
    http://www.mongoliasafari.com/about.html

    Kind of liked this paragraph (from the link in my earlier post)

    If the products of Man are inferior to those of Original Nature, then the implications are exceedingly far-reaching. Seeing all this and at the same time all too frequently rejecting the message carried by the reality that manifests as the gray and powerful canine child of the wilderness, some human cultures reject the wolf because they cannot bear the great truth in its message: That civilization, the way it has formed to this day, is in many ways inferior to Nature’s solutions, and that a more healthy way to live would be possible if humans could allow themselves to be aligned with natural life instead of falsely believing that human culture is morally or otherwise superior to Nature.

  11. avatar Nancy says:

    +These areas might be very large, thousands of square miles, and contain farms and ranches and towns. But inside, the preditors have priority and people will need to learn to live with them+

    I believe that idea has been tossed around in the past PW. Heard the area would stretch from Yellowstone to Glacier, which pretty much covers a hell of a lot of wilderness areas and public lands.
    But unfortunately, a mere 3% of all livestock raised in this country (and their owners) control most, if not all, of the political decisions made in local government here in the west, when it comes to any attempts to secure wildlife and their habitat.

  12. avatar Nancy says:

    +We all want the same and what we want is going to destroy why we came+

    So will, and is it okay, for mankind to continue to repeat (and echo) those words Elk , til even desert areas are turned into condos, housing developments and 5 star golf courses, wilderness areas are turned into bait traps for wildlife who venture into them (as in more housing developments) wildlife that doesn’t have a clue, nor the ability to understand, why their habitat continues to shrink?

  13. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Back to the Darby horse. I am NOT saying that WOLVES DID NOT do this, and I am in favor of intervention by the rancher.

    That said, I just had a conversation with an Ely, MN friend who keeps a 20 year old horse among 4 others on a hundred acres, year round. She has seen wolves and coyotes on the acreage, and said in terms of the wild “dogs” she has no real fear. About four years ago in Ely, a cougar did kill a horse, and she said if she has any concerns about predators with her horse, it is with cougars.

    Her point of contention is that with a healthy prey base, and there are plenty of deer in N Minnesota, that horses are not worth a wolves while. Horses are FAST and they can and will KICK. She was curious as toward the overall health of the horse, did it run into a barbed wire fence and get hung up, did it have colic, was it the least bit lame? Was the horse on the range all Winter and was it weak. How often was the horse monitored? She checks her horses physical condition everyday. She asked was the horse autopsied in terms of it’s physical condition?

    She stressed that it is not impossible for wolves to kill a healthy horse, but it is not likely, thus the rarity of such cases. I really don’t want to weigh in on this issue anymore other than I am sorry for the ranchers loss of his horse, and if wolves habituate that area, they are probably not long for this world.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Immer – I have as much faith in the true facts coming out in this incident as I did with the Appleby/Pitman incident.

    • avatar WM says:

      Immer,

      Always good to know ALL the details. We don’t here, yet, if ever.

      My friends who used to have Rolling Dog Ranch in Ovando, MT, just a stones’ throw from Helena and the Bob Marshall Wilderness, cared for disabled animals. They had a number of blind horses, added to their mix of disabled dogs, over the years. The horses were behind sheep net fences, and the barbed wire was up high, if any at all. The blind horses could negotiate their known pastures (mental map just like a human but probably even better), often with another blind horse buddy.

      Just to be clear, to my knowledge they never had predator problems, but hypothetically one or more predators chasing them (or even a sighted horse at night) and who knows what happens to the mental map.

      I gather this Darby incident happened at night, and I am not suggesting 13 year old “Jack” was sight impaired, but you never know. Run the horse into a fence, trapping them in a corner or along a line and the wolf’s job gets a lot easier. Even more so, if there is wire involved.

      Incidentally, my friends moved their disabled animal ranch to New Hampshire, where the weather is a little more temperate, and competent/compassionate help is easier to find compared to where they were.

      • avatar WM says:

        Also, recall those Great Lakes wolves are about 2/3 the size of the NRM ones, and seem to run in generally smaller packs.

      • avatar Harley says:

        Did either of you see the latest annual report from Isle Royale? It shows a picture of a group of wolves and the one in the center is bigger and a lighter color than the other ones. They are saying he crossed over from the mainland a few years ago and helped the gene pool on the island. Almost all the wolves on the island can be traced back to him, or so the hypothesis goes. It’s interesting to see his appearance, how different it is from the smaller inbred wolves on the island.
        WM, 2/3 the size of NRM wolves? What is the average size of an NRM wolf compared to the GL wolves?

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        WM,

        Have to lock horns with you a bit on a couple things. Perhaps on average NRM wolves are a tad larger than GLS wolves, but not by 1/3.
        MN females ~50 to 85 pound average
        MN males ~ 85 to 115 occasionally up to 130 pounds

        2009 Montana hunt adults averaged 97 pounds, with I believe the largest at about 117 pounds.
        2009 Idaho hunt 54 to 127 pounds with females averaging 79 pounds and males at 100 pounds.

        Size in terms of weight differential is a mute point.

        Pack size. I shared a lake one Winter with a pack of eight wolves in MN for 3 days. I spent some time with Jim Brandenburg when he was filming a pack of eighteen wolves. Though I did not see them, I did have the pleasure of hearing them howl from a fairly close distance. Pretty impressive sound!

        Killing: pack size doesn’t much matter as usually the killing is done by one or two wolves in the pack. Bob Hayes postulated pack size has more to do with carcass utilization. The more wolves, the more of the carcass is utilized by wolves, as scavengers, ravens in particular, don’t have a chance to feed. If it’s just a twosome, they can’t keep the ravens away, or coyotes and bears for that matter. Ravens will eat an enormous amount of meat once the carcass is opened.

      • avatar WM says:

        Immer,

        I was a bit rough on the size difference – but there definitely is one. About a year ago or a little longer there was quite a bit of discussion about the difference – lots of stats and all. Maybe I should have said 3/4, or something like the ambiguous stat that the NRM wolves are a third larger than the GL. Sorry I can’t recall exactly. I would not even want to venture whether harvest statistics are representative of the general population.

        As for pack size, one significant reason the MN curremt total wolf population estimate is lower than the previous 5 year estimate is that pack size in the modeling was reduced. I can’t find it now, but the mean was like 4.9, down from about 5.5 or so in earlier survey estimates (I spoke to one of the MN DNR guys doing the survey stats, who informed me of this.).

        I think the NRM pack size has been generally larger, with a mean of some where between 7-9. Maybe someone with a bit more time and current knowledge can tell us, if I am off on that.

        As for how many wolves need to participate in a kill. Just showing up is sometimes enough to confuse prey, block exits and prevent escape, even though two or three may be the designated kill team.

        So, I will still venture individual wolf size, and larger numbers “involved” in prey attack may differ between the two populations, and may be significant under certain circumstances. I was just speculating on the possible factors and effect on a horse attack based on the conversation with your MN friend, who did not seem so worried about risk to her horse.

  14. avatar Nancy says:

    +Whatever became of the Appleby/Pitman case?+

    One less wolf, end of story………….

    • This is an important article. B vonHoldt, J Pollinger, D Earl, J Knowles, A Boyko, et al. A genome-wide perspective on the evolutionary history of enigmatic wolf-like canids. Genome Research.I have read it. Unfortunately, it is costly to purchase.

      I hope to do a story on it. Dr. Jon Way has been telling us for years that the eastern coyotes (canis lupus lycaon) are part wolf and the eastern wolves are part coyote and dog. The article goes on to show that the wolves of the Northern Rockies are pure canis lupis, absolutely pure wolf. The Great Lakes wolves are a small part coyote, although the introduction of coyote genes is not recent. It took place many hundreds years ago.

  15. avatar JB says:

    A graduate student pointed me in the direction of a video that shows exactly what NOT to do when an Alaskan brown bear becomes interested in your fishing endeavors.

    First rule of fishing in bear country is not to fish when bears are present–and especially, when they exhibit interest in your fishing. Second rule is that if you have a fish already hooked and a bear becomes interested, cut your line and walk away. Not what took place here. The camera crew has recorded their star “extreme angler” food-conditioning a bear. Great work guys.

    • avatar WM says:

      Doesn’t look like bear spray is the deterrent of choice for fishing guides in the Lake Illiamna area of AK. where they encounter bears every day. This one uses what appears to be a Taurus Tracker in .44 magnum with a ported barrel. They are VERY loud.

      Query, has this young bear really figured out a fisherman is a good source for a meal, or to be avoided because of that noise?

      • avatar JB says:

        I think the fact that the bear came back speaks to your first query. As to the second (whether the loud noise is enough to deter the bear from future encounters)…who knows?

      • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

        An intermediate method that usually works to dissuade bears interested in your fishing is a plastic 12 ga. flare pistol. They hate having that fireball coming at them and tend not to stick around. In the fall, we used to have some tense times netting spawning salmon before discovering flares. Once, when we had a 40 foot beach seine with 75-100 adult cohos pulled up (for sampling) to a bank and all three of us were bent over sorting, untangling and marking them when I noticed a brown bear sow standing right beside and slightly behind the woman just downstream from me, literally looking over her shoulder and watching her untangle a fish. As soon as Susan dropped the fish on the free side of the corks the sow jumped brushing by her, nailed the fish before it could swim off and took it back in the alders. That bear was naturally bold from the time I first saw her in 1985 and would literally try to walk up to us for the first couple of the 20 or so years we saw her up there, but we brought flares the next year and she always gave us adequate space after that.

        There are caveats — used to excess, bears will eventually get used to flares as well. There’s a sockeye personal use stream 40 miles south of here that is heavily used and one brown bear learned how to basically mug fishermen and take their catch. Flares came into common use on the stream and seemed a panacea until that bear eventually got used to them. I went up with my dog very early one morning, passing some boats with sleeping people in the lower creek, in order to be the first at the pool. The bear emerged just as I was wading in and approached me even though I didn’t have fish. My dog quietly approached and distracted him and he chased the dog in circles, but he was able to out-turn the bear. I fired two flares which caused only brief retreats, and managed to drop the third in the creek. Meanwhile people had emerged from the boats and were watching without showing any sign of offering assistance. Finally, as he tried approaching me again, I fired a .44 revolver round close in the gravel and sprayed him which sent him off into the woods. The people came up angry “What did you do to the little guy, he wasn’t hurting anybody!” I explained I hadn’t shot him but sprayed him with gravel and said “Thanks for the help!” He was back out later in the day, eating fish remains and furthering his habituation.

        A big caveat in the dry west is that a flare could easily start a forest fire — not so much a concern here. Also, I did finally run into an example where it appeared counter-productive. We fired one once in a high arc toward a sow with cubs that had not seen us to try to get her to move off the creek so we could continue down, down counting fish. It landed in the grass near her and burned, sending up a big plume of smoke. She stood on her hind legs completely ignoring it and scanning, looking for the source while vocalizing with increasing volume and intensity — a phenomenon I’ve seen in sows that I call “progressive agitation” when they’ve seen something but can’t figure it out (unlike a deer that will eventually become less worried about a noise or sight with time, without further confirmation). We crept away and gave her a wide birth. I have found, however, that flares usually work very well for brown bears that have been attracted to human activity (like fishing) or property and need dissuading — but they are not a substitute for addressing the underlying problem.

        • avatar WM says:

          SEAK,

          I first came across the flare gun option in the early 1980’s, when I was doing some backpacking on the Kenai. I was new to AK, didn’t want the extra weight of a gun of any kind or its potential lethality, and suggested it to a very experienced bear guy in Soldotna, who was a family friend. He just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Be prepared. You want slugs or 00 buckshot as he casually handed my his sawed off 12 ga Remington 870 pump, with an extended tube magazine? I prefer a combination of the two.” He also gave admonishments about the flare alternative due to potential fire hazard.

          • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

            WM —
            Open choke shotguns of the type your friend recommended actually work well with regular 12 ga. signal flares (and are considerably more accurate than the plastic flare pistols) so long as they are loaded directly into the chamber — otherwise loaded through the magazine they become hopelessly jammed (often at a very inopportune time). The flares are just a tool for dealing with situations like an overly bold, somewhat habituated bear — not recommended for stopping a sudden charge by a defensive/aggressive bear. But the latter are actually fairly rare in coastal areas and tend to occur in different areas — remote, seldom visited streams. Bears that at least occasionally see people tend to lose the fight or flight response but other problems related to habituation tend to crop up in more heavily fished streams, bear viewing areas, or areas with lots of hunters (e.g. deer hunters on Kodiak) etc. unless care is taken and some protocols consistently followed. There are occasions when things get very uncomfortable that having flares and other deterrents is useful to establish order considerably ahead of having to put down and salvage required parts off a bear acting increasingly dangerous — and then filling out paperwork. On weirs, rare use of flares tends to establish more authority in the eyes of bears so individual animals often respond favorably to subtle body and voice signals for years. Pepper spray might help if deployed from a few feet, but who wants to wait that long?

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      JB

      ++Second rule is that if you have a fish already hooked and a bear becomes interested, cut your line and walk away.++

      After we cut a $60 to $100 fly line do we send the line to you for a refund. I have found the best course of action in a situation like this is to get in the boat and move to the middle of the river, net the fish and then leave to area.

      Nothing concerns me more than being 200 feet into the backing and worrying about the fish breaking the backing and swimming away with your fly line. Fly shops are few and far between in bush Alaska.

      • avatar Daniel Berg says:

        Don’t even remind me how expensive fly line is. I’m still traumitized from my purchase last summer…….

      • avatar JB says:

        “After we cut a $60 to $100 fly line do we send the line to you for a refund.”

        No, you walk away with your life and the knowledge that you haven’t endangered your fellows by food-conditioning a bear.

        “I have found the best course of action in a situation like this is to get in the boat and move to the middle of the river, net the fish and then leave to area.”

        I can see where that would work…when you have a boat. (You might want to watch the video).

        • avatar JB says:

          BTW: If you’ve flown into Alaska to flyfish in the backcountry you can probably afford the $60-100 line. 😉

    • Interesting clip. . the bear was monitoring the body language of the people on shore and they were scared. . so when they say look he isn’t even afraid of us and that is a problem. . they created the problem. As the bear came in for the fish you could see him scrutinizing the group to see if any one of them had any backbone. . it seems like they just had a lack of knowledge of what bears look for. The bear was easily close enough that they could have used pepper spray, which might have made the bear more nervous to approach the next group of scared anglers. You are right Seak . . they do get conditioned to loud noises and can even ignore human shouting because they have heard it so often. A nose full of pepper spray is more of a lesson. It is as if the bear learns that even thought this animal is afraid, if you get to close to it it will hurt you like a skunk. Too bad the fishing guide industry is so stuck in old ways.

  16. avatar Salle says:

    This is one of the best articles on the “wolf issues” that I have seen in a very long time:

    Cry, Wolf

    http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/cry_wolf

  17. avatar Salle says:

    Canada tries to hide Alberta tar sands carbon emissions

    Greenhouse gas emissions from the tar sands are on the rise, but try finding that in Canada’s official report to the UN

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/jun/01/canada-tar-sands-carbon-emissions

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      I was talking to a friend of a friend last weekend who has been working out of Fort McMurray for Kewitt. The scale of the work that is going on up there is incredible. There is nothing that can slow the momentum of that project in the near future.

  18. avatar WM says:

    Local citizen unrest and another dog lost to wolves near Troy, MT – this one a Dachsund near its owner on private property, and in another incident a horse reportedly cornered.

    http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/wolves_prompt_tensions_in_troy/23281/

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      I have a friend who’s dogs (yes plural), for some reason, always chased cars. He has a small grave yard for these said dogs. Dog chases wolves, no difference.

      Odd, but I guess there is an unwritten rule, that if someone sees a dog chasing wildlife, deer, elk in particular, they will shoot the dog, but if a dog chases wildlife, in this case a wolf, and the wild life kills the dog… is there really that much of a difference?

  19. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    “Two Elwha River dams unplugged on Wednesday”

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015202387_elwha02m.html

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Great news, Daniel Berg! I have been waiting for this a long time. Now for the actually removal of these worthless dams.

    • avatar Banana Slug says:

      Baaaaad Kitty!

    • avatar Phil says:

      The one thing I do not agree with this story is the photo taken of the man and the killed mountain lion. Seriously, if your main objective is to protect your livestock, then why posture yourself over the killed cougar and pose for a photo? Apparently, IMO he wanted to show off his kill no differently then sports hunters do, and that is to show their POWER over a powerful animal. I have always seen actions like these no differently then terrorists ramping around people they have killed to show their power.

    • avatar Harley says:

      I dunno, I think I’d be more concerned with WHY the kitty was so close to the house and seemed to show no fear as opposed to why the guy was posing for a picture. I think a habituated mountain lion is a more serious consideration than someone posing for a picture.
      Just my opinion.

      • avatar jon says:

        Harley, I don’t think the mountain lion was habituated. No one in their right mind would feed a mountain lion. There was no point in the man posing with a dead animal he just shot and killed. Mountain lions will go as they please.

        • avatar Harley says:

          Jon,
          In the article, the lion was killed in the backyard. Most predators as a rule will avoid close contact with humans, isn’t that what I’ve been hearing most of my life? It wasn’t dark. It wasn’t a normal time for the lion to be out. I would be more worried about the why myself.
          A few years back we had a lion in Chicago! It would be so cool to find out the why. Is there a population close? Did he wander that far away? Speculation was that he was from North Dakota. Other theories have him from Michigan. He was a healthy male that unfortunately had to be shot. A city is no place for a big kitty like that. Coyotes, yeah maybe but not a cougar, poor thing! That’s one thing they never covered at the police academy I’ll bet!

          • avatar jon says:

            I remember that. A lot of people were disgusted that the lion had to be shot. He wasn’t bothering anyone and he was in that neighborhood for a few weeks and caused no problems. You know how some people are. Deathly afraid of wild animals.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Well unfortunately, they do not train the CPD on how to manage a Mountain Lion. I think given the circumstances, they acted in the only way they knew best. There wasn’t time to get animal control involved. Remember, we are talking about a city that has saved coyotes from a drink display cooler in a restaurant, a CTA bus, an highway overpass and a piece of ice on the lake. It’s not that they don’t have a heart. I don’t think they were given a chance once the mountain lion was cornered.

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      Well if he wants a picture of himself with a dead mountain lion that’s his busines and if does not want a picture of himself with a dead then that’s is right, too. I would not take the time to even concern myself one way or the other.

      • avatar Harley says:

        That’s what I’m saying, the bigger picture I would think would be why was this big cat, what did it say, 10 feet from the back door and showing no fear of the man’s wife?

  20. avatar Angela says:

    Livestock Risks from Wisconsin Wolves Localized, Predictable
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110601111410.htm
    related powerpoint presentation of the research?
    http://www.discoverycenter.net/assets/files/timberwolf/Midwest_Wolf_Stewards_Meeting_2011/Forecasting_Environmental_Hazards.pdf
    I haven’t found the entire article online yet.

  21. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    Cant imagine this fellow would run on an environmentally friendly platform.

    “Former KKK organizer in Montana running for Congress”

    http://www.king5.com/news/politics/Former-KKK-organizer-in-Montana-running-for-Congress–122975678.html

  22. avatar WM says:

    Looks like the wolves have started in on the WI elk now. The total number of elk in WI is 151, according to DNR. They are down a cow, and a newborn calf, it seems.

    http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/122995753.html

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Cars have been the bigger problem for Wisconsin Elk. Then, even as the wolves grow in number, they certainly are not all in the small area common with the “reintroduced” elk.

  23. avatar Banana Slug says:

    I’m much more afraid of this in raccoons than Hydatid disease in wolves:

    http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12150_12220-27261–,00.html

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Banana Slug,

      I’ve heard of this before, but well after the fact. We had pet coons when we were kids, got em when they were young, and then would keep them unless they got too nasty. Never even thought about things like that. We even took them into the vets at that time for shots… Been decades, and I would imagine if we picked those things up as kids, it would have manifested itself by now.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Banana Slug,

      Thanks for the link to the disgusting photo of roundworms in racoons. Of course, people do get roundworms (maybe a majority have them in some places).

      I was thinking about their folks’ focus on Hydatid disease today when I was reading Science Daily, There I learned that as little as one bacterium of Tularemia (from rabbits) can multiple rapidly into lethal disease, and it can be spread in the air! Now that is something for the worrying folks to contemplate.

      • avatar JB says:

        And raccoon are often densities are much higher in urban areas, increasing the risk of exposure. And yet we city folk seem to do just fine. 😉

  24. avatar jon says:

    The washington hunters are whining. They think 300 wolves is too many and that the wolves are going to wipe out the deer and elk herds.

    http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-in-seattle/alarmed-wa-hunters-doing-the-math-on-wolf-program

    • avatar jon says:

      J.Russell Bailey · Top Commenter · Owner-Operator at Neanderthal Pictographs
      What part of that last “S” do you not understand Nimrod?

      I’ve had Game Wardens promote the 3 S’s to me relating to Grizz……same mindset for wolves!

      Our G.W.’s here in Wyoming despise (for the most part) the Fed Wildlife bureaucrats……they realized the Feds are NOT here to help us, they’re here to IMPOSE upon us their Fed policies and goals.

      The one thing I can stress is that you folks had better hope that you get a LOT of Grizz in the Cascades sooner rather than later and then promote the daylights out of “Grizz Watching” for all PETA, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, WWF, Ocean-this-that-or-other groups, and of course, all those voting the SP Dem Party ticket…..and that includes mindless College/University students…so yes, go forth and find the Grizz………..

      Bon appetit mon cheri Grizz!

      This is very disturbing if game wardens are telling hunters to “sss” wildlife such as bears and wolves.

  25. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    Washington State News:

    “State releases revised gray-wolf plan”

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015219957_wolfplan03.html

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      Shocking that there could possibly be a couple of wolves in Kittitas County:

      “Tracks and scat that appeared to be from two wolves were found in the Ross Lake/Hozomeen area of North Cascades National Park in 2010 and remote cameras photographed two animals in this area during winter 2011. There appears to be a potential pack in this area, which is likely using both British Columbia and Washington. Remote camera photos and tracks of 2-3 wolves were also recorded in Kittitas County during the winter and spring of 2011, and suggest the presence of potential pack in this area as well. Reports from both areas are being followed up during spring/summer 2011.”

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        Great News! Daniel. The new Washington State wolf plan for 300 wolves is very good news.

        Yes the crazies are already trying to stir people up with their wild tales.

  26. avatar Mal Adapted says:

    Ted Williams: “The Center for Biological Diversity gives every environmentalist a bad name.”

    Is it extremist to insist that laws protecting biological diversity be upheld?

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Or just be prepared BS for what might be the latest wave in pharmaceutical offerings hitting a local TV channel near you:

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      We have had a lot of West Nile problems in Eastern Idaho before. I know someone whose mother died of it here in Pocatello.

      It is not clear to me that there is a firm relationship between a bad West Nile season and floods. In most places, the danger from West Nile actually grows during the summer as things dry out.

  27. avatar Nancy says:

    Not trying to make light of the West Nile virus but like the H1N1 flu, I can’t help but think drug companies enjoy tossing things at the wall in hopes that something will stick (or alarm) populations enough that sales will increase.

    The latest alarm:

    http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/06/04/2011060400352.html

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Nancy,

      I think this new sickening variant of e. coli is probably quite dangerous and was produced by the long-standing and dangerous practice of feeding confined animals antibiotics. That is where big pharma comes in, but even more culpable is agra-business as it exists today.

      Because of the normal and benign presence of e. coli in the human gut, the emergence of pathogenic forms of the very common bacteria is serious business.

      • avatar PointsWest says:

        There have been at least three major population collapses in Western Civilization. There was the Black Death in the 14th century, there was the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th/6th centuries, and there was a Bronze Age collapse in the 12th century BCE. We know that the well documented Black Death was infectious disease and, beginning in 1348, cut Europe’s population in half. We are now beginning to understand that the collapse of Rome was mostly due to population loss due to infection disease and epidemics. The final blow was the Justinian Plague of 541 where contemporaries claim over 100 million died. The population of the Mediterranean was probably cut by 80% by the epidemics and subsequent collapse of the civilization and West Civiliztion was plunged into a dark ages for four centuries.

        Not very much is known about the Bronze Age collapse but epidemiology is becoming a leading suspect. It is likely that the population of the Mediteranean was cut by more than 50% and maybe as high 80% and civilization entered the Bronze Dark Age and did not reemerge until the 8th Century BCE.

        I know we have medical science to help us deal with epidemiology today. But it took almost 10 years to find anything to control AIDS. We are also doing a lot of microbiologic experimentation, as Ralph points out, that may actually create an epidemic. Will history repeat itself? Probably.

        • avatar Salle says:

          Probably is right. Whether manufactured or not, and I know it’s not politically or culture sensitively correct, it is a reality that a major ~ or series of ~ depopulating events will need to take place before the situations of life for humans can be “corrected” by nature. There are too many of us, we’ve become too adaptive to too many parts of the planet that we are like lice upon the face of the earth. Disease is the big one but a continuum of bad weather and earthquakes etc. can have an affect on our overpopulation problem, though there is nothing more endangering than the pollution of our air and water, which will promote the onset of epidemics and the like. Ever wonder why the megacorporations are now focused on privatizing all the fresh water on the planet, mostly “under the radar”? It has become a “weapon” in Libya already and food has been a weapon for a long time as has rape and other atrocities, though some of this is either promoted or instigated by western corporations and governments (and corporate governments). There seems to be a terrible control-freak thing going on and it will only get worse in our lifetimes. The corporate world wants to be rid of a lot of us and seems to have an eye on enslaving those who survive whatever they do that will kill off a lot of the world population.

          Once again, it seems like the rulers of our patch of planet are hell bent on pushing harder on the accelerator of doom with every passing day, but then, some are waiting for and probably trying to speed up the rapture. The thing about that, as I have mentioned before, is that everyone else has to participate either by dying or believing… So if you have a bunch of people who don’t believe, then they will have to participate by dying since the gospel of rapture says that only “the chosen” will be “swept up” from all the death and destruction that is supposed to take place. I honestly think that these folks are so sure of this event taking place as they perceive that they are behind a lot of the deconstruction of our national credo in order to facilitate their self-fulfilling prophecies. What’s a mother to do?

  28. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    Romeo’s killer may yet do jail time after probation violations
    http://juneauempire.com/local/2011-06-02/myers-pleads-guilty-probation-violations

    • avatar william huard says:

      This guy Myers is white trailer trash. He killed Romeo so that he could buy a carton of cigarettes and a few cases of beer. People like him will never change

    • avatar WM says:

      Too bad some local Juneau citizens don’t just cuff him to an old truck axle and dump his sorry ass over the side to feed the crabs. Now that sounds like AK justice. [Looking around, “Who said that?”]

  29. avatar PointsWest says:

    Grizzly Cub Hit By Car Near West Yellowstone

    See police report May 8…

    http://www.westyellowstonenews.com/news/article_1a4f1c46-7f69-11e0-b887-001cc4c03286.html

    It makes you wonder how many grizzlies are hit by cars and the event never reported or made into an a newstory.

    If a hunter had acidentally shot the cub, there would be hell to pay and 200 news stories would have been writen. Since it was a motorist, it did not even make the news. The cub almost certainly died if the driver hit it hard enough for him/her to report it to police. It may die very slowly…over a period of weeks as it weakens and starves, but it will certainly die.

  30. avatar Immer Treue says:

    It’s been over a week now. I could not find anything, but has there been anything on the Darby horse and the wolves in the area?

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Immer Treue,

      Locally they are beating the drum about this “wolf kill.” They released photos of the dead horse, no doubt to disgust people who can’t rationally stand to look at internal organs.

      The amazing thing is that is does not look like it was killed by any animal. There is no bleeding. Animals killed bleed profusely. There are just two big holes in the horse due to scavengers or some other mechanism. They took no photos of tracks around the carcass.

      I noticed the eyes have been pecked out.

      This is just a photo of a dead animal that has been lying a while, perhaps disturbed by humans who say wolves did it.

  31. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    There are a couple of good articles in the June/July Mother Earth News, unfortunately neither available online at this point. One is an article by Doug Chadwick on keystone species, with Yellowstone wolves as a centerpiece of course, but talks about grizzlies, sea otters, starfish and elephants.

    The other is an excellent article on a very simple, practical do-it-yourself grid-tied solar installation in Montana that shows just how cost-effective and user-friendly installing substantial home solar energy capacity has gotten, with a lot less electrical knowledge than was needed a few years ago. Each of his 10 large panels comes with a micro-inverter behind it with wiring that snaps together and he just ran the main wire to his breaker box (through a disconnect by the meter for power company use during service). He even had nothing but good to say about the permitting aspects.

    • It seems like the problem with earth friendly power options like solar and wind is that big businesses have decided to make it a big production, and anything that is done on a large scale needs to wreck the local habitat. Personal solar and wind power makes a lot of sense, but then very few big businesses would get rich off of us.

  32. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Lawmaker: Delist medical pot, like wolves
    Rep. Diane Sands says it could create stability
    So delisting of wolves has created stability? Delisting of wolves an exemplary process suitable as a pattern?
    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_9f6138a5-fb97-574a-8611-52faa7ab3ff8.html

  33. avatar Salle says:

    Editorial: A fishy reversal on “wild lands” policy
    The Obama administration’s backtracking on a policy to protect public lands smacks of pre-election-year politics.

    http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_18194803

  34. avatar Salle says:

    Wolves kill calves in Dell, Avon areas

    http://www.mtstandard.com/news/local/article_3efd43be-8e65-11e0-81cc-001cc4c002e0.html

    And

    Table Mountain pack strikes again

    http://www.mtstandard.com/news/local/article_6d2015c8-8e65-11e0-a7d0-001cc4c002e0.html

    Same author for both stories, bias anyone?

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Salle,

      Yes, and here is the more important story. Dillon rancher pleads no contest [to rustling].

      This reporter did get this more important news.

      It is common, but underreported knowledge, that many cattle are disappeared by wolves with wheels.

      Unherded cattle, turned out in vast spaces to wander looking for food, fall prey to all kinds of things. They don’t want to publicize rustling because it is so easy in many place.

    • avatar Phil says:

      “Moments after submitting the letter, ODFW authorized the killing of an additional two wolves from the Imnaha Pack. The justification for the action includes the wolf that may have been baited by ODFW.” Does anyone think this is a slap in the face of wildlife advocates? And, to think that the main goal of both wildlife advocates and the ODFW is to maintain a stable population for all, if not many, native species, but just to have the department authorize the killing of two more wolves from an already small population in Oregon.

  35. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Ralph,

    Here is a link to the story you referred to.

    http://www.mtstandard.com/news/local/article_c223a4b0-8c06-11e0-8dfd-001cc4c002e0.html?mode=story

    If wolves had removed 140 cattle, the sh!$ would hit the fan. Can’t help but wonder, if a claim was put in for these cattle or not.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      They will probably end up in USDA figures for predatory losses at the end of the year.

      In their statistics, is there a column for theft?

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      Holy smokes, deferred sentence and a small fine for a major theft that took a large amount of effort to investigate. That ain’t the Montana even I remember from even 40 years ago where neighbors could get away with shooting each other to death over private property and not go to jail — I remember a lengthy Billings Gazette article on the extension of the “Code of the West” into law in modern Montana. Plus the young woman shot to death in the back without legal consequences for “borrowing” the jeep at Point of Rocks. The closest wolves would definitely have gotten the death sentence plus probably any others within a day’s trot for good measure for that kind of loss. That much of the Old West hasn’t changed.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Nasty stuff for the angler too, and really dangerous if you are trying to ford the stream!

  36. avatar Elk275 says:

    I had never heard of rock snot until 5 years ago at customs in Aukland, New Zealand, all of my fishing gear, boots, waders and lines were cleaned and dried. Then I was given a 5 minute talk about Dimo and how they thought it had originated in Montana. I pleaded. I had not been to New Zealand for 28 years, it was not me. Then it was off to the New Zealand Police for my gun permit and another 15 minute lecture on New Zealand gun laws missing my conection to Christchurch.

    I returned from New Zealand a month later and the next day MSU was holding a world conference on Didymosphenia geminata after being gone for a month there was to much paper work and no time to attend the conference, the things you learn traveling.

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      Felt soles were outlawed here last year to try to keep stuff like that out.

      My wife and I had a similar experience in March-April going through Australian Customs with our backpacks. They spotted our tent on the x-ray machine and politely inspected everything and took the tent stakes away for a few minutes for a thorough cleaning. So many invasive things have gotten loose there that are causing problems that it makes perfect sense. New Zealand gun laws are nothing compared to Australia. Even BB guns are just as restricted as firearms and replica black powder rifles that you can still buy here through the mail without any clearance are not even in the least restricted class there – require a demonstrated “need”, not a “reason”. There’s not much evidence that it has all made a difference, other than diverting suicides to other methods, but if you read the account of the Port Arthur massacre, it was so horrendous you can sympathize and understand why the laws are what they are even in a reasonable country like Australia that has a large rural population and many needs for firearms, including controlling and market hunting invasive feral animals, etc. Even so, if you look at the massacre, the guy was enough into guns its likely he would have gotten them on the black market — and then you have to wonder if there had been even one person within 1/4 mile with access to a firearm as he strolled around for a long time hunting down hiding people . . . .

    • avatar Phil says:

      “Rock snot” just sounds very funny. So, the cleaning of your fishing gear, boots, and such were forced upon you, right? Would that go for everyone, or just individuals from certain places, such Montana? I would imagine it would be for everyone so that non-native organisms are not transferred. How did you like New Zealand? A friend of mine, who is a photographer, vacationed there 3 years ago and said there really isn’t much wildlife. Not quite sure where abouts in New Zealand she stayed at.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        As SEAKMossback says in Australia they cleaned his tent stakes. It does not matter where one is from in New Zealand, tents stakes, tent floors, hiking boots, fishing gear is cleaned and they do it with a smile. In 1978, my tent and tents stakes and boots were disinfected and cleaned at Customs. The inspector came out with my tent apologizing about not being able to get it back into the stuff sack. With TSA or US customs your item would could be broken, pieces missing, parts pilfered or it might vanish. The New Zealand people are wonderful

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Immer,

      I’m glad to see that LTE. Those mortality figures are beyond absurd. I don’t know who in the USDA manufactures them.

      It’s like having 67 burglaries officially reported in let’s say, Missoula, during a year; but then having some “crime statistics agency” saying there were actually 1500 burglaries in Missoula that year.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Ralph,

        I’m aware that Wyoming has/had a compensation factor of up to 3.5 for bears killing calves. It only applied to missing calves. Example if someone had 10 confirmed grizzly kills, they would be compensated for thirty five missing calves.

        This is the heart of the problem. I’ll generalize here and state that many ranchers don’t really know how many cattle they have at any given time, nor do they know where the cattle are. The Wyoming compensation predates wolves.

        Also, in terms of wolf depredation, how many are compensatory vs. additive, when one factors in all the other causes of cattle mortality?

        One can be accused of massaging statistics one way or the other, but to insinuate that wolves were responsible for the absence of over 4,000 head of cattle last year in the three states is, in my opinion, highly unlikely.

  37. avatar PointsWest says:

    Another grizzly hit by car. This one was an adult male and was killed.

    http://www.krtv.com/news/grizzly-bear-struck-killed-by-car-in-yellowstone-national-park/

    • avatar Nancy says:

      That above ground rail system we mulled over awhile back would put an end to a lot of these tragedies PW. Not to mention the pollution from the thousands of cars going thru the park.

      • avatar PointsWest says:

        I think the elevated light rail is a good idea but will only help those bears in the Park. The cub that was hit in May was outside the Park. I believe at least half and maybe most grizzlies in the GYE are now outside of the Park.

        In a perfect world, we would have a much larger Park that included much of the GYE and substantial winter range in the lower elevations around the Park with few roads and nearly all served by elevated light rail. That would really be something special. …I can dream can’t I?

  38. avatar WM says:

    Apparently a nonsensical lethal response to rare Mexican wolf that escaped a zoo in Minnesota. Haven’t these folks heard of tranquilizer guns?

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43333381/ns/us_news-environment/

    • avatar Harley says:

      So…. if you fatally shoot an endangered species like that in a zoo setting… will you get fined?

      • avatar jon says:

        Harley, the wolf killed was a mexican gray wolf I believe. They are highly endangered. No one was fined for killing it. Zoo employees killed it. I guess they didn’t want to take any chances even if the wolf was not threatening.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Good article Jeff E. Found a mound on the property a couple of years ago and fire ants immediately came to mind (having lived in Texas a few years ago) until I realized Montana is a little to far north for that type of ant.

      http://www.whatsthatbug.com/2010/04/26/mound-ant/

      Course I’m sure there were a few thinking feral hogs couldn’t far well in Idaho.

      Maybe with a little genetic engineering and cloning, cattle could someday repel predators? 🙂

  39. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    “Study of 800-year-old tree rings backs global warming”

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015274835_snowpack09m.html

  40. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Commission suspends Mexican Wolf Reintroduction program
    http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_18242175

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Well this is sad news Peter but not unexpected, it was a program in trouble from the beginning.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      Sounds like they are taking a page out of Clem’s playbook. I see ol Tom Klunker is spouting the old same ol same ol conspiracy theories. Probably buys his tin foil from Idaho

  41. avatar Salle says:

    I don’t know why he didn’t have much to say during the W regime but at least he’s speaking up now…

    Babbitt urges Obama to stand up for public lands, criticizes bill by Idaho Rep. Labrador
    Clinton’s former interior secretary says Republicans in the House have declared war on the environment.

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/06/09/1681638/babbitt-urges-obamato-stand-up.html

  42. avatar Salle says:

    Why Fish and Game Agencies Can’t Manage Predators

    BY GEORGE WUERTHNER – JUNE 7, 2011
    Persecution and Limited Acceptance of Predators’ Ecological Role is Still the Dominant Attitude

    Without exception, state game and fish agencies do not treat predators like other wildlife. Even though state agencies are no longer engaged in outright extermination of predators, persecution and limited acceptance of the ecological role of predators is still the dominant attitude. State wildlife agencies only tolerate predators as long as they are not permitted to play a meaningful ecological role — which at times means they may reduce prey numbers.

  43. avatar DB says:

    Brian Ertz commented yesterday on Rocky Barker’s blog in the Idaho Statesman defending environmentalists and WWP as not necessarily being “extreme” or “fringe elements”:

    “In a perfect world, the context of those positions held would be evaluated against the merit rather their position on a speculative…poliical spectrum.”

    He makes some other great points. Good advice for anti-wolfers and Earth Firsters! alike, but probably more so for folks who just want to make some sense of it all:

    http://voices.idahostatesman.com/2011/06/09/rockybarker/extreme_a_relative_term_idaho_and_public_lands_politics#new

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Rita – the pics look like a coyote/dog hybrid.

      Had a friend in Texas a few years back who had a coyote/dog (shepard) hybrid mix and even SHE couldn’t get close to her own truck if the dog was in it unless she opened the door and screamed “down” when it came roaring out. Hell of friendly dog outside of the truck though……….

      • avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

        I know it is hard to tell,but a few years ago where I live,some stray dogs formed a pack and were attacking people and other animals.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          What’s really sad is there is no accountability for dogs turned loose when times get tough, let alone hybrids – coyotes, wolf mixes that never should of been allowed to mix in the first place.

    • avatar bret says:

      Update to the story
      http://colvillestevenscounty.kxly.com/news/crime/bloody-rampage-ends-after-dog-pack-killed/48831
      word is that more than three members of the pack have been removed. And at least one of them is on its way to WSU to be tested to see if it is a hybrid.

  44. avatar Tallan Melton says:

    New Mexico has abandoned it’s fight to save the Mexican Gray wolf.

    I’m ashamed to call myself a New Mexican…link to an article discussing the matter:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/06/new-mexico-wolf-recovery.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+GreenspaceEnvironmentBlog+%28Greenspace%29

  45. avatar mikarooni says:

    A lot of New Mexicans caught a case of “pique” about some of the antics of the former governor, Bill Richardson; about how he didn’t just send in the troops to straighten these situations out in the way we would have liked; and about how his chosen successor didn’t seem to campaign hard enough, which the dainty little flower didn’t. So, they stayed home on election night and let the “conservatives” (conservatives in the Lester Maddox mold) of southern NM swamp the polls. Well, now the chickens, in the form of a new GOP state administration, have come home to roost. Politics is like poker. If you discard good cards in the hopes of drawing a straight, you often end up with a worse hand than you started with.

  46. avatar Salle says:

    This is just sad…

    Mountain lion killed by car on Connecticut highway
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/11/connecticut.mountain.lion/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

    • avatar william huard says:

      Gee, there aren’t any cougars on the East Coast. I’m waiting for someone to suggest that this animal was a former pet that got loose…….Face it- this current incarnation of the USFWS doesn’t want to do the work necessary to throw these animals a lifeline….How many cougars have been hit by cars in the last year in FLA- 21? As the FLA legislature proposes amendments to raise the speed limit on the interstate highways

      • avatar Salle says:

        Actually, I’m sort of anticipating that some whack-job will start claiming that it was a government plant… but then, that’s not west of the Pecos so there may not be any conspiracy theorists of that type in the neighborhood.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Well Salle, Maine is close enough to Conn. One of the Blowhard Blog guys could turn this story into an attack on hunters rights…..somehow….

        • avatar william huard says:

          There are crazy people everywhere. I have a close friend in Mass who told me six gray seals have been killed on beaches off the cape, all killed with a gun. Some crazy ass fisherman claiming the seals are eating all the fish! Sound familiar?

  47. avatar Steve C says:

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/11/connecticut.mountain.lion/index.html?iref=NS1

    Amazing! Mountain lion hit by a car 70 miles from NYC.

  48. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    The controversy over trying to save mountain caribou in the Canadian Rockies centered in the Little Smokey River Region has been much in the news, with several extensive articles in the Edmonton Journal (They’re considerably more complex than suggested by the simplistic statement titles which I suspect may have been inserted by an editor with strong personal views). Once some of the most incredible wilderness in North America with completely intact ecosystems (if you’ve read Andy Russell’s books), the Canadian Rockies have been more over-run by development than most similar areas south of the border. The only potential long-term solution is to set aside a major chunk of caribou habitat protected from oil & gas drilling, logging, roading and other development. And even then, it may take a long time for things to stabilize, assuming climate change doesn’t trump those efforts. Part of the problem is that forestry and other development has produced fragmented successional habitat favored by browsers (moose and deer) which has in turn substantially boosted sustainable wolf numbers that also eat caribou. So far, over protests of some academics and environmentalists, the implemented solution over the past 5 years has been intensive on-going wolf control. Although this suits the interests of those opposed to a substantial reserve from development, but it’s becoming recognized that heavy on-going wolf control, applied as the only tool in the context of current land use patterns is a temporary solution that can never be relaxed and may still be ultimately unsuccessful in saving the caribou. A search for alternatives has even uncovered the idea of a predator-proof fence around an area of 30 townships . . . . .

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/travel/Senseless+slaughter/4933252/story.html

    Two related articles are interesting, while straying off the caribou topic into the history of wolf control, art and attitudes toward wolves, etc.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/travel/Killing+wolves+biologically+wrong/4933205/story.html

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/false+image+cursed+wolves/4933264/story.html

    • avatar WM says:

      Guess we better hope more wolves in the NRM, WA, OR and wherever else they they expand range and numbers doesn’t result in the kinds of control and experiments our Canadian friends are experiencing – and the commensurate criticisms of their efforts.

      So, habitat fragmentation appears to be a bigger issue for caribou survival, compounded by wolves who don’t seem to be affected by it so much by it, and whose populations respond little to trimming their numbers.

      Of course, we Americans thinking we know a whole lot better, and start putting wolves back on the landscape with apparently few controls, struggle to keep from eliminating habitat for prey species, and hope to achieve a different outcome over the long term. Only in America – what a country!

      • avatar WM says:

        Sorry about the bad grammar, I should have proofed it.

      • avatar bret says:

        Woodland caribou are on their own in Washington, WDFW acknowledges predation will occur but deference will be given to the wolves.

        We will have full Federal and state protection for both species, the difference is one will be in decline the other will grow.

      • avatar JB says:

        “Of course, we Americans thinking we know a whole lot better, and start putting wolves back on the landscape with apparently few controls, struggle to keep from eliminating habitat for prey species…”

        WM: I entirely disagree with your assessment of the situation. Here in the Midwest we have far less control (no 10(j) status), and far less habitat protection, yet wolves have thrived along with their prey (white-tailed deer). Meanwhile, the Northern Rockies population has very liberal control (~90% of all wolf mortality is human-caused) with lots of habitat protection (e.g. 70% of Idaho is public land)–though I would agree that we need better protection of winter habitat in the West. Moreover, comparisons with Canada are (frankly) hard to stomach given the Canadian wolf population is an order of magnitude larger and much more well-distributed (i.e., 50K+ in Canada, vs. ~6K in the conterminous US). What gives?

        • avatar WM says:

          JB,

          My comments were made in the context of the articles SEAK posted regarding what Alberta Province/university researchers eventually concluded regarding lethal control on certain wolf populations to solve a problem. Apparently they concluded it didn’t work. My comparison point was that we are reintroducing/repopulating wolves in certain areas, and expecting different results if and when wolves become more numerous, by controlling their numbers in an effort to solve another problem of their prey – namely habitat. Indeed the problems are complex and layered. My point is expressed in this saying:

          “When you are in a hole and want to get out, the first thing to do is stop digging.”

          This is particularly applicable to the woodland caribou situation in WA.

  49. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    WM –
    In some ways it’s just one more reminder of where the most important conservation battle fronts are. People want wolves everywhere they once were, even without enough landscape and surplus prey. People want bison granted unfettered winter movement outside YNP without providing public winter range to support them. Some argue that salmon in the PNW are more valuable as fertilizer to feed young salmon and other elements of the ecosystem, in locations without the habitat structure and wildlife to retain and distribute carcass nutrients or to rear juvenile salmon to support continuation of the cycle. You can stop polar bear hunting or imports from Canada and call it good with zero effect on the survival of polar bears 50 years from now. Some may be useful things, but the horse has to travel mostly before the cart.

    • avatar Salle says:

      Uhoh. WM, I have some argument with this set of claims. I wonder just how you can claim that “people” have one preference for select species. Perhaps some do but you can’t lump “all” into “some” and say that “people” want something. For instance, I want wolves to thrive in a large portion of their historic range but I know that’s not entirely possible given fragmentation of habitat. That being said, in the places where it is a viable expectation that they can do well, if political putzes would do their real jobs and stop trumping science on issues they know little about other than what emotive value some species invoke and that they exploit to get them (re-)elected.

      Also, a large number of people would like the MT dept. of livestock to stop “managing” bison around YNP while they are on federally administered public lands, which nearly entirely surround YNP. Which, incidentally have plenty of grazing and space for these animals who actually, well 99% of them, go back into the park on their own every summer without the help of humans and their helicopters and ATVs… and without harassing other wildlife in the interim.

      http://www.nationalatlas.gov/printable/printableViewer.htm?imgF=images/preview/fedlands/fedlands3.gif&imgW=588&imgH=450

      And Furthermore, Salmon are necessary for every living thing in the forests, including the trees that we rely on for numerous resources, like carbon sequestration and shade and clean air, cooler air, and habitat for nearly all but humans ~ unless you want to count timber harvest which I don’t care for in the quantity and fashion that it is done. They also feed most of the other inhabitants of the forests in the Northern Rockies and other locations where they occur. It’s the dams that are of little use to anyone that isn’t Kaiser Aluminum or weapon manufacturers (we have other power generation methods, we just choose not to use them). And it is the dams that are the biggest threat to the anadramous fish not the lack of forests and streams in the protected areas that they return to in most places. Though the trophy home syndrome is a problem along with ranching that doesn’t belong in those regions anyway.

      And the polar bear issue is of our making as well.

      So the big problem is humans and their self-serving self-absorbed ignorance of other species’ needs. Ignorance by choice, I might add, (in my rulebook that is a cardinal sin). What has to change are our practices and purposes, but we may have missed the proverbial boat at this point and will have to suffer the consequences of our actions in the form of extinction of our own species… we deserve it. Why? Because we refuse to do anything to stop our destructive ways, even to save our sorry selves ~ and we humans claim to be the most intelligent species. As much as I have been ashamed of my country for a number of years now, I am also ashamed of being human, nothing I can do anything about. What I can do is to stop participating in the rampant destruction of the majority of nonhuman living beings on the planet, and I make a vow to do so every morning when I awake. Sure, it’s a personal choice, but every person should consider it. It would be nice if a lot of other folks would do the same but I don’t expect them to turn off the TV or iPhone long enough to even think about it.

      • avatar WM says:

        Salle,

        I will presume you intended your direct comment for SEAK, rather than me. However, I am a bit concerned about the woodland/mountain caribou situation in BC and the Selkirk Range of WA. Moose have increased, resulting in an increase of wolves who then are impacting the very few caribou who are far, far more endangered than gray wolves. Then there is the degraded habitat, and maybe even some global warming to think about.

        Here is my problem. I think any wolf feeding on woodland caribou should seriously be a candidate for relocation or lethal removal. PERIOD! With a total population of less than 75 caribou in the Selkirk herd, this is more than justified. Do you see Defenders, WWF or any other wolf advocate group giving this the same attention, when the situation is far, far more severe for an endangered species? Priorites, what priorites?

        WDFW in their new wolf management plan, is only thinking ahead as far as having a mobilization plan, because of political pressure in favor of wolves.

        I think this is very sad.

        • avatar JB says:

          Likewise (I agree this situation is sad). Why must every debate about ungulate management boil down to removing competing predators (top down) rather than providing much-needed habitat (bottom up)? Defenders and other organizations could help make “friends” (I suppose “allies” is a better term) by using some of the money they raise to purchase habitat; likewise, RMEF and other hunting organizations would do well to let the carnivore issue drop, as it only serves to alienate non-hunters who generally support the same causes.

          • avatar WM says:

            ++Why must every debate about ungulate management boil down to removing competing predators (top down) rather than providing much-needed habitat (bottom up)?++

            We already know the answer to the first part of your rhetorical question. As to the second, RMEF (love them or hate them) seems to be the only near national group that wants to actually put forth any effort to do much about acquiring or improving it (Nature Conservancy excepted).

            That, of course, takes us back to the first part of the question, protecting for themselves much of the ungulate opportunities, rather than forfeiting them to wolves.

            I am reminded of RMEF’s earliest stance on wolves, and their wait and see attitude from 1995 to about 2008. Things changed with the delisting skirmishes as it became crystal clear wolf advocates wanted as many wolves on the ground as they could get notwithstanding what most thought the NRM recovery plan would be, and with the filing of the litigation in Judge Molloy’s court, and the resulting decisions.

            I guess we could always look forward to a sit down with Jamie Rappaport after she takes over Defenders, and David Allen at RMEF to talk about the need for habitat. I predict it wouldn’t go wo well. Furthermore, habitat, as we know, has never been a marketing hook for Defenders, unless they can get the federal government to buy it (as if that has been a viable option in recent times). It simply doesn’t help raise operating funds for them. Putting a wolf pup in the superimposed cross-hair of a rifle scope, using words like “persecution,” and those nearly bi-weekly Defenders volunteer phone calls (with solicitations that are factually wrong, even full of lies and half truths – I know because we get them all the time) sells memberships, and gets the supplementary donations.

            I actually think it would be interesting for a reputable investigative reporter to do a slapdown on Defenders, HSUS and a few other national groups, exposing their unethical fund raising tactics and seeing where their money really goes.

      • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

        Salle —
        I’m not sure we basically disagree that much — I just think habitat is usually the critical or limiting factor. I am very aware how important salmon are — but my point is the densities of spawners of species like coho that some people are advocating for optimal nutrient subsidies are pretty much pie-in-the-sky in PNW streams without complexity — big timber laying in them to form cover and construct pools, back-waters, banks with riparian vegetation, ponds, wetlands, etc. — the basic habitat to rear the fish to go to the ocean to bring back the nutrients to help feed the next generation of fish and everything else. That said, many of the PNW streams have evolved from coho streams 150 years ago but still support quite decent steelhead runs because steelhead juveniles do OK in higher riffle-to-pool areas and thrive even in some streams blasted out by splash-dam logging a century ago followed by a century of additional assaults including grazing and logging to the banks and highway construction, etc. And there have been some huge recent pink escapements in Washington that even have the tribes complaining but have likely benefited the rearing salmon species they like, as well as wildlife. Still the carcasses are a lot more useful if they are retained in a complex stream instead of drifting out of a channelized one.

        As far as YNP Bison, I am sympathetic to the cause of letting bison move out but just see pretty limited space available for them given private ranch land and defacto owned checkerboard practically up to the boundary. It shouldn’t have been entirely that way — the USFS should have ended up with the Forbes Ranch and potential bison habitat pretty much to Yankee Jim at least., and probably could have gotten some decent winter range below it when Congress had some conservation interest during the tenure of Tim Worth and others and was throwing large amounts of money around. The only hope now is a private benefactor.

        • avatar Salle says:

          I guess I was addressing both SEAK and WM on this. I don’t think you read my comment well, either of you. Yes there are habitat issues for all wildlife at this point and the ESA does address this issue but that particular point seems moot to those who allow for funding and actuation of the Act (quite evident if you read the entire Act).

          People are the problem, special interests who champion the conservation of wildlife seem to follow suit with the lack of interest in the habitat concerns at the peril of us all. defenders and others need to make this concern more vocally along with the presentation of species facing elimination.

          It’s a big problem and we americans seems happy to keep our heads in the sand, as a nation, with little regard as to where our food and components of the latest distraction originate.

          I think this is a social problem as much as a “livable” environment problem. As long as our social trajectory is careening toward the abyss of catastrophic biospheric collapse, we are our own worst enemy. We are destroying ourselves while blythely glued to the screens of our communicators which show us nothing of value in the grand scheme of things.

          We can argue about miniscule points until the sun cooks us to a cinder in our lazyboys but it will do little to assist all the other living organisms that support our abilities to thrive on this planet. Our leaders are in the “do anything to make monetary wealth, regardless of the harm it brings to everyone else” camp and they seem to like it there. When the weather monster comes to get them, I wonder how many will regret what they have facilitated. Money isn’t gonna help when there are no more viable resources left, even to support them.

          http://www.alternet.org/environment/151264/why_the_right-wing%27s_denial_of_science_may_screw_all_of_us

          And the bison issue is one of a larger area than just the northern border of the YNP boundary. There is a LARGE population along the Madison River and they have been getting as much abuse, if not more, than the northern herd. there is plenty of public land surrounding the park, please refer to the map link I provided earlier, that there is no need for this sort of waste of taxpayer dollars ($3M+/year) and it sets a terrible precedent by allowing a state agency based on a resource-diminishing special interest group who has no real justifiable future in the region to “manage” (in the same manner that wolves are managed, basically) wildlife on “public lands”. I object to states’ handling of wildlife, on most counts, for many of the reasons mentioned by George Wurthener in many of his writings including the most recent on the reasons why states shouldn’t be managing wildlife at all.

          Anyway, I don’t agree with either of your arguments about the methods of correcting the problems that exist with regard to wildlife and habitat issues. there is a better way, it just requires the people of this country to actually think and to actually change their lifestyles… In america I think it has become illegal to think for one’s self and it seems to be that the same condition is becoming true for considering changing the obscene practices of our economic zealotry or even challenging it. You can’t eat, drink or breathe money so why is it that everyone is supposed to forfeit everything else in order to strive for lots of money? It is now being proven on a daily basis that it truly is the root (route as well) of all evil. (Disclaimer; I’m not a fan of nor a subscriber to organized religion of any kind. I think the planet itself is sacred and those countries that are declaring rights of the planet and the environment are on the right track.). One might ask, who brought you to the dance? Shouldn’t you be dancing with them? Since the biosphere is the area of the planet that supports all life, we should be paying close attention to that fact and not how we can isolate ourselves and activities by denying the biosphere’s role in our very existence. It’s just plain stupid and arrogant to think otherwise. (But then, to too many ignorance is bliss.) I’m rapidly losing any respect I once had for humankind.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      If wildlife management was controlled by a true democracy in a Utopian nation, wildlife would be safe and conflicts with the economic needs of that nation would be resolved. However, there is no such thing as a true democracy and their are no Utopian nations. Wildlife management is a political problem and the politics now are probably as good as they will ever be for wildlife and will probably get worse as times goes on.

      The city Los Angeles elected Antonio Villaraigos, its first Hispanic mayor, in 2005 and we will probably never again see a non-Hispanic as mayor of this second most populous city in the US again. I work for contractors and have been on several projects for the City of Los Angles including the $70 million Griffith Observatory and the $10 billion LAX renovation and I can tell you that the city has been promoting Hispanics to high positions in city government. Many are barely qualified or are not qualified for their positions. Maybe it is a good thing for the city to advance Hispanics. The point is, however, that the political structure and climate in the US is changing and it is changing fast.

      I have no problem with Hispanics but I do believe that they do not have nearly as strong an interest in the welfare of wildlife and nature in general as do Anglos. Hispanics, generally speaking, are have their own brand of Catholicism and actually believe it is sinful to worry about tomorrow. They are very dogmatic, believe in the literal truth of the Bible, and do not believe in education. They are very family oriented usually around a matriarch, and generally marry young and have many children. One of the main reasons Hispanics are becoming a political force in the US is because of their birth rate and exploding population.

      Consider that a culture that believes that worrying about tomorrow is sinful, that believes in the literal truth of the Bible, and that does not believe in education, is not going to be adept at managing anything, let alone wildlife. Desperation is in the future for the US. It will be the same desperation you see in Hispanic countries today…widespread poverty, political corruption, crime, and low productivity. Who is going to care about wildlife when children are going without milk or are going hungry?

      I think we should set lands aside for wildlife either in larger National Parks or some sort of wildlife reserves. They will be harder to undo when the desperation begins ruling the day. We should do it now before thousands of people move into these areas and establish a local economy there.

      • avatar Daniel Berg says:

        Let’s take two cities in Washington State with large and growing latino populations: Yakima & Wenatchee

        I’ve spent a decent amount of time in the national forest areas adjacent to these two cities. Only rarely do I see latinos in the campgrounds or on the trail.

        Of all the hunters or other outdoor recreationlists I’ve met during my life, few of them were latino, and of those that were, most were 2nd or 3rd generation citizens.

        The question is how will we get more latinos interested in environmental issues over the next 20, 30, or 40 years? Most first generation latinos I’ve come listened to are centrally focused on social issues relating to latinos, period.

        As an aside, I think Tony Villar is a shameful disgrace.

        • avatar PointsWest says:

          I believe wealthy and educated Latinos care as much about wildlife as any Anglo. Costa Rica has many National Parks and strong environmental laws. The latino culture that is migrating into the US, however, is Mexican with its roots in Aztec culture and the Virgin of Guadalupe. They have a very peasant type of outlook straight out of the Middle Ages. They live for today, marry young, and have many children and do not believe in education or career. Few will have a chance to go to college since they usually start families of their own before 20. They have their own TV stations, their own magazines, their own radio stations, and their own churches. I do not see the culture

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            …sorry, it posted itself before I was finishes.

            …I do not see the culture changing soon. I see a demographic shift underway. Soon the question will be how to get Anglos to see the truth of the the mother Church and to end all their crazy materialism and how to get them to love their families and stop caring so much about beasts of the forest. God will take care of us. It is all part of His plan.

          • avatar Daniel Berg says:

            PW,

            The second generation latinos that I grew up with only participated in catholicism in a superficial kind of way. The question I have is whether we continue to allow huge numbers of uneducated poor in with few prospects in the decades to come, or do we take some time to absorb the poor, uneducated immigrants who have already made it in and truly integrate them into American society as we know it. Only through that process will more latinos get involved in issues like conservation.

            I think the key is to get the first generation citizens proficient in english, then work to expose them to information from various sources, not just the local social agitators. We should also cork the border and ship any additional law-breakers back home.

            Mexico itself is part of the problem. If the border was corked a couple of decades ago their might well have been more political unrest that could have led to reforms. How convenient that Mexico can pawn off just enough of it’s uneducated poor on its northern neighbor to keep the pot at a mangeable simmer instead of seeing it come to a full boil.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            There are vast areas here in Los Angeles where only Spanish is spoken, where all the private signs are in Spanish, and where the only radio and TV you hear or see is in Spanish…vast areas totalling hundreds of square miles. Hispanics make up the majority of students in the LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) and we have a Latino mayor who is seemingly making the city government a Latino majority institution. Los Angeles is fast becoming a predominantly Latino city. Other large cities will follow. It is not like there is a majority of Anglo-Americans in all locations of the US where we can grace Latinos with our environmentally superior culture.

            In 20 years, Los Angeles will be a predominantly Latino City where Spanish and Mexican Catholicism are more common than baseball and rock and roll. There is no stopping it. It is already too late.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            The New Census: Los Angeles Latino Population Up Sharply

            http://echopark.patch.com/articles/the-new-census-los-angeles-latino-population-up-sharply

            The City of Los Angeles, according to the 2010 census, is 48.5% Latino (see wikipedia). The population of the City of LA will probably be majority Latino by next year. There are several cities in LA County that are over 90% Lantion such as Bell, Maywood, or Commerce City. Bell, CA is where they had the Latino City Council who paid themselves $400,000 per year in salary.

        • avatar WM says:

          Daniel,

          You need to get out more. Try the Oak Creek elk feeding station at the intersections of hiways 410 and 12 outside Yakima, in mid-January, or the big horn feeding station just down the road from there about a mile. Report back the demographics of the folks you see there.

          A family friend is a game warden in the Lower Yakima Valley. Over the years, he has more than his share of stories about macho Hispanic hunters he has arrested down near Toppenish and Wapato. He told a rather chilling story of one guy he arrested 3 different times for shooting hen pheasants and ducks out of season – lots of them in blatent disregard for the law. After the last arrest and conviction, including a huge fine (you think this guy would begin to get the picture), as this poacher was leaving the court room he said to the game warden, “I see you again, I kill you.”

          Apparently, the judge heard the comment, called the defendant back to his courtroom and lectured him. My friend, not to be outdone, after the judge’s lecture, pinned the guy against the wall in the hallway outside the courtroom from which they just came. In full sight of others with court business, he gave him another lecture, this one with a little more emotion and some body english, to reinforce the point.

          I can tell you a couple of illegal fishing stories, both involving non-English speaking Hispanics who most witnesses believed to be illegal. They involve excess take of fish by multiple fishers without licenses and who did not pay the day park use fee in effect at the time. This involved lakes at Sportsmans State Park (Yakima), and Palouse Falls State Park (the falls plunge basin, upstream of where the Palouse empties into the Snake River).

          • avatar Daniel Berg says:

            WM,

            Apparently I do. I have not been to either of those feeding stations. You would obviously be a better judge than I about how many latinos actually hunt in those areas.

            As an adjustment to my statement above, I do have to say that fishing is one type of outdoor recreation that I have personally seen latinos participate in consistently. In college I saw guys fishing a couple of those ponds that are here and there around Ellensburg, and I’d come across one or two guys down below the Roza Dam where it’s lawful to use spinners and keep fish. I can’t say that I haven’t seen more of the same in some other areas in Central/Western Washington.

      • avatar WM says:

        Points,

        Finally I see you are coming around. I was on the Olympic Peninsula three weeks ago hiking to a lookout above Hiway 101 not far from Forks (of Twilight fame), along the Sol Duc River. My wife and I came down the trail on our return to the trailhead, and encountered at least six Hispanics, none of whom spoke English. They looked out of place there and we tried to engage them in conversation as my Spanish is passable, but they were nervous and did not want to talk. The most I could get from them was they were looking for a lost man. Further down the trail we encountered a white guy, who explained everyone was looking for some Hispanic fellow, who with his wife had been stopped by a Forest Service enforcement officer, for having what turned out to be an illegal load of Salal (forest plant used by florists). You have to have a permit to harvest it commercially, which this guy was doing, and can do so only in designated areas. A violation results in stiff fine.

        It turns out the guy had no permit to harvest, was an illegal, and jumped in the swollen river while they were waiting for a Border Patrol interpreter. His wife was illegal, as well, and is in the process of being deported.

        When we got to the trailhead there were fifty cars there (none when we started that morning) – all people looking for the guy who jumped in the river two days before, most of whom could not speak English, and were themselves of questionable status in this country.

        …Oh, and the guy who jumped in the river. They found the body in the last few days.

        http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2011306069991

        My point, they don’t give a rip about following the rules – this guy knew it was illegal to harvest Salal. I lay odds there are many, many elk and deer poached on the Peninsula by this recent and growing underground population, who typically have no drivers licence, no auto insurance, and may be responsible for a number of unsolved trailhead crimes.
        Welcome to the United States of Mexico

        —————

        You will appreciate the fact that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is meeting in Bellevue (east of Seattle across Lake WA), as I write this. They have in the past been a formidable political force, but with all the molestation cases have lost economic power and devotees, especially those who are educated. They have a great deal to gain by advocating sanctuary for illegals from Latin countries – Catholics to the core. The uneducated faithful give money (even if they don’t have it) and vote the way the Church wants them to. This is about regaining political power by the Catholic church. And, guess what? The Catholic faith doesn’t give a rip about wildlife either, as you suggest above.

        • avatar PointsWest says:

          I actually have a warm spot in my heart for Latinos. I lived in New Mexico for about a decade…graduated from UNM. I found something very enviable in the Latino outlook. Latinos, in general, are very warm and loving. They will go to the ends of the earth to help a friend, a sibling, or even a cousin. They are seldom selfish and will share whatever material things they have with nearly anyone.

          I agree that what you describe taking place in the Olympic Peninsula a few weeks ago is common among Mexicans or even Mexican-Americans. What I believe many American do not understand is that this sort of behavior is not a result of Mexicans lacking morals; it is a result of desperation. It is the desperation that results from Mexican culture that is the real problem. It is the negative consequence of any people or society with lazi faire attitudes. There were many desperate hippies in the 60’s who would rob and steel too.

          When you come from a family of 10 and no one helped you with your homework or even cared, you may not graduate from high school. You take a dangerous job of mopping hot tar roofs and live from paycheck to paycheck. Maybe you take a loan but then lose your job. You then take another loan from a shady operator who might kill you if you do not pay it back. So now you need money to save your own life. You are a “desperado.” Mexican culture has built up an entire set of mythologies, literature, and song about the “desperado” because it is so common in their culture. You simply get many desperados in a hand-to-mouth culture. The desperation has been in Mexico and in the Southwest US for centuries. Drugs, petty robbery, shootings, and prostitution are rampant in Albuquerque.

          That is what we will get is desperation in the near future. There will be people who, out of desperation, will kill wolves because they want to sell the hides to survive. Politicians will run on a platform that beef and milk are more important to the multitude of hungry children than are wolves, elk, and grizzlies.

          I am not demonizing Latios or their culture; I am just saying it will bring desperation to our nation and wildlife will suffer. I do not see anything which might stop it. Even if we close the borders, the culture is already here and, where Latinos have large families, the demographics are rapidly changing. Similar demographic shifts have taken place in many nations, kingdoms, or principalities throughout history.

        • avatar PointsWest says:

          I understand the history of the Southwest Nancy. I am not territorial and I’m not down on Latinos. My only point is that the politics of wildlife in the US is probably at a peak (in favor of wildlife) and will will go downhill from here because of the changing demographics.

          I think we should enlarge our National Park and/or create wildlife reserves now because the American electorate is going to become less and less interested in preserving wildlife over the next hundred years. Along with Mexican culture will come desperation and desperate people are not going to care about wildlife.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            That’s kind of a defeatist attitude don’t you think PW?
            You might understand the southwest and even parts of the west coast, but that shouldn’t define (or automatically write off) attitudes around the rest of the country when it comes to saving wildlife, habitat etc.

          • avatar Phil says:

            PW: I see your point in that desperate people are not going to care about wildlife. The current stage of politicians and politicians in the White House are desperate and is why we are seeing so many decisions being made against wildlife. A recent forum of the Desert Tortoise website is a good example of it. Mr. Udall of New Mexico stated that he did not agree with the Wolf Delisting Rider, but was in favor of the Budget Plan and what is good for the people weighs in above what is good for wolves.

        • avatar PointsWest says:

          What is Mexico’s record on wildlife preservation? The Mexican grizzly is extinct. The only place the Mexican wolf was saved and later reintroduced is in the United States. There was an effort by conservation groups to release Mexican wolves in the Mexican state of Sonora in 2009/2010 but wealthy land owners and politicians stepped in and killed the plan.

          See linked story and the comments below it. This is how the US might be in 30 years.

          http://www.wildsonora.com/ws/content/mexican-grey-wolves-sonora

          • avatar Daniel Berg says:

            Although it is cliche to say so, Mexico is essentially run by “300” families. If it conflicts with ANY wealthy individual’s interest, meaningful conservation in Mexico is an impossibility in today’s political environment.

          • avatar PointsWest says:

            …yeah, like a GOP wet dream.

        • avatar JB says:

          “This investigation studied the effects of acculturation on attitudinal familism in 452 Hispanics compared to 227 white nonHispanics. Despite differences in the national origin of Hispanics, Mexican-, Central -and Cuban-Americans reported similar attitudes toward the family indicating that familism is a core characteristic in the Hispanic culture. Three basic dimensions of familism were found: Familial obligations, perceived support from the family and family as referents. The high level of perceived family support, invariable despite changes in acculturation, is the most essential dimension of Hispanic familism. Familial obligations and the perception of the family as referents appear to diminish with the level of acculturation, but the perception of family support doesn’t change. Although these two dimensions of familism decrease concurrently with the level of acculturation, the attitudes of persons with high levels of acculturation are more familistic than those of white nonHispanics.”

          Break out your guns and short-wave radios! These Hispanic types sound terrible! (How do I get that little emoticon that rolls its eyes?)

          • avatar mikarooni says:

            Yeah, it must be Christmas because I’m hearing those jingo bells myself.

          • avatar WM says:

            mik,

            You talking of the descendants of Castillian/Andelucian Spanish(lighter skin, more wealthy and in power), or native Indian Aztec/Tarascans (darker skin, smaller physical stature and for the most part poor and uneducated)? They seem to have their own jingo bell party going on, and those dissatisfied with the result have been heading north in great numbers, instead of seeking change within, because we let them.

            And, just to be clear I have friends with roots in both factions in Mexico (and in between in the US). Family/friends loyalty is a wonderful thing.

  50. avatar Larry Zuckerman says:

    Mysterious mountain lion killed in Connecticut – Yahoo! News

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110612/us_nm/us_mountainlion_killed

    • avatar Phil says:

      “…enormous cat with a long tail…”? 140 lbs for a mountain lion is enormous? And, typically mountain lions have long tails for balance. Seems like the writer does not know much about the species. But, on a more serious note I am not shocked that mountain lions in the east are moving back to their historic ranges, it has been occurring in the west for a while now.

  51. http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2011/jun/12/caves-history-rich-but-science-blunted/

    Wonder if livestock grazing is impacting these important natural resources – BLM? most likely a safe bet

  52. avatar Nancy says:

    Daniel Berg says:
    June 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm
    Nancy,

    Whoever authored the material on the link you provided was very presumptious.

    How so Daniel?

    Everything on the web is “very presumptious” if you think about it.

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      Nancy,

      Since this is a wildlife blog, I probably should restrain myself from responding at length.

      Let me just say that I disagree with the conclusions drawn by the author. IMO, it’s revisionist history based on an agenda.

  53. avatar PointsWest says:

    Nancy writes: “That’s kind of a defeatist attitude don’t you think PW?”

    …not if you’re Lantino steeped in Roman Catholocism.

    Nancy writes: “You might understand the southwest and even parts of the west coast, but that shouldn’t define (or automatically write off) attitudes around the rest of the country when it comes to saving wildlife, habitat etc.”

    I am not writing anyone or anything off. I am only saying the demographics are changing in the US and there is a growing ethnic group that is very religious, that does not believe in education, and that does not believe in worrying about tomorrow that will have more influence in politics and that wildlife will almost certainly suffer as a result. We may have already seen the peak of wildlife conservation in the US.

    I posted a few months back that Paul Krugman believes the rising food prices are not a result of inflation but of food shortages brought on by global warming…the biggiest contributer being the failure of the Russian wheat crop last year. What if these weather disasters keep getting worse? Food prices are already much higher than they were. I’m shocked every time I go to the grocery store. Will they go back down? …if not, don’t count on getting any more cattle off public lands or count on wolves making more friends. We may have seen the peak of succesful conservatin efforts in the US and high food prices and a growing Latino population may begin the slow drive of many species to extiction.

    I think its great to have high hopes; but I would like to see lands set aside for wildlife…now.

  54. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    I’ve seen this story popping up here and there and the reviews have been mixed on whether this could have any effect on global climate change.

    “Sunspots May Disappear, Sun Going Into Unusual Quiet Mode: Scientists”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/14/sunspots-disappearing-solar-quiet-2020_n_876926.html

  55. avatar WM says:

    Good MN Public Radio piece on GL wolf delisting from a Grand Rapids, MN public hearing. A little more on the new wrinkle caused by the new genetic discoveries distinguishing the eastern timber wolf, and a HSUS response to keep all GL wolves listed. Listen to the audio version.

    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/06/14/wolf-delisting-hearing/

  56. avatar wolfsong says:

    This is getting ridiculous and disgusting. So in effect the Republicans are holding the US government hostage by holding up Ashe’s nomination until they get what they want.

    Barrasso blocks vote on nominee over wolves.

    http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/article_f7b22b5f-c71f-52be-b0e9-324c9c33fa3b.html

  57. avatar Moose says:

    This an ongoing study by Michigan DNR and Mississippi State U. tracking UP whitetail doe/fawn mortality due to weather and predation.

    http://www.fwrc.msstate.edu/carnivore/predatorprey

  58. avatar grdnrmt says:

    High-tech traps let FWP biologists monitor bears from afar

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      This seems to be a common trend in many parts of the country. Some view it as a reason why hunters should be accorded less influence, suggesting for example that the 84% or so of Alaskans that don’t buy a hunting license are solidly on the non-hunting side of issues. I think the unfortunate truth is that interest in the outdoors and nature in general is in decline nationwide, and personally its hard for me to fathom why. On one hand, it has created opportunity if you have significantly less competition hunting or fishing or seeking employment in wildlife, fisheries or other outdoor/nature oriented work. On the other hand, all of us with an interest in wildlife and public lands seem to be finding ourselves increasingly in a minority and lacking political influence, as has been discussed here many times.

      • avatar WM says:

        I think a good portion of the decline can be explained with 3 words: Bill Gates + Hollywood.

        • avatar timz says:

          WM I think your correct. More are interested in the fate of Lindsay Lohan than that of wildlife.

        • avatar Daniel Berg says:

          A trip up into Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Olympic NP, or Mt Ranier NP, is enough to convince me that there is still a strong interest in the outdoors.

          I guess maybe that the overall number of people who are interested in the outdoors has increased over time, but not in proportion to the overall population of our country.

  59. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    “Hiker spooked by aggressive mountain goat near Lake Cushman on Olympic Peninsula”

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2015333265_apwahikermountaingoat.html

  60. avatar WM says:

    A fishing story that is bound to result in conflict between Indian and non-Indian fishers on the Columbia, in a spot called Drano Lake. The Yakamas have built fishing platforms at a number of the accessible spots where for decades non-Indian fishers have also fished.

    Cautions have been issued that non-Indians should not use the platforms, even though they may be at the only access. USFWS doesn’t know what to do. The Yakamas have been queried for comment on the situation, and as is typical they just don’t return phone calls or want to engage. Not a proper response for a sovereign government, except Eastern Europe.

    http://www.columbian.com/news/2011/jun/15/tribal-platforms-built-along-drano-lake/

  61. Here is an interesting grizzly bear encounter where the hiker did just about everything wrong except one thing. . he had his pepper spray out where he could get to it.
    This would have been a mauling, at best, without it.

    http://www.tetonvalleynews.net/news/a-grizzly-encounter/article_9f52b5f6-97ba-11e0-81ea-001cc4c002e0.html

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      Running from one isn’t a great thing, but some people get away with it. My boss when I first came to Southeast was quite a character, extremely austere in the areas of expense, comfort and safety. He would sometimes go in the back room at the supermarket and pick out free produce that had been removed from the shelves because it was considered no longer salable, just as we were setting out on a 12 day trip without refrigeration. This was long before pepper spray and he personally would usually not carry a rifle so as to be as unencumbered as possible for work (sometimes while alone, often on very remote streams full of spawning salmon) — and got away with it until he retired. He said he relied on quick thinking and reaction, which as near as I could see usually meant running. Once on Sockeye Creek, on the lower Taku, he suddenly found himself way too close to a brown bear and tore off running downstream along the bank in his hip boots. He glanced back and saw the bear was closing right on his heels so he dove into a pool that happened to have a big boulder on the bottom and hugged that and held his breath as long as possible — in early November. When finally forced to surface, he saw the bear disappearing upstream.

      The other trick that worked for him once was trying to blend in like a lump of wood or moss. He was on the outer coast of Baranof Island in the early 1970s with a new seasonal employee (who was carrying a rifle) when they saw two cubs down by a pool and dug a camera out for quick photo, without a clear idea where the sow was — until they heard her sound off uphill behind them. The seasonal somehow levitated up nearby tree with the rifle still slung over his shoulder while Phil quickly laid on the ground and squeezed as close as possible to a fallen log. She crashed up and stopped at the end of the scent trail, growling and snapping as he lay frozen, staring at her leg almost close enough to touch. Then she ran down and joined the cubs . . .

      • Cool stories Seak . . I like that last one of laying by the log. . . LOL.

      • avatar Daniel Berg says:

        I love the part about the guy digging through the free/almost rotten produce before an extended backpacking trip. There’s something I’ve always found endearing about individuals who are so cheap that it borders on the ridiculous.

        • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

          Daniel –

          He was such a legend in the area of thrift that it’s the reason I was able to be hired sight-unseen into such an awesome job working with wild coho salmon in awesome country. A lot of people who had far more credentials initially threw their hats in the ring but, after much soul-searching, withdrew them one-by-one. I was immediately and widely warned, but on inquiry decided that given reports of generally good even temper, I could live with a few out-size quirks. It was joked that our moniker, COHO (written prominently in magic marker on our gear) stood for “Committee to overthrow hedonistic organizations”. We were considered sort of anti-hedonists, black sheep who embraced austerity and unnecessary personal suffering.

          Most of that suffering occurred in very remote areas for from the eye of the public, but some of it for me was during bouts of acute embarrassment in very public places like airports. We were once taking the jet to Sitka with a couple who were going to spend the fall running a remote salmon weir on south Baranof. The four of us showed up in the passenger terminal with 21 major items of luggage (we were allowed 3 each) that we piled before the counter, much of it field gear that should have been mailed separately through the air cargo terminal. The attendant peered over the counter with wide eyes and said “Wow! It looks like excess baggage!” to which Phil replied, shaking his head “Oh, no. No excess baggage!”. As she began pointing and counting up all the pieces, Phil produced a roll of strapping tape and began randomly strapping odd shaped pieces together — throwing a rifle case across a cardboard box. Her jaw dropped and when she realized what she was up against, she cried uncle. “OK! No excess baggage. Just leave them separate.”

          Even after 5-years of having to live it, I was still usually able to find his extreme thrift trait somewhat “endearing” — all except overloading aircraft. That almost got me killed. I ended up with enough odd adventures and stories from those years to practically write a book, and that’s a lot of what life’s about isn’t it?

    • avatar Harley says:

      Bah hah! I misread that grdnrmt! At first I thought it said Outrage! I’m like, why are these people outraged? then I saw the picture and read the story.
      Boy, that is not a sight you see every day, thank goodness.

    • avatar Nota says:

      Wouldya look at that! A gutted fawn carcass that they can’t blame on the wolves. How can this be? This is a travesty!

    • avatar Harley says:

      In regards to this article, why is there a time limit of 45 days put on taking care of a know animal or group of animals that have been causing troubles? I’ve read somewhere else that this isn’t the first time there has been trouble in this particular area?

  62. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Big part of the decline in outdoor/wilderness use is the aging baby boomers. Sorry, bit at the time where
    I am, I cannot reply to a comment because my only means of communication
    Is hand held.

  63. avatar jon says:

    Scientists Call North American Wildlife Conservation Model Flawed

    http://www.newswise.com/articles/scientists-call-n-american-wildlife-conservation-flawed

    “The scientists also express concern that the interests of recreational hunters sometimes conflict with conservation principles. For example, they say, wildlife management conducted in the interest of hunters can lead to an overabundance of animals that people like to hunt, such as deer, and the extermination of predators that also provide a vital balance to the ecosystem.”

    • avatar JB says:

      It is significant that this article was published in the Wildlife Professional. I suspect this will be the start of a very interesting debate.

      • avatar SAP says:

        Thanks to Jon for posting this. Here’s the link to the PDF of the actual article:

        http://www.michaelpnelson.com/michaelpnelson/Publications_files/An%20Inadequate%20Construct%20by%20Nelson%20et%20al.pdf

        I am feeling a little jaded, so I will predict that yes, the debate will be “interesting,” JB, for the biases and tribalism that it will reveal as conventional wildlife professionals line up to denounce the authors. Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised?

        I think that careful examination of “The North American Model” will be about as popular amongst wildlife biologists as serious Bible scholarship is among Baptists and Pentecostals.

      • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        JB, others –
        The community of wildlife management professionals recognizes the challenges of keeping the North American Model relevant to our changing society. My experience is that wildlife management professionals are committed to maintaining relevance to the public we serve. This forum is one of many well suited for a constructive discussion of how to keep the North American Model effective and meaningful to the American public. What changes would you make?

  64. avatar mike post says:

    RMEF funded elk study points to bear predation as just as big a factor as wolves in east yellowstone/west wyoming.

    http://www.wyocoopunit.org/index.php/search/absaroka-elk-ecology-project/

    No clear answers but drought and bears are as much to blame as wolves for elk herd declines.

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      That’s not too surprising. Bears certainly seem to be a comparable or greater factor in total ungulate survival in much of the north. Last month, after graduating from Gonzaga (Spokane), my daughter and two other college gals drove up to Skagway to catch the ferry home. On the Cassiar Highway alone they counted 18 black bears, one griz . . . . and a wolf and two moose. On my drive down with her last August we saw fewer black bears but 5 grizzlies and no moose (or wolves).

      As a cautionary note, if you ever drive the Cassiar top off your tank at every opportunity. They ran out of gas and were setting out on foot for a station marked in their highway guide as being 4 miles up the road when a passing motorist told them it had burned 2 years ago. A woman in a nearby logging camp took mercy, sold them some gas and drove them back to their car. She said the last three girls she rescued had a dachshund in their car that in excitement jumped up and pushed the door lock button(s) down as they were leaving for help, with the keys still in the ignition. She put them up for the night at the camp before taking them back to their car. Low and behold, by then the lock-out problem had miraculously taken care of itself. A griz had come by and smashed the window in on the barking wiener dog, which had managed to find refuge under the seat . . .

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Mike – a neighbor a few miles up the road from me said one of their neighbors witnessed a black bear run down and kill an elk calf. They located the kill site and watched the bear feeding on the elk calf.

      Springtime in the Rockies provides a much needed banquet of nutrition (as in newborns unable to escape) for all sorts of predators that manage to make it thru the rough winters here.

  65. avatar Nota says:

    Awwwwww….I’m actually surprised this little guy made it through the winter after last autumn’s berry catastrophe.

    http://lynnwood.komonews.com/news/urban-wildlife/rare-medical-procedure-helps-save-bear-cubs-life/647695

  66. avatar Immer Treue says:

    One report, sale of fishing licenses down 30% in Ely, MN so far this year.

  67. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    A story recounting the ‘ rescue’ and recovery of the rarest animal in Noprth America, 30 years ago, the Blackfooted Ferrt.

    http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/article_41bc2121-80fb-5c96-8d92-c723c63ccb1f.html

    Written by Martin Kidston of the Billings (MT) Gazette Cody WY bureau but also appearing in its sister newspaper the Casper (WY) Star Tribune, it delivers only the sanitized version of the ferret legacy as the agency would like us to remember it. The success in rescuing the last 18 known animals in the wild and recovering them to be reintroduced in many new locations in the American West , Canada, and even Mexico (?) is open to interpretaqtion , and much of the means to that end has been nicely covered up over the years.

    Read my comment this AM at the CST to get some hints of the broader legacy. It is a tale of agency turf wars, bureaucratic bungling , and where the real BF Ferret recovery story might be found [ Hint: New Haven , Connecticut , and a mystery novel by Wyoming’s CJ Box]

  68. avatar WM says:

    Not to be outdone by the unfortunate soul who tried to help some ducks across a freeway a few days back, and then was struck by cars for his efforts, here is another intelligence challenged animal welfare type. A nominee for a Darwin award, except it appears he will live:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43444469/ns/us_news-weird_news/t/rattlesnake-bites-man-who-saved-it-traffic/

    This is not to criticize the well meaning intention to do this. Rather, it is the apparent inability to assess the risk and possible consequences before taking the action, that seems to be the problem.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Glad this guy is gonna be okay but do you recall the name of that hit song WM -late 50’s, early 60’s – where a snake was brought in from the cold and warmed up by a fire? And the lesson implied from that “didn’t really think it thu” act of kindness?

      Elvis might of done a remake.

  69. avatar william huard says:

    Monday June 20, at 9pm Animal Planet is showing never before released video of the Canned Hunting Industry which was taken from undercover work done by the HSUS. It is time we call out the NRA and the Safari Clump for supporting this dispicable industry. These people need to be exposed……

    • avatar jon says:

      I’ll be taping that. Sporting/canned hunting is a disgrace if you ask me. Also a good show that people on here should watch.

      http://www.worldcompass.org/broadcast-schedule/predator-legends-3

      • avatar william huard says:

        When Conservatives like Rick (1 out of every 4 Texans has no health insurance)Perry talks about freedom this is what he is talking about…..half of the estimated 1000 “preserves” are in Texas. They really know how to squeeze every nickel out of the land- yee haw

      • avatar Phil says:

        I 100% agree with you jon on the disgrace of canned hunts. Correct me if I am mistaken, but I believe many moral hunters are working with the HSUS and others in helping crack down these activities? I remember that AP a couple years ago brought in a private investigator to investigate a canned hunt of a Black panther by involving himself in it. To shorten this story, out of the 15 or so people who participated in this canned hunt 4 of them (including the one who organized it) were arrested and their hunting licenses were revoked.

    • avatar mike post says:

      I am no fan of canned hunts but I hope the HSUS will also expose the fact that they spend less than 2% of all their donated funds on animal welfare in spite of what their solicitations and advertisments would have you believe.

  70. I found some interesting wildlife news. . this is before the news gets it: Yesterday I drove north of here to a closed road area that surrounds a series of meadows naturally made by beaver dams and heavily used by wildlife. As a matter of fact, since the roads around have been closed it has become a sort of secret wildlife viewing area for those who have horses, bikes or can walk four or five miles. I expected that the snow was about to melt and that greenup was just starting in the most secluded meadow. Every year, at least for the last 15 years, the elk moms bring their calves here for summer camp. The herds form and the calves are free to romp and grow in the middle of the herd. Predators lurk, but the main strong part of the herd has no trouble staying safe. So, yesterday I was expecting a great wildlife viewing day. Wrong. When I got there a man in a plaid shirt and long beard came up to my car and said “Welcome Home – this is the main gate and you can camp just up the road.” It seems that there is going to be a festival in the very meadow I wanted to visit. The group, The Rainbow Group, for world peace do this in some national park every year. They announce the location the night before and start showing up from all over the country. There will be between 12,000 and 20,000 campers for three weeks in this sensitive meadow area and they will build a small temporary city. Their website is http://www.welcomehere.org

    I was not feeling very peaceful after I saw the camp of already about 50 people and almost that many dogs and campfires. I left the area to go soothe my reaction and find some peace and quiet. As I sat on a long a few miles away I watched as several elk were fleeing as well. The elk in our area have been having a really hard time. Several traditional grazing fields for their spring nutrition have been fenced off for various human reasons and now this. As Washington State starts to get wolf packs back in the area and hunters complain that the elk will suffer I sit on a log and watch two more very pregnant elk pushed out of their comfort zone. I can hear dogs barking, cars and trucks arriving, load music and can smell smoke of fires and dope. I can’t help but look at this from an elk’s point of view. Our elk herds are probably going to suffer from the next three weeks of a small city in their living room but when the herd’s start to diminish who will people blame? The fences, the festival, the snowmobilers who chase them, the commercial pickers, the loggers, the hunters? Nah, I don’t think so as it can’t be anything we did huh?

  71. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Judge puts wolf delisting lawsuit on hold. Status conference in Duluth on June 10 led Judge Leo I Bribois to issue a stay until 1/13/12. Needless to say, many are disappointed up here, in particular the MN cattlemans association and deer hunters and trappers. Usual wolf threat to human safety arguments, and livestock depredations… Some also concerned about budget cuts in federal wolf depredations program. One must be careful for what one wishes!

    Apologies if someone has posted this, for my only access to Internet is a small hand held phone and my thumbs and eyes are slow to adjust!

    • avatar WM says:

      Immer,

      ++Judge puts wolf delisting lawsuit on hold. Status conference in Duluth on June 10 led Judge Leo I Bri[s}bois to issue a stay until 1/13/12.++

      Not sure to which GL delisting case your comment refers. A quick internet search produced no news coverage of any recent wolf case decision involving the new Magistrate Judge, Leo Brisbois out of Duluth.

      He is presiding over a case filed by a couple of Minnesota hunters against FWS for failing to delist (including failure to respond to state petitions for delisting). Don’t know if he has others. Do you have any more information on the matter? Or, is it possible the stay is related to the current FWS delisting proposal, which it is anticipated that they will likely make final following the current public hearings?

      I have not seen the complaint, but if FWS goes forward and delists GL wolves, as it appears they intend to do, it would likely make some or all of the claims of that suit moot.

      But then there is HSUS who will likely file over the recent genetic stuff distinguishing the GL gray wolves from the eastern timber wolf to prevent delisting of everything in the GL because they apparently can only be distinguished at the genetic DNA level, rather than physical appearance.

      Anything you can addd to point us in the direction of media coverage or judge’s orders would be appreciated.

  72. avatar jon says:

    2 Idaho men lose hunting licenses in poaching case

    http://www.kivitv.com/Global/story.asp?S=14933529

  73. avatar WM says:

    Palmer, AK wolf tourist business accused of breeding dangerous hybrids. Registers them as “huskies” with AKC.

    http://www.adn.com/2011/06/16/1920515/troopers-test-for-hybrids-at-valley.html

    What a slimeball!

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      Wonderful…….I’ve never understood the desire to own wild, or semi-wild animals. Obviously income is one of this fellow’s biggest motivators, but what about all the folks who buy hybrids from him?

  74. avatar jon says:

    Egyptian jackal really a gray wolf

    http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=35001

  75. avatar jon says:

    Killing wolves ‘biologically wrong’

    Biologist Bob Hayes condemns predator control program

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/travel/Killing+wolves+biologically+wrong/4933205/story.html

    “The science clearly shows killing wolves is biologically wrong.”

    For more than a century, wolves have been blamed for decline of caribou, moose, elk and other animals in North America. But over time, biologists began to appreciate that the predator-prey relationship was a lot more complex and that removing wolves from the landscape was only a short-term solution to a much bigger environmental problem.”

    Op-ed: State Shows Disrespect For Planet and Future

    http://www.mexicanwolves.org/index.php/news/436/51/Op-ed-State-Shows-Disrespect-For-Planet-and-Future

    • avatar Phil says:

      But, then again, politicians and certain wildlife agencies will not listen to experts and people who are credible like Dr. Hayes and Dr. Theberge, they will only listen to those who throw money in their faces. I find it kind of strange that biologists like Dr. Hayes are not looked upon on issues like these, but others like Dr. Charles Kay (an anti-wolf hunter and Political Scientist from Utah) are? I understand that Dr. Ralph was a Political Science professor, but he from Montana and has experience with wolves, in which Dr. Kay does not.

  76. avatar Larry Zuckerman says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/20/jean-fee-dead-dies-cow-attack_n_880327.html

    Iowa cow kills woman trying to protect her tottler – sounds like they need wolves back in Iowa

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      Well, there are getting to be enough wolves in Wisconsin that one is finally responsible for a traffic fatality . . . and became one.
      http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/123960919.html
      As a footnote it mentions two other motorcyclists have been killed there in recent days from hitting a wild turkey and a deer.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        One of the big hazards of riding motorcycles – wildlife encounters.

        I spend a lot of time on the road in rural areas (where sadly the speed limit is 65+) but what’s interesting is I very seldom see the wolf’s little cousin (the coyote) road killed. A learned behavior?

      • http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/dangerous-cows/

        According to CDC and NY Times, it seems like more people die every year from cows than wolves in the US – perhaps APHIS should start shooting them from helicopters while they are radio-collared, for easier tracking and locating.

        These are direct cattle attacks – not related to Mad Cow Disease human deaths or even more, from coronary heart disease.

        • avatar Nota says:

          Evil, evil cows.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Nota – they aren’t evil, they just haven’t quite figured out yet that their lives (and their offspring’s lives) depend on the kindness (or lack of) their keepers 🙂

        • avatar Phil says:

          I can’t blame the cows too much considering how they are treated by some farmers and ranchers. I watched a video of a cow that opened the gate door to her stall using her tongue, then opened the gate doors to all the other cow’s stalls in the barn just before they all calmly walked out of the barn. The news anchor joked “Free at last!.”

  77. avatar jon says:

    Cohen, Sherman Reintroduce Bill to End Canned Hunting

    http://cohen.house.gov/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1538

  78. avatar Immer Treue says:

    WM,

    I pulled the information from the Ely Echo. Yes, it was inregard to the suit filed by Tyler and Lueck. There have been a few dog depredations in this neck of the woods. One of my neighbors dog got into it with a wolf this Winter and got got bit, but survived. Tough dog.

    In terms of deer, they are all over the place. Finally got to check on how the deer are nibbling the top shoot of young white pines.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      About 6 years ago I transplanted a couple of Aspen from the neighbor’s ditch to my yard. They have struggled and I couldn’t figure out why until I realized last year that the mule deer that come thru fall to spring, were “topping” them. The ones down on the ditch are 3 times the size, for some reason the Mulies seldom spend anytime in the meadow prefering the sagebrush covered areas.

  79. avatar Harley says:

    Poaching sucks no matter which way it’s spun. This doesn’t help anyone’s cause.

    http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/26422510-41/pack-wolf-federal-charges-grand.html.csp

  80. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Nancy,

    Yep, quite a few topped white pines. I’m getting the chainsaw ready to “weed” balsam fir. As pretty as snow covered balsam look, and their wonderful aroma, I wish the deer would work on them a bit!

    Harley,

    It is just sad how people are willing to kill what they do not understand. This “accepted” trigger itch will hopefully come back, at least in the long run, to bite the anti wolf folks who take these matters I to their own hands, in the rear. One must wonder how much of this goes/went on, even with the hunting seasons in Idaho and Montana.

    The White’s deserve the full extent of the law’s wrath.

    • avatar Harley says:

      Yeah, this does not do anything for anyone’s cause. In my mind, it’s one thing if you are trying to protect livestock, pets, kids etc. But to just go out and shoot them for the sake of shooting does make me a tad bit angry. I don’t like when there is all that talk about if you see a wolf, you shoot it and bury it. That only adds more fuel to a fire that is going to explode into everyone’s faces one of these days, on both sides, not just one or the other. I stand for some sort of management but I distance myself from total extermination.

    • avatar Harley says:

      Wonder what made it aggressive… will be interesting to see what the results of the testing are.

  81. avatar WM says:

    Looks like the MN agricultural folks are elated about possibility of keeping WS funded next year to the tune of about $700K of your federal tax dollars. I think this guy Lueck is one of the plaintiffs in the delisting suit, which Immer reports is on hold.

    272 wolf complaints and 192 wolves trapped last year. And all this in a state that doesn’t mind having wolves, but sure wants the help controlling them, and the federal money that goes with it, including those evil folks at WS.

    When wolves go off the list in MN and elsewhere in the GL, guess who gets the tab? Will investigations be as thorough, and responses swift, or will there be alot of self-help even in MN?

    http://www.agweek.com/event/article/id/18610/

  82. avatar Immer Treue says:

    WM,

    I would assume that the Dale Lueck associated with hot cited article, and the law suit put on hold are one and the same

    Let noone be deceived that the wolves removed by WS in MN were the only wolves killed in MN during the past year. As much as some folks up here understand and appreciate the presence of wolves, ther are those up here who compare with the worst of the haters.

    • avatar Phil says:

      Ah, yes; the ranchers and anti-wolfers complain, politicians listen, and the rest of us have to pay for their complains. Immer: I thought I read in a previous comment that you worked with the Isle Royale wolves before, is that correct?

  83. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Phil,

    Though I spent~60+days on Isle Royale, I never worked with the wolves. I did work with the Intl Wolf Center to put together a predator prey study centering on the wolves and moose of Isle Royale for my students.

  84. avatar Harley says:

    Immer,
    Do you know if they are planning on doing anything for the wolf population on Isle Royale? I know it’s something they’ve been kinda wrestling with for the past few years and this past winter’s study seemed kinda rough for wolf numbers.

  85. avatar WM says:

    The following link is posted for two reasons. First, look at the map at the very bottom, which shows the distribution of the huge number of recent fires throughout the southern part of the US, consuming over 7.5 million acres, much of it rural areas in which wildlife is at risk. Many of these are of unknown or natural causes, and not on our common border with Mexico.

    Second, is the assertion by Sen. McCain (not one of my favorite politicians, by the way) and confirmed by a local sheriff based on investigation from the USFS as to a couple of the larger and more recent fire origins in Arizona. What I find troubling is the fact we can’t even talk about border issues – even those with very negative effects on wildlife and habitat (and homes of humans), without the media making it a CONTROVERSIAL illegal alien/drug smuggling topic, that we just don’t talk about, because it seems to be politically incorrect. This is disturbing in and of itself. And, Northen Mexico is also being affected by these fires of “unknown” origin. Not good for wildlife there, either.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43486804/ns/weather/

    **The video also gives McCain an opportunity to clarify his comments.

  86. avatar ma'iingan says:

    “When wolves go off the list in MN and elsewhere in the GL, guess who gets the tab? Will investigations be as thorough, and responses swift, or will there be alot of self-help even in MN?”

    In my state, where lethal control by WS is currently not allowed, after delisting we will issue take permits to “chronic” farms, allowing the landowner to use lethal control on depredating wolves. We had an opportunity to do this in 2009 during the few months when wolves were delisted. Although we issued somewhere around 40 permits, I believe only two animals were actually taken – the major benefit was a notable reduction in anti-wolf sentiment. The shoot-em-up that some people feared didn’t happen.

  87. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Harley,

    I can’ really say what will happen on Isle Royale. There are some who like to Misquote Mech and say that wolves continue to “thrive” on IR; they have persisted in spite of parvo, low number of breeding females, and now inbreeding. I believe all associated with the Isle Royale wolves realize thAt their days are numbered. Question is when the wolves fail to replace themselves, the moose population has no checks other than the winter and ticks.

    Soooooo…. If the NPS philosophy is nonintervention in natural processes, wolves go and moose population increases until inevitable crash. Common sense would dictate periodically importing wolves. Just a stretch of the imagination, but perhaps few of the “problem” wolves of the GL states should be given a chance at Isle Royale. just a thought.

    • avatar Harley says:

      huh… I actually like that thought of the problem wolves having a place to go. It would also insure new blood periodically. I just find it such a fascinating study!

  88. avatar ma'iingan says:

    A reintroduction such as mentioned here is not without problems – wolves reared in a whitetail economy could have a protracted learning curve when presented with moose as their only prey. Witness the several years it took for Wisconsin wolves to figure out elk when the big ungulates were reintroduced to the Clam Lake area. Of course, it’s possible that with no other option, desperation would steepen that learning curve. Secondly, and probably more importantly, subsequent transplants would likely be killed by the resident pack(s). Territorial wolves are very frequently ruthless when it comes to interlopers. That said, I don’t believe an attempt at reintroduction is out of the question, – the subject is currently being volleyed amongst several affected agencies.

    • avatar Harley says:

      Gah, I should have remembered that territorial part! Yeah, that could present a big problem. Also, the wolves from the mainland are bigger than the ones on the island, I think probably due to inbreeding of the island wolves. I think in the latest annual report, the figured that a wolf crossed over several years past, they show a picture of that wolf with ones from the island and he’s of a lighter color and bigger. I don’t think it would take them very long to learn how to hunt the moose.

      Thanks for that territorial reminder ma’iingan

  89. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Ma’iingan,

    Your points are valid. However, wolves are pretty resilient critters, and I think it would not take “hungry” wolves long to learn that moose is food. The territioriLity of wolves is the real problem, and the inter pack hostility on IR is legend. That said, if trapped problem wolves in the GL states are only going to be killed, would the occasional transplant of these problem wolves not be fesible? Not saying that IR should become a penal colony,” but it could a possible solution to the IR situation.

    • avatar Harley says:

      A wolf penal colony! I don’t know why that struck me as amusing but it did! Kinda like… Australia for wolves…

  90. avatar mike post says:

    GAO report on unintended consequences of the cessation of horse slaughter in the US.

    http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d11228high.pdf

    • avatar WM says:

      People really should read the short GAO summary of implementation of this law advocated by wild horse lovers, and animal rights types. These (double explicative), short sighted morons just shipped the problem out of the US where there is no oversight to ensure humane horse slaughter, greater stressful travel times for the live horse to the slaughter house and the whole sham scheme eliminated jobs for those who would do this task (with oversight for humane conditions) in the US – some on Indian reservations. And because horses have to be marketed and shipped out of the country, that has apparently resulted in more animal abuse cases (for lack of a market).

      Yeah these animal rights groups and their Congressional water carriers really figured this stuff out. HSUS supporters you reading this? Ask your own organization for an investigation on itself and its sister groups that crafted and passed this insane law.

  91. avatar jon says:

    carter niemeyer talks about his book wolfer.

    http://video.idahoptv.org/video/2023270293

  92. avatar jon says:

    The fight against canned hunting in Kenya

    http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/canned-hunting2011.html#cr

    “American tax funds used to promote lion hunts
    The incontestable fact is that American tax funds were used to finance an expensive international conference in Nairobi whose sole relevance to Americans was to enable the trophy hunters to devastate wild lion prides and other animals in East Africa – for fun.

    The Symposium itself was a great success. It was attended by about 160 people and included the director of Kenya Wildlife Services, members of parliament, and other dignitaries. It was jam-packed for both days by everyone who was anyone in wildlife conservation.

    It was mid-afternoon before I got up to speak and show my presentation. There were gasps of shock from the audience as the first videos showed a poor lioness being shot out of a tree with an arrow and a wounded lion charging a hail of bullets from a mob of hunters. When I followed this by explaining the colonial aspects of hunting there were spontaneous cheers from many delegates. The sponsors looked shocked.”

    • avatar william huard says:

      What an article. The stench of the Safari Club is never far away. Hey, they convinced the corrupt Mugabe regime that it is good wildlife management to allow pathetic trophy hunters to kill lions for sport!

    • avatar Ryan says:

      Jon,

      What about the fact that african countries that allow sport hunting have healthy animal populations, where as countries that don’t like Kenya are ravaged by poaching and are suffering huge populaiton declines. IMHO the key to saving Africa’s animal populations is giving the animals value. Tourism does not do this outside of the game reserves. This fact is easily verifiable.

      So which is better massive poaching and huge population losses or trophy hunting and stable animal populations?

      • avatar william huard says:

        Ryan-
        Where are these stable lion populations? In South Africa removing wild animals from their native habitat for captive breeding purposes in order to mass produce living targets for wealthy foreigners to shoot does not show anything that resembles sound “wildlife management”. Go on Chris Mercer’s website
        http://www.cannedlion.co.za/
        Mercer will debunk the “giving animals value myth” that SCI uses as a talking point. Where does this end- these pathetic canned hunters are now resorting to selling the lion bones in the asian black market- what a racket- make a profit on the animals death and then make a profit after it’s dead? Where is the morality and ethics Ryan? This is all about corruption in wildlife agencies

        • avatar jon says:

          How trophy hunting destroys conservation

          http://www.cannedlion.org/content/june-6th-2011-how-trophy-hunting-destroys-conservation

          William, these safari club type trophy hunters care nothing for the animals they shoot. Their only concern is being able to shoot majestic wildlife.

          • avatar jon says:

            trophy hunting is environmental terrorism as chris mercer puts it. I believe he is 100% right.

            5. :In short, thanks to the lack of foresight and intelligence in conservation structures, and to the obscene wealth of foreign hunting clubs like Safari Club International, in Reno, Nevada, predators are becoming domesticated livestock – but un-protected by animal cruelty legislation. Imagine the outcry if farmers bred sheep and goats for hunters to shoot arrows in to? Our wildlife desperately needs protection from conservationists who lack the intellect to understand that hunting is environmental terrorism, and should be banned. What this Supreme Court decision reveals is that the flow of hunting dollars and Euros has promoted captive lion breeding so much that it has now moved out of conservation, and in to agriculture. Lions have become alternative livestock. American trophy hunters and useless South African conservationists have allowed the ‘wild’ to be taken out of our wildlife.”

        • avatar Ryan says:

          William,

          Lions are plagued with the issue of a growing human population affecting their habitat, livestock, etc.

          Here is an interesting factoid..

          Kenya, less than 2000 lions with a dropping populatin.. 80% drop since the 1970’s when hunting was banned.

          http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/aug2009/2009-08-17-02.asp

          Where as tanzania, which has allowed lion hunting has not seen nearly the hit..

          I know your going to quote the articles that cite the drop in lion harvest about 6 years ago.. This also conincides with the age requiremnt chage to only harvesting mature males 6yrs of age or older.

          I’m not trying to defend lion hunting in africa, espicially not canned hunts, but to say that trophy hunting in africa has not had good overall conservation results is not true.

          Why don’t the both of you try quoting at least a semi unbiased source.

          “Where does this end- these pathetic canned hunters are now resorting to selling the lion bones in the asian black market- what a racket- make a profit on the animals death and then make a profit after it’s dead? Where is the morality and ethics Ryan?”

          At least they are using every part of the animal.

          You and mike both quoted the NRA as being full of hype, yet you post quotes from the same exact kind of bullshit propaganda website/organization.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Ryan-
            How are you making the connection that the cause of the 80% drop in lion population is because trophy hunting was banned? There is NO evidence that the two are even remotely connected. Did you even read the wildlife extra article? It says very clearly the decline in animal populations is the direct result of deforestation, drought, and human encroachment on animal habitat…….

      • avatar JB says:

        Ryan:

        I agree with your assertion that hunting can help create/increase the value of wildlife (especially when hunters are willing to pay huge sums of money, and the wildlife exists in areas where people earn very little); however, I do not agree that tourism cannot accomplish the same end. Rather, I would argue that high-end, big game hunting and wildlife-related ecotourism are likely to serve different clients, diversifying the sources of revenue associated with wildlife, and increasing its value to the local people.

        Hunting and ecotourism are different and largely complementary means to the same end.

        • avatar william huard says:

          JB-
          Here is one of many studies done to prove the “benefit to local communities myth” that is constantly thrown around by the SCI types:
          http://www.ifaw.org/ifaw_united_states/media_center/press_releases/3_5_2010_60790.php
          The argument sounds good though- the only way the community benefits is when the trophy hunter throws the locals the scraps of meat after they pillage the rest of the carcass. Read the Mercer information- he’s not full of it- his organization is about real wildlife conservation

          • avatar WM says:

            william,

            That article is about polar bear hunting, ONLY and it probably is true for that species. Like there aren’t that many anyway, and shouldn’t be hunted IMHO.

            The more general case in the US and parts of Canada is hunting deer/elk/moose/bear and lots of birds (pheasant, ducks, geese). There are quite a few local communities that survive largely on the goods and services purchased by hunters/fishers. We have listed them here before. If those who provide these services were not making money, the jobs wouldn’t be there and the services not offered.

            “Benefit to local communities” is not a myth, william.

          • avatar Ryan says:

            William,

            Have any studies like that for Africa, espicially ones that correlate animal populaitons.

            Here is another article on polar bear hunting. With a little more break down on the local economics of it.

            http://www.nrf.is/Publications/The%20Resilient%20North/Plenary%202/3rd%20NRF_plenary%202_Dowsley_YR_paper.pdf

          • avatar william huard says:

            WM-
            My comments about “benefit to local communities” was in the context of trophy hunting, not regular hunting of deer and other game.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            William

            Have you ever been to Africa either hunting or wildlife viewing, if you have not then you have only read the cover of the book. Africa is a very big place and I have been lucky enough in my life to hunt Africa and travel overland from Cape Town to Malawi. You have lots to learn GRASSHOPPER.

          • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

            One of the issues I have with the IFAW article is that it condemns polar bear hunting because it is done on a small scale so has small economic benefits — would they see an argument in its favor if it was done on a broad scale and brought in more money?

            Second, is the effect WM pointed to earlier regarding NRA and Wildlife Services Funding (confusing protecting agriculture with hunted wildlife). It’s to make hay of and fund raise on an issue whether or not it is directly relevant. Polar bear hunting as it occurs in Nunavut has virtually nothing to do with the threat to polar bears. In fact if it does, it may be to slow the inevitable decline due to sea ice. Loss of sea ice puts nutritional stress on polar bears and one of the primary mechanisms by which the population will be reduced is by predation by males on both sows and cubs — as has already been noticed by scientists. So hunters targeting a few males may if anything slightly slow an inevitable population adjustment — but the actual effect is probably neither here nor there because the population will ultimately have to adjust to its habitat.

        • avatar Ryan says:

          William,

          What about Africa? From what I have read, most articles points to trophy hunting being good for the local economies and wildlife overall. (this is not a comment about morals or ethics, just simple animal populations and economics)

          • avatar william huard says:

            Ryan-

            Before this conversation deteriorates further- if you want to defend SCI and trophy hunting that is your choice. In Africa it is obvious that trophy hunting and canned hunting are dependant on each other for their survival. Maybe you don’t have a problem watching a lioness being led away from her cubs so some douchebag can kill her for her trophy- most peopl find those images disgusting- that’s your modern day trophy hunter

          • avatar william huard says:

            dependent not dependant sorry

          • avatar Ryan says:

            “Maybe you don’t have a problem watching a lioness being led away from her cubs so some douchebag can kill her for her trophy- most peopl find those images disgusting- that’s your modern day trophy hunter”

            William,

            Could you be any more sterotypical..

            Thats like saying because one gay man is a pedophiles, all gay men are pedophiles..

            I know several people who have been hunting in africa, not one of them has ever killed a lioness, drugged animal, or any of the other things you have claimed. A couple have hunted in 50,000 to 100,000 high fence ranches in africa. They both said the expirience was no different than hunting the non fenced area they hunted as most legitimate outfitted do not allow hunting near the fences.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            William

            If you read the African hunting forums, canned lion hunting by real African hunters is frown upon. There have been a number of hunters who have been told that they have shot a wild lion when in fact they have shot a canned lion and never will know the difference.

            I do not have time to find it but there is a very good article about canned lion hunting on several Afican hunting forums. I will try later today when I have more time.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            This article is about hunting both wild and canned lions and how hunters are being misled into believeing that the lion they shot was a wild lion. It is a very good article written by a South African PH. Very few hunters want to shoot a captive lion but lion breeders want money.

            http://www.shakariconnection.com/spotting-differences-between-canned-and-wild-lions.html

  93. avatar Salle says:

    Climate Change: It’s bad and getting worse
    Severe weather events are wracking the planet, and experts warn of even greater consequences to come

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/06/2011622132049568952.html

    • avatar WM says:

      The best fishing is on the south side of the Kenai anyway at that spot, on the outside of that bend where the fish line up in a deep channel to make their return up the Russian River which is just off the map to the east (right turn). That is why the ferry is there. It appears the ferry and the lower lot are still open, and maybe even all the river, just the woods are closed – interesting.

      I have seen griz along the south bank, not a 75 yards from fishermen with large bore hand guns strapped to their chests, outside their waders, standing waist deep in the river.

      It seems the last ferry is just before midnight during summer, when there is still a little light, then it gets dark until about 4AM, when it starts up again. I have also spent the night on the Russian River,in the dark fishing for about three hours until the sun came up – that was scary, not being able to see, or hear because of the sounds of the water. You would only know of a bear when it was too late to avoid it.

      • avatar Ryan says:

        That is the only place in AK where I felt that I actually needed a gun when I fished the early run there. I was stuck on the gravel island at the mouth of the russian for 4 hours one night surrounded by bears on all sides. There wouldn’t be an issue of dumbshit tourists didn’t feed them from time to time.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        The biggest danger is getting a hook in the eye not bears.

        • avatar Ryan says:

          Elk,

          The russian river in June is a mess becuase the early run reds are the only food source in the area, combine that with habituated bears, dumbass tourists, young cubs.. Its a yearly disaster.

          That being said the hooks are more dangerous than bears.

          IMHO, this is the most dangerous area with regards to bear/human interaction I have been to. (I’ve been to katmai, Kodiak, Yellowstone, and all over the back country of AK)

        • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

          I’ll third Elk’s comment about hooks being most dangerous. During my brief visit there about 35 years ago, I didn’t last long enough in combat fishing mode to worry about twilight and bears.

          • avatar WM says:

            Seak,

            The ER docs and nurses remove enough flies and jigs from hooked fishermen to do some very nice art works, in the form of multi-colored salmon profiles and other shapes. Quite colorful, large and numerous, judging by the volume of patients and flies. I have not been back in a number of years either. Standing in the sand delta at the mouth of the Kasilof River in murky water, with about an inch of freeboard on your hip boots and being slapped at the knees by a forty pound king can make your day interesting, too. Hooks in the water, fish, boots full and the river taking you out to the main part of the Kenai. Now that is combat fishing!

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Amazing they needed to do a study to show this!

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        It’s worth recalling that the Woodland Caribou once was ubiquitous in the Northen Rockies of the Lower 48 states, ranging from my own Wyoming ( west of the Continental Divide) all the way to the Pacific Coast in large numbers. Today , a mere three dozen or so are all that r emain , and they are in the Selkirk Mountains of Idaho near the B.C. border, and the specie is definitely endangered in southern B.C. compared to its former numbers. So it appears that Caribou in the Lower 48 are even more sensitive to anthropic stresses than even Moose , or Passenger Pigeons for that matter…

        What we Manifestly Destined white colonists did to the native species of North America as we conquered it is appalling. I never fail to remind the anti-Wolf pro-hunting crowd that before the Pilgrims landed , the Lower 48 states had 10-12 million Elk ranging from Massachusetts to California. Today , even after decades of their gospel ” North American Big Game Conservation” model’s mojo —which really is just a non-ecological pseudo-scientific schedule for farming and harvesting crops of animals for hunters as ” put and take” targets — Elk are only present in 5-7 percent of their former numbers . Yet over in East Central Asia ( southern Siberia mainly ) , their native Elk are still abundant even though all the usual predators are there , including subsistence hunters and nomadic people, with the addition of two species of Tigers and even Snow Leopards. There was no “East Siberia Big Game Conservation model” , but have always been plenty of wolves coexisting right alongside those Elk, which are the direct forebear of our own Rocky Mountain herds , in addition to two unique subspecies there.

  94. avatar jon says:

    Trophy Hunting – How American Hunters Are Destroying Our Wildlife

    http://www.nikela.org/blog/is-the-us-hunter-south-africas-biggest-enemy

  95. avatar Ryan says:

    What a croc of shit… No mention of predator removal by farmers, poaching, or population growth. Pull the blinders off Jon.

  96. avatar Woody says:

    From Governor John Kitzharber of Oregon in response to my comment regarding the recent killing of two wolves of the Imnaha Pack:

    Thank you for contacting me regarding your concern for Imnaha wolf pack. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.

    Oregon is committed to wolf conservation, and through the Oregon Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, the State is well prepared to achieve this conservation goal while protecting the social and economic interests of Oregonians.
    Operating within the Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) associated with the Wolf Plan, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) may undertake lethal control of wolves after confirming two depredations by wolves on livestock in a specific area, and after other conditions have also been met. Lethal control is used only after non-lethal methods have been attempted to prevent further livestock losses. In this case, multiple repeated depredation incidents had occurred and livestock operators had pursued non-lethal measures to no avail.

    While lethal action is not taken lightly, it is important to note that some members of the Imhaha pack have preyed upon livestock not as an isolated incident, but as a chronic pattern. This pattern cannot be tolerated; it is not just a problem for private property owners, but also jeopardizes the long-term recovery prospects of wolves. The decision to take lethal control action stems from this troubling chronic pattern and is not a result of the recent de-listing of wolves from the federal Endangered Species Act. More information about Oregon’s wolves is available at http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wolves/

    Thank you again for contacting me regarding this issue. I encourage you to visit my webpage to sign up for the most up-to-date information from my office, or follow me on Facebook.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Maybe the Gov of Oregon could call Butch if you hit me in the head with a crowbar my hair still wouldn’t move Otter and give him some advice on predator management

      • avatar jon says:

        There are less than 20 wolves in OR. They are endangered, livestock is not. There should be no killing of wolves no matter if they kill livestock or not. Ranchers should not be compensated if they are not using good animal husbandry practices. There are no problem wolves, only problem ranchers. 4 breeding pairs for OR is unacceptable given all of the threats facing wolves.

      • avatar WM says:

        william,

        Just to round out your comment, ya gotta wonder if Gov. Kitzhaber would be offering the same reasoned advice if he had nearly a thousand wolves in OR, and nearly a decade of seesaw delisting skirmishes (with the apparent need to kill upwards of 100 problem wolves per year) and a battle that is not over yet,with pending litigation. I am going to bet the advice might be different – substantially different, even for a physician turned governor.

        Eastern OR has lots and lots of coyotes, and quite few cows too. The wolves will have to move through that area to get to the rest of the state – lush narrow valleys like the John Day River. Nothing around them except dry sage brush with abundant deer, who also like those irrigated valley bottoms. Wonder where the wolves will be and what is their choice of prey?

        Eastern OR and Eastern WA are quite a bit like ID or MT, in the lay of the land and the values of the people. Most folks don’t realize that. The eastern part of the states are a whole bunch different than the respective greenie (affectionate term in this context) state capitals of Salem and Olympia, where the heavy breather politicians and bureaucrats are who make up these plans.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Woody – part of the response I got back from Baucus when I contacted him about wolves:

      In September 2010, Senator Tester and I introduced a bill that would delist wolves in the Rocky Mountain region from the endangered species list. I felt it was unacceptable to leave the fate of Montana farmers, ranchers and wolf population up to another state. This is why Senator Tester and I fought to include language in the recently enacted fiscal year 2011 spending bill to address management of the gray wolf. With the passage of this historic piece of legislation, Montanans can now manage their wolf population so it is maintained at an ecologically healthy level and is beneficial for Montana’s ranchers and farmers. This is a common-sense and win-win approach for all.

      Thanks again for getting in touch. Please contact me with any additional questions or concerns. You can also visit my website at http://baucus.senate.gov for more information on current issues that affect Montanans
      Sincerely,

      (And of course the signature is NOT gonna “cut and paste”)

      Sound familiar?

      • avatar Woody says:

        Nancy, I was hoping that our governor would be a bit more understanding of the discrepancy between cow and wolf numbers in Oregon.

  97. avatar Woody says:

    100 pound “coyote hybrid” goes for a 3 year old girl on a trampoline in NC. Check out the photos. My question is hybrid with what?
    http://www.myfox8.com/news/wghp-story-coyote-attacks-toddler-girl-trinity-randolph-110618,0,3125115.story

    • avatar Nancy says:

      100 lb. coyote hybrid my ass…. and where’s all the blood? Not to mention obvious damage to the body if this animal was shot in the neck and the head?

      • avatar Harley says:

        Which part are you doubting here? That it was a coyote, that it was a hybrid, that it went for the girl, that it was killed, which? Just trying to understand the comments. I saw this video and wasn’t sure what to make of it. This is a serious issue if everything in this story is on the up and up.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          Harley – guess I’m just skeptic at heart. “he dragged her off the trampoline and over to the car” The kid looked in good shape for being grabbed by a 100 lb. animal. “Seeing your baby in the mouth of a monster” according to mom” She battled it for a half hour before the neighbor showed up with a shotgun. Half an hour? Not enough time to have the other kid run to the house and dial 911?

          +The animal’s carcass was sent to Raleigh for rabies tests, although the results came back “inconclusive” because the animal’s brain had been too damaged from the gunshot wounds for clear results, officials said+

          Again, where’s the obvious damage from two gun shots? Did they clean him up for the news crew?

          If I were that mom, I’d be a lot more worried about this statistic:

          +Oct 26, 2009 – Reports show that there are more than 100000 hospital emergency room cases for trampoline injuries each year+

          • avatar Salle says:

            Well, the first thing I noticed was that it was FuxNews affiliate that covered the story. I would consider the “source” first. Then, look at how knowledgeable the mother was… or not.

            It sure looked like a bloodless shooting, interesting. If the brain tissue was too destroyed for rabies testing, I would expect that the head would have been pretty messed up but the picture doesn’t reflect that there was any real damage there. I’m not buying the “coyote hybrid” part either… doesn’t look like any coyote, probably just some feral dog that was hungry. I can’t see how the animal was able to grab the kid from a trampoline either but, strangely unexpected things do happen.

            I think humans would do well to stop seeing the natural world as the enemy and realize that we are the exception to the natural world and not the other way around. Demonization of nature is just stupid.

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          ++It sure looked like a bloodless shooting, interesting. If the brain tissue was too destroyed for rabies testing, I would expect that the head would have been pretty messed up but the picture doesn’t reflect that there was any real damage there.++

          Some of you do not know how bullets work. A bullet will enter with a hole no larger than it’s caliber or in the case of a 22 it’s entrance hole will be approximately .25 of an inch. The exit hole on the other side depending upon the type of bullet used could exit with a inch size hole destroying all tissue in it’s path. In this case one side of the head would no damage and the other side could have been destroyed.

          Then there new bullets that will fragment in the head or body cavity and never exit turning the brain or internal organs into soup — these are lead free bullets, BTW.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Does that same sort of pattern apply to a shotgun Elk?

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            Thanks Elk275. You are right. Almost every other “fact” about this “coyote hybrid” is incomplete, questionable, or hard to believe. The only coverage so far has been a couple TV stations with the story’s origin at a local Fox News station (as Salle pointed out). My guess is the child was attacked by a large mongrel dog which they’re tried to hype into something more.

          • avatar Salle says:

            Lovely thoughts on what our war-mongering technology hath wrought, isn’t it? I’m aware of these possibilities of non-evidence of trauma on the outside of a carcass/cadaver… I still don’t think much investigation has taken place but, by gum, there’s an emotional story to be told on how bad the natural world is and that we have to do something to stop it from plaguing us with its reality or distracting our total focus on this problem rather than doing some real self reflecting soul-searching independent cognitive functioning. (The answer to any problem with nature is, “…just kill it”)

          • avatar Harley says:

            Nancy

            If a dog or coyote hybrid did drag the child off the trampoline, yeah, that’s pretty horrific however… I admit, the first thing I thought of was the safety of the trampoline!! One of my kids, when they were younger bounced himself off of one of those, no netting around it.
            While I know it’s as natural of the people here to mistrust Fox news and anything to do with it (Just as it’s natural for the other side to disregard CNN!) I try not to completely disregard either one of them. I think the more telling thing is what Ralph pointed out, there haven’t been a lot of reports of this out there and something like this, well, you would expect it.

  98. avatar jon says:

    Department of Interior: Public Land Recreation Creates Many More Jobs Than Public Lands Ranching

    http://hosted.verticalresponse.com/435877/d120e0791f/1454001502/ee35a54549/

      • avatar Salle says:

        Interesting, another unlikely pair of animals comforting each other… I wonder if the animals of the world are getting ready to give us a big surprise concerning the lack of habitat we are leaving them in our rush to destroy the biosphere. If they all “gang up” on us, it would be an interesting set of events. But maybe that’s what’s happening, they recognize the dangers of humans and are learning to take care of each other since we are attacking them and their abilities to survive. I think we don’t give other species any credit for knowing anything we don’t ascribe to them… just a thought from outside the “box”.

        • avatar Harley says:

          I dunno, my mind didn’t wander quite that far off the beaten trail! I did find it interesting though. Particularly since the baboon isn’t very old, so it’s not like it’s some sort of maternal instinct.

          • avatar Harley says:

            I especially like the end part where the bush baby is trying to climb the reporter and the baboon keeps pulling it away! It’s like, hey, don’t bother the man now!

      • avatar Phil says:

        Thanks for the video Harley. That would seem like a pretty unique relationship, and it shows that we are still a ways away from fully understanding the behaviors of wildlife.

  99. avatar WM says:

    Truck trips for spring salmon to Cascade lakes to restore runs. Sockeye, once again, in Bumping Lake would be awesome.

    http://www.yakima-herald.com/stories/2011/06/24/yakama-biologists-releasing-salmon-from-roza-dam-into-cle-elum-lake

  100. avatar PointsWest says:

    Rex Rammel arrested on felony charges of jury tampering. Arrest caught on tape.

    http://www.ktvb.com/news/politics/Rex-Rammell-arrested-during-press-conference-124457024.html

    • avatar Phil says:

      That is a great story. The elk let the marmot suffer (Just kidding about the part of suffer)for 15 minutes before eventually rescuing it. Hire the elk as a lifeguard.

  101. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    The AP story circulating tonight ( 6-25 ; picked up by various intermountain newspapers already ) will put me to bed with a smile on my face.

    The Great Lolo Wolf Eradication Hunt of 2011 ain’t doing so great . Only five wolves taken by aerial gunning, and one by an Idaho F&G shootist. The spring bear outfitters deputized to shoot wolves on sight got zilch.

    The wanted to take 60 , give or take.

    Go wolves.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Cody-
      I’m shocked that the fools in the Idaho FG haven’t been able to go on a killing spree. This is what happens when people ignore science and go for the pure political and cultural motivations behind hating wolves- they look stupid, but then again they are comfortable looking stupid- they have had plenty of practice. They will do anything to pander to the hunters and try to boost those elk numbers

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        WH—I think it is well known ,and certainly Ralph has made an ironclad case here , that the reasons for the percieved Lolo elk herd numbers plumeting and the percieved need for the attrition wolf hunt are both bogus.

        Elk numbers are “low” because IDFG all but quit gathering data and had no idea for years on end what numbers and harvest were doing. Never mind that same time frame was plagued with drought, habitat changes, and some pretty relentless forest fires. IDFG would not know if the elk dired of disease/starvation , got eaten by wolves, were burned alive , or simply moved a few watersheds over to greener pastures with human encroachment.

        In the meantime, the Scapegoat appeared on the scene. Whatever wolves are doing or not to the Lolo area elk, it’s all being credited to the ledger of Canis scapegoatus , multiplied by an ” X ” factor, then used to justify an attirtion hunt.

        None of this is being done with just cause and hardly qualifies as ” conservation ” , IMHO

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Cody C. –
          Ironclad covers a lot of ground. I’m not aware of a persuasive argument supporting your opening conclusion – let alone ironclad. The historical and contemporary data describing elk production and recruitment, the nexus between those population regulation mechanisms, habitat, predation and human exploitation of elk, and social costs of precipitious decline in the public’s elk resource has been thoroughly discussed on this forum, but too often seems to be forgotten.
          It’s been a while since I re-ran a synopsis of the history of the Lolo Zone elk crisis. No time like the present for another re-run:
          The IDFG and USFS for decades documented, through gray literature, peer reviewed professional reports, public meetings and community working groups – the long and gradual natural decline in elk habitat productivity following the great 1910 – 1930’s forest fires that made the Lolo Zone so productive for elk and a host of other wildlife species. The Department recognized, for decades, that elk production was declining, in response to declining habitat productivity and with the USFS then and now was looking for initiatives to manage habitat for the benefit of elk productivity and the public benefits of productive elk herds.
          After the severe winter of 1997-98, elk in the Lolo Zone were further depleted and in subsequent years elk numbers did not recover to the potential that EXISTING habitat could sustain. Research demonstrated that elk calf predation by bears and lions was preventing the recovery of elk numbers within existing habiat capacity. Bear and lion hunting harvest was substantially increased to relieve predatory pressure on elk production and recruitment and within a few years, elk production began increasing, in responce to lower calf predation, achieved by higher hunter harvest of bears and lions. The increase in elk production, through predator management (bears and lions) immediately preceded the return of wolves in the Lolo Zone. The recovery of elk production, to levels current habitat is capable of sustaining, was short lived as the addition of wolf predation on reproductive cow elk and calf elk again drove elk production and recruitment well below levels CURRENT, EXISTING habitat is capable of sustaining. With Idaho wolf management plan provides for reductions in wolf numbers and consequently wolf predation of productive cow elk, and calf elk – to allow the Lolo Zone elk population to increase to a level closer to the productive capability of existing elk habitat in the Lolo Zone.
          Some key points for this on-going dialog: 1) the Department has long recognized that elk habitat will inevitably senesce, with concomittant reductions in elk production and recruitment; 2) the Department has consistently explained the role of wolf predation as keeping current elk production and recruitment below levels CURRENT, EXISTING habitat is capable of sustaining; the wolf management plan calls for a measured reduction (not elimination) in the Lolo Zone wolf population to allow increases in elk production within the current capacity of elk habitat; 4)the relationship between elk production/recruitment, wolf predation and habitat capacity is well documented by years of IDFG study. Key portions of this large and ongoing monitoring/research effort have been peer reviewed and published. There is a high degree of certaintly that wolf predation of productive cow elk and calf elk is holding the current Lolo Zone elk population well below the capacity of CURRENT EXISTING elk habitat to sustain; 5) hunting mortality for the Lolo Zone elk population has not played a significant role in the long term trends I describe here. After the 1997-1998 severe winter and elk population decline, the Department began reducing elk hunting opportunity, in response to non-hunting caused declines in elk numbers – to the point that today there is no cow elk hunting opportunity and greatly reduced opportunity to hunt bulls; 6) the Department’s estimates of wolf numbersf (and with your post in this string – our estimates of elk numbers), but without any technical basis that I’m aware of. The methodologies for wolf number estimates are well described and are consistent across the management zones wolf management is conducted. Ditto for elk. The reality is that for wolves and elk, the population estimates the IDFG builds for management purposes are strong, robust and very reliable.

          I’m not naive enough to expect this historical review to change opinions or philosophical positions. That’s not my purpose on this blog. I will only ask that those who are sincere about debating the merits of important wildlife management proposals and plans acknowledge the factual basis, or lack thereof, of the arguments being presented.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Mark-

            People are not stupid. You just said that wolf number estimates are not subject to any “technical basis” that you were aware of. Does the number just come to you or do you pick the number out of a hat? Either there are no wolves in the LOLO or you need to find more competent outfitters. Allowing wheat farmers to kill pregnant elk probably doesn’t help but I could be wrong

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Phil,
            Please take an additional minute to read my last post. I did say that the IDFG wolf population estimates are strong, robust and very reliable. Another way to accurately describe those estimates would be to say: they are based on the best existing data for wolves in their respective management zone and are correctly described as “conservative” – i.e minimum estimates because the estimates are derived only from verifies observations, knowing that there are almost certainly additional wolves we cannot verify. The methods for developing those estimates are described in IDFG wolf management reports that are routinely updated. I encourage you to read those reports and have a better understanding of the issue.
            I did not say that those estimates are not subject to any technical basis. Not sure how you derive that from my earlir comments. The IDFG wolf population estimaates are indeed based on technical data with all inherent strengths and weaknesses of any statistical estimate. Again, read the reports for a better understanding of the topic. Are there specific weaknesses in the estimates or the methods used to derive the estimates that you are aware of?
            It is possible that your definition of “overhunting” is different could lead to a reasonable alternative conclusion than that I offered in my earlier post when I said that hunting mortality has not contributed to the current situation – Lolo elk production, recruitment and population strength well below the capacity of current habitat. Can you be more specific?

          • avatar jon says:

            Mark, do you have any idea if poison and snares are going to be allowed to be used on wolves?

          • avatar william huard says:

            Mark-
            With all due respect…. All of us appreciate the time you take to give your perspective on this blog. It is clear that in Idaho politics trumps real wildlife management. I don’t have the figures in front of me but others have shown with specific detail that hunter harvest in the LOLO was and has not been managed properly. Just within the last few days I read a report where your department gave hunting permits to wheat farmers to kill pregnant elk one month before giving birth…. Does that make sense?
            Mark- where are the wolves in the LOLO? You tell me? People like DR Maughan have studied these issues for years……
            People don’t trust your legislators and Governor to do the right thing here in relation to wolves…… many are expecting a heavy handed fall hunt complete with trapping…. How is that a fair chase ethical hunt?

          • avatar Salle says:

            “Hunting opportunity”, isn’t that a pretty way to say that there aren’t enough elk for us to kill there anymore? You did say that there was no technical basis for the numbers you claim. (Never mind that there really isn’t much viable habitat for them there, as stated by IDF&G several years prior to wolf reintroduction.) So which is it, Mark?

            In case you haven’t had a need to research anything of late concerning the lack of elk in the Lolo, you might be interested in the fact that the IDF&G published pamphlets prior to wolf reintroduction that state the lack of elk in the Lolo and the reasons for this. Sorry, it was several years ago that I read that least two of them, annual reports I think they were, that I found in the library at UofI. So, I would suggest, since you have better access to these documents, that you look them over. Your latest scapegoat, the wolf, fits neatly into giving hunters a rallying point to oppose wolves in the state, even if they aren’t anywhere near where you claim they are. I do recall Mike Simpson, a Mr. Schiedwachter (sp?) and Dirk himself all claiming that wolves were a pariah in the state, that they were illegally foisted upon the state and that they were determined to be rid of them by whatever means they could generate to do so. Doesn’t seem, to me, that this official state position has changed much since then, thus all argument from a state agency must follow the story-line.

            And, in case you haven’t noticed, stats can be manipulated to show whatever you want them to… they just aren’t all that reliable and only seem to have merit when they can be used to support a claim ~ that otherwise would be exposed as rubbish ~ by those wishing to feed rubbish to the uneducated. Perhaps this is the technical whatever you were referring to?

            You still sound like a propagandist, hope you have a second job because you aren’t very good or convincing in this one.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            William, Salle –
            My apologies, my first post did say: “the Department’s estimates of wolf numbersf (and with your post in this string – our estimates of elk numbers), but without any technical basis that I’m aware of.” This was a cut and paste error I didn’t catch in my haste to respond to get back to other tasks on a busy weekend. My intended message was that criticisms of IDFG wolf estimates have been, to date, without technical backing – i.e. lot’s of disagreement/criticism of the estimates, but without a technical rationale or credible resoning for how and why those estimates are too high.
            William, hunting opporuntiy was adjusted – reduced – to match the naturally declining levels of elk production. Hunting opportunity was determined by declining natural levels of elk productivity, determined by senescing native elk habitat. This is an important distinction that that could be misunderstood or misinterpreted by the concept of “overhunting” which could imply that hunting was somehow responsible for the decline in elk productivity and total elk numbers.
            To repeat again, the IDFG wolf population estimates are based on direct, verified wolf observations and are conservative (i.e. under-estinmates) – therefor very technically based. Wolf estimates are not based on assumptions or modeling.
            Every year pregnant cow elk (and pregnant mule deer and whitetail does and pregnant females of virtually every hunted species) are killed by hunters and a host of other predators and natural mortality agents. The fact that removal of elk causing a serious crop depredation problem for farmers – includes pregnant cows – is not unusuall nor is it cause for alarm or concern for the well being of the elk population. The depredation control actions in this report are a routine part of wildlife management across Idaho and other states. Nothing nefarious and not connected to the ongoing Lolo Zone elk production/recruitment problem.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Cody-
          You are wrong. Mr Gamblin just said the population estimates IDFG uses for “management purposes” are strong, robust, and very reliable……There was never any overhunting by humans , it was lions and bears…..lions and bears….lions and bears….. and then it was those mythical wolves

    • avatar Phil says:

      Yes indeed CodyCoyote, go wolves. David vs Goliath, good vs bad, you name it and hopefully god will continue to help out the good guys.

  102. avatar william huard says:

    How’s this for logic:
    “I’ve hunted Elk in Idaho for over 50 years and I’ve never seen the elk population so depleted. The FG gave the Brown Ranch out of Weippe kill permits for PREGNANT cows in April when they were a month from calving.”
    Sounds like either they have a new scientific way of boosting populations of elk in that area or they really don’t care about the ELK population and just want to kill wolves!

    • avatar Harley says:

      Where in the heck did you find that quote William? I looked all over for it! Was it in one of the links provided and I missed it?

      • avatar william huard says:

        It is Jon’s post before my first post. Idaho FG is going have to make a decision as to who is more important to pander to- the wheat farmer/ ranchers or hunters

        • avatar Harley says:

          William,
          I could be totally off base so if I am, forgive me, I’m just trying to understand.
          From some of your posts in the past, you seem very much against ranchers, farmers and hunters. Why?
          And what do you do for a living and if you don’t mind, without being specific, what part of the country do you come from and is it rural or urban?

          • avatar jon says:

            Harley, some people are not fans of ranchers because some ranchers believe they have the right to a predator free landscape. also, look up wildlife services. They kill a ton of wildlife on behalf of ranchers. Ranchers also get massive subsidies from taxpayers for grazing rights on public lands. This is another reason why some dislike ranchers.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Harley-

            As far a Ranchers and farmers go, everyone has the right to earn a living. My problem with ranchers has more to do with the CULTURE of ranching. A culture of entitlement where they refuse to come into the 21st century and realize that it isn’t about them anymore… a culture where predators like wolves are more often than not a scapegoat for irresponsible animal husbandry techniques and other factors -birthing complications, weather issues unrelated to predation…..and coddled, protected and supported by politicians…..
            As for hunting and hunters, I used to hunt. I believe in strict fair chase hunting- no dogs, no baiting, no trapping. The fair chase ethic falls on deaf ears or is conveniently ignored. I have had it with these whining sniveling hunters complaining about decimated game herds and threatening to gut shoot and SSS wolves. All hysteria, all factually inaccurate- and force fed to the public by the Tom Remingtons and Don Peays of the world.
            I live in a rural area, an area where there are more animals than people- the way I like it

          • avatar Harley says:

            I’ve always dreamed of living in a rural location but I seriously doubt that will happen. Such is life. You are very lucky William.
            Yes, I believe a lot of ranchers and farmers are like that, but not all. I think… I will just leave that right there for now.
            By the way, what is a good way to stop the darned chipmunks from digging into my flower pots?!? lol killing them wouldn’t do anything, there are just too many of them! Besides, I’m not sure I could kill one, I’m torn between being amused by their antics and being ticked off at their digging! The flowers are dahlias, not sure if that’s like the preferred flower to dig into by chipmunks, this is the first year we’ve had them and the first year this has been a problem.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Try putting some bird feed down on the ground in an area away from your flower pots. They will have a good food source that they prefer and will probably dig holes less in your pot area. That’s what I do, and i enjoy the increased bird activity, from orioles to redwing and yellow-wing blackbirds.

        • avatar Harley says:

          Oh! And thanks, found the quote, it was from the comment section! Didn’t look at those, just the article!

          • avatar Phil says:

            Bird food, squirrel food, cat food will all work. A couple summers ago I began to put down bird food to attract as many diverse species of birds as possible so I can try to distinguish differences in traits and names, but it also attracted chipmunks. I put out some cat food for a couple stray cats so that my cats and dog can have some verbal interest with the strays, but, just like the bird food the cat food also drew some chipmunks. It’s pretty weird considering the scent of meat on the cat food, but because there is not that high level of component of meat in the food the chipmunks take it in.

          • avatar Salle says:

            Interesting problem there Harley. I once-upon-a-time-ago lived in rural Illinois and thought it was cool to watch the chipmunks play in my back dooryard… that is until they told all their friends that i was putting seed out for them. they became so insistent that I give them more, as in they would actually come up to the back door and climb on it screeching for more. there were a dozen or more. i was able to end the practice when winter came. then, when I lived in Pocatello I had a garden, planted a few hundred bulbs around the place and found that the squirrels ruled the yard, they dug up every bulb at least once. they ate the strawberries after about an hour after i planted them and a potted geranium I placed on the doorstep was gone in a couple hours too. I finally surmised that everything in the yard that I wanted to plant or grow was subject to their approval. I was glad they left my veggies and herbs alone for the most part. Most of the bulbs were crocus, poisonous for them, so they would just take a small bite and throw them aside. I would simply put them back under the dirt and they would grow anyway, even with a bite out of them. They never bothered my dahlias though.

            I think Williams suggestion is probably the best for dealing with the chipmunks, give them something in a different place and they are likely to leave the dahlias alone, I hope. They are kind of extortionists those little buggers, but they are cute.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Yes… that is their down fall, or mine I suppose, they are cute, that’s more than half the problem!
            I’ll get some seed and give it a try. We put out thistle for the finches, my mother gets a kick out of watching them. She’s pretty much home bound and her amusement comes from watching the Chicago Cubs (I don’t find them amusing actually), knitting, reading and watching the finches. She’s not too keen on the rodent variety of our wild life however. Specially when they mess with our flowers!

  103. avatar Salle says:

    Montana Osprey Suffering From Unfishable Rivers, Baling Twine, Toxins
    Expert: “We don’t know how widespread this problem is.”

    http://www.newwest.net/topic/article/montana_osprey_suffering_from_unfishable_rivers_bailing_twine_toxins/C41/L41/

  104. avatar Salle says:

    “Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011” seeks to gut the Clean Water Act

    http://wvgazette.com/Opinion/OpEdCommentaries/201106240309

  105. avatar jon says:

    http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/33ca4b3206474e2f9a6eb93bee6350b5/ID–Wolves-Shot/

    “With the aerial gunning from a helicopter having less success than officials hoped, officials have turned to hunting outfitters and their guides in the Lolo Zone. They were authorized to shoot wolves during the spring bear hunting season, but that hasn’t panned out.

    “Most of the outfitters I have talked to just aren’t seeing any wolf activity,” Cadwallader said.”

    Where are all these wolves they kept saying were in the lolo zone?

    • avatar william huard says:

      Jon, they are mythical wolves, sent by the anti-hunter god from heaven, whose goal is to take away all the hunters guns and ban hunting for good

    • avatar Alan says:

      “Where are all these wolves they kept saying were in the lolo zone?”
      They followed the elk to wherever THEY went!

  106. avatar william huard says:

    Oh I forgot- the other goal is to put the ranchers out of business

    • avatar jon says:

      William, as you know, there are a lot of conspiracy theories from the hunters and ranchers as to why wolves were brought back. They believe wolves are being used as a bio weapon to make people move into the cities and make them starve. I can go on and on with the theories as I’m sure you heard them all.Why can’t thesenuts just accept wolves were brought back just because wolves are needed in ecosystems and because no human should have the right to wipe out another species for whatever reason?

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      The author certainly shows her bias by writing, “However, even the federal government has acknowledged the 38-year-old law is showing its age. Recently, the Interior Department announced a proposed settlement with one environmental group, WildEarth Guardians, to clear up a backlog of more than 250 Endangered Species Act petitions.

      In recent years, the Interior Department has said environmental groups have inundated it with petitions and lawsuits. As a result, species began to accumulate on the list — and the agency spent much of its resources on legal battles.”

      The government didn’t make a deal with Wild Earth Guardians because of the Act’s age, and the deal was set aside by the courts anyway.

      The government has never employed the Act as it was intended by its authors who envisioned that the government would take the initiative. Instead, it has almost entirely been by citizen groups. Were it not for them, the ESA might still be on the books, but it would mean nothing and would have accomplished nothing.

      The reason for the huge backlog is inadequate funding to process petitions. The inadequate funding is deliberate — to hamper the Act and allow reporters and others to write how it does not work very well.

      • avatar Salle says:

        Not only do they refuse to fund the Act’s processes for the reasons Ralph mentions but also to to appease their bigbuck$ contributors who don’t like the part about critical habitat. Critical habitat is part of the considerations made when applying the “listing” process to a species. Look at the case that (what’s his name)Pombo from CA was ragging on for years over a coastal bird that was nearly extinct… Pombo’s buddy, a “developer” who wanted to plant a large bedroom community in the last area of their habitat ~ critical habitat by ESA standards ~ claimed that this little bird was usurping his ability to do business because of the location. For those not familiar with the ESA, critical habitat is supposed to be established during the listing process since the loss of habitat is usually the reason for their endangerment. The business community in this country has one maxim: if it is supposed to make you money, it isn’t unethical or wrong and should be allowed by law (I suspect that this goes for the majority of them refusing or simply deciding not to pay taxes for anything. I mean, as far as they are concerned, it’s all about the money and nothing else matters.)

        So big oil and mining and forest harvest and ranching are all on the same page on this, if it makes them money, it can’t be wrong and anyone trying to regulate or guide them in their dealings with public possessions needs to be marginalized and silenced. They don’t need no stinking laws, unless the law(s) give them whatever it is that they want to just take from everyone else. It’s that childish and it is a sad thing that we can anticipate nothing more sane or mature than that from our governing bodies anymore (because the only constituents they recognize are big business, individual private citizens who have less than million $$ bankrolls are so passe.)

        Look at it like this, the Congress is also responsible for funding our national parks, do they do this very well? Wasn’t there an article today or yesterday about the road washing out at the confluence of Soda Butte Creek and Lamar River yesterday or Friday? One lane of the road is gone, it’s been eroding for several years and there seems to be a lack of funds or interest or both in preventing this from happening. The park maintenance crews have had equipment and riprap out there for at least the last three years and nothing was ever done in a reasonable time for the damage to be averted. The same thing is likely to take place further up the road at Round Prairie if they don’t get off their butts and shore up the bank along the road. Congressional funding for such things is and has been a joke for a long time. They don’t care and they probably won’t until it’s far too late in the day for all things they should have paid attention to long ago, the louses.

        Many members of Congress don’t like the ESA mostly because it is a check on unfettered decimation of habitat that mining and oil industry foks hate because they can’t just take the best and leave moonscape and pollution behind in their wake.

        • avatar PointsWest says:

          I think issues of land and wildlife and the ESA goes beyond that.

          Under Roman Law, land was “res publica” meaning a public issue or a public mater. Land, even private land, belonged to all Romans in a sense. After Rome fell and after most of the empire was conquered by barbarians who subjected the population to their rule, we saw a reversal in the laws of land ownership. All land, under the barbarians, was private and belonged to whoever could control it militarily. The ruling barbarians (even though illiterate and would lead their newly acquired kingdoms ruin)were military elites from which the “nobility” developed along with the sustaining medieval culture. Nobles evolved into a privileged class secure in their privileges by heredity and owned nearly all lands in western civilization. Other than the nobility, only the Church could own land. Something like 97% percent of the population did not own land nor did they have the right to own land. The lowest rung nobility ladder were knights and, by the high middle aged, knighthood too became a hereditary privilege. This view of nobility and land ownership prevailed in western civilization until the French Revolution around the beginning of the 19th century. For the past 200 years, western civilization has been stripping the nobility (now referred to as the “upper class” or as the “rich”) of their special rights and privileges and have been restoring “res publica.” We have developed the notion of “public land” in the USA but this meaning has evolved.

          Most public lands in 1900 were lands that no one wanted…desert lands with no value and forest land that was only valuable for logging. People required the government to manage these unwanted lands only because no one else could afford to do so. These lands were to be allocated to private land if any private individual ever became interested in them. You can still make a mining claim to public and make it your own private land.

          It is actually only very recently that public lands were, by law, protected for the benefit of the general public. Some, mostly Republicans, have fought it every step of the way. They fought national parks. They fought wilderness areas, they fought wild rivers. They fought and continue to fight the ESA.

          …no, the fight we see today is a continuance of the fight to strip the nobility of their special rights and privileges that they acquired when their barbarian ancestors stormed into the Roman Empire and killed off any Roman authority that might challenge them.

          It is that simple.

          • avatar Salle says:

            Thanks for that summary, can’t argue with it one bit. This surely an extension of that movement… it’s quite evident in the practices of those teabaggers in government positions – of course primarily funded by the two brothers who seem to wholeheartedly believe it is their god-given right to suppress the masses by ant means necessary.

        • avatar PointsWest says:

          I can be a little more sympathetic to a count or lord in the middle ages and his assertions of land ownership. If he didn’t take absolute military control of land, you can bet his neighbor would. However, what happened was these military elites retained their privileges of land ownership after the towns grew again and we began to enter the modern era and develop princly states and large nations.

          You then had an upper class that performed no military service and instead relied on armature armies usually raised just months prior to war and which sometimes were obtained via a draft which forced the general populace into the war. These armature armies were fighting for “their land” but had no rights to land ownership. I believe that the main reason we saw a democratization of laws in the US in the past few decades is because so many middle and lower class Americans fought in WW2 and began demanding more rights in WW2’s wake.

          While, in the US, the privileges of the upper class were technically curtailed, we still brought with us the entire body of English common law from Europe where the privileges of the upper class had evolved for a dozen centuries. The basis of law surrounding land is still that of land belonging to the nobility. For example, if you buy a house, you will probably be buying a “fee simple estate.” The word fee derives from the word fief meaning a feudal land holding so what you are really buying is only a tenancy. However, as the modern American law evolved, the tenancy became indefinite. Our laws of land ownership are still tangled up in the special rights and privileges of the nobility even though the nobility no longer does nothing for us and only expect privilages via heridity.

          The reality today is that the general populace performs military service and “our land” should belong to the general populace in a general sense. The upper class is not going to give up their privileges without a fight, however, and will make any excuse, create any cosmic or religious rationalization, or tell any lie to keep their privileges.

      • avatar Salle says:

        Two things I noticed… 1)The author’s phone # is a DC area cade 2) The article made it to the Commondreams news and views aggregate site: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/06/27-0

        Top of the headlines.

        Wonder what the comments there will say, perhaps the editors read it differently than some of us have. I’ll look back at the web site and see later today.

  107. avatar jon says:

    Keystone Species: How Predators Create Abundance and Stability

    Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-community/keystone-species-zm0z11zrog.aspx#ixzz1QQHTm7wm

  108. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Mark,

    Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise. Gotta be tough getting it from both sides. From what I have gathered over time is pretty much what you wrote. The Lolo elk have been on a long downslide due to overharvest and then the bad Winter, and this is prior to any wolf impact.

    I think it is logical to conclude that wolves have helped supress elk recovery in Lolo, yet, e en with that small recovery hump ~five or so years ago and up to current time, there just doesn’t appear to be the wolf presence assumed by so many, particularly in Lolo. The cost of going after the wolves is Lsomprohibitive

    • avatar Harley says:

      I agree with Immer, Mark is in a really tough position. Demonized from both sides. He must really love his job to stay in it. who would want that much disapproval shoveled their way??

      • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        Immer, Harley –
        Thanks for the positive comments. Immer, you made two points that deserve clarification:
        The long downward slide of elk in the Lolo Zone had nothing to do with hunting. Hunting opportunity was reduced before the 1997-98 severe winter. The reductions in hunting was management responding to naturally declining elk production – adjusting hunting levels within the bounds of elk herd productivity.
        The estimates of wolf presence (population estimates; wolf numbers; etc.) are not “assumed”. Those estimates are scientifically derived estimates using the best available data on wolf presence in each wolf management area of the state. The Lolo Zone wolf estimates are derived that same as other portions of the state – using direct, verified observations of wolf presence in each mangagement area. The reality of wolf numbers and wolf predation effects on elk production, recuruitment and ultimately total elk numbers understandably contradicts a philophical tenet that wolves would/could not have such a significant impact to a prey species as the Lolo situation. At this time, in the continuum of the Lolo Zone wolf-elk/predator-prey population dynamic, wolf predation is limiting elk production and recruitment to the point that the Lolo Zone elk population is significantly smaller that is would be with lower cow and calf predation mortality – all other factors being equal.

  109. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Oops! Sorry but my thumbs got in the way again. Should read cost of going after wolves is also prohibitive. I know the Yukon is a different area(much) than Lolo, but they seem to be experiencing the same thing up there trying to reestablish caribou, and wolves are on e again the scapegoat.

    Regardless, it is refreshing to read your post, as we have all seen the rants by some that wolves have driven the Lolo elk down from
    20,000 to less than 2,000.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      I believe it was probably easier to extirpate wolves from Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming in 1895 than it would be today. Why? Because there were probably more people that lived in the countryside than what live there today and because access to the back country was much greater where nearly everyone owned and used horses for transportation. Wolves were extripated from these areas by relentless shooting, trapping, and poisioning and it was not easy and took decades. Further, many were involved and all rode horses and lived in the backcountry for weeks on end, if not for the entire summer. Believe it or not, many areas of Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming are much more remotes and less frequented by humans today than in 1890.

  110. avatar Salle says:

    Warming oceans cause largest movement of marine species in two million years
    Swarms of venomous jelly fish and poisonous algae are migrating into British waters due to changes in the ocean temperatures, a major new study has revealed.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/8598597/Warming-oceans-cause-largest-movement-of-marine-species-in-two-million-years.html

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      This seems like a fairly easy decision to me, at least conceptually. These Sierra bighorn sheep are much more rare than mountain lion are in California. Therefore, the cougar should be reduced if it will serve to help maintain the number of these special bighorn sheep. Nevertheless, there is a point to be made here. If the bighorn existed over a wider area, the cougar/bighorn conflict would be of little consequence. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

  111. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Mark,

    Thanks for the reply. My comment about over hunting in Lolo, was meant to convey prior to the Winter of 97/98. My only access to the web is a small hand held device, and I am a bit sloppy with it’s use.

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      Thanks Immer. To be clear, my clarification of the role/influence of hunting as a factor affecting the long term decline in Lolo Zone elk numbers includes those years prior to the 1997-98 winter.

  112. avatar Immer Treue says:

    PW,

    Your comment makes quite a bit of sense. How many 2nd or 3rd sons from England had no land to inherit, and came over here to a large cattle estate in the West? Perhaps the English title did not apply here, but the land and pretohe sure did.

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      Right…many came to the North America because they could own land here. In fact, many came here as indentured servants (slaves) to get land. They sold themselves into slavery for several years to pay for their passage across the Atlantic. After the indentured service term was up and they were freed, they made claims to land. Owning land in European culture was associated with being noble or being an aristocrat. So people, usually young people, sold themselves into slavery for several years to get land that in many cases was worthless. This is actually how slavery got its start in North America. It was only later that it became based on race and became permanent.

      This association between land ownership and nobility runs deep in our culture. Land owners get a sense that others have inferior rights and be their subjected to thier rule. It is simply built into the culture dating back to the barbarian invasions into Rome.

      They also believe they have absolute power over their land. Many believe they own the wildlife on their land even though we have passed laws making it clear that they do not. Many believe they have the right to do anything on “their land” even if causes harm to others (i.e. soil erosion).

      Remember that at one time, all land in Western Civilization was “res publica” and no one completely owned land by himself. Land ownership was incomprehensible to Native American and other aboriginal peoples around the world. How can one “own” land?

      Of course, the rallying cry for Americans when anyone wants to restrict the rights of land ownership is “communism.” They claim that any restrictions is un-American and communist. This is not true. The opposite is true. The Constitution actually stripped many privileges away from land owners simply by making us all equals. It was a departure from the status quo in our culture.

      There were great land reforms in the Soviet Union under the communists and they were terribly bloody. The landowners refused to give up their privilages and many fought to the death over them. Both sides were harsh. Tens of thousands died over land reform.

  113. avatar PointsWest says:

    This is a very interesting BBC series: Unnatural Histories. It is about what we today regard as “natural” places, places such as Serengeti National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and the Amazon are largely figments of our collective imaginations. That is, these created environments without the presence of mankind never existed because man, until recently, has always been an integral part of their ecology. Man, with hunting, with livestock, and with grass fires has always shaped the environment. What was created in Serengeti National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and the Amazon are purely an attempt to relize human constructs derived by the romantic notions of naturalists and politicians of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These very unnatural environments may be unsustainable.

    It is a three part series. Don’t miss. Usually when the BBC produces something like this on science or natural history, the world listens and responds. This may become a large issue in years to come.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011s4k0

  114. avatar timz says:

    Despite all Gamblin’s eloquent bullshit it’s open season on wolves in Idaho.
    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/06/28/1707054/deputy-kills-wolf-seen-in-north.html

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      What a hero…..somebody should sign him up for the medal of honor.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Usually I nod off during a Gamblin rhetoric flourish….. About 10 paragraphs in comes the “wolf numbers are based on sound scientific formulations” and “Human hunting did not have an impact on elk numbers.” I’m still waiting for an answer as to where the wolves are in the LOLO, and I’ve asked twice about the wheat farmer cull of pregnant elk as the new management tool to somehow boost elk populations………Silence…..

      • avatar william huard says:

        should be “rhetorical”

      • avatar Harley says:

        I guess the irony is lost here, but I find it rather ironic that you and Greg Farber finally agree on something.
        Mind you, this is merely my observation. When you and Greg can agree on something like this, makes me glad I’m not Mark Gamblin…

        • avatar Harley says:

          And I hope I didn’t offend you,that wasn’t my intention to offend you or Greg or anyone else for that matter. It was just something I noticed and something I found rather ironic.

    • avatar timz says:

      I doubt it or it would be a major headline. A loud “Boo” would scare off a young wolf.

    • avatar Woody says:

      A friend in Idaho sent a picture of that article in the Lewiston Tribune. She also sent some pictures of a wolf carcass she found along the Clearwater River at MP 60 on US Highway 12. She placed her shoe beside the skull to show its length; about 12 inches. She notified IDFG but got no response.

    • avatar william huard says:

      The wolf’s mistake was being a wolf in a predator hating ignorant state like Idaho. The politicians give the FG their orders while the Mark Gamblins spin it as “wildlife conservation”

      • avatar Harley says:

        I do not envy Mark Gamblin’s job and I certainly don’t think I could do it any better. Everyone here hates the ‘anti-wolf’ community. Everyone over there hates the ‘wolf huggers’, among other names bantered between each camp. But it sure seems like you all stand together, shoulder to shoulder when it comes to criticizing the likes of Mark Gamblin. I find that sadly amusing in some ways. Actually, it’s more sad than amusing.

    • avatar Nota says:

      Yep, I can see it now.

      “Hey Billi Joe Bob, didjall brang that dead beever in from the meet shed like I toldja?”

      “No, Paw”.

      “Well now we gotta wolf in the yard”

      “Nkay, I’ll call up the sherf to come killit”

      • avatar timz says:

        And Deputy Fife had only one bullet in his shirt pocket and managed to just wound the wolf. He had to go round up Sheriff Andy and get issued another so he could finish the job.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Look Chandie Bartell and Billi Jo beck’s neighborhood…….

  115. avatar jon says:

    Dr. Charles Kay: “Only Two Solutions to Problems With Livestock Depredation and Wolves”

    http://mainehuntingtoday.com/bbb/2011/06/28/dr-charles-kay-only-two-solutions-to-problems-with-livestock-depredation-and-wolves/

    Is anyone going to this thing?

    • avatar Woody says:

      I would if I lived in the area. I don’t agree with Dr. Kay regarding the agenda behind those sueing is to end hunting; there are hunters in most of the groups.

    • avatar timz says:

      Attending that would be about as much fun as attending a KKK rally.

  116. avatar timz says:

    I smell a dirty back-room deal and another lawsuit on the horizon.
    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/06/28/1707433/salazar-ashe-to-visit-wyo-to-talk.html

  117. avatar PointsWest says:

    The BBC broadcast the 2nd episode of Unnatural Histories…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011wd41

    …which was the episode on Yellowstone Park. It was a history of Park policy especially as it pertains to wildlife up though the reintroduction of wolves. It discussed how wilderness concepts and values developed and changed and why Americans become interested in preserving wildness in the late 19th century. It discusses several popular misconception abut American wilderness.

    These BBC natural history documentaries are usually syndicated and broadcast all over the world including in TV markets of Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. They are sometimes re-edited (dumbed down) for American audiences and broadcast on Discovery or Animal Planet. That is, they can be very influential.

  118. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    June 29— the flash-buzz wolf news today is Wyoming Governor Matt Mead with an assist from Wyoming Senator John ” Doctor No ” Barrasso are really spinning up the possibility ( and it’s just that, no more) that Wyoming and the Department of Interior USFWS will finally reach some kind of acceptable solution on Wyoming’s wretched wolf management plan that has monkeywrenched Northern Rockies wolf recovery.

    http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/govt-and-politics/article_5bdb375f-e88e-531d-9904-a5a1aa760b69.html

    MEad’s office is absolutely ebullient that some kind of plan can be agreed to when Ken Salazar and USFWS nominees Dan Ashe ( whose confirmation Barrasso is holding up on this very isse! ) visit Wyoming next mopnth . The press release said Mead hopes this meeting ” “results in something concrete that is acceptable and good for Wyoming.” The DOI press release said it somewhat differently , that DOI is looking forward to ” continuing conversations about developing a sound, science-based wolf management plan for Wyoming that ensures the continuing health of this iconic species.”

    This time around, the poush to ink a plan has some traction and a sense of finality to it.

    The only question remaining, really , is if Wyoming would be willing to drop its silly Dual Status Protection of wolves in Wyoming, where they are protected around Yellowstone and treated like skunks or coyotes everywhere else in the state , as nuisance predators to be shot on sight.

    I personally do not see DOI/USFWS agreeing to any kind of shoot on sight predator status in Wyoming, since Salazar and Ashe would have to allow that by fiat in Montana and Idaho as well.

    But given that Salazar has proven to be awful on this and many other issues, and the whole situation is being driven by politics with science bound and gagged in the trunk, I would not bet against USFWS caving in to Wyoming just to get the whole mess behind them . That would be consistent with Obama’s other disappointing concessions or inattention to conservation issues. He’s a city kid who doesn’t know anything exists between Chicago and LA except a bloc of voters in some place called Colorado, and Salazar is a rancher there , after all…

    Point is” Mead is trying to preemptively steer these pending wolf talks towards Wyoming’s stubborn stupid plan , anew.

  119. avatar Woody says:

    “New” spotted owl plan for western WA, OR, and CA. Emphasis on retaining remaining old growth (didn’t we hear that 15 years ago?) and possibly eliminate some of the competing barred owls moving into their territory.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2011/06/spotted_owl_recovery_plan_reco.html

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      Old growth logging, at least in western Washington, has decreased to the point that there aren’t even that many mills still set up to handle the larger logs. I heard about a possible sale of rights to log about 16 acres of old growth down by Woodland a while back. Some of the trees were as much as 300 years old. They were going to have to truck those logs all the way down to Cottage Grove, Oregon because that was closest mill that could process them.

      If the plan results in increased logging again in National Forests, I hope that they put an emphasis on appropriate thinning as opposed to clear-cuts. It seems like the goal in fire-prone areas would be to allow some trees to mature into old-growth while plucking out younger trees that would have historically burned out every so often.

  120. avatar PointsWest says:

    The BBC broadcast the third and final episode of Unnatural History…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011wd41

    …the third episode being about the Amazon. It too was very interesting and ground breaking. The oldest documentary knowledge we have of the Amazon basin is the journals of Francisco de Orellana. He, with 220 Spaniards and 4000 natives, floated down the Amazon in 1542. He reported dozens of cities and millions of people on the banks of the Amazon with fine pottery and a developed civilization. Decades later, however, when the Spanish Empire was settling the Amazon basin, the area was found to contain very few people and to be a vast people-less wilderness of jungle. Every since, Orellana’s reports have been written off as Orellana’s gross exaggerations promoting interest in his voyage and in himself. They were considered to be almost entirely fiction…but are they?

    We know that elsewhere in the Americas that vast native population were ravaged by diseases upon first contact with Europeans. This was never seriously considered for the Amazon basin. Most have thought the Amazon too adverse an environment to support large populations of people. It has very poor soil and once you remove the living vegetation, the nutrients are gone and nothing will grow.

    As areas of the Amazon are being cleared, however, archaeological sites are starting to turn up. There are large earth works, there are roads, and there are areas of dark rich soil from cultivation by humans. Could it be that Orellana was speaking the truth. The documentary said most anthropologists in the region today believe his reports are, at least, partially true. The Amazon only became the pristine wilderness we imagine it to be after European disease wiped out the indigenous peoples.

    I love ground breaking science.

  121. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Bear hunter association formed in Cody
    http://www.codyenterprise.com/news/sports/article_6766dc9e-a287-11e0-a425-001cc4c03286.html “We like grizzlies and we want them here,” he said. “But we would like to see them delisted and be able to hunt them.”Game and Fish officials have said if they gain jurisdiction over grizzlies, it’s likely at least some public hunting of them will be allowed. My note: As a kind of offset they offer to promote bear-proof trash cans !

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      It is a strange kind of dance this endangered species busness. Animal Rights people want to save grizzlies so they can cuddle them in thier dreams and hunters want to save them so they can blow their heads off.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        PW

        ++hunters want to save them so they can blow their heads off.++

        If a hunter blows the bear’s head off there is no rug or mount.

  122. avatar Salle says:

    Court Upholds Endangered Species Act Protection for Polar Bears
    Ruling Confirms That Global Warming Threatens Polar Bears With Extinction

    http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2011/06/30-9

    • avatar PointsWest says:

      It seems to me that cases like this are going to become very important where the courts are establishing in law that global warming is a fact and not a theory. It seems like that once global warming is a fact as a point of law, it will open the door for all kinds of new litigation.

  123. avatar jon says:

    http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20110630/NEWS/110639974/1078&ParentProfile=1062

    This is extremely stupid behavior and it might get the bears killed.

  124. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    The US Fish and Wildlife Service now has a new Director , Daniel Ashe, as confirmed by the US Senate late Thursday, but only after Wyoming’s obstinate Senator John Barrasso lifted his hold on the nomination. Barrasso DEMANDED that Ashe visit Wyoming and sit down with the Wyoming Governor and others of that ilk to discuss wolves. That meeting will apparently happen next week behind closed doors, Thursday July 7, and will also be attended by Sec. Ken Salazar.

    http://trib.com/news/opinion/blogs/capitol/article_c97218c0-a405-11e0-91e4-001cc4c03286.html

    We need a fly on the wall there…

  125. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    The first confirmed sighting of a Grizzly Bear in North Cascades Park, Washington , from a photo taken last October.

    http://www.king5.com/news/environment/Rare-grizzly-bear-photographed-in-North-Cascades–124882609.html

    • avatar Phil says:

      And, the extremist anti-wolfers are a major reason why some (including myself) are strongly against the hunts. I am ok with letting wolves play their niche and help support the health of the ecosystem.

  126. avatar cc says:

    More California Condors die from lead poisoning:

    http://www.abcbirds.org/newsandreports/releases/110602a.html

    Ted Williams weighs in on the lead problem in the May/June issue of Audubon magazine:

    http://www.audubonmagazine.org/incite/incite1105.html

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      It is a beautiful day here in Bozeman and I do not want to spend any more time inside. Ted Williams little essay is not 100% correct. I am not going to dispute the effects of lead on wildlife, but the man has exhibited little knowledge of firearms, ammunition, bullets and internal, external and terminal ballistic of today’s ammunition. I would like to believe in what he says but when one ignores some of the numbers in equation the answer will be wrong. Mr Williams knows better.

      I only shoot vintage side by side double barrel shotguns and they cannot shoot steel, period. Steel will score the barrels and split the chokes. The alternatives are shotgun shells that cost $2.50 each. Several organizations have offered to purchase non lead shotgun shells for hunters, but I wonder if there are willing to purchase 300 or 400 shells per season at $2.50.

      Federal Ammunition Company has published loading data for steel shot with a caveat that it is very dangerous and should not be attempted by reloading due to ease of creating excessive pressures. Secondly steel shot is not as effective as lead shot. Winchester has developed new steel shot that should get close to lead but the cost be over $1.00 a shell.

      Copper rifle bullets are very good but there are problems that Mr. Williams should have address in his article. A copper rifle bullet needs to be .005 inches off of the “lans” for optimize performance and accuracy. Bullets under 35 caliber can and have not expanded causing lost and wounded game, bullets over 35 caliber are excellent performers. Africa PHs are now requiring clients to use a monolithic copper bullet instead of solids for cape buffalo hunting. The specific gravity of copper is less than lead which in order to have the same grain bullet the projectile overall length has to be longer. The longer projectile has to be seated farther into the casing deceasing power capacity which decreases velocity decreasing foot pounds of energy and flight path.

      Mr Williams should do more research and write a more balance article discussing both pro and con which would further his argument.

      Does lead concern me, yes. I have had opportunities to go to Argentina several times on high volume dove shoots. Let’s say 6 hunters shooting a thousand rounds a day with a 1 oz load or 6000 oz of lead shot each day into the soil for 6 days. That is 2,250 pounds of lead into the soil, over one ton. Repeat this over 6 months and that is 30 tons of lead per lodge a year. Bad, Bad.

      In September I love to hunt Blue Grouse and during the course of the day maybe I will shoot 5 shells deep in the mountains. I do not think this is going to cause problems.

      Every article I have ever read on this subject the authors had the same limited knowledge of ammunition. Four or five years ago High Country News had an article about lead shot and I found 17 errors.

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Quote

‎"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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