The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has issued a kill order for the alpha male and the uncollared subadult wolf from the Imnaha Pack of wolves in eastern Oregon’s Wallowa County. The Imnaha Pack is the state’s first and the only breeding pack this year and, to the best of anyone’s knowledge, consists of only four wolves, the alpha pair, a subadult, and one pup.

The pack was implicated in the killing of a calf late last week.

The Imnaha Pack has dwindled due to dispersal but also due to control actions and poaching over the last few years. The alpha female came from Idaho in 2008 and formed the pack, which numbered up to 16 wolves at the beginning of this year and has been a big attraction for a growing wolf tourism industry in the county.

This is a big setback for wolf recovery in Oregon. Apparently, it seems that Oregon feels that the so called idea of “tolerance” for wolves is more important than actually having wolves.

You can attend a rally tomorrow at 10am at the ODFW Headquarters in Salem, organized by the Animal Defense League in Portland.

State will kill two wolves linked to dead livestock
By Cassandra Profita | OPB News

– – – – – –

Good News update. Walla Walla pack, Oregon’s newest wolf pack, has at least two confirmed pups this year. From Sneakcat. What this may mean is that the loss of the Imnaha Pack may not be so bad. This is another pack now with pups and an alpha male. One could argue that the Imnaha Pack choose a less than ideal home range from the standpoint of human politics. Perhaps things will go better for the Walla Walla.    -Ralph Maughan

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About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole, Buffalo Field Campaign's Executive Director, is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He was formerly the Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

81 Responses to Oregon issues kill order for alpha male of state’s only breeding wolf pack (with an update)

  1. avatar Nota says:

    Beef sucks

  2. avatar Howl Basin says:

    Won’t be so bad? Less ideal? Walla Walla is not half as wild as the Wallowa country. The rancher where the Imnaha Pack supposedly killed the bovine hates wolves. This is not a time for wolf supporters to roll over and say oh well. Fight back. The Imnaha Pack’s alpha female came out of Idaho – she was B300. If she and her pack can’t get a pawhold in the Wallowa Mountain country, wolves will never make it around Walla Walla or anywhere else in Oregon. The stranglehold of the cattle industry upon politics in Idaho, is surfacing in Oregon. Boycott beef. Speak up.

  3. avatar Howl Basin says:

    URGENT: Please call Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber at 503-378-4582 and protest the order to kill the Imnaha Pack’s alpha male and a subadult yearling. This will leave the alpha female by herself with one pup.

    • avatar WM says:

      Howl,

      Isn’t this control action just following the OR Wolf management plan? Seems in the past, the very plan has been used to STOP (through actual or threatened legal action by wolf advocates). Now ODFW is sort of in the groove with its plan. The evidence of livestock kills has been given the utmost careful review (ODFW initially being reluctant to agree with forensic evidence 2 vets and a WSU lab that livestock had been killed by wolves) and you want some sort of amnesty for individual wolves that are living outside the agreed rules by an appeal to the Governor.

      Seems to me your wolf advocacy is severekt undermined by an emotional appeal to spare them, and quite frankly does little to promote wolf tolerance in the long run.

      • avatar WM says:

        And, by the way, when this pack first showed up and was formally acknowledged, ODFW had a video clip on their website, of the Imnaha pack running through deep snow, single file up a hillside in the timber. Very nice videography. I thought at the time, how cool, this is really neat, and was hoping they would stay out of trouble.

  4. avatar wolf moderate says:

    If they are on Public Land let them live. If they step foot onto private land allow the ranchers to kill any one of them that enters there land. Simple, problem solved. No tax dollars being wasted on government hunters, let the ranchers protect there property.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Howl Basin,

      I don’t think you are ever happy unless everything is unremittingly gloomy in your opinion.

      Wolf moderate,

      I think this is a government killing, not about a rancher getting a permit.

  5. avatar Howl Basin says:

    Ralph – What’s gloomy about speaking up for wolves, having the gumption to protest? Ken Cole who posted this story called it a big setback for Oregon wolves. Are you going to tell him that he’s never happy? Guess you are still packing the grudge.

    • Howl,

      Ken wrote the story. I posted the good news update. As far as I can determine the Imnaha Pack didn’t use the relatively safe Wallowa Mountains nearly enough, but rather the Blues. The Imnaha Pack was taken down not just by government killing, but by dispersal. Wolves are infiltrating slowly throughout the area.

      Yes people should contact the governor. He doesn’t have a constituency in this part of Oregon. As far as I can tell it is mostly an extension of rural southern Idaho.

  6. avatar catbestland says:

    Call your senators and representatives and demand a stamp on packages of beef that will tell you which beef has contributed to the destruction of public lands and wildlife and beef which has not. Or join those who have determined that beef is not worth the cost and stop eating it.

    • avatar jon says:

      This is absolutely disgusting. Oregon has what, under 20 wolves now? What is going to happen if the remaining wolves kill cattle, kill them too?

  7. avatar Maggie Schafer says:

    Have posted all over Care2! This rancher is an SOB -gets paid and wants the wolves killed anyway! WILL HE GIVE THE MONEY BACK? Bet he won’t! Speak up – here is contact info:

    URGENT ALERT: ODFW KILLING ALPHA MALE OF OREGON’S FIRST BREEDING WOLF PACK!

    Please immediately contact Governor Kitzhaber and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife NOW!

    Kill orders went out 9/23 on the alpha male and another member of the Imnaha wolf pack. The pack used to number 16, now it is down to 4 and soon to be a mere two: the alpha female and this year’s pup. The other wolves were either killed by ODFW or have dispersed from the area.

    On May 5 wolves lost federal protection under the Endangered Species Act and the state took over wolf ‘management’. By mid May, ODFW had killed two wolves of the Imnaha pack. Now they are gunning for two more, including the alpha male. Without the alpha male and the other wolf, the female and pup will perish and the Imnaha pack will be destroyed.

    Livestock owners are loudly decrying loss of cattle and demanding that wolves be killed every time any predation occurs. They are reimbursed for losses due to wolves. Decision makers need to hear from taxpayers and voters NOW who support wolves!!! If we are not vocal and heard, Oregon wolves will not make it.

    Is there any contest here? endangered species vs cattle? Especially since cattle losses are reimbursed with your tax dollars!!!

    Please contact authorities immediately and voice your opinion!

    1. Governor John Kitzhaber: representative.citizen@state.or.us, 503-378-3111

    2. Director of ODFW: roy.elicker@state.or.us, (503) 947-6044

    Thank you for your help! Please forward this alert to friends and family immediately.

    PREDATOR DEFENSE

    PO Box 5446
    Eugene, OR 97405

    541-937-4261 Office
    541-520-6003 Cell
    http://www.predatordefense.org
    Facebook: Predator Defense
    Predator Defense – a national nonprofit helping people & wildlife coexist since 1990www.predatordefense.org
    Predator Defense is a national nonprofit working to protect America’s native predators from poisons,

    View Post on Facebook · Edit Email Settings · Reply to this email to add a comment.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Wouldn’t it be nice if there was this kind of media attention every time someone lost their job on no fault of their own or died because they had no health insurance?

      But trust the media to cover some fat, loud, cattleman, who lost one of his filthy animals.

    • avatar WM says:

      From the article:

      ++ Two environmental activists have been arrested after chaining themselves to the entrance to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

      The activists used U-shaped bicycle locks to attach their necks to the agency’s doors in Salem.++

      Chained their necks? Interesting technique….or if done as described, just plain stupid.

  8. avatar william huard says:

    I’m hearing conflicting information about this rancher. There have been several reports that this rancher has done nothing in the way of non lethal control and wants wolf kills because he gets reimbursed from taxpayers, and the wolves get killed. Typical predator hating rancher….Then you have the dept saying non lethal control hasn’t worked- well which is it?

    • avatar jon says:

      I’ve seen this rancher make comments on well known anti-wolf facebook pages. His name is Todd Nash and going by his comments, he’s clear he doesn’t like wolves. A rancher who doesn’t like wolves, what a shocker, NOT! Ranchers should never be compensated if the wolves are killed. Cattle are not an endangered species in Oregon, wolves are. What is going to happen if the remaining wolves kill cattle? Is ODFW going to kill them too and then there will be basically no wolves left in OR. This bending over backwards to the anti-wildlife cattle industry has got to stop. Wildlife should always come before cattle.

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        jon,

        This is not the last of wolves in Oregon. There are in fact probably 2 or 3 packs out there, but I certainly can see why people would be angry enough to get arrested to see all this attention lavished on one loud mouth who suffered a tiny economic loss.

        What about the the Americans who have been thrown out onto the streets for no fault of their own.

  9. Good for those loud, angry protesters in Oregon! It is time for those who want to see wildlife protected from the livestock industry start making more noise.
    It is obvious, with the current wolf slaughter going on in Idaho, that whispering to each other on blogs like this one doesn’t accomplish much.

    • avatar Cobra says:

      Larry,
      I don’t think I would call it a slaughter. Very few wolves have been killed here so far and I think they’ll have a hard time killing very many, if with the trapping.

  10. avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    The wolf harvest/take/kill to date – is 30 wolves, statewide.

    http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/hunt/?getpage=121

    • avatar Nancy says:

      That averages out to about a wolf a day. Wonder what the “unofficial” count is up to?

      • avatar Harley says:

        There’s always an official count and an ‘unofficial’ count to everything, isn’t there?

        *note to self, wear glasses when typing and 3 lines won’t be so torturous….

      • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        Nancy – there is no “unofficial” count that I know of. Wolf mortality is continually updated in two reports. The link I posted above is for the wolf hunting harvest report. The monthly wolf management update report includes total confirmed wolf mortality. The latter report is also available on the IDFG web page.

        • avatar Harley says:

          Nancy
          It would be rather difficult to count anything that is poached anyway, whether it’s wolves or elk. I am assuming that’s what you mean by the ‘unofficial’ numbers.

          Speaking of counts, it’s probably been posted somewhere but I would have no idea where to access that so maybe someone can help me out. There is a count for how many wolves are being killed. Is there any count of how many elk or moose or deer are killed by wolves? I know many blame the low numbers of ungulates on wolves but is there any kind of exact count being taken?

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Harley – estimates of numbers of deer or elk killed by wolves is technically challenging and expensive. The on-going Lolo Zone research project that measures wolf predation of radio-collared cow and calf elk is an example. No requirements for wolves to report their harvest/take/kill of elk or deer. 🙂
            Research like the current and previous investigations in the Lolo and Sawtooth management zones is required to provide statistically reliable estimates.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Well good grief, someone should make those wolves report in!

            Ok, I’m just kidding here. I suppose if I had taken a few minutes to think about it, I wouldn’t have asked that question because what you said makes sense.
            Thanks Mark!

          • avatar Ken Cole says:

            I assume that the IDFG is researching the vexing question of why elk in the Lolo Zone are more vulnerable to predation. Oh, I guess that would be beyond the scope of what the IDFG wants to know even though they long blamed habitat for the declines in elk there. Now they have a convenient whipping boy in the form of wolves.

            Your turn to pass the buck to someone else by blaming the Forest Service or some other entity for not prioritizing elk hunting over every other use there.

            Here is my prediction, you can rid the Lolo Zone of most of its wolves and you will never meet your objectives for elk there. Why? Because the habitat can no longer support the number of elk you want there.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Simple math would allow one to estimate with a possible degree of certainty how many wolves are poached based on mortality signals from radio collars. How many radio collars with mortality signals, or unexplained end of signals vs known radio clloars still signalling, as a portion of the total estimated population would give at least an estimate on number of wolves poached.

            Simple equation a/b= c/d. Where
            a = collared wolves;
            b= estimated population
            c= mortality signals/unexplained signal stoppage
            d= poached wolves
            Massaged with other statistical analysis should be able to give a representative count with parameters for error.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Ken – not sure what you mean by “more vulnerable to predation”. If you mean why is elk production and recruitment held below the capacity of existing habitat to support significantly higher numbers of elk in the Lolo Zone and not other managemenet zones – remember, it isn’t just the Lolo Zone. The Sawtooth Zone is experiencing the same wolf predation bottle-neck for elk production and recruitment. The Middle Fork Zone, without the research to document wolf predation as the cause, is experiencing the same sharp decline in elk production and recruitment. Why are other portions of Idaho not experiencing the same severe limitation by wolf predation that these large geographic areas of Idaho are? Habitat productivity could be an important factor. More productive habitat might result in less severe limitations to elk production/recruitment. In any case, there’s no “buck passing”. Simply a cause and effect relationship in large portions of the state that merits management prescriptions to achieve a more healthy and responsible balance for broad resource management benefits for Idaho residents.
            If and when wolf population management objectives are achieved in the Lolo Zone the evidence is compelling that elk production and recruitment will increase. The current elk management objectives reflect the capacity of CURRENT habitat conditions – i.e. NOT the same objectives that were based on elk habitat productivity prior to the 1980’s. How well Lolo Zone elk management objectives are completely achieved will indeed be affected by wolf predation and other factors, some that we can’t control.
            Again, what we can say with certainty is that reducting wolf predation of cow and calf elk will result, right now, in a larger elk population, but still within the productive capacity of existing elk habitat.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Mark –

            If the department is so worried about elk populations, why do they let people kill them? Wouldn’t pausing the hunting season allow for the fastest path back to “ideal” populations?

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Mike,
          Thanks for bringing back this question that you have frequently asked. The answer is: because hunting any of the species managed under the North American model does not reduce the abundance of those species for benefical use, unless the management objective and management action is specifically intended to do so. I won’t assume that you literally suggest that hunting automatically reduces or diminishes wildlife populations. If so, that would indicate a profound ignorance on your part of wildlife populations dynamics and fundamental principles of wildlife management. Fundamentally, managing for hunting opportunity is based on the principle of harvestable surplus. Because hunting opportunity is a highly valued beneficial public use of wildlife resources, there is in fact a dis-incentive to over-harvest a wildlife population. In the case of wolves – the diversity of wildlife management objectives, abundant and huntable elk AND a sustained, viable wolf population, wolves are currently being managed for a smaller wolf population for more balance in wolf, elk and personal property depredation objectives.

          • avatar timz says:

            “Psychobabble, all psychobabble
            Psychobabble, all psychobabble
            I don’t care, it’s all psychobabble rap to me”
            A.P.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Mark –

            Please answer the question. Would temporarily halting the hunting season in these troubled zones (say for two years)result in the fastest path back to “ideal” elk numbers?

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Mike – I did answer the question. Again – No, stopping all hunting would have NO effect on elk production and recruitment and therefor the size of the elk population – NONE. Apparently, you do misunderstand wildlife population dynamics – fundamentally. You also misunderstand or ignore the purpose of wildlife management. That purpose is to provide benefits for the public stakeholders of our wildlife resource trust. Benefits like: hunting, wildlife veiwing (photography), simple knowledge that abundant wildlife exists and is available and accessible for many socially sanctioned purposes. Cessation of hunting not only would accomplish NOTHING to improve elk abundance for public benefits, it would ……. arbitrarily prohibit a highly valued beneficial use – for no rational or defensible purpose.

          • avatar Mike says:

            “Mike – I did answer the question. Again – No, stopping all hunting would have NO effect on elk production and recruitment and therefor the size of the elk population – NONE.”

            Mark, that’s impossible. Let’s say the Lolo Zone had 1,000 elk left, and hunters were taking 300 of those in 2011. You’re telling me that having 1,300 elk in the population would have no positive effect towards population goals comapred to 700 elk?

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Mike,
            “…Let’s say the Lolo Zone had 1,000 elk left, and hunters were taking 300 of those in 2011. You’re telling me that having 1,300 elk in the population would have no positive effect towards population goals comapred to 700 elk?”

            Where to start? This isn’t the place and certainly not enough time to mentor you on basic pop dynamics (regulation).
            But ….production/recruitment, total annual mortality; additive vs compensatory mortality; carrying capacity (K) are important concepts you need to understand in order to know what you are talking about here.
            No, there would not be 1,300 elk the following year. All things being equal, it is most likely that there would be approximately 1,000 elk the following year – if no elk were harvested/killed/taken by hunters. Consider this: in your “model”, if hunters took 300 elk per year that would have otherwise survived, from a population of 1,000 and that harvest/kill/take continued for three years – the population would be ….. 100 elk? If no harvest occured for three years – the population would be ….. 1,900 elk? Elk, and most other wildlife populations, do not function that way. Every population mangement situation is complex, influenced by a variety of factors. Human predation (harvest/kill/take) is generally managed to be compensatory – i.e. only animals that would die from other factors than hunting take. That is why, in the Lolo Zone and almost every other hunted wildlife population, hunting does not reduce the total number of animals in a population. There are exceptions where the intent is to reduce or eliminate a population or where hunting exceeds intended thresholds. Those exceptions are rare but always reversible.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Mark –

            I’ll ignore your smug condescension and get to the point (something you have a great deal of difficulty doing.)

            First, it’s clear that The Idaho Department of Fish and Game wants it both ways. Many hunters groups and state officials claim that if we stopped hunting, wildlife populations would explode, and thus we need to “manage” them (AKA kill). Yet here Mark tells us that stopping the human removal (killing) of elk will have no effect on elk production and recruitment. Of course my numbers factored in carrying capacity.

            If that is the case, why the almost vitriolic case to hunt wolves? You argue that hunting wolves will “balance” the ecosystem along with human use. Certainly the repeated removal of elk from a troubled zone will have a negative impact on populations, and the cessation of this activity will have a positive impact on population as long as the habitat is sound.

            Which is it Mark? Either hunting can limit wildlife populations, or it can’t. I’m not interested in hearing your usual purple prose ramblings of the sociological implications; I’m talking about the hard numbers.

            If removing elk from the population via hunting has no effect, why does Idaho Fish and Game adjust the take permits for various hunting zones? Idaho Fish and Game even has a nice graphic on their PDF:

            http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/docs/rules/bgElk.pdf

            In the Department’s own words:

            “Currently, elk herds meet or exceed management objectives in 21 of 29 elk management zones”

            “In the remaining eight zones, Fish and Game is working hard to improve elk survival to allow elk herds to meet objectives, including cutting back on some hunts and implementing programs to reduce predation.”

            Ok, so Fish and Game is saying in their official documentation that they are in fact cutting back hunting in certain areas in order to improve the populations. Why are you contradicting them? According to this document, reducing hunting seems to be part of a package that improves elk numbers.

            You’ll note that they classify sections of the state as “Over Objectives”, “Meeting Objectives” and “Under Objectives”.

            And here we have the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (blinders and all) telling us that the elk population in Idaho grew over two years in part because of an 8% reduction in hunting.
            See the second paragraph:

            http://www.rmef.org/Hunting/Features/Articles/

            The elk population added 2,000 animals as hunters tags fell from 92,000 to 84,000.

            …and here’s your comment, for juxtaposition purposes:

            “No, stopping all hunting would have NO effect on elk production and recruitment and therefor the size of the elk population – NONE”

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Mike, from the top:
            I apologize if my tone seemed smug and condescending. My intent was to be blunt – that you don’t know what you are talking about. And … you don’t.
            I don’t believe that anyone associated with the IDFG has said that if hunting were stopped in the Lolo Zone that elk numbers would increase, let alone explode. We’ve been discussing your misguided notion that if only hunting were stopped in the Lolo Zone that elk numbers would increase – as the state desires. Which would not happen. I explained why. To re-cap: depending on the management objective(s), hunting will not reduce a population. It may hold a population at an existing level, it may reduce a population if that is the objective and exploitation can be adequate to harvest/kill/take enough individuals from the population. Understand that for the Lolo Zone, cow elk hunting was eliminated years ago. The only elk hunting opportunity in the Lolo Zone is for bull elk. Another reason why eliminating hunting would have no effect on the size of the elk population.
            You seem to refer to statements from another area, perhaps eastern states when you say: “Many hunters groups and state officials claim that if we stopped hunting, wildlife populations would explode, and thus we need to “manage” them (AKA kill).” That can be a management challenge in some situations – whitetail deer, black bears e.g. – but again, I don’t think that’s been said for Idaho hunting or wildlife management challenges.
            The IDFG is working to reduce wolf numbers in the Lolo Zone, because doing so will allow elk numbers to increase which will then allow a measured increase in public elk hunting opportunity. Nothing contradictory there.
            The quotes from IDFG management summaries are examples of what I’m attempting to help you understand. Note that the emphasis is on adjusting hunting harvest/kill/take while implementing predator control – to achieve managment objectives. Those adjustments are the same management changes implemented in the Lolo Zone to balance hunting harvest with predation and habitat capacity. Exactly what I’ve been explaining. In those situations, as non-human predation increases or habitat productivity declines or increases, hunting harvest/kill/take opportunity is adujusted accordingly. As I explained, each management situation is different, and complex. This discussion has been about the Lolo Zone, which the RMEF or IDFG quotes are not referring to. Your suggestion that eliminating hunting in the Lolo Zone would increse elk numbers is incorrect.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ““Mike, from the top:
            I apologize if my tone seemed smug and condescending. My intent was to be blunt – that you don’t know what you are talking about. And … you don’t.””

            So you apologize by doing the exact same thing you’re apologizing for?

            ““I don’t believe that anyone associated with the IDFG has said that if hunting were stopped in the Lolo Zone that elk numbers would increase, let alone explode. We’ve been discussing your misguided notion that if only hunting were stopped in the Lolo Zone that elk numbers would increase – as the state desires. Which would not happen. I explained why.””

            Actually, your quote, the one about the cessation of hunting having no effect on elk recruitment and population came well before the Lolo Zone discussion. It was actually in response to my point that stopping hunting for a year or two might help the elk herds.

            This was my original question:

            Mark –

            Please answer the question. Would temporarily halting the hunting season in these troubled zones (say for two years) result in the fastest path back to “ideal” elk numbers?

            And this was your response:

            “No, stopping all hunting would have NO effect on elk production and recruitment and therefor the size of the elk population – NONE”

            But according to the link I provided from Fish and Game, reducing hunts in certain areas is part of an elk “booster” plan. And according to the link I provided from RMEF, a reduction in hunting the last two years has contributed to an increase in the elk population. In fact, the loss of hunter tags from 92,000 to 84,000 happened over a period of two years, and this was similar to my original question of a two year halt to allow populations a chance to rebound. The Lolo Zone is an interesting case because it’s more of a habitat issue. But we’re not just talking about the Lolo Zone here, and it was never mentioned in my orginal question.

            Fish and Game alo released a report claiming that hunters caused most elk kills in two of the problem areas:

            http://magicvalley.com/news/local/wood-river/article_64d3fe91-1afd-5794-b5a0-62129c6f11ca.html

            Also, you never explained anything. I understand how wildlife population dynamics work. What you offered was a list from the dictionary and not much else.

            “”To re-cap: depending on the management objective(s), hunting will not reduce a population. It may hold a population at an existing level, it may reduce a population if that is the objective and exploitation can be adequate to harvest/kill/take enough individuals from the population. Understand that for the Lolo Zone, cow elk hunting was eliminated years ago. The only elk hunting opportunity in the Lolo Zone is for bull elk. Another reason why eliminating hunting would have no effect on the size of the elk population.””

            Your comment about hunting (killing) having no effect on recruitment and population was made well before any mention of the Lolo Zone. Are you now amending your comments and admitting you were in error? Because now you’re saying (in the above paragraph) that hunting may reduce a population. Which is it, Mark?

            “”You seem to refer to statements from another area, perhaps eastern states when you say: “Many hunters groups and state officials claim that if we stopped hunting, wildlife populations would explode, and thus we need to “manage” them (AKA kill).” That can be a management challenge in some situations – whitetail deer, black bears e.g. – but again, I don’t think that’s been said for Idaho hunting or wildlife management challenges.””

            Sure it has. Western hunters and agencies use these reasons all the time. Are you familiar with the wolf issue? 😉 And nice play on the “Eastern” thing. The Sawtooth National Forest is my land, too, Mark. Hell, most of Idaho is. Ain’t it grand?

            “”The IDFG is working to reduce wolf numbers in the Lolo Zone, because doing so will allow elk numbers to increase which will then allow a measured increase in public elk hunting opportunity. Nothing contradictory there.””

            Sure, nothing contradictory there, but that wasn’t what we were talking about. You said that stopping hunting (killing) has no effect on elk recruitment or population in response to my original question. Fish and Game contradicts that statement in their own PDF and in their actions when adjusting permits. The RMEF contradicts that statement when posting about 2011 Idaho elk numbers in the link I provided. Are you ammending your comment so it only applies to the Lolo Zone?

            “”The quotes from IDFG management summaries are examples of what I’m attempting to help you understand. Note that the emphasis is on adjusting hunting harvest/kill/take while implementing predator control – to achieve managment objectives. Those adjustments are the same management changes implemented in the Lolo Zone to balance hunting harvest with predation and habitat capacity. Exactly what I’ve been explaining. In those situations, as non-human predation increases or habitat productivity declines or increases, hunting harvest/kill/take opportunity is adjusted accordingly. As I explained, each management situation is different, and complex. This discussion has been about the Lolo Zone, which the RMEF or IDFG quotes are not referring to. Your suggestion that eliminating hunting in the Lolo Zone would increase elk numbers is incorrect.””

            Actually, I asked you a question first off that had nothing to do with the Lolo Zone. I understand the shifting complexity of these management areas. That’s Outdoors 101. What you don’t seem to understand is that hunting can negatively affect the recruitment and population, and that stopping hunting is a good idea if you want the fastest path towards increased population levels.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Mark,

      Any information thus far on breakdown of size, gender or age.

      • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        Immer – not that I have seen yet. I will check and report back if we have the data available. It may not be compiled this early in the season.

        • avatar wolf moderate says:

          Mark,

          It is clear that IDFG isn’t going to be satisfied with the wolf kill numbers at the close of the season. The wolves will only get smarter as the season progresses, then again rifles will come into play so the kill rate might stay around the same (1/day). At this rate, hunters are on track to harvest about the same amount as in 2009. 200 isn’t even enough to maintain the status quo is it? At 200, the population will increase.

          Is there talk of bounties or anything along those lines?

          Thanks.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Wolf Moderate – yes, the rate of wolf harvest/take/kill is at best, on par with the 2009-2010 season. Dangerous to predict with certainty what will come for the remainder of this season, but we should not expect a substantial increase in the rate of harvest/take/kill.
            All appropriate means of managing wolf numbers are under consideration. Exactly what, when and where would depend on a number of factors that can’t be predicted. Our intent is that trapping and other modifications to this season (not yet in effect or assessed) will provide additional harvest/take/kill to achieve a better balanced wolf population, as provided by the state wolf management plan.

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            Wolf Moderate,
            I hope you weren’t serious with your question about bounties. So much for the NA model of wildlife mngmt. In previous posts I argue that hated predators like coyotes and wolves have many reasons why they shouldn’t be managed under the “NA model” and then mark gives vague reasons to answer your post (appropriate means). Appropriate what, for most of the residents that own the federal lands that consist of much of Idaho (ie, the American public) – or for the small consistency that IDFW represents.

            The need for fish and game departments to manage is incredible. How about this: if the numbers aren’t met by hunters then leave the wolves alone to “better balance their population”.

            To be frank Mark, I find your reasons and rationale bogus, not backed by any science, and done for political whims. Just like Ken Cole says, so much for scientifically documenting anything. Basically your reply to Wolf Moderate is to try and figure out a way to slaughter as many as you can for an unknown stated purpose – oh yeah, to better balance the population – which can mean anything to anyone. To photographers like Larry Thorngren (and many others) a better balanced population might mean packs that aren’t hunted so these users can derive their benefit of wolves, but we all know what you mean by better balanced and that is to reduce them to a minimum. If you state it outright, instead of dancing around it, it would be more up front.

          • avatar wolf moderate says:

            I’m dead serious. Wolf populations in the state of Idaho are too high IMO. Somewhere in the range of 300-600 would be enough to sustain the species and allow for genetic exchange from what I’ve read.

            Hunting is big industry in Idaho, therefore should be protected if possible. If wolves consume between 16-18 elk each a year and there are conservatively 1000 of them, then it’s easy to see that they affect elk populations. there are around 100,000 elk in the state, so wolves consume 16-18% of the elk population a year. Yeah, yeah, hunters kill more…But guess what? Hunters pay. Then you take into account that bears and cougars take much of the calves and it’s a recipe for disaster.

            I haven’t seen one elk this year. Some sign but not much. To be fair, I am hunting a new area though. Lots of bear and wolf sign…

            Wolves are great and should be able to live in Idaho, but at around 300-600 individuals. Not at 1000+. Just my opinion.

            I’ve said it before, bounties would be an economical way to keep the populations of wolves in check. There are bounties on gophers, why not wolves? I hate paying some government employee a ridiculous salary to do what citizens would do for pennies on the dollar.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Jon Way –
            To the extent that following the desires of Idahoans for management of state wildlife populations, including wolves, then yes, of course these decisions are political. Again, ALL social/public/governmental decisions are political in nature. To invoke “political” as an argument for irresponsibility to public trust values is ….. well silly… again. That some Idahoans and non-Idahoans prefer as more wolves than the Idaho wolf management plan provides for is not evidence that the plan nor IDFG or Commission wolf management ignores those wishes nor is wrong for not accomodating them. The more important questions is: do those preferences for management of wildlife and wolves in particular best represent and accomodate the needs, wishes and desire of the Idaho public? The record to date strongly suggests NO. In fact, desires for wolf viewing, presence of wolves, wolves contributing to ecological processes are in fact accomodated by the Idaho wolf management plan and this season; Just not to the degree or in the manner that you and others prefer.
            The current season is far from a “slaughter” by any rational or convential definition. It is a controlled,regulated hunt to achieve multiple objectives, including wolf population reduction and control for better elk resource benefits and reduced depredations of personal property and simply for valid public desire for wolf hunting opportunity. Those are several purposes that have indeed been stated in the wolf mangement plan, in Fish and Game Commission meetings, on the IDFG web site, by me on this blog and dozens of other venues. If you missed it Jon, I have stated this straight up again and again. Yes, absolutely, one stated objective of the Idaho wolf management plan is to reduce wolf numbers to a level this is closer to 150 wolves or 15 breeding pairs without a risk that those numbers would drop below those re-listing criteria. That will mean some level significantly above 150 wolves or 15 breeding pairs, which will be monitored, evaluated and judged on an adaptive management basis.

          • avatar JB says:

            Wolf Moderate:

            You might consider taking a look at this article: http://www.fw.msu.edu/~rileysh2/Wolf-cougar%20bounties.pdf

            In thinking about an optimum wolf to elk ratio, it is interesting to reflect on the fact that there were apparently 4,000 wolves killed for bounty in one year in Montana alone, after the functional elimination of bison.

            I think it is also relevant to point out that Idaho’s minimum wolf population estimate decreased last year, despite a rather modest take in 2009.
            ______

            I can think of no better way to invite federal intervention than to establish a bounty on wolves.

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            “That some Idahoans and non-Idahoans prefer as more wolves than the Idaho wolf management plan provides for is not evidence that the plan nor IDFG or Commission wolf management ignores those wishes nor is wrong for not accommodating them.”

            And what is that number again Mark?

            To come out here and talk abbout numbers with out providing any of your own is —well silly

          • avatar wolf moderate says:

            JB

            I’m on my phone so will read the link tonight thanks.

            I just do not understand how the goal of IDFG and the commission is to reduce the wolf population to 15 breeding pairs/150 wolves and yet we are on track to harvest roughly the same number as in 2009. How are they going to get to this 150 number? Answer-government trappers and aerial gunning that’s how.

            It drives me nuts that we are paying WS for what the citizens would do for pennies on the dollar.

          • avatar jon says:

            I would not be shocked if Idaho fish and game starts using poison to kill wolves in the near future and gassing wolf dens.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Jon –

            When you’re surrounded by crazy,sometimes it’s hard to escape. The best thing anyone can do for their sanity is to drive out of Idaho for a few days and get some culture from the cities, learn to live with people of different ethnicity, and how you can coexist and get along with things you initially may not like. It is this exposure that allows those who are fearful and insecure (anti-predator folks) to evolve on a personal level.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            JB – one caution regarding wolf population estimates during the period Idaho stepped away from wolf management activities while wolves were temporarily re-listed. Nez Perce Tribe biologists were not able to cover/count all areas of the state during that period. Consequently, the wolf population estimate for that span of time is even more conservative than the complete estimates conducted by the state. Difficult or impossible to draw a reliable conclusion on the size of the Idaho wolf population following the first hunt and consequently the population effect of that wolf harvest.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Jeff E – nope, not silly at all. I did not refer to specific numbers because, as you suggest I don’t have them. My comments are based on the public input process by the IDFG before the wolf management plan and current hunting season were approved by the Commission and general public comment to the Department and in the Idaho media before and since. I’m not aware of any compelling indication or evidence that a majority, or even a significant portion, of the Idaho public opposes the state wolf management plan or the current season. I strongly agree that the more we understand about Idaho public values and preferences the better. Do you believe there is a strong level of opposition to on-going wolf management in Idaho?

          • avatar JB says:

            Thanks for that caveat, Mark. Of course, it is also important to note that there is a largely unacknowledged amount of error associated with these estimates–Mech suggests up to 20%. If you use that estimate of error to create a confidence interval (i.e., minimum estimate X 1.20), you’ll find the confidence intervals overlap from ’07 – ’10 (’06 also overlaps with ’10). Thus, it appears Idaho’s wolf population is generally stable within the range it currently occupies.

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            “..more wolves than the Idaho wolf management plan provides for…”

            and what is the number that the Idaho plan provides for.

            If no such number exists then why make such a silly statement?

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Sorry Jeff E, I misunderstood what number you are asking for. There is no specific number. Repeating, the wolf population management objective is not a specific population size it’s adaptive within a range of population abundance. The objective is to managee wolves in Idaho to achieve a wolf population as close to 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs, without risking the population dropping below those numbers due to other factors outside of our control. That will mean a wolf population larger than 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs to guard against natural stochastic events such as a parvo outbreak, that could conceivably push the population below the states managment objective.
            I understand your point that without a specific number my statement is …. silly. More wolves than the Idaho plan calls for would/could be a number of alternative management objectives, including no wolf population reduction (clearly preferred by some) or holding the Idaho wolf population at it’s current level (clearly higher than the objective I describe here). Consequently – not silly.

  11. avatar Joan Simmerman says:

    The cattlemen need to be stopped. Get them off public lands and save our wildlife. It’s not just the wolves in the west but they are rounding up the wild mustangs, Buffalo, wild donkeys. Destroy any thing that gets in the way of a cow.

  12. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Sorry , Mark IDFG, but the Idaho method of reducing wolf numbers to some acceptable level by public hunts with a little assist from trapping and ” other modifications” is not good wildlife conservation. When your trigger happy populace goes gunning for any wolf it can put in the crosshairs, you take the risk of destroying the wolf pack social heirarchy and disrupting the wolf behavioral norm with indiscriminate removal of animals. By fragmenting the wolf packs and busting up their families, you will create more problem wolves; i.e more likely to become conflict wolves.

    That isn’t management. it’s just plain Caniscide.

    By the way , your proposed take numbers/quota are too high.

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      CodyCoyote,
      For the sake of out discussion, could you be more specific?
      “… you take the risk of destroying the wolf pack social heirarchy and disrupting the wolf behavioral norm with indiscriminate removal of animals. By fragmenting the wolf packs and busting up their families, you will create more problem wolves; i.e more likely to become conflict wolves.”
      What are you basing this on? This common speculation was discussed in the earlier thread on a George Weurthner essay. There is no empirical research that I’m aware of to document the premise that hunting wolves results in more undesireable livestock depredation or wildlife predation, due to pack fragmentation or disruption of social order. To the contrary, the very recent experience of Wisconsin and Idaho contradicts this prediction. Idaho experienced a 42% decline in livestock depredation reports (verified attacks or deaths of livestock due to wolves) following the 2009-2010 Idaho wolf hunt. Those data are only one year’s experience but certainly does not support your assertion that hunting wolves in Idaho will cause more problems.
      If the proposed take numbers, quotas are too high – how so? What would be more appropriate numbers and for what reason? – a reason other than you prefer more than less wolves.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Mark,

        This recent study by Mech et al refutes your conclusions about removing wolves and decrease of livestock depredation.

        http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1096&context=usgsnpwrc&sei-redir=1#search=%22wolf%20depredation%20Minnesota%22

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          None of our correlations supported the hypothesis that
          killing a high number of wolves reduced the following year’s
          depredations at state or local levels. This finding was similar
          to that of Fritts et al. (1992) for 1979–1986 data for all types
          of livestock depredations combined. Fritts et al. (1992) felt
          that their finding may have resulted from pooling data from
          farms with repeated depredations and new farms sustaining
          depredations. We did not find this to be true, however. Our
          analyses of localized farm clusters showed that as more
          wolves were killed one year, the depredations increased the
          following year. Examination of these localized farm clusters
          also eliminated the possibility that it was an increase in
          numbers of farms sustaining depredations that contributed
          to the findings that killing wolves did not reduce
          depredations the next year at local or state levels.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Immer,
            I didn’t and don’t suggest that the real experience of Idaho is predictive for future years in Idaho or other states. Just the same, that experience is what it is. Reported wolf depredations of livestock, during and following the 2009-2010 Idaho wolf hunt declined by 42%. The Mech citation is useful, within it’s constraints, but of course doesn’t explain the Idaho experience nor does it support the key assertion – that hunting will increase wolf depredations of livestock.

          • avatar JB says:

            Mark:

            I think it is good to be skeptical about data coming out of other areas, especially given the differences in typography and livestock practices. However, as I mentioned before, to suggest a causal relationship exists between the 2010 reduction in depredation and the ’09/’10 hunt is to tread on very thin ice. You have one year of data, and the hunt happened to coincide with the two consecutive years of heavy wolf control (145 in ’09, 141 in ’10), each of which were more than double any other year save ’08. So was the reduction due to harvest, or lethal control, or a combination of both? Moreover, it is instructive to recall that Wyoming did not have a hunt that year and so could be used as a “control” to your experiment. Notably, Wyoming saw a 67% reduction in livestock depredation from ’09 to ’10 despite the lack of a hunting season and an average year of targeted control.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Mark,

            “There is no empirical research that I’m aware of to document the premise that hunting wolves results in more undesireable livestock depredation or wildlife predation, due to pack fragmentation or disruption of social order. To the contrary, the very recent experience of Wisconsin and Idaho contradicts this prediction.”

            Wisconsin?

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Immer,
            The Wisconsin reference is to a post by ma’iingan in the earlier Weurthner thread that covered this topic – no evidence of exacerbated wolf depredations after repeated wolf removals.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          JB,
          I agree and tried to make that clear in my earlier comments. My point is that this one year of experience in Idaho does not support the conjecture that wolf hunting/wolf culling increases wolf depredation problems – by fragmenting packs and disrupting pack hierarchy.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        +The monthly wolf management update report includes total confirmed wolf mortality. The latter report is also available on the IDFG web page+

        Mark – Are all of those one thousand wolves (best guesstimate depending on who you want to believe) wandering around Idaho, collared and accounted for on the IDFG web page?

        When the “smoke a pack a day” crowd takes their “legal” kill, who’s gonna be keeping track of the gut shot leftovers that happened to be hanging around while the “legal” was harvested?

        A bit dated, but how close is this when it comes to predators and the attitudes in the state of Idaho?
        http://mountaingoatreport.typepad.com/the_mountaingoat_report/2007/01/i_wasnt_going_t.html

        +Does Idaho want to allow these uncontrolled predator derbies to continue? What will be the effects on other pest populations and ultimately on the ecosystem if we do? Maybe these are questions we should be asking the Idaho Legislature+

        +BECAUSE Throughout Idaho coyotes are mostly considered a nuisance animal. They are ***NOT*** managed by the Department of Fish and Game but come under the purview of the Idaho Legislature which classifies coyotes as predatory wildlife and gives counties the authority to manage them as pests+

        Coyotes are (and have been) responsible for far more (ten times atleast from what I’ve read) livestock depredations than wolves, yet killing coyotes has done nothing to contain their desire (or their increased population rate due to killing them) when it comes to grabbing and making a quick meal out of a lamb or calf LEFT unattended.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Nancy,
          The wolf population estimate is a minimum estimate because although that estimate is the number of witnessed, verified, confirmed wolves by observers, it is understood to be only a partial count. A total, verified count is not feasible due to logistical limitations, cost, etc. This protocol for wolf population estimation was developed by Idaho, USFWS and Nez Perce biologists. Collared wolves help wolf biologists locate those packs with collared wolves for monitoring purposes, but not all packs have collared wolves. So, like Montana – Idaho’s wolf population estimate is an UNDER-estimate of the total number of wolves in the state. The minimum estimate is however, very reliable in that we know with certainty that there are no fewer than that number of wolves in the state.
          Yes, predator derbies continue and are likely to for some time. There is no reason to expect that predator derbies will be banned.
          There will be poaching of wolves that we will not be able to account for – as for deer, elk and numerous other species. Ultimately, all wildlife is under the purview of the legislature.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            +Coyotes are (and have been) responsible for far more (ten times atleast from what I’ve read) livestock depredations than wolves, yet killing coyotes has done nothing to contain their desire (or their increased population rate due to killing them) when it comes to grabbing and making a quick meal out of a lamb or calf LEFT unattended”

            Really want to hear your thoughs Mark on that subject since its been ongoing problem for many years, much longer than the appearence of wolves on the landscape back in the 90’s.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Nancy-

          Any state that either condones or allows predator derbies and (even worse is sponsored by a hunting organization)tells you everything you need to know about how a state views wildlife. Who are these enlightened individuals that make the determination that certain wildlife are “pests”…..

          • avatar Paul says:

            William, they are not pests, they are competition for the “sportsmen” and that is why there are no limits to the number that can be killed, just like wolves. Oh, and they will eat your children, pets, and grandmother too so we need these “conservationists” to save us from them. This is nothing more than killing for the sake of killing no matter what the apologists will say.

          • avatar william huard says:

            These people are clearly from another planet.

          • avatar Mike says:

            William –

            You’ll often find that the folks who condone these things spend a lot of time focused on the “afterlife”, and therefore have little respect towards things on this planet.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Mark,

        My posting had nothing to do with exacerbated depredation, only that Mech’s study showed no correlation between wolf removal and decreased depredation.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Immer,
          Understood. My post was not to suggest that hunting will always reduce or control wolf depredations. It was … to provide contemporary observations from two state states that wolf hunting or wolf culling did not cause increased depredation problems. Also, to emphasize, again, that there is no empirical research that documents hunting or culling of wolves as a cause of increased wolf depredations of livestock or wildlife. Are we in agreement?

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Sorry for below, but reply was supposed to go here.

            Mark,

            From the same Mech paper as sited above.

            +++Our analyses of localized farm clusters showed that as more
            wolves were killed one year, the depredations increased the
            following year.+++

            And

            +++All 24 correlations we tested between number of wolves
            killed and next year’s depredations for all periods and areas,
            for individual livestock, and all livestock combined showed
            either more depredations the next year or were non-
            significant (P . 0.10). The only marginally significant
            negative relationship was for all livestock across the entire
            state for 1989–1998+++

            These comments from Mech’s paper would seem to state otherwise. OK. It is one study, and work such as this would have to be supported elsewhere to give it more credence. There is nothing in the study that would indicate disruption of pack structure leading to more depredation.

            The point I am trying to make is that more work needs be done interms of both livestock depredation and impact on ungulate herds. I am not anti wolf management, but as we have discussed before, I submit Idaho’s plan is over the top.

  13. avatar SAP says:

    ‘Tim Hitchins, who is a member of the Portland Animal Defense League . . . isn’t convinced. “It’s proven in other states that there are non-lethal alternatives to killing these animals,” He said. As ODFW searches for the wolves Hitchins expects more demonstrations.’

    Ok. I don’t think anyone has come up with some sure-fire way to stop wolves from killing livestock.

    Before you inundate this thread with links, I will say I have seen everything that’s out there, including the recent NRDC blog posts and the PBS special. Those two pieces in particular highlight the benefits of Management Intensive Grazing practices, which typically keep cattle bunched up, moved frequently, and checked very regularly.

    What’s more: it’s worth pointing out that “early adopters” of such practices should expect the greatest benefit in wolf conflict reduction. Why? Because they’re the only ranchers in the neighborhood doing it. Everyone else’s cattle are far more vulnerable, and thus easy pickings comparatively. That is certainly not to discount its long-term effectiveness, and I think it’s the direction anyone serious about ranching near wolves should be headed. It’s a serious risk reducer, but it will not be 100% effective over time.

    Furthermore, even if a rancher DID want to mimic these practices, they can’t be implemented overnight. Not everyone savvies electric fence, and not everyone has the manpower to devote to frequently moving cattle and electric fence (chained to a tractor making hay, that’s another topic but see “Kicking the Hay Habit” by Jim Gerrish) It requires a fairly extensive overhaul to operating practices.

    Anyway. My main point is this: this is not a technical problem of simply putting the right non-lethal practices in place. This is a huge challenge, a clash of world-views and a fight for dominance. It doesn’t have to be that way, but that’s where we are.

    I wrote a couple paragraphs above about “the direction anyone serious about ranching near wolves should be headed.”

    The challenge is that a lot of ranchers, including many of those in Wallowa County, OR, simply don’t accept that they are now “ranching near wolves.” Yes, they get the reality that there are wolves near them, but they do not accept this as a legitimate thing. Hence the elaborate web of demonizations — parasites, Canadian, illegally-(re)introduced, and so on. They reject the premise that they are now in wolf country and need to adjust practices accordingly.

    This may be on a subconscious level in some cases. I think the incentives built into current policy help shape such thinking — that is, they’ll get compensation AND dead wolves in perpetuity, without changing practices at all.

    Those of us in the conservation business can make little goodwill gestures here and there — fladry, range riders, whatever. But until there is a strong incentive to adapt, these are just tiny marginal feelgood exercises that have little bearing on wolf conservation outcomes.

    What to do? I don’t know. Compensation without adaptation is, to not mince words, stupid policy. It’s a black hole for money to keep paying death loss without ever saying, “hey, you’re going to have wolves on your place. Do something different or we stop paying for your dead critters. We’ll even help, but you have to make some changes too.”

    • avatar WM says:

      SAP,

      You make excellent points. One I would add with more emphasis is the quantification of increased additional cost to the rancher of ANY ADDITIONAL equipment (electric fencing, dogs/training, etc.) or labor (range riders, keeping livestock concentrated, peramanant or temporary night time fencing). Maybe a few demonstration projects (at public expense) to identify how much this adds to the price of beef/sheep for the individual rancher of small, moderate and large size and whether it indeed works (say a 3 year trial). Maybe even something scientific with the “fear of predation” factor from a new risk that might result in cattle not getting as fat as they might without the new risk present.

      If folks like this Tim Hitchins from Portland Animal Defense League are going to make these statements they need to push for that sort of thing. But I guess its better to just stick your neck in one of those big bicycle locks.

      ADL is, by the way, an animal rights group that “unapologetically supports” activities of groups like Animal Liberation Front and Earth Libaration Front, which have done illegal things like blow up buildings and vandalism to advance their cause. These guys should be watched very carefully.

      http://pdxanimaldefenseleague.org/about

  14. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Mark,

    From the same Mech paper as sited above.

    +++Our analyses of localized farm clusters showed that as more
    wolves were killed one year, the depredations increased the
    following year.+++

    And

    +++All 24 correlations we tested between number of wolves
    killed and next year’s depredations for all periods and areas,
    for individual livestock, and all livestock combined showed
    either more depredations the next year or were non-
    significant (P . 0.10). The only marginally significant
    negative relationship was for all livestock across the entire
    state for 1989–1998+++

    These comments from Mech’s paper would seem to state otherwise. OK. It is one study, and work such as this would have to be supported elsewhere to give it more credence. There is nothing in the study that would indicate disruption of pack structure leading to more depredation.

    The point I am trying to make is that more work needs be done interms of both livestock depredation and impact on ungulate herds. I am not anti wolf management, but as we have discussed before, I submit Idaho’s plan is over the top.

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

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