The Los Angeles Times has picked up the story on the “Killer Bee” Wildlife Services plane. Well, finally the general public can see some sense of what they’d like to keep hidden out in Idaho.

Federal use of aerial sharpshooters to kill wolves draws fire,  By Kim Murphy. latimes.com.

UPDATE 12/15/2011

HOLD THE PRESSES! After some discussion with a few people and reading the article, it appears that these stickers were printed and sent to agents from the STATE OFFICE of Wildlife Services. This wasn’t just some agent who decided it would be funny to put stickers on a plane, this was sanctioned by people in Boise!

The article states:

She said the stickers were approved by local Wildlife Services management in Idaho but were removed in 2009 after officials “recognized that they would be considered offensive by some individuals.”

I sent in a FOIA request today for this information. I’ll post the results when I get them. I hear there’s a memo.

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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.

40 Responses to Story on Wildlife Service’s “Killer Bee” wolf shooting airplanes goes national. UPDATED

  1. avatar Elizabeth says:

    Kudos for breaking the story on this site… I think, anyway.

  2. avatar Savebears says:

    Well it seems the desired response has been received..

  3. avatar nabeki says:

    Way to go Ken!! The LA Times is on the case. This is the third article in less then two weeks on the wolf tragedy in the Northern Rockies.

  4. avatar Ken Cole says:

    “We apologize to anyone that may have been offended by the use of these stickers”. That’s the standard “non-apology” apology. But I’m surprised Wildlife Services was even willing to acknowledge and describe what the stickers even meant. They stayed on that plane for an additional 3 years after this photo was taken? Wow!

    Anyway, Monday was a record day for The Wildlife News primarily because so many people shared the post on Facebook. Those pictures really struck a chord with people. They also made a lot of people uncomfortable I’m sure.

    I see this as somewhat of a vindication for what we have been saying about the professionalism of Wildlife Services and their level of respect for the animals they kill. Let there be no doubt, there is a war on predators and wolves in particular here in the West and it should now be understood that it is now government sanctioned.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      “…..Let there be no doubt, there is a war on predators and wolves in particular here in the West and it should now be understood that it is now government sanctioned.”

      as fully sanctioned by the state legislature(livestovk industry) and implemented by the water carriers in the Fish and Game dept.

    • avatar Angus says:

      Notice that they apologize for their use of the stickers. They will never apologize for the wholesale slaughter of America’s wildlife—that might offend their patrons in the Livestock Industrial Complex.

  5. avatar John Glowa says:

    I first became involved in the wolf issue more than forty years ago after watching a television program titled “The Wolf Men” which showed wolves being chased and gunned down from airplanes in Alaska. That program caused an uproar. As they say, “deja vu all over again”. This disgusting practice needs to stop. Stickers are bad enough, but the running down of these animals with aircraft and then blasting them to pieces needs to be publicized. Why would something that was wrong forty years ago be right today?

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      Probably because there are just as many “disgusting” people today as there were forty years ago…

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        Notice Ron Gillet’s statement at the end of the LA Times article.

        • avatar Salle says:

          I hope this prompts the Times to do more stories on the sick culture of wildlife and wild predator hatred in the region… and what’s happening with the support of taxpayer dollars.

          If the repugs’ agenda is exposed in the right format, it will be good for wildlife in general via public condemnation… I hope.

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            I have always said that the hatred of predators is so reminiscent of racism, whether it be with wolves in Idaho or killing coywolves in Massachusetts. It would be great for a social scientist to do this research and test my theory. If founded true, it would be great for fish and game depts (throughout the country) to at least be direct and acknowledge who they are catering to with regards to predator management – and to be clear I am not talking about the average ethical hunter but rather a subset that seems to have an agenda out of hate.

            Kudos to “The Wildlife News” to expose this hatred

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            And what’s more. They give the anti-wolf hating army the same or more credence as a stakeholder. Moreover, I can’t help but think what a bunch of hypocrites they are. Most are likely highly conservative folks yet have no problem using our tax $ to kill predators to benefit a small minority of people for someone’s private gain.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Gillette’s a gifted articulator. He’s the Rick Perry of the wolf haters….or maybe the Michelle Bachmann…..

          • avatar Salle says:

            And a total whack-job. I have had the benefit-? of enduring a shouting match with this clown in 1993… He’s the personification of the idiots who hate wildlife at their own peril but fail to see it through their ideological horse blinders.

          • avatar william huard says:

            I can only imagine the horror of being his next door neighbor.

          • avatar Salle says:

            The folks I know, who live in Stanley, ID where this clown lives, think of him as a town bully and a whack-job. Many keep guns by the door in case he shows up, not to protect themselves from indigenous wild animals.

  6. avatar Salle says:

    Right on, Ken!! I was glad to see your expose yesterday and am thrilled that you were given the credits in the LA Times’ article. I also want to thank you and the Times reporter, Kim Murphy, for your work. And thanks Kim Murphy for actually investigating and asking people like Ken and Carter Niemeyer for input.

    Good work, guys.

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      Having Carter Niemeyer definitely added credibility to the story. That’s what I think is needed in this debate, more “outside agency” wildlife experts that are willing to come forward and express their views.

  7. avatar Jerry Black says:

    Thankyou Ken and everyone else involved in getting this story out.

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      Yes, thank you Ken!! Getting the story out of what is happening in Idaho is very important. Most people elsewhere, and even here, have no clue what is going on. Perhaps if enough news of this gets out, some of these riders and actions can be stopped.

  8. avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

    I,also,want to thank you Ken.

  9. Good job Ken. Is it OK to copy and use this photo on other blogs?

  10. avatar Mike says:

    Nice to see this getting play.

  11. avatar Salle says:

    I posted the LA Times article on CURRENT community. I hope it gets some traction there. I also posted it as a “tip” on an alternative news web site. And I sent a brief letter of thanks to the Times author. I see this as a great opportunity to get this story “above the fold” across the land. Thanks again, Ken.

  12. avatar rick says:

    I contacted the Idaho legislature to determine who to contact, in the legislature, regarding Idaho’s management of wolves. Here are the people I am going to write letters to. Tom Trail is chair of the House Resources and Conservation committee. Monty Pearce is chair of the Senate Resources and Environment committee. Please write them. Please be positive while explaining your concerns. We want to influence, not make angry.

    Tom Trail
    1375 Mountain View Rd
    Moscow, ID 83843

    Monty Pearce
    2001 County Ln Rd
    New Plymoth, ID 83655

  13. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    From the comments section:

    ConserveRealWest:

    “It’s a journalistic embarrassment to try and sell your personal views as news with 6 year old photos, rather than sharing all of the facts given to you by professionals with the public. For you the reader, leave your polluted city, quit talking bad about the ranchers of the west, and go visit and talk to real westerners for a while. Our water and air and land is much cleaner than yours, we want to keep it that way. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

    What’s a real westerner, anyway? I think I’ll pass on listening to his/her explanation. It looks like our anti-wolf web troll friend finished his/her statement with a quote from “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. Very touching and thought-provoking.

    • avatar Salle says:

      Yup. Imagine that.

    • avatar Alan says:

      “What’s a real westerner, anyway?”
      Someone who lives in LA, San Francisco or Seattle? Can’t get anymore “west” than that!
      I also congrat Ken. This is the kind of exposure these issues need. I would love to see The Daily Show interviewing this pilot about the “dog (no pun intended)fights” he has had with those “vicious” “red barons” running for their lives on the ground.
      The biggest part of this story is that wolves were on the ESL at the time the picture was taken. No matter how much you try and justify the removal of “problem” wolves, there is no way to justify celebrating (and that’s all these stickers are: celebrating, or bragging) the killing of an animal on the list and that American taxpayers have spent millions to recover. All too often these stories remain local. Friends and relatives I talk to around the country have no idea what is going on; with the bison too.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      +Our water and air and land is much cleaner than yours, we want to keep it that way+

      Clean, fresh water available in many parts of the west is up for debate, given the fact that Giardia (linked heavily to livestock contamination) prevents most from being able to take a refreshing drink out of any clear running stream or river. And my guess would be the jury is still out on how that will effect ground water in areas once occupied by livestock yet readily sold off to the highest bidder when its time to call it quits.

      Air pollution is really in the “eye of the beholder” in wide open spaces when it comes to gas guzzling big rigs (pickups, stocktrailers, tractors etc.) ongoing and necessary to move, accommdate or address the needs of the livestock industry.

      Oh and the land..its been sanitized for years by agencies exclusive to the livestock industy – Gophers, ground squirrels, beavers, badgers, coyotes, elk, eagles, ravens, bears, the list goes on…. and now wolves.

      What’s a real westener, anyway?

      The words pampered and ignorant of their surroundings, come to mind.

  14. avatar Wolfy says:

    “…Piper Supercub leased jointly by the federal government and Idaho Wool Growers, a nonprofit sheep producer organization.” In other words: Thrill-kill gunners brought to you by Wildlife (Dis)Services, Inc. How professional can a mercenary act when their profession is so slimy to begin with? Akin to Blackwater sniper teams Iraq with no accountability. Shut em down!

  15. avatar Ken Cole says:

    HOLD THE PRESSES! After some discussion with a few people and reading the article, it appears that these stickers were printed and sent to agents from the STATE OFFICE of Wildlife Services. This wasn’t just some agent who decided it would be funny to put stickers on a plane, this was sanctioned by people in Boise!

    She said the stickers were approved by local Wildlife Services management in Idaho but were removed in 2009 after officials “recognized that they would be considered offensive by some individuals.”

    I sent in a FOIA request today for this information. I’ll post the results when I get them. I hear there’s a memo.

  16. avatar Richie G. says:

    Look at the big picture, they just passed a 6 billion defense bill, they closed Fort Monomouh and they are building the same thing in Maryland, a waste of our money,….. our Jersey Governor just had an unnecessary bear hunt. They do not enforce sealed trash cans, and people want to live close to the woods. The wolves out west are being slaughtered by the top one percent, the Barons as Ralph puts it. At one time the introduction wolf house was up the road from seven devils canyon. The first balltle of the nez perce,.. white bird, and a hot springs is in the town riggins inn. So the girl from the introduction house showed me were the packs were growing in Idaho. All that sounded great,… but most people in the area did not want wolves.Their is something to that book that was on one of the comments.Three states out west do not like wolves, sorry the majority of the people,in these states. Washington and Oregon are more left states, these states will take a more humane approach to the size of their wolf packs. Midwest is the same way as I said before on another comment,..this is just one man’s opinion.

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

~ Edward Abbey

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