Massive success brings Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin wolf population far above Idaho, Montana and Wyoming-

It certainly is time to delist the wolves of the Great Lakes.  Their populations are secure. They have a huge prey base, and as we have seen from the Idaho and Montana hunting seasons, even abusive hunts do not wipe out a well established wolf population.

Once again the Obama Administration is proposing to delist this wolf population segment. America owes a great debt to Minnesota, because wolves retained a toehold there back in the day when wolves were extinct throughout the United States (except Alaska).  Many people worked hard to rebuild the wolf population and the wolves themselves have shown what fine wolf habitat the Great Lakes states (not including lower Michigan) area.

Much of the difficulty in delisting the Great Lakes wolves has been tied to the many other states in eastern United States. Obama and the previous administration want to delist the wolf there too, although few to no wolves exist there. The good will compared to Idaho, Montana and Wyoming that wolves have found in the Great Lakes is not endless and wolf supporters need to devise other methods than the ESA to restore wolves to suitable habitat in the Eastern States.

It is now well established that many of the coyotes in New England and other places east of the Mississippi are in fact mixtures of wolves and coyotes (coywolves), a developing new species that is almost perfectly adapted to countryside and even the towns of the area.  I find this very exciting.

The environment has changed and restoring the wolf, either canis lupis or canis lycon, will prove very difficult in the face of this genetic and environmental change. Using the ESA to restore wolves in almost all of this area seems futile and costly.  The coywolf works, and public opinion doesn’t matter. I’d say lets go that way.

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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.

87 Responses to Administration proposes delisting Great Lakes wolves

  1. avatar Beckie Elgin says:

    What are your thoughts as to how the Great Lakes states will do in managing their wolves without Federal protection? Better than Idaho and Montana? Let’s hope so.

  2. avatar jon says:

    in Wisconsin, they say that trapping and hunting of wolves is several years away. Can anyone verify if this is what Wisconsin is planning on doing?

    • avatar Paul says:

      Jon, remember this is a state that actively encourages the hounding and baiting of bears as “recreation.” I am sure that some anti-wolf factions with significant political sway, such as the WI Bear Hunters Association (I get sick just mentioning that group), are chomping at the bit to have open season on wolves. Remember this is a group that put out a TV ad a couple of years ago proclaiming that “Little Red Riding Hood was right” and showed wolves stalking a playground of children. This group seem to get whatever they want from the state. If they again get their way I would bet that a killing season will occur far sooner than the state is currently saying.

      • avatar jon says:

        Paul, are there any pro wolf organizations that you know of in WI that fight for wolves?

        • avatar Paul says:

          There are, but they are drowned out by the anti’s who have the DNR wrapped around their finger. I really fear for the wolves in this state because of this. I really hope that I am proven wrong, but I see how they allow bears to be “managed” in this state so I foresee little mercy for wolves. They have already said that they only want 350 wolves in the state. That means at least a 50% reduction from current estimates. Just look at the groups that are salivating over the delisting:

          “The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation has been on the front lines working to ensure that wolves in the Western Great Lakes region were removed from the ESA and rightfully returned to state management.

          In May of 2010, the USSAF and its partners petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to delist wolves in the Western Great Lakes region. After the Service failed to respond to the request as required by law, USSAF notified the Service that if it did not act on the wolf petition USSAF and our partners would file a lawsuit. Subsequently, the Service started the delisting process which led to today’s announcement of its intent to delist gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes region. Joining the USSAF in these efforts are the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Dairyland Committee of Safari Club International Chapters of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Hunters Rights Coalition, Whitetails of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Firearms Owners, Rangers, Clubs, and Educators, Inc.”

          What gets me is that when pro-wolf groups file lawsuits they are demonized, but when hunting groups threaten it they are praised. Considering the groups involved in this, I would believe that an Idaho style killing fest is on the horizon in WI. What is really disturbing is that the article referred to these groups as “conservationists.” SCI and the WI Bear Hunters Association are “conservationists?” Bull$hit!!!

          http://www.wellsvilledaily.com/outdoors/x885899352/Wolf-delisting-decision-a-big-win-for-conservationists

  3. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Good news; probably the delisting could have been safely done a few years back. I feel that the WGL states are handling wolf management in a much more reasonable manner than the NRM states.

  4. avatar Paul says:

    My biggest fear with this is that Wisconsin will give in to the “there eating all of the deer” crap that the deer hunters here are always whining about. After seeing how the WI DNR mishandled the whole CWD issue, I have little faith that the wolves will be in any better situation. If there is any chance that one of the Great Lakes states will emulate Idaho, I see it being Wisconsin regardless of what their “plan” says. I hope that I am wrong, but the manner in which this state grovels at the feet of groups like the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and the hunter/trapper dominated “Conservation Congress” wolf killing with a vengeance will commence sooner rather than later. Again, I really hope that I am wrong.

    • avatar jon says:

      Paul, you know and others do as well that hunters in WI have been complaining that the wolves are eating all of the deer. Since you are from WI, tell everyone how many deer are in WI. I hope the WI dnr will set the facts straight on these ridiculous claims being made by hunters that wolves are wiping out the deer.

    • avatar Paul says:

      I do have to say that the vast majority of hunters that I personally know in WI have no problems with wolves, cougars, bears, etc. Of course that is only a couple of dozen or so. It is the extreme elements like the groups that I mentioned above that concern me. In fact I was talking to a couple of deer hunting co-workers yesterday and they shocked me by saying that the persecution of predators in this country needs to stop. This surprised me and I gained a whole new level of respect for them. I just hope that this mindset isn’t overshadowed by the extremist elements that have significant sway in this state.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Paul,

      I was of the impression that the CWD deer had remained confined to SW part of the state. Am I right?

  5. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    The big danger is that Wisconsin and Michigan have two awful governors.

    Who knows what Scott Walker will do? Although my donation is not based on wildlife per se, I donate about 25 dollars a month to the effort to recall him from office. I know it can’t match the Koch Brothers, but there are so many people working hard to upend his policies it makes me feel good to send some money.

    I went to graduate school in Wisconsin. It was such a green, enlightened place that it breaks my heart to see someone like that get installed in office by outside forces.

  6. avatar Paul says:

    In reading the Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan I came across this:

    “Ecotourism has developed in recent years as a means for obtaining financial benefits from natural ecosystems and wild animals, while also encouraging protection of wildlands (Hunter 1996). Ecotourism at times can be a double-edged sword; it may encourage protection and conservation of biological diversity, but at times could cause disturbance of wild animals and disruption of their habitats. Guidelines and occasional regulations may be necessary to prevent or minimize negative affects of ecotourism.”

    Of course nowhere in the “plan” did I see anything about hunting disrupting habitats. I also did not see anything about how bear hounders have free reign to run their dogs through a significant portion of the year in wolf habit and how that causes a disruption. I love how the WI DNR had to single out ecotourism as being potentially harmful, but mentions nothing about hunting, trapping, or hounding. Can someone explain why ecotourism had to be singled out while other more harmful activities that could impact their habitat are ignored?

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      “Can someone explain why ecotourism had to be singled out while other more harmful activities that could impact their habitat are ignored?”

      Because you quoted this section completely out of context. It goes on to explain several scenarios in which wolves might contribute to growth in ecotourism, and then covers a few scenarios where wolves might be negatively impacted by ecotourism.

      This section of the plan is only about ecotourism and wolves, not about other activities impacting them in one way or another.

      You’re either not understanding this section of the management plan, or you’re purposely trying to spin it to fit your agenda.

      • avatar Paul says:

        I am not trying to spin anything. I just have concerns about “eco-tourism” being singled out as a potential threat while I saw no mention in the report about the threat of other outdoor activities such as hounding, hunting, and trapping. Maybe I missed it, but where in the plan are other outdoor activities singled out? Of all activities that should have their own section, I would think that eco-tourism would have the least negative impact. There was nothing taken out of context, as I quoted the first paragraph word for word. The “negative impacts” are mentioned again in the third paragraph. Again I ask why aren’t other outdoor activities singled out in this plan in the way that eco-tourism is? Here is the rest of that section:

        “Wolves can at times contribute to ecotourism. In Ely, Minnesota, tourist visits to the International Wolf Center provide a $3 million annual impact to the local economy (Mech 1996). Ecotourism dealing with wolves is not likely to be as profitable in Wisconsin, but there are means that ecotourism involving wolves could impact local economies. Howling sessions could potentially be conducted by tour guides across portions of northern Wisconsin. Tours of wolf territories to search for wolf sign could be done during winter months. Snowmobiling and ATV tours of wolf territories have been suggested for the Minocqua area. Volunteer or paid naturalist at resorts could include wolf programs and tours of wolf territories. Naturalist programs by WDNR, Forest Service or National Park Service could attract tourist use of surrounding areas by providing wolf programs. Persons attending wolf workshops at Drummond and Tomahawk, make use of restaurants, taverns, gas stations and convenient stores in the local areas.

        Ecotourism could also potentially have negative impacts on wolves in Wisconsin. Excessive howling sessions could cause abandonment of preferred rendezvous sites, and perhaps displace wolves to less suitable areas Disturbance of den areas may cause premature abandonment of den sites, and may expose pups to mortality; wolf pup mortality is already fairly high in Wisconsin.

        The Timber Wolf Alliance and Timber Wolf Information have developed guidelines for minimizing impact from howl surveys on wolves. These guidelines include: avoid howling during the denning period in April-June, limit howls in specific territories to once per week or less, avoid repeated howlings at individual wolf packs, and refrain from visiting rendezvous sites. Similar guidelines would be recommended to others planning to conduct wolf howls in Wisconsin.

        Encouragement will be made to groups conducting wolf tours or howl sessions to minimize impact on wolves, avoid certain portions of wolf territories, and refrain from excessive visits to wolf areas. It would also be recommended to any groups conducting such tours that these be conducted by individuals knowledgeable in wolf ecology and behavior. It may be necessary in the future to regulate wolf tours done for profit, in a fashion similar to existing guide permits.”

        They are worried about “eco-tourists” and “howling sessions” impacting wolves, but allow bear hounders to run rampant through a good portion of the year? Shouldn’t that get a mention in the plan? And you damn right I have my agenda, just like you have yours. My agenda is to make sure that ALL citizens of this state have their say not just the hunter/trapper community. That is why I am pissed that eco-tourists were singled out in this report while no mention is made about more harmful activities that the state encourages.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “That is why I am pissed that eco-tourists were singled out in this report while no mention is made about more harmful activities that the state encourages.”

          You’re still interpreting this section of the WI Wolf Management Plan completely out of context. I submit this with conviction – I was one of the contributors to the document, and I’ll be a contributor to the next revision.

          If you look at the context in which it exists, the “Ecotourism” section of the plan is merely a summary of go-forward considerations once wolves are under state management – just like accompanying sections such as “Wolf Education Programs”, “Volunteer Programs”, “Law Enforcement”, and others.

          I don’t know how you would find it appropriate to discuss hunting or trapping in this context. Certainly, there are many human activities that can impact wolves negatively – for instance traffic alone is responsible for around 20% of the annual mortality. Those mortality factors are discussed later in the Plan, in the appropriate context.

          But I’m curious about your comment on bear hounds – I don’t know of any wolf mortality caused by bear hounds. In fact, it’s quite the opposite – wolves kill and eat trespassing hounds.

          http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/publications/wolfplan/toc.htm

          • avatar Paul says:

            It is obvious what I think of the whole “hounding” activity. I think that it is cruel and unnecessary. That being said the reason that I brought it up is because of the concerns raised about how eco-tourism may cause disturbances to wolves and their habitat, while nothing is mentioned about how a pack of dogs running through the woods will disturb them. With the new rules in place that allow “hounders” to run their dogs outside of hunting seasons I cannot imagine how this would not cause a major disruption to wolves and other species in their habitat. In fact in a normal world I would think that this would be a form of wildlife harassment. It is not the mortality issue that I am speaking of, but the stress and needless aggravation that running these hounds in wolf habitat would cause. I also think that it is cruel to the dogs to put them at constant risk for the amusement of people. But that subject is for another day.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Paul-

            It’s quite simple. Wisconsin is just another example of special interest groups like the hounders- taking priority over the welfare of the ecosystem and all the other animals in that ecosystem. So the hounders can have their thrill. It’s just another reason why “management and the structure of Fish and Game depts needs to be overhauled

          • avatar Paul says:

            William,

            The one thing that I hope comes out of this is an elimination of hounders getting those nice fat checks when one of their dogs are killed. If Wisconsin is going to allow wolves to be hunted there is no reason that hounders who lose dogs to them should be reimbursed. In fact here is no reason that they should have ever been reimbursed even before delisting. They put their dogs into that situation, and then expected to get paid when their dogs got killed? Most people in this state did not even know that when they purchased an “Endangered Resources” license plate (with a picture of a wolf on it) that a good chunk of the money was going to bear hounders for killed dogs. This is one of the reasons why I am skeptical about how Wisconsin will really deal with wolves now that they have been delisted. The revolting WI Bearhunters Association and local chapters of those great “conservationists” SCI are just giddy at the prospects of killing wolves. I really hope that a sane plan is put into place that does not give into the desires of these disgusting groups who just want to kill, kill, and kill.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Paul-

            There is hope. Remember Jayne last week described some of their ideas in Oregon to make “wildlife management” more progressive. Wisconsin was a progressive state before Walker came in and blew it up. One thing is obvious- our current system benefits a few special interests at the expense of everyone else.
            Some people act surprised when we voice our displeasure over the hounders that wreak havoc in the woods…….Gee- we are just trying in advance our anti-hunting agenda…. which is BS

          • avatar Paul says:

            William,

            While Wisconsin has always been politically progressive until Herr Walker took over, it has not been that way in terms of wildlife. Hunting and trapping interests have long dominated the DNR in this state. The DNR does provide some programs for non-hunting interests, but it is obvious where their real focus lies. Of course that is who pays their salary so I doubt that they really care too much what us “tree huggers” think nor will they until their funding sources change. I have no problem paying my fair share as long as I have equal say concerning wildlife issues. That is certainly not the case now regardless of how the DNR spins it. The groups I mentioned in other posts have them wrapped around their finger and they know it.

  7. avatar Jon Way says:

    Ralph,
    I agree with your sentiments that Great Lakes states should take wolves off the ESA. Mgmt plans are much more reasonable there than out west.

    As per New England, yes this coywolf does very well here and is likely to be the dominant canid even if wolves ever came back (likely to northern NE)… However, I would like to see a more respectful season on them as most states virtually allow them to be slaughtered with no limits – in fact, here in Mass. many people that live in rural areas have bait piles out there backyards and shoot any that comes by. Some form of hunting, promoted by our fish and game depts. Having bag limits and promoting this animal to fulfill its ecological role by living in packs are a couple of steps that could allow them to claim their rightful role as dominant predator. This would also give any potential colonizing wolves a change to survive and live in New England – which is entirely possible and is happening. However, too bad Maine is about as redneck as Idaho when it comes to managing their “coyotes” which are really coyote-wolf hybrids – this is where I believe federal intervention needs to take place. Something like this: we will take wolves off the ESA in the Northeast but respective states have to do X, Y and Z – and having the seasons currently in place for coywolves is not the way to go by any means.

    • avatar aves says:

      Aren’t any gray wolves moving in from Canada likely to be coywolves themselves or to breed with coywolves once they arrive?

      If the ESA were used to restore wolves to the northeast, the coywolves might be a genetic and legal problem. Ecologically it wouldn’t be a problem, other than the size of offspring preventing them from preying on moose. Maybe over time as more grays came over the border and bred with the natives, the size of coywolves would increase enough for them to take on moose. But the ESA does not protect hybrids and I don’t see the USFWS letting the genetics slide as they may have with the Florida panther (part Texas cougar now) and red wolf (mostly red wolf, but its genes are often called into question). Given the current political climate and the scarce ESA funding, the gray wolf is probably too high profile and polemic for such considerations.

      So that would require taking steps to preserve the genetic integrity of the gray wolves re-occupying the northeast by preventing further hybridization through sterilization of coywolves, lethal removal of coywolves, etc. These efforts have worked wonders for the red wolf program in North Carolina, but it took a lot of time and there isn’t much of an endgame. We can’t keep such intensive management going forever, at some point we’d have to let go and hope a solid enough population of northeastern gray wolves takes hold and accept that coywolves would continue to be an issue outside that core population.

      I’m not sure we can truly preserve both coywolves and gray wolves in the northeast without intensive management. Such management would be costly, long-term, and likely raise animal welfare concerns for some folks. And hybridization might be fine ecologically, but the ESA seems ill-equipped to accommodate that.

      • avatar Dave Messineo says:

        Coywolve is sort of a misnomer….they are coyotes with only a small amount of wolf genes…usually exhiting stronger larger jaws and larger size. The interbreeding between perhaps half a dozen female coyotes and male wolves took place only during short period in the Great Lakes area. They are not still interbreeding and it is not likely that grey wolves coming into the Northeast from Canada or the Great Lakes would interbreed. We call them eastern coyotes and as coyotes they still cannot fill the niche of a predator for adult whitetailed deer…although they do take fawns and consume road killed or injured deer.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Dave Messineo,

          As I understand it, the “the coywolves” we usually refer to here are those of New England, not the Great Lakes. They are generally a mixture of Canis latrans (coyote) and Canis lycaon (not lupus). Often called hybrids, they are fertile and not true hybrids. They are mixtures.

          From what I know, their genetic variability is considerable, but some have a lot of Canis lycaon genetics in them. Canis lycaon, formerly regarded as a sub-species of Canis lupus, is now most frequently regarded as a separate species of wolf that lives mostly in Ontario and Quebec. Its common name is Eastern Canadian Wolf or sometimes Eastern Canadian Red Wolf.

          The genetic structure of coyotes and coywolves in the Eastern United States is very complicated and in rapid evolution. Some biologists call the situation “canid soup”.

          John Way is our resident expert on The Wildlife News when it comes to this matter. I hope he chooses to comment. See his web page http://www.easterncoyoteresearch.com/

          My unexpert opinion is that in areas with the larger coywoles they are easily large enough to kill adult white-tailed deer if they form into a least a small pack.

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            Thanks Ralph, I’m just logging on…

            To Dave M.: the genetics is complicated on eastern coyotes and I personally prefer the term coywolf b.c I accept the red/eastern wolf as a unique species. That is the prevailing view among most biologists aside from the authors of the vonHoldt paper who do not accept that point of view and think even red wolves are hybrids. Therefore, if the red/eastern wolf is accepted as a North American evolved coyote-like wolf then this eastern coyote is going to have a lot more wolf in it than vonHoldt gives credit to. I still prefer the term coywolf, and am working on a 2nd scientific paper to further the use of this term. This animal is nothing like a western coyote. However, I am referring to just the Northeast. The great lakes coyotes are very much like coyotes (western) and not eastern coyotes/coywolves.

            That being said, there is still some debate about its ecological role. I like to think of it as intermediate between an apex predator and a meso-predator. It can prey on deer but not to the extent of full bodied wolves – however coywolves live at higher densities than any other type of wolf and thus more of them (higher densities) might have more of an effect on deer than people think.

            However, yes they are certainly not capable predators of larger ungulates like moose, but eastern wolves in Algonquin really aren’t either. To answer Aves question, gray wolves and gray/eastern wolf hybrids do not seem to hybridize with these coywolves in Ontario and likely won’t if they make it to the northeast. But it is important that the wolves have a lot of lupus in them and not lycaon (eastern wolf) or they will likely just hybridize even more so (and might be doing so from Algonquin Park).

  8. avatar John Glowa says:

    Ralph:
    I respectfully disagree (strongly) with your comments regarding wolf recovery in the northeast. The ESA remains the only real chance that wolves will have to recover here. Sure, coywolves are here-but they’re also in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan where wolf populations have naturally rebounded-BECAUSE OF THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT. The position of the Maine Wolf Coalition is the same today as it was when I founded it in 1994. Simply give wolves in Canada and the northeast adequate protection and they will naturally recolonize suitable habitat-and there are tens of thousands of square miles of it here in the northeast and eastern Canada. Without ESA protection we can kiss the thought of wolf recovery goodbye. I am not willing to do that. The fact that the feds chose not to act on their proposal to remove ESA protection for wolves in the northeast gives us hope that they will recognize that wolves in the northeast are worthy of ESA protection and recovery. Your comments are disappointing and certainly not helpful. There are a great many wolf advocates here in the northeast who would also disagree with you.

    • John,

      I would like to see wolves in Maine too. Coywolves are too small to take down the Maine moose, but the thing is the ESA is not strong enough to keep holding up delisting wolves in the Great Lakes because wolves should be in Maine.

      A better way is to have Maine as a state protect wolves. That might not be easy, but ESA protection to coax wolves into Maine is not politically feasible.

    • avatar Jon Way says:

      A minor comment John, but the coyotes in the Great Lakes are NOT coyote-wolf hybrids. That doesn’t happen until you get into Ontario… However, I do agree that the coywolves in New England are not effective predators on large ungulates, mainly moose and you would need a gray-eastern wolf hybrid which is probably the type of wolf we’ll have in New England if natural recolonization ever happens….

  9. avatar John Glowa says:

    Ralph:
    State protection (Maine) of wolves to promote their natural recolonization is even less feasible. It is impossible. Lack of wolf recovery in the northeast should not hold up de-listing in the Great Lakes states. Again, the ESA is the only hope (real or imagined) for wolves here in the northeast.

    • John Glowa,

      Well then, there is no hope. It is getting hard to keep the ESA intact. A Republican victory in 2012 and it is gone, although the Republicans currently are busy ruining their own chances.

      The Republicans can not be allowed to control either chamber of Congress. Democrats need 60+ seats in the Senate to beat the filibuster. Obama has to have a real change of heart and he needs to give us a decent secretary of Interior and Agriculture.

      Progressives need to regain control of the Supreme Court. That requires a good President and a hefty Senate majority. It would be of great help if Justice “Uncle Tom” Thomas was impeached and removed.

      These are not impossible. People seem to be waking up and the Republicans self-destructing, but general politics trumps wildlife politics every time when the two come into conflict (which fortunately in the past has not been too often).

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      John Glowa,

      They final delisting rule made a very important change that seems to me makes this a lot easier.

      I quote from it, “In this final rule, the Service is making two substantive changes from the May 2011 proposal. First, the Service is separating a decision on whether to delist the Western Great Lakes DPS from a decision on whether to delist all or portions of the 29 eastern states considered to be outside the historical range of the gray wolf. This rule finalizes the Service’s decision for the Western Great Lakes DPS. A subsequent decision will be made for the rest of the eastern United States”

  10. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    A bit more circumferential story at MSNBC. They even got Ed Bangs to quote.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45751709/ns/us_news-environment/

  11. avatar Mike says:

    I just want to clap. Not for Obama, of course, (worse than George W. Bush on wildlife and a coward who hired a corporate rancher to oversee the largest wildlife and land management system in the country), but for the wolves of the Great Lakes.

    I still think back to that day in 1988, my cousin and I sitting in my uncle’s truck, lurching down a logging road in the heart of the U.P. near the Huron Mountains. As the road narrowed and dusk crept over the land, an enormous black wolf emerged from the alder. Behind it was a wolf with a pepper coat. I remember how long their legs were and the size of their paws and shoulders. My father, my uncle, my cousin and I watched them move across the road into a patch of maple. It was the first time we’d ever seen wolves.

    When I got back home I looked for articles about wolves in Wisconsin and Michigan. The only one I could find stated they were likely gone. Two years later more articles appeared, suggesting there were now a few wolves in the U.P.

    No kidding, I thought.

    The good news for wolves in the Upper Great Lakes is that the tolerance for the animals is much higher, although of course there are your usual angry kooks who use wolves as venting symbols for their own poor life choices.

    Although much of the U.P. has been hammered by unchecked logging and the old growth is all but gone, the land remains incredibly resilient. The U.P. is a scarred and worn basttleship, listing. But it’s flags are held high, because indeed the wolf has found her good enough. Amazing after all the cutting and roads and abuse. Just amazing.

  12. avatar Rob Sisson says:

    Michigan does not have an awful governor. I know him very well, worked with him during his primary and general election campaign. He has a pretty fair record already (compared to his immediate past two predecessors), and his work with The Nature Conservancy as a private citizen is marked with accomplishments. He was the only candidate, from either party, who personally inspected the Kalamazoo River oil spill, and continuously called for higher standards for pipeline safety.

    Most Michiganders have a fondness for wolves, acquired from being the “home state” of the long running Isle Royale wolf study. In the UP, winter kill of the deer herd has always taken a big toll on the state’s herd. Wolves help keep the herd in balance with the ecosystem.

    I’d love to see them cross the Straits of Mackinac and enter the lower peninsula. But, as you mention above, most of the LP isn’t good wolf ground.

  13. avatar Nabeki says:

    Minnesota has two wolf hating DEMOCRAT Senators, Franken and Klobuchar. Both had absolute fits when Minnesota Wildlife Services lost funding for wolf killing and trapping this year. They went into overdrive. Franken wrote to USDA Secretary Vilsak.

    Franken: Trapping Crucial Until Gray Wolf is Delisted
    Published : Wednesday, 12 Oct 2011, 11:20 AM CDT
    http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/dpp/news/minnesota/gray-wolf-funding-oct-12-2011#ixzz1hGNLepTP
    ===
    Klobucher made sure they got the funding.
    “Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has been a leader in the effort to immediately delist the Great Lakes gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act list in Minnesota and the western Great Lakes states. She worked with U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to speed up the delisting process and received a commitment from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that a final ruling to delist will be made before the end of 2011. When it became clear that funding for the Wolf Predation Management Program would expire September 30, Klobuchar worked closely with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to find funding for the program until the end of the year when the wolf is scheduled to be delisted and management will return to the state.”
    http://hometownsource.com/2011/10/05/sen-klobuchar-secures-funding-for-critical-wolf-management-program/
    ===
    The Minnesota five year waiting period was repealed this year by their legislature. Before it was eliminated it stated wolves would be monitored for five years with no wolf hunts. Now the gloves are off and it’s killin time. With those two Senators working overtime to make sure wolves are trapped and killed do you think Minnesota is going to be tolerant of it’s wolves?? Fat chance. Bloodbath coming up.

    Almost three hundred wolves are dead in the Northern Rockies (296) and that doesn’t count poaching, Wildlife Service killers,ranchers, auto accidents and general mortality.

    “….as we have seen from the Idaho and Montana hunting seasons, even abusive hunts do not wipe out a well established wolf population.”

    Ralph not sure why you think Idaho won’t get their wolves down to 150? Even with new pup numbers, they’ll just kill them. The hunt extends in the Lolo and Selway until June 2012. I think they’re going to try very hard to get a token number of sad, downtrodden, scared to death wolves down to the lowest limit possible.

    Wait till the shooting and trapping starts in the Great Lakes Region. There are so many hunter websites praising this decision, chomping at the bit to “get a wolf”. Another dark day for wolves. There is absolutely nothing to celebrate.

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      “Another dark day for wolves. There is absolutely nothing to celebrate.”

      Nabeki –

      And just what would be worthy of celebration? There are 5000 wolves on the ground in the WGL, in a region that has very little wilderness and a great deal of agriculture. There is virtually no suitable wolf habitat unoccupied, and existing packs are being squeezed into smaller and smaller territories. Your comment is an insult to those who’ve worked hard at protecting this animal during its recovery.

    • avatar Mike says:

      ++Wait till the shooting and trapping starts in the Great Lakes Region. There are so many hunter websites praising this decision, chomping at the bit to “get a wolf”. Another dark day for wolves. There is absolutely nothing to celebrate.++

      This will always be the case, even as modern society wises up and drops out from hunting every year.

    • avatar jb says:

      Nabeki,
      The anti wolf hunters you fear need you as much as you need them. You are caught in a rhetorical battle that pits fear of wolves and environmentalists against fear of wolf eradication and ‘rednecks’. Neither the scenario you fear nor the scenario you desire has any chance of happening.

    • avatar WM says:

      ++Another dark day for wolves. There is absolutely nothing to celebrate.++

      Nabeki,

      You might be interested to know much of the recent activisim to delist the WGL wolves, as I understand it, was the result of shear frustration of MN (and to some extent WI and MI) political leaders to achieve delisting.

      MN had been at it for over a decade, in the face of continuing law suits by HSUS and others whose objective was never to delist (they had their own skirmish over the DPS issue in federal court in DC). The tolerance for this obstructionist litigation and continuing roadblocks (like the very recent two sub-species argument that popped up two years ago), rubbed that tolerance very thin.

      So, in the end, it would indeed seem to be a reason to celebrate, because in a very short time there could have been the “Congressional rider” solution that would likely stop the inquiry of recovery/delisting dead in its tracks with no judicial review at all. Of course, that potential solution was stopped just last week.

      Something to think about.

  14. avatar Wolfy says:

    The reestablishment of the wolf to the upper great lakes is a success story that needs to be carried forward. Delisting should be seen as a milestone on a very long road. Many of my fellow conservation educators have invested over 20 years of their time and efforts to get the wolves in WI and MI to this point. Despite the political rumblings and the nefarious control of the DNRs by the “clubs”, most Yoopers and Cheeseheads support the ongoing management for healthy wolf populations. The press is dominated by political theater that has little to do with the reality on the ground. About 95 percent of the hunter and landowner contacts that we make are at least somewhat tolerant of wolves. The five percent that are nut cases usually have many other problems (legal, social, chemical) that are minor when compared to the wolf issue. Unfortunately, they have friends that are swayed by group-think and sometimes those friends are legislators or judges. More than ever, we need to drown-out the delinquents and politicos with facts and common sense. Know Wolves! (not “no wolves”)

  15. avatar Rob Sisson says:

    By the way, here is the Michigan LCV tracking page for Michigan’s governor.

    http://www.michiganlcv.org/how-green-governor

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Rob Sisson,

      Thank you. I will admit I haven’t followed Michigan’s new governor much. My statement was based on what I had heard. My real fear and animosity is directed at Scott Walker, Wisconsin’s governor.

      • avatar Paul says:

        Ralph,

        The recall of this Koch puppet cannot come soon enough. Just to show what kind of putz this guy is look at this quote about the wolves being delisted:

        “I firmly support the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to delist the wolf in the upper Great Lakes states,” Walker said in a statement. “Wisconsin has exceeded its delisting goal eight times over and must have flexibility to manage wolf problems.”

        If the delisting goal of 350 is multiplied by 8 I get 2800, yet the wolf population in Wisconsin is estimated to be around 800. How in the hell did this college drop out buffoon ever get elected? Here is another one of his anti-environmental Koch fueled agendas about mining in northern WI:

        http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/legislators-worked-with-gogebic-taconite-on-mining-bill-593fk2n-135902053.html

        • avatar william huard says:

          I just watched Walker’s “Holiday Message”
          The clown spent the last year dividing your state and now that he is being recalled he wants everyone to get along. His insincerity make you want to puke.
          He really needs to do something about that bald spot.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “If the delisting goal of 350 is multiplied by 8 I get 2800…”

          The delisting goal was 80 animals in Wisconsin, maintained for three consecutive years.

          The 350 figure is the state management goal from the 1999 Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan.

          • avatar Paul says:

            I acknowledge my mistake if that is indeed what Walker was referring to (except that it would be closer to 10 times rather than 8). I guess I am the putz for misinterpreting his comment. I still can’t stand the guy and everything that he has done to divide this state.

            The question that I ask is Wisconsin going to pull an Idaho and pull out all the stops to get near 350? It seems like the hunting and trapping groups in this state are already chomping at the bit to start the killing. That is the fear that I and other wolf supporters have. That and the constant whining from the “I didn’t get my deer” types make me very concerned for the wolf population in this state.

  16. avatar Richie G. says:

    Ralph I agree about Scott Walker I hope they get him out on the recall,congradulations for 25 dollars a month. Now as for the wolves,I said before a pbs special, don’t know if it was the valley of the wolves or another one. The people in the great lake states were with the wolf,helping defenders with flags on their farm land and dogs and electric and sounds barriers etc. The women at the end was a farm owner, and she said wolves are a handful, but to see one cross her front yard is majestic. She said how many people could say they see a wolf walk across their front yard. Does this sound like people who hate wolves?

  17. avatar aves says:

    The International Wolf Center points out the biggest issue for the de-listed Great Lakes wolves: habitat!

    http://www.wolf.org/wolves/news/2011releases/122211_controversy.asp

  18. avatar DT says:

    For those against delisting, what is your goal? Wolves are going strong in the WGL, numbers are solid, they are thriving. Sentiments are not as they are in the NRM states. There will always be nut jobs who want to kill anything that moves. Should we just keep them on the list indefinitely? What would be the point of that? When is enough wolves enough? Or is there just not a number out there that will satisfy? Wanting to keep them on the list indefinitely hurts the cause in the long run when those with enough intelligence can see how well the wolves are doing.

    • avatar Jon Way says:

      DT,
      Most of us “pro-wolfers” (for lack of a better term here) agree with you in that WGL states should delist. It is a completely different situation than the rockies. However, there are lingering issues, such as the service combining 29 eastern states, with the WGL wolves. That makes no sense. If they do a separate recovery plan for the Northeast then most of us are supportive of taking WGL wolves off the ESA.

      • avatar JB says:

        Jon:

        I haven’t had a chance to review the Rule yet. Did they actually attempt to “lump” in other eastern states into the WGL as your response suggests? That was the reason the courts ruled against the first attempt to delist wolves nationwide–and it opened up the “significant portion of its range” issue. It seems foolish, to me, to try and lump these actions together (if they don’t want it to be challenged in court).

        • avatar WM says:

          According to the FWS news release, the new rule for the WGL DPS will not publish until 12/28.

          http://www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf/delisting/QAsFinalRuleDec2011.html

          This rule (unlike an earlier proposal) leaves out the Eastern 29 states. See Item 6 of the release. Perhaps they will address in more detail the rationale for this, other than it just makes things a whole lot easier.

        • avatar Jon Way says:

          JB,
          While the Northeast is off the WGL states docket for delisting the service is simultaneously doing a status review of wolves in the east/northeast and the result is going to be fairly predictable – and I say this probably burning more bridges.

          They are going to say eastern wolves used to live in the Northeast then they are going to say that the eastern wolf will just hybridize with eastern coyotes/coywolves and that they don’t warrant being on the ESA so they will delist and not force the states to do anything. They will ignore the fact that the wolf found in the moose dominated Northeast is likely the same as the WGL wolf in that it is a gray/eastern wolf hybrid – these larger wolves don’t hybridize with eastern coyotes/coywolves as far as recent research attests.

          In reality, this could be very simple in that the USFWS could force the NE states to protect all canids (of course including the eastern coyote/coywolf) so that naturally dispersing wolves are protected. Some states, such as New York, claim they support wolf recovery (which is good), but then they do nothing to effectively protect them. The USFWS is doing the same thing. There are 2 main issues here: there are lots of shades of gray here in the east with the hybridization that takes place (unlike out west where it is a coyote or western/gray wolf). But the eastern coyote/coywolf is not like the gray/eastern wolf hybrid and that we need this canid back here in the east. The messiness of this hybridization will likely be USFWS attempt to wash themselves of wolf recovery (except the ongoing work with Mexican and red wolves) in the US.

          • avatar WM says:

            Jon,

            ++Some states, such as New York, claim they support wolf recovery (which is good), but then they do nothing to effectively protect them.++

            I am curious to know more about what leads you to this conclusion.

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            The NY state dept of wildlife wrote a letter to the federal gov’t supporting wolf recovery. Written by: christopher amato.

            I have the 8 page letter. Also do a google search and you’ll see him (NY) officially supporting wolf recovery.

          • avatar WM says:

            Jon Way,

            I googled “Chris Amato NY wolves” and came up with lots of very recent and nearly identical one line quote/comment regarding the WGL delisting (in AP wire stories), and a very curious quote, that was ambiguous in its reference to location of expanding range.

            If you can easily direct us to the 8 page letter from the state of NY, that would be great.

            In an aside, I know from my past literature search of the subject of how much NY supported wolf recovery (including reintroduction or repopulation), the topic had gotten a luke warm reception. Specifically, and arguably among the best habitat and largest public land holding was Adirondack State Park. Of course, the park has lots of private in-holding land ownership and tiny towns. They, as I understood it, were not so supportive of wolves.

            And there is this quote from the official state of NY Department of Environmental Conservation website http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6973.html :

            ++New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation has a long and proud history of restoring native species when it is both biologically feasible and socially acceptable to do so. It is not clear that a wolf population could survive in New York given the abundance of highways and our large human population. Nor is it clear that having wolves in the woods of northern New York would be compatible with the interests of residents or the farmers that live on the periphery of that region. For these reasons, DEC does not believe that wolf restoration warrants serious consideration at this time.++

            Perhaps this has changed?

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            WM,
            Through the channels either Ralph (et al.) or I will email you the 8 page letter.

            I agree with your assessment. There are mixed signals with wolf recovery. The letter will be clear that wolves should be left on the ESA in the Northeast. However, I have read the quotes you posted above as well.

            And then this whole eastern wolf vs. gray wolf debate throws a wrench into the equation as well.. But NY, having a huge urban population, could “override” locals in the Adirondacks for something like a reintroduction. But the letter supports keeping them on the ESA and likely eventual natural recovery which I think northern New Yorkers would prefer (ie, we’ll accept them if they come back on their own). And that is where I repeatedly make the point that with current lack of protections for eastern coyotes/coywolves, I don’t see how wolves could ever come back to New England….

          • avatar WM says:

            Jon,

            If Ralph (Ken or Brian) are monitoring this discussion, perhaps they could post the 8 page NY letter, if you could supply it to them.

            At the top of the thread, just below Ralph’s topic introduction would be a fine place. The letter contents are certainly germaine and timely for this discussion.

        • avatar jb says:

          Thanks, gents. On the road at the moment with only a handheld.

      • avatar DT says:

        Jon Way
        How well do you think wolves would do in the eastern part of the country? How well do you think wolves would do in an environment such as Detroit or Philadelphia or New York City or Boston? Coyotes seem to thrive but there is a world of difference between coyotes and their big cousins the wolves. Upstate New York, maybe not so bad. Parts of Maine, probably do fairly well but urban centers could be a concern. While many city dwellers may say they enjoy seeing a wolf, actually having one in their own backyard might be a different story.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          +While many city dwellers may say they enjoy seeing a wolf, actually having one in their own backyard might be a different story+

          DT – how about the ongoing destruction of marine predators like sharks etc. and their vital role in the ecosystem? Hard to “fathom” them being in your backyard either but the concern is real about their diminishing populations due to a lack of knowledge.

          • avatar DT says:

            Nancy
            While I can appreciate the point about the destruction of marine predators, I do not see how that compares to the questions I have asked. Sharks were not created to live in an urban or suburban back yard unless you happen to live on a coastline.

            Wolves also were not created to live in an urban or suburban environment. They live in packs, they hunt in packs, they roam many miles in a given day and while some city environments might have prey that is conducive to their diet, I can’t imagine such a creature every being truly at home in the alleyways of New York city or downtown Boston. Too many vehicles, too many people.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          Sorry DT. Your question just seemed somewhat out of place like “how well do you think moose would do in an envoirnment such as Detroit or Philadelphia or New York City?”

          • avatar DT says:

            Nancy
            Many people have advocated the return of the wolf to all lower 48 states and while it would be awesome to see wolves strongly recovered in most areas, I firmly do not believe wolves can be recovered in the territories they held a century or so ago. There has just been too much population growth. Too much build up. It is becoming increasingly difficult for little cousin coyote to live and thrive in some areas that have a high human population and the coyote is a very adaptable animal. I know many people who live in suburban and urban areas that think it’s pretty cool that wolves have been making a comeback… out west. But when you talk about them making a comeback in say Gary, Indiana or Columbus, Ohio, suddenly wolf recovery doesn’t look all that attractive.

            That being said, it must work somehow with people that live in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Sorry, thinking out loud here. Does anyone know just how close to the twin cities that packs of wolves have been living?

          • avatar DT says:

            That last must have seemed a bit contradictory, I started out thinking that wolves just couldn’t be compatible near a big city or suburban area but then I started to think about Minnesota and their wolves. Just trying to work it all out in my brain, my apologies if the thought process seems a bit disorganized.

        • avatar Jon Way says:

          DT,
          If you find this comment among the thread here is my 2 cents: the Northeast has plenty of habitat. About half the state of Maine could support wolves; wolves could definitely live in parts of NH, VT, and NY. They do not require wilderness to survive. I am sure even a few packs could survive in central and western Mass. There are plenty of places they could survive. I know you were joking about them living in the cities (I hope at least…) but those areas are a small part of the Northeast and even with suburban sprawl, wolves could definitely survive here if they are given adequate protections.

          • avatar DT says:

            Jon Way
            Isn’t the close proximity to humans rather concerning?
            When you say ‘adequate protections’, what do you mean? What is adequate to protect both the wolves and people?
            Do wolves really stay away from people like I’ve read and if so, what about the reports of human fatalities I’ve read. Granted there have not been that many but if you mix wolves with people, something is bond to happen, rigt? or not? I’ve heard of the problems some people have with coyotes, wouldn’t that possibly include wolves too?
            Sorry, lots of questions.

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            DT,
            In general wolves can live near people as long as people aren’t killing them (and their is adequate prey – mainly deer in the east and moose in N new england).

            It is entirely a human and local perception for people’s perception of this. In some places in northern MN wolves kill deer in people’s backyards and you rarely read about it unless the person publishes his/her “amazingly cool wildlife adventure so close to home”. In ID that would make national news.

            Certainly wolves could cause problems that close to people (like you mention with coyotes) but the point of my post was to indicate that there are definitely places in the Northeast where they can survive near people – and they are doing it already in the W Great Lakes area…

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “…there are definitely places in the Northeast where they can survive near people – and they are doing it already in the W Great Lakes area…”

            Not without conflict. Bold and habituated wolves are routinely removed by Wildlife Services in the WGL states, and there is certainly an element of “unofficial” lethal control present as well.

            The WS control actions are not hysterical reactions to the presence of wolves – the cases I’ve been part of have involved documented observations of wolves approaching and threatening humans and approaching and killing pet dogs in close proximity to humans.

          • avatar JB says:

            DT, Jon:

            According to the USDA, developed urban areas comprise less than 5% of the US landmass.

            ——

            ma’iingan:

            There are something in the order of 5,000 coyotes in the LA basin, with many conflicts reported every year. Chicago also has coyotes, which occasionally are involved in conflicts. Likewise, the state of New Jersey has ~3,400 black bear with a human density of 1,100 people/square mile, and yes, human-bear conflicts. If these urbanized populations are capable of living alongside large carnivores, I don’t see any reason why the rural residents of Main, Vermont and upstate New York should be any different?

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “If these urbanized populations are capable of living alongside large carnivores, I don’t see any reason why the rural residents of Main, Vermont and upstate New York should be any different?”

            JB –

            I just want to make sure it’s understood that there’s a cost – wolves habituate quite readily when human tolerance is high. Every case of habituated/ bold wolves that I know of has involved high tolerance by the involved humans – up to the point at which the wolves’ behavior has become potentially dangerous.

            And while having wolves kill deer in the backyard may have some appeal for many of us, that backyard may be home to our dog or children as well. I can’t count the number of instances I’ve been vulnerable to wolves during my career, but I certainly wouldn’t want a habituated pack living near me.

          • avatar WM says:

            ++Every case of habituated/ bold wolves that I know of has involved high tolerance by the involved humans – up to the point at which the wolves’ behavior has become potentially dangerous.++

            Gee, that is the same kind of behavior observed by Dr. Valerius Geist on Vancouver Island some twenty to thirty years ago. It was entirely different from the behavior he observed from many years of field studies of their natural prey.

            Certainly, you both must be charlatans. LOL

          • avatar JB says:

            ma’iingan:

            Yes, people (especially some posters here) need to be aware that there are risks, and know what to expect. Perhaps a bit more knowledge of these risks would create some “tolerance” for the activities of Wildlife Services, which, I think we agree, have been generally beneficial in the WGL states?

          • avatar Jon Way says:

            Animals living near humans doesn’t mean that they are habituated to people. In Chicago and LA for example, a small minority of coyotes are habituated to people where 100s to 1000s of them live. I could envision the same with most wolves, with a small minority actually causing problems which sounds like those are the ones that WS targets in much of MN.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “In Chicago and LA for example, a small minority of coyotes are habituated to people where 100s to 1000s of them live.”

            Understood – however there are significant behavioral differences between wolves and coyotes.

  19. avatar nabeki says:

    ma’iingan says:

    “Your comment is an insult to those who’ve worked hard at protecting this animal during its recovery”
    ===
    Oh please, I’m sorry if I’m not ready to celebrate wolf hunting and trapping. Wolves are doing just fine in the Great Lakes Region.

    To satisfy Minnesota ranchers federal trappers killed 192 wolves last year for the loss of 100 cows and sheep. That’s two wolves per livestock. Yet non-predation claimed 131,500 Minnesota calves and cattle in 2010. Can it get more ridiculous then that? They don’t need wolf hunts. This is politics pure and simple.

    JB
    “Nabeki,
    The anti wolf hunters you fear need you as much as you need them. You are caught in a rhetorical battle that pits fear of wolves and environmentalists against fear of wolf eradication and ‘rednecks’. Neither the scenario you fear nor the scenario you desire has any chance of happening.”
    ===
    I don’t fear them, I fear for the wolves, they are the ones who’ll be the target of cruel trapping and bullets. California hasn’t hunted mountain lions in decades because the people spoke and passed Prop 117.There are approx. 4000 to 6000 cougars in California. They can only be removed for public safety reasons, depredation on livestock or pets and killing listed bighorn sheep.
    http://www.dfg.ca.gov/keepmewild/lion.html

    We need apex predators desperately. Hunting complex, social animals, like wolves is wrong! Wolves are self regulating if allowed to disperse without the threat of being shot. Human intolerance is the single biggest threat wolves face.

    The Safari Club, NRA, RMEF, etc., have tremendous influence and have been pushing hard for wolf hunts. Now they’re getting their way unless HSUS and other groups decide to go back to court. And by the way CBD does not agree with the delisting, so there is no consensus in the environmental community concerning this delisting.

    Obama and his minions have set their sights on wolves since his Inauguration and it hasn’t stopped since. Does he and his Cowboy Interior Secretary have nothing better to do then persecute wolves, round up our wild horses and bring back horse slaughter, while Rome is burning?

    A prime example of wolf hysteria and persecution is how Eastern Oregon ranchers have been able to demonize the Imnaha pack over a handful of depredations, when they lost over 50,000 cows last year to non-predation.

    Finally, the world wide loss of apex predators is causing trophic downgrading of earth’s ecosystems. Instead of killing wolves we should be thanking them for the job they do, keeping ungulate herds healthy and mountains happy.
    ===
    Media Availability: Trophic Downgrading of Planet Earth
    WCS Dr. Joel Berger
    Paper finds apex predators are scarier when absent from their respective ecosystems

    http://www.wcs.org/press/press-releases/apex-predators-are-scarier-when-absent.aspx

    • avatar jb says:

      “California hasn’t hunted mountain lions in decades because the people spoke and passed Prop 117.”

      And when wolves are removed from ESA protections, the citizens of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan will be able to make their own decisions about the priorities of wolf management.

      “We need apex predators desperately.”

      And the Midwest has ~5,000 wolves. How many more would you suggest they shoot for?

      “Hunting complex, social animals, like wolves is wrong!”

      That’s your opinion. Many disagree. Personally, I would never chose to hunt a wolf, but I don’t believe in pushing my morality on others. [BTW: How do you feel about a woman's right to chose?]

      “Human intolerance is the single biggest threat wolves face.”

      Intolerance is the ONLY threat to wolves. Unfortunately, the louder some people shout for their protection, the more intolerant many of the rural people who live with wolves get–which was my original point.

      “Obama and his minions have set their sights on wolves since his Inauguration and it hasn’t stopped since.”

      LOL! Unfortunately, Obama has been ‘out to lunch’ where western land management issues are concerned; but to say that “his minions…set their sights on wolves” is absolutely absurd. The President has far more pressing concerns.

      The ESA did its job. Wolves in the Midwest have recovered, and the states have produced management plans that will allow for their continued existence. If you want greater protections for wolves, then I suggest advocating for other legislation. The ESA contains no provisions for protecting species because of people believe it is morally wrong to hunt them; nor does it contain any provision for protecting species because their social structure and behavior may be impacted by human uses. People that use the ESA for these purposes are ultimately hurting the Act and jeopardizing other threatened and endangered species.

  20. avatar jon says:

    “A hunting season would impact the social structure of wolves, Mech explained.

    But wolves, like all wild animals, die all the time and the specie lives on. Much of the wolf’s ability to hunt is innate — they’re born knowing, he explained.

    So even wolf puppies who lose parents are capable of fending for themselves, Mech indicated.”

    Like to get people’s thoughts on these comments made by Dave Mech.

    http://hometownsource.com/2011/12/21/gray-wolf-hunting-trapping-seasons-possible-next-fall-in-minnesota/

    • avatar aves says:

      Here’s the more detailed response Mech actually gave, courtesy of an International Wolf Center (IWC) media release:

      When asked by media representatives if a wolf hunt would complicate the social structure of wolf packs and result in low pup-survival rates or orphaned pups not learning necessary survival skills, noted wolf biologist Dr. Dave Mech replied that research doesn’t support that conclusion. “Most of what wolves require behaviorally for survival is instinctual for wolves. They don’t need to be taught by the parents.” Research shows that young wolves can survive on their own by September, at four-to-six months of age.

      http://www.wolf.org/wolves/news/2011releases/122211_controversy.asp

  21. avatar WM says:

    A prediction for the next round of WGL delisting by a retired MN DNR biologist.

    http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/218093/group/opinion/

    If HSUS files suit, you can count on a rider or some kind of Congressional bill to delist.

  22. avatar Moose says:

    The delist is a good thing for wolves and folks in MN, WI, and MI..Will go a long way in satisfying need for “something” to be done for the majority of folks who live in those areas and sympathize with those who lose pets and livestock. Most of people I know in UP don’t give a second thought about wolves but do support the right of people to defend their property. I still find it hard to believe that a hunting season will have any appreciable impact on total numbers.

  23. avatar WM says:

    HSUS CEO and President’s opinion piece on the Great Lakes wolves delisting:

    http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/us-government-caves-to-antiwolf-crusaders-np3jale-136289253.html

    The rule was published today. How many days, do you suppose, before they file suit?

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