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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.

301 Responses to Happy New Year 2012! Have you come across any interesting Wildlife News?

  1. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    We have put up a new open thread, “Have you come across any interesting Wildlife News?”

    Happy New Year everyone!

  2. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    A succinct essay at High Country news about the contrast between the Great Lakes wolf recovery and the Northern Rockies recovery. The author, Cally Carswell, attributes the far greater toelrance towards wolves in the Great Lakes as being derived from never having fully exterminated them in the first place. They never left the communal psyche of the upper Midwest; always there just across the Canadian border. Whereas in the Rockies where wolves were exterminated with extreme prejudice, folks feel they have been double dealt a hand of cards by a cheating dealer. ( My words) Or something like that.

    http://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/a-tale-of-two-wolf-populations

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Cody,

      I think there is something to this, but I think more of the anti-wolf culture comes from the undeserved cultural status of ranchers, the stereotyped kind of the Interior West. I am not using the term as a synonym for someone who raises cattle, sheep, or any other kind of livestock.

      So I think Immer Treue is closer, although both factors are probably present.

      As example, I did a brief search on what OR7 was doing today. This story immediately stood out. “Ranchers Watch Wolf’s Return With Wary Eye.”

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Ralph – emailed this comment just about an hour ago, to a friend in Oregon who’s been watching OR7’s travels:

        I fear this wolf OR7, will eventually get shot by some ignorant fool, thinking he’s a coyote… or worse, shot by a livestock raiser who is on slow simmer, at the very thought, that wolves are attempting to make a comeback in their part of the state.

  3. avatar Nancy says:

    Certainly falls under the interesting wildlife news category. (not ment to offend 🙂

    http://www.endangeredspeciescondoms.com/

  4. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Cody,

    Yes, wolves were never exterminated here. But perhaps the greater reason for wolves being welcomed in MN is not a wealthy ranching lobby, although there are noise makers within the state. At a New Years party last night at a place that rests in BWCA the topic of wolves came up, and most everyone was in favor of wolves, felt that time for management had arrived, and felt fairly competent that the MN plan would not be anything like the NRM states.

    The old school folks up here are still a bit on the anti-wolf side of the fence, and the suggestions that SSS are not uncommon hover in the air. Had a conversation with an old friend who said hunters can’t get deer, and all you can see are wolves. I countered that if wolves are present, there has got to be something they are eating. That afternoon skiing on Parent lake in the BWCA, a small pack pulled down something. Either tomorrow or the next day I’ll ski over to the sight to see what it was.

    Conversation last night with timber cruiser who told me of some of his experiences in the field being accompanied by wolf pack. Fully aware that wolves are wild animals, he said he was never really concerned. Adds credence to the argument that those who are familiar with wolves look upon there encounters rather benignly, contrary to those who are not, and who’s encounters are looked at as aggressive action by wolves.

    • I agree agriculture probably is an important factor, but it may mostly be matter of time to let the symbolism and battle over the narrative of wolf re-introduction subside. Those are things that areas that have had continuous wolf presence don’t have to contend with, although wolves are far from universally appreciated. Let’s see how many people die of E. granulosus, how many children are snatched at bus stops, how many big game herds fall into a long-term predator pit and how many ranchers suffer ongoing large, uncompensated losses. If those things don’t happen on a substantial scale, while at the same time wolves show their resilience to hunting, trapping, etc., then people should eventually settle down and accept that society has better things to worry about. Even the WGL region has some of the same tension through local feeling that wolves are unreasonably over-protected, having survived at a population of 600 or more in Minnesota at their lowest point after decades of persecution and reaching 4,000 after decades of protection. However, there is no denying that the reintroduction aspect in the Rockies has fostered a narrative approaching a Pearl Harbor type event involving an all-out cultural attack, with ascribed human motives against others part of the equation.

      A few towns in this region provide an example somewhat apart from either the WGL or NRM regions. One is Petersburg on Mitkof island, which was settled by Norwegians about 110 years ago. Liberal wolf hunting and trapping is allowed and there is a legacy of restricted deer hunting opportunity due to predation, once thought to be primarily from wolves but more recently understood to be heavily influenced by black bear densities as well — which in my opinion has been somewhat over-reacted with the degree and duration (decades) of hunting restrictions. As a consequence of that history, some in Petersburg will reflexively shoot a wolf where legal. However, hunting is not allowed in and around town and the deer crowd in and the wolves follow at times, unrestricted by the hunting closure. Chases ensue and predation occurs right in town. A friend was soaking in his hot tub at night when a wolf tiptoed past him and looked in a nearby window where his neighbor was watching TV. If people have raised alarms about danger from fang or germ and called for their eradication around town, it certainly hasn’t made regional news that I’ve read or heard, although individual wolves that have exhibited behavior judged to be dangerous have at times been removed. The wolf is something that some enjoy while others disparage in calm conversation, but that everyone is resigned to, with nobody to blame or praise for it.

  5. avatar Cindy says:

    Happy New Year to all my fellow Wildlife News regulars. It was a great start to 2012 when the CBS Early Show ended with their usual wildlife clip and it was Gray Wolves in Yellowstone! I’m thinking the Lamar Canyon Pack, with the background towards Pebble. Anyone else see it? Very nice footage of wolves! Howls all around, and hoping we can keep harping on our state legislators here in Wyoming to find balance in their wacky management plan!

    • avatar Virginia says:

      We saw it Cindy and were wishing we were up there right now! They looked pretty carefree and healthy – hope they stay in the Park. I did see wolf tracks last weekend while skiing up the Northfork. Don’t think I will give my location, just to be safe.

    • avatar bret says:

      Been follwing it all day, very tragic indeed.

    • avatar Jeff N. says:

      Obviously there is no relationship of events here, but in June 2010 I was hiking on a trail with my 2 daughters in Mt. Rainier Nat’l Park and we heard gunshots at very close range. We aborted the hike and reported the gunfire to the ranger at the Chinook Pass Hwy entrance, near Greenwater. He thought we may have heard rocks falling, but these were gunshots. I’ve heard plenty during elk season in eastern AZ, but nothing as close to what I heard in Mt. Rainier Nat’l Park. We were pretty rattled at the time.

      Sad story about the ranger.

    • avatar Salle says:

      That is a bad situation, I feel bad for her family. The article said that she has two children and her husband is a ranger at the park too. It’s really tragic, and difficult for those who knew her, my condolences everyone impacted by her passing.

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      Looks like the found the suspect’s body:

      http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/home/index.html

      • avatar Nancy says:

        http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2017143010_ranger02m.html

        A tragic situation, compounded/created? by an even more tragic situation.

        • As a former NPS law enforcement person at the Statue of Liberty and as a contract limnologist at the Great Sand Dunes National Park, this tragedy should be a wake-up call for the NPS and also the American public. Congress changed the laws with then VP Cheney’s urging to allowed loaded weapons on NPS managed public lands. This is coupled with the longtime dichotomy in the NPS – Mr. Ranger is your friend; Park rangers need to enforce laws, protect property and take care of bad guys – they don’t mesh well and… very few of the rangers are properly trained and experienced to handle real crime, which has moved towards our national parks. Even during the bicentennial, while working at the Statue of Liberty, the NPS had sharpshooters and other crack law enforcing rangers from scattered places that they would assemble when trouble brewed. This did not do any good in Mt Ranier for the dead ranger, her husband and her two young children. First step… repeal loaded guns in the nation’s Parks.

  6. avatar Gary Wilson says:

    Come on, let’s admit what Idaho is – it’s a feudalistic ranching state ran by a one party monopoly that controls a majority of the states political influence. I’ve seen it for too long. Maybe i’m a little too jaded by it, and pigeon holing the whole system as this… but, you can’t deny that places like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan have pockets of blue. Idaho is deep red in most sectors (other than Sun Valley, Moscow, and parts around Jackson Hole). So, in my opinion this is why the northenr rocky states where the feudalistic cowboy old boy club consortium has the influence and can whip up their little braindead constituency on a whim.

    Reality? Well, that’s what i’m convinced of anymore. Idaho is in a sad shape politically..

    • avatar DT says:

      In this day and age, show me a state that is in good shape politically speaking.

    • avatar Salle says:

      Idaho is in sad shape, indeed, if it now includes Jackson HOle ~ Last I checked it was still part of Wyoming… lol But Pocatello is an island of bluishness at times.

      Overall, that state needs a good schooling on civics and the democratic process.

      • avatar Gary Wilson says:

        Sorry, I meant Driggs, and the Idaho side outside once you get over the big bump from Jackson Hole.. but a lot of that influence is coming out of the Jackson HOle area, so that’s why I said that.

    • avatar Salle says:

      So, in my opinion this is why the northenr rocky states where the feudalistic cowboy old boy club consortium has the influence and can whip up their little braindead constituency on a whim.

      Yes, and anyone who lives in the region, which includes the states surrounding Idaho, and attempts to participate in a voting event or uphold their rights will soon find that this is the norm throughout the ranching states. Probably why you don’t see too many of the above statements made… those of us who live here and don’t subscribe to the clique don’t need to make such admissions, we already know all too well.

    • avatar Doryfun says:

      Gary,
      Being an idahoan, I think I have fallen into the same pigion hole with you on this one. After all, our official state motto is: “Idaho is, what America Was” which leaves a lot of questions and helps provide insight into how anachronistic with the times, we continue to be. I’m pretty sure Otter has no blue, or even hint of blue, cowboy hats.

      • avatar Gary Wilson says:

        I lived in the SV area for 11 years. It was pretty mixed politically in that area, which I think helped make that area one of the best economically in the state. I also spent a lot of time throughout the region and saw the states other areas, and of course watched the political system like a hawk. I can say that i’m a bit jaded by the overall nature of the Idahoan political system. It’s a good old boys ranching state that is closer to feudalism than any semblance of democracy. You either are with their club, or your the enemy. 11 years was enough. I took a 5 year project working in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee.. So, i’m not feeling so jaded about the shoot-it-all-up and tame-everything culture that i’m no longer surrounded by.

  7. avatar Salle says:

    About 200 birds found dead in Arkansas city for second straight New Year’s Eve

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/01/us/arkansas-bird-deaths/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

    Okay, I think it’s aliens with fireworks.

  8. avatar Mike says:

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/01/9875731-manhunt-for-iraq-vet-after-rainier-ranger-killed

    Ranger shot and killed in Mount Rainier NP.

    Could the previous gun law have prevented this?

    • avatar Salle says:

      The gun law probably isn’t a matter to consider here since the guy probably didn’t display them as he passed through the gate. Doesn’t sound like the law was a matter of concern for this guy, some whacked out folks lose all concern for such things once they get started on their rampages.

      This is one of the consequences of war after the soldiers come home. Some here may recall what domestic life was like after the Viet Nam war and others. The psychological damage done to these folks after being removed from a rather peaceful environment to go blow some other country and its people to shreds can really mess up a mind… It does call into question the manner and substance of any kind of debriefing they might receive/benefit from following tours of duty.

      My dad was a PTSD sufferer and was never recognized or treated because it was such a taboo in the military back then. Consequently he became a terrorist in his own home, beating his wife and threatening her life until she left him and their children who then became the victims of beatings and worse because she didn’t have the means to remove her children from the threat. I’m not surprised that the suspect is likely a vet of the recent wars, probably suffers from PTSD.

    • avatar mikarooni says:

      I can’t say that any specific gun law could have prevented this horrible crime; however, I absolutely do firmly believe that the pro-gun frenzy and the irresponsible rhetoric that has whipped people into believing that guns belong everywhere did contribute to the availability and hoarding of the guns and equipment that this guy had with him and to his overall mental state.

      • avatar Salle says:

        I agree with that. Although, I don’t think “the law” part was much of a consideration after an early point in his rationale.

    • avatar WM says:

      Mike,

      Which gun law? The one championed by NY Senator (then House Rep.) Charlie Schumer in 1994 and which expired a couple years back, that had some stupid rules about not having on the same weapon a flash suppressor, bayonet mount and collapsable stock on an assault weapon at the same time, and something about limiting the number of rounds in a clip? I don’t recall the exact stuff that was supposedly prohibited, but it resulted in a HUGE spike in gun sales of those features before the law went into effect. Dumbest gun law ever, and the manufacturers smiled for about three years after. First when they ramped up manufacturing of those items until the law went into effect, then they smiled again as they jacked the prices up knowing they could get more for their products that would soon be in higher demand and with short supply. Oh, and the multiple feature prohibition. The purchasers just added the features with after market purchases. Did the prohibition stop any stupid stuff? Very unlikely. But the manufactures made alot more, and their lobby got stronger.

      One thing I found interesting about high cround apacity hand gun sales, was that the manufacturer still manufactured the gun, but could only sell clips that held less than 8 rounds, I think. Gun purchasers would then purchase used high capacity clips on Ebay from police departments all across the country, that were cycling their old clips out (the springs apparently weaken over time but does not make the clip unserviceable).

      All Shumer’s bill did was to increase the membership of NRA who vowed never to let something like that happen again, and apparently they haven’t.

      • avatar Salle says:

        WM,

        Though those are valid points with regard to gun laws of late, but I think he refers to the law that recently went into effect a year or two ago that allows the public to carry firearms into National Parks.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          The new law enacted, would not have changed the outcome of this situation. All the laws in the world, would not have changed it.

          • avatar JB says:

            Savebears:

            Thought you might be interested in this:

            “During the one-year study period, 88,649 firearm deaths were reported. Overall firearm mortality rates are five to six times higher in HI and UMI countries in the Americas (12.72) than in Europe (2.17), or Oceania (2.57) and 95 times higher than in Asia (0.13). The rate of firearm deaths in the United States (14.24 per 100 000) exceeds that of its economic counterparts (1.76) eightfold and that of UMI countries (9.69) by a factor of 1.5. Suicide and homicide contribute equally to total firearm deaths in the US, but most firearm deaths are suicides (71%) in HI countries and homicides (72%) in UMI countries.”

            I am not so naive as to attempt to argue the counterfactual, but I think its safe to say that the gun laws in place in Europe significantly reduce the rate of firearm-related deaths. Thus, it would not have taken “all the laws in the world” to prevent many of these kinds of deaths–just laws similar to those they have in place in Europe.

            Some individuals have paid–and many more will continue to pay–a hefty cost for our second amendment “freedoms”.

            http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/27/2/214.full.pd

          • avatar Savebears says:

            JB,

            We are a unique country in the world, the 2nd means something to allot of people. This is not a 2nd issue, it is however a issue that concerns what happens to our troupes when they come home.

          • avatar Salle says:

            I concur with JB with regard to the gun laws.

            I think one of our great national past-times is also one of our great national social problems and this incident is a prime example of it.

        • avatar WM says:

          I did not even think about the NP regulations allowing the carry of firearms as it applies to this unfortunate instance.

          This guy was thought to have already killed or injured some folks in a Seattle suburb called Skyway, which is near the south end of Lake Washington. Apparenty, he drove all the way to Mt. Rainier, which is nearly a two hour drive, before he encountered the ranger he shot as they were setting up a roadblock because he failed to stop for another ranger. He actually shot at another but missed, hitting only his windshield. We will surely learn more about the details of this unfortunate incident in the coming days.

          I don’t think any federal regulation allowing people to carry firearms in national parks is relevant in any way. However, I bet the fact that some wacko decided to head into the Park and shoot people (while he was armed with a shotgun and an assault type rifle) will give some folks their own justification for carrying firearms for self defense in the Park. Stupid argument, but some gun nuts will make it. Just wait.

          This incident reminds me some of the death of Christine Fairbanks, a USFS law enforcement officer killed in the Olympic National Forest, adjacent to Olympic NP and southeast of Port Angeles/Sequim a couple of years ago – again the killer was a wacko who had already killed others. She never had a chance either.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Guns have become a quasi-religion to many.

  9. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Happy new year everybody.
    Something from Sweden:
    Spicy invention protects dogs from wolf attacks
    http://www.thelocal.se/38278/20120102/
    Hmmm, delicious, maybe with the exception of that antifreeze, that might spoil the taste!
    Also of interest in this article, the link to another article titled “Pro-wolf politician attacked in his home”.

    • avatar Salle says:

      I hear that antifreeze has a sweet taste. I know of some pets that got into that stuff and it made them quite sick, some died after a couple weeks or sooner.

      The article about the politician is interesting, sounds like they have the same kind of fools over there… funny how misinformation travels. I thought the comments were interesting as well.

      Happy New Year.

      • avatar WM says:

        Salle,

        Antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is fatal to dogs even in small doses. The stuff is sweet, and they will readily lap it up. If enough is consumed, like a 3 tablespoons or so, in a couple of days the animal will become lethargic and may die of kidney and/or liver failure.

        I had a siberian husky when I was living in Fort Collins, CO. He was a young and very curious rescue dog, we had only had for a few days. He jumped up and knocked over some high shelving in the garage, where the cap on a gallon container of antifreeze broke when it hit the floor.

        I wasn’t sure what to do, but I knew antifreeeze was nasty stuff for children. And, since there were dog tracks in and out of the antifreeze, I suspected he had lapped up some. It was a Sunday afternoon, and no vet office was open. So, I called the Poison Control Center hotline. I was told I needed to get the dog to a vet ASAP. Colorado State U, also in Fort Collins, has a vet school with a very nice teaching hospital, so we took the dog there.

        A teaching vet and a third year student examined the dog, and advised us as follows: We have bad news and good news. The bad is it appears you dog has consumed antifreeze. How much we cannot say, and by the time we can determine if it was too much, it will be too late. The good news is that we can put your dog on an alcohol IV (grain alcohol) drip for two-three days, and keep the etheylyne glycol from breaking down until it runs through his system (if I recall the problem is the stuff metabolizes into toxins, and crystalizes, if not kept in solution). The school also advised they would pick up half the treatment cost of $750, since they rarely get an opportunity to do the procedure, as most dogs are brought in too late. The procedure causes the dog to be drunk from the alcohol. So, when I picked him up after his three day IV binge, he was so drunk he couldn’t walk and had a hang over. I put him on a blanket in the living room, where he lay for the first day of recovery. Every time we shut a door or made a loud noise he would raise his head momentarily then lay it back down, with a look of, “Oh, I wish they wouldn’t do that.”

        This happened nearly twenty years ago. I think there are IV drugs that now do a better and safer job than what was used in our instance.

        • avatar Mtn Mama says:

          WM & All Dog Guardians, I have been told that you can/should give a dog alcohol (strongest proof or ABV that you have handy) by mouth immediately if you suspect it has ingested Antifreeze- might buy some time to get to the vet.

          • avatar CodyCoyote says:

            Wished I had known that alcohol trick when my best cat ever got poisoned by antifreeze, thanks to the cat-hating old man across the alley from me. He purposely set out little bowls of antifreeze . I found them afterwards , but couldn’t get the cops to write him up for killing my cat. They all agreed it was all my fault for letting my cat get close to ” his” birds and backyard birdfeeder . Grrr…

            The glycol in antifreeze crystallizes in the kidneys, and the kidneys then hemorrhage badly. It can happen in as little as half an hour.

            Were I of a different demeanor the old man would’ve suffered the same fate.

          • avatar Connie says:

            This is good to know, but what is “ABV” and what dosage? Thanks.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Alcohol By Volume

  10. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Not exactly wildlife news but maybe something for the cineastes: The Grey, featuring Liam Neeson. The plot: In Alaska, an oil drilling team struggles to survive after a plane crash strands them in the wild. Hunting the humans are – yes, you guessed it – a pack of wolves who see them as intruders.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1601913/
    Warning for the anti-wolf community: This is fiction and no documentary!

    • avatar Salle says:

      Hmmm… So we have the oil industry ~ just trying to survive while doing their thing ~ up against the natural world in extreme context, Alaska outback, and the biggest animal threat would be… the ultimate in scary things – wolves! No Polar Bears? After all, the status of Polar Bears in the region is more of a threat to the oil industry in that part of the world. And you sure wouldn’t want to tussle with one or more. And I can imagine they would more readily view humans as food – thus likely to stalk them as prey, especially since their habitat and food sources are diminishing daily…

      Poor wolves, they get blamed for everything which is then extrapolated into movie and TV fearmongering themes to provide negative imagery as reinforcement of erroneous mythologies.

    • avatar Alan says:

      A “Moby Dick” with wolves, sort of. This actually looks like it might be a good movie; how unfortunate that some will, no doubt, do just that and see it as a true story. As I understand it Peter Benchley regretted the hysteria his “Jaws” created and later worked tirelessly for shark preservation.

  11. avatar jon says:

    Cougar hunters in Colorado denied electronic aids

    http://aspenwebcam.com/news/cougar-hunters-in-colorado-denied-electronic-aids

    very good news

  12. avatar Elk275 says:

    It has become a very, very sad day. I just learned that David Gaillard, the northern representive for the Defenders of Wildlife was killed in a avalanche South of Cooke City, Montana this weekend. I have seen David name on this blog several times.

    David’s new wife, Kerry of 13 months, is one of my best friends and I attended their small family wedding in November of 2010. David and I around their dinner table discuss the role of apex predators in the Northern Rockies never agreeing but understanding each others position. David was a good man, a gentle man and an intelligent man; he leaves behind a beauiful daughter and wife.

    I now start a short but very long trip to the family home.

  13. avatar Leslie says:

    Elk, what a shock. I met David this fall and buddied up with him on a Grizzly study in Red rocks. He was such a great person. We spent 3 days driving to and from and hiking together looking for griz sign. What a terrible loss. A kind, sweet and dedicated person.

  14. avatar TetonBadger says:

    For all the bear #399 watchers out there:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2839828310742
    She was out yesterday! Here is the video to prove it!

    Also funny are the two twitter feeds for the family of bears #grizzlybear399 and #grizzlybear610 both are clearly different authors, and fun

    lastly a nice article on the path of the pronghorn:
    http://ht.ly/8ijQB

  15. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    “Survey confirms 27 wolves, including three breeding pairs, in Washington”

    http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2012/jan/04/survey-confirms-27-wolves-including-three-breeding-pairs-washington/

    Looks like there might be unconfirmed packs in the Blue Mountains & East of Ross Lake.

    • avatar WM says:

      Daniel,

      There are also wolves on the Colville Indian Res. northwest of Spokane (DNA confirmed). I wonder why they are not included in the tally. I expect there are others, unconfirmed as well.

      It will be interesting when it comes time for WA to prove up its document 15 breeding pairs for 3 years in three separate regions. I suspect, in reality, that means at least 18-23 breeding pairs, and who knows how many wolves in total.

      I personally hope WA comes to its senses and amends its plan, once they start to see the impact that many wolves will have on its 53,000 elk (as it surely will) as they approach their desired plan level.

      • avatar Daniel Berg says:

        WM,

        I think you are probably right that there will be several more than 15 pairs when the regional benchmarks are actually met.

        How would you amend the plan?

        • avatar WM says:

          I think a starting point might be exactly how the numbers, whatever they are in the end, are counted. Since the final adopted plan is still unpublished it is a bit difficult to comment, specifically. But I think the distribution and numbers will be tough to administer, and raise lots of questions for which the Commission and the Department staff do not have legally sufficient answers.

          Generally, this configuration, from the plan summary raises lots of questions in my mind and will likely be a subject of litigation by some dissatisfied wolf advocacy group:

          BREEDING PAIRS REQUIRED TO DELIST:

          4 in Eastern Washington
          4 in North Cascades
          4 in Southern Cascades/ Northwest Coast
          3 anywhere in state
          For 3 consecutive years

          or:

          If 18 breeding pairs with required distribution are confirmed in any one year, the Department could consider delisting. The required distribution is:
          4 in Eastern Washington
          4 in North Cascades
          4 in Southern Cascades/ Northwest Coast
          6 anywhere in state

          _______________

          One general one is what happens if the state gets a fair number of total wolves in one of the areas, say a dozen packs and only three are considered “breeding pairs.” This means the prey base goes down while the delisting criteria is being met, which could be a couple of years. These wolves work their way through the base and then move on, and in the meantime hunting opportunites drop (remember the cumulative effect of a wolf population on an ungulate prey base is only evaluated after the damage is done, then takes several years to readjust). I think this is just stupid.

          • avatar Daniel Berg says:

            I’m going to have to read through the approved plan more thoroughly. I don’t recall whether there is a contingency for translocating wolves from one region to another to satisfy delisting requirements in the event that a large number of packs are condensed into one or two regions.

          • avatar WM says:

            Daniel,

            I think you just hit on another point. Translocation is called “an available tool,” if I recall correctly. There is no duty to relocate, and that becomes problematic if there are not the funds to do it, which is yet another issue. This plan is $$$$ dependent and they have not, to my knowledge, identified how they are going to pay for the monitoring, trapping, translocation and other dollar intensive resource elements of the plan. Maybe they spell that out in the Final Plan, but I doubt it.

            I also want to know how they will “count” wolves in Western WA from the air, with the dense vegetation/ forest canopies and winter rain/fog, etc. I also want to know how “wolf viewing tourism” will work in Western WA, as well. Gps tracking collars, and guides/tourists armed with antennas anyone? What a crock of shit.

      • avatar Daniel Berg says:

        WM,

        Also, I read that there is only one trapper WDFW is working with to follow up on credible wolf reports. Do you know anything about that? It was a comment from a guy named Dale Denney from up around Colville who has been outspoken on the wolf issue. He is most definitely not a fan of wolves, but it at least appears that he lacks some of the venom and outlandishness that has been characteristic of of the most outspoken anti-wolfers in NRM states.

        • avatar WM says:

          Sorry, I have no information, Daniel.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “Translocation is called “an available tool,” if I recall correctly.”

            It’s probably more effective in the West, but the few translocations I’ve been part of in the WGL have been epic fails. The translocated animals all dispersed 30km or more from the release sites (which had assayed as prime wolf habitat), so forget about trying to target a translocation to a specific area.

            Again, in sparsely populated areas with low wolf densities this lack of precision might not be a problem.

  16. avatar aves says:

    Another whooper has been shot, the 8th such crane to be shot in the last year:

    http://www.savingcranes.org/whats-new/2012/01/whooping-crane-shot-in-indiana/

  17. avatar Salle says:

    South Dakota prairie land in danger of losing hunter’s paradise

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/01/04/1939158/south-dakota-prairie-land-in-danger.html

    I think they might have decided to exchange “enviros” for “hunters” in order to get some positive attention and backers.

    • avatar WM says:

      Salle,

      Did you actually read the article? My take was that lands formerly very good for wildlife – prairies and wetlands – are being converted into tilled agricultural lands for crops. That means wetlands are being drained and habitat is being plowed under because farmers can, with new genetically altered seed strains grow, grow crops on marginal, let me say that again MARGINAL lands that are important to wildlife (whether taken for hunting or not).

      This cannot be good.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        What is the problem. Seven Billion people who want a better diet, a car, a nice home, and all the bells and whisles of modern society. I have spent 2 years of my life traveling around the world and it is a universal want.

      • avatar Salle says:

        Either way it’s not good. I noticed that more mention of a threat to hunting opportunity than a threat to wildlife (I saw the wildlife being somewhat defacto to the hunting concern.) was made throughout the piece. I saw it as a sort of “call to arms” only directed at the hunting community… unusual considering it’s an ag issue rather than mining, road closures or something like that.

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      Ethanol is such a wasteful fraud. A perfect example of something gaining momentum to the point where it can’t be stopped, even though everyone knows it’s not helping the environment and bilking taxpayers.

  18. avatar David says:

    Here’s a brief mention of California Pikas getting court ordered review of threats by climate change.

    http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/04/4162389/california-seeks-public-input.html

    • avatar Salle says:

      Two paragraphs that stand out for me:

      “Public comments are being taken on the draft until Jan. 20 and will be submitted with the final report to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.”

      For those interested in making comments:

      http://www.parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=39938

      and

      “In addition to concerns about lake trout eradication and grizzly bear genetic diversity, the report also addresses the challenges of dealing with annual winter bison migrations to Montana; how wolf hunting in surrounding states may affect the park’s wolf population; continued pressure from high visitor use; winter visitation and the effects of snowmobiling; and a more detailed understanding of the ecological role that the surrounding lands play in maintaining the park’s values, and a long-term vision and plan for integrated management of the park and its surrounding areas.”

      Sounds all encompassing, I wonder if if will help given our atrophied Congress who holds the “purse strings” and have been pretty stingy over the last few decades… and which, consequently, brought about the need for such action as the UNESCO World Heritage declarations.

  19. avatar Salle says:

    Thanks to Mike Heath for posting this on his blog (please read the whole article, these are points that bother me about the situation in particular after a second read):

    Montana To Use Unmanned Drones Against Wolves

    http://wolfpreservation.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/montana-to-use-unmanned-drones-against-wolves/

    “As of Wednesday, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game reported that 154 of its estimated 750 wolves had been “harvested” this year. Legal hunting and trapping — with both snares to strangle and leg traps to capture — will continue through the spring. And if hunting fails to reduce the wolf population sufficiently — to less than 150 wolves — the state says it will use airborne shooters to eliminate more.

    “In Montana, hunters will be allowed to kill up to 220 wolves this season (or about 40% of the state’s roughly 550 wolves). To date, hunters have taken only about 100 wolves, prompting the state to extend the hunting season until the end of January. David Allen, president of the powerful Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, has said he thinks hunters can’t do the job, and he is urging the state to follow Idaho’s lead and “prepare for more aggressive wolf control methods, perhaps as early as summer 2012.”

    “What is happening to wolves now, and what is planned for them, doesn’t really qualify as hunting. It is an outright war.”

    “In early November, Sen. Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, made his own political contribution. Thrilled at the testing of a drone aircraft manufactured in Montana, Baucus declared: “Our troops rely on this type of technology every day, and there is an enormous future potential in border security, agriculture and wildlife and predator management.” A manufacturer’s representative claimed his company’s drone “can tell the difference between a wolf and a coyote.” Pilotless drone aircraft used by the CIA and the Air Force to target and kill alleged terrorists now appear to be real options to track and kill “enemy” wolves.”

    Lovely.

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      Salle –
      “…if hunting fails to reduce the wolf population sufficiently — to less than 150 wolves — the state says it will use airborne shooters to eliminate more.”

      FYI – incorrect statement. The Idaho wolf managment plan calls for a state wolf population sufficiently ABOVE 150 wolves/15 breeding pairs to ensure that wolf numbers do not drop below the 150/15BP listing criteria.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Boy talk about posting information just to stir people up! They are not going to use drones to kill wolves… geeze..

      • avatar Mike says:

        They use horrifying poisons with effects that would shock most people to kill animals, Savebears. They’ll use anything.

  20. avatar jon says:

    Mark, I understand there has been a non-target trapping mortality in Idaho. Do you know which animal was killed by Idaho trappers in traps/snares meant for wolves?

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      jon –
      I don’t know. I’ll have to check on this and your earlier question about illegal wolf kills in north Idaho.

      • avatar jon says:

        thank you Mark. Please do that if you get the chance.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          jon –

          While you’re waiting for Mark’s reply, I can tell you that in my state there are many more inoperative collars out on the landscape than there are operating ones. The batteries, up until recently lasted only about three years so there are many wolves wearing dead radio collars.

          Hunters would have no way to know if a collar was operative or not, and frankly, recovering a defunct collar gives us a chance to re-fit and re-deploy it and can also provide clues as to the animal’s whereabouts after it went off the air.

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        I would appreciate an answer on this, too, Mark, thanks.

    • avatar Brian says:

      Jon,

      I believe the non-target trapping incident was a wolf trapped and killed in a trap meant for something else. This occured in the Southern Mountain Zone which has no trapping season and IDF&G reduced the quota for that zone by 1 to account for the trapped wolf.

  21. avatar WM says:

    Minnesota DNR wasting no time in preparing for a wolf hunting season as early as fall 2012, of course if no litigation holds it up.

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/136631343.html

  22. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    First Monday of the New Year, and a famous Teton grizzly sow and her two cubs of the year are still out foraging , a good 6-8 weeks after most grizzlies are denned for the winter. Renowned widlife photographer Tom Mangelsen of Jackson saw Bear 399 and her two cubs walking across the top of Jackson Lake Dam on January 2 . Weird.

    http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=8104

    • avatar Savebears says:

      What winter, there ain’t no winter this year in the NRM area! Last year at this time, I had 4 feet of snow on the ground at my place, this year, none, zilch, nada, I can still watch the deer munching on grass. It was 53 degrees here today!

      • avatar Nancy says:

        I’ll second that SB. Saw a small herd of elk the other day and they are usually long gone from this area by now.

        • avatar CodyCoyote says:

          Yesterday , Jan./ 5 it was 60°F in Cody WY and I was cruising on my 10-speed bike alongside the Harleys and joyriders, unusually warm for winter , but that has become the norm in recent years, with consequences for local wildlife hereabouts. Case in point: Elk herds

          Climate change and increasing elk population numbers above objectives are really moving elk out into wintergrounds they haven’t used in 60+ years in my corner of Wyoming. The Greybull River wintering herd of Wyoming’s overpopulated, wolf-laden Elk are now conspicuous on both sides of Hwy 120 between Cody and Meeteetse WY on top of the Meeteetse Rim…maybe as many as 1500 or 2000 of them. Several collisions between elk and vehicle reported. Wy-DOT had to put up readerboard signs.
          Elk have not regularly wintered so far from the mountains in such numbers in a couple of human generations, but in reality they are going back to old traditional wintering grounds ( we have no state elk feedgrounds in this part of Wyoming). This seems novel to most folk, and alarming to some, but really it’s just elk being elk …opportunistically so. These are migratory elk from the Thorofare and southern Yellowstone summer range over 50 air miles and three major river drainages away . As such they are not hunted much , except by their complementary wolves ( plenty of those , as it should be) and grizzly du jour in spring and summer.

          The local anti-wolf wags are claiming it is the presence of wolves that are pushing these elk out into the Big Horn Basin lower country from the sheltered Greybull River valley , and there is probably some truth to that . But there are also a heckuva lot of elk on the traditional winter grounds, too, wolves and all. There simply are more elk than before. About 30 percent more than Wyoming G and F would like to see. And these elk aren’t huntable…they dont even arrive till long after the general elk seasons have closed, and many were likely targetted in the September-October wilderness hunts in the Thorofare. Another reason they are not hunted is they carry brucellosis, but that goes largely unspoken. Late season cow elk / attrition hunts have never been popular hereabouts anyway, so we can look forward top having a growing winter population of elk in the Meeteetse area for years to come, all things considered. And eventually a rancher rebellion when they realize they are feeding those burgeoning elk , gratis, and in turn are getting brucellosis from them. ( Can you say ” train wreck coming ” ? )

          Repeating weather changes become new climate patterns, but humans change their attitude and policy much much slower, it seems. We seem to still be managing cattle and elk like it was the mid- 1950’s. The weather and presence of wolves says otherwise

          • avatar Kayla says:

            Cody Coyote, Wow! Thanks for this news! Now one doesn’t hear as much on what the wildlife is doing there east of the mountains in this locality. Wow! There was an article awhile back on Grizzlies now roaming not far from Meeteetse.

  23. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Four maybe five inches of snow if that much up here in N. MN with temperature tickling 40 degrees. Weather is a very local phenomena, but it looks as though the local phenomena is rather widespread. Makes it a bit easier for deer, and tougher for the wolves.

    • avatar JB says:

      After a few cool days earlier in the week, Ohio is unseasonably warm as well. I was just commenting to my wife that grass in our yard was still green–weird for January. Then again, we had a wet and warm fall…

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      “Makes it a bit easier for deer, and tougher for the wolves.”

      Immer –

      There are a couple of interesting relationships between wolves, prey, and winter severity in the WGL.

      In mild winters like this one, wolves kill fewer deer and utilize more of each deer they kill. It makes sense – deer are less vulnerable and kills are hard to come by, so wolves tend to strip a carcass clean when they’re lucky enough to kill a deer. My own personal observations have lined up nicely with the research.

      You might find it somewhere, it was Mech, 1977 and I think it was “Percent Utilization of Wolf Kills” or something similar.

      A similar relationship is the inverse correlation between winter severity and livestock depredation the following summer. Severe winters result in vulnerable deer and significant winter kill, so wolves are less likely to depredate the following summer.

      This study also matches up well with Wildlife Services data from the WGL – if you’re interested, you might find it by searching for “Winter Severity and Depredation” by Mech, Fritts and Paul, 1988.

    • avatar william huard says:

      When this story first appeared I was stunned to find out this hunter is a Mass State trooper. In another story he was quoted as saying he mistook a “tail” from one of the dogs as a deer…..So he was just going to shoot how may feet ahead of the tail? Nice job of identifying your target. Luckily he doesn’t patrol my area the dimwit.

  24. avatar Nancy says:

    A case of mistaken identity? Or just another pathetic example of “slob” hunting – shoot first and worry about it later…..

  25. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    Will entrenched PNW hatchery “culture” wreck the promise of natural salmon runs in a restored Elwah River? Ted Williams leaves little doubt where he comes down:
    http://www.flyrodreel.com/magazine/2012/january/kill-reborn-river

  26. avatar WM says:

    More on the contemplated MN wolf hunting season in 2012.

    http://www.morrissuntribune.com/event/article/id/26807/

  27. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Ma’iingan,

    I’m on a hand held at this time so I don’t know if this will be in close proximity to your post, but we have had parts of this conversation before, esp in terms of the 1988 study. Makes all the sense in the world. I think you were trying to find the study somewhere for viewing. All I could find was reference to it.

    Strange up here, perhaps just an anomaly, but I visited a kill sight a week after I observed a small pack on what turned out to be a doe. Very little of the deer was utilized. No other signs of people, so I would hazard a guess the wolves were not disturbed. Carcass still fully articulated. The abdominal cavity and posterior were opened up, and that’s all. The ravens were even scarce, perhaps five or so upon my revisit.

  28. avatar WM says:

    Another one of those sad dog vs. wolf stories, involving an experienced outdoor person running with their pet. This one near Jasper NP in Canada.

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/life/Death+cautionary+tale+about+wolves/5961395/story.html

    • avatar Salle says:

      I read that yesterday, someone sent it to me via email. It’s kind of sad but I am glad the human in the mix had the perspective that they did, realized they were in a place where the wild things are and forgot to take precautions. It’s hard to lose a pet, but reality is a harsh teacher sometimes.

  29. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Sometimes the members of the Panther family win , though.
    A wild fullgrown Leopard wanders into a city in India , kills one man ( a lawyer! ) and scalps another ( some very graphic photos of latter ….astounding , actually . ). Rather than being killed for its carnage, the big cat was tranquilized and released back into the wild.

    http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/08/10054121-leopard-scalps-man-during-deadly-attack-in-india

    Had a Cougar done any of this in my town of Cody Wyoming, it would have been summarily executed.

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      Leopards claim a lot of people in India. Many more than their prominent cousins, the Tigers. The people in the Indian villages surrounding National Parks with Tigers and Leopards however are really impressive. While there is of course still a lot of poaching going on, it seems, many accepted that “no Tigers” means “no tourists” and “no tourists” means “no job” and “no job” means “nothing to eat”! Most staff in and around national parks, from driver to waiter to guide, even managment positions, is recruited from local villages and they are eager and determined.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Wow. The photo of the guy getting scalped is just nuts.

    • avatar WM says:

      Cody,

      ++Rather than being killed for its carnage, the big cat was tranquilized and released back into the wild.++

      Of course, that is what the article says, but will we know if this is true, in the end? This is India, afterall.

      As the article suggests, the leopard wandered into town and became scared when cornered, and consequently the attacks on five people was defensive. Probably a bad experience, which the cat will not want to repeat. One has to wonder why it wandered into town in the first place – hunger, curiousity, past lack of fear of humans?

      Here is a more thoughtful and comprehensive article on the incident:

      http://telegraphindia.com/1120108/jsp/frontpage/story_14978574.jsp

      We can all hope, for the cat’s sake, it was released into the wild, and will not want to repeat its negative encounter with humans.

      • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

        Todays (Jan 10th) news still say: The cat was later tranquillised by forest officials and taken to the Assam State Zoo in Guwahati. On Monday it was set free in a tiger reserve in Manas, western Assam. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/attacked-by-a-leopard-victim-says-he-was-trying-to-save-animal-20120110-1ps8y.html#ixzz1j2incw36
        Hopefully the cat will not come in contact with humans again. I do not know Manas Tiger reserve but many if not all reserves or national parks are surrounded by villages, there is a lot of agriculture and grazing in the buffer zones and leopard/human conflicts are quite common.

        • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

          Another note: Killing that cat, that rose so much public interest would not have been so easy. Leopards are heavily protected in India. Another point is however, that relocating Leopards often causes even more trouble. First, its difficult to find a suitable habitat for release. Leopards are the most common large cats in India and almost all suitable habitat is already occupied. Furthermore, they are extremely territorial and have a tendency to travel back to their original territory, thereby creating even more opportunities for conflict.

  30. avatar Kayla says:

    Guess this news will be here at Ralph’s Maughan’s site before long. This news comes from ….

    http://wolfwatcher.org/news/

    There is an article there that states that the Montana FWP will propose on Jan. 19th to extend the Wolf Hunting Season, in Montana till April 1st. If they extend this hunting season then how much will this then conflict with the breeding season and pregnant females but with denning.

    Guess once they got the foot thru the door, Jeminy Cickets.

    • avatar Kayla says:

      Forgot to say the title of the article to watch for which is:

      “Appeal to supporters: Emergency Montana Wolf Action Alert”

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Why does this not surprise me. Montana couldn’t wait til they had a hunting season on wolves but then it appears, no one can find them to shoot them. Something just isn’t adding up here.

      http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/mammals/latitude/index.htm

      Not only a lot of female wolves close to delivery time but quite possibly, helpless pups left in dens to starve to death, by the middle of April.

      This extension should fit nicely into the anti-wolf crowd’s agenda.

      • avatar william huard says:

        It seems like Montana is pulling an “Idaho”. All they need now is for their public relations people to be able to insert the word “Robust” into any and all wildlife management propaganda decisions

        • avatar Alan says:

          “It seems like Montana is pulling an “Idaho”.”
          Exactly. And if Wyoming is allowed to institute their “shoot on sight” it won’t belong before Montana and Idaho become Wyoming.

      • avatar Mike says:

        It’s quite possible that local politicians pushed to inflate wolf numbers to meet their extremist agenda.

        • avatar william huard says:

          After all- 2011 was the year of the Extremist. That’s not global warming, so what if polar bears are cannabilizing cubs or Geez- I’m a fat white politician from the south and I want women to have the child from that rapist- more of that freedum and small limited guvmint

      • avatar Salle says:

        Here’s the link to that article Kayla mentioned.

        http://wolfwatcher.org/news/all-news/appeal-to-supporters-emergency-montana-wolf-action-alert/

        I’m so sick and tired of this crap.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          The title would lead you to believe that they want to extend the season everywhere, when in truth it is only in one area, the Bitterroot, which should come as no surprise to anyone. The boys in the Bitterroot have pulled out all of the stops to try and reach the quota set by FWP

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            It’s the same as the Lolo in Idaho. Local sentiment has determined wolves are the problem, and woe to anyone who says otherwise if they are a public official.

            Facts don’t matter.

            If they don’t get the wolves though, I’ll be sure to throw it back in their faces. Of course, first they will try to gas some, poison some, shoot them from airplanes. It is hard to dispel a myth.

  31. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Scientist takes issue with Wyoming Wolf Plan

    http://trib.com/news/local/state-and-regional/scientist-takes-issue-with-wyo-wolf-plan/article_1999d3bd-292a-57ba-b940-fcdf0ba52eb6.html?mode=comments

    The comments that follow the article are the usual driblle. I’ve met Vucetich and he has worked with Rolf Peterson. To me, he seems like he a fairly credible individual, unlike the “experts” whose comments follow the article spewing the same old Canadian wolf garbage.

    • avatar JB says:

      My problem with Wyoming’s plan is the precedent it sets. Generally speaking, I think it is bad policy for a species to go from endangered to unprotected–especially when said species was eliminated via human persecution. That approach invites the very conditions that led to the species extermination in the first place.

      Where wolves are concerned, USFWS approval of this plan virtually guarantees that Idaho, Montana or both will follow suit. How can anyone conducting a threats analysis under the ESA believe that the no regulation constitutes anything but inadequacy where regulatory mechanisms are concerned?

      • avatar Salle says:

        Those miserable, lying SOBs.

        It seems that the Bitteroot studies of elk survival that showed how wolves were of least concern for elk survival in that area, because habitat encroachment, cougars and bears are taking far more of them, hasn’t made a dent in the ignorance factor… an ignorance which seems to also be deeply wedged into the FW&P agency.

  32. avatar TC says:

    Does anyone know where winter went here in the Rocky Mountains? And when it plans to return? I’ve now seen three different bears (black) out and about in the past week – this is not normal in Wyoming in the second week of January.

    • avatar Kayla says:

      TC Interesting! Now where was this in the Rockies that these Black Bears were out may I ask?

      Now here in JH, the Grizzly Sow #399 is still out and about. And up in YNP is another Grizzly out appropriating Wolf kills. Yes what an interesting winter it seems.

    • avatar Salle says:

      Maybe this is where it went…

      Alaska town digging its way out after record 18 feet of snow

      http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/09/alaska-town-digging-its-way-out-after-record-18-feet-of-snow/

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      A friend on Facebook led me to this article today about the warm temperatures and lack of snow.

      If I understand it right, it is because of a jet stream way out of whack; like a record!

      But read the article. It is a lot more detailed.

      Remarkably dry and warm winter due to record extreme jet stream configuration
      By Dr. Jeff Masters

      • avatar Salle says:

        Here’s a map from his web site:

        http://www.wunderground.com/US/Region/US/2xJetStream.html

        I look at it at least once a day, it is the upper atmospheric driver of where storm clouds get moved around to. I’ve been watching it since I discovered the site about a decade ago… I’ve never seen patterns like I have over the past 16 months. Kind of creepy. The configuration has changed significantly over the past three days. In the past two months there has been a string stream that carries directly down the Pacific coast from Alaska to Mexico where it makes a near 90 degree turn and blasts northeast across the central US. This was also the case over a good part of the summer for 2011.

        I had to go down from the high country to Bozeman today and it was almost +50F and no snow to be seen except in the shady areas where the sun never reaches this time of year and only visible on the mountains. None on the ground along the road until I was up above 6000ft on the way home. At 7000ft, there’s about 16″ on the ground, mostly stale snow with little to no moisture left due to subzero temps most nights in December. It’s been really warm during the day this past week – in the high 20’s – mid 30’s when it is usually in the teens, at best, this time of year around here.

        Friends in West Yellowstone indicate that there isn’t enough snow for the snowmobiles, especially off the groomed trails and lots of machines are getting ruined on rocks and logs.

        The link is broken but the Bozeman Daily Chronicle had a story, today, that said snowpack levels in SW MT are currently 80% below normal.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        I have some famliy that lives in Cordova AK. They have had over 18 feet of snow in about the last month.

    • avatar WM says:

      I hope marking locations of animal traps with danger signs (and some limitations on where they are placed) makes it on the please FIX THIS list for IDFP. How tough can this really be?

      • avatar william huard says:

        It’s tough when the system allows trapper interest to trump public safety and all other interest. The lack of transparency and accountability afforded the trapping community is outrageous. I don’t get it.
        Those poor trappers are so villified! And so undeserving of the criticism

        • avatar Salle says:

          “Those poor trappers are so villified! And so undeserving of the criticism”

          Yes, but only in their minds.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Spoke with a friend who works for the forest service here in MN. No hyperbole, just a conversation in terms of hunting and trapping of wolves, along with both personal concern and concern for my dog(s). What came out in the conversation is the color orange, and that the MN plan most likely will have many more safe guards and restrictions than out west.

      MN will also most likely have zones, ie agricultural zones of more hunting and trapping, and as one closes in on the BWCA area, it will become much more restrictive in terms of hunting and trapping.

      However, what we are already finding in the West is conflict between consumptive and non-consumptive users of the land. This is a reflection of who the rules favor, ie hunters and trappers. As far as a place at the table, non-consumptive users have little to no voice. Perhaps those who trap know where they can and cannot set their traps and snares, but non-consumptive users must be made aware of these areas for the purpose of avoidance, and or if used and one has dogs, to carry the proper equipment.

      • avatar Salle says:

        I think that one of the things the impacts me, personally (that is outside of my opposition to hunting wolves in the first place) is that I can’t go out in the woods or where I like to go because of the lack of safety for nonconsumptive folks like me. I had to wait during the deer/elk season in the fall and now to have to wait until, what June(!?) because of this rubbish… If they are allowed to hunt and trap wolves into spring – and perhaps year round, not only will it disrupt denning and those activities, I can’t go out and conduct my research because of these people. (I’m so f’ing pissed!)

        It seems that these anti-wildlife toads get whatever they want, including the complete collapse of all the work done to restore wolves to the ecosystems where they belong; those of us who worked to make that happen have somehow been chastized, lied to at nearly every turn and are not only harassed and threatened but also have to watch as these members of the ignorance faction systematically destroy what was one of the most significant and positive environmental achievements in modern history. I am so discouraged at the tenor of the anti-wilife f’ks screeching until they get their way, which they always do… and they are a serious minority! I don’t think we live in a democratic society anymore, Toto.

        Time to OCCUPY our wildlands and wildlife habitat. Makes me sick to think that in a country that waves it’s weenie about, claiming that it is so progressive is exactly the opposite… ruled by the almighty dollar that in turn rules our lives.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Only a suggestion, but money talks. Only way to get a place at the stakeholder table is to have financial investment in the process. The consumptive use of the land is tied up by hunters, trappers and needless to say ranchers. Some means is necessary for non-consumptive users to have a voice in the process.

          Salle, you are so correct. Others have also brought up that there are no areas of sanctuary free from the guns and traps if one wants to go out and observe and just enjoy.

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          Salle
          Strap on a pair and grow up, the woods are still safer than any where else you might go even hiding in your house.

          • avatar Salle says:

            I’m already grown up and looking at the age when I should have been able to retire, Bob. The woods are not safe while hunting is going on. And strap on a pair of what?

          • avatar DT says:

            I believe Rancher Bob wishes you to strap on a pair of balls and ‘man up’.

          • avatar DT says:

            I mean no disrespect here, but I’ve read some comments on this blog where some people have ridiculed people who are anit-wolf for spreading hysteria about ‘wolves stalking kids at the bus stop’ or ‘being afraid to go out in the woods because a wolf might attack’. I’m kind of seeing a parallel between that and being afraid to go out of your house because you might be shot by a hunter looking for wolves.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            DT,

            I really don’t think anyone on this site fears for their lives or pets from ethical hunters. Take precautions, know they are there, give space, and wear plenty of orange.

            The fear/concern enters the picture because of the individual with trigger itch, and there exist too many cases across the country to ignore, and the indiscriminate results of traps.

            I guess us pro-wolf folks can say, how many people venture into the woods, but never, never are threatened by wolves. Most hunters can say the same about going into the woods about other hunters.

            Odd, but as a long time cyclist, at the end of a season, I remarked to one of my students that it looked as though I had survived another year on the roads among autos. He replied that his father, also a cyclist, had made the same remark a few days earlier.

            Can’t be afraid to get out of bed in the morning.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Mike-
            Elk 275 would respect you if you were a native Montanan. Just buck up cowboy

          • avatar Salle says:

            Yeah, DT, I’m sure that’s what he meant. I have heard that line so many times in the trucking world, as a female. My usual response is to tell them that mine are way bigger than theirs and happen to be located on my chest instead of sitting on them. Bob’s one of those old school chauvanists, or so it seems from his comments. If he had any idea that most women, these days in the 21st century, do as much as or more work than most men and are usually more mature than those of his cohort. I think they just can’t accept that their exceptionalism is a myth.

            I’ve also been told by more than one man that I’m more of a man than most biological men that they know… I took that as a compliment given the context. I just like to be human regardless of my biological configuration.

            “Strap on a pair”, really. That’s so pre-1960s. 😉

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          I thought about this the other day, when someone mentioned wanting additional national parks in Idaho. If one wants to be in the mountains during hunting season in Montana and does not want to deal with hunters, then go to the Sun River Game Range on the west side of the Bob Marshall out of Augusta. It is closed to big game hunting.

          “and they are a serious minority!” not in Montana. We are the majority.

          “I had to wait during the deer/elk season in the fall and now to have to wait until, what June(!?) because of this rubbish… If they are allowed to hunt and trap wolves into spring – and perhaps year round, not only will it disrupt denning and those activities, I can’t go out and conduct my research because of these people. (I’m so f’ing pissed!)”

          Buck up and go out. If hunting restricts your research then no hunting restricts my hunting. Do not worry about getting shot I hardly ever wear orange. I think that that you have some type of mental block or hatred. Are you a native Montana. Things are not going to change for many years and that change may not be what you envision. Live with it.

          Exactly what type of research are you doing?

          • avatar Salle says:

            “I think that that you have some type of mental block or hatred.”

            I just don’t like being shot at, it’s happened enough times where I just don’t go out during hunting season. Too many drunks, idiots with guns, and drunk idiots with guns and not a lick of sense among them.

            “Are you a native Montana.”
            That really has nothing to do with it; going out in the woods while hunters are out there pretending to be machomen with guns just isn’t wise regardless of which state I come from or live in. I don’t care to be around gun toting people looking to kill something whether I wear bright colors or not, still been shot at more than once, don’t care to extend the opportunity. I like not being completely disabled or dead by the hand of others, I’d like to keep it that way as long as possible.


            “Things are not going to change for many years and that change may not be what you envision. Live with it.”

            Yeah, right.

            “Exactly what type of research are you doing?”

            Exactly what does it matter to you?

          • avatar Kayla says:

            Salle, for perspective, many of the cities and large towns where the majority of Americans live anymore are far more dangerous then any public lands in hunting season when one really looks at it.

            But there are many places one can go in hunting season, where hunting is not allowed like the NP’s. As for myself, I am NOT a hunter. Usually in the fall I go to other places where no hunting is allowed like into the back parts of Yellowstone NP. But one must not let their fears rule their lives. We must fully embrace life and so enjoy it all!

            And as for myself Salle, if I had let my fears rule my life then I would have never set foot outside the door where I live. This whole freaking world anymore in my opinion is insane and crazy it seems to the max! And the deep wilds even in hunting season are a lot more of a sane and sensible place, in my opinion, then Any Any freaking city or town in modern day America. Well anymore personally how many times here even in JH, have I been almost ran over by some freaking idiot going to fast in their vehicle.

          • avatar Mike says:

            The effects of rifle/shotgun noise and the dangers of hunting go unheeded by many states. Indeed, hunting is the highest impact activity in the woods, and greatly diminishes others enjoyment of nature. Non-hunters pretty much get everything forced on us whether we like it or not.

            The same applies to shooting ranges on private land bordering public land. It’s quite annoying to be trying to eenjoy a beautiful summer day with the constant thunder and pop of middle aged white guys shooting targets. They don’t care if it ruins your experience. Guns are their God.

          • avatar Mike says:

            It makes far more sense to be afraid of idiots in the woods with guns than it does to be nonchalant about it.

            The odds of being killed by a gun are pretty good.

          • avatar Kayla says:

            remember Mike that I am NOT NOT NOT a Hunter for what it is worth!

            Mike, now I will have to disagree. In the back wilds, I think the chances of being killed by a hunter in hunting season is still pretty slim. yes it happens rarely but not often at least here where I live in Wyoming.

            Now just look st the statistics. In the present population in America, 2/3rds to 3/4ths of Americans live in major populated urban centers. And look at the crime and the murder statistics for any of these urban areas. Then also look at the traffic fatalities in any of these urban areas. When you really look at it, you have a far greater chance to be murdered, raped, robbed, ran over by a vehicle in any urban center then one does in any backcountry wilds in hunting season by far! Now many people cite this and that in fears when it comes to the wilds. But then go rip oaring down some urban street just to get entangled in some vehicle accident with there vehicle.

            But no problem with myself, let people be afraid of the deep wilds in whatever season. Already how how few go deep into the back wilds anymore anyway from what I have experienced bigtime!

            If one is afreaid of hiking where hunting is going on, there are many a place to go where one can hike and enjoy where hunting is not allowed like National Parks, etc.

            I know quite a few of good hunting folks here in Jackson. Many hunters are scumbags like you make them out to be all because they hunt. Many of them are actually good good folks. Just a few bad apples in any group can cause so much trouble.

          • avatar Kayla says:

            Mike, meant to say …… That you think from what I can tell, that many a hunter is a scumbag all becaue they hunt. Rubbish! Garbage! Now actually many a hunter are actually good wholesome regular folks who just love to hunt. And I know quite a few hunters who are Great Folks here in Jackson who hunt. And again remember I am NOT a Hunter!

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++If one is afreaid of hiking where hunting is going on, there are many a place to go where one can hike and enjoy where hunting is not allowed like National Parks, etc.++

            Unfortunately it’s not that easy. National Parks are fewer than national forests, state land, and county land. There reallyis a massive, almost panic-like qulaity to hunting season. People are literally speeding to their camps and just shooting like crazy. You can hear gunshots constantly. It’s hard to get away from, for sure. But those types of people rarely think about their impacts to others. The self-awareness just isn’t there.

            ++I know quite a few of good hunting folks here in Jackson. Many hunters are scumbags like you make them out to be all because they hunt. Many of them are actually good good folks. Just a few bad apples in any group can cause so much trouble.++

            I know good hunters too. Unfortunately, most hunters don’t know much about the land they hunt and are generally anti-predator. Many also display a nonchalant attitude towards killing (shooting raccoons in their banr for no reason ,etc).

            By the way, here’s a list of the most dangerous states:

            http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/04/05/most-dangerous-states-crime-rankings-for-2010/

          • avatar WM says:

            ++There reallyis a massive, almost panic-like qulaity to hunting season. People are literally speeding to their camps and just shooting like crazy. You can hear gunshots constantly. It’s hard to get away from, for sure. But those types of people rarely think about their impacts to others. The self-awareness just isn’t there++

            Mike, the visual/audio sense assualt which you suggest is pretty much over-stated, and is highly time and place dependent. Mostly, where I hunt there are no more than a half dozen gunshots a day, some days none at all. I expect that is true for other areas as well. And, do recall the seasons do not last that long, in the fall, sometimes with gaps of two weeks between seasons, so others who do not want the noise can sometimes gain access.

            So, let’s be a little more factual, OK. We know you don’t like hunting. There are roughly 7-10, or even 11 months in some places, of the year where rifle hunters are not present (you can’t hear the bow hunters), depending on the location. As for the traffic, which you deplore, I see alot more in some of the places I go during the summer recreation season. Lordy, most any National Park is a zoo. And forest lands, ever been to Elkhart Park in the Wind River? When I started going there there might have been five or six cars. Now there’s twenty times that many, and many of these “self-aware” folks bring their damn dogs.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++Mike, the visual/audio sense assualt which you suggest is pretty much over-stated, and is highly time and place dependent. Mostly, where I hunt there are no more than a half dozen gunshots a day, some days none at all. I expect that is true for other areas as well. And, do recall the seasons do not last that long, in the fall, sometimes with gaps of two weeks between seasons, so others who do not want the noise can sometimes gain access.++

            I camp and do wildlife photography during hunting season quite often. I like to venture into the national forests to get away from the busier parks. The hunter rush makes the ungulates disappear. Good luck finding moose. The thunderous gunshots spook birds and other wildlife. I guess I’m just shit out of luck with my camera.

            ++So, let’s be a little more factual, OK. We know you don’t like hunting. There are roughly 7-10, or even 11 months in some places, of the year where rifle hunters are not present (you can’t hear the bow hunters), depending on the location. As for the traffic, which you deplore, I see alot more in some of the places I go during the summer recreation season. Lordy, most any National Park is a zoo. And forest lands, ever been to Elkhart Park in the Wind River? When I started going there there might have been five or six cars. Now there’s twenty times that many, and many of these “self-aware” folks bring their damn dogs.++

            The difference is I can’t hear those folks with their dogs from a half-mile away. They’re not infringing on my enjoyment of public lands. They’re not running ATV’s into roadless areas to pick up game. They’re not hauling gigantic trailers up and down the road again and again. I don’t have to worry about being shot by them, either. Most folks with pets are quiet and good natured. It’s the dudes whipping through the woods with rifles lashed to their ATV”s, a beer in their hand, and a pistol on their hip that you have to worry about. And they are legion.

            My activities do not infringe on others. It is these kinds of pursuits that should receive the highest backing on public lands.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            ++The hunter rush makes the ungulates disappear. Good luck finding moose.++

            If the hunter can find ungulates why can’t you find them. A poor photographer, think like a good hunter and you will find game. I have no problem finding moose during the hunting season. If fact some days that is all I see. But wolves, yes wolves, have changed moose behavior and the the moose population has decreased in areas where there are wolves, yet increased in places where moose never have been before.

          • avatar WM says:

            Mike,

            You either missed or purposefully choose to ignore this important part of my statement:

            ++There are roughly 7-10, or even 11 months in some places, of the year where rifle hunters are not present (you can’t hear the bow hunters), depending on the location.++

            By the way, I have not had the same experience as you with birds tending to fly away, at least in forested areas. There is no reason for them to be flighty, mostly. On the other hand, upland birds (quail, pheasant and waterfowl (ducks, teal, geese, etc.), in areas where hunted by predators (including eagles and hawks) and humans, seem to be kind of wary all the time, though in those few hunting season months, more so. Of course, they are that way in your neck of the woods in IL, around Naperville, too.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++If the hunter can find ungulates why can’t you find them. ++

            They’re not really finding them, only driving them away. Hunters by and large are incredibly clumsy.

            You’d be amazed at how quickly ungulates and urinse disperse when the gunshots start coming.

            ++I have no problem finding moose during the hunting season. If fact some days that is all I see.++

            Moose seem to know when to head to private property–especially property that forbids hunting.

            ++But wolves, yes wolves, have changed moose behavior++

            Hunters don’t change moose behavior? Ah, ok…..

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            Mike

            You are talking baby talk, my child.

          • avatar Salle says:

            Actually, I think Mike makes a lot of sense and elaborates many of my concerns about being out when hunting is going on. Also, traveling to a NP is a nice suggestion, got gas money so I can go find one that is open year round? I don’t. Most require some travel for me. NFs are easier for me to access without greatly increasing my carbon footprint while trying to enjoy nature.

            As far as moose are concerned, I have little trouble finding them, saw a pair just this afternoon. And Mike is also correct about hunters clumsily scaring off the wildlife, probably the reason for lack of success. I guess I must be different somehow, I seem to attract the wildlife to some degree. When I go out looking, about 8 out of 10 times I find what I’m looking for whether it’s moose, bears, wolves, beaver, eagles and even pine martens… just about anything except maybe wolverines… which reminds me of something I want to know;

            Why the hell is there a season on them – trapping I think (?) – when nobody even knows how many there are? How intelligent is that?

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++Actually, I think Mike makes a lot of sense and elaborates many of my concerns about being out when hunting is going on. Also, traveling to a NP is a nice suggestion, got gas money so I can go find one that is open year round? I don’t. Most require some travel for me. NFs are easier for me to access without greatly increasing my carbon footprint while trying to enjoy nature.++

            Agreed.

            ++As far as moose are concerned, I have little trouble finding them, saw a pair just this afternoon. And Mike is also correct about hunters clumsily scaring off the wildlife, probably the reason for lack of success. I guess I must be different somehow, I seem to attract the wildlife to some degree. When I go out looking, about 8 out of 10 times I find what I’m looking for whether it’s moose, bears, wolves, beaver, eagles and even pine martens… just about anything except maybe wolverines… which reminds me of something I want to know; ++

            Nice. Gotta love the pine martens. I do pretty well finding wildlife too. But hunting season in the national forest is always poor for photography, IMHO. Too much noise and guns.

            ++Why the hell is there a season on them – trapping I think (?) – when nobody even knows how many there are? How intelligent is that?++

            It’s incredibly stupid. And it’s one of the reasons why the ESA came to be. If Obama had picked a conservationist for DOI instead of Salazar, the wolverine would be on the list and the idiotic Montana trapping season would be gone.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Elk – I noticed you ignored some of the other points. I’m not surpised, though.

            Perhaps if I sprinkled in a few conspiracy theories in with a beer you’d be more keen.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Mike,

            You do realize there are quite a few that read this blog that feel the same way about you?

        • avatar DT says:

          Salle
          What research do you do?

          • avatar Salle says:

            Currently I am documenting wild orchids, and other species of wildflowers of the mid-northern Rockies. I still need a GPS unit to create some ESRI pointfiles for mapping and analyzing their distribution and density. I also take note of the other flora and fauna I encounter while out in the fields and woods. My focus/study area is along a portion of the divide between ID and MT but would like to expand that study area.

            The recent vacillations of wet and dry years dictate my success in finding certain species. Last year was spectacular for finding things I had never seen up to that point.

            For my own enjoyment I usually just go to an area in the range I have set and hike around to see what’s there, who eats what and sometimes get distracted by my interest in tracking whatever happens to leave evidence of having been there. I often encounter whatever it was that caught my attention. This means I return to the same areas regularly to make observations so I get a chance to keep track of much more than just the flowers I seek.

            Wildflowers are my current passion but all wildlife is of interest to me and I feel a kinship with them, flora and fauna, like my NA friends have… which includes a healthy dose of respect for all living things. (I still have problems making that apply to most people I encounter in the US.)

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Salle, I would be interested in how many you have encountered outside the US, I have encountered quite a few over the years that have far more respect for their cow or dog, than they do their fellow human, I have seen quite a few shot in the head because they looked at their fellow human wrong!

          • avatar DT says:

            I too very much enjoy the natural world around me. I tend to find new things along places I’ve walked before. I love the changing seasons, always something new.
            I’m sorry you’ve encountered so many undesirable people. I’m not sure where you live, maybe it’s just the location? While there are truly some despicable characters out there, there are plenty of good as well.

            While I am not a hunter, I don’t have a strong opinion of them one way or another. Many in the family like to hunt. I just don’t go with them because I have a hard time watching what I’m going to eat later on die.

            I’m not sure, after things that I’ve read, that I really like trapping. I don’t have much first hand knowledge, but I do know a neighbor, their border collie got her paw in one. Poor thing almost lost her foot. To me, traps seem rather cruel and are too indiscriminate when it comes to domestic animals. To be honest, while I do not like the mice that get into the grain bins, I really do not like finding the traps with the dead little vermin either. We don’t put down poison, we just let the cats get em, we have a few barn cats.

          • avatar Salle says:

            Savebears,

            I have had equal doses of respectful and the opposite outside the US. Humans are humans, some of their cultures encourage respect… not necessarily so in the mainstream US, of what I’ve seen in over half a century.

            DT,

            After rolling over more than 1.5 million miles of the lower 48 and some of Mexico and Canada I’ve come to the conclusion that I must live in the wrong century or I was supposed to be someone else – as some of the criticism indicates. I have encountered some amazing people and I respect them. Those who have a negative impact on my life and endeavors and those who just don’t like me because of my looks or biological configuration and insist on limiting my progress because of their dislike, maybe Rancher Bob might fit in this category, receive less interest in offering respect to them on my part. I think respect, among humans, is reciprocal. Animals do it, humans seem to have issues with understanding it and offering it due to conditions (human constructions) they accept as gospel.

  33. avatar Salle says:

    On a lighter note:

    ‘Extinct’ Galapagos Tortoise Reappears

    http://www.livescience.com/17807-galapagos-tortoise-reappears.html

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Good interview. Most if not all was covered in his book, so not so much anything new, but while working it was a good listen.

    • avatar WM says:

      I suspect the anti-Salazar crowd on this forum will even find some fault with this very bold decision that is good for the environment generally, and the Grand Canyon NP, specifically. Looks like the R’s are trying to find a way around it.

      I’ts not like there aren’t already enough other uranium rich lands in the West that couldn’t be tapped if and when the need ultimately arises.

      • avatar Salle says:

        I was looking for a written account of the number of existing leases that are not affected by this ruling but haven’t found one yet. I did hear, on NPR this morning, that there are quite a few of those around the GC anyway.

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          Uranium lands are not leased they are claimed. A claim is a 500 x 1500 parcel of land which is granted under the mining act of 1872, which needs to be changed and cahnged now. Oil and gas are leased and the leases are sold at quartly auctions.

          If you want to find out who owes the claims you will have to go to the county courthouse in which the claims are filed. Thinking about it one should be able to find all claims in the BLM office of the state in question. It is tedious work.

          • avatar Salle says:

            No chance they’d make that accessible online, huh?

            Thanks, I forgot the terminology, had other stuff going on in my head at the time.

            I do agree that the Mining Act of 1872 needs to go away yesterday. It’s one of the things that make environmental and financial raping and pillaging so profitable though.

  34. avatar william huard says:

    http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/articles/2012/01/10/first_thing_we_do_lets_kill_all_the_coyotes/

    If you read the comments the majority of the views reflect tolerance.
    Jon Way- A week or so ago I thought you said that Mass allows baiting of coyotes without regulation. I haven’t found anything to that effect in the Mass hunting regs…..Were you saying that hunters do this illegally?
    In Mass it’s illegal to discharge a firearm within 500 feet of a residence.
    I’m waiting for Tom F. to call me back with clarification
    of the baiting issue.

  35. avatar Doryfun says:

    Hey Salle,

    I empathize with you in your fear of heading out to the woods, not knowing how much more dangerous it is in your area over mine, but I would hope not to the degree that it would prohibit your research.

    I do research all the time, everytime I go out. Science or not, it matters little for justification to enjoy nature and be out in the middle of it all.

    I get tired of worrying about trappers sets (having to release my own dogs from their traps, more than once) but I am not going to stop pursuing my interests or hold myself prisoner because of them.

    I never had liked the entire trapping thing, nor do I see eye to eye with trophy hunters. But, I try not to impose my ethics on others, as it is not my job. I get tired of religious folks trying to hold the trump card over morals, so figure I would be doing the same toward trappers or trophy hunters,if I begin to tout my ethics as superior to theirs.

    Like Immer says, money holds power. It favors the large noise which drowns out other sounds. Tradtionally non-consumptive users haven’t paid to play as much, when it comes to fish or wildlife in body count. However, often they contribute indirectly with dollars that do an end around effect (habitat enrichment, etc).

    My suggestion would be to learn more about the behavior of idiots with guns, as opposed to those who pursue outdoor consumptive activites with responsible behavior, so you can figure out safer times and places to get out, and not hole up in the cabin.

    That old saying I have said more than once here, that those who do not do things because of their fear of dying do not really live, still seems to apply. Sometimes our fears build things up to levels that might tip a bit over what is real. Not saying your area isn’t highly dangerous. I don’t know. Just my 2 cents worth of contemplation fodder.

    • avatar Salle says:

      It’s not a matter of fear but one of common sense.

      My major point, other than the shooting part, is that if protracted hunt/trap seasons become the norm, there will be few opportunities to do what I go into the woods to do, which has far less impact on the wildlife (flora and fauna) and far less confidence in being able to do so safely. I don’t go into the woods only to have to be wary of humans, I go there to get away from humans. If they are allowed to leave tools of endangerment lying around, the ability to use my public lands is greatly diminished to the point where I can no longer enjoy them.

      And then, just how much enjoyment would come from finding an animal in a trap… dead or alive? I think I would find it so disturbing that I might be compelled to do something untoward and possibly illegal to the humans involved.

      Personally, I equate trapping practices with cruel and unacceptable abuse of animals. Maybe some of these machomen should experience what they impose on others, the animals they seek to trap in particular.

      “…walk a mile in my shoes…”

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        Remember public lands are mutiple use. I certainly do not like motorized recreation but I will never be able to stop all motorized use nor should I.

        You have indicated that you live in the West Yellowstone area and yesterday you made a trip to Bozeman. The drive up and down US 191 is more dangerous than ever getting shot in the woods. The Gallatin Canyon scares the $hit out of me and drive it all the time.

        • avatar Salle says:

          Actually, I didn’t go through the canyon since that was not the direction I was coming from. Regardless, I drove for a living for a very long time, and I do agree with you about the dangers of driving. I could make comparisons with regard to the safety of driving vs. encountering someone with a gun in the woods but I need to get some things done around here and that argument could go on indefinitely.

          That fatal accident in the canyon, on Jan 1, I think it was, involved some good friends of mine, the ones who survived. I used to run semis through there on a regular basis, one needs to be “on total alert” when driving regardless of where they are. Too many folks seem to think that driving a late model vehicle makes them a better/ more highly skilled driver… NOT. In fact, yesterday, while in and traveling to/from Bozeman, I was almost involved in an accident three separate times due to clowns on cellphones while driving, one had a large dog in her lap as well. Complacency and overconfidence in one’s abilities is usually the most dangerous aspect, but I know that this is also a major factor in hunting accidents, regardless of intent.

        • avatar Mike says:

          The problem with 191 is the speed limit. Montana has the ability to change it. They have the ability to enforce it and choose not too.

          It doesn’t help that most of the vehicles doing 20 MPH over are gigantic, gas-sucking SUV’s with people who think 4WD means you have sandpaper brakes.

          • avatar Salle says:

            Mike, I couldn’t agree more.

            My ex had a great saying that he would recite whenever someone got on the back bumper and was trying to antagonize him into going faster: “Ha! If you don’t like this speed, buster, I have another that you’re really not gonna like. Much slower.”

            I thought that was such a gem that I never forgot it and since the other drivers can’t hear me I just drive a little slower than I was and make them wait until a passing lane comes along. Another thing I do to tailgaters is to adjust my rearview mirrors so that they shine their lights back in their eyes, they usually back off immediately. It’s a common problem, especially with those “wannabe graduates of the California School of Stunt Driving” who have no business driving anywhere at excessive speeds and their minimal skills, IMO. Their hurry is not my concern, they should have given themselves time to get where they are going without speeding and then they wouldn’t have to feel like they have to drive like that… endangering the lives of everyone around them to get to the stop light first.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            ++The problem with 191 is the speed limit. Montana has the ability to change it. They have the ability to enforce it and choose not too.++

            Once again Mike you do not know what you are talking about. US 191 is 60 miles an hour from the mouth of the Gallatin Canyon to Big Sky. It is enforced; I drive the canyon once every two weeks for work. I always see a highway patrolman one way or the other. It is easy to get your speed up about Spanish Creek and that is where “the Bear the is lurking with his radar gun”. When I ski at Big Sky I take the bus from the Gallatin Mall, it is free and saves $15 to $20 in gas, any problems to or from is someone else’s.

            ++It doesn’t help that most of the vehicles doing 20 MPH over are gigantic, gas-sucking SUV’s with people who think 4WD means you have sandpaper brakes.++

            I have never seen anyone traveling 80 miles in the middle of the canyon. There is to much traffic these days and people are not foolish, it is a very deadly road and this time of year if it is not icy then there are icy patches. I have seen to many wrecks.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++I have never seen anyone traveling 80 miles in the middle of the canyon.++

            Are you out of your mind? I see it all the time and I don’t even live there.

            ++There is to much traffic these days and people are not foolish.++

            If you think this, you are a very poor observer.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            Mike I used to fishing guide out of Big Sky and drove that road every day, several times a day. Yes, there are some bad drivers but for the most part everyone complies with the speed limits. It is easy to exceed the speed limits in the 20 miles of Yellowstone Park and that can cost one a big ticket.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Things are changing slowly. On the National Trappers Assoc facebook site there is a post from a trapper in Nevada looking for help from the NTA because the 24 hour trap check policy is on the table as he put it……On my God, what will the trappers do when they can’t leave animals in a trap for a week or so. Oh the heartache it must be to be a trapper.

      • avatar Kayla says:

        William, now I personally know someone from Idaho who is a Trapper and also a Good Friend! Juat am gonna say that it has been real interesting in talking to him and seeing things from his perspective.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Kayla-
          And your friend may very well be an ethical trapper. It is impossible to know the actual figures- but there is a considerable number of trappers that could care less what they trap. To many of them they do it part time as a hobby, sport, or to make a few dollars off the pelts….When I hear them whine about regulations like a 24 hour trap check (which should be mandatory) they have lost all credibility with me

      • avatar Salle says:

        Indeed, they might actually have to get out there and do something that might take more effort. In this day and age it’s all about the perception of convenience to the point of what could easily be considered luxury. Effort seems to be a bad thing, especially if it takes more time than one desires.

        If it’s that damned hard for them to go out and check their traps as often as they ought to, then why do they do it at all?

        Nobody has guaranteed anyone a life of convenience and luxury, I didn’t find any language in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights that guarantees such benefits to anyone, though there are some politicos and corporations that want you to think that such guarantees exist. They don’t I’m not seeking convenience nor luxury.

        “You may be an American, however, contrary to popular marketing claims… you cannot have it all.”

        To Kayla, I think you’re comparing apples to oranges. Yes, life in the urban areas are/can be dangerous, so can stepping outside the cabin… I get bears on my doorstep from time to time and several canids pass by my door regularly – not that I anticipate the canids’ actually harming me. A matter of perspective, I guess. I could also be run down by an ATV or snowmobile as well as some fool behind the wheel, a mugger on the street or simply fall while skiing and get hurt. Heck, a tree could fall on me in the woods or even on my cabin as a result of a strong gust of wind. I’ve walked up on grizzlies and made it out of the area without incident too. I never expect to be safe at any time though it’s highly unlikely that I would be the victim of a suicide bomber but you never know… Just look at what happened in Ranier NP recently. A whacko with guns blasting out of the city to the park to “hole up” or something… I suspect that if it wasn’t the ranger who was killed, eventually it might have been park tourist(s) who got too close to him in the woods. Wouldn’t have to be a park either, there are more folks out int the woods than you might imagine.

        In my world view, people are far scarier than any wildlife I might encounter, and any human whom I encounter in the wild and with whom I have no acquaintance, is a potential danger.

        I’m not an avid anti-gun person, I have guns… don’t use ’em much but I have them, and I only hunt with a pair of binos, spotting scope, field notebook and a camera or two. I don’t hate hunters but I don’t think there’s much need for that activity, especially given the impacts they have on the ecosystem with their mismanagement of the wild for the sake of their “sport”.

        And I’ve heard all the bluster about subsistence hunting, but that’s such a negligible number of our population that their significance on a grand scale is more negative than positive with regard to the health of the ecosystems they claim to conserve… for the pleasure of killing wild animals that is.

  36. avatar Salle says:

    “My suggestion would be to learn more about the behavior of idiots with guns, as opposed to those who pursue outdoor consumptive activities with responsible behavior, so you can figure out safer times and places to get out, and not hole up in the cabin.”

    Good suggestion except for the “x factor” = nonlocal hunters and their minions. You never know what those folks are up to nor what they know about hunting safety and such or even whether they know where they are. Most of the locals are okay, a few I’m wary of. I don’t exactly hole up in the cabin but I don’t feel like I can safely venture far from it given the “x factor”.

    I have no desire to find someone’s trapline “the hard way” either.

  37. avatar Frank Renn says:

    I was in N. India last March,just days before our visit to Corbitt National Park 2 individuals were killed by Tigers in separate locations. As these individuals were by themselves and in remote areas the Tigers were not to blame. A Tiger the year before was destroyed,but only after it had killed 6 people.

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      For those interested in India Tiger conservation, this might be a good link:
      http://www.wpsi-india.org/news/index.php
      Frank, did you see a Tiger in Jim Corbett Park? We have been to India in October/November, on a four week trip to several Tiger resorts. Saw a Tiger only on two occasions, in Rathambore.

  38. avatar Doryfun says:

    What is an ethical trapper, anyway? What is an ethical executioner? Is there a standard time frame that defines how long pro-longed agony is acceptable?

    Salle, here is what I do when I go out. Knowing the likely places trappers might not go, as distance and difficulty often make it unlikely for them to venture into those places that are harder to check traplines,is where I head.

    Regarding dangerous hunters, my opinion is just the opposite of yours. It seems to me it is usually locals that are more worrisome that outsiders. Locals are always more defensive about backyard territory, so often get the most riled up, and willing to stir up trouble. Either way, it is always wise to keep alert wherever you travel. There is no sacred ground that evil will not be willing to venture into.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Doryfun-
      After I posted the comment it certainly didn’t sound right. Like saying “sensitive and compassionate axe murderer”
      Believe me trappers are not my role models or friends. The act of trapping is totally unethical. There are trappers that do care about wildlife and do trap in a way as to minimize unintended take of non target animals and do check their traps every day.
      Believe me that was painful to even say…..

  39. avatar jon says:

    Get a load of this guys. Some hunters in Idaho think the Idaho fish and game are trying to get rid of hunting.

    http://www.localnews8.com/news/30128216/detail.html

    • avatar william huard says:

      Poor Mark Gamblin- These are Mark’s constituents- Rattleboy, Rockhead, WTT Chandie. A bunch of conspiracy theory wingnuts….You can’t make this stuff up. They’re talkin to the tree huggers….Where’s my gun quick…..Hunting is going to end I know it….good grief

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      In their press release they say, with regard to the IDFG wildlife summit:
      “Clearly, IDF&G is in violation of Idaho law and NEPA and is using the collaboration process to bypass the duly elected representatives of the people of Idaho.”

      Huh? I don’t think they know what hell they are talking about.

      That crowd is also accusing IDFG of conspiring with Western Watersheds Project and the editors of this blog to have the summit. That’s absolutely false. I wasn’t even aware that the summit was occurring until last week when Mark Gamblin mentioned it here and I work for Western Watersheds Project as well as edit this blog.

      They just don’t want to accept that anyone besides themselves should have any say in how fish and wildlife should be managed. I have been an IDFG license holder for most of my life but even I believe that those who don’t hold an IDFG license are stakeholders in how wildlife should be managed. The wildlife is held in public trust, a trust well established in law, the public includes everyone not just those who scream the loudest.

      They also say that they are going to be documenting whether or not attendees will be checked for residency. So, apparently, you have to be a resident and a license holder to have any say in how wildlife is managed?

      I have a feeling that they are going to show up even though they oppose the whole concept. I’ll be sure to find a way to attend so that they can’t follow me home.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Save Western Wildlife? How ironic when the ultimate goal is having enough wildlife to kill.

        I applaud you Mark for taking the steps to insure that ALL interested stakeholders will have a say regarding this important issue.

        (Ken, maybe Mark can give you a life home after the gathering 🙂

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        so saddlebags bartell is still out there spread’en it huh. I thought that particular null had disappeared.

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          however if all of the haters show up at this “summit” it might be funner than a fistfight in a phone both.
          Can you imagine Rockholm actually trying to elucidate a fact?

          And little barry coe using words that he actually knows the meaning of?

          And a special treat of Todd Fross showing up…or could we even hope that pencil neck Hemming would be there?

          Talk about a convention of village idiots.

          • avatar WM says:

            I hope a Commissioner asks Rockhead the following question?

            “Please tell the Commission how many dues paying or financially contributing members are in your organization, Save Western Wildlife, and how were you elected President?”

            And, the follow up, “Who is the illiterate idiot that writes your fact challenged press releases?”

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            It does need to be said, again, that scheduling this “summit” on the opening weekend of archery season has to be one of the biggest all time moronic blunders in a line of typically stupendous moronic blunders by the state.

            I guess that is all one could one expect in a state run by Clem and the livestock industry

            Simply amazing

          • avatar william huard says:

            That is funny Jeff E, where’s the toothless one been? Did he get locked up again?

          • avatar william huard says:

            UMM Mr Rockhead…..Of all your present board members in your company can you determine how many are active halluncinations?

    • avatar Mike says:

      Wow. Dun’ full up on stoopid.

      • avatar william huard says:

        It’s fun teasing the locals….How would you even attempt a logical discussion with a Rockhead or Chandie Bartell? Too bad most of them are illiterate. I almost feel bad for Mark in his attempt to at least get some of the issues confronting wildlife management in the 21st century on the table. The wingnuts will go kicking and screaming all the way to the funny farm.

    • avatar Paul says:

      I mentioned on this blog before how many in the hunting/trapping community do not want to relinquish any of the control that they have regarding wildlife decisions. This article and the comments that follow are a perfect example. Of course this may just be a vocal minority, but I am not so sure. Can you believe the nerve of IDFG actually trying to get input from ALL elements of Idaho stakeholders, and not just ranchers, hunters, and trappers? I used to think that the most dangerous thing was allowing one of these blathering fools to have access to a gun. Now I am convinced that the most dangerous tool for these clowns is having access to a computer.

      • avatar william huard says:

        No- take away the guns too, after a short period of withdrawal, they could take to the woods and scream at the animals- Hey you MR Elk- stop…..My Idaho constitution clearly states you are suppose to be available to me at all times…..Now lay down…..Submit you beast.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          🙂 🙂 🙂

          “Don’t know what you’ve got… til its gone. They paved Paradise, and put up a parking lot”

    • avatar JB says:

      After reading [some of] the comments following this article, I have more sympathy for IDF&G than ever! The fact that an agency wants to solicit input from its constituents should not be a cause for alarm, but rather, a reason to celebrate. Holy paranoia, Batman!

      Caught between a Rock and a Huard place! [sorry William, I couldn’t resist]

      • avatar william huard says:

        It’s OK JB. It’s unfortunate that some people are so wrapped up in negativity that they are incapable of seing anything positive worth celebrating.
        “Robin, I think the Batphone is bugged”

  40. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    And you say Americans don´t care about things abroad! Ammoland takes on the Indian Leopard mauling and feels a press release is indispensable! But, maybe that Ammoland guy thinks India is Indiana? Your favourite gun fetishist suggest to arm the locals in India to counter those predatory beasts! Brilliant Idea!
    http://www.ammoland.com/2012/01/10/indian-leopard-attack-shows-anti-human-nature-of-gun-control/

    • avatar Salle says:

      Thanks for finding that, Peter.

      Whoa…. GONG!

      “While a map in the plan excludes Yellowstone National Park and the Wind River Indian Reservation from the trophy game and predator areas, it includes Grand Teton National Park, the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway administered by the park and the National Elk Refuge in the trophy game management area.”

      So they are allowing wolf hunting in Teton NP now. Good Grief.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Wyoming has no authority to allow hunting on those federal reservations, the only reason elk hunting is allowed, is due to the stipulations that were wrote into the Congressional mandate to set the park up, there would have to be a whole bunch of stuff happen to legally allow hunting of wolves in those areas. Most of the people that post on this blog know that. Talk about crying “Wolf”!!

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Save Bears and william huard,

          I was going to put up the story, but I figure whoever drew the map for Wyoming made a mistake, though it is probably wishful thinking.

          As far as Salazar goes, I’ve come to believe that Obama’s failures have come more from lack of experience. He was grabbed by a bunch of bad advisors from the start, such as Rahm Emmanuel, his first chief of staff. Now, for Democrats and independents, he is starting to say and do some of the right things. To win big he needs to make Wall Street and Congress (11% popularity) the enemy of the voters. He can fire Salazar, but the Republican senate will not ever let him have a vote on a replacement (unless they chose it). For an already running (like Interior) agency, however, the President can appoint an “acting” secretary until Congress approves a replacement. Firing Salazar would be a great message to the agency and fire up his supporters. Ashe would take off the stupid cowboy hat!

    • avatar Mike says:

      It’s beyond clear the Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana are currently engaged in wiping out the wolf.

      History repeats itself.

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        “History repeats itself” it has since the begining of time.

      • avatar william huard says:

        Meanwhile in Wash DC, Ken Salazar and his protege Daniel Ashe have matching fancy new rancher hats.
        Not to tight now, we wouldn’t want it to cut off the circulation to your brain, you need that brain function to sell out wolves to the hillbilly states

  41. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Who’s afraid of the lone gray wolf? Ranchers, families
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/01/10/BAPR1ML09K.DTL#ixzz1jA8sOTZW
    The County Supervisor (!) says”…..Armstrong claims wolves are the only predators who kill for fun, eating their prey while the animals are still alive and chewing fetuses out of cows”.
    Yes, Ma´am if you say so!

  42. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Leopard population grows (in Russia)
    http://english.ruvr.ru/2012/01/11/63675935.html
    Also of interest: They plan a new preserve, called “The Land of the Leopards”. Together with a preserve established across the border in China, this could become the first “transfrontier” preserve in this region of the world!

  43. avatar DT says:

    I am sorry if this is not the correct place to put this question but I’m really confused.

    I have always admired wolves, I think they are truly beautiful creatures. The information I have seen is that wolves are good for an ecosystem, just as any predator would be. They only kill to sustain, they are very ‘family’ oriented and they are relatively shy around humans, mainly because they were hunted almost into extinction. I read that there were only wolves in Alaska and Minnesota until the 1990’S. I saw an extraordinary film documenting wolves being raised and then released by a couple, their name escapes me now.

    But lately I’ve been reading so many contrary things and I’m real confused. I’ve read that wolves often kill just because they can or that their prey ran, that they didn’t consume what they ate. I’ve read of increasing aggression to people. That the wolves that were put in Yellow Stone were actually really big wolves from up in Canada. That they carry all kinds of scary diseases. I’ve read that some places were told only so many wolves would be introduces and that number now exceeds what was agreed upon. I’ve even read that some people want to wipe them out again altogether! I don’t think that’s right, but now I’m not sure what to think.

    • avatar DT says:

      Also I just read that wolves are responsible for the drop in elk and moose numbers, yet I remember reading something years ago that documented moose dying from starvation and ticks. How can we know if elk and moose numbers are decreasing from that sort of thing and not wolves?

      • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

        DT –
        It’s all very complicated and it sounds like you have been exposed a lot of black & white. Unfortunately, I don’t know that there is any one source to direct you to. I can speak a little bit from experience about the disease threat. As with all of it, there is a small thread of truth in that Echinococus granulosus is very nasty if you get it. However, it seems that exceedingly few people (even those that study, hunt or trap wolves or inadvertently handle their scat) ever get it, and many of the cases where humans have contracted it have involved a different form associated with herding dogs and sheep, etc. common in agricultural regions of the world, that’s probably been in the west for a long time. It is common in wolves in Alaska and northern B.C., and I have been potentially exposed to it at least a couple of times that I know of, once from a large lung cyst that I inadvertently ruptured with a knife while dressing a deer – confirmed to be E. granulosus by the state veternarian, and another incident that would seem to have entailed much greater risk when two other folks and I decided to camp on the only nice dry gravel bar of size we could find in a swampy interior British Columbia valley. The weather was very dry and we kicked, pushed and threw an astounding quantity of dry and fresh wolf scat off the gravel patch into the river and then camped on the ground there for about 10 days. We did not realize we were occupying a wolf rendezvous site because we had little knowledge of wolf social behavior, but they tried to educate us for over 2 days before giving up (howling continuously in all directions around camp for about 8 hours out of 24, during which time we actually saw them only once). So, I would say that with all the airborne particles we stirred up, we probably each got exposure risk to E. granulosus equivalent to an auto mechanic standing in his shop cleaning out an asbestos-lined brake drum with a high pressure hose. That was in 1987 and all three of us are still waiting for the first shoe to drop, but so far so good.

      • avatar JB says:

        DT:

        I’ll second Seak’s comments. Although wolves are undoubtedly one of the most researched organisms, it is surprising how little we can say about them–for sure. I was once told that “wolves will make a liar out of you every time”–meaning as soon as you start to generalize, you can find an example of wolves that runs counter to your generalization.

        Regardless, a good place to start for information is the International Wolf Center: http://www.wolf.org/wolves/index.asp. You might also consider reading the work of David Mech, Rolf Peterson, and Adolph Murie. I would also recommend Barry Lopez’s “Of Wolves and Men” and Martin Nie’s “Beyond Wolves”.

        • avatar DT says:

          So, the things I’ve read, they are all kinda true?
          Yes, it does sound very complex.
          Thank you for the resources.

      • avatar WM says:

        DT,

        As SEAK & JB have said, it is all very complicated. The belief of some is that wolves kill only the old, weak and injured elk and deer, which is sort of Nature’s way of cleansing, and providing food for predators. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen that statement in print, especially in the media.

        It is also generally believed by many, based on the research, that wolves don’t go after very young elk calves and deer fawns, so much (as much as bears particularly).

        Just a couple of days ago, I was speaking by phone to a long time friend, who is science trained, and lives in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem on the southern WY side. He spends alot of time in the woods. He is also a pilot, and does quite a bit of mountain flying.

        He told me two things in our converation, that surprised me a bit. He was out antler hunting in the Spring, during elk calving time. He was in an an open area, with sage brush lowlands and forested draws, where a fair number of elk were dropping calves. He personally witnessed three very young (newborn or couple day old) elk calves attacked and killed by one or more wolves in a period of three days. One wolf didn’t see him and was within less than fifteen yards, carrying off about 1/3 of just born elk calf it had just killed. These were not the weak, it was just that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. So, yeah, wolves do eat the young and healthy.

        He was up flying last week and saw 18 wolves on his hour long flight, in three different packs. He says he wasn’t even looking for wolves, and yet found them. One pack was working over a recent elk kill. The others were on the move.

        If you are looking for facts, you need to understand a wolf will eat between 8-23 deer/elk between November and April, which is the standard research year. Some of those animals might have died anyway over the winter, but certainly not the majority. They eat more elk/deer from May through October, but tend toward smaller mammals for some of that diet.

        Every US state/Canadian province that has wolves has recognized wolves can and do locally impact deer/elk/moose populations, and the age dynamics of those populations (especially if they eat calves and rutted out herd bulls with good genetics). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out more wolves mean fewer elk. And, that is what much of the tension is about.

        • avatar JB says:

          WM:

          You forgot to mention that, despite the long-term drought AND return of the wolf, elk numbers in the West overall, are up; moreover, the majority of places wolves occur there is no measurable impact of wolves on elk populations; the two zones in Idaho where wolves have had a measurable impact, also happen to contain robust cougar and bear populations–both of which also take a significant number of elk.

          Take home message: Wolves are not demons, nor are they saints–they are simply wild animals trying to eek out a living in a very unforgiving landscape (and with very unforgiving people in a supervisory role).

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            JB

            I am not seeing the elk that I saw 10 years ago, nor am I seeing the number of elk tracks. That is my observation. I have talk with a number of elk hunters and they are saying the same thing. After a life time of living here, what I see is what I believe. Elk numbers are down where there are wolves.

            Elk numbers are up in the state of Montana, but they are down in region 2 which is the area around Missoula. I am seeing them down in region 3 also, which is Southwest Montana. Each year the number of elk and the number of elk seen in a group gets smaller. Ten years ago I would see 100 to 200 elk a day hunting now I am lucky to see 10 to 20.

            Elk numbers are increasing east of the Rockies to the North Dakota border. Most of that land is private with BLM lands interspersed giving the hunter very restricted access. Private lands are leased for mule deer and antelope hunting and archery elk. My nephew who grew up on a farm in Eastern Montana, said “before the elk came I could go hunting anywhere I wanted”, now those lands are leased.

            This is my observation and the observation of others.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Elk275 –

            If you’re worried about elk, stop shooting them.

            This is basic math.

          • avatar WM says:

            And, of course, JB, wildlife agencies are trying, in the presence of ever more critical public, to manage all those wildlife species and humans who may hunt them, while wolves are on the landscape in increasing range and increasing numbers, subject also to management.

            I wonder what will happen with a severe winter that drops elk below “objectives,” while wolf populations remain static (subject to the current hunts). If the wolves start working on the calves/fawns as ungulates attempt recovery, wolf public relations will have an even more difficult time.

            • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

              WM,

              Predator numbers, assuming they are not omnivores, follow prey numbers by about one year in their decline. Haven’t you seen the famous chart of lynx and snowshoe hare numbers?

              Anyway, anti-wolf sentiment is cultural (witness the uproar over the few wolves in Oregon and Washington). The number of elk or deer they kill or don’t kill is no longer of any political importance.

          • avatar JB says:

            Elk:

            I don’t doubt that wolves have had localized impacts on deer, elk, and moose across a variety of settings. But temporary, localized population reductions do not make the herds unhealthy. You have repeatedly stated that you are unwilling to accept ANY reduction in hunting opportunity because of wolves–translation: no compromise.

            I take a decidedly different view. Wolves are part of the native fauna that ARE being heavily managed to the benefit of local livestock producers and hunters. Localized impacts are “natural”, in so much as they are expected under natural conditions, and to some, they are desirable.

            According to the USFWS, Montana had 145,000 resident hunters in 2006; a bit less than 1/6th of Montana’s population. I don’t claim to know what Montana residents want with respect to wolves, but I do know that 80% of the US public thinks wolves should still be federally-listed, and these people are partial owners of the lands on which wolves currently reside.

          • avatar JB says:

            “I wonder what will happen with a severe winter that drops elk below “objectives,” while wolf populations remain static (subject to the current hunts).”

            That’s a silly question. As you well know, wolf populations are slated for ~30-40% reductions, at least in Idaho and Montana. And if elk were to drop below objective (as they have in the Lolo), we would hear more complaints and F&G agencies would become more aggressive in their wolf reduction programs. Really, WM, I’m not sure why you’re still complaining? States have won their battles and the effort to kill as many wolves as possible is on. You should be happy! 😉

          • avatar WM says:

            Ralph,

            ++Predator numbers ….follow prey numbers.++

            I think there are alot more variables at play than the classic coyote/lynx – hare charts most of us have seen and been taught.

            Wolves just might move on to new territory where the impacts of a bad winter might not have been felt, if they can. Or, God forbit, some might start in on livestock, locally. A few might start eating each other. Maybe they will eat even more coyotes.

            We can almost certainly expect they will go after young of the year ungulates which might even depress the cycle further for ungulate recovery (isn’t that one theory in the Lolo), as we know they are adaptive opportunists, and that may start a cascade, which might take more than a year or three to begin the cycle, and who knows how long to recover. This is, afterall, one big experiment. There are lots of questions for which we do not have answers.

            WM,

            I’d like to answer this, but this thread has grown so big it takes forever to find anything. Instead I think I need to create a new one (new thread) . . . and just after about ten days this time! Ralph Maughan

          • avatar JB says:

            “There are lots of questions for which we do not have answers.”

            Hmm…I’m not sure what you’re worried about, WM. Wolves are delisted and western states are falling all over themselves pledging to prevent any kind of impact to your hunting opportunity. Isn’t that enough for you? Or will you press on for more aggressive control? Should we start the aerial gunning and gassing now, or are you willing to wait a few years and see how things work out?

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Mike –
            “If you’re worried about elk, stop shooting them. This is basic math.”
            Oh my ….. again, your persistence in demonstrating you ignorance of basic wildlife population biology and management principles is – persistent. No Mike, basic math does not demonstrate that shooting/harvesting/killing/taking elk is the cause of the elk declines we have been discussing – or as a matter of general elk, deer, moose or other hunted species management. Hunting is almost almost always managed for sustained population objectives. When managment objectives intend to reduce the size of a population (wolves e.g.) sustainability remains the key objective, almost universally.
            You seem to suggest (naievly) that wildlife population dynamics are linear (i.e. 100-25=75). It is not, which is why this issue is not the basic math you refer to.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          +Every US state/Canadian province that has wolves has recognized wolves can and do locally impact deer/elk/moose populations, and the age dynamics of those populations (especially if they eat calves and rutted out herd bulls with good genetics). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out more wolves mean fewer elk. And, that is what much of the tension is about+

          Also doesn’t take a rocket scietist WM, to realize that most western states have become nothing more than game farms when it comes to the “management” of wildlife.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            That is what the majority of the populus wants. Montana has the highest hunting license sales per capita in the nation. In the valley that you live in, that is what 90% of the population wants — large elk herds to hunt and a 5 week hunting season.

            What Nancy and her ilk want do not matter.

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            Mike

            It is basic math. Stop the shooting elk and start shooting wolves, mountain lions and bears. Eliminate everything that kills elk and the number of elk will increase and increase and increase. We know that is not possible there will be wolves, grizzlies, mountain lions and hunters it is up to the state to determine which animal gets what.

            Around 2000, I read that 80% percent of all elk mortality was from hunting. I wonder if that 80% percent is true today.

          • avatar WM says:

            Nancy,

            I hear this “game farm” handle alot from wolf advocates. It is nice little term that for most of the West simply is not true. If you have ever been to OR, WA, CO, UT, as well as parts of ID, MT, WY it is not the way it is.

            It may seem like it in winter, because there is a shortage of winter range because of private land holdings. And, elk, like the video Ralph has on another thread shows elk herded up, which they tend to do in winter – partly it is a predation avoidance mechanism, according to some researchers like Hebblewhite.

            Nancy, you really need to get out more. Try Western WA or OR, and look for those game farms – yeah, good luck.

        • avatar Mike says:

          ++He told me two things in our converation, that surprised me a bit. He was out antler hunting in the Spring, during elk calving time. He was in an an open area, with sage brush lowlands and forested draws, where a fair number of elk were dropping calves. He personally witnessed three very young (newborn or couple day old) elk calves attacked and killed by one or more wolves in a period of three days. One wolf didn’t see him and was within less than fifteen yards, carrying off about 1/3 of just born elk calf it had just killed. ++

          Come on. This just wreaks of complete B.S.. A wolf, fifteen yards away, didn’t see a human? lol!

          This is the kind of baloney that gets guys like Elk275 and Savebears nodding their heads, this “woods magic” talk. It’s usually shared amongst like-minded folks who are heavy into conspiracy theories.

          • avatar WM says:

            Mike,

            ++ This wreaks of.. BS..++

            I have known this guy for many years. And, during that time I have trusted him with my life alpine climbing on steep high altitude mountains with glaciers and ice falls. If anything, he usually understates things, so I have no problem with the truth and veracity of his statements. Animals, predator or prey, no matter how wary can be surprised. It is part of the natural selection proces.

            I guess you don’t believe my recounting of almost running into a black bear as we both rounded the end of an uprooted tree root wad three years ago, either. Strange stuff happens in the woods. Last year one of my hunting partners saw an elk that did a pirouet, standing on its back legs, doing a full circle, to look around for wolves before taking a drink of water at a pond in a depression. You can’t make up this stuff. It really happens.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Conspiracy theories? Really Mike, come spend some time with me in the North Fork you could learn quite few things outside your bubble.

          • avatar Mike says:

            I’ve spent time on the Northfork and I’ve been in some of those conversations and to tell you the truth I had a hard time keeping myself from laughing.

            The realtors I spoke with that used the “n” word, and railed against the U.N. and Park Rangers weren’t so funny.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Mike, I can 100% guarantee you, that you won’t hear about the UN, I won’t use the N word and I will introduce you to many of my friends that are Park Rangers..

        • avatar DT says:

          WM
          It makes sense that wolves would hunt the young, they are very vulnerable and probably the easiest to hunt, even with a defending mother. It would also make sense that if that were the case, herd numbers would go down. But, don’t cougar and bears make some sort of impact too? Why are they not as vilified as the wolf? Aren’t cougars a problem in California? I remember someplace some where a while back reading about how they were having troubles with cougars in areas that were becoming more populated.
          Also, if herd numbers are going down, why does the wolf seem to take on the lion’s share of the blame instead of the other predators?

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            DT

            ++Also, if herd numbers are going down, why does the wolf seem to take on the lion’s share of the blame instead of the other predators?++

            That is a very good question, one that I have always wondered about. I think that it is “out of sight, out of mind”. I have only seen one mountain lion in the wild in my life and that was on the rimrocks in Billings, Montana above Rocky Mountain College when I was about 10 years old, early 1960’s. I have seen lots of wolves.

            A good analogy might be a cat burglar vs an outlaw motorcycle gang, like the Hell Angels or the Banditos. No one ever hear’s about the stealth cat burglar but the motorcycle gang makes news daily.

          • avatar Rancher Bob says:

            DT
            Couple reasons wolf is vilified: he’s a pack hunter that chases his prey sometime over many miles, which burns more calories and causes more stress. The wolf style of killing is not always as clean as the lion or bear. Lions and bears are single hunters most often short chases with quick kills. Bears are out only part of the year and are big on other food sources besides deer and elk. I won’t go on further it’s just lots of little things.

            As for someones earlier comment about wolves at close quarters I’ve had a pack of 5 where no wolf was farther than 15 yards and they didn’t have a clue.

      • avatar Barb Rupers says:

        The tapeworm that is causing so much angst has a very low threat to humans who are secondary hosts. Usually ungulates are the secondary host; we, like they, can only be infected by ingesting eggs from the primary host, usually canine. The primary host, can only become infected by eating the cysts of infected secondary hosts. Lots of sites on the internet to check this out. Do not rely only on reading opinions of others at pro and anti sites.

        For an early history of wolf reintroduction I suggest you read the ongoing account as it happened at the web sites you will find here which are the weights of each wolf reintroduced into Idaho. I think you will find that these are in line with current weights for those wolves killed in Idaho during recent years. Larger Canadian wolves? I don’t find any evidence fore that.
        http://www.forwolves.org/ralph/wpages/1995idahowolves.htm

        http://www.forwolves.org/ralph/wpages/1996idahowolves.htm

  44. avatar WM says:

    Well, it looks like Doc Hastings (R-Eastern WA and Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee) has his sights set on reviewing and making changes to the ESA.

    Seems some environmental advocacy groups pissed off the wrong people on some of the Columbia River salmon recovery plan.

    As the article states, “We’ve seen environmental lawyers wield the ESA like a bludgeon to smash hard-won compromises that would clearly benefit endangered Northwest salmon runs.”

    Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2012/01/11/1782547/endangered-species-act-review.html#storylink=cpy

    One can add this to the growing stack of examples that give even some Dems. reason to back changes to the ESA.

    One other, in my opinion, is the incredibly stupid Distinct Population Segment legal argument on delisting ID and MT wolves, while WY wolves remained on the ESA list, last heard before Judge Molloy. This, of course, was the basis for the distasteful Congressional Rider (which also was heard by Judge Molloy after an unsuccessful suit, and is on appeal to the 9th Circuit, after he found it to be Constitutionally permissible).

    I will say it again. Be careful what you wish for and get, when you pick arcane technical legal battles in the wrong political environment, that pit purist views against real world need for compromise on complex issues.

    Any word from the 9th on that appeal?

    • avatar Mike says:

      So you’re blaming environmentalists for endangered species?

      • avatar WM says:

        No, Mike,

        I am saying, and I think it was pretty clear, is that choosing to use technical arguments (which may be even outside the intent/spirit of the ESA law), to advance environmental interests which go against conventional sentiment and wisdom, can do significant political damage.

        For example, should HSUS choose to challenge the delisting of Western Great Lakes wolves which goes into effect later this month, there will likely be political backlash. HSUS, for its own selfish objectives, wants WGL and NRM wolves listed forever; they don’t want their numbers and range “managed” by individual states. They have stated this, and challenged delisting at every corner; they were the first, if I recall correctly to get heavily involved in the technical nuances of the “Distinct Population Segment” (DPS) argument in one of their WGL suits.

        If there is WGL delisting litigation in the next couple months, the Congressional delegations from MN, WI and MI are likely to be supportive of looking at some changes to the ESA, along with some of the Western States, as the stack of alleged (let me say that again, alleged) misuses of the ESA gets bigger. I think there is alot of stuff the drafters of the ESA may understand and would have wanted to address in today’s world. Do recall, Congress created the law, and a new Congress operating in a different world with forty years of experience under the old law may have some new ideas.

        Furthermore, it is clear not all environmental or animal rights groups have common agendas, or the same touchstone (some might say common sense) for how they make decisions on which battles to take on, and how they do it. Defenders of Wildlife and a couple of other national groups figured out this litigation over the Congressional Rider from last year might have negative fallout in this political environment. I think the very arrogant Center for Biogical Diversity and and a couple other groups, with their aggressive stance on so many issues has maybe done more damage than good when looking at the big picture. If the political forces from the dark side are aligned to change the ESA in material ways, they may well get more allies as these things play out. Back to my original post, Doc Hastings is from the dark side.

  45. avatar Frank Renn says:

    reply to Peter. Much like yourself we did not see Tigers at Corbett, but did see them at Rathambore. I went with a bird watching group, so that was our priority as far as locations visited

  46. avatar Nancy says:

    Elk275 says:
    January 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm
    That is what the majority of the populus wants. Montana has the highest hunting license sales per capita in the nation. In the valley that you live in, that is what 90% of the population wants — large elk herds to hunt and a 5 week hunting season.

    What Nancy and her ilk want do not matter

    Elk – I’m fortunate enough to know most of my neighbors and its laughable that you somehow have the impression that 90% of them hunt. 20% would be a stretch. Unless of course, you’re counting the out of staters 🙂

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      I suppose the best way to find the answer would be to know the 2010 cenus population of Beaverhead County and the number of hunting license sold that year, that would give us the hunter numbers to population ratio.

      Unforunately my contacts in the Fish, Wildlife and Parks have retired. If I have time, I will call Helena and see if that information is available.

      Then should we use the total population or subtacted out those under 12 who legally can not hunt and those over 70/75 who age could prevent them from hunting. It would be interesting.

    • avatar Mike says:

      That is amusing.

  47. avatar jon says:

    http://www.omaha.com/article/20120110/NEWS01/701119989#bill-would-let-hunters-target-cougars

    20 cougars in Nebraska and they want to have a hunting season on them? There something wrong with this picture?

  48. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    It’s kind of tail-chasing exercise to assign blame to one species when prey populations decline to levels below what we would like. If one were to look objectively, for example, for one species to blame where moose are less abundant across interior Alaska, you would pick bears, not wolves. Wolves are everywhere, but they usually regulate their numbers around the density of moose, a primary prey, while most bear predation on moose is during a very short period on new calves and bear numbers are mostly driven by other food sources. So moose abundance in that region tends to be inversely related to abundance of bears, not wolves. Still, wolves are definitely part of the equation and many moose populations would increase with the same number of bears in the absence of wolves, and certainly vice versa. The difference where wolves have been re-introduced in the lower 48 is that they have been added back into the equation, so people who don’t want whatever change they are purported to bring have been able to assign to them 100% responsibility and, have manufactured a veneer of ecological credibility to differentiate them from other historic western icons, by portraying the new population as different — larger, more lethal and exotic — than the old. While re-introduced wolves certainly seem to have been a major factor (along with bears, drought, hunting and probably cats) in a major decrease in northern Yellowstone elk numbers (where wolves have subsequently decreased in response) including the area WM mentions, — as JB points out, there appear to be many other hunted elk herds in wolf territory (including a majority of herds in Wyoming) where their added effect has yet to even reduce elk numbers from an over-populated state down to state management objectives, that are presumably aimed at achieving maximum sustainable hunter harvest from available habitat. There likely have been and will be some real negative effects on some people’s particular interests in the region, along with some positive, but it’s still early enough in the game that most of the predictions are probably still no more dependable than recent forecasts about the economy and financial markets. So . . . here’s a prediction: people from all perspectives (except maybe those with ulterior reasons) will eventually find they had both less control of the situation with wolves and, in most cases, less reason to be concerned about it than they thought.

    • avatar Salle says:

      SEAK,

      That is truly the “step back” perspective which promotes sound thinking. I think you hit the nail on the head.

      I would also add that this country’s laws and judicial system are designed to protect the underdogs against a majority that might be oppressing them in some way; it’s the victim who is supposed to win the ruling in a dispute. Consequently, those who oppose a just ruling will ultimately attempt to make the general public perceive them as the victims, regardless of evidence disputing that possibility. Thus the loud campaigns against the few wolves in a region using claims other than what scientific inquiry indicates because they feel that the emotional pleas will win the argument. Because they are based on feelings and beliefs rather than what documented empirical study implies, and this methodology has often worked in their favor in the past, they continue to carry forth in that set of practices. Belief vs rational thought is the big picture theme here.

    • avatar DT says:

      *Wolves are everywhere, but they usually regulate their numbers around the density of moose, a primary prey,*

      What do you mean by this statement? How do they regulate their numbers?

      To be quite frank, I’m not sure I believe those who say wolves will snatch children from playgrounds and bus stops. I’m equally not sure I believe there is a huge threat about the parasites and diseases that are supposed to sky rocket because there are now wolves where there weren’t any. This seems like overblown hysteria that is trying to support the claim that wolves should be eliminated completely. That of course is just my opinion.

    • Seak,

      You are probably right. I keep saying that a pure carnivore like wolves and cats cannot survive long if their prey declines or disappears, but many people seem to think that they can fast for 3 or 4 years, eat mice, or berries or rhubarb.

      Omnivores are different matter. Bears are omnivores. In some places 90% of their calories are from vegetation. They can survive “a drought” of deer, elk, moose, caribou. In addition bears hibernate, consuming no food for several to 5 months.

  49. avatar Cindy says:

    Wolves in Town! Here we go ! Please send good thought to all your pro wolf Jackson Hole residents, we are going to need it!!!
    http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/article.php?art_id=8128
    Wo

    • avatar DT says:

      If I saw a wolf attacking my livestock or my pets and I shot it, would I be doing something illegal? Or does a person have that right to protect their, well in a sense their property. I don’t see pets as property but I suppose cattle and sheep would be.

      • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        DT –
        That would depend on several factors. If wolves are not listed under ESA, state laws and policy would determine legality. In Idaho it would be legal for you to protect your life and property from attacks by any wildlife. Pets are considered property, so protecting a pet would be allowed also. I won’t speak for other states, though my understanding is that protection of life and property is allowed commonly, if not universally.

        • avatar JB says:

          Moreover, understand that even where explicit statutory protections are lacking, prosecutors have considerable discretion in which cases to pursue. If there is any indication that you were acting to protect yourself (or others) from a large carnivore, there is very little chance you would be prosecuted.

        • avatar william huard says:

          I thought Idaho and Wyoming gave out a citizens award for most creative lie after killing a wolf. Some of the better ones are-
          “He looked at me for it seemed like forever and then he made a move for me…..
          or
          “I feared for my life and the lives of my children even though my kids are staying at my parents house…..
          and
          “About 10 wolves circled me for 45 minutes…One of the wolves ordered takeout during the ordeal

          • avatar DT says:

            People actually used those excuses?

          • avatar Savebears says:

            In Williams interpretation of the articles that have been publish, yes, people have used those types of statements, in truth, it is a little different that what he has posted.

    • avatar Mike says:

      What an absolute eyesore those subdivisions are. What were people thinking? At the base of one of the finest mountain ranges in the world?

      • avatar Salle says:

        I think it could be called “trophyhomeism”. It became a fashionable thing in Dick Cheney’s crowd a couple decades ago. I think it got a little over sold sans EI inquiry. I remember when that area was far less inhabited by humans all the way down past Alpine.

        • avatar WM says:

          The “trophyhomeism” disease began long before Cheney, in the West. It was typically brought on with ski area development, then accompanying golf courses. Some think it began in Aspen in the late 1960’s, then the epidemic spread quickly to adjacent Snowmass, up the valley along I-70 to Vail and Copper Mountain. Outbreaks then started in Jackson, Steamboat, Crested Butte and Avon/Beaver Creek in the mid to late 1970’s.

          The disease has gotten worse as the rapists on Wall St. and corporate executives, rolling in cash from their ill-gotten gains, decided they needed tax write-off recreational outposts, or second homes to which they could when terrorist scares cause the evacuation of NY City and DC.

          As for Jackson, polo, anyone?

          • avatar WM says:

            Sorry,

            ++….or second homes to which they could RETREAT when terrorist scares cause the evacuation of NY City and DC.++

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          Salle

          Have you ever been to Yellowstone Mountain Club? I do not think “trophyhomeism” could exceed what was created there.

          • avatar Salle says:

            Yeah, I conducted the 2010 decennial census in that area. It’s rather daunting and a stark reminder of what a skewed set of values the “monied” entertain.

  50. avatar Cindy says:

    Don’t forget there’s still some of us “working stiff” hold outs hanging around Jackson Hole! We just love the wide open spaces and working to protect wildlife, including those pesty ole predators. Also, real working folks are hurting here as much as anywhere, we just don’t talk about it!!

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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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