The final peer review report commissioned by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and conducted by Atkins, a global consulting firm, who enlisted 5 prominent biologists to review and comment on  Wyoming’s Gray Wolf Management Plan, has found that the Plan is deficient primarily because of its vagueness with regard to maintaining a buffer number of wolves above the described 10 breeding pairs and 100 wolves that Wyoming commits to manage.

The Plan, finalized last September, describes how wolves will be managed by the State of Wyoming once they are delisted from the protections of the Endangered Species Act.  The Plan divides the state into two areas, the Wolf Trophy Game Management Area (WTGMA) in northwest Wyoming where wolf hunting would be regulated to some degree, and the Predator Zone which comprised the vast majority of the state where there would be absolutely no regulation of wolf killing.  There would also be an ephemeral “flex zone” where hunting would be regulated during the period of the year when wolves have the highest rate of dispersal.

Wyoming Wolf Plan Map. Every place outside of National Parks, the so-called "Trophy Hunting Zone", the "Flex Zone", and the Wind River Indian Reservation is a free-for-all kill zone.

One of the biologists on the five peer review panel was Dr. Vucetich who had some strong criticism of the Plan.  He felt that the plan inadequately explains how wolves will be managed to maintain the 10/100 wolves it commits to maintain and feels that there needs to be a buffer which is explicitly detailed in the Plan itself.  He felt that, despite verbal assurances by Wyoming Game and Fish, that he had to review the Plan based on what was written.

While the other four panelists felt that Wyoming’s Plan was acceptable and would accomplish the goals it lays out, Atkins determined, as the entity who made the final call on the adequacy of the Plan, that the Plan was deficient.

We believe that in this case the initial minority opinion of Dr. Vucetich is the most appropriate one. While all information, written or otherwise, may be useful in a panel evaluation, verbal assurances of policy must necessarily carry little weight. It may indeed be that it is not in the State’s interest to manage down to the absolute minimum population; however that is what is stated in the Plan, and it is not reasonable to simply assume that there will be consistent and longterm commitment to managing for levels above that target.

Hence Atkins finds that the Plan, as written, does not do an adequate job of explaining how wolf populations will be maintained, and how recovery will be maintained. Our position is substantially bolstered by the responses of Dr. Mills and Mr. Stark in response to the clarifying questions from the Service. It is clear that more than one panelist believes that there is a need for explicit buffering, and better explanations of the adaptive processes that will be used in managing down the wolf populations. At the same time, no panelist appears to believe that there is a need for an explicit numerical buffer ‐ but rather panelists believe that there should be an explicit process for integrating monitoring data, and for showing how such data will be used to set ongoing management objectives.

Atkins Wolf Peer Review Report 12-27-11-Final

Comments on the Proposed Wyoming Wolf Delisting Rule are due tomorrow.

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About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole, Western Watershed Project’s National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Coordinator, is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is also serves as a member of the board of directors for Buffalo Field Campaign and as a member of the Sierra Club Grazing Core Team.

211 Responses to Peer Review concludes that Wyoming Gray Wolf Management Plan is Deficient

  1. avatar IDhiker says:

    “that there needs to be a buffer which is explicitly detailed in the Plan itself.”

    Idaho could use the same thing, instead of vague assurances.

  2. avatar somsai says:

    Sounds like they just want a little more detail written into the info on the buffer and then it’s open season. Ahooooooooo!

    • avatar william huard says:

      Well lookety here- we got a predator hater. Hey Somsai- I have to admit- your current avatar is better than your old one….You been workin out? Using noxzema? You look ten years younger

      • avatar somsai says:

        I’m sorry I don’t respond nor converse with people who make personal insults over the internet.

        • avatar Jeff N. says:

          You just responded…genius.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Then you won’t be posting much I guess, it happens here as well as other forums and blogs with regularity.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Then don’t come on a pro-wolf blog and make a fool of yourself with your stupid predator hating ignorance

          • avatar Savebears says:

            William, he has just as much ability to post his beliefs as you do.

          • avatar Jeff N. says:

            I’m surprised he/she had the “ability” to find and click on the “Post Comment” button….but I digress, as I just responded to a comment that wasn’t aimed at me. Apologies SB.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Yeah- you’re right SaveBears, defend him. That doesn’t surprise me at all.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            William, I have defended nobody, I simply made a statement of fact you bozo, his ability is the same as yours, until such time as a moderator or owner changes it. Some of you seem to forget, no matter what side you are on, there is somebody that has an opposite view than you do. You extremists on both sides are the reason that moderates can’t get this worked out!

          • avatar Savebears says:

            And looking at the title of this blog, it is called the wildlife news, that is how it shows up in the search engines, it seems it would attract both sides that are interested in wildlife news!

          • avatar william huard says:

            SaveBears-
            For a so-called moderate, you throw around quite a few insults and name calls yourself….You see Save Bears, when some “person” who is known to communicate with the Rockheads, Fannings, saddlebags, Toby Bridges, and other assorted wingnuts from “your neck” of the woods comes on a “pro wildlife” “pro wolf” blog and cheers on the shoot on sight policy of a “dipsh^&” backward state like Wyoming- I think that is inappropriate.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Who is known to communicate with those people? Now where in the hell did you pull that out of? The only time I have communicated with most any of those people is on this very blog! Geeze William, I have no idea what your talking about! Now if your talking about the other guy that posted, what is inappropriate is determined by the people that own and moderate this page, not you!

            It has been quite a long time since I called someone a derogatory name, and when I have, normally it is removed by the moderation team. Now if you think Bozo is a derogatory name, then I don’t know what to tell you.

          • avatar william huard says:

            SaveBears-
            I’m not going to get into a rumble with you tonight. Read my post- the “person” that I am referring to is Somsai. He communicates with the wingnut crowd. I found his comment inappropriate and I called him on it. That’s it. Maybe if people called out the wildlife hatred years ago things might be different today.

            Back to the topic- Maybe Ralph or JB would know why this type of peer review is not done before a “delisting and a deal between the FEDS and a state like Wyoming

          • avatar Savebears says:

            No Rumble William, simply my observations, I find some of your comments inappropriate, and I called you on it. What is good for the goose is good for the gander William.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            As far as the studies from others, you should know most agencies don’t really pay a whole lot of attention to many studies unless the people conducting the studies work for or are under contract to their agency, or an affiliate agency with a similar view of the situation. They normally discredit or disgrace those who don’t fall into line with them, believe me, I know first hand how it works.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Not to mention the hostage taking that went on to get the deal done. Remember Sen Bourasso was holding Ashe’s nomination up until rancher Ken met with Mead……So basically this bogus Wyoming plan was a politically motivated deal between two parties that were both looking for something- Mead-dead wolves Salazar- Ashe

          • avatar jon says:

            sb, two questions, do you agree or disagree with Wyoming’s wolf management plan? Do you agree with allowing hunting of wolves in Grand Teton national park?

        • avatar Ken Cole says:

          Would you guys please knock it off. It’s getting really old. Please stay on topic.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Ken,

            Back on topic, when a study is peer reviewed, does not mean the agency contracting the review is going to accept it, I saw many peer reviewed studies come through my office and a great many of them were disregarded and pushed aside in favor of the position of the agency.

          • avatar Ken Cole says:

            Yes, but when you are being heavily scrutinized and face litigation peer review weighs heavily.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Yes it does Ken, but it does not always prevail, Congress proved that earlier this year..

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      It sounds like they don’t trust Wyoming Fish and Game’s assurances…I wouldn’t either.

  3. avatar nabeki says:

    Their “plan” is to kill as many wolves as they can get away with. They even want hunting in the Grand Tetons.

    Wyoming isn’t going to get away this, now that the Lummis rider is dead in the water, although I’m sure they’ll try to resurrect it in some fashion. Wyoming’s tiny wolf population does not need to be “managed/killed”. These wolf haters think they’re living in 1912 not 2012.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Don’t be so sure nabeki, Many people said the same thing about Montana and Idaho and look what happened!

      • avatar Kristi says:

        “…absolutely no regulation of wolf killing”, that says a lot right there. Dr. Vucetich is not from the Rockies and adds credibility and objectivity to the proposed plan in WY. It is appalling that a state with about half a million people can’t figure out any other way to “live” with fewer than 400 wolves. There are people in WY who DO want wolves in their state. WY’s plan is wreckless, careless, and clearly shows the ignorance and greed of its politicians and ranchers and their organizations. Ranchers need to take responsibility for their livestock and be pro-active in caring for them instead of putting them out in the spring and bringing them back in the fall and leaving everything in between up to fate. Why don’t stock growers groups help their beloved ranchers with reimbursements to PROVEN wolf kills? Hunters cry about the “decimation” of elk by wolves…yeah, with an easy 2,000 to spare at the Refuge. WY’s plan will hopefully do itself in. It’s pure garbage.

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          Kristi
          I agree ranchers now need to watch their cattle closer, and be proactive but ranchers didn’t want wolves. People who want wolves should pay for reimbursements and should pay for USDA Wildlife Services to control problem wolves. It’s a typical 99% thing, I want, I want, I want, but let the 1% pay the bill. But then I’m the greedy one right because I don’t want to feed the wolves for free.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Bob,

            From Martin Nie’s Beyond Wolves,”Given that consumptive users pour millions of dollars into wildlife management, it is not surprising that most of this money is allocated to the management of game species. What is absolutely necessary for successful state wolf management, according to almost all of the wildlife managers I have spoke with, is a consistent and reliable source of nongame wildlife funding.”

            DOW reimbursement system was a step in the correct direction, but it is gone. If, and this is a big if, a reliable source of funding were made available by nonconsumptive users, and pro-wolf folks, for both restitution on a model similar to DOW’s, and wolf management, do you think they would be given equal say at the table?

            The whole we got rid of wolves for a reason way back when doesn’t hold water, for their entire prey base was wiped out. The only thing left for them to eat were livestock, thus the wolf war of extirpation. The livestock industry never learned to coexist with wolves. There is/are plenty of natural prey for wolves now. Thus back to a reliable source of funding for wolf management. In your minds eye, pipe dream or possible? If possible, how much of an uproar from the anti-wolf folks in terms of loosing some input in wolf management?

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Immer,

            Interesting concept, I am as I write preparing a proposal, that might in the future, if accepted provide a way for both consumptive as well as non-consumptive users to have a say at the table, I hope to present to FWP in the near future.

            I touched upon this idea a couple of weeks ago, and I think it could be viable if the right people read it and digest as I have.

            In the west game dept’s are funded by consumptive users IE: Hunters My proposal is to come up with a non-consumptive license that those who wish to recreate and watch or take pictures, purchase a base license at the same rate that the consumptive user pays, say it costs a hunter $50 to purchase a basic hunting license to hunt a deer, lets come up with a non-consumptive user license that is $50.

            Now the one part of my proposal I am finding resistance to, if a hunter is stopped during hunting season without a license and deemed to have been hunting, he/she is charged with hunting without a license. I would say, if a non-consumptive user is stopped without a license he/she should be charged the same.

            Many here say the consumptive users have the upper hand, because they purchase the licenses that fund the agencies, hence non-consumptive have no say at the table. This would allow more funds for the agencies as well as an equal stake at the table.

            Now I know, many non-consumptive users pay the same taxes, which is wrong, the hunters pay taxes on their purchases that concern hunting, non-consumptive users don’t.

            If the non-consumptive users are serious, then they need to step up to the table, the hunters pay the license fees as well as all of the other costs to recreate on public lands, we pay taxes, we pay fee’s to enter parks, we pay fee’s to camp, etc.

            I might be all wet, but if we all want an equal say at the table, then we all need to be footing the bill.

            Feedback is welcome.

          • avatar Rancher Bob says:

            Immer
            The main push seems to be that the wolves are here, the less money there is the better for wolves. Right now I see both sides doing lots of bitching that tells me we’re in the middle somewhere. You think the powers to be are not listening and Toby B. feels the same way, I’m not comparing you to Toby both just on different sides of the issue. So I think both sides are at the table and wolves will be around this time until humans need more food. There will be more wolves in the states and there will be more wolves killed by man, both sides unhappy,the middle.

        • avatar Jeff N. says:

          Non-consumptive fees = nonsense. I hike, camp, backpack and I’m pro-wolf. I pay taxes, pay for my gear, pay entrance fees, campground fees, parking fees…those are my nonconsumptive fees. I’m taking nothing, so why should I pay more. I’ve paid and I deserve a seat at the table.

          My tax money already goes to Wildlife Services…an agency that basically works on the behalf of ranchers and to a lesser extent hunters. I’m not inclined to give these two factions any more financial assistance when they have a disproportionate amount of political and decision making clout.

          If I was hunting or fishing..taking..I’d pay my fee, but I’m not.

          There is an inherent risk in every industry, mine collapsed and nobody chipped in to save my ass….if you graze on public lands and let your cattle roam free for 4 months, accept the risk/consequences or find a new career. That’s what most of us have to do.

          If you hunt/fish…pay your fee and roll the bones. Nobody said you were guaranteed to bag your quarry.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Typical Jeff,

            I know I am not guaranteed bagging a quarry.

            Of course you feel you pay your fare share, why not.

            I brought an idea to the table, on a forum that I figured would not accept it.

            I pay all of the same fees you do and I pay the fees in addition to participate in the hunt, you want an equal place at the table.

            You guys want an equal say, then things are going to have to change, because what is going on right now, is not working, Congress proved that, with all of the rulings in the courts, they still over rode that and now we have wolf hunting in two states and I suspect we will have it in a third state real soon.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Anyway, it is time to go to bed, and I can honestly say, I will not go to bed Disappointed Jeff, you have not let me down. I can honestly say, you played right into the mind set that I expected.

          • avatar Jeff N. says:

            “Typical”….what do you expect, for me to roll over and and just hand out more of my cash so ranchers and hunters are appeased (they never will be)…or hand out more cash to purchase a seat at the table that I’m already paying for?

            Let’s have wolf hunting in all the states once they are recovered. I don’t give a shit as long as it’s not a wolf eradication excercise…see ID and WY….and as long as you pay for what you take.

            Justify your idea…sway me. I’m pretty open-minded

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Jeff, with Pitt/Roberson, you are not paying the same as I am, I have suggested a simple idea, that may change things for the better in the future.

            You don’t feel that legal hunters are paying for their take? I am not a person that supports public land ranching and I have stated that many times in the past on this blog. My suggestion is going to cost you about $50 bucks a year extra, which is a fee I already pay, over and above the fees I pay on ammo, arrows, bows, etc.

            Get pissed off, but it is not going help the situation as it now stands, you guys won the court battles and you guys lost the Congressional battle. Where do we go from here?

          • avatar Jeff N. says:

            +++Jeff, you have not let me down. I can honestly say, you played right into the mind set that I expected.+++

            SB..you sly little shit…you got me…NOOOOOOOO…Sweet dreams my “booby trap setting” friend.

            Oh….one more thing…try not to flatter yourself so much, you are not as clever as you think and you are pretty “typical” yourself. But I still adore you.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Ya right Pinocchio, how long is that nose now? LOL

            Jeff, I am simply presenting an idea, that is all, if we are going to come to a compromise, then ideas have to be presented, do you agree, or not?

          • avatar Jeff N. says:

            SB….

            Never said hunters weren’t paying their fair share. I said that since they are “taking” then they should be paying, and if you don’t take then why should you pay extra. It’s a pretty simple concept.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Anyway, I am back in the field in about 4 hours, so I need to stop jousting with you, but watch out, I am off this weekend! Wink!

          • avatar somsai says:

            Jeff I don’t know what state you live in but in my state the division of wildlife is 100% funded by hunters. Nothing comes from taxes. Further half the hunting licenses are paid by out of staters at more than $500 dollars per licenses. Perhaps a similar fee for having a say at the table via public comments and public comments guide policy. Hunters could fill out a questionnaire with their licenses and so could others when they fill out their “non consumptive” tag. Californians want to budge in on wildlife management they know nothing about? Pay $550 to have your voice heard. Have an opinion about the animals in the forests and mountains you spend days walking through in the snow? fill it out when you get your elk tag.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            JeffN –
            Hunting license fees have not been and are not now intended to represent a business transaction with society for the taking of wildife. Hunters don’t purchase wildlife with the payment of license, tag and federal excise tax fees. They pay directly for the vast majority of wildlife management that provides abundant wildlife for all users of that public trust resource – consumptive and non-consumptive. If you enjoy wildlife while hiking, canoeing, camping, birding, wolf watching – you benefit from/by governent services that ensure wildife and wildlife habitat will be sustained for your use and the use of every other member of society. What that use is – is much less relevant than the fact that you pay disproportionately much less than one class of resource users to sustain the wildlife trust resource. If you argue that hunters/anglers/trappers by virtue of being consumptive users should pay and you shouldn’t because you don’t “consume” is a falacy. You do consume in a variety of ways, by being here. Wildlife and wildlife habitat management will be a necessary cost with or without consumptive use. Hunting/fishing/trapping do not impose a net loss to society for wildlife trust resources. Each use is carefully managing for SUSTAINED objectives to benefit society. Those objectives are vetted by a public review process in every case (discussion below on the challenges of serving and satisfying a diverese and passionate population of constituents). Hunters, anglers and trappers have indeed been paying for a large disproportionate share of wildlife conservation and management costs to the benefit and advantage of non-consumptive users of the resource.

          • avatar WM says:

            Jeff N.,

            Once again commenting outside your zone of knowledge and making up facts as you go along, …eh?

            You probably ought to know that those Pittman/Robertson (excise tax on hunting equipment) and Dingle/Johnson (excise tax on fishing equipment) funds have done much to improve wildife habitat for all users, across the country. Yeah, the money comes back based on a forumula which uses number of licensed hunters in each state, proportional to population.

            Now is also a good time to remind that the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has to date preserved over 6 million acres of wildlife habitat through conservation easements, purchases and donations of land back to the feds, and other tools making access available to ALL wildlife users. Those efforts have been solely by hunter types who have donated money, land, time and volunteer labor/materials to the effort. Non-consumptive users benefit disproportionately to their financial participation, in a huge way. Heck, I am a non-consumptive user for 50 weeks out of the year, but contribute through purchases of excise taxed items, as well as dues and donations to RMEF.

            You mis-state the focus and cost emphasis of WS/APHIS when viewed nationally. And some of their efforts actually are contrary to hunter interests. And, Jeff, everybody eats, so that and a strong farm lobby in the Midwest where corn, wheat and soy are king, helps keep subsidies going for most states’ farmers/ranchers. And, I too am opposed to grazing leases on public lands (but this is unlikely to change in the near term because of some complicated economics/politics that would have to be addressed).

            But, even though you are a bit fact challenged Jeff, we luv ya anyway.

      • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

        Mark,I´m just courious and trying to understand a “business model” unknown here.
        ++ Hunting license fees have not been and are not now intended to represent a business transaction with society for the taking of wildife. Hunters don’t purchase wildlife with the payment of license, tag and federal excise tax fees ++ Does this mean a hunter is allowed to take his food from a pool of public resources more of less for free? Do non-consumptive users of wildlife thereby subsidize consumptive users?

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Peter –
          I’m not describing a “business model”. I’m explaining a public trust process – management of a public trust resource on behalf of the public beneficiaries. One segment of society – hunters/anglers/trappers have traditionally paid a disproportionate share of the costs of managing a trust resource for the remainder of society. Users of that trust resource – other than hunters/anglers/trappers – benefit from the conservation and management of the wildlife trust resource, but support a fraction of the total cost of management for the resource.

          • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

            Circumnavigates my question a little bit. You are trying to sell me that hunters have no benefit´s at all, bear the financial burden, whereas the non-hunting/trapping/angling part of the society has an unfair amount of benefits?

          • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

            …and of course is it a business model! By the way, has the commercial value of the meat, taken from public resources ever been calculated? How does this – one sided – consumption flow back into the economy?

          • avatar WM says:

            Peter,

            ++How does this – one sided – consumption flow back into the economy?++

            Let me take a crack at this part of your question.

            The economic benefit comes in the form of at least the following:

            Hunting/fishing clothing sales, archery/guns ammo; camping equipment; food; gas; lodging; meat processing; motel/restaurants; revenue from license/tag fees from non-resident (huge revenue source) and residents; meat processing/lockers. Then there are those nasty, unethical hunting/fishing guides for some who choose to use their services.

            What does all this mean? Jobs and capital investments in the community and businesses, large and small in and outside the community/state.

          • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

            Thanks WM,
            sorry I do not intend to “hijack” this thread. But many of this arguments applies to the non-hunting/angling/trappig use also. (we discussed it already on this blog) Nevertheless it´s a bit difficult to accept in the light of Marks original response, that triggered my question. To my simple brain it like that: I´m supposed to buy a wildlife gawking tag because I sometimes venture out into the woods and gawk at wildlife the hunters bought me? Hmmm, I do not look at geese, only bears, can I get a reduction? Ok, I accept this is one of those American oddities one should not try to understand :-))

          • avatar WM says:

            Peter,

            Since you raise the issue of “commercial value of the meat” also consider the other side of the equation. If a wolf eats say 20-30 ungulates per year, just how much commercial value to a public resource does each one consume? Since elk hunters have about 20% success rate to get one elk, one wolf would have the impact of say 100 elk hunters who make those contributions to the economy in my previous post. On the other hand the presence of the wolf may in some instances bring in some watchers, but the Yellowstone study which gets quoted all the time ($35M/yr), would not be representative of wherever wolves might be. Displaced known number of hunters in favor of an unknown, pie in the sky estimate of wolf watcher impact is highly speculative for many areas outside Yellowstone.

          • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

            Hm, I´m thinking that over. But basically the commercial aspect can only be applied where commercial processes apply, that means in the human society, not in nature (charge the wolf for the meat he consumes or the ungulate for the grass?)

          • avatar WM says:

            Peter,

            I too think it is a very complex question whenever a “user pays” allocation analysis comes up. There will always be free-riders, and efforts to seek ways to get them to share in the burden will be opposed.

            As a wildlife watcher and a hunter, my concern would be if I were assessed double. An interesting economic argument is also that I use different equipment and clothing for my hunting/watching activites. I don’t use the same coats/pants/boots/backpack/sleeping bag, but I do use the same camera/binouclars/vehicle to get where I am going.

            There will always be inequities regardless of the fee structure proposed and chosen.

            *************
            By the way, all US National Parks have waived their entrance fees for the coming long week-end for all who wish access. That means even a visiting non US citizen will be subsidized by the taxpayer if they visit a National Park/Monumnent the next 3 days.

          • avatar Jay says:

            Well hell, lets charge the trees rent for the space they take up in the forest–we can deduct from what they owe the cash they bring in from their lumber when we cut them down and saw them up. Wolves, get your checkbooks out, you’re eating hunters’ elk and deer–they paid for them after all. Vegetation, you better start saving your pennies because we’re going to charge you for solar units for the sun we allow you to absorb and grow. After all, it all belongs to us humans and we’re just allowing you to be here when it suits us.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Peter –
            “Ok, I accept this is one of those American oddities one should not try to understand.”
            Actually it is quite easy to understand as a practical matter of civic responsibility in paying for government service to maintain a valued public trust resource. The cost of managing the wildlife trust resource is not dependent on consumptive use, as you seem to imply. That cost will remain if only “non-consumptive” uses remain. It is a PUBLIC trust resource, valued, and used in a variety of ways by the public. If you were a citizen/resient of one of the 50 U.S. states or territories, and you value and use that resource – consumptive or not – you enjoy a benefit of government service to conserve and manage that resource on you behalf. Of course you have both a stake in and a responsibility for the management of that resource.

          • avatar WM says:

            Jay,

            ++Well hell, lets charge the trees rent…++

            The issue of “commercial value of the meat” was legitimately raised, and I attempted to identify the scope of the issue. I tend to think, as you apparently do from your comment, that it is a slippery slope topic, once you get on it.

            However, there undoubtedly have been lengthy and detailed discussions by wildlife agencies in any state that has or is getting wolves.

            What will be the impacts to prey base with wolf population levels at particular levels, and how will they impact hunter harvests, and ultimately how many hunters will likely be allowed in which hunting units for any particular season length, and what animals by age and sex they will be allowed to harvest?

            So X wolves might indeed be a proxy for Y hunters in total (or, more particularly Z successful hunters) in the management prescriptions for various hunting units.

            That part cannot be ignored, even though some wolf advocates want to.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          No Peter it is not a business model. A business model would desribe a strategy to profit from the exploitation (harvest/kill/take) of this public trust resource. Profit is the key concept – in the sense of marketing for personal fiduciary benefit. Of course hunters, wildlife watchers, photographers and all other “users” of the resource. However, neither government nor the public beneficiaries of this trust resource fit the definition of a free market “business”. The distinction in fundamental to the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

          I am unaware of an economic analysis of the monetary value of wildlife – as meat for human consumption. I assume there have been such analyses done. For the purpose of this discussion such an analysis would not contribute to public policy as it relates to allocation of the public trust resource or appropriate means of funding wildlife resource management.

          • avatar Alan says:

            This is an interesting conversation; if I may I’d like to stick my nose in here and make a quick comment. First of all, personally, I would have no problem buying a “non-consumptive” tag. I was one of the very few who actually had no problem with the Forest Service so-called “Parking Fees”, but always felt that any such fee should go toward habitat protection, campground improvement etc. not to a general fund. I am also thankful for all that hunters have done through the years to preserve habitat. Having said that, there is no way that I believe that, if I drive out to the woods, grab my binoculars and take a stroll looking for woodpeckers, that I am getting a disproportionate benefit from fees paid by hunters who are, in essence (if not in legal fact), purchasing an opportunity (20% or whatever it may be…call it a lottery ticket if you will) to fill his (her) freezer with meat for the next 6 months. No matter how lucky (or not) I am at viewing woodpeckers, I am taking nothing and I am leaving nothing (unless I am a slob) except footprints. Those woodpeckers will still be there for others to enjoy, unlike the deer or elk felled by the successful hunter. There is a difference. A disproportionate difference, if you will, but in the favor of the hunter.
            With regards to a “voice at the table”, since when, in America, do you have to pay to have a say? Poll taxes are illegal. The kid who works part time at Mickey-D’s and pays zero in taxes, the grandma who lives on social security and pays zero in taxes, are supposed to have the same number of votes as the doctor who pays thousands in taxes or the rancher who owns thousands of acres; exactly one apiece. I am proud to pay my National Parks pass fee, as I am my Sierra Club and Audubon memberships, Defenders donations etc. I would have no problem paying an annual “watchers” fee. But even if I paid none of these, I should still have a voice and an opinion, because I’m a citizen and these are public lands and public wildlife.

          • avatar JB says:

            Excellent points, Alan. I won’t to follow up on a couple of things Mark said because I think this topic is extremely important. To be clear, I agree with the vast majority of what Mark has written; but I do have a few subtle disagreements.

            “Hunters don’t purchase wildlife with the payment of license, tag and federal excise tax fees. They pay directly for the vast majority of wildlife management that provides abundant wildlife for all users of that public trust resource…”

            I don’t think it is appropriate to say that hunters pay “direct” for conservation–except where they do (i.e., hunting groups paying for lands). Rather, hunters and trappers pay for the OPPORTUNITY to harvest wild animals. The fees they pay for such opportunity go directly to conservation because P-R requires states to pass laws that prevent license fees from being “raided” by states for other purposes.

            “What that use is – is much less relevant than the fact that you pay disproportionately much less than one class of resource users to sustain the wildlife trust resource. If you argue that hunters/anglers/trappers by virtue of being consumptive users should pay and you shouldn’t because you don’t “consume” is a falacy. You do consume in a variety of ways, by being here.”

            Great point! There is no such thing as a “non-consumptive” user of wildlife; however, there is a gradient of “consumption” (i.e., the extent to which our activities impact species/populations and the habitats on which they depend). I think most would agree that the activities of hunters and trappers are generally more impactful; thus, they should pay more. I would argue that since wildlife benefit us all, we should all pay equally for these benefits.

            “Hunting/fishing/trapping do not impose a net loss to society for wildlife trust resources. Each use is carefully managing for SUSTAINED objectives to benefit society.”

            This statement is a misleading. While I agree that these activities–taken in combination–are not operated at a loss, there are certainly sub-classes of activities that are. For example, some stocking programs are operated at a loss. Moreover, some programs put non-native species (e.g., pheasant) into the environment for the sole purpose of extractive users. The activities associated with such programs (administrative costs, licensing, stocking, etc.) draw resources away from native species.

            I also would argue that the management of recreational trapping probably operates at a net loss for society. Very few people (less than 1%) engage in this activity; yet, these individuals often can harvest hundreds–perhaps even thousands of animals over a season. I don’t see how anyone could suggest, straight-faced, that these folks are not getting their money’s worth.

            Furthermore, the furs they collect can be sold to markets, which is direct conflict with the NAM’s principle of eliminating markets for game. Many people also question whether recreational trapping (as opposed to trapping for research or removal of nuisance animals) actually meets the NAM’s requirement that wildlife are only killed for a “legitimate purpose” For these reasons, recreational trapping is a “black eye” for the NAM in our modern society.

            Thanks for the reasoned discussion.

          • avatar JB says:

            And BTW, I’m not sure why other non-consumptive users are finding it so hard to contribute to wildlife conservation? I pay $25 fee every year to carry a specialty wildlife conservation license plate AND $15 Ohio Wildlife Legacy stamp (and a fishing license, of course).

        • avatar Mike says:

          ++Jeff I don’t know what state you live in but in my state the division of wildlife is 100% funded by hunters. Nothing comes from taxes. Further half the hunting licenses are paid by out of staters at more than $500 dollars per licenses. Perhaps a similar fee for having a say at the table via public comments and public comments guide policy. Hunters could fill out a questionnaire with their licenses and so could others when they fill out their “non consumptive” tag. Californians want to budge in on wildlife management they know nothing about? Pay $550 to have your voice heard. Have an opinion about the animals in the forests and mountains you spend days walking through in the snow? fill it out when you get your elk tag.++

          Delusional nonsense.

  4. avatar Leslie says:

    There is a lot more to criticize in this plan then they are asking assurances for. I don’t live in the flex zone around Jackson, which doesn’t seem to be addressed in this criticism; but I do live in the NE corner of the GYE where there are four wolf packs that last year had around 35-40 wolves active around Sunlight/Crandall area. If 40 wolves can do well there with minimal conflict (except Holdings cattle which gets a few munched on every year), why are the numbers in the entire trophy zone only 100 wolves. Right now the numbers have been at over 200 in WY after USF&G kills off some every year. That seemed to me to be an excellent stable number to begin with, not 100.

    In addition, why haven’t they included the Big Horns.

    Why didn’t USF&G ask these questions, as well as the flex zone problem, which is a very strange and inadequate solution.

    • avatar somsai says:

      In answer to your questions.

      “why are the numbers in the entire trophy zone only 100 wolves”

      Because that’s the number the people of Wyoming want, or will agree to. Wildlife is managed by the states in any way they see fit as long as what they are doing is ok with the feds. They could choose to have 1000 wolves there and feed them kipper snacks but instead they’ve decided they want around 100. Their state, their call.

      “In addition, why haven’t they included the Big Horns”

      Because obviously they don’t want any wolves in the Big Horns. There’s a lot of Wyoming where they don’t want wolves, that’s ok, it’s up to them.

      • avatar Leslie says:

        Somsai, “Because that’s the number the people of Wyoming want, or will agree to. Wildlife is managed by the states in any way they see fit as long as what they are doing is ok with the feds”

        Your answer is very random. If WY got to choose, they could choose 2 wolves. What you are saying is that none of this is based on science,just desires, which is not true. For the 15 or so years that wolves have been in WY, there are real statistics. The statistics show that wolf populations have grown, and that at around 250 or so, cattle depredation has lessened and a population can easily be maintained at that with not much cattle depredation.

        What I am saying is that almost 1/2 of their quota is centered around my area of the trophy zone and they are doing fine, leaving a very large area of habitat left in the trophy zone. Much of that area designated though is extremely high country where wolves can’t live year round.

        “Because obviously they don’t want any wolves in the Big Horns.”
        That is a non-thinking response to my question. There is good habitat there and you know as well as I that the reason they don’t want wolves there is because they crowd those public lands with cattle and sheep. Most of the depredations from sheep have come from the Big Horns. What WY wants isn’t the question we are answering nor asking here.

        Wyoming’s plan is faulty. WIth 1/2 million people in the state and more cattle than people, I think that about says it all why so much of it is predator zone.

        • avatar somsai says:

          Leslie it’s true Wyoming citizens aren’t fond of wolves or coyotes if I had to generalize. The way the ESA was set up they have to maintain sustainable populations of all species within the boundaries of the state.

          As a side note. Recent changes to the way the ESA is implemented might make it all a moot point. State lines will no longer matter. Thank that judge.

      • avatar Mike says:

        Much of the Bighorns are federal land. Most people support wolves so it looks like we have a tricky situation.

        • avatar somsai says:

          I think you and many on her are uninformed about animals on federal land.

          The land is held in trust for us the US citizens, the animals are held in trust for the citizens of Wyoming by the state of Wyoming.

          As the citizen of another state I have no say in how many of which species I’d like Wyoming to have in the Bighorns. If Wyoming has decided they don’t want wolves in the bighorns that’s their decision to make, not mine or the citizen’s of any other state.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Thankfully, the ESA still matters. Wyoming cannot do what it wants with wildlife. If it chooses to wipe out wolves, they go back on the list.

          • avatar JB says:

            somsai:

            By tradition, what you’ve written is essentially correct. But it is an artifact of history. The US government, as property holder of federal lands, can do what it will with those lands and the wildlife that reside there. A few prominent examples of this include: the Wild, Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, prohibition against hunting in (most) National Parks, and restrictions on hunting on some Forest Service lands.

            Congress’ action to protect wild horses and burros was challenged in Kleppe v. New Mexico, where the SC ruled their actions were allowable under the property clause:

            “In short, these cases do not support appellees’ claim that upholding the Act would sanction an impermissible intrusion upon state sovereignty. The Act does not establish exclusive federal jurisdiction over the public lands in New Mexico; it merely overrides the New Mexico Estray Law insofar as it attempts to regulate federally protected animals. And that is but the necessary consequence of valid legislation under the Property Clause.

            Appellees’ contention that the Act violates traditional state power over wild animals stands on no different footing. Unquestionably the States have broad trustee and police powers over wild animals within their jurisdictions…But, as Geer v. Connecticut cautions, those powers exist only “insofar as [their] exercise may be not incompatible with, or restrained by, the rights conveyed to the Federal government by the Constitution.”

            “No doubt it is true that, as between a State and its inhabitants, the State may regulate the killing and sale of [wildlife], but it does not follow that its authority is exclusive of paramount powers.”

          • avatar somsai says:

            JB what you say is true. But the public trust doctrine itself is based on very old laws that predate our constitution, and even England. I’d expect more precedent setting cases on this very subject, hopefully not having to do with that invasive species which I hope will be gone shortly. At least for the next year I can expect prudent, science based policy from the federal government.

            If the shoe were put on the other foot imagine cat hunting in CA, or bears chased by hounds in MA. As long as species themselves aren’t endangered, some things might well be best left to the states.

            Leopold wrote a very readable explanation of the legal basis for the state’s holding wildlife in trust. One of the later chapters of Game Management.

            I’d also note that there is a magic moment where an animal held in trust for all of us by the state becomes my legal property. It’s when I stand by a carcass I’ve legally harvested and cut notches in the two places to indicate the date and sign my name down the bottom of the tag. America is one of the best places I’ve ever been.

          • avatar JB says:

            somsai:

            I am familiar with the origins of the public trust doctrine (the logic can be traced back to Justinian Code); however, its application to wildlife is relatively rare. It is important to note that the the PTD isn’t just a free pass for states to do as they will with wildlife–at least if legal scholars can be believed. Wildlife are viewed as a resource available not just for current generations, but also future generations. Thus, absent some very compelling reason, states (as a trustee) have a duty to conserve species (an asset; and not just game species, mind you) for their citizens (the beneficiary).

            Yet, as important as the PTD is to wildlife management in North America, it does not trump the property clause of the US Constitution. And ironically, as the Federal courts grows more conservative, property rights (including the government’s) are likely to receive more (not less) emphasis.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      It is NOT what the people of Wyoming want.
      It is what the livestock industry in Wyoming wants as expressed by the puppet legislature and Executive branch

      • avatar somsai says:

        I’m sorry but the people of Wyoming vote for the representation they want. As long as the democratic process exists in Wyoming I’d have to say the citizens of Wyoming are the ones who are in control of what happens there.

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          then you have a very idealistic and sadly naive view of how politics work and how special interests work within politics

  5. avatar Leslie says:

    My other question is: Don’t they take public comments into account or are we just talking to the wind?

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Leslie,

      For the most part, based on my experience within an agency as well as someone who is now not with an agency, most of the time you are just talking into the wind. When ever I submit a comment on an issue with an agency, I send it registered mail, return receipt requested, I know it is a whole lot easier to send an email, but based on what I have been through on both sides of the door, I would rather have proof that I actually sent it and proof that they received it.

  6. avatar Ann Sydow says:

    @ Rancher Bob… It should not be the responsibility of those who “wanted the wolves here in the first place” to pay for confirmed livestock depredations by wolves. The fact is that the wolves belong here; their presence is actually “the norm.” Just because they were out of the picture for 70 or so years due to an extermination by humans, does not make it right.

    • avatar WM says:

      Ann,

      Could one not use the same logic for any species?

      That would mean there should be no prohibition of mosquitoes, ants, prairie dogs, moles, gophers, coyotes, skunks, foxes, termites, and whole bunch of other critters and plants we feel compelled to control in our human influenced and dominated environment.

      Afterall, it was the perceived inconvenience and risk to domestic animal (and maybe human in the minds of some) safety, and the economics of ranching/farming that resulted in the eradication of wolves under government sponsored programs in the first place!

      Think about

      • avatar WM says:

        Sorry,…Think about IT.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        WM,

        +++ Afterall, it was the perceived inconvenience and risk to domestic animal (and maybe human in the minds of some) safety, and the economics of ranching/farming that resulted in the eradication of wolves under government sponsored programs in the first place!+++

        Perhaps it’s beating a dead horse, but the eradication of bison, and the market hunting that took almost everything else, left the wolf nothing but livestock, thus the eradication of wolves ensued.

        On the back of the hunter’s dollars, a prey base has been established. As per my excerpt from Nie, and Savebear’s proposal, perhaps the time is here for non-consumptive users to cough up a very small amount of income for a place at the table in terms of how wolves in particular, are managed, and a revised view upon the utilitarian approach to wildlife management in general.

      • avatar JB says:

        “Could one not use the same logic for any species?

        That would mean there should be no prohibition of mosquitoes, ants, prairie dogs, moles, gophers, coyotes, skunks, foxes, termites, and whole bunch of other critters and plants we feel compelled to control in our human influenced and dominated environment.”

        Great questions! Yes, one could use the same logic for other species. Of course, we may disagree on whether that logic is appropriate.

        Several things about wolves make them very different from the other species you’ve cited, for example: (1) they are relatively rare when compared with these species, (2) with the exception of coyotes, they are much more intelligent (the “sentience” argument), (3) wolves’ distribution (in the West) is disproportionately restricted to federal public lands that are managed for multiple uses (as opposed to most of the animals you’ve cited, which occur much more frequently on private lands).

        The relevant question is: Do these characteristics justify a different set of considerations when determining whether, the extent to, and for what purposes they are killed and controlled?

        The answer, of course, depends upon your point of view. But I suspect that for many, the answer would be “yes”.

  7. avatar Doryfun says:

    Lesile/Savebears,

    I often wonder about the public comment process too with a lot of skepticism, as do many other people. Having just sent in my opinion of the Upper Lochsa Land Exchange (supporting “No Action”) after tearing my hair out scrutinizing the DEIS with a comb, I still question if I am just farting in the wind???

    When our govt in general has such a low approval rating, trust levels wane high, and for good reason. Same with agencies and any bureuacracy, it always boils down to public trust. (sent registered mail or not).

    Like Rancher Bob alluded to about the middle ground and that if management isn’t suitable to folks on either side of the topic, they don’t feel they are being listened, spawns my questions too.

    Just how much should public comments weigh-in on the decision making process, when professionals are hired to do things with more knowledge withiin their fields than held by lay people, and by their being privy to insiders information? (

    Does anyone know if there has been any studies related to how much impact public comments have or should have with the respect to natural resource management?

    When deciding rather to comment or not, I always think of the impact that people like Rachael Carson had (as one person, even) and the power of the pen. But, I also don’t like to waste a good fart.

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      Doryfun, Leslie, Savebears –
      What would be a satisfactory outcome to demonstrate that your comments were heard or matter? Should everyone who participates/comments BE satisfied at the end of the process?
      Is it possible to provide a satisfactory outcome for all segments of society that participate in a democratic/republican based governance process?

      • avatar Doryfun says:

        Mark,

        That was my reason for my comment about how much weight for public comments. I don’t know what would be satisfactory. Maybe it is one of those questions that cannot be answered adequately, because every inch below what we would like to see happen, becomes incrementally more unsatisfactory. So, in the middle still seems to represent a more balanced relative term “satisfactory”. Of course, the middle is defined by the radicalness on either side, and so thereby moves it.

        Thus, no, I don’t think it is possible to provide a satisfactory answer for everyone concerned.But finding balance, might be, and is it not worth while to try and figure out how much weight is given to each side in trying to solve problems? Is there a time more weight should be put on one side or the other? Not an easy question to find solution to.

        I guess that is why we will continue to have the see saw of democrat or republican administrations, as people supporting each side go up and down with their worldview biases seeking potential solutions.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        Mark,
        you are asking the wrong question.

        The question should be
        “Should one industry have the…… final say/veto power/ inordinate influence/ political control…. that the livestock industry exerts in the equation.

        After all is the political process not supposed to be “for the people” as opposed to “for the special interest”

  8. avatar Leslie says:

    I was recently reading all the published comments for the Shoshone Forest plan. It was interesting because I would say that 99% were from organizations, a lot of them conservation groups. A few organizations were ATVer’s and snowmobilers, with a few horse people.

    There were only about 3 actual people who commented. Two of those people were very knowledgeable, with constructive practical comments. But one person, who commented over and over again, was just a lot of hot air and opinion with comments like “less bears and wolves”.

    Mark, in reading those comments, I could see the kind of balances that needed to be struck. First, I would get weight to intelligent thoughtful comments, then use the best science. ATVers might want a lot of roads opened, but if that not only disturbs wildlife etc., but the FS is finding that too many are violating off-road regs, then they should have little voice, for instance.

  9. avatar Leslie says:

    As regards paying for non-consumptive services… I have a few concerns there.

    A very big concern is how fees discourage poor people from enjoying and learning about our outdoors. Many of the poor already are concentrated in slumy areas of cities. When I lived near Muir Woods and guided school children there, I had mothers who accompanied the class tell me, although they lived just across the bay, they’d never been there in their whole lives.

    Entrance fees to the National Parks have already gotten too high for people in the poverty levels or young people.
    We want to encourage young people, poor people, people of color, to visit and enjoy the outdoors and learn about it. This is important for its future protections.

    Its a sad day when everything comes to $$, even the act of taking a walk in a forest, which I consider the last bit of refuge left.

    • avatar Doryfun says:

      Lesile,

      Funny, I was just talking to my dad this morning and he was complaining about another new fee at Ladd Marsh,(waterfowl refuge area near LaGrande, OR) for visitors at a viewpoint parking lot.

      It is perhaps a way to collect from non-consumptive users, but I too get tired of new fees for everything, every time you turn around. (Somewhat of turning things into the playground for the rich, as you imply) It is understandable that there needs to be some mechanism to balance out the pay to play thing, but turning everything in nature to a do by dollar thing is not right. Nature has her own taxation system. By not taking care of it in the first place (like not factoring in natural capital when we apply industrial capitalism to our taking from the table of mother earth), she will leave us with not having anything left over to fight about. (passenger pigeons, etc). There must be a better solution out there somewhere.

      Your idea about how to apply weighted importance of various interest groups, or peoples perspectives, based on integrity as it applies to mgt concerns sounds pretty good too. As does Immers idea about a revised view of utilitarian based wildlife mgt. (maybe more of ecosystem services approach, financed by tax on industry as well as all people in general. Since all people of all flavors enjoy what nature offers us for free. If what we do to nature effects everyones pocket book, then maybe we would collectively take better care of it. Only people in societies safety nets would be excempt until they climb back out of their (hopefully only temporary) misfortunes.???

    • avatar WM says:

      Leslie,

      Here in WA and OR this is now the norm:

      WA for example Discover Annual Pass: $30; One-day pass: $10

      It is required for vehicle access to state parks and recreation lands, including Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) lands.

      And, of course, this is on top of other licenses which are assessed, for example fishing at a WDFW access site.

      Then there is the NW National Forest Pass – another $30 annually to park at trailheads. And the overnight camping fees for campgrounds.

      Then there is the annual National Parks or Interagency Pass (which includes NF’s) at $80.

      Then the WA Sno-park pass which is required for winter parking when you snowshoe: $40 plus an additional assessment if you plan to leave the car overnight.

      OR has specifically assessed a Coatal Pass. Don’t know how much, maybe $30.

      ***And in most cases these fees go back into the general fund (fed or state) rather than being dedicated to improving the specific lands which you visit!
      ______________

      But then, a movie at a theatre is as much as $12-14 for two hours of noisy, often R rated, entertainment(?).

  10. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    I’d like to get back to the core of this article Ken briefed and the resulting study posted by Atkins with a couple of questions/ observations.

    The Atkins Global linked to in this story is a global engineering consultancy , more about big cement and steel civil engineering and high end development construction projects than any biological management peer review consultancy. Facilitators or Moderators , it would appear IN THIS CASE. They have 300 offices worldwide, one of which is in Missoula.

    As such , why did USFWS choose Atkins ? What is Atkins track record on similar projects anywhere globally regarding wildlife and conservation planning, but specifically here in intermountain West consulting arena in the zone of this Missoula operation ?

    I do note they assembled a team of five VERY reputable wildlife scientists, including David Mech. Only one of those five peer reviewers dissented against Wyoming’s plan , that being Vucetich , who is unknown to me. The other four seemed to agree that Wyoming’s plan was good enough . I cannot speak to the degree and direction of any concerns they had, because I haven’t plowed into the PDF of this study yet…. it is 135 pages but seems to be as comprehensive and bulletproof as anything I’ve seen of late. They have done their homework and seem to know their stuff, speaking cavalierly here. The Missoula office is tun by one Stephanie Lauer , unknown to me.

    [ Does anyone here know anything of her, the Atkins Misosula operation , and its previous projects ? ]

    Yet in the end ( or rather the Executive Summary ) Atkins came down against Wyoming’s plan on issues of sustainability and genetic viability of Wolves in Wyoming, and fully concurred with lone dissenter Vucetich’s assertions.

    From which I infer/presume they preferred his science over that presented by the other panelists, including Mech.

    So what are we to fully make of this study , Atkins conclusions , and Vucetich’s conclusions.

    Damn , I wish today wasn’t the deadline for commenting on Wyoming’s abominable wolf management plan . I really need to dive into this Atkins study. It may contain some silver bullets. Or not.

    I hope some of you learned Wildlife News readers will do as much over the weekend and see what you make of it as well.

    Let’s have an informed discussion about this , now that we know Wyoming’s draft wolf plan can in fact be legally challenged again , in spite of Congress trying to remove that Constitutional check and balance authority for it, via the odorous Simpson-Tester Wolf Rider of a year ago..

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Cody,

      Vucetich is more a statistician who has worked with Rolf Peterson on Isle Royale. Remember talking with him about Isle Royale wolves at a wolf symposia and his conclusion was that they were doomed. Looks as though it is playing out that way.

      In terms of the others agreeing with the Wyoming plan, it looks as though there was agreement, there also existed reservations.

      As you pointed out, the Wyoming plan is abombinable. Wyoming has held up the entire management process in the West. Their management plan for keeping wolves well above the minimum rings hollow.

      One thing Mech continually brings up, that when and if states manage their wolf populations, and it appears that it works, more suitable habitat elsewhere could become room for further expansion of wolves. The continual lawsuits hold up this process.

  11. avatar Leslie says:

    WM, yes you are right and although I don’t completely understand the states relationship of mgmt. of game/fish with the feds, I do find it confusing. I pay for the use of a stream for my water on national forest; many states charge a parking fee as you say; in most coastal states now you pay to get in to park. All these fees, unless they are state parks, go to the feds. Yet the game mgmt. goes to the state, even though game might be on state or federal lands.

    And again WM you are right that these fees should be going to support the lands, not general funds.

    I also see the G&F here in WY running around all summer transporting ‘bad’ bears here and there, which are under federal protection. They are not getting funded federally for that, or are they?

    As I understand it, hunting fees and restrictions came to be established because the game had been hunted to almost extinction. People just took whatever and whenever they wanted. Restrictions helped grow the game back, and fees helped support that, initially and certainly now as well. In that case, the fees were the result of a kind of penalty, rather than just ‘use’.

    Frankly, I don’t like the idea of general use fees at all. I think we all support these lands now with our tax dollars, and tax dollars should also be allocated for game as well. Doryfun is right about taxing industry. Certainly many of them directly or indirectly are affecting our public lands.

    Special interests will need special fees too. For example, my right to use a spring on the national forest. I certainly don’t begrudge that fee. And I don’t begrudge a fishing license either. I also don’t object to fines for people who litter, or who off-road where they shouldn’t, and I wish more forest service and G&F employees could be hired to police offenders. But I already pay, tax wise, a fee to walk onto the lands and should be able to ‘lightly’ stay overnight in a low-impact tent or sleeping bag.

  12. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Holy carp..! I just did a little Googling to find out more about Dr. John Vucetich of Michigan Tech , the dissenter in the Wyoming wolf plan peer review.

    Two things. First , he’s done quite a bit of work with the Wolves in the Great Lakes, especially that iconoclastic Isle Royal population that made David mech a household name with respect to wolves there and hereabouts.

    But—get this— Vucetich as it turns out has been very strident in saying the vaunted North American Model of Wildlife Conservation does not deserve near the credit claimed by hunting organizations for restoring big game herds . Basically he is saying that hunters have had a substantial role in paying for and facilitating wildlife conservation and habitat for the past century , but they are far from the primary driver .
    That is something I have long held independently and often expressed here at Wildlife news. Hunters and especially their elitist clubs have taken more credit than they deserve for restoring wildlife. [ Case in point: back up this scroll is an assertion by WM that Rocky Mountain Elk has somehow utterly preserved three times more wildlife habitat than Yellowstone Park occupies in land surface… 6 million acres vs. 2 million acres. Involved with ?—maybe, by stretching it fast and loose . But RMEF’s outright purchase or establishment of legal conservation easements on three Yellowstone Park’s worth of surface habitat ? Doubtful. ]

    It takes a global village, and that village includes a lot more nonconsumptive wildlife users than hunters to achieve conservation and restoration . Gamblin also trumpets his state’s wildlife management as being concentric with the North American model and justifiable , but I’m not buying any of that highly selective view that has been repeated so often it has become lore.

    Wyoming’s wolf plan flies in the face of sustainability and science and runs askew of ESA. But with Fish & Wildlife’s full blessing. Fish and Wildlife caved in order to pluck this Wyoming wolf thorn from it’s sore reddened political duff and get it off the table. It was interfering with other more pressing business, I suppose, like getting Wyoming’s pigheaded Senator Barrasso to release his hold on Sec. of Interior nominee Daniel Ashe . For starters.

    Dr. Vucetich reminds us via Atkins that Wyoming’s wolf plan does not pass muster for science and true wildlife conservation principles.

    • avatar WM says:

      Cody,

      From the RMEF website. I am not always in agreement with their policy positions and I have frequently expressed that disagreement on this forum, but the very impresive statistics speak for themselves.

      http://www.rmef.org/NewsandMedia/NewsReleases/2011/6Million.htm

      So, had we made a wager on the truth of the statement, you might just be eating your hat right now (if you have one). LOL

      • avatar WM says:

        And, I should say they continue to make a major effort at seeking to protect lands for ALL users. Don’t be surprised if 6 million acres turns into 8 or even 10 million in the next 5-10 years, while Defenders, Sierra Club and the like sit around with their thumbs up their…well, you get the idea.

      • avatar Daniel Berg says:

        “The 6 million-acre total includes 1 million acres of permanent land protection projects. Examples include RMEF land acquisitions transferred to state or federal management agencies to secure habitat and public access in perpetuity. Also included is 5 million acres of habitat stewardship projects, such as prescribe burning, forest thinning and management, weed control, water improvement and many other projects, mostly on public lands.”

        Although it’s not 6 million acres protected, it is admirable how much land they have an impact on. I wish more groups could would get active in this type of management.

    • avatar Mike says:

      ++But—get this— Vucetich as it turns out has been very strident in saying the vaunted North American Model of Wildlife Conservation does not deserve near the credit claimed by hunting organizations for restoring big game herds . Basically he is saying that hunters have had a substantial role in paying for and facilitating wildlife conservation and habitat for the past century , but they are far from the primary driver .++

      He’s right, of course.

  13. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    Cody,

    Here is an excerpt from an article posted at the BBB about
    the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

    “Nationwide, RMEF now holds 182 conservation easements permanently protecting a combined 248,784 acres of habitat. The organization’s mission is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat.”

    Read more: http://www.skinnymoose.com/bbb/#ixzz1jMu1ro2h

  14. avatar Daniel Berg says:

    Cody,

    Here is an excerpt from an article posted at the BBB about
    the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

    “Nationwide, RMEF now holds 182 conservation easements permanently protecting a combined 248,784 acres of habitat. The organization’s mission is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat.”

  15. avatar Mike says:

    Hunters pay a fee because they are consumptive users, period. They have a bigger impact on the land than anyone. They kill and take wild game. Often, they maim wild game and it gets away. They also poison carcasses with lead shot, which causes horrific symptoms to raptors.

    There is an overall catastrophic effect of their actions. they pay $$$ because they are destructors.

    • avatar Cobra says:

      Mike,
      You seem to never miss a chance at taking a shot at hunting.
      Just what have you done for wildlife?

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Mike,

      Get off the anti hunter crap, I proposed an idea, that had nothing to do with pro or anti hunting, it was simply an idea for those that complain they don’t have an equal say at the proverbial table when these issue are discussed.

      • avatar Mike says:

        No you offered an idea while lording over the hunting sanctity B.S. that gets shoveled around here.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Mike,

          Hunting is a fact of life in the west, you better concentrate on the east where your from, because your not going to stop where I live. I hunt, get over it, if you don’t like it, don’t visit Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. Hunting in Montana is a State Constitutional Right, you will not change that.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            “fact of life plural facts of life [countable]
            1 an unpleasant situation that exists and that must be accepted: Mass unemployment seems to be a fact of life nowadays.
            Persuading others to accept the hard financial facts of life is not a very popular job”

            So, we should all go back to our rooms now SB? :)

          • avatar DT says:

            Mike
            I do not know you and I don’t think I would like to meet you either, just because you seem to pick a lot of fights. I don’t think Saves Bears is an angry type, not from what I’ve read. I think he’s just very annoyed and has been pushed past his limit and I can’t blame him. I want to learn here, not see fights all the time.

          • avatar Mike says:

            DT –

            I’m not the one making vague threats.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Nancy,

          You can go where ever you want to, for the most part, I have no problem with most of your positions, Mike on the other hand, continues to drag discussions into the anti hunter bullshit. By the way, I don’t accept that mass unemployment is a fact of life, there is no reason to give up on getting America back to work.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            I will add one other thing, then off to bed so I can head back out in the field in the morning, I do hope I never run into Mike in person.

            Good night.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++ will add one other thing, then off to bed so I can head back out in the field in the morning, I do hope I never run into Mike in person.++

            Ahh…now the real Savebears comes out. I see this crazy, seething anger across much of the rural west–especially in places where they live in a bubble like the Northfork.

            It is this anger that the wolf haters project onto the wolf. It is their venting symbol. But many of these people lack the self awareness to realize they don’t hate the wolf, they just hate themselves.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Mike,

            Your passion is commendable, but your energy is misdirected. Your ranting will not change the fact that hunting will continue in the West and most if not all rural areas. In fact, it will turn off the very people with whom we should be working.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Immer –

            I’m not interested in that. 100% of the anti-predator propaganda comes from hunters and ranchers. It does not come from anywhere else in the country. We cannot move forward unless the source of the misinformation is identified.

            It is up to the hunting community to evolve beyond this nonsense. It is up to them to look at science and respond in a common sense fashion. It is up to them to stop the anti-wolf vitriol, and to stop using lead bullets that kill the national symbol every year.

            The combination of poor research, gun worship, gullibility, poor education and misinformation has turned the hunting community into a hindrance for wild animals and rather than an asset.

            We can’t possibly move forward in any meaingful way until these core issues are addressed. There are good hunters, but they are overrun by morons.

          • avatar william huard says:

            If the RMEF were such “conservationists” they would be working wth hunters to increase tolerance of predators like wolves. Instead, what do we get- calls by the blowhard Allen to “poison wolves in their dens” Who’s polarizing? The blowhards that continue to trumpet their conservation credentials…Conservation and tolerance go hand in hand.
            Gov Mead in every press release talks about protecting game herds- Look at the facts….there is NO destruction of game herds in Wyoming.

          • avatar william huard says:

            But Mike- banning lead bullets is another attempt by those greenie “unamerican” treehuggers to ban all hunting…
            The Tony Makris types in the NRA have the paranoia card all figure out

    • avatar Leslie says:

      I would say ORV do a heck of more damage than hunters!

  16. avatar John Soine says:

    I have been trying to send a comment to the Fish & Wildlife Service on the Wyoming delisting. Any ideas on how to do it. I can’t find a comment section or contact us spot on the Website. Thanks

  17. avatar Ken Cole says:

    Comments can be submitted until 12:00 EST at http://www.regulations.gov/
    In the Enter Keyword or ID box, enter FWS–R6–ES– 2011–0039, which is the docket number for this rulemaking.

  18. avatar Jeff N. says:

    Mark Gamblin says:

    +++ Hunters don’t purchase wildlife with the payment of license, tag and federal excise tax fees. They pay directly for the vast majority of wildlife management that provides abundant wildlife for all users of that public trust resource+++

    Come on Mark…..Yes they do, that is exactly why they purchase their license…for a chance to put meat in the freezer or a rack on the wall; paying for their consumption. No doubt money from the purchase of a license is used to improve/restore habitat and manage wildlife….why? So hunters can come back next year and have a chance to do it again. And I have no problem with this. But don’t tell me that they are not paying for their consumption as well as their influence on how wildlife such as the wolf is managed in Idaho.

    On the other hand just what am I consuming when I hike or backpack; maybe the air I breath or the water I drink from a lake or stream? The plants I step on when I go off trail?

    +++ Each use is carefully managing for SUSTAINED objectives to benefit society.+++

    If we apply this statement to how Idaho manages its wolf population one can only conclude that it is pure nonsense, unless of course your definition of “benefit society” means benefits the hunting and ranching communities.

    How does a 7 month hunting season w/o a quota on the number of wolves killed, “benefit society” as a whole? How does a proposal to use helicopters to kill wolves in the Lolo zone, if hunters don’t kill enough, “benefit Society”. Who participated in the decison making process and who had the greatest influence in the decisions made?

    Mark, if the benefit of society is the goal and all Idahoans have a seat at the table, so to speak, then why wasn’t a proposed wolf viewing area considered in the management plan for the segment of society who want to view wolves and not shoot them? Sounds like a reasonable proposal and small price to pay for this segment of society.

    I am actually starting to warm up to what Save bears proposed last night on this site regarding a non-consumptive fee. However, I would still be very skeptical if the money generated by this non-consumptive fee would hold much influence in wildlife management decision making based on the political make-up of many of the western state…AZ, ID, WY, MT, come to mind

    WM says:

    +++You mis-state the focus and cost emphasis of WS/APHIS when viewed nationally.+++

    I wasn’t talking about the role of WS/APHIS in Iowa or Indiana, and you know this. You know exactly what I was getting at. It’s been a topic on this site on many occasions. But by commenting on WS/APHIS on a national level I hope you impressed yourself, regardless.

    +++Now is also a good time to remind that the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has to date preserved over 6 million acres of wildlife habitat through conservation easements, purchases and donations of land back to the feds, and other tools making access available to ALL wildlife users.+++

    Congrats WM. I also contribute to organizations that preserve land and protect wildlife….You may have heard of the Nature Conservancy. In case you didn’t know they have purchased millions of acres that we can all enjoy and they haven’t resorted to the anti-wolf hysteria that seems to have gripped the RMEF.

    I’ve done my share of volunteer work as well….the highlight being the erecting two acclimation pens for the Lobo reintroduction in the Apache – Sitgreaves National forest back in 11/97.

    • avatar WM says:

      Jeff N.,

      ++I wasn’t talking about the role of WS/APHIS in Iowa or Indiana, and you know this. You know exactly what I was getting at.++

      You were focusing on the money and the mission. That won’t change, because it is a national program, and WS, for the most part, does what the states want, coordinating with them along the way. Just because some here discuss it with great disdain does not mean it will change.

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      JeffN –
      “Come on Mark…..Yes they do, that is exactly why they purchase their license…for a chance to put meat in the freezer or a rack on the wall; paying for their consumption. No doubt money from the purchase of a license is used to improve/restore habitat and manage wildlife….why? So hunters can come back next year and have a chance to do it again. And I have no problem with this. But don’t tell me that they are not paying for their consumption as well as their influence on how wildlife such as the wolf is managed in Idaho.”
      You appear to fundamentally mis-understand and mis-state the underpinnings of North American wildlife mangement. Starting with the PTD, through the NAMWM, wildlife has always been managed as a public trust, by states, for the public beneficiaries – state residents. Wildlife mangement are structured to first assure sustainability, then provide beneficial use of those resources for the public, with state residents as the primary stakeholders. Hunting, as a consumptive beneficial use, does not constitute a contractual agreement between an individual and the state. Hunters pay license, tag, permit and stamp fees not because the state guarantees a product. The state serves as the trustee, on behalf of its public beneficiaries, for the conservation and management of the trust resource. Hunters, anglers and trappers have tradionally born virtually the entire cost of wildlife and wildlife habitat mangagement at the state level, because that segment of society stepped up to assure the conservation of wildlife. There has never been and will not be an inherent or implied contractual relationship between the funding of wildlife management and a contractual relationship with those residents. Hunting, fishing and trapping are simply a socially sanctioned beneficial use of a public trust resource – because those uses are approved and supported by the residents of each state. That has been a hallmark of American social values and continues to be today.

      A 7 month wolf hunting season reflects the desires of Idaho society because that season is consistent with the goals and objectives of the Idaho wolf managment plan, which has been thoroughly vetted by a lengthy public review and involvement process. There has been no response that I’m aware of by the Idaho public to suggest that the wolf management plan and the current wolf hunting/trapping season is contrary to the wishes of the Idaho public.

      “Mark, if the benefit of society is the goal and all Idahoans have a seat at the table, so to speak, then why wasn’t a proposed wolf viewing area considered in the management plan for the segment of society who want to view wolves and not shoot them? Sounds like a reasonable proposal and small price to pay for this segment of society.”

      To date, there have not been exclusive wolf viewing areas provided during the wolf hunting season, because that was not determined to be a responsible management action to achieve the desires of Idahoans for wolf management objectives. To set aside a significant geographical area soley for the purpose of wolf viewing, excluding wolf hunting as a legitimate beneficial use that contributes to larger mangement objectives, when wolf viewing is available 12 months of the year, state-wide, including the hunting season has not been considered a prudent or responsible mangament action in the best interests of the Idaho public.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        “Hunting, fishing and trapping are simply a socially sanctioned beneficial use of a public trust resource – because those uses are approved and supported by the residents of each state. That has been a hallmark of American social values and continues to be today”

        Socially sanctioned? Approved and supported? Hallmark of American social values?

        Its interesting Mark how those words only apply to what? 10% of the population who hunt?

        And the hell with the rest of us that cherish, value and so appreciate just a glimpse of those “public resources” who at one time, roamed the landscape?

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Nancy –
          If you don’t understand the support of Americans, nation-wide for the hunting tradition, you need to. Surveys to the present, consistently document broad majority support for the hunting tradition. This fact of American social values is conveniently forgotten or disregarded in our frequent discussions on this blog. For western states, Idaho e.g., which I was referring to, that support is almost certainly even larger than the strong plurality of Americans who support hunting as a socially sanctioned beneficial use of wildlife resources.
          Your desire to have wildlife roaming wildlife to cherish, value and appreciate is not impeded by contemporary wildife mangaement that includes hunting, fishing and trapping as sanctioned uses, because all wildlife mangement is predicated on and managed for sustained and robust wildlife populations that also serve the non-consumptive beneficial uses you and others prefer.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Nancy, where in the hell do you come up with your numbers?

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Thanks to SB for the Conservtion Force link on realistic estimates of American participation in the North American hunting tradition. Social dimensions experts acknowledge that recent surveys of participation, by Americans, in the hunting tradition have seriously under-estimated the percentage of our population who consider themselves hunters, in part because many hunters, for a variety of reasons choose to hunt less frequently than in the recent past.

          • avatar william huard says:

            Gee, there is a real credible source for wildlife conservation…..Conservation Force- This idiot John Jackson supports “canned hunting” as a scientific way to protect wild species of lion and rhino. Jackson is an SCI shill and they have been known to inflate quotas of lions in Africa so their rich trophy hunting constituents will always have access to lion populations……

          • avatar william huard says:

            As lion populations continue to plummet…..

          • avatar Savebears says:

            William,

            You are very predictable, if it disagrees with your view, then it is a shill, it is a SCI, it is a RMEF, it is a SFW, Etc.

            You do realize, there are tens of millions of people in the world that don’t happen to think as you do……….Right?

          • avatar william huard says:

            Geewhizz SaveBears-

            This document I have posted is from a true lion conservation organization….not a bunch of connected trophy hunting shills that call lion conservation “conservation” as long as it fits with trophy hunting priorities….

            http://www.lionaid.org/blog/2011/06/an-open-letter-to-dr-larry-rudolph-president-safari-club-international.htm
            SCI is a farce, and so is Conservation Force

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Of course you did William, that biased crap fits you view of things, but you do realize there are others that don’t believe the way you do, don’t you?

          • avatar william huard says:

            I don’t know SaveBears…..We’re supposed to be dazzled and impressed as you pull names like “conservation force” out of your behind?

            These people are no better than the SFW corey rossi types. That “biased crap” is true conservation, not a talking point by trophy hunters who could care less about animals. You do know Conservation Force and SCI both advocate for canned hunting right?

          • avatar Nancy says:

            http://www.nraila.org/Issues/Articles/Read.aspx?id=171&issue=021

            “Just 20 years ago, hunters accounted for nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population. Yet, within two more years, if current tends continue, hunters will make up just 5 percent of the population”

            “last rites” at the end of the article kind of sums up things SB:

            “Without millions of American hunters as stakeholders, the Right to Keep and Bear Arms could lose one of its most important reservoirs of passion and political strength”

            How long has that scary concept been shoved down the throats of the average human being?

          • avatar Savebears says:

            William,

            I am not trying to impress anyone at all. But I can tell you whether I agree of disagree, I do understand, there are other opinions on these issue besides mine.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Nancy,

            You believe your link more than you believe me link, my question is why?

          • avatar william huard says:

            SaveBears-
            We are all entitled to our own opinions. From my perspective- I question the integrity and ethics of so-called conservation groups that find no issue or problem with allowing animals to be bred for the bullet to further an agenda of insuring wild populations of trophies for themselves.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            William, virtually every single hunting/wildlife organization is working to ensure sustainable wildlife for hunting in the future, that is why they were founded. In addition to the sustainable wildlife populations, the side effects are land and habitat conservation.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++Thanks to SB for the Conservtion Force link on realistic estimates of American participation in the North American hunting tradition. ++

            All I can do is laugh.

          • avatar Mike says:

            William –

            Anyone who isn’t drunk knows that SCI is a sham organization and has absolutely nothing to do with conservation.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++“Just 20 years ago, hunters accounted for nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population. Yet, within two more years, if current tends continue, hunters will make up just 5 percent of the population”++

            The new generations aren’t buying the fake John Wayne act. They understand you don’t nbeed to kill stuff to enjoy the outdoors.

            Those numbers are a step in the right direction.

        • avatar JB says:

          All:

          First: There is absolutely no question that the American public supports the practice of hunting. The best data currently available puts support at around 75-78% (these a are studies by Responsive Management, see link below). Moreover, when you look at these data over time the trend is toward a slight increase in support for hunting. However, the same studies also show that there is far less support for hunting large, charismatic carnivores (nationwide, under 50% for bears and cougars [the study did not ask about wolves]).

          Other research has shown strong support for wolves and continued protection nationally. For example, a recent Harris interactive poll found that only 29% of people agreed with the statement, “The gray wolf isn’t endangered anymore and protection under the endangered species act is no longer needed”. Another nationwide poll sponsored by NWF found that 63% of people disagreed with Judge Molloy’s decision to delist wolves.

          However, public opinion nationwide does not appear to be representative of opinion in Idaho. Idaho’s 2008 management plan included a survey of state residents, deer and elk hunters, and livestock producers. While the majority (53%) of a non-deer and elk hunters approved of the reintroduction, nearly 3/4s of deer and elk hunters and 4/5 livestock producers disagreed with the reintroduction. Moreover, when asked about the current wolf population (at the time) non-deer and elk hunters (46%) general felt the population (then around 800) was “about right”, though 41% felt it was too high. However, more than 80% of hunters and livestock producers felt the population was “too high” at that time. Most importantly (to this conversation), is that all of the groups surveyed supported (>50%) lethal management activities, including “Allow[ing] hunters to hunt a harvestable surplus of wolves”.

          Of course, just want constitutes a “harvestable surplus” is up for debate.

          A note of caution: To my knowledge, none of the studies I cited have gone through peer review, though I don’t have any reason to doubt their conclusions.

          Lit Cited:
          http://www.defenders.org/resources/publications/programs_and_policy/wildlife_conservation/imperiled_species/wolf/northern_rockies_wolf/id_final_wolf_population_management_plan.pdf

          http://www.defenders.org/programs_and_policy/wildlife_conservation/imperiled_species/wolves/america_votes_yes!_for_wolves.php

          http://www.responsivemanagement.com/download/reports/NAMWC_Public_Opinion_Hunting.pdf

      • avatar Jeff N. says:

        Mark,

        +++To date, there have not been exclusive wolf viewing areas provided during the wolf hunting season, because that was not determined to be a responsible management action to achieve the desires of Idahoans for wolf management objectives. To set aside a significant geographical area soley for the purpose of wolf viewing, excluding wolf hunting as a legitimate beneficial use that contributes to larger mangement objectives, when wolf viewing is available 12 months of the year, state-wide, including the hunting season has not been considered a prudent or responsible mangament action in the best interests of the Idaho public.+++

        This, in a nutshell, is for one, a bullshit non-answer which pretty much endorses what I have been saying in my previous posts. “You pay to play”. You pay for your consumption and for your seat at the table regarding wildlife management issues.

        For the betterment of society It’s not prudent or beneficial to set aside areas for wolf viewing….bad management of a species, but it is beneficial to consider killing wolves from helicopters in the Lolo zone in order to satisfy the desires of the elk hunters.

        As a member of IDFG I appreciate and respect you for entering this environment but you are full of shit.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Mark is consistent. He makes general statements like he does and we are supposed to say- Mark says it- it must be true! Once again he hits a 10 on the BS meter.
          It’s like Multiple Mitt Romney saying he’s a job creator- when the facts say otherwise

  19. avatar Mtn Mama says:

    As a Colorado resident, I would love to live long enough to see wolves return to this state. We have had only a few confirmed dispersers make it this far south. If this Wyoming “shoot on site” plan comes through and in absent of a safe migration corridor, we will never get an established population of wolves. The 8 ft fencing around all of the Aspens and Willows in RMNP will remain and our Elk will need more hired sharpshooters to “manage” their population.

    • avatar somsai says:

      Mtn Mama I’d just clear up some misperceptions regarding the RMNP elk program. The people who cull are volunteers, no one is hired. Population levels seem to be at desired numbers as less than fifty individual animals are culled per year. I think they continue the program to provide a good source of samples for CWD study and in case they feel a need to start culling in earnest they will already have an experienced group of volunteers to build on. Fencing is around Aspens to protect them, not because the Park Service believes elk are detrimental to the ecosystem. Indeed YNP now believes the high population of elk never was harmfull to the range of the Yellowstone herd.

      • avatar Leslie says:

        “Indeed YNP now believes the high population of elk never was harmful to the range of the Yellowstone herd.”

        What are you defining as ‘range’? It certainly was harmful to new aspen growth and willows. In a study in the late 1990’s, there were no aspens in YNP under 80-100 years of age. Now with the return of the wolves, they are regenerating.

        Somsai, Who cares about clearing up who or what is culling the RMNP elk. If the ecosystem was allowed to return to a natural sustainable state, with wolves, they wouldn’t have to go out and cull.

        • avatar somsai says:

          It already is a natural sustainable state. YNP has now decided aspens and willows aren’t the be all end all for an ecosystem and that there might well have been other factors. That whole riparian stuff was just answers looking for questions to justify people advocating for things that look like their pet. Read what the park service says.
          http://www.nps.gov/yell/naturescience/northrng.htm
          It’s nice having wolves around just like it’s nice having eagles, but as far as them being some sort of crucial part of the ecosystem,,, meh, about as crucial as the dire wolf.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Ask the folks in Rocky Mountain National Park what they think of their ecosystem without wolves.

            Each animal has its place.

          • avatar Leslie says:

            Somsai, Have you ever heard of the idea of “Canines, Corridors, and Cores”? The Canine references top predators and this idea has been spawned by top biologists who recognize that truly healthy ecosystems need all three things. That includes ecosystems world-wide!

            A visit to Lamar valley now and 50 years ago can attest to the vegetative changes wolves have helped with; but if you don’t buy that, then take a look at the fact that with wolves now in YNP, coyotes are in check. With coyotes in check, antelope are returning since their fawns were predated on by coyotes. With coyotes in check, snowshoe hare populations are returning, which brings hope for lynx. Ecosystems are very complex. Take out a major player, like a top predator, and you’ve disturbed the balance.

            You need to do more reading and perhaps take a few biology classes before you comment like you know-it-all.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Somsai,

            Here is a link to After 15 years of wolves, Yellowstone is reborn.

            http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2011/12/24/after-15-years-of-wolves-yellowstone-reborn/

  20. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Footnote: I do seem to recall (pretty clearly) that before RMEF was so stridently against wolves, they were more or less for them. Then/Or openly tolerant. Then/Or neutral.

    Their rabid anti-wolf stance today is the result of a change in course handed down by its more influential funding backers , not an evolved considered policy position.

    I’m glad RMEF does so much habitat conservation on large tracts of range, because all species and all manner of human users benefit from that. I consider their membership fees, conbtributions, and sweat equity to be ” tithing” or penance for the premier privilege of being allowed 2 weeks to hunt and kill the animal they spend the other 50 weeks conserving. So long as we don’t let the statistics get inflated too much along with the egos.

    The Sierra Club , Wilderness Society et al have been directly responsible for the set aside of many millions of acres of new National Parks and Wildlife Refuges. Just the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge alone — a Wilderness Society top tier project spearheaded by Olaus and Margaret Murray in the late 50’s from scratch—eclipses the totality of all the RMEF projects in one swoop, at 20 million acres. ANWR is adjacent to the 18 million acre Yukon Delta National Wildlife Refuge. Wrangell-St. Elias NP in Alaska at 13 million acres was lobbied into existence by environmentalists in 1980 , for instance, against the interests of the big mineral companies.

    Yes, RMEF does good substantial habitat work, but mainly to serve its own selfish interest of having abundant huntable big game to prey upon for sport, not out of any altruistic belief in omnibus wildlife conservation. It’s important to make that distinction and keep it in the perspective.

    RMEF is a working proponent of the North America Model of wildlife conservation , which is of, for, and by hunters. It focussed almost entirely on huntable big game and huntable waterfowl . They were ” farming” certain desireable animals for crops and yields. And it needs to be said here…RMEF is still in the business of ” put and take ” elk hunting. Of theyw ere true conservationists, they would also embrace the elk’s complementary wolfpacks and work for both species simultaneously , not putting them at odds.

    However, the North American Model excluded predators and nongame wildlife when it was instigated a century ago , and we now know with certainty that was shortminded and a narrow tack. The model was flawed from the beginning, and now should be obsoleted. It is good to hear a top tier wildlife biologist like Vucetich make this case with surety.

    Conversely, that REMEF officially disdains wolves tells me in no uncertain terms they don;t have a clue about genuine WILDLIFE conservation , only fulfilling their own selfish BIG GAME hunting goals. Big difference between the two concepts. All game is wildlife, but not all wildlife is game. From January thru early May in my town of Cody Wyoming you can attend an [ Insert Name of Species Here ] banquet and fundraiser every other weekend. Those are all hunters and fisherman. Some are actually environmentalists as well. Imagine that…

    Having said that , in the real world, on the ground, wolf range and elk habitat are one and the same. RMEF doesn’t get that part of it.

    • avatar Jeff N. says:

      Cody,

      That was a “slam dunk” post. Round of applause and a tip of the hat.

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      Cody,

      “Footnote: I do seem to recall (pretty clearly) that before RMEF was so stridently against wolves, they were more or less for them. Then/Or openly tolerant. Then/Or neutral.”

      Back when I was teaching school, I used to show an RMEF film about elk to my classes. At the end of the film, they had a “ghostly” image of a wolf running, superimposed, against the background of running elk. The film promoted the reintroduction as something that would make the ecosystem of the Northern Rockies complete, or whole again. They were definitely not opposed before the reintroduction.

      I was a member in those days when RMEF was different than today’s version. The “Bugle” magazine carried stories that were more “spiritual” concerning hunting elk. By that I mean, it was about the hunt, not whether you actually killed something or how much equipment you used. RMEF has changed, and David Allen epitomizes this change. It’s a change for the worse and RMEF needs a course adjustment.

      • avatar Jerry Black says:

        Here’s a recent quote from David Allen that certainly does indicate a change…
        More wolves will simply mean a need for more management, said David Allen, president and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a nationwide group with 185,000 members. To keep wolf populations controlled, he said, states will have to hold hunts, shoot wolves from the air and gas their dens.
        Ambitions of a natural balance are based on a land devoid of humans, Allen said, but because there are millions of people here it is up to them to manage animals like wolves.
        “Natural balance is a Walt Disney movie,” he said. “It isn’t real.”
        ___

      • avatar WM says:

        IDhiker,

        ++They were definitely not opposed before the reintroduction. ++

        I agree with your observations, and also prefer the older RMEF identity.

        It is also accurate to say, that RMEF historically was reluctant to take a very strong stand on wolves one way or the other because they had no real reference point from which to develop a position. It was more of a wait and see approach, which was reflected in a fairly comprehensive policy statement from the board.

        The current view of RMEF as voiced very abrasively through David Allen, is “well, we have waited and seen enough, it is now time to say something, and some of us believe it is too late.”

    • avatar WM says:

      Cody,

      ++The Sierra Club , Wilderness Society et al have been directly responsible for the set aside of many millions of acres of new National Parks and Wildlife Refuges.++

      I guess we just need to agree on what being “directly responsible for” actually means. It is Congress and the President who are those who actually are directly responsible for those set asides. The organizations you mention, and many more advocate, lobby, maybe even participate in writing the legislation, and testify in order to create an environment for legislative and/or executive action that makes it happen.

      RMEF, Nature Conservancy and a whole basket full of land trust organizations actually go out and single-handedly, with their own funds purchase, lease and negotate perpetual easements for the benefit of all. So, this, in my view is the more accurate depiction of being “directly responsible” for protecting the land.

      I am grateful for the efforts of all of them.

  21. avatar IDhiker says:

    Mark Gamblin said:

    “Doryfun, Leslie, Savebears –
    What would be a satisfactory outcome to demonstrate that your comments were heard or matter? Should everyone who participates/comments BE satisfied at the end of the process?
    Is it possible to provide a satisfactory outcome for all segments of society that participate in a democratic/republican based governance process?”

    Mark, you are missing the point here. Of course everyone will not be satisfied. What is needed, and what IDFG failed miserably to do, is come up with a solution that leaves no one completely happy, but also not completely disappointed. That would be a “satisfactory outcome.”

    There could have been a hunting, and as much as I find it disgusting, trapping seasons of normal length. By normal, I mean hunting that matched the general big game season and trapping that ends with the main furbearer season ending in mid-February. And, as others on here have suggested, a middle of the road goal of 500-600 wolves as the director originally proposed. In this case, hunters would have their hunting season, and wolf numbers would go down. Wolf proponents wouldn’t be entirely happy, but at least there would be a moderate number of wolves in the state population.

    Instead, what do we get? A program that is vastly skewed to one side of the issue. There was no attempt at compromise in developing the “management” program. And, polls show that the “vast” majority of Idahoans are not opposed to the wolf.

    • avatar JB says:

      Idaho hiker:

      I think IDF&G should set the bar higher than a plan that makes everyone unhappy. One of the reasons that I have advocated the use of collaborative learning (or another discourse-based process) is because novel solutions can arise out of bringing diverse groups of stakeholders to the table.

      Focusing on the absolute number of wolves is a great way to make this debate more contentious. Rather, IDF&G should be looking for novel ways of providing what diverse groups of stakeholders desire (e.g., elk hunting opportunities, protection for highly-visible packs, restrictions on means of killing that are not viewed as fair-chase, adequate protections for wolves in dispersal corridors, etc.). I (optimistically) believe these things can be achieved without much thought to the absolute number of wolves.

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        JB,

        I agree with what you say, although I never meant a plan that “makes everyone unhappy.” I meant a plan that satisfies everyone to a degree, but that they didn’t get everything they wanted, which I don’t think is possible.

        “providing what diverse groups of stakeholders desire (e.g., elk hunting opportunities, protection for highly-visible packs, restrictions on means of killing that are not viewed as fair-chase…”

        This is where I believe a more traditional length hunting season would come in, and where management options such as trapping and helicopter hunting would go out. The only reason numbers need to be part of the equation is because of the management direction chosen by IDFG.

        Certainly, I heartily agree with you that IDFG did not look for “novel” ways of wolf management. Bringing the various stakeholders to the table is certainly a good, productive idea, but what happened was a “winner take all” situation. I am interested in specifics on how you believe IDFG could have better managed this, taking into consideration the politicians running the agency.

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      IDhiker –
      I asked the question specifically to see if the “point” is understood – i.e. that it is very difficult if not impossible to craft a mangement plan and actions that are satisfactory to all. Your suggestion that no one is satisfied is, I believe, an equivalent exageration. Management plans and strategies for wolves, elk, deer, pheasants, and a host of other species enjoy a mixture of support and opposition by Idaho residents. I agree with your suggestion that achieving some middle ground for public support and satisfaction is one appropriate measure of success in wildlife management. There is, at this time, no evidence that I’m aware of that the Idaho public is deeply divided or opposed to Idaho wildlife management programs, including wolves, in the way you describe above. Are you?
      The upcoming Idaho Wildlife Summit is intended to help us identify the needs, desires and expectations of Idahohoans AND develop management programs that best serve those needs, desires and expectations of Idahoans, while meeting our first obligation to ensure abundant and sustainable wildlife into the future.

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        Mark,

        I never said everyone was not satisfied in my post. In fact, the side opposed to wolves is very satisfied by the direction IDFG is taking. What I said and meant was: if neither side was totally happy with the IDFG plan, then that would be a sign of compromise.

        I have seen the results of the Boise State polls which indicated a relative split of opinion in Idaho. If you look at JB’s 5:21 post above, if JB is correct, there is a pretty large percentage of Idahoans that are comfortable with a larger population of wolves than your department is aiming for. I believe the anti-wolf side that runs IDFG is more strident, is more monied, and has more influence in state government, thus much more say in the outcome.

        Also, on another topic, in one of your above posts, you said:

        “Hunters, anglers and trappers have tradionally born virtually the entire cost of wildlife and wildlife habitat mangagement at the state level, because that segment of society stepped up to assure the conservation of wildlife.”

        This may be true of hunters and anglers, but it is simply not true concerning trappers, at least not here in Montana, and I imagine not in Idaho, either. The license fees trappers pay in Montana barely pay the salary of the furbearer coordinator in Helena. Also, there are no programs that trappers fund and operate that provide for habitat protection and increasing the populations of the furbearers they trap. They have no equivalents to RMEF, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, etc. Trappers are takers, period.

  22. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Been away over the weekend and trying to catch up with what happened over the weekend. No please let me go back to the universally accepted statement “Hunters, anglers and trappers have tradionally born virtually the entire cost of wildlife and wildlife habitat mangagement at the state level, because that segment of society stepped up to assure the conservation of wildlife.” Ok, so far, might be correct. But, where can one see details statistics and numbers of what has been actually done with the money. E.g., to put it simple, how many acres of forest have been replanted, or how many miles of hiking trail built, things like that? I mean, do consumptive and non-consumptive useres really and measurable benefit or is the money just used to keep the system itself fed and running? Thanks

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      Further, what I get e.g. from your Pittman-Robertson Act is, that this was indeed initiated by sportsmen. But the true reason behind seems, that ranges suffered heavily from over-hunting and almost no game was left to harvest? Hunters feared, that with increased mobility and explosive growth of the number of hunters not much hunting opportunities would exist anymore. So yes, consumptive users have been the true conservationists but their motivation was not sooooo noble – pure self-interest. Not the conservation of wildlife aspect prevailed but foremost the protection of hunting opportunities and interests! Aha, so would “this segment of the society” please tone down a little bit.

      • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        Peter –
        The Pitman Robertson Act and its fisheries counterpart – the Dingell-Johnson Act (later expanded under the Wallop-Breaux ammendment) were wildlife conservation funding initiatives conceived by, lobbied for and since supported by hunters, trappers and anglers – to enhance the funding of wildlife conservation and management of North American wildlife. The recovery of North American wildlife, under the North American Model was well under way before the passage of the P-R and D-J Acts. Those seminal pieces of legislation were one more example of conservation leadership by the American public, not just hunters, trappers and anglers – though the intent of both acts is to benefit the hunting, trapping and angling traditions by ensuring abudant wildlife for future generations. The great success of the North American Model has been that it’s very broad contributions to species that are hunted, trapped and fished AND a larger assemblage of wildlife species. The successful conservation of North American wildlife was not, could not be, restricted to the narrow range of hunted, trapped and fished wildlife species. Conservation measures to recover charismatic species, highly valued for hunting, trapping and fishing – are equally beneficial to a large number of wildlife species that have never been and never will be hunted, trapped or fished. The North American Model, including the Pitman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Acts, has been a huge wildlife conservation success story for wildlife in North America.

        • avatar WM says:

          Peter,

          The story of how Pittman-Robertson, and other conservation measures came to is very complex.

          The problems created and the solutions sought are rooted in the developmment and westward expansion of America itself. Every state or territory has its own story, and the involvement of the federal government has also been paramount in making things happen.

          Below is a link to the Michigan story, and is well worth reading, as it is a fairly representative example what happened in many other states. Think of the infrastructure required for building railroads, logging, mining, and just the general impacts of an increasingly industrialized society with businesses seeking to make profits, while minimizing costs, and an expanding population while seeking ways to feed themselves and find jobs of their own. Elimation of MARKET HUNTING, and uncontrolled hunting, and the creation of state wildlife agencies using science to better manage the resource (in this instance the emphasis is deer).

          http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10363_10856_10905-28543–,00.html#ELIMINATION_OF_MARKET_HUNTING

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      Peter –
      We may be hindered by the fundamental differences in European and North American perspectives and institutuional systems of natural resource management – for achieving understanding of this North American topic. We’ve been talking about managment of wildlife which is governed and managed under a separate system than land management. Forest and trail system management are typically land management responsibilities.

      The authority and trusteeship for public wildlife resource management belongs to the states, with some very narrow exceptions that have been invoked by the federal government under the supremecy clause. For all meaningful purposes, wildlife have been and will remain the responsibility of state governments to manage for the benefit of state residents. Lands, including forests, trail systems and most compenents of wildife habitat are managed by a variety of government and private entities. The federal government manages on behalf of the American public a vast system of public lands including National Forests, National Parks,Reserves and Monuments, Bureau of Land Management tracts. Most in the U.S. is privately owned and the states manage a considerable amount of land for a variety of trust and endowment purposes. Idaho is like many states – owning and managing a significant portion of the state as income-generating endowment lands to fund the state education system.
      The North American Model of Wildlife Management, through funding provided by hunters, anglers, and trappers and augmented by a partnership with organizations like Ducks Unlimited, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, The Nature Consrvancy and others – has been and continues to be responsible for the legacy of wildlife abundance supported by a broad network of wildlife habitat – both privately owned and managed by the federal and state governments. While the states under the North American Model are focused primarily on wildlife population management, the North American Model is responsible for huge gains and benefits to wildlife habitat – again with the partnership of numerous non-governmental organizations like Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, National Wildlife Turkey Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Societies and others. The North American Model, serving all Americans, is responsible more than any other social/governmental institution for the miracle of wildlife restoration and conservation that leads the world.

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        Mark,

        There you go again…

        “The North American Model of Wildlife Management, through funding provided by hunters, anglers, and TRAPPERS (my emphasis)….again with the partnership of numerous non-governmental organizations like Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, National Wildlife Turkey Federation, The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Societies and others.”

        Mark, just my point. Where are the trapper organizations dedicated to preserving habitat and enhancing the populations of furbearers?

        As a regional director, you should be able to provide us with the amount of money collected by IDFG from trappers in Idaho on a yearly basis. I, and I imagine others, would be really interested in knowing this.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          IDhiker –
          Trapping has always been a sanctioned beneficial use of wildlife in North America – historical and current controversy not-withstanding. Because trappers contribute to the funding of wildife conservation and management, they also have a role in the success of North American wildlife conservation and managment. If and when individual states determine that trapping is not a desired beneficial use of state wildlife resources – that can change.
          I can’t tell you right now what percentage of total IDFG revenue trapper license fees comprise. I’ll check if it’s imporant to you.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++Trapping has always been a sanctioned beneficial use of wildlife in North America – historical and current controversy not-withstanding. Because trappers contribute to the funding of wildife conservation and management, they also have a role in the success of North American wildlife conservation and managment.++

            They pay because they take. They pay because they are heavy-consumptive users that kill not only target species, but non-target species including beloved pets. Your description of their actions is romantic fantasy.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Mark,

            I feel you avoided the issue. Trappers do not support the animals they kill, nor the habitat they live in, such as hunters and fishermen do. I am not sure how you can say they have a role in wildlife conservation since they do nothing other than take. They also are responsible for the loss of large numbers of non-target species while attempting to get the valuable species they seek. Trappers, as far as I know, are the only branch of sportsmen that engage in their activity for monetary profit. For example, $350-$500 for a single bobcat pelt.

            The best information I can find is that there are roughly 1000 trappers in Idaho, of which about 800 are active. At $26.75 per trapping license, using the larger 1000 estimate, that means trappers contribute $26,750.00 to IDFG yearly. That definitely won’t even pay Craig White’s salary, let alone pay for any direct action benefiting furbearers.

            You may not want to concede that trappers don’t work to benefit the species they trap, but I don’t think you are fooling anyone. Whether trapping is sanctioned or not is beside the point.

      • avatar Mike says:

        Mark –

        It was hunters, trappers, and guns that wiped out wildlife. A few hunters wised up and created new measures to prevent the extinction of many game species. That’s not doing a whole hell of a lot. That’s simply fixing a mistake that the hunting tradition created to begin with.

        It was the preservation of public land that brought about true conservation. Many hunters fought this. They still do. The NRA and SCI rail against roadless protection–the very thing that provides secure habitat for big game. It is these wildland reservoirs that brought about a return of wildlife in large numbers. The basic action of leaving them alone and providing room to roam worked just fine.

        Where were hunters during the extirpation of the grey wolf across the lower 48.? Oh, that’s right–they caused it. Where were hunters during the near-extirpation of the grizzly bear? Oh, that’s right, they caused it. Where were the hunters during the extirpation of caribou and elk from the Northwoods? Oh that’s right, they caused it. Where were the hunters during the extirpation of the wolverine? Oh, that’s right they caused it. Where were hunters and trappers during the extirpation of the black-footed ferret, the pine marten, and the fisher? Oh that’s right, they caused it.

        They caused all that, and then they “found the Lord” and decided to save antlered and fun shootin’ feathered species while ignoring the rest. Wow, big round of applause here for that one, Mark Real big round of applause.

        Today, we can thank the national forests, the BLM, the national parks and those who strove to create these and other wild areas for the condition of our wildlife. This is the real conservation. Assuming any other role played as large a part is pure fantasy.

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          Mike

          ++It is these wildland reservoirs that brought about a return of wildlife in large numbers. The basic action of leaving them alone and providing room to roam worked just fine.++

          Some the things you said, I agree with many times. But from my observations wildlife is more adbundant on private lands, the reason for this is that lands that were selected for patent were the most productive and remained is our public lands. This is only my observation.

          • avatar Mike says:

            I’ve seen this too. A lot of private land is actually superior habitat (bottomlands in tight mountain valleys, etc). But in most of these cases, this private land borders huge amounts of public land.

            In certain cases of private land owned by those who display ethics, poaching is down, too.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Mike –
          Your persistence in championing your anti-hunting agenda might be as impressive as it is flawed. It was not the hunting tradition we celebrate today that caused the near extirpation of numerous North American wildlife species. It was the burgeoning North American population that fueled an unrestrictd commercial market for American bison, beaver, waterfowl and other species for free market profit rewards. Frontier communities and families, mining camps and manifestations of a young frontier nation placed little of no priority on the values of wildlife abundance, open space, clean water and air that are at least commonly recognized among Americans today as national priorities. Hunters, as we know the tradition today were a distinct minority in our early history. It was that minority that fought, against market exploitation of wildlife, unrestricted – bush meat harvest – of wildlife as an unrestricted commons resource. This has been explained by JB and others several times now. It was Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot and their contemporaries who were responsible not only for progressive wildlife conservation and management objectives (that recognized hunting, trapping and fishing as integral beneficial uses of wildlife that lent important social value to wildlife) but also our system of National Forests, Yellowstone National Park and numerous other national treasures.
          Mike, if you are sincere about understanding the history of wildlife conservation in North America – you need to devote yourself to some historical study.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Mike –
          The references you provide above are helpful – to document and support what I’m trying to help you understand – AGAIN. The hunting tradition that we celebrate today was not responsible for the near extirpation of numerous wildilfe species in the 19th and early 20th century. Almost every citation (mostly a mixture of newspaper and magizine articles) describe the same social climate and factors that allowed un-restricted predator and meat hunting for the purpose of clearing the land and feeding communities and individual families. Precisely what the North Amercian Model and our contemporary hunting tradition corrected, with astounding success. The same citations made NO contribution to your erroneous contention that the North American Model supported by funding revenue supplied by hunters, trappers and anglers – was THE driving force behind that miraculous recovery and national conservation ethic.

          It is understandable that it is deeply important to you to promote and proselytize your anti-hunting philosophy. That does not however constitute a rational or logical argument in your quest to revise history. Fortunately, your attempts at historical revision are easily understood through the lens of broad historical scholarship – that credentialed experts on this blog have provided in numerous previous threads. That our American society remains strongly supportive of the American hunting tradition is the final arbiter of the value of hunting to our culture and how we will choose to conserve, honor and relate to our wildlife legacy.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Mark –

            I provided a list of hunters wiping out species before and after the North American Model of Conservation was initiated. I’m not surprised that you failed to refute a single thing I said. Instead, your rambled on with generic platitudes.

            You have no hard data to disprove what I posted. You have no evidence of any kind.

            Remember Mark, it’s not establishing a “wildlife legacy” if you only pay attention to a few species. That’s known as a game farm. It’s like saying a tree farmer who only plants red pine has contributed greatly to tree diversity.

            Everyone can see through this, Mark. Most posters here aren’t from Idaho. You’re going to have to raise the bar a bit.

      • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

        …………for the miracle of wildlife restoration and conservation that leads the world……Oh my god! World leadership and miracle! You would not do it for less? You should not ignore that many so called third world nations have quietly and without bragging and without claiming any leadership overtaken the US and have excellent and widespread wildlife conservation measures in place. Measures, that you can only dream of in your crusty environment, ruled by almighty lobbyists. And, they financed it independently and by themselves, explicitly and deliberately without American (hunting money)! The mess and nightmare that you (I do not mean you in single persona) created with wildlife “management” and conservation does certainly not qualify for world leadership. Please refrain from exporting you concept globally! There are many fine and honest people on this blog but this bigot miracle and world leadership thing is simply too much!

        • avatar william huard says:

          Peter-
          Americans are great at promoting myths.
          “Give the rich tax breaks and magically the prosperiy will trickle down.”
          “All regulation is bad for job creation”
          “Hunters are the true conservationists”
          To name a few. The US is a worldwide embarrassment on the issue of global warming- thanks to the right wingers….

        • avatar WM says:

          Peter,

          How about Mexico?

          • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

            Don´t know enough about wildlife conservation scene in Mexico, only fragments. Only thing I know is their fresh wolf recovery programme.
            Those “third world” nations I know much better and have connections to, are e.g. Namibia, SA, India and – not third world and much closer to me – Poland, Slovakia.

          • avatar WM says:

            Peter,

            I was being sarcastic. From my travels there, Mexico is not one of the high points for much of anything (except very nice people in some of the very rural areas, away from the corruption and drug cartel activities).

            I have seen little wildlife there, not a great deal of regard for it, and certainly very little in the way of outstanding conservation examples – the wolf program as you point out, excepted (but only what I have read in the news and on this forum). They seem to get the sea turtle thing, too.

            Mostly the success stories for widlife are on big (as in HUGE) privately owned ranches that offer hunting experiences, and are managed for rich Europeans, Americans and others for a a hefty price. The public sector efforts have mostly fallen short, in my experience. I am not even sure they have any wilderness designated federal lands, or much in the way of conservation enforcement, like game wardens.

          • avatar Leslie says:

            Mark,
            Idaho needs to begin thinking much bigger. We have a whole new set of problems that our old models that you refer do not address. I recommend that the IDFG begin to take climate change into account and start pushing for the Y2Y plan, with wildlife corridors in mind. If you don’t begin that process in serious, you won’t have many animals to manage at all in the future. From your posts, it sounds like your agency is very crusty and not too creative in your thinking about wildlife and the future of our ecosystems’ health.

            Just being on this website and defending the agency, i.e. “…North American Model supported by funding revenue supplied by hunters, trappers and anglers – was THE driving force behind that miraculous recovery and national conservation ethic” is frankly not forward thinking. Yes that model was successful in the past (early 20th century) when we’d killed off much of our megafauna, but that Model needs overhauling and re-thinking.

            The North American Model is NO LONGER the model for other cultures at all. There are a variety of models being used out there, but the over arching theme of all of them is Canines, Corridors, and Cores. Connectivity and top predators. IDFG needs to get with it!

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Leslie –
            It is commendable that Namibia has written wildlife conservation into their constitution. So has Alaska.
            Article 8 – Natural Resources
            § 4. Sustained Yield
            Fish, forests, wildlife, grasslands, and all other replenishable resources belonging to the State shall be utilized, developed, and maintained on the sustained yield principle, subject to preferences among beneficial uses.
            Idaho (like most U.S. states) has wildlife conservation into our legal code.
            TITLE 36
            FISH AND GAME
            CHAPTER 1
            FISH AND GAME COMMISSION
            36-103. Wildlife property of state — Preservation. (a) Wildlife Policy. All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed. It shall be only captured or taken at such times or places, under such conditions, or by such means, or in such manner, as will preserve, protect, and perpetuate such wildlife, and provide for the citizens of this state and, as by law permitted to others, continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping.
            But, that is not the point of this thread – apples and oranges. The topic has been the success of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation in restoring and building wildlife and wildlife habitat abundance and diversity across a continent (Contiguous United States, Alaska and Canada). Neither Namibia nor any other country in the world has been benefited even close to the same degree by a similar wildlife conservation model – though, again, I commend the Namibians for following the lead in the United States of committing themselves to wildlife conservation in their national constitution.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Mike –
            The North American Model addresses and has served every species of wildlife on the North American continent. You repeat of oft stated fallacy in our recent discussions of the model. The Model has directly benefited ALL North American wildlife through conservation of habitat that is used by all wildlife species and by direct conservation of those species themselves. You are mistaken in your statement:
            “The North American Conservation model largely ignored felidae, ursine, mustelids, and canidae. Therefore, it cannot be described as creating “diversity”
            Cats, mustelids, bears and canids are all managed under the model and have thrived in large part BECAUSE of the North American Model. We simply would not have the North American wildlife diversity we enjoy today in the absence of the North American Model.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Mark –

            That is not true. Those animals suffered greatly since the introduction of the North American Conservastion Model, and were wiped out across the lower 48 by hunters and trappers during that time.

            It was only the Endangered Species Act that saved several of them.

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          Peter –
          With sincere respect to the accomplishments of other countries in their endeavors to conserve their wildlife resources, third world countries included, the United States and Canada do indeed lead the world in this arena of conservation accomplishemts. There are no other countries who have accomplished what the U.S. has in turning around a countinent wide decline in wildlife abundance, wildlife habitat, social values and social benefits of the national wildlife legacy. Respectfully, I suggest that again – your own values and philosophies towareds wildlife and wildlife management are more to the point here than actual wildlife conservation accomplishments. This is epitomized by your comment:
          “The mess and nightmare that you (I do not mean you in single persona) created with wildlife “management” and conservation does certainly not qualify for world leadership. Please refrain from exporting you concept globally! There are many fine and honest people on this blog but this bigot miracle and world leadership thing is simply too much!”
          speaks for itself in it’s egregious prejudice. Bigot indeed Peter.

          • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

            Amen Mr.Gamblin, Sir. The United States are a continent? Ok, so much about your picture of the world. Suit´s well your claim for world leadership in wildlife conservation. And when you say…. in turning around a countinent wide decline in wildlife abundance”….what a soft wording for what should read “emergency measures to stop total eradication of wildlife”……

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Peter –
            North America is a continent. The model we discuss that founded the successful recovery and conservation on a continent-wide basis is the North American Model. The model describes wildlife management principles embraced by Canada and the United States. Both countries are guided by the tenets of the model in their wildlife conservation and management programs.
            I think you perhaps again your personal phiolosphies and values color your argument – by mischaracterizing the accomplishments of the North American Model: “Emergency measures to stop total eradication of wildlife”?
            Well …… not quite Peter. More accurate to say: A successful national effort to convince the American public that the path of unrestricted exploitation and intentional extirpation of wildlife species would constitute a profound loss for the nation and future generations. A successful establishent of a NATURAL RESOURCE management model that has demonstrated success that dwarfs any other model (or philosophy) in the world we live in today. The world would be a more natural and biologically diverse ecosystem if Europe, AND third world countries, enjoyed the same successful management model.

          • avatar Leslie says:

            Mark, Namibia has written the preservation of ecosystems into their constitution. Don’t yet see that here in the U.S.

            Many of these emerging nations dealing with conservation issues have a different set of problems than we do here, namely indigenous peoples that are living on the land. We ‘solved’ that problem by moving our indigenous peoples out of our parks and onto reservations. That old model is no longer applicable and new solutions are needed.

            You are comparing apples with oranges.

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Leslie,
            Sorry my response went to the wrong location in this string

            Leslie –
            It is commendable that Namibia has written wildlife conservation into their constitution. So has Alaska.
            Article 8 – Natural Resources
            § 4. Sustained Yield
            Fish, forests, wildlife, grasslands, and all other replenishable resources belonging to the State shall be utilized, developed, and maintained on the sustained yield principle, subject to preferences among beneficial uses.
            Idaho (like most U.S. states) has wildlife conservation into our legal code.
            TITLE 36
            FISH AND GAME
            CHAPTER 1
            FISH AND GAME COMMISSION
            36-103. Wildlife property of state — Preservation. (a) Wildlife Policy. All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed. It shall be only captured or taken at such times or places, under such conditions, or by such means, or in such manner, as will preserve, protect, and perpetuate such wildlife, and provide for the citizens of this state and, as by law permitted to others, continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping.
            But, that is not the point of this thread – apples and oranges. The topic has been the success of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation in restoring and building wildlife and wildlife habitat abundance and diversity across a continent (Contiguous United States, Alaska and Canada). Neither Namibia nor any other country in the world has been benefited even close to the same degree by a similar wildlife conservation model – though, again, I commend the Namibians for following the lead in the United States of committing themselves to wildlife conservation in their national constitution.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Mark –

            The North American Conservation model largely ignored felidae, ursine, mustelids, and canidae. Therefore, it cannot be described as creating “diversity”.

            What it did was focus on ungulates and bird species at the expense of other animals.

  23. avatar Doryfun says:

    Regarding consumption vs non-consumption and funding for various wildlife agencies in the US. Would $600 billion help? Check this out, a paper by the Resource Renewal Institute:

    RECOVERING $600 BILLION BY COLLECTING THE RENT
    ON OUR PUBLIC LANDS
    http://www.rri.org/pdf/Elders%20paper%20for%20RRI_2-2011.pdf

    Sounds like a great start to me. Now, how about some potential ways to help promote changing such “mindsets”?

  24. avatar IDhiker says:

    Mark,

    I was pleased to read this in your post- especially the last sentence.

    “The upcoming Idaho Wildlife Summit is intended to help us identify the needs, desires and expectations of Idahoans AND develop management programs that best serve those needs, desires and expectations of Idahoans, while meeting our first obligation to ensure abundant and sustainable wildlife into the future.”

    Meeting your “first obligation” will take the courage to stand up to political forces with other agendas. I hope you guys are up to the job. Good luck!

    • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

      IDhiker –
      Our hope is that all Idaho wildlife stakeholders will join a broadened dialog the Idaho Wildlife Summit is intended to jump start. Meeting the first obligation has always been the IDFG benchmark for management success and is embedded in the 3 P’s of our statutory mission statement – Preserve, Protect and Perpetuate. The Summit isn’t proposing any new wildlife conservation/management concepts. The purpose of the Summit is, as stated, to do our best to serve the needs, desires and expectations of Idaho residents for mangement of their wildife resource, while we continue to meet our statutory obligations to the Idaho public to provide abundant hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities for current and future generations.

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        Mark,

        You’re confusing me… without any new concepts, then what is the point? I believe you’ve already said many times that IDFG is meeting the, “needs, desires, and expectations of Idahoans,” while meeting your statutory obligations.

        So, what’s going to come out of this Summit that is new? Again, why bother?

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          IDhiker –
          Did I say that new concepts would not be considered? What do you mean by new concepts?
          I believe that I emphasized in previous posts that I’m unaware of broad based opposition to current IDFG/Commission policies and programs – specific to wolf management, though I would extend that to all wildlife management programs. I’m emphasizing broad based opposition, not universal support/approval. The Summit is intended to broaden a nenewed dialog with Idaho wildlife stakeholders to understand how we can make Idaho wildlife management as responsive to the needs, desires and expectations of Idahoans as we can. There is always room for imrovement.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Mark,

            I don’t know what the “new concepts” would or could be…you had mentioned that, “The Summit isn’t proposing any new wildlife conservation/management concepts.” So, I’m wondering what good will come out of rehashing the same old stuff. It seems to me that there has already been a lot of dialog with the various stakeholders. You have previously mentioned that the wolf program is already “responsive to the needs, desires and expectations of Idahoans.”

            What would constitute, “room for improvement?”

        • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

          IDhiker –
          Good question. That is precisely the purpose of the Summit and will be a question the Department asks of Idaho stakeholders. What additional services, programs might Idahoans desire for wildlife management?

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Well, I’ll be interested on how it turns out. I’m sure there will be plenty on this site about the results.

  25. avatar eloise says:

    Does this mean there is ANY chance that Wyoming will have to make some changes to its plans?
    Or is it shoot/shoot/shoot as usual?

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Quote

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

~ Edward Abbey

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