I just got out of the Idaho Senate and Resources Committee meeting where they discussed S1305 which allows ranchers to kill wolves in many different ways. They voted to send the bill to the floor with a do pass recommendation. One interesting comment was made by Republican Senator Tippets who said that he had dinner with US Representative Mike Simpson last night. Simpson told him that the passage of this bill might end up putting wolves back on the Endangered Species List. Senator Tippets voted for passage anyway, along with every other Republican on the committee. Senators Werk and Stennet, both Democrats, moved to hold the bill in committee but they were overruled.

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About The Author

Ken Cole

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

89 Responses to Idaho’s Wolf Kill Bill S1305 Makes it out of Committee

  1. avatar Paul says:

    I hope that this backfires on these people so bad, and the wolves get re-listed. The wolf killing bill in Wisconsin may very well lead to the same thing. That may be the only way to stop this insanity. I have said all along that these people will not be satisfied as long as any wolf roams free. Their goal is total eradication and now they are cutting off their nose to spite their face to prove it. There can be all the talk in the world of maintaining a “robust and sustainable” wolf population in Idaho at 151, or 351 in Wisconsin, but these bills show their true colors and intentions. I also want to know why with such a blatant conflict of interest how Siddoway is allowed to propose legislation that benefits him directly? When is this insanity going to end?

    • avatar william huard says:

      Paul-

      Just about everything Idaho does is based on cronyism and self serving greed. These people think they are entitled, especially sheep farmers and ranchers. You or I see the problem- do you think they care if there is conflict of interest? Making money and killing wolves are all these people are about- oh I forgot- and going to church. Hypocrite much?

      • avatar Sawtoothian says:

        And don’t forget, they manage to keep their ignorant constituency in a state of poverty and ignorance. You’d think these people would wise up, but nope, this is what happens when you have a one party feudalistic ranching monopoly controlling the state in every facet. The states educational system is one of the worst in the country but that works in their favor when they graduate high school at a 6th grade level and then go out in the field and work menial jobs to serve these people.

        It’s a vicious cycle of cronyism and shall I say feudalism. People like Siddoway are the vassals, his constituency his mindless serfs.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Low educational standards and high unemployment make the armed forces seem like a viable alternative, as the far right continues the rattle the sabers in terms of war with Iran.

          Again from Brecht,”Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.”

          Downscale it a bit and it fits what’s going on here in so many ways.

    • avatar Salle says:

      Has it occurred to anyone else that they want the wolves eradicated because they can’t control them like elk or cattle? (I’m not trying to be cynical here, I wonder about the motives and the core values that foment such vehement hatred for a specific living being. Honestly.)

      Is it some social construction designed to justify some skewed value that somehow became a norm which evolved into what we see today?

    • avatar dcookie says:

      Didn’t Congress decide that wolves can’t be re-listed?

      • avatar Salle says:

        dcookie,

        What the ignorant rider did was force a delisting without legal recourse of that decision but goes no further. If the states fail to uphold the conditions set forth in the ESA during the five year “monitoring period” that follows delisting, the USFWS can re-list the species. From what the discussion here has concluded is that the remedy by litigation, as mandated by the Act itself, has not been nullified. Such a nullification would require that that Act be repealed or whatever… requiring an SC ruling or an Act of Congress, maybe not even the SC ruling.

        Simply, no.

  2. avatar Salle says:

    I wonder who would be surprized at that…

    It’s the usual ramrod-republican-three-ring-circus, never changes.

  3. avatar nabeki says:

    There could be a first Senate reading of the bill as soon as this Friday. Three readings then a vote, so a vote could come as early as next week. We have to fight this. Gear up people.

  4. avatar Savebears says:

    You may see some negotiations with USFWS, but your not going to see wolves relisted anytime soon, the reason you see the GL wolves delisted as nobody wanted another congressional rider to delist them. There may be a lawsuit pending, but historic precedence is going to rule in the Rocky Mountain States on the congressional rider, there is over 200 years of precedence with the “Not subject to judicial review” The Supreme Count of the US has upheld is as constitutional many times in the past on many different cases. And before anyone bitches at me, I am not stating my opinion, I am simply stating what my research into this particular subject has revealed. My opinion has always been, I did not prefer the Congressional delisting.

    • avatar JB says:

      Savebears: I agree that a re-listing is extremely unlikeley. However, the 5-year monitoring provisions of the ESA are still in place; Congress only exempted the Final Rule from judicial review–meaning FWS could chose to relist if they felt that any of the five threats (listing factors) rose to a sufficient level that wolves were again threatened or endangered. In this case, the obvious choice would be the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms.

      • avatar WM says:

        JB,

        ++In this case, the obvious choice would be the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms.++

        How would you see this to apply?

        • avatar JB says:

          “How would you see this to apply?”

          The way I read it, this bill allows anyone who owns a domestic animal to kill a wolf at any time (they need only claim that at some point in the previous 36 hours wolves were annyoying [molesting] their animal). Effectively, this legislation negates wolves’ game animal status (they will be treated as a nuisance species and allowed to be killed at any time). If trophy game status is critical to wolves’ delisting, as FWS argued, then the regulatory mechanisms in place are inadequate for their continued conservation.

          However, at least as I understand it, this would require the FWS to act on it own volition (anyone?). Meaning there is no requirement that they review this case, and importantly, nothing goes in the Federal Register–which would mean no “action” that environmental groups could challenge under the APA. Is that your understanding?

          SB: As I understand it, the Secretary would use his emergency powers to relist and the action (status change) would take effect immediately. FWS would then have 240 days to promulgate a new rule relisting the species (without the new rule, their listing status would revert to unlisted). I seriously doubt any challenge would affect an emergency relisting–the courts are likely to defer to the agency in this regard. My guess is that challenges would come to the Final Rule that comes at the end of the 240 days.

          MONITORING.—(1) The Secretary shall implement a system in cooperation with
          the States to monitor effectively for not less than five years the status of all species which have recovered to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to this Act are no longer necessary and which, in accordance with the provisions of this section, have been removed from either of the lists published under subsection (c).

          (2) The Secretary shall make prompt use of the authority under paragraph 7 of subsection (b) of this section to prevent a significant risk to the well being of any such recovered species.

          • avatar WM says:

            JB,

            I was thinking in more basic terms. As long as the monitoring showed the minimum number is present for MT and ID, along with the genetic connectivity (including the WY/Yellowstone source), and those minor parts of WA, OR (and maybe the little tip of UT), wolves would remain delisted.

            On the other hand, if the numbers, range and genetics start getting thin it would seem a wolf advocate could get the matter before a judge,even with the no judicial review language from the rider. It seems to me the “no judicial rule” applies only to the process of enactment of the rule as a statute, but not to the substance of the rule itself. So, if FWS is not enforcing the content of the statute (the 2008 delisting rule) that makes it fair game for court review.

            I bet an advocacy group lawyer has already taken a look at that aspect.

            Furthermore, if the matter is before a judge (and we know who that would likely be in MT -Molloy) the judge could enjoin the states from further reduction of the wolf population through hunting or lethal control (maybe depredation management under court supervision) until the facts are presented in court regarding the minimum requirements to meet the new statute.

            I bet the states have also done the analysis, and if and when the minimum numbers are approached (with adequate buffer) what we are seeing now as too aggressive tactics will slow down or cease altogether.

            On the other hand, you can’t fix stupid.

          • avatar JB says:

            I think you’re correct in terms of how FWS is likely to play this. However, the population need not dip below any minimum criteria for emergency relisting to occur–the Secretary need only conclude that one of the five threats has reached a level where the species is in danger of extinction or likely to become endangered (i.e., threatened). This came up in the threats analysis for both the greater Yellowstone grizzly and (if memory serves) the polar bear. In the case of the GYE griz, the threat of loss of pine species was sufficient to warrant continued listing despite actual population increases. I believe the same logic would prevail in the case of regulatory mechs.

          • avatar JB says:

            As a follow up…

            The reason the this legislation potentially threatens the population is that it provides no safety valve. The hunting seasons are regulated such that IDF&G has a very good idea of how many wolves they have. But this legislation does not even require a permit before taking a wolf. Yes, IDF&G will know how many wolves have been killed, but this legislation leaves them powerless to regulate this source of human mortality.

          • avatar Paul says:

            JB,

            I take it that these rules would be similar in the Great Lakes? I know that FWS will be monitoring how those states manage their wolves as well. During the WI Committee vote last night the GOP goons behind the bill just did not seem to understand this. Even when it was explained to them that the feds would be monitoring for 5 years and conducting studies at the beginning of each year, they still chose to vote for a season that stretches to the end of February. I would say that the Wisconsin bill and what it contains present major risks to the continued viability of the Wisconsin wolf population. I would hope that FWS agrees. I guess this will be up to the courts to decide. These states are giving a big middle finger to the feds and are reneging on their agreements by going as extreme as possible. I hope they get lambasted in the courts and they can only blame themselves if re-listing does occur.

        • avatar WM says:

          …and I guess I should say, FWS would likely begin some sabre rattling about relisting before an advocacy group filed a complaint.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        JB,

        I know USFWS could relist, but with their past performance on this issue, you would have dozens of lawsuits filed within minutes of it happening, the USFWS service screwed this up 6 ways from Sunday since day one and those in favor of delisting with state management have the lawsuits waiting if they did that. The pro wolf side has been very diligent in teaching those groups against wolves, you can bet their lawyers are well educated on how to hold up things now.. I am 99% positive that requests for injunctions would be on the Judges desks before the ink dried on a relisting attempt.

        • avatar Salle says:

          SB,
          …and they’d probably not win the argument. This delisting scenario is legally sketchy at best in the NRM DPS due to the rider BS. That is the one reasn I will not support Tester in his current re-election bid.

          Litigation against such a DOI decision is unlikely to find much support in the courts since the Act requires such action given the parameters that JB mentioned above. Thanks, JB… I got that.

  5. avatar Mike says:

    What a complete embarrassment Idaho is.

  6. avatar Kit Stevens says:

    I’ve already written to over 20 federal senators & representatives to request the Feds take over management again. It’s seems that MT, WY & ID are attempting to exterminate the wolves again and that is unacceptable. Maybe the threat of federal protection again will force the states to come up with some real management plans instead of these horrendous massacres.

  7. avatar Doryfun says:

    Trust & Integrity?

    I am pro wolf, don’t like trapping, wildlife services, the Religious Right, my way or the highway thinking, Holier than thou attitudes, just say no, rigid obstructionism, denial of science, and a lot of other things.

    However, pro wolfer as I am, IMO, part of the problems we see today with all this political wrangling and terrible legislation, is also related to the Wallowa Rancher’s group meeting interruption by rude protesters, and questionable behavior of pro-wolfers, in their past legal tactics to begin with.

    Part of the reason anti-wolf folks don’t trust pro –wolfers, is that they are not good on their word. When wolves were brought in with mutually agreed upon numbers which were derived for bottom-line to determine endangered status or not,and policy, pro-wolfers challenged that number, down the line.

    New information from one study by a biologist in CA, was jumped upon for support of claiming bottom-line figures were wrong, so pro-wolfers went back on their words, so to speak.

    A similar thing happened when some of the historic bighorn reintroductions were made. Ranchers were told, if they agreed to such introductions, they would still be allowed to graze their sheep, then an about face happened, when disease outbreaks began. (note: that wild sheep are incompatible with domestic sheep, has been known for a very long time, though exact transferal mechanism were not). So, making claims, then not living up to them breeds distrust, creates animosity, and sets good science backwards, rather than forward.

    My question is, since when does one scientist/ one study, represent peer reviewed science? Making radical policy changes midstream, based on rather scant evidence, seems questionable to me.

    To pounce upon one scientist’s figures and run with it as the Holy Grail, only gave rise to more problems, and evolved into the mess we are in today: more, entrenchment and bitterness between opposing camps, bad politics. Had a straight tongue prevailed, today’s results might have been more promising? Our history as a people in conquering native lands, reveals what a kind of problems can develop from a forked tongue language. (I hope this isn’t in our dna)

    The wolf is the real loser, often at the hands of those whom proclaim so much love for such. And that is sad.

  8. avatar IDhiker says:

    ++I bet the states have also done the analysis, and if and when the minimum numbers are approached (with adequate buffer) what we are seeing now as too aggressive tactics will slow down or cease altogether.

    On the other hand, you can’t fix stupid.”

    WM,

    I think the ball is rolling so fast now in Idaho, they’ll be no stopping the wolf killing. In Montana, poss

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      Technological blip…

      In Montana, possibly, but that depends on the next elections. FWP apparently found a point where they won’t go beyond, for now. I don’t think Idaho ever will.

      • avatar Sawtoothian says:

        Sad thing is, this is Idaho in a nutshell. I believe a lot of the elk that disappeared wasnt due to “Wolves”, but because the IDFG allowed about 3000 elk to be killed in those zones per year. The free for all from outfitters and too many tags for the number of elk just decimated it. I haven’t done the stats for the lolo but i’m guessing it’s the same BS.

        Idaho’s biggest problem is that it’s sportsman and rancher population is at war with the landscape. It’s not healthy.

        • avatar william huard says:

          Sawtoothian- Do you live in Idaho? I remember last year when the IDFG allowed some wheat farmers to kill pregnant elk that were in their fields. Thats a new form of wildlife management that helps to make elk populations be more robust. I asked MR Gamblin about those reports- funny he never responded.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Wouldn’t it be something if the Feds had the courage to step in and tell Idaho -enough is enough with the wolf killing…..I’m afraid while we are on the subject of ball-less that describes Salazar and Dan Ashe to a tee. By the end of this wolf hunting season we will be lucky to see 250 wolves left in Idaho…what a waste. There are plenty of areas where wolves are not bothering humans but Idaho just can’t let them be

  9. avatar Paul says:

    Check out the comments about this bill following this article:

    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/committee-approves-bill-to-allow-aerial-wolf-kills/article_b345234a-91ee-5dfc-bf11-708c08410bcb.html?oCampaign=hottopics

    “People will do what they have to do. It has been shown time and time again that if you have a wolf pack within 20 miles of your place, they will no doubt visit from time to time. The will also remove your pets and run or kill your domestic livestock.

    I love the stories these prowolfers preach….”all that goldilocks stuff is not real”. Ok. But, unfornately, much of it is real. Wolves are not good for livestock or other wildlife.”

    Fairy tales are real? This puts cannot even get his fairy tales right. And pro-wolf people are the “emotional” ones?

    • avatar william huard says:

      Wolves are not good for livestock or other wildlife…..That last part kills me- these loons actually think wild wolves are not entitled to eat animals that hunters hunt…..Would someone please tell these people that huntable animals do not belong to them…..The sense of entitlement is outrageous

      • avatar Elk275 says:

        ++Would someone please tell these people that huntable animals do not belong to them++

        Huntable animals belong to the state, the western states are controled by the voters, who are hunters. Who ever controls anything will have a sense of entitlment. We run the show you do not William and that is the way it is now. Tomorrow is it could change.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          William, they belong as much to the hunter as they do to the non-hunter, as Elk said, they belong to the state and the state manages them. The Federal Government has allowed the state to manage the populations even on Federal Land..

          • avatar william huard says:

            Save Bears- That’s my point- they belong to ALL the citizens not just hunters….This resentment towards a wild animal that tries to eat to survive is BIZARRE really.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            William, right now the hunters are the ones singing the loudest, hence they have the upper hand.

          • avatar william huard says:

            “Singing”? You mean “Whining” right? The balance of power will change again. I bet most people don’t condone a slaughter to satisfy a few politically connected groups

          • avatar Elk275 says:

            The wildlife belongs to the residents of the state not the citizens of the United States, as states do not have citizens, i.e states can not issue passports.

            I am sick and tried of non resident non consumptive and consumptive wild users trying to tell the state how to manage their wildlife. Once a week on a hunting forum non residents of the state being discussed will jump in and bitch and bitch. Both this forum and hunting forums have different but similar discussions.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Balance of power? William, that is what your side is misunderstanding, there has never been a balance of power.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            William,

            They belong to all citizens of the state where they reside, in the west the hunters are the majority.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Wildlife does not belong to anyone. That is the first logic gap.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Hey Elk, I own land in your state. It’s called the national forests and national parks. So does every other American citizen.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Mike, under our current form of government, yes the wildlife is owned. As far as owning land in our state, that may very well be, but the way things are set up and wildlife is managed, the wildlife belong to the citizens of the state they reside in.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Sorry SB, but that’s illogical. You can’t own wildlife. It’s an oxymoron.

        • avatar JB says:

          It may be nitpicking, but they actually belong (in common) to the citizens of the state; the state merely acts as a trustee on their citizens’ behalf. At least that’s the way the Supreme Court sees it.

          • avatar WM says:

            but the citizens are represented by the King,…..er, uh, sorry… the Governor, in consultation with the Legislative body. It is good to be the….King.

          • avatar JB says:

            Of course, the analogy breaks down when you consider the “King’s” lands are owned by the federal government (also a trustee working on behalf of a much broader group of “subjects”). 🙂

          • avatar WM says:

            ++ the analogy breaks down++

            Maybe not so much as might be thought.

            The federal King just has a bigger kingdom over the sub-kings at the state level. He just sends out his evil sheriff (Interior Secretary) or minister of lands (USDA FS) or the shared technical arm (WS in USDA) to do the work, in consultation with the little kings. He fears too much dissent or open disapproval of decisions they make could weaken his power. Yet it is good to be the federal King.

            Remember there are many on this forum who do not believe democracy operates properly because their views are not heard and acted upon. So this cannot be democracy in action where elected officials carry out the will of its citizens over wildlife or any other matters. It is kings who rule kingdoms. We are merely serfs, share-croppers and slaves doing the bidding of the dukes, lords and other royalty. Then there is this newer person of power the corporation, granted rights by the king and his advisor, greater than anything ever known before. This person congregating with others of its kind in an evil place great power called Wall St. is taking over the realm.

            As I write this, I am beginning to believe it more and more myself.

        • avatar Mike says:

          You can’t own wildlife.

          • avatar JB says:

            Of course you can, Mike. It’s just a bit more complicated than owning an iPod.

            When wildlife are alive they are owned by no individual, but available for capture subject to regulation; in Roman law, “res nullius”. The Romans also used the term “ferae naturae” to describe things, “…which, having no owner, were considered as belonging in common to all the citizens of the state.” (See Geer v. Connecticut, 1896).

            When wildlife are captured or killed in accordance with the laws of the state they become the property of the individual that captured them. In fact, one of the classic cases that establishes what’s needed to “own” something dealt with wildlife (specifically, a fox; see Pierson v. Post, 3 Cai. R. 175, 2 Am. Dec. 264 (N.Y. 1805)). Pierson v. Post is in no small part responsible for the principle, “possession is 9/10s of the law.”

          • avatar WM says:

            Mike,

            ++you can’t own wildlife++

            Got news for ya. JB is correct, and the authorities he cites are accurate. Are you now a contrarian expert on law to go along with your self-proclaimed expertise on wildlife management?

            Maybe JB can give you the full cite to the Freyfogle and Goble text titled “Wildlife Law.” Or you can just order it up from Amazon.com.

          • avatar somsai says:

            There comes a magic moment, when I walk up on the still warm animal I have just harvested. I check for life, then take the tag out of my pocket and fill it out. What used to belong to the state is now my legal property.

          • avatar william huard says:

            During that “magic moment” you are checking for life on an animal that you just killed……Who are you checking for life? You or the animal?

          • avatar Mike says:

            JB –

            Go into the Boib Msrhsall wilderness and try to own a grizzly bear.

            What you’ve detailed is a simple construct that has no bearing on reality. A ruling can say we own wildlife, but it doesn’t really work that way.

            And this label of “ownership” is part of the logic gap. It will, of course, be tossed out as our society advances, open spaces get chewed up, and biodiversity begins to take precedent.

  10. avatar Paul says:

    Holy crap! Check out this article and the quotes from Siddoway:

    http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/02/22/2405887/wolf-bill-could-backfire-on-idaho.html

    “Siddoway told the committee that the aerial hunting provision is the important aspect of the bill. But it’s the live-bait section that has gotten the most attention.
    Siddoway used his wife’s dog Sophie as an example of how a dog might be used as bait to lure wolves in.
    He said he would place Sophie on a 20- to 30-foot chain and then set up in a blind with a rifle some distance away. Then he would turn on an electronic wolf howl.
    “You try to get Sophie to chime in with the wolves,” Siddoway explained. “If they come down you just start shooting,” he said.
    Siddoway also said he would place sheep in a corral surrounded by traps in the mountainous area along the Wyoming border in the Targhee-Caribou National Forest where he grazes his sheep.
    Siddoway said he does not understand why his critics have compassion for the live bait, but “no compassion for the guard dogs who are paying the full price for protecting our sheep,” he said.”

    This guy doesn’t get why this would outrage people? This sanctimonious SOB grazes’ his sheep on OUR land and expects to be granted full authority under HIS bill to practice wanton killing. Where are the ethics in this state?

    With this crap and what Wisconsin is pulling Obama and FWS need to take a long hard look at what is happening here. I knew that these states would not be satisfied just “managing” wolves. Idaho, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are showing that their intentions are to eradicate the wolf from their states. The feds better step in before this gets any further out of hand. They are calling the Feds bluff with these bills and are daring them to take action. I bet Obama and his cronies will back down and cater to the GOP radicals just as he has done all along. I don’t know why the righties call him a liberal because he gives the GOP just about every sick and depraved thing that they want. If Idaho won’t listen to wolf hater Simpson’s warnings then there is really no hope to get through to them.

    • avatar Mike says:

      This is some sick, sick shit.

      There’s almost no regard at all for ethics or science here. It’s just a sick, twisted need to kill things.

  11. avatar Salle says:

    WM,

    “…in the west the hunters are the majority.”

    Majority of what? The majority of poorly educated ideologues who rant about their self appointed authority to kill anything they can just because they like to kill… who live in the west? Or the majority of gun-toting, blood-thirsty ideologues who live in the west? Or the majority of loud-mouthed poorly educated folks who don’t understand the concept of the commons but offer ideological rhetoric to back their poorly thought out vision?? Could you clarify what you meant there? Because I do challenge that statement and it’s validity.

    • avatar WM says:

      Salle,

      I think the statement is attributed to SB, not me.

      • avatar Salle says:

        WM,

        You’re correct. I apologize for the error. 😉

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Actually both Elk and I made a very similar statement, and truth be told the majority of the voters in these three states are hunters, you don’t have to like, but it is a fact, just look at how elections are decided in these states..

  12. avatar Salle says:

    Wolf bill could backfire on Idaho

    http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/02/23/2006075/wolf-bill-could-backfire-on-idaho.html

    “Simpson, who authored the federal legislation that removed Idaho wolves from protection under the Endangered Species Act, said he worries the bill goes beyond the wolf plan approved by Idaho in 2002. That plan was the basis for the removal of wolves from the endangered species list.

    Simpson said a wolf-advocate group would likely bring a petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service if Siddoway’s bill is signed by Gov. Butch Otter and becomes law.

    Then the issue would likely end up before U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy, the judge who repeatedly ruled against delisting the wolf before Congress stepped in.”

  13. avatar Louise Kane says:

    If Great Britian could pass The Hunting Act 2004 (c 37) which was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, then the US can and should pass an act to protect apex predators and wolves.

    This is a brief description from Wikipedia. “The effect of the Act in GB was to outlaw hunting with dogs (particularly fox hunting, but also the hunting of deer, hares and mink and organised hare coursing) in England and Wales from 18 February 2005. The pursuit of foxes with hounds was banned in Scotland two years earlier under legislation of the devolved Scottish Parliament, while it remains legal in Northern Ireland.”

    Its amazing to me that in countries where fox hunting was so culturally entrenched, they still passed hotly debated legislation because the majority of people in the country disliked the barbaric tradition of fox hunting. Traditions become outdated and out of favor with the public.

    Hunting of predators is outdated, archaic and often barbaric. Polls (like a Pew Charitable Trust poll taken when the ESA was being attacked) showed that people want to see wolves in America. Science tells us that losing top predators and managing them at their lowest possible numbers is disruptive and dangerous. Even so, the states keep ratcheting up their killing plans and the hunting periods that wolves can be killed. There is no safety for wolves. Its obvious that state management plans are really state killing plans. The ESA is not an effective solution for wolves, unless one considers a never ending merry go round of kill, protect, kill a great solution.

    Wildlife is a natural resource that all Americans share an interest in. When a segment of our country is determined to eradicate a particular natural resource, then we need to provide protection. We protect and fight for clean air and clean water. We create laws to protect marine mammals to prevent marine pollution and to protect other natural resources. We have fought industries, just as large as the Cattlemen’s Associations and Sports hunting groups that continue to pressure and lobby for more wolf killing, to create these laws.

    We now need a federal law calling for the protection of apex predators, like wolves. A federal law is necessary to protect populations of wolves, lynx, bobcats, bears and other predators from continued persecution and irresponsible federal state and regional management practices.

    Its unconscionable to allow Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming to provide for only 400 wolves, especially when there is scientific consensus that apex predators contribute to healthier ecosystems. Its unconscionable to manage wildlife as we did in the last century.

    Our wildlife management practices and laws are outdated, are dictated by special interest groups and need to be reconsidered. Laws are passed to prevent lawlessness. The western states are outlaw in their approach to wolves. A federal law protecting predators is one approach to create mandatory compliance to learn to live with wolves. A federal law could create a time frame of imposed tolerance that might just outlast the hate and bias that pose the biggest threat to wolves and other wildlife in these states.

    Intolerance, ingrained prejudice and stereotyping die slowly… laws force change. Anti slavery and civil rights laws protected segments of our society from hate, perhaps a national predator protection law could protect wolves from the bizarre hate that exterminated them once and appears to be threatening them again. In any event, we need a change in wild life management laws.

    • avatar somsai says:

      One consistency I’ve noticed with all states that have wolf reintroduction/protection is that public sentiment follows a predictable path.

      People are at first enthusiastic or at least welcoming, then questioning, and finally hostile. Over the course of the change in public opinion various things shape and then harden their positions. Lack of management is a big one. Rude, obnoxious, Birkenstock wearing, loud, pushy, wolf kissers is another.

      We in the US have an enviable reputation of having large natural seeming Wilderness areas with a large variety of species. Why work to ruin that reputation. Haven’t you crazy dog people gone far enough. There are some pretty extreme wolf management measures being implemented in 3 states already. Can’t you take a hint? Why is it necessary to shoot yourself in the foot.

      Must be time to bring out the lawyers.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        somsai,

        Every once in a while, you write some good, thought provoking “stuff” and provide some balance to the ongoing dialogue. Then you write other “stuff” that is no less childish than those you deem as wrong. I don’t think the pendulum swinging is over, in terms of wolves, and wolf management. You can get your points across without being condescending/insulting, and perhaps become part of the solution rather than part of the problem.

    • avatar william huard says:

      Louise- After your thoughtful post(and I might add the points in your post would be supported by the majority of the people in the US(then reread Somsai’s post- this is what we are up against. Mindless, foolish people who blame pro-wolf folks for the hatred and ignorance that they project everywhere around them. These people really don’t even have a clue why they hate wolves, no more than how they hate minorities, gay people, or anyone who looks, acts or feels differently than them

      • avatar mikarooni says:

        I certainly agree and, while I’m at it, I need to reiterate how tired I get seeing so many people, people who literally hate what this site stands for, continually weighing in here and spewing their disinformation …and spewing disinformation is clearly the only reason they’re here. Again, they actually hate what this site stand for and the purpose it was designed/intended to serve; so, they’re sure not here to share useful information or to offer moral support; thus, they’re only here to spy and to, as an infamous GOP propagandist once admitted, to demoralize and depress the liberal discussion. This somsai garbage is certainly not alone; we have many others, including the infamous and particularly disgusting to me Mark “Tokyo Rose” Gamblin, who actually uses bullying on this site as a means to brown nose with his department bosses. But, they all spew the same message: “You little folks can’t understand; we big boys have it all under control and are doing the right thing, despite what it might look like; so, just go sit down and shut up and it will be alright.” Yeah, sure …and Warren Jeffs knows best.

        • avatar william huard says:

          And do you notice how these wolf extermination campaigns are phrased as “wildlife management” based on good science, good politics…….You have an animal that was just on the ES list now being wiped out after a distasteful and slimy rider inserted onto a critical piece of economic legislation passed (that would have never passed if you used the democratic process)and the airheads are saying “well if you had agreed to let us “manage wolves years earlier” maybe it wouldn’t have been as bad……What a bogus argument. Where’s the 1500 population minimum based on science in these discussions in Idaho or Wyoming?
          This reminds me of the racism down south. Right wingers who continue to push their “if you’re not with us you’re unamerican” nonsense use the same argument with the wolf issue. If you don’t support aerial gunning, snares, or any of the other more egregious forms of wildlife torture- that makes you “anti-hunting, anti-second amendment, unamerican…..

          • avatar Salle says:

            Funny… (as in ironic) how this is one of the results of teaching our children to blindly “believe” rather than think. That kind of ignorance is not blissful but hurtful, and it is promoted as a right. I guess one actually dos have the right to choose ignorance but it does not absolve them from the legalities of responsible citizenship. “Ignorance of the law is no excuse for violating it.”

            I wish that civics had not been eradicated as a required course in our public schools… because this type of radical ignorance is a direct result of that.

            Why Teaching People to Think for Themselves Is Repugnant to Religious Zealots and Rick Santorum

            http://www.truth-out.org/why-teaching-people-think-themselves-repugnant/1329847441

        • avatar somsai says:

          mikarooni if you have such a hard time with ideas that don’t agree with your own I’d suggest seeking out places where you aren’t exposed to them. Mark Gamblin from Idaho put down some of the most thorough informative writing I’ve seen here yesterday. For his trouble he was yipped and yapped at by pesky pups, to which he responded with thoughtful considerate replies. Good to read something besides all the “woe is me, they’re murdering all the little wolves” stuff.

    • avatar WM says:

      Louise,

      You might give some thought to the differences between GB and the US. For example, the United States is an association of states. Each maintains certain reserved rights not enumerated under the Constitution (no I am not particularly a states righter, but want to point out that distinction).

      If you look at the laws you referenced, for example the Clean Water and Clean Air acts, as well as the ESA, states play major roles in implementing the laws, including setting certain standards for their respective areas.

      Also think of the distinguishing factors between “fox hunting” and bird, big game, as well as hunting/control, generally as it is done in the US. Who does it, how it is done, and for what purpose.

      You will find there are more dissimilarities than common ones between the US and GB in the land and the people, which will likely make such a federal law unlikely. Don’t know if there EVER has been much of a taste for folks in formal red coats and jodhpurs, jumping hedgerows to the sound of baying hounds and a funny sounding horn, then back to the mannerhouse for tea and crumpets, while the stableboys rub down your finely bred steed.

  14. avatar Louise Kane says:

    To Somsai,
    The only rude portion of the last several exchanges was written by you. You just proved my point about the idea of stereotyping dying hard. It may be hard to believe but I have never worn a pair of Birkenstocks, don’t like granola, and am generally not loud and pushy. That particular stereotype is tired and worn out. And as for bringing out the lawyers, thats just what we need to do. And that was the point of my note. If our wildlife management laws in the last hundred years have failed to take into account human over hunting, habitat loss, global warming issues, and threats to wildlife based in hate, as well as pressure from special interest groups that are continuing to place wildlife populations at risk then we need to change the laws. It may not be easy but its time. Like I said, if Great Britian can do it… because it was right so can we. But then again GB was many years in advance of passing anti slavery laws also. I would hope that you could come up with something more creative than shouting at me, via this post, that I am a Birkenstock wearing wolf kisser. Its ridiculous to attack a position that stems from a very real concern about bad policy using a tired stereotype about how one dresses especially when you don’t know anything about how I dress or others, that hope to see the way wolves are treated, dress.

  15. avatar Louise Kane says:

    To Mikaroni, who wrote that the state and federal agencies treat us like “You little folks can’t understand; we big boys have it all under control and are doing the right thing, despite what it might look like; so, just go sit down and shut up and it will be alright.” Sadly, I have had experienced similar disturbing conversations when talking to state and federal wildlife employees about their wolf and predator management programs.

    Numerous times I have called the USFWS and the Montana, Idaho, Wyoming fish and game depts. Often the employees that take the initial calls may not even know what their wolf management policies are, or that they manage and kill wolves. Some have denied killing wolves outright.

    Several months ago, when I called to complain to IDFG about shooting wolves in the Lolo area, I had workers at IDFG tell me that they were not using helicopters to kill wolves, that this was the federal govt. When I explained that Idaho was had indeed requested and received federal assistance to implement their helicopter killing policies and politely insisted on speaking with a wolf biologist, I was told that because Idaho had not been managing wolves and they were federally managed that they did not have a wolf biologist on staff. Then pressing further I asked to speak to the person who was in charge of the wolf management program now. I was then directed back to the USFWS.

    In frustration, I hung up and called the USFWS where I was told that Idaho was using helicopters in Idaho because Idaho was managing their wolves. Essentially USFWS denied any part in the killings. At first I thought it was a cover up of info… then I realized it was two agencies whose employees, were completely ignorant of their own policies. I finally reached someone at UFWS who confirmed that the USFWS was assisting Idaho to kill wolves.

    When I called IDFG once again and asked to speak directly to a IDFG manager, I was assured that all of the information I knew to be true ( that Idaho had used federal sharpshooters and helicopters to kill 6 wolves) was wrong. I corrected him by stating that I had finally reached someone at USFWS that could confirm the killings and use of federal helicopters, and then he checked his facts, and agreed. He then began to argue why the killing was necessary telling me that wolves had decimated ungulate populations across the state, that they posed a threat to human safety and to rancher’s livlihoods. This was said with such conviction that the average person who might inquire about the issue, but not understand it completely, could be convinced that wolves were national terrorists.

    I completed the conversation understanding that these agencies spread mistruths and misuse facts to support their wolf killing policies and as mikarooni pointed out, try and make us feel like little people who don’t understand what their states need to do. The state and federal governments regularly abuse their discretion when it comes to managing wildlife. They have been doing this for a very long time. There are very many Americans who do not hunt, would like to see more natural areas where hunting is not allowed and wildlife corridors that protect natural populations of wolves and predators along with other wildlife.

    Unfortunately, while our voices are being heard, they are not being heeded. If one looks at the numbers of petitions generated against the current wolf “management” plans, the actual comments provided to the states and federal government against killing wolves, its astounding how many people do not want wolves to be molested, do not believe the bs that is being fed to us, and are tired of seeing wolves persecuted. Its tragic that wolf killing has to get so out of hand before it will get the attention it deserved from the start. Part of this, is probably due to the fact, that its almost hard to believe these actions could be taken in 2012!

    People who advocate for a science based, humane, and ecologically sound approach to wildlife and predator management are not kooky freaks, the people who relentlessly and mindlessly hate and kill them deserve that title.

    FYI
    I am working on a project, with some volunteers, to catalogue comments given in response to solicitations about wolf management plans, and petitions against them, to provide information and data to NGOs and state and federal agencies to illustrate that our voices are not being accounted for in wildlife management policy. I will also be working to draft a predator protection act and look for sponsors, to be poised for action when the tide turns as it surely must. I’ll post the link to the sorted comments from Idaho as soon as we are done.

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      Louise Kane

      The Western US Senators will never allow a federal apex predator protection act. In the next 8 years the ESA will be gutted if a segment of society with minimal monetary means and resources continues with an agenda that is different than what the local populous desires. The United States is not Great Britain but a country composes of counties, states and a republic. Nothing is going to change until 2050 and I fear that the US will be different and not the country we know in 30 years.

      The most important thing now is not the protection of predators, but the protection of de facto wilderness areas being congressionally declared wilderness areas, conservation easements, the acquisition of critical private lands and maintaining and developing access to public and private lands. With good habitat wildlife will thrive.

      Very few people on this forum understands the role of the hunter in acquiring and maintaining access routes to federal lands. Millions and millions of federal and state lands currently are unavailable for public access.

      Last night I attended the Montana Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation raising approximately $80,000 for wild sheep in Montana. That money will be used to help purchase critical mountain sheep range, help the state with big horn sheep.

      There was a special guest who had flown in from New York, earlier this month purchased the Montana big horn sheep auction tag at the National convention in Reno for $300,000. Several weeks ago $30,000 that $300,000 was used to capture and transplant 60 mountain sheep in the Tendroy Mountains west of Dell, Montana. The additional money is earmarked for mountain sheep. I do not think that pro wolf people are able to raise $80,000 in an evening.

    • avatar Salle says:

      Louise,

      “I am working on a project, with some volunteers, to catalogue comments given in response to solicitations about wolf management plans, and petitions against them, to provide information and data to NGOs and state and federal agencies to illustrate that our voices are not being accounted for in wildlife management policy. I will also be working to draft a predator protection act and look for sponsors, to be poised for action when the tide turns as it surely must. I’ll post the link to the sorted comments from Idaho as soon as we are done.”

      Thank you, looking forward to seeing that.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      Louise, I’m not sure that USFWS had anything to do with killing wolves in the Lolo. It was USDA Wildlife Services, another federal agency, who did the actual killing. I’m just making certain that you understand the roles of the different agencies involved because it seems from your comment that you might be confused about this.

      Yes, it does seem that the people you spoke to at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game were not well informed and gave you erroneous information about what was going on.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      I also look forward to seeing the results of your review. It will be enlightening.

      While I am doubtful that a predator protection act would get much traction in the legislature, I see value to the discussion it might raise.

  16. avatar Ken Cole says:

    I understand many of the perspectives put forth here but I disagree with some of the descriptions of what this site stands for. While this blog does take a decided stance for wildlife, habitat, it’s diversity, and it’s conservation, things I’m sure many here support, I don’t think it should be just an ecochamber. I don’t think that the discussion should be between just those who agree with me, I think that the discussion should be much broader than that and that we, as wolf and other wildlife advocates, should be challenged on our points of view because I think it exposes people to those very points of view. It strengthens our arguments. 

    Yes, we do limit the discussion so that abusive and libelous discussion is eliminated. There are certain people who have been blacklisted from this site for various reasons and there a number of people who make a single, very shallow comment that never makes it onto the site.

    Frankly, it is up to the whim of myself, Ralph and Brian as to who’s comments are allowed.  All three of us generally don’t like to limit the discussion too much but once-in-a-while we feel the need, or desire, to remove certain people from the blog. There was one very memorable incident, that I never talked about here, that makes the prospect of removing people from the blog kind of unpleasant.  Threats, accusations, and emails to bunch of people who had nothing to do with the blog were sent to me. Frankly the bastard went off the rails just because he was put into moderation.  Who knows, maybe he’ll send me another assinine email after reading this comment 😉

    There are a number of people who comment here who I vigorously disagree with. I won’t name them all. That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be exposed to what they say.

    Keep in mind, they are exposed to our points of view too. If we aren’t able to make good arguments for our point of view then what’s the point?  Flinging names at people and calling them inbred rednecks, or assholes isn’t going to make my point of view any stronger. It is through reasoned and civil discussion that I best represent my point of view.

    Too often people take things personally and too often people make things personal. That’s not the same as making a good argument for your point of view.

    There will continue to be a reasonable range of viewpoints on The Wildlife News. My recommendation is to make good points and reasoned discussion without name calling and pointless bickering. 

    • avatar Mike says:

      The site has changed drastically, Ken. I think my Obama comparison is apt. You may think it’s helping things by letting it continue and being buddies with everyone, but it’s not. They’re laughing as they use this site to legitimize their views in the eyes of the undecided. Ralph has great credentials, this site has cred. They are using that as a springboard and that’s a shame.

      I remember when this site used to be a group of wildlife enthusiasts oohing and ahhing at wolf reports and news of rare species showing up in surprising locations. Now we get comments about “feeling the warm dead body” of a fresh kill, and platitudes from a goof in IDFG. My how things change.

  17. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Hi Ken,

    I stand corrected, and I do understand the distinction between USDA Wildlife and USFWS, both being under DOI.

    To Elk, my point about a predator protection act is that if one looks at wildlife as a national resource, then its not just up to the western senators, to decide solely whether or not wolves and other predators should be a permanent and stable part of the landscape, its a national issue. With our ecosystems so out of whack, we need to do something to change direction. And I do agree with you that preserving and maintaining wildlife corridors and wildlands are vitally important.

    I understand huge obstacles to enacting legislation, still the first steps are to bring light to the issues and to get enough attention that people become outraged. I believe that what Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and now Wisconsin proposed and implemented as wolf management policies are outrageous and that if enough people learn about the atrocities that wolves and other predators are subjected to, the issue will become national and the western states will not be able to hide their actions.

    I think we will see a turn around. There are an awful lot of us committed to seeing that happen. The incredulity of seeing wolves returned to state management and the severity of the state plans impacted me profoundly. I know many others share the same sentiments.

    I have a question for you about raising the money for the sheep habitat. Was the 80,000 raised to protect big horn sheep or to ensure there are more sheep for hunting? I think that question is at the crux of the difference between people that want to conserve wildlife and those that want to conserve them to ensure future hunting stock.

    No disrespect intended but I think wildlife deserve areas that they can be allowed to live out their lives. Not only because of my personal beliefs, but because continuous hunting must have some impact on the genetic diversity and health of the animals that are hunted. I can’t be sure about wolves, but I do know that with fish the age of maturation, size, and the fecundity of species like haddock and cod, that have been overfished, have been radically changed in relatively short periods of time due to the overfishing. Why should we expect that when trophy hunters remove the largest and healthiest of animals that this will not negatively impact those species being hunted. So while its nice that this money is going to be spent on purchasing land as sheep habitat, what does that mean for the predators that also live there. Will the be driven away and killed when they start to compete with the hunters who feel that they have paid for the land.

    I am afraid that, because one can pay a huge sum of money to buy a tag, also means that the hunters who do so argue they have an exclusive right or greater interest in effecting policy. I don’t believe that special interest money should be driving wildlife policy. This is a similar notion to corporations now being allowed to make huge donations the rest of us can not afford and that greatly and negatively impact our democracy . Allowing big money to determine and buy laws, politicians and policy undermines democracy. The idea of democracy is based in what is good for the majority and allowing all people to have a voice. Thus I am much more interested in what the majority of Americans want to see in conservation trends and I see huge numbers of people objecting to and moving away from excessive and unrestricted hunting and certainly away from the cruelty and barbarism of traps, snares, poisons and hunting animals with helicopters, snowmobiles and now live baits, as Idaho is proposing. We need to be more coordinated and sadly, as you point out,to raise more money.

  18. avatar Mike says:

    ++There comes a magic moment, when I walk up on the still warm animal I have just harvested. I check for life, then take the tag out of my pocket and fill it out. What used to belong to the state is now my legal property.++

    Why was this allowed to be posted? Using dead animals to troll?

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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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