Last week I sent a letter to Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Tony McDermott asking him to explain the assertions he made it the Commission meeting held in Boise on the 21st of March. I have still not heard back from him or anyone else other than a form email from the PR person at the Department expressing thanks for testifying at the meeting.

Because I have the ability to post stories and articles to this forum as an editor I have decided to take advantage of it and raise these questions again to give them greater prominence as a post unto themselves.

I think these questions are legitimate and deserve to be answered publicly. I ask any official representing the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to respond to the concerns I have raised.

———————–

Dear Commissioner McDermott and Director Moore,

The other night, before accepting testimony of the public at the Commission meeting, Commissioner McDermott asserted to me and the rest of the public attending the meeting that there were 1200-1600 wolves in Idaho and at least 250 wolves in the Panhandle Region alone. I would again like to reassert my strong concern about these comments and ask you to provide any documentation for these assertions.

I have examined the most recent annual report issued by your own department which states that the year-end estimate for 2011 was 746 wolves. http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/docs/wolves/reportAnnual11.pdf Since the end of 2011 there have been an additional 167 wolves killed in the hunt, 17 others killed illegally (3) or by the cooperative efforts of IDFG and WS (14), and presumably several more have died and have not been documented. This additional mortality lowers this number to somewhere below 562 wolves.

Contained on page 93 the 2011 annual report, issued by your own department, is an explanation of how the estimate is derived.

APPENDIX A. POPULATION ESTIMATION TECHNIQUE USED TO DETERMINE WOLF POPULATION NUMBERS IN IDAHO
From 1996 until 2005, wolf populations were counted using a total count technique that was quite accurate when wolf numbers were low and most had radiocollars. Since then, we have used an estimation technique that is more applicable to a larger population that is more difficult to monitor. This technique has been peer reviewed by the University of Idaho and northern Rocky Mountain wolf managers. This technique bypasses the need to count pups in every pack, and instead relies on documented packs, mean pack size (from number of wolves detected for those packs where counts were considered complete), number of wolves documented in small groups not considered packs, and a percentage of the population presumed to be lone wolves. This technique differs slightly than that used since we initiated this estimation method, in that beginning in 2010 we used a total count of wolves for those packs where we had a high degree of confidence that we observed all pack members, and applied the mean pack size (statistical mean is used when number of packs with complete counts ≥20, otherwise median pack size is applied) to the remaining packs (with incomplete counts), rather than using the mean or median pack size for all packs. Mathematically this technique is represented as:

Minimum Wolf Population Estimate = [# Wolves counted in documented packs with complete count + (# Documented packs lacking complete count * mean [or median] pack size) + (# Wolves in other documented wolf groups of size >;2)] * (lone wolf factor)
where;
# Wolves counted in documented packs with complete count = 109
# Documented packs lacking complete count = 85
the number of documented packs that were extant at the end of 2011 was 101,
complete pack size counts were obtained on 16 of them, leaving 85 packs with counts that
were presumed incomplete,
Median pack size = 6.5
median pack size was calculated using only those packs (n = 16) for which complete pack counts were obtained in 2011,
# Wolves in other documented wolf groups of size >;2 = 2
“total count” for those radiocollared wolves in groups of 2-3 wolves that were not
considered packs under our definition,
lone wolf factor = 12.5%
a mid value from a range derived from 5 peer-reviewed studies and 4 non-reviewed papers
from studies that occurred in North America and were summarized and reported in 2003
(Mech and Boitani 2003, page 170).
Using this technique, the 2011 wolf population estimate is 746 wolves, a decrease of ~4% from the 2010 corrected wolf population estimate:
((109 + (85 * 6.5) + (2)) * 1.125
(109 + (552) + (2)) * 1.125
(663) * 1.125 = 746
As you recall, I challenged Commissioner McDermott on the assertions he made to the public and we had what could be termed as a heated discussion.Please refer me to any documentation that explains your asserted 200-300% increase in the estimated number of wolves in Idaho. I am at a loss to find this information anywhere on the Idaho Fish and Game website. I was, however, able to find an article published on March 8, 2012 in which the IDFG big game biologist, Jon Rachael was quoted as saying there were approximately 577 wolves in the state. http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/08/3477061/idaho-gov-otter-want-more-federal.html

I have been tracking the progress of the wolf hunting and trapping numbers in Idaho in a spreadsheet and assembled a graph to illustrate the various sources of mortality that has been reported publicly. Surely the mortality that has been reported is an underestimate which does not account for undocumented mortality due to natural or illegal killing of wolves. I would hazard to guess that the actual number of wolves killed since April of 2011 is in the range of 550 rather than the reported 480 or so.

I think it is highly unprofessional that you seem to disregard the judgements of your own staff about the number of wolves in Idaho. More concerning is that you seem to believe these assertions and base your management decisions on totally unsubstantiated numbers. I am disheartened that you have increased harvest in many parts of the state and, along with the rest of the Commission, have chosen to completely disregard the concerns that many citizens expressed at Wednesday night’s meeting.

It appears that Idaho doesn’t even need to pay our highly skilled biologists to count wolves and conduct monitoring because we now have commissioners who can pull an estimate out of their back pocket and make management decisions based on those estimates.

Again, please refer me to the valid estimates of wolf populations made using peer reviewed protocols which substantiate the claims made to the public on Wednesday night.

I look forward to your early reply.

avatar
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.

35 Responses to Letter to Idaho Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Tony McDermott

  1. avatar nabeki says:

    Very well done Ken!!

  2. avatar IDhiker says:

    As far as hearing back, don’t hold your breath. When I was a teacher and a parent called, I’d sure as hell talk to them. Same with the Sheriff’s Office – we always respond to calls from the public.

    I understand the Nez Perce Forest won’t talk to reporters regarding their various employees actions with the wolf, either. Who do these people think they are??

    • avatar WM says:

      IDhiker,

      ++I understand the Nez Perce Forest won’t talk to reporters regarding their various employees actions with the wolf++

      What “action” responsibilities exactly do federal forest service employees have regarding wolves?

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        Good question. Does a USFS LEO have the authority to intervene when kids are shooting at a trapped wolf, for example. Was the employee that set the trap up there posing and killing the wolf when he was on duty?

        I find it odd that forest officials won’t comment (yet) if everything was legit. I would imagine they are trying to get all there “ducks in a row.” But, that is only speculation. If nothing was improper, then they should just say so. Not speaking to reporters raises suspicions, don’t you think?

        • avatar IDhiker says:

          Such as simply saying, “the employee was doing his trapping on his own time, off duty, and broke no federal regulations. And,the LEO had no authority to intervene. We referred this to IDFG for investigation.”

        • avatar WM says:

          If I recall correctly, in addition to federal law enforcement responsiblities, an FS LEO, they may have other ancillary duties, but those might be determined as a matter of forest policy. One can only speculate as to whether state game law enforcement is one of those duties, other than to inform IDFG when they think something illegal might be going on.

          If someone is doing something during unrelated to their work, or normal work day, that would be a personnel matter.

          Some private employers/agencies, for example, allow flex time, as long as one gets their work done, puts in required hours. Why should what is essentially a private matter between employer/employee be important to you in this instance?

          Not speaking to reporters about personnel matters is not unusual.

  3. avatar IDhiker says:

    USFS LEO’s are to work closely with and maintain contact with local and state law enforcement. I believe they also have authority in wildlife cases on Federal land that exceed state regulations, under Title 36, Ch. II, Part 261.8. Most agencies, at least locally here, allow assisting each other. For example, we often stabilize and deal with situations on USFS land until a FS LEO or state fish and game officer can arrive on scene to take over. We also often take information and deliver it to the LEO for investigation later.

    “Not speaking to reporters about personnel matters is not unusual.”

    If that is all it is, then they should just state that, and “end of story.”

  4. avatar John R says:

    Glad you called the question Ken.

    Weird how officials and politicians say whatever they think the majority of their constituents want to hear, even if its completely made up.

  5. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    On somewhat of a cause-and-effect tangent here, I would assert just as stridently that the various ‘ official ‘ agriculture reporting services need to be called out on their preposterous accountings of livestock lost to wolves

    The Ag services claim cattle and sheep lost to wolves 25 times higher ( yes, 25 X ) than actual verified losses. Most of these ag reporters base their barbed wire mathematics on reports from the producers themselves, who just phone it in, which is then logged as a ‘ Loss to Wolves’ entry. Then when you shine the spotlight and do the forensics to show them to their own faces that wolves were not responsible, they still do not accept that . In fact, negative psychology prevails and they cook the books a little further to amplify the ” Losses due to Wolves” and it all goes hyperbolic, accounting wise.

    Don’t take my word for it. Read Carter Niemeyer’s book for his take on educating ranchers on wolf kills , which he says without saying it was an exercise in futility. Too often it was perpetrated by other less diligent or less educated employees of Wildlife Services , nee Animal Damage Control , and other state. county , and even local brainiacs who had an agenda.

    I can ballpark the most recent example of the disparity in Wyoming’s reporting of cattle lost to wolves…the Ag services claim over 700 cattle, the actual verified losses by USFWS last year were about 35.

    I’ll grant that the actual losses are probably higher than what USFWS was able to verify , but I’m certain they were not off by a factor of 20. That’s the devious work of the Disinformationalists in Stetsons.

  6. avatar Louise Kane says:

    does anyone have an accurate and verifiable count of livestock losses and ungulate losses by wolves from 2011 and before the hunts started.

  7. avatar Louise Kane says:

    I should have added for Montana, Wyoming, Wisconisn, Idaho and Minnesota?

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      MI and possibly WI will be interesting this Spring because of the (very)mild Winter experienced this year. A Mech and I believe Fritz study that was thrown out there by Ma’iingan and I think JB showed a correlation between mild Winters, guys correct me if I’m wrong, and more livestock depredation.

      • avatar ma'iingan says:

        You’re right Immer – there’s a strong correlation between mild winters and busy summers for Wildlife Services.

        Our anecdotal evidence from howl surveys suggests smaller litters/ lower pup survival as well.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Forgot to put MN in there.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          why the correlation between livestock depredations and mild winters? Is this correlation just this past year and if so do you think it could have more to do with packs being fragmented from the hunting, rather then the mild winter aspect?

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Mild Winters are much easier on deer, in terms of less available food covered, not as cold equates to more heat energy, thus fat conservation. And with little to no snow, easier to avoid predation.

            Fatter does equal healthier fawns…

            I deer are tougher to catch, wolves faced with the specter of hunger, tougher on wolves and pups, which makes livestock a much more likely target.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              Thanks I do now remember reading something about that correlation, do you think that this year it might also have to do with the packs being fragmented by intensive hunting

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “I do now remember reading something about that correlation, do you think that this year it might also have to do with the packs being fragmented by intensive hunting”

            The literature references the correlation between mild winters and higher rates of depredation the following spring in the WGL region, and that’s what we’re talking about. There has been no wolf hunting in this region since the 1950s.

            • avatar Mike says:

              Oh, there’s been wolf hunting. Just not legal.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              since the question I asked was ‘does anyone have an accurate and verifiable count of livestock losses and ungulate losses by wolves from 2011 and before the hunts started”. and then followed it up by asking about all the states I assumed that question was being answered and there were hunts then. I understand the hunting/killing has not yet started in WI and MI.

            • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              Louise –
              Livestock depredations by wolves declined by almost 50% following the 2010 wolf hunting season. The most current data involving wolf control/reduction actions by government and by public hunting – in Idaho, Montana and Wisconsin strongly argue against the conjecture that hunting will result in unintended increases in livestock and/or wildlife depredations due to wolf pack social structure disruption. This topic has been extensively discussed and debated on this blog.

            • avatar JB says:

              Mark:

              There are several reasons why 2009 to 2010 is not a good test of this hypothesis–especially in Idaho. First and foremost, 2009 was an anomalous year for depredations. That year 413 total depredations were reported, which is 26% higher than the next highest year. The mean number of depredations for the previous 5 years was 238–very similar to the number of depredations in 2010 (226).

              Second, and most importantly, the state of Wyoming, which did not have a wolf hunting season in 2009, so depredations decrease by MORE than either Montana or Idaho. Specifically, depredations decreased 73% (from 222 to 60). So if we used Wyoming as the control in a natural experiment, we would conclude that hunting wolves actually increased depredations over what we observed in the control. However, 2009 was anomalous for all 3 states–there were simply a lot of depredations that year compared to prior years. So much of the 2009 to 2010 change is likely explained by other factors.

              Finally, as I understand it, the hypothesis that fragmented packs will kill more domestic animals is predicated on a behavioral response (i.e., at the individual level) that should only occur in packs that have lost an alpha animal. To evaluate that hypothesis we should look only at (a) packs that lost an alpha animal, AND (b) had access to domestic animals (i.e., range overlapped with livestock).

              – – – –
              Whatever the case, it is important to recall that a relatively recent analysis (till 2007) found that overall livestock losses to predators were down in Idaho since wolves reintroduction.

              Galle, A., M. Collinge, and R. Engeman. 2009. Trends in Summer Coyote and Wolf Predation on Sheep in Idaho During a Period of Wolf Recovery (Paper 13). Proceedings of the 13th Wildlife Damage Management Conference:184-190.

            • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              JB –
              This is about where we left this topic the last time. The Idaho data are the most current and broad to give perspective of the hunting effects on wolf depredation. Louise seems to be asking the same question we last discussed: can/does wolf hunting fragment wolf packs; disrupt wolf pack social structure in ways that cause more wolf depredation of livestock and wildlife than without hunting? Maiingan and I offered state data and observations from years of wolf management experience that there is no indication of wolf hunting or other means of lethal wolf removal – exacerbating wolf depredation/predation problems. To the contrary, the limited data from one complete hunting season demonstrated an inverse relationship between wolf hunting mortality and incidence of wolf depredations. Your points are well taken about potentially confounding factors and limitations for conclusions to be drawn from those observations. The empirical data we have at this time does not support the common, unfounded assumption that hunting wolves causes increased depredation of livestock.
              On the whole, I don’t think there is much here that we disagree on.

  8. avatar Louise Kane says:

    JB are there other sources that you can easily share that support or bolster the information that this study discusses?

    Whatever the case, it is important to recall that a relatively recent analysis (till 2007) found that overall livestock losses to predators were down in Idaho since wolves reintroduction.

    Galle, A., M. Collinge, and R. Engeman. 2009. Trends in Summer Coyote and Wolf Predation on Sheep in Idaho During a Period of Wolf Recovery (Paper 13). Proceedings of the 13th Wildlife Damage Management Conference:184-190.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      So what do you expect the data to tell you now that hunting is not beng done as a control measure by wildlife managers mainly for depredating animals? Since the ESA protections wolves have not experinced this level of hunting effort, its hard to imagine that won’t have a impact somewhere?

      • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        Louise,
        Time with continued monitoring and evaluation will tell. We intend that reducing wolf numbers by measured hunting, trapping and administrative removal actions will reduce wolf predation of elk and wolf depredations of private property. To date, the evidence suggests that one season of wolf hunting provided significant benefits of reduced wolf depredations of livestock, while recognizing JB’s cautionary comments. We will continue to learn and fine tune wolf management in Idaho over time.

        • avatar Paul says:

          “Fine tune” as in doubling the number of wolves a person can kill? “Fine tune” as in allowing longer killing on private property? I wouldn’t call that “fine tuning.” I would call that doing surgery with a machete, where a scalpel is needed. I highly doubt that anyone believe this crap anymore? Your own governor made it very clear on national TV that he doesn’t want wolves in the state. Eradication is the goal and the actions of your state are proving that. You can talk all day of the “sustainable” or “robust” propaganda that you want the the facts speak for themselves. Your governor and Fish and Game Commission showed exactly what they are all about.

    • avatar JB says:

      Louise:

      I’m not sure what type of information you’re looking for? Wolf depredations are available from the USFWS (confirmed) and USDA (from farmer/rancher surveys).

  9. avatar Valerie Bittner says:

    Greetings to the educated, well-read, common-sense imbued, compassionate, ethical, and aware:

    As you can clearly read, word-for-word, on IDFG’s own web-site, these “eminently qualified PHd types” — IDFG Commissioners and Mark Gamblin’s bosses (mentors?) — are superbly equipped to understand and employ advances in the “best available science” (particularly in the advanced fields of meta-population genetics, behavioral dynamics, evolutionary biology, deep ecology, et. al) in their decision-making concerning the “conservation” of complex apex species:

    TONY MCDERMOTT, of Sagle, is the commissioner representing the Panhandle Region.
Tony is a semi-retired REAL ESTATE BROKER who has been living in Sagle since 2000. McDermott received his master’s degree in PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION from Central Michigan University. He is a lifetime member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION and the North American HUNTING Club. He is also a member of the Idaho Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife.
“I’ve been an avid outdoorsman all my life” McDermott said “I’m interested in wildlife, interested in outdoor issues, and I’m looking forward to learning and contributing to make things better.”
McDermott served in the military for 28 years. His career included two tours in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot. Most recently he was chairman of the Military Science Department at the University of Montana in Missoula.
Commission appointment expires: June 30, 2013.

    FRED TREVEY, of Lewiston, is the commissioner representing the Clearwater Region.
Fred Trevey has been a natural resource MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT in Lewiston since 1999. Before that, he served as of the Clearwater National Forest from 1988 to 1991, and of the Coconino National Forest from 1991 to 1998. He holds a bachelors degree in forestry and wildlife management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and 32 years of professional experience in natural resources management. Trevey also is a member of the Kelly Creek Flycasters. Commission appointment expires: June 30, 2015.

    BOB BAROWSKY, of Fruitland, is the commissioner representing the Southwest Region.
Bob retired in 2005 after a 35-year LAW ENFORCEMENT career and the last 25 years as Payette County sheriff. He was also a Fruitland city councilman and leader in several civic organizations. He served as president of the Idaho Sheriffs Association in 1997.
Barowsky ran for the Idaho Senate in 2004 as a Democrat. He withdrew from the campaign for that same office this year to take the position on the Commission.
“Having been born and raised in Idaho, I have a great respect and love for all of Idaho’s natural resources. I have hunted and fished for several decades, and I have a strong commitment to maintain for every resident the wonderful opportunities that I had to enjoy all aspects of Idaho’s outdoor activities,” Barowsky said.
Commission appointment expires: June 30, 2014.

    WAYNE WRIGHT, of Twin Falls, is the commissioner representing the Magic Valley Region.
Wayne is retired after PRACTICING MEDICINE in the Magic Valley for 28-years. He is a fifth generation Idahoan born in Castleford. A lifelong Republican and avid sportsman, he considers his appointment to be a “real privilege”.
“Hunting and fishing are part of our heritage. Our wildlife is so important and I want to preserve it for our kids and grandkids. I think that is very important for the future of our state,” Wright said. He and his wife Joanne have been married for 36 years and have three grown children and three grandchildren.
Commission appointment expires: June 30, 2012.

    RANDY BUDGE, of Pocatello, is the commissioner representing the Southeast Region.
The son of former state Sen. Reed Budge, Randall Budge grew up on a CATTLE RANCH near Soda Springs. He earned degrees in BUSINESS FINANCE AND ECONOMICS from Utah State University in 1973 and a law degree from the University of Idaho, College of Law in 1976. Budge has been practicing law in Pocatello since 1980. He is a Republican.
A lifelong hunter and angler, he is active in several sportsman organizations and was one of the founding members of the southeast Idaho chapter of Pheasants Forever. He is the organization’s habitat coordinator, working on upland game bird habitat in four counties. He also is a member of Trout Unlimited and a past member of Ducks Unlimited.”I have a passion for wildlife and continuing our great hunting heritage that we have in Idaho,” Budge said. “I want to be sure that our future generations can enjoy this privilege as well.”

    GARY POWER, of Salmon, is the commissioner representing the Salmon Region. Gary retired in 1998 after a 28-year career with Fish and Game. After graduating from the University of Idaho with a degree in zoology he started as a conservation officer in Yellowpine. He ended his career as the regional supervisor in the Salmon Region.
Since retiring, he has supervised and participated in a research project in game management unit 28, studying the relationship between predators and their big game prey as part of a masters program for U of I. He serves as the county representative on the Forest Service Resource Advisory Committee and guides on the Salmon River.
Commission appointment expires: June 30, 2012.

    KENNY ANDERSON, of Rigby, is the commissioner for the Upper Snake Region.
Kenny is the founder and owner of ANDERSON CABINET AND MILLWORK. The 1971 graduate of what then was Ricks College in Rexburg – now BYU-Idaho – is an avid sportsman and member of the N.R.A. A lifelong eastern Idaho resident, Anderson and his wife, Karen, have four children and three grandchildren. Commission appointment expires: June 30, 2015.

    • avatar Paul says:

      Sounds a little like the foxes guarding the henhouse to me.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      I get the feeling that most of these guys live in an echo chamber where they always have their opinions reinforced by someone. I certainly get that feeling about McDermott because he seemed to get offended that I took him to task about his assertions. I was one of the few who he felt the need to respond to when I finished my testimony.

      What I find interesting is that, when asked by Rocky Barker, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game felt it needed to go after its own biologist rather than McDermott. They felt they needed to say that the estimate contained in the report is just the minimum number of wolves in Idaho rather than say that McDermott was pulling his number out of his “back pocket”.

      There are lots of problems with the estimate and it depends entirely on getting a full count of several packs to determine the mean or median pack size. This year that number was 6.5. Last year it was 7.1. There is no estimate of confidence on the estimate so we don’t really know if it is high or low. I suspect it is low but not by 200-300%. It’s probably low by about 10-20%. Even then, it is still an estimate that tries to account for more wolves than they can actually confirm.

      If you look at the estimate it appears that they base this estimate on the observation of 150 or so wolves. While I think the estimate is probably pretty close to the mark, it also appears that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game may be getting to a point that it will have a hard time monitoring and confirming the minimum number of wolves unless they can do a better job keeping collared wolves out there.

      I received a spreadsheet last week from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game accounting for all of the documented mortality from January 1, 2011 to March 6, 2012. I submitted another request for the mortality from that time up to Friday so that I can post a full report to The Wildlife News when I get it all. I also sent a request for information about how many wolves there are with radio collars. There were quite a few collared wolves killed this year and I wonder how many remain.

      Part of the delisting rule, and as a requirement of the Endangered Species Act, is the responsibility of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to monitor wolves for five years after delisting. If they are low on the number of collared wolves then how do they meet this requirement? They have to document that minimum somehow. Does this mean they will have to make a greater effort to collar wolves?

      If they have to collar more wolves I doubt that they can do that in just wilderness areas because it takes a lot of time and resources to do that. They certainly aren’t going to get another pass to collar wolves using helicopters in wilderness from us or the judge so I doubt that will be happening. What proportion of those will be killed in next year’s hunt?

      BTW, I still haven’t gotten a response to this letter. The only response was to tell Rocky Barker that the estimate is just a minimum estimate which doesn’t address McDermott’s claim of 200-300% more wolves.

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        I was trying to post something along this line yesterday.It was kinda of acerbic even for me so probably better it did not.
        The f&g commissioners serve at the pleasure of Gov. Clem.
        That means that they toe HIS line or he can remove them.
        Of course he will thoroughly vet them before the appointment and make sure they understand who’s the boss and if the boss Say’s jump all you “might” ask is how high.
        So when Clem goes out and makes yet another dumbass statement regarding wolves, you can bet all these bootlickers are standing and applauding the company line.

        Ken, I would not bad at all surprised if McDerment asked for Clem’s input if he should reply to you. Looks like he got his direction.

        Mark Gamblin should ask why the F&G commissioner as a servant of the Idaho public,as is the Gov. has not replied to a legitimate request by an Idaho citizen.
        Of course that would require having Clem give your set back.

  10. avatar Valerie Bittner says:

    Addendum: Add biometric statistics (as laid out beautifully in Ken Cole’s excellent explication to Commissioner McDermott) to the list of subjects that IDFG Commissioners are expected to assimilate and evaluate in terms of watershed decisions.

  11. avatar Valerie Bittner says:

    Mr. Gamblin,

    “Fine tuning” management in the realm of conservation biology comes after implementation of a base-line “population viability analysis” — premised necessarily on genetic sampling over the population’s current range.

    Questions:

    Are carcasses garnered from Wildlife Services “control actions” as well as those reported by private hunters sampled for DNA?

    If so, how many samples does IDGF currently have in its data base?

    Before control actions are initiated, are communications held between the regional supervisors (such as yourself) about assuring genetic connectivity throughout Idaho so as to support a meta-population between ID, MT,and WYO? (one of the two delisting pillars?) You may remember that in the winter of 2010 you promised to get back to me on this issue.

    If so, where can the public access these communications?

    In advance, thanks for your explication.

  12. avatar Frank Renn says:

    It seems commissioner Randy Budge summed up the arrogance and tunnel vision of the commission when he stated “the commission can not get anything done if the public looked like the group last night”.

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

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