William, Tom and Erin White of Washington state have all plead guilty for their role in the killing of two wolves from the Lookout Pack, Washington’s first wolf pack in 70 years.

William White, his son and daughter-in-law Tom and Erin White will have to pay fines and be on probation for their parts in the killings which were discovered when Erin tried to ship a package containing a bloody, dripping pelt to Canada.  They will not face any jail time.

Tom D. White with poached Lookout Pack Wolf - WDFW

WA couple plead guilty in wolf killing case
The Seattle Times.

Washington wolf killer pleads guilty, wife admits role in scheme
KING5.com Seattle.

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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.

118 Responses to Two more people plead guilty in killing of wolves from Washington’s first wolf pack in decades.

  1. avatar mikarooni says:

    Someone correctly pointed out, a while ago on another thread, that “Tim DeChristopher (faked a bid on an oil and gas lease) is in jail, in fact was in solitary confinement for awhile, for breaking BLM law in a no harm no foul way.”

    But, these dirty inbred miscreants committed an armed offense, which qualifies them as posing a threat to the public. They used firearms in violating both the ESA and federal postal regulations and in violating state wildlife laws as well. Had they not been caught before the “package” went across the border, they would have also violated Canadian postal regulations and international law. Yet, they “will have to pay fines and be on probation,” but “not face any jail time.”

    WTF? Is it the guns? I thought gun crimes were considered MORE serious; but, I guess now that we’re kissing the NRA’s a** at every turn nowadays, if you commit a crime with a gun, you now automatically get off with a LIGHTER sentence?

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Miakrooni, well said
      But maybe its not, “Is it the guns?”
      butis it the wolves?

      wtf is right. What a terrible message to send. Kill an endangered species, as long as its a wolf, and get probation. They should have done jail time.

    • avatar Mike says:

      ++Someone correctly pointed out, a while ago on another thread, that “Tim DeChristopher (faked a bid on an oil and gas lease) is in jail, in fact was in solitary confinement for awhile, for breaking BLM law in a no harm no foul way.”

      But, these dirty inbred miscreants committed an armed offense, which qualifies them as posing a threat to the public. They used firearms in violating both the ESA and federal postal regulations and in violating state wildlife laws as well. Had they not been caught before the “package” went across the border, they would have also violated Canadian postal regulations and international law. Yet, they “will have to pay fines and be on probation,” but “not face any jail time.”

      WTF? Is it the guns? I thought gun crimes were considered MORE serious; but, I guess now that we’re kissing the NRA’s a** at every turn nowadays, if you commit a crime with a gun, you now automatically get off with a LIGHTER sentence?++

      It’s the guns. A culture of death. God help you if you mess with big oil. But feel free to blow stuff away, alive or not. Television reflects the same values. It’s okay to see someone shot in the head on CSI, but God forbid a woman’s top falls down. All hell breaks loose when that happens.

  2. avatar Savebears says:

    It does amaze me that they didn’t receive any jail time, I really wish that judicial system would take poaching serious and revoke their gun privileges, make it a felony with mandatory jail time and a lifetime loss of hunting and fishing privileges.

    • avatar Daniel Berg says:

      I like the idea of a lifetime hunting ban on top of the fines. I don’t think you can underestimate the severity of a husband and wife receiving $65,000 in fines. Ruining a normal person financially for a year or more seems to have had moderate success as a deterrent to drunk driving.

      It’s pathetic to see some of the apologists up in the Okanogan trying to make martyrs out of these scumbags.

  3. avatar JB says:

    Personally, I think community service–a whole lot of it–along with a lifetime ban on hunting is a better sentence than jail time. Putting people in jail costs taxpayers money, and it can hurt their families (innocent people) as well. Better to force them to do something beneficial for society–and the same goes for DeChristopher.

    • avatar louise kane says:

      Actually, I agree with you JB a lifetime ban on hunting and community service but I still think they should have spent some time in jail and keep the penalties That would send a strong message.

      • avatar WM says:

        For these wolf poachers in the Methow Valley, $38K in fines, plus legal defense costs sends a pretty stong message, and deterrent for future would be poachers, for this offense in WA. I think this case was pending in the Eastern District in Spokane. The federal judge no doubt considered the fact that less than 30 miles away in ID, the state was making a conscious effort to reduce its number of wolves. Community service would have also been appropriate, but doing what? They are likely not the type one would send to the public schools to say I broke the law and paid for my crime. There are no big animal shelters in their part of WA, so not good candidates for scooping poop.

        De Christopher, got every bit of what he deserved. He committed fraud against the federal government (his civil disobedience makes no difference here), and disrupted a gas lease auction causing huge transactions costs to taxpayers and bidders, possibly into the millions. He was unrepentent and apparently still is, which is why he is/was in solitary.

        Mik and his “gun crimes against wolves,” now there is an interesting, albiet distorted, stretch of thinking.

        • avatar jdubya says:

          “huge transaction costs”??? What kind of pot are you smoking, I want some of that.

          Regardless, bidders walk away from bids all of the time in these auctions and they are NEVER penalized. DeChristopher got screwed because he defaulted on the bids for ethical reasons.

          I agree with the sentiments above…the fact these poachers get a slap on the wrist while DeChristopher is spending time in the Fed Pen is because Tim is a de facto political prisoner while these yahoo’s were simply exercising their second amendment rights to shoot anything in sight.

          As Mr Zimmerman in Florida will argue, it is always about the guns.

          • avatar WM says:

            jdubya,

            So, if one commits fraud against the federal government for “ethical reasons” it makes it less of a crime?

            I want to try that one on my next tax return.

            The point here with DeChristopher is one of deterrent. In transaction costs, one would include the cost of having to do the rebids/auctions, the possibilty other civil disobedients inclined to do a DeChristopher fraudulent bid, the costs of invesitgation, prosecution, court time and incarceration, and maybe appeals for a convicted felon. Yes, sport, the transactions costs are huge.

            • avatar jdubya says:

              And so, sport, why when other bidders walk away from their bids, they are not also hauled in front of the judge and put away for two years? The exact same loss of transaction costs are incurred but only DeChristopher goes to jail?

              Why is that justice, sport?

            • avatar WM says:

              jdubya,

              If the other bidders made fraudulent representations, in the same manner as DeChristopher, never intending to follow through, and I believe not having the assets, necessary to participate in the process, and to actually pay, then they would be prosecuted. Am I wrong on that point?

            • avatar WM says:

              ++ Tim is a de facto political prisoner while these yahoo’s were simply exercising their second amendment rights to shoot anything in sight.++

              No, they they were all just stupid people caught doing stupid and illegal things, and rightfully punished for their acts.

              These wolf killers just thought they could get away with taking a trophy and trying to get it tanned in a country where it was legal. Suppose they had trapped the wolf, then it would have had nothing do with with guns, but the result would have been the same for the wolf, and the same for the wolf killers (hide to tanner, and getting caught). But, you and mik just wouldn’t have a self-righteous tangential gun argument.

        • avatar skyrim says:

          his civil disobedience makes a helluva lot of difference with me….
          (That’s what you wanted with a comment like that, correct?)

  4. avatar mikarooni says:

    Gosh, WM always tries so hard to sound like one of us, only just more “moderate” and thoughtful, and he so wants to get us to listen and be open to being just more “moderate” somehow, but then he’s so easy to stir up and excite that he blows it and shows his true colors every time. Nice try, guy …again.

    • avatar WM says:

      mik,

      If “one of us” includes you in the moderate zone, mik, count me out. Life in your negative little world must be kind of miserable, hating so much of the status quo as you do.

      I kind of think, for all its flaws, the federal justice system works reasonably well for the most part, with trial court judges (of both political parties) giving thoughtful sentences. Somehow doing time in a federal pen for killing a wolf seems a bit harsh, and a waste of a spot for someone who really should be there. And, apparently the federal prosecutor and judge thought the same thing.

      On the other a hand, DeChristopher was convicted by a jury of his peers. And for some of his post trial antics, this arrogant little, self-appointed prck-anarchist got what he well deserved. Can’t wait til his book comes out (surely there is one in the works).

      Not that global warming isn’t a very real problem, but his method of bringing attention to it was misguided, and if he continues the same crap he brings discredit to the larger cause, in my opinion.

      • avatar mikarooni says:

        YES, that’s it! Just like that!

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        WM,

        I’m currently in Mesquite, NV, down where the rancher has not been paying grazing fees near Gold Butte since 1994 and his lease has been cancelled since 1999. His originally permitted numbers were 120 AUM. Now illegally they have grown to 1000 or so.

        The roundup of the cattle by the BLM was called off because he said he’d shoot. He has blatantly broken the law for 13 years and now threatens violence. He has a political explanation for his actions, like DeChristopher did. Why does he get away with it when an act of conscience was severely punished. I guess if you aren’t all in it for yourself nowadays, you merit special punishment.

        It’s over a hundred now here, 25 degrees above normal. I am out of here!! Yea, springtime in the desert! Maybe the climate change will fry his cattle this summer.

        • avatar WM says:

          Ralph,

          You will recall on another thread dedicated to this Gold Butte grazing matter, I raised the question whether this rancher should get his just reward in court and whether WWP would insert itself into the matter. I hope you do!

          And I hope lots of questions are asked about why BLM let this go on so long, be so eggregious, and has apparently let a past judgment nearly lapse (maybe it has) without enforcement. And, last, somebody needs to show the FBI there are ways to no make something like this into another Waco or Ruby Ridge. I just think it is an excuse, and maybe something better left for a non-election year.

          We will just have to disagree about DeChristopher and his actions, I guess.

          • avatar WM says:

            Sorry, should read, ++…show the FBI there are ways to NOT make something like this into another Waco or Ruby Ridge…

        • avatar mikarooni says:

          “the rancher has not been paying grazing fees… since 1994 and his lease has been cancelled since 1999. …permitted numbers were 120 AUM. Now illegally they have grown to 1000 or so… roundup… called off because he said he’d shoot. …blatantly broken the law for 13 years and now threatens violence… Why does he get away with it when an act of conscience (DeChristopher) was severely punished. I guess if you aren’t all in it for yourself nowadays, you merit special punishment.”

          Ralph, that says it all. I know that some people on this site, including some genuine conservationists and not just the stalking horse fakes that post here, sometimes see the utter contempt I can’t help but have toward some who post here. This topic, specifically the kind of contrast you see between the treatment of cases like DeChristopher and cases like the Whites and Rammell explains it. It’s this kind of hypocrisy, this complete and malicious mendacity, that makes the wild man of Borneo so wild.

      • avatar louise kane says:

        “Somehow doing time in a federal pen for killing a wolf seems a bit harsh, and a waste of a spot for someone who really should be there.”

        WM that wolf, I believe was an endangered species, in that part of the state. Why shouldn’t we send a message that when you violate a federal or state law by killing an endangered species you will go to jail, period.

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      Live from the Red Ink Ranch it’s Mikarooniiii
      You post some funny stuff. Your a cattle owner who pastures public lands and your giving WM a hard time over being one of the group. You could be the biggest want to be of all time. As for the getting stirred up part have you read some of your own rants? Keep up the funny lines.

      • avatar mikarooni says:

        Yep, it’s the Red Ink Ranch because I only graze it to keep the land out of the hands of guys like you. Besides, the hard work I put in to accumulate my advanced education and my long and consistent record of success on far more lucrative project work makes my time worth so much (eat your heart out) that the time I spent trying to raise the kind of bred-to-be-indistinguishable-from-hogs cattle that carp like you raise would be a waste. I also would feel bad selling the kind of greasy, fatty, infected beef that you guys raise to the unsuspecting public. I mean, really, what kind of cow needs to be on an IV of antibiotics just to survive long enough to go to slaughter? I bet you have a nice hat and cool boots though.

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          Mik
          Like I said funny stuff, and way you work in the I have a better education and make more money parts into the statement just make it all that more funny. Then the spelling “carp” that’s a fish right. Your just killing me now.

          • avatar mikarooni says:

            I should have foreseen that, given the way your mind works, you would confuse the terms. I should have used the term “bottom feeders” to make my point.

            • avatar WM says:

              mik,

              Gosh, I was more confused by the lengthy compound, unpunctuated, self-aggrandizing, sentence that went on and on, covering several unrelated topics. Since you have managed to nit pick others in your last few posts, let me suggest for the purpose of parity, your “lucrative project work” day job may not include much expository writing.

  5. avatar Robert R says:

    I guess I have been censored by the moderator and my comment has struck a nerve and the truth hurts. I do not want to cause any trouble, only to debate the topic without any name calling or putting anyone down. I myself am a moderator of two message boards and we do not tolerate,fowl language, name calling or talking anyone down no matter what there opinion may be or if there a hunter or environmentalist.
    We act as adults and treat each other as adults. If I’m wrong on my opinion I will amit I’m wrong.
    There will always be a heated debate about wolves in some shape or form.I am for any species and they all have a place in the environment but they all need managed.
    If an apex predator like the wolf is not managed, how do protect a pray species such as the moose from going extinct.

    • avatar WM says:

      Robert R,

      ++If an apex predator like the wolf is not managed, how do protect a pray species such as the moose from going extinct.++

      What exactly makes you think moose would go “extinct” by virtue of an unmanaged apex predator… and where?

    • avatar SEAK Mossback says:

      A good source for insight on that might be the book “Wolves of the Yukon”. After spending many years studying the problem, including controlling killing wolves to benefit the moose population, the author concluded managing wolves was not necessary to keep moose from going extinct — which had not happened in thousands of years of coexistence. He did find transitory increases in moose numbers when most of the wolves were killed in an area but young wolves quickly recolonized and any effects were temporary. It’s tough to be a Yukon moose, but they continue to survive in decent (although not high) numbers with lots of wolves and grizzlies and black bears.

      • avatar louise kane says:

        why is it such a surprising finding that animals that evolved together do not cause each other to become extinct. Its only the introduction of humans and their pressures on wildlife and wilderness that cause extinctions.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          “The introduction of humans”

          If you don’t like humans so much Louise, I guess you have only one option! We are a part of this landscape and will continue to be part of this landscape, if you are so ashamed of being a human, then there is only one thing you can do..

          Humans were not “introduced” we evolved just as any other species on this planet.

          • avatar louise kane says:

            savebears.. the type of hunting pressure that we are seeing now, the use of rifles and guns, of allowing hunters to litter landscapes with hundred of snares and traps, letting hunters use dogs, baits etc was not a normal factor in evolution….if we are doing such a great job why are we seeing such large numbers of species becoming extinct at such alarming rates. Isn’t it possible that 7 billion people might need to reassess their management strategies to acknowledge that the impact they are having is unsustainable? I know, I know habitat loss is a big issue but that’s even more reason to reduce or adapt hunting pressure to allow species to recover, and to maintain reasonable populations. In the case of predators we are making a mess of entire ecosystems by irresponsibly managing them to accomodate special interests and artificially boost game populations at the expense of the rest of the animals and plants that reside alongside them.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Louise…

              You are condescending and out of touch with the real world. I guess I will stop talking to you, you have lofty goals, that unfortunately are not attainable in this day and age. Humans are part of this world, and when people finally understand that, we may be able to find some solutions.

            • avatar louise kane says:

              savebears I was not being condescending, the question I asked is valid. “Isn’t it possible that 7 billion people might need to reassess their management strategies to acknowledge that the impact they are having is unsustainable? ” Just because you don’t like the question, doesn’t mean I am out of touch with the real world. Humans are a part of this world but we are having a disproportionate and negative impact, just ignoring it won’t make it go away. if you choose to stop talking to me that’s your choice. Honestly, I don’t feel like there has been too much talk, its been more like attacks on anything I write and its probably not so productive for either of us.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Unfortunately Louise, after all the years I have corresponded on this blog, your conversations and interaction has been one of the least productive.

            • avatar louise kane says:

              your comments are always inflammatory as was the last, thanks so much for that extremely productive comment and for staying the course, status quo.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Yada, Yada, Yada Louise…..Good luck in your endeavors, have another drink..

            • avatar mikarooni says:

              louise, you make a simple, basic, clearly accurate point that “the type of hunting pressure that we are seeing now, the use of rifles and guns, of allowing hunters to litter landscapes with hundred of snares and traps, letting hunters use dogs, baits etc was not a normal factor in evolution…” and ask an obvious question; “Isn’t it possible that 7 billion people might need to reassess their management strategies to acknowledge that the impact they are having is unsustainable?” The only people I can imagine arguing with that question are those who are obsessed (perhaps abscessed or even bent) on forcing through a predetermined answer that fits their self-interests and desires, even at the expense of the facts. In fact, this kind of “dominionist” (I picked up that term somewhere) selfishness is what worries me most about state “fish and game” agencies being in charge of “wildlife” conservation.

              Let’s look at the history of these state “fish and game” agencies. Despite some occasional pretty words in some of their original enabling legislation, these agencies were formed, not to conserve all wildlife, but to establish “game” wardens to control the market hunting of “game” animals that wealthy hunters wanted to take. Protecting non-game “wildlife” was never an original mission for any of these state “fish and game” agencies. Only a handful of federal agencies, like the USFWS, ever had of “wildlife” conservation as an original core mission. In fact, it is no coincidence, when the federal “wildlife” conservation agencies move to protect non-game animals, that you see the loudest calls for an assertion of states’ rights and efforts, even among some hunting groups, to begin socializing the idea that perhaps the protection of “wildlife” should go back into the hands of wealthy hunters again.

              Most humans follow their paymasters and most state “fish and game” agencies have been carefully and purposefully set up, by the hook and bullet crowd, to derive the bulk of their budgets from the sale of licenses to kill “game” animals. The conservation of “wildlife” that nobody wants to kill or for purposes other than killing just doesn’t pay for these agencies …and that’s exactly the way the hook and bullet crowd wants it. Efforts to extend support for these state agencies to include general tax revenues have been fought tooth-and-nail and, even when instituted, have been repealed at the first opportunity.

              “In the case of predators we are making a mess of entire ecosystems by irresponsibly managing them to accommodate special interests and artificially boost game populations at the expense of the rest of the animals and plants that reside alongside them” You got that right! There is an inherent, intrinsic, congenital, built-in raging conflict of interest between what state “fish and game” agencies do, what they were created to do, what they’re paid to do, and anything remotely resembling true ecosystem protection. Managing ecosystems is nowhere in either the mission or the budgetary self-interest of these state “fish and game” agencies. Accommodating “special interests and artificially boost(ing) game populations” is their business. They’ve been awarded direct control over the “game” and, by default, a good amount of indirect control over the undeveloped lands in their states to use in conducting their business; and they’re sure not going to let “wildlife” conservation ever be more than a bump in their road.

              A recent exchange with “Tokyo Rose” illustrates my point. We have great problems with the conservation of native trout, not just due to habitat degradation and loss, but due to interbreeding with stocked non-native trout. I confronted him about this problem and he responded that Idaho had solved the trout conservation problem by stocking genetically engineered non-native trout with enough extra chromosomes to make them sterile (shades of Alien Resurrection). Instead of using the available habitat for restoration of native trout (true “wildlife” conservation), IDFG used it to create a freakish form of gamefish to provide a carnival fishing experience for their real customers.

              The overall point is that, regardless of how ferociously and vociferously state “fish and game” agencies defend their franchise rights, these state agencies cannot ever be relied upon for “wildlife” conservation. They’re not in the conservation business; they’re in the entertainment business.

            • avatar Salle says:

              mikarooni,

              I agree with your explanation of the F$G/conservation dilemma. Thank you for articulating that so eloquently.

            • avatar SAP says:

              mikarooni wrote

              ‘“dominionist” (I picked up that term somewhere) selfishness’

              Myself, I first encountered that term in Stephen Kellert’s work, especially his 1996 “The Value of Life: Biological Diversity and Human Society.”

              Kellert lays out a “Typology of Basic Values” toward the natural world (see p38, Table 1), with nine distinct but not necessarily mutually exclusive values.

              In other work, I have seen two competing worldviews (reflected to one degree or another on this blog) described in terms of this typology: Dominionistic/Utilitarian (state f&g agencies – nature as vending machine that better deliver or else)
              vs
              Ecologistic/Aesthetic (nature as something to study, understand, and appreciate for its own sake)

              Some of the other values in the typology tend to get bundled with these two major combos – for instance, “negativistic – fear, aversion, alienation form nature” often shows up in the Dominionistic/Utilitarian crowd. But I’ve also seen it come out in E/A folks too, especially when it comes to grizzlies and mountain lions. “Humanistic; Moralistic; Naturalistic” tend to bundled with E/A too. “Symbolic” – “use of nature for language and thought” — seems to span all of these categories.

              Fascinating book. Two other pieces from it may be of interest to participants here.

              1) Kellert summarizes a study he did on cruelty to animals and other violent behavior. Results are unlikely to surprise anyone here. Numerous citations at note 48, p233. See especially Kellert & Felthous, 1987, “Childhood cruelty to animals and later aggression against people: a review,” American Journal of Psychiatry 144:710-717.

              [Note to the gallery: please, spare us all any assertions about how wolves, too, are “cruel.” Seriously. People have the capacity for moral choice. Wolves do not.]

              2. Based on his many survey of knowledge and attitudes in endangered species issues, Kellert states that it is a “naive assumption that greater factual understanding will encourage greater public support for species restoration and recovery.”

            • avatar SAP says:

              And if you’re super interested in the topic of animal cruelty, here’s a link to one of Kellert’s abstracts; scroll down for a list of recent articles that cite Kellert.

              http://hum.sagepub.com/content/38/12/1113.abstract

            • avatar louise kane says:

              Mikarooni,

              thanks. It seems that even when making statements that are common to our collective knowledge and especially when that comment argues for a change, it invites personal attacks. I was thinking last night what the hell did the statement about “having another drink” have to do with what I wrte other than to incite anger. Its easy to get sucked into it. I’m going to work hard not to.

              I agree with all you wrote and appreciate your thoughts and insight as well

            • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              Mikarooni –
              “these agencies were formed, not to conserve all wildlife, but to establish “game” wardens to control the market hunting of “game” animals that wealthy hunters wanted to take. Protecting non-game “wildlife” was never an original mission for any of these state “fish and game” agencies.”
              That is an inaccurate, revisionist hisorical description of North American wildlife conservation and mangement. Of course the establishment of state fish and game/wildlife agencies was intended to accomplish wildlife conservation. The motivation was ….. to conserve the wildlife heritage for the enjoyment of Americans. You are correct that conservation and management of consumed fish and wildlife species has been emphasized. You are incorrect to suggest that state programs have not/do not emphasize the conservation and management of non-hunted species. Every state fish and game/wildlife management agency that I’m aware of, has a dedicated “non-game” wildlife program. The IDFG program is our “Wildlife Diversity” program, with an annual budget of approximately $2 million (non-traditional, non-license/tag/permit generated funds). These programs, Idaho included, have been integral to their respective agencies for decades.
              The topic of native trout management is important. You admonished the IDFG that it “should be ashamed” because in your words, the agency is guilty of contributing to extinction risk for native cutthroat trout species in Idaho (Yellowstone/Bonneville/Westslope cutthroat) by deliberatly stocking reproductively viable rainbow trout that are known hybridize with native cutthroat species, leading to genetic introgression, hybrid swarms and ultimtely extirpation of native populations. That summary is more detail than you provided, but accurately describes your implication. I corrected you. No, Idaho trout management policies and programs are not threatening native cutthroat trout populations – either by genetic introgression or by displacement/competition with non-native hatchery rainbow trout. I’ll leave it to you to explain in more detail HOW you believe contemporary trout mangagement in Idaho might contribute to further erosion of Idaho cutthroat trout population range and stability. You might educate yourself by scanning the volumes of technical fishery research reports that deal with conservation of native trout species in Idaho.
              I’ll suggest, again, that your criticisms have much more to do with your personal philosphical/value related preferences for – in this case fisheries management – than for ligitimate native species conservation issues.

              • avatar Ken Cole says:

                Mark, Idaho Department of Fish and Game certainly did continue stocking viable rainbow trout into cutthroat fisheries long after they knew that there was a risk that doing so would cause hybridization issues with cutthroat. I do understand that they don’t anymore but there is some culpability on behalf of Idaho Department of Fish and Game for some of the issues that cutthroat face now.

                They certainly don’t step in on behalf of native fish when their habitat is being actively destroyed by livestock grazing. I witnessed some ongoing habitat destruction this weekend caused to a former bull trout stream in the headwaters of the Little Lost River. These bull trout are in deep trouble and the risk of extirpation in that whole drainage looks pretty high to me.

                I’m getting a little tired of Idaho Department of Fish and Game sticking its head in the sand when livestock is an obvious problem for species in its care. It is really disturbing how impotent they have become when the cause of the problem is staring you in the face.

                Careful in how you respond, you might end up like Dave Parrish. He turned out to be right about the China Mountian Wind Farm after all didn’t he?

            • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              Ken –
              Yes, it’s been only more than a decade that Idaho has been fully protecting native trout populations from the risk of genetic introgression by providing fishing opportunity with sterile hatchery rainbow trout. Prior to implementation of the sterile trout policy, we restricted hatchery rainbow trout stocking to waters not occupied by viable native cutthroat trout populations. Those conservative fishery management policies have contributed to very strong Yellowstone and Westslope cutthroat stocks in Idaho. Bonneville cutthroat populations are less robust, but population recovery is occuring under strong efforts by the IDFG, USFS, BLM and private sector partners to rehabilitate habitat and expand the range of that species in southeastern Idaho.
              I have been out of the loop on Little Lost bull trout trends since I left the Fisheries Bureau. I will discuss your concerns with our Upper Snake Region Fishery Manager.

            • avatar Dan says:

              Mark –

              “Prior to implementation of the sterile trout policy, we restricted hatchery rainbow trout stocking to waters not occupied by viable native cutthroat trout populations.”

              BULLS**T –

              St. Joe River
              Marble Creek
              Coeur d Alene River
              NF Coeur d Alene River
              NF St. Joe River
              THE Kelly Creek
              NF Clearwater River

              How many great westslope cutthroat rivers and streams do I have to name before this statement looks absolutely foolish?

              You might want to retract this statement and re-visit IDFG records before you lose all credibility.

              The IDFG got lucky because of the liberal bag limits that where in place on these streams allowed the rainbows to be caught and removed before a lot of introgression occurred. But all of these streams will forever have mixed genetic material to some extent. Many of these streams where also fortunate to have habitats that did not suit rainbows as well as cutthroats so sections of these waters had limited introgression. The St. Joe River, for example, has upper sections where the cutthroats must migrate out of for the winter. For the most part, the stocked rainbows did not migrate back into these upper sections to spawn with the cutthroats. I think this was a matter of luck not design. IMO the IDFG was lucky rather than having good policy to have nice cutthroat populations today.

            • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              Dan –
              I am familiar with the history of Idaho trout management, having worked around the state, inlcuding the St. Joe, Clearwater, Spokane and Snake River drainages in research and managment capacities. I said “restricted”, not “universally avoided” intentionally. You are correct that those waters were stocked for years with viable rainbow trout. But, well before we replaced viable hatchery rainbow with sterile hatchery rainbow production and stocking, hatchery stocking practices were being adjusted, for native trout conservation. In many waters supporting viable populations of native cutthroat trou, including westslope populations, stocking of viable hatchery rainbow trout was reduced or eliminated – before we transitioned to the sterile trout program. This has been a progressive transition towards increasingly conservative trout management policy – to conserve and expand the range and strength of native trout populations across the state. The IDFG has extensively catloged the genetic status of westslope, yellowstone and bonneville cutthroat populations. We have one of the most extensive descriptions of wild/native trout population genetic status in the world. If it helps, the good news is that for those waters (and most other westslope cutthroat populations in Idaho) genetic introgression with hatchery rainbow trout is rare and not a threat to the future of those populations. BTW, where native westslope and native redband rainbow (anadromous and resident steelhead trout) populations overlap, much of the documented rainbow trout introgession in those westslope populations is known to be to result of the overlap of the native populations – not hatchery rainbow.
              Bag limits are also conservative for conservation of those stocks. None of our native trout species are threatened by current hatchery stocking or harvest management policies and programs. Habitat loss is far and away the biggest challenge to the future of those stocks.
              We have strong native cutthroat populations today for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is the strong commitment by the IDFG to conservation and enhancement of native trout populations.

            • avatar JB says:

              It’s too bad that Mikarooni’s larger point gets lost in the hyperbole. His rant leads one to ask: what is the basic purpose of wildlife management as an institution? Is it simply to put “game” on the landscape for harvest, or is it something more? Do wildlife managers have an obligation to conserve species?…ecosystems? The example Mik cites is but one of many examples of wildlife managers going to great lengths to create “put and take” populations for extractive users. Many of the examples I can think of involve non-native fish and wildlife (e.g., steelhead, rainbow, pheasant) or hybrid species (e.g. sauger). Is this really how admittedly limited conservation dollars are best spent, or is it just a function of the funding model (i.e., license sales = more D.J./P.R. dollars)?

            • avatar mikarooni says:

              Mark, this shouldn’t be that hard for you to understand. If you’re stocking genetically engineered trout, then you’re stocking them into water that is trout habitat. If that water is trout habitat, then it could support a native trout population, occupying the same space and eating the same food sources, that you now have freak show non-native trout consuming. That’s a conservation opportunity that IDFG wastes in order to provide entertainment, which is a legitimate and objective criticism of the current IDFG mission orientation.

              Now, it is true that I have a philosophical disagreement with spending the time and money to develop and produce unnatural freaks just to use them for this purpose instead of spending those resources an real conservation; BUT, the fact that I do indeed have a philosophical aversion to what you’re doing does not in any way change the facts. You are, again, indisputably wasting a native trout conservation opportunity by giving coldwater habitat that could support a natural gene pool of native trout over to a crop of genetically unnatural non-native trout in order to provide freak show entertainment to the rubes. That’s not wildlife conservation, it’s entertainment.

              This concept is pretty low hanging fruit. What about this concept do you find so hard to understand?

            • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              Mikarooni –
              Thanks for keeping a fruitful discussion going on an important issue. You and JB both pose relevant questions/assertions. Starting with yours. Fisheries managers around the country (not just me) understand that you and others object hatchery stocking as a tool to provide angling opportunity to meet the desires of the public we work for. Your objection implies that beyond assuring continued healthy native trout populations distributed across a large range of habitat, my agency (and others) are guilty of mis-management because management efforts are wasting resources on hatchery supported angling opportunity rather than restoring native trout populations in those same waters. JBs question:
              “what is the basic purpose of wildlife management as an institution? Is it simply to put “game” on the landscape for harvest, or is it something more?”

              IS more relevant, more important, AND I believe, get’s us on track for a productive discussion. Idaho and other state fishery management programs are a balance of both native species conservation, ecosystem conservation and appropriate recreational angling opportunity. The “rubes” you refer to are largely the state residents state wildlife managers are responsible to. If Idaho’s hatchery trout program provides angling opportunity that Idahoans strongly desire and support without jeapardizing native trout populations ….. how does that constitute mismanagement? If you are saying that by stocking sterile rainbow trout (e.g.) habitat is “lost” for recovery of native trout populations you are mistaken. If you simply mean that those resources are misplaced by providing recreational angling opportunity – How so, by who’s values, desires, preferences? Should the IDFG ignore the desires of a strong majority of Idahoans who provide public comment, desires, expectations?

            • avatar Dan says:

              JB
              “what is the basic purpose of wildlife management as an institution?”

              The edict IDFG maintains is maximum opportunity, although they promote a strong emphasis on non-game species. I think this is a decent way of operating based on previous discussions of “people wanting, well, what they want.” Fisherpeople and hunters in states basically want opportunity. All of the states I am familiar with seem to attempt to allow maximum opportunity without jeopardizing sustainability. I think departments consider non-game species to the point that they will correct game numbers if the impacts are to heavy on non-game species. For instance, as Mark Gamblin has indicated, the IDFG is attempting to undue past blunders such as stocking fertile non-natives.
              I do not think F&G departments give great weight to non-fisherpeople and non-hunters because their institutions were not historically set-up for serve these groups. However, in today’s mass-media and endless NGOs, I think, departments are learning they must, at least, lend an ear to everyone outside of their “customers.”

    • avatar Chris Edwards says:

      Your grammar is appalling for a self-described moderator, learn to read & write, then fill your head with the truth, not hyperbolic foolishness!

      On another note, moose have little to fear of wolves, in fact healthy moose don’t fear much at all. However I am aware of the declining moose herd of northeastern Minnesota, down from about thirty-thousand to around seventy five hundred animals.

      This was blamed first, on climate change, which was simply preposterous, as moose populations are thriving worldwide. Then of course it was blamed upon gray wolves, which was equally ridiculous, wolves are routinely killed by healthy moose, strictly speaking, only the old, infirm, and young end up feeding canis lupis.

      Do you know what it is, thats really killing off Minnesota moose? White tail deer!

  6. avatar Robert R says:

    While it is region specific and localized some moose populations have been eliminated and some hunting seasons closed due to wolf depredation. In my local we use to have around 30 moose on the river bottom each fall and now we might have only three or four. The moose are very scidish and on high alert all the time. We had an instance a couple years back that could have been deviating and even few deaths if it was not for seat belts.A pack of wolves got into some two year old cows and ran them through two fences and onto the interstate causing a wreck, luckily the people had there seat belts on.
    The moose may not go totally extinct but the population will get very low as it did on the Isle Of Royale where the wolves almost starved them selves buy eating there pray species the moose down to nothing.
    There is a lot of what if’s but if we had the population of wolves that was eliminated back in the mid to late 1800’s when tens of thousands of wolves were killed the thinking to protect them would be different.
    I like it when a civil debate can happen and there is no bashing one another. If we work together the wolf will prosper, and I believe management is key and that’s my opinion.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      @ Robert

      +++The moose may not go totally extinct but the population will get very low as it did on the Isle Of Royale where the wolves almost starved them selves buy eating there pray species the moose down to nothing.+++

      http://isleroyalewolf.org/wolfhome/ann_rep.html

      Though there is some disagreement about the Isle Royale studies, conclusions and applications, one thing the Isle Royale wolves have never done is eat their “prey” species, the moose down to nothing.

      The annual studies are provided for your perusal.

    • avatar JB says:

      Tried to post earlier, but it must of got picked up by the spam filter for having multile links.

      According to researchers, Isle Royale wolf populations crashed because of the accidental introduction of canon parvovirus. Moose populations crashed in 1996 following the worst winter on record, which coincided with very bad winter ticks.

      • avatar mikarooni says:

        Yep, ticks are getting to be an increasingly severe threat to moose and other wildlife as climate change enables them to thrive, multiply, and more successfully survive winters that are so much more often dangerously snowier, but still warmer and shorter.

        But, Robert R probably doesn’t believe in climate change any more than he believes in wolf conservation …or spelling; so, our words are wasted on him.

  7. Moose, Elk Caribou and others of the deer family are what they are because of evolving with wolves. Wolves are what they are because of evolving with the Elk, Moose and Caribou.
    The deer family owes its’ characteristics of agility and speed to the wolves and the wolves owe their incredible physical hunting abilities to the deer family.
    Each time a wolf fails to catch an fast moving elk, the elk, over all, become slightly better . The strongest and fastest survive.
    Each time a strong wolf catches an elk, the wolves improve ever so slightly. Wolves that can’t catch elk or moose don’t reproduce.
    This dance of life is what directs changes in species and improves upon them. Darwin called it survival of the fittest or evolution. Wolves and the deer family need each other.
    Modern human hunters have the opposite effect. By selecting and killing the largest and most attractive animals, humans have a negative effect upon all hunted species.

    • avatar Dan says:

      hmmm sounds a little to tidy and simple for nature.

      What about the tendency for animals to increase in size the higher the latitude. Is that driven by wolves too?

      What about browse for deer/elk/moose? Do wolves drive the evolution of diet?

      Personally, I think there are many drivers of evolution, not just a tidy little predator/prey relationship.

      What about distinct population sub-species?

      Do you not think that animals will not evolve to the human predator? Why are humans not included in the evolutionary process?

      Ever think your perception leaves out a large part of the whole evolutionary process?

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Dan,

        Sure nature and the drivers of natural selection and evolution are more complex than just a predator/prey relationship. Local weather, climate, fire, insect cycles natural disaster … all feed into the scheme of things.

        Humans and the evolutionary process? That ended when we all but eliminated the species natural to the area, including wolves.

        +++Do you not think that animals will not evolve to the human predator?+++ How much time will you give animals to develop kevlar vests, anti-aircraft weaponry. We are outliers in terms of evolutionary behavior compared to the remainder of the living world. When we were small hunter gathering societies, we were part of the level playing field for all creatures.

        When one looks at the ideas of some, to borrow a line from Alston Chase’s Playing God in Yellowstone, ” Without wolves the park had become just the place early managers had hoped for: a giant game farm, a breeding ground for the victims of hunters, a place safe enough to be a good neighbor to sheep.”

        This has played out all over the country in places where deer and yes elk, have increased to unnaturally high numbers wherever there are no, or were no wolves. If man is part of the evolutionary process, and created this ill designed landscape void of predators, then he can also rectify this past blunder in terms of large predators as part of the evolutionary process, eh?

        +++What about the tendency for animals to increase in size the higher the latitude. Is that driven by wolves too?

        What about distinct population sub-species?+++

        These two comments aren’t a stab at those giant MacKenzie Valley wolves now, are they?

        • avatar Dan says:

          yeah, I’m not buying your argument that animals do not adapt and ultimately evolve to humans. Look at deer, for example, the most highly sought after deer are large bucks. These bucks become almost nocturnal during the fall except the rut. Do you not think evolution will eventually adapt the whitetail deer buck to rutting nocturnally as well? I agree that humans have the ability to completely, in the most part, eliminate animals from an area, but our laws, for the most part, do not allow for that. I believe animals will continue to adapt and evolve, in part, due to man.
          The las two comments have very little to do with wolves. It’s a proven scientific fact that an increase in latitude increase the size of an animal species. Bears are larger in northern climates, deer, wolves, etc. I used that as an example that it’s not just predators that drive evolution. It’s climate, weather, etc. Distinct population sub-species was used as an example that species that are cut off from the whole of a popular will evolve it’s own adaptions due to the environment, predators not withstanding.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Dan,

            You are referring to Bergmann’s Rule

            http://www.tau.ac.il/lifesci/zoology/members/dayan_files/articles/on_the_validity.pdf

            +++I’m not buying your argument that animals do not adapt and ultimately evolve to humans+++

            I don’t really understand this statement, other than perhaps selective pressures exerted on animals by man, may cause adaptations by the said animals.

            • avatar Dan says:

              “selective pressures exerted on animals by man, may cause adaptations by the said animals.”

              that’s natural selection in a nutshell

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Dan,

              One problem with natural selection and hunted animals is that they must remain alive long enough to pass on those “naturally” selected genes. Put wolves and other predators into the mix, that may be more active when the sun is down, and as per your procreation example, makes it pretty much a wash as toward when deer carry on with their amorous adventures.

            • avatar Dan says:

              “Put wolves and other predators into the mix, that may be more active when the sun is down, and as per your procreation example, makes it pretty much a wash as toward when deer carry on with their amorous adventures.”

              yeah, I’m not buying this stretch of a statement

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              +++yeah, I’m not buying this stretch of a statement+++

              Dan,

              If you want to discuss adaptations, natural selection, evolution, “you” must know what you are talking about.

            • avatar Dan says:

              LOL, yeah, alright…enlighten me ole wise sage…Can’t wait for this lecture

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Dan,

              After a statement like this by you, I don’t have to sell anything.

              +++yeah, I’m not buying your argument that animals do not adapt and ultimately evolve to humans.+++

              Human season length on deer/elk etc, varies from state to state, and is for a most part, a very small portion of the year. Wolves will prey on deer/elk 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This has been going on for 10’s of thousands of years. If there is a natural selection adaptation by ungulates in regard to predators, it’s going to be toward wolves. Most elk/deer that get shot by hunters don’t even know the hunters are present. Tough to adapt to that.

            • avatar Dan says:

              Why do animals only have to adapt to human’s hunting methods. I think, as I have indicated previously, animals are adapting to vast array of human activity. Some species have shown they adapt quite well, while others have failed to adapt, sometimes to their complete demise. Some of these adaptations most certainly will, over time, lend themselves to evolution.

          • avatar Barb Rupers says:

            Think of a fews animals that have become extinct because of the activities of humans. They never had time to evolve. Dodos, steller’s sea cow – gone in less than 30 years after its discovery, passenger pigeons, Carolina parakeet, . . .
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_extinction

        • avatar Wolf Moderate says:

          According to JB, there are over 6,000 mountain lions, thousands of bears, and hundreds of thousands of coyotes in Idaho. Prior to the re-introduction of wolves, there was no lack of predators. Wolves are now apart of the ecosystem now of course, but before the reintro, the NRM weren’t farms…Well, maybe Jellystone.

          Anywhere east of the Mississippi is what I think you are writing about. No lack of predators in OR, WA, ID, etc…Haven’t been for quite some time.

    • avatar louise kane says:

      very succinct Larry. The april 21 post that is. Wildlife management could be so simple, humane and effective by allowing predators to have more than a token presence in the wild. Yet wildlife managers manage to FU everything and justify managing wildlife and predators to death. The type of predator management we see defies logic and common sense while completely ignoring the beauty of evolution.

      • avatar ma'iingan says:

        “Yet wildlife managers manage to FU everything and justify managing wildlife and predators to death.”

        What you know about professional wildlife management would fit on the period at the end of this sentence. Predator populations in most states have been increasing steadily under professional wildlife management.

        In my state for instance, our bobcat, fisher, and coyote populations have nearly doubled in the last 20 years, even with significant opportunities for permitted public harvest.

        We are currently developing a plan for a permitted public wolf harvest, where we intend to manage for a robust wolf population in much the same way – and for the benefit of all the state’s citizens.

        FU? Indeed.

      • avatar JB says:

        Louise:

        Large carnivore management in the US is geared toward minimizing risks to people, pets, and domestic livestock. Ma’ rightly notes that, in most places in the US, large carnivores are actually expanding their range and/or increasing in populations, despite management designed to minimize such risks.

        Regardless, I agree that our management regimes are not designed to take into account the ecological effects of carnivores or their removal (e.g. trophic cascades, mesopredator release). IMO, more “thoughtful” management will come with more engagement from a variety of stakeholder groups and more thoughtful discussion about the conditions under which aggressive lethal management should occur.

        • avatar louise kane says:

          JB you said “Large carnivore management in the US is geared toward minimizing risks to people, pets, and domestic livestock.”
          This is exactly what I argue is the problem, so why point it out to me as if I don’t understand that?

          You also said “Ma’ rightly notes that, in most places in the US, large carnivores are actually expanding their range and/or increasing in populations, despite management designed to minimize such risks.”
          I guess this would be in line with Montana’s argument that their wolf population actually grew after their ferocious hunting season? I believe many of you here found that assertion to be questionable if not deceitful. When it comes to predators, I suspect wildlife management agencies may provide euphemistic and skewed data to support more aggressive killing of predators. I’m looking into this on my own, if you have studies about that issue I’d be glad to see them. I think Montana is a good case study.

          Perhaps I am wrong but shouldn’t the management of wolves be undertaken much more cautiously, given the history of their eradication and the intolerance and flat out hate that the states still exhibit toward them?

          • avatar louise kane says:

            I should have said “This is exactly what I argue is a part of the problem, so why point it out to me as if I don’t understand that?

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              “don’t know what state you are in but is robust defined the same way as in Idaho?”

              It’s defined the same everywhere. Mark Gamblin did a great job of posting a thorough definition on one of these threads, and I’m sure you read it since you’re asking about Idaho. But to refresh your memory, “robust” describes a population that is sufficiently abundant and diverse enough to withstand adverse conditions and events and thus persist for the foreseeable future.

              “Large carnivore management in the US is geared toward minimizing risks to people, pets, and domestic livestock.”

              “This is exactly what I argue is the problem, so why point it out to me as if I don’t understand that?”

              You don’t live in wolf country – yet you feel you can judge how much risk should be tolerated by those who do. My state is paying around $300,000 annually for wolf damage claims and a like amount for non-lethal deterrents. Those numbers
              are not sustainable – if that kind of expenditure is sustainable in your state, maybe you should be lobbying to import wolves from other states rather than criticizing their management plans.

              I’m repeating myself here, but you know nothing of wildlife management – yesterday you posted “wildlife managers manage to FU everything” and today it’s more of the same – “When it comes to predators, I suspect wildlife
              management agencies may provide euphemistic and skewed data to support more aggressive killing of predators.”

              You claim you don’t post insults, but by insulting the profession of several posters here, you insult us personally.

            • avatar Paul says:

              And how much of that $300,000 went to reimburse bear hounders for dogs killed by wolves? The actual high number was $211,800.16 which was paid out for last year for all depredations. Since 1985 there have been a total of $1,237,178.05 paid out for wolf depredations. Of that number $420,151 has been paid out to hounders. You take out the hounders a total of only $817,027 has been paid out for livestock or real pet (not hounder dog) losses over 28 years. About 35 percent of depredation payments since 1985 have gone to hounders. Out of the total payments total depredation payments average out to be $44,185 over 28 years. Get rid of the hounder payments and that certainly becomes sustainable. Hounders got an average of $15,005 annually from that $44,185 total average. Quite the little gravy train they have going there.

            • avatar Paul says:

              I also forgot to add the additional $20,034 hounders have received for vet bills since 1985. I am actually surprised that some of them would take their dog to a vet after an injury. So the correct total hounders got since 1985 is 440,185. Averaged out to be $15,721 annually.

            • avatar louise kane says:

              Ma’
              Paul just sent a link to information countering your claim that depredation reimbursement is not sustainable. I’d like to hear your response. As for this comment” You don’t live in wolf country – yet you feel you can judge how much risk should be tolerated by those who do.” This is a tired argument. Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are not managing wolves they are killing them, as fast as they can. Special interest groups push for increasingly aggressive management and most of us are not buying the BS.

            • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              Ken – I agree.

              Salle, Jon Way – You make a valid point. I did not offer recent survey/polling data to document my assertion of a plurality of NRMR state residents NOT opposing current wolf management plans. My point is simply that for Idaho, Montana and Wyoming – among a variety of wolf management options (see Ken’s above for one example), the current state wolf management plans are NOT opposed by a plurality of those state residents. In other words, those plans enjoy a broad level of support, more so than other debated management options (see Ken’s example as one of the alternatives). My comment was general and one that I base on my interaction with the Idaho public, knowledge of public discussions, hearings, media coverage of the wolf management issue and similar public information on the issue in Montana and Wyoming – my personal assessment. Do either of you disagree with that assessment?

          • avatar Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

            Louise –
            Reducing the size of a wolf population to a lower sustainable number is by definition – management.
            ma’iingan’s point remains – the “most of us” you refer to who “are not buying the BS” don’t live in states currently managing wolves. Speaking to the NRMR states, those state managment plans are not opposed by a plurality of the residents of the respective states.

            • avatar Salle says:

              “…the “most of us” you refer to who “are not buying the BS” don’t live in states currently managing wolves. Speaking to the NRMR states, those state managment plans are not opposed by a plurality of the residents of the respective states.”

              Really?

              Do you have citations for any surveys or studies to indicate that?

            • avatar Ken Cole says:

              Increasing the size of a wolf population to a higher sustainable number is by definition – management as well. Not in Idaho though.

            • avatar Jon Way says:

              Mark,
              I agree with Salle. Where is your info, other than informal talks with hunters/ranchers, to back your claims.

              Did you watch the recent film River of No Return. Did that increase the number of people that find wolves in a positive light? Maybe others would want management in a form where wolf numbers are increased or stayed the same…

              But I guess when you (IDFG) are in charge of wildlife mgmt you can say what you want while others need evidence to back up their claims. A common double-standard with all state wildlife depts with a strong, pro-hunting agenda.

            • avatar louise kane says:

              Mark,

              I’d direct you to look at the comments that were submitted to yoru agency and state in response to Idaho’s online solicitation related to wolf management (last August) . The solicitation and responses were sent to me by your department via Mike Keckler at my request this fall. A couple of problems, the responses did not identify the respondent by state. Interestingly, your dept. posted an online general solicitation that was answered by both local and national respondents. Then later you issued additional solicitations in an invited hunter. There may also have been an invited general category. Please excuse my uncertainty, I had a recent computer crash and am still sorting though the mayhem and files. . But there are a total of 17,000 plus comments in the general and invited categories. What is also interetsing here is that the invited responses only totalled somehting like a few hundred comments. Whether that is because idaho residents sent their comments in online instead of to the invited categories I don;t know. But this indicates that 17,000 people in and out of Idaho care enough about wolves to make comments. Thus far, we are seeing overwhelming opposition to trapping, snaring or killing wolves with a surprising number of hunters also opposing trapping. There were a good many comments also related to the bias of the survey as well as management being too severe even if in support of management…. I’ll be glad to send the catalouged comments when completed. If you would like the first hundred pages so you can see the percentages of those opposed to idaho’s management proposals and wolf killing I’ll be glad to get them to you. There are 500 pages more but they still need review for compliance to the sorting protocol.

            • avatar Elk275 says:

              Louise, who is financing your operation?

            • avatar JB says:

              Mark et al.

              My colleagues and I will survey a random sample of residents in the NRMs and WGLs to determine preferences for wolf management later this year. Unfortunately, we do not currently have funds to adequately sample at the state level (stratify by state).

              Many thanks to those who took part in our online survey (here), as this data was most useful in revising the questionnaire for use in the upcoming survey!

        • avatar JB says:

          Louise:

          I wasn’t trying to be condescending, in my reply to your post, I was merely pointing out that the current management paradigm (rightly or wrongly) emphasizes reduction in risks to people and our associated activities. Importantly, large carnivore populations are *generally* expanding their range and increasing in number–even where they are being aggressively lethally managed. This was a response to your statement: “Yet wildlife managers manage to FU everything and justify managing wildlife and predators to death.”

          You asked, “…shouldn’t the management of wolves be undertaken much more cautiously, given the history of their eradication and the intolerance and flat out hate that the states still exhibit toward them?”

          Good question. Actually I agree that management should proceed more cautiously than it has been–at least in the western states. But you are also ignoring a long history of aggressive lethal management of wolves in Canada and Alaska that suggests that wolf populations ARE capable of sustaining very high mortality.

          P.S. Here’s a good place to start in understanding how large carnivores have fared under management:Linnell, J. D. C., J. E. Swenson, and R. Andersen. 2001. Predators and people: conservation of large carnivores is possible at high human densities if management policy is favourable. Animal Conservation 4:345-349.

          • avatar louise kane says:

            Ok JB
            I’ll look at this article. when someone takes the time to provide information, I read it.

            You did not respond to this part of my post, “I guess this would be in line with Montana’s argument that their wolf population actually grew after their ferocious hunting season? I believe many of you here found that assertion to be questionable if not deceitful. When it comes to predators, I suspect wildlife management agencies may provide euphemistic and skewed data to support more aggressive killing of predators.”

            what does your evidence show you about the reliability of the data used to illustrate the growth of predator populations by the state and federal wildlife agencies?

            • avatar JB says:

              Louise:

              I’d rather not comment on Montana’s numbers, as I don’t have any personal knowledge of how these data are collected and analyzed beyond what is publicly available. To date, I have not been given a reason to doubt the population estimates coming out of Montana.

              *Note: The analysis published by Creel and Rottela in 2010 that claimed that wolf harvest in Montana was likely unsustainable was brought into question in a more recent re-analysis of the same data.

            • avatar SAP says:

              re Montana’s “ferocious hunting season”: hunters killed 166 wolves out of a quota of 220. I have not talked to that many hunters who killed wolves, but of those I have talked to (maybe 15), most killed wolves on ranches.

              Certainly can’t prove it, but based on experience with some of those particular ranches, there’s a fair likelihood that wolves hanging around there will eventually kill livestock, then get killed by agents. So it’s possible that a number of the wolves killed by hunters would’ve been killed anyway — ie, compensatory mortality.

              Certainly, wolves killed in the backcountry don’t fall into this category. Has anyone seen a kill report that breaks it out by location like that? That would be useful information.

              Relating this to FWP’s population estimate: even with 166 wolves killed by hunters, the population could keep growing, if many of those wolves would’ve been killed without the hunt (killed by poachers, killed by agents, maybe even killed by other wolves).

              Also, if you’re on the ground here in MT, you may be hearing the same things I am: FWP is scared of the kooky legislature (birthers are just the tip of the crapberg here), and there was some hope in FWP that they actually could show the legislature a wolf population REDUCTION as a result of the hunt (to say, see, we heard you, we’re cutting wolf numbers).

              We’ve got counties offering “bounties,” (geez, why not a free cheeseburger to successful wolf hunters too, while we’re at it), RMEF offering to pay for more wolf killing, and a legislature demanding more radiocollaring and more killing. And with a long, long, long way to fall before re-listing could become a worry, why would FWP be interested in fudging the numbers to the high side?

            • avatar louise kane says:

              what about Jay Mallonee’s peer reviewed article that challenges the populations estimates?

            • avatar JB says:

              Mallonee’s paper fundamentally misunderstands the role of science in natural resources management and decision-making.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            David Mech also disagreed with the unsustainability finding of Creel and Rotella.

            • avatar Rancher Bob says:

              I can tell you that what ever MTFWP’s says there is for wolves in Montana it’s a minimum. They can tell you how many greys and blacks are in each pack. It can take 3 years for them to confirm a pack the locals have known about. Packs are very fluid so they only count wolves seen together and like to count packs in the same region on the same day to make sure it’s not the same pack being seen twice. Montana’s wolf biologist take flack from both sides they will tell you the number is a minimum but a very accurate number. No formulas, no models just counting wolves with their eyes.

          • avatar louise kane says:

            Ma’ about this” You claim you don’t post insults, but by insulting the profession of several posters here, you insult us personally.” Its not my intention to insult a person, but certainly I am critiquing a institution that claims to conserve wildlife but continually leaves predators out of the equation and conserves wildlife primarily for hunters.

            • avatar louise kane says:

              Ma’ its easy enough to keep preaching the party line, kill kill kill. robust, healthy wolf populations of 100 – 150. Its not that complicated to see that this is BS.

            • avatar Paul says:

              That is exactly the problem. It doesn’t matter what kind of hunting dog it was, it is obscene that they get reimbursed when a wolf kills one. The dogs are put out there by the hunter voluntarily. It would be a different story if the wolf came onto a property and killed the dog, but it is the hunters who are putting the dogs in danger. They should be covering the cost of reimbursement. I did not have a problem with livestock depredation payments when the wolf was listed. Where I have a problem is that people who voluntarily put their dogs at risk get reimbursed for it whether wolves are listed or not. This is a ridiculous law that no other state has.

              As for the funding it is now supposed to come from the wolf licenses sold, as it should. If I remember correctly it was a Stevens Point Democrat and bear hounder who wrote it into law several years ago that wolves would always be considered endangered whether listed or not so that hounders would always be reimbursed. Hounding and agriculture bring with it risks that should not be the responsibility of others to pay for. Wouldn’t it make more sense for hounders and farmers to carry some sort of insurance so that they are responsible for that risk rather than relying on the government to bail them out? Why should people purchasing license plates that they thought were benefiting wolves have been responsible for funding hounder reimbursements? If they want to continue reimbursements it should be paid by those who intend to kill the wolves as it is now, not by the rest of us who contribute to endangered resource protection.

          • avatar louise kane says:

            Ma’ before everyone jumps and freaks out Wyoming will be managing….not yet killing but about to as fast as they can

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              “Get rid of the hounder payments and that certainly becomes sustainable.”

              Get rid of them how? Wolf depredation payments are statutory obligations in Wisconsin. And FYI, those payments include all depredated hunting dogs, not just bear hounds. Rabbit, coyote, fox, and coon hounds, along with bird dogs are included in the depredation payments.

              Where does the money come from, Paul? Prior to delisting it came from Endangered Resources Funds. Where do you expect to “sustain” these payments from now that those funds are no longer available?

              “…certainly I am critiquing a institution that claims to conserve wildlife but continually leaves predators out of the equation and conserves wildlife primarily for hunters. “

              Go ahead and critique to your heart’s content, Louise. It’s easy enough when you don’t know anything about the subject.

    • avatar Dan says:

      Why do animals only have to adapt to human’s hunting methods. I think, as I have indicated previously, animals are adapting to vast array of human activity. Some species have shown they adapt quite well, while others have failed to adapt, sometimes to their complete demise. Some of these adaptations most certainly will, over time, lend themselves to evolution.

  8. avatar Robert R says:

    mikarooni I may not be the best at spelling but I will not criticize you for for your stand on wolves or what you believe is true.
    Yes I believe in climate change just not in the same way as you might.
    We both have are own ideas of wolf management. I live in prime deer and elk country and see what is happening first hand with the predators and prey.

  9. avatar Richie says:

    to sb; I said this before humane should not be part of our language; If Humane is derived from human it is a big mistake. I can go on and on how people hurt the less fortunate or the naive.Or as in the case of the first germ warefare, I think it started with General Amhersy the general who gave the smallpox blankets as an act of kindness in the winter months to the indians they were in battle with. Give me a brake their are good humans and very very bad humans.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Richie,

      I didn’t mention humane in this thread, but I will agree, there are good humans and there are bad humans. I don’t recall ever saying different in that respect.

      • avatar WM says:

        Richie,

        Last night my wife and I watched the video, “Rum Diary” based on a book of that name by Hunter S. Thompson, about a news journalist who took a job in Puerto Rico in 1960. The main character, the journalist, played by Johnny Depp, while looking curiously at a tank of lobsters and tripping on LSD and booze (a favorite combination of Thompson during his life) in an introspective moment says, “Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a God, and the only living things that behave like they haven’t got one.”

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          WM,

          As I appreciate, and more often than not agree with your perspectives, is “Rum Diary” worth the watch?

          • avatar WM says:

            Immer,

            First off, “Rum Diary” is an appropriate title. Knowledge and appreciation of Hunter S. Thompson’s irreverent Gonzo journalistic style, humor and wit are helpful – there are a few good pithy lines scattered through the dialog, when the screen-writer decided to include them from the book.

            It is an opportunity to see Johnny Depp in a role other than a Keith Richards act alike, that showcases his considerable acting talent. And, it is a bit of a good vs. evil, rich vs. poor, story line that I think you would appreciate. For the price of $2 or whatever the cost of a video is in your neck of the woods, its certainly a better use of your time than reading Mike, mik or verbose louise posts here.

            And character actor Giovanni Ribisi (played Moberg) reminded me a bit of what I think one person on this forum might actually be like in person.
            _______
            Sorry for getting off topic, but it looked like this thread could use a break.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              WM,

              Thanks for the thumb nail synopsis and the LOL moment. If for no other reason, I’ll put my mitts on it for the Ribisi character and let’s see if I can narrow it down to your character analysis.

              Should be interesting.

            • avatar louise kane says:

              WM, you said “its certainly a better use of your time than reading Mike, mik or verbose louise posts here”
              I can only speak for myself but I don’t use this post to attack or ridicule anyone. You have preached about the middle ground, constructive dialouge, and a number of other lofty concepts that could be used to better the wolf wars, yet you go out of your way to include disparaging, irrelevant remarks about others using pedantry and condensation. I guess its good for a lol moment but pretty petty for someone as concerned as you are about relevancy, legitimacy and sticking to the facts. Do you want to engage in exchanges where all are welcome to comment and engage respectfully or to use this forum to provoke attacks and ridicule those with differing opinions?

            • avatar Daniel Berg says:

              Wow, you think quite highly of someone here apparently.

  10. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    Maybe I am just feeling down right now, but I can’t help but feel that across the U.S. the punishments handed down by courts for wildlife crimes are exceedingly gentle and hardly severe enough to dissuade future crimes of the same sort.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Alan,

      I am not feeling down at all, but will agree with your assessment of that way the courts treat criminals these days

  11. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Elk,

    no one is funding it. I solicited volunteers. One is a a recent physics graduate that attended U Montana. Together we worked on the protocol. It was then reviewed by the department head of a wildlife studies program where another volunteer is attending college. This student is doing her internship by working with us. There are 4-5 of us working. We are doing it on our own time. All of us feel similarly that we can’t sit by and watch what the states are doing to wolves.
    It would be a real luxury to have funding but I feel fortunate to be working with some very dedicated volunteers.

  12. avatar Savebears says:

    Well Louise, at least if your not funded your dedicated, that is the way the system works, graduate students find a cause and become dedicated, because in this day and age, there is no funding! If you can’t work for money at least work for a “cause” Been there done that, I like getting a pay check every couple of weeks!

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

~ Edward Abbey

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