Conservation groups angry; Wyoming wolf population delisted-

Wyoming politicians were the ones most opposed to the restoration of wolves to the American Northern Rocky mountains.  They filed numerous lawsuits against the program, which they generally lost. Now they have won. The Obama Administration has delisted wolves in Wyoming, and a hunting season beginning Oct. 1 will begin reduce the number of wolves in The Cowboy State as well as unrestricted year round killing in the 87% of the state that is in the no protection, wolves-are-vermin zone.

Back in the late 20th century, Wyoming’s then governor Dave Freudenthal (Democrat) was already loudly complaining about the wolves’ “dire effects” on the state when there were only about 30 of them outside Yellowstone Park. They were released in YNP in 1995 and 1996. The wolf population grew faster than many expected, although this did not last. It is now stable in Wyoming and declining in the Park. Finally in 2012 many years later not much is said publicly about the negative effects of wolves in Wyoming. There are about 250 of them outside Yellowstone Park, but legally confined to just 13% of Wyoming. One of victories for the state politicians was elimination of any protection of wolves (even game laws) in all but 13% of the state. In the vast majority of the states wolves are now officially vermin, to be dealt with as anyone chooses. An additional 80 wolves live mostly inside Yellowstone Park under protection as long as they don’t stray from the national park’s smallish boundaries. The largest concentration of Park wolves is near the border of Montana and Wyoming in the Park. They wander back and forth across the state boundaries. This is also close to Yellowstone’s northern boundary where soon trappers, for the first time, will be able to set traps, even right on the Park boundary, to kill any trusting wolf that doesn’t recognize the legal change even ten miles from the nearest human habitation.

Each year the Wyoming wolves kill about 2 dozen sheep and cows (mostly calves). They also get a cow or sheep dog here and there. Wolf manager for the federal government Mike Jimenez seems to have been able to keep these losses to a thin trickle with only small variations from year to year. As a result public controversy about the “slaughter of Wyoming’s livestock industry” has abated to pro forma comments when livestock operators are asked.

Now a relatively stable situation has been stirred up by what conservation groups think is a defective state run “wolf conservation plan.”

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition wrote in an email story, ” Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its removal of wolves from the Endangered Species List.  We are deeply disappointed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s flawed decision on the delisting of Wyoming’s wolves – a decision that shows blatant disregard for public comments – including thousands of GYC members and supporters that offered practical solutions to improve the plan.

Clearly, Wyoming’s wolf management plan is not based on sound-science or wildlife management principles, with over 80% of the state having a shoot-on-sight policy.  We will work with agencies, communities, and stakeholders to ensure that wolves living in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks aren’t harmed by state management and that wolves are not hunted in the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway (a National Park Service Unit).   Help GYC work to improve Wyoming’s flawed state management plan. GYC will continue working to improve wolf management in Wyoming and is committed to ensuring that a healthy and viable population of wolves remains in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  For a healthy ecosystem,     Mike Clark Executive Director.

Here is the view of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Wyoming Wolves and the Fish & Wildlife DisService to Conservation. By Sylvia Fallon

EarthJustice had this to say. Feds betray Wyoming Wolves. By Kari Birdseye

The Center for Biological Diversity. Wyoming Wolves Lose Federal Protection, Will Be Shot on Sight Across Most of State  Lawsuit Launched Challenging Wyoming’s Kill-at-will Policy
– – – – – – – – –
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service issued this news release

Service Declares Wyoming Gray Wolf Recovered Under the Endangered Species Act and Returns Management Authority to the State

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that the Wyoming population of gray wolves is recovered and no longer warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Beginning September 30th, wolves in Wyoming will be managed by the state under an approved management plan, as they are in the states of Idaho and Montana.

“The return of the wolf to the Northern Rocky Mountains is a major success story, and reflects the remarkable work of States, Tribes, and our many partners to bring this iconic species back from the brink of extinction,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “The wolf population has remained healthy under state management in Idaho and Montana, and we’re confident that the Wyoming population will sustain its recovery under the management plan Wyoming will implement.”

The most recent official minimum population estimate shows that the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf population contains more than 1,774 adult wolves and more than 109 breeding pairs. Most of the suitable habitat across the Northern Rocky Mountain region is now occupied and likely at, or above, long-term carrying capacity. This population has exceeded recovery goals for 10 consecutive years.

The Service will continue to monitor the delisted wolf populations in all three states for a minimum of five years to ensure that they continue to sustain their recovery, and retains authority to reinstate ESA protections at any time if circumstances warrant.

“Our primary goal, and that of the states, is to ensure that gray wolf populations in the Northern Rocky Mountains remain healthy, giving future generations of Americans the chance to hear its howl echo across the area,” added Ashe. “No one, least of all Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, wants to see wolves back on the endangered species list. But that’s what will happen if recovery targets are not sustained.”

Wyoming has committed to meeting its statutory and regulatory standards by managing for a buffer above minimum management targets. The management framework adopted by the State is designed to maintain at least 150 wolves and 15 breeding pairs within the State of Wyoming. This is the same management objective as was adopted by the States of Montana and Idaho.

The Service expects the Greater Yellowstone Area wolf population to maintain a long-term average of around 300 wolves, while the entire Northern Rocky Mountains Distinct Population Segment is expected to achieve a long-term average of around 1,000 wolves. These wolves represent a 400-mile southern range extension of a vast contiguous wolf population that numbers over 12,000 wolves in western Canada and about 65,000 wolves across all of Canada and Alaska.

In 2009, the Service published a final rule to remove ESA protections for gray wolves across the Northern Rocky Mountain distinct population segment, with the exception of those in Wyoming. Wyoming was not included because the state’s management plan did not provide the necessary regulatory mechanisms to assure that gray wolf populations would be conserved if the protections of the ESA were removed. Subsequently, the Service and the State of Wyoming developed points of agreement that would promote management of a stable, sustainable population of wolves and allow management authority to be turned over to the state. Wyoming subsequently developed a wolf management plan and amended its state law and regulations to codify those protections.

With publication of this final rule, the northern Rocky Mountain population of gray wolves that includes all of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, the eastern third of Washington and Oregon, and a small corner of north-central Utah will be managed by state and tribal jurisdictions.

Today’s decision will take effect September 30th.

Biologists have determined that the vast majority of Wyoming’s wolf population and habitat is located in northwest Wyoming, where wolves will be managed as “trophy game” animals year-round. Trophy game status allows the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department to regulate timing, methods, and numbers of wolves taken through regulated hunting and other methods such as control of wolves found to be depredating on livestock.

Existing Federal law prohibits hunting in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. No wolf hunting will occur in the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, the National Elk Refuge, and the Wind River Reservation in 2012, although hunting could occur in these three areas in future years. Beginning October 1, the State of Wyoming has authorized a harvest of 52 wolves in other portions of northwestern Wyoming’s Trophy Area in 2012. Current information indicates only about ten percent of the Greater Yellowstone Area wolf population resides outside the Trophy Game Area in Wyoming, where they have been designated as predators and can be taken with very few restrictions.

The Endangered Species Act provides a critical safety net for America’s native fish, wildlife and plants. This landmark conservation law has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species across the nation and promoted the recovery of the gray wolf, the bald eagle and many other species.

http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/

Additional article added Sept. 5 from WyoFile. This article was reprinted by WyoFile with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. By Laura Petersen, E&E reporter. FWS delists Wyo. gray wolves

 

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides.

84 Responses to As expected, U.S. gov’t delists the wolves of Wyoming

  1. avatar Salle says:

    Please understand that it isn’t really about just hunting them that is the deal made to delist them. It’s also about a depleted biosphere that is getting in the way of fracking and other public land uses that will soon make them private lands. You have to get the wildlife off the land so that the public will lose the argument. Think bison, Native Americans and the railroads, for instance… I’m beyond beginning to think that it’s all over but the crying anymore.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Just drove through central Wisconsin(Vickconsin)and you should see the operations underway for sand removal for the purpose of fracking.

  2. avatar birdpond says:

    Wolves are just the canaries in the coal mine; Special interests are systematically eroding environmental and species protections for their personal monetary gain (and to heck with the rest of us). Corporations (many overseas)aren’t interested in anything but profit – It will be the undoing of the Earth – It must be stopped now, once and for all.

  3. avatar jon says:

    This is very sad. Wolves including newborn pups can be shot to death if they are in areas where they are classified as predators. This is how we humans treat our wildlife. It’s sickening.

    • avatar Mark LaRoux says:

      This is how we humans treated ‘we humans’ last century…just transferring to a new group to call the enemy…seeing as we are running out of groups of humans to villify.
      “My hands are tied” -Civil War, Guns n Roses

    • avatar Jon Way says:

      And sadly Jon and others… This is how coyotes are treated nationwide and always have been. Yet a state agency makes researchers jump through hoops just to study them while they can be slaughtered for all or most of the year depending on state.

  4. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Have they addressed poaching? These numbers sound like the bare minimum.

  5. avatar louise kane says:

    Forgive me if anyone has already posted this, I have not had time to read all the threads yet
    just in from Nancy and Al Warren

    a bit of sanity – feel like its just buying time but perhaps the insanity is beginning to be noticed.

    also I believe that several NGOs are planning a lawsuit against the delisting of Wyoming wolves. I’ve got some calls in to get more details, and hoping people will contribute

    “A Dane County judge ruled on Friday against the use of dogs during Wisconsin’s inaugural wolf hunt, putting the five-month season in jeopardy.

    The request for an injunction was brought in a lawsuit by a coalition of Wisconsin humane societies and individuals. The lawsuit argued the Department of Natural Resources did not have adequate protections in place to prevent violent confrontations between dogs and wolves during the training and hunting seasons.

    The Legislature passed Act 169 in April, authorizing the state’s first hunting and trapping season for wolves. Many details of the hunt were contained in Act 169, including the use of dogs to hunt wolves.

    The legislation made Wisconsin the only state to allow dogs to hunt wolves.

    The ruling by Dane County Circuit Judge Peter Anderson prevents the DNR from issuing licenses that allow the use of dogs to hunt wolves. It also prevents the training of dogs to hunt wolves.

    But Anderson said the DNR could move forward with a wolf hunt that does not involve dogs.

    However, DNR officials earlier this week said the hunt may be cancelled if the judge issued an injunction. The agency felt it might not have enough time to put in place regulations on the use of dogs before the season.

    The season was scheduled to run Oct. 15 to the end of February. The state had sold 18,301 wolf hunting and trapping permit applications as of Friday afternoon.

    The DNR issued a statement Friday afternoon saying it was reviewing the decision and would comment at a later point in time.

    “Plaintiffs are extraordinarily pleased with the court’s order and the recognition of the DNR’s failure to impose necessary restrictions on this aspect of the hunt,” said Jodi Habush Sinykin, an attorney representing the plaintiffs.

    The wolf population has increased steadily in recent decades and was estimated at between 815 and 880 animals in 213 packs in late winter. The state’s recovery goal was 350 wolves.

    The wolf was removed from protections of the federal Endangered Species Act in January. Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota were then able to start their state wolf management plans.

    Wisconsin and Minnesota passed laws authorizing a public wolf harvest. A bill to allow a wolf hunting and trapping season has been introduced in Michigan.”

  6. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    “Our primary goal, and that of the states, is to ensure that gray wolf populations in the Northern Rocky Mountains remain healthy, giving future generations of Americans the chance to hear its howl echo across the area,” added Ashe. “No one, least of all Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, wants to see wolves back on the endangered species list. But that’s what will happen if recovery targets are not sustained.””

    We will hold you to this Mr. Ashe, and you will be watched like hawks.

  7. avatar Robert R says:

    I think the wolf will adapt and is a very intelligent predator.
    Why is it that the coyote has no regulations and can be hunted and trapped year around and has survived. The wolf will do the same and probably survive better than the coyote because they have a larger range.
    I look at Canada and Alaska with liberal seasons on wolves and the wolves are doing very well even though they are hunted and trapped.

    • avatar jon says:

      There are many more coyotes than wolves and Alaska and Canada have by far more wolves than Wyoming.

    • avatar louise kane says:

      Robert R, perhaps a better question is why is it that any animal is hunted and trapped year round with no regulations? No animal should be hunted like this. Coyotes and wolves are singled out for particular hatred among certain groups, and its bad policy to allow it to continue without challenge.

    • avatar jon says:

      Treating wolves and coyotes as predators and allowing them to be killed on sight shows no compassion or respect for these animals.

  8. avatar Leslie says:

    I live near the Montana border in that NW section. Last count, last winter there were 2 packs–one had 4 adults and 1 pup; the other something like 8-10. That makes around 12 or so adults. They’ve both denned this spring and guess what the quota will be for this area: 12 wolves! Sounds like a slaughter to me. The reason being that Holding has his cattle here, and also that this is the elk herd with a lousy cow/calf ratio.

    I thought I’d never hear it, but at a local mtg., the G&F warden said that after hearing Middleton’s results on the elk population, wolves really have little effect on the herd population here. He also noted, interestingly enough, that historical records show this herd always has had a low cow/calf ratio.

    Yet still, the wolf quota seems designed to kill all the wolves in the Sunlight/Crandall area.

    It will take several years of many deaths, but the wolves will soon figure it out. I have been very lucky. I have seen wolves very close, at 20′, many times when I’m hiking. They are curious, especially the yearlings, about humans. But that natural curiosity will be their death this fall I am heartbroken to say.

    Although the elk hunt quotas are low for this area, I suspect, come Oct. 1, I will see hundreds of hunters up here with only a wolf tag in their pocket, with a meanness of spirit and a hardness of heart. I just better get a bright orange vest for my large golden retriever or he could easily be one of the casulaties.

    • avatar jon says:

      Someone who hates wolves can wipe out a whole wolf den with newborn pups if those wolves are found in an area where they are classified as predators. Why should this be acceptable? It shouldn’t and that is why environmental organizations are suing. These hatred of wolves by ranchers and hunters needs to stop, but I doubt it will ever.

    • avatar jon says:

      “Yet still, the wolf quota seems designed to kill all the wolves in the Sunlight/Crandall area.”

      You can say goodbye to all those wolves. The hunters who kill these wolves are taking away your opportunity to view wolves and for what, all because of hatred for an animal or because of a pelt? It’s disgusting how some people treat wildlife these days.

    • avatar Natusha says:

      I agree with you that it is beyond pathetic to de-list them. I live in Fremont County in Wyoming and there have been 1020 tags sold so far, at only $18. I have thought about purchasing my limit (as I am not a hunter not intend to become one), intentionally to save a wolf if possible. I feel this fall the wolf population will nearly be slaughtered. Ironically, I have a very different opinion of Grizzly Bears.

      • avatar Natusha says:

        *nor* intend to become one

      • avatar jon says:

        Wow, a pro-wolf advocate that lives in a place like Fremont County. The people where you live, do they all hate wolves? Are there any others that you know that live in FC that think wolves have a place in Wyoming?

        • avatar Natusha says:

          Most people in Fremont County are avid hunters of Elk, Deer, and Antelope. Many have bumper stickers stating, ‘Kill a wolf save a heard of elk.’ They truly believe the wolves are killing off too many Elk each year. I feel the wolves are helping/protecting both the future generations of elk and even the hunters. Wolves typically go after the weak or sick in the heard. Thus helping the strong survive for a healthier stronger heard for the next generations. Also, the hunters most likely will not get the sick or older elk as their meat source for the year. In my personal opinion I would rather know that the elk/deer killed by a hunter, was healthy and not diseased. The ranchers used to complain about how many cattle/sheep they have had killed, but know the government helps them with their financial losses. Not to mention, for the most part, the ranchers place their livestock on BLM lands for the summer and fall. They don’t have to tend to them with hay because they are free range. Sadly, very few here are Pro Wolf. I don’t mean to be derogatory, but many are closed minded.

          • avatar jon says:

            That lends further proof that those that are most hostile towards wolves are hunters/ranchers. You are never going to change those people’s minds. To them, a good wolf is a dead wolf. It’s attitudes like these that is the reason why many fight so hard to protect wolves. If these people had their way, wolves would be eradicated all over again. I don’t blame certain groups for filing lawsuits.

  9. avatar louise kane says:

    Leslie
    very aptly described as this is what we are seeing in wolf hunters. “I will see hundreds of hunters up here with only a wolf tag in their pocket, with a meanness of spirit and a hardness of heart.”
    I believe the pups that will go through their first hunting season will be less then 6 months old. Its a sick sick twisted turn of events for wolves once they were delisted. They need protection or they will never be more than fragmented groups of animals on the run from the traps, snares, bullets and arrows that are constantly aimed at them. A shameful time in our history with corrupt politicians at the helm hiding behind a corrupt brokered deal from the start that abrogated the key provisions of the ESA, by making it ok to kill wolves for ranchers.

  10. avatar timz says:

    You all remember this when you go vote to re-elect obummer.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      timz,

      As much as you dislike Obama, would it have been any better with the Angry old man and Caribou Barbie? Next on that slate is Spineless And Tells no lies. Pray tell, but JHC in your hindsight would things have been better, or will they improve with Obama alternatives this go round?

      • avatar RobertR says:

        Caribou Barbie would have been a modern day Theadore Roooselvelt who started wildlife conservation and I think that scared some.
        If it was not for Roosevelt we would not have the game and fish we have today.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          “Caribou Barbie would have been a modern day Theadore Roooselvelt who started wildlife conservation and I think that scared some.”

          Robert, I think this statement is incredible, and there were quite a few things about this woman that were frightening!

          • avatar louise kane says:

            wow – I guess if you think Caribou Barbie is a conservationist then MR and PR don’t scare you and that is truly frightening.

          • avatar Salle says:

            RobertR,

            Wow, with a “w” at both ends.

            (Maybe you could try changing the channel from FuxNews for just a little while…?)

          • avatar Robert R says:

            I am going to retract my statement of calling Sarah Palin (caribou barbie)because I don’t think it’s fair calling some a name behind there back no matter there views.
            My comparison between Sarah and Roosevelt is what it is and far as the video of Sarah goes it’s just a political sound bite.
            Before we judge others we should judge our selves.

        • avatar JB says:

          Watch this video of Sarah Palin’s hunt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW0Xx4DXkYk

          Do you honestly believe this woman would have been a “modern day Theodore Roosevelt”?

          • avatar Salle says:

            JB,

            Thanks for posting that. It exemplifies a number of points I made in our debate the other day.

            Of course, now she sees herself as a bona-fide expert. It also qualifies her in the minds of her followers because it was on TeeVee.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            JHC, what a Teddy Roosevelt. I forgot all about that video.

            Dad, does it kick?
            Dad, should I get it now?
            How many times does Dad rechamber another round?
            Switch guns…
            This one kicks says Dad.

            Scope/sights off? Supposed to know what your gun can do.

            She had her 15 whatever of fame. Thank the gods she’s all but a sorry footnote that has acted as a piece of lint and blown away into her own insignificant oblivion. Teddy Roosevelt???

          • avatar JB says:

            I think that video tells you everything you need to know about Sarah Palin…what was it 5 missed shots? Couldn’t chamber a round for herself, and she clearly hadn’t discharged that weapon before (“does it kick?”); or if she had, she didn’t remember it.

            And sorry, but a Republican now would be a disaster–especially a multimillionaire that pays 14% in taxes and thinks he still deserves a tax break.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              And as jon allude to the illustrious Michelle Bachmann who commented that Obama earns too much money to relate to the common man. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

    • avatar Salle says:

      timz,

      The big problem there is that it will be like this on steroids with the alternative in office. I live in Mo-ville, there is no compassion… only the entitled hegemony of exceptionalism. All predators will be hunted and killed for the sake of that sense of entitlement that certain humans thrive on and expect. And it will be a national edict, including the privatization of all public lands once the self-appointed entitled “stewards” take over.

      It’s not that I’m not severely disappointed in what has been taking place in the manner of policy regarding wildlife and our public lands and biosphere with this administration, it’s that I know with certainty that the alternative is far worse than any of us might venture to imagine. Try to picture fracking in Yellowstone. I plan on voting, even if I have to hold my nose while doing so because I can stand by and watch my world be sold to the highest bidder without objecting.

      I hear thunder from a big storm coming closer, have to get offline and shut down… (I’m sure there will be some bad fires from this one come tomorrow.) With any luck there will be more rain than lightning.

      • avatar Salle says:

        Oops, that would be can’t stand by…

        nytol

      • avatar timz says:

        So your saying vote for someone who’s a proven fraud and imcompetent, failed to live up to every promise he made, ran an administration fraught with corruption because of what you “expect” the other guy might do. No wonder the country is circling the bowl like a turd in the toilet.

        • avatar louise kane says:

          Its not what we expect the other guy will do, its what he says he will do and its worse then the alternative.

        • avatar Salle says:

          timz,

          Not at all. In fact, by what your comment implies you are assuming that he had all the responsibility to single-handedly enact all policy that he proposed during his campaign and into his term in office. This is not the case and anyone who has any knowledge of how our governing bodies are instructed to function would know that.

          If you look back at what Congress has done throughout the entirety of the current administration, you will find that that legislative body of the federal government has made it their mission to defeat every policy proposed by this president for reasons of social, political and racial bias. They have acted in their own interests and not that of the people whom they have sworn to represent, which is illegal in it’s most elementary aspects… for starters. They have acted like spoiled-rotten adolescents in a prolonged temper tantrum by not doing a goddamned thing for we the people and only in the interest of fascist, monied patrons who shower them with money and unmitigated power to screw us and further enrich only themselves and their patrons. Please think this over, they play on the ignorance they have designed, by way of gutting our education system and other atrocities like favor the bankster class and crooks like Mr. Bain Capital Investments in every action they take. Look around you, Obama didn’t create this mess, Congress and their monied buddies did this in a pogrom that has been in the works for years before Obama ever took office as a Senator.

          I will vote for this current president who has attempted to fulfill his campaign promises and has been slammed into a brick wall of temper-tantrum inspired opposition at every turn. They openly admitted this many times! It’s one of their claims to fame. And I feel that he has traitors in his Cabinet (Like Kenny-boy whom I am certain was given his position as a compromise that turned out to be a stab in the back instead) and other offices who were embedded by the Bu$hites before he took his oath of office.

          Therefore, I will vote for him in hopes that he can enact a house-cleaning in the Executive branch and I hope that more of the voting public have the same set of realizations and vote the rest of the temper-tantrum Congress out of office so that we can make a concerted attempt at gaining back the power of we the (noncorporate) people-we need to do a thorough house-cleaning by voting the bastards out (and that includes the State government drones as well).

          And then, of course, is the SCOTUS which is a problem for we the people as well, and which we have to live with until the president in the next term will have the opportunity to select new members for… a duty I think I’d rather have the current Constitutional Law specialist in office perform than Mr. “…corporations are people, my friend!”. We already have a few of those in that station and they need to be ousted asap. I surely don’t trust Mr. Bain to do anything of the sort.

          That’s why I will vote for Obama, even if he hasn’t enacted the policies I wanted. I honestly don’t want to see what would happen if he doesn’t get a second term… bad as it seems at present.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Salle and timz,

            Having faith in politicians is like have faith you won’t get bit if you try and pet a wild mink.

            However, since the Reagan days, I have had complete loss of faith in republicans as representatives of the masses of people of this country. This was only reinforced after the midterm elections when Mitch McConnell said the next thing on our agenda is to defeat Obama. No stupid! It is to represent the people of this country.

            I remember a comment by “W” when the R’s had both houses of congress. “I’ve got the political capital, and I intend to spend it.” He sure did, and Obama has been buried by this his entire adm. His fault was trying to work with the republicans, who have been obstructionists to his every move.

          • avatar Virginia says:

            Thanks for this well thought out and rational opinion on the current president and his worse than we can even imagine opponent. There are many things President Obama has done that I am not happy about, but the thought of mittens rmoney in that office terrifies me. Obama has had to deal with unimaginable pressures from all sides and a tea party congress full of wackos, including our own Cynthia Lummis. My heart is heavy today for the wolves and coyotes as well, and all of the creatures that are only trying to survive under extremely difficult circumstances. It alarms me the way many people are trending and trying to take our country back to the 18th century where guns speak the loudest. Whatever happened to peace and harmony?

            • avatar Salle says:

              Virginia,

              I think that the “peace and harmony” thing was deemed a drug-induced ideal and was promptly run over by tanks full of money.

            • avatar timz says:

              “Whatever happened to peace and harmony?”

              The same thing that happened to “hope and change”

            • avatar JB says:

              “‘Whatever happened to peace and harmony?’ The same thing that happened to ‘hope and change'”.

              Any hope of change (i.e., changing the tone in Washington DC) was ended during Obama’s first week in office, when Mitch McConnell boldly asserted that the number one priority of the Republican party was ensuring that Obama was not re-elected. And so they opposed everything he did, including his move to the center and offer of the SAME HEALTH CARE PLAN that a few years before the Republicans had devised (which is essentially the SAME HEALTH CARE PLAN they passed under Romney). Why? Because the specifics of the plan didn’t/don’t matter to them, what mattered was making sure that Obama couldn’t claim any victory.

              The Republicans just spent the past 4 years trying to prevent the government from doing anything (except fighting wars) and are now running around telling everyone that government can’t work. They’re right! The federal government can’t work–when it is full of Republicans.

            • avatar timz says:

              JB, another Obama apologist

            • avatar Salle says:

              JB,

              Thanks for trying to make the point in simpler terms for simpler minds, apparently some aren’t willing or, perhaps able, to smell the house on fire while standing next to it smoking… something.

              Peace and harmony would be great… if that’s what everyone wanted. Unfortunately, some find that the rush they get from hate and anger is what they want instead, which requires its perpetuation no matter how it’s accomplished. The current Republican House is a primary case in point.

            • avatar JB says:

              timz:

              I have never apologized for Obama’s decisions, nor have I given him a free pass on any issue–especially environmental issues. My letter to the White House expressing my disapproval of Salazar was sent the day the announcement of the appointment was made. However, I also understand that my views are not the only views that the President is concerned with. You seem to think that people should only “hire” someone to the job of President if that person represents their views completely? If this were the case, we would all vote for ourselves, and no one else. The fact is we have 300 million people all with varying opinions and the President’s job is to represent–and direct–these divergent views to the best of his/her ability. Thus, while I am frustrated that Obama isn’t ‘like me’ on issues of public lands management, I applaud his dogged support of renewable energy, and efforts to increase CAFE standards (i.e., energy policy). Likewise, in contrast to G.W. Bush, who seemed to revel in rubbing the other sides’ nose in their losses (i.e., spending “political capital”), I can appreciate the President’s efforts to compromise on issues in order to please a majority.

              The Republican Party’s platform is now one that fundamentally rejects government, yet we know that government does many things well. The expansion of government that came about as the result of the “New Deal” contributed to an increase in wealth in the middle class, cleaner air and water, safer food and drugs, and in increase in life expectancy and overall well-being. Today’s Republican Party would throw all that away to please a small, vocal minority of Americans. Their ‘no compromise’ policy is the fundamental problem with government right now.

          • avatar timz says:

            “This is not the case and anyone who has any knowledge of how our governing bodies are instructed to function would know that.”

            thanks for the civic lesson but your full of %^*&&. he had complete control for 2 years, he managed to ram health care thru despite the “tea party”. The fraud, lies and corruption started from the beginning with lousy cabinet appointments, including a blatant tax cheat, recyling all the same old wall street fat cats back to Treasury that bilked this country’s people for millions. Funny how every one wants to talk about Bain and turn a blind eye to the corruption of this administration. Running guns to drug dealers in Mexico,and scoffing at Congress trying to investigate.
            Make no mistake I don’t like Romney and will not vote for him but I don’t care who is running against him, Obama simply does not deserve to be president for 4 more years. Based on his last campaign statements he as much as said the very same thing.

            • avatar jon says:

              Timz, I don’t like Obama either, but it’s him or Romney or not voting. Did anyone see Bill Clinton’s speech last night? Amazing.

            • avatar Mark L says:

              So I guess my question is:
              Who do you trust less?
              BO? The Feds?
              MR? STATE GOVERNMENTS?
              “What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?”
              I guess EVERY election is now a local election, even if you can’t vote in it.

            • avatar timz says:

              “Thanks for trying to make the point in simpler terms for simpler minds, apparently some aren’t willing or, perhaps able, to smell the house on fire while standing next to it smoking… something.”

              It’s the simple-minds who don’t seem to understand there isn’t a dimes worth of difference in today’s America between a Democrat and Republican, except perhaps how they go about their dirty work. We lost the war on the wolf and other environmental issues in large part because all the people counted on, the courts, Obama administration, and the Democrats failed us. Yet most come on here and spend all their time bashing the other side, when the goal should be to rid us of them all.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Louise,

            I posted Taibi’s Romney/Bain article a week or two ago somewhere on the blog. My point is this, I am sure your social networking skills far surpass mine, and I think as many people as possible should read this article to see what an unscrupulous prick Romney was/is.

            I’m not for social handouts, but those “little folks” who’ve worked for the government or big corporations are in for a real surprise if this “raider” gets elected. His father’s company made his father wealthy, and all those who worked for him prospered. Old Mitt on the other hand made wealth for himself,Bain, and the executives they bought off. This man has no moral compass to represent the “people” of our country.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              OOOPs sorry Immer
              The threads get so long if you go away for even a day you’ll miss or duplicate something

              I agree with everyhting you’ve said and hope that those that are dissillusioned (like myself) with The Obama administration will carefuly consider the alternative before not voting or choosing a far greater evil.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Louise,

              No apologies! The more people who read this article the better!

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Take care out there – hoping for lots of rain!

      • avatar louise kane says:

        Thanks Salle my sentiments exactly.

  11. avatar WM says:

    So “conservation groups” will sue over the delisting. This should be interesting.

    Query whether there are colorable legal arguments over the WY delisting decision (which is pretty much the numbers of the original reintroduction plan, but a spatial twist for WY which has already received the stamp of a federal trial court judge more or less, though they do not have the protection of the Congressional rider as do ID and MT), or whether this is just another tactic to keep wolves in the spotlight and spin the argument that there are not enough wolves.

    Can’t wait to see the allegations of the lawsuit – the standard is a high one, to allege FWS/Interior’s decision was arbitrary and capricious. One can hardly say there are not enough wolves on the ground to meet ESA requirements, as they expand range to the west into OR and WA, even with aggressive control/harvest to ensure genetic diversity and connectivity. And, where will they file the suit?

    • avatar WM says:

      This from the CBD statement on the delisting:

      “As with the rest of the northern Rockies, today’s decision to remove protections for Wyoming’s wolves flies in the face of all the best research that’s been done in recent years,” said Greenwald. “Just in the short time we’ve allowed wolves to return — in limited numbers — and reclaim their natural ecological role, they’ve quickly demonstrated they’re an irreplaceable keystone species. By limiting the amount of time elk spend along rivers, their presence has led to major improvements in streamside vegetation and water quality, benefiting fish, insects, birds, beavers and a broad range of other species.”

      Interesting statement, because the science actually appears not to be conclusive on these points (especially outside Yellowstone NP), yet, according to some scientists who are not ready to jump on the Ripple and Brescha band wagon of “tropic cascade.” Dr. Mech is one of them.

      • avatar elk275 says:

        “”By limiting the amount of time elk spend along rivers, their presence has led to major improvements in streamside vegetation and water quality, benefiting fish, insects, birds, beavers and a broad range of other species.””

        Interesting I have never seen elk on river bottoms except in Yellowstone National Park. River bottoms outside of Yellowstone National Park are private property and are either subdivided or hay meadows in the summer and cattle pasture in the winters. This is something that is not going to change.

      • avatar louise kane says:

        WM so is Mech’s paper now the basis for a convenient counter argument to the claim that wolves benefit ecosystems. Its not unexpected that this paper can now be used against keeping wolves listed or in furthering their right to be protected because they are intrinsically and biologically beneficial to their ecosystems. Like Salle said, I question its purpose

  12. avatar JB says:

    Wyoming made several regulatory changes (discussed in the Rule) that make wolves’ removal more palatable, and buttress the Rule against (at least some) legal challenges.

    To WM’s point (above), I can envision a return to the “significant portion of its range” issue, citing wolves’ predator status in the majority of Wyoming as a potential impediment for wolves throughout a huge (geographic) portion of their historic range. However, FWS is in a stronger position on this front since they established a rule for interpreting the phrase.

    I think the practical implications of allowing Wyoming to keep the predator status are much more problematic. How many hours do you think will pass before some congressmen in Idaho and Montana start efforts to assign predator/nuisance status to wolves in southern Idaho and eastern Montana?

  13. avatar Mtn Mamma says:

    I am camping in the Lamar and the Lamar Canyon Pack have been putting on some good shows for the tourists and wolf groupies. While watching them yesterday, I took the Freedom of Speech Liberty that is mine to announce the Wyoming Delisting to all those gleefully oblivious folks.Not to be a loud mouth buzz killer but to be a voice for those critters about to be slaughtered. If anyone out there had any knowledge about the political pawn that has been assigned to wolves they did not speak up. Of course those present who are on the federal payroll are prohibited from speaking truth unless they would like to lose their job.

    • avatar Salle says:

      Thanks for speaking up. I hope it got some folks to engage in thinking about that very topic and what it really means.

      • avatar louise kane says:

        Yes thank you for speaking up, its one of my beliefs that most people don’t know that wolves and other wildlife are hunted, trapped, snared, poisoned and killed for sport or to benefit special interest groups and if they did they would not be supportive. if JB or anyone knows of any studies done on this, I’d love to see them. But this is what it will take, people hearing it from others. That and seeing it as awful as it is.

        • avatar JB says:

          Louise:

          Off the top of my head, I can think of two recent studies that have asked specifically about public support for hunting of wolves. Our study in Utah found support for hunting, though this data was not published in the peer-reviewed literature. Adrian Treves (out of Wisconsin) also found support for wolf hunting among Wisconsin residents; however, they found that support was conditional on a variety of factors.

          I only have a moment, but if memory serves, those data are here:

          Treves, A., and K.A. Martin. 2011. Hunters as stewards of wolves in Wisconsin and the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Society and Natural Resources 24:984-994.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Mtn Mamma,

      You are right to do this, in my opinion. As you say, government employees cannot speak. The public is often so uninformed. I do get irritated sometimes to see people enjoying great beauty, splendid recreation, wildlife, either by observation, photography or hunting, and yet not knowing how it all came to be protected and what the present threats to it are.

      I thought that at the Idaho Wildlife Summit recently one of the best things was the history of conservation that was given. The reaction of the crowd shows most of them liked it. About half didn’t know about and were happy to get the knowledge.

  14. avatar S. Eren says:

    If the rescindment of wolf protection is to be overturned, the livestock farmers of Wyoming should consider looking into the acquisition of Kangal Dogs. Kangal dogs (often mistakenly labeled as Anatolian Shepherds or Kurdish Kangal dogs) are an ancient Turkish breed renowned and respected for their instinctive ability to guard livestock against the threat of vicious wolf attacks. These extra large breed dogs are so well-suited to their job that a program was designed to export them to parts of Africa where cheetah attacks on livestock are common, such that the Kangals protect livestock against the cat attacks. Thereby surpassing the need to allow farmers to openly poach this very rare African predator. For more information on this magnificent breed visit the national club website at: http://kangalclub.com/

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      S. Eren,

      Thank you for the information on Kangal dogs. Livestock protection animals are an interesting topic, and other kinds of dogs are deployed with varying success throughout Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Great Pyrenees are the most common.

      The problem of hostility toward wolves, is however, not really due to loss of livestock. That is very apparent to me after having followed the issue since 1995. The amount of livestock lost is trivial, usually compensated for, and at the level of the individual producer the losses are small enough that a person with perhaps $150,000 of disposable income could, if they wanted to, compensate all the livestock losses in the state of Wyoming.

      The hostility is cultural. The wolf represents a government action taken in direct opposition to the desires of a group of people who are very used to having their way politically when it comes to wildlife. Every dead lamb or calf tells them they lost a big battle. Every wolf killed in response, or for some other reasons tells them they are gaining back lost ground. This is why even the best animal, including breeds of dogs that would deter wolves, is in Wyoming and related states mostly irrelevant.

      • avatar louise kane says:

        Ralph you wrote
        “The hostility is cultural. The wolf represents a government action taken in direct opposition to the desires of a group of people who are very used to having their way politically when it comes to wildlife. Every dead lamb or calf tells them they lost a big battle. Every wolf killed in response, or for some other reasons tells them they are gaining back lost ground. This is why even the best animal, including breeds of dogs that would deter wolves, is in Wyoming and related states mostly irrelevant.”

        Would you agree then that because of this cultural bias that wolves and other predators should have federal protection unless and until these states can really demonstrate a shift in their thinking and approach toward managing these animals. Its hard to imagine this shift without major educational campaigns, a no tolerance policy of killing and poaching and the swift certain and severe punishment for poaching and the sss mentality. The ESA needs to be inclusive enough to include in the definition that threats to a species should encompass cultural bias and hate that represent a real threat to a species recovery and before delsiting that the liklihood of a a return to policies that brought a species to a threatened or endangered status to begin with are not a factor. Montana, Idaho, Wisconsin and Wyoming wolves would be relisted pretty damn quick.

    • avatar SAP says:

      Kangals are indeed very impressive dogs. There is at least one breeder here in Montana.

      Starting a livestock guarding dog (LGD) program is a big commitment. The dogs have to be part of an integrated approach to risk reduction. I am sure you get this, but it bears repeating: we can’t just add LGDs, or range riders, or fladry, or other tools, to an inherently poor model of livestock management.

      The poor model can be extremely profitable in a predator or rustler free environment. Cattle just wandering around with very little labor input required to keep them going. This is not a setting that will be conducive to the use of LGDs — the dogs would be too spread out guarding little bunches of livestock here and there, while the rest of the stock are unprotected elsewhere.

      To be successful in wolf country, I think LGDs have to work in packs of their own. If the livestock are too scattered, then the dogs may not be able to work as a pack. If the livestock are somewhat concentrated, they’ll need to be moved to new pastures frequently — more labor.

      The additional labor actually can have a lot of other payoffs, such as greatly improved range conditions, better livestock health (illnesses are detected and remedied promptly), as well as potentially reducing predation.

      Ralph is dead-on with his analysis, though. This is not a question of $$, or of technical solutions for reducing predation risk. Many many people would see ANY adaptation to the presence of wolves as waving a surrender flag, even if the alternative is continuing to play the victim. There are a few bright spots here and there, and we’re finding a number of younger ranchers who are willing to adapt. But some 17 years into this “experiment,” there’s still a lot of cutting-off-one’s-nose-to-spite-one’s-face going on.

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      LPDs can certainly be a component of depredation management, but there is a significant cost burden – upwards of $1000 annually per dog (Gehring, et al, 2010). And then there’s the problem of getting them to bond with cows – a painstaking process that sometimes just doesn’t “take”.

      For cow/ calf operations here in the WGL region, donkeys are the more popular and more effective choice.

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        A few years back there was a certain big red mule that would never let wolves anywhere near ” his” cattle and horses at the 7 D Ranch in Sunlight Basin in northwest Wyoming. The 7D winterkeepers even had a few pregnant heifers and calved them there. That’s the litmus test of guard animals.

  15. avatar Kitty says:

    Yesterday I drove through the rancher’s and saw the dozen sheep loose from the fence and the Great Pyrenees guide them around on the road, then I see the rancher and point at other side road the sheep out of fence! He said thanks.. And took job of it so quickly.. Great Pyrenees are Amazing!

  16. avatar Alan Gregory says:

    Hah. As if things in wild nature work differently all because of a political boundary line. You’re either in Wyoming or? This brings to mind the Four Corners intersection in the Southwest, where tourists can, if they try hard enough, get their photo snapped as they lie inside four states at one time.

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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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