Wolf “06”, the alpha female of the Yellowstone’s Lamar Canyon Pack has been shot in Wyoming by a hunter.

Wolf “06” was probably the most famous wolf in Yellowstone and had been viewed by thousands of Park visitors.  She was also part of the ongoing study of wolves that has been conducted in Yellowstone since the time they were reintroduced in 1995.  So far there have been 8 collared Yellowstone wolves killed this year and an unknown number of uncollared Yellowstone wolves have likely been killed as well.

The ongoing study of wolves and their interactions with other species is responsible for the huge amount of information gained since the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone and Central Idaho.  The number of collared wolves lost to the hunt in the surrounding parts of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming could only be described as crippling to understanding the role that wolves play in the ecosystem.  The wolves in Yellowstone also draw millions of tourist dollars to the area each year.

Several conservation groups have petitioned to ask that a buffer zone be created around Yellowstone National Park so that wolves that primarily use Yellowstone National Park have some level of protection when they move out of its boundaries.

This article says 832F was the most famous wild wolf in the world! She is on the cover of American Scientist.

– – –
Update Dec. 8: The New York Times now has an article on the killing of this famous wolf. ‘Famous’ Wolf Is Killed Outside Yellowstone. By Nate Schweber.
Update Dec. 10Mourning an Alpha Female By Nate Schweber. New York Times.

We could put links to a number of  international media who are covering it in less detail. A web search is best, however.

 
avatar
About The Author

Ken Cole

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

330 Responses to Yet another collared, and very famous Yellowstone wolf killed in Wyoming’s hunt (updated)

  1. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    In one of the short news stories we posted on Dec. 5, the Greater Yellowstone Coalition says at least 3 uncollared Park wolves have been killed.

    • avatar Kim Bean says:

      This is the information that we have as well. I know that the Becklar Pack lost a pup in the south, not sure if in WY or in ID. The 8 mile pack lost a pack member as well. I don’t know if they are considering them a “park wolf” at this time or not. I will need to verify this.

  2. avatar Mark L says:

    Wolves=taliban?
    Curious if alphas are more likely to die than ones below, even if fewer in number. Seems to work better on wolves than coyotes too.

  3. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    This should not come as a surprise, and it was done with the blessing of the DOI. I don’t know if a buffer zone is the answer anymore.

  4. avatar Ken Cole says:

    I’m beginning to wonder if hunters are being aided by telemetry equipment. The ratio of collared to uncollared wolves seems very high.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Ken,

      The ratio of population to collared wolves in Yellowstone is quite high, there are more wolves collared in the Yellowstone packs then any other packs in the tri-state area.

      So it would only stand to reason, the wolves that leave Yellowstone and killed are going to have a higher percentage of collared wolves.

      To think otherwise is pure speculation that hunters have the telemetry as well as the frequencies.

      • avatar Ken Cole says:

        It’s possible to find collared wolves without knowing the exact frequencies. I know, because I’ve done it.

        There was a posting to an anti-wolf site a couple of years ago where someone was telling people where to go and how to do it. Because of that posting, and my subsequent complaint to the IDFG, hunting using the aid of telemetry was made specifically illegal by the IDFG commission.

        You are right that it is speculation but, it is not unreasonable to think that it could be happening. Just look at the xylitol suggestions people have made.

        • avatar Ken Cole says:

          I learned that about 20% of the Yellowstone wolves have radio collars. Out of the 12 Yellowstone wolves killed this year 8, or 66% of them had collars. It doesn’t seem representative, especially when you look at what happened in the Idaho hunt last year. There didn’t seem to be a preference toward killing collared wolves.

          I know this is complete speculation but…..

          • avatar Kim Bean says:

            Ken,
            There are 9 YNP wolf packs., 5 packs have lost at least one pack member. There are 19 collared wolves in the entire park, 7 of them are in the northern range. To my calculations, 754M. 06F (Lamar Canyon Pack) 823F (Junction Butte Pack) 829F Blacktail Pack) and 824M Mollies Pack) were all living in the northern range… That is 5 of 7 collars lost to hunting.

        • avatar Gail says:

          I saw that website – disgusting – and the last time I checked it, about two weeks ago…it was still up! I was told it was reported but apparently the owner who dispensed the heinous “instruction” doesn’t care if wild canids or some hiking person’s domestic dogs are killed. It is unconscionable.

          • avatar Jeff Hull says:

            Gail, can you verify that you saw that site and lead me to it. I’m a reporter for Outside Magazine’s web site doing a story on the deaths of collared wolves outside of Yellowstone and I would very much like to verify that in fact that is or was a site where hunters were informed how to track collared wolves. Thank you for your quick reply.

        • avatar Kim Bean says:

          Just go to radio shack…

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        Savbears— little reported was the fact that Wyoming Game and Fish went on a ” collaring binge” in the months leading up to the hunt. They tried to get as many VHF collars into every known pack as they could.

        Of course they would say if asked ( they weren’t) this was done for research purposes and for better monitoring, but I suspect those collars are beacons for blasters as well. An awful lot of handheld VHF police scanners were recently orphaned when the law enforcement agencies used their Hoemland defense grants to buy new digital software radios that frequency hop and are scrambled, obsoleting the older sanncers. Which can now be set to scan for any chirps in the immediate area. Wag the antenna back and forth and you can pretty quickly determine which direction the signal is coming from, and judge strength. Local terrain will bounce the signal around but you can still ballpark a collar with almost any generic VHF-UHF storebought scanner.

        High probability this has in fact been done in the field by Joe Wolfblaster. Even though it is illegal to do anything like this for purposes of hunting any species. You can guess how strict the enforcement will be. It’s Wyoming.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Cody,

          We are talking about wolves that resided or have resided in Yellowstone, I was under the impression that they majority of collars used in the park for wolves are actually GPS collars. But I could be mistaken, just some information I heard along the way somewhere.

          • avatar Kristi says:

            GPS collars are much more expensive than radio collars, most have/had radio collars. At least one in WY has not yet been returned, Lamar Canyon 754M.

    • avatar Connie says:

      I have suspected this all along.

    • avatar timz says:

      All collaring in Yellowstone (and everywhere else for that matter) should cease immediately in case this is in fact happening.

      • avatar Jon Way says:

        So then what Timz. Wolves start disappearing and we don’t know what happened to them?

        SB,
        only 2 or so wolves are collared per pack so this number is starting to get pretty high of collared vs. uncollared since 2/3 of wolves in Yellowstone are not collared…

        • avatar Leslie says:

          Jon, if that is so, then I would say that’s the same ratio as the outside the park packs in WY, collared for tracking and counting vs. study.

        • avatar timz says:

          I certainly would rather have them disappear and hope for the best than having them as sitting ducks with collars on them.

  5. avatar Tom says:

    Has anyone seen a press release? I have some friends who are saying that this is a bogus claim.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      I’ve been told by a reliable source that this is, in fact, true.

    • avatar Mtn Mamma says:

      Yes it is true. She was killed about 15 miles outside of the park, in the same area her Beta male 754 was killed. Her collar is in the mail back to the Wolf Project. Really wish it was bogus and that she was safe and sound with all her pups somewhere. But sadly she is gone.

      • avatar Mtn Mamma says:

        She was the 8th wolf killed in that quota area. Therefore the area is now closed. I hate to throw any wolf under the bus but if could have been any but her…..

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Mtn Mamma,

          I know this wolf was beloved, but she was beloved because she was known and studied. Isn’t it just as tragic that other wolves are being killed as trophies. They all carried on their lives as did she, as members of a family with relationships, having noticeable personality quirks, charisma, and individual beauty. Americans just do not see the deaths of these other more expendable wolves. It is terrible she was killed, but its equally as terrible to think of the others languishing in traps, choking to death and being stalked for trophies. The disruption to the family structure of wolf packs must be devastating. Its devastating to think about the big picture in all the places that wolves exist.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            having said that I agree its profoundly sad to loose this wolf who was so beloved and watched by the world. How many people traveled the world to come see this wolf and her family; how much data did she provide…. she was killed for short money to put a trophy on someone’s wall or to provide a war story.

            • avatar Mtn Mamma says:

              Louise, My advocation for life goes far beyond wolves in YNP. Your narrow perception of me is inaccurate- my empathy and passion for life extends to all parts of the ecosystem. Last night as I was riding my bike home from work (in the dark and cold, because I care about the carbon footprint I will leave behind). I came across a skunk that had been hit and killed. I stopped and said a prayer for the skunk and was sorry that it died this way. 06 was an ambassador for those unseen and unknown wolves you speak of. Having ambassadors for wolves is important, it can brisng awarenss and motivation to change the paradigm of hate that is responsible for the destruction of these species.

        • avatar Leslie says:

          my area, area 2 which borders the east side of YNP. Wolves regularly travel into and out of the park there and repopulate in either direction. Much of that is wilderness area

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        She was killed about 15 miles outside of the park, in the same area her Beta male 754 was killed.

        It sounds like they are just being baited and/or lured. This is just so disrespectful – they have the audacity to mail the collar back like that. But, I’m not surprised at all.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          How does one go about relisting them?

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Ida,

            How should they follow the law and return the collar? As long at the collar is returned so the data can be retrieve and the collar reprogrammed, they have followed the guidelines.

            The only way they will be relisted is if the minimum numbers are reach, which none of the states in the region is in danger of that.

            Lets see 15 miles, baiting or lured, come on Ida, you can’t tell me that is just a bit of a stretch…

            • avatar WM says:

              Anyone have any idea at all how many acres would be included in say a 15-20 mile buffer around Yellowstone NP?

              I haven’t done the calculation but, it would be absolutely huge. The Park including Teton has got to be something like 50 miles wide, and maybe 80 miles long (just a wild guess). So circumscribing this rectangle with a 15 mile buffer (expanding 15 miles, to the north, south, east and west) would make it 80 miles wide by 110 long. This would be roughly double the size of the Parks, and likely include lots of elk habitat the state agencies would like to manage wolves for. If they couldn’t shoot or trap ANY wolves in that area, it would be unacceptable.

              There is no way any of the three states would go for a buffer zone that big.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++There is no way any of the three states would go for a buffer zone that big.++

                They won’t have a choice. We’re already getting to the point where the feds are going to step in.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Mike you seem to think the Feds have the all encompassing power, they don’t, you will see a fight that will last for decades.

                I served the Federal government for over 26 years of my life, but the only reason, is because I knew have have states, if you want to throw your trust behind the Fed, then I suggest you leave our country of individuality.

                When it comes to these issues, I will fight against my former employer.

              • avatar Leslie says:

                Well, depends. This is a big wilderness area. I live on a dirt road, where you drive about 15 miles directly west, maybe 20 (ATV road really), then hike 5 miles into the Park. Most is wilderness. You end up in the Hoodoo area at the end of the Lamar Valley.

                This wolf could have traveled west, then south-west and still be in wilderness, rugged country, not far from the Park. Or the wolf could have been not too far from the tiny town of Crandall where lots of people want to shoot wolves and that’s area 2 as well.

              • avatar Leslie says:

                If they just buffered a lot of the wilderness areas around the Park, that would be pretty good.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++Mike you seem to think the Feds have the all encompassing power, they don’t, you will see a fight that will last for decades.++

                They do, SB. And they just released the wolves from it. They can take them, back, too. It’s called the ESA.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Mike,

                The only way they can invoke the ESA again, is if the populations levels go below a certain level, which was stated in the delisting documentation.

                Currently, none of the states involved have even begun to approach those levels.

                As far as the Feds having the all encompassing power, in this day and age, that is no longer true.

                IE: Washington State and Colorado both have passed laws making pot legal and it does not look like the Fed’s are going to anything about it.

                Those of you, that put all of your faith in the Fed’s have set yourself up for a big disappointment in the future.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Also as far as relisting, it would be pretty easy to do in Wyoming, but it is going to take Congress to do it in Montana and Idaho, remember that no Judicial Review that was upheld by the 9th, it would have to go to the supreme court before you would see any movement on Montana and Idaho.

              • avatar WM says:

                SB,

                Wolves would be relisted for the NRM DPS (excluding WY of course), if the population/genetic connectivity aspect falls below the 2009 FWS rule which was codified as a law under the Congressional Rider and signed President Obama in April 2011. Judicial review of the rule content (aka the law) itself is not precluded.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                WM,

                My only point is, that neither state has even come close to approaching that threshold, hence no relisting now or anytime in the future.

                I suspect if it was even attempted, the lawsuits are going to be flying. As I have predicted in the past, this issue will eventually end up in the Supreme Court.

              • avatar WM says:

                SB,

                …continuing. Just to clarify: Judicial review would be limited to rule content as against the standard for delisting/relisting and what was actually happening in the NRM DPS excluding WY. So, if either ID or MT goes below the 100/10 plus buffer in their approved Plans, then wolves could as a result of judicial review and an order of a federal judge go back on the list for the entire NRM DPS (excluding WY, which has its own rule that is currently the topic of 3 separate suits). Of course, hitting those low thresholds will never happen.

                Codification Notice of the 2009 rule:
                http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/05-05-2011-Federal-Register_NRM-Direct-Final-Rule.pdf

                The 2009 NRM DPS rule (excluding WY)
                http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/74FR15123.pdf

              • avatar Savebears says:

                WM,

                I am very familiar with the documentation on this issue as I said, neither state is even close to the thresholds to consider relisting.

                So the talk of being close to relisting, is just that, talk.

              • avatar WM says:

                SB,

                I know you are familiar with this stuff. Just included the references so those who are not (and who are motivated enough) could read it. Some here just keep rewriting the history of this, including the core ESA obligation.

                WY now has three separate suits pending on its rule the most recent just filed yesterday (12/7) in Washington DC by HSUS (that is the second DC suit, plus one in Denver).

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              15-20 miles isn’t much at all – a 20 min. drive for me. I don’t think it would be much of a buffer zone either.

              I know it is all nice and legal, but I’m sure it is done as a parting shot sometimes too. Trophy, fish story, or done just to be mean and send a message, it stinks.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                The only reason I say this is that I have seen the posted signs, the bodies hanging from pickups, the threats, the cruel videos.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Ida,

                I would only hope to have the car you drive in these conditions! Yikes!

              • avatar Gail says:

                I agree with you: I think they ARE trying to be “mean”. And as much as I like to see them expose their psychopathy on their websites, i think they feel empowered by our responses. After all, “we are LEGAL!” I hope they get to eat their words someday soon. Too, why is it not ILLEGAL for anyone to shoot a collare animal? Wolf, coyote, cougar. If they can’t see the collar, then they shouldn’t pull the trigger. There is time and money – maybe taxpayer’s – vested in these studies and it should NOT be legal to kill them. Seems easy enough to me. Why isn’t it being addressed?

            • avatar WM says:

              Leslie,

              ++If they just buffered a lot of the wilderness areas around the Park, that would be pretty good.++

              It would likely take a bit more thought than that, and be a bunch more complicated to administer. The critical period is from whenever the Fall hunts begin in the three respective states and progresses through the end of the season in the Spring (and yeah I know some go beyond that). Wolves most likely would be where the food is – elk at lower elevations where the browse is, and the snow is not as deep for that period. A buffer in those parts of wilderness that don’t meet that requirement probably won’t be used so much.

              One has to wonder if the respective state wildlife agencies have maps that show locations and dates of wolf kills (afterall these hunters do have to report) that might be a helpful tool.

          • avatar nabeki says:

            We will see them relisted Ida and not when their numbers are reduced to 100 or 150. The wolf hunters, in their hubris, are shooting themselves in the foot,angering wildlife advocates,as they post images of mangled, tortured wolf corpses. This is a war on wolves, pure and simple.

            What can be done can be undone!

            • avatar JB says:

              Nabeki:

              I just don’t see a scenario unfolding where that happens. What you view as atrocities to individual animals simply are not sufficient to require relisting under the ESA. I’m not trying to start an argument here, merely attempting to be realistic.

              Even if wolves were to be relisted, it would only ensure contempt for wolves (and the federal govt.) continues to fester.

              Federal legislation protecting carnivores is a possibility, but it is a long shot, and it won’t happen with the current make up of congress without tremendous public outcry.

              The best chance wolf advocates have in the short term is to work collaboratively with like-minded organizations to reduce or eliminate policies they view as the most egregiously anti-wolf.

              • avatar nabeki says:

                I hear what you’re saying JB but I’m the ultimate optimist on this. There is so much anger and outrage over what’s happening that I can see tremendous pressure being brought to bear on politicians, the feds, Interior, etc. You never know what people can accomplish.

                Take the buffer zone for example. I’m sure MT FWP phone lines burned down over 06, people from all over the world cared for that wolf, it just took a few days before they were backed into a corner and realized they had to do something. The same can happen for wolves outside the park. If a critical mass of outrage is reached and I would say it’s building to that…who knows what can happen? As I said before, what can be done, can be undone. Lions have been protected from hunting in California for two decades..whoever thought that would stick?

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          wolves roam, its not known if these wolves are being baited, they are just not safe anywhere, now.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Soon public outrage will force either a re-listing, or a buffer in national forest lands that border the parks.

            Hunters have proven in the past they are not responsible enough to “manage” wolves in the Northern Rockies, and they are doing so again.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Problem is, the “Public” is not really interested in this problem, the majority of the American populating don’t even know that wolves have been running around the NRM.

              We do, because we pay attention, the majority of the US pays attention to its pocket book and how they are going to buy Christmas presents for those they care for.

              You are so far out of the loop, I am starting to worry about your relocation, I think it is going to be a cultural surprise for you.

            • avatar WM says:

              Mike,

              ++Soon public outrage will force either a re-listing, or a buffer in national forest lands that border the parks.++

              Can you point us to the provision of the science based ESA, FWS or USFS rule which invokes this action (unless the numbers drop below the rider levels for ID and MT, and a successful legal challenge to the WY management plan)?

              Bear in mind, only WY could be relisted, while ID and MT are pretty much protected. A buffer would have to be a voluntary state game management rule provision in each state, unless the federal government looks to extend the Kleppe vs. NM Supreme Court decision as authority.
              Extending Kleppe won’t happen. Voluntary state buffer? Maybe in MT, but don’t hold your breath.

        • avatar Leslie says:

          outfitters go there because its near the park and the elk are coming down. Many of those individuals who are elk/deer hunting have wolf tags in their pockets too

        • avatar Kristi says:

          In WY it is legal to use callers or howlers to lure wolves in closer. The first wolf killed in the WY “hunt” was lured in by a caller that sounded like an elk calf or wolf pup in distress. These are illegal in MT, but verbal howling to attract wolves is legal.

      • avatar Leslie says:

        Mtn Mamma, do you have an idea where? I know the area very well.

  6. avatar Mtn Mamma says:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. avatar Kayla says:

    Now this is an interesting thought on if the hunters are using telemetry equipment. Now do wonder if this would go beyond just the Yellowstone Wolves that go outside the park Boundary. For so many of the wolf packs here in Northwest Wyoming, a number of members in the wolf packs have radio collars. I have seen a number of times the Pacific Creek Pack, the Buffalo Pack, the pack in the Thorofare, etc. How many of some of the members in these packs also have radio collars. If they are targeting the ones with the radio collars then I worry …. guess have a relationship with specific individuals after how many close encounters with them thru the years.

  8. avatar Ron Kearns says:

    Permitting the intentional, unwarranted killing of whichever research subjects—such as radio-collared wolves—is the categorical antithesis of any well-founded scientific investigation and complicit wildlife scientists/managers have disreputed themselves and thoroughly sullied their professions.

  9. avatar Mike says:

    A tremendous loss.

    Thanks for the selfishness, hunters.

  10. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Shoot the collared wolves, SSS their pack mates? Turn in the collar with your tagged wolf, and no one is the wiser?

  11. avatar Wendy Raymond says:

    A UK newspaper, has an article today – Dec 7, titled “Do You Want to be a Blogger for the Guardian?”
    They’re particularly looking for US bloggers, among others.
    Any of you current contributors would be excellent, as they want people with an articulate passion for the environment and wildlife.
    You’re all perfect!

  12. avatar Mike says:

    I don’t know about you folks, but it makes me feel better that these wolves went form the wilds of Yellowstone to a position next to Bob Smith’s Lazy-Boy. And hey, maybe they will even be used to hold an ashtray or a beer can while Bob Smith peruses the Country Music Channel.

    Nothing to see here, folks. This is not the hunter’s fault. Someone forced them at gunpoint to shoot collared Yellowstone wolves. Nothing to see here.

  13. avatar Joanne Favazza says:

    I blame Ken Salazar for this. Wyoming’s wolf “management” plan was rejected several times by USFWS because it is so detrimental to sustaining a viable wolf population. But Salazar chose to ignore sound science and approved the plan after meeting with WY Governor Mead. There are only about 320 wolves in the entire state, so this hunt is a joke. It’s all based on politics and Big Bad Wolf hysteria rather than scientific data. The irresponsible, disrespectful treatment of wolves and other wildlife has got to stop.

    • avatar WM says:

      Actually, Joanne, it is based on a 1987 Plan, a 1994 Environmental Impact Statement, the fact that WY by association with the remainder of the NRM DPS gets the benefit of the Congressional Rider, AND importantly the ruling of a federal judge in WY.

      I don’t know where you people get some of this stuff.

      • avatar Joanne Favazza says:

        WM: It’s a fact that Salazar met with Governor Mead. Wyoming Senator Barrasso was hodling up Salazar’s choice for head of USFWS, Dan Ashe. Salazar agreed to approve Wyoming’s plan in exchange for Ashe’s appointment. And it is also a fact that Wyoming’s wolf management plan was rejected several times by USFWS because it was seen as incapable of sustaining viable wolf populations. the The delisting of Northern Rockies wolves was prevented by the courts because Wyoming’s plan was so bad. It wasn’t until MT Senator Jon Tester’s rider was backhandedly inserted into a budget bill that wolves in MT and Idaho were delisted. But, Wyoming’s wolves remained on the list until the ex rancher Salazar decided to play politics and approve Wyoming’s irresponsible plan. I’ve been involved in this issue for quite some time now, so there’s no need for you to ask where I “get this stuff.” It’s all factual information, and it’s all out there–do your research, WM.

        • avatar WM says:

          Joanne,

          Apparently you missed the part about Judge Johnson’s ruling. That was THE key part of all this (and how FWS then revisited the WY plan plus the nominal supplemental provisions as negotiated by FWS and WY – some of it politic as you note).

          And, I agree with you regarding most of the rest of the facts/politics as you state them, which augment the history which lays the foundation for the wolf reintroduction. But, very importantly the 100 wolves per state with 10 breeding pairs (plus buffer bringing things to 150/15), and the genetic connectivity augmentation was a part of the original plan. Wolves were always to be hunted, with population levels determined by the states. It is however, extremely unfortunate that YNP wolves got sucked into the harvest prescriptions.

          Let’s be clear. I have done the research, and am just sharing what seems usually by certain wolf advocates to be a “rewrite” of the history, especially the early part.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            WM you are always quick to quote the 100 wolves per state with 10 breeding pairs. That was a terrible compromise and one that will be challenged in the future. Its a ridiculous number. Now we are seeing the consequences of such a short-sighted plan.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Louise,

              It has been challenged many times in the past, that is the problem, compromise and such was done to come up with a plan that was acceptable to all parties, and when things don’t go the way that one side wants, they want to change what was agreed upon.

              What shortsightedness are you talking about Louise, none of the states in question have even close to wiping wolves out again.

              You wonder why so many get so angry over this, it is because one side wants to keep moving the goal posts, at every single turn in this people are going back on their words and agreements.

            • avatar jon says:

              What is it with this 100 wolf per state thing? We don’t do this with bears or cougars. You got many thousands of bears and cougars in the US, but some people only wanted 100 wolves per state. If the states stuck to 100 wolves per state, the wolves would be wiped out completely by now.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                That was the agreement on both sides in the original re-introduction of wolves. You people really need to go back and read through the entire re-introduction process, that is a big problem, so many commenting have no grasp of what has happened and how it evolved.

              • avatar jon says:

                I believe Ralph and others have said in the past there was no agreement to have only 100 wolves per state sb. 100 wolves is a very very low number and 100 wolves is not a sustainable wolf population. You don’t have to have a degree in wildlife biology to know this.

              • avatar jon says:

                “It’s true, 300 wolves were not enough,” Bangs said. “I’m sorry that it’s reduced to these sound bites: ‘They promised only 100 wolves per state.’ That’s not true. Actually, the recovery goal is a pretty complex thing, and it’s based on the current science.”-Ed Bangs

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                The agreement was, once that number was reach the de-listing process could begin, it is also a threshold to re-list if needed.

                You need to read through the original re-introduction process so that you actually know what you are talking about.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                And Jon,

                You are correct, it was not an agreement to have only that number of wolves, it was simply a goal post that would allow certain processes to begin. It has since been changed to 150/15 another compromise based on court cases.

                None of the states that have wolves are even close to reaching those numbers all states involved have populations quite a bit above those numbers.

              • avatar jon says:

                The thing is a lot of hunters think that the “agreement” was to only have 150 wolves per state.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                It doesn’t matter what hunters believe, what matters is it is the law. Relisting consideration will not happen until the numbers drop below those levels.

              • avatar WM says:

                jon,

                Just so you have the full story it is the numbers per state in a connected “meta population” and the 100/10 plus buffer per state is a MINIMUM. That part addresses the genetic connectivity aspect which gave the court a little more room to squeeze the states to keep more than the minimum. And, recall before the Congressional rider, Judge Molloy rejected the FWS 2009 rule that only addressed MT and ID, because the WY plan was not acceptable to FWS. His conclusion under the ESA, was that breaking up a DPS is not permissible (delisting a part and not delisting the rest, in this case WY).

                His was a good ruling on the technical aspects of the law, but that is what forced the Congressional rider to be introduced. If the plaintiffs had not raised that legal issue, Judge Molloy could have kept the entire case and ruled on the issues of science, probably resulting in more wolves on the landscape everywhere.

                I bet some of those wolf advocacy plaintiff groups are kicking themselves in the butt for raising the DPS break-up issue, because it is what lead to some of this other stuff that is playing out now.

            • avatar WM says:

              Louise,

              ++WM you are always quick to quote the 100 wolves per state with 10 breeding pairs.++

              That is, Louise, because that number plus affirmative evidence of genetic connectivity IS THE FEDERAL LAW in the entire NRM DPS, for the “reintroduced non-essential experimental population.”

              Judges quote this standard because it is the law. Anything above that is an administrative buffer as agreed between FWS and the states. Maybe it needs to be modified some, but the court cannot recognize it. That is what will make the litigation over the WY plan so interesting – if WY says it can meet its obligation in only a part of the state. I am aware of nothing in the NRM DPS obligation that says WY needs to allow wolves outside the predator zone so they can travel to CO (which probably doesn’t want them anyway).

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                I understand its the law now, that needs to change, I hope these aggressive hunts and the loss of so many wolves will prompt a revisit to that particular aspect of the wolf recovery plan that is just one of the major problems with it.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Louise, why would they revisit it as it now stands, if the populations number don’t drop below certain levels as outlined? There is no basis to revisit if populations maintain a certain level.

                That is the problem, so many want to change the rules that they agreed to when this all started. I know it is an evolving issue, but the wolves are not in jeopardy of becoming extinct again and I seriously doubt they ever will.

  14. avatar Old Buckaroo says:

    As long time visitors to YNP and the Lamar Valley going back to the Druid Pack days, we witnessed “06” (832F) being darted and fitted with her GPS collar about a year ago, and had made trips back to YNP and the Lamar Valley in Feb., May, and again in August of this year to watch her and the Lamar Canyon pack. It was disgusting enough when 754 was killed a few weeks ago, but now “06”? Any so-called “hunter” that slaughters a collared wolf adjacent to YNP does so intentionally knowing that they’re destroying the most valued members of the packs being studied by park biologists and viewed by a huge international community of wolf-watchers who pump a significant amount of money into the economies of Wyoming and Montana.

    The intentional killing of a collared wolf posing no threat to livestock, and that certainly won’t end up on some so-called “hunter’s” dinner table to feed his family is no different than the mentality of the bloodthirsty islamo-facist psychopaths who indiscriminately kill for the sake of killing. What a sick, pathetic excuse for a human being.

    • avatar Leslie says:

      Buckaroo, again I have to say that USF&W and now WG&F collars wolves outside the park in order to count them, find out how many pups they have, but also to kill them for livestock problems. The Alpha female in my valley, hunt area 2 where this YNP wolf was killed as well, was one of the first wolves to be killed and she had a collar.

      Just because a wolf has a collar does not mean they are a study animal. So a ‘no shoot collared wolves’ is definitely not the answer

      • avatar Old Buckaroo says:

        These “big he-men hunters” with a high powered scoped rifle killing a collared wolf they baited in from a quarter mile away are no better than the scum that indiscriminately detonate road-side bombs in Afghanistan. They’re only in it for the blood of the kill. USF&W and WG&F are complicit thrill killers just like Al Qaeda.

        The tired, lame old excuse of wolf/livestock predation IS A MYTH. Statistics compiled over the past decade for livestock losses paid by the govt. to ranchers PROVE any real, documented losses to be less than minimal.

        Crybaby outfitters who claim elk herds are being decimated by wolves are lying through their teeth. They’re just too lazy to actually go into the back country where the elk thrive. They’re used to taking shots of Jim Beam and then a 30.06 from the window of their pickup to bag their elk.

        So what are you gonna do with that wolf pelt anyway? Does it really make you feel like more of a man?

        Why don’t you try bow-hunting Kodiaks in Alaska if you’re so friggin’ brave?

        What??? Too go**amn chicken to actually “HUNT”?

        • avatar Gail says:

          Old Buckaroo, use a search engine to find Todd Wilkinson’s article on Wolves and Elk, Someone is Fibbing (thanks, Jon!). It addresses the outfitters you mention in your post. You’ll enjoy it, I’m sure.

        • avatar Mike says:

          With the hunting of wolves (and possibly grizzlies) hunters are entering a PR nightmare, like Japanese whalers.

          It’s going to get ugly, folks.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          I did hunt grizzlies in Alaska with a bow, quite an experience.

  15. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Again, I’m just speculating. Maybe I have too vivid an imagination. But the Lamar used to be prime wolf viewing area? I haven’t seen one though, yet. :(

  16. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I would imagine the park wolves are habituated to humans more so than any others – so it is just poor sportsmenship all around.

    http://www.yellowstonegate.com/2012/06/lamar-canyon-wolf-pack/

  17. avatar Kathie Lynch says:

    If you would like to learn more about the life of Yellowstone’s famous wolf, the amazing “’06 Female” (Lamar Canyon alpha 832F), I invite you to (re)read the story I wrote about her in August 2012. You can find it in the archives at http://wolfrecoveryfoundation.com. Her life was a triumph and tribute to wolves in the wild. Hopefully, her death (and the deaths of so many other collared and uncollared wolves of Yellowstone National Park and the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho) will not be in vain.

  18. avatar ramses09 says:

    I can’t tell you folks how sick & tired I am of these stupid ass hunters. Selfish S.O.B’s. Whine, whine, whine. That’s all these asswipes do. Ranchers & hunters always seem to get their way as far as the hunting goes. They are just ignorant
    fu&kers who have NO clue about the environment & how it works. I hate these goddamn hunters – I hate them so much.

    • avatar Gail says:

      You are not alone.

    • avatar Robert R says:

      ramses09 as a hunter I will not resort to profane name calling as you have done.

      Does anyone expect all of the wolves to stay in the park when the majority of prey animals migrate out of the park.

    • avatar WM says:

      Someone needs a hug…..and maybe his mouth washed out with soap…after he puts the bottle down.

  19. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Why don’t you try bow-hunting Kodiaks in Alaska if you’re so friggin’ brave?

    That, I imagine, would be real hunting. Not this anti-government axe to grind haters. I don’t know what the answer is. If they won’t accept a buffer zone, perhaps posting troops along the park borders is in order?

    • avatar Connie says:

      I know you say that in jest, but the thought of a voluntary border patrol crossed my mind.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Yes. It’s just that this is very serious, the continued loss of these animals, and it appears to be escalating. And two found in nearly the same place. What can be done? It should be addressed – that hunters need to stop targeting them, or to pass on shooting them as they are asked to do in the regulations, and respect the regulations.

  20. avatar STG says:

    Very Pessimistic: I think the wolf population has been doomed from the day they were reintroduced in the 90’s. I think the Fish and Wildlife (fed/state) have always had hunting and revenue in their minds: Another species to manage; another species to hunt; another program to support the Fish and Wildlife bureaucracy. The growth (population/development/roads) in the inter-mountain west encloses and disrupts habitat for wolves and other creatures. The Yellowstone Ecosystem is just too small,has too much surrounding development and is highly fragmented. A no win situation for wildlife. Give me an reason to be optimistic about the future for wolves, grizzly bears etc.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      STG,

      Hunting has been part of the plan since day one, the hunting provision is in the original re-introduction documents.

      • avatar STG says:

        Savebear:

        I realize that. My argument is that the trophy hunting is the primary reason not the so called restoring the ecosystem argument. My comment is not a diatribe against hunting.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          STG,

          I am not singling you out, but over the years, there seems to be an evolution going on when it comes to wolves, and a lot of people have tried to write their own version of history.

          For anyone that really wants, the history of the wolf reintroduction is readily available in the many public documents on the subject.

          I, myself am neither pessimistic or optimistic on this issue. There has to be a balance in the future, I don’t feel our current generation is equipped to find that balance, it will take those in the future to do so.

  21. avatar Rich says:

    Robert R and WM,

    How many people have travelled to YNP and enjoyed watching the 06 female, her mate, their families and the other YNP wolves over the years? Since typically over 2 million individuals visit the park every year, I would guess the number exceeds 10 thousand and perhaps 100 thousand. The opportunity to see those magnificent animals in the wild has been taken away from all Americans and visitors from other countries by less than 10 selfish individuals for their cheap thrill. Hopefully you can appreciate the frustration of others who have lost the opportunity to see these animals again in their native environment. Sure the hunters had the right to destroy the animals just as the Taliban had the right to destroy ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan. But that doesn’t make it right and most intelligent individuals find that behavior outrageous and repulsive. In fact, most sane and thoughtful humans have deep respect for other animals and would never consider killing an animal just for the thrill of watching it die. As a hunter and fisherman I can assure you that killing an animal is the worst part of the sport. The fact that you have the need to ridicule those who feel a loss when YNP wolves are needlessly killed is difficult to understand. While your sniping may give you some personal pleasure, to me it is a bit like the Taliban taunting and punishing those who wept over the loss of the nation’s historic treasures.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Lets see, we have now had hunters equated to both Nazi’s as well as the Taliban, which they are neither. It is time to stop with the name calling, no matter what side of the issue you are on, this accomplishes nothing.

    • avatar WM says:

      Rich,

      I usually reserve my sniping for folks who like to rewrite history, or make stupid opinion statements not supported by facts or rational thought (including over the top potty mouths). Your effort to equate hunters to Taliban kind of puts you in one those catagories, don’t ya think? Please spare me the effort.

      And, by the way, I do deplore and mourn the loss of YNP based wolves, for the reasons you describe, plus the loss of valuable research aspects as I have stated previously here.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Rich your post encompasses how many of us feel – just because its legal does not mean its right. ” Since typically over 2 million individuals visit the park every year, I would guess the number exceeds 10 thousand and perhaps 100 thousand. The opportunity to see those magnificent animals in the wild has been taken away from all Americans and visitors from other countries by less than 10 selfish individuals for their cheap thrill. Hopefully you can appreciate the frustration of others who have lost the opportunity to see these animals again in their native environment. Sure the hunters had the right to destroy the animals just as the Taliban had the right to destroy ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan. But that doesn’t make it right and most intelligent individuals find that behavior outrageous and repulsive. In fact, most sane and thoughtful humans have deep respect for other animals and would never consider killing an animal just for the thrill of watching it die. ” Thank you!

    • avatar josh says:

      Glad to see that as a hunter I am now the equal to a Taliban soldier and a Nazi! Classic! :)

    • avatar nabeki says:

      Very moving and heartfelt comment Rich. Many of us deeply appreciate your sentiments. The argument that it’s all legal now so we should accept it and take our toys and go home is not going to fly.

      The delisting was rammed though on a budget rider because the Senate Dems wanted to help Tester out-wolf Rehberg in their Senate seat battle. Harry Reid must really like being Majority Leader since he was more more interested in holding onto his job then saving the wolves. There was no consensus that wolves should be delisted, no science involved. It was pure politics. We have the right to grieve over this injustice and work hard to reverse it.

    • avatar JB says:

      While the Taliban comment is over the top, Rich said something important that deserves a bit of elaboration:

      “The opportunity to see those magnificent animals in the wild has been taken away from all Americans and visitors from other countries by less than 10 selfish individuals…”

      Supporters of wolf hunts would likely point out that there are still wolves in the wild–and still wolves in Yellowstone–for people to view. So the opportunity has not been “taken away” as Rich contends. Rather, that opportunity has been diminished. Likewise northern Rocky Mountain elk hunters have made similar claims about wolves ‘eating all the elk’ and the loss of hunting opportunity. Also a bogus claim: there are plenty of elk and lots of opportunity. However, there is some evidence to suggest that wolves have limited elk populations in a few locations–thus diminishing hunting opportunity.

      Using this problem frame, the whole issue can be reduced to a classic case of recreation conflict (where person X’s recreational opportunity diminishes the opportunity or experience of person Y). Lots of examples here: XC skiers vs. snowmobilers, mountainbikers vs. horse riders, ATVs vs. well everybody.

      So whose interest should win out?

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        JB its not entirely about whose interest should win out. There is value an intrinsic value of wildlife and wolves -of maintaining robust populations- of organisms contributing to their ecosystems and the landscape, biodiversity. From accounts I have read there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions of wolves in North America. I can agree we won’t see numbers like that but for god’s sake 100 – 150 in our biggest states. Its not as simple as what hunters or wildlife watchers want to see, its also about how our actions impact whole landscapes and natural systems. Compressing wolf populations to their minimally viable populations – which these state plans are attempting to do – is wrong and irresponsible.

  22. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Oh by the way…the entirety of the easterly drainages of the Lamar River were legally hunted till 1929. There was a partocularly productive horse camp at the mouth of the Little Lamar with the Lamar proper underneath Castor and Pollux Peaks, a few miles in from the divide with Sunlight Basin and the headwaters of the North Fork of the Shoshone river, bothin the Shoshone Forest wilderness. That camp was called Lemon City and was run by an oldtime outfitter named Bob Rumsey in his youth , whom I knew. I’ve used it. One tree had a sheep skull embedded in the growing branches, and several had designs made from spent brass pounded into blazed trunks; things like initials.

    The east side of the Lamar was undoubtedly some of the finest Elk hunting on the planet while it lasted. But that was 80+ years ago. Yellowstone hasn’t always been a sanctuary.

    I have no doubt that a Lamar collared YNP wolf would have likely been taken in upper Crandall Creek. Wolves traverse the Park boundary into Cache Creek, Calfee Creek, and even thru Bootjack Gap on Miller Creek by Canoe Lake , which is the old Bannock Indian trail. And of course the horse trail from Hoodoo Basin into Sunlight is almost a highway for wildlife and everything else 2 and 4-legged.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      This is the problem with well publicized wolf packs. If one wants to hunt them, all they have to do is follow the information “trail” about these packs, and, wait.

      This is why the IWC removed their wolf telemetry data last Summer. It would have all but pinpointed wolf packs and lead hunters and trappers to areas to sit and wait, or set traps.

      The movement of Yellowstone wolves are very well-documented. Perhaps, it is time to stop using those collars, for better or worse.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        I well as many others think they need to stop collaring wolves, there has been a continued effort by biologists to collar as many as possible.

        At this point in time the baseline information has been gathered and if they are somehow tracking wolves with the intent to kill them, then the collaring operations is not doing anyone any good.

        • avatar Leslie says:

          SB, what do you propose the states do in order to track their wolves for their count? Now they collar them.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Leslie,

            The states track a lot of other wildlife with out the concentrated effort to collar like we have seen with wolves.

            There is not going to be a perfect solution to this, no matter what technology is used, there is going to be those that exploit it for their own use.

            But there is developing technology that might be more prudent to use in the future.

            • avatar Leslie says:

              well that is an interesting question. Ungulates are easier to count w/o collaring of course. I understand the in WY they estimate cougar population by aging dentition from skulls brought in. Not sure how black bears are counted. Grizzlies of course are collared although not in WY but other places hair snares. I am curious what new techniques they might use.

              I understand that wolves are just not easy to find and then collar. And that’s expensive.

  23. avatar Leslie says:

    In order to understand if a buffer zone would be effective, its necessary to know where, for instance, these two YNP wolves in Area 2 were shot. It’s a very big area and a lot of wild country that feeds into 296 highway eventually. Also, wolves regularly use this area back and forth. We had a collared wolf from Idaho several years ago. We had a collared study wolf travel into the Park and die, probably from other wolves.

    WM: Wolves follow the elk and the elk are probably still at the higher elevations. They usually come down into the lower areas very late Dec. or early January. It would not be so hard, in hunt area 2 for instance, to designate a buffer in the wilderness areas east of the Park. But then again, if these YNP wolves are moving in looking for mates, looking to fill areas where wolves were taken earlier, then they will still be killed if seen outside wilderness.

    I just know if this is a ‘solvable’ issue. My area, hunt 2, has one of the largest wolf quotas. That is because G&F are 1. trying to reduce predation on the Lamar herd that has low cow/calf ratio (I think this is futile because the studies show wolves are not the cause, but WG&F will try this anyways) and 2. a very wealthy landowner uses most of the grazing allotments and usually has 3-4 calves taken each year. Otherwise, this is really prime habitat, few homes (most are summer homes and unoccupied during hunt season), and the area really should have been closed after 2-3 wolves.

    • avatar WM says:

      Leslie,

      Just thinking outloud here. Even if the elk are up high but outside the Park and wolves follow, it gives the state the excuse to continue hunts in otherwise logical buffer areas, in order to keep them from eating some of the elk. And, do recall each wolf will eat between 12-23 ungulates between Nov and April. That would be why they would not go for such a buffer.

  24. avatar Vincent D. Cornish says:

    Very sad; And, was this hunter using a special “I can’t see the Tracking Collar” scope?
    I propose this wolf is part of a Federal Study, thereby receiving special Federal sanctions for destruction of protected Public property.
    In-addition to this sentencing proposal, Re-list all wolves for the duration of a Longitudinal and Holistic study. A study addressing recovering regional ecological facets, such a Riparian Zones and Tributaries.
    Just might take a couple human generations for completion; Meanwhile, regional humans would be educated.

  25. avatar Leslie says:

    Most people who hunt high up are either outfitters and those tags have been way reduced this year because of the state of the herd. Or individuals and guides with horses. These elk are very high up and, I’m not being anti-hunter here, but my observation is that most hunters are quite lazy and I see them driving the dirt roads for elk/deer. It does take a horse to pack off the meat as you know and, a few horses because this is a very high griz area.

    I did mean to say that I don’t know if its solvable except by limiting the quota in this area from 8 (which was the highest of all areas) to 2 or 3, and possibly reducing the hunt to Sept/Oct-Nov.15. and, what about those who use telemetry to find a wolf? How do you solve that?

  26. avatar jon says:

    Yellowstone wolves will always find their way out of the park. Until something is changed, you will continue to see yellowstone wolves killed by trigger happy hunters. Is FWP and yellowstone national park going to continue to let their wolves fall victim to the hunter’s gun? We are going to reach a point where too many yellowstone wolves are being killed by hunters and that is when something needs to be done.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Jon,

      The key is, they are not Yellowstone wolves, they are NRM wolves, they are simply part of the bigger picture, singling them out will not do anything to move this issue forward. By claiming they are Yellowstone wolves, you are just solidifying that fact that Yellowstone is becoming a zoo.

      • avatar jon says:

        These wolves are viewed by many thousands sb. Yes, you see them the same as any other wolf in Montana, but for some people, the yellowstone wolves are particularly special to them. I have no doubt that yellowstone wolves will continue to be killed by hunters.

        • avatar jon says:

          FWP and yellowstone officials will be in a very tough position.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Jon as of current, there are no population of wolves crashing, so no FWP and Yellowstone are not in a hard position, they are following the management plans laid down.

            In all honestly, Yellowstone really has very little to do with this, once the wolves leave the park, they are under state control.

            • avatar jon says:

              They are in a hard position because are they going to continue to let the wolves from yellowstone be killed by hunters?

              • avatar Savebears says:

                That is not a hard position Jon, once they leave the park, they are no longer “Yellowstone” wolves, they are the states wolves and managed based on the state plans, which have been either legislated or accepted. Just as Elk, Bears, Squirrels, Moose, Deer, etc.

                I can honestly say, the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming could care less if they were in Yellowstone, they only care once they are in the states.

                Perhaps, we need to put a big fence up around the evolving Zoo located in NW Wyoming, then they couldn’t get out and they really would be “Yellowstone” wolves.

            • avatar jon says:

              People go to YNP to see wolves, but some of them go to see specific wolves they have grown accustomed to watching and seeing. Wolf watching brings in millions of dollars sb. To know that you go to YNP hoping to see a specific wolf or group of wolves and to find out that they have been gunned down by hunters is going to piss a lot of people off.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                There are many things in this world that piss people off, that still does not trump the powers that have been given to the states, if they are pissed, there are many other places in the world they can visit.

                Sorry that is just the cold hard truth, once they leave the park, then they are subject to the management plans of the state they end up in.

              • avatar Leslie says:

                jon, when and if the hunt begins to affect pocketbooks of the surrounding towns, you might see changes. seems like its always “about the economy stupid.”

              • avatar jon says:

                sb, people go to ynp to see wolves. I know hunters love dead wolves, but the people who spend their hard earned money going to yellowstone to see wolves and other wildlife love seeing wildlife that’s alive.

              • avatar jon says:

                And these wolf hunters are taking away wolf viewing opportunities from many people who pay to see wolves specifically.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                I own a beautiful piece of property here in NW Montana, and over the years have watched many beautiful Bulls as well as Bucks in my yard.

                I have also seen many of those beautiful bulls and bucks head down the road in the back of someone truck because they left my property, can I set up a buffer zone? Nope, once they leave they are subject to the laws that are in place.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jon,

                It does not matter, once the wolves leave the park, they do not have the protection of the park, that is pretty simple to understand. It really does not matter if people are pissed about that, they go to the park to see a certain animal or animals, guess what the animal left the park, the hunter has only capitalized on this fact. Outside the park, the wolves are not protected. You guys want to keep changing the rules, the lines have been drawn since 1872 and until the wolf was reintroduced, there has never been question about those lines.

                I, for many years went to Yellowstone in the fall to photograph certain large Elk Bulls, I also have seen many of those bulls taken by hunters, I never once thought about changing the lines in the sand.

              • avatar jon says:

                sb, please read this article below to better educate yourself on the costs of killing yellowstone wolves.

                http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/11/yellowstone-park-research-wolves.html

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Wow Jon,

                You are trying to educate me? That is funny.

  27. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://jimmyjonesphotography.com/p47158853

    for those of you who might like to see a photographic tribute of 06, my friend Jimmy posted on his photography site.

    • avatar Leslie says:

      Yes, I saw her this summer with a yearling trying to feed on a bison protected by a grizzly. Then I watched them swim the Lamar river back to their den. Fantastic wolf watching as it was close to the road.

    • avatar SAP says:

      What a beautiful wolf.

      This photo is telling:

      http://jimmyjonesphotography.com/p47158853/h4e891cf0#h4e905612

      I’ve seen non-park wolves that were fairly curious about people but wouldn’t get any closer than 200 yards or so (which, as it happens, is about the limit of competent field marksmanship for many shooters).

      YNP wolves are habituated to people and it makes them super easy targets when they leave the Park.

      [Note: I am using the strict technical definition of "habituated," meaning they've simply gotten used to people and don't waste energy either approaching or fleeing from people. I am not saying people are feeding them - the term for wolves that have been fed and learn to approach people seeking food is "food conditioned". Just to keep that straight.]

      • avatar jon says:

        You’re very right. YNP wolves are easy targets for hunters once they leave the park. There are also rumors flying around that hunters are specifically targeting yellowstone wolves. A lot of hunters blame wolves for the supposed lack of elk in the park.

        • avatar SAP says:

          I can’t get inside wolf hunters’ heads and find out why any of them did any particular thing.

          Absent a clear statement from someone we know shot a wolf near (need to specify what “near” means) the YNP boundary, the most we can say is that wolf hunters who really wanted to shoot a wolf went where the wolves are (were).

          Why they really wanted to shoot a wolf, and whether they specifically wanted to shoot a YNP wolf, would require interviewing them.

          As someone interested in wolf recovery as a cultural conflict, I think that would be some valuable information.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        You know SAP, I’ve seen that image before when Jimmy sent the link. I was worried about those wolves for the same reason. They had become used to a human presence. Really tragic.

  28. avatar jon says:

    When you say that Colorado doesn’t want wolves WM, are you speaking for the whole state or just the hunters and ranchers that reside in Colorado?

  29. avatar Immer Treue says:

    A possible fix for the collar to not to collar how do you know how many wolves there are cunundrum. This will require hunter cooperation.

    There is no longer a need for radio collars to “study” wolves. And, one might be able to argue in terms of it is morally wrong to radio collar wolves for the purpose of “Judas” wolves.

    Wolves can still be collared, just use modified rolled leather dog collars. Heck, I think my shepherd’s last six years easy. Hunters still turn in collars when a wolf is taken and:
    use the simple ration a/b=c/d where a = harvested wolves with collars; b= harvested wolves no collar; c= number of wolves known collared; solve for d to give a general idea of wolf total population.

    Put a mortality chip, and only a mortality hip in each collar, so if wolf: dies; has collar chewed off; falls victim to SSS, you still have a record for that wolf.

    This answers most concerns, and they are pretty darn unobtrusive, so they would even address the concerns of photographers like Larry Thorngren.

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      Immer
      The easy way to count wolves is a method that I’ve heard used in the Blackfoot valley is as follows: Find as many willing people as possible, pick a day after fresh snow, then send those people to the different parts of the valley. Record and count tracks then compare maps that evening.
      It allows both sides of the wolf issue to enjoy a day. Rougher country requires a bit more work. I think drones would also work well.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        RB,

        I believe Wisconsin used a form of this with volunteers.

      • avatar Rancher Bob says:

        Immer
        Tracking is simpler than trapping, drugging and releasing.
        AS for animals learning about being hunted- your right dead animals don’t learn but most animals travel with others. They are killed one at a time. Not all shots are hits or kills. I can take you to lots of land from 10,000 acres to 80 acres where animals have learned no hunting occurs. Prior to the 2009 wolf hunting season I saw wolves often but since mostly only wolf sign. I have no data to back my claim only a life on the land watching animals.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          RB,

          ” I have no data to back my claim only a life on the land watching animals.”

          Not for the point of argument, but for discussion. This is the crux of my inquiry. How? One often hears this, but there is absolutely nothing to support it other than non-documented accounts.

          Once one opens the door of cognition
          And meta-cognition in animals in general, wolves in particular, they will also open
          Pandorra’s box in regard to how these animals are treated. Will it be the end of hunting wolves, or through a form of communication wolves understand to avoid areas. The study of animal behavior is still in its infancy.

          • avatar Rancher Bob says:

            Immer
            A interesting read for you would be the Alaska Wolf Trapping Manuel, it tells stories of how wolves have learned about trapping and how to avoid traps.
            How the animal brain works well I’ll let you work on that one. I still think man is just a animal, we just want to believe we’re something better.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              RB,

              I’ll ponder the book, as the MN winter has finally set in. Long nights by the stove, a bit of Bushmills and the dog curled by my side.

              “I still think man is just a animal, we just want to believe we’re something better.”

              I agree.

              • avatar Harley says:

                Immer,
                Send some of that snow south would you? We Need snow this winter or we will be in one heck of a fix. We’re still considered in a drought and I know my farmer relatives in Iowa are worried…

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Harley,

                Depending on the source, we have 6 to 8 inches coming tonight. We had at least 6 up here after thanksgiving, but most of that melted, and then, needless to say, froze into glaze ice in all the wrong spots.

                Things are dry here. However, we dipped Below zero last night and even almost a mile away you could hear the lake making ice.

              • avatar Harley says:

                Immer,

                Last week we were almost to 70. Crazy in December. Crazy and worrisome.
                I personally like a nice cold winter. Gives me an excuse to use all the sweaters I own!

      • avatar Leslie says:

        RB, How about accounting for the 10 breeding pairs?

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          Leslie
          Breeding Pair- defined as breeding male and female with pup by the end of year, if I remember.
          Judging from your past post you have spent sometime tracking wolves. From those tracks can you tell adults from yearling from pups?
          Now telling sex gets hard unless one has a lot of time. Now part of the pack is going to get killed by any number of causes, including human causes. Using tracks gives you a fairly solid number and a good guess as to the make-up of a pack. Harvest data gives you sex and age of hunter caused death. Given that you spend some time all year, around a pack like I do tracking works just fine. I know when the local packs have pups in the spring about how many pups. I know when humans cause a death in that pack. I also spent a lot of time following tracks in the winter. Not all of the pack travels together all the time but I can tell you if a pack produced pups and if they live till winter. For me it’s about measuring risk.

          • avatar Leslie says:

            I will spend some time this winter trying to distinguish male from female. Interesting observations

  30. avatar Carter Niemeyer says:

    Since I don’t think anyone has mentioned this idea yet, I suggest you think about the “size” of the wolves wearing radio collars in the packs that reside in Yellowstone. Hunters may be targeting the largest wolves in the pack when they encounter them and may be selectively shooting the big wolves which might tend to be some of the older radio collared wolves. The end result is that large, older radio collared wolves are the targets rather than younger, smaller wolves. And the fact is, the wolves that leave Yellowstone National Park are no longer “Yellowstone wolves” because they have just crossed that magic boundary of protection and are under a new set of rules. Kind of like when wolves were listed as endangered and fully protected in northwest Montana and then moved south and came under experimental, non-essential management rules. Same wolf but different rules.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Very Well put Carter.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      I agree that this is likely but 8 out of 12 wolves shot had radio collars while only about 20% have collars. Small sample size but it still seems high. It only makes sense if the hunters had several wolves to choose from while hunting and chose to shoot the biggest.

  31. avatar Elli says:

    This is so sad. I have taken numerous groups into Yellowstone and showed them these wolves. People from Germany, Austria and Switzerland have seen 06 and 754 taking care of their pack. My groups alone are spending $ 80.000 to $ 100.000 each year in and around Yellowstone. Now I get a lot of mails from German wolfwatchers asking, if they should ever go back to Yellowstone again.
    This senseless killing is hurting all our hearts, but it will hurt your economy too.
    Elli

    • avatar josh says:

      Elli, my buddy leases property in MT and charges $5,000 for deer hunts and $10,000 for elk hunts. He sells em out quicker than you can imagine. And he easily surpasses the six figure mark in revenue each year. And he is just one ranch out of hundreds! There will always be wolves in YNP for your buddies in Europe to come see.

      • avatar josh says:

        The economic impact of hunting/fishing in Montana is close to 1 billion dollars… Not bad.

        http://voices.yahoo.com/economic-impact-fishing-hunting-montana-2884114.html

      • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

        From one of these “buddies from Europe”.
        “There will always be wolves in YNP for your buddies in Europe to come see.”
        Dear Josh. That´s not the point! The point is, that a growing number of Europeans are fed up with you guys now. With your unsatiable typical American desire to shoot at something or somebody – oh, excuse me, “to manage” I mean. Wolf today, Grizzly tomorrow, Coyote anytime! The world is huge and there a many destinations to go to see wolves. You can easily do without tourist money because your weapon fetishism creates the big $. Ok. but tourists can easily do without Wyoming, Montana, Idaho for reasons beyond that.

        • avatar josh says:

          Peter look in your own backyard for examples on how to NOT manage wildlife! Are you freaking kidding me! :) That is classic, as if Europe is what makes YNP go round.

          I have zero desire to live my life or manage wildlife according to the desires of Europe. Of all places! Comical.

        • avatar skyrim says:

          Peter
          Thank you for your comments here and for your contributions to this blog over the years. Some folks refuse to view the planet as a brotherhood. Their comments are not representative of anyone other than their tiny selves.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            yes Peter, I’m grateful that others see wildlife issues as global. If that were not true many members of the large African mammals that the world loves, would be extinct.

  32. avatar Nancy says:

    Sadly Elli, there are many local yokels here that are selfish and think having a hide to hang and “bragging rights” trumps any kind of financial gain to their communities (through the hundreds of thousands who come just want to watch wildlife)

    • avatar Robert R says:

      Had these wolves died of natural causes it would not stop people from viewing wildlife. I could be wrong but the natural life expectancy of a wolf is around 10 years and the oldest wild wolf was around 13 years.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        The fact remains that hunters should respect the collared wolves as being part of a study, or that they may be Yellowstone wolves if you see a collar. They do not. “The collar may not be working” is the lamest excuse I have heard. The do not. Getting a wolf pelt to hang on the wall, or kicking out the woodland caribou because “we wanna drive our snowmobiles!” making noise and stinking up the air with exhaust is greedy and selfish. Not content with nearly 300,000 acres of land is a joke.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        I think its even shorter than that Robert R for many wolves. But the point is these wolves and others became part of the fabric of Yellowstone. Wild Ambassadors. Thousands who visited the park, got a glimpse of them and their families going about their daily lives. And as you can see from Elli & Doug’s posts, their deaths are being felt (and mourned) worldwide.

        There very well may be economical consequences for communities surrounding the park if more thought can’t be given to some sort of buffer zone.

  33. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!
    I’m in the UK and I spent a couple of days with 06and her pack,memorable and rewarding times! I AM OUTRAGED at this news.In the Uk We have just beaten a global enterprise into paying their correct taxable dues (sort of). Can not world opinion and our commercial clout beat the vested interests of what is a minority (ranchers and hunters)?

    • avatar josh says:

      Doug, do some research bud. Hunting in Montana generates millions of dollars.

      http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/hunting/nr_1168.html

      • Josh,
        do you really think i comment out of pure emotion? I might be in the UK but I’m not ignorant of whats going on. You can correct my figures but my eqation works something like this for hunting
        1 elk per year for $16 and thats what my Montana friends tell me they can hunt. I understand its a bit more, but not that much for a wolf.
        Now, since the wolves have been introduced and before hunting was allowed. wolf tourism generated $35M per year, every year and growing.
        I will also remind you of the trophy hunting stats from Africa, one dead elephant, a big tusker, earns a one off payment of around $100,000, that same elephant kept alive will earn in excess of $50K per year for 50 years.
        So do the math as you Americans say, a live wolf earns more than a fur rug

        • avatar jon says:

          I emailed a biologist from Montana a few weeks ago and asked him how much money wolf watching brings in. He told me that wolf watching brings in much more money than elk hunting.

        • avatar WM says:

          Doug Breakwell,

          We have discussed on this forum the value of wolf tourism, and the voodoo economics from which some of it is derived, including the supposed $35M that it generates. The relevant questions for locals are whether some of those tourists who generate that value in or around YNP would NOT come there were not wolves (many would come anyway); whether the $$$ stays local or goes to out of the area shareholders of large corporations such as Xanterra and ARAMARK which are the largest YNP vendors and not be of much benefit to the residents of the three states (except for the folks that make your hotel bed and serve you food); what other activities/income are displaced by hunting revenue losses (by the way a non-resident license and elk tag is pushing $600, plus the money those hunters spend on food, lodging, gas and beverages for their entire stay, as well as meat processing, and outfitter guide fees if one is used. And, importantly what are the net state and local tax revenues from the various changing sales on goods and services among the sectors hunting/wolf watching.

          And, last, an elk or deer, are much different renewable resources than an elephant, or even a wolf. Of course, we know a wolf will eat 12-23 elk/deer from November – April, which means some of those won’t go to hunters. Do recall that in some places net wolf reproduction can approach 15% net increase or more. This really isn’t about the economics of selling wolf tags as against a wolf harvest, because that revenue source is nominal.

          I will suggest you don’t know as much about what is going on, including the economics of it all, as you think you do. Nobody, to my knowledge, has yet done a drill down analysis on the economics in a sufficiently detailed way to say what the real answers are, short and long term.

          Speaking of international tourism, the red deer (close relative of the North American elk) I saw in the Cotswolds a couple of years back were pretty ratty, and had little habitat. Perhaps your conservation efforts could use a little attention closer to home, and maybe add a few UK wolves for ecosystem balance.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            And, last, an elk or deer, are much different renewable resources than an elephant, or even a wolf.

            Elk and deer may be classified as a “renewal resource” by us, but they really aren’t. They are living things, not objects, who due to our overencroachment into their habitat and overhunting, their numbers are dwindling, from that and from a number of other reasons that we cannot control, such as disease. They don’t and can’t keep up with our supply and demand, and as the years progress they will become less and less available in the wild, regardless of whether wolves remain in the landscape or not.

            Of course, we know a wolf will eat 12-23 elk/deer from November – April, which means some of those won’t go to hunters.

            Do we know that? We do know that unethical hunters sometimes mass kill ungulates and take way more than their share. But even so, we would deny another living creature the right to food and survival? Yes, we would. Do we have the take the entire population of deer and elk for ourselves?

          • avatar JB says:

            WM:

            You lose considerable credibility when you lambast researchers without careful attention to their study design. Duffield et al. actually phrased their questions specifically to try and determine if those visitors would have come sans wolf viewing opportunities–it was built into the design. Furthermore, you could apply the same logic to hunters. The VAST majority of hunters are not from out of state, but are local. So the question is: sans hunting opportunity would they they pay to hunt in another state, or simply spend their money on some other form of recreation? Note: In contrast to Duffield et al., Idaho did not ascertain the answer to that question when they estimated the impact of wolves on hunting opportunity. Instead, the assumed a linear relationship and that all wolf-caused mortality was additive.

            Skepticism of science is fine, but it should be applied equally, not just to the studies with which you disagree.

            • avatar WM says:

              JB,

              You are absoulely right on the Duffield study. My apologies to all here. I had not read it in a couple years, and my faulty recollection caught up with me (I have made the same incorrect reference to the study faults and results on this forum before).

              Here is a link to the 2006 study. Duffield asked the right core questions, and the incremental ADDITIONAL economic value by those who would not have come to YNP except for the wolves is indeed computed to be $35M, and with a 95% confidence interval beteen $22M and $48M.

              http://www.defenders.org/publications/wolves_and_people_in_yellowstone.pdf

              See Table 29, page 52.

              I’ll now go to the corner and eat some crow (not an endangered species at this point). :)

              I will stand by my other concerns about who gets the $$$ because that is not clear, and if the values include airline tickets and other transportation to and from the GYE/Park for out of area visitors like our friend from the UK, or other enroute expenses the regional economic benefit may be reduced significantly.

              I am also concerned whether such an economic projection is sustainable, since when the Duffield follow up study was done 2004-6, wolf densities were at their highest in YNP at about 200 commensurate with their prey base in the Park, now down below 100 largely because of reduced prey base (and well you know the recent hunting mortality).

              In any event, whatever economic benefit is in YNP, it would seem highly unlikely it could be replicated elsewhere in the NRM for many reasons. It does, however, IMHO, deserve more formal study.

          • Apologies for taking so long a post a reply and if my comments duplicate what has also been said.Just been rather preoccupied for the last week.

            WM,

            Do I detect a bit of anti outsider bias in your comments? How dare a Brit comment on an American issue!or is it more How could you know whats going on, you ain’t American!

            How dare you suggest that I do not know as much as I think I do. Do you know me? know my background? know what I do? NO you don’t! But I will give you a brief insight. I am a professional wildlife photographer and writer. I have written a number of articles and had numerous photographs printed about the wolves of Yellowstone and the issues that surround them. I also use reliable sources for my information, like academic and scientific papers, not a blog, newspaper, or word of mouth.So I suggest you keep such fatuous comments to your self and not post them on a forum for informed comment and debate.

            You also misunderstood my comments, my beef is with trophy hunting, and there is some voodoo economics for you. To turn an animal into a rug or just to put its head on the wall is deeply immoral. As an old countryman,who taught me the ways of the countryside, told me when I was growing up “lad you have two reasons to shoot something, one is to eat it or its a pest, to shoot something just to see the light in its eyes go out is wrong”. By pest he meant an animal or bird that had done something to justify being shot. I did discover a third reason in Africa, self defence.

            Tell me, what do you think the wolf watchers or photographers like my self live on when we come to Yellowstone, fresh air? We to spend money on food drinks,lodging and petrol, oops,gas, and guides for the entire length of our stay. However, I do agree with you about Xantera and Aramark, whose monopoly on the National Parks accommodation forces up the prices and adds little to the local economy (apart from the salaries of their employees and if I remember correctly, most of them are outsiders and live in company accommodation inside the parks). So I stay outside the park and put my money into the local economy. As do a lot of others.

            I also would not call an economic study be an academic institution, voodoo economics. Unless you don’t trust the academics either. But I’m forgetting something I have learnt from long, personal experience with our American cousins, unless the government, universities, park services etc. say what you want to hear, its untrue and not to be believed.

            Your last comment about Red Deer in the UK,really does show a lack of understanding about this issue so let me educate you a little.

            The number Red and 5 other species of deer in the U.K have reached almost epidemic proportions because they have no natural predators apart from one – Man. Even with the best efforts of the hunters and game keepers to control their numbers.They have increased to such an extent that they are now damaging the environment, much as the Elk where doing before the wolves were introduced, Hence, the scabby specimen you report on. Similarly,the numbers of deer have been kept in higher than natural densities for the hunters. Sound familiar? It also should be remembered that only one species of deer is truly native to the UK, the Red. The Fallow deer were here before the Ice age and were reintroduced by the Romans so could be now considered native. The other four are non native invaders and escapees from estates deer parks.

            Personally, I would love to see wolves reintroduced to our wild place and our countryside “rewilded” But if you look at the obstacles, its really not possible, space is one reason. Compare the distances below. Ive used the distances in the UK from my home in Englefield Green (close to Heathrow Airport). I would recommend looking at a map for this exercise if you are unfamiliar with the UK. The US destinations should be familiar.

            Englefield Green to Oxford = 53 miles.
            Gardiner MT to Silver Gate WY = 53 miles. Most will recognise this as the road across the north end of Yellowstone

            Englefield Green to Birmingham 119miles. Denali Village to North Face Lodge 92 miles
            Englefield Green to Carlisle 311miles. The winter route from Gardiner to Jackson Hole via Bozeman, West Yellowstone, Ashton, Driggs etc, 296 miles

            Not convinced? try this.

            State Total area Sq/mile population people per sq/mile
            Montana 147042 917621 6.86
            Wyoming 501242 97814 5.86
            Idaho 83570 1366320 19.2
            Great Britain 88744 65000000 732

            Twenty miles from where I live there are 3 times as many people than in all three states combined, and nearly 30 times as many in the whole country

            Our National Parks are also a lot smaller. Two of our wilder National parks,Dartmoor and Exmoor, which are next to each other and have an abundance of deer, or wolf food, have a combined area of 596 sq/miles compared with Yellowstone’s 3472 sq /miles. Not really big enough for a wandering wolf,

            Wolves in the UK have been gone for a lot longer than the wolves in Yellowstone, depending on your source it is between 300-500 years. Dr David Mech, who is a respected source, puts the date at 1684, making it 328 years, compared to Yellowstone’s 70. Since that time the rural landscape has changed dramatically. The industrial revolution and changes in farming practice now make it totally unsuitable, even for a versatile and adaptable animal like a wolf.

            There is also the populations resistance. Some of us would like to see wolves roaming the countryside again, but we could never convince the rest of the population of this overcrowded little island to do it. Democracy in action for you. There is also a general ignorance of living with large predators.

            As Louise Kane says the world is watching and does care. We cannot understand why you have funded an environmental project to be proud of ( lets face it the US is not known for its environmental attitude) and seem hell bent on destroying it. I have forwarded the story of 06 death to The wolf conservation trust, who carried my photos and story of her and also posted it on the BBC wildlife forum.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Wolves in the UK have been gone for a lot longer than the wolves in Yellowstone, depending on your source it is between 300-500 years. Dr David Mech, who is a respected source, puts the date at 1684, making it 328 years, compared to Yellowstone’s 70.

              Well that sure puts things in perspective. 70 years in time is a drop in the bucket. Reintroduced wolves are not a non-native species from Canada, but returned to their rightful place.

        • avatar JEFF E says:

          with due consideration to WM which for the most part I agree,Dou B raises an interesting algorithm concerning the amount of money generated in other parts of the world;hunting/wildlife watching/some percentage of both; compared with the claims of what is generated by each of those categories in the GYA as that is probably the only place in the NRM that can be said to have an international draw that would make any such study valid.

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            (this should have gone here. man I hate the “no edit” feature”)

            maybe I should apply for a grant.
            8-10 mil ought to about cover it.
            just a conservative estimate.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Actually Doug, the last time the studies were done on both the wolf as well as the hunting, wolves are reported to add 7-10 million a year to the economy, and as posted by numbers from our US Fish and Wildlife Service, hunting account for almost 1 billion dollars a year to the economy of just Montana, that is quite a large difference.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Doug,
          nice to see people around the world paying attention, and caring.

        • avatar skyrim says:

          Doug
          Excellent point Sir.

      • avatar jon says:

        And wildlife watching generates millions more than hunting.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Jon,

          Base on the last number studied by US Fish and Wildlife Service, you are incorrect, hunting to the state of Montana is almost a billion dollar a year business, I seriously doubt that wildlife watching adds that much to our economy.

          Of course when it was posted yesterday, everybody choose to ignore it.

  34. avatar Leslie says:

    Regardless of the legalities, or creating a buffer zone, or the fact that wolves die from all sorts of things in and outside the Park, these wolves were known. I’ve met people who have bought second homes around the Park just to watch wolves coming from all over the world.

    These people would have been ok with another wolf killing 06, because they are interested in wolves and their dynamics. But what might have an impact here, and time will tell, is the economics. The towns depend on YNP tourism more than hunting. If you see tourism drop dramatically next summer and people complain, the almighty dollar might be what makes the difference.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      I think that WY has been abusing the delisting. I hope that they succeed in getting the law changed for their state. They can’t seem to help themselves. MT and to a lesser extent ID seem to be much better. My feeling is that WY doesn’t care about money brought in from tourism, so it falls on deaf ears, and the tourists won’t be missed. Then they can continue killing with impunity.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        That should read “getting the law changed back for their state to endangered status.” Thanks!

  35. avatar Leslie says:

    I think ID has a much more draconian approach. This is WY’s first hunt and you can bet they care about tourism. Cody, my closest town, is a tourist town and without tourism they are sunk. Wolves may now not be their idea of why tourists come, but if that connection is made thru dollars, they’ll get it pretty quick.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      I hope they stay away in droves. I’ll never spend another dime there. I’ll go to Gardiner to visit the park.

      • avatar Leslie says:

        But will you go to Jackson? Millions of course do and you know, 99% of the Park is in WY, not MT or ID.

        • avatar Leslie says:

          Besides, it’s not what state the town is in. These towns are all dependent upon the park, whether Cooke City, jackson, Gardiner, W.Yellowstone, or Cody. They would dry up without it, and, as Nancy’s post reads $7-10 million extra from wolves is a lot!

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Leslie,

            For the most part, most of the gateway towns look like they are dried up now! Jackson of course has a great winter ski season as well as enjoys the benefit of the Hollywood crowd.

            For the amount of money supposedly coming into these gateway towns, the amount of real development is very little.

            • avatar Leslie says:

              Funny!

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Leslie,

                Not funny, true, I have several friends that are business owners in the gateway towns and they have said, the income is not all that good, they are barely getting by each year.

                A few of them I know, say it was far better when they had the late season hunt for Elk.

        • avatar WM says:

          Leslie,

          ++, 99% of the Park is in WY, not MT or ID.++

          I don’t know that makes any difference at all, since the entrance points outside the YNP are in the towns in the various states, and that is where some of the services are, as well as goods are purchased (I think you acknowledge that in another post). Another thing that needs to be assessed is whether the money stays in state or goes to the multi-national corporations and their shareholders, that hold the vendor contracts for services in the Park (Xanterra, Aramark etc.), or national motel chains or gas stations, etc., outside the Park. That money doesn’t stay locally. It goes away, and just a few low paying jobs are provided in food and hospitality services (somewhat important nonetheless), and couple of gas station owner/franchises.

          I should think YNP visitation numbers would be affected more by transportation costs, including gasoline prices, OR the general health of the economy. On the other hand some local services, such as classes and those who would advance tourism services about (or to see) wolves may be affected, without more wolves in the Park or adjacent.

          http://www.yellowstonepark.com/2011/06/yellowstone-wolves-bring-estimated-7-10-million-in-annual-tourism-revenue/

          I tend to believe the story of how much $$$ wolves bring in is alot more complex than the original economic work done by John Duffield with the EIS of 1994, and his projection and sensitivity analysis updates. For starters one has to ask the right questions in order to get good answers about economic impacts, and to whom. I bet nobody plugged in the recurring costs to the federal government and the states for control of problem wolves, research, integration of costs into management plans for harvest prescritions for wolves or the prey upon which they rely, present value losses of hunter license revenues, and the shift away from those who would provide goods and services (the only stuff I remember were direct losses to outfittersl, with no consideration of the multiplier effect or the other stuff economists like to talk about.

          Also, as YNP visitor numbers have historically changed (with or without wolves), was there consideration of the normal expected increase from a growing population, or the negative effects of the crappy economy the last couple years that maybe had some families deferrig trips dependent on discretionary income? I see more study opportunities in the future for economists studying wolves or the lack of them.

          I think it is a bit over-reaching to suggest any town on the fringe of YNP/Teton would dry up without wolves. It would take much more for that to happen.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            “I tend to believe the story of how much $$$ wolves bring in is alot more complex than the original economic work done by John Duffield with the EIS of 1994, and his projection and sensitivity analysis updates”

            WM – what about this study done (since ’94) by Duffield?

            https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:AIYcaUtlCJsJ:www.georgewright.org/251duffield.pdf+john+duffield+wolves+economics&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESigYsZmi0aMuBPyuMOtVoM6zvJzeG_uW_ZohUS4HMklQJS378oj7umjZIuxID33P1PHFTx_VsTfQMNn-pYtODeJWwC8qCEwgIfyGGTjRzxvJMAZ6y8cpvSMdgdrBG-5-_KKZfh5&sig=AHIEtbQ-PPzc9Py3qhPGzSeyMmQkMykDMQ

            Which seems to give an even clearer picture with regard to the economic benefit (around the park) because of wolf re-introduction. And from what I can gather from the article I posted earlier, there’s yet another study due out soon?

            • avatar Savebears says:

              The key is, is the money staying in the local communities, which is not so clear. There has been quite a bit lost in hunting revenue as well and I have never seen the studies track the lost revenue. We can study all we want, but until both sides IE: Gain and Loss is taken into account it is virtually impossible to get a clear picture of what the benefit or negative really is.

            • avatar WM says:

              Nancy,

              The question that Duffield did not ask, was:

              “If there was little to no chance of seeing a wolf on your trip to Yellowstone would you NOT have come?”

              To my knowledge that has never been asked in the surveys, and that is the only way to ACCURATELY measure the difference in how much ADDITIONAL revenue added by the presence of wolves.

              The other interesting thing about Duffield’s follow up study, was that it was done when wolves were at their near peak population in YNP in the 2003-6 timeframe, because of the abundance of elk from the habitat change from the 1988 fires. They were half that number, below 100, when WY began its wolf season (and MT its second).

              • avatar WM says:

                Sorry,

                “…when WY began its wolf season (and MT its second) THIS YEAR.”

              • avatar Nancy says:

                “The question that Duffield did not ask, was:

                “If there was little to no chance of seeing a wolf on your trip to Yellowstone would you NOT have come?”

                ??

              • avatar WM says:

                Nancy,

                Why does it not suprise me that you do not understand that question?

              • avatar Savebears says:

                I am not sorry to say, when that question is ask, it is often to convenient to say, I would not come to Yellowstone if there were no wolves.

                I have traveled to Yellowstone for over 25 years now, before wolves were present and have met hundreds if no thousand of people who did also. So I am not buying the no, I won’t go..

          • avatar Leslie says:

            WM “I think it is a bit over-reaching to suggest any town on the fringe of YNP/Teton would dry up without wolves”

            Course I never meant that. These gateway communities have been there a long time. But they’ve seen a real tangible boom since wolf watching got serious.

            They do have quite a lot of say in Park decisions, more than I think is reasonable. For instance, When the Park considers its winter snowmobile plans, they come talk to these communities and listen. Even tho the east gate is an incredible–your tax dollar–money losing proposition in the winter, and dangerous with avalanche blasting they have to do to keep it open, its open because Cody makes a fuss.

            Anecdotally, I do know SB, that last year they built a $250-$300/night hotel in Cody and I thought “Hey this isn’t Jackson, no one will pay.” But I was dead wrong and its quite successful and full. Owned by a local.

            Hotels/motels in Cody are quite aware of wolf watching $$ and would like the NE entrance (those 9 miles) plowed in the winter but the snowmobile lobby has prevailed.

            Cody is dead in the winter, and hopping with park activity in the summer. Xanterra is of course totally separate. What goes on in the Park stays in the Park in terms of money.

            I have always thought that Cody’s attitude towards wolves was penny foolish. They could have been raking in more money if they’d have capitalized on the wolf trend by pushing for winter NE plowing,being friendlier about wolves, and people would buy homes to see wolves in the winter (like they do outside the N gate) and fill hotels in the winter to wolf watch. But I’ve been a business person all my life so I think a little more practical about these issues too.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          I would hate not to go to Jackson, quite honestly. It’s beautiful.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            In the old days I probably still would have come to the park(s), and I remember I saw a little bit of the aftermath of the Yellowstone fires. I always wanted to visit Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Idaho. But now, I wouldn’t want to because I haven’t seen these beautiful animals yet.

            • avatar Elli says:

              Well, as for coming to Y. with or without wolves – I personally come to Y. since 1975, and I will continue to come. But with no wolves to see I will have to stop running the wolf watching tours for Germans, because those people come espcially to watch the famous wolves.
              Yes, Y. is much more than “just” wolves, but it is this magnificant animal that makes the ecosystem complete. And Yellowstone National Park is one of the few places on earth where you can (could?) see a healthy and complete ecosystem.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Elli,

                There is still a good strong population of wolves in the park, in addition it is not even known how many will pup in the spring.

                The wolves of Yellowstone have not be wiped out.

              • avatar Elli says:

                Yes, I know, Savebears. Wolf watching will be different though – like in the “old” days, in the late 90s. We were spoiled these last years with all those close encounters. Still: The killing and trapping hast ot stop.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Elli,

                I believe you are going to see hunting seasons continue in at least Montana and Idaho, the only way it will stop is if the population numbers drop below a certain level. Right now, none of the states are even close to those levels and in the couple of years that hunting has been allow, the populations have continue to increase.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      One thing that could be really telling, is the actually numbers and have they have increased or decreased since reintroduction. One chart I did find is done by someone who does a Yellowstone Website, he says he got his data from the NPS.

      http://www.yellowstone.co/stats.htm

    • avatar Savebears says:

      They may scrutinize it, but I seriously doubt your going to see any changes anytime soon, FWP scrutinizes many things every year, but the majority of the time, they don’t change much.

      But I can see them putting out a story, to say at least we are going to look at the situation, to perhaps calm down some the populace that is actually paying attention to this issue.

  36. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    This should not be done around park borders. When I say “better”, the concept is relative, of course.

  37. avatar Leslie says:

    From the NYT article link above:

    “Based on data from the wolf’s collar, researchers knew that her pack rarely ventured outside the park, and then only for brief periods, Dr. Stahler said”

    Interesting statement

  38. avatar Nancy says:

    “Nancy,

    Why does it not suprise me that you do not understand that question?”

    I don’t understand many of your comments or questions WM and perhaps that has a lot to do with the fact that I live here in the “thick of it” (Montana) and you living elsewhere.

    Its not just in wilderness areas (or parks) that wildlife is appreciated and cherished:

    http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/news/2012/09/17/tourism-boost-seen-at-national-zoo.html

  39. avatar Mary says:

    Who in there right mind could kill such a beautiful creature? I suppose someone with no soul

  40. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Awww, now I don’t know why some are getting their feelings hurt. Pro-wolf people and anti-cruelty people (not anti hunting) are called all kinds of names including extremists, emotional, beliefs speculated on and ridiculed, etc. etc.

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Yes, they do Ida and it does neither side any good to do it. It never furthers the conversation along and using what is considered some of the nastiest names in the world that invoke the worst hatred is certainly never the way to progress.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        A comment from one of the threads:

        Kill as many as we can before they shut it down again.

        Not surprised. The reasonable people seem to want to give the benefit of the doubt, but there is no doubt. It is unrealistic to think this management plan is ever going to be respected.

        If hunting and fishing brings in so much revenue, (1) why are the states complaining about predators, and (2) it can’t last at the pace you use up your “resources”.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          There was a good conversation about how much wolves bring into the economy, why should the other side not be able to post the economic benefit of hunting to the economy?

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            All things being equal, there wouldn’t be. But it is built on a house of cards.

          • avatar jon says:

            sb, do you have anything to say about all of the comments made by the hunters and trappers on those 2 links I posted?

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Nothing other than I don’t agree with those people and never have, how many freaking times are you going to continue to ask people the same questions Jon?

              I have repeatedly said I don’t agree with those people on ever single one you dig up.

              Why do you continue to ask? You know my positions on this shit.

            • avatar Savebears says:

              Another thing I will add Jon, Is I rarely read the majority of your link anymore, they are all the same, why do we need to keep reading the same stuff over and over, they are redundant and each of us on here that have read them so many times in the past, have said what we are going to say.

              I don’t remember reading anything that says any of us support the extremists.

  41. avatar Mike says:

    Bottom line:

    There is no scientific reason for hunting mega fauna in the lower 48.

    It is thrill kill, nothing more, nothing less. These dead Yellowstone wolves will not die in vain. News is traveling fast, and within a few years hunting of wolves will be banned. The population, now that it is aware of Yellowstone wolves being destroyed, will treat wolf hunting like whaling.

    It will be selfish and ignorant hunters that once again return the wolf to the ESA.

    • avatar JB says:

      “There is no scientific reason for hunting mega fauna in the lower 48.”

      Of course there is “no scientific reason”; science doesn’t provide “reasons”, it merely provides data which are then used to justify certain positions. You might just as easily say there is no scientific reason not to hunt wolves. Good grief.

  42. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    it won’t happen with the current make up of congress without tremendous public outcry.

    We are ready, willing and able to cry very loudly.

    The situation we have now is much, much worse than when the ESA was in effect to protect wolves, IMO. Then, we just had to worry about poaching and the SSS crowd. Now we have all that and more, so I’m not to worried about the situation festering any more than it already has. It’s becoming a full-blown sickness now, with the park wolves being targeted along its borders. It has to stop.

  43. avatar Salle says:

    More national coverage today:

    Killing of World Famous Wolf Reignites Battle in the Rockies
    Kill programs in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming reveal how fragile protection programs can be

    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/12/10

    • avatar Mike says:

      Very professional of the reporter to use the correct term, “kill” and not “harvest”.

      Corn and pumpkins do not howl in pain when their hip is shattered by a bullet, or when their heads are bagged and their necks are snapped straight back.

  44. avatar Leslie says:

    “Many conservationists believe that hunters deliberately target wolves with tracking collars to undermine the ongoing efforts to learn and protect the animals. Worse are charges that hunters target these wolves simply for greater bragging rights.”

    I would like to know how many collared WY wolves were taken in the trophy zone, excluding YNP wolves. In zone 2 where I live, one of the first to die was the alpha collared wolf. Though not a YNP wolf, she was collared.

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      quite frankly, if a wolf has to be shot I would prefer it be the Judas(collared) wolf. Then the POS in the Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, livestock extension agencies,(game dept) can not zero in on the remaining wolves without actually doing a little work(god forbid they do that)

  45. avatar Mark L says:

    So in theory a wolf tag could go up 10X it’s current amount and still be economically viable? (I’m asking anyone’s opinion here). Also, are there any CITES restrictions on wolf pelts?

    • avatar Cris Waller says:

      Wolves in most areas, including the US are on CITES Appendix 2, so trade is loosely regulated:
      ————————————-
      Appendix-II specimens

      An export permit or re-export certificate issued by the Management Authority of the State of export or re-export is required.

      An export permit may be issued only if the specimen was legally obtained and if the export will not be detrimental to the survival of the species.

      A re-export certificate may be issued only if the specimen was imported in accordance with the Convention.

      In the case of a live animal or plant, it must be prepared and shipped to minimize any risk of injury, damage to health or cruel treatment.

      No import permit is needed unless required by national law.
      In the case of specimens introduced from the sea, a certificate has to be issued by the Management Authority of the State into which the specimens are being brought, for species listed in Appendix I or II. For further information, see the text of the Convention, Article III, paragraph 5 and Article IV, paragraph 6.

      Appendix-III specimens

  46. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Hunting-trapping around Gardener stopped today by Montana FWP.

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/entertainment2/55439557-223/wolves-montana-park-wolf.html.csp

  47. avatar Dawn Rehill says:

    I come to this webpage to learn about the packs of wolves around the Rocky Mountain Region, and I thank all of you for the info, love living here ! But I am concerned, because we are doing it again, gonna mess up the ecosystem . Savebears is right, the rest of the country does not care right now, and personally I would not call this hunting, but in the year 2012 you think we would come up with something more advanced then just shooting, trapping them, the solutins are out there, will the states look into it ?

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Dawn,

      No disrespect Savebears but there are thousands of comments that go to the agencies, many many of them against trapping and hunting. This does indicate a sustained and directed concern especially when it comes to wolves. The agencies, while they ask for comments then ignore them. A not your business attitude, much like the one that you allude to with the numerous comments about non westerners not knowing anything about the issues, never having left their couches and cell phones, tipping the bottle at night or the other dismissive rude sounding comments we hear ad nauseum. Not your business. Its not that people don’t care – they do. They do what they know how to do provide comments, sign petitions by the hundreds of thousands and their voices are being ignored. The Yellowstone wolves are bringing the issue to the forefront and I think that will have some impact but it needs to be sustained as the yellowstone wolves are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. If you look back, when polled Americans showed a lot of support for wolves, they do care. They cared about restoring them, protecting them and now they care about them being killed. a lot they care

      • avatar Harley says:

        Louise

        First off, lets be fair here. Just as many stereo types are flung out there against those who live in the west and support some sort of management for wolves. They are called back woods knuckle dragging, red neck, add your own adjectives in here and they get tired of it too. In all honesty, I would not want some one out there telling me how I should conduct my way of life here because they don’t live where I live and they don’t know. It is so sooo easy to condemn someone when their views do not align with our own. We all do it to some extent I guess. Those of us not directly involved with say ranching or farming look out to the west and say what the hell is wrong with these people, why can’t they just find a way to live with the wolves? (ranching and farming are probably bad examples because both livelihoods are severely vilified here on this blog.)
        I guess what it comes down to is that we all need a little more tolerance. On both sides. I hate it when one group paints everyone in the other group with the same paint brush.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Savebears

          One petition alone in the first few days before the wolf hunts generated 68,000 comments. There are literally hundreds of petitions against hunting and trapping wolves and other predators. Idaho received 17,000 comments for its first online submission. I guess you are correct in that its maybe not as important as the fiscal cliff (to some) but the number of people concerned about wolves and wildlife is not trivial or insubstantial.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Harley,

          “First off, lets be fair here. Just as many stereo types are flung out there against those who live in the west and support some sort of management for wolves. They are called back woods knuckle dragging, red neck, add your own adjectives in here and they get tired of it too…”

          Not picking on you at all, but you have witnessed what happens when one ventures to, let’s just say another blog site, attempts to be polite, offers their point of view, supports that point of view, replies to questions, and what happens? Everything you have mentioned above along with: threats; admittance that they don’t read your replies, making judgement on replies without fully understanding the said reply; fabricate what they assume to be true about someone.

          “In all honesty, I It is so sooo easy to condemn someone when their views do not align with our own. We all do it to some First off, lets be fair here. Just as many stereo types are flung out there against those who live in the west and support some sort of management for wolves. They are called back woods knuckle dragging, red neck, add your own adjectives in here and they get tired of it too. In all honesty, I would not want some one out there telling me how I should conduct my way of life here because they don’t live where I live and they don’t know. It is so sooo easy to condemn someone when their views do not align with our own. We all do it to some extent I guess. Those of us not directly involved with say ranching or farming look out to the west and say what the hell is wrong with these people, why can’t they just find a way to live with the wolves? (ranching and farming are probably bad examples because both livelihoods are severely vilified here on this blog.)extent I guess.

          “Those of us not directly involved with say ranching”… Rancher Bob comes over here frequently, gives his point of view, holds his own in terms of argument/debate and is treated well here, even by those who disagree with him. I know, cherry picking:-)

          Other than making a blanket statement referring to those who believe there exists a grand conspiracy to take their guns away from them as “loons” one would have to search long and hard for me name calling. Hell I’ve got guns, and I’ve critiqued individuals and their comments on this site.

          Not all of us here fit the stereotype thrown our way, Iknow i’m rambling, but this is my main point. We have hunters and ranchers on this site for whom I have supported in such a way as why would anybody here attempt to alienate them, when said individuals have expressed empathetic views to the wolf “controversy” meaning one wants these folks on your side. Why shove them away?

          The reciprocal is also true, and whenever logical discussion is attempted, one is blasted with all the crap that side can muster. Couple of exceptions to the above, but one gets to the point of why bother? Not a matter of having thick bark, or converting someone to your point of view.

          Until folks are willing to meet, and discuss, and hammer out solutions, where most in the middle will be satisfied, and the extremes will be upset (Yet, they always will be upset because they’re never happy unless they have something to complain about) this controversy will continue to rage.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            I agree – one of the things I love about visiting other areas of the country and the planet is culture. I would never put down anybody’s way of life, and the West’s is beautiful. In fact, I don’t want to see it turn into just like everywhere else in America. What a boring place the world would be if everyone were the same. I hope that the wildlife watchers and hunters can work together to take care of our wild places.

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++ne of the things I love about visiting other areas of the country and the planet is culture. I would never put down anybody’s way of life, and the West’s is beautiful. In fact, I don’t want to see it turn into just like everywhere else in America. What a boring place the world would be if everyone were the same. I hope that the wildlife watchers and hunters can work together to take care of our wild places.++

              I agree. I would NOT want everywhere to be exactly how I think and feel. Talk about horrible…something out of an apocalyptic science fiction novel.

              I know many hunters, and am friends with many. I hate what they do. But I really enjoy their company. We don’t talk politics.

              What I don’t care for is when people gather in crowds and voice their opinions, when those opinions are not based on any reality (such as Canadian Grey wolves ,etc). That’s where things get dangerous. Even worse is when those emotions, and that misinformation manifests itself into loading a lead bullet into the chamber and ending the life of an animal. This is where things get very scary.

              At least take the time to learn a few facts about how they got here, what they’re doing,and their role in the ecosystem. At least put forth a tiny amount of effort to learn something.

              I know I agree with my hunter friends over many issues (these are people who support roadless areas, etc…a rare thing, among hunters, trust me). Where we disagree is in killing predators. It’s not necessary, and hasn’t been for a long time. It has continued on largely because of “tradition”, and of course for those who enjoy ending the life of an animal just for the sake of ending that life (see the despicable and disturbing shooting of prairie dogs).

              Perhaps one day hunters and conservationists will work together. But I only see that happening if hunters give way on some issues. For example, their case that they must hunt for meat is a SOUND one. They want to feed their families nutritious and healthy wild game meat. Okay, great. I’ll meet you in the middle. Where hunters are going to have to “meet us” is here:

              1. Trapping. Gone.
              2. Hunting of apex predators such as wolves and grizzlies. That has to end.

              So hunt away. Get your ungulate meat, hunt birds. Advertise these actions as a way to enjoy healthy food and tradition. I’ll meet you there.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Even worse is when those emotions, and that misinformation manifests itself into loading a lead bullet into the chamber and ending the life of an animal. This is where things get very scary.

                I couldn’t agree more. Killing based on untrue assumptions or supertitions and misinformation, is needless. The animal is wasted, for no really good, sound reason.

                At least those who are accused of deifying aren’t hurting them. As long as we can separate fact from fiction, reality from fantasy. Those who want to demonize them don’t seem to be able to.

                I don’t understand the hard lobbying for killing wolves in the national parks. Just leave them be, and hunt in other areas. I don’t love hunting, but I do accept it except in cases of extreme cruelty that we have seen and heard about. Unacceptable.

              • avatar josh says:

                So now you are pro hunting for meat and tradition? Good news Mike!

          • avatar Harley says:

            Immer,

            “Until folks are willing to meet, and discuss, and hammer out solutions, where most in the middle will be satisfied, and the extremes will be upset (Yet, they always will be upset because they’re never happy unless they have something to complain about) this controversy will continue to rage.”

            That sums it all up for me. You saved the best in your argument for last!

        • avatar Mike says:

          ++First off, lets be fair here. Just as many stereo types are flung out there against those who live in the west and support some sort of management for wolves. They are called back woods knuckle dragging, red neck, add your own adjectives in here and they get tired of it too. In all honesty, I would not want some one out there telling me how I should conduct my way of life here because they don’t live where I live and they don’t know.++

          Harley, you forget a few important points. First, wolves just recently were a federally protected species. Their. existence in the west is fairly tenuous.

          Second, much of the habitat wolves occupy in the west is on federal public land: places like Yellowstone, Glacier, The Lolo National Forest, the Gallatin National Forest, etc. This land belongs to all people.

          Third, Yellowstone is our first national park, and is beloved. Just because you happen to live next to the park doesn’t mean your opinion is somehow more valid. What determines the validity of your opinion is the effort you put into researching the data and the cause.

          Someone from Chicago, who doesn’t ever go west, but who understands wildlife biology and habitat and who spends time reading about and viewing video and film of Yellowstone wolves will have a more valid opinion than a rancher who doesn’t read, and who doesn’t bother to understand any science at all, instead getting his information from happy Hour at Bob’s Pabst Blue Ribbon Canteen.

          • avatar Harley says:

            Mike,
            You are correct in some regards but what really sucks is that when someone does know the country, does read, is out there in the wilderness and still wants wolves ‘managed’ he or she is considered a crack pot and called all kinds of names and disregarded simply because his or her opinion is not the same as the person who finds them at fault. And it works both ways too, just switch the people in question. If you think someone is wrong, bring up the factual proof without getting ugly and you’re proof will have more validity.
            And in all honesty, I don’t give a rats patooty how much you read. If you’ve never been to a place, You simply Do Not know what these people are experiencing so don’t try to come across like you do just because you read and study up. (Not you personally, that’s a general ‘you’ btw)Walk a mile in them there mocassins and see the world through different eyes!

          • avatar Harley says:

            Hey Mike,

            You grew up around Chicago, correct? I think I remember you saying that a couple of times!

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Louise,

        Over three and half million visited Yellowstone last year, tens of millions have visited since the wolves were re-introduced. So thousands of comments is a pretty weak turn out in support of wolves.

        There is less than 100 that actively post in this blog and many cross over to the active blogs out there.

        So, even though there is a vocal support on blogs like this, it is still a very small percentage of the population that really cares enough to even make a comment.

        • avatar JB says:

          SB:

          I disagree that 68,000 or even 17,000 comments is “weak turnout”. It is in fact very high relative to how many people usually comment on such matters. Whether it is sufficient to have any discernible impact is another question entirely.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            I am not surprised that you disagree JB, you and I often see things in a different light. For the millions that claim they go to Yellowstone for the wolves only and then to have such a small amount of them actually do something to protect them is quite telling to me.

            • avatar JB says:

              You’re assume that everyone is (a) aware of the situation, (b) feels knowledgeable enough to comment, and (c) has the capacity to comment (e.g., they know who to contact). You’re also dismissing other forms of political protest that are not captured by such activities.

              My disagreement with you doesn’t have anything to do with us seeing eye-to-eye on other issues (we actually agree on quite a few). It has to do with your unrealistic expectations for who might engage in a particular behavior at any given time.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                JB,

                My assertion is most people don’t care, it is easy when in a roadside turn out in Yellowstone to say, ya, I came to Yellowstone to see wolves.

                Problem is most forget them when they leave the park, that is one of the problems I have with many of the studies that are often sighted on this blog and many others, I don’t believe it is a real or true representation of the facts.

                In addition many of the comments on this particular story is because the sensationalistic nature the the media has reported it.

                I just don’t find it to be valid data.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Savebears
                read some of the comments that people are posting about the Yellowstone wolves, the sentiments they express are in direct contravention to what you think. The comments lament the loss of these wolves. I think for many people they experience very profound emotions when seeing wolves and other wildlife in a wilderness setting and those emotions are long lasting.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Louise,

                Really, what makes you think I have not read the comments, I just have a completely different view than you and some others have.

              • avatar JB says:

                “…I don’t believe it is a real or true representation of the facts.”

                I’m curious…which facts do you think have been distorted?

              • avatar JB says:

                To follow up: You’re making a rather vague allegation.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                JB,

                You and I simply disagree, that is all, don’t make you or I a bad person..

                We both make our living doing this, and we disagree..

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Louise, you are out of your league..

              • avatar JB says:

                “You and I simply disagree, that is all, don’t make you or I a bad person..”

                Fine. I’m simply trying to determine the specifics of our disagreement. Perhaps one of our conclusions rests on a faulty premise and could be changed were that fault made apparent? That isn’t possible, however, if you can’t explain WHY you disagree (i.e., what information your conclusion is based upon).

            • avatar Mike says:

              SB –

              You like wolves, I know you do. Sometimes I think you just like to argue here.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Mike,

                I have never said, I have anything against wolves. But you are right, I love to argue, especially when I am arguing with someone that has no clue.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Savebears your fight and gripe is with JB, can you leave me out of it. Sounds like you are out of your league.

  48. avatar Mike says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but I say hunters are doing a great job at managing the wolves this time ’round.

    http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/10/mourning-an-alpha-female/

    One step closer to outlawing wolf and grizzly hunting in the west.

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      Grizzly hunting?

      • avatar Mike says:

        Oh didn’t you hear? They’re next in line for hunting and trapping madness.

        • avatar Robert R says:

          Mike first it’s going to be a few years down the road to even consider delisting of grizzlys and bear traps are illegal and snares cannot be used.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Robert –

            It’s important to nip that one in the butt right now before the kill thrill crowd gets too far ahead.

            The majority of American’s oppose predator hunting.

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            Mike (and other folks too)-

            There isn’t any grizzly hunting in the West.

            There was hunting of griz before it was put on the threatened species list in about 1976. Then for a while, Montana let hunters kill 5 a year. That too was ended some time ago.

            The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under political pressure keeps trying to delist the grizzly bear and talk about a well regulated hunt for a few grizzly bears.

            That doesn’t seem plausible given the awful record with wolves in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming. Because these 3 backward states were allowed to run “hog wild,” with their wolf hunts, it is easy to predict there will be a lot of opposition to grizzly hunting because those who admire the great bear and the wild country the persists in the region, are not going to trust these states due to their past and present poor record of stewardship.

            • avatar Mark L says:

              So in the end the wolf killings may help save the wolverine and the griz too?

            • avatar Robert R says:

              Ralph
              What is good stewardship and if the 3 states are so backwards, what is your management plan of large predators?
              If large predators are left unchecked and the population is not managed, I believe that’s what you want because it slowly eliminates hunting.
              With today’s human population and subdivisions there is not the carrying capacity that some want.

              • avatar JB says:

                “If large predators are left unchecked and the population is not managed, I believe that’s what you want because it slowly eliminates hunting.”

                Robert: This simply is not true. Large carnivores do act as check on ungulate populations, but their ability to impact ungulates depends upon a variety of factors. Thus, we should expect exactly what we see–in some places with large carnivores, ungulate populations are stable or increasing, in other places they are falling. I think some hunters have decidedly unrealistic expectations for what the land should produce; they have grown accustomed to ever increasing elk populations managed (primarily) for their benefit.

                I don’t have a problem with hunting wolves; nor do I have a problem with not hunting them. Despite the fears of wolf advocates and hunters such as yourself, the sky will not fall in either case.

            • avatar IDhiker says:

              “Idaho, Montana, Wyoming. Because these 3 backward states were allowed to run “hog wild,” with their wolf hunts,…”

              Ralph, that’s telling it like it is!

    • avatar cheyChuck says:

      I agree, they are managing the packs fine with reasonable goals of harvest. I supported making them a trophy animal years ago… that will definitely bring the tourist dollar. When they inserted the non-native species of wolf years ago, many of us pointed out that this was the wrong thing to do… they are bigger wolves than the native ones would be. But, we allowed it knowing that it could be a good thing. Now, as predicted, the wolves are creating problems and are overpopulating. There are ate least 2 wolves just out of Cheyenne (300 miles from where they are supposed to be). I had a 300 yard shot, but couldn’t take it. Wyoming Game and Fish insist that there are no wolves down here. We hope to prove that soon.

      • avatar Mike says:

        ++When they inserted the non-native species of wolf years ago++

        All. Credibility. Lost.

        • avatar josh says:

          That comment is coming form you? :) The person who always posts about his “hunting knowledge”.. :) So classic Mike!

          • avatar jon says:

            Josh, hunters are supposed to be knowledgable about wildlife, so how do you think it makes them look when they go on about wolves being “non native”? 300 wolves is considered an overpopulation? What about 7 billion people?

      • avatar jon says:

        How is 300 wolves in Wyoming considered an overpopulation of wolves?

  49. avatar Leslie says:

    cheyChuck,

    Genus species. Canis lupus. That is the nomenclature. Same species and not a different subspecies. Science!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subspecies_of_Canis_lupus

    • avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

      The Dire Wolf must be back.

    • avatar Jeff N. says:

      Leslie,

      The smaller native, stealth wolf, that originally inhabited the NRM only ran in pairs, weighed between 50-57 pounds, and dined exclusively on prairie dogs and deer mice.

      It’s well documented in Cat Urbigkit’s book which is the ultimate authority regarding the history of the wolf in the NRM. CheyChuck has obviously done his homework.

      • avatar Leslie says:

        Ask a biologist

        • avatar Jeff N. says:

          Leslie,

          Sarcasm doesn’t really translate to text. I was joking.

          • avatar Leslie says:

            Oh, don’t know yet your opinions. Got it now Jeff. I work at the BBHC in the lab. We have a wolf display area in the natural history part of the museum. There, we have a place for comments. You should see what we get, and a lot from kids parroting their parents. This is a museum filled mostly by tourists in the summer.

            anyways, that ‘foreign wolf one I get all the time and it really irks me. Dumbest excuse for hating wolves if there ever was one.

  50. avatar Leslie says:

    “The Dire Wolf must be back”

    That goes along with the “it could always be worse” Rabbi joke. We should get on that DNA right away.

  51. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I thought the Canadian wolf’s howl was slightly different – “ahhhhhhhhhhhwooooooooo, eh?”

    • avatar Savebears says:

      Ida,

      It would be nice to see people actually paying attention to what is going on! Not what they think is going on..

      • avatar Cobra says:

        Amen SB, We have new packs popping up every year in North Idaho. Many that fish and game doesn’t know about or include in their wolf poulations.
        We have a new pack not 5 miles from the house. While elk hunting this year we heard them everyday. Really a neat sound to hear and fortunate to hear them from the house on occasion when they chase the elk down the ridge to the lower country.
        Wolves are here to stay and Idaho will never get below the minimum limits set by f&g.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Cobra How many of those wolves you love to hear howl will reach adulthood, how many will reach the natural end of their lives? Idaho now hunts wolves almost year round with little restrictions, relic populations harassed, maimed, shot, beaten in traps, snared….what a life! if its a neat sound then why not afford them some better protections then the measly shitty reprieves the state offers now. That howling you hear is probably a howl of misery. There must be better places in the world for wolves then Idaho with their treacherous and merciless wolf management “plan” . Thats what the wolves are howling about.

          • avatar Cobra says:

            Louise,
            With the terrain we have in North Idaho I would say quite a few will reach adulthood.
            You guys act like hunting wolves is like shooting fish in a barrel, it may be in some places but not up here.
            Idaho will always be well above the minimum set and wolves are here for the duration, the sky is not falling regardless of how hard you and others try to paint that picture.

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      Regarding cheyChuck’s comments, “…inserted the non-native species of wolf…they are bigger…”

      Here’s what the Montana Trapper’s Association had to say about this at their wolf trapping classes:

      “Rumors abound about the transplanted wolves from Canada being “different” from those formerly in Montana.
      This is not the case: all wolves in Northern Rocky Mountains are the same species.
      For example, the largest wolf captured and transplanted by the USFWS weighed 102 pounds and in the second year he weighed 132 pounds.
      There we no 180 pound wolves transplanted here by the Feds!
      If we take the species to the subspecies level, all the wolves brought into Montana by the US fish and Wildlife Service are the same as were already living and coming here in Montana.”

  52. avatar Leslie says:

    Science Insider interview with Dr. Doug Smith about recent losses due to the hunts in WY involving Yellowstone’s wolves

    http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2012/12/hunters-kill-another-radio-colla.html

  53. avatar Ralph Maughan says:


    Ok, then. So comments on this article are now closed. If you want to comments more on radio collars etc., go the story we just posted

Calendar

December 2012
S M T W T F S
« Nov   Jan »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Quote

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

~ Edward Abbey

%d bloggers like this: