You know that it’s bad when Fox News writes about the abuses of an agency loved and defended by conservatives.

Animal torture, abuse called a ‘regular practice’ within federal wildlife agency
Fox News

The article talks about the “regular practice” by Wildlife Service’s agents of letting their dogs attack animals that have been caught by their traps.  Since Jamie P. Olsen posted graphic photos of this practice on his FaceBook page last year much more negative attention has been given to this rouge agency.  The more people dig, the worse it gets.

Ken Cole
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More~

By Ralph Maughan.

As Ken Cole wrote above “The more people dig, the worse it gets.”
. . . and dig they do. They are a lot of stories now. One detailed story is in Planet Jackson Hole. TRAPPED! In the shadows of wildlife management By Jake Nichols on March 12, 2013.  The first of this article is about Jamie Olson, but then there is a long discussion of ethical and unethical trapping, including quote from Carter Niemeyer, Franz Camenzind, and many others.

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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.

144 Responses to Fox News covers animal torture by USDA Wildlife Services (update)

  1. avatar Joseph C. Allen says:

    Wow……”who’d a thunk it…….?

  2. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    It’s something nobody can stomach. Ugh. Monstrous.

  3. avatar Richie G says:

    Monstrous Ida that is the word for it.So who does the hiring in this agency?

  4. avatar WM says:

    Wildlife Services is function within US Department of Agriculture; Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). It comes under the responsibility of the Agriculture Undersecretary of Marketing and Regulatory Programs, and the position is currently held by one Rebecca Blue, clearly not a heavy weight based on her credentials (or presentations skills – see below video), and is well ensconced in the politics of the agricultural industry, particularly in N and S Dakota. Her USDA bio:

    Rebecca Blue serves as the Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. Most recently, she was the Legislative Director in USDA’s Office of Congressional Relations. Prior to joining the Department in September 2009, Blue served as a Legislative Assistant for then-Congressman Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota. During her two and a half years with the office, Blue worked on trade, appropriations, and agriculture issues including the 2008 Farm Bill. Before moving to Washington, Blue worked as a crop scout for Nielson Crop Consulting in Huron, SD. She also served for eight months as a volunteer for a faith based charity in Chimbote, Peru. A native of South Dakota, Blue attended South Dakota State University where she earned her B.S. in Agronomy and M.S. in Soil Science.

    Ms. Blue, poltical patronage position holder, …uh,…in action:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xXBZpf56vs

    Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs

    Rebecca Blue serves as the Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. Most recently, she was the Legislative Director in USDA’s Office of Congressional Relations. Prior to joining the Department in September 2009, Blue served as a Legislative Assistant for then-Congressman Earl Pomeroy of North Dakota. During her two and a half years with the office, Blue worked on trade, appropriations, and agriculture issues including the 2008 Farm Bill. Before moving to Washington, Blue worked as a crop scout for Nielson Crop Consulting in Huron, SD. She also served for eight months as a volunteer for a faith based charity in Chimbote, Peru. A native of South Dakota, Blue attended South Dakota State University where she earned her B.S. in Agronomy and M.S. in Soil Science.

  5. avatar Ziggy Pope says:

    FINALLY!!! This heinous behavior is exposed! We have been fighting for months to get this into the public eye! Keep digging, there is more!!!

  6. avatar Wolfy says:

    I’ve worked around a lot of WS agents over the year. I wouldn’t invite even one of them over for a beer. They’re sick and twisted folks, not the sort you turn your back on. The sooner they de-fund, sequester, or stamp-out this outdated, barbaric government killing faction, the better.

  7. avatar ma'iingan says:

    I work very closely with WS agents in my state, and I’ve never witnessed anything but professional behavior, in fact I consider a couple of agents to be good friends. My agency contracts with them to assist in research trapping, and they follow our BMPs religiously. I’m acquainted with a lot of agents here in the WGL states and I’ve never heard of any of the abuses that seem common in the Western states.

    WS in the Western states seems like an entirely different organization. We don’t do any coyote control here, which is where it seems like the abuse is rampant. I’ve discussed this thoroughly with the state WS director and all we can surmise is that the state districts are a reflection of the culture they serve.

    There certainly needs to be a broad and deep housecleaning done to drive out the kind of agents who are making the headlines, and the leaders who allow it to happen.

    • avatar JB says:

      ” I’ve discussed this thoroughly with the state WS director and all we can surmise is that the state districts are a reflection of the culture they serve.”

      I came to the same conclusion after discussion the issue with friends at the NWRC in Fort Collins. For the most part, my interactions with WS professionals in my state have been extremely positive. Again, a Midwest state with very different culture and priorities.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        One has to ask themselves what kind of person seeks a job that is all about “removing” problem animals. Its a job to kill wildlife!

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “…a job that is all about “removing” problem animals. Its a job to kill wildlife!”

          And how do you know this Louise? By what you read on animal rights websites? Or maybe you have first-hand experience with WS that led you to this conclusion.

          • avatar Mike says:

            Does Louise need to head over to N. Korea to know things aren’t so swell over there, too?

            Wildlife Services is a garbage agency and needs to be wiped out.

            • avatar JB says:

              “Does Louise need to head over to N. Korea to know things aren’t so swell over there, too?”

              Ideally, yes. Personal experience is different from the kinds of knowledge one gains by reading books or web blogs. To Ma’s point, there seems to be great variation regionally in the sorts of activities that WS generally engages in. Which suggests that blanket pronouncements such as “Wildlife Services is a garbage agency and needs to be wiped out” should be tempered with the knowledge that they are doing more than shooting wolves and coyotes.

              A few examples: (1) Here in Ohio, WS is helping prevent the spread of raccoon rabies by distributing oral vaccines. (2) Remember the “miracle on the Hudson”? WS has a program specifically aimed at reducing wildlife hazards around airports. In addition to the lethal control you abhor, this also involves habitat management and other non-lethal options. (3) Wildlife Services runs the National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, and the research center in Millville, Utah where much of the non-lethal research we know about was conducted.

              So when you advocate “wiping out” the agency, you lose the baby and the bathwater.

              Now you might also consider the alternative to WS–largely unregulated private control agencies. I encourage you to think hard on how nuisance wildlife would be managed in the absence of WS and ask yourself if it would be any better for the individual animals you purport to love.

              • avatar Mike says:

                Wildlife Services needs to be wiped out. We can create new organizations based on science to deal with public health issues.

                Its dysfunction, and its track record are not worthy of saving as it stands. It would be like leaving the garage of a moldy house intact and then building a new frame around it.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                convince me that the term “problem” animals is a valid way to confront the challenges humans have created because we have squeezed out wildlife in so many habitats. Our tinkering va bad management policies, including the worst of these policies directed at predators, (aka driven out, killed, removed” has created a terrible backlash. The reports I am reading illustrate a level of corruption that filtered through from top to bottom.Forgive me if I have not seen the altruistic, heartwarming services side of Wildlife Services. No I don’t personally know anyone in wildlife services, but my comment was related to the motive/mindset behind taking a job that generally involves “removing” “problem” wildlife. Its not just wildlife services that needs an overhaul or defunding. Using terms like problem animals sets a bad precedent from the start. Its the disposable animal/wildlife theory thats a pervasive theme.

              • avatar JB says:

                “…convince me that the term “problem” animals is a valid way to confront the challenges humans have created because we have squeezed out wildlife in so many habitats.”

                What would you have us call a raccoon who builds a nest in someone’s garage; a skunk living under a toolshed; a house sparrow nesting in your eaves; or a flock of Canada geese hanging out at an airport? These animals are “problems” for people, either because the pose a potential threat to life and limb, or because they are destroying property or otherwise interfering with human activity. Thus, we use the term “problem” or “nuisance” wildlife to differentiate them from wildlife that aren’t causing problems for people.

                Why should the burden of proof by on me to convince you that accepted terminology is appropriate? Isn’t the burden of proof on the person who seeks to challenge the status quo? Can you convince me that these terms are not appropriate?

              • avatar Harley says:

                “What would you have us call a raccoon who builds a nest in someone’s garage; a skunk living under a toolshed; a house sparrow nesting in your eaves; or a flock of Canada geese hanging out at an airport?”

                JB, the whole point is that garage, the toolshed, that house and that airport shouldn’t be there because it’s encroaching on wildlife habitat that was there first…That’s what some would like to argue anyway.

            • avatar WM says:

              So, Mike, just how would you deal with wildlife that are in the wrong places, may cause public health and safety issues that could result in injury or death to humans – think bird strikes at airports, diseased wildlife which may carry rabies, like skunks or raccooons, problem coyotes, wolves, foxes, starling and crows, etc.)?

              You want to turn these functions over to private contractors with little oversight, or maybe in small towns and counties, the Barnie Fife of Mayberry for animal control actions?

              I am more inclined to believe the agency needs an overhaul from the top down, involving policy adherence to humane practices for dealing with lethal control actions required by WS clients. Yes, they do have clients, who do cost-sharing for their services, paying up to half of the cost of some of their functions.

              Policy change starts at the top. That was why I posted the bio for the policy head of WS and other regulatory service agencies within USDA. That would be Rebecca Blue. Now those who feel compelled can write directly to her in hopes she will initiate a dialog for change with the head of WS, not some state office director, or a continuing string of “Oh the horror and disgust if it all!” stories.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++So, Mike, just how would you deal with wildlife that are in the wrong places, may cause public health and safety issues that could result in injury or death to humans – think bird strikes at airports, diseased wildlife which may carry rabies, like skunks or raccooons, problem coyotes, wolves, foxes, starling and crows, etc.)?++

                Ever hear of “animal control?” My city has one. Yours does too. One of their mission policies is to deal with sick or dangerous wildlife.

                The public health issue is already being handled at the local level.

                Wildlife Services is a slaughter program for the most part, and seems to breed psychopaths.

              • avatar JB says:

                So you would replace federal oversight and entrust the management of nuisance wildlife to individual municipalities? And you don’t see where that would pose any problems for animal welfare advocates, or disease management?

              • avatar WM says:

                Mike,

                The point is there are economies of scale for these kinds of services – the people with the skills as well as the specialized equipment in some cases (whether it is strategy consulting, or actual field work non-lethal or lethal). Then there is the funding of the services. That is why many counties/cities participate in the cost share program. And, in the case of the City of Davis, CA, they opted out for their own, perhaps justified, inhumane animal treatment reasons involving coyote control.

                While your “city animal control” may be large enough in the Chicago area to address this on their own, there are many rural areas, small towns, interfaces between cities/counties where these animal cause problems, that it would be unlikely the local budget could support the function.

                Then there are the FAA federally regulated areas, like airports, whether large or small, that have to have in place plans, and maintenance programs to keep their facilities safe. I can just see a Barney Fife out there with a broom shooing birds, rabbits and rodents off the runway as the next aircraft sets up for final approach to land.

                Of course, there are the otherwise federally protected species that only the feds can lethally dispatch. Otherwise, there is, as I understand it, a very bureaucratic process which would be required, when having a local entity do the lethal work.

                So, you want the Ravelli County, MT, animal control folks dealing with “problem wolves,” if they were returned to the ESA, or maybe even today killing a problem grizzly which is ESA listed? Your naivity once again is showing.

              • avatar WM says:

                And, Mike, by the way, what makes you think local animal control operators (whether public servants or private contractors) aren’t/wouldn’t turn into alleged psychopaths, as well? The job description is the same, regardless of who the employer is.

              • avatar Harley says:

                Mike wants to rely on Chicago animal control? Seriously Mike? Wow… I wouldn’t rely on anything coming out of Chicago these days…

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Ma, you wrote, “I work very closely with WS agents in my state, and I’ve never witnessed anything but professional behavior, in fact I consider a couple of agents to be good friends.” is your anecdotal experience any more valid then what I and thousands of others have learned about the underbelly of this corrupted organization. I wonder how many people thought Jamie Olsen or the other creep that intentionally trapped the dog never saw any bad behavior either. My point was that as a career choice – a career that involves trapping, killing and “removing” wild mammals must start with a pretty hard heart. This is not a research agency and there is plenty of objective evidence that this particular agency has a history of abuse toward wildlife.

            • avatar TC says:

              Yes, his experience working with WS agents is worth more than your http://www.peruse.select.personally.distasteful.and.inflammatory.articles.com experiences with WS. I too have worked with WS agents and found most (not all) to be professional, ethical, and reasonable folks. And they do research. Quite a bit of it. Much of it on non-lethal forms of wildlife management for “problem” animals. And there are many “problem” animals in the world today, owing to the fact that human beings like you insist on surviving, taking up space, using resources, and trying to avoid nasty little inconveniences like zoonotic diseases and property damage.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Don’t forget insisting on overbreeding too. And some of us use more resources than others. All of the problems you list we have created ourselves through ignorance or carelessness – so we can make the extra effort to behave like humane, compassionate creatures we were meant to be to fix them or diminish our impact.

              • avatar TC says:

                Yes Ida on the overpopulation problem, but it’s OK, Bill Gates has taken this up as one of the next causes for his foundation. I imagine Windows 10 will come with a built-in sterilizing program masked as a gateway to porn, gaming, social media, or select blog sites. (Actually I hope it does, but I’ve been accused of missing a compassion gene).

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              “…is your anecdotal experience any more valid then what I and thousands of others have learned about the underbelly of this corrupted organization. I wonder how many people thought Jamie Olsen or the other creep that intentionally trapped the dog never saw any bad behavior either.”

              Yes! It is more valuable because it affords me a much broader perspective, whereas Jamie Olsen or the creep who trapped his neighbors’ dog are all you know of the agency.

              And anyone who makes a career choice to work in wildlife management needs to become “hardened” to some extent. We manage populations, not individuals – but I don’t know of any of the agents I work with that enjoy killing. I have participated in lethal removal of wolves with a couple of them and they were pretty subdued. In fact, they seem to derive the utmost satisfaction when they can prove to a producer that it was not wolves that killed his calf, but the neighbor’s dogs.

              And I don’t think I gloss over the bad agents that are out there – they need to be driven out, and if their supervisors condone the behavior they need to go too.

              As far as WS not being a research agency? Again you expose your tunnel vision – no other agency conducts more research on zoonotic diseases, and the NWRC holds the world’s largest inventory of wolf DNA. I can’t speak for all the other states, but all our DNA and blood samples go to NWRC for analysis and archival.

    • avatar Kristi says:

      There is one Wildlife Services employee in MI and does not perform “damage control” duties. He helps with collaring and locating. MN uses state trappers for “problem” wolves. As shown in the Sacramento Bee series on Wildlife Services there were other instances of less than ethical practices done by WS, particularly in the west…it’s a whole different mindset.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Right, Wisconsin just lets everyone else do coyote control, including letting them be torn apart in fenced pens.

  8. avatar john says:

    the question is,, did anyone else report it? funny, a quick search on communist news network and msnbc shows no info the subject that I can see,,

    • avatar ramses09 says:

      John, Kudos for Fox airing it. Now maybe the public will get their heads out of their butts & help with the war on all of our wildlife, it’s about time the people who pay to view & love to photograph wildlife had a say in this. It’s always about the hunters or the poor ranchers. Talk about hand-outs, ranchers are the worst. I should say some of the ranchers. There are ethical ranchers out there.

  9. Ma”ingen writes:
    “…a job that is all about “removing” problem animals. Its a job to kill wildlife!”

    And how do you know this Louise? By what you read on animal rights websites? Or maybe you have first-hand experience with WS that led you to this conclusion.

    TRY BROADENING THE SCOPE OF YOU EDUCATION – e.g. “Wolfer” (Carter Niemeyer); Predatory Bureaucracy (Michael Robinson) before uttering inane, patently biased statements!

  10. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    convince me that the term “problem” animals is a valid way to confront the challenges humans have created because we have squeezed out wildlife in so many habitats.

    Great post, Louise. Yes, we need an overhaul in the way we see our place in the ecology. I am happy (and very relieved!) to know that WS in other parts of the country do not operate in this abominable way towards other living things.

  11. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    or because they are destroying property or otherwise interfering with human activity.

    It should not be a capital crime for them, punishable by death and torture. We could humanely and compassionatel deal with them. We could cut back on our development, and make wildlife a consideration when we do develop. My neighbor has his property manicured and fenced in to within an inch of its life – mine is left wild. I saw them spraying deer repellent over their plants just before we had a major rain and snowstorm. I’m sure Mother Nature must chagrin him. :)

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Oh, so I guess that means – since the animals have plenty of places to build their own homes, they don’t bother my garage? I have never had a problem with birds, racoons, squirrels or skunks building homes in my home.

      • avatar WM says:

        Ida,

        Read this. Starlings are one problem species of enormous proportion. Wonder how you and Chicago Mike propose dealing with them?

        This from the research folks at Colorado State University and the WS National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins.

        http://lib.colostate.edu/research/agnic/starlings.html

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Well admittedly there will be times when something has to be done. But we are too quick to take the easy option of killing. And I just don’t know what to say when wildlife officials are torturing wildlife with dogs and cages. Sick.

    • avatar JB says:

      “It should not be a capital crime for them, punishable by death and torture…”

      I never said that it should be. Indeed, there are usually a variety of ways of dealing with nuisance wildlife; however, death may be a more humane option. For example, a colleague of mine recently had a raccoon invade his attack. He first inquired about what it would cost to remove the raccoon ($250) via a private contractor. He also learned that moving a live raccoon is prohibited in Ohio due to the risks associated with rabies and other diseases–meaning he had two choices, allow the raccoon to be euthanized, or trap it and release it on his property (a .15 acre lot in the city). Being industries (and having friends in the wildlife field) he trapped the raccoon himself (in a box trap), then patched up the damaged part of his roof and siding. Being soft-hearted, he released the animal on the spot as the law required. Having been evicted from his current home, the raccoon promptly ran across the street and into his neighbor’s garage.

      Does this help you see the grey area in nuisance wildlife policy, Ida?

      • avatar JB says:

        Sorry should have written: “Being industrious…”

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I know there’a a grey area – what I mean is that we too easily make the choice to kill, or set up situations where the animal has no choice but to interfere with our ‘activities’.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          We care so little about it, and have come to accept killing wildlife so nonchalantly that our laws don’t even give us an option for what to do to relocate wildlife in your example. For every one that is killed, of course another racoon will try to build a place to live in the same location – so unless we intend to wipe them all out in areas of densely human populated areas, it’s going to continue to be a problem. I sure wouldn’t want to live in a world like that. But then these people who no longer have a connection to the natural world come to live in rural areas and bring this mindset with them – cutting down trees, killing wildlife, building fences. I don’t think all human activities take precedence just because we are human. I do agree that a lot of this can be handled at the local level, and yes there are some psychos in animal control there too. We need to select better people to do these jobs.

  12. Two astute contributors write:

    T”Wildlife Services is a slaughter program for the most part, and seems to breed psychopaths.”

    “I’ve worked around a lot of WS agents over the year. I wouldn’t invite even one of them over for a beer. They’re sick and twisted folks, not the sort you turn your back on.”

    According to authorities on WLS (e.g. Niemeyer’s “Wolfer”) the agency self-selects for sociopathic types — i.e. looks at their record of killing as propensity to kill at will.

    By the way ma”alinging (sp?!)is there any chance you work with WLS or other morally bankrupt wildlife management and “conservation” organization?

    • avatar Harley says:

      Val,

      Ouch, retract those claws kitty! Your choice of ” implies that Ma is being less than ethical and I see no cause for that stance. He gave an opposing view based on personal experience, not a personal attack.

  13. The skunk under the porch and the raccoons in the trash, birds in the gutters etc. are part of having a home. The public at large in America expect a sanitary, safe American dream and when anything goes wrong they want to just call someone. The decisions made by who they call often reflect the general opinion of animals in the area. . . hence, killing is a simple solution. Those of us who want better answers know that killing animals is only a short stopgap to make people happy. Looking into the racoons in the trash will often reveal something else gone wrong in the neighborhood, for example; a huge boost in the population because someone is feeding them. Animals are moving into populated areas because we have removed natural food from the traditional wilds by logging, paving, farming, developing and changing the world for our own pleasure. It is time for WS, municipalities, counties and homeowners to come up with plans for coexisting with their natural neighbors without killing them. It is entirely possible. If WS were reformed, wouldn’t it be cool if they were made up of guys who wanted to understand all the animals and how they function and use that knowledge to find ways to coexist with them. I just read a book about beavers by Hope Ryden called Lily Pond. Her understanding of the way beavers live could help anyone who had “problem” beavers find a way to make living with them work. I also just reread “Wolfer” and the information in that book should be widely understood. I find that it is not. Why?

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      The skunk under the porch and the raccoons in the trash, birds in the gutters etc. are part of having a home.

      Thank you! I have deer, foxes, coyotes, skunks, racoons, squirrels, mice, chipmunks, and a multitude of birds and we all coexist very nicely. I don’t leave trash or garbage outside, and I don’t let my pet outside. I have never once had a major problem. Once I think a squirrel was chewing on the chimney flashing. I have lived at this location for 25 years.

      I haven’t read Wolfer yet and I very much want to.

      I have more fear of catching diseases from other humans than I do animals, and it’s much more likely.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I sometimes have deer and rabbits eat my plants, but I figure I can share them. I put up netting around the garden. It’s worth it to see them from time to time.

      • avatar Harley says:

        Ida and Linda,

        While I agree about the whole co-existing thing, I draw the line at sharing my house with them. Bats, mice and raccoons are known disease carriers. Sometimes the lethal way to deal with it is the only way. I also draw the line at being complacent when I follow all the ‘rules’ about my pet but it still gets attacked by a coyote. When wildlife attack, the best way to deal with that, IMHO is the lethal method.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          We’re talking about two different things. Obviously if something gets out of hand, most of us realize something has to be done. But if there is no reason, it shouldn’t be necessary to be so hypervigilant about killing them first. I’ve never had any animals in my basement or living quarters. The garage a few times but they get politely shown the door. :)

          What I am amazed at is even people who live in the Western states where they have probably witnessed and certainly heard about instances of obscene brutality against other living things claim to be frightened of people who would never kill animals or any living thing. It must threaten the status quo and that gets them shaking in their boots.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Sorry, I was wrong. I had a snake in the basement, and I calmly put on gloves and took him outside. That’s all it takes.

            • avatar Harley says:

              Muahhaha, funny story:

              So the other night, I was sitting in my garage, ending a call on the cell phone. The door was open and I saw something at the edge of my driveway. I flipped on the lights and there was Mr. Possom, ambling his way into my garage! So I beeped the horn, he’d stop, then continue. I beeped again, he’d stop, then continue. I finally annoyed him enough that he decided the garage wasn’t the best place to spend the night!

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                :)

              • avatar Nancy says:

                Harley – kudos for taking non lethal action :)

                I’ve had an interesting time over the last month with a couple of coyotes. Never see their tracks on the property in the winter and if I do, they are usually skirting the edge of it.

                Then the “pissing” match began.

                I started taking my two dogs for a walk along the subdivision road next to me, instead of around the back of the property, just because its easier to walk on a plowed road.

                Well, my girls (dogs) spent quite abit of time sniffing sagebrush and bunchgrass along the road and then would leave their little contribution (piss)

                Next thing I know, the coyote tracks are more numerous on the property, up the driveway, around the back buildings. Then I notice tracks, IN the fenced in, front yard.
                Investigated and realized they were coyote tracks and the coyotes had taken advantage of the deep snow around the fenceline (which gets hard at night, when the temps drop) to jump into and out of the yard.

                It was a first AND a wake up call to get the snow mashed down around the fenceline.

                Spent an afternoon doing that and it seems to have done the trick. (No more tracks)

                But I have to wonder if by me “invading” their territory with my dogs, they were just letting me know how easy it can be to turn the tables. You piss on my bush, I jump in your yard. Its a canine thing.

                SAP might have alittle more info about that with regard to how effective guard dogs can be when it comes to preceived territory.

            • avatar JEFF E says:

              I do that with spiders, if I bother them at all.
              my yard is a microcosm with a full complement of snakes. Drives my wife nutsy, especially when she steps out the front door and one is sunning itself and whips out from under her feet.

              Don’t have much problems with mice however…

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                :) I’ve got a bunch of raptors also.

              • avatar Harley says:

                Mark L,

                I saw that. Made me sick.

                Snakes? Why did it have to be snakes! I have a problem with snakes though I don’t think I’d go out of my way to kill them. There is a current war on spiders when I find them anywhere near my bed however…

            • avatar Harley says:

              Ha! Nancy, if I had just been thinking straight, I would have simply closed the door!!! LOL! oh man! He was one ugly Possom!

              We had a young one fall down our window well so me and the kids (When they were much younger!) decided to be all Steve Irwin and rescue it. We put a swimming noodle down to encourage him to climb out and it worked. All the while my son is narating “Crickey, isn’t she a beauty?” Oh boy!

              Another time I remember a rather large snapping turtle in the middle of a gravel road. I tried to ‘herd’ him off the road using the lid to a cooler. That feisty bugger wanted a piece of me! I did get him off the road though.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Be careful with those snapping turtles, they can be dangerous with that medieval weapon of tail! I’ve seen some huge ones around the lakes and ponds near me, also a darling little one no bigger than one you’d see in a pet shop. :)

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                as a male, i am cautious of snapping turtles

              • avatar Nancy says:

                The snapping turtle story brought a tear to my eye, Harley.

                Years ago, I spent a couple of weeks with my grandparents (they lived in Kentucky)

                One afternoon my grandmother, her sister and I, decided to hit a few roadside antique stores in the area.

                As we were going down the road, we came upon a snapping turtle, trying to cross it. My sweet little grandmother, who was at the wheel, steered into the lane the turtle was in and mashed it.

                Geez Grandma!! was all I could think to say to my grandmother and then asked “why did you go out of your way to kill that turtle?”

                Her response? “Well snapping turtles get into the trotlines and eat the fish trapped on those lines”

                Well, of course they will, especially when you bottle up a potential food source and then make it inviting to the local wildlife. My grandparents had two ponds, fed from creeks, on their property.

              • avatar Harley says:

                Nancy,
                Yikes! I don’t think I could ever, under any circumstances, deliberately hit any animal. We tease about squirrels around here, we call them natures little speed bumps because so many of them get nailed. But I do what I can to avoid them. They sure make it a challenge though!

              • avatar Mark L says:

                google ‘turtle road experiment’ and read some of the results.
                (people suck)
                I’m in the JEFF E school of thought with snakes….I raise herps too.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Harley says,
                “Mark L,

                I saw that. Made me sick.

                Snakes? Why did it have to be snakes! I have a problem with snakes though I don’t think I’d go out of my way to kill them. There is a current war on spiders when I find them anywhere near my bed however…”

                I brought your comment down here-muast have gotten misplaced. Anyway, yes, I don’t blame you on the spiders issue, but I DO think you make a good point:
                –just because you kill spiders in your house doesn’t mean you should kill ALL spiders everywhere. I think we get in a habit of treating the ‘outdoors’ just like a big bedroom (as an example) and transfer the same policies to it, which is basically kill anything inconvenient.
                I think the same thing happens to lots of wildlife where we see our neighborhood (or even our STATE) as a bigger version of our house and impose the same morals/kill policy on it. There’s got to be a point where we no longer impose our morals/values on every single thing that happens in nature (at least I hope there is a point).

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                I’ll get these huge wolf spiders(as I’m only 12 miles from Canada…)in the cabin. Seems early in the year they get mashed, but do create a mess. Farther into the year we go they get swept into a dust pan and outside they go. Never had a problem with snakes(had rat snakes and king snake in my classroom) but spiders…

    • avatar JB says:

      Linda,

      I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written. However, you need to recall the context of my comments. First, we have the assertion that Wildlife Services and all of its functionality (research, disease prevention, etc.) should be disbanded. A comment, I would add, that was made without any justification or any seeming recognition that predator control in the West represents a relatively small part of what the agency does, or the fact that sans Wildlife Services, such operations would exist with no federal oversight.

      Second, we have the assertion that animals that invade human homes or otherwise cause problems should not be called “problem” animals. Fine by me. Call them anything you’d like; but recognize that having potentially diseased animals living in your house is for (I’m going to guess here) 99.9999999% of Americans–a problem. And “problems” call for solutions. I’ll be the first to admit that Wildlife Services too often plays the role of the boy with the hammer (attempting to address every problem the same way); but we can at least start be agreeing that these things are problems. If you guys can’t agree on that much, you really are screaming into the wind…

  14. Greetings Harley,

    I’m NOT IMPLYING that Ma works for less than ethical wildlife mint. and “conservation” orgs. like IFG which sanctions morally bankrupt practices such as permitting the use of only the trophy-game wolf (not elk, for example) as bait to entice yet more wolves to their horrific demise to “further reduce the wolf population as fast as possible.” (tel. conversation) with IFG Dep. Dir. Dave Compton ten days ago.

    I’m ASKING Ma’, BECAUSE he has valuable “personal experience” for my on-going research purposes because e.g., IFG has a parasitic (a/k/a hand-in-glove) relationship with Wildlife Services like a plethora of other wildlife mgnt. and “conservation” orbs. and perhaps his sanctions the kind of actions that are part and parcel of WLS as well.

    By the way, this wolf uses her FANGS more than her claws.

    Looking forward to chewing on more of your commentary!

    • avatar Harley says:

      LOL! Well said Val! Fangs, I shall remember that in dealing members here.

      I just wanted to clarify because so many people, on both sides of the issue use ” ” and ALL CAPS to emphasis and it can be taken as a personal attack rather than a wish to discuss. There are too many good people who get sucked into so many stupid arguments and in the long run, the purpose and objective sometimes becomes lost.

  15. Greetings all wolf-advocates,

    Fangs here has been chewing on her latest legal theory to secure permanent legal protection for the NRM DPS gray wolf.

    How does this theory (which I propose seriously) strike the well-educated, lawyer contributors, and close friends of President Obama?:

    Asking President Obama to abate the conservation nadir of the 21st century, and thereby, use his National Monuments and Antiquities powers. In regard to this argument, please consider the following excerpted from the Congressional Research Service:

    “The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorizes the President to create national monuments on federal lands that contain historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, or other objects of historic or SCIENTIFIC interest.” (emphasis added).

    For example,”The Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, proclaimed by President George W. Bush, is approximately 89 million acres in the Pacific Ocean. ”

    Moreover, “President George W. Bush’s designation of [this} marine national monument in 2009 led to a legal challenge claiming that FISHING RIGHTS (by analogy, in re: the NRM DPS, “hunting rights”) had been lost. To date, no court challenges have SUCCEEDED.” (emphasis added).

    I look forward to all thoughtful responses. Thanks!

    • avatar topher says:

      Seems underhanded and untransparent, just the sort of thing Obama would likely do if he actually cared enough to do anything.
      I think people are are onto this sort of tactic with reguards to hunting. When Craters Of The Moon was expanded I believe it was with the understanding that legal hunting would continue in the newly expanded areas of the monument. So just to declare a national monument where none existed before does not automatically preclude hunting in that area if it was allowed prior to the decision to form the monument.

    • avatar JB says:

      Please clarify: Are you suggesting that Obama should declare certain national forests to be monuments, therefore moving them from multi-use FS-USDA to NPS-Interior; or are you suggesting that Obama could declare wolves to be a national monument?

  16. JB,

    Wolves as “scientific objects” in re: hunting rights would be abrogated as in the above-referenced marine case which withstood challenge.

    From the the little bit of research I’ve conducted thus far I DO believe I’m onto something. My next step within the next few days will be to seek the case(s) challenging the above referenced “monument” which was referenced briefly in Congressional Research Service.

    In the meantime, can someone confirm the exact area of the NRM DPS in square kilometers? I believe it is 290,000 sq.km as recalled from a 2009 BioScience article.

    Thanks all!

    • avatar WM says:

      Valerie,

      I won’t do your legal research for you, but intuitively I think there are alot of differences between an ocean floor based monument over which the United States asserts jurisdiction (and which are not to my knowledge within a state’s boundaries), and federal land reserves clearly within the boundaries of states in the NRM, and upon which wild animals roam without much distinction regarding who owns what land, and which presumptively are within a state’s authority to manage absent specific federal legislation which purports to trump such authority.

      It would certainly stretch the purpose and intent of the Antiquities Act to assert some kind of federal blanket interest, which by mere Presidential Executive Order could summarily sidestep the ESA process, and protect an animal which most states don’t want in the first place(at least in very large numbers). And, God forbid those animals ever stepping on private land or outside the boundaries of some massive national monument as you seem to suggest.

      I expect if a sitting President were to use the Antiquities Act for such a purpose the legislative response would Draconian and likely jeopardize future use of the Act for more moderate good purposes, maybe even nullify it entirely (I could see R’s doing that).

      While maybe a creative legal theory would allow for such authority, a President would have to be certifiably nuts, and intent on alienating moderate D’s – all for a wolf?

      Not in your wildest dreams. The breadth and magnitude of interests, and overt political opposition within the NRM DPs are much different than some square miles of ocean floor, out of sight and mind, with nominal or maybe even significant commercial fishing interest in the Hawaiian Islands.

      Maybe your vision is enhanced by our new recreational use marijuana law in WA. :)

  17. JB,

    Addendum,

    With respect to how to set designated the protected land, obviously it would have to be public lands — a combination of BLM and Forest Service lands where the Multiple Use Sustained Yield Act would not apply.

    There was another reference in Congressional Research that alludes to a national monument in connection with protecting condors. So rethinking things, I would surmise that wolves, because they are “scientific objects” (akin to Condors) could theoretically be entitled to have all National Forest and BLM lands encompassed within their NRM DPS protected from multiple use.

    Until I read the cases challenging the marine monument alluded to, I can’t speculate anymore.

    Again, would love to hear thoughts about this — most of for the wolves but also because I really enjoy creative theory development!

  18. Jb I spend four to six months in a less developed country where animals are more prevalent . . Animals seldom are the problem. Scorpions live here with me and they are shy animals who retreat at the sound of human voices so they’re easy to live with if you know that .they also eat cockroaches. The problem is that people do not observe and learn about animals. For instance the birds who settle on runways . . They may be there because the runway lights collect bugs. Mainly it seems people kill things for fear or convenience . . Both of which can usually be mitigated.

    I am afraid I cannot agree that animals are a problem. You mention disease but as someone else pointed out you are more likely to catch something from someone you shook hands with. That said I have killed bugs and sometimes an animal must be killed . . After all I do eat meat, but I think people are wusses and need to learn more about animals. Here where I am staying there are deer hunters among the locals. . One man told me he has four bullets and has had only four for some years but one day he will get a deer. He knows a huge amount about the local deer because he has been working for that one good shot for years. I respect that level of knowledge and I hope he gets one. I do not respect people who hide in their houses when they see a skunk and call the police. Skunks are welcomed at my house and now my neighbors understand we need them to eat yellow jackets.

    • avatar JB says:

      “I spend four to six months in a less developed country where animals are more prevalent.”

      Let me stop you right there, Linda. I do not at all accept the idea that animals are more prevalent in “less developed” areas. The highest white-tail deer density ever recorded was in an urban park here in Columbus and raccoon densities in rural areas are typically around 10-25 animals/km2; whereas a number of studies in urban areas show densities of 100-200 /km2.

      “I am afraid I cannot agree that animals are a problem. You mention disease but as someone else pointed out you are more likely to catch something from someone you shook hands with.”

      Yes, but the kinds of diseases one catches from urban mesocarnivores are not like the common cold. Once rabies reaches the brain it is fatal–period. And while we’re on the subject, google raccoon roundworm.

      While I agree that many of the problems caused by wildlife are ultimately the result of human behavior, that does not make these animals unproblematic. And solutions, while they sometimes exist, are not cut-and-dry. So yeah, its someone’s fault when trash is readily available and raccoon populations explode, or when some fool decides it would be cool to feed the bear cub; but the damage has been done and the wildlife are still a problem. There is NOT always a non-lethal solution.

    • avatar WM says:

      Linda,

      Not that you don’t have a point about what one can do around their home, but this is bigger than somebody’s garage or backyard in some rural area.

      You ever see what chicken size bird, or numerous smaller birds in a flock will do to a commerical aircraft engine turbine fan, and what that means to flight of the aircraft and people in it? Or to a windshield? I have, and it is extreme damage that can get people killed – not just the aircraft occupant but people on the ground. I have also been in a glider, making a landing on a small airfield (Jefferson County Airport, near Boulder, CO) and had the crap scared out of me when we almost smacked into a bunch of ducks taking flight off a pond in front of a runway. It does not take much to damage the flight surfaces of a lightweight glider, and you can’t power out of mishap, because there is no engine.

      • avatar Mark L says:

        WM and JB,
        As was said there may not always be a non-lethal option, but many times all options have not been explored:
        http://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=252067
        (a British birding thread on bald eagles being evicted in Norfolk, Va.)
        There’s a habit here of trying to get results from a confrontation with a single (or several) animal(s) but not analyzing the initial or outlying cause of the conflict, so not reducing the overall number of negative situations.
        Additionally, there’s a profit motive in not ‘ending’ the conflict in a way that doesn’t keep revenue coming in to the ‘eliminator’…like being a trapper and trapping the wast wolf in an area: now one must move on. And as Linda Jo Hunter said, a lot of times there are factors not being discussed due to politics (like who is removing FOD from run/taxiways and how often).

        • avatar WM says:

          Mark,

          I don’t know what to think of the link you cite. We are reading ONE SIDE of the story from a not so objective source that wants eagles in the botanical gardens near the Norfolk Intl. Airport.

          Is avian radar really an economical and proven technology suitable for this facility, or are there other means of keeping eagles, and in this instance fish from the end of this runway. This advocacy post really doesn’t focus on how the fish got there or how long it had been there. My suspicion is that the eagle got the fish and this seemed like a good place for a meal, which kind of begs the question – but for the eagle this aircraft incident wouldn’t have happened. Warding off landing aircraft on final approach (at least at larger traffic facilities in urban areas) to accomodate wildlife seems kind of impractical and nonsensical from an operations standpoint. Their legal duty and focus is to minimize or eliminate risk. Any airport is going to focus on aircraft safety, within budget, for purposes of avoiding liability, and harm to patrons. Whether such safety involves relocation of a national symbol (bald eagle) or other wildlife, I expect if WS is involved they do look a variety of methods, and talk them over with the client. In some cases, it may very well be a thankless and unpopular job, even when done by good and caring people.

          I also expect various administrators at the city, botanical garden, air port, WS and any other agency involved in trying to solve a public health and safety problem likely views this eagle advocacy group (who offers no real solution to the problem) are viewed as an obstructionist pain in the ass that keeps them from doing their jobs.

        • avatar JB says:

          I don’t disagree with anything you’ve written, Mark. I just ask that you remember the context of my comments. Suggestions were made that WS needs to go–period and that “problem” animals are not a problem. In the latter case, I accept the notion that the underlying, root cause of the problem is often of a human origin; but I reject the idea attributing the underlying cause to people makes wildlife any less problematic. (And I think I’m on safe ground asserting that anyone who has been involved in an bird strike would agree).

  19. WM,

    WM says:
    March 13, 2013 at 6:19 pm
    Valerie,

    “I won’t do your legal research for you, but intuitively I think there are alot of differences between an ocean floor based monument over which the United States asserts jurisdiction (and which are not to my knowledge within a state’s boundaries), and federal land reserves clearly within the boundaries of states in the NRM …”

    WM, first of all, I ALWAYS do my OWN research (don’t trust anyone else as much as myself because, for one thing, I’m relentless when it comes to seeking the truth of the matter).

    What I am looking for is to hear from other smart legal theorists.

    Secondly, because of the stridency of your dismissal, it causes to think that I really my be on to something here. Again, until I ANALYZE ALL OF THE CASES IN RE: the 2009 Bush monument (particularly re: the at-risk species involved)I won’t be able to provide more in terms of analogy to the NRM DPS. But I DO know that the Antiquties Act routinely sets aside BLM land for protection from multiple use (and lots of it) so I surmise with good reason that the Act should apply to NATIONAL FORESTS.

    Just imagine WM, if even just a large chunk of the Targhee in the area the Centennials, smack in the middle of the only east-west wildlife migration corridor through the Continental Divide, could be set aside for wolves, grizzlies, and pronghorn grizzlies as a national monument? Hell, the U.S. Experiment Sheep Station already has 50, 000 acres to itself. Last time I checked, NRM sheep (domestic) weren’t endangered.

    Wouldn’t that solve so many problems in so many ways??

    So much more humane than allowing, say Montana’s FG Commissioners to sanction wolf snaring (proposed) where the thick cartilage of the wolf’s neck often causes so-called “jelly brain” because the wolf, instead of choking to death quickly, has it carotid artery continue to pump blood into the brain for days until it literally explodes! (from Carter Niemeyer today).

    LOOKING FORWARD as always to your response, WM.

    • avatar WM says:

      I was not dismissive of the legal theory, but the wisdom of its application. In addition I interpreted your desire for a huge area, the entire NRM DPS(??). One or more smaller ones would be more palatable, though eliminating historic hunting might receive considerable pushback,if that is part of a desired result.

      Perhaps you have seen this very recent law journal article, especially appropriate is the text beginning at p. 187. About p.197 you will see cautionary language about limits and past abuses of employing the Antiquities Act for designation of certain areas (and of course Congresss can de-designate, and has dedesignated some areas, as well as changed designations over the course of recent history).

      http://law.lclark.edu/live/files/13643-431morrispdf

  20. Ralph – Why don’t you make these folks use their real names? I get the feeling, after reading many of the comments on this Wildlife Service’s article, that there are a lot of trolls commenting on here. Some of the worst seem to be on here just to trash other people’s opinions.

    • avatar Harley says:

      Larry,

      There are a ton of reasons why some people won’t use their real names. There are too many crazies out there and some of us don’t want to find ourselves in the cross hairs. So to speak.
      But I do agree with most of what you’ve said!

  21. WM, et al.,

    ADDENDUM RE: the Papahanaumokuakea Hawaii Marine National Monument Marine Heritage Research, Education and Management Plan.

    PLEASE NOTE the following excerpt found when goggled:

    “[t]he Monument is one of the last PREDATOR-DOMINATED coral reef ecosystems on the planet. The region provides critical nesting and foraging grounds for 14 million seabirds, making it the largest tropical seabird rookery in the world. The region’s natural resources, Native Hawaiian cultural resources, and maritime heritage resources make PMNM one of the most significant protected marine areas in the world.”

    This is looking promising in re: petitioning national monument status for the NRM DPS.

    Any CONSTRUCTIVE thoughts anyone??

    • avatar SAP says:

      I’ll try, but more along the lines of strategic considerations instead of jurisprudence:

      One could clearly argue that Yellowstone National Park itself was until recently serving quite well as a laboratory for studying un-exploited wolves (ie, “scientific objects”).

      Clearly, delisting and hunting have changed all that.

      Looking at the way wolves use the landscape, extending protections into the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness to the north, and into through the North Absaroka Wilderness to the east, would restore an ecologically meaningful protected core for unexploited wolves, who could then be conserved as “scientific objects.”

      I am skeptical that you’d get the entirety of the NRM Recovery Areas protected, but you might have a chance around YNP. Especially considering that YNP was the reintro site, and that huge amounts of peer-reviewed research have been generated by studying the wolves there.

  22. Addendum: Re: National Monument status for wolves: Please not PREDATOR-DOMINATED should be followed by (emphasis added).

  23. avatar Deb H. says:

    There is a hugh difference between helping farmers and ranchers with “problem” animals and using inhumane methods of dealing with these animals. These people are suppose to be professionals. I see no difference between what they do and thugs that fight animals for fun. Not all employees are bad, but the bad need to be dealt with and removed from there positions. I have been in the veterinary profession for years, and have seen what the cruelty of humans can do to animals. This needs to be stopped.

  24. avatar john says:

    another quick check of communist news network and msnbc shows no coverage of such an event.. must be they are just to worried about other mundane things..

  25. SAP,

    GREAT point. The Beartooth-Absaroka I think (have to look at a map) would link up very nicely with the American Serengeti Bison/Prairie Reserve in E. Montana.

    Also, would want to include the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem westward to the Beaverheads, Bitterroots, River of No Return to Eastern Oregon to foster connectivity before we lose both wolf and grizzly bear.

    • avatar Robert R says:

      Valerie the wolf and grizzly will not be lost.

      The wolf never needed introduce because there was already a population.
      “Wolf Ecology Project, University of Montana (initiated by Robert Ream in 1973)
      The Wolf Ecology Project collected 315 wolf reports between 1973 and 1977. An additional 109 reports were rejected as questionable but possible. Day (1981) analyzed 278 of the 315 good reports and found them to be clustered in two areas. Northwestern Montana produced 190 of the reports while the areas in southwestern Montana yielded 84 reports.”

      • avatar rork says:

        Some of us were against reintroduction. It just seemed crazy at the time to import any, if there was a chance a few natives were around. I think I was likely wrong though: perhaps not enough genetic diversity remained, and some extra animals helped. Made it faster ofcourse.

        • avatar Mark L says:

          Would it not be genetically possible to test if any ‘non-reintroduced wolves’ had some genetic representation in the current wolves through integration?

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            There are very detailed studies using best new genetic analysis of the recovered wolf population in the Northern Rockies. If there is any unrelated genetic material, it is too scare to be detected.

            Any lone wolves roaming around before the reintroduction, and there were a few, were apparently from B.C./Alberta origin.

            Note: don’t forget that there were several scores of wolves that had migrated down, living and having pups in NW Montana in the early 1990s before the reintroduction.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Note: don’t forget that there were several scores of wolves that had migrated down, living and having pups in NW Montana in the early 1990s before the reintroduction.

              Yes, funny how this fact gets no attention, or buried.

            • avatar Mark L says:

              Yep….my point exactly, thanks Ralph.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Robert R,

        Not for the point of argument. I’ve read Alston Chase’s “Playing God in Yellowstone to Cat Urbigkit’s book, and everything in between. The big question is we’re wolves present in viable numbers or not.

        Would wolves have been better accepted if allowed to recolonize on their own? Tough to say. I’ve put forward in the past that if wolves were looked upon as not present in the Northern Rocky Mountains, then there was no fear in regard to the occasional wolf that fell victim to S cubed.

        Also, there seemed to be a lot of reports of wolves in the early 80′s. If so, why did they not, the wolves, proliferate as per the reintroduced wolves? I think that is one of the biggest questions in terms of active wolves present in the Rockies.

        One other variable seldom if ever mentioned is parvo, which swept across the continent in the 80′s. Could that have been the vector that prevented wolf expansion in the Rockies, whether from natural dispersers from Canada, or as some have put forth, remnant wolf populations?

        • avatar JB says:

          “Also, there seemed to be a lot of reports of wolves in the early 80′s. If so, why did they not, the wolves, proliferate as per the reintroduced wolves?”

          I’ve asked this question of several experts, and have received two responses: (1) Most reported wolves are actually coyotes (this is an easy mistake to make in big, wide open western landscapes; and (2) There were too few wolves and too much illegal killing.

          Make of it what you will.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Yep. Even in Urbigkit’s book, the “wolf” shot by Kysar, he “thought” was a coyote, and later, another individual claimed Kysar knew he was shooting a wolf kind of says it all.

          • avatar Jerry Black says:

            In the Glacier area there were 2 established packs in the 80′s, however one was wiped out by the feds because of cow depredations on the eastside.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Since most of the ranchers in my area are 3rd & 4th generation – I’m more inclined to go with #2 JB. IMHO, given how isolated many ranches are, the SSS mentality was prevalent then and probably still prevalent now.

      • avatar Jay says:

        Robert, if a sufficient quantity of public reports is all that is required for proof of existence, then that means aliens/UFO’s and bigfoots are fact.

        This wolf population that you speak of in the 1970′s, why weren’t there any confirmed livestock depredations? Every canid present in North America has preyed on livestock, but you’re suggesting there was a population of wolves in the NRM that never, ever touched livestock? I’m not saying there weren’t wolves wandering through the area, but that does not a population make.

  26. Addendum re: petitioning President Obama for national monument status for part of the NRM DPS.

    Petitioning can be done simply via letter with attached signatures. Affidavits from the world’s leading conservation biology scientists, public policy scholars, and geneticists would undoubtedly help, along with the current coverage from media outlets like FOX (not a paradigm of liberalism by any means) about Wildlife Services’ atrocities in conjunction with and more coverage about the parasitic relationship between Wildlife Services, USFWS wolf “recovery” and its “progeny” — the designed-to-kill state wolf management and “conservation” plans, there would be, I think, very persuasive grounds, not to mention hope for a reprieve for, particularly, the embattled wolf.

    • avatar savebears says:

      Valerie,

      I have to say, at least you are original, not going to happen, there are far more places that would deserve that designation, besides the home range of wolves, in addition, you are going to have a hell of a fight on your hands remember there are three states involved in this, that all have state attorney generals as well as governors that approve and endorse wolf hunting.

      This would plain and simple be seen as an attempt to try to overthrow state laws and states to determine their own fate.

      Remember that nasty little entry in the bill of rights about the Fed’s not having any power that is not granted to them?

      There are far more pressing issues at hand, in the US, like Unemployment, kids starving, people loosing their homes, that Obamacare thing, attempts to ban firearms, a Federal budget, etc.

      The current administration has been no friend to wildlife and the environment, what makes you think they would even look at this?

  27. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    The Marine Sanctuaries Program enjoyed its most active years during the presidency of George H. W. Bush.

    I think just getting our current President to set aside any conservation land would be a miracle. It just isn’t on the radar. I think it’s going to be all energy, all the time, and it’s unfortunate for any wildlife that would be in the way. Bruce Babbitt has commented on how little land has been put aside by President Obama and how he could use the Antiquities Act.

    I wish they’d use this Marine Sanctuaries program for Nantucket Sound. The area was protected as a marine sanctuary but a Supreme Court decision revised the states’ jurisdiction (United States v. Maine, 469 U.S. 504) the “3-Mile Limit”. It’s been nominated again and is stalled in Washington. Now we are being threatened with a 130-turbine windfarm (and probably more) in the name of “clean energy” right smack in the middle of endangered species habitat, an entire ecosystem and fishing grounds and tourism center. Talk about privatizing public lands! But to most, it will make our President appear more environmentally conscious. I’m worried also about his Interior Secretary appointment.

  28. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    “We’re all in this coyote obsession together,” Olson states on his website. Olson also organizes regional coyote hunting tournaments, where sharpshooters pay a fee to gun down coyotes for a chance to win the pot for “putting up the most fur.”

    Why is this person representing the US government?

  29. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Oh. My. God. I can’t even watch the attached video. I have never seen anything as cruel and brutal in all my life. All so that some airhead can wear a fur coat?

  30. avatar Richie G says:

    I will read most comments,but I wanted to ask this question.Today I heard the U.K. wants Ireland to clear cut their 300 year old forset to help pay down their debt. My question is we owe about 12 countries money, from Japan,Mexico,Saudi Ariiba,etc. This was in the New York Times approx. nine years ago,and it gave the amounts of money we owe.So now we have two horse slaughter houses being put in operation soon. One in New Mexico,which was a cattle slaughter house and one being proposed in Oklahoma. So our wild horses are being sold for slaughter for land for the ranchers.We are after wolves for their hide,teeth,etc. Are we paying off these other countries with our resources?Like the xl pipeline for Canada,Obama had a private golf trip no reporters,and he was with big oil? So are our wolves part of this plan too? These agencies are going wild,all for big bussiness,either cattle ranchers,oil,banks,etc.Where is it going to end?

  31. Ida Lupine says:
    March 14, 2013 at 6:25 am

    The Marine Sanctuaries Program enjoyed its most active years during the presidency of George H. W. Bush.

    Thanks for the information Ida!

    Save Bears responds (in part) to my raising the issue of petitioning the President to use his Antiquities Act Powers to designate at least a substantial piece of the NRM DPS as a national monument for the protection of predators (wolves and grizzlies) akin to the 89 million acre ”Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument which VALUES its “PREDATOR-DOMINATED” (the conservation plan’s phrase)so much so that hunting is not allowed and a court challenge to said designation failed. (see “Congressional Research”):

    “there are far more places that would deserve that designation.”

    Save Bears, please tell the places you have in mind and how they could possibly be of more value than the West’s “geography of hope” (as Wallace Stegner described) — a “geography” all the more necessary given the nation’s problems to which you allude.

    Granted, designation is a long-shot but WORTH the argument!!!

    • avatar savebears says:

      Well Valerie,

      In my well experienced opinion, I think it is such a long shot, that it is not worth the effort, you are expecting the president to do something in favor of something that is not even on his radar.

  32. Ritchie G.,

    So are our wolves part of this plan too? These agencies are going wild,all for big bussiness,either cattle ranchers,oil,banks,etc.Where is it going to end?

    In my heavily-researched opinion, you hit the nail on the head. Bottom line: Dead wolves =- as well as all of their wildlife prey (including ungulates) — taken out by Wildlife don’t need habitat. That, in essence, was why* so much prime wolf habitat initially delineated for the NRM DPS was deemed “unsuitable” in the follow-up wolf delisting plans.

    *My opinion is based in part on an hour-long telephone conversation in December 2008 that I had with Ed Bangs, author of the delisting plans in which we went round and round in circles and in which he placed priority on protecting ranchers over wolves. We didn’t get into tracking.

    But examine the tracking pattern. Drilling for fracking is spreading west and north from Wyoming. Concomitantly, take a look at the number of drilling permits in place in Idaho. Go to the Idaho Department of Lands website. Find your way to the UI oil.gas department where they continually map proposed hydro-fracturing sites.

    On this map, there are hundreds of black dots indicating drill permits — and not just on the eastern side of the state, e.g. Payette County. These proposed drill sites line most of the western boundary of Idaho, very close to the Centennial Mountains for example which is the the major east-west corridor between Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana — the corridor which SHOULD be fostering genetic connectivity.

    Also take a look at the six hydro-fracturing companies advertising on Dubois’s web-site and you get the idea.

    After the gas wells dry up, the land and water, in terms of animas (which included US — see, e.g., Gasland) will barely be suitable for cattle, if at all. I say this because EVEN the cattle in Wyoming are suffering from ingesting the toxic water, let alone Pronghorn and many other endangered species.

    So for all those (including wildlife managers) who continue to marginalize the importance of wolves on this site, perhaps you should try projecting your thoughts forward in time. You may be singing a very different tune as the “geography of hope” is steadily transformed into the “geography of nope.”

    That’s why in my five-year writing project (just finished) I call wolves “the resistance fighters for the ‘geography of hope*’”

    *Wallace Stegner delineates his ‘geography of hope’ as”

    “What we are talking about here is called the interior West, which means, within the conterminous United States, the territory that encloses part of the shortgrass prairies to the east and the Sierra-Cascades to the west. It includes half of the state of Washington; two-thirds of Oregon; a fifth of California; all of Idaho, Utah, and Arizona; a third of Montana; two-thirds of Wyoming and Colorado; most of New Mexico; and the El Paso tip of Texas. Taken together, that’s about a quarter of the land …

    Guess Stegner was prescient as he has left out Wyoming!

  33. Addendum: Stegner left out one-third of Wyoming. My apologies!

  34. Addendum:

    More from Wallace Stegner about the interior West’s “geography of hope”:

    “Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste . . . ”

    We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in. For it can be a means of reassuring ourselves of our sanity as creatures, a part of the geography of hope.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      “Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste . . . ”

      Bears repeating – and I hope it isn’t too late already. People don’t know and may have forgotten what they are missing.

    • avatar Robert R says:

      Valerie
      If you were not such an exstemist you might get more accomplished.
      I will fight tooth and nail and not let my end of the world turn into your fantasy landscape.
      Start by having realistic goals hmmm?

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Might be taken either way, one man’s fantasy is another’s reality, or will that reality become a fantasy…

  35. Rober R.,

    Was Wallace Stegner an extremist? Is it extreme for me to extremely disturbed about hundreds of fracking permits up and the western border of Idaho — smack up against the critically important east-west wildlife migration corridor over the Continental Divide and encroaching on the Yellowstone Ecosystem from the north?

    WAKE UP! All you have do is take an aerial view of Wyoming’s fracking zone. THAT is NOT a fantasy land. Watch Gasland. Hear the laments of the Wyoming small cattle rancher despairing about the condition of not the land but his animals as well.

    RE: petitioning the President for designation of a good portion of the NRM DPS as a national monument, it IS a plausible once he’s at the end of his term (after he has addressed his “wish list” of legislation) and with several million signatures (gathered by all the wolf advocacy orgs.

  36. Addendum:

    Add another million for ranchers who don’t want to see their water contaminated and hunters who want to see any ungulates at all.

    For instance, it can take an endangered pronghorn two hours of energy to cross the massive, spidery infrastructure of a fracking site? This is obviously going to impact sustained viability of this species as well as other migratory species.

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      Valerie

      When is a pronghorn endangered.

    • avatar savebears says:

      Valerie,

      Where are pronghorns endangered? I have never in my life seen that designation for pronghorns, they actually are a very robust population of animals.

  37. avatar dc says:

    Michael Vick went to prison for dog-fighting. Government employees are paid to do it. Evil is alive and well.

    • avatar jon says:

      It’s no surprise to me that these people who work for wildlife services enjoy killing wildlife. They do it as a job. Anyone who kills wildlife for a living does that job because they loves killing. Now we know that psychopaths who lack compassion for wild creatures work at wildlife services. This guy Olsen knew what he did was wrong because as soon as it was known to the public that he put up pics of himself at work letting his dogs go after trapped coyotes, he deleted the pictures on his facebook account.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Well the media dogs will metaphorically rip people like him to shreds too, once they dig up the truth. Can’t wait. :P

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Which leads to the question – whatever do you think it was that made the state of MN do a complete about-face and start talking about a five-year moratorium on wolf hunting? Whatever could have made them see the light I wonder?

          Could it be that someone in the DNR was paid off to provide collar frequencies to a hunting outfit so that some bigwig could be guaranteed getting a wolf? And someone has threatened to go public? Allegedly, of course.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Ida,
            the five year moratorium is being asked for because it already existed under the state plan…there are many good articles on it. Howling for Wolves is using the plan that was created with citizen’s input to take the state to task. Here is one quote that explains what happened.

            ” The hunting authorization alters Minnesota’s existing wolf management plan, which called for a moratorium on hunting and trapping during the first five years of state control. The moratorium was recommended by a citizen’s committee convened in the late 1990s to provide balanced public input to the DNR’s wolf management plan. As a member of the citizen committee, I can say killing or not killing wolves was the core issue we confronted.

            The hunting and trapping moratorium was a compromise that allowed the committee to reach consensus on its recommendations to the DNR. The moratorium applied only to state-licensed hunting and trapping, which were adamantly opposed by wolf advocates. A key provision allowed citizens to kill wolves in defense of livestock and pets, which was considered a necessity by wolf management advocates.”

            To read more ….http://www.northernwilds.com/pages/Explore/perich/points-north-wolf-hunting-makes-an-end-run-around-.shtml

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Yes, but it’s a mystery why they just didn’t honor the 5 year protocol from the beginning. Wolf advocates have been against this from the start. After over 1100 wolves have been killed in the US, it’s a little late. But better late than never. No reflection on Howling For Wolves, I know they should be commended for this. The bad reflection is on our piss-poor leadership in government.

              It was WI with the sleazy rumors about the DNR, my apologies – not MN. Don’t know what if anything became of it.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Ida not really a mystery, anti wolf zealots like Big Game Forever, Safari Club international etc started lobbying Great Lakes legislators as soon as the delisting process, they also pushed, was underway. I read some internal memo that was sent around by Ryan Benson that discussed having lunch with one of the MN senators and making progress in getting the hunts underway. These organizations are very influential and have a lot of money, that and a knee jerk reaction to seeing other states hunt and they pushed the moratorium aside. Howling for Wolves was smart they needed to gain public support for their ideas and they have consistently taken action at every appropriate junction. Making any form of change against hunting predators requires a lot of support and an organized marketing strategy, if you will. They established a website with a simple but effective message and action items that citizens could take, a billboard, radio and media campaign and then began their own lobbying campaign. Yes its awful that the first hunt had to occur but this is a model campaign if you ask me.

      • avatar Craig says:

        Jon, do they “loves killing” and are they really psychopaths? Can you explain that accusation? I feel you are more of a psychopath with your Psychosis of Wolves. You really do more harm than good with your posts, because you come off as a complete nut! It really does nothing to help what is really going on with the subject at hand! Complete infatuation with Wolves is really strange, they have people who can help you with your problem. Seek help!

  38. Elk 275,

    Peninsular pronghorn and Sonoran pronghorn are listed as endangered.

    Read the following re: my above points about the extreme dangers of fracking:

    Herds of pronghorns migrate 150 miles each way between Wyoming’s Upper Green River Basin and Grand Teton National Park. The only other land animal to travel farther in North America is the caribou.

    The 300 mile trip is grueling and requires crossing private property and fences. In the past, pronghorns had to worry about predators and cold weather. Today, the bigger threats are cars, impassable fences and development. The National Wildlife Federation and its affiliates are working hard to create wildlife corridors for pronghorns and other migratory wildlife and reduce conflicts between animals and people.

    Two subspecies of pronghorn are on the Endangered Species List. Peninsular pronghorns and Sonoran pronghorns are both listed as Endangered.

    From the National Wildlife Federation:

    “Putting the Squeeze on Pronghorn”

    How federal plans to drill thousands of gas wells in Wyoming threaten the largest mammal migration in the Lower 48

    AS SNOW COVER FADES from southwestern Wyoming’s panorama of plains, buttes and dunes, thousands of pronghorn move north across the Red Desert and the Green River Basin to the Gros Ventre Mountains and as far as Grand Teton National Park, a migratory route that can extend almost 170 miles. Among them mingle thousands of mule deer, and together the two species make up the largest migratory movement of any land mammals in North America south of the Canadian border, a living remnant of the ancient Pleistocene.

    Pronghorn numbers stand at about 1 million in the United States and Canada, almost half of the animals in Wyoming. But even in Wyoming’s prime habitat, the species is beset with threats that have reduced the herd about 40 percent since 1984. “We’ve cut the West into tiny pieces, and pronghorn are big-landscape creatures,” says Steve Torbit, director of NWF’s Rocky Mountain Natural Resource Center in Colorado. “It’s a classic case of death by a thousand cuts.”

    • avatar savebears says:

      Valerie,

      Sonoran pronghorns, in habit a completely different environment than the area you are talking about, they live in Arizona and Peninsular pronghorn are a Mexican native species, neither one of these species are effected by the industry you are talking about. Adding those two sub-species to the conversation about fracking is really taking things out of context.

      • avatar savebears says:

        To add, I am not supporting fracking, but using information that really does not pertain to the process is not a good way to try and stop something, if you want to stop the practice it would benefit you to stick with the species that does inhabit the area that the process is taking place.

        If you are to petition for a designation and make the argument that the species affected is endangered, then you will be called out by those who question you, because the pronghorn that inhabits the area where the fracking is happening are not endangered, based on the ESA, they are not even threatened.

    • avatar Robert R says:

      Valerie
      The fence excuse is what it is. how many decades have there been fences in place that was not quote animal friendly. the pronghorn decline is probably region specific in Wyoming because they are very liberal with giving antelope tags to hunt. the majority of the so-called impassable fences are page wire fences along highways not private.
      I do believe the antelope migration from Canada to Montana is farther and have more obstacles to avoid.
      I do believe Wyoming alone has a population of 500,000 antelope alone.

  39. Save Bears,

    Your point is well-taken. What’s at stake — what supports a call for national monument statue — is the preservation of ecosystem integrity in the face of planned widespread fracking — which of course includes wildlife migration corridors for endangered, threatened, and species not immediately imperiled.

  40. Fracking addendum:

    According to various web-sites found on Google, fracking is prevalent in Sweet Grass County, MT and Park County, MT.

    Sweet Grass County encompasses the Gallatin, Custer, and Lewis and Clark National Forests.

    Park County runs between Bozeman and Yellowstone Park.

    More evidence of the need to call for national monument status for most of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem westward to the River of No Return Wilderness.

    The leading environmental groups, IF they sufficiently organize this time around have a plausible chance.

    • avatar savebears says:

      Valerie,

      The only thing plausible, is it would end up in court and stay there a lot longer than you and I will even be on this earth.

  41. avatar Richie G says:

    To Valerie; I think what you state is justice for our wildlife in general. I do not know the area like you or sb or wm or IDA or all of you on this post. Howling for Justice did a good thing,and they are really trying,in spite of the government they face. Fracking as I heard was invented or made by Hailaburton Cheney’s company. It was advised that some of the fluids they were using were toxic. Their is a plan to put natural gas stations all along the NJ turnpike for the new trucks being built to run on natural gas,this was on Cramer’s show about stocks. So here comes the plans to take it for the east,mid-west and of course the west. This will become a really big problem in the future. I think you are on the right track,as for the vicious killing of wolves,I can’t see why their is any resistance to this horrible killing. It means in MHO we are going back to the dark ages.What a horrible way for a wolf to die, it makes no sense and is inhumane,what have we turned into to allow such behavior.

  42. Richie G.,

    I think you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT about EVERYTHING you wrote! I THANK YOU for NOT burying your head in the sand.

    Save Bears writes:
    Valerie,

    The only thing plausible, is it would end up in court and stay there a lot longer than you and I will even be on this earth.

    Keep in mind that the court challenges to Bush’s set aside of 89 million acres of a “PREDATOR DOMINATED” marine ecosystem off the coast of Hawaii FAILED.

    The Interior West’s ‘geography of hope” is obviously much closer to “home”.

    If millions of signatures were gathered, along with affidavits from the world’s top scientists who truly know and appreciate the “best available science” there would be plausible reason to hope.

    To be realistic, I think that designation couldn’t happen until Obama was on the verge of leaving office.

    In closing, I am NOT naive about the exploitive interests that fueled Obama’s election and that remain on his radar. Still, that does not rule out his willingness to be educated about what’s truly at stake for us and upcoming generations — the last of the best that once was.

    • avatar savebears says:

      In truth Valerie, the opposition to the marine ecosystem was merely a token opposition, in reality, it did not really affect anyone. Now designating the NRM DPS would affect a lot of people and industries, and I can guarantee, they will use everything they have to fight something of this nature.

  43. Save Bears,

    THANKS for following up re: the marine reserve monument because I’ve been SWAMPED!!

    Of course you are correct about the tremendous opposition likely to arise. But given the threats in so many ways to ecosystem integrity (particularly re: the massive physical infrastructure that goes hand in glove with just one fracking drill rig) it may be possible for a broad-spectrum coalition of ranchers, outfitters, and wild watchers, to name the primary ones, to secure a long-term injunction on the basis of probable irreparable harm and to maintain the status quo.

    Bottom line: instead of slaughtering apex ecological actors we should acclaim them and moreover protect them at all costs as — and I’ll likely repeat this phrase endlessly — “resistance fighters for the ‘geography of hope.’”

    • avatar savebears says:

      Valerie,

      Another area that is going to be a real challenge, is the Native American Reservations, currently there is a large lease on the Blackfoot Nation for oil exploration right next to Glacier. I just read an article this weekend about a Coal Exploration lease that is almost ready to be issued on the Crow reservation.

  44. Save Bears, and others,

    Re: my recent writings about petitioning the President to set aside a significant portion of the NRM DPS as a national monument (as with e.g., Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument (“counterpoint to the highly urbanizes areas of the nearby Coachella Valley”), Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (1.9 million acres), please consider the following excerpt from an article written by a “pioneer” of wolf science, David L. Mech, and published on March 13, 2013:

    ” … there are no easy answers to the dilemma facing states trying to responsibly manage such a controversial creature as the wolf. One approach that might help pacify wolf advocates would be for each state to SET ASIDE SPECIAL WOLF SANCTUARIES FREE FROM PUBLIC WOLF TAKING. Such sanctuaries could provide buffer zones around national parks and perhaps reduce the number of park wolves killed just outside the park. (So far in 2012, eight radio-collared Yellowstone Park wolves valuable for research have been killed, drawing much media attention and public condemnation.) Sanctuaries might also help satisfy some of the tribal concerns and would be favored by at least some of the animal protection-groups, although setting aside sanctuaries certainly would not end all the controversies.

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Quote

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

~ Edward Abbey