One wolf per incident may be killed-


Readers: note my addition of an article by Bob Ferris

– –
The wolf population in Washington State is growing nicely and especially in its NE corner. Residents are not allowed by the state to kill a wolf without a permit. This issue was faced in Idaho, Montana, etc. in the past where some people made the same demand — that they should be able to shoot a wolf without a permit when one is attacking.

Washington’s Fish and Wildlife Commission has faced the issue now and voted unanimously to create a temporary emergency rule for eight months. So, in Eastern Washington only,  owners of pets or livestock will now be able to kill, without a permit,  one attacking wolf.

I recall that when Idaho considered the issue. Many wolf conservationists opposed the rule, but once it was adopted not enough wolves were shot to make any wolf population difference in the state. It it hard to find wolves attacking and hard to shoot them when they are found.  It might also be that attacks are overstated. Therefore, it could be argued, this is more of a symbolic issue than a solution to a problem which is itself of uncertain severity.

Some Washington commissioners wondered if the rule would frighten wolves and keep them away from livestock; one other thought it might scatter a pack and result in even more wolves. Because Idaho and Montana have now had a lot of wolf hunting, we should expect a body of knowledge exists that tells us how wolves and wolf packs react to having their members shot, but I am not aware of the state wildlife departments in the states having drawn any conclusions . . . perhaps because they don’t really care how wolves react.

The rule only applies to Eastern Washington because wolves are still federally protected under the ESA in most of the state. However, given the draft federal delisting rule nationwide, this prohibition will probably soon be dropped. Wolves are protected under Washington state law statewide regardless of federal classification.

Currently there are over 50 adult or sub-adult wolves in Washington. Some estimate the population is as high as a hundred wolves.

– – – – –

A view from Bob Ferris

Bob Ferris at Cascadia Wildlands continues to write insightful columns on this and related issues. Many will find his latest,  Reasonable People Can Disagree, but…  very perceptive. Ferris argues that while reasonable, intelligent people can disagree, there are those working in northeast Washington to make those who started out reasonable, unreasonable by engaging deliberately in widespread dissemination of rumor,  “anti-wolf rhetoric, untruths and fear mongering.”

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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

103 Responses to Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission to let some state residents kill wolves attacking livestock, pets, etc.

  1. avatar Richie G. says:

    Here we go again, I heard the eastern part of the state are Ranchers , and the western part are just residents. The residents want the wolves and the ranchers do not. So the state is divided, a women who had a PHD on care two causes, told me this and she knew you Ralph. P.S. By the way nice article,you always bring the truth out.

    • avatar Atlas says:

      Ranchers are Residents too, not defending them just saying they were probably born and raised.

  2. avatar Vicki Fossen says:

    Typical. All I can do is hope that common sense sinks into the human race’s brains!
    I agree that we should all be able to defend ourselves. First line of defense= don’t live where your life is a part of the food web. Defense two= keep your pets in a well fenced yard. Defense three=realize every industry need precautions to prevent losses…ranching is no exception. If I own a jewelry store, and I leave the doors open all night and have no alarms, I can surely expect to be robbed. Can I blame the robbers? Yes, but it won’t excuse my naïve behavior or erase my responsibilities as an owner to provide adequate and appropriate precautions. We should act like extermination is preventative in this case.

    • avatar Dave Southwick says:

      Wow, what a remarkably uninformed and vapid point of view! When the state, without notice or permission, plants a voracious and non-indigenous predator in our midst, we need to get out of their way? That’s a good one. It’s our fault that they make their way into our fields and barns because we’re not doing enough to discourage them? As they ravage our wilderness, stripping it of all life while they breed unabated, we should lock our doors better? I’m certain you’ll be wringing your hands and wondering where it all went wrong when there is nothing left but wolves, but at least you’ll be able to look at a picture in a magazine and coo about how cute they are. Our RESPONSIBILITY is protect the environment we have, and they were never a part of it.

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        Dave Southwick,
        This is not Vicki Fossen, but you are in no position to criticize her.

        You are stupid. No one, including the state government, introduced wolves to Washington. How could you not know where the wolves came from? All of them walked to Washington from Idaho and Canada, except those that are now being born in the state.

        Wolves lived in what was to become Washington State for thousands, perhaps a million years before they were killed off on behalf of the livestock industry back in the day.

        I let your comment through because you are such example of totally wrong opinion.

  3. avatar savebears says:

    Thing is, I can own a jewelry store and take all the precautions in the world and still be robbed.

  4. avatar Vicki Fossen says:

    SB,
    Yes you could. But would you build a jewelry store in the middle of a prison? 🙂 I always enjoy your comments. It’s nice to read your posts again.

    • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

      SB,
      Business stand point: Always plan for some losses and adjust accordingly. Every business has losses. You can’t shoot a shop-lifter. The shop-lifter is far more away of their misdeeds.
      This is just political mumbo-jumbo. It is a wasteful use time and resources. Not to mention, SSS is likely already ‘mitigating’ ranchers’ risks.

      • avatar Mark L says:

        VF and sb,
        Enjoyed reading the ‘back and forth’ but let’s remember: the wolf LIVES by eating (‘robbing’…if you will) the natural jewelry of it’s surroundings, and has for a long time. The store owner, on the contrary, brought his/her ‘trinkets’ into the area and passes them as jewelry to any that pass. There is no moral equivalent here. The wolf isn’t the criminal, any more than a store owner throwing Mardi Gras beads in the street and calling it ‘jewelry’.

        • avatar savebears says:

          Wow Mark, just Wow…

          I saw an opportunity for some levity, that is all!

          • avatar savebears says:

            And believe me, I know exactly how wolves live…..hmmmm!

            • avatar savebears says:

              But will add, the livestock are not natural to the land, whether we talk about them as food or them as invaders.

              Since day one, the wolf living on livestock has not been accepted. I don’t see a day ever that it will be.

              Right, wrong or indifferent, when wildlife kills livestock and it won’t matter how many, man is going to take revenge.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Well that’s just it – I wish that people could see it as a natural behaviour and not something to take ‘revenge’ on because the wolf is only doing what they do. Since we introduced livestock to the land, we need to take more care to reduce depredation. I can’t imagine a world without wildlife so that we can have our mundane and boring comforts. We can give in a little.

              • avatar savebears says:

                Ida,

                Wish in one hand and sh*t in the other, humans are going to remain humans no matter what, just as wolves will remain wolves.

                What you may or I may be able to do, certainly is not what our neighbor may or may not be able to do.

                When this is recognize, perhaps some ground will be gained.

          • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

            Mark,

            The argument you make proves a point. Personal values are just that, personal. If you are a business owner your perception of this will differ from that of a research biologist. Those beads you speak of may not have huge monetary value, but for many they have intangible value-which is unquantifiable.

            I believe the wolf comes first, but that doesn’t negate the rancher’s belief that he/she has a right to defend their animals. Having said that, if there were an answer that suited both sides, we’d not have need of debate or policies.

            Of course a wolf doesn’t make an ethical decision to predate on livestock. A rancher does make a decision on how they mitigate the risk of loss, be it wolves, or disease. As humans are ‘superior’ it falls to us to act, prevent, resolve. The wolf cannot to the extent that we are obligated to.

            But I agree with SB, wow.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              Not sure I agree that humans are “superior”. Scientists are just beginning to understand the cognitive abilities of some species and that language and communication may take place on an entirely different level then previously thought. What does superior mean, exactly? Its certainly debatable.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Me neither. We are the most dominating, however – so we’re able to make ourselves superior, whether anyone likes it or not! 🙂

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                That is why I called it ‘superior’. I don’t always agree with the assumption myself. But management is based upon the assumption. I personally think we are de-evolving.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                I personally think we are de-evolving.

                I’ve thought the same thing – with mass shooting and bombings, even our superior selves are no longer safe. 🙁

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Yes, the owner of the livestock (the ‘Valuables’) has the responsibility and the means to make sure that nothing happens to them, if he values them that much. The wolf isn’t the one responsible or to be blamed. I also agree that in running any business, there are losses to be expected. Of course we’d like to minimize them, but we have to be realistic. It was a light analogy. 🙂

  5. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    And we certainly wouldn’t leave our jewelry out unattended. 🙂 It’s almost like an inducement.

    • avatar savebears says:

      I don’t know, my ex wife, who owns a jewelry store did!

      Of course you noticed I did say EX!

      LOL

      • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

        lol! SB- I suspect you may have wisely chosen to change her status to “EX”! lol

        Yes, leaving a temptation amongst thieves or wolves will surely create a greater risk Ida.

        • avatar savebears says:

          LOL, That really was a long time ago, but this conversation highlighted it and brought back a memory! I will celebrate my 25th with my current wife in a couple of months.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Now here’s a good answer:

      “I made a deal with Bears, Cougars, and Wolves….I won’t mess with them if they don’t mess with me.” 🙂

  6. avatar Michael says:

    Can anyone please confirm the below info being passed around by the bloggers, The Wolf Army & Howling for Wolves. Please say it ain’t so.

    OR5 wolf trapped [and killed] in Idaho Panhandle
    I’m sorry to report that Imnaha wolf OR5 was trapped and killed by a sports trapper SSE of Coeur D’Alene, ID on the next-to-last day of trapping season. As far as I’m aware, every single OR wolf known to have dispersed to ID has been killed. This bodes ill for maintaining any kind of biodiversity among wolf populations in the future. “It is unclear why this information is only now made public…”

    You can locate the blog articles here:
    http://tinyurl.com/bw5rrxp

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Michael,

      You are correct. There was this news release April 30.

      For Immediate Release, April 30, 2013

      Contact: Amaroq Weiss, (707) 779-9613

      Sister of OR-7 Died in Foothold Trap: Third Radio-collared Oregon Wolf Killed in Idaho

      PORTLAND, Ore.— The sister of Oregon’s most famous wolf, OR-7, was killed in Idaho in March, conservationists have learned. OR-5, a 3-year-old female from the Imnaha pack and sister to the wanderer OR-7 who crossed into California in 2011, died in a foothold trap in Idaho on March 30, the next-to-last day of the Idaho trapping season.

      “Crossing the border into Idaho was a death sentence for this wolf,” said Amaroq Weiss, West Coast wolf organizer at the Center for Biological Diversity. “What a heartbreaking paradox — one wolf from this pack, OR-7, is world-renowned and beloved, while his sister OR-5 died a lonely, terribly painful death in a steel-jawed leghold trap.”

      In 2011, in an unprecedented move, Congress, rather than federal government scientists, removed Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the northern Rockies states. Since that time, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming have all instituted aggressive wolf-hunting and trapping seasons that have caused a 7 percent reduction in the region’s wolf population. The war on wolves in these states has also resulted in the killing of three radio-collared Oregon wolves.

      In addition to the loss of OR-5 this year, OR-9 was killed last year by an Idaho man who shot the wolf under an expired Idaho hunting license (yet was given no fine in the incident). And OR-16, of the Wenaha pack, was shot in Idaho earlier this year while trotting along a ridgetop, following troubling calls on social media sites like Facebook to get the radio-collared wolf from Oregon. A number of radio-collared, well-studied and much-beloved wolves have now fallen.

      “State management of northern Rockies wolves has been a disaster that has unleashed violent prejudice against wolves by a small number of irresponsible hunters,” said Weiss. “The anti-wildlife policies of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming are not just endangering wolves in those states, but also wolves in Oregon and other states, where wolves remain endangered.”

      Despite the poor record of state wolf management, a draft rule from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service leaked to the Los Angeles Times last week would remove protections for wolves across much of the remainder of the lower 48 states, including the Pacific
      Northwest, California, southern Rocky Mountains and Northeast, where wolves are only just beginning to recover.

      The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 500,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

      http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/images/cbd-press-footer.gif

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        It’s hard to believe that this kind of “irresponsible hunting” (the author is being too kind – it’s really a licence for lawlessness) is supported and even encouraged by the highest levels of our government. It needs to stop.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        It’s hard to believe that this kind of “irresponsible hunting” (the author is being too kind – it’s really a licence for lawlessness) is supported and even encouraged by the highest levels of our government. It needs to stop.

  7. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    I just added a new piece by Bob Ferris to my article.

    • avatar WM says:

      I think Bob Ferris’ piece is missing some background. This emergency rule was “urged” by some of the WA pro-wolf and moderate legislators who saw there was a possiblity of a statute change that would have been even more Draconian, with even more wolves per dying. They ask the Commission (after review by non-partisan legal counsel) to implement an “emergency” rule to deal with this – now. And this also helps the not-so moderate legislators who signed, because it has the capability of thumping some wolves now.

      Read this and understand the concern and the very narrow surgical solution, which may prevent a wholesale rewrite of the goofy and overly complex (dare I say too pro-wolf) staff – written state wolf management plan and statutes to pare it back next legislative session:

      http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/20130423_letter_to_fwc.pdf

      Ferris, whose Cascadia Wildlands operation is largely based in Oregon, and whose board/staff is stacked with pro-wolfers from the likes of Earthjustice and CBD, who don’t have skin in the game so to speak would have us believe this is not necessary. I disagree, and apparently so do the folks at Conservation Northwest:

      ++Mitch Friedman of Conservation Northwest said the environmental group did not oppose the emergency rule.

      “Adoption of this rule is overall in the best interests of wolf recovery,” Friedman said…++

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          CN was wrong on that and I think they are wrong about this. The policy of accommodation is doing nothing but killing more wolves

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Louise Kane and everybody,

          The entire Wedge Pack affair was dismal, but,nevertheless, as predicted a new pack is now in the general area. It might be entirely new wolves or based on a few survivors of the “kill order.”

          This kind of thing happens frequently. I have been following the wolf recovery in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming in detail since 1995. It is plain and obvious that wolves do show up in the same places time after time after time.

          Many geographic features in the West have received names like Wolf Creek, Lobo Mountain, Spotted Wolf Ridge. There are very good reasons for these names.

          • avatar WM says:

            ++The entire Wedge Pack affair was dismal…++

            Indeed it was, on so many levels. WDFW learned some lessons – some technical and some political – on how future wolf control efforts will be handled.

            While the WA Legislature continues to try to find ways to close a budget gap, which does not penalize education and transportation, it becomes harder to justify spending near a half-million $$$$ of state taxpayer money on wolf recovery and control. The political winds have shifted since last fall when the D’s had the Senate (and wanker Kevin Ranker was the Chair of the Natural Resources Committee). Now that the R’s have the Senate, and new D Governor Inslee makes attempts to show he is governor for ALL of WA, and not just the urban corridor along I-5, the dynamics may be more complex. WDFW Director Phil Anderson gets it. He has probably been buttonholed in the halls of the State Capitol by some East side R’s in key positions who have said don’t screw this up, but get the job done, and keep these wolves from causing trouble, or we’ll do it for you (as evidenced by progress of some anti-wolf bills in the legislature). And, this, I suspect, is what continues to temper the Conservation Northwest position as it provides input to current wolf “tolerance” policy.

            The Eastern WA hunters (and the Yakama Tribe) have yet to weigh in on the expanding wolf population, but when they do, expect a bit more vitriol to counter the likes of Bob Ferris and the Cascadia Wildlands types.

            Expect more proactive work with ranchers by WDFW, AND earlier intervention on offending wolves with history – some lethal, in addition to this new “self-help” emergency rule. They don’t have the stomach or budget for another Wedge Pack, though in the end alternative means might thump just as many, but with a lower PR profile.

      • avatar DLB says:

        I’ve always been curious as to whether folks like Bob pursue their agenda as a matter of strategy or sound policy? I may disagree with the effectiveness of his methods from a strategy perspective, but I would understand what he’s trying to accomplish. But if he truly believes it is sound policy to strongly oppose even the most benign of measures?

        He quoted Dale Denny who is surely anti-wolf, but I wouldn’t necessarily condemn his mixed messages. Rhetoric can be strong on both sides, but it’s an ability to adapt, take advantage of opportunites, and sometimes compromise that can set someone apart. I like mixed messages because as much as they can symbolize potential treachery, they can also indicate an underlying pragmatism or internal struggle.

        Brian Ertz can criticize compromise, or debate what is the nature of a true compromise, but no one can dispute that there have been individuals who had an ability to compromise that have facilitated big gains for the conservation movement over the last 100 years.

        Just because conservations have at times been screwed in trying to compromise doesn’t mean it can’t be an effective tool.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          But it does seem like the people who want to see wolves back in their former territories are the only ones doing all the compromising, all of the time.

          • avatar DLB says:

            Are they?

            There either already is or will be 100 wolves in Washington. Many ranchers and hunters do not want them here period. They are here to stay. It’s only a matter of how they are managed. From my perspective, nobody is really getting their way. The question is: how far will the pendulum swing?

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              My opinion is that ranchers and hunters don’t decide which species live and die when they were put here by some greater power than man.

              The fact that they have unreasonable hunting seasons and pack killings on demand says they are getting their way. Too many concessions are being made.

              • avatar bret says:

                Ida

                there is no hunting season in for wolves in WA.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                I meant generally across the country. The fact that wolves have ‘recovered’ and delisted ordinarily would be cause for celebration were it not for an immediate and inhumane indulgence of humanity’s darker side of a hunting season (let ’em get it out of their system) which wiped a lot of them out. But we can do whatever we want cuz we’re, you know, superiah.

                If WA doesn’t have the same, it most surely will soon.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Actually I thought they did have a hunting something-or-other in WA with a couple of the tribes who were bought off or had some kind of agreement with somebody-or-other?

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                There is now Bret

              • avatar WM says:

                Ida,

                The Colville Tribe NW of Spokane had a wolf hunt – only for tribal members. The wildlife managers believed there were upwards of 30 wolves roaming, and chowing down on elk and deer on their reservation, where subsistence hunting is important to tribal members. After consultation with the state of WA and FWS, they authorized a removal quota of 9 wolves beginning in December. Haven’t heard much since.

                And, nobody was “bought off.” Geez, where you get some of this is.. uh.. amazing. LOL.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                I read it somwhere that they were ‘approached’ by some non-tribal members about having a wolf hunt for money. I’ll have to see if I can find the source. But as you say, it could be a long-sufferng problem that just had to be taken care of.

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                Ida,
                Dare to dream. It is a historical fact that a vast majority of resource management policies have been decided based upon the preferences of the ag and oil industries.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                “The wildlife managers believed there were upwards of 30 wolves roaming, and chowing down on elk and deer on their reservation.”

                So that is an offense punishable by death? Humans don’t claim sole ownership of deer and elk. So not only are greed and duplicity what separates man from beast, it’s also the great equalizer because human beings have these qualities across the board.

                Only nine were taken? Are they different wolves from the rest of the state of WA? Nine here, a few more in Eastern WA, and then even with ESA protection the numbers are being knocked down by chipping away at the ESA.

            • avatar JB says:

              “From my perspective, nobody is really getting their way. The question is: how far will the pendulum swing?”

              Agreed. And one of the issues is that the conservation groups can’t seem to agree on is just how much (and what kind) of lethal management is acceptable. Some oppose wildlife services “controlling” wolves on behalf of livestock, while other groups oppose hunting (in general) or what they perceive to be over-hunting. And of course, there are those that oppose both lethal control (for livestock) and regulated hunting–period.

              The diversity of opinions/positions on both sides of the issue makes compromise a lot harder.

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                JB,
                Diversity? Or extremity? Either way, progress is obviously stalled.

                Sadly, the current right extreme is marching to the tune of “We have compromised too much”, and the left extreme is marching to the tune of “Everyone is entitled”. We toss in , I have a right to hunt, I have a right to wolves, and I have a right to every other possible personally motivated demand…and most of the good we could have done, gets flushed for everyone.

                I agree, nobody is winning. We are all losing and by our own behavior, we are losing more.

              • avatar JB says:

                “Diversity? Or extremity”

                – Both certainly can hinder meaningful compromise.

                “I have a right to hunt, I have a right to wolves, and I have a right..”

                – Too many people confuse privileges with “rights”, and are quick to claim rights without any acknowledgement of responsibility. I’m also frustrated by how many of the arguments surrounding wolves attempt to de-legitimize the other–the outgroup, as opposed to tackling the legitimacy of the claims being made. Focus on who is making a claim, as opposed to the claim itself, can work like a passive endorsement.

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                They also forget with every privilege is a duty. Agreed again!

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                “And one of the issues is that the conservation groups can’t seem to agree on is just how much (and what kind) of lethal management is acceptable.”

                one of the problems being all “management” is lethal and that “management” is disruptive ecologically and unnecessary in most instances. The need for “management” via public hunting is a fallacy.

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                Louise,

                You are welcome.

                I don’t know that I agree that public hunting being a necessary management tool is a fallacy. I agree it isn’t always necessary. I also agree that it can be misused as a management tool.

                However, we have a very volatile political atmosphere right now. In order to fund or facilitate any type of management, we’d either have to greatly increase taxes, or have people contribute the funds necessary to continue without hunting revenues.

                Additionally, I don’t think that “nature can manage nature”. That became impossible when we began tweaking nature to our benefit.

                I just concluded a large amount of research on elk herds in Rocky Mountain National Park (just one example).

                The herds have caused extensive damage to vegetation and they are highly over populated. The extent of their over population has lead to other species leaving the ecosystem due to pressure from the elk.

                Leaving elk to their own devices would have resulted in people watching them starve and usher other animals away (beaver are absent from the park due to over grazing by elk). That is not a socially acceptable option.

                The NPS in conjunction with many other agencies studied all aspects of culling, economics, and social implications. They explored wolves being introduced (not recommended due to limited range), sharp shooters, a one time hunt, deterrents around plants, and contraception.

                The two largest factors came down to economics and social perception. Basically, you don’t want people shooting elk while others are showing them to their children.

                So, in lieu of hunters or sharp shooters (which actually may have generated generous revenues and possibly provided much needed meat to food banks), the citizens via taxes paid for massive research.

                As a result, elk are currently being given contraceptives. Research is on-going.

                In some states (back east) sharp shooting companies are being used and paid for to lower excessive deer numbers. While we pay for this, we could charge for it. Those funds would further over-all conservation efforts.

                We should always look at things as a whole and larger picture. Do we need hunting for sustainable food production? Well, many Alaskans do actually. Here (lower 48) not so much. Not all hunting is bad management, or good either. As much as many folks may not like it, or find it cringe worthy, it has been a useful tool for centuries.

                Before people saw wildlife as a scarcity, it was valued as a resource for food, clothing and tool making. Now that we meet these needs in other ways, many people (maybe yourself included) no longer value hunting or find it a meaningful use. But that is not true of all people. So, there in lies the dilemma.

                People who see wildlife as an intangible form of entertainment, and those who hold a more historical value on it have to learn to compromise and consider other people’s values.

                Sadly, you won’t see much effort being made to make viable plans. (I say viable because no plan will please everyone, but we need to maximize use, yield, and ‘good’) So there is no one solution, there are only needs, goals, and changing circumstances. Those vary by individual or group.

                Summed up: Hunting may not be ideal for some people, but it is one management tool which has been successful in it’s practice. It is less cruel than (my opinion only) trapping which causes stress and often death, disease deaths due to inflated populations, or allowing starvation which is long and painful.

                Complex, complex, complex. Sigh.

  8. avatar Richie G. says:

    do more cattle die due to disease or to predators not only wolves. I know wolves are the topic but I believe they kill less than all animals, if I am wrong will somebody point that out , I would appreciate it .

  9. avatar Richie G. says:

    P.S. congratulations s.b.

  10. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I don’t like this appeasement policy I’m seeing with wildlife groups. “Emergency” measures sound overblown and extreme. However, it may show just how little wolves do attack livestock, or it may just be tacit approval for SSS. We’ll see.

  11. avatar Richie G. says:

    With the state being divided by ranchers on the east and residents who like wolves in their environment on the west or the coast, their will be a force this time for the wolf. It’s a different state ranchers live here but so does a close number of people who want wolves. Here is an example, maybe not a great example but an example. Football Oregon had a very famous college team the ducks who were in the top five this year. I think they made number two I never checked after the big game. Now Washington state has a Professional team the sea hawks , how many pro teams does Montana, Wyoming, or Idaho have ? The answer is of course none, the mixture of people in Washington and Oregon is different, people like sports not only hunting, ranching etc. Being sports fans and in a wilderness town they might like the outdoors and the wildlife in it. In fact Washington state has drag racing, once a year the NHRA comes to town. Their is a different element in these two states, just an idea to think about.

    • avatar bret says:

      Richie G.
      I think it is more of a rural/urban divide than a dryside/wetside divide. Ranching in WA does not have the political weight that other western states.

      • avatar Richie G. says:

        Bret; yes they are urban and with that comes different ideals, I bring up sports because they are urban, that is what makes it different. They are not engaged in ranching and killing as much as ranchers are. Remember ranchers kill for a living their cattle are brought to slaughter all the time, killing an animal means nothing to them. For instance someone wrote on this site many years ago. They had a favorite horse for years but when the horse went lame they had a slaughter house in to take it away. Why not a vet to put the favorite horse down, it is different ideals, I must respect it ,but don’t ask me to like it.

        • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

          The lobbying of ranchers is aided across state lines. They may not be as numerable in Washington, but they will still have pull. Until we have a change of power and people let go of the out-dated idealism that goes along with ranching, we are fighting an up hill battle. Ranching has been romanticized. If it were a traditional way of life that a family or region had occupied land to grow opium or to have brothels, we would not see the same political mumbo jumbo we have with ranchers. We give ranching far too much leniency, with policy, land, protections, pollutants, and land use. If you put a tractor and a cowboy hat in the hands of a person, they will have more leverage than the clerk at the gas station.

          • avatar WM says:

            Vicki,

            Livestock production in WA is a $2.4B industry. Beneficiaries of that revenue flow to many sectors – from County tax coffers to the local truck dealer or machine repair shop, to agri-hub urban areas that serve as marketers for sales transactions of livestock products. And, thinking more broadly agriculture, whether livestock, wheat, corn, grapes or blueberries tends to stick together for their political alliances (those non-livestock commodities add about another $6-7B to the economy). So, lets call agriculture a $10B economy. That doesn’t include forest products, by the way.

            A gas station attendant is a minimum wage employee, with a limited skill base and no economic clout. And, much of the profit of the business that employs them goes out of the area. Just who do you think a legislator is going to or should listen to?

            • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

              WM,

              Western states can account only 1.7 percent of their revenues from agriculture. Of all of the gross incomes of agriculture, one of the smallest portions of it come from public land grazing operations. In 2002 (a fair year to use as it was pre-economic downslide) only 3-4 million dollars in all western states combined was expected to come from public land grazing.

              Most of our gross domestic product from agriculture doesn’t come from grazers, but farming and feed lots.

              I know who the legislature will listen to. I also know that an American’s right for their vote to be counted is not based on economic clout, but their ability to be represented does. That part, is unfortunate.

              Many intelligent people’s opinions, including those of scientists and economists, are pushed aside in the name of agriculture. We may lump public grazing (the sector we are really talking about as wolves are not known for stalking feed lots of cattle) in with agriculture as a whole, but it’s degradation of public lands and water resources coupled with it’s marginal contribution should not determine the outcome of environmental policies.

              It’s also worth noting that in 2009 (a bad year economically for fairness), 120 million dollars in revenue to western states. Wolf watching brings in revenue too. In fact, in 2011 51.9 billion dollars in revenue was generated as a result of wildlife watching.

              The economic justifications for the clout of ranchers is failing.

              Don’t be fooled by the clerk, they may work in a gas station, but that doesn’t limit their passion or define their skills or intellect, lol. One of the wisest men I ever knew worked at a car wash. He said “Washing cars is a better use of my time than engaging in the stale mate which we call politics”.

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                120 million dolars was brought into western states by wildlife watchers.

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                WM,
                * In 2009 in western states 120 million dollars in revenue came from wildlife viewing. That far exceeds the few million of land grazing revenue. Wolf watching brings in revenue.

                excuse the typos.

              • avatar SAP says:

                Vicki – it would be great if you would cite some authoritative sources for the figures you give. I’m not saying they’re untrue, but it generally leads to higher quality discussion if we can cite some reliable research.

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                SAP,

                Most of it comes from the stuff I have read leisurely. (I have a tendency to retain data that is useless to most others. My friends, family and classmates have taken to calling me ‘Google’)

                But I will try to recall a few searches….
                http://www.publiclandsranching.org/htmlres/myth_plr_economics.htm

                http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/BLM_Information/newsroom/2013/blm_and_forest_service.html

                http://www.care2.com/causes/good-news-birdwatching-is-more-popular-than-hunting.html

                http://www.gorillasafarirwanda.com/blog/tourism-activities-that-contribute-more-on-revenue.html

                http://atfiles.org/files/pdf/wildeconsurvey.pdf

                I also read state budgets, and annual reports from federal agencies, and state parks and wildlife departments, and I have been reading reports on environmental economics in my spare time.

                In the future, I will try to save sources to my history. I just generally remember and only save the sightings for reports. I haven’t posted on here in ages until recently. (Mostly because it was like beating my head on the wall). So, I am out of practice.

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                Elk 275,

                Oh, I have some experience. But this may be of interest….North Dakota is the only state that I have found on record to have been unimpacted by the recession. It is because, from what I can tell, it has had an increase in oil production and lacks major cities at proximities of convenience to rigs. So the workers spend locally.

                People can spout numbers all day long. None of them negates or ethical responsibility to find ways to be less impactful on our environment.

                Fracking has been a huge issue here (CO). People tend to sight the economics, but the people putting the cash in their pockets forget that we are in drought conditions, and have been for about 7 years. Fracking pollutes and wastes millions of gallons of water. That water, no matter how you calculate things is priceless.
                Yes, we make choices about how we spend. But personal choices and political policies are different beings entirely.
                You are still the same Elk 275, insightful and driven. If memory serves, an Idahoan? Retired, and with a little acreage.
                Let me just say, I hunt. (I won’t be hunting in Colorado this year). I just don’t think wolves are the source of economic and social evil. I also don’t think “drill baby, drill” is a solution to anything. But what I do think, is that representation should be indicative of a society….and hunters do not an entire society make, nor are ranchers, tree huggers, oil companies, insurance agencies, peace loving gun grabbers, gun slinging good ole boys, public land grazers, or any other special interest group. Which is why the same ole same ole persists.

              • avatar WM says:

                Vicki,

                I think you need to understand that “wildlife watching” is kind of a questionable statistic, because to some degree it INCLUDES hunters (at least as the survey annually done by FWS does not exclude them).

                And, if you will read carefully, my comment was in reference to WA only as regards revenues from livestock and agriculture generally. I also think there are sometimes mistakes made when attempting to lump all the Western states together when talking about their respective economic bases. Yet another mistake is to assume any economic endeavor is equitably distributed geographically within a state. There are some counties and those who live in those counties who find agriculture the DOMINANT economic force; there are few manufacturing or service jobs in those locales. So, it is meaningful. Lumping stuff together for an arument such as you make is not convincing at that level, but I suspect there are those here who really don’t care about local economies.

              • avatar JB says:

                Vicki, WM:

                Not to barge in on your conversation, but I’d like to add another point for discussion. In reading your comments, it seems you’re attempting to argue that an activity is legitimate simply based upon the amount of revenue it generates? (Note, if I mis-interpret, I apologize). I know Pinchot demanded “the greatest good for the greatest number”, but I doubt he would’ve reduced “good” down to purely dollars and cents. In my view, a better way to approach the problem (i.e., what should be done with this land) is one that considers alternatives. Livestock production (as separate from agriculture) requires incredible amounts of resources relative to its energy outputs, is heavily subsidized by our govt. in order to remain competitive with foreign growers, and the products it produces have been linked to heart disease and obesity (which means, we as a society pay for these cows again in the form of health care). Is this really best use these lands can be put do? Does livestock production provide the “greatest good”?

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                WM,
                I disagree. I am not new to this. Further, I have nightly discussion about these subjects with an economist who likes nothing more than arguing against my positions.

                I am pretty certain Washington’s agricultural GDP decreased in 2012, as did construction, hunting and fishing, real estate and forestry. Perhaps people are looking to explain some of that by pointing at wolves? I can’t say. But I also know that a major part of Washington’s agricultural community has no cause for concern with wolves, as it is based in fruit, vegetable and seafood production. (Although wolves in Spain do enjoy grapes.)

                I would disagree about the level of difficulty in differentiating between hunting and fishing revenues. States easily track license sales, and also taxes collected under P&R and various other earmarked sources. FWS should be extremely cognizant of where their money comes from. They are under exact operational scrutiny of budgets which determine and are illustrative of just that.

                I understand you are talking specifically about Washington, but the argument in not singular in any way. It is the same argument used for years by ranchers and the oil industry to manipulate legislation.

                Yes, studies are done for western states. Yes, they are also done for individual states as well. I understand the difference.

                As far as local economies, ag aside, wildlife watching would be a relevant income in many instances as wildlife watching tends to revolve around remote locations or gateway communities. Economically (it has been a while since I looked at these exact impact statements) gateway communities have benefited from wolves in parks and surrounding areas.

                We should also consider the legitimate costs to the agricultural industry for wolves to exist. I would suspect it is less than the income generated by the watchers.

                I think it is abundantly clear that the ag industry has manipulated the use of lands, or we wouldn’t manage bison as livestock. I think it is understandable that owners of livestock legitimately killed on private lands should be reasonably compensated. Not every kill is legitimately predation by wolf. Livestock killed on public lands is different as that is a calculated risk to be considered when deciding on paying AUM’s or buying a private ranch.

                I think local economies most certainly are of concern. I also understand that in many of these smaller communities (live in one myself) operate like a tiny monarchy where ranch owners who have large spreads or standing histories tend to yield a lot of power over others as well.

                It is all a matter of personal perception. Statistics can be manipulated, misleading, and used for the wrong purpose.

                I guess I will just agree to disagree with anyone who’s position is that Washington is going to die a financial death if wolves are not extirpated.

                At some point, people need to own their hypocritical behaviors, and realize that one person’s wealth doesn’t trump another’s rights. One person’s agenda shouldn’t be legislated despite science.

                I give you a lot of credit for your knowledge on the matter. Thank you for the dialogue.

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                JB,

                I would say no, it does not. And great point.

              • avatar WM says:

                JB, Vicki,

                JB – glad to have you join the topic. No, I was not attempting to argue that an activity is legitimate simply based upon the amount of revenue it generates. I was, however, pointing out that was a reality, and that is how politics and economic interface at the local, state and federal level, and I expect will continue to do so for a very long time. I do not claim it is a good thing, and would even argue it is not good.

                You and Vicki can have all the academic economic conversations you want, including external input from economic grad students/economics professors and all, but it doesn’t cut it in the real world of business, where local jobs, and people’s homes, businesses, and business assets are at stake (and do be assured public grazing permits are an economic asset, for a small but influential segment of the economies of some Western states).

                Vicki, while agriculture is not a huge part of some Western economies at the state level it can be in entire regions at a county level or larger. And, I am not making any link with wolves and general agriculture (that would be absurd by any standard). I was saying, and I believe I said it pretty clearly, that agricultural interests, regardless of what they produce, tend to stick together in their thinking and their politics, for the most part (though we have some newer grape and berry growers in WA who are more progressive, but orchardists are generally of the same mindset as the stock ranchers in my experience having grown up around some of those types).

                In your assertions about the importance of wildlife viewing, please remember most hunters are only engaged in that activity a couple weeks a year. The rest of the time they are/may be wildlife watchers, too. So making that comparison between hunting and wildlife watching as mutually exclusive activities, without acknowledging the overlap is wrong-minded. USFWS surveys DO NOT BREAK THIS OUT, to my knowledge. And, do be careful about throwing around gross numbers for how important wildlife watching is on a national scale in terms of numbers of people, where they watch, and how much money they spend. It is more complicated than what you suggest. Also, as an aside, it is interesting to note P-R, D-J exise taxes on hunting/fishing equipment and allocations back to states based on licenses sold do not apply to wildlife viewing equipment like cameras, spotting scopes, hiking boots, backpacks, technical clothing and the like. I would submit hunters own a fairly high percentage of those items. I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to expanding the tax to those items and expanding the vesting to a larger non-consumptive and consumptive user base.

                And, Vicki you might want to consider talking with your economist friends whether wolf wildlife watching as an industry displaces other economic activities, whether it is actual livestock lost dead or injured to wolves, collective herd weight losses, additional operation and maintenance costs or capital expenditures to producers. Don’t forget the big game outfitters and potential losses of license and tag revenues, along with all the goods and services non-resident hunters purchase while in-state. Also look to the costs to government (federal/state/county) of having wolves on the landscape in larer numbers, including depredation investigations/lab work etc. The offsets may not be huge, but should be identified and considered nonetheless. Say for example, if a state would eventually require as mandatory that livestock operators in wolf country string fladry, have 24 hour watches by humans and have guard dogs during summer grazing and/or calving/lambing. Your economist friends might be surpised at how all this stuff adds up.

                Sorry, if this reply rambles a bit, I don’t have time right now to edit for content.

                • avatar Richie G. says:

                  My only comment why is it always the wolf, other facts show wolves are a small part of the killing of livestock. I repeat myself, I know but it’s all on the wolf, if wild dogs kill and they are the pets of ranchers who probably neglected them as people do in the east. These poor dogs have no where to go but roam the countryside. I just adopted one who was on the street in southern New Jersey, no history, animal control pick him up. But you guys some of you let them run wild, and the wolf gets the blame, it’s always the wolf and the wolf kills the least. Their is a mindset here everybody knows, Ralph pointed it out in an article where cattle were killed by sickness or mountains lions etc. But when a wolf killed one it was big news, that is the shame of it all, not the monies or the people’s tradition. It’s always the wolf who is at fault. Not the people who neglect their own pets yet alone their cattle take the blame if it is yours.

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                WM,
                Ah, some light at the end of the tunnel.
                You and Vicki can have all the academic economic conversations you want, including external input from economic grad students/economics professors and all, but it doesn’t cut it in the real world of business, where local jobs, and people’s homes, businesses, and business assets are at stake (and do be assured public grazing permits are an economic asset, for a small but influential segment of the economies of some Western states).
                I ran a multi-million dollar a year corporation riddled with policies and regulations. I actually know a bit about business. I gave it up, because my ethics didn’t align with the unjust behaviors of the industry. I also grew up in a family that is agriculturally based and has been since they landed here on the Mayflower. I don’t know why you assume that just because I don’t agree with you, I am ignorant, and impervious to the topic. Believe it if you’d like. I do know what cuts it in a business world. Public grazing and it’s economic value may be an asset to some ( a small portion of those who own the federally based land, aka the public). You’ll get no argument here. But they are always a detriment to the environment. That is of greater value.
                Vicki, while agriculture is not a huge part of some Western economies at the state level it can be in entire regions at a county level or larger. And, I am not making any link with wolves and general agriculture (that would be absurd by any standard). I was saying, and I believe I said it pretty clearly, that agricultural interests, regardless of what they produce, tend to stick together in their thinking and their politics, for the most part (though we have some newer grape and berry growers in WA who are more progressive, but orchardists are generally of the same mindset as the stock ranchers in my experience having grown up around some of those types).
                I am pretty sure if you look back, this was one of my original points. Agricultural groups stick together and their lobby teams work for them as an entire group. To that end, we cannot make a distinction, although the effects of wolves will have distinctly different implications for different sectors of agriculture.
                In your assertions about the importance of wildlife viewing, please remember most hunters are only engaged in that activity a couple weeks a year. The rest of the time they are/may be wildlife watchers, too. So making that comparison between hunting and wildlife watching as mutually exclusive activities, without acknowledging the overlap is wrong-minded. USFWS surveys DO NOT BREAK THIS OUT, to my knowledge. And, do be careful about throwing around gross numbers for how important wildlife watching is on a national scale in terms of numbers of people, where they watch, and how much money they spend. It is more complicated than what you suggest. Also, as an aside, it is interesting to note P-R, D-J exise taxes on hunting/fishing equipment and allocations back to states based on licenses sold do not apply to wildlife viewing equipment like cameras, spotting scopes, hiking boots, backpacks, technical clothing and the like. I would submit hunters own a fairly high percentage of those items. I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to expanding the tax to those items and expanding the vesting to a larger non-consumptive and consumptive user base.
                I don’t consider hunters amongst non-consumptive users when it comes to revenues which can be accounted for per attribution to hunting specific activities, that is why I refer to them separately. I didn’t say the USFWS breaks anything down, I said they are aware of revenues as they are limited by budgets. I am absolutely certain the numbers are broken down, how else would we know what money comes from bird stamps, habitat stamps, or any other federally earmarked tax?. I didn’t say by whom, just that I am certain it is done. Do I know there is over-lap, yes. Again, because revenues generated by hunters outside of their consumptive use which require tags or licenses are income which cannot be distinctly separated, I separated the two for the purpose of this discussion. Would I like a more even contribution via tax base? I’d like more funding for conservation, period.
                As far as “ how important wildlife watching is on a national scale in terms of numbers of people, where they watch, and how much money they spend”, it never tossed some iron clad number at you. What I said was in actuality pretty basic, small businesses in rural location where wildlife watchers visit will benefit from the influx of funds. I personally believe people do much viewing away from cities, but I am no fool. Bird watching is the biggest revenue generator for wildlife watching activities, and it is done in backyards and remote places alike.
                And, Vicki you might want to consider talking with your economist friends whether wolf wildlife watching as an industry displaces other economic activities, whether it is actual livestock lost dead or injured to wolves, collective herd weight losses, additional operation and maintenance costs or capital expenditures to producers. Don’t forget the big game outfitters and potential losses of license and tag revenues, along with all the goods and services non-resident hunters purchase while in-state. Also look to the costs to government (federal/state/county) of having wolves on the landscape in larer numbers, including depredation investigations/lab work etc. The offsets may not be huge, but should be identified and considered nonetheless. Say for example, if a state would eventually require as mandatory that livestock operators in wolf country string fladry, have 24 hour watches by humans and have guard dogs during summer grazing and/or calving/lambing. Your economist friends might be surpised at how all this stuff adds up.
                I have heard lots of arguments on both sides. Like I said, he loves to prove me wrong. I could easily find numbers to support either argument. These issues have been mulled over, and analyzed time after time. Like I said, you can spin numbers to fit any agenda. It is irrefutable that a lot of monies expended in labs, and on field studies and on litigation, are spent to support a position which is typically only argued by a minority (in the case of the wolf, it is a more prolific under-taking. But it happens every day, with prairie dogs and ferrets, bison and brucellosis, Chronic Wasting Disease and implications on free grazers, the list is endless.) But the use of those funds are more often spent in effort to “protect humans”, except in a few cases where the money is really spent to validate doing what the public wants against the desires of what special groups demand.
                One could spin the mandate of human attendees to livestock on public lands in a whole new way. It could be a job maker. It could also level the playing field for wolves and humans on non-private lands. Attendees as a deterant might be cheaper than a lot of other things we might try. Additionally, we should consider that extirpation occurred in large part because ranchers didn’t want to pay for this type of labor. The dilemma was born out of fear, but mainly out of greed or on a kinder note, ambition. The wolf was an original part of the landscape. We cannot keep applying capitalism to wildlife management. It is just impractical and doomed to fail on both sides of the issue. It is also a problem of our own creation. I agree, it will go on for many years to come.
                I am the queen of typos and bad grammar. No apologies necessary. I will give consideration to what you have suggested.

            • avatar Elk275 says:

              Vicki

              Wildwatching brings in 120 million to the western states. Hunting in Montana brings in far more than 120 million; Montana sells over 20 million dollars worth of non resident hunting licences alone. Then add in all of the other money spent while hunting. Fishing brings in hundreds of millions of dollars. Wildlife watching chump change compare to 2 or 3 oil wells in the Northeast Montana.

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                Elk275,

                Hunting has declined in it’s monetary accumulation for the last 9 years in a row. Simple math can easily prove it is cheaper to buy meat than hunt it. (I am pretty sure a few years back, you informed that your wife had done that math. lol)
                I hunt. But I don’t see wolves as the root of all evil. They haven’t had a significant impact on the economics of hunting.
                Now, if you want to see huge impacts, take a look at economic forecasts for Colorado following recent gun control legislation being passed. As a state that is almost exclusively dependent on hunting and fishing revenue (state level) and federal earmarked funds from guns and ammo taxes, we are looking a huge problems due to boycotts and businesses leaving.

                I get it that ranching brings in some income, but public land leases and grazing cost us money in habitat restoration costs. How we justify screwing up our resource management(and all the includes ie: wolves) in the name of public land grazing is beyond reason. We call public land grazing “ag”, but it is really just right wing entitlement masquerading as the American Way. It is a hand out. AUM’s are a thinly veiled attempt to hide it. And all of the years of arguing wolves vs. none are just another example of how unbalanced our system is and how far the pendulum swings when you put enough money on it.

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                Elk 275,

                That chump change oil revenue has a lower trickle down locally than wildlife watching. Most of that revenue, goes right up the corporate ladder.

                Wildlife watching is increasing in popularity, as is solar. There is always a ying to a yang.

                As a hunter and avid angler, I would like to see some of the recreational users (non-consumptive) put some revenue into conservation. Our hunting/angling licenses go entirely to Parks and Wildlife, our guns and ammo are taxed, we buy tags that go to coffers, and habitat stamps, bird stamps etc. How about the mountain bikers, kayakers, watchers and photogs kick in just a teeny bit? Ah, dare to dream of a day when we all contribute!

              • avatar Elk275 says:

                Vicki I am busy writing a report right now.

                “That chump change oil revenue has a lower trickle down locally than wildlife watching. Most of that revenue, goes right up the corporate ladder.” You have never been involved with the oil business, I have spent nearly 10 years in working in Alaska or buying oil and gas leases in the Rockies.

                Millions and millions are spent locally. My brother works in North Dakota 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off plus a day driving each way running a drilling rig. Sixteen hundred a day or $25,000 for a 2 week shift in not bad wages and yes he can spent money locally.

                It is also cheaper to stay home and watch TV than go wildlife watching but there are those who enjoy wildlife watching and there are those who enjoy hunting.

              • avatar JB says:

                “As a hunter and avid angler, I would like to see some of the recreational users (non-consumptive) put some revenue into conservation.”

                Vicki: I’ve been saying this for years. However, recall that Pittman-Robertson was passed in 1937; Dingell-Johnson passed in 1950 (before “tax” became a four letter word). The PR/DJ acts wouldn’t have a chance were they being proposed today; likewise, the “no new revenue” mantra among conservatives probably kills the chances of equivalent non-consumptive legislation.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                “People can spout numbers all day long. None of them negates or ethical responsibility to find ways to be less impactful on our environment.”

                Thank you Vicky

            • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

              WM,

              Ah, some light at the end of the tunnel.

              +You and Vicki can have all the academic economic conversations you want, including external input from economic grad students/economics professors and all, but it doesn’t cut it in the real world of business, where local jobs, and people’s homes, businesses, and business assets are at stake (and do be assured public grazing permits are an economic asset, for a small but influential segment of the economies of some Western states).+

              1. I ran a multi-million dollar a year corporation riddled with policies and regulations. I actually know a bit about business. I gave it up, because my ethics didn’t align with the unjust behaviors of the industry. I also grew up in a family that is agriculturally based and has been since they landed here on the Mayflower. I don’t know why you assume that just because I don’t agree with you, I am ignorant, and impervious to the topic. Believe it if you’d like. I do know what cuts it in a business world. Public grazing and it’s economic value may be an asset to some ( a small portion of those who own the federally based land, aka the public). You’ll get no argument here. But they are always a detriment to the environment. That is of greater value.

              +Vicki, while agriculture is not a huge part of some Western economies at the state level it can be in entire regions at a county level or larger. And, I am not making any link with wolves and general agriculture (that would be absurd by any standard). I was saying, and I believe I said it pretty clearly, that agricultural interests, regardless of what they produce, tend to stick together in their thinking and their politics, for the most part (though we have some newer grape and berry growers in WA who are more progressive, but orchardists are generally of the same mindset as the stock ranchers in my experience having grown up around some of those types).+

              2. I am pretty sure if you look back, this was one of my original points. Agricultural groups stick together and their lobby teams work for them as an entire group. To that end, we cannot make a distinction, although the effects of wolves will have distinctly different implications for different sectors of agriculture.

              +In your assertions about the importance of wildlife viewing, please remember most hunters are only engaged in that activity a couple weeks a year. The rest of the time they are/may be wildlife watchers, too. So making that comparison between hunting and wildlife watching as mutually exclusive activities, without acknowledging the overlap is wrong-minded. USFWS surveys DO NOT BREAK THIS OUT, to my knowledge. And, do be careful about throwing around gross numbers for how important wildlife watching is on a national scale in terms of numbers of people, where they watch, and how much money they spend. It is more complicated than what you suggest. Also, as an aside, it is interesting to note P-R, D-J exise taxes on hunting/fishing equipment and allocations back to states based on licenses sold do not apply to wildlife viewing equipment like cameras, spotting scopes, hiking boots, backpacks, technical clothing and the like. I would submit hunters own a fairly high percentage of those items. I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to expanding the tax to those items and expanding the vesting to a larger non-consumptive and consumptive user base.+

              3. I don’t consider hunters amongst non-consumptive users when it comes to revenues which can be accounted for per attribution to hunting specific activities, that is why I refer to them separately. I didn’t say the USFWS breaks anything down, I said they are aware of revenues as they are limited by budgets. I am absolutely certain the numbers are broken down, how else would we know what money comes from bird stamps, habitat stamps, or any other federally earmarked tax?. I didn’t say by whom, just that I am certain it is done. Do I know there is over-lap, yes. Again, because revenues generated by hunters outside of their consumptive use which require tags or licenses are income which cannot be distinctly separated, I separated the two for the purpose of this discussion. Would I like a more even contribution via tax base? I’d like more funding for conservation, period.

              As far as “ how important wildlife watching is on a national scale in terms of numbers of people, where they watch, and how much money they spend”, it never tossed some iron clad number at you. What I said was in actuality pretty basic, small businesses in rural location where wildlife watchers visit will benefit from the influx of funds. I personally believe people do much viewing away from cities, but I am no fool. Bird watching is the biggest revenue generator for wildlife watching activities, and it is done in backyards and remote places alike.

              +And, Vicki you might want to consider talking with your economist friends whether wolf wildlife watching as an industry displaces other economic activities, whether it is actual livestock lost dead or injured to wolves, collective herd weight losses, additional operation and maintenance costs or capital expenditures to producers. Don’t forget the big game outfitters and potential losses of license and tag revenues, along with all the goods and services non-resident hunters purchase while in-state. Also look to the costs to government (federal/state/county) of having wolves on the landscape in larer numbers, including depredation investigations/lab work etc. The offsets may not be huge, but should be identified and considered nonetheless. Say for example, if a state would eventually require as mandatory that livestock operators in wolf country string fladry, have 24 hour watches by humans and have guard dogs during summer grazing and/or calving/lambing. Your economist friends might be surpised at how all this stuff adds up.+

              4. I have heard lots of arguments on both sides. Like I said, he loves to prove me wrong. I could easily find numbers to support either argument. These issues have been mulled over, and analyzed time after time. Like I said, you can spin numbers to fit any agenda. It is irrefutable that a lot of monies expended in labs, and on field studies and on litigation, are spent to support a position which is typically only argued by a minority (in the case of the wolf, it is a more prolific under-taking. But it happens every day, with prairie dogs and ferrets, bison and brucellosis, Chronic Wasting Disease and implications on free grazers, the list is endless.) But the use of those funds are more often spent in effort to “protect humans”, except in a few cases where the money is really spent to validate doing what the public wants against the desires of what special groups demand.
              One could spin the mandate of human attendees to livestock on public lands in a whole new way. It could be a job maker. It could also level the playing field for wolves and humans on non-private lands. Attendees as a deterant might be cheaper than a lot of other things we might try. Additionally, we should consider that extirpation occurred in large part because ranchers didn’t want to pay for this type of labor. The dilemma was born out of fear, but mainly out of greed or on a kinder note, ambition. The wolf was an original part of the landscape. We cannot keep applying capitalism to wildlife management. It is just impractical and doomed to fail on both sides of the issue. It is also a problem of our own creation. I agree, it will go on for many years to come.

              5. I am the queen of typos and bad grammar. No apologies necessary. I will give consideration to what you have suggested.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Don’t worry Vicki, he’s a pompous a** and can’t help himself. He’s harmless. He assumes everyone is ignorant except himself. I’d say typical lawyerly but it’s not always the case for every lawyer, just most of them. 😉

              • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

                Ida,
                LOL, thanks for the moral support. I really do try to be a good listener. I also try to think constructively. I must admit, I don’t like being condescended to or ‘bossed around’. I try to hold my own. But I am not always right…although I am not as wrong as some would like to believe I am.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Ha! 🙂

                I try to be polite, civil and non-judgemental to just about everyone I correspond with, but WM is a little much.

                Don’t worry about typos; I’ve made my share of glaring ones. Where’s that editing feature that I loved. 🙂

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            I wouldn’t put it in the same category as those things, but we do give ranchers too much leniency.

            In time, we may see the legalization of brothels in more states than Nevada! We’re already trying to legalize drugs, gambling casinos are a respected way to bring money into the state now, and brining back horse slaughterhouses regardless if the product is safe for human consumption or not.

            • avatar Vicki Fossen says:

              JB,
              Amen. Some times I get a chuckle when I think of how many hunters and anglers forget that very socialist leaning policies provide them these opportunities.
              I met a wildlife biologist from Mexico, she is studying at CSU to get her doctorates (I think she is doing some work on policies). She was very bright. However, she never once mentioned in her lectures that a lot of the funding that Mexico gets comes from migratory bird stamps. She did however, scare the crud out of me. As I listened to her and then spoke with her, I realized that the disasters which are Mexico’s resource management tactics are exactly what we would have if we relinquish control to states (some do better than federal as an exception) and private owners.

  12. avatar jon says:

    “wolf introduction was a crime”

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Ahhhh,

      So nice to wake up to something from the “Queen” of melodrama. Come on, at least put some Philip Glass in the sound track.

      Let’s see. What’s the biggest drive, food or predator avoidance? I’ll bet fifty on food.

  13. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2012/12/03/have-you-come-across-any-interesting-wildlife-news-dec-4-2012-edition/

    Actually it was here – someone from a hunting website emailed the tribe about non-tribal members buying wolf tags – but they said not for the next couple of years or something.

  14. avatar jon says:

    http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2020888092_wolfkillxml.html

    This is why people do not trust these ranchers. If one of their cattle is killed and they see a wolf in the area, they automatically blame the wolves.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Oh not them again!

      • avatar Richie G. says:

        If almost all collared wolves are gone in Idaho, will the wolves go back on the list. Won’t they drop below the number of breading pairs that the government wants. It seems Idaho killed many wolves ,and many collared wolves, doesn’t this matter?

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

~ Edward Abbey

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