Family of wolf conservationists tell the grim facts of current state wolf management-

While public opinion in favor of keeping wolves at least partially protected by the endangered species act, was ignored yesterday when the Department of Interior announced the national delisting of all wolves except the Mexican wolf, the New York Times and other publications have increasingly begun to rethink the wisdom of the delisting the wolf. The reasons given are two. (1) the wolf isn’t really recovered. (2) Existing state management is so bad that the “recovered” population will soon decline to nothing but a tiny token population.

Jim Dutcher, Jamie, and Garrick Dutcher are very well know wolf conservationists. They give a strong critique of existing state wolf management in a New York Times op ed of yesterday, Friday, June 7, 2013.  The Department of Interior did not mention or try to refute any of the the Dutcher’s argument in their delisting news release.  The general argument of the Dutchers is not unique. It is common to almost every group’s opposition to delisting. It is just that this piece is very well written.

Don’t Forsake the Gray Wolf. The New York Times. Op ed.  By Jim Dutcher, Jamie Dutcher, and Garrick Dutcher.

 
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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.

314 Responses to NYT op ed on the delisting of the gray wolf

  1. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    “In the 1992-revised Eastern Timber Wolf Recovery Plan, one of the Secretary’s [Gale Norton] purported goals is to “maintain and reestablish viable populations of the eastern timber wolf in as much of its former range as possible.” AR Doc. 1198, p. 29.

    Although the vast majority of the recovery plan gives priority to wolf recovery in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin, the Secretary additionally outlines a three-point plan to “re-establish [a] wolf population in Adirondack Mountains (New York), northwestern
    Maine/adjacent New Hampshire, and/or northeastern Maine.” Id. at 35.”

    http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/VermontCourtOpinion01312005.pdf

    Does anyone know whatever became of this ‘plan’?

    • avatar WM says:

      Ida,

      It was abandoned. The last activity, of which I am aware, was the FWS response to a petition for establishing a Northeastern DPS & recovery. The petition was rejected June 10, 2010 (note the initial petitioner was John Glowa in 2009).

      Here is the link to the Federal Register notice: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-06-10/html/2010-13882.htm

      By the way, Ida, there is discussion in the notice regarding the lack of documentation of wolves in southern Ontario, as I mentioned on another thread.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Ok, just wondering. Thanks – I do appreciate your comments.

      • avatar MAD says:

        “lack of documentation”? what? you’re kidding me, right? This would come as a complete shock to Paul Wilson & Sonya Grewal who performed genetic analysis on canids all over Southern Ontario, Quebec, and from Maine down to New York. you really don’t know what you’re talking about.

        They’ve published in the most prestigious scientific journals, Conservation Genetics, Journal of Mammology, Evolution, Journsl of Heredity…

        and you were…… a lawyer, right? oh that’s right, very qualified to speak on the genetic & taxonomic status of Eastern wolves.

        • avatar WM says:

          MAD,

          If there are large numbers of wolves in Southern Ontario south of Algonquin Park, Southern Quebec, or New Brunswick the sources documenting this seem to be kind of sparse, from what I’ve found. If you know more, and can provide specific links to published sources that’s great. Most of what I have seen seems to suggest otherwise. And, it seems almost (I said almost) uniformly believed there not many, if any, wolves recently south of the St. Lawrence River/Seaway. John Glowa has spoken otherwise on this forum, but the anecdotal information is still kind of sparse.

          And, quite frankly that’s great if you substantial information to the contrary.

          This from the petition that was denied by USFWS:

          ++Because we do
          not have substantial information that any “population” of the gray
          wolf may exist in the Northeast, we lack substantial information that
          there may be a discrete population in the Northeast.++

          So, I guess the government is lying to us again.

          I certainly don’t claim to be a taxonomist or qualified to talk about Eastern wolves, other than speculate generally whether they exist in the NE and whether there is significant potential for repopulation in the reasonably near future. But I do think it is important to bring into the conversation what seems to be the mainstream published information on wolf distribution in the East. If you have specific references regarding wolves south of Algonquin in the greater Toronto or Ottawa regions, please link to them and we can agree there are wolves there, and importantly moving south into the US in sufficient numbers to stimulate interest in repopulation – including with USFWS and their planning and rule-making.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            I’m trying to get through the gobbly gook in the delisting proposal, does anyone else think its quite bizarre and dishonest. In a nutshell, if I am reading it correctly the USFWS now seems to be claiming that the gray wolf is now comprised of several heretofore unclassified subspecies and hence since any dispersing wolves may not really be of the canis lupus identified in the original recovery plan and thus not originally intended to be protected in the gray wolf recovery plan. I am wading through it in disbelief, the most fd’d up twisted lies yet.

          • avatar WM says:

            Be careful, Louise, you [and I] aren’t qualified to talk about wolf taxonomy, being a lawyer and all, according to MAD. ;)

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Nancy

      Mr Williams wrote, “Midwesterners are going to have to learn to live with wolves. Each spring, 2,000 pups are born in Minnesota alone, and the 150 to 225 wolves Wildlife Services takes from the population each year won’t even make a squiggle on the expansion graph. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) believes that the state has never had more wolves. That is because there have never been more deer. In fact, the deer population now provides more meat per acre than the wolves’ historical prey base of caribou, moose, elk, and bison. Moreover, 30 to 50 percent of the total wolf population would have to be removed annually just to keep it from expanding. That probably couldn’t be done without bounties and an all-out, 1950s-style air and poison war, a political and legal impossibility.”

      where did he get the 2000 pups born each spring number. This and other “facts” seem questionable

      • avatar jon says:

        I’d like to know where these numbers come from as well.

      • avatar SaveBears says:

        What do you have to show they are questionable Louise? If you guys are going to question, your really need to post information to refute this stuff.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          fair enough save bears
          OK people how many wolf pups are born in MN each year and more importantly how many would have survived pre hunting?

          SB the population remained relatively stable for 10 years so 2000 wolves were not being added into and surviving in the population each year.

          • avatar BobMc says:

            Only 143 pups a year.

            I made up the number, but now someone else has to do the research to refute my number. Of course, there will be at least two studies presented showing different numbers, so then I can say, “Ha! Your sources don’t agree, so they’re wrong. One-hundred forty-three is the correct number of wolf pups.” Climate-deniers have worked this tobacco-science method to our destruction. Meanwhile, you have wasted your time trying to refute a lie, when the liar doesn’t care about the truth, and the liar doesn’t care about the science, and in fact, the liar is a greedy person looking to his/her immediate satisfaction, regardless the cost to present or future generations. FEA!

            • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

              BobMc,

              A most clever reply!

            • avatar jon says:

              None of these fish and game agencies know how many wolf pups will be born or how many of them will survive. How do you know there will be 2000 wolf pups born every year in MN? You don’t. These people just throw bogus numbers out there to justify wolf killing. Montana fish and wild parks said they can kill 500 wolves this year and Montana will still have 300-500 wolves. the wolf population now according to Montana fwp is 530 wolves at the end of February 28,2013.

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            …”the population remained relatively stable for 10 years so 2000 wolves were not being added into and surviving in the population each year.”

            Minnesota’s 1998/1999 wolf population estimate was 1995-2905 animals. At an average mid-winter pack size of around five animals, that equals 400-590 packs. Whelping success in the WGL is around 85-95% (WI data), so 340-560 packs whelped in 1999. At an average litter size of 5.2 pups (WI data), there could easily be an additional 2000 wolf pups on the MN landscape in April.

            No, I’m not posting any citations. All of this information is easily available if you’re motivated to find it.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              Ma’iigan in the context of the quote the inference is that with 2000 pups being born each year
              “30 to 50 percent of the total wolf population would have to be removed annually just to keep it from expanding. That probably couldn’t be done without bounties and an all-out, 1950s-style air and poison war, a political and legal impossibility.”
              perhaps I should have expanded my statement to say I question this whole argument, including the number of pups born and surviving, and especially the BS about the need to control/kill 30-50% of the population. The ten year data on the MN wolf population does indeed seem to refute that presumption. Unless of course 30-50% of the population was being killed for depredation prior to delisting and I know thats not true.

              • avatar ma'iingan says:

                “where did he get the 2000 pups born each spring number.”

                This is what you asked.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Got it.. So that’s in theory in one year…..not in =each= year. I get it.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                ma’iingan is correct. However, the sticking point about the article is that there is no referral to pup mortality, annual wolf mortality, illegal take, etc, and would lead the casual reader to believe the wolf population is increasing by 2,000 wolves a year. That is disingenuous.

                Speaking of counts in MN, got in touch with MN DNR, and the recent wolf count will soon be available, as well as age breakdown from 2012 hunting/trapping season. Unless “ma” beats me to it, info will be posted later this month.

              • avatar WM says:

                To back up ma’s statement on the 2000 wolf births being a reasonable number.

                Let’s take it a step further, to update to the MN 2008 estimates, and the forthcoming 2012 estimates.

                For the more analytical doubters who remember a little high school algebra, let’s do a little math backed, by some common sense.

                Assertion by wolf scientist: “2,000 pups are born in MN alone…each year”

                Assumptions for hypothetical calculation:

                1. MN wolf population is 2,500 – 3,000 as measured in Dec. (the low point of the year, so it is conservative, since the number usually quoted is 3,000 (MN 90% confidence interval ranges from 2,192 wolves to 3,525 wolves in its 2008 survey).

                2. Avg. pack size may approach 5.5, but let’s go down to 5.0 to account for dispersers.

                2,500/5 = 500 packs (MN actually calculated 503 packs in its 2008 survey)

                Avg. # pups per breeding pair 4-6. Assume 80% contain breeding pairs, which seems to be an accepted estimate.

                500 packs x .8 x 5 = 2,000 pups

                Footnotes:

                1. MN wolf population thought to be closer to 3,000 in December
                http://www.timberwolfinformation.org/?p=16190

                2. Wolf population estimation technique is under constant review.
                http://www.wolf.org/wolves/learn/wow/regions/United_States/Minnesota_Subpages/Biology2.asp

                3. MN wolf population estimation technique for 2008 (the 2012 survey technique/results are not yet available to the public yet):

                Erb, John. (undated) Minnesota Department of Natural Resources DISTRIBUTION AND ABUNDANCE OF WOLVES IN MINNESOTA, 2007-08

                http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/fish_wildlife/wildlife/wolves/2008_survey.pdf

                _________________

                BOB Mc,

                Any questions, or are you just another uninformed smart a$$ wolf advocate troll who doesn’t know squat and is unwilling to learn?

                Louise,

                I think determining “how many pups survive” from a new crop (sorry I still like the term) each year, is a difficult estimate to make.

                However, the statement from MN DNR wolf biologist, who by the way did the annual survey in 2008 seems a reasonable estimate at “2000,” and is more verifiable than any other estimation technique out there. Jay Malonee, who Ralph cites was looking at MT wolves, not WGL/MN wolf population characteristics. They differ, and I won’t go into the weak areas of Mallonee’s analysis but have stated them before on this forum.

                And it is important to remember population dynamics. P year 2 = P year 1 + births – deaths + net in-out migration.

                So, even if there is a good crop of pups at 2,000, not all survive, and there are other wolf mortalities from natural and man made causes. Let’s not forget wolves kill each other too, when territory gets a bit tight.

                Again, 2000 wolf births per year for MN is not an unreasonable estimate, though maybe with a confidence interval around it it could be as low as 1,600 or has high as 2,400 or MORE if the 3,000 base population number is used.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                WM I did the same math calculations in my head and get what you are alluding to. But why then did the population stay in the 3000 range for a significant number of years. The mortality due to fish and wildlife killing depredating wolves does not add up, if 2000 pups are added each year even if only half survive there would be exponential growth. wolves are not fish nor do the have the same kind of high fecundity rates. Without exact counts, I stand by my query, why such a high estimate of pups whilst the population stays relatively stable. I think its a high estimate, given what we know about how wolves and other predators like coyotes “self regulate” (if you will) I believe the number of pups each year is much smaller. Otherwise we would see exponential growth. Even out migration could not account for the stability in population growth because MN still has available and suitable wolf habitat. The article struck a familiar annoying fear mongering tone…..wolves increasing exponentially. Where is the data to quote Jay Mallonee

              • avatar JB says:

                “WM I did the same math calculations in my head and get what you are alluding to. But why then did the population stay in the 3000 range for a significant number of years.”

                Louise: No one will answer your question because the answer is: wolves don’t need to be hunted. They are perfectly capable of controlling their own populations, and perfectly capable of sustaining significant harvest…so why again are we hunting?

              • avatar jon says:

                Wolves can and have been controlling their own population for millions of years. Montana FWP allows hunters to kill wolves because they make money off of wildlife killing. FWP puts hunters first and wildlife second. Their only concerned is having wildlife around, so hunters can pay to blast it into oblivion. They admitted that they manage wolves based on social tolerance. The fact that a lot of hunters in the northern rockies and other states hate wolves really dismisses the myth that these people are conservationists. You go on facebook and there are a ton of extreme anti-wolf fb pages and they are all run by hunters and ranchers.

              • avatar WM says:

                Louise,

                I won’t pretend to know what drives the net population as counted in MN, or what keeps the population hovering at 3,000 give or take 600 or so, above or below that number. Recall, they only do their estimates every five years (because there indeed are so many).

                But, do consider this: WI initially and periodically got all its wolves exclusively from MN through in-migration(and their progeny), which means out migration is/was substantial for some period of time from MN. Several hundred are officially removed from the population annually by WS or DNR staff for depredation; then there are those that are removed unofficially by the 3S crowd, and those that nobody ever asks about that would logically migrate south, though habitat is not so good. And, it seems it is not unusual for several of a batch of pups not to survive for various reasons, including disease. Most of the suitable habitat in the N part of the state is occupied, which likely means a number of wolves are removed socially by their own. Last, there are always those that die of old age or other natural causes, including unlucky wolves going after prey as moose and maybe some deer may contribute to injuries resulting in direct or indirect mortality.

                In all, it seems very plausible those +/- 2,000 pups could be whittled down to just replacement of an otherwise somewhat static population. I don’t know why it is so hard for some wolf advocates to accept. It seems most of the scientists – those most knowledgeable and on the ground dealing with it- don’t have a problem with it, or the ability to verify it. And, of course, there are those who want to have a hunting season and knock the population back by a few hundred.

              • avatar WM says:

                continuing…..And, Louise, consider this situation which is basically open license the southern part of the state [query whether farmers/ranchers comply with the last part]:

                ++Outside the wolf’s core range, in the southern two thirds of the state (Zone B), a person may shoot a wolf at any time to protect livestock, domestic animals or pets on land they own, lease, or manage. The circumstance of “immediate threat” does not apply. A DNR conservation officer must be notified within 48 hours….++

                Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Wolf Briefing
                January 5, 2012: http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/fish_wildlife/wildlife/wolves/wolfbrief.pdf

            • avatar Mark L says:

              Ma, why did you pick 1998/1999 numbers?

              • avatar ma'iingan says:

                “Ma, why did you pick 1998/1999 numbers?”

                Because the article was written in 2000.

        • avatar BobMc says:

          Whoa, SaveBears, the person making the assertion is the person responsible for documentation. It is totally valid to question the source of any “fact.” You show how and where you got your facts that you’re presenting, so we can judge the source and methods.

          • avatar SaveBears says:

            BobMc,

            I didn’t present any facts at all, I am not making any claim, but as a biologist, I know when I challenge a number or a finding, I have to present information to refute what I am questioning.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          SaveBears says: June 8, 2013 at 6:58 pm. “What do you have to show they are questionable Louise? If you guys are going to question, your really need to post information to refute this stuff.”

          SaveBears. I just posted information that points to these figures as being too high.

        • avatar jon says:

          These fish and game agencies are posting false numbers. Montana fish and wild park claims they are 625 wolves even though they don’t minus the 90 wolves killing earlier this year. You are telling me that Montana fish and wild parks went around Montana and actually counted 625 wolves? With only a few packs having collard on them, how are they getting these numbers of wolves? Montana fish and wild parks also claims that if Montana kills 500 wolves this year, you will still have a wolf population of 300-500 wolves. You cannot trust Montana fish and wild parks when it comes to the real numbers of wolves in Montana. I believe they are lying and throwing any number out there knowing that its very unlikely that the feds will come into Montana and make sure there are 150 wolves.

          • avatar jon says:

            Montana fish and wild parks says that if you kill 500 wolves, there will be 300-500 wolves in Montana. How’s that? At the end of the hunting season this year, there were 530 wolves. If you kill all of these wolves just about, Montana fish and wild parks claims you will still have 300-500 wolves in Montana.

            • avatar Rancher Bob says:

              jon
              Have you ever heard of wolves having pups?

              • avatar jon says:

                Montana FWP have no idea how many wolf pups are going to be born. It’s a guessing game with them. They should listen to real biologists like Jay Mallonne.

            • avatar jon says:

              Montana FWP are killing wolves based on social tolerance. They have bogus numbers. They said there were 530 wolves at the end of the wolf hunting season. They claim this is the minimum, BUT THEY HAVE NO IDEA how many more wolves are in Montana, yet they try to justify a wolf hunting season that kills 500 wolves. When FWP are called out on their bogus information, they don’t have to answer you, so they just ignore you. They know they can get away with killing a lot of wolves, as long as they keep their wolf population above 150. Fact is FWP has no idea how many wolves there are in Montana, yet they try to justify these aggressive wolf killing seasons just to cater to some very extremist hunters and ranchers.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            The BLM just caught hell for their questionable counting method for the wild horses. I wish an outside study could be done for the wolf numbers.

            • avatar jon says:

              Why are wolves in Montana being treated differently than bears and cougars? You got thousands of bears and cougars in Montana, yet FWP wants only 300-500 wolves in Montana? Why is it ok to have thousands of bears and cougars in Montana, but not wolves? When wolf reintroduction started taking place, they should have made the minimum number of wolves in Montana 300-500 wolves instead of 150. Now, it gives these fish and game agencies to kill as many wolves as possible as long as the wolf population stays above 150. How many cougars and bears can each hunter take in Montana? Far less wolves than both bear and cougar yet FWP is letting hunters and trappers take 5 wolves each. in Idaho, it’s 10 wolves for each trapper and hunter.

              • avatar SaveBears says:

                Jon,

                There have never been minimum numbers assigned to bears and cougars as has been done with wolves, the numbers were set by the USFWS, not Montana FWP. The issue is with USFWS not FWP, FWP is managing for what they were told they could do, so go to the root, for your answers. The states are following the rules that were handed down to them by the Federal agency in charge.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                jon
                You want Montana to treat wolves like lions and bears, we hunt lions with hounds and we have a April season on bears. At some point you may figure we treat all predators different because they all need different types of management plans.

      • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

        Of course, they don’t really count the pups or the wolves, they might have some radio collared and make estimates from that based on certain assumptions like the average litter size is 5 pups and 80% of the intact packs have litters.

        However, if they use any routine like I just described in Minnesota, it is probably an overestimate because the routine, or a similar one, like I described is based on the idea that there is plenty of wolf habitat for more wolves. If there is not, the number born (and especially survive) will be less.

        Minnesota does have additional wolf habitat, but not a lot of it. I do think, however, that their hunt quota is conservative, unlike Idaho and Montana’s.

        Jay Mallonee has used figures to question Montana’s wolf population estimates. If you haven’t already read his argument, do a web search.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Jay Mallonee has questioned the MFP many times. He never receives answers to his questions and the service treats him like a quack. Everyone who questions wolf policy that focuses on killing and ass kissing special interests is a quack, a tree hugger, liberal out-of-state intruding know nothing busy body. In Jays case gets an in-state disclaimer.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            he gets an in state disclaimer

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            MFP seems like kind of a nasty bunch.

            They loved Professor Scott Creel at U. Of Montana (or was it MSU?). They loved him when he presented research suggesting that the presence of wolves made female elk less fertile.

            Later he published research in another aspect of wolf behavior that contradicted FWP. They threatened the university, and I think they followed up — they took all their grant money and went home.

            • avatar Elk275 says:

              MSU. Also, for several years Scott has won the Bridger Mountains Ridge run. A 20 mile run on top of the Bridger Mountains; he is in good physical condition.

              • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                Elk275

                Thank you for this info

                This country needs more people like him, I mean those in good physical condition.

                More people would use the Great Outdoors if they were. Our medical care costs would be less.

              • avatar Elk275 says:

                “Our medical care costs would be less.”

                Ralph, you might be wrong. I have known several Ridge Run participants who ended up in the orthopedic ward with ACL injuries. Expensive surgery and extensive rehabilitation and sat out the following ski season.

              • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                Elk275,

                I might have overstated my case a bit, but I was thinking of the huge cost that will come from all those suffering from Type II diabetes brought on by eating junk food and no exercise.

                I visited the office of a doctor who treats diabetes the other day. No, I don’t have any sign of the disease. He had a special machine for other tests.

                Anyway, I won’t forget my visit . . . gruesome looking patients.

          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

            See my comments on Dr. Scott Creel at MSU. The Montana FWP Commission on paper looks pretty good, but in practice they seem as bad as the gaggle of good ‘ol boys that populate the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

            No they are not going to give a serious answer to any critique.

        • avatar Rancher Bob says:

          WM has already discussed Phonee Mallonee’s problem with Montana’s counting of wolves, Mallonee talks about total number of wolves. Montana FWP almost always talks about minimum numbers of wolves, which is known numbers of wolves living in known packs. Until people learn the difference you’ll be confused. This issue comes up every time Montana’s wolf population is a topic. Where’s WM 200 symbol link when I need.

  2. Having observed and photographed hundreds of wolves over the past several years, Dutchers’ statement about wolves being so much like dogs struck a chord with me.
    I grew up with farm dogs in Idaho and as a teen participated in hunting jack rabbits with our dogs along with other teens accompanied by their dogs. The dogs soon sorted out who was dominant with short fights and after all the dogs knew who was the “boss”, they always got along well on our hunts.
    When I see wolves interacting with each other, I see the same behaviors that I observed in dogs while growing up.
    Anyone who has raised dogs knows about as much about wolves as do most of Yellowstone’s famous “Wolf Researchers”.

    • You can click on my name to see a sample of the wolves I have photographed.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      “Anyone who has raised dogs knows about as much about wolves as do most of Yellowstone’s famous “Wolf Researchers”.”

      Comment simplistic at best. There exists the continued hard feelings in your comment regarding those collars.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Beautiful photos, the birds too!

      It’s the tail wagging and posturing of a wolf that always reminds me of a husky or shepherd dog.

      • avatar CodyCoyote says:

        … have to chime in on the wild Wolf domestic Dog notion briefly.
        When the zoologists generate the taxonomy of wolves, they mostly agree that there are somewhere between 34 and 39 definable subspecies of Wolves worldwide. While the assay of wolves changes, the number holds in that proximate range. The epiphany comes when we all realize that ONE subspecie of wolf is home to ALL breeds, types, and conformations of domestic dogs globally ( except the Australian Dingo ).

        Yup. Every Chihuahua, St. Bernard, Husky, and Poodle are members of the same subspecies of carnivore : Canis lupus familiaris. This gets murkier when you realize that Wolves and dogs can -if forced- interbreed with Dingos ( we’ve all seen ‘ em in Cowboyland ) , but also Coyotes ( Coywolves, Wolfotes, as reported in New England) and even make viable pups with ( some) Jackals. Wolves and Dogs and Coyotes and Jackals have a common alpha grandfather and grandmother, genetically as well as condtionally.

        We need to open thatc rack much wider to illuminate the huge disparity that we humanlaaltionship with our Canids. It’s bipolar. We love dogs, hate wolves, treat coyotes and jackals as nuisance animals, blah blah blah. In ten thousand years we humans have adopted a wide spectrum of mythologies and superstitions and a many-headed monster belief about the Canids we live with and around. We have not sorted that out, nor learned to honestly coexist according to natural law and shared behaviors. If anything, we are fracturing those relationships further and making it more absurd than it already is.

        Case in point. Many eyars ago in the early 1980’s, a pack of ” domestic” dogs formed in the farmlands along the river between Cody and Powell Wyoming. This pack of pets, stock dogs, probably a couple feral dogs or abandoned dogs, came together and started prowling and pillaging. They killed chickens and other barnyard animals, fought and killed other dogs , even took some sheep and calves. They were hunted down and some disposed; the pack dispersed. It was quite a shock to some of their owners who the perps were… whose Fido and Spot had a partime role in a gang of roving canids.

        Pure native Canid behavior on display.

        The delisting of all Grey Wolves in all the Lower 48 states is just the latest and greatest example of the gross misunderstanding that humans have of canids. How can we possibly manage what we don’t understand ? We choose instead to be reactionary; dismissive ; disposed and predisposed. Ten thousand years have yielded little social knowledge on this topic, it seems.

        Exhibit A: the letter and spirit of the Endangered Species Act have been selectively applied on just a few points, and the bulk of it thrown out the window. It’s no different than what Pontius Pilate did to you know who…

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Cody Coyote,

          I was quite astonished that all of our dogs are descended from just one wolf species, and not even a North American wolf!

  3. avatar Leslie says:

    Kudos to the NYT. They seem to be just about the only national paper that keeps a pulse on these issues

  4. avatar Robert R says:

    I just like it when the inner wolf comes out in my labs.
    I would like to be realistic here and think ten years down the road but some are living in different world.
    With today’s human population the wolf is limited and livestock growers are not going away. If its a thousand or fifty thousand it will never be enough.
    It should be a state issue and stay a state issue, not outside intrest.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      “It should be a state issue and stay a state issue, not outside intrest.”

      Petition by 250,000+ in Michigan for no wolf hunt. Season set for this year.

      Minnesota survey last year, ~80% no wolf hunt.
      Season last year removed over 400 wolves.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Wisconsin and hounding for wolves

      http://m.jsonline.com/more/sports/blogs/202711351.html

      “Regarding dogs being used to hunt wolves, Wisconsin DNR’s rule-making process has been unduly influenced by lobbying—which has led to agency rules that ignore wolf biology, documented dog mortality, and mainstream Wisconsin ethics,” Habush said.

      A majority of voters at the 2013 Wisconsin spring hearings  Monday showed their opposition ( vote below)to the use of dogs to hunt wolves. In addition, Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison) has introduced legislation that would prohibit the practice.

      An advisory question on wolf hunting with dogs also drew considerable interest. It asked: “Would you favor legislation to prohibit the use of dogs and training dogs to hunt wolves?”

      The vote was 2,631 yes, 2,494 no.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Robert R,

      The ecosystems of the world are overtaxed. We are living off the principal in the Earth’s biological bank account.

      Do wolves taking down a few cattle that are grazing on Western lands where grazing is unsustainable add to our depletion of the Earth’s capital, or do they help our situation?

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        “The ecosystems of the world are overtaxed. We are living off the principal in the Earth’s biological bank account.’ with so many studies, so much controversy, and such polarizing politicization, the issues are really very simple. Too many humans too little consideration for living intact systems and conservation of those systems and the inhabitants of the same.

        how do you always manage to define the issue in sentence or so? The reason Wildlife News is the place to think about these issues and see such good discussion.

  5. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I wouldn’t mind the delisting by itself, and I realize that with large human population we’ve pushed them out. But it is ill-advised to remove protections for wolves in the rest of the lower 48. Utah doesn’t even have wolves, and it a matter of special interests there. I’m terribly disappointed in both F&W and the Interior for not separating the issue of wolf recovery and special interests. You can barely see the recovery area on a map. It also looks like the ESA itself is going to be under attack. All the work people have done to be ruined. We have turned into a shallow, ugly, un-educated populace.

    As I said, I wouldn’t mind the delisting itself, if wolves were treated like any other animal. But there’s an irrational zeal about killing them, and special interests on top of it that put that recovery in danger. The mountain states and surprisingly the Great Lakes want to destroy them. So be happy with that why don’t you, instead of taking protections away from the rest of the country. There’s no mention about the red wolf population, or reintroducing wolves to New England. I noticed in that case I posted above that the spectre of Safari Club International is always lurking in the background with these things, and they shouldn’t have that kind of influence.

    The spin articles that have come out about the delisting do not mention that the states want to knock those numbers down to the bare minimum.

    • avatar rork says:

      “Great Lakes want to destroy them” and “bare minimum” don’t seem accurate to me, watching mostly MN and MI. Maybe there’s been some overreaction to start with some places, but I’m actually optimistic. Now that citizens of some states finally have some say about wolves, we will get different practices in different states. Voters may even take a bit more control of the situation if they are dissatisfied with the results in their state. Examples of people calmly living with wolves that are near the carrying capacity will increase. I expect more rationality with more discussion, rather than the sky falling. I find use of the ballot box rather than the courts to be refreshing, invigorating, inviting participation. Democracy is slow and blunders constantly, but does get the job done sometimes.

      PS: I see your Safari Club and raise you a HSUS – pro-hunt folks constantly complain about the later throwing money around Michigan. At election time neither matter compared to the NRA I’d guess.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I would say that HSUS doesn’t profit from killing them and wants to preserve them.

        Hunting with dogs in the Great Lakes does not give me confidence that they want to preserve and manage their wolf population. It’s about selfishness.

        When they throw out a petition in MI, I’d say that is a colossal democratic blunder, and it gives me no confidence or optimism about the future of the wolf in the Great Lakes. At least we know where we stand with the RM states opinion of the subject. Our government is run by money, we may not want to acknowledge that.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          The USFWS said that a recent comprehensive review, however, determined that the current listing for gray wolves, developed 35 years ago, erroneously included large geographical areas outside the species’ historical range.

          So where is this ‘erroneous geographic area’ in the East? What kind of wolf does he think was wiped out back in Colonial times, which there is documented evidence of? In addition to Alaska and Canada, the continental US and at least parts of Mexico were part of the wolf’s historic range. I agree that we can’t expect the entire range in modern times, but certainly prime, unpopulated areas along the border of Canada would have had them.

          Very vague and disappointing communication about something as far-reaching as delisting an animal that continues to face threats to its survival.

          • avatar John Glowa says:

            The feds are saying that the gray wolf is not native to the northeast. They are also proclaiming the eastern wolf as a species and saying that it was the wolf native to the northeast. Of course, there is no proposal to restore the eastern wolf. Anyway, restoring it would be virtually impossible with the tens of thousands of coywolves that are already here and will likely swamp any attempt at natural or artificial recolonization. The proclamation that the eastern wolf is THE only wolf species native to the northeast is based on two nineteenth century museum specimens. They conveniently ignore the fact that the northern and mountainous parts of the northeast had a wolf/moose/caribou ecosystem until well into the 19th century. This ungulate prey base would have supported gray wolves, not the 50-70 lb. eastern wolf. They ignore the fact that gray wolves continue to live just 75 miles from Maine in Quebec’s Laurentide Reserve where there are no white-tailed deer, only moose and a small herd of reintroduced caribou. They ignore the fact that wolves, both gray wolves and gray/eastern hybrids have been attempting to recolonize the northeast for decades and continue to be killed in spite of federal laws that aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. The federal government’s decision as far as the northeast is concerned is not based on fact, not based on the law, not based on science, and based entirely on politics. Shame.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              http://connecticuthuntingtoday.com/blog/index.php/2008/03/08/gray-wolf-returns-to-new-england/

              Surely there must be surviving pelts and/or taxidermy specimens to check for DNA, and more than two? Enough of them were destroyed back then. They were even burned as witches. Ugh. Humans are awful.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                I also read that the wolves in Algonquin park are not interbreeding with coyotes? They have a buffer zone. Does increasing hunting pressure make it more likely a wolf will breed with a coyote? I think they are studying this in Algonquin Park.

                http://cpaws-ov-vo.org/campaigns/eastern-wolf

              • avatar Richie G. says:

                Ida you bring to the table some very interesting facts in favor of the wolf I find this so refreshing thank you so much.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                It would appear that our Canadian neighbors (at least ont the Atlantic side) are ahead of us by several years:

                Recent achievements

                ◦ In 2004, CPAWS Ottawa Valley played a key role in the establishment of a buffer zone in all 39 townships that surround Algonquin Park where killing of wolves and coyotes is prohibited. Previously, wolves from Algonquin were often shot, trapped or snared when they ventured outside the park boundary.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Thanks Richie,

                I’m obviously no expert, but I think these are good questions to ask.

                http://www.wickedlocal.com/wayland/news/x833724005/Wolves-in-New-England?zc_p=0#axzz2VvUxWtez

                “Menard made it clear that, in New England, the preferred habitat of wolves would only be the northern mountainous forests of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Southern New England residents would not have to worry about seeing a wolf in their back yard, a worry that was expressed through questions from the audience.”

              • avatar John Glowa says:

                The USFWS based its findings that the gray wolf is not native to the northeast on two animals killed in the 19th century-one in New York and the other in Maine. Several years ago I saw a photo in a newspaper of what was described as the snout of a wolf killed for a bounty payment in the northeast in the 19th century. Apparently the snout was presented as evidence that a wolf had been killed. The feds apparently didn’t locate this snout or any other physical evidence of wolves in the northeast prior to the 20th century. As far as hybridization of the eastern wolf in Canada is concerned, Algonquin Park has a core population of largely pure eastern wolves. There is evidence that both gray wolves and coyotes have interbred with some of these animals. South of the park, most large canids are so-called Tweed wolves which are wolf/coyote hybrids. The buffer zone established around the park has changed the population dynamics of wolves in the park by decreasing mortality and promoting more stable packs. I have tried to get information from the researchers regarding any increased dispersal of eastern wolves from the study area and have received no response. Algonquin Park and other protected areas such as Quebec’s Papineau-Labelle Reserve (just sixty miles from New York) may serve as population sources for natural recolonization by eastern wolves into the northeast. Again, the problem is that once they get here, the lack of wolves and high coywolf population will promote hybridization with coywolves. In the northeast, we are getting some pure gray wolves (one in New York came from the Great Lakes region) and some gray/eastern hybrids. Very likely any pure or nearly pure easterns are hybridizing and/or getting shot and going unrecognized/unreported as wolves due to their size which can be about the size of a larger coywolf.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Ironic in that some in my area wanted the wolf delisted so they had legal right to protect their pets, but we’re then aghast at what the wolf season became in MN.

        • avatar rork says:

          It was a bigger season than I expected too, and there’s been some noise from the voters as a result. I await what the future holds in MN, but I don’t expect anything like extirpation, which Ida seems to be predicting is the inevitable result of state management. I rather expect about 3000 steady, with migration to neighboring states continuing. In MI it is clear that the first hunt planned will have essentially no effect – I know that I should wait a few more years to see. We are not annihilating wolves (yet). To actually reduce their numbers will take tremendous and constant slaughter, which the public may not agree with. Given it’s an emotional issue for some, I don’t think voters and politicians will just ignore it. In MI I expect an expansion of wolf numbers after we get more in the northern lower (though winter kill of deer may get us some scary years of lower wolf numbers). This is gonna be a hot topic for a long time. Good.

          (This is not to say I’d be happy with strategies to have maximum sustainable hunting of wolves by sports hunters, while keeping total stable, since I fear some down side of that. I am worried that is where we are heading though.)

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            What you wrote,”Now that citizens of some states finally have some say about wolves, we will get different practices in different states”, is important.

            I had two, perhaps three wolves I was aware of around my place post hunting season. I’ve not seen sign (howling, scat, game camera)of them since about March.

            The “old guard” up here find little reason to refrain from SSS. Strange that I had that fawn starve to death, and another doe was just a bag of bones when April snows melted, and wolves could not find them.

            Big fear is SSS continues unabated, and the wolf license cash cow becomes indispensable to DNR, regardless of public opinion. This was one of my points to Robert R about states deciding the issue. OK, who in the state decides? I have never been against responsible wolf management, but MN has moved in the direction of the wolf killing business, and Wisconsin Has just lost their moral compass with using dogs to hunt wolves.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            extirpation, which Ida seems to be predicting is the inevitable result of state management.

            I do, and I stand by that prediction. State government is already showing that they don’t care what the public thinks by passing a law that sidesteps public opinion.

            I’m just appalled – our wildlife is not a carnival shooting gallery to which we can add more wolves when the numbers get to low. They are not cheap, stuffed animal prizes. They are living things. We have too much of a consumptive mentality, and it isn’t sustainable. I realize our economy is in the crapper right now, but desperate measures against our wild animals and environment aren’t the answer in the long run.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Wolf advocates in the north Northeast who value intact ecosystems are still waiting for the reintroduction plan the USFWS has promised. Vermont is the 49th least populated state, so Dan Ashe saying there are too many big cities here is not accurate – what about WA, OR and CA for large cities? They have wolves. Wolf advocate groups say nothing has been investigated, so their job is not complete. Who is pushing for this nationwide delisting?

              From the USFWS website:

              Reintroducing Wolves in the Northeast

              What is happening with the idea of restoring gray wolves to the northeastern U.S.? The Northern Forest Ecosystem, a 26 million acre forested area from the Adirondack Mountains of New York east through most of Maine, contains suitable gray wolf habitat and lies within the historical range of the gray wolf. Although two animals believed to be wolves were found in Maine during the 1990s and an additional wolf was found in upstate New York, a breeding population is not known to occur there today.

              Significant educational efforts by private conservation groups have helped to develop interest in wolf recovery in those areas. The Service is considering options for a recovery strategy. In the meantime, protection remains in place for any naturally occurring wolves that migrate to the United States from Canada.

              http://www.fws.gov/northeast/newsroom/graywolf.html

            • avatar Elk275 says:

              Ida

              ” our wildlife is not a carnival shooting gallery to which we can add more wolves when the numbers get to low. They are not cheap, stuffed animal prizes.”

              I don’t not always agree with you or the above quote, but your wordsmith ability is very creative. I did enjoy the above quote.

  6. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I guess I don’t understand what happened? I thought the delising in the lower 48 was postponed indefinitely? Have the haters decide to push ahead anyway like they always do? I hope Sally Jewell hammers them! What about the red wolves in NC?

    • avatar aves says:

      Red wolves will remain protected. The delisting applies only to gray wolves, though the media keeps saying “wolves” probably because they have no idea the red wolf exists. Unless USFWS clears up the confusion the excuse of “I thought they were de-listed” will join “I thought it was a coyote” among red wolf poachers.

  7. avatar Elk275 says:

    There is an article on OR7 in this weekends Wall Street Journal on page A13. It is a cute article. If anyone knows how to find a link to it; it is enjoyable reading.

  8. avatar Richie G. says:

    Ida I don’t think it is in Sally Jewell hands, as Obama had her confirmed in private, that tells you something, he was afraid of all the questions. As for Larry, you are correct look at your dog and you will see traits of a wolf. I had nine dogs in my life to their full life , I will say every time one passes away it hurts more and more. For this reason I will never understand the outright killing of these beautiful animals, they are so close to your own dog. As for collars for scientific study their is a two handed answer, one it gives hunters more insight of the animal for hunting and as for science didn’t we get enough research on their behavior yet ? How much more do we need and for what purpose.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      It’s very strange isn’t it. The relative of our own dogs who we love, and we hate the wolf. No better example of the senselessness of it all.

      • avatar SaveBears says:

        Ida, the big difference is, most of us don’t let our dogs run wild, we know what they are capable of, but we have trained most of them well enough to suppress those traits in our dogs.

      • avatar WyoWolfFan says:

        It is interesting, I agree. However, considering that so many people won’t get off the “Canadian wolf” argument, nobody will admit that dogs are the same species.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          The main difference between our “dogs” and wolves is a biochemical pathway for adrenaline production. It doesn’t matter if the wolves are from Asia, Canada, the NRM, the upper great lakes states, or Timbuk”fn”tu!

          Other than that, general retention of some neotonic traits, estrus twice a year, and during the process of domestication, more focus/identification with humans than their own kind.

  9. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I’ll get another cup of coffee and start reading! Thank you.

    But this information needs to be easily accessible to ordinary people like me like in mainstream newspapers) so that we can understand and not get mislead by the bigmouths in Washington. The wild horse information seems to be in the public more.

  10. avatar Mark L says:

    Ida, there’s no money in accurate statistics. There’s only money in exaggeration and guesses….I mean hypotheses.

  11. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Is this the article about OR-7 from the Wall St. Journal? Very cute. We haven’t even gotten to what the delisting might mean for him.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324299104578527401551902198.html

  12. If some one came into your town and pursued the local dogs with a helicopter, darted and drugged them, and put a large intrusive GPS radio collar on them, he would be arrested, fined and possibly jailed.
    When Doug Smith does that to the wolves in Yellowstone, he is set up as a hero. The Yellowstone wolf study has served its’ purpose and should be discontinued. Anything being done in the Park on wolves (or on other wildlife) today is simply a make-work project for needy biologists.
    And yes, I think that wildlife should not have radio collars hanging around their necks. That includes whales, polar bears, bengal tigers and the rest of the animals we share the earth with.
    When the cult of the burning bush got established five thousand years ago and said that humans had dominion over the rest of life on earth, we have killed, abused, managed and studied to death every other living thing on earth.

    • avatar ZeeWolf says:

      Larry, talk about living in glass houses and throwing stones…

      What really should stop are people who exploit wildlife for their own personal profit. Especially when they sell more junk in a society already overwhelmed with rapacious consummer greed. How the hell are we supposed to “share the earth” with anything else when we are drowning in material goods?

      And really, the whole argument about Dr. Smith or anyone chasing local dogs. If my dogs where in a position to be pursued as you suggested it seems much more likely that someone would have just plain shot them first, as happens when dogs chase cattle and/or wildlife.

      As far as your last paragraph stating how we have “killed, abused, managed and studied to death” most critters: you forgot to add the word “photographed”. How can you imply with a straight face that your activities are completely benign? By being that close to animals you are changing thier behavior and/or acclimating them to your presence. Why is this any less evil than what Dr. Smith, et al do?

      When working with captive wolves, my least favorite of all people to take on a tour where the photographers. They always wanted me or another staff to manipulate our captive charges so they could get a better shot. I have heard talk on this board about “rancher exceptionalism”, how they (the ranchers) get a pass on rules that others have to heed to. But what about “photographer exceptionalism”? If you don’t understand my meaning then reference this one word: Paparazzi – it goes for wildlife along with people.

      • avatar Mark L says:

        ZeeWolf,
        I agree with most points in your post. Doubly so for herps (lizards/amphibians/etc.) and photography…no telling how many chytrid/Bd spreading hands have held a frog for a ‘money shot’, then released it back to it’s environment. It’s all ego…even to the point of copyrighting the photos.

      • Look at my photos. You will not see any stressed animals. The only photos I use that are not taken in the wild are a few of Mexican wolves taken at the Desert Museum near Tucson. I do NOT chase wolves with helicopters, I have never used drugs to immobilize wny wildlife and I find the animals on my own. Doug Smith and Dan Stahler constanly provide photos to the news media that they take from helicopters and aircraft. They constantly pose with drugged wolves.
        I am skilled enough that I do NOT have to rely on a radio collar to locate the animals I photograph.

        The ranks of wildlife biologists are filled with weenies who couldn’t find any animals without an antenna in their hands.
        I was watching a wolf dig at a coyote den a few years ago in Yellowstone when one of the wolf research folks jumped out with an antenna, waved it around and announced that there were no wolves in the area.
        When I suggested he look through my lens to see a wolf without a collar, he took a look, acted embarassed and drove off. Typical yellowstone wolf biologist.
        Ask Doug and Dan how their private calendar project “Yellowstone Wolves 2010″ worked out.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          If only those who pursue wildlife could all be photographers, we’d be a lot better off.

          • avatar Richie G. says:

            I agree Ida more people taking pictures would be less hateful for sure. They are few and far between who do not take pleasure in hunting for food most get a real thrill out of it, it is the closet thing to hatred I have ever seen.

          • avatar Richie G. says:

            I agree Ida don’t we have science on the wolf when does the collar stop, I guess if they stop that they would stop a paycheck too.

    • avatar JB says:

      Larry’s been singing this tune for awhile. He continues to make unfounded claims about wolves being “studied to death” despite the fact that their populations did just fine with those mean, nasty radio and GPS collars hanging ’round their necks. And yet, while being chased and darted from a helicopter is an obvious form of aversive conditioning (a benefit for a hunted wolf population), constant proximity to photographers clearly and undeniably habituates wolves to the presence of humans, making them more vulnerable to human hunting.

  13. avatar Richie G. says:

    IF we train our dogs like some people say and keep them inside or by the house, why are more wild dogs Killing cattle and sheep than wolves. I have heard over and over wild dogs and coyote’s kill more than wolves. So this proves like Ida states their is a hatred for the wolf plain and simple. To think they look so much alike, like the African and Indian elephant they look alike with some different traits. African elephants are harder to train but that is not the topic here.

  14. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    My imagination has really been captured by the Northwoods National Park/Yellowstone of the East concept. It says our northwoods could support 1,000 – 2,000 wolves. That’s enough to give the anti’s hear palpitations!

  15. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    US Gray Wolves Headed For Disaster in 2013?

    The West unfortunately dominates this issue, and you’d never know there are other parts of the country that would provide excellent habitat for wolves, maybe even better and with more tolerance.

    Dr. Mech states that wolves have been restored to 80% of the habitat could realistically occupy, but that means there is 20% remaining. I believe wolves would be well suited to our northernmost woods. Our farms and livestock areas are not nearly as large and expansive as those out West either, and could be much more easily patrolled and protected from depredation, should there be any. Vermont is the 49th least populated state, just above WY at the 50th; and Maine isn’t one of the most highly populated either.

    • avatar JB says:

      Ida:

      Where did you read that Dave Mech says that wolves were restored to 80% of the habitat that they could occupy? I’d like to see that article.

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      “…and could be much more easily patrolled and protected from depredation, should there be any.”

      Not so. Most wolf habitat east of the Plains is fairly dense northern mixed hardwood or spruce-fir forest. You can’t see wolves from very far and you can’t pursue them with helicopters.

      Isolated producers with remote pastures surrounded by dense forest are typical on these landscapes, and they’re highly vulnerable to wolf predation. Control actions are usually difficult and lengthy.

      We had a cow/calf operation that was so situated, and suffered significant annual depredation for over 20 years while wolves were listed. We had limited success with non-lethal treatments, but the wolves seemed to be always one step ahead of our efforts.

      Since delisting, 19 wolves have been removed from the property, and there are possibly a few more that we might never catch. It appears that four wolf packs have been using the farm as a dependable food source during pup-rearing.

      • avatar Rancher Bob says:

        Ma
        Thanks for the continued reality checks, for me and everyone else.

      • avatar ma'iingan says:

        I should add that wolves will occur at significantly higher densities on the eastern landscape, as well – which is another depredation risk factor.

        • avatar Mark L says:

          Which means they will also tend to control their own numbers as the density increases. Am I wrong here?

          • avatar ma'iingan says:

            “Which means they will also tend to control their own numbers as the density increases.”

            Possibly. But at what cost? Good luck selling that plan to a state legislature.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I hadn’t thought of it in that way. I wouldn’t want for a reintroduction to be a burden at all to our farmers and livestock growers, and of course that would have to come first. We’d have to see how the people feel about it. New Hampshire had passed an ordinance against any wolf reintroductions. Our farms must be similar to the Great Lakes?

        Still, as RB says, it is a bit of a ‘romantic’ notion to think of restoring a habitat with its top predator returned to where he belongs. Northeast VT is even called the ‘Northeast Kingdom’.

        I think some of us feel so strongly about wolves because they have been treated so horribly and irrationally over the centuries, and to this day. I think we have more sympathy for human serial murderers than we do wolves.

  16. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Dr. Bruskotter –

    Here ya go,

    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/technology/government+plan+would+most+grey+wolf+protections+across/8493830/story.html

    I didn’t realize at the time that you were JB.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      3rd to last paragraph.

    • avatar Jon Way says:

      I am not sure I agree with that. Colorado and Maine alone could each support many, many wolves…. And human intolerance isn’t supposed to be a reason to stop ESA protections. Maybe 80% of the northern Rockies population is occupied but that can’t be for all of the U.S.

      • avatar cobackcountry says:

        Jon Way,

        I don’t agree with that. While I think Colorado (home state) could support some, (likely few) wolves, there are few corridors, and the spaces they could be in is fragmented. There is also a huge issue with urban sprawl, and our land here is like much of the rest of the public land in the already wolf occupied spaces….backs to cattle or sheep ranches, and hosts public grazers.

        It would just be more of the same. Only, I’d guess worse as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a huge organization here….vocal, very supported, and heels dug in.

        • avatar jon says:

          Colorado could support many wolves as there is a very large elk population in CO. My state of Maine can also support a good sized wolf population. It’s very sad to me because it seems like these fish and game agencies have failed when it comes to managing wolves. Social tolerance comes first and science last. If some people don’t want wolves in Montana, why are FWP caving to these people? Science should support a good sized wolf population in Montana and other states as well. Social tolerance should not even be brought up.

          • avatar cobackcountry says:

            Jon Way,

            There is much, much more involved in being good habitat than the elk counts. The number of elk in a state is not a scientific basis for calling it viable. Colorado is ablaze as I type this.

            While I am prepared to fight when wolves make residence here- I am not prepared to say it is a great place to release wolves. Many things stand out that scream “HELL NO”. Among them, the current debacle in the states which currently have reintroduced wolves. Figure out how to make it work, then add to it. But why keep adding to the issues we have yet to resolve? IT is senseless to bite off even more than can be chewed….we’ve got our mouths full, and check books emptied already.

            When they come, and they will, handle it with the luxury of hind sight.

            • avatar jon says:

              I wonder why people think that CO doesn’t want wolves? Yeah, the hunting and ranching communities don’t want wolves, but when do these people speak for all of Colorado? Colorado has the habitat and prey for 1000 wolves according to one scientist. Colorado is a blue state and would probably be more friendly towards having wolves back.

              • avatar cobackcountry says:

                Jon,

                Blue state…. we’ll see. The political climate here is horrible.

                I there was really a push for wolves, we’d have them here. We have some of the greenest voters around, and we still have drilling out the wazoo. It isn’t as simple as a vote. Nor is it as easy as “put wolves there”. Within a year of them being ‘declared’ as a species in CO….we’ll have ugly fights on hunting them.

              • avatar jon says:

                I don’t think the feds bringing wolves into CO will ever happen, but there is a possibility that wolves will find their way in CO sooner or later. I think most people would agree on this. If CO is smart, they will protect the wolves that find their way into CO. There is a lot of elk in CO meaning a lot of prey for wolves.

              • avatar SaveBears says:

                With what has happened the last 20 years, you will never see USFWS take on the wolves again. The only way they will make it to new states is on their own. Current events bears out what I have been saying for over a year now, USFWS is done with wolves and it won’t matter what any lawsuit finding is.

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++Among them, the current debacle in the states which currently have reintroduced wolves. Figure out how to make it work, then add to it. But why keep adding to the issues we have yet to resolve? IT is senseless to bite off even more than can be chewed….we’ve got our mouths full, and check books emptied already. ++

              The importance o restoring a native animal to excellent habitat supersedes what a few loudmouths think.

              The “debacle” you speak of is entirely created by a vocal minority.

            • avatar Jon Way says:

              Cobackcountry,
              jon and myself are 2 different ppl but I will answer your points here. There was a scientific analysis done (I don’t have it here) and I believe it predicted that about 1000 wolves could live in the state, mostly SW CO. That would make sense since there are more mt lions than that in your home state. They live in more developed states like the Great Lakes (altho yes they do live in the northern, less populated parts of those states). It can happen…

          • avatar Rancher Bob says:

            jon
            Your like someone looking at tabloids dreaming about how great it would be to live with a supper model. All dreamy and in love without any grasp that wolves are just a animal, good and bad. Dreaming about how much better your life would be if you just had wolves. I wish you would quite making excuses why you don’t have wolves and work at getting some wolves just so you could live some reality.

            • avatar jon says:

              RB, you need to understand that what I want and what my state legislature wants are two different things. I would welcome wolves back into my state. There are indeed people in my state that do want wolves back. Why did you call wolves sob’s for rb? Wolves will eventually find their way into my state sooner or later. My life wouldn’t be better if my state had wolves, but I would most certainly be happy that they are here. Bob, not everybody hates wolves like you do.

              • avatar cobackcountry says:

                Jon,

                Bob is a common mind set in Colorado. I challenge you to hike a fence line and ask the ranchers who strung it where they stand on the wolf issue. Even those that support wolves are afraid t tell their neighbors. They fear what happens AFE wolves, for them it is a political snow ball waiting to happen. Heck, many won’t even allow hunting or fishing on their land any more. I had one guy say “If I let people fish here…before you know it some law will say it isn’t up to me because I obviously didn’t mind all the other people doing it.” He ranchers in North Park. I won’t give his name, but you can bet you moose caboose that he isn’t alone.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                jon
                First of all I don’t hate wolves, the wolf is just a wild animal living by it’s internal instincts. I don’t hate any animal.
                Second hardly anyone wanted wolves in my state yet we have wolves, so your just making excuses about not having wolves.
                Lastly I called them SOB’s because it don’t matter what someone calls a wolf it’s just a wolf yet people get their undies all in a twist about the wolf like it’s some special animal. The wolf is no more special than another animal. So other wild animals get trampled in all this mess just because people like you.

              • avatar jon says:

                “Second hardly anyone wanted wolves in my state yet we have wolves”

                Lie. Not every person in Montana is a rancher or hunter Bob. Don’t try to speak for the whole state of Montana. Yes, it’s very clear that a lot of ranchers and hunters (not all) didn’t want wolves in Montana, but that is not how all of Montana feels. The only chance my state will see wolves is if wolves come here naturally from somewhere else, so me having wolves in my state sooner or later will probably happen.

              • avatar jon says:

                coba, this not wildlife related, but I wanted to ask you what you thought of some rural counties in CO wanting to form a new state? It likely won’t happen, but I am curious as to what you think about this. The rural counties don’t like what the democratic controlled legislature is doing. What a shocker.

              • avatar jon says:

                rb, you have wolves in Montana because they naturally migrated from Canada. Your legislature or the feds did not reintroduce wolves into Montana, so I find it ironic how you give me grief for not having wolves in my state. Just like your state, wolves will eventually find their way into my state. There have been some wolves that have found their way into my state over the year. Sadly, they were killed illegally by anti-wolf extremists. Your state has wolves only because of natural migration from Canada.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                jon
                Maybe you should look at RMA wolf pack maps, yes some of our wolves walked here from Canada. Others caught a ride to Yellowstone and Idaho.(the map part will help you)
                I keep forgetting that you know more about Montana than those of us who live here. I also forgot only hunters and rancher don’t want wolves how silly of me. I should just consult you in the future.

              • avatar WM says:

                jon says to Rancher Bob: ++Your state [Montana] has wolves only because of natural migration from Canada.++

                Lots of wolves have in-migrated from the non-essential experimental wolves dropped into ID and Yellowstone NP…and importantly they are becoming genetically connected with the natural in-migrating ones from Canada. As RB says, look at the maps and text in one of the annual reports from MTGFP.

                If you are going to be a wolf advocate it is useful to have the basic facts right. Your opinions might even be more credible.

              • avatar jon says:

                MOST of your wolves rb came from Canada and it wasn’t by a helicopter ride.

              • avatar jon says:

                60% of Montana’s wolf population came from Canada according to Bob Ream who has been studying wolves probably longer than you have been on the earth RB.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                jon
                So Bob Ream say’s 60% of Montana’s wolves came from Canada, now if you or Ream could tell me where the other 40% came from I could get over calling them all Canadian wolves.
                Since when have wolves been getting helicopter rides to Montana?
                Appears you need to do some more research there jon, so keep me posted on where those 40% came from.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                jon
                Have you figured out where the other 40% of Montana’s wolves came from?

        • avatar CodyCoyote says:

          Look at the map, at Colorado and Wyoming. They are the same size and shape, adjacently sharing 250 miles of border along the same Rocky Mountains. Yet Wyoming has 1/11th the human population of Colorado. Every time I fly over Wyoming I note how empty it is. When I fly over Colorado, it is ” full” and completely fragmented by roads.

          Having said that , there is both adequate space and need for wolves in a couple key areas of Colorado, and enough sparsity back towards Wyoming in the northwest corner of the state around Craig that a few wolf packs could make a go of it. But as soon as they head in other directions it would be bloody.

          • avatar cobackcountry says:

            CC-
            It will be SSS. If Colorado had more expansive corridors, I’d be more agreeable.

            Of course, we have many rumored wolves in the area you speak of….but I will neither confirm nor deny it.

            I am in that area (N.W. CO) all the time. I can tell you, when beetles swept through, elk seem to have moved along with the tide of rust.

          • avatar WM says:

            Link to a little more rigorous analysis of where could wolves thrive in CO, a fairly recent report, 2009, prepared by Wildearth Guardians, out of Louisville (small town east of Boulder). Nicely done, by the way. They identify 3 core areas in CO + RMNP (already rejected) + 1 in Northen NM. If I recall correctly a vision for the Mexican Wolf reintroduction was for them to eventually migrate north (and connect with the south migrating GYE wolves if they were allowed by WY to cross into the DMZ no predator zone. Of course that would present genetic subspecies integration which I gather some conseravation biologists find offensive (never thought about it but those folks could also be racists for those of you who want to continue to draw parallels to humans).

            Not much in the way of recent poll information, on how much CO citizens want wolves, however. I am going to venture several percentage points less than the last one, given the passage of time and the press wolves have taken over the last five years or so.

            http://www.wildearthguardians.org/downloads/download_wolf-vision_low.pdf

            • avatar Mark L says:

              WM says,
              “Of course that would present genetic subspecies integration which I gather some conseravation biologists find offensive (never thought about it but those folks could also be racists for those of you who want to continue to draw parallels to humans).”

              Yep, makes you wonder….thousands of years with an opportunity to ‘integrate’ and they never really did. Hmm….wonder why.

              • avatar WM says:

                Mark L,

                And your speculative answer would be?

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Not sure I have a definative one, honestly. Biogeography has a pretty good explanation, but it could also be that the present ‘collected’ Mexican wolves were from a central core group and not an outlier that had NRM grey wolf genes (or closer to the north). Same situation with eastern/red wolves in the northeast, while Great lakes wolves are wandering over there now. Assumably through history, they would have ‘bred out’ with a closer wolf to their own area before the long travels. Monogamy kind of rules after you find a decent mate, I guess.
                (lots of speculation in this too)

              • avatar SAP says:

                My hypothesis would be, they DID “integrate,” but various environments select for and against certain traits, such that you end up with very different looking wolves in different places. A hotter environment should favor smaller animals, due to more radiative surface relative to mass for heat dissipation. May also favor less fur and lighter color, too. I think Ralph had a post in the past six months about wolves in YNP trending smaller (?? can’t seem to find it now); it is possible that you could put NRM wolves in arid environments in NM & AZ, and, if they survived at all, would “evolve” into a Lobo phenotype in a few generations.

      • avatar WM says:

        Jon Way,

        ++And human intolerance isn’t supposed to be a reason to stop ESA protections++

        In a purist sense, no, but there are is likely some wiggle room there. Just that some would like more than others. Otherwise we would be looking at larger grizzly bear populations in more places and maybe at higher densities – that are not sustainable from a human tolerance standpoint.

        As one looks at the way federal laws are crafted there is alot that slips through the cracks in implementation. One of my favorites – still on the books by the way- is a goal of zero discharge of pollutants by 1985 under the federal Clean Water Act. Then there is a regulatory program set forth try to achieve that long past goal. There are others.

        I fear too much of the purist viewpoint, and especially if judges have to look at the law and rule on some of this stuff that results in costly, awkward, and in many cases impractical outcomes that states don’t like, the result will be that the law is changed. You have already seen the Congressional rider approach. You ready to see some more?

        Despite the habitat and incredible prey base (300,000 elk, the largest of any state) Colorado doesn’t want wolves. Cram them down their throat and you have one more state joining the fight, right along side NM, AZ and UT.

        • avatar Mike says:

          In WM’s world, those who do the right thing are the ones making people do bad stuff. So it’s their fault, and we should stop doing the right thing.

          What kind of screwed up logic is that?

          No one cares if Colorado doesn’t want woles (which I haven’t seen any evidence of, BTW). What matters is restoring a native animal to a state that can easily support it.

          • avatar WM says:

            ++No one cares if Colorado doesn’t want woles (which I haven’t seen any evidence of, BTW). ++

            Two data points for you on your above statement.

            1. Rocky Mountain National Park formally rejected any notion of a wolf reintroduction into the Park. In a letter to the community, it was determined the park was too small and THERE WAS NO LOCAL SUPPORT for the reintroduction.

            2. Look for CO wolf management plan. There isn’t one, and the work of their “wolf working group” ceased efforts in something like 2004 or so. I know a couple people associated with that effort.

            3. RMEF and their outfitter base would oppose a reintroduction, and only passively acknowledge gradual repopulation.

            4. Most of the decent wolf habitat is west of the Continental Divide. The folks there are like the folks in rural WY, MT and ID. Need I say more.

            Commnenting once again, outside your pay grade, Chicago Mike? By the way, you living in MT yet, or did you rethink the wisdom of that adventure?

            • avatar WM says:

              Sorry – 4 data points. I couldn’t help it Mike. And, let me add that if they put wolves in the south, say up on the Uncompaghre Plateau the Texans who come up to hunt deer and elk would thump them on sight.

            • avatar Mike says:

              The last poll on wolves in CO indicated 68% favored it.

              So much for your “data points” that have no data.

              And even if Colorado didn’t want it, who cares? The human race has an ethical obligation to repair damage to ecosystems.

              And who cares what the RMEF thinks? No one even knows who they are except for a few guides.

              Let’s also not forget that CO is a state that banned bear-baiting, and voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

              If you don’t think most support wolves there, you’re out of your freaking mind.

              • avatar WM says:

                Mike,

                You didn’t answer my simple question, following your extensive boast here last fall of moving to Montana. Did you move? Yes or no.

              • avatar jon says:

                A small group of people in CO doesn’t want wolves and some want to make it look like this is the view of all Colorado residents. Ranchers and hunters don’t want wolves in CO, but these people certainly do not speak for all of Colorado citizens. There is plenty of prey in CO for wolves.

              • avatar jon says:

                Hi Mike, good to see you back on here. Colorado banned trapping in 1996. This is in a state with a hunters and ranchers, so this should tell you something. There are a lot of non-hunting conservationists in CO and this trapping ban in CO showed that. With Colorado being a blue state now, chances are you will get a lot of support for having wolves back in Colorado. You will still have the hunters and ranchers whining yelling no wolves in Colorado, but when did we start caving to what a small minority wants? Why does a small group of anti wolf folks decide if we should have wolves in CO or not?

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Here trapping is banned also; hunting of wolves is banned, but not coyotes – so the old standby excuse is used there. I think Canada extends protections to coyotes as well.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++Hi Mike, good to see you back on here. ++

                Thanks!

                ++Colorado banned trapping in 1996. This is in a state with a hunters and ranchers, so this should tell you something. There are a lot of non-hunting conservationists in CO and this trapping ban in CO showed that. With Colorado being a blue state now, chances are you will get a lot of support for having wolves back in Colorado. You will still have the hunters and ranchers whining yelling no wolves in Colorado, but when did we start caving to what a small minority wants? Why does a small group of anti wolf folks decide if we should have wolves in CO or not?++

                Colorado supports wolves. The last poll even indicated this. It’s a blue state that is hostile to baiting and trapping (and rightfully so), which also supports science (the legalization of marijuana).

                They support wolves big time.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++A small group of people in CO doesn’t want wolves and some want to make it look like this is the view of all Colorado residents. Ranchers and hunters don’t want wolves in CO, but these people certainly do not speak for all of Colorado citizens. There is plenty of prey in CO for wolves.++

                Yep. Colorado has outstanding wolf habitat, especially in the southwest corner.

              • avatar cobackcountry says:

                Mike,

                Seriously? The RMEF is a premier elk hunting organization. While I may not agree with their politics and all of their view points, they do contribute to elk (and if I am not mistaken moose, and some mule deer) conservation efforts.

                The human race? We can’t agree on how to manage our budget in THIS country… let alone the human species to own and then fix their messes.

                Colorado is about to revert to a more conservative state…the political roulette game has resulted in several politicians currently in office having shot their political careers full of holes.

                Regardless, if more people support wolves, they don’t do it loudly or with their check books. Otherwise, they’d be here…. in this liberal leaning, pot growing state.

                As for out-lawing baiting bears…. it was more about habituation (if memory serves) and human safety than hunting opposition. It is worth noting that spring bear hunts are now legal in Colorado. Additionally, bears are such a problem in places such as Aspen that there is a current push to increase hunts in the areas in question.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                one or two things too remember about surveys:

                the wording of surveys can and will steer the desired result, especially when interpreted by the unknowing( there two or three which ,unfortunately, pollute this blog, incessantly, with half assed horseshit i.e. surveys that no one else has read, and newspaper trash presented as fact,; when challenged will not respond) and, a survey unless otherwise stated, can be focused on a very small cross section of participants, pre-identified, to give the desired results, which(two or three who pollute this blog latch onto like meth addicts on a mark) will return any result intended.

                In other words, in today’s world surveys are not worth the keystroke they are written on without cites and supporting, verifiable cross reference.

                Unfortunately there are two or three on this blog that try to run a infantile shell game with a great deal of material related to wolves, hunting, habitat, and the general subject matter at hand.

            • avatar JB says:

              WM:

              The Rocky Mountain NP situation was tricky. The park was in support, as were the majority of Colorado residents, but they were extremely sensitive to the desires of Estes Park residents. As I’m sure you know, the elk leave the park in winter for Estes (lower elevation, winter habitat) and some/many residents were worried wolves would follow the elk and end up running ’round the streets.

              I agree with Mike about habitat in the San Juans, though if memory serves, support for wolves among west slope residents was much less than east slope (sort of the inverse of WA & OR).

              • avatar cobackcountry says:

                JB,

                I don’t know about the park supporting wolves. I recently ate lunch with a group of about 6 rangers. Not one of them thought wolves there would have been a good idea.

                Estes is like Mammoth x 1000. The place goes nuts around September. The locals are a heavily invested in tourism. I would guess they’d fetch a pretty penny on promoting wolves. (Having them eat elk calves while women push strollers on the paths through the golf course would have been iffy.)

                The SJ’s are a chunk of land, but they are also very rocky. They are not the best terrain for packs to chase elks through in many places. The problem would still remain getting wolves into the San Juans and then keeping them there. Corridors are absent- or I’d say build the soft release pens.

              • avatar WM says:

                JB,

                If my memory is correct from my conversation with a CSU extension biologist a couple of years ago, who was involved in the decision, his exact words were “not any local support.” It was greater than the Estes Park folks. It was the ranching community running stock, the folks in Grand Lake to the west, Allenspark/Nederland to the south and Redfeather Lakes to the north. I think there was only luke warm support from Roosevelt NF and other federal/state folks.

                I do tend to agree with the habitat in the SW, but, again not so much support LOCAL. There are something like 60 outfitters that advertise in the RMEF Bugle magazine, more than any other state. Most of those businesses are West Slope and a considerable number in the SW.

              • avatar cobackcountry says:

                WM,

                Red Feather and the north and western ends of Roosevelt N.F. in general are most likely to see wolves. There is a lot of space in the North Park region that is open, and ranched. Ranchers in the area deal with the moose watchers well, and for a while they made big bucks from the tourism.

                A major chink in the wolf armor in Colorado is, and will continue to be, necrotized forests which are burning.

                I am pretty certain that studies indicate in the first 2 years immediately following fires elk have higher natality and eat well on the new growth. But we don’t know much beyond the first few years. I’d say it’s a waiting game.

                When you add the guides losing out to beetle kill (pushes herds out to look for cooler and greener climate) and then wolves…you are looking at the S.W. and Western Slope being a hot bed of anti-wolfers.

                Those also happen to be the most conservative voting area in Colorado. It won’t b pretty.

              • avatar JB says:

                WM/Coback:

                The person I spoke with–who was with the Park Service at the time the decision was made–said they had adequate support within the agency, but no support locally (she gave the Estes example). (Note, it came up in the context of a presentation, where someone from Defenders was criticizing the NPS’s failure to reintroduce; she stood up, visibly mad, and said the support was there within NPS. This was at the Carnivores Conference in 2009 in Denver.)

                Out of curiosity, just how much sway do you think locals should have over wildlife policy? Traditionally, policy is set at the state level (sans federally t&e status). This seems to suit most here just fine when we’re discussing de-listing, why is it any different when discussing reintroduction?

                Observation: If state and federal officials bowed to local NIMBYism every time it emerged we would have no dumps, no mines, no wind farms, no nuclear power plants, and certainly no large carnivores (for that matter, we’d have no regulation whatsoever of any rural lands–at least not in the current political climate). There was strong state support for reintroduction of wolves in CO when it was considered (late 90s), but local interests won out.

                ——
                see: Pate et al. 1996. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 24(3): 421-428

                URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3783322

              • avatar WM says:

                JB,

                ++Out of curiosity, just how much sway do you think locals should have over wildlife policy?++

                I guess people can draw their own conclusions. Below is a link to the letter from the Superintendent of RMNP at the time the decision was made. It gives the NPS reasoning. A careful read may give the answer you seek. By the way, Park employees live in these adjacent communities, so there is probably some influence and pressure there, too.

                A big factor influencing this decision is that RMNP has no winter range. Elk here, like YNP, go out of the Park for food, likely December thru March, or longer. In the case of Estes Park, it is the golf course and adjacent areas with grass, and forage, some of which is private land (wolves, of course, would follow their food source). Then there is the predator avoidance factor during elk calving. What better place than to drop a calf than a golf course rough? I have no doubt whatsoever that the state through its various agencies which were involved in the earlier working group exercise back in 2004 were consulted for “state policy” input to the RMNP decision. Why does it not surprise me a Defenders spokesperson would be indignant in asking a question about reintroduction.

                http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_11694919

                [A similar exercise was under taken with Olympic National Park (same issues, pressure, process), which also declined wolves. I know the retired large mammal biologist from ONP, who at the time was a wolf advocate through a local conservation group. The affected communities there were Sequim (the high school mascot, is The Wolves, by the way, and a major drainage at the East flank of the Park called the Grey Wolf), Port Angeles and Forks. There was even talk about introducing smaller BC coastal wolves with a taste for salmon. And, ONP has some buffers with more winter range and the Quinault Reservation to the west, where subsistence hunting is important. Think I may have mentioned all this on a previous post here a couple years ago.]

                The support you mention initially in CO in the 1990’s tracks, in my view, the novelty of having wolves. Maybe a survey is in order to see what’s changed.

              • avatar JB says:

                WM:

                It’s the same reasoning we’ve heard again and again–wolves cannot co-exist alongside human populations (too many conflicts). Yet Europe increasingly shows that this thinking is flawed. Want some examples?

                Country – wolves; KM2 ; human pop.
                Estonia – 150; 45,000; 1.2 mil.
                Latvia – 400; 65,000; 2.3 mil.
                Lithoania – 500; 65,000; 3.5 mil.
                Italy – 600; 301,000; 59.5 mil.
                Portugal – 250; 92,000; 10.5 mil.
                Poland – 700; 313,000; 38.2 mil.
                Spain – >1,000; 506,000; 47.3 mil.
                etc…..

                Colorado – 0; 269,000; 5.2 mil.

                The FWS, aided by a few like-minded scientists, has created a convenient fiction that ‘there’s no habitat for wolves’ in (insert name of any place wolves currently are not). Yet, wolves have proven us wrong time and again.

              • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                Facts such as JB just presented is one reason I say the conflict over this issue is in a large measure of cultural differences.

              • avatar ZeeWolf says:

                JB said:
                “support for wolves among west slope residents was much less than east slope (sort of the inverse of WA & OR)”

                Oddly enough, that might have something to do with the location of the large urban areas within the respective states.

                Currently, here on the West Slope, the Gunnison sage grouse is the hot topic. The county is doing all it can to prevent a federal listing, even though the county commissioners are 2 to 1 Democrate.

                I’m curious about something… I see many people saying thing like “Colorado likes or wants wolves…” or “Colorado doesn’t need this or that…” Are these references being made to the state governmen of Colorado or to public opinion of the population? They are not necessarily the same. If memory serves me correctly, the Colorado Wildlife Commission (the overseeing entity of the bureaucracy formerly known as Colorado Division of Wildlife) made a statement in the late ’80’s or early ’90’s that said in essence that they were opposed to any entity that proposed wolf reintroduciton. They were sued by Sinapu (an organization that promoted wolf reintroduction into Colorado and has been subsequently absorbed into WildEarth Guardians) on First Amendment violations and, I believe, made to retract the statement. Over time, the DOW/CPW seems to have lightened up on there stance, possibly even supportive or at least willing to have a population of wolves, but I still think its important to make a distinction between the public attitude towards wolves and the attitude taken by the state government.

              • avatar JB says:

                ZeeWolf:

                I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I write about “support” or “opposition” I’m referencing public opinion. If I write about political bodies (e.g., wildlife boards, state agencies, Congress, etc.), I’ll name the body specifically.

              • avatar WM says:

                ZeeWolf,

                I guess I will have to take criticism for my rough intuitive conclusions that certain factions of CO government, federal agencies and certain geographic or economic sectors are either ambivalent or unsupportive of wolves in CO. We draw concusions all the time based on gut instincts on what we hear and see (or don’t). I still have enough friends and acquiantances in CO in -in the know positions- to have a reasonably good read on the wolf issue. A survey, it is not, but as Jeff E. says elsewhere on this forum surveys are designed often to get the result their sponsor wants (language, phrasing, etc.,). Sorry, JB, I call it the way I see it thru my eyes.

                Then there is the less subtle stuff, like going on the Colorado Wildlife website and looking for current information on wolves. It’s not there – everything stops in 2004, endin with the document and meetings you reference. Peeling back the onion a little further there is the 2009 NPS decision (with local input) not to reintroduce wolves to RMNP; and by the way its NOT even on the wolf tab in the CPW website. That ought to be a pretty good clue to agency priority and support. Where are Hickenlooper and the Legislature on wolves – I haven’t a clue. Federally, you don’t hear much from Mark Udall on wolves these days.

                Then, there is the conspicuously absent dialog in the media of “why doesn’t CO have wolves, with some of the largest ungulate – elk AND migratory mule deer- populations in the US.”

                So there have been a couple of polls in the last fifteen to twenty years. Big deal. Sorry for the candor.

                As for your suggestion about an approach for repopulation (not reintroduction) of wolves to CO, with a softer federal – state approach, you and I are pretty much on the same page, I think. Though the more wolves there are, at some point they will be thinned down, and if advocates seem to want to turn the argument to “poor dead wolf” then why create the population conditions for having to kill them in the first place? It will happen.

                But let me be candid, once more. The further the distance from the wack jobs at WildEarth Guardians (including lawyer Tutchton and Keefover-Ring), the better it will be received by agencies, IMHO. I gather you have some history with WG/Sinapu?

          • avatar cobackcountry says:

            You haven’t seen any evidence? Have you tried looking?

            http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/full_text_search/AllCRCDocs/94-65.htm

            http://articles.latimes.com/2001/apr/01/local/me-45220

            http://www.britannica.com/blogs/2008/09/the-case-for-wolf-reintroduction/

            Ask a member of one of the many obvious groups, RMEF, or anybody who is a public land grazer.. Come on people, this is the easy part- recognizing who would and would not support wolves in CO. The hard part is refereeing them.

      • avatar SaveBears says:

        Oh come one Jon, you know how the system works, the dollar talks and the science walks. Those paying the bills are always going to have a larger voice and right now, game departments are funded by us dreaded hunters.

        • avatar jon says:

          That’s not right. Why would non-hunters who call themselves conservationists or wildlife watchers contribute or pay for wildlife killing? Just because a hunter pays to kill wildlife does not mean he deserves a voice and the non-hunting conservationist doesn’t. How many times have you said that the wildlife in Montana belongs to every person that live in Montana? Wildlife watchers want to specifically see wildlife, not kill. FWP will be making a huge mistake if they continue to ignore non-hunting conservationists.

          • avatar Tim says:

            So you expect Fish and wildlife agencies to just take your word for that you will start helping to pay for wildlife management after they do what you want them too? That makes a lot of sense. Don’t hold your breath.

            • avatar jon says:

              I would never pay for wildlife management as I don’t support wildlife killing. As the years go by, you will see less and less hunters. These fish and game agencies are not doing themselves any favors by ignoring non-hunters in their states. Less hunters are coming to Montana to hunt. I don’t recall what the exact numbers were, but I do know that a small % of Montanans hunt and even a much smaller % of Montanans trap.

              • avatar SaveBears says:

                Currently based on License and tag sales, hunting is on the increase in the state of Montana and as the agency that manages hunting in this state is only funded by the hunters, what do you think the outcome is going to continue to be Jon.

                Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, was set up by hunters, is managed by Hunters and will continue to be in the foreseeable future, there are no plans currently or in the future to have the state fund FWP.

                There are less people coming here to hunt right now, not because of a decrease in hunters, but because of the perception that wolves have wiped out our herds, and there have been areas affected by wolves. The main reason there is less hunters coming to the state, is due to a law that was passed a couple of years ago, concerning outfitter tags that were available to out of state hunters. Those hunters are going to other states, that don’t have wolves and are more favorable to out of state hunters.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                You are blaming wolves for a decline in out of state tags? Really?

              • avatar Mike says:

                So many things wrong with SB’s comments.

                First, wildlife in Montana is not “funded” by anything. Wildlife is wildlife. It does not respect nor understand the human monetary system, nor state or international borders.

                Now, much of the *activity* of Montana Fish Wildlife, and Parks is funded by hunters and fishermen (me among them). Whether this activity is helpful to Montana wildlife remains up for debate.

                Montana has the wildlife it does because people set aside millions upon millions of acres of federal land, fighting local ranchers and hunters all along the way.

                Also of note is MFWP receives federal matching funds.

                What Savebears also fails to tell you is that MFWP is funded, every year, by non-game fund donations in accordance with the NonGame Funding Wildlife Bill. You can opt on your tax forms to donate money to this fund. These funds are matched several times over by federal funds, university grants, and so forth.

                This is SaveBear’s way of dismissing your right to your voice in this matter, Jon. It’s been going on for quite some time on this forum, and it is disappointing to me that the mods still allow hunters and anti-wolvers to bully conservationists like this. Most hunters are bullies. Most will try and exclude you by distorting the facts.

                Don’t let them.

                SB also mentions the “perception” problem, which was caused by unhappy neanderthals in Montana crying over and over about a few wolves.

                We can also say that Montana hunting hasn’t really been affected by wolves. Even FWP’s own report indicates that almost all regions are at average or above:

                http://fwp.mt.gov/news/newsReleases/hunting/nr_1815.html

                And here is Ralph posting a story that elk are 22,000 over state objectives:

                http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2012/04/06/montana-elk-at-all-time-high-perfect-storm-cause-of-elk-decline-in-hunting-district-250/

                It amazes me the misinformation that is allowed to be posted here without getting called out.

                It didn’t used to be that way.

              • avatar Mike says:

                Mark –

                They blame wolves for high gas prices over there.

              • avatar SaveBears says:

                No Mike, I did not blame wolves, I said the main reason that there has been a decline in our out of state hunters is due to the law that was passed a couple of years ago about outfitters tags, can’t you read?

                But there are hunters that are no longer coming to Montana, Idaho and Wyoming because of wolves.

              • avatar SaveBears says:

                And on top of it, I didn’t say elk were not above objective, they have been effected in certain areas, but as a whole the state is healthy with elk, what is a real shame, is Ralph allows such obsessive anti hunters post here, who completely ignore his statement about hunting that is at the top of the page. As far as elk numbers, I am not complaining at all, I have never failed to take an elk when I decide to hunt them. I have a freezer full of elk that my wife and I shot last year, enough to last me a couple of years.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                Mike
                Montana may have millions and millions of acres of federal land but 75% of our wildlife live on private land.
                Montana has a non-game fund on Montana taxes which goes to non-game animal projects but the amount raised, less than 500,000 in 20 years so average 25000 a year. Great program but over 85% of the animals in Montana are non-game animals. 25 grand isn’t a big deal when spread over a state the size of Montana.
                As for you Montana FWP link you should read better, “Predation on elk by wolves has contributed to some depressed elk populations in parts of western and south western Montana.” So where ever there are wolves the elk population in depressed. Elk populations are just fine where there are no wolves. Seems the people like you love to deal in misinformation.
                It amazes me also the information posted here without being called out.

              • avatar WM says:

                Mike says: They blame wolves for high gas prices over there [Montana].

                I guess that means you didn’t move to MT. Good choice for everyone it would appear.

                And, Mike, back to SW Colorado for a moment. How those wolves going to make it to that part of the state, when adjacent bordering states to the north, west and south aren’t so keen on having them. There will be no re-introduction by the way, even if wolves remain on the ESA. Then there are the Texans who hunt deer in that sparsely populated part of the state. I expect Texans would add a whole new dimension to the concept of 3S, and they aren’t even CO residents. If CO has a resident population of 50 wolves in 10-15 years I would be very surprised.

              • avatar jon says:

                “Today, 57 percent of the $92 million budget for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game comes from resident and nonresident tag sales and taxes on sporting goods. But out-of-state hunter numbers have dropped, and fewer young people are choosing to hunt as the nation becomes more urban.

                Faced with those financial realities, the Fish and Game Commission has a choice: Does it become a leaner agency devoted to hunters and anglers – and the 17 percent of Idahoans who want the agency to manage only the species that hunters and anglers kill?

                Or, does the agency appeal to the more than 90 percent of Idahoans who stated in an F&G poll that they support Idaho wildlife beyond just hunting and fishing opportunities.”

                These fish and game agencies seem to put hunters and trappers first and wildlife second. All they seem to care about is making money off of killing and trapping wildlife. Nothing will change unless you remove all of the hunters from the fish and game commission. These people are hacks and only cater to the minority in Idaho whose only interest is killing wildlife.

              • avatar Richie G. says:

                I could not have said it better Jon, how many LAKES DOES Idaho and how many speed boats do they support, the numbers don’t lie.

            • avatar Mike says:

              ++I expect Texans would add a whole new dimension to the concept of 3S++

              No offense, but I don’t really care about a few hillbillies who are willing to shoot, shovel, and shut up.

              There’s enough room in Northern New Mexico and SW Colorado to hide many wolves. The South San Juans held the last grizzly bear in the state. Pretty special country down there.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Man, y’all just hammer the Texas ‘perps’ on here, don’t you? SSS hunters, hillbillies, Texas skiers remarks, etc. I’d say y’all need to remember that not ALL Texans are like that (maybe just the ones that visit the NRM). Stereotypes say as much about the ‘commenter’ as the ones commented upon.

              • avatar WM says:

                Mark,

                Point noted. But, wait a minute, some here with regularity hammer on the neanderthal residents, and allegedly corrupt politicians and agency employees of MT, ID, WY, UT, AZ and NM (assuming residents of those states all fit the sterotype). Sometimes the language is even a bit coarse, and the accusations questionable. Let’s remember,Texas is a Western State, the biggest, which they will frequently remind you. And, quite frankly in many respects one of the least environmentally friendly and maybe politically corrupt. Ever hear of the Texas Railroad Commission and its broad functions? I don’t much like current Governor Perry, a former recent President from that state, and a former House Representative of questionable morals. I have met enough Texans visiting in other locales, like the ski slopes, or hunting grounds of CO to draw some conclusions about objectionable characteristics of those I have met.

                If Texas were a site for wolf reintroduction, we here would have lots more to talk about regarding resistance, I expect, and it wouldn’t be acceptance. And, by the way, nothing better than than seeing a King Ranch model Ford F250 supercrew cab pick-up at a trailhead in an area where one hikes or hunts, ya’ll. I’ll take the hit on the stereotype, recognizing that politically incorrect aspersions on this forum are reserved for only for the most strident of wolf advocates. ;)

              • avatar Mark L says:

                WM,
                That was good stuff.
                In particular,
                ” Let’s remember,Texas is a Western State, the biggest, which they will frequently remind you.”

                Coonasses and horse’s asses! (as the back of the welcome to Texas/Louisiana signs will tell you west of Shreveport.

                “I have met enough Texans visiting in other locales, like the ski slopes, or hunting grounds of CO to draw some conclusions about objectionable characteristics of those I have met.”

                They export their stupidity and keep the ‘smart ones’ on a reservation..well hidden.

                “If Texas were a site for wolf reintroduction, we here would have lots more to talk about regarding resistance, I expect, and it wouldn’t be acceptance”

                Only ‘real’ (according to some) red wolves left were in east Texas/west Louisiana, so at least they helped out (by exporting, of course). I’ve been in and out of ‘the neutral zone’ for half my life, and think it would be perfect for them too….and for ocelots…and puma…and jaguarundi…and jaguars–none of which are REALLY that much of a threat to man. Besides, there’s enough armadillos to feed an very large army.

                Most Texans think it’s too hot to walk there, so assume it’s too hot to walk anywhere. You should see them asking if there are golf carts to get around in the french quarter in New Orleans.

          • avatar cobackcountry says:

            Jon,
            Although I don’t think science should be trumped by dollars….It is. And unless and until the parties who support wolves provide the preponderance of conservation dollars (currently funded by and large via those nasty hunters and anglers) it will remain that way.

            You don’t like it? Well, get more like minded folks to put their money where their mouths are. I’d be happy to see that shift in monetary contribution as it would be one less argument between sides.

            As a hunter, and angler, and a person who supports the scientific merit and ecological need for wolves…..I am sick, sick, sick of people not taking ownership of how this process works.

            Flip it-how would you handle the reverse? How about all of the sudden, everyone who drives on a scenic road has to pay an observation tax? Then add another tax on binoculars, cameras and viewing time. Let’s say those monies now get earmarked for wolf reintroduction efforts. Land is set aside just for habitat. (After all, the majority of conservation begins and ends with land) A few years later, the viewing taxes have created a large habitat that supports a great number of elk. Then, people who never bought binoculars, or paid a scenic road tax, or a viewing tax, decide that under they have a right to now tell you how to manage those extra elk, and the wolves on said habitat? They haven’t paid a dime, they don’t care that their claims may now cost all the viewers extra taxes to remedy….how do you deal with the non-viewers? Or what if there was a sudden need to take all the money from binoculars and spend it on making guns and ammo instead of promoting that habitat and the wildlife there in?

            It isn’t that complicated to see how it would occur that people become very emotionally and financially invested. It is also easy to see how the money funding things, and the people who pay that money become a legislative concern.

        • avatar jon says:

          That’s wrong. What FWP is doing is wrong. They are ignoring the majority of Montanans and catering to a small minority whose only interest is having wildlife around, so they can shoot or trap it. A non-hunting conservationist or wildlife watcher is not going to buy a tag that is meant to be used to kill a wild animal so he can say he is supporting wildlife management aka wildlife killing. Give non-hunters another way to contribute to wildlife, not wildlife killing. Hunting will continue to decline. Look at the amount of americans that hunt. It’s dismal. It’s a very small %. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that more people would rather view wildlife than kill it.

          • avatar Rancher Bob says:

            jon
            Can you post where you get your information that a majority of the people that live in Montana are being ignored by FWP. I simply can’t find any thing close to that claim.
            Second the percentage of people who hunt maybe decreasing but the overall population is growing, ever considered the number of people hunting may also be increasing, it’s simple math.
            Besides you have yet to prove that wildlife watchers out number hunters by any large margin, when one has to include hunters as being wildlife watchers.

    • avatar JB says:

      Thank you, Ida. :)

  17. avatar Mike says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but WM has convinced me with his “stop doing the right thing because it makes the other guys mad” argument.

    Good thing Lincoln didn’t take that advice. Or Martin Luther King, Jr.

  18. avatar ZeeWolf says:

    Since Colorado seems to be the hot topic at the moment, I thought I would add some information to the fracas, if indeed it hasn’t been done already. Back in 2004 I participated (as a citizen participating in the democratic process) in a roundtable discussion regarding wolf migration into the state. This is what was produced, and can be found on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.

    http://wildlife.state.co.us/SiteCollectionDocuments/DOW/WildlifeSpecies/SpeciesOfConcern/Mammals/recomendations.pdf

    It may also be helpful to visit CPW’s web page on wolves to better understand the state’s public attitude towards wolves.

    Personally, I would love to see wolves in the state but share the same concerns expressed by CodyCoyote and cobackcountry above in their various posts. Most, if not all, of critical winter habitat is privately owned by ranchers, most of whom are already not too thrilled to be sharing thier cattle pasture with grass-thieving elk (meant sarcastically); I can’t see that wolves would be welcomed with opened arms by the ranching community.

    Sadly, big game hunting in Colorado has become commoditized, packaged and sold to a gullable public; it is a money making industry and those who profit from it will defend their turf. The very idea of reducing the number of permits sold especially to out-of-staters causes some people to get red in the face. I’m not necessarily talking about the hunters themselves but rather those who profit from selling goods and wares to the hunters. The motels, roadkill cafes, liquor stores, gas stations, etc… Elk have become thier own economic engine and any attempt to reduce thier numbers, or rather sell fewer tags, will be fought. Not that I believe this is the correct way of thinking, just acknowledging the reality that Colorado elk have so many strings of money attached to them that any type of meaningful reform, wolf related or not, is nearly impossible.

    I remember a talk given by Mike Philips, the original head of the Yellowstone Wolf Project, he gave at Michigan Technical University in early 2003. He thought that if wolves weren’t in Colorado in twenty years that it wouldn’t happen due to human population pressure. It has now been ten years gone by and things, from a wildlife perspective, have only gotten worse what with continued human population growth.

    • avatar cobackcountry says:

      ZeeWolf,

      Great post. We also need to consider the federal aspects of wolves in Colorado. IT wouldn’t automatically fall to the state to manage them.

      • avatar ZeeWolf says:

        I am holding my breath regarding the federal government, the State of Colorado and wolves. I don’t know where the cards will fall regarding the current controversy over delisting throughout the lower 48. As time passes, I am more and more against delisting (due to the political nature of the decision), althought I believe that savebear’s and others observations that USFWS wants to remove itself from wolf management is spot on.

        I was reading the article recently posted elsewhere that interviewed Dr. MacNulty; he stated something to the effect that money now spent on wolves could be reallocated to be spent on species that were much more likely to go extinct. This seems logical to me. There are so many species on the brink of extinction that need immediate funding. Not just local extinction but the messed-up, forever kind. I’m not really worried about wolves going extinct although I am unhappy about certain aspects of the current management paradigm we live in.

        Of course, we could raise the funding to levels that would address all the various issues but that would most likely entail a self-imposed tax on certain segments of society – a risky endeavor regardless of the cause and far from certain.

        At one point during the 1990’s I was all in favor of having a reintroduced population of wolves. Since then I have changed my view to being more in favor of dispersal from extant populations. I changed my mind after witnessing the last 18 years of the reintroduction and restoration spectacle. To be clear, I fully supported the wolf restoration in 1995 and still do to this day.

        Why the change of heart regarding Colorado, you might ask? What I recollect from the mid-1990’s is that the reintroduction was an experiment of sorts. No one knew what the exact outcome would be politically and biologically. Politically, the 10(j) regulations dealt well, IMO, with the inherent uncertainty of wolf restoration. Biologically, the fact that wolves were soft realeased in Idaho and hard released in Yellowstone demonstrated the uncertainty that the biologists faced.

        (Sorry to be so long winded) I now feel that Colorado could be the next phase of wolf recolonization. But we, that is, the state, need a new experiment in wolf recovery and collaborative management. Yes, the USFWS wants to get out of the wolf business. Fine, let them. Perhaps the solution would be to have a memorandum of understanding with the feds, an MOU that sets population goals for the state. Anyhow, some sort of low-key oversight or consultaion from the feds might be appropriate even if delisting occurs.

        I can’t help but feel that wolves would be more palatable to the general public and to those adversely effected if the management was left to Colorado. I know this may be a bit naive or wishful thinking, but I do trust our CPW to allow dispersing wolves to recolonize the state. I also believe that naturally dispersing wolves would be more readily acceptable that a reintroduction. Where would be an acceptable sight for reintroduction anyhow? Most of the core areas in Colorado seem to have serious limitations.

        Until recently, I was hopeful that dispersing wolves would recolonize Colorado. I support the delisting of wolves in the NRM states because the population goals had been met and exceeded. I am not one who believes that wolves should be permenantly listed on the ESA to protect them from hunters or the states, no matter that I disapprove of predator hunting in general and the current persecutorial attitude of NRM state management. I am most unhappy with Wyoming’s management practices but am loathe to tell other states and peoples how to behave.

        So here is an idea… all this previous conversation has been about what I have assumed to be a FEDERAL reintroduciton of wolves. What aabout a state restoration program? There is the precendence with Lynx that the former DOW did. If there was enough agitation from within the state among the general population it would happen. Would it be acceptable for the state of Colorado to restore wolves with the specific intent that they become furbearers? Would they be managed like other predators? Would the state regulate the population absent a public hunt? I don’t know what the solution is but feel that we have to look beyond the current lines of conflict if we are to have wolves here. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a state sponsered wolf restoration.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          I think that is very naive, with all due respect. Wolves have been the subject of irrational controversy since the Europeans landed, and if it hasn’t changed in over 200 years, I don’t think it’s going to. There is no need to hunt wolves and they do not need to be used as furbearers anymore. Livestock predation in my view is the only reason to kill them, or if they come to close to human habitation. But I don’t think they will.

          The Endangered Species Act is being whittled away at as we speak, and windfarms are getting take permits for 30 years with no obligation to let anyone know about how many birds are killed. Some have said that people are actively trying to prevent delisting of the sage grouse. I won’t continue to be disappointed by politicians. There are very few who do anything positive. As WM said, can we even name one Western state who wants to keep wolves protected. California is the only one that is working on a state Endangered Species plan for them.

          • avatar ZeeWolf says:

            Ida, I can happily accept that I am naive, but out of curiosity what am I naive about? My entire post or some specific part of it? I’m not trying to be snarky, just not sure what you are referring to and am sincerely interested in feedback.

            I think that wolves have been the subject of irrational controversy for much longer than two hundred years. That in my life time we have gone from government sponsered persecution to government sponsered restoration does give me a glimmer of hope. It is a huge paradigm shift to acknowledge that wovles have a right to be on the landscape.

            “There is no need to hunt wolves and they do not need to be used as furbearers anymore.”

            I agree one hundred percent, but only on a personal level. I truly despise predator hunting but accept that my values are not necessarily those of my neighbors. At one point I had the pleasure of working with captive wolves and was able to know them as personalities and individuals rather than as abstract objects. It deeply pains me to see these creatures, whom I consider to be semi-sentient, to be shot and disrespected. But what is really important? Having wolves on the landscape or not?

            My main point was really suggesting another idea beyond the “federal reintroduciton” versus “natural dispersal” argument. Brainstorming is the term commonly used. I was throwing the questions out there as rhetorical questions, to bring up ideas that would make it acceptable to both the state and populance of Colorado to accept wolves.

            Also, according to this link on the CPW website, wolves are considered endangered by the state of Colorado.

            http://wildlife.state.co.us/SiteCollectionDocuments/DOW/WildlifeSpecies/SpeciesOfConcern/Wolf/Ch.10CDOWRules.pdf

            I posted this once before but will do so again. This is a report entitled “FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR MANAGING WOLVES THAT MIGRATE INTO COLORADO FROM THE COLORADO WOLF MANAGEMENT WORKING GROUP” released on December 28, 2004 and according to the CPW website was “adopted in their entirety by the Colorado Wildlife Commission at their May 2005 meeting”.

            http://wildlife.state.co.us/SiteCollectionDocuments/DOW/WildlifeSpecies/SpeciesOfConcern/Mammals/recomendations.pdf

            I feel like we have, if not a management plan, a good outline for wolf management in Colorado. Unfortunately, with Wyoming treating wolves as varmits, it is unlikely that I will ever get to hear a wolf pack howling in my area. Sadly, I think these recommendations are currently more or less a solution in search of a problem.

  19. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    The State of Washington has been really pressing for wolf delisting since before the Wedge pack was ordered to be shot. Is there a Congressman or Senator putting pressure on the USFWS?

    • avatar Richie G. says:

      Ida I believe De Fazio is in favor of protecting all wildlife he introduced a bill with another congressman to take the power away from the wildlife bureau from outright killing of wildlife all from taxpayers dollars. I do not think that made it out of the house.

  20. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/06/your_comments_on_wolves_taking.html

    I love reading the comments – clearly, the American public isn’t as dumb as our poor leadership thinks we are. They realize what taking the wolf off the endangered list nationwide means.

  21. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Studies indicate plentiful habitat remains in other regions, including upstate New York, northern New England and the southern Rockies of Colorado and Utah. But experts say the Fish and Wildlife Service’s plan would mean that any wolves wandering into those states could be shot on sight unless protected by state laws.

    I don’t think special interests in Washington State and other western states should dictate the future of wildlife in other areas.

    Gray Wolves Face Uncertain Future

    Some scientists and advocates say the hunts offer a preview of what will happen when the federal safeguards are lifted elsewhere. The government, they say, is giving up the recovery effort too soon, before packs can take hold in new areas. Vast, wild territories in the southern Rockies and Northeast are ripe for wolves but unoccupied.

    “The habitat is there. The prey is there. Why not give them the chance?” said Chris Amato, New York’s assistant commissioner for natural resources.

    It could also be a big boost to flagging economies, for example, in Maine, with environmental tourism.

  22. avatar Mtn Mamma says:

    Wolves will never be reintroduced to Colorado; the political climate is too inhospitable. Both the National Park Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife have essentially said that they want nothing to do with wolves. Wolves will have to migrate to CO on their own and establish a population. With the predatory shoot on site plan of most of Southern Wyoming, their chance of successful migration is slim. I used to think I would live long enough to see wolves reestablish themselves in CO but now, I highly doubt it- I am 39 years old (and a healthy trail runner with good ACLS :-)

    Jon, There are many well educated and liberal people in parts of Colorado who would welcome wolves (like myself), however, we aren’t the ones stashing compound 1080 and hosting gun shows.
    Remember 341F? http://www.examiner.com/article/tragic-end-for-yellowstone-area-wolf-illegally-poisoned-colorado
    No one was ever prosecuted or even named as a suspect in her killing. I spoke with a higher up at Wild Life Services (Denver) while this story was hot. He informed me that they had suspects “Because of her GPS collar, we knew her whereabouts every 30 minutes- of course we had suspects. The damn animal rights people blew the case because someone demanded a FOIA”. (WTH??) Now imagine if you will that an uncollared wolf that migrates into CO would be treated any differently. As for the wolf who was supposedly killed on 1-70 in 2004, necropsy showed she was killed by a bullet, likely in another state and dumped on 1-70 near Idaho Springs, CO likely as some kind of ploy- this fact of course was never released to the public.
    It doesn’t matter how many people support wolves, the ones who don’t kill at will.

  23. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    It would be unlikely, especially if Ken Salazar is back in town defending energy and ranching interests:

    Pueblo Chieftain

  24. avatar WM says:

    Can anyone give the name of ANY of the 19 Western states which has made a verifiable statement that their duly elected governments has said wolves should remain ESA listed(governor, wildlife agency head or legislative body)?

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      The only one I can think of is California?

      http://www.sfgate.com/science/article/Move-to-extend-wolf-protections-in-state-4191167.php

      We spend more time chasing/hunting/monitoring wolves than we do terrorists, and it shows.

      • avatar Richie G. says:

        Ida Oregon will try to follow California with as I said before De Fazio and one more that I can’t think of at this time. But Obama is to blame for this, with two horse slaughter houses going on line one in New Mexico and the other being built in Oklahoma this is not a good time for wild animals in the west. Obama is a Chicago gangster, with a secret golf trip with the heads of the oil companies I see him as a major disappointment.

        • avatar WM says:

          Richie,

          An important lesson on state and federal government distinctions.

          Rep. DeFazio is a D Congressman from the Eugene/Springfield area (which includes two college cities, the other being Corvallis, and is the on the west/wet/liberal side of the Cascades). He does NOT represent the entire state, or for that matter, any portion of the state (including his Congressional District) regarding input to a state position on any matter. State legislators/governors or their appointed agency heads represent the state.

          That is part of the issue with state-federal relations, a Congressional representative might take a view contrary from a state legislature, including an area that some of these individuals may have geographically in common.

          Some folks think some Congressional types are out of touch with their constituents interests because of this. Not always a bad thing, however, otherwise some environmental legislation may never have been passed in the first place (CWA, CAA, ESA, Superfund/SWMA, TSCA, NFMA, FLPMA, had locals known what was coming their way as the laws were implemented, sometimes causing losses of jobs and huge expenditures by industry, states, special districts and municipalities for control measures).

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          I wouldn’t even give him that much credit. Ecologlically clueless and a huge disappointment. I cannot wait until he is voted out of office, hopefully before too much environmental damage is done.

      • avatar Leslie says:

        “A video ridiculing efforts to protect OR7 in California was recently circulated by the nonprofit group Americans for Prosperity, which is partly funded by the Koch Brothers Foundation, well-known supporters of oil interests and far-right crusades against climate-change legislation.”

        Seems the Koch bros. are involved in everything, including things that aren’t even affecting their oil interests. Where is the funding for the pro-wildlife campaigns?

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          “Seems the Koch bros. are involved in everything,”

          Yup. Thought I would try to avoid using their products. Pretty tough to find something they don’t have their mitts into in one way or another.

  25. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    The other question I have is that it appears part of C. lycaon’s range is or was historically the Great Lakes region. Wolves there have gray wolf and eastern wolf DNA. The landscape I have been told, especially in the UP in Michigan, is a lot like New England’s, and before the St. Lawrence was turned into a shipping channel wolves of all stripes could travel freely. Is C. lycaon a protected species there, or does human’s right to kill for fun usurp protecting this species of wolf?

  26. avatar cobackcountry says:

    Okay. I read, and re-read the comments above. So much assuming go on, and so little comprehension.

    The reasons why systems don’t work are often complicated by the general lack of understanding surrounding them.

    I would really encourage people to delve into researching where all conservation funds come from, and how they are used.

    One person argued SB points by saying Montana get management funds from sources other than tags, then mentioned the state receives federal dollars. The federal dollars come from taxes that are on guns and ammo, and bird stamps…and a few other earmarked federal taxes imposed on hunters.

    That highlights a lack of real insight into where, and how, wildlife and conservation management gets money.

    People argue they won’t support management because they don’t approve of hunting…. management has far reaching implications which go beyond hunting. The fish and wildlife services in most states help to support endangered species being protected, they support health assessments of wildlife, they aid in efforts to protect human life from animal issues (disease, predation, damage). The F&W services in most states are now primarily responsible for making sure we have fish, as our water quality and quantities have essentially wiped out many native breeding populations.

    Managing resources is not about hunting or not hunting…it is about existing or non-existing wildlife and perhaps in some cases, humans. That is true on state and federal levels.

  27. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I dunno Jeff, the survey I posted seemed pretty straightforward:

    Do you like wolves? No
    Do you want them in your state? Hell No.
    Do you want to hunt them? Yes.

    I think you’d be hard pressed to find a majority of people who even give a damn about it in most states, never mind a select group who hate them. I’m sure they’d have a large pool of haters to draw from. If they were wanted, the politicians would encourage it.

  28. avatar Richie G. says:

    To WM ; I know in New Jersey the state both houses are dems, but that did not help to get a higher minimum wage ,of course the Governor ended it. The only good thing it will be on the ballot for a public vote. So I hear what your talking about being in a college town, but DeFazio had good idea’s for a long time. If it was because of the college town, how has he been voted in so often? I do realize the state of Washington is down the middle the east is pro wolf because their close to the water and well to do people live their. On the east side are the ranchers and they are against the wolf. So WM why don’t they put PHD’s on the state boards not only hunters and ranchers ,the cards are stacked against the wolf IMHO.I remember when delisting was first talked about nobody spoke about trapping nobody. But the other side took and took and took, tis is only an opinion. I wonder when a sports hunter kills does he get a quick hit of energy, or is he thankful for the meal that the meat will provide. Ida I agree with you how could you kill something so close to your own dog, but at the same time remember how many dogs are put to sleep in shelters that is the other side of mankind. So I guess what I am saying we should not be surprise how heartless people can be.

    • avatar SaveBears says:

      Richie,

      There are many PhD on state game commission boards in many states, believe it or not, there are hunters out there that actually hold a PhD.

      There are also a great many that world for game departments that hold Masters and PhD credentials.

      • avatar SaveBears says:

        Opps, that was “work for” not “world for”

      • avatar JB says:

        “…believe it or not, there are hunters out there that actually hold a PhD.”

        On my side of the building, I would wager there are more hunters and former hunters than not…all with PhDs.

        • avatar Richie G. says:

          To JB; I stated that wrong of course hunters could and do have PHD’S but why then I hear people like Ralph who is a biology major I believe with a PHD in the environmental field. So what I really mean I would like more people in biology, environmental people on the boards not just people who are ranchers and hunters is this more to the point JB ? You did not address the question about the hunter either with all due respect , again hunting for food I can’t disagree with, but just for the sport of killing, I just don’t like it. We all were brought different JB and even I must respect the hunter doesn’t mean I have to like it. Hey I don’t even fish anymore !

          • avatar JB says:

            Richie:

            I was responding to Save Bears. Apologies, but I’m having trouble making sense of the rest of your response? Which question about hunters would you like me to address?

    • avatar WM says:

      Richie,

      You need to read the biographies of the WDFW Commission members. There is no shortage of very qualified professionals addressing fish/wildlife issues in WA. There are also geographic representations that have to be addresssed under the state law. By the way, their most complex problems deal with anadramous fish, which present international issues, and endangered species/commercial/sportfishing and hydro-power generation conflicts of huge proportion.

      http://wdfw.wa.gov/commission/members.html

  29. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    PhD’s or no, are they going to cave to special interests or science to manage wolves?

    How is hunting a population of approx. 6100 wolves ever going to be a sustainable management tool, especially since an estimate I read of pup mortality is 40-60% who do not survice to adulthood. I give wolves 3 years before they are extirpated from the lower 48, at best.

    Instead of taking them off the endangered list completely in the lower 48, why don’t we just be honest with the public and say that Washington state is champing at the bit to begin wolf hunting again? And the Western states are anti-wolf, for the most part?

    • avatar Rancher Bob says:

      Ida
      If you would like to place a wager of any size on your statement of giving wolves 3 years before being extirpated in the lower 48, I’ll be more than willing to cover that bet. Just list your conditions and wager.

      • avatar SaveBears says:

        Ida, this one I am going to have go with Bob, I will take that bet.

      • avatar ZeeWolf says:

        Can I get in on the action? Three years and no wolves in the lower 48? I think that is an unrealistic and pessimistic outlook, despite the current unsavory management of wolves.

        Is this a sucker bet, Ida? Do you have info the rest of us are not privy to?

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Ha, I’d never be more happy to be wrong, believe me. :)

          • avatar SAP says:

            I think you’re going to be happy, then! Unless, of course, you actually bet your house or some other major asset on extirpation.

            To get it done even in 30 years would take an all-out effort in every current wolf range conterminous state. That would have to assume an extirpation effort inside National Parks and Wilderness Areas. Wolves would have to do something really friggn awful before we’d see that kind of policy change.

            [One could offer up scenarios about complete and utter collapse of the economy and public order leading to anarchy in our protected areas. I'd expect a wholesale societal collapse to actually benefit wildlife in the long run, though.]

            Now then, plenty of bad stuff could happen to wolf populations in the next three years or thirty years. Reducing them to zero is, to my mind, highly unlikely. Recall our earlier discussion on a different thread about viability and sustainability: poorly-considered policies could really leave wolf populations in a precarious state in the near term (say, 10-20 years?).

            As we discussed before, clearly state your values and goals, and use them to frame your assertions. It’s far too easy for nay-sayers to dismiss you when you make dire predictions about extirpation.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              SAP –

              People need to take the blinders off.

              To get it done even in 30 years would take an all-out effort in every current wolf range conterminous state. Happening as we speak. Even states that don’t have them. States are falling like dominoes, FWP doesn’t want to take care of them anymore.

              That would have to assume an extirpation effort inside National Parks and Wilderness Areas.

              Collared wolves are being targeted.

              • avatar SaveBears says:

                Ida,

                There had not been any proof offered to show your statement is true.

              • avatar SAP says:

                Ida –

                by “all out effort,” I mean poison, aerial gunning, denning, the whole panoply of nasty ugly wolf killing technology.

                Some wolves, as history shows from the last go-round, get wise to virtually everything we come after them with. Many wolves learn to fear aircraft (thank goodness). Being social animals, they also learn from seeing their cohorts die from rifles, traps, and snares. I don’t expect kill rates to remain anywhere near as high as we saw around YNP this past season.

                No state has made it official policy to extirpate wolves. No state has legalized poisoning. Most states are definitely trying to lower their wolf populations.

                They’re probably going to lower them to a level that you find worrisome. You’d probably like to see wolf populations with a far higher chance of long-term persistence. You’d probably like to see wolves at greater densities in more places, I’d guess. It’s not turning out the way you’d like. Nor is it turning out the way the pro-extirpation extreme anti-wolf crowd wants. Is the situation good? Honorable? Sane? No: I’d say it’s nasty, dishonest, and animated by hysteria. In some states, it’s clearly happening against the will of the majority.

                Sorry that I can’t boil it down to a catchy bumper sticker. “They’re going to KILL ALL THE WOLVES by 2016″ might do a better job of grabbing people’s attention. But I don’t think it’s true.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                SAP,

                They have one tool not available before, radio collars.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                I hope you are right, SAP. But the government is clearly coming down on the side of those who really want to reduce wolves to very low levels. One disaster away from extirpation, to me.

                The other thing is that RMEF seems to have become a supporter of collars … now that could be worrisome.

                Before I can feel good about it, I’d like to see an olive branch offered of some sort … like a buffer zone around the park, or a statement not to shoot collared wolves when possible. The huge outcry against that (by out of state hunting interests) makes me think the park wolves are on the hit list.

              • avatar Mike says:

                At some point, Yellowstone is going to have to be the leader on this. I’ve had this discussion with top-level personnel, and trust me, they want to be, but are afraid to under this anti-wildlife administration.

                People don’t really know much about Wyoming or Montana, or ignorant ranchers or local politics. What they do understand, almost at *once* is “Yellowstone”. The wolf issue is going to have to be approached through this funnel to really start getting attention.

                Yellowstone was a great choice for reintroduction. People understood it. Who wouldn’t want to help Yellowstone? The wolves are going to have to be “saved” once more through the Yellowstone lens.

                When I went through there last fall, it felt like a different place to me. A violated place.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Mike, I agree Yellowstone is great territory, but there ARE other places that wolves can thrive in. If Yellowstone is ‘passed over’ and wolves end up somewhere else, it’s just as good for the wolves, and the ecosystem in general. Whatever makes Yellowstone ‘disfunctional’ for wolves CAN be addressed in otgher places (and they might end up coming to Yellowstone in the future again due to great habitat). What worries me more than anything is the (later) reduced genetics of NRM wolves paired with diseases that could bring a ‘slow death’ of degeneration, rather than the quick and visable shooting…same effect other time, for the most part though.

              • avatar WM says:

                Chicago Mike says:++The wolves are going to have to be “saved” once more through the Yellowstone lens.++

                Mark L., in reply, says: ++Mike, I agree Yellowstone is great territory, but there ARE other places that wolves can thrive in.++

                Just curious where these “other places” are that fit the criteria for wolf reintroduction, study and sustainability (always an important thing to consider). Let’s start with just a few of the requirements that would make it easier: an exclusive federal reservation, an available and bulging prey base that will support them, a state political framework to allow them to thrive, tolerant local populations of humans, low road and human access densities. Funding would have to come from Dept. of Interior for reintroduction (not much really, but it would be scrutinized), funding for long-term study for a bunch of scientists, and for state co-operation and their study and preparation of annual status reports. Oops almost forgot the collars, and management of offending depredating wolves. Now, all that is kind of expensive over, what, maybe a twenty year implementation horizon.

                Pick a couple spots, and please be specific. Mark, lead us off with a couple locations you think might work.

              • avatar Mike says:

                I’ll get started:

                Colorado

                – 21.637 million acres of forest land. Great wolf habitat due to serious elk overpopulation. Forward-thinking population that voted to end bear-baiting (a tactic used by slobs).

                California

                – 23.7 million acres of forest land. The north would be especially good for wolves with abundant prey species.

                Washington

                – 21.3 million acres of forest land.

                Utah

                – 15.3 million acres of forest land.

                Oregon

                – 28.836 million acres of forest land.

                New York

                – 18.4 million acres of forest land.

                Those are the “wilder” states in the lower 48 that can support wolves. this is not taking into consideration federal lands such as national forest land.

                But don’t let that stop you from feeling anger towards wolves, WM. I know how much you hate them.

              • avatar WM says:

                Mike,

                I don’t hate wolves. I just want fewer of them in more places, managed for lower density, creating less tension with the folks that REALLY don’t want them. Meeting ESA requirements would be fine with me, but then move on.
                ——-

                Mark,

                ++Whatever makes Yellowstone ‘disfunctional’ for wolves CAN be addressed in otgher places (and they might end up coming to Yellowstone in the future again due to great habitat).++

                This is what lead me to believe you wanted something greater in the way of a reintroduction. The problem with Yellowstone is that absent the conditions that lead to their reintroduction, YNP can only handle about 100 wolves, and since there is little winter range in the Park they go outside and the states conclude they are “fair game” so to speak. I think a buffer would be appropriate and have said so on this forum several times. Apparently it won’t happen.

                Mike’s having another pipe dream I see, without acknowledgling the limitations stated in my earlier post.

                And, obviously Mike missed the critical criteria for successful repopulation (or reintroduction for that matter). Yellowstone’s time for the effort in 1995 was an intersection of time, politics and opportunity, that may or may not be repeated – fires from 1987>vegetation changes>elk pop expanding>Babbit/Rappaport-Clark and an import of the right genetic stock in YNP and Central ID.

                Never happen in CO, CA or NY. Good luck w/ UT by the way. OR and WA, guess we have to see what happens when extant wolves move to the west of the Cascade Crest.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Just as an afterthought,
                I would be curious ‘which’ wolves anyone would like to see in NY (if appropriate).

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++This is what lead me to believe you wanted something greater in the way of a reintroduction. The problem with Yellowstone is that absent the conditions that lead to their reintroduction, YNP can only handle about 100 wolves, and since there is little winter range in the Park they go outside and the states conclude they are “fair game” so to speak. ++

                Yellowstone can handle far more than 100 wolves. The ecosystem is 18 million acres. Everything is fluid.

                ++I think a buffer would be appropriate and have said so on this forum several times. Apparently it won’t happen.++

                The buffer will happen. But not in the way the antiquated MFWP wants. At this kill rate, NR wolves will be inching towards the trigger for re-listing.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++And, obviously Mike missed the critical criteria for successful repopulation (or reintroduction for that matter). Yellowstone’s time for the effort in 1995 was an intersection of time, politics and opportunity, that may or may not be repeated – fires from 1987>vegetation changes>elk pop expanding>Babbit/Rappaport-Clark and an import of the right genetic stock in YNP and Central ID.++

                Yellowstone was going to get wolves no matter what.

                The problem now, for the rest of the country is the slaughter in the NRM that is going to prevent wolves from migrating to new areas.

                But I bet you are all for this.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++Never happen in CO, CA or NY. ++

            CO supports wolf reintroduction by a considerable majority.

            CA is overall, a wildlife-friendly state.

            NY is no less wild than a state like Michigan or Wisconsin, both of which support considerable wolf populations. The vast amount of forested wooded and public land in the northern half of the state would easily support wolves.

            ++Good luck w/ UT by the way. OR and WA, guess we have to see what happens when extant wolves move to the west of the Cascade Crest.++

            I bet your rooting for a guy with a rifle.

  30. avatar Richie G. says:

    WM I agree their are fish that are not natural to the waters, that is in many states but I will read what you typed for me then I will respond to you in more detail, thanks for the reply I like to learn more what is going on put their. I really wish I was born out west, never been to Florida where family are located but been out west many times. New Mexico and Utah and Texas are the states I must visit.

  31. avatar Richie G. says:

    O.K. WM their actually one or two people on that list that seem to be truly for the environment other that I can’t tell their positions in private industry are not directly related for the environment. Look WM we all see things different many people where you are treat animals as tools no more, and I am not saying all. But California has more people who like marine life by the coast. Again their are people who do horrible things to the marine life but it only takes one rotten apple to spoil the barrel.

  32. avatar Mark L says:

    Not sure where you are going with the ‘reintroduction fetish’ WM (…reread what I said), but I made no mention of it. Feel free to knock yourself out on the other stuff though….have at it.

  33. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    But, as the economy of New England has changed, so has the land. In the last hundred years, the forests have been regreening old pastures. Moose, deer, and beaver, once scarce, are recovering. So far, large tracts of remote forest have escaped threats of development in the Maine Woods, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, and the Adirondack State Park of New York. All this provides enough remote habitat, with an abundant prey base, scarce human population, and low road density to support 1,000-2,000 wolves-mostly in the vast North Woods of Maine.

    I think there are very few farms, dairy farms, and as I mentioned before, much less expansive in size.

    http://www.restore.org/Wildlife/wolf.html

    I had a question about that article posted about the foal loss in Washinton. Don’t people bring their livestock into barns at night? They also said it likely was due to a cougar. Why do people want wolves killed and don’t feel the same way about other predators? It really does stand out.

    • avatar Elk275 says:

      Ida

      I think the foal was in a corral which is proper place for a mare and foal. Very few horses are put in barn for the night. I do not think that is good for a horse or foal to be enclosed in a barn at night. I think maybe you ought to start understanding how cattle and horses are raised in the west.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        You can’t expect there not to be predators if nothing is done to protect your livestock. It isn’t realistic. But, perhaps livestock owners should be able to shoot predators, rather than take them off the endangered list for the entire country. The West isn’t the only place, or the only way of doing things.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “…perhaps livestock owners should be able to shoot predators,…”

          Producers don’t have time to be hunting down depredating wolves, and many of them have no desire to kill wolves – they just want them gone. So even after they’re given the right to carry out lethal control, you will still need significant assistance from Wildlife Services.

          And that begs the question, as much as it would be great to have wolves back in the Northeast – who pays? There are significant costs associated with having wolves on the landscape.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Well, I suppose it will be the wildlife advocates and government, and maybe altruistic private parties. It’s sad that what used to be a natural part of the landscape has devolved into this.

            Also, I still think that if hunting and delisting has occurred, ranchers shouldn’t be reimbursed for livestock losses anymore. It amounts to having both hands in the cookie jar.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              It should be built into the cost of doing business and cost of the product, but it will end up being the government and wildlife advocates. Statistics show that livestock predation is a very small part of livestock loss. Livestock predation is a part of the industry.

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              “Well, I suppose it will be the wildlife advocates and government…”

              Government? Seriously? Good luck getting one of your Northeast legislatures to pony up funding from ? to support wolf recovery and ongoing management. Especially since your vision doesn’t include funding from hunting licenses and P-R money.

              “Also, I still think that if hunting and delisting has occurred, ranchers shouldn’t be reimbursed for livestock losses anymore.”

              But wolf advocates claim that hunting does not reduce depredation, but instead is likely to increase it. Why then, would you end reimbursement at the same time that actual costs to the producer might be increasing?

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                A good question. If it increases depredation, I should think the ranchers would be against it. But their reasoning (ranchers and state gov’t) is that it decreases the numbers of wolves, so there is some logic to it. And that wolves will ‘learn’ to stay away.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Never underestimate our Northeast legislators’ ability to come up with new ways to spend money. If they can get the taxpayers to fund a sex change for a convicted murderer, anything is possible.

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            Too simplistic to have wolf vanity license plates, and wolf conservation stamps? Let the wolf advocates at least help foot the bill, for starters.

          • avatar Mike says:

            ++Producers don’t have time to be hunting down depredating wolves, and many of them have no desire to kill wolves – they just want them gone. ++

            Yes, they don’t want to kill they just want the species wiped out.

            LOL.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              Of course they have time. It’s part of their job, part of the business of raising livestock, nothing new. They already call in Wildlife Services to help them. How much more do they need?

              The gist of this article was that in certain parts of the state, ranchers do have the right to shoot predators to protect livestock, and other parts do not. Ms. Wolfe was located part of the area that does not have that right, and she wanted to be able to. I find a lot of these articles to be terribly biased.

              • avatar ma'iingan says:

                “Of course they have time.”

                No, Ida. They don’t. I’ve worked with producers and wolf depredation since the mid-90s. The first time wolves were delisted we issued 43 shooting permits to producers – resulting in ONE dead wolf.

                Producers do not have the time, the expertise, and in many cases the inclination, to hunt down depredating wolf packs.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                So why not use a wolf that’s known not to attack cattle…and alpaca, etc. (eastern/red wolf) in NY? This seems like a no-brainer to me. I realize this may ‘lighten the load’ for a lot of Wildlife Services people, but they peobably have other things to do.

    • avatar SAP says:

      I was looking after 40 sheep for a few weeks one winter. We found wolf tracks about 200 yards from the main ranch compound (houses, barn, corrals) on New Year’s Eve. I crammed them all in the barn so I could go to a neighborhood gathering instead of sitting at home with a spotlight and a pot of coffee.

      Worked ok for one night for 40 sheep. But you understand that animals are going to make a huge mess of a building, right? So, to an already busy schedule, add cleaning the barn. Add doctoring animals that developed respiratory ailments, made worse by stress and concentrations of pathogens in the building.

      We put fladry around the corrals after that, put up big lights, slept lightly.

      Shutting animals up in a barn is a non-starter. A barn that would hold 40 sheep might hold 10 cattle, and they would wreck the place overnight.

      The name of the game is risk management, not risk elimination. You’re not going to get anywhere with suggestions that basically amount to “go out of business.” If you want people to go out of business, just say so. They’ll at least respect your honesty.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        No, I wouldn’t want to see anyone go out of business. I’m saying the West may not be the place for wolf reintroduction. It does seem like ranchers want total risk elimination. What I’m saying is maybe try another area, where maybe people are a bit more open minded.

        Where I live there a smaller farms, animals don’t appear to be totally helpless. There’s a small sheep farm I pass when I’m out walking. I wanted to take a closer look one day, and the lead sheep cried out in a distress call, all the sheep herded together in a tight bunch, and a llama came running over ready to kick butt to protect them. You could almost see the llama mentally calculating the sheep.

        There are horse farms, riding stables, sheep and cattle. Some gorgeous black and red Angus and specialty breeds. These beautiful animals are very large and imposing, and with horns. But then again, they are not left to fend for themselves on a wide open ranges either. In less populated areas the farms would be larger and surrounded by more dense wooldland I would imagine.

        Honey bees were brought in recently to pollinate cranberries and I was glad to see them after hearing so much about Colony Collapse. So took a look and was stung immediately. Owwwwwww! Bees said get out and stay out. lol

        • avatar Elk275 says:

          Ida where you live and hike what is the carrying capacity of the land or an animal unit (AU). In the west the carrying capacity is approximately 1 AU per cow/calf or 5 sheep plus lambs per 20 acres of range land. It is impossible even with range riders which I have done in my younger years to kept track of all the livestock, then night comes. Think, come out west and learn for your self.
          Rancher Bob would be more than please to show you around. You would learn something.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            I know I don’t know that much about it. :)

          • avatar Richie G. says:

            Which means you gentleman have a lot of open land if you can’t keep track of your cattle, so basically you want it all for yourselves, you can’t bother keeping track of the heard from those pesky wolves. Yea you guys really have an open mind ,I can see that now.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Ida your heart is in the right place but if wolf recovery can’t work in tens of millions of acres of federally owned land then something is wrong. In the west its the sense of entitlement to strip the land of anything that competes with cattle or that could impact ungulates, even when its proven that cattle destroy land and wolves don’t have the terrible impact that SOME westerners like to argue they do. The sense of entitlement and scorched earth policy when it comes to wolves and predators is mind boggling. Running away is not the answer, keeping protections in place until attitudes change is more in keeping with the intent of the American public when it stood behind the ESA.

  34. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Just as an afterthought,
    I would be curious ‘which’ wolves anyone would like to see in NY (if appropriate).

    Eastern or Gray, or even Red. I understand the populations all overlapped, or hybridized from Gray. Was it because the numbers had been driven so low by the eradication of Westward expansion?

    The West doesn’t want them, so why not try another area where there might not be so much resistance? I don’t think the East would be sticklers for which wolf is ‘native’ to the area and which isn’t, because the underlying reason isn’t that they never wanted them in the first place.

    There is too much livestock interest in the West. It’s much less so in the East, and I think people would love the idea, especially in Upstate New York. There is some hunting here, used to be much more I think.

    • avatar WM says:

      Ida,

      The resistance is already in place. For sometime, NY Department of Conservation, Adirondack State Park, and I believe, Adirondack Tourism and/or economic council has taken a negative view toward wolf repopulation. There is simply too much private land in Adirondack Park for there to be a successful repopulation. So, there is a lack of local support, lack of state support and importantly lack of a wolf source to the north. That is, in large part, why USFWS has stopped efforts for a New England wolf plan. Is there reason to believe this has changed and is it reflected anywhere in a public statement from those entities?

      Isn’t asking what wolves would be best, an exercise in futility and unrequited frustration at this point?

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I really don’t think the resistance is what it is in the West. I think it needs to be revisited.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          People would like natural control of overpopulated deer herds and coyotes. There’s a piece missing from our native lands, and it is the wolf. We don’t have trophy hunting or livestocks interests that would cloud the issue. I understand protecting one’s livestock, but wolf killing is just a waste of life, very sad. I don’t know that you’d get that kind of mindset here.

          • avatar Mike says:

            okay, we’ve refuted WM’s claims that CO and NY residents don’t support wolves.

            Go ahead and pick the next state to vent your anti-wolf rants on, WM.

        • avatar Mike says:

          Ida, it’s not. He was just called out for this on CO, and he’s doing it again.

          He’s just trolling at this point.

      • avatar Mark L says:

        So why would anyone in NY resist an eastern wolf but not a coyote? Or are these the people that already resist coyotes? i.e. Are coyotes and eastern wolves THAT different in their encounters with people that we would EVEN know the difference? (same question I have had for anyone resisting a red wolf reintroduction…maybe Jon Way will weigh in)). It seems to me the label of ‘wolf’ has more to do with the issue than the animal itself. Call it a ‘red coyote’ instead of a red wolf and how would people react? Maybe they would shrug and be happy it prefers to stay farther away from us than a coyote.

        WM, ass-u-me (no offense WM, but I am beginning to see Ida/Mike’s critiques of your point of view, JMHO)

        and once again my conclusion that the wolf is as much a moral question as anything else

      • avatar Mike says:

        ++There is simply too much private land in Adirondack Park for there to be a successful repopulation. So, there is a lack of local support, lack of state support and importantly lack of a wolf source to the north. That is, in large part, why USFWS has stopped efforts for a New England wolf plan. Is there reason to believe this has changed and is it reflected anywhere in a public statement from those entities?++

        Once again, we all see WM blatantly dismissing the potential for wolves in another state with dubious claims. He just can’t help himself. His last attempt was Colorado, which I shot down in about five minutes.

        “Private land” really has nothing to do with whether wolves can recover. Most of Upper Michigan and Northern Wisconsin is private land, and in many cases with higher road densities than upstate New York.

        Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I saw wolves on paper company land in the U.P. back when Yellowstone didn’t even have them. In fact, these wolves thrived on the paper land near other private property, such as the Huron Mountain Club and various recreational properties.

        You claim that there is a lack of local and state support. That is simply not true. In the last poll, 80% of new yorkers support wolves, and 3/4ths of property owners in the Adirondacks support wolf reintroduction. In fact, 84% of New Englanders support wolf reintroduction. I wonder if you have ever been to upstate New York.

        Also, The New york DEC had this to say recently regarding ESA protectons for wolves:

        “The DEC issued a statement saying the study shows federal U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials need to reverse efforts to remove endangered species protections for wolves in the Northeast.”

        This is especially apparent after a hunter shot and killed a wolf in upstate New York (shocker, right? A dumb hunter shooting and killing a rare animal)in 2001:

        http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/A-century-later-the-wild-wolf-returns-2222681.php

        wolves may already be back in upstate New York. The habitat there is excellent for them.

        • avatar WM says:

          Mike,

          If you would be kind enough to show the DEC quote, rather than the requote of it from a new article, then maybe you are on to something. Also give a link to the survey you cite. Regardless of your assertion, the fact is, USFWS declined the petition to establish a NE wolf plan. That finding post-dates the article you quote. So, why the severe disconnect? Citizen polls often don’t translate in to government action. Citizens elect representatives who act on their behalf. Or, are we on our way to a pure democratic government wherever wolves are concerned. I think I’d like to roll back some taxes, or at least the way some are spent. Everybody in favor say Aye! The Aye’s have it.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Wow. How very exciting!

          This issue has been so tied up in politics at the USFWS I really question their final opinion. I can’t wait to find out what PEER digs up about the ‘backroom deals’. Heck, the original delisting was the backroom-est backroom deal of all. People are sick of it.

          If only one wolf was found, perhaps some have been exaggerating the attacks from wolves on their livestock.

          The inflammatory, exaggerated title of the Yakima Herald article would suggest it. “Pets, Livestock Dying as Wolf Debate Continue” They are not. JFC, if they can’t take their livestock in, they certainly should be able to take their pets in. Somebody chime in now to tell me that’s not the correct thing to do for pets! It should be a crime to make up lies like that.

        • avatar WM says:

          Mike,

          As long as we are looking for organizations that support or oppose repopulation of wolves to the NE, including Adirondack Park, let me throw these organizations which as of the article OPPOSED in the pot. Admittedly, the article is from 2011 (disclosure of timeframe is always important in these things):

          ++Why Would Anyone Oppose Wolf Reintroduction?

          There is still debate over which wolves originally populated the Adirondacks. Concern also remains about interbreeding between coyotes and other species which are already populating the area. Arguments have been raised about the safety of hikers, campers, livestock and domestic animals. Some of the groups that oppose wolf reintroduction are:

          Conservation Biology Institute – http://consbio.org/

          Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages – http://aatvny.org/content

          New York State Conservation Council – http://www.nyscc.com/

          New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation – http://www.dec.ny.gov/

          See more at: http://www.sacandagalife.com/wolves-adirondacks/#sthash.ugVqzdo8.dpuf ++

          Source: http://www.sacandagalife.com/wolves-adirondacks/

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      also Ida, unfortunately the more one digs the more pervasive and insidious are the problems facing predators. New York and PA hold innumerable predator killing contests, some of the people in the more rural areas hold ideas that are equally ignorant, inhumane and backward. A national predator protection policy must be the answer at some point. The good old boys like a good killing party. These events and attitudes would impact wolf recovery in the east as they do in the west. Much of the nations wildlife policy is disgraceful. Wanton waste a term wildlife officials like to discuss when defining illegal activity, except its rarely applied to many predators or wild canids.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Is that all you could come up with? Not all of these groups are opposed. Even for those who are, it isn’t nearly as bad as it is in the West. In many places trapping is illegal. That in itself is huge.

        PA isn’t New England. Stick to Washington State.

  35. avatar Richie G. says:

    Oh SB it was you about the PHD’S your correct as I said I look at what WM sent me and I really do not see them being for wildlife, just look at their occupation ,you know their business, only one or two was really for the environment,

    • avatar bret says:

      Richie G.
      I think every member is more than qualified, and remember they are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate, it is in many ways a political position not a scientific review panel.

      Chair
      Occupation: Director of the Marine Program, UW Olympic Natural Resources Center

      Vice Chair
      Dean Emeritus, Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University

      Carpenter
      Panel of the Pacific Salmon Commission

      Holzmiller
      Snake River Salmon Recovery Board, and the Asotin County Shorelines Committee.

      Kehne
      has a degree in Wildlife Biology from Washington State University (WSU).. (GO COUGS !).. and a degree in soil science, also from WSU. Works for Conservation NW.

      Mahnken PhD
      Retired, fisheries biologist

      Schmitten
      Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs (NOAA), the National Director of Marine Habitat Conservation

  36. avatar Richie G. says:

    Ida people up in Northern Maine hate coyote’s ,they have hunts and when I was at a bed and breakfast in Millinocket somebody in insurance said they want no introduction of wolves by the environmentalist groups. In New York or Vermont I really do not know. But the land can support wolves that is for sure.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      My feeling is that a few dissenting voices don’t speak for the rest of the public. We get that with land devlopment too – people can’t see beyond the exploitative jobs that will disappear one day and the resource with it.

      Sure you’ll get some skeptics and those who might hold on to the old mindset. I still don’t think that it is such a hate out here. Wolves would keep the coyotes in check.

      Adirondack Park is bigger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined. I think I even underestimate the extent of our wild lands here in the East in favor of those in the West. Maybe that is a good thing in a way.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        We don’t have the Rockies (our highest peak is about 6000 ft) but it is a lovely and unique ecosystem. I think newer generations of farmers would be more open to having wolves and taking steps to protect their livestock.

        We do have Acadia National Park (thanks to JD Rockefeller, Juniah) and it is beautiful. The North Woods would be a boon for tourist dollars.

        I say screw the West and try a different opportunity for wolves and people too. The forest is healthy and cool in summertime, and restoring and keeping our forests does a lot to counteract climate change.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          I’d love to see wolves in Acadia, I would fear for those migrating out.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Yes. They claim to have found remains of them there. Who knows which species though? Canis lupus irregardless, I love that phrase. :)

            Like these animals never overlapped ranges.

  37. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Since I brought up Acadia National Park, an interesting piece of information (from Wikipedia):

    The park is home to some 40 different species of mammalian wildlife. Among these are red and gray squirrels, chipmunks, white-tailed deer, moose, beaver (Castor canadensis), porcupine, muskrats, foxes, coyote, bobcats, and black bears. Many other marine species have been observed in the surrounding area and waters.

    Excavations of old Indian sites in the Mount Desert Island region have yielded remains of the native mammals. Bones of wolf, beaver, deer, elk, Gray seal (Halichoerus grypus), the Indian dog, and the extinct Sea Mink (Neovison macrodon), as well as large numbers of raccoon, lynx, wolf, muskrat, and deer. Although beaver were trapped to extinction on the island, two pairs of beaver that were released in 1920 by George B. Dorr at the brook between Bubble Pond and Eagle Lake have repopulated it. The large fire in 1947 cleared the eastern half of the island of its coniferous trees and permitted the growth of aspen, birch, alder, maple and other deciduous trees which enabled the beaver to thrive.

    Species that used to inhabit the island include the mountain lion (or puma) and the gray wolf. It is thought that these predators have been forced to leave the area due to the dramatic decrease in small prey and proximity to human activity.

  38. avatar Richie G. says:

    Yes WM a great deal is national forest even in New England New Hampshire has a big national forest. Plus in Adirondacks they want a gambling casino but who cares about wildlife.

  39. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    US Fish and Wildlife Service Relies on Taxonomic Shenanigans to Appease Wolf Haters

    And I would add to fool the public as well. They still have a loose end though. What to do about C. lycaon? Can’t have it both ways, exists as a species or doesn’t. How to explain the wolves in the Northeast. Better get cracking on that.

  40. avatar Richie G. says:

    Yes Ida Mt. Washington I went up that road any years with my Shelby Mustang, it is known as having the worst weather in the mountains and the wind speed was fastest ever clocked.

  41. avatar Richie G. says:

    JB I said this before they are appointed which means they
    are political hacks no more no less. They are not for saving wolves, I said is before when I visited the wolf foundation they knew where every pack was. I told my girlfriend this would lead to hunting down the live. I believe this was 20004 I think ? I knew they were chomping on the bit. This was all a big game. Plan and simple, they knew where every breeding pack was and you call this science. What science wolves have been around for thousands of years in many countries, just leave them alone the less we know the more the hunters can’t get them amend.

  42. avatar Richie G. says:

    many errors wanted to get my point out

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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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