Today, as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, the nation is taking notice of how Idaho is managing wolves just two years after they were stripped of the protection of the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Congress. This weekend anti-wolf forces are having a highly controversial 2-day wolf and coyote killing contest where two person teams will receive prizes for the biggest wolf and most coyotes they kill. At the same time, Idaho Department of Fish and Game has hired a private trapper to kill the entire Monumental Creek and Golden Creek packs of wolves deep inside one of the nation’s largest wilderness areas – the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area – far away from any livestock simply because an outfitter whined to an Idaho Department of Fish and Game commissioner.

The nation is taking notice. This morning the New York Times published a scathing editorial titled “Wolf Haters“, the Idaho Statesman published a Guest Opinion by Rick Johnson of the Idaho Conservation League, and even the BBC reported on the derby.

Idaho’s management of wolves is highly questionable. Since wolves were stripped of Endangered Species Act protection the population has declined by over 20%, Idaho Department of Fish and Game has hand captured and surgically implanted radio transmitters into pups that were just 9 lbs, they allow hunting year-round in some areas of the state, they have inflated the number of breeding pairs by changing the definition of what a breeding pair is, they have shot dozens of wolves in the Selway/Lochsa from helicopters, and now they are allowing wolf killing contests and hiring a trapper to kill wolves in the middle of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area with the permission of the US Forest Service who is letting the trapper stay at their Cabin Creek facility. The US Forest Service, by the way, should withdraw this permission since this kind of activity runs contrary to the Wilderness Act and requires a special use permit. The US Forest Service should conduct an open and public process before this activity proceeds any further.

This type of management has fueled the most virulent conflict among both sides of the debate. The Wildlife News receives virulent comments that never see the light of day on a regular basis. Things are heating up and the Idaho political system feeds the virulence or remains silent. People are even going so far as to poison pups at their den using an artificial sweetener touted by anti-wolf goons. 4 of them were found dead this spring.

Clearly Idaho’s predator management violates the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation. It violates it in many ways that I think have been spelled out well in this essay published on the For Nature’s Sake blog in October.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game needs to listen to the message that it received loud and clear at the Wildlife Summit that it organized last year. But, even before it finished, Director Virgil Moore dashed any hope that the Department would elevate the thoughts of the non-hunting and fishing community to the level impact that hunters and fishermen have. All Idahoans, and even non-Idahoans, have a stake in how Idaho’s wolves and wildlife are managed. Our wildlife deserves better than this politicized and virulent atmosphere that is brewing today. You need to start listening to all sides not just those who pitch a fit the loudest. Killing for fun is not sportsmen like. Killing wolves in the wilderness so that some rich hunter can shoot an elk on a guided trip violates the meaning of wilderness.

 
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About The Author

Ken Cole

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

442 Responses to Idaho’s Wolf Management Receives Scrutiny

  1. avatar Eleanor says:

    As a supporter of Montana organizations like Keystone Conservation, Buffalo Field Campaign, Alliance for Wild Rockies, I sign petitions, donate, write to ID and MT state departments, Federal depts, tourism bureaus, etc. What more can we do to bring about positive change when living out of the area?

    • avatar rick says:

      I second Eleanor’s question. If we get clear direction we can win this battle.

    • avatar Eric Mills says:

      Here are a few suggestions: These wildlife massacres are not unique to Idaho. They occur in many states, including California, New Mexico, Wisconsin, New York and elsewhere. And not just of wolves and coyotes. Other targets include prairie dogs, ground squirrels, woodchucks, bobcats, crows et al.

      We need to pass laws in every state banning this nonsense. Most state legislatures reconvene in early January. People across the nation should be contacting their state reps now demanding the necessary legislation. President Obama and the Secretary of the Interior should be hearing from us, too. And your Congressman/woman. Elect only pro-wildlife people to public office.

      Historically, almost 100% of the country’s Fish & Game Commissioners have been hunters or fishers or both. Most are appointed by the Governor. They generally do NOT represent the will of the people. Work to see that such bodies better mirror the public will. Get some biologists on these commissions, some non-hunters, some non-consumptive wildlife advocates.

      Write letters to newspapers, large and small, e.g., the aforementioned NEW YORK TIMES:
      letters@nytimes.com

      Might a tourism boycott be a partial solution? We don’t understand ethics very well, but we certainly understand money in this increasingly morally-bankrupt society.

      How about some paid ads featuring the piles of dead coyotes and the names of the participants? Might SHAME be a useful tool?

      • Excellent suggestions Eric. Especially contacting congressional reps before the session starts. They tell me that while in session there is too little time to respond to most interests.

      • avatar Christine Oliver says:

        Eric, I like all of your thoughts except the final one, and feel compelled to make a plug for our moving away from using “shaming” as a strategy for promoting wolf survival. This response is prompted not simply by your comment, but by how frequently I’ve seen shame attempted to this end.

        This is admittedly anecdotal, but in many years of experience as a therapist, I’ve witnessed an unbelievable human capacity for change and growth. Often from surprising places. Shame, however, more than any other single factor, seems to shut down that capacity. In my work, the general rule is that you have to be able to hear someone first if you hope for them to hear you. Empathy, not shame, can promote change.

        I know some folks who appear to take glee in hunting wolves are probably simply hateful people. I imagine that a lot of them, however, are people who feel small, who feel disempowered, and that wolves become the targets of this. I don’t know that attempting to make them feel smaller is going to help promote the survival of any more wolves though. I think shame can lead to a hunkering down and hardening of one’s position, and essentially back-fire.

        I’d like to propose that those of us who want to protect wolves redouble our efforts in other areas, and try to ease up a bit on the shame front.

        Thanks for your advocacy for wolves, and for hearing out my response to your final suggestion there.

        • avatar Melody Scamman says:

          Your post made me think about reworking tactics. You are mostly correct, IMO, because the group of angry wolf haters don’t care what we say, they are going to continue their weird transference of anger at the government to wolves no matter what we do as long as it is legal to do it and profitable. The trapper sent to exterminate two wolf packs in the Frank Church Wilderness is being paid $1,500 per wolf, of your tax dollars by USFS, who are ignoring their own policies. (Fraud, waste and abuse hotline to the IG might help?) This killing of extremely shy, non-aggressive to humans, wolves
          is making the US look even worse on the World stage! How would you advise us to deal with this issue?
          Defenders has a petition out, which people can sign, critical of the kill order. However, the trapper is already in the woods.
          It will be a sad day for Wolves and the image of America if this is allowed to happen. Idaho has lost it’s way and so has USFS. It is a sad day for anyone who cares, especially school children who love and write reports on wolves and may be future wolf biologists? That is, if any wolves are left alive in Idaho?
          So how do you feel about just exposing the agencies, their directors, and the trapper to the press, nationally? Not shaming, as their own deeds do that once they hit the light of day, just making public that hard earned tax dollars are funding totally unneeded animal cruelty and extermination.
          When we do use the ‘name and shame tactic, it’s real effect is to keep people safe from the bloodthirsty, greedy people with no empathy, and also to not do business with them, both private business and agency business.
          You have a degree and I respect what you say but I also know that a certain group of people can not change their behavior, they can only learn to be politically correct in public if they want to. Those people don’t belong in administrative positions or in places where they might run into wildlife photographers, biologists, campers, or animal rights and wolf advocate groups. Humans are far more dangerous than wolves, especially the ones who feel no empathy and only think of themselves.
          For example, years ago, my husband rented a room to a childhood friend who needed a place to stay. Then one day the police showed up and told us he was a psychopath and suspected of at least two murders and and one kidnapping of a 9 year old girl. We told him we were going to remodel his room into a second floor bathroom and he had to move. He was very angry and we were afraid for our safety. Especially when we heard him trolling around outside our bedroom window, it turned out he had a loaded gun with the safety off. Now that is a real story of dodging a bullet! People should not be afraid to enjoy nature public lands. What is your advice for dealing with the dangerous people that find a ‘home’ being paid to kill or ordering it done through regulatory agencies in States of on federal land that the general public recreates on? Shouldn’t there be some kind of psych eval for attaining jobs where one may have to follow a kill order? Shouldn’t those in positions of power over the wildlife and public areas also have a degree in their field and be able to pass a psych eval because they are responsible for thousands of lives, human and animal? Do you think it would do any good and make America a safer place?
          I believe the government is changing the requirements for gun checks when purchasing a weapon to let hospitals release mental health records, it was on the news last night. Last year there was a story that Russia was going to require all their wildlife officers to pass a psych eval to get or stay employed. That makes me feel like America is an outcast and backward country regarding the treatment of wildlife and in protecting eco-tourists and others. I don’t often get to ask a question of someone in your field, I would appreciate you professional opinion.
          (Please excuse any typos, my tablet has a bad charging circuit and it acts up often)

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            Melody, I think your posts are beautifully written.

            I wonder why the wildlife sympathizers are always the ones expected to be understanding and to compromise. It is like we are being told, in so many words, that we are more capable of empathy. I usually do try to see an issue from the other side’s point of view – but find that you just open yourself up to be taken advantage of and that there is no intention of compromise. And the general public has the right to know what is going on with these barbaric derbies. I do not want my taxpayer dollars going to support things that I am ideologically opposed to. Let the anti-predator crowd shoulder the cost for it.

            • avatar Melody Scamman says:

              Greetings from frozen Maine, Ida!
              Thank you, I am glad you enjoy what I write.:-)
              The point that you captured was the sentence about legality. We should all give that some hard thought. Why is it even legal? Our Country is turning into some strange morphed wild west show and Roman circus and freak show. How can we ask other countries like China not to skin dogs alive/cook the alive, etc. if we are going to allow these killing contests, with armed 10 year old children? It is more than tax dollars, that is a potential legal avenue for which to sue to stop the WS and other agencies we pay taxes to support, kill our wild creatures when we have no say in it. Taxation without representation. They don’t ask us if they can wipe out a couple of remote, innocent wolf families. Maybe because they already know the answer? It is highly likely that there would be a massive public outcry!
              I am very much a fiscal conservative but I love all innocent creatures. Although I sometimes sound like a misanthrope, I love good hearted people who are kind to animals. Many great writers have noted one can tell instantly the nature of a person by how they treat animals. These hits ordered on animals who have done nothing wrong only convinces me all the more that we are moving into a human species divide, beyond the politics. That there is a paradigm shift in human evolution afoot. The nuckledraggers will be left behind. Probably perish by their owwastefullness and ignorance of how to live on less and less as the population around the world grows? The planet can’t survive the heavy load of human carnivores in the future. Because they fear change, they ignore the science. A recent poll of Congressional Republicans stated only 43% believe in evolution! That, my friend, is frightening! No wonder it was this crop of politicians that is behind the Gray Wolf Delisting! There is a pervasive lack of wisdom in Washington, DC and the States are taking advantage of it for their own gain. Trickle-down greed. I’m not giving the Democrats a free pass either, it was Jon Testor’s seat that cost the wolves so dearly. But that couldn’t have happened without a lot of dirty dealing by those we pay dearly to represent us. Over a million of us spoke out against the delisting! I heard a figure of $140 million dollars was spent for wolf restoration.
              About a year ago, I was chatting with Nabeki about a possible conspiracy going all the way back to before wolves were reintroduced. She suspected that too because wolves were listed as experimental on the ESA list. I think if that is true the we were all fooled and screwed-over by the big money trophy hunters. Back in my days working in some of Nader’s organizations, I was always taught to follow the money and look out for items stuffed into last minute votes. I picked up some rough terms from Ralph and sometimes I blurt one out like I did aimed at a certain wolf biologist. It’s a bad habit and I have to work more on ‘Beauty is Truth’, than ripping someone a new one! Feel free to kindly correct me, sometimes I get on a roll with wolf issues and water issues. My husband is no help with correcting me, he called Nestle Water’s and Poland Spring’s management a bunch of ‘corporate whores’ along with their lawyers, too.
              The book is now available on Amazon by Walter Bailey about how Shapleigh and Newfield, ME took on Nestle and voted them out of our towns, with the help of celdf.org, using personhood! Our group was POWWR, (Protect Our Water and Wildlife Resorces). We helped Walter edit his book but we are not in the book because at the time he was employed by the Navy and had to worry about his job security. So I totally understand wolf biologists using just their first name on posts! But we are retired now so I can talk about it. It was my idea to give personhood to wolves and appoint pro-wolf biologists and advocates to act as their guardians of the person on a volunteer basis with a mission statement to act in the wolve’s best interest. Not individual wolves but geographical populations.
              That would stop all the wolf killing except for those few problem wolves caught in the act of preying on farm animals by a range rider, which the rancher would have to pay for himself or learn to properly care for his cattle or sheep and coexist with predators. I’m not favoring the wolf, they are just the first political sacraficial animal, so since they are the test case on the sturdiness of the ESA, they have to be protected first. I am counting on the empathy of good people to take a stand and fight back against the small minority that kill without remorse or consequences. Or in the immortal words of Woody Gutherie, ‘As through this life you travel, you meet some funny men.
              Some rob you with a six-gun, and some with a fountain pen’.

              • Dear Melody–Thank you for your clear thinking and ideas. You nailed it when you asked “Why is it even legal?” It is high time for a sweeping piece of federal legislation called The Wildlife Protection Act.

              • avatar Melody Scamman says:

                Thank you Barbara! Certainly just because an animal is not ‘private property’, why then should it be legal to abuse them or kill them? Even most animals considered ‘stock’ end up in the food supply but live a short, sorry life before we or pets eat them. If I have to read another post from some welfare rancher whining about about wolves, I am going to get a migraine! Some of them just do not and will not ever get the big picture and short of having a law against abusing animals of all kinds, nothing will change, it will remain insane. That said, wolves have to be fast tracked back to protected and likely the only way to save Red Wolves and Mexican Gray Wolves in the wild will have to be a ban on lethal hunting of Coyotes and a ban on leg-hold traps and snares and poisons. How far does the Wildlife Protection Act go and where is it at in the process?
                There needs to be an immediate effort to stop killing contests. Not only for the targeted animals but for the children who are born innocent but forever changed by killing for money, and never for the better! The way things have been going for animals here, I half expect the radical right to dig up Andrew Jackson and run him for president. ( just kidding, of course, we have term limits now).

          • avatar Jay says:

            Not sure where you get your “facts” from Melody, or if you just make it up as you go–the trapper is not being paid $1500 of “your tax dollars by the USFS”. He was hired by the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game, so presumably he’s earning an hourly wage from revenue from license and tag sales from hunters: http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/idaho-wildlife-officials-hire-hunter-to-kill-wolves-in-wilderness/article_f13abff8-680f-11e3-9df0-0019bb2963f4.html

            It’s fine and good to have an opinion, but at least take a little time to check your facts, otherwise you’re just gossiping.

            • avatar Robert Goldman says:

              Jay, now that you have made this correction like a third grade teacher, how about being really constructive by helping to stop the murder of two families of wilderness wolves who still live in the living hell that is Idaho. Correct this huge sin before it happens.

              • avatar Jay says:

                I guess a factual comment means nothing to you Robert–hyperbole and bullshit is the rule with your type. At least a third grader can have a conversation without inserting made up facts–you should take a lesson from them.

            • avatar Robert Goldman says:

              By the way, Jay, you are incorrect with YOUR “facts.” This wolf killing devil has been allowed to stay, with his murder tools, at a USFS cabin which is funded by all Americans through the taxes we pay. Therefore, this devil is financed in part with federal taxpayer money. In addition to being an immoral and criminal murder of innocents, it is taxation without representation, one of the principles on which the American revolution was fought. This devil is doing the bidding of the devil named Butch Otter and the devils of the Idaho legislature. What a sick state, just as Wisconsin, Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Minnesota and Michigan are as well. Everything Idaho must be boycotted: their potatoes, visits there (including with family), skiing, everything. We need to cause massive pain to counter the massive pain and brutality these devils are inflicting on wolves, on other wildlife and on the millions of Americans and our wildlife loving friends from around the world who care so much for all of God’s Creation.

              • avatar Jay says:

                Damn Robert, that cabin must have saved it’s allowance for a long time and had a very sound financial advisor to be able to afford to pay the trapper $1500/wolf. You’d think the cabin would rather invest in putting a new roof on its head or something, but that’s the impetuousness of wilderness cabins–they always want to splurge on impulse purchases.

              • avatar Robert Goldman says:

                Jay, what are you smoking?

              • avatar Melody Scamman says:

                When I posted that figure, it came from a newspaper article that I had recently read. If I could remember it, I would tell you, Jay! But that line did stick in my mind and to my best recollection, is what the reporter stated. I was wondering why USFS would pick up the tab, too?
                As for who gets paid how much to do what in Idaho, I haven’t a clue on a personal level. I do know some guides charge triple that to take some jerk wolf hunting. Kinda stupid and very twisted people out there who are not happy if they are not killing predators. If Idaho wants these two wolf packs gone, then, why not capture and remove them to a sanctuary that can deal with wild wolves? Let who ever was whining about them to begin with pay for it. It sucks when they use taxpayer money to pay trappers to kill animals that are not diseased or bothering anyone. Is it just a few of us who smell a rat or more likely a back room political deal?

              • avatar Jay says:

                Well apparently somebody is paying the trapper $1500 per wolf because Melody said so (therefore it MUST be true), and it sure as shit isn’t the USFS, and since IDFG is paying him an hourly wage, then that USFS cabin you pointed out MUST be the one shelling out those $1500 checks.

              • avatar Robert Goldman says:

                Jay, isn’t freedom of speech great. Too bad the criminal wolf killing perverts don’t practice it. Folks like you, WM and Montana Boy get to post your cynical and contemptuous propaganda against wolves and the true wolf defenders on this blog. Like WC Fields noted: no person is totally useless they can always be used as a bad example.

              • avatar Jay says:

                Robert “Scott Rockholm” Goldman: you are just the flip side of the same coin. No wonder nobody takes you seriously.

              • avatar Robert Goldman says:

                Again, “Jay” just have to wonder what you are smoking. And tone down your misdirected hatred stuff. It’s so similar to your misdirected hatred of wolves.

              • avatar Montana Boy says:

                Robert
                I think your cause could be helped with reading this:

                http://www.mtpioneer.com/2014-January-Top-Yellowstone-Expert.html

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Robert,

                This could be attributed to one or all of three men, all wise: Samuel Johnson; Abraham Lincoln; Mark Twain.

                “It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

                Share some thought, cut out the innuendos and the criminal accusations. Shut up and try to learn something, otherwise what Jay wrote is correct, you’re just the other side of the coin, which makes you no better.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                Immer,
                +15.
                this blog has taken a decided turn for the worse

              • avatar Melody Scamman says:

                Jeff, the reporter was incorrect. I checked and Idaho is paying for the trapper. That will be the last time I repeat a newspaper quote unless I remember who wrote it. I am sorry for the confusion and I appreciate you questioning the facts. You were correct and that is that on the money issue!
                There are still other issues and according to Jamie Rappaport Clark, Defenders will be taking Idaho to court.

              • avatar Ken Cole says:

                Yeah, that is a pretty stupid statement by Robert. It could have been made without using the word “devil” to describe everyone and the stuff about taxation without representation is over the top.

              • avatar Robert Goldman says:

                Ken, did you actually write that? This wolf killer is not doing the work of the devil? He surely is and that makes him one. And the US Forest Service can let this devil use a USFS cabin, which we all pay for, with no public hearing as to its use, in order to kill wilderness wolves? That is an immoral use of taxpayer money and is taxation without representation. Of course, there are many examples of misuse of taxpayer funds. This is one if those I am outraged over.

              • avatar Ken Cole says:

                Yes, I did write that. And I agree with JB’s assessment of your comments. When you personalize an argument and start calling people names or dehumanizing them it blows your credibility.

                To the point about taxation without representation and misuse of taxpayer funds. These two issues are not the same. I agree that there is a misuse of taxpayer funds but your argument that this is taxation without representation seems to fall flat.

                I don’t believe in the devil.

                I’m outraged at Idaho’s wolf management too but I cringe at some of the rhetoric you and many others toss around. It’s not good form.

              • avatar Robert Goldman says:

                Ken, I don’t agree with everything you write either. I also noticed that being so polite and rational has resulted in thousands of wolves being murdered for years. Your approach and work is vital, so is mine and the many others who do the best they can to protect wolves. We have all failed them, so far, including you.

              • avatar Ken Cole says:

                Also, I have seen no evidence that he is being paid $1500/wolf. I don’t know his salary.

              • avatar JB says:

                Robert et al.

                You lose so much credibility when you so callously toss about words like ‘murder’ and ‘devil’. Every day, all across the world, animals are killed for food, to protect people (and our animals), or because they are just an inconvenience. Most people, most of the time, support such efforts. Yet you have offered no principle for articulating why, in this case, such killing of wildlife constitutes ‘murder’ and is ‘criminal’. Likewise, you offer no analysis of the law to support your claims; and to you insult those who generally agree with you (insomuch as the do not support such actions), but question your rhetoric.

                Until you can clearly articulate the reasons you object to such actions, supporting your arguments with logic, ethical principles, science, and/or sound legal reasoning, you’re just another angry guy venting with his keyboard.

              • avatar MJ says:

                Agree that we are normalized to violence against animals, but believe that violence in modern life and nature is inevitable.

                To put that into perspective, we have been normalized to wars, racism, genocide, natural disaster throughout history. There is an important difference between believing that something is beyond your control and actually supporting it. When there is a reasonable chance that something can be done “a better way”, and an individual can make a difference, they are more likely to take an action than if they feel that something is inevitable or futile.

                Are the conditions of most of our modern farm animals necessary or is this an extreme level of cruelty in the interest of making just a little more profit for agribusiness? Is the current treatment of wildlife a part of the same political structure that by nature supports free enterprise and is lubricated by lobbies whose money is from corporations?

                More people are beginning to feel that over-consumption of natural resources and animal cruelty are important issues. Many people don’t know the detail of where their “products” come from, and when informed become upset, angry or don’t want to know. That is not support, it’s acceptance. People “evolve”, and that is what I believe people are talking about here regarding policy and law.

                http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/balancing-business-interests-and-endangered-species-protection/?use_credit=4de81d9105c85bca6e6e4666e6dd536a

          • avatar Christine Oliver says:

            Hi Melody-
            Sorry to only be replying now- somehow I missed the notification of your response to my initial post.
            I wish I had the answers. I do think that tactics such as contacting legislators, writing letters to editors, promoting a more informed view of wolves amongst those we know, supporting organizations such as Defenders, Center for Biological Diversity, Red Wolf Coalition, etc. can make a difference. I also like the idea of asserting the importance (economic and otherwise)and presence of “non-consumptive wildlife users.” (As well as the idea that groups like Wolves of the Rockies is promoting where non-consumptive users have mechanisms to help pay for state “conservation” activities- if we are helping pay the bill, we have a lot more voice in ensuring those activities are truly about conservation, not just promoting the hunting of game). And I completely support contacting any companies or agencies that are sponsoring or supporting anti-wolf activities and speaking our mind- that had at least some impact in the recent killing derby, with the local NAPA chain pulling its sponsorship, and BLM being called on not following their own procedures and then going back and following them. I completely agree with Ken above that the USFS should be called on supporting this hunt that is in contradiction of the North American Model for Wildlife Conservation. I have no problem with agencies and companies being called out, and indeed think it is essential that we do.
            I do agree with you- and have said often to others- that so much of the vitriol directed at wolves is really meant for the government- wolves are paying the price due to what they represent to some. But I also think that there are probably a lot of people who support hunts not because those people are actually anti-wolf but because those hunts are in their mind connected to a “way of life” that is important to them. I’m currently reading Barbara Kingsolver’s novel “Flight Behavior,” in which the economic needs of an Appalachian family come to be pitted against monarch butterfly habitat- the main character loves the butterflies and has quarrels with her in-laws, but is fundamentally in and of this place. A passage in the novel stuck out to me today
            “Nobody truly decided for themselves. There was too much information. What they actually did was scope around, decide who was looking out for their clan, and sign on for the memos on a wide array of topics.”
            This is a big part of why I think shaming (which I do separate from holding agencies etc accountable) in general is a counter-productive tactic. And I see some pro-wolf folks engaging in it- for example in commentary on news articles or on FB- calling other people stupid, saying they should be ashamed of themselves etc. Anyone who can identify with the person who is being called stupid or immoral is likely then, in my opinion, to close their mind to any pro-wolf argument. They will back up their clan. I guess we all do.
            So maybe for me the answer lies in putting our energy into putting out facts and cogent arguments for co-existing with wolves, instead of attacking another person’s character. And maybe we even start with grounding our position in our understanding of theirs’, something like “I understand the concern about lost economic activity with lower elk populations, but recent research by ecologists such as Scott Creel has demonstrated that, with the exception of a couple of places, wolves are not the major factor in any elk decline, and in fact there are other areas where wolves exist in which elk populations are increasing. Wolves help promote healthy herds by culling weaker or sick animals. They also offer their own potential for economic gain, as has been seen around Yellowstone…” I know that a lot of people DO express these sentiments, and what I see on this website is incredibly well articulated and salient. But I do informally see a lot of the stuff in the “wolf hunters are the vermin, not wolves” vein, and I just don’t think it helps our cause. Which is why, when I saw the call for shaming, I felt compelled to comment myself…
            With regards to the question of psych evals- working in mental health, I’ve seen enough of how loosely diagnostic labels can be thrown around, and the ways that money can buy “better” assessments to be leery of that as a criteria, but I agree that degrees in one’s field make a lot of sense, and maybe some demonstration of proficiency in reading scientific literature and conducting scientific studies!
            In an aside- I spent 20 years living on the East Coast, and felt delicious shivers at the thought of wolves returning to Maine!
            Sorry for my wordiness!
            Christine

            • avatar Melody Scamman says:

              Christine, you are very well-meaning, civilized and diplomatic. Polar opposite of these killing derby types. I think you are a nice person. But wolf-haters just seem to always attack people like you. I no longer waste my time arguing or even trying to educate the ones who are thrill killers and animal abusers. In the real world of the slim chance one might someday want to change, I know it won’t be something I said that made that happen. But something I say to a child might?

        • avatar Robert Goldman says:

          Christine, we can call “shaming” by another name but I believe that the killers and the politicians who are in bed with them must be “shamed” in some way. Meaning they must be called out for their criminal behavior and their crimes against wolves and all of nature. This exposes them to the world. From there, we know who our enemies are, so that we can then fight for change, change the laws that enable their behavior, boycott their products and businesses, etc. I respectfully disagree with you.

          • avatar Christine Oliver says:

            Hi Robert,
            I have no problem with calling folks out- and absolutely agree that we have to- but think the most productive way to do so is with respectful arguments against the positions they support, and by asking them to be accountable to the values they purportedly espouse, as the story above does. For me, the term “shame” refers to aspersions about someone’s very character/inherent worth. I personally think that those tactics are counter-productive: not only is there almost no chance that that person themselves will change their position, but we also run the risk of losing the potential to change the minds of others who could become pro-wolf, but who identify in some other aspect with the person being shamed (more of my thoughts on this are above in the response I just wrote to Melody).
            We can certainly respectfully disagree. Thanks for hearing me out.

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              I sure hope that these people with such sterling character on the anti-wolf side will treat the wolf advocates and environmentalists with the same respect. Somehow I doubt it.

            • avatar JB says:

              “…not only is there almost no chance that that person themselves will change their position, but we also run the risk of losing the potential to change the minds of others who could become pro-wolf, but who identify in some other aspect with the person being shamed…”

              +1 (Mike: are you listening to this?)

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                It’s the same thing that happened with the anti-wolf side (politicians includede) – they ran that risk and now everybody sees them poorly.

              • avatar Robert Goldman says:

                Ida, I truly believe that one big reason so many people dislike and distrust Pres. Obama, is due to the fact that so many decent Americans have heard and witnessed how unconcerned he is for the nation’s wildlife. His anti-wolf, pro-sport killer policies are not the secret he and his aides likely think they are. It’s become clear that Obama is as contemptuous of animal and wildlife lovers and advocates as are the governors of the wolf killing states, both democrat and republican. The same goes for the other clueless democrats, Pelosi, Read, Boxer, Franken, etc who abandoned wolves and our native wildlife to liars and thugs. By the way, I’m still a registered, though hugely disillusioned, democrat. And I will never stop fighting for wolves against any a-holes of any party.

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                And I beg to differ about human capacity for growth and change, maybe in some instances, but certainly not here.

                Here there is no change except for the worse, and the situation deteriorates daily for wolves and other wildlife. There is no chance for their protection without legal and government intervention.

                This attitude is not realistic. Compromise was agreed to in good faith about delisting and hunting, and instead we got lies, backroom deals, extremely ‘liberal’ hunting methods and lengthened seasons, killing contests, and our petitions and letters thrown in the garbage. That’s the reality of the situation.

              • avatar Robert Goldman says:

                Ida, you are unfortunately completely correct. Christine, what you say sounds nice but it is not grounded in reality. A sinister, hateful and criminal element is driving the wolf killers, and many of the politicians and “scientists” who are enabling the killing. It is a brutal part of the historic American way that has been rejected by an evolving humane majority but not by powerful dead enders who must be boldly challenged and confronted on all fronts: moral, legal, legislative, educational, economic and in person.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                +2
                To Christine’s original comment and to JB’s follow up.

              • avatar Christine Oliver says:

                To Ida and Robert: I am NOT arguing against legal and government intervention. I am arguing for civility, and caution with “shaming” strategies as we all fight to protect wolves. If for no other reason, because I think it is our best option for actually supporting wolf survival. If someone is angry with me because of my words, they can’t take it out on me, but they can take it out on wolves. That’s horrible and sad, and I am working my hardest to keep protections in place where they still exist, and to get them restored where they no longer do, but it’s also a current reality.
                That’s my perspective, based on my training in psychology and a decade plus of working with people and seeing where shame and shaming leads. I hope you will take it in the spirit in which it is offered: an attempt to best support wolf recovery. I know that people can disagree, and I think I’ve said my piece, so I will leave it here. Thanks to all who work to support these essential animals.
                p.s. thanks to JB and Immer for your comments!

              • avatar JB says:

                “If someone is angry with me because of my words, they can’t take it out on me, but they can take it out on wolves.”

                Precisely. And if they can’t take it out on wolves directly (i.e., they are incapable of finding and dispatching a wolf on their own), they surely can lobby their Congressmen, berate state agency officials, and contribute to interest groups that oppose wolves.

                No one ever changed anyone’s mind by calling him (or her) names. Confronting people with logic and data may not work on an individual with particularly entrenched attitudes either–but you are far more likely to win over those who are standing on the sidelines watching the fight.

  2. avatar rick says:

    I attended a Idaho Fish and Game meeting that was open for public comment. Of those who spoke on wolves 32 of 36 stated that too many wolves are being killed and that trapping is inhumane. In their meeting, the next day, Idaho Fish and Game double the number of wolves that can be shot and trapped.
    The majority of people in Idaho want more protection for wolves. We desperately need someone to lead this majority.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Rick this is a very interesting observation on a number of fronts. I’ve thought for a long time that even in states hell bent on killing wolves, the general public may not be so keen on doing so. I first became interested in this as Idaho prepared for its first hunt. The state put out a wildly biased and hard to answer “survey” about hunting wolves. I worked with another woman to develop a logging document to catalogue the comments. we asked for and received the comments. There were over 600 pages of comments to document. For various reasons we only got to 300 pages, but the number of comments against the hunt or against the methods of hunting were disproportionately against hunting as outlined by IDFG. In the interim, we used the template to catalogue the comments in MI and were able to determine that only 13 out of thousands of comments were in favor of hunting. I’ve got to be gone for month but when I return one of the things on my plate is to revisit the Idaho comments. Perhaps I let it slide as the urgency wasn’t there at the time, but with killing wolves in wilderness and the crazy shot going on now that first survey and the result might be very valuable information. As an aside, I also received the first two sets of comments from Montana and saw similar opposition to the wide scale and aggressive killing. The result of cataloguing the comments in MI and partly completing the Idaho and Montana comments lead me to ask, just who are these agencies working for? It certainly does not appear to be the general public.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        shot should have been sh…t!
        If anyone has time in February to work on completing the cataloguing of comments to IDFG, I’d greatly appreciate it. we have a form and the comments that can be sent and cut and pasted. Its time consuming but the key we developed makes it easy. We send out a test document to ensure that the cataloguer follows the protocols for cataloging and if you pass you can comment. Its one thing to bitch about an issue and quite another to take time to actually do something. Providing a record to document public opinion against hunting wolves is valuable information.

    • avatar PAMELA MASICH says:

      Rick, Since the politicians in Idaho are not listening to the majority of the people of Idaho, people that care need to to email, call, write letters and vote them out of office, there are thousands of people around the country are so upset about this barbaric senseless hunt!

  3. The term “management” is another one of those words like “harvest” that is substituted for KILL by state game departments in an attempt to make killing animals palatable to the general public.
    It would be more honest to call it a Wolf Killing Plan.

    • avatar jon says:

      100% truth. Wolves and other carnivores don’t need to be killed. It is a CHOICE to kill something. I think it sickens many people to know that Idaho fish and game are purposely trying to manipulate animal populations just so trigger happy hunters can have animals to shoot, trap, and kill. Idaho fish and game are catering to a small, but loud minority of extremists. A hunter’s right to kill an elk is not more important than a wolf’s right to kill an elk.

  4. avatar Donald J. Jackson says:

    I no longer have a desire to contribute to this blog. Ralph, you have let it get out of hand.

    Ken you don’t want to meet me in the woods.

    • avatar Darrell Smith says:

      Wow, Donald J. Jackson. A public ill-conceived threat. Put the whiskey down and just back away from your keyboard.

      • avatar Darrell Smith says:

        Sounds like Donald Jackson is out of hand too. You must be one of the mods yourself or this threat wouldn’t have been posted. You need to take it down.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      SB – many times over the years, I’ve felt the frustration in your comments, that some of us who comment here, are just not going about “this or that” the right way, we just don’t get and that you have better ideas. Problem is, when we ask about those better ideas or ways to get involved, there’s no further response from you.

      Many of us who spend anytime on the Wildlife News, writing, emailing or calling those involved (officials) in positions to make a difference with wildlife issues, know its pretty much a waste of time. Its about politics, not science. A majority of us here also know that out of the hundreds of organizations out there professing to address these issues, a handful actually do anything other than line their coffers.

      I personally don’t see where the WN site has gotten that out of hand but it has attracted a lot more people recently, who are asking questions, sharing thoughts & concerns and asking how to get better involved with wildlife issues because we all have a stake in the welfare & treatment of wildlife.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      SB,

      You were the first to respond to my original post on TWN. I was a bit naive to the blog world, but after your response to me, I cued into your responses, and I viewed them as a voice of reason.

      As I continue, this is not meant to be judge mental, but sitting across the table, libations of choice, with a friend. Over the years, you have become involved in so many little “pissing” matches, that it’s been fairly easy to see the evolution of your frustration, and that you have become increasingly defensive. You have high ideals, and understand what is legal and not. You are noble in your standards.

      Avoid those skirmishes that result in nothing but dead ends and use your logic for some of the heavies on this blog like JB and WM. You’re a man of the outdoors. Share your experiences, both hunting and non. You were a soldier with ideals. Wildlife in this country requires ideals such as yours. Please continue to share your strengths with those of us who value a blog such as TWN.

      • avatar Barb Rupers says:

        Well said, Immer.

      • avatar Jeff N. says:

        Immer,

        I’m not going to engage you in an argument. I respect the knowledge and thoughtfulness that you, JB, WM, Cody, Nancy, bring to this site on a regular basis. I also appreciate the posts of Brian Ertz , Larry, Ken, Ralph, and others who have convictions, credentials ,and passions that go beyond just “commenting” here.

        Sadly, SBDJJ has always come across as a person who accepts the status quo and his/her rhetoric has never matched his/her supposed credentials or activism. I’ve always questioned the authenticity of what SBDJJJ proclaims and who he/she is and what he /she knows. My 2cents.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Jeff N
          Thanks for the compliment…
          And to continue with being non argumental…
          I think if one follows SB’s comments and exchanges over the years, one sees a movement towards confrontation. So much energy wasted on what I referred to as “pissing” matches. That steady adrenaline drip, even in the cyber world (as JEFF E pointed out to me) drains ones energy.

          None of us really know one another here other than what we post, and what we share about ourselves. Sometimes, the more we share, the more protective and skeptical we become, as someone else pops in here for a while looking for an edge or to take said individual down a notch.

          When I first began posting here, I looked at what SB wrote as very objective, yet with little patience for fools (or his opinion as such). Was he correct all the time. I think not, you two locked horns a few times and it wasn’t pretty. SB and I came close a couple times, but rather than going on and grinding it out, I think we both realized nothing good would come from it.

          TWN is an outlier in regard to the views posted. Someone makes a mistake, there is always someone, usually with a dollop of discretion, to correct said individual. I guess I looked at SB as one who took this upon himself.

          I really can’t say anymore, other this reply to you was in good faith.

    • avatar Zoe Berger says:

      Donald – so cryptic. What am I missing that you are finding so objectionable?

    • avatar jon says:

      That sounds like a threat from savebears. Someone save that comment.

      • avatar Paul says:

        This guy has been pulling this crap for years on this blog. Do a little fact checking on his “wounded warrior” claims and other BS that he spouts and you will have your answers. Call a bully a bully and a fake a fake. The internet is full of these keyboard tough guys that build a fake persona around themselves and people eat it right up. This is not the first time this guy has made threats to other posters and it will not be the last if something isn’t done. It’s one thing to have passionate arguments it is quite another to threaten those that post or write on this site. I have been on the receiving end of one of his threats myself. How many chances does a person get on this site before they are banned?

      • Donald J.Jackson

        Threatening someone in Idaho by phone or mail is a felony in Idaho. 5 years in the state pen.

        • avatar jon says:

          sb brings shame to wildlife biologists. I’ve never seen a former wildlife biologist act the way he does on a internet blog. sb is a bully. That’s all I will say about that.

          • Working as an unpaid intern for a few months does not make SB a wildlife biologist. He didn’t ever get hired as a biologist.

            • avatar jon says:

              I thought sb was a wildlife biologist that used to work for Montana fish and wild parks? Was that not the truth? He was telling people that he used to be a wildlife biologist for Montana fish and wild parks on here.

              • avatar Paul says:

                Jon,

                He was telling people all kinds of BS and many people here bought right into it. I saw through this guy from day one and when I pointed it out I got attacked by the usual suspects. When someone claims to be so many fantastic things over, over, and over the odds are very high that they are full of it. As a (pre-9/11) vet I have been around soldiers most of my life and not once has a combat vet or someone that was wounded talked about it so openly and often. That was the first red flag. And did anyone else find it funny that for a “sportsman” that claimed to spend so much time in the wild they were always on here to attack people on a daily basis? You can draw your own conclusions.

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      I won’t miss Donald J. Jackson, aka SB. He was usually cranky, egotistical, and demeaning to other posters. As Nancy said, Donald never offered solutions, but he definitely was quick to hammer others. And, despite what he said, he couldn’t take criticism.

      Donald felt he was smarter and more logical than everyone else, but he wasn’t. He faulted wolf-advocates for being emotional (compassionate to wolves), but that is the one human trait he seemed to be missing. He has serious problems that are not being addressed. Too much anger.

    • avatar Jeff N. says:

      I took a little heat, from a few of the people posting here, calling out SaveDonald for what I believed he represented. I decided then to tone down my rhetoric in regard to his posts. Now I’m feeling a little vindicated to say the least.

      Adios SBDJ…..saw right thru you from square one. I called SBDJ a phony and still believe that. How’s that important “brief” coming along Donald?

      • avatar jon says:

        I blocked sb a while ago because he would constantly send me emails because he was pissed off because me and him got into it on here a few times and he threatened to sue me for libel because he thought I damaged his reputation on here. He would email Ralph constantly and tell Ralph to ban me from here. This guy is supposed to be a vet and a former wildlife biologist, but he acted like an internet bully.

  5. Thanks for the info Ken. I appreciate your insight and opinion very much.

  6. avatar Mike says:

    And yet hunters sweep it all under the rug because they are cowards.

    They really are the worst.

  7. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Idaho Department of Fish and Game has hand captured and surgically implanted radio transmitters into pups that were just 9 lbs.

    This is concerning. What is this being done for, in lieu of visible tracking collars?

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Maybe its cheaper Ida than the bulky collars that may end up being “discarded” 8 wolves poached so far this year, 5 more “unknown”

      Can’t see the SSS crowd removing the collars and popping them in the mail.

    • avatar jon says:

      I would bet it’s because Idaho fish and game can track and kill that pack when it becomes a “problem” to Idaho fish and game. I know, disgusting.

  8. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Avoid those skirmishes that result in nothing but dead ends and use your logic for some of the heavies on this blog like JB and WM. You’re a man of the outdoors. Share your experiences, both hunting and non. You were a soldier with ideals. Wildlife in this country requires ideals such as yours. Please continue to share your strengths with those of us who value a blog such as TWN.

    +100! Couldn’t have expressed this better than Immer has. I noticed the same thing when I first started posting – you were welcoming, and when times got frustrating, your grounded sense and even humor could break the tension and make us smile. So let us now do the same for you, you’re only human after all and I’m sure you get frustrated too.

    I hope you’ll reconsider, and keep posting.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      I don’t think I can excuse a personal threat like the one he made. He just made my point for me.

      • avatar WM says:

        Ken,

        When you write the kind of introduction you did for this topic you stir the pot at the fringes on both sides of the wolf issue. Maybe you call it passion. I call it agitator journalism.

        You even got me a bit pissed, when reading it along side the NY Times editorial piece [you did fail to mention it was a single author editorial piece by the way], the content of which no doubt was “coached” from somewhere. Wonder who that could have been?

        Step away from your computer, take a deep breath [maybe cut back on the caffeine], and try a little objectivity.

        And, by the way it WAS ALWAYS intended the ID wolf population would be managed/reduced, pursuant to non-essential experimental wolf reintroduction plan minimum population goals, federal regulations promulgated under 10(j) of the ESA to address impacts to ungulate populations, after years of delay, after delay, the product of costly and deceitful litigation involving outright fricking lies from some of the plaintiff lawyers and their witnesses. And, you wonder why the Congressional rider was crafted and passed?

        • avatar Robert Goldman says:

          Ken, when you write the kind of essay you posted above, along with the well written and honest introduction, it gives me hope that the truth will spread and justice will prevail at some point soon, as long we keep defending wolves and all wildlife.

          • avatar Melody Scamman says:

            Good point, Bob! Are you still in Maine? When you called me last spring, you woke me up from a deep nap and I really wasn’t able to collect my thoughts. Do you want to meet with me over a cup of coffee someplace public? Let’s work together, we are on the same team and wolves lives are being snuffed out. I would like to have someone volunteer to fly orphan wolf pups to sanctuary in Maine. We MUST save them from the haters! Help me set something up, ok?
            And for those wondering what they can do, the time for action has come! In the form of peaceful civil disobedience such as marches and protests and concerts to fund wolf sanctuaries in states that value wolves! Inviting the press and educating them. We need activist training and can probably do that with those who have tar sands activist training? The goals are the same. What I have noticed is that except for the leadership, wolf people are kind and sweet and middle-aged to elderly. They know what changed the world in the 1960′s, they lived through it. We wouldn’t have the ESA if it were not for the environmental movement! Politicians need votes and support. They will get with the program or be ‘delisted’ themselves. We can not have in-fighting. We must all form a coheasive movement and keep our disagreements off the blogs.
            We need communication, cooperation and no more consessions to the wolf haters. We have backed off enough! Now we need to let them hang themselves with their own ropes by making public all the crazy things they do and even now that they are teaching they children to hate wolves and coyotes! Also teaching them to kill, breeding psychopaths! We have not gotten out of hand, the haters have. For the common good, we must force politicians to comply with ESA mandates and ban killing contests and all the evil things the killers do! And demand laws with teeth, not a slap on the wrist!
            Those who think killing a few wolves let’s haters blow off steam have probably come to see by now that this only breeds more hate, more killing? If not, look at it this way, does letting child molesters rape a few children let them blow off steam? The research is there, it only makes them more dangerous!
            And, yes, I do equate the sickness of mind of those who have killing derbys and round ups of wolves and coyotes with child molesters! They just found a legal way to get their sick fix! Why our politicians support them is they vote as a block. We need to get more organized and do the same. We are supposed to have a representitive government, we need to hold the politicians to government by and for the people! Not by the corporations, for the corporations! Why do I say corporations? Because groups like the NRA are corporations. They have personhood under the law.
            You can take Democracy School online for free at CELDF.org. Y can also look up most coursework online for free at MIT. We must be dedicated to ending the wolf slaughter. Some day in the future, I hope to grant wolves personhood. Why not, they are living beings, certainly, corporations are not! This can be done, community by community, with dedication to educate the citizens!

        • avatar Ranger Joe says:

          The (illogical) assumption here is that because a state governmental entity has made a decision then it is valid and that anyone who questions is just choking on sour grapes rather than stating a legitimate criticism of the decision.

          No wonder people hate lawyers. They have no respect for the truth, for example, the truth that nowhere in the two wolf recovery areas (GYE and Central Idaho) has anyone scientifically demonstrated an additive impact on elk populations by wolf predation. No one.

          Reintroduction of wolves under the 10j rule was a fraud from the beginning. All it does is provide shallow cover to rednecks to do what rednecks are going to do anyway.

          • avatar WM says:

            Ranger Joe,

            Perhaps you can explain the reduction in Yellowstone NP elk populations post-1988 fires, then. Wasn’t the wolf reintroduction to YNP, in part predicated/justified on reducing elk populations? So, if there is no ADDITIVE depredation of elk by wolves the initial reintroduction was partially fraud in the inducement.

            The question is how much is additive and how much is compensatory. So let’s just stand on our chairs, watch held high over our heads while you spin some more bullshit.

            • avatar Ranger Joe says:

              Have a masters in wildlife ecology, studied wolves. The only bullshit is coming from you.

              • avatar MJ says:

                My biology training may be human, but I know how to find, read, and understand the research, and even I know that the elk population exploded to disproportionate numbers when wolves were extirpated. This point continues to be glossed over (usually) even though addressed above. Reintroduction started to correct the balance, the elk are still there and are more avoidant. The balance from nature does not account for the “needs” of non-sustenance hunters, that’s the issue. How does splitting hairs over whether the natural apex took which numbers make sense when we don’t count the animals accurately, don’t account for promises of poaching, and this issue is primarily driven by politics and consumption, not achieving a healthy ecosystem? The regs don’t pay attention to the will of most people in the states in question, and don’t respond to public outrage.

                The cherry picking of facts to distort the big picture and incite hatred against wildlife comes from big hunting orgs, and it is believed by a lot of people. That’s a big issue.

                Most of the anger coming from pro-hunt people throw out total fabrication as facts. I would love to see the wolves thrive in an area where the community is receptive until cultures can change. They don’t deserve to pay for our politics.

            • avatar WM says:

              Ranger Joe,

              If you training is as you state, then answer the previous question, then. And, while at it, why is calf recruitment down in some areas where wolves increased in number. Then, also comment on the work of Dan Stahler, et al., that looked at wolf nutritional requirements and where their protein was coming from. Here, sport, I’ll make it easy for ya.

              http://jn.nutrition.org/content/136/7/1923S.full

              So, those calves and bulls would have died anyway. Bullshit!

              • avatar Ken Cullings says:

                A few facts about the elk issue. First, yes wolves eat elk. No news flash there. It was expected that their numbers would decrease in some areas. Question is, is this necessarily a bad thing? Second, the vast majority of hunting zones elk numbers are at or above target; Third, reductions in elk numbers has improved overall ecosystem health; fourth where reductions are seemingly observed this reduction is often due to changes in elk behavior rather than over-predation by wolves; fifth, elk numbers are actually too HIGH in some areas, even adjacent to the Park. Next to Wolf Ground Zero. Prompting the head of the Wyoming F&G Dept to state that they need to increase elk hunting because, and I quote “we just can’t kill enough elk”; Finally, hunter success is as high or higher now than they have been at any time in the past.

                Hence to answer: no, wolf impacts simply are NOT a serious problem. Not biologically (where they are a huge benefit), not economically (where again they are a huge benefit in terms of money brought to local communities by wolf viewers) and not in hunting impacts.

              • avatar Ranger Joe says:

                One of the things I realized when I got back from Afghanistan is that people in the States who think they’re hot shit aren’t.

                That includes WM the blowhard, who apparently knows nothing about wolves but knows a lot of gutless government biologists who are told by politicians what to think and say about wolves. Of course, that isn’t science. It’s ass kissing.

                That’s what wolf and wildlife management boils down to in the end. Ass-kissing. Might as well dispense with science altogether.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Dale Gobel wrote a great piece on the 10J rule and why it circumvents the intent of the ESA.

        • avatar MAD says:

          when reading it along side the NY Times editorial piece [you did fail to mention it was a single author editorial piece by the way], the content of which no doubt was “coached” from somewhere. Wonder who that could have been?</b?

          “The NYT editorial board is composed of 19 journalists with wide-ranging areas of expertise. Their primary responsibility is to write The Times’s editorials, which represent the voice of the board, its editor and the publisher.”

          yet again, WM pontificating about something he is wrong about and bloviating from his posterior unsubstantiated and ridiculous assertions. But I guess that’s a result of the legal background, eh?

          • avatar MAD says:

            sorry for the entire thing being in bold, I didn’t intend that. I hate html tags…

          • avatar WM says:

            MAD,

            Bolding of comment aside, let’s just see who wrote the NY Times Editorial piece. It was written by this guy:

            Lawrence Downes, Immigration, Veterans Issues

            Lawrence Downes, who joined the editorial board in 2004, has worked for The New York Times since 1993. He served on the National desk as enterprise editor and as deputy political editor during the 2000 presidential campaign. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Downes was a weekend editor on the Metro desk and, before that, deputy weekend editor and copy editor. Mr. Downes was a copy editor at Newsday from 1992 to 1993 and at the Chicago Sun-Times from 1989 to 1992. Mr. Downes received a B.A. degree in English from Fordham University in 1986. He also attended the University of Missouri School of Journalism from 1987 to 1989.

            Now, let’s dig a little deeper. Did he just write the piece, and it was published, or did the entire NY Times editorial board review and stamp it. I don’t know, but I bet it got no more than a nod by whoever reviewed it. Not a biologist or journalist with a natural resources among the entire group, if you want to check.

            That’s the problem with editorial staffs that write outside their areas of expertise, if you really want to know about ” pontificating about something …[they are] wrong about and bloviating from … [their} posterior unsubstantiated and ridiculous assertions.”

            Sorry you don’t like the message, MAD, but somebody has to give the other side in these little mutual admiration self-gratification exercises. Sort of like those twits over at Huffington Post.

            Prove me wrong MAD, about the editorial board or my underlying comment.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              WM surely you can’t be arguing that writers that write without a degree in the subject must be disqualified from being taken seriously?

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Louise,
                If so, think of all the antis who would be disqualified from being taken seriously.

              • avatar WM says:

                Louise,

                It is important that writers with a bully pulpit – and make no mistake the NYT is a bully pulpit – have a responsibility to understand their topic, and have a background or resources they can call upon for background. That is why I cringe every time I see something come out of the NYT or SF Chronicle. They have been coached to write about wolves, and to do so in a certain way for their urban readership. The Seattle Times, Minneapolis Star Tribune or Denver Post have editorial boards that have knowledge of natural resource topics because their staffs are constantly researching and writing about them. The Seattle Times (a Pulitzer prize winning paper I might add) has done a pretty balanced job reporting on wolves.

                The NYT is thought by some to be among the most liberal rags on the planet, and even openly admits its bias(http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/08/18/new-york-times-public-editor-admits-paper-has-liberal-bias), as the opposite bookend of the uber-conservative capitalist Wall St. Journal. They feed off each other, and of course are in the business of making money for their owners.

              • avatar Robert Goldman says:

                WM, are you joking? That NY Times editorial was straightforward and offered an intelligent assessment of what’s actually happening. Get over your prejudices about who has a right to comment about what is happening to the continent’s precious wildlife anywhere in our country.

              • avatar Ken Cole says:

                WM you haven’t pointed out anything in the NYT piece that is non-factual and you seem to have insinuated that I, or someone I know, coached him to write it. Where do you come up with this?

              • avatar WM says:

                NYT Editorial
                1. Title: “Wolf Haters.” This is good for starters to go after all three NRM states with wolf populations that apparently need management in conjunction with other competing wildlife and economic interests, which this author chooses notto acknowledge.
                2. This editorial piece failed to state that the reduction in wolf population by NRM states was pre-planned and in accord with their state wolf management plans and explicitly permissible under federal law that resulted in the delisting. I think the rule narrative, even says something to the effect that it was believed the 3 core states would manage to a population of about 1,000.
                3. ID has previously used contractors to assist in zone wolf management – a concept in place for a couple years now, and future use is reflected in their (Draft/Final?) elk management plan.
                4. Tone of article – “modern Jeremiah Johnson”; “hired gun”; again, title. Gotta love these inflammatory phrases. Then, my favorite, “age-old antipathy flourishes unchecked” . Not exactly, delisting criteria as among the three core states (population/genetic connectivity) must still be met or wolves get relisted. In the meantime wolf range and population increases outside the core NRM.
                5. “Advocates for wolves are angry at the United States Forest Service for giving a state agency free rein to practice predator eradication on protected federal land — … in apparent violation of well-established wilderness-management regulations and policies. “ This part is just plain bullshit and factually incorrect.
                6. “That act sought to enshrine sound science and wise ecosystem management over heedless slaughter and vengeful predation.” Not really sure what this statement means, but that is not what the ESA says, and it specifically carves out a specific role “in cooperation with the states.” Guess this writer (or the editorial board if they were actually involved) also missed the Western Governor’s Conference resolution about the ESA needing a modern re-work.
                7. Not going to comment on the Salmon predator derby because we all know how that ended with the federal judge saying no special use permit was required (therefore no NEPA review).

                Sorry, Ken I didn’t have time to dissect it any more. You get the idea, however.

              • avatar JB says:

                1. Title: “Wolf Haters.” This is good for starters to go after all three NRM states with wolf populations that apparently need management in conjunction with other competing wildlife and economic interests, which this author chooses notto acknowledge.

                As you know, many people argue that wolves do NOT need to be managed (speaking of hunting-as-management here); perhaps the author, like these folks, does not agree with the premise?

                2. This editorial piece failed to state that the reduction in wolf population by NRM states was pre-planned and in accord with their state wolf management plans and explicitly permissible under federal law that resulted in the delisting. I think the rule narrative, even says something to the effect that it was believed the 3 core states would manage to a population of about 1,000.

                True, but the author does not argue that that Idaho management is illegal, just that the predictable happened sans ESA protections–the states killed wolves to (ostensibly) have more elk. The author also missed the fact that there are 10 times as many cougars in the NRMs as wolves–and these species have roughly the same energetic requirements. (This ‘he left some stuff out’ argument cuts both ways.)

                3. ID has previously used contractors to assist in zone wolf management – a concept in place for a couple years now, and future use is reflected in their (Draft/Final?) elk management plan.

                Okay, here your being disingenuous. The author’s opposition was clearly to the use of such contractors IN WILDERNESS areas.

                4. Tone of article – “modern Jeremiah Johnson”; “hired gun”; again, title. Gotta love these inflammatory phrases. Then, my favorite, “age-old antipathy flourishes unchecked” . Not exactly, delisting criteria as among the three core states (population/genetic connectivity) must still be met or wolves get relisted. In the meantime wolf range and population increases outside the core NRM.

                I will give you tone, then again, it is an opinion article. Regarding age-old antipathy, I could argue that the author’s words are not strong enough here. The antipathy is not only flourishing ‘unchecked’–it has actually been promoted by governors, candidates for governors, state congressmen, directors of state DNRs, and a particularly vociferous member of the Idaho F&G commission.

                5. “Advocates for wolves are angry at the United States Forest Service for giving a state agency free rein to practice predator eradication on protected federal land — … in apparent violation of well-established wilderness-management regulations and policies. “ This part is just plain bullshit and factually incorrect.

                (a) Advocates for wolves are angry; (b) the FS has given ‘free reign’ to the state here, (c) the hired contractor is eradicating wolf packs. I don’t know what ‘well-established’ policies the author is writing about?

                6. “That act sought to enshrine sound science and wise ecosystem management over heedless slaughter and vengeful predation.” Not really sure what this statement means, but that is not what the ESA says, and it specifically carves out a specific role “in cooperation with the states.” Guess this writer (or the editorial board if they were actually involved) also missed the Western Governor’s Conference resolution about the ESA needing a modern re-work.

                This statement seems designed to make a point: species management under the ESA was supposed to be science based, as opposed to based upon ‘vengefulness’ or other criteria that the author insinuates are now in place. Again, look at what the folks who are promoting wolf harvests and killing contests are saying and it is hard to argue with the logic.

                You’re right, the ESA also foresaw and mandated cooperation with states, but I think the folks who crafted the legislation assumed states would want to cooperate on conservation (recall that Idaho in particular, refused to participate. He also left that out.)

                7. Not going to comment on the Salmon predator derby because we all know how that ended with the federal judge saying no special use permit was required (therefore no NEPA review).

                Which the author acknowledged. The only statement of substance about the predator derby was this:

                “The other example of wolf-animus will be on display this weekend outside Salmon, Idaho, at a Coyote and Wolf Derby sponsored by a group called Idaho for Wildlife. A not-too-subtle poster for the event shows a wolf with its head in the cross hairs of a rifle scope and announces $2,000 in prizes to defend “our hunting heritage” against “radical animal-rights groups.” Organizers say they want to raise awareness of the potential risk to humans from a tapeworm that wolves — as well as elks and dogs — can carry. State officials say there are no known cases of people contracting tapeworm from wolves.”

                Again, as opinion pieces go, I found this one pretty tame, though I agree that I would expect more nuance from a columnist who handles NR-related issues.

          • avatar MJ says:

            Let’s compare merits of the NYT piece and the Times Magazine piece on Dec 9 on “America’s Pest Problem” or the Washington Times piece about NM children hiding in kid cages “gray wolf population soars”.

          • avatar JB says:

            Apologies for coming to this argument late. I am curious about what is so objectionable in the NYT piece? I read it and then re-read it twice looking for statements that might be characterized as ‘spin’ or were suggestive of ignorance of the subject matter. Other than the title (i.e., Wolf Haters) and the last sentence (i.e., Idaho is showing what a mistake it was to lift the shield…”) I really don’t see much here to argue with? The author’s opinion (this is on the opinion page after all) seems to be that wolves were taken off of the ESA too early–a opinion that many people (some of them very knowledgeable about wolves) share.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              Agree JB. Although if there had been a comment section I’m sure Bartell (Rockhead’s right hand man) would of been right there to point out all the fallacies with the article :)

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          WM can you really defend Idaho’s wolf management, as management?

          not sure why you would be “pissed” by Ken’s writing. Sending a hunter out to kill two wolf packs residing in wilderness on federal lands is outrageous.

          The Congressional rider was passed to keep a seat in an underhanded and sleazy way that makes me ashamed for Democrats.

          • avatar IDhiker says:

            Louise,

            I am with you. Jon Tester is my senator, which I’m embarrassed to say. And no, the Big Creek wolf management by IDFG is not defensible. Neither is the pathetic response from the Payette National Forest regarding letting IDFG use their Cabin Creek historical cabin to base out of.

        • avatar cascadian12 says:

          WM – The purpose of the ESA is to conserve species and the ecosystems on which they depend. Wolves eat elk. Wolves and elk are part of one ecosystem. Wolf populations manage themselves depending on the availability of prey. To manage wolves and elk separately is unscientific, and of course designed to reduce all wildlife to commodities for hunters. Recovery requires that a certain number of wolf-elk ecosystems be “un-managed” to function sustainably as nature intended. Some elk populations can also be reserved for human predators. If you want more elk, all you have to do is create more browse. I think clear delineation of wolf and non-wolf ecosystems are the only way to resolve conflict.

          I will grant you that the recovery process has been mismanaged. I always knew the “experimental population” option was a mistake.

          • avatar WM says:

            Cascadian12,

            I agree with much of what you say. But, here is where we diverge. You say, “wolf populations manage themselves depending on availability of prey.” Wolves will NEVER be allowed in most places in the US (outside YNP/Teton GYE, or MN if they hold to their current view of about 3,000 wolves in the GL) to achieve the high density number of wolves per 100 sq miles that they control their own numbers. While many of us hold the ESA in high regard, there are others who think it needs to be changed some. I have mentioned before here that it has taken pretty visible billing at the last Western Governor’s Conference held last summer. Wolves have never fit neatly in the context of the ESA, because they mostly are not under threat of extinction (except Mexican wolves, which are the poster child example of lack of social acceptance by humans in NM and AZ). That has been proven in spades with the NRM reintroduction. As for protecting the ecosystems on which they rely …that is more troubling for all predators. They seem to do fine biologically in most ecosystems, it is the people density that creates the social stress that limits numbers. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has just achieved a habitat goal of preserving 6.2 million acres which benefit all wildlife. Don’t see Defenders, Sierra Club or other “conservation groups” even coming close to preserving habitat on the ground, as they concentrate on their cash cow donation vehicle of wolves.

            And, this comment of yours also creates concern. “If you want more elk, create more browse.” WRONG. Elk are grazers and browsers. Grass is more nutritious than browse. They were originally more of a Plains animal.

            You want more wolf ecosystems where they won’t be managed, ask for more national parks, or for example, a buffer around Yellowstone NP, where there can be greater assurances they won’t be bothered as much. But, be prepared, wolf populations are dynamic and the more there are, the more elk they eat (and its not all compensatory as Ranger Joe states). That translates to lower hunter opportunity, that does not set well with some. Same goes for the behavioral changes to elk that Ken Cullings mentions above.

            I suggest some here would find utility in reading Dr. David Mech’s article “Is Science in Danger of Sanctifying the Wolf.” We had a thread on this topic moderated by Dr. Jeremy Bruskotter (known mostly as JB here). Here is a link to Dr. Mech’s article, and he specifically challenges the research conclusions of some scientists working to show how important wolves are to the ecosystem….or not, in light of other influences.

            333scienceindangersanctifying.pdf

            He also believes, though not addressed in this article, that wolf populations are in actuality about 20% higher than official state/federal counts.

            • avatar WM says:

              Link to July 2013 Western Governor’s Conference Resolution on need for changes to the ESA.

              Click on the ESA link within for the actual text of the resolution:

              http://www.westgov.org/news/295-news-2013/482-western-governors-pass-resolutions-on-endangered-species-act-energy-and-transmission-wildland-fire-management-and-other-issues

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                Oh boy. I can see some big red flags – define ‘foreseeable future’, define ‘recovery goals’, involve the states as they are doing ‘a fine job already’. Wolf management all over again for other unfortunate species. A couple of good things – getting mining and minerals operations to clean up after themselves when they’ve exploited everything the land has to give.

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                There’s also climate change denial here, and of course defining ‘significant portion of its range’. The Western governors trying to control everything.

            • avatar Ken Cole says:

              So wolves don’t fit neatly in the context of the Endangered Species Act because their main threat is non tolerance by people, a threat that isn’t recognized in the most recent delisting proposal. Where is that in the Endangered Species Act?

              Seems to me exactly why they need the protection of the Endangered Species Act and why the Endangered Species Act was written the way it was in the first place.

            • avatar Ranger Joe says:

              Regarding grazing vs browsing, WM needs a science lesson.

              Yes it’s true that elk prefer grasses, but in areas where densities are too high, for whatever reason, such as artificial feeding on the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole Wyoming and the Wyoming Game & Fish maintained elk feedgrounds, elk will and do browse on adjacent riparian vegetation such as willows and cottonwoods, severely limiting their regeneration. This elk browsing in turn affects the habitat of many songbird species as well as moose.

              In a very real way, in Jackson Hole elk are more of a threat to moose than wolves are.

              Such are the ecological consequences of artificially boosting ungulate populations beyond the natural carrying capacity of their habitats just to have more ungulates for hunters. Very unwise.

              • avatar WM says:

                Ranger Joe,
                ++…WM needs a science lesson…++

                I love to learn new things, but actually I don’t need a lesson on elk biology or diet preferences from you. Been around them a lot in multiple states for most of my life, and learned about them in college class rooms, as well. Even used to feed them at the Oak Creek Game Range outside Yakima, WA, and chase them out of fruit orchards and pastures in winter many years ago. If elk can find grasses and forbs, they much prefer them over browse, or even some rancher’s hay stack in some place like South Park or Steamboat Springs, CO, before they will browse on riparian vegetation.

                Oh, good, you haven’t yet read Dr. Mech’s critique of the mostly unproven (by others) holy theory of “trophic cascade” advanced by Ripple & Bestcha, et al., either.

                But, I definitely agree with you about feeding grounds. The problem is not so much exceeding carrying capacity. If that were true the elk wouldn’t be at those feeding stations, in the first place. They have enough food for the remaining months of the year (except maybe where federal grazing permittee livestock trim grasses off). The problem is lack of winter range, and that is what needs to be fixed, along with gradually retiring grazing permits in the transition zones to lower elevation winter range. Whether it is near Jackson, the feeding stations in WY not far from Palisades Reservoir (sorry don’t remember the name – Greys River?), Oak Creek Game Range or the Nile in WA, or stations in NE OR. The problem is LACK OF WINTER RANGE. It affects not only elk but bison where they are, as Ken will tell us. National Parks need adjacent winter range for both species, and some of these high plateau pasture/hay fields should be bought up and returned to native vegetation.

                And, don’t get me wrong, I want wolves on the landscape, just not as many as some folks here.

              • avatar JB says:

                WM is correct about the controversial nature of the ‘trophic cascades’ argument. Interestingly, even in Yellowstone–probably the most cited example of a wolf-induced, trophic cascade, the evidence suggests other factors are at work.

                See: Vucetch, Smith & Stahler. (2005) Influence of harvest, climate and wolf predation in Yellowstone elk, 1961-2004. Oikos, 111(2):259-270.

                “…To assess, as directly as possible, how wolf predation may have affected elk population dynamics, we first calculated residuals for each of the four best performing models (Table 3) by subtracting the estimated number of elk (Nt) from the projected number (inline image) for each year between 1995 and 2004. Then we regressed predation rate (Wt) (which were calculated by methods described in wolf predation data and from data in Table 2) on the residuals to quantify the influence of estimated annual kill rate on elk growth rate. The slope of this regression estimates the degree to which wolf predation is additive, given the influence of harvest, precipitation, snowfall, and range expansion predicted by each of the best models. More specifically, the slope indicates by how much elk population growth rate would decline for every unit change in predation rate…

                …For each of the four best models, the p-value for the significance of the slope was large: p=0.74 for the model including harvest and precipitation (i.e. the model in Table 3 with an ΔAICC=0.8), p=0.85 for the model including harvest, precipitation, and snowfall ΔAICC=0.1), p=0.48 for the model including harvest, precipitation, snowfall, and density ΔAICC=0), and p=0.35 for the model including harvest, precipitation, snowfall, density, and an indicator variable for the intercept ΔAICC=1.3). Confidence intervals (95%) for the slopes of each model were also large: [−4.6, 3.4] for the model with ΔAICC=0.8, [−5.3, 4.5] for the model with ΔAICC=0.1, [−6.2, 3.2] for the model with ΔAICC=0, and [−6.4, 2.6] for the model with ΔAICC=1.3. This more direct examination also fails to show that wolf predation had been an important influence on elk population dynamics.

                One might also consider assessing the influence of predation by comparing the performance of a pair of models based on data from 1961 to 2004, where one model includes harvest, climate, and elk density and the other model includes these predictors as well as predation rate, where predation rate is calculated from Table 2 for years 1995–2003 and is zero for years prior to 1995. When this approach is taken, the model without wolf predation receives five times as much support as the model with wolf predation (on the basis of AICC weights), and the p-value for the wolf predation coefficient is 0.76.
                Discussion

                Some managers and segments of the general public express concern over a strong belief that northern Yellowstone elk have been declining (from 1995 to 2004) and that the decline is importantly attributable to wolf predation. Our analysis (Figs. 3 and 5) indicates that there is greater justification for believing that harvest rate and severe climate, together, account for at least much of the decline. During this time, harvest and climate conditions were more severe than in previous years (Table 1). To the extent that harvest and climate largely account for the decline in elk abundance (from 1995–2004), wolf predation would have been either numerically minor and (or) substantially compensatory (not additive).” (emphasis mine)

              • avatar MJ says:

                On the comment on Dr David Mech.. Dr Mech is being portrayed as the ultimate authority on the origins, nature, and future of wolves. While he is influential, he is one “opinion”, and included in that opinion is that hunting “teaches fear to wolves” and is therefore necessary. He is criticized by those who disagree with his conclusions.

                We need less saber-rattling and more honest problem-solving.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              I suggest some here would find utility in reading Dr. David Mech’s article “Is Science in Danger of Sanctifying the Wolf.” We had a thread on this topic moderated by Dr. Jeremy Bruskotter (known mostly as JB here).

              WM that article was highly criticized. Mech also claimed that hunting wolves was necessary as a tool to prevent wolf hate….an equally ridiculous proposition.

              • avatar JB says:

                Louise:

                Mech does make some controversial claims in that article. However, I believe WM was referring to Mech’s listing of studies that do not support a ‘trophic cascade’ hypothesis where wolves are concerned. His overall point–that there is some uncertainty regarding the extent to which wolf-induced trophic cascades can be expected is, in my opinion, valid (his chastisement of ‘the news media’ is not).

                The irony is that advocates on both sides tend to miss the fact that Mech is questioning the mechanisms by which trophic cascades are presumed to work (i.e., displacement, mortality/pop. reduction). I read his article as saying (parapharsing here), ‘wolves’ effects on their prey, competitors and lower trophic levels’ are not as strong as some researchers would have us believe.

              • avatar WM says:

                Louise,

                ++WM that article [Mech on trophic cascade] was highly criticized.++

                You really ought to be a critical thinker and consider by whom the critique is made and for what reason. Mark Derr has no academic credentials as a scientist to my knowledge, much less a wildlife science background, and writes books about dogs from his home in Florida. So much for the critic, who has a gadfly column in Psychology Today.

                You might also remember Mark Gamblin the wildlife biologist who used to post here, until some of you ran him off with your constant ridicule and rude behavior. On several occasions he tried to advise that trophic cascade has been much more pronounced, and easier to prove/see in aquatic ecosystems. The same has not been true in so-called wolf induced trophic cascades in terrestrial ecosystems. Rather than continue the dialog with Gamblin and actually try to learn something, some of you just take it as an absolute because one set of sel-promoting scientists (with limited research but a theme in Yellowstone) said it, and that is the end of the query, because it tends to support your simplistic view of wolves on the landscape.

                Another of Mech’s comments (I’m paraphrasing here) from the article is that wolves will never be allowed to achieve high enough densities to do much to influence ecosystems, especially outside national parks, AND there are lots of other larger magnitude negative influences that affect ecosystems (like roads, development, and other human activities), that tend to offset whatever minor positive influence wolves might have, if they do at all, in the first place.

              • avatar JB says:

                Honestly, I wish that both of you would hold off taking strong positions on trophic cascades. There is more coming out all of the time. For example, a paper presented at the annual meeting of The Wildlife Society earlier this fall showed evidence of a wolf-induced trophic cascade in Wisconsin involving white-tailed deer. Also, expect a review article on large carnivores and trophic cascades sometime in early 2014–perhaps even the next few weeks.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Remember what ma’iingan said about deer. I’m paraphrasing as I don’t recall the exact quote. Deer, in the numbers they exist, have great negative effect on forested areas. Wolves knocking them down a few
                Notches, one would think, would contribute to an overall healthier woodland, rather than the game farm mentality that has existed for so long.

                -34° up here this morning, -15° right now, probably pushing -30′s again tonight, in a part of the state where deer where rare to non existent prior to the logging of the 1860′s. They will run out of food fast if this continues. Wolf hunting/management in this neck of the woods may help contribute to mass deer starvation this winter

              • avatar Melody Scamman says:

                Very good point. It is sad that even educated people fail to see that perspective unless they have spent years studying wolves in their natural habitats. I must argue daily with my husband, although he has a very high IQ, is well educated and has interaction with high content wolfdogs that I have rescued. It is a window into the mind of a man who was raised by a mother who was very poor and hunted and fished and had a farm in NH. Although he escaped dire poverty by joining the Army during the Viet Nam War, went on to work on Nuclear Submarines after the service, until he retired as an electrical inspector instructor, he never progressed beyond his 1950′s understanding of how nature works. I think he is not unable to change, he is just blissfully ignorant of the NEED to evolve and likes it that way. He treats the wolves like he would farm dogs. If I can’t get through to him on a daily basis, I have no hope in the elderly hunters evolving new perspectives of just letting wolves repopulate ther former lands unmolested by humans and allowing wolves to ‘manage’ their environment.
                I have also found that when he is losing on the logic side of an argument, he will start quoting the Bible! What I have written so far is pretty much typical of elderly white men I have had run-in’s with over wolf policy just in my personal experience. At least the ones who are still stuck in the past. My husband spends every day around high content wolfdogs with a little Malamute mixed in. He must constantly be reminded they are not dogs. He is ok at socializing them and he is here to feed and water them when I have to leave for a few hours, beyond that, I can not allow him any roll in their care. He just isn’t willing to learn so he is a danger to their safety in a worse case scenerio. I know that sounds harsh but if I can’t convince him that it is a really bad idea to let two adult males ‘work out their differences’, I have to keep him out of any decision-making.
                What I am saying is that basically, from my personal experience, change isn’t going to happen by trying to educate retirement aged woodsmen types. We have to concentrate on those willing to learn and voting out of office, at all levels, those with a 1950′s management model. It is only when wolves are no longer experimental, no longer hunted, that we can even begin to restore natural environments to their pre-contact period healthy wilderness states. My question and concern is how are we going to keep wolves alive long enough for demographics of elderly hunters to drop off to the point they are no longer a danger to wolve’s survival and for a better educated, more enlightened paradigm shift to take place?

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                “…run out of food fast if this continues.”

                Should read …run out of fat reserves fast if this continues.

                AS this has been going on most of December.

              • avatar Robert Goldman says:

                David Mech has made a good living exploiting wolves. Many people suspect that he has been corrupted by having been on the federal payroll for much of his adult life. As federal policy was changing on wolves, for dirty political reasons, Mech was right there to put the full weight of his former scientific research to work for the federal (and state) political schemers who were his sugar daddies and pals. Anyone who believes what Mech has to say about wolves today is being taken for a sucker. He will be remembered as a former wolf researcher who ruthlessly abandoned wolves and honest science to the contaminated winds of dirty politics.

      • avatar topher says:

        Children, children.

  9. avatar Robert Goldman says:

    Thank you, Ken. Very informative essay. Ralph, this is the best wildlife blog. Keep at it, please. Like many of those who frequent this blog, I am an unwavering, devoted and loving wolf (and all native wildlife) defender and need the intelligent essays, articles and news, along with the often excellent reader comments to keep going and to keep getting wiser.
    I welcome everyone to sign and widely share my wolf defender petition, Protect America’s Wolves!, which is approaching 25,000 signatures from around the US and the world. Here’s the link: http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/protect-americas-wolves
    Every time someone signs and hopefully leaves a personal wolf defender comment, a “Protect America’s Wolves!” email (including the signer’s wolf defender comment) is automatically generated from the signer and sent to the signer’s US Rep, both of their US Senators and to the White House. Let these ‘leaders’ keep getting emails that state, “Protect America’s Wolves!” again and again and again.
    Thank you so much, Ralph, for your wisdom, vast knowledge, experience and excellent writing and for every ounce of magnificent effort and devotion you put into this blog and your wildlife advocacy. I honor and love you for what you do for America’s precious native wild beings, every single one of them, as well as for each of us caring humans who care so much for this earth and our fellow wild brethren.
    May the new year ahead, be one of good health, strength and success for all of us wildlife defenders and a year of growing protection, survival and restoration in the wild for all of the continent’s miraculous wildlife. And let this better year begin with America’s vital and beautiful wolves.
    To all: keep at this sacred task. Keep learning and getting wiser and stronger. Learn from the wolves. Take action, be creative, be persistent. No matter how hard and heart breaking, stay true to the pack.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      What a beautiful post. Best wishes for the New Year to you,

    • avatar MJ says:

      “Thank you, Ken. Very informative essay. Ralph, this is the best wildlife blog. Keep at it, please. Like many of those who frequent this blog, I… need the intelligent essays, articles and news, along with the often excellent reader comments to keep going and to keep getting wiser.”

      Well said, this is a reliable and important blog.

  10. avatar jon says:

    The Idaho fish and game listen to the conservative legislature and the hacks on the Idaho fish and game commission. Both the legislature and fish and game commission are listening to a dwindling population of hunters and trappers and ignoring the majority of people that love wildlife in Idaho, but don’t hunt. This will come back to bite Idaho fish and game in the you know what. We are living in a country that is rapidly changing and you got many more people today that prefer shooting wildlife with a camera than with a gun. Hunters represent a tiny % of Americans.

    • Jon-
      The IDFG commissioners are appointed by Idaho Governor Clement L. Otter(Clem). He is the one that said he would buy the first wolf tag issued by IDFG and kill the first wolf. He is probably in Salmon right now kissing up to the wolf killers.
      His home phone in Star, Idaho is listed as C.L. Otter if anyone wants to give him a call. His address in Star is in the phone book if you want to send him some mail or pay him a visit.

  11. avatar Robert Goldman says:

    The correct link to the Protect America’s Wolves! petition is:
    http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-americas-wolves
    (Sorry, friends, I left out the word ‘sign’ in my post above.)

  12. avatar Ken Cullings says:

    The actions of Idaho Fish and Game are not all that surprising. They mirror the attitudes of a small but very loud minority who think that wildlife are there simply for their convenience, amongst a subset of the population that would like nothing more than for everybody to stay out of Idaho so they can keep going their merry way. Forgetting that an awful lot of this land is public, and hence belongs to us all. Forgetting or worse ignoring the fact that species other than elk and cattle are actually good for the region as a whole. They are a selfish, ignorant, childish bunch and having a killing party is exactly the sort of thing ignorant children would think is fun. It would be nice if State officials would stop allowing this ignorant and selfish minority to “wag the dog” and start basing their decisions on the greater good.

    • avatar Kristi says:

      The state and county officials are part of the problem. They perpetuate and reinforce the anti-wolf mentality, and seriously, some of them are just as ignorant and backwards as their constituents, particularly in Salmon, Potlatch, Sandpoint, all of which are in Idaho. When the political pendulum swings away from the Right that is when things will change. State wildlife commissions have a direct tie to the state’s Senate or House and that is where the problems start then trickle down to MFWP, IDFG, WY G&F, etc.

      • avatar WM says:

        Kristi,

        Aren’t state representatives, senators and governors elected directly by the people via popular vote?

        Something to think about when one thinks of the “will of the people” and if you don’t like them vote them out next term.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          unfortunately its true that these people need to be voted out but somehow bad wildlife management issues need to be placed in a context that resonates with the public. I think thats a major problem, humans are so egocentric that politicians at voting time weigh in on short term issues or issues that directly affect people’s pocket books and incite a short sighted passion for short term goals. The longer term goals like health of planet or caring for wild resources are often not even on the table. Some people pay closer attention but not enough…..I think that predator control and wildlife abuse issues are going to need some real national media attention that will get a legislator involved.

      • avatar MJ says:

        Very good points, meaningful change will need to happen by sending a message during election time. There will be big big money in support of relaxed hunting regs, gutting the ESA, and corporate ag. This would be the time to rev up.

  13. avatar Ranger Joe says:

    It appears the hopeful wolf hunters of Salmon have so far had bad luck–or is it good luck? It appears the hunters just assumed the targeted canines would volunteer for death.

    http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/no-wolves-shot-on-st-day-of-salmon-idaho-hunting/article_9e4a166e-7092-11e3-b959-001a4bcf887a.html

    • avatar Jay says:

      Actually, you have it backwards–the hunt organizers predicted a few wolves might be taken; it was the other side that said it was going to be a wolf slaughter.

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        To me, it doesn’t matter how many wolves are killed so much as the purpose and intent of this “sporting event.”

        I don’t suspect there are near the numbers of wolves in Idaho as IDFG thinks. I spend a lot of time in the Frank Church, and my sightings of wolves and sign are way down from just a couple years ago. Nothing scientific, just on-the-ground observations.

        • avatar Carole Beverly says:

          Exactly.

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          Yes. And sending an exterminator into the Frank Church is another abomination, simply so that greedy outfitters can have more elk.

          • avatar Ken Cullings says:

            Sending in Frank Church is a roundabout confirmation that at least one of the claims by the anti-wolf crowd is not true: “wolves are hanging around threatening towns and children”. If that were the case people could shoot them from the porch and wouldn’t need to hire a backwoodsman to go search them out.

    • Perhaps their problem is that there are not anywhere near as many wolves out there as the anti-wolf nuts would have you believe.
      Their webpages are filled with photos of dead elk (wolf killed elk, they say) lying right on or the edge of public roads.The bulk of the dead animals lying on or near roads in Idaho are killed by vehicle collisions or poachers and the wolves are just acting a scavengers.
      I wonder how many of those wealthy, out of state hunters, that Salmon Outfitter, Shane McAfee guides in the fall actually use any of the meat from the animals they kill.
      I suspect a lot of it is left in the field for wolves to eat or left with Shane to use.
      Do they leave their unused tags with Shane so he can fill the tags and use the meat himself?
      I know of an Idaho outfitter who caught doing just that. His barn was full of tagged,but illegally killed deer.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Larry T – saw my first example of someone taking advantage of the new “road kill” law recently passed here in Montana.

        Big, fresh, blood spot in the road and, a gut pile on the side of the road. Lots of Ravens, Magpies & a Bald Eagle, trying to make short work of the pile when I passed by and here I thought that was a no no – if you hit an animal and want the meat, you must take the ENTIRE animal.

        My guess, judging from the size of the gut pile, probably a young elk that managed to make it over one fenceline only to be caught in the middle of the road, looking for a way over the fenceline on the opposite side of the road. That’s often the case around here.

      • avatar topher says:

        I can tell you that many wolf kills are indeed right by roads. I have seen many of them in the salmon unit. These are not vehicle kills as you suppose. The wolves use many of the old logging roads as do the elk and it would be difficult to exceed ten miles an hour on most of these roads so the vehicle theory would be extremely unlikely for any of the kills I have seen.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Both topher and Larry Thorngren are right.

          I know from experience that wolves use the old logging roads to travel and often kill prey near them. Their use of roads causes human perception problems — folks are much more likely to see the remnants of a snowy wolf chase along a road with tracks, blood, bones, the whole nine yards. The more abundant cougar, on the other hand, drop on their prey or ambush it with little chase away from the road. They feed and cache their kill. It is usually unseen by people.

          Wolves also clean up road killed deer, elk and other animals. While it is probably different now, the wolves that used to live in the Stanley area were very often near the roads and sometimes went a couple weeks without killing a large mammal because they had plenty of road kill.

          It is likely anti-wolf people would find eaten road kill and thought it was a live kill.

          • avatar WM says:

            According to a state of ID Transportation Department snow plow operator I talked to last October, lots of wolves hang out in the valley bottoms where the elk sometimes are in winter. Of course that is where the roads are, too. For a couple weeks had been watching a young spike bull elk with a rather distinguishing set of long, heavy tine, antlers as he plowed the same stretch of road. He spotted it on the opposite side of a creek from a road he had been plowing, early on morning. He saw six or seven wolves taking it down in deep snow. He said the bull had no prior injuries he was aware of and it was fully mobile, as viewed from across the creek. He finished his plow run and came back the other direction about an hour later and looked over where the attack had started, and there was blood everywhere. Says he sees quite a bit of stuff like this all winter long. Another anecdote. He came around a corner in a heavy snow storm just in time to watch a wolf pack running a small herd of elk up the middle of the logging road he was plowing. He said the wolves weren’t more than about 30 yards away.

            Asked if he was tempted to shoot a wolf, he said, “no, they have to eat, too. I’ve no desire to kill a wolf.”

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        I like to think no wolves were killed but wonder if they would be reported with the bad press coming from the event?

  14. avatar Nancy says:

    But lets think outside the box here, topher:

    http://boiseguardian.com/2012/05/14/road-kill-smorgasbord-now-legal-in-idaho/

    Would think anyone poaching, wouldn’t have to exceed 10 miles an hour, right? Just need to know where animals cross whether it be highways or logging roads and well, ya just sit and wait.

    Plus, leaving all but the prime cuts, would certainly bring in a host of hungry critters, messing up what little evidance there was as to why that animal actually died.

    • avatar topher says:

      Elk season is the only time I spend much time near Salmon and there is almost always snow in the higher elevations. If a kill isn’t to old you can usually see it played out in the tracks along with many unsuccessful attempts so the poaching is unlikely for most of what I have seen. I have learned a lot about wolf and elk behaviors just from trudging along watching tracks. Every once in awhile a cat track overlays the whole bunch making me wonder what they’re up to. The last one I recall was a few years ago and was one set elk followed by two sets wolf followed by one set of lion that appeared to be very large although snow can make them appear larger than they really are.Seems odd behavior for a cat but who knows.

  15. avatar jon says:

    Can anyone tell me if there is a big wolf population in Salmon?

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      Jon,

      I would doubt it. There is so much wolf animosity in and around Salmon that I would guess there have been numerous illegal killings and poisonings over the last number of years.

      I remember one bozo living in Carmen, just north of Salmon, that was one of the first to publish poisoning “how to” directions on the internet.
      He did get in trouble on that one, as it was before wolves were delisted.

    • avatar topher says:

      I think most of Salmon is occupied by people.

  16. avatar IDhiker says:

    Ken,

    Regarding the outfitter “whining” to the commissioner which precipitated the Big Creek extermination action, there are only two outfitters I know of operating there. Both fly their hunters into the Cabin Creek Airstrip.

    While volunteering for the Payette National Forest the past several years, I have reported one of these outfitters for numerous wilderness violations, of which no action was taken by the USFS. The violations included caching coal for stoves, leaving large amounts of food garbage littering the ground around and in their camp, and chainsawing large amounts of firewood. All of which I documented and photographed for the USFS.

    The official position of the USFS was that they didn’t have enough evidence, which was baloney! I have worked on and off in law enforcement for 24 years – there was plenty.

    The lack of action gave me a real feeling that the USFS was basically “in bed” with the outfitters. I was told the outfitter was a good operator, even though the food refuse has been strew around for three falls now. Bears are getting habituated by this, as I have seen their tracks right among the pack tents. Then the hunters kill the bears which come in the camps, which happened a couple years ago at Cabin Creek.

    This is such an outrage that this action was even contemplated, considering the deep wilderness location of these packs.

  17. avatar Chris says:

    A couple of things that haven’t been brought up yet. State wildlife departments, at least in the west, are funded by hunters and fishermen. As far as they are concerned, those are their constituents, not the general public. There is also a tendency among wildlife “professionals” to dismiss any comments by non-hunters and fishermen as overemotional garbage coming from bunny- and tree-huggers. Although the science says wolves are good for predator and prey populations and for habitat, I have been unable to find any science that supports ANY level of wolf harvest. Yet if you asked the wildlife managers, they would insist that they are basing their harvest levels on science.
    So I think in addition to loudly protesting the hatred-based management policies, we need to push for ways for the public to contribute more to the funding of state wildlife departments (so we have more of a voice), and insist that any management actions be based on sound science and reflect the will of the public.

    • avatar jon says:

      They are basing their killing levels on political pressure and pressure from the anti-wolf folks.

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      Chris,

      I agree. Having fish & game departments funded by hunters and fishermen is like having the fox guarding the chicken coop.

      A lot of these issues would disappear if these departments were funded from general state revenues instead of one constituent group having to pay the bill and then getting special treatment.

      Hunters and fishermen should not be responsible for all this funding, especially since they are a minority and that the population as a whole enjoys wildlife.

      How to accomplish this is the question, which would probably require an very uphill battle state by state. This has been brought up on this site numerous times, often inciting heated rhetoric.

  18. avatar Montana Boy says:

    As a outsider and at the risk of being kicker off wildlife news again this whole article and the comments makes me laugh. Do you people read each others comments? I read comments from many sides of the wolf issue and what we have here is a article and comments just like the wolf haters write. Emotional comments which have little fact, claiming the wolf population is being wiped out. Incorrect wolf counts ect. Then a bunch of claims about how your going to fix the problem. A bunch of like minded people pumping each other up just like wolf haters, same coin just the other side.
    Problem as I see it, is that you were told wolves would be hunted. Wolves are expanding their range and there will be more states hunting wolves, now what’s the incentive for other states to welcome wolves. Short term thinkers only looking one step ahead!

    • avatar rork says:

      Perhaps a bit overstated, but true enough.
      I could argue that self-interest would be the incentive, but it’s a long argument, needing heavy calculations of long-term costs and benefits, and it was only one sentence of your comment (and I could be wrong).

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Yessir RB – its not like your average “sitting around the pot belly stove at the local feed store, talking about the weather, guns/hunting, what’s wrong with the government (and that guy in the White House)” crowd hanging out here :)

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        Nancy,

        Thank you, your response brightened my morning!

      • avatar Montana Boy says:

        Make the pot belly stove a computer and that’s exactly the conversation topics you have. Then in a month or so the conversation will be about what a waste it is for WS to have coyote control action because they just repopulate. Then some time later the discussion will be about how wolves benefit the ecosystem by killing coyotes. :)

        • avatar Nancy says:

          Aaahhh but the difference is the growing number of people interested in and concerned about those topics RB. Can’t attract that kind of attention around a pot belly stove :)

          Have you noticed all the new faces signing on to the WN Facebook page? Got any idea how many of those people are sharing those topics with others on their Facebook pages? What seems repetitive to you, is new knowledge to others, just tuning in.

          • avatar Montana Boy says:

            Nancy
            Well my last check of Howling for wolves looked dead, guessing we picked up some of those.
            You’ll also find as wolves spread across the country more people getting fed up with taking the brunt of living with wolves. At one time the pro wolf crowd was just fighting against Alaska wolf management. Now seven states manage wolves. It’s one thing to be emotionally involved, try being being financially involved who do you think is more long term?
            Repetitive no.

            • avatar Nancy says:

              I am involved financially RB, I raise chickens & make a profit from the sale of their eggs. Predators are just as much of a concern to me as they are to any rancher and I take every precaution to keep them safe. Difference is, I don’t shoot or demand that every predator be shot, for coming near or on my property and honestly, I have a lot more to worry about predator wise – coyotes, foxes, badgers, weasels, hawks, skunks, owls but the fact is, I don’t see them around that often.
              I don’t leave dead livestock laying around and you’d be surprised (or maybe not) as to how many ranchers still do that, especially during calving season.
              Good fencing & an awareness, do make a difference :)

              I make maybe $500 a year from egg sales, pretty much a break even scenario, while the average rancher can make in the neighborhood of $100,000 or more a year from the sale of their calves. Might be a break even for them too but hey, we all have choices as to how we want to make a living, right?

              • avatar Montana Boy says:

                Nancy
                Again and always with the over the top claims that ranchers are demanding and are killing every predator. About as valid as claims that the wolves are killing all the elk. Rancher bashing is you passion though, after all what you see over the fence driving down the road and in conversation at the local pound carries weight.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              MB/RB,

              Howling for Wolves is alive and well in MN. You may have been referring to Howling For Justice, which is either on hiatus, or approaching life support.

              • avatar Montana Boy says:

                Immer
                Thanks for the correction, I was referring to Howling for Justice. I have a new challenge for you but not the time to explain now, off on a tour of western Montana wrestling and b-ball.

    • avatar Robert Goldman says:

      Montana Boy, to compare the wolf killers, with their lies, animal abuse and murder of wolves to our side of decent citizens who are defending wolves with science and ethics, is another injustice. The killers have corrupted and corrupt government ‘officials’ on their side, we wolf defenders have the wolves and each other. Shame on you.

      • avatar Montana Boy says:

        Robert
        I’ve read most of your science and ethics and the truth is most of your science is based on a landscape on which no humans live. So who’s living the lie? I could claim corrupt judges but won’t I’ll leave that weak poor excuse to you. Your argument is just emotion when the wolf is the main point of objections you’ve failed all other animals. Shame on you.

        • avatar LoneWolf25 says:

          Montana Boy, are you really that presumptuous and shallow? Do you accept hatred and violence as valid emotions towards wildlife, but not kindness and love? My perspective on ecosystems is very holistic. There’s room for all its parts, including natural predators. And room for people who live in balance with nature. To think otherwise is ignorant and/or reveals a death wish. Yes, there are too many people on the planet and I hope humans get the message to moderate everything about our impact on this finite earth, including reproduction.

          • avatar Robert Goldman says:

            MT Boy: I couldn’t have said it any better than LoneWolf.

          • avatar Montana Boy says:

            Lone wolf
            “Montana Boy, are you really that presumptuous and shallow?”
            Comments like this prove that your not holding any moral high ground. A comment filled with hatred not the less bit the part your claiming to hold on behave of animals. As I said above you and Robert are simply the same type of person as a Toby Bridges. Just the other side of the same coin. You both simply prove my point. You don’t know my views yet the insults fly proving your true inner person.

            • avatar Robert Goldman says:

              Montana Boy, you did not answer the question: do you believe that hatred and violence are more legitimate emotions than compassion and love? You are not the objective person you claim to be. You are a propagandist for the cattlemen. It looks being a Montana Boy for you means being a deceitful hater and bully towards wildlife and those who respect and love them.

              • avatar Montana Boy says:

                Robert
                To answer loner’s question, hatred and love are equally legitimate emotions, compassion and love are just the better side of humans. When you agreed with lonewolf you simply proved the type of person you are. As for your opinion of me, I don’t really care, I would have to have some amount of respect for you in order for that to matter.
                Let me repeat myself your comments are just as ignorant as any wolf hater. Therefore your actions are no more legitimate than the ignorant wolf hater.

  19. avatar rork says:

    Pretty good article, not too over the top.
    About comments:
    1) I think trying to outlaw contests in states may be futile, because too many examples of ones that work well exist, though they aren’t well known cause controversy is absent. Near me there’s a single-fly contest (fish torture) held by Huron River Watershed Council – an outstanding conservation group. I can give many more examples. The fee monies often support good causes or increase tourist interest in a way citizens will think very common sense. Also, trying to draw the line at mammals, or certain orders or families of mammals, would clearly display hypocrisy. Finally, lawsuits give greater coverage of not just the contest, but also to the fact that someone sought to sue to curtail something that looks like free association – do you get how bad that can be made to sound?
    2)(largely for Louise Kane) Comments written to places, or given at public meetings, are not good at showing the will of the people. I can point to conflicts I have with rowers (who like some dams), mountain bikers (they want more trails), horse people (they want more access), and mute swan lovers, where they can pack meetings and comments due to greater awareness and privilege. Such groups also claim that their apparent over-representation in such special circumstances shows what the public thinks. It doesn’t.
    3) IDHiker has described one of my nightmares, but I never know if it was outfitters or not – it was just “the people with horses”. Maybe my more fastidious ways just show I’m a city slicker, chicken about grizzles. Thankyou IDhiker – some interesting stuff lately.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Finally, lawsuits give greater coverage of not just the contest, but also to the fact that someone sought to sue to curtail something that looks like free association – do you get how bad that can be made to sound?
      2)(largely for Louise Kane)

      Rork
      your solution?
      killing contests are not dying out
      there are more of them popping up around the country. I don’t believe mainstream Americans support these activities. Its the minority like trophy hunting. Most people can see beyond the hype and BS surrounding the contests. The laws thus far are difficult hurdles to pass for all the reasons discussed here. What is your solution, wait and see if the people that get off on killing and that promote these disgusting events have a change of heart and stop them. They will be held whether or not people challenge them and the laws that they hide behind. The laws do need to change and waiting for that to happen without legal challenge is silly. Im not sure what you are getting at. AS for the TRO, the case is not been heard on the merits yet…

      • avatar rork says:

        My proposed solution is to tolerate it.
        Work on actual management policy instead, cause it’s what maters. Culture can be changed without directly exerting power over every aspect of it. We don’t want control freak status.

      • avatar JB says:

        Louise, Rork:

        Your comments echo my internal conflict about how to approach such conflicts. On one hand, I believe that promoting killing contests for sentient creatures is simply wrong, and should be done away with; on the other hand, the only real damage these contests do is to the reputation of hunters. Ecologically speaking, there are too few of them, too few participants, and too much space in between them for them to do more than put a temporary dent in a local population.

        What I can’t understand is why hunters tolerate these things?

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          JB the problem with saying there are too few of them ecologically speaking is that what studies exist to determine what damage is being done? with no laws to protect animals from these abuses, how do we actually know how many are killed, ho ado we know what effect random killing has on the packs, on how the deaths create more or less problems with humans or livestock, how does the continued persecution actually affect the populations as a whole and their biological responses from an evolutionary perceptive and how to calculate the true toll when there are no quotas, no reporting requirements. I think thats a presumptuous assumption given the number of contests and increasing number of species involved.

          I do agree why would anyone tolerate these things….

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            arggh sp check
            evolutionary perspective
            forgive the errors
            trying to pack and leave

            anyhow the problem is there is no way to monitor these “events”, the number of bodies, the effect on the targeted populations or the species that are interdependent, competitive etc.

            aside from the appalling nature of a killing contest there must surely be ecological consequences….how could there not be

  20. avatar mandy says:

    This might sound a little lazy, but does there exist a bullet point list on why wolves are important that we can all use when we write letters to the editor and our state reps? We could all come up with our own beliefs and facts, but I’m looking for info to supplement. The suggestion to write our local state reps is a good one, even though animal rights groups don’t contribute money and bribes to campaigns like ranchers and hunters do. We’re at a disadvantage that way, but there are more of us who want to protect our ecosystem and ALL of its inhabitants than there are those who want to kill them our of fear and greed.

    This is a good time to be involved because the issue of wolf killings is raised in people’s minds, and the awareness exists that the interior secretary has a decision to make and it’s make-or-break time.

    I wrote every single Washington state rep who was on the agriculture committee (why wolf management is with “agriculture” tells you something about bias towards ranchers) and what was proposed (I think a hunt or trapping?) was tabled and put off, and it was a lot of work for one day, but the least I could do. It wasn’t a victory but it wasn’t a loss! I cut and pasted my letter to each rep individually.

  21. avatar jon says:

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Idaho-For-Wildlife/143039222888

    Results from the wolf derby. ZERO wolves killed, 21 coyotes slaughtered. These psychopaths should be ashamed of themselves for participating in this disgusting sick activity. Only 200 people showed up with 50-60 of those actually participating in this contest. These people represent a fringe minority.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Good, although I wish it had been zero coyotes too. I wonder what else they can dream up to harass wildlife.

    • There are about 1,600,000 people living in here in Idaho. 1,599,800 of us did NOT show up in Salmon for this Wolf Killing Derby.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        Yes, but as I mentioned to Carolyn above, Idaho’s roughly million and a half are voting for leadership who approve this sort of thing, or are possibly good people who do nothing. Reading comments here and there, many people do believe the rhetoric about wolves decimating livestock, elk and deer herds, etc.

        • When former Mormon president Ezra Taft Bensen said that no self respecting Mormon should vote for a democrat, the 1/3 of Idahoans who are Mormons have essentially voted a straight Republican ticket.
          The rest of the population is about evenly split. Until a new Mormon president says otherwise, Democrats in Idaho (or in Utah)are going to have a hard time getting elected.

    • avatar Ken Cole says:

      Subtract 4 hunters from that total. Add one badger to that total.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      In summary, no wolves were killed and 21 coyotes were killed according to “Idaho for Wildlife” on Facebook.

      As said several times, this is what I thought would happen. There would be no great impact on the wildlife as a whole in the area, including the species being shot.

      Nonetheless, I dislike killing contests and I hope the blowback on this will discourage these in the future.

      I am disappointed that no one took my viewpoint seriously enough to comment on it.

      • The fact that no wolves were killed gives lie to the claim that the wolves are taking over the Salmon area.
        Wolves are easy to locate using calls or by howling and I am sure these wannabe wolf killers were using lots of both.
        Salmon will not be a place I come looking for wolves to photograph.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        I am disappointed that no one took my viewpoint seriously enough to comment on it.

        I don’t think that was it – I think we just didn’t know what to expect, at least that’s how I felt. Plus with the huge amount of wolves that have been killed since the delisting. Announcing one of these things around the holidays is just meant to upset people I think. Our government has made a huge mistake in allowing these types of things.

      • avatar Melody Scamman says:

        Ralph, I did take your opinion seriously, as we all have a right to our hard-won opinions when it comes to wolf behavior, here. In fact, I hoped you were right! The whole issue though is not so much the wolve’s behavior, but the abnormal human behavior and USFS and the court judge rubber-stamping hideous acts by a small circle of sociopathic serial killers of animals for profit. If we don’t cause a media circus every time these things happen, it won’t be long before we lose our creatures, and our environment permanently. These killers do not care if they kill the very last surviving breeding pair of any creatures as long as they get the bragging rights in their sick circles for doing it. Also, don’t just assume the wolves didn’t have human help, many, many people were talking about going out in the woods with everything from pots and pans, before the hunt to drive the wolves away, to cameras to name and shame the trophy hunters. Some wanted open season on the hunters. I think a combination of those things kept people away, a good thing if you do the math, they lost a lot of money! That plus the bad press should make any of these outfitters think twice before planning a slaughter contest again? Maybe the thick-skulled, nuckle-draggers in office now might read the political tea leaves? The world is changing, facts are facts and refusinging to use science but continue to spout off the lies and myths about wolves, just isn’t going to work much longer. I hope I am alive to witness the permanent protection of all Native North American creatures from trophy hunting, trapping, snaring and hounding. Management should be better used to only eliminate sickly, diseased animals so rabies doesn’t spread or mercy killing following highway accidents. That is my dream before I walk on to the next world. Blessings to all in the New Year!

        • avatar Robert Goldman says:

          Great comment, Melody. Healthy and peaceful 2014 to you, too. Stick around so you can see better days finally unfold for wolves and all native wildlife.

          • avatar Melody Scamman says:

            Meegwetch, thank you Bob, I will. I am sick and I sleep a lot but all my free time goes to help save the wolves. If you cut me some slack for my illnesses, we can work together. And if you are still in Maine, I will bring one of my rescues to visit you so you can have some wolfie quality time. :-)

  22. avatar Melody Scamman says:

    Poor coyotes. I bet most of those killers have no idea that coyotes mate for life and it takes both parents to hunt to feed the pups that would come in the spring? Coyote is ‘Trickster’ in many tribal stories. Perhaps trickster will play a little trick on these people? I hope so, they deserve it!

  23. avatar Nancy says:

    Although a bit dated, an excellent article for those just tuning in:

    “When I visited Montana, activists from both sides whispered to me, as if sharing a secret, “You know, wolves are really smart.” Perhaps their intelligence will enable them to survive. They will climb higher into the mountains, move about only at night, and hide, somewhere, until times change”

    But it seems even the “Frank Church Wilderness” isn’t safe enough….. til times change:

    http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/cry_wolf/

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      These people are terrorists and planning controversy around the holidays is a well known tactic. That’s why when they spread their preemptive strike lies about being threatened by peace-drummer wildlife advocates, you notice they never have anything other than hearsay, and never any followup or resulting convictions.

      • avatar Melody Scamman says:

        I think you are on to something, Ida! Terrorism is serious federal time. Jay M. proved in his wolf studies that a wolf can suffer PTSD. I know from my work, they are highly prone to anxiety disorders and traumatized pups scream like nothing you ever want to hear again! I rescue after the damage is done, so my work is in helping them to try to recover. Sadly, some never trust anyone fully again, certainly not strange humans! These killing contests certainly do terrorize any highly intelligent beings. Wolves and evolved humans alike. Poor little coyotes have been abused far too long! The loss of knowledge due to massive killing of adult coyotes and wolves only adds to the ‘problem yearlings’ killing chickens and such. The whole mess is a post contact period man-made problem. The only way to fix it is to learn to live lower on the food chain as much as possible and learn to respect wolves for the honorable creatures they are. Wolves, left alone will manage coyotes, as you know. I can’t wrap my brain around this whole second run of manifest destiny where a bunch of mainly old, rich white men believe God gives them the right to kill animals for ‘fun’. That is total bs when they say it is their heritage. Unless they grew up in a royal family in Europe, where all creatures belonged to the king and a common man could be put to death for hunting, then their so called heritage is probably bread, sheep cheese, turnip and tea. Why else would an entire Island nearly starve to death when the potato crop failed? An island surrounded by an ocean full of fish? Well, the king owned the fish, too. So next time you hear that lame heritage excuse, know it is just more made up crap to justify killing creatures they get their jollies killing and do not kill to eat.
        Before folks chime in about Indians killing animals, I have been around Abenaki People most of my live, Penobscots too. Most are vegan that I know or, like me, eat gluten free food, ancient grains, a little dairy, mostly as pizza cheese, and very little meat, only when there are no fruits, veggies or nuts left, but not red meats because the beef cattle cause massive loss of habitat to native species and the deaths of mustangs. Plus red meat causes gout.
        I know a lot of people think I am an East Coast tree hugger, but you would be surprised. My choices were my body, mind and spirit rejecting the old ways for the better good of the planet and creatures a little at a time over very many years. The wolves have taught me many lessons. I’m still trying to teach the yearlings not to pee in the house! At least the females pee down the shower drain. One male tags the trash can in the kitchen. They will eventually figure out I really don’t approve but yelling at them does not work. All the elders never pee indoors. That is how the yearlings will learn. And to be fair, the yearlings were outside all Summer and Fall. It is just too cold to leave them out now.
        Sorry for running on, I am just thinking about the new year ahead and what it might hold for us and the creatures and the planet. Be well. :-)

        • avatar MJ says:

          “I can’t wrap my brain around this whole second run of manifest destiny where a bunch of mainly old, rich white men believe God gives them the right to kill animals for ‘fun’. That is total bs when they say it is their heritage. Unless they grew up in a royal family in Europe, where all creatures belonged to the king and a common man could be put to death for hunting, then their so called heritage is probably bread, sheep cheese, turnip and tea. Why else would an entire Island nearly starve to death when the potato crop failed?”

          Good point, there is so much distortion in the campaign against wolves.

  24. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    On a happier note, everyone has their favorite Christmas and holiday programs that they never miss. Here’s one of mine. :)

    Christmas in Yellowstone

  25. avatar JEFF E says:

    so while many here spent the last couple days seeing who could piss higher on the tree, I wonder how many has noted this not so subtle shift in propaganda from the haters

    http://www.ktvb.com/news/21-coyotes-no-wolves-shot-in-disputed-Idaho-derby-237971201.html

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/57332528-68/idaho-derby-coyotes-wolves.html.csp

    • avatar Montana Boy says:

      Jeff E
      Which part did you find as propaganda?

      • avatar JEFF E says:

        well boy, if you recall the news stories of the last few days, the organizers were saying that there were only ~50 people going to hunt while the other ~200 had only signed up to “show support”….
        now, the organizers say that despite more than 230 hunters, no wolves were killed , proving that sport hunting alone would not be enough to “control” wolves.

        what would you call it.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          And in another article:

          “It shows hunting is not an effective tool to eliminate wolves. We’re going to have to take more aggressive action,” Alder said”

          NewsDaily: Controversial Idaho hunting contest ends with no wolves killed.

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            remember this, hardcopy some before and after statements made by this daffodil, set back and watch.

            We’re about to see how the haters operate.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Sam Lobo~Reality 22~Truthbetold~…

              • avatar WM says:

                From the comments by Sam Lobo, “wolf pimps?” Interesting term I had not heard before. And entrenchment augers in even deeper, as both sides prepare for the next round.

                He does make a point, however, about MN wolves – to have 3,000 that still means about 8-10 percent get thumped for getting into trouble every year (aside from whatever number might be killed by hunters), and the costs associated with that annually recurring “management” endeavor.

                So, anybody who thinks wolves don’t need management, just isn’t living in the real world.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                WM,

                The term wolf pimps has been used for years. And said S Lobo has been bring the MN wolf depredation trapping for years. Two things. Most folks in MN were satisfied with this arrangement, both pro-wolf folks and anti-wolf folks.

                Second, whether due to hunting of wolves, or last years protracted Winter that made deer in Spring much easier for wolves to kill, wolves removed depredations were way down.

                Third. Poaching continues to take, on average, about 10% of MN wolves. Said S Lobo/reality 22 is on record for contributing to MI wolf poacher who was thrown in jail. He/she is also on record as writing that the Middleton study was probably funded by Ralph Maughan, when original funding came from the likes of SCI, to which he/she is a dues paying member.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Sorry, asking how he could contribute to said poacher.

              • avatar JB says:

                “So, anybody who thinks wolves don’t need management, just isn’t living in the real world.”

                Agreed. The problem is that the word ‘management’ is being used to mean different things. For example, before wolves were delisted, those favoring delisting proclaimed ‘we need some management of wolves’, meaning hunting and trapping. Many of us pointed out that wolves were already being managed quite extensively in the form of lethal control.

                We might also quibble about how much of that 8-10% is killed because of an actual ‘need’.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                One of the things I’m working on in MN is to find an avenue for wolf advocates to fund the management of wolves, rather than tax payer dollars, in exchange for more say at the round table.

                Now that wolf hunting/trapping is two seasons old, I don’t see that going away, but perhaps certain areas where wolves cause little to no problem (aka Frank Church wilderness), hunting/trapping can/should be haunted.

              • avatar Paul says:

                The “reality22″ troll is from Wisconsin. Many of us here think that it is Laurie Groskopf, a rabid wolf hater/bear hounder from northern Wisconsin or a very close relative/associate. Google that name and compare the propaganda and terminology. It is exactly the same.

                For even more context look up the “United Sportsmen of Wisconsin” AFP front group scandal and their close ties to the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association. All of these people are connected and Groskopf is a top leader in the bear hounder group.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Should be halted.

        • avatar Montana Boy says:

          Jeff E
          I was just curious, didn’t know if it was the harvest or that more wolves were killing each other part.
          I’d call it tit for tat basically I find 90% of the wolf issue daffodil fertilizer. Both sides throw around a lot of shit and the flowers just keep blooming.

  26. avatar WM says:

    This may well be better placed under the general Wildlife News thread, but since it has to do with mistaking someone’s look-alike dog for a wolf or coyote I’ll put it here.

    Recall a couple weeks back a guy’s husky was shot by a wolf hunter in MT. Looks like the topic has traction and got some play in the American Bar Assn. Journal(lawyer trade magazine) – seeking to fill a void in the law, where there is little criminal recourse for the owner of the animal in some states – Montana in this instance:

    Death of pet dog mistaken for wolf reveals loophole in state poaching law.

    Despite the shortcomings noted, the guy could still, of course, sue the offending shooter for loss of his property in civil court. But the shooter would raise defenses against his negligence by saying “It looked like wolf,” and it wasn’t on a leash. The property damage claim would also be small money. Will future laws include provisions to make it easier to sue for larger damages (say award of attorney fees, inclusion of factors beyond just the value of a certain breed/sex/age/training of the dog)?

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      WM,

      Perhaps more grounds could be found in dogs caught in traps, especially border line/illegal sets. Another issue is leashes. We’ve all talked about the pros and cons of leashes. A dog under voice control that does not wander, is it looked upon by law as any other dog off lead if it stumbles into a trap or snare? Does this push the legal experts into the gray world of hunting dogs? They are off lead… What happens if/when a water fowl hunters retriever gets nailed by a conibear 330 set for beaver?

      • avatar WM says:

        Immer,

        There is another defense available to the potentially liable party – “assumption of risk.” So, the trapper with potential liability for the the waterfowl retriever that stumbles into the beaver trap says the owner of the dog assumed the risk (same would be true of a dog in a trap intended for a wolf or other targeted species). If the trap set is legal in all other respects, the chances of escaping liability for injuring the dog would seem to be in his favor. Probably would not make a difference if the dog was on or off leash, either, if the set was otherwise legal. Like most here, I don’t like traps much.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      This type of careless behavior is taken seriously in other parts of the country. Just a couple of incidents:

      “Holy was charged with one count of aggravated cruel treatment of an animal, obstructing a peace officer, reckless conduct, and unlawful discharge of a firearm while hunting within 300 yards of an inhabited dwelling without permission”

      **I would of thought they would of also thrown in “baiting coyotes” which I believe is illegal in the state?

      http://www.journal-topics.com/news/article_4c847d38-7494-11e2-abe1-001a4bcf6878.html

      “WESTBROOK, Maine —A Westbrook hunter who shot and killed a dog he said he thought was a coyote has been charged”

      http://www.wmtw.com/Westbrook-Man-Charged-For-Mistakenly-Shooting-Dog/-/8792672/5684722/-/88blk9z/-/index.html

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Don’t they do that already? In some places for distress on the pet’s owner suffers?

      The lax law enforcement of Montana compared to other states – this ‘hunter’ thought he was shooting at a wolf and was hunting too close to a roadway, so it shouldn’t matter that what he shot wasn’t a wolf (as far as the hunting laws go, it matters greatly to the husky’s owner of course) – he was breaking the law.

      • avatar Elk375 says:

        He was not breaking any law. Both the sheriff department and the forest service determined that no laws were broken.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Elk,

          No, he broke no laws, but an obvious case of trigger itch. Just too much of this.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          Oh please…… how many times over the years, have you heard about cattle & horses being shot by careless hunters Elk? And those incidents are usually settled $$ because they often happen on private lands. Can’t fix stupid.

    • avatar Yvette says:

      Just yesterday I read that he is seeking legal action. It appears his attitude is to put the attention on the dog, Little Dave, so that hunters are held accountable.

      He made an excellent point when he stated if it had of been an elk mistakenly killed there would have been immediate action.

      http://missoulian.com/news/local/update-man-whose-malamute-was-killed-seeks-legal-fix/article_b47cb024-70ef-11e3-b34b-001a4bcf887a.html

      http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20131216/NEWS01/312160023/Montana-dog-owner-plans-sue-hunter-who-shot-malamute

  27. avatar Melody Scamman says:

    I know this Little Dave situation well and I am friends online with Layne Spence. As Layne screamed at the hunter to stop, after he saw little Dave’s rear leg blown off by the first shot, the man continued to pump several more rounds into the dog while fully in sight of his distraught owner! This was no accident. According to Layne, the man was fully dressed in camo and has an assault rifle with a silencer on it and was hunting while walking on a forest service road. As Layne puts it, it could have been a kid! Irresponsible people who can’t identify a target don’t belong on public lands, hunting. In most places, the hunter would lose his license. Especially since Layne’s dogs all had lighted collars! What happened in this case was a jurisdictional problem and a lot of passing the buck. Civil court will be different. And it isn’t about the money, it is about hunters being made to take responsibility for thdir actions!

  28. If this had happened here in Idaho, the dog owner would have been charged with “interfering with a hunter” for yelling while the killer was still shooting.

  29. avatar Phil says:

    I am a European wildlife ecologist. I can’ believe that these arguments are still going in in the US. The relationships between predators and prey are now well understood and it is so important to maintain wolf populations. Visit Scotland if you want evidence of what happens to wilderness forest areas where wolves were exterminated. I suspect all this is more about politics and misinformation than science.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “I suspect all this is more about politics and misinformation than science”

      You would be right Phil. Living in the past has a lot to do with it also, continuing to exercise the trigger finger, rather than the brain.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      “I can’ believe that these arguments are still going in in the US. The relationships between predators and prey are now well understood and it is so important to maintain wolf populations.”

      yes hard to believe isn’t it. 2014 and thugs running about killing wildlife in killing contests and its legal.

  30. avatar Mark Mansfield says:

    David Goldman’s comments of December 31, 2013, regarding Dave Meech’s curious odyssey as a preeminent scientific expert on the wolf are not at all without merit. Dr. Meech is the vice chair on the BOD for the International Wolf Center (IWC) in Ely, MN. I would strongly encourage anyone interested in the survival of wolves, to take a look at the ICU’s website, under “About US Fact Check Controversial Wolf Issues – Fact and Fiction” — six of the nine Q and A’s are entirely devoted to attempting to defend the ICU’s endorsement of wolf hunting and trapping, with the most defensive “Answer” of the bunch, being a scripted response (well, all the “Answers” are in fact that!) to this Question: “Why do you have someone on your board like Dr. Dave Meech, who I’m told supports wolf hunting and has even written about it?” Yeah, why indeed, but don’t look to the ICU for an answer, unless you’re easily bowled over with the repetition of words like “unbiased” and phrases such as “science-based,” which anyone can bandy and toss around. The fact that the ICU deemed it critical enough to devote an entire page on its website under the misnomer-like heading of “Fact Check Controversial Wolf Issues – Fact and Fiction” to responding to those who have already pointed up its and Dr. Mech’s endorsement of wolf hunting and trapping speaks considerably louder than the canned “Answers” – in short, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

    At least on his own site, Dr. Mech makes no bones about his supporting the delisting of wolves from ESA protection, his assumption that “wolf populations have recovered,” and his unqualified endorsement of each state having carte blanche to “manage” wolves “however each state decides.”

    “Mech View of Wolf Management (Nov. 13, 2012)

    “Now that wolf populations have recovered and have been delisted from the U.S. Endangered Species List in the Upper Midwest and the northern Rockies, wolf management has reverted to the states in those regions. Thus I believe that the way wolves should be managed is how ever each state decides.

    “Individual citizens have individual opinions about wolf management. State legislatures and Departments of Natural Resources must balance all these many conflicting views while ensuring that their wolf populations survive but conflict minimally with humans. As long as the wolf is no longer endangered in a particular state, I support that state’s approach to managing its wolves.”

    Meanwhile, since being delisted from the Endangered Species List, which apparently Dr. Mech takes no issue with, at least 2,000 wolves have been needlessly slaughtered. At least. According to Predator Defense, “1,705 wolves and counting (as of 8/21/13). 1,158 of these wolves were killed during the 2012-13 season alone. … This kill tally does not include the scores of wolves slaughtered by federal and state predator control programs. USDA Wildlife Services data for fiscal year 2011 showed a total of 353 wolves killed in the states, with 200 in Minnesota alone.” Nor does that kill tally reflect wolves killed in Michigan, nor during current seasons and “culls,” nor does it include wolves slaughtered and trapped by poachers. However, according to Dr. Mech’s own “View of Wolf Management,” “wolf populations have recovered” in the areas noted — and unless Dr. Mech has not gotten around to revising his “View” in the horrendous wake of OVER ONE-THIRD of the estimated 6,000 wolves in that region, being slaughtered, one must assume that in his expert opinion, he considers the wolf populations “recovered.”

    Expert opinion is science is a curious matter. In fact, expert opinion, period, is a curious matter. And not just so far as the study of wolves. By way of illustration, the field of induced, high-pressure hydraulic fracturing of shale gas formations has its share of experts, not all of whom happen to agree with one another. You have scholars such as Anthony Ingraffea and Bob Howarth at Cornell or Rob Jackson at Duke, whose considerable research has pointed to myriad dangers attendant to fracking for natural gas. In the NYT Dr. Ingraffea recently stated: “As a longtime oil and gas engineer who helped develop shale fracking techniques for the Energy Department, I can assure you that this gas is not ‘clean.’ Because of leaks of methane, the main component of natural gas, the gas extracted from shale deposits is not a ‘bridge’ to a renewable energy future — it’s a gangplank to more warming and away from clean energy investments.”

    Then, you have uber-enthusiastic fracking advocates like Dr. Terry Engelder at Penn State, who in addition to his teaching duties has also worked for Texaco, Saudi Aramco, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Agip, Petrobras, Chesapeake. Dr. Engelder claims there is no evidence of groundwater contaimenation from fracking, that there’s no correlation between contaimenation of water wells and nearby shale gas sites, no relation between fracking and contaimenation of freshwater aquifers, no relation between fracking and an increased incidence of serious earthquakes, only lots of teensy weensy, itsy bitsy earthquakes that just go with fracking territory and aren’t any big deal, and on and on – no, no, no — no evidence. As CBS News reported: “In 2007, Penn State Professor Terry Engelder calculated that there were 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale, which runs for about square 95,000 miles underneath Pennsylvania, New York and four other states. (The US Geological Survey had previously estimated the shale held just 2 trillion cubic feet.) Engelder’s discovery and others around the country revealed that America’s shale held ‘the equivalent of two Saudi Arabias of oil,’ as Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon put it.” And since then, Dr. Engelder has repeatedly gone so far as to deride, and at times outright dismiss ever-growing evidence that fracking poses a wide range of health and environmental hazards.

    Experts of all stripes frequently arrive at diametrically opposed or at least conflicting conclusions about the same process, or in the case of wolves, the same animal. Sometimes, the “evidence” all neatly stacked up, however adroitly explained, elegantly footnoted and buttressed by peer-reviewed methodologies, is just not always what it seems. As Anthony Hecht once wrote, “Seeing is misbelieving.” Not all scientists are nearly as dispassionate, “unbiased,” and objective as they would have the public believe. Some, sad to say, consider other criteria than what the scientific method alone offers up – and if you were privy to any inner summing of their calculus or motives, you might recognize musings that would recall the title of that old R&B song, “First I look at the purse.”

    PS – So far as the many folks who’ve commented on this highly engaging thread, I would submit that they pretty much fall into three groups, which quickly would become apparent if we all agreed to accompany a truckload of hunters and trappers on their way to doing what they consider next to holiness itself – killing wildlife. One group of us wouldn’t bat so much as an eye whatever animal was maimed or killed or tortured. Another slightly more finicky group would part ways with the first group over indiscriminate blood lusting—some species would be okey dokey to gun down or Conibear, while others would not, while some methods of slaughter would pass mustard, though others would be unacceptable – like “denning” kits or pups, or gut-shooting, or trapping, or maybe trapping would be acceptable to our finicky friends, but trapping then slowly taunting a trapped animal maybe with the able assistance of five or six dogs literally tearing her or him apart, would not. Like I said, the finicky group. The third group, of which I count myself a member – and BTW, I grew up much of my younger life in a rural area of the US and did hunt and fish though I’ve not engaged in either for years — the third group would wish there were some way, any way of God’s forsaken Earth to halt the carnage, the sickening sounds and pitiful sights, of innocent animals shaking, writhing and thrashing and in agony and trying to run or to fly with bullet-, arrow-, or trap-shattered bodies — and dying.

  31. avatar Mark Mansfield says:

    David Goldman’s comments of December 31, 2013, regarding Dave Mech’s curious odyssey as a preeminent scientific expert on the wolf are not at all without merit. Dr. Mech is the vice chair on the BOD for the International Wolf Center (IWC) in Ely, MN. I would strongly encourage anyone interested in the survival of wolves, to take a look at the ICU’s website, under “About US Fact Check Controversial Wolf Issues – Fact and Fiction” — six of the nine Q and A’s are entirely devoted to attempting to defend the ICU’s endorsement of wolf hunting and trapping, with the most defensive “Answer” of the bunch, being a scripted response (well, all the “Answers” are in fact that!) to this Question: “Why do you have someone on your board like Dr. Dave Mech, who I’m told supports wolf hunting and has even written about it?” Yeah, why indeed, but don’t look to the ICU for an answer, unless you’re easily bowled over with the repetition of words like “unbiased” and phrases such as “science-based,” which anyone can bandy and toss around. The fact that the ICU deemed it critical enough to devote an entire page on its website under the misnomer-like heading of “Fact Check Controversial Wolf Issues – Fact and Fiction” to responding to those who have already pointed up its and Dr. Mech’s endorsement of wolf hunting and trapping speaks considerably louder than the canned “Answers” – in short, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
    At least on his own site, Dr. Mech makes no bones about his supporting the delisting of wolves from ESA protection, his assumption that “wolf populations have recovered,” and his unqualified endorsement of each state having carte blanche to “manage” wolves “however each state decides.”
    “Mech View of Wolf Management (Nov. 13, 2012)
    “Now that wolf populations have recovered and have been delisted from the U.S. Endangered Species List in the Upper Midwest and the northern Rockies, wolf management has reverted to the states in those regions. Thus I believe that the way wolves should be managed is how ever each state decides.
    “Individual citizens have individual opinions about wolf management. State legislatures and Departments of Natural Resources must balance all these many conflicting views while ensuring that their wolf populations survive but conflict minimally with humans. As long as the wolf is no longer endangered in a particular state, I support that state’s approach to managing its wolves.”
    Meanwhile, since being delisted from the Endangered Species List, which apparently Dr. Mech takes no issue with, at least 2,000 wolves have been needlessly slaughtered. At least. According to Predator Defense, “1,705 wolves and counting (as of 8/21/13). 1,158 of these wolves were killed during the 2012-13 season alone. … This kill tally does not include the scores of wolves slaughtered by federal and state predator control programs. USDA Wildlife Services data for fiscal year 2011 showed a total of 353 wolves killed in the states, with 200 in Minnesota alone.” Nor does that kill tally reflect wolves killed in Michigan, nor during current seasons and “culls,” nor does it include wolves slaughtered and trapped by poachers. However, according to Dr. Mech’s own “View of Wolf Management,” “wolf populations have recovered” in the areas noted — and unless Dr. Mech has not gotten around to revising his “View” in the horrendous wake of OVER ONE-THIRD of the estimated 6,000 wolves in that region, being slaughtered, one must assume that in his expert opinion, he considers the wolf populations “recovered.”

    Expert opinion is science is a curious matter. In fact, expert opinion, period, is a curious matter. And not just so far as the study of wolves. By way of illustration, the field of induced, high-pressure hydraulic fracturing of shale gas formations has its share of experts, not all of whom happen to agree with one another. You have scholars such as Anthony Ingraffea and Bob Howarth at Cornell or Rob Jackson at Duke, whose considerable research has pointed to myriad dangers attendant to fracking for natural gas. In the NYT Dr. Ingraffea recently stated: “As a longtime oil and gas engineer who helped develop shale fracking techniques for the Energy Department, I can assure you that this gas is not ‘clean.’ Because of leaks of methane, the main component of natural gas, the gas extracted from shale deposits is not a ‘bridge’ to a renewable energy future — it’s a gangplank to more warming and away from clean energy investments.”
    Then, you have uber-enthusiastic fracking advocates like Dr. Terry Engelder at Penn State, who in addition to his teaching duties has also worked for Texaco, Saudi Aramco, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Agip, Petrobras, Chesapeake. Dr. Engelder claims there is no evidence of groundwater contaimenation from fracking, that there’s no correlation between contaimenation of water wells and nearby shale gas sites, no relation between fracking and contaimenation of freshwater aquifers, no relation between fracking and an increased incidence of serious earthquakes, only lots of teensy weensy, itsy bitsy earthquakes that just go with fracking territory and aren’t any big deal, and on and on – no, no, no — no evidence. As CBS News reported: “In 2007, Penn State Professor Terry Engelder calculated that there were 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale, which runs for about square 95,000 miles underneath Pennsylvania, New York and four other states. (The US Geological Survey had previously estimated the shale held just 2 trillion cubic feet.) Engelder’s discovery and others around the country revealed that America’s shale held ‘the equivalent of two Saudi Arabias of oil,’ as Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon put it.” And since then, Dr. Engelder has repeatedly gone so far as to deride, and at times outright dismiss ever-growing evidence that fracking poses a range of health and environmental hazards.
    Experts of all stripes frequently arrive at diametrically opposed or at least conflicting conclusions about the same process, or in the case of wolves, the same animal. Sometimes, the “evidence” all neatly stacked up, however adroitly explained, elegantly footnoted and buttressed by peer-reviewed methodologies, is just not always what it seems. As Anthony Hecht once wrote, “Seeing is misbelieving.” Not all scientists are nearly as dispassionate, “unbiased,” and objective as they would have the public believe. Some, sad to say, consider other criteria than what the scientific method alone offers up – and if you were privy to any inner summing of their calculus or motives, you might recognize musings that would recall to you the title of that old R&B song, “First I look at the purse.”
    PS – So far as the many folks who’ve commented on this highly engaging thread, I would submit that they pretty much fall into three groups, which quickly would become apparent if we all agreed to accompany a truckload of hunters and trappers on their way to doing what they consider next to holiness itself – killing wildlife. One group of us wouldn’t bat so much as an eye whatever animal was maimed or killed or tortured. Another slightly more finicky group would part ways with the first group over indiscriminate blood lusting—some species would be okey dokey to gun down or Conibear, while others would not, while some methods of slaughter would pass mustard, though others would be unacceptable – like “denning” kits or pups, or gut-shooting, or trapping, or maybe trapping would be acceptable to our finicky friends, but trapping then slowly taunting a trapped animal maybe with the able assistance of five or six dogs literally tearing her or him apart, would not. Like I said, the finicky group. The third group, of which I count myself a member – and BTW, I grew up much of my younger life in a rural area of the US and did hunt and fish though I’ve not engaged in either for years—the third group would wish there were some way, any way of God’s forsaken Earth to halt the carnage, the sickening sounds and pitiful sights, of innocent animals shaking, writhing and thrashing and in agony and trying to run or to fly with bullet-, arrow-, or trap-shattered bodies — and dying.

    • avatar Robert Goldman says:

      Mark, the name is Robert, not David. Please don’t mix me up with that traitorous “scientist” David Mech. Mech traded away honest science for dirty political science. David Mech is a mass murdering wolf killer, as much or more than the demented criminals doing the actual killing. Also, Mech went out of his way early on, to demean Farley Mowat, one of the world’s true wildlife conservation heroes. So Mech has had envy and hostility issues for a long time.

      • avatar Mark Mansfield says:

        Robert, please accept my apologies, for mixing up your first name with Mech’s. I also see that I incorrectly cited the acronym for the International Wolf Center as “ICU.”

        Let the first paragraph of my post read,

        –Robert Goldman’s comments of December 31, 2013, regarding Dave Mech’s curious odyssey as a preeminent scientific expert on the wolf are not at all without merit. Dr. Mech is the vice chair on the BOD for the International Wolf Center (IWC) in Ely, MN. I would strongly encourage anyone interested in the survival of wolves, to take a look at the IWC’s website, under “About US Fact Check Controversial Wolf Issues – Fact and Fiction” — six of the nine Q and A’s are entirely devoted to attempting to defend — as in white-wash — the IWC’s endorsement of wolf hunting and trapping, with the most defensive “Answer” of the bunch, being a scripted response (well, all the “Answers” are in fact that!) to this Question: “Why do you have someone on your board like Dr. Dave Mech, who I’m told supports wolf hunting and has even written about it?” Yeah, why indeed, but don’t look to the IWC for an actual answer, unless you’re easily bowled over with the repetition of words like “unbiased” and phrases such as “science-based,” which anyone can bandy and toss around. The fact that the IWC deemed it critical enough to devote an entire page on its website under the misnomer-like heading of “Fact Check Controversial Wolf Issues – Fact and Fiction” to responding to those who have already pointed up its and Dr. Mech’s endorsement of wolf hunting and trapping speaks considerably louder than its canned “Answers” – in short, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”–

        Robert, I was very glad to read your comments about Mech, who in addition to the considerable damage he seems intent on doing to the survival of wolves under the guise of “science-based” research, IMO pretty much controls and runs the show at the IWC, which continues to conduct its business, flying under a rather problematic flag.

        Reading the IWC’s putative “mission” on the Charity Navigator site, there is nary a mention of hunting and killing wolves. Instead: “The International Wolf Center advances the survival of wolf populations by teaching about wolves, their relationship to wildlands and the human role in their future. Our response to controversies as they arise is to provide information that helps people to make their own informed decisions. We pledge to educate the public by offering the most up-to-date, accurate wolf information possible. We who want knowledge about wolves need clear, thoughtful presentation of the facts and issues involved. That is exactly what the International Wolf Center seeks to provide. The study of wolf survival continues to include the study of human tolerance. It is hard for people to tolerate or to respect what they are raised to fear. The wolf problem is a people problem. We need everyone’s help to solve it.” The reader needs to carefully search between the lines when reading the IWC’s emphasis on “the human role” in the future of wolves, and understand that dispassionately objective-sounding language like “[o]ur response to controversies as they arise is to provide information that helps people to make their own informed decisions,” amounts to an almost laissez-faire-like way of saying, let everyone make his or her own decisions about wolves, including the states “managing,” “harvesting” and allowing the slaughtering and trapping of wolves clear back to the verge of extinction. “We who want knowledge about wolves need clear, thoughtful presentation of the facts and issues involved,” does not exclude wolf-hunting as in fact being an acceptable response to such a “clear, thoughtful presentation of the facts and issues involved.”

        Thanks again for shining a light on Dave Mech’s role in this. The IWC is correct that “[t]he wolf problem is a people problem”–a very specific group of people, who also happen to be an extremely small, extremely vocal, extremely well-financed minority of Idahoans and Americans, period — intent on hunting and trapping wolves at their peculiar pleasure, despite whatever and however much evidence, and most importantly however cogent the evidence put before them that this mass-killing of wolves ignores science altogether.

        • avatar Robert Goldman says:

          Mark, excellent share about the traitorous David Mech. I hope Immer and the others who were bashing Melody and me for speaking the truth about this strange man, who was an active trapper for decades, will read your updated post… And learn the truth for themselves. You, too, Ralph and Ken.

        • avatar ma'iingan says:

          “…including the states “managing,” “harvesting” and allowing the slaughtering and trapping of wolves clear back to the verge of extinction.”

          Maybe you can point to the states where wolves are at the verge of extinction?

          For instance, Wisconsin is contributing so many wolves to neighboring Illinois that the ILDNR is starting to talk about creating a wolf plan of their own.

          All the affected states have management plans to maintain wolf populations above the federal delisting level. Again, where is it that wolves are on the verge of extinction?

        • avatar JB says:

          Good grief, people. Scientists are people and all people–all people including scientists– are subject to a variety of biases. Being biased does not differentiate any one person from any other.

          There are three questions that science can answer that are fundamental to lethal wolf management policy: (1) How many wolves constitute a “viable” population (note: this question requires the answer to a couple of very non-scientific questions); (2) How much human-caused mortality can a wolf population withstand (this one is being debated; 17-48%, depending upon who is estimating); and (3) What factors promote or discourage human tolerance for wolves?

          Many biologists/ecologists do not consider the third question ‘scientific’ insomuch as it deals with human opinion, and social science research that deals with the subject is often discounted or ignored (as was the case in the recent proposal to delist wolves nationwide). Yet, the judgments of wildlife ecologists about what constitutes appropriate wolf management policy are often explicitly based upon the proposition that hunting and or trapping will increase tolerance. There are a number of (largely social) scientists that are not convinced that this is the case for a variety of reasons (I include myself in this group).

          In any case, the fact that some scientsts believe that hunting and trapping are needed for wolf populations to be conserved hardly makes them ‘traitorous’.

          A suggestion: You all would be more effective advocates if you eschewed your judgment of people, and kept your critique firmly on the policies.

          • avatar Montana Boy says:

            JB
            First of all nice comment.

            Second
            If you don’t believe hunting increases tolerance, how do feel about not being able to hunt wolves effects tolerance? Personally I prefer some control.

            • avatar JB says:

              MB: It depends upon what you mean by hunting, control and tolerance. For me the best gauge of tolerance is not whether people like or dislike wolves, it’s how many wolves (or what proportion of the population) is being killed. Note, I used the words “hunting” and “trapping” purposefully. All wolf populations in the US have been substantially and lethally controlled. This occurred before there was hunting and (in some places) trapping, and it will continue to occur whether or not hunting and trapping are allowed. As WM noted the other day, there always will be some level of lethal management of wolves.

              The problem with regulated hunting and trapping, as you well know, is that they are not responsive to the demands of livestock producers who have problems with wolves. When a sheep or calf is killed in the spring, are you going to be the one to volunteer to wait around until fall to get a chance to kill the offending wolves. Nope. You want them gone now. Additionally, some people are going to kill wolves illegally. This poaching has always been around and it continues despite legal hunting and trapping. So now in addition to lethal control actions AND illegal poaching, you add in hunting and trapping mortality. And thus far, at least, attitudes toward wolves haven’t changed either.

              About the only ‘tolerance’ that I have seen come out of lethal management for wolves is hunters tolerance for state F&G agencies.

    • avatar Robert Goldman says:

      By the way, Mark, thanks for your intelligence and compassion and for sharing what you have to say. I appreciate it.

  32. avatar Mark Mansfield says:

    Edit to previous post –Nor does that [Predator Defense's] kill tally reflect wolves killed in Michigan, nor during current 2013-14 seasons and “culls” (1,116 to date), nor does it include wolves slaughtered and trapped by poachers. However, according to Dr. Mech’s own “View of Wolf Management,” “wolf populations have recovered” in the areas noted — and unless Dr. Mech has not gotten around to revising his “View” in the horrendous wake of OVER ONE-HALF of the estimated 6,000 (Denver Post) wolves in that region, being slaughtered, one must assume that in his expert opinion, he considers the wolf populations “recovered.”–

    • avatar Robert Goldman says:

      Mark, exactly. Mech turned from scientist to criminal. David Mech is an accessory to mass murder.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Robert,

        “Mark, exactly. Mech turned from scientist to criminal. David Mech is an accessory to mass murder.”

        This statement is as ludicrous as they come. I have no idea how long, if ever, you have been associated with wolf recovery, but hunting and trapping of wolves was always part of the equation. Mech has been consistent with this since day one. It is no recent phenomenon. He is an unbiased man of science who goes about his business with a critical and objective view.

        It’s ironically interesting that the daffodils and the extreme pro-wolf folks both look at Mech as a criminal. Both groups are totally and utterly clueless. Until the extreme pro-wolf side develops objective and reasonable expectations and suggestions to sound wolf management, and unfortunately $$$, because that’s how it works, you sound as worn out as the Toby Bridges of wolf hate and only serve to feed their fires.

        REPLY

      • avatar WM says:

        Robert,

        ++Also, Mech went out of his way early on, to demean Farley Mowat, one of the world’s true wildlife conservation heroes.++

        Let me add to Immer’s retort.

        Mech is not the only one to call attention to Farley Mowat’s failure to stick to facts in his writings about wolves or other wildlife of the North. Of course, this larger than life, self-promoting, and decidedly commercial storyteller wasn’t a practicing biologist either.

        In an expose by Canadian writer John Goddard, Mowat’s nature to regularly fib in his fiction writing is evident, including “Never Cry Wolf.”
        From a 1999 piece basically trashing Mowat’s credibility, by yet another Canadian investigative writer says:

        “The article reported that residents of the Northwest Territories often refer to Farley Mowat by the derisive nickname “Hardly Know-it.” After noting the claims of scrupulous authenticity Mowat made within the books themselves, Goddard described a very different Mowat attitude displayed in notes and conversation. “I never let the facts get in the way of the truth,” Goddard claims Mowat told him. Goddard also came across Mowat’s self-proclaimed motto in a catalog of the author’s papers: “On occasions when the facts have particularly infuriated me, Fuck the Facts!”

        http://www.salon.com/1999/05/11/mowat/

        So, Robert looks like there are a lot of folks who think Mowat deserves the criticism he gets. Mech’s views are to some degree reflected in comments by Ludwig Carbyn, another well recognized Canadian wolf scientist, and Canadian ungulate scientist Valarius Geist (who some here also like to disparage). Gee, scientists or self-promoting commercial storyteller. Oh, who to believe?

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Maybe I am naive, but I thought Mowat had been discredited. Wolves just don’t live off of mice. They are fox food, and to a lesser degree coyote.

          I am disappointed in Mech. I think he is another case of a biologist getting involved in sociology/political science — areas outside his sphere. He is hardly a criminal. I speculate that his reference group is more the state wildlife agency(cies) than the general public. By the public, he was unduly lionized.

          • avatar Mark L says:

            Ralph, I think yours is a fair evaluation of Mech.

          • avatar WM says:

            If you don’t like Mech’s message, here is pretty much the same thing from Dr. Steven Fritts, the chief scientist for the Rocky Mountain Region wolf recovery program. His research is cited quite a bit, in all the studies by the way. Ironically, here are his concluding comment in an interview from 1996. The message from both Fritts and Mech have been consistent for MANY YEARS:

            ++The Fish and Wildlife Service needs to come to a decision on how many wolves are enough in the lower forty-eight and where we want to restore them. In areas were there is no need or intention to restore wolves, they could be delisted. Otherwise you have wolves showing up in new places continually and they are protected by the Endangered Species Act. Do we write a new recovery plan for the wolf if some show up in Utah or in California? We need to know exactly where the finish line is, at least for the Fish and Wildlife Service’s obligations under the ESA.
            The major factor that will affect the status of wolf population everywhere be it Wyoming or Europe, is human attitudes about them. Public education will have an ongoing role in wolf conservation. However, that education will need to include a message that will not be a welcome one to some advocates of wolf recovery; that is, when wolves cause problems, they have to be managed. This the cost of having wolves back in an area. I find it gratifying that the howl of the wolf can be heard again in the wilds of Yellowstone Park and central Idaho. Wolves are magnificent animals that deserve better than humans have treated them during recent centuries. ++

            http://www.environmentalreview.org/archives/vol03/fritts.html

            Also a short article on his retirement about two years ago – http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/pressrel/11-60.html

            • avatar Robert Goldman says:

              WM, what Fritts wrote in 1996 is far different than the active and mass wolf killing policies that Mech has enabled and in actual fact, promoted. To say the relatively benign words you quoted are the same as the back door wolf killing schemes that Mech has endorsed is very inaccurate on your part.

          • avatar Robert Goldman says:

            Ralph, that’s silly. You bought into the slander. Mowat did not claim that wolves lived off mice. In a limited instance, with a specific population at a specific season, a group of wolves subsisted on catching and eating mice for awhile. His work is on file at the Canadian wildlife agency for which he worked, as a wolf biologist, in the field, in the forties. Farley Mowat has done more for wildlife conservation than most scientists and they clearly resent that and have for a long time. Mowat’s complete devotion and great writing for wildlife conservation is the reason that Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Society named one of his active whale defender ships the Farley Mowat (not the David Mech…LOL). If you and the rest of us accomplished a fraction of what Captain Watson is doing with his bravery, persistence and bold action for whales and all sea life, perhaps we’d be in a legitimate position to judge Farley Mowat, who is and forever remains a wildlife hero.

            • avatar Melody Scamman says:

              I agree, Bob, well said! And for the record, I have quite enjoyed a wolf who in her youth, amused me by picking raspberries very carefully, under a bush, with her lips and eating them. She also made great efforts to rid my property of mice, voles and chipmunks. Her mate had a taste for larger rodents and birds. I believe wolves learn from elders and from other creatures and even humans. They are highly intelligent and adaptable to their surroundings. One or two wolves need learned skills to take down large prey. Mice and other rodents are safe prey and if they are abundant, they will be on the menu of young wolves. In fact, pups practice hunting by catching them. Elderly wolves may need to eat rodents if they have no young to help them hunt larger prey?

            • avatar ma'iingan says:

              “His work is on file at the Canadian wildlife agency for which he worked, as a wolf biologist, in the field, in the forties.”

              Ahhh – on file. That explains why I’ve never seen a shred of peer-reviewed science attributed to Mowat. What, are they waiting for the perfect time to publish?

              • avatar JB says:

                “What, are they waiting for the perfect time to publish?”

                Perhaps it becomes easier when you’ve achieved posthumous ‘wildlife hero’ status?

                The best part about TWN is the honest and (mostly) informed debates about what constitutes acceptable policy. The worst part is when people stop judging policy and start judging each other.

                ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.’

              • avatar Robert Goldman says:

                Mowat’s notes and research are on file with his former employer in the 1940′s, the Canadian government because they wanted his work to support demonizing and slaughtering wolves. His field work did not support what his government bosses wanted. Mowat’s book Never Cry Wolf was originally going to be about the ridiculous stuffed shirts that he was working for at the government wildlife bureaucracy. When Mowat realized they were not worth his time, he wrote about his experiences with the wolves and native people he met doing his field work. Farley Mowat is one of the true wildlife and earth defender heroes of the world.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            + 1 on Ralph’s assessment
            thats been my gripe with Mech for a long time
            he stated opinions that had more of a basis in social science and because he had been a “lionized” revered name his views on hunting wolves helped to make hunting wolves legitimate policy……

          • avatar MAD says:

            Ralph, once again you hit the nail on the head. Some prominent scientists in their field get foisted upon a pedestal like deity, and others slowly morph into advocacy roles rater than sticking strictly with the science. A perfect example of this in my wife’s field is with the Polar Bear biologists Ian Stirling and Steve Amstrup.

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          Oh yes, who and what to believe. Fiction is fiction – not to be taken as fact, and most people can differentiate fact from fiction, except those who want predators to be always portrayed in a negatively, in both fact and fiction.

          And the scientists who one side or the other doesn’t agree or like get criticized, so that’s nothing new. Facts and statistics are regularly shown to be not what they appear, so ‘facts’ many not be the truth, and vague, anonymous accusations about someone mean nothing.

          “Scientist” in and of itself doesn’t give someone additional credibility. I have to say I am extremely disappointed with some of the things scientists have said. I seem to recall a scientist saying that ‘wolf advocates need to speak out and loud’ but depending upon which side you are on, people pick and choose Dr. Mech’s and others’ comments to suit them, and take them out of context. It’s as bad as bible quoters!

          Incidentally, why do certain names keep appearing in the wolf debate? Are they ‘scientists’?

          http://okanoganrlc.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/wolf-debate-are-researchers-advocates-or-scientists/

        • avatar Robert Goldman says:

          WM, if Farley Mowat at age 93 cared to, he could sue for slander. Mowat did in fact receive a degree in wildlife biology, though not a PhD and did in fact work for the stuffy national Canadian wildlife agency as a field wolf biologist in the Hudson Bay region, in the 1940′s. You appear not to know the actual truth but are simply quoting a host of others who deeply resent Farley Mowat. Mr. Mowat rose far above the many better credentialed wildlife scientists who have accomplished so little for wildlife.

          • avatar WM says:

            Actually, I quoted an investigative journalist (two actually, three years apart), who apparently researched Farley Mowat’s background quite thoroughly. And, if his (their) assertions were untrue, Farley should have made his defamation/libel claims over 20 years ago. Seems the scientific community has also had its disagreement with Farley and the very factual basis of his books and his research participation on wolves. Of course, truth is a defense to claims of defamation, which may be yet another reason he didn’t make any claims – probably couldn’t show damages either.

            So, I’ll go with conventional wisdom.
            And if you are going to give legal advice, at least get the terminology correct – the claim is “libel” if in writing, or the more commonly used term these days “defamation” which covers writings or verbal statements.

            And, I see you worship a conservation fiction writer with the same unqualified zeal you worship wolves. Kind of sad, really, kind of like a sheep.

        • avatar Robert Goldman says:

          WM, good question: who to believe? Those scientists (and non-scientists) facilitating the wildlife persecutors and killers or those who are trying at long last to create a better world for wildlife and humankind both.

      • avatar Melody Scamman says:

        Mech will go down in history as a whore for the powers that be. He should be fully exposed but where is the press?

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          Melody,

          It’s posts such as your last that relegate your opinions to the lint bucket. You and Mr. Goldman, as passionate as you may be, might be better served with really studying Dr. Mech’s history with wolves, his continued work, and the enormous impact he still carries, both positive, and I would guess what you have misconstrued as negative. The actions if the daffodils has you eating your own.

          JEFF E, if you’re around, we require a daffodil like name for the uninformed on the other side.

          • avatar Robert Goldman says:

            Immer, you need to read Mech’s latter writings on wolves, specifically the wolf killing tactics and ideology he has promoted the past five years or so in the International Wolf Center website, which may not be there now as it caused such an uproar when it was first posted. Mech has come a long way since his field scientist days when he actually called on wildlife defenders to speak up and speak forcefully to counter the wolf haters and killers. Immer, it is you who is it of touch with how things change. Please educate yourself so we can be on the same side and turn things around for wolves and our country.

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Robert,

              As the raven flies, I live three miles from the IWC, am a long time member, and frequent visitor. I live in the middle of wolf country in northern MN. I have wolves that run through my small chunk of land. One of the reasons I live where I do is to have wild wolves for “neighbors”.

              Mech has never strayed from the man he is. He is from a hunting and trapping background, credentials that Durwood Allen felt help qualify Mech for the seminal Isle Royale studies.

              Some of what you may find egregious follows:
              Mech
              9/18/12
              I am concerned with the survival of wolves as a species, and that means I can’t be concerned about saving every individual wolf. If we put wolves on a pedestal above all other species that we hunt, people will take the law into their hands, and before long we’ll be right back to the time when, for most folks, the only good wolf was a dead wolf. Sooner or later we’re going to have to have a hunt.

              January 2013

              http://www.minnpost.com/earth-journal/2013/01/final-stats-disprove-notion-trappers-and-hunters-are-outmatched-wolves

              Mech 2009
              http://www.mprnews.org/story/2009/11/10/mech

              At the 1995 and 2000 International Wolf Symposia Mech put forth that hunting and trapping would be essential tools in wolf management.

              Seems to be pretty consistent in my book.

              I don’t particularly agree with all aspects of the past two MN wolf seasons, especially hunting and trapping in the BWCAW. I don’t care for trapping at all, but to be honest, with what I saw on my game camera last year, trapping wolves would have been much easier than hunting.

              Whether from a protracted Winter last year (mech and Fritts put forth in 1986 that a strong Winter Severity index results in weaker deer, and Spring fawns, thus easier pickings for wolves, and less cattle/calf predation) or concentrated hunting/trapping in band of area where depredations were highest… Wolves removed of livestock depredation were down this year. Mange was prevalent among wolves in the 2012/13 season, and appears to be down this year. Did mange burn itself out or did fewer wolves translate to less spread of mange?

              I like wolves as much as the next person. I live among them, keep current with my reading, attend presentations, and continue to educate about wolves when possible.

              I’m very in touch with how things are.

  33. avatar Mike says:

    I camped in the Northern Rockies from September to December this year, and tracked mountain lions and wolves in and around the Bob Marshall.

    I met some real scumbag hunters and trappers.

    They are the worst of the worst.

  34. avatar Robert Goldman says:

    Mike, thanks for sharing this. With your wilderness skills and respect for America’s wildlife, you are the kind of man that puts these killers to shame. They are devils. It is incredible that this country, founded upon the altar of massive exploitation, greed, violence, thievery and murder of native people and native wildlife, both, cannot yet atone for such evil by at the very least stopping further abuse and killing of native beings.

  35. avatar jon says:

    http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,142976.0.html

    You have some hunters comparing wolves to rapists.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      I’d say it’s the other way around, if you ask me.

      • avatar Melody Scamman says:

        Actually, Ida, you are more correct than you know! I have seen the most troubling thing of my whole life in the form of a man who ordered up two black wolves from a guide in BC. The man was blind as a bat and the guide had to help him shoot the wolves. The first one ran across a frozen lake in deep snow to a gut pile right across from the cabin window and was killed instantly. The second wolf heard the gunshot and turned to run but saw his family member was not behind him. So he turned back into the line of fire to return to his fallen brother! A brave act of compassion no real soldier could ignore as a wolf version of leave no man behind! But these scumbags were not real men, they were psychopaths. The second wolf was killed a few yards from his brother but he was dying slowly, bleeding out in the snow as the sick freak who shot him ran up and took possession of his dying body. Rather than put the wolf out of his misery, the killer threw himself atop the body of the dying wolf, squirming like a snake, he raped the wolf. His joy in that act was captured and posted by the guide in a bulk posting on his website of satisfied customers. I don’t think he screened it but within minutes it was deleted. I only have a cheap tablet and was unable to save it. I have no doubt in my mind that the killer/rapist needs to be in prison, where he can’t do that to innocent wolves or children! I doubt he will be caught. His accent was from NYC. There is more to this story but I am sticking to the wildlife part of it. Any vet can tell you pets are more frequent rape victims than anyone knows as it does not get reported on. The sick freaks think the animal likes it. I am so revolted by this subject that I become physically ill. I will never understand it nor can I understand how vets deal with their feelings after treating victims.
        I think the level of ignorant wolf hatred and stupid reality shows objectifying animals,especially predators, will only cause more of this sick behavior. I only hope that they are stupid enough to post it online and get caught and locked up in prison. I will never be the same person after seeing the dark heart of true evil. Trophy hunters and trappers are the scum of the Earth. Wolf haters who gleefully rape their dying victims are no different than the most evil serial killers, yet they walk free among us.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          The man was blind as a bat and the guide had to help him shoot the wolves.

          In the old days, this man would be unable to hunt. Nowadays, anybody is entitled to hunt, even if they are physically incapable.

          Not surprised. There is nothing darker than the human mind. But yet even the worst sickos imaginable are innocent until proven guilty, not like the wolves in the Frank Church wilderness.

          • avatar Melody Scamman says:

            Ida, even if by some miracle the video resurfaces and the man is identified, it would take international cooperation for him to even prosecuted. By crossing an international border, then leaving soon after, no chance he would be caught or held, or tried for the evil he did. The man who was probably the BC serial killer died in prison in the US. Then there was a copy-cat. They targeted Native women, hitching rides into town from the rez. They were attracted to long black hair. That should give you chills because of what I described and that it very well might be the same copy-cat killer? This info can be researched on the human end but I believe that the wolf killer/rapist video may have only been up for a few minutes and I just happened to be doing a search for something else and saw it? Trust me when I tell you, I couldn’t make that stuff up, my mind doesn’t go there. But I know what I saw.
            The guy was so blind he had ‘coke bottle’ glasses. It had to be a ‘canned hunt’. It disturbs me greatly that someone would capture wild wolves, breed them, raise them, habituate them to humans, then for $5,000 each, send these beautiful creatutes to their deaths. Wolves have better loyalty and devotion than most humans

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              These people have no soul, obviously. I use the term loosely. ;)

              I think the majority of people (and hunters) are decent, but there are a minority that are not. Canned hunting is not sportsmanlike, to put it mildly. If you are unskilled or physically incapable of hunting, there are some things you cannot do because you are unable.

              They shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the vulnerable. I hope there is a karma, and I believe there is.

              • avatar Melody Scamman says:

                Oh, no doubt karma will get him. With ‘needs’ that perverse, it is only a matter of time before he finds himself in a jail cell getting done to him what he did to that poor, honorable wolf. The self-proclaimed ‘guide’ with the canned hunting made a comment that the ranger for his area brings him roadkilled moose to bait the wolves. He captures them with snares and leg hold traps. I hope he falls through thin ice all alone. Enabling evil is just as bad as the person doing the killing.
                I prefer the company of wolves, though their table manners need some work. :-)

        • avatar topher says:

          Oh christ, I’ve finally heard it all.

          • avatar Melody Scamman says:

            Tropher, at least you didn’t see the video. And yeah, I had the same thought about ‘I have seen everything’, then I got sick to my stomach. I had more ability to process human behavior out of my mind before that. Now I have no pity for the ‘woods-psychos’ or what ever happened in their childhoods or if their mammas dropped them on their heads when they were babies. I just really don’t care what happens to them anymore. Not worth anyone’s further concern. I have my hands full with rescued animals.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              I don’t doubt you for a minute! Look what humans have done to each other when they can get away with it, so poor animals really don’t stand a chance. I don’t think they necessarily have to have been dropped in their heads by their mamas, I think some people are just born that way. :)

              • avatar Melody Scamman says:

                I expect to lose power here in Maine so before that happens I want to thank Bob and Ida, who both know what is going on at the front lines of the wolf wars. Sorry that I ruffled some feathers, I chose not to make it any worse, not to be a shrinking violet (surely not any other flower, either). I’m dealing with a sickly old wolf, who has decided to take up most of my bed so I won’t be getting any sleep tonight. It’s too cold for her on the floor. Some of us save and heal animals, others shoot perfectly healthy ones, still others just don’t even want to know. Our actions speak louder than our words. My eldest grandchild will 18 in two days, then off to school to be a lawyer so she can fight for positive change in animal rights, to speak for those without a voice.

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            stay tuned topher the petunias they area bloomin.

            Starting to think SB had it about right

            • avatar topher says:

              Thank god. I was worried nobody else would comment. I miss SB more by the day.

            • avatar Ida Lupine says:

              I never figured SB for the hissy fit type tho. I like to give the benefit of the doubt, but opinion is that he’s a fraud. It usually becomes evident in enough time.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Hissy fit, or lack of judgement due to growing frustration with those using the blog more as a place to whine, but do nothing else, hoping someone. Else does it for them. Some of the comments being made lately are as ridiculous as the hot air out out by the antis. It won’t work.

                JEFF E, didn’t read far enough down, but petunias are apt.

              • avatar WM says:

                petunias

                +1

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                Ok,
                so least I be accused of being a {gasp} bully (oh, the horror), petunias it is.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                or even if I am

          • avatar topher says:

            Am I the only one who read that crap? That was the most delusional ridiculous crap I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading. Anyone who tells these stories or associates with people who do can only hurt their cause. But by all means, carry on.

  36. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    I couldn’t believe it until I actually read it myself. First day of 2014 and this is what is news in Illinois? Doesn’t anything get done in this country other than wolf legislating and killing nowadays? I don’t know what to make of all this hysteria in the 21st century. It’s embarrassing. We’ve dropped IQ points along with the economy’s decline. It does take the focus off everything that is wrong with government. If I could leave this country for a less corrupt, more enlightened and civilized one, I would in a minute. Europe, got any room for an ex-pat American?

    http://canislupus101.blogspot.com/2014/01/illinois-preps-for-possibility-of-wolf.html

  37. avatar Rita k Sharpe says:

    I read this blog for along time and have seen many come and go,with or without SB being here,this blog sooner or later, turns to fisticuffs when it touches someone’s passion or subject of interest or life style being threatened . It seems it has been a long time since I have seen/read so many posts from new comers or that just haven’t posted for years. I read here to get info and hopefully some leads to help in what I believe in, and find out what I can do or can’t do. Bashing people or just to say things just to agitate other or to get their gander. Frankly , I will get my own info on Dr.Mech.

  38. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Melody, did you get a lot of snow up in Maine? They’ve named the blizzard Hercules. :) Take care!

    I’ve no illusions about human nature. It saddens me greatly to see wolves being killed and all this violence and gun savagery going on strictly for political reasons, and private property rights. I truly believe that since they cannot hurt people, they are doing it to a vulnerable group that they can hurt, and that they think will bring no repercussions – predators. For example, this Steve Alder character is not just an outfitter, but a tea partier.

    I wasn’t born yesterday, but in my lifetime I can see our country has taken a downward turn – we have no culture anymore, are superficial and greedy, and what can you say about the guns? We should be ashamed. I have to give great kudos and respect to people like Louise, Jon Way, and JB – who keep their heads and work for positive change and do not let disappointment and frustration derail their efforts. It is difficult to do! They set a great example – and of course Ralph and the moderators of the blog who provide the information and discussion.

    • avatar Melody Scamman says:

      Yes! Lots of snow, the wolfies are lovin’ it! I’m not. Too far to the woodpile through thigh-deep snow! The cold is the problem though. Exposed skin will freeze in five minutes, according to the local weatherman. My old wolf is sick, I was up with her most of the night. She is warming her bones by the wood stove. She will recover. I think she ate a tylenol pill? She gets in the trash at night so I usually take it out to the barrel but that was not an option. I had tossed out a tylenol pill that fell on the floor. It was in a child safe bottle but Zoey is so smart that it only takes her moments to open any bottle. Her mother taught her that, she could open a pop bottle by 8 weeks of age! Her talents are usually beneficial since I have arthritis and neuropathy. But I have learned a hard lesson and will now be burning any tylenol that is dirty or past-dated in the wood stove!
      I agree with everything you said. It is hard to live in this country now but Canada is worse. My brother and I were going to take a trip to NS, ferry service is reopening in the Spring. I have not seen my relatives since 1971! It’s a bucket list thing. But I don’t want to go while the Christian right wing-nuts are in office. I’m thinking of going to Yellowstone in June for the wolf gathering? I have never been there and that is a bucket list item, too, and I want to visit some people in Idaho who are extended family. My brother, Mike, went to visit his adoptive mother, Rita in Sand Point and was not treated well by the locals. Probably because he and his kids are Native, I guess? Still, I want to meet the woman who raised him. My mom was in a coma when Mike was born so my grandmother put him up for adoption, we only found each other when the adoption records were unsealed a few years ago! So I want to take his kids to see their grandmother. His son Matt loves wolves, too and they have never been to Yellowstone either.
      I hope I didn’t freak anyone out on this blog yesterday, if I did, I am sorry! I know you know what I said is true. I appreciate your support! Some scientists and biologists are insulated from the acts of the wolf haters and are trained not to get emotionally involved. Nobody who is up to their neck in wolf issues comes out the same, as you well know. I think they just want to stay out of the wolf wars for professional reasons? And I love this blog and most of the people are great! You know me from Jim Robinson’s blog and know I get emotional about wolves for good reason, I clean up the emotional and physical mess left behind when I have to rescue wolves and wolfdogs from abuse and neglect. The state of Maine’s stand on them is if game wardens find them, they land in a dog shelter. They are traumatized and can’t pass the adoption test due to shyness so they are put down. I try to keep that from happening. Thankfully, the puppymill trade in wolves is at a low point now in Maine so I hope I won’t walk into anymore horror shows and can just concentrate on my current wolves and wolfdogs.
      It is my opinion that Maine is a suitable place for wolves that are unwanted by other states but they need to be in sanctuaries in large enclosures until laws to protect them are put into place and the locals are educated as to their value to the environment. I think people would warm up to a reintroduction if they understood that wolves would help keep the coyote problem in check? The state regulatory agencies are going to be the hardest problem to solve. Also, there is a huge divide between the northern part of the state and the southwestern counties. The northern counties have a higher joblessness problem and poverty rate. Speaking very generally, there is less respect for wildlife and more poaching. I don’t know what will happen but I would rather see wolves that are unwanted here and safe in a sanctuary than just shot because they are wolves. There is too much killing. Wolf families need to be kept together. Even if people don’t like wolves, they need to understand that wolves are innocent political pawns in dirty politics on both sides and I believe their goal is to undermine the ESA. If scientific research is thwarted by hunting the there is no new longterm study of the same wolves so ‘best available science’ will be incomplete and probably flawed? Read up on the TPP and follow the money. There is a website for that, I will post it later once I make sure I have a good link.
      Thanks again and stay warm!

      • avatar Elk375 says:

        ++I think people would warm up to a reintroduction if they understood that wolves would help keep the coyote problem in check?++

        If Maine has a coyote population problem what is wrong what is wrong with shooting and trapping coyotes. A dead coyote is a dead coyote. A bullet kills faster than a wolf’s jaw.

        • avatar jon says:

          Maine does not have a coyote problem, Elk. The redneck hunters just make up excuses as to why they can’t kill a deer. They blame predators for all their problems.

          • avatar Melody Scamman says:

            Actually, Jon, Southwestern Maine, some years, does have a coyote problem. If I go out at night they are singing and some years, it sounds like there are very large families of them. Most folks with free-range chickens have to put up tall, strong fences and solid coops that lock up at night or go out of business. Chickens kept for eggs are not a big money-maker for all the work that goes into it.
            My neighbor across the swamp told me he counted 11 coyotes trotting toward his chickens, right up the middle of the road!
            I like coyotes, their songs are beautiful! But I still think wolf restoration should be completed in prime habitat. The farmers have already built facilities to keep coyotes out, at least the responsible ones have. The State motto is ‘Maine, life as it should be’. I’d like to think it includes wildlife as it should be.

            • avatar JEFF E says:

              wow Sunnyvale jon. sounds like Melody and you live in the same neighborhood. I bet you are just around the corner.

            • avatar Christine Oliver says:

              Research in Yellowstone showed that as wolf populations increase, coyote populations naturally decrease- so it could be a win-win for Southeastern Maine (assuming wolves would extend that far down the state).

              • avatar WM says:

                Christine,

                Please stick around. You are a calming influence over some of the fringe advocates. I would take exception to this statement of yours, however.

                ++Research in Yellowstone showed that as wolf populations increase, coyote populations naturally decrease…++

                According to Dr. Mech, and based on the research of YNP chief wolf scientist Doug Smith, and Mark Hebblewhite, the jury might still be out on that assertion (contrary to the shorthand conclusions of some wolf advocates).

                Mech writes, “Furthermore the number of coyote packs in the part of Yellowstone where they were at first reduced has returned to pre-wolf levels although the packs may be smaller (Crabtree and Sheldon, unpublished, in Hebblewhite and Smith, 2010). Thus any wolf release of mesopredators in Yellowstone is yet to be demonstrated.

                Hebblewhite, M., Smith, D.W., 2010. Wolf community ecology: ecosystem effects of
                recovering wolves in Banff and Yellowstone National Park. In: Musiani, M., L.
                Boitani, L., Paquet, P.C. (Eds.), The world of wolves: new perspectives on
                ecology, behaviour and management. Univ. of Calgary Press, Calgary, Alberta,
                pp. 69–120.

                Cited in Dr. Mech’s 2012 writing, “Is Science in Danger of Sanctifying the Wolf?” http://gozobusiness.com/wolves/learn/basic/resources/mech_pdfs/333scienceindangersanctifying.pdf

              • avatar Robert Goldman says:

                WM and whoever reads his posts:
                Keep in mind that Mech drew a federal paycheck for decades and Yellowstone’s Doug Smith has for decades till this very day. Plus, the federal Canadian government has been as dishonest and anti-wolf/anti-ecology as the Feds have turned out to be, again, here. So to quotes these government hacks as the be all and end all is a crock of bull. How about going with the independent, real and objective wolf biologists and wildlife ecologists who have been advocating for the vital role and vital federal protection of the continent’s wolves and other native predators for over a hundred years. For those good folks who want more than the propaganda that WM and some others are peddling on this site, google: PEER, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility to see how they are trying to stand up for honest science and I corrupted, honest scientists/wildlife biologists which supports the truth = protecting America’s vital and beautiful wolves.

              • avatar Robert Goldman says:

                WM and whoever reads his posts:
                Keep in mind that Mech drew a federal paycheck for decades and Yellowstone’s Doug Smith has for decades till this very day. Plus, the federal Canadian government has been as dishonest and anti-wolf/anti-ecology as the Feds have turned out to be, again, here. So to quotes these government hacks as the be all and end all is a crock of bull. Instead, listen to the independent, real and objective wolf biologists and wildlife ecologists who have been advocating for the vital role and vital federal protection of the continent’s wolves and other native predators for over a hundred years. For those good folks who want more than the propaganda nonsense that WM and a few others are peddling on this site, google: PEER, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility to see how they are trying so hard to stand up for honest science and for uncorrupted, honest scientists/wildlife biologists which supports the truth = protecting America’s vital and beautiful wolves.

              • avatar JB says:

                Christine, WM:

                Forgive me for barging in on your conversation. WM is right about the subsequent return of coyote numbers following the population decrease in Yellowstone; however, I’m not sure that context is really applicable to Maine.

                In Maine you have Eastern coyotes which are, on average, ~50% larger and are currently functioning more like a top predator (hunting and subsisting on deer). You would also have a slightly smaller subspecies of wolf, which could lead to more overt competition between wolves and coyotes. Jon Way, who comments here sometimes, may be able to offer more insight.

              • avatar Christine Oliver says:

                This is really a fascinating question! WM- thank you for the updated info on the Yellowstone data- I appreciate that, as well as the invitation to stay engaged on this site (easier to do on days like today when work is closed here in Minnesota d/t the polar vortex!)

                Anecdotally, I used to live in an area of Boston that had a lot of green space, and the return of coyotes to the urban area was big news. My house was the last on a dead end street, abutting a park. One day near dusk, as I was taking the groceries out of the trunk of my car, I heard a noise and turned around to see a really magnificent animal, maybe 60-70 pounds, reddish brown coat, looking at me briefly and then whisking away into the park. Very different from the small coyotes I’d seen while growing up in Missouri, or the few I’ve seen around here since returning to Minnesota. It was truly for me an exhilarating moment of encounter- and somehow felt more powerful than experiences of seeing wildlife when out hiking/camping in national parks. It was definitely the largest wild canid I have ever seen. Eastern coyotes do seem to be a breed apart from the western ones!

              • avatar Melody Scamman says:

                Thank you Christine, that is how I feel, to. Wolves need more than small patches like my 68 acres, however, where I live is near the top of Fort Ridge in Shapleigh. The town has a 300 acre section of the top of the ridge and my neighbor across the street takes up 5 acres by the road. Most of the area is wild on that whole side of the ridge since the fire of 1947. I would be happy to have wolves here and if the neighbors understood that the Wolves would send the most of the coyotes packing, I suspect they would be happy with a few wolves rather than a few hundred coyotes in town. Powerlines run through the area and can act as dispersal conduits. It would all hinge on the Wolves being protected. This little area has the worst, as in most severe weather this far south in Maine. Most of the population is seasonal. If you want to see where I am talking about, do a quick search for Gulf Road, Shapleigh, Maine. The ridge is a horseshoe shape, making an amazing natural ampitheatre for the howls. The top of the ridge is 1125ft. Only 25 miles from the ocean. MT Washington can be seen from several places nearby. I have to go get a load of dog food. Will check back later.

              • avatar JB says:

                “Keep in mind that Mech drew a federal paycheck for decades and Yellowstone’s Doug Smith has for decades till this very day.”

                Yes. And interestingly, neither completely dismisses the claim that wolves impact mesocarnivores such as coyotes–in fact, Smith notes that he thinks the research is fascinating. It’s just the science isn’t definitive. Mech’s claims are similar regarding trophic cascades–sometimes we find evidence, sometimes we don’t. That fact suggests that trophic cascades only occur under certain conditions. Mech astutely noted that since the mechanisms of trophic cascade are (a) predation and (b) displacement of herbivores, that wolf density is likely a limiting factor.

                With all due respect, have you actually read the papers of those you are so quick to condemn?

              • avatar Robert Goldman says:

                Yes, I read one of Smith’s books and Mech’s essay on questioning the tropic cascade. Mech has become a liar on wolves. He became a shill for the killers and the corrupt politicians who have supported him, they are his pals. I also watched a two hour panel discussion in Duluth where Mech made an ass out of himself showing video of how wolves take down elk so that they can eat and feed themselves. His point seemed to be “see, wolves are not cocker spaniels, so it’s OK to demonize and massacre them.” Smith lives in Gardiner, Montana in a region where many wolf haters have been unleashed. For his own safety, I think he has publicly accepted the killing of wolves, even collared Yellowstone wolves, which he cannot in his heart truly support. This is the situation corrupt and immoral federal politicians, Pres. Obama, limp democrats and nasty republicans have created by removing wolves from the ESA.

        • avatar Melody Scamman says:

          Elk, due to the lack of wolves in most of Maine, the coyotes became much larger than their Western cousins and some are coydogs. All the things you said are already being done, plus there are roundups/slaughters near farms. It just makes them breed more. The proper way to do it is to restore the wolf. That will cause the coyotes to breed less and restores a natural balance and benefits the entire ecosystem. Hat’s wrong with that? Wolves benefit the apple orchards because they keep deer from devistating the trees and crops, and also the Christmas trees will suffer less deer damage. Wolf urine repels coyotes and many creatures considered pests. We don’t have much in the way of beef cattle but most farmers here have a nice, big barn for their cattle to give birth in safely. We are blessed with abundant rainfall so dairy cattle are able to be in smaller, close to the house pastures. Most people who keep chickens use fenced in areas with chicken coops. Some people use old truck caps on small wheels to move their chickens around in an open field for pest control. There are many organic farmers in Maine. Also, in the north, the timber industry is big business. Keeping the seedling trees from being eaten by deer is a problem wolves can help with.
          I am pro-business as long as it doesn’t harm the environment. Maine has a thriving tourist business, including eco-tourism. Wolves bring in millions of tourist dollars. It would thrill tourists who go on dog sledding adventures to be able to photograph a wild wolf! Wolves are good for business. Nothing wrong with that!
          Maine sold 20,000 deer permits last year, there is no shortage of deer. With wolves, you will get better deer because wolves remove the sickly and injured/deformed deer. The only downside for hunters is that the deer will be more alert and eventually, be able to evolve into faster deer to outrun predators so you might have to actually work at hunting them, but that is how it should be.

      • avatar Robert Goldman says:

        Melody, great posts! Maine surely has lots of excellent wolf habitat and lots of prey. And of course, wolves are as native to Maine as moose, lobster and loons. Yes, the problem is ignorance, prejudice and selfishness, the worst qualities of humans.

        • avatar Melody Scamman says:

          Hey Bob, thanks! You are right about te problems in Maine but there are two things to look at in a hopeful light. As you well know, the population demographics in Maine have this being one of the most retiree favored States to live and the only place the folks on social security can afford to live in the Northeast. Many of the older baby-boomers are dying off and with them goes a large part of the trophy hunters and trappers and bear hounders. The younger ones are not that hardcore killers, with a few exceptions. So there is hope that in time, hunting, trapping and hounding will fade away into the background. Hounding may go away totally? Another reason to be hopeful is that the economy is improving, thus less need for subsistance hunting. And as a strange aside, pot just became legal in Portland for recretional users. That will give the 20-somethings an alternative to going out at and blasting coyotes out of boredom. I’d rather see them sitting around in their underwear eating potato chips and watching cartoons than be in the woods killing creatures for no reason. :-)
          BTW, Zoey is fine tonight. All recovered. It is -17 degrees, all the wolfies are sleeping around the wood stove. I’ll talk more tomorrow, falling asleep now.

  39. avatar Melody Scamman says:

    Re: Coyotes in York Co. Maine, I invited a member of the local Rod and Gun Club, a former town Selectman. He personally recounted a recent sighting he had in the town of Waterboro where he spotted at least 50 Coyotes, mostly young ones on a hill, just standing there watching h?im ride by on a dirt bike. If anyone cares to v
    erify this account, his name is Charles Mullens and he lives in Shapleigh, ME.
    Another account
    rom a local hunter and trapper estimated that there were about 100 coyotes on my 68 acre farm. He said he was hiding in wait behind a large rock with a spring next to it and he said he would wait for the deer to run by then pick off the coyotes with an assault rifle as they ran by after the deer.
    I haven’t been able to keep him out thus far as he has been able to gain access between two posted properties by walkin up through a brook into a swamp. No one seems to know the law about how to post water. I own both sides of the brook and the marsh behind it, my house is up a heavily forested hill about half a mile and 200 ft higher than the marsh. I would like to post the whole thing, all 68 acres with trespass by owner’s written permission only. But these hunters and trappers keep saying I can’t post water. I think that only applies to water that is at least canoe access but not foot access? Does anybody know? Seriously. It is frozen solid now so if if I am allowed to post it, I will. And I will inform the game wardens that I have done so.
    Also, what is the scientific coyote load per acre of Eastern Coyotes per acre that would constitute over-population of prime habitat? Thanks!

    • avatar Melody Scamman says:

      Sorry for the typos, my tablet is unstable and will be replaced shortly.

    • avatar Jay says:

      Melody, you need to tell the hunter/trapper who fed you the line of 100 coyotes on your property that he’s full of you-know-what. That’s a LUDICROUS number–coyote densities are typically described as a 1-2 per square mile, so on your 68 acre (0.11 square mile) property, basically he’s telling you you have a density of roughly 1000 coyotes/square mile. That’s a tall tale that makes Paul Bunyan sound somewhat believable.

  40. Teach the children, all of the children, to respect and revere all of nature, and all living beings. Those who hate wolves, for whatever reasons, are unlikely to ever change their views. So, advocate for rigorous protection of wildlife (all species) at the state and federal levels, and teach the children well.

  41. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Generally, I would approach a disagreement with civility also. But here, we are not dealing with civility in any way. You are assuming a basic decency with some of these killers, and many times there isn’t any. I feel using ‘they’ is appropriate because I am sure we have all seen the websites of groups of people gloating about getting away with all kinds of violence against wildlife and real threats against environmentalists and wolf advocates, not the manufactured kind they use in their yokel newspapers and tv news. I think I’d rather puke. They don’t have the courage to approach a wildlife advocate or environmentalist with their gripes. I have watched this situation for decades, and they’ve finally gotten the wolves delisted. I don’t think these people will listen to reason. I would not feel safe visiting the western states anymore if I were to be open about being a wildlife advocate and environmentalist.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Poor Ralph, my comments must be awful sometimes. I can only guess that he wants the voices of ordinary people peering through covered eyes who observe this disaster, to save the blog from becoming a hunters’ clique or an esoteric group of dispassionate scientists!

  42. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Robert G,

    I’m Democratic because I’ve got no other choice, and have switch to a registered Independent after our President’s first term. I voted for him the first time, but could not in good conscience do it again, and voted Green party after that. It just keeps getting progressively worse. I could never in good conscience vote Republican, at least with what we’ve got now. I think the Parliamentary system is much better than ours.

    WM, you could call it a calming influence, or others might call it silencing dissent. There’s one or two (or one in the same) here who do seem to get upset about discussing the ESA. WA state is trying very hard to be the next domino to fall for wolf killing‘management’.

    • avatar bret says:

      Ida,
      Can you tell me where you get the information that WA is the next , Killing= management state ?
      Wolves will still be state protected if they lose Fed. Protection, WA is involved in the range rider program and has hired conflict specialist to deal with carnivore conflict issues and is working hard to avoid issues like occurred in the Wedge.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I don’t think many have a lot of confidence in state protection of wolves, after seeing what’s been going on in ID, MT, WY, MN, MI and especially disappointing WI. The Wedge Pack was ordered taken out by the ranching ruling class, so right there, it is off to a familiar start.

      • avatar Robert Goldman says:

        Bret, please allow me to help my fellow wolf defender ally, Ida, with a response to your comments. I attended the September 30, 2013 USFWS sham public hearing in Washington DC at the Department of Interior auditorium, involving Pres. Obama’s intention to further abandon wolves to liars, thugs and killers. About 250 people attended and seventy five or so gave public testimony. Seventy two people of all ages spoke up FOR KEEPING WOLVES LISTED AS FEDERALLY PROTECTED ON THE ESA. Three people spoke against wolves. A young guy in a suit for Safari Club International, someone from the NRA and one official from the Washington State wildlife agency. What does that tell you about Washington State’s intentions? Gee, I wonder who Pres. Obama and his agency appointees will listen to? The seventy two that included wildlife biologists, doctors, students, very young kids and respectful seniors, devoted wolf defenders, decent and humane Americans or the three?

    • avatar Melody Scamman says:

      Ida, I have been voting Green since I worked with Ralph Nader in NH, ME and MA back in 91-92. When I moved to Maine, I joined the Green Party and registered as such and never looked back! My hands are clean on the De-listing of Wolves and many, many other issues. Do I fear going to Montana or Idaho? No. I have had many run-ins with sociopaths and I am still alive. Most of them are dead from bad decision making like drunk driving or similar foolish adventures. Some are in prison. Rarely are their bad decisions limited to wolf poaching. Killing me would be a seriously bad mistake, I hardly look like a coyote. The damage they would do would reach all the way to DC and their cause would be finished because politicians would bail out like rats from a burning ship. And from my personal perspective, the cause of our side, protecting wolves, is worth the ultimate risk or paying the ultimate price.

  43. avatar snaildarter says:

    Wow sorry I missed all of this. A couple of points
    Thank God for the NY Times
    When someone is as combative as WM they are usually unsure of their opinion
    This is an ugly story and I hope that the American people will push back hard against the wolf haters.
    I’m still boycotting Idaho, but looks like it’s time to escalate. We need a National movement to boycott Idaho and send a clear message that wolf hating can be expensive.

    • avatar Robert Goldman says:

      Welcome back, Snail darter. Your energy and devotion for protecting wolves is so welcome and needed here and everywhere.

  44. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I’d like to respond further to Christine, before I sign off. I’d like to know how the psychology profession reconciles the fact that cruelty to animals and insensitivity to suffering is one of the danger signs of future violence, and trophy hunting? Like ‘dehumanizing’, it is ‘de-living thing-izing?

    I think the reason our modern society has so many problems is the fact that we have been overly permissive. A good, old-fashioned ‘shaming’ when a child has done something wrong (not breaking down character but building it by teaching right from wrong and helping to create an ethical human being). Now with today’s mumbo-jumbo, anything goes.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Also, thanks for allowing me the opportunity to vent and ‘get it out of my system’. (I know certain segments of the wolf debate are big on that.) Good nite!

    • avatar Kathleen says:

      Ida, cruelty to animals happens times ten billion in this country–out of sight in factory farms. And society condones it by looking the other way or by remaining willfully ignorant. Why should we compartmentalize animal cruelty? (Because we’ve been conditioned to accept it and our economy depends on it.) Why should we tell kids that cruelty to *this* group of animals is bad, while cruelty to *this* group of animals is OK? Whether it’s a wolf or a cow, a coyote or a pig, their exploitation has the same root: speciesism.

    • avatar Robert Goldman says:

      I’m with Ida.

    • avatar Christine Oliver says:

      Hi Ida,

      I’m not clear: are you assuming that my opposition to using shaming as a strategy to support wolves is synonymous with an endorsement of trophy hunting? Please know that is not the case.

      I also agree with Kathleen’s point that wolves are not the only animals treated poorly within our society. That that is a real and complex problem. That said, I’m not willing to give up on the vast majority of the American population (myself included) who at some point or another partake of food from animals raised within a factory farming model. And, as much as I encourage and advocate for change, I’m not going to demonize all of those farmers either.

      Teaching right from wrong is different from shaming. In case you are interested, here’s a link to someone who I think pegs this difference, and the dangers of shame, really well:

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

      And here’s a quote from that piece that for me sums it up pretty well: “shame is far more likely to cause destructive behavior than to cure it. What we know is that shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, bullying. It’s not helpful to be ashamed…”

      I also think, as I said earlier, that even if diehards would not change, how we frame these arguments has a real effect on how people watching the debate perceive our position, and how likely, ultimately, we are to sway others to a pro-wolf stance. The (African American, feminist) writer Audre Lorde once said “You can’t dismantle the master’s house using the master’s tools.” How is it that vilifying other people makes them less likely to vilify wolves? And again, I separate “shaming” from holding accountable, putting or keeping legal protections in place, etc. Shaming is attacking someone’s essential worth, vs attacking the acts, behaviors, laws that we want to change. I am all for public pressure and holding people and entities accountable; I believe shame to be counter-productive.

      I said this before, but I do think I’ve said my piece, so I really will refrain from continuing to make this point. I hope folks will consider it, because I think it’s good for wolves. But for the near future, I’m going to put my writing energies into the USFS and my advocating energies into reaching out to people here in my home state and encouraging them to be in touch with our legislatures to ban wolf trapping and hopefully suspend “recreational” wolf hunting.

      Best to all,
      Christine

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        I actually don’t know how the subject of ‘shaming’ even came up. Personally, I think people ought to be held accountable for their actions and the public informed about what they may not be aware of. I don’t know how anything like that was construed as shaming.

        Rest assured that many of us will be working, or trying to, work with changing laws and reaching out to people to inform and educate, and to let them know how their tax dollars may or may not be being used properly.

        • avatar JB says:

          “I actually don’t know how the subject of ‘shaming’ even came up. …I don’t know how anything like that was construed as shaming.”

          Come on Ida, you’re being disingenuous. The subject of shaming came up in the third post to this story; your responded in that initial thread (to Melody, 7th post). I have also complained about the use of ad hominem attacks, which is a close cousin to shaming–essentially attacking the PERSON rather than the IDEA. Personal attacks reveal weakness in position; people tend to resort to them when they can’t win an argument by relying upon logic and empirical data.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            Um, no. I have no idea what you are talking about. It is you who are being disingenuous. I have not done anything like that. A close cousin isn’t the same thing. I certainly don’t know or have never discussed anything with this Christine person, if she is who she claims to be. By the sidestepping of my question, I don’t think so.

            • avatar Christine Oliver says:

              Ida, my apologies if you felt your question was side-stepped. The point I tried to make is that if insensitivity to the suffering of animals is alone and and of itself proof of sociopathy, then we’re a nation of sociopaths. (Which some might argue). I’m sure some trophy hunters are. I’m personally opposed to trophy hunting. But I’m not ready to go out and throw that label around.

              “This Christine person, if she is who she claims to be… which I doubt.” Wolves bring up strong passion and emotion, I know. But why put that energy into alienating and antagonizing others who are trying to protect this species too?

              If you are so skilled in alienating other supporters, then yes, you are right, you will not be successful in changing the minds of anyone who is currently neutral or pro-wolf hunting.

              Congratulations. You win.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                The point I tried to make is that if insensitivity to the suffering of animals is alone and and of itself proof of sociopathy, then we’re a nation of sociopaths. (Which some might argue).

                Yes, I agree. I’m sorry you feel I’m alienating the cause with my attitudes, but what you see in my comments isn’t all there is to me, as I am sure you realize. I don’t harbor any illusions about changing the minds of pro-wolfers.

              • avatar Christine Oliver says:

                If you’ll permit me, I’d like to share a couple of examples of people whose minds and hearts were changed.

                1)Aldo Leopold.

                2)This man in Wisconsin, who acknowledges that, prior to getting to know this one coyote and completely changing his stance, he had killed hundreds of coyotes: http://wiwildlifeethic.org/2013/02/17/wiley-the-coyote-a-wisconsin-hunters-story-of-love-and-transformation/

                3)This comment by another former hunter, in response to the story above:

                “I been a hunter for many years. And the last 4 yrs I all of a sudden changed. All animals are given life just like humans. Thry all think and feel love and pain jusy like humans. I for one can not point my gun sights on another animal unless in danger from on like a bear or something of that nature. I can not bring my self to shot any animals again. I now even feed deer…”

                I know that hatred of wolves runs deep in some. But some of the best advocates of wild life are people who have gone through their own transformation.

                You can call me naive, but if I didn’t believe in the capacity for change, I could not be successful in my work as a therapist. You have to believe in change for it to be possible. And, believe it or not, to be a good therapist you have to be tough, and you see a lot. It’s not really a field you survive in if you are naive, but neither is it one where you can survive if you are cynical. I don’t believe in change because I ignore what’s in front of me, I believe in change because I don’t automatically accept that as the full picture.

                And even if a pro-wolf-hunting person doesn’t change- the way we talk to him can indeed affect whether or not we can change the mind of a child, or that hunter’s neighbor, among others.

                Just some food for thought.

                Here’s wishing warmth to all, here in the midst of this polar vortex…

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            OK I see – it was Eric who brought it up, and my response to Melody contains nothing about it. I forgot about it.

            • avatar Melody Scamman says:

              Ida and Christine, here is a real conversation I had with a trophy hunter. It sums up how I deal with a situation.
              Alex trophy hunter: Is Zoey really a wolf?
              Me: Yes, with a small amount of Malamute, too. Her mother was from NWT, Canada.
              Alex; I sure would like to bag me one of those SOB’s!
              Me: Alex, all dogs came from wolves. Would you like to ‘bag’ one of your dogs?
              Alex: of course not!
              Me: Then why kill an innocent wolf?
              Alex: Now that you put it that way, I suppose that I wouldn’t?
              Me: Do you want to make a new friend? You can pat her.
              (Alex reaches out and pats Zoey)
              Alex: Are they all this soft?
              Me: No, some have more undercoat than others, they are all individuals, just like human children in the same family.
              ( Alex started sneeking meat scraps under the table to Zoey)
              :-)

              • avatar Christine Oliver says:

                “here is a real conversation I had with a trophy hunter. It sums up how I deal with a situation.”

                Melody- thanks for sharing this story. And thanks for being willing to engage in a conversation with that man, and help enlarge his view of life…

      • avatar Kathleen says:

        “And, as much as I encourage and advocate for change, I’m not going to demonize all of those farmers either.”

        Hi Christine. Actually, those “farmers” are multinational corporations like Tyson who do stuff like this:
        http://www.walmartcruelty.com/

        They deserve every bit of demonizing they get–and then some. Here’s a full page of undercover investigations of abuse involving a variety of “food animal” species (animals who think, feel, communicate, and build relationships just like wildlife and companion animals):
        http://www.mercyforanimals.org/investigations.aspx

        Those corporations (so-called “farmers”) have, along with the Koch Bros. and ALEC, been pushing state ag-gag bills to keep cameras out of their animal hellholes. Hmmm, wonder why? Speciesism and unfettered capitalism go hand-in-hand.

        • avatar Robert Goldman says:

          Thank you, Kathleen. Christine and pretty much all of us have a lot to learn. Christine, the more I read your posts, the more they seem to flow with the status quo, with modest change at a slow pace. Sorry, but there is just too much pain and suffering of animals of all kinds in the world today. We need real change much sooner than later. Wildlife, farm animals, humane humans… Our side needs way more Sea Shepherd and way less concern about offending the enemies of the earth.

          • avatar Kathleen says:

            “Sorry, but there is just too much pain and suffering of animals of all kinds in the world today. We need real change much sooner than later.”

            Amen, Robert. However, I might actually rephrase it to say, “there is just too much pain and suffering of all kinds in the world today”; the struggle for animal rights belongs in the social justice arena. Speciesism is one more injustice to be added to our ongoing struggles against racism, sexism, heterosexism, etc. And it will be the most difficult struggle because animals themselves won’t be participating in it…they’ll have to rely on those humans who live with a moral obligation to pursue justice for sentient beings–whether the foothold trapped wolf in Montana or the factory farm trapped pig in Iowa.

            • avatar Robert Goldman says:

              Kathleen, we share the same good hearted perspective on decency, co-existence and respect for all. My focus is on standing up for wolves. Nice to meet you through this good blog. Check out my wolf defender petition, read the background text below the petition itself and then please sign and share! Thanks for your decency.
              Protect America’s Wolves! petition
              http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/sign/protect-americas-wolves

        • avatar Melody Scamman says:

          Christine, you have some of the players, here’s the rest of the story:
          Look up the Sierra Club maps of Enbridge’s pipelines in the US. Cross ref w/ known Wolf Habitat and bird migration routes. Overlay all these maps in your mind and you will see exactly who will benefit and who will lose and why the ESA is being attacked, wolves first. If you want to read the proposed TPP, I think the site is exposing the TPP. ?
          It is never just one thing with these multinational corporations, everything is interconnected.

          • Melody–Thanks for bringing this up. The Koch Brothers and other fossil fuel based energy types have been very actively working against wolves and the ESA, as well as trying to influence federal land policy in other ways. Check out Americans for Prosperity website–a Koch Brothers entity.

  45. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Robert G,

    Pay no attention to the naysayers. Many here have offered their reasoning for thinking that human beings are too liberal with killing domestic and wild animals, and why we feel it is unethical and many times criminal as in poaching and animal abuse, neglect and cruelty (over and over, ad nauseam). They just don’t want t hear it, and always fall back on ‘it’s legal’ crutch, and yet on the other hand, contradict themselves by saying laws only apply to humans! What’s legal today amounts to lawmakers cobbling together legislation to throw in the roadway of the ethical, and are able to get away with it because either people don’t care about these issues, or they’ve made the country into such a mess that people are lucky just to get by.

    They’d rather have us silent, and just not get in the way of their ‘progress’. There was only one Aldo Leopold.

    • avatar JB says:

      Ida:

      You know what they say about opinions, right? Everyone’s got one. People’s opinions of what should be done don’t mean squat–no lawmaker, agency professional, nor anyone else is going to change their mind because some guy on the internet says killing wolves is “murder”. It isn’t your opinion that counts, it is logic, moral principles, and/or legal reasoning that are used to support that opinion that will change people’s minds. There are plenty of places on the internet where people shout ‘murderer’ and ‘bunny-hugger’ back and forth. Nothing good has or will come of it.

      • avatar Robert Goldman says:

        JB, more and more humans believe that demonizing, persecuting, torturing and killing highly intelligent, highly social, sensitive, family oriented, ecologically vital wolves and wolf pups and other wild beings is murder. We have very good company in that moral belief. Leonardo daVinci, perhaps the greatest human genius who ever lived write over 500 years ago that it was his firm belief that at some point the killing of animals would be considered murder the way killing humans is. daVinci predicted at that time that this moral progress for non-humans would take about 500 years after his death. Killing wolves as has been done and is being done once again, by such liars and thugs, is murder. I believe that, with all my being, about wolves and other persecuted wildlife, as well. It is not an opinion, it is part of my heart and soul. Leonardo daVinci was right.

        • avatar Robert Goldman says:

          And this is my belief and will remain so, forever, even if Ken and Ralph do not agree. I do not need anyone’s endorsement to know what I believe to be moral and true.

          • avatar Ken Cole says:

            And now you can do it someplace else.

            • avatar Mark L says:

              As an aside to this thread, there IS already a circumstance that animals are given some rights just as humans are: police, search,(etc.) dogs. I’m not jumping into the same ‘murder’ discussion (as I think we are just defining terms there) but the dog IS a wolf modified through breeding. As I’ve said before on this thread, there was a time some humans were seen as ‘less’ than others. That time has (more or less) past, and we are in a different ‘era’ in our vision of ourselves. The ‘not us’ was then relegated to animals, in which some seem to get an “*” due to circumstances.
              It seems to me the barrier has already been broken in a way with the dog as to what will happen in the future. Whether it’s because they are a very close pet, or because they cooperate with us intimately can be argued all we want…but the barrier to treating an animal like a ‘somewhat-human’ has really already been broken. Just like it was for certain ethnic groups over the last few centuries, we have to look inward and outward to what we consider ‘us’.
              Ask a person with a seeing eye dog whether the animal is a part of them (essential) or just a replacement organ (non-essential). Tough call in some spots. We pet the dog while we somehow fear the wolf (many of us, at least), which is really just the wilder nature of the dog itself, for the most part. Check stats on how many bites/deaths a year, just for fun.
              If we had Neanderthals around we may have had the same conundrum with them that we have with dogs/wolves….a wilder (or maybe just different) nature in some humans. Oh wait!…some readers may actually have some Neanderthal blood. What’s that mean? We are all mutts in our own ways? I dunno, but it seems to me that laws follow nature, but not until every other avenue has been tried unsuccessfully. Eppur si muove…

          • avatar rork says:

            Check Poe’s law, and corollary.

        • avatar JB says:

          ” Killing wolves as has been done and is being done once again, by such liars and thugs, is murder.”

          From the People’s Law Dictionary:

          “murder–

          n. the killing of a human being by a sane person, with intent, malice aforethought (prior intention to kill the particular victim or anyone who gets in the way) and with no legal excuse or authority.”

          Believing something ‘with all of your being’ does not make it so.

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            OK, so we’ll call it wanton killing then:

            Wanton
            adjective

            1. done, shown, used, etc., maliciously or unjustifiably: a wanton attack; wanton cruelty.

            2. deliberate and without motive or provocation; uncalled-for; headstrong; willful.

            3. without regard for what is right, just, humane, etc.; careless; reckless.

            Kill
            verb (used with object)

            1. to deprive of life in any manner; cause the death of; slay.

            Society still disapproves of it.

            • avatar Melody Scamman says:

              Excellent, Ida! This is why I call them killers when I write a thoughtful rather than emotional comment about the sociopathic fringe element or the trigger-happy morons that shoot Malamutes, horses, cows, goats, etc. Depending on the State and circumstances, it can be a criminal act but when we accuse a person by name, using legal terms is a tricky business so I try to be good. But we are humans and do make mistakes, all of u. I am always sorry when I have hurt someone’s feelings. I admit when I am wrong even if I can’t stand the person’s actions because sometimes I can even get hunters to learn about wolves and decide not to hunt them.

              • avatar Melody Scamman says:

                That was to say ‘all of us’ not all of u. Tablet is being bad again. I got another one but my son has to come visit and set up some things before it is useful. Soon, I hope!

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Yes, I don’t like to hurt anyone or anything. But I am only human and some of this reckless and spiteful behavior is every bit without reason as what the pro-wildlife side is being accused of. At least we are not killing.

                I’m dismayed at the latest tool used to make people feel bad about their natural emotions. We have them for a reason – decisions about lethal control of wildlife based on reason only (usefulness, or not, to humans)will result in the loss of them, or great damage to the health of them. There’s already been great damage to the wolf species during the First Eradication.

                Most people do feel that wolves have a value beyond usefulness to humans, but as part of the natural landscape. This does benefit humans too, but nobody wants to highlight that in their arguments for management.

              • avatar Christine Oliver says:

                “’m dismayed at the latest tool used to make people feel bad about their natural emotions. We have them for a reason…”

                I agree about the tragedies- past and present- which humans have inflicted upon wolves and other species (including upon other humans!). In my field, however, we differentiate between emotions and the choices we make as to how we act upon those emotions. Emotions in and of themselves don’t dictate actions. So for example, in one’s deepest heart one could feel that killing a wolf is murderous, and that’s not to be shamed/made to feel bad, but you still have choices in how you work to prevent more wolves from getting killed, and which actions or strategies are more or less likely to further this deepest goal. When I speak of my belief that shaming is an ineffective strategy to support wolf recovery, this is due to my belief that the deepest goal of protecting wolves is not met, and indeed is often undermined, by shaming strategies. That in no way takes away or disavows any of our rights to feel whatever we feel- it’s not a “tool to make someone feel bad about their natural emotions,” it’s a question as to how might we most effectively act to change the things we are feeling emotional about.

                Hope that is clearer (if indeed your comment above was in relation to this ongoing discussion, and not something else!).

      • avatar Ken Cole says:

        I haven’t read this yet, but there is an interesting book about how animals were once given trials in Europe. Things change.

        The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals by Edmund P. Evans – Free Ebook.

      • avatar Ranger Joe says:

        Well, JB, your statement “It isn’t your opinion that counts, it is logic, moral principles, and/or legal reasoning that are used to support that opinion that will change people’s minds” is itself an opinion, not to mention an unempirical bias of the academy. It’s not an opinion those experienced in politics share, and for good reason. Politics is about power, and about power only. Politics is not a debating society where you argue a point or two and then go to the reception afterwards for punch and cucumber sandwiches.

        The opinions of those with power–ranchers, miners, drillers, corporations–count far more in policy than the logic, empirical data, and moral reasoning you continue to think matters.

        Not much moral reasoning, logic, or empirical data behind the treatment of wolves in the Rocky Mountains, is there?

        Can you point to any aspect of wolf conservation where your work has prevented logically and empirically bad decisions by the various agencies?

        Clearly not, since those decisions have been implemented.

        If you’re an underdog in politics, and conservationists most certainly are, then you gain power by inflaming the passions of your constituents and driving them toward a particular goal. Satire, invective, and shaming are certainly valid rhetorical weapons in what certainly is a kind of political warfare. Ever read Saul Alinksky?

        Ever been to a public meeting in Idaho about wolves or grizzly bears? Three hundred drunken wolf-or-bear haters versus a handful of wolf-or-bear supporters doesn’t make for good odds.

        It’s all about power, JB.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Moral priciples? What moral principles? An endangered concept today, or extirpated from the lower 48.

        • avatar JB says:

          “Politics is about power, and about power only.”

          Ahh…and is that not an opinion, Joe? Where is your empirical data? Power–power to change policy, say– is derived from authority, and authority comes from the people. To change policy you need to change minds, and it’s pretty hard to change the minds of people you’ve just labeled devils or murderers.

          “Can you point to any aspect of wolf conservation where your work has prevented logically and empirically bad decisions by the various agencies?”

          I could, except apparently it is your opinion that all of the decisions were “logically and empirically bad”. By the way, could you point any aspect of wolf conservation where “inflaming the passions of your constituents” has prevented logically and empirically bad decisions by the various agencies?

          Clearly not, since those decisions have been implemented. [Hey, maybe logic and rationality are useful after all?]

          The time I checked the research literature, public opinion and public protest behavior were strong predictors of changes in public policy. Certainly inciting people with hyperbolas rhetoric could be useful for the latter, but it may come at the cost of the former. And the more hyperbolas the rhetoric, the more folks in the center you lose.

          “Ever been to a public meeting in Idaho about wolves or grizzly bears? Three hundred drunken wolf-or-bear haters versus a handful of wolf-or-bear supporters doesn’t make for good odds.”

          Hmm…sounds like you have a lot of work to do convincing people you’re in the right. Perhaps it would go better if you tried not insulting them (and their intelligence) from the get go?

          • avatar Ranger Joe says:

            JB

            Well, as they say in the military, opinions are like bungholes–everyone’s got one.

            I suggest an experiment. You engage Scott Rockholm and his minions with moral reasoning, logic, and empirical data to change their minds, and let’s see how that works out, OK?

            • avatar JB says:

              “I suggest an experiment. You engage Scott Rockholm and his minions with moral reasoning, logic, and empirical data to change their minds, and let’s see how that works out, OK?”

              Done, well the minions anyway. And I did it publicly. I don’t suspect it had any affect on them at all, but I’ve had several people email me with complements on the interaction. Here, you can read for yourself, starting with Bob Fanning’s comments:

              http://bruskotter.wordpress.com/2010/12/15/dave-mech-on-wolves-at-the-midwest-fw-conference/#comment-17

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                Thank you. It seems as if nobody call them on their bad behavior. I’ll look forward to reading it.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                JB,
                Thanks for referring to this episode, as it was masterful dialogue, and is the exchange that I have alluded to a number of times.

              • avatar Nancy says:

                JB – Thanks for sharing this thread (link to your site)

                Guess it must of gotten a bit tiresome for you pointing out the facts, over and over again, to people who’ve got nothing better to do than “stir the pot” (see it often in my neck of the woods) against anything that might make small changes in their “same ole, ole” way of life :) regardless of how it might benefit other beings (wildlife)

              • avatar JB says:

                Thank you Immer, Nancy. In all honesty, I feel like this thread has gone similarly to that experience. I really wish that one of the folks that is claiming the moral high ground would just take a few minutes to explain why they think they have it. The video I posted from the Conservation Ethics group even shows people how.

              • avatar Jay says:

                JB–if you ever have another exchange with Fanning, you ought to question him as to why he wasted over 100 pounds of meat on his supposed elk that he shot. Assuming his story is true, and he killed a bull (I can’t imagine his ego would let him shoot anything that didn’t have big antlers on it), there should have been over 200 pounds of boneless meat from that animal.

                Table 2: http://www.wyomingextension.org/agpubs/pubs/B594R.pdf

                These hypocrites have no shame or ethics to speak of.

              • avatar JB says:

                Thanks, Jay. Always appreciate having more info!

            • avatar JB says:

              Sorry, replied too quickly. The target of such interactions are not the Bob Fannings and Scott Rockholms–that’s a waste of time (Hey, can you show me where shaming Rockholm has had any effect? No? Imagine that!). The point is how you’re perceived by other people interested enough to watch the interaction.

              • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                :) I suppose you’re right.

              • avatar topher says:

                “The point is how you’re perceived by other people interested enough to watch the interaction.”
                I agree. I started reading the comments on this site years ago and read them for many years before I ever posted a comment. It was difficult to find good information and the articles have been a good source, but the comments have given me a much better understanding of some of the finer points and the attitudes associated with wolf reintroduction in the state I call home. I think we all ought to be grateful that people like Ralph and JB are willing to share some their valuable time teaching us. If every comment here was riddled with offensive terms no-one would stick around long enough to learn anything. How many people have been and gone without a word because they were either offended or intimidated by some of the current posters on this site? How many of them could have been valuable allies?

          • avatar Ida Lupine says:

            No, in many ways you are right JB – but we shouldn’t give away the store in the process. I think many of you are too conciliatory, and the anti-wolf crowd doesn’t respect that, and takes advantage. Have you read any of their websites, or just making observations from your ivory tower, as Ranger Joe said? What the world should be and what it actually is are two radically different things, and we shouldn’t make the mistake about which one is the real one.

            • avatar JB says:

              Ida:

              There is nothing conciliatory about acknowledging when scientific evidence is clear or where the law is ambiguous. There is nothing conciliatory about grounding your arguments in logic and science or stating the moral principles which form the basis of your argument. All I am saying here is that hyperbole, shame and insult don’t make good arguments, and while they may ‘rally the troops’ they are not very good for convincing people in the middle.

          • avatar JB says:

            Here is an extremely good example of how to confront wolf management policy with logic, rationality, empirical data and ethics.

            http://www.conservationethics.org/Conservation_Ethics/Videos_files/wolves%20web.mov

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              Again, you are not accounting for reality. You can try to make them so for forever, but many and most human beings are not reasoned, logical and civil, all the time, with every issue, or ever.

              Animals should not be hunted because they have a right to live independently of human beings. The premise gets off to a poor start immediately because it takes for granted that people have a right to be the dominant force on the planet, and everyone has pure motives. That isn’t realistic to go on. MI for example – they admit that they lied, only one rancher made claims to livestock depredation which were found to be exaggerated if not outright falsehoods, and the taxpayers money was abused. And yet they still went forward with the hunt, against all logic.

              • avatar JB says:

                Ida,

                It’s really hard for me to reconcile that statements you make. First you say that:

                “…you are not accounting for reality…most human beings are not reasoned, logical and civil…”

                Right, people are subject to a variety of biases. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t respond well to logical, well-reasoned arguments.

                Then you say…

                “Animals should not be hunted because they have a right to live independently of human beings.”

                Okay, who isn’t accounting for reality here? Animals are hunted almost everywhere on earth. I don’t know of anywhere, nor any time in which all animals have been given the rights you speak of. What you really mean here is that it is your DESIRE, your OPINION that animals SHOULD have the right to live independently of human beings. I have to tell you I find it a bit hard to swallow you calling me unrealistic after making that kind of proclamation.

                “The premise gets off to a poor start immediately because it takes for granted that people have a right to be the dominant force on the planet, and everyone has pure motives.”

                People are the dominant force on the planet. I have no idea what you mean by ‘pure motives’.

              • avatar MJ says:

                “People are the dominant force on the planet.”

                We are a dominant force, true, but that’s like “giving someone enough rope to hang them self” as the expression goes. It is not sustainable indefinitely, so we will need to adjust how we treat our natural world if even we want to survive. Anyone who has lived through a natural disaster or an act of war knows that there are humbling experiences.

                I believe that Ida is discussing the ethics of how we treat wildlife as opposed to the practicality of using our “resources” as we want to. We have a “human-centric” perspective. The entire ecosystem is bigger than us, that is very much reality.

                When we talk about reality and emotion it is important to keep in mind that reality has more than one perspective and emotion is not without any true cause. Neither should go to the extreme, but a visceral response to cruelty has a purpose.

                Hunting is a BROAD term. I see subsistence hunting, recreational hunting, population control and even outright sociopathic animal torture (FB) used almost interchangeably. They are NOT the same thing!

                Traditional subsistence hunting of hunter-gatherer days is nowhere close to the standard today. Over-hunting and overfishing would be an embarrassment and a reflection of a poor hunter who lacks respect and understanding of nature. As a Native person we had even stronger words. Traditional subsistence hunters were much closer to Native values than the standard today.

              • avatar JB says:

                MJ:

                Watch the video, then respond. Note: one of the ‘authors’ of the video is an environmental ethicist. If you disagree with him, I’ll give you his email and you two can have it out.

            • avatar MJ says:

              Great video, loved it, I would love for Sally Jewell to make time to listen to it.

              It’s true that none of us has control over the anger or emotion of another person but there is still a contagion effect.. if we maintain a logical, positive position that there is a lot of power in that. I have had wolf conversations that deescalated nicely by maintaining logic, moving into a good conversation and willingness to hear new ideas.

              That was what I got from the video, I was confused on the human dominance? The vid played “devil’s advocate”, and portrayed a calm logical pro-hunting argument that many people say they believe, then it logically pursued each argument and showed the rationality of protecting the wolves. I thought the wolves won.

              • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                Yes. All the reasons for hunting them cannot be justified or proven beyond a doubt. But that isn’t what is happening with our government!

            • avatar Christine Oliver says:

              “Here is an extremely good example of how to confront wolf management policy with logic, rationality, empirical data and ethics.”

              Thanks for sharing this, JB!

          • avatar WM says:

            Ranger Joe,

            And, this round goes to…..JB. But that’s just my blowhard opinion.

            ++Can you point to any aspect of wolf conservation where your work has prevented logically and empirically bad decisions by the various agencies?++

            You assume that wolf conservation is THE ONLY dimension that is governed by logic and emperical foundations. There are other competing issues and dimensions that have their own logical arguments. Federal-state relations, job preservation/creation, use of shared resources and by whom, shifts of wealth and vested interests to mention a few (Damn those ignorant, repulsive, drunken wolf and bear hating devils and murderers. How dare they express themselves on local matters, before a handful of morally correct wolf and bear advocates!).

            • avatar Ida Lupines says:

              Oh boy. Extinction vs. job preservation. Find a new job is what I say.

              • avatar WM says:

                Ida,

                Have you seen the 2013 documentary movie, “DEATH BY CHINA,” narrated by Martin Sheen (TV series West Wing)? DEATH BY CHINA? I think you can find it on youtube, or Netflix.

                It puts things like our internal hopes and dreams like preserving endangered species into an entirely different perspective. I doubt many here care about multi-dimensional problems in our complex world – unless maybe you are out of work due to outsourcing, or had your personal wealth wiped out by the a-holes on Wall St. Probably should mention JP Morgan bank just got nailed with a $3.7B fine for its role in the Madoff scandal.

                Love to hear your comment after you have watched Death by China, and realize that 25% of the particulate air pollution that hits our West Coast comes from China’s polluting factories (to say nothing of water pollution, enslaved labor, lack of safety rules and international currency manipulation).

                [moderators sorry for the diversion]

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                A painful evolutionary process. A desire to return to the “old ways” in which a barely living wage was doled out while mine and timber moguls became fantastically rich.

                The “good old days” will most likely never return as automation and enormous specialized equipment does the work that once employed strong backs. The only thing that remains the same as habitat and potential habitat are destroyed, the pockets of the über rich are further stuffed.

              • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                Immer Treue,

                This is a return to the “old ways.” Idaho has a grim history for all but the timber and various other “barons.” In fact, I have argued that feudalism is their model. In the last twenty years or so since these reactionary conservatives took over in Idaho, Idaho has fallen from a middle to low on wages to flat out number 50 in the nation in wages and the greatest number per capita earning a minimum wage. This kind of weird 19th century thinking about animals and the environment is what they feed the poor people of state so that their anger does not get turned toward those that have caused their poverty.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Ralph,

                Good point.

              • avatar MJ says:

                I have not seen “Death by China” but read the abstract and did spend some time living in mainland China, some with locals.

                I’m not sure I see how what is happening in China would support more industrialization / less wildlife protection. The Chinese people, my opinion, are constantly oversimplified as a culture when discussed here in the States. They have a very complex culture and history, and I believe the assumption is that the documentary minimizes the importance of protecting wildlife?

                Mainland China is facing overpopulation issues that are not proportional to the conditions we have in the U.S., but we should learn from them to avoid some of their problems. The average Chinese person that I knew was NOT a fan of Communist policy. There is a strong resentment for the forced removal of Buddhism and the freedom to practice ethics / morality / religion that disagreed with an extremely organized and efficient government policy. There is a strong and widespread resentment of the Communist doctrine’s interference with family. These things were said behind closed doors after we checked for bugs. The policy is effective because overpopulation is so severe that to suddenly lose that degree of control would cause chaos.

                None of this experience would lead me to believe that we do not need to fight hard to protect our environment. It tells me that much more that we need to, and not allow financial interests to drive our culture. We need more than that.

                My understanding from the abstract was that the documentary supported a perspective more similar to the U.N. Charter for Nature, stating that in order to address very serious issues of world hunger and world peace that we need to protect our natural resources as a top priority. Our short-sightedness in appeasing our business interests is not benign and leads to competition for resources and war. I will try to find the film.

  46. avatar snaildarter says:

    Here’s a famous quote about wildlife management or mis-management. You could say the same about wolves too.

    Man has replaced the big cats as predators and has upset the balance so much that game animals must be managed for their own survival. Hunting has become a matter of animal husbandry. Art Carhart

    • avatar MJ says:

      “Man has replaced the big cats as predators and has upset the balance so much that game animals must be managed for their own survival. Hunting has become a matter of animal husbandry.” – Art Carhart

      Exactly.. the problem is that hunting is used as though it is an appropriate replacement for the ecosystem, so the logic is to expand trophy hunting and see it as a solution, or legitimate “management”, not as the source of the problem. More recent studies and sense show that consumerism IS the problem. The politics and $$ support consumerism, not conservation.

      Politics and human centered needs placed above all else whittle away at our natural resources and wildlife. Now that we see slaughter of horses and wolves we react, but this has been policy.

      The powerful special interests of corporate agriculture and sport hunting support human expansion / profit margin and will continue to use every political method available to them (with their last breath) unless laws are changed.

      It will take a paradigm shift in thinking to correct this. It will take a realistic plan to correct imbalances with non-lethal and compassionate animal treatment. “Animal husbandry” is still intended to be human centered, for profit. We don’t have words to address the intrinsic value of wildlife.

    • avatar MJ says:

      We can’t legally dictate morality but we can appeal to it. When the majority of voters are not represented due to a system of appointees and circumventing our input then we need to change legislation.

      From Sally Jewell in the recent Washington Post article: “We do live in a democracy. It responds to voter input,” Jewell told her listeners. “Make sure your voices are heard by your elected officials.”

      ?!?

  47. avatar jon says:

    Idaho fish and game are catering to a small loud minority that wants Idaho turned into an elk farm. These wolves are doing nothing wrong, but eating their natural prey in order to survive and what does the state want to do with them, kill them because they are eating to survive.

    • avatar topher says:

      We get it. How many times will you post nearly identical comments jon? Copy and paste them and you will likely reduce the risk of carpal tunnel caused by repetitive motion.

  48. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    WM, I’ll be sure to watch it.

    JB, I mean that what people say and what people do – for a prime example, managing wolves means killing them because they are inconvenient and a (potential) loss of money to ranchers and the energy industry, or a way to make money (by trapping and selling their fur or in the case of grizzly bears, their body parts), and no interest in maintaining the health of a recently delisted species. It isn’t the pure motive of science-based management they are trying to sell the public on. People don’t seem to want to acknowledge dishonesty and greed as the real motives. We dominate the planet because we can, not because we’re supposed to. Wildlife and wild lands do have a right to exist independently of people. More and more people are beginning to see this, and philosophically have pondered it since the days of Pythagoras and even before, whether because of religious teachings or not, you have to admit they were put here by someone or something other than us, and it can’t be only because they are useful to us.

    • avatar AG says:

      ” We dominate the planet because we can, not because we’re supposed to.”

      Well, i could not have said it better.
      +1

  49. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    No Christine, it wasn’t in continuation of that discussion. I was not involved in that discussion, and have no interest in it. It is about what I see as a trend by the anti-wolf side and the pro-industrial to exaggerate people’s natural emotional responses to the destruction of the environment and wildlife they see around them, suggesting that the destruction is all necessary, scientific and reason-driven.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      And btw, do not preach to me about emotions and actions – I am well aware of that, thank you. I do not care about the feelings of wolf killers. I hope that makes it clear enough for you.

      • avatar Christine Oliver says:

        Well, I have no interest in continuing this conversation with you either, so I guess we are on the same page.

    • avatar Christine Oliver says:

      Not a new trend! But yeah- I definitely agree that there are those that will seize upon and exploit any opportunity to dis-credit wolf advocates for expressing emotion- and that that strategy is unfortunately often successful.

    • avatar Kathleen says:

      “…trend by the anti-wolf side and the pro-industrial to exaggerate people’s natural emotional responses to the destruction of the environment and wildlife…”

      Yes, it’s a common ploy, and many animal exploiters do it (not just anti-wolfers)–dismiss animal advocacy/animal rights concerns with the ‘anthropomorphism’ condemnation and the ‘emotional’ condemnation (even when those responses are not present); and now, another one I’ve noticed is to diminish the concerns of animal defenders by asking if they care as much about human fetuses in the womb. A woman went out of her way to confront a group of us doing outreach at the Shrine Circus last spring based on her idea that we cared more about animals than fetuses (like, hello? we were at a circus!) and my recent guest column on trapping (in response to the article about the boom in fur prices) also received abortion comments at both the Missoulian and the Montana Standard. Speciesism reigns.

  50. avatar Christine Oliver says:

    Ida, I just wrote another post based upon your second one, hit send and then saw your third- we’re crossing in cyber space and I think sniping unnecessarily- truce? We’re both on the same side here.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Yes, truce. :) I’m not out to shame or hurt anyone, but it is discouraging to see and read what’s going on with our wildlife and wildlands. I realize what you’re saying, but I wonder what creates the cognitive dissonance about it being ok to kill wildlife. Does anyone who maims wildlife to make money from their clients have any feelings?

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        “Humans are not a rational animal, but a rationalizing one” – Leon Festinger

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Or I should say, my sympathies lie more with the victims, than the perpetrators.

      • avatar Christine Oliver says:

        It is really discouraging, and really overwhelming.

        I could write a novel on your question of what creates that cognitive dissonance. That cognitive dissonance was actually the very question that brought me into my field of work: wondering about the mechanisms by which people could shut themselves off from empathy towards other beings…

        If you are interested, I’d be happy to share some of my thoughts!

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Yes, I do go a little over the top at times, but this is a very important issue to me, more so now than ever because we seem to be going backwards. I’d love to read what you have to say.

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Quote

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

~ Edward Abbey