Federal judge wipes the 2012 delisting-
Wolf hunt cancelled. Wolves-are-vermin zone is rubbed out-

A federal judge has overturned the 2012 delisting of wolves in Wyoming. It looks like a total victory for wolves in the short run. The ruling came from Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the D.C. Circuit.

Here is a news release from the Center for Biological Diversity.

 

Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, September 23, 2014

Contacts: Tim Preso, Earthjustice, (406) 586-9699
Melanie Gade; Defenders of Wildlife, (202) 772-0288
Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, (503) 484-7495
Josh Mogerman, Natural Resources Defense Council, (312) 651‐7909
Bonnie Rice, Sierra Club, (406) 582-8365 x 1

Victory for Wolves in Wyoming

Federal Judge Reinstates Federal Protections Statewide

WASHINGTON— Federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming were reinstated today after a judge invalidated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2012 statewide Endangered Species Act delisting of the species. The ruling from the U.S. District Court halts the management of wolves by Wyoming, a state with a history of hostile and extreme anti-wolf policies.

“The court has ruled and Wyoming’s kill-on-sight approach to wolf management throughout much of the state must stop,” said Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso. “Today’s ruling restores much-needed federal protection to wolves throughout Wyoming, which allowed killing along the borders of Yellowstone National Park and throughout national forest lands south of Jackson Hole where wolves were treated as vermin under state management. If Wyoming wants to resume management of wolves, it must develop a legitimate conservation plan that ensures a vibrant wolf population in the northern Rockies.”

Earthjustice represented Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity in challenging the Fish and Wildlife Service’s September 2012 decision to strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in Wyoming. The conservation groups challenged the 2012 decision on grounds that Wyoming law authorized unlimited wolf killing in a “predator” zone that extended throughout most of the state, and provided inadequate protection for wolves even where killing was regulated.

“Today the court affirmed that delisting gray wolves in Wyoming by the Obama administration was premature and a violation of federal law,” said Defenders of Wildlife president and CEO Jamie Rappaport Clark. “Any state that has a wolf-management plan that allows for unlimited wolf killing throughout most of the state should not be allowed to manage wolves. Wolves need to remain protected under the Endangered Species Act until the species is fully recovered. State laws and policies that treat wolves like vermin are as outdated and discredited today as they were a century ago.”

“The decision makes clear that ‘shoot-on-sight’ is not an acceptable management plan for wolves across the majority of the state,” said Dr. Sylvia Fallon, senior scientist and wildlife conservation director at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It’s time for Wyoming to step back and develop a more science-based approach to managing wolves.”

“The court has rightly recognized the deep flaws in Wyoming’s wolf management plan. History has shown that sound, science-based management practices are at the heart of successful efforts to bring animals back from the brink of extinction. Sound management will ensure that we can continue to reap the benefits wolves bring to the region,” said Bonnie Rice of the Sierra Club’s Greater Yellowstone Our Wild America Campaign. 

“We’re thrilled that protections for Wyoming’s fragile population of wolves have been restored,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity. “With Wyoming allowing wolves to be shot on sight across more than 80 percent of the state, there is no way protections for wolves should have ever been removed.”

The 2012 delisting of wolves in Wyoming turned wolf management over to the state, which opened up over 80 percent of its land to unlimited wolf killing and provided weak protections for wolves in the remainder. Since the delisting 219 wolves have been killed under Wyoming’s management. Prior to the 2012 reversal of its position, the Fish and Wildlife Service denied Wyoming the authority to manage wolves in the state due to its extremely hostile anti-wolf laws and policies.

Background
There were once up to 2 million gray wolves living in North America, but the animals were driven to near-extinction in the lower 48 states by the early 1900s. After passage of the federal Endangered Species Act in 1973 and protection of the wolf as endangered, federal recovery programs resulted in the rebound of wolf populations in limited parts of the country. Roughly 5,500 wolves currently live in the continental United States — a fraction of the species’ historic numbers.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is currently proposing to remove Endangered Species Act protection for most gray wolves across the United States, a proposal that the groups strongly oppose; a final decision could be made later this year.

LEGAL DOCUMENTS: http://earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/14-09-23%20Doc%20%2068%20OPINION.pdf

http://earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/14-09-23%20Doc%20%2067%20ORDER%20%282%29.pdf

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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

221 Responses to Huge Victory for wolves in Wyoming!

  1. avatar Joseph C. Allen says:

    YES!

  2. avatar Frank Krosnicki says:

    Best news I have heard in a long time. Thanks to all who helped make this possible.

  3. avatar jon says:

    GREAT NEWS!

  4. avatar Connie says:

    It’s about time!

  5. avatar Amre says:

    YES!!!!!! This is great news! Its about time that Wyoming’s shoot-on-site policy for 80% of the state stops!!!!!

  6. Whoohoo!! One for the Wolves!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!!

  7. avatar JimT says:

    I want to read the decision and see if there is any leverage for going after Idaho, who is just as bad as Wyoming in my opinion…Congrats to Earth Justice and all the clients.

    • avatar Amre says:

      Well, the rider that delsited wolves in Montana and Idaho says it can not be challenged in court. Some groups brought a court challenge against this particular part, (because its obviously unconstitutional), but the judge (Molloy) said the delsiting was valid. But i guess they could try again with another judge…

      • avatar JimT says:

        Malloy is about as good as it gets in this part of the country.I know the Tester rider addressed judicial review; I am thinking that if we have a few more of these decisions, there will be a reason for a judge to revisit the issue of it. This is on of the weaknesses of Obama I detest…He knows or cares nothing for the Western land and species issues. That is clear with the refusal of Grijalva for DOI, as well as the travesty of the Rider deal, the appointment of Sally Jewell, the stance on ESA by the head of FWS, and so on. It just gives cover for the Western Dems to avoid the issue…Sad.

        • avatar Amre says:

          Jim, what i meant is that they could try with a judge with another part of the country. The Wyoming wolf lawsuit was taken to a judge in Washington DC.

          • avatar JimT says:

            There is a limit to how much forum shopping the courts will allow…Let’s see what the judge does with this quick attempt by Wyoming to “cure” their defect…I am hoping the judge will see through this as a plainly cynical attempt to get the Feds out again, but who knows?

      • avatar timz says:

        Molloy did not even agree with his own decision in that case.
        “If I were not constrained by what I believe is binding precedent … I would hold Section 1713 is unconstitutional because it violates the Separation of Powers doctrine,” Molloy wrote in his 18-page decision.

  8. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Wow. Just wow. How absolutely thrilling. Thank you!

  9. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Wyoming has always been the hedgehog in regard to wolf delisting. If Wyoming had only come up with a reasonable wolf management plan six years ago, so much hand wringing could have been avoided.

    The SSS crowd will loom in the wide expanses if the Cowboy State, and there will be howling of the Feds interfering with states rights…
    Come on Wyoming, use some common sense, come up with a sensible wolf plan (one where neither extreme will be happy, but a plan that those who enjoy wildlife will look to as workable), and let’s move beyond this petty squabbling.

    • avatar JB says:

      “The SSS crowd will loom in the wide expanses if the Cowboy State…”

      Yes. As much as I’m happy that a federal judge agrees with so many conservationists (WY’s plan in unreasonable), I worry about the broader implications.

      • avatar Marc Cooke says:

        JB. I share your belief and concern that there will be blowback. Short term implications will include the continued illegal killing of Wyoming wolves. Long term will be just as drastic as short term……only legal!

        • avatar IDhiker says:

          I would venture there’s already plenty of illegal killing going on in Wyoming, just like in Montana and Idaho.

          • avatar ramses09 says:

            Yep – you are so right.

            • avatar Logan says:

              Evidence? Besides Toby Bridges who has already been cited on this discussion.

              I read a lot of comments on this site that allege illegal killing of wolves, I have yet to see any significant numbers.

              • avatar IDhiker says:

                Since I am retired, I spend on average about 100 days per year in the wilderness of Montana & Idaho. I have not seen actual poaching and poisoning. For me, wolf sign (tracks and scat), hearing howls, and actual sightings are drasticly down in both the Bob Marshall complex and Frank Church-Bitterroot Selway.

                My wife and I often saw wolves just three years ago, and tracks left by packs, along with hearing howling on many evenings.

                Now,in the last two years, we haven’t seen any wolves nor heard howls. While we used to see numerous tracks, now we only see tracks of one or two wolves at a time, if at all.

                There have been documented poisonings in both areas, and I have no reason to believe this is not ongoing. You may choose to believe Tony Bridges and his followers are all hot air, but I disagree. I have met many of them and I believe they are deadly serious. My observations are not “scientific,” but I do have a lifetime of wilderness experience and animal observations behind me.

                Our old acquaintance on here, Save Bears, took me to task on this claiming I didn’t see wolf sign in the wilderness as all the elk were gone, and so were the wolves from eating all their prey base. But, he was wrong, Lynn and I see many deer every trip, and often elk.

                At a MFWP meeting this summer, a person attending made the same claim when I mentioned my observations. Afterwards, while chatting with the commissioners, one them told me a friend of his was an outfitter in the “Bob.” He said his friend’s clients got plenty of elk, and that this claim of the elk being gone was simply not true.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Logan one of the people that posts here regularly just sent out a screen shot of the Facebook page Montana wolf hunting

                https://www.facebook.com/montanawolfhunting?hc_location=timeline

                look at the freakish comments under Wyoming just lost its wolf hunting and trapping – one in particular stands out a man who claims to gut shoot wolves every time he is hunting

              • avatar Elk375 says:

                Louise

                “one in particular stands out a man who claims to gut shoot wolves every time he is hunting”

                every time he is hunting. How many hunting days does one have to spend to see a wolf? Depending upon where I am it is possible to see wolf tracks every day but to see a wolf every time he goes hunting — no. In fact, I have never seen a wolf hunting, nor have most hunters; I have seen wolves in the mountains several times in the summer and winters. Wolves are difficult to find and see and many hunting seasons may pass before a hunter sees one.

                Now to gut shoot a wolf. The target between the spine and belly skin is less than 6 inches up and down and the same from the diagram to the pelvis. With a modern hunting rifle 270, 30-06 or similar caliber, the shooter might be able to hit the gut if the wolf was standing sideways at less than 200 yards and they had a solid rest. If the gut was hit the shock would probably kill the quickly anyway.

                It is pure bullshit that a person every time they go hunting gut shoots a wolf. If a wolf is seen it will be from a long, long ways off or a fleeting glimpse running through the trees. Do not worry.

              • avatar topher says:

                While I almost always see sign I have never seen a wolf while hunting.

              • avatar Marc Cooke says:

                Poaching is alive and well in the Rocky Mountain States. If you think otherwise your fooling only yourself. OR 18 was poached in Stevensvilles, Montana. The only reason we know this is because it was wearing a Sat collar.

                http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/poached-wolf-overcame-odds-to-reach-montana/article_4c9e1097-de45-59c5-87b8-cafc28ccc915.html

              • avatar Yvette says:

                Louise, I took a quick look at that facebook page. I will never grasp this level of vitriol toward wolves. I wonder how prevalent these people are in our society. I consider them to be potentially dangerous as their thinking is off-kilter and in the direction of deranged.

                With where I’ve lived and some of the schools I attended when growing up, I do not nonchalantly label someone as potentially dangerous. Of course, some of them are surely just 100% full of hot air. The trick is learning to discern the difference between the blowhards and the ones that are the true nuts.

              • avatar Logan says:

                I do believe that most wolf haters are blowing hot air because I am a hunter and often spend time around some of those people. They all talk a big game about killing every wolf they see but few have ever seen one and fewer still have seen one long enough to pull off a shot.

                Wolf pelts are valuable, not many people would willingly throw away $300 when they can legally collect the pelt and sell it if they don’t want it.

                I don’t need anyone to tell me the attitude of hunters in the NRM, I live here, I hunt here, I talk to dozens of hunters every year all over the area and I read comments like what was posted on that facebook page often.

                I spend about 50 days a year (wish it was more but I’m not yet retired) in various places in Idaho, and have yet to see a wolf. Tracks, scat, yes; live wolf no. The fact that Idaho sells over 20,000 wolf tags per year and the kill is around 300 illustrates that not very many hunters see wolves.

                Does poaching occur, yes I’m sure it does, but I do not believe it is on as large a scale as many of you. An Idaho wolf tag costs $11.50, why would I risk a poaching violation, fines, loss of hunting license when for the price of lunch I can kill one legally?

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Logan and all,

                Wolf poaching, on average, will remove about 10% of wolves from the population. This has been shared with me by two MN DNR agents, and I believe, somewhere in recent TWN annals about same % has been documented in either Idaho or Montana.

                Needless to say, most of that will occur during deer/elk hunting seasons when the woods are flooded with both ethical hunters, and the fringe wolf haters.

              • avatar Elk375 says:

                ++Needless to say, most of that will occur during deer/elk hunting seasons when the woods are flooded with both ethical hunters, and the fringe wolf haters.++

                During deer/elk hunting seasons most hunters have a wolf tag and wolf season is open. Therefore it is not poaching but a legally taken wolf.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                Elk,

                “During deer/elk hunting seasons most hunters have a wolf tag and wolf season is open. Therefore it is not poaching but a legally taken wolf.”

                I’m not talking about those with a wolf tag. For those who just don’t like wolves, for whatever reason, they are in the woods, and the number of illegally killed wolves goes up. It happens here, it happens there. This has no connection with legally harvested wolves.

    • avatar Ed Loosli says:

      Immer: Just curious if you think it would be “extreme” to think the wolf in the U.S. in general and Wyoming in particular should still be fully protected under the Endangered Species Act?? This is the scientific view-point that the US Fish & Wildlife Service is supposed to be following, but rarely does.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Ed,
        Sorry for the late reply. As a wolf advocate, I’d like to see all wolves protected, but, being a realist, and knowing how science works, it’s just not possible to provide full protection under the ESA, nor is it reasonable…in general.

        Specifically, Wyoming has been a problem, with their plan(s) from day one. All states, in luring the one I live in MN jumped into a general season with quotas, and zones of hunting/trapping that, in my opinion, were unreasonable. Case in point that I have used frequently, the BWCA. There are no people or livestock there, and livestock/pets/people was the drive to the first season in MN. I know, the world is not fair, but I don’t believe hunting wolves as one hunts deer/elk (harvest number)fits under the same roof. Until they get it right, wolves may be afforded some sort of protection.

        • avatar Barb Rupers says:

          Well said, Immer, as usual.

          BWCA in MN reminds me of wilderness areas in Idaho where wolves should, in my opinion, be safe from culling: Frank Church, Selway-Bitterroot and Lolo come to mind.

    • avatar MJ says:

      Compromise on condoning the trophy hunts of wolves has rationalized their mistreatment as if they do not have intrinsic value or a critical family structure. This is the idea that has allowed the Toby Bridges of the world to flourish and be tolerated. It won’t be until people see an ethical problem with the mistreatment of animals that time and money will be spent on prosecuting poachers. I am curious if there has been one case of a prosecution for poaching of a Gray Wolf since delisting. The numbers of “missing” Yellowstone wolves is significant.

      Thank you to Center for Biological Diversity, Earthjustice and all who fought this battle.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        Yes. There’s is a segment of our country’s population (thankfully, it is small) that is always going to hate wolves for cultural reasons. That is never going to change, and we will always have the irrational hate killings associated with this group, no matter if wolves are federally protected or not. It’s nothing new and has always been going on for decades. Only now they may be slightly more sophisticated in their attempts, such as associating wolves with vermin and the high reproductive rates of rodents, which isn’t true. Education may help with some people, but it will never be a pie-in-the-sky fix.

        What we should not be doing is making it easy for them. Some of these so-called ‘management’ plans are atrocious abuse of the right or privilege of a state to manage wildlife. They have abused it, period.

        WY hasn’t ever been able to get it right, and probably their ‘plan’ would never have been approved except for political wranglings. Probably the only true statement in the WY Congressional Delegation’s response was ‘it’s been going back and forth for decades’.

    • avatar Yvette says:

      Immer, what is the SSS crowd? Shoot, shovel, shut-up?

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Yvette – There is speculation that wolves might of repopulated areas of Montana on their own (from Canada) if not for the SSS crowd.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Yvette,

          Wolves actually did repopulate without reintroduction in NW Montana. They began migrating south from Alberta and British Columbia in 1980. By 1995 when the Yellowstone and central Idaho reintroductions began, there were 80-90 wolves in NW Montana.

          • avatar JEFF E says:

            after Canada modified their “scorched earth” policy in regards to wolves…

          • avatar Elk375 says:

            Four or five years ago I was at a horse packing clinic in Missoula, Mt taught by “Smoke” Elser. Smoke has spent over 8000 nights in the Bob Marshall Wilderness spanning over 50 years starting in 1957. I ask him if he had seen wolves before the transplants. Smoke said that he had seen wolves every year in the Bob Marshall and several times packs of 7 to 10 wolves in the 50’s and 60’s.

          • avatar MAD says:

            and if it weren’t for them dang humongous alien Alberta wolves interloping on down into our state, then we’d have enough elk to go around.

            jeez, at least we could’ve slowed ’em down at the border with a few more RCMP and CBP officers

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        Yvette,
        You are correct, and I’d wager so is Nancy. We continually hear from the anti-wolf folks about a native remnant wolf population prior to wolf reintroduction. If so, with federal protection, why did they not proliferate as did the reintroduced wolves?

        Noted canid taxonomist Ronald Nowak says as much in the forward/introduction of Cat Ubrigkit’s Yellowstone Wolves.

        Whether native remnant, possible but as most studies have shown as highly unlikely, or dispersers a from Canada, read Bass’s Ninemile Wolves, not until the Spector of Federal oversight with reintroduced wolves did the wolves have a chance to do what wolves do.

        • avatar Yvette says:

          Got it. Thank you!

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          ideally they would have migrated without reintroduction and been under federal protection. The reintroduction seems to be such an issue for ignorant people who continue to hold onto the notion that the reintroduced wolves were a different destructive species and also they were foisted on unwilling states. If they had migrated themselves perhaps the recovery plan would have been better crafted and more in line with other species. I hate that recovery plan, its bogus.

        • avatar Barb Rupers says:

          A cousin of mine has spent a lot of time in the Clearwater and Salmon river areas of Idaho as a cattleman, hunter, hiker, and river boatmen since the 1950’s. He has kept a daily diary during that time. He never recorded this “native wolf” that so many Idaho residents now claim to have seen. Nor has he had any problems with the reintroduced wolves on his property or leased BLM land in the Clearwater area.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            I didn’t see any mention in Mr. Bridges’ report if the wolves were of the 200 lb. Canadian variety. Apparently they were not, or his wife’s van would have sustained quite a bit more damage.

        • avatar MAD says:

          Cat Urbigkit is a hack with no scientific training, no education and has spewed nonsense for years.

          And to be honest, most of Nowak’s assertions based on his morphological work has been refuted with modern-day genetics. He’s the Lombroso of the wildlife biology community.

          • avatar JB says:

            I don’t know about Urbigkit, but I don’t think it is fair to Nowak to see his work has been refuted. There is a raging debate (well, ‘raging’ for scientists anyway) going on between those who would define taxonomy more based upon genetics and those that would rely more on morphology and/or behavior. Last time I checked (which was a few months ago) there really wasn’t much agreement among scientists as to how the wild canids of NA should be grouped?

          • avatar Immer Treue says:

            MAD,

            The point I was trying to make in regard to the Urbigkit book, is that Nowak, who was brought in as an expert to write the intro/forward to the book all but refutes Urbigkit’s central premise of a remnant wolf population.

        • avatar Logan says:

          There were wolves in Idaho prior to the reintroduction. I don’t know why they didn’t proliferate as quickly as the introduced wolves but my guess is that most observed were males although some femalesw were documented. They were scarce but were periodically observed in north, north central and central idaho. One was even killed in the stanley basin in 1978 and another was photographed in the clearwater region that same year.

          Packs did occasionally form but most of these wolves were probably males that had dispersed long distances from Canada although some were probably descendants of remnant Idaho wolves. Sightings were not uncommon from the 1940’s right up to the introduction.

          We’ve seen in recent years how far wolves will travel with a great lakes wolf turning up in Missouri and a Montana wolf going as far as Colorado.

          I think that how quickly the introduced wolves were able to colonize the NRM is evidence that other wolves were present to mate with and form packs with introduced wolves and spread more quickly than the introduced wolves could have on their own. Look at how much more slowly the populations of Washington and Oregon are growing in comparison to Idaho and Montana.

          I think wolves would have eventually colonized the NRM on their own given a few decades. This has been discussed on this site before, I don’t have my refenrences with me so I’ll post a previous discussion from this site, see in particular Ralph’s comments, you’ll just have to take his word for it for now.
          http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2010/09/19/there-were-wolves-in-montana-before-the-reintroduction/

    • avatar James says:

      How about all of you “know-it-all” environmentalists get your facts right for once. How many of you have ever even set foot in Wyoming? Wolves are not native to the area period. They should not be endangered in the United States at all. It has been proven scientifically that the wolf population has surpassed all of the population goals set. Have any of you seen a real breathing wolf? They grow up to six feet long and they are the only animal in the entire world, aside from human beings, that kill for fun. I’ve seen over a hundred head of domestic sheep killed by a bitch wolf and her two cubs. The only reason this thing was passed is due to one poorly appointed, very insolent judge. So before saying things that you have no idea about, go ask the people who are truly affected by the animals and get a real understanding.

    • avatar WyoWolfFan says:

      This is exactly it. If Wyoming could come up with a reasonable season it really could help do away with a lot of squabbling. The crazies on either end won’t be happy but that is a small portion of the population. They’re just the loudest sadly.

  10. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    The SSS wolf haters are a given anyway, regardless of state policy. I don’t think hunting has led to increased tolerance of wolves. At least the state sanctioned killing is not in addition to that.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      Also, the loose cannon Toby Bridges types will just make it that much more difficult for themselves.

    • avatar Jeff N. says:

      I agree with this. The SSS crowd will never be placated regardless of how many wolves are killed. Wyoming’s wolf management plan was a joke to begin with, and it’s approval by the Feds was a bigger joke. This is a welcome decision.

  11. avatar rork says:

    I would have appreciated hearing a lawyerish analysis, perhaps including what the ruling really says. Crazy, I know.
    Is it just saying the wolf population size promises need to be enforceable? It’s not saying the promises haven’t been kept, has it? How will they likely fix this?

    • avatar Salle says:

      Perhaps these two links to PDF docs that are the legal documents-found at the bottom of the article might help…

      LEGAL DOCUMENTS: http://earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/14-09-23%20Doc%20%2068%20OPINION.pdf

      http://earthjustice.org/sites/default/files/files/14-09-23%20Doc%20%2067%20ORDER%20%282%29.pdf

      • avatar rork says:

        Yes. They were given in the original post I believe. Thankyou. I’ve been reading for myself. I would have liked a synopsis and analysis was my point.

    • avatar rork says:

      It’s getting exciting on page 20-21, with judge noting that “at least 10” is not the same as “more than 10” – glad I’m good at math and can follow the complexities.

      • avatar SAP says:

        Rork – you are more committed than me. I stopped on page 2:

        “. . . the Service [USFWS] could not reasonably
        rely on unenforceable representations when it deemed Wyoming’s regulatory mechanisms to be adequate. Given the level of genetic exchange reflected in the record, the Court will not disturb
        the finding that the species has recovered, and it will not overturn the agency’s determination
        that the species is not endangered or threatened within a significant portion of its range. But the Court concludes that it was arbitrary and capricious for the Service to rely on the state’s
        nonbinding promises to maintain a particular number of wolves when the availability of that
        specific numerical buffer was such a critical aspect of the delisting decision.”

      • avatar SAP says:

        So . . . basically, it sounds like Wyoming will simply need to agree to making some binding promises about wolf numbers.

        I don’t expect that this will do anything in the long run about the free-fire zone covering most of the Equality State.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          I would agree SAP its a short term fix the best thing it does is to prove that a court recognizes the complete disregard that Wyoming had for delisting and that USFWS was arbitrary and capricious in its decision to delist. Perhaps it may help prevent a national delisting but I think the real fix is to go after the recovery plan and work to have that revised.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            still at least Wyoming wolves get to live another year.

            • avatar Ed Loosli says:

              Correct me if I am wrong, but I think it was Congress and the President of the United States who de-listed the wolf in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, not the US Fish & Wildlife Service.

              • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

                Ed,

                Congress delisted the wolf in Idaho and Montana. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delisted the wolf in Wyoming. That method allows a lawsuit.

              • avatar W. Hong says:

                From what I have read, the congress ended listing in Montana and Idaho and the fish people approved and ended listing in Wyoming, the congress thing only was in Montana and Idaho.

              • avatar SAP says:

                Congress wrote and passed the Endangered Species Act, along with subsequent amendments, reauthorizations, and allocations of funding for implementing and enforcing the ESA.

                The Executive Branch — i.e, the President — is responsible for executing or implementing the Endangered Species Act. The part of the Executive Branch responsible for the ESA is mostly the US Fish & Wildlife Service, with the National Marine Fisheries Service responsible for listed marine species.

                So, in a sense, you’re correct that the Executive Branch is involved, but it’s USFWS that is carrying out those actions for the President. The President appoints the head of that agency, along with that person’s bosses at Department of Interior. When someone challenges an agency action (such as wolf delisting), it’s usually the Secretary of Interior who is named in the suit. But, that person does serve at the pleasure of the President. So, again, you’re sort of correct.

                Congress isn’t really involved, although they got involved in Idaho & Montana by passing a law that excluded wolves in those two states from the ESA for a few years (someone correct me if I’m wrong, but the Tester budget rider I think had a sunset date).

        • avatar Marc Bedner says:

          That was as far as I got, too, in the legal gobbledegook: “Court will not disturb the finding that the species has recovered, and it will not overturn the agency’s determination that the species is not endangered or threatened within a significant portion of its range.” I have no legal training, but I agree with your interpretation of this point. The court agrees that wolves have no legal protection under the Endangered Species Act. They temporarily halted this particular hunt until Wyoming can make a better case managing wildlife, at which point US Fish and Wildlife will be free to leave them in charge.

  12. avatar Gerry Burge says:

    Amre posted: “Well, the rider that delsited wolves in Montana and Idaho says it can not be challenged in court. Some groups brought a court challenge against this particular part, (because its obviously unconstitutional), but the judge (Molloy) said the delsiting was valid.”
    How can you do anything that involves laws and practices in this country, that is immune to court challenges??? I thought that was the whole point of checks and balances! That’s like writing anything you want into a law or policy that has governmental power to be enforced, and putting a PS to it: “Oh, and btw, no court has any jurisdiction over this action.” Somebody please tell me how this can happen, legally, that is.

    • avatar Amre says:

      Gerry Burge

      That just shows that the wolf hating hunters, ranchers, and politicians do not care HOW they remove protections from wolves, wether it infringes on peoples constitutional rights or not (when you think about it, its ironic that some of the same congressmen/women who supported this rider are always saying they love the constitution, especially when an amendment supports their political beliefs).

  13. avatar IDhiker says:

    If one really wants to see the horrific wolf hatred by the Toby Bridges crowd, just check into the Facebook postings on Missoula’s KECI & KPAX news stations going on right now. I debated for a while last night, but let them have the last word and turned it off. Incredible ignorance!!

  14. avatar TC says:

    I’m not sure how this will develop. It’s clear this has ignited a storm here from state offices in Cheyenne to bars and feed stores and the million and one out-of-the way meeting places on backroads and where there are few roads. I wish this could be a strike for a more science-based and ecologically sound wolf plan in Wyoming, but I fear it’s just gasoline on an anti-fed fire and may push quite a few fence-sitters the wrong direction. One thing guaranteed to be unpopular here with many – a judge in Washington, D.C., deciding the fate of, well, anything in Wyoming. Expect quick and vehement appeals, and pressure applied in D.C. from many politically-connected deep-pocketed corners. NRDC used to play this game better – often resulting in negotiations outside of the courtroom that resulted in deals that both sides could live with, and that benefitted the resource in question. I do wonder if in the short run this may result in the death of more than a few wolves that otherwise would have gone unremarked – and if so, nobody will be the wiser for what happens in remote places. Delusions of federal tyranny can make bold some otherwise unfocused and shiftless folks. I don’t have the feeling that was happening to a significant degree before now. I guess I have more optimism for a better plan and more acceptance in the long run, but time will tell. It’s a shame there isn’t another way to accomplish rational and sound conservation of all wildlife, wolves included, not involving court decisions in our nation’s capitol, but I’m sure short on solutions.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      TC,

      It might seem like gasoline on a fire, but let me ask this. Is there any evidence that the Toby Bridges of the world are currently behaving as nice guys, and now they will stop?

      • avatar SAP says:

        I’d say if anything, the extremists have gotten worse. They’re mostly delusional to begin with, so it doesn’t matter to them whether wolf populations are declining, or wolf-livestock conflicts are declining, or if no one has come down with a bad case of brain worms from living in the same county with wolves. Their identity, social circles, and self worth are all wrapped up in being the Paul Reveres of wolf hysteria.

        The good news is, it takes a special kind of nut job to sustain that kind monomaniacal obsession for very long. Sure, some halfway normal folks might join in for awhile, but the true crusaders tend to wear them out and drive them away after awhile. Like wolves controlling their own numbers, the anti-wolf lunatic fringe seems to be self limiting because they eventually exhaust the enthusiasm of normal people.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          SAP, I agree with you. Their insensitivity to any facts or efforts to compromise by wolf supporters suggests that pro wolf folks’ strategies should, or at least can be made without taking into account the extremist’s reaction.

          In a way, I speculate, they were the original tea partiers.

          • avatar Ed Loosli says:

            SAP wrote, “Congress isn’t really involved, although they got involved in Idaho & Montana by passing a law that excluded wolves in those two states from the ESA for a few years (someone correct me if I’m wrong, but the Tester budget rider I think had a sunset date).” … Is this true that the Congressional rider de-listing the wolf in Idaho and Montana is only for a few years?? I only wish it were so.

            • avatar SAP says:

              I may be confused on that point. It may be a moot point anyway — the reason we ended up with the rider is that a federal judge ruled that Montana & Idaho had to remain listed until Wyoming developed an acceptable wolf plan. The rider allowed MT & ID wolves to be delisted while WY wolves remained listed. Even if the exclusion of judicial review were lifted, I’m not sure what substantive argument you could bring to get MT & ID wolves relisted.

              • avatar Marc Bedner says:

                Thanks to the League of Conservation Voters and others, Tester was able to retain his seat in the Senate and end wolf protection in Montana. As this was done with an Act of Congress, it would take another Act of Congress to reverse it.
                Fortunately Wyoming politicians do not, as yet, seem to have the political clout that Tester has.

              • avatar Amre says:

                The 2011 rider reinstated the 2009 delisting rule.

      • avatar TC says:

        Nope. But he and his acolytes are a known commodity. What concerns me is the lesser-known commodity, and the possibility that a whole swing vote on wolves, if you will, was just sacrificed to a court decision. Perhaps with some drastic consequences. I could be wrong. I hope so. I’d like to believe a new plan can emerge that forces everyone to meet a little closer to the middle, and is based on something resembling best available science.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        and also to remember the wolf populations under federal protections did grow despite sss and under protections there is a definite way to prosecute deliberate and willful poaching. A felony under an ESA offense is a much greater deterrence than a slap on the wrist the state has illustrated its contempt for wolves through protracted hunting seasons using all methods of killing despite their knowledge of the sociality of wolves and the inhumanity of trapping, snaring and aerial gunning .

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          Yes, some of us have been watching this play out for decades. There has been no such killing as bad as we see today. These so-called management plans are anything but, and the delisting and plans are what has emboldened the wolf haters. I’ve never seen it worse. There’s no way to know that what goes on rural roads isn’t still happening despite liberalized hunting and trapping, and shoot on sight (the very thought of ‘shoot on sight’ as management says it all, I think.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            I should say there have been no such killings as bad as we see today since the government policy of eradication.

            Surveys can be tricky – killing wolves when there is evidence of wolf depredation – real or manufactured?

        • avatar Leslie says:

          Wolves have been hunted here in WY for 2 years. I can personally say that you do not see wolves like you used to. I used to see wolves pretty close, maybe 20′ sometimes. And I could easily watch them from a car in winter. With 2 years of a hunt, for instance, last winter if they heard my vehicle at 6am they’d run away as fast as possible even if I was 500 yards away. The SSS crowd won’t have such an easy time. They are lazy ATVer’s mostly and besides I think a lot of it is just showing off talk.

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        No, the Toby Bridgites in western Montana are working overtime!

    • We need to address the core problem – oligarchy of killers running our state agencies. Work at the central problem – the funding.

      Reform state agencies to general public funding REPLACING killing licenses as the main funding structure – tied to fair representation on deciding boards for the 90-95% of us who do not kill wildlife and are disenfranchised in our most important commonwealth – the web of life that supports all life – and nature.

      If you do not kill wildlife, you have never made a decision through the state agencies, about the fate of our wildlife. THIS IS OUR RIGHT – fair pay/fair say/fair play.

  15. avatar WyoWolfFan says:

    Great news! I need to stay away from certain coworkers now until after hunting season it looks like.

  16. avatar W. Hong says:

    I was told to ask more questions, so here is one I have, if a state says they don’t like what the court said and tells them no, what would the government do?

    • avatar sleepy says:

      The judge could hold the state agency in contempt and level daily fines until the agency complies.

      Conceivably, the court could also order certain officials to jail until compliance, but that won’t happen here.

      Occasionally, as has been done with state prisons and state school systems in non-compliance with a court order, the court could effectively seize the agency and have the officials be under direct court supervision.

    • avatar Ed Loosli says:

      Good question, W.Hong: The way the Obama Interior Department operates, if states want to defy the federal government where wildlife is concerned, the state will most likely get away with it. Just look at the fact that Nevada backed rancher Bundy still has not been arrested or been made to pay his back grazing fees to the federal government after many many years of not paying them.

      • avatar sleepy says:

        In this case though, Wyoming is dealing with a judgment from a federal district court, not the Dept of the Interior.

        I assume here that Interior was a party to the suit since it was a party to the agreement. It and Wyoming lost the case. They certainly have a right to appeal, but Obama can’t order much of anything here, unless he would order Interior to ignore the judge–which would be a fast track to an impeachable offense. Or at least should be.

      • avatar W. Hong says:

        I had to wonder, when I lived in China, the government there would send the army to enforce what the court said. I had not saw this in United States

  17. avatar Bob Ostler says:

    Ralph, your mention of “in the short run” may be more prescient than many would like.

  18. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Perhaps a quote from Bertold Brecht, with slight modification, is appropriate for the situation.

    “Rejoice not in his defeat, you men.
    For though the beast has been destroyed,
    The bitch that bore him is in heat again.”

  19. avatar rork says:

    The ruling gave interesting recap of history. My compliments to John A. Vucetich in that regard. Michigan Tech is better than you’d expect for being way up there and a tad small, but 200+ snow inches on average is more than I’d want.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Vucetich os one of the few scientists it seems willing to go out on a limb
      too many are rightly concerned about losing grants or other funding sources.

    • avatar IDhiker says:

      The Bridges’ coverage has really riled up his base of true believers here in western Montana! They are filled with hate, paronoia, and delusional thinking. I’m getting paranoid myself, thinking what these types are capable of.

  20. avatar Anthony Criscola says:

    If 80% of Wyoming is marginal wolf habitat, then what is the problem? In other words what is there to manage? Just leave it alone.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

      Gary Humbard and Anthony,
      The judge was wrong about the marginal wolf habitat. When Wyoming gained authority to manage wolves, there were probably 30-40 wolves south of Jackson Hole in the Salt River and Wyoming mountain ranges.

      • avatar Anthony Criscola says:

        Yes, but outside of northwest Wyoming the rest of the state is considered marginal wolf habitat. If this is so, then the few # of wolves there would preclude management.

        • avatar Leslie says:

          I agree Ralph that the judge was wrong. First the predator zone has more wolves killed in it every year than the total allowed in the trophy zone. Although they don’t say where these kills are, I would bet most are south of Jackson in the Pinedale area or around Gooseberry Creek. Second, their predator plan doesn’t allow for wolves to migrate to other great habitat i.e. Bighorns, Winds, Wyoming Range or Colorado.

        • avatar Ralph Maughan says:

          Anthony, southwest Wyoming is fine wolf habitat too.

  21. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    Not to be a party pooper, but from strictly a wolf population basis, it appears that this ruling will protect ~ 25 packs located near Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP that are located in the “Trophy Game Hunting Area”. There are only a few packs located in the predator zone (80% of Wyoming) where wolves can be shot on site. Wyoming has allowed about the same annual percentage of wolf harvesting as Idaho and Montana since de-listing (~30% harvest of total population).

    I do not consider this a “huge victory” but it will give wolves a reprieve in Wyoming for awhile. A huge victory will be when conservationist will have the ability to provide dedicated funding to state agencies for wolf conservation (ie. Montana Wolf Stamp) providing us a voice for all of wildlife.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      a true victory will be when a national act protects predators and recognizes they are not ungulates, not eaten and that trophy hunting is not necessary and not a valid method of wildlife “management”. The ESA does not provide for the broad protections necessary for predators nor does it prevent the crazies from resuming their craziness once endangered or threatened species are delisted. I don’t believe the individual states will ever manage predators responsibly. there are enough federal public lands to justify a national act.

      • avatar Elk375 says:

        Louise

        It is not going to happen in your life time and you know it.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          Elk, I would not say that at all. I think under the right conditions it is a possibility. I don’t think it will happen now under the Obama administration or as quickly as I would like. I’d say some particular circumstances would need to be satisfied… for example a progressive and enlightened democrat in office, with a democratic senate and house, a Bruce Babbitt type as secretary and a unified and strong grass roots movement with a coalition of ngos behind it and a strong legislative sponsor.

          I think as the large mammals continue to disappear from the African continent, Asia , India and Indonesia that people will be more inspired to change. I also think that we can expect to see US citizens realizing a clearer analogy to loss of US wildlife through outdated and bad US wildlife policy.

          I’m always grotesquely amused that US citizens are rightly outraged by the trophy hunting, poaching, and killing of African wildlife but don’t have the same outrage for the large mammals killed here as legal trophy hunts or through wildlife service like programs.

          It’s bizarre to see Americans so worked up about elephants, lions and other big cats when some of these populations are in the tens or hundreds of thousands and US wolves are in the low thousands and wolverines in the tens!

          ADmittedly there are far greater obstacles to overcome in conserving and protecting African wildlife but right here at home we legalize trophy hunting, one of the most barbaric, ill conceived, inhumane and destructive of wildlife “management” practices. legalized and entrenched trophy hunting in today’s world is grossly out of step with a responsible conservation ethic.

          anyhow, i do see a time when a national predator protection act could gain traction and become a law. I certainly want to promote the idea widely and I know of enough other wildlife scientists, biologists and conservationists that believe in the idea to feel that its a legitimate concept.

          I’m not saying it will be easy, nothing of value is.

          • avatar Yvette says:

            I believe you are right, Louise. Trophy hunting and “sport” hunting will continue to lose ground. The voice against it is growing. Truly, those who kill for the joy of killing are getting boxed into a corner. Attitudes of the majority will increasingly view this type of killing, passed off as sport, negatively as predator populations continue to decline. Plus, we are just beginning to see the effects of climate change/chaos and as that picks up steam everything is going to change. Trophy and sport hunting will become an archaic philosophy, and I believe, it will happen sooner than some believe.

            • avatar Elk375 says:

              The general public could careless about wolves, predators and wildlife in general. Just go to Costco, Target or Walmart and see what America looks like. Ninety nine percent of those shoppers only care about their immediate gratification. Huge shopping carts, obesity, gluttony, and an immediate craving for the next consumer must have purchase. It is sad but true.

              ++Attitudes of the majority will increasingly view this type of killing, passed off as sport, negatively as predator populations continue to decline.++ Most people do not know what predator is.

              • avatar Nancy says:

                “Just go to Costco, Target or Walmart and see what America looks like”

                Interesting choice of stores Elk.

                Stores that still wrestle with doing the “right thing” when it comes to out sourced goods manufactured/received from third world countries where a decent wage is unheard of, child labor is the norm and pollution is out of control.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                ” Most people do not know what predator is.”

                Sadly, this is probably correct.

              • avatar JB says:

                Elk et al.

                A few unpublished numbers to get you thinking…

                Early this year we surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,277 Americans. Here are a few findings:

                17-18% Objected to predator control completely (agreed with the items “Predator control is unacceptable” and “wildlife populations should not be managed by humans”.

                A similar proportion (18%) was actually will to use poisons to control wildlife populations.

                Roughly 1/2 53% agreed that wildlife control was acceptable “if there was evidence that wildlife damage is the cause of economic loss”; 60% thought it was acceptable to control predators that prey on livestock.

                These data tell me that a bit more than 1/3 of the population (~36%) make up the ‘crazies’ on both sides–18% object to any form of management including predator control, and 18% will support the use of poisons. Meanwhile more than 1/2 support controlling predators when it is justified (when there is evidence of loss).

                Seems to me that the people aren’t as naive about wildlife as you think; in fact, I’d say they’re rather pragmatic?

              • avatar Yvette says:

                Well, I tend to agree with most of your post. However, I think it extends to Americans across the board. All income levels and all demographics. Far too many people are too shallow and only concerned with superficial desires…..or maybe I just have a jaded outlook.

                “Ninety nine percent of those shoppers only care about their immediate gratification.” Could be true.

              • avatar IDhiker says:

                If that ain’t the sad truth, Elk.

          • avatar Logan says:

            The only places that I know of in Africa and Asia that are seeing population drops of large mammals is due to poaching not regulated hunting. African countries that support foriegners coming in to hunt trophy game have stable populations, an incentive to protect the animals and the revenue necessary to prevent poaching.

            Just because one group of people think that trophy hunting is morally wrong does not mean it should be banned. The USA has shown it will protect animals from hunting when it is necessary to save them from extinction, predators included. When numbers are sufficient to allow killing a percentage of the population without endangering the species, moral concerns of one group over another shouldn’t matter.

            I support a halt to hunting of any species that is near extinction, gray wolves of North America are not one of those species. On the same note, residents, hunters and ranchers here in the Northern Rockies need to accept that wolves are here to stay and sustainable populations need to be maintained. Aside from the most extreme wolf haters all the hunters I know were mostly happy with the status quo and coming to terms with the new reality of wolves in Idaho, I can only assume Wyoming was headed in the same direction. With this latest court ruling I think that any opinion in Wyoming that was headed towards acceptance will do a complete 180 and become even more vehemently opposed to wolves.

            This ruling will only stop the wolf hunts for a season and then when Wyoming has a plan that meets the requirements of the USFWS and this ruling, hunting will resume and the only thing that will have changed is a few words on a document entitled “Wyoming Wolf Management Plan”.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              Logan you wrote
              “Just because one group of people think that trophy hunting is morally wrong does not mean it should be banned. The USA has shown it will protect animals from hunting when it is necessary to save them from extinction, predators included. When numbers are sufficient to allow killing a percentage of the population without endangering the species, moral concerns of one group over another shouldn’t matter.”

              Trophy hunting decimated wild game in many countries far before habitat fragmentation, booming populations and predator killing became competing factors. Now trophy hunting and poaching are decimating populations of many animals.
              What purpose is served by trophy hunting except for gratification to kill. I do find that an incredibly unjust and poor excuse to kill wild animals. It’s unacceptable to me.

              http://www.cannedlion.org/hunting—a-threat-to-our-national-interests.html

              http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0418-gen-lion-bone.html

              http://africageographic.com/blog/10-african-animals-in-rapid-decline/

              http://news.mongabay.com/2014/0108-hance-west-african-lions.html

              • avatar Logan says:

                Louise,

                My point is that hunting should be regulated based on population levels and not morals. If hunting (whether the motivation is trophy hunting or meat hunting) is negatively impacting animal populations then the local wildlife officials need to restrict the practice, if populations are remaining stable under the pressure then there is no scientific reason to end hunting. Some African nations have banned hunting of some or all species for various reasons, others see value gained by the hunting industry. THey are the managers of their wildlife and I leave them to it.

                In North America, we have over 100 years of evidence that hunting and conservation are compatible. Trophy hunting however repulsive to you has never been the cause of extinction of an animal in North America that I am aware of.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                Logan says,
                “Trophy hunting however repulsive to you has never been the cause of extinction of an animal in North America that I am aware of.”

                Depends. One of the last ivory-billed woodpeckers known was trophy hunted in Louisiana…and most thought they were already extinct then.

              • avatar Mark L says:

                I could easily second this with jaguars. They were trophy hunted to (possible) extinction in US. Arguably some were motivated by cattle/sheep ranchers, but they were trophies.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Logan

                guess how you define trophy hunting
                but hunting certainly has decimatated populations in the US ad and led to extinctions. AS noted the relentless hunting and killing of wolves the US led to extirpations of grey wolves. Here is a link to other species that disappeared from the Appalachian region and northern US because of hunting….

                one of the most famous and well known extinctions due to hunting and habitat loss…

                “The passenger pigeon or wild pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) is an extinct North American bird. Named after the French word passager for “passing by”, it was once the most abundant bird in North America, and possibly the world.[2][3] It accounted for more than a quarter of all birds in North America.[4] The species lived in enormous migratory flocks until the early 20th century, when hunting and habitat destruction led to its demise.[5] One flock in 1866 in southern Ontario was described as being 1 mi (1.5 km) wide and 300 mi (500 km) long, took 14 hours to pass, and held in excess of 3.5 billion birds. That number, if accurate, would likely represent a large fraction of the entire population at the time.[6][A][7]”

              • avatar Elk375 says:

                Louise

                ++Here is a link to other species that disappeared from the Appalachian region and northern US because of hunting….

                one of the most famous and well known extinctions due to hunting and habitat loss…

                One flock in 1866 in southern Ontario was described as being 1 mi (1.5 km) wide and 300 mi (500 km) long, took 14 hours to pass, and held in excess of 3.5 billion birds.++

                Three billion five hundred million birds went extinct because hunters shot them. Think about this for a moment, think. If a hunter killed one bird with one shot that would be 3.5 billion shotgun shells. The last passenger pigeon went extinct in 1914, The entire world’s production in 1914 was billions less than 3.5 billion shotgun shells.

                I wonder if there has been 3.5 billion shotgun shells manufacture as of today. Hunters were not the cause of passenger pigeon extinction. It was habitat destruction.

                Tidbit: 3.5 million shotgun shells at one oz. of shot per shell would amount to 109,375 tons of lead. Had to world mined that amount of lead by 1914?

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          i might be younger than you too
          so maybe we are talking about your life time?

  22. avatar timz says:

    Maybe there is good reason to take wildlife management from locals in Wyoming, when one of their bear specialists can’t tell a grizzly from a black bear.
    http://trib.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/game-fish-employee-pleads-guilty-shot-grizzly/article_0c376221-e329-59d7-a626-2e699c5c1ad8.html

    • avatar Gary Humbard says:

      Same agency who was bungling the recovery of black-footed ferrets until the USFWS took over the program. There were only 17 known animals left in the wild when the feds took over as Wyoming F&G was letting nature take its course.

  23. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Been waiting for this ruling for the past month . It weant as it hought it likely would….that Wyomng’s ridiculous Predator Zone must go . Sorry , Idaho and Montana…we know you wanted Predator Zones of your own.

    My hope is that this ruling provides an anchor or at least a strong talking point for the broader more essential discussion about reforming predator control in general, and taking Wildlife services to the woodshed for some rehabilitation , specifically.

    That would be wonderful…

  24. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    Once again Louise Kane has articulated a passionate and most reasonable case for ending the persecution of predators in general and wolves in particular at the state and importantly, the federal level. TC wrote: “I’m not sure what substantive argument you could bring to get MT & ID wolves relisted.” Let me try; Wolves in Montana and Idaho (and Wyoming) are so rare and now in decline that their future of going extinct in those states is likely. Having only a few hundred individuals of any species and on top of that, to have these individuals subject to being killed by hunters, poachers and trappers should be enough to trigger a re-listing. Since the Congressional de-listing, wolf numbers have declined, so the direction of wolf numbers is obviously not sustainable, which calls for the re-listing.

    • avatar TC says:

      I didn’t write that Ed. But now that I read it, I agree with it. I posit relisting wolves in any of the NRM states will be an uphill battle, both ways, in the snow, barefoot, even if triggering conditions are met (translation – hard to imagine it happening, short of some stochastic catastrophe). Too easy to tap dance around some arbitrary population estimates and lay low for a year or two (reduced seasons, reduced tags, etc.) to allow populations to rebound. And I don’t believe they’ll be extirpated in any of the NRM states; I do believe they are well and truly here to stay (assuming national parks and federal public lands persist). I do believe we’ve bungled their management, and that agencies have no real plan for their long-term conservation (something much more than just numbers) or their role in restoration of fully functional ecosystems (or as close as we can approximate in year 2014).

      Regarding your comment below about cougar populations in California relative to the hunting ban. Take some care, correlation does not imply causation. You could make a similar argument (that mountain lion populations have declined since 1990) due to the jump in state population from 29,760,000 in 1990 to more than 38,332,000 in 2013 (quite a bit of developed and fragmented habitat). Or the 180 degree argument – clearly sport hunting is the best tool to maintain high mountain lion populations.

      And no wolf “management” at all? Pretty doubtful they’d be in YNP or the GYE today if that were the case. Listing under the ESA, of course, also is a management tool, as is closing hunting seasons.

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        TC: I guess you are trying to be cute in trying to use the word “management” in relation to protecting wolves (and other rare wildlife) from hunting and trapping by such laws as the Endangered Species Act. However, we all know what fish and game “managers” mean when they use the word “management” — they mean killing.

        • avatar TC says:

          No, I don’t do cute.

          Management sometimes does mean killing. It does not always mean killing. Precision with terms counts. I have participated in management actions that were aimed at population restoration; population or species reintroduction; habitat improvement for specific species or species assemblages, including removing fences, removing invasive plants, and restoring riparian corridors, and others. This too is management.

          • avatar Ed Loosli says:

            Yes TC, I agree that all those activities which you listed are managing “for” species protections. The word “managing” used by game “managers”, when they refer to “managing wolves” for example, means killing them.

            • avatar JB says:

              Ed:

              Managing wolves does not just mean killing, even if it means killing more than you or I would like. Use of non-lethal deterrents, relocation of animals, even habitat alterations that benefit elk, also benefit wolves. Management actions also include research and monitoring of populations and hunting and trapping seasons.

              As TC said, it is important to use terms precisely. “Management” is a broad term that refers to lots of activities–it means more than the sum of hunting, trapping and lethal control.

  25. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    Further regarding the trophy hunting of predators, it is informative to know that since the State of California banned the sport hunting of mountain lions in 1990 their numbers have DECLINED from approximately 5,000 to approximately 4,000. Predators like mountain lions, wolves and coyotes self regulate their populations based on habitat and food supply and do not have to me “managed” by humans… It is humans that need the managing.

    • avatar aves says:

      Despite the hunting ban in 1990, the legal killing of lions in California has continued through depredation permits.

      I would imagine livestock owners would point to the # of lions they’ve legally killed since 1990 as the reason for the decrease in lion numbers:

      http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/lion/depredation.html

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        aves: According to the CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, since the hunting ban lion numbers are down because of habitat loss/fragmentation and a quite severe drop in deer populations in California… Since the hunting ban in 1990 approximately 100 mt. lions have been killed each year under depredation permits (2% per year), which would not be the main cause of the mt. lions decline, who’s birth rate is self regulating. I might add that the deer populations are down because of the mis-managed deer hunting quotas by the very same CA. Dept. of F & W., where in many areas only bucks can be killed and they are killed in very high numbers.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          if 100 were killed by permit, how many were killed by hunting permits in years past?

          • avatar W. Hong says:

            I thought they stopped hunting of Mt. Lions in California several years ago?

          • avatar Ed Loosli says:

            To Louise Kane: I will have to dig for the answers going back before 1972, which was the year that Governor Ronald Reagan (that left wing liberal) signed a law banning the sport hunting or mt. lions in California for 5 years…That hunting moratorium was extended for another 10 years, and in 1986 the Cal. Fish and Game Dept. proposed the re-instatement of hunting mt. lions. Protests were mounted, law suits were filed, and in 1090 Californians voted over-whelmingly to permanently ban the sport hunting of mt. lions. I will try and find the statistics on the legal sport hunting of mountain lions in California before 1972.

            • avatar Ed Loosli says:

              To Louise Kane (re-typed): I will have to dig for the answers going back before 1972, which was the year that Governor Ronald Reagan (that left wing liberal) signed a law banning the sport hunting of mt. lions in California for 5 years…That hunting moratorium was extended for another 10 years, and in 1986 the Cal. Fish and Game Dept. proposed the re-instatement of hunting mt. lions. Protests were mounted, law suits were filed, and in 1990 Californians voted over-whelmingly to permanently ban the sport hunting of mt. lions. I will try and find the statistics on the legal sport hunting of mountain lions in California before 1972.

              • avatar Ed Loosli says:

                More for Louise Kane and others about the history of mt. lion persecution, then protection in California…Historically, mountain lions were heavily persecuted in California. Classified as a “Bountied Predator” from 1907 to 1963, a record 12,462 mountain lions were killed (more than any other state) and turned in for the bounty. So, an average of 222 mt. lions were killed per year in California, every year from 1907 to 1963… The bounty on California’s mountain lions was repealed in 1963, and the species was reclassified as a “Non-protected Mammal.” Then in 1972, Gov. Ronald Reagan signed a law banning the sports hunting of mt.lions for five years… These mt. lion hunting moratoriums were extended, then the permanent hunting ban occurred in 1990.

              • avatar Louise Kane says:

                Thanks Ed
                I had no idea so many were killed and was not aware of that history.

  26. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Here is the Wyoming Congressional delegation’s ” official” response to the ruling, if anyone hasn’t had their daily quota of rhetoric yet today , courtesy of Sen. Mike Enzi’s office:

    http://www.enzi.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news-releases?ContentRecord_id=beaa82b0-3f20-450e-aef2-ff1b77bb65c3

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      “Wyoming has a winning record on species management, including the wolf even after it was foisted upon Wyoming by the federal government,” said Rep. Lummis.

      Say no more Rep. Lummis. You have made your bed.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      ““These lawsuits and those who bring them, use the Endangered Species Act as a club to beat down state management plans that have been worked on and developed with input by all stakeholders….It’s an abuse of the law and another clear example for why the Endangered Species Act needs to be fixed,” added Enzi.”

      And we all know that the first part of this quote is bullshit! The second part of the quote is necessary for the bullshit that precedes it!

    • avatar Leslie says:

      Wyoming made its bed in its backroom delisting deal between Mead and Salazar. Now they are crying foul?

  27. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    This is why I do not follow these things in too much depth anymore, because they are only intended to derail people, and to fearmonger. I think in the majority of cases they are nothing but hot air, and statistically the truly dangerous are a small percentage (although they make up for that in lots of damage).

    We are not encouraged to trust our instincts anymore, but to rely on ‘reason’. Senstitivity to others means not only picking up on their pain and suffering, or walking in their shoes as far a commonality of human feelings, but getting a sense of the untrustworthy, the liars, and those who truly mean to do harm and to keep your distance from them.

  28. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Why would they do it? For pure hatred alone, or dissatisfaction with the political system, or whatever they are unhappy with at the moment. This segment of society will do these things regardless if they can buy a legal tag or not.

    You have to remember the ones that are parading their exploits around downtown Jackson and on Facebook with klan masks did so legally. We shouldn’t make it that easy for them.

  29. avatar WM says:

    Some folks here don’t understand the rider. And this is not end of story. One trial Court ruling I in D C. Comment when I get to a full size keyboard. Backpacking in ONP at present.

  30. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    Quote from Senator Enzi “Ever since the federal government decided to reintroduce wolves into Wyoming, our state has had to fight for the right to manage these predators which are regularly a problem for outfitters, ranchers and game populations,”

    First predators account for 11% (2.6 million dollars) of total cattle losses in Wyoming which leaves 89% in the hands of the ranchers responsibility. Second wolves have had minimal effects to ungulate populations and hunter success. I do not consider 11% as a regular problem but a minor problem that could be reduced if ranching practices were improved. Hunter success in Wyoming is higher than Idaho and Montana.

    A sidenote that the Senator may consider, tourist spent 382 million dollars visiting Grand Teton and Yellowstone this year with one of the main reasons being to see and/or hear wolves with many of these visitors spending money in Wyoming.

    Tourist don’t vote and sadly most national politicians main goal is to get re-elected instead of doing what is best for the country. Instead of blaming the lawsuit he should have mentioned that the return of wolves righted a wrong as they were exterminated due in large part to a federal government killing program, that wolves have had minimal effects on ungulate populations and hunter success and that studies are indicating wolves are helping to restore the landscape.

    Oh how I wish to see a politician admit a mistake was made and that he/she will make sure corrections will be done to right the wrong.

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      +1

    • avatar Elk375 says:

      ++Tourist don’t vote and sadly most national politicians main goal is to get re-elected instead of doing what is best for the country.++

      A US Senator represents the “STATE” that he/she was elected from not the country and represents the constituents of that state and not the nation.

      I am not going to argue that a politicians goal is re-elected that goes with the territory.

    • avatar Barb Rupers says:

      The 11% figure of loss due to depredation is probably from the US Department of Agriculture where the numbers are from self-reporting by surveys sent to producers.

      Reporting by the state of Wyoming in 2012 listed a loss of 44 cattle by wolves.
      http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/imgs/QRDocs/WYWOLF_ANNUALREPORT_2012.pdf

  31. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Immer said:

    This (illegally taken wolves) has no connection with legally harvested wolves.

    I think it most certainly does. Those who have a grudge, who might have been deterred by poaching laws and federal wildlife crime, have now been give the legal right to kill wolves, free and clear. As an example, look what happened to the wolves of Yellowstone. The research, tourists, and the Park were not respected by ‘legal’ hunters and trappers. Is it taking the easy way out to get an animal, or something else? Either way, it is a big disappointment, though predictable, and preventable.

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Ida,
      You are once again dipping into the “thunder mug”. Legal take is just that, legal. As has been said many times on this blog, once wolves or any other animal, save possibly grizzlies, leaves the protective perimeters of the park, they are legal. Whether you or I (I am in favor of a buffer) like it or not, for the price of a tag, one can legally harvest a wolf.

      The wolf haters, for the price of a bullet, may illegally kill a wolf during deer/elk season for their perceived, hatred of wolves. This has nothing to do with legal hunting. The woods are full of ethical hunters and the miscreants who poached prior to legal wolf hunting and continue to do so. They are mutually exclusive.

      • avatar Ida Lupines says:

        I don’t agree. I still think that there are those who wouldn’t take the chance ordinarily, but now have been given the ok with a legal hunting license. Lots of things are legal, but that doesn’t make them right. Hunters ought to respect the wolves in the Park, and they don’t.

        We’ve all seen enough legal bad wolf hunting behavior on Facebook to last us a lifetime.

        I don’t think wolves should be hunted for sport, only for real livestock depredation by a professional or seasoned hunter, not someone who has more money than sense.

  32. avatar Nancy says:

    “I wonder if there has been 3.5 billion shotgun shells manufacture as of today. Hunters were not the cause of passenger pigeon extinction. It was habitat destruction”

    It was also greed Elk and a total lack of respect for wildlife. Ever read the book The Last Passenger/James Johnson/ 1956? From a Passenger Pigeon’s point of view 🙂 but little doubt about the facts when it came to the demise of the Passenger Pigeon.

    “The passengers, like turtledoves, always picked an open space, if available, to feed and drink. The salt was strongest in the center of the flat. It drew the passengers to it until they were one compact mass of fluttering feathers.

    The net caught them that way. Not one escaped, not even the lookout birds who remained at the edge of the circle.

    The man fashioned the net into a huge bag and dragged it over the cattails, where large baskets fashioned of white oak splints were stacked. The man separated them. First year squabs/ older birds.

    Later, a wagon hauled the crates into the country to a shooting club where they were emptied into a huge wire pigeon loft. Clean food and water did much to lift Blue’s spirits.

    Two days later the grounds of the club began to fill with men carrying guns. Most wore city clothes. There were none of the outdoor clothes of the market hunters”

    And from what I understand this sick abuse of wildlife is still carried on in parts of the east – they call them Pigeon Shoots.

    http://www.sharkonline.org/index.php/animal-cruelty/pigeon-shoots

    • avatar Yvette says:

      +++ Nancy. Thank you. I’ve not read the book you mentioned, but have read a bit about the demise of this species. Yes, habitat is one reason, but it is not the exclusive reason for their extinction. They were used as cheap food for slaves, and others….and killing for the sake of killing.

      I posit that the sheer number of passenger pigeons may have worked against them. Given the way we humans tend to think, they were not valued because they were plentiful. Additionally, we humans have a tendency to think when something is numerous they lack value, and we take them for granted. It’s as if our brains can’t process the threshold of no return.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Not a flashy website Yvette but it contains volumes of information on the demise of the Passenger Pigeon:

        http://www.reocities.com/dragonraid/birds/pp/ppfaq.txt

        And to quote a few more paragraphs from The Last Passenger:

        One said: “I was reading an editorial in the Louisville paper. It was about this bird-man Audubon who use to live around here about 50 years ago. He left his house one morning to go to Louisville, nearly fifty miles away. Took him all day to get there, and he said that all day long the sky was full of pigeons moving along in a flock.”

        “Sounds like a tale,” the other man replied.

        “Yes, I guess it does. I’ll bet this flock here would take a couple of hours to clear a point, though.” He was silent for a moment before musing, “Guess we’ll never be able to get rid of them.”

        “Nope. They’re like flies. Always be around.”

        • avatar Yvette says:

          That is an informative site, Nancy. I read through parts of it until it became upsetting. I get ticked off when I read about the Passenger Pigeon. We are that ‘future generation’ that the previous insertions did not think about when their idiocy exterminated this species.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      “And from what I understand this sick abuse of wildlife is still carried on in parts of the east – they call them Pigeon Shoots.”

      yes Nancy another twisted pastime. I wonder who wakes up in the morning and jumps up thinking what a great day to go out and kill things for fun. Yikes if people can’t self police themselves to behave laws are necessary. killing contests, penning, trapping, snaring and commercialized killing of wildlife should be a thing of the past.

  33. avatar rks says:

    Someone should check out what the Governor of Wyoming is or done about the ruling. It’s some emergency ruling of his own ,I guess. I am not to good on the computer.

  34. avatar IDhiker says:

    Well, went hiking in Idaho today and came home to Toby Bridges. Now he’s spewing about how he posted his story about running over wolves so he could fire up the anti-wolf side and by comments, show how stupid the pro-wolf people are. He claims he accomplished both objectives.

    • avatar skyrim says:

      “accomplished both objectives” Maybe in his own small mind. I can’t believe that we are still giving this clown any press. Toby Whoooooo?

      • avatar IDhiker says:

        Yes, it’s amazing Bridges is still covered, but he’s in the limelight now, at least briefly. He apparently feels the vast majority of hunters are with him. By the comments posted, he would appear to be right…I think I read two or three hunters write in opposition to him. To ethical hunters I say, silence is taken as agreement!

  35. avatar Rich says:

    Elk,

    “I wonder if there has been 3.5 billion shotgun shells manufacture as of today. Hunters were not the cause of passenger pigeon extinction. It was habitat destruction”

    Think about this, think – do you really believe market hunters shot birds one at a time? When we were taking a break from pheasant hunting, I watched a friend kill 17 noxious starlings in a large flock with one shot with many more wounded. Market hunters were far more efficient using cannons with a variety of projectiles. They ground sluiced birds killing or injuring numerous birds with one shot. They used nets and other devices to trap and kill birds. There was no limit to contend with and they just continued to kill birds by any convenient method until there was nothing left to kill. There are other birds that were nearly wiped out by market hunters such as trumpeter swans and whooping cranes. Don’t believe all the stories that hunters were innocent bystanders in the demise of the passenger pigeon.

    • avatar CodyCoyote says:

      ou need to read James Michener’s ” Chesapeake” epic historical fiction novel. It has a long story arc about the wholesale elimination of the Canadian Honker goose on the eastern flyway , mainly by using scaled up Blunderbuss guns on small boats fired from open water. Millions of geese were annihilated with them.

      Yes, there really was a class of gun called Blunderbuss…a large smooth bore black powder blaster with a flared barrel that used all manner of ugly projectiles like a clump of nails , metal shards, or sharp pellets…anything that could be stuffed into the barrel. It was a precursor to the more civilized shotgun. The guns made for the geese blasting were much larger than the personal blunderbuss, often mounted on a swiveling pedestal.

      It was not healthy to be a goose in the Eastern US during the early 1800’s…

  36. avatar WM says:

    I finally had an opportunity to read the ruling in this case. This is a temporary win for wolf advocates, as the basis upon which Judge Burman made her determination that the delisting rule was not adequate is actually very narrow, and a pretty easy fix for WY. Expect a new delisting rule that satisfies the judge’s concern to be in the works within just a few months. It has to do with the need for an adequate and ENFORCEABLE NUMERIC or PERCENTAGE buffer above the 100 wolves/10 breeding pairs for WY. Recall that both ID and MT have an obligation of 150/15 which includes their numeric buffer. The judge will not disturb the genetic connectivity issue raised by plaintiffs, nor will it address the “significant portion of range” issue (or the predator zone where wolves could be killed at will once delisted as long as the overall agreed number plus buffer is met for the state as a whole).

    So, in the end, this will be a quick regulatory/legislative fix for WY, a round of draft regulations and a final delisting rule to correct this technical deficiency. My guess is there will be a wolf hunting season in WY by this time next year, and we know WY will be managing for its minimum number, whatever that turns out to be, and it would seem they can keep them confined to whatever portion of the state they want, as long as they meet the minimum number and there continues to be genetic connectivity.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      “The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.”
      Rachel Carson

    • avatar JimT says:

      Sorry, you need to check your Nostradamus app again..:*)

    • avatar Leslie says:

      WM, I am curious. I was told by a local biologist though the basis for the ruling has been reported as just a technicality of ‘binding’ or non-binding, that that is actually mis-reporting and this is about the predator zone.

      It seems that would be the main issue here as WY is the only one of 3 states to have one; and there will be other states where wolves will be delisted like Or and WA and they will not have a predator zone. WY, as usual, wants to do its own thing regardless of the feds.

      You say you read the case. Is that how you actually interpreted it as just numbers in the trophy zone?

      • avatar WM says:

        Leslie,

        The Court, in my recollection of the opinion after a quick read, does not change the predator zone or the trophy zone. The judge’s concern is all about the buffer numbers and ONLY the buffer numbers that need to be finite numbers or percentage with regulatory adequacy to get WY up near the 150/15 number (similar to ID And MT with genetic metapopulation connectivity. WY is at 100/10 with a undefined buffer that will not pass a regulatory muster. The interesting thing is that under the FWS 2012 rule WY was to get “credit” for some buffer by counting the wolves in YNP and the large Wind River Indian Reservation and a couple smaller ones.

        Maybe you could query your biologist fried about the specifics of the predator zone thing. But it is my understanding that as long as WY has 100/10 with an enforceable regulatory requirement for a buffer, they are in compliance with the ESA as interpreted by FWS, and now this particular Judge. I am not saying your biologist friend is wrong, but I didn’t see anything denouncing the predator zone concept (as a legal standard anyway) in my quick read. Sorry, I don’t have time to go back over it.

        See, that is why I am a bit confused as to why this is considered a “huge victory for wolves.” It is, however, an admirable delay, of what is likely to happen about a year from now – a WY wolf hunting season. Am I wrong on this, anyone?

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          WM can you answer this question
          why is no one asking for a revisit of the original wolf recovery plan?

          • avatar WM says:

            Louise,

            Short answer: The recovery plan, including the reintroduction of “a non-essential experimental population of wolves,” as implemented, to the point of delisting meets the ESA obligation, and the Congressional rider codifying the FWS 2009 rule adds an exclamation point !!!! to that, essentially closing the matter on further debate of recovery.

            Long Answer: The 1987 NRM recovery Plan, 1995 EIS on the Plan, and the clear evidence of rapid wolf population and range expansion including genetic connectivity of a functioning meta-population (of the re-introduced “non-essential experimental population from Canada, wolves already in Western MT, in light of a fairly substantial annual take off of depredating problem wolves, wolves legally killed in state sponsored hunting seasons, and illegally killed by the 3S crowd, ALL SUGGEST THERE IS NEAR ZERO RISK OF THE SPECIES GOING EXTINCT UNDER THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT (that is the legal standard against which the recovery is measured – and even Judge Molloy cannot find a way around that, since the FWS is operating under an “arbitrary and capricious” rule-making legal standard, and the Congressional affirmation with the rider that is legislative law or a defacto change to the ESA for wolf recovery for ID, MT, and the eastern 1/3 of WA and OR, and a small corner of UT. Arguable WY, though operating under a separate regulatory rule (not the rider) gets the benefit of all this background, as well.

            Again, I think some people here grossly misread the shear power of the rider as Congress-made law, and do not understand that no judicial review is possible, because it simply has no Constitutional grounds for a federal court to make such a review. It is like any other law Congress makes that falls outside Court review (the point was the FWS regulation is now a law making a species limited change to the ESA, and the wording in the rider saying no judicial review was like a belt and suspenders combination, underscoring that certainty). Judge Molloy clearly knew that, but wanted to get in his own personal dig.

            • avatar JEFF E says:

              small point here in reference to not understanding something.
              The term “a non-essential experimental population of wolves,” does not mean that the reintroduced wolves were such, it means that removing said wolves from the donor population would not harm the donor population by doing so.
              I know I know, so what; but it is surprising how many don’t get that.

              • avatar WM says:

                Jeff, I think I understand what you are saying, but US law really has nothing to do with the decision of a Canadian Province to give us some of their excess. No doubt they concluded on their own those were not “essential” in Canada.

                But, those wolves took on the “non-essential experimental” status when ownership/stewardship was given to the US, and then were turned loose here according to federal law and regulations.

                For USFWS purposes, under Section 10(j) of the ESA those reintroduced wolves which were translocated from another area, in this case brought in from Canada, can be managed with greater flexibility (for depredation, livestock and general human safety). That is why the recovery program was set up that way for the NRM, the Mexican wolf in AZ/NM, and the red wolf in NC, until they are delisted in their respective areas and the states take over responsibility to manage just as they can and do any wildlife within their jurisdictions.

              • avatar JEFF E says:

                that was the 10j rule.

                had nothing to do with where the donor population came from

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              WM thanks for taking the time to respond but I am not sure why you think the rider adds an exclamation point on the debate of recovery, it was more like an end run around a judicial review process….

              The USFWS actually has a good explanation of the confusing non essential population designation and section 10j rule. https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/arizona/Documents/SpeciesDocs/SonoranPronghorn/ES10jFactSheet.pdf

              To be clear the rule has been used in my opinion outside of what the ESA intended especially as it pertains to Mexican and Red wolves. How the USFWS can pass the red face test and justify a take for either of these species boggles the mind. Both of these populations of wolves are under 100.

              I still think the best writing I have ever read about the recovery plan and designation of wolves as non essential is found in Dale Gobels of wolves and welfare ranching

              where we do agree is that the law suit in Wyoming is a temporary fix. I think its baffling that the ngos spend so much time and money litigating for a small temporary gain when they should be focusing on challenging te recovery plan especially since its 20 years past the original plan, and since the main threat to wolves (human intolerance) was not satisfactorily addressed before delisting nor is it now. That threat is continued imho

              wolves receive very prejudicial treatment under the esa by the USFWS. I don’t believe Congress ever intended for a species to be “recovered” and that a minimum threshold was to be used to keep the population constrained to its lowest viable level.

  37. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Uh-oh:

    Feds Side with Wyoming vs. Renewed Wolf Protections

    And incidentally, I’ve read accounts of Toby Bridges being called an “anti-wolf conservationist”. Talk about an oxymoron!

  38. avatar Yvette says:

    Here is another article about U.S. Fish and Wildlife siding with WY on their state wolf management plan.

    Lawyers for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Monday filed papers with Jackson saying they didn’t believe she needed to scrap state management entirely to address whether the state’s minimum population guarantee was binding. Lawyers for the Safari Club and other hunting groups also supported continued state management.

    http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Feds-hunting-groups-support-state-s-wolf-request-5788121.php

    I hope the decision stays for this hunting season.

    • avatar WM says:

      It would be interesting to know the basis upon which Judge Burman denied the WY request, since the fix (promulgating a rule/law giving a legally enforceable number/percentage for the buffer). That was her objection. If it was cured, why did she affirm her ruling? Kind of like changing the rules of the game, if I understand her initial ruling correctly.

      Anybody got a link to this last ruling?

      • avatar WM says:

        Sorry, should read:

        … since the fix prescribed was promulgating a rule/law giving a legally enforceable number/percentage for the buffer.

        It was actually a pretty narrow technical ruling, with the appearance of being easily cured. Don’t know whether it had to go thru the full federal rule-making process, but that could be the glitch as Judge BERMAN JACKSON (sorry again) might view it.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        I know, it can’t be, but perhaps it’s a bit of karma for being such, anal openings for such a long time. If not for Wyoming’s petulant attitude toward the wolf situation prior to delisting, perhaps, just perhaps, much of the wolf business would be far behind us.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        …kind of like attaching a rider to an omnibus bill

        I don’t have a link to the last ruling but have also been looking if you find it please post

    • avatar JimT says:

      I am sick to death of Dan Ashe, Jewell and the rest of the apologists at the Interior Dept. One has to go back to Reagan to see this kind of blatant politicizing of legal obligations.

  39. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/277653971.html

    judge denies request by Wyoming to reinstate state management

    • avatar Ed Loosli says:

      Yes Louise, this is indeed good news. Let’s give credit where credit is due – to key activist wildlife conservation organizations and their contributors: Center For Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and the amazing lawyers at EarthJustice.

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        I am also adding the amazing lawyers at EarthJustice to the congratulations list, for their dedicated legal work on behalf of wolves, grizzly bears and other rare and Endangered Species.

    • avatar JimT says:

      GREAT NEWS…

  40. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Good news! You can’t expect a formerly endangered species ‘management’ plan to be taken seriously when you refer to them as vermin statewide, and have a shoot-on-sight policy. Thanks to all involved in righting this injustice.

  41. avatar Sam Parks says:

    Heard this on the radio while travelling home from a month in the field tonight. I was literally howling with joy the whole ride home.

  42. avatar WyoWolfFan says:

    Maybe people will pull their heads out and come up with a plan that actually works.

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