It is time to create a new page of “Interesting Wildlife News.”

 

Please put your wildlife news in the comments below. Do not post copyrighted material, and here is the link to the “old” news of March 24, 2015.

 
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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.

393 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news. April 18, 2015

  1. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Scotland’s plastic bag usage down 80% since 5p charge introduced

    Dramatic reduction reflects similar falls in single-use carrier bag consumption in Wales and Northern Ireland, with England to bring in charge this year

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/17/scotland-plastic-bag-usage-falls-after-5p-charge-introduced

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      That’s great!

    • avatar WM says:

      City of Seattle has had a bag ordinance (citizen voted) in place for roughly 3 years now: Zero plastic carry bags, and stores charge $.05 for paper, if you don’t bring your own reusable bags.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        Fantastic – there’s much too much plastic left as trash, plus reusable bags are nice. I’m trying to go back to glass as well. Finding beach glass at the shores is a lot prettier than junky plastic.

        • avatar Yvette says:

          Meanwhile in AZ and MO they’ve introduced bills that ban bans on plastic bags. Wasn’t Seattle one of the first cities to require recycling with their municipal waste pick-up? They started that in the mid-nineties did’t they? Way before everyone else. I love that city; always has been my favorite city.

          I have a close friend that took a family trip to Europe in the mid-90’s. When she returned home she was laughing at how few of the stores over there offered bags for your goods and those that did charged you. You had to tote your own bags. We seem to be quite backward and behind in America.

          My department has helped the county conservation district plan a volunteer clean-up for earth day. It’s made me take notice even more of just how much litter is strewn along the roadways.

          I come across more of the bigger, difficult to get rid of trash in my creeks. Furniture, computer monitors, laundry baskets (finds lots of those for some reason) etc. People throw anything you can think of right over the bridge. Even their dead pets. Sad. Some of that trash does make good fish cover, but I’ve been in creeks that I hated to walk through the channel for fear of what I’d step on. Some counties are worse than others and some rural regions are worse than others. The rural areas are much worse than the cities for large waste items in the creeks.

          We humans have some filthy, nasty and thoughtless habits.

          The plastic holders for six packs is horrible on wildlife.

    • avatar Amre says:

      That’s great news!

  2. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Canine Conservation: Using Dogs
    In War Against Poachers in Kenya

    http://e360.yale.edu/digest/canine_conservation_using_dogs_in_war_against_poachers_in_kenya_k-9/4409/

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Thanks Mareks
      My bookkeeper’s husband was a police office that had a malinois, what a dog! Smart, beautiful and loyal. I’m glad to read the dogs have protective gear. what a world we live in when dogs and military gear are needed to protect the last 3 of one animal and the last 105 of another. What might end the unconscionable and relentless trade of animal based supposed aphrodisiacs, perhaps an all out trade bad with the countries creating the problems? It would not take long for their own governments to crack down on the trade. But that would take too much collaboration.

  3. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    With Too Much of a Good Thing,
    Europe Tackles Excess Nitrogen

    In Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and other countries, European governments are beginning to push farmers, industry, and municipalities to cut back on fertilizers and other sources of nitrogen that are causing serious environmental harm.

    http://e360.yale.edu/feature/with_too_much_of_a_good_thing_europe_tackles_excess_nitrogen/2865/

  4. avatar Nancy says:

    “However Republican lawmaker Drew Darby said the state was simply trying to accommodate the needs of the growing population of Texas and the potential to develop vital resources, while protecting citizens”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/18/fracking-texas-house-approve-bill-limits-city-bans

    • avatar Yvette says:

      I wonder how Texas plans to continue to get water for the hydraulic fracturing. I guess the O&G politicos got concerned when cities like Denton passed fracking bans.

      Tarrent County (Ft. Worth/Arlington/Dallas area) which is over the Barnett Shale struggles to provide enough water for their growing population. Tarrent County sued Oklahoma over water in the Red River Basin and it went all the way to the Supreme Court. They lost. http://www.scotusblog.com/2013/06/opinion-analysis-oklahoma-skunks-texas-in-cross-border-water-rivalry/

      Yet it appears they think they can still frack with imprudence.

      “In Texas, which is suffering through a long-running drought that has devastated cattle ranchers and farmers, 51% of wells are in high or extremely high water-stressed locations. Tarrant County, Texas, alone consumed 10% of all water used in fracking in the state, according to the report.”

      Pfft, and then they want to take water from Oklahoma to provide their citizens enough to water their lawns? They lost.

      http://qz.com/80550/water-shortages-threaten-us-shale-gas-boom/

      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Texas_and_fracking

      Nancy, I watched the film you posted yesterday. It was a good one. Thanks for sharing it. When I look at the water use in TX (and OK and other places) that film hits home. As huge as the ‘Metroplex’ is (Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington area) it amazes me that in this continuing drought the amount of water that is wasted via evaporation and poor placement of sprinklers. I see poorly placed sprinklers that are also timed to go full blast in the hottest part of the day. We are definitely living in the age of stupid.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Yep, agree Yvette, it hits home, big time, but unfortunately, this documentary didn’t make an appearance, at any theatre, even remotely close to me. Not even sure The Cove made it here. (and Google Earthlings, if you haven’t seen it)

        Wikipedia, on The Age of Stupid:

        “This is about human nature, greed and personal responsibility. It aims to scare and galvanize — and it’s pretty good at both.”[21] In a double-page spread under the headline “Oblivious to oblivion” The Sun’s environment editor said “reality has caught up with the apocalyptic images”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Age_of_Stupid

        Pretty sure I won’t be around when the sh*t really hits the fan on this planet, so I do what I can to wake up those around me 🙂

        • avatar Ed Loosli says:

          And while we’re at ending man caused “climate change” we might also work on the following: Stop urban sprawl, stop clear-cut logging, stop the premature delisting of endangered species, stop polluting our watersheds with man-made pollutants, ban the import and export of all wildlife, hold the world’s natural wild areas sacred and development free, get exotic privately owned livestock off our public lands, move to zero population growth by seeing to it that girls around the world get an education, and etc.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            Ed, I agree with all you’ve commented on (educating women re: zero population growth, etc.) but, I think you’re forgetting the ole “it takes two to tango” Just “say no” doesn’t work in many parts of the world.

            http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2008/03/08/ten_worst_countries_for_women.html

            Education is fine but until women gain more political power, religion is removed from the equation and birth control for men is a reality…. its the same ole dance, especially in poor countries. IMHO.

            • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

              as I’ve posted earlier:

              Iran’s birth control policy sent birthrate tumbling
              http://www.latimes.com/world/population/la-fg-population-iran-20120729-html-htmlstory.html

              Since the 1980s, Iran has experienced the largest and fastest drop in fertility ever recorded — from about seven births per woman to fewer than two today.

              “It confounded all conventional wisdom that it could happen in one of the world’s few Islamic republics,” said Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi, a demographer at the University of Tehran.

              It happened largely because of the Islamic government.

              Under the new decrees, contraceptives could be obtained free at government clinics, including thousands of new rural health centers. Health workers promoted contraception as a way to leave more time between births and help reduce maternal and child mortality. Couples intending to marry were required to receive counseling in family planning.

              The birthrate plunged, helping to usher in social changes, particularly in the role of women.

              With smaller families, parents could invest more in their children’s education, and the idea caught on even in rural areas.

              At the same time, educational opportunities were opening up for girls.

              As women became better educated, their influence within the family grew.

              In public universities, female students now outnumber males 65% to 35%, leading to calls in parliament for affirmative action for men.

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                Worldwide inequality

                https://www.opendemocracy.net/graham-peebles/worldwide-inequality

                The United States, for example, with a mere 5% of the world’s population, uses 30% of natural resources; the 25% of people living in developed countries use 80% of the world’s non-fuel minerals. Many of these are found in poor developing countries, which have little or no control over their resources and on the whole benefit little from their extraction and sale.

                Worldwide it is estimated that the wealthiest 10% owns 85% of global household wealth. The UC Atlas of Global Inequality states that the “three richest people in the world have assets that exceed the combined gross domestic product of the 47 countries with the least GDP,” and reports that “The richest 2% of the world population own more than 51% of the global assets”.

                At the other more densely populated, less perfumed end of the scale, Global Issues report that: almost half the world’s people (over 3.5 billion) live on less than $2.50 a day; and 80% live on less than $10 a day.

                over 20% of the world’s population (that’s 1.4 billion people) live on less than $1.25 a day, 75 cents below the official World Bank poverty threshold; UNICEF states that 22,000 children (under the age of five; if it was 6, or 7, the numbers would be even higher) die every day due to poverty related issues. They “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”

                Of the two billion children in the world, half are currently living their lives in extreme poverty, with limited or no access to clean water or sanitation, health care and education worth the name. The greatest concentrations of people living below the $2 a day poverty line are to be found in rural areas where three in every four are to be found. Life is little better in the cities where over half the world’s 7.2 billion population now live, one in three of whom live in a slum.

                • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                  It’s not overpopulation that causes climate change, it’s overconsumption

                  http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/19/not-overpopulation-that-causes-climate-change-but-overconsumption

                  Africa’s population growth is often linked to ecological risk – yet the real danger lies in the west’s infinite appetite for resources

                  Of course, you might argue the world is already overpopulated. Given the way we plunder its resources, that seems so. But why do we blame the poor in Africa for having babies when the real issue is overconsumption closer to home? It is the ravenous demands of the rich world that is enlarging the human footprint on our planet – pumping greenhouse gases into the air, polluting the oceans, trashing forests and the rest. Any further rise in numbers of poor people will barely figure in that.

                  let’s not blame them for the state of the planet. That is down to us – the overconsumers, whose numbers are largely stable but whose appetites seem infinite.

                • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                  Consumption Dwarfs Population
                  as Main Environmental Threat

                  It’s overconsumption, not population growth, that is the fundamental problem: By almost any measure, a small portion of the world’s people — those in the affluent, developed world — use up most of the Earth’s resources and produce most of its greenhouse gas emissions.

                  http://e360.yale.edu/feature/consumption_dwarfs_population_as_main_environmental_threat/2140/

                  the world’s richest half-billion people — that’s about 7 percent of the global population — are responsible for 50 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. Meanwhile the poorest 50 percent are responsible for just 7 percent of emissions.

                  sustaining the lifestyle of the average American takes 9.5 hectares, while Australians and Canadians require 7.8 and 7.1 hectares respectively; Britons, 5.3 hectares; Germans, 4.2; and the Japanese, 4.9. The world average is 2.7 hectares. China is still below that figure at 2.1, while India and most of Africa (where the majority of future world population growth will take place) are at or below 1.0.

                  The United States always gets singled out. But for good reason: It is the world’s largest consumer. Americans take the greatest share of most of the world’s major commodities: corn, coffee, copper, lead, zinc, aluminum, rubber, oil seeds, oil, and natural gas. For many others, Americans are the largest per-capita consumers. In “super-size-me” land, Americans gobble up more than 120 kilograms of meat a year per person, compared to just 6 kilos in India, for instance.

                  Virtually all of the extra 2 billion or so people expected on this planet in the coming 40 years will be in the poor half of the world. They will raise the population of the poor world from approaching 3.5 billion to about 5.5 billion, making them the poor two-thirds.

                  those extra two billion people would raise the share of emissions contributed by the poor world from 7 percent to 11 percent.

                  Look at it another way. Just five countries are likely to produce most of the world’s population growth in the coming decades: India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. The carbon emissions of one American today are equivalent to those of around four Chinese, 20 Indians, 30 Pakistanis, 40 Nigerians, or 250 Ethiopians.

                  Even if we could today achieve zero population growth, that would barely touch the climate problem — where we need to cut emissions by 50 to 80 percent by mid-century. Given existing income inequalities, it is inescapable that overconsumption by the rich few is the key problem, rather than overpopulation of the poor many.

                • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                  Well, first let’s be clear about the scale of the difference involved. A woman in rural Ethiopia can have ten children and her family will still do less damage, and consume fewer resources, than the family of the average soccer mom in Minnesota or Munich. In the unlikely event that her ten children live to adulthood and have ten children of their own, the entire clan of more than a hundred will still be emitting less carbon dioxide than you or I.

                  And second, it won’t happen. Wherever most kids survive to adulthood, women stop having so many. That is the main reason why the number of children born to an average woman around the world has been in decline for half a century now. After peaking at between 5 and 6 per woman, it is now down to 2.6.

                  Far from ballooning, each generation will be smaller than the last. So the ecological footprint of future generations could diminish

                  an extra child in the United States today will, down the generations, produce an eventual carbon footprint seven times that of an extra Chinese child, 46 times that of a Pakistan child, 55 times that of an Indian child, and 86 times that of a Nigerian child.

                  etc etc etc

                  nice reasoning thru the rest of article

  5. avatar Ralph Maughan says:

    As the issue of keeping our public lands continues, there is a good website that keeps us abreast of the issue in the various states and nationally too.

    It is Our Public Lands, http://www.ourpubliclands.org/

    They are also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OurPublicLands

  6. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    Scientists Glimpse African Monkey Thought To Be Extinct

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2015/0419/Scientists-glimpse-monkey-thought-to-have-gone-extinct

    “The team made its first sighting on the Bokiba River in the Republic of the Congo’s Ntokou-Pikounda National Park, an area that protects gorillas, chimpanzees and elephants”…”Thankfully, many of these colobus monkeys live in the recently gazetted national park and are protected from threats such as logging, agriculture and roads, all of which can lead to increased hunting,” Fiona Maisels, a biologist and expert on Central Africa for the Wildlife Conservation Society, said in the statement.

  7. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Mareks, you´ve done a lengthy post here and it´s not so easy to find the “reply” button.
    Have you ever been to countries like India? Did you ever have a chance to see with your own eyes and for yourself what the phrases “overpopulation, pollution, poverty, dirt, third world” mean in their brute reality? I´ve seen them, in Africa and in India. You can´t imagine if you have not seen it for yourself! It´s far too easy to blame the western nations and to blame them as those solely responsible.
    Marek, in another post you quote the LA times on an article about Iran:
    “At the same time, educational opportunities were opening up for girls.
    As women became better educated, their influence within the family grew.”
    I really do not know and I not even want to know where the LA times got that bullshit and I can only hope that you do not believe it and i´m a little bit annoyed that you spread that! Woman, girls, have no, absolutely no rights in Iran! Yes, they are nowadays allowed to drive cars and some may even go to a university – as long as they are not caught by the fundamentalitst. I know from first hand experience: The (western) daughter of a friend of mine is married to a Iranian dentist. She lives in Iran. Upper class you might say. She´s allowed nothing! She has no rights at all! She not even tries to improve her Situation! It´s all to easy to end up stoned to death!
    Mareks, honestly, you should start to see this world with you own eyes and not only through press articles.

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      Woman, girls, have no, absolutely no rights in Iran!
      +++

      well, that’s your type of BS
      +
      the point was about the birth control & religion / religious government

      about the resource consumption etc your reading comprehension is lacking – maybe start with this

      • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

        Ha, that´s my type of BS?
        Thank you, I´m always grateful for your first hand accounts how this world works, especially birth control!
        It is better, to cease this conversation now!

  8. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    I’m reading Reinhold Messner’s book about ascent on Nanga Parbat – great reading about the nature and the limits of human physical & psychological capabilities

    Greatest Mountaineer
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2006/11/reinhold-messner/alexander-text/1

    Climbing Legend Reinhold Messner: “Like Kindergarten, They Go On Everest Now”
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimclash/2014/09/19/climbing-legend-reinhold-messner-like-kindergarten-they-go-on-everest-now/

    • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

      Reinhold Messner has his merits, without doubt. Neverhteless he is a very controversial person. The circumstances that lead to the death of his brother because he abandoned him at the flank of the Nanga Parbat Mountain, are still quite nebulous. He likes to be seen by the public as the great environmentalist. In his tyrolean home territory he´s well known to be biased against the small local brown bear and wolf population.

      • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

        Oh, what a Fauxpas, of course it´s not „Tyrolean“ (belonging to Austria) but rather “Southern Tyrolean” (belonging to Italy). Hope the locals did not read this!

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        The circumstances that lead to the death of his brother because he abandoned him at the flank of the Nanga Parbat Mountain, are still quite nebulous
        +++

        Mountain gives up its tragic secret

        Discovery of remains dashes claims brother was left to die 35 years ago
        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/aug/19/barbaramcmahon

        Reinhold, who lost seven toes and several fingertips to frostbite during the climb, said the two were retreating down the western Diamar face of the mountain when his brother disappeared. He said he had gone on ahead and Günther, weak and lagging behind, had almost certainly been swept away by a huge wall of snow.
        Two other climbers – Max von Kienlin and Hans Saler – who took part in the ascent but did not reach the summit claimed otherwise. They published books in Germany claiming that Messner had sent his brother down the mountain’s highly dangerous Rupal flank, even though the brothers had nearly died on their way up it.

        The position where the remains have been found, at 4,400 metres on the western Diamar face and not the Rupal face, is likely to finally remove any suspicions about Messner’s behaviour that day.

        Ninety per cent of the climbing community has always believed Reinhold but this discovery will lay to rest all the claims and allegations that have been around for years.”

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/oct/22/germany.lukeharding
        DNA resolves climbing mystery after 30 years

        • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

          The location of the body proved that Günther had been descending the mountain’s western Diamar face when he was swept away, Messner said, adding: “I had never doubted it. But now we have proof.”
          Yesterday the professor who carried out the tests told the Guardian that there was a 17.8m-to-one probability the bones had come from Günther Messner.

        • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

          Mareks, fine that you are able to Quote another of your famous press articles.
          Again: The circumstances are still not fully and satisfactorily clear!

          • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

            yeah, maybe because of this observation:

            “I’m too successful for the Germans. They don’t like brave people,” he said.

            “In England and Italy the climbers believe me. In Germany they don’t,” he said. “It is a country full of jealousy. They are very strange. If someone is successful they always doubt.
            “I’m not a German, even though I’m German-speaking. I’m a south Tyrolean and a European.”

            http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/feb/02/lukeharding
            Mountaineer says bone fragment proves he did not desert brother
            Messner hopes that remains found on peak will clear his name after 34 years

            • avatar WM says:

              We have our own American Reinhold Messner – a guy named Jim Wickwire, who wrote an autobiography a number of years back, “Addicted to Danger.” He was one selfish SOB, and only willing to admit it later in life. I think he lost 4 climbing partners in separate incidents. He was the first to summit K2 (one that Messner couldn’t conquer at the time). Of course, with nobody else on the mountain, typically, one can tell the truth, or….whatever, about the fate of their partners, and there are few who can refute them on the facts. There will also be many who second-judge decisions that were made with 20/20 hindsight. Those with their own agendas to pursue will be the most critical. Mareks, ever read Krakaur’s “Into Thin Air?”

              When I was young, I read Messner’s book, “K-2.” That was why I, and so many other young men with access to big mountains took up climbing. Back then, I had more testosterone than brains to aid in making decisions.

              Sorry for getting off TWN topics, but this is, afterall, the OPEN THREAD.

              By the way, the Seattle Mountaineeers (local club to which I once belonged)published many of Messner’s books over the years.

              • avatar Immer Treue says:

                I found Krakauer’s Into Thin Air,
                One of the more riveting, can’t put it down books that I have ever read.

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                WM,

                ever read Krakaur’s “Into Thin Air?
                +++

                no, I haven’t.

                But I remember Steve House’s analysis that what Reinhold Messner did was common sense when he was descending with his bro Gunther from the summit.
                I cannot locate his quote but will post when I will find it.

                http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2009/dec/10/steve-house-obsessed
                Steve House: ‘I was on a death march’

                The man hailed as the greatest climber in the world has paid a heavy price for his obsession with the summit

                Then we can remember the assumption of innocence before we jump to conclusion/verdict – especially, when Reinhold Messner has evidence which support his version of events

                By the way, RM have climbed 14 summits above 8km – no other brother have died in the process

                and then, I can track your zeal to protect PK only because he represents some mystical ‘middle-class’ – right now I’m too busy to protect wolves on the ground in Latvia than to travel to India, Africa or Iran – sorry for this. But it has no relation whatsoever to abandon elementary understanding of statistics related to natural resource consumption, birth control etc.

                • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

                  Would you believe, Mr. Vilkens, that it is possible to be busy in wildlife conservation a n d to travel this planet excessively to widen one´s horizon and to look beyond the own nose? Ahh, I represent a “mystical middle class”. Great, you made my day!

                • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                  PK,
                  you are behaving like some diva but it is not surprising – there are some German examples, famous examples, at that 🙂

                  I’ll repeat – your reading comprehension is lacking. Start with this this

                • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                  Bypassed by his companions, Reinhold made a bold decision: He and Günther would descend by way of the Diamir Face, on the opposite side of the mountain. “When you are standing there up high, close to the summit, if you look to the Diamir side, it’s a very gentle snow slope,” said Steve House, an American who climbed the Rupal Face, alpine-style, with his partner, Vince Anderson, in 2005. “It’s almost flat; it’s easy walking,” he said of the initial descent. “The Rupal Face is huge, dangerous, scary. It makes perfect sense to me why he followed that decision.”
                  The Diamir Face had been climbed only twice before, and Reinhold was navigating by instinct. In the night, he and Günther made a second, brief bivouac at 6,500 meters. The next day, under a punishing sun, they continued downward. By 6,000 meters, Günther had partly recovered, and it seemed they were on the homestretch. “From the second bivouac, we could see more or less that there is a way down,” Reinhold said. “You can overview a mountain from down, from a certain distance, but never from upwards, and this is very important to understand. . . . Coming from up, you see only abyss; you cannot know, ‘I go right, or left’—and this was also the reason why I was forced on the way down to go ahead.”
                  By his own assessment, Reinhold was at times over an hour ahead, out of sight and hearing. Although speed has always been his trademark, he may not yet have understood that his speed was preternatural. Stumbling down Nanga Parbat, moving with his instincts, he left Günther behind. Seeing a stream, he drank for the first time in four days. Relieved, he waited for Günther to catch up. But Günther was never to appear.
                  Hansjörg, using the clinical language of his profession, refers to Reinhold suffering a “breakdown” when he realized his brother had disappeared. Reinhold’s own account is that he went insane. For a day and a night, he searched the place where Günther should have been, scrabbling with his hands in the debris of a recent avalanche. “I had always a strange feeling that he’s around,” Reinhold said. “I heard these steps behind me. When I looked back, he was not there. I heard sometimes his voice . . . and I went there, but he was not there. So my intelligence, my clear thinking, told me, ‘Your brother’s dead.’ But my feelings told me, ‘Your brother’s here.'” At length, his most primitive survival instincts kicked in, and he staggered onward into the Diamir Valley, hallucinating. Two days later, villagers carried him out of the valley. Passed along into the hands of the police, he was on his way to the hospital when the police jeep caught up with the departing expedition, who had given the brothers up for dead. According to one member, Reinhold’s first words were to sob: “Where is Günther?”
                  “I think Reinhold was terribly burdened by not being able to bring his brother home,” Hansjörg said, “and I think my father out of his anxiety and a lack of reflection reinforced this guilt: ‘Where did you leave Günther?'” He’d left his brother behind. The family’s view was that Günther may have been stronger than Reinhold. “And it was, ‘Why him, and why not Rein-hold?'” Hubert said. Family members speculate that one cause of Günther’s desperate summit run had been his unhappiness with his conventional job: “Günther wasn’t able to break the rules,” as Hubert said. “That was his dilemma. All these questions arise . . . and Reinhold—after this event, Reinhold closed himself up in the family.”
                  For Reinhold, the Nanga Parbat expedition was life-changing. He had lost his brother and closest friend. He had seven frostbitten toes and three fin-gertips amputated. And he was yet more famous, for when the dust settled, it was Reinhold Messner who had successfully conquered the most challenging wall in the world and traversed an 8,000-meter mountain. The traversing of Everest by a large American expedition in 1963 was then the only comparable feat.

  9. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Barn swallows have not returned as yet which causes concern. While checking about for any news I found the following regarding maple syrup prospects for the future of New England. While living in Maine we made syrup from our trees – even brought 2 gallons west when we moved.
    http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/goodbye-maple-syrup-climate-change-pushing-sugar-maple-out-of-northeast-us.html

  10. avatar monty says:

    While some misguided souls want to sell public lands, Big Bend NP in Texas and the Rio Bravo protected areas in Mexico are expanding: Mexico has 3 “protected areas (about 2 million acres) that are adjacent to US Big Bend NP (800 M acres), Big Bend Texas state park (350 M acres)and Black Gap Big Horn federal refuge (100 M acres). A special note about Big Bend NP, where the black was extinct on US side of border reintroduced itself in 1980 to US from Mexico.

  11. avatar monty says:

    opps I mean black bear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/18/i-was-an-animal-experimenter/?_r=1

    the revelation this man had is the type of societal revelation I believe might follow if trophy hunting, trapping, snaring, hounding and penning were banned long enough to break the cycle of conditioned indifference this “sport” creates.

  13. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Schlimmbesserung (German) : a so-called improvement that makes things worse (noun).

    I think it applies to the hunting in the developed countries or as they call it ‘rational / pragmatic game farming’

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Awwww, cute!

      The spring peepers have all been out singing and making beautiful music together too. 🙂

  14. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    ” If the world wants oxygen, let them pay for it. We’re not going to stay poor because the rest of the world wants to breathe.” – some Brazilian official on the criticism of the clearcutting of Amazon rainforest

  15. avatar Nancy says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/20/michele-bachmann-obama-rapture_n_7104136.html

    Hmm….No mention of climate change. Surely that’s Obama’s fault as well.

    • avatar skyrim says:

      Unbelievable. And to think, people voted for her and continue to pay to hear her speak. It’s Nuts!

  16. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    NEWS FLASH! “It’s usually in protected areas — where human-caused mortality is low — that very large wolf packs tend to develop, Jimenez said”.

    That’s why I get up in the morning; to learn something earth shattering! Todays largest wolf pack in the west is in the Gros Ventre Mountains northeast of Jackson. Look at the spellbinding eyes on the wolf in the picture.

    http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/news/environmental/wolf-pack-is-biggest-in-west/article_00be321b-2b20-5038-bb0d-19623526670a.html

  17. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Originally sent to me by Wolfwatcher

    “Great Lakes Alert!!! From Our Friends at the Endangered Species Coalition. There are three separate petitions…one for Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan residents. The ESC is working to set up face to face meetings with federal legislators next month, in their home districts to hand deliver these petitions. It is important that we show our support – please sign the petition applicable for your state and share with friends and relatives in those states:

    WI Alert: https://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/keep-wisconsin-s-wolves-protected

    MN Alert: https://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/keep-minnesota-s-wolves-protected

    MI Alert: https://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/keep-michigan-s-wolves-protected?bucket&source=facebook-share-button&time=1428970587

  18. avatar Barb Rupers says:

    Eleven wolves killed in the southern Selkirk mountains of BC to help boost caribou numbers. From what I have read it is a problem with logging, roads, and snowmobiles more than predators.

    http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2015/apr/21/canada-kills-11-wolves-aid-dwindling-selkirk-caribou/

  19. avatar Louise Kane says:

    excellent documentary on protecting snakes

    • avatar Barb Rupers says:

      Louise, I never lived around poisonous snakes and always appreciated the ones about me. We would see rattlers on river trips in Idaho but there were people about that would ferry them to the other side of the river for the benefit of all in camp including the snakes

      Thanks for your concern for these animals.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Barb we have several living around our property. One that may be a rat snake or black we cant’ quite tell takes to sunning itself on a board this time of year. Its huge maybe 8-10 feet long. It crawls up on a piece of plywood and spreads out while the plywood is upright. Its quite the sight.

        We don’t go near the pile of logs and debris its claimed.

        another most likely a hog snake scared the hell out of me one time as it likes to coil up at the bottom of the stairs where I exit barefoot in the summer.

        Now I am careful as I exit but it seems to stay around the outside of the property lately

        the other common resident is a big garter who loves the inside of the garage
        he will not be deterred from the cold floor in the summer so we leave him alone. he comes and goes under the door. Thankfully it likes right near the door and is out of the way of the part that I use often.

        I think they are beautiful but I have to admit I have a primitive fear of them and I have been chased by an aggressive black snake once when younger and have not forgotten that experience.

        My normally fearless and quite large GSD freezes in terror when he sees snakes when hiking. Once a black snake we came across near a lake we walk around regularly stated to crawl up his leg as we surprise it. He froze and shook while whining. The snake realizing its mistake quickly slithered away into the bushes but my dog is careful if he hears anything like a snake now.

        They are fascinating but alien at the same time

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Isn’t that something. I had one who liked to rest in the cool basement too. I don’t mind snakes (I’ve not met a rattlesnake or cobra yet), but I will admit that I did feel that primal fear when I first saw a beautiful mountain lion! He or she was as tall as me, but probably the most beautiful animal I have ever seen. I haven’t actually seen wolves yet.

          Happy Earth Day!

  20. avatar Louise Kane says:

    and one more

    http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2015/04/ricky_gervais_vs_rebecca_franc.html

    trophy huntress killer of ferocious giraffe called out by comedian
    it takes a hell of a lot of courage to kill a giraffe
    giraffe populations down by 40% because of trophy hunting

    • avatar Ed Loosli says:

      Please folks; if your are thinking of traveling to Africa for a wildlife safari, please only go to Kenya or Botswana, because they both have banned “trophy/sport” hunting and besides, they are both fantastic wildlife and cultural destinations.

    • avatar Nancy says:

      Louise – a sad, sorry example of a little girl, with WAY too much time (and money) on her hands and, the wrong kind of media, egging her on to become the best (of the worst, IMHO) when it comes to acclaim and trophy kills. + 1 Gervais

    • avatar jon says:

      And hunters claim they love wildlife right? Hunters are sick anti-wildlife psychopaths.

  21. avatar Nancy says:

    And a follow up Louise:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/04/17/why-female-big-game-hunters-become-hunted-online-in-a-way-men-dont/

    “They asked me if I would preserve this giraffe by providing all the locals with food and other means of survival. He was inevitably going to die soon and he could either be wasted or utilized by the local people. I chose to honor his life by providing others with his uses and I do not regret it for one second. Once he was down there were people waiting to take his meat. They also took his tail to make jewelry, his bones to make other things, and did not waste a single part of him”

    Hello? Once he was down? Can only guess at what actually happened here.

  22. avatar Yvette says:

    Ricky Gervais has become relentless in his pursuit of taking trophy hunters to task, both male and female.

      • avatar Yvette says:

        Of course it puts it in perspective. They refrained from answering. The ‘conservation’ in sport and trophy hunting is largely a con.

        The article is definitely a good one and well written. Even though the author provided historical examples of women hunters it still had a tone that it is a fairly new phenomena. I know and know of quite a few Native women that have always hunted, but it’s usually been more subsistence hunting rather than trophy hunting. That seems to be changing, and I have seen a trend in some of them going for the ‘big buck’ and then posing for the picture with their kill. I am certain many women on the American frontier hunted.

        I think the increase (if there truly is an overall increase) in women that hunt might be just one more way for women to ‘prove’ to themselves that they are truly independent and self-reliant. Being a woman I know you fully understand that means we work much harder to achieve the same respect and wage as men. Different women will find different ways that satisfy themselves for self-reliance. I suspect that may partially be the reason we see a rise in female hunters. The trophy and sport hunting is probably just a growth of the those women who still have to prove to themselves they are as capable as men.

        Either way, women have always been capable to take care of themselves. If that meant the necessity to hunt or butcher an animal then that is what they did. With you living in Montana I am sure you know this since I think it’s more predominate in the West or in rural areas.

        I don’t know about you but I find the pink camo garb hideous, but I don’t care for the color of pink in clothes and decor.

  23. avatar Nancy says:

    http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/angry-bird-goose-menaces-new-york-high-school/32486998

    “No serious injures have been reported, and the geese are said to be inspiring science lessons”

    Gotta love it! No serious injuries AND these geese have inspired a few of our species, to look a little further in to wildlife’s agenda 🙂

  24. avatar jon says:

    The anti-wildlife hunters were defeated in Oregon today. 2 anti-wildlife bills died.

    HB 3515

    https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Measures/Overview/HB3515

    HB 2050

    https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Measures/Overview/HB2050

    A big win for Oregon’s wolves and cougars today.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      I would characterize the crafters of these forbidding wolves from esa status bills as obstructionists. They seek to silence public opinion and to stunt progressive rational thinking. I hope our congress dumps the wolf bills coming up as shortly as fast as Oregon dumped these. Singling out one species to persecute and isolate from protection should be easily identified as the big glaring red flag that it is.

  25. avatar WM says:

    Just in case you missed it:

    HAPPY EARTH DAY! (45th Anniversary of the event)

  26. avatar Louise Kane says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Mu_rqmFpL8&feature=youtu.be

    One of the best videos I have seen about mismanagement of wolves. It pertains to aerial hunting
    the last lines state using airplanes to track down, exhaust, wound or kill wolves has no place in hunting.

    You’ll have to cover your eyes in a few parts. Too sad just too sad

    • avatar Barb Rupers says:

      I said this before but had it in the wrong place so I will repeat it.

      This is an outrageous policy. I find it hard to believe that there are people who support it.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        wolves and opossum
        actually there is very little wildlife policy that is responsible or based in anything other than keeping game populations high.

  27. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    This may have already been posted (sorry), by timz’s two posts reminded me of this one:

    P-22 Mountain Lion Update

    • avatar Ed Loosli says:

      Louise Kane:
      Thank you for this wonderful look at Jane Goodall. She is truly inspirational and she is admired so much because she just doesn’t study chimpanzees and other wildlife, she works non-stop to save them and their habitat. She admits her early mistake was to underestimate the destructive nature of humans all around the Gombe Chimp Sanctuary in Tanzania. Now she pushes for not losing another acre of endangered species habitat – not another acre.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        I think something about Goodall that goes unstated is that in the science world some see advocacy as a hinderance. Dr Goodall is thought in many circles to be the most knowledgable primate scientist and world expert. Meshing science and advocacy does not always lead to discrediting. Our scientists should not have to be afraid to use their research to advocate better policy. I am thinking carnivores here…

  28. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    Lions and Wolves and Bears Oh My! Not necessarily wildlife news but Yellowstone NP’s economic impact is huge and many of those dollars can be attributed to bears, wolves, elk, and bison.

    http://yellowstoneinsider.com/2015/04/23/yellowstone-economic-impact-543-7m/

    • avatar skyrim says:

      These numbers are astounding.
      I spend the winter in southern Utah and frequent Zion’s N.P. often. I was in the park on Christmas Day and New Years Day. The crowds were incredible and a gal in the gift shop told me that Thanksgiving was even greater.
      Counting car license plates while leaving on Christmas Day, (unofficial) Californians compromised 70 percent.
      Services are limited in Springdale and restaurants were packed, as well as the stores that were brave enough to staff them.
      The price of fuel has an incredible effect on things like this.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Gray just looked quickly through it does the report reference wildlife watching and the percentage of those visiting for that purpose?

  29. avatar Yvette says:

    This is for the dog lovers and the African wildlife lovers. Let’s hope it helps.

    http://e360.yale.edu/digest/canine_conservation_using_dogs_in_war_against_poachers_in_kenya_k-9/4409/

  30. avatar WM says:

    Looks like the public meeting part of the EIS process on the Makah whale hunt is about to begin. Locals, Sea Shepard anti-whalers, lawyers from various interests, and the Makah tribe. Could get heated.

    http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20150423/news/304239980/sea-shepherd-conservation-society-attorneys-to-attend-makah-whaling

  31. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    ‘I don’t understand why when we destroy something created by man we call it vandalism, but when we destroy something created by nature we call it progress.’ Ed Begley, Jr.

    http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/gallery/2015/apr/01/over-population-over-consumption-in-pictures

    Overpopulation, overconsumption – in pictures

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      This was the photo that got me – I saw it first in TIME magazine, but it was originally from/also in a NYT article. A place called “Rancho Mirage” of all things:

      California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth

      • avatar Professor Sweat says:

        In the LA area, water conservation culture seems to be gaining speed. However, a brief drive through the Central Valley will reveal still-standing signage that proclaim the “Politicians Created this Drought!”, showing that the most water-hungry part of the state is still mired in fantasy.

        At least the few canals that are still filled with water in that heat-blasted hellhole harbor a diverse array of bird life.

      • avatar Barb Rupers says:

        Great picture to illustrate a problem. Thanks, Ida.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Thanks Barb –

          And I love California; I think if anyone can be open minded enough to turn this around, they can. I hope so!

  32. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.vancouverobserver.com/special-reports/trophy-hunt

    90% of BC residents oppose Grizzly trophy hunt
    who the hell do these legislators and policy makers think they work for? BC scientists opposing as well.

    • avatar Ed Loosli says:

      Louise Kane:
      The Canadian authorities now days seem as pathetic as those in America. If I were the Tsilhqot’in First Nation, I would immediately make it clear that any grizzly bear hunter found on their territory would be treated as a POACHER and dealt with accordingly by the Tsilhqot’ justice system.

  33. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Australia ‘public enemy number one’ of UN climate talks, says Nobel laureate

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/apr/25/australia-public-enemy-number-one-of-un-climate-talks-says-nobel-laureate

    Prof Peter Doherty is representing Australia at the symposium, held every three years and which is being attended by 11 other laureates from around the world, who will sign a memorandum detailing their recommendations for making major cities sustainable.

    “People are saying informally that Australia and Canada are emerging as public enemy number one for the Paris talks on climate,” Doherty said.

    On Tuesday, the independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) recommended Australia increase its commitment to cut 2000-level emissions by 2020 from 5% to 19% if it wanted to be taken seriously at the Paris climate change talks, a suggestion the environment minister, Greg Hunt, described as “onerous”.

    Meanwhile the prime minister, Tony Abbott, has directed $4m to start a climate consensus centre fronted by political scientist and climate change contrarian Bjørn Lomborg.

    But it was clear that many countries, particularly in Asia, where 21 of a forecast 37 megacities are expected to be within 30 years, were “ambitiously and aggressively” taking steps to reduce carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels, Doherty said.

    Large cities contributed disproportionally to climate change, he said, with roughly 75% of CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels coming from cities.

    It meant designing new buildings to be energy efficient, and focusing on public transport rather than building new roads, would be key measures for major cities in trying to curb global warming, he said, with up to 80% of the population expected to be living in large cities by 2050.

    • avatar Amre says:

      What can you expect. Australia approving coal shipping in the Great Barrier Reef, and Canada with its dirty tar sands.

  34. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Alan Rabinowitz is a Big Cat Protector
    http://www.dumbofeather.com/conversation/alan-rabinowitz-is-a-big-cat-protector/

    Dumbo Feather – Conversations with extraordinary people

  35. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.westcoast.fisheries.noaa.gov/protected_species/marine_mammals/cetaceans/whale_hunt.html

    hunting whales in 2015 regardless of their intelligence, sociality and majesty. Terrible that its even a consideration.

  36. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Canadian wolf cull to save caribou on Quirks and Quarks

    http://www.cbc.ca/player/Radio/Quirks+and+Quarks/ID/2619828538/

    < 10 minute interview sums up situation well

  37. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Moose problems other than Minnesota

    http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/field-notes/new-hampshire-considers-ending-moose-hunts

    No wolves there, but plenty of ticks in the north, and you guessed it, deer in the southern portion of the states moose area.

  38. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    I was happy to read this over at HCN. It sounds like a total nightmare. Yay Navajo Nation!!!!!

    Navajo Election Shakes Up Grand Canyon Development Plans

  39. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    Also from the High Country News:
    Idaho’s Blackbird Mine Poisoned Creeks Come Back From The Dead

    http://www.hcn.org/articles/idahos-panther-creek-comes-back-from-the-dead

    “Mebane agrees. “This place has always been a cautionary tale: If you’re building a new mine, don’t let this happen to you,” he says. “But it’s a story of hope and redemption, too. You can put Humpty-Dumpty back together again — even if Humpty-Dumpty ends up with some scar tissue.”

  40. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32452085

    Researchers planning to outfit species with collars in Russian in Chernobyl

    looks like its very rich in wildlife although the article speaks of poaching

    ironic that humans create a radioactive environment that shorter lived species survive, and that is our legacy to them and where they are allowed some peace.

    • avatar Yvette says:

      Oh Louise, I’ve been saying this for a few years ever since I saw the Nature episode, “Radioactive Wolves of Chernobyl”.

      It’s simply amazing that the wildlife are faring much better within the exclusion zone and the radioactive waste than they did with human pressure to control and manage.

      If you haven’t seen some of Dr. Sergej Gaschak’s photos from inside the zone you must. They are some of my all time favorite pictures.

      http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/nuclear_power/2013/01/chernobyl_wildlife_the_radioactive_fallout_zone_is_a_wildlife_refuge_photos.html

      Another article from 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4923342.stm

      Here’s what struck me and made me sit up in my chair when I first saw the Radioactive wolves episode: Beavers, native to Belarus, returned to within the exclusion zone. With no humans present to maintain the canals that were built following the Russian Revolution the beavers did what beavers do. The canals (and I’m sure other small streams) were damned. With the canals dammed the wetlands began to reestablish; with the wetlands reestablished the flora and fauna exploded. With humans excluded,the beavers, wolves and other wildlife were no longer killed as part of the management so the natural systems reestablished.

      To me, that is just so freaking amazing…..at how quickly it happened given the severity of radioactive damage, and apparently, at the significance of human impact on wildlife and habitat.

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        yes Yvette
        I wish the world we lived in did not continuously harass, exclude and kill off all other residents as “thanks” for keeping our world healthier. I find it very sad that these animals find refuge only in a radioactive waste site unfit for human longevity.

  41. avatar Louise Kane says:

    In Russia not Russian

  42. avatar WM says:

    Drought areas in WA state, some very severe this year – hits Olympic NP (snowpack less than 10 percent normal), Mt.Rainier NP, N.Cascades NP and Mt. Baker, Mt. St. Helens National Monument. It also heavily hits the favorite crop growing areas east of the Cascade mountiain, and where most of its fruit acreage is for apples (most in the US), soft fruits (think apricots/peaches/pears, and importantly sweet cherries – most in US, and only behind MI in tart cherry production), hops (grows most in the world).

    This is to say nothing of the rivers and streams upon which salmon and steelhead rely for upstream migration to spawn. Some can nearly be dried up for agriculture, even in good water years. This could be a tough summer, and will we be adding a dry/hot and fire-prone conditions to the mix? What will be the runoff retention in the Columbia River system (main stem, Snake, Yakima rivers), and what does it mean in the headwaters of these drainages? Will this ultimately affect hydro power production later this year? Lots of questions the answers to which may have huge implications for wildlife, hydro power and the agricultural economy of the region?

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/04/washington-state-drought-apples-snowmelt

    • avatar WM says:

      Woah! I forgot grapes. And ever more elusive is the decent bottle of WA Chardonnay for under $7, probably extinct with extended drought.

      • avatar Immer Treue says:

        WM,

        My sister-in-law introduced me to Chardonnays about twenty-five years ago. A most delightful nectar, slightly chilled ( my preference) during peaceful warm afternoons.

        • avatar WM says:

          Immer,

          Yes, delightful. Chardonnay’s lesser known cousin, the Viognier (pronounced “Vee on yea” is also worth a try. Very nice aromatic fruit nuances and exceptionally smooth finish. Much tougher on the pocketbook, however. A favorite, on the most special of occasions, at about $28, is McCrae Cellars.

  43. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Dave Archer in classroom explaining nuts & bolts about climate change:

    Video Lectures
    Classroom format (~45 minutes)

    http://forecast.uchicago.edu/lectures.html

    his books are my favorites:

    The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth’s Climate (Science Essentials)

    http://www.amazon.com/Long-Thaw-Changing-Climate-Essentials/dp/0691148112/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430144440&sr=1-4

  44. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    I know I’m in the minority on this site regarding how to invest one’s money, but I would rather donate to organizations that protect important habitat instead of organizations that file lawsuits. I would prefer that RMEF not support the hunting and trapping of predators and have a ecosystem management approach (instead of elk farming), however the organization is involved in the protection of a significant amount of wildland from development. Lawsuits may result in short term “victories” but protection of habitat will ultimately bring a bigger “bang for the buck”.

    http://www.rmef.org/NewsandMedia/PressRoom/NewsReleases/RollingThunder.aspx

    • avatar timz says:

      last I checked I could not find any organizations taking donations to protect wolf habitat.

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        timz: April 2015
        “One of the largest land deals in The Nature Conservancy’s history is reuniting portions of those divided landscapes in Washington and Montana. As part of the Great Western Checkerboards Project, the Conservancy has just purchased some 165,000 acres from Plum Creek, a timber company descended from the Northern Pacific Railroad. The 48,000 newly protected acres in Washington fill in critical gaps in state and federal wilderness areas in the central Cascades, reconnecting fragmented habitat for elk, wolverines, spotted owls and wolves. The purchase includes the headwaters of the Yakima River, famous for its salmon and steelhead fisheries.
        In Montana, the deal builds on the monumental Montana Legacy Project, a phased acquisition of 310,000 acres of former Plum Creek timberlands completed in 2010 by the Conservancy and its partners. The new 117,000-acre purchase in the Blackfoot River valley protects one of the largest tracts of private land in the 10-million-acre Crown of the Continent, which is among the most intact ecosystems remaining in the world’s temperate zones. This Rocky Mountain landscape is home to grizzly bears, elk, lynx and wolves.”

        • avatar Ed Loosli says:

          timz:
          Here is The Nature Conservancy article link:
          http://magazine.nature.org/features/a-win-for-the-west.xml

        • avatar WM says:

          There is no doubt some good in this purchase, and it will protect the land in the long term. However, it is important to remember that Plum Creek Timber (a Real Estate Investment Trust or REIT) has logged many of the lands, and not all of them had “development potential.” They were just logged, allowed to regrow after planting. The interesting thing is that without some of the periodic logging it won’t be as productive for wildlife that everyone loves to see – elk, deer, bear and their predators. They may provide continuous corridors for wildlife that moves, but many/most of those lands were doing that before even in private ownership. So, it would be interesting to know the real story as we go forward how much the move from Plum Creek to Nature Conservancy ownership (and maybe back to federal if they choose to sell it, maybe even with covenants or restrictions on the use of the land by the feds in the future (I think they can do that?).

          I have a VERY hard time understanding this “fragmented habitat” assertion, because I think the animals moved wherever/whenever they wanted. To my knowledge it isn’t fenced – at least most of it. So if wolves are added to the mix in larger numbers, it would seem the habitat for all remains the same. And Plum Creek/Burlington Northern (don’t know if they owned any Northern Pacific RR land or where if they do) has always allowed access in my memory, except for maybe properties that were being actively logged or otherwise worked on.

          • avatar Ed Loosli says:

            WM:
            The Plumb Creek Timber company was going to sell it’s several hundred thousand acres of land either to a conservation organization like The Nature Conservancy or to real-estate development companies that would chop it into ranchettes and mountain recreational sub-divisions. By your comment, I am not sure which you would prefer as it sounds like you are downplaying the importance of TNC preventing this wildlife land fragmentation from ever happening.

            • avatar WM says:

              Ed,

              Don’t put words in my mouth or on a page on my behalf. You tend to misread comments as well as some material you read. Guess I [and several others here] have said that before.

            • avatar Yvette says:

              Ed and WM, over the weekend I came across this newly published paper on forest fragmentation. You both may find it interesting, and certainly, it contributes to the conversation on fragmentation.

              Greater than 70% of the world’s forests are within 1 km of a forest edge; 20% are within 100 m of an edge.

              There is quite a bit in the paper that is intriguing, but I found this especially noteworthy. The long term consequences of fragmentation on 1) extinction debt; 2) immigration lag; and 3) ecosystem function debt is of particular interest.

              The link to the .pdf is in this article. http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/2/e1500052

              • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

                +1

                this is great paper!
                thanks

              • avatar WM says:

                The problem, Yvette, in most ecosystems of the Western US is that much of the fragmentation was done a century ago, or in some cases longer. The valley bottoms which were once winter range for wildlife became farm land, and the easiest places to build roads economically. The very highest elevations with rocky outcrops and very short growing seasons were not useful, for the most part, for humans or displaced wildlife. The stuff in between was logged if it had trees, fenced if it could support cows or sheep, and in the last 40 years, IN SOME PLACES, the focus of mountain home or ski area development, and access road development attendant to those activities. This horse left the barn long ago in the West. Probably 80% (my uneducated guess) has already been done. The new kid on the block is oilshale/gas development, which I don’t think was accounted for.

                And studies, including projections of what the future would look like was done in the early 1960’s by a think tank called Resources for The Future. It was a massive project. A former professor of mine, R. Burnell Held, before he taught at the Werner School of Natural Resources at CSU, was one of the major authors, along with Marion Clawson. Some of that early work was what laid the framework for the major federal legislation we know as the Wilderness Act, FLMPA, and the various USFS multiple use/sustained yield acts, and designation of certain newer national parks, national recreation areas and national monuments.

                This stuff has been studied to death in the US. It is a matter of implementation of programs to protect or reclaim checkerboarded lands private/railroad or even state owned, and Native American owned lands that are logged, etc., that is more perplexing, politically sensitive and extremely expensive. And, again fragmentation, has different meanings, some of which does not impede movement of wildlife regardless of who owns the land.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          Exciting news! This is where I agree with Gary Humbard’s comment that the more habitat that is set aside and connected, the better off every creature will be. They’ve managed for millennia without our meddling and blundering, so I don’t think it would take much tinkering from us to keep everything in line?

  45. avatar Louise Kane says:

    https://secure3.convio.net/ucs/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=35CA9A5304077F0513A2C3E6747E581A.app330a?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=4673&autologin=true

    now remind me why should we listen to scientists with luminaries like Lummis, Ripple, Cantor, Inofe, McConnell, Boehner, King and let us not forget the newest life begins at conception, hog castrating, states are better at reducing pollution than the EPA republican brainiac R Ernst. With people like these watching out for us why indeed is science needed to direct policy or decision making.

    This from The Washington Post
    “A look at the more than 200 bills Republican senators and representatives proposed in the first week of the new Congress, an even more depressingly familiar picture of the party emerges. Republicans’ priorities are clear: They want to deregulate the environment, repeal Obamacare and derail the president’s immigration plans. Those were the three most common topics of the bills introduced, along with bills or resolutions to cut spending, force a balanced budget or restrict Obama’s options the next time the United States hits a debt ceiling crisis. Economic packages were almost entirely absent, relegated to secondary reasons for deregulating the environment or repealing Obamacare.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2015/01/13/republicans-tellingly-scary-first-week-in-congress/

  46. avatar Louise Kane says:

    No R before Ernst J meant

  47. avatar Nancy says:

    About fricken time countries starting waking up to this! My washer & dryer are still going strong after 20 years. My vehicle is about the same age…….

    http://www.dw.de/a-new-french-law-takes-aim-at-gadgets-that-quickly-wear-down/av-18412104

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      Planned obsolescence. One of the reasons the Japanese auto manufacturers gained a foothold. Build a solid vehicle that lasts more than three years without major mechanical problems. That was a while ago.

    • avatar TC says:

      Then your washer and dryer are heinously inefficient, with regard to use of both water and electricity. And your automobile equally is a polluting inefficient gas burner, even if it’s a 4 cylinder. The French law does not deal with appliances and motor vehicles, where you really should be doing better.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        “The French law does not deal with appliances and motor vehicles, where you really should be doing better”

        Hey, my electric bill is less than $20 bucks a month, TC. Seriously….What’s yours? I wash small loads of laundry (light cycle – less than 30 minutes) and with the exception of undies & socks, its possible to get more than a day or two use out of most clothing 🙂 Ever noticed on those “new, efficient washing machines” TC, the average wash cycle is 50 minutes to an hour?

        That old dryer is a back up when I can’t hang clothes out to dry.

        I live in snow country TC and my jobs require getting into areas that are not always plowed on a regular basis, so its a 4 wheel drive rig for this gal. But I bundle my trips and limit my driving when ever possible.

        I got a little personal here, TC but only because you got a little pompous.

        • avatar Yvette says:

          Earlier today after reading TC’s response I checked online to see if there was that big of a difference in older washers and dryers than the new ones. Also, what is the payoff from dumping an older, but still working set to go to a landfill? Our old goods don’t simply disappear. I read that the new front loaders are much more efficient but the there is little difference in the older dryers and the new ones.

          I use things until they no longer work and repair things until they are totally worn out. I’ve never had a dishwasher and wouldn’t use one if I had one. When my dad was still alive he lived in a place that had a dishwasher….I found dishes stored in it. He never used it. Seems like a waste of water and energy for just me mom and the cats. LOL, the light jacket (good for rain) I’ve been wearing this week is one I bought in the mid-90’s. However, I have a soft spot for coats and boots and have one closet full of coats and boots. A coat for every occasion, so of course, I live where it is hell season 8 months out of the year.

          Sorry to get so far off of the wildlife topic.

    • avatar skyrim says:

      Good for you Nancy. I apply the same logic in my life.
      “Use it up, wear it out.
      Make do, or do without.”
      New England Puritan Adage

  48. avatar Leslie says:

    Will Wildlife services actually begin recommending these dogs to protect livestock? Interesting article

    http://www.hcn.org/articles/searching-for-the-best-dog-to-save-livestock-and-wildlife

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      + 1

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Over the centuries, however, Europe eradicated its wolves and bears, sanitizing the continent for livestock and obviating the need for guard dogs. The practice had become rare by 1972, the year the United States banned the use of Compound 1080 — a potent poison that ranchers used to eliminate coyotes, the species responsible for most of the country’s predation incidents. Though the ban was later lifted, at the time it pushed ranchers to investigate novel ways of handling coyotes and other predators. Soon, European dog breeds like the akbash, komondor and Great Pyrenees were patrolling America’s rangelands in defense of livestock.

      If it worked then, when there were many many more wolves, it should work today – and statistics show that livestock predation is a minor factor in livestock loss. It’s a shame we’ve gotten away from the practice of using guard dogs.

      As an aside – I’ve been watching Wolf Hall – and it occurred to me that wolves had been pretty much wiped out from the UK by the time of Henry VIII!

      • avatar Yvette says:

        “As an aside – I’ve been watching Wolf Hall – and it occurred to me that wolves had been pretty much wiped out from the UK by the time of Henry VIII!”

        Yep, since 1500 is what J. Coleman said in his book. Can we say, “of wolves and wives’ then? They seem to have a thing for beheadings, whether it be wolves or noblemen.

        I just tuned into Wolf Hall three weeks ago. Great program. I’m waiting for Queen Anne’s execution. I am thankful I did not live during that period.

        • avatar Elk375 says:

          Yvette, you might have lived during that period. You could be Queen Anne reincarnated.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          I haven’t read the books yet, but I will. I’m just pleasantly surprised at how this story that is so often been told has been given a totally fresh, original new take. I like this one, where the villains are humanized – they have good traits, loving parents for example, but capable of horrendous acts to further their beliefs and of course power and greed. I don’t think these character traits are extinct; they are still with us.

  49. avatar WM says:

    A third wolf delisting bill now in Congress. This one for WA, OR and UT, by an Eastern WA Congressman Newhouse.

    http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=b67bc516-d6c6-49f3-9b06-032d02899254

    My apologies if its been posted before.

    • avatar bret says:

      First wolf in Western WA may soon be confirmed.

      What may have been a wild wolf was struck and killed by a vehicle between North Bend and Snoqualmie Pass in eastern King County.

      A U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service official in Portland says this morning that yesterday WDFW notified them that a wolf may have been hit on I-90, and that state employees recovered the carcass of the uncollared, untagged and black-coated “suspected” female.

  50. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Kenya: Cow ‘starts eating sheep’ on Nakuru farm
    http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-32428154

    maybe it applies to the NRM as well

  51. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Speaking of which, has anybody seen hide or hair of the wolf allegedly seen in Leominster?

  52. avatar Louise Kane says:

    From Ryan Benson of Big Game Forever thief and liar

    “Steal a little and they throw you in jail
    Steal a lot and they make you king” BD

    I love the use of radical environmentalist here.

    “We are now hearing that several Democratic Member of Congress, under pressure by radical environmentalists, will attempt to strip provision which will protect state management of 165 Million Acres of Sage-grouse habitat across 11 Western States. This comes following news that Utah Congressman Rob Bishop’s has officially requested the inclusion of these provisions on the National Defense Authorization Act (the “NDAA”). His amendment means that state conservation programs for Greater Sage-grouse, mule deer and Western landscapes can continue to be implemented until 2025.”

    • avatar Yvette says:

      “radical environmentalists” = code for anything that might go against the 1%’ers.

      Maybe we should just take that denigrating phrase back and own it. I’m kind of tired of being referred to as a radical when in disagreement with someone.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Yes, thank goodness! It appears that with moose, collaring is causing abandonment of calves!

  53. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    Arizona Fish and Game just released a pair of Mexican wolves (female appears pregnant) into their former habitat. Their population is slowly increasing as more releases occur and more pro-active approaches take effect regarding the reduction of wolf conflicts.

    It was a soft release in that they released them into an enclosure they can chew through and release themselves. Cool!

    http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/story/142983759920pmbhrfssw

  54. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://naturalsociety.com/breaking-vermont-wins-gmo-labeling-law/

    Big win in court against Monsanto
    Laws that try and prevent transparency are so well, transparent.

  55. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Coyote Bounties Ineffective

    http://www.simcoereformer.ca/2015/04/22/bounties-ineffective-biologist

    Something we hear over and over, but the gut slammer mentality continues to prevail.

    • avatar Gary Humbard says:

      “There are concerns the wolf-like animals are becoming more brazen and may eventually target larger prey such as children”. Run for your lives it’s the attack of the coyotes!

      Of course bounties don’t work to reduce livestock predation. This is not rocket science and bounties need to be put in the deleted file.

  56. avatar rork says:

    “Laws that try and prevent transparency” – I don’t get what law that is. Biotech firms failed to get an injunction against a Vermont GMO labeling law.

  57. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    More base human nature at work:

    “It is just not anything that a civil society would accept as OK,” David Trahan, the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, said Tuesday.

    A Reward is Being Offered for Tips on Who Shot and Killed Four Pregnant Does Over the Past Week

    And yet, some only gasp in horror about wolves killing deer.

  58. avatar Immer Treue says:

    Whether you like Mech or not, he calls them as he sees them and calls Governor Dayton’s decision to end collaring of all MN moose “very shortsighted…” That should tighten a few jaws.

    http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_28008482/dayton-halts-moose-radio-collaring-but-scientists-outraged

    • avatar skyrim says:

      “Whether you like Mech or not”
      And I do not………..

    • avatar Gary Humbard says:

      The governor needs to spend his time on making sure Minnesota state agencies are functioning at their optimum performance and stay out of science. Without bonafide research that Mech and Peterson are conducting how can we learn what is causing the death of moose? Aerial and ground surveys are not effective, practical, efficient and do not provide scientific information.

      At a minimum, collars need to be allowed on cow moose to find out their survival rate. We put collars or transmitters on every species imaginable to find out how best to protect them and their habitat and we have learned a lot of important information that we would never have otherwise. The technology is providing smaller and less intrusive collars that fall off after a certain time period and send a signal immediately upon death.

      Another bad political decision.

    • avatar timz says:

      “We have no idea what the natural rate of abandonment is. It’s just not possible to find out without this kind of work.”

      So killing a few more calves to find this accomplishes what? Are they going to train the mothers in better parenting?

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        It will never be a ‘natural rate of abandonment’ if it is because of heavy, cumbersome tracking collars. I had a question – are these collars inhibiting the infant calves from getting up on their feet soon enough, and for some reason that makes the mother abandon him or her? And if we are contribution to predator deaths by causing defenseless calves to be vulnerable – we really need to back off until we come up with something better. In a way, this could be a good thing because scientists appear to really be befuddled that their activities are actually causing problems and not helping. Apparently, this is a first for them, and backing away isn’t an option for them.

        The article says that there are 100 or so adult moose that can still be studied, and can’t calf abandonment be studied from the adult mothers?

    • avatar Professor Sweat says:

      Is the abandonment issue something that is more localized in MN, or has it been recorded in moose populations elsewhere? Perhaps incompetence is an issue on the part of those collaring the calves?

      I think the moose will be better off without these particular bungled attempts to track their movements. It’s really unacceptable to cause that much collateral damage and try to justify it for the sake of gaining information on the population as a whole.

      “Most of the calves would have died anyways”

      Mech can say whatever the hell he wants to about Dayton’s decision. He’s absolutely got the credentials and the career to give his thoughts. He’s an old school biologist and more interested in the overall population than individuals. Is his bias toward population over individual still in-step with what we are now learning about the life experience and sentience of animals and how similar it is in many ways with our own? Is it really ethical to continue a study, when we know that there is a good chance it could lead to an individual calf left alone to die of starvation, one of the most painful deaths any animal can suffer? These are living beings, not numbers on a chart.

      I like Mech and peruse his research time and time again, but I’m just not a fan of his philosophy. I think the next generation of ecologists can do better in that regard, especially as less invasive methods and technology are developed.

      We evolve as we learn.

  59. avatar WM says:

    It would appear the impacts of DC Federal Trial Court Judge Howell’s ruling on the Western Great Lakes wolf relisting are being felt elsewhere on other species, as her ruling on the use of a DPS for purposes of delisting are considered. This instance involves shortnose sturgeon, and the efforts of NMFS to create a
    DPS and delist. And, it is important to note the comment U of a VT law professor regarding whether some of the reasoning of Howell’s ruling will stand on appeal.

    http://www.eenews.net/stories/1060017660

    If it does not stand this maybe good for wolves generally. If her ruling stands, I think the feces will be hitting the fan as more Congressional types stand behind changes to the ESA when they see the ultimate implications of Judge Howell’s ruling.

    The decision to challenge and litigate the WGL delisting was just plain stupid in my opinion, and ultimately may come back to haunt HSUS.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      I think Howells’ rationale and logic is sound what is not are a bunch of congressmen working to overturn a considered deliberate judicial finding and to weaken the foundations of the ESA a bill that the American public largely stands behind. All three of the bills are knee jerk radical responses that are not surprising considering the sponsors and co sponsors. These legislators ignore their own constituents that is the worst part. It seems that anytime anyone challenges aggressive wolf management policy you find it stupid or short sighted.

      • avatar WM says:

        Louise,

        I am practical, and actually look to the political reactions and remedies that result from some of the decisions that are coming out of the courts. This Eastern WA Representative IS REPRESENTING the will of the folks in his district, with the delisting bill for WA, OR and UT. Heck UT just doesn’t want wolves and that seems to reflect the public will there. The same might be said, at least for those on the band wagon in MN. Calling the support by MN Congressional types that want to manage their 3,000 wolves a “knee jerk radical response” is,….well,…. absurd.

        That is the problem with this DPS concept, which appears to have some glitches under the current law, which keep popping up.

        By the way, Louise, one can still stand behind the concepts of the ESA while being neutral or supporting a deviation/accommodation for the wolf issue. It is this purist stuff, that is the catalyst for taking the matter where it is headed right now.

        • avatar JB says:

          WM: is the eastern Washington legislator you mention representing his constituents’ interests or merely their preferences…?

          • avatar WM says:

            JB,

            ++ constituents’ interests or merely their preferences…? ++

            Is there a distinction?

            Much of Eastern WA is just like ID and MT. Same geography, vegetation, economy to some degree, and importantly, politics. And, Congressman Newhouse, the sponsor of this bill lives in Sunnyside along the Yakima River before it joins the Columbia. Sunnyside is about 40 miles from Kennewick, where Doc Hastings lived – all heavy R country and agriculture, though mostly fruit and grapes.

            • avatar JB says:

              Yes, there is a distinction. Preferences are what we say we would like, and they’re often distorted by ideology, emotion, and a poor grasp for the consequences of one’s choices; interests are what is best for us regardless of what we want. For example, my two boys would prefer to eat nothing but cookies, even though it is in their best interest to eat fruits, vegetables and protein. Politicians, like parents, must at times separate preferences from interests–or we all end up worse for their tolerance of our foolishness (demonstrated well by the climate change fiasco).

              • avatar WM says:

                I dunno JB. For me the distinction may be one without a difference if one examines all the variables that go into it. I think interests might include economics, often reflected in political ideology that results in changes to tax codes, grant and aid programs, etc. Certainly, in some cases, our interests/preferences might conflict with the interests/preferences of others.

                Would my preference be for a king salmon filet ($20/lb at the market), while it may be in my economic interest to have a frozen tilapia or breaded mystery fish sticks in a box at $2.99? But, that salmon has Omega 3 fatty acids, good for my health, so maybe my preference is really in the best interest of my heart health. But, perhaps not in the best interest of those who would find the oceans over-fished. 😉

                • avatar JB says:

                  WM:

                  The purpose of my example was to show, explicitly, how preferences need not be related to interests–I never contended that they were always in conflict. I would be very interested to see a peer-reviewed economic analysis of the economic effect of wolves on the hunting industry. I’d be willing to bet that, like with livestock, the losses are absolutely trivial, which begs the question: whose interests (not preferences) are legislators concerned about. My prediction: their own.

                • avatar Louise Kane says:

                  JB, and their own “interests” are tied too often and too tightly to lobbyists and donations not to what their constituents want or express through comments or polling on issues.

              • avatar WM says:

                JB,

                Yours is a good suggestion. The results might vary by state and even locally. I monitor the ID non-resident elk hunting tags on their website. A lot of tags have gone unsold in particular units supposedly impacted by wolves. It may be difficult to sort out why those tags go unsold or remain available much later in the year (some used to be sold out by February for the October hunting season, now some are still available in certain units). Undoubtedly some went unsold because of price increases, and limiting discretionary income as a result of the economic melt down a couple years back. However, I personally know people who stopped buying(temporarily?) because of the growing wolf population and perhaps lower success rates or much harder hunting conditions. I know our group has talked about it, and a couple folks declined to hunt with us over the last 5 years or so because of the belief wolves were impacting the hunt.

                So, I will have to disagree with you on trivial impact (subject to study results), and suspect IDFG may have the same sentiments. I know one enforcement officer who seems to think that is the case.

                And, in our case there is about one less elk for a processor to cut up a year, compared to our average. That would be roughly $300 which is mostly labor cost to cut and wrap, with a few spices for sausage products. Multiply that by other hunters not taking as many animals and it might add up. So, some local wild game processor’s business is off by 20-25%, and maybe the local motels and family owned restaurants have the same reduction. Most city folks don’t give a hoot, but there are local impacts. Of course every nitwit around quotes the economic study on wolf tourism in Yellowstone – but those are different businesses, different people, and maybe the money goes to investors outside the state, instead of staying local. It’s complicated in my view.

                • avatar JB says:

                  You’re correct–disentangling the effects of the economic downturn, combined with higher prices would be tough. However, that’s just one of the relevant issues. If Joe hunter stops hunting a unit because he perceives it will be harder to harvest an elk–is this an effect of wolves, or an effect of his perception (which may be misguided)? But lets say there actually is a noticeable decrease in harvest rates in the unit Joe would’ve hunted. Some of that would be attributable to precipitation, changes in forage, winter severity, and predation by bears, cougars and even coyotes. I think I’ll stand by my comment. Assuming one could isolate these various impacts, I’m willing to bet the actual impact of wolves on the hunting economy is trivial. (And don’t forget, you would need to subtract the positive impact of wolf license sales and associated equipment from any negative impact on elk sales).

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          WM,
          No need to bring up past fairy tales of wolves, and their logical origins, but what other mammal is such alightning rod of discord between people?

          The lawsuits may be frivolous, yet why can’t people leave the darn wolves alone (poaching) even during times of wolf hunting/trapping. Both sides have their own tar baby, and the wolves lose in the long run.

          Wolves probably don’t require federal protection in MN, yet deer hunters still complain about wolves despite the fact we have had, prior to this past winter, two consecutive winters of biblical proportion in regard to severity and length.

          Everybody wants more deer, like in the mid 2000’s, but the price is more wolves, and likely more pressure on moose (a whole story in itself). Manage for more deer, and with a tempered hunting season, and a tough long winter comes in, and boom, massive starvation, but wolves still get the blame. With that myopic viewpoint, coupled with poaching, might wolves require protection, or not.

          Living up here in the middle of it, I’m reminded of Mech’s words “wolves are neither saints nor sinners except for those who would make them so.”

          I don’t see that changing anytime soon, whether wolves remain listed, or are subject to liberal hunting and trapping seasons.

        • avatar rork says:

          “one can still stand behind the concepts of the ESA while being neutral or supporting a deviation/accommodation for the wolf issue”
          Agreed. I’ll add that a judge’s ruling says what is and is not legal, and is no argument for what is smart or not.

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            I’d place my money on a judge being a hell of a lot more informed than a radical congressman being courted by the likes of Ryan Benson.

            Judges don’t just pull opinions out of their ass. They listen to oral arguments, read briefs submitted by attorneys that have spent countless hours researching facts, legal precedent and attaching amicus curiae briefs by interested and knowledgable parties. I think your claim that a judicial decision is no argument for being smart or not is a bit naive.

            • avatar rork says:

              I never said judges just invent stuff or don’t work hard or are not knowledgeable (straw man factory you got there). I think you use any convenient argument too often, with less care for their truth than about their impact. That’s a possible strategy if you have a particular goal in mind.

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          WM you say Utah doesn’t want wolves….where is the evidence. Who doesn’t want wolves, the general populace or the livestock industry and some politicians? Same for Washington, the eastern representative is not representing all of WA but again a portion of the state heavily influenced by livestock business. Same with Oregon. If you look at the actual support for wolf prescence its very high except in areas with a long standing bias against wolves thats often based on hyped up information and a willful resistance to try non lethal strategies.

          There are currently two alternatives to a legislative delisting proposed by Bruskotter and Vucetich, and by the HSUS.

          Both support a deviation/accommodation for the wolf “issue”, as you state. The two proposals are just not the legislative delisting that the radical (and I use this word purposefully) legislators that have a knee jerk reaction (again purposefully) to wolves want.

          These legislators know quite well if congressional delisting occurs wolf recovery is ended. Dispersers are not surviving anywhere but Oregon, Washington and CA and that is because there are state and federal esa protections.

          A Congressional delisting is a knee jerk reaction to a considered legal determination that the state plans do not supply adequate protection for wolves. The Howell decision is not isolated and the lawsuit was certainly not frivolous.

          • avatar WM says:

            Louise,

            Read carefully from the UT Wolf Management Act of 2010 (U.C.A):

            Part 2. Wolf Management

            § 23-29-201. Wolf management

            (1) The division shall contact the service upon discovering a wolf in any area of the state where wolves are listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act and request immediate removal of the animal from the state.

            (2) The division shall manage wolves to prevent the establishment of a viable pack in all areas of the state where the wolf is not listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act until the wolf is completely delisted under the act and removed from federal control in the entire state.

            (3) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to wolves lawfully held in captivity and restrained.

            CREDIT(S)

            Laws 2010, c. 20, § 4, eff. May 11, 2010.
            https://www.animallaw.info/statute/ut-wolves-chapter-29-wolf-management-act

            This law was passed by the UT Legislature and was signed by its sitting governor. Both US Senators from UT (esp. Hatch) have taken the position they don’t like wolves and want them delisted. Rep. Bishop is a signatory to the letter referenced above. What more evidence do you need, coming from UT’s duly elected officials, who in a representative democracy are the voice of the populace.

            You gonna point to some less than objectively worded poll from a five years ago and say “the people” want wolves in UT?

            It seems pretty clear they don’t want them. Probably the most anti-wolf in the country, though I think maybe one or both of the Dakotas are pretty close in that philosophy.

            To be clear, the HSUS suit that resulted in Judge Howell’ ruling was not frivolous. They won in the trial court, and from my reading the basis of her ruling was probably pretty sound. The question is, the impact that such a ruling has (devoid of common sense), and if it stands on appeal, whether the law would need to be changed.

            Let me be clear, here. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. Again, the technicality of the DPS concept results in absurd outcomes. The plaintiffs are worried now (dumb shits at HSUS should have thought about that before they filed suit – what’s it mean if we win?). Any proposal short of outright delisting in the WGL and WY, anyway, is unlikely IMHO, especially if Judge Howell’s ruling stands on appeal.

            • avatar JB says:

              “It seems pretty clear they don’t want them. Probably the most anti-wolf in the country, though I think maybe one or both of the Dakotas are pretty close in that philosophy.”

              Actually, existing data suggests the Utah public supports natural recolonization of wolves, and has for some time. Don Peay and his “associates” rule at the DWR. Things may be hunky-dory in Washington state, but you definitely don’t want to point to Utah as an example of good governance.

              • avatar WM says:

                JB,

                It would appear, then, that Peay and associates also have the UT Congressional delegation in their pocket, as well. What year was the last UT public wolf poll taken, and by whom? And, importantly, what kinds of questions were asked?

                Even in WA, if I recall correctly for comparision, the support for wolves has adjusted slightly downward as population has increased. I could be wrong, and cannot point to the studies, but that is my vague recollection. Am I incorrect on this?

                • avatar WM says:

                  JB,

                  This is the most recent “poll” I could find from 2013. It refutes my assertion. However, I do have problems with the objectivity of the wording by the pollster under contract to Defenders of Wildlife. That, to me seems to be a constant concern – objectivity in wording of polling questions.

                  https://www.defenders.org/publications/defenders-of-wildlife-public-memo-new-poll-finds-strong-support-for-wolf-protection-in-western-states.pdf

                  It is when one drills down on the multiple issues that it gets more complicated. Those questions are NEVER asked by some advocacy groups, because they know/highly suspect it will erode the level of support.

                • avatar bret says:

                  WM, The survey you are looking for is on the WDFW web site, I am trying to find a link. As I recall the state wide survey was done in 2007 and the again 2013 , wolf recovery support fell from 73% to 64%

                • avatar WM says:

                  Bret,

                  Thanks. This is from the survey:

                  SUPPORT FOR OR OPPOSITION TO WOLF RECOVERY IN WASHINGTON
                  •The most basic question about the recovery of wolves asked if residents supported or opposed it. There is much more support for (64%) than opposition to (27%) the recovery of wolves in Washington.
                  ◦A follow-up question asked about support for or opposition to wolf recovery if it resulted in some localized declines in elk and deer populations: 57% support, while 28% oppose.

                  •Residents were asked if they would support or oppose, once the wolf population in the state meets recovery population objectives, removing wolves from the state endangered species list. Support for this (73%) far exceeds opposition (15%).

                  RATINGS OF THE DEPARTMENT’S MANAGEMENT OF WOLVES IN WASHINGTON
                  •When residents are asked to rate the Department’s management of wolves in Washington, the majority (53%) do not know what rating to give. Otherwise, they are fairly evenly split, with 23% saying excellent or good (the upper half of the scale), and 23% saying fair or poor (the lower half of the scale). Despite the mixed results, note that only 10% rated the Department’s management of wolves as poor.

                  ◦Reasons for not giving a higher rating (among those who did not give a rating of excellent) include the feeling among residents that there are too many wolves, that they disagree with having wolves in Washington, the feeling that there are not enough wolves, that the Department does not communicate effectively about wolves, and that wolves cause problems.

                  So, my take-away from this is that most people asked in polls don’t know jack shit about wolves, their impacts to prey bases and what it takes to manage wolves in the long term. That includes the cost of loss prevention for livestock and pet owners in wolf country; the potential loss of hunting opportunity for those who do hunt; the reality that “wolf tourism” is mostly a pipe dream in very few, if any, locations outside YNP because wolves will never be allowed to reach densities where they can be easily and predictably seen by those who want a wolf sighting experience. They don’t know how much it costs the state annually to add them to the “predator management” mix. And, importantly, they do not realize that wolves will ever be allowed to reach densities to where they positively “impact” ecosystems very much. This latter point is key to some of Dr. Mech’s criticisms of the work of Bill Ripple and the like, who push this concept of wolf influenced top down trophic cascade.

                  I think if people had a better understanding of these aspects of wolf management the support for wolf population would have far better depth, breadth and ultimately accuracy of polling opinion, and probably go down a bit – how much, well we need to do objective polls to tell.

                  I don’t think the pollsters want to touch that, especially when done by some of the big advocate groups.

                • avatar JB says:

                  WM:

                  I don’t put much stock in polling by advocacy groups, so I can’t answer your questions about polling. I can talk about scientific studies of public attitudes, which often incorporate very similar or even identical questions to well-run polls.

                  I conducted research in 2003 that replicated research in 1994 with very large sample sizes and found essentially no differences in public attitudes toward wolves or the management. In 2003, 62% expressed favorable view of wolves, 16% unfavorable; 21% agreed with the statement “Utah is better off without wolves”, while 63% disagreed; 57% agreed with the statement “I would like to see wolves in Utah”, while 21 % disagreed (and so on).

                  Research indicates support for wolves generally declines SLIGHTLY inside areas where they have recovered, though existing studies are silent on why. I would suggest that it’s less about the obvious reason (negative interaction) and more about symbolic opposition (people in rural areas don’t like ‘urban environmentalists cramming wolves down our throats’), but that’s merely a hypothesis.

                  We also have more recent data (collected in 2014), that suggests attitudes toward wolves are actually more positive now than they were in the late 1970s–even in the NRM states. The punchline: a substantial majority of US residents support wolf recovery, regardless of region.

                • avatar WM says:

                  JB,

                  You raise an interesting distinction. Polls or [scientific] surveys or studies. I confess to not really knowing the difference or subtle use by some advocates to confuse us. Now, based on the language they use, it would seem the “study” done for WDFW seems to be the latter. Is the poll done by Defenders a scientific survey, study or just a “poll.” It also seems there are distinctions among the groups identified for participation. Defenders polled/surveyed registered voters. WDFW identified those with telephones, including cell phones, as their interviewees. This, to me anyway, suggests a broader sampling of “the people” than registered voters.

                  I know this stuff is right up your alley, and probably there are many alot subtleties in terminology many of us miss, so maybe you can enlighten us.

                • avatar JB says:

                  WM:

                  Sorry, my intent was not to defame professionals who research public opinion. Rather, I question anything that was conducted by an interest group. These polls are often designed to engineer a particular outcome (though they should be judged upon an individual basis). Usually, the problem is the use of leading/biased questions that imply a particular outcome. These are okay, but need to be countered with questions implying the opposite outcome (so the sum of items is neutral regarding the outcome). This helps researchers avoid well-known biases in response, such as agreement bias (the tendency to be agreeable).

                  Another source of bias is sampling (who is chosen to participate). Using phone records used to be a preferred method, but with the proliferation of cell phones, most pollsters use random-digit dialing. Scientists (who are less concerned about data collection time) often use mailed surveys, which helps minimize another type of bias associated with interviews (whether in person or over the phone). Scientists are also typically concerned with with validity and reliability of measures/data, while pollsters ignore these issues.

                  Could provide more details, but they won’t likely be of much interest to this crowd.

                • avatar WM says:

                  ++ The punchline: a substantial majority of US residents support wolf recovery, regardless of region.++

                  Now, if we could just all agree on what constitutes recovery and where, the problem would be solved and we could move on to other more “endangered” species at risk of extinction.

                • avatar JB says:

                  Indeed!

                  (And apologies for the grammatical errors in my prior message. Trying to write with a 2-year old in your lap is tricky business).

                • avatar JB says:

                  WM:

                  Turns out the state of Utah spent more than 1 million lobbying Congress to delist wolves–with a resident population of zero. These Republicans are really doing their damnedest to convince me that government doesn’t work. 😉

                  http://fox13now.com/2015/04/30/utah-pays-high-priced-lobbyist-to-de-list-wolves/

                • avatar WM says:

                  Interesting investigative journalism on this UT lobbying topic and the big lobby money dedicated to wolf delisting there. The no discussion/no strings attached, with little audit oversight is intriguing. And the UT DNR Director is a slick character in the interviews with the reporter.

                  I hope there are, indeed, follow-up stories to shed further light on this. Probably somewhat relevant to mention, the LDS churches own a number of larger livestock operations in UT and other states. The LDS church is a shrewd and successful in its business operations, by the way (and if I recall correctly even has a couple ancillary big game operations affiliated with its ranch land holdings).

          • avatar WM says:

            Louise,

            A comment about WA and maybe even OR. Notwithstanding our appearance of responsible wolf management, the sentiment conveyed to the Congressional delegation is we want to manage wolves at the state level in the 2/3 of the state where wolves are still listed. That would be 6 D’s, and 4 R’s in the House, and two D Senators. Just a guess, but I bet there are only a couple D reps in the Seattle area who might want wolves kept federally listed. I think both Senators, absent D Party pressure, might want the flexibility for the state to manage wolves without ESA burdens throughout the state, not just the eastern third.

            There is a belief we can do it better than having the feds look over our shoulder. May not happen this year, but within 5 there is a pretty good chance, especially after the wolf population grows a bit and they head west to the mouth of the Columbia and start munching on the Roosevelt elk in the coastal strip. The redneck anti’s in Aberdeen will just shoot them, before they get a chance to migrate north on the Olympic Peninsula, and it won’t matter if they are federally listed or not. I am waiting to see what WDFW does with their proposed translocation program, which can’t be more than a couple years off.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              WM you think the kind of subversive lobbying in this story might have something to do with Utah’s law?

              Look at how lobbyists buy public policy and subvert the wishes of the American public, and how they have killed wolf recovery. Start bitching about these backdoor sweetheart deals. Sleazy and criminal

              http://fox13now.com/2015/04/30/utah-pays-high-priced-lobbyist-to-de-list-wolves/comment-page-1/#comment-104283

              Ryan Benson was paid over 500K out of over a million to keep wolves out. Is that good public policy, is it good for wolves or people to allow legislators to keep up the hype and fear? Which came first the chicken or the egg here? D

              Did Utah legislators want to keep wolves out or did a sleazy lobbyist fan the nascent flames of wolf hate by adding more misinformation, fear and angst to the mix?

              Some of the shit that happens behind closed doors seems impossible to believe but it seems worse in the light of day than most people might imagine even though they might have only suspected how bad it is.

              The Utah legislature behaved disgracefully by hiring Benson.

              I don’t believe that our legislators really represent their constituents anymore, they are mostly concerned with special agendas because of the money that comes in. The Citizen’s United and McCutcheon decisions making the whole mess worse.

              Wildlife policy is subverted heavily by these backdoor sweetheart deals because they are promoted by livestock, agriculture and hunting industry lobbyists that have a lot of money and influence.

              Most would have no idea of the level of corruption and conflict of interest that is wildlife management.

              I’m betting that if you ask the average American citizen what they think of trapping, snaring, aerial gunning, removing one species for the sake on another and of wolves I bet a disproportionate number are dead set against the antiquated and irresponsible policies in place now.

              I believe most people are caring and concerned about environmental issues but politicians place the issues on a back seat or manipulate them for political gain because the agriculture, livestock, resource extraction businesses are powerful.

              Polls and constituents do matter but they are pushed aside to favor specie interest agendas.

              I wonder are there that many people in Utah that really wish to see wolves from ever establishing in Utah? This seems preposterous. I could be wrong but I think that position is a political bastardization of voter sentiment by radical government officials at the beck and call of their special interest lobbies.

              I’ve got a keen interest in identifying some political scientists to develop a poll about some of these issues. There is no data and the polls that exist are not representative or large enough to be all that compelling although they hint at a united public support for the ESA and widespread wolf recovery.

              http://fox13now.com/2015/04/30/utah-pays-high-priced-lobbyist-to-de-list-wolves/comment-page-1/#comment-104283

              In WA interesting to note that the new director was the former Idaho deputy director ( a state legislature and agency with a real love affair with wolves) and their deputy director just accused of rape, wasn’t it. A savory sort of crime

              • avatar WM says:

                Louise,

                Pretty sure laws are like sausage. You don’t want to watch what goes into it, or while it is being made.

                WA’s selection for its new director of WDFW probably included several factors. The Commission is mostly fisheries types in recent years and with a lot of academic degrees and research experience. They are a pretty bright group as a whole. Could even be Unsworth is a good candidate in his own right. Then there is the thing to which you refer, with wolf experience. Somebody who has “been there and done that,” might just be the person they were looking for.

                What is with the ancillary stuff about somebody else that isn’t even relevant. You seem fixated on some of this. Is this part of your larger smear campaign, and lobbying in your own right. Looks like you are right down there in the gutter with the others whom you detest so much.

                • avatar Louise Kane says:

                  Wm I love the reference about the sausage pretty funny, thanks for laugh

                  Not so crazy about personal attack on being in the gutter and don’t think very fair. I devote a lot of time to the wolf issue because it matters to me and I don’t believe in bitching about something if I’m not willing to put the time into it.

                  Wolves get a raw deal by politicians that are influenced by special interest money period.

                  The reference to the deputy director was made because how to trust a system of fairness in wolf policy when the when one in the chain of command leaves so much to be desired. There are numerous instances of ignoble people with conflicts of interest in wildlife management. While this is not an example of conflict of interest it is one of integrity.

                  I could care less whether the accused is a “swinger” and don’t really care who screws who. I usually think sex should be off limits in politics.

                  But that does not extend to criminal behavior. As far as I remember you need permission to have sex with another party and breaking and entering is breaking and entering.

                  As for Unsworth, the someone you argue has been there and done it indeed has, that department was very clear on their wolf policy. Wolves in wilderness shoot em, wolves near cattle shoot em, wolves anywhere shoot em almost year round, with virtually no restrictions and no considerations for the animals and no restraint. And when the public hunting is deemed not enough set up an expensive wolf control board.

                  Was Unsworth really the best choice for director in a state showing progressive leanings and a willingness to move away from the historic anti wolf policies of the past? WA citizens showed a clear and majority interest in level headed wolf management policy. It seems like alaap in the face to hire Unsworth from Idaho to take on wolf management. I don’t think it bodes well or reflects what WA citizen’s had in mind when the supported the wolf plan.

                • avatar WM says:

                  Louise, you said: ++ I don’t think it bodes well or reflects what WA citizen’s had in mind when the supported the wolf plan.++

                  Two points. What folks initially think about wolf repopulation and WA’s plan may well not be what it is once wolves expand in number and range. And, do remember there will be annual reductions in population [I predict] in another 5-7 years. So, I think you are dead wrong on how WA citizens, the WDFW Commission/Staff and its new Director will be compelled to manage wolves in WA. Some of us are a little closer to the action than say some advocate in Petaluma, CA, or the East Coast telling WA what to do and how to think. So, if there is a delisting option that lets WA completely off the hook to manage its wolves as it sees fit in conjunction with state management of other species, it is worth rational debate, in my view.

            • avatar Louise Kane says:

              WM I can’t reply to your comment on if we could just agree to what constitutes recovery and move into more imperiled species.

              To be sure a complicated issue but to be remembered that species meriting protection do so under a number of criteria and threats from humans is one of the criteria. I think that the livestock and hunting industries and their inability to view predators as anything but vermin constitute an ongoing threat that is not much more diminished than it was when wolves were extirpated. Were it not for the threat of a delisting these organizations and the state agencies that seem to work for them would be even more heavy handed than they are. Its not hard to imagine what they would do given that they already kill wolves in wilderness areas, pay lobbyists to spread fear and work solely to prevent protections for wolves, and in looking at the state plans. If the ESA is revised in anat way, I think that it needs to account for managing species like wolves that are reliant on one another for their overall health. The act should also consider the effects of trophy hunting on species and should specifically identify historical hatred for certain species and agriculture and livestock persecution as threats that merit additional consideration for continued listing as well as require education programs aimed at breaking the cycle of persecution. In putting together that last document I collected some images that represent how wrong state management plans are, in my mind. I have come to understand that there will be no stopping the killing of wolves that kill cattle or other livestock but that should be last resort, and public hunting should not be a part of the equation. Public trophy hunting of wolves is very wrong. I imagine public opposition for delisting would be even greater if people connected the dots and understood that in most instances delisting means some special interest-group is foaming about the mouth pushing for wolf hunting and killing. anyhow here is a pictorial reminder of wolf policy in states wince delisting.

              https://www.facebook.com/louise.kane.946/media_set?set=a.10153200678964070.1073741863.743944069&type=1&pnref=story

              • avatar WM says:

                Louise,

                I missed your comment earlier. The thing you keep missing in all of this is that wolf populations and range inevitably will increase well beyond any ESA need. That of course, will result in killing more and more wolves as the range and populations grow. It is really pretty simple math. How many wolves do you suppose MN kills each and every year to have a base of about 3,000? I don’t have the number at my finger tips, but I think it is upwards of 400 or so. The NRM states thump even more. So, you just need to be psychologically prepared for up to 1,500 wolves being killed EACH AND EVERY YEAR when a base population, wherever they roam reaches maybe 10,000 or so. A pessimist might even say more than that. We simply won’t be able to escape this.

                And, what is most amazing to me is that neither wolf advocates nor the anti’s talk about this aspect of national or cumulative state wolf management programs. Even the wolf scientists avoid it for some reason.

                • avatar Immer Treue says:

                  WM,
                  Yes and no on MN wolves. The 2000’s witnessed an increase in wolf populations that paralled an increase in deer populations. More food, more wolves. As long as deer are managed for maximum number, there will be more than a scad of wolves.

                  The real downside to this is, with increases in deer and wolf numbers, there is more pressure on moose in respect to predation, brain worm and liver flukes.

                • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                  Maybe because it isn’t true. A biologist would be able to predict better, but wolves never got that high in number even when left alone and protected under the ESA? It’s best not to try to predict the future with hysteria clouding your crystal ball – I’d expect more rationality from you, WM. I know there were about 6,000 in the Great Lakes before delisting, and I’m not sure how many were in the Rockies, 1,000? Even if it were to reach the number you imagine, there’s no need to kill that many every year. It’s hard to believe we still have the mindset of the 1500s in the 21st century. Some things, like instinct, never change I guess.

                  Today’s world is self-limiting for them, and their populations quite beautifully and naturally stabilize around food availability and pack dynamics. They will be limited by habitat availability, and of course, perennial human hatred and poaching.

                • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                  “Thump” is such a lovely technical term, isn’t it?

                  A thousand in the Rockies must be wrong (they probably ‘thump’ that many each year) – I’m not sure what the total population of wolves was pre-delisting in the lower 48? Something tells me 6,000 but I can’t seem to find anything on it, and some states haven’t done actual counts in years (MN).

                  But here’s a document for history, from the Ecology Law Quarterly:

                  http://www.boalt.org/elq/documents/08-Perry_web.pdf

                  I hadn’t realized that a natural population had started up all by themselves in Glacier. Kind of muddies the reintroduction waters a bit.

                • avatar WM says:

                  Ida,

                  My view is far from irrational. Yours may just be naïve.

                  Fast forward to say 2022. That is 7 years from now. The population in WA and OR will be 4-5X what it is now. The population of MN may be about the same, with more in-migrating to WI, and MI will have more. This would be near guaranteed if Judge Howell’s ruling stands for however long, and no laws are passed diluting it.

                  ID is already killing about +/-400 a year. MT is killing a couple hundred a year. WY wolves will be delisted by then and they will probably be killing at least 100/year. Wolves will likely be in CO, working on the LARGEST ELK herds in the whole country. There may be some dispersers to CA, UT. Even the NM and AZ wolves will be increased in number. The population expansion won’t just magically stop, with wolves not breeding and not expanding range. And, they won’t stop eating deer, elk, moose, sheep, cattle and the occasional horse, mule or dog as their population and ranges continue to grow.

                  So, that means more “control” against a much larger base population. 1,500 annually might even be on the conservative side. By the way, if I did my math correctly, we are half way there already!

                • avatar Ida Lupine says:

                  There are mechanisms in place for predation of livestock already and for quite some time, and why can’t wolves eat deer and elk? The occasional dog is taken by hunting as well – IMO any hunting of a recently recovered animal should be for proven livestock depredation only. If people would only be more aware (instead of walking around brain-dead), I wish they would realize that their meat consumption contributes to this, and allows for the exaggeration of threat to the industry – and perhaps their non-participation would keep this in line.

                  Trophy hunting should not be allowed – hunting for ‘fun’, and for economic gain have no place in this equation.

                  I don’t like the idea of an ‘island’ population of grizzlies being opened up to hunting either. We can’t do anything with restraint.

                • avatar WM says:

                  Ida,

                  I know you are not a slave to facts, but maybe just take a look at the latest NRM wolf monitoring report by FWS.

                  December 31, 2014 wolf population stands at 1,800+. As of about now there are well over 2,000.

                  So, just cut the bullshit and consider the facts and reasonable and RATIONAL projections.

                • avatar Ida Lupines says:

                  December 31, 2014 wolf population stands at 1,800+. As of about now there are well over 2,000.

                  Oh wow. Staggering (not). It’s not just a matter of numbers. This simplistic approach doesn’t take into consideration other threats to their numbers. I just can’t get the image out of my mind of a duck shooting gallery. For everyone shot, another one pops up to replace it. Only real, living animals don’t respond that way. What does every hunting season do to the populations? Vital pack members are lost, packs broken up and weakened, or young animals die from loss of parents, or destroyed every year. There should not be yearly hunting. Take a break from killing for a year – what number is too low, or will that even matter? 77 in OR is ridiculous.

                  I know the facts very well, thank you.

  60. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Last May and June, researchers put GPS collars on 25 calves just hours after they were born. But 19 of them either were abandoned by their mothers and had to be rescued, or their collars fell off or stopped working, leaving only six calves to be studied.

    The amount is alarming enough to stop and take a look at. This has been going on for two years, and the DNR was going to drop collaring the calves anyway if it was causing too many calf abandonments and resulting deaths. It’s a wise decision to find out what the problem is. The collars look too cumbersome and heaving for a newborn calf to be burdened with. It also says some of the problem is they don’t fit well/fall off – are they taking the cheap and cheerful shortcuts for budget purposes? It needs to be looked into.

    http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_27584018/moose-collaring-study-continues-despite-calf-deaths

    Last summer, most of the abandoned calves were rescued and given to the Minnesota Zoo. Both years saw public complaints that the research wasn’t worth the loss of calves.

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Oops, that should read ‘too heavy’ for a newborn to be burdened with.

      I thought this was interesting too (from the same article):

      In the past, when VHF-radio collars were used, researchers never knew what happened to the cow-calf relationship. If they came back days later and found a wolf-killed calf, they listed it as a predator kill — when in fact it may have been caused by the cow leaving after the capture.

      It appears the wolves aren’t entirely to blame for calf mortality. (No wonder the study has been cancelled?)

      If you’re trying to find out what is the major cause of calf mortality, you certainly don’t want it to be the researchers!!!!

  61. avatar WM says:

    Looks like Representative Newhouse (R – Sunnyside, WA and heir to Doc Hastings seat in Congress) is not only going after wolves in WA, OR and UT. Now he wants them delisted everywhere, and is writing to Secretary of Interior Sally along with 34 other Members of Congress to act on the FWS 2013 national delisting proposed rule – Yes, the usual suspects are among them, and one chairs the House Natural Resources Committee (Bishop from UT):

    http://newhouse.house.gov/sites/newhouse.house.gov/files/Newhouse%20Ltr%20on%20Gray%20Wolves%20to%20Interior%20and%20USFWS.pdf

    Do these guys and gals correctly reference the ESA requirements as to recovery does not require “significant portion of range” notwithstanding a belief there is no risk of extinction? And, importantly, does a paltry 35 signers mean the balance of Congress opposes their proposal, or are they just the silent majority who don’t really give a rip and are waiting for a delisting bill to show up on a rider where they can just let it slide without getting bloodied in confusing no-win for politicians wolf politics?

    Footnote on Newhouse. He is not flamer; he was WA Governor Gregoire’s Secretary of Agriculture. So, he had to pass muster with the D’s to get there, until he was excused by new Governor Inslee who is further to the left than Gregoire. Inslee he says he represents “all of WA.” That is doublespeak for I’ll say anything to get elected, but cut ’em loose when the votes are tallied. What a tool!

    • avatar WM says:

      ++…waiting for a delisting bill to show up AS a rider…++

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        Wm I was going to post the completed letter to Congress asking them to vote no on these bills anyhow so here it is. The last signature received was by Lee Talbot one of the drafters of the ESA. 90 other scientists and conservation organizations signed. Please note the Appendices including the Michigan Tribal resolution against a congressional delisting, a Letter by other congressmen against congressional delisting and a letter by 50 scientists. These are all documents by others but compiled to illustrate that scientists and interested parties do not support congressional delisting. With more time we most certainly would have obtained a good many other persuasive signatures. We too are concerned with a sleazy rider being attached to a bill.

        Please note also the section about the number of wolves that are targeted for a congressional delisting. These legislators should be ashamed for trying to remove protections from the struggling populations of wolves.

        Here is the final report/letter that was sent out earlier this week. It was sent to every legislative affairs policy aide in the Congress and to the USFWS.

        Subject: Vote No to Legislation HR 843, HR 884, or HR 1985 or Any Legislation that Removes Federal Protection for Wolves

        Click To View Documents: ReportCongressAgainstHR843and884_12.pdf (2353KB);

        The attached letter, urges you to vote no to HR 843, HR 884, or any other legislation, such as HR 1985 or riders to the Sportsman¹s Act, that would weaken the Endangered Species Act or delist wolves through congressional intervention.



        As you deliberate on these bills we urge you to consider that the proposed bills isolate and remove wolves from ESA protections arguing that wolves are recovered and states are better equipped to “manage” wolves. Yet, wolves are only considered to be recovered in less than 5% of their former ranges. In WA and OR, the removal of ESA protections applies to 12 wolves in Washington and another six or so in Oregon. In Utah not one wolf resides within state borders although suitable habitat exists to support wolves.

        The introduction of the bills themselves perhaps best illustrate why wolves still need protections. To isolate wolves for removal from ESA protections should be highly suspect.



        Wolf populations may be relatively stable and perhaps even “viable” at some state levels, however, wolves are not recovered across a significant portion of their historic range, a requirement for delisting under the Endangered Species Act.

        The politicians introducing these troubling bills do so while ignoring the voices of their own states’ voters, a national constituency, the courts and numerous nationally recognized scientists specializing in carnivore management and even former and current USFWS wolf recovery staff.

        For example, in the United States when the USFWS service proposed a national delisting of wolves, an unprecedented number of comments (1.6) million voters responded. In Oregon, when reviewing a state management plan, over 90 percent of a staggering 20,000 public comments were in favor of stronger protections for Oregon’s endangered gray wolves. In Washington, 76% of residents favored strong wolf recovery and preferred non-lethal management. In MI, voters recently voted down (2014) public hunting of wolves by a strong majority. And MN and WI residents and conservationists are working hard to overturn overly aggressive state plans and to protect wolves from special interest agendas and a small but vocal minority. National public polls consistently support a strong ESA and wolf recovery.

The bills cite the need to protect livestock.

        We recognize the need to address livestock-producer concerns regarding wolf depredation but it is critical that livestock losses due to wolves and wolf populations be put in perspective. USDA reports respiratory, calving, digestive and other health related problems as the leading causes of livestock losses nationally. In MI, like other states, wolf depredation is among the lowest cause of death. Livestock in the United States are counted in the tens if not hundreds of millions, wolf populations are less than an estimated 3000 to 5000 in the contiguous US, mostly on public lands, where hundreds of thousands once roamed.

        The two proposed alternatives address the potential for reducing livestock depredations without endangering a national recovery for wolves as envisioned and supported by the American public, scientists and the courts.



        The attached document provides specific information on why you should vote no and provides alternative courses of action that reflect the wisdom and scientific consensus of more than 90+ scientists, professionals and conservation organizations collectively representing millions of voters from across the country. Additionally, the letter has been signed by 122 voters representing your constituents (in their own words), from coast to coast.



        Scientific experts have shown, the courts have confirmed, and we the people have asked for the best available science to prevail. Vote no on the removal of ESA protections for gray wolves at this time.



        Please contact Louise Kane at 508-237-8326 (louise@kaneproductions) or Nancy Warren at 906 988 2892 (nancy@wolfwatcher.org for further information or if you wish to personally contact any of the signers.


        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          http://www.carnivoreconservationact.com/wp-content/uploads/ReportCongressAgainstHR843and884_12.pdf

          Here is the final report/letter table of contents lists appendices and signature pages. the link above did not work

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          Terrific letter, Louise.

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            This paragraph is a standout, Louise – it’s a point that really needs to be made, as you did so rationally:

            “We recognize the need to address livestock-producer concerns regarding wolf depredation but it is critical that livestock losses due to wolves and wolf populations be put in perspective. USDA reports respiratory, calving, digestive and other health related problems as the leading causes of livestock losses nationally. In MI, like other states, wolf depredation is among the lowest cause of death. Livestock in the United States are counted in the tens if not hundreds of millions, wolf populations are less than an estimated 3000 to 5000 in the contiguous US, mostly on public lands, where hundreds of thousands once roamed.”

        • avatar Ed Loosli says:

          Louise Kane: Thank you so much — You are certainly “walking the walk”, mostly up hill, I might add. +1

  62. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    What is wrong with these people? That letter is trash. The status of wolves in the rest of the world isn’t the issue; it is their status in the US that is the point – which is barely recovered and threatened existence every day due to exaggerated emotions limited to a very small group of people. And making up for our wrong of trying to eliminate them from the nation entirely. Is that what we are trying to do again?

    Also, there are still places in the US where wolves could be reintroduced to their former ranges. If you look at any recovery map – it is laughably small, and does not justify all of the hysterical claims. I sure hope that the Administration will have learned not to allow these kinds of riders and to stand up for what the people want, not continually cave in the name of diplomacy and negotiation. It is disingenuous.

  63. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    Pardon me for interrupting, but turning over rocks to find out what’s under them is important:

    The Utah House of Representatives wasn’t ready to talk about wolves in the waning hours of March 12. Less than two hours remained in the 2015 General Session, and they were about to vote on what is called the “bill of bills,” which is the budget bill wrapping up loose ends for the state.

    But Rep. Joel Briscoe, a Democrat from Salt Lake City, noticed an appropriation he didn’t remember discussing on the Natural Resources Joint Appropriations Subcommittee.

    It was $500,000 to continue a contract for the de-listing of wolves.

    “It was snuck in,” Briscoe said. “It had no public hearing. The only public hearing it got was I stood up and spoke about it.”

    If these people had any leg to stand on, they wouldn’t have to resort to these tactics and take advantage of the blissful ignorance of their constituencies. Stirring up the gutter is (one) of the only ways to do it. I’m sure people would rather their tax money was spent on something more tangible than phantom wolves!

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      And I should add that no smear campaign is necessary, because when these things come to light, special interest and the corrupt politicians in their pocket smear themselves.

  64. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32549898

    The unthinkable is happening ‘huge herds of wild animals decimated, carnivores and herbivores. The large mammals disappearing on our watch. How tragic to hear arguments for trophy hunting, predator control, logging of old growth forest, mall building on prairie dog colonies etc, when the last of the world’s wildlife is disappearing.

  65. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    Wildlife decline may lead to ’empty landscape’
    By Helen Briggs, BBC Environment Correspondent

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32549898

    “Prof William Ripple, of Oregon State University, led the research looking at herbivores weighing over 100kg, from the reindeer up to the African elephant. Analysis of 74 herbivore species, published in Science Advances, blamed poaching and habitat loss. A previous study of large carnivores showed similar declines…According to the research, the decline is being driven by a number of factors including habitat loss, hunting for meat or body parts, and competition for food and resources with livestock.”

  66. avatar WM says:

    A good planning, philosophical and scientific discussion on OPB of Oregon’s wolf delisting issue. Dr. Mech is quoted.

    http://www.opb.org/news/article/wolf-recovery-depends-on-your-definition/

    • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

      the point missed in this whole management plan shop-talk is that the function & meaning of those very plans are to secure and facilitate wolf dispersal to wolf-free states with suitable habitat (that is, to recolonize wolf range).

      And 4 breeding pairs will not do the trick, imo.

      see page 3
      Figure 1. Suitable gray wolf habitat in the contiguous United States as identified in 14 modeling studies.
      http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/campaigns/gray_wolves/pdfs/Making_Room_for_Recovery_print.pdf

      OR could be used as a launching pad/ beachhead/ lodgement to recolonize California.

      Suitable wolf habitats in Lower48 can be regained only steb-by-step .. that’s where management plans fit in (if they are in accordance with the spirit of the ESA)

      • avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

        Collared: Politics and Personalities in Oregon’s Wolf Country

        Author: Aimee Lyn Eaton
        Publisher: Oregon State University Press

        http://www.ecolitbooks.com/2013/11/book-review-collared-aimee-lyn-eaton/

        Eaton provides an in-depth review of the Oregon Wolf Plan (OWP), the people behind it, and the changes made to the plan.

        Collared is a book for hard-core wolf enthusiasts, those who want all the details. Yet despite the scholarly bent of this book it is a captivating read. Eaton’s seamless writing takes us into all aspects of the wolf issue, from a hash brown scented diner where she meets with a rancher, to the Eagle Cap Wilderness where Eaton and Roblyn Brown, ODFW Assistant Wolf Coordinator, track a newly discovered pack of wolves. Her forays into the wilderness in search of wolves are some of the most memorable parts of the book.

        As Eaton writes, “The wolves are just being wolves.” And Russ Morgan’s wise response to this comment is, “Yeah, it’s the people that are the challenge.”

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        Mareks:
        Thank you for your wisdom on the wolf “management” issue…Having each state go their separate way regarding wolves will never recover the species to it’s available historic range, which is why the feds have to do the coordination under the Endangered Species Act.

  67. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    It is a good article. It underscores that wolves and their numbers, and their very survival, is at the mercy of the human mind and perceptions, whether based in reality (and Science!) or not. And as such, I didn’t see much real planning or science. Very sad, and very strange as well. Keeping their numbers at a bare minimum does not make for a healthy population.

    Some of the things people think of and write are just plain bizarre – calling dispersing wolves ‘going full-hobo?” I read one utterly ridiculous article about sage grouse calling them ‘ridiculous’ looking, another calling them ‘unusual’ and ‘strange’. Read it and weep!

    Sage Grouse, Simplified

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      “Going full-hobo” ought to read trying to reestablish themselves after the wolf equivalent of a genocide. Striking out and starting their own families. It’s sad how out of touch people are with the natural world.

  68. avatar Yvette says:

    I came across this article and I think it’s a start that will slow the trophy hunting in South Africa. Sometimes a small bump is enough to start an avalanche. Others will follow.

    It just got harder for big game hunters to bring endangered animal trophies back home from South Africa to hang on their wall.

    That’s because South African Airways, the continent’s largest airline, has banned the transport of endangered rhinos, elephants, and lions aboard its passenger and cargo flights.

    “SAA will no longer support game hunters by carrying their trophies back to their country of origin,” SAA country manager Tim Clyde-Smith told the South African media on Wednesday. “The vast majority of tourists visit Africa in particular to witness the wonderful wildlife that remains. We consider it our duty to work to ensure this is preserved for future generations and that we deter activity that puts this wonderful resource in danger.”

    http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/04/30/south-africa-airline-bans-hunting-trophies?cmpid=tp-ptnr-upworthy

    When I looked at the photo that accompanied the article the first thing that struck me was the elephant head. I then, of course, thought of the elephant’s high intellect and thought the trophy head of an elephant is little different than a mounted trophy head of a human. Then I saw it. The giraffe head in the background. That reminded me of the the conversation on giraffes that is further up in this thread. Below is Elk’s response to one of my comments. Well Elk, someone is paying those expensive trophy fees for giraffes, and whoever it is is contributing to their serious population decline.

    Yvette, I have a lot of work today but I doubt if there is much truth to trophy hunting giraffes. The trophy fee on giraffes is approximately $1,500, not a lot of money. But the cost of packing and dipping, and shipping back to the US is around $10,000. Then the taxidermy work is approximately $15,000 and after one has a full mounted giraffe where does one put it, I guess it is time to build an addition, more money.

    A full mounted giraffe is the last thing that I would want in my house, I know someone who has one.

    Most giraffes are shot for meat and the local people butcher them after they are shot.

    I don’t know how many years it will take, but quite possibly within my lifetime, we will see an end to big game and trophy hunting. As more research shows the depth of intelligence and importance in ecosystem services of non-human animals more people will recoil from killing animals for sport, trophy and fun. As more of the African iconic species populations decline more people will pressure governments and other entities that play a role in the sport of killing.

    A change is gonna come Trophy hunters are fossils.

    • avatar Elk375 says:

      Yvette,

      There is more than one way to skin the cat (Lion). There are over 10 different international carriers that fly out of South Africa. The best and cheapest way to transport one’s trophy’s is by ocean freighter, it is a faction of the cost of air fright.

      A large impediment to African hunting today is the cost to ship trophy’s home. More and more hunter’s are going on cull hunts where the trophy fees are a faction of the cost and only taking pictures home.

      The second biggest impediment is the red tape of firearm transportation. As of April 4th, all American hunters exiting the USA with sporting arms had to get a arms exporter license and a EIN. Last week under immerse pressure from the SCI and NAR, customs relented and now only requires a 4457, which is what one should have if they are bring expensive optics and camera equipment overseas.

      The biggest impediment to African hunting is the total cost of a safari. The other day I read about a cape buffalo and plains game hunt in Zambia. Here is the break down of cost, what gets me is the $4500 air charter to camp:

      Accommodation’s are the typical safari bush thatched chalets. Very comfortable, great food and the type of camp most look for on their African safari. Hunting is May through November however for 2015 only they will start on July 1st.

      10-Day Buffalo/Plains game Safari – $10,000 (1×1) $9,500 (2×2) each client.
      Concession Fee – $3,500 each client.
      License & Permits – $750 each client (This includes the firearms permit).
      Dip, Pack & Crating – $1,500 each client
      Total for above – $15,750 (1×1) $15,250 (2×2) each client. We can also offer 2×1 however this keeps one PH and clients very busy in a 7 or 10 day period.

      7-Day Buffalo/Plains game Safaris are also available at $7,000. Other fees remain the same. Seven out of the ten animals listed below (excluding Eland) can be taken on the 7 day safari.

      At this moment the operator is finalizing the details for the longer hunts for Leopard/Buffalo/Plains game and Leopard quotas. We will have them as soon as they are completed. Looks good for Lion quota in 2016.

      Hunting can be offered one of four outstanding concessions. Lower Lupande, West Petauke, Mwanya and Chikwa. Reaching each concession is done in 3 different ways as well.
      West Petauke – Ground transfer of 7 hours is $1,500 per vehicle, round trip. Air charter if preferred is approximately $4,500 round trip. Charter and ground transfer cost may be shared when possible.
      Lower Lupande and Mwanya – There is a short reasonably priced commercial flight from Lusaka to Mfuwe of about $550 and return. The Mfuwe airport is then about 3 hours drive from the hunting camp.
      Chikwa – Air charter only at approximately $6,000 round trip. Charter cost may be shared when possible.

      Does not include Visa at $50 plus a $2.00 tax per round of ammo both payable upon arrival in Lusaka.

      **We can upgrade the 10 – Day Buffalo/Plains game to include Eland by making the Concession Fee $4,500 instead of $3,500. Sable and Roan are available and in good numbers and trophy quality however only available with an additional upgrade of number of days.

      All game below can be taken on the 10 day safari. At times a client may be able to include an additional animal or two but will need to be confirmed by the safari company.

      Trophy Fees:
      Buffalo – $3,500
      Hippo – $3,000
      Croc – $2,500
      Impala – $450
      Puku – $800
      Warthog – $800
      Bushbuck (Chobe) – $800
      Kudu – $2,500
      Waterbuck (Common) – $1,200
      Zebra – $1,200
      **Eland (Livingstone) – $3,500

      From the US back to the US with trophy shipping and taxidermy the total cost of a 10 safari is $40,000. Those that have the money have been there and done it, those that do not have the money are not going. One of my good friends is an old time safari booking agent in Butte, Montana and this type of African hunting is nearly non existent due to cost to value.

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        Elk:
        And you forgot to mention that these “hunts” in So. Africa are only on fenced in game ranches and reserves where the trophy animal to be killed can be guaranteed. Expensive for sure, “fair-hunt” – NO.

        • avatar Elk375 says:

          Ed, my example is about Zambia, totally free range and expensive. Some of South is high fenced and some is low fenced. Low fence is the same as we have in the west. I would never hunt a high fenced ranch and nor would the majority of hunters.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        Costs aside Elk, what do you think is the big difference between those that are in awe of just being able to see wildlife in their natural habitat(a majority?) from those that invade that natural habitat, with nothing in mind other than to adorn their walls with heads of dead wildlife?

        Is that the key word here – adorn? Because I could buy a lot of really nice artwork for $40 grand, to adorn the walls in my little cabin and, no wildlife, would have to suffer 🙂

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        At times a client may be able to include an additional animal or two but will need to be confirmed by the safari company.

        And the bribe money, don’t forget that! 😉 Graft makes the world go ’round.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Yvette lets hope trophy hunters are fossils before all the wild animals are gone. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32549898

      The conservation argument that is used is maddening
      the 40K to kill one animal could provide a many ranger fees to protect wildlife from poaching, buy extra land, help communities implement programs that would protect animals. Imagine what that 350K could have done that Cory Knowlton is going to pay or ahas already paid to kill an old bull. I read pleas from a local ranger not to kill the old bull. The ranger wrote that killing wildlife for trophies, contrary to the toprhy hunter claims, was against most African wildlife stewards beliefs and ethics and how the rhinos often even in old age may breed and or pass on their knowledge as elders. The argument about trophy hunters as conservationists is absurd. what can 350K buy in that part of Africa, probably a community of guards that want to protect their wildlife.

      • avatar Yvette says:

        That article gets to the grave core of this global situation with the planet’s flora and fauna.

        According to the research, the decline is being driven by a number of factors including habitat loss, hunting for meat or body parts, and competition for food and resources with livestock.

        “hunting for meat and body parts”
        “competition for resources with livestock”

        Where have we experienced this before?

        The biggest losses are in South East Asia, India and Africa.

        Europe and North America have already lost most of their large herbivores in a previous wave of extinctions.

        I’d be interested to know what specific large herbivores he is referring before commenting, but we have also lost most of our large carnivores. And why?

        It doesn’t even touch on other factors like climate change, drought and desertification (which can be turned around with appropriate actions).

        We humans have the answers and the solutions. They are in humanity’s history. Unfortunately, I do not have faith that enough humans have the type of intelligence needed to respond appropriately to save our dumb arses.

        And thanks for reminding me of that ranger’s letter. She gets to the truth of the matter, and basically, the trophy hunter Cory Knowlton if full of it.

        http://africageographic.com/blog/kenyan-rangers-moving-letter-to-american-rhino-hunter/

      • avatar Elk375 says:

        Louise

        ++Imagine what that 350K could have done that Cory Knowlton is going to pay or a has already paid to kill an old bull. I read pleas from a local ranger not to kill the old bull.++

        Louise if you do not want that old bull go to the DSC (Dallas Safari Club and bid on the permit, you do not have to kill the old bull. The problem is that Cory Knowlton has an extra $350K and the rest of us do not. Put your actions and money together. Do not give tired old bull shit just because it legal does not make it right.

        Montana every year sells a Big Horn sheep permit between $320,000 to $500,000 with all money earmark for big horn sheep conservation. The fish and game has use that money to develop and maintain wild sheep all over Montana. It is one of the best things ever done, as long as there is only permit auctioned per year.

        • avatar W. Hong says:

          I read a newspaper story about this topic and was with the understanding that the government is very poor and will be using the majority of the money this man is spenting to help manage and protect the young productive animals becasue the don’t have much money in the government to do this?

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          perhaps the tired old bullshit that people object to most is that trophy hunters have conservation first in their hearts. Talk about bullshit

          • avatar W. Hong says:

            Ms Kane, I asked a question based on what I had read, that is all. ):

            • avatar Immer Treue says:

              Mr. Hong,
              To put it a bit more politically correct, the altruism of these trophy “hunters” most probably sits a distant second place to there desire to hang the expired animal’s head/carcass on their wall.

              The money expended for such pleasure could most probably feed a village for a year.

  69. avatar Nancy says:

    Mind boggling. Our species (mankind) is shitting on too many parts of the planet (with regard to wildlife AND the less fortunate of our OWN species) Its hard to keep up with the “sweet deals $$” politicians are pooping out:

    http://www.nbcmontana.com/news/politics/obama-sells-trade-deal-to-house-democrats/32782608

    “The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) should not substitute corporate preferences for democratically enacted policies that promote clean air and water. The TPP is likely to do this through the investor-state dispute settlement mechanism. Foreign investors have repeatedly used this “right” to challenge environmental protections around the world.

    In one egregious example, Chevron used the investor-state system to evade an Ecuadorian court’s verdict of $18 billion for dumping and failing to clean up toxic oil waste that contaminated the indigenous Lago Agrio community’s drinking water source, which caused numerous health problems for the community. In February 2012, an unaccountable, undemocratic arbitration tribunal ordered the Ecuadorian court to halt the enforcement of its own ruling.

    Indeed, numerous cases occurred after the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement. A case in point, a Mexican municipality denied the Metalclad Corp., an American company, a permit to build a toxic waste dump due to concerns it would contaminate a nearby drinking water source.

    *****The tribunal ordered Mexico to pay Metalclad more than $15 million for its refusal. The TPP must avoid these past mistakes”

    • avatar Yvette says:

      Nancy, at some point we’re going to run out of poor countries to rape for resources and run out of poor people for our capitalist corporations to piss on. Then they will start on us, and likely, we’re heading that direction with the help of our politicians that are up for sell to the highest bidder. The federal land grab comes to mind.

      We are already seeing communities around the country suffer at the shenanigans of the oil and gas industry. The contaminated groundwater in Pennsylvania due to fracking and the earthquakes in Oklahoma that have now been shown to be happening because of injection wells from the fracking waste water are just two examples.

      We’re just getting started.

  70. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    Take Action – Protect Grand Canyon From Proposed Mega-mall

    http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/o/2167/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17299

  71. avatar Louise Kane says:

    Thank you for signing the petition Keep Michigan’s Wolves Protected. We are arranging meetings with in-district offices of the Michigan congressional delegation now. Can you help us deliver this petition?

    Please email our Great Lakes Wolf Organizer, Chris Silva (csilva@endangered.org) to do more for wolves.

    We are setting up meetings in the next two to three weeks. Please email Chris Silva to learn more about helping deliver the petition to your senators and member of Congress.

    Thanks

    Mitch Merry

    P.S. If you haven’t already, please share the petition with your friends: https://www.credomobilize.com/petitions/keep-michigan-s-wolves-protected

  72. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    “Acknowledging Animals As Beings” by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (The Boston Globe)

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/2015/05/03/petscolumn/cq6UM3nnnaeruJgVqcN7yJ/story.html

    • avatar Ida Lupines says:

      We believe we understand the natural world, and in certain ways we do. Yet the gaps in our knowledge are enormous and important.

      How did I miss this article, it is wonderful! I always refer to an animal as a he or a she, unless the gender isn’t known. The words ‘he’ and ‘she’ are not just reserved for humans! The only thing that is an ‘it’ is an object or thing nonliving, and the continued thinking that animals are objects is what allows for their continued abuse. This is definitely progress.

      • avatar WM says:

        It strikes me this writer missed the obvious. If we don’t believe animals even deserve gender recognition, when speaking of them, why do we have the very common practice of giving gender based names to our pets, or even livestock. This has been done for hundreds of years. Grammarians and the folks that write dictionary definitions are such stick in the muds!

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          A lot of times we don’t tho (or didn’t) – ‘Spot’ and ‘Fluffy’ are not gender specific. I don’t know that many people name livestock – I’ve read where people made a deliberate attempt not to become close to livestock animals and do not name them because of….

          American Pharoah is, and what a great name! I would say that is a more recent thing?

          • avatar WM says:

            Ida,

            I would submit the non-gender specific names are not a lot different in frequency from names given to humans that can be male or female; Erin, Lynn, Chris/Kris, Renee, Pat, Dorey, Joey and Charlie are just a few that come to mind.

            Ever give any thought to livestock like horses that have gender specific names? In fact, the only un-named horses I know of are the ones the BLM owns and tries to get rid of. And, when they are adopted out I bet every one of them gets a name, unless they are headed for the slaughter house. Every kid that does a livestock 4H project names their animal. And, I bet most are gender-based. Race horses not so much but it still seeps thru- names are often selected to show lineage (American Pharoah was sired by Pioneer of the Nile and Littleprincesssemma) AND to get people to bet on them.

        • avatar WM says:

          Oooops, perhaps it should be “stickS in the mud.”

          I get a periodic email from a vendor who sells a product (often marketed to lawyers) called “Wordrake.” It is an innovative and very sophisticated software program that seeks to find grammatical mistakes, as well as spelling. Makes the spelling/grammar product that comes with Microsoft Word look like it was written by an eighth-grader.

          http://go.wordrake.com/index.php/email/emailWebview?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRonuarPZKXonjHpfsX%2F6OUsULHr08Yy0EZ5VunJEUWy2YEHTtQ%2FcOedCQkZHblFnVoITq2%2BTrANrK0F

          • avatar Ida Lupines says:

            I love words and languages. It’s more of a mindset, I guess, and when our languages reflect what we think, and it’s good to see it evolving.

        • avatar Kathleen says:

          People name animals with whom they have personal relationships. Outside of that, animals as a class are just property or renewable resources or pests or commodities; treating them as “things” (as “it”) instead of nonhuman sentient beings (who share much in common with human animals) is most expedient in a speciesist world.

          This discussion isn’t at all new–what’s new in the well-written article Ed linked to is the fact that American Heritage Dictionary has agreed to use ‘who’ & ‘whom’ instead of ‘that’ when referring to animals.

          “Words are political. They can foster oppression or liberation, prejudice or respect. Just as sexist language denigrates or discounts females, speciesist language denigrates or discounts nonhuman animals; it legitimises their abuse.” ~Joan Dunayer, Animal Equality: Language and Liberation, 2001

  73. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Republican who changed his mind on climate receives JFK award for courage

    Bob Inglis, who lost his seat in Congress, accepts JFK award from 35th president’s grandson for ‘decision to sacrifice political career to demand action’
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/03/republican-climate-change-jfk-courage-award

    Inglis, who was a member of the House science committee and ranking member of its energy and environment subcommittee, had opposed legislation on climate change, but said he changed his mind after briefings from scientists and encouragement from his five children.

    He advocated for a carbon tax to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and was defeated in the 2010 primary for re-election to the fourth congressional district seat he had held twice, from 1993 to 1998 and 2005 to 2010.

    “I think we’re going to come together and get this done because I believe that a pricing of carbon dioxide will be like someone said of the financial crisis: ‘It’s amazing how the impossible went to the inevitable without ever passing through the probable.’”

    A bipartisan committee selects the recipients, who recently have included former President George HW Bush and former US representative Gabrielle Giffords, of Arizona.

  74. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    What miss-perceptions are there regarding this article?

    http://www.perc.org/sites/default/files/LearningFromSuccessandFailure_GameTrails.pdf

    • avatar Ed Loosli says:

      Gary:
      Here is another take on the area outside Tsavo East Kenya…The problem is not the 1977 hunting ban, but the ever expanding population, among several other factors.

    • avatar Yvette says:

      Marty and his partners developed
      pipelines, water points, roads, airstrips,
      and lodges, all of which contributed to
      the financial and conservation bottom
      lines. They generated revenues from
      16,000 cattle and from hunting every
      species from the big five to the smallest
      duikers. Wherever possible they
      employed native Kenyans in their cattle and wildlife operations.

      The author should explain how the above paragraph contributes to conservation. To me, it is nothing more than conveniences for trophy hunters.

      For 10 years, Galana made profits
      from safari hunting based on sound
      conservation principles. Marty’s success
      gives meaning to the old rancher adage,
      “If it pays, it stays.”

      What sound conservation? The author never tells the reader what conservation practices the landowners established. He tells us, “if it pays, it stays”. Are we to assume that if it does not pay then it does not stay?

      I have a problem with the bar graph. There in nothing in the article expanding on factors affecting the population change. The author fails to mention the poaching crisis of the 1970’s and 1980’s, which is the reason why Kenya banned hunting. The hunting ban was not because of the “so-called animal “welfare” activists” as he stated.

      • avatar Ed Loosli says:

        Yvette:
        This author writing about the Galana ranch Big Game hunting era is a known zealot for sport/trophy hunting everywhere and anywhere. He is telling tall tails about the reasons for Galana Ranch’s demise. At the time Galana’s lease-owner gave up his lease, other “white Kenyans” were turning their cattle operations into thriving wildlife reserves. If this Galana Ranch lease-owner was really a wildlife conservationist he could have done the same or at least made sure that the ranch reverted to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), so it’s 1.6 million acres could be added to Tsavo East National Park.

        By the way, Richard Leakey, who was brought in as Director of KWS in the 1980s to end the elephant slaughter (he ordered poachers shot on sight), has just been appointed by the President of Kenya to be the new Chairman of the KWS Board of Directors – good news, if your an elephant or an elephant fan.

        • avatar Gary Humbard says:

          I despise the principle of trophy hunting, but if it means that poachers will be deterred from illegally killing animals for horns or meat, then it’s probably a necessary evil.

          Setting the issue of the human population increase aside (minimal control) the premise that if it “stays it pays” does make sense. I think trophy hunting is a fairly big business, thus landowners owners who allow trophy hunting can hire a lot of enforcement rangers that African country governments cannot. As for if it doesn’t pay does it stay is another question that was not addressed. I would think non-trophy animals would not be targeted for removal unless they are causing a lot or problems (i.e. honey badgers getting into homes, poisonous snakes).

          The term “conservation” is defined as preserving, guarding and protecting. The infrastructure the ranch owner completed was done to promote his trophy hunting business but if in effect it protected elephants, black rhinos and giraffes from being killed by poachers, then its conservation in another form. It would be ideal if conservation reserves that are created for wildlife viewing were able to protect against poaching but that’s not reality.

          • avatar Ed Loosli says:

            Gary:
            You wrote: “It would be ideal if conservation reserves that are created for wildlife viewing were able to protect against poaching but that’s not reality.”… If you are still talking about Kenya, there are dozens of wildlife conservation reserves for wildlife viewing that are well protected by rangers and there is NO hunting allowed anywhere in Kenya. At least half of Kenya’s protected wildlife reserves are on private and tribal lands – with NO hunting.

  75. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    “Stopping the slaughter of America’s native wildlife, one county at a time”… Op-Ed in The Sacramento Bee by Lee M. Talbot.

    http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/op-ed/soapbox/article19264602.html

    “Virtually all of the animals are killed by Wildlife Services not because scientific research indicated it was an effective management technique, but simply because the livestock and agriculture industries wanted them dead.”

  76. avatar Louise Kane says:

    One of the best written pieces I have seen on the brutal wolf killing policies to “boost” caribou in Alberta Canada.

    http://www.reddeeradvocate.com/opinion/Wolves_have_become_scapegoats_296926511.html

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      “Buying Time”

      Should be a song title. Buying time until the extractive industries some time in the future weighs in and says “Jobs!”

      I don’t know,the more read and observe, perhaps the world ould be a much better place with our absence.

  77. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Grizzly bear decisions coming in 2017
    http://crosscut.com/2015/05/grizzly-bear-decisions-coming-in-2017/
    Federal officials say they will decide in late 2017 whether and how to reintroduce grizzly bears to Washington’s Northern Cascades.

  78. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    Ranchers in Catron County worry about wolf-coyote hybrids
    http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3787404.shtml#.VUnDBxEcRHj
    Folks in Catron County are worried about a new aggressive predator turning up their community: A wolf-coyote hybrid.

    • avatar Yvette says:

      These type of people never change their playbook. “Afraid for the children”; ‘Build a wolf shelter”; “Super predator”.

      After reading that sensationalist report and listening to all of those people I am rethinking my opinion on eugenics. Seven kids? Why do the most ignorant people pop out the highest number of babies?

      A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a nice fella who was in the pet food isle. We got on a discussion on coyotes. He lived outside of town and he was concerned about the coyotes. He believed they needed to be hunted to control their numbers and we discussed how hunting or culling pressure can actually cause coyotes to increase litter size. We discussed a few other things but his biggest fear was attacks on his grandchildren. I referred him to the Project Coyote website since he said he was online all the time. At least this guy was reasonable in our discussion.

      I just don’t understand people that go around constantly afraid of predators attacking their kids when it so rarely happens. There are just so many other things to waste your time worrying about.

      • avatar Maska says:

        One has to wonder how she can be comfortable with a loaded firearm that she admits she’s afraid she’ll leave inside when she goes outside, when she has seven kids on the premises. The potential for disaster seems pretty high, unless they are very well indoctrinated on gun safety…and even then, it’s a situation fraught with peril. Considerably more dangerous that a few roaming canids in the vicinity.

        • avatar Nancy says:

          “After spotting a wolf near her property, the mother of seven built a wolf shelter to protect her kids at the bus stop”

          Not a lot of detail to this story about Ms. Russo’s life on the ranch and what might be attracting predators to her property.

          Years and years BEFORE wolves were re populating my neck of the woods, parents drove their kids (down long county roads from their ranches) to a bus stop and waited for the bus to pick them up. Parents were also there to pick them up.

          Ms. Russo must be a very, very busy woman since she can’t seem to take the time to sit and wait with her kids or pick them up.

          Building a cage for them to wait in must seem like a better approach but lets hope the local, registered (or unregistered) child sex offenders in the area, don’t get wind of it………..

          • avatar Louise Kane says:

            Mother of 7 afraid of predators….hmm sounds like the bigger worry is how to prevent # 8. Yikes

  79. avatar Mark L says:

    “”My concerns are for my children primary,” said Anella Russo, who moved to Catron County from Atlanta a few years ago. After spotting a wolf near her property, the mother of seven built a wolf shelter to protect her kids at the bus stop. Experts say wolf attacks on humans are extremely rare, but she’s not taking any chances.”

    Ah. So it not actually about wolves and coyotes breeding a new hybrid animal, but about a worried gun-toting mom from Atlanta (whose not a rancher). Which is more scary?

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Oh boy. Lady, just strap your gun to your hip 24/7 and you’ll be ready for anything. These people will try anything to create fear about wolves.

      • avatar Ida Lupine says:

        “My biggest fear is that I’m going to go outside one day in my yard and not have my firearm with me,” she said.

        My post was in response to this ridiculous statement. Mother of 7 – how does she have time for anything else?

  80. avatar Leslie says:

    A pretty balanced local paper sum-up of the IGBST sub committee meeting last week in Cody. I have an op-ed in the paper on grizzlies as well but not yet online.

    http://www.powelltribune.com/news/item/13615-public-divided-on-grizzly-delisting

  81. avatar Mareks Vilkins says:

    Big Wine Fails to Dry Farm During California’s Relentless Drought

    Dr. Shepherd Bliss teaches college, farms, has contributed to 24 books, and works with the Apple Roots Group, which challenges Big Wine.

    https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/big-wine-fails-to-dry-farm-during-californias-relentless-drought/

  82. avatar Ida Lupines says:

    That report tells me that the predation numbers are extremely low for cattle and sheep, certainly able to be kept in check by non-lethal means, and statistically nil for the rest such as dogs and horses. More dogs and horses are lost to human neglect. What’s that expression – compensatory or additive?

  83. avatar Yvette says:

    Some good news for an adolescent black bear that was up in a tree in the town of Muskogee, OK. He wasn’t shot dead (they weren’t trying to kill him) and he managed to escape.

    http://www.newson6.com/story/28981843/young-black-bear-eludes-captors-in-muskogee

  84. avatar Nancy says:

    “Certainly one of the things we’ll be looking to do is to get input from a broad range of people and find out what level do they want, not just for moose but for deer, bear,” she said. “Obviously, we want to maintain healthy animals, but there’s what we call a biological carrying capacity, but we also want to make sure that we’re not exceeding the social carrying capacity, or underachieving the social desires.”

    http://bangordailynews.com/2015/05/06/news/piscataquis/maine-wildlife-department-backs-off-on-cow-moose-proposal-in-greenville-area/?ref=moreInoutdoorsThumb

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      love this, “but we also want to make sure that we’re not exceeding the social carrying capacity”

      tinkering and messing with populations as if one species is disconnected from another and from its habitat and food and shelter requirements and without human meddling all hell would break loose. the human meddling is that part that is wreaking havoc

  85. avatar Gary Humbard says:

    1.1 billion dollars being distributed to the states from hunters and fishers.

    http://www.fws.gov/news/ShowNews.cfm?ID=01127602-B8CC-2A35-DD249638905B977D

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      These self promoting articles always have one thing in common they make it sound as if the individuals being taxed have personally and voluntarily contributed funds that they themselves earmarked for conservation programs instead of being involuntarily taxed and the fund appropriated to continue funding hunting and fishing privileges. I’d like to see a mandatory tax on the use of photography, hiking, camping, canoeing and kayaking and other non consumptive purchases be collected and used for real conservation goals that don’t involve killing wildlife or setting aside more areas to expand hunting rights. Be interesting to compare which purchases create more conservation opportunities. I hate that kind of self serving falsified hunting rights conservation message.

      • avatar Nancy says:

        +1 Louise. Would be interesting to know just how much of those federal funds go toward “stocking” wildlife, for human fun and entertainment (especially non-native fish, in lakes and rivers) to the detriment of native species.

        http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/fishing/fishing-tips-by-species/rainbow-brown-trout

        http://highlandcountypress.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=20&ArticleID=26530

        “The decades of stocking Montana’s rivers with rainbow trout – the world’s most widely introduced invasive fish species – amounted to “essentially a time bomb, waiting to go off in the right set of environmental conditions,” Muhlfeld said.

        It’s the same issue faced by species around the world: Climate change is going to exacerbate stressors like habitat loss and invasive species, said Muhlfeld

        http://www.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2014/05/hybrid-montana-trout

        “I hate that kind of self serving falsified hunting rights conservation message”

        Agree!

        • avatar WM says:

          Nancy,

          ++Would be interesting to know just how much of those federal funds go toward “stocking” wildlife, for human fun and entertainment…?++

          From my memory, most P-R funds go to improving habitat benefitting lots of different kinds of wildlife, or to acquiring access which benefits many wildlife watchers/consumptive users.

          And, for some of the Dingle-Johnson fish money, it goes to improving access – like boat ramps, toilets and even campgrounds – that benefit all users. So, in the end is “federal money” or just a focused redistribution of a specific exise tax on a particular user group which purchases a certain kinds of goods? In that sense, probably somewhat like a gasoline tax that goes back into building and maintaining roads. Guess if you drive a Prius or a Tesla you don’t pay your fare share.

          If there is money dedicated to “stocking” I am not aware of it.

          • avatar Nancy says:

            “If there is money dedicated to “stocking” I am not aware of it”

            Seems kind of obvious from these statements, WM. Do these fish die off (if not utilized for entertainment) and what happens to native fish food sources, over that brief period of time rainbows are in their habitat?

            “The SFR is a partnership between federal and state government, industry, and anglers and boaters. When anglers purchase rods, reels, fishing tackle, fish finders and motor boat fuel, they pay an excise tax.
            The federal government collects these taxes, and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service administers and disburses these funds to state fish and wildlife agencies.
            These funds are used to acquire habitat, ‘produce and stock fish’ conduct research and surveys, provide aquatic education to youth, and secure and develop boat accesses”

            http://highlandcountypress.com/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=20&ArticleID=26530

            “Other popular sport fish that are considered beneficial in one state but a nuisance in another are the brown and rainbow trout, flathead catfish, northern pike and smallmouth bass. Freshwater drum, common in the Monongahela River , were recently found in Tygart Lake and may prove to be detrimental to the lake’s plant and animal communities”

            http://www.wvdnr.gov/wildlife/magazine/Archive/04Summer/Attack_of_the_Alien_Invaders.shtm

            • avatar WM says:

              Nancy,

              If I understood your words correctly your criticism was that D-J funds were used directly to stock fish. Again, to my knowledge they are not. D-J funds are typically used for capital acquisition, and habitat improvement/conservation activities. The “stocking” funds are typically from fishing license sales or legislative appropriations in those states which give money from a general fund to a fish and wildlife agency.

              As for rainbow, in many instances they don’t naturally reproduce in areas where annually they are “stocked.” they are a favorite of fishers.

              There are invasive species that have NOT been introduced by state agencies, but rather illegally or improperly introduced by someone – the ravenous snakehead on the east coast (as is noted in the article you linked), probably from some Asian who wanted a little taste of home. Also the Asian carp that is now in the Great Lakes system.

              So, don’t confuse state sanctioned/managed or federal financial assistance programs for habitat improvement from some illiterate and irresponsible assholes wanting to do a little illegal “self help.”

              • avatar WM says:

                …and, yes, research is a common use of D-J funds. But, again, I am not aware they are used for operational “stocking” as your earlier comments suggests.

            • avatar Barb Rupers says:

              Nancy does present a wealth of timely sources. +

  86. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    “A winter of heavy snow and bitter cold may have resulted in increased mortality rates from the upper Midwest to New England. In Maine, biologists are recommending a cut of 23 percent to the state’s deer hunting permits. In Vermont, the number of antlerless deer permits is being cut nearly in half. In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, deer hunting could be halted altogether.”

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/states-consider-deer-hunting-permit-cuts-tough-winter-190636151.html

    • avatar rork says:

      MI’s DNR put the possibility of no UP deer tags on the NRC agenda just so that almost no doe tags goes down easier, but everyone knows that there will be almost no doe tags up there this year already (like last year). There’s been quite a few articles about it here, none of which I thought worthy of this group’s attention. We’ve been able to shoot two bucks since 1986 (one has to have at least 4 tines on at least one antler – the “restricted tag”), and debates about limiting folks to just one have gone on a long time and are somewhat more interesting. Very few folks manage to tag 2 bucks, so it seems like it wouldn’t matter much, but it might alter hunter’s selection of what to shoot, so it gets tricky (you might end up shooting none more often, due to passing up more small bucks, and this might increase the doe kill). We have various antler restrictions for the “regular tag” depending on the area, the effects of which are also tricky. We have one interesting variation, the “hunter’s choice”, where I can buy just the single buck tag and any buck is permitted, but if I buy the pair (the “combo license”), both have antler restrictions. Our upper peninsula is currently hunters choice, with regular tag (if you buy the combo) demanding 3 tines on at least one side, and restricted tag needing 4 (as always). Down south where I live the debate is whether both tags should demand 4 tines on a side – even yearlings sometimes qualify though. Lengthy discussions about “high grading” (genetic selection for small antlered males) abound, including some really bad statistical analyses by advocates of antler point restrictions desperately trying to demonstrate it doesn’t result in runty males (“Dr. Deer” is a flagrant example). Intelligent discussion exists but is rare, cause it’s complicated. The best private land owners are getting sophisticated, like European managers, and employ near “Prussian” methods (reverse high grading, with age covariates – kill the runtiest yearlings and 2 year olds, let the better ones go).

      • avatar rork says:

        One reg DNR put on the table that might be approved by NRC is that, currently I can tag a doe using either of the combo tags (which are buck-only in firearm seasons) if I kill her in the bow season, so that doe can get killed even in areas with no doe tags. We could stop that in UP, or in general. I’d be OK with that (even though I’ve only ever shot deer with bow). Gives a bit more control over doe kill, and pacifies gun-boys.

        • avatar Moose says:

          Rork,

          You know if similar doe restrictions will be in place for Northern LP?

          • avatar rork says:

            Better see regs in detail, AFTER NRC sets the regs. It’s not even settled for UP yet. I think it very unlikely they will restrict bow hunters from tagging does (“antlerless deer” technically) with the single or combo tags in LP (it’s not even been proposed), and for UP, just a bit unlikely. In LP for the last 15 years I’ve always been able to get extra doe-only tags for areas I hunt, usually more than I need, though there’s been some tightening since 2012 in a few areas hardest hit by EHD, or by the bad winters of 2 and 3 years ago. Where there are few, doe tags are by lottery, with leftovers sold later, if any. I haven’t tagged an antlerless deer with a combo tag this century. I might save a few dollars by doing so, but don’t want to burn a buck tag. If I was from out of state, or only hunted a few days a year, the tactics might change. Take good shots.

  87. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    $15,000 Reward in Collier County Endangered Florida Panther Killing
    http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2015/05/fl-panther-killing-050715.html
    Investigators are searching for information about the shooting death of the panther, which was first reported on March 22 after a motorist spotted the dead animal on the edge of Immokalee Road, about one mile west of Camp Keais Road.

  88. avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

    US researchers hope more assertive, foreign dog breeds can protect livestock from wolves and bears
    http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-05-07/us-researchers-hope-more-assertive-foreign-dog-breeds-can-protect-livestock

    • avatar WM says:

      Great story on guard dogs, but nary a word on costs to buy, train, feed, provide vet care for the dog, or how long they can stay on the job before replacement. Also, no discussion on how much “training” is required of the owner, another labor cost, or the need to maintain dog-handler contact to get the best performanc. No meaningful discussion of the potential “liability” of the owner for dogs with bad social skills that injure the occasional hiker or mountain biker who might be mistaken for a risk to the herd (well that is what you have liability insurance for, but how much to add a “dog rider?” No discussion of how many dogs one needs for however many sheep. Do they work better against a wolf pack when there are two or three? Does the concept work with cattle – not so much I think. How much is the federal government spending on this research, too?

      So many questions. So few answers. If you want to investigate a topic or sell a concept you need to be thorough. Some freelance environmental journalists are lightweights.

      • avatar Yvette says:

        If a producer has a tool that prevents predators from killing their sheep, there’s no reason to kill those predators, or to have them killed by a federal agency,” says Julie Young, research wildlife biologist at the National Wildlife Research Center, Wildlife Services’ scientific arm.

        That is a great goal, and I also am glad we have a place like the USU Ecology Center for research.

        WM, you raise the same points every time an article like this is shared. Certainly, they are valid issues and should be part of the equation that is addressed. But we should also weigh the relevancy and significance of those issues. Otherwise, we choke on a gnat while trying to swallow an elephant. Things like the actual cost of the dogs, training of the dogs, and how to handle the dogs, and their care are more easily calculated than something like the risk of a hiker or biker being bitten. People willing to utilize guard dogs probably expect to calculate training and care in their overall business expenses.

        As for the “liability” (quotes are yours): How many incidents are there of a guard dog biting or attacking a hiker or biker? If it has happened how severe was the bite/attack? Is there more risk in being attacked by a sheep guard dog than other risks a hiker/biker knows they may encounter? Snakes? Cougars? Bears? lightning strikes? (we already know wolf attacks on humans are basically non-existent). As for snakes, we are nine times more likely to get struck by lightning than bitten by a poisonous snake. Snakes are another animal that humans tend to have a high degree of irrational fear.

        “How much is the federal government spending on this research, too?”

        Well, I ask how is the federal government spending on killing millions and millions of wildlife every single year? How much is the federal government spending on poisons to poison wildlife with the M-44 devices? How much “liability” comes with a pet or a human accidentally setting off an M-44 device. Unlike your scenario of a hiker getting attacked by a sheep guard dog, pets and humans actually have been killed or harmed by WS M-44 devices. BTW, just how would you calculate the cost losing a pet or having a human sickened because of WS traps or poisons? How would you calculate the the environmental damage done by the M-44 devices? Unlike your hiker scenario, of which you have nary a word of actual facts of it ever happening, death of pets and injury to humans from M-44’s have happened. How many federal dollars has that cost? How does one calculate the secondary poisoning of animals, (often raptors eating the carcass of a poisoned animal)?

        What is more expensive in the long run? Guard dogs or killing millions and millions of actual federal dollars a year? Is research and training of guard dogs more expensive than externalizing the ecological damage of killing wildlife, the environmental damage of using sodium cyanide or sodium fluoroacetate (compound 1080), and the “liability” associated with exposing unintentional targets and victims of those poisons?

        • avatar Louise Kane says:

          +1 Yvette and also I have a problem with livestock producers’ costs of doing business becoming a public burden. Why should the public bear the burden or the federal government to supply methods that prevent cattle losses. Losing cattle on public lands to predators is ca cost of doing business. The government should be setting standards that producers need to follow in order to prevent loss of wild animals that are public trust resources. The burden should be on the producer to prevent injury to the landscape, the wildlife, the public and its pets not the other way around.

  89. avatar Ed Loosli says:

    California and Nevada Sage Grouse Protections Disappear Into Hot Air – By Erik Molvar

    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/energy-environment/241241-california-and-nevada-sage-grouse-protections-disappear

    “If the public was expecting Sally Jewell to pull a rabbit out of her hat with an announcement of new local protections for the sage grouse, they were surely disappointed. The same threats loom, the same scarce populations hang in the balance, the same absence of habitat protection applies across most of the bird’s range. The administration, it seems, simply changed its mind that Mono Basin grouse declines are a serious problem that needs to be addressed.”

  90. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/wild-animals-dying-for-a-drink-in-drought-stricken-west/article_fa032acf-0c5e-5090-8cb5-91feae4747de.html

    In the last week or so I have read about vanishing herbivores, a dying Puget sound filled with jellyfish, sea lions and other pinnipeds and cetaceans starving for lack of prey, and now this – the demise of the kangaroo rat which so many species are dependent on as some western lands turn from grasslands to desert.

    Concurrently other news surfaces about the annihilation of prairie dog colonies for malls, killing sea lions and thousands of endangered cormorants at the entrance to estuaries, rampant and uncontrolled development, wildlife services killing millions of animals, aerial killing of wolves in wilderness areas, the earthquakes caused by fracking, state agencies that kill predators in big numbers to jack up other populations of animals that are damaging their habitats because they are overpopulated, and idiotic men and women still allowed to trophy hunt stooping near the carcasses of giraffes, rhino, buffalo or elephants they slaughter. And our arrogant, idiotic, self righteous, pompous congress members deny climate change and call environmentalists and conservationists radical while they push policies that encourage rape and pillage of essential habitats for timber, oil, gas and mineral extraction.

    I think we are seeing a radical maybe unstoppable shift in the earth’s capacity to deal with human overpopulation and over exploitation of its resources. The world’s politicians that should be accountable for the tragedy that is unfolding go about as if its business as usual.

    • avatar Yvette says:

      I read about this earlier and am wondering what the heck is happening in NM.

      There were 109 Mexican gray wolves in the wild at last count, according to the 2014 census by FWS.

      The population is both fragile and highly managed. The FWS frequently traps wolves that pose problems for ranchers, pulls them from the wild temporarily and keeps them in large pens at the Turner ranch or at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. The pens are also used as way stations for wolves bred in captivity that are poised to be released into the wild for the first time.

      I’ve not tried to search for an answer, but just how many livestock problems can 109 wolves havoc?

      It seems the NM game and fish has a thorn under the nail ever since their appointed commissioner was caught illegally killing a cougar on his ranch a couple years ago. Maybe they’ve always been this way and that incident just made me more aware of a few wildlife regulation issues in NM. I don’t really know. It was only a few months ago that they tried to reclassify cougars as varmints and have an open hunting season requiring no license to kill a cougar. That crazy bill failed. Most recently they have introduced a proposal to allow traps to be used on public land for cougar hunting.

      http://www.abqjournal.com/578721/news/cougar-trapping-on-public-lands-reviewed.html

      • avatar Louise Kane says:

        new Mexico commissioners just denied permits for Turner Ranch to hold Mexican wolves…unreal

        • avatar Yvette says:

          OY! Louise, I meant to post my response to your post on the Turner Ranch being denied permits. I misplaced my post. Yes, I think there are some anti-predator politics are intensifying in NM.

        • avatar Ida Lupines says:

          It should be criminal, if it isn’t already – contributing to the extinction of an endangered animal. Can’t something be done? Especially with so much emphasis on private land rights. I can’t believe such irrational behavior over what, 100 wolves? The rest of the country is going to hell in a handbasket!

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:

      Awwwww….Nantucket Sound advocates are wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day weekend with a picture of the mother and calf pairs. 🙂

    • avatar Yvette says:

      It’s too bad they don’t hold more clout. USFWS under Dan Ashe has been one chomping at the bits to delist animals and load the rifles.

  91. avatar Jeff N. says:

    New Mexico Game and Fish denies wolf permit to Turner’s Ladder Ranch. Another win for wolf hysteria.

    http://www.abqjournal.com/582000/news/ted-turner-ranch-denied-wolf-permit.html

    • avatar Nancy says:

      It’s been heading in that direction for awhile Ed:

      http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2011/mexican-gray-wolf-06-10-2011.html

      With cattle prices going thru the roof lately in today’s marketplace/grocery stores, and oversea markets) I fully expect even more resistance by those in charge of western politics (who suck at the teat of the almighty cattle industry) to allow predators to continue to live in or occupy new range.

      Most of us who live out here and are concerned about wildlife, know full well, that a majority of livestock losses are due to weather, disease and poor husbandry practices.

      Why can’t they (ranchers) insure themselves against those losses (like every other business) instead of expecting the rest of us (taxpayers) to pick up the tab via WS and a host of other subsidies?

  92. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Meanwhile, we’re not quite as uncompromising when it comes to other permits, such as water usage:

    http://www.hcn.org/articles/hundreds-of-expired-water-use-permits-found-on-forest-service-land

  93. avatar Louise Kane says:

    http://loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=15-P13-00019&segmentID=3

    wolf howls more at certain times of year for territoriality and then another form for pup rearing

  94. avatar Yvette says:

    NM fish and game have made a proposal to use traps on public and private land for hunting mountain lions. They’ve been holding public meetings and it appears the public is responding negatively to this proposal.

    http://www.abqjournal.com/578721/news/cougar-trapping-on-public-lands-reviewed.html

    Here is a good editorial on the issue. http://www.abqjournal.com/579555/opinion/nm-cant-get-caught-up-in-plan-to-expand-cruel-traps.html

  95. avatar Nancy says:

    Watching this video had me in tears Jeff E.

    Even in Yellowstone park, this mother bear had to work her way hard, through a bunch of “fu*king humans, trying to film/watch them, just to get her kids to the other side of the road.

    Has our species become that desperate to get a glimpse of wildlife?

    • avatar JEFF E says:

      what got me was the bears were trapped on a bridge with morons on both ends trapping them.
      obviously all the bears wanted to do was get away and it was probably the ranger that finally got the dumb f^ks to get out of the way

      • avatar Peter Kiermeir says:

        Over on the Yellowstone Chat Page, folks are discussing the circumstances behind this incident. Seems, that “…the People on the bridge were watching another sow with 2 coy under the bridge, and weren’t aware of this bear and her cubs wanting to cross the bridge. She was apparently moving the cubs away from her “normal” location because of a large boar in that area.”

        • avatar WM says:

          Always good to know context. Watched the video 3X. It didn’t look like Mama was chasing anyone, to me. More like, “The kids and I are on the move. Get the hell outa our way!”

          Also looks like it might be the most exercise some of those folks have done in years. 😉

  96. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    Yes, I thought she looked rather tolerant – even curious and playful – not angry or defensive (I wouldn’t test that theory thought). She was very aware of her cubs. Is she a young mother? She seems smaller? It’s an unfortunate reality that animals are becoming more used to human presence. It’s best to keep our distance.

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

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