"Idaho Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife" picks up interesting support for their anti-wolf rally

Note, I edited this post for the sake of clarity, and deleted the comments. I think the way I posted it caused some confusion. RM

Idaho Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife is an interest group organized in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho as separate chapters. They are having a wolf delisting rally at the state capitol on Thursday. We have discussed them before, and the E.D. for Idaho and the one for Wyoming both posted to this blog. That generated some discussion.

You can often judge a group by the company they keep, or by who supports them. Check out this URL (Idaho Values Alliance).




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  1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I think I kind of set off a war of words by posting in a too casual and inexact way. My apologies

  2. Tim Z Avatar
    Tim Z

    In all my years I have seen people try to use scripture to justify some oddball position but this one really takes the cake.

    “and it is consistent with the Judeo-Christian tradition that decisive action be taken to deal with the threat.”

    That traditional Judeo-Christian action throught history generally means killing.

  3. Mike Avatar

    Scary stuff. What is the deal with these kinds of people wanting to drag mankind backwards through time?

    Yes, a real “blast from the past,” as in the middle ages. Ralph

  4. skyrim Avatar

    No confusion here Ralph. If a greater power wanted wolves on this planet (it/he/she) would have put some here. Oh wait, they did. But I guess they were given “vermin” status and therefore expendable.
    The theory of natural selection is flawed.

  5. Tim Z Avatar
    Tim Z

    “If a greater power wanted wolves on this planet (it/he/she) would have put some here.Oh wait, they did. ”

    Not only did they but that grater power could have changed it’s mind and told Noah to keep wolves off the ark. 🙂

  6. Insider Avatar

    It’s disturbing that not only is wolf management politicized beyond belief, but now at least one religious outlet is weighing in. As usual, this piece conveniently leaves out the livestock losses caused by predators other than wolves, which would really put things into perspective. But I guess that would give cause to call for all-out extermination of every carnivore and omnivore on the planet. Don’t most religions at least suggest tolerance, compassion, understanding, and love for the creatures of the deity’s creation? Time to start practicing what they preach.

  7. kt Avatar

    Yes, the Middle Ages. When are we going to see the SportsMen for Hatred and Cattle, and the fine Idaho Family folks flagellating themselves – Oh, that’s right you gotta keep both hands on the ATV.

    But they in combination are doing their best to bring us the plagues of the Middle Ages – chronic wasting disease, blaming AIDS on sex ed in the Idaho schools, or something, and we can not forget death in childbirth from carrying deformed pregnancies to term – or whatever it is the Bryan Fischer Idaho family values folks are for.

    Something seems to have been lost between – who was it? Romulus and Remus – and the rise of sicko fearful Christian repression. BUT the fearful Wolf Haters and Xians are a marriage made in Hell, for sure …

  8. dcookie Avatar

    Always intrigued by Christians who quote the old Testament. Jesus resides in the New Testament.

  9. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    After looking over the web site linked above and then reserching a number of different bibles I found it courios that the word evil{found in all bibles I read) was changed to savage. These two have completly different meanings; are not even synonomous one too the other. It appears that the author feels that he/she can edit the Bible to suit what ever the topic of the day is. Then forcing myself to preview the rest of that site I realized that it is nothing more than a PAC Under the guise of , laughably, morals and ethics. Oh wait, now I’m bluring the line between that outfit and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife.

  10. be Avatar

    Yes – old Testament fear is not healthy.

    the interesting thing about this story is the willingness of seemingly unrelated groups that are willing to reach across self-interest to elevate a more general ideology which is shared.

    i hope to see similar moves from the other side – especially with the new Congress – even within less broad ideological horizons – ‘enviros’ for example.

  11. Tim Z Avatar
    Tim Z

    The new buffoon in the governors office just can’t wait to be the first one to kill a wolf.


  12. Rob Avatar

    Good for Otter. Wolves should have been delisted months ago. At least, he has the backbone on this one. I don’t think I can support him on much else.

  13. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    I watched his proclamation. I thought the whole thing was a bit strange. Lots of people holding signs of a wolf chasing a dog. I didn’t think Otter said anything too controversial or unexpected, for him. He did NOT say to the crowd at least that he wanted to reduce the wolf population down to the threshold levels defined in Idaho’s wolf management plan. He may have said that to the reporter, though, not in front of the crowd. It was certainly not a wolf friendly place to be. There were just two of us that I noticed anyway, that were of the wolf friendly ilk. I think the gentleman holding the sign that read “You kill more wolves for sport than all of Idaho’s wolves” posts on this blog – Rick, was that you? Way to go!!!

  14. Jordan Avatar

    To Rob – a response to your “good for Otter” with regards to delisting wolves.

    In other words, you suport Governor Otter’s stance that entire wolf packs would be destroyed in Idaho in the coming months.

    What is your preference — killing pups and displaying them? Or going after the alphas? What is it about killing wolves that satisfies you?

    Hunters kill over 20,000 elk a year in Idaho, including many elk calves that were born in June and have barely lost their spots when archery season starts in August, followed by rifle season, special seaons, black powder, etc etc.

    I see the heads and hides of these calves tossed out along roads by ATV slobs and other hunters who shot them.

    So killing wolves makes you say “Good for Otter?”

    Americans who support wolves and “get it” about predators inside and outside of Idaho are not going to stand for the destruction of wolves.

    How strange that the governor of Idaho has the name of a wonderful species that inhabits our waters, but still heartless killers can trap and skin them. Would Butch hack an otter up given the chance and get AP to tell the story. Nothing he’s indicated in his lack of regard for wildlife says otherwise.

    The dark ages aren’t in the past, they are right here in Idaho.

    I believe that the majority of Americans will side on behalf of wolves and otters (the ones that live in the water) and although Gov. Otter and Nate Helms may hate wolves with every part of their being, most of us disagree.

    I wasn’t there, but from press reports it seems that in Boise Idaho today, that wolves got an extermination order no less like the Nazis of 1939 gave another race of beings.

    To wolf advocates – wolves need your help like never before. Get involved and help. Write letters, give donations, use your connections to powerful people because otherwise Idaho wolves are going to be largely externimnated and Butch will be there to help.

    How sick can it be.

  15. Rob-S Avatar


    No I am not in favor of killing all the wolves but I am in favor of delisting and having hunting opportunities for wolves like any other game animal. As long as the population is sustained dellisting and hunting should be allowed.

  16. Rob-S Avatar

    Jordan, you state “I believe that the majority of Americans will side on behalf of wolves and otters (the ones that live in the water) and although Gov. Otter and Nate Helms may hate wolves with every part of their being, most of us disagree.”

    I disagree that most of Idahoans disagree. You do not speak for the SFW, livestock owners, hunters, etc.

  17. JEFF E. Avatar
    JEFF E.

    On a recent post you said somthing to the effect that “…wolves do not belong on public land.” I can’t find the exact quote but do remember that part of it. Now you say you are in favor of a hunting season and maintaing a viable population. SO , what way will the wind be blowing tomorrow??

  18. Deb Avatar

    Rob, here is one Idahoan that sides with the wolves. I think the wolf populations should be decided by science not politics. Politics can only see five minutes into the future. Where as Science can see a little farther. I want my children and grandchildren to be able to experience the Idaho I love. I will put my trust in Science.

  19. Rob-S Avatar

    Jeff, in response to comment #17 I never did say that wolves do not belong on public land. They belong there but there needs to be a regulated hunt just like all game animals. Of course, I has noticed in several of my posts that the wolf advocates twist their posts to their liking and not to what has actually been posted. You guess blow with the wind in your favor. However, if you can find the exact post then I will admit it but prove it to me.

  20. Rob-S Avatar

    You are correct Deb that the wolf population should be decided by science. The scientific fact is that the wolves have recovered well past the designated level and that the 20 or so packs established are what is required by law to keep the wolves off the endagered species and to maintain an established vibrant wolf population and we are well past that. So yes, science has determined that and we are now well past the scientific evidence stage so what more do you want. I also believe that economics ought to be part of the equation. You are concerned from a scientific point of view of which I am also but their is a huge economic part. Losses of livestock which is a personal matter, waste of our taxes by FWS to kill problem wolves, etc. I think money could be better spent if delisting and hunting opportunities for wolves are allowed. I would rather see that then continue paying the Feds to waste and abuse our tax dollars. Wouldn’t you?

  21. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    It’s wilful abuse of the findings of wildlife ecology over decades to claim that a recovered wolf population is recovered solely as a consequence of having reached some human-established quantitative level, abstracted from the background grid of habitat and climate: the population’s environment, not to mention other hard to quantify factors as the social cohesion of that population. The latter is especially important for such a socially-grounded species as wolves.

    The 10 breeding pair per state number was intended, as anyone familiar with the scientific work that went into the EIS for wolf reintroduction, merely as a milestone to meet legal requirements for delisting the wolf and handing management over to the states. It was never intended to be a cap on the wolves of Yellowstone and central Idaho. Wolf recovery depends upon both additional numbers as well as a broader distribution. That’s why the entire state of Wyoming was declared part of the recovery area.

    Unfortunately, what both Wyoming and Idaho are now doing is revisionary pseudo-science, claiming that wolf populations can sustain themselves at a minimum population and a very limited distribution, rather than expanded population numbers and distribution that conjoin themselves to the carrying capacity of their existing and potential habitat.

    It is only when wolves have achieved the larger scope of biological and ecological recovery that they can be subjected to regulated hunting and trapping. But not until then.

    It is also contrary to the operational principles of wildlife management to attempt to hold a wildlife population to exact numbers, as if they were livestock. (It’s not even possible to achieve this with livestock!)

    Contrary to the false belief of far too many hunters, it is impossible to manage a wildlife population to exact numbers, whether population numbers, cow-calf ratios, bull-cow ratios, etc.

    When we speak of population dynamics, we mean to say that populations are dynamic, not static. That may be a truism but it is one that needs emphasis.

    What Wyoming and now Idaho are determined to do by asserting the right to hold wolf populations to such low numbers is in fact to so disrupt and limit wolf populations that the most likely consequence is extinction.

    This is contrary to the intent of the ESA and to wolf recovery.

  22. Rob-S Avatar

    Robert, here in Idaho where their are well over 600 wolves is more than enough to maintain a healthy, vibrant population that will not become extinct. I am curious. What is your solution to the wolf issue, if you were Governor? How would you handle wolf recovery with all the interested parties involved…..SFW, hunters, wolf advocates, and the livestock industry? I also pose this same question to Ralph. Maybe there is a good solution for all.

  23. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    The solution to the wolf conflict is to break the political power of the existing oligarchies in our states (such as the livestock industry), empower all citizens, encourage respect for the truth, and enact policies that reflect the public trust rather than private interests.

    Since none of these community-oriented suggestions is likely to be implemented, we are left with conflict.

    Six hundred wolves in Idaho may or may not be enough. The number isn’t the issue, and ecologically, cannot be the issue (except when people demand absolute minimums, as is being done here in Wyoming and in Idaho). The issue is the quality and extent of the habitat, which everywhere in the Greater Yellowstone and other areas is declining rapidly. This process of habitat destruction began with agriculture and is continuing apace with urban development, particularly of winter ranges. One grows out of the other; the attitudes are the same, only the techniques are different.

    Where we’re wasting effort and resources is to whine about wolves, making claims that are not true, and refuse to protect, maintain, and create habitat for all wildlife.

  24. Rob-S Avatar

    Robert states “The 10 breeding pair per state number was intended, as anyone familiar with the scientific work that went into the EIS for wolf reintroduction, merely as a milestone to meet legal requirements for delisting the wolf and handing management over to the states.”

    I find this ironic. Where were the wolf biologist, conservationists, wolf advocates when this whole reintroduction issue was being pursued. I know Ralph was a force behind making this happen. Wolf biologists and conservationists were also instrumental. The federal government, with input from wolf biologists and others established the minimum numbers for reintroduction. The government would not allow only 10 breeding pairs to be the minimum without the research and backing behind the experts. So it appears that the experts failed early on to establish a minimum of say 30 or 40 pairs. Now the wolf advocates are complaining because of the 10 breeding pairs being the minimum. Where were you all back then? I remember several years before they were brought to Idaho about the possibilities and the research to see if this was feasable. Your debate is now over and you folks let the government get by with 10 breeding pairs so accept what you folks failed to voice your opinion and concerns on when this was initially discussed. Bring on delisting. The wolf biologist back in the early 1990s obviously agreed that this would be adequate to sustain a viable wolf population as the Feds would not establish the minimum without input from the experts…..Or are you all saying that that minimum of 10 was an obvious mistake.

  25. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    It is clear that Rob S. either didn’t pay attention to what I said or didn’t understand it.

    I’ll say it one more time. The 10 breeding pair number was not a minimum and was never intended as such. It was intended to be an indicator that recovery was on its way and wolves could be removed from the protections of the ESA.

    There is no minimum. There is no maximum. Those are abstract numbers that mean nothing except to those determined to ignore the science of wildlife ecology.

  26. Rob-S Avatar


    Where were you when all this was being discussed about wolf reintroduction. The feds would not allow them to be reintroduced, then removed from the endangered species list just to have them placed back on the endangered species list if they reached the minimum. My arguement is that the government involved wolf experts to establish the minimum they thought at the time to establish a vibrant healthy population. And you guys should have been screaming bloody murder then if you disagreed.

  27. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    Rob S. You seem determined to remain ignorant of the facts.

    I was right here in 1994 and quite frankly I opposed the 10j approach because it granted too much to the opponents of wolf recovery, particularly regarding wolf control. But the 10j approach is what we ended up with, a compromise, and it’s a compromise that has helped to creat the present mess.

    No one challenged the the 10 breeding pair level in the manner you are determined to believe in because no one took it as a biological minimum or cap. It was understood, and laid out quite openly in the EIS, that wolves were expected to increase their numbers and their range as part of recovery, both in the biological sense and in conformance with the ESA, which calls for recovery of listed species throughout their historical range.

    Once again, the 10 breeding pair level was a trigger, and nothing more, for initiating delisting. It was not the be all and end all of wolf recovery.

    Why don’t you go back and read the EIS to repair your ignorance?

    This is the last time I’m going to explain this.

  28. Rob-S Avatar

    No need to explain Robert. I was just wondering where all this wonderful scientific stuff is that would ensure the wolves would not be on the endangered species list again shoud they go below the minimum of 10 breeding pairs. It seems those so interested in the wolves reintroduction forgot this big and very important part.

  29. Kim Avatar

    My comment is for Rob-S and other Hunters that want to hunt these wolves..I have no PRoblem With Hunting. THe PRoblem that I have is the way YOu are intending to hunt,, IF you are not EATING the animal DONT KILL IT!! Thant is the Problem with SOME of the hunting these days most people that HUNT dont know how they dont take the time to actually learn. there is a right way to take the life of an animal..an never to take more than you need instead of the greed and waste.theres should not be a hunt on something you arent goning to comsume,. if you are being attacked or your family or actually see inprogress attacking your livestock i understang protection. but not assumption. to assume,, well we all know what that does..
    and i still want to know about laytons wolfpack experience in the woods ,, that he doesnt seem to want to talk about. I have 22 yrs exp. with these animals and others..i am interested in his story.. to say the least.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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