Fact sheet on what the change in the 10j rule means

The explanation below was provided today by Defenders of Wildlife.

Northern Rockies 10(j) Rule Q&A

I get email asking what can a person can do. One thing is to read fact sheets like this even though it is three pages long.







  1. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    so elkhunter and layton,
    READ this document, particularly the last section and tell us all what you have read. I understand that it was distributed by DOF, however prove it wrong or shut -up.

  2. Mike Wolf Avatar
    Mike Wolf

    No one seems to want to read these three easy pages…or at least comment on them.

    It’s easier to see things for what we want them to say; to get our own truth from our surroundings. This is actually quite widespread, and the result of many minor and major conflicts in the world; including wolf issues.

    Any fool can read what they want from the news and information. Take the Idaho Anti-wolf coalition’s “proof” of sport killing wolves in the form of photographs. When I first heard of these, even I thought there had to be some kind of credibility. I mean, its photographic evidence, right? To most people, this was all they needed to see and hear; that wolves kill for sport and then abandon the kills. But I thought about it, and realized that the photographers would have caused any wolves on the kill to abandon it. It’s not like they’re going to be able to walk up to a carcass and take pictures of it with wolves on it. Yet, many people who see these photographs never take that next leap of logic, that effort to seek and understand the truth.

    So, our friends here who staunchly oppose wolves won’t read this, or won’t see the facts for what they are. They will see only what they want to see. I guess they figured that graduating from high school meant they didn’t have to learn any more. Who knows.

  3. Layton Avatar

    Hey Jeff,

    Nice to see you crawl out of your cave once in awhile – you haven’t jumped on me at all lately.

    Prove the thing wrong?? Why?? If you REALLY read it you can see that it should stand on it’s own stupidity!!

    Read the part that says “The new proposal would set a minimum population of 600 wolves (or 60 breeding pairs). There are currently more than 1300 wolves —etc — etc”

    Now my poor, brain seems to remember that the original 10(j) ruling set a goal of 30 breeding pairs or 300 critters as a goal — am I missing something here or are you folks bitching about a change that will allow TWICE as many wolves??? Are you complaining about being able to violate the original agreement by 100%??

    Or how about this gem ? “And, for the FIRST (emphasis is mine) time, outfitters, guides, hikers and hunters would be allowed to kill wolves if their stock animals —– define them here — or dogs were attacked, chased, harassed or molested by wolves”

    According to this document – from your side – it’s the FIRST TIME that people have been allowed to defend their property over the “right” of these critters to kill or harm them. Do you REALLY think that is the way it should be??

    What do we do, just give the portion of the world they live in to the wolves?? Sorry, I won’t do that — I have a right to be in the woods and I have a right to take a dog with me — and I have a RIGHT to defend that dog from your friends!!!

    Hell, I’ll only argue with this document on one or two things. One of them is where they say that “In Idaho, elk populations are at 20 percent above management objectives”. In a word or two — BS!!

    Maybe in a hunting management unit or two WHERE WOLVES DON’T OWN THE COUNTRYSIDE there are some numbers that reflect this, but there are certainly other units that are BELOW objectives and where F&G has petitioned to control wolves as a way to help the ungulate herds. We’ve been through this before and this BS that “defenders” is putting out is disingenuous at best and really an outright lie.

    I know that anecdotal data from one that opposes the puppies that you love so much doesn’t count – seems to count form your side tho’ – but I can tell you this. I am in the woods aprox. 4 days a week, 10 hours a day, have been since May. 11 this year, and so far I have seen 2 elk when normally (the last 4 years) I would have seen 20 or 30, it declines every year.

    I have not seen ONE moose, didn’t see them last year either, and no one that I have talked to has seen them this year. DON’T try to tell me that the 3 or 4 packs in the immediate area have not affected the populations of ungulates!!!

    Nope, it hasn’t been “peer reviewed” but I trust the data, the source is one that I know well!!

    Mike Wolf,

    Your statement about “our friends here who staunchly oppose wolves” is beneath contempt — what the hell make you think that only folks that support YOUR views won’t read, can’t think and don’t have an education??


  4. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I agree with some of what you say, but not your anger.

    I don’t think it is correct to say flat out Idaho elk are 20% over objective because there are units where elk are struggling badly, but there others that are doing well.

    Casual observation of wildlife, even by people who spend a lot of time outdoors, is not reliable.

    I saw a moose my first day in Central Idaho this summer, so are the moose thriving? I have seen lots of elk sign in the Lost Rivers, Lemhis, Pioneers, White Clouds and north of Stanley this summer, but I haven’t seen many elk.

    When the termperatures reach 90 degrees at Stanley, Idaho, very often the coldest spot in the state, there is a simple explantion why you don’t see elk — they are shaded up in the deepest timber and/or highest elevations.

    The same is even more true in the warmer mountains of Idaho.

    There are lots of reasons why wildlife populations fluctuate, and heat and lack of moisture is one of them.

    There will be fewer elk next year, not because of wolves, but because of the hot, dry weather and the fires to come, plus the fact that many ranchers have turned out their cattle early in violation of their operating permits, and they are illegally eating the grass and forbs, making sure the elk will have to do with less.

    Could you work up some anger about that?

  5. Layton Avatar


    Yep, I guess I do have a bit of anger over this whole wolf thing — anger that one part of the population saw fit to introduce a critter that they seem to attribute God like qualities to, a critter that in my mind is nothing more than a big machine for the destruction of other critters.

    Anger that somehow I’m not supposed to go into the woods with my dogs and enjoy my surroundings. No, before some of you even start — I’m NOT afraid of the big, bad wolf, I just think that he should take his chances like I’m supposed to take mine.

    Anger that, because I choose to voice an opinion that doesn’t match those of others, makes me (in their opinion) somehow incapable of logically forming that opinion.

    You have folks on this blog that are very well informed and very well educated, but somehow some of them choose not to use that information and education to THINK. Emotion and “they were here first” does NOT form any sort of a logical conclusion.

    I haven’t been on/in the Eastern part of the state this year, or to Stanley either. BUT — I do know the more Western parts, I work there, I guide there, I recreate there (funny how the guide part didn’t come out as work 8^) ). I don’t count one siting of anything as a trend, but I do have a lot of data to go on. There simply are not as many elk in the Payette Nat’l Forest as there used to be.

    As for permittees hitting the allotments early — maybe you had trouble over there, here on the west side it was remarkably quiet. One permittee managed to get his cows in with another’s because of a down fence but that was about the extent of the excitement — until the sheep allotments opened up — it took two days for the first incident of a wolves killing some of them where there had never been depredation before.

    Yes, I do get angry, but I still try to discuss things logically and I do kind of enjoy shooting holes in what I consider are downright ludicrous “facts” that come from the friends of Canis lupis.


  6. Layton Avatar

    In a previous post I erroneously said.

    “Mike Wolf,

    Your statement about “our friends here who staunchly oppose wolves” is beneath contempt — what the hell make you think that only folks that support YOUR views won’t read, can’t think and don’t have an education??


    How about we make that say ” only folks that — DON’T — support YOUR views”? My bad, must be some of that anger that Ralph is talking about. ;^)



  7. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    I don’t have much time today to school you but just a couple of points. When you read a paper and it has little numbers within the text that means that there are footnotes that provide some type of reference source. If you notice the statement about Idaho’s elk population the source is Idaho State Fish & Game. Now enlighten me on why a govt entity that has rabidly opposed the re-introduction of wolves from day one would say that the elk population throughout the state is growing and statewide is 20% over objective. What would the purpose be to falsify those figures?
    One other point you seem to be unable to comprehend is whether the goal is 300 or 600, (I agree that is rather curious. smells like horse apples to me, or possibly a typo.) that number is the MINUMUM number considered to be biologically viable. Please find a dictionary and familiarize yourself with the word minimum and you should then be better able to carry on a cognizant discussion on this aspect of wolf ecology.

  8. Layton Avatar

    As normal there Jeff E. old buddy — you come on with YOUR version of the truth and try to ridicule other people that disagree!!

    BUT — this reply isn’t even up to your “less than average” standards!!

    You tell me to (paraphrasing here, do you understand that?)
    “pay attention to the footnotes” — well Jeff, I did — do YOU understand that a footnote usually doesn’t just point to one sentence that you like??

    A person that is really interested will probably read more of the reference in question to gain a more comprehensive understanding.

    In the case of footnote (1) of the 10(j)Q&A sheet in question — It says

    “according to Idaho Fish and Game “Overall elk populations statewide are near all time highs. Elk numbers throughout ….. most of … Idaho have continued to increase over time””

    Sounds pretty good (for your side) so far —- right” ? BUT, why don’t they quote the rest of the paragraph?? It says, in part, “However, individual zone objectives reflect the need for a distributional change in elk populations.”

    The next paragraph, which was also NOT quoted, has a sentence that says (and I’m going to paraphrase it here– I don’t like to type that much) “data collected during aerial surveys suggest declining recruitment ratios in many parts of Idaho” and “predation is playing a larger role in population dynamics than previously thought”.

    Hmmmmm, seems that the picture might be just a little less than crystal clear as this Q and A sheet might suggest it is.

    There is a lot more interesting reading as you go on through the report’s 140 pages (oh, didn’t you read it?) . Phrases like “Impacts of wolf reintroduction on elk population dynamics remain unclear, but will likely become a significant issue for elk management in this zone” or “Wolves may become a significant issue for elk management in the near future” or “predation by wolves may be a contributing factor to the declining calf:cow ratios.”
    would seem to indicate that the picture is not quite as rosy as the “defenders” would like to have one think. I’m not going to put those little numbers with these sentences, footnotes I think you called them, you can find the info. for yourself if you doubt me.

    As to the word “minimum” which you don’t seem to think I understand — if you read my post (try it slowly, for comprehension) it said ”

    “Read the part that says “The new proposal would set a minimum population of 600 wolves (or 60 breeding pairs). There are currently more than 1300 wolves —etc — etc”

    Now Jeff, do you see a word you recognize?? I didn’t use it again in the next paragraph, I thought you would be able to remember what was being said for that long. As to the “30 pairs or 300” — do you remember the original 10(j) ruling?

    In short bud, if you would get of your self righteous high horse and give someone a bit of credibility you might not make such a raging butt of yourself!!


  9. Jay Avatar

    “A big machine to destroy other critters”…that’s a pretty good description for people, don’t you think Layton? I love the hypocracy, T-rex. The human race has such a lovely record of consideration of other species, such as elk (pretty much wiped out everywhere by market hunters, requiring transplants from the Y-stone where they couldn’t be hunted to bring them back–nice job there shooters!), passenger pigeons (skies turned black by flocks, eliminated by…people!!), bison (60-70 million bison reduced to a couple hunder by???? People!!!), just about every species of whale, countless bird species (boy those feathers made lovely womens’ hats!!!), crocodiles and ‘gators, tigers, leopards, elephants, grizzlies, wolves…we won’t even go into the fish stocks that are a sad fraction of what they used to be. But boy, those wolves, they’re hell on wildlife…of course, I can’t think of any species wolves have driven to extinction, but if they eat but one elk, than that’s unacceptable!

  10. Layton Avatar

    So Jay,

    I guess it’s OK in light of some of the things you mention – I won’t go into how solid your case(s) is — to introduce another killing machine??

    Funny logic, but — what ever flips your switch.

    By the way, aside from killing things – and eating part of them – what was it that wolves contribute to the overall ecosystem?? That is aside from letting more forbs grow cuz’ there’s less critters left to eat them, I’m familiar with that one.


    T-rex (aka Layton)

  11. Mike Lommler Avatar
    Mike Lommler

    Wolves chase the elk about, making it easier for riparian cottonwoods and aspens to grow back. The trees shade the streams, making life better for fish. Beaver also respond to the new growth, returning to old habitat. Carrion left by wolves helps sustain grizzly bears.

    Essentially, wolves return balance and diversity to the habitat, maintaining a larger variety of habitat niches so more species can live in a given landscape.

  12. Jay Avatar

    maybe the better question is, what do you contribute?

    “Killing machine”…that truly shows how little you know about wolves. Pick up a book written by a wolf expert, read a few peer-reviewed articles, you might learn something. Field and Stream is not considered peer-reviewed, by the way.

    I’m going to interpret from your first comment as an admission of guilt that we’re the killing machines. And you didn’t answer my question: how many species have wolves extirminated or driven to the brink of extirmination from the planet? One more question: why is it that you think because you hunt elk or deer, that you have more say in what species get to exist on PUBLIC lands than the rest of us that appreciate the whole package, not just the stuff that’s fun to go out and kill? Last I checked, wildlife was a resource for everyone, not just hunters.

  13. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I think it’s time to repost an essay I wrote in 2001. Wolves as “killing machines.” Analysis of a lame metaphor. By Ralph Maughan. March 9, 2001.

  14. Buffaloed Avatar


    I was wondering if the RIGHT to take your dog comes with any responsibilities? Most rights have responsibilities attached that many want to ignore.

  15. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Layton-re July 8th 2007 11:09
    As usual you try to make your argument by quoting source material out of context or in no context at all.
    re: July 7th 2007 1:18 pm.
    “Now my poor, brain seems to remember that the original 10(j) ruling set a goal of 30 breeding pairs or 300 critters as a goal— am I missing something here or are you folks bitching about a change that will allow TWICE as many wolves?? Are you complaining about being able to violate the original agreement by 100%??”
    Tell me again what you think the word minimum means. (HINT: If the wording of the rule stated that 300 or 30 breeding pairs would be allowed-that would indicate a MAXIMUM number).
    Okay, Layton, lets wipe the drool off your chin and think this through before replying, I know you can do it. ;*))


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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Ralph Maughan