Governor Richardson to the rescue of the Mexican wolf program?

New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, the presidential candidate with perhaps the most impressive combined resume of legislative, foreign policy, and actual management experience of the many presidential candidates, today issued this news release about the Mexican wolf recovery program.

Office of the Governor


Bill Richardson


For Immediate Release Contact: Gilbert Gallegos

July 6, 2007 505-476-2217

Governor Richardson Seeks to Change Protocols for Mexican Wolf Recovery Program

SANTA FE – Governor Richardson seeks to change key protocols for the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program following a recent wolf kill incident in southwestern New Mexico.

“I am deeply concerned about the recent escalation in wolf removals and incidents surrounding yesterday’s lethal removal of a female wolf,” said Governor Bill Richardson. “State Police are investigating the incident and are collecting the facts as this investigation takes its course.”

On July 5, attempts to kill wolf AF924 were initiated before adequate notification was provided to the State of New Mexico. The wolf was killed by federal Wildlife Services before adequate communication was established which resulted in conflicts between federal and state staff involved with the wolf program.

“This type of confusion is not an adequate basis for accomplishing important wolf restoration,” said Governor Richardson.

The lethal removal of a female wolf, that leaves pups with a single parent, is a setback to the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program, and signals that it is time to reexamine the protocols under which wolves are removed from the wild.

Governor Richardson has instructed the Director of the Department of Game & Fish and members of the State Game Commission to work with the state’s partners in the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program to review and revise standard operating procedures related to the control of nuisance (non-depredating) and problem (depredating) Mexican wolves. The Governor has also called for the immediate suspension of the use of Standard Operating Procedure 13 (SOP 13) procedures in New Mexico pending these revisions.

“I strongly support the effective recovery of endangered Mexican wolves in the Southwest, done in a responsible and sensitive way,” said Governor Bill Richardson. “Changes must be made to the protocol for the wolf re-introduction program.”

The Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program is led by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and supported by a set of partners in the recovery area. The NMDGF is an active participant, along with the Arizona Department of Game & Fish, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, U.S.D.A. Wildlife Services, and the White Mountain Apache Tribe. The standard operating procedures established by the partners enhance the coordination and effective management of wolves.

In March 2007, Governor Richardson directed the State Game Commission and the Department of Game and Fish to redouble their efforts to work with all interests to promote healthy wolf populations living in reasonable compatibility with our communities and land stewards in New Mexico. These activities are ongoing.

News story. Richardson: Suspend three strikes against wolves. AP







  1. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    looks like this Gov. is willing to go toe to toe with Dick Kempthorne. Good. There seems to be some serious infighting taking place if I interpret the tone of this press release correctly.

  2. Mike Wolf Avatar
    Mike Wolf

    *pinches himself*

    Surely I’m dreaming this.

  3. DV8 Avatar

    Wow. It seems like the sides may be aligning to make the wolf a very public symbol for some of the abuses of this administration towards the environment. Which really sucks for the the wolf if you think about it, but perhaps it means there are some forces behind stopping this thing.

  4. mikarooni Avatar

    This is good news, although nobody should get carried away with glee just yet. I know that there has been and is a tremendous amount of justified angst over the political climate and the fate of the northern rockies wolves. Again, it truly is justified; Butch is a bitch; and I don’t want to minimize the problems in the north. At the same time, the poisonous social, political, quasi-intellectual, and pseudo-religious climate across the lands covered by the Mexican wolf effort makes the northern rockies look like a Sierra Club convention. People have no idea what it is like; it’s a perpetual rerun of Deliverance down there. The main philosophical debate down there is not between liberals and conservatives, whatever that means; it’s between the adherents of progressive divinity and those who believe in Adamic lineage. For the uninitiated, progressive divinity is the belief that, with prolonged devotion to a strange Mormon-derived sect, each successive generation gets closer to God and that is evidenced by each generation getting lighter in skin, eye, and hair color. I kid you not! Adamic lineage is the belief that Eve had sex with both Adam and the devil and that sex with Adam created the lineage from which white evengelicals are derived and sex with the devil accounts for the rest of us. There is even a movement down there, not as strong as it used to be but still there, that advocates taking control of all the public and reservation lands in eastern AZ and western NM to turn them into an autonomous racial/cultural CELTIC homeland. No, I’m not making this stuff up and I’m not crazy. You really need to look at the history of Catron County and the activities of the county government down there, especially the last twenty years or so but even back into the 1890s, to get the full picture. Those people make the Freemen look like pansies and the troubles of the wolf program down there reflect it.

  5. Mary Avatar

    This program already has many wolves, at times the majority, living right on top of peoples’ home yard’s and surviving off the livestock. In my community no child old enough to leave home alone goes out without a firearm for protection. They’ve seen all to closely (at their backdoor, in their or their neighbors yard what happens to their pets and the livestock of their parents livelihood and their community, county and regional economies. This program is based on the false assumption that there was an appropriate area here in the first place for wolf recovery i.e. NO CORE AREA FOR WOLF RECOVERY. This fact has been corroborated by wolf biologists outside of the program. In the words of Ed Bangs to John Morgart (USFWS, Albuquerque-I’ll paraphrase since the documents not at hand) “You have a very difficult recovery situation, with serious problems about the very REAL effects of REAL wolves on REAL people, because YOU HAVE NO CORE AREA FOR WOLVES TO RECOVER IN.” My caps.

    The number of incidents and depredations (already twice that of the NRMWRA) has nothing to do with ranchers being “bad”, or USFWS over managing aggressive habitualized wolves and everything to do with the pervasive romantic illusions about wolf behavior and effect on the world around them and the fact that they are dumped on top of a situation recognized by wolf biologists as already fully pre-utilized landscape and inhabited by the native regional culture and economy that is pre-dependant on that landscape, the forage, their cows and the elk.

    Heaping abuse upon abuse in an already over abused situation is nothing short of a dangerous and cultivated ignorance and/or a rationalized sadism.

    My feeling is that the wolf itself, engendered by the promotion artificial and irresponsible expectations of the true reality of the situation, and misplaced blame for the failure of the program , will cause the programs demise. The endangerments and tragedies, so far mostly beneath the radar of those outside the “recovery” area will escalate to a situation of such immediate and severe violence that it will surely become the beacon waking people to the atrocities being advocated here. Through public outcry, the Congress will be forced to end this brutal debacle.

    This has been my feeling from the beginning and it has been only further supported by the callous indifferance of the perpetrators and insights gained by observations by biologists outside the program (it can NEVER work there) keeping an open mind and doing further investigation outside of the inbred pap provided by the program and it’s boosters.

    If this is all about the wolf, why didn’t this program utilize the White Sands alternative for the “desert wolf” (Edward Abby) as it was historically known, and where there would have been so much less conflict with a preutilized landscape? That is much more its apparant historical environment? Or was conflict with and existing population in the area an over-riding consideration? Or was it merely a question of which area the active program personnel preferred to live in? Dave Foreman of the Rewilding Institute
    claims he’s creating peopleless core areas over much of North America but never mentions the precise devise for the cultural genocidal destruction of rural america to facilitate this vision and its consequences. Does anyone know how he plans to go about this? Could he be part of the problem?

  6. Mike Lommler Avatar
    Mike Lommler

    I’ll grant that the wolf habitat in Arizona and New Mexico isn’t as good as it is in Idaho, say, but there is still a reasonable amount of wilderness (Gila, Aldo Leopold, and Blue Range Wilderness Areas) and near-wilderness (Blue Range Primitive Area) in the area. The issue here is, as always, cattle grazing in areas managed as wilderness.

    But if wolf-recovery is going to succeed anywhere outside the northern Rockies we’re going to have to make some adjustments to this ‘bargain’ (so to speak) that we’re trying to strike between people, their livestock, and wolves. There is still too much unreasonable fear inserted into the process. Why else would Mary say that young people in her community are heading out with firearms? The statement amazes me. In the summer of 2004 it was my job to go out alone into the Blue Range Primitive Area (where the wolves are released) frequently. I never felt remotely threatened by a wolf–I never even saw one, and I was out there damn-near every day. The black bears are much more likely to attack a person (and one did in fact chase a person down near Springerville that summer).

    We need to find a better way to balance the cattle interests and wolf survival, because what’s happening now is not getting the job done.

  7. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Cattle and sheep grazing that preexisted the establishment of Wilderness Areas got grandfathered by the Wilderness Act.

    It was a necessary compromise at the time, but livestock grazing is incompatible with true Wilderness, and this part of the Wilderness Act should be repealed.

    Folks may recall John Carter’s report on the sheep devastation in the High Unitas Wilderness in Utah that I posted last November.

    Sheep degrade High Uintas Wilderness

  8. Mike Lommler Avatar
    Mike Lommler

    I’d love to see cattle kicked out of wilderness, but I see it as a political non-starter. Some sort of band-aid might be applied in the wolf-recovery area though; perhaps something like “we’ll reduce grazing fees (or something) if you better tolerate negative wolf-cattle interactions (and do something about all those dead cows you leave on the range!).

  9. cred Avatar

    I’ll comment directly here because a number of other posts have gone up since yours’ did. Webmaster.

    Wolves in the wilderness are not the problem. No one is claiming so. If the wolf program was content to allow the wolves there to naturally populate that area and stop dumping wolves near human populated areas, there probably wouldn’t be any problem at all.

    There are many people complaining about wolves in the wilderness. Outfitters in the designated Wilderness areas of Idaho and Wyoming quickly found a scapegoat for those clients who were not successful when the wolves were reintroduced. The wilderness areas of Wyoming are not suitable year-round habitat for wolves. Not a single wolf pack does, nor probably can, live year round in a Wyoming wilderness area. They are too high and the elk mostly leave in the winter.

    Unless you are talking about the Mexican wolves, the wolves were not dumped near populated areas. They were released inside Yellowstone Park and inside or on the boundary of Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness. There are strict rules about releasing the Mexican wolves too. Unfortunately, that program has become like a put and take fishery because the Mexican wolf recovery area is too small and the US Fish and Wildlife Service too aggressive in killing them when a few cows are lost.

    The problem is that all the wilderness area combined within the wolf recovery area compromises only a relatively small percentage of the total wolf recovery area. These non-wilderness areas have homes, businesses, schools and towns in them. The non-wilderness areas are where the wolves are a problem.

    Most of the area the wolves inhabit may not be designated wilderness, but it is mostly backcountry. There are isolated towns and summer homes, of course; but most people know how to deal with wildlife.

    What people who live and work in the non-wilderness areas are upset about is the wolf program’s claim that the non-wilderness areas are suitable for wolf recovery – as if the area was vacant of humans.

    There is no where left that is vacant of humans.

    What people are outraged about demonstrates just how unsuitable this idea is: The wolves are in people’s yards, in their barns, in their corrals, the wolves are trailing behind kids walking to and from school busses, the wolves stroll calmly through the streets of towns in day and night (all documented, by the way).

    Of course, this happens at times, especially in places like Lowman and Stanley, ID that are in the middle of the mountains. Why is this so bad? Have they attacked anyone in town? If my children lived in a remote area and had to wait for a bus I would give them pepper spray both now and before the wolves were reintroduced. If you live that kind of country, you should be prudent.

    And what people are kept awake at night worrying about is whether the program is going to be successful in forcing everyone out so wolves can live happily ever after, either directly through eminent domain or indirectly by just letting the wolves keep eating cows and ruining the economy that has been here for generations, forcing people to leave in order to survive.

    They should worry about something of real danger and importance like the slaughter of our young soldiers in Iraq, the rotten health care more and more American have, our corrupt administration in Washington, the drying and warming climate.

    The number of livestock taken by wolves is so small compared to the total number of livestock, it wouldn’t even be a story in a local newspaper if the loss was to poison plants, feral dogs, rustling, coyotes, cougars, etc. It doesn’t effect that economy at all. The presence of wolves might sometimes even reduce total predation when you count up all the sources.

    Mike Stevens, who owns Lava Lake Livestock here in Idaho (a very large sheep operation) has said that since the wolves came in his total predator losses have declined because the wolves push out the coyotes. And yes, he said this after losing sheep to wolves.

    I just wish that the rural people being directly affected by this mismanaged and illogical program would have as much say as the supporters of the program who, by and large, have nothing to lose by supporting it. I wish this was the United States of America where people have rights and these things don’t happen. Oh – I forgot… this is happening in the USA.

    This isn’t a conflict over people’s rights. It is a conflict between different ways of looking at the outdoors.

  10. mikarooni Avatar

    Mary and her comments are a clear example of the situation my previous posting described. The problem down there is not the wolves; they are not big enough nor are there enough of them to be causing this much hysteria and the hysteria existed in those remote and backward communities long before the wolves were brought back in; the wolves just changed the topic. Before the wolves, they were hysterical about civil rights (they don’t like them) and about the United Nations and about gays and about commies and about gun control and about… They have been so hysterical about so much for so long that their own accumulated history now speaks far louder than any of their recent protestations.

    In addition, so many of the stories down there are now so orchestrated and contrived. In one case, a family that had never been known to raise sheep in the past started raising a token flock of the little varmints and letting them range out untended as soon as wolves were reported to have denned in the area, but seemed to not be taking cattle.

    Just for the record, the argument over “NO CORE AREA FOR WOLF RECOVERY” is just another cynically contrived red herring. In the beginning of the effort, NM had a series of republican governors and legislators from that backward southern part of the state. So, in those days, wolves were not being reintroduced on the NM side of the border and were being crammed into a narrow strip of the Blue Range in AZ. The FWS memos being quoted refer to this problem and to the desire to get them into the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness Areas in NM (essentially no permittee and no legally present livestock in the immense Aldo Leopold Wilderness at this time (pay attention to this fact; it’s important)). The wolves are ranging, when allowed to do so, into these areas now; so, bringing up these old memos now reflects either old knowledge that does not hold today or a deliberate attempt at manipulative disinformation or both.

    In addition, most of the illegal wolf kills down there haven’t actually occurred in any close proximity to “real people” (I personally question those people having any connection to reality; but, that’s another topic). Most of the wolf kills have been far into either national forest or designated wilderness or along highways bisecting such lands.

  11. chris h Avatar
    chris h

    I don’t know Mary but I am willing to bet that her background is not from the REAL “native regional culture” of the area. That was a true “cultural genocidal destruction” and that was committed by the people not far removed from Mary’s generation.
    Ninety percent of the recovery area is public land and classifed as multiple use. That includes wolves and unfortunately cows. If some regulatory mechanism is neededto protectthe wolves from those ranchers (not all) that do notcontrol their herds or clean up the dead carcasses so be it. There is hardly an industry in this country that is not undersome form of regulation that burdens. Nonetheless, commerce continues. And if the Mary’s of this world want to remind me of where the beef comes from then Mary should consider where many of the products she uses come from. Most of us do not have the pleasure of living in such beautiful wild country. If Mary wants a place with no wolves then she should move to a city. There she may have a reason to give firearms to her kids. That’s incredilby sad.

  12. Jean Ossorio Avatar
    Jean Ossorio

    Hi, Chris,

    It’s actually 95% public land overall: 94% in Arizona and 96% in New Mexico. (See the Final EIS and/or the Five Year Review of the project, referenced elsewhere on Ralph’s site. You can link to both from the USFWS Mexican wolf web site.)

    Also, if you are the Chris H. I know, please send me an e-mail sometime. I have some info for you.

    Many thanks. ^..^

  13. Layton Avatar

    “If Mary wants a place with no wolves then she should move to a city.”

    And that, ladies and gentleman, is one of the best summations of the current attitude of the “lovers of the wolf” that I have heard lately.

    The real bottom line — wolves rule, people, and anything they bring with them, should get out of the way!!



  14. Wendy Avatar

    Question for cred: You write “The wolves are in people’s yards, in their barns, in their corrals, the wolves are trailing behind kids walking to and from school busses, the wolves stroll calmly through the streets of towns in day and night (all documented, by the way).” I would be interested in following a link to such documentation. Could you please provide one, or suggest where I might find it and read it for myself? Thanks

  15. cred Avatar

    Response to Wendy: Contact US Wildlife Services and ask for the data (you’ll probably have to FOIA for it). Or contact Catron County’s wolf incdent investigator – he has a year and a half’s worth of reports (which are submitted to WS). You can contact him through the Catron County Manager,

  16. cred Avatar

    First, I should say that my own *personal* experience is only with the Mexican wolf program. I cannot and would not speak about other gray wolf reintroduction areas in the northern Rockies because all I could provide would be a personal opinion based on second-hand info.

    Second, I wish all of you who feel so free to express your opinions would at least give people who actually are experiencing what is going on in the Mexican wolf program area a little credit. We are not a bunch of hysterical people, we are regular people who are living with a real problem. Some of you seem to think we’re just making all this up, and your solutions mostly seem to be shut up and live with it, or move away.

    Funny thing, though – I’m sure if a mountain lion or a coyote came into your yard and killed your child’s cat, then the dog, and then the pony, you’d be fast to call someone. You’d make all kinds of noise until that lion got removed – and if it got killed in the process, you would be sorry, but you’d still sleep better at night. I’m sure of this because it happens everywhere. People are fast to say that those animals are not acting normally, and it’s true – if predator animals come in close to human areas and cause problems, they aren’t acting normally.

    But we have these *protected* predators here, and since they aren’t hurting you personally, you all seem to think it’s just fine to protect them at our expense. No matter that they aren’t acting like normal wolves (normal wolves don’t come up on people’s porches and take a dump, or come up to houses to look in children’s bedroom windows – documented, folks, not opinion).

    Personally, I think that there’s something wrong with this Mexican wolf picture. But I know how to fix it. You can come here and live in my house for a while, and I’ll watch how you do. Bring your dogs, cats, ponies and children. Remember, when the wolves come to your house and kill the cat in front of your child’s eyes, you aren’t allowed to complain because that would be hysteria. When your dog is torn up and you’re looking at a four figure vet bill, just remind yourself how much more everyone else loves wolves than your dog. And when your child calls you at work screaming because a wolf followed him and his little sister home, don’t worry. The kids can spend the rest of summer locked in the house. They don’t need sunshine and fresh air. And you know, I bet if enough of the supporters of the Mexican wolf program (as it is now) moved here, suddenly we’d see a pretty fast difference. If you’d like, we could just release a few packs in your neighborhood if it’s too much trouble to move here.

    The number of wolf incidents in the Mexican wolf recovery area is rising rapidly and it’s not just cow depredations (which are much higher down here in the Mexican wolf area than the few that Mr. Maughan seems to think) but human-wolf incidents. I’m not making this stuff up – it’s all documented. US Wildlife Services has all the info – do a FOIA and get the truth for yourself. I think it’s shameful that people could be allowed to suffer as much as they are here in the name of species recovery, and I think anyone who thinks otherwise needs to go back and study some lessons on basic humane treatment of others. I’m not hysterical. I am mad, though.

  17. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Well Cred,

    Thanks for your point of view. I can understand where you are coming from. You are obviously not hysterical. I know, however, that friends and neighbors do influence each others’ opinions and even what they say they saw.

    That is true for everyone — not just you, but me too.

  18. d. Bailey Hill Avatar

    Mary and Cred; Are you sure you live west of the Mississippi and not in the suburbs of some city back east??? The way you talk about the wolf population gives the impression that the number of wolves out number that of people and cattle. Have you ever driven from coast to coast, all the corners and the middle of America??? Your minds are obviously unable to comprehend land area, to say the least. Comment again after you have driven all over the USA. Here’s a simple example; Try this- Drive all the roads in Yosemite and compare what you see to the speck on the map where the park is located.

  19. d. Bailey Hill Avatar

    As far as what people see and then pass that on to others; I can’t even number the amount of people I have seen, who upon seeing a bull elk got really excited that they were seeing a moose… Or saw a coyote and was absolutely sure it was a wolf…

  20. mikarooni Avatar

    I’m sorry, cred; but, I’ve watching the situation down there for a very long time, on this issue and others, and, to be blunt, neither you nor your local “wolf incident investigator” have any “cred-ibility” with me. I didn’t believe it when you and your friends were complaining about the United Nations flying black helicopters over your houses and trying to disrupt your establishment of your celtic homeland; I didn’t buy it when you were working on your county ordinance requiring all county men to carry guns to defend your homeland; I didn’t buy it when you wanted to arrest anyone who made any statement about grazing conditions within the county without going through your three-day “educational” program and getting a license to speak about it first; and I don’t buy a word of your current stuff either. I’ve been there and done that and Catron County has been an absolute nuthouse, with wackos crying wolf (pun intended) on so many topics at such consistently silly levels, that I just don’t believe a word of it. Tell it to your friends at the Paragon Foundation.

  21. cred Avatar

    d. Bailey Hill: I’m not sure of your point. I know where I live, and it sure isn’t in any city. What does the people to wolf population ratio have to do with anything? Or the size of Yosemite have to do with what is happening with wolves in NM and AZ?

  22. Mary Avatar

    wendy, If you search the archives of you will find the letter from the disturbed mother whose kids in a mixup had to walk home from the bus stop unescorted. There are wolves seen so often checking out children in back yards etc and far too many other incidents and sightings to allow unarmed children to wander far. Wolves have attacked a dog protecting her toddlers pay area right off the front porch. If you want to call the fear this engenders in all mothers in an area of frequent wolf sightings/incidents I question your intelligence and humanity. This is a first hand report. There are also diaries that are presented in that website of a couple of wolf blitzkriegs in rural communities that may give you an inkling of the reality. There you can also see the news behind the news and the reality behind the hype from those who truly live with this mess. University studies done at NMSU show conclusively that the Mexican wolf is causing an incredibly destructive economic impact on the people. I believe this may be accessed at that the wolfcrossing website. Catron County depends on the cattle (48% of the county tax base) and cannot suffer many more ranchers selling their ranches and going out of business. Subdivisions are sure to follow.

    The callousness of the people on this website is frightening though it seems that some of it comes from ignorance rather than intention.

    Mike L. The “wilderness” and “Primitive” areas are not attractive to the majority of wolves that are released. They just won’t stay there. Those who have lived and hunted in thoses places report that the thicketed forests, catastrophic fire prone, with sparse forage have for the main becoming biologically desertified with very little wildlife. Dr. Alvin Medina has been doing studies on this sort of desertification, something that those familiar with the land would notice. To someone who sees a desertifying thicket of scrub oak and juniper coming up after a catastrophically burnt Ponderosa Pine thicket (There are very few of the anthropogenic and biologically diversified and abundant historic ponderposa pine forests are extant) it is just “the WILD” and the glory of what it’s been has no significance. Others like Jean Ossario have their own claims.

    The Supreme Court has upheld unanimously for 100 years the property rights and interests that the ranchers have to their allotments. In strict legality, if any split estate occurs, that is if the federal government has jurisdiction over only part of the property, in the case of allotments the underlying land, the rocks and minerals around and under the easements OWNED by the ranchers this is not public land. Under the legal definition of public land the federal government must own all interests in the land.

    If you think the Fedral agencies that promote the notion of all the “public land ” here hesitate to prevaricate to further a jurisdictionally acquisitive agenda you’re not very bright. It’s a massive abuse of themisinformed public and the people who have suffered from this unauthorized usurption of jurisdiction. The recent case of Hage vs US (he wrote the book by the way, a very well researched and documented history of the settlement acquisition of property rights, how mysteriously the first “reserves” came about and is obviously why he was attacked by massive shutdowns of his allotments by the bureaucracy after publication-the truth was out.) settled, oh a few years ago in the ninth circut court in San Francisco once again upheld the very real property rights and interests ranchers OWN in their allotments. He now grazes his cattle permit free on his owned allotments. The IRS collects inheritance tax for these properties and the title has the clause about “to all assigns and heirs”, just like any other title.

    Wayne Hage won his case because like so many he had studied and was probably the greatest experts on all aspects of the nature of these rights. He won on the true history of the matter. Not the fanatical hysterical hype about “!*OUR*! PUBLIC LAND! (outrage! outrage! indignation! and blather) The only thing left is the monetary settlement the feds must pay (likely in the many hundreds of thousands for keeping him off his land and away from his waters for so many years. He wisely presented all common property rights arguments to the court just to clear the record on numerous issues even if his research proved some were not legitimate. Because he lost on the issues that he expected to because history and law did not support them, the ever land jealous and acquisitive federal agencies in another fit of violation of the public trust, ran around saying “He lost! He lost!” and will not recognise to this day that indeed “He won! He won!” on all the important points that proved his right to access his OWN forage and waters through his own easements which blanket the allotments.

    For those of you not paying attention, this is different from what you have been told, but that doesn’t make it any less real or a “cult” its just … property rights that have been abused and the public trust that has been violated in obfuscation.

    The case that Michael Robinson insists on parading forth at meeting after meeting after workshop about how the case of Light vs US PROVES that these real property rights don’t exist is misleading. Mr. Light presented his case to the Supreme Court as a regulatory issue – not a property rights issue, so the case was not about property rights at all but about regulations. The Court can only rule on the facts it is presented with.

    This has been the unfortunate case with many property rights cases involving allotments as the feds are doubly skillful about getting people into court arguing about their regulations rather than your property rights. In the case of J. P. Curtain who ranched and owned allotments within what is now Yosemite Park he insisted from the beginning when the feds drew a big circle on the map and said he could not graze there anymore because it was now a “National Park”. He said yes I can. Why, I’ve got real property rights here, I’ve got rights to the waters and the forage, and rightaways and easements. All the way to the Supreme Court – unanimous – those property rights are real.
    Theirs nothing radical about standing up for your rights. Who’s radical is those who would take them away!

  23. cred Avatar

    To mikarooni:

    Writing people off as not credible based on marginal or false information is no solution to anything, nor is it much of an argument for anything. But even so, what is the point in maligning the County’s Wolf Interaction Investigator, a highly qualified professional who works hard to record accurate information and build a database for all to use in evaluating the wolf program? I can’t imagine you know him or even know his job description or you wouldn’t write him off as not credible.

    As to your other points:

    Yes, there are people here concerned about black helicopters, but there are many more elsewhere – I even know people in New York City who are worried about the UN and black helicopters. Does that mean that wolves aren’t a problem here? No.

    The Celtic homeland issue was the personal opinion of the County Attorney rather than the County government. I don’t recall him ever asking anyone if he could speak for any of the rest of us, but even if he had, does that mean that wolves aren’t a problem here? No.

    There never was a county ordinance requiring anyone to carry guns to defend anything – it was suggested in one County Commission meeting, shot down as not legal, and never got further than that except in the mind of the media. Does that mean that wolves aren’t a problem here? No.

    There is no educational program, three minutes or three days, for anyone who wants to talk about grazing allotments. Anyone and everyone talks about them all the time. Even if there was such a program, would that mean that wolves aren’t a problem here? No.

    I don’t know anyone in the Paragon Foundation, by the way.

  24. Mike Lommler Avatar
    Mike Lommler

    I haven’t spent much time in Catron County, but I have lived and worked in Apache and Greenlee Counties, across the border. So far as I can tell the forest in the Blue Range has a pretty reasonable food base. It is very routine to see elk in the area (right along ol’ Highway 191), or at least was three years ago. I’ve seen quite a few deer as well there. It’s a popular area for human hunters–I know that much.

    But perhaps you are referring to areas of lower elevation. I can imagine that with a warmer climate the juniper/pinyon might be encroaching more upon the edges of the ponderosa forests. I’m not sure I believe that such terrain is as impoverished as you suggest, however. It might not be terrain suited to large packs, but it could sustain wolves in lower densities. The question for me is, will the wolves be allowed to disperse so they can find suitable territories? Trying to keep the wolves in such a small recovery area is simply asking for trouble by ensuring that there is greater competition for natural prey.

    I still haven’t heard anything about wolves in the area attacking people. Why so much fear? I know that people have been maimed by black bears in that country (and I’ve certainly seen more bears than wolves in the course of my work down there), but people seem to choose wolves as much more of an object of fear.

  25. d. Bailey Hill Avatar

    Cred, I will reword…. The eastern USA is very densely populated and what you have written implies that where you live is densely populated. {Yes I was being sarcastic…please accept my apology.} When an area is over populated; that is when problems arise with the local wildlife. There would have to be an enormous amount of wolves to cause the havoc you speak of. {That is why I compared amount of people and wolves.} Or put another way, your town has so many people in such a small area that there is nowhere else for all those wolves to go but hang out in town and harass the people who displaced them.

    Refering to Yosemite; being a land area that many people have been to and most likely looked at the map to drive around probably have a fairly good idea of how much space the park takes up. Comparing the size of that park to the size of California or the entire nation would probably give a person a good idea of just how big the nation is. Or look at a map of Wyoming. Having been to YNP many times I have a really good impression of how big the park is in relation to the size of Wyoming. The number of wolves is more than miniscule compared to the population of people, other wildlife, and domestic animals in the areas where the wolves reside. That can also be said of the Yellowstone Bison. It is absolutely positively rediculous to say that such minicule amounts of animals is causing so much trouble in this enormous western half of the US. There is more than enough room for ALL living beings.

  26. d. Bailey Hill Avatar

    People are so afraid of what they do not understand. They find it easier to hold on to false information. That way they don’t have to think. Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant people. Wolves are an important part of the ecosystem, otherwise they would have not been here to begin with. But the first people mudbogged their way across the country. This country was founded on the extermination of the native/original people in order to claim the land. The settlers were going to give theirselves property rights at any cost. Then the bison was exterminated, except for a handful. Then the wolves and bears and so on, some for their pelts. And some just for fun. The land was pillaged and damaged. Murder and destruction was named “progress”. Whatever would not conform was elliminated. In 2007 this has not changed. It all boils down to arrogance and monetary/political power. This administrations motto, “Let’s destroy it all and later someone else can fix it”.
    I will never understand why people like to kill and destroy. And people who are so arrogant that they demand, “Conform to our way or you will pay”. “Our way is the only way”. The cows have more rights to be here. If they are so damn important why are they getting turned out, like in Ralphs photo, with no food or water and suffer. Those ranchers are no better than the crazy animal hoarders that mistreat them like those cows. The only difference is the hoarders keep their animals confined in the waste. Those crazy people are never allowed to keep animals as part of the punishment.

    The wolf introduction program is part of the whole picture of trying to restore balance. Cleaning up waterways, preserving wilderness, big business required to find cleaner ways operate, the list goes on. The “powers that be” have succesfully set the country back many years.
    Back to property rights; a fine example of “progress” is Measure 37 in Oregon. How it was ever passed… It is a huge mess. If you have time google it.

    I guess I really needed to vent……

  27. Wendy Avatar

    Cred: Thanks for the e-dress you provided. I have sent a request for information and will be happy to share here if I get a response. However, your earlier post indicated that the Mexican wolf/human/pet incidents you referred to were documented, yet your advice to me is to file a FOIA. Is that what you did? If so, why not share it? All I want to do is to read whatever it was that YOU read that prompted you to refer to the incidents as documented.

  28. mikarooni Avatar

    Well. cred, at least your response proves that I wasn’t making all that crazy stuff up. To be fair, I’ll give you that wolves can be dangerous. So can smoking, drinking, off-road vehicles, bulls grazing public lands, guns, and pitbulls; but, I don’t see the fine folks of Catron County trying to ban these things.

    Just one more thing and then I’ll sign off on this discussion, I think one of the other posters raised a good point that is often ignored. Mature Mexican wolves range from ~40 to ~80 pounds and tend to form smaller packs than their northern cousins, so you rarely see more than three or four of them working together; but, there are several places across America with recovering wolf populations and most of these other places host northern wolves that, with maturity, range from ~70 up to ~170 pounds for a few of the adult males in Yellowstone. Also, these northern wolves do like to pack together, in winter in much larger packs than is normally the case with the Mexican wolves. There are large populations of these northern wolves from Minnesota and Wisconsin across northern Michigan and then other populations in New England. All of these areas have more people in contact with more wolves than does Catron County. So, in these other places, we have many more wolves, much larger wolves traveling in larger packs collectively giving them far more capability, in much closer proximity to many times more people. There is even one rather large pack that has been denning and hunting deer in farmlands that are within a suburb of Minneapolis. Yet, we don’t hear horrific stories coming out of these other places. We don’t hear your kind of wailing and whining and fearmongering about wolves coming out of Anoka or Duluth or even Superior and there is a whole lot more people in closer proximity to a whole lot scarier wolves in those places. We don’t have stuff about progressive divinity and Adamic lineage coming out of Wisconsin. We don’t have people like Mary posting from other places. Despite your attempt to pretend the problem is more widespread, the proportion of people in New York who worry about the UN spying on them with black helicopters is way lower than it is in Catron County. We don’t have too many other places where people would tolerate their county attorney preaching the taking of public lands to establish a celtic racial/cultural homeland. We don’t have too many efforts to legally require everybody to be armed (firearmed) in other places, even those places with scarier wolves everywhere. When I referred to the effort to make people get county training before they could talk about grazing conditions, you implicitly confirmed the effort when you knew that it referred to grazing allotments (come on, fess up). Admit it; we don’t see much of that in other places either do we? The uniqueness of Catron County goes and has always gone way beyond the wolf issue. So, tell me; just what in the galldurned hell is wrong with you people down there?

  29. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    the largest ever recorded wolf was 174lbs and was killed in Alaska. No wolves in Yellowstone has ever come close to that. The heaviest I believe come in at ~130. Also it must be remembered that for various reasons wolves will gorge sometimes in excess of 20 or more lbs at one feeding and may be a factor when a particular wolf is captured and weighed.:*)

  30. d. Bailey Hill Avatar

    Mikarooni- Well said. And thank you for reminding all of us about the wolves in the northern states. I know a few people living in north Minnesota and they have never mentioned wolves. They talk about two things; fishing and deer season.

  31. cred Avatar

    Reply to d. Bailey Hill:
    I agree that when an area is over populated problems arise with the local wildlife. However, that is not the only time there are problems: There doesn’t have to be an enormous amount of wolves to cause havoc, just a number of *human-habituated* wolves.

    Human-habituated wolves are those which, because they have become overly familiar with humans, have no fear of humans, and cannot be chased away. These are the wolves which kill pets near houses, have no fear of coming into corrals near human areas or coming into towns. Human-habituated animals are very dangerous because they are much more likely to attack a human than any other predator.

    The wolf program routinely handles wolves (both the ones in captivity and the ones in the wild) to vaccinate, replace collars or batteries in the collars, etc. The wolf that was recently shot by Wildlife Services, for instance, had been handled a minimum of eight times in less than two years (this is public record – the wolf may have been handled more than that). The wolf was therefore very familiar with human scent, and also had been fed by humans for a good percentage of its life while in captivity. How could this wolf or any wolf not become accustomed to humans under such circumstances? And once the natural fear level (wild animal wariness of humans, if you will) has been reduced, what keeps a wolf away from human areas, and what is to prevent such a wolf from attacking the easy prey that a human child or elderly person would be?

    There are literally millions of acres for the wolves to be in the Mexican wolf recover area that don’t bring them in contact with humans. Bears manage to stay out of sight. Mountain lions, bobcats and other predators manage, too. You even rarely see coyotes here, because they are truly wild and not habituated to humans. These wolves are *choosing* to come to human use areas.

    Re Yosemite: Catron County is 7000 square miles. It is larger than several US states and almost seven times larger than Yosemite. There is more than enough room for all *normal* living beings. There is little room for aberrantly behaving beings of any sort, particularly when they are predators.

  32. cred Avatar

    Cred to d. Bailey Hill:

    You wrote: If [cows] are so damn important why are they getting turned out, like in Ralphs photo, with no food or water and suffer.

    Cred replies: To say that one set of photos represents all circumstances is poor logic. It would be like saying your dog is starved because I can produce a photo of your neighbor’s starved dog. There will always be some people who don’t take care of their animals.

  33. cred Avatar

    Hi Wendy: I got my info from the County Manager and the County Wolf Investigator. I am in the process of writing a FOIA request for US Fish & Wildlife Service because the incident info (from the County) is only one part of the picture – incidents are the effects, not the causes.

  34. cred Avatar

    mikarooni – normal wolves are a known and avoidable danger. Human habituated wolves are something entirely different. You all (and the governor) are focusing on cows. What I’ve been trying to get across is that we all understand there will be some loss of livestock (although no one predicted such high numbers) but why should we, who live on private land (where almost *all* the non-livestock incidents have occurred) have to risk the safety of our families, and lose our animals too?

    The issue is not removing all wolves from Catron County, but not allowing habituated wolves to be part of the wolf program.

    As to your other point, the weight of the wolves is not relevant. The attitude of the wolves is. I suggest some research on what habituation of predators actually means. There is some excellent research by Mark McNay for the Alaska Dept. of Fish & Game on this subject.

  35. mikarooni Avatar

    No, cred, I’m not focusing on cows. I’m focusing on the long and continuous history, extending way back before the wolves were even there, of extremism, hysteria, lawlessness, and intellectual dishonesty within humans down in Catron and how that long consistent history of horse manure renders suspect absolutely anything that you now say on pretty much any topic.

    I have to hand it to you; your stuff is way slicker than Mary’s; but, you’re still peddling the same old merchandise, just in a more seductive wrapper. So, now you’ve shifting your argument to it not being all wolves; it’s the “human habituated” wolves, although we still don’t quite understand how, given the FWS protocols for handling, that they got so habituated, and I bet that, if we swallowed this new argument, it wouldn’t be long before it turned out that all the wolves mysteriously somehow got “human habituated.” A few years ago, it wasn’t all wolves; it was the ones that were allegedly hybridized with dog genes. Are you people still trying to peddle that one or have you given up on it? Ten years before that, it was the elk eating all the grass, the game wardens who wouldn’t let you shoot them all, and, at the same time, the agency range officers who wouldn’t let you graze enough cattle to eat all the dry grass that was turning into “decadent growth” because it was left there more than a year. That phase was really something; that “decadent growth” stuff was really a hoot. A few years before that, it was the UN, the black helicopters, and all the commies secretly living amongst you. Hyperventilating about gun control has, of course, always been a favorite down there. Your history is just too consistent, even back to when the forest reserves were first declared, prior to the national forests even being established, and the good people of Catron burned them to the ground out of spite and out of anger that the government wasn’t going to let them just be cut for immediate profit.

    As far as you dismissing the photos of starving cattle by declaring that there “will always be some people who don’t take care of their animals,” I’ve got news for you. My “personal experience” on the ground and in the field has been that Catron has an unusually high proportion of some of the laziest and most cavalier ranchers that I have ever encountered. The truth is that one of the reasons that some of them are so touchy about predators is that they send their cattle out onto the forest lands in the spring and then don’t bother to get their big pot bellies into the saddle to even go check on the conditions or forage or water or whatever until it’s time to bring the herd in to take their profits in the fall and then they howl because their calf rates are low. This has been a bad problem down there for generations.

    No, I’m not focusing on cows. I’m focusing on those “aberrantly behaving beings” that you mentioned in Catron County and I don’t mean either the cows or the wolves.

    By the way, I’m no animal rights activist and no “wolf-hugger” and I use a rifle to take care of things when required. I’m a public lands rancher who deals with elk, prairie dog holes, coyotes, lions, and wolves constantly. I don’t like to lose stock and I like to get full utilization of the forage; but, doing things right, for the range and the wildlife, takes time and work and the trouble down in Catron is that too many people are too focused on their own whining, do too little work, and have too much time on their hands. I believe that it’s been that way since the end of the civil war, when the place was taken over by unreconstructed confederates.

  36. Mary Avatar

    What cred said is true. This wolf was released in the Gila Wilderness but in a matter of weeks found her way back to her old slowelk hunting grounds. where she had hunter before and there were humans. Does she associate humans with food?

    There have been many releases in the Gila Wilderness but only one pack that I know of has actually stayed there.

    I too was confused why there was so much conflict. Why was the program for the most part releasing wolves so close to possible conflict for one thing. They released a pack that was causing trouble over a long period of time in my neck of the woods several times but it was always within about 4-5-6 miles from my community not to mention sensitive grazing/calving areas closer. Finally they proudly announced to ranching neighbors that they had moved the pair 20 some miles away this time. That sounded reasonable, maybe that would solve the problems now.

    Then I come to find out that the new release is 4-5-6 miles from other grazing/calving areas and communities. WHY were the endangering situation like this? In order to see this all graphicall and possibly point out release sites further from possible conflict I mapped the whole thing out so I could evaluate the situation graphically. Program maps are inadequate for this as they mostly just show an outline of the recovery area and where the wolves are comared to natural features and omit all the towns, communities, dwellings, and sensitive grazing/calving areas nearly blanket the entire “recovery” area claimed to be available for wolves. I using the program parameters for areas considered too sensitive for initial release (3 mi. from recovery area boundries, communities, dwellings, 5 mi from towns. I also indicated 5 mi. questionable zone around sensitive grazing/calving areas requiring special evaluation by the program for releases by the programs SOPs. Low and behold, there was only about 1/4 of the “recovery area” left outside the too sensitive for release zones. Adding to this the 5 mi. zones requiring special evaluation because of proximity to grazing calving areas to view just the areas most certain to be conflict free I found only about 1/6th of the recovery area was outside these combined zones.

    The greatest point of isolation was in the Gila Wilderness (where the wolves just won’t stay), about 9 mi. from almost completely surrounding areas too sensitive for release, both the recovery area boundry and habitations and communities. The rest of the “recovery area” outside these zones exists only in much smaller islands isolated and surrounded by sensitive areas.

    This situation would never be evident from any of the obvious program information. The maps in their pamphlets and on their website basically only show the “recovery area” outline a few natural features and where the wolf packs are wandering.

    A release report might read that “AF?? was released on the south side of Rudd Knoll 10 mi. north of Big Lake.” Sounds like this could be “the WILD” doesn’t it? What is never mentioned in the reports is that the south side of Rudd Knoll is closer to 7 mi. from Big Lake, a popular recreation area- camping/fishing etc. Also never mention is anything about the proximity of sensitive areas like “this is also about 5 mi. north Crescent Lake, another popular recreation area, 5 mi. east of the town of Greer, about 6.5 mi. west of the town of Nutrioso, and about 7 mi. south of the town of Eager. That puts the release about 1/4 mi. outside the no release zone to the west, about 2 mi. south of the no release zone around Eager, and 1.5 mi. east of the zone around Nutrioso. With a dwelling to the SW this more or less hems in the wolf pack with sensitive areas leaving moreless an “island” of about 20 sq. mi. for this wolf to roam, feed and procreate, and in which he can roam only about 3.5 miles from the greatest point of isolation before he hits the close proximity of the too sensitive for release zone.

    All this figuring is somewhat tedious but it did much to enlighten me as to why there is so much conflict, and why so many at a distance don’t really understand what the situation is from the vacant maps and descriptions of the program, for all the urban public knows from program media there are great wide open spaces here when in reality this area has been inhabited for over 1,000 years, even more so than it is today. No wolves found in the pictographs or on the pottery though. Historic peoples, before whiteman also managed the land for meat in the form of creating the beautiful open meadows and abundant Ponderosa Pine Savannas that provided a rich and varied habit and lots of forage for the ungulates.

    Fighting for land (hunting grounds) was a tradition that existed long before white man arrived and carried on the tradition.

    So here we have it. In essence a “recovery arealess” recovery area. In the opinion of several wolf experts outside the program “no core recoveryarea for wolves to recover in. Perhaps they looked beyond the empty maps of the program media. They also claim it can never work here.
    After this careful evaluation I came to the same conclusion later echoed by outside biologists. There is no core recovery area in the so called BRMWRA. The wolves have nowhere to go and very easily wander near humans. their communities, towns and other dwelling places lace the area leaving skimpy islands for wolves. Is this the wolves fault? Or the people in Alpine or Nutrioso’s fault?

    The ranching community has indeed bent over backward to accommodate this program. You would never know it from Michael Robinson’s (CBD) comments or the wolf program.
    Now politically generated hysteria about how unfair it all is to the wolves and how all management of problem wolves should cease completely and immediately, blah blah blah, how unfair it all is.

    Yes it is unfair to portray a situation that victimizes both wolves and residents as the “people’s fault” or the “wolve’s fault”. I feel that the initial inadequate evaluation of the area, coming to the conclusion that this was a viable recovery area as at fault, and that seems to be corroberated by experts as well also is the continuing refusal to properly re-evaluate the situation to reflect its true lack of potential is at fault. Continuing to dump wolves right on top of the existing cultures and communities, and placing the blame on those cultures and communities for the fact that the wolves have no where to go but where they find humans again is at fault.

    Elk travel far if disturbed by any threatening activity. Otrero county and other areas in NM are being over run with elk fleeing the recovery area. The recovery area is surrounded on three sides by desert many tens of thousands of acres of it to the north, east and south. The elk have cross some desert to get to another island of alpine territory but they can really travel. After the first couple of days of a hunt they can be in the next county. Hwy. 191 is on a watershed that declines into the San Carlos Apache Reservation – No wolves allowed there but they do I believe have hunts that may send the elk up to 191. I wish I knew more about this aspect of the situation. Get out into the Gila NF and camp around for a month and see what I can see there.

  37. Mike Wolf Avatar
    Mike Wolf

    Wow, what a load of crap I’m reading.

    Blue range not suitable for wolves?

    Have you ever been there Mary? How about to Idaho?

    Guess what, I spent several days in the Blue Range, even have a nice panoramic picture. And I live in Northern Idaho, and have spent several days in the wilderness. The Blue Range is an excellent place for wolves. Plenty of room.

    And your comments about haveing to be armed? Millions of acres of land where wolves dwell, all what, 11 of them; and you want us to believe you have to be armed to protect yourself from a wolf that is ony 75% on average the size of of the same wolves that have only injured 20 people in North American in over 400 years?

    Mary, would you give us statistics on how many people have been injured or killed by livestock on the range in North America in the past 400 years please.

  38. Mary Avatar

    Go to for the rest of the story about NMDGF and SpongeBill. It gets much more interesting and understandable and comes more into focus if you get all sides of the story. The media and CBD reports are extremely biased and contain erroneous information. We’re all a little erroneous no and then but this is rediculous!

  39. Mike Lommler Avatar
    Mike Lommler

    I lived in Alpine for three months (in 2004) and never heard of any wolf being seen in that valley during that time. Nor did I ever here anyone complain about all the wolves hanging out on their property. I never even heard that from people who I knew did not like wolves (and I talked to plenty of people). You make it seem like the wolves are besieging people; at least in Alpine I feel pretty comfortable saying that isn’t the case.

    Five wolves were released that summer (if I recall correctly)–in the Blue Range Primitive Area, well south of Alpine.

  40. d. Bailey Hill Avatar

    A clarification for Cred; I did not say or even imply that all cattlemen treat their cattle like those in the photo. Those photos are a great example of the ranchers who abuse their cattle.
    You must have a very active imagination to have read so much false info into my very basic sentence. Your assumption that something else existed in my sentence is illogical and again that is very imaginative, as is the dog analogy. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why this discussion is going nowhere…..

    Mikarooni’s comment comes to mind; “your stuff is way slicker than Mary’s”. As well as,
    Mike Wolf’s most recent entry—{Refering to the first sentence.}

  41. Mary Avatar

    Why don’t you check out the diary of the experiencies on the Blue River on Open your mind for a little bit before you open your mouth for gosh sake. I believe there is a link on the left side of the page.

    After more than 6 months of continual harassment of my neighbors by wolves, the VERY notorious Aspen Pack, I gained a REAL understanding of what the situation could be in our small river canyon. Do actually intelectually process what I have saidd in my poats. READ the gol darn history and then realize that when the wolves were defecating all around the schoolhouse and when they were 20 ft. from the schoolhouse door when mama came to pick up her kids this was the last straw!

    The exclusive waterfront Biltmore neighborhood near Phoenix is being besieged by coyotes as of late. Surely the wealthy elite there have philanthropically supported “environmental” causes. Most likely the wolf. Yet at a meeting last week they were outraged that AZGFD expected them to live with the situation! They professed their love of animals and then proceded to tell the AZGFD that the coyotes that were devouring their expensive had to go.

    What goes around comes around.

    Professor Valarious Geist of the University of Calgary, Alberta Canada (emeritus environmental science) has DECADES of personal experience with wolves both in the Canadian wild and in his personal neighborhood. Mild mannered wolves, shy, elusive are well fed wolves. When as has been documented by more biologists than just Paul Paquet of the Mexican wolf 3-year review, the typical scenario of a mortality sink happens (wolves outbreed their prey normally 3-4 to one) eventually they GET HUNGRY and start exploring alternative food sources. What else can they do?

    The elk here rapidly disperse from wolf pressure because they can. That leaves the historic people and their cultural means of survival to take up the slack. Of course the “programs ” personnel are ever so ready to track and record every single elk depredation to add to their arsenal of facts supporting the notion that the wolves are adapting to the wild, living off elk for the most part, (ha ha), and the mostly unheard voice of those who hardly have a significant media voice in the matter against powerful politics and vast misinformational “outreach” programs. What is REALLY going on is vastly different from what you have been told! And different from what some here superficially have experienced in 1994. Do any of you naysayers actually believe the program personnel aren’t going to use their funding to obscure reality in order to protect their localized and well paid senecures.

    You naysayers are a bunch of nere-do-wells and slothful to boot. Just like the rest of wolf POLITICS (thats all it is, their is definately no space for recovery here), people secure in their well paid positions- Or well entrenched pre-conceptions – living out their lives in support of a zombiesque adherance to a dogma that has been designed to catch your fancy. Get real. Explore the rest of the universe outside your self imposed prison of self absorbed media.

  42. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

    We´ve been to NM and Az only once and alas long before the Wolf reintroduction. Seems it´s time to come back for a bit of hiking maybe next year. Already starting to collect infos. Any input to my private e-mail highly appreciated and…wolves not a problem :-))
    Sorry to interrupt you serious discussion.

  43. Mary Avatar

    I belief that in most wolf programs standard protocol for protection of people and their property is to remove a wolf if it kills livestock and even dogs in some programs. This program has really pushed the envelope towards endangerment as far as basic safety for people and their livelihoods.
    They couldn’t keep enough wolves on the ground with this reasonable standard for protection (removal for a depredation) so safety was compromised by coming up with the “three-strikes” policy that “permitted” three times the endangerment allowed in other programs.

    Policy to the rescue yet again, and of course changed to the benefit of the Mexican wolf program and the endangerment of the residents, no longer allowing just three-strikes per wolf but multiples of three strikes. Overnight what were three strikes in one day (it happens here) became one strike. Are you following this?
    Technically those in the “recovery” area are currently in a situation where they may have to endure the possibilty of nine times the endangerment allowed in other programs.

    I don’t think the endangered species act is intended to initiate this kind of extreme escalation from the basic safety standards of limits to endangerment.

    Now, since this extreme escalation of endangerment, I’ll call it the “3-strikes x 3″ policy”, mystery of mystery, the program STILL can’t keep enough wolves on the ground for a to indicate a viable situation! Now a remarkably callous and insane movement is underfoot to void ALL removal protections and just let’em rip on the people’s existance here.

    How did we get plagued with these people? Loving nature is one thing, and people here do love their world and its creatures and beauty but this is some obscene abuse occurring here. Apparently it knows no limits!

    There’s no mystery why this program is failing and many have recognized the shortcomings that would lead to failure from the get go.

    1. The majority of the wolves placed here are hopelessly
    H-A-B-I-T-U-A-L-I-Z-E-D. They just cannot leave people and their pets and their livestock alone. This is not the people’s fault or their children’s fault or their pet’s or livestock’s fault. IS it?

    2. The landscape was already fully utilized. Its called culture – rural culture. Outside of towns and communities there are places without houses that form the open land-base which is the foundation of this culture. This is a family based herding/grazing culture. This is not a cattle “industry”. It is irresponsible to continue blaming and punishing the culture here for an out of control and continuing to fail fiasco.

    Ed Bangs who ran the Yosemite wolf re-introduction said it in a nutshell when he was in the area for a workshop (close but paraphrasing), “IT WILL NEVER WORK HERE”. A later communication from Ed to a director of this program clues us in once again on something I’ve known for years, “THERE IS NO CORE AREA FOR WOLVES” to recover in here.

  44. elkhunter Avatar

    Cred and Mary you are fighting a losing battle, no matter what you say, anyone says, Feds or pro-wolf anyone, nothing will change. They will always feel the way they do, and you will always feel the way you do. I am just glad I live in UT and dont have to deal with all the drama that wolves bring with them, this is the exact reason that I hope wolves never make it here. Nothing but drama.

  45. Sean Burlew Avatar
    Sean Burlew

    Finally, a high-level elected leader who understands the real value of wildlife and wild nature…and posesses the courage to do something about it.

    Long live Richardson!

  46. Austin Avatar

    I second that comment, if Richardson makes the primary he will have my vote.

  47. kt Avatar

    I think Elkhunter’s comment about not liking the drama – which also amounts to uncertainty – cuts to the core of some people’s deep personality reactions to wolves — and wildness. Wild places should be uncertain and unpredictable – not theme parks where eveything is perfectly in place.

    Having wolves present, besides peforming a key ecological function – makes places seem wilder and less predictable. Suddenly humans who like to think they are top dog have to grapple with the knowledge that there is a big social carnivore out there – doing its own thing.

    And the comment about Wayne Hage: The ultimate public lands scofflaw rancher. He essentially took from all of us – the public whose lands he beat to death in Nevada with cattle – until the Forest Service took the highly unusual step of canceling his grazing permit.

  48. elkhunter Avatar

    KT, not really the uncertainty of wolves, just the problems they create, they divide towns, cause all this contention, pit people against each other. All for a wolf. Ya I will concede that they do good for the environment, do I feel the world as we know it would end if wolves were gone? No. Does the ecosystem need predators to stay healthy? Yes. But at what cost? I have no idea whats going on in NM. I dont live there, its easy for us that live along ways away from that area to say deal with it. And that we are the ones that took their habitat away. I can see both sides, just the attitude of tough shit, deal with it, would make me react the same way. I just find it amusing that the people who live there and experience this every week are getting attacked by people who probably dont even know where Catron County is on a map. I know I dont know where its at. Either way keep the wolves in ID, MT, WY, NM and I dread the day if they ever make it to UT!!

  49. Austin Avatar

    Elkhunter, first nobody is attacking anyone for living where they do. They are calling into question the credibility of statements made on this website. When people start stating that they have to have armed escorts for their children to go to school for fear of a wolf attack? Are we talking about Baghdad or NM? Sorry, but that sounds like BS to me. The child predators, stray dogs, drunken drives, would all be of much greater concern to me than a wolf attacking my child. Also I am sorry Mary, but if what you described were true the news and media would have it plastered on every paper and TV channel across this country. I should also mention that many of the wolves are collared and tracked, so the nonsense of them hanging out at the schoolhouse does not fly with me. Nor do I believe that the Governor would be supporting the program. Now I do not live in that area but I do have six years of experience with both wild and socialized wolves and know for a fact that wild wolves are very scared of people even children. The only exception occurs when people begin to feed them but that happens with any wildlife.

  50. elkhunter Avatar

    Austin, what sort of experience do you have? Have you worked with an agency? What state did you gain your experience? Would the wolves in NM that were first raised in captivity behave differently than those hard released in ID? If so, then what sort of behavior patterns would be different? Would that include wolves hanging around farms? Taking shits on peoples front porch’s? I read the wolfs crossing so I am just going from that, but it seems to me that the woves down there are acting much differently than those is the Rockies. But you have more expertise than me, why are they acting differently, that is if they are acting differently.

  51. Sean Burlew Avatar
    Sean Burlew

    Uncle Dave Foreman’s
    Around the Campfire
    “Wolves Will Eat Your Babies!”
    The Rewilding Institute
    July 4, 2007 Issue Twelve
    We have seen a rising tide of hysteria in the last few years over the
    recovery of gray wolves in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming and over the Mexican
    wolf (lobo) in Arizona and New Mexico. Wolf-haters are using any argument,
    plausible or not, to demand the second extinction of wolves in the wild.
    The most terrifying arguments against wolves and other carnivores is that
    they will eat children. Cynical wolf-haters in Catron County, New Mexico, are
    currently waving this faux bloody-diaper to demand the removal of all lobos
    because their mere presence is causing psychological trauma to local children.
    I’ll explore this 2007 antiwolf campaign in a forthcoming Around the Campfire.
    In this issue, however, I want to put the danger from wolves into perspective.
    Typical of the modern Little-Red-Ridinghood fear is a column by Stanford
    economist and always-pissed-off “free-market” ideologue Thomas Sowell. Ten
    years ago, he wrote, “Even when children are killed by wolves or other animals
    on that list [the Endangered Species list], the main concern of the
    environmental fascists is to prevent ‘hysteria.’” 1 One would assume that in
    order to be published in reputable newspapers, Sowell has files stuffed with hairraising,
    documented reports on lethal attacks by endangered species (flocks of
    marbled murrelets attacking Oregon schoolchildren at recess?), but typical of
    1 Thomas Sowell, “Could the worm of the zealots at last be turning?” The Albuquerque
    Tribune, Nov. 14, 1997, p. A10.
    those fanning such “hysteria,” he does not see fit to give a single example of
    children being harmed, much less killed, by listed critters. Nor do the
    newspapers running his column seem to worry about facts any more than do
    supermarket-checkout-stand tabloids.
    More common folk than a Stanford professor share his Brothers Grimm
    fear. At the 1995 public hearing on Mexican wolf reintroduction in Socorro,
    New Mexico, my sister, Roxanne Pacheco, brought her little boy, Bennie, and
    some of his cousins dressed up in wolf costumes. Late in the hearing, a woman
    testified that the “woman with all the little wolf babies” would change her mind
    after wolves killed and ate them. In 1999, mass hysteria broke out in
    southwestern New Mexico’s rural San Francisco Valley (Catron County) as
    residents convinced themselves that wolves were stalking the streets at night,
    killing their cats, dogs, and livestock. Children would be next, despite the fact
    that no evidence of wolves nearby was found. (Catron County holds the
    champion’s belt, by the way, for most benighted county in America.)
    Now, I suppose it is possible that a wild wolf could attack a child in Catron
    County. It is also highly improbable, as only a tiny handful of cases exist of a
    healthy, wild wolf attacking anyone in North America.2 (In a much-publicized
    case in Saskatchewan last year at first it looked like wolves killed a hiker, but
    now it looks like a black bear did the deed.) Instead of agonizing over the
    remote possibility of wolf attacks in lightly populated, sprawling Catron County,
    why not worry about real dangers? It is far more possible that a child will be
    injured or killed in Catron County in an automobile accident because it is not
    properly strapped in. It is possible—indeed, almost certain—that next year a
    child in Catron County will be the victim of physical or sexual abuse by an adult
    2 Tim Mowry, “Woman recovering after wolf attack,” Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-
    Miner , July 12, 2006.
    in the household. I write this based on eight years experience of living in Catron
    This overblown fear of wolves is a fear of the unknown. It is a fear that
    numbs, a fear that enrages, a fear that overwhelms common sense. It is a fear
    that sweeps away the facts and paralyzes rationality. Those who work to prop
    up the nineteenth-century resource-exploitation industries on public lands
    cruelly exploit it.
    A prime example of irrational fear surrounding wolves comes from the
    New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau. On May 16, 2000, the Farm Bureau
    issued a press release concerning the “life-threatening attack” by wolves on a
    woman jogger in Gila Hot Springs (a small rural subdivision surrounded by the
    Gila Wilderness Area). Norm Plank, executive vice president of the Bureau,
    solemnly warned, “I can assure you no human is a match for a starving pack of
    wolves in a feeding frenzy.”3
    What of the woman attacked? How severe were her injuries? Was there
    any hope of recovery? Well, according to Renée Despres, the attack was a
    “nonincident.” She was jogging with her two Labrador retrievers when they
    came upon two Mexican wolves. Her two dogs “ran towards the wolves and
    then came back. The larger wolf followed,” according to the story in the
    Albuquerque Journal. She chucked a few rocks at the wolf and it ran away.
    “Despres said she did not feel threatened and thought the wolf that trailed the
    dogs was just curious.” She took her dogs home and went on to finish her run.4
    This incident shows how we conservationists might deconstruct
    outlandish lies by wolf-haters. One, Plank says he “can assure us.” That
    3 Plank would have been correct to say that no truth is a match for a Farm Bureau
    spokesperson in a media frenzy.
    4 Tania Soussan, “Jogger Hurls Rocks At Mexican Wolves,” Albuquerque Journal, May 17,
    statement presumes expertise about wolves. Does Plank have any? Has he
    studied wolves scientifically? Has he read scientific papers about wolf behavior?
    Has he ever even seen a wolf in the wild? Two, he implies the woman was
    attacked by a “pack.” In reality, there were only two wolves. Three, he says
    the wolves were starving. What does he base this on? Where’s his evidence?
    Finally, he claims they were in a “feeding frenzy.” But the woman says that one
    wolf was just curious and took off after she threw a couple of rocks. Plank
    certainly has an odd definition of a feeding frenzy. It is essential that
    conservationists pick apart all antiwolf fantasies to this degree. Nail each point
    down and show that it is hogwash. Give the reporter or whomever a
    conspiratorial eye and say, “C’mon, you’re smart enough to see through these
    kinds of claims. You’re a reporter. You’re supposed to be skeptical and ask
    questions. It’s just a three-little-pigs story.” After such gentleness, I think it is
    fine to treat a reporter who repeats Nature-bullshit with scorn, and to question
    their credibility and journalistic skills. When a reporter, such as the one who
    wrote up the “attacked” woman’s side of the story, does a proper get-at-thefacts
    story, we should praise her. Praise for good reporting on controversial
    conservation issues is vital if we are to turn around sloppy news stories.
    Nevertheless, dangerous animals are out there. Conservationists need to
    constantly point that out. In 1997-1998, for example, domestic dogs attacked
    nine million people in the United States. Twenty-seven Americans died from
    these attacks.5 Nineteen of them were children. Between 1991 and 1998,
    rottweilers killed thirty-three Americans and pit bulls killed twenty-one.
    Between 1979 and 1998, pit bulls killed sixty-six, rottweilers thirty-seven,
    5 “Dog Days,” Time, September 25, 2000, p. 110.
    German shepherds seventeen, and huskies fifteen Americans.6 In contrast,
    between 1890 and 2006 only seventeen people in the United States were killed
    by mountain lions.7 There is no documented case of a wild wolf killing a human
    in North America. Insofar as the recent case in Saskatchewan goes, a credible
    source has told The Rewilding Institute, “The official investigation will conclude
    that the man was killed by a large carnivore and the preponderance of evidence
    supports the conclusion that he was killed by a black bear.” The report will be
    out soon, though I’m sure it will not keep the wolf-haters from continuing to
    blame packs of wolves in a feeding frenzy for committing the awful deed. But
    conservationists must respond with this new information when reporters say
    that wolves were responsible for the deadly attack.
    Along unfenced highways in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah
    10,000 motorists collided with cows during 1996 and 1997. Thirty-five people
    were killed.8 In these states motorists are liable for the damage they do to a
    rancher’s cow; the rancher is not liable for the safety hazard. When I was living
    in the small town of Ely in western Nevada in 1982-1983, a woman and her
    child died a grisly death after hitting a cow late at night along a U.S. highway.
    The owner of the cow sued the dead woman’s husband for the value of the cow.
    Although a wolf pack or even a lone wolf could fairly easily kill a human,
    wolf expert David Mech has wondered why wolves do not attack us. He has
    lived with wolves in the Canadian High Arctic and writes that “none has ever
    made me feel afraid of it.” One of the reasons for the lack of wolf attacks is
    6 The Associated Press, “Man’s worst friend is now the Rottweiler,” The Albuquerque
    Tribune, September 15, 2000.
    7 Tony Davis and Enric Volane, “How close do mountain lions come to you?” Arizona
    Daily Star, July 16, 2006.
    8 The Associated Press, “Open-Range Foes Say Cattle a Traffic Hazard,” Albuquerque
    Journal, August 10, 1997.
    their fear of people. In places where wolves are not afraid of humans, Mech
    thinks that our standing on two legs may intimidate them as though we were
    bears, which wolves wisely avoid. In the very few cases in Eurasia where there
    are documented cases of healthy wolves killing people (such as in India), the
    victims are largely unattended children scurrying around in brush, and the
    wolves are habituated to humans and “perhaps they are so desperate from lack
    of prey that they must resort to scavenging closely around humans’ abodes.”9
    I had a close encounter with a wolf in a remote area of Arctic Canada. I
    was not standing up, though. I was caught in a far more vulnerable position
    with my pants down answering a call of Nature. I glanced up and less than one
    hundred feet away a large black wolf sauntered by, uninterested in me. I was
    not in any way afraid—I was joyously spellbound. Though it would be a real
    hoot to watch Sowell or Plank in such a situation. Imagine it.
    Of course, wolves and other predators do kill (that’s why they are called
    predators). Among such prey are pets. And some rural and suburban dwellers
    howl about predators when they kill their roaming dogs and cats. But, as Kenny
    Dove, Game Warden for Albemarle County in Virginia, says, “When you move
    into prime wildlife habitat, that’s what you’re going to get: prime wildlife.” In
    1998, our cat, Diablo, was killed by a coyote in our neighborhood. Nancy and I
    really loved Diablo; he was a cat among cats. We grieved for Diablo, but we did
    not demand that coyotes be eliminated from the nearby Sandia Mountains to
    make our neighborhood safe for cats. We recognized the reality of living near
    wilderness and that coyotes were here first. We now keep our other cats
    locked in at night.
    9 L. David Mech, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Revisited,” International Wolf, Spring
    1998, pp. 9-11.
    So, what if there are no wolves or other critters with big teeth to fear?
    No problem! Scared folks with a twisted view of Nature can always find
    something. Even prairie dogs terrorize some overwrought folks. Ben Brown,
    manager of the private Gray Ranch in southwestern New Mexico, writes, “A few
    of our neighbors panicked when they learned of our intentions [to reintroduce
    prairie dogs]. They discovered that prairie dog populations are extremely
    susceptible to sylvatic plague. They mounted a campaign of misstatement,
    exaggeration and hysteria that has just about everyone in this part of New
    Mexico convinced that the ‘black death,’ which swept Europe in the Middle
    Ages, is at their doorstep.” However, when plague hits a dog town, it sweeps
    through like a prairie fire. This means there is very little chance that prairie
    dogs from a healthy town will have plague. Nonetheless, all prairie dogs brought
    to the Gray were dusted with flea powder and confined for a week before being
    released. There was vanishingly little chance of plague slipping through.10
    Ben Brown’s neighbors in the Bootheel Heritage Society, who have worked
    themselves into a lather about prairie dogs, need only look to the big city to
    calm down. I live in a pretty nice neighborhood in Albuquerque. Two blocks
    away, there is a prairie dog town. For over four miles, it parallels Tramway Road
    and an adjacent paved path used by bicyclists, walkers, in-line skaters, and
    parents pushing baby strollers. My neighbors and I delight in the prairie dogs. I
    regularly see folks bringing grass clippings and other food to the chubby
    rodents. There is no hysteria about “black death.” The folks in the Bootheel
    Heritage Society should change its name to the Bootheel Superstition Society.
    Being a realist about human nature, I do not expect facts or reason to
    turn wolf-haters away from their fears and superstitions. But there are others,
    10 Bennett A. Brown, “They’re safe, they’re homebodies, and they improve the range,”
    The Albuquerque Tribune, June 23, 1999.
    including some reporters, who sympathize with the Salem-style excitement
    about wolves because they don’t know any better. It is the task of biologists
    and conservationists to teach reporters and others the truth about wild animals,
    and to take them to task when they uncritically report on antipredator
    A good way to get our message across might be to point out the irony
    that all along we have pretended that Europe was overcivilized and denatured
    while the American West was wild. In truth, there are 15,000 to 18,000 wolves
    in Europe; 2,000 wolves roam Spain alone.11 What sissies our wolf-hating hemen
    and she-women of the West really are. For authenticity, Hollywood should
    film all Westerns in Spain instead of in such domesticated places as Wyoming
    and New Mexico.
    –Dave Foreman
    Among the prairie dogs
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  52. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Sean, Thanks.
    I suspect that if a couple of posters here was in the same position as you when you seen the wolf 100 ft. away they would have finished their business and then some. I have even offered contingency provisions in one instance. :*))

  53. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Thanks, Sean.

    Although Elkhunter doesn’t know where Catron County county is, most folks who follow western issues know the long history of the area as a hotbed of anti-government sentiment when it comes to conservation issues.

    It is more or less the home of Western “custom and culture” movement, a view than counties can declare their custom and culture to be mining, logging and grazing and that action can be used to invalidate federal laws, rules and regulations.

  54. Mary Avatar

    The whole Aspen Pack was remover from the Blue River community where they had moreless lived and terrorized for 6+ months right after the true School incident. Wolf scat and tracks had been found around the school previously and the wolves had been monitored within 2-3 miles of the school during school for a couple days. The Teacher and the parents were never notified of this wolf presence during school hours and were later informed that they weren’t notified because about 2-3 miles “is a long way for a wolf.” BALDERDASH!!! This is public record.

    Aren’t you people capable of questioning or examinimg anything. Many of you are practicing pure pre-conceptualized science. Decide what is most convenient and comfortable for you to think according to your own personel fantasia and just dismiss everything out of hand that doesn’t support it. How intellectionally and emotionally unstimulating. Kinda like being cast in concrete.

    The pictures I’ve seen of Wayne Hage’s Ranch are beautiful.
    A new study from USFS Rocky Mountain Research Station shows that grasslands in the Southwest grazed moderately, as the vast majority of grazing is done here now, has more forage cover, less invasive species, and more diversity than areas not grazed at all -EVEN DURING DROUGHT.

    Some exciting turns of events are happening

    Governor Richardson has some very real issues he and his game commission should be dealing with right now instead of this nonsense tempest in a teapot about a known badly habitualized wolf being legally removed. Rabies has come to the “recovery” area. Several rabid foxes have shown up. This could mean the end of the program if this does not become a priority. The many uncollared wolves out there which, by the rules, should have been caught and vaccinated and collared have made this a very risky situation for wildlife, pets, livestock and people. Rabis wolves have bitten as many as 15 people in a day. A new book, “Wolves in Russia” by Will Graves may contain more interesting information about wolves over the centuries than any other.

    This rabies deal is serious. Wolves are very effective vectors for many many diseases and parasites. This issue would be addressed immediately by any responsible management involved in the program. We’ll see.

    By the way, there are not millions of acres here for wolf recovery. The experts from up north have commented that there is no core area for wolf recovery here and “it can never work” in their opinion. No need to put your fingers in your ears or over your eyes. Your pre-conceptual
    inability to process realty will save you from it.

  55. Mary Avatar

    To Dave Foreman,

    People have lived and tended their eden here for possibly 2,000 + years according to maize pollen. There are many many rock paintings which contain the fauna of this land over the centuries. I have never seen or heard of any wolves in these pictures. It has been much more populated than now and it would seem reasonable that dangerous predator control has been going on a long time here. The lions and bears have more less made their peace for the most part and as man is still allowed to participate in the nature he is a part of by hunting and protecting from occasional threatening animals and so large predators are not really an issue here except for the wolves.

    They will not stay away from people for the most part and make themselve into vectors of endangerment constantly.
    Families are sometimes brought to dire straights, their children frightened, and they must watch their father daily struck impotant by program rules to deliver any relief.

    Your bit about Heman and Sheman can put up with wolves is a cheap shot kiddo. This not a matter of strength. None is allowed.

  56. kt Avatar

    elkhunter: Wolves pit people against each other only if you want to be fearful — and manipulated by the public lands livestock industry that uses and abuses public lands for private economic gain. Their message has always been: Predator. Hate. Kill. Especially: Have the Federal Gov’t Kill Predators – so we can turn our livestock out for long periods unattended. Like in Ralph’s photos of the disgusting cow squalor in the Pahsimeroi in central idaho where the cows have been dumped out on public lands where they now must drink their own wastes (blended with a lttle dribble of water) to survive.

    You know what, of late, I fear right now? I fear the flammability of cheatgrass – and what Global Warming is doing to the Planet – synergistically linked with livestock grazing and cheatgrass. More chance of dying from that all (as recent events in the Big Fire in Utah have shown) than from all the wolves in the Nation … or the world …

  57. Austin Avatar

    Hey Elkhunter,
    I have worked with several Wildlife Rehabilitation and Wolf Sanctuary groups with wild wolves removed from Yellowstone and the Southwest. Let me know and I would be happy to send you some pictures and details. Now as to explaining behavior from testimony coming out of Catron County, well just look at Sean and Ralph’s comments. But you go ahead and believe what you want.

  58. elkhunter Avatar

    Austin I would love that, If you have been in the SW and seen this first hand then yes I would accept your opinion alot more. I would though point out that you are comparing your experience with wolves from YNP. Which I thought were wolves that were reintroduced from Canada. Now I am pretty sure that the wolves in NM would behave very differently than their friends from up north. Different prey species I would imagine, different pack structures like you pointed out. I dont know about wolves, but I hunt and used to guide elk in various units in UT. Even though they were the same animal, the elk in one unit behaved very differently from elk in another unit, due to the habitat, some elk were more aggressive during the rut than bulls from another unit. Same animal, different behaviors, so if you have been down there and witnessed whats goin on then I would love to see the pictures. The only pictures I saw were on of the wolves following mule trains and killing colts in corrals 30 yards from house’s. So I would like to see another perspective.

  59. elkhunter Avatar

    KT, its not only ranchers and hunters that you always point out. There have been cattle grazing all over UT for as long as I can remember! And 15 years ago there were cows all over the mountain, and deer everywhere. Now we have elk everywhere, and no deer. So I dont know what the problem is, but I dont think its just cows. Yes I would like to see grazing cut down in certain areas. Do I want the entire industry shut down. No, thats how some really nice people that I know pay the bills, put their kids through school and support families. On this blog it is always the rancher/hunter who makes a mistake and then every rancher/hunter is to blame, there are alot of very responsible ranchers and hunters out there. So dont let some taint your opinion of all ranchers and hunters.
    And my issue with wolves has nothing to do with fear, I am not scared of a wolf, I am not worried about them running off with children, could that happen and some point, sure, it could happen. Fear is not the issue, I like UT how it is, without wolves, and wether you like it or not KT you know very well that all the wolf does is bring drama and problems, whether its because of fear or not, the problems are still there. People devote their lives to promoting and then others to stopping the wolf. Imagine how many hours Ralph has spent defending the wolf, if he had put that much time and effort into almost anything, he would have been a millionaire many times over. If they want wolves in UT make it a specific number, like 50, and if it gets over 50, we either shoot some to get it below 50, or send some to Canada. I could live with something like that. But thats just my thoughts.

  60. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

    I am not sure if the wolf indeed is not shown on any petroglyphs and why not. Surely somebody has done some research on this. Maybe it has something to do that they more often show hunting scenes and prey animals. But native myth all over the world feature the wolf in a very prominent role. Sure the natives have taken a wolf now and then but for a reason. For his pelt or whatever. I do not believe they did something like “predator control”. The organized mass genocide on wolves began much, much later. It would not even have ben possible earlier because a prerequisite was the industrial mass production of cheap firearms, poison and traps.

  61. elkhunter Avatar

    I bet if a caveman had a chance to kill a sabertooth tiger, I bet he would of. Thats competition to feed his family, thats my guess, obviously I cant prove it though.

  62. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    I bet if a caveman killed a sabertooth it would be primarily to eat it.

  63. elkhunter Avatar

    Lets go with that train of thought… I am a caveman, my health and ability is what feeds my family… So I will risk that to kill a very dangerous sabertooth tiger so that I can eat it……or I could kill a deer. Nature kills its competition all the time, wolves killing coyotes, lions killing hyenas and other big cats, why is it such a foreign idea Jeff?

  64. Moose Avatar

    I doubt many cavemen risked their and their family’s continued survival by taking on other predators on a routine basis. Humans have the ability to reason, that’s why we are still around and many predators aren’t.

  65. elkhunter Avatar

    Thats why I said if he has the opportunity.

  66. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    For the same reason that woolly mammoths and prehistoric bison were hunted (you want to talk dangerous animals) is that the reason to hunt was food and if what was available was sabertooth that day then that was what was on the menu. Otherwise it was probably left alone and /or avoided. This is some times called risk/reward assessment.

  67. elkhunter Avatar

    Jeff you entertain me, seriously, I have a hard time seeing primitive men focusing on hunting a HUGE sabertooth tiger, maybe if it was the only animal around for hundreds of miles, please dont be ridiculous. Thanks

  68. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    sabertooths were not that large, usually smaller than today’s lion although heavier. they are also thought to have been mainly ambush hunters and to have even been pack or pride groups. As I said humans probably left them alone and avoided them unless that was all that was available. All that aside elkhunter are you seriously saying that a band of *cavemen* would travel hundreds of miles (not even a concept at that time) to hunt something to eat instead? You are truly a curious individual.

  69. Chris H. Avatar
    Chris H.

    First of all, Jean c’est moi! I’ll get in touch shortly.
    The Alaska Department of Fish & Game put out Wildlife Technical Bulletin #13 (2002) entitled A Case History of Wolf – human Encounters in alaska and Canada. In this Mark McNay examines 80 historic incidents. Everyone should read it as is even-handed and give everyone on both sides of the issue the straight truth. When I get a chance I’ll dig for the link. They sent me a hardcopy for free!!
    Boiled down, only incidents in which wolves were first perceived as healthy were examined. Some incidents did involve rabid wolves. The jist of the Bulletin is that in some fashion or degree, almost all the incidents involved wolves that were habituated to humans, specifically their food. Many involved people who were feeding wolves at the time of the incident. Many include wolves biting or nipping. No one, however, was killed by a wolf – even the rabidcases.
    If you get a chance read this material.
    As for the Mexican Wolf, to some extent the wolves are habituated because you are trying to recover a population that was a dozen wolves or so from extinction. The people in the program I am sure have gone to great lengths to choose the best canidates for release ( that is to say allow level of habituation). The rules that the program has to work under actually increase the chance of habituation because they are constatly being yanked in and out of captivity. The boundary has to be eliminated.
    The other problem is livestock. I know there are many ranchers that employ best methods of ranching. However, as with most things, the few spoil it for the rest. The inability to enforce the removal of livestock that die on the range (for the multitude of reasons they die:disease, poisoning and my favorite sheep that roll overand can’t rite themselves) will lead to habituation for any predator.
    There is enough public land, enough good people and hopefully enough stock of this most endangered wolf for this to work.

  70. elkhunter Avatar

    Well I have never been a caveman, but if i was, and there was only sabertooth tigers to hunt, which they believe wieghed as much as 450lbs, I would probably move somewhere else, rather than hunt sabertooth tigers for dinner, you know the Native Americans, or Indians is what you might know them by, they would travel HUNDREDS of miles following food sources. I am sure you could find something on google about that. But I never hear of tribes in Africa depending on Lions to feed their families, I could be wrong though.

  71. SAP Avatar

    [posted this previously on the wrong thread!] All this talk about cavemen and smilodons reminded me of the work of Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. She lived among Bushmen in the Kalahari desert in the 1950s. You can read her 2006 book on the subject; here is a link to a 2003 article in Anthropologica:

    I have not read her stuff in awhile, but it seems that the Bushmen and the lions had some kind of millenia-long “truce,” so to speak. It’s fascinating. Heartbreaking, too — “civilized” (HA!) people have destroyed the Bushmen, moved them out of their homelands for “nature reserves;” see this link:

    So, people CAN live with large, fierce carnivores. There are obviously huge differences between a stone-age hunter-gatherer culture and our way of life here, but we have to take inspiration and instruction where we find it.

  72. kim Avatar

    funny thing,,,,, the govner of Montana was just as adament about the hazing and killing of bison as they moved from the park last year,,,,,,but when it came to back up to what he said,, he folded like a cheap paper sack,, when the last roundup bruha ha, came up back in june,,,,, only after he again saw there was opposition to the hazing and slaughter did he change his mind AGAIN,, and say well lets think about this again,,,,,,,it all comes down to there pay check,, they are gonna kiss the Arse that pays there checks,,, dont matter if they are dem or rep,,,, and unless richardson is some sort of genetic mutation of most politicians,, he too, will go the way of the paycheck,,,,,

  73. Mary Avatar

    There are just a few main points that are causing failure of this introduction. (Not “re-introduction”- the so-called Mexican wolf never lived here. Recorded history says Mogollon wolves were possible but there is really no history of widescale wolf presence here, a few passers-by perhaps. Recorded history shows that they had runnels looping up from Mexico but no record of and of ’em came nearly this far north.)

    1. Lack of core area for wolves to recover in. You’all certainly wouldn’t like FS or USFWS employees lighting a fire outside your house or dumping and life or regional livelihood threatening danger on you, would you? This is not just one household that is being affected by having wolves dumped on top of us. How would you like it if someone burned down you neighborhood and then your whole community, and then your county, and then your whole region. The culture goes back far enough to be indigenous here.


    Wolves in Russia shows that wolves are indeed something to fear. Especially when for whatever reason they loose their Fear of man. Kt is starting to sound like a broken record with her obsession with fear. We here are not obsessed with fear, we’re not even obsessed with wolves but they are shoved into our faces and endangering our children (very real), our economies etc etc ect and at this point we have to put up with this failing program in an area that has been inhabited for many many centuries, of great balance and variety, beauty, and abundance. No one NEEDED wolves for that. This area had some of the biggest elk in the US. Many rivers running with native fish. Forced removal of cattle from riparian areas has resulted in the extinction of native cyprinids (loach minnow, spikedace, chubs, suckers) on vast reaches of AZ rivers. Now they want to kill the ones in NM as well. Your misinformed assumptions about cattle causing cheatgrass and fires does not hold up in on the ground reality.

    Most of the grazing done in this area of the southwest is on the level (rest and rotation) which beats no use areas all to heck for almost every ecological value here you can think of.

    Your continual simplistic and careless announcements about how the cattle are “the” problem needs serious reassesment. You are living in a fantasy world. Where cheat grass is a problem is in no use areas. We live in an ancient Migratory Herdland ecology here. When forests grow too thick shading grasses, causing permanent ends to whole ecologies and vast habit areas for formerly native species I have to listen to someone from the “Wildlife Alliance” talk about how WONDERFUL IT ALL IS JUST TO KNOW ITS ALL BURNING UP. Then make little ritualistic flickering movements with her fingers as she moves her fingers arms rythmically up and down while she chants, “Let it burn, let it burn,…its nature’s WAY….just let it Burn. You and your ilk are the elements of the situation that are REALLY SCARY!

  74. Chris H. Avatar
    Chris H.

    Here is the address for said document. You will undoubtedly hae to key it in as it is not a hot link. However it is there for your perusal! My opinion I believe does not count for much but I thought the material was presented in an even-handed fashion. It is hardly an indictment of the wolf. The moral I suppose being wildlife is wild and best to treat these fellow travelers on our planet as such.

    I do not want to pick fights but the culture in Catron County is hardly indigenous anymore than mine is where I live. That does not make it bad or good – just not indigenous. A good thing too, that. You make it sound like Baghdad down there. It did not seem so when I was down there last month.

    2002 A Case History of Wolf-Human Encounters in Alaska and Canada
    Full document (2,081K)

  75. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

    Mary, when you are talking about “Wolves in Russia”, are you talking about this strange book straight out of the Xfiles, or are you quoting a respectable source?

  76. Mary Avatar

    Will Graves, “Wolves in Russia”, was just published a few months ago (see His sources for wolf history in Russia are from historic accounts over many centuries – not the x-files. They are not saddled by the impossible parameters set by the US Govt “designed” so they can claim that there have never been wolf kills of humans in the U.S. even though there most definately have. Almost all historic accounts in the US come from a period of time when much of the ungulate population had been hunted out, before the great restoration of ungulate herds this century. The ridiculous parameters for official human wolf attack deaths in the US contain such as “the wolf must be killed, it must be examined for rabies, someone must witness the attack,” I can’t remember the exact wording, but a whole list of qualifications that does not mean that there was not an attack, but that it (whew!) can’t be “claimed” as an attack.

    Most of the historical accounts of human attacks and deaths by wolves come from a time when it would be impossible to fulfill the “well designed” criteria.

    Wolves cause this kind of mortality sink as well as humans. Even within continental size landscapes an area defined by a wolfpacks “territory” can become a prey species mortality sink iniating “Russian Wolf” type aggressive behavior, as they outbreed their food source sometimes 2-3-4 to one and eat them as well.

    First eat all the prey species, then eat all the pets and livestock, then eat the people is a pattern observed in Russia. Rabies with wolves was a very big problem with as many as 15 people being bitten by a rabid wolf in one day.

    Unlike western Europe, lack of eradication programs by
    Russian nobility and almost no access to effective control weapons resulted in a large population of habituated, dangerous wolves and the many attacks and deaths associated with such a population. This behavior is not endemic to wolves in Russia, in fact this behavior shows up as it did historically in our own country, whenever this kind of dynamic occurs. This dynamic is showing itself in Scandanavia where (protected) wolves are decimating historic reindeer herds.

  77. Moose Avatar


    You certainly don’t lack for hyperbole. Mr Graves is a linguist. His specialty is mythology and folklore of Russia. Doesn’t necessarily translate well to wildlife biology. (all puns intended)

    Mr Graves also wasn’t able to convince any publishers to distribute his fine scientific treatise. You need to send a check to his home address to procure a copy – he doesn’t accept credit cards yet. I also see he has Dr Valerius Geist, Ph.D. as editor. Isn’t that convenient – he parrots what the good Doc has been saying for years.

    Please direct us to any documentation on those “impossible parameters set by the US Govt “designed” so they can claim that there have never been wolf kills of humans in the U.S. …”

    Here is quote from Mr Graves from his preface:

    “I believe that wolves have a legitimate role and place in the ecosystem. I support that their numbers be carefully managed as result of scientific research on their impact on given areas. ”

    Doesn’t quite jibe with your rantings on wolves. His biggest beef is with the possibilty of reintroed wolves spreading disease to other wildlife and domestic animals, not with creating ‘mortality sinks’ or eating men, women, children, and puppies.

    Please, in the future, less hysterics…makes you sound like you should be on a ledge somewhere.

  78. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

    Mary, I know that this book circulates on the underground market as the new bible for anti-wolfers. Unfortunately it´s not available on the open market through amazon, booklooker so I have my problems to get one (thanks for the link). When I learnt of it´s existance a few month ago in a comment of this Billings Gazette blog I started research on the author and his previous “products”. I was just curious how an American author managed to write a book on a subject where European and even internal Russian authors can only fail, considering the language barrier, considering that not much documentation is available in Russia, considering the problems accessing Russian States (especially when you are from the US – this traditionally good relationship between Russia and America you know) and so on. As I have some good connections to Russia and especially Kazahstan I know what I´m talking about, believe me! What I found out let´s me believe he is a really strange guy and I suspect, he did his research from the armchair only! Nevertheless I´ll invest the 25 or so $ for the book and use it as a starting point for my own researches in Russia. My long experience with Russia tells me however that this will most probably take the rest of my life! A true miracle what the author achieved!

  79. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

    Mary, one thing I forgot: Despite your prey/livestock/pets/people theory I can assure you there is still prey/livestock/pets/people in Russia, even in the remote parts :-))

  80. Jay Avatar

    Here’s a very comprehensive article co-authored by some respected biologists (Luigi Boitani, for one) that gives a good overview of wolf attacks in N. America and Europe ( Basically, they do find evidence that there have been some isolated incidents over the years in Russia of numerous people being attacked or killed. However, the underlying theme of the article is that wolves are not something to be worried about.

  81. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Just for the record, I put up a link to that report, “The Fear of Wolves,” on my old website in 2003.

    It got (gets) very few “hits.” I’d urge more people to download it and read it.

  82. Layton Avatar

    “Mr Graves is a linguist. His specialty is mythology and folklore of Russia. Doesn’t necessarily translate well to wildlife biology. (all puns intended)”

    It’s kind of like a professor of Political Science running a blog that folks think is the ultimate source for information about wolves.


    the devil made me do it!! 8^)

  83. Austin Avatar

    Or one who lets anti-wolf folks post their “opinions” on his wildlife news blog, even though they often do so in a condescending and immature manner.

  84. Layton Avatar

    Sooooo Austin,

    Contrary to what some of the more dedicated “wolf worshipers” would like — Ralph seems to be more fair minded.

    I guess I know which way YOU would like things. Do you REALLY enjoy just singing to the choir ALL the time??

    Methinks your hat is on to tight — lighten up a bit, try loosening it just a couple of notches!!!


  85. Mary Avatar

    Mr. Graves merely translated historical accounts gathered in Russia. No Biology degree is necessary to present interesting, relevant and enlightening history.

    He worked for the government in Mexico, saw wolves and has remained fascinated about them for many years.

    Some excerpts from his book, “Wolves in Russia” follows:

    “Man-eating Wolves in Nineteenth Century Estonia”

    “This informationwas provided by Ilmar Rootsi, Estonian Naturalists Society, Tartu, Estonia, and was presented in Poland in October 1994 to the International Symposium on Large Predators and Man.

    Data on the victims of maneating wolves have been collected from the archives of the Republics of Estonia and Latvia where the author has studied clergynem’s accounts of law courts and the correspondence of the Governor’s offices and the administration of the Guyberniyas of Estonia and Livona. In addition, the archives of Estonian folklore, as well as press and literature of the 18th and 19th centuries have provided material.

    According to documented data, during the period of 1804-1853 man-eating (non rabid) wolves killed 111 persons in Estonia [roughly the size of the current BRWRA, M.], of which 108 were children, two were men and one woman. Of the 108 children, 59 were boys aged 1-15 (average age 7.3 years) and 47 girls aged a-17 years (average age 7.2 years). The sex and age of two children were not indicated…..nearly three-quarters (74%) of the victims lived in the county af Tartumaa, particularly in its northern part where the parish of Torma-Bohugaa suffered the loss of 48 children and one man in 1808-1853, i.e. 44% of all the victims, with the worst year 1809 when 36 children fell victim.

    The man-eating wolves wolves killed people in the southeastern, eastern, northeastern and northern parts of Estonia up to the town of Tallinn. Their “den” or the centre was situated in the perishes of the county of Tartumaa along the western shore of Lake Peipus.

    In the activity of man-eating wolves there were three peak five-year periods: 56 people were killed by wolves in 6 parishes in 1806-1810; 10 persons were killed by wolves in 6 parishes in 1811-1815: 23 persons were killed by wolves in 6 parishes in 1846-1850…..”

  86. Mary Avatar

    I have found the US criteria for wolf attacks in the US in several sources, my files on issues in this area are large. This very long inhabited area is beautiful thanks to the people who have lived here for millenia. No, thousands of years of human habitation has not ruined but enriched this area. Emerging science, observations and studies show marked broad spectrum ecological loss when these people are displaced by “environmental” lawsuits. Everyone wants a piece of our rural america pie here. If the agencies managed to get all the programs they want and the enviro’s insisted on all their ecological improvements and tourism and the upscale housing develpements displacing ranches because of the wolf…. a circus indeed. But really now, Forestry experts from the FS assure me that it will all burn, mostly catastrophically, destroying habitat for current native species.

    OK here is the list of criteria for determining wolf attacks in the United States. I believe these are federal criteria and that I have seen this published in a paper by Mcnay:

    1. The wolf has to be killed, examined and found to be healthy.

    2. It must be proven that the wolf has never been kept in captivity in its entire life.

    3.There must be eyewitnesses to the attack.

    4. The person must die from their wounds (bites are generally not considered attacks according to the biologists

    What do mean these are the federal criteria for wolf attacks? This is absurd. What is the full reference for “the paper by Mcnay?” Name of paper? Publication? Publication date? etc.

    None of the reintroduced wolves or their offspring in Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho or Wyoming have bitten anyone, except that Ed Bangs got a slight bite during a radio collaring operation. Ralph Maughan

  87. mikarooni Avatar

    With regard to the reliability of wolf reports translated from old sources in the former Soviet Union, I would suggest that you ponder what other information coming out of the old Soviet Union that you would take on face value. Remember, Stalin claimed that the telephone was invented there. For that matter, ponder what other information coming out of remote and backward regions of the US in past centuries that you would take on face value. Salem witch trials? Well, hell, what information coming out of Catron County today would take on face value? Bigfoot anyone?

  88. Mary Avatar


    I would trust the people of “my handshake is my word” country here in rural AZ/NM much more than any of the management level in the wolf program who have constantly provided us with false information, made false promises, and misrepresent the situation here to the public regularly.

    The information in this account was presented by the Estonian Naturalists Society at the International Symposium on Large Predators and Man in 1994. I don’t think it would have been presented if it was communist propaganda such as that we experience with the wolf program here. Thes were very rural, backwoods areas, 500+ miles from Moscow.

  89. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Wolves could become dangerous to people if they were conditioned to be that way.

    That’s one reason why the feeding of wild wolves or baiting them is prohibited. They could become dangerous in the same way a bear does, although it seems to be harder to accomplish with wolves.

    There is little doubt that wolf hybrids do attack people, and, of course, there are about a million dog bites a year.
    If wolves saw people as prey and they could get away with it, they would probably kill people from time-to-time. I don’t think anyone even questions that this happened in the past in parts of the world where human corpses lying about were common and wolves were common. That is not the current situation in North America, however.

    That is also one reason those with livestock should clean up the carcasses. It conditions wolves and other animals to see livestock as a food source.

    You ought to read the major report mentioned several comments back about wolf attacks around the world. There have been a lot of them, but none have been in the lower 48 states.

    Once again the study is: The Fear of Wolves: A Review of Attacks on Humans. Norsk institutt for naturfirskning. It’s massive report. Jan. 2002. pdf file.

    This report is a lot better source than this author (Graves) being debated in this thread.

  90. Mary Avatar

    Yes, there have been plenty of recorded wolf killings in the US (do I have to look up that paper too? I guess so, you won’t go out of your way to find the truth, your minds are made up or full, whatever). The wolf killings of humans occured at mostly around a century ago and back where elk and deer populations of North America had pretty much been decimated (both man and wolves create mortality sinks). Here in the sparsely settled SW of the time the military stationed a vast number of troops. They survived with wild game for meat till they realized they had eaten almost all the wild game. The solution was to bring in the beef. Shortly thereafter come the first real reports by biologists of wolf presence. They seem to appear in recorded history along with the large cattle influx. There is a maybe account of a possible historic breeding pair in the Pelloncillo Mtns. just north of the Mexican border. The furthest north historical sighting of a Mexican wolf was at Hatch, NM.They did have several traditional large runnels that came up from Mexico and and looped back, taking about two weeks to get back to Mexico.

    Anyway there are many recorded human wolf kills in North America. Surprised you haven’t come across these accounts.
    Of course not one of them is recognized due to the above parameters for determining an “official” wolf kill, which NO historic account of ANY human kill by any large predator could ever fulfill. The statement that there have been no human kills by wolves in the lower 48 is fallacious, Mike, for that reason.

  91. Dan Avatar

    Obviously you have a deep hatred of wolves for some reason, and you’re entitled to your opinion. I don’t pretend to have had the same experiences with wolves that you have had. However I have never heard of any healthy wild wolf ever attacking a human, and as far as I have heard from sources such as Doug Smith (the Yellowstone Park Wolf Biologist), there has never been an such an attack. So I would love to be enlightened about your evidence of the “many recorded human deaths due to wolves”.

    Personally in my wolf experience, which admittedly is only with the gray wolves in Yellowstone, I have seen absolutely no reason to fear them. Now before you attack my wolf opinions as being closed-minded because I don’t agree with you, let me give you some background about myself.

    I tracked with the Yellowstone Wolf Project in 2002, and have run into them on a few occasions hiking in the backcountry of the park. I was a ranger there for 5 years and live in Bozeman, MT. Frankly, they are about as shy and elusive as any animals I’ve ever dealt with.

    Here’s a little experience I like to share with folks that fear wolves: In March of 2002, I was on an overlook in Yellowstone watching the Druid wolfpack. There were 14 of them on a kill that they had just made, meaning they had not yet started to feed on it. I was in a group of maybe 20 people watching with spotting scopes at a distance of about a mile. There happened to be two people that were on this overlook that decided to get a closer look, and walked down our hill. They traveled behind a ridge until they popped back into view of the wolves at a distance of a quarter mile. Would you like to guess what those big, bad, wolves did to these two people? Instead of actively defending their kill, all 14 of them turned tail and scampered away up a hill. Even though they had not even started to feed on this carcass.

    Anyway, like I said you’re entitled to your opinion, but you’ll have to forgive me if I find absolutely no reason to agree with you. When I’m out in the backcountry I’ll be on the lookout for bears, moose, cougars, and of course the carnivorous chipmunk… all of whom are more dangerous than wolves!

  92. Mary Avatar

    Doug Smith is, like all fed employees is bound to the criteria listed about 6 comments back which guarantees any historical account, and probably any modern incident if it should occur can’t be “officially” counted. Following the stipulations does not guarantee that an attack or kill that doesn’t qualify didn’t happen. I don’t know the history of this list of paramenters but it has come in very handy for those who wish to promote a romantic view of wolf behavior that just doesn’t jibe. Too many historical accounts exist. Are all historical accounts of deaths by large predators to be written off as false just because someone invented a list to obscure reality?

    The difference between more aggressive and less shy bears and lions here seems to have alot to do with hunger.
    A dry winter, fluctuatuions in prey species, whatever. This same phenonmenon has been observed in wolves. Of course habituated animals, like the kind you hear so much about in the Mexican wolf recovery program have lost their fear of people. This seems to happen consistantly in partnership with a species situation. Its happened with mountain lions, bears etc. and has lead to more control in some instances.

    Just for the record, I don’t hate wolves. I don’t hate any animals or anything in nature. My best artwork in my life was a wolf mask. What I find extremely frustrating and disagreeable is people from somewhere else who force a destructive and ill-willed agenda on innocent people. Most of the bad ranching is gone here. If you don’t take care of your land you go out of business pretty quick. The ranchers here now are very sensitive to nature and many are doing miraculous stewardship. The U-bar ranch on the Gila River has cattle on the river, has ditches off the river watering side pastures, has the largest known extant and most robust population of endangered willow-flycatchers, Two FWS preserves on either side of the ranch – cattle fenced out- have a total of 5. The ranch also boasts the densest songbird habitat in North America (you can google this), an incredibly high 98% native fish including good populations of threatened and endangered species. Other healthy populations of threatened and rare species also thrive there. Yet if the Center for Illogical Destruction has its way all this could go the way of the Verde River in AZ. where cattle removal ended the abundance of native species. And the flycatchers didn’t nest in the willows, (course the CBD insists that cattle must be removed so that there are more willows for the flycatcher) they didn’t like the willows but nested in the boxelders away from the river.

    You just see so much natural destruction and callous treatment, and unfair spin around here, not by the people here, who are as honest as the day is long, but by those who want their land, no matter what cost to the people or nature.

  93. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

    I´m trying to find the original reference document quoted in Mary´s post dated July 19. Not even the National Library of Estonia has a copy. Does somebody out there possess a copy or link? The title is: Rootsi I (2001): Man-Eater Wolves in 19th Century Estonia. Proceedings of the Baltic Large Carnivore Initiative Symposium: ‘Human Dimensions in Large Carnivores in Baltic Countries’ (NOTE: The date is 2001 not 1994)
    What I did find however is a document from same author, titled: Rootsi I (2001) RABID WOLVES AND THE MAN IN 18th / 19th CENTURY ESTONIA. ISSN 1648-6919. Quite interesting, the numbers of victims contained therein is quite similar to the numbers obviously given in the other doc.

  94. mikarooni Avatar

    Well, Peter, as I’m sure you’ll agree, it isn’t quite accurate or maybe even not honest for anyone to be representing statistics on “rabid wolves,” admittedly any rabid animal can be dangerous, as statistics on “man-eater wolves,” which are something else entirely. Perhaps this could be an indication that the Graves book may contain some inaccuracies and may actually not be entirely credible. Hmmmm…

  95. Peter Kiermeier Avatar

    At least I discovered a document now that exploits to some extent the findings of Rootsi and puts the perspective right. For those interested, the link is
    I can only recommend the LCIE Large Carnivore Initiative of Europe to anybody interested in Carnivores of Europe. Wealth of integre information available in English language!


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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