Rocky Barker's blog: Wolf biologist says federal wildlife agent pointed rifle at her

I missed this story while I was in Yellowstone last week.

This incident involves the Mexican wolves.

Barker’s blog.

post 1355






  1. Pronghorn Avatar

    I wonder…what does it take to be a Wildlife Services agent? Does one need to be so divorced from one’s humanity and any shred of compassion that killing living creatures is no different than brushing one’s teeth? Does one have to look at wild animals as merely “things” to dispose of, all in a day’s work? Do they see wildlife as so alien, so “other,” so threatening to their sense of superiority and order and economy that they believe they are providing a service to humankind? Just like a teacher picks up books–the tools of the trade–and educates children, or a plumber picks up a toolbox and creates or repairs plumbing, Wildlife Services agents pick up guns, traps, and poisons and go to work ending lives. Is it a passion, or just a paycheck?

    Regardless of the circumstances in the New Mexico case, I have no trouble believing that such a person could or would point a gun at a human being who stood up to defend the “other.”

  2. Chris H. Avatar
    Chris H.

    Although Gov. Richardson finally made some encouraing statements, there has been nothing to back it up and now this. It is a shame that we have let that situation deteriorate to this. Morover, news over the weekend is that they pulled two more Mexican Wolves out and back into captivity for life. These are rocky times for wolf supporters and anyone who cares about the environment for that matter. We could work to impeach the shrub but then the puppetmaster himself would be in control. Hopefully the next election will turn the tide nd will come before the shrub’s reinactment of Sherman’s March to the Sea gets too far. (Actually it’salreadt too far!) I’m generally not vindictive but maybe it’s a good time to start.

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Most folks I know are talking about impeaching them both. Of course, I don’t have a representative sample of friends. I see at 36% of Americans would like to see the House start impeachment proceedings.

    Their crimes are far worse than Nixon’s.

    Congressional Democrats say they don’t want the distraction of an impeachment because they are trying to pass important legislation, but every important bill has been filibustered in the US Senate by the Republicans, and this will continue. The Democrats are rapidly losing support. The Republicans probably thought the Democrats would play nice and just wring their hands when the Republicans played hard ball, and it looks like that is correct.

    Congress doesn’t have to go expect to go all the way to a Senate impeachment trial to start impeachment proceedings and the investigations of the crime and subversion of the Constitution. Because Democrats have a majority in the House, where filibusters are not allowed, an impeachment resolution may pass. The netroots would certainly be supporting. As their crimes are revealing, public support for removing them will grow.

    Republicans tried to remove Clinton because lied about a bit of oral sex. This whole Administration tells lies everyday about things that cost people’s lives.

  4. Jon Way Avatar

    I bet that the federal agent pointing the gun will soon get a raise and be promoted to just under Kempthorne… Only in the redneck way of this admin…

  5. jerry Avatar

    Pronghorn……What does it take to be a WS agent? Here’s a few requirements:
    No conscience
    A psychotic retard
    A coward
    Abused as a child
    Not worth institutionalizing
    Hopefully, they’re not allowed to have kids!

  6. Jeff Avatar

    I met a WS agent while elk hunting in the Palisades WSA several years ago. He and his side kick were bad mouthing wolves and bears the whole time I chat with them…needless to say I didn’t mention the fact that I liked seeing both while hunting. Unfortuanatley, whether in the backcountry or at the local shooting range I don’t talk a whole lot, I just listen to ignorance and mind my own business.

  7. Mike Wolf Avatar
    Mike Wolf

    First of all, I can believe this incident occurred. I have been threatened and harassed on numerous occassions by supposed “wolf professionals.”

    Roy Heberger, former head of Idaho Wolf Recovery for FWS, threatened to throw me in jail if I got near a pack of wolves near Stanley. I forwarded that email to Bruce Babbit. 2 months later, Roy “retired.” He was replaced by Carter Neimyer; the wildlife services agent responsible for killing most of the wolves in Idaho. Carter seems like a nice guy to me though.

    After four mexican wolves (those are yours and my wolves; we own them people) were killed by a fire at California Wolf Center near San Diego; I raised the alarm as the director, Pat Valentino (a laywer) had refused volunteer efforts to clear brush near the mexican wolf enclosures. I had raised this alarm to then director of mexican wolf recovery; who forwarded, without permission, my email to Mark Johnson, the veterinarian hired for Yellowstone wolf reintroductions, who called me at home (harassment) and threatened to “personally destroy (my) reputation”. Mark Johnson had a profitable financial agreement with California Wolf Center running “wolf handling” courses ($400 a pop). Subsequently, California Wolf Center called for donations to help rebuild the fencing (I helped build) and received several donations. They neglected to tell anyone that they had JUST received an $800,000 windfall from the sale of donated land about one month before the fire came through.

    At the 2000 Interagency Wolf Conference, I travelled there, at a cost of $3500 to myself (including lost income) to promote my website, an attempt to provide educational materials and points of view from ranchers and wolf professionals. Ranchers were enthusiastic and cooperative about the idea; wolf “professionals” by in large told me to go home and that I wasn’t a member of their “club” (this is almost verbatim what the head of Grand Teton National Park told me.)

    Granted, things have since changed; I was welcomed with open arms at the 2005 Frontiers conference; but I fear that these attitudes still remain in isolated pockets; as this story seems to be an example of. Friendliness and looking the other way; the good ol’ boys network, does exist in the wolf business sadly. There are some great exceptions of course. Ed Bangs was very well chosen for his position; he is a man of character, and gets along with just about anyone. I don’t think wolf recovery could have ever gotten as far as it has without him. Doug Smith is another fine example. There are many more who I unfortunately can’t list because my memory isn’t what it used to be. Fortunately, they outnumber, and always have, the bad seeds in the business.

    But for whatever reason, Wildlife Services continues to be the exception…in the early years of wolf recovery, I think 1999, they were responsible for the deaths of I think 5 wolves; when improperly placed poisonous traps went off on wolves, rather than coyotes. I contacted FWS to get these people prosecuted for illegally killing wolves – but they were never even charged. Not a good example if you ask me. One has to ask themselves if Wildlife Services is exempt; why can’t a rancher protecting his livelihood, or a hunter protecting his family…these are the things that go through the minds of those who despise wolves; but thoughts habitually neglected by wolf professionals.

    I hope things continue to change for the better, and I also hope this WS person is fired, period.

  8. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    While I often agree with Mike Wolf, I want to say that the Wolf Recovery Foundation was more than happy to donate to the rebuilding of the California Wolf Center’s Mexican wolf facility after the wildfires.

    I think they are doing an outstanding job.

    Roy Heberger and Carter Niemeyer both were deeply committed to a successful wolf recovery, and much credit goes to them for the fact that Idaho now has 600 plus wolves, and a wolf depredation level so trivial it wouldn’t even make the news were it not for the special pleadings of politically connected ranchers.

  9. Mike Wolf Avatar
    Mike Wolf

    Perhaps you misunderstand me Ralph. I never said anything about the jobs Roy and Carter did; I think they both did great jobs; I merely pointed out that some people sometimes, don’t do the right things. My point wasn’t to do anything but demonstrated that the incident in New Mexico wasn’t isolated or unique. Also, these things happened years ago, and as I pointed out, things have been changing.

    I fail to see what there is to disagree with.

  10. Pronghorn Avatar

    Thanks, Jerry. I see that I don’t fit the profile. Nor do you.

  11. Robert Wiley Avatar
    Robert Wiley

    “Republicans tried to remove Clinton because lied about a bit of oral sex. This whole Administration tells lies everyday about things that cost people’s lives.”

    Or did it have more to do with the fact that he lied under oath saying”I never had sexual relations with that woman”
    That caused a prolonged investigation and also cost the Tax payers a huge amount of money during the 6-8 months he continued to lie.

    Exactly what things has the current administration Lied about that has cost anyone their lives?

    I guess the following statements by the beloved characters on your side of the isle are lies to then right.?

    “One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”
    President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.

    “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”
    President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

    “Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”
    Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

    “He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.”
    Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

    “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”
    Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.

    “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”
    Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

    “Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.”
    Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.

    “There is no doubt that . Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.”
    Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.

    “We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.”
    Sen. Carl Levin (d, MI), Sept. 19, 2002.

    “We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”
    Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

    “Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”
    Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

    “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seing and developing weapons of mass destruction.”
    Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.

    “The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…”
    Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002.

    “I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.”
    Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002.

    “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years . We also should remember we have alway s underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.”
    Sen. Jay Rockerfeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002,

    “He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do.”
    Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002.

    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
    Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

    “We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction. “[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime … He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he has continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction … So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real …
    Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.


  12. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    The things you write above may be true, but the most unique thing about this Administration’s defense of itself and its defenders is that they will not defend what Bush, Cheney, Gonzales, etc. have done as right and proper.

    Instead they point at someone, perhaps Bill Clinton, perhaps another person depending on how or where they messed things up, and they say “look, look over there, he’s worse, or she did even worse than us.”

    I don’t think saying somebody is worse is a good defense. I don’t want somebody who is merely not worse than someone else. I want someone who does things right.

    Even if there wasn’t a huge deployment of troops fighting whoever in Iraq’s Civil War, even if they all loved each other now, this Administration has messed up in sphere after sphere, and the land and wildlife issues are what make most people here angry at them.

    Robert, this just came in today . . . yet another example. Decisions on species to be reviewed. Methods of Interior official who resigned in question. Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

  13. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Robert Wiley,
    While I am sure that all of your quotes are accurate and just as many if not more can be googled from the other side of the isle what you did not include is that the vast majority of the technology and actual materials used by Saddam, most notably the biological, was supplied by us and most by President Reagan’s administration with Rumsfeld as the point man.

  14. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush built up Saddam as a nationalistic buffer state between the radical Shia regime in Iran and the Sunni Saudis to the south.

    Trouble was, Saddam had ambitions beyond being a buffer, and he invaded Kuwait in 1990.

    Now that Saddam is gone, what is the great problem if Iraq splits into three countries? Why send our men and women to war to prevent an independent Kurdistan and Sunni and Shiite nation-state to the south?

    Yes they will kill each other after American troops leave, just as they are doing now.

    Iraq was a creation of Great Britain way back when. It never built up much legitimacy, and loyalties remained primarily to tribe and religion.

    George W. Bush’s continued support of past failed policy makes he think he can’t grasp reality and/or he wants to pass the bloody mess off to the next President.

  15. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    How true,
    What is never mentioned is that Iraq was created by Great Britain after WWI and did not take into consideration any of the religious or tribal dynamics of the area. Then, much later, the U.S. ‘installed’ Saddam as dictator just as we have throughout the world (anyone remember Noriagia, or the Shah of Iran) and then , when it goes bad, it is always someone else’s fault.

  16. Mike Wolf Avatar
    Mike Wolf

    I agree, defending Bush by citing Clinton is old, tired, and still just as pointless as ever.

    Bush deliberately lied about WMDs in Iraq. Heck, even in your statement; Clinton said Hussein was building up, not that he had WMDs. This was a fact; we know this. Clinton worked WITH the UN; Bush worked AGAINST it.

    Anyway, defending Bush is pointless, and attempting to address you is equally pointless. You have your mind made up. Most of us, I think I can speak for many here, have always been open minded to facts. I voted for Bush the first time he wasn’t elected (3 months later I asked Feinstein to move for impeachment over his lies about selection of Ashcroft.)

    With regards to the impeachment; Clinton is a lawyer; he got caught, and he made a mistake. He was a whimp, and should have stood up for himself, admitted what he did and the mistake he made. But that’s not the point here. Is it? Bush needs to be impeached. He was never elected, to either term. He has told lie after lie. He has outed a CIA officer. He has dictated that decisions supported by science be overturned. He has violated the constitution numerous times (torture, Patriot Act, wiretapping, secret prisons, Guantanamo Bay, etc.) He gave corporate welfare to the same oil companies who are raking in record profits – okay, so maybe that’s not illegal; but its just wrong. His cabinet was partially made up of ex-Enron execs. He is the biggest criminal to ever occupy the whitehouse; and he should be stopped.

    That Democrats in Congress are unwilling to stand up for the people of this country; even after we voted them in to that end, is appalling.

    History will judge the Bush administration, and its followers. I suggest you think about which side you want to have been on when that history is recorded.

  17. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Up until the late 50,s (thereabouts) it was probably BP (British Petroleum) and Texaco that called the shots in Iraq.

  18. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    …..and Iran…..

  19. Jay Avatar


    Tell me you’re not defending this guy (from today’s Idaho Statesman, an article about a high school kid who got to visit with “Dubya”:
    Q: So, you talked to him?

    A: “Ya. I said weird things. He was like, ‘What’s your name?’ I said, ‘Uh blara uh ecca.’ I don’t know why I said that. It was almost like a movie.

    “He talks, well, he doesn’t have a good vocabulary when he talks. It’s almost like he’s from Idaho. Like, he asked me how many I was, not how old I was.

    That is absolutely pathetic that a high school kid is making fun of the speaking ability of the leader of the free world. I don’t care what anyone says, I have no doubt mastery of your own language is a pretty good indication of a persons cognitive ability, and Georgy is a damned moron (or maybe he’s just “misunderestimated”?). And 51% of Americans voted for him…

  20. Mike Wolf Avatar
    Mike Wolf

    Some Harvard students did a comprehensive study and estimated Bush’s IQ to be 91. Yeah, average is 100. 91 is in like the 40th percentile. Move over Forest Gump…

    And 51% of Americans didn’t vote for Bush.

    Not even 51% of voters did.

    He was never legally elected.

  21. Phillip Dunn Avatar
    Phillip Dunn

    With the exception of Ralph M. and Jeff E. the rest in this blog need to read up on history. By the way Mike W. the electoral college is designed so everyone in this country is represented. Otherwise politicians would only campaign in highly populated
    areas. That would mean the “flyover states would not get the time of day”.
    As far as the wildlife officer he is the classic example of someone who did not make it in the military of as a police officer. Basically he feels empowered now because he has a gun and a badge.

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