Paradise Valley, Montana, that is.

Story:  By Martin J. Kidston. Helena Independent Record

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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.

17 Responses to New documentary out, "Wolves in Paradise"

  1. Mike says:

    Good article. Looks like the documentary will look at how subdivisions are far worse than anyhting else i nthe lands surrounding Yellowstone. This particular comment is very sad:

    “One rancher recalls his father talking about how, not too long ago, he counted eight porch lights glinting at night across the Paradise Valley. Now, he said, it’s like looking out at the stars, the development creeping in, seemingly unchecked.”

    A large portion of our population is just not very bright. They want to love something, so they develop it and put up big spotlights.

    I’ve seen it happen to the Northwoods (especially the lakeshores), and it’s happening to Yellowstone.

  2. catbestland says:

    I’m anxious to see what Lang has to say. In his press release after the horrific torture and killing of the injured female wolf who was not threatening his livestock in any way he said: “He regrets that they HAD to kill 2 wolves” Apparently he didn’t HAVE to kill the female because he was fined for it. I don’t believe they fine you if you legally kill one under the 10j rule.

  3. The Boot says:

    catbestland makes a poignant point.

  4. The Boot says:

    Is Lang the same person as Lange of Montana who owns the Sun Ranch?

  5. catbestland says:

    Yes he is.

  6. Despite what happened on the Sun Ranch (Lang’s place) it’s my view the Lang is an exemplary rancher compared to your average non-hobby — “traditional” rancher in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

    This view is solely based on what I have heard from a number of different people over the last 7 or 8 years.

  7. TallTrent says:

    Does anyone have any idea when this film will be available for viewing? Perhaps it has a future DVD release date?

  8. catbestland says:

    I think that Lang is exemplary of one thing, a two faced hypocrite rancher. One face he shows to the world as a progressive wilflife friendly new age rancher, in order to proffit from the enviro minded (he has a guest ranch) and the other, “I hate wolves and all wildlife that interferes with my proffit” face, he shows to the rest of his kind. Otherwise why would he have to lie in his press release and say he HAD to kill two wolves. The wolves were shot on two seperate occasions.

  9. Don Riley says:

    On Sunday, November 4, 8PM ET, PBS’s NATURE will feature the work of Bob Landis’ IN THE VALLEY OF THE WOLVES. Three years in the making it features the Druids. It captures the scene of a bald eagle taking meat from a coyote which is simply amazing. A clip and a short pod cast can be seen at
    The porch lights glow on land that was once ranches sold to developers. I suspect that few of us could turn down the huge $$$ associated with such transactions. Urge your legislators to set aside public dollars for the protection of wild lands, support your local and national organizations involved with conservation easements and get involved with
    local ranchers to educate them about options to developers.
    Most of them I know look for options to keep their land intact.

    I work on a ranch in Dubois, WY where the owner sold 50,000 acres to the State G&F, kept 360 for his family and now runs a few cattle, horses and lives in a wildlife paradise which is open to the public for recreation and yes, hunting, but is closed from December 16 to May 16th to any human traffic. Unusual?, yes, impossible no.

    The land can never be developed and one can watch a wolf take down an elk. There is value here, it took public money to do it and that beats hell out of spending it in Bagdag!!!

  10. skyrim says:

    Thanks for the info Don. All of it, including what your boss has done with a huge piece of paradise there in Dubois. He must be one of but a few with that type of land ethic in that part of Wyoming. I never found a friendly soul up that way. Maybe things are turning around?
    The piece of film with the Bald and Coyote is interesting.

  11. elkhunter says:

    Don Riley, Thats an excellent point. Thats the money that “hunters” generate at work. Without the efforts of sportsmen that transaction never would of happened. I would support those kind of transactions 100 percent. As long as I get to hunt there of course!

  12. skyrim says:

    I don’t see enough information here to conclude that hunting money comprised the entire portion of this sale. Don, how ’bout it? Do you know? That had to be a sizable chunk of change.

  13. Ter says:

    The documentary “Wolves in Paradise” is scheduled to be shown on Montana PBS at 7 PM Mountain Time on Thursday, November 1st. Hope everyone can watch! “In the Valley of the Wolves” is showing at 6 PM Mountain time on Montana PBS. Thanks for the link, Don.

  14. Don Riley says:

    The money was public money from the State of Wyoming Game & Fish, which in essence was “hunting money”. At the time Wyo G&F was solely funded by revenues from hunting & fishing licenses. Presently that funding is being supplemented from the general fund due to the ever decreasing interest in hunting & fishing (a problem many G&F departments are facing. Additionally, the governor is pushing to have additional funding for a program currently in place to buy critical wildland habitat through out the state. In many ways Wy. is being progressive in protecting private lands when the opportunity comes up but it is an uphill battle. However, protection for wolves does NOT fall into the progressive category unfortunately.

    Ironically, people moving into the state and turning on the porch lights are beginning to get some influence in the way wildlife and wildlands are managed. I guess we need some subdivisions but where they are located and how they are developed is a major issue, as it is for all of us.

  15. skyrim says:

    Thanks Don. It must have been at a point in time when hunting revenues were up and land values were not what they are today. It’s a good thing any way you slice it.
    I would hate to see any of that land carved up but I do see the plight of the large landowners and those who inherit this ground. May I assume then that the large parcel of 50K acres has Deed Restrictions?

    Closing that piece to human traffic for 5 months of the year is one of the most progressive ideas I’ve seen in some time.

  16. Don Riley says:

    NOTHING on the inholding can be done that would “interfere with nor be considered in any manner to be a detriment to the health and or welfare to wildlife”…….streams, rivers and wetlands must be managed to the G&F standards of a blue ribbon trout waterway”……….. yeah, its locked up in “perpetuity”……… “cannot be sold by the State of Wyoming”

  17. elkhunter says:

    Don, I am glad you posted this, I was not aware of this in WY. Alot of people on this blog consistently claim that hunters do nothing to protect or support animals that are not considered “game animals”. Tying up 50,000 acres helps ALOT of different animals, wolves and deer alike. Thanks Don.


October 2007


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

~ Edward Abbey