Resisting Delisting – Idaho Wolves & Livestock's Influence

The Idaho Department of Fish & Wildlife’s recent development of the Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan is making one thing clear ~ wolves will be managed and killed to avoid “conflict” brought about by the agricultural production of livestock (whether bovine or big game ~ Livestock) on Western public lands.

Even proponents of a process of so-called compromise rebuke development of the plan noting the good faith of Defenders of Wildlife & the Idaho Conservation League’s stakeholder efforts being met with a cold shoulder. Both groups profess that any meaningful contributions to the state’s management plan were ignored or shot down.

This mentality of management is hard to understand but even less prone to influence or persuasion using scientifically demonstrated fact nor by ensuring agricultural economic interests will not be affected.

Because the state insists on cornering the conservation interest and managing wolves in the shadow of Livestock, big game, and “conflict” ~ their message is clear:

If wolf advocates and conservationists wish to see wolves inhabit Western public lands in any meaningful numbers or with any meaningful spread of habitat, then “conflict” will have to be removed. Given their perceived “conflict” having little to do with real numbers nor real science ~ the best way to remove “conflict” and give wolves a safe place to play out their lives in peace is to support efforts aimed at removing the industrial production of livestock on federal public lands.


  1. Chuck Avatar

    I know of one rancher in Picabo, Idaho who continually lets his cattle graze right in Silver creek, I called BLM several times, don’t know if it has ever done any good, but I do know the fishing in that area has suffered. I think its high time the livestock came off the public land, lets put an end to grazing cattle on public land.

  2. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    Chuck, I second the motion. Let’s get the goddamn cows off AMERICA’S public lands.

    begreen (be?), and Western Watersheds Project, THANK YOU for the excellent video.

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

  3. be Avatar

    Mack P. Bray,

    yes ~ i’m the same person 🙂 and thank you for the kind regard !

    i think at some point, those of us who care deeply about wolves and the natural order of ecosystems throughout the West are obliged to stand up and say enough is enough. the media has done a piss-poor job of covering this and our public reps are even worse.

    hopefully citizen media and dire circumstance will help get folk out there . i hope…

  4. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    One could argue that this is only partly about cows because much of the area slated for heavy wolf reduction is deep wilderness where cattle and sheep never went or were eliminated in years past.

    However, in a way it is really all about livestock.

    There is a mentality in part of the West and elsewhere that every animal must be managed, just like all the land, water and vegetation has to managed.

    “We can’t just let the grass grow! It was meant for cows!”

    Many of the people out to do away with wolves are the sons and daughters of those who opposed the reservation of wild country into Wilderness areas in the first place, and then, just as now call them “lands of no use.” By this they mean, that if a tree isn’t “harvested,” and grass isn’t grazed by something that goes “moo” or “baaa” or is going to get shot and, therefore, utilized by “man,” it isn’t worth anything. It is of no use to people, at least certain important people. . . . useless land, useless animals.

    Unfortunately, many outfitters have fallen into the same mentality. Each year the elk are their crop for their clients, and they don’t want private hunters or animal hunters like wolves taking their crop of elk livestock.

    This debate is, as some have unwittingly said, really about freedom. Will we have some places with the land, water and animals free, or will everything be managed?

    Count me in as a patriot. I’m for freedom. As President Bush said, perhaps unintentionally, “they hate us for our freedom!”

  5. Ter Avatar

    This is a really great and informative video. Thanks!

  6. kt Avatar

    But Ralph – The more they keep wolves to a minimum in the deep dark wilderness – the less chance of ANY packs ever again getting established in Welfare Public Lands Ranching Cow and Sheep lands like Copper Basin.

    And the Dominance of Everything at Every Level mentality is at the core of what all is going on.

    BLM Manager cut 10 AUms off your grazing permit? Speed dial Larry Craig and the Mgr will be shipped off to Kansas, or to a cubicle meaninglessly shuffling papers in the State Office. POWER is at the core of public lands ranching and the stranglehold on Power it has in backwards western states.

    That is also part of what makes the Democrats that gush over custom and culture so revolting. They send out the message that they really are not about change at all – just the transfer of Power.

  7. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Well Kt,

    I think that’s what I said — the ideology of heavy control (management) represented by the livestock ideology extends everywhere.

    I could go on, in fact I have in the past, as to how they extend it to people too, especially troublesome women “who don’t know their place.”

  8. be Avatar

    As every past generation has had to disenthrall itself from an inheritance of truism and stereotypes, so in our own time we must move on from reassuring repetition of stale phrases to a new, difficult, but essential confrontation with reality. For the great enemy of truth is very often not a lie– deliberate, contrived, and dishonest– but the myth– persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears.

    – JFK 1962

  9. Denise Johnson Avatar
    Denise Johnson

    The video was informative and to the point. What more could be said. It’s a sad day when the welfare of the wilderness and wildlife fall in the hands of the polictically ambisious and thier hand-picked and groomed cronies.
    Thank you to Western Watersheds and begreen for putting it out there for the world to see.
    And to Ralph for giving the forum which great minds can speak their opinions and be heard. No Spin and No Spam
    Our assets here in the west are wildlife and wilderness once gone can never be replaced.

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Brian Ertz