Nuggets from the legislature: Idaho may poison wolves to reduce numbers

As if to underscore Jan. 15 concern of the members of the US House Natural Resources Committee members, Idaho’s State Senate Resources and Environment Committee had a hearing today with the Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners into a variety of wildlife unfriendly subjects such as wolves, bighorn sheep and sage grouse — those species Idaho’s old-line ag establishment hates with a passion.

According to Brian Ertz, who attended the hearing, IDFG commissioners for the first time used the “P” word, that Idaho might just have to just poison wolves to reduce their numbers. Of course, they will be using aerial gunning to reduce the wolves if the hunters don’t get enough of them. The committee chairman assured them they would have ample funds for their endeavors in case the federal government didn’t come through.

In other matters, Fish and Game Commissioner Wright touted the “rancher friendly” grass they were planting for sage grouse — Siberian wheatgrass!

Update from Brian Ertz (moved forward to).



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  1. kt Avatar

    The state of Idaho – with Butch Otter as Governor, the crazies in the Idaho Legislature that refuse to even let mass transit be developed through locally funded initiatives in the Boise area, and the Fish and Game Commission that is comprised solely of Dirk Kempthorne and Otter appointees, are incapable of doing anything other than eradicating wolves.

    They all play off one another, and have an ego contest of who can be the most aggressive towards wolf “management”/killing going on.

    No lowly agency biologists with numbers that show packs are being wiped out and wolf pops. are falling below viable population levels is going to stop this madness if wolves are de-listed.

    It will be full-scale wolf slaughter and eradication for the public lands livestock industry …

    Use of traps, poisons, etc. will endanger hikers, dogs, you name it … Of course, the public lands ranchers don’t really like the public out on “their” lands anyway … So the more we fear going out – the better they like it.

  2. JB Avatar

    Actually, that would be great if they tried poisons–I mean politically, of course. If Idaho thinks the “Easterners” are shouting too loud now, wait till word gets out of them using poison. It’ll take one photo of a wolf or somebody’s dog getting offed by an M44 to have the whole nation up in arms. Most people in the West don’t oppose the hunting of wolves–but even westerners don’t like poisons.

    The fact that they would even consider this step shows how foolish they are; and they mentioned it out loud?

  3. Tim Z. Avatar
    Tim Z.

    I agree JB, I don’t think the public will tolerate poisoning wildlife. I know it goes on now with coyotes etc., but it’s kept quiet. The anti-aerial gunning won’t fly either. there is a full campaign beginning against it.

  4. kt Avatar

    Well, an IDAHO STATE OFFICIAL of sorts (Fish and Game COMMISSIONER) talking about Poisoning Wolves further encourages lawless behavior on the part of rancher wolf haters. Commissioner Power talking about this just further promotes such barbarism.

    Weren’t there some poisonings of wolves in Idaho 3 or so years ago – that somehow were never solved???

  5. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    kt, the case was solved; scumbag Timothy Sundles pled guilty – Sundles manufactures “Buffalo Bore” ammo, sold by Cabelas. I’ve sent related certified letters to Dick and Jim Cabela but they’ve not responded.

    U.S. Attorney’s Office; District of Idaho:


    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

  6. kt Avatar

    It would be interesting to see if Sundles, Cabelas, et al. are Otter , Larry Craig, etc. campaign donors.

    I sure hope any wolf supporter does NOT patronize the Cabela’s emporium that has opened in Idaho.

  7. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    I hope any conservationist does NOT patronize Cabela’s, period.

    Cabela’s was a sponsor of a coyote slaughter called “Predator Derby” in Idaho in January of last year, as was Sportsmen’s Warehouse.

    Of course, Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife of Idaho was also a sponsor of the same slaughter.

    And Sportsmen for (some) Fish and (some) Wildlife claims it’s not anti-predator. Bullshit.

    Mack P. Bray
    My opinions are my own

  8. Brian Ertz Avatar

    my sister thought the store was some sort of REI ~ so she goes into the one in Boise and comes back to my place pretty disturbed claiming they’ve got a stuffed wolf on display.

    cabela’s = REI of darkness

  9. JB Avatar

    Actually, I’d say Cabela’s is more like the “sportsmen’s” Walmart. They’re in business to make money…period.

  10. Lynne Stone Avatar
    Lynne Stone

    Tim Sundles was caught and sentenced last April, but it seems likely there were others also using poison Temick meatballs and hotdogs. Temick is pesticide used in agriculture so it must be readily available (?). Two dogs in the Stanley area got sick several Springs ago and one died before the vet realized what was wrong with it. It had the symptoms of secondary Temick poisoning, meaning it probably chewed on a squirrel or bird that had died of the poison.

    I heard that Tenick is so deadly that an animal doesn’t get many yards from the poison bait and dies a terrible death.

    Stanley is about 3 hours from where Sundles was doing his dirty work and I doubt he was around here. But there are other sketchy folks who could have been doing a copy cat crime. I recall taking my dog for a walk high into the hills behind Nip and Tuck Road near Lower Stanley. The next day a friend said he’d heard that there were “wolf tracks all over the place” back there. I said there wasn’t one single track, only my dog’s tracks.

    However, a few days later, a person took their dog into that area and it ended up with secondary Temick poisoning — or so the story goes. Apparently, my dog’s prints in the snow were believed to be wolf tracks by some dumbo who decided to toss some tainted food out. After that, I avoided the area for quite a while, and also stopped picking up litter that looked like a hot dog wrapper or burger box.

    Never was much outrage over the fact that children could have been poisoned by these fools, some who are obvious still around. Now, it’s almost impossible for me to believe that an IDFG Commissioner is telling the Idaho Senate that poison is in their toolbox for wolf “management” = killing. Very sad.

  11. Buffaloed Avatar

    You must have some kind of certification or license to use Temick. My understanding is that it is used with potato crops.

    Here’s a story about the Sundles case:

  12. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    This is one reason why the EPA’s consideration of the cancellation of sodium cyanide and 1080 as legal poisons is so important.

  13. Lynne Stone Avatar
    Lynne Stone

    Buffaloed – I just read the Popular Mechanics article about Tim Sundles. The photos with the elk burger stuffed with Temick, gave me the chills.

  14. Steve C. Avatar
    Steve C.

    I guess the more extreme they are the more ammo defenders of wildlife will have to raise money and fight them.

  15. Matt Avatar

    Temik is a restricted use pesticide, available only for sale to – and use by – licensed private and commercial pesticide applicators. The active ingredient is Aldicarb – very effective for its intended uses, but deadly if used illegally (any use of a pesticide outside of label directions is a violation of federal law – FIFRA) Mainly, it is a soil insecticide used in the production of crops including citrus, cotton, peanuts, potatoes, soybeans, and others. More info (MSDS, specimen labels) about the product can be found at

    So many products like this are very safe and effective when used legally and responsibly by people who are trained and licensed. What a shame that people like Sundles give it such a bad name. Kind of like the way “Wildlife Services” gives a bad name to animal poisons, which should ONLY be used as a last-resort to manage THE WORST POSSIBLE cases of human-wildlife conflicts, never as part of some politically-cooked predator reduction strategy that has no scientific basis in wildlife management. I can see why the poisons are up to be banned by EPA. Given their abuses (by federal agencies, no less), they probably should be.

  16. Matt Avatar

    One thing I don’t understand about Western politics – hopefully somebody can clear this up for me: It seems the majority of voting citizens in the West are much more moderate in their viewpoints than the politicians who represent them. I understand western politicians are financially supported by some of these old-time public lands ranch interests, but how much money and political capital do these folks still have?? What will it take for sensible voters to get fed up and vote them out? I suppose I’m just naive on this subject, as I still can’t figure out how Bush was elected twice. Thanks for your input on this.

  17. Brian Ertz Avatar

    “I guess the more extreme they are the more ammo defenders of wildlife will have to raise money and fight them.”

    I hope you’re right Steve … I hope they’ll take off the gloves and fight.

    the comment was made off-hand in conjunction with consideration re: trapping ~ there was no real focus on it and the whole room just sort of went on as if it was nothing – sick. as i mention in the post on wwpblog ~ there was a meeting with the committee last friday exclusively about wolves. perhaps someone from defenders, ICL, or another group was at that one ? i don’t know … i didn’t know about that meeting nor do i know whether it was public. i’ll be looking to get the minutes of both meetings to see whether it got recorded but i’m going to have to make a phone call because right now, all the website has about the committee minutes is this cover-letter.

    i am committed to attending these meetings – but we’re going to need at least another person to be there so these nuggets don’t slip by … the public, and conservation organizations’ memberships, deserve to know what’s going on …


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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