Idaho Statesman's View: It's high time to let states manage wolves

This appeared a few days ago. Our View: It’s high time to let states manage wolves (by the editorial board).

After many complaints, we found out who actually wrote this. She hadn’t even read the state wolf management plan. Discussion of the details and the facts didn’t matter, apparently those things didn’t matter.

Addendum 12-30-08: I was contacted by the Idaho Statesman. They insisted that the author of the editorial had indeed read the plan. Because I did not talk to the the author, but relied on someone who had, and he was firm that she said she had not, this is basically a “he said,” “she said,” in that my information is second hand.

Perhaps it would have been best to point out all the defects in the editorial, but this is far enough in the past, I won’t. I think every reader can easily make a judgment. Ralph Maughan






  1. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    “Journalistic incompetence” is the right classification for this editorial. Or perhaps “journalistic laziness.”

  2. kt Avatar

    Well, is the Statesman going to “study” Butch Otter’s plan, and do a follow-up — or a retraction? Maybe they would also like to read the developing Butch Otter and Idaho Woolgrower plan for lethal control of bighorn sheep that lives anywhere the sheepmen don’t want them to live?

    How can a paper write an editorial, and the writer not have even read the plan that serves as the basis for management?

    Was it the same person who wrote the laughable article last year about Al Gore’s talk at BSU – the one that spent most of the time talking about a Flat Earther outside who was protesting Global Warming?

  3. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    Rocky Barker was away and thus not able to report on Al Gore’s talk which resulted in that terrible piece that kt mentioned, and he is presently recovering from an injury and my guess was not able to advise the editorial writer on some fairly pertinent information in this case. I know that some folks take issue with some of his work, but I think that he does an excellent job writing about some pretty complex topics that are relevant to this blog and its readers…

  4. Brian Ertz Avatar

    at some point – journalism in this country will remember what it is to find objectively derived information – the importance of that in serving the public interest of which the fourth estate is charged with. perhaps they will also realize the bankruptcy and inefficacy of trying to find truth in triangulated attempts at producing “balance” – a standard which is quite often an attempt to avoid the ire of either side rather than provide a clear picture to the public founded on substantiated objective documentation.

    the thing about ‘balance’ is that it is far cheaper to produce – and requires less leg-work. the role of stenographer is apt to produce less pressure.

    i would ask those who hold the mantle and ‘legitimacy’ of the press to demonstrate to the public how many FOIA requests have been filed in pursuit of the truth in regard to wolves thus far ? i would venture to guess very few.

    i would also ask those to demonstrate where they were in conspicuously held public hearings and meetings where nuggets of truth concerning poison, venturing into wilderness, trapping, and other gestures of disdain for wolves were publicly acknowledged. i would more than venture to guess most were not in attendance.

    and now we find out that they did not even read the documents before exercising their editorial influence. i certainly hope the publication has the integrity to rescind its opinion – and publicly acknowledge its inadequate development. i think that many will be skeptical of the probability of such.

    WAKE UP ! this opinion piece ought be indicative of something wrong …

  5. kt Avatar

    Well, perhaps Defenders could spend some significant cash on media about the impending wolf slaughter. In fact, I have a great suggestion where it could come from. Stop paying ranchers for “depredation”. Use the $$$ to expose to the world that public lands ranching is behind the hatred of wolves. With Butch Otter, ex son-in-law of Simplot the largest public lands rancher in the country, running this state for his Cowman and Woolgrower buddies, this provides a perfect opportunity.

    At the FG Commission meeting last week, IDFG was almost gloating about the numbers of comments received … pleased as punch that making the e-mail comment part hard to get to weeded out commentors …

  6. Brian Ertz Avatar

    i thought folk might want to know that nadeau mentioned the wolf count year end rather than mid-year count – put the number of wolves at 730 rather than 788 vindicating Ralph’s previous assessment that the mid-year count was inflated due to seasonal factors not represented in the mid-year count.

    according to nadeau – that places the population growth down from the 20% number – to 8% population growth from ’06 end – ’07 end.

    “explosive” growth ?

    nadeau also mentioned a new technique being employed to estimate breeding pairs. the breeding pair count for this year was 44 – the estimation using the new technique was 62 for this year. apparently the new technique is making its way through peer review to publication with nadeau mentioning that the estimations will be accepted when the state reports to the feds.

    all of this from the IDF&G Commissioner Annual Meeting

  7. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    kt – Defenders had a job opening specifically related to public relations related to wolves in the Northern Rockies. The purpose of the job is to try and increase positive public attitudes about wolves in the region. I’m not sure if they have filled that post yet.

  8. kt Avatar


    Time is of the essence – and a’wastin’/a’wasted. … At a critical time period for wolves, there seems to be a deafening silence on wolves in the lower 48 states …

    More is at stake here than wolves. The Otter livestock industry cabal is showing it will stop at nothing to impose Kill/Eradication Zones on some of the state’s most charismatic wildlife – Wolves and now Bighorn sheep. It is a disgrace.

  9. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    I cannot speak for Defenders about their timeline for filling this position, etc, but I wanted to point out what I think is a very positive step that they are, in fact, going to “spend some significant cash on media about the impending wolf slaughter,” as you put it.

  10. Brian Ertz Avatar

    i hope she/he has a budget that’ll put some $ in the face of editorial boards enough to make disgraceful opinion pieces like this go away.

  11. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    I would agree that it would be better if the Defenders of Wildlife would shift the compensation fund to something that would more directly benefit wolves. It’s quite clear that all over the West, the attitudes of the livestock industry against wolves has deepened. The compensation fund has had no impact on improving ranchers’ acceptance of wolves.

  12. skyrim Avatar

    How can an individual (s) effect change in Defender’s attitude here when he/she has already withheld their financial support over the failed compensation program?
    I strongly feel that Defenders has let each one of us down in that regard. This program was set up with the very best of hope and intention but was quickly viewed as a failure only a few years after it was put in place.
    Ranching/Livestock interests continue to view the compensation program as inadequate and unfair in how it is applied as to verification issues.
    My younger, malicious, destructive, civil disobedient self is calling me back to the day……………..


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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Ralph Maughan