Austrian web site chronicles replies from Wyoming officials on wolves

The web has made the world a small place, but a lot of elected and other officials don’t understand that.

Years of borrowing have also made the Dollar a weakling compared to the Euro. International tourists help the American economy a lot, but a number of Wyoming officials are not exactly friendly and try to bullshit folks from places like Germany and Austria who probably know the details of the Greater Yellowstone situation better than they do.

Here is a link to an Austrian web site on some replies received from Wyoming.

WY State Representative Mike Madden in particular (Buffalo, Wyoming and on the local tourism board) seems to be especially undiplomatic. Perhaps he had a bad geography teacher.






  1. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    Somebody tell me that the responses posted at were a hoax, a joke, or the product of a nightmare. No? Those responses from members of Wyoming’s legislature were legitimate? OMG.

    Here’s another quote from Michael K Madden, Wyoming representative, district 40 : “The very few wolves (12) that have been killed have trespassed on private property and have been eating privately owned cattle and sheep. We have such a thing as private property rights here in Wyoming – what a concept for you Germans. You have gotten incorrect information.

    Thank you very much for your promise to never visit here again. We have a very very serious surplus of tourists here it they are threating the ecological balance we have strived to maintain.”

    Does anyone have a current list of Wyoming newspaper editor’s email addresses? These responses need to be published:

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  2. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    The newspapers are aware of these, they have been going on since day one of delisting, it has been quoted in a few of the local news papers about a week ago..

  3. Nathan Avatar

    even though I am a citizen of Idaho and not Wyoming i wrote Mr. Madden a letter expressing my displeasure with his email.

    regardless of what this person from Austria sent out to him, his response is never never called for. absolute ignorance would be a much better option than to attack someone from the seat of a representative of government. Absolutely unacceptable.

  4. JB Avatar

    Ah, the downside of democracy: elect an idiot and your stuck with him until the next election. Wait, were we talking about representative from Wyoming or the President of the US? Oh right…

  5. vicki Avatar

    Sounds about as ignorant as I thought he was. People around the world are reading this type of stuff and assuming every American is this idiotic. Sad. Maybe they’ll link this blog and fugure out some of us oppose this type of behavior.

  6. jerry b Avatar
    jerry b

    Thanks for posting this blog, Ralph. Do you have links to any similar sites?
    This should scare the hell out of anyone connected to the tourist industry.

  7. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    An interesting point is that it was not just Rep. Madden who was very offensive, but other Wyoming state legislators. The elected officials tend to be more hostile than others.

    Those connected with the tourist industry, for the most part, strictly stayed to the talking point that no wolves were being shot inside Yellowstone Park, assuming that the person who emailed did not know the difference between the Park and the rest of the Greater Yellowstone.

    I think it is also true that many Wyoming officials do not have a concept of the Greater Yellowstone, or they reject it. They wish the Park to be a zoo or a prison for wildlife, except for the elk migration.

  8. Catbestland Avatar

    Who would be Maddens immediate superior? Who would you lodge a complaint with besides the tourism board?

  9. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    I wrote the proprietor of this website last week to apologize for the responses he received from Wyoming elected officials and to point out that there were a number of us in Wyoming who do support wolves, and who are appalled by the retrograde mentality of our legislators. And, since I had been stationed in Germany 20 years ago and visited Austria often, I was able to talk about how much I enjoyed my time in the Alps on both sides of the border to try and make the message more personal. I got a nice note back.

  10. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    Maddens superior? That would be the Governor of the state of Wyoming, publicly elected representatives answer to the Governor of the state they are elected in..and the people who elected him…we know lodging complaints with the Governor of Wyoming has not been very effective as he holds many of the same views on wolves..

  11. Catbestland Avatar

    Save Bears,

    Yes, but I wonder if it would help to point out what an embarrassment to the nation one of the Representatives of his state has been. Who would be next on the list to approach. I’ve already contacted the OTTI (Office of Travel and Tourism Industries). Any suggestions?

  12. Nathan Avatar

    Maddens response goes beyond a wildlife issue, A elected official from a large state could not dream of treating anyone who emailed him in this manner. CNN primetime would eat him for dinner alive! Of course this is wyoming we are talking about, still i would like to see justice served for such a horrible way to treat a foreigner.

  13. john weis Avatar
    john weis

    Mr. Kermit Brown makes the interesting prediction that over 9,000 of “their” elk will be killed by wolves if the wolf numbers are not curtailed. I don’t know the estimates for Wyoming but about 10,000 deer/elk are killed each year in Utah by automobiles. Maybe if he is so interested in saving their big game animals, Wyoming officials could set the speed limits back to 55 and save a few pelts for the hunters. Just a thought..

  14. Catbestland Avatar

    Maybe we should write to our congressmen (or someone)and demand an apology to our foreign guests.

  15. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    Hey folks:

    Legislators in Wyoming answer to no one but their special interest buddies and sometimes their constituents. As anyone who has ever lobbied in Cheyenne knows, these yahoos do not answer to the Governor. The relationship between the executive and the legislative branches in Wyoming is at best prickly, at worst downright nasty. Not much different from other States.

    As Pete Simpson, brother to Alan Simpson, once said: In Wyoming, everything’s political except politics; politics is personal.

    That hasn’t changed, and won’t change any time soon.

    We have to realize that bringing pressure to bear on these guys over wolves will accomplish nothing unless that pressure is brought by constituents in some numbers. They could care less what anyone else thinks. They take great pride in thumbing their noses, like jr. high adolescents, at progressives or anyone who doesn’t fit into their idea of Western custom and culture.

    That’s why the lesser of two evils is to leave wolf management in the hands of the feds.


  16. Mack P. Bray Avatar
    Mack P. Bray

    From press releases of U.S. Senator from Wyoming John Barrasso, mouthpiece for livestock producers ~

    On delisting and the lawsuit:

    “The interest groups and bureaucrats advocating keeping the animal on the list wouldn’t know a gray wolf if it blew their house down.” Barrasso added.

    “Wyoming is in the best position to determine how the wolf should be managed, not an environmental group from San Francisco.

    “Most of these folks wouldn’t know a gray wolf if it bit them.”

    “State and federal officials have said that the environmental groups’ claims are exaggerated and not based on sound science. I completely agree.”

    Barrasso, Tester Introduce Plan to Compensate Wolf Kills

    “It’s time for the federal government to step up and compensate for any losses caused by wolves in Montana,” Tester said. “Ranchers already deal with a lot of challenges like weather, disease and changing markets. They can’t afford to worry about additional challenges like hungry wolves.”

    “The federal government put these wolves in Wyoming and Montana,” Barrasso said. “This bill will make them take financial responsibility for the damage they cause.”

    Mack P. Bray
    Wildlife Watchers

  17. Catbestland Avatar


    Senator emBarrasso doesn’t mind hurling around insults either, does he?

  18. Catbestland Avatar

    How ignorant are emBarrasso’s remarks and how foolish will he appear when those whom he accuses of “not knowing a gray wolf if it blew their house down” turn out to be the formost scientist in field, the nation has to offer. As Hal 9000? mentioned on another thread, “give ’em enough rope.”

  19. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    I have to pretty much agree with Robert, outside interests are not going to convince them to change their views or their actions, western legislators don’t care what the world thinks and they have no problem telling anyone to butt out of “their” business.. I know back in the day, I went round for round with several of our legislators over various issues and it was the norm to be told to piss up a rope, and what I had to say didn’t matter. I can’t tell you the number of times, I have been told to butt out on the bison issue, and I live in Montana, but I don’t live in SW Montana, so its not my business..

  20. Tom Chandler/Trout Underground Avatar

    I’m not surprised. I organized an email campaign aimed at my county Board of Supervisors (mountains of NorCal) when they tried to institute a horrific natural resources policy that would have — among other things — largely eliminated access to our rivers.

    Over 1000 emails were sent, and two of the supervisors in particular were rude, combative (one openly threatened to go after “all” the rivers in the county if she didn’t receive support for the privatization of two of them).

    I expected the usual double-talk and lies, but was amazed that my elected officials were willing to reveal utter ignorance — even rude/threatening behavior without so much as a second thought.

    I hope someone’s saving these replies, so they can be trotted out the next election cycle.

  21. jimbob Avatar

    I’m just glad to see that these idiot representatives at least talk to the Europeans the same way that they do to us—like we’re morons and will believe anything they tell us! I’m real sick and tired of the argument “how would you like to have grizzlies or how would you like to have wolves released by your house? YES! I WOULD! They belong there and never should have been removed. It is up to ME to make an adjustment, if any has to be made, not the animals. NOBODY had the right to take away mine or my children’s right to see truly wild wildlife–that includes wildlife ranchers don’t like!

  22. wild4wildlife Avatar

    Does anyone know what articles have appeared about this and in what papers? I can’t find them.

  23. C. Walton Avatar
    C. Walton

    Those comments from Wyoming officials are a disgrace. Not because I disagree with them on how wolves need to be managed but because their responses lacked any sort of professionalism or maturity.

    I know they disagree with wolf advocates such as Mr. Costa but responding the way they did reveals how emotional and biased they are on this issue. Likewise, I don’t agree with many of the attitudes expressed by these officials but I would never dream of speaking to them in such a way. As elected officials they should know better.

  24. JB Avatar

    “Ranchers already deal with a lot of challenges like weather, disease and changing markets. They can’t afford to worry about additional challenges like hungry wolves.”

    What makes ranchers different from everybody else that they should receive a special new subsidy? I think I deserve a subsidy because I find working 60+ hour work weeks challenging. Cry me a river.

  25. izabelam Avatar

    another thing some European have to bi%^& about us.
    Igot back home and I hear bi^789g and blaming US for everything.
    Now, we are just are barbarians for them for killing bisons and wolves.
    Even in my country we protect bisons.
    I need to check if they heard about bruselosis crap.

  26. izabelam Avatar

    I wonder if we can send some news to Japaneese papers.
    They love our parks and we can see a lot of them in YSNP. Actually, just couple of weeks ago, as soon as park opened, there was a bus full of Jpaneese staying in West Yellowstone.

  27. Cynthia Avatar

    Yeah I also was dumbfounded by some of the responses these people received from the State Reprsentatives. We don’t necessarily have the best government in the world, but I think the majority of our elected officials would have been a little nicer and/or would have tried to smooth things over. The responses from Madden or Brown were just over the top. I couldn’t get over how Brown went on and on about how the wolves are eating “our elk” at the rate of 7,700 per year. All I can say is the elk must be multiplying like rabbits because I’ve seen articles that estimate their population in the last couple of years at 17,000 to 19,000. If that’s the case then the elk should have already been wiped out by those big bad wolves. I would write the governor of Wyoming to complain about how “undiplomatic” his representatives are, but I’m not wasting my time because it will fall on deaf ears. Maybe they all need to take a class on how to be tactful and also learn the meaning of the word impartial.

  28. Dan Avatar

    Does anybody have Michael Maddon’s snail mail address? My entire 8th grade class is writing letters protesting Wyoming’s predator zone and we’d like to send them to him.

  29. Catbestland Avatar


    Maddens’s address is;

    63 Langdon Road
    Buffalo, WY 82834

  30. Catbestland Avatar


    That’s a great idea. Let’s see if he so rudely responds to the kids. If he does. . . Can representatives be impeached?

  31. vicki Avatar

    Being rude would not likely get him impeached. Too bad for us.

    We have another project in the works for the issue with bison. We are hoping to get some kids involved. If you are interested in more information, please contact me. Ralph can give you my email address.
    I think it is awesome that your students are getting involved! Way to go kids, it is great to use your voices and be involved!

  32. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Many states have a recall procedure. Idaho does, although I think Wyoming has a political system that is more closed to citizen influence.

    Under a recall, an elected official will have to stand for a recall election if a sufficient (defined by state law) number names of his or her constituents are gathered on a petition. It is very much like a ballot initiative or referendum.

    Outsiders can not participate in the recall, although in fact many are funded or somehow sponsored from the outside.

  33. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    State reorganization in Wyoming twenty years ago, which created a cabinet form of government, with political power centered in the governor for the executive branch, has pretty much taken citizens out of decision-making. Can’t have the people telling government what to do.

    After a successful citizens ballot initiative on term limits several years ago, the legislature reacted by changing the constitution to make it virtually impossible to get a citizens initiative on the ballot.

    This is why I describe Wyoming as an oligarchy masquerading as a republic.

  34. Don Riley Avatar
    Don Riley


  35. Dan Avatar

    Vicki – that sounds great. Ralph – could you forward me her email address. The kids are fired up. I showed them the flick “The Cost of Freedom,” and right now they are reviewing articles from the various news sources about the topic. I also showed them the Austrian website, and they are excited to write to Maddon. We’re going to send the letters via email…any other folks we should cc on the letter?

  36. Catbestland Avatar


    Yes, cc the US OTTI (Office of Travel and Tourism.) They have an email link on their website.

  37. Catbestland Avatar

    I wonder if it would be effective to contact the Austrian Ambassador to the US or their Consulate to the United Nations with our sincere apologies for the arrogance and insolence of the Wyoming State Representative? Or maybe we could contact our Embasy in Austria to suggest that they demand the same from Madden. An international incident may be what is required to draw attention to the matter.

  38. Elli Avatar

    I have set up a protest page on my website to inform German tourists and wolf watchers about the situation. Sen. Maddens response was triggered by these protest letters. Almost all of us protesters did get the same mail.
    This is the protest page>
    (I could not update the death numbers of wolves and bison, because I’m in Yellowstone right now and don’t have a computer with me).
    I have forwarded the Senators mail to all German speaking US-tourist offices and to all US-travel websites.

    Elli from Yellowstone (still NOT spending money in WY)

  39. Albert Kostistansky Avatar

    I now put also my outgoing mails on my website, so that you can see my mails and the answers i got. i wrote to many persons in the protest-list. so my mails were sent to about 60-70 persons. and hope they also reached them. my mails to read on

    Best wishes, Albert Kostistansky


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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