Rocky Barker: Will judge Molloy issue a split decision on wolves?

Will judge Molloy issue a split decision on wolves? Barker’s blog is in the Idaho Statesman.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the outcome.



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  1. timz Avatar

    He was also concerned about the statutes in all three states that allow killing for virtually any reason. Can he do anything about those laws??

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I think he can . . . set aside the delisting until the states develop “adequate regulatory mechanisms.”

  3. Steve Avatar

    Whats to stop the states from coming up tougher rules and simply not enforcing them?

  4. JB Avatar

    “Whats to stop the states from coming up tougher rules and simply not enforcing them?”

    Not much. However, if they did this and the species began to decline, FWS would be forced to step back in and re-list the species.

    Ralph’s right: The action was brought against FWS under the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Molloy essentially has two choices: (1) he can defer to FWS, or (2) he can determine the agency acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” when it chose to delist the wolf and order them to reconsider the decision in light of the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms.

  5. Roger Sherman Avatar
    Roger Sherman

    I have a question. How does anyone know if the Alpha male and Female are killed when people start shooting? does this then destroy the integrity of the pack?

  6. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    It’s very hard to tell an alpha from any other member of the pack. It’s mostly behavioral, something few hunters will have the time or ability to spot.

    Killing just one alpha doesn’t usually destroy a pack unless it is a small pack, but the disappearance of the the alpha female is more likely to do so than the alpha male.

    Killing the alpha female and a second high ranking wolf is, of course, more likely to destroy the pack.

    Disruption of a pack can end up creating two packs and/or dispersal, sometimes long range dispersal. Potentially more, rather than fewer wolves, could be the result if this happens just before mating season.

    Disrupting a pack in May or June has a higher probability of creating a “problem pack” that kills livestock if there are pups to be fed, or else the loss of the pups. It is very hard for one or two wolves to feed more than a small litter so it encourages the wolves to look to the omnipresent sheep and cattle.

    I suspect that after a wolf hunt, it will be very hard to track the wolves because radio collars will disappear due to mortality and long ranger dispersal of wolves.

    Monetarily, a wolf hunt is likely to cost far more than than small revenue generated by the sale of wolf tags. At a minimum, it cost $300 to collar a wolf (not counting the cost of the collar). It may cost several thousand dollars if aircraft are used.

    The Idaho Fish and Game Commissioners seemed unaware of these things, or, more likely not interested because they are politicians of a sort with a perceived constituency to please, including high ranking state and livestock officials.

  7. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Any indication on when the judge will rule on an injunction?


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