USFWS reinstates rules following Molloy's injunction

This news release was issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today (July 22) in the wake of Judge Malloy’s decision returning the wolf in the Northern Rockies to the endangered species protections of various kinds (from experimental, non-essential to endangered, depending on the area).

Those wolves in extreme northern Idaho and NW Montana now have the most protection. None of Wyoming is a wolf free kill zone anymore.


Here is the news release-



Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

July 22, 2008
For Immediate Release

Ed Bangs  406-449-5225, x204
Sharon Rose  303-236-4580


The U.S. Federal District Court in Missoula, Montana, issued a preliminary injunction on Friday, July 18, 2008, that immediately reinstated the Endangered Species Act protections for wolves in the
northern Rocky Mountains.  That area includes all of Montana, Idaho, and  Wyoming and the eastern one-third of Washington and Oregon and parts of north-central Utah.  This injunction will remain in place until final  resolution of this case occurs.

The Endangered Species Act provisions reinstated by the court are the same ones in effect before wolves were delisted on March 28, 2008.

Any, and all ,wolf take permits issued by the States under State authorities while wolves were delisted are null and void as of 4:04 p.m. on Friday, July 18, 2008.  In the meantime, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners are evaluating legal options regarding the Court’s order
and the ongoing litigation over the Service’s delisting of the northern Rocky Mountain wolf population.  The Service believes gray wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains have recovered and no longer need the protections of the Endangered Species Act.

All wolves in the southern half of Montana, all of Idaho south of I-90,and all of Wyoming will be managed under the 2005 and 2008 Endangered Species Act nonessential experimental population regulations.  To better understand these regulations, please visit the Service’s website at  These regulations allow people to take wolves under certain circumstances, such as when wolves are in the physical act of killing, wounding, chasing, or molesting legally present livestock and dogs.  Any killing or wounding of a wolf in that area must be reported within 24 hours and the scene should not be disturbed.  Each incident will be investigated by law enforcement agents to determine that the physical evidence at the scene demonstrates those wolves were in the act of attacking livestock  and dogs.  Please see the maps on the Montana Department of Fish,  Wildlife and Parks website ( regarding the specific experimental population borders in Montana.

Wolves outside of the experimental population areas, including all those in the northern half of Montana and all of Washington, Oregon, and Utah, are listed as endangered and may not be legally harmed by the public, except if it is to defend an immediate and direct threat to human life.

Any other conflict with wolves listed as endangered may be legally addressed only by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or its legally designated Federal, State, or Tribal agency agents.  Violations of
the Endangered Species Act can result in penalties up to $100,000 in fines and one year incarceration.

Under cooperative agreements with the Service that have been in place for the past 3-4 years, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will continue to lead all wolf management activities under the Endangered Species Act regulations in Montana.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game will continue to lead all wolf management activities under the Endangered Species Act regulations in Idaho.

Until a similar cooperative agreement can be finalized with Wyoming, the Service has resumed the lead for all wolf management activities throughout all of Wyoming. [boldface mine] All wolves in all areas of Wyoming are protected by the Endangered Species Act as a nonessential experimental population.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit



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  1. SmokyMtMan Avatar

    As discouraging as it is for the Bushies and their war on the judicial system, the rule of law still prevails in the U.S.

    I really needed this recent court victory as wolf news was getting mighty depressing there for a while.

  2. AJ Avatar

    That was quick.

    It seems to me that they USFWS wanted to be sued. Or am I crazy??

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    AJ, Perhaps so.

    I have felt various offices in federal agencies that deal with the public lands are doing an obviously sloppy job in producing the various documents required . . . almost as if they want their decisions (which may have been dictated to them from political rather than professional reasons) overturned by a court of law.

    A silent protest against political interference? Perhaps an inability to square what is being required politically with the existing laws?

  4. John Avatar

    This is good.
    Why can’t grey wolves just be listed as a protected species? It is obvious that once delisted, the number of wolves in these areas will be crippled to the extent where their presence will no longer have a ‘weeding effect’ on prey populations.

  5. JB Avatar

    “I have felt various offices in federal agencies that deal with the public lands are doing an obviously sloppy job in producing the various documents required . . . almost as if they want their decisions (which may have been dictated to them from political overturned by a court of law.”

    If so, I think there may be a few people here who owe Ed Bangs an apology.

  6. Brian Ertz Avatar

    folk know the science and law ~ just think of the potential to advance restoration once the political leashes are released.

  7. Judiana Avatar

    Yes this is such “good for the soul” news. For those of us that believe in science and the Creator prayers have been answered. It was getting quite depressing as the numbers reported on Wolf killings kept rising, but hope never died.
    Judge Malloy is an honorable man in more ways than one. It is unfortunate for so many wolves that were killed, but it is more proof at how hatred and fear for something that a human really doesn’t know will drive him or her to destroy.

  8. Barb Rupers Avatar
    Barb Rupers

    What a great week for wolf conservation; probable breeding pairs in Washington and Oregon plus Judge Molloy reinstating protection to 6 states – the core three plus Washington, Oregon, and Utah.

  9. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    Somehow I entered my response to this article in the native carnivores one. Can you change it Ralph?

    Yes, see below. RM

    bob jackson Says:
    July 22, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    Pertaining to the Ed Bangs situation, as mentioned by JB, all I can say is anyone who has to be so passive as to “give inadequate information” …or in other words sabatoge their own case and beliefs is a person who becomes a person with a lot of passive agressive behavior. I saw lots and lots of it while working in Yellowstone.It was bad for everyone of their souls and caused all kinds of negative behavioral problems. These people are the ones who become either apathetic or bitter. None were good for work as public servants. And they were the worst example for new employees. You could see the bitterness in their eyes and so could the recruits.

    What happens is disgruntled employees would hang together as a group. The low voices coming from these pods of people was very disturbing. I remember a good example of this as a kid when the deacons of our church wanted to get rid of the pastor because his wife took a bunch of high schoolers to a movie (the sin of sins for a Baptist).They hung outside the santuary and wanted every man entering to stay out there with them. It was sick and my father would have nothing to do with it.

    This sort of thing is what I saw in Yellowstone and one time it ended in the suicide of one of its rangers.

    I have no idea what Ed Bangs is like but if he or others were passively trying to sabatoge the FWS case by “sloppiness” instead of being upfront with their opposition to the states proposed inadequate wolf protections then they might as well call it quits. They are no good as mentors because they are not very good role models.

    Yes, the govt can be a very stiffling situation and many times over the years I had others who thought they couldn’t face what they needed to say…. and thus went to me to fight their wars. They came whether they were seasonals or division chiefs. The only difference was the longer they had been there the more bitter and revengeful they were.

    I would tell them the same sort of thing I wrote above. Most of the “good” ones invariably quit the govt. instead of fight. Others crawled into holes. Very, very few had the strength to keep the head up and respectfully point out their dissent.

    As for those who have the “higher” agenda of winning and thus allowing govt. employees to give them victory by that employee capitulating themselves professionally I ask, do you have any respect for them when you know you will always have to express your gratification to them when no one else is looking??? Maybe a secret passing of notes as you walk by?? And do you think they have any respect for you when you are not one of their professional peers where they can console each other. All it is are people using each other and no respect can come out of these using conditions.

    Yes, I won my govt. case and heads rolled in Yellowstone when I did, but even if I hadn’t “won” I knew I won in spirit. What happened to others I didn’t care except they won’t be trying to be doing it to others anymore. For Ed Bangs or whomever I say they need to feel the same whether its to continue on or to retire with peace.

    It may be a lonely world for anyone in the govt. who stands up for what they believe but it has to be for their own soul. If they couldn’t “do it” this time hopefully they can rise to the occassion next time.

  10. Cowboy the cat Avatar
    Cowboy the cat

    “If so, I think there may be a few people here who owe Ed Bangs an apology.”


  11. JB Avatar

    Apparently Cowboy disagrees.

  12. Salle Avatar


    Perhaps if one were to expand their realm of thought beyond right now…

    I would suggest that perhaps if a government person in a place as say oh, Ed Bangs~ since Mr. Jackson used him as the example here, were to do such a thing as produce “sloppy” work hoping to be sued…

    would you really want that person replaced by someone who would be less interested in the final result? Even if the chips are down at some given time, like lately, when the issue is resolved wouldn’t you rather have the person with the institutional memory to carry on when it would be crucial to do so?

    just a thought…

  13. timz Avatar

    “If so, I think there may be a few people here who owe Ed Bangs an apology.”

    “Apparently Cowboy disagrees.”

    I disagree as well. He used the phrase “we used rock solid science”.
    If he nows that to be untrue he should say so or never say it. If he believes it he’s incompetent

  14. Catbestland Avatar

    Now if we could just get some wolf paws on the ground in Colorado, it would be a clean sweep.

  15. Doug Avatar

    Wolf restoration in Colorado is precisely what I’ve been thinking about the last few days.

  16. John Avatar

    Some good news from Alaska would also be nice…
    Better not push our luck though.

  17. JB Avatar


    Playing a bit of devil’s advocate here, but in fact, FWS did “use” rock solid science–Bang’s statement is 100% true. Unfortunately, for FWS anyway, they didn’t use if very well. 😉

  18. vicki Avatar

    Email me, I have some info for you.

  19. JB Avatar


    Frankly, I have a lot of respect for Ed Bangs. He has received numerous death threats for his role in the reintroduction, and he has tried (and this is my interpretation of his actions, so take it with a grain of salt) to strike a balance between all of the interests involved.

    For the past 7+ years he has been stuck with an administration that is anti-environment, anti-regulation, and most definitely anti-wolf (remember, Dick Cheney was a Wyoming Senator at the time of the reintroduction, and none too keen on the idea of wolves in “his” state). Bangs could quit, but he’d only be replaced by someone with less scruples.

    However I would submit that even if Bangs is/was acting totally earnestly (and I believe that he most likely was), that does not make him a corrupt agent of the government. I’ve known many people in the field of wildlife management, and for nearly everyone there is a different opinion about how best to manage wolves. Many managers believe that wolves need to be delisted and managed by the states in order to be socially tolerable to local populations. This is not an opinion I share, but it is one that I think a reasonable person could come to given the events that lead up to the reintroduction (i.e. the total extermination of wolves by local populations). In fact, I recall that Bangs is a Dave Mech disciple, and Mech has come out in support of delisting. Again, I disagree with their opinions, but I have no reason to conclude they are being disingenuous. Personally, I have a problem with vilifying people because they hold an opinion that differs from mine. Two logical, intelligent people can look at the same data and come to different conclusions.

  20. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    JB, As I said I do not know Ed Bangs or the way he approaches things. I do know the composite of a lot of govt. employees and biologists however, and when one compbines this with the signing off of a management plan such as Wyomings then any lay person (or judge) can see what I see….a plan that means death to most all wolves in Wyoming.

    Plus it doesn’t end there. The attitude of disrespect would carry on to the wilderness santuary around the Park. Any outfitter has the license to kill any wolf harassing his stock. Thus, from experience I can say there will be no wolves in Teton Wilderness, except those trickling out from the Park interior, in a few short years. There is absolutely nothing in place to protect the wolves from the guns of the outfitters and until there is there is no working management plan!!

    Any wolf biologist who has been around at all knows this outcome. That is why I say each biologist had to draw a line in the sand and say no more compromises. They did not even voice or write dissent to the majority. They capitulated with an attitude of we will show them it won’t work.

    This is the start of bitterness and apathy because what they can’t face is the pictures of their beloved wolves all layed out on the side walks. These are wolves which lay there only because they were wolves. It is a slap in the face for what they all believed in when they started this project. Again, this is why I say they sold their souls for not standing up with their knowledge and convictions.

    One can not stop fighting by hoping for a more favorable administration. It eats too much of one self up. For the rest of their lives all they could have associated with were the same peers who had done the same capituation.

    I also do not want to toot my horn but rather use it as an example. Resistance to political majority is possible, even if it is Dick Cheney. My salting – elk carcass – griz death issue and subsequent personal “victory” happened in the epicenter of political resistance. The outfitters salting were headed by the Triangle X who had one of the brothers, John, as head of the FWS under Bush sr. Cheney and family still have christmas dinner at the Triangle X ranch. Cheney’s long time aide and appointee at the Dept. of Interior, Hoffman, headed up the “investigation” against me. It went so far as to tap my phone and open my mail. Yes, there was a LOT of political pressure put on those in administration at Yellowstone because of this. They of course, being of sound unprincipled public servant mind capitulated without a wimper. Anyone associating with me before (some for like 25 years) were told to not be around me (this is the same reason the ranger I mentioned in the earlier post commited suicde).

    Every biologist working for the govt. knows variations of this scenario and it is always in the back of their heads. That is why I said they sold their souls. They knew what they were doing and why they were doing it when they signed off on the Wyoming plan. THEY DID IT BECAUSE THEY DID NOT WANT TO FACE THE POSSBLE CONSEQUENCES!!

    I did the same searching. I could carry on with sticking to my guns knowing I could do a lot better job than anyone else put in my position. All I had to do was back off on a “politically sensitive issue” and I would be a back country hero forever.

    It was whispered to me by “friendlies” in the Park to forget it on numerous occassions. I couldn’t believe they were saying this to me (I found out later they had their arms twisted by higher ups to do so) because they so agreed philosophically and ethically with me). I still remember the Chief Ranger saying there are things to fall on the sword for and then there are others not worth it. In otherwords not this time.

    But being good disciples, all followed top down management when I said bears were being habituated and it has to stop, so as all lemmings do and they lashed out with anger when I didn’t tow their line. In the end and before the dust had all settled it cost some of them their jobs and positions and demotions in rank.

    Thus it is possible and if biologists in this wolf case can not do it for themselves professionally the end result is it will affect themelves personally and all mentors after them.

    That was the choice I had. So in the end it really made no difference if I “won” or lost my govt. case. I was fortunate enough to win against the Cheney’s and the perception of long entrenched politics of the West as being invinsible.

    Maybe Ed Bangs is not like any of what I stereo typed his profession in the govt. to be. Maybe he just wore out. Maybe he still has the fire and did write his dissent as those in the Supreme Court do. But in the end this dissent is not public so what good is it if every kid who loves wolves and needs heroes is so heart broken by govt. officals who capitulate to “politics”.

    Maybe Ed Bangs actually believes wolves are not a viable solution for reintroduction. I don’t know. I do know anyone who has the responsibility to kill (wolves as Ed Bangs does) what they believe in had better be doing a lot of philosophical searching in order to not get desensitized to what they are doing. If he does not feel compelled from within to say a prayer to every wolf (and its family left behind) he kills he is incapable of making good wolf biologists decisions. I hope this is not the case with those charged with killing “problem” wolves. If so they become a cancer to all others in the biologist ranks.

    I do know the judge could look in from afar and say these biologists did not have assurances that wolves would be able to survive with the management plan dealt them by FWS. Thus I write what I do.

  21. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    Oh, and by the way, I also had death threats throughout my career. And these weren’t by freako’s setting at chairs spouting off at radical wolf meetings (aka my pack horse as stated before). These were guys with guns who the Park would not stand behind me to prosecute. I’ve had outfitters charge their horse at me (while I was patrolling by foot) and yell I would get shot … and had one horse poisoned and an attempt to poison another time. I always had to look in stock roll spots to make sure outfitters hadn’t put porcupine quills below the surface because they did this very thing. Since I usually rode in to the cabins in the dark and cold this meant getting out a flashlight. There was no one to turn to for support because I was 30 miles from nowhere.

    Yes, I am sure Ed Bangs was personally threatened because of his job but I guarantee his situation was no where near what I experienced for 30 years. I would hope Ed used those threats for personal strength development. If he capitulated in this latest signing off I would have to say fear won out and strength of character was not increased by those death threats. God, if anyone is in the thick of things they have to keep going. It is the only choice, whether one is worn out or not. At least this is how I feel. Maybe others don’t and I guess it is the variation of lifes that makes this world interesting. All I can say is do what you think you can do and if one finds it wasn’t enough then do it better the next time. This means mental as well as physical.

  22. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    One can argue about rock solid science all he wants to, but the the fact remains that delisting violated the original rules for reintroduction and delisting from 1994 as well as the Endangered Species Act. Judge Molloy’s decision to temporarily enjoin delisting until the trial on the merits of the lawsuit was a forgone conclusion–delising is scientifically and legally deficient. A permanent injunction also seems a foregone conclusion.

    If there was any true dishonesty in the use of science, it was out of the Wyoming Game & Fish Department and the Idaho Department of Fish & Game. Only the Montana FWP seemed up front about wolves–contrary to its capitulatory stand on bison, elk and brucellosis. FWS dishonesty, if you want to call it that, came awful late, in its patently absurd justifications for delisting, no doubt driven by Washington.

    “Guerrilla warfare” in agencies to sabotage unpopular decisions is quite common. I saw it in the Army, constantly. We shouldn’t be surprised to see it in the wildlife and land management agencies too. It’s an unchangeable aspect of human nature and we shouldn’t condemn people because they refuse to fall on their sword as Bob Jackson did at Yellowstone or as I did in the Army. Having been a Special Forces officer, I have an appreciation for guerrilla tactics in politics that perhaps Bob doesn’t have. One can accomplish a great deal through passive resistance in the agencies, such as sabotaging NEPA documents to ensure that agency perfidy comes under negative judicial scrutiny.

    Let’s remember where the term “sabotage” comes from. “Sabot” is the french word for wooden shoes, or clogs. French workers, in protest of industrial slavery, would throw their wooden shoes into the gearworks of machinery to damage and destroy them. Thus, “sabotage.” It’s a viable tactic in any kind of protest movement, whether physical or political.

    What other option is available to concerned people in the agencies who have mortgages and marriages and kids and who can’t afford to be whisteblowers? You stand up publicly, you get cut off at the knees; it’s part of the game, and I know for a fact it isn’t pleasant. A few people can do it, but it’s unrealistic to expect most people to stand up publicly. If people can sabotage the bureaucracy from within with deliberately “sloppy work,” that’s OK with me. It’s the results that count, not the tactics used.


  23. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    Passive resistance on the home front is a sign of a dysfunctional family. On the national level it is an indicator of the state of that civilization.

    If this is what we have to resort to as a last defense then so be it. I say resistance of this kind does take it’s personal emotional toll to anyone who pursues it ….and thus when we realize this is what we are considering then it means its time to reassess our situation. It may mean more work than the figurative act of throwing shoes in the machinery but “sabotage” is the easy way out. It is awful to think a situation is so bad “it” has to be destroyed to turn things around. This “tactic” works but it is a sign of a situation or civilization which is on a one way road to destruction.

    Just as families have to “work” out the root of passive resistance to become functional again, then the biologists have to say this method may win short term but it is bad for that person, profession or cause long term.

    For example, passive aggressive (as compared to “passive”) people are the ones who turn into human abuse dictators when they finally get the power. It is what past simmering deep down futility does to them that noble causes get lost in the emotional shuffle. I realize this is a worst case scenario but I ask if anyone feels they are a better person after passive acts. The most they can console themselves with is that it was for a good cause.

  24. JB Avatar

    Bob, people respond to adversity in different ways. As you noted, variation is what keeps life interesting. Frankly, I can’t even tell you what I’d do if I was put in Bangs’ or some other FWS employee’s situation. Who knows? It would depend on my family, my finances, my self-esteem, my desire to advance my career, and a whole host of other factors. The point is, we can’t expect everyone to act as you did: some people will quit quietly, some will speak out, others will choose sabotage. What is emotionally distressing to one (i.e. sabotage) may actually be exciting to another. I agree with Robert, it simply isn’t realistic to expect everyone to stand up publicly.

    Moreover, I will say again that even if someone went along with the plan, that is not an indication that they are corrupt. I think it is quite reasonable for people to look at the NRM wolf population and conclude that it would make it–even in the face of the state management plans. Again, this isn’t a position I agree with, but I’ve heard the case enough times to know the beliefs that justify it, and they are rational; they are wrong (in my opinion) but they are rational. Maybe these people are delusional, maybe they have a warped sense of what constitutes recovery, or maybe they don’t give a hoot about what they ESA calls for, they just look around and see a rapidly increasing population and conclude that state management will work. All I’m saying is that a rational person–even a wildlife manager–could come to this conclusion without being a corrupt.

    You said: “…do what you think you can do and if one finds it wasn’t enough then do it better the next time. ”

    On this much we agree 100%.

  25. Brian Ertz Avatar

    disgruntled sentiments within bureaucracy are a characteristic of any organization – we all have ideas about how we’d like the fruits of our efforts to manifest – those ideas can be very disappointing with the wrong people at the head.

    the “saboteur” can quite frequently have no idea that what they are doing is sabotage – it could easily be understood to be normal convention and little more than what they understand to be their job or the law. But an overhaul in administration, as has occurred, will quite dramatically alter bureaucrats’ affect – even if that bureaucrat does little change with respect to their individual behavior/contribution.

    then there’s the “saboteur” seemingly purposeful in his/her effort. i would suggest that anyone filing through FOIA requests concerning sensitive issues (ESA listing, politically charged land use decision, etc.) would find a plethora of examples of bureaucratic seedings – seeding that these folks no doubt have little more than hope will be seen by interested public willing to litigate – as much of it happens with issues not garnering media or so much political attention. I can think of one hand-written note off-hand, etched on no more than note-paper using shorthand— it’s precise language would find its way into a district court decision overturning a politicized decision (the decision being based on more than simply that – of course – but the language was there).

    whether people hold their beliefs and integrity to such a standard as a willingness to stand publicly on the other side of the line – in a way contrary to the political winds – is admirable. i think both serve their purpose and must be evaluated within the context. both happening is the best situation. the public needs those seeds as they are often actionable.

    imagine a career as full of promise as to be involved with the restoration of wolves to the Northern Rocky Mountains. What a delight that promise must be. This is the cutting edge ! And then to have this administration move mid-stream into that project – and act with such contempt – act in every way to mitigate, dilute, and trivialize this achievement. They’re doing everything they can to toss mud onto this project – because if it succeeds with a clean follow-through to delisting – the promise of this tool will have all that much more legitimacy – and be that much more difficult to “reform”.

    thank god for the nameless saboteurs

  26. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins


    I spent my entire military career studying the roots of revolution and rebellion and the motivations of people involved in such. The whole point of rebellion is a recognition that society is dysfunctional. Indeed, civilization is fundamentally dysfunctional; we evolved to live in bands and tribes, not “societies.” Theoretically, much of what we do is to somehow restore the more natural communities our very genes remember.

    Supposedly, the point of rebellion is to improve society. Whether it works is beside the point. We protest, we rebel, we oppose to make things better, to achieve our positive goals, to restore what we naturally are. In that context, there are many tactics an individual can chose to rebel.

    When you say sabotage is easy, you simply have no idea what you’re talking about. The history of rebellion and resistance is full of examples of successful passive, covert resistance, such as the sabotage of Nazi industries during WWII by French workers or even the slowdown of railways to put Nazi timetables off. By its very nature, intelligence collection against an enemy is dangerous; many agents were women to take advantage of patriarchal social attitudes toward women. But if they were caught, they ended up on piano wire. In any case, in the military example, if your passive resistance is discovered, regardless of what you did, you’re dead. Simple as that. Passive resistance can be just as dangerous as overt resistance. That’s historical fact.

    In the less violent context of bureaucratic politics, passive resistance can, and usually does, have serious financial repercussions, as the fate of most whistleblowers testifies. Whistleblowing is an act of faith that usually ends in disaster for the individual. Whistleblowers are not financially rewarded for their actions. Usually, they suffer financial ruin. As such, it is simply unfair and unjust to expect someone who is married with kids with mortgages and debt to openly put themselves and their families at financial risk to blow the whistle. Some tactics, such as yours, simply are not available to them. Passive resistance is all we can expect, and that’s the most we should encourage. We’re not asking people to commit suicide, financial or otherwise.

    We have to remember that American society, aside from being fundamentally dysfunctional, has no “warrior” ethic. We are taught from infancy to obey the rules, to follow the leader. We have no moral training in the duties of citizenship nor any intellectual training in the critique of the dominant and oppressive social ideologies, in particular, that sacred cow “private property rights.” We certainly have no training in leadership. Each person in our society who perceives injustice has to deal with it mostly alone, seeking out fellows with like minds, and acting to the extent that their conscience will permit.

    Paradoxically, revolution and rebellion are evolutionary processes. Each one of us has to learn to act from scratch, and each one of us has to act within a context that is never perfect for action. Our society is dysfunctional and oppressive, remember? There is never the perfect time to act, nor is there ever the perfect way to act. One acts, one learns, one engages in many different ways, and over time it is hoped that a critical mass of action of many individuals leads to change.

    That’s how I look at conservation. We are trying to effect change in an oppressive, dysfunctional social environment. If we can encourage people in the agencies just to leak information that demonstrates how an agency is violating the law, that’s an enormous benefit to us. Why should anyone, you included, challenge that action simply because it’s not “heroic”?

    Last time I checked, you chose to challenge outfitters and their poaching in the Park and their use of salt bait pits on the boundary line. I’ve seen those pits and have helped to reclaim a few with my friends the Taylors. The way you did it took a lot of courage. At the same time, one of those guys could simply have shot you and dumped your body in Bridger Lake under a pile of brush, and who’d be the wiser. Do you really want to say that others in the Park Service, the Forest Service, the BLM, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Game and Fish Department, should follow that example to its logical? I sincerely hope not. We need the synergy of their “little” efforts to do the right thing.

    Conservation is a community effort. All sorts of people make up a community, of varying levels of courage and commitment. That’s part of the ebb and flo of every movement. But every action counts. I’d rather have a thousand little actions that move a bloated bureaucracy in the right direction than one big action that fails. Sometimes the big actions succeed; but in my experience, they mostly fail but do encourage more little actions. That’s just a fact of life. So be it.


  27. ynp4me Avatar

    Update on Gray Wolf via the USFWS

    December 11, 2008
    Federal Ruling on Wolves

    On December 11, 2008, recorded in the Federal Register,
    the Department of Interior, by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
    Service, published the FINAL rule that places the gray
    wolf in nearly all of the lower 48 states, under federal
    protection of the Endangered Species Act.

    SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service)
    are issuing this final rule to comply with three court orders
    which have the effect of reinstating the regulatory protections
    under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended
    (ESA), for the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in the western Great
    Lakes and the northern Rocky Mountains. This rule corrects
    the gray wolf listing at 50 CFR 17.11 to reinstate the listing
    of wolves in all of Wisconsin and Michigan, the eastern half
    of North Dakota and South Dakota, the northern half of
    Iowa, the northern portions of Illinois and Indiana, the
    northwestern portion of Ohio, the northern half of Montana,
    the northern panhandle of Idaho, the eastern third of
    Washington and Oregon, and in north-central Utah as
    endangered, and reinstate the listing of wolves in Minnesota
    as threatened. This rule also reinstates the former designated
    critical habitat in 50 CFR 17.95(a) for gray wolves in
    Minnesota and Michigan, special regulations in 50 CFR 17.40(d)
    for the gray wolf in Minnesota, and special rules in 50 CFR 17.84
    designating the gray wolf in the remainder of Montana and
    Idaho and all of Wyoming as nonessential experimental
    populations. This action revises the CFR to comply with three
    court orders. In addition, this final rule takes additional
    administrative action that removes archaic provisions from
    the gray wolf special regulation at 50 CFR 17.84(i) and
    makes corrections to the gray wolf special regulation at
    § 17.84(n) by removing language referring to a Western



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