Next suit may not just be groups that support protecting wolves-

The Casper Star Tribune has an article today saying that Wyoming government and Wyoming livestock groups might sue to halt the newest attempt to delist the wolf. Of course pro-wolf groups will sue.

It’s interesting that the delisting hasn’t taken place yet. Folks thought USFWS would rush the delisting through lest Cheney have them waterboarded or worse, but here it is Jan. 5. 2009.

Here is the story. Wolf debate lingers into new year. By Chris Merrill. Casper Star Tribune.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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.

8 Responses to Miscellaneous bunch of groups may sue on wolf delisting this time

  1. Robert Hoskins says:

    I am beginning to believe that one of the root causes of this mess over delisting wolves was the compromise decision to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone and central Idaho as “experimental, non-essential.” In other words, the 10j rule. I recall that those in the conservation community, such as Hank Fischer, who supported the 10j approach argued that allowing wolf control for livestock depredations would help increase tolerance for wolves among ranchers. The same argument about tolerance underlies the Defenders of Wildlife compensation program.

    However, we didn’t get tolerance. We got the most incredible bloodthirstiness and we also set the stage for more bloodthirstiness. Hank, the DOW, and other collaborationist/stakeholder groups were wrong about the value of compromise.

    Indeed, what allowing wolf control for livestock depredations under the 10j rule has given us is the expectation on the part of ranchers and the states that wolves can be killed for almost any reason without consequences as long as the killing is “structured” right. And here in Wyoming, it was believed that if the feds would compromise with 10j, they would compromise with dual status too. And the feds did cave in on dual status, eventually, once Dirk Kempthorne took over Interior. It took a lawsuit and Judge Molloy’s decision in favor of wolves to turn that around. But in the larger sense, the mess is still with us.

    The 10j approach with wolves didn’t resolve conflict over wolves; it increased it. This conclusion increases my determination that if there is to be conflict over as a conservation program, then let’s have it up front, rather than years down the road after the conflict “resolution” breaks down. It’s worse later than now.

    The one thing you can say about conflict is that it’s cleaner.


  2. Robert,

    I think that Fischer and Defenders likely thought people would be more rational about the issue — that education would work. However, wolves are another “classic Western issue,” by which I mean the economics of matter means almost nothing. It is entirely about culture.

    As a result, the number of wolves, the number of livestock killed, the number of wolves controlled, the payment for economic losses really means nothing to the majority of the anti-wolf people (to some pro-wolf people too).

    You can see this in the furor over the small and rare Mexican wolf. The anti-wolf sentiment in those rural New Mexico and Arizona counties is worse than in Idaho, Montana or Wyoming where the wolves are much more numerous and larger.

    Education never works on “classic Western issues” because the livestock interests and others think they already know all there is to know, always did and always will.

  3. kt says:

    NPR in Boise is playing a snippet of Dirk Kempthorne at the Boise City Club today.

    This was recorded at the Homeboy Dirk appearance that seems to be part of the local media’s propaganda machine attempt to somehow clean the oily, manury mess of serving as a Henchman of Bush off of the ever-willing-to-be-a puppet-in-any-office Dirk.

    Anyway, the NPR snippet is if Dirk boasting that he is Secretary up until the end – i. e. for another 2 weeks. SO – I read this as: Dirk is in Boise to take last minute regulation-gutting and species-dooming wishlists from the Cadillac-Escalade driving Idaho Republican clique and the ranching brigade, too. The recording of his voice kind of sounded like a boast – so watch out wolves, rabbits, flowers — every living critter — and PLANT and FUNGUS.

  4. Buffaloed says:

    There sure were a lot of well-to-do folks leaving that place today. Big new cars, fancy clothes. It just shows who is benefiting from his policies. I even saw Rick Johnson from ICL there.

  5. Brian Ertz says:


    I think you’re right – and to be honest, can you imagine yourself being receptive to a rancher approaching you with money and telling you that (s)he’s going to teach you how to be a ‘better’ conservationist ? just take the ‘compensation’ for ‘controlled’ wolves ? Would you do it ?

    Reasons for Decline
    According to Young and Goldman (1944) and Mech (1970), the population decline of the eastern timber wolf was a result of: (1) intensive human settlement, (2) direct conflift with domestic livestock, (3) a lack of understanding of the animal’s ecology and habits, (4) fears and superstitions concerning wolves, and (5) the extreme control programs designed to eradicate it. These factors caused the decline in all the wolf populations within the United States, including those in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Threatened Wildlife of the United States (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1973) lists land development, loss of habitat, poisoning, trapping, and hunting as reasons for decline of the Northern Rocky Mountain wolf.

  6. ERIC says:

    I believe the main opposition to wolf restoration is generally overlooked.

    Granted…stockman, outfitters, hunters and the like will bitterly oppose anything viewed as direct competition. Blaming culture? Well …that’s a little like blaming culture for all those low life dirtbags that live in the slums and shoot each other on a daily basis. You might as well punish all the wolves that eat sheep and calves and expect them to change their behavior. Sorry the dirtbags are not going to stop doing what they do to survive and neither are the wolves. As well, the stockmen/hunters/etc are going to try and protect thier interests.

    I believe the main opposition lies in the politics. People ended up in America for opportunity and to escape governmental control. The early settlers of many of the areas with wolf debates are even more independent… that’s why they ended up there. Definitely not because it is beautiful… or they wanted more room to escape their neighbors loud stereo.

    They will always oppose government interention. they do not respect political correctness. eventually they will lose their battle to those that support social control of the country and the world I wish this was not the truth… but it is. You will eventually win Ralph, I just hope you like the world you procure.

  7. Salle says:

    “Blaming culture? Well …that’s a little like blaming culture for all those low life dirtbags that live in the slums and shoot each other on a daily basis.”

    Well, actually ERIC, it IS culture that creates those conditions, as is poorly implemented and designed policy. Politicians are responsible for a good measure of the problems by acting in their self interest, like focusing their votes and policies toward ensuring that they remain in office. But culture, the way that the people act and treat each other according to some ideology has a lot to do with the way things are whether in the cities or in the vast stretches of the west where cattle interests were lured by subsidies which included elimination/removal of predators and indigenous peoples.

  8. ERIC says:

    Culture, smolture. Sorry, but critters re-act, humans think, and degenerate low-lifes are low-lifes whether their mother smoked crack, or graduated 1st from Harvard law. Excuses and policy create and propagate mediocrity in our “society.” Although I must add, I enjoy living in a country where my biggest argument of the month involves whether one critter eats too many of some other critter while I sit in a padded seat in a heated home with the news in the background and virtually no threat from my local environment… I wonder if I will enjoy this lifestyle when I am 70?


January 2009


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey