After her suspension and all the evidence against her claims from the very laboratory she supervised, this is amazing.

New, longer version of the story. Suspended UI prof repeats sheep claims in journal. By John Miller.  Associated Press Writer.
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The blog has posted many articles about Bulgin her discredited claims that domestic sheep do not pass on diseases to bighorn sheep.

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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.

21 Responses to Marie Bulgin, suspended UI prof, repeats sheep claims in journal

  1. jdubya says:

    Well she has the right, both as a tenured professor as well as a citizen of this country, to say and write anything she wants. It sounds as if she said she wouldn’t (which may lose her style points and the sympathy factor in the review process) but she still has the right to blather about virtually anything she wants to.

    The key questions to ask is (1) who continues to believe her, and (2) is this magazine going to provide an equal opportunity for others to rebut her comments? If they do not then they are intentionally contributing to the dissemination of ignorance and the magazine should be called to task for it.

    Of course our state legislators routinely disseminate ignorance and we reward them with re-election……

  2. If Dr. Bulgin wants to write something for this forum to be posted as an article, she only need ask.

  3. Jay Barr says:

    You would think such a violation of her suspension would be grounds for some pretty severe (firing) disciplinary action by the university. Even if her contention that she didn’t know about the research confirming that domestics pass disease to bighorns were true, she is still in violation of her “agreement” to not speak about this type of thing. I think this really makes the university look weak by not taking immediate and strict action. Like lots of agencies/personnel in ID, it seems you can thumb your nose at your employer/authority and suffer zero consequences.

  4. Jay Barr,

    One or more of the universities in Idaho could well go under. There was an long guest opinion about this in the Idaho State Journal today.

    Like Idaho Fish and Game Department, they are in no position to stand up to Idaho’s landed nobility.

  5. kt says:

    Well, didn’t Butch Otter and Steve Symms BOTH “vet” the new U of I President Hansen Jensen/whoever a little while ago and agree to pay him more than others vying for the job – even in these days of budgetary woes?

    With a selection committee like those two (is Steve still lobbying for the Nigerian cockfighters?) , there ain’t no way Cowboy U. is gonna get rid of Marie Bulgin. Hansen Jensen made a deal with those two devils – whatever the 15 sheep ranchers and big cattle ranchers want – they get. “Research” reports distorted? You Betcha. Lies and nonsense spewed forth about sheep disease? Sure thing.

    Heck, we Idaho taxpayers have been paying her salary from many months now, while she is officially doing NOTHING. Lots of idle time to write nonsense for obscure sheep pubs…

    In honor of Deals with the Devil …

  6. kt says:

    And while the Crossroads is where the deal happened:

    Check out this one:

    Are those cow or sheep horns that tall, shadowy figure is sporting?

  7. . . . Robert Johnson, Delta blues.

    You don’t have to live in the Delta to have the blues.

  8. Salle says:

    In many depictions of the devil cow horns were used, Some believe this is due to the biblical tale of the “golden calf” cult back in Moses’ time – I think it was Moses. Don’t remember much biblical stuff, it’s not my religion, but I do recall there was some story about worshiping of so called false gods that looked like cows.

  9. jdubya says:


    I wasn’t referring to your web site as “this magazine” but instead I was talking about the sheep rearing mag that she wrote the article for. The name of that mag was in the first article you posted, but is missing in the second. It is a journal that I am not familiar with. But they should, in fairness, have someone else write a rebuttal for publication so the readers could at least be aware there is controversy over her outlook.


  10. Wilderness Muse says:


    At present, the link to the article posts only the second page. Until this is fixed readers should go to the bottom of the page and click on “previous” for the first page. It makes more sense this way.

    If professor Bulgin indeed violated the terms of her suspension agreement pending the results of the investigation, as stated in the article, she should be sanctioned, and maybe even fired. Who gives a rat’s backside if she is tenured.

    Also looks like she is a sloppy researcher, all the more reason she needs to be reigned in.
    – – –
    Thanks! I’ve fixed the link. RM

  11. jdubya says:

    Muse, You give a rat’s ass about her being tenured because that process also protects the ability of others to speak their mind when it is politically incorrect to do so. That protection is necessary when you have people like W. Bush in office with his inclination to muzzle those that disagree.

    You rebut people like Bulgin with facts and the truth, not with threats.

  12. Wilderness Muse says:

    No jdubya,=

    You have it all screwed up. This has nothing to do with a missing idiot from some town in Texas, who happened to become President. Bulgin is not a federal employee to my knowledge. She is afforded due process, and it looks like she is getting it.

    A tenured state university position gives the privilege of speaking out as you suggest. However, this individual, in speaking out apparently went beyond the guidlines of the institution for which she works. I am not familiar with the process the U of I used, but usually there would be a panel of peers and administrators convened to review the circumstances surrounding claims of bad scholarship and inappropriate and comments. Don’t know who made the complaint, but that was also probably a factor. The panel apparently made a preliminary decision leading to her temporary suspension (not an outright firing for speaking out), while more facts are gathered. Universities, especially state funded ones, usually don’t take those things lightly, and usually err on in favor of the tenured employee. She was temporarily suspended for the purpose of the investigation, and apparently agreed to the terms. She then allegedly purposefully violated those terms. That is a breach of contract, jdubya.

    And, yes, the search for truth should go on, and open dialog with those offering different views should be encouraged.

  13. Matt says:

    Ralph, do you have a link to the story about a university possibly shutting down?

  14. jdubya says:

    Geeze Muse, when you have all of the answers then why do you even bother to respond?

    Anybody has the right to provide an article for a magazine published by a private company. Anybody. There is that thing called a Constitution. Now if she wants to give the impression this is gospel from Idaho U then she can be called on the carpet by her superiors. But since her superiors knew all along she was operating a research enterprise with a clear conflict of interest I would not hold my breath. My opinion has been from the beginning that her boss’s head should roll as well as hers since the Univ was complicit in this affair.

    I’ll let you have the last word….

  15. Matt,

    The Idaho State Journal doesn’t seem have it on-line. It was a long piece by Professor Jack Owens of the History Department entitled, “ISU: Too Big to Fail.” It was in the “Insight” section of the paper on Sunday.

    I think it is notable that the Utah universities bluntly told their governor and state legislature last week that they cannot stand any more budget cuts without irreparable damage, not just to the faculty, but to the students who are paying top dollar for higher education during this quasi-depression, and getting less and less in return. This includes simply not being able to get the required classes for graduation over a 4-year period.

  16. Wilderness Muse says:


    Yes, I will offer another comment. I found the following article – an official statement from UI on the matter- which I had not seen when I made my earlier post. It seems the professor was testifying before the legislature AND in federal litigation, regarding her “scientific views” on transferability of diseases between domestic and bighorn sheep. If, in fact, she was doing so contrary to good science, she placed the reputation of her department and the university at risk. They had every right to pull her ticket to speak for the university, while investigating further.

    This goes well beyond some free speech right you assert. The article does not say who the parties were to the federal litigation, but if ID was in the suit that could have been enough to pull her ticket right there.

  17. Wilderness Muse says:

    Sorry, Here is the post to the official UI statement, and which Brian Ertz also posted on Ralph’s site in June 2009.

  18. Ryan says:

    Good riddance.

  19. Nancy says:

    Does this work? This is the only way I can read things from Pocatello anymore. I can’t ISJ to post online.

  20. Thanks Nancy,

    This is the article I was writing about. I see they moved it to their blog.

    I hope Matt sees this comment.

  21. Matt says:

    Just saw the article – very eye-opening. Thanks both Ralph and Nancy!


November 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

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