Facts revealed on the killing of the Basin Butte Pack

Idaho Fish and Game lists the facts behind the kill order-

There are a small number of livestock owners that run most of the cattle in the Stanley area, and not surprisingly it was because of losses of their cattle. All told, ten wolves were shot in the Basin Butte Pack over the course of the year.  Some say there might be a couple left.

The Piva family lost 3-4 cows and maybe 1 calf. Jay Neider lost one calf. Jay Neider is closely related to Nate Helm, head of Idaho’s Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife. 2 wolves were shot in response to Neider’s cow calf.

– – – – –
There is a rumor that the uproar over the killing of Basin Butte Pack has caused WS and IDF & G to back off on their plans to kill 20 or so so-called “chronic depredating wolf packs” this winter.
– – – – –

Addition on 12-18

I got most of this information above from a spreadsheet Idaho Fish and Game sent. Here are the owner’s names and dates of the “wolf depredations.” The information is below and was put into a more reader friendly form by Lynne Stone.

8/3/09  one cow, 1 mile north of Stanley, Julian Piva
8/4/09  one calf, 1/2 south of Stanley, Jay Neider Arrow A Ranch
10/5/09 One cow, 1/2 mile south of Stanley, Bob Piva; one probable cow or calf (report doesn’t say)
11/3/09 One cow, 1/2 mile south of Stanley, Bob Piva



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  1. william huard Avatar
    william huard

    Absolutely dispicable. I called and left a message for Jim Lukens, the regional super for the Salmon area of Idaho. I wonder if he calls me back. I basically said that I think they have no clue how to manage wildlife, and for this pack to be taken out based on these few predations is truly sickening. I wonder if Nate Helms had any influence in this decision!

  2. Richard Roberts Avatar
    Richard Roberts

    Many people visit the Sawtooth area because of the wildlife, especially the wolves. There are a number of grazing areas to the west of Yosemite and Kings Canyon National Parks that cattlemen have abandoned their grazing alotments because people used the cattle for target practice, or freezer beef.

  3. Salle Avatar

    I know for fact that Piva is one of the ranchers who can’t be bothered to tend his cattle. This family is one that makes camping in Iron Creek (for one example) camping area a drag because the Piva cattle are run through the campground leaving stinking piles of shit all over, hard to put up a tent thanks to them. And then there are the biting flies that accompany these stinking animals and the shit they spread all over, fouling the ground and the creek… Giardia anyone?

    Another thing is the cattle who get loose on the highway and the horrid sound of cows early in the morning. I would rather hear birds, anything but livestock.

    In such a beautiful area as Stanley basin, it’s a shame that wishing to enjoy their public lands have to be subjected to the spectacular views and camping experience overtly tainted with Piva’s cattle. Knowing that they are also the cause of so many wolf deaths is just another reason to despise them.

  4. Chuck Avatar

    Just like their little token gift of talking about having a wildlife viewing area in the wolf plan booklet. BS-they never had plans of doing that and I don’t care what they say. This stinks. Too bad criminal actions could not be brought against these who put out the kill order. Get rid of these dam welfare ranchers, get those stinking livestock off of public lands and do as you preach, refresh my memory on how they say it, IDFG stewardship of the animals and lands????
    Back to these poor poor ranchers, hey its almost the first of the year, time to go out and buy a new duramax

  5. Cutthroat Avatar

    The Wood River Valleys’ weekly paper, “Idaho Mountain Express” yesterday did an opinion piece basicly endorsing the action taken against the Basin Butte pack.

    Take a look at their numbers Ralph and also notice while they felt they had a good enough grasp on the issue to form an opinion they do not know the difference between the USFWS and Idaho WS.

    Interesting also, same issue had a front page picture of Butch Otter speaking in Carey.


  6. rick Avatar


    Where did you get those numbers? Are those the total numbers of animals killed by the Basin Butte pack, or are they this years numbers? I am curious about how long this pack has been in the area and if this has been an ongoing problem.

    Also, public land grazing was mentioned in the comments above. I thought in another post about the killing of the Basin Butte pack it said that the majority of the cattle killed were on public lands.

  7. rick Avatar


    Thanks for the link with the total numbers. That answered part of my question. I was typing at the same time as you.

  8. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Idaho Fish and Game sent a spreadsheet to Jon Marvel, and he sent it to me.

    I didn’t request it, but it seems to me that it is to IDF & G’s credit that they sent it because they would know it probably wouldn’t look good to a lot of folks.

    I don’t know how difficult or easy it was for Jon Marvel to get them to email it to them.

    I also learned that no wolf compensation is being paid for losses of livestock this year. Some would argue that is a downside to delisting. DOW still pays for losses in Wyoming because the wolves there are not delisted.

  9. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I also learned that no wolf compensation is being paid for losses of livestock this year. Some would argue that is a downside to delisting.

    That’s asking for an even bigger slaughter. Are there no programs for compensating ranchers for kills by other animals? That area sounds like a miserable place to camp. There was an area like that in Montana. Absolutely breathtaking scenery but nothing but cow shit and flies everywhere. I never saw wildlife other than the occasional camp robber.

  10. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    So, if I understand correctly, there now is no livestock compensation program for wolf kills, and ranchers have to absorb non-lethal costs of discouraging wolves from depredation of livestock (say those $3,000-5,000 per guard dog per year, herders, riders, etc.) that were not a cost of doing business before wolf reintroduction.

    Can anyone give a reason why any livestock owner, especially those who operate exclusively on private land, would want to be tolerant of wolves?

    Is the Defenders of Wildlife compensation program still active, or has that been suspended, as well?

  11. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Defenders program is no longer operated in Montana, or Idaho because the wolves have been delisted.

  12. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    If delisting is the reason for Defenders decision to suspend their program, that seems illogical. Depredation potential still exists, and if the idea is to build tolerance and acceptance in this user group, delisting status should be immaterial to that objective.

  13. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    You don’t need to tell me, that was a Defenders decision, they did provide seed money for the Montana reimbursement program, but as far as I know, they will not contribute anymore money to the program, and currently, it seems a little sketchy if the Montana programs is active.

    I have heard conflicting reports on if they are still running the program in Wyoming..

  14. Brian Ertz Avatar

    Wilderness Muse says :

    If delisting is the reason for Defenders decision to suspend their program, that seems illogical. Depredation potential still exists, and if the idea is to build tolerance and acceptance in this user group, delisting status should be immaterial to that objective.

    “Compensation” programs do not build tolerance for wolves – in fact, it is my understanding that Defenders commissioned a study which demonstrated exactly that – though the study never went public.

    The ineffective “hush-money” bribe program was a condition of wolf recovery, my understanding is that it was an agreement between private parties (Defenders & ranchers) & federal managers that was to compliment the ESA recovery program – a political deal brokered at the beginning of wolf recovery efforts – – once that program was terminated (via delisting rule, presumably), the agreement for a private party to “compensate” was also terminated. Given the study(s) demonstration of the ineffectiveness of the program at building tolerance for wolves, why would they continue it ?

  15. JB Avatar

    WM, Brian:

    To my knowledge, two studies have examined whether compensation programs promote tolerance, the one Brian mentions (which has not yet been published) looked at the Mexican Wolf recovery program; another, conducted by Adrian Treves at the University of Wisconsin, looked specifically at livestock producers in Wisconsin. Neither found evidence that compensation builds tolerance.

    I do not believe anyone has yet examined whether compensation programs build tolerance in the Northern Rockies; however, given previous findings that attitudes in this region are strongly linked with cultural values, I think it is doubtful that compensation programs do much in the way of building tolerance.

    In regards to Brian’s comment: I agree: compensation was politically necessary in order to overcome objections that livestock producers would be adversely impacted by wolf reintroduction.

  16. JB Avatar

    Correction: The lead author on the Wisconsin study was Lisa Naughton-Treves. Here is the citation for those interested:

    Naughton-Treves, L.N., Grossberg, R. & Treves, A. (2003). Paying for tolerance: Rural citizens’ attitudes toward wolf depredation and compensation. Conservation Biology, 17(6):1500-1511.

  17. spanglelakes Avatar

    Sterilizing wolves next “management tool”?

    This from Mark D Collinge, Wildlife Services in an email to Suzanne Stone, dated 11/30/09, regarding the Basin Butte Pack demise and a new pack moving in:

    “One option we’ve discussed previously … would be to consider sterilizing the alpha pair of whatever pack of wolves next shows up in the area. You haven’t indicated whether Defenders of Wildlife has reconsidered this suggestion.”

  18. gline Avatar

    Why in the heck would Defenders still compensate if wolves are being killed left and right? AT taxpayer expense???

  19. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Left and right?

  20. Jeff N. Avatar
    Jeff N.

    g-line says:
    “Why in the heck would Defenders still compensate if wolves are being killed left and right? AT taxpayer expense???”

    Bingo. And has been pointed out, compensation did not build tolerance……over 13 years. Unfortunately tolerance is a pipe dream. I read countless quotes where ranchers said they wouldn’t accept “Defenders” money even if their livestock eas killed by wolves. The way I (and many others) see it…..the livestock industry has their own taxpayer funded wolf extermination program run by the feds. In effect they get dead wolves and compensation…..paid for by the taxpayer….and yet they still whine and bitch.

  21. rick Avatar

    I commented about compensation programs on the open forum a little bit ago but it may fit in better in this discussion. Just my two cents.

    “I have been thinking about the problems with compensation based on animals killed. I know it has been discussed on this website quite a bit with ranchers still not feeling satisfied when compensated and wolf advocates frustrated that compensation does not increase tolerance of wolves. The best analogy I could think of would be a store owner’s shop is broken into and some of his merchandise is stolen. Perhaps he collects some insurance money to replace his lost merchandise, but he does not feel more tolerant or better about the thief. I don’t mean to compare wolves to thieves because a wolf is doing what it is born to do, but I think the idea is still right.

  22. JB Avatar


    I think this is an astute observation. Risk research suggests one of the dominant factors affecting people’s perceptions of risk (and subsequent risk attitudes) is perceived control. Livestock producers are frustrated because they feel like they were hit out of the blue and there’s little they can do about it; compensation might fix the short term financial loss, but it does not do anything to increase one’s control over the situation.

  23. gline Avatar

    Rick, re:wolves, thieves, that is a little too close of a comparison for me, especially with the historical and current rampant demonizing of wolves. Wolves are not thieves.

    Wolves don’t know the difference between private land and public.

  24. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    I don’t mean to compare wolves to thieves because a wolf is doing what it is born to do, but I think the idea is still right.

    I understand the point you are trying to make, but the fact that wolves are not thieves is what the ranching community needs to understand.

  25. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    A fair number of livestock owners offered compensation in fact turn it down. I think there are two reasons for this. First, some are pressured not to take it. Second, many of the livestock owners who lose livestock to wolves sustain such a small financial loss that they can afford to express their anger and turn the compensation down.

    It’s not the loss of livestock that angers them. It’s the fact that they lost the battle to stop wolf restoration.

  26. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Second, many of the livestock owners who lose livestock to wolves sustain such a small financial loss that they can afford to express their anger and turn the compensation down.

    That’s a fact that should be brought up more.

  27. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    JB Brian

    I do not know the polled sentiment for some kind of compensation for wolf depradation of livestock – if you say it has no bearing significant bearing on tolerance I will believe you, and the references you cite.

    However, the perception that someone cares enough to be concerned of the rancher’s actual and perceived losses is a huge PR element. Without it, ranchers, I believe, will resort to greater amounts of self-help (translate to more dead wolves), AND those sympathetic to the rancher’s added risk will go more firmly into the ranks of the anti-wolf ranks.

    The absence of a compensation program does not help the cause, even if it does not create more tolerance.

    And, yes, Brian I remember your purist views on public grazing risks and operation of free markets at a national level. The fact remains that we are talking about local economies, local politics to a great extent, and perceptions of problems, as well as reality.

    I should mention that the Draft Washington wolf plan has bought support from the livestock community with a proposal that losses be compensated at a fairly large per animal rate, as well as a provision that gives the larger rancher (holdings of greater than 100 acres) who may have a more difficult time proving up a claim on open range or timber, double the loss rate, and a committment of the State to work with the livestock community to address adverse livestock-wolf conflicts. Whether this survives to the final plan, and the state legislature funds it, is up for grabs. It sure quieted them down for now, however.

  28. Wyo Native Avatar
    Wyo Native

    Pro Wolf,

    Please name one rancher in Wyoming that has turned down compensation for their livestock losses due to wolves. I am serious when I ask this, because I truly would like to know who they are, and confront them.

  29. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Wilderness Muse,

    A state based compensation program might build wolf tolerance to some degree.

    Accepting money from Defenders of Wildlife was regarded as taking money from the people who created the problem. The state is seen as more neutral.

    Wolf losses are monetarily so small that states can afford to be generous, but some, like Wyoming are so generous it will promote leaving the animals out as bait (note: Wyoming’s generous state program is not currently in effect because the state doesn’t not run the wolf program there. The federal government does).

    In addition, Wyoming’s program will take money from Game and Fish revenues to compensate livestock owners. I think that is an idea guaranteed to stir up trouble.

  30. spanglelakes Avatar

    Some more infor re. the Basin Butte Pack. One Challis ranching family that has a big parcel of land around Stanley is responsible for the demise of the Basin Butte wolves. They were issued shoot on sight permits to kill three wolves after the 1st depredation in early August. The cowhands had time to hunt the wolves with loaded rifles, but no time or desire to practice non-lethal, proactive methods.

    On Sunday, Oct. 4, a blizzard hit Stanley and it was the next day that the BB wolves were accused of killing a cow on Piva’s property. More likely it froze to death or died of malnutrition and the wolves fed on it.

    On Oct 6, Piva cowhand John Spensor, shot a Basin Butte pup near the Stanley airstrip and put his wolf tag on it. He finally got his wulf that he’d been gunning for a summer and fall. On Oct 7, a hunter tricked the pack’s alpha male with a predator call and shot it.

    This left ten wolves in the pack. When an old cow was killed on Nov 3 – maybe the one I saw standing sick, unable to walk – that was the death blow for the Basin Butte Pack. IDFG Salmon region supervisor ordered the killing of the entire pack – all ten remaining wolves. It’s in writing.

    The chopper shot three wolves in the White Cloud foothills on Monday, Nov 23. Then baited B171 alpha female and her surviving pups out into the open on a cow pasture next to Stanley on Nov 24. The pups were shot by plane. Residents watched in horror as this occurred. Alpha Fe ran two miles before she was finished off in Goat Ck Meadow by Wildlife Services. Total mortality in this Thanksgiving week shoot out: seven wolves. Perhaps three BB wolves, survive, but the Stanley rednecks are bragging about running them down with snowmobiles this winter.

    What a hideous ending to Idaho’s best known wolf pack, one that resides in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area where wildlife is supposed to take precedence over livestock – what a joke.

  31. Dawn Avatar

    So the bottom line is how to change the rancher’s opinion on wolves ? Can it be done ? People who visit Teton and Yellowstone National Parks want to see wolves and bears . What is sad is these ranchers’s don’t understand that they have messed up the balance of nature, how can we fix this ?

  32. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    People who visit Yellowstone are not seeing the wolves in Idaho, there is quite a bit of distance between where these depredations are happening and the packs in the park…and there is quite a difference of opinion on the balance issue between the waring groups…

  33. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    And yes, it can be changed, but it is going to take a hell of a lot longer that 14 years to accomplish it..

  34. Dawn Avatar

    True Save bears, but will the American public care about this now with everything from health care, ecomony, etc. what I will tell you is talking to my family back East they do care and don’t have a clue what is going on cause the media doesn’t cover it like the media didn’t cover the Climate Summit , instead we get Tiger Woods.

  35. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    I agree 100%, the American Media does not cover the things are home, like they should, they blow smoke up our ass about who is screwing who, and gloss over the important issues, hence Americans don’t have a clue..

  36. Dawn Avatar

    But I will add that wolves are not stupid, they know what is going on ! Smart animals .

  37. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    I don’t give wolves the same type of being as well as awareness as we have…they are indeed smart, but they are not aware, they know where they will be killed and they know where they will be safe, but I will not raise them to a human level, just as I won’t raise any animal to a human level, that was part of our classes when I was getting my biology degree, if I raise animals to a human level, then I can’t be an objective biologist..

  38. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    There are a few on this blog as well as others around the net, that actually understand, we need to stay objective to further wildlife issues, and there are many who don’t understand, when we assign human emotion and feelings to wild animals, we have completely lost the battle. Wolves, Bears and other wildlife have very simple roles in life, The breed, they Live and hunt and eat, and they die, and depending on which side of the issue you are on, death has no meaning to them, there is far to many things in their life that can end their life, it is part of the cycle of life and life is a tough thing for humans to accept.

    These are scientific issues that must be addressed and adhered to…plain and simple, wolves are a needed part of the wilderness to restore a balance, have we done it correctly? Only time will tell, can we effect the future, sure, we have proven that time and time again, the choice is, can we effect it in a positive way, or will be effect it in a negative way, as I said, only time will tell

  39. Dawn Avatar

    Damn you showed me ! Your are right with the awareness but I feel we need to respect and that is not happening . Thank you for your imput that is why I come on this blog to learn . But gotta tell ya lately I would take a wolf respect over a human, oh yeah !

  40. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Respect is a learned emotion, you learn to respect through either fights, or accomplishments, wolves learn to respect their alphas because they have asserted themselves..to lead the pack, humans learn to respect because they admire the leadership roles certain people take after they prove themselves..

    and please don’t get me wrong, my heart feels when I see nature in the raw, it is a tough world, but I can’t and won’t assign my emotions to their lives, death in any form, is not pretty, but we have no understanding of how an animal handles death or why they do what they do when a death occurs, to them it is simply death, based on my studies, do they feel loss? I am sure they do, does it affect them the way it affects us? I am sure they don’t Death by a bullet, means no more to them than death by a competitor..nature, raw and wild, is exactly that, and we are just part of nature..we have no special meaning to a wolf, a bear, lion, a deer, etc, we are simply part of the cycle..

    Now I am sure, many will disagree with me, but in my opinion, we have no bigger or lesser meaning to these animals than any other species they compete with..

  41. Mike Avatar

    Save Bears -the problem is we have no idea as to what level their awareness is unless we are in their “paws”.

  42. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Ok Mike,

    What ever..

  43. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    It is unfortunate to say, you with your ramblings are starting to remind me of another individual I knew that ended up getting killed and eaten by a bear….scary stuff..

  44. frank Avatar

    “they are not aware, they know where they will be killed and they know where they will be safe”

    That sounds like awareness to me. That sounds like the ultimate level of awareness. Yeah, maybe they are not asking themselves where they come from, what they are supposed to do while they are here, or where they go when they die, BUT they seem AWARE enough to try to stay alive.

  45. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    Well Frank, I may have worded it different than you do, but awareness is a bit different than native instincts of survival..humans know what is wrong and right, wolves have no conception of wrong and right, am sure if I turned you out and shot at you at one spot and didnt’ at another, you would build a habit in you to avoid the place I shot at you, that is not awareness, that is habit..

    Pavlov proved this theory many years ago..

  46. kt Avatar

    The understanding of the complex world of animal behavior has moved far past Pavlov. Pavlov is used as an excuse for all manner of animal exploitation and abuse.

  47. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    I will call bullshit kt,

    animals have never been proven to have a concept of wrong or right, good or bad, wolves don’t know they are being bad when they kill livestock and they don’t know they are being good when they reduce an over population of elk..they have simple needs in life, eat, breed and die, applying human emotions to animals is a mistake that is perpetuated by humans..

  48. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    humans have a concept of God, or the devil, many believe in the concept of heaven and hell, animals don’t, animals have very few needs in their lives, their two main functions are to perpetuate their species and to eat, we have never proven they love, hate have fondness or any other emotion that is attributed to humans…but I am sure they feel pain and I am sure they feel pleasure..pinch your dogs foot and they will cry, pet them and they will feel pleasure, but do they actually feel it in the same sense we do? That is the question.

  49. ProWolf in WY Avatar
    ProWolf in WY

    Wyo Native, I was commenting on what Ralph had said.

  50. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    ++I will call bullshit kt,
    animals have never been proven to have a concept of wrong or right, good or bad, wolves don’t know they are being bad when they kill livestock and they don’t know they are being good when they reduce an over population of elk..they have simple needs in life, eat, breed and die, applying human emotions to animals is a mistake that is perpetuated by humans..++

    Therein lies the rub, SB. Some (not all) of staunch wolf advocates seem to think wolves have such abilities beyond what research can easily show. There is a researcher at U of Colorado, Marc Bekoff, who seems to think he can prove otherwise. I am not sure the rest of the behavioral psychology academic community has bought in to his theories. Lady Jane Goodall, of chimpanze fame (and former student of Dr. LSB Leakey) did a foward to one of Bekoff’s books, a couple of years back.

    Whether Bekoff’s theories have gained traction seem to be in question.

    I, on the other hand, tend to be a pragmatist and believe as you. Wolves will do what they need to survive with regard to some moral standard set by humans.

    For example, my 1.5 year old golden retreiver who occasionally claims the cat’s bowl for his own, avoids doing so because my wife yells at him, and shakes her fist, and grabs him by the collar and scoots him outside. The dog figures this is not good – loud noise, rough handling and treatment as a social outcast from his pack. He has no sense of good or bad; right or wrong, etc. It can be reduced to behavior avoidance – simple. By the way, the cat food still disappears when there is nobody there to catch him. Go figure. He is supposed to know the difference between right and wrong, according to some.

  51. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    I, on the other hand, tend to be a pragmatist and believe as you. Wolves will do what they need to survive WITHOUT regard to some moral standard set by humans.

  52. Erin Barca Avatar
    Erin Barca

    This conversation confuses me. Even humans argue over what is “right” and “wrong”, “good” and “bad”. It sounds as though these concepts are being spoken of as if they are set in stone. Something of substance. Such as whether a dog is allowed to do something.

    You can apply the description of the golden retriever to people who are yelled at or otherwise reprimanded for doing anything. Many people will continue to do the same action when certain folks aren’t watching, regardless of who finds it “wrong”. In most cases “knowing right from wrong” is simply an acknowledgement of a concept and values that others of the human species place on things, people, places, actions, etc.

    If we include what we want or don’t want dogs to do, this can be extremely fluid. Some people train their dogs poorly this way, allowing them up on the couch one moment, but not the next. All depending on mood.

  53. Erin Barca Avatar
    Erin Barca


    I agree with what your very last statement says. The previous examples and inclusions sure trip me up though.

  54. nabeki Avatar

    Save bears says:
    Left and right?
    Yes left and right, over and under…however you want to put it. WS took out TWENTY ONE entire wolf packs in 2008 in the Northern Rockies. 9 in Montana, 8 in Idaho and 4 in Wyoming. That’s TWO HUNDRED AND SIXTY FOUR WOLVES in one year!! Their justification? 184 cattle, 355 Sheep, 14 dogs and 18 others ( So They Say). If my math is correct…1 wolf was killed for every two livestock. Yep…great science backed management, when well over ninety percent of all cattle losses are caused by reproduction, weather and disease. The ranchers know it, FWP and IDFG knows it and Wildlife Services knows it!! Yet they continue this campaign to demonize wolves, gunning them down from the air, wild west style.

    Why is ranching absorbing the majority of livestock losses from other causes without a whimper but when a few cattle and sheep are killed by wolves they call complaining to the state??

    There is no way on gods green earth to justify that slaughter in 2008. And it’s continuing into 2009 but now wolves are being hunted as trophy animals, so the double whammy is hitting them.

    Why are the feds acting as ranchers private wolf extermination service, with tax payer dollars?? It’s because the “landed nobility” as Ralph calls them, have the power in these states to influence policy. Just as the elk hunters have the ear of the state governments. I wonder if wolf advocates purposed the reduction of the elk herd by 50% what the response would be? After all why is that species more important then wolves? It works both ways.


  55. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    If I understand your confusion, my last statement must be taken in context with the golden retriever example. The point I was trying to make is that acceptable conduct (for humans as well as animals) is measured against some set of rules as defined by those who govern (for lack of a better word) the group. If the rules are violated a negative consequence is the result (My wife yells at the dog and rough handles him out of the house. He doesn’t like that, and assuming he can link his conduct to the treatment he receives, he won’t do it again. And, you are right, consistency is important so as not to send a message that the conduct is acceptable sometimes. A real problem if the dog steals the food and nobody is there to catch him doing it. Same way with the wolf).

    The more difficult part is determining what motivates the individual human, dog, wolf, to operate within the rules. I submit that dogs and wolves try to avoid negative consequences of their acts, but it has little to do with what is defined by humand as “good” or “bad.” How does a wolf know it is not supposed to kill a sheep? Not the wolf’s fault for not knowing. It has not been taught this is not acceptable conduct, and that there are consequences for doing so.

    And, by the way, humans that get caught doing “bad” things, depending on natue and severity, may wind up in jail or paying fines (negative consequence).

    Animals, in the wild on the other hand, do not typically get a corporal sentence, or a second chance. More likely, it is lethal.

    I am sure a psychologist could say this much better than I, and with the right technical words, but I think most get the drift of my comment.

  56. jerryB Avatar

    I hesitate to reference this, considering some of the posters and the close minded comments sure to follow , but here goes……..

    “Dogs have Souls………”
    References the research Marc Bekoff is doing on Animal Emotions.

  57. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I read Wild Justice by Beckoff. He makes some good points. There are definitely some people who need to be exposed to his point of view.

    It occurred to me after reading him that any judgment about the goodness of badness of animals is inherently subjective and would differ by species . . what a donkey might approve of (and so in a kind of way think is good) might be a behavior that a human would think is bad or just meaningless.

    I can’t prove that people have souls, so I certainly can’t say that other animals have or don’t have them.

    However, the idea that we are self aware and so are some animals seems like an important dividing line to me.

    It bothers me some to eat pork because pigs are self aware. Cattle, sheep, chickens, turkeys don’t seem to be. Note: nevertheless I do eat pork. I refuse to eat beef, not because of cow’s sake, but because I think raising them is one of the most damaging human activities.

  58. gline Avatar

    Yes, SB, “left and right”

    thanks Nabeki for sorting that out!

  59. Rich Hurry Avatar
    Rich Hurry

    The BBC World Service News earlier today had a piece where noted biologists have now demonstrated that dolphins have “mirror awareness.” In other words, dolphins are aware of their bodies and position themselves to see various aspects of themselves. Further, thism feature has been found in Magpies. The segment went on to state that even honey bees, with what must be an incredibly small brain, have the ability to plan; thus refuting the notion that their actions are controlled exclusively by instinct.

    My point in mentioning these findings is that I believe Man still has a very long way to go in understanding his fellow animals. To presume (as suggested in some earlier comments) that the dividing line between humans and the other animals is fixed and well understood seems premature at best to me.

  60. jerryB Avatar

    Ralph….Bekoff has done some fascinating research.
    “The Emotional Lives of Animals” is a favorite.
    I ‘ve always been surrounded by animals and have witnessed some behavior that could only be described as “emotional” on their part. Not only amongst their kind, but involving human/animal interaction.
    Another topic for the “BBQ”!

  61. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    All I can say is Wow!!!!!

    Please provide proof for what some of you are saying..I would be real interested in reading peer reviewed and accepted evidence..because in my many years in school as well as working in the exact job many of you like to put down, I have never once seen it!

  62. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    By the way, I consider Dolphins, Chimps and Elephants on a completely different level than I do wolves, Cats and Coyotes…sorry if you don’t like that, but from my thousands of hours in the field, I have seen quite a difference in their behaviors..

  63. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    And Jerry, I really look forward to the BBQ

  64. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    do there fellow wolves KNOW they took out them? If they do, please provide proof, other than your human instinct?

  65. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    As far as Elk, reduce them by 50% and really see if it makes a difference in the way many feel about wolves, I really don’t care, I care about the science and neither side has a good grasp on that, the current fight on BOTH sides is based on emotion, plain and simple, neither side can come to grip with the fact, it should be science based management..I don’t give a shit if either species is here, I am far more interested in how each species interacts with each other with out the damn human emotions.! If you feel that is a cold point of view then so be it, emotions have no place in wildlife management, science does!

  66. Erin Barca Avatar
    Erin Barca

    I cringe at further derailing this topic. However, for those unfamiliar with Marc Beckoff, this article is a good introduction:

    “Moral in Tooth and Claw.”

  67. Erin Barca Avatar
    Erin Barca

    How about that quote above that spanglelakes posted concerning Mark D Collinge of Wildlife Services emailing Suzanne Stone, to discuss whether Defenders of Wildlife would reconsider the sterilization of the next mated pair of wolves to claim the Basin Butte pack’s territory?

    I missed the comment the first read. I’d like to hear the reply to that, myself. Does he really think that DOW would be okay with such an action? I hope you’ll update us should the information cross your path.

  68. Rich Hurry Avatar
    Rich Hurry

    Thank you, Erin, for the link to a very illuminating article co-authored by Marc Beckoff. There are enough citations of peer reviewed and accepted references to satisfy even the bears of denial on this blog.

  69. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    even published peer reviewed does not mean all sides of science agree with Beckoff…

  70. izabelam Avatar

    I am very upset about posts of Savebears. I thought we supposed to have discussions about how to save our wolves, how to create safe environemnt for all species.
    Savebears statement “..I don’t give a shit if either species is here” is hateful and if savebear considers himself to be a scientist….holly spirit..save the world from scientist like savebears. All, I see is hate of wolves,cats,coyotes…sad sad very sad individual…

  71. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    I don’t hate animals, if I did I would not have went to school to become a biologist, but I just happen to believe in the science and don’t believe they should be managed based on emotion, I have never once said, I endorse or condone the wanton killing of any of the species you mention, I don’t believe in poaching, SSS or coyote contests.

    You call me a sad individual because I choose not to interject emotion into something that needs to be science based to have fruitful outcome with balance..

  72. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    also, please point out where I said that I hate the animals you mention, if fact point out where I have said I hate any animals…?

  73. Brian Ertz Avatar

    Some believe that the capability of abstract thought is the first requirement of “moral agency” – that condition in which it is appropriate to morally judge a being’s conduct in terms of “right” or “wrong”. Kant developed one such standard. I think emotion is such an abstract expression of awareness.

    Otherwise, it seems to me – with what I believe, the behavior of wildlife, even vegetation, is inherently moral – good – a model by which to aspire in which human beings’ capacity of abstract thought has actually alienated us from what is “right” or “good” ~ especially when viewed not so much in terms of an individual’s behavior — but from the perspective of the system – the ebb & flow and intrinsicly creative & dynamic unfolding of diverse life processes. Our capacity for abstract thought has motivated our destructive influence with regard to life processes & systems. I don’t think wildlife has the same capability. Wolves killing sheep (or even elk) is creative – it upholds and enhances the diversity of the native system (see: “trophic cascade”). It’s an integral part of the system – “niche”. From this perspective, with regard to a ‘watershed perspective’ – or by “thinking like a mountain” – one might even say that wolves’ slaughter of sheep & cattle is an act of compassion.

    is compassion an emotional expression ?

    i would say so.

  74. izabelam Avatar

    Save bears,
    Biologist does not say”
    “..I don’t give a shit if either species is here”
    “so..I don’t hate animals, if I did I would not have went to school to become a biologist”..well..maybe you need to reward your statment.
    I dont’ want to argue here like and be rude but we need solutions to preserve all species not just the special ones.
    Mother nature created species on purpose and maybe if we decided:
    ‘manage humans not wildlife’..it would be better. Different concept – manage humans!

  75. izabelam Avatar

    meant to say reword your stament..not reward your statment

  76. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    I think you are on to something, there. You have just explained the, up until now, unknown reasons behind surplus killing of livestock by wolves. Congratulations.

  77. Ryan Avatar

    I am very upset about posts of Savebears. I thought we supposed to have discussions about how to save our wolves, how to create safe environemnt for all species.
    Savebears statement “..I don’t give a shit if either species is here” is hateful and if savebear considers himself to be a scientist….holly spirit..save the world from scientist like savebears. All, I see is hate of wolves,cats,coyotes…sad sad very sad individual…”


    SB is right, science needs to be viewed sans emotions. When all of the emotional bullshit is used to start a study, the only flawed results appear. No need to look farther than the sheep expirement station which starts their research with the goal to put sheep ranchers in the clear, hence the flawed studies by some of their lead scientists. Results and facts should drive scientists and biologists not emotions or agendas. Look at the attacks on any studies that dont agree with the agendas driven by many on this blog.

    Logic and reason should be a key part of any discussion, it seems to be lost on most though.

  78. Valerie Bittner Avatar


    What a insightful and elegantly written explication of “thinking like a mountain”. Best I’ve ever come across.

    The wolves, by integrating within the mountain paradigm, are leading the most honest of lives by being true to themselves. Concomitantly, without artifice, vanity, avarice, sloth, gluttony, and duplicitous agendas, and other qualities most applicable to us, arguably wolves are living their lives in a higher moral plane.

    On a related subject, does anyone have any particulars on the educational/professional/political backgrounds of Idaho’s F & G Commissioners. Biologists? Rolex ranchers? Political appointees? I am working on a docu-drama and this information should be enormously helpful.

  79. Salle Avatar


    Here’s Randy Budge’s bio:


  80. Si'vet Avatar

    Valerie, Randy is very approachable, and excellent when it comes to getting a timely response, he does however carry a full load.

  81. Si'vet Avatar

    WM, Ryan,Ralph whomever. somewhere in previous posts, or along this bumpy trail has there ever been a defined minimum wolf number that would be acceptable or comfortable with the majority of folks who are wolf advocates. Let’s say just in WY, ID. Mt. taking into consideration current status of hunting and grazing?

  82. Linda Hunter Avatar

    “The way led up a timbered draw into plateau country; the domain of a small pack of five timber wolves too smart, for some reason, to take the poisoned baits set out for them in the forest reserve, where they do so much good to the ecosystem by killing cattle, the most unthreatened species in western North America.” Sid Marty

  83. izabelam Avatar

    Science has no emotions. Agreed.But when we kill in the name of science – we have a problem.” Logic and reason should be a key part of any discussion”. I agree. I get paid for being locgical and finding logical solution to issues. I my logic is telling me that mother nature created all species for a reason. By managing and chaning the rules of the game, we change the logical pattern of nature. Nature is logical. Nothing happens without a reason. Humans are trying to change or control this logical way of nature. Why? Because we can? Or because we only care about what is happening to us now..no long term vision..what am I going to leave to my grandchildren as a legacy..animals in zoo? Stuffed wolf???????????? stuffed bear? ..ah…life..what a wonderful thing…

  84. Rich Hurry Avatar
    Rich Hurry


    I have read and re-read your above post several times, and I am not sure how Immanuel Kant fits in? I agree with your general conclusions. However, I wonder: did you cite Kant as a contra-example?

    As you are aware, Kant’s categorical imperative (the basis for his metaphysics) did not refer to people using “abstract expressions/emotions” as evidence of morality, nor did it allow for assessing the consequences of an action as means of judging its moral goodness. Kant postulated that using “pure practical reason” was requisite to knowing whether something was moral. And, this pure practical reason was to be exercised “a priori,” before experience. None of an action’s hypothetical or real consequences or effects, according to Kant, were allowed to be used in judging its morality. In truth, I believe Kant would hold that a wolf’s or human’s killing of a cow for food would be morally neutral, since it’s the consequence of an action, and by definition consequences of actions are neither good nor evil.

    Now, my philosphical leanings make it difficult to grasp how someone can “know” something, with the exception of tautologies, a priori. So, to ascribe this to animals seems even more of a “leap of faith” as my favorite philosopher Kierkegaard, would put it.

    Thank you, however, for sending me digging back into my old textbooks! Cheers!

  85. Carl Avatar

    Izabelam, Instead of looking at the negative, look at the positive things that have come about as a result of wildlife management and science. Many species that were rare in 1900 such as elk, wild turkeys, wood ducks, black bear, bluebirds, and great egrets have been brought back. Animals that we thought back in the 1960’s would go extinct in our lifetime have seen their populations increase including the peregrine falcon, bald eagle, Kirtland’s warbler, red wolf, brown pelican,and whooping crane. The gray wolf is doing better today than it was 50 years ago. In the 1960’s the gray wolf was basically only found in Minnesota and Isle Royal National Park in Michigan in the continental US with estimates of less than 250 animals. Today we have estimates of over seven thousand wolves in eight states, nine if you want to include the few that wonder into North Dakota from Minnesota. It is not all glum and doom. Science has done alot to help recover species. I will be the first to say we still have ALOT of species that need help and it is going to take all of the people who respond on this site and then some to pull together and do it. I challenge everyone who visits this site to not just donate funds but your time to help the biologists and wildlife managers to get things done to improve our knowledge of wildlife and to improve habitat. Merry Christmas everyone and lets give more of ourselves in the New Year.

  86. nabeki Avatar

    Well I’m all for emotion and passion when it comes to something you care deeply about. Otherwise why bother?

    And what a crock about science trumping emotion concerning wolf “management”. Wolves are being “managed” for cultural and political ideologies and agribusiness. It has nothing to do with science.

    Here’s the definition of a wolf manager’s science: A wolf is a wolf is a wolf is a wolf…infinity.

    Throw me to the wolves because there’s order in the pack….Red Hot Chili Peppers

  87. Brian Ertz Avatar


    the kant allusion was simply an example of a paradigm which places morality in the strictly abstract realm ~ i.e. ‘rational’ . you’re right about the emotional being a completely different thing.

    however, i like the prospect of applying the “universalisability test” of kant’s first formulation of the CI to wolves killing livestock. i think depredation is morally permissable 😉

  88. nabeki Avatar

    We have two philosophy majors battling it out.


  89. Valerie Bittner Avatar

    Jeff E. and Si’vet,

    Thanks for the links re: backgrounds of the IF & G Commissioners. Very useful for a view to Idaho wolf politics.

  90. Rich Hurry Avatar
    Rich Hurry


    Yes, words to live by: “universalisability test!” I could never get past Kant’s insistence it be done a priori! Thanks.


  91. izabelam Avatar

    Late response to Carl:I appreciate your positive view of things. Yes, there is a lot of success stories. BUT…
    success is only a success if we don’ t destroy what we restored.
    We brought wolves back to the Yellowstone area just to kill them again.
    We killed them all once..we introduced them once and now we are destroying them again. In the name of management and science.
    Bison is another example of fantastic science and management….Not to change subject but word management makes me upset.
    I saw bison management in Yellowstone this spring.
    I see wolves being killed in the name of management. Don’t’ tell me, please, that proper management helped restore species. So far management is killing wolves, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs…and so on..
    If we need management is for humans.

  92. gline Avatar

    Yes, how about managing humans, not wildlife?? That is what your local counselor would tell you if you belonged to a dysfunctional human family- manage yourself, not the ones you “think” are causing problems… I think Bob Jackson has alluded to this concept many times.:)

  93. izabelam Avatar

    And how about managing welfare ranchers..and on the top of it..how about managing human populations just like trying to manage wildlife population..sterilization anyone?

  94. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    izabelam –
    In the context of wolf management, values (personal, community, societal) with attendent emotions, are the basis for management policies, programs and objectives. Science is only the tool to understand the status of wolves, their interaction with their environment and other resources (wildlife and private property) and how to achieve management objectives. Nowhere are wolves managed for science.

    “….success is only a success if we don’ t destroy what we restored. We brought wolves back to the Yellowstone area just to kill them again.”

    The success of wolf population restoration in the NRMR is solid, secure and is not jeapardized by hunting or removal of wolves to control wolf depredation of private property. The objection to killing wolves is a legitimate social concern based on personal values. That objection is common in our society but not shared by all Idahoans or other Americans who are also affected by wolves directly or remotely. Your’s and gline’s valid comments go to the core of this controversy. The distinction between science and values is important for all sides to understand each other.

  95. kt Avatar

    Mark:Who are you trying to kid? Anyone who looks at IDFG now knows that VALUES – i.e. the values of the livestock industry – and IDFG’s desperation to sell elk tags and placate the predator hater SFW types – drive its entire agenda.

    What IDFG and you do is spin, twist and downplay science to support YOUR values – of dead wolves.

  96. Chuck Avatar

    We all have to remember the wealth of knowledge Bob Jackson has. He has seen many things that many of us can only dream of. I think it would be a hoot to set down and listen to some of his stories.

  97. gline Avatar

    I agree Chuck, I love Bob’s stories and hearing his wisdom.

    Mark said: “The success of wolf population restoration in the NRMR is solid, secure and is not jeapardized (sic) by hunting or removal of wolves to control wolf depredation of private property.”

    How true is this statement from a Biological Standpoint, when you don’t know the true scientific ramifications yet?

    KT, you better watch it, lest you be discredited for being emotional…

  98. rick Avatar

    “How true is this statement from a Biological Standpoint, when you don’t know the true scientific ramifications yet?”

    I agree gline, that seems like a pretty broad statement for Mark to make especially since they don’t even know how many wolves are in the state. Has anyone looked into collaring wolves in the FCW to get an idea of how many wolves there are?

  99. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    kt –
    I’m not trying to kid anyone. The distinction between science and values in the process of wildlife management applies to wildlife management within the North American Model. The values relevant to wolf conservation and management include desires for as many wolves as the landscape will support, regulation of wolf numbers to achieve other wildlife resource objectives, protection of private property, ecosystem objectives and any other value that is important to individuals or society. Science is the foundation of the programs and methods to achieve the objectives. Your statement that Idaho’s wolf management program only considers the values represented by livestock producers, elk hunters and “wolf haters” is simplistic. The Idaho wolf management plan assures a viable and sustainable population of wolves for future generations. By doing so, it provides for benefits that the permanent presence of a wolf population provides: wildlife and ecosystem diversity, wolf viewing opportunities, other intrinsic values that are important to many. This controversy is about how the wolf population resource is managed to meet public/social expectations.

  100. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    gline –
    There is legitimate uncertainty about ecological effects of wolves and wolf population regulation, but there is no credible uncertainty about the long term status of wolves in Idaho or the NRMR. The wolf population in Idaho will continue to grow, taking into account depredation control actions by WS and if the havest/kill limit of 220 is reached this hunting season, which is unlikely. The Idaho management objective for smaller number of wolves than we have today, if it is achieved, will also assure a long term, sustainable wolf population. Wolves will be a permanent part of our wildlife legacy for current and future generations.

  101. kt Avatar

    Mark Gamblin: My answer may be simple, but it is as close to reality and the truth as you’re gonna get.

    IDFG, the agency you are propagandizing and covering up for is now controlled by the Farm Bureau through the various Commissioners and Director lackeys Butch Otter has put in place.

    What the public gets from IDFG now is all:

  102. Layton Avatar


    Lemme see here Mark has a pretty solid set of credentials, a degree (I think MS but I’m not sure) a broad range of experience in the field of wildlife management, is currently employed in a job related to that field AND has the cajones to come on this blog a face all the abuse that the wolfies can throw at him.

    kt on the other hand is mostly armed with a pathological hatred of anything from Idaho, government, anyone that has ever talked to someone in the cattle business, republicans, and believes every conspiracy theory that has ever come out against all of the above.

    Gee, I wonder which side of the argument that I should believe.

  103. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    500 wolves= a density of 1wolf for about every~53000 acres
    see the wolf

  104. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I have a Ph. D, and I don’t believe in any conspiracy theories except those I am part of. So you should believe me. 😉

  105. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    Ralph –
    Ouch! Conspiracy theories? Really?

  106. kt Avatar

    Yeah, Layton. Mucho grande Cajones (or overcompensating for the lack thereof .

    That’s what a lot of this death and destruction really is all about, isn’t it?

    While Butch Otter (your tax dollars) are paying Mark to propagandize for the State, school kids go hungry in this state.

  107. spanglelakes Avatar

    I think Mark is talking about Cowboy science according to Butch Otter, IDFG Commissioners and IDFG biologists (who like willows bend with the wind to keep their job and pension). One rancher complaining can end the career of an IDFG or WS employee.

  108. Si'vet Avatar

    Spanglelakes, Gline said you asked a me a question, I have asked him to clarify, no response.. Apparently I missed it, please clarify and I will be happy to respond.

  109. Si'vet Avatar

    kt, Mark and Layton to respond on this web site shows they have a pair, and the fact that Mark does it revealing his name and place of business, ” better man than YOU and I..

  110. jerryB Avatar

    Si’vet…….Mark gets $40/hr to post his BS.
    I’m sure if a qualified ecologist from the private sector was paid $40, he’d be happy to reveal his “name and place of business”.
    It has nothing to do with “having a pair”.

  111. Si'vet Avatar

    Spanglelakes. I don’t know the other commissioners as well as Randy Budge, but you can be assured that he doesn’t need his commission position to retire comfortably, he is a member of one of the most successful firms in the state. I know Randy because we have debated 2 different positions and agreed to disagree. Why successful people agree to be on this board or “target” is beyond me. Don’t think for a minute your wolf concerns are the only issues they are inundated with.

  112. Si'vet Avatar

    JerryB, how many pro’s do you know only make 40 an hr. I sure as heck wouldn’t do it for that. Mark I live near here and I have been to almost every meeting with regards to wildlife I can travel too. Do I agree with you most the time NO. Do you know who I am NO. Is it my responsibility to convey to your group what I “feel” is an important issue in a responsable and professional manner yes. Will I always get exactly what I want NO.. A face full of life yes.

  113. Si'vet Avatar

    Gline, what’s up I am waiting for clarification, I need your thoughts on the question S’s asked.

  114. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    I find it very curious that some posters want to make this personal with Mark Gamblin. A more reasoned view is to acknowledge the fact that he has taken a personal interest in trying to communicate complicated issues in a way that some who post here understand. He is able to consult with field biologists and other technical people at IDGF, and possibly others in the regions of the state who are most familiar with elk and deer management issues in their areas, as well as wolves, bear and lions.

    And what do you offer in the way of scientific or multi-discipline wildlife management authority to counter these resources?

    The fact you do not like his answers does not automatically make you right, and him (or IDGF as an agency) wrong. In fact, the continuous crap some of you thow at Mark makes me wonder exactly what kind of responsible jobs you may have ever had.

    I am amazed at the buzz and gossip that hovers of “consipiracy” theories. It is laughable.

    If you have problems with the Commission, WS or even FWS don’t slap those issues on Mark. He is not a policy maker.

  115. Si'vet Avatar

    WM. well put.

  116. Si'vet Avatar

    Gline, whether digging my toe into the bump “pitching rubber” or digging in at the plate I love facing the best, bottom of the ninth 2 outs, may explain my very limited success as a “trophy hunter”. I only dream about .300 + Bring it.

  117. spanglelakes Avatar

    Mark – the 220 will be reached except for the five in southern Idaho. IDFG’s hunting kill is well over halfway and the easiest time of the year — winter — to kill wolves is here. The 220 figure doesn’t include all the wolves that have been gut shot and left to die.

  118. Elk275 Avatar


    I having a hard time understanding. “I only dream about .300 + Bring it.” Is that a batting average or the number of 300 plus bulls that you have killed.

    I generally post as Elk375 on the hunting forums, which is the minimum for B/C, but when filling out the information on the forum, I hit the 2 instead of the 3. The really is that I am lucky to even get a 275 bull these days.

  119. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    Did I miss something? Didn’t ID have to extend the season another three months explicitly because their harvest quota was not met in certain areas? This was pretty much the way the USFWS wolf experts and the state biologists predicted it would play out. Fearmongering by wolf advocates forecasting that the quota would be met in just a few days. In actuality it has taken months, now going beyond the contemplated season for some units.

  120. jerryB Avatar

    WM….where exactly is the peer reviewed “science” and wolf ecology that Mark alludes to?
    IDFG is speculating on the effect of the hunt and how the elk, deer, cows and even the ecosystems will respond. How will wolf packs be affected by fracturing their structure? Will it effect genetic diversity?
    This is new territory and every “biologist” I’ve spoken with agrees that “we don’t have those answers”.
    And, just because I “never had a
    responsible job”. does that factor into whether or not I buy into a pile of crap?

  121. Si'vet Avatar

    Mark, the quota is just barely over halfway, and the toughest conditions of the year are just ahead, with limited access. I am sure as with with all big game species when setting quota, the loss factor was figured in. Gut shot, eaten alive, tough call.

  122. jerryB Avatar

    WM….please define a “responsible job”.

  123. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    spanglelakes –
    The only sure prediction of the total take for the hunting season is – that we won’t know until after March 31. Wolf hunting effort from now until the end of the season will be a fraction of the effort during the October – November hunting season. Hunting conditions will be more favorable with deeper snow and wolves following prey to winter range. Wounding loss and illegal take is unknown but occurs for every hunted species. The 220 harvest/kill limit is conservative given the size and rate of growth of the Idaho population. It is likely that the Idaho wolf population has continued to increase this year, despite the total take by hunters and deparedation control actions by WS and others.

  124. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    jerryB –
    I explained that wolf predation does effect prey population dynamics. That is one ecosystem effect. Otherwise, I’ve cautioned about speculating or predicting certain ecosystem effects. Genetic diversity for the NRMR wolf population is excellent. Given the active dispersal behavior of wolves in general (confirmed by NRMR wolves since introduction) and the small amount of genetic mixing required to assure genetic diversity among populations (only one “foreign” breeding individual per generation per population) genetic health of the NRMR wolf population is not at risk by hunting or other control actions now or planned for.

  125. jerryB Avatar

    Mark…and what about pack structure? If the alphas are removed, how does this effect the remaining members? Since it takes more than a year to become proficient at taking down prey, how will their hunting ability be affected?

  126. timz Avatar

    “If you have problems with the Commission, WS or even FWS don’t slap those issues on Mark. He is not a policy maker.”
    No but he’s either a complete fool or a liar, in either case not worth reading his bullshit, nor deserving of any respect.

  127. spanglelakes Avatar

    Mark Gamblin – Genetic diversity is excellent according to IDFG? This in an agency that loathes wolves and cringes under the might of the Idaho legislature (A BODY THAT VOTED TO REMOVE ALL WOLVES FROM IDAHO BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE), as well as Governor Butcher Otter & his wolf-hating commissioners? How many wolves have you ever observed in Idaho? How many wolf pups have you seen playing with other pack members?

  128. timz Avatar

    You folks that answer Mark G. are just playing into his bullshit agenda, allowing him to keep up his spreading of the IDF&G bullshit. If we all just ignore him maybe he’ll go away.

  129. Salle Avatar

    jerry b said…

    “Mark…and what about pack structure? If the alphas are removed, how does this effect the remaining members? Since it takes more than a year to become proficient at taking down prey, how will their hunting ability be affected?”

    And I would like to ADD:

    Oh yohoo… Mr. Gamblin…

    Um, if you lose the alpha pair of a pack ~ regardless of the pack’s number of individuals ~ you no longer have a breeding pair among that group of individual animals. Apparently you have overlooked this pesky little fact in your propagandist remarks. All you have to say is the same pile of crap that spills from the mouth of Ron Gillette. It kind of sounds like he’s one of your consultants.

  130. spanglelakes Avatar

    Re. Wilderness Muse – definitely WM is bogus when it comes to anything about the value of Wilderness or those who try to protect wild places.

    Re. Ron Gillett – the world’s #1 wolf hater, who is trying to sell his house & 10 rental cabins in Stanley ID. When Gillett speaks against wolves, IDFG trembles.

    IDFG dares not stand up to Gillett. Never has, never will.

  131. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    spanglelakes –
    The USFWS and geneticists studying the NRMR wolf population attest to the genetic health of the NRMR wolf population. From a post a few threads ago r.e. genetic diversity:
    “….I refer you to the USFWS delisting decision document (Final Rule to Establish a Gray-Wolf-Northern Rocky Mountain Distinct Population Segment and Remove from the Federal List of Threatened and Endangered Species, April 2, 2009) pg 229-231:
    “Genetic Considerations – Currently, genetic diversity throughout the NRM DPS is very high (Forbes and Boyd 1996, p. 1084; Forbes and Boyd 1997, p. 226; vonHoldt et. al. 2007, p. 19; vonHoldt et. al. 2008). Contemporary statistics for genetic diversity from 2002-2004 for central Idaho, northwestern Montana, and the GYA, respectively are; n= 85, 104, 210; allelic diversity = 9.5, 9.1, 10.3; heterozygosity = 0.723, 0.650, 0.708; expected heterzygosity = 0.767, 0.728, 0.738. (vonHoldt et. al. 2008). These measures have not diminished since 1995. The high allelic diversity (a measure of the richness of genetic material available for natural selection to act on) and the high heterozygosity (a measure of how gene forms are packaged in an individual, with high heterozygosity tending to lead to higher fitness) demonstrate all subpopulations withing the NRM wolf populations have high standing levels of genetic variability. In short, wolves in northwestern Montana and both the reintroduced populations are as genetically diverse as their vast, secure, healthy, contiguous, and connected populations in Canada; thus, inadequate genetic diversity is not a wolf conservation issue in the NRM at this time (Forbes and Boyd 1997, p. 1089; vonHoldt et. al. 2007, p. 19; vonHoldt et. al. 2008). This genetic helath is the result of deliberate management actions by the Service and it’s cooperators since 1995 (Bradley et. al. 2005).”
    “Genetic exchange at one effective migrant (i.e., a breeding migrant that passes on its genes) per generation is enough to ensure that genetic diversity will remain high (Mills 2007, p. 193).”
    “While vonHoldt et. al. (2007) found no evidence of gene flow int0o YNP, an expanded analysis by vonHoldt et al. (2008) has demonstrated gene flow by naturally dispersing wolves from other recovery areas into the GYA.”

    Wolf genetic diversity in the NRMR is high and has been since at least 1995. Wolves are remarkably prolific and very adaptive dispersers – individuals routinely moving hundreds of miles. No more than one breeding individual (usually dispersing females) per generation sharing its genes with a “foreign” population is required to maintain genetic diversity and prevent inbreeding depression in a wolf population. The likelyhood of NRM wolf populations failing to maintain genetic diversity under state management plans is extremely remote.”

  132. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    jerryB –
    “Mark…and what about pack structure? If the alphas are removed, how does this effect the remaining members? Since it takes more than a year to become proficient at taking down prey, how will their hunting ability be affected?”

    We don’t yet have age structure of harvest/kill data compiled yet, so we don’t know what effects on pack leadership hunter take will have on Idaho packs. Unless this hunting season departs from the norm for hunting in Canada and Alaska experienced, adult wolves will comprise a small percantage of the kill. If hunting kill is primarily young, inexperienced pack members then the risk of pack leadership disruption is not as great as some fear.

  133. vickif Avatar

    let him talk. This site goes global. SO!!! That just means he is showing the WORLD the idiotic rationalization behind a lot of misjustices that happen in the name of ‘science’ and regulation.

  134. jerryB Avatar

    “If hunting kill is primarily young, inexperienced pack members then the risk of pack leadership disruption is not as great as some fear.”
    Big “IF” isn’t it, Mark? What the consequences if that’s not the case.

  135. timz Avatar

    Yes being nice works so well. Did you miss the post about the number of wolves killed this year? We are losing because we are trying to “win points with the other side”
    If you don’t like it go play nice somewhere else.

  136. Si'vet Avatar

    Mark, IDFG costs are picked up by hunters, license and tags fees, all voluntary in the state of Idaho. With all do respect, I would ask you to please consider not spending your time, my $$ on this web site. Again with all do respect, please use your time and energy in a venue that is open an receptive to understanding the challenges faced in managing many species on public and private land. Thanks for your considerations.

  137. Si'vet Avatar

    Hey Gline, count is 3&0 anything thing you throw will be called a strike, I could swing away. If you are traveling with your family for the holiday’s all the best, be safe. I will wait for you to try and pick me off at first.

  138. timz Avatar

    “We ask for science, debate the science ”
    So it’s science that justifies the slaughter? Your a fool. thank you for not offending me with any more posts. Now if we could just get Gamblin to do the same.

  139. Si'vet Avatar

    Timz, pure science is difficult in a sterile 2000 sq. ft lab, let alone 220,000 sq. miles. Then stir in 3 million humans. If your familiar with science then your all to familiar with SD.

  140. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    I’ve had to take down some comments in this thread as they were getting out of hand.

    If you think Mark Gamlin and others are wrong, you can say it without so much spleen.

  141. Cobra Avatar

    What slaughter? It’s been tough hunting at best. I’m with Si’vet on this one, Mark, if you do get paid while being on Ralphs post you are wasting our dollars and I would rather they be spent elsewhere. The posters you are dealing with have already made up their minds about the wolf issues and there will be no changing that, science or no science.

  142. timz Avatar

    I noticed the “Muse” crap is still here though. Hmm.. Wildlife blog?

  143. Si'vet Avatar

    Ralph, earlier today I asked about an advisory group, you seemed interested. I doubt I could get Salazar, or Otter, not that i won’t try, but if you could assemble a group 4 or so plus yourself, who would be on the list. When you get high level, better to keep the group manageable to move forward.
    As you know I have had the fortune of putting together a very diverse group next week to discuss another important wildlife topic.. It’s going to take some mediation but I am pretty sure good will come of it. Please consider at least one public land grazer.

    I appreciate your suggestion, Si’vet. I don’t think any mediation is possible until we have a ruling from Judge Molloy because it might blow everything out of the water. Ralph Maughan

  144. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    I am very surpised you continue to allow timz to post here. He has a constant string of rude, vile, condescending and outright crude posts that add absolutely nothing to any kind of intelligent debate. Yet you do nothing. Is he a relative or misguided student?

  145. timz Avatar

    Ya and “muse” your so intelligent. Ralph I am surprised you let all these wolf haters like “muse” post here he adds nothing to any kind of inteeigent debate. He can’t even use his own name.

  146. timz Avatar

    And I can’t spell. But at least I don’t sit here and try to justify wolf slaughter and GaMblins bullshit as “intelligent debate” using some cornball handle like “Wilderness Muse”

  147. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    My point in spades.

  148. timz Avatar

    Your handle makes you a joke.

  149. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    You seem to be the one who really heated up tonight, and now other people are responding in kind. I have deleted yours and several others.

    Everybody calm down.. Mark Gamlin may or may not irritate you. You might like him, but I’ll say one thing for him. He doesn’t get angry. I do have a list of questions of mine I don’t think he has answered.

    Maybe tomorrow.

  150. timz Avatar

    Sorry Ralph, senseless killing of wolves or any other wildlife and those that condone it get me heated up. And the Frank Church thing has me on fire.

  151. Si'vet Avatar

    Timz, I understand your passion, we’re on different sides of the fence, but I truly can understand your pain. I am pretty sure most of us here are pretty common working folk, we may not always agree, but we get left picking up the tab. With all do respect, do you have an ultimate goal you would like to see with regards to wolves. Do you have somewhere in between your goal and where we were in 95′ you could live with? I have been wrestling with this question myself in regards to deer, elk etc. Timz , I truly believe wolves are here to stay, and prey numbers along with my thoughts and feelings are going to have to make adjustments, as I stated earlier, this transition period is like a bad divorce, neither are going to be 100% happy.

  152. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I am very upset about the Frank Church thing too. I spent my first 8 years after my return to Idaho working to get the Frank Church Wilderness established, so this direct assault on it and the Wilderness system in general is something I won’t take lying down.

    However, a fat lawsuit speaks louder than angry words.

  153. timz Avatar

    Si’Vet, thanks for your thoughts. My goal with wolves would be to see them really managed like other wildlife, bears, cougars, etc. For IDF&G to make the claim that that is their objective is pure bull. They are obsessed with killing as many of them by whatever means is obvious, even to the casual observer. If a hunt is needed to keep their numbers in check I can live with that. But the hunt season here in Idaho is not meant to keep their numbers in check it’s meant to slaughter. I believe ranchers should be able to protect their stock on their on land, but graze in the wilderness you take the risk, not just from wolves but from all preditors. When was the last time helicopters flew to kill cougars or bears that killed livestock? I simply cannot understand the demonization of these amazing animals.

  154. timz Avatar

    “However, a fat lawsuit speaks louder than angry words.”

    Belive me Ralph if I had the means I would have filed a lawsuit today. Angry words are all I have. And I believe wolf supporters must began to get really angry or they will be gone again.

  155. Si'vet Avatar

    Ralph, I have to disagree, let’s put something together. no matter what the judge decides there are going to be issues. consider the possibilities of taking a day, and few representative people get together, discuss the top 2/3 issues each group presents, and then go back and discuss goals and compromises via the net etc. It has to accomplish more than ready shoot aim.

  156. jerryB Avatar

    My question again..
    “If hunting kill is primarily young, inexperienced pack members then the risk of pack leadership disruption is not as great as some fear.”
    Big “IF” isn’t it, Mark? What the consequences if that’s not the case??

  157. Si'vet Avatar

    Timz, can we break it down just a bit, when you say managed like bears and lions, do you mean just hunted as big game? If you could draw up a management plan for wolves in Idaho in short how would it read. As an FYI I am kinda of on the other side of the fence, but I’ve already had to apologize to Ralph as well, I feel the fire, It’s who we are and why we’re here.

  158. Talks with Bears Avatar
    Talks with Bears

    Timz – people here tolerate you. Remember, good liberals are tolerant. Merry Christmas too all.

  159. timz Avatar

    Managed, to IDF&G (and I believe most others) means, when, how and how many are we going to be allowed to be killed (hunting). OK. Other than that I do not belive in a “management plan”. I think nature will take care of itself.
    If there has to be a plan it should spell out when it would be acceptable to kill wolves, such as protecting pets, livestock, human life, etc. I don’t really understand what else needs to go in a “plan” for wolves or any other wildlife.
    If it involves an endangered species I think the ESA spells out the “plan” to protect endangered wildlife.

  160. timz Avatar

    “Remember, good liberals are tolerant”
    except toward wolves in some cases. 😉
    Merry Christmas to you as well.

  161. Si'vet Avatar

    Jerry, this isn’t science, just limited experience. Most elk herds are matriarchal, when the lead cow is killed the herd seems to flounder a bit, then in short order, a new matriarch takes the lead . I have successfully hunted both, and wolves are far more intelligent than elk. I read a recent study that stated that younger wolves do most of the killing. What i have witnessed, I agree a significant number of hunted wolves, killed either incidental or spot and stock following a herd of elk etc. were not the alpha pair, some yes, majority no. But when you hunt them, by challenging there territory the alpha pair seem to be the first to show up. Again this type of hunting is new, very difficult and not well known by most. So in a general hunting situation the alpha pair are less vulnerable. Not familiar with the goverment control stuff.

  162. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    Si’Vet, Cobra –
    With much respect to you and the others in this community, I’m not here to change anyone’s opinions or positions. I’m here to help anyone reading these threads understand Fish and Game Commission and Department policy and programs and the science of these issues. That’s an imporant responsibility in my job description whether on this blog or other public venues. vickif made a good point – these discussions are followed by many more than actively participate. There is value in a balanced representation of factual information – by all who take the time to participate here.

  163. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    jerryB –
    ““If hunting kill is primarily young, inexperienced pack members then the risk of pack leadership disruption is not as great as some fear.”
    Big “IF” isn’t it, Mark? What the consequences if that’s not the case??”

    Based on what we know about the vulnerability of wolf pack leaders to hunting and scant documentation (to my knowledge) of hunting causing more depredation conflicts – this doesn’t seem to be a big “IF”.

  164. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    Ralph –
    I’m not trying to dodge questions. If you referred to the wolf predation study, I’m working on a summary with results, data.

  165. Cobra Avatar

    I’ve read that in Utah when they have a problem with a cougar they call in a gov. trapper and he tracks down that particular animal and either kills it or traps it and relocates it. From what I’ve been reading many of you here are concerned about the way W.S. conducts their hunting (not really hunting in my book, wish they would call it something else) from a helicopter and the ease at which wolves can be taken from it. Personally I’m not to thrilled about it either, especially at 800.00 an hour. Maybe in extreme circumstances I could see it. I’m just curious, if they used gov. trappers to handle problem wolves in problem areas if it might move the pack away from that area and reduce some of the conflicts. We don’t really have open range grazing in North Idaho but growing up in Western Colorado it was the norm so I know how some of the ranchers feel about losing cattle. I think ranching has changed quite a bit since then. At that time ranchers were ranchers and now I see and hear about ranching being more of a hobby than a life for some outfits.

  166. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I’m not putting off your suggestion or anything. It’s just that the acceptance of helicopters darting wild animals in a designated Wilderness, animals of any kind, can’t be allowed to get a foothold.

    Idaho Fish and Game or any similar state wildlife agency in other states needs to have people come in on a horse, maybe a pack string. They put out traps, scent them properly, hide them. It takes talent, but its not expensive.

    In doing this they don’t lose that vital psychological contact with the wild. How can people who fly a helicopter and dart animals at high speed have any understanding of the meaning of Wilderness?

    The Wilderness Act specifically prohibited aircraft (except a few grandfathered grass air strips). Aircraft landings were authorized only in emergencies like forest fires. Those who wrote the Wilderness Act understood that the erosion of the wild could come from motors in the sky as well as on the ground.

    So in my mind, this kind of intrusion needs to be stopped here in Idaho on behalf of those who have worked for Wilderness and used Wilderness all over the United States.

    This isn’t a wolf issue really and it isn’t an Idaho issue only. If a lawsuit comes, I’d see it as on behalf of all those who love the freedom of the wild.

  167. Cobra Avatar

    How do you think trail cams would work in this situation? I know it would not mean any collars or darting but if they were to snowshoe,ski or horseback in would it be a reliable source of information? What do you think Mark? Hair samples could also be taken. It might be a hell of a lot cheaper than fighting lawsuits and helicopters.

  168. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    The Wolf Recovery Foundation of which I’m President, has given funding to research that is trying to count wolves by non-intrusive means such as fur samples.

    Hopefully this will not only be less intrusive; it will be more accurate and cost less.

  169. spanglelakes Avatar

    Cobra – problem wolves? Think problem ranchers. The war on wolves and other predators has been going on since settlers arrived in covered wagons.

    The theory that killing a few wolves will move the pack on is bogus. Rather, the wolves keep hanging around searching for their missing family members. The wolves howl. This freaks out cowpokes and they demand more lethal control. An alpha female is not going to leave an area when one of her pups is missing – shot by a ranch hand, or has yearling howling in pain, its foot in a trap, awaiting the Wildlife Services gestapo to show up and shoot it.

  170. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    the state says
    “There is value in a balanced representation of factual information – by all who take the time to participate here.”

    If only that were the case.

  171. Si'vet Avatar

    Ralph, understand your priority. Will discuss forum later.

  172. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    JEFF E –
    Sincerely, in the interest of informed dialog, give me a couple of examples of how you would have the IDFG or Commission improve our contribution to a balanced representation of factual information?

  173. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    Cobra, Ralph –
    From my distant position – I haven’t discussed this directly with field staff yet – this is my understanding of the practical limitations of gathering wolf population data in the FCW. Leg hold traps, trail cameras, hair samples (DNA) and radio telemetry each provide valuable information to answer different, specific questions. The IDFG has used leg hold traps in the FCW to radio collar wolves. We have gathered valuable data from those efforts but learned that using leg hold traps cannot provide the quantity of data in the time frame we need to answer important management questions. The benefit of having more collars on wolves in a relatively short period of time (before the beginning of the mating season) is to adequately sample the wolf packs to have an accurate and reliable estimate of the number of packs and to monitor those packs to accurately understand wolf production, recruitment and number of wolves in the wolf management zones bounded by the FCW.
    The IDFG has used leg hold traps to monitor packs in the FCW. We have learned that a more efficient tool is necessary to adequately monitor existing wolf packs in a timely manner.

  174. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Well Mark,

    I just disagree. The author of the categorical exclusion wrote that there are 8 to 10 wolf packs in the Frank Church.

    Why would you need more detailed information than that unless you plan to do something to these packs or more likely to kill more packs outside the Wilderness? If the latter is the case, if Idaho Fish and Game truly wants to reduce the number of wolves down to close to the minimum 10 breeding pairs, then of course you would want an exact count of packs in the Frank Church.

    Otherwise, the data is nice to have, but in my view not worth it.

  175. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    ++The Wolf Recovery Foundation of which I’m President, has given funding to research that is trying to count wolves by non-intrusive means such as fur samples.

    Hopefully this will not only be less intrusive; it will be more accurate and cost less.++

    Glad to hear this. Just a few questions. Who is doing the research, who are the project sponsors, and what is the timeframe for study (project) completion? What informaiton will they be able to gather from this approach, and any benefits or limitations? Is there a study outline you would be willing to share?

  176. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    David Ausband has been the primary recipient.

    The primary researchers are at the University of Montana and the results have been or will be submitted to recognized scientific journals. I think one article has been published.

  177. Maska Avatar

    “So in my mind, this kind of intrusion needs to be stopped here in Idaho on behalf of those who have worked for Wilderness and used Wilderness all over the United States.

    This isn’t a wolf issue really and it isn’t an Idaho issue only. If a lawsuit comes, I’d see it as on behalf of all those who love the freedom of the wild.”

    Ralph, I couldn’t agree more. If this intrusion is allowed to stand in Idaho, we’ll be seeing it in the Gila eventually. I’m all for getting as accurate information on wolves as possible, whether in the Northern Rockies or the Southwest, but we also need a few places where people–and wolves and other wildlife–can find some peace.

    So saying, may everybody here have a peaceful Christmas holiday, and a wild New Year in 2010!

  178. Layton Avatar


    “I have a Ph. D, and I don’t believe in any conspiracy theories except those I am part of. So you should believe me. ”

    Touche!! Good shot!! Merry Christmas.

  179. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    Ralph –
    There are additional points to be understood here. Wolf populations are dynamic, especially growing populations like Idaho’s. Pack numbers, size, production, recuitment, prey selection, and other attributes change, sometimes in a short period of time. Managing for population objectives, understanding the impact of wolf predation on prey species, keeping track of new pack formation are a few examples of the need for more responsive data collection tools than horses and leg hold traps. Good wolf management will require more than a cursory estimate of pack distribution in an area like the FCW.

  180. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    I remember Ausband for his call box work referenced in a couple articles about a year ago.

  181. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    “JEFF E –
    Sincerely, in the interest of informed dialog, give me a couple of examples of how you would have the IDFG or Commission improve our contribution to a balanced representation of factual information?”

    Ending crap like this would be a start.
    This is a public entity doing the publics buisness. on my dime.

    “On January 17, 2008 I attended an Idaho Department of Fish & Game Annual Commissioner Meeting in which Commissioner McDermott of Idaho’s Panhandle region expressed the commission’s desire to capture and collar wolves in the Frank-Church Wilderness.

    Steve Nadeau explained to the commissioners that the IDFG had “beat that dog perty hard” but that the environmental analysis alone needed to land a helicopter in a wilderness area would cost as much as $250,000 to land once or twice.

    McDermott expressed that the commission had an idea about how to deal with that, at which point Nadeau suggested the commission might not want that conversation on the public record. The commissioners laughed, and the topic was dropped from the public record – until now.”

    However this is just an example of buissness as usual.
    Trust you—-ya right

  182. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    From an earlier post of yours: ++The Wilderness Act specifically prohibited aircraft (except a few grandfathered grass air strips). Aircraft landings were authorized only in emergencies like forest fires. Those who wrote the Wilderness Act understood that the erosion of the wild could come from motors in the sky as well as on the ground

    So in my mind, this kind of intrusion needs to be stopped here in Idaho on behalf of those who have worked for Wilderness and used Wilderness all over the United States. ++

    Respectfully, allow me to state what is the current state of the law.

    If one reads down a little further in the same section which you paraphrase above, you will find:
    Section (7) State jurisdiction of wildlife and fish in national forests. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as affecting the jurisdiction or responsibilities of the several States with respect to wildlife and fish in the national forests.

    There is legislative guidance for this provision, and this is the basis for the Forest Service FC Wilderness memo allowing ID to use helicopters, See House Report 101-405, dated February 21, 1990, (from the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs), which accompanied the passage of the Arizona Wilderness Act of 1990.

    Appendix B of this report says:

    “2. Fish and wildlife research and management surveys

    Research on fish and wildlife, their habitats and the recreational users of these resources is a legitimate activity in wilderness when conducted “in a manner compatible with the preservation of the wilderness environment” (Sec. 4(d)(1) of the Wilderness Act). Methods that temporarily infringe on the wilderness environment may be approved if alternative methods or other locations are not available. Research or management surveys must be approved in writing, on a case by case basis, by the administering agency.
    Helicopters and fixed wing aircraft overflights may be used to conduct approved fish and wildlife research activities. Aircraft must be used in a manner that minimizes disturbance of other users, including humans and wildlife.
    All fish and wildlife studies within and over wilderness must be conducted so as to preserve the natural character of the wilderness. Aerial counts and observations of wildlife may be permissible for management of wilderness wildlife resources. Capturing and marking of animals, radio telemetry, and occasional temporary installations (such as shelters for cameras and scientific apparatus and enclosures and exclosures essential for wildlife research or management surveys) may be permitted, if they are essential to studies that cannot be accomplished elsewhere.”

    So, the issue seems to be whether the FS complied with this Congressional guidance under the Wilderness Act as it exists today.

  183. gline Avatar

    I’ve talked with people from 2 different local environmental agencies this weekend, and they are planning a lawsuit regarding this issue…. seems like it will be happening.

  184. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Wilderness Muse,

    Yes, I read that too. In my comments I didn’t want to go committee language and all that because that would obscure the argument I was trying to make.

    However, since you raised it, if you read this language, notice that the permissions are qualified by words like “may,” as in “may be permitted.” It doesn’t say “shall.” Also words like “essential” are used, not “if a government agency finds it convenient.”

  185. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    Ralph (and Mark Gamblin, since this also addresses fisheries in Wilderness),

    I agree completely regarding the administrative discretion issue.

    The interesting analysis will be how to reconcile past federal agency decisions in which, for example, helicopters are used on a regular basis to fly poop bins for privys, backcountry ranger camps, or do surveys, etc. in portions of national parks that have Wilderness designation. I am sure there are others.

    I admit to not knowing state fish management practices in Wilderness. Do states perform fish stocking or eradication with helicopters in national forest Wilderness designated areas (involving fly overs and/or touch downs?

  186. gline Avatar

    Rick says: “I agree gline, that seems like a pretty broad statement for Mark to make especially since they don’t even know how many wolves are in the state. Has anyone looked into collaring wolves in the FCW to get an idea of how many wolves there are?”

    Rick, in my statement above I was not not specifically talking about finding out how many wolves there are so as to collar them all. I would assume that counting their numbers would be part of any scientific study, but not the sole reason. I am talking about the research that would lead to knowing about their biological health as a species. This research can be done in other ways, as Ralph has mentioned. There is a wonderful study going on regarding the coastal wolves in BC- non invasive. Just a tad different from Idaho’s “research” methods. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNK30nwReRQ)

    Collaring all wolves is not Wilderness. It does give WS their beloved opportunity to pick wolves off from their “crop duster” planes, however.

    I would bet the wolf biologists who were studying the Cottonwood pack in Yellowstone Park regret the loss of their specimens. It seems to me that the legalized wolf hunt took precedence over that study. The State could have predetermined that outcome before they allowed the hunt to take place.

    Mark said: “The wolf population in Idaho will continue to grow, taking into account depredation control actions by WS and if the havest/kill limit of 220 is reached this hunting season, which is unlikely.”

    So when would this “growth” take place? It will not be this year. How would you know if the population will grow if you have not measured the effects of killing the alphas in a pack and leaving younger members to hunt and fend for themselves? Are they supposed to survive on rodents? I have heard Nadeau state exactly this. The state of Idaho has downgraded the wolf menu! You are deciding what they can and cannot eat. That is not science.

    It doesn’t look like the population will grow, especially if Butch Otter, your governor, wants all wolves removed. Could you speak to the efficacy of wolf populations in Idaho with regard to Butch Otter’s statement Mark?

  187. vickif Avatar

    Mark Gamblin,
    Since you appearantly feel you are educated enough to help others understand what IDFG does and why, please also give us your personal opinion on the subject.
    What do you think is the future of wolves in Idaho? (Not what IDFG wants done, but you as an individual.)

    See, IDFG, is representative and governed by people. Those people, although members of the general public, rarely represent the majority of the public’s interests.

    However, it is the majority’s interests which should be considered, since it is their tax dollars which fund the IDFG.

    I see no actual evidence that would lead me to believe that IDFG acts in the best interest of the public, but rather that they act to support the interests of Otter’s camp and supporters.

    IDFG lacks a non-biast blend of science and good will. They lack support of a varied populous, and they lack long term focus and ability to sustain such an environment that they can adequately ‘regulate’ a balance.

    Killing off wolves is done at a high monetary cost, as well a socio-politcal one. So tell me, please, how you would handle the balance which must exist between natural predators and prey?
    IDFG seeks to constantly act to artificially control and maintain an unatural balance that benefits pseudo-sportsmen and cattlemen, and they do it with tax monies provided by people who are neither of those. What would you as an individual do to allow nature to be NATURAL?

    The abscence of wolves and bison is not natural. Neither is killing them off so we can afford cheaper beef, or shoot more elk.

    Without legitimate and long term scientific data, gathered by scientists who aren’t seeking to prove one side or the other’s arguments…you have nothing! Not real science, not real basis for action, and not real reason for the actions being taken.

    So, what would you do? Would you do anything differently than IDFG? Or are you unable to have an opinion or plan aside from that which you are paid to support?

  188. Si'vet Avatar

    Vikif, ID&FG is funded through licsense and tag sales to hunters and fisherman period. So who’s dollars are they spending?

  189. vickif Avatar

    If that is the only people who fund them, then they are an exception. Most government entities are funded by everyone’s tax dollars. So sorry.
    But guess what? I am both a hunter and angler…they don’t represent what I want in the slightest.

    What about the cattlemen? Or the fact that IDFG acts in National Forests? Those do not, by any means, get funded by, or used by, only hunters or anglers. The forests, the rivers, and animals there in, bleong to the people….even those who don’t hunt or fish.
    Some of the worst acts ever carried out in the wild are done on behalf of people who should be flat out pissed about it!

  190. vickif Avatar


    The link above, which I found on IDFG’s homepage search engine, states that only 46 percent of funds for F&G is from tags and licenses. The rest comes from, by and large, federal funds….
    I guess then, the rest of the folks who don’t hunt or fish, or even live in Idaho, actually have a right to an opinion on how IDFG does things.
    Maybe I am misinterpretting? Maybe not.

  191. Elk275 Avatar

    ++However, it is the majority’s interests which should be considered, since it is their tax dollars which fund the IDFG.++

    I believe that over 95% of the revenue for IDFG is from hunting and fishing licenses and the Robinson/Pittman funds. Mark, maybe could provide us with the source of revenue for the IDFG. I think the majority the license purchaser are not pro wolf, maybe not anti wolf but not pro wolf.

    ++See, IDFG, is representative and governed by people. Those people, although members of the general public, rarely represent the majority of the public’s interests.++

    Republicans still control the legislator by a 51-19 majority. The Republican 28-7 majority in the Idaho Senate remained unchanged after the 2006 elections. I would think that the republicans would be anti wolf for the most part. Generally, the Republicans should be anti wolf and they are the majority, so I think that the majority is represented. Anyway I got to go to Red Lodge for Christmas.

    The bottom line is that I do not think that the majority of the local people are in favor of a large number of wolves. Every day I am hearing more negative about the effect of this season’s elk hunting on wolves.

  192. Si'vet Avatar

    Vickif, I beleive in Idaho they are kind of an exception. That’s what the Idaho F&G does, manages animals, birds and fish on someone else’s property, whether private or public. tough job wouldn’t you say. I have to tell you there have been times when I and others have been really pissed off, and still not gotten our way. Sometimes you just have to agree to diagree. everyone has there own special interests. glad to hear you hunt and fish and take time to protect others rights. Didn’t mean to make the period sound so harsh. I don’t believe they get any funding from the cattleman, sheepman Assoc. in the state. I believe the FWS may, maybe someone like Mark or Wildlife Muse can clarify.

  193. Elk275 Avatar


    I did read your web site. But if you are going to quote, then use the whole article. There are private funds and there are the Robinson/Pittman funds which were generated by hunters and fishers. I do feel that the western states do not charge enough for hunting and fishing licenses, but I almost got into a fight over wanting to double of triple the cost of a license.

    What we need is for Mark to furnish us with a revenue break down and income statement.

  194. vickif Avatar

    Please see the above post.

    Anyone know of any reseach that shoes the amount of elk consumed per capita in Idaho? I am just wondering if there is any proof that it is the mainstay of meat for households there?

    Also, according to the above link, only 25 percent of Idahoans buy tags or licenses. So, not everyone hunts or fishes obviously.

    It also states that demographics are changing there…in a few years hunters and anglers may not be represented by a majority of republicans. And why do republicans automatically need to be assumed to be anti-wolf?

    Also, keep in mind that if you hunt, youare likely to commune with hunters. So who do you likely hear complain? Those who hunt.

    We have to face it people…hunting has been predominantly a hobby for a long time. It isn’t a necessity to most folks’ survival. And, the hobby of hunting is no more important than that of wildlife watching or hiking, or under water basket weaving. So hunters cannot be allowed to control everything any more than anyone else is.

    Hey, if you want better hunting, and for it to be a truly sustainable endeavor…stop eating beef, and cancel public land grazing. More room, and habitat for all! Then argue hunting as an imperitive importance.

    By the way, the link above also contains an article that states almost 300 million dollars in Idaho income a year is generated from watchable wildlife activities. I would venture a guess that those persons benefiting from that income would also agree that there is a valid argument in opposition of killing all wolves (or even so many that they are too difficult to view).

  195. vickif Avatar

    I didn’t mean to imply that cattlemen fund IDFG. Just that it seems (my opinion only)that they have a strong hold on Otter. In such, they have a strong sway on policies governing wildlife too.

    I enjoy hunting and fishing. Idaho is gorgeous. I also believe, that there will be a need for a wolf hunt. But it really needs to be an unbiast and scientific based hunt.

    I think we are on the same page. I have been pissed about things done on behlaf of hunters before. Most of the time, I chalk it up to good intentions. I know that the process is imperfect.

    However, I am very guenuinely interested in Mark’s personal, not professional, take. Maybe it would bring new things to light?

  196. Si'vet Avatar

    Vickif, thanks for the link, I knew I would learn something today. It would be interesting to see the trend from when solely funded by Lic. and tag fees to where we are today. Vick, I could never justify what I spend on hunting as it being a necessity. I think I am in around 100$ per pound range for game meat, and I only catch and release fish. Hope my wife doesn’t read this.

  197. vickif Avatar

    It would be valuable if Mark would provide that.
    The article makes a clear and undeniable statement that hunters and anglers are not the only persons contributing monetarily.
    I didn’t discredit their contribution, just stated it wasn’t the only one.
    However, there is another side of this.
    There needs to be scientific and economic substantiation for all of the actions these folks take. Theirs is not an easy job, but it is one that requires a great degree of accountability.
    Seems to me we would make better use of some of the money involved if we used it to buy more land for conservation.
    Hey, I am not knocking anyone’s opinion. Just giving mine.

  198. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    I too would be interested in Mark going personnel.
    However from watching how Clem operates for as long as he has been a public figure. (my wife has some particular insight in what appears to be a petty nature), I would not want to have Mark compromise his livelihood.
    But…maybe he is posting his personal take.

  199. vickif Avatar

    You should see how much my husband and I spend on fishing.
    But hey, my son will be going to college to fish for a team. So I call my angling budget a college fund!

  200. vickif Avatar

    I can understand that for sure.
    Who know? Maybe he is. In which case, I respect him coming here, of all sites, to express himself.

  201. Elk275 Avatar

    ++Hey, if you want better hunting, and for it to be a truly sustainable endeavor…stop eating beef, and cancel public land grazing. More room, and habitat for all! Then argue hunting as an imperative importance.++

    I do like beef and I am not going to stop eating it, but I like lamb better.

    This fall I was in Montana’s Centennial Valley on the Montana Idaho border. Looking at the landownership map not counting the forest service land, the valley floor appears to be about 40% federal, 20% state and 40% private, when you are hunting antelope it appears to be 100% private. One has to be very careful not to trespass. This is what appears to me and the percentage may appear different to others. The valley has not yet been subdivided.

    We were sitting on the west edge of the valley and my 85 year old father who is a rancher and cattleman at heart said that there was a hell of a lot of cattle in the valley with no hay base or hay storage. The question is if we remove all the cattle from the federal lands what will happen to the private. Will more fences have to be build. The State of Montana wants revenue from there lands for the schools they are not going to stop cattle grazing. If a cattleman with federal and state leases and private land lost his grazing rights on federal land and was not able to make his operation economical because of that action, what would he do? Subdivide the private land — 20 acres for $89,000 with 10% down and ten years to pay — manufactured homes welcome — excellent hunting and fishing with BLM property bordering your 20 acres.

    We need subdivision approval from the county commissioners. These are the commissioners who lost there federal grazing rights or have friends that did. Subdivision approved. This has happen all over the west countless times. The land and the wildlife lose. Be careful for what one wishes for.

  202. Elk275 Avatar

    There are two mountain ranges to the north the Gravelly’s and the Snowcrest which are all Forest Service. There is way to much livestock grazing and the 3 bands of sheep in the Gravelly’s must be removed.

  203. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Were you above or below Lima reservoir?

  204. Elk275 Avatar

    I was above the valley on the west side south of the dam. It is know as the Huntsman’s Block Management Area. There is a BLM road across the hillside, when we crossed it, it was frozen and when I recrossed it, it was slick as ???? and the rear tires were several inches from going over the edge. When one gets done chaining two hours later in the frozen mud one wonders why.

  205. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Just curious.
    Below the dam it is pretty reasonable as far as raising cows. Above the dam they would starve if they were more than 100 yd from the river. Just too high. You are right about the trespass. Even the Montana stream access law makes little difference to the ranchers up there…or the deputies.

  206. Elk275 Avatar

    Interesting Jeff E, when we were above the dam face above us on the very top of the hills on private land in the snow were cattle. I said to my father why are those cows up in the snow, if I were a cow I would be down here. He said “I have been out of the loop for years, but if I remember the snow makes the grass more platible for the animal”. I glassed across the reservoir and up on the forest land on rock slides were cattle. The private and forest lands were unfenced, if I was a cow I would be down on the river bottom.

    Years ago when father was in the cattle business and lost millions, but that is another story. We were working cows in the corral , not my favorite job but I always helped. My Brother said “damm these cows are dumb” My father said that is why you eat them and they do not eat you. Never forgot it.

  207. vickif Avatar

    Well, I think what is lacking is a common courteousy mentality with some of those owners. I know of many who charge people to “park” on their land in South Dakota and Wyoming. xx dollars a day gets them onto private land.

    There are no easy answers, or any one answer that will fit.

    But frankly, the small amount of cattlemen who operate solely on leased land would not make a dent in beef production. It might serve to benefit those who only use private lands. Their beef would be slightly more in demand.

    How many private cattle ranches would go under that border national forests? Of those, could the US Forest Service, or States lease their land for hunting or woldlife conservation? So many questions, and options, so little resolution.

    I don’t know what these people would do. Maybe the same resources currently being needed for the auto industry and the renewable energy industries should be put work here too.
    Basically, people have got to learn to cooperate and compromise, fo rthe Greatest Good.

    But that is a whole new thread.

  208. vickif Avatar

    Your dad seems clever!
    By the way, I eat beef. I shouldn’t, cholesterol and all. I am just saying, we cannot say ‘wolves are bad’ and over look cattle. Ya know?
    If you are going to pin-point a problem, you have to realize that the problem is the size of a pin point…the bigger picture is always far bigger in importance. Fixing what is wrong with our ecosystems and forests…it is a much bigger picture than wolves.

  209. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    I guess at the end of the season, about the middle of September at that elevation give or take, some fresh water clumps of grass would taste good.
    Seems like the antelope are the only thing that really does well up there, until you get to the lakes, and start over the divide into Henry lake.

  210. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    vickif and others –
    I’m catching up with this thread since this morning. The IDFG receives no general tax money at all. IDFG is predominantly user fee funded, with additional federal funding for BPA, ACOE and other federal mitigation programs. Hunting/fishing license, hunting tag and other permit fees make the “license” funded portion of our budget, about 45%. The remainder comes from federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing related gear – the P-R and D-J funds. Those federal wildlife management/research funds are allocated to each state by a formula based on number of licenses sold and other criteria and require a match from the states. The USFWS administers the D-J and P-R programs on a 3:1 match basis. For every 1 license dollar a state dedicates to D-J or P-R appropriate management or research programs, there is a 3 dollar match up to the state allocation. IDFG also receives funds from the sale of specialty license plates (the bluebird, cutthroat trout and rocky mountain elk plates). All of those funds and voluntary state income tax check-off donations are dedicated to our non-game program. The non-game program also receives state wildlife grant (SWG) funds from the USFWS. The IDFG funding formula is similar to most state fish and game/wildlife agencies, though some receive significant general tax funds and two – Missouri and Arkansas receive a small percentage of their state sales tax.

  211. Si'vet Avatar

    Vickif, this is Si’vets wife, holy cow 100$ a pound, he b–ches about a little 40 an oz. perfume, it’s all about the horns, what do we pay per inch for those? A 100$ per pound for the oldest and toughest. I think there needs to be a little more “management” around here!

  212. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    Hello from the big apple.
    Seems I am going from being part of the most remote spot in the lower 48 (Yellowstones’ Thorofare), to an Iowa farm with 500 bison and a county with the oldest population in the USA…to now to the likes of the streets of Manhattan…. where every street has 8 abreast folks (all wearing black coats) walking continuously looking straight ahead. One sees this blackness stretch on each side of the street as far as the eye can see….untill the sky scrapers merge together from both sides with the black till it all is one great tunnel of nothing natural, not even the sky.

    To see NYC is why all of us needs to maintain wilderness. And the ones that should be leading the way are the natural resources agencies such as the state Fish & Game dept. God, if only those individuals within divisions like Idaho F&G could only look back to their origins they would see how far they have fallen. It is a life totally out of sync.

    It makes ones mind kink to the side repeatedly to know these folks are proposing something that eats away just another part of their body, brain and soul.

    How far do they comprimise? How far do they adjust their thinking to allow themselves collectively to destroy themselves? To want to push the rules, the ten commandments of their roots, to Judas themselves …..says there is little hope for them personally or as an agency.

    Please come to NYC to regain your committment, I ask of you MG….And WM I have to add a big “D”. Thus you are now natures Weapon of Mass Destruction and don’t even know it.

    I depart for the family X-Mas gathering with a story from one of my first years in Thorofare. I had ridden out of the backcountry and was showing on the big map…. to the Lake Ranger Station Park Aids….where I had travelled in those remote mts….and what I had seen (bears, big herds of elk, bison etc.). An elderly couple evidently was listening and piped in with, ” Why don’t they put a road into there so all can enjoy this back country?”.

    You see Manhattan was wilderness until the ground was paved. The Met. Museum of Arts, where, we went today, has arrowheads and spear points from this location.
    It is NYC rememberances of their past. Do we want this same relic for FCW? Or Thorofare?

    Put your emotional brain on MG. God, please think of what you and your agency are promoting!!! You are a PARASITE onto your professional and personal self….and you are a JUDAS to those hunters and fishermen you represent.

    Merry Christmas everyone….except to those who exploit and don’t even recognize what each encroaching action they promote eats a bit further into their soul.

  213. gline Avatar

    Ralph or Ken, I think you should close this thread. It is way off subject. “Facts revealed on the killing of the Basin Butte Pack” has turned into cow talk….Perhaps there is another cyber venue for cow talk…

  214. gline Avatar

    Sorry Bob, didn’t mean you- you were writing as I was writing. Merry Xmas and happy holidays to you Bob.

  215. Si'vet Avatar

    Gline, just in case you missed it. I am on first base waiting for clarification on a question spanglelakes supposedly asked that was burning a hole in your pocket?

  216. gline Avatar

    ya, so you should ask Spanglelakes about that..

  217. Si'vet Avatar

    Ralph, for once I have to agree with G, please close the thread before a neandrathal expert who resides 3000 miles away, and “supposedly”spent a brief moment in time in this area, what almost 30 yrs. ago turns it into male cow talk “BS”.

  218. gline Avatar

    Here ya go Si’vet, I did your homework for you:

    spanglelakes Says:
    December 22, 2009 at 11:48 PM

    Si’vet – you apparently live in Idaho because you talk about hunting up north, and going back “up” to Salmon in January. FYI – Idaho wolves have no protection at all due to State Statute 36-1107, which says wolves can be shot if they are deemed to be “molesting” livestock or domestic animals.

    Molesting means “actions of a wolf that are annoying, disturbing or persecuting, especially with hostile intent or injurious effect, or chasing, drivng, flushing, worrying, following after or on the trail of, or stalking or lying in wait for, livestock or domestic animals.”

    So, you take your hound dog and walk into a wolf den or rez site and a wolf challenges – you shoot the wolf and claim hostile intent or the wolf was worrying you. Or, you are an outfitter on a trail ride and encounter a wolf and it lays down and watches you – “lying in wait” – and you can shoot it.

    Or, more typically – ranchers use the ridiculous 36-1107. Eg: June 2008 – you are a newbie Custer County cowhand, and see a young Basin Butte Pack wolf hunting squirrels, 200 yards away and on the other side of the fence from cattle. You shoot her in the butt, and as she crawls away on her belly, you get closer and shoot her again and claim she was worrying the cattle. No problem, you do get a warning, but your powerful, politically-connected cowman boss is furious and starts plotting to get the entire wolf pack killed, and succeeds 16 months later.

  219. Si'vet Avatar

    Sorry Gline, but you were pushing me for an answer. Was there really a question or did you have another agenda?

  220. Si'vet Avatar

    Gline, help me with my homework a little more, high light the question you would like answered.

  221. gline Avatar

    An important post to NOT miss. Those regs just don’t seem fair somehow…are they wolves or criminals? Those regs are set up for just one intent.

  222. gline Avatar

    I remember at the time we were trying to illustrate to you an easy concept- that wolves need protection. You had said they were protected, which they are not -in MT and ID.

  223. Si'vet Avatar

    G, an important post not to miss??? When you refer to regs, are you refering to hunting regs, or the regulation that were accepted and approved by I believe the USFWS so the wolf could delisted and managed by the state of Idaho’s F&G as a big game animal?

  224. gline Avatar

    Why do I have to lay out for you again when Spanglelakes was very thorough in the first place? Again, “Idaho wolves have no protection at all due to State Statute 36-1107, which says wolves can be shot if they are deemed to be “molesting” livestock or domestic animals.” Guess you are not paying attention.

    The problem is Si’vet that the wolf is NOT being managed as a big game animal. It is obvious that the regs treat wolves differently than any other big game animal. The agency that approved of these regs has a very long history of cultural hate and discrimination of the gray wolf. Remember the gray wolf was extirpated? do you think that type of hatred goes away?

  225. Si'vet Avatar

    gline, the fact that you and Spangelakes can “quote guidelines and restriction” with regards to the legal killing of wolves is in fact a regulations. Whether or not you or I agree with them? As a sportsman and I were to kill a 2nd wolf and was stopped by a Idf&G officer would I be issued a citation, and be penalized to the extent to deter me from doing it again hell yes. Example: the freeway speed limit in Idaho is 75, for my protection, I am constantly getting passed by people going 85+, does that mean there are no laws to protect me, even though others chose not to abide by them?

  226. Si'vet Avatar

    Gline, I don’t think your paying attention. I am not sure where you live, but let me share something with. If other wildlife “big game” animals cause problems in this state they are manage, do I have to spell that out for you????? Elk are hazed, or last minute late winter depradation hunts are held, what part of this don’t you get bears are “shot or trapped”. I have posted these facts before, don’t miss the posts!

  227. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    Sivet Cat,

    If you are referring to me in your posting, I was in Yellowstone from 1969-2003…first with FWS from 69-’72 and the rest of the time as a back country ranger..mostly in thorofare.
    I doubt there is anyone alive who has ridden as many miles as I did…60-70,000 miles…in the mts. I caught more poachers, mostly all outfitters and their guides, than all the rangers in Yellowstone for the 40 years that can be accounted for..plus probably the need to include all the rangers for the 40 years before that.

    Of course, time and miles means little if one is locked into prejudices. I feel too many professionals are just that…and it all comes from a feeling of superiority over everything around them.
    You have your own basis for your knowledge, I have mine. Merry Christmas.

    P.S. I am VISITING NYC. I still “farm” in Iowa….and still work on range science issues with Western universities. Also work with some of “your” Indian tribes on bison behavior….and was even invited to brief Mt BOL a year ago on their bison issues. Ta Da Ta da

  228. Si'vet Avatar

    Bobby Cowboy, didn’t you also post about someone named Kuta who you knew was fudging harvest numbers quite a while back and you are just now exposing it? Ta da ta da. Than all the rangers in yellowstone national PARK. Wasn’t Timothy Treadwell protecting bear from hunters in a national Park?

  229. gline Avatar

    Where else would we quote from when an individual posts that wolves are protected when they are not? The title of the blog is “Wolf hunt closes in another Idaho hunting zone”, so obviously we are talking about Idaho not any other state.

    The wolf regulations seem to be set up with intent to off a wolf for just about anything – wolf behavior. that is why I said originally they need to be protected. I am not talking about your protection.

  230. gline Avatar

    Si’vet you had asked me about a particular Spanglelakes post to you. Why are you bringing up other issues???

  231. Si'vet Avatar

    Bob, just as an FYI, here’s a kick in the pants, on secretaries day I bought my assistants some interesting blooming plants, Those flowering plants are on their file cabinets, they take good care of them, they look great. Sunday I was in the Fred Myers store where I made the original purchase and low and behold, there were the same plants, and they looked like crap, hardly any buds or starts, maybe they aren’t under enough stress!!

  232. Si'vet Avatar

    Gline, I guess I am still confused, you asked about wolves being protected and regulated in the state of Idaho correct? S said they weren’t I said they were and gave a couple of examples right?

  233. Cobra Avatar

    Regardless of what you might think there are problem wolves around. I have friends that had their dogs mangled and killed over the last couple of years in their own yard. Two years ago we had a couple wolves come right to the edge of town and took a couple of dogs. I think these are what you would call problem wolves.
    I worked in New York and Conn. for about 8 weeks one summer years ago, man talk about me being out of my element. I would say good morning on the sidewalk to people and hold doors open and they looked at me like I was an alien or worse. I don’t think I’ll ever go back, not my cup of tea. We’ve got about 15-20 thousand people in shoshone county and it’s bigger than a lot of states back east. Give me the trees and mountains anyday.

  234. vickif Avatar

    Merry Christmas all, or happy holiday to anyone of other faiths.
    Si’Vet and Wife,
    Perfume is a small expense…I can’t help but laugh! Seems like there better be a bit less b—-ing and a little more “Honey, thanks for supporting me and my hobbies, here is some money to go shopping!”

    Thanks folks, for always keeping me on top of things here.

    Mark Gamblin,
    Thank you for the info. So, no local tax base. Got it. However, there are funds that are generated federally by tax dollars (usually marked for spending or by contract )…just not a state basis.
    Either way, the game and fish still belong to all. I guess we haven’t resolved all the issues. Until later, good day!

  235. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    “Those federal wildlife management/research funds are allocated to each state by a formula based on number of licenses sold and other criteria and require a match from the states.”

    Could you detail what the “match from the states is”?

    In reading your post I get that this is money apart from license and tag monies. If so what is the source?

  236. Si'vet Avatar

    Vickif, may suggest on your next venture into Idaho, if you haven’t already check out the Jedidiah Smith wilderness area, my old stomping grounds, and still my favorite. Also don’t leave this blog up on your screen and go feed the horses. Got to go. suddenly my to do list just doubled overnite. happy holidays

  237. vickif Avatar

    I will look forward to it. I was planning more time in Idaho this spring or summer. I will now research fishing in the Jedidiah Smith wilderness.

    Perhaps before heading up, I will contact you for some tips.
    Yeah, I’d say have the screen gone before feeding!

  238. Si'vet Avatar

    Vickif, the JS not the best for fishing, let me know your species and fishing methods and I’m pretty sure we can get you into something great. Just a guess, trout and, flies?

  239. spanglelakes Avatar

    Cobra – I live in wolf country and myself and friends hike, ski and backpack among several wolf packs. There only problem there has ever been is among the demented people who set out traps and snares to kill wildlife. Traps have caught dogs. Some survive this, some don’t. A snare will kill your pet dog before your eyes.

    My dog has seen wolves more than a hundreds times. He has chased several wolves. I’ve never had the misfortune to live or work on the East Coast. There are a few cases of where wolves have killed dogs – but if you live in wolf country – you never leave your dog outside at night, never leave dogs tied up and go away, never turn hounds loose to chase after lions or bears unless you are willing to accept that the hounds might become the hunted.

    Like duh, Cobra. You might have been born yesterday when it comes to wolves, but a lot of us have been dealing with the wolf issue for decades.

  240. kt Avatar

    Spanglelakes: I agree – that was bizarre. I suggest cyberspace disconnect is in order.

    For all Si-vet knows, Vicki could be 15 and a guy – or vice versa.

  241. Si'vet Avatar

    Thanks Ralph, have you spent time there, is there an established pack there?

  242. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Si’vet I helped get the Jedediah Smith Wilderness created back in ’84. Winegar Hole too.

    There is a wolf pack on the West Slope of the Tetons, and probably one in the Conant Creek area and ranging northward.

  243. Si'vet Avatar

    gline, you said, wolves not managed like other big game animals via 36-1107. Intersting enough, upon review of the statute it starts out with bears and lions and the controls there of, if they are “molesting” etc. Then below it talks abouts wolves and the controls there of “molesting” etc. Gline a quick note: bears and lions have big game status in Idaho. please refer to 2009 Idaho big game regulations, those same big regulations also cover wolves, those can be found on the IDF&G web site, see wolf management. I believe you brought up “homework”.

  244. vickif Avatar

    Ha. I wish I was 15. Oh, to have a do-over. Wouldn’t that be great. My youngest is 13! Oldest is 21.

    Yep, flies and trout. Fishing isn’t just about what we catch, but what we see on the way.

    There doesn’t seem to be a lot you don’t have a hand in! You are truly a force to behold. I know ‘expertise’ is political science. Ever thought of running for office?

  245. vickif Avatar

    It just hit me, you think that Si’Vet and I are planning to meet up, and you are concerned about dangerous circumstances. Well, thanks for the concern, I think?

    I have met several people that I connected with through this site. Always in public, always after a long line of communication. I seriously doubt this is the normal kid hang out, but I do take every possible precaution. I never meet anyone alone, always in public, and always with foresight to tell others what the plan is.

    As for Si’vet, I was suggesting we share info, that was all, I get useful tips here all the time, from a number of people. I got hiking tips from one, bear viewing tips from another, and made a good friend here.

  246. Salle Avatar

    Ralph has invested a great deal of himself in the political workings of protecting wilderness and wildlife. He is a stakeholder in more ways than most citizens.

    I can see where he would be greatly concerned with the Frank Church issue and how its result will impact wilderness throughout the country. If this latest attack can go forth, we can probably kiss it all good-bye by the end of the decade.

    Imagine ATVs and snowmobiles everywhere, all the time.

  247. Debra K Avatar
    Debra K

    Ralph also has some excellent trail guides to Idaho and other places, such as the Teton and Washakie Wilderness ,that I have. I’ve found these to be reliable and useful resources, unlike a lot of trail guides.

    We are fortunate indeed to have someone with Ralph’s expertise and background to moderate this blog.

  248. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    Bob Jackson,

    Hope you had great Christmas in NYC – maybe even a bison roast that city slickers once found to be a holiday delicacy in the late 1800’s, I think. Not sure how to take your “D” comment. Just to be clear, I am definitely not a fan of helicopters in Wilderness, and do not want them there. However, the states have a legal right to perform game management research consistent with the federal law in Wilderness. And they also have a legal obligation imposed on them to manage, including for numbers and other species demographics, the wolves in ID.

    I have been trying to point this out, contrary to the strident views of some. In fact, the precidents appear to have been set long ago, back in 1990 or even earlier for mechanical intrusion in Wilderness, including aircraft and helicopters. If I recall, at some point, ID was even looking into the use of ultralights for some applications.

    And, as Ralph and I specifically discussed, much is left to agency discretion. Most here know the reputation of the BLM and FS, and even Park Service (for toting those potty bins, and remote back country ranger camps as they have been doing for years in certain NPs).

    Here is a link to House Report 101-405, which accompanied the legislation known as the Arizona Wilderness Act.


    Anybody who believes Wilderness designation or, for that matter, National Park designation (with designated Wilderness in it) is exempt from certain restricted mechanical invasion simply does not know what bad things Congress has already done. You know, the same folks that passed the Endangered Species Act, and all. In fact, there are references to possible applications of certain activities inconsistent with what some perceive as Wilderness values or protections, FOR THE PURPOSE OF addressing Endangered Species habitat and protections.

    As I took a closer look at the document I was able to answer my own question to Mark Gamblin – YES, state wildlife agencies are able to do fish stocking or chemical eradications with helicopters in areas which used this technique prior to Wilderness designation. Again, the state needs to consult with FS to get written permission.

    If there is a valid legal basis to challenge the decision to allow IDGF to do wolf research from helicopters, then go for it.

  249. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Congress has done some bad things regarding Wilderness in recent years. This is one reason why groups that formerly supported Wilderness are not enthusiastic about establishing new Wilderness areas, especially if they are asked to give something up to achieve a designation.

    In fact some of this bad committee language came about because certain pro-wilderness groups were too willing to compromise in order to put wilderness areas on the map, regardless whether they were going to be managed as wilderness on the ground.

  250. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    vickif –
    “However, I am very guenuinely interested in Mark’s personal, not professional, take. Maybe it would bring new things to light?”

    My role on this blog is to represent the IDFG and Commission. I’m trying to help all who follow these important discussions to understand Commission and IDFG policy, programs and management decisions and the supporting science.
    My personal views are just that – personal. This is a good opportunity to speak to the responsibilities of any public agency employee, with respect to presonal philosophies, values or professional assessments of individual issues. Those policies, programs and management decisions are the result of broad professional collaboration. Decisions are made by Bureau (Wildlife Bureau in this case) and Director’s Office staff, with the input and recommendations of field staff and public involvement input. The Fish and Game Commission provides policy guidance. Once planning and program development is complete, the implementation of plans and programs is done by IDFG professionals. I have many opportunities to provide my professional input and recommendations in that process. Like every other IDFG employee, once decisions are made (with public and professional staff participation) our responsibility is to see that those decisions are effectively and efficiently implemented, with professionalism.

  251. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    vickif –
    “…. there are funds that are generated federally by tax dollars (usually marked for spending or by contract )…just not a state basis. Either way, the game and fish still belong to all.”

    One important clarification: The Pitman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson federal excise tax funds are dedicated to state wildlife management programs. The P-R and D-J programs are key elements of the North American Model of Wildlife Management that is founded on the constitutional authority of each state to hold wildlife in trust for state residents and the management authority and responsibilities that follow.
    Because the wildlife of each state are held in trust and managed for the benefit of the residents of each respective state, those wildlife management programs are determined by and for primarily state residents. In this way, a resident of Alabama for example does not have the same stake in Idaho wildlife management decisions as an Idaho resident. Exceptions – where federal laws pre-empt state management authority and control (examples are the ESA, federal-state management of migratory birds, national wildlife refuges and national parks) .

  252. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    Jeff E –
    “Could you detail what the “match from the states is”?
    In reading your post I get that this is money apart from license and tag monies. If so what is the source?”

    Here’s a general explanation of the match, source and apportionment of the funds for each state:
    The match is $1 of IDFG non-federal funds for every $3 of D-J or P-R funds. The Pitman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson are derived entirely from an excise tax on hunting and fishing related equipement. When you buy a rifle, shotgun, fishing rod or reel, ammunition, fishing line or lures and other like merchandise you contribute to state fish and game/wildlife research and management programs. The allocation of those federal funds is based on a formula based on the number of hunting and fishing licenses and land area of each state.

  253. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    “$1 of IDFG non-federal funds”
    so is this tag and licence money only.
    It would seem that if that is the case then more than 47% comes from this source.

  254. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    Nevermind Mark
    I just re-read your original post on this subject and cleared it up

  255. Richie,NJ Avatar

    I was reading another website, it said the blm went in with a helicopter without authorization, then they decided to ask permission to do the job. My question what is going on ? Now back to politics, Salazar is the problem and Obama, people are tired of both these guys, Obama is throwing bank regulation, health care and the animals out the window.

  256. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson


    To your response of how to interprete WMD, in this case I wanted to express a difference with you on wilderness support….. but also I have thought of your WM label for quite a while as too close to WMD to not include it at some appropriate time (the same with “Sivet Cat”).

    No I don’t think of you as wmd in general terms. I was just having a little fun.

    Now about “wilderness”. I think any natural resources agency is destroying just a bit more of themselves everytime they try to accomodate measures that takes them (us) a bit further from the natural world.

    Thus, I think a composite MG is a judas for taking the “easy” route to map wolf packs in the wilderness. Even if you are from a urban setting regional office most employees there have warm thoughts of how things…big herds of elk, big stringers of fish and no people….were before. Thus every measure they push that further removes and destroys this reality or image is “being a judas”.

    Therefore one soon realizes what has become a priority for each of them ….. being part of a dysfunctional bull group and its numbing “going along to get along”. Thus the goal is advancement, making $50 / hr. instead of 40 …and all the rest of those skewed reasonings.

    I have been involved a lot with “wilderness”,its philosophies, and the effect of “go or no go”. Yellowsone was not wilderness but the Bridger-Teton across the boundary I patrolled was. In the 70’s and 80’s the only way a injured hunter could get a copter ride out was for the outfitter to run his horse to my cabin (usually in the middle of the night) and then I would hurriedly mount up and both of us run just as fast that 10-15 miles in the dark to assess the injured person…. then run the horse to the top of a ridge to get out on the radio. Very hurt person meant relay from Park Service to Forest Service then communication back as to whether this person was well enough so they could be hauled to park service land for Park helicopter evacuation. Only in the very worst of all injuries would a helicopter be allowed to land on wilderness soil.

    My, how things were loosened up as pride for wilderness was lost to desk jockeys. By the time I left there were any number of reasons for landings. Over all I’d have to say the panic from the fires of “88 … where laws were broken to “protect” the wilderness was not reined in afterwards.

    The original reason for wilderness needs to be remembered…and those old time regulations and pride need to be reinstilled. Otherwise you will have prostitutes like Idaho F&G repeating in court all the exceptions made as you point out WM.

    Whomever puts up that law suit to stop Idaho needs to go back to the ’70’s. And those in Idaho F&G need to remember those days also. And if they don’t, they should talk to the old timers….and if they don’t have access to these types then think back to the times when they read Outdoor Life and Fur, Fish & Game as impressionable youngsters. All those pictures of Griz teeth and open jaws right in front of them happened in areas “way, way back”. They need to remember this and then think there might be better ways to monitor wolves in wilderness areas.

  257. gline Avatar

    “Two years ago we had a couple wolves come right to the edge of town and took a couple of dogs. I think these are what you would call problem wolves.”

    Wouldn’t this be a part of living in “wolf territory”? or, Bear territory? … Cougar territory? ie, It comes with the territory? Why not put the dogs away at night rather then kill wolves for domestic dogs (that should have been put away)? Wolves readily kill coyote – they probably think domestic dogs are akin to coyotes, hence we should take precautions if wolves are to exist. Makes common sense to me. A progressive issue, co existence.

  258. vickif Avatar

    Mark Gamblin,
    I get all that. But the wildlife being “in trust”, could be interpreted in vastly different ways.
    The term ‘in trust’ could be a single definition, or a combination of many. But generally, where it is legally used, placing something in trust is done because there needs to be a better authority to govern somethings use. Something is placed in trust so that it is used in a certain manner or for a certain purpose. Being intrusted with something doesn’t grant ownership, just the expectation of management.
    So, those funds may be appropriated to states, but the animals in those states are intrusted to the state, not the property of the state.
    Since the animals are intrusted to a state, they are still not property of the state.
    Just as if I am an heir, and you are my trustee, the money is still mine….even if you control (or are intrusted to manage) my inheritence.
    So, the states may vote or have discretion over policies, but they don’t negate the rights of the people.
    I am out of my league in the legal mumbo-jumbo. But I know that the Civil War was fought in part to decide states rights or federal rights. I think what this should always boil down to in the long run is that states cannot out weigh federal authority. Otherwise, you have one state deciding the fate of a whole lot more than it should be allowed to.

  259. Cobra Avatar

    Like duh, why don’t you read the entire post before responding, I also live in wolf country, we’ve got them no more than a mile from the house most of the time and we hear them sometimes at night on the ridge above, about 400 yards from the back door. Just keep letting your dog chase wolves and you won’t have to feed him much longer.
    I swear between you and Gline there is supposedly no reason what-so-ever to kill a wolf short of chewing on your leg and even then I’m not so sure. Wolves are another animal just like cougars, bears, coyotes, elk, deer, etc. etc. and there will be times when they cross the line. When they start coming into town and into yards with pets and kids and show no fear the line has been crossed. As I’ve said before we’ve seen cougar, bear, and yes wolves and coyotes not a 100 yards from the back door and never even thought about shooting them but there is a line.

  260. JB Avatar

    “…Just as if I am an heir, and you are my trustee, the money is still mine….even if you control (or are intrusted to manage) my inheritence.”

    VickiF: The Public Trust Doctrine was established via the courts (i.e. it is case law). Therefore, there is no statutory language that we can argue about. However, I think your description is what the court intended; that is, the state government acts as a trustee on behalf of its citizens. Freyfogle and Goble (2009) have an interesting discussion about this very problem in their recent text Wildlife Law: A Primer [Island Press].

    The problem agencies face is how to act as a trustee for citizens when those citizens have conflicting interests. Perhaps more importantly, how can they show that their actions serve the best interest of their citizens? Especially when the individuals making the decisions (i.e. F&G Commissioners/Board members) typically are dominated by one (or sometimes two) interest groups (i.e. hunters and livestock producers). Mark has asserted that Idaho’s wolf management plan was designed to meet the needs and desires of all interest groups. But at this point it is his word against the people who disagree.

    A related problem is if/how agencies should consider the interests of the rest of the country when managing wildlife on federal lands. The trustee relationship suggests this would not be appropriate; that is, states manage game for their citizens (not other citizens). That is one reason why some have called for special federal legislation to promote carnivore conservation.

  261. spanglelakes Avatar

    Cobra – don’t worry about my dog, he’s got a lot more common sense then most humans. Sounds like you’d be better off going back to the city and not having to listen to wolves howl “400 yards from the door”. I’ve had them howl within a hundred yards. You are the intruder. You didn’t mention the often repeated rural “fact” that wolves are “everywhere” in ID/MT/WY at school bus stops, in addition to being in yards “with pets and kids”. Or, that our wolves supposedly weigh 300 lbs, being Canadian and all.

    What is it about wolves that make people freak out? I could start a rumor that wolves were at the local school playground and by the next day, it would be on FOX news that parents were trembling in fear that Canadian wolves were lying in wait or worrying their kids.

  262. vickif Avatar

    Thank you. I appreciate the explaination.

    So what we are primarily lacking is good legislation, and appropriate science and intellegence?

    I mean to say, do you think we need to scrap a lot of the wildlife management laws? Perhaps we need to remove states from management.
    I know we will never be able to remove special interests from politics, or politicians from people’s pockets. But atleast if more states (via representation on a national level,)were allowed a voice in what is done with wildlife, maybe there would be a more evenly represented plan.

    If states that don’t see themselves as hunting/ranching states got a voice, they could speak up for those in EVERY state who favor a natural predator-prey base?

  263. JB Avatar


    The vast majority of what constitutes wildlife management (and management legislation) occurs at the state level. Generally, I believe that the North American Model of wildlife management (i.e. management by states, funding via hunting & fishing license sales) has been extremely successful at conserving valued game species (as well as species that depend upon similar habitat types). However, western states’ myopic focus on delivering hunting opportunities and preventing “conflict” with livestock producers puts them in a precarious position with respect to the management of wolves and other large carnivores. For example, IDF&G has made it clear that they intend to manage wolves for the minimum viable population while they manage elk for maximum sustained yield. In this agricultural-based model, wolves are viewed as nothing more than an impediment to elk harvest/hunting opportunities.

    In my view the questions that need to be asked are: (a) does such management serve the best interest of Idahoans; and if so, (b) is such management acceptable to the rest of the county? If not, and Idaho is unwilling to change course, then protective legislation for carnivores may be the only option.

  264. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    Bob Jackson,

    My first trip into designated Wilderness was in the late 1960’s, when I was still a pup. Eight days, deep in the Bob Marshall at a time when griz were still relatively abundant there, and we saw no other people, except a lone packer maintaining trail. I have spent alot of time in the Wind River Range -Bridger/Fitzpatrick dozens of times from both the Lander and Pinedale sides over a span of twenty five years. Used to be you could leave your car at Elkhart Park in the company of maybe three other cars. Now it is like a city mall parking lot, and you are lucky you don’t come back to a vandalized car and any gear stolen. I spent much of my youth in the Goat Rocks, William O. Douglas and North Cascades in WA, when I was not hunting elk in the fall; and in college spent time in the Rawah, Zirkle, Maroon Bells, Holy Cross, and FCW, to name a few, as well as many special places in the West that did not have federal Wilderness designation (the Mallard Larkins was a favorite). I have always felt that these places should be held sacrosanct. Hold them as they were when designated. No mechanical intrusion of any kind, including rescues. That is still my preferred view

    My sense is that once an area gets designation it becomes a popular place and in a very short time gets overused – the Bridger and the Winds especially, as the backpacker type magazines and the internet spread the word. People show up in droves, dressed up with so much new gear they look like they just stepped out of an REI catalog. And lighter gear means they get deeper into the best places in a shorter amount of time, with less honest effort.

    Wilderness areas are like National Parks, simply beiing overused by too many people. Typically it is a seasonal phenomenon, and either end of the high use time can sometimes provide solace, but even that has changed in recent years. Too many people chasing too few resources. Solution, designate more- maybe. It only delays the inevitable, reservations for use and a cheapened experience are just around the corner. And did I mention cell phones, satellite phones, Ipods, GPSs and the like – leave them at home.

    And by the way, “Wilderness Muse” was just a moniker my wife used for me. Maybe I should just change it to “Wilderness Mule” a more appropriate descriptin of my tasks of carrying large format camera gear for my wife, on long trips in the backcountry.

  265. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    My first Wilderness area trip was in 1973. I hitch-hiked to Turpin Meadows. I only had a basic Forest Service map of the Teton Wilderness.

    I followed the well-used trail up the North Buffalo River over Two Ocean Pass, and down Atlantic Creek to the Thorofare.

    I forded the Yellowstone River and climbed up Lynx Creek to Mariposa Lake and followed the South Boundary trail out to the South Entrance of Yellowstone. I didn’t take the route over Big Game Ridge. In those days there were 20 some odd crossings of the Snake River with the last pretty difficult.

    I didn’t really have enough food for the nine days, but I feasted on the big Yellowstone cutts. I had a plastic tent. Pretty wet!

  266. gline Avatar

    Spanglelakes, as everyone knows domestic dogs, Man’s Best Friend, are descendants of wolves. hatred for wolves: Bipolar humans or what???:)

  267. gline Avatar

    Cobra said: “Wolves are another animal just like cougars, bears, coyotes, elk, deer, etc. etc. and there will be times when they cross the line. When they start coming into town and into yards with pets and kids and show no fear the line has been crossed.”

    Cobra, You had said wolves came to the “edge of town”. Now you are speaking of them coming into yards with kids etc. When was the last time you heard of wolves eating children in the yard or at the bus stop? I suppose if you leave your goat or dog out on the edge of town it could be eaten by anything… why the freakiness with wolves? Little Red Robinhood scenario going on in your head? come on Cobra you speak between the lines. In one half of the sentence, you say they are like any other animal, then the other half you are stating if they come to close to a bus stop you have to draw the line, (which I would assume means get your gun out.) Isn’t that part of living in a rural area? You may see wildlife??

    I am sure I would defend myself if any animal was biting my leg, be it a cat, wolf or mosquito. There go those stereotypes again….

  268. izabelam Avatar

    be afraid..a big bad wolf is going to get you….Gline..hehehehe yes, Cobra is a good example of little kid conditioned by parents reading a story too many times…Little Red Riding Hood is a great little story of a brave girl. Conra..do youkow the story and how it is intepreted now?
    read about it…

  269. izabelam Avatar

    sorry.. wanted to say Cobra..not Conra…

  270. Cobra Avatar

    Spangle, Gline, Iza,
    I’ve never lived in the city and never wanted to. I’ve always lived in the country and the mountains. Colorado, Alaska and Idaho. I’ve never said I was afraid wolves. It amazes me how you read different than is written or maybe I did not do a good enough job explaining the situations encountered. I’m sure thats it. How old are you guys anyway? Maybe lay-off the egg nog for awhile.

  271. Dawn Avatar

    Hey Save bears,
    Haven’t been on this blog for awhile but thank you for your response .

  272. gline Avatar

    Ya, that’s it Cobra.

  273. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    JB –
    “Mark has asserted that Idaho’s wolf management plan was designed to meet the needs and desires of all interest groups. But at this point it is his word against the people who disagree.”
    Actually, I’ve tried to emphasize the reality that no agency or management program can satisfy the needs and desires of all interest groups. With that said first, I have said that the Idaho wolf management plan does provide wolf viewing opportunity for example. That wolf advocates disapprove of management objectives to reduce wolf numbers and consequently provide less viewing opportunity than by allowing wolves to achieve unfettered equilibrium densities – is understood. Were that to be a management objective in the Idaho wolf management plan, there would be many dissatisfied with significantly reduced hunting opportunity and private property depredation problems. Therein is the dilema of natural resource managers anywhere. Managers are challenged to balance inherently competing public desires with few or no solutions to satisfy all.

    “IDF&G has made it clear that they intend to manage wolves for the minimum viable population while they manage elk for maximum sustained yield.”

    Technical note JB. MSY as the management theory conceived for fisheries management, is in no way applicable to appropriate or achievable big game management programs or objectives. I think you mean wildlife managers have prioritized optimal hunting opportunity for species like elk, deer, etc. I agree. I would re-phrase again though: IDF&G has made it clear that they intend to manage wolves for wolf population objectives compatible with public desires for hunting opportunity and wolf depredation control, without jeapardizing a healthy and sustainable wolf population.

  274. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    500 wolves=a density of ~1 wolf for every 53000 acres
    see the wolf?

  275. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    Jeff –
    1,000 wolves = a density of ~ 2 wolves for every 53,000 acres. See a wolf now?
    2,000 wolves = a density of ~ 4 wolves for every 53,000 acres; 4,000 wolves = a density of ~8 wolves for every 53,000 acres. How many wolves are required to provide an “acceptable” density?

    See the point? Wolf numbers/densities by themselves are near meaningless in the absence of recognizable benefits or liabilites that accrue from those densities. The state wolf population mangement objective (no fewer than 500 wolves) is not acceptable to you and others. What is an acceptable management objective and why?

  276. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    What would be acceptable is almost anything other than the states management plan.
    You often lay your argument on “Management objectives but never completly spell out completely what that is.
    Let me help you.
    this is from the Idaho wolf consevation and management plan; 2002.
    Wolf Population Objectives
    Wolf numbers and distribution within the state will be managed per the chart on page 5 (Table 1) in order to prevent the wolf from being re-listed under the Endangered Species Act. Wolf population estimates are approximations, and establishment of specific population sizes to be maintained is not realistic. The resources required to determine population sizes across Idaho are prohibitively high.

    It make abundantly clear that the only factor to consider is to NOT have the wolf re-listed. Every thing else is secondary.
    Another way of putting it is manage for the least population possible.

    I find it very interesting that it also states,

    “The resources required to determine population sizes across Idaho are prohibitively high.”

    that was in 2002 when everyone was spending money like drunken sailors, BUT today when the states are taking billions of dollars in bailout money, we can afford to do that very thing, no problem.

    In addition from this same document,

    “The State of Idaho is on the record asking the federal government to remove wolves from the state by the adoption in 2001 of House Joint Memorial No. 5. The position reflected in House Joint Memorial No. 5 continues to be the official position of the State of Idaho.”

    And is still so today

  277. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    but to to continue; what becomes an acceptable plan is, as you know very much more involved than what can be expressed in a paragraph or two.
    Perhaps Ralph could create a “closed thread” where a limited number of people from different viewpoints could submit an “essay” which would speak to that.

  278. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    for clarification, here is the pertinent passage of House Joint Memorial No. 5,
    ” NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the First Regular Session
    4 of the Fifty-sixth Idaho Legislature, the House of Representatives and the
    5 Senate concurring therein, that this Legislature not only calls for, but
    6 demands, that wolf recovery efforts in Idaho be discontinued immediately, and
    7 wolves be removed by whatever means necessary.”

    ….by whatever means necessary.

  279. Salle Avatar

    “….by whatever means necessary.”

    Which also includes manipulation of population numbers which can be useful if you have an imaginary number that works for your cause… like wolves that nobody can see in the wilderness that may or may not have collars. Perhaps they just want to go for a helicopter joy ride in the wilderness and then SAY they have collared so many wolves. They could just fling them out the window for we know, shoot what wolves they see and then come back and say there were a large number of wolves and use them to claim that there have to be more wolves exterminated on the outside to “balance” the population minimum.

    I was informed by knowledgeable persons that up to 45% of the collars used by the state are dysfunctional, don’t work. That being the case, how can you insist that flying and landing helicopters in the wilderness will give you an accurate count?

    ….by whatever means necessary.

    Can you smell what I smell?

  280. JB Avatar

    “Technical note JB. MSY as the management theory conceived for fisheries management, is in no way applicable to appropriate or achievable big game management programs or objectives. I think you mean wildlife managers have prioritized optimal hunting opportunity for species like elk, deer, etc. I agree.”

    Actually, MSY is NOT specific to fisheries management, although that is where it has been most extensively applied. MSY is simply the theoretical maximum number of individuals that can be harvested from a particular population over a set period of time (it is used in population ecology). I agree that it is inappropriate to attempt to maximize the yield of one species at a cost to many others (at least on our Federal lands). However, that appears to be exactly what Idaho is doing; or perhaps you disagree that “optimal hunting opportunity” equates to maximizing elk populations?

  281. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    Mark Gamblin,

    Salle says: I was informed by knowledgeable persons that up to 45% of the collars used by the state are dysfunctional, don’t work.

    Is this assertion by Salle something that can be checked out and verified as true or not? And, would you be willing to forward an email, or otherwise inquire, to the people in your agency to get an answer? Seems kind of important, if true, since telemetry is such a large component of the ID monitoring program to determine numbers, packs and geographic distribution (maybe even genetic connectivity).

  282. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson


    Pertaining to your reasoning of benefits or liability with densities of a species, I assume if one inserts the word, “elk” with wolf then densities reflect long standing info basis used for those who want to “harvest” those elk.

    This supossed value used by you and others at Idaho F&G I see as old “farming” justifications. Since wolves don’t have old world values established yet by those with archaic views….old dominion science…. you scoff at anyone trying to justify their existence by using densities or lack of densities to show the folly of proposed Idaho management of your supposed objectives for maintaining “healthy populations” of wolves.

    Your forked tongue comes from using such terms of those “healthy populations” and “optimum” numbers for wolve populations the same as you use to justify larger numbers of elk for benefit of those farmer “harvesting” views.

    I confront your value system. I liken yours to those who justified removal of natives so good people could make “use of the land”.

    A quote from a superior human from a book I am now reading, The Flight of the Nez Perce ( by Major Wood…in his report to Washington advocating the removal of this tribe from their fertile valley). ” I recognize the fact the Indian must yield to the Whiteman, the inferior to the superior race, barbarism to civilization…..a whole tract of valuable land is being suffered to lay waste, occupied by a meer handfull of Indians who are incapable of developing its rich treasures, all ready to reward the industry and skill of the farmer.”.

    I see your F&G department as exploitive farmers who have the lowest level of confinment animal attitudes towards the “wildlife” you “manage”. Your value systems justifying elk and exclusion of wolves because of lack of value pertaining to densities shows more of this attitude. I ask you to please look back, see the folly of your predecessors and then look how yours has so much similarity.

  283. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    JB –
    Yes MSY concepts that were developed by Ricker for the management of commercial fisheries are applied broadly to wildlife management disciplines. I said: “MSY as the management theory conceived for fisheries management, is in no way applicable to appropriate or achievable big game management programs or objectives.”
    I should have said: The ability to manage for MSY objectives with wildlife populations is a completly different dynamic than fisheries management. If you meant to suggest that the IDFG (or any other wildlife management agency for that matter) can or will attempt to manage for MSY you are mistaken.

  284. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) Avatar
    Mark Gamblin (IDFG)

    Salle –
    “I was informed by knowledgeable persons that up to 45% of the collars used by the state are dysfunctional, don’t work. That being the case, how can you insist that flying and landing helicopters in the wilderness will give you an accurate count?”

    Radio collars like any other wildlife field equipement is used hard and fail. If your source is suggesting that Idaho wolf research and monitoring efforts are biased by non-functional radio collars, that would be an important mis-understanding. When collars fail, they typically stop sending a signal and we lose the ability to track and monitor that animal. The data collected to that point is still valid. If the collar is sending a false mortality signal, or if a collar were to send false coordinates or other data that would be different. What exactly is/are the nature of the failures your knowledgeable sources reported to you?

  285. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Mark, Salle, and everyone,

    It is no secret that radio collars fail. At our Chico wolf conferences (which have had to abandon due to the withdrawal of support staff by Defenders of Wildlife) numerous presentations have been given by wildlife biologists from Yellowstone, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming where they note the failure of radio collars.

    Radio collar failure rate is eventually 100%. Some have lasted 10 years, many fail in a month. In addition many wolf packs learn to chew them off their packmates.

    I have had many discussions with Doug Smith in Yellowstone talking about the failure and loss of radio collars. GPS collars have been the most tricky. They cost a lot and they fail more often.

  286. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    If a pack has one radio collar and it fails, this is a potential source of counting error.

    If a pack has one collar, and the wolf pack splits, this is another potential source of error.

    Because collars have to be replaced, we can expect that Idaho Fish and Game’s incursion into the Frank Church Wilderness will not be a one time event, making it even more of a problem for the preservation of Wilderness.

  287. izabelam Avatar

    Salle, Jeff E.
    The verdict is kill them all. Done.

    6 demands, that wolf recovery efforts in Idaho be discontinued immediately, and
    7 wolves be removed by whatever means necessary.”
    From the ground, from the air, poison, gas, SSS …any way is a good way..and I think no matter what we say Mark Gamblin (IDFG) will keep repeating that management works and is successful. For who? not for wolves ..not for tourists.
    For ranchers – yes. And again, the word manage means KILL…so I will say again – manage livestock and humans not wolves..
    In one of the posts Mark G. said that fish and game (wildlife – I assume included) belongs to all of us…yes…so leave it alone.
    Control only problem individuals..not the entire pack for one cow…
    As to helicopters used to collar and count wolves…I don’t’ want my tax money to be used on this activity…
    What can do? Nnothing…deal is set and no one asked me if this is Ok with me.

  288. gline Avatar

    Well, Iza you have to think about the source, I believe they think they do not need to ask everyone.

  289. JB Avatar


    So, if I am interpreting you correctly, IDF&G can manage for “optimal hunting opportunity” but can not manage for MSY? To be clear, the intent of my original comment was to point out the inappropriateness (that’s my view) of attempting to maximize the harvest/yield/hunting opportunity associated with any particular species.

  290. Ralph Maughan Avatar
    Ralph Maughan

    Comments are now closed on this post. Thank you


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