Wilderness. Wild and free, or to be a surveillance zone?

Idaho Fish and Game Proposal defeats the purpose of Wilderness-

What could more opposite, animals and people roaming freely in the great outdoors; or struggling through rough country under the never sleeping watch of souless technology, subject to summary execution from the air on the order of distant bureaucrats?

That’s what is a stake in the Forest Service approval of radio collaring wolves in the lower 48 states’ largest Wilderness area. Does anyone think this will stop with wolves and other animals, or with the Frank Church Wilderness?

The photo shows a small part of the 2.4 million acres of the Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness. Is this to be a killing zone and a place of government watching?
Photo by Lee Mercer.


  1. Nathan Hobbs Avatar
    Nathan Hobbs

    What contacts do you think would be the most effective to speak with in opposing this action?

    The precedent this sets is absolute scary, just like any drug all it takes is once to be addicted, granting flying and landing rights for a purpose such as this will become a habitual government practice. It desecrates the ideology the wilderness areas were founded for in the first place. If the government will not respect the laws it sets how can you possibly tell the population to do the same?

  2. gline Avatar

    Surveillance is so expensive, and for what?

  3. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    National outrage is building. People like the group below are sending messages to the Chief of the Forest Service in Washington.

    Dear Chief Tidwell,

    I am writing on behalf of the more than 4000 nationwide members of
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness to express my dismay at Regional
    Forester Fosgren’s decision to land helicopters in the Frank Church
    River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho, for the purpose of radio
    collaring wolves. This blatantly illegal action subverts the very core
    of the 1964 Wilderness Act, the very essence of which is to exclude
    all motorized equipment from congressionally designated Wilderness.
    Section 4. (c) of the Wilderness Act of 1964 says:

    (c)Except as specifically provided for in this Act, and subject to
    existing private rights, there shall be no commercial enterprise and
    no permanent road within any wilderness area designated by this Act
    and, except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the
    administration of the area for the purpose of this Act (including
    measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of
    persons within the area), there shall be no temporary road, no use of
    motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of
    aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or
    installation within any such area.”

    I have personally traveled in the Frank Church Wilderness on numerous
    occasions and have treasured its wilderness character, but even those
    who may never have that opportunity still passionately wish to have
    wilderness preserved for future generations to appreciate, and for the
    biological services which it provides, such as clean water, air, and
    the biodiversity contained therein. Regional Forester Fosgren’s
    decision is like the nose of the camel poking under the edge of the
    wilderness tent, and sets a terrible precedent. Nowhere is a need for
    this action stated, except to allow the state of Idaho to “manage”
    wolves for some unspecified purpose. In the future any State agency
    could cite Section 4. (d)(8) of the Act and receive permission to
    carry out their responsibilities with respect to wildlife and fish
    using 4-wheelers, motorcycles and snowmobiles in congressionally
    designated wilderness, a most alarming but all too real possibility!

    Healthy wild ecosystems require a balance of species, including large
    predators. The unspoken purpose of this action smacks of human
    manipulation for the gain of a few individuals, clearly a subversion
    of the letter and the intent of the Wilderness Act. Those of us in the
    United States and around the world who value self-willed wilderness,
    (and we are legion,) implore you to reverse Regional Forester
    Fosgren’s misguided and illegal decision.


    Veronica Egan, Executive Director
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness
    P O Box 2924
    Durango, CO 81302

  4. gline Avatar

    I would have signed that….

    good news Ralph.

  5. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    If you want to contact the chief forester, here’s the info.

    email address: ttidwell@fs.fed.us

    US Mail Address:
    Tom Tidwell
    Chief, US Forest Service
    1400 Independence Ave., SW
    Washington, DC 20250 — 0003

  6. Bill Carr Avatar
    Bill Carr

    I am appalled at this action.

    I agree that Wilderness should remain completely wild, and all that goes along with that.

    Given that, what the heck is the govt doing spending outrageous amouts of our money to collar and “manage” wolves? There’s absolutely no reason to collar wolves if you’re not going to do something with it. And what would that be?

    Managing a Wilderness should take very little money. Just let it be.

    Anything that occurs naturally in a Wilderness is self-managing. Aside from a natural disaster that threatens lives either inside or adjacent to the Wilderness, there should be absolutely no “management” activity.

    I think that if the public knew that they are planning to spend gobbs of money in a wilderness, there would be an uproar, especially in these hard financial times.

    Regardless of a person’s opinion about wolves, this it is an obamanation to allow this to occur.

    my 2 cents

  7. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    Fosgren’s image may be on the line…and his families acceptance in hicksville….. but rest assured everyone on up the line to at least number two in Washington D.C. Forest Service verbally allowed Fosgren to make this decision …before he ever signed his John Henry.

    I’d make those who were aware of this “act” accountable as well. Something like, “I’m sure you were aware of, and briefed of Fosgren’s intentions, but maybe didn’t know the ramifications of allowing this employee (I’d like to say weak kneed but it won’t help your case) to make his “decision”.

    Also rest assured Idaho F&G did a lot of planning WITH Fosgren before they even officially submitted this proposal to him. They gave him all the likely scenarios and the plan of action for whatever issues came up. Then they patted him on the back, said everything will be fine, and gave him that poisoned pen to sign his John Henry.

    This same sort of thing happened all the time with Yelowstone administrators and their Wash. bosses when issues like the bison reductions came up. I’d hear admin. biologists answer their cell phone while on the horse behind me. If reception was bad they’d urgently want to get higher on the mountain.

    It wasn’t a high up biologist having any sort of conviction or trying to get his point across but stategies of how to handle the public, to get similar talking points and to “manipulate” the process.

    This is what happens all the time and in this FCW issue Fosgren is the flunky of Idaho F&G.

    I say make the instigators and those above Fosgren subtely aware you know of their role in this matter.

  8. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    I would give pretty good odds that the Regional Forester’s decision had been run up the political flagpole before it was made. Tidwell is a 32 year bureaucrat who has worked his way up the FS ladder under both dem and rep party administrations. I would even suggest it may have had visibility in the Department of Agriculture for Secretary Vilsack’ staff review.

    Whatever possibility there is for reversal may be in the hope that Undersecretary nominee Harris Sherman would review the decision. Sherman (a former Colorado lawyer, head of its DNR and very astute politician) will be Tidwell’s boss, as overseer of the Forest Service. He has strong environmental roots and was a champion of roadless areas when at DNR.

  9. JB Avatar

    Spoke with a friend last night who studies coyotes and has used helicopters to net-gun them in the past. He said that when all is said in done, the costs can easily exceed $1,000 per hour. IDF&G has continually complained about the cost of “managing” wolves. Here’s a suggestion: let them be. It’s a lot cheaper.

  10. JimT Avatar


    I would disagree with your assessment of Tidwell as a champion of roadless areas. The Colorado roadless plan is regarded by enviro groups in the state as substantially weaker than the Clinton plan, and there was almost universal agreement to pressure Ritter to postpone going forward with it until the legal challenges to the Clinton plan…or if Interior reinstated it..were completed. His record was certainly better than Norton’s when she was at DNR, but no means would any in the enviro community here count on his support generally.

    Now that Jim Martin is head of DNR, and Ritter is announcing this morning that he is not seeking re-election(That’s right, he announced it last night, late), we will see what happens with DNR, and the state’s environmental bent in general. If McMinnis wins the governor’s mansion, you can bet southern Colorado will be open for business for oil and gas with no oversight at all.

  11. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    If you read the post carefully, my comment about roadless areas was directed at Harris Sherman, not Tidwell (not sure what he thinks). The fact that the state took a different view from the feds on roadless areas is not unusual, or unexpected in the West. CO under Governor Ritter, with Sherman natural resource policy direction on state lands, and in the uncertainty of federal court rulings on federal lands roadless plans, has taken a much more positive environmental stance than ANY OTHER WESTERN STATE, it is my understanding (I could be wrong, but don’t think so).

    Sherman also served under Governor Lamm (very popular 3 term pro-environment Democrat) in several different capacities. In short, he is a good guy, and while he may not meet the strident expectations of some self-righteous environmental groups, he did a pretty good job of balancing competing interests with rationally thought out policies that most can live with.

    These are undoubtedly uncertain times in CO, not only for the possibility of change in governor, but the whole rebirth of oil and gas exploration on a level not seen since the 1970’s when prospects of oilshale development on the Western Slope dominated the headlines. I am not current in what is going on now, but a big political shift to pro-development is kind of scary.

  12. Si'vet Avatar

    A friend of mine’s dad is a contracted pilot for the WS and he said your 1000.00 per hr. for control is pretty close, a few varying factors such as locations, available fueling spots etc. Just as an FYI it doesn’t cost the tax payer a red cent for me to hunt predators in those same area’s.. And some of my entry fee’s go back to habitat, fencing and yes, some to wolf litigation.

  13. JimT Avatar


    I would take issue with your characterization as “strident expectations of some self-righteous environmental groups”. Have you ever worked for one? I have worked in government, private industry, and the non profit world, and of the three, the corporate sector is by far the most self interested, sacrifice the environment for profit group, and the most dangerous for those of us truly interested in environmental protection and preservation. Why is it, it seems, that when environmental groups stand up with clear cut demands, they are characterized in a negative way, while the corporations escape such judgments generally by folks? Is that old bogeyman they haul out of the closet” loss of jobs if you go green” that scares folks?

    I know of Sherman, and I stand by my characterization of him.As for Ritter, I guess it all depends on what you are comparing him to in terms of his greenness. At best, on the whole, he was (now that he is a lame duck) a tepid environmentalist, always searching for that illusory middle position where everyone is happy. It would never happen, especially with the oil and gas industry wanting 100% of what it wants. That office..DNR and Gov… has always been beholden to the oil and gas industry, and the Colorado Roadless Rule gave up way way too much in terms of protections when compared to the very good chance that the Clinton RR will be vindicated. I know some national groups got behind the rule when it appeared that the Clinton Rule was dead, But that was previous to the court decision that was pro Clinton RR, and I wouldn’t think those same groups would still stand by it It may all be moot anyway if and when the Clinton RR is reinstated.

  14. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    Wilderness Muse,

    I don’t see a big shift to pro-development coming because I think the economy will tumble further as soon as the stimulus money runs out.

    There will be little capital available for development and little demand for more energy.

    The same thing happened in 1981-2 with Ronald Reagan. There was a deep recession, almost as bad as this one and Secretary of Interior James Watt’s plans for massive development remained that due to collapse of the oil, gas and timber segments of the economy.

  15. JimT Avatar

    The big push here in Colorado is oil shale on the Roan, and if McMinnis gets in, he will rescind the new regs that protect lands from rampant OG development like in Wyoming, and the tremendous waste of water that process uses. Of course, it hasn’t even proven effective yet, but that little issue doesn’t stop the OG folks from whiniing about regulations, blah, blah, blah. Karin’s group is doing some really good stuff on oil shale if anyone is interested. http://WWW.westernresources.com and there are links to some solid science and research as well.

  16. Alan Gregory Avatar

    Well, heck, why not just go hog-for-glory and bring the Air Force’s retired SR-71 Blackbird recon jets out of retirement. $1.5 billion a year ought to be enough dollars. Base them at Mountain Home to keep em close to the surveillance zone.

  17. JB Avatar


    I can’t disagree with anything you’ve said. However, I would point out that if they have to pay $1k/hour to count wolves in order for people to hunt wolves at $11.50/tag, maybe it would be best (from a cost/benefit perspective) to just leave wolves in the wilderness alone. As I figure it, you’ll need 87 hunters to buy licenses per every hour of flight time in order to break even. So figure they can do all there counting in the FCW in 10 hours of flying, that’s a minimum of 870 wolf hunters just to break even.

    [Note, that estimate is low as it doesn’t account for the costs of administering the licensee system.]

  18. JB Avatar

    Sorry, I need to be more specific: That would be a minimum of 870 wolf hunters IN THE FCW just to break even.

  19. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse

    Ralph (& JimT),

    In the short term, you may be right about the economy and no development. And, oh how I remember wacko James Watt (he even wanted to turn the left facing bison on the Dept. of Interior seal to face right). I also remember, as you probably do, BLM hack Bob Burford, and his crazy wife, Ann Gorsuch at EPA. Those were even scarrier times.

    Over the longer term resource extraction – oilshale/natural gas/remaining oil/ (and hardrock mining)- will still be an area for exploitationin in core Western states, when world oil supply pricing reaches a new set point with US and world economic recovery.

    Unless the technology has changed significantly, Colorado’s West slope water quantity and quality constraints will likely keep development moving fairly slow. The Roan (part of the Piceance Basin) is in the Colorado and White river drainages. Colorado River compact obligations to lower basin states will not allow consumptive for oilshale unless many concessions are made. The Oil and Gas Commission, under new legislation, with expanded membership and new legal standing provisions to state agencies also gives more leverage to address environmental concerns. At least, we hope it does.


    I do not disagree with your last post, except the issue you identify as “clear cut demands.” It is that certain demands by some groups (a few which I have identified before and the way the issues are presented) tend to alienate possible supporters who are on the fence. AND, as you point out, a negative perception then brings out the wacko fringe folks on the other end to oppose them (think Toby Bridges, Cat Urbigkit,,,,,etc. on the wolf issue). In my view, this tends to make the pendelum of politics swing a wider arc, with each group cancelling out the “bad” policy of the administration before. Here think Carter – Reagan/Bush1 – Clinton – Bush2- Obama(? will be his legacy).

    And Jim, I presume you mean the good work of Karin Sheldon’s group:

  20. Si'vet Avatar

    JB,.. Id. MT. Wy. a little different than most states, with the amount of wilderness and public lands vs private. If F & G didn’t have a reasonably accurate count on wolves and their estimate was high, they would get crucified by a specific interest group. If they estimate low, they get crucified by certain interest groups. So if they had accurate numbers for the entire state the pay back maybe the hundreds of thousands of my tax and wildlife dollars being spent on “litigation”. As I stated a while back on a post, this reminds me of a bad divorce, prowolf spends a ton of money, antiwolf spends a ton of money, all funds that could have been better used on all wildlife. That’s why I would like to see the 3 sides push for a group to sit down and hash this out, come up with some numbers and management strategies, may not be perfect for each group but at least helps do what’s best for the kids. Tough project hell yes, impossible I don’t think so. PS: Bob Jackson, enjoyed you background post.

  21. timz Avatar

    A few quotes from today’s Idaho Statesman–
    “Idaho must cut current-year spending again, say the Legislature’s top leaders, who have asked Gov. Butch Otter to order a second across-the-board spending cut.”
    “Geddes and Denney did not exempt public schools from their suggestion for holdbacks”
    “”We’re halfway through the fiscal year and we’re now $35 (million) to $50 million in the red, so we have to make an adjustment to balance the budget,” Geddes said.”

    But we have money to fly helicopters around the FCW at $1000 an hour plus to collar wolves? Go figure.

  22. Cris Waller Avatar

    Tangentially related…we might be able to get rid of Salazar and try again without any political bloodshed or losing face- he may run for governor of Colorado!


  23. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I just figure in Idaho they are trying to kill off education. Desperate people who have no skills are easy to fool and push around.

    These are nasty times.

  24. Nathan Hobbs Avatar
    Nathan Hobbs

    Is anyone familiar with the type of transmitters IDFG fits to the animals?
    Radio Collars of the VHF variety usually run around 300 dollars a collar.

    But some of the other styles such as the GPS/ARGOS variety can easily cost more than $3000 dollars per collar.

    Be sure to add that to the overhead cost of this operation.

  25. Si'vet Avatar

    Type and FREQUENCY !!

    Just kidding. lighten up a little

  26. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Standard VHF collars are about what you stated, and you are right about the very expensive GPS collars which may have other features too.

    Putting the collar on six or seven wolves by aerial darting could cost as much as supporting a skilled trapper in the backcountry for a season.

    Then there are other costs

    4 dead in Madera County helicopter crash
    3 Fish and Game employees from Fresno, pilot killed.

    Posted at 12:35 PM on Tuesday, Jan. 05, 2010
    By Brad Branan and Jim Guy / The Fresno Bee

  27. Rick Hammel Avatar
    Rick Hammel

    Just a note: Ken Salazar’s name has been mentioned as a likey candidate for Colorado governor. Bill Ritter stepped down from the campaign last night.


  28. Cris Waller Avatar

    Rick- Yes- I link to a story about that above. This could be big news.

  29. Si'vet Avatar

    Ralph, I have to disagree with regards to trapping. First I’m not sure there are any experienced trappers for wolves available. I don’t think you would get more than 2 out of pack, they wise up pretty quick. I don’t think the pertinant info comes from multiple collars in the same pack. And traveling through the FCW with horse and mule, to find and trap 6 or 7 different wolves in different packs… I think to get the job done in one year would take multiple trappers, and denning sites would need to be involved.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar


      There are a lot of experienced trappers. Idaho Fish and Game employees three of them as their field wolf managers (proper title?). When the Nez Perce Tribe managed the wolves, a large number of people learned how to trap wolves, and wolves in the rough backcountry. Even in Wildlife Services, they haven’t totally lost the skill to trap.

  30. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    Someone has been very busy. I am a bit surprised you did not mention the WWP/WRF suit against FS and APHIS for helicopter use in Sawtooth NRA, and the IDGF special use permit for the FCW that was filed on1/31/09. It goes to the heart, and in fact is, the very issue we have been discussing on this thread and the Artley and Great Old Broads letters to Tidwell.

    I am glad to see it addressed. If the FS and APHIS have been doing what is alleged, including the bad grazing stuff, they should be spanked.

    Here is the complaint:


  31. JimT Avatar


    Thanks for giving Karin’s full web address; I am used to the briefer form used for her email. Do you know her?

    I agree sometimes that strong positions can alienate the fence sitters, but frankly, I haven’t seen a huge change in the positioning of so called middle groups on public land issues over the last decade or more when enviros have been using the CC model..consensus and compromise. In fact, just the opposite. I spent a fair amount of time arguing during Udall’s campaign that we shouldn’t spend too much time courting the Gunnison area, for example, because we weren’t going to get the vote anyway,and the breakdowns in the vote proved that correct. I think we risk losing our own if we don’t take strong stands these days. I think the Dems have to come up with a better sell to their base of voters than’ Hey, the other guy is worse”.

  32. Si'vet Avatar

    Is there a link that shows how many have actually been caught in a wolf trap, by F&G or other managers:

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar


      There is no link. In fact in the CE in the helicopter darting proposal the number of wolves radio-collared using Wilderness compatible methods was mispresented and implied to be zero when it was more like thirty.

  33. Larry Zuckerman Avatar

    Two other comments on the Frank and helicopters: one is when Harv Forsgren announced his decision to different constituent groups around the West (including Western Watersheds Project), he apparently flew from site to site using a FS jet with two pilots and another passenger. Talk about wasting Federal money while breaking the law; and also adding to the climate change catastrophe with jet plumes and a large carbon trail. I don’t know about other forests, but the Salmon-Challis National Forest has suffered repeated, damaging cuts, particularly in fish and wildlife programs, while King Harv is cruising around in his FS jet. Apparently he told people that the FS already owned the jet, so it was no big deal. If you think helicopter time is expensive with hidden costs, I wonder what Harv’s “good will” tour to announce his pitiful and illegal decision cost us all, and at the expense of sound resource monitoring and fish and wildlife management? I am sure the costs are available by FOIA request – any takers?

    The second, while I am totally against collaring, tracking, and helicopters in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness, particularly in its interiors, as a former ESA/MSA biological consultant for the NMFS including the Frank, I need to point out that this wilderness is already too compromised – it has noxious weed spraying with herbicides, loads of airstrips, particularly in the Middle Fork, where during the summer it is reported that the Indian Creek strip is busier with air traffic than the Boise International Airport! Also in the Wild reach of the mainstem Salmon River, in addition to private lodges, they somehow allow jetboat traffic for anglers, rafters return trips, delivering gasoline and other supplies, and of course, carrying Federal employees and herbicides. What a compromised “wilderness” – Enough is enough

    A few years ago with the FS’ loose interpretation of the Wilderness Act and the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, while some important and influential folks were rafting on the Middle Fork Salmon River on the FCRONRW, the FS decided it was alright to dynamite a natural logjam in the name of an emergency for evacuating people, even though outfitters were taking stranded rafters out by horse and mule strings. They also blow up dead horses, moose, etc. that might be blocking trails. Under their weird interpretations, however, dynamite and primacord are okay, even for removing a natural logjam, but using a chainsaw with gasoline was a “NO-NO”. hard to explain.

  34. Layton Avatar

    TimZ, (et al)

    “But we have money to fly helicopters around the FCW at $1000 an hour plus to collar wolves? Go figure.”

    I know it’s been pointed out before, but IT’S NOT THE SAME MONEY!! F&G funds come from license fees and Federal Matching funds (mostly Pittman Roberts). If ALL the budget from F&G were to disappear, it wouldn’t help the schools and the General Fund – EVEN A LITTLE BIT!!

  35. Layton Avatar


    “I need to point out that this wilderness is already too compromised – it has noxious weed spraying with herbicides,”

    Interesting viewpoint, are you under the impression that we should let Knapweed, and Rush Skeleton weed – both non-native, invasive species, go unchecked??

    Or are you really naive enough to think that these “invaders” can be controlled with hand equipment and mechanical means?

  36. gline Avatar

    I don’t understand arguing for helicopters in Wilderness. What exactly is it that you value in Wilderness Layton et al?

  37. Layton Avatar


    I think I value the wilderness concept for many of the same reasons that most folks on this blog do.

    I value that it stays like it was, but I also value being able to access it while leaving it that way. If a helicopter landing in a multi million acre WA would somehow harm it, or if you could even figure out where the helicopter had been after it left I would have to weigh the value of what it was doing against what it would cost in the aesthetics of the area.

    Jet boats and their use on the main Salmon were one of the original conditions for designating the area. Some airstrips were “grandfathered” in. There were some privately held lands that were also grandfathered. I don’t think our country was founded on principals that would allow Uncle Sam to simply take those holdings away.

    Noxious weeds need to be battled – that’s what I do in the summer – they are not native, they were not “here first” and trying to do it (battle them) with a grub hoe and a shovel simply won’t work. To me, the chemicals to control them are the lesser of two evils.

    It seems to me the the “greennecks” signed up for the wilderness act as it was written and now they want to change it. Take away the lands and the privileges that were grandfathered and make it something BEYOND what was agreed upon.

    The wolves are another example of the same idea. Agree to a number, agree to the WHOLE state as an affected area, and then change things. Don’t let them count the wolves in the WA. Don’t let them count the wolves in the NRA. We got our foot in the door, now find a friendly lawyer and get more than anyone ever agreed we should have.

    If you read the comments on some of the threads here concerning wilderness and “surveillance”, they would make you think that bureaucrats in DC could/would somehow call in cruise missile attacks on people or animals that somehow pissed them off. I don’t believe that.

    Sermon off.

  38. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    I personally support a vigorous attack on exotic weeds in the Wilderness because in central Idaho they will destroy the Wilderness.

    Having said that, I am not suggesting to infringe on any grandfathered use such as the grass airfields that pre-existed the Frank Church Wilderness.

    However, what Idaho Fish and Game wants to do is a new intrusion. The Act does not authorize such things except indirectly, and then only if no other practical method is possible, and we think there obviously are. Many other interests would like similar exceptions made for their convenience or study, and no doubt Wilderness law enforcement would be easier with satellite surveillance and hidden backcountry cameras.

    There is a slippery slope here, and we think the angle is steep. Time to correct the angle.

  39. Layton Avatar


    Seems like we have a circular discussion going here. We always seem to end up at the same spot in the conversation.

    I guess one of the biggest differences we have is that I don’t have the basic distrust of F&G that some of the folks that frequent this blog have. While I normally am quite skeptical about most things government related, I don’t feel that this is somehow a sneaky attempt to tear down the WA and privatize it or whatever.

    The only other way that it seems to me that the stated objective – to monitor the wolf population in the “Frank” could be accomplished is by hand trapping – a practise that is deplored by many folks here.

    I addition to that, haven’t I read that they have tried that concept in the past with less than desirable results?

    Frankly (pun?) it seems to me that most of this “don’t violate the wilderness concept” is a smoke screen to stop any sort of counting or even monitoring wolves in this multi million acre area in central Idaho. An area that WAS included in the original agreement when wolves were put here in the Northwest.

    I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree here. It doesn’t seem that either side is willing to bend much. (or any)

  40. JB Avatar

    “Frankly (pun?) it seems to me that most of this “don’t violate the wilderness concept” is a smoke screen to stop any sort of counting or even monitoring wolves in this multi million acre area in central Idaho.”

    And I think efforts to dart and collar wolves in the wilderness are merely an effort to kill more wolves under the guise of legitimate research.

  41. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    And there in lies the rub,

    Neither sides trusts the other, so hence we have the wide divide to cross.

  42. Ryan Avatar

    “And I think efforts to dart and collar wolves in the wilderness are merely an effort to kill more wolves under the guise of legitimate research.”

    Ahh and so it wouldn’t matter if they were leghold trapped or darted from copters then, but seeing as how helicopters are much more effective, lets turn up the foil hat meter and use that for an argument against it. I would personally rather see helicopters as the total intrustion time in the wilderness would be much less than with traps. Human activity modifies animal behavior patterns (read the starkey experimental forest studies) so the less total days on intrusion the better IMHO.

  43. timz Avatar

    Why do it at all. Who cares how many there are it’s where they belong , that’s why it’s called a “wilderness” – a wild and uncultivated region, as of forest or desert, uninhabited or inhabited only by wild animals.

  44. JB Avatar

    So to summarize, the predator hunters and predator haters want helicopters in the wilderness, and the “green necks” don’t. And which side wins with IDF&G? The same side that always wins.

    And you wonder why there isn’t any trust.

  45. gline Avatar

    Simple concept, isn’t it Timz?

  46. gline Avatar

    Trust would happen if there were morals on the IDFG side. and the truth were told up front. That would be a start.

  47. Mike Avatar

    ++Interesting viewpoint, are you under the impression that we should let Knapweed, and Rush Skeleton weed – both non-native, invasive species, go unchecked??++

    Some would argue that the herbicide does more damage than the non-native plants.

    In the end, it seems heribicides and pesticides never really solve any problems, and decades later we always have these “whoops” moments when we find out we had no idea of their complete effects.

  48. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    Most of us are aware of the the failed or unsafe herbicide stories going all the way back to DDT. Certainly, testing and environmental sensitivty awareness has dramatically improved, but is not failsafe by any means.

    However, I am just wondering how you -in the role of a decision maker or applied scientist- would propose to solve invasive plant species problems that are not suitable for mechanical irradication?

    My point here being, that critics should also be willing to offer workable cost-effective solutions.

  49. Ryan Avatar


    Which would you rather have, seeing as how it is going to happen most likely. Trappers or Helicopters?

    “Some would argue that the herbicide does more damage than the non-native plants”

    Some are wrong alot of the time..

  50. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    Sorry, meant to say both herbicides AND PESTICIDES

  51. Layton Avatar

    So, now that the wolfies are coming in on the side of “leave the wolves alone, it’s a wilderness”. Perhaps I could pose a question that I did on another thread and there were no takers for an answer.

    When the original agreements were made about wolf numbers, there were NOT any exclusions of wilderness areas. Are you now saying that we should just disregard the wolves that are in those areas??

    Just wondering about the moral high ground here. Which side is really trying to change things??

  52. Mike Avatar

    ++However, I am just wondering how you -in the role of a decision maker or applied scientist- would propose to solve invasive plant species problems that are not suitable for mechanical irradication?++

    Close roads, limit grazing based on strong scientific protocol and have feed check stations. Dumping chemicals on stuff always seems to be the easy way, but the results are never really that great. We never seem to truly get rid of the problem (spraying carbaryl for pine beetle as an example) but end up creating more problems or just wasting time and money.

    An important note is that many “herbicides” also kill animals.

  53. Layton Avatar

    “An important note is that many “herbicides” also kill animals.”

    Most of the herbicides that I know of will go right thru an animal and still kill plants when they come out the other end. The animal doesn’t even get a belly ache!!

  54. timz Avatar

    Layton I’ll take a shot at answering that as soon as someone can show me those “agreements”, so I can read them and see who actually signed them. The only number I’ve ever seen is the one mandated by the government, I have never seen an actual “agreement” and believe me I have asked around and done a lot of looking for the documents.

  55. Elk275 Avatar


    ++Most of the herbicides that I know of will go right thru an animal and still kill plants when they come out the other end. The animal doesn’t even get a belly ache!!++

    Well, Layton have you ever drank a herbicide to know if you will or will not get a belly ache? After all we are animals too.

    In jest

  56. Layton Avatar


    “Layton I’ll take a shot at answering that as soon as someone can show me those “agreements”,

    Have you heard of something called the 10 j ruling??

  57. Mike Avatar

    ++Most of the herbicides that I know of will go right thru an animal and still kill plants when they come out the other end. The animal doesn’t even get a belly ache!!++

    That is a bunch of crap, lol.

  58. Layton Avatar


    I end up with so much of that stuff on me, in me, and around me in the summer months that I don’t pay to much attention to it.

    Biggest problem is around your eyes — you had better pay attention to that.

  59. Mike Avatar

    Please tell me of these harmless herbicides, Layton.

  60. Mike Avatar


    I end up with so much of that stuff on me, in me, and around me in the summer months that I don’t pay to much attention to it.

    It’s all beginning to make sense now……

  61. Layton Avatar


    Just to clarify what a lot of people don’t understand.

    There are many types of “pesticides” that are used to control many kinds of “pests”. Herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, etc., are all pesticides. I only mention that because a lot of people think that pesticides are for insects, etc. and that herbicides are for plants.

    Kinda trivial, I know, but they sure ask about it on an applicator’s license test.

  62. timz Avatar

    Yes, Layton I’m familiar enough with it to know it has nothing to do with the supposed “original agreements” were made about wolf numbers that you think exist. So I’m still going to wait to see those phantom agreements before I waste anymore keystrokes.

  63. Mike Avatar

    Layton please post this list of harmless herbicides, thx.

  64. JB Avatar

    Well Layton, I was going to answer your question, but TimZ beat me to it. I’m not aware of any “agreement”, and if one was negotiated it certainly wasn’t legal.

    – – – –

    “Which would you rather have, seeing as how it is going to happen most likely. Trappers or Helicopters?”

    In federally-designated Wilderness, I would rather see neither; but trapping is the lesser of two evils. Outside the Wilderness, I would rather see them chose the most cost effective method, as I grow tired of listening to all of the complaining about how much wolves are costing the states to “manage”.

    And again, figure $1,000/hour of flight time. How many hours do you think this tagging effort will take? Four, 8, 12, 20? Now how many wolf licenses will you need to sell at $11.50 per tag to make the effort profitable? $1,000 / 11.5 = 87 per hour of flight time. Seems like a losing venture to me. How come the conservatives aren’t complaining about wasteful government?

  65. Wilderness Muse Avatar
    Wilderness Muse


    Thanks for clarifying my error. I haven’t thought about this stuff for quite awhile and made the classic mistake you importantly point out.

    And then, of course, there are the effects of some – not all- of these chemical compounds on organisms – mutagenic, teratogenic, carcinogenic, synergistic, antagonistic. I forget the rest of the terms, but it did jog my memory.


    I thought we were talking about Wilderness as the location of these invasives and how to deal with them (certainly when they are present on adjacent lands they will go wherever they can germinate and survive). My understanding is that certified weed-free feeds are already required in Wilderness. There may not be very good compliance, and if the right environmental conditions are present the invasive expands range.

    The question is how to effectively deal with them when they are there.

  66. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    Even Bear Spray is classified as a pesticide by the EPA!


  67. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    And the main ingredient in bear spray is touted as a cure for stomach ailments!

    Just a bit of trivia there..

  68. Layton Avatar

    Mike, timz,

    I’m really not quite sure why you two have to come off like such know-it-all, horse’s arses all the time, but I guess if it trips your trigger have at it.


    I have a pretty good idea what it takes to make herbicides work. And also how to use them safely, for myself, my crew, and any plants or animals that could be affected. I do have a professional applicator’s license and I am required to take a certain amount of continuing education – and/or testing to keep that license current.

    If you know anything about chemical weed killers you know that most of the pertinent information concerning them is contained in the label. Those labels are available on the internet – look them up to your heart’s content.

    While I’m at it – concerning WM’s question and your answer.

    “Close roads, limit grazing based on strong scientific protocol and have feed check stations”

    Whaaaaat?? I guess you don’t have the slightest idea what it takes to CONTROL invasive species, let alone ERADICATE them. Your approach would do absolutely nothing to affect either approach. You would end up with a seed bed that would soon broadcast enough seed to populate the entire wilderness area!

    A SINGLE Spotted Knap Weed plant has can have hundreds of bracks, each one of those bracks can contain thousands of seeds and each one of those seed can be viable for up to eight years!! You can’t simply isolate them, you must kill them. If you want to eradicate this species you must continue to kill them for eight years!!

    Close the roads?? First of all there aren’t any roads in a WA except the ones that are grandfathered, and what good would that do anyway?? The invasives are ALREADY there.

    The ONLY way that the battle with these plants will be won is with biological methods and the only way to maintain any sort of control until those biologicals are perfected is with chemicals!!


    Please, save your keystrokes. Deny the existence of what you call “phantom” agreements, spin things the way you want them. If you had more than a two digit IQ perhaps you would just answer the question —- oh, but I guess I asked that before and got the same (non) answer. Have it your way. You don’t have the ……….. oh hell, forget it.

  69. Mike Avatar

    Layton – All I asked for was a list of the harmless herbicides after you posted that they are no problems for animals. It was not a put down or me being a snob. Trust me. I’m just honestly asking for your opinion in a friendly manner. I really don’t know of any effective herbicide that does not kill or maim at least one kind of animal or insect, and would be interested in learning about ones that do not.

  70. Salle Avatar

    “If you had more than a two digit IQ ”

    He probably does, and at least those digits are noticeably to right of “0”. And could you please learn to spell? Since you profess to be so heavily endowed with knowledge…

    (what goes around comes around)

  71. timz Avatar

    Layton while spouting all your nonesense proving beyond a doubt you are indeed the village idiot did you forget to post the links to those wolf number “agreements” you bring up all the time? I’ll wait patiently for the link.

  72. Layton Avatar

    Hey Salle,

    I’m sure that Mike and timz welcome you to the fold — with the three of you hand in hand I’m sure you can come up with a THREE digit IQ!!

    Please oh exhalted sir, would you mind pointing out this undeserving one’s spelling mistakes??

  73. Layton Avatar


    I’m going to assume for a minute here that you are playing this straight.

    You asked;

    ” I really don’t know of any effective herbicide that does not kill or maim at least one kind of animal or insect, and would be interested in learning about ones that do not.”

    Here is a piece that came directly from the label of a product that I use almost daily in the National Forest, it’s called Tordon 22k. It’s a broad leaf herbicide that will not kill grasses, but that will be harmful to “woody plants”. In other words, don’t use it around trees.

    “Are there any grazing restrictions for Dow AgroSciences Range & Pasture products?

    For most livestock species – beef cattle, sheep, horses and goats – our Range & Pasture products carry no grazing restrictions, even during or immediately after application. However, there are grazing restrictions for lactating dairy animals. Consult individual product specimen labels for specific grazing and haying restrictions prior to application.”

    While I certainly can’t guarantee that there isn’t ONE kind of animal or insect that wouldn’t be affected, I go on the label restrictions when I use chemicals in the forest.

  74. Layton Avatar


    You come on with this:

    “Layton while spouting all your nonesense proving beyond a doubt you are indeed the village idiot …………….. etc, ………….etc.”

    Who are you kidding??

    While I would really like to continue to share my wisdom with you, I’m afraid that I really must confess to being bored with your continued bullshit. If you can come up with a friend that is capable of having an adult conversation, I would be willing to continue the dialogue. Failing that —- please — just continue to “spin” whatever you see fit.

    When you want to answer the question — we can resume.

    By the way, your buddy Salle seems to be hung up on spelling errors — maybe you should consult him on the spelling of “nonsense”.

  75. timz Avatar

    Layton, stop dodging and post the link to prove your continued assertion of an agreement.

  76. Salle Avatar

    The last batch of Laytonese is exactly why I continue to claim that this individual is a TROLL. A troll is someone who goes on a blog and antagonizes the other participants with red herring claims and questions and tries to belittle them iin the process, all for sport.

  77. JimT Avatar


    You are entertaining, almost as much as when Palin gives a speech.

    Woody includes include shrubs and sub-shrubs, so you should expand your list of possibly harmed plants by your use of the poison you mentioned.

    Anyone can go to the EPA website and find a list of approved items and read about them. But, keep in mind that EPA is WAY behind the market in terms of actual analysis of all of the stuff being used and if it is actually safe. FIFRA is one of the weakest protective statutes there is, mainly just a registration vehicle, much like EPCRA.

    WM, the genie is out of the bottle on invasive species and there is no putting the stopper back in. Just ask the South and kudzu vines. You are correct in asserting that one should offer alternatives to spraying everywhere to kill invasives. But, one must also be prepared to entertain the possibility there really are no effective approaches that target only the invasives. The question becomes how much harm are you prepared to do in the name of good? Given climate change, drought, etc. we should all be prepared for our environment to look very different in the next 50 years..more sterile, less diversity, new plants displacing old. In the interim, continue the kind of research that lead to things like bio-weapons (BT, for example) that seem to be able to rein in the invasives without harming the species you are trying to help.

    As for human and machines in wilderness, Layton, read Stegner’s Wilderness Letter again and again and again, and maybe you will understand the spirit behind the Wilderness Act and why we must strive to protect it against any mechanical intrusions to the greatest extent possible.

    And also, every small intrusion, in the hands of folks like the Pacific Legal Foundation, becomes fodder for lawsuits arguing for more access, more intrusions into wilderness until it loses the specialness it has, and it becomes a defacto park or forest. I don’t think you get it both ways on this issue, Layton. You deal with wilderness on its own terms, not the other way around, if you really truly treasure the concept and its realization on the planet.

  78. Mike Avatar

    ++Here is a piece that came directly from the label of a product that I use almost daily in the National Forest, it’s called Tordon 22k. It’s a broad leaf herbicide that will not kill grasses, but that will be harmful to “woody plants”. In other words, don’t use it around trees.++

    It seems there is no “free lunch” with any herbicide. Environmental hazards of Tordon:

    WARNING: Safety data and registration of this product are under review. Directions for use and
    cautionary statements should be carefully followed. Read the label before using.

    · This product is moderately toxic to fish. Do not apply to any water bodies or in areas where the runoff
    from treated areas will reach fish-bearing waters. Do not contaminate water through spray drift, by
    cleaning of equipment or disposal of wastes.
    · Tordon 22K may cause damage to sensitive non-target vegetation. Do not apply to irrigation ditches
    that contain or may contain water to be used for irrigation or domestic purposes.
    · Do not apply to soils that are very permeable (textures of sandy loam to sand) throughout the entire
    profile and which also have an underlying shallow aquifer.
    · Do not apply to soils containing sinkholes over limestone bedrock.
    · Do not apply to soils whose surfaces are composed of severely fractured rock or unconsolidated
    gravel and underlaid with an aquifer.
    Do not store near food, foodstuffs, fertilizers, seeds, insecticides, fungicides or other pesticides.

    This pesticide is toxic to some plants at very low concentrations. Nontarget
    plants may be adversely affected if pesticide is allowed to drift
    from areas of application. Do not apply directly to water, to areas where
    surface water is present or to intertidal areas below the mean high
    water mark. Do not contaminate water when disposing of equipment
    washwaters. Do not contaminate water used for irrigation or domestic
    purposes by cleaning of equipment or disposal of wastes. Do not allow
    run-off or spray to contaminate wells, irrigation ditches or any body of
    water used for irrigation or domestic purposes. Do not make application
    when circumstances favor movement from treatment site.
    Picloram is a chemical which can travel (seep or leach) through soil
    and has the potential to contaminate groundwater which may be used
    for irrigation and drinking purposes. Users should especially avoid
    application of picloram where soils have a rapid to very rapid permeability
    throughout the profile (such as loamy sand to sand) and the water table
    of an underlying aquifer is shallow or to soils containing sinkholes over
    limestone bedrock severely fractured surfaces, and substrates which
    would allow direct introduction into an aquifer. Your local agricultural
    agencies can provide further information on the type of soil in your area
    and the location of groundwater.


    In laboratory tests, picloram causes damage to the liver, kidney, and spleen. Other adverse effects observed in
    laboratory tests include embryo loss in pregnant rabbits, and testicular atrophy in male rats. The combination
    of picloram and 2,4-D causes birth defects and decreases birth weights in mice.
    Picloram is contaminated with the carcinogen hexachlorobenzene. Hexachlorobenzene, in addition to causing
    cancer of the liver, thyroid, and kidney, also damages bones, blood, the immune system, and the endocrine
    system. Nursing infants and unborn children are particularly at risk from hexachlorobenzene.
    Picloram is toxic to juvenile fish at concentrations less than 1 part per million (ppm). Concentrations as low as
    0.04 ppm have killed trout fry. In Montana, roadside spraying of Tordon killed 15,000 pounds of fish in a
    hatchery 1/4 mile downstream from the Tordon treatment.
    Picloram is persistent and highly mobile in soil. It is widely found as a contaminant of groundwater and has
    also been found in streams and lakes. It is also extremely phytotoxic, and drift and runoff from picloram
    treatments have caused startling damage to crops, particularly tobacco and potatoes.
    Because of these characteristics, both the Ecological Effects Branch and the Environmental Fate and Ground
    Water Branch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended that use of picloram not be
    continued. These recommendations were not accepted by EPA when it evaluated picloram in 1995.

    Hazards to Fish
    According to EPA, the picloram salts
    are slightly to moderately toxic to freshwater
    fish. Concentrations of 25 ppm of
    the triisopropanolamine salt kill rainbow
    trout, 20 ppm kill coho salmon, 24 ppm
    of the potassium salt kill bluegill, and 13
    ppm kill rainbow trout.1
    However, picloram is toxic to juvenile
    fish at much lower concentrations. Tests
    with the early life-stages of rainbow trout
    showed that concentrations of 0.9 ppm
    reduced the length and weight of rainbow
    trout larvae, and concentrations of
    2 ppm reduced survival of the larvae.30 A
    study of lake trout found that picloram
    reduced fry survival, weight, and length
    at the lowest concentration tested, 0.04
    ppm.31 A study of cutthroat trout used
    fluctuating concentrations designed to
    simulate field concentrations found in
    streams following picloram treatment of
    surrounding areas. Picloram concentrations
    are highest immediately after rain,
    then decrease until the next rain when

    Be careful with that stuff, Layton. I is not to be taken lightly. My opinion is that all pesticides and herbicides should be removed from use immediately. They do more harm than good. You can’t release poison onto the earth that specifically kills something and not expect there to be awful side effects.

  79. jerryB Avatar

    Thanks for posting that info…you saved me much time.
    I’ll add a little:
    All picloram-containing herbicide products contain so-called “inert” ingredients, added to the herbicide to make it more potent and easier to use. Little toxicological information is available to the public about many of these ingredients and that includes the M.S.D. sheets.
    Some of the usual “inert” ingredients in Tordon, and now the even more popular Milestone, are ethylene glycol, triisopropanolamine, isopropanol, and polyglycol. All these have negative effects on fish, wildlife and humans.
    Many are said to be “synergistic” if the effect of a combination of the two chemicals is greater than the sum of the effects of the individual chemicals. Picloram (tordon) is synergistic with several common herbicides with respect to its toxicity to mammals and fish.
    I campaigned for 3 years to stop the spraying of these chemicals on city parks…to no avail. The anti-dandelion people were too powerful.
    Layton……hopefully you’re wearing protective clothing and using a respirator when you’re spraying this stuff.

  80. timz Avatar

    “Layton……hopefully you’re wearing protective clothing and using a respirator when you’re spraying this stuff.”

    Judging by his posts he’s snorting the $hit on a regular basis.

  81. Layton Avatar

    Way to go guys!! Once again you prove that the Greennecks can twist, shade, modify and just plain mess with anything they want to.

    Read what I posted again — it’s just to damn boring to continue this discussion.

    Mike, perhaps I gave you to little credit. You did have enough intelligence to read — well maybe not read, but at least to find a label on the internet. On the other hand your buddy TimmyZ isn’t even smart enough to come up with the 10j ruling.

    Salle, belittling you isn’t even sport — it’s just too easy!!

  82. Mike Avatar

    JerryB – I applaud you for your work on that. It’s an enlightened position. We simply don’t need this stuff to function as a society. there’s really no good to come from any of it, and much suffering.

  83. kt Avatar

    Here’s what can happen, too.

    There is a human risk factor, along with the cheap thrills of choppering:


    Looks like an omen, to me!

    Ground ’em for good.

  84. JB Avatar


    Just to clarify, “10(j)” is a section of the ESA. There is no 10(j) ruling; however, FWS did modify the 10(j) regulations associated with wolves to allow for “greater flexibility” (i.e. more killing) in wolf management. If I recall correctly, FWS’ modification of the 10(j) regulations for the NRM wolves is being litigated. Anyone know the status of the litigation?

    Just to be clear, there are no “agreements” associated with the 10(j) regulations. Interior is required by statute (the ESA) to issue a Rule associated with any experimental population of a particular sub/species:

    “…the Secretary shall by regulation identify the population and determine, on the basis of the best available information, whether or not such population is essential to the continued existence of an endangered species or a threatened species…”

    When it issued the new 10(j) Rule, FWS went much farther than was required by law, making several regulatory changes with respect to the NRM wolf population. To be clear, the “greennecks” did not agree to with these changes; in fact, I believe these changes are the source of the litigation.

    I think you’re being disingenuous, Layton.

    Here is sub section 10(j) it its entirety:

    (j) EXPERIMENTAL POPULATIONS.—(1) For purposes of this subsection, the term “experimental population” means any population (including any offspring arising solely therefrom) authorized by the Secretary for release under paragraph (2), but only when, and at such times as, the population is wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species.
    (2)(A) The Secretary may authorize the release (and the related transportation) of any population (including eggs, propagules, or individuals) of an endangered species or a threatened species outside the current range of such species if the Secretary determines that such release will further the conservation of such species.
    (B) Before authorizing the release of any population under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall by regulation identify the population and determine, on the basis of the best available information, whether or not such population is essential to the continued existence of an endangered species or a threatened species.
    (C) For the purposes of this Act, each member of an experimental population shall be treated as a threatened species; except that— (i) solely for purposes of section 7 (other than subsection (a)(1) thereof), an experimental population determined under subparagraph (B) to be not essential to the continued existence of a species shall be treated, except when it occurs in an area within the National Wildlife Refuge System or the National Park System, as a species proposed to be listed under section 4; and (ii) critical habitat shall not be designated under this Act for any experimental population determined under subparagraph (B) to be not essential to the continued existence of a species.
    (3) The Secretary, with respect to populations of endangered species or threatened species that the Secretary authorized, before the date of the enactment of this subsection, for release in geographical areas separate from the other populations of such species, shall determine by regulation which of such populations are an experimental population for the purposes of this subsection and whether or not each is essential to the continued existence of an endangered species or a threatened species.

  85. Salle Avatar


    Thanks for that info, they don’t usually let that kind of news out into the public realm. Omen you say… One can only hope.


    Thanks for your 10j answer the troll.


    Easy for you apparently but all the same it’s inappropriate and uncalled for… it seems you resort to that, the lowest level of communication, when someone calls your bluff or you just can’t accept what they have to say. It’s childish at best and doesn’t present a valuable contribution to the conversation. Perhaps some anger management could be helpful in your case.

  86. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    The litigation on the current 10j rule is in abeyance while the delisting is being litigated.

  87. JB Avatar

    Of course! Now I feel silly. Thanks, Ralph.

  88. Layton Avatar

    Now I’m confused — and I’m not being a smart ass here, just confused.

    I have always seen the 10j referred to as a “ruling” now you say this in your post;

    “Just to clarify, “10(j)” is a section of the ESA. There is no 10(j) ruling;”

    I say “OK I can buy that — I’m wrong — then, later in the same post you say:

    “When it issued the new 10(j) Rule, FWS went much farther than was required by law”

    Note that you refer to it as a “rule”. what the hay??

    As for the numbers, I guess that is in the ESA rather than the 10j part, rule, or what ever it’s called. I stand corrected.

    No, I don’t think I’m being disingenuous. Many people here constantly refer to the “rednecks” and “industry” and “welfare ranchers” when they talk about agreements being broken. I think there is a lot of agreement breaking going on on the “green” side. The latest of which is the beginning of this apparent attempt to NOT count wolves in the WA(s) or maybe not even in the SNRA. Of course the spin is that it somehow permanently damages the WA if a chopper lands there — or maybe even flies over it!!

  89. gline Avatar

    Layton I am sure you have read the Wilderness Act of 1964…

  90. Layton Avatar


    “Easy for you apparently but all the same it’s inappropriate and uncalled for… it seems you resort to that, the lowest level of communication, when someone calls your bluff or you just can’t accept what they have to say. It’s childish at best and doesn’t present a valuable contribution to the conversation. Perhaps some anger management could be helpful in your case.

    Perhaps you should carefully look at the posts above and see just who it was that “resorted to the lowest form of communication” in the first place.

    As to the anger management thing — well, I’ll probably NEVER get over getting pissed when someone like yourself consistently puts me down. Anger management course or not!!

  91. Ralph Maughan Avatar


    Anything for the hard-pressed Selkirk Mountains grizzly population is worthwhile. Eight grizzlies is about a third their population.

  92. gline Avatar

    Now, I have to go there this summer too. Glad I have a new car.

  93. Mike Koeppen Avatar
    Mike Koeppen

    With all the comments regarding herbicide use in wilderness, I hesitate to say anything. First, I am no expert on herbicides. But, I remember back in the early seventies, when the Selway River from Paradise to Selway Falls, was virtually knapweed free. The Moose Creek Ranger District decided to not combat infestations with herbicides, and today the whole river corridor is thick with it. I can imagine the effect this has on the winter range for elk and deer. In comparison, the Middle Fork Salmon and Salmon River is pretty weed free. I do remember back when Lantz Bar, Horse Creek Bar, and many others, were covered with knapweed. Today, the weed is gone, replaced by grasses. I know hand pulling was utilized in some areas, too. While the Selway today is beyond hope, The Frank Church is in far better shape, as far as noxious weeds go. Again, I can’t speak for long term herbicide effects on other aspects of the ecosystem.

  94. JB Avatar


    My apologies. The word “ruling” denotes a court decision. 10(j) is a section of the ESA (see my post, above). When an experimental population is being re/introduced, 10(j) requires FWS to stipulate a few things. FWS does this be issuing a “Rule” with respect to that particular population (they go through the same process when the list/delist a species).

    So to be clear: 10(j) refers to a subsection of the Endangered Species Act that requires the FWS/NMFS to issue a Rule that establishes regulations for the re/introduced experimental population.

  95. Layton Avatar

    Mike K.,

    “In comparison, the Middle Fork Salmon and Salmon River is pretty weed free. I do remember back when Lantz Bar, Horse Creek Bar, and many others, were covered with knapweed. Today, the weed is gone, replaced by grasses. ”

    I haven’t gone down the Selway, can’t speak about it, and I don’t know how long it’s been since you were on the Main Salmon, but I see it differently.

    The Main Salmon is going to hell in a hand basket.

    For a number of years there were contracts issued for weed eradication using both jet boats and horse packing in the FCWA. Recently those contracts have been pretty severely limited (don’t know about the Middle Fork). The results are pretty predictable.

    There is knapweed pretty much on every sandbar along the Salmon River — at least from Big Mallard downstream — both in the wilderness and on downstream.

    I fish a lot in this section of river and down as far as Hammer Creek. The problem is getting noticeably worse even year to year. I really think it’s to later for current methods to control, let alone eradicate this invasive from the river. Just hope for some sort of biological that works — SOON!!

  96. Mike Koeppen Avatar


    My wife and I have been down the Salmon twelve times in the last five years, most recently last July. We’ve got a permit for this March for the next trip.

    As I said, compare the Salmon with the Selway. Drive over to Paradise to the boat launch and hike down the fifteen miles to Shearer Airstrip and you’ll see what I mean. It’s all relative. There may be knapweed on some of the sandbars along the lower Salmon (the roadless stretch), but on the Selway, the knapweed has affected all of the winter range from riverbank to the high country. I wouldn’t recommend hiking down the river trail in summer though, unless you have no fear of rattlesnakes.

    Where I live, in the Bitterroot Valley in Western Montana, a weevil was introduced that has really dented the knapweed around here. I found them on my two acres a couple years ago, and now virtually all the knapweed is gone.


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