GOP governor candidates, Freudenthal say they'll keep fighting for Wyoming wolf plan

Extremist, wolf hating politicians blame everyone but themselves

Wyoming is angry that they can’t get their way on wolves and now that a judge has reminded them that their plan sucks they’re digging in even further.

Maybe the title of the article should read “GOP governor candidates, Freudenthal say they’ll keep wolves on the Endangered Species List”. Fine with me because otherwise the result will be wholesale killing of wolves throughout the 3 states.

GOP governor candidates, Freudenthal say they’ll keep fighting for Wyoming wolf plan.
By JOAN BARRON – Casper Star Tribune

The wolves are not killing all of the elk or all of the cows and sheep. And, as Ralph continually says here, this is a cultural conflict, not one based on science or rationality. The fight will continue until it becomes one based on science and rationality. Until the hatred of wolves subsides, and those people with political power come up with rational, sound management plans, I’m sure there will be those who argue against delisting. I’ll be one of them as I don’t believe that the state’s management plans are sound or rational or immune to change once wolves are delisted.

In Wyoming, the current plan would leave only wolves in Yellowstone and the surrounding wilderness and would not allow dispersal into other suitable areas or to other states. In effect it would allow for ~150 wolves. That’s not acceptable, rational, or scientifically sound.

In Idaho the IDFG can claim to manage for a certain level of ~518 but the Legislature will undoubtably step in and mandate that they manage for the minimum level of ~109-150. That’s not acceptable, rational, or scientifically sound.

In Montana, the state that many seem to believe has the most sound management plan, only has to maintain 15 breeding pairs after delisting. That’s not acceptable, rational, or scientifically sound.

The states will still be required to maintain genetic connectivity once delisting occurs but at these numbers it won’t happen naturally so they have even considered transporting wolves from one area to another to get around this requirement. That’s not acceptable, rational, or scientifically sound.

I, and other wolf advocates, want acceptable, rational, and scientifically sound management of wolves. The states are not prepared to give them that respect and wolf advocates should not be afraid to say it. Rather than be afraid of our victories and make cautious statements that might offend the so-called “middle” or anti-wolf people, we should be happy that we have been vindicated in court and that the rule of law stands. We have no other venue where the states will listen and we can’t be sorry to use it.



, ,



  1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

    . . . A good example of their irrationality. Wyoming says “screw Idaho and Montana governments. We like our purely symbolic hatred plan best.”

    Fine with me since Idaho and Montana are apparently not willing to bend an inch either and renegotiate a wolf plan that will be more acceptable to conservation interests.

    USFWS and higher officials in the DOI are also playing the same tune as before they lost the case. Perhaps they haven’t received any direction from anyone higher still, but this is an Administration that has proven very slow on their feet when it comes to the game of politics.

    1. jon Avatar

      Here is another good article Ralph. Robert was talking about the Wyoming wool growers association last night. Here is an article about the Montana wool growers association.

    2. jon Avatar

      Republican gubernatorial candidate Colin Simpson said he believes Judge Johnson’s decision will be important for Wyoming.
      “I still think we have a scientific-based management plan,” said Simpson, a lawyer and outgoing House speaker from Cody.
      He said he also believes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should manage wolves for wildlife losses and not just for livestock losses. Under current federal wolf management in Wyoming, federal agents remove wolves that kill livestock but do not kill wolves for preying on elk or other big game animals.

      There is something seriously wrong with people like Simpson.

    3. JimT Avatar

      Maybe it is time for the proverbial hotfoot…

    4. ProWolf in WY Avatar
      ProWolf in WY

      Hello all, been on vacation for two weeks.

      I agree, there is something wrong with people like Simpson. Does that mean we should be compensating outfitters? I also am amazed these people claim they want science to rule the debate. I can’t imagine who Simpson’s science teacher must have been.

  2. Layton Avatar

    “I, and other wolf advocates, want acceptable, rational, and scientifically sound management of wolves. ”

    If that is the case, why all the celebrating?? This particular chapter of the continuing legal saga of the gray wolf was NOT won on science or rationality. It was won specifically on a technicality.

    Malloy’s decision – if you can come to a bottom line – says

    “Accordingly, the decision delisting the gray wolf must be set aside because, though it may be a pragmatic decision to a difficult biological issue it is not a legal one. Because the rule does not comply with the ESA, it is unnecessary to resolve all the issues raised by the parties.”

    What happened to rational and scientific in this case?? State boundaries (on which a lot of this decision were based) were OK when the original DPS was defined but now they aren’t. Convenience?

    1. JimT Avatar

      No, Layton, the correct legal reasoning and application of the statute..finally.

      You quote from the first pages of the 50 page decision, ignoring the court’s reasoning in the following pages. It is all of a piece.

      If you are going to continue to be such a harsh critic, of the legal system, then at least go to law school, get the knowledge necessary to do it accurately.

  3. Daniel Berg Avatar
    Daniel Berg

    I think I remember hearing a quote by someone in the the Roosevelt Administration, possibly Harold Ickes, that compared dealing with Wyoming to dealing with a foreign country (he might have said the Soviet Union).

    My mother grew up in Grey Bull, WY. My grandfather was a career railroad man and my great uncle rose through the ranks of Marathon Oil. I loved visiting Wyoming throughout my childhood and lament that now that I’m out of college and working for the man there’s not as much time to get down that way.

    My mom always maintained that there was a peculiar nature about a lot of people in Wyoming (She’s told me so many stories), and her opinion carried weight because after she left Wyoming for college, she lived in several different states before settling down in my home state of Washington.

    Anybody have any predictions on who will win in the election?

    1. jon Avatar

      I hope Leslie Peterson since she seems to be the only one with a good head on her shoulders. She wants wolves to be classified as trophy game animals, not predators. I doubt she will will simply she is a democrat and Wyoming seems to be very anti-wolf. I predict another Wyoming republican wolf hater to win. One that supports Wyoming’s wolf plan to kill wolves in most of their state.

    2. TC Avatar

      Polls suggest it will be Rita Meyer or Matt Mead. The world (and my state) had better hope it’s not Ron Micheli. It will not be Leslie Peterson, who coincidentally appeared to have a head filled with air on her shoulders during the last debate here in Wyoming.

  4. inthefurwest Avatar

    as per United States Department of the Interior,Ed Bangs, NRM DPS Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Helena, Montana, April 26, 2010
    115 packs met the definition of “breeding pair,” (packs containing at least one adult male and one adult female and 2 or more pups on December 31) (Tables 4a, 4b). Minimum recovery goals (an equitably distributed NRM wolfpopulation that never goes below 100 wolves and 10 breeding pairs in Montana, in Idaho, and in Wyoming and is managed to consistently maintain over ISO wolves and IS breeding pairs per state) have been exceeded in the NRM DPS every year since 2002
    Conclusion: The status (as demonstrated by increased pack distribution and numbers of wolves, packs, and breeding pairs in 2009 compared to any previous year) of the wolf population in the NRM DPS exceeds recovery levels. Dispersal and breeding by wolves traveling between the recovery areas was documented in 2009 further proving the meta-population structure of the NRM is being maintained solely by natural dispersal. No threats were identified (A. The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; B) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes; C) Disease or Predation: D) Adequacy or inadequacy ofexisting regulatory mechanisms; E) Other natural of man-made factors affecting its continued existence (including but not limited to-public attitudes, genetic considerations; climate change; catastrophic events; and impacts to wolf social stmcture) that could threaten the wolf population in the NRM DPS in the foreseeable future. Delisting has not threatened the NRM wolf population nor increased threats to it.

  5. Jon Way Avatar

    These have got to be the funniest quotes I have ever seen given that they are the most open anti-wolf a government could be:

    “We hope that the Department of Interior will go back and make a science-based decision about wolves,” Freudenthal said Friday in a release from his office. “Judge Molloy said that you cannot use artificial state boundaries as a substitute for habitat delineation. This wolf strategy was flawed from the outset.”


    “I think we have predator populations that we already manage, and I’m not sure why the wolf is going to be any different,” Gosar said.

    Have those folks checked their current mgmt plan of basically extermination outside of already protected Yellowstone NP? And I love the term Environmentalist. It is almost a symbol term anti-wolf groups (in this case) use that go against what they think. They would probably be surprised when they saw that many “Environ” actually live in their state, possibly hunt game, and do many of the same things (outside of believing in wolf recovery) that they do. But instead, it is easy to just lump “them” as the bad guys….

    1. jon Avatar

      It doesn’t amaze me that wolf haters don’t think very highly of environmentalists. The funny thing is environmentalists care more about wildlife than probably any other group out there.

  6. Angela Avatar

    This is a war of religion, honestly.

  7. JimT Avatar

    It is a battle of vested interests who are used to getting their way, and think they are some sort of Banana Republic, forever declaring their independence. So long as Wyoming takes this posture, it makes the likelihood of relisting every more distant.

    I wonder if, hypothetically, new science since the original wolf plans showed 50 instead of a 100 wolves, suddenly the states and the livestock and ungulate worshippers would be screaming to accept the new science instead of their current posture of rejecting anything recent. Any bets?

  8. Ryan Avatar

    From a biological standpoint, wolves aren’t endangered. There is no fear of them going extinct, if you think so there is no difference between that and the theory that their going to eat all of the elk.

    This whole situation is fucked. This is the worst thing to happen for reintroduction of species that could of. The origional requirements for reintroduction have all been met, even in Wyoming and even with Wyomings plan.

    Jon and Jon,

    One can replace the word enviromentalist with liberal, and its pretty easy to see where all the hatred comes from in the red states. Not that you guys have any room to talk in the hate department.

    1. jon Avatar

      Ryan, not all environmentalists are liberals.

    2. jon Avatar

      And you can blame Wyoming for the wolf hunts in ID and MT not happening Ryan. I am sure you blame the environmentalists though, ain’t that right?

    3. Ryan Avatar

      Who sued, I’ll give you a hint not Wyoming.

      I’m very pro enviroment, the problem is I’m not a liberal and I have about 0 Choices to vote for that fit my ideals. As a general rule, most dyed in the wool enviros/animal rights activists are bleeding heart libs.

    4. Jay Barr Avatar
      Jay Barr


      Wyoming has a pending suit of their own against the FWS concerning wolf status in their state; so you’re not quite correct when you say “Who sued, I’ll give you a hint not Wyoming?”

    5. Ryan Avatar

      No I am correct, Wyoming is suing to keep their plan. Which follows the basic agreement they signed up for with reintroduction. The suits to relist were brought about by DOW etc.

  9. STG Avatar


    Where did you get that mouth? Your use of the F word is offensive and your political rants add nothing to the discourse. There are many intelligent comments posted on this blog representing different positions that do not resort to political name-calling or vulgar language! Get out of your gut and use your head.

    1. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears


    2. Ryan Avatar

      The real world, F word seems to get used alot. if you think this whole thing is not politically motivated, your sorely mistaken. Perhaps one should use the term Democrat or republican, Socialist or Fascist, Moron or idiot.

      BTW, doesn’t this tread start off labeling GOP canidates. If we replace GOP with conservative does that make things better. Nope its still Fucked! 🙂


Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project.

We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ken Cole