Note that this replaces the 15th edition. That edition has been moved into the blog’s archives.

The Bulls of August. Near Hells Canyon. Aug. 9, 2010. Copyright Ralph Maughan

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

525 Responses to Have you seen some interesting wildlife news? Sept. 12, 2010

  1. David says:

    Here’s two articles. One is about a new cause of mortality in California Sea Otters. The approximately 50 animals in 1938 has grown to about three thousand but since then has stalled and begun to decline because of water born pathogens like toxoplasmosis (sourced from domestic cats) and others including this new one:

    The low numbers keeps the population confined to the Big Sur/ Monterey area — making it much more susceptible to catastrophic (e.g. oil spill) extinction.

    And this second article is about the tiny population of the highly isolated subspecies: Sierra Nevada Red Foxes.

    Note, the range map is somewhat deceptive. They are confined to the Lassen Area.

  2. jburnham says:

    Wolves in the Midwest vs. the West. What’s the Difference? Us.

    • RLMiller says:

      That NewWest piece confirms something I’d picked up on DailyKos wolf discussions. Every time a wolf piece was posted, a few upper Midwest people would comment, essentially giving big shrugs. They’ve learned to live w/the wolves. NRM people haven’t.

  3. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Black Bear abuse for show: Nice amusement for people in SC:

  4. pointswest says:


    Don’t miss the new PBS Nature series called Dogs that Changed the World.

    Some very interesting info about dogs, wolves, genetics and domestication. We were talking about some of this last week in our discussion of feral animals. They even mentioned the experimental domestication of foxes in Russia in the 50′s that I mentioned.

    It is a two part series. The first part aired on KCET here in LA Sunday night. Check your local programing guide.

    • Daniel Berg says:

      I like the comment about there being less than 5,000 elk left in all of Idaho because of the “illegaly introduced Canadian Grey Wolf”.

      • A lot of the anti-wolf people get their places and numbers confused.

        The person you referred to probably got the “information” from a story about elk on the northern range of Yellowstone Park.

        Of course, the “Canadian” gray wolf is a classic — an invented species of wolf that supposedly inhabits western Canada and was never in Idaho or Montana (although these states are on the international boundary).

      • howlcolorado says:

        Toby Bridges does this intentionally. His claim is that there are 1400 wolves in Montana alone. This is either a cynical attempt to confuse people since that is the number of wolves in all three states – more wolves = more fear. Or he really thinks there is some mass wolf population cover-up.

        He also talks about the Lolo elk herds as representative of the entire state of Idaho. That there has been an 80% drop in the state’s elk population – though he carefully words it. Of course, 1997’s winter was devastating to the elk of Lolo unit 10 and 12. And something killed off 33% of the entire herds prior to wolf reintroduction on any significant level. Of course, there are actually about 100,000 elk in Idaho. Not a number too disimilar to the numbers of elk in 1985. Montana has seen a massive elk population surge in the same time period and as we all know, Colorado’s elk population is a tad out of control.

      • jon says:

        Yea howl, 1400 wolves in Montana alone. He also claimed that there are 5000 wolves in the 3 states. I wonder if these wolf haters just invent numbers up on purpose and expect others to just believe their lies.

      • howlcolorado says:

        His actual justification was that some one (unnamed source inserted here) used 13% to describe what a 185 wolf quota would represent to Montana’s wolf population.

        Of course, he didn’t actually provide any real details (or that fabled entity – proof) – just that he heard it at a meeting. Therefore, do the math and you figure out that adds up to 1,400 wolves in the state. This was, in the mind of Bridges, a freudian slip. A revealing of the truth, which to this point has been covered up by the pro-wolf federal government.

        Of course, 75 wolves is just about 13% of the officially stated wolf population of just over 525 or so. that was the quota for last year – if the numbers are obscure to anyone.

        But that’s where he came up with this self-serving figure.

  5. Cody Coyote says:

    September 13— just saw a New York Times piece about ” Doctor Roadkill ” , a retired veterinarian in middle California who is doing an extensive study of the dynamics of wildlife fatalities due to traffic.

    My small provincial town of Cody WY is getting itself into a dither to ” do something” about the growing population of mule deer who live almost exclusively inside the city limits these days ( several fawns were born in my neighborhood this spring. I live one block off the 4-lane highway through town which is also Main Street ). I read the local police department rolling log every morning, and a few times a week a call comes in for an officer to ” do something” about a dead or injured deer on a city street. That branch of the constabulary we used to call The Dogcatcher is now also The Deer Wrangler.

    The City administrators and City Council get really frumpy when I mention to them this is not entirely a Deer Problem at all…nearly all those deer injured or killed by vehicles were from impatient or inattentive drivers, usually speeding. ( Probably texting, too, but try to get them to admit it.) Not that we don’t have an urban deer issue, but the powers-that-be hate it when I remind them this is 50 percent or more a “People Problem”. Bad driving never goes out of style, it seems. The same drivers so conscientious about school buses, children , and elderly in crosswalks do not seem to be fully programmed to extend the same Newtonian Physics latitude to large animals and bicyclists. They just don’t” see” them… grrr…. the ‘get out of my way you damn deer mentality’.

    It isn’t just wildlife being hammered by vehicles on open roads … watch out for the stressed out soccer mom and/or her teenage multitasking zoomer. One or both of them may have had a few too many Red Bulls today, and the deer are in the headlights on Your Street.

  6. SAP says:

    Grizzlies continue range expansion into southwest Montana; bowhunter mauled in Gravelly Range:

    • pointswest says:

      The southern Gravelies are not very far from Yellowstone. As Elk mentioned several weeks ago, grizzlies have been seen in there for many years. Grizzlies have always been just across the valley in the southern Madison Range.

      There was no apparent reason for the attack other than the bear may have been surprised or there may have been carrion somewhere in the vicinity that the bear had claimed. These bears simply have no fear of man. I think this is a problem. I hope it is not too much longer before they can be hunted so that they are not so bold.

      That area is one of my favorites. I hate to see it become so dangerous that I fear taking my family there. It sounds like it already is. There are some good fishing lakes there.

      • Linda Hunter says:

        What makes you think the bears in this area have no fear of man? Even though the article had no details and no explanation it is just as likely that the bear reacted to this hunter out of fear of suddenly finding itself in close proximity to a big animal. The fact that the attack was quick makes it more likely a startled bear who was trying to get away, not one who was swaggering around looking for a man to beat up. And, how does hunting bears make them less bold?

      • pointswest says:

        Oh…I forgot for an an instant there… . Bears are innocent and will not attack humans unless the human deserves it. I repeat…bears WILL NOT ATTACK! That bear probably attacked the man because it knew he was an evil hunter or because the man is stupid and offended the bear making it feel slighted, inferior, insecure, or even threatened. If the man had been holistically in tune with nature and respected the bear as an equal and tried sharing a common life experience in transcendence with the bear, none of this would have happened.

        Forgive me for my transgressions against Yahweh, Jehovah, Artemis, Diana, Xochiquetzal, and the holy bear spirit. I will offer up my life for sacrifice just after the Jerry Springer show in the morning.

      • Save bears says:

        Boy, that was productive PW!


      • pointswest says:

        …and a waste of time!

      • Linda Hunter says:

        not a waste of time. It is just that when it comes to bears it is just as annoying to me to use the anthropomorphism that this or that animal has no fear of man as it is to tell me that and animal feels lonely or misses its mother. We don’t know what animals think and it is easy to hang on to an often used phrase without actually observing the actual behavior. I also feel, pointswest, that you might have an irrational fear of bears hiding in there somewhere.

      • pointswest says:

        …my irrational fear is that once my wife hears that there has been a grizzly mauling in an area, she will not even consider the possibility of a campout there. I also must admit if someone was actually attacked and mauled for no apparent reason, a fear that it might happen to you are hardly irrational.

      • Save bears says:

        I don’t know PW,

        I would camp in Soda Butte and have no problems with fear and there was someone killed there this year, anywhere there are bears you run a risk, albeit it very small, heck I can walk out the front door and run into a bear..just because there are bears in the area, does not mean someone is going to get attacked or mauled, but the possibility does always exist..

      • howlcolorado says:

        To all those who are worried about potentially running in to bears.

        Spend time learning all the available information regarding reducing your risks, and in the case of encountering a bear, what to do.

        Make sure NO food of any kind is outside where a bear can find it. Don’t store food near your camp. Airtight containers stored away from your camp or tied up in a tree (10 feet is the minimum height). This even applies to toiletries and even clothes you wore during the day!

        Sadly, this won’t guarantee you won’t see a bear coming into your camp. If it’s a well used camp, the bears may be somewhat habituated to the idea that there will be food in that area. So, step two…

        Handling bears.

        1: Know your bears! Yes, you deal with grizzly bears and black bears differently.

        2: Avoid the confrontation. If you are on a trail and see a bear before it sees you or at least before it acknowledges you, make a quick detour and go the other way. Bears encountered while traveling carry additional risk factors – the primary being the protection of their young. While you are hiking or otherwise enjoying the wild spaces, be loud, be human and be in a group. Bears will usually vacate the area if they know you are coming.

        2: When encountering a bear: What type of bear is it? Research the differences. You should initially simply attempt to leave the area – back away, don’t run. If the bear doesn’t chase you, you probably will get away without the bear even paying too much attention to you. Standing bears aren’t necessarily aggressive,… charging on the other hand…

        3: Golden Rule: NEVER EVER RUN. Doesn’t matter the type of bear. They will chase you. And they are faster than you.

        4: Charging bears often don’t intend to attack, but are instead attempting to intimidate you. Stand your ground. Tossing something on the ground, such as a camera, may distract the bear while you back away.

        5: Chased by a Grizzly bear? Play dead, cover your neck and stay still and quiet for as long as you can. When the bear leaves, don’t assume it’s gone – they often watch from a distance.

        6: Chased by a black bear? This is a fight you can win. Use coats, sleeping bags, whatever, to make yourself seem as big as you can. Be loud. Yell at them. Don’t back down and stand your ground. fight back using any items at your disposal.

        – note: black bears with confirmed young should be handled similarly to grizzlys. Play dead. Do not play dead with a black bear unless you are CERTAIN it is a mother protecting their young.

        8: Bears can climb trees. So don’t hide up a tree.

        All of this is information you must have when going in to bear country. But you do so only facing a tiny percentage chance of running into a bear and less still that you will have a problem with one.

        You can take pepper spray as a deterrent for bears, but learn how to use it. Nothing would be worse than spraying yourself in the face with an angry bear chasing you.

      • Elk275 says:

        Let me think about this. I meet the gentleman who was attached about 3 weeks ago and I have talk with someone who visited him in the hospital several days ago. I want to be respectful and careful about anything I write an a public on a public forum

      • pointswest says:

        I might camp at Soda Butte with a group of men but I would not take my family there nor would I camp alone.

        The Gravely’s are an incredibly beautiful area. There are some great fishing lakes in the Gravely’s (that I will not name) where, back in my boyhood, my family would go on fishing type campouts for several nights each summer…catch dozens of two-to-five lb trout. Those were some carefree and happy times…maybe some of the best times of my life. Camping there, now, is not going to be so carefree and happy. We will, now, always need to be cautious of grizzly attack. We might need a bear fence, we will need to stay out of the brush or dense timber, we will need to stay in groups, we will need to be very carefull with food, and we will need to carry guns or bear spray at all times. All this will scare the hell out of my wife who was raised in the city. She will, in turn, scare the hell out of my son.

        It is never going to be the same.

        In spite of this, I support the protection of grizzlies and want there range to expand…at least into Central Idaho and into the Wind River Range. But someday, hunting of grizzlies will need to return also. I do believe hunting grizzlies will make grizzles, in general, less dangerous because they will learn to fear humans. It will not work in all areas nor in all cases, but it will work in general. As it is now, grizzles in the GYE have not the slightest fear of man. In fact, they are getting to be pretty cozy with humans and the maulings and killings are becoming more numerous each season.

        It sounds like this yearling grizzly was just startled by this hunter last week so it charges and mauls him. Now this yearling is roaming around in my beloved Gravely’s and it knows how to deal with humans…with brute force. Sorry, I don’t like it.

        Hunting grizzlies will modify thier behavior. There is little you could say that will change my mind on this issue. They eventually need to be hunted or they will simply be too much of a problem in the GYE.

      • Save bears says:


        You need to remember “It is never going to be the same” only applies to you and your family, and by all means I am not saying, compromise the safety of your family, but it is still going to be the same to me.

        It is up to you to decide for your family and it is up to me to decide for my family, but saying “It will never be the same” is only professing your feelings about this area, not mine nor is it anyone elses, we all make our choices for us…it will be the same to me and I have no problem with it..

        You don’t have to like it, there are many of us, that are not bothered by it, it is their territory as much as it is ours and personally, I have no problem with that. Plain and simple it is nature, and in nature, there are no guarantee’s

      • Save bears says:

        And personally, I don’t think, based on my experience think grizzlies have ever had much fear of anything, including humans..

      • pointswest says:

        SB…but we have laws that protect grizzlies. How about some laws that protect humans too? I was born and raised in the GYE. Where do I belong? Do I not have any right to be protected by the laws or are all the laws in the GYE strictly for the benifit of grizzlies?

        I believe grizzlies are fairly intelligent…at least as intelligents as dogs. They learn fear. Hunting will teach them fear. I’m certain of it.

      • howlcolorado says:

        I agree with SB. I don’t think Grizzlys have a fear of humans – hence the whole “play dead” strategy. Hunting doesn’t really induce fear of humans in what are generally speaking solitary animals like bears and mountain lions.

        By the time the animal learns the lesson, they are dead.

        I suspect Grizzlys attack for territorial reasons. They probably see us as competition.

      • jon says:

        pw, hunting grizzlies will not modify their behavior. A hunted bear is most likely a dead bear. I also don’t believe grizzlies are afraid of humans. For the most part, I believe this wild animals are afraid of humans is a myth. Wild animals will run away from things they may see as a threat, but corner a wild animal and make it feel threatened and don’t think for a second it wouldn’t attack you. bear attacks just don’t happen for no apparent reason. There is always a reason why a bear might attack a person. Some people just don’t understand the reasons. As sb will tell you. when camping in grizzly country, you take a risk. Don’t be shocked when the wild goes wild on you pw.

      • WM says:

        My AK field biologist friends tell me the reason an AK grizzlies (and actually some of their larger black bears which are not as docile as many we have in the lower 48) are not afraid of humans is because they have historic no reason to be. It is genetically programmed for thousands of years. They are THE undisputed top predator, and with the exception of challenges by individuals (boar on boar, or sow with cub against a boar) within their own species, they pretty much do what they want, as they have nothing to fear. What makes them stop, when they perceive you are not a threat?

      • Elk275 says:

        ++ And personally, I don’t think, based on my experience think grizzlies have ever had much fear of anything, including humans..++

        I have never had any first hand experience with grizzlies close up, 25 yards or less, I have been around many grizzlies in the last 35 years. I believe grizzlies do have a fear of man if man becomes the dominant force. In 1980, I was hunting guiding in the Rainy Pass area in the Alaskan Range. One evening in camp the older guides were talking bears stories.

        One of the guides that spring had been guiding brown bear hunters on the Alaskan Peninsula and a sow brown bear started to become a camp nuisance. Finally after repeated attempts to chase the her away she developed a very aggressive altitude and a decision was made to shoot her. The guide pick up a 375 and chamber a round and aimed at the bear face. The bear sensed the danger and immediately ran out of camp never to return.

        For many years my cousin floated the Alaska’s Copper River, several trips a year and every trip there would be bears around the edge of camp once or twice per trip. None of the bears ever cause any damage or was a threat to the floaters, except once. One afternoon a large boar came into camp and started being destructive and would not leave. The bear was starting to show aggressive behavior towards the floaters and my cousin got his shotgun, pumped a rifle slug into the chamber and at 10 feet aimed for the side of the bear’s head. The bear repeated the behavior of the sow on the Alaskan Peninsula and ran out of camp.

        My thinking is that if you become a threat they sense it and if that threat is greater than the bear, the bear makes a decision. The decision is survival based. My experience with horses is that they can sense your moods and fears and will act accordingly.

      • Save bears says:


        What law can you enact that will change the behavior of certain members of the bear family?

        Yes, I know you were raised in the GYE, but perhaps you have been away to long, because your not going to enact any law that a bear is going to follow.

        You hunting a bear is not going to stop another bear from attacking or killing you, these bears don’t hang out at the local bar, say, “hey did you hear, Bob got blasted the other night, I guess we need to stay away from that block”

        Come on, lets get back to reality….


        You have law on your side, if a bear is showing aggressive behavior, I certainly would not hesitate to protect myself and my family, and I would take what ever praise or scorn that comes with it..but in reality, bears are pretty solitary animals most of the time, so blasting one is not going to change the behavior of another..

      • howlcolorado says:

        Generational or Genetic learning is dubious in the case of bears. I am sure that Alaskan bears have been killed for centuries. They are not now, and have not been for some time, the undisputed apex predator in their regions. Humans are better, more dangerous and more effective predators than any bear. I still don’t see how you create fear in a population of bears – they don’t read signs and a dead bear neither learns nor teaches. Perhaps the reason your field biologist friends don’t observe fear.

        They were 100 years ago. They probably were 1000 years ago.

        Wolves are quite different in this respect. Their social nature and the way that packs are built to benefit from one survival skill that bears don’t use the same way. Learning. When a wolf sees a pack member killed by a human, that’s an education for that wolf and any other wolf it interacts with. That includes pups. Wolves become more scarce, more elusive and more timid of humans over time while humans become a greater threat. Bears learn. They learn that houses often contain food. They learn that certain areas of their territory are camped by humans and food is often found there. While wolves learn generationally and it enhances their survival by avoiding threats. Bears learn differently and their survival is enhanced (in their minds) by finding easier/plentiful sources of food.

        The answer to human/bear interactions is not to hunt bears and hope for the best in terms of them learning. Education, smart precautions and smart responses to problem bears is going to be the best way to move forward. And yes, accepting the fact that wild places expose people to wild risks. The easiest way to avoid being attacked by a shark is not to go swimming in the ocean. The best way to avoid being attacked by a bear is not to go into bear country. If you do either, you acknowledge the risks. The animals are not at fault.

      • jon says:

        sb, pw must be drinking heavily tonight, lol

      • Save bears says:


        I am sure you are telling it like it happened, but did it happen because another bear was killed..

        I don’t know, I don’t have the answer, and I am not opposed to a hunting season on bears, I know I can kill a bear if it is acting in a threatening manner, and would not hesitate to do so.

        But I think after all of my time in bear country, that PW, who said he was raised here, is letting his fear get the best of him, and I know, he will be mad because I said that, but come on, you hang out in grizz country and so do I, I live it in, I have seen them in my yard, and most of the time they run, or they ignore me…

        To simply say, we need to hunt them to teach them, I think is a bit of a stretch…in the most likely situation, your going to be alone with a bear when this type of situation happens, I am pretty sure animals learn by seeing an experience, how is a single dead bear going to teach any other bear that humans are a threat?

        I just don’t see it helping the rare attack situation, really think about it, how many millions of hours are spent in the field by humans and how many attacks happen?

        I often find over reaction to a situation is the biggest causes of problems..

      • WM says:

        I am not much for posting videos. Hope if you visit this youtube site it will come up. I have not seen it posted here before. A charge by a mama griz with 3 cubs on a stream in AK on which some Easton bow hunters are drifting. What is her intent? Wonder how the bear spray would work in this instance?

        SB, anyone?

      • WM says:

        Looks like it won’t allow embedding, but if you go to Youtube and search the title it will come up. Well worth the 3 minutes to watch it. And, no, I really don’t care for these kinds of TV hunting programs from which this came.

      • jon says:

      • jon says:

        I see the video wm and can watch it on here.

      • Save bears says:


        I can honestly say, I have no idea of what her intent was, I suspect as this was a full on charge, and she was wired, that bear spray probably would have been very effective, it is obvious, the sow felt a threat for some reason, why, I am sure I don’t know.

        I also suspect these types of incidents happen far more that we are aware of.

    • howlcolorado says:

      ELK275 – There may be some truth to what you are suggesting.

      Bears don’t learn “fear” but they certainly may view each human independently and determine their threat factor, their potential value (are they carrying food?) and part of that may be the attitude/actions of the human in question.

      It is suggested that you walk through the forest boldly, loudly and with human brashness and confidence – bears skip town if that’s what they see. It’s assumed that the noise is intimidating to the bear, especially with more than one person, but it’s possible that it’s just a distinct lack of fear on the part of the humans that worries the bears as it would be a pretty dominant predator that walks through the forest announcing their presence.

      • Elk275 says:

        Save Bears et al

        ++To simply say, we need to hunt them to teach them, I think is a bit of a stretch…in the most likely situation, your going to be alone with a bear when this type of situation happens, I am pretty sure animals learn by seeing an experience, how is a single dead bear going to teach any other bear that humans are a threat?++

        Lets look at two different but adjacent areas in Alaska. Denali National Park and The Denali Highway, both areas are in the Alaskan Range and are above tree line. Denali National Park has a road from the park headquarters to Wonder Lake/Kantisha and the Denali Highway is from Cantwell to Paxson. Both of these roads are about 100 miles long and graveled.

        In Denali National Park one takes the all day bus ride both ways. Everyone wants to see bears and as the bus goes down the road someone yells “bear”. The bus stops and the driver is not allow to let anyone off and let them get back on, they must wait for the next bus. Once that is said 99% of everyone settles down. The bear/bears are going about bear business and does not have any fear of humans that I have observed. I have never been off of the road in Denali National Park, so I cannot say anything about the back country. On the return trip most people have seen there bear and when someone yells “bear” the riders are thinking of a shower and dinner; the bus slows down, no one is interested, and heads towards the park headquarters with happy bear watchers.

        I have spent many days on the Denali Highway years ago. If one sees a bear, it is in the distance and if it perceives any threat or winds you, it is gone. One would never see a grizzly bear along the Denali Highway digging squirrels. Bear behavior is different in Denali National Park than on the Denali Highway that is observable. The Denali Highway is in Hunting area 13 and there is no closed season with one bear per regulatory year. Does hunting change bear behavior, yes, in all situations within those two areas, no. It has been 10 years since I hunted that country and every bear that I have seen immediately left running. I do not think that one can measure the effect of bear hunting on bears but there is an effect I have seen it.

      • JB says:

        And that makes sense; in the bear’s view no animal would act that way unless it indeed had nothing to fear.

      • Save bears says:

        I am not sorry to say, I think comparing Alaskan bears to lower 48 bears is comparing apples to oranges, we have a far higher population of humans in the lower 48 hence a lot more exposure than the bears in Alaska do. Are there behaviors that are similar, I am sure there is, but bears in each ecosystem are going to learn and react to what is in the immediate areas to where they live..

        Plans need to be developed for this ecosystem, and not based on the Alaskan ecosystem..

  7. Cobra says:

    I think Grizzlies are expanding their range in several places. Although I haven’t seen him yet there is supposed to be a Grizzlie just a couple miles from the house. I’ve heard from several people that have seen it and most of them know what a grizzlie looks like. They started seeing him in a couple of clear cuts about may and he’s been seen by quite a few people several times since. Last sighting I heard of was last friday by a couple of archery hunters .This is just south of I-90 in North Idaho. Finally just this year in the hunting regs F&G states that Grizzlies may be encountered in unit 4. It’s about time, many here have seen them or sign for a number of years.

  8. Salle says:

    Environmentalists sue over snowmobile use

    A trio of environmental groups has sued the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest over its decision last year to allow snowmobiles on the majority of its 3.3 million acres.

  9. Tim says:

    There might be a third pack of wolves living in Washington.

  10. Maska says:

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Makes Initial Finding on Petitions to Remove Endangered Species Act Protection for Gray Wolves in the Western Great Lakes

    Comments accepted until November 15.

    • JB says:

      It will be very interesting to see how Defenders and other wildlife advocacy organizations respond to this petition and the proposed rule to delist that will eventually arise. I think they have the opportunity to show FWS and sportsmen that this isn’t about keeping wolves on the list indefinitely; then again, if FWS doesn’t get things right, they will certainly challenge the rule so as not to set a precedent for the northern Rockies population.

      • Ryan says:

        10 to 1 they’ll sue, no matter what the circumstances are.

      • howlcolorado says:

        JB’s last line says it all.

        Make sure cold science with very clear goals is used to establish, maintain and update any management plans and I am sure it will be far less likely that any form of legal action will be taken. I.e. remove the politics. Remove the rhetoric. And perhaps a happy balance will ensue.

      • JimT says:

        20 to 1 that USFWS screws it up if they delist…:*)

      • Elk275 says:

        I will bet anyone the ESA will be modified in the next 4 years.

      • howlcolorado says:

        You are suggesting that Ken Salazar is going to in someway champion the changing of the ESA? Salazar isn’t really… proactive in that regard.

      • Elk275 says:

        The change will come as a rider on a major bill, the same as guns in the national parks came in.

      • JB says:


        Recall that Obama would actually have to SIGN any bill that gets passed, unless the Republicans can muster the votes to overcome a veto. Very doubtful.

        Guns in the national parks was a no-brainer, especially given the Supreme Courts recent ruling–essentially Congress granted everyone a right they already had [congratulations!]. Changing the ESA via a rider will not go so easy, and you can bet there would be political hell to pay for Democrats and even some Republicans in more progressive districts.

        I won’t dismiss the possibility, but I think it is a very long shot.

  11. Matt says:

    Nice Elk Pic there Ralph

  12. timz says:

    “I will bet anyone the ESA will be modified in the next 4 years.”

    But by then they’ll be a wolf lurking at every school bus stop.

  13. william huard says:

    If the Republicans didn’t gut the ESA during the Bush Enviro assault when they had control of all three branches they won’t now. Conservatives are predicting violence from liberals once they take back the House and Senate. There is a rumor that a Kenyan Socialist Task force will enlist the help of wolves and other misunderstood predators to launch their attack, which will be supervised by President Obama.

  14. william huard says:

    I’ve never seen such a pathetic political climate. People in South Carolina can take their family to watch a restrained tied up bear being attacked by 3 hunting dogs, but not allow them to listen to President Obama deliver a rather traditional speech to schoolchildren! What some people consider entertainment is beyond me.

    • Virginia says:

      Makes you wonder what is wrong with people who would condone this horrific and cruel event. They can only be labeled as psychotic and deranged. Of course, this is only my opinion, I’m sure not shared by others – it must be legal to do this, so it is all right.

      • jon says:

        The same can be said about sport hunters or trophy hunters. I believe they are sick. To kill wildlife for sport and just for the trophy to show off in your trophy room is what I believe is a sickness. A normal person would be disgusted at the thought of someone killing and taking an animal’s life for sport and just for the trophy.

      • Layton says:


        I’m just curious, are you a vegan/vegetarian, or do you eat meat??

      • howlcolorado says:

        Layton, that’s a question that is often asked of people opposed to sport/trophy hunting. It’s a tad irrelevent as it’s an attempt to deflect the discussion.

        Respect for all living things does not necessarily require that you don’t eat living things. Just that you treat them with the utmost respect.

      • Layton says:


        With all due respect I don’t see it as being an irrelevant question.

        Over the years I have learned a lot about hunters and non-hunters. If, in reality, you are a TRUE vegetarian/vegan and don’t use ANY animal products — leather, eggs, etc. then you have a legitimate viewpoint. Not one that I agree with but nevertheless legitimate.

        If, OTOH you eat meat or use animal products and you get on my ass because I go and kill my own meat you are a hypocrite and I flatly don’t have time for discussion with a person like that.

        Pretty simple, binary in fact.

      • howlcolorado says:

        Yes, the point you are ignoring there however – and its pretty typically ignored I have noticed – is that the member you are questioning is specifically criticizing sports and trophy hunters. Hunters who often kill things which aren’t eaten.

        Jim Posewitz wrote a book back in the 90s called “Beyond Fair Chase: The Ethics and Tradition of Hunting.”

        Very pro-hunting author who wrote the following:

        “If you pursue a trophy to establish that you, as an individual hunter, are superior to other hunters, then you have done it to enhance your personal status, and that crosses the ethical line. No animal should be killed for that reason.

        Hunting is not a contest between humans. Trophy scoring and big game contests come perilously close to, and sometimes cross, the line of proper ethical practice. In other words, trying to take a trophy to get your name in a record book is taking a fine animal for the wrong reason. Contests between hunters that require killing animals should be prohibited. Trying to kill the “big buck” to win a contest or a monetary prize also represents pursuing and killing wildlife for the wrong reasons.”

        While YOU may not hunt for this reason, there are corporate sponsored trophy-based derbies happening. Not in the last century, not in the last decade. In the last YEAR.

        The ethics surrounding hunting are tough to mandate, as Aldo Leopold observed: Whatever [the hunter’s] acts, they are dictated by his own conscious, rather than a mob of onlookers.

        However, as you may be getting from all this. Even hunters offer opinions on trophy hunting – and they most certainly aren’t vegetarian. And ethical questions related to humanity are not the exclusive domain of the meat-eating or non-meat-eating or whatever your criteria is for taking another person’s opinion into consideration.

        The decision to eat or not eat meat is a personal one. And it’s a decision which we, as humans, have the privilege of making. I wonder what your opinion would be of someone who chooses not to eat meat, but butchers animals to feed their dogs?

        Your position is a little too black and white for me.

      • Layton says:

        I guess I’m making the assumption here that jon is NOT noting any difference between “types” of hunters — that isn’t the normal mode of operation on this blog. A hunter is a hunter is a hunter. I don’t know how you would classify someone who hunts but doesn’t absolutely depend on getting an animal to survive — would that be a “sport” hunter??

        “I wonder what your opinion would be of someone who chooses not to eat meat, but butchers animals to feed their dogs? ”

        Don’t folks in Alaska do this all the time with their sled dogs? Or are you going to make a distinction between fish and ungulate “meat”? It doesn’t bother me. Whether or not one eats meat doesn’t bother me either — note what I said.

        “If, OTOH you eat meat or use animal products and you get on my ass because I go and kill my own meat you are a hypocrite and I flatly don’t have time for discussion with a person like that.”

        I think that I made the difference clear, as I see it anyway. It seems to me that a lot of the folks (not all — some) on this blog sometimes have a bit of trouble seeing differences. On one hand, a hunter is a hunter and they don’t like any of them — BUT OTOH animals are easy to differentiate. Wolves are wonderful and should never be harmed while the elk and deer that they kill are expendable and don’t deserve the same protection.

        When you say: “Your position is a little too black and white for me” are you exhibiting that trait?

      • howlcolorado says:

        I can’t speak for Jon on his opinion towards all hunters.

        I can only reference the post you specifically responded to, and that was related to sports/trophy hunting.

        And the meat eating preferences of those that discuss that topic is somewhat irrelevent since food is not the primary driver. The ethics of hunting, specifically as it relates to sports hunting, is a question of human morality. Consider it to be on the same platform as other morally-driven discussions. I am sure you can think of some particularly politcally driven topics.

        In short – you won’t reach middle grounds on this.

    • william huard says:

      Everyone should look at the cooments from this article! It’s classic. You have this outfitter saying how much work it is to hunt bears with hounds and then brags that he bagged a record 680 pound bear in 1993. Another hunter comes on and tells him he is full of shit that he was there when the outfitter executed the bear at the town dump!! There’s your hunter ethics in action!

    • Linda Hunter says:

      That was a fun read. . . reminded me of some bear stories I have seen in action here. He even admitted that some of his wounds came from his own hounds. . . humm. Wonder if anyone will ever get the full truth of that one. Anyway, the comments were interesting too. . hunter ethics in action as William Huard says. Don’t hunters know that bears reproduction systems are designed in such a way that bear populations fluctuate with the available food, therefore we do not need to hunt bears to control their population?

  15. Nancy says:

    +There is a rumor that a Kenyan Socialist Task force will enlist the help of wolves and other misunderstood predators to launch their attack, which will be supervised by President Obama+

    Good one William!

  16. Salle says:

    Dead wolf found in near Bridgers leads FWP to look for a new pack

    The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is investigating whether wolves have established a pack in the Bridger Mountains after a dead wolf was found in the Brackett Creek area over the weekend.

  17. jon says:

    Tribes, ranchers may suffer if Otter holds to threat of wolf management

  18. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Some people here on this blog care about tiger conservation and might be interested to read the following:
    A Modest Plan to Save the Tiger
    but especially “Bringing the Tiger Back from the Brink—The Six Percent Solution”

  19. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Heroic Donkey Takes on Mountain Lion

  20. Cody Coyote says:

    This story in the September 15 Billings Gazette is thermonuclear:

    “Bureaucracy complicated news of man’s fatal grizzly mauling”

    Ruffin Prevost writes an incisive piece about bureaucratic bungling and turf issues surrounding the release of information before, during, and after the fatal mauling of 70-year old Erwin Evert near Yellowstone in mid-June by a drugged Grizzly bear that had been trapped earlier in the day.

    Prevost deserves a Rocky Mountain Pulitzer Prize for this. And the top grizzly management people, Chuck Schwartz and Chris Servheen , are undoubtedly sweating bear scat. IMHO they should retire if they aren’t fired over this. They’ve forgotten why they are doing all this grizzly ‘ research’ stuff in the first place. This puts the entirety of the GYE grizzly bear management picture under a microscope with very bright white light on it….

    Robert Hoskins put it to me this way earlier this morning : you have to ask why this bear was even trapped in the first place …

    …among other issues expressed or implied since that fateful day in June.

  21. jon says:

    Interesting and recent interview with Cal Groen and Jon rachael from Idaho fish and game. Maybe you should make a new post for this Ralph?

    I find Cal Groen to be an arrogant sob.

    go to the right and you will see download mp3 file. right click on that.

    • timz says:

      Not only arrogant but a liar as well

    • Barb Rupers says:

      At least they replied realistically to the weights of the wolves from BC and Alberta and those taken during the hunting season in Idaho; also, that they are the same species.

      I have a question about the ESA – does it not apply to the USA endangered animals? Why should it matter if Canada has 40,000-60,000 wolves? Wolves were definitely scarce in the lower 48.

    • jon says:

      I wonder what the anti wolfers were thinking to themselves when Mr. Rachael gave the answer that he did about the wolves weights. Any anti wolfer that claims these wolves are 200 pounds has clearly never weighed any wolf.

      • Elk275 says:

        Has the pro wolfer Jon ever weight a wolf? Or seen a wolf in the wild and not a national park?

      • jon says:

        Elk, no, I haven’t. Idaho biologists sure have. I guess someone must be real special if they seen a wolf in the wild versus someone who hasn’t right? Some people don’t have the luxury of living in a state that has wild wolves.

      • howlcolorado says:

        I have never physically handled any wolf over 135lbs, which was an Arctic wolf – which are generally larger than gray wolves.

        A 200 lb wolf would be absolutely monstrous. Wolves are narrow in build, and quite lengthy in build. A gray wolf measuring 36-37 inches at the shoulder would be considered a very large wolf and would likely not weigh more than around 120-130 lbs.

        As far as anti wolfers not knowing the weight of wolves. Wolf hunters certainly should. Out of the 185 wolves killed by hunters in Idaho in 2009, the average weight of the wolves killed ended up being 85lbs. Certainly not the 200 lb monsters which many would like to suggest.

        I think even I would be nervous approaching a 200lb wolf! I would think there is an entry in the guinness book of world records waiting for such a creature.

      • jon says:

        Howl, I emailed numerous wolf biologists and none of them have ever seen a 180 pound or 200 pound wolf. dave Mech said when I asked him about these supersized monsterous canadian wolves that they are claims and nothing more and he went on to say any wolf over 135 pounds would be a record. Clearly the anti wolfers or whatever you want to call them are using lies and misinformation to push forward their agenda.

      • jon says:

        Howl, a couple of months ago a young hunter in Idaho bagged what he assumed was a 180 pound wolf. He never weighed it, but assumed it was 180 pounds according to him. Turns out the wolf weighed around 130 pounds. It was a big alpha male.

      • JB says:

        Howl, I was lucky enough to spend some time with a couple of female wolves in the 70 to 80lb range a few years back. I own a German shepherd about the same size and I was very much struck by the differences. The wolves had much larger heads, longer legs, and appeared much larger than my dog of equivalent weight. Throw in the long, dense coat and wolves appear (to most people) much larger than they actually are. I think this may account for SOME of the “200lb monster” reports.

      • howlcolorado says:

        Jon, you are spot on. Lots of good examples of the misinformation.

        JB, you are completely right about wolves. Their heads are SO much bigger than equivalently sized dogs. I was playing with a pup once who was about 3-4 months old and he had a head easily as big as a german shepherd even that young.

        Unrelated note: Wolf pups are incredibly similar to dogs in their behavior – or I should say Dogs act very much like sexually immature wolves, something that is very common in domesticated animals. You can play with them very similarly if you don’t mind the risk of getting nipped.

  22. jon says:

    grizzly bear attacks bowhunter in Montana. Thank god they decided not to take lethal action against the bear.

  23. jon says:

    Relocating Prairie Dogs a Hard, Successful Sell in Wyoming
    The U.S. Forest Service opts to trap and move animals traditionally seen as vermin, but now recognized as a “keystone species.”

  24. Tim says:

    Interesting article about keeping wolves and sheep apart.

    • william huard says:

      Being proactive with wolf management. I doubt Idaho and Wyoming would consider that= How would they be able to teach the wolf a lesson without killing them? I just had a flashback of a hunter spelling decimate wrong

  25. jon says:

    Good 26 minute on wolves in Idaho. Ralph is in it 11 minutes into the video and his blog is talked about for a little bit. This must have been made sometime in 2009. Lynne stone, suzanne stone, and carter niemeyer are also in this video along with Idaho fish and game’s Jim Unsworth. Check out what CARTER has to say about these wolves in Idaho being the same wolves as those killed off in Idaho 80 years ago 12 minutes into the video. the anti wolf website can also be see in this video.

  26. jon says:

    Here is the link to the video.

    • william huard says:

      I thought the video was well made and very informative. I was struck by the rancher when he said “As long as we have Wildlife Services helping us out we will be OK” Isn’t it funny that you have some more tolerant ranchers claiming they have never lost a sheep to coyotes in 50 years, while others claim hundreds of losses as they try to stay in business amid the devastation. Could it be fairy tales?

  27. David says:

    Here’s an interesting article about managing mountain lions in California. The state banned hunting of the cats 20 years ago, but still removes individuals for depredation and public safety issues. Interestingly, the animal achieves some of it’s highest population concentrations in some of the coastal wildlands around here (in some areas as many as one per ten square miles). It’s a fairly successful story of living with a top predator.

  28. pointswest says:

    Men Sue Gov After Grizzly Attack

    I wonder if any such suit might succeed here. It might change a lot of policy regarding grizzlies.

  29. Cody Coyote says:

    An article in the Jackson Hole News & Guide September 16 titled ” Outfitter camps drawing grizzlies—
    Pacific Creek a hot spot for bears and outfitters. ” It mentions that Wyo G &F has trapped and relocated 45 bears this year, a record.

    You’d think they might consider expanding the grizzly’s Primary Conservation area around the two National Parks to relieve the population pressure a tad bit.

    But that would be heresy , wouldn’t it ? ( Bear-esy ?? ) Yeah , right…let’s just leave all the known Yellowstone island subspecie grizzly bears inside this imaginary zone and let them keep increasing their numbers without increasing their domain and range. Ohhellyea…

  30. JerryBlack says:

    Red Lake Nation Adopts Wolf Management Plan. Will set aside 843,000 acres for Wolf Sanctuary.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      Interesting that they intend to be the ones managing the wolves on their properties.

  31. jon says:

    FWP takes heat over appeal on wolf ruling

    “Tribal consultation needs to happen. You talk about equal opinions of the opposition being part of this, but we haven’t been part of this,” St. Goddard said. “I come here as a traditional man to speak. Is it important to kill grizzly and buffalo and wolves so we can all make money? … The wolf is crying out but nobody hears him. All we hear is the rattle of the money — more cattle, more cattle. You know how to do that. Bring us to those wolves. Let us show you what to do.”

    “That coalition should be renamed Montanans for cattle and hunting,” Black said. “That’s what it looks like from someone like me who’s been cut out from discussions.”

  32. Robert Hoskins says:

    One more thing for progressive conservationists and environmentalists to worry about–private mercenary companies providing “security” and intelligence services to natural resource exploitation corporations like Monsanto and Chevron.

    This reflects explicit militarization of natural resources politics in the United States and is a direct attack on the US Constitution and democratic governance. It’s something we need to take very, very seriously.

    It’s fascism, pure and simple.


    • Kropotkin Man says:

      As wealth and power concentrate, the lines between good and evil blur and the remaining players control the entire game.

      We know where you are Comrade Hoskins. The rabbit is in the garage!

    • Cody Coyote says:

      Do we need to revise the Posse Comitatus Act to include paid armies and Soldiers of Fortune the same as regular military ?

      Has it come to that ?

  33. JEFF E says:

    IF you like some blues, this is the real thing.
    Howlin’ Wolf

    “Howlin’ Wolf
    Born Chester Arthur Burnett on June 10 1910 in White Station near West Point, Mississippi, he was nicknamed “Big Foot Chester” and “Bull Cow” in his early years, and he explained the origin of the name “Howlin’ Wolf” thus: “I got that from my grandfather. He used to tell me stories about the wolves in that part of the country.”

    Howlin’ Wolf was a musical giant in every way. He stood six-foot-six, weighed almost three hundred pounds, wore size seventeen shoes, and poured out his darkest sorrows onstage in a voice like a raging chainsaw. Half a century after his first hits, his sound still terrifies and inspires.

    The Wolf survived a grim childhood and hardscrabble youth as a sharecropper in Mississippi. He began his career by playing and singing with the first Delta blues stars for two decades in perilous juke joints. He was present at the birth of rock ‘n’ roll in Memphis, where Sam Phillips—who also discovered Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis—called Wolf his “greatest discovery.” Wolf helped define the sound of electric blues and vied with rival Muddy Waters as the king of Chicago blues. He ended his career performing and recording with the world’s most famous rock stars. His passion for music kept him performing—despite devastating physical problems—right up to his death on January 10, 1976. ”

    Now back to our regularly scheduled program

  34. WM says:

    Not everyone is happy with listed wolves in MI. Livestock problems on the rise. And, remember these are wolves migrating in from MN.

    • WM says:

      …migrating in (to MI) from MN via WI.

      • MOOSE says:

        Should be “wolves whose ancestors initially migrated in from MN” – resident UP packs have occupied what available habitat there is for many years now.
        I would say Yoopers as a whole continue to support having wolves around….BUT the vast majority who have an opinion think its long past due for delisting – it makes no sense to me to fight the delisting of the GL pop.

      • WM says:


        I should have been more precise. Those GL wolves have indeed been there awhile, but the MI population is still on the increase as I understand it, and then there is the slow migration to the mitt. A friend told me a few days ago, that he had spent time with relatives in the UP over the summer. This was about three weeks ago, just after Molloy’s ruling on the NRM DPS.

        He said they were having a big family reunion dinner, and the subject of the NRM wolves came up. One of the uncles (a guy in his 70’s), casually said something to the effect of, “I don’t know what all the fuss is in the Rockies, around here we just kill them. Don’t really care if they are on a federal list or not. We’re just tired of screwing around with them.”

        There were some follow up questions by my friend, about what about missing wolves and investigations. The response was, first there has to be a body (most are not tracked as closely as the NRM), and second somebody has to care enough to call it in. Haven’t heard about much of either.

      • WM says:


        Let’s just cut the BS, sarcasm and bad “facts,” and read the MI Wolf Management Plan.

        And, you can get the real data out there, so those wolf haters don’t distort things and confuse you. From p. 14 of the plan:

        “Wolves are larger than coyotes, with body dimensions exceeding those of a fully grown German shepherd or Alaskan malamute. In Michigan, weights of adult wolves range from 58 to 112 pounds (26–51 kg), with males (average: 87 lbs; 39 kg) weighing slightly more than females (average: 76 lbs; 34 kg). Wolves are approximately 6 feet (1.8 m) long from the nose to the end of the tail. Adults stand 30–34 inches (75–85 cm) tall at the shoulder.”

        And the diet – 20 deer each wolf per year (two sources say up to 50), but there are certainly enough deer for them to eat, and for humans to kill a bunch with cars and still hunt deer (See p. 36 and following).

      • Moose says:


        I don’t doubt that there is some SSS – there are deer/bear hunters who would shoot first…..doesn’t really matter…UP is almost all forest…they won’t make a dent in the pop….they just aren’t as visible as they might be in the NRMs and there are PLENTY of prey to keep most packs away from people….I also doubt you’ll get many takers for licenses once they can be hunted – lots of complainers about coyotes – not many who actually make the effort to hunt them.

      • JB says:

        Of course not everyone is happy with wolves listing status! If there is one “truth” about wolves it is that they are polarizing critters! With that said, I think Moose makes some very valid arguments. The UP is heavily forested and wolves are not exactly dense there. So the SSS crowd can do there thing and not have much of an impact. To be honest, I think wolves should be delisted in the Great Lakes, and I hope groups like Defenders will have the balls to go against some of their supporters and say so (but I’m not holding my breath).

        On the other hand, as a recent story pointed out, the Great Lakes are very different from the northern Rocky Mountains…

      • WM says:


        The purpose of my post was not so much that the Great Lakes wolf population would be adversely affected by the 3S crowd for the reasons you state, but rather the fact that some would violate federal ESA law to kill some when they thought there were too many locally, in light of the delisting fiasco. I took my friend’s comments to mean the folks in MI and possibly the other GL states are just “taking care of business,” silently.

        It is just like a conversation I had with an informed MN DNR person roughly a year ago, when I asked why wolves didn’t seem to move much into the agricultural area to the south of Interstate 94, or much into the Dakotas. At least, there are very few reports of individuals or packs established there. The person just said, after a pregnant pause, “well they just don’t go there.” Certainly, vegetation/habitiat is different, but seems there is a decent prey base including deer (I am afraid I know nothing about deer distribution in MN), and maybe some opportunistic livestock. Do they grow free range turkeys south of I-84, which were apparently a target of opportunity for the NE MN wolves for several years (wolves killed as many as 1,300-1,600 turkeys a year for several years, until they started fencing them off, if I recall correctly. WS thinned some problem wolves during this time as well).

        Are you familiar enough with the area to comment on that?

      • WM says:


        Actually the litigation involving the GL wolves is mostly spearheaded by HSUS (and who knows what CBD ultimately wants or would compromise), so expect the influence of Defenders may, in reality, be minimal. I would have no reason to know, other then that the reputation of HSUS as a professed “animal rights” group. Defenders, of course, is more subtle in its conscious choice not to be labeled as such.

      • Moose says:


        Sorry, don’t know much about MN situation. I’m sure there are some in all three states who do not pass up the opportunity to take a shot if the occasion presents itself – especially during deer season. At least locally (UP), I would bet my last dollar that a lot of that kind of talk is just bluster. As probably true in many rural areas in Midwest, not a lot of verbal respect for the ESA, but not many that would actually act against it…though as this delisting brouhahah continues that is changing (as ELK and SB have stated re: NRM, tho unlikely in as many numbers of violators)

    • Alan says:

      It’s those darn non native Minnesota wolves! They are monsters, sometimes 150, 200 lb.! They don’t belong in Michigan! They’re killing machines. One of them will take out a whole herd of heifers and six guard dogs in one night! If it was just native Michigan wolves, which historically never weighed more than fifty pounds and only ate gophers, it wouldn’t be so bad!

      • howlcolorado says:

        You’d think the whole being underground thing would be intentionally to avoid things like wolves. I think you will find that Michigan wolves only eat mice and rats.

    • Alan says:

      “I don’t know what all the fuss is in the Rockies, around here we just kill them. Don’t really care if they are on a federal list or not. We’re just tired of screwing around with them.”
      I don’t know how prevalent this attitude is in the midwest, but we all know what it is like in the NR. Even the Wyoming “management” plan, “shoot on sight” wouldn’t be so bad if it were just folks shooting wolves on their property, around their animals. But we know what would happen, just like last time they came off the list, you have yahoos and ‘good ol’ boys’ riding out on snowmobiles chasing down and killing every wolf they see just ’cause they’re wolves. These guys are the most powerful arguement you can have to prove that wolves still need protections. When even the very state agencies in charge of providing those protections in a post listed era are anti-wolf, how can you remove federal protection? Just look at the headlines, “State Agencies look for Ways Around Federal Law”; “Agencies Seek Options to Kill More Wolves”; “Gassing of Pups in Dens Considered”; “Senators Seek to Trash ESA”; “Conservaton Hunts Considered to Circumvent ESA”, etc.
      Wouldn’t it be nice to pick up the morning paper and read, “State Agencies And Environmental Groups to Discuss Options”; or, “Compromise in the Works”; or how about, “New State Wolf Plan in Full Compliance With the Law”.

  35. Barb Rupers says:

    Just in: email from the BFC Federal Court to hear case against USFS over bison on national forest lands.


    Lawsuit To Be Heard in U.S. Federal Court Over Slaughter of America’s Last Wild Buffalo

    CONTACT: Darrell Geist, Buffalo Field Campaign habitat coordinator (406) 531-9284

    WHAT: U.S. District Court Judge Charles C. Lovell will hear arguments for summary judgment in a lawsuit filed by a coalition of conservation groups, Native Americans, and Montanans against Yellowstone National Park and the Gallatin National Forest for harming wild bison and associated species.

    WHEN: 10 AM, Tuesday, September 21, 2010.

    WHERE: Helena, Montana, Federal Court House, 901 Front Street, 3rd floor Room 2.

    WHO: The plaintiffs are Western Watersheds Project, Buffalo Field Campaign, Tatanka Oyate, Gallatin Wildlife Association, Native Ecosystems Council, Yellowstone Buffalo Foundation, and Montana residents Daniel Brister, Meghan Gill, and Charles Irestone.

    The defendants are Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior; Suzanne Lewis, Park Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park; National Park Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Interior; Leslie Weldon, Regional Forester, US Forest Service Northern Region; U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Mary Erickson, Gallatin National Forest Supervisor.

    WHY: The plaintiffs’ suit claims:

    U.S. Forest Service decisions are precluding native bison and associated species from occupying and using Gallatin National Forest lands.
    U.S. Forest Service is not providing for diversity of plant and animal species on the Gallatin National Forest, is not managing habitat for bison, and is not ensuring viable populations of bison and associated species exist on the Forest.
    National Park Service decisions are causing impairment or unacceptable impacts to native bison populations by allowing the wanton destruction of wild bison and not conserving the wildlife species and related resources in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

    The plaintiffs have asked for court review of both agencies’ refusal to analyze and disclose new information and changed circumstances relating to bison management and brucellosis.

    The plaintiffs seek relief from the court requiring the federal agencies to take a hard look at environmental impacts and make informed decisions with the best available science about wild bison and related species in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

    • Virginia says:

      It is about time this issue becomes one of more importance than in the past and all of these entities are made to explain why they are allowing our native buffalo to be devastated in the name of cattle ranching. I hope Baucus, Rehberg and Tester stay out of it.

  36. Elk275 says:

    I do not know how to get a link from the New York Times, But there is an interesting article published today:

    In Cascades, a Search for the Grizzly, or Proof That It Is Gone

  37. Nancy says:

    Ralph Maughan Says:
    September 15, 2010 at 5:16 PM

    There was a video going round on the Web 3-4 years ago of a donkey actually killing a mountain lion by stomping it.

    Ralph, is this what you might be thinking about?

    • Nancy,

      Thanks. That’s it. So it was not true.

      I remember that originally I knew part of the story wasn’t true because the vegetation clearly was not Montana vegetation, but that of Arizona or New Mexico.

  38. jon says:

    Idaho county declares disaster over wolves

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) – Officials in Idaho County want Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter to declare an ongoing disaster that will allow wolves to be shot on sight, citing attacks on livestock and wildlife.

  39. polebridge says:

    Here’s a couple links I found interesting. . .
    Not necessarily relevant around here, but kinda disconcerting nonetheless.
    and wolves in an attractive light for once!

  40. Virginia says:

    Way up in this thread howlcolorado listed things to do to prevent a grizzly attack. When I worked for the forest service, those things were just about exactly what we were trained to do. As I have said many times, it is not the grizzly that is unpredictable, it is the man invading his space.

    I would say to pointswest, I would rather take my chances in the wilderness with the “wild” animals than in the city where he and his wife live. At least I probably will not get mugged out there. His wife has a better chance of getting mugged or her house broken into in the city. Just my opinion.

  41. Barb Rupers says:

    Idaho county commissioners have declared an emergency because ogf the presence of “Canadian” wolves. disaster declaration Idaho County, Idaho Black Bear Blog article

  42. Virginia says:

    One more comment to pointswest on camping in the wilderness with the wild animals and living in the city with other “wild” animals. When I visited my niece in Los Angeles, we had to lock ourselves in her house, lock ourselves in her car when driving in the city and when I wanted to go for a walk over to the LaBrea tar pits, she about had a stroke and said I couldn’t go walking out there alone. Better to hike alone with the bears!

  43. pointswest says:

    ++My AK field biologist friends tell me the reason an AK grizzlies (and actually some of their larger black bears which are not as docile as many we have in the lower 48) are not afraid of humans is because they have historic no reason to be. It is genetically programmed for thousands of years.++

    That’s not right. Grizzlies came to North America by way of Beringia (the Bering land bridge) along with elephant, deer, moose, musk ox, reindeer, wolf, wolverine, fox, and smaller species between 100,000 and 20,000 years ago. Man came with them. Their genetic history is in Eurasia, along with man, and they are still the same species as the Brown bears of Asia and Europe today. Brown bears on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the USSR, for example, are nearly identicle to Grizzles in North America.

    The area east of Ashton, near where I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, was one of the only areas where grizzlies survived in the US outside of a National Park. Grizzlies were often seen near the Girl Scout Camp in an area called Greentimber. Until 1975, there were few incidences with grizzles since it was perfectly legal to shoot them outside of the Park. They, in general, avoided humans. During the same period, I can remember hearing of killings and mauling in Glacier National park nearly every season. You had to where bear bells in Glacier and I can remember the joke by the local hunters in Ashton that you could tell grizzly scat from black bear scat in Glacier because grizzly scat always had bells in it.

    Like any other animal, once they have been persued by humans, they will never completely trust them. Perhaps saying that they will learn fear through hunting does not perfect describe what animals experience.

    I grew up hunting all around Yellowstone and I can tell you that there is a BIG, BIG difference in the way game animals behave towards human inside of the Park vs outside. After hunting for three or four weeks without success, I always dreamed of sneaking up inside of the Park to get my elk because I knew it would be much easier there. They will let you walk right up on them.

  44. Cody Coyote says:

    Re: Barb’s posting of the latest from that vast propaganda machine known as http://www.mainehuntingtoday/bbb/ perped by guys with guns who like to kill stuff. ( No offense , barb. Not shooting the messenger here. )

    I swear that Joe McCarthyism has been resurrected and is alive and well at The Black Bear Blog. No mo’ communists, so we bait wolves instead.

    What bunk…

    • howlcolorado says:

      Those guys don’t like me a whole lot. I got a death threat from one of their members, I assume – used an anonymous email address but referenced something I posted there in response to them attacking my website. Nasty pieces of work.

    • ProWolf in WY says:

      Cody, that is pretty accurate comparing that to McCarthyism. It is just as absurd.

  45. pointswest says:

    ++ Humans are better, more dangerous and more effective predators than any bear. I still don’t see how you create fear in a population of bears – they don’t read signs and a dead bear neither learns nor teaches. Perhaps the reason your field biologist friends don’t observe fear. ++

    They know when they are being persued or tracked. All animals are acutely aware of being tracked and test for it all the time. They regualary curve back on their own trail to check if they are being followed. I’ve seen it hundreds of times…elk, deer, fox, and black bears all do it. Although I’ve never hunted grizzly, I’m sure grizzlies do to. Once they figure out that they are being pursued, they will run for several miles. Again, I’ve seen it hundres of times. I used to fancy myself as an expert tracker back in my hunting days in Idaho.

    I think to keep grizzlies on edge, the hunting regulation should disallow baiting or tree stands so that hunter would regularly persue grizzlies. The would unerve them and make them very distrustful of humans…even fear them.

    • howlcolorado says:

      I am not convinced that grizzlies even consider the possibility that something is following them.

      What you are talking about however, is pursuit without a kill. And even that is only going to influence/impact the behavior of a single bear. They have no pack to go back to. You referenced 4 animals. Three of them are social in nature and most certainly educate others. Deer and Elk are prey animals – flight of flight is what they know.

      Bears are somewhat unique animals. Polar bears have little to no fear of humans either, btw. It’s exposure for sure, but it’s also that these solitary predators just don’t have any reason to fear anything.

      I just don’t see how you scare enough bears without actually involving the act of killing the mark that you have an impact on how they perceive humans. I think you are right, you can get one bear to be scared of people, but in the long run, I just don’t see that translating to all grizzlys developing a healthy fear of people. Heck, for every hunter a bear encounters, there might be 10 other people a bear observes keeping the heck away from them. Crossed signals for sure.

      • pointswest says:

        Bears are a little bit social. If a mother fears humans, all of her offspring will fear them as well. As mentioned, you could disallow baiting and tree stands so that hunters would often be persuing them either in fresh snow or after spotting them in the open.

        I think more bears would be killed in areas near roads and human habitation. Many would be shot at and missed. Some would be wounded.

        Everyone here talks about how smart bears are. Don’t you think they would eventually figure out that humans might be bad for their health and are best to be avoided? They live for many years.

        Just persuing them will do it. I know from my years of hunting that animals are very sensitive to being followed…including bears. It really unerves them. It unerves humans to be followed. They are not that different from us in many respects.

      • Linda Hunter says:

        ummmm . . pointswest you need to go to McNeil River for a week. Brown/grizzly bears are smart and bear are naturally afraid of people because we are big and we smell strong. PEOPLE have taught bears that they can scare us by screaming, running and acting afraid when they see bears. It is really non-productive to try and get hunting to solve that problem. I wish I could send every single camper and hiker to a place like McNeil River so everyone could learn how to act around bears. Hunting them might make them more wary but we are constantly giving them mixed messages. What is a poor bear to think when one set of humans backs away quickly dropping their packs with stuff to eat in them and another tracks them and pursues them. More widespread use of pepper spray and the body language that accompanies a pepper spray armed person will teach bears to avoid us. When you are out where you can’t see make noise. . but make appropriate noise. Bears don’t pay attention to noises they don’t understand but crack a big stick and they will more off.

      • jon says:

        Linda, there was a very good show on animal planet called alone among grizzlies about a bear biologist from Sweden named David Bittner. He was videotaping and taking pictures of bears and just watching them catch fish while sitting/standing a few feet away from them and he has never been attacked. This guy seemed to also be much smarter than treadwell because when he camped, he set up a tent with an electric fence around it and he carried bear spray at all times when watching bears and taking pictures of them and just following them around. It just goes to show you that bears are not these vicious killers who purposely go after people to kill them. They usually attack us because they may perceive us as a threat for whatever reason. I myself don’t believe that bears are afraid of humans. If that was truly the case, there would be no bear attacks ever. Bears will attack if threatened and that is just plain ol common sense which I am certain you know. Hunting may work if you hunt social animals, but I don’t believe as much with solitary animals. Hippos are hunted and so are lions, leopards, etc and they still continue to kill people. Hippos are considered social animals and are sport hunted and they still kill people. Most predators in the world get hunted and they are still attacks on people, so clearly something is wrong with this hunting makes animals fear us argument. That is just my own personal opinion.

      • jon says:

        Linda, have you ever been to kodiak island? I believe kodiak island have the biggest brown bears there and some have said that the brown bears there get a bit bigger than polar bears. Do you have any thoughts on this? I have never been to kodiak island, just seen it on tv, but boy, it is very beautiful. You mentioned mcneil river. Wasn’t there some kinda controversy going on over there with hunters killing the bears in front of tourists who came there to see the bears?

      • Linda Hunter says:

        Jon I was posting the same time you were. You stated that you don’t think bears are afraid of people. Most bears are afraid of everything because they are brought up as a subordinate individual in a population of bears who all know each other and bears know just where they stand in the group. Bears are very good at sorting out this order because they speak good body language. When two bears meet, there are a series of things they do with each other that may be too subtle for the untrained observer to see which dictates which one either leaves of gets his ass kicked. Some of this interchange goes on out of sight of each other. Bears are nervous because there is almost always a bear that will kick their ass if they run into them. The most dominant bears have proven to be the most gentle bears, because they don’t have to lift a finger most of the time. We confuse bears because we have no idea how to understand what is going on in this daily positioning. Bears are very social even though they do not hang out next to each other they are still together in a population as they know where the other bears are and usually what they are doing. When a hunter in camo is sneaking around in the woods a bear may give the hunter the same signals it would another bear that it is not moving but the hunter misses it. Bears can be very quiet and usually are, but when they want to announce that they are coming through and upset they make a subtle noise like a stick crack and to them that is as loud and clear as a shot gun blast. . we just don’t get it. I wish there were some way for people who hunt around bears to learn these things about the bears they hunt around. . also, there are some differences in the bears in different locations. In Washington our black bears do not spend much time up trees, but they maul small trees instead, but that may just be the bears in a very local area. But Jon, bears don’t look in the mirror and see how scary they are, it is the look on the person’s face, the person’s smell and body and eye movements which tell a bear whether they can bully a person or not. Many people who have been attacked by bears don’t even remember where they looked, what they did and don’t know what they smelled like. There is a huge body of knowledge about bear attacks we don’t know yet and it is very difficult because when a human is afraid they loose all their powers of observation and their attention turns inward. I have asked people to tell me about encounters I was a part of soon after the event only to find out they really didn’t see much, hear much and certainly can’t remember smells and eye movements. I hope we learn all we need to know about bears before we kill them all.

      • jon says:

        well said Linda! Did they ever find the hunter responsible for killing that research bear in Minnesota?

      • Yes Linda,

        Thanks for the short, informative essay on this.

  46. pointswest says:

    ++pw, hunting grizzlies will not modify their behavior. A hunted bear is most likely a dead bear. I also don’t believe grizzlies are afraid of humans. For the most part, I believe this wild animals are afraid of humans is a myth.++

    No…I was a fairly successful hunter and I would often track dear, elk, or bear…what I will call a pursuit. Only one in 10 pursuits would I even see the animal. As mentioned, game animals are acutely aware of being tracked. Whenever they are suspicious of being tracked, they will curve back and watch their trail. Once they know they are being followed, they will bolt and run and the pursuit is over. When young, I would even try and run them down after they’d realized I was pursuing them. My dad would laugh at me. I think maybe once or twice I actually ran down a spooked deer after it realized I was on its trail. But that took a half day because once they know you are on their trail, they usually run for several miles. I might have seen the deer again but I never killed one doing this. Dad was right.

    In fact, when young, other hunters discouraged me from trailing elk and deer…somethink I liked to do. They did not like me spooking them this way. They were afraid that it spooked all the deer or elk in the area and that they would remain spooked for the rest of the season. Once a game animal is spooked (and spooked is a very accurate description of what happens to game animals and spooked is a word that most hunters use), one deer or elk may spook any others it may be with or may be around. You can tell when an animal is spooked and other animals can tell when an animal is spooked. There is a certain way they hold there head high and there is a certain tension in their movements…probably related to the adrenalin levels in their blood.

    Hunting spooks animals, especially when they are pursued. I think baiting bears should not be allowed, but hunting will spook grizzlies and they will never feel easy around humans once they have been pursued once or twice.

    • Linda Hunter says:

      If you consider a population where bears are hunted, say in some areas of Alaska. the other bears in the population do not show a marked difference in their behavior as a result. Where I was in Alaska the bears were hunted after being around humans all summer long. In the next spring they resumed life as usual, missing a few individuals. You argue that the act of pursuing a bear will make it fear humans but it is not worth the carnage of the bear population to have a few individuals who got away or were wounded be the solution to a problem that perhaps only you perceive. It is possible that a wounded bear who got away may fear humans enough to lay in wait for one to get even. Punishment is never a way of consistent behavior modification for humans or other animals. Trying to get a uniform reaction out of hunted bears would be like trying to push cooked spaghetti through a straw. Much better would be as I described in my post above would be for humans not to run and scream when they see a bear, not to corner a bear, not to harass bears and to use pepper spray to teach bears that humans have their limits. I believe that much of the so called unpredictable behavior in bears is due to their past experiences with humans. The actions of hunters from a bear’s point of view would be like this: some of them leave me fresh gut piles, some of them leave messy camps with interesting stuff to lick and eat, some of them track me and some of them sneak around. When challenged though, most of them s*** their pants.

      • jon says:

        Linda, I believe that using pepper spray on bears would most likely make them wary of humans rather than hunting them dead. Atleast the bear is still alive and most likely has learned somewhat to be wary of humans. A bear can’t learn anything if it’s hunted and killed.

      • pointswest says:

        ++Linda writes: You argue that the act of pursuing a bear will make it fear humans but it is not worth the carnage of the bear population to have a few individuals who got away or were wounded be the solution to a problem that perhaps only you perceive.++

        How do you know that it is only I that perceives this?

        Carnage is stadard fair in the natural world. Many bears are starving this summer and it can get much worse.

        Besides, the grizzly population is expanding and will, someday, expand to a point where their populations are too dense and they will begin starving and/or moving into inhabited areas. Are you going to advocate that we allow grizzlies to expand their populations to the point that they begin to roam in small towns and suburban areas Linda? Do you believe we can live side-by-side with grizzlies in the communities of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming? I would say that even considering this proposition requires a certain degree of faith in the netherworld. While I’m sure you can find a few followers here in this blog, the religion is destine to languish after a few more maulings and killings.

        ++Linda writes: I believe that much of the so called unpredictable behavior in bears is due to their past experiences with humans.++

        You can blame humans for all grizzly attacks and for all evil in the world, for that matter, but in the end, humans are not going to tolerate having their friends and family killed or even mauled by grizzlies, no matter how holy and perfect is the grizzly and how disgusting and vile is the human.

      • pointswest says:

        ++jon writes: I believe that using pepper spray on bears would most likely make them wary of humans rather than hunting them dead. Atleast the bear is still alive and most likely has learned somewhat to be wary of humans. A bear can’t learn anything if it’s hunted and killed.++

        jon…maybe the states can hire you as the official state pepper-sprayer. You could coat yourself with honey, hike through grizzly country, and then pepper spray any approaching grizzlies. Maybe they could give you double pay if you could get one to charge before your spray!

      • pointswest says:

        ++Linda writes: If you consider a population where bears are hunted, say in some areas of Alaska. the other bears in the population do not show a marked difference in their behavior as a result.++

        I dispute this Linda. I grew up in an area where grizzlies were hunted and there were few problems as where in Glacier Park, where they were not hunted, there were many problems.

    • Linda Hunter says:

      Well pointswest yes I do argue that hunting grizzlies for population control is not necessary. Biologists have long known that bears have delayed implantation. In other words a female grizzly may mate in the spring but unless she achieves a healthy state of fat reserves in the fall the embryos, which are called blastocasts sp?)in bears do not attach to the uterine wall and therefor that bear will not have cubs in the den that winter. When the bears are leading an existence that limits the food they get, they do not reproduce as normal and cubs already have only a 50% survival rate. Bears are the slowest reproducing animal. A grizzly mother can only have cubs every third year, and then only if she is fat enough to support them. We would be hard pressed, even without hunting, to maintain a decent grizzly population in the west due to habitat degradation, road kill, train kill, illegal kills, defense of life and property and hunting accidents. Then you seem to imply that I value bear lives over human ones like some bunny hugger . . I don’t, but I do think we have not gone very far in our understanding or ability to get along with bears because many people just fear the animal without much understanding or respect. Every time someone gets hurt or killed by a bear the press and media make sure we are horrified. Why I am not sure. For instance, there are on average 20 deaths a year in the US caused by horses. Why do we never hear about that?

      • pointswest says:

        Most mammals have some mechanism that attemps to control their reproduction rate base on feed and health. Elk do. When elk are fat, they are more like to have twins.

        If human women’s fat levels get to low, they will not be able to reproduce either. Women who run marthons or who work out too much, can have difficulty getting pregnant or even menstrating.

        What happens in nature is that there may be a streak of good years where grizzlies reproduce rapidly. Then the streak comes to an end. The result is the same, too many grizzlies, not enough food. They will move into inhabited areas or they will starve to death.

        There is no doubt in my mind that hunting will be in the future for Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming’s grizzlies. I personally believe hunting is more ethical for a game animal that the periodic die-offs due to starvation. Starvation is no happy way to die. Animals suffer for months. I have seen staving animals, still alive, but on the ground beyond hope of recovery. It is not a pretty sight.

      • Linda Hunter says:

        Pointsweet . . oops Pointswest. We don’t agree imagine that, but I still think that grizzly hunting in the Western States should be a far off event, if ever. Grizzly bear hunting is really about rugs and bragging rights as far as I can tell and I am not against any other kind of hunting but I guess I am just too close to this one. I won’t change your mind and you won’t change mine. I have watched brown bear guided hunts in action and can’t say they gave me much hope for mankind. I have seen a guide tell a client that when the bear stands up it is just about to charge so let him have it. The little teenage bear who just wants to see what they are sneaking around for stands up to get a better smell of them and they let him have it. They have killed a small bear that was a real character and had no intention of attacking but the hunter never knows that or will he ever understand what a character his rug was alive. They take the head and paws and peel the skin back and wrap it up to go get it stamped by fish and game . . a legal kill that cost the client plenty. The guides get paid, the state gets paid and the hunter goes home feeling like a “man” (whether it was a woman or not) not knowing that the little bear had no intention of attacking to tell his or her buddies what an incredible thrill it is to kill such a monster. Been to close to all that without being in it. Wish I didn’t know these things.

      • Elk275 says:

        It is really a little bear? I think that is something you are making it up or have or have seen or heard about an incident that rarely happens. Hunters and guides in Alaska are looking for a Holy Gail 10 foot plus bear and settling for a 8 1/2 to 9 foot plus bear. I have never heard of anyone shooting a small bear for a trophy. A good outfitter or guide would not allow it, when I was guiding in Alaska I would not have allow it to happen.

        There are plenty of grizzly and brown bears to have a hunting season in Alaska — several game management units in Alaska allow two bear per regulatory year.

    • Linda Hunter says:

      No I didn’t make this up and as for the little bear comment I meant a teenage bear. . a sub-adult which is usually about three years old in the same year they separate from mom and not quite full grown. You know that bears mature around five and you are right it was not probably the most professional of guides. I have seen two instances, though, where the trophy was a young, not fully formed bear.

      • pointswest says:

        Linda…I have said many of times that there are plenty of hunters that I don’t like. Perhaps concerned citizens should lobby states to enact laws requiring courses in hunting ethics in addition to hunting safety. I would be all for it.

      • Save bears says:

        Actually those of us that teach hunters safety, DO devote part of our course to ethics, it is part of the National Curriculum these days, all of the instructors I know, consider the ethical part of hunting, just as if not more important that the safety part of the course..

        So don’t assume PW.

      • Save bears says:

        Not that I agree with shooting small bears, the question has to be asked, based on the state hunting regulations, were the bears legal? If so, then I would blame the guide and not the hunter..that is the reason you hire a guide, not only to keep you from getting lost, but to also advise you on the animal(s) you will be hunting as to size, age, etc.

      • jon says:

        sb, this is a 3 year old story, but I would like to get your opinion/thoughts on it.

        I know what this hunter did was apparently legal, but why would anyone shoot a 47 pound albino bear?

      • jon says:

        If this bear was killed for food, wouldn’t it have made more sense to shoot a bigger bear? bigger bear=more meat. I doubt a 47 pound bear would be a trophy that most would want to show off.

      • Save bears says:


        I commented on that story 3 years ago, when it happened to the Game Dept in that state, I made my opinion known and I have no desire to re-hash these old news articles, it accomplishes nothing.

  47. jon says:

    Montana Logging Plan Must Protect Elk Cover

  48. Nancy says:

    Angela Says:
    September 18, 2010 at 6:01 PM
    Black bear attacks man near Lake Wenatchee, WA

    The consequences are sad and tragic when you get old or desperate, despite what species you belong to.

  49. jon says:

    I hope you don’t mind if I post a link to this article Ken or Ralph. If you want to remove it, it’s alright by me, but I think others may want to read it.

    Brandt once helped pass Idaho wolf plan, now he wants disaster declared

    Read more:

    Brandt shares the almost hysterical view of the size of the population of wolves and their threat to more than just elk.

    “People who used to just send their kids out to meet the school bus because we don’t have the perverts to worry about, now won’t, because we’ve got those wolves,” he said.

    • No wolves have bitten anyone in Idaho and yet Idaho County wants to declare a “wolf disaster,” but a sheep dog deployed to protect sheep against predatory wildlife has bitten someone.

      I don’t want to stir up anger against sheep dogs . . . just point to the irony of the situation.

      • Jay says:

        Exactly my point in posting the link Ralph…I find it amazing that people ignore other, more likely dangers (talking on the phone while driving, for example), only to freak out about the most unlikely of things like getting attacked by wolves.

  50. Nancy says:

    +People who used to just send their kids out to meet the school bus because we don’t have the perverts to worry about, now won’t, because we’ve got those wolves,” he said+

    Now thats an interesting statement! Obviously someone didtn’t bother to check out the sex offender registry in Idaho before making it

    When you consider how many perverts are residing in Boise, Idaho Falls and Pocatello alone, wolves would be the least of my worries. Makes you wonder how kids survived the school year back in the 1800’s, when they walked miles to get to school and wolves were plentiful.

  51. Salle says:

    Firefighters Should Calm Down About Beetle-Killed Forests

    “–A landscape of ugly, brown trees that have lost their needles and volatile oils is actually poor fuel for a crown fire, despite what many land managers and firefighters believe.–”

  52. Nancy says:

    Its also tragic Ralph. It appears few of these convictions involve a 18 year old guy getting caught messing around with his 16 year old girlfriend. They are men in the 40’s and 50’s, convicted of molesting children.

    Be interesting to know what the ratio of perverts to wolves is in Idaho.

  53. Salle says:

    Colorado Declares Lynx Reintroduction a Success

    After 11 years of returning lynx to Colorado, wildlife officials say a viable population is in place.

  54. jon says:

    Another video made that by imbecile rockhead.

  55. Linda Hunter says:

    Bears. I mentioned McNeil River in one of my posts. A good friend I worked with as a guide worked all summer in McNeil this year and he is also a great photographer. It might be fun for you to look at some of his pictures.!/album.php?aid=205828&id=532663140

    This is what bear life is like when there is plenty of natural food, no one is shooting them and the people are predictable.

    • jon says:

      Thanks for that article Tim. I laugh at all of these anti wolf extremists who constantly bash Molloy and refer to him as a greenie liberal from the left. If he was so liberal, why did he allow the wolf hunts in 2009? When the anti-wolfers don’t get their way and when a judge doesn’t rule in their favor, they cry greenie liberal all of the time.

  56. pointswest says:

    Scientists at Sandia Labs (aka Kirtland Airforce Base) are interesed in EESTOR’s battery. (This is for you WM)

    Sandia Lab’s (closely associated with Los Alamos Labs 50 miles north) is perhaps the most important laboratories to this nation’s national defence. I worked there for about four years on the Nutron Generator Facility project and on the Center for National Security and Arms Control project as a Project Engineer. At that time, Sandia had the world’s fastest computer that they designed and fabricated, partical beams that could disintegrate a locamotive, and accelerators that would make the entire region around Albuquerque rumble with a barely perceptible low frequence sound. I once hear it from 10 miles away.

    So there are, at least, a few scientists at Sandia interested in EESTOR’s new battery. If Sandia scientists are interested WM, I don’t see how you can claim that there is anything wrong with my interest.

  57. Nancy says:

    +At that time, Sandia had the world’s fastest computer that they designed and fabricated, partical beams that could disintegrate a locamotive, and accelerators that would make the entire region around Albuquerque rumble with a barely perceptible low frequence sound+

    PW – getting alittle off track here but I often wonder what might be going on out there when it comes to the “research” too many of us (including other species who have no voice) are just not privy to, but at the same time, are exposed to. A site you might find interesting:

    • pointswest says:

      I agree that technology might come at a cost and that we do not always know what that cost is. This is a problem for the human species and it has been ongoing for centuries. We domesticated wheat that made civilization possible but there are some nasty side effects to having wheat in the diet. One is that it elevates blood sugar levels and can lead to diabetes. The other is that, in order to eat it, it had to be ground with stones that entrain it with mineral grit. This grit slowly wears human teeth down to the roots. Wheat is starchy and so also leads to tooth decay. People before about 1800 were lucky to live to 35 with a full set of teeth. By 40, most people had their teeth worn down and had a mouth full of cavities, abbesses, and bone infections that made life difficult and painful. Most skulls excavated from before the industrial era have large areas of the jaw bone missing from tooth/jaw-bone infections. People would live with rotting teeth for years with the infection eating away a large fraction of their jaw…until they finally died at a relatively young age. In the middle ages, it was rare to live beyond about 45. You won the lottery if you made it to 65.

  58. pointswest says:

    ALPHA & OMEGA movie review.

    By Pointswest

    The critics were pretty hard on this movie, giving it only a C. The general public has been rating at a B+ or an A-. I do not know why the critics did not like it. I thought it was a great movie and so did my 7-year-old son and my wife. After the movie ended, the audience did not want to leave the theater. They all sat there and stared at the credits…hoping there might be a little bit more of the 3D animation to watch. The 3D animation was breathtaking. All of the story took place in the mountains and wilderness. It made Idaho’s Sawtooths particularly breathtaking. Many of the scenes were breathtaking.

    Wolves, as animated characters, do provide for an interesting story. Wolves have some social structure that is similar to humans. The story was an interesting one where it involved status, culture, love, friendship, loyalty, and conflict. The story had a very nice pace to it. It really never slowed. I saw Despicable Me 3D a coupe of weeks ago. It had very high ratings but there were slow spots in that story. Not the case in Alpha and Omega. The story moved along and held your attention for the full 90 minutes.

    The characters were likable and interesting. I do expect to see some Alpha and Omega stuffed wolves for Xmas. I also suspect that this will not be the end for the characters. There will be a sequel or Alpha and Omega will be on TV.

    • Save bears says:

      I guess, it probably depends on who you ask, but I guess if it is, I am on a one way ticket to hell, because I enjoy my meat eating habits and will until the day I leave this earth..

  59. Ken Cole says:

    Hell, Jim Beers didn’t drink the Koolaide, he’s making his own. Now he claims the wolf lovers are surreptitiously introducing them to new areas.

    • timz says:

      That poor fellow has gone off the deep end.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      Does he sound like he could have worked for Wildlife Services? Not only are those wolves bad but also bears and cougars. I wonder why he didn’t mention coyotes, foxes, and many more carnivores.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      I knew that; a bit of sarcasim. {;-)

      • jon says:

        I saw that little exchange between you and that guy. That guy is a paranoid delusional right wing predator hating nut.

      • Save bears says:


        In the same vane, they could say based on your comments over the last year, you are nothing more than a left leaning liberal nut.that is paranoid, and has no understanding of reality..who has never been in the woods!

        Now can we get away from the name calling?

      • jon says:

        sb, you apparently haven’t seen any of the things that this Bruce Hemming character has said to Barb. If you seen some of the things I read from these anti-wolfers, you would understand it is THEM who don’t understand reality. That is why they constantly spread lies and misinformation about wolves.

      • jon says:

        Yeah sb, they’re wildlife terrorists according to the anti-wolfers. You tell me who doesn’t understand reality. The anti-wolfers are so stupid, they are incapable of understanding that wolves are not wildlife terrorists and they are just animals trying to survive.

      • jon says:

        Just read some of this nut’s comments to barb.

        Tell me this right wing nut has understanding of reality.

      • Save bears says:


        Yes I have read the comments and I read the threads every single day over on that bullshit website, I am just trying to illustrate what your up against, you think they sound crazy, and they think you sound crazy and in the mean time, nothing gets done, you have to realize, no matter what side of the issue you are on, you believe you are on the right side.

        Jon, for the most part, I am subscribe through RSS to every singe wildlife website in the country, and I read what is going on, but realize, THEY think you are just as crazy and nutty as you think THEY are..

      • jon says:

        I am aware of that sb. They have been calling pro wolf advocates crazies forever it seems.

      • Save bears says:

        As I have said in the past, when you don’t understand your enemy, you will never triumph over your enemy, and you Jon are falling right into their trap…yes, you know I know that wolves are simply wild animals, that are trying to survive, they have a right to live and they are just doing what come naturally, but, you are giving them all of the ammunition to fight their fight, your letting them get under your skin and you have no understanding of radical elements in the wolf issue..sorry Jon, that is just a fact..

      • Barb Rupers says:

        Regarding your response to my exchange with “that guy” I try, regardless of what he calls me, to keep the dialog civil and not attach derogatory adjectives. Doing otherwise does not help a cause in the minds of readers.

        You could try to punctuate your sentence: That guy is a paranoid delusional right wing predator hating nut.

        Is punctuation taught in schools any more?

        Save bears “Now can we get away from the name calling?”

        I hope so.

      • Save bears says:


        I sure hope so as well…if it has not been productive by now, I would think we could try a different strategy…

      • jon says:

        When you are dealing with those that dislike wolves, it is very hard to keep it civil as the convo usually turns to them calling you names, so in retaliation, the pro wolf side will sometimes call them names back. This will get us nowhere. I don’t see compromise between wolf haters and pro wolf advocates happening, not anytime soon. Maybe 15-20 years from now, who really knows.

      • Save bears says:


        A simple question:

        Why stoop to their level, all it does is keep the issue inflamed, there is simply no reason to fight in the gutter, and lower yourself to there level, it never pays off..

        Jon, I can honestly say, with some of the statements I have read that you have posted over the last year, I could use every single derogatory term you use against the other side…don’t let you emotions write checks…that you can’t cash..

    • Well a person who spreads lies like that is clearly dangerous because there are people disposed to believe him without any evidence.

      This is burden we bear for having free speech.

      • jon says:

        Ralph, I am still waiting for Beers to show the proof that he apparently has that proves that money was indeed stolen from the pittsman robertson funds to fund the supposed “illegal introduction” of the so called “non native, much bigger canadian wolf”. For all we know, this is just another lie from Beers. I wouldn’t trust any word that comes out of this guy’s mouth.

      • jon says:

        Ralph, take a look at this website.

        1. Supports dog fighting, cock fighting and horse slaughter “property rights.”
        2. States dog fighting and cock fighting should be regarded as sports; HE SAYS they are the same as hunting.
        3. Previously worked for Wildlife Services, an agency which kills literally hundreds of thousands of “nuisance animals” each year, including eagles, raccoons, bobcats, bears, cougars, coyotes and wolves, by way of shooting, poisoning, trapping, and snares. (see for yourself at )
        4. Supports trapping with leg-hold traps; a practice widely banned as cruel.
        5. Blames environmental and animal rights groups for the loss of his job.

    • JB says:


      I really don’t see how one psychoanalyzes someone whom they have never met, and know only from their comments about (what is to most people) a very narrow topic–especially if one isn’t a psychiatrist.

      Personal insults and arm-chair psychoanalysis, whether they are about Jon, Jim Beers, Ed Bangs or anyone else, simply don’t contribute anything to this blog. Assigning moral value to wildlife is hardly a novel position, if that is indeed Jon’s position? While you might disagree with him and be annoyed by his posts, resorting to suggesting that he has a sexual interest in his mother is neither topically relevant nor a position you can support.

      • pointswest says:

        I do believe it is important to know something about a person’s motives.

        And for the record, most psychologists believe all developing humans have interest in the parent of the oposite sex at some point. Nothing I said was intended to be insulting.

        But I know. I used to live in Idaho. Psychology is a dirty word there. 🙂

        • I think so too, PW (about people’s motives).

          I’ve been pretty poor at guessing in Idaho.

          At first, I though a lot of the politicians were simply liars, but finally I came to think (still hardly sure) that they actually believe the drivel they produce.

          I wish I knew.

          • Taz Alago says:

            Wallowa County ranchers contemplate community compensation fund for losses to wolves.


            • Taz Alago,

              This might be a very good idea to set up such a fund.

              A fund run and paid by the stockgrowers out of their own pockets is more credible than one paid for by a third party, whether it be a private organization like Defenders or the government. Whenever there is a third party and an economic or political incentive to report a loss, there is a moral hazard.

              If there is truly an unusual situation, then maybe a third party could step in to cover losses (like stop loss on your health insurance).

              As wolf loss compensation programs have been run in the past, they are like auto, home, or health insurance with no deductible and no penalty for failure to be reasonably prudent.

  60. timz says:

    Further embarassment to Idaho compliments of our Congressional deligation.

  61. jon says:

    Huge Cache of 1.4 Million-Year-Old Fossils Found in California

    Read more:

  62. Virginia says:

    Today in the Billings Gazette Opinion page, Rev. Warren Murphy from Cody writes the best letter I have read about the tragic mauling of Mr. Evert and subsequent destruction of the bear in this event. Please read his opinion as he questions why the researchers found it necessary to do their “research” so close to the cabins and trailhead in the area. As he states, “What should be learned from all of this is that bears need to be annoyed less by researchers which would put less stress on the bears and save the government agencies involved a good deal of money.”

  63. jon says:

    Wolves: Rehberg plan a political ploy

    So Rehberg’s gambit is a shrewd maneuver that fits right in with the current national political climate of less government and more individual control involving sensitive issues (i.e., the “three G’s”: guns, gays and God). This stand should endear him to ranchers, hunters, constitutionalists and tea-baggers. I bet he could get Sarah Palin to be his predator population control enforcer. If she’s too busy, perhaps that renowned Motor City mammalogist, musician Ted Nugent.

  64. JB,

    I deleted some of armchair psychoanalysis by PW, jon, and others.

    As you say this is very difficult to do unless you are an expect, and even then you need a lot of data.

    Being analyzed by others on this blog or other blogs can also stir up a lot of anger.

    • pointswest says:

      Oh…OK I’m sorry.

      I was not tying to insult but was only trying to explain to others what seems clear to me.

    • JB says:

      No sweat, I was just trying to keep the conversation honest. Some people do believe that wildlife deserve moral standing. To me this is a much more interesting topic than guessing at the nature of posters’ alleged pathologies.

  65. Virginia says:

    Ralph – I would like to make an observation about the blog. It seems curious to me that there are 231 comments on the part of the blog that allows people to post pretty much anything they want, but only 4, 5, 6 or even 25 comments on the articles that you and Ken have been posting. I hope you continue to post these articles for discussion as I find them more interesting than the random articles posted by others. Sorry, but the reason I started reading this blog is to get the wildlife information that I don’t always hear about anywhere else. Just my opinion.

    • timz says:

      “He hopes bills like his, as well as court appeals of Molloy’s decision, keep this issue in the spotlight.”

      ie; it has no chance of passing, just more grandstanding.

      • Save bears says:

        Time will tell Timz

      • timz says:

        I can see it now, with the bipartisianship oozing out of DC, senators and congressman, Democrats and Republicans, joining hands, singing kumbuya, and gutting the ESA.

      • Save bears says:

        Based on what has happened over the last 15 years, I would not be surprised, but I would be disappointed…


        I learned a long time ago, what I want and what I get, is often times entirely different, I guess I am just a pessimist, because I won’t set myself up like that again…

      • Save bears says:

        And really when it comes down to it, there is not a god damned politician left in this country I will ever trust again, no how, no way, ain’t going to do it..

      • timz says:

        That’s what I’m saying, they won’t pass this bill just to spite the other party

      • Save bears says:


        Really I can say, for once in my life, I really don’t know..

  66. pointswest says:

    Keep tabs on your local trout stream. People from far away may have their eye upon it.


  67. Elk275 says:

    There may be an alternative to pepper spray and it can be grown icheaply n a backyard garden — zucchini.

    • timz says:

      Normally this guy’s stuff is pretty good but he’s way off base in this article. He presents it as though “these groups” had any other alternative but to sue. Facing hostile F&G Depts, legislatures, Governors, Congressional Delegations, weak management plans, generous and ever changing hunting quotas, WS, 10J, etc, etc. Without protections it should be obvious even to him there was no intention on the part of any of these 3 states to keep a meaningful number of wolves around.

      • timz and jburnham,

        There were plenty of editorial writers who wrote the same thing about the spotted owl back in the 1990s . . . don’t use the ESA, you might lose and they will change the law! Let it sit unused in its purity!

    • jburnham says:

      This is absurd. His argument is that we should have allowed the ESA to be jeopardized in order to prevent the ESA from being jeopardized.

      • Save bears says:

        Welcome to the “New West” boys and girls..what you think you know is always less than you know and there is always someone that know less and more than you know..Politics in the West now a days..

      • JB says:

        “New” West? This pretty much sounds like politics as usual in the West. If you don’t like something, blame the federal government, blame east coast liberals, rally the “troops” behind a “we’re not going to take it anymore [and this time we really mean it]” slogan, and instead of playing by the rules, do your damnedest to change them.

        All we need now is Dick Cheney and we’ll have the wolf debate circa 1994-6!

      • Save bears says:


        It may be the New west, the old west or just the west, but what I have observed the ground swell is getting bigger and bigger everyday against wolves, government and what ever they can find to be against. I just read another Montana county has passed a resolution to invoke 10(j) and I suspect they won’t be the last one…

    • timz says:

      Fortunately we have some eastern “liberals” to offset the right wing-nuts from the west.

      • Save bears says:

        As I said Tim,

        Time will tell, but I am almost positive the current generation of politicians will go with the loudest group and right now in the west, that is the anti side..

      • It is good to listen to Save Bears on this. After this next election there is going to be the biggest attempt to steal our public lands and plunder our outdoor resources in many many years, and a defense needs to be organized and start hitting them right now!

    • Jeff E, TimZ and all,

      You might want to read my response to Bill Schneider, who wrote this article.

      It did not amuse me.

      • JB says:

        “I’ve written frequently urging stakeholders to sit down, outside of a courthouse, and work out a compromise, but in all these years, at least as far as I know, there has never been even one meeting. Now, I have to think the pro-wolfers blew their chance to cut the best deal they could’ve gotten. ”

        Huh? Perhaps someone should send poor Bill the list of attendees from the North American Wolf Conference. There FWS officials, managers from state agencies, wildlife advocates and even members of the Farm Bureau met to hear about the latest research and discuss how to manage wolves. And so we’re clear, it was held at a hotel-resort, not a courthouse. 🙂

      • timz says:

        Nice job with the response Ralph.

      • jon says:

        The anti wolfers didn’t take long to show up. Now they are going after Ralph. Get em Ralph!

  68. jdubya says:

    Good news for the Florida Panther via selective outbreeding

  69. Virginia says:

    Ralph – I just read Bill Schneider’s column in New West claiming environmentalists have screwed up the fight for wolves and are going to destroy the ESA courtesy of Denny Rehburg and Mike Crapo. I really liked your response to Bill and find it sad that he has gone to the other side. However, again, some of those knotheads who post on New West are trying to tell us that you are obsolete. Somehow I don’t think that is true and thank you for what you have done for wildlife. Also, not all of us who defend wildlife are from the East or California.

    • Virginia,

      Bill’s an old friend, and I don’t like to have to chastize him like that, but I think he is no longer aware of the inside story — how interest groups, bureaucracy, and parties interact today.

      He might think it is like it was back in the 1970s when most or all the stakeholder groups were contacted and their differences more or less adjusted by bureaucrats and elected officials who were not in the grip of ideology — men and women who believed there was something called the “common interest,” and where folks on all sides did not go beyond a certain point for fear they would be labeled “extremist.”

      Back in that day “extremist” meant something. It was not just an adjective you applied to anyone who disagreed with you.

      Well those days are gone. The parties, but especially the Republicans, are in the grip of ideology. Foreordained conclusions come first, facts come last. As a result there are no invitations to negotiate, to seek a solution for the common good. The operative principle is to stir up cultural antagonism, and I must admit that my anger sometimes causes me to fall into it too.

  70. Taz Alago says:

    You’re quoted in this, Ralph.

    Using scat and urine to erect a wolf barrier.

    • Taz Alago,

      Thanks. The Wolf Recovery Foundation, which is not a plaintiff in the recent suit before Judge Molloy, has spent almost all of its money supporting projects like this.

      We (I am the President) are very pleased with advances like this. Hopefully, the day will come when new techniques such as biofences, rub pads and howl boxes will replace the radio collar, the bullet, and the can of poison.

      • jon says:

        Ralph, is your organization going after wildlife services? They need to be stopped at any cost.

      • Save bears says:


        Guess your not going to answer my questions from yesterday, when I refuted your claim that all areas occupied by Grizzlies needs to be closed to hunting, Huh?

    • WM says:

      I am all for the research that Ausband is doing with the funding from the Wolf Recovery Foundation (and others). The real question is whether an artificially created barrier of combined wolf excrements and other territorial markings. In practice, this stuff is labor intensive, and thus costly if it is to be used as protective measures to keep wolves from areas where they are not wanted (livestock, etc.).

      I also suspect, wolves being wolves, and all, that their intelligence and need to test competing wolves (even faux ones) will constantly require adjustment of this approach.

      Is this money well spent over the longer term? Time will tell.

      • WM,

        You are right about this being labor intensive, and where would livestock people get all these scats?

        The cost-effective biofence will require the creation of “essence of wolf pack” “perfume,” along with easy to understand methods of application.
        – – – – – – – –

        As an aside, I’ve got to wonder if all of Ausband’s team is now dying of these awful tapeworms? 😉

  71. Taz Alago says:

    Here’s a photo essay by the photographer/ contributor to the current “1859” story on Wallowa County wolves. It contains some good sketches of the personalities involved.

  72. Cody Coyote says:

    “Montana woman fends off bear attack with zucchini”

    Friday 9-24….on the lighter side, the hilarious buzz going around Montana is the story of the woman who bashed a 200-lb. Black bear with a 14 inch zucchini when the bear came after her collie dog at midnight Thursday , and the bear fled. They have a photo of the zucchini used…it’s large caliber. VERY large caliber…

    The best version of that tale is at the Billings Gazette. Read the Comments…they’re hilarious, too ( Full Disclosure: I couldn’t resist adding one of them…)

  73. jon says:

    Chess game persists in wolf management

    But the likelihood of passage of any of these bills is not good, contends Mike Leahy, spokesman for national wolf advocacy group Defenders of Wildlife.
    “It probably won’t fly,” Leahy said of the State Wolf Management Act. “I just don’t think the American people are going to go for letting Idaho eliminate 750 or so wolves.”
    The act places the minimum wolf population number at 10 breeding pairs or 100 wolves per state, which Leahy said is much too low.
    “There will be a lot of pressure on Idaho Fish and Game to reduce wolves as low as they can,” said Leahy, who is based in Montana.
    As for separating part of a population, Leahy said such a move has no basis in “hard science.”
    “It shouldn’t be done,” he said. “Wildlife should be managed scientifically, not politically.”

  74. Nancy says:

    ++Dave Ausband: “I don’t want to go to a bunch of producers and say ‘hey, here’s this university egghead with this pretty ridiculous notion that you can push wolves around with scat and urine. Let me try it on your ranch.'”++

    Glad to see someone is taking the time to research this. It makes perfect sense. I think the first attempt to try it out should be with a few of the ranchers around Wisdom since that area always seems to make the weekly wolf/livestock report, not only for depredations but because too many wolves are paying a steep price for poorly guarded livestock.

  75. jon says:

    Roger Phillips: Archery hunters prove you can bag an elk – if you put in the effort

    Read more:

    Into the Outdoors blog

    It seems many elk hunters you talk to these days have a recurring tale of woe that usually revolves around wolves.
    It goes something like this: We hunted this area for years and always saw elk, but now we don’t see anything but wolf sign.
    It’s depressing. So I get a lift when I hear some good news from the elk front.
    I got an e-mail from Corey Jacobsen with a photo of a big six-point bull he killed this month during archery season. He got the bull bugling at about 1:30 p.m. and closed the deal after two hours of stalking and calling.

    • WM says:

      Once more, jon, you intentionally and conveniently forget to tell the whole story. Corey Jacobsen, who the author identifies, is a world class elk caller and borderline professional hunter. So now you have one data point from an exceptional source. Anecdotal, and bias, evidence at that. The more common story is the first two sentences, as you quote above.

      • JB says:

        “The more common story is the first two sentences, as you quote above.”

        Actually, “It seems many elk hunters you talk to these days…” is no less anecdotal and no less biased a statement than those that follow.

      • WM says:


        LOL. Right you are. At some point those anecdotal observations of many hunters may become conventional wisdom. I have three years of observation (about ten days each) under my belt now, in wolf country. The common points in those observations are: Fewer elk seen in total, bulls not vocal or bugling, fewer cows mewing or barking, and no spikes. More eaten bones/carcasses of young animals. Traditional game trails not used by elk, and any sign is more likely found on higher, steeper ground in heavy cover and rarely concentrated on any one trail. Mostly you just spook the animals and never see them. We adjusted our hunting tactics, and I have gone to an open sight rifle this year and will hunt the brush. I will try to remain unbiased with my fourth season, hunting in the presence of wolves. I always enjoy this fall camping trip anyway, being with friends I don’t see that often anymore, and getting up long before daylight, walking familiar trails and ridgelines, seeing the country in fall colors- kind of like visiting an old friend in itself. And, yeah, I enjoy the occasional wolf howl, too.

        Now that bow season is mostly over (and those reports coming in), the rifle hunters are heading to the woods, and reports should start from them as well. I will head out myself with my three very experienced hunting partners in about two weeks, and give yet another report upon return.

      • Save bears says:

        Bow Season is Mostly over? Where are you at WM,

        In Montana, the Bow Season goes until Oct 16th, I have not even bought my bow license yet!

      • WM says:


        North Central ID. Right in the heart of the areas most talked about here as having been adversely impacted by the increasing numbers of wolves eating more and more elk.

        Most of the early archery seasons run from mid-August to mid-Sept., or start and in Sept., depending on the unit. Rifle hunting, depending on sex, spike or branch antlered bull will run through mid October to the first week of Nov. There are no hunt periods between each of these. Then there is a very short muzzleloader or archery season in early Dec., again depending on the unit.

        I just got back from a trip to Central Eastern OR, last night (I was just looking for fossils), and their achery season in some units is just winding up there, from what I was told.

      • bob jackson says:


        Your description of elk behavior after wolf interaction reminds me of the lone remaining Jewish family hiding under the floor boards of the French farmer house…and the SS men and all the power they represent in waiting to kill.

        Now think of a lot of Jewish families and all their male protective elements intact.

        What happens when the Germans drive up in this scenario? First the word goes out by the scouts or perimeter watchers, distactive bombs go off …. and then if the germans can make it through all this and keep coming the females and dependents either slip away to protection ot other men are there to defend.

        Thus it is with functional herd animals, where there is not the perverse G&F policy to kill most all males, that the young bull groups or loner outpost bulls sound the bugle alarm or make cracker round confusion before wolves even have a chance to pinpoint or suprise cow-calf groups.

        The hunt conditions you discribe fit perfectly in that first scene of Tarintino’s, Inglorious Bastards.

        WM, you and all those other elk “hunters”…human and animal, are hunting that helpless jewish family…compliments of Idaho, Mt and Wyoming G&F Dark Ages type game management.

        Yes, an iron sight gun works well in the thick brush (floor boards) of small roomed French dairy farmer cottages. Remember the scene where the family members under those floor boards are holding their hands tightly over their mouths? Then think how elk today are so afraid they can not even sing anything. Quite the hunt “enlightened” game management has given you.

      • Layton says:

        Gee whiz Bob,

        Can you work Ann Frank into your little scenario too??

        If nothing else you should get an Oscar for imagination.

      • WM says:


        With that kind of imagination one has to wonder whether Bob offers blindfolds and earplugs to the entire bison families he slaughters on the ranch there in Iowa. I guess he just drops them, one by one, where they stand next to each other, slowly and methodically, with a carefully placed shot behind the ear with the 45-70, ’til they are all down. I could come up with a pithy and disgusting analogy as well, but never had much use for them. Especially, as here, my conversation started with a sincere discussion of hunting elk after the presence of wolves.

        Reminds me of a line from the 1990’s “western” movie, “Quigley Down Under.” Quigley (Tom Selleck) says to a dying, nasty Aussie land baron Marsdon (Alan Rickman), after shooting him in a contrived quick draw gun fight, in which Quigley had a distinct disadvantage, “I never said I couldn’t use one. I just don’t have much use for ’em.” He was referring to the Colt revolver which he had just used to dispatch Mardson and his two henchmen.

  76. Taz Alago says:

    Wallowa County ranchers consider wolf compensation fund.

  77. Moose says:

    Wolf pack in WI to be eliminated for becoming too familiar with humans.

  78. mikepost says:,0,3315977.story

    bark beetles said to be a good thing and part of eco-health of the forests….plus actual long term fire prevention benefits

  79. JEFF E says:

    yellowstone wolves 101

  80. Nancy says:

    + Then think how elk today are so afraid they can not even sing anything. Quite the hunt “enlightened” game management has given you+

    Bob Jackson – found your analogy interesting especially since elk were all but gone by the 1900’s and by the time they made a comeback, wolves were all but gone.

    Is it possible there was very little bugling going on when predator and prey were at healthy numbers? I’m guessing none of us were around back then to notice a difference.

    Around 300 elk came into my area this past spring, spent some time on the ranch across the way (until the cattle were moved in) Now, small groups are filtering back down around the treeline but I’m not hearing any bulls bugling or cows barking early morning or late at night, something I could hear often 10 years ago.
    Could it be because of the wolf? Or, the outfitter that has tied up some much of the private property in the area in the last 10 years, scattering his guides and hunters all around.

    • bob jackson says:


      I know of only one place where your wondering of what habits were in place pre whiteman regarding wolves and elk might be answered. This is in minature, but at the same time revealing. It is the Yellowstone River delta area below the SE arm of Yellowstone Lake. Here one has a 300 head well infrastructured year round occupied resident elk herd. One also has the resident wolf packs.

      The numbers of elk has not diminshed through the years of wolf occupancy …unlike the N. Yellowstone dysfunctional …and hunted…elk herds. The bugling is so loud in the fall and coming from so many places it is hard to stay asleep in the loft of the A frame at Cabin Creek Cabin.

      While riding the trails and off trail areas in the evenings in this wildlife mecca bugling from raghorns a mile away, 6 points a bit closer in and then the larger royals with the cow calf groups is awe inspiring.

      Compare this with the hunted elk boundary area in Thorofare where one might get a few higher pitched sounds coming from young bulls well up in the woods…not much left of those hoarse sounds of the old boys.

      I’d say the Indians of the Plains..where soil fertility meant even greater concentrations of elk ….and the sounds of night were even greater…all the while wolves moved everywhere.

      • Nancy says:

        Thanks Bob. Since this outfitter (and his guides) start running these elk around when bow season opens, and this was not the case in the past, its my guess that may be the reason for little bugling or barking, mornings or evenings.

  81. pointswest says:

    ‘When Lewis and Clark headed west from,’ wrote ethologist Dale Lott, ‘they were exploring not a wilderness but a vast pasture managed by and for Native Americans.’

    The notion of a pristine wilderness in pre-columbian America is a romantic myth. People were here before Europeans who managed buffalo and other game as livestock. Many of the open plains and prairies where created and maintained by fire as pasture and are not natural. The pre-columbian American ecosystem, was largely man-made.

    People who speak of “rights” and of “nature” in regards to wildlife management today need to understand the natural history of America.

    • WM says:


      Indeed. While the article you reference focuses on the East, Great Plains and the path of L&C, there is strong evidence of Indian fires used to create productive prairie in the dense coastal forests of the Northwest. Two extensively studied examples are on the Olympic Peninsula in ONP. Fire managed forest, with new prairie openings allowed for proliferation of useful plant and animal species which could not easily survive in dense, sun-deprived, overstory. It is a very good read. The tribes stopped because the white man didn’t like it. And, now that the land is in the NP, the Park Service will not advocate for return of the practice. I have wondered if the Makah, Quiliute or other tribes could assert a reserved treaty right to reclaim such prairies by starting up the practice again.

    • bob jackson says:


      If it is the same Dale Lott who grew up on the Bison Range, taught at U of Cal. Davis and wrote books on bison behavior, then if so this man doesn’t have a clue about animal or ethnic hunter-gatherer relationships. Of course his quotes from history he might have and thus be partially right…but again if one doesn’t understand the basics…. that persons assessments will always be tainted with symptom reasoning and conclusions.

      As for fires and meadows, setting fires means management, whether prehistoric or not, but before fire was carried around one has to believe grazing species had the ability to maintain meadows on their own, thank you mamm.

      Yellowstones Hayden Valley forest edge is ringed with debarked trees from bull bison. Thorofare used to have all meadows edge lined with dead young trees from bull elk rubbing during rut (not many bulls left 30 years later).

      My bison herds (males mostly) in Iowa kill all young locust trees incroaching in this prairie pasture. Not a single young cedar tree can live in my pastures. The neighbors fields with his hornless cows are full of cedar trees. Yes fires and prairie kill trees but I’d guess the main reason Natives set fires was to produce more nutritous grasses for those elk and bison…that and to keep the ticks and chiggers at bay.

      • bob jackson says:


        Or instead of the Park burning the state G&F could curtail bull hunting and then let those elk do the meadow making….of couse it would take a lot longer than the sweep of a single fire would do.

      • WM says:


        With that comment, I just bet you haven’t spent much time in the Olympic Rain Forests. I don’t think you could put enough elk on the ground to keep any open area that has bare soil for seed germination from going back to forest (maybe blackberries or alder first, if not planted). In excess of 40-140 inches of rainfall and mild climate below about two thousand feet elevation. Stuff grows out there so fast you can almost watch it, like your Iowa cornfields.

        Only chance for anything to grow free of tree overstory is when a regular fire comes through in the dry months of summer as the Indians once did, or they log it off (which has been done to alot of it from the 1930’s until the spotted owl and marbled murolet shut down the remaining old growth cut). Those logged off areas, were clear-cut, because that is the way Douglas fir grows and is harvested most economically, have all been replanted or gone back naturally. They are thicker than hair on hound’s back. They have to come in to thin them to maximize stem production and reduce the competition among the trees stretching for sunlight. This ain’t the Thoroughfare by a long shot.

        Those secretive Roosevelt elk like the big timber, and whatever they can snack on underneath it or in riparian zones (wolves when the come, will take care of the latter).

    • pointswest says:

      The author of the book discussed in the article is Charles C. Mann.

      I have to say the theory makes a lot of sense. I could never understand why there were 30 million bison on the Great Plains and only a few thousand Indians.

      Also, Mesoamerica had fairly developed civilizations (Aztecs and Mayans) and North America had advanced sedentary cultures such as the Mississippian Culture and the Annasazi. There is no reason to believe that Native Americans would not try and manage game with fire.

      It begs the question, did they also try and manage predators such as wolves.

      Such a revelation would be devastating to the “nature as purity folks” who argue that killing for any reaons other than nutrition is unnatural.

      Below is more info on Mann’s book called ‘1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus’ from wikipedia. It might be an interesting read.

      “In his third section, Mann attempts a synthesis. He focuses on the Maya, whose population growth was about as rapid as its decline. Why did they disappear? Sylvanus Morley gave the best-known theory: “the Maya collapsed because they overshot the carrying capacity of their environment. They exhausted their resource base, began to die of starvation and thirst, and fled their cities ‘en masse’, leaving them as silent warnings of the perils of ecological hubris.” This pattern is common among many Indian cultures.

      The myth that Indians were not active in transforming the land is untrue. Most Indians shaped their environment with fire. Fire was used to burn shrubs and trees, opening an area to sunlight, thereby benefitting plants that need sun, while inhibiting others. Burning encourages abundance of certain animals, while discouraging others. The 20th century environmental historian William Cronon explained that “people accustomed to keeping domesticated animals [Europeans] lacked the conceptual tools to recognize that the Indians were practicing a more distant kind of husbandry of their own.” Indians domesticated fewer animals and cultivated plant life differently than their European counterparts.

      Europeans held biased and sometimes racist views of Indians, in addition to not speaking a common language with them. This fact led to people being misled with the result that they misunderstood Indians unjustly. In Amazonia: Man and Culture in a Counterfeit Paradise, Betty J. Meggers suggests the “law of environmental limitation of culture,” meaning they “reached their optimal level of environment.” Whatever Indians did before slash and burn the logic goes, had to have worked thanks to the acres of healthy forest seen before Europeans arrived.

      Mann concludes that Indians were a “keystone species,” one that “affects the survival and abundance of many other species.” By the time the Europeans arrived and settled in the Americas, the “boss” (Indians) had been almost completely eliminated. Disease ran rampant and killed off the Indians, disrupting their control of the environment. When Indians died, animal populations, such as that of the buffalo grew immensely. “Because they (Europeans) did not burn the land with the same skill and frequency as its previous occupants, the forests grew thicker.” The world discovered by Christopher Columbus was to begin to change from that point on, so Columbus “was also one of the last to see it in pure form.”

      Mann concludes with the idea that we must look to the past to right the future. “Native Americans ran the continent as they saw fit. Modern nations must do the same. If they want to return as much of the landscape as possible to its state in 1491, they will have to create the world’s largest gardens.”

      • bob jackson says:


        To expand further on the ability of grazers to control their own food source destiny I add homo sapiens was only on the N American scene for 12,000 yrs or a bit more and effectively, concerning environment change, for probably less than half of that.

        Lets see, how long were grazers on the same landscape??


        I am not saying all climes are conducive for grazers, but rather if there is an inch of landscape to gain or leaf of grass to add to a meadow, a grazer has the ability to do it without mans input. Of course, wet climes have nothing on Iowa’s Tall Grass ecosystem this year…with over 60 inches of rain so far this summer….A lot of vines are draping the shrubs and trees this green explosion summer. Of course this is all occurring outside my bison fences since my animals love all those vines…. including poison ivy.

      • pointswest says:


        Humans and bison came to North American at the same time, I believe.

      • bob jackson says:


        I asked how long GRAZERS, not bison, were on the landscape. It is mostly insignificant as to whether it is a functional bison, cow, mammoth, camel, wild horse, or any grazer for that matter when it comes to that species ability to influence its environment for its own grazing future. Yes, climate change and ice bergs can trump any need to bank grass and forbs but inhouse these animals, if allowed to form up into evolutions extended families can make WM’s nw US of A a lot more compatabile to their existence.

        This ability is based on “company” infrastrucure and a gradual expansion of this infrastructure to push algainst its edges, whether it is a meadow or a mountain.

      • pointswest says:

        There have been grazers on the North American continent as long as there has been grass. Grass was reletively rare until about 70 million year bp and only appeared in strenght after the extinction of the dinosaurs and after the break up of Pangea.

        But the Great Plains themselves came and went with the several ice ages. During the most recent glacial maximum, the ice was as far south as Missouri and south of the ice was tundra and south of the tunda was forrest and woodland.

        There were plains. There were probably plains in the West and Southwest and there were plains north of the ice sheets in Beringia (aka the Bering Land Bridge). It was the plains of Beringia that brought man, bison, elk, deer, wolves, grizzlies, and foxes from the Asia to North America. When the ice began to retreat, a north-south corridor opened up just east of the Rocky Mountains that allowed all of the above mentioned species to migrate south and into the plains developing to the south of the retreating ice sheet.

        So, if it is true that man managed the plains with fire, that management, in all likelyhood, extends all the way back to the creation of the Great Plains themselves…or the most recent creation of the Great Plains.

        The relationship of man to bison, elk, deer, wolves, and grizzlies extends far back, back prior to the creation of Beringia and back into Asia and Eurasia. Man may also have burned the plains of Beringia and also the plains Siberia or the Russian Steppe prior to the creation of Beringia.

      • Pointswest,

        While it is true that the idea there was a pristine America in 1491 is a mistake, it does not follow that we are under any obligation to recreate what native Americans or earlier peoples did to the landscape.

        In fact the whole name “native Americans,” “First Nations,” or whatever embodies many different cultures with different practices in relationship to the land.

        I like to see in some places what will happen without any directed human management, and I really could care less what was being done at that place in 4000 BC or 800 AD.

      • JEFF E says:

        In the Ohio river valley there was an agrarian based culture that rivaled any in the world…until the precursor of eminent domain.
        As a side note there is a body of research that maintains that modern wolves actually recognized the north from the south as the last ice age retreated. Decide for your self.

      • JEFF E says:

        recolonized (@#$%^ spellcheck)

      • pointswest says:

        I should mention that there are tribes of people in eastern Siberia today who resemble American Indians who herd semi-domesticated reindeer and have been doing so for thousands of years. One such tribe is the Dolgan….

        If Siberians herd reindeer, it is not much of a stretch to imagine Siberians 20,000 years ago burning the plains of Beringia to help manage bison herds.

      • pointswest says:

        ++Ralph writes: I like to see in some places what will happen without any directed human management, and I really could care less what was being done at that place in 4000 BC or 800 AD.++

        I agree and I believe we should not only preserve all existing wilderness but restore areas to wilderness where possible. For example, I think the project in Eastern Montana to restore some of the plains is a great idea.

        However, I believe the notion that we SHOULD allow dangerous predators to roam everywhere protected by law is an extreme viewpoint. These predators have been with us for a long time and their very survival may have depended, in part, on humans and our management of the landscape. I can see no philosophical or ecological reason to allow wolves and grizzlies into populated areas where they might destroy property and injure or even kill humans.

        I agree with the recent decisions to relist both the wolf and grizzly. I am both pro-wolf and pro-grizzly but I am also sympathetic to people who suffer because of them.

        What I am in favor of is setting large areas aside (ie GYE, Central Idaho, San Juan’s, NW Montana, etc.) where the predators have priority while allowing other areas to be relatively predator free.

        I think hunting should be allowed (after recovery) to help manage all game. Maybe we should burn some areas to improve the habitat for large mammals. I think most logging should be banned…only round-log horse logging type operations should be allowed. I believe many roads should be removed from our National Forrests.

        I brought this 1491 issue up mostly because I simply thought it was interesting but could also see that it may reveal that the humand-hating worship of the pristine wilderness we see so much of might be to a false God.

      • PointsWest says:

        ++In the Ohio river valley there was an agrarian based culture that rivaled any in the world…until the precursor of eminent domain.++

        …yes, I mentioned it. It is called the Mississippian Culture. They were not nearly as advanced as those in Mesoamerica. They did not have writing, for example.

        It is believed that they declined after the introduction of pigs from Europe. Early in the 16th century, pigs escaped from expeditions and colonies to becaume European feral pigs or “wild boar” and put an end to most agrarian culture in North America by destroying their fields of maize (corn). There was also disease. Some estimate that as much as 90% of the Native American population was killed by disease before ever seeing Europeans. The most conservative estimates are 50%. This is why there were so many buffalo on the plains and so few Indians in the 19th century. Wave after wave of European epedemic disease had depopulated the Americas.

      • bob jackson says:


        And in the beginning there was….wait I see it…yes…light.

      • pointswest says:

        I did some reading on the latest anthropology and it is now believed the first people arrived in North America along the Pacific coast about 17,000 years ago. There was a second larger wave of migration 13,500 ago when the corridor though the ice sheet opened up along the eastern side of the Rockies and this is when the bison, elk, deer, grizzlies, wolves, and foxes also migrated into North America as I mentioned previously.

        You wait five years and theories change a little.

        There is convincing evidence for both an early coastal migration and a larger corridor migration now…much of it in Y-Chromosome DNA studies done in just the past few years.

      • pointswest says:

        I should point out that this news brings up some interesting philosophical arguments because now, it seems, humans were in American 3,500 years before wolves and grizzlies migrated over from Asia. No one can say that wolves and grizzlies have more natural rights to America than humans. Humans were here first!

  82. Taz Alago says:

    Here’s the latest “wrinkle” in the Wallowa County wolf story:

    It would be helpful if the ranchers in wolf territory would adopt some of the cattle management practices used by Alberta stockmen under advisement by the Mountain Livestock Cooperative.

    • Save bears says:


      Well you were wrong, there are several provisions in the 10(j) that the groups as well as the governments are using to keep hunting of wolves on the front people really need to read in depth on this issue..

      • timz says:

        Watch the video of the USFWS lackey in talking to IDF&G commission where she she’s such hunts would “be indefensable, and we are tired of getting beat up in court”, or something to that effect. Maybe it’s you who should keep up with the issue.

      • WM says:

        As long as there are options to be pursued, you can bet ID and MT will stay at it, and apparently there still are. The shear weight of the fact that these were marketed as a non-essential experimental population, and all the verbage in the EIS about flexibility in management of them in concert with ungulate populations and livestock ought to be enough to carry the day to allow them their desired flexibility under the 10(j) regulations.

        Frankly, I am surprised both states haven’t been waving the EIS in front of the faces of FWS, Interior and the press. I think they miss an opportunity to slap a sloppy cold fish where it is deserved. “You, the federal government, promised us one thing and we got another!” Misrepresentation at the least. Fraud at the most.

    • timz,

      No, they haven’t been told “no” on this proposal. They were told no a number of years ago on a Lolo reduction hunt because their poor data couldn’t get by the 10j rule that required agreement by scientists.

      Then USFWS lowered the 10j bar on this!

      I do think the Montana “conservation hunt” is a more serious effort to reduce wolf population than the proposed Idaho “hunt” in the Lolo.

      I will say it again, there are not that many wolves in Lolo (unless they greatly expand the boundaries of the area). There might have been more wolves there 5 years ago, but they have been unable to count the wolves there. The hunt last year ended up way below quota. Their special outfitter’s only hunt this summer was a big disappointment to them.

      Saving the Lolo elk from wolves has been a political ritual. Participation in the ritual shows what side you are on. There is little more than that to it.

  83. jon says:

    Montana, Idaho officials want to eradicate endangered gray wolves

  84. jon says:

    GYC sees wolf solution

    Today, federal wildlife agents in Wyoming regularly respond to repeated wolf livestock killings by shooting wolves. They also have killed mothers and pups that have denned in areas where a pack appears to be destined to cause trouble with livestock.

    Outfitters in Wyoming are increasingly vocal about what they say is the impact wolves are having on elk calves; however, the state’s overall censused elk population is 34 percent above objective according to latest Wyoming Game and Fish numbers.

  85. jdubya says:

    Only water is more contentious than wolves…

  86. jon says:

    Bear and zucchini: Tolerate all wild animals

    Oh wait a minute, there is another animal that affects people’s lives – wolves. They hide in the forests, are rarely, if ever, seen around town, avoid people at all costs, and don’t eat the fruit from our trees, or climb them. Should we use “wolf” spray to keep them out of our trees downtown?
    Doesn’t that sound interesting that a bear attack can be laughed at but a wolf that is minding its own business is in the cross-hairs of so many people, including our elected officials?
    People have learned to tolerate bears; why can’t they tolerate an animal most have never seen in their backyards?

  87. Virginia says:

    Please read on Dailykos-“Tomgram: Chip Ward, A West Raised by Wolves”. He discusses a very interesting issue: “No Wolves, No Water” – an essay on why wolves are so important to the water in an ecosystem (along with other issues regarding wolves.)

  88. SEAK Mossback says:

    This is turning into a spectator sport. It will be interesting to see how far USFWS gets this time in trying to delist Great Lakes wolves. Probably not far —- given plenting of opposing groups including Center for Biological Diversity, Humane Society, etc. with legal firepower and an ability to chose a sympathetic (or uninformed or both) referee in Washington D.C. and work the many sticking points in the ESA.

    • WM says:


      If FWS is unsuccessful in delisting GL states wolves again, three more states will likely be counted in the column as wanting changes to the ESA, working through their Congressional delegations to do so. The thirteen states and three Canadian Provinces comprising the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies have already weighed in saying they should be delisted. If HSUS as lead plaintiff in the last suit, and their companion groups, seek another ruling from a DC circuit judge, count on more momentum to change the ESA. Spectator sport, indeed.

      • william huard says:

        The larger issue is the problem that would arise if this legislation were to pass- then everytime a group did not like a desired result all they would have to do is sue to get their way- the last time i checked that is not democracy. Obama needs the environmentalists, he doesn’t need the ranchers in the west- they aren’t voting for him now

      • Save bears says:

        Problem is William, that is the way it is perceived by many now, they are saying, if the pro wolf side don’t get their way, then they just sue to get their way…and I am not saying they are right or wrong, but the courts are available to everybody no matter their position…

      • WM says:


        Sorry, I don’t understand your statement, as regards who sues. It is the change in the law that would counteract the barrage of suits.

        Obama needs some moderates from the middle who stand to abandon him if he moves too far to the left on environmental matters. That is why he chose Salazar for Interior. The fragile middle is what is in play. I want to know how Senator Al Franken -MN {Farm Labor Party which is affiliated with the Dem. Party) will weigh in on wolves, if and when the time comes should a change in the law get traction. I happen to think the guy is very smart, as well as funny.

        Obama needs the middle. Where are the “environmentalists” going to go if Obama doesn’t meet their expectations – sit on the sidelines? Not likely.

  89. william huard says:

    Save bears
    the last republican admin had control of all 3 parts of the gov and Bush was only able to diminish oversight and regulation in the ESA , which were quickly overturned in the first year of Obama’s presidency. Now you have Sen Baucus who has obvious conflict of interest and bias with respect to the wolf issue going to try to attach a bill in the lame duck? Democrats won’t allow it I guarantee you

    • Save bears says:

      I am always amazed, when people say: “I guarantee you” How many times in our lives have we felt 100% sure of something, to only see it go exactly the way we thought..

      I honestly think in the upcoming election, the Democrats are going to throw anyone or any issue under the bus to get re-elected, that is my take on what is going on right now.

      You may not like my opinion, but really I do have a handle on these issues and November is not going to be a pretty picture and I think that in the next two years, we are going to really see wildlife and lands suffer big time because of it…

      America is not happy right now, and unfortunately, wildlife and land issues are at the bottom of the list of important issues..

    • WM says:


      What do you think Harry Reid (D-NV, Senate Majority Leader) thinks of wolves, and do you think he will abandon the West over the issue?

      The House will be a tougher sell.

      • william huard says:

        The only way the house will even take up the issue is if Boner from Ohio takes control. Rahall is the chairman of the Committee of Nat resources, and it will not happen with him there. Even if they take the house, how would any legislation pass the senate when they can’t agree on the weather. I wouldn’t count on the repubs taking the house. Remember the listening to the american people that the repubs said they did– The biggest issue people mentioned was sending american jobs overseas, and once again the repubs are trying to block the legislation to stop the tax loopholes- people aren’t stupid. Waterloo demint in June blocked the commission on the BP disaster from having subpoena power as the 3 stooges are pointing fingers at each other!

      • william huard says:

        As far as Harry Reid is concerned- the fact that he is not beating miss 2nd amendment remedies by double digits is horrifying. I don’t know where he stands on this issue. I’ll call his office and I’ll let you know.

        • william huard,

          The thing about Harry Reid is that he is the face of the Democratic Party — majority leader of the U.S. Senate. The Democratic Party is very unpopular, almost as much as the Republican Party (Americans wish there were more choices). Nevada lives off an unsustainable economy and the recession has hit the state harder than all but a few states. So angry people, egged on by Fox News, or only knowledge of his power, see him as a great and evil power to topple.

          Perhaps unfortunately, the woman who won the Republican Primary, Sharon Angle, has a host of ideas that are widely disliked by Nevadans (or positions that just seem crazy like black bordered numbers on football jerseys being the mark of the Devil). If you are on Social Security, or hope to collect it, believe a senator should work to find jobs for their states. Angle is horror. Some people do agree with Angle, but many just see here as the alternative to hateful Harry. So the race is close.

      • The way anti-wolf legislation would pass is to attach it as an amendment to an unrelated bill, and not have it filibustered.

        Going through “regular procedure,” as this increasingly disused method is called, is not an option for anti-wolf legislation.

      • jon says:

        I doubt many in this country care at all about this wolf issue. The majority of americans are probably concerned with more important matters. Wolves eating elk and livestock doesn’t really rate that high when it comes to important issues in this country. I doubt what Rehberg is doing will pass.

    • Elk275 says:

      ++Now you have Sen Baucus who has obvious conflict of interest and bias with respect to the wolf issue going to try to attach a bill in the lame duck?++

      Yes, Sen Baucas has a bias interest in wolves and he should. The majority of Montanan’s are not pro-wolf to the extent that wolves should be a regulator of elk and deer popuations. He was elected by the people of the state of Montana to represent there interest which is not the interest of some on this forum.

      I doubt that the ESA will be modified this fall, but if what I read is correct there is going to be some major changes in the US come next congress. The wolf issue is going to stop any efforts to create and protect additional wilderness areas in the west or roadless land protection. Remember they are as many or many or more capable people who are not pro wolf as there are pro wolf people. One day pro wolf people are going to wake up and see that the laws have changed.

    • timz says:

      Herein lies the difference between those and western states.
      “The decision to use lethal control methods came after attempts were made over several months to put an end to the wolf depredations with less drastic interventions.”

      ” and there has been extensive work done by WDNR and USDA-Wildlife Services to create aversive conditioning and attempt to haze the wolves away from cranberry beds and areas of human activity.”

      Here they just go ahead and kill them right away.

      • jon says:

        Trapping them and than shooting them, sickening, disgusting, and cruel all at the same time. I feel bad for the dogs killed, but wolves were doing what came natural to them. Although it is very sad when you lose a dog, it’s stupid to kill wild animals for displaying their natural behavior.

      • jon says:

        I looked on one of those links and it showed the dogs killed by wolves. I wonder where the dog owners were when these attacks happened. The key to preventing wolves from attacking your dog is watching over your dog very carefully. These dog owners probably didn’t do this or a good number of them anyways. That’s just my personal guess.

    • Great Lakes wolf control is heavenly enlightenment compared to Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.

  90. william huard says:


    Let me clarify what I meant. If we start dismantling the ESA in favor of one special interest group where does it end? Baucus does not have any credibility with his ties to the sheep industry. What will happen next- some developers in So Florida that can’t build golf courses in prime panther habitat just need Sen Lemiuex or Marco Rubio to introduce legislation to take the panther out of protection status in the ESA? I’m pretty sure Al Franken is in favor of ESA protection over special interests I could be wrong

    • WM says:

      This is not particularly “one special interest group” it is the states, and the number is growing, speaking through their state and possibly federal duly elected officials.

      This bullshit DPS argument (and “technical” reasoning behind it) is exactly why the law needs to be revisited. If you penalize MT and ID because WY won’t play, and wolves are protected at a higher level as listed in WY under FWS stewardship, how does that hurt the DPS?

      • SEAK Mossback says:

        I agree, there will always be people or organizations that refuse to play ball in any endeavor. The rules should not be set up to allow them to walk off with the ball and stop the entire game indefinitely. Wyoming has the ball, and there seems to be no way of getting it back until they voluntarily hand it back and agree to participate under the rules. There needs to be some way to exclude them from the game without harm or foul.

  91. jon says:

    The Big Bad Wolf Makes Good: The Yellowstone Success Story and Those Who Want to Kill It

    Worse yet, from the hunting point of view, elk behavior has changed dramatically. Instead of camping out on stream banks and overeating, they roam far more and in smaller numbers, browsing in brushy areas where there is more protective cover. Surviving elk are healthier, but leaner, warier, far more dispersed, and significantly harder to hunt. This further dismays those who had become accustomed to easy hunting and bigger animals.

  92. jon says:

    Killing wolves traumatic for Native Americans

    Congress must immediately begin hearings on the psychological effect of the killing of the wolf and buffalo and determine the health effects on the Indian people in all states.

    Socially, economically and ecologically it has devastating effects on Indian people. We were put here by God (Apoostootookee) to protect the land and all who walk on it.

    Now we watch our brothers, the wolves, and our provider, the buffalo, being killed and desecrated.

  93. jon says:

    Another amazing article by Georger Wuerthner. This guy speaks the truth!

    Demographically the country is changing to a more diverse racial, religious and age structure. The majority of Americans who do not hunt only accept hunting if they believe the hunter is killing an animal to eat it. Public support for hunting declines rapidly if hunters kill animals for trophy mounts. When it comes to shooting an animal just to kill it as would be the case for hunters shooting wolves—and/or worse as a matter of vindication as in predator control, public support turns to public opposition.

    • SEAK Mossback says:

      He’s speaking about one of the conundrums facing not just hunters but any minority group involved is anything people could object to. Do you quietly pursue your passion, hoping you are left alone or do you go out and promote and expand it to build political capital and increased participation (at the downside of increased competition and strain to meet expectations, in the case of hunting)? Gun owners are the consummate example of a group successful at the latter.

      Alaska is somewhat in the opposite situation of the Rocky Mountain Region where hunters long accustomed to abundant prey are concerned about holding on to their traditions and opportunity in the face of expanding predator populations. Here, its more “build it and they will come”. We hear the same thing – hunting license holders are only 14% of the state’s population, invoked by those who are usually trying to make the point that the rest of the state is antagonistic or barely tolerant of hunting, which I think is presumptuous and far from the case. Much of the urban-suburban Alaska population is too consumed with their little worlds to care much about anything that goes on beyond the paint on their walls or their picket fences.

      However, if opportunity for easy food and success at a new pastime presents itself, they will easily change their minds. I remember in the 1970s when meat prices got high, it hit the news that all kinds of people were calling in to the ADF&G office in Fairbanks asking how their husband could get a moose, did they rent rifles and hunting equipment, etc? Hence, the current dream among some of becoming another Sweden with moose hunting conducted on an almost industrial scale over the entire country with a harvest over 10 times that in Alaska. You can imagine what such an increase in moose opportunity would do for the political power behind hunting and, in theory, insurance of its future as all that marginal hunting effort pours in (I witnessed the most marginal hunting effort imaginable at the Gardiner firing line in January 1976; Here, many won’t bother to hunt deer except when populations are at precariously high levels in danger of wipeout from a snow winter). Hence, the political force behind intensive management to make “natural, solar-produced food” more easily available to everyone.

      I have several friends who have gone up north this fall and brought back moose from low-density and lightly hunted populations in heavy grizzly (and wolf) areas like Tok that are considered some of the top candidates in need of intensive management. Are those of us in the minority who go out and quietly put in the extra effort to harvest game from a low density (but lightly hunted) wildlife population fools if we don’t support juicing it up with predator control to make moose available to the masses (ignoring for a minute cost, biological constraints, increased vulnerability to weather events, etc)? Many with political influence think so and the answer lies not only with hunters but also with non-hunters as our numbers continue to shrink. I’ve heard gleeful comments here that hunting effort in some of the Rocky Mountain states is declining. Some decline in marginal is inevitable as another predator (regulating factor) is added, but are the remaining hunters fools not to be alarmed and fight back as they slide ever deeper into the minority?

    • pointswest says:

      ++In California after hunters repeatedly countered non-hunters efforts to have a say in cougar hunting, the voters finally outlawed all hunting of cougars. I suspect if hunters push too far, they may well see a similar outcome about wolves. ++

      Let me point out a few things about California that make it different from almost every other western state.

      1) Many gays from around the nation concentrate in San Francisco and West Hollywood and this skews the demographic. We had two gay men going at it in public on one of our jobsites at UCLA and I mean doggy style. Dozzens of people saw them. It was an exhibition. Nothing happened to them for it. People are afraid to mess with gays.

      2) Medical medical marihuana has been legal for several years and anyone can get a perscription. There are cafe’s that sell marihuana pasteries with coffee and they are everywhere.

      3) Most people in So Cal have never been anywhere other than Las Vegas or Hawaii. So. Cal is surrounded by a vast desert and many people here have no idea what lies beyond.

      4) There are many, many singles here even in their 40’s and 50’s who go to bars for pickups. Many married people cheat. I was very shocked by how much married people cheat on their spouse when I first moved here. It is very common and many hardly make a secret of it. Prostitution is very common too and men hardly make a secret of frequenting prostitutes here.

      5) People are afraid to let their kids play with other kids because they are afraid of lawsuits by the parents of other kids. They will not allow stange kids in their house for fear of the same.

      Just because something happens in California does not mean it will happen in other western states.

    • Elk275 says:

      In the 1970’s George was a sheeping hunting guide based out of Cooke City, Montana. Mountain sheep meat is some of the best wild game eating, but mountain sheep is trophy hunting.

      • SEAK Mossback says:

        Dall sheep hunting is probably the only “trophy hunting” I’ve done. It’s not so much by choice but you have to be very selective to make sure you get a legal one – full curl or 8 years old or double broomed. The point is to let rams get fully mature and breed. But sheep hunting is so horrendously addictive I don’t recommend it to anyone – its mainly the country they live in..

        Ironically, the seven wolves trapped off this island that caused a huge fuss were all consumed in the Filipino community.

  94. WM says:

    Looks like the Baucus-Tester wolf delisting bill is officially in play before the Senate public works and environment committee. Rehberg is doing his own thing in the House. Nobody gives a rip about WY.

    Whether this or any version makes it into law is questionable, but I certainly hope the ISSUE gets a good airing. This bullshit DPS technical ruling by the judge sidetracked everything (even though I think he made the right legal ruling under the current law), and we are not getting to the issue of whether wolves are recovered and should be delisted in ID, MT, and parts of WA, OR and UT.

    The ESA is not working administratively as it should in this instance, and it needs to be fixed!

    • timz says:

      If it’s the right legal ruling how could it be “technical bullshit”?

      • WM says:

        The judge just interpreted the law. That is his job. I don’t think anyone anticipated a situation where the irresponsible actions of one state could hold other states hostage. In this instance, ID and MT could have the very best plans imaginable (that even the most strident environmental purist could imagine and agree with) and still not be able to manage. The law contemplated such a situation where one state could hold up the entire delisting process. Sometimes laws need to be tweaked. I am sure as a former IRS employee you know laws get rewritten all the time.

      • WM says:

        Sorry. Next to last sentence should read. “The DID NOT contemplate such a situation where one state could hold up the entire delisting process…..”

      • WM says:

        Jeez. “The LAW did not contemplate

      • Everyone please note that it just made this post. It would be great if you took the discussion there.

  95. jon says:

    Man And Crocodile, Chito And Pocho, Play And Swim Together Like Best Friends (VIDEO)

    Just unreal. Taming a half ton 17 foot crocodile. Just amazing and unbelievable.

    • jon says:

      “Please be aware that you have always been able to kill a wolf in self defense or in the defense of other humans,” Otter wrote. “That is not changed nor is a disaster declaration necessary for you to protect yourselves and loved ones from wolves.”

      You really have to wonder if some are going to kill wolves and claim it was self defense when the wolves weren’t threatening them at all. I am sure some are going to do this. Anything to kill a wolf in their minds.

  96. Elk275 says:

    There is a new article in the New Times called ” Mysteries That Howl and Hunt” in the science section and it is #8 on the current best read articles list. John Way is mentioned

    I do not know how to post the link from the Times to a blog. I do not get any links at the top of the articles in the Times, someone here knows hot to get link.

  97. jon says:

    Ralph or Ken, make this a new topic?

    A scientific study released Wednesday said a proposed hunt for gray wolves in the Northern Rockies would cut the endangered species’ population in Montana by roughly half during a single season.

    The study from two Montana State University ecologists raised questions about claims that the wolves could easily withstand hunts proposed this fall in Montana and Idaho. The peer-reviewed report was published online by the Public Library of Science.

    Wolves in the Northern Rockies were returned to the endangered species list last month under a federal court order, but state officials still want permission to hold the public hunts.

    The MSU study found that Montana stands to lose approximately 50 percent of its wolves under a proposal submitted in mid-September to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    “The data suggest that a sustainable harvest can be developed. But the thresholds identified (in Montana) appear to be above a sustainable level,” said MSU ecologist Scott Creel, one of the study’s authors.

    • jon says:

      Montana wants a hunting quota of 186 wolves, on top of 145 wolves that the state expects to be killed this year by wildlife agents responding to attacks on livestock.

      • jon says:

        They are killing all of these extra wolves. If a hunt is allowed, any wolves killed by ws should count in the wolf hunting quota. This is sickening. It is clear that Montana is trying to wipe out their wolf population or get them down to extremely low numbers!

  98. jon says:

    Timber Wolves

    Native Americans have often held timber wolves in the highest esteem in their culture. In truth, they are many times seen as a sacred animal and featured significantly in ancient songs, dances and stories that have been handed down for generations. Their role in Native American life was a given and often revered and welcomed.

  99. Robert Hoskins says:

    I don’t often agree with Creel but his thesis here is most interesting: that wolf hunts/control actions may not be as sustainable as the wildlife agencies claim:

    “Abstract–Following the growth and geographic expansion of wolf (Canis lupus) populations reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho in 1995–1996, Rocky Mountain wolves were removed from the endangered species list in May 2009. Idaho and Montana immediately established hunting seasons with quotas equaling 20% of the regional wolf population. Combining hunting with predator control, 37.1% of Montana and Idaho wolves were killed in the year of delisting. Hunting and predator control are well-established methods to broaden societal acceptance of large carnivores, but it is unprecedented for a species to move so rapidly from protection under the Endangered Species Act to heavy direct harvest, and it is important to use all available data to assess the likely consequences of these changes in policy. For wolves, it is widely argued that human offtake has little effect on total mortality rates, so that a harvest of 28–50% per year can be sustained. Using previously published data from 21 North American wolf populations, we related total annual mortality and population growth to annual human offtake. Contrary to current conventional wisdom, there was a strong association between human offtake and total mortality rates across North American wolf populations. Human offtake was associated with a strongly additive or super-additive increase in total mortality. Population growth declined as human offtake increased, even at low rates of offtake. Finally, wolf populations declined with harvests substantially lower than the thresholds identified in current state and federal policies. These results should help to inform management of Rocky Mountain wolves.”

    • WM says:


      I usually do agree with Creel. I think he has done and is doing alot of very useful and practical research I do not think this topic is an exception. These human offtake rates need deliberate and thoughtful discussion, and if the recommended take is too much MT needs to rethink its harvest levels inconjunction with problem wolves.

      • Robert Hoskins says:


        The agencies will most certainly not rethink the issue, given the politics. One more reason they can’t get the wolf off the list. They gave up on science a long time ago. We see the same thing with grizzlies.


    • Robert Hoskins and WM,

      Of course, the scientific method requires replications of studies. Hopefully related studies will be done to test and refine, and perhaps even reject, these findings.

      • Robert Hoskins says:

        Yes, I seem to recall having heard something about the scientific method and replicability in college.


  100. Daniel Berg says:

    Could be a pretty cold winter in the Pacific Northwest & Northern Rockies……..

    • Alan says:

      Wouldn’t that be nice, and all the pine beetles went bye bye!
      It better get going though, it was 97 at my house the other day in Paradise Valley (just north of Yellowstone). 97 degrees a couple of days before the first of October!!

    • Daniel Berg says:

      Yeah, it would be nice to have a big Pine Beetle die-off. Supposedly the La Nina kicks in sometime around November, so I guess we’ll see.

      I wish we had a little more of your sunshine. September here in the Seattle area has been unusually wet and dreary this year.

      • Ryan says:

        Its been a weird year, shitty all summer and most of september, then hot as hell to finish off the month.

  101. Nancy says:

    According to the Dillionite Daily, a little 8 page rag, that’s spread around town every morning in Dillon Montana – Sept. 30th 2010:

    Wolf Hunt Still In Limbo

    Last year licensed hunters in Idaho and Montana killed about 260 wolves in the first legal hunting season. There is no estimate of wolves killed illegally. Wolves are a hardy lot and it is estimated that 1,700 of the predators are roaming the northern Rockies. The original goal for a wolf population when the return the wolves movement was in full swing, was “three hundred wolves will be enough.”

    Federal Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula, returned the wolves to the endangered species list, on a technicality involving Wyoming’s action concerning the predators.

    Montana and Idaho are now attempting to get permission to kill 186 wolves in a special “conservation” hunt. The wolves are destroying wildlife. Elk and young moose are their primary food source. No ruling on the special conservation hunt has been received from the feds to date. The U S Fish and Wildlife Service need to make a decision before November, so the hunt can be planned. A wolf hunt provides a great tool for the control of the predators. It’s also a plus that the hunters pay to solve the problem threatening the game herds and the revenue it brings in throughout Montana and Idaho.

    • william huard says:

      The same old misinformation. Wolves are destroying wildlife. They are “decimatin” our herds that we are entitled to kill. Note the misspelling. The returned on a “technicality is a good one. The only thing that missing is ” At some point we will have a human fatality- watch your children” Pathetic

  102. Nathan Hobbs says:

    7,500 gallons of diesel spill into the Lochsa river from a overturned semi on Highway 12.
    (if the regular sized semis have trouble on this road what will it be like if the megaloads bound for canada tar sands are allowed through?)

  103. jon says:

    Bearing down
    Experts put an eventful–and sometimes fatal–season of bear activity into perspective

    This was one of the comments to this article.

    In the Yellowstone region, Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team annual reports clearly show that the #1 cause of bear-human conflicts is ranchers. About 1/2 of all problems result from conflicts with livestock. Some incidents occur on private land, but most incidents occur on U.S. Forest Service land leased to ranchers. This is a chronic problem. Today, Chris Servheen rarely makes the decision to kill these bears; they’re usually relocated. But Servheen and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are in court at the moment trying to remove Endangered Species Act protection for grizzlies in the Yellowstone region. If grizzlies are delisted, conflicts between grizzlies and ranchers will be decided in the field with bullets.

  104. SEAK Mossback says:

    Wildlife Services would spend a lot of time sitting on their thumbs if they operated in Switzerland. An individual wolf there will get a pass as long as it can keep its consumption below 35 sheep over a 4 month period and 25 within any individual month.

    • WM says:

      There seems to be a reason for the high tolerance for depredation.

      Like what do they have, maybe a dozen wolves in the entire country? Their predator control program for 2009 was removal of 1 due to depredation, and that was only if it could be located within a very short period of time, with up to 3 additional permits authorized. At least, that is that the number from last year according to a Reuters article.

  105. jon says:

    “This is not a state sovereignty issue,” Dutcher said. “Sadly, the waste of taxpayer funds to pursue this appeal is not about wildlife management and reality; it is about politics.”
    Bob Clark, associate regional organizer of the Sierra Club wolf program, said his group — which fought delisting in court — isn’t saying state fish and game departments aren’t capable of managing wolves. And it respects the states’ right to appeal.
    “The courts are used by both sides,” Clark said. “But delisting wolves along political boundaries doesn’t meet the requirements of the Endangered Species Act, which demands decisions based not upon emotion or politics but on the best-available science as recently upheld by Salazar,” he continued, referring to the Interior secretary’s Wednesday move to issue rules to protect scientific integrity.

    • william huard says:

      It would be a good sign if the Obama administration holds true to this idea of scientific integrity over politically driven special interests. After 8 years of the most cynical manipulation in our history, this is critical. It is completely predictable how these states rights people are marginalizing the decision by Malloy with comments like “Due to a technicality the wolves were protected” Science has clearly been under assault as countries like China continue to outperform us in green technologies. People should be afraid of these mainly conservative viewpoints who dismiss global warming and promote creationism over evolution

    • william huard says:

      Anyone that questions these yahoos like Gillette are somehow unamerican, or communist or terrorists! As if they had any understanding of what those terms mean! I got into it last week with some people on an Idaho paper comment section when one of them called Ralph a communist! There’s absolutely no tolerance, or no attention paid to the actual facts in any of these debates right now

      • pointswest says:

        You know, no one in Germany took the angry little loud-mouthed Adolf Hitler and his NAZI party seriously in the 1920’s. As Germany languished in economic turmoil and high unemployment, however, more and more Germans caught the anger bug and saw the NAZI party as a hope for change. In 1928, the NAZI’s only captured 2.6% of the vote but in 1930, after the world wide economic collapse, the NAZI’s won 108 seats in the Riechstag and were the second most powerful party in Germany. Once in the Riechstag, the NAZI’s made a mockery of the German political system bending every rule to the extreme and rendered it dysfunctional. The NAZI’s blamed all the chaos and disorder on the opposition and made the German people grand promises of a return to order, a return to full employment, and a return to greatness. Hitler also blamed the Jews and the Treaty of Versailles (signed to end WW1) and promised obliterate both. The chaos continued and included the burning of the Richstag in 1933 and the death of President Von Hindenburg in 1934.

        The rest, as they say, is history.

      • pointswest says:

        I should also mention that the NAZI’s originated in the most rural, remote, wild, and rednecked region of Germany …Bavaria.

      • WM says:


        And didn’t the Nazi’s after taking control, advocate a strong, no tolerance, national government where dissention and regional differences were not permitted?

        It seems there was considerable risk when all policy was directed out of Berlin.

        Fast forward and think of Washington DC today with a much stronger federal role (regardless of which party holds power), and little or no dissent from the states, in a country as large as the US. I do not believe the framers wanted that, and there was considerable debate during the Constitutional Convention and after, as our young country first flapped its wings. The debate and tension continues, and I think that is good.

      • pointswest says:

        WM…no, not really. Hitler was famous for delegating power and responsibility and only dictating vague policy …similar to Regan. He often overlapped responsibilities so underlings would fight each other for control and favor. Hitler had a very Darwinian approach to administration and believed the strongest would rise to the top and promoted decentralization and competition at all levels.

        The NAZI’s rather, than feed and care for the poor and handicaped, began killing them or moving then into concentration camps almost as soon as they gained power.

      • pointswest says:

        The NAZI’s were also very racist. We all know what they did to Jews but they also exterminated Gypcies and other minorities and began exterminating Russians in Russia until they began losing the war. The historical record is clear that Hitler intended make Slavs and Poles second class citizens but intented to exterminate the Russian Bolsheviks since he associated Bolshevism with Judaism and believe them to be sub-human.

      • jon says:

        pw, I heard that Hitler had african and jewish ancestry although he denied it. I also heard that Hitler was a vegetarian and a die hard animal lover. Is there any truth to these claims at all?

      • WM says:

        I knew better than to begin a discussion with you. It is my understanding that the Nazi movement revolved around a STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT. That means no dissent, and local/state policy means nothing in terms of how government functions, unless it is lock step with the national government with policy made in Berlin, not unlike a growing federal dominance in our own government. That was my point, not the leadership or all the other bad crap.

      • bob jackson says:

        points & wm

        Since I study a fair amount of Germany’s past Aryan superiority, and thus its opposite “sub human” beliefs, I’d have to say both of you are right.

        Very much a dictatorship…and this means a LOT of central control…but at the same time Hitler did delegate a lot out …as I read “history”.

        Of course the more centralized “govt” combined with Aryan principles and one has quite the mixing bowl of dysfunctional culture….something I don’t see any similarity to in todays Washington “management”.

        And of course the higher the oppression of peoples the greater the pay back when the inevitable collapse occurs. Those “sub human” Russian soldiers raped over 2 million German women and girls in less than a year while occupying German soil.

        I’d say with all Hitlers Aryan superiority indoctrination with so many Germans for decades those raped must of had even worse thoughts…that of being victims of bestality.

        Of course all realizations of human gross action and reaction must be transferred over to what “civilized” religous man presently feels about the animal and plant kingdom he so conveniently assumes he is superior to. His beastality suffering ends with him being raped by his own exploitation of this earth…at least that is how I see it.

      • pointswest says:

        I do see parallels between the Tea Party and the NAZI Party. Both are based on anger or even rage about the current state of affairs, both are very ideological with their ideology based in tradition or ethnicity, both are exclusionary and operate on fear and mob rule (although the mob rule in the Tea Party has only showed itself briefly and is currently being repressed), both promise to restore their respective societies to glory, and both discredit science and intellectual thought in general.

  106. jon says:

    Another column from New West: Wolf hunters and haters are creating more anti hunters

    Read more:

    Wuerthner says hunters and ranchers are more upset about losing their clout in managing wildlife and predators than they are about the actual effects on elk and deer populations or economic viability of ranching. That attitude could turn moderate Americans against them because the average person does not support killing wolves, he says.

    Read more:

    • william huard says:

      The most interesting comment in the article was supplied by “hunter”. Who stated ” The only wolf hunt that is going to happen this year is shoot, shovel, and shutup, enough said” These are the people that are dangerous, the hell with the guvmint! Those darn enviros, a bunch of wolf loving, tree hugging, communist pinko liberal socialists!

      • william huard says:

        From New York!

      • jon says:

        William, I believe some of them just say that because they are angry and bitter individuals who have a hard time understanding and accepting that wolves were relisted and also to try to get a rise out of wolf advocates and try to piss them off. Most of the ones that threaten sss on websites probably won’t even do it. Who can say for sure.

  107. william huard says:

    I’ll bet alot of them couldn’t kill a squirrel in a locked closet with a grenade

    • Layton says:

      Then, OTOH, there are probably those that could shoot a wolf at 300 or 400 yards and nobody would be the wiser!!!

      AND — they wouldn’t tell a soul about it.

      • william huard says:

        yeah Layton, and we can call them real americans, real hunters

      • Layton says:

        Call them what you will William.

        Just because you have a little twisted mindset that says all hunters are twisted, evil and incompetent doesn’t make it true.

        There are a lot of folks out there in the woods that don’t like what is going on with the wolf population, that are quite good at what they do AND that spend a lot of time where no one else is around.

        Keep sipping the green kool aid, keep filing BS legal suits, keep the beloved puppies on the “list” and you might not like the results when these folks get pissed.

      • Layton says:


        Is the time you spend looking up derogatory things about hunting considered in your world as a fullfilling pursuit??

      • william huard says:

        oooh when these folks get pissed! Sounds ominous! People that have my “twisted mindset” are the majority of people in this country! Speaking of fulfilling pursuits- sounds to me like you defended poachers yesterday- or is that my imagination! Better not get the hillbillies pissed!

      • Save bears says:

        What is it with the “hillbilly” bullshit? disagree, fine, but why the name calling?

        I would hope a State Trooper would not commit an act of this nature, but I can bet he is no hillbilly!

        I am a hunter, and I can guarantee you I am no hillbilly!

      • timz says:

        Taakes no time at all. You “hunters” make it easy.

      • Save bears says:

        Typical Timz.

      • timz says:

        Don’t you have an appointment at the VA or something SB?

      • jon says:

        lol @ timz

        savebears, have you seen any wolves in your backyard?

        just curious

      • Save bears says:

        Not on Sunday Timz, if you don’t like what I have to say, why do you read it?

      • Save bears says:


        I don’t know, I am not in a location where I can see my back yard now..

      • jon says:

        No sb, what I meant was have you actually ever seen wolves that were in your backyard?

      • Save bears says:


        As I have stated in the past, yes, I have..

    • timz says:

      You don’t see wolves when your sitting around on this blog all the time trying to impress upon everyone that you know everything, and if you don’t think save bears knows everything just ask him. Except for his real name apparently. Oh, wait he can’t use that someone is after him.

      • Save bears says:


        I don’t know everything, ask me questions about something other that the military or wildlife biology, and I bet you could stump me with no problem at all..

  108. william huard says:

    I thought it was interesting when the teenagers said to their parents that they didn’t want to hunt. I agree that alot of this has to do with the lost power that is perceived by ranchers and hunters. There are states like Alaska that won’t give up the power to control wildlife without a fight

    • SEAK Mossback says:

      Surprisingly, Alaska has surrendered quite a bit to the Feds in the area of wildlife and fish management without a fight. One example is the Marine Mammals Protection Act of 1972 where the Feds seized control of all marine mammal management with the understanding that it would be returned species-by-species after a review. They started by trying to give back walrus management, but the state said “No, thanks” and nothing more has proceeded since.

      A second example is the Katie John case where the state withdrew a legal challenge to federal subsistence management that really should have gone forward to the Supreme Court, to put the legal issue to rest either way if nothing else — as the ongoing political ramifications of the state capitulating may never end.

      Of course, both of these cases involved democrat governors, Sheffield and Knowles, who were playing somewhat to native pressure and votes. Many natives would prefer to deal with the federal government on these issues. I’m quite sure recent republicans Murkowski, Palin and Parnell would not have gone that route as their core railbelt constituency would have disowned them. The Parnell administration is attempting to challenge the federal government on ESA listings, including Polar Bears and Cook Inlet Belugas.

      • william huard says:

        I remember when the Board of Game stripped the buffer protection from around Denali National Park. I don’t know if the source was accurate but I heard there was a wolf that was caught in a trap for over 10 days before she was killed by a trapper. Did you hear about that Seak? Stripping the buffer zone was an illustration of just how these Boards of Game dismiss the will of all the people in favor of the few Al Barrette types in the state.

      • jon says:

        Al Barrette cast the deciding vote to eliminate the Denali National Park wolf “buffer zone” that added additional protection for the packs that live within the park boundary. Karma will get him William.

      • SEAK Mossback says:

        I did not hear about that particular incident with trapped wolf, but was aware of the removal by BOG of the Stampede Trail buffer strip which has been debated, expanded or reduced over many years. I seem to remember NPS had always remained officially neutral about the buffer strip over the years but had just, for the first time, submitted testimony in favor of keeping or expanding it before that meeting. It was roughly the same time the state shot two NPS collared wolves just outside the Yukon-Charley Preserve. Those were major eye pokes.

    • william huard says:

      Save bears- A poacher is a hillbilly, a person that has no ability to see past their selfish little world. Laws don’t apply. They have contempt for any type of authority. If this state trooper committed this crime he is a hillbilly, and it is ludicrous for people to say that because he is a state trooper that makes him exempt from being an ignorant fool! I don’t remember calling you a hillbilly. It’s too bad if all these poachers are giving responsible hunters a bad name-

      • jon says:

        I always thought hillbillies were white trash.

        Check out these hillbilly jokes.

      • WM says:


        A poacher is a criminal, and once the illegal act is proven, he is a convicted felon if the infraction is of sufficient magnitude.

        You will probably be surprised to know some poachers are fairly well educated and literate people, who for personal greed or the thrill of thinking they can get away with something, will engage in illegal acts. Might even be a few who believe they are civil libertarians (but that is an entirely different topic). So, some poachers are not hillbillies. For as much as I dislike the guy, Toby Bridges (if he acts as he speaks) may be a poacher, but not a hillbilly. He knows exactly what he is advocating and maybe doing from a legal standpoint, and its consequences. He is not illiterate, writes a passable essay, and he reasons fairly well (better than some who post here). But, let’s be clear. I do not agree with him or his proposed acts, and would turn his sorry ass in, if I saw him doing them. On the other hand Gillette and rockhead just might fit your definition of hillbilly, based on what they have posted or been filmed doing.

      • Save bears says:


        There is still innocent until proven guilty, I would reserve my judgment until such time as he has been convicted of committing the crime that is being investigate..if convicted, he is not a hunter, he is not a cop, he is simply a criminal! I don’t know how many times this has to be said…all of us are innocent until proven guilty, whether by trial or admission, in this small blurb, that has not happened yet..if convicted, or admitted, then throw his ass in jail and strip him…I have no compassion for criminals what so ever…

      • Nancy says:

        The movie Deliverance comes to mind when I think about the defination of the word hillbilly. You can still find people like that in parts of the Carolinas, West Virginia and states further south.

      • Save bears says:

        One thing, I didn’t read in the little blurb, was there a tag attached to the hide or head, there are ways to preserve the hide and head from a previous legal kill until such time as you have the funds to mount it, which in the case of a Moose can costs upwards of $5000.00, so until they release more information, I will wait to convict or exonerate him..

      • Save bears says:


        I correspond on a boating blog, and there is one of the guys, that in his signature line has the statement:

        “Paddle Faster, I hear Banjo’s!”

    • timz says:

      “You can still find people like that in parts of the Carolinas, West Virginia and states further south.”

      Here to in Idaho, Layton for example.

  109. Cody Coyote says:

    In the mood for some Environmentally Disgusting ? Search the current Wall Street Journal real estate section for ” Buzzard of Backcountry ” and read till you puke about the antics of one Tom Chapman, the insiduous property speculator who buys remote inholdings in National Parks and develops them , or resells them at monstrous profits, just because he can.

    Here’s one link that may or may not work :

    Chapman has bought several inholdings in Colorado and flipped them , all the while flipping off the Government and the people . He has a psychotic passion for this In Your Face form of real estate. While it is ( maybe) legal , few would say it is far from being moral or ethical. As far as you can get.

    This is a common scheme in the West , the purchase of former mining properties, which are a form of quasi-private property known as ” Patent Lands” , where mineral claims on public lands were once patented and the property reverted to the patentee, such as a long forgotten hardscrabble prospector. Today , those old hardrock claims way up in the mountains are prime retreat properties for owners who demand exclusive easements and private roads to them , or own helicopters. Or for the exclusive use of an ATV-er or Range Rover jockey and their ilk.

    Tom Chapman is the worst of the worst of these for his flaunting of archaic laws and unique parcels that really should be public. But he’s far from being the only perp. It is hideously expensive and complicated to wrrest these precious properties back and revert them to public lands.

    In my own personal experience as a former prospector and mining technician and extensive backcountry user in the 70’s and 80’s , I’m aware firsthand of several prime mountain properties in northwest Wyoming that were once only isolated mining tracts and played out claims. Some of these have been bought out by the Forest Service at great costs, but many have not.

    I believe that Colorado, Montana , and Idaho have many many more such grandfathered tracts, or at least the potential for this sort of abuse. I”m always astounded at the number and sensitive locations of old mining properties in interior Idaho and the damnable roads that lead to them. Look at the land use maps, and prepare to be shocked. Ditto Colorado Flying over alpine Colorado between the ” Fourteeners” you set a network of old roads and trails leading to scabbed areas at timberline that could easily become McMansions or modern log castles, which hopelessly fragment the ecosystem beyond repair if still accessed by their nouveau riche owners. Now that we have ATV’s and such , getting to the mountaintop and flaunting the wilderness is easier than ever. Think vermin in Gucci Gore-Tex , or somesuch.

    My nomination for Northern Rockies Environmental Jerk of the Decade(s) is Tom Chapman. Read on at the WSJ .

    • pointswest says:

      I do not see how this type of land speculation could be stopped by the federal government.

      Counties could stop it. They can create zoning and zone areas as scenic corridors or as important wildlife habitat. They can refuse to issue building permits, prevent subdivision, and prevent roads or utilities to areas. Fremont County (Idaho) is taking steps such this.

      Again, it comes down to what the local yokels want.

    • SEAK Mossback says:

      You may have heard about 3 years ago or so about a similar group with an inholding in Wrangell-St. Elias Park — a huge family that called themselves the Pilgrims. I think they came from Colorado and their main source of income was the Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, which with the size of their tribe amounted to over $20K/year. NPS tried dealing with the extremely pious, bible-quoting Papa Pilgrim when he bulldozed a trail miles into the property and ended up in a huge stand-off with all kinds of right wing supporters and kindred spirits rushing to his aid against the godless feds. Papa Pilgrim was one popular guy in those circles, the image of an upstanding, independent, God-fearing, but government-bedeviled family man. For a year or so — until his long-obedient, brow-beaten wife and family finally became horrified enough at his sexual, physical and mental abuse of one of his daughters to call in the state troopers. He’s in jail for the duration, his family has moved on —– and his pious defenders have long-since fled for the hills.

  110. In my view, the emergence and success of people like this guy is one of the major reasons why the future of the United States is doubtful. There is no longer anything to hold us together. There is no common interest.

    Those whose good works sustain us are sapped by parasites.

    • pointswest says:

      The problem is that zoning and land development needs to be done at the county level. There are national organization that will help local chapters at the county level. One is called Smart Growth…

      …they can help change county development codes and change zoning laws. They work mosty by educating the public. The problem, obviously, is that it will take some interested and hardworking people in every county.

      Fremont, Idaho county had a chapter Call Fremont County Smart Growth but they then branched off into another organization that pushed a farmer/rancher agenda (against wolves and grizzlies) call Smart Growth Coalition.

      If people wanted to do something, however, they could join or create a national organization that affects change at the county level. The real problem is lack of interest.

      I think people get interested in single causes, such as owls, or wolves, because it stirs some deep emotional response in them but many of the real environmental issues need to be addressed as a whole and at the county level and people are simply not interested in a national organization with a broad agenda such as smart growth. They all want their narrow issue addressed by the federal goverment and this will never work in the USA. Europe is so far ahead of us in wildlife conservation because groups with narrow agendas can affect change to national governments there.

      In the US, greed can easily divide and conquer.

      • Save bears says:


        You do realize, they are talking about private park in-holdings, I believe those come under the jurisdiction of the Feds and not the State or County where the park is located

      • WM says:


        Probably has alot to do with the legislation creating the NP, or Wilderness, which covers most. The Frank Church and SNRA, have a number of exceptions, if I recall correctly from some earlier discussions on in-holdings, and I bet you a beer it has been studied to death by the bureaucrats, generally and specifically regarding certain important properties. The problem is federal $ to buy them out, and the nasty valuation issues which are at the heart of the WSJ article. This needs to be fixed.

    • WM says:


      Not quite sure who does land use reviews and has final say for in-holdings in federal reserves (it may vary), but the county would likely have a strong role and you can bet generally most want higher value developed property on the tax rolls. Probably not a real big deal to most rural areas to have a $4M house on the bluff. It beats a trailer with a dead dodge and washing machine, and a bunch of worn tires in the front yard. The Black Canyon example is disgusting but the Gunnison County tax folks and Commissioners probably have the money spent once the building permit is issued.

      • Save bears says:


        I really don’t know for a fact, the only experience I have is the articles I have read about the private in-holdings in Glacier National Park, and I know where ever something comes up with one of those, the park services has been the governing body over those parcels..

    • pointswest says:

      SB…you may or may not be correct about private land surrounded by a National Park or Monument but I am certain that building and zoning for private property, even if it is surrounded by National Forrest is in the County’s jurisdiction.

      Someone has to issue building permits and conduct inspections and this is not going to be the National Forest. The Forest Service does not have a Building & Safety Department. In fact, the NF may be required to gain a building permit from the County to build a ranger station…if on private land, …probably not if on federally owned land. Actually, I know that Sandia Labs did not have to permit with the City or County since it was federal land. …one reason was, however, that Sandia had their own Fire Department. A building on, even on state or federal, needs permitting to satify the local Fire Department or they will not be able to buy insurance, would be open to lawsuits, and the fire department may not put the fire out.

      I would also guess that the same is true for a National Park. The Park Service does not have a Building and Safety department and does not have building codes or personnel to inspect and enforce building codes. If it is private land, improvements to land come under the jurisdiction of the County. I am almost certain.

      The fed could certainly create statutes that the County must obey. I’m sure this is what was done in National Parks with private land such as Adirondack Park or Columbia River Gorge Park. These statues probably required no subdivision and no increases in density, etc.

      • pointswest says:

        I’m sure this developer would not build a house that could not get fire insurance, and he could not get fire insurance if it was not inspected to meet fire codes of some kind, and the County Fire Department may refuse fight fire on a building that was built without a County Building Permit.

        It would be hard to get any kind of insurance on a house that was NOT inspected by some building authority and anyone who built such a house would be open to personal injury lawsuits for decades. Someone could fall down some steps not built to one on the standard building codes and sue the developer and builder.

        Owning land and building upon it are two entirely separate issues.

      • Save bears says:


        I am actually talking about private land, that is inside the national park, here in Montana, in Glacier, there are still several parcels of land that is owned by private citizens, because their family homesteaded before the park was founded.

        By the way, there is no such thing as the “Columbia River Gorge Park” The Columbia River Gorge is a National Scenic Area, Governed by different laws. I know this for a fact, because I am looking at 20 acres, that is located exactly 27 feet outside the Gorge National Scenic Area in Washington..I have the complete rules and regulations book for that area..

        I know in Flathead county, where my property is located, the local authorities have no say on what goes on inside Glacier National Park..and any inspections that get done, is done by the park service, just as they do when they are building new structures…

        I also know, that the privately owned buildings in Glacier have a very difficult time getting insurance, there was one that burnt down back in 2000 and no insurance and the park service would not issue permits for it to be rebuilt..

      • PointsWest says:

        I am not certain but I still believe that if it is private land inside of a Park, to build, you would need a permit from the County Building and Safety Department (or from the City if inside of city limits).

        There may be federal laws that restrict building or subdividing on private land inside of a Park or Monument or Scenic Area but building would still fall under the jurisdiction of the County. Why would it not? Are there laws prohibiting the County from enforcing their codes on land if it is surrounded by federal land? Who will come and put a fire out?

        I do know that States buy plots of land in Cities to build State buildings and the State must obtain a building permit from the City and comply with the City’s building codes…even though the State may own the land…examples are State Police buildings, State Highway Department buildings, State Water Resource Department buildings, etc. Do you think States are exempt from a Cities permits and building codes? If a fire starts at the Department of Water Resouces building in Idaho Falls, who is going to come and put the fire out?

        I do believe Federal Buildings are different. I worked on the large new $100 million Federal Building in Las Vegas. The fed had their own inspectors and we did not have a Las Vegas building permit nor Las Vegas inspectors. It was the only building in Las Vegas that was not inspected by the City of Las Vegas. I can remember all of the disputes over it. But there were some issues with this Federal Building. In the basement were some “secret” areas that were rumored to be space for the FBI and CIA. The two Senators from Nevada had offices on the 9th Floor too. The fed had national security issues and has secrets to keep and does not want local governments to have any power over them. This was federally owned property, and not private, however.

        I have worked on State Building, such as State College Dormatory Complexes and we had City permits and inspectors. State and Federal are different. But my guess is that all building on private land is subject to city or county building permits and codes (county if outside of a city).

      • Save bears says:


        In the one case, I was talking about in 2000, nobody came and put the fire out, in fact nobody even attempted to come and put the fire might do some searching on in-holdings for park service lands, many of the parks were non-entities when these people homesteaded during the late 1800’s…and the Fed’s didn’t take their land away, they simply put rules in place on how the land is managed and what they can do with it..

      • Save bears says:

        And by the way, I will add, my land is outside the park, and it is private land surrounded on 1 side by park service land, as 2 sides by National Forest land, and I know for a fact, that if I had a fire, not only could they not get to me to put the fire out, they won’t even attempt to get to me to put the fire out..

      • WM says:

        There are also patented mining claims, in which the federal government has given over rights to the private claim holder. Some of the weird shaped pieces of private land within a federal reservation will likely have originally been mining claims which have been patented, giving the owner surface rights. Such was a time in our history.

      • Save bears says:

        As with the mining claims, the private in-holders are not taxed, but in the same respect, they are not supported, it is pretty much living on your own…

      • WM says:


        If I understand correctly, once a mining claim is patented (becomes private property) it is subject to state/local property taxation, land use, zoning and building codes.

      • Save bears says:

        You might check WM,

        From my understanding, if it is and surrounded by a Federal Reservation, I believe from what I read, the law is different..I am not 100% sure of that, but based on my readings, it seems as if they are not taxed in the manner you might believe..

      • WM says:


        At this point, I don’t know for 100% certain either. I am just thinking logically about the nature of the ownership interest and any reason state/local government would have not to tax it. I can’t think of one, and the property would, over time, have a tendency to increase in value with improvements or just market change. If they have the ability to oversee what happens on it – and they do- that certainly suggests the ability and desire to tax. I cannot imagine a tax opportunity being overlooked, and it would be decision of the indivual state to choose to tax. At least that is my thought process.

        I will check with one of my hunting partners, who knows alot about this sort of thing, from the conservation land trust he works with. They might get donations of this type, once in awhile. I will pass along what I find out, when I get back from seeking out the wiley elk in about two weeks.

        Yeah, we are just a bunch of dumb hillbillies, too. Wait until I tell them.

      • Elk275 says:

        Save Bears I do not know about Flathead County, but in Gallatin County except for Bozeman, Belgrade, Manhattan, Three Forks and West Yellowstone building permits are not required, the county has no idea how many new homes are being built or where. There are no building inspections except state electrical and after the structure is completed the Department of Renevue will assess the property for property taxes. It is wide open and there is resistance to any zoning restriction. I do not think that there every will be county zoning.

        I have been told my late grandmother that distant relatives owned a cabin on Lake MacDonald and we think that it is still in the distant family. I did hear several stories about how they were hassled by the park services who wanted to buy or force them them out. If one owns property and a national park is created the owner of that property should not have to vacant or sell to the national park service.

      • pointswest says:

        ++ in Gallatin County except for Bozeman, Belgrade, Manhattan, Three Forks and West Yellowstone building permits are not required++

        Wow, that seems incredible to me! …so did the no-speed-limit in Montana, I guess. What is the age of consent in Montana? Eleven? Or do they just not worry about it? When I was a Jr. at NF Highschool in Ashton, Idaho, when we had parties, we would drive to West Yellowstone and buy about 20 bottles of booze at the State liquor store and were never asked for our ID. We also got into the bars. One of my friends was a sophamore and only 16 and was never carded in Montana.

        My original point is, however, that the County can zone areas as scenic or important habbitat. Most counties do not, but they easily could. Some do and it is holds up in court.

      • pointswest says:

        ++SB writes: I know for a fact, that if I had a fire, not only could they not get to me to put the fire out, they won’t even attempt to get to me to put the fire out++

        Do you have fire insurance?

        I would guess that an individual can build on his own land without a permit or inspections in many rural counties but he would probably not be able insure his home and he would have difficulting selling and, if he did sell, would have significant liabilties for decades after the sale. In short, this is not something a real estate developer would do. A developer would want to shield himself from as much liability as possible and this would include gaining every permit and set of inspections possible.

      • Save bears says:

        I have insurance on my home, never have had a problem getting it.

      • Save bears says:

        And the age of consent is 16 in the state or Montana PW

      • pointswest says:

        I looked into mining claims a few years ago. You can make a claim almost anywhere…or at least you could a few years ago. It seems like they did change the law a few times since the 1860’s to prevent abuses.

        I believe to perfect the claim (covert to private land), you must produce so much money however. So you can have a claim, but until it is perfected, it is not really your land.

        I still believe, however, that a County could simply designate an area as scenic and forbid any building upon private land.

        Teton County, Wyoming forbade Grand Targhee Resort from expanding. I believe the Gillets wanted to put 2000 units at the base of the lifts and Teton County forbade them. …cut them down to 400 units and with many restrictions and concessions.

        I believe the plan submitted to the USFS back in 1965 to obtain the lease included plans to eventually built 2000 units at the base of the lifts. I think Teton County, Wyoming does not want Targhee to eclipse the Jackson Hole ski area because everyone knows Targhee is better skiing. Driggs, Idaho would eclipse Jackson Hole, Wyoming as a ski meca but the ski mountain lies inside of Teton County, Wyoming. So Teton County, Wyoming just put the screws to any development of Grand Targhee so Driggs cannot develop. They have the power and no one can stop them.

      • pointswest says:

        I should add to the story of the Gillet’s and Grand Targhee that they own the land at the base of the lifts. They obtained it by purchasing Squirrel Meadows east of Ashton (surrounded by NFS) and doing a land swap. So Squirrel Meadows was private land converted to NFS and the Gillets got 60 acres or so at the base of Targhee. Then after they obtained the private land, they applied for a building permit to build 2000 units and Teton County, Wyoming shot it down…to much they said.

      • pointswest says:

        One more technicality I should point out about Targhee was that after the Gillets got the land at the base of the lifts, they applied to have the zoning changed from rural to resort. So Teton County, WY was making a change in the zoning and could put conditions on making that change. However, the 400 units finally approved is only a fraction of what the Gillets wanted and a fraction of what what the people of Driggs wanted back in 1965 when they created the resort and applied to the USFS for a permit. Targhee has probably the best snow in North America and Teton County, WY has prevented it from be a first tier resort….I believe because they feared it eclipsing the Jackson Hole resort.

    • jon says:

      The solution to stop the livestock killings by wolves is simple: A $50,000 fine given to each livestock owner who allows wolves to kill their livestock.
      I’ve run herd on thousands of acres directly east of Glacier Park and we never lost one head of livestock because we were there 24-seven. These lazy, worthless ranchers are blaming the wolf for their incompetence! Get out there and cowboy and get off your backsides!

      And this guy is a rancher too!

      • Save bears says:


        I have my suspicions about this “Rancher” I have called a couple of friends that live in the Duck Lake area and nobody knows who this person is, he claims to be a rancher from Duck Lake…I have a sneaky suspicion that he might be a “Plant”

      • timz says:

        How they going to watch their stock and play “BrokeBack” mountain at the same time.

      • Elk275 says:

        Jon, do not believe everything you read. I justed checked the state records and Bert Bentley does not own any property in Glacier, Toole, Pondera or Teton County. In fact Bert Bentley does not own any property in the State or Montana. It is possible that all of his property is vested in a corporation or a DBA, but the home and 1 acre will be vested in his name 99% of the time. This is my business and I am very good at it.

      • jon says:

        is there a Bert bentley or not elk? sb, what are you saying, that a pro wolf advocate is pretending to be a rancher just to bash ranchers and hunters? Just because your friends don’t know this particular person does not mean the person doesn’t exist. I couldn’t find a Bert Bentley, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one that lives in Montana.

      • Save bears says:


        Nobody I talked to today, has ever heard of this person, as I said, I know the majority of the ranchers on the east side of Glacier, because when I was with FWP, we did feasibility studies to see how we could incorporate bison into those areas..and nobody has ever heard of a Bert Bently? So yes, I think this letter may be a plant, and as Elk Said, he looked up records and nobody found…Now, I also asked about an Albert Bently, with the same results as Bert is a nickname for Albert…coming up with a blank, so you draw your own conclusions…

      • Elk275 says:

        Jon, I am not the best writer, but what I wrote is fairly clear. Bert Bentley does not own any real property in the State of Montana according to the Montana State Cadastral, which is a the state’s record of all land owners. I do not know and I never said I knew Mr. Bentley.

        I could be vested in a different name, but I would bet that a parcel of land or two would be vested in Bentley.

      • Save bears says:

        And Jon,

        Once again, because I know somebody or talk to somebody, does not mean I am Friends with them, the area on the east side of the park is pretty big country with not that many land owners, and I was with FWP, an untrusted entity…knowing someone does not mean your going hang out and party…

      • WM says:


        It won’t be the first time. A couple of months back there was someone quoted as being a wolf friendly rancher, and spokesperson. I think it was in MT. Whoever it was had easily traceable and verifiable internet information suggesting his primary residence (and that of his wife) and means of making a living was not ranching. So, the interests were not the same as someone who did make a living ranching locally. Kind of disingenuous, don’t you think?

      • jon says:

        sb, I did some digging as well and could not find a Bert bentley in montana, but that does not mean there is no Bert Bentley. Some people have their info not listed. How many people did you ask and how many ranchers live in Duck Lake?

      • jon says:

        That person was Marc Cooke and he posts on here sometimes. He lives in Stevensville Montana.

      • jon says:

        I don’t know about Bert bentley wm, but Marc Cooke is not a plant. He may not ranch for a living, but he ranches none the less, so he’s no plant. I just wanted to make that clear.

      • Save bears says:


        If your a land owner in the state of Montana, your name is listed in the records…either your real name, or by corporation name…I am not in the business of looking people up, but apparently Elk is, and if this person is a plant, it would not be the first time, either for or against.. Don’t be surprised Jon, it is the tactics of politics now a days…

      • Elk275 says:

        Jon when one owns real property it is public knowledge.

      • jon says:

        Elk, isn’t it possible that it could be listed under another person’s name and that this Bert bentlet just helps out?

      • jon says:

        Excuse me Bentley.

      • WM says:


        Thanks for the memory jog on Cooke. My point is, if you really don’t have skin in the game, so to speak, your views might be a bit different on what risks you are willing to accept. In this instance it is how wolves affect your livelihood. Just trying to even the volume out on the propaganda meter for any given group.

        On the other hand, if there were an organization of ranchers whose members are affected by wolves, and are willing to formally take a position, and say “we like them” no matter how many there are and wherever they are, it would mean something different, don’t you think?

      • Cody Coyote says:

        The only difference between patented land and private property is you get the deed to the patented ground from the government , after fulfilling some requirements ( such as mining it). Other than that there are no differences, and yes patneted lands are taxed and treated as private lands by your county.

        My county of Park in Wyoming also does not require building permits, UCC building code adherence. inspections, or any of that stuff that municpalities decree. The state requires some things, but not others ( like very stringent regulation of water…all water is owned by the state and you have a legal right to use X amount of it. But I have never heard of anyone’s burning home being ignored by public fire safety because it was on patented ground or hadn’t been on the tax rolls. The county would be liable up over their ears for that kind of negligence.

        Chapman’s finnegling of the patented properties only differs from being full private property by the manner in which he came by the lands, not what he does with them afterwards. They’re his. Having said that , inholdings like Chapman’s inside a federal reserve aren’t given all the “privileges” the rest of us common folk and moral law abiders get when push comes to shove. And he’s pushing, for sure. My own county loses money on rural subdivisions. They may collect a thousand bucks in property taxes for somebody’s remote rural place, but give back $ 2000 in pubic services. Chapman should not expect that kind of grace for being a consumate A-hole with his Gunnison Canyon inholdings.

        The entire American West needs to have its maps redrawn and lands re-adjudicated to eliminate mosaicking, checkerboarding and other geographic absurdities; basically reconciling disparities in BLM , Forest Service, State, and Private lands when the maps were drawn and legitimized b the Government Land Office et al , pre-1900. I cannot visualize a bigger can of worms than THAT process, however necessary. Ain’t gonna happen.

        My original point still holds: Tom Chapman is Environmental Jerk of the Decade, even if his cajones are solid brass and the size of grapefruit…

      • Elk275 says:

        Cody Coyote

        ++The only difference between patented land and private property is you get the deed to the patented ground from the government , after fulfilling some requirements ( such as mining it). Other than that there are no differences, and yes patneted lands are taxed and treated as private lands by your county.++

        You are a little bit wrong. I have done thousands of acres of mineral take offs on Wyoming land. All land has a patent. Private land as you talk about has a patent. There is a book in the Park County courthouse, and all court houses, in Cody called the master title book. I have used it several times. The master title book has every township, 36 square miles, in the county. If the land is private there will be a patent number and a reservation for ditches and canals, if the land was patented after 1921 the goverment has reserved all minerals. Most land was patented in 160 acres or 320 acres.

        From the patent number one can find the patent or in Wyoming use the tract index. Find the township, range and section and in the tract index and look for the vesting document called a patent. The patent will say The United States of American to Patentee “”rancher a”. This is a patent on what you call private land.

        Mining patents. I do not know much about mining claims but there are two types: placier and lode claims. A placier claim is 500 x 1500 feet. a typical placier mining claim has 17.21 acres of land. Lode claims I do not know anything about. After one stakes a claim he/she files in the courthouse and with the BLM. The goverment requires a certain amount of work every year and if the claim can produce minerals then the government will issue a patent. Patents are not issues like they were in the 1880’s and early 1900’s. Patents are very difficult to get.

        ++The entire American West needs to have its maps redrawn and lands re-adjudicated to eliminate mosaicking, checkerboarding and other geographic absurdities; basically reconciling disparities in BLM , Forest Service, State, and Private lands when the maps were drawn and legitimized b the Government Land Office et al , pre-1900. I cannot visualize a bigger can of worms than THAT process, however necessary. Ain’t gonna happen.++

        That is not going to ever happen. The original surveys are not accurate and they have had to resurvey the land in the Power River basin several times over.