Idaho Fish and Game will give their viewpoint on wolves.  I understand they said they didn’t want any people with other views on the program. You can phone questions at 1-800-973-9800 (during the show).

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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.

94 Responses to "Wolf Management" on Idaho Public Television. Sept. 16 (thur). 8:30 MDT

  1. jon says:

    Ralph, I posted the audio to this interview earlier.

    Some people asked Jon Rachael about the weights of the wolves. He also answered someone’s question about the wolves being non native canadian wolves.

    • william huard says:

      Don’t you love the non-native argument? It cracks me up. Reminds me of the lunatic in the Catron County Board of Commissioners Office after he finished his Fed intrusion ESA rant when he stated” These Mexican wolves aren’t even from this area.” I guess he had never heard of Roy McBride. When I explained that they didn’t exterminate all of them and that McBride trapped the last 5 wolves he didn’t believe me!

      • jon says:

        No matter how many times you debunk these myths and lies spread by the anti-wolfers, they will still continue to believe them William. Emotion blinds them from the truth.

    • Robert Hoskins says:

      After listening to this talk, which is the first time I’ve listened to Cal Groen talk, I’ve concluded that Cal Groen is one worthless, lying SOB.


      • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        Robert –
        Was there anything specific said by Director Groen (or Jon Rachael) that you believe merits such an accusation?

      • Robert Hoskins says:


        What, Groen doesn’t bother to defend himself? And do you get paid extra for shilling?


      • Robert Hoskins says:


        No, your job is to shill for a lie.


    • Daniel Berg says:

      They weren’t big fans of the question about using non-lethal methods as a tool to prevent livestock depredations. The statement about “encouraging” the use of non-lethal measures was especially impotent. Using the argument that wolves are recovered as justification for always using lethal control as the measure of first choice seems to absolve ranchers of some level of responsibility to their stock. A level of responsibility ranchers who graze their stock on public land should more willingly accept, IMO.

      Cal started out the speech trying to sound neutral but that didn’t seem to last long. He could barely conceal his disdain for DOW in particular.

      • Daniel Berg,

        The unfortunate truth is that they see dead livestock as a wonderful opportunity to kill some wolves.

        Dead cows and dead wolves, are in their minds, a better situation than living livestock and living wolves.

      • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        Robert –
        My question was simple – was anything said by the two State representatives, on the topic of wolf management, that was false, misleading or misrepresentive? My purpose is to help readers of these wildlife management related dialogs understand the facts. You made a strong accusation that something was intentionally mis-stated or mis-represented. I asked you what you based that on. Is there something you are aware of that you haven’t shared yet?

  2. william huard says:

    Jon there are people that fail to realize that we are not the only predator on the planet. It’s the sense of entitlement that certain hunters have when they see wolves kill elk- and it pisses them off- I don’t get that at all. Like the Elk are their property or something- it’s strange.

  3. timz says:

    Didn’t Rachael say there wasn’t any new science to support the claim that 150 wolves are not enough.

  4. jon says:

    I just got done watching this interview.

    The host asked Cal groen are you glad we have wolves in Idaho? Groen responds with I was, but I’m not sure anymore. If we can’t manage them because they are effecting our elk, our hunters, and economies.

    • Layton says:

      “I was, but I’m not sure anymore. If we can’t manage them because they are effecting our elk, our hunters, and economies.”

      And is that a bad reply? Seems to make a lot of sense to me.

      • Rita K. Sharpe says:

        Of course it would to you,Layton.

      • howlcolorado says:

        It’s a reply potentially based on poor information.

        Unfortunately most replies these days are based on assumptions drawn from conclussions informed by rhetoric and not combined with any sort of self-driven investigation to ensure accuracy.

        When I see an answer like this, I want to see what effect on the elk they are referring to? The Lolo units are a poor example. Local anecdotal recollections regarding the number of elk are just that and aren’t helpful in the discussion – remember, these are also the same people that believe there are 200lb wolves.

        Has there been an extensive study which defines how much revenue a wolf population generates vs. how much revenue was being generated prior to wolves being reintroduced? The assumption is that economies are impacted. The assumption is that hunters are impacted. The assumption is that elk populations are impacted.

        Why is it that Montana has seen a 66 percent elk population increase since 1984? Why does Idaho have almost EXACTLY the same number of elk today as they did in 1984? That’s 10 years prior to any wolf reintroduction and includes severe threats to population numbers like the winter of 1996/97?

      • william huard says:

        Those poor hunters! Why is it that it always comes down to the poor hunters! I know you pop between your huntwolves and monstermuley sites Layton, but let me ask you a question- hunters need to look for the elk, there are plenty of elk, and they are not always accessible from the road like they like to shoot them, they may have to walk a few hundred feet!

      • Elk275 says:

        Please remember where the elk population is increasing in Montana. It is Eastern and Central Montana where most of the property is private and not generally accessable to the public.

      • Save bears says:


        Why is it you are always saying hunters only hunt from roads, in Many areas, that is not possible, there is a great amount of national as well as state forests that are closed to vehicle traffic and you have to walk if you want to hunt it. The majority of the national forests around where my home is, is closed to vehicle traffic. This is the reason I spend most of my time hunting my property or my neighbors properties because I can use transportation to get to my spots(I can’t walk a long ways)

        But I can tell you, there is sure some strong misconceptions about hunting Montana and Idaho by the non-hunters…

      • howlcolorado says:


        Does this mean that the reason there are less elk to hunt is because the elk are wisely finding safe places to live?

        They do that with wolves btw. There is a neutral zone between wolf packs and deer and elk like to live right in those zones.

      • Elk275 says:

        ++Does this mean that the reason there are less elk to hunt is because the elk are wisely finding safe places to live? ++

        No, the elk have increase because they are spreading out into Eastern Montana. I have said this before. My brother-in-law and family have a large farm on the Yellowstone River 50 miles east of Billlings. One day while he was plowing his fields two 5 point bulls crossed in front of him and he stopped the tractor and watched them until they disappeared. How he told that story. Today they have 300 hundred elk in there fields at night eating sugar beat tops and corn. They are now damaging the crops in early summer.

        Elk are a plains animals and where very plentiful on the river bottoms during the 1800’s. Today there are returning, but they never have an over the counter tag for Eastern Montana Elk, because of outfitting issues.

    • I decided to go up in the hills instead of watch.

      Did they have any hard data?

      • Robert Hoskins says:


        I just listened to the TV interview, and no, no hard data. Samo samo bullshit anti-wolf narrative: goalposts are moving, wolves having unacceptable impacts on elk, hunter opportunities are in decline. Groen even supported the so-called “disaster” designation in that Idaho county.

        I did find the question, what good are wolves, and Groen’s inability to respond to the question with a straightforward answer, most instructive.

        To hell with biology and ecology, this is all about politics.


  5. Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

    howlcolorado –
    You may have missed the previous, lengthy discussions on this blog of the contemporary status of elk in the Lolo Zone and the role of wolf predation on current elk production, survival and recruitment. Elk numbers in the Lolo Zone are substantially lower today than 1984.
    The reports you refer to above are not based on anectodat reports. The status of elk and role of wolf predation driving that status in the Lolo Zone is well described by solid monitoring data for the survival of productive cow elk and calves and the effect of wolf predation on the same. The current survival of cow and calf elk in the Lolo Zone has dropped to a level that barely provides for replacement – i.e elk numbers are critically low in the Lolo Zone. Wolf predation is the single most important factor keeping elk numbers at their current critically low level. Concurrent data collected on the physical condition of collared elk demonstrate that the habitat declines earlier discussed, are not responsible for the critically low numbers of elk in this area.

    • william huard says:

      Mr Gamblin
      The political posturing of your Idaho legislature with their hysterical “call in the national guard we are under seige rant” looks pathetic. I wonder if it could have anything to do with the hunting and livestock interests that make up your legislature? I wouldn’t exactly call them pro-wolf

      • Elk275 says:

        The people elected the legislature and they are what they are. If you do not like them, then run and elect who you want.

    • Mark Gamblin,

      We have gone round and round on this. I’m not going to get into another discussion about whether wolves have depressed the already low elk numbers in this formerly (25 years ago) terrific elk hunting area.

      I do want to say this. All animals need to eat. In times of shortage they move or die. If there are no elk to eat, the wolves will move or die too. As I said before, I think they are already much reduced in the area from, let’s say 7-8 years ago.

      I noticed the special wolf reduction “hunt” by outfitters this spring didn’t find many wolves.

      • william huard says:

        You and I know that Mr Gamblin has a constituency that has an agenda which does not include wolves. I’m afraid the only thing that has changed in the last 50 years is that there are more people like you that advocate for a healthy ecosystem that includes predators

      • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        Ralph –
        I would only disagree with you that this is not worth continued discussion. The Lolo Zone experience, similar to our observations in the Sawtooth Zone, represent a serious wildlife management challenge for Idaho – for the future of balancing important wildlife resource benefits and social values. To suggest that when elk numbers decline to critically low levels (in this example clearly because of wolf predation) wolves will simply move somewhere else, seems to dismiss the profound and legitimate coflicts this situation creates for Idahoans in terms of lost resource benefits. I think I understand you to suggest that there are fewer wolves than currently reported by the IDFG. I must say that is also a curious supposition, given the solid data to substantiate the current wolf estimates and a lack of any corroborating data/evidence to support lower wolf numbers in the Lolo Zone. Have I missed data in previous discussions to support a lower number of wolves?

      • howlcolorado says:

        Ralph is completely right here.

        The first response to a limited prey base for a wolf pack to maintain a smaller size.

        An abstract energy equation is then in effect. If the amount of effort necessary to find prey is in excess of the amount of energy gained from killing that prey, the environment is right for migration.

        Migration is a dangerous proposition for a wolf pack as it often leads to the wolves encountering another wolf pack and that’s not going to end well.

      • Mark Gamblin,

        You wrote, “I must say that is also a curious supposition, given the solid data to substantiate the current wolf estimates and a lack of any corroborating data/evidence to support lower wolf numbers in the Lolo Zone. Have I missed data in previous discussions to support a lower number of wolves?”

        I guess you have forgotten our discussion of current wolf numbers in the Lolo. That discussion was several months ago on this blog.

        It is the state that lacks evidence of high wolf numbers in the Lolo.

        The 2009 final wolf report sent to USFWS and online gives the official number of wolves in the Lolo. However, as I noted then, almost all of this is based on supposition and extrapolation. Many fewer wolves than the official count were positively identified. By that I mean seen or tracked as distinct individuals.

        During the 2009-2010 wolf hunt, the number of wolves in the Lolo that were killed was well below the quota — more below the quota than any other hunting unit in Idaho.

        The special outfitter hunt to reduce wolves in the Lolo this spring was well below expectations.

        None of this is conclusive evidence, but all of it is evidence against the idea that they are a lot of wolves in the Lolo.

        The number of wolves in an area can vary a lot in a fairly short time. Yellowstone Park is a good example with recent drops in the number of wolves as high as 40% in just one year.

      • JEFF E says:

        In your wolf behind every bush scenario that you are espousing how do you reconcile that with the special outfitter only hunt bagging only four wolves?

      • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        Ralph –
        Yes, I remember our discussion from the previous thread. I summarized then the data that base the Lolo Zone wolf minimum population estimate: 8 documented resident packs; 1 documented resident border pack; 1 suspected resident pack in 2008. The Five Lakes Butte pack was censored (removed from the estimate) because program staff had not documented evidence of the pack for 2 years. All four reproductive packs qualified as breeding pairs; the reproductive status of 5 packs was unknown. There were a MINIMUM of 21 verified wolves in the Lolo Zone at the end of 2009. Emphasis on minimum. The total number of wolves in the Lolo Zone is very likely more than the reported total of 21.
        The number of wolves killed during the hunting season is much less influenced by the number of wolves than the amount of hunting effort, terrain and weather. The low hunter harvest of wolves in the Lolo Zone says more about the very difficult remote terrain and the amount of hunting effort expended in the Zone – than it does the number of wolves available to hunt.
        Other factors aside, the key point in this discussion is that the Lolo Zone wolf population estimate (and for every other wolf management zone) is based on verified observations and in each case is a minimum number of wolves.

    • howlcolorado says:


      That’s intentionally taking factual data and combining it with out of context interpretation to draw a conclussion you want.

      You know as well as I do that the herds in Unit 10 and 12 dropped 33 percent BEFORE 1994.

      By 1997 (42 wolves in the state as a total), there was a particularly harsh winter and the numbers of elk in unit 12 had dropped from nearly 5,000 in ’86 to just over 2,000. Not a loss which can be attributed to wolves.

      These elk herds were effectively demolished before there were any wolves. So lets be completely clear about that. So, I don’t see anything in your response that even attempts to address this.

      What is true is that the Lolo units are NOT recovering. You are not acknowledging the initial precipitous drop. Why did they die off so fast and so much?

      Now, you are literally seeing wolves being picked on as the scape goat when in truth, these herds are in serious trouble for reasons unrelated to them. These herds are an extinction event away from being gone with or without the wolves or human intervention.

      The biggest problem is that Idaho has 100,000 elk or so today. It had 100,000 elk in 1984. So while the Lolo herds are struggling, others are doing quite well. And yet the Lolo herds are being used as the poster children for why wolves are a problem and while they aren’t helping the Lolo herds today, the true cause of the decline isn’t even being addressed in this presentation. Wolves may be the challenge to recovery that you say they are, but an outside observer might be forgiven for thinking these are just weak herds.

      • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        howlcolorado –
        My points were in the proper context – for the current status of the Lolo Zone elk herd and the role of wolf predation for the current status. You repeat a common mis-characterization of the history of elk habitat and elk production – relative to the current situation in the Lolo Zone, a specific large geographical area. It is not correct to say that the current status of the Lolo Zone elk herd is the result of naturally declining elk habitat productivity. As I have confirmed before, the IDFG and USFS documented and reported on the natural succession of elk habitat in the Lolo Zone (post 1910 and 1930’s fire effects) and the resultant decline in elk production. That decline has been well researched and documented. The current level of elk production, survival and recruitment is signifcantly below the current capability of elk habitat in the Lolo Zone due to wolf predation. In other words, wolf predation is keeping numbers of elk well below the current habitat capacity in the Lolo Zone.

      • howlcolorado says:

        I have to say, I just keep seeing this turning in to a circular argument.

        You will ignore the precipitous elk population decline in the region being discussed from 1985 to now, and decline to make connections between this and the current status of the herd.

        And I will continue to make points about how wolves may leave or have already begun leaving the area. Or that killing off wolves will simply create a vacuum to be filled by new wolves, or that you artificially create a positive prey/predator balance which leads the remaining wolves to believe that producing more young and maintaining a larger pack is warranted based on the availability of prey. And that at its core you are simply treating a symptom without really understanding the problem.

        The reference to 1910 and 1930 wildfires takes the big picture and blows it up to such a scale that details become lost completely. Yet, there is no attempt to tie this with the current situation. Wolves were around in Yellowstone til around about 1926 (don’t quote me) but I can’t tell you how many wolves were impeding the potential recovery of elk herds following the 1910 event. Perhaps providing those figures and studies will provide some historical context. Otherwise, it’s just a random and in reality unrelated observation.

        If anything, History offers its own anecdotal information doesn’t it? For thousands of years, until the 1940s there were elk and wolves

      • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

        howlcolorado –
        Yes, the Lolo elk population dropped sharply before wolves arrived. I emphasized that historical event in this event and in previous threads. That elk population response to declining elk habitat productivity was a separate and un-related elk population response to an environmental factor separate from wolf predation. Again, the effect of wolf predation, today, is to depress elk production, survival and recruitment BELOW the production capacity of current elk habitat – today. Historical presence of wolves in the pre-Columbian era aside – it matters little. This discussion began strictly on the current status of elk in the Lolo Zone and the role of wolf predation on that status. The key argument that wolve predation could not/ does not explain the current critically low number of elk in the Lolo Zone has been ……. habitat decline. The data clearly show that elk production did decline for decades, due to habitat senescence, then neo-natal predation by bears and cougars, and today far and away the most important factor limiting elk production, below the productive potential of Lolo Zone elk habitat – is wolf predation. With lower wolf predation rates, elk numbers would be commensuratly higher.

  6. william huard says:

    Well Save Bears-
    I for one are sick and tired of people with no facts to back them up spewing these myths about elk being decimated by wolves. There are a few areas like the lolo where there are elk issues and depredation by wolves is just one of those factors

    • Save bears says:

      I agree, rumors and un true statements do nothing to come to a conclusion, but your accusation that hunters don’t hunt would be considered in the same vein of rhetoric, would it not? Saying that people who are not seeing elk, are only riding around in their trucks really is not truthful, at least not in my experience in hunting these two states…

  7. william huard says:

    We all know the livestock interests and hunting community would prefer that wolves order chinese takeout

  8. Brian Ertz says:

    the public comment process that the state undergoes (for its 10j proposal in particular) is entirely inadequate and is tantamount to a shameful joke with respect to very basic (and democratically important) principles of public scrutiny that normally takes place for federal rule-making processes. it’ll be interesting to see whether a federal judge determines them to be wholly inadequate with respect to the federal rule that promulgates the state’s involvement pursuant to 10j in the first place. regulatory assurances of the public interest served fostered by robust and meaningful public involvement (garnished with teeth) ought not be reduced to a farcical sham that turns public contribution into a weak window-dressing on predetermined policy ~ as the state has done here with their 10j proposal.

    also, the suggestion that wolf advocate’s won the ESA suit on a legal “technicality” is equally absurd and a grotesque illustration of exactly how ignorant of the law and intention of the ESA state managers are. if state managers are unwilling or unable to consider ~ even just fairly listen to ~ a court’s clarification of the rule of law, instead opting trivialize and diminish it with cheap talking-points, why should we members of the public believe for a single moment that these good ol’ boy crook politicians are capable of MANaging in a lawful way ? They’re spiting the law now, we should believe they’ll give it more reverence if they just get what they want ? They just want what they want and will whine and blame everyone else if they don’t get it. They’re not even willing to learn what the law is to get it. It seems to me like they act as if they shouldn’t even have to, like they ought be entitled to it as a matter of some sick cowboy “common-sense”.

    additionally, state managers’ assertion that their management plan was adequate and lawful, and that it was the LAW that failed them, is equally ignorant. these people should be ashamed. the judge didn’t even adjudicate the biological or regulatory adequacy of the state’s management plan (or more appropriate the FWS’s acceptance of the plans) because the court didn’t have to – the rule was unlawful on face as a matter of law without even visiting the other significant claims. we don’t even know whether their plans are lawful ~ it’s inappropriate and irresponsible for the state to be declaring that their plan passed judicial muster when that’s just not the case.

    apparently, these guys are entirely unwilling or incapable of understanding, let alone considering or conversing in good faith, wolf advocates’ interests. it’s a good ol’ boy culture of control. it’s laughable that these people believe that they are competent enough to manage in the public trust in a lawful way when they are entirely unwilling to even consider wolf advocates’ interest in good faith, let alone the law.

    • william huard says:

      Maybe you could add a few pictures and charts to illustrate your points, maybe we could provide the legislature with some crayons. Unfortunately the Idaho legislation neither cares about the rule of law nor do they understand anything but what is in their narrow twisted view of wildlife management

      • Layton says:

        As much as it is a waste of my time, I’ll try to answer your question(s) up above — I’ll do it here because of the number of posts between here and there.

        First, you said:

        “I know you pop between your huntwolves and monstermuley sites Layton”

        That Mr. Huard partially illustrates you massive lack of knowledge about me in particular. Or, in the vernacular, you are full of crap!! I’ve been on the monstermuley site EXACTLY one time. I don’t even know where – or if – the other one even exists!!

        Then you said:

        “but let me ask you a question- hunters need to look for the elk, there are plenty of elk, and they are not always accessible from the road like they like to shoot them, they may have to walk a few hundred feet!”

        Excuse me but just where WAS the question?? Did part of your reply get deleted? Or is it just possible with your massive hatred and lack of respect for hunters, that you got so caught up with your rhetoric that you lost your train of thought??

        Once more you demonstrate your lack of knowledge about me — perhaps it would be better for you to “keep silent and be thought a fool rather than open your mouth (keyboard?) and remove all doubt.”

      • Cobra says:

        William and Jon,
        I would be more than happy to take you two on an elk hunt and then you can see just how many feet from the road we get. Yea, there are some that don’t get to far, but your most successful hunters put on some miles. I suggest a good light pair of boots and you better break them in before we go. Make sure and bring a good pack with plenty of water also. Anytime you wanna go and see how the other side is your welcome to go.

    • Elk275 says:

      ++apparently, these guys are entirely unwilling or incapable of understanding, let alone considering or conversing in good faith, wolf advocates’ interests.++

      Wolf advocates interest are going to reduce hunting opportunities, wolves are not going to eliminate elk, but will have an effect on hunter success, number of tags issued, length of seasons and the sex of the animal harvested. That is a fact.

      So who’s interest are we going to weight the most.?

    • WM says:


      You seem so anxious to dismiss the validity of the “technical” nature of Molloy’s ruling on the DPS issue. The problem with your argument is that with WY’s failure to play and FWS having to keep wolves listed there, the court does not have the opportunity to address whether the ID and MT plans are adquate under the law. That, really, is what everyone wants to know. And that is highly unfortunate, because it stops the analysis COLD. It is particularly grating because WY’s wolves are in a higher state of protection than had they been delisted there. It is unfortunate that the MT and ID plans and the connectivity issue, as well as other claims of plaintiffs, could not have the benefit of being addressed on their own merits contemporaneously with the apparent technical flaw.

      I will suggest that Molloy may not be as predictable on those points as some here believe, and it is a shame the analysis of biological and legal sufficiency of the respective plans cannot be done as of today. If you really think about it, it is almost a denial of due process because the states are hung up by this “technical” flaw in the law. Litigation is often about this technical stuff, and sometimes doesn’t result in timely adjudicating the real issues. It happens all the time across this country, and it is, in my opinon, a serious flaw in our legal system. However, it serves judicial economy, and that is the saving grace.

      Yes, Brian, it is a technical deficiency and your efforts to characterize it as something other than that, doesn’t even pass the laugh test.

  9. pointswest says:

    Alpha & Omega is opening today in theaters across the nation. This children’s movie may change the way many people view wolves. The State of Idaho should be careful about being viewed as anti-wolf as it may precipitate a public relations disaster.

    What about the ongoing Island Park Elk Movement And Survival Study? They collard 42 newborn elk calves this spring near Henry’s Lake and found:

    –Three calves were killed by black bears. (A grizzly may have bee responsible for one of the three. More study is needed to find out for sure.)
    —A coyote killed one.
    —One died after becoming tangled in a fence, not related to the collar problem.
    —Two died of unknown causes. There was blood on the collars but no carcass to examine.
    —Two collars were off, but there was no sign of predation.

    Notice that none were proven to have been killed by wolves and the study area is ajacent to Yellowstone National Park, the first area where wolves were reintroduced.

    I personally am not too worried about wolf hunts since wolves are robust and can obviously breed and overpopulate a state in a single decade but I think the jury is still out on wolves’ impacts on elk herds, even in the Lolo.

    I’m taking the family to see Alpha & Omega in 3D tomorrow afternoon. I’ll tell you how my 7 year old likes it and whether or not I think it will be a blockbuster movie.

    • Save bears says:

      I am sure it will be a popular movie, but really I don’t think it will much effect on the current situation concerning wolves, in fact I have not found one theater that has committed to showing it yet in Montana. But I am sure it will be popular, heck look how much the 40’s Movie Bambi still resonates through the anti-hunting community!

      PW, I am starting to think you have been away to long…

    • howlcolorado says:

      I would love to imagine that Alpha and Omega will do anything for the positive perception of wolves in the public, but the anthropomorphization of animals rarely helps out the cause.

      And that movie looks scarily bad unfortunately ;(

    • WM says:


      I continually have doubts about your judgment. First – the hut system in griz country, Winds to be specific (there are some huts in AK, but down here it is simply not economically feasible). Second, your assertion of wolves in the Seattle Metro area (won’t happen LMAO on this one), however broadly you continued to define the area it in our exceedingly tedious dialog. Third, the electric car battery advancements you predict in total opposition to conventional wisdom and investment (I am hoping you are right on this one) . Fourth, the assertion my field biogist friends are full of it regarding griz genetic residual and behavior. Fifth, an animated and highly anthropomorphic wolf movie (female subadult wolf with a flower in her mane -the theme is kind of like bambi meets lady and the tramp, I gather) produced in Hollywood is going to change the perception of wolves for an entire generation.

      Can’t wait for your review of Alpha and Omega, beginning to end, so to speak. LOL.

    • pointswest says:

      I think Bambi and animated movies in general have had a profound affect on our culture and how we view animals. It was Bambi that began turning the culture against hunting. People anthropomorphize…kids are the woarst. Get used to it because it is not going away.

      • jon says:

        Somehow I doubt a 3-d animated movie about wolves is going to change a wolf hater’s mind. lol

      • howlcolorado says:

        I wonder about this. Deer were oohed and aahed over prior to bambi. Indeed, bambi was probably a result of that cutesie deer image.

        PW may well have a point as it relates to how such a movie reflects on current culture, rather than having any significant impact on that culture going forward.

        However, I am not sure exactly where the more positive perceptions of wolves are coming from. In truth, I don’t think Defenders does much to help the public image of wolves. Too often these groups are tied directly to political or agenda-driven causes which indirectly undermines their credibility with much of the public.

        Perhaps the resurgance of popularity related to native american cultures is a key component based on just how much respect these cultures offer to wolves.

        Wolves are still, all too often, painted as the easy bad guy in movies, games and others.

        I really hope it’s not culture phenomenon like Twilight that is shaping the popular perceptions of wolves, because that would be a scary thought indeed.

    • pointswest says:

      I continually have doubts about your judgment too WM…and you mischaracterized several of my statements or opinions in your curt little summary. You see only what you want to see and when you do not, you become personal. I could mischaracterize several or your statements or opinions too… but I will just briefly defend my opinions on this kid’s movie.

      I have said several times that such a movie indicates that the pro-wolfers are winning the public relations war. It is not only that this movie will influence culture, it is that this movie illustrates that the culture is changing. The wolf is no longer solely a symbol of predation, destruction, and the evils that lurk in the darkness as it is in the Bible and in the vast body of European literature. The wolf as a symbol is changing and that is no small feat because I think the wolf, until recently, was what might be characterized as a Jungian archetype. That is, it was a symbol that permeated the culture so deeply that it was indispensible for an individual to have in his unconscious mind to communicate and even to function in the society.

      What I said about this movie is that it will not be good for those who are railing against wolves while this movie is out. It depends on how popular the movie is, if there will be merchandising of the wolf characters, if the characters are integrated into TV programming etc.
      I think you know very little about the movie business, about subliminal communication, about culture, about mythology, about religion, about psychology, and I think that you sound like some pompous buffoon.

  10. william huard says:


    I am so pleased that for once you didn’t call me a liberal greenie! And you know jack about me! I am not anti-hunter. “If we can’t manage them because they are effecting ( should be affecting)elk, our hunters, and economies. And is that a bad reply? Seems to make alot of sense to me. Perhaps you can re -read Ralph’s, Robert’s, Brian’s, and howl Colorado’s posts and questions to Mr Gamblin- who we are still waiting for answers from! It is obvious that wolf-haters and the Idaho legislature doesn’t want FACTS to get in the way of their scapegoating of predators. People like you just go along with the delusion of how detrimental wolves are to an ecosystem! “Seems to make alot of sense to me” Show the proof – forget the rhetoric

  11. william huard says:

    Mark Gamblin-
    “In other words, wolf predation is keeping numbers of elk below the current habitat capacity in the lolo zone”

    I”ll ask again- Where are these killer wolves? Either your outfitters are not very good at finding wolves or this is a figment of someone imagination! What predator is next on the scapegoat list?

    • WM says:


      If they are not in the Lolo, I can tell you for sure they are in adjacent units. The Dworshak – Elk City wolf quota was filled nearly instantly, and I bet there are a bunch dropping over to the MT side from the Lolo. We had a pretty good discussion about all that a couple of months back when the ID annual wolf report came out and Ralph drew his conclusion, and others including myself reached other conclusions. I think those Lolo wolves ate their way through the easy pickings in the Lolo, and moved to adjacent areas where elk density is higher, and not so skiddish. If there are few (no) wolves in the Lolo as some here believe then there shouldn’t be any real opposition to having a conservation hunt or other arguablly permissible activity under Section 10(j) while wolves are listed.

      That is what I find incredibly hypocritical analysis with some here. If you are right, and there are no wolves, then a hunt in the Lolo will produce little to nothing and you will have proved your point, while IDFG suffers huge embarrassment, and you can all ridicule them. In fact, I’ll join in.

      • william huard says:

        You and I know a “conservation hunt” is just revenge killing because Idaho didn’t get their way in the ruling! They should be protected under the ESA until Wyoming comes into the 21st century with their management plan. This is all about politics and states thumbing their noses at the federal government

      • william huard says:

        And as for the IDFG suffering huge embarrassment it won’t phase them a bit, in fact they are use to it

      • WM says:

        Let’s be clear, flexibility in reintroduction was contemplated as far back as the 1987 recovery plan, the 1994 EIS, and subsequent federal regulations under 10(j), which have been modified at least twice over the last 10 years. This has ALWAYS been a contemplated tool in the reintroduction. No revenge killing, as you emotionally assert. The reintroduction was marketed as “flexible” because of the non-essential experimental status of the wolves that were brought in. This is truth, and you only need to read the EIS to confirm this. I suggest you and other doubters do so. It will clear alot up.

        Your WY argument doesn’ make sense because they are protected at a higher level there under the delisting rule that Judge Molloy found was not permissible under the law. I expect ID and MT will come back with exactly what they have in their current plans, which in my opinion are good tools, if the stick by them and don’t get slapped around by their respective legislatures. If there were a way to make sure they absolutely abided by their plans I would feel much more comfortable.

  12. Layton says:


    You seem to hit Mr. Gamblin pretty hard about not answering questions — how about answering the ones that I asked you??

  13. jon says:

    Has anyone else besides me actually watched this?

    Here is the Web Extra: “Shoot, Shovel and Shut Up” part to the interview.

    copy and paste this link into your browser.

    • pointswest says:

      The “Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up” folks are probably going to be small in number. Many will fear being caught. The sound of gunfire travels very far.

  14. william huard says:

    You are right I lost my train of thought and didn’t ask you the question. I will just have to come to the realization that I won’t be on either your or Mr Gamblin’s Christmas Card List. With therapy I might be able to get over it.

    • pointswest says:

      ++The author of the article writes: “Walt Disney promoted a “folksy and homespun” relationship with nature, the influence of which can be seen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Bambi and Sleeping Beauty. These are pastoral films, in which the natural world is portrayed as an idyllic but vulnerable retreat from a threatening civilization.”

      Pastoral romance is a strange phenomena in western culture. Joseph Campbell writes that the fundamental difference between Eastern and Western mythologies are their relationships to nature. Eastern religions and philosophies teach harmony and balance with nature. In Eastern Gardens, for example, nature is idealized and emulated such that the intent of an Eastern garden is to look natural. This is not so in the traditional Western gardens where plants are channeled into rows, straight hedges, perfect circles, and geometric patterns and even into mazes. Western gardens express a dominance over nature.

      Campbell says this is because the underlying mythology of Christian thought is that of the “fall.” That is, the fall of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden upon losing their innocence. Nature is thus perceived as something menacing, destructive, and something that must be subdued and controlled. This is not so in the East. In the East, nature is perfect and calm and something one strives to be in harmony with. The two different attitudes towards nature is the basic difference between the two cultures.

      Pastoral literature predates Christianity and appears as early as the 4th century BC. However, the fall is Old Testament and the Gospels also contain pastoral literature. Secular pastoral literature resurfaces in the late renaissance along with Arcadian art. Pastoral literature seems antithetical to basic Christian tenants almost as an antidote to it.

      Some of the changes to our culture and its acceptance of nature can certainly be traced to orientalizing or being influenced by the East. The world is getting smaller and cultures are merging…although it has a ways to go.

      • Save bears says:

        Are we really arguing about a 3-D animated fantasy movie?

        Please tell me it is not so!


      • howlcolorado says:

        I blame hunters ;P

      • Save bears says:

        I am a hunter and now I am being blamed?

        jeeze, what a mess!

      • jon says:

        sb, I guess we can count you off of the list of people who are going to see this 3-d animated wolf movie. lol

      • howlcolorado says:

        What can I say? Someone told me on a news network once that all bad animated movies are created by hunters.

      • Save bears says:


        I am sure, my wife will buy it when it comes out on DVD, but I can say, she looks at thing a whole bunch differently than I do..

  15. WM says:

    I tend to think Walt Disney cartoons contain secret messages on drug abuse.

    “Snow White and the seven dwarfs,” is reflective of Disney’s alleged use of cocaine (don’t know if it is true). Even today, besides the reference to our affectionate heroine of the story, “Snow,” we have the names of each dwarf – Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy, Bashful and Doc. This convenient word bridge is still used today in medical school to teach the symptoms of cocaine addiction.

    And then there is the psychedilic quality of Fantasia, which inspires thoughts of LSD use.

    I tend to believe Dr. Whitely found a convenient link that may or may not have been intended by Disney, his associated writers and animators. Guess we will all just have to buy his book and find out for sure.

    What do you suppose the Warner Brothers/Looney Tunes Road Runner cartoons featuring Wile E Coyote had in mind? Or how about all those other Warner characters from nature like Bugs, Taz, Daffy Duck, Pepe la Pew, to name a few?

    I think nature is/was a common theme for many cartoons of the past and today, for many of the reasons Whitely probably discussed in his book -innocence of nature is likely a big theme. Think BC, for example.

    • pointswest says:

      …here is a subliminal message: ! n o o f a b

      Hint for the conscience portion of your mind…backward spelling.

  16. Nancy says:

    Save bears Says:
    September 17, 2010 at 4:13 PM
    Are we really arguing about a 3-D animated fantasy movie?

    Please tell me it is not so!


    Oh come on SB! Where’s that “inner child” that lurks around inside all of us, regardless of how old we get?

    • pointswest says:

      Boy…you start talking culture, art, and literature to Idahoans and Montanans and alls you get in return is sarcastic gibberish and some primitive utterances of disdain.

  17. Save bears says:


    I lost my inner child many years ago, I am sorry, I have just experience to much of adults killing the inner child these days, nobody can have a disagreement without name calling, put downs and political posturing..

    And don’t take me wrong, I have an extensive library of Disney movies and we watch them quite often, but the political messages are getting real old on both sides.

    I am no longer young, I am no longer child like, and I am ashamed to say, we use the innocence of children to push our political message..

    Sorry, just my take on things..I lost my inner child when my government tried to screw me after my service for this country..

    • Save bears says:

      And please don’t take me wrong, I have only opened my eyes to the bullshit, I am no longer naive, and I no longer put my blind faith in my peers or my subordinates..I think making movies targeted at children, that carry a political message is child abuse, children should be allowed to be children, without the baggage of their parents. I get tired of seeing children at political rallies..children are innocent until us adults exploit them..

      I have a very cynical as well as pessimistic view these days..

  18. Nancy says:

    ++I think making movies targeted at children, that carry a political message is child abuse, children should be allowed to be children, without the baggage of their parents++

    SB, I was thinking that this little 3-D movie could perhaps have a different effect on those children, that to often end up carrying the baggage of their parents……..

    • Save bears says:


      I am pretty sure we are talking about the same thing..

    • pointswest says:

      All movies, art, and literature have messages whether they be directed at children, women, teens, Jews, black, etc. Artists are generally in the business of being successful, however, and so try and create a possitive messages. Disney was only trying to make money so he created what he thought were possitive messages people would pay for over and over.

      People who have an agenda who create movies, art, or literature are propagandists. We have those. We also have religious groups who create movies, art, and literature in accordance with their religious beliefs. We can have movies, art, and literature that are a combination of art, propaganda, and religion.

      It has always been this way. There is no stopping it…especially not in the US where we so carefully safeguard our freedsom of expression. We have the Fox Channel, for example, that is mostly right wing propaganda. We have tobacco companies that wants everyone addicted to nicotine. We have food companies that wants a nation of compulsive eaters. We have the porn industry that wants a nation of sex addicts. But we mostly have good artists, good religious people, and good goverment people who do want to help people live happier lives with movies, art, and literature.

      The best you can do is try and understand it and not fall victim to it and to teach your kids to do the same.

      • Save bears says:

        I agree all movies have a message in them PW, that does not mean I have to agree with, or even like it..

        I honestly believe that you PW have lost your roots, and are now nothing more than a left coast out of touch individual, you have been out of it to long now, what you grew up with has died in you, I formed this opinion, when you started your rhetoric about being afraid of the wild in wilderness..

        And that is sad…

      • Save bears says:

        And by the way, I enjoy quite a bit of literature, arts as well as other cultural pastimes, I enjoy live theater, reading a great book and even watching a well done movie, I hold season tickets to a couple of different theaters in the country, I have an extensive library of classics, so to say those of us in Idaho and Montana talk gibberish, is so far out there, that it is least sarcastically..

      • Save bears says:

        And really most of this has nothing to do with the “Wolf Management” topic that this thread is about..

        By the way, you stated, you were taking your kids to the 3-D fantasy Alpha and Omega this after noon…

        How was it?

      • pointswest says:

        The biggest change in me since I left Idaho is that I am married and responsible for the lives of other’s now. And take my word for it, parts of LA are a lot more scary than Yellowstone at night.

      • pointswest says:

        The movie got posponed to Sunday since my boy’s uncle is taking him somewhere on Saturday.

      • Save bears says:


        I have spent plenty of time in LA, my Dad was raised in Pedro, My Grand Parents Live in Torrance and I had the pleasure of spending quite a bit of time not only when growing up, but as well as when I was in the Service…I am well aware of how nasty LA can be..

      • pointswest says:

        I live in an upscale part of town, Culver City, and I live near the police station. There was a murder only about block away three years ago…drug dealers. (And they were white drug dealers WM.)

        As I have mention before, on two ocassions while walking my constructions sites, I have heard construction workers talking about murders they had commited while in gangs in thier youth.

        We once had a young admin assistent who had several friends in jail for murder (and he was white WM).

        The Project Management team I worked a few years ago previously worked in the “projects” in south central LA. They said there was a murder there every month. They actually paid some Bloods thousands per month cash to protect the construction site. Two Bloods were on the payrole as Engineers but never showed up to work. They talk of one instance where some guy came walking up the street firing a machine gun and shot up several truck and cars with some bullets flying threw the job trailers where the PM team was working. (South Central LA is a bad black neigborhood WM.)

        Yellowstone or grizzlies do not scare me so bad…at least not anymore than they did when I lived in Idaho. It is my wife and son that will be scared.

      • Save bears says:

        If she can live in LA, she has nothing to fear in the woods…I know my wife thought she would be apprehensive, but she has never had a problem, of course she was born in Montana and has been exposed to a lot of things growing up.

        I remember visiting my grand parents in Torrance, they lived right on Torrance Blvd about two miles from the beach and it seems like a nightly happening that the gangs where shooting at each other with machine guns, I remember there were 2 murders as the little street corner market about 2 blocks from their house in the month I spent with them..

      • WM says:


        ++There was a murder only about block away three years ago…drug dealers. (And they were white drug dealers WM.)++

        Looks like you are trying to make some kind of point, with your constant specific references to me – I gather it is a race thing. That is OK. No members of a specific ethnic origin have a lock on drugs, although the users, depending on the product are often more wealthy whites (except meth) – and that is the demand side of the equation . My question is where did the drugs come from? I think we all know the answer to that question.

        A family friend, I have mentioned before here, was Undersheriff of LA County years back, so there is alot I could share here from his stories and I know for a fact he has seen alot of disgusting stuff over a long career, but this is a wildlife forum, so I will spare the details. So, don’t lecture me about crime demographics of the Greater LA area.

        I am not unfamiliar with LA, either. I once worked on a project in Long Beach and lived in motels there for several months, until another guy who lived in Marina Del Rey offered to put me up (to cope with traffic we adjusted our hours to drive to work in late morning and work until 8 pm). Spent time in Manhatten Beach, and even the misfortune of a couple sleazy sailor bars in Seal Beach. I also spent a fair amount of time in the Santa Susana mountains and Canoga Park working on other matters years later.

  19. Nancy says:

    Are we SB?
    +I think making movies targeted at children, that carry a political message is child abuse, children should be allowed to be children+
    One of the few things I thank my very strict, military career minded father for, is him allowing my sibs and I time to sit in front of our TV set (talking over 40 years ago) on a Sunday night, when Walt Disney aired some fabulous nature programs, many having to do with the west and wilderness. I live here now and can relate to those shows – the landscapes, mountains, the wildlife and, those concerned about what the future is gonna bring.

    • Save bears says:


      I am also very strict Military minded and I have always lived here, I spent 26 years in the army as an officer and have always lived in the west, I have hunted since I was 8 years old and I am also, concerned what the future is going to bring us.

      I don’t understand why it is so difficult for some to understand, there are those of us that have lived much of our lives, without the romantic feel good ideals that so many like to believe..

      But the bullshit lies on both sides of this issue are getting way out of hand, and people are plain and simple confused and don’t know who to believe, and hence don’t believe anyone..

      I have literally seen what fantasy cartoons can do, when the wrong message is behind it, when serving in the middle east…


September 2010


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey