Otter meeting with Interior secretary, other governors on wolves

Salazar can’t just change the rules without an open, public process under NEPA.

The governors of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana are meeting with Ken Salazar in Denver on Monday to talk about wolves. It will be interesting to see what comes of this. Really, there are very few options for the Department of Interior short of trying again but until Wyoming’s plan is accepted it is unlikely they would be successful. There may still be efforts to get a legislative change to the Endangered Species Act during the lame duck session but for some reason I find them unlikely to move forward.

Otter meeting with Interior secretary, other governors on wolves.
Idaho Reporter



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  1. Mtn Mamma Avatar
    Mtn Mamma

    It would be nice if at least one moderate were attending the meeting. But with this group, I cant see any outcome that would be a happy medium for wolves.

  2. WM Avatar

    It is not hard to see what the ver4y first question from either governor from MT or ID, after exchange of pleasantries, and the obligatory why we are here today narrative by Secy. Salazar. It would be this:

    {Said while looking Sec. Salazar in the eyes} How in the hell can one state stop delisting and state wolf management in my state cold in its tracks, after fifteen years of recovery efforts in which federally established goals for population numbers and distribution have been met consistently since 2004? {pound table twice for emphasis and maybe throw a little tantrum including red face and bulging veins on side of neck}

    Second question: Your predeceasors {secretaries of Interior and their staffs under both D and R administrations} promised us this 10(j) rule would be a way of controlling numbers of wolves if they start hitting our elk or deer too hard. Now we are coming to you with requests and you won’t act on them. What’s with that?

    Love to be a fly on the wall for that meeting.

  3. Cody Coyote Avatar
    Cody Coyote

    Just saw this. I had no inkling such a high deck meeting was in the works . I do not consider Salazar to be a friend to wolves , given his ranching background and general lenience towards ranching interests . But he seems to be no foe of wolves, either.

    I disagree with WM’s assessment above. I do agree the Govs will likely be ” adversarial” towards Salazar as a result of being tossed into limbo by the two recent court rulings as a result of Wyoming’s pigheadedness, and Fish & Wildlife service’s bipolar disorders.

    I can’t read the guy on this issue at all. Does anyone reading this blog have any raw intel on Salazar’s attitude toward wolves in the Northern Rockies at all ?

    1. Mtn Mamma Avatar
      Mtn Mamma

      I dont have any “raw intel” on Salazar but given that he upheald the Bush-era decision to delist wolves as one of his first moves in office, I dont trust him.

      1. WM Avatar

        “The Bush-era” wolf delisting was the introduction plan started by the Clinton Admin. and Sec. Bruce Babbitt. Perhaps you would find benefit in reading the 1994 EIS on introduction of the NRM wolves as a non-essential experimental population, which was intended to be managed with “flexibility” for impacts on ungulates and livestock.

        The questions of “trust” are those as between what the federal government FWS promised the NRM states in 1994, and what has been delivered to date.

        Secretary Salazar is just continuing what Babbitt promised and started.

      2. Save bears Avatar

        Most of all WM, Scientifically wolves are not endangered any longer and should be de-listed, the goals of the listing plan have been met and there is no reason to continue to list them. It is sad to see the ESA become a political tool over a scientific tool.

        There are other species that are suffering and deserve to be listed that are not..

      3. WM Avatar

        Exactly SB. Two wolf DPS’s, both scientifically “recovered” and viable – The Great Lakes wolves and the NRM wolves. Rounds after round of unnecessary litigation have created unnecessary turbulence that is now doing more damage than good for wolf recovery and acceptance.

      4. Ken Cole Avatar

        WM, SB,
        Do either one of you understand that this isn’t about whether wolves are “recovered” and have viable populations at present but rather about whether they will remain “recovered” and maintain viable populations under state management. Judging by your statements it doesn’t appear that you do. You both know that part of what contributes to the endangered status of any particular species is whether or not there is adequate regulatory mechanism for their protection.

        I’ve laid it out over and over that there is no guarantee that the respective state legislatures won’t override the management agencies once wolves are delisted and mandate that they reduce the populations to the bare minimum.

        It’s bullshit to say that wolf advocates should drop their complaints about the ridiculous political manipulations of the ESA. If they’re going to gut the ESA then they are going to do it but I, for one am not going to do it for them.

        I don’t care if it was Bush’s or Babbit’s plan. It still has to be conducted using the best available science. That is the promise that has to be kept because that is the law.

      5. Save bears Avatar


        I can assure you I fully understand, the reason behind the ESA, I fully understand the Implementation of the ESA and I understand the position we are at now…

        it is quite obvious, your understanding of the ESA and My understanding of the ESA is two entirely different interpretations..

        Wolves based on the original listing are recovered, to keep them listed at this point in time is purely political, it is NOT based on the best available science.

        There is fully viable populations in all three states, there is genetic exchange going on between the populations, there are mechanisms in place to ensure they don’t disappear in the future..

        With the continued litigation, there is nothing more than a prostitution of the law as it is currently wrote and implemented.

        I don’t give a shit who is in charge in Washington, they are not following the law on either side, wolves are recovered, and based on the way the law was implemented to leave them on the list is wrong…at the least they need to be down graded to threatened, and to keep with the truest sense of the law, they need to be delisted….

        With the way things are going, we are following the same thought pattern as the warped sense that we need to arrest people because we THINK they may commit a crime, or they MIGHT be a terrorist..

        Montana and Idaho has approved plans, they conducted legal hunts that did not reduce populations, as far as the political boundary argument, it does not hold water, the wolves were listed in the US, but yet they are thriving in other areas of the world, the political boundary was the border between the US and Canada, but yet, the political boundary between Idaho, Montana and Wyoming is now the problem.

        We also continue to have the political boundary of I-90 to separate two populations….

        I am all for recovery of the wolf, I have no problem with wolves on the landscape, but it is POLITICAL and science is taking a back seat, which nothing more than prostitution of the original intent of the law, the pro wolf lobby is just as bad as the anti wolf lobby…

      6. Save bears Avatar

        And to add, I don’t like Wyoming’s plan, I never had, I lobbied against it when it was first approved by the USFWS, but Montana and Idaho are approved, they conducted legal hunts and there was not suffering in the population of wolves…

        I wonder what will satisfy those in favor of wolves being continued on the list?

        I have attended numerous meetings on this issue, but both sides continue to side step when asked direct questions, They are not endangered…and now with this re-listing, they are more in jeopardy, than they were before..

        What is it going to take, there are actual endangered species out there that won’t be listed for lack of funds, due to the continued litigation and efforts being directed to wolves, what are we going to loose, in our efforts over wolves?

        Big picture folks…we are loosing wildlife to save wildlife…

      7. WM Avatar


        I have as good an understand the science and the legal aspects of the ESA wolf “recovery” issues as anyone commenting here. The only part that is a bit tough to get around, in my view, is the “historic range” matter that JB has discussed, and with which I agree is a problem, but do not know how to resolve to the satisfaction of the states that do not have wolves and may not want them.

        As I have said before, you can fault the ESA law for not having the provisions you seem to think are necessary to keep states honest with respect to meeting their management obligations for a once endangered species now under their stewardship. I think Mark Gamblin addresses that point on the “Judge Sides with WY” thread in his comment on 11/27 at 11:35 pm.

        I have also said before, if that is a big concern to the litigants in Molloy’s courtroom, then he can assert continuing authority over the case. Judges do that all the time. An example I have used before is the salmon allocation issues on the Columbia River, where Judge Redden (and a couple other district court judges) asserted oversight of treaty obligations for nearly forty years (US v. Oregon). The legal oversight part seems to be working pretty well, despite the curveballs mother nature throws at the salmon and the continuing problems of the dams.

        We have already seen Molloy pull the plug on delisting in the NRM. The problem with this last round is that it never reaches the biology of the issue, just the apparent technical flaws of the DPS provisions and its application. Do recall once again that there was a study released earlier this month that showed the science (asserting no genetic connectivity) as used by the plaintiffs in the first delisting suit before Molloy was flawed, and the same authors of that study corrected the error in a study that was just released earlier this month.

        Here we sit in stupid-ass holding pattern while the DPS ruling is appealed.

        Again, can anyone tell me how it hurts wolves in WY to still be listed under FWS management while ID and MT get on with business managing wolves within their states under previously approved plans which are entirely consistent with the original wolf recovery plan from 1987 as set forth in the 1994 Final EIS on NRM wolf recovery?

        Now, let me go back to the first comment I made on this thread. Both governors of ID and MT have valid, and dare I say points of righteous dignation to raise, when they sit down with Salazar to talk about wolf recovery going forward. And, yes I think Butch’s tactic to give up “management agency” status in the short term is kind of stupid, but there may be a method behind the madness. Afterall, isn’t Salazar now going to meet with the governors after getting alot of bad press over Molloy’s decision?

      8. Jeff N. Avatar
        Jeff N.

        Here again Save Bears’ anti – wolf sentiment comes to the forefront. Whereas the mechanism for delisting was that the states of MT, ID, and WY have acceptable management plans to sustain a healthy wolf population, and clearly WY doesn’t….Save Bears, with all his/hers supposed yet unverified expertise in the field of wildlife management/biology, not-so-cleverly continues to side with the sss/anti-wolf crowd, and ignores one of the fundamental triggers for delisting.

      9. Save bears Avatar


        You have an odd way of interpreting stuff, I don’t support poaching in any form what soever and lobby to get stiffer penalties for the act of poaching, I am for making all poaching incidents a felony, I am for taking away gun rights for all poaching incidents as well as lifetime hunting privileges..

        I am also against political manipulation by groups to maintain a listing on an animal that is not endangered

        Don’t blame me for the inadequacies of the USFWS that did approve all three states plans.

      10. Save bears Avatar

        Jeff Despite protests from many biologists and environmental groups prior to the first delisting the USFWS approved all three states plans…that is a fact…

      11. Jeff N. Avatar
        Jeff N.

        Yes Save Bears, and the court of law has found Wyoming’s plan inadequate. So my friend, please place blame where it rightfully belongs, not on the enviros or wolf lovers…but the backward-ass-rednecks entrenched in the government of and game department of “The Cowboy State”.

      12. Save bears Avatar


        I have many times over the last couple of years condemned Wyoming’s stance on wolves for being the problem, there bull headed stance is a big problem to the states of Montana and Idaho, who’s plans were approved and administered in a manner that did not reduce the population of wolves, despite the fact, they both held hunting seasons..

        But the fact remains, wolves are not endangered, there is genetic exchange going on, between the various populations. And despite Molloy’s ruling on political boundaries, there are still political boundaries in use to define different population segments and to maintain different status for wolves in the state of Montana and Idaho..

      13. Save bears Avatar

        Jeff I just happen to believe if we are going to have a ruling that specifically states delisting along political boundaries is illegal, then the full endangered status should be awarded the whole population both north as well as south of I-90 and do away with the 10(j) rule, until such time as all of the issues are worked out..but to maintain duel status using one boundary and ruling another boundary is illegal is not equal application of the law..

        Either they are all experimental non-essential or they are all endangered.


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Ken Cole