Note that this replaces the 18th edition. That edition will now move slowly into the depths of the blog.

Western Rattlesnake © Ken Cole

Western Rattlesnake © Ken Cole


Please don’t post entire articles here, just the link, title and your comments about the article. Most of these violate copyright law. They also take up too much space.

About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

708 Responses to Have you come across any interesting Wildlife News? December 4, 2010

  1. Barb Rupers says:

    Great rattle snake photo, Ken

  2. WM says:

    What is next for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge?

    Will Obama declare it a national monument on its 50th Birthday or will it get an oil drilling plan?

  3. Great Picture!

  4. JEFF E says:

    I don’t suppose you could have taken a closer pic of that snake?

    • Ken Cole says:

      I was using a 300mm lens and crouched about 15-20 feet away while my wife and a car full of activists were making jokes about a Darwin Award. I was far enough away that I was never in danger.

      There is a good photoshopped image of me crouched on the road with the snake in front of me while I had my camera up and another one under my ass. A good time was had by all.

      • Tilly says:

        I witnessed this photo being taken and would like to add that not only was Ken about 2 feet from a coiled, hissing rattlesnake, but he also had BARE FEET.
        He is very lucky he is not up for a Darwin Award this year! (And a very good photographer.)

      • WM says:


        Regardless of the distance, it is very impressive photo.

        I once was trapped in the dark at the base of a USFS tower lookout. Another friend and I were visiting (and bringing food, beer and ice)to another friend who was a summer crew employee whose job it was to be a fire lookout. Food was stored in ice chests at the base of the 50 foot tower. We were partying that evening (yeah, 20 year olds do that), and I went down for more cold beer, with no flashlight. It was a warm and calm summer night, and very quiet except the residual sound of the music up in the tower. I bent down to open the icebox lid and heard this zhzhzhzhzzh buzzing at my feet but could not see anything. I dared not move. I yelled out to my friends above, who could not hear me because of the music. After what seemed like 15-20 minutes (probably more like 5) somebody came to rail and yelled down to bring the beer. I told them I couldn’t and why. A few minutes later they came down with flashlight and shovel in hand. Coiled less than two feet away and adjacent to one ice box, within striking distance, was a good size diamond back. The shovel was used to dispatch the snake (because it was a safety hazard and the snakes were common there), and the party went on. Needless to say, it was one of my more sobering moments. Still gives me shivers when I think about it. I was wearing shorts, so the snake would not have missed.

  5. SAP says:

    MT FWP complains to MSU about Scott Creel’s work:

    “Risley’s letter to MSU cited conflicts with Creel going back several years. He wrote that in 2006, FWP permanently severed its relationship with Creel and that earlier this year, Creel had accused FWP staff of unethical conduct.”

    . . .” Creel’s latest study brought sharp reaction from some readers who described wolves as “monsters” and accused Creel of being be pro-wolf.
    Creel said that after a 2007 study, he was accused of having an anti-wolf agenda. That study found wolves have a greater impact on elk, beyond the numbers they directly killed. It found that pressure from wolves meant cow elk had a harder time getting enough nutrition though the winter to maintain pregnancies and so fewer calves were being born. FWP researchers did not agree with his conclusions, Creel said.”

    • Salle says:

      Seems like scientific inquiry is taking a beating when it does not serve as the “yes man” proof of what the politicians and their anti-wildlife buddies want it to say.

      I have met Dr. Creel in the past and have also found his studies of the past and present to be credible, unlike old, demented researchers like V. Giest who seems to be loosing his marbles with old age…

      Not too many comments but this one seems to be the V. Giest type who uses the username of Wildlifebiologist:

      It’s about time. I believe that for many years now, Creels research has been biased in favor of supporting larger wolf populationsl. Obviously, now that wolf numbers are far in excess of the wolf reintroduction goals, and have been for over 7 years, it may be too little too late. The wolf epidemic has exploded, it will take aggressive actions like this, to begin to help control the actual conditions that exist. The public needs to know the reality. Creels early research supported the fact that wolves were not a big concern for elk populations, and consequently management did not act soon enough or aggressive enough control wolf numbers, Now the wolves are decimating elk and moose populations, and wreaking havoc in the livestock industry. For far too long now, wildlife management has been led or directed by special interst groups, instead of actual hard data. Im glad the FWP is finallly taking action to minimize the impact that special interest play in wildlife management. If we get a tough winter like whats shaping up, we will see the elk and moose kills by wolves increase even more dramatically, and correspondingly the wolf numbers will rise, then the situation magnifies itself. We are way behind the eightball on the proper wolf managemnt, it’s time to get aggressive and start reducing wolf numbers, and the change the perception that they are not a problem.

      Sounds like a wannabe wildlife biologist. Or that the true difference between being a biologist and a real researcher is the presence or lack of the presence of an agenda – one way or the other. If it’s biased, then is it really valid? I think Dr. Creel is unbiased in his publications/studies and that truly valid research is peer reviewed by others and has no agenda, as has been shown by Dr. Creel’s researched findings.

      And just to put a little more context to the situation is this last paragraph in the story about the original complainer:

      Risley, hired in August 2009 after 30 years with Ohio’s wildlife agency, is in charge of fisheries, wildlife, law enforcement, communications and education. He reports to FWP Deputy Director Art Noonan, a Butte legislator and former Democratic Party executive director, and to Joe Maurier, FWP director and former college roommate of Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

      Sure smells fishy to me…

      • WM says:

        Gotta wonder if this might have better been taken care of with a phone call between Director Maurier and MSU President Cruzado.

        The best picture of this formal exchange is to actually read both letters. Much clearer than this news article. A link is on the website.

        First, it is curious that the letter comes from a Program manager (with FWP for only a year or so), rather than from the FWP Director. There could be a protocol error there, since the letter basically threatens severing a long standing symbiotic relationship between FWP who benefits from research and MSU gets funding and placement for grad students and graduates. What is the dynamic behind this exchange, which maybe should have been at the Director level? Good question to ask.

        Second, based on the content, there is obvious tension between (some) current program folks/researchers at FWP and Dr. Creel, which includes an apparent belief FWP should get a heads up before articles affecting FWP policy are published, and possibly have input to them. Maybe they would even argue they should be part of a pre-publication peer review (study design?) since it includes interpretation of FWP data which is the subject of the tension). Those could be valid concerns, and maybe Dr. Creel could have been more sensitive to those concerns, especially if there is a possibility he inadvertently misinterpreted data, model design or results from them.

        Third, is an apparent difference between the science as depicted by Dr. Creel and criticisms of FWP policy (like how many wolves can be safely taken by humans without having a bad impact on population). That seems to be one which the University should stick up for Dr. Creel, if his science is good and his conclusions are valid based on the science, which it appears they are. It will be interesting to see how it plays out, and for the sake of good science I hope MSU doesn’t roll over.

        It is curious, and I have mentioned before, that the most prominently cited researcher/paper author in the FWP 2009 report on “Monitoring and Assessment of Wolf-Ungulate Interactions and Population Trends…..” (by Kenneth Hamlin and Julie Cuningham) is Dr. Creel.

        Dr. Creel has published findings that explore several aspects of wolf-ungulate relationships, showing impacts good and bad, as well as unknown. The story is not completely told in 15 years of wolf reintroduction. It needs more time. I hope FWP sees the wisdom, over the long term, of producing good science and applying it to their difficult and controversial dynamic management responsibilities. I also hope Dr. Creel continues to do some of that work, and FWP has input to supplying data for it and reviewing the results without prostituting the final product.

        For now, it looks like both sides (wolf advocates and the state) are peeing on Dr. Creel’s work because it doesn’t fit what they respectively want to do. That just could mean he is doing a good job.


        Taking another backhanded slap at Dr. Geist, a pre-eminent ungulate field scientist vs. you (a proclamied wolf advocate with limited science or behavioral ecology background?). Good match up.

      • jon says:

        ofcourse, wolf haters will play that biased card when they don’t agree with something and call the scientist pro wolf. Very typical of these people. Everything is biased unless it is something they agree with. No one cares about science anymore, It’s either say what I want to hear or you’re biased and pro wolf. What were these wolf hating nuts saying when Creel released one of his studies in 2007? They were probably saying that he’s a legit and unbiased scientist. Fast forward 3 years and he comes out with a study saying that wolf hunts could hurt the wolf population and the wolf haters get on him quickly and call him a wolf lover and a biased scientist when they were complimenting him 3 years earlier for coming out with his unbiased studies.

  6. JEFF E says:

    (I just have to do this)
    Critical evaluation of wolf encounter.

    On November 27, 2010 Karen Calisterio stated that she had a “wolf encounter” in her driveway of her rural home near Tensed Idaho.

    The physical aspects are as follows.

    Karen states that her driveway is 1/3 of a mile long from the mailbox on Moses Mountain Road to her house. That translates in to ~577 yds. The driveway goes up a slight incline for about the first 447 yds and then takes a sharp right and then goes~ 130 yds to her house.

    The first 447 yds has a vertical rise of about 106 feet from the main road to where the driveway cuts right and then tops out on the slight ridge and then drops about 22 feet in elevation over the last about 130 yards to the house.

    Karen states that she had walked about ¼ of the distance up the driveway when she first noticed the wolves “at the crest of the driveway where it turned to go to the house.”
    This would put Karen at near 145 yds up the driveway. That would put the wolves at “the crest” of the hill close to 300+ yds away, (Three football fields) and about 65 ft higher in elevation.

    Karen then states that the wolves started to walk towards here for an “estimated distance of 100 feet” (30 yds) while at the same time she was walking backwards. There seems to be some question if the wolves approached her at all. Quote of November 29 in the Spokesmen-Review; “My husband and neighbors later checked the tracks and could see where the wolves had come down to WHERE I’D FIRST SEEN THEM AND TURNED AROUND. THEN THERE TRACKS TOOK OFF DOWN TOWARDS A POND” she said. (Sic)
    In any case the wolves were never closer than 270 yds, or 2 and 2/3 football fields.
    As Karen walked up the drive the wolves were walking down it. At a distance of about 300 yds they noticed each other. The wolves then ether advanced another 100 feet before realizing that Karen was a human (270+ yds away) and left the area, or turned around immediately and left the area (300 yds away) depending on which version you roll with.

    Whether one would or should feel threatened by this encounter is open to interpretation.

    Karen said she felt threatened by it.

    Me, I have a sudden hankering for a Swiss cheese sandwich.

  7. Tim Bondy says:

    What are your thoughts about this old article (PDF) “Seven Popular Myths About Livestock Grazing”. It’s old but wanted to get some other opinion on this publication. It’s can be downloaded at:

    • Salle says:

      With all due respect, Mr. Bondy…

      You have lived in Idaho for all of about three years and have yet to understand the inner-workings of the propaganda machine operated by the extractive/ag industries in your surroundings.

      This document is typical of the federally funded, state approved and university produced propaganda used to squelch any opposition by the general public – the ultimate deed holder of the BLM, National Forests and other public lands – from either knowing the truth about what is going on and decimating their property or having the materials to formally object to it.

      If you look at the citations, there are mostly Dept. of AG and other government documents that seem to back up this misinformation. If you look outside the government sanctioned institutions and their own agency – produced documentation you will find the opposite is the reality. As Nancy points out in her link below, there is a great difference to what is there in graphic honesty and what is printed in a very brief pamphlet.

      Sort of like the Bozeman Chronicle article (see postings above) about the MTFW&P’s complaint about Dr. Scott Creel and the fact that he isn’t keeping with their dancecard requirements because it doesn’t back their rhetoric and BS…

      You need to be a little more skeptical about the sources of such “info”, particularly in places like Idaho. The U of I is THE Land Grant university of the state and is also the research arm for most AG subjects in the state. I found out, first hand, that unless you are willing to go along with what the gov’t. agencies who sponsor the cooperatives there want when initiating your research plans, you will quickly become sidelined and could end up dropping out or just not making any progress. A lot of “research” is bought and paid for by political agendas and is hosted by these agencies who squash anything that looks like opposition to the agenda.

      I would like suggest that you go outside of fed and state propaganda to get your info… fortunately there are many individuals who do object to this sort of thing and are able to find the means to clearly dispute and disprove such propaganda, like Western Watersheds Project and others who see what is taking place in the name of the public but fully against their interests for the sake of justifying the destruction of their property for the benefit of a few welfare ranchers and big businesses… like mining and paper corporations… just to mention a few.

      I mean this in all sincerity and not to belittle you or your education, etc.. But I do feel you need to learn more about how Idaho functions, it isn’t pretty and is not normally in the public’s best interests with regard to public property. This sort of publication (that you posted) is designed to make the public think that it is in their best interests… and that’s just hogwash. In Idaho the legislature is genuinely proud of the ignorance of its constituents.

      Check out the link that Nancy provided below.

    • Ken Cole says:

      There was a General Accounting Office report done on public lands grazing which showed that the program is conducted at considerable expense to the taxpayer. It costs $144 million to administer and the ranchers only pay $21 million in fees. This doesn’t even account for all of the atrocious damage wrought by livestock to the land and wildlife. There is a reason that it’s referred to as “welfare ranching”.

      There is also a book named “Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West”. You can download and read some of the exerpts from it here:

      • Nancy says:

        A friend sent me a copy Ken (he picked it on Amazon for about $7 bucks) Its a huge book (12 x13 inches, an inch thick) not a hard copy. Very good read, detailed, with a ton of photographs.

      • Ken Cole says:

        A copy of that book was given to every member of congress a few years back.

        Also there exists a great picture of Katie Fite of Western Watersheds Project and Larry Craig standing together while holding up the book. He later signed the photo.

        I have a few copies in my closet that I have been giving out too.

      • jon says:

        Ken, I sent you an email.

      • WM says:


        I agree on the grazing costs vs. the revenues generated.

        However, to put things into context the federal government subsidizes many agricultural endeavors at a much higher level, expecting no return whatsoever. Think of cotton, rice, corn and my very favorite, TOBACCO.

        Here are the numbers: North Carolina and Kentucky alone got more than $136 million in subsidies in 2009 for their cancer causing tobacco growing.

        or here are the numbers for the top cultivated crops – $15.4 billion in subsidies and no revenue stream or costs of producing revenue stream reflected in the stats.

        The whole federal agricultural subsidy system is screwed up, not just grazing policy under the antiquated Taylor Grazing Act and FLPMA modifications.

      • Brian Ertz says:


        you are right about the existence of so many ag subsidies … but this begs the question :

        How does that fact trivialize/minimize the outrageous environmental degradation the grazing subsidies of which we so frequently cite contribute to ?

        there will always be ill-shit everywhere … this blog, dare i say this conversation, concerns itself with western public lands and wildlife … and when it comes to that, to western public lands and wildlife, there is not a single more pervasively destructive land use than welfare ranching … period …

      • PointsWest says:

        The Bowles-Simpson Commission on Debt Reduction is looking at cutting agricultural subsidies. It may or may not be a mistake. There is lots of underdeveloped farmland in central Asia and in South America. If the US cuts agricultural subsidies, food prices in the US will go up, agricultural exports will go down, and agricultural imports will go up. We will become more dependent on other nations to grow our food, especially food that is labor intensive since farm labor (even Mexican labor) is relatively expensive in the US when compared to somewhere like Kazakhstan or to Argentina.

        There is little doubt, however, that agricultural subsidies are political. I believe it was the large tobacco subsidy game that kept North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms in power for so many years. The guy was a far-right christian crack-pot but he kept the tobacco industry healthy (pun intended) in North Carolina.

        Agricultural subsidies are a big and complicated issues but it is a mistake to simply blame them for the wildlife problems in the West by calling names like “welfare ranching.” We simply need to do more to preserve wildlife inspite of things such as agricultural subsidies. As I’ve said many times, some areas need to be designated important to the large predators, for example, and priority be given to their preservation within these designated areas.

      • Brian Ertz says:

        public land ranching … and the direct & indirect subsidies enjoyed by such … do not contribute to food security … maybe 3% of national feed/beef is attributable to public land grass … those cattle largely spend their time in CAFOs in the cold season … a 3% reduction in feed in America could readily be responded to by increases in private land production and the economic ripple would be insignificant, likely no more significant than a fraction of the marginal response to fuel prices — it would NOT be a significant enough ripple to prompt any economic increase in production elsewhere in the world …

        the suggestion that welfare ranching on public lands in america contributes to food security – or other such policy – here at home is inaccurate – it’s too insignificant on the supply-side to serve any such policy objective as might be analogous to corn or wheat, etc. etc.

      • PointsWest says:


        I understand all the points you made and mostly agree. My point is, however, it is not productive for wildlife advocates to paint with too broad of brush nor is it productive to call names. Not all agricultural subsidies to farmers or even to western ranchers are bad for wildlife. It is only some of them in certain locations.

        The many stock tanks in the southwest, many of which were economical due to rancher subsidies, significantly increased deer and elk populations along with the population of several other animals.

      • WM says:


        Can you point to a source, or do you know, how many total cattle (and sheep) are grazed on federal lands in the 11 Western states during a given year for a portion of the year? Something more than just gross AUM’s. Translate it into numbers of animals each – cattle and sheep separately. We typically know that cattle are finished off on other pasture and often feedlots. However, the use of the grazing allotments do constitute a portion of the annual feed source for a number of individual animals.

        Then compare that number of animals -cattle and sheep- against the apparently much larger number of cattle and sheep (state and national totals) which are not on public lands.

        Also, if you can, do you know if there are any studies which factor in transport costs to and from markets. So, for example, are most cattle raised in ID consumed in ID, or exported? And do many processed animals come in from other states to ID, as an example.

        I guess what I am getting at is precisely what does the 3% number you use above really mean.

        I am not trying to be argumentative. It would just be helpful to understand how these statistics are compiled and what they mean.

  8. Nancy says:

    Tim – you be the judge (and a warning, some of these pictures are very graphic)

  9. Tim Bondy says:

    Salle: Thanks for giving me the phony “due respect” and the usual activist, flying off the handle “but”. I simply asked for an opinion. And you indicate I’m ignorant but in many many words. For me, any post by you will be ignored fully and completely. Your point of view is no longer welcome inside my head. Thanks for opening my eyes.

    • SAP says:

      A classic “Dilbert” take on “with all due respect”:

      Pointy Haired Boss: Alice, I’ve noticed a disturbing pattern. Your solutions to problems are always the things you try last.
      Alice: With all due respect, are you using your skull to store old rags or what?
      Pointy Haired Boss: It’s a good thing you said “with all due respect.”

      October 27, 1997

      Salle, I think you could have rendered that opinion in a way that didn’t include a bunch of talking down. Yes, clearly, I’m “too sensitive” too, but I think the world is plenty ugly already. A little extra effort and consideration can make a huge difference. I’m tired too, and I am also impatient sometimes. But I find myself MORE worn out if I choose to be discourteous and harsh with people.

      • SAP says:

        Here’s what the Dalai Lama had on his Facebook page the other day:

        “Neither peace nor war exists independently of us. Political and military leaders have grave responsibilities with respect to peace – but they too are members of the society that we as individuals help to create. Peace in the world depends on peace in the hearts of individuals; this depends on each of us practising ethics by disciplining our negative thoughts and emotions, and developing basic spiritual qualities.”

      • Nancy says:

        What is the meaning of the phrase ‘with due respect?
        “it is a phrase to let the person we are addressing know that we are dealing with him in a respectful manner”

      • SAP says:

        Um well Nancy, I think it’s usually meant this way:

        “I am going to give you all the respect I feel is due to you, which, as you will see by the verbal bludgeoning I’m about to deliver, is not very much.”

  10. Nancy says:

    Tim – you wanted an opinion and I thought Salle did a fine job of sharing her thoughts. Maybe you are alittle too sensitive on that subject for some reason?

    • Salle says:

      Thanks for the back up, Nancy.

      I was being sincere but I guess trying to be polite about my thoughts wasn’t sticky-sweet enough for some. Maybe I should have ended with Sincerely (XOXOXO) and then signed my name so that they could understand that I was trying to be polite.

      And he says:

      Thanks for giving me the phony “due respect” and the usual activist, flying off the handle…

      Interesting re-interpretations of the phrase… “with all due respect.” Sorry I bothered to include that. I was trying to express the politeness to this guy whom I don’t know but from reading his “about” page on his website, it’s obvious he hasn’t been there very long and could be missing some pertinent points that I was trying to identify. And that was my opinion.

      After my 14 years in Idaho and going head to head with the likes of Larry-widestance-Craig and Kempthorne, Lenore Barrett and others cranks, I guess I don’t know anything and trying to nudge someone into looking more broadly for facts is just asking too much from an educated yet ignorant putz as they perceive me to be – maybe they need a good cosmic look in the mirror.

      Sounds like they have such thin skin that they’d better just stay in the house and fill up on faux-news and other swill… Maybe you should just stick to your own little website’s world there in Mountain Home where nobody can disturb your beautiful mind.

      Sorry to have ruffled your tender feathers there guy… but I’m not sorry nor do I care whether you read what I write.

      You can lead a mind to knowledge but you can’t make it think.

      Your loss and closed mind, not mine.

      • SAP says:

        Salle, I’m not trying to shut down your opinions nor disrespect your knowledge and experience. Just trying to ask for a little more kindness in our little corner of the world here. I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t think you could do it.

      • Salle says:

        Like I said, I was trying to be so but that seems to be misinterpreted by many. I wasn’t making wild accusations nor was I “flying off the handle”… And if my response was the “usual activist” brand of “flying off the handle” then I guess maybe this guy never goes to public hearings or the like. If I was “flying off the handle” then I really wonder what this thinks of the anti-wolf activists and their manner of presentation…

        I have read a lot of this type of propaganda from the producers of this pamphlet and my opinion is that it’s propaganda and that the guy asking for an opinion should be aware of where such rubbish originates. I was also trying to encourage him to seek out more info from other sources, too bad my words were met with such hostility… quite the opposite of what I was trying to relate.

      • SAP says:

        I am genuinely sorry for not getting that, Salle, and I don’t intend to jump all over you. And I agree that the anti-wolf extremists are far far worse. I think I am getting very worn out by the insanity on that end of the spectrum — trying to be a “happy warrior” instead of becoming like them in any way.

      • Salle says:

        I think I am getting very worn out by the insanity on that end of the spectrum — trying to be a “happy warrior” instead of becoming like them in any way.

        Me too. I do appreciate your attempt to keep things on a lighter note but the topic was one that required some real input about what goes on in our barely representative government with regard to scientific research and actual factual evidence. I can deal with it sans the emotive appeal…

        I don’t care for the immediate Karl Rove-personal-attack mode that passes for discourse these days that relies on emotion and misinformation to promote itself to the unwary. There’s just no mild mannered way to reason with people anymore, they are so distracted by the faux-news network of misinformation presented by the manipulative and misinformed…

        I wouldn’t argue with you on your point about not being like the wild-eyed adversaries of the day, but I find it hard to be a happy warrior… the situation makes me depressed more than anything.

      • SAP says:

        I hear you. I feel like the extremists have hit on some brain-stem-level-baboons-of-the-veldt way of winning:

        Say it aggressively, say it loud, say it repeatedly, activate ‘threat’ responses in your audience, and they will believe absolutely anything you tell them. And it really helps if you say it first, but you don’t have to if you follow the other rules with aplomb.

        The “covenant of reason” (a largely unspoken agreement to argue from facts rather than resort to aggression, threat, and character assassination) has really broken down, and I don’t think it’s “progressives” who broke it.

        Glen Beck thinks that Disney’s Epcot Center is promoting Maoism because he was able to buy a puppet there in a Chinese Army outfit.

      • Salle says:

        I’m not sure who got the ball rolling that but it’s not a good thing. Personally I think it has a lot to do with conditioning from the ubiquitous-social-agenda-promotion-tools like TeeVee and other electronica designed to keep us dialed in on getting one up on others and vapid over-presentation of misinformation.

        Funny, TeeVee does not require independent cognitive function, it does it all for you… so you can be sort of indirectly brainwashed.

        Just goes to show ya…

    • Nancy says:

      SAP – did appreciate the insight last night on cattle prods and will agree, wouldn’t be a bad idea for some to experience that “touch” before getting too impatient and heavy handed with other beings. Course I feel the same way about roping events. If a few of those good ole boys (and girls) were run down, roped and yanked by the neck off their feet, over and over……… they might develop a better understanding of what other species go thru for the sake of entertainment.

    • Salle says:

      “Jewett says snowmobiles can force caribou to expend energy they need to survive the winter.”

      But they can’t seem to figure out that this is also true of other ungulates, like bison, for example…

  11. Salle says:

    Secretary Salazar Applauds President’s Nomination of Dan Ashe to be Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

  12. Nancy says:

    Banter on another blog when it comes to the “state the nation is in” Some interesting input from Marabod. A bit off the subject here (kind of:) but it is relative:

  13. PointsWest says:

    Cleantech Group ( ), a market research company that provides insight for corporations and investors on developing technology named Thorenco ( ) as a company to watch in 2011. Thorenco is developing several types of Thorium Cycle Nuclear Reactors.

    I am becoming very pro-nuclear since reading about these thorium reactors. You can use them to burn up nuclear waste and they do not produce plutonium which might help proliferate nuclear weapons. Nuclear waste and nuclear proliferation were the two largest arguments against nuclear energy and thorium reactors solve both of these issues.

  14. Nancy says:

    This kind of jumped out while reading comments:

    *And then, of course, people associate government bureaucracy with fraud. They never blame business for the many billions of dollars lost to employee theft and shoplifting, but don’t hesitate to blame government for its criminal losses*

    Brings to mind the situation going on out here in the western states when it comes to ranching, compensating their losses and the years of WS.

  15. WM says:

    AZ wildlife commission voted Saturaday 4-1 to support federal delisting of wolves.

    • Nancy says:

      Begs the question – what wolves? The few (40 maybe?) that are still managing to cling to life, years after their reintroduction into that part of this country?

    • JB says:

      Yes, the message is loud and clear: it seems the number of animals a state has is largely irrelevant…whether your state contains 3500 wolves or just 42 the politicians do not believe they should be listed as threatened or endangered.

      • Salle says:

        It appears that we have a number of legislators, in many states, who don’t understand laws unless they authored them…?

    • PointsWest says:

      Wait! What does this part mean: “The commission says it sees delisting the gray wolf as an opportunity to break through the gridlock that has stalled an effort to reintroduce the Mexican gray wolf, a subspecies of the gray wolf, along the Arizona-New Mexico border.”

      It sounds like they see the delisting to mean it will be easier to sucessfully manage the Mexican Wolf and by successfully, I mean increase their numbers. I read somewhere that they wanted to transplant more captive bred wolves into New Mexico but could not due to some legal technicality. Maybe this will be good for Mexican wolves.

      • Maska says:

        AZGFD was the lead agency and chair of the Adaptive Management Oversight Committee (AMOC) that did the on-the-ground management of the reintroduction from late 2003 until late 2009. During that period, the population fell or remained stagnant in every year but one, falling from 55 at the end of 2003 (when it was on track with projections made in the EIS) to only 42 at the end of 2009–not a great track record.

        Not only that, the same Fish and Game Commissioners that want wolves delisted have repeatedly railed against the wolf reintroduction. If the lobo is delisted, look for a return to the frequent removals and “lethal control” actions that caused the drop in population.

  16. Kristin, Northern CA says:

    2 more rare red foxes confirmed in Sierra Nevada

    It’s cool that they secretly doing well without being interfered with.

  17. Cris Waller says:

    Interesting article about the effects of ignoring the impact of public attitudes on ESA decisions-

    “Researchers: Include data about societal values in endangered species decisions”

    • jon says:

      That’s our own JB! Way to go JB!

      • jon says:

        Ralph or Ken, make this a post. Cris, Nabeki wanted to know if she could post your anti wolf bingo picture up on her blog and I said you wouldn’t mind. Hope that’s ok.

      • Salle says:

        It is!! All I can say is Thank you very much, JB! A good study and much needed in the current climate of indecision in the Dept. of Interior.

    • Cris Waller says:

      Jon- Yes, anyone can post it anywhere they like!

  18. Save bears says:

    Understanding the significance of a White Bison, this is a real rare herd……

    • WM says:

      If you have ever been to the Pendleton Woolen Mills in Pendleton, OR, the blankets this company will make from white bison hair will be going for very top dollar. I wouldn’t even want to guess a price.

      The reason white bison are so rare, aside from the rare genetic abberation itself, is that white does not absorb heat from the sun, as does black or dark brown. Thus, in winter white bison are more likely to have a heat or caloric deficit when heat absorption is most important and die from exposure (loss of body heat). At least, that is the theory advanced by behavior ecology professor Dale F. Lott of UC, Davis, in his book, “American Bison” (2003).

      Can’t wait for Bob Jackson to weigh in on this one, if he has recovered from the spanking Ken gave him a couple weeks back.

  19. Peter Kiermeir says:

    This video is titled “Bear attacks policemen and is killed…”
    Well, this is a rather loose description of what you really see. This video was taken in Slovakia recently. I asked my friends from the local bear project for some background info. This is what they say:
    “We know about this story. A few days before this incident this bear (it’s approx 5 year old female) was seen walking in the town of Martin. She was also seen in autumn in village close by. So this was result of her abnormal behavior. We think that she wasn’t all right, maybe she was ill, or injured by poachers before and now she was nervous and of course hungry. All bears are now sleeping in the dens, not walking around. And you can see also very “professional” work of this people. There are two very successful ways how to get bear nervous. To be very close to bear and send dogs after it. You can see vet doctor trying to tranquilized this bear. It’s very dangerous to do it from close distance, with no gun or al least blowpipe. In the end bear was shot by police man with attack rifle.”

    • Nancy says:

      Peter – this is a very sad story with an even sadder ending to it. Appeared to be a young bear.

    • PointsWest says:

      What idiots. Who in their right mind would think they could control a bear with a noose wand. What would you estimate that bear weighed…500 pounds?

      They obviously have no minimum IQ requirement for police service in Slovakia either.

  20. Here’s one from the Washington Post, note that Ashe is now nominated to be the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and that they are aiming for delisting grizzly bears, not just wolves!

  21. Nancy says:

    *Agricultural subsidies are a big and complicated issues but it is a mistake to simply blame them for the wildlife problems in the West by calling names like “welfare ranching.”*

    Where else should the blame be put PW?

    There is alot of documentation out there about the destruction going on, and the destruction thats gone on (to streams, ripen areas, forests and open ranges on public lands) when it comes to over grazing, by livestock. But you really have to see it to understand.

    Wouldn’t Wildlife Services fall under subsidies? Yes, obscene amounts of taxpayer’s dollars put into flights for predator control, not to mention the legwork & paperwork addressing depredations everytime a cow or sheep is thought to have been killed by a predator (as in wolves) because correct me if I’m wrong here, there is no compensation for bears, cougars or the #1 killer of livestock – coyotes)

    But again, you really have to see it to understand.

    More often than not, that legwork reveals that animal may have died from many other reasons, but every predator with a good nose in the neighborhood, could of discovered and may have dined on that dead body before the “A” team arrives to make a final ruling as to the death of that animal.

    I understand wolves do have an obvious way of bringing down their prey but when you’re dealing with ranchers who dump their cattle onto public lands and may not see them for weeks at a time, its really anybody’s guess as to how that animal might of died.

    I apologize if I sound somewhat biased about this issue PW, but as a nation, we continue to turn sizable amounts of this country’s land over to the raising of crops, just to feed livestock. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

    Don’t you think mankind has now settled into a very rude habit of discounting the value of any other species, if they should happen to get in the way of our “needs”

  22. jon says:

    breaking news!

    BILLINGS, Mont. — Negotiations to remove Northern Rockies gray wolves from the endangered species list hit an impasse Monday, after Wyoming and Idaho refused to go along with an Interior Department proposal on the issue, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer said.
    Schweitzer said the breakdown in talks between the three states and the Obama administration makes it unlikely Congress will address the issue this year.

  23. jon says:

    Man claims there are 1000 wolves in Montana. Gotta love when some just make up an imaginary number and assume that number to be correct.

    From the writer of the article,
    Here’s some real science: Wolves require nine pounds of meat every day. That begs the question, how much of a wolf’s kill is wasted?
    By any estimate, it would be more than 50 percent.
    Montana has in excess of 1,000 wolves. That equals lots of dead elk.
    I don’t know how many wolves Idaho has, but in two zones, their elk population is down more than 80 percent since 1994 when wolves moved in.

    Does this man know that wolves don’t eat every single day and that wolves don’t always succeed on their hunts?

    He says, “Hunters can’t have it both ways — they can’t brag about performing the ecological function of natural predators and simultaneously demand those (wolves) be eliminated.=Ted Williams

    • jon says:

      What is this fascination with wolves wasting their food? Why are wolf haters so concerned if wolves waste their food? Nothing in nature goes wasted. I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s like they critique every single thing a wolf does and turns it into something bad.

    • Ryan says:

      As opposed to people like yourself who critique everything a wolf does and turn it into some ecological miracle.

  24. JEFF E says:

    I have never seen a buck sporting anglers on it’s antlers. must be fishing for dogfish. It must be interesting in Oregon

    • Thanks Jeff E,

      A lot of political commentators have just assumed Palin is terrific in the outdoors with her talk about how they have to get a moose in the freezer and how women need to act like those Alaskan “mama grizzlies” she knows all about.

      They cede that to her and go on to criticize or praise her for other reasons like “shooting her moose (or caribou) is fine but doesn’t qualify her for foreign policy.

      I think this shows she might not be capable in what are thought of a typical Alaskan activities. All we’ve really seen is her fine ability to attract attention from the media and to make a living off of it.

  25. Mike says:

    Multiple moose charge incident in Glacier National Park:

  26. JimT says:

    Increasing threat to wildlife enforcement staff by people with guns..

    • william huard says:

      Interesting how Sen Coburn is always talking about how much people hate Congress. He then turns around and inserts a bill to allow guns in our national parks! The contradictions and hypocrisy abound!

  27. WM says:

    It is not just wildlife enforcement. A USFS patrol officer was killed two years ago by a wack job in a campground adjacent to Olympic NP. My wife and I were headed up the Gray Wolf River the day it happened. We came around a corner on a gravel road and there were at least two FBI black suburbans, half dozen sheriff cars and a couple staters. Yellow crime scene tape everywhere. We did not know the circumstances and officers were not offering information We had to detour to another road to get to our trailhead.

    We did our backpack trip, and returned a week later only to find out I knew the husband of the killed officer. He is a WA Dept. Fish & Wildlife enforcement officer. A huge funeral service was held in Port Angeles, with law enforcement officers and K-9 units from across the Northwest and Canada.

    Very sad story.

  28. Jeff W. says:

    We’ve sent an alert to Greater Yellowstone Coalition members asking them to call/write their senators and representatives to oppose efforts to exempt wolves from Endangered Species Act protections. Faithful readers of this blog to take action by going to this link:

  29. Salle says:

    AZ agency backs end to US wolf protection But Dems, enviros say GOP plan is harmful

  30. Salle says:

    Wyoming bull elk covers lots of ground

    Something to consider when contemplating brucellosis vectors.

  31. Salle says:

    A Better Voice for Environmentalism: Sir Richard Branson (VIDEO)

  32. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Quote from the wbsite: Warning: This video includes disturbing footage of a malnourished polar bear mother and her two cubs in western Hudson Bay, Canada. Some may choose not to watch, because it includes graphic scenes of a malnourished cub experiencing seizures

    • william huard says:

      How disturbing and sad. Canada feels their bears are great for trophy hunting.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      As william huard says, very disturbing and sad. I will add tragic. Are there any short term solutions under consideration? How close to the railroad head at Churchill is this location? How about stocking supplies at the harbor during the ice free season via ships from the NE Atlantic inlet?. How about relocating the polar bears to a more hospitable location?

      A discussion of Hudson Bay ice free – freeze up times:

      There are feed lots in the western USA for thousands of elk; how many polar bears in the west Hudson Bay area? 935 in 2004 was the last estimate I found; there are probably more recent estimates. in a Kempthorn report on Polar bear listing.

      From information in the above report: there was a 22% decline in the polar bear population between 1987 and 2004 from 1194 to 935 bears respectively in the western Hudson Bay population. It was probably, this month, decreased by at least three more.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      As william huard says, very disturbing and sad. I will add tragic. Are there any short term solutions under consideration? How close to the railroad head at Churchill is this location? How about stocking supplies at the harbor during the ice free season from the inlets to the northeast? How about relocating the polar bears to a more hospitable location? Normally I don’t consider human intervention into these situations, but …………..

      There are feed lots in the western USA for thousands of elk; how many polar bears in the west Hudson Bay area? 935 in 2004 was the last estimate I found; there are probably more recent estimates.

      A discussion of Hudson Bay ice free – freeze up times: in a Kempthorn report on Polar bear listing. There was a
      22% decline 1987 from 1194 to 935 in 2004 the western Hudson Bay population.

      • william huard says:

        I was floored when I saw that video. That is one of the worst things I have ever seen. After viewing it I thought of the Republican congressional delegation represented by Sensenbrenner and Barton who once again have their own reality complete with scientists to back it up of how global warming is still being debated. I emailed the environmental minister in Alberta to ask about the point you mentioned- siupplemental feeding of these bears that are far away from humans. I have to think they have considered this option

  33. PointsWest says:

    Western Governors Focus on Endangered Species (AP Story)

    Idaho Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter said the law has pitted business owners against government enforcers. The Republican suggested the federal government instead encourage land owners to protect endangered species on private land through financial rewards.

    • WM says:

      Interesting that the ESA has worked its way up the priority list for Western state governors. I can see the buttonhole conversations or cocktail babble between a governor who has wolves and one who doesn’t. For example I can see Butch saying to Washington’s Governor Gregoire (D and former Attorney General and environmental lawyer), they’re coming your way and that plan you’re putting together to limit the numbers and distribtuion won’t mean squat. The enviros will be sueing you and anybody else they can unless we get this ESA law changed. Just wait.

      In the meantime, Utah’s governor says, we already said we don’t want wolves, and will just shoot them when they hit the state line. The OR governor just left the conversation, seeing his favorite appetizers,on the table across the room. The CO governor, is not participating in the conversation but taking this all in, wondering what will happen when the wolves get wind that there are 300,000 elk and the largest migratory muledeer herd in the country just waiting for them. Then, up walks a CO governor’s aid, who whispers in the governor’s ear, “David Allen from RMEF is holding on your cell phone. He wants to talk to you about wolves. And, I’ve got Jack Nicholas on a ground line. He is in a rage, and said something about ESA protected praire dogs f— ing up the greens at Singletree golf course near Vail.”

  34. PointsWest says:

    Candidate who joked about Obama hunt charged with poaching (Reuters)

  35. william huard says:

    Contentious NJ bear hunt- complete with bear baiting but don’t feed the Bears!!!

    I wonder if all the hunters will clean up there mess so other bears won’t be conditioned to eat garbage all through the winter into spring! A group of activists named SHARK- Showing animals respect and kindness have investigated Gov Christie for alleged campaign violations related to the hunt.

  36. william huard says:

    I thought I put it in right. If the story doesn’t come up click on News then Environment the article is about the tenth one down on the page. Sorry!

  37. Elk275 says:

    This is an interesting article on a mountain lion study in Alberta.

  38. WM says:

    CA Congressional folks now weighing in on ESA changes to treat gray wolves differently:

    • Ian says:

      What an unfortunate comment by Dana Michaels:
      “But she said reintroduction of wolves to California “ain’t gonna happen, at least not intentionally.”

      “They were here once, but so were the grizzlies,” Michaels said. “I don’t know how many people would be too thrilled about grizzlies coming back.””

      It seems to me that of all the western states, the people of California would be the most willing to reintroduce wolves and grizzlies.

      • mikarooni says:

        I don’t know which is worse, a hunting and fishing department mouthpiece who only recites prepackaged statements or one who thinks she is so cute and so special that she can ad lib on policy like she has somehow been given her own talk show. I guess I’d fire this one.

  39. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Advocating poaching not the way to deal with wolves

  40. Nancy says:

    I’ve noticed more Canadian gesse spending the winters here in southwest Montana, in hayfields. Anyone know if this could be modified behavior because of the lack of snow in the past few years?

    • Nancy:
      Is there any possibility that Montana obtained some geese in some sort of trade, perhaps with the State of Colorado – you know, river otters from Montana and a few mountain goats for some Canada geese?

      Anyway, when I lived in Colorado they had basically non-migratory Canada geese, which some said were a larger, subspecies, but in any case became a nuisance to grain farmers and in urban areas, in parks, cemeteries, and golf courses. First in Denver, then in Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado.

      Last I heard, Colorado Division of Wildlife was gathering some up and trading them to other states, like Kansas, that wanted to reestablish some flocks of Canada geese.

      Larry Z, Salmon, idaho

  41. Nancy says:

    As in geese……….

  42. Barb Rupers says:

    Rockholm’s interview of the lady in the wolf encounter near Tensed Idaho last month that was reported in the Spokesman Review.

  43. Not quite wildlife story, but dovetails nicely with the recent post about State of Montana trying to squash wolf research at university –

  44. Will Jordan says:

    Here is an interesting interview with USFWS Wolf Recovery Coordinator, Ed Bangs:

  45. jon says:

    For a minute, let’s forget that more than 350,000 elk currently inhabit Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. And let’s forget that there are only about 1,700 wolves.

    The two news stories describe “slob hunters” in Montana carelessly blasting into elk herds on the run at long distances, wounded elk left to slowly die on their own, unclaimed dead cow elk, and hunting behavior that would have made Teddy Roosevelt vomit.

    And yet some of these “hunters” still had the gall to complain about wolves. As the author of one of the stories aptly observed:

    Can anyone explain what wolves have to do with seven guys spraying a herd of elk with 30 bullets? Am I the only person who sees the hypocrisy in someone who would do that complaining about a lack of elk to hunt?

    Egregious hypocrisy, unethical hunting, wasted elk. And these are just two stories; how many other episodes of slob-hunting transpired this fall?

    • Elk275 says:


      ++The two news stories describe “slob hunters” in Montana carelessly blasting into elk herds on the run at long distances, wounded elk left to slowly die on their own, unclaimed dead cow elk, and hunting behavior that would have made Teddy Roosevelt vomit.++

      Unless you were there, I would be careful commenting on the above and only fools believe every thing they read. I was they 2 days later and visited with the game warden who is a friend of mind, we spent 5 days in packing school together several years ago. From my conversation with him nothing serious happened and from what he told me it was nothing like what was written in the Missoulian.

      If one hunts enough there are going to be a wounded and/or lost animal so or later. I have lost several animals in a life time of hunting, shit happens. Hopefully, I will never wound and lose an animal where there is a trophy fee involved. Ouch, that could hurt the budget.

      • Elk275 says:

        As far a Roosevelt goes, he was a poor to fair shot and with the early 1900’s guns and ammo, I am very sure that he wounded a number of animals.

        One of the dirty secerts of hunting is the number of elk wounded during archery season. Some years I hear of 5 or 6 elk stuck and lost. My nephew stuck a 340 six point in the Breaks this year and after two days of searching there was nothing anyone could do. He buried the arrow to the feathers.

      • mikarooni says:

        I don’t get your point (no pun intended). Are you thinking that this is a defense of hunting? It sounds closer to grounds to stop hunting.

      • Elk275 says:

        This is not a grounds for stopping hunting. It is a reality. A very small percentage of animals are going to be wounded and lost.

    • Bryanto says:

      Fortunately we have wolves and other predators around to put your wounded animals out of their misery.

  46. jon says:

    Sportsmen and ranchers have complained that grizzlies and wolves are decimating livestock herds and trophy animal populations such as elk. Meanwhile, Eric Cole, a wildlife biologist on the National Elk Refuge, says that while there is some concern that elk who summer in the southern areas of Yellowstone and the Gros Ventre are “potentially more vulnerable to predation,” in terms of overall hunter opportunity, “there is no evidence that wolves are decimating elk populations.” In fact, prior to the fall hunting season, elk numbers exceeded objective levels by nearly 1,000 animals.

    According to a report compiled by the USDA, just seven tenths of a percent of cattle losses in 2005 (the most recent year for which statistics were available) were attributable to predators other than coyotes, dogs and mountain lions. Wolves and bears are grouped in that “other predators” category, along with ravens, foxes and eagles. Coyotes kill more livestock than all other predators, but even the weather is responsible for more cattle losses than the coyotes.

    • mikarooni says:

      Hell, most of those ranchers raise breeds that are so mutated by inbreeding that the heifers can’t even calf properly. Those ranchers lose heifers and/or calves when they’re not right there with chains at the exact moment of calving …and often even when they are and then the rancher tries to get compensation by claiming that “predators” got it.

  47. jon says:

    Saw this on nat geo a few nights ago. Very sad and heart breaking. A little lion cubs pelvis is broken and yet he still tries to walk to his pride despite all the pain he must be in. A little fighter indeed!

    • Salle says:

      I was watching that program the other night and couldn’t bear to see the ultimate demise of that little cub, I had to turn off the TV, even though I was at a friend’s home, at about the point shown in the frame shown above. I have witnessed injured animals in the past and it took weeks to get beyond the heartsick feeling I had about it, some of which will never leave me. I know this was a natural event that took place among wildlife but it is still hard to watch or witness all the same.

      • jon says:

        Some were saying that the cameraman should have interfered and rescued and helped the cub. Afterall, man is apart of nature right? man has the ability to help injured animals. If I was that cameraman, I would not care what anyone said. I would have helped that little cub. Man is supposed to be the steward of the land and has the capability of helping injured animals, he should have helped that cub. I give that cub all the credit in the world. Being severely injured like that and still trying to walk to get to his pride. God bless that little cub wherever he is now.

  48. jon says:

    HELENA — While most of the discussion and activities surrounding wild animals killing livestock has focused on gray wolves in recent years, numbers released Saturday are showing a dramatic increase in depredations from coyotes, grizzly bears, black bears and mountain lions.
    For example, coyotes killed 111 calves in 2006, and that number jumped to 1,348 in 2010. They killed 698 lambs and 135 adult sheep in 2006, and 2,488 lambs and 422 adult sheep this year.
    Grizzly numbers
    Grizzly bears killed five calves in 2006 and 32 in 2010. In 2006, they killed no lambs and two adult sheep, but took down 12 lambs and 29 adult sheep in 2010.
    Mountain lions killed two calves in 2006 and four this year. They killed nine lambs and 14 adult sheep in 2006, and 91 lambs and 36 adult sheep this year.
    In comparison, wolves killed 51 calves in 2006 and 454 in 2010. Wolves also killed six lambs and 22 adult sheep in 2006, and 48 lambs and 728 adult sheep this year.

  49. Save bears says:

    Here is a story that could have chilling ramifications if it is true for the environment in Montana:

    • Salle says:

      Rep.-elect Champ Edmunds, R-Missoula, has requested a bill to repeal MEPA. Edmunds says he’s willing to listen to other proposals that might fix the law, but that his proposal to repeal it reflects the frustration of many Republicans who believe Montana could and should develop more of its natural resources.

      “It’s an additional source of red tape that makes companies not want to come here and use our natural resources,” he says. “I’m a big resource-development person. I ran on that and campaigned on that.”

      So if they have their way and are able to repeal MEPA then we can only anticipate that the rest of the state can soon look like Butte too.

      Geeze, I can hardly wait to see what’s under Yellowstone NP!! (Note: I mean this in the most sarcastic sense.)

      • Save bears says:

        Lets hope not, I suspect it is just a lot of post election rabel rousing by the puffed up politicians, right now the turkeys are puffing out their chests and fanning their tails. I suspect Montana may loose some of its protections, but I seriously doubt they have the moxie to repeal MEPA

      • Daniel Berg says:

        I would like to have been able to see Butte pre-1950’s.

  50. Salle says:

    I hope you’re right.

  51. Nancy says:

    Interesting to note that the only real activity to report over the last couple of months is wolves being hunted down and shot.

  52. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Subject: Mexican Gray Wolf
    Game and Fish abandoning gray wolves

  53. Salle says:

    Did someone post this already?

    Marked increase | Coyote, bear, cougar depradation numbers up 474% overall over 2006
    Not just wolves killing livestock

    • jon says:

      Don’t think so Salle. Thanks for the link.

    • william huard says:

      Read the article it’s comical. Steuber the stooge can’t use poisons to kill everything now! What a shame! The livestock industry has always been so credible with these figures- take the numbers and cut it in half or a third and then you have the right number! And now they have to check the traps every day! Oh my god- the livestock industry is getting hammered! Where’s the m44, the 1080- we need it quick! those darn coyotes

    • william huard says:

      If for no other reason at least the wolves being on the ESA protects all the other wildlife from the WS sledgehammer approach to wildlife management. Steuber the stooge admitted it himself. As if we are to trust what they or the livestock community reports as accurate depredation numbers! Could be a case of the fairy tales again!

  54. Salle says:

    This is good news…

    Swiss philanthropist buys $35M in Plum Creek Timber land in western Montana

    • skyrim says:

      Wow, this is terrific news on a day when such is really needed and welcomed. Aint’ money grand, when it’s in the hands and control of the right person or group?

      “The fact that they’re coming from all over with these big bucks – who do they think feeds them?” asked Vicki Olson, a rancher south of Malta. “Their feeling toward us is they don’t care that they are ruining our economy and our area.”

      This would be coming from an entity strongly backing ownership and control over private property. These people are now starting to believe their own press releases.

  55. jon says:

    Biologist urges leaving coyotes alone
    Killing coyotes to protect Maine farm animals can actually have the opposite result, Geri Vistein warns.

  56. JEFF E says:

    So does this represent a strategy shift by the Govt; to wit “yes we agree that xyz species needs protection and we will put it on our too do list(the check is in the mail)

    Meanwhile back at the ranch, is there not still a trapping season in effect in Montana? elsewhere??

    • william huard says:

      Jeff- Unless they have changed their regs I think the quota is 6 in Montana. As usual they really don’t know how many there are in montana, the estimate is around 200.

      • jon says:

        Yeah, you’re right William. they have absolutely no idea. Those barbaric trappers could have wiped out the whole wolverine population for all we know. If you don’t know for CERTAIN how many animals there are, don’t let them be trapped. Trapping of wolverines should be banned anyways. Why anyone would want to trap a rare and amazing animal like a wolverine and kill it for its fur is beyond me. Then again, some people just love killing things.

      • jon says:

        And they want to take grizzlies off the endangered species list even though they have a low reproductive rate and wolverines should have been on the endangered species list years ago and maybe it would have saved all of those killed by barbaric trappers. Wolverines also have a very low reproductive rate, so why any agency would allow hunting of these rare amazing creatures is beyond me.

  57. Bryanto says:

    Proposal to extend time between checking trap lines in Utah is dying. For once someone has some sense in this state .

    • jon says:

      Peay said. “You know, if you really look out for animal rights and you care about Bambi, you don’t want coyotes around. So, yeah! We’ll take the side of protecting Bambi and shooting coyotes.

      What a nut Don Peay is and ofcourse, he doesn’t actually care about “bambi”. He only cares about shooting bambi himself. Kill off all of the predators and have all those game animals on the landscape to shoot. Species racism as Mike called it.

      • Rita K.Sharpe says:

        When Bambi’s father got shot by hunters,it was the hunters that were not liked by children..Peay is making up his own story line ,as usual.

    • william huard says:

      I’d like to see a leghold trap around Don Peay’s neck. Maybe that would shut him the hell up. He is an embarrassment to hunters everywhere

      • jon says:

        I hear conibear traps are more efficient.

      • mikarooni says:

        You need to trace the philosophical origins of Don Peay’s nonsense to get really appalled and concerned. Peay and his minions reject scientific biological principles and preach (literally) that what they call “abundance management” should be the basis for wildlife science. Investigate this “abundance” concept and wher it comes from and you’ll really get upset.

      • jon says:

        Mika, you nailed it. People like Peay do not give a dam about science. They want a wilderness void of predators and filled with hundreds of thousands of elk and deer for people like him to shoot and kill. This is common sense.

    • william huard says:

      New jersey had PA help them with the details of the hunt. Pa is the only state to allow slob hunting or Pigeon shoots. These people leave injured and dying birds on the ground without giving them a second thought. Once again the defective empathy gene rears it’s ugly head.
      As far as the “reduction hunt” is concerned. These hunters are allowed to condition bears to the smell and taste of garbage at the same time screaming about public safety issues concerning bears coming to close to people’s homes and their garbage. In a reduction hunt the few ethical considerations that are afforded bears are now thrown out the window. It’s OK to kill a sow in front of her cubs, kill the cubs in front of the sow, hey let’s just kill them all- after all the public safety issue is a priority! Gov Christie was told to stay out of the woods until the hunt was over so as to not become a victim of a dimwit hunter mistaking the governor for a rather ugly overweight bear.

  58. Daniel Berg says:

    One of Gregoire’s proposals:
    “The Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Recreation and Conservation Office and the law enforcement unit of the Department of Natural Resources would be consolidated into a new Department of Conservation and Recreation.”

    Another one:

    “The work of the Columbia River Gorge Commission, the Pollution Liability Insurance Agency and the Department of Health’s reclaimed water program moves to the Department of Ecology.”

  59. Salle says:

    Study to use thermal imaging cameras to study mange in park wolves

  60. jon says:

    A wolf by any other name may be forgotten

  61. SEAK Mossback says:

    There have been a number of news stories this fall and winter about wolves in and around the village of Port Heiden, which is located on the Bering Sea side of the Alaska Peninsula across from Chignik where the teacher was killed last March. This is the latest . . .,0,794621.story

  62. wolf moderate says:

    My brother lives about 1,000 miles from their. He lives in Eagle, AK, but has had several wolf sitings while jogging with his dog. Don’t really see a problem w/ that though….being Alaska and all 🙂

  63. jon says:

    Yellowstone will open for winter season on Wednesday

  64. jon says:

    Theodore Roosevelt National Park’s elk-reduction effort at halfway mark

    Whale war between Japan and Sea Shepherd becomes increasingly confrontational

    • WM says:

      Gee jon,

      Teddy Roosevelt NP elk culling actually feeding people (or should it be wolves?). From the article:

      ++So far, 11,846 pounds of elk meat from the cull has been donated to North Dakota American Indian tribes, and 4,578 pounds of meat has been donated to Sportsmen Against Hunger for use in food pantries throughout the state. The remaining meat was transferred to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department for donation back to the volunteers who assisted with the elk-reduction effort.++

      Maybe ND needs their own wolves. Bet we know where some excess are in either the NRM or GL. Now if ND Game and Fish or the state legislature would only take them. I am in favor of more wolves in more places at lower densities.

      • howlcolorado says:

        Elk overpopulation is the biggest reason that wolf advocates want wolves back in Colorado. We have 300,000+ elk here.

        Don’t you think it’s sad that humans need to take steps mentioned in the story above? I am sure we all have philanthropic good will within us. Whichever side of the arguments you are on this blog, your interest in what is on here implies empathy to some degree. But the charitable benefits of the cull are a deflection from the underlying problem.

  65. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Nice video showing the european brown bear (= grizzly) online:

  66. JB says:

    Dave Mech was one of the plenary session speakers at the Midwest F&W conference held this past week in Minneapolis, MN. For those interested in his talk, I wrote a brief summary:

  67. howlcolorado says:

    Gotta love science – not only does it strike fear in to the hearts of tea partiers, it continues to reveal the long, and rewarding, relationship humans have had with wolves – a topic which is a true passion for me. I have been focused for years on trying to find the reason why humans and wolves bound their lives together some 16,000 years ago.

  68. Kayla says:

    An article today in the Jackson Hole Daily as concerning the Green River Dam. The headlines of the article say …..

    ‘No Green River dam in 2011 Wyo. Water Bill.

    Here is a link to the article. Woohoo!


  69. Kayla says:

    Sorry – the Correct Link …

  70. jon says:

    Guest column: FWP actions highlight need for university research

    Regardless of where you stand on the wolf issue, the threat by the FWP should be very disturbing. From our point of view, it is a step toward the censorship of ideas or outcomes that may be politically inconvenient.
    The issue highlights once again the need for the support of universities like MSU in today’s media-frenzied, politically-charged environment. The fundamental purpose of universities is to teach and conduct research that is not politically motivated. Creel’s work, along with that of other faculty at MSU who generate research that results in peer-reviewed publications, has benefits that are both powerful and subtle. Such work improves our ability to understand and explain complicated problems. Such work also encourages the production of integrity and unbiasedness.

    • jon says:

      This guest column was written by two professors from MSU.

      • WM says:


        I see you forgot yet again the cautionary note to put quotes or otherwide denote and give full credit to words that are not yours. Will you ever learn or you just an idiot?

  71. Salle says:

    Don’t sit on your laurels people. You better speak up. We need federal and state law enforcement to do their jobs.

    Rammell tells crowd to ‘take matters into our own hands’

    Soon-to-be Idaho County resident announces to Grangeville supporters he’s ready to start killing wolves

    GRANGEVILLE – There appears to be at least 100 Idaho County residents ready to stand behind failed gubernatorial candidate Rex Rammell and defy federal and state law by killing wolves immediately.

    • Salle says:

      Sorry, the paper requires a log in to read the story, the link above won’t load.

      I received the story in an e-mail in its entirety…

      Maybe Ralph or Ken can post the story. Today’s issue-front page- shows an article that warns of federal action on the proposals put forth by Rammel.

  72. Devin says:

    The DoI has identified public lands that would be suitable for solar energy production. Not that I have a big problem with it, but if anyone does, perhaps they may want to look into the fact that the huge amount of land required and the restrictions on access could violate the Multiple Use and Sustained Yield Act.

    Here’s an abstract on the issue:

  73. jon says:

    Feds plan action is wolves killed illegally despite Rammell’s comments

    Make a new post Ralph???

  74. jon says:

    “Christie bear hunt” was sickening exercise

    Hunters killing bear cubs.

    • jon says:

      “This hunt was not about conservation, food or hides for clothing. Does anyone really think those hunters from Pennsylvania, New York or Vermont care about public safety in New Jersey? This was a trophy hunt. It was about trophies, bragging rights and bloodlust. I was there. I saw the handshakes and celebrating among the hunters. It was sickening.”-Donna Arcaro
      “I wonder if we will ever know the true cost of Christie’s hunt, in lives, emotional
      distress and taxpayer dollars. I doubt it.”-Donna Arcaro

  75. Daniel Berg says:

    Scott Fitkin is also the biologist tracking the Lookout Pack, or what’s left of it anyway.

    • Phil says:

      Hopefully the Wolverine will find its way back to Michigan where it should have its right for territory. We lost our last Wolverine last March when he passed away from natural causes, old age. Decades of overhunting and poaching on them have extinct their population here, and we are called the “Wolverine State”.

  76. JEFF E says:

    and these are the first SOB that will complain about how wolves hunt. look for them to be heroes on bbb

    • william huard says:

      Idaho would have let nature take it’s course and not helped that animal. That tells you everything you need to know about Idaho

    • Ryan says:

      What happened to letting nature take its course? It probably could have swam back just fine.

  77. Nancy says:

    Can’t recall if this might of been posted lately.

    • Nancy says:

      Jon – have you watched Food Inc? Earthlings? The Cove? I’m not gonna click on the video because I’m sure it covers the same kind of ground when it comes today’s practice of getting animals to market (as those documentaries do) and they are extremely hard to watch if you care about the treatment of other species.

      • jon says:

        Yeah, I have Nancy. It’s on youtube. It’s not surprising to see what really goes on.

  78. Salle says:

    Thanks for the post but I already know better than to click on the “play” button…

    One of my friends, from a developing country, once told me that they only eat organic meat from small producers because of the karma that is created in the farming and slaughter practices of the industry. They said that the horrible way in which these animals are treated during the process of raising them and slaughtering them is carried to the consumer via karma and is less effective as nourishment because of it. Animals that have been abused are usually not all that healthy but may appear so due to drugs/chemical additives. It’s an interesting concept, one that makes sense to me, not that I expect Americans to grasp this concept, I do find it one that has some merit.

    In some belief systems all activities regarding food are considered sacred, from the early life of the plant or animal to the harvest, preparation and partaking of that food. I like the thought of including my food as part of my life and how it unfolds, except the fast food scene where it all comes from an anonymous source and is wrapped in some poisonous plastic substance, irradiated for shelf-life increase and has untold chemicals included for the sake of instant gratification to those who produce and those who consume this stuff. There is often little nutritional value left in over processed stuff – must be where the term “foodstuff” came from – and the replacement chemicals in foods to “fortify” them are of little value given they are not really related to real food, they are only substitutes/additives that are there at the lobbying behest of the chemical and food industrial complexes. The propaganda of the “food pyramid” that nutritionists tout every year is altered yearly through the winning of the argument of lobbying firms representing the different “food group” industries and has little to do with actual nutritional value of the food groups or amounts recommended for a sound diet as they are represented in the “pyramid”.

  79. WM says:

    Looks like poaching crosses ethnic and political boundaries. Two Yakama tribal members will do time a federal pen for poaching eagles at least 57 eagles in one instance and juste a few less in another.

  80. jon says:

    Bears orphaned after fatal attack make debut at ZooMontana

  81. jon says:

    Some Colorado elk infected with chronic wasting disease

    Some park visitors take issue with “awful” culling of elk

    Read more: Some park visitors take issue with “awful” culling of elk – The Denver Post
    Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content:

    Time to reintroduce some wolves. The Colorado elk herds are out of control!

    • Ryan says:


      In one park, other than tht CO elk populations are doing fine. Please take a trip west of the missippi some time and get some perspective.

  82. Cody Coyote says:

    Just in time for stuffing the Christmas goose , a doozy of an essay posted at written by Matt Skoglund ( who hunts) blogging for NRDC:

    Wolves, Elk , and Slob Hunting

  83. Salle says:

    Bad mix
    Forest Service tackles bighorn problem

    “In a study published this summer, though, Washington State University researchers demonstrated conclusively that bighorns picked up lethal pathogens from domestic sheep”

  84. WM says:

    New Year resolution from Salazar, GL wolves will be delisted. This action fully supported by the states. But, law suits to keep the MN, MI and WI wolves on the list may be on the horizon.

    And we should all be wondering why the law suits there.

  85. jon says:

    “In times of crisis, and make no mistake this is a crisis, humans will fight or take flight. But where can we run? Brothers and sisters, we are the tip of the spear and it’s time to fight. The illegal introduction of wolves in Montana was a 9/11 event for hunters everywhere in America. It’s time for hunters across America to come together and form a coalition to sue the federal government in a class-action lawsuit. It’s also high time to sue MFWP for, at least, gross incompetence and dereliction of duty.” hunter Robert Seymour

    I still see they think this was an illegal wolf introduction. Another one of those myths that refuses to go away. Comparing 9/11 to a legal wolf reintroduction is not a very good comparison to be made.

  86. jon says:

    NZ Decides Not To Join Australia’s Whaling Court Action

  87. jon says:

    There is some wildlife justice afterall. Hippos attack poachers and lions devour them.

  88. jon says:

    Kenya wildlife agents kill 2 elephant poachers

  89. Nancy says:

    On a lighter note then whats been flying around here in the last few hours, depending on the post – In my driveway, for the past hour, I’ve been privy to watching a small group of these birds, they look like tiny mounds of dirt, other than the sentry watching over them, as they dig around under the snow.
    They are considered “accidental” to the area.

    Someone with a loaded 12 gauge might of been happy to claim a few of them for dinner but I just found them interesting and now they seem to be hunkered down for the night in the same spot.

    Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.” Leonardo da Vinci

    • Save bears says:


      We have had them hunker down at our place a couple of times over the past few years and they should still be there in the morning, but you will have to be up at the break of dawn, the ones that have stopped by in our area, normally spend the night inching closer together during the evening hours to conserve the heat of the group, then at dawn, they awaken to start on their never ending quest for food..

      Enjoy while they are there, then keep an eye out for the next time they come by.

    • skyrim says:

      Hmmmmm. Given the season Nancy, perhaps do you happen to have any Pear trees on your property?
      Happy Holidays
      PS Great Quote

      • Nancy says:

        Skyrim – too darn cold in these parts for Pear trees but the variety of tall grasses on the property that went to seed, seem to be a real attraction. Happy Holidays to you too!

  90. Nancy says:

    Had to let the pup out earlier and that they took wing to the meadow across the road. But they’ve been hanging around for the past couple of weeks so I’m thinking they may be back, got alot of tall grasses that went to seed in the side yard.

  91. Nancy says:

    Wonder if FWP will export some Montana wolves to go with the deal or just depend on those wild & crazy wolves over there, to keep everyone on their toes!

  92. jon says:

    Biologist sheds light on wolf behavior

    Elk hunters should not be alarmed by the presence of wolves in Northeast Oregon, Morgan said. Studies indicate that the introduction of wolves in Idaho and Wyoming have not hurt overall elk hunting success.

    “Wolves were reintroduced to Idaho, Wyoming and Montana in 1995 and 1996. Since then wolf numbers have increased significantly. Elk populations and hunter success in the three states has remained stable or increased.”-wolf biologist Russ Morgan

    • jon says:

      “Elk hunters should not be alarmed by the presence of wolves in Northeast Oregon, Morgan said. Studies indicate that the introduction of wolves in Idaho and Wyoming have not hurt overall elk hunting success.”-Russ Morgan

    • Ryan says:


      The three hunting units in Eastern Oregon that wolves currently inhabit are significantly below populaiton MO right now and have very limited elk hunting quotas.. (under 200 tags, not counting undersubscribed spike tags) At last check the Cow to calf ratio was under 20 in all of those units as well. I think oregon hunters have a bit to worry about.

  93. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Florida Panther: Loss No.21 for the current year, good map attached to the article

  94. howlcolorado says:

    Not really wildlife news, but instead the response from US Senator Michael Bennet when asked to provide a statement regarding the current plans to try and legislatively remove ESA protections from wolves.

    • Phil says:

      Senator Risch says Gray Wolves should not be listed as endangered in Washington, Montana, Idaho, Utah and Oregon , while Senator Baucus says Gray Wolves should not be listed as endangered in Idaho and Montana, and Senator Hatch says they should not be listed as endangered or threatened throughout the nation. Doesn’t this show evidence that these senators have no clue as to the reality of what should be done with Wolves?

  95. jon says:

    Wyoming couple looks to Old World dog breeds to protect livestock from wolves, bears

  96. timz says:

    All you night owls don’t forget to take a look at the eclipse tonight, starts about 12:41AM. I heard today your next chance will be in 2094.

    • Nancy says:

      *One interesting thing for us was that there was actually a radio-collared pack of wolves on that ranch that stayed with and around that sheep herd all the time, but rarely ever kill sheep,” she said*

      I recall hearing about a study years ago where a pair coyotes were raised with sheep and after they were released, established a territory around the sheep, raised a family and defended the territory against the intrusion of other coyotes.

      Been a few years since I read the book Ninemile Wolves (Rick Bass) but I recall they lived on a ranch owned by two brothers and and managed to avoid livestock conflict until one or more of the pack’s members were shot.

  97. Nancy says:

    Okay its a stretch, but I could see something like this keeping predators at bay, since most depredation occurs at night.

    • Phil says:

      This link was great! Yes, it was in serious manner, but I had to crack a smile or two while watching it.

    • Salle says:

      Not THAT big of a stretch… a lot of predation seems to take place near the twilight hours, early or late, but in the darker hours for certain.

      It sounds as if this was made in New Zealand or somewhere downunder. Many savvy sheepherding outfits use night penning and other management tools, the lights might make an effective addition to predator evasion.

      It’s a great little vid, thanks.

      • jon says:

        Nancy, I don’t see it as a stretch. Any methods out there to keep wolves away from livestock is a method worth trying atleast a few times. You know, I get kind of irked when you have these wolf haters try to discredit every single non lethal method they can just because they would rather take the easy way out and have wolves shot to death. The only thing that is going to keep wildlife and livestock both alive is trying to find non lethal methods that work at keeping wolves and other predators away from livestock. Killing predators that attack your livestock is a short term solution, not a long term one. Killing predators with not solve the problem if you think long term. There has to be non lethal ways of keeping predators away from livestock.

      • Nancy says:

        The vidio does appear to be from down under Salle. Don’t hear much about how they deal with the resident, wild canine the Dingo (short of shooting them)

  98. Save bears says:

    Cow Elk fends off possible wolves in the East Part of the Flathead Valley..

    • Alan says:

      “Wolves are notorious predators with a hunger for livestock………….. packs continue to multiply their taste for livestock and big game herds coveted by hunters has stoked a rising backlash…”
      Don’t mince words, Daily Interlake, tell us what you really think!

    • WM says:

      This would appear to be CBD’s next volley, since FWS has not responded to their petition for a national wolf management plan submitted in July of this year.

      Depending on what FWS/Interior does in response to the petition under threat of suit in the next 60 days, will determine the next exchange.

      • jon says:

        Although I would like wolves in many more states, I don’t think the feds putting them there is the way to go. Let wolves migrate naturally on their own. It may be a much longer process, but atleast the people of the states can’t say that the feds forced wolves on them.

  99. Phil says:

    Although I do not believe Wolves should be reintroduced across the country, they should be given the chance to naturally expand to wider ranges then what they currently have. Midwest Wolves were not reintroduced, they naturally migrated back to their prehistoric ranges. Look at the Deer populations that have gotten out of control in places with no major predators. I love watching the beauty in Deer, but if you have to many complaints about them moving to more subarb areas because their wild habitats are overpopulated, then predators like Wolves should be given the chance to migrate back to their historic ranges without individuals, like legislators in Utah and Nevada, calling on onsight shootings of any Wolves entering their states. Then you are going to get the complainers that will say “They are decimating the Deer population…”, but I see stabilizing completely different then decimating. The Wolves can reside in those historic ranges and continue to keep the Deer populations at bay while their populations will remain steady when reaching a capacity level.

  100. Phil says:

    That is good news, at least I think so, for the time being. Wasn’t Sen. Benjamin Cardin from Maryland one of the senators that also proposed the PAW Act? If so, it is not surprising to me that he objected to this bill.

  101. jon says:–Crocodile-Kayaker/

    Some people are just plain stupid. This man wanted to test himself against nature and in the end, nature killed him. Kayaking in a river filled with hippos and nile crocodiles is a suicide mission if you ask me.

    • Elk275 says:

      Jon, Jon, Jon

      ++Some people are just plain stupid. This man wanted to test himself against nature and in the end, nature killed him. Kayaking in a river filled with hippos and Nile crocodiles is a suicide mission if you ask me.++

      In October of 1990, after a short hunting trip in Namibia, I spent several weeks traveling Africa overland north. I arrived in Harare, Zimbabwe and was able to double my money on the black market and for $20 I become a Zimbabwe resident for a day which allowed me the privilege of purchasing internal plane tickets for around $20 a segment. I flew to Lake Kariba and arranged a 5 day canoe trip down the Zambezi River from Mana Pools to the Mozambique border.

      We reached Mana Pools, drove to the boat ramp and started unloading the canoes. A hundred yards out in the river were two elephants and two crocs on a sand bar. The canoes were packed up and down the river we paddle and made are first camp on an island. At dawn there was a herd of cape buffalo watering with zebra, warthog, impala, water buck and bush buck. What a slight, that’s what I had come to Africa for. We paddle and floated the Zambezi for the next 4 days. Every day we encounter crocs and hippos. The hippos would flush from the banks in front of us and swim to the deep water, raise up and with their mouths open, a mouth that could have cut our canoe or us in half. On the third day we were floating 20 feet from the Zambia side of the river and there were elephants in front of us on the bank. Then two crocs slithered out of the grass and into the water 2 feet in front of the canoe. It scared the shit out of me. Every day there were numerous hippo and crocs encounter’s, some close and some very close.

      Jon, you must get log off goggle and turn the computer off. Go out and Experience what you goggle. Things are not impossible or difficult if you want to do them. But on a wildlife forum saying that the man was plain stupid for being out amongst them comes from one who only reads the cover of the book. I was able to do it, you can do it.

      • jon says:

        It was elk. I am sorry you don’t like that I feel like that, but I feel it is very stupid what the guy did and it got himself killed. This guy’s death could have been prevented. Kayaking in a river filled with hungry 18 foot crocodiles and hippos is not a smart thing to do. This guy wanted to test nature and he did, he got killed because of his own stupidity.

      • jon says:

        Are you seriously going to tell me that kayaking in a river filled with big ass crocodiles and hippos that would bite you in half is a smart thing to do elk? I mean seriously? That is an extremely stupid thing to do and it’s also a good way to get yourself killed as shown with this man who got taken by a crocodile. If you wanna be amongst them, photograph them out of the water at a safe distance away where they can’t kill and eat you.

      • Elk275 says:

        A bee could string you while photographing them from a safe distance within minutes if God is real, judgement day is here if not ???? A snake could bite you while you safely watched them from a distance. A terrorist could sneak a bomb on the plane on the way to Africa. Or the biggest danger is a drunk driver, the police are the worst. Life is fill with the uncertain, embrace it and enjoy the adventure, the uncertainness.

      • wolf moderate says:


        Are you some kind of dictator? Some ppl get their rocks off by kayaking through a jungle of crocodiles. You get off on blogging abougt chit that doesn’t pertain to you. To each his own..YO…

      • WM says:


        Sometimes I am amazed by your judgmental pronouncements about how “stupid” other people are in your mind. The fact is that individual humans have different levels or tolerance for risk. True, not everyone gets it right, and some “risk takers” don’t do a very good job of assessing the consequences of the risks they take.

        As a young man I used to rock and alpine climb, some of it solo and without protection, things I certainly would not take on today. Now that I reflect back, it is a wonder I survived. Some of my friends were much more daring than I, and I am even more amazed that they made it; but then some didn’t. You ought to read a book by alpine climber Jim Wickwire, “Addicted to Danger,” [Mountaineers Press 1998] in which he recounts his own personal repeated near death experiences, while losing climbing partners in high altitude climbs on different expeditions. A current mountaineer “risk taker” is Ed Viesturs, has climbed the world’s 14 highest peaks without supplemental oxygen, and summited Mt. Everest seven times, all very dangerous thing to do.

        Advancements in civilization, whether for adventure, personal accomplishment, fame and/or financial gain, there are lots of people who take risks. How about those adventurers like Magellan, Columbus, Vasco da Gama, and dozens more who cast off foreign shores to circumnavigate the world or explore new lands in the fifteen century.
        Think of the US space program, land speed records, scuba diving (think early advancements in the field by people like Costeau who developed the breathing devices), journeys to the polar regions, to name a few. Watch the recent movie about 1930’s aviator Amelia Earhart (whose demise has also recently been in the news).

        Perhaps it is Mother Nature’s way of culling those with such tendencies from making a contribution to the gene pool. Some of these the subject of the infamous “Darwin Awards” we all hear about. But, it is also defines the human condition, for some.

        I bet SB has stories to tell from his military service, in which he encountered young men, particularly, who have a condition called “no apparent fear of death” or NAFOD. I have mentioned this condition before in the context of medical profiling of individuals who are automatically rejected from operating high value taxpayer assets like fighter jets, …..or not.

        Some people just call it living, while others call it living on the edge where life is a heightened experience and they woud have it no other way. We all die one day, jon.

      • Ryan says:

        Wolf Moderate,

        Some people have a life, and some people are attention whores who post on the internet instead of living life. They get this misguided notion that they are doing some sort of good by posting things to like minds on internet. Its just a circle jerk that has nothing to do with real life.

  102. Nancy says:

    WM – There was a young man in a community not far from me who loved to take risks. He spent a few years as a first class hillclimber (snowmobiles) won all kinds of events, nationwide, represented the manufacturer Polaris. Got a new sled every year.
    Then one day he was crushed in an avalanche. It was his 3rd time trying to out run one. He left behind 2 small children, a pregnant wife, parents, friends and a grieving community. Over a thousand people showed up for his funeral. They hauled the casket to the cemetary in his Polaris trailer. You heard this comment over and over “he died doing what he loved to do”

    I think taking risks can be a good thing in life but some don’t take into consideration the emotional damage they may leave behind. There’s a big difference between being reckless and taking risks.

    • jon says:

      I agree, taking risks is a good thing, but a risk like this? Kayaking in a river full of crocodiles and hippos is just stupid in my opinion. It’s a suicide mission. This guy left behind family just because of some stupid and highly dangerous stunt.

      • Nancy says:

        Jon – it had obviously never happened before so its a safe bet to say this man had what he thought was a comfort zone around these wild animals. How many times have we heard about similar incidents? Look how many people walk up to buffalo in Yellowstone? Or stand feet away from grizzlies to get a great picture?

      • jon says:

        Timothy Treadwell is a good example. Some things just make you go, who in their right mind would do something like that?

      • Phil says:

        I read a different article relating to the attack and it mentioned this man was giving a tour to a couple. He was experienced in doing so and felt no danger of being attacked. I agree that with wild animals there is always the danger of being attacked because their behaviors do not always work in similar vocabulary to ours.

      • jon says:

        Dave Salmoni who has worked with big cats such as lions and tigers has a lot of experience with them. Experience no matter how much you may have is not going to guarantee that you will never be attacked by a wild animal. Dave actually got badly injured by one of the big male lions he used to work with. What this shows is that no matter how much experience you think you may have with wild animals, you are never going to change the fact that animals are unpredictable.

    • WM says:


      You raise a really good point. In the book about Jim Wickwire, I mentioned above, he illustrates the tension between meeting family responsibilities and (selfish?) puirsuit of feeding his addiction. An accomplished lawyer, he truly was addicted to the dangers of his climbing pursuits. He had a wife and five kids, for much of his active climbing days, and laments the sacrifices and the potential risks (financial and otherwise), and family angst that were related to his pursuit.

      Some people manage these things better than others. I guess that is why some people buy life insurance for the financial part. The other is not so easily explained – you love your climbing, snowmobiling …. fill in the blank…. more than your family?

  103. jon says:

    Utah bill to delist wolves fails in Senate

    What is a bit shocking is that some republicans did not support delisting.

    • Wyo Native says:

      I think you should read the article again. It is a Republican group of environmentalists who did not support the legislation, and not the Republican members of the Senate.

      • WM says:

        Most interesting politics, the Republican group that did not support delisting of griz or wolves is called “Republicans for Environmental Protection.” Their motive is not so much to deal with whetheir either species truly are candidates for delisting. Rather it is to discredit the Obama Administration generally, and Salazar by association. That is their bottom line.

        Not sure how this plays out in the end, but Obama seems to be getting hit from both sides now as he tries to claim more of the middle ground. One would have expected the R’s to support one or more of the delisting proposals as it meets generally held R values, and returns management in whatever form to the states. This stuff is being orchestrated by the national Republican party, not the folks who are affected on the ground in the generally red R Rocky Mountain western states. It may bite them on the backside in the end.

    • WM says:

      I took something a little different away from the story, with the statement of Senator Cardin (MD – D), who has been a wolf supporter generally:

      “Cardin suggested he would support a compromise pushed by Montana lawmakers and the administration that would limit the scope of the bill to include only wolves in the Northern Rockies.”

      Whether anything happens next year when Congress reconvenes with R’s running the House and a thin D margin in the Senate is anyone’s guess.

      However, in the bigger picture wolves are now on the agenda, and appear to be gaining traction in terms of the apparent inflexibility of the ESA in a changing world.

      If there are efforts to stop delisting of the GL wolves as some environmental groups threaten to do, AND the Center for Biological Diversity goes foward with their threat to sue FWS/Interior for not putting together a “national wolf recovery plan,” as requested in their July 2010 petition, this issue will get legs.

      Expect more legislative proposals to deal with some of this in 2011.

      • Phil says:

        wm: I strongly disagree with what you stated in regards to “it biting them on the backside in the end.” You are taking a hunter’s point of view. For you to try to generalize ALL Republicans in believing in one format or another is not realistic. This is what the Republicans who proposed these bills thought as well. There are conservationist Republicans and Democratics and there are others who are not as strong in conservation purposes. In my state of Michigan, Senator Peters is strong in conservation of wildlife, while Stabenow is not. Because the Republicans who proposed these bills thought ALL Republicans are the same in views, they were strong in their push of delisting through these bills. In my opinion, having 1,700 or so Wolves does not warrant delisting. The Republicans in these states continue to state that “Populations have gone beyond the recovery plan…”, but the recovery plan was an old plan on its own. Population, in my opinion, is not Science based, it is Political based. Genetic combinations are Science based. Here is the bottom line from what I believe. To satisfy the anti-wolf population, the senators were desperate in their push to delist Wolves that they proposed a number of bills and not one solid one. When you propose 5 bills you are not doing so for Science based information, you are generally hoping that one is accepted. It was a desperation factor for these government officials in Utah, Texas, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana and Nevada.

  104. jon says:

    livestock losses in Montana skyrocket, wildlife services director blames wolves

    Here is what Carter Niemeyer says,

    “Niemeyer said that only probable and confirmed kills should be considered. And even listing a depredation as probable, Niemeyer said, means “it probably was a predator.” When Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks publishes its annual report, it lists only confirmed wolf kills.

    “Probable is foggy, but possible is pretty much unknown and reported doesn’t really mean anything,” Niemeyer said. “It’s that confirmed one that’s really the one of interest, the one that counts.”

    Most livestock deaths are due to natural causes, Niemeyer said. Once scavengers get a carcass, it becomes difficult to tell if the animal was killed by a predator first or died naturally first. Niemeyer doubted the 1,348 calf depredations by coyotes.

    “I can’t even imagine that,” Niemeyer said. “My whole career with Wildlife Services it was pretty unusual to see calves killed by coyotes.”-Niemeyer

    • jon says:

      These livestock owners, aren’t they supposed to bury the animals they lose due to natural causes? These people are basically leaving the animals they lose out for predators to come and snack on. They should be burying the animals they lose due to natural causes.

      • Elk275 says:

        It has been below zero at night for several weeks and during the Thankgiving weekend it got to 20 below. The ground is frozen, not everyone has equipment to dig a large enough hole to bury dead livestock or equipment large enough to dig through frozen ground.

      • Phil says:

        That is correct jon. The last time I was in Idaho, Craig Jourdonnais, I believe it was him, mentioned to us that in the past ranchers left the carcass of their dead livestock laying there without properly disposing of them. They left them in piles which would eventually attract scavengers and carnivores. He began to work to get rid of the piles of dead livestock so that there would be no predators or scavengers roaming the area and possibly take the life of some of the livestocks that are alive. I respect ranchers, but there is a lot of irresponsibility on their part as well.

    • Phil says:

      jon: What a dirty excuse John Steuber made in why Wolves were to be blamed.

  105. Nancy says:

    Old habits die hard Jon. I still have a rancher near me that collects dead bodies (cows & calves that die during calving season) within yards of his calving area, and might not bury them for a week. When cattle die on public lands, they may go unnoticed for weeks unless a range rider runs across them and its doubtful rancher will haul a backhoe up there even if they find it right away.

    • william huard says:

      All this alternate reality spin that goes on- by WS, by Congress- it’s a wonder people are so confused. Sen Tom Coburn went on Fox the other day and claimed the 9/11 first responders bill is being jammed through Congress without Committee hearings when actually the day the hearing was held in April or May Sen Coburn chose to not show up! And this guy is a doctor!! What a shame our elected officials are so pathetic. They can’t help sick and dying Americans and we are asking them to help wolves and other wildlife?

  106. Phil says:

    There are step by step procedures in working with wild animals. jon: You mentioned Dave Salmoni. Even he was attacked by a male lion he trained since the Lion was a juvenille. He missed one valuable step and the Lion attacked him. Lions can kill within seconds, but in this case, because he knew Salmoni, it was just a minor attack in alerting Dave that he did something wrong and the Lion felt a threat. I remember last summer when I did my internship with Bob Lessnau, Mammalogist, he mentioned that working with any large predator you must understand their behaviors and work with the step by step procedures to avoid an attack. I can laugh about this now because the new Lion researcher in the sancutary was ok, but he missed the very first step in working with Big Cats and was bitten by the 6 year old 528lbs Lion. This was a few minutes after Bob talked to me about the steps.

  107. dcooke says:

    Wolves in Oregon:

    “We have to get over the Red Riding Hood syndrome.”

  108. Phil says:

    I believe a majority of the denials of the bills is due to the Social Science factor from the anti-wolf people in the areas. Let me ask this, if the governments truly wanted to manage Wolves due to livestock predation, even though livestock deaths caused by Wolves is extremely low, why not take the plan that Minnesota has proposed? Minnesota’s plan is to delist Wolves and have only wildlife officials and ranchers kill Wolves who are a problem to their livestock. Public hunts would not occur until 5 years after the delisting, and this, as I believe it to be, is because they want to see how the delisting of the Wolves and only having ranchers and wildlife officials kill them would affect the population.

  109. Don Riley says:

    Another big oil play in critical wildlife habitat. “Deal is done
    via compromise between the oil company and “Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife” and now this comes out in draft EIS.

    • skyrim says:

      “Grizzly bears are not expected to be impacted because so few lumber by, the document says”
      WHAT the %@*&
      Ya, who gives shit about a lumbering grizzly…………

  110. PointsWest says:

    Egin-Hamer wintering area protected for 13th year.

    This wintering area should be of interest for those determining the impact of wolves on elk. Many of the elk who winter here are Yellowstone elk that summer in Bechlar Meadows. Wolves must follow them down to the Egin-Hamer area. But it is a large wintering area and the elk are dispersed so wolves probably do not have the impact they might have in areas where the winter range concentrates elk.

    If Yellowstone were expanded to include Island Park, it could also include this vast wintering area. Bison could migrate between it and Island Park and probably triple the number of bison in the Park.

    • Save bears says:


      At time point in time in history, I seriously doubt your going to see an expansion in the size of Yellowstone..

      • PointsWest says:

        There was someone who wanted to create a Mesa Fall National Monument that would have included about half of Island Park. It was in the news a couple of years ago. This monumment could be expanded to include more of Island Park and the Egin-Hamer wintering area. Once you had a National Monument, you could put bison on it. Since it bordered Yellowstone, it would only be a matter of time before it was annexed into Yellowstone Park.

    • WM says:


      ++But it is a large wintering area and the elk are dispersed so wolves probably do not have the impact they might have in areas where the winter range concentrates elk.++

      I am not really following your logic here. Won’t wolves eat the same amount of elk protein to survive regardless of whether it is “concentrated” or a dispersed population? Maybe it is a bit easier for them to corner a vulnerable one when concentrated, thus expending less energy in the chase. But nutritional requirements for a given wolf population would seem to pretty much the same as long as the degree days are the same. We do know a wolf will eat from between 8 – 23 elk for the winter period Nov to April.

      • WM,

        That’s how many elk equivalents a wolf that survives will eat. Of course, if too many calories are expended finding prey, wolves won’t survive and their density will be lower.

      • PointsWest says:


        Yes…a wolf generally eats the same amount of food. What changes in the number of wolves. Fewer wolves would survive where elk are dispersed in their winter range since finding and killing elk is more work and random encounters with sick and lame animals are less probable.

        I mean, I think that is the problem with wolf reintroduction, elk have lost their traditional winter range. Most of it was in the lower valleys that are under cultivation now. Elk were, at one time, much more dispersed in winter. To survive the winters today, they unnaturally concentrait in canyons or narrow valleys such as the Yellowstone Canyon near Gardner or the Snake River Valley near Jackson or the Clearwater Canyon near the Lolo and wolves have it unaturally easy and their numbers become too high.

        If you could set up a natural migration between the Bechlar-Island Park summer area and the Egin-Hamer wintering area, you could have a fairly natural ecosystem for these large ungulates and thier large predators.

        You know, the Egin-Hamer area is kind of special. It is a low altitude and mild climate and would have been cultivated was it not for the lava flows. There is good soil there between the lava piles but is not arible land because of the lava piles. Deer, elk, (and probably bison) love it in winter. It is perfect winter-range and there is a lot of it. Further, it very gradually slopes up to Island Park so the ungulates can follow the snowmelt back up into the summer range in the spring. Its too perfect.

        Is there any other LARGE wintering area in the West that is protected like the Egin-Hamer area? The protected area is over 500 sq mi but could be much larger.

  111. Phil says:

    I have not seen a Wolves eat as much in lbs with a smaller food source then ones with a larger one. Being dispersed means having smaller populations of prey for predators in a given area. If you have a herd consisting of about 1,000 Elk in it with a pack of Wolves of around 5-7 members, they will kill a few extra for surplus and storage purposes. Let’s say a few years later the same Elk herd decreases in population to about 300 or so with the same amount of Wolves in the pack, the Wolves will more then likely not kill as much and only when needed compared to the killings with a population of 1,000. This also changes the average amount of lbs consumption. With a surplus killing, the average lbs consumption will be higher then that compared to killings only done when needed. Off course there are always certain exceptions.

  112. Nancy says:

    Gotta also wonder what else wolves get by on.

    There seems to be no shortage of rabbits & hares in my area. They are littering the roads (from vehicle encounters) Slowed down and moved over to the left lane in my rig the other day because a golden eagle decided it wasn’t gonna move as I approached it, as it was chowing down on a dead hare. The ravens and magpies took a backseat on the fenceposts.

    Mice aren’t gonna fill a big stomach but my retriever mix loves to stand, with her head cocked near sage or a clump of snow, waiting for the little guys to make an appearance because she can smell them. Seems there’s alot more out there on the “table” in natural prey, other than elk, deer and moose, when it comes to wolves getting by.

    • WM says:


      Unfortunately that part of the winter wolf menu doesn’t get studied much in the field. No doubt wolves will eat whatever is available, and rabbits & hares could be on the menu.

      What also does not get studied much is the number of ungulates a wolf will eat from May through October. Think elk calving season, here.

      The standard research year that is used to calculate that average of 16 elk (range 8-23) that a wolf would eat between Nov and April is apparently based ONLY on the ability of the field scientists to see and record kills and feeding sites, mostly in snow. Elk carcasses, blood and wolf tracks are easier to see in snow from the air or on the ground, than on vegetative covered ground as in the rest of the year. It doesn’t mean they are not eating more than that.

      It is also believed wolves do rely on smaller prey during summer months when caloric needs are less. I don’t know, but do not think that has been studied much either.

      • Nancy says:

        *What also does not get studied much is the number of ungulates a wolf will eat from May through October. Think elk calving season, here*

        Okay, can relate but how much thought is given to ungulates and vehicle related deaths between May and October? Is that ever factored in when it comes to the “two for one” senerio just before their calving season?
        (breaks my heart when I seen a doe or a cow elk dead on the side of the road come springtime) and young ungulates killed on the roads and highways in the months following their birth? Are there statistics available? Or does it get lumped into potential losses from predators?

        I’ve got a few locations just in my area where deer & elk cross often. Few notice, or even bother to slow down.

  113. Salle says:

    Questions as Livestock Losses Skyrocket

    • Nancy says:

      “And it’s not like ranchers,” she added, “have gotten lazier or less vigilant in watching over their livestock.”

      Helloooooooo???? If I’m not mistaken, there’s been NO vigilance or any kind of responsibility for their product, for years, thanks to WS.

  114. Phil says:

    As I have been told many times, a Wolf’s main diet does not consist of Deer or Elk, it is the smaller prey.

    • WM says:


      Maybe you should tell Dr. Mech and the International Wolf Center at Ely, MN:

      or the NPS research team at Yellowstone, including Dan Stahler and Doug Smith:

      or your buddy, Rolf Peterson at Isle Royale:

      ” Isle Royale is home to a population of wolves and moose. These wolves are the sole predator of the moose, and moose represent ~90% of the wolves’ diet.”

      Phil, How many biology classes did you say you had, and what kind of field work again?

      • Phil says:

        wm: Regarding the Isle Royale statement, “Isle Royale is home to a population of wolves and moose. These wolves are the sole predator of the moose, and moose represent ~90% of the wolves’ diet.”, because there is not an abundant amount of smaller prey for Wolves.
        Regarding the Yellowstone statement from you, it says “In Yellowstone National Park
        (YNP), predation studies on a highly visible, reintroduced population of wolves are increasing our understanding of
        this aspect of wolf ecology. Wolves in YNP feed primarily on elk, despite the presence of other ungulate species.” This is referring to UNGULATE. Are smaller prey like the rabbit ungulate? I think you are not understanding the meaning to my earlier comment. I have had 12 Biology classes so far, and from what I know, predators will eat more of the food sources that are abundant then the ones that are not, with the exception of certain criteria. How many Biology classes have you had wm?

      • Phil says:

        I forgot to answere the field work I am getting into. It is Biology of Animal Behavior. But, let’s try this. You and others mentioned that Wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountain region kill and consume about an average of 16 Elk per year, anywhere from 8-23, right? Compare the average of 16, in some cases less and other cases more, to to the amount of beavers, rabbits, hares, voles, fish, muskrats, lemmings, raccoons, shrews, woodchucks, shellfish, ground squirrels, mice, birds and insects they eat, which do you think would be more? The larger ungulate fulfill their hunger because the size of them, but they eat more smaller prey like the ones I mentioned.

      • anna says:


        I agree with you,, i’ve taken several field courses in Yellowstone with Dan Stahler and i have not once heard that wolves diet consist of smaller prey.. It’s always been Elk as being the main diet. Only slight exception is wolves in Pelican Valley (Mollies Pack) eat more bison because that’s what is avail to them more so than elk.


        Dude, you talk in circles, ramble and contradict yourself. I haven’t a clue as to what you are saying

    • Phil says:

      Rephrase on “As I have been told many times, a Wolf’s main diet does not consist of Deer or Elk, it is the smaller prey.” As I have been told many times, a Wolf’s main consumption of food does not consist of Deer or Elk, it is the smaller prey.

      • WM says:

        Well, on that point we will just have to disagree. I think I will go with the scientist’s standard biomass calculation, of which prey species comprises the bulk of a wolf diet by mass (weight) on a seasonal and year round basis. Since we are talking about US wolves here, that would generally most likely be elk for the NRM; deer for most of the GL and moose for those mutant wolves on Isle Royale, as is noted in the three very specific references in my post above.

        Indeed, you and I do not communicate with the same level of precision in the English language, as several other posters and I inferred yesterday. As for the number of biology classes, I never counted them up, but two years of grad school with a master of science degree should give you a clue. But that was many years ago.

      • PointsWest says:

        Merry Xmas everyone!

  115. PointsWest says:

    Back to the Egin-Hamer wintering area…I do not get the impression there are many wolves there and yet it is one of the main wintering areas for Yellowstone elk. There are certainly some wolves. This is near where this Sidoway fella was in trouble for having someone shoot wolves from a parachute plane a couple of years ago. Other than this, however, I have never heard anything about wolves in this key wintering area.

  116. Phil says:

    wm: Mutant Wolves? Typical ridiculous response from a hunter who has NO knowledge at all on Wolves. You can disagree all you want, but work in the field and come back to tell me what you see in regards to the “mutant” Wolves on Isle Royale. The Science tells you what Wolves need to eat, it doesn’t tell you what they eat the most of. Let me ask you this, are there more Elk and Deer around for easy eating then there are small squirrels, insects, etc? I think you are not looking at what is abundant compared to what is less abundant. Your posts above are talking about amount of lbs consumed, even though it is not directly stated in “lbs”. I will refer the question to you now, how many Biology classes have you ever had? How many hours collecting research data using a null and alternative hypothesis through a p-value have you done? “I never counted them up, but two years of grad school with a master of science degree should give you a clue. But that was many years ago.” Ya! It shows really well.

    • WM says:


      Again, forgive the candor here, but you simply don’t know as much as you profess.

      The wolves of Isle Royale suffer from genetic isolation (they are all closely related and interbreeding, which decreases genetic variability), and as a result have severe spine deformities which, compound with each subsequent generation. The situation is so bad researchers led by your buddy Rolf Peterson have contemplated adding new wolves to this isolated/closed ecosystem [See 2009 Annual Report, pdf page 4/20].

      Phil, at the risk of being rude, let me be real candid now. You’re an idiot and a fraud.

      • Phil says:

        wm: I am fully aware of the bone deformation, but to call them “mutants” is, in your words, idiotic on your part. You show that you have no knowledge at all regarding the Isle Royale Wolves but just what you read from other hunters. Look at the population of 23 on the island that is not landlocked at all. What are the Wolves suppose to do? Snap their paws to bring a different amount of Wolves with different genetic patterns on the island? I think it is you that is thinking in an idiotic manner. What happened to the 43 or so Bison in the late 19th century? Wasn’t there worry of interbreeding because the population was small? There is nothing but water surrounding the island. The Wolves that came across back in the 1940s came across because of the ice forming from the waters that lead a path to the island. It is not that simple anymore when you have many factors in stalling the crossing over. But, because the Wolves can only breed with possible relatives, you use a “stupid” comment in calling them “mutants”, but what else would I expect from a hunter that seems like he is anti-wolf in many issues concerning them. “MORON”!

      • PointsWest says:

        Have a very merry xmas everyone! 😉

      • WM says:

        And, let me add, John Vucetich also a researcher at Isle Royale, gave testimony in the first NRM delisting suit before Judge Molloy in MT, warning that lack of genetic diversity/connectivity, as evidenced in the Isle Royale population of about 23 individuals, could yield similar genetic problems in the NRM.

      • Phil says:

        For someone who says he has a Science degree, you sure can’t understand that with a small population inbreeding will occur. But, I know the consequences of inbreeding with the Wolves, but why don’t you tell me how that has so far effected the wolves? I would love to read your response. Fraud? My bachelor degree in Biology doesn’t suggest I am a fraud. My Integrated Studies in Biology Master’s I am currently pursuing doesn’t suggest I am a fraud. But, you can stereotype your anti-wolf hunters mentality all you want, but it further shows that mindset you have is nothing more then childish.

      • WM says:


        Until you tighten up your writing, and carefully re-read what you have written, including checking your logic, and understanding or accurately paraphrasing what others have written, you will get responses like mine. Good luck with your graduate committee and writing your thesis. I predict several rewrites.

        And, may I suggest a class in logic and scientific method for clarity in reasoning, to go along with the writing exercises.


        Perhaps you should carefully read the information in the link below, regarding the longer term effects of the spinal deformities in the Isle Royale wolves – This is a summary of a recent article reporting study results in Biological Conservation, by researchers including Peterson and Vucetich:

        ++The scientists found that 58 percent of the wolves on Isle Royale exhibit a congenital malformation in the lumbosacral region or lower back, and 33 percent display a specific deformity—lumbosacral transitional vertebrae—which can cause full or partial paralysis of the rear legs and tail, as well as back pain. It is a condition also seen in domestic dogs. Other malformations were found in the wolves as well. …For the last 12 years, every one of the dead wolves the researchers have found has displayed bone deformities.++

        Tell us, budding scientist that you are, how a wolf suffering from paralysis can hunt prey, or otherwise carry on, including defending its own territory, mating and successfully giving birth? These wolves on Isle Royale are on a death spiral from genetic deterioration.

        The scientific/moral question facing Isle Royale researchers is whether to intervene and introduce new genes/wolves in order to “rescue” (their words) the wolves in this closed system.

        So my earlier reference to this unfortunate phenomenon is “idiotic,” eh?

      • Phil says:

        anna: So, you have never heard that Wolves also eat squirrels, chicken, etc? Maybe you should retake your “courses in Yellowstone…” whatever that means!

      • Ryan says:


        As others have said, you are an idiot.. An idiot is an idiot, no matter how many college classes one takes.

    • Salle says:

      I don’t want to burst any daydreams of your self proclaimed wealth of knowledge but… (try to pay attention here)|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=thesaurus&__utmv=-&__utmk=149934646

         /ˈmyutnt/ Show Spelled[myoot-nt] Show IPA
      undergoing or resulting from mutation.
      a new type of organism produced as the result of mutation.
      Use mutant in a Sentence
      See images of mutant
      Search mutant on the Web
      1900–05; < L mūtant- (s. of mūtāns ), prp. of mūtāre to change; see -ant Unabridged
      Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2010.
      And furthermore, You make comments about others that suggest that you think you are the only person on this blog who has ever gone to college or studied biology or has a clue. Newsflash: NOT

      There are many educated participants here and being a newbie you might be a little less self-absorbed in your claims to have all the knowledge. You ask questions but insist you already know all the answers, so why bother?

      Aside from that, if you are still in school, then you can’t possibly know-it-all since you are still in the learning process…

      Many of us disagree on a number of topics here but trying to tell someone who is obviously more worldly wise than you that they know nothing is foolhardy at best.

      And, though I don’t agree with WM on some topics, I still think he has knowledge we can all benefit from. Your chastising him over what mutant means shows that you lack the ability to even look up a word you claim to have a firm grip on, your posts indicate that you don’t. On this one, I’m with WM and am interested in the Vucetich info that has come forth about genetic mutation. It’s info I don’t have general access to and this is the first I have heard of it (I have been rather busy with the NRM DPS issues of late) though I figured that it was just a matter of time before this set of conditions manifested in the mutation of the Isle Royale wolf population. (Thanks, WM)

      Just remember: You can lead a mind to knowledge but you can’t make it think.

      • Nancy says:

        Just remember: You can lead a mind to knowledge but you can’t make it think.

        Nice way to put it Salle!

      • Phil says:

        Salle: You continue to stereotype others that you have NO CLUE about. My comments are responses to others. Where can you prove that I have posted ANY comment on here to believe I am the only one on here that went to college or any other of the blah blah comments you have made? Keep blabbing your worthless comments, because, in my opinion, you are looking foolish by the each one. Because you posted the defintion of what “mutant” means you are reliable now? Get a clue on reality! Having a mutant gene gives you a unique trait which in most cases affects a normal life. In the case of the Isle Royale Wolves, that is not the case. “You ask questions but insist you already know all the answers, so why bother?” Then prove it! “Many of us disagree on a number of topics here but trying to tell someone who is obviously more worldly wise than you that they know nothing is foolhardy at best.” Where did I say that wm knows nothing? And, apparently your mind is not thinking right now because you are doing nothing more then posting garbage criticism of another who has actually been emailing back and forth with Dr. Peterson. Keep it up Salle!

      • Salle says:

        Thanks, Nancy. Does the comment above, between yours and mine, give any indication of that?

      • Salle says:

        yeah, Phil, I have a clue about you but I’ll withhold what that is. Suffice it to say that you sound like someone who needs a courtesy lesson or three.

      • anna says:


        I did not say that wolves do not eat the occasional squirrel or mouse ect,, (not sure where they would get a chicken in Yellowstone) but anyway, what i said was that elk is the primary source of food for Yellowstone wolves. And i might suggest that you take some field courses with the Yellowstone wolf biologists maybe you could challenge them with all of your wolf knowledge. lol

  117. PointsWest says:

    Below is a ‘Letter to the Editor’ I wrote to the Rexburg Standard Journal and they published it Tuesday.


    Public input to the Henry’s Fork Special Study will likely include discussion regarding the fate of the lower Teton River that winds through the farmland near Rexburg. With the potential for storage water on the Teton (hopefully without a Teton Dam) and with farmland developing into real estate around Rexburg, the nature of the lower Teton is likely to be significantly altered in coming years…probably for the better.

    I watched a documentary on fly fishing the River Wye in Derbyshire, England and have wanted to fly fish this stream ever since. Where I have mostly fished the wilderness streams of Idaho, fly fishing the meandering waters of the River Wye with its stone bridges, country homes, hedgerows, and green pastures populated with sheep seems quite exotic to me. Gentleman fishing this fine trout steam is the antithesis to Idaho wilderness fishing. The River Wye has such a long history of fly fishing. It is thought to be one of the key streams in the development the sport in 15th century England.

    The serenity of the tree lined River Wye reminds me of my grandparent’s farm near Rexburg where the Texas Slough runs through. My mother claims neighbors lived off trout caught from the Texas Slough during the Great Depression and I do remember my father fly fishing the nearby Spring Slough. The North and South Teton are similar to the Texas Slough but are much larger streams and, surprisingly, there are nearly as many miles of Teton River below the Teton Dam site as above.

    Prior to any settlement of the area, the famous mountain man Beaver Dick had his winter log home near the South Teton west of Rexburg. On August 7th, 1878, he entered into his journal, “I stopped at one of my fishing places a quarter mile below the house about 15 minutes and caught 7 nice trout.” This and other entries make it clear that the lower Teton was a great fishery prior to settlement. The reason it’s not today is because it is slowed to a trickle during the late irrigation season and is depleted of oxygen. So I’m wondering, can storage water and the changing nature of the area rejuvenate the lower Teton to make it more like the River Wye? Is this even the right question to be asking? Should the question about the lower Teton now be, “why not the River Wye?”

    • Phil says:

      “Sen. Max Baucus has named a committee to search for Molloy’s replacement.” Oh, great. I don’t know Senator Baucus well, but from what I have read of him, I don’t think it will be a fair judge he will pick.

      • Save bears says:

        He was the one that spearheaded putting Molloy on the bench, so I see no reason he would not be just as good to head the committee to find a replacement..

    • Cody Coyote says:

      Molloy is not ” retiring” By taking Senior Status he will still hear cases, but maybe only 1/3rd as many as before, and in various venues around the federal Circuit Court system , not just the 9th.

  118. Phil says:

    wm: I suggest you read this article clearly.
    Inbreeding is not the cause of the small population, other factors are. No Wolf has been determined that they died from inbreeding, NONE.
    As a researcher trying to conservate a species, one of the most important factors is the genetic combinations. If you knew anything about field research, you would have understood that. John Vucetich’s testimony about Yellowstone Wolves regarding inbreeding does not have significance of whether they live or not because of the genetic deformation, it is about having a diverse genetic combination, which is a major goal for anyone who works in conservation and/or Biology. Any Scientist, as you claim you are, would know that.

    • Salle says:


      Do you understand the concept of <reading comprehension?

      I suspect that this is the part you wanted WM to “read clearly”?

      But the death of the East Pack alpha female, which had had an incestuous relationship with an uncle that produced three litters, and similar behavior noted among Isle Royale’s other wolves, raise some questions about the long-term viability of the island’s wolves. While researchers were not able to pinpoint what caused the female’s contractions to stop, there are suspicions that inbreeding might have contributed to that. Too, the alpha female and male of the Paduka Pack were sister and brother.

      Dr. Peterson wouldn’t fully attribute the demise of the two packs to inbreeding, but believes it played a role.

      “The immediate effect (of the East Pack’s demise) was the female died, and her whole litter died with her. Had she lived and had eight pups, I think they’d still be there today in some form,” he said. “So why did she die? That’s an unanswerable question, because we don’t know. I mean, we just don’t have any way to determine that. If we’d seen her die and gotten blood samples at that point, maybe a diagnostic lab would have been able to figure something out.”

      So where do you conclude with absolution that “Inbreeding is not the cause of the small population, other factors are. No Wolf has been determined that they died from inbreeding, NONE.? Amazing that you have this incredible ability when even Dr. Petersen says:

      “It’s just a guessing game. It is extremely unusual for wolves. I don’t know of any other cases,” he said.

      And though inbreeding long has been observed among Isle Royale’s wolves, how great a problem it is with the packs’ long-term vigor is inconclusive, said Dr. Peterson.

      “It’s been a background discussion among people. Whether it’s a problem for the wolves or not is up for debate. And that’s why it has been a background discussion for a long time,” he said. “There’s no question they’re heavily inbred. We’ve known that ever since we really started looking at their genetics, starting about 20 years ago. But they’re still there, they’re still reproducing, this female had eight pups. That’s remarkably good. And so there’s no detectable population-level effects of inbreeding that are clear. So far.”(emphasis added)

      You can lead a mind to knowledge but you can’t make it think.

      • Phil says:

        Salle: When Dr. Peterson states that he does not suspect inbreeding caused the deaths, that is where my conclusions come in. For more then 50 years not there has been no more then 50 Wolves on the island, so I am quite confident that inbreeding will not demize the Wolves on the island. There are many factors as to why the population has dropped, mainly conflicts from one pack to another. The last two packs that have been lost was not due to inbreeding, they were due to other packs killing certain members that have had the rest of the members dispersing from the packs and either joining other packs or becoming solitaire. For anyone to justify wm’s ridiculous comment of these Wolves being “mutant” as you seem to be doing shows evidence of your knowledge on the topic of wildlife.

      • Phil says:

        Salle: My assertions that inbreeding have not played a role comes from the fact that there is NO evidence that inbreeding has caused ANY deaths of the Wolves. Some people, as the article stated, believe it has played a role, not the sole reason to the deaths, but a role, but Dr. Peterson has not concluded inbreeding is the factor of any deaths. Here is a email from him since he emailed me a response to this earlier this year.
        “Phillip”-We have not concluded that any form of inbreeding has caused the deaths of any of the wolves that have been lost on the island. We have had some guesses as to inbreeding playing a role in the deaths, but in further determining the causes, we ruled it out.” Before putting your two cents in in criticizing others, Salle, GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT!

      • Ryan says:

        “The scientists found that 58 percent of the wolves on Isle Royale exhibit a congenital malformation in the lumbosacral region or lower back, and 33 percent display a specific deformity—lumbosacral transitional vertebrae—which can cause full or partial paralysis of the rear legs and tail, as well as back pain.”

        I’m pretty sure paralysis is fatal, they technically wont die from it, but will die from starvation or inter pack warfare which wouldn’t kill a healthy wolf. Didn’t the same “Peterson” quote in this article that every wolf that they found dead had a genetic defect over the last three years. That seems to be quite the coincidence..

      • Salle says:

        Hmmm, seems like you need to get outside from time to time to see things in realtime. You sure do have an attitude and an inflated view of yourself compared to the knowledge of others.

        Don’t forget that Vucetich also said recently,

        “For a wolf trying to survive in the wild, physical deficits can leave it unable to hunt or defend itself. This winter, for example, researchers found a wolf apparently killed by a blow to the neck, probably from a moose. Unusually, this middle-aged wolf had advanced arthritis, or joint deterioration, possibly caused by spinal misalignment as a result of the genetic deformities, says Vucetich.”

        “The new results offer the first evidence of the wolves’ closed population leading to a decline in natural fitness. This is important, Vucetich says, because for years some policy makers and conservationists have pointed to the apparent health of the Isle Royale wolf packs as an indication that small animal populations can maintain proper genetic diversity. “Isle Royale is not this robust place that some people thought it was,” says Vucetich.”

        So which FACTS would you have me “get straight”? It appears that the FACTS are that it has yet to be determined… which means that this is the prompt for study of such possibilities. From what Vucetich claims, the genetic fishbowl the Isle Royale population exists in is cause for concern about the longevity of this population given the claim that there may not be any way to change it other than to let “nature take its course” which usually means let them die off without intervention. that being said, since these wolves die for reasons of unfitness – unable to hunt or continue to breed successfully – is an indicator that, though it may take many decades, the inbreeding factor will likely be the demise of this particular population, at least that is what it would indicate for those who can extrapolate beyond what the actual text.

        Somehow I get the feeling that the question will be answered for all of us. I wonder how you come to conclude that this is the only information available and that inbreeding is never a concern for longevity in a species. Since it has yet to be determined, you are so cocksure that it’s impossible, you must have some divine knowledge none of us can ever aspire to…

        PS, it’s AN e-mail.. and THAN rather than THEN… take a writing course before you leave school so people can understand you, it’s really annoying to have read through so many errors. I make them sometimes but this is… never mind.

  119. Phil says:

    Save Bears: I hope you are right.

  120. jon says:

    “Many ranchers and farmers are open to the non-lethal methods of dealing with the wolf such as guard dogs, donkeys, mules and special flagging and fencing. To those of you who are willing to try these methods my hat goes off to you. It is apparent that you care as much about our environment as you do your own property and livestock. Perhaps others will follow in your footsteps.

    I live in this part of Minnesota because I have a strong desire to be closer to nature. Living in and with nature comes with a certain inherent risk to myself and the pets and livestock in my care. This is a risk I am willing to take; it’s a small price to pay for all of the benefits I receive. Nature is not limited to the trophy size deer, plump ducks and cuddly creatures. Nature is also the amazing wolves, elusive mountain lions and powerful bear. Man is not meant to be the only predator that walks this earth. If some disagree with this thinking perhaps they would be better suited living in the metro areas of our cities.”- Jeanne Ingalls, Park Rapids

    • Phil says:

      jon: I have always been taught when it comes to animals who are territorial that if the rewards outweigh the risk factors, then they will defend in almost all circumstances. In your situation this is pretty similar. The risks are there, but the benefits you get are plentiful compared to the risk factors. Instead of some people bickering and complaining about wildlife in regards to predation to their livestocks and pets, they should be appreciative of the benefits that outweigh the risks. It seems more and more ranchers are thinking this way as well.

      • Salle says:

        Instead of some people bickering and complaining about wildlife in regards to predation to their livestocks and pets, they should be appreciative of the benefits that outweigh the risks. It seems more and more ranchers are thinking this way as well.

        On what planet?

  121. Nancy says:

    Jeff E – do you sometimes get the feeling that decisions like this are just not worth the time or effort to those expected to weigh in on them? I mean who cares about polar bears when you’re more worried about your political party “stayin alive” in the “dog eat dog” atmosphere around Washington DC?

    • Phil says:

      The Polar Bear issue is one that I follow a lot, but I do see what you are saying Nancy in that they are more worried about their political parties then most other issues.

    • JEFF E says:

      I believe that a great deal of issues like this one amount to nothing more than barter items between the different govt political entities. In other words Interior did not up the status of Polar bears because somewhere else they received some sort of favorable situation. . More than likely a lot of palm grease went with it.

  122. jon says:

    Real or fake, what do you guys think? I noticed the hunter is covering up his face. It says this picture was taken in Nov. of 2010. If this is true and if this is in Montana, this guy is a criminal/poacher.

    • Phil says:

      If this is real, the first thing that came to my mind was the photos I have seen of terrorists. I really do not see any difference. The stance of the individual, the bodies that were illegally killed, the rifle posing as his protection and power, the covering of the face to protect his identity, etc.

      • Cody Coyote says:

        Montana Mujahadin…substitute ATV for camel or burro; Stetson for turban ; this months ” Guns & Ammo Magazine” for the Q’uran.

        ( Interesting photo find. Will probably turn up often )

      • jon says:

        It has Cody. I’ve seen it on a few different hunting forums.

      • Salle says:

        An American terrorist, and a federal criminal.

    • Nancy says:

      I could be mistaken but atleast half of those dead bodies look like coyotes. This is one sorry excuse for a man.

    • PointsWest says:

      I looks photoshoped to me. Notice how the snow in the forground appears to be six to eight inches deep. The snow in the background, on the hillside, looks to be a couple of inches deep. There is something funny about the tree on the right extreme of the photo too. It is exceptionally dark and blurry so you cannot tell what kind of tree it is. It also lacks the snow on the branches that the other trees in the photo have. I think forground and the background are from two different photos. So it is a wolf hunting camp (maybe in Russia) but the background is in Montana.

      • Phil says:

        Hopefully whoever makes the final decision on whether to delist or not delist Wolves will see exactly what kinds of dirty actions anti-wolfers will take in their own hands no matter what the law says. If this is real, it amazes me just what kind of extreme actions some hunters will do because they did not get their way. I always laugh when I hear “despite hunters killing, they are good people.” Ya, good people sure break the law in the form of killing when the law goes against what they want, right? Not saying all hunters are this way, just ones who are avid in their extreme views. Even if you are right PointWest in that the photo was put together from other photos, it sends a message to other hunters.

      • PointsWest says:

        I think this photo will help the pro-wolf side. The so called “hunter” standing there looks pretty lame. He looks very unhealthy and antisocial. He seems totally disconected from his body…like an alcholic or drug addict. He covers his face. Whoever put this together is helping the pro-wolf side, whether they know it or not.

      • Nancy says:

        Latter part of November? Could somebody really be that stupid to have that many wolf pelts in a hunting camp in Montana?
        What’s that thing mounted on the front of his ATV – a machine gun? Where’s the license plate? Don’t you have to register ATV’s in Montana? And, if that many wolves went missing in an area, wouldn’t the “wolf counters” on their weekly fly overs, have noticed what amounts to an entire pack gone?

      • wolf moderate says:

        if he is really poaching wolves, I think the least of his worries would be registering his atv 🙂

      • Save bears says:


        Yes, you have to register your ATV in Montana but you do not get a license plate, you get a sticker, when you register it for on road use you only get a rear license plate, so either way, beings the ATV is facing you, you would not see a plate, as to what is on the front of it, it looks to be a tripod.

        As far as if this in Montana, who knows, but if it is, he is a criminal.

    • The pelts are much too neat and too nice. There would be blood, and the tracks in the snow would be worn into patterns of use.

      Whether this guy shot them or not, this particular photo was staged. It might not have been Photoshopped, but it could have been. At any rate this is camp is not a real camp of a wolf poacher.

      • PointsWest says:

        The pelts also look dry. If they were still fresh and in a winter camp, they would not yet be dry; they woule be frozen. If they are still wet and heavy, I think they would sag the rope more. The rope suspending them does not have much of a bow in it. The pelts look clean and dry.

        There is also something fishy about the way the rope disappears on the right side of the photo. I do not see a sturdy tree anywhere for it to be tied to. The rope would need a lot of tension to support 13 fresh and wet wolf pelts without having a big bow in it. It would also need a sturdy and tall tree and I am not seeing it. I see the rope disappear into a blury dark tree that looks out of place.

        Finally, it looks like the black things attaching the pelts to the rope are black platic ties. …sort of permanent. If those pelts have been hanging there for awhile, how come there is no snow on them?

      • Ken Cole says:

        It’s funny to me how the shoot shovel and shut up crowd always forgets the shut up part.

    • william huard says:

      Read the blogs- These people are clearly the worst our race has to offer! “To bad he can’t sell em”” yuk yuk!

  123. looks like Rex is wasting more taxpayer money and court time with a plea of no guilty.

  124. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Christmas is approaching central Europe fast now. We are doing it a little bit different over here. The tree and the presents are ready for tonights celebration. Dinner is in the oven and dusk is also approaching fast. Time to shut down the PC now and walk the dog (big bad Bernie) out into the woods before it´s too dark. Have a peaceful season everybody!

  125. jon says:

    Not wildlife related, but good story non the less.

    Dog gives birth to 17 puppies

    • Tim says:

      A very good example of a ruined breed of dog by someone who breeds for the wrong reasons. Some of you ask why more ranchers don’t get guard dogs. Well because you have people that take once amazing breeds of dogs who were selectively bred for many generations to complete a certain task like guarding, Hunting, and even working dogs. These dogs are now bred for $ and to be family pets. The people that breed them don’t breed to those necessary traits to keep these dogs preforming those tasks. Its really a shame but what do you expect when people will pay $1000+ for an African lion dog to have as a pet.

  126. Mtn Mama says:

    Salazar reverses Bush-Era “No More Wilderness Bill”

  127. Save bears says:

    Nothing of wildlife interest,

    Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

  128. Nancy says:

    Happy Holidays Everyone!

    • jon says:

      You too Nancy. Happy holidays to everyone on this blog and have a great new year as well. 🙂

  129. wolf moderate says:

    Happy holidays to the liberals and Merry Christmas to the conservatives 🙂

  130. Salle says:

    Happy Holly-Daze to one and all!

  131. Salle says:

    Idaho Legislation Highlights Disagreements Over Hunters On ATVs A lawmaker’s proposal could overturn rules that leave thousands of acres virtually out of reach from hunters.

    “We feel we need big blocks of habitat that are separate from the noise and disturbance of ATV activities,” says Jim Akenson, executive director of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. A wildlife biologist who now lives in Oregon but has studied big game in Idaho for decades, Akenson also has bow-hunted in wild country around the West. He says the national organization he heads is concerned with “escape opportunity” for animals, and with the quality of the traditional hunting experience, which he describes as “a respectful act of pursuing game.”

    Hunters or slob-hunting whiners?

    • Ryan says:

      What he is advoacting for is great, as long as it is within in reason. Hike in blocks are great, the ones that are so vast that they are only accessible with horses, short the common man IMHO.

    • wolf moderate says:

      Nice. I’m joining Backcountry Hunters/anglers. I’m so tired of ATVers. I have one but only use it in legal areas to get camp in and game out.

      I agree w/ you Ryan when it comes to horses. It does short the “common man” because most people can’t afford horses to gain access to areas that are deep into wilderness/roadless areas. Though there are millions of acres for the common man to get an animal (though it will most likely not be of trophy quality).

  132. Phil says:

    Ryan: Yes! paralysis can be fatal, but there were no conclusions as to this being a factor to their deaths. Your percentages are accurate in the findings, but, again; no deaths were directed to inbreeding. I am not saying that this will always be the case, but up to this point it has not. Even with the genetic defects that Dr. Peterson stated, no conclusions of deaths that were directed to inbreeding. Can a Wolf still defend from another with a genetic defect caused from inbreeding? Yes. Wolves that are still alive from conflicts with other packs are proof of this. If inbreeding was a factor of survival of the Isle Royale Wolves, which has been the case for a while now, then the island would have no Wolves on it.

  133. Phil says:

    Ryan: You don’t think inter pack warfare would kill a healthy Wolf? I will tell you what, instead of furthering comments on this topic, I will post the information after this coming up summer.

    • Salle says:

      Geeze, we can hardly wait.

    • wolf moderate says:

      Read this blog for a year and have never seen Salle so confrontational. Against a wolf proponent to boot! You must really be something else phil 🙂

      • Phil says:

        wolf moderate: I don’t know who Salle is, and really am not eager to know, but to have her send me the message she did in a “hateful” manner gives a bad impression of her in my view.

      • wolf moderate says:

        POST IT. I’m sure it’s untrue

    • Ryan says:

      Lets see the article that cites the Dr Petersen also states that all of the dead wolves sampled over the last few years have genetic mutations, yet the study only shows 58% of the population having the mutations.. Now I’m not a rocket scientist, but logic would dictate that the it should be a 50/50 split in the mortality, which it is not, which would lead any intelligent person down the logical conclusion that it is making the mutated wolves less efficient and subject to a much higher mortality rate.

      I’m sure pack warfare kills a few healthy wolves, but obiviously not at the level of the severly inbred wolves.

  134. Phil says:

    That’s ok Salle. You can continue your stereotypical manner on others. I can take it.

    • Nancy says:

      Phil, given your angry and often uncalled for comments to some, you really need to realize there are no enemies on this site, just a variety of opinions that might not always agree with your thoughts, opinions or facts, depending on where you gathered them.

  135. Phil says:

    Salle: A Wolf, healthy one, can also be killed by a Elk. A Wolf can also be killed by a Bear. Wolves, healthy or not, can be killed by many factors. Yes, there is research on whether or not inbreeding is altering the lives of Isle Royale Wolves, but no determination of finalization of any of the deaths has indicated this being the case so far. Out of the major factors that effect Wolves on Isle Royale, starvation, mange, distemper, introduced diseases and interbreeding, the least that been a severe threat is interbreeding. All Wolves can trace their ancestors to the single female that migrated to the island, but the population has not been extinct.

  136. Phil says:

    Salle: Yes you do make errors. “I make them sometimes but this is… never mind.” Should a “,” be placed somewhere in that sentence?

    • Salle says:

      Gosh Mr. Perfect, I dunno.. ‘cuz akording 2 u im a dumshit.

      Reread, if you can, Nancy’s comment. FYI, this is not hateful speech. Don’t know where you come from but you need to take it down a couple notches if that’s how you interpret all of this… or go to another site where hate speech, know-it-allism and vitriol are welcome.

      I suggest a course in etiquette as well… who knows, you might learn something.

  137. Phil says:

    Ya Nancy. Am not angry at others who have different views, am annoyed by others who have anger comments directed towards me. Maybe it is because I was an unfamiliar “newbee” on here or something, but I have already had 4 different individuals direct a critical comment to me. There are ways to have a different view and comment on a disagreement towards another, but not in the manner that wm, Salle and Save Bears have done. I guess I have always been brought up to respectfully disagree with others by sending comments that don’t directly undermine their educational background, some had done a few days ago. Nonetheless, I won’t worry what people like Salle, wm, Save Bears and anyone else who critizes me will say anymore. It’s not worth it to argue. I enjoy nature and its voice and heartbeat in wildlife, and am eager in working as a Biologist.

    • Salle says:

      Sorry but you don’t even come close to respectful disagreement here, pal.

      All comments of yours that I have read -most of them- seem to be presented in a way that you make yourself sound superior in knowledge and that nobody else could possibly know what you know. You are the one who sounds angry, makes angry comments and responses.

      It seems that you are the one who needs to grow up, honey.

      Moderator, please take note.

    • Nancy says:

      Phil – you need to look up the word dialogue, because it comes into play often here and should. I might live in areas of dispute but understanding every angle of thoses disputes is the key to making changes.

      Hope you are watching 60 Minutes tonight.

    • WM says:


      You see, the sad part of the dialog with you is that you fail to gain either knowledge or insight from it. As the catalyst (do look up the term it is usually associated with chemistry) for some of this exchange, I take some responsibility, so I would like to clear up a couple of my “critical” comments.

      In addition to me, you have been challenged on your facts (as well as your writing communication skills, editing and decorum, or lack thereof in each catagory) by some very knowledgeable and bright people who have been commenting on this forum for some time.

      Some folks here know alot about wolves (and other topics) from first hand viewing and studying. Others do pretty well assimilating the knowledge of others, and do a lot of reading, and asking good questions, expecting verifiable answers. So, whether it is science, policy, law or current events there are some well informed, and even academically credentialed people here. We don’t always agree, and that is a good thing in an open society. It makes for a better conversation, which is, for the most part, civil. Even mixing it up a little probably doesn’t hurt.

      Most of us know when it is time to stand on top of our computer chair with our watches held high over our heads to save them from the bullshit that sometimes flows off the screen. I stand on my chair with each post you make now that I know who/what you think you are, or profess to be.

      I challenged a couple of your assertions about wolf diet. I disagreed because what I know is contrary to what the published literature says, and from what I have observed, so I didn’t understand what you were trying to say (nor did anyone else apparently based on other posts) because you were extremely inarticulate in describing what you meant, and did not provide any science authorities to back up your statements. Instead of trying to rephrase what you were intending to communicate so that everyone had a chance of understanding, you continued to advance an indefensible position, and got downright nasty. Then you went off on some tangent, from which you have not retreated, tallying up even more detractors and reducing your credibility with each subsequent post.

      But, sport, lets put this “mutant” issue to bed for good, because you don’t seem to understand the scientific concept, or the ultimate implications as applied to the wolves of Isle Royale. And if I understand the tenor of the Peterson/Vucetich argument, a continued genetic decline (whether proven conclusively at this time, or not) will be bad for the very small and inbred population, possibly resulting in extinction of the population without intervention of some sort. To refresh your mind read this from Peterson’s website:

      And for the means by which genetic changes occur, read the the “Important Points” box in the Changes in Genetic Code topic and all will be clear.

      Thank you to the Center for Genetic Education for this simple definition – read what is in the box and look for the word “mutation” and in the narrative below, the section called “the Language to Describe a Mutation”

      By the way, mutation = faulty gene; an organism with a faulty gene = mutant

      • WM says:

        ++I disagreed with you because what I know, or have observed, and what the published literature says (and I quoted), is contrary to what you were saying…..+++

      • Salle says:


        I must say that you have done a far better job of explaining this conceptual situation to Phil. Thanks for your clearly articulate and thorough response.

        I found some good info in there myself, thanks for the additional links also.

        And thanks to Nancy as well.

        Save Bears, as a man who has been there, your sound advice here is refreshing.


  138. Nancy says:

    Wolf – type in the date and see if you can get a video of the program tonight.

    • jon says:

      I taped it Nancy. The great herd migration in Africa. Good show.

      • wolf moderate says:


      • Nancy says:

        Sadly Jon, its been run a few times as has the plight of the Forest Elephants.
        Wish CBS (and other
        TV stations) could get as concerned over wildlife and the problems they face, as they do about fights at a mall, over name brand sneakers on sale.

  139. Save bears says:


    I would suggest if you are indeed looking forward to working as a biologist, you need to grow a thicker skin, I can tell you from experience, being a biologist requires a heck of a lot more than just biology training..the majority of it now a days requires a good amount of political knowledge/training.

    Questioning your assertions of “Fact” is part of the science field as well as the political field…and you need to learn there is no study that you or any of us cite, that will be accepted or believed by everyone…

    And most of all, when it comes to wolves of the west and wolves of the east, there is quite a bit of difference in all of the conclusions, as well as the professionals studying them..

  140. Phil says:

    Just to satisfy some of you on here, I will not post anymore beyond this last comment.
    Save Bear: “Questioning your assertions of “Fact” is part of the science field as well as the political field…” Yes, but taking personal attacks is not. Questioning a Scientific conclusion researched in the field conducted by another is part of the Science world, as I and the rest of the students at my university have been told many times, but taking personal attacks on an individual on a website is not.
    “And most of all, when it comes to wolves of the west and wolves of the east, there is quite a bit of difference in all of the conclusions, as well as the professionals studying them..” Thanks for informing me on there being a difference, but, as wm brought up the topic, the discussion was in regards to Isle Royale Wolves. By the way, I have been to Idaho and researched Wolves.

    wm: “Contrary to what I was saying”? According to the publications of Biologists in even your neck of the woods near Yellowstone, this was the “literature” found. Where do you think I got the information from? As I mentioned, the average number of Elk consumed by Wolves yearly is around 16 with the range being anywhere from 8-23, in your own words, right? So, you don’t believe Wolves consume a larger amount of smaller prey, in regards to numbers wise, yearly then the 16 or so Elk? Your Yellowstone article talked about Elk being the majority of thier diet compared to other ungulate. In regards to the Isle Royale Wolves, besides the insects and basic squirrels, there is not much in small prey on an island with a width of 43 miles and a length of 8 miles. Are there? Yes! But, not a whole lot. The majority in food sources on that island for Wolves is Moose, because their population has been anywhere from 500 to around 2000 compared to any of the other smaller prey who have not had the level of numbers that Moose have had.
    Here is what Rolf Peterson emailed to me a couple hours ago.
    “Phillip – the bone deformities do not seem to affect maximum lifespan at Isle Royale.
    Rolf Peterson” The inbreeding that causes bone deformation does not alter their normal lifespan. They live a normal maximum life.
    Why is this significant? Because a couple of you commented that the bone deformation would alter the hunting of the Wolves that would lead to starvation and a quicker mortality rate. If this was the case, then it would affect their maximum lifespan. I believe the same individuals that used the hunting aspect affecting the Wolves due to inbreeding also used the “inter pack” conflicts to illustrate its affects. If the Wolves mortality was going to occur in this manner, then it would also alter the normal maximum lifespan. In general, if inbreeding was causing affects of the Wolves on Isle Royale, then don’t you think their lifespan would also be affected? Quicker deaths means shorter lifespan. That is not the case in these Wolves.
    Trust me, I would love to learn from anyone and everyone on here as I am probably the youngest and most inexperienced. That is why I constantly email people like Bob Lessnau and Rolf Peterson on almost a daily basis, but apparently some of you believe I am a little “cocky” in doing so. But, just because someone has more experience in whatever they do and has been on this site longer then someone else does not justify them to take personal attacks on the other. wm: You stated “In addition to me, you have been challenged on your facts (as well as your writing communication skills, editing and decorum, or lack thereof in each catagory) by some very knowledgeable and bright people who have been commenting on this forum for some time.” So, where is the criticism on others writing communication skills? By the way, it is “writing AND communication skills”. You want a perfect example? wolf moderate stated this ” POST IT. I’m sure it’s untrue” You don’t see any unprofessional writing there?
    It hasn’t been everyone on here, just a few individuals.
    Anyways: I STRONGLY believe that some people on here have severe egos. No matter if someone has been on here for 7 years or 7 days, there is no excuse to take personal attacks as even you wm and Salle have had flauds in your comments in fact based and writing. Anyways: Take care!

    • wolf moderate says:

      The only people on this site that are complete nut jobgs (IMHO) are Brian Ertz and Spangle Lakes (I think thats how she spells it).

      Everyone else is biased like crazy but at least doesn’t seem to shout anyone down or disrespect anyone too much.

    • JB says:

      Seems I’ve missed quite the holiday conversation! Phillip: I think you’d have more success posting here if you slowed down a bit and took some time to formulate thoughtful responses. Many of the people who post here have advanced degrees, some have worked for state and federal agencies, still others work for conservation-related NGOs. I find that most people–and especially those with advanced degrees–don’t take to well to being lectured, especially when the lecturer has made some obvious errors. 😉

      Stick around and I’m sure you’ll learn some things, and you’ll probably teach us a few as well.

      Happy holidays to all! [even the “nutjobs” among you] 😉

    • WM says:


      I cannot speak for others. However, my point was not to discourage you from participating. Rather, it was, again, to get you to tighten up your writing (grammar, syntax, etc.) and reasoning, as well as strongly suggest you not to talk down to people as if you are the only one with knowledge or experience.

      Egos, yeah, there are some here. Alot of us have been dressed down for our views and the way we express them. I kind of take that as a family thing, and if you can’t take the opposing view, or justified criticism you probably aren’t a good fit here. On the other hand, if you can take something away from the suggestions above and commit to following them, stick around we all might benefit from it.


      Content on your post:

      I don’t think I want to continue to discuss numbers of individuals of a particular small prey species (rabbits, mice etc.) as compared to number of elk, now that you have FINALLY identified the distinction you wanted to make. The important part is what is a particular wolf’s daily nutritional requirements given its age, sex (distinuish a lactating female from a waning senior), size, and caloric needs based on activity and how cold is the weather, matched with what are the available food sources. And, what effects (good or bad) that wolves have on those prey populations and the environment in which they live.

      Yeah, it takes alot of bunnies to be the equivalent of a 500 pound elk or 1,000 pound moose. I never understood why you were wanting to make the point, and still don’t. Diets vary, but the literature strongly suggests ungulates (hoofed, even or odd toed animals) comprise a significant portion of the diet mostly everywhere, most of the time, where present. Being opportunists, wolves will eat whatever is available, that requires the least energy expended and least risk of injury, and that is why they sometime like livestock.

      You should also know the wolf scientists that study at Isle Royale and the ones that study out west are often some of the same folks, and you will see they co-author papers together sometime. It is a very small research community, although the numbers of scientists are increasing over time. There is alot of shared knowledge.


      If you really want to pursue the skeletal deformities issue with Dr. Peterson, I have a couple of questions you could ask him:

      Dr. Peterson,

      • You (Dr. Vucetich and other scientists) have made it clear that genetic defects caused by inbreeding has manifested painful and possibly debilitating conditions in some members of the Isle Royale wolf population. If inbreeding continues over several more generations, what does this mean for the population? Will (or has) this condition affect(ed) their selection of prey, their interaction with other wolves, or reproduction? Is it possible some will die or have shortened life-spans as a result of the condition, and if so, how many years would it likely take for that to show major impacts? Exactly where do you think this is going?

      • You have talked about genetic “rescue,” considering the possibility of adding new wolves to the Isle Royale population (or maybe artificially adding genetic material?). What factors will you consider in your decision, and what will ultimately determine whether you do this? If you go forward with it, when would you likely do so?

      ****Maybe others have similar questions to pose to Dr. Peterson. Phil, will you carry this forward and report back on this forum with Dr. Peterson’s verbatim responses?


      Phil, one parting comment on my concerns about your writing: You said, ++By the way, it is “writing AND communication skills”.++

      Actually it is “writing communication skills” and I wrote those words exactly that way purposefully, because that is the only way we communicate here …. in writing. If you cannot write so people understand you, you cannot communicate. Pretty simple.

  141. Daniel Berg says:

    Was browsing through the Seattle Times online and saw this (or “freeloading”, as WM calls it :))

    I was also at the Seattle Aquarium today with my niece and there was a presentation on the life cycle of a salmon that was accompanied by a narrated dissection. While watching, I couldn’t help but to wonder how effective teaching children about wildlife is in getting them to care about issues surrounding that topic at an older age, even if they aren’t necessarily outdoor enthusiasts? I’m curious in general actually about how non-outdoorsy people feel about wildlife related issues.

    With salmon, would their current status in Washington State be any different had no educational programs ever been implemented targeting children? Maybe not enough time has passed to know……..In the early 90’s when I was in late elementary/junior high, we visited a fish hatchery, and spent a decent amount of time learning about salmon. I care about the health of salmon runs, but I’m a bad test case because I grew up in a family that spent a lot of time enjoying wildlife and the outdoors, and my generation is for the most part to young to be in positions of power.

  142. PointsWest says:

    This is, by far, the largest development to go in near Ashton, Idaho. It is called Shadowridge…

    It’s near Warm River about 10 miles east of Ashton. It was known as Stephens’ Ranch to locals and people thought the developer was crazy when he paid $6 million for it in about 2004. I used to know it as Grandma Nelly’s since it was owned by Nelly Stephens who was the grandmother of my good friend Doug Stephens. I used to hear all kinds of stories about horses, guns, grizzlies, trucks, buffalo, elk, chainsaws, etc. from Doug about Grandma Nelly’s. I only went there once with him, however, but drove through it many times.

    There must be nearly a 150 lots for sale at Shadowridge…it will be a small village. The cheapest lots are around $50 thousand and the better lots are just under a half million. These are recession prices, of course. Just 20 or so of the most expensive lots will cover the cost to the developer of acquiring and improving the property.

    I honestly do not believe they are that great of lots. Most do not have a good view of the Tetons. They are not really close to anything. They will probably sell however.

    If you are tired of winter and want a trip through the green forest around Ashton, you can watch the YouTube video on the home page. It is in a nice green forest.

    • I hope they go bankrupt because of the location and on general principle that people should have money to buy vacation castles when unemployment and economic distress is so high.

  143. PointsWest says:

    Idaho does not have natural gas but if you own land in Montana or Wyoming, you will want to watch the new documentary film ‘Gasland’.

    It will make you angry and want to see Bush and Cheny charged and prosecuted …for something.

    This documentary is most about gas companies poisoning people water wells. But they are probably poisoning many springs and marshes too. The film is a real eye opener.

  144. WM says:

    From a world perspective this is a HUGE story:

    Mysterious road threatens Great Migration

    A controversial development project in Tanzania may be putting one of the last pristine environments on earth in danger. NBC’s Richard Engel reports.

    • Daniel Berg says:

      The moment the video started, I was waiting for a China reference. Surprisingly, it didn’t come until 4:32.

    • Nancy says:

      Nothing mysterious about it WM.

      Metals in a lakebed on the other side of this pristine enviornment are in demand in order to make cell phones – those devices few seem to be able to live without in this day and age – cheaper to go thru, waste untold animal lives, destroy the landscape on this new highway – instead of taking a longer route around.

      Raise your hands if you can’t live without your cell phone?

      I don’t own one and I’ve managed to get a long just fine, for years. It’s all about the hype. The preceived need drilled in to our heads, over and over again by big business.

  145. Nancy says:

    Sorry got alittle off base there but I’m sure some can see where I was coming from.

    It was good to see that this destruction to a “til now” age old, prestine enviornment, is making the news.

    Can they not haul these metals out by plane or boat? References were made to the poor in the area and how “they” would benefit from this highway but I’m thinking that may not the case here given the countries involved who have little interest in humans rights (China) let alone wildlife?

  146. wolf moderate says:

    Been watching these all day. I don’t have TV so just got to watching them over the internet. Russia still has vast wilderness, which is nice to know. So bored….Month off from school lol.

  147. wolf moderate says:

    Guess you need the link

  148. wolf moderate says:

    Please let China’s bubble burst already before they do anymore damage.

    • WM says:

      wolf mod,

      Consider this. One in four people on this earth is Chinese; one in three is Chinese or from India. The middle classes of each country is growing, and along with them are consumer expectations that capitalism and technology has brought.

      China has spread its tentacles to satsify natural resources needs to Africa and South America.

      • Elk275 says:

        Wolf Mod:

        Read Paul Krugman’s “The Finite World” in today’s 12/27/10 New York Times. Things are going to change with the emerging Chinese and Indian middle class and not for the better.

    • Daniel Berg says:

      How nice that would be. Chinese businesses do not operate
      under any code of conduct other than maximizing profit and gaining
      control of resources (this is not to say that many other countires
      are worlds better). Ecosystems are of no concern, bad press is not
      a concern, and indigenous people are of no concern. I have read a
      lot of material describing Chinese involvement in resource
      acquisition in Africa. China is fueling the massive clear-cutting
      of Siberian forests: China’s
      massive fishing fleet is increasingly spreading its tentacles
      across the world as it’s own fisheries are exhausted: Chinese brutal
      exploitation of Africa and its resources:
      Chinese fueling illegal logging trade GLOBALLY: Illegal wildlife
      trade worth $10 billion annually in China:
      With 1.33 Billion people and access to today’s technology, China is
      able to exploit the world’s resources on a scale that the
      imperialists of yesterday could only dream of.

      • Kropotkin Man says:

        I’m curious as to where the world’s wealth is concentrated?
        Also, who buys the majority of the goods (read, crap) that China produces for market? Who are they emulating in their consumptive habits? Further, China is working on population control –poorly and sexist but still making efforts.

        I agree with your point but thought a bit of perspective was in order?

      • Daniel Berg says:

        Population is such a taboo topic here that we will probably have to hit the billion mark before anyone takes the issue seriously. It’s sad to think of the United States with over a billion people.

        We are a big piece of the China puzzle right now and yes, we blazed the trail for their growth model, but I wanted to try and avoid going in too many directions for the sake of the post.

  149. wolf moderate says:


    I see your point.

    Hopefully they are do for a correction however.

    • I wouldn’t draw any great judgments from a raise or a fall in the price of raw materials.

      They are inherently unstable. Krugman and his critics all need to to look at longer trends.

      The one thing I expect is stable to declining prices (deflation) over the next period. Your best and safest investment will be a classic poor yield savings account of some kind. Just wait until the next Congress, full Depression is on its way!

    • PointsWest says:

      That Krugman-is-wrong webpage is interesting. The authors trash Krugman with insults like those from some 12-year-old schoolboy and make all of their assertions and give their pragmatist view of economics but then do not even give their names.

      I want people like this running my country!

      • wolf moderate says:

        That makes 2~ 🙂

      • PointsWest says:

        What will you do when they embroil the country in a big pointless war and crash the economy? …blame Obama and punish all the blacks and hispanics?

  150. wolf moderate says:

    Ty for the laugh Ralph. A “great depression” was/is unstoppable, but having a new regime is going to lessen the pain.

    Another thing. If the US is in a tailspin and to crash, why bother with protecting any of the species that we so dearly love? Don’t you know that if China/India/Russia takes over that they will make parking lots out of Yellowstone/Yosemite/Glacier…etc?

    • I guess you made enough assumptions in your comment above that I don’t understand it.

      However, I should have added that the major economic drag that will begin next year will be that all the states will be enacting what amounts to anti-stimulus plans.

      By law, and good by good sense, most of them have to balance their budgets, but both spending cutbacks or increased taxes to do this will take money out of their economies.

      My view of the next Congress is more speculative.

    • PointsWest says:

      Wolf Moderate,

      In many ways, Russia, China, and India are doing more to protect their wildlife than the US is.

      You remind me of that song about all the hate in Red China and “tell me over, and over, and over, my friend that we are not on the eve of destruction.” You need to get out and see more of the world to dispel a few of your paranoid delusions.

      One more point, this Bush/Republican recession we are in probably would have been much worse if it were not for China. The state controlled Chinese economy is so large that it helped keep the world economy going when those economies in the west faltered. The portion of the American economy least affected by the recession were those industries that supply China with commodities or with prestigious American-brand consumer goods desired by the emerging Chinese middle class…the dirty red rats!

  151. Moose says:

    While we are on the subject:
    From above article:

    “All but 4 percent of the top 500 U.S. corporations reported profits this year, and the stock market is close to its highest point since the 2008 financial meltdown.

    But the jobs are going elsewhere. The Economic Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, says American companies have created 1.4 million jobs overseas this year, compared with less than 1 million in the U.S.”

  152. Linda Hunter says:

    Interesting comments associated with the article. It is interesting how being unfamiliar with bears makes people have extreme opinions about them. Half of them seem to want all bears shot, contained and be safe from perceived monsters and the other half want them to prevail over human interests and feel that killing any bear is a travesty. The truth about bear human encounters is extremely hard to get, even if you spend your life studying them, because humans are the most emotional, violent animals, and apt to make a firm judgement based on scanty or no real facts.

  153. Seems like an Idaho corporation has helped BLM break the rules on land exchanges and sales in CA & WA – wonder what they planned on doing with the stashed money?;.v=1

  154. more on megaloads – this just in – hearing officer approves shipments!

  155. wolf moderate says:

    Thank god. Cheaper gas and a boon to the local economies!

    Thanks for the info!

    • timz says:

      I’ll take all bets that this doesn’t drop the price of gas any time soon.

    • Save bears says:

      And it sure ain’t no boon to the local communities! The local communities will not benefit from this at all..

    • PointsWest says:

      Imagine all the money we’d save if we reverted to leaded gasoline and removed all of the emission controls on cars and completely deregulated off-shore drilling and killed the clean water act and the clean air act for oil companies…we’d be RICH!!!

      …but noooooooooo, we have to listen to all the f@|<ing liberal losers and all live in poverty! I'm certain you would be a millionaire by now, Wolf Moderate, if it were not for the liberal losers screwing you up.

  156. wolf moderate says:

    heh, u guys are too much 🙂

  157. wolf moderate says:

    I didn’t realize that them “damn Jews” were responsible for WWII. Thanks for siting wikipedia, it’s a great source.

    • PointsWest says:

      You mean “citing” wikipedia…the interesting reading is in the Amazon reviews about this highly rated book. There are people who believe every word of it.

      After all, Gary Allen took some history classes at a real university which makes him an authority.

  158. Salle says:

    Conoco Wins Highway 12 Megaloads Case in Idaho
    Hearing officer: Highway 12 is the ‘only viable option’ for transporting the refinery equipment.


  159. Salle says:

    Sarah Palin’s Advice to Gun Down Bears Is Both Reckless and Wrong
    The audience for The Learning Channel’s show potentially reaches thousands of families planning a trip to Yellowstone, where carrying guns is now legal. Unfortunately, the show fails to mention bear spray and the fact it’s not legal to kill grizzlies in the lower 48.

    TLC is not real big on facts, it’s all about ratings and advertising revenue…

    • Ryan says:

      “Unfortunately, the show fails to mention bear spray and the fact it’s not legal to kill grizzlies in the lower 48.”


      To be fair, the show is about Alaska. When will poeple learn that the more press they give someone, the more power they get.

  160. SEAK Mossback says:

    A guy in China tried attempted suicide by wolf but failed. The conclusion was tigers would have been more effective:

  161. jon says:

    Man tries to kill himself by jumping into wolf enclosure

  162. vickif says:

    I am preparing for the nausea I am about to experience when reading all the complete crap spewing from republicans in regard to the EPA.
    With Greenhouse Gasses coming under increased regulation in a few days, the news is a mine field of ignorant comments on the issue.
    If I hear one more person say “global warming doesn’t exist and this line of regulation and the EPA are going to destroy our economy’ I may have to be sedated to keep from losing it!

    Forcing people/companies to do the right thing is deifinitely a way of life in this counrty. We bitch about this new employed generation be entitled….ha! They learned for the masters.( I own oil, therefore I am entitled to pollute the world, or…I employ 62 linemen at this utility company, and therefore I should get to screw the entire planet up) Yep, they learned from the best.

    • Save bears says:

      I think the term “Global Warming” was the worst term they could have ever used….I believe in Climate Change, which is what the earth does, it changes, and yes, man contributes to it, but based on the past..I believe the climate is changing, and I have read a whole bunch of stuff as well as the studies, articles, etc. I have not made my mind up to how much we are contributing, but I do acknowledge we do contribute to the changes..

      • vickif says:

        Hi Save Bears! I hope you have been well! I haven’t been on here much lately, alas work….
        But I have missed contemplating your points of view.
        I agree that the term “Global Warming” is not exactly a seller. I would also agree that climate change is a historical fact.
        From what I read, it is doing these changes of late at a must faster pace then we can document previously.
        Knowing that we definitely cause pollution that was never present before, I think it is pretty logical to theorize a corolation.
        But the worst part about it all is that humans have the logic skills to reduce their impact. No other ‘animal’ has been so environmentally destructive. We humans a definitely a wasteful species.
        Top that off with people being too close minded to examine the jobs that could be created when we convert energy uses and clean up happens. That part bugs me.
        How can we blame cleaning up our own messes on an economy that has been in the crapper for a long time now. The economic issues we have can ALL be directly attributed to the classic American artificially inflated standard of living.
        It is more about greed than doing the ethical thing. On both sides of the aisle.

      • vickif says:

        Perhaps we should have called it ‘Accelerated Climate Change’ or something to do more with ‘Climate Neglect’ or even to do with permanent waste? “Global Warming’ doesn’t really describe the multi-layered issue of pollution of environmental consumption and destruction.

      • WM says:


        ++Top that off with people being too close minded to examine the jobs that could be created when we convert energy uses and clean up happens. That part bugs me.++

        The part that bugs me is that we have not really dealt with the ability of corporate entities to externalize the cost of pollution to produce goods. What has happened is that some manufacturing that was done by US corporations in the US has now been shipped off to other countries where environmental standards (and safety standards for workers) are less, and labor costs are lower. China, Mexico, India, Philippines, are doing US manufucturing as well as their own emerging companies. With those jobs, there is an increase in the consuming middle class in those countries (well except Mexico I guess) So, while there is a negligible decrease in the US, on a global scale the “global warming” for lack of a better descriptive term continues.

        Job creation “for clean-up” has to be paid for by someone -either the polluter directly or through general taxes, and in the US it is, as stated above, easier to externalize the environmental costs.

        The issue is not about logical planning to reduce and clean up pollution; it is about profit for shareholders and keeping internal costs down, in the SHORT TERM to make the balance sheet and income statement look good, no matter what.

    • vickif says:

      I agree. Even if we could create some scale to measure the damage, I fear it is incomprehensable.
      I truly does boil down to greed. They way the USA (companies) out-sources jobs is seriously a deceptive way of hiding crimes, and on another note, straight up slave labor.
      Whoever does end up do “clean-up” and “conversions, will profit. No doubt. If for no other reason than nobody works for free! If that is private industry or the government, consumers pay.
      But only if companies are put to the mat will we see any changes. Don’t create what cannot be cleaned. Etc. Oh, dare to dream of a world filled mith minds of those with a conscience.

  163. Salle says:

    Here’s a batch of misinformation and it’s in a scary magazine.

    • william huard says:

      This week it’s people want more logging and environmental destruction. Next week our story on how people support the gassing of wolf pups in their dens and aerial gunning for healthy ecosystems!

  164. Salle says:

    A retrospective slide show on the dirty energy disasters around the world this past year.

  165. WM says:

    12,000 feral horses on Yakama Indian Reservation outnumbering elk (5,000), are displacing deer and other wildlife and tearing hell out of range lands to the point of no recovery. Northwest tribes to meet in Las Vegas in search of solution. Horse meat on the menu for some?

  166. jon says:

    15 grizzlies shot by hunters and some even shot them thinking they were black bears and yet they still want to take them off the endangered species list so they can be shot by hunters.

    • WM says:


      What do you see as a realistic solution where 1 in 8 grizzlies meets its end at the hand of humans in a world of limited human-griz conflict free habitat, and shrinking food supply in light of global warming/climate change?

      • JB says:

        Good question, WM. I agree that it is inappropriate to demonize hunters for shooting grizzlies in self-defense; nothing good can result in alienating hunters. On the other hand, giving the degree of human-griz conflict, grizzly bears’ limited distribution across their historic range, and the potential effects associated with global climate change, why on earth is there such pressure to reduce protections for grizzly bears?

      • WM says:

        I am not even at the point of defending hunters who find it necessary to kill griz in self-defense. My broader question is what can be done to increase numbers and yet keep conflicts low? It just seems as numbers grow conflicts will grow, possibly in greater proportion. So if we get up to 1000, will it be 1 in 5 or 7 (or about 15-20 percent per year) that are destroyed as a consequence of human conflict.

        And, unfortunately, for every dead bear, will there be more incidents that run short of a need to destroy them. That can’t be good for griz or the people who are affected. Example: I just heard via Christmas card and email from two different friends in WY, that say they are starting to carry guns in the backcountry, if they are in suspected griz areas. One friend’s exact words, “Some of the places I like to pack into….. are becoming so infested with wolves and bears that I’m getting reluctant to go there any more. Watched a wolf pull down a calf elk and a half mile later watched another packing off part of a hind quarter. Bears [griz] seemed to be cleaning up after the wolf kills. Slept with a loaded gun next to my pillow….”

        This is a person who does not exaggerate. I have known him since I was 12, and he has never carried a firearm unless it was deer/elk season. He and I have logged alot of miles together in the backcountry of WY and MT over the years, and he lives not far from Alpine Junction, in the GYE. These are words of a very experienced back country traveler, who is nonplussed by things he has seen in twenty plus years as a geologist doing mineral evaluations for proposed wilderness areas throughout the West and AK.

        I confess to not knowing enough about FWS’s logic to delist griz at these low numbers, with clear knowledge that reproduction rates are very slow.

      • JEFF E says:

        could part of the issue be one of perception?
        for example your one friend referring to an area being ‘infested”
        My question would be why seeing animal going about the business of the day translates into an infestation?

      • WM says:

        I may have told this story before. Four years ago I was hunting elk in N Central ID. I was walking down an old logging grade that had grown over with alder. A large tree , probably 30 inches in diameter, had fallen over leaving a root ball at the lower edge where I take a game trail down off the grade. Just below the fallen tree and wad, which ran parallel to the grade, but which obscured my vision below it, I could hear thrashing and rooting very close to me, but could see nothing.

        As hunters fantasize, I had images of a large antlered bull working over a sapling, as this was the end of the rut. The sound stopped abruptly and the animal no doubt sensed my presence (smell probably), and as I crept around the corner created by the wad for a look. To my surprise a bear walked up slope taking the same trail around the wad where I was about to go down. We met at the end of the wad corner, not fifteen feet apart, maybe closer.

        Invariably we looked each other in the eye, equally surprised. Fortunately it was a very large black bear, and I later learned was not on a kill. Had it been a griz, the outcome might have been different. No time for bearspray on that one, even if I had it. I did have my rifle ready (7mm mag bolt action) but I would have gotten off one shot only, if my barrel had been pointed the right direction in those close quarters. Would I have been wrong to shoot, if it had been a griz and he would have bluff charged/attacked me?

        As it turned out, the bear just kept going after a quick double take at seeing me. He just walked slow and deliberate right past. I can still see the soft pads his back paws in my mind, as he stopped mid stride and looked over his shoulder back at me again, in a rather indignant way (anthropomorphologically) when he was about thirty feet away, then silently walked off.

        I have had a number of experiences with black bears at these close distances, and never had a problem.

      • WM says:


        ++ infestation++

        His choice of words, not mine, and maybe not accurate. Recall this was just in a let’s catch up over the year email. He hikes into an area usually for a couple of weeks at a time. And he goes into the same areas repeatedly over a number of years (he likes to fish and records the data on the backs of USGS quad maps), so I would interpret his words to mean seeing more and more bears (I doubt he is worried about wolves) he has not seen there before, and increasing his risk of an unpleasant encounter for the long time he is there. It also means he needs to take more precautions to hang food, and take care where he cleans fish, cooks, etc. He has spent alot of time in AK, so he knows the drill.

      • JEFF E says:

        I realize that it was your friends term. It is just that the word “infest” in relation to animals is not a neutral term but instead a negative one. So I just wonder about perception.

      • WM says:

        The “perception” reflects changing expectations in light of the new conditions. From the human perspective it is – “it is not like it used to be.” From the changed expectations flows the response. In his mind, he has to take greater precautions and maybe not sleep so well at night for fear a griz might get him, or just not go back to those places, as his words say. That is where it tends to gets ugly in some instances.

        The issue is the same with wolves, for hunters. Wolves are present and increasing in number. They kill elk/deer affecting numbers of prey, and the ones that remain have changed behavior. The expectations have changed.

        What does one do in response? Accept the changed conditions? Complain? Adjust expectations and modify one’s own behavior (hunt differently)? Not go back to hunt where wolves are present? Self-help (3S)? Hope wildlife officials will step in, or get the law changed?

      • PointsWest says:

        …bigger Park.

    • Linda Hunter says:

      Not demonizing hunters is one thing, but encouraging them to shoot grizzlies is another. This article makes it seem like the hunter caused deaths are no big deal in the population. The hunter grizzly bear encounter problem needs more study and light on the matter. I can’t help but suspect, due to other experienced with investigating agencies and public reporting, that this mortality rate is unwarranted.

      • jon says:

        All off these bear deaths could have been prevented.

      • Save bears says:

        No, this is not a warranted mortality rate, it could be reduced, but to say all of it could have been prevented is not correct either, each bear death depletes the genetic pool, we need to work on ways to prevent as many as possible, but we also need to understand that every year, some bear mortality is going to happen..

      • Save bears says:

        And yes Jon, I know, your ignoring me..


      • Elk275 says:

        How Jon? Only if we remove people from their eco system.
        In mid August, at a wedding, I met a young man who a month later was mauled by a grizzly bow hunting in the Gravelly Mountains. He heard something move next to him and then the grizzly was on him, never had time to get the pepper spray out. The grizzly was not killed but he has been out of commission for a number of months.

      • Daniel Berg says:

        Sure, it’s not unreasonable to think that a number of the grizzly deaths could have been prevented, but can you imagine being approached or charged by a grizzly? There will inevitably be life or death clashes that will take place between grizzlies and humans from time to time, no matter how remote the location.

        The grizzly deaths that bother me are the ones where a reasonable person could have avoided killing it without risking their own life, or where they didn’t take basic precautions to avoid a conflict.

      • Ryan says:

        Daniel and Jon,

        From my expirience, grizzlys and people don’t mix well most of the time and the outcome is most often not good. It seems that grizzlies that get a few shots fired at them, seem to be a bit smarter but who knows. Habituated grizzlies are the biggest problem imho.

      • PointsWest says:

        …how about a bigger Park.

    • mikarooni says:

      Just for the record, there are a number of us who have had, for one reason or another, a significant amount of “face-to-face” experience with grizzlies in the field. Our experience generally leads us to believe that, if handled with either experience or a little training, many, if not most, “close encounters” at least start as bluffs or threats by the bears in which the animals make their presence and space known, then leave, and nothing more happens. Certainly this portion of encounters are not “attacks” unless the human escalates the incident, either through ignorance or bad intent.

      What worries me is the ease with which an ignorant or badly motivated “hunter” can define self-defense on his/her own terms and how the rhetoric about using guns as a first resort in any and all encounters exacerbates this problem. The incident in the Tetons, in which a well-known and demonstrably mellow and amiable sow merely looked up from her carcass and was shot from roughly forty yards off before she even moved toward the hunter, is certainly an example of where the current redneck trash talk about using guns over spray contributed to an unnecessary event.