Where do wolves stand?

Also, a discussion about wolf delisting

Here is an article that reasonably sums up where wolves are in the political landscape. Contrary to what I’ve read in other articles, it appears that Carter Niemeyer supports delisting only conditionally. He will likely be marginalized for it.

Niemeyer said that while he agrees wolves should be off the endangered species list, Simpson’s path to get there is inadvisable. “It sets a terrible precedent to delist them outside the normal delisting procedures,” he said. He worries that if the ESA is bypassed, slow and cumbersome as it may be, the results could open a Pandora’s box.

“Reasonable people need to prevail right now, otherwise we’re going to get a political fix that is going to be unacceptable.”

As debate rages, Wood River Valley sees less of predators.
By Ariel Hansen – Magic Valley Times-News

This mirrors my sentiment but I would add that I don’t think that the states or the USFWS have been negotiating in good faith. The states, particularly Idaho and Wyoming, and increasingly Montana, have a toxic view towards wolves. With the new draft legislation it appears that they don’t want to even consider managing wolves using science and rational thought. The legislatures seem to perpetuate every anti-wolf myth and made up tale that the anti side can come up with. The USFWS, despite contrary assertions by the extreme anti-wolf crowd, hasn’t budged from it’s stance that a sustainable wolf population only requires 10-15 breeding pairs per state even though those estimates were made at a time when understanding of wolves and population ecology was in its infancy. Now the science indicates that a much higher population is required.

While wolves are presently at levels where they could maintain a sustainable population and remain viable over the long term, the states have demonstrated that they will seek to at least drastically reduce their populations to the lowest numbers that they reach under their plans. But, as the draft legislation in Idaho and the U.S. Congress demonstrates, wolf foes are willing to go much farther. They seem to be comfortable with extermination of wolves all over again.

To support delisting under present conditions by wolf restoration supporters would be malpractice. There simply is not a rational or scientifically sound regulatory framework for wolf management in place right now despite the obvious path for constructing one. That is a requirement for delisting of any species and it just doesn’t exist right now.

The states and the USFWS refuse to take this path because of political expediency. The Department of Interior and the President have signaled their support for the easy way out which leaves wolves at risk of being beaten down to unsustainable levels once again because the radical anti-wolf agenda has perpetuated every possible myth they can.

Even the USFWS is cowering in their offices and their agents are standing down, leaving poached wolves uninvestigated across the three states. They don’t even have a wolf project leader in place.

Meanwhile, those who seek a rational way out of this mess are characterized as the radicals. Those who seek to uphold the law and simply ask that a rational, scientifically based management framework that values wolves as an integral and important species be established are characterized as extremists.

Don’t stand down. Ask for a more rationale plan to prevail. Contact your local and national representatives and tell them to support a rational plan and oppose the legislative efforts to delist wolves.



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  1. IDhiker Avatar

    -Edmund Burke

  2. matt bullard Avatar
    matt bullard

    Who will marginalize him for a comment like that? And I don’t necessarily see this comment as contrary to others I’ve read, but I’m sure you could find something. On the other hand, the press can do a masterful job of twisting words and comments and taking things out of context. Carter seems to have been pretty consistent on his position over the years.

    I happen to agree that wolves should NOT be delisted legislatively. If the condition is that wolves be delisted by a legal process as outlined by the ESA, then I agree with that condition. This whole process is a mess, though, and I have very little faith that reasonable voices will prevail. Of course everyone’s definition of reasonable is likely to differ. Maybe the one that pisses off the most people on both sides? But that suggests compromise – a dirty word. 😉

    1. Ken Cole Avatar

      There was a recent article that simplified what he has been saying which made it sound like he simply supported delisting and did not explain his conditional support.

      1. Phil Avatar

        Ken: Do you think Carter would approve of the state’s management of wolves if he read the current draft?

    2. Spangle Lakes Avatar
      Spangle Lakes

      Compromise? Kill all but 150 wolves in Idaho? Might be ok with you, but bad for wolves.

      1. Salle Avatar

        It seems that compromise, in the case of wolves, means that the wolf advocates give and the wolf-haters take, period. Haven’t we had enough of that over the last 17 years?

      2. nabeki Avatar

        This is what we’ve been saying all along. ” State management” is a euphemism for killing wolves.

        The states of Montana and Idaho have taken off the gloves and showed us what state management will look like, the eradication of wolves. It’s been a shell game all along. Wolves cannot survive in this toxic environment without the ESA. Heck they’re supposed to be protected by the ESA now and they’re still getting slaughtered by WS and SSS.

        The last time they were delisted 500 wolves died in the Northern Rockies in 2009.

        272 Wolves killed by Wildlife Services
        206 Wolves killed in hunts
        17 Wolves killed by private citizens
        13 wolves were illegally killed (that’s a joke, more like 130)
        3 wolves killed in accidents (mainly motor vehicle collisions)
        3 wolves died from natural causes
        Total = 514 dead wolves

        And the anti-wolfers say there is no wolf “managment”. There are lies and damn lies.

        Can you imagine how much worse this could get if the states got a hold of them again?

        There is no compromise on this unless we can move the date to 2050, when possibly attitudes will have changed.

  3. Phil Avatar

    I have contacted my state reps and here is what they sent me and am not quite sure on how they will vote for it. If they saw the true sentiments from the three states and how they want to approach the wolf delisting, then I am nearly 100% sure that they would not accept the bill, but I do not know how much of the wolf plan the three states will notify to the rest of congress members.

  4. Phil Avatar

    Sorry, wanted to delete some of what was on my last post, but forgot to. My congress sent me a lengthy email that would be to long to post on here, but her main statement is “I will keep in mind your point of view”.

    1. Salle Avatar

      That’s a far cry better than what my Senator had to say which, basically implied: too bad for you, I support the bully faction and their dumb-ass beliefs that wolves are a menace to them and society at large and I represent them only so f*^k you and thanks for your vote.

      1. Salle Avatar

        Oh, and the most important art of what my senator said was that the USFWS doesn’t know how to manage wolves and that the state knows how better than they do.

  5. Phil Avatar

    I like the statement from FWS and Idaho lawmakers in that
    ““Our goal is to make sure that the wolf’s recovery is maintained, and to return management to the states, where we feel it’s most appropriate,” Tollefson said. Really? Apparently FWS has not thoroughly read through the new draft on how Idaho will manage wolves.

  6. Phil Avatar

    Wow Salle. What state are you from, if you don’t mind me asking?

  7. Salle Avatar

    Montana, it was Max Baucus’ response to my visit with his “listener” who was actually in agreement with my comments. He is a rancher-boy and that’s who he sides with regardless of anything scientific that might strongly indicate otherwise. He absolutely said, in his reply letter, that the the MTFW&P know better how to manage wolves than the federal gov’t (USFWS). I posted it in its entirety in January when I received it, five weeks after my comments were made. Guess who I won’t even entertain thoughts of voting for, not that I ever did in his case… I didn’t like him for his stance on the YNP bison from years ago, he has no incentive to change that stance as long as extractive industry funders keep him in office. He certainly fails to represent all of his constituents, which he swore to do in his oath of office.

    1. Salle Avatar

      Sen. Tester had a “listener” at the same time/place but I never even heard from him.

    2. Elk275 Avatar

      How do you represent all of your constituents?

      1. Salle Avatar

        It’s a delicate balance of being open-minded and honest, communicate with constituents. Even if they didn’t vote for you, you still represent them, that’s why he’s there, supposedly. Baucus seems to go for those who are the landed genrty like him, even though he married into that realm. It’s like a reformed smoker (a smoker who quit smoking) being the most anal critic of smoking once they decide to be a non-smoker. At least that’s my perception of him and his politics.

      2. mikarooni Avatar

        It’s interesting. Max married up into that realm as you say, then proceeded to betray his marriage with a vengeance. Although he’s technically a Democrat, he’s long been known as another one of the “preach family values, but chase any tail you can catch” conservatives in DC. He has really behaved badly in his private life. I got a kick out of old Newt getting called on it at one of latest appearances; Newt’s always been even worse and lies about it, straight-faced and with absolutely no shame.

      3. Salle Avatar

        Well, I saw a documentary on sNewt some time ago, it was an interview with his mother… who despises him! She told all about his way of thinking. Funny (or not actually) how a tiny district in GA brought us this pariah.

    3. Phil Avatar

      Salle: I am from Michigan, and I am lucky to live in a state where Governor Snyder, congressmen/lady Levin and Peters are for wildlife and environment. I see the two states completely different in regards to wildlife. In my state hunting is big, but government regulations for hunting is basically for management purposes. The bringing in of the dollar is just a bonus. Montana, on the other hand, I see hunting as a source of income for the government, and that is why there are so many turmoil when issues like the wolf one comes about.

      1. Phil Avatar

        Salle: Also, I found Sarah Palin to be similar in character to Baucus in that she goes for individuals like herself. I did like McCain a lot, but his vice-presidential nominee was a major drawback for himesef.

      2. Phil Avatar

        mikarooni: Are you from Montana to?


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.

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