Says that the agreement is illegal

Today Montana District Court Judge Donald Molloy denied the settlement agreement put forth by 10 of the 14 environmental groups who sued to keep wolves protected under the Endangered Species Act.  The settling parties had asked the judge to set aside his previous ruling which found that the USFWS 2009 delisting rule was illegal because it split the distinct population segment (DPS) of wolves in the Northern Rockies and left them listed in Wyoming.  The Endangered Species Act does not allow the USFWS to partially delist a DPS.

“[The] District Court is still constrained by the “rule of law.” No matter how useful a course of conduct might be to achieve a certain end, no matter how beneficial or noble the end, the limit of power granted to the District Court must abide by the responsibilities that flow from past political decisions made by the Congress. The law cannot be ignored to accommodate a partial settlement. The rule of law does not afford the District Court the power to decide a legal issue but then at the behest of some of the litigants to reverse course and permit what the Congress has forbidden because some of those interested have sensibly, or for other reasons, decided to lay a dispute to rest.”

Order Denying Indicative Relief Motion

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.

195 Responses to Molloy denies wolf settlement

  1. Salle says:

    I’m glad he made that decision. I think it might be the only good news that we’ll hear for a while.

  2. Dude, the bagman says:

    He didn’t suddenly decide that the law’s requirements changed just because some of the parties changed their minds? What a shocker.

    Language is imprecise. Sometimes there’s room for interpretation and judicial discretion within the legal language. Sometimes there isn’t.

    I’m glad he acted with integrity and made a principled decision rather than caving into convenience and political pressure (unlike some other contemporary public figures).

    We’ll still hear people complain that he’s “legislating from the bench.” That’s exactly what he’s not doing here.

    • Salle says:

      He’s one of few who actually does his job the way it was intended.

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        Really I think that a few bad apples just make a much more memorable impression. No one pays attention when they just do their jobs.

        I also think there’s more of an incentive for lower court judges to get it right the first time. Unlike the Supreme Court, they can have their noses rubbed in a wrong legal decision if it’s successfully appealed and remanded. The Supreme Court is more free to be results-oriented.

        The only check on the Supreme Court is Congress. Congress can’t seem to be able to do anything these days but take campaign donations and make symbolic gestures to please their TV audience.

  3. Phil says:

    A judge must be neutral on all issues, and the decision he made shows his neutral siding on the wolf issue. Just because the 10 agreed to the settlement does not mean Judge Molloy would have.

    It would be really funny if the signs against Molloy put out by the anti-wolfers helped make his decision a bit easier to make.

    • c white says:

      I don’t see how those signs could have been missed! One read he was a ,”Mambi pamby” which I still never have heard before but doesn’t sound too nice huh? Nice way to show up at work- besides the other stupid signs saying, “Canadian gray wolves are another species” No people- I think you antis are!

  4. Bob says:

    One line you say he’s neutral, next line you say he may have been influenced. Makes me wonder.
    Really, who thought he’d change colors now, donald is what he always has been favorable to some causes.

  5. Phil says:

    Bob: The second statement of being influenced was just a joke which is why I stated “It would be funny…”.

  6. JimT says:

    After reading the opinion, it seems to me that the notion that all the parties not being in agreement on the settlement was one of if not the key issue for the judge in his ruling. Also, the fact that the case was in the docket of the appeals court was on his mind as well in terms of constraining the District Court powers. There is also considerable dicta addressing the equity problems of allowing wolves to be killed despite legal constraints and the clear intent of Congress as expressed in the ESA language.

    So, stay tuned….still don’t know if any ESA language made into the Budget. My fear is that somehow Tester and his ilk back doored it into the CR Obama signed, and somehow got both sides to agree the CR language would be folded into the budget agreement.

    • WM says:


      I think your quick summary covers it. The grounds for denial were pretty predictable, and even if ALL settling parties were in agreement, this train had already left the station. The Ct. of Appeals already had the case, with Molloy’s strong ruling under the law that breaking the DPS up was not permissible. I would guess, behind closed doors counsel for the proposed settling parties (both plaintiffs and defendants) did not believe there was a high probabilty a settlement would occur. It was a good showing of good faith however (or not on the parts of some).

      If there is a change in the law and wolves go off the ESA list, the follow up question will be whether the states go forward with the same sense of compromise. I don’t get a good feeling at this point.

      • JimT says:

        There is definitely a sense of momentum amongst this latest group of Sagebrush folks with the successful blackmail of the budget process, the social program changes they wanted and got, etc. There is certainly no rhetoric coming from any of the states, the politicians or interest groups indicating a sense of compromise is in the future for the wolf..and then, probably, the grizzly.

        yeah, I think that even with all the plaintiffs, he seemed to signal pretty strongly he would be reluctant to ask the Appeals Court to give up jurisdiction under the Rule 62 motion even if theoretically possible.

  7. JimT says:

    All in all, he is saying he can’t do it, he wont’ do it and has solid legal reasons for the opinion. A good jurist…

  8. So Western Watersheds Project and the other groups who didn’t go for the deal have been proven right. Judge Molloy would not allow a violation of the law, and Senator Tester was not the slightest bit impressed by Defenders of Wildlife, et al., willing to abandon their past principles. It looks like his delisting rider will become law.

    As I said, once this issue got on Congress’ agenda, a deal with the executive branch was meaningless.

  9. JimT says:

    Ralph, I have not heard one way or another if the rider made it through the process. If you have evidence that it did, please share…

  10. JimT says:

    Page 14 “Due to concern regarding potential extinction of an animal species, equity weighed toward leaving the listing rule in place while the Service remedied its procedural error and considered anew whether to list the species. ….The principle inferred is that if the invalid rule provides protection within the meaning of the ESA equity can authorize keeping it in place. Necessarily then, if the rule places the species at risk, equity would not prevail. the law would””

  11. JimT says:

    Love the language on pages 16-17 from Thomas More..LOL…

    The law, Roper, the law. I know what is legal, not what’s right.And I will stick to what is legal…I’m not God.””

  12. Mtn Mama says:

    I have wondered all along if the 10 groups that proposed the settlement knew that this would be the outcome and somehow thought that by looking like they were flexible that it would have some positive impact?? The 1st question I asked Defenders in repsonse to the settlement was “How has the law changed so that Molloy would accept the agreement?”

    • JimT says:

      I can tell you that the DOW folks made a good faith but very difficult decision in light of the Senate and House efforts to gut the ESA via the wolf issue to put forth a settlement approach. I don’t think they were playing political or legal games…

      • jon says:

        Jimt, you would probably know this. I heard a rumor that Rodger of dow is leaving dow to be Max Baucas’s chief of staff. Is this true or false? and if Rodger did leave, would Jaime Rappaport Clark most likely take his place since she’s the #2 over at defenders of wildlife?

      • Mtn Mama says:

        JimT, Thank You for your opinion on this, I value your opinion. p.s. check your FB friend request pls

      • JimT says:

        I will check and see if your news about RS at DOW is correct. I doubt he would go back to Max, however. And if it is true, Jamie would be the logical successor to Rodger given her background and VP status.

        MTN Mama…will do…

      • WM says:

        As of January this year, Roger S. announced his forthcoming retirement. Jamie Rappaport will succeed him, and that has been a part of the leadership succession plannning for some time. No indication of his future activies other than a general acknowledgement of retirement.

  13. JimT says:

    Tester statement on his provision to delist Montana wolves

    Saturday, April 9, 2011

    (U.S. SENATE) – Senator Jon Tester released the following statement regarding the inclusion of his language in a bipartisan budget agreement to delist Montana wolves and return their management to state biologists:

    “This wolf fix isn’t about one party’s agenda. It’s about what’s right for Montana and the West—which is why I’ve been working so hard to get this solution passed, and why it has support from all sides. It’s high time for a predictable, practical law that finally delists Montana’s wolves and returns their management to our state—for the sake of Montana jobs, our wildlife, our livestock, and for the sake of wolves themselves.

    “I appreciate Representative Mike Simpson’s leadership on this issue in the House of Representatives.”

    Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, is chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee.

    Congress is expected to approve the overall legislation next week.

    So, is this definitive proof that the ESA got gutted or what?

    • Ken Cole says:

      There was a short term CR that passed last night to fund the government for the next week. The rider was not in that bill.

      The bill that will contain the rider is being written as we speak and will be voted on this week.

      Yes, there is a chance that the rider could be removed but Wexler says:

      “Idaho and Montana have long maintained that they can responsibly manage wolf populations,” he said. “They may get the chance to prove that. And we’ll be watching.”

      I don’t have confidence that they can get the rider out if he’s saying stupid crap like that. He’s wrong to say that Idaho wants to “responsibly manage wolf populations” after they passed the wolf disaster declaration. He’s obviously not paying attention.

      • JimT says:

        So, who do we pressure to keep; this out amongst the Western Dems?

        I agree…CBD position is ludicrous given the extremist’s actions…

      • Ken Cole says:

        I don’t think the Western Dems are worth any effort with the exception of Boxer and Feinstein. Cardin, Kerry, Sanders and a few others might stand up though. I doubt that it will be pulled though. So far nobody has stood up against it.

      • Daniel Berg says:


        Do you think Murray (WA) or Cantwell (WA) are worth the effort?

    • wolf moderate says:

      So the wolves will be managed by the states?

  14. Phil says:

    Where have the Nez Perce Pride in all of this? I know they have management rights to a small population, but where do they stand on the issue?

    • Salle says:

      The Nez Perce were given a token role as advisors or consultants to the IDF&G but they don’t have any power anymore, not since what’s her name…? Gale Norton signed off on the ID management plan back in 2006. They don’t want their input and by making them part of the management cabal, so to speak, they are effectively silenced. The state never misses an opportunity to backhand the tribes. Gives you a little insight to their way of thinking, not that all residents of Idaho are that crazy, but the sane ones are sadly outnumbered by these zealots.

  15. Jane says:

    Thanks Judge Molloy for not weakening the integrity of the Endangered Species Act!!
    You 10 environmental groups were good intentioned. Now, lets get to work on our elected congressmen and see if we can’t stop these unlawful minded ruffians in Montana and Idaho from compromising the Endangered Species Act.
    Idaho’s congress passed an anti-wolf bill founded on their own fear of wolves and lies ( they need some serious educating about wolves and their social behavior).
    I call for the US Federal Marshals to find and arrest any and all of our governing elected officials who encourage any lawlessness toward wolves as they are protected by law.
    Furthermore, Idaho and Montana have shown us clearly that they are not capable of sane and sensible state management of their wolves.

  16. wolf moderate says:

    ” Idaho and Montana have shown us clearly that they are not capable of sane and sensible state management of their wolves.”

    The states did a very good job in 2009 implementing the first wolf hunt in decades. The wolves were not wiped out, nor were the quotas set by the states reached quickly like some were worried about. The states have had enough w/ the law suits and having the ability to “manage” wildlife w/in there own borders, IMO. Yes, they went overboard with this emergency wolf bill, but they have the political capital and decided to use (waste) it now that the momentum is in there favor.

    Why not support the states right to manage wildlife w/in there own boundaries, then IF they mis-manage the wolves, just re list them. Really, it’s the only option there is at the moment anyhow.

    • Phil says:

      wolf-moderate: Basically because of the actions taken by the governments on the management itself. Bounties, increased quotes yearly, hostility, etc are all reasons not to accept the government’s plans. Also, the wolf population itself seems like it is decreasing, so why tamper with it? Didn’t the government in Idaho extend the wolf hunts to March of 2010? Wasn’t that an extra 3 months of hunting after their original deadline?

      Going back to Jane’s comment on Federal Marshal’s going after these government officials, wouldn’t it be a possibility if it is found that this “Wolf Disaster” bill was not true? The government is basically creating pandemonia, so isn’t this unlawful without facts to back it up?

      • wolf moderate says:

        “Didn’t the government in Idaho extend the wolf hunts to March of 2010? Wasn’t that an extra 3 months of hunting after their original deadline?”

        Yes because the quota wasn’t reached. The wolves weren’t as easy to hunt as some of the environmentalists (?) thought I guess. Took 6 months to reach the quota!

      • Immer Treue says:

        Wolf Mod,

        Fair chase hunting of wolves will probably only find success when incidental to elk hunting in the west, deer in the East.

      • wolf moderate says:

        Correct Immer. Wolves will never become a “trophy” that hunters go out to seek on their own merit. Between hunting, possible bounties, WS, it will be possible to get the population to whatever the states deem sufficient. I’m thinking that Idaho will try and maintain at about 300 or so wolves, but obviously this is pure speculation. The states have an incentive to keep the wolf off of the ESA, so I think 300 would be the minimum that they would flirt with. Anything less and it would be too easy for the population to dip below minimum standards due to disease, poaching, inclement weather or whatever else. Then again who knows!

  17. Doryfun says:

    In observing that most folks on this blog seem to distrust the states fish and game agencies managing appropriately or not, makes me wonder. Is it because they might (and most likely) manage wolves at a minimum level, rather than an optimum level, that is the mega concern here? With as much of a black and white cultural stigma our society has on these animals, it would seem to me that returning management to the states would help alleviate a lot of swelling caused by all the venum produced by both sides.

    The states won’t have an incentive to kill enough wolves to get them listed again. And managing at minimum, rather than optimum, seems like a fair trade off to me (even though it may reduce my chance of seeing a wolf out in the wilds, which is disappointing, but better than seeing more animosity building like a volcano between humans). Once the top blows, we all know how wierd and inhumane people can get. I have more fear of the two legged wolf, than any four legged one.

    Also, since we have such an industry bent governor in this state, (not to mention backwards thinking; and “thinking” is a stretch ) I would far more see IDF&G management, despite Otters influence, because it would change (I hope) his desperate attempts to kill all wolves in the absence of any state management.

    • Immer Treue says:

      So, back to the if there had been a “season” on wolves this year, would this now be happening. Also, was Freudenthal being coy, holding his line in Wyoming, knowing this would happen, or is that giving him too much credit.

      What I’d like to see in wolf numbers per state matters little, as I personally have no control over those numbers. However, I am aware of hunters within the states who would have no trouble with 400-500 wolves per state, and adjust numbers up or down with elk population swings.

    • JEFF E says:

      A number of years ago Idaho stated that the management goal was to be between 10-15 breeding pairs (~100-150 individual wolves). Then there was a parvo outbreak in Yellowstone which reduced that population severely, with most of the POY dieing.

      Soon after that Idaho came out with the ~500 number which is what was reckoned to be the population in the state in 2007.
      While it was touted to be “the great compromise” in reality some biologist realized that one bad year would drop the state population below the minimum numbers stated in the reintroduction rule and put a sever setback in getting wolves delisted. IF the state drives the number down to the absolute minimum and a event such as what happened in Yellowstone occurs, coupled with hunting , livestock industry whining, and other causes of mortality, the population goes below the Min by very far then wolves will be re-listed, Congress be damned.
      So go ahead Clem, prove you’re an idiot………..again.
      You too Simpson.
      (of course the lawsuits at that point will be to prove the actual number and if or not below the minimum)

  18. WM says:

    With wolves expanding range and number, and migrating into WA and OR (and UT if they allow some to live), and eventually CO, there will likely be within five to ten years a “surplus” of sorts in some of these areas that will be ripe for translocation (or alternatively lethal control of some sort). The draft WA plan ( the final will likely continue this theme) contemplated moving some wolves around to keep densities down, or keep them out of certain areas, and, therefore conflicts lower.

    The 1994 EIS contemplated the possibility of infusion of new genetic stock or translocation to address the connectivity issue (there is a casual reference to this in Appendix 9, I think). And, as controversial as it will be, there are plenty that could be brought down from Canada to agument the original 66 that were dropped off in Central ID and Yellowstone NP.

    So, the numbers/ genetic diversity issue standing alone, that seems to upset so many people, is likely not as big an issue as some like to make it out to be.

    • WM says:

      And let me add, the unique factor to be considered with respect to the endangered status of wolves specifically, is that they have proven to be very efficient at rapid reproduction, resilient, and quite flexible in adapting when translocated. This uniqueness is something that the ESA, as interpreted in its current form, apparently is not as flexible as some would have hoped – even after the amendment to include Section 10 and specifically Section 10(j) which allows for the introduction and supposedly flexible management of “non-essential experimental populations.”

      The fact that Judge Molloy has posed an esoteric question regarding the mixing of the NRM “experimental population” and naturally in-migrating Canadian wolves from NW Montana is even more perplexing, and the legal consequences for protection is even further evidence that Congress had not anticipated the complex issues that are now coming up. This issue along with the institutional aspects (WY not having an acceptable management plan kept ID and MT management from implementation) of the attempted break up of protected and unprotected status within a DPS are proof of this.

  19. Phil says:

    Yes, wolves have proven to increase their reproduction successfully, but I would not call it a rapid growth. It depeds on the resources available in their ecosystems. The NRM ecosystems are perfect fits for wolves with plenty of food sources, range in territories, etc, but look at how difficult it has been with the Red wolves, Mexican gray wolves and the midwest gray wolves. Yes, the midwest wolves are numbering more then 4,000, but we have had an established wolf population for more then 4 decades now.

    If wolf numbers are dropped to 100, 200 or even 300, it may not affect their diversity in gene pool right away, but in years to come it more than likely will (IMO). As I have stated before, I to believe the wolf population in the NRM is recovered (in regards to the original proposed plan), but many do not have a trust in having the states responsibly manage wolves, especially through some public hunters.

    wolf moderate: I understand that the hunts did not fulfill their quota and is why they extended the hunting period, but why not stick to the original plan? Isn’t the original plan of wolf numbers a big cry and whine tactic coming from the states? By extending the hunting period it shows extreme measures at getting the numbers down. What other extreme measures are they willing to go to in reducing their numbers? The answer lies within the more then 5 proposed bills to delist certain to all wolves in this country.

    • Salle says:

      About two years ago it was reported that signs of inbreeding were observed in the YNP population of wolves… and their numbers have been dropping annually for a few years now. Perhaps the latest tally will prove to be an improvement, but I doubt it.

      • WM says:


        If I understand correctly from the work of Doug Smith chief wolf scientist at YNP, as well the folks at UCLA (that would be Robert Wayne and Bridget vonHoldt) the population drop in YNP was more a direct function of having gone through the excess elk supply (caused by the improved habitat of the 1980’s fires in the Park). The genetic modeling work of vonHoldt was isolated to YNP, to which you refer, did not factor in the adjacent out/in migration area. There was a study using data through 2006, which was released last October by vonHoldt/Smith et al. that showed genetic diversity was not a problem, and refuted the earlier erroneous conclusions (by DOW and used in the first delisting suit).

    • Salle says:

      They will cry this song until they have carte blanche to kill, by every means possible, every wolf they see… this includes use of poisons and trapping with intolerable lapses of time between trapline checks so that ultimate suffering, for the wolves, is adequately administered as well because they hate these animals so much that simply killing them isn’t enough, they have to suffer too.

    • bret says:

      Phil : The states of ID and MT both said from the start of the hunts, this is” new territory for us” and tried to be flexible as conditions warranted they had a goal and when the goal was not met they extended the season 3 months and closed the season 2 wolves short of the intended harvest no#. I would not call that an extreme measure.
      what will be extreme is the complete gutting of the ESA in this political environment due in large measure to the continued insistence of Federal protections for wolves when it is no longer needed.

      • Phil says:

        bret: Yes, gutting the ESA is extreme, but just because the quota goal was not met there was an extension of the hunts to get near the goal. The extreme was for the states to reach that goal they implemented in reducing the population as much as they could (even though in the end the population pretty much remained the same).

        I tend to disagree with you bret. Protection is still needed for wolves, but not so much for the current numbers, but rather more for the hatred high powered officials have towards them. I would suggest to wait 3-4 years before deciding whether or not a hunting season is needed, because the population in Idaho (according to recent counts) fell a pretty good amount. See where the population is in the 3-4 year period and go from there, but only if it is a responsible management plan. I am against the huntings in all because nature would eventually catch up with the species count, which could be a big reason as to the cause of the current population drop, but to satisfy everyone a waiting period should occur. Off course I am not a legislature in the states, so this is my opinion.

      • wolf moderate says:

        The wolves population is too high right now IMO. They affect residents of the affected states, thus should be reduced. Personally I think a number of about 500 for Idaho would be about right. Of course many others have different numbers, from zero to infinite. The fact that wolves self regulate their own numbers is not a feasible way to manage the population. Boom and bust cycles is no way to manage the wolves, because many people in the state rely on elk and deer herds for their livelihood and recreation. Whether you agree or not doesn’t really matter, due to the fact that the states voting electorate feel the same way. Waiting 3-4 years is not going to happen and furthermore if it is tried, then that will give even more ammo for the anti’s to push congress to revise the ESA. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”, remember that ;). Same goes w/ this “emergency” wolf legislation. This will cause the anti’s to lose some points w/ the “moderates”.

      • jon says:

        What exactly is high to you? and can you please tell everyone how many cougars, bears, elk, deer, etc are in Idaho compared to the 1000 wolves?

      • william huard says:

        So Wolf Moderate what animal is next when we start allowing politically motivated responses to the Endangered Species Act? Wolverines? Mountain lions? Red Tailed Hawks” North Atlantic Right Whales?

      • wolf moderate says:

        Wolves are not endangered, that is the point. Also, Molloy is not going to side w/ you guys anyways, so unsure as to why ya’ll or so happy about his recent ruling. I would bet $500 w/ anyone on this.

        The only reason that wolves are still listed is due to politics.

        I’ve said this several times, I love wolves and think they are vital to ecoysystems, but there must be a balance struck w/ regards to what the people of the states want, so long as they are not endangered. Personally, the way the DOW and others are using the courts is really getting me pissed off and many others also. The ESA needs to be revised and I see that happening very soon.


      • WM says:

        Wolf mod,

        ++The only reason that wolves are still listed is due to politics. ++

        Actually, it is more likely the only wolves are still listed is an inflexible statute (ESA), which has been used by strident wolf advocates to keep them listed.

        I would bet that a number of the plaintiffs in this last round of delisting litigation wish they had not asserted a claim about the law not allowing partition of a DPS into listed and delisted areas along state line boundaries (with the ID/MT part being delisted while WY remained listed).

        That is what brought the delisting to a screechy grinding halt, allowed the states to vent and may ultimately result in the NRM wolves being taken off the list in this budget compromise.

        I’ll say it again, as I did when they raised this issue at the start of the suit, “be careful what you wish for.” The creative lawyers (whose clients ultimately have the final decision on which way to proceed) came up with this argument. The dumb shit DOW and about thirteen other pro-wolf groups bought into it. And the fault lies there. (Ralph will probably cut off my posting privilege for saying this, but it needs to be said). The problem is most of the pro wolf crowd won’t understand what I just said. Then ten of these groups tried to put the genie back in the bottle by the last minute settlement when they knew the thing had gone political with the “legislative solution.”

        This thing could have remained solely about the science of wolf recovery, but they took it a different direction with the DPS argument to their peril, and coincidentally the wolves they are trying to protect. I guarantee you will never see that in an accomplishment piece from any of the plaintiff groups.

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        (1) The Secretary shall by regulation promulgated in accordance with subsection (b) of this section determine whether any species is an endangered species or a threatened species because of any of the following factors:

        (A) the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;

        (B) overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;

        (C) disease or predation;

        (D) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or

        (E) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

        One of these things is not like the other one. I agree that wolves aren’t currently biologically endangered. However, once the Act’s protections are removed they would no longer be adequately protected by regulation. When wolves were delisted a few years ago, the majority of Wyoming’s wolves outside of Yellowstone were killed within a few weeks.

        That’s the kind of protection local politics provided. So you’re right – wolves are still on the list because of politics. Another way of saying that is that wolves are still endangered because of a political unwillingness to assure their survival at a biologically sustainable level. You can’t divorce politics from biology in a conservation-dependent species.

  20. Paul White says:

    what kills me is these states are acting like wolves are new there…the reintroduction happened what, mid 90s? 15 years now? They haven’t killed people or destroyed jobs yet. I’m not opposed to hunting wolves and allowing some controls AFTER they’ve re-established themselves in meaningful numbers across some more of their range, but they haven’t yet. They’re still confined to what, 7-8 states in the lower 48?

    • jon says:

      Jim Beers said that there are wolves in 21 states in the united states. I would like to know where he got this information from.

      • Paul White says:

        no frigging way, unless you’re counting captives. Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Michigan, Idaho, Utah (I think?) Colorado (as a possible) and New Mexico (with the Mexican Gray) are what comes to mind. I may be missing a few though. For some reason I’m not able to find a current (within the last 2 years) nationwide estimate of who has how many wolves.

        • Ken Cole says:

          Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Mexico, and South Carolina have confirmed populations of wolves. There have been wolves killed in Utah, Colorado, Missouri, Massachusetts, and I think a couple of other Midwestern states. There have also been reported sightings in the Dakotas Maine, New York, and Nevada.

      • mikarooni says:

        The aptly named Beers must be using a count developed at Utah State by Dr. Kay.

      • Savebears says:

        I would guess it would come down to what he is considering wolves, as there is crossbreeds in the wild in some states as well. I am not saying he is right, just that we don’t know what he is claiming in his states count..

      • william huard says:

        I think you got them all Ken. Based on what we have seen from wolves coming south from Canada into Montana there is no reason not to believe that there are wolves in New York State and Maine

      • Phil says:

        If Jim Beers is counting captive wolves, then there would be wolves in all states. Jim Beers may be counting Alaska (due to its size) as multiple states? He seems pretty foolish enough to do something like that. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but wolves reside in the states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, Montana, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, North Carolina, I believe Louisiana has a very small population of Red wolves, but could be wrong, and Alaska. If this is accurate, that would be 13 states. I have heard some rumors of wolves, possibly coyote/wolf hybrids, taking territory in the eastern portion of the country, maybe New York?

      • Phil says:

        Sorry, but just caught Ralph’s post of the states with wolves in them. Thanks Ralph.

      • Phil says:

        …or Ken. Woops.

      • jon says:

        Well Beers thinks that wolves are just another dog and they are no different than the coyote or domestic dog. Maybe he’s counting coywolves?

      • MAD says:

        I have spent a lot time in the past researching and working with folks on the issue of wolf reintroduction and potential natural recolonization of wolves in the Northeast (having grown up and worked in NY for most of my life).

        The problem with wolves in the Northeast is the human pop. densities, road densities and availability of prey. Some areas are well-suited but most are not. Now add in the fact that the Eastern Coyote (which originally migrated from the West) has interbred with the historical wolves from the Northeast (Eastern Timber Wolf which is a distinct species from the Gray Wolf, not a subspecies). There is still a remnant of these smaller Eastern Timber Wolves in Ontario and Algonquin Park. Additionally, USFWS cannot officially recognize the eastern TW as accustomed species because it would br mandated to draft a plan relative to it. Also, if there are naturally migrating wolves from this remnant population in Canada, they would also have to address that. So, FWS has officially says, there are no wolves in the Northeast, and the Eastern Timber wolf us the same as the sold in the Great Lakes Region. This has been shown to be incorrect due to genetic testing over the last 10 years.

        Any way you look at it, there will never be wolves in the Northeast.

      • wolf moderate says:

        So the Eastern States profited off all there land and now want to make the West a park for there citizens? Sorry but you guys trashed your ecosystem and that’s sad, but don’t you think it’s wrong to try and dictate to other states not to do what your own state has done?

        My brother, cousins, and uncles/aunts live in Alaska and it’s the same thing. The lower 48 wants to make/keep Alaska as some kind of nature preserve for the rich whites. Who else can afford to visit Alaska? Anywho, the West is doing just fine managin the lands.

        Is there room for improvement? Of course! But the improvement should come by way of suggestions from the citizens of the state, not from out of staters. Yeah, yeah, but the NRM has lots of Federal lands, well then we need to change that. Look at what the Feds have done to the GYE and YNP. Yuck. Denali? Yuck. Do not get me started on Yosemite!

      • Jay says:

        Wolf Mod.–Alaska was purchased by the taxpayers of the United States of America–why shouldn’t they have some say in how the resources are divvied out? We didn’t purchase it for a bunch of recluses to move up there and use and abuse as they see fit with no oversight whatsoever. Same with Idaho to a lesser extent–Idaho is near 2/3’s federal land–land gained off the toils of the Federal Gov’t, not Idahoahoans. US citizens have every right to have their input on how federal lands will be managed.

      • JB says:

        “Anywho, the West is doing just fine managin the lands…Look at what the Feds have done to the GYE and YNP. Yuck. Denali? Yuck. Do not get me started on Yosemite!”

        Huh? I’m curious who you think manages the Federal lands of the West? You seem to be torn between your desire to claim that everything is just fine with federal land management so (and I’m paraphrasing) “leave us alone” and your desire to assert that the Federal government is incompetent. Google “motivated cognition” and let us know if the “shoe” fits.

        Personally, I think Yellowstone and Grand Teton are remarkably well-managed given the number of visitors they see and the very few resources available to these parks. The management regime focuses tourists (and their impacts) to a very few sites, leaving most of the acreage to wildlife and those willing to don a backpack and do some work. It seems to me they’ve struck a reasonable compromise between protection and use.

      • Alan says:

        You know Wolf Mod, you are one of the very few people I have ever known to say “Yuck” to Yellowstone, Denali and Yosemite!
        “…Sorry but you guys trashed your ecosystem and that’s sad…”….but we out west have every right to do the same to our states! It’s unamerican to learn from our mistakes! Is that really what you are defending? Each of the parks you mentioned certainly have their share of management problems, but would you prefer them locked away as private land? Perhaps a hydro-electric plant harnessing the power of the lower falls of the Yellowstone? Trophy homes scattered through Hayden Valley? One nice big private ranch in Lamar, with a big iron gate and “no trespassing signs”?
        How about a McMansion on top of El Capitan, or at the base of Yosemite Falls? Or thousands of oil wells as far as the eye could see across Denali’s expansive landscape? Without federal ownership of these lands, you can pretty much bet that is what you would have. We have fifty states, not fifty countries. We are one country. We are allowed to learn from mistakes, even if we often refuse to.
        It always amuses me to hear some folks scream about how federal lands, and especially Wilderness and Parks, somehow “lock up” land for the elite, when the opposite is actually true. Such protections insure that these lands will never be “locked up”, they will always be available for every American; not just those who own them, because we all own them. Of course you have to be able to travel to them to see them, but that’s true about everything in this country. You can’t go to the movies without paying. I would love to see it made possible for every single man, woman and child in America to be able to visit a National Park at least once in their lifetime. I think it would give them a whole new perspective on life. I think everyone shoud be given a voucher at birth good for one trip to a National Park of their choice; but then I wouldn’t want to be accused of being some kind of socialist!

  21. wolf moderate says:

    Well put Bret. The loons now have momentum on there side and the time for compromise has passed unfortunately. The Idaho Legislature will be implementing some pretty extreme measures against wolves that one or two years ago they would never have tried. Many “moderates” including me are aligning more w/ the anti wolfers due to the frivolous lawsuits that the pro wolfers keep using to keep the wolves listed. In the long run this will do nothing but hurt wolves and the environment in general.

    It sucks that there are a few on either side that won’t budge. The Salle’s and Gillette’s of the world are what make things so difficult. What these short sighted individuals don’t have is vision. They have no grasp on the big picture.

    • william huard says:

      With all due respect there Wolf Mod, Salle may be on the other side of the ideological spectrum from Ron Gillette, but Salle has a firm grasp on reality, which is more than I can say for the Rockheads, Toby Bridges, Bruce Hemmings, and their redneck ilk complete with conspiracy theories

      • wolf moderate says:

        Read some of the posts as of late. They are complete hyperbole, which I love! Who want’s to read boring stuff that’s been hashed and rehashed over and over and over. Now we have some saying that they have nothing left to lose and it’s time to become martyrs! This is going to get crazy in the coming months and years w/ the vast differences in ideologies and principles. If you don’t think some really dicey stuff is on the horizon, then you have your blinders on. Come on the Salle’s and Ertz’s of the country vs the Gillett’s and rockholm’s. How interesting is this going to get.

      • william huard says:

        Yeah there is some really dicey stuff on the horizon. You have one party that believes the free market is the answer to all our problems, including letting a profit driven private insurance market system make decisions about our seniors. This same party has been saying for decades that lower taxes for the rich means more job creation, when the exact opposite has been the case. This is the same party that wants to allow Wall Street to gamble with our future again after the biggest disaster in 75 years. This is a party that has had it’s body taken over by a bunch of ideologues who don’t think that being responsible for only one third of government means that they have to compromise! Who cares about cancer screenings we want funding stopped for Planned Parenthood!

      • william huard says:

        As Republicans we love unborn fetuses and tax cuts. We’ll have plenty of time to persecute them after their born.

      • wolf moderate says:


        I do hate and have great disdain for some of the conservatives who want to slash the social programs that people will need if they are unable to get abortions. Some are unable to support children w/o government money, and this is where I get really confused. On one hand they want no abortions and on the other they want to slash or greatly reduce funding for these same ppl.

        Okay, we’ve derailed again from the topic at hand, so gotta stop. Seeya

  22. Ron Kearns says:

    I emphatically disagree with those who would characterize the 10 groups’ requests for the settlement as commendable, good intentioned, et cetera. Requesting a federal judge to violate long-established law—in addition to overturning his own ruling—is unconscionable. I am a life member of one of those 10 groups and I have contributed membership fees to two others (as well as contributing to Earthjustice). Asking any judge to violate the law is ludicrous—regardless of supposed or real intensions.

    For me, there will always be an immutable blemish on the group of 10 regarding their efforts to circumvent the rule of law. I will not ‘resign’ from my life membership but I have made my disgust known and I will not contribute membership fees to the other two groups for an indeterminable period.

    I commend Judge Molloy for making the only ruling he could within the law.

    • Salle says:

      I have to agree with that, well stated and is truly the only/right way to look at that situation.

    • JimT says:


      It is sometimes too easy to condemn actions by folks, especially when we don’t really know the efforts that have gone on to try and stop this legislative effort in DC that is using wolves as the trigger point, but will have consequences far beyond wolves in the future if successful.

      As for the illegal part, Rule 62 indicative rulings under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure are perfectly legal, and have been used frequently over the years. After reading the opinion several times, I believe Judge Malloy ruled correctly given the facts before him, and the precedent in his District and the Ninth Circuit, the controlling law for him in this case.

      You may disagree with the tactic…and there certainly is room for disagreement there…but it wasn’t illegal by any stretch of the imagination.

      • Ron Kearns says:


        Thank you for your reply. I too have read the Order. As a nonlawyer, the settlement still appears to me—as I have previously stated—an attempted extralegal end-run around the rule of law. However, I certainly have no legal credentials to argue any point of law.

      • Brian Ertz says:

        The settlement was unlawful – the judge revoking a stay of the decision and allowing the settlement to take effect may or may not be unlawful – it appears the judge determined it would be – but at the very least, it would in essence be to allow an unlawful rule to take effect.

        more importantly – the settling plaintiffs have been arguing that political determinations ought not decided delisting decisions this whole time — then, whether one agrees with the tactic or not — they succumb to hypocrisy in that regard.

        by pushing forward with the settlement without assurances from Tester and others that legislation would be pulled, the settling parties made a media show out of their political weakness, which does not contribute to the goal of compelling the proponents of legislation to relent – in fact, just the opposite.

      • Ron Kearns says:


        Thank you for those perspectives.

      • WM says:


        Do you disagree with the idea that had the DPS issue not been brought up, the delisting would have continued forward in Molloy’s courtroom on the science, with a NRM population that was in line with the respective state plans (numbers at least for WY, regardless of other aspects that resulted in disapproval of its plan? Or, do you believe the multiple legislative “solutions” still would have been sought?


        Everyone, do recall Judge Molloy’s ruling was on appeal, which means there was some chance the Court of Appeals could have disagreed with his interpretation of the law (I personally tend to think they would not have disagreed, but you never know, especially what the 9th Circuit), and that was a point of leverage for the “settlement” that the defendants would have tried to maximize.

      • WM says:

        Sorry, (…. especially WITH the 9th Circuit)

      • Brian Ertz says:


        Of course, had the FWS put forward a delisting rule that was lawful given the clear language of the ESA then the issue would be resolved on contestable facts.

        However, I don’t think the appeal was leveraged to any discernible extent with respect to any settlement – I think the promise of political delisting was always understood – and I don’t think that there was or is any indication that the push for legislative delisting would have waned should the settlement have been put into effect.

        the question remains the same — do wildlife advocates relent in enforcing existing law for fear of political controversy that may or may not threaten that existing law ? i think folk look at it on an individual basis given particular circumstance – but as a matter of practicality, the question – if asked for wolves – has always had the answer “no”.

    • Virginia says:

      I would agree with you Ron, and you explained how I feel about these groups correctly. To expect the judge to overturn his ruling would ask him to undermine his integrity and, in doing so, these groups sacrificed their credibility with me.

      • Salle says:

        I would like to add that even though, as JimT points out, it may have been legal to take that route, in this case the appearance of illegality or ~ the way judges are perceived in the region and among the opposing parties ~ can matter in how the situation and argument base looks after the dust settles and how valid the arguments appear thereafter. Aside from many of the other points above.

      • Ron Kearns says:


        You concisely expressed the main concept regarding this matter—that is, judicial and extrajudicial credibility.

  23. Salle says:

    William H,

    I thank you for standing up for me in my absence. I had to go out for my 15K ski, not many good days left to go out as it’s starting to get warm and the snowpack is deteriorating. But I just HAD to go since I know there are wolves where I go skiing and wanted to see if they had been active in that area in the last 24 hours. Didn’t see anything new but did see really fresh tracks yesterday, it was a gas just seeing the tracks and following them for a spell.

    I think WoMod has a problem accepting the times when he’s just dead wrong or can’t get the upper hand, so to speak, in an argument so he throws out some red herrings and bails.

    As for his martyr comment, I think he’s referring to my earlier comment about having nothing of value left to lose, which I did claim since I have nothing of value to anyone who isn’t my size and weight! (I’m referring to my personal outdoor equipment there.) The job market is a joke and the unemployment figures only relate to those actively receiving benefits, and career age is fading fast for those of us who happen to be over 40. What would I have to lose if I decided to become a full-time activist? That was my point which he also failed to grasp. (I suspect he gets too much pleasure over at the blowhardblog, they sure do like him on that site. and perhaps he is a troll from that group, or some other.)

    I know Ron Gillette’s MO quite well, had run-ins with him years before the wolf issue became his rant of the decade. I won the most vehement argument we ever had, in fact, since it took place out in the Frank Church while I had about 27 clients to witness his uncalled for tirade, he helped me get a hefty tip from them for the show… especially since I won the argument in a rather tactful manner. He’s just a bitter, stupid, and old man who hates anything that doesn’t go his way. I am honored to be compared to him as an opposite ~ including the part where he doesn’t have a grip on reality, and I hope that I can truthfully admit that I do.

    Maybe WoMod can relate to him more than me and, therefore, can’t get the victory lap in our discourse which prompts his silly remarks about me. He has no idea who I am nor what I’m really about so I don’t really care what he says about me. Besides, he doesn’t understand a bunch of things that he harps about ~ even though he’s had many points explained to him countless times in language/terms that even a third grader would understand… and I think he’s just a troll looking for a fight, as trolls will do.

    But again, I thank you for your support.

    • wolf moderate says:

      “, I think he’s referring to my earlier comment about having nothing of value left to lose,”

      Yes Salle, I was referring to your previous post. I think it’s funny that when people don’t get there way they go off the deep end. That’s all, you have been beaten by Simpson’s Rider and soon to be Molloy’s ruling. Become an activist if you aren’t doing anything else. Why not? I think I’m going to move up out of Stanley and watch as “Rome” burns myself!

      PS: I am no troll and I do not frequent any other sites other than this one and the Primos Elk Hunting Forums. I went to the BBB because you and Jon tried to get me banned from this site due to some bloggers over there liking my views…Typical liberals, if they find someone w/ differing views they try to silence them. Anywho, glad you had fun on your xcountry skiing, not too many more days left 😉

    • william huard says:

      I just have to ask you- you weren’t in mortal fear for your life with all those killing machines all around?

      • Salle says:

        Nope. I wish I could see them out there but I also don’t want to further endanger them by being too close. I would have been afraid if I encountered the griz that i know passes through the area about this time of year, though. that’s one experience I have been able to avoid, only narrowly a couple times, but so far I’ve been really lucky with that. i did walk up on one a few years ago that didn’t see or hear or smell me, the wind was in my favor there. I left the area in a cold sweat as I was quite a ways from my vehicle when it happened. I had the same experience with a coyote about an hour later at a different place, because the wind was passing in a perpendicular direction between us so it never saw or smelled me until it was almost at my feet. Boy was that a surprised coyote.

        But wolves, no, I am not afraid of them, I don’t ski/walk in places they might be with dogs so I don’t have any reason to be afraid.

      • jon says:

        You’re probably more likely to be shot by a hunter than attacked by a wolf. Believe it or not, there has been cases where people were shot by hunters because the hunter thought they were a bear or a deer.

  24. william huard says:

    I hope you know I was only kidding.

    • Salle says:

      Yes, but I thought I’d answer anyway… just because.

      jon, I know, quite well, not to go out in the woods during hunting season for that very reason. Americans with guns in the woods have always been a bad combo because so many of them, not all, are too trigger-happy. I shoot guns on occasion but I don’t hunt, don’t ever want to… and I’m not very fond of meat whether it’s wild/organic game or carefully selected organic stuff from a trusted source.

      And for those who like meat and can’t get enough regardless of where it originates I offer you this to ponder:

  25. Doryfun says:


    Was curious about what kind of clients you had when you got into confrontations with Gellette? Were you guiding? Ron Gillette is an embarrassment to the outfitting and guiding profession to which I belong. He is like a circus side show. I’ve seen him in action at sportshows, years ago, and found it rather disgusting. (had to hold my wife back from getting into another side show with him).

    Haviing enjoyed many of your posts over time, I can only see poor humor when Wolf Mod compares you to Ron. Also, having read many of WMod posts over time, I find his “moderate” handle quite amusing, considering the amount of bias and prejudice that indicate just the opposite.

    I appreciate other ideas and input, and think he has had some valid points here and there, and told myself I would never get into personal attacks (off issue) on this blog, but never saying anything, sometimes means giving silent support for those we don’t agree with when they go beyond reasonable discourse.

    • Salle says:

      Indeed. I like the last paragraph in your last comment.

      My best RG story is a good one. It was a long time ago and I was working for a river rafting transport operation… I brought the folks down to the river and picked them up at the other end in a slightly modified 40-something ft long school bus, sometimes with a trailer carrying a sweep behind into Boundary Cr and out at Cache Bar – I met most of the outfitters in the area at the time. On this occasion I had a small private trailer behind so you can imagine how there was a “no backing” concern here. RG rented a bus from the co I worked. He was on his way out, I was on the way in. There’s real narrow road, like one to one and a half lanes for traffic, up past Ayers Meadow and it was on a hill and a steep slope to my right, rock wall on the left.( I was told at the beginning of the season that I, in this situation when meeting oncoming that I had the right of way.) As I came around a narrow curve with no pullouts in the last half mile or so, I met up with “Mr. niceguy” driving an empty bus. I stopped and watched him roll right past a very convenient pullout, right up to my radiator and proceeded to honk and yell at me to back that thing up and get out of his way. My clients, the soon to be rafters, had a “put-in” time to meet and I wasn’t going to blow it for them.

      RG eventually got out to yell at me at the door, which put him a couple feet below me so that I was able to look down on him whilst setting him straight, it was quite the show. He told me he would have me fired when he got back to town. I replied that he’d be doing me a big favor considering the crappy wages I got. That just fired him up, he got so red-faced and went off about lord-knows-what for a couple minutes and eventually got back to the part where he was going to get me fired and was now ready for another response from me. So I calmly told him that I was fine with him getting me fired and all but, in order to get back to town to get me fired he was going to back up his bus and use the pullout directly behind him so I could get out of his way and then he could go back to town and get me fired.

      This was followed by yet another explosion, during which he retreated to his bus and, grinding gears backed it into the pullout, cursing me the whole time that I drove slowly past him ~ at my passengers request because they wanted to get a good look at this clown. They gave me a round of applause and a big tip. It was so comical and rewarding on so many levels.

      • william huard says:

        So the point is he has been a certifiable lunatic for a long time now, this isn’t sudden onset Alzheimers

      • Salle says:

        Oh, goodness no. Every one in the area knows him as a bully, woman-hater, nearly everybody else-hater. And he takes himself so seriously. I also know that the majority, as Doryfun points out, of outfitters and other business proprietors in the area also find him an embarrassment to the community. I think the only folks that take any interest in him are hapless tourists who mistakenly hire his “services” or are wolf-haters too ~ and even they seem to be disenchanted with him for the most part.

      • Doryfun says:


        I;m not a 100% sure on this, but it seems I remember that RG is barred from being a member of the IOGA (Idaho Guides and Outfitters Association) long ago, due to his unprofessional conduct. Angry people like this border on the “dangerous” ticking time bomb side. It’s good to have some back up when standing up against those filled with so much hate.

      • Elk275 says:


        Since you live in Grangeville is the South Fork of the Clearwater fishing well? I have been wanting to do some Steelhead fishing. Is it worth going over there this late?

      • Doryfun says:

        Elk 275,

        Sorry, didn’t see your post until now, so perhaps a little late in answering (based on all the comments below this one). In anser to your question, I don’t live in Grangeville, and the South Fork are just over the hill as the crow flies, but all the same I am guessing the fishing to be slow. I don’t fish it, nor pay much attention to conditions or reports about such there. But here on the Salmon, we are at the tail end of steelhead season, as is most upper reach tribs that feed the Snake. Most folks in our region fish the little Salmon higher up, following the rear-enders nearing spawning grounds, or dump grounds (smolt release areas) in many cases, before they turn around to head back towards the ocean. So go high, if you go at all, would be my advice. Check to be sure it is still open (the upper part of our big river closed at the end of March). Good luck. Fish on!

    • wolf moderate says:


      That was well put. Staying above the fray is hard to do. I shouldn’t get upset when people try to ban me for sites that find my point of view correct, well probably more interesting than correct. I will try to abide by your standards when posting on this blog. They are they right way to conduct one self.


  26. howlcolorado says:

    This settlement was never going to be accepted by Molloy. The basis of his original decision was a to-the-letter interpretation of the law.

    This decision to not accept the settlement was a decision similarly reached. This was an attempt by the groups to try and pull the teeth of the legislators and maintain some of the controls they believed needed to be there.

    The current rider is very worrying if the language remains intact. The constitutional legality of preventing future judicial review is at best… dubious.

    I would assume, should the rider remain intact and attached as it currently is when the final language is released, there will be some attempt to shine a judicial light on the bill on constitutional grounds. I don’t believe one branch of government can exclude one of the other two. I don’t believe the president can simply write his own law and sign it and add “may not be reviewed by congress” and call it good.

    It’s gonna be a messy few months. Lawmakers would be far better off letting a few senators and representatives in a few states suffer the ire of some disenfranchised minorities than allow that rider to stay intact when the opposition could be so willing to make this a head-on fight between the supreme court and congress.

  27. howlcolorado says:

    The other question I suppose has to be asked is this:

    At what point did wildlife advocacy groups go too far and bring this on themselves?

    Had they focused their efforts on trading their funding (specifically speaking of Defenders of Wildlife) for more specific and tangible goal of creating a scientific oversight committee to review recovery goals and keep states honest in terms of not following the rhetoric regarding 100 wolves per state, would this situation have ever arisen?

    Was it the push to leverage Wyoming (a state which should always be treated differently while they insist on being completely unreasonable) to lock down Montana and Idaho the catalyst that won wolves a minor victory but put them on a path to a lost war?

    The rider (constitutionally legal or not) was a predictable path legislative game players were likely to take. Did Defenders of Wildlife make a bed and now they are being forced to sleep in it?

    This is not designed to become a DOW bashing discussion, but instead a 10,000 feet high overview of what brought us to this situation. When did science finally leave this debate?

    • Savebears says:

      Science for many of the players left this debate several years ago.

      I am curious, which portion of the constitution do you feel this rider violates, now take into account I am against congressional delisting, but based on what I have been hearing and reading, it does look like it has a strong chance of happening.

      • timz says:

        For the politicians and other anti-wolf zealots in Idaho science was NEVER in the debate.

      • jon says:

        Look at this nutcase Gillette talk. He calls the canadian gray wolves wildlife terrorists and he also calls defenders of wildlife terrorists.1 minute 21 seconds into the video and you will hear Gillette say “I’m so sick of hearing of hearing biology and science and all that you and you are probably too”. Although his bark is most likely louder than his bite, people like him are a severe threat to those that feel native wildlife have a place in the ecosystems of Idaho.

      • jon says:

        And there was some moron over at the bbb blog that called wolves poachers. These loons are so far out of touch with reality, it’s lunacy. I guess that person couldn’t grasp the fact that wolves are wild animals and don’t follow laws created specifically for people.

      • Savebears says:

        It is a well known fact that He is a zealot and a nutcase with no ties to sanity, we have discussed many times on this blog in the past..

      • howlcolorado says:

        The rider as written states that the 2009 Department of Interior ruling that wolves in Montana and Idaho be reinstated and that such a reinstatement should not be subject to judicial review.

        Congress does not have the power to exclude the President (executive) or Supreme Court (judicial) branches from any part of their duty of oversight. And vice-versa. Though recent presidential regimes have certainly been shaky on this… I would argue that line veto is awfully close to being unconstitutional.

        Presidents can veto, supreme court can review for legality. It would seem unconstitutional to attempt to prevent that.

        Perhaps if the rider specifically addressed Wyoming (i.e. adding a condition by which Wyoming would also be unlisted) then the judicial review may not overturn it.

        The rider as written ASSUMES it’s illegal and is trying to prevent a judge from overturning it… again. ESA does indeed make it illegal.

      • Savebears says:

        Actually the “Not subject to judicial review” has been wrote into laws many times in the past, now I am not a lawyer, but I do know that I have never seen it challenged as long as the law itself was not considered unconstitutional…

        Perhaps JimT can add some enlightenment here, but the local lawyers I have talked to, say that it is in fact a valid position.

      • WM says:


        I think the provision of no judicial review of the FWS regulation is a backhand change to the ESA itself only as it applies to wolves. So, to the extent that this law changes the ESA it would appear that the former administrative rule would be codified as law would be constitutional – same Congressional body enacts it and the Pres. signs it. No obvious Constitutional issues in play.

        Some of us who are legally trained discussed that aspect here a couple of weeks back. At least that was the general consensus, but others may disagree.

      • jon says:

        Don Peay is saying that if congressional delisting passes, wolves in idaho, Montana, parts of eastern oregon, Washington, and a small part of northern Utah will be removed from esa protection. Anyone know anything about this? Oregon has an extremely small wolf population and Utah as far as we know doesn’t have a wolf population.

      • howlcolorado says:

        I know they have put the language in laws previously.

        I cannot find any example where its been tested. Possibly because it’s beyond judicial review lol.

        I don’t know that this would be a situation where the money and interest is there to try and test it. I don’t think for a second that DOW and that group of 10 groups would try either to be honest.

        The whole situation is cowardly. They avoided putting ESA amendments on the floor, stuck it in a must pass bill and knowing it was illegal, attached a no-judicial review clause.

        And no scientific oversight of any kind.

      • howlcolorado says:

        Jon, it includes all the regions you mentioned.

        Utah will never have a wolf – they have internally assured that. Utah was only included I presume to ensure support from their representatives and senators. They currently have a “wolf management” plan in Utah that involves moving the wolves to a different state should they ever wander in to Utah.

        Oregon and Washington have pretty good wolf management plans in place. Assuming they don’t reverse them after the protections are removed, the small wolf populations would be better protected in those states than they will be in Idaho.

      • jon says:

        From what I’m hearing howl, Montana/Idaho might have a spring hunt. Do these states care if pups are orphaned or killed? Somehow, I doubt it.

      • WM says:


        WA does not yet have a wolf management plan – only a draft from over a year ago, and a tentative schedule to finalize it later this year. I do expect they are watching the core NRM fiasco play out and are being taught from that experience.

        OR, if I recall (not sure on this), is in the process of reviewing its current plan, including apparent administrative complexities which have made it difficult to lethally manage problem wolves. Concurrently, (again not sure) there have been legislative hearings on problem wolves in the Eastern part of the state where the known packs are. Again, the fiasco in the core NRM will be instructive on their next steps.

        Everybody, no doubt awaits the Congressional outcome and whatever that produces.

      • Brian Ertz says:

        citizens don’t have a constitutional right to contest agency decisions/actions unless an agency decision or statute violate a constitutional right.

        the reason citizens were able to challenge the legality of wolf delisting was because the ESA (and APA) provides for citizen standing in court – that’s different than constitutional standing – these laws passed by Congress allows citizens to enforce it in court – the ability to challenge in court is derived by statute – not constitutional right. this law would take away that statutory standing.

        If a person were to argue that delisting somehow violated a constitutional right, then they could seek adjudication/relief of the court despite the legislative language – but it seems to me that no such constitutional right is violated by delisting.

      • howlcolorado says:

        There doesn’t appear to be a violation of constitution rights that they could hang their challenge on directly.

        Dangerous precedent for the ESA. that’s for sure. They changed it without changing it. Lets hope no oil companies need to remove some species from the ESA as “recovered” so they can drill somewhere previously prohibited.

    • jon says:

      sb, you got email.

    • howlcolorado says:

      The question remains from my original post though. Did the wildlife groups do this to themselves, or were special interests always going to take this to legislators eventually.

      • timz says:

        “Did the wildlife groups do this to themselves”

        That’s been asked here before and the answer is still the same. What else were they suppose to do? No action, no wolves.

      • howlcolorado says:

        Is there really an assumption that Montana and Idaho would have eradicated the wolf populations once they had the ability to hunt them?

        Establishing a new recovery goal for the states, under which the feds would step in, and fighting the ridiculous rhetoric regarding “canadian” wolves and the like, may have been better served through a different path than using the ESA to stop hunting in the two states. They will find ways to kill wolves with or without hunting. They are quite good at it.

        The problem with the delisting now and in 2009 is that the states are still harboring the notion that they only need to keep the numbers at 10 Breeding Pair or 100 wolves in a state. The concept of meta population is foreign to these people but worse, the ability to acknowledge the recovery goal is a variable that is impacted by dozens of other variables… that’s a real problem.

        I don’t know that a less forceful solution wouldn’t just have been ignored and the groups felt their hands were forced, but it seems in retrospect that the whole situation has spiraled and this was an inevitable escalation.

      • wolf moderate says:


        Whether Idaho wants to reduce the population of wolves to 10 breeding pairs or not is a moot point. With the amount of wilderness in the state I would bet big that the state would be unable to reduce the wolves to that level. They can’t even land choppers in the wilderness to radio collar wolves w/out giving up a first born 😉

        Also, Idaho would not want to risk having the wolves re-listed again. There is a major incentive to keep wolves at sustainable levels IMO.

        If for some reason the state decides to act like idiots and endanger the wolf population I will march on the Capital w/ you. That’s how sure I am that the state will not risk a re-list…

      • jon says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong, but an act of congress would be the only way to relist wolves if wolves are delisted by congress.

      • howlcolorado says:


        I don’t believe it’s an act of congress which is delisting the wolves. I believe it’s an order given by the Department of Interior which will do the actual delisting – identical to the previous order in 2009 – but no longer challengable in court due to excluding Wyoming.

        So, I would assume that wolves can be re-added by the same department. The real question is related to the 10(j) provisions related to the wolves in Idaho and Montana being considered non-essential experimental populations. I think by virtue of this delisting, it would declare the population recovered and viable. Since that is the case, a relisting due to severe decline in numbers would add them as a native population no longer covered by 10(j) and the management options would be significantly more limited than they would be as an experimental population. – at least that’s how I understand it. But even after hours upon hours of research in to the 10(j) situation and the ensuing legal battles, I am still not completely confident about talking about how this all works out.

        Perhaps Ralph or someone much more familiar with everything from the beginning might be able to fully explain it. However, I think the core of the answer to your question is… The department of the Interior or the USFWS within it may be able to trigger the relisting much as they would list any of the proposed animals and congress would have to create a specific stand alone bill designed to prohibit that. I don’t think a rider or some other tagalong strategy would be able to stop it.

  28. Bill says:

    We can all be very glad that Judge Malloy is a man of integrity and believes in the rule of law. The Endangered Species Act must stand above petty, self-interested political wrangling. I was very disappointed in Defenders of Wildlife and the other litigants who turned their backs on the wolves and sold them out. Thank you sincerely, Judge Malloy.

  29. JB says:

    I haven’t had much time to follow these events the past few days, but it appears there is some confusion regarding what the language of the rider does. From my understanding, the language used in the CR was:

    “…the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on April 2, 2009 (74 Fed. Reg. 15123 et seq.) without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such re-issuance (including this section) shall not be subject to judicial review.”

    This language excludes the re-issuance of the final rule from judicial review. However, the delisted populations are still subject to 5-year monitoring and A LOT has changed since the 2009 Final Rule was issued. Specifically, the population has stabilized in Idaho and, more importantly, the Idaho Legislature has declared wolves public enemy #1. Judge Molloy recently ruled that the MOUs between states and the FWS were inadequate regulatory mechanisms for ensuring grizzly conservation under the ESA. I have to imagine that the emergency declaration (with absolutely no population safeguards) would be viewed extremely skeptically by any court. Thus, the delisting of wolves provides an opportunity to force states to produce and adhere to management plans that protect wolf populations. In the absence of such plans, relisting seems likely.

    More importantly, with wolves off of the ESA, state politicians have deprived themselves of their favorite skapegoat, and might actually have to work on real issues (e.g., education, jobs, infrastructure) instead of engaging in symbolic politics that make them look foolish to the outside world.

    • Ken Cole says:

      I think you’re right JB. While this is a huge defeat there are still things that can happen with regard to the ESA. The states take a big risk if they severely reduce populations to non-viable levels like those identified in the “wolf disaster declaration”. If wolves do become relisted then there is no avenue for a 10(j) classification for them. That would be a big can of worms that I’m not sure they would be wise to open.

      • JB says:

        Ken: I would add, I think states will find it harder to hunt wolves than many (myself included) previously thought. This is because the areas where wolves are allegedly impacting elk populations will have fewer hunters pursuing elk, and, if elk populations have already been reduced to the extent that is claimed, you can bet that there will be few wolves in these areas to hunt. Fewer wolves and fewer hunters = less wolf harvest. Unfortunately, without setting aside some protected areas for viewing, a by-product of regulated hunting will likely be the removal of highly-visible packs.

        From my perspective, the aspect most interesting about the change in wolves’ listing status will be how states use Wildlife Services. WS will be much more effective at “surgical” removal of wolves, and they can work year round (as opposed to during regulated hunting seasons). However, if there is an increase in “control” actions concurrent with regulated hunting (as there was in 2009), states risk falsifying their claim that wolf hunting will help prevent conflicts. More importantly, if control actions rise while confirmed depredations fall or remain stagnant, it will be interpreted that the states are simply using WS as a tool for controlling wolf numbers (as opposed to conflicts) which won’t sit well with anyone but hunters and ranchers, and could catalyze national opposition.

        As I said before, I think the removal of wolves from ESA protections could ultimately be a good thing, as states will no longer be able to blame the federal government, removing some of the “symbolic” opposition to wolves and helping focus the debate on actual impacts.

        I guess the message to ID and MT is, “be careful what you wish for.”

      • Immer Treue says:

        It will also be the time to take those damn collars off the wolves. It’s one thing to use them for gathering data, wolf numbers, etc., but using them for the purpose of slaughter is criminal.

    • howlcolorado says:

      The above situation you outlined was made to me also by one of our members. I couldn’t comment since I wasn’t sure of how the wording of “re-issuance” would impact the next steps.

      If you are right, it is the illegality of excluding wyoming that the rider is specifically preventing a judge from over-turning.

      Reintroducing scientific process to the situation through the re-evaluation and adherence to a specific recovery goal.

      Wolf advocates, such as my group, and those who are far more powerful and capable than we are, should probably acknowledge and accept that hunting is something that is coming. The focus should probably be on getting the recovery goal for the 3 states up to 3,000 – which likely isn’t possible, but it is a realistic figure for a truly sustainable wolf population.

      I wouldn’t assume state politicians are going to do any real work however. Though that could be my cynicism.

    • WM says:


      As nice as eliminating the use of collars would be, it is the only way numbers of wolves and their ranges can be ascertained and estimated with any level of accuracy in the West – to determine minimums that result from any agreements or more closely estimate actual numbers. I have written at length on this forum, after discussing with the Great Lakes DPS wolf managers, the problems they have encountered in estimating their numbers, and where their wolves are within their areas. Except Dr. Mech’s researched wolves, few are collared in MN.

      Also recognize that wolf advocates have made claims of fewer wolves, lack of connectivity/interaction of packs in past litigation because of the lack of data, even in the face of testimony from experts. One way of refuting these assertions is to know where they are, and collars are integral part of that. I agree with you that it is not desireable, but it seems necessary for those reasons, and then there is the practical effect of advocated non-lethal control where ranchers can be on higher alert when known collared packs are in the area and their livestock at greater risk. It is difficult to argue wolf advocates can have it both ways.

      • Immer Treue says:


        My post was short, and perhaps I did not express myself well enough. I have no problems when the collars are used for research, such as population estimations. Collars aiding ranchers in knowing that wolves are in the area, to assist in protecting their stock, is also fine.

        My problem with the collars is the ease of elimination of the wolves that wear the collars, as per the Whitehawk pack in Niemeyer’s “Wolfer”. No other animal wears these collars, that I am aware of, that can then be used to remove not just that one animal, but the other animals that accompany the collared animal. That is not having it both ways, just putting wolves on the same level playing field.

        “It is difficult to argue wolf advocates can have it both ways.”

        WM, Your posts contain sound thought and at times great wisdom, but the anti-wolf advocates are the ones who have it both ways.

      • WM says:


        Not to sound like a mutual admiration society post, but, I too respect your thoughtful comments. On many of these interwoven and complex topics, I expect we pretty much share alot of common ground. On others, we differ, but we can still discuss them, respecting the differences.

        Some time before your appearance on this forum, nearly a year ago I expect, we discussed the difficulty of having wolves collared and the increased peril that would result from being able to electronically track them for “control” purposes. Even the possibility that unethical individuals might hunt wolves (or other collared animals) with tracking antennas was addressed.

        If I recall, at that time several of us kind of did a little quick research of the state wildlife/hunting regulations. In most Western states it would be a form of poaching (there was at least one exception, but I can’t remember which). Antennas are bulky and not so easy to conceal in use, so it is not a particularly easy thing to do. I exchanged several emails, and had telephone conversations with CO wildlife officials after closely reading their confusing regs., and now clarification is on their radar (as they had never thought of the issue). For example it is legal (though not a good thing ethically or for a research project) to shoot an elk wearing a collar; it is not legal to track or locate one with an electronic device. Same would be true for any game animal, wolves included, if and when states entertain a harvest season.

        These conversations do have benefit well beyond wolves.

      • Immer Treue says:


        Nice reply. In terms of discussion, even though tempers can flare a bit, this blog is a wonderful place to share ideas, learn, debate, and even when the fur flies, there is a great amount of control amongst those who even get heated to a lather.

        “These conversations do have benefit well beyond wolves.”

        I agree.

  30. Phil says:

    howlcolorado: All I want to say is thank you for what you do with wolves. It is great to see some organizations out there in the west that are strong for species like wolves, grizzly bears, cougars, etc as much as they (and others) are for ungulates.

    • howlcolorado says:

      Thank you. However, I will defray such praise on to the dozens of organizations that do far more than we (HOWLColorado) can do. If we can “cool” the discussion down just a little and educate people in some of the plain facts related to wolves and their importance – then we have accomplished our modest goals.

      We are affiliated with a wolf sanctuary in Colorado and its the work of people like that which show us every day what hard work is in terms of caring for wolves, and educating the public and dedicating everything to them.

      • Doryfun says:

        Enjoyed your inputs here, and also appreciate your efforts at helping educate the public. That has always been my idea long ago, when putting together wolf oriented river trips (the first Outfitter in Idaho to dare such, that I am aware of) into our agenda and working with our local WERC (wolf education and research center) foliks and what they do to broaden that scope.

        It is always nice (essential) to have the correct information to begin with, about anything, if we are ever to make wise decisions about management or policy.

        Keep on, keepin on.

  31. Phil says:

    wolf moderate: I would neve underestimate the extreme measures of the government officials in Idaho and Montana, or any government that is against wolves. Look at how many proposal bills were drawn up to delist wolve. As we have had a previous chat, these are extreme measures.

    • wolf moderate says:


      What else could they do? Wait indefinitely for thousands of frivolous lawsuits to work the issues out? Personally I applaud (hesitantly) Simpson and Tester for getting the Rider in. Until the state shows that they are incapable of properly managing wolves I will support them. In 09′ they did an excellent job. There was no massacre like many thought. What is wrong w/ just letting the states try management? If they mess up, relist them WITHOUT the 10J status…

      • Phil says:

        And, wolf moderate, the current plans of decreasing the population has shown that they will not be capable of a responsible hunt. With the 5+ proposal bills to delist, they knew that one would more then likely not pass, so they proposed multiple ones in hope one would to satisfy the group of people who are anti wolves.

        The anger towards wolves from these people does not seem any different then the anger from locals had towards wolves nearly 100 years ago. What they could have done is not satisfy the hunters and ranchers who were strong against wolves and gone to biologists, scientists and experts to get their view point on the issue.

      • Brian Ertz says:

        wolf moderate (sic) says:

        What else could they do? Wait indefinitely for thousands of frivolous lawsuits to work the issues out?

        This is one among many reasons why you have no credibility.

      • wolf moderate says:

        That means alot coming from you…

      • howlcolorado says:

        Just an observation here, not intended to create a flame war.

        But you can’t possibly honestly say the rider is “moderate” in anyway shape or form. The problem with the 09 delisting is the exact same issue that exists today…

        The states believe the recovery goal is 100 animals per state or 10 BP.

        If the recovery goal was the realistic roughly 3,000 animals for the tristate area, and there was a reasonable enforcement procedure to make sure all the states, ESPECIALLY Wyoming, will stick to it, then delisting is not only reasonable, it’s probably preferable. As much as we advocates don’t want to see wolves killed, there is something to be said for the additional tolerance to wolves that states will have if they are in charge of management.

        However, let me reassert this point.

        Wolves should NOT be delisted at this point. They aren’t suitably recovered.

        There should be a scientific wolf review for the tristate area to determine the correct recovery goal (and determine the actual size – lets screw over this “massive canadian wolf” rhetoric too) and that should be used to determine delisting. That is no longer a possibility so now the goal is 300 for the tristate area as far as they are concerned, no matter what Ed Bangs says because these politicians have been running on that piece of inaccurate rhetoric.

        Being a wolf moderate, I would assume you would be very much in favour of determine all the facts first and then planning actions based on those facts rather than let a politician slide an underhanded scientifically invalid rider in to a must pass bill.

      • wolf moderate says:

        3000 wolves? No way. 1500 for a total of 500 per state +/- a hundred is much more palatable. I enjoy wolves and all, but 600 in Idaho would be about the max that I would support, not that it matters what I would support.

        Personally, this whole debacle is a waste of time from the start. The NRM are bright red states (W/ exception of MT perhaps) and one way or another they are/were going to get the wolves delisted. It’s unfortunate that they had to resolve the matter in which they did (through riders), but something needed to be done.

        I’ll say it again. Idaho has a vested interest in ensuring that wolves stay at a sufficient level so that they do not get relisted. That is some incentive there!

        Not anti wolf, BUT do think that they should be managed by the states until they prove that they are unable to do so. they (IMO) did an excellent job in 09′. There was no massacre and they even extended the season because the wolves were so hard to hunt. As wolves are hunted in the future, they will only get harder to hunt. Without choppers being able to land in wilderness areas I find it hard to believe that the states could reduce the populations of the states to 10 breeding pairs anyway. Unless of course they use aerial gunning, gassing pups, poisons etc…Would the state risk enflaming the public using these polarizing methods? NO, BUT if they decide to, then it’s on them. “for ever action, there is an equal and opposite reaction”, and using extreme methods to control wolves will not go over well.

        Thanks and I really like your new strategy to get your points across Howl! I think that it will really help your organization gain credibility. It’s supposed to be a compliment, not a slam!

      • howlcolorado says:

        I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Idaho and Gov. Butch resorted to gassing, poisoning and aerial hunting. I don’t think they would allow the public to do these things, but they would mark an entire pack for death and then use any means necessary to achieve it.

        The reason wolves were so hard to hunt for those in Idaho (Montana despite the hunt, actually did offer reasonable evidence to suggest they were only interested in maintaining the numbers rather than driving them down.) is because they set some insanely high numbers with the specific purpose of reducing the number of wolves in the state down by a fair amount.

        Since wolves aren’t particularly numerous or well established, the numbers were simply not in line with reality.

        Indeed, many of the early kills during that hunting season included many relatively habituated (it’s not the term I like, but at least… human tolerant) wolves from Yellowstone.

        The other challenge with public hunts is that there is no real way to stop them killing wolves you don’t want dead.

        The states didn’t do a good job of protecting those wolves.

        A buffer around yellowstone was a necessity which they omitted from both montana and idaho.

        Additionally, they didn’t establish migratory “paths” of no-hunting to allow for healthy redistribution of wolves between different areas to ensure a consistent DNA exchange in what is a pretty dispersed and small meta population throughout the states.

        Yes, wolves are difficult to hunt. It took Wildlife Services many many years of dedicated effort to finally eradicate wolves from the rockies, killing their last one right here in Colorado. I am sure with the right political motivation, driving wolves down to 100 and therefore making them genetically weak and incapable of thriving would be no real challenge for especially Idaho. I am not sure that the reaction you mentioned would be nearly interesting enough to garner 10 seconds on the 24 hour news cycle.

    • howlcolorado says:

      I suppose I should address this too:

      “3000 wolves? No way. 1500 for a total of 500 per state +/- a hundred is much more palatable. I enjoy wolves and all, but 600 in Idaho would be about the max that I would support”

      The reason we need a board of scientists determining the recovery goal is because — unlike in 1994 and 1995 where, despite the protestations to the contrary, I think the goal was not entirely honest. Sugar-coated if you will — you need to have a goal that truly leads to the point where wolves can be delisted safely and achieve the stated goal which is that there should be a wolf population in the Northern Rocky Mountains which “is sustainable and will be around for 100 years and more”

      I think 3,000, you have the opinion that more than 1,500-1,600 would be too many, and many believe the 300 is completely reasonable and that since we are past 300, the population is recovered and sustainable. In truth, we shouldn’t even be able to have this discussion – politicians should not be able to say that wolves are recovered based on 300 population rhetoric. Why this false information has continued to ferment and turn this into a situation where the anti-wolf activists can claim they were lied to is beyond me.

      It’s been 15 years, I think we can safely say it’s time for a review of everything including resetting the recovery goal, or establishing a regional minimum if the goal has been reached.

      • jon says:

        Howl, if wolves are delisted in Idaho and Montana, do the feds have to ok Idaho’s and Montana’s hunting plan? How exactly does it work?

      • howlcolorado says:

        If wolves get relisted, there ARE no hunting plans.

        It would be political death for Tester because they would relist under full federal ESA protections. No experimental population 10(j) exceptions… just pure protection. Same as you see for Wisconsin, and other states. Colorado too, for that matter, but since we have no confirmed wolves here, it’s just a hypothetical here.

      • jon says:

        Howl, what exactly is too many wolves? Are people who say this basing this on how many game animals they think are being killed by wolves? The fact is we don’t know for certain how many elk/deer are being killed by wolves. We also don’t know how many wolves there are as some of them aren’t counted. I think a lot of elk kills are being blamed on wolves when they died from other reasons. the assumption is from some that the elk are gone because wolves have killed them all off and I don’t believe this. I think it’s a convenient excuse to use the wolves as a scapegoat.

      • jon says:

        Oh, I said if wolves are delisted howl. Would the feds have to look over iDAHO’S and Montana’s wolf hunting plan? I read that the wolves will likely be hunted in the fall. Hopefully, they won’t have the spring hunt.

      • howlcolorado says:

        Far as I know, if the state wants to hunt, they can hunt. No federal involvement.

        If the state were to decide they were going to eradicate all wolves I suspect the feds might intervene prior to reaching the relisting level

        The feds do have authority in all national parks however, and so that’s one area where they have and probably will continue to put their foot down about certain things.

        I recall a showdown between Alaska and the feds regarding wolf killing in a national park not too long ago.

        So if you want to kill anything as part of a cull in a national park, you would need federal approval for that as I understand it.

      • howlcolorado says:

        “too many wolves”

        Just a term you can’t really define these days.

        No matter how inaccurate it is, or how it was not taken in context of a meta population or whatever, the number 100 per state is out there, and that’s what they continuously refer back to. So for many, too many wolves is 101.

        I understand what they were getting at when they said what they did. I have even spoken to Ed directly about the rhetorical statement and asked him to clarify exactly what they were saying.

        But in today’s world, and in the words of our former president, GW Bush, even if it’s not true… “if you say it enough, people will believe it.”

        So true or not, rhetorical nonsense or not, the perception of truth is… 100 wolves per state is the truth and no scientist can say it’s not what they were told.

      • jon says:

        “But in today’s world, and in the words of our former president, GW Bush, even if it’s not true… “if you say it enough, people will believe it.”

        Yep, there’s no denying this. We’ve all seen it. the 300 wolves 100 wolves only in each of the 3 states comes to mind and the non native much bigger, more aggressive imported canadian wolf.

  32. william huard says:

    And if Idaho resorts to any measure necessary to eradicate wolves through aerial hunting, trapping, and gassing and wolves end up back on the list Tester will pay the political price. So I will ask the question- This cynical attempt to save a Democratic Senate seat in 2012 might sure as hell backfire

    • howlcolorado says:


      The real question is, would this self-created crusade to pander to what is a minority special interest in Montana ever have saved his seat?

      They aren’t dealing with specific problems which impact most people. If you don’t have a gun in your closet or a sheep in your field, the issues which need to be fixed are related to healthcare, oil reliance, foreign wars, debt, budget, and more… The fact that Jon Tester has been stumping for this, and has clearly spent far more time worrying about the wolf issue than any of the significant issues which are career ending if they don’t get resolved soon, tells you that ALL he is worried about is 2012, he clearly doesn’t have the foresight to see beyond the short-lived support of a generally republican crowd.

      • jon says:

        Tester most likely included this rider for votes. Anything to win against rehberg.

      • william huard says:

        Tester described wolves as “critters” in one of his responses to the wolf issue. Not only does he lack foresight, he is also showing that he is clueless and tactless. Good ole Sluggo

      • WM says:


        Tester has alot broader interests on behalf of the residents of MT than wolves. Much of MT is rural, and its economic base also reflects how he will view issues. He is also concerned about rural education, small bank regulation, issues affecting those who serve in the military and lots of other matters that are core concerns of D’s. Don’t try to paint him as a one trick pony, because he is not.

        Does he have concerns about his political longevity in what appears to be largely an R state, and does headlining wolves give him some publicity that resonates with MT voters? You bet. Is there a better R alternative (or even D for that matter) out there. Probably not.

        Will interests of environmentalists be better served by an R Senator from MT? You might want to give that one some thought as you continue to bash him.

      • Alan says:

        WM, Everything you say makes perfect sense, but then again it’s kind of like a woman saying, “My husband beats the crap out of me, but he is a good provider. Would I be better off without him?” Maybe. I fully understand that my values are not the same as probably the majority of Montanans (though they are probably close to a lot of them on a lot of things), I know that a lot of people may look at Tester as a hero for getting wolves delisted. I fully believe that, if one candidate agrees with me 50% of the time, it’s better than one who disagrees with me 100% of the time. But when neither is even close to my values, and when the one I thought I was going to vote for clearly breaks the law (why exempt this from judicial review if you are not knowingly violating the law, and you know damn well it will not stand up in court?), then frankly it’s time to find someone else to vote for.

      • Alan says:

        “Tester most likely included this rider for votes….”
        Absolutely, Jon; but frankly I am getting sick and tired of gutless Democrats selling out to what is supposedly the minority party in this country for votes. Even when they had the Presidency and a super majority in Congress they couldn’t get anything done without crawling hat in hand to the Republicans. Even their healthcare law got so watered down as to be all but worthless.

      • howlcolorado says:

        I am very aware of what Tester stands for. I have spoken to him, and some of his republican comrades, before. Heck I have a standing dinner invite from an Montana Republican because he found our conversations to be so “exhilirating” – though I am unsure what on earth we would discuss after disagreeing about wolves.

        This bill, which everyone seems to forget the significant and overwhelming importance of, was not the place or time to get caught up in his anti-wolf crusade.

        He made appearances based on this, and focused on this when it was the bill to FUND the government.

        His other interests were secondary at this point so for the purposes of this highly important bill of his political career, he was a one-trick pony.

        If he wants to stump and make a big scene about rural education, he should go for it.

        But that means you have to start talking about things like socialism and raising taxes – and this is not just a criticism of Jon Tester, but of all Democrats – they are just too cowardly to stand for what they believe in.

        They would rather try and influence a tea party/republican base through placating them. I am sure the health care in Montana is fantastic. Nothing needs fixing there, I am sure.

      • WM says:


        ++why exempt this from judicial review if you are not knowingly violating the law,…++

        Changes in laws happen every day making something illegal to a legal status, or vice versa. Some people forget that.

        Maybe you missed this, but in an earlier post (and on at least two earlier threads) several of us explained that by enacting a new law -which the budget bill is- it codifies the 2009 FWS regulation, making it law. Do remember the Molloy ruling in this last suit never even addressed the science of wolf recovery, which FWS spent pages and pages addressing in the regulation. Their scientific conclusion was that wolves in the two states were sufficiently recovered to delist, while FWS protected the wolves in WY while listed. Molloy just said the institutional arrangement isn’t allowed under the ESA (some of us have claimed that is a technical flaw that needs a cure because it brought delisting to a grinding halt only because of the institutional deficiency, not the science of recovery).

        The language exempting it from judicial review was probably a belt and suspenders kind of effort making it clear the “rule” could not be challenged because it was created by Congress, the same body that passed the ESA, and does not rely on an administrative agency to promulgate the rule under the law, which makes it susceptible to challenge under the Administrative Procedures Act.

        Tester a hero? Certainly not in my book, but MT could do a whole lot worse, and not everyone gets what they want in the political arena. I know moderate R’s who, along with my compatriot D’s, absoluted hated what happened under the GW Bush presidency for the entire 8 years, and feel no better now that we are two + years in with a D in the White House.

      • howlcolorado says:


        The only thing I take issue with in this last statement is that you say the delisting is an act of congress.

        I don’t think that’s entirely accurate.

        The wording is quite specific. It’s an act of congress telling the Department of the Interior that they must reissue the 2009 order within 60 days, and that the reissuance will be exempt from judicial review.

        I think the delisting is STILL being ordered from Department of Interior/USFWS

        Unless I am completely misunderstanding the way it works, its an act of congress which is overturning Molloy’s ruling without overturning the ruling. The delisting is not itself the act of congress. I believe for an act of congress to delist wolves, it would have to modify the ESA itself.

      • JB says:

        I would reiterate (from my above post) that while the language exempts the reissued final rule from judicial review, it leaves open the possibility of relisting via the 5-year monitoring provision. Again, much has changed since the 2009 rule was issued. I find it hard to conceive of a situation where any federal court would view the regulatory mechanisms set forth by Idaho as adequate for ensuring wolves continued existence, especially given Idaho’s recent legislative declaration (some might call it a temper tantrum) of emergency without any population safeguards for wolves. Idaho has been its own worst enemy in its efforts to remove wolves from ESA protections.

  33. IDhiker says:

    Well, I’ve been on a long trip to the Grand Canyon, and reading the posts, I am pleased to hear that wolves can be re-listed if state management is irresponsible. I hadn’t realized that, but now reading Tester’s rider, it is clear to me that they can be.

    I personally don’t overly fear Montana’s management, but Idaho’s is somewhat more tenuous. I am not optimistic, but time will tell.

  34. Alan says:

    We will never have a true democracy (Yes, I know it’s a republic) in this country until we get rid of riders like this; but also until we get rid of the electoral college. Another thing I’m tired of is every four years presidential candidate kissing butt
    in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania and don’t give a rat’s hind end about the rest of the country. What’s the point of even voting when you are just going to be disenfranchised, and your vote is going to end up in the trash can because a few more people in your state voted for the other guy? Why not just let Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania vote and the rest of us can stay home?
    OK, I’m done.

  35. Alan says:

    “Changes in laws happen every day making something illegal to a legal status, or vice versa. Some people forget that.”
    It is clearly in violation of the ESA. That is why it is not subject to judicial review, because it would not stand up. Congress can change the ESA, but that would require a bill with debate and an honest up or down vote and a signiture from the President. The cowards don’t have the guts to try that because they know they would not have the votes, nor would it fly with the American people. Better to do something sneaky and illegal and just say, “not subject to judicial review”. I’m not saying that a rider like this is illegal, I’m just saying that what this particular rider is doing would not pass muster on judicial review (and they know that), which by definition means that it is not legal.

  36. wolf moderate says:

    People are fed up on both sides. Salle herself stated as much the other day…

    Things are going to get worse before they get better. Buy some guns, ammo, stock up on water and dry foods. Never hurts to be ready!

    • william huard says:

      Gee sounds like a sensible plan! Who are you going to shoot with the guns and ammo? The guvmint? The national Guard?
      These people in Idaho like the Rockheads and Hemmings are nuts, and everyone knows this but them. Rednecks could be put into camps until we find a way to stop them from breeding. Since shooting them is out of the question, we could neuter the males until their numbers could get down to a more manageable number. Wolves are just a symptom of their shitty karma. Have you ever heard them say anything nice about anyone or anything?

  37. jon says:

    That does seem like a threat to me. Who will be committing this “violence”? The anti-wolf extremists that belong to Idaho for wildlife? Only time will tell.

    • wolf moderate says:

      Possibly ELF, Grean Peace, Earth Justice, or of course gotta ad to the list a redneck from Idaho too!

    • wolf moderate says:

      ATTENTION: Only convicted ELF activists, such as Grant Barnes, Nathan Block, Marie Mason, Eric McDavid, Daniel McGowan, John Hanna, Eva and Lili Holland, Bryan Lefey, Jonathan Paul, Briana Waters, Joyanna Zacher and others that have served or are serving their prison sentences honorably (without snitching), can make official comments and speak as a legitimate ELF spokesperson. Prison validates an ELF spokesperson’s credentials; they’ve earned their stripes”

    • howlcolorado says:


      That’s all I am going to say to those two posts. Lets leave the ALF and ELF out of these discussions. They don’t even deserve mention on a credible blog.

      Don’t cast a shadow over GreenPeace and Earth Justice by listing them with organizations like that. I was working with Greenpeace when Rainbow Warrior was attacked. They took the peace part of their name very seriously during that time.

    • wolf moderate says:

      I was just making a point to Jon. Inbred hillbillies aren’t the only ones that are looking to commit violence. There are plenty of people that are fed up on both sides. Even Salle! That’s saying something.

      I’ve always been ready. Got the compound in Stanley w/ talk radio streaming in real time. Gonna be interesting! 🙂

    • wolf moderate says:


      Sorry that my comments are not “PC”. But they are widely felt by many, just not stated so bluntly. People who pigeon hole Idahoan’s as nuttin’ but a bunch of redneck inbred hillbillies that want to secede from the union and go back to an 1800’s lifestyle is really annoying. Personally, Idaho is the best place to live, and I’ve visited 40 states. The people are kind and respectful…Of course there are morons like Gillett out there, just like ELF on your side. Why is it OK to bring up Gillett on this blog constantly, pretending as if he is the spokesman for the NRM or something, yet I can’t bring up nuts on your side?

      Some on both sides take things WAY too far. I was in the USCG and do not appreciate Green Peace’s tactics in Puget Sound. That’s the only experience I have w/ them however. I guess I pigeon hole’d an entire group also. Guess I’m a hypocrite too!

      Good luck.

    • howlcolorado says:

      The ELF and ALF aren’t on our “side.” They aren’t even comparable to Gillette and his buddies since they don’t hide behind the first amendment, they don’t attempt to incite people to carry out illegal activities (they just do it themselves). They don’t seek publicity, for obvious reasons.

      To invoke the ELF or ALF and attach them to the environmentalist groups you chose would be like connecting Al Qaida to the mosque down the street.

      The Liberation Front groups are often not even in the same idealogical ball park since many of their members are much more into what they do than the why they do it.

      Again, your selected handle for this board seems more like political PR (much like the “clean air act”) when you make statements like this.

      For the record, I haven’t mentioned Beers, Gillette, or any of the other extremists on the other “side” on this blog because they are irrelevant to the discussion.

      The states are concerned about interference in the hunts though. I believe it was Montana that passed the law making it a criminal offense to interfere with hunting or hunters. Something to do with people having their names published on a web site for killing wolves. I remember many years ago during fox hunting season that there were be a remarkable amount of aniseed getting put down. Dogs love the scent of aniseed – more than they like the smell of foxes it seems. I guess action like that would be considered illegal in Montana (or Idaho – I forget who passed the law)

    • Elk275 says:

      87-3-142. Harassment prohibited. (1) A person may not intentionally interfere with the lawful taking of a wild animal or fishing by another.
      (2) A person may not, with intent to prevent or hinder its lawful taking or its capture, disturb a wild animal or engage in an activity or place in its way any object or substance that will tend to disturb or otherwise affect the behavior of a wild animal.
      (3) A person may not disturb an individual engaged in the lawful taking of a wild animal or fishing with intent to prevent the taking of the animal or the capture of the fish.
      (4) This section does not prohibit a landowner or lessee from taking reasonable measures to prevent imminent danger to domestic livestock and equipment. This section does not prohibit or curtail normal landowner operations or lawful uses of water.

      History: En. Sec. 2, Ch. 492, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 453, L. 1997.

      What is sinister about the above law. If I am fishing and someone starts throwing rocks at where I am fishing then that is wrong. If I am hunting and someone or a group of people starts walking ahead of me and banging pot and pans then that is wrong, too. We all have are rights.

  38. william huard says:

    Billijo Bob thinks chasing a petrified cougar up a tree with dogs and allowing a pathetic trophy hunter to kill that animal is a rewarding career path. Calling her dumb is being way to generous. Outfitters are the biggest whining sniveling idiots on the planet.

  39. Harley says:

    “Rednecks could be put into camps until we find a way to stop them from breeding.”

    I remember a very heated discussion lasting several days on another blog where some wondered why they were being compared to Nazis….
    That sort of quote above doesn’t help much to improve anyone’s image…

  40. Harley says:

    “Rednecks could be put into camps until we find a way to stop them from breeding.”


    I remember a debate going on that lasted several days on another blog where some wondered why they were being compared with Nazis…

    Comments like the above one don’t really help the matter, just saying.

  41. Harley says:

    My apologies for a double post, I didn’t see it up there in the middle of the pack so to speak.

  42. NotafanofWW2 says:

    She’s also a liar.

    • jon says:

      Who? You’re being talked about on the bbb blog.

      • NotafanofWW2 says:

        Had she only said there “could” be violence, it would seem merely a report of the tense climate surrounding the wolf issue. But she also wrote there “will” be violence which was interpreted by many, including federal officials, as a threat. Not long after she wrote that, Gabby Giffords got shot. The feds can’t be too careful with statements like hers.

  43. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Then why did TR remove it from the BBB way back then? Regardless, the statement got turned over to officials. It even went to the capitol police in DC. Now you’re the one being watched, CMB.

    • jon says:

      Good move, I know 2 people she made threats to. Keep us informed if you hear anything else.

      • Harley says:

        This is the kind of talk that always makes me nervous, this whole, someone is watching you, tracking you down, recording all of your comments…
        One of the main reasons I will never use my real name on any of these blogs.

  44. NotafanofWW2 says:

    I think I saw her name scrawled on a toilet stall yesterday in Moscow. Lol.


April 2011


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

~ Edward Abbey

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