Note that this replaces the 27th edition. That edition will now move slowly into the depths of the blog. 

Shooting stars Dodecatheon spp.  South Fork Salmon River © Ken Cole

Shooting stars Dodecatheon spp. South Fork Salmon River © Ken Cole

Please do not post entire articles here, just the link, the title, and your comments. Posting other people’s writing is a violation of copyright law and  takes up too much space.

About The Author

Ken Cole

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

359 Responses to Have you come across any interesting Wildlife News? April 18, 2011

  1. Hayduke McKay says:

    Nature to Get Legal Rights in Bolivia

    • Mike says:

      Very forward thinking.

      • Salle says:

        Or perhaps for holistic thinking. But forward kind of negates the whole concept having been a revival of ancient ideals that were only made “quaint” by the industrial age groupthink.

  2. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Your national icon for weapons fetishists welcomes the delisting of wolves as an important message to anti-hunting extremists:

    • Nancy says:

      Its all about politics and greed:

    • william huard says:

      It’s funny when the NRA mentions the word “Extremist”. Seems like they have cornered the market. Do you notice whenever any legislation involving guns or hunting is even talked about it suddenly becomes “an assault on hunting or gun rights” This “blood drenched” organization is the real threat to democracy

      • mikepost says:

        We should, however, not ignore the message however distastful one might find it…
        We can all bitch about these outcomes but the other side is winning. Perhaps a new strategy is required.

    • jburnham says:

      “Your national icon for weapons fetishists…”

      Ha ha, good call.

  3. Ann Sydow says:
    Looks like we may get a delay before they can hunt wolves in Idaho 😀

  4. JimT says:

    Article on the damage done to public lands programs by the budget bill fiasco….

  5. ProWolf in WY says:

    Let’s hope this guy or girl stays out of trouble since there are some people posting who are admitting they would poach it.

    Cody Coyote, I see they are heckling you on this as usual. It’s got to be entertaining to read these after a while since it’s the same regurgitated opinions.

  6. JimT says:

    This might have gotten buried under all the wolf stories…

  7. jon says:

    A very good article all should read.

    “This may be the deeper issue undergirding the animosities toward animals like wolves, sharks and bears that aren’t as quick to give up their territory as other more passive species. In a religious nation where many believe God grants humans “dominion” over animals, perhaps we turn these predators into prey because they seem to many like a direct threat to The Word — or at least to humans’ selfish prerogatives. But is a counter to our ecological narcissism really such a terrible thing in this age of excess and exploitation? And is it really so awful that we must annihilate whole species just to satisfy our irrational desire for environmental conquest?

  8. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Idaho governor declares wolves a “disaster emergency”

  9. JB says:

    I wanted to say “thank you” again to everyone who took the time to participate in the survey we conducted (with a link from this blog) about a month ago. We received 810 responses (678 completed surveys) in just over a week’s time–substantially more than I expected!

    We’ve lined up a number of interesting analyses, and finally found time to put together some initial analyses aimed at better understanding how emotion (or “affect”) affects people’s decision-making and behavior–a hot topic if you follow this blog.

    If you’re interested, my graduate student put together a post:

    • Daniel Berg says:

      Behavioral economists like Daniel Kahneman show that people often make decisions based on guesses, emotion, intuition, and rules of thumb.

      Emotion fills the sometimes large gap between between standard economic models and real world application, and is also a potential barrier to rational thought on a variety of issues in general.

      In interesting analysis to look at, thanks for posting it.

    • Phil says:

      The “revenge” will not wait for these groups. They want to start implementing it as soon as possible. I would have been for the delisting, but these types of actions are why I strongly against it.

  10. Rita K.Sharpe says:

    Once again,they can’t or wouldn’t or just don’t want to wait on the rules.

  11. Savebears says:

    Actually there are really no rules to wait for, in Montana it will be the exact same management plan with all of the monitoring in place that was there in 2009. The only thing they might modify is the quota numbers, but have not heard yet. Whether you agree or not, Both Idaho and Montana are going to hold a hunt this year, it will just depend on when DOI publishes the rule again, then it will be 60 days before they are delisted..

    If they published today, it would June when they officially are removed from the list.

    I am not saying I am for or against, simply stating what is going in Montana.

  12. Doryfun says:

    Having taken somewhat of a pseudo-sabatical from the blogosphere, it has been a mega swamp trying to wade through all the comments that the wolf saga has touched off. Whew! Here is what I find interesting:
    44 Responses to “Wuerthner: Wolf Restoration is a Challenge to West’s Old Guard”
    120 Responses to “Obama signs budget bill into law.”
    358 Responses to “Senate and House pass budget bill with wolf delisting rider.”
    69 Responses to “Attention being given to wolf delisting language in budget bill by the press.”
    7 Responses to “Megaloads have no place in Idaho”

    What does this say about how much importance (even science oriented folks) people give to emotional issues, over larger (less glorious) ones that carry more significant weight? Wuerthner’s piece was right on, but it seemed to go over the head of many anti’s comprehension, based on their vitrious comments, (on original article site) that was soon elevated far beyond (or reverted back to standard hate issues) the basic meaning of his article. The link Salle posted about the modern day Thoreau like poet, Phil Rockstroh’s was also very good. I liked his comment: “Yet why so many middle- and working-class people have been drawn into this renewed civil war – on the side of a corporate system that is methodically crushing them, their dreams and the world’s viability – is a mystery that defies the rational explanations of social scientists and may require the insights of a poet. (The above statistics I cited offers support for such.)

    Most of the wolf postings sounded more like a pity party for poor loser crybabies. My take on the wolf thing is more like an earlier post by WM, and those whom think more towards fingering the blame of how things are now evolving, in large part as a shot in the foot that advocates have inflicted upon themselves. More importantly, to me, is the bigger picture it all represents.

    My reasoning: I supported the first wolf introductions, trying to gain support from resisting folks who argued from the point that, if they agree with the introduction numbers, then advocates will only want more. I tried to assure them, that wasn’t true. I was wrong. It is the same argument used by those who are against breaching dams on the Snake River, to help save anadromous fish. If dam supporters give in to that, then fish advocates will only want more. Look out Columbia.

    Changing the goal post does not build trust levels. Without trust, the debate escalates and opponents dig their trenches deeper. It is hard to drain the swamp by expanding its size. As more issues arise, polarization grows larger, and cooperation/collaboration grows smaller.

    So it irks me that when those of us who try to build trust levels amidst our fellow community members who take adversarial positions, get sabotaged by actions from people on the same team that get over zealous. They don’t just affect wolves, but salmon, steelhead, bighorn sheep, etc. On top of that is the umbrella of the megaload that can have an even bigger consequence and comes closest to reaffirming Phil Rockstroh’s comment about diversions. The squirrel might get eaten by the hawk, as the lion gets all the attention from the squirrel.

    As one Martian said to the other, as they hovered in their flying saucer over earth: “Nope, no intelligent life down there.”

    • Dude, the bagman says:

      “Changing the goal post does not build trust levels.”

      Yes, but that assumes that the goal posts were firmly set in the first place. The 1994 EIS set a minimum recovery level at 300 wolves, but noted those populations should be considered minimal. Additionally, ESA listing and delisting decisions must be made based on the best available scientific data. When a species is listed, there is far less scientific data available regarding the management of the species as when the species is recovered and ready for delisting. As we learned more about the science of wolf management, that minimum number changed with the scientific discoveries.
      People who complain of moving the goal posts just don’t understand the process.

      • Doryfun says:

        I’m not sure who all the professional legal people are on this blog ( Dude, WM, Jim T, Alan?) but I appreciate your inputs. Unfortunately, it takes your expertise to untangle legal language, in a judicial system often complicated by enough magic tricks (sophisticated language and loopholes) that interpretations by us unlawyerly types becomes quite frustrating to understand. (ok, so I’m one of those, “no intelligent life down there” types, the Martians might have been focused on). Maybe I don’t understand all the process involved.

        Yes, I realize that the goal post sometimes needs to be moved when new science becomes available and things change. My confidence level that enough new scientific evidence to support such, is weak. For many years a prominent fisheries biologist went against the flow (contrairian scientist) from peer review science in claiming dams did not have the impact to the anadromous fishery that most other fishery scientists claimed it did. But, eventually, as evidence piled even higher than it already was, he changed his mind and climbed back on ship.

        And I realize contrarian scientists do sometimes make new discoveries that do indeed change the equation for all to join that ship, too. But, statistically, I still favor majority over contrarian.

        Granted, I have not spent exhaustive research time looking for all the available genetic science pertaining to wolves, so am open to any such material that any of you are aware of to direct me to. (or any other science that supports higher minimum numbers to be used for delisting). So far, just one such genetic study (if that is all there is; and could you direct me to a copy of that one please) still leaves me with a low confidence level to base all forward thinking on.

        And I agree with you folks about not liking the rider and how things were done. Again, my faith in the judicial system and political wrangling is weak. Here, I am reminded of a recent photo a friend sent me: a two story outhouse. A sign on the top said “politicians”, the sign on the bottom said “voters.”

    • Alan says:

      When an animal is listed there is never a maximum number set. Can you imagine California Condors: “Hey, when we get to 150 we start shooting these suckers!”? I think most people with any common sense understands that.
      The numbers discussed were minimum numbers to allow de-listing IF all other criteria were met. They weren’t. They still aren’t. That’s not the fault of the ESA. It’s not the fault of a “technicality”. It’s not the fault of the courts. It’s not the fault of conservationists; and it’s certainly not the fault of the wolves. It’s the states fault, primarily Wyoming. If all three states had come up with responsible management plans, possibly with a three or five year moratorium on hunting; plans that sought to preserve wolves and allow populations to expand naturally where appropriate, they would have been delisted a long time ago. Possibly not long after those minimum numbers had been met. Instead, all three states plans? “OK, now let’s see how many we can get away with killing”. Shoot on sight in one state. Governor can’t wait to kill the first one in another state. A sea urchin could have figured out that it was going to end up in court. You’re right, “No intelligent life”.

      • WM says:


        ++The numbers discussed were minimum numbers to allow de-listing IF all other criteria were met. They weren’t. They still aren’t. ++

        Just curious. In your view, what criteria have not been met?

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        I know you weren’t asking me, but I think I might know what Alan was talking about.

        The recovery plan also required genetic exchange. “Thirty or more breeding pair comprising some 300+ wolves in a metapopulation (a population that exists as partially isolated sets of subpopulations) with genetic exchange between subpopulations should have a high probability of long-term persistence.” 74 FR 15130-31.

        While this was achieved as early as 2002, the study that found genetic exchange between subpopulations was not completed until 2010 (if I remember correctly). The criteria was met, but this wasn’t known until recently.

      • WM says:


        Yes, the genetic connectivity issue was what I was thinking as well. It was, as we know now, satisfied long ago in terms of the total length of the reintroduction. Solid data confirming connectivity, as I understand it, was available in 2006. FWS, to its own peril (and the states as well), didn’t think they needed to be as rigorous in their justification, but then the plaintiffs’ used the Yellowstone data and model, in a way not intended by the authors to say the metapopulation was NOT connected. This resulted in the study (by those same authors) to correct the improper perception (conclusions) drawn by the plaintiffs in the litigation – some might say this was one more nail in the coffin on the path to legislative delisting.

        The genetic diversity/connectivity was always augmentable according to the 1994 EIS, too, using translocation or infusion of new genetic material if needed. That is what is so goofy. You can fix it by moving a few wolves around at very little expense.

        I was wondering if there were other criteria – the only other I can think of is “significant portion of range” but how that translates into keeping wolves listed in states where densities are higher than desired (as seems the case in ID, MT and WY) is problematic because they have more than they want, unless wolves are moved to other portions thus satisfying the significant range criterion.

      • Alan says:

        “In accordance with the Act, delisting may occur
        when analysis of the best available scientific and commercial
        information shows that gray wolves are no longer threatened with extinction due to:
        (1) Loss of habitat, (2) overutilization, (3)
        disease or predation, (4) inadequacy of existing regulatory
        mechanisms, and (5) other natural or manmade factors.”

        I would argue that (1), (4) and (5) have not been met, but especially (4).

      • WM says:

        Alan, the operative words are “shows that gray wolves are no longer threatened with extinction….” Scientific data suggests we are well past that marker….as long as the states don’t screw it up, especially as range increases, which it will.

      • Alan says:

        “….when analysis of the best available scientific and commercial information….” But we’re not de-listing because of analysis of the best available scientific information, we are delisting because of a rider attached to an unrelated budget bill. There is also that little criteria that Judge Molloy had a problem with: delisting along political boundaries. A ruling was not made, and will now likely never be made on the science aspects. If I’m not mistaken, the original EIS stated that, in order to be delisted, wolves had to be classified as game animals or fur bearers, yet the original delisting (2008) included Wyoming even while they classified wolves as predators. Wonder why they got sued? The path to de-listing has always been clean and clear. To blame conservationists because the feds and the states did not want to follow it isn’t right. In any case this discussion is moot because they are de-listed. Let’s just hope that bad behavior does not end up being rewarded in Wyoming and that the other states don’t “screw up” as you say, else there no doubt will be more lawsuits and movements to return wolves to the ESL; and conservationists will no doubt be blamed again.

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        I was wrong – the study ended in 2004 and was published in 2010. I’m not sure that the author of the study changed his results because lawyers were misusing the data. It sounds more to me like their methodology wasn’t quite right in the first study because they were looking in the wrong place.

        “The study by vonHoldt et al. (2010) also implies gene flow between the subpopulation of Yellowstone National Park (YNP) and the surrounding Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYA) and adjacent subpopulations in Idaho and in NW Montana. In an earlier, more limited effort focused just on YNP, however, vonHoldt et al. (2008) found no dispersal into the YNP wolf population. Based on this, they concluded that YNP was genetically isolated and even at risk of extirpation because of the potential for inbreeding depression (vonHoldt et al. 2008).
        Given the different conclusions of these two papers, some perspective is required. In the first study, where vonHoldt et al. (2008) documented no gene flow in the high density YNP, the analysis did not examine the surrounding GYA, with lower wolf density. Perhaps, by focusing just on YNP, which was likely at carrying capacity (and thus difficult for a dispersing wolf to successfully immigrate into), vonHoldt et al. (2008) did not examine gene flow at the appropriate subpopulation level.” Molecular Ecology (2010) 19, 4384.

        They could have addressed the genetic exchange issue by trucking the wolves around between populations, but that would have taken an ongoing, legally binding, and enforceable commitment if the delisting was dependent on a regulatory mechanism of that sort. It’d be hard to get the states to all agree to do this in that manner, especially when Wyoming won’t even agree to manage them as a trophy animal statewide. Also, natural exchange really is more in line with the “vibe” of the ESA.

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        “the operative words are “shows that gray wolves are no longer threatened with extinction….” Scientific data suggests we are well past that marker….as long as the states don’t screw it up”

        And therein lies the rub. When wolves were briefly delisted between March and July of 2008, 130 wolves were killed in Wyoming. That was nearly 10% of the NRM DPS.

        The states (particularly Wyoming) seem likely to screw it up. Science can’t prove that regulatory mechanisms are inadequate, but when the only thing keeping a bunch of hateful rednecks from slaughtering the wolves is the ESA, it doesn’t take a scientist to determine that something has to change before delisting.

      • Savebears says:

        People can continue to argue about the delisting, but they are in fact going to be delisted 60 after the DOI publishes the rule again. I have researched and studied, and based on the bill saying not subject to judicial review and it is not a constitutional issue, I don’t see any other way it can go. I would expect if there were a chance of legal challenge JimT would have found it by now, but I have not seen him or anyone else come up with a legitimate argument that can over ride the act of Congress.

        Also, the rest of the organizations have been very quiet since the budget was passed with this rider, I would suspect with the legal teams these big groups have, someone would have said something by now. Other than griping, I don’t see anyway it can be prevented..

        Now if someone has information, please present it, because my fingers are sore from typing, and it is not because I don’t feel they need to be off the list, I just didn’t want it done with congressional action, because it sets a precedence that could be very detrimental when it concerns an animal that is actually endangered..

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        “It is not because I don’t feel they need to be off the list, I just didn’t want it done with congressional action”

        Ditto. I wouldn’t be unhappy at all about delisting if all the states had put forth management plans that weren’t thinly veiled attempts to get ’em delisted then drive the population down.

        “I don’t see anyway it can be prevented”

        Me neither. Probably going to have to wait, watch, and hope for the best. Either the states will act like grown ups or they won’t.

      • Doryfun says:

        Food for thought from: Earth in Mind – On Education, environment and the Human Prospect – by David Orr:

        What is education for?

        “The truth is that many things on which our future health and prosperity depend are in dire jeopardy: climate stability, the resilience and productivity of natural systems, the beauty of the natural world, and biological diversity.”

        “It is worth noting that this is not the work of ignorant people. Rather, it is largely the results of work by people with Bas, BSs, LLBs, MBA, and PHDs.”

        I’m sure those Martians are still chuckling.

      • WM says:


        This is an important quote you cite:

        ++In an earlier, more limited effort focused just on YNP, however, vonHoldt et al. (2008) found no dispersal into the YNP wolf population. Based on this, they concluded that YNP was genetically isolated and even at risk of extirpation because of the potential for inbreeding depression (vonHoldt et al. 2008).++

        THE CONCLUSION that no connectivity was occuring outside YNP WAS ERRONEOUS, and later shown to be so with the 2010 work. Dr. Mech made that point over and over again (as did Bangs and others) in the first delisting suit before Judge Molloy. He got sucker punched by believing the plaintiffs argument, and his ruling reflected this.

        I am oversimplifying here, but the reason was that at that time when the YNP data was gathered wolf population was at saturation capacity, right at 200 wolves occupying available territory, in effect, keeping other wolves out, working their way through the very large elk population resulting from the 1989 fires that made lots of new habitat. Genetic exchange was occuring outside YNP as the 2010 analysis by vonHoldt et al showed using data up to 2004. Now YNP is closer to 100, and the elk are alot fewer.

        It is important to note that the “et. al” authors of the 2010 vonHoldt study include most of the scientists we all talk about here on a regular basis.

        Doug Smith (YNP) and Ed Bangs gave testimony at the first delisting suit that there was connectivity outside YNP, along with Dr. Mech who challenged a conclusion of Dr. Robert Wayne (vonHoldt’s advisor – she was a grad student then).

        Here is a link to the 2010 vonHoldt study:

        And here a review from the same issue of Molecular Biology on the von Holdt, et al work, by Mark Hebblewhite of the U of MT, who incidentally is a lead scientist evaluating the Bitterroot elk-wolf phenomenon. Sorry, I could only access the abstract.

        ….and a very good commentary on Hebblewhite’s review of the work on a pro wolf site, including some words from an interview with Dr. Mech:

        The genetic connectivity issue should be pretty well put to rest at this point, with the caveat that if wolf numbers (and specific geographic distribution) is disturbed too much by “managing the population” it can become an issue (the 2010 vonHoldt paper raises this concern).

        As for moving wolves around through human translocation efforts, rather than natural dispersal, since it was raised in the EIS (Appendix 9), the same document that came up with the 300/30 it seems a viable part of the reintroduction plan.

        Indeed it is, and there is a 2008 MOU on Genetic Diversity that commits MT and ID (don’t know about WY) to do translocations:

      • JB says:

        Save bears:

        I think it is pretty clear that the 2009 final rule will be reissued and that the reissued rule will not be subject to judicial review. However, states will still be forced to dot all their “i”s and cross all their “t”s, as they will still be subject to 5-year monitoring–meaning, if there is evidence that the population is threatened or endangered, the FWS will be forced to relist. Even if they refuse to relist, they will be subject to listing petition.

        Hopefully, the states will do just fine and neither course of action will be pursued. However, you asked…

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        I know the conclusion of the first study was erroneous, but at the time it was the conclusion the study reached. Think of it from the judge’s perspective – here you have the government trying to defend its delisting rule by arguing that the conclusion of a study was just wrong. It would seem like they are desperately grasping at straws and attacking the scientists because they have nothing else of substance to argue. That argument doesn’t sound credible given the context even if it was.

        The potential problem with depending on translocation:

        “The ESA does not define what constitutes an “existing regulatory mechanism.” 16 U.S.C. § 1533(a)(1) Courts addressing what regulatory mechanisms should be considered under section 1533 have concluded that the ESA does not permit agencies to rely on plans for future action or on unenforceable efforts. E.g. Or. Natural Resources Council v. Daley, 6 F.Supp.2d 1139, 1155 (D.Or.1998). As the Court noted in Or. Natural Resources Council, “for the same reason that the Secretary may not rely on future actions, he should not be able to rely on unenforceable efforts. Absent some method of enforcing compliance, protection of a species can never be assured. Voluntary actions, like those planned in the future, are necessarily speculative.” Id. at 1154. See also Fedn. of Fly Fishers v. Daley, 131 F.Supp.2d 1158, 1165, 1169 (N.D.Cal.2000) (concluding that a Memorandum of Understanding with states to undertake future conservation efforts did not constitute an existing regulatory mechanism).” Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Inc. v. Servheen, 672 F.Supp.2d 1105, 1114
        (D.Mont., 2009).

        Another potential problem with the genetic connectivity issue is that the studies showing exchange were based on a population far greater than the minimum numbers in the 1994 EIS (which I think your comment was alluding to).

        So, if translocation of wolves backed by a MOU is an inadequate regulatory mechanism, and genetic exchange is required for the species to not be endangered, and natural genetic exchange happens at a level above the minimum numbers in the 1994 EIS, if the states manage for a level below the threshold for genetic exchange the wolves are going to end up back on the list.

        It’s currently a moot point given Congress’s tinkering, but it may not be for long.

  13. jon says:


    • jon says:

      “Unlike the Idaho Timberwolf (which is now probably extinct having been either wiped out by or assimilated into the Canadian Gray Wolf population) the Canadian Gray Wolf weighs about 140 pounds at maturity. We have some close to 180 pounds running around the state at the moment. The Canadian Gray Wolf runs in packs of up to twenty wolves. For every one animal they kill to eat, these Canadian wolves kill about three more just for the fun of it. The biologists call it “sport-reflex killing” or “lustful killing”. The Canadian Gray Wolf is a killing machine. ”

      Another clueless Idaho republican politician.

      • Savebears says:

        Don’t matter now Jon, it is a moot point whether they are 20 pounds or 200 pounds, for right now the battle is over and I know there are no wolves that large running around!

      • jon says:

        I don’t think it’s a moot point sb because it is constantly being brought up and you better than anyone know its incorrect information. I’d love to know where Phil Hart gets his information from.

      • Elk275 says:

        I have make 8 round trips on the Alaska Highway with several one way trips on the ferry. I have seem approximately 20 wolves in Alberta, British Columbia and the Yukon on the highway system. None of those wolves that I saw are any bigger or smaller than the wolves that I have seen in Montana and Yellowstone Park. They are all the same wolf.

        Jon, all you can do is post quotes from others believing what you want to believe. You said that you have never seen a wolf before. Why don’t you get out here spend several summers in the Northern Rockies, British Columbia, Alberta and the Yukon observing nature. Then your posts would have first hand experience and you would be a little more knowledgeable. If this is your passion, live your passion. Those that don’t travel and experience it on the ground only read the first page of the book.

      • Savebears says:


        If your serious about finding out where he gets his information, why don’t you track down his contact information and ask him?

      • jon says:

        hey sb, how you been? I’m one step ahead of you. I emailed him Phil Hart a few hours ago and called him out on his bogus information. If he responds, I’ll post his response on here.

      • wolf moderate says:

        Probably not the best way to extract information Jon…

        “Call him out”. What did you do challenge him to a duel? I hope you were respectful so that we can all learn a bit into his though processes, but if you were a wacko animal rights activist he will most likely use your letter as toilet paper. Just Sayin!

      • Savebears says:


        I would agree “Calling him out” and telling him information is bogus, is probably not the best way to get a handle on why he thinks the way he does, I would be interested in his theories on this, but if you showed animosity to him, I would expect he will probably ignore you..

    • Alan says:

      The really scary thing is that there are people ignorant enough to believe this crap.

      • Phil says:

        You would think the garbage like this would have died down after the Congress delisting wolves, but it has not so far. I remember reading that Carter mentioned the delisting being a good thing for wolves in terms of the amount of hate from certain people. I hope he is right, because it seems to be getting worst.

  14. Immer Treue says:

    Sometimes propaganda works, and there is cetainly an “awful” lot of propaganda here.

    • WM says:


      Speaking of propaganda.

      You strike me as a worldly type, well balanced in your knowledge of alot of things, tolerant of different views, and careful in your analysis of an issue.

      During your teaching career or education, did you ever come across the writings or a particular book by the linguist/psychologist, S.I Hayakawa?

      He wrote a text called “Language in Thought and Action,” which went through many editions over the years, and it was used in college psychology and speech classes widely across the US. He taught at San Francisco State University for many years (I don’t recall what department(s), and later became a US Senator from CA in the late 70’s to 80’s.

      The text was developed around the concept of propaganda, and how persuasive personalities use speech and writings to influence behavior (Hayakawa studied Hitler, specifically as a case study, as well as communists and US policy makers during the Cold War and the Viet Nam conflict, and many other examples). Propaganda is a very effective tool. It is less so when critical minds begin to take apart the pieces: part truths, exaggerations, omissions, lies, “taboo” words and emotional terms, as well as inflammatory diversionary sub-issues of a core topic. We all need to be mindful of such techniques as we evaluate the words we use to communicate.

      I note the recent post from Jon about some over-excited lady giving commentary with a blurry staged picture with that very large wolf we have all seen on the internet in many places. That is a good example of those propaganda tactics.

      There are many more examples out there – Rockhead Productions videos on youtube, for example.

      • JB says:

        “There are many more examples out there – Rockhead Productions videos on youtube, for example.”

        Or any episode of Glen Beck’s “news” show.

      • wolf moderate says:

        It’s been cancelled. Dang!

    • jon says:

      “Even if I believed wolves did have a significant impact on state-wide elk and deer numbers, I would still argue that hunters have to accept that they are sharing the world with other creatures, and wolves have a greater “right” to the elk and deer than the average human hunter–in part because we do have alternatives. We are not going to starve if we don’t shoot a deer or elk.”

  15. Immer Treue says:


    I am familiar with S. I. Hayakawa, but have not read his book. Perhaps it would be something to put on my Summer list.

    I would wager a good chunk of change that when propaganda begins to overwhelm reality, the excuse to remove any possible objection to that propaganda and it’s cause becomes very feasible. Thus the removal of “critical minds” becomes important. Doesn’t matter if the movement is far left, or far right, remove the bump in the road.

    This is where a free thinking/educated society becomes imperative. Sometimes I get the feeling that the “masses” in this country, metaphorically speaking, are content with their lives as long as they have their favorite opiate, and will allow others to do their thinking for them.

    Thus, the success of people like Limbaugh on the right. I’ve got to be honest, but the first time I heard him I was driving through rural Illinois in the mid 80’s and at first I thought it was a comedy routine. I then realized the guy was taking himself seriously, and what came to my mind was propaganda ala late 1930’s Germany. The pathetic thing is that so many take his word for gospel.

    Either side of an issue is capable of propaganda and massaging statistics to fit their scheme, but I think we can agree that the true answer to most dynamic issues would not be found at either extreme.

    • WM says:

      At the risk of being skewered by conversational partners here, dare I point out some of these same propaganda techniques are also present in George Wuerthner’s piece that jon references from NewWest today, “Why Wolf Hunting is Unethical.”

      When I saw the Wuerthner article, it reminded me of a taped speech we listened to in a class on Semantics and Propaganda (using the Hayakawa text), when I was an undergraduate. The assignment was to dissect a taped speech by a State Department diplomat addressing post Viet Nam foreign policy in Southeast Asia.

      First, I don’t think I have ever read anything by Wuerthener that was not an advocacy piece. He is a gifted writer, and does an excellent job of making you feel comfortable and subtlely luring you into the topic, eventually getting you to cheer with greater enthusiasm (or rage) as each subsequent issue is raised, in almost an evangelical style (stirring you up, I’ve been there emotionally on his discussions of public lands grazing issues). The devil is in the details, but I saw example after example of propaganda techniques outlined in the Hayakawa text – one quick emotional example – since when is shooting prairie dogs hunting?

      He doesn’t even really bother to concede that without control of wolf numbers by several means (WS on problem wolves, hunter take etc.) indeed it is reasonable to assume net compounded population increases upwards of 20 (or even near 30) percent a year in some parts of the NRM, with commensurate increases in take of ungulates and potentially greater take of livestock even when non-lethal managment techniques are employed. His other agenda, not disclosed here, is the greater issue of livestock grazing on public lands.

      George is very good at glossing over these things to get you hooked. Critical thinking is indeed important.

      • Immer Treue says:


        This particular Wuerthner piece is preaching to a certain choir. Typically, I enjoy and agree with what he writes. I feel if this particular piece would have dealt more with the issue of those who most want a wolf hunting season are those who stand to gain the most in terms of ungulate populations they can then shoot, it would lead to a more compelling discussion than what is likely to occur. Is that the sector one would think the most unbiased in terms of wolf numbers? A wolf season is here unless an act of god comes into play.

        The prairie dog example troubles me in that I have listened to people exult in the vaporized destruction of colonies in which they have participated. Ranchers will “rent” out certain parts of their land to “hunters” to carry out this deed. If the rancher/farmer eels their land is better off with the rodents, that;s one thing, but listening to the braggadocio of those that did it was rather depressing.

      • Immer Treue says:

        sorry…if the rancher farmer feels their land is better off without the rodents, that’s…

      • JB says:

        “it is reasonable to assume net compounded population increases upwards of 20 (or even near 30) percent a year in some parts of the NRM, with commensurate increases in take of ungulates and potentially greater take of livestock even when non-lethal…”

        Is it? The population growth in ID, MT, and WY has been essentially flat for the past 3 years, and only one of those years has had a hunting season. Moreover, we haven’t seen a 20-30% growth in the wolf population in several years (since 2006). The average growth rate 2000-2009 has been 15%, over the past 5 years its about 11%.

        Livestock depredations have indeed increased with wolf populations, but not nearly at the same rate (wolf population growth has increased at a faster rate than livestock depredations).

        The prairie dog issue is also apt (though coyotes provide a better example) if one is considering the motivation of those who engage in these activities. Most–though not all–shoot coyotes and prairie dogs to keep their populations down. Meaning, it isn’t a reverence for these species that motivates them to hunt, but rather, a contempt for them. A number of recent studies suggest the same is true for wolves.

        Personally, I don’t think wolf hunting is unethical at all, and I applaud those that approach the hunting of wolves (or mountain lions or coyotes) with a passion and respect for the animals they kill. But I’m also realistic about what motivates most people to shoot wolves. Critical thinking is indeed important.

      • WM says:


        I realize the recent historic NET rate of growth in the last three years is lower. However, that includes substantial sanctioned take by WS or other control, hunting, and SSS.

        The frame of reference for the statement of “20 to near 30%” was what would be the rate of population increase would be WITHOUT any control at all (that means no WS, SSS and hunt mortality – only natural mortality), because that seems what Wuerthner advocates based on the “ethical” ground he covers.

        Certainly there will be a variation geographically, but do you believe, on the whole, it would be lower than 20-30? I certainly do not, and it would compound as along as range expands and food sources are plentiful.

      • WM says:

        Shooting prairie dog is exactly that – shooting them. It is not hunting. The colonies are stationary, and to my knowledge there is no skill in locating them at all, so there is no “hunt.”

        It is target practice for people, as some have pointed out, with sick minds, IMHO. Lumping this activity into a discussion about ethics of hunting, is disingenuous, and was done in a calculated manner for emotional effect – some bullshit about “blasting gophers and prairie dogs and ‘red spray.'”

      • JB says:

        “…as along as range expands and food sources are plentiful.”

        And those are two big “ifs”. I do not think wolf populations would continue to grow at 20-30% sans control/human-intervention. In the absence of human controls I would expect natural mortality factors (in particular, intraspecific aggression) to increase substantially (Denali wolves and Isle Royal wolves are a good demonstration that wolf populations have maximum limits, even without human control). If wolf populations expand their range into areas that are currently unoccupied, then I would agree that we should expect substantial population increases in these areas–at least over the short term.

        To be clear, I disagree with Wuerthener about hunting wolves being unethical; however, I also object to the idea that it is absolutely necessary to manage wolf populations (then again, I don’t object to killing wolves that kill livestock either). How you manage wolves depends upon the objective of your management (e.g., minimize livestock depredations, maximize wolves, maximize elk, etc.).

      • WM says:


        Mech believes wolves will make to CO in just a few years. That is 300,000 elk and the largest migratory mule deer herd in the world. Maybe you and I should wager a beer?

      • Immer Treue says:


        ***The devil is in the details, but I saw example after example of propaganda techniques outlined in the Hayakawa text – one quick emotional example – since when is shooting prairie dogs hunting?***

        In the context of our conversation, I do understand your point.

      • Doryfun says:

        In reference to the propaganda discussion, see my comments above quoted from David Orrs book – Earth in Mind – On Education, environment and the Human Prospect – by David Orr. (last sentence: “It is worth noting that this is not the work of ignorant people. Rather, it is largely the results of work by people with Bas, BSs, LLBs, MBA, and PHDs).

        It would seem that “critical thinker” is either an endangered animal itself, or just being a critical thinker doesn’t necessarily prevent one from making bad decisions.
        In this day and age, with tons of information available, sifting out truth from fiction, is daunting. Common sense isn’t so common, and recognizing a magician with tricky words from a truth-sayer, isn’t that easy.

        Magicians often find scientists the easiest to fool. Only a fool would believe that not everyone can be fooled at one time or another.

      • JB says:


        Let’s be clear what we are talking about here. If wolves make it to Colorado in sufficient numbers to establish a population then I have no doubt we will eventually see a substantial increase in wolf populations (IN COLORADO). (Although, recall that while wolves were found in NW Montana around 1980, the population there took 13 years to reach 50 animals.) However, expansion into new range is very different than continued population growth in the areas wolves currently occupy.

        I aggregated the data in the 2010 report and here’s what they say regarding wolf population growth withing ID, MT, and WY:

        Average % pop growth since 1980: 38.5%
        Average % pop growth since 1995 (reintroduction): 26.8%
        Average % pop growth in past 5 years: 10.6%

        Average % pop legally killed (control + hunting) since 1996: 10.1%
        Average % pop legally killed in past 5 years: 17.1% (note: skewed by 2009 outlier (27.5%) due to hunting season)
        Note: Though these data are not available, in the 2009 Final Rule, FWS estimated that about 10% of the population was taken illegally each year.

        According to the FWS, there were 101 wolves in ID, MT, and WY in 1995, the year reintroductions began. If you assume 25% population growth (the mean of your 20-30% rate) you would have 2,765 wolves in the NRMs today. I also used FWS’s population data (1987-2010) to calculate the expected number of wolves in 2010 assuming exponential growth–the equation explained 97% of the variance in the actual data); unfortunately, it also yielded an estimate of over 3,300 wolves.

        Clearly wolf populations are not growing exponentially, and the three-year population plateau (4 years in Idaho) suggests wolves are reaching (have reached?) carrying capacity within the areas they currently occupy (Ed Bangs suggested this was the case a few years back at the NA Wolf Conference). Wolf populations have grown at a rate of about 27% per year, with modest (10% legal, 10% illegal) human control. However, the reason for such growth has been that they have continually occupied new territory. This is no longer a possibility in Idaho, though there certainly is space for them in MT and WY.

        I agree that wolves are capable of sustaining human hunting, but I disagree with your assumption that populations will continue to grow. I think they are at (or very near) carrying capacity in the areas the occupy, meaning further growth will depend upon range expansion.

      • Salle says:

        It seems that the ethical lines get blurred in the conditioning drum beat we have had pounded into our collective psyche where “killing is okay as long as…” by the military industrial complex that makes and “improves” our killing machines ad nauseum. I understand that killing is a part of the survival paradigm, however, we have learned to “critically” rationalize killing as a “sport” and is also used as an “honorable justification” for protecting our property” and you see it on military industrial complex approved “programming” on TeeVee ~ someone gets killed on some show every two seconds in the US ~ and is also seen as “glorious”. So where are the ethical maxims here? Killing is ending one’s life, regardless of species, killing is killing and we in this day and age seem to find it less “evil” as images of killing and the “rush” one gets from this activity is promoted as the norm and as entertainment. Our society is so sick it might be good for it to die in the sense that there are so many sick elements, like a body ridden with terminally intense tumors can not recover to any quality of life worth striving for. Just a thought.

      • JB says:


        Not that I disagree with your thought (the glorification of killing in television and the movies is particularly horrific), but for most people there is a difference between killing an animal and a human being–and even differences across types of species. I have never felt remorse for killing mosquitoes (or worse, deer flies), though I have occasionally empathized with mice I have trapped. I once even went so far as to live trap house mice and then release them as “bird food” in a local park, till I realized how ridiculous that was.

        Ultimately, as much as many people would like, we can’t regulate hunting based upon people’s motivations, which is what I think many people object to when it comes to hunting wolves. That is, they don’t like the idea that people would kill an animal out of spite or hatred, as opposed to need or even reverence (though again, think mosquitoes). Yet, it is impossible to determine someone’s intent/motivation when they purchase a license; thus, we accept that “hunters” includes people with very different types of motivations–some of which we find acceptable and even admirable and others, despicable.

      • WM says:


        Thanks for taking time to aggregate the population data.

        Also to be clear, my assertion of the population growth of between 20-30 percent was with natural mortality ONLY- responding to Wuerthner’s desired scenario with no control killing or hunter harvest. The social carrying capacity in the NRM states would not tolerate it, and that is a point that Wuerthner does not address.

        No doubt there are population projection models that are capable of producing a wide range of scenarios on desktop computers at FWS and every one of the state wildlife offices. It would be very interesting to see how different scenarios might play out – including short and long term effects on ungulate populations.

        It is the projection of future growth of wolf populations (and hunter harvest) on prey base that wildlife agencies should be/are concerned about. Alot of people miss that aspect, and tend to focus on the present because it supports their position better.

      • PointsWest says:

        Salle writes: “So where are the ethical maxims here? Killing is ending one’s life, regardless of species, killing is killing and we in this day and age seem to find it less “evil” as images of killing and the “rush” one gets from this activity is promoted as the norm and as entertainment. Our society is so sick it might be good for it to die in the sense that there are so many sick elements, like a body ridden with terminally intense tumors can not recover to any quality of life worth striving for.”

        A few years ago, there was a documentary on PBS about aging and lifespan. It first asked the question of why does an organism age and then die. All species of organisms have a maximum lifespan and even if they are protected and nurtured, they will still age, weaken, and die. Even if put on “life-support,” all organisms will still die. There also seems to be a maximum lifespan that varies among species and this maximum lifespan is fairly consistent (low standard deviation) within a species. It is as if there is an alarm clock within an organism that is programmed to alarm whereupon the organism’s sustaining systems begin to shut down and cease operation. If the organism is not killed in its weakened state, it continues its decline until it is simply overtaken by pathogens and/or parasites. For some species, the maximum lifespan can be over 100 years but for many others, it is less than a year. What possible evolutionary advantage is there for a maximum lifespan? Why are organism programmed to die?

        To understand the answer, you need to look at evolution itself. The basic mechanism of evolution is not that an organism is programmed to survive; the basic mechanism of evolution is that genes are programmed to survive. The organism is only the carrier of the genes. Once the genes are passed onto a new thriving organism, that organism is no longer important to the survival of the genes. In fact, older organisms can be a detriment to the genes. One detriment is that the longer an organism is exposed to solar/cosmic radiation, the more likely a cosmic particle damages a DNA molecule and the organism spawns a mutation. The more and/or longer cell division takes place, the more likely a mutation. The longer an organism lives, the more likely the genes of parasites or pathogens can evolve and be a detriment to the genes of that species. Finally, the older an organism is, the more likely it is to have parasites, pathogens, or injuries that prevent successful reproduction. If it cannon successfully reproduce, it then only competes with the younger organisms for resources such as food. So evolution intentionally casts away organisms once they have passed their genes to a new a new population capable of reproducing.

        Statistics show that there is a very strong correlation between the average natural lifespan of an organism and the maximum lifespan. That is, if an organism only lives a few years in nature, then its maximum lifespan will only be a little longer than that. A species of deer, for example, is only likely to live a half dozen years before it is injured, contracts a disease, or is killed by a predator. A few lucky deer might live 10 years. The maximum lifespan for a protected deer in a zoo is only a few years longer than this…something like 12 or 15 years. A mouse, that naturally only lives one full growing season (one year) will live a maximum of two years in protected state with ample food supply such as a pet or a lab rat. The maximum lifespan of an organism strongly correlates to how long it is likely to live in nature. Evolution does not want organisms to live forever. It wants the genes passed along to a thriving new population and wants the older organism to perish. It does not want older organism around to mutate genes, to help the genes of parasites and pathogens, or to compete for resources with the younger healthier organisms more likely to reproduce. Sorry, it is just the way it is.

        So those of you who do not want to see animals killed are, at best, only prolonging their lives for a short while. Evolution has demanded that they age and die anyway. In fact, the older an animal is, the more likely it is to have parasites, pathogens, or injuries and the less likely it is to successfully reproduce so it only competes with the younger and more reproductive of the population. In certain cases, killing can be good for the overall health of a population. And it is natural for man to kill along with other predators and for him to enjoy doing it as do other predators. I do not understand how you can possibly deny this without some great stretch of reason or taylor made religion.

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        So those of you who do not want to see animals killed are, at best, only prolonging their lives for a short while . . . In certain cases, killing can be good for the overall health of a population. And it is natural for man to kill along with other predators and for him to enjoy doing it as do other predators.”

        I bet Hitler made similar arguments. (I kid).

      • Immer Treue says:

        Points West,

        Problem with killing wolves, via hunting, which oness get killed? Is it the older ones or the younger ones? I think the data showed, for the most part, it was younger wolves. Anybody with different data here, feel free to correct me. If older wolves are killed, do the young know how to hunt well enough to survive through the Winter. Evolution and natural selection work very well, but man, to a certain degree, has stepped a bit “outside” of the natural selection process.

      • PointsWest says:

        Yes…inteligence does tend to go along with longer maximum lifespans because it can take several years to learn survival skills and the things learned are passed along by older organisms. In fact, in the human species, we mature very slowly and have an extended childhood, when compared to other species, because it forces us to be dependent upon and have a relationship with adults for an extended period and are forced to learn from them. More of our social behavior is learned and is not instinctual because of our extended period of imaturity.

      • JB says:


        I agree with you regarding social carrying capacity which, in this case, can be almost exclusively attributed to real or perceived effects on ungulates (mostly elk)–at least outside of ranchers. However, I believe it was three years ago at the NA wolf conference that Ed Bangs said wolves had reached their carrying capacity within the areas they occupy. If they are at the biological carrying capacity, the only way to grow is to occupy new territory–whether “surplus” animals die from human hunting, or are killed by other wolves, they are going to die. Wolves are a density dependent species, despite what opponents in the West will have you believe. If Ed was right, then the human-caused mortality going on right now is largely compensatory, though it may also be serving to prevent wolves from occupying other areas.

      • Doryfun says:

        “Evolution and natural selection work very well, but man, to a certain degree, has stepped a bit “outside” of the natural selection process.” Not sure I understand this statement?? How can man step outside natural selection? The very fact we are here, and not some other planet, seems evidence to me that we can’t escape being part of natural selection. People get caught up trying to seperate man from nature, and what is natural or not. Nature is everywhere, all encompassing. Isn’t every thing, just natural by virtue of its existence?

      • JB says:


        Question: If you do not separate human beings from nature, what then is its meaning? From my perspective, the word “nature” exists specifically as a means for designating processes, places, and entities that are not made or shaped by humans. Of course, as human influences on the natural world expand, it becomes harder and harder to argue than any process is totally natural. Note: biologists use the term “artificial selection” to distinguish between selective forces that are shaped by human beings and those that are not (i.e., natural selection).

        If “nature” encompasses everything, then nothing is non-natural and the word “nature” is useless. If everything is “nature” the word cannot be used to distinguish anything; in statistical terms, we would say nature (or variable) is invariant, and therefore, not useful for explaining variability.

      • Immer Treue says:


        Though people are part of nature, we have “stepped a bit outside” the natural selection process, because we now control nature to a degree that no other species on the planet is capable of doing. In a sense, we have reset the rules for nature and almost every living plant or animal on the face of the Earth. Metaphorically, as a species, we are omnipotent.

        Though other creatures are capable of making life or death decisions for creatures of another species, or a number of their own, we are capable of thoughtlessly. or thoughtfully, destroying countless others of our own, and the associated collateral damage for other species that follows our actions.

        We have stepped outside of living within our selected environmental niches, to having effect on the environmental niches, for better or worse, for almost every living organism on Earth. No other living organism on Earth has the power of life or death that is possessed by our species.

        “Nature”will eventually catch up to us all on an individual level, we cannot escape that. Nature is all encompassing, and sooner or later we will be selected upon for that last canoe ride. As a species, though, will it be by our own hand. Will something (the product of our own design) come back to finally bite us in the ass. No other species on Earth can set these parameters.

      • JB says:

        I posted a graph with the wolf population data from ID, MT, and WY (1987 – 2010) here:

        Hopefully this makes for some interesting conversation!

      • Doryfun says:

        JB & Immer,
        It is turkey season, so I am not all that timely in response time. Sorry. However, yesterday I ran into a coyote, as we were both coming around a ridge in opposite directions. By chance, I saw him first, so froze. Didn’t flinch so much as an eye lash. Was within 30 feet of him and could see that he looked as tired as I was. But when he finally looked up and saw me, (out in the open, no cover) he jumped out of his tracks and high-tailed it. (was hoping I didn’t give him myocardical infarction). That is the nature I love to see, and am a part of.
        JB – in answer to your Q: : If you do not separate human beings from nature, what then is its meaning? To me, you can’t separate man from nature. To do so, is artificial. I’m not sure I follow your logic on nature not being useful for explaining variablilty? My perspective is nature is the slate that contains all kinds of variables. We can separate athropormorphic causes from other causes, and still figure out statistically how much each contributes to change, etc.
        But still, Immer, I don’t see how we can step outside our niche. Just what is it we stepped into? Another niche? I would agree, though, we will catch up to ourselves and be our own demise with our heavy hand upon the planet. Too many of us in our niche, will assure that. We still spend all our time fighting brush fires, when the real fire (human pop) still gets ignored by our power/gov’t structures. (probably in large part due to religion). The meaning of nature: be here now, or get here when you can. If we destroy ourselves, (by not “getting here” to make better decisions) wouldn’t that be proof that, metaphorically, we really aren’t as omnipotent as we think?

      • JB says:

        Hi Dory,

        Sorry I wasn’t more clear–doesn’t look like the statistical analogy helped. My point is that for the word “nature” to have any practical meaning, it must differentiate one type of thing from another (i.e., natural from non-natural). If human beings and their works are included in nature, what then is non-natural?

  16. Mike says:

    According tho information in this page, the Bitterroot elk pop in SW Montana has been decimated by hunting, not wolves:;f=852107219;t=9991148279;st=0;hl=wolves

    • william huard says:

      We’ve already debated this issue on this blog, but the hunters think the old”we’ll just keep on repeating the misinformation until it suuddenly becomes fact” tactic. Hey, it works for the Conservatives!

  17. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Worth reading:
    Buffalo Hunt: International Trade and the Virtual
    Extinction of the North American Bison
    M. Scott Taylor, Jan 24 2011

  18. JB says:

    I found this article, written by environmental historian John Reiger, this morning and thought it would be relevant to many of the hunting detractors who post here. It explains the key role that George Bird Grinnell played in the budding conservation movement–including marrying the interests of hunters and “preservationists” alike.

    • Cody Coyote says:

      JB- thanks for the Grinnell post. He spent time around Cody Wy in the early days of the National Forest system when they were still called ” Timberland Reserves”. Shoshone Lodge a few miles east of Yellowstone is on Grinnell Creek, and we unofficially call an unnamed peak thereabouts ” Grinnell Peak”. Mixed narrative, that guy.

      I wanted to give you a little piece of wit to smile at and save for future use. As a verbal hand grenade it’s come in handy many times when I am cornered by the Cabela’s crowd at a function where alcohol was served.

      ” A Preservationist is a person who spends 52 weeks of the year saving an animal species.

      A Conservationist is a person who spends 49 weeks of the year saving an animal species so he can spend two weeks killing it and a week bragging about it….”

    • Elk275 says:

      If I remember rightly, in the winter or spring of 1876 George Grinnell had written several letters looking for project for the summer of 1876. One of the letters was to George Custer requesting permission to join him for coming summer’s Souix Indian campaign. A week before his acceptance letter from Custer he took another appointment that summer, one which would not cost him his life.

      He lived and Glacier National Park was created among many other accomplishments.

    • jon says:

      Good ol wildlife services, the serial killers of wildlife.

      • WM says:

        …and where is Wildlife Services when you really need them? Bald eagle strike delays London bound airplane at Orlando International Airport. Officials cannot kill eagles nesting in the area though they present significant safety risks.

      • cc says:

        Why is it always “bird strikes plane” and never “plane strikes bird”? I am glad nobody was hurt but its unfortunate an eagle was killed.

        Despite popular belief the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act does make allowances for this kind of situation. It is legal to remove inactive nests in the interest of public safety so they could simply wait until the chicks fledge and the eagles are not using the nest and remove it. They can also kill the eagles if legitimate efforts to solve the problem through non-lethal methods have failed.

        “The regulation at 50 CFR § 22.27 establishes permits for removing eagle nests where: (1)
        necessary to alleviate a safety emergency to people or eagles; (2) necessary to ensure public
        health and safety…”
        “..authorizes the Secretary to permit take of eagles ….when necessary for the protection of… other interests in any particular locality…the take must be necessary to protect the interest, meaning that the interest cannot be protected without taking eagles despite implementation of all practicable measures to avoid and minimize the impact to eagles”


  19. jon says:

    “Idaho State Rep. Phil Hart, a Republican, has led the campaign, striking fear in the hearts of his constituents by declaring a state of wolf emergency in Idaho. In a much-publicized outcry, the businessman is urging his fellow legislators to order the species’ extermination when Congress next convenes. Idaho Gov. “Butch” Otter, also a Republican, has signed a bill that declares wolves a “disaster emergency” and could give law enforcement agencies power to eradicate the animals.

    Otter, Hart and their followers claim that the gray wolf is a non-native species from Canada that was introduced into the state by agents of the federal government. The “federal wolf population,” as Hart calls it, has exploded beyond control. The wolves are spreading deadly tapeworms to Idahoans, he says. They are ruthless “killing machines” that kill just for fun, and are extremely dangerous to humans and pets.

    According to wolf experts, all of these statements are categorically false.”

    I’d like to see if Phil Hart can provide proof that wolves are spreading tapeworms to humans in Idaho.

    • jon says:

      Yep, and we can count on Idaho to manage wolves properly when this nutjob Phil Hart is calling for their extermination.

    • Immer Treue says:

      I’d like him to show proof for about anything he wrote in that piece.

      • jon says:

        immer and you know why wildlife advocates worry especially when you have people like HART who want the wolves exterminated.

      • Immer Treue says:

        It’s as if he was sitting on the lap of one of our “favorites”,and he was told exactly what to say. It is really disturbing that this man is an elected official. When one side says all we do is lie, then what on earth do they call this?

    • Phil says:

      I believe it was either Elk or wolf moderate, but would you call these actions as “extreme” in the wolf issue? Would you call this improper management as to why many did not want wolves delisted? Otter has proven he is not capable of a reasonable management plan. Yes, it is just an article, but look at the measures the high powered individuals are going to in persuading (misinforming) the public that wolves are evil.

      • wolf moderate says:

        Perhaps the animal rights activists should have remembered that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. Did they think the states were just going to sit idly by, while a bunch of sue happy organizations had there way with them? I think not. Form what I’ve read, the states plan is to reduce the wolf population down to 518. That is over the course of 5 years! I’d say that is a very “moderate” plan compared to what some had prophesied.

        It was quite obvious from the start that something was going to give. The same thing is going to happen with fragging natural gas in the next couple of years. Sure, the environmental groups can slow the process down a bit, but in the end business always wins. People want cheap goods, so they are willing to let the environment take the hit.

        Otter and Company are not stupid. They will not risk having the wolves relisted. Calm down and see what happens. There is nothing that cna be done at the moment and hopefull nothing will need to be. The states will do fine.

      • Phil says:

        wolf moderate: Otters exact words were “We did not want them here….”. I was against the delisting due to behaviors towards wolves from the governments of the states and the ones that will physically manage their populations. While I do not know you well, wolf moderate, and do not agree with much of what you say, I would trust you coordinating the managing of the wolf population more so than someone like Otter. It really does not come down to the animal activists, because Otter has had this hostility towards wolves for a while now, which is proven in his quote I posted at the beginning of this comment.

      • wolf moderate says:

        Not wanting them here and extermination are too different things. Who cares if he doesn’t like wolves? He will ensure that they are not re-listed onto the ESA, that we can be assured of. If for some reason he does something stupid and reduces the population of wolves below whatever threshold the Interior Department decides on, then the wolves would be re-listed w/o 10 (j) status! How cool would that be right? The wolves would be invincible. See my point, the state, including the Governor won’t risk it, but if they do it’s at there own peril…

      • jon says:

        I doubt Otter cares if they are listed or not. Incase you haven’t been paying attention, Otter signed the wolf declaration disaster bill and he said it might come in handy if wolves are ever relisted. It’s no secret that Otter and other nutjobs like Phil Hart want wolves gone out of Idaho.

      • Phil says:

        wolf moderate: Yes, not wanting them here and extermination are different, but when you look at all that Otter has done, such as the bounty and such, it does not take a genius to see that he would not mind seeing them go extinct again. With these types of actions, such as this ridiculous emergency declaration, he will probably find some way around the ESA to further decrease the populations. His recent, and even past, actions suggest he will.

      • Phil says:

        I don’t see Otter being any different than individuals like Ron Gillette and Bruce Hemming when it comes to their beliefs on wolves.

      • Cobra says:

        What if ?
        1. The wolf seasons go according to plan and all goes well.
        2. By selling wolf tags it helps the wolf studies with more financing.
        3. By having wolf hunts livestock kills go down in number.
        4. By having wolf hunts those people that are on the fence about wolves come to appreciate them more.
        5. What if, by having wolf hunts everything works out well and wolf numbers and elk numbers satisfy both sides.

      • rtobasco says:

        From what I have read – Otter doesn’t like wolves, didn’t want them here in the first place.

        Otter has agreed to a managmenet plan reducing the number of wolves to 518 over a five year period. (Anything but radical.)

        Otter signed the wolf disaster bill, not as a means to exterminate, but “in case the Feds changed their mind.”

        Butch isn’t going to stand behind any effort to exterminate wolves, but he is going to do everything he can to ensure that Idaho has a say in the matter. Relax, wolves are here to stay. Even Butch Otter accepts that.

      • Phil says:

        Cobra: Those are big “what ifs?”

        “1. The wolf seasons go according to plan and all goes well.” What is “going well” to you? Going well could mean different perspectives for both sides.

        “2. By selling wolf tags it helps the wolf studies with more financing.” Yes, great point, but I do not trust the Fish and Game when it comes to wolves.

        “3. By having wolf hunts livestock kills go down in number.” Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought livestock predation from wolves slightly went up after the 09 hunt? But, I could be wrong. I have been searching for the article regarding this issue, but could not find it. Maybe someone can help? Also, the percentage of predation on livestock is already very low.

        “4. By having wolf hunts those people that are on the fence about wolves come to appreciate them more.” I do not see this occuring based on what has been happening after Congress’s acceptance of the budget bill, but I hope you are right.

        “5. What if, by having wolf hunts everything works out well and wolf numbers and elk numbers satisfy both sides.” I am a strong believer that populations are affected by resources through the ecosystems. Nature stabilizes populations.
        -Prior to wolves=large elk populations
        -Post wolf reintroduction=overall increase in elk population with exception of a few areas (from what I have read),
        -Lower food sources=lower populations of those who consume the food.
        It would be ideal if all of your “ifs” would occur even though I am strong against the wolf hunts.

      • Elk275 says:


        ++-Prior to wolves=large elk populations
        -Post wolf reintroduction=overall increase in elk population with exception of a few areas (from what I have read),++

        In Montana the overall increase in elk population has occured in Eastern Montana where most of the land is private or interspersed with BLM and state lands with a portion of the public land not having legal public access.

        In Western Montana where there are large tracts of national forest there has been a decrease in elk populations, not that all the decrease in from wolves. I am in the process of appling for my moose , sheep and goat tags. I am noticeing that the number of moose tags in Western Montana is lower than in pre wolf days. Once again it may or may not be because of wolves, there are definitely other factors than wolves but then wolves eat moose. Drawing a moose tag is a one or two time situation.

        Do not make statements from what you read. Do your on on the ground research.

      • JEFF E says:

        actually otter suspended the 2008 management plan some months ago~and the 500+ number~ and said that Idaho will manage wolves down to the min. number of 100.
        Wonder how that is going to jibe with the new congressional mandate. Appears to already be a conflict of interest.
        I wonder if any of these people ever even make an effort to understand any of these issues much less the timeline of events.
        One thing is sure, the whole bunch of them could not match up a sock drawer.

      • Phil says:

        Elk: What I had read came from data collected by the Elk Foundation. It may have been a way to draw more hunters to buy hunting licenses, but I would rely on what they say rather than someone who is a advocate of wolves who may try to use a more persuasive motion. When I referred to populations, I was referring to overall populations in the states and not in certain areas. I do not believe over-predation by wolves in these areas where the elk population is a factor, I believe change in behavior is.

  20. Nancy says:

    When one side says all we do is lie, then what on earth do they call this?

    “Survival of the fittest” at its best Immer!

    Survival of the fittest
    The idea that species adapt and change by natural selection with the best suited mutations becoming dominant.

    This expression is often attributed to Charles Darwin and, although it appears in the fifth edition of his Origin of Species, 1869, it is there attributed to Herbert Spencer:

    “The expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the survival of the fittest is more accurate…”

    Spencer had published The principles of biology in 1864. In that he referred to ‘survival of the fittest’ twice:

    “This survival of the fittest, implies multiplication of the fittest.”
    “This survival of the fittest… is that which Mr. Darwin has called ‘natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life’.”

    By ‘fittest’, of course, Spencer and Darwin didn’t have in mind the commonly used meaning of the word now, i.e. the most highly trained and physically energetic. The ‘fittest’ referred to here are those animals which are the most suited to their environment, i.e. those which are best fitted to survive.
    Sad when we (humans) have gotten to the point where little else matters except a fabricated sense of survival.

  21. Alan says:

    We are a nation ruled by the minority. A small very vocal minority wants cuts to social programs without allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire; so we cut while the rich wallow in their millions. A small vocal minority wants wolves delisted without complying to the ESA; so we de-list wolves without complying to the ESA. A small vocal minority screams and hollers about bison finally being allowed to access winter forage in the Gardiner basin; so they have now been hazed back into the park to starve. How did we end up living in this bazzaro world?

      • Phil says:

        What we humans see as “trouble” species see as naturall.

      • Nancy says:

        +”The sad part is this story is (it’s) 40 years old and they are saying the same thing they said 40 years ago,” he said+

        Kind of sums it up don’t you think Elk?

        The big question is why?

      • Elk275 says:


        Forty years ago there were not the same number of bison in Yellowstone Park as there is today. Forty years ago, I spend the summer working road construction at West Thumb and there were not near the bison numbers. But then again brains age and what we thought and observed maybe have been different.

      • Alan says:

        “”If they want to fence the buffalo off of my property, they can put them where they want,” he said. “They can stack ’em up 500 feet deep. But I don’t wish them on my neighbors.””
        Funny thing, isn’t it? In the State of Montana if I want to keep
        domestic cows off of my land it is my responsibility to fence them out (according to law); but if I want to keep native wildlife off of my land, it’s the state’s responsibility to fence them out?! Bazzaro. I’ll bet this guy wants his taxes cut too, while they build him his fence.

    • wolf moderate says:

      It appears that this small “minority” has a great lobbyist. Or perhaps it is just a bunch of vocal citizens (Tea Baggers) demanding to be heard. Now if the lawmakers in Washington want to cater to this small “minority”, then wouldn’t it be at their own peril? If this minority is so small, then surely the majority will turn out the vote in 2012 and vote out these minority sympathizers that are currently in Washington? At least one would think so…So long as these views ARE truly only shared by a small minority. Time will tell!

      • william huard says:

        Gee whizz Wolf Moderate- go to of these Liberal sites that i frequent) and watch the new Republicans in swing districts try to defend cutting taxes for the rich and turning medicare into a voucher program. It’s very entertaining. These will be the shortest political careers in history

      • Ryan says:


        Probably not as short as Obama’s.. He’ll be as good as Jimmy Carter IMHO..

      • william huard says:

        He could possibly be a one term President. I’m not happy with him either. The problem is the Republicans don’t have a candidate that can win. If the unemployment rate gets around 8% by 2012 he will win re-election. The great Republican over- reach of 2011 is scaring the hell out of independent voters. Oh wait- Sara Palin or Michele Bachman will save us

  22. Virginia says:–Scratches-on-the-Blackboard-of-Animal-Cruelty

    Another excellent article by Walter Brasch, who writes often about wildlife issues, particularly mistreatment of wildlife.

    • Nancy says:

      This is just sick Virginia. Reminds me of gopher hunts here. “duhhh……. they just stand there lookin at ya, til ya blow em away!”

    • william huard says:

      I have friends in Pa that have been assaulted by these degenerate “slob hunters”. It seems they really get pissed off when people film how pathetic they are. Thery leave these injured pigeons some alive in a big pile and then go on with their miserable pathetic lives

      • jon says:

        It’s disgusting that these slob hunters are using pigeons as shooting targets. This is considered a “normal” activity to them.

    • Phil says:

      Really sick! And, the NRA calling this a traditional shooting sport is another ridiculous statement from them. Sport? I guess these shooting individuals are the REAL SPORT (football, basketball, baseball, soccer, etc) rejects.

  23. william huard says:

    I didn’t see this article posted anywhere here.

    • william huard says:

      Ranchers are outraged by the free range roaming plan…..When aren’t they bitching about something? Small caliber weapon used for maximum animal suffering-

  24. cc says:

    Killers of whooping crane get off with slap on the wrist. Pathetic!

    More were shot this winter in Arkansas and Georgia. Despite rewards over $20,000 in each state no one has been caught yet.

  25. cc says:

    Killers of whooping crane get off with slap on the wrist. Pathetic!

    More were shot this winter in Arkansas and Georgia. Despite rewards over $20,000 in each state no one has been caught yet.

  26. TC says:

    I would guess this dispersing wolf is not long for this world. Typical Casper Star Trib troll comments on this thread of stories – SSS is the solution.

  27. Daniel Berg says:

    Land swap deal involving Olympic National Park and Quileute tribe:

    • Phil says:

      More idiots walking on this planet. Even if that was their pickup truck and their food does not make the situation right for them to shoot at the cubs. Does anyone think before acting anymore, or are guns the answer to all problems?

      • Savebears says:

        Yes, a lot think before acting Phil, it is just the media loves to create situations, and lets not even get into the damn gun debate again! it always turns into a pissing match and nothing is new, it is just a way to waste electrons on the internet..!!

      • Mike says:

        Unfortunately most people with guns aren’t very bight.

      • Ryan says:


        I bet you would be suprised how many of the posters on this site own guns.. Chicago and the west have very little in common.

      • JB says:

        “Chicago and the west have very little in common.”

        Corrupt politicians. 😉

      • Savebears says:

        Well as and academy grad as well as college grad, I have a tendency to disagree with you Mike! I know a hell of a lot of bright/smart people that own guns..

  28. Woody says:

    Good news wolverines in the Eagle Cap Wilderness of Oregon.

    • william huard says:

      Today’s NYT:
      While the North Atlantic Right Whale is still clinging to survival with less than 500 alive, Transocean, BP and Halliburton are still pointing fingers at each other. You would think that the Government would be working on Transocean paying their fair share of taxes and closing the loophole of using the “Marshall Islands” regulations.
      Meanwhile why don’t we let BP drill on the East Coast, after all, what would the chances be of another disaster?

  29. Nancy says:

    Life – it is precious!



  30. jon says:

    Very good news concerning wolves in Montana

    • Immer Treue says:

      10-12 years ago the Lolo herd was nowhere near 12,000 elk. Over hunting (even one of our favorites from the dark side admits as much) and a severe winter 96/97 drove the elk numbers down prior to any significant wolf impact. IFG says not until 2005 did wolf depredations on elk begin to rise sharply, and Lolo elk numbers were then at ~5,000. Not saying wolves are holding numbers down at this time.

      • Immer Treue says:

        should read, “Not saying wolves are not holding numbers down at this time.

      • william huard says:

        Wolves are doing what they are wired to do. Kill to survive.
        It’s too bad they don’t know how to order chinese takeout. The hunters that bitch about wolves will find something else to bitch about. Ranchers will never be satisfied

      • wolf moderate says:

        Pot, meet Kettle!

        Wolf advocates have whined non stop for the last 2 weeks since the de-listing was passed. Frankly, it’s quite over-the-top IMO. Idaho has already put out there management plan, which calls for the reduction of wolves to 518 over 5 years…Anything but extreme.

      • william huard says:

        “Frankly, it’s quite over the top”. What’s over the top is allowing a poacher like Bridges to continue to spread the lie that wolves are the primary reason for the decline of game herds in the LOLO and Bitterroot areas. We have debated these issues to death( before you graced us with your presence on this blog).
        As for Idaho’s management plan we will see. We will be watching. I’m sure you have no issue with the bullshit way this delisting took place!

      • Savebears says:

        William, who is going to stop Bridges from saying what he wants?

      • WM says:

        From the Draft EIS on the Lolo wolf reduction proposal by IDFG ( ) :

        ++Though wolf predation was not considered to be a factor in the historical decline of elk in the Lolo Zone, since 2002 high mortality rates of cow and calf elk between mid-December and June 1 was determined to be largely caused by wolf predation resulting in a continuing decline in the elk population (IDFG 2010a)….++ (pdf pp. 14/79)

        ++Though few wolves were present in the Lolo Zone at the time of the initial decrease in the elk population, wolf predation is considered one of the major causes of elk mortality that is preventing the Lolo Zone elk population from increasing (IDFG 2010a). At the end of 2009, a minimum of 79 wolves in estimated 9-10 packs occupied the Lolo Zone.++ (pdf pp. 15/79).

        Bridges, as does William, oversimplifies the history, including this very recent history, of the impacts on the Lolo, which is always about two years behind from the time data is gathered, analyzed and published. Let ID do its thing there, and if they are wrong, then you will really have something to bitch about.

        Same thing is true for the West Fork of the Bitterroot herd, which is currently being studied by MGFP for removal of wolves allegedly impacting elk herd structure.

        By the way both of these study areas and proposed 10(j) removal areas are within 50 miles of each other, along the common state borders.

        Some of us actually spend time in these areas, and know how wolves impact elk behavior, and ultimately numbers. So, hop on an airplane, come on out here, put boots to the ground, and talk to the folks who live and recreate in these areas.

        William, you can sit there in S. Carolina, or wherever you are, and pontificate about how it is, but you are every bit the fact twister that Bridges is.

      • william huard says:

        Whatever WM. Showing a draft EIS from IDFG with their history of politicizing wildlife issues leaves me unconvinced. Where were these 80 wolves in the LOLO when IDFG sent in the crack outiftters? IDFG has to answer to the hunting community when hunters are not allowed to kill as many animals as they want. That increased pressure has led to over hunting in the past. They need a scapegoat so blame wolves. It’s the same tired argument.
        At least when I pontificate WM I do it in less than two paragraphs. Conservatives don’t believe in Science, remember! Global warming is a myth. Habitat destruction is a myth. Humans can’t be responsible for changes in an ecosystem. Do you think that when Grimm kills wolves for depredation of livestock he is using confirmed science?

      • Elk275 says:

        Mr Huard

        ++allowing a poacher like Bridges to continue to spread the lie that wolves are the primary reason for the decline of game herds in the LOLO and Bitterroot areas. ++

        I may be wrong but I have never read where Toby has been charged or convicted or poaching. I have traded e mails several times with Toby on muzzle loading hunting seasons in Montana. I do not like Toby.

        Mr. Bridges is allowed to editorialize his feelings and thoughts against wolves the same way you are allow to editorialize your feelings and thoughts wolves. Either one of you are right and I an not sure if anyone is right. People like you are pissed off because of the congressional action delisting wolves and not allowing judicial review. The feeling is that this congressional action has violated the 1st amendment rights of the pro wolf people, yet you feel that Toby should be hushed. What a hypocrite.

      • WM says:


        ++Where were these 80 wolves in the LOLO when IDFG sent in the crack outiftters?++

        There are few roads, the country is big so access is a bit difficult. Based on the amount of wolf poop and wolves I have seen, some of those wolves have worked their way through the Lolo herd, and they and their progeny are now occupying the Elk City, Dworshak other areas of the North Fork of the Clearwater drainage, where elk are for the present more numerous AND have been until very recently less wary.

        You may not like it, but there is a pretty good basis for hunters to be a bit pissed about localized effects on elk herd structure (that is the part about wolves taking the young of the year that screws up the herd dynamics), and ultimately populations.

        William, have you actually ever spent time out West and been to any of these places you speak so authoritatively of (other than maybe a few day car tour through Jellystone or Teton)?

      • william huard says:

        Being called a hypocrite by a status quo living fossil dinosaur like you ELK 275 is really something. I have no issue with Bridges and his first amendment rights of free speech, the issue is when his nonsense is printed and some people think he actually has credibility on these issues. Face it ELK 275- you are a predator hater just like Bridges, Tester, Baucus, and your rancher and outfitter friends

      • Savebears says:


        People have the right to believe what they want to believe, people read information and make judgments based on their belief system, not yours..

      • Elk275 says:

        I have never said I was a predator hater. I feel that the states manage the wildlife with the exception of migratory birds. State fish and games departments employ their biologist who are scientist with a master’s degree plus. The game departments have done a very good job of managing wildlife with ungulate numbers at there highest numbers in over 100 years. In order to maintain a high number of ungulates there has to be predator management which includes the hunting of mountain lions, wolves, coyotes and bears.

        It is also political. In the Northern Rocky Mountain states, a sizeable number of residents are big game hunters and they, the fish and game commission, governor and the state legislator due have sometimes negative influence. But it still is the state residents managing their wildlife.

        If you are not a resident and do not like the way it is managed, tuff. Everyone has there say at the yearly meeting and their comments are recorded and reviewed by the commission.

        ++I have no issue with Bridges and his first amendment rights of free speech, the issue is when his nonsense is printed and some people think he actually has credibility on these issues.++ If you read the above statement you wrote, you do have an issue with Bridges first amendment rights. Are you the one who decides what is nonsense can or can not be printed and whether he has credibility. Who determines whether you have any credibility? I do not know whether you are creditable or not, but you have your ideas and feelings, which I respect.

      • william huard says:

        I’ll put my list of scenic destinations visited up against yours anytime- but what would be the point? I’m an experienced mountain climber. I climbed Mount Washington in the dead of winter, only 6228 ft above sea level but the highest recorded wind velocities on the face of the earth.(231 mph) I don’t have to list my accomplishments to get approval from you. I have just as much if not more experience with predators in the wild. As for Yellowstone and Teton I’m sure they are both great. The problem is: I’m allergic to hillbillies with pickup trucks and shotguns, and I’d break out in a rash.
        Save Bears- I agree with you- everyone has a right to their belief system. I’m sure people in the Idaho legislature think their belief system is very reasonable! I think thinkprogess or talking points memo (liberal sites that I frequent) just voted Idaho as one of the worst ten states to be if your a woman. Just think how it must suck to be a predator in Idaho

      • william huard says:

        Elk 275
        “But it is still the state residents that manage their wildlife?
        Really? If you are an outfitter, hunter or rancher yes. You just said it was Politics too. I say it’s all politics. Did you notice how Bridges and the other rabid predator haters went after the Carolyn Simes and IDFG officials that weren’t as radical as their “cultural belief system?

      • WM says:


        ++I climbed Mount Washington in the dead of winter, only 6228 ft above sea level but the highest recorded wind velocities on the face of the earth.(231 mph)++

        I wasn’t asking about scenic destinations, or felt need for comparing lists (see below).

        I was asking if you had ever been to the places which, according to the state wildlife agencies have very recently been signficantly (adversely in their view) impacted by wolves, and are the subject of this debate – the Lolo or the West Fork of the Bitterroots.

        You see, I have been to the Lolo, and adjacent areas where I have hiked and hunted for the last twenty plus years. That is relevant to the discussion. My friends and hunting partners and I have seen the changes. Sometimes spending time on the ground gives one a better feel for what is going on, rather than reading news articles and agency reports.
        As for climbing, I respect a fellow mountain climber (we can come back to that if you want sometime and talk about routes on 14,471 foot Mt. Rainier- like Gibralter Ledge in winter, or 18,500 ft Mt. El Pico de Orizaba in Mexico (where the week before we climbed in December they took two dead Austrians off the mountain in the same pickup truck I rode to Pietra Grande. And, I have been in winds so strong we couldn’t set a tent or find a spot for a snowcave on the exposed and ice crusted Cooper Spur on Mt. Hood). But, I am well past the adrenaline filled exploits of young, foolish men. Now back to finishing my Easter lemon pound cake recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.

      • JB says:

        “Some of us actually spend time in these areas, and know how wolves impact elk behavior, and ultimately numbers ” (emphasis, mine).

        “Know”…really? Do tell.

    • william huard says:

      Since when do convicted poachers with very little brain cell activity get to spread mis information about wolves being the primary cause of low numbers in the LOLO? Haven’t we debunked that false notion already?

      • Savebears says:

        William, anybody can spread all the mis-information they want, the key is the truth can overcome mis-information, it may frustrate people, but you do have the choice to not read it or listen to it..

    • JEFF E says:

      Wolf Moderate,’
      You are a bit behind the curve.
      Clem has canceled the 2008 recovery plan ~and the 518 #~ and has mandated that Idaho will ((((manage))) to the minimum # of 100.
      I like you and your point of view but you need to keep current……
      If I am wrong please do not hesitate to correct me.

      • william huard says:

        Wolf Moderate has too big of an ego to be behind the curve. He is in front of the curve blocking any chance for fact-based argument

      • WM says:

        Not quite sure how the FWS April 2009 delisting rule, which is now a law by virtue of Congress, will be implemented.

        FWS, in the rule, states that the NRM population would likely be managed at about 1,000 wolves. The genetic diversity and connectivity issues remain a part of the equation that must be met under the ESA (that is the science part), or wolves would likely go back on the list.

        Even if Clem and the ID Legislature go down the 100 wolf path for ID, there will likely be repercussions. Also, we should consider what the political landscape will look like 5 years from now, nationally and locally. Lots of variables in play,and the future might be brighter than some think.

      • william huard says:

        It makes no sense to take a population of wolves and reduce that number to 100. It’s even worse to even consider that “Science”. This is all about politics and you know it

      • jon says:

        Jeff e just told you wolf mod and others before have told you as well. no more 2008 plan, back to 150 wolves. Now tell everyone that isn’t an extreme plan if you have 700 plus wolves in Idaho.

      • william huard says:

        Throw in a little torture just to show em whose boss!

      • wolf moderate says:


        Believe me, I am wrong more than anyone on this blog…Of course except for you. You have no idea of what you speak.


        It appears I may be behind the curve on this one. Could you post a link to the cancelled recovery plan? I haven’t heard or read anything concrete yet.


      • jon says:

        I can tell you one thing, a lot of wildlife advocates are watching what Idaho and Montana are going to do with their wolf populations. If Idaho really does plan on killing hundreds and hundreds of wolves in order to get down to the 150 #, all hell will break loose and there will be a lot of public backlash. Let’s not forget about all of the wolves killed by wildlife services.

      • william huard says:

        Gee Wolf Moderate-
        Why then do you always end up agreeing with me like our trophy hunting argument last week or when you confused the facts on our bear hunting debate also last week? Idaho has changed it’s mind on the management plan more times than you change your underwear in a week

      • wolf moderate says:

        I do not believe I changed my mind lol. I think I said I don’t particularly like trophy hunting, but if people want to do it then they have the right.

        It seems that I don’t have TOO big of an ego is I supposedly agreed with you! Ha.

      • wolf moderate says:

        Dude, if any male on here is wearing panties, it would be you. Aren’t you one of them “metrosexuals” that so many guys have become? Ya know, vegan, animal rights activist etc…

        Anywho, I am done w/ this conversation. You can have last word.


      • william huard says:

        Well facts are the facts Wolf Moderate. Don’t make me go back and pull up the debates, it was painful enough the first time

      • Phil says:

        wolf moderate: I have heard of the 100-150 minimum as well. That’s why I was so confused when you and another pointed to the 518 in 5 years, and is why we had an argument of whether or not Idaho and Montana would go to extreme measures. I still do not agree with Idaho going from the little more then 700 to 518, but I hope you are right that the numbers will still be a little higher than 500 after 5 years (if the hunts last that long).

        Jeff E. “Clem has canceled the 2008 recovery plan ~and the 518 #~ and has mandated that Idaho will…” Would it be up to Otter, Fish and Game or FWS with their 1,000 minimum of the three states to agree on this plan?

        As jon mentioned, a lot of (if not all) wildlife advocates are watching how Idaho and Montana will manage their plans and the population of wolves due to these managements. DOF, NRDC and Earthjustice have sent out emails stating they will have close eyes on the management. I do agree with wolf moderate and Elk, if Idaho and Montana do not want to go through the troubles of listing and delisting again and get the environmental groups off their backs, than they need a management plan that is Scientific based. I just do not see them doing so.

      • wolf moderate says:

        (1) Continue the pursuit of control actions under 10j for the protection of ungulate herds while wolves remain listed under the Endangered Species Act;

        (2) Suspend immediately the 2008-2012 Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan; and

        (3) Postpone consideration, until delisting resumes, as to the specifics of day-to-day state wolf management and upon delisting of gray wolves in Idaho; the Commission will direct the Department to prepare an appropriate wolf species management plan, consistent with the 2002 Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan approved by the Idaho Legislature and the u.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


        Thaks Jeff. I remember this thread. Still dont see anything about reducing population to 10-15 breeding pairs though. Help me out!

        I’m not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV, but where does it say that they are going to reduce the population of wolves in the state of Idaho to 10/15 breeding pairs? Not saying that it isn’t a possibility, just don’t see how you guys can jump to that conclusion.

      • JEFF E says:

        Come on Wolf m. I can lead you to water but I can’t make you drink. read the 2002 management plan…………or not. your choice

      • JEFF E says:

        Wolf M,
        In all fairness it will be very difficult to get the population down to that #. does not mean Idaho will not give it the old collage try. Do not underestimate the livestock industry and the power they wield in this state. just look at the big horn sheep issues for a little taste

      • wolf moderate says:


        I see your point now, but do not agree w/ it at all. The states won’t risk having the wolves re-listed, plain and simple. This act of rescinding the 08-12 wolf plan was more of a beating on chest kind of thing. Ya know, the whole “states rights” thing. Get the feds off our back and let us control our own states.

        Also, I still don’t see where the states say they will reduce the population to 10 or 15 breeding pairs. I see where they can but don’t see where they will. Maybe I’m missing something.

        Anywho, thanks for the link and all I can say is that I hope that the states manage the wolves responsibly, so they don’t get the wolves re-listed.

      • JEFF E says:

        Wolf M,
        It is not my point. it is Clem’s point.
        I agree that the states will not let the numbers get below the minimum……but what about what the state can not control such as a parvo outbreak as in YS, which is the only reason the number was raised to the 500+ # in the first place.
        And who is going to do the counting? the State?


      • JB says:

        Wolf moderate:

        I agree that IDF&G would never take the risk of managing a population for 100 animals, but how many times has the Idaho legislature and governor intervened in the wildlife management process in the state? At least twice they have demanded the federal government remove ALL wolves from Idaho. I think there are a number of Idaho politicians that would like nothing better than to manage wolves at exactly 100 animals just to “rub the feds nose in it”–so to speak. Whether those folks will win out over reason is anybody’s guess at this point.

  31. Elk275 says:

    They are both hunters and non hunter and then some very anti hunters on this forum. Read this article. This is about the right for the American public: hunters, non hunters, non consumptive wildlife users, and others. This is about a disputed 1/4 mile road that has the access to over 40,000 acres of national forest your land and my land. It is the sportsman’s group (the hook and bullet crowd) that are going to open up this road and access to this land.

    Several weeks ago the district court in the affected county in Central Montana blocked off access to over 50,000 acres of public lands in the Missouri Breaks, the sport mans groups are going to have to go to the Supreme Court of Montana for relief. This is about a disputed county road.

    One may or may not like hunting and/or the local hillbillies or the idiots with guns. Those people are on the ground doing work that other are not doing. Again it is all of our lands, lands that will be very difficult to access in the future if something is not done now.

    • bret says:

      Thanks Elk275 for the link, I hope they are successful in gaining access.

      Proud member of the hook and bullet, alpine climbing and canon shooting crowd.

  32. Rita K.Sharpe says:

    Well, this all going on here to day,maybe be we should step back and think about the family whose loved one is dead.He worked on a silver mine in Idaho and it has been nine days. [ ]

  33. kathy miller says:

    Picture in the print copy featured Ron Gillett — made me sick.,0,394487.story

    • Daniel Berg says:

      He reminds me of an interesting article I read recently on borderline personality disorder.

      • IDhiker says:

        I saw Gillett on the TV news outside of Molloy’s court. They TV person interviewed him briefly, and (I am not a psychologist) it appeared to me that he has uncontrollable anger. It is surprising to me that he has not suffered a heart attack with such rage constantly fermenting.

    • The article said that bookings at Gilett’s motel were a fraction of before the wolves — before 1995 I guess.

      Would you book at Gilett’s motel if you walked in and found him at the desk? Would anyone?

      • Two summers ago, I met a large family at the Bear Valley Bridge that had stayed the night before at Gilett’s motel. They said they would look for other lodging because he ranted and raved at them when they asked about the chance of seeing some wolves in Bear Valley.

      • jon says:

        Ralph or Larry, does anyone know for certain if his motel is getting less business for certain because of wolves? it seems to me that he’s using wolves as a scapegoat for the reason why his motel isn’t getting as much business as it once did.

      • You have to think with such hysterical rhetoric of blood-craving giant wolves wiping out all the wildlife in Idaho, MT, and WY, that after awhile it would have a self-fulfilling affect of reducing tourism and out-of-state hunters.

        Crying wolf too much is not too profitable, I would guess. Also, Stanley is relatively remote and certainly the current price of gasoline is not helping his business, nor has the long recession.

      • I haven’t been to Stanley for two years. I can’t say how Gillet’s business, Triangle C motel, is doing.

        Its clientele never was hunters very much, just general tourists and his whitewater rafting operation.

    • Nancy says:

      +Reporting from Stanley, Idaho— It used to be you could look across the ridge from Ron Gillett’s house and a couple of dozen elk would be foraging for grass. Then you’d hear a scary kind of howling, and the elk would take off, a pack of wolves close on their heels+

      It use to be? Or is this simply a description of how nature use to be around Gillett’s house before the landscape and wildlife got sanitized by humans? As in wiping out any predators that dared to compete with humans?

      • Definitely not defending Gillett, but according to some residents around Stanley, Idaho that I have spoken to – elk have definitely changed their behaviors like coming closer to people’s yards and gardens instead of at slightly higher elevations in the open. Also bulls don’t seem to bugle as much as they used to in the fall – the “smart ones” (most adaptive) must have realized that it was basically a “wolf call” for dinner.

      • Salle says:

        Well, I know that he used to feed the elk near his property, and I also know that there had been, made to me in the past, complaints about the condition of the cabins he used to rent out. Must not be much of a maintenance guy. And then there’s his demeanor…

    • Phil says:

      I still find it kind of weird that this woman came out a couple days before the budget bill was accepted and mentioned this story of her being trapped by 4 large wolves. 18 long minutes, and yet none of them attacked her (if her story is true). The connections to her story just do not add up.

      • I don’t find it weird, but find it quite similar to the atmosphere experienced in Salem, MA and surrounding counties during the late 1600s. People feeding on hysterical fiction into a frenzy and looking for a scapegoat to rid their community of their “sickness”.

        Only then some innocent Colonial American women died unnecessarily… this time it’s wolves – in a misdirected attempt to make “sacrifices” to ward off perceived evil.

        Wikipedia on the infamous witch trials – “The episode is one of the most famous cases of mass hysteria, and has been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of isolationism, religious extremism, false accusations, lapses in due process, and local governmental intrusion on individual liberties.”

        Sound familiar? Welcome to our Tea Party – wolves not welcome.

      • Immer Treue says:

        The wolves may have been there, but it was also a Rockholm production… straight to BBB.

  34. Daniel Berg says:

    “Invasive species: Are scientists fighting a losing battle?”

    “But new research from Oregon State University now shows those efforts also have unwelcome side effects. Bulldozing wipes out native plants and can further change the ecology of the beach.”

    It has to be difficult to make these decisions. Do we do nothing and possibly lose the Snowy Plover population? Or do we bulldoze the beach and potentially harm other plants or animals in an effort to save plovers?

  35. Daniel Berg says:

    “Pennsylvania Official: End Nears For Fracking Wastewater releases”:

    • JEFF E says:

      I think this event was the real beginning of the end for the Soviet Union. the keystone card in a house of cards.

  36. Salle says:

    The military’s war on the Earth

    • jon says:

      I remember hearing about this story a few years back. A LOT of people did not like one bit what this man did. There’s no reason to shoot a polar bear for a trophy.

      • william huard says:

        Don’t you know that killing polar bears is good for them…..As if they don’t have enough problems…..

      • Wolf Moderate says:

        I’ve been contemplating dropping huge chunks of styrofoam up north to act as a manmade icebergs. This will allow our economy to continue polluting the environment, while at the same time, giving polar bears a place to ride the waves. Just thinking out loud here. It might work better than selling $100,000 polar bear hunts to wealthy white males…Yuck!

    • SEAK Mossback says:

      That’s interesting that Don Young shot a polar bear out of Kotzebue in 1964. My mother (who was teaching in Nenana at the time) and I flew out there during spring break in April 1964 in an old DC-3 just to see some more of Alaska. I vividly remember the whole row of ski planes on the ice in front of town waiting for the weather to improve to take guided hunters out to land and shoot polar bears. While they could be dangerous hunts, due to weather and landing conditions, they were not remotely approaching fair chase. Most of the money from the hunts quickly left Kotzebue. The weeks-long dog sled hunts in NWT & Nunivut are very different.

    • Phil says:

      Yes, and that ridiculous photo of the man posing with the polar bear, arctic fox, etc sure represent his strategy of hunting them for survival, conservation and/or food, right? These are the kinds of hunters I am strongly against.

  37. jon says:

    “McDermott says Idaho might use other tools like trapping and predator control actions, in addition to the hunt, to mange wolves.

    “Every legal method that aids in controlling the wolf population has to be in our wolf plan,” he says. “Hunters alone will not do it; hunting will just help keep the population stable. It’s going to take trapping and other control actions.”

    • Ann Sydow says:

      IDFG commissioners already approved the use of leghold traps and snares to kill wolves at their meeting in Kellogg last July. In fact one guy complained that the trapping requirements were too tough and the commission seemed very concerned and sent him to someone across the room to tell his troubles to. He was complaining about something like traps had to be 300 ft from a campground , and however many feet from the middle of a road… Ridiculous!

  38. JEFF E says:

    but..but…but isn’t this all just a hoax perpetuated by big Al?

  39. Nancy says:

    Ralph, Ken, Brian – pull it if it offends or violates – in the Dillionite Daily today:


    Thomas Paine Society talks with wolves
    Hola Perro, news not good for you, Bro! The game is about to change. All those exaggerated fabrications about your eating habits are gaining traction. Seeing that you have lived on the North American continent for 800,000 years, you know how to adapt to changing times.
    We also know you don’t hang out near man’s paved roads, but if you did, you’d see this bumper sticker, “GRAY WOLF, SMOKE A PACK A DAY.” How’s that for playing with words?
    This condescending pap is (typically slapped on a fuel guzzling, 4-wheel drive truck or SUV driven by a macho, camouflaged clad yahoo or yahoo princess.) Here’s the news, Canis. The Euro-trash that has been here for 600 short years has decided this “last best place” has too many of your kind. But hang in there, Dog, there’s a movement to level the killing field for this alleged “hunt”. It is sort of a “we’ve got your back” strategy (WGYB).
    Here’s the deal, Alpha Dog: the WGYB folks are working hard to give you more corridors and cover. You already have some world class feed lots in the National Park thanks to progressives like Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir.
    President Roosevelt, a hunter and conservationist, also left you millions of acres of cover in the form of national forest and wildlife preserves. You and the pack will figure it out. It’s in your DNA. Get in there deep and when you hear aircraft overhead, take cover. Talk with your little hardnosed cousin, El Coyote, he knows the drill.
    Canis, the WGYB wants to help, but you’ve got to work with us, Pup. We know those dimwitted, slow elk and those subsidized, and no doubt, sometimes sodomized range maggots are easy prey, but don’t even think about it! Leave them alone. Every confirmed or unconfirmed kill gives the Lupisphobes a new reason to bring back Compound 1080, the most inhuman poison ever put on public land. We don’t know how many human kills you Lobos have been charged with over the last 15,000 years, but it sure as hell pales in comparison to body counts registered by Big Tobacco, junk food, Big Pharma, the drink and drive crowd and those firearms in possession of registered itiots.
    Keep the faith, Dog. Canis Latrans and your spawn will mellow yellow on man’s grave 1,000 years from now.

    Mike Mosolf,
    Thomas Paine Society, Missouri River Headwaters Chapter

  40. jon says:

    Guest column: Eyes of the nation will be on Idaho, Montana wolf managers

    • JEFF E says:

      first of all there are not three states that will be delisted but five. second no combination of states has commited to keeping the numbers anywhere near 1100.

    • Phil says:

      “We’ve encouraged managing for 1,200-1,500 wolves across the Northern Rockies, and with delisting the three states are committed to 1,100. We intend to hold them to that.” It seems like the 1,200-1,500 would also include the Wyoming population which I thought (as also mentioned in the article) was still protected? Is the 1,100 a limited population in the NRM, or the amount they want to decrease from the more then 1,500?

  41. jon says:

    Three New Scientific Studies Confirm Lead Poisoning of Wildlife Due to Hunting Ammunition

  42. jon says:

    Letter to the editor: Lawmakers trying to prove hatred of wolves is good

    • Phil says:

      Still shocking how some of these anti-wolf people believe the timberwolf is different from the current gray wolf in the NRM.

  43. Peter Kiermeir says:

    CNN reports on the success of the Californian Condor:

  44. william huard says:

    Today’s NYT:
    These conservative legislators have no shame, and no clue about democracy! It’s about FREEDUM

  45. jon says:

    Some pics of wolves chasing elk in Idaho.,75422.msg921221/topicseen.html#new

    Pay no attention to the comments.

    • Phil says:

      jon: Maybe you can answer this, but did Lynne Stone leave Defenders of Wildlife? I may be late to the punch bowl, but it seems as though she did. Even her job position is open on DOF’s website.

    • wolf moderate says:

      That looks like the exact area that I go to near Maki Lake, which is east of McCall. Cool pics.

    • Daniel Berg says:

      It seems like on some of these forums, there are the same cheeseballs that spit out the same garbage about poaching wolves.

      I’ve had casual conversations with at least a dozen hunters in Washington and Oregon over the last few months, and they do not say the same things that are being said on some of the blogs. Most of them were more or less aware of what was going on in the NRM in regards to wolves. I kept hearing the same things; that it was okay to have some wolves around as long as there was management and hunter opportunity wasn’t seriously curtailed. The younger guys especially would start out making an anti-wolf kind of opening comment, but usually would end up reasoning a little more as the conversation progressed and putting out what their idea of a compromise was.

      It’s just amazing to me how an extremely vocal minority can hijack an entire issue.

      • Nancy says:

        Gotta agree with you there Daniel. A minority is getting the air time/ coverage when it comes to the situation out here in the west when it comes to predators, especially wolves and I’m pretty sure the blame can be placed directly in the laps of politicians who’d rather ignore the real needs of the majority of people they claim to represent.

      • Ann Sydow says:

        You were talking to hunters in Oregon and Washington though, not in Idaho or Montana. There’s quite a difference, unfortunately.

      • jon says:

        I’m sure there are hunters who don’t condone that kind of talk, but I’ve been seeing sss comments all over hunting forums in the last year. Clearly there are some who may not want speak up because they might get ridiculed by other hunters. One person on there said he’s pissed off at that picture of wolves chasing elk then he goes on to say sss. What exactly is wrong about wolves going after elk? Do these people who get pissed off at pictures like that understand that wolves have no choice but to eat elk? Wanting to give wolves a death sentence because they ate trying to survive makes no sense to the average sane person.

      • Daniel Berg says:


        Yeah, I’m sure that could be true. Washington and Oregon do also have their own vocal, anti-wolf hunters. It’s just hard to say exactly where the majority stand.

      • Elk275 says:


        Whay are Washington and Oregon hunters some of the largest population of non resident hunters in Montana and Idaho.

    • Immer Treue says:

      jon and all,

      seems as though these pictures has brought out the worst in one of our BBB favorites.

      “We need to fight to legalize Strychnine baits and cyanide gas guns, (getters) for control methods. A far more productive tool than the rifle, especially in open country.”

      • jon says:

        Yeah, the guy who said that went after sb a few weeks ago. He used to post on here, but got banned and seems to be real bitter and angry against the people who post on here. He’s jealous of Ralph and Ken and Brian.

      • Nancy says:

        Sadly Immer – this is the “gospel” according to – too many out there:
        +At the beginning of creation, animals mainly served as helpers and enjoyment and not food because Adam and animals alike were vegetarians (Genesis 1:29-30). Note also that man was to rule over the earth and subdue it. The earth and all that it had were meant to serve the needs of man. It wasn’t until after the fall of man in Genesis 3 did meat become a source of food for both animals and man. Since the animals and the plants of the earth were put under the control of man, God gave the responsibility to man to learn and to use them to his pleasure. That is why animals in research are acceptable, because they are meant to be used instead of humans. Animals do not have the same form of eternal soul, and likely do not experience an afterlife. This does not mean that we can be cruel and intend evil towards them. We need to be careful in sport hunting so we don’t make it our consumption or do it illegally+

      • Phil says:

        Ok, I keep hearing about this individual who use to post on here before getting banned and developing much anger towards individuals on this forum, but who is this person?

      • Woody says:

        On the BBB he has changed his name from Greg Farber to Rattle Rider.

  46. vickif says:

    This isn’t wildlife news, but prayers are going out to the families effected by the tornados in the south.

  47. Cindy says:

    If you’re in need of some mellow wildlife viewing this Friday afternoon take a look at this short video posted on: website:, and of course I just had to comment.

  48. Salle says:

    Wildlife peril — Countries with the most threatened endemic species in 2010

  49. Red says:

    I can’t believe I missed this blog for so long. Grew up in Idaho (folks still live there), although I live in Minnesota now.

    Local news (for me): The loons and grebes have arrived.

    My mother shared some local Custer County news, I didn’t see any links about it above; the WPCA is having an awareness meeting in Challis tomorrow about E. granulosus. I don’t have a link to the actual ad (I believe it was published in the Messenger):

    With Wolves in our backyard how dangerous is the disease threat to our families, pets and livestock?
    Has the government covered up the truth about the danger of the diseases Echinococcus granulosus and others?
    Come to an informative meeting and learn the truth about the wolves and what the government is not telling you about the life threatening disease you are possibly being exposed to everyday and how to protect yourself, pets and livestock
    Western Predator Control Association

    • Welcome Red,

      We haven’t covered this local meeting because we have thoroughly examined the Echinococcus granulosus controversy, and there is nothing to it. I don’t know why this guy is stirring things up. He attended a Montana meeting where the danger of this disease was put to rest by all but one of those testifying. He knows better, I think. Maybe he wants publicity.

      Echinococcus granulosu is probably endemic to the area among coyotes, foxes and other animals, but it is not clear any person in Idaho has ever gotten the disease.

      Some wolves are infected, but they didn’t bring it here. They were all checked and dewormed twice before being brought from Canada.

      Scat from all predatory animals, including domestic cats and dogs that run free outdoors, is inherently a source of parasites. That is probably one reason we get so disgusted when we step in cat or dog crap. Pregnant women are told to avoid cat scat particularly because it often has toxiplasmosis, which can cause a miscarriage.

      No one should play with predator scat, and very few do. Aside from that there is little to worry about. No one who handles coyotes, fox or wolves in Idaho has gotten this infestation.

      • JEFF E says:

        …and let’s not even start talking about the pork tapeworm.

        “Pork tapeworms start out as larvae inside a pig. If the pig is infested, slaughtered and not cooked right, there’s a chance the larvae could get inside a human body.

        “The weird thing is that pork tapeworms have to get inside the body of a human in order to develop into the next stage of its life cycle,” Stewart says. “No other animal works. We are called ‘the obligate host’ of the pork tapeworm.”

        Once inside a human body, the pork tapeworm settles inside the stomach, where it grows to adulthood, reproduces and waits — as long as 20 years.

        “Adult tapeworms will eventually leave on their own or die,” Stewart says. “But here’s the thing: A person who is infected with tapeworms can spread those worms [or their] eggs to other people directly, without having to bother with a pig during the process. “That’s one reason it’s important to wash your hands after you use the bathroom, Stewart says — particularly if you handle food.

        “When you swallow one of those eggs, instead of getting the larvae, then that little creature hatches and behaves very differently,” she says. “It doesn’t just settle in your stomach and start laying eggs — it travels all over your body.”

        Microscopic tapeworm eggs have been found all over the body — including the liver, lungs and brain.

        “You actually have cases of people being diagnosed with brain tumors only to find out what they actually have is a tapeworm living in their brain,” she says. “And what really astonished me is that tapeworms in the brain are the leading cause of epilepsy worldwide.”
        K.C. Kratt/Algonquin Books Amy Stewart is the author of five books about the natural world, including Wicked Plants and Flower Confidential.

      • jon says:

        This Echinococcus granulosus is constantly brought up by those that don’t like wolves for whatever reason. One way to shut these people up is bring up the fact that not one person in Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming has ever being infected by it and wolves have been back for 16 years. This shuts them up pretty quick. They’ll scatter like cockroaches.

      • Immer Treue says:


        Amusing how the anti’s will cherry pick, as well as change a strategic word here or there from Mech quotes to fit their arguments, but they stay away from this.

      • jon says:

        Immer, how is your saturday going? Yep, that’s the name of their game. They cherry pick and discredit anything else they don’t agree with regardless of the facts. They can go on and on about Echinococcus granulosus, but at the end of the day, we will still know that not ONE PERSON in ID, MT, and WY has been infected with it. They can deny this fact all they want.

      • mikarooni says:

        I think Bob Fanning is infected with it.

      • Immer Treue says:

        All things said E. granulosus is not a laughing matter. However, you take any wild animal, and it will have endo and ecto parasites. Proper precautions whenever possible, and no problems.

      • Salle says:

        Speaking of parasites, here’s evidence that social parasites are the most rampant and infectious:

        Gotta wonder who’s throwing funding into this one.

      • william huard says:

        While we are on the subjhect of parasites:
        I feel sorry for the people in his county that have to deal with the blowhard. I’m sure he gets subsidies.

      • Immer Treue says:

        I guess it’s time to start sharing scat pictures. LOL!

      • jon says:

        William, thanks for that article on Denny. Good to see that a lot of people don’t like him. Just look at the comments. There are people that are really struggling in Montana and I don’t think Rehberg really knows what it truly means to struggle.

      • jon says:

        “Denny is an alcoholic……that sickness and addiction will make the richest man cash poor. He has needed to get help for a long-long time…..he almost killed himself last year on Flat Head Lake when he beached a speed boat about 25 ft. up the side of a rocky shore.

        Denny is in government for one reason: the pension and health care plan that he and his wife will get when he retires. He doesn’t work very hard at all…he’s a lazy drunk Republican. All the bartenders in the Flat Head know Denny.”

      • Savebears says:


        Denny was not driving the boat, hence he did not beach it and hurt anyone, the driver of the boat was Greg Barkus, Barkus received a large fine and a deferred sentence in that incident.

      • Savebears says:


        Where did you get the statement you posted about him being a drunk? I don’t see it in the articles that have been posted, was it a comment after one of the articles?

      • Savebears says:

        Ok, I found it, I know a lot of bartenders in the Flathead and none that I know of said Denny is a drunk, he rarely visits the Flathead as his residence is located on the eastern side of the state.

      • jon says:

        sb, I was posting one of the comments in the article on Denny that William posted. How’s your saturday going? Nice weather out there?

      • Savebears says:

        Not as nice as it could be, it is snowing and raining right now..

      • Elk275 says:


        Please do not write about things that you kow nothing about. Such as Denny’s drinking and wealth. I do not know the man personally. You live in Maine and have little or no idea what is going on in the Northern Rockies and to make statements that are not based on know fact reflects on you.

        The Internet in the hands of fools is a very dangerous.

      • jon says:

        elk, read a bit more carefully next time. That was a comment by someone else.

  50. Doryfun says:


    Interesting that Mexico is at the top of the chart. I wonder what the correlation is between this situation and the extreme economic conditions that force people to flee the country at such high rates. One nation full-up on people, way past carrying capacity, so flowing northward.

    Once the wilflife is gone, the drug wars leave only people left to fight and shoot it out with.

    • Salle says:

      I’m not too surprised though. They have other issues besides the drugthugs. They have poor regulation of oil and other chemical production and pollution, pollution from pesticides in the farming regions and loss of forested land suffering from similar devastation as the rain forests of Brazil et al. And not to forget the macquilladoras (sp?) along the US border where manufacturing takes place in concentrated areas with open sewage and factory discharge. Just look at the air quality in Mexico City, all the northern cities that I have seen where afflicted with dark clouds of polluted air. Not to mention that poor and hungry people will eat what they can find and its status as endangered my not be a consideration, especially for those with no outside info.

      Just an aside, I have noticed, in my travels, that when you cross the border from Mexico to the US you can instantly notice that it’s cleaner. But when you get to the north and cross into Canada, you notice this again only it’s cleaner in Canada, as soon as you cross the bridge.

    • WM says:


      Mexico is not “full up” at carrying capacity. It has lots of land, and the people there do not starve except those who live in the slums adjacent to Mexico City (something like the second largest city in the world when the greater metro area is counted). It’s rural agriculture is thriving. It has lots of government owned oil (highest revenue source) with remittances from the US a close second. Not even close in the “carrying capacity” issue. Most of the folks are just poor.

      It has a very small but powerful uber-rich economic class that keeps about 80% of the country at near slave wages with no education. and eroding values, and no middle class to speak of. The country is filled with corruption, and the drug cartels are taking over, with even more corruption in government and law enforcement by the day.

      Environmental protection, public health and safety are way down the list in priority. Little regulation of pesticides from my recollection. It is no wonder they have so many species on the brink of extinction.


      From my travels in Mexico there are still lots of places with clean air once you get away from the cities at the high elevations that cause cars to pollute even more (Mexico City is the worst, and is at about 7,000 feet elevation, if I recall). There is relatively clean water free from most pesticides and soil erosion, in some parts, for example parts of the mountains adjacent to the Gulf Coast.

      • Doryfun says:

        WM & SAlle,

        Well, I haven’t been to Mexico, but when I have flown over the US, I have looked down and seen a lot of open ground, and have been to a lot of our wild areas, so it would appear there is plenty of space to put more humans.

        Many on this blog often refer back to over population and too many people. If there is so much space and Mexico and the US isn’t nearing carrying capacity, which country is it that is? While carrying capacity can be quagmire of grey area, I would complicate it more with the added influence of social carrying capacity to the physical one. Sure we can stand elbow to elbow if we want. Come to the Little Salmon River during salmon season, that is what they do there. Not fishing to me. Some no no difference. We get too accustomed to living wiht less and less of the wild things, because we are too many, and have no control over our own numbers. We are more interested in selling Viagra than promoting condums, more sex education, or suggest $ incentives for self regulation.

        History shows that it has pretty much been the elites and avarice leading the charge in stepping wrecklessly hard on the planet. I supose we could fall in line with those who support the adage: “Today the earth, tomorrow mars.”

      • WM says:


        ++If there is so much space and Mexico and the US isn’t nearing carrying capacity, which country is it that is?++

        Well, we know that parts of India and China are there already, and have been for decades. As long as humans can be fed enough to sustain life and continue to pro-create, they can be crowded together to some pretty high densities – for the present. It says very little however, about the quality of life – there is none for the masses, and the environment in which humans inhabit continues to erode. Mumbai, India, anyone?

        Here in the US it is more a matter social carrying capacity and what we are willing to tolerate as our environment erodes, as it is surely doing to satisfy our consumer demands. And, for the better until recently, we have a democracy and a governmental structure, with “hope” to change our surroundings for the better. Things seem to have gone sideways beginning with Bush. and we are developing our own uber-rich socio-economic stratification, that stifles these other countries.

        Back to Mexico for a moment. A number of years back, a friend rented a condo in Vail the week before Christmas and invited me (and my girlfriend at the time) up for a couple of days of skiing. We skied the top of the mountain all day long, and there were no crowds (things don’t really get jammed up until after Christmas when the snow is better and the destination skiers from out of state start showing up).

        At the end of the day, when everyone heads for the bottom of the hill, we seemed to be over run by lots of little speedsters, at the density of ants on a nest. At the very bottom, just outside the lodge were all these flashy women (mothers of the speedsters) dressed in ostentatious fur coats, those over the top – furry boots, and dripping in jewelry, looking for their little ones. Country of origin: Mexico. Guess where the uber-rich spend their Christmases?

  51. Salle says:

    Here’s a good one, not directly wildlife related but…

    Fact-Free Nation: How to Make Your Lie Go Mainstream in 26 Easy Steps

  52. Phil says:

    Much of Mexico is filled with poverty, and as some have mentioned, neglect for the environment, health of citizens, species and protection is occuring at high rates, but Mexico also has some of the richest men in the world. Four of the top 100 richest men in the world live in Mexico with Carlos Slim Helu taking the number 1 spot overall.

    The governments could care less for the majority of the citizens, and if they do not care for the majority of people, then they sure as helk are not going to care for species and the environment. That being aside, there are some beautiful places to visit in Mexico (most being away from the bigger cities). When I visited Texas four years ago my uncle took me to Imuris, Mexico. When we passed by the U.S./Mexico border we spotted some great desert wilderness areas seeing Armadillos, foxes, coyotes, a bobcat and desert rabbits. When my uncle had a clothing store in Mexico City a decade ago, he use to tell me that people in Mexico are either rich or poor, nothing inbetween.

  53. Nancy says:

    They’re baaaaack:

    And speaking of being back, counted over 100 elk (and as many antelope) on the ranch across the way this morning.

    Given the amount of snow pack still in the mountains, the elk will probably be around to enjoy for a few weeks. They appeared at dusk last night so I didn’t get a good look until this morning.
    Surely a sign that spring might just be around the corner!

  54. Immer Treue says:

    Using Drones to Catch poachers.

    Interesting possibility. As our forces rely more heavily upon drones rather than piloted aircraft, a novel way of training drone pilots might be used to catch poachers here. Not to say that it isn’t already a work in progress.


    Harsh winter takes toll on Northern Rockies wildlife

  56. Immer Treue says:

    Certainly not nature, but it appears this hunt is over.

  57. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Congratulations America! Well done! What a relief!

  58. Woody says:

    Oregon PBS will air “Running the Gauntlet”, about salmon in the northwest and the problems they face on May 2.

  59. Virginia says:

    PBS – Nature program Sunday night: “Salmon: Restoring the Gauntlet.” Informative program that explained the negative effect of dams on salmon in Idaho and the Northwest. I know this has been discussed by Ralph on the blog, but this program showed the reality of it to me. Also, explained the decision by the judge to mandate the releasing of some of the water through these dams. Humans are so stubborn and short-sighted when it comes to admitting our impact on wildlife then we wait until it is almost too late to do anything about it.

    • Daniel Berg says:

      “The senator and his staff are eager to emphasize the stylistic contrasts with Rehberg, a real-estate developer and cashmere-goat rancher worth tens of millions.”

      In articles I’ve read, I’ve not often seen Denny Rehberg described as a “real-estate developer and cashmere-goat rancher”. Usually it has just been “rancher”.

      • It is good to see Rehberg referred to as a real estate developer because that is where he makes his money. It does not come from farming goats!

      • Woody says:

        I wondered why at least representatives in Oregon and one senator voted for passing the mandatory funding bill. They know more than I about politics. Testor would gain my vote vs Rehberg if I still lived in Montana

  60. Wild horses and evaluation of birth

  61. ProWolf in WY says:

    I saw this mentioned in an article in the Casper Star Tribune today. I’m not sure if anyone else has heard of it or not (I haven’t been on here much lately so I apologize if this is old news).

    • Salle says:

      Yeah, that one has been hashed and slashed to death already during the budget continuing resolution rider to delist argument – about two weeks ago.

    • jon says:

      Yeah, look up the word propaganda in the dictionary and you will see Scott Rockholm’s name in there. Supposedly, the sales of this documentary is going to help fund Bob Fanning’s lawsuit.

      • Savebears says:

        Jon, Last I heard, he is actually selling quite a few copies, in more areas than just Montana, Idaho and Wyoming..I don’t really know what that means, but people are buying it..

      • Salle says:

        Perhaps they are buying it to show as a joke… or to get them off the market.

      • Phil says:

        “Quite a few copies” does not mean anythin when you consider we have more then 300,000,000 people in the country. I would suspect many of the buyers are individuals who have the same belief system as Rockholm, some who just want to see what the video is about and (I am guessing) many who are purchasing multiples to help its popularity. In reality, whether you are for or against wolves, someone who truly understands wildlife and niches of wildlife knows Rockholm’s message of Yellowstone is nothing more then a load of crap.

  62. Deb Potts says:

    Waupaca, WI to round up and kill Canadian geese for pooping on the shore. They’re already oiling the eggs, no float test, just to control their numbers. I can’t believe that in this day and age the only answer anyone can come up with is “kill it” Oh they pretty it whole ordeal up by saying they will contribute the meat to the the food pantry…


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